Morality Without God?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#526

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:29 am

Good morning Spock.
Spock wrote:
Your comment makes no sense at all to me. Anyone can make true statements about what the Quran says without believing the Quran is true. Likewise, anyone can make true statements about what the Bible says without believing the Bible is true. You quoted words I wrote. Does that mean you assume everything I say is true?
Let's see. You wrote to Daniel:
I find it curious that that Golden Rule makes no sense to you. Christ hung the entire divine revelation upon it! How is it possible that its truth is not immediately self-evident to you?
How can you make the argument that the truth should be self-evident to Daniel, if you don't believe it's the truth?
From what you said:
1)The bible says Christ is God
2) Christ hung the entire divine revelation upon the GR
3) Christ, who is God, hung the entire revelation upon something other than His divine truth.

How is #3 the logical conclusion that you make from 1 &2 ?

Spock asked:
First and foremost is your presupposition that the Bible is the Word of God.
I'm not sure if this is a question, or an assumption, because you ended the sentence with a period. I'm going to assume it's a question. No, I don't believe the bible is the Word of God. I believe Jesus Christ is the Word of God.

John 1:1-5 nasb 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 [a]He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Spock wrote:
The Bible doesn't even state which books belong in it, and even if it did that wouldn't prove anything because the book was put together by fallible humans. Maybe they added books that shouldn't be there, or removed books that should. And since there are different traditions (e.g. Catholics, Greek Orthodox) how is it possible to say who is right or wrong on this question? Therefore, you logic and your beliefs are based on what fallible men have told you. Why do you put your faith in fallible men?

All this is based on your wrong assumption, which I answered above. So, How then do I answer your question:"Why do you put your faith in fallible men?"
I"ll answer it by asking you, Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

Spock wrote:
Second, for all you know I could be sent by God to help you see that you have put your faith in a false idol. I have not spoken a word against the possibility that there is some sort of God. Perhaps your entire faith is no different than Mormonism or Islam.

If by "false idol", you mean the bible, then no, I don't worship the bible. The most important purpose of the bible IMO, is to point us to the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ. Spock, I'm sure this is not new to you, since you said you were a Christian for what, 15 years? Christianity is not just another religion like Mormonism, or Islam. By believing on the Jesus Christ revealed in the bible, one receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. He completely justifies and sanctifies a believer. How can you discount that? Be honest.

Spock wrote:
How would you know if you can't give good reasons for what you believe?

I'm starting to think I may have been wrong in assuming you were saved. Maybe B. W. is right. If you were saved, and have the indwelling Holy Spirit, you would know.

I have solid evidence that there is a supernatural design in the Bible, but I cannot believe that the God it describes (or at least the traditional interpretation) is true.

Then maybe the traditional interpretation you are looking at is wrong. Richard, there are plenty of things that I had trouble understanding in the bible. Some of them God has given me answers to already. Some things He has not. I rest on my belief that God ultimately knows whats best for me, and if He chooses to show me answers to my questions, that's great. If He doesn't, then He knows best. I can't count how many times I've had questions that I've struggled with, and not until God has worked on some other issue in my life, that was when the answer was made clear.

Richard, if you were ever saved, you can't lose that salvation. If you were saved, you had the God of the bible indwelling you. That is a personal relationship with the Living God, that no other mere religion can have. It is only found in faith in Jesus Christ. Were you really saved? Or, were you just merely following Christianity, as a religion?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Morality Without God?

#527

Post by B. W. » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:02 am

+
Spock, Butterfly…

What I did was simply using WLC idea of the provocative approach when debating the subject of morality. Often, this is the only way to make a solid point with those who refuse to sincerely discuss issues of morality. Like others here, we know how to apply philosophic concepts in our own manner, reason, and way with words. We don’t need to sound like a text book – we think for ourselves applying many philosophic models into discussions such as these.

William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Stroble, etc, use a provocative approach to demonstrate the contradictions of opponents statements. I did so with yours Spock and Butterfly's. The point I was making was this:

If your goal is to dash bible god and the bible to piece – dash the superstitious outdated Christian Social order, for the greater good. Would this not actually be a violation of your own GR based on human interpretation of what do unto others as you would have them do unto you means?

...and that you both cannot and do not live up to your own Human derived GR. The Apostle Paul said something similar too this effect in Romans 2:14, 15c. By the works of the Law, no one is justified because all break their own laws (GR) as the logic of Galatians 2:16 plainly states. This was proven in you both. Since you cannot live up to your own GR; therefore, you positions crumbles. How – by disproving the authority of your stance by means of accountability.

Let me say this, in light of what Neo-x wrote:

The Purpose of the Board Moderators of this Forum are to screen those attempting to solicit after followers, troll for converts, subvert, and to confront them, warn them, and ban when necessary for the greater good of protecting new believers in Christ from wolves in sheep’s clothing who seek to draw away followers to a false messianic ideas. Of any type. Just think, if I came on and your Forums and Blogs with a hidden agenda and you found out about it, what would you do? Like Neo-x mentioned, ridicule and debased comments/jokes would be made aplenty, and maybe kicked off or kept on for the class clown. We here on this forum let you stay here presenting your case but now the time has come to act and ask you directly: Are you Spock and Butterfly here to draw readers to your blogs, seeking to convert? Are you some great crusade to rid the world of biblegod while the greatest enemy Islamic fascism, Hindu Caste system goes unchecked and unconfronted?

Are you seeking to subvert as Butterfly’s signature suggest – Butterflies create great disturbances? I.E. Chaos theory, Social Conflict Theory, Neo-Marxism, Evolutionary Socialism, all use this didactical model…

Are you trolling for converts? Or seeking subvert win over to your side? Maybe as one poster mentioned awhile back – de-baptize by use of Hair Dryers…

Both your comments on this forum do not suggest at all that you both just want to openly and honestly discuss the bible and god and oppression. If you honestly did, then you would listen to all those responding to you and yourselves been a bit more open minded about our answers. Your own recorded biases betray that you do have an agenda.

Can you be truthful with us and stop the victim card and level with us?

Many of us on this forum, we do feel quite sorry for you both. You both do not know, nor understand the real truth of the gospel, or God at all, but have been, well, brained washed; how, by involvement with Christian Science (CS), Word of Faith (WoF), and liberal theology, and wherever these have led you too. Error begets error as they say.

Whenever have you actually heard the real truth about gospel of Jesus Christ?

From the evidence of your own words and testimony – indicates that you never have heard but instead bought into a lie based upon past experiences. With this lie, are you both seeking to distort the bible in order to lead others astray or at least to your blogs for this purpose? Your blogs do mirror propaganda of the Progressive Left and the New Age Movement as far as I can tell and also to me appear based solely upon the bad doctrinal foundation of CS, WoF, and Liberal NCC as a the sole foundation to base you judgments upon the bible, God, and Christianity on.

As Neo-x stated: The job of a moderator on this forum is to screen comments and make sure people are not here for the wrong reasons and under the guise of sort of subterfuge. We allow people to opine for a while, but when things become clearer by a person’s style and comments, that they are here for the wrong reasons; then we go into action. A moderator who doesn't do these things within the parameters of the board Guidelines is failing their job on any forum. I have a job to do and will do it as would all the mod's on this board.

So why are you really here?

I would like to apologize to BryanH for adding his name alongside Spock’s and Butterfly’s name on this thread. BryanH has been here for awhile and has provided many good insights and intelligent dialogues within the realm of the board guidelines. I added his name alongside the others due to the nature of the debate. I used provocative thought model to challenge the assumptions that the GR is solely human derived and BryanH sorry bro, you were caught in the crossfire.

The intent as to also show that the Golden Rule only proves that we all break it (no matter its source) and none of us cannot live up to its standards without first Loving God as Jesus plainly said. In this, Christians learn by living lessons how to love God and others involving what is termed as the sanctification process after realizing God loved us first so much to send Jesus Christ as a ransom for many. This language is foreign to Spock and Butterfly and even to myself years and years ago when I was an atheist. I suggest to Spock and Butterfly and all Atheist/Agnostics to look into it. It would do you good...
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Re: Morality Without God?

#528

Post by jlay » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:10 am

Butterfly wrote:
I would choose to give the murderer a life sentence. Taking a life does not bring back the life of the victim, so if perchance the murderer can in someway do something with his life that could benefit humanity no matter how small, I would choose that. A life for a life benefits no one.
So you would send him to prison even though he would not have you do that unto him?
You, see, if the GR is taken subjectively, even objectively in the weak sense, one will have to import other moral values. And so then, how do we decide which one's to follow and when? It can't be the GR itself, because it just insists that we follow our desire how we would be treated.
What's best for society? What's best for the victim's family? Those are all just personal values.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Morality Without God?

#529

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:32 am

jlay wrote:
Spock wrote:
jlay wrote: No. You said you believe in OM in the weak sense, and we covered the definition, to which you agreed. Not in the strong sense, being that Craig believes that moral values refer to something that exist independent of the mind. In other words that there is something outside of man and his concepts. So, in that sense you can say you believe in OM, but as you already admitted in the strong objective sense, you would be equivocating.
I have no recollection of any conversation with you concerning "strong" vs. "weak" realism, so I searched this thread and confirmed that we never had any such conversation. If I missed something, please quote our exchange. I don't even know what you think you mean by that distinction. If you want to base your argument on it, you must at the very least define your terms. But be forewarned - there are a wide variety of ways to separate realism into "strong" and "weak" forms and there is no consensus on the validity of such distinctions. This is why your bald assertion that you and I have settled this issue is so mind-numbingly absurd, especially since it is predicated on a conversation we never had.
I never said strong versus weak realism. We had a discussion about the term objective. There were two definitions sited. The first one you held. The 2nd one would comply with realism, the position I hold as do many here and of course WLC. I even commented that in this sense (1st defintion) the GR is objective, but this is not the sense in which WLC (realism) is using the term objective. So I am using the term strong and weak in the sense of the GR being objective. You objected and said he is equivocating. I know you've asserted it, but I don't see how you've proved it.

Hey there jlay,

Philosophical and religious discussions are based entirely on words, and so precise definitions are critical for successful discourse. You asserted that I "believe in OM in the weak sense, and we covered the definition, to which you agreed." OM means "Objective Morality" and Objective Morality entails some form of Moral Realism. Therefore, when you said that we had come to agreement about the meaning of "OM in the weak sense" I assumed you were talking about "strong vs. weak realism." Now you say you were not talking about that. Your equivocation on these terms is causing a lot of confusion. And more important, we never came to any "agreement" about any "definition." If we had and I missed it, please quote what I said so I will know what I "agreed" to.

I also am confused by your statement that "There were two definitions sited. The first one you held. The 2nd one would comply with realism, the position I hold as do many here and of course WLC." That makes no sense because both definitions are a form of realism, one "weak" and one "strong" according to you. How then can you say that only the second one "would comply with realism?" The terms are obviously confused.

You say that you are "using the term strong and weak in the sense of the GR being objective." That makes no sense. Realism of any form implies objectivity. This confusion of terms is making the discourse impossible.

It seems to me that the real issue is that you are trying to force a false dichotomy between Realism and Nominalism, and then force me into the position of a Nominalist. That's now how this discourse should proceed. I have explicitly told you that I am not a Nominalist. If you want to prove that I am, you will need to demonstrate it necessarily follows from something I've actually written.

You say that you don't see how I've proved that Craig is equivocating. Well, then you should have responded to the evidence I gave. Here it is again (with the offending comments removed):
Spock wrote: And as for your suggestion that I am equivocating - it is CRAIG who equivocates, in spades. He doesn't even bother to inform his audience that their naive realism might have some philosophical problems and that there are many other possibilities and that there is nothing like a philosophic consensus on this question. Yet it is the foundation of his argument. And worse, if we accept the definition you say he is using for "objective" then his argument fails because God is a mind and so if morals are grounded in his mind, they are not "independent of mind." That's why Craig often equivocates on his definition of objective and has to invent a question-begging definition carefully designed to eliminate all minds except God's. This has been exposed just like many of his other errors in this article:
The first question to ask here is, “what does Craig mean by ‘objective’”? Here’s the definition from Reasonable Faith:

To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is good or evil independent of what any human being believes. Similarly to say that we have objective moral duties is to say that certain actions are right or wrong independently of whether any human being believes them to be so (p. 173).

This is a [poor] definition. On this definition, someone who believes morality is whatever space aliens tells us it is counts as a believer in objective morality. A more sensible definition would be something like “morality independent of what anyone says or thinks.” And I do think morality has to be objective in something like that sense.

Craig’s reason for defining “objective morality” the way he does is that he wants to claim the only moral theory that works is one based on God. Craig is trying to rig the definition of “objective morality” to favor God. But not only would this be ruled out by a sensible definition of “objective morality,” Craig’s moral theory is in fact [quite dubious].

In short, Craig’s moral argument depends on claiming that his [dubious] theory of morality is the only possible one. I could move on to the next argument now, but I want to say a couple things about how Craig argues for premise (2) of his argument. Frequently in his debates, his entire argument for premise (2) is to cite atheists who (he claims) agree with him about (2).

This is a terrible argument because many atheists, as well as some theists like Richard Swinburne, disagree with Craig about (2). This has been frequently pointed out to Craig, but he has yet to drop his appeals to authority.
I concur with his conclusions. They are self-evident. Craig's errors are legion. He supports his second premise with nothing but fallacious appeals to authority and the assertion that it is "obvious" and that "we all know it." His pseudo-philosophical ploys have been exposed.
jlay, you did not respond to any of this evidence. If you want to show it is not true, you need to answer it. Your entire response consisted of the statement "According to you" which sounds like something a child would say. You did not address, let alone challenge, any of the facts I presented. Is this what you consider to be rational discourse?
jlay wrote:
And as for your love affair with the word "equivocate" - it is CRAIG who equivocates, in spades. He doesn't even bother to inform his audience that their naive realism might have some philosophical problems and that there are many other possibilities and that there is nothing like a philosophic consensus on this question. Yet it is the foundation of his argument. And worse, if we accept the definition you say he is using for "objective" then his argument fails because God is a mind and so if morals are grounded in his mind, they are not "independent of mind."

Love affair? Please. I mean listen to the way you are talking. Insulting for the sake of insulting? For someone who lauds such a high IQ of philosphy, you should refrain from such antics. Plus, I think you know we are talking about independent of the human mind.
I'm sorry you found my use of the phrase "love affair" offensive. It was not intended as such. I used it because it well-captured my take on the situation - you have accused me a equivocating many times, yet when I show you that I was not, and that it is in fact Craig who is equivocating, you ignore the evidence and don't acknowledge a word I wrote. You chose rather to focus on a minor point of offense rather than the evidence. I find that disturbing.
jlay wrote:
The first question to ask here is, “what does Craig mean by ‘objective’”? Here’s the definition from Reasonable Faith:

To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is good or evil independent of what any human being believes. Similarly to say that we have objective moral duties is to say that certain actions are right or wrong independently of whether any human being believes them to be so (p. 173).

This is a silly definition. On this definition, someone who believes morality is whatever space aliens tells us it is counts as a believer in objective morality. A more sensible definition would be something like “morality independent of what anyone says or thinks.” And I do think morality has to be objective in something like that sense.

Craig’s reason for defining “objective morality” the way he does is that he wants to claim the only moral theory that works is one based on God. Craig is trying to rig the definition of “objective morality” to favor God. But not only would this be ruled out by a sensible definition of “objective morality,” Craig’s moral theory is in fact completely insane.
According to you.
Yes, my opinion is "according to me" just like all your opinions are "according to you." But my opinions are also "according to logic and facts." Can you say the same?

Why are you not addressing the facts I have presented? How can you assert that you "don't see how I've proved it" when I showed you the evidence and you didn't refute a word I wrote?
jlay wrote:
In short, Craig’s moral argument depends on claiming that his insane theory of morality is the only possible one. I could move on to the next argument now, but I want to say a couple things about how Craig argues for premise (2) of his argument. Frequently in his debates, his entire argument for premise (2) is to cite atheists who (he claims) agree with him about (2).
there you go again. When you preface something by saying "Insane theory" it only indicates you aren't being intellectually honest.
So, even if he is wrong, how does this prove your moral theory?
I would not be intellectually honest if I failed to state what I believe, and I believe that Craig's moral argument for God and his Divine Command theory are truly "insane" in the sense of "obviously false and just plain nuts." Sorry if my intellectual conclusion disturbs you. It is not meant for that. It's just my honest opinion based on logic and facts as I best understand them.
jlay wrote:
This is a terrible argument because many atheists, as well as some theists like Richard Swinburne, disagree with Craig about (2). This has been frequently pointed out to Craig, but he has yet to drop his appeals to authority.
So, other philosophers disagree. What's new? :mrgreen:
Is that how truth is determined? Polularity poll. Who is appealing to authority??
That is perhaps the most ironic comment in this thread. First, you are trying to force a false dichotomy between the highly disputed and varied philosophical categories of "Realist vs. Nominalist" when in fact there are many varieties of both as well as many other possibilities too. Philosophers have come to no consensus on these issues. There are perennial disputes over these issues.

It is also ironic because Craig's argument is based on the assumption of naive realism without any philosophical development of the wide variety of possibilities.

And the ultimate irony is that is is Craig himself who blatantly appeals to authority as the only support for his second premise, other than his assertion that it is "obvious" and that "we all know it." Such assertions are blatantly fallacious and warrant my charge that his argument is philosophically "insane."
jlay wrote:
If that is what your friend said, then your friend is a philosophical fool of the first order. It indicates he has no understanding of the complexity of the issues we are discussing. Indeed, it proves he does not even understand that realism vs. nominalism is a false dichotomy because there are many other possibilities. No serious thinker could come to that conclusion from what I have written in this thread, let alone assert it as if it were "at a minimum." No serious philosopher would baldly assert such a presumptuous and preposterous claim which directly contradicts my own words.
Then please explain your position. You've told us what you aren't. What are you then? A conceptualist? Of course we would contend that this is a nominalist only under a different name. My friend has read the thread entirely. I guess we could both throw the same accusations at you. I think you do not udnerstand what Craig is arguing. There are many possibilities but I still contend that they ultimately fall under one or the other. Bottom line, you reject that morals are objective in the strong sense, no matter how much you argue otherwise. Fair enough. Therefore you are not following realism. He actually said you would respond exactly how you are, because he said you don't think you are nominalist. Calling myself or him a fool only supports that you are being sophomoric and condescending. Either way, whatever you aren't doesn't verify your argument. It seems your entire argument is based around defeating Craig's. Of course we all know that even if Craig's argument is false, it doesn't make yours valid.
I do not have a settled position on ontology. It's all metaphysical speculation so why should I claim knowledge that no one has? I lean towards the Perennial Philosophy and something along the lines of Idealism but am not committed to those positions because such knowledge is beyond the limits of my humanity.

It would be good if you stated explicitly what aspect of Craig's argument I have failed to accurately understand. A good place to start would be to respond to the criticisms of his argument that I have posted in this thread. Please try to actually quote something I've actually written rather than a paraphrase of what you think I meant.

There is a major problem in your assertion that Realism vs. Nominalism form a dichotomy of the only two possibilities. Here are definitions of the two positions:

REALISM: Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief that our reality, or some aspect of it, is ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. Realism may be spoken of with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the material world, and thought. Realism can also be promoted in an unqualified sense, in which case it asserts the mind-independent existence of a visible world, as opposed to idealism, skepticism, and solipsism. Philosophers who profess realism state that truth consists in the mind's correspondence to reality.

NOMINALISM: Nominalism is a metaphysical view in philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist, while universals or abstract objects, which are sometimes thought to correspond to these terms, do not exist. Thus, there are at least two main versions of nominalism. One version denies the existence of universals—things that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things (e.g. strength, humanity). The other version specifically denies the existence of abstract objects—objects that do not exist in space and time.

As you can see, there are varieties of both, and they form a kind of continuum with a lot of overlap. The main issue is the question: What does it mean for an abstract object to exist? This is a big issue concerning time. Does the past exist? If not, how can we reference it? If so, what does it mean to "exist" if it does not actually exist (since the past is past). And on it goes. There are profound questions with no simple answer. Look at all the variety of topics this question touches, such as that which "can be spoken of with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities, moral categories, the material world, and thought." For you to think to pigeon-hole me into a position on philosophical issues as complex as this without even discussing it with me is absurd in the extreme. It looks like you are merely looking for a short cut to avoid a legitimate discussion. If that is the case, it would probably be best for us to just quit now. I would like to continue the discourse, but if you are not interested or willing to discuss it with me in a way that leads to authentic understanding, what's the point?

All the best,

Spock
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#530

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:54 am

PaulSacramento wrote:I think it is important to understand that, IF one has made up their mind about something, that while we can still debate and discuss it, no one is changing anyone's mind.
SPock and Butterfly have stated their views and those views should be respected and discussed and they have been.
Personally I disagree with them, as do others and we have stated our reasons why.
That is really as far as this discussion can go.
No one is gonna convince anyone else.
So...
If we come to a stalemate, then there are only three possibilities. 1) Someone is holding to false presuppositions, 2) Someone is being irrational, or 3) The issue is undecidable given our current state of knowledge. In any of these cases, discourse should be continued until we are able to clearly articulate the reason for our disagreement. Is not truth our common goal? Speaking for myself, I fear no truth because I have nothing to lose but the errors I may hold. I stand with Thomas Jefferson who said "There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world."
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Re: Morality Without God?

#531

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:02 am

Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I think it is important to understand that, IF one has made up their mind about something, that while we can still debate and discuss it, no one is changing anyone's mind.
SPock and Butterfly have stated their views and those views should be respected and discussed and they have been.
Personally I disagree with them, as do others and we have stated our reasons why.
That is really as far as this discussion can go.
No one is gonna convince anyone else.
So...
If we come to a stalemate, then there are only three possibilities. 1) Someone is holding to false presuppositions, 2) Someone is being irrational, or 3) The issue is undecidable given our current state of knowledge. In any of these cases, discourse should be continued until we are able to clearly articulate the reason for our disagreement. Is not truth our common goal? Speaking for myself, I fear no truth because I have nothing to lose but the errors I may hold. I stand with Thomas Jefferson who said "There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world."
The issue is when one of the parties OR BOTH, do not "budge" because they KNOW they are right.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#532

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:05 am

One party has made it clear that, based on their view of morality, the Biblical God ( typically the OT YHWH) is NOT God because He is immoral ( base don their view of what moral is).
The other party disagrees and stated various reasons why.
The first party disagreed what all their reasons, thus proclaiming they are correct and the other party is wrong.
The other party holds fast to their view of the incorrectness of the first parties view and thus, proclaim they are correct.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#533

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:47 am

RickD wrote:Good morning Spock.
Spock wrote:
Your comment makes no sense at all to me. Anyone can make true statements about what the Quran says without believing the Quran is true. Likewise, anyone can make true statements about what the Bible says without believing the Bible is true. You quoted words I wrote. Does that mean you assume everything I say is true?
Let's see. You wrote to Daniel:
I find it curious that that Golden Rule makes no sense to you. Christ hung the entire divine revelation upon it! How is it possible that its truth is not immediately self-evident to you?
How can you make the argument that the truth should be self-evident to Daniel, if you don't believe it's the truth?
From what you said:
1)The bible says Christ is God
2) Christ hung the entire divine revelation upon the GR
3) Christ, who is God, hung the entire revelation upon something other than His divine truth.

How is #3 the logical conclusion that you make from 1 &2 ?
Good morning Rick,

The truth should be self-evident to anyone who, like Daniel, accepts that Bible as true. It was to Daniel, who presumes the truth of the Bible, that I addressed my comment. My comment in no way presumed the truth of the Bible as an objective fact, but rather, on that Daniel presumed the Bible true. This is trivial. I don't understand how you could be confused on this point. I have written nothing that indicates I presume the Bible is true in everything it says.
RickD wrote:
Spock asked:
First and foremost is your presupposition that the Bible is the Word of God.
I'm not sure if this is a question, or an assumption, because you ended the sentence with a period. I'm going to assume it's a question. No, I don't believe the bible is the Word of God. I believe Jesus Christ is the Word of God.

John 1:1-5 nasb 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 [a]He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Excellent. This brings some clarity. I had presumed you presumed the Bible is the Word of God.

So what is your position on the Bible? Is it a mix of truth and falsehood? Is it authoritative in any sense?

When I was a Christian, I was greatly impressed by the analogy between the "Written Word of God" (The Bible) and the "Living Word of God" (Christ). I saw both as human and divine. I saw both as a "stumbling block" as Peter declared:

1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone [Christ], elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word [Bible], being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Here it seems that Peter is drawing an analogy between the Written Word and the Living Word, though I suppose he could have been referring to the preached word. In any case, we see a strong typological overlap between these two concepts throughout the Bible. Both the Written and the Living Word are likened to bread. The Bible says God "fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not ... that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live" and then Christ, the Living Word, declared that he was the "Living Bread" that came down from heaven analogously to the manna. Likewise, The Written Word (Ten Commandments) was housed in the Tabernacle which is directly analogous to the Living Word that became flesh and "tabernacled" in the human person of Jesus Christ. These analogies yield an endless vein of rich insight.

RickD wrote:
Spock wrote:
The Bible doesn't even state which books belong in it, and even if it did that wouldn't prove anything because the book was put together by fallible humans. Maybe they added books that shouldn't be there, or removed books that should. And since there are different traditions (e.g. Catholics, Greek Orthodox) how is it possible to say who is right or wrong on this question? Therefore, you logic and your beliefs are based on what fallible men have told you. Why do you put your faith in fallible men?

All this is based on your wrong assumption, which I answered above. So, How then do I answer your question:"Why do you put your faith in fallible men?"
I"ll answer it by asking you, Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

I presume the "false assumption" is that the Bible is the "Word of God." You will need to explain what you think the Bible is and how it relates to your beliefs. Is it the root source of your beliefs? If not, then what is? Could your reject the Bible as largely false without harming your beliefs?

I don't see how my question is anything like asking "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?". As far as I can tell, your faith is based entirely on a tradition that has been handed down to you by fallible men. Are you saying you have some other source of your beliefs, such as a direct revelation from God? It would help if you explained yourself since your comments don't make any sense to me as yet.

RickD wrote:
Spock wrote:
Second, for all you know I could be sent by God to help you see that you have put your faith in a false idol. I have not spoken a word against the possibility that there is some sort of God. Perhaps your entire faith is no different than Mormonism or Islam.

If by "false idol", you mean the bible, then no, I don't worship the bible. The most important purpose of the bible IMO, is to point us to the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ. Spock, I'm sure this is not new to you, since you said you were a Christian for what, 15 years? Christianity is not just another religion like Mormonism, or Islam. By believing on the Jesus Christ revealed in the bible, one receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. He completely justifies and sanctifies a believer. How can you discount that? Be honest.

The "false idol" is not the Bible per se, but rather the doctrines you believe concerning the Bible. It feels like you are equivocating. Yes, of course I understand that the Holy Spirit is supposed to give witness to the believer, but most fundamentalist / evangelical believers also claim that the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible so that the original manuscripts were inerrant. This is the official position of Rich Deem who owns this site. It would be very helpful if you would state your position on the Bible since it seems you presume it is authoritative, which would explain why you seem to feel such a powerful need to prove that it contains no attributions of immorality to God. This really needs to be clarified.

As for the Holy Spirit - the problem there is that there is no way to discern between your own feelings and the Holy Spirit. Folks who believe radically different things all claim to have the same Holy Spirit, so we know that humans err on this point. How is a person supposed to discern between their own feelings and the Holy Spirit? If there is no objective test, then it all reduces to subjective feelings and your reference to it means nothing. Now when I was a Christian, I strongly believed I had the Holy Spirit. But when I look back and reflect on the reasons, I see that they are all entirely subjective and can easily be explained psychologically, just like the "burning of the bosom" that Mormon's use to justify their beliefs.

RickD wrote:
Spock wrote:
How would you know if you can't give good reasons for what you believe?

I'm starting to think I may have been wrong in assuming you were saved. Maybe B. W. is right. If you were saved, and have the indwelling Holy Spirit, you would know.

That sounds like Craig's argument. It is "obvious" and "we all know it." But you can't give anything like a reasoned response? How is that different than any cult belief, like the "burning of the bosom" that Mormons take as evidence of God's Spirit?

RickD wrote:
I have solid evidence that there is a supernatural design in the Bible, but I cannot believe that the God it describes (or at least the traditional interpretation) is true.

Then maybe the traditional interpretation you are looking at is wrong. Richard, there are plenty of things that I had trouble understanding in the bible. Some of them God has given me answers to already. Some things He has not. I rest on my belief that God ultimately knows whats best for me, and if He chooses to show me answers to my questions, that's great. If He doesn't, then He knows best. I can't count how many times I've had questions that I've struggled with, and not until God has worked on some other issue in my life, that was when the answer was made clear.

Many folks have suggested that the "traditional interpretation" may be the problem. And I agree. The thing is, I could easily reinterpret the Bible to fit my conceptions, but what good would that be? I could just as well start from scratch and make up my own religion. The truth seems to be that there is no such thing as "Christianity" but rather a broad range of overlapping "Christianities." And given this ocean of confusion, I've conclude that it is quite obvious the true God would not judge people according to their philosophical conclusions concerning propositions put forth by the various Christianities that litter the landscape. Those forms of Christianity strike me as obviously fallacious. So what is it really all about? Many folks solve the problems by an extreme form of analogical interpretation. E.g. the genocides represent how we are supposed to be killing bad ideas, things like that. I find such interpretations entirely unsatisfying and arbitrary. But the evidence for "something" of great significance going on in the Bible remains. It was the primary formative agent for 2000 years of Western civilization. It is deeply embedded in our collective psyche. And it contains archetypal images of great power unlike anything else I have seen. I see it as a repository of profound insights into our collective psyche. As a composite work of over 40 primary authors and thousands of minds that touched it over the centuries, I see it as revealing our collective mind. If we liken our collective mind to a magnetic field, the Bible reveals its internal structure in the way that iron filings reveal the field lines of the magnetic field. There is something very deep going on in the Bible that the popular form of conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity totally misses.

RickD wrote: Richard, if you were ever saved, you can't lose that salvation. If you were saved, you had the God of the bible indwelling you. That is a personal relationship with the Living God, that no other mere religion can have. It is only found in faith in Jesus Christ. Were you really saved? Or, were you just merely following Christianity, as a religion?

This is what I mean by "false interpretation." Where in the world did you get the idea that a person is "saved" by believing something about Jesus? From the Bible, of course. Therefore, all your beliefs are defined by the Bible, unless you are saying that you have received special revelation that "just happens" to align with what was written in the Bible. I don't see how you could say that your beliefs are not founded and defined by your interpretation of the Bible.

As for your question if I was "really saved." Please tell me how anyone could know. Please tell me how I could possibly answer that question. Is there an objective test of any kind that would answer it? If not, why do you think that you are really saved? How do you know?
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#534

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:51 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I think it is important to understand that, IF one has made up their mind about something, that while we can still debate and discuss it, no one is changing anyone's mind.
SPock and Butterfly have stated their views and those views should be respected and discussed and they have been.
Personally I disagree with them, as do others and we have stated our reasons why.
That is really as far as this discussion can go.
No one is gonna convince anyone else.
So...
If we come to a stalemate, then there are only three possibilities. 1) Someone is holding to false presuppositions, 2) Someone is being irrational, or 3) The issue is undecidable given our current state of knowledge. In any of these cases, discourse should be continued until we are able to clearly articulate the reason for our disagreement. Is not truth our common goal? Speaking for myself, I fear no truth because I have nothing to lose but the errors I may hold. I stand with Thomas Jefferson who said "There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world."
The issue is when one of the parties OR BOTH, do not "budge" because they KNOW they are right.
The question then is simple: How do those parties justify their knowledge? If one says "Because it is obvious" or "Because God told me" or "Because I have the Holy Spirit" while the other appeals to objective logic and facts, then I think all rational people would be compelled to go with the "other."

The reality is obvious. I present nothing as "known" without supporting it with logic and facts and no hidden or unjustified assumptions. Can you say the same?
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#535

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:55 am

Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I think it is important to understand that, IF one has made up their mind about something, that while we can still debate and discuss it, no one is changing anyone's mind.
SPock and Butterfly have stated their views and those views should be respected and discussed and they have been.
Personally I disagree with them, as do others and we have stated our reasons why.
That is really as far as this discussion can go.
No one is gonna convince anyone else.
So...
If we come to a stalemate, then there are only three possibilities. 1) Someone is holding to false presuppositions, 2) Someone is being irrational, or 3) The issue is undecidable given our current state of knowledge. In any of these cases, discourse should be continued until we are able to clearly articulate the reason for our disagreement. Is not truth our common goal? Speaking for myself, I fear no truth because I have nothing to lose but the errors I may hold. I stand with Thomas Jefferson who said "There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world."
The issue is when one of the parties OR BOTH, do not "budge" because they KNOW they are right.
The question then is simple: How do those parties justify their knowledge? If one says "Because it is obvious" or "Because God told me" or "Because I have the Holy Spirit" while the other appeals to objective logic and facts, then I think all rational people would be compelled to go with the "other."

The reality is obvious. I present nothing as "known" without supporting it with logic and facts and no hidden or unjustified assumptions. Can you say the same?
See below:
One party has made it clear that, based on their view of morality, the Biblical God ( typically the OT YHWH) is NOT God because He is immoral ( base don their view of what moral is).
The other party disagrees and stated various reasons why.
The first party disagreed what all their reasons, thus proclaiming they are correct and the other party is wrong.
The other party holds fast to their view of the incorrectness of the first parties view and thus, proclaim they are correct.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#536

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:20 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Spock wrote: The question then is simple: How do those parties justify their knowledge? If one says "Because it is obvious" or "Because God told me" or "Because I have the Holy Spirit" while the other appeals to objective logic and facts, then I think all rational people would be compelled to go with the "other."

The reality is obvious. I present nothing as "known" without supporting it with logic and facts and no hidden or unjustified assumptions. Can you say the same?
See below:
One party has made it clear that, based on their view of morality, the Biblical God ( typically the OT YHWH) is NOT God because He is immoral ( base don their view of what moral is).
The other party disagrees and stated various reasons why.
The first party disagreed what all their reasons, thus proclaiming they are correct and the other party is wrong.
The other party holds fast to their view of the incorrectness of the first parties view and thus, proclaim they are correct.
My claims are not based on "my view of morality" but rather on objective morality which is not based on subjective views. As far as I can tell, you and I agree that morality is objective but you are forced to be inconsistent because the Bible appears to blatantly contradict your presumption that the God of the Bible is morally and intellectually perfect.

I have not seen any rational or compelling evidence to believe that the God of the Bible is morally perfect. It seems to me that all the attempted justifications are logically fallacious ad hoc inventions designed only to defend the false presumption that the God of the Bible is morally perfect. They appear to me to be logically inconsistent and incoherent. This is not merely a clash of opinions. I have given reasons based on logic and facts that have no been refuted as far as I know. The attempt to reduce this discussion to nothing but a clash of equally unjustifiable opinions looks like a desperate attempt to evade the evidence.
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#537

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:48 pm

My claims are not based on "my view of morality" but rather on objective morality which is not based on subjective views. As far as I can tell, you and I agree that morality is objective but you are forced to be inconsistent because the Bible appears to blatantly contradict your presumption that the God of the Bible is morally and intellectually perfect.
The issue is that you are incorrect and your view is NOT based on objective morality, it is base don subjective one.
You disagree and state that I am incorrect and we get back to what I posted.

Fact is, the stalemate is that you believe your view of morality is based on an objective morality BUT base it on the GR that is subjective.
My view of an objective morality has little to do with the bible ( though it is based in part on the bible).
YOUR interpretation of the acts attributed to YHWH, based on your view of morality, make you conclude that the God of the bible is not moral nor is He perfect.
And I accept and respect that because it is YOUR opinion and based on your view of morality and on your interpretation of the bible.
I just don't agree with it.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#538

Post by Beanybag » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:56 pm

These assertions of logic and facts are sounding more and more hollow. How did you arrive at these 'facts' and what are facts anyway. Why is your knowledge more legitimate than theirs? There's a lack of philosophical comprehension here.. You want to assert that everything you claim isn't resting on an unjustified premise, and yet I've seen no solution to munchhausen's trilemma.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#539

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:03 pm

Beanybag wrote:These assertions of logic and facts are sounding more and more hollow. How did you arrive at these 'facts' and what are facts anyway. Why is your knowledge more legitimate than theirs? There's a lack of philosophical comprehension here.. You want to assert that everything you claim isn't resting on an unjustified premise, and yet I've seen no solution to munchhausen's trilemma.
The only fact I asserted is that there is a stalemate and I explained why I view it that way.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#540

Post by Butterfly » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:14 pm

jlay wrote:
Butterfly wrote:
I would choose to give the murderer a life sentence. Taking a life does not bring back the life of the victim, so if perchance the murderer can in someway do something with his life that could benefit humanity no matter how small, I would choose that. A life for a life benefits no one.
So you would send him to prison even though he would not have you do that unto him?
You, see, if the GR is taken subjectively, even objectively in the weak sense, one will have to import other moral values. And so then, how do we decide which one's to follow and when? It can't be the GR itself, because it just insists that we follow our desire how we would be treated.
I'm not quite sure what your getting at, but I think if I were a murderer I would rather have life in prison than execution.
jlay wrote:What's best for society? What's best for the victim's family? Those are all just personal values.
Yes, those are just personal values, just like the decision of whether to execute the murderer, or give him life in prison.
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y@};-
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