Morality Without God?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#601

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:29 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:If you weren't appealing to his authority, why mention him at all?
Why mention him as "Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick" and how he "wrote a book on the subject"?
Dude...
For exactly the same reason I mentioned Einstein when showing how he used symmetry principles to derive his theory of Special Relativity.

Mentioning the name of a philosopher whose ARGUMENT I am using is not "appealing to authority."
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Re: Morality Without God?

#602

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:38 pm

Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I don;'t think that any of these were answered....

IS it moral to kill the one to save the many?
Is it moral to kill the few to save millions?
Would it have been moral to kill the Nazis to save the 10's of millions that died in WW2?
Would it have been moral to kill Stalin or Lenin or Mao and save 10's of millions?
Moral dilemmas are common to all moral theories. They depend upon the assumption that the moral theory defines something as immoral, and then create a situation that pits one immoral action against another. That's why it is a dilemma.

My moral theory explains why killing is immoral. The question of which horn of the dilemma would be "more immoral" depends upon further argument, as it would under any moral theory. For example, I presume you have a moral theory. How would you answer your own questions? If you can't or won't answer this point, your will be revealing that you have a double standard are not interested in seeking truth.
In other words, your moral theory is subjective.
I notice you didn't answer the question though.

I refer back to this post on the first page as, truly, the most honest answer that can be given:
However, from what I've seen, the more sensible of the "moral" Atheists who have actually given thought to the matter typically acknowledge that there is no objective standard of morality in their worldview, but they say that the relative is just as valid as the absolute in their view. In their worldview, since there is no God and people are the highest form of life, there is nothing wrong with saying "I act by this set of morals because I want to, not because I believe they are inherently and objectively moral. I WANT to help mankind, therefore I try to fight sexism and racism". Which I admit, I think is somewhat noble of them, even if I as a Christian don't hold that view of morality. Just because you don't believe in objective morality doesn't mean you will go off the deep end and actively try to do the opposite of what is considered moral.

So much more honest to end it here then continue because of ulterior motives.

And to answer your question, Yes I have a moral code ( not theory) and that is one that I base of Christ and His teachings and guidance from the HS.
Is it perfect? Nope, I am human
Is it without dilemma's? Nope, I am Human.
Does it give me a solid core from which to make moral judgment on acts? Yes, I believe it does.
So what is my answer to those questions.
The answer is Yes.
I am curious as to your answer of course and how the "GR" applies.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#603

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:39 pm

Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:If you weren't appealing to his authority, why mention him at all?
Why mention him as "Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick" and how he "wrote a book on the subject"?
Dude...
For exactly the same reason I mentioned Einstein when showing how he used symmetry principles to derive his theory of Special Relativity.

Mentioning the name of a philosopher whose ARGUMENT I am using is not "appealing to authority."
Ok then.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#604

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:49 pm

It seems to me that what you have been doing is taking your view on the GR and making it "the gospel according to Spock".
You cite sources that "agree with you" and when you ask to be refuted by those that disagree, you don't accept their arguments and rule them out and then claim you have not be refuted.
You disagree with the arguments presented showing your view is subjective and you define objective as you choose to add validity to your argument.
You make the claim that you have shown that morality can exist without God ( something that the majority had already agreed on) and that this morality is OBJECTIVE ( based on your definition of objective) and that this objective and absolute(?) morality is self-love and the GR.
Which you believe naturally evolved in humans.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#605

Post by Byblos » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:56 pm

Spock wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Spock wrote:... selfishness is self-hatred.
And yet you have no basis whatsoever to pick self-love over selfishness, it's an arbitrary choice. One can just as similarly formulate a moral theory based on self preservation (instead of self love) and survival of the fittest (instead of the golden rule).
I have every reason in the world to choose self-love over self-hatred (selfishness).

My moral theory naturally coheres with self-preservation which is the primary feature natural selection would select for. It coheres with evolution, as must any valid theory must because of the consilience of science.
Unfortunately for you natural selection has selected for creatures who have the ability to say the hell with your symmetry and your self-love. They are meaningless drivel. We choose self-preservation and survival of the fittest.

But before you and butterfly start doing your victory dance, even if you did have a basis to select self-love (which you don't), first you would have to define those terms. What exactly do you mean by 'self'. What does 'love' mean? For that matter, what does 'primitive notion' mean? I don't see self-love as a primitive notion at all since it can be broken down further into, for example, self-interest. And that can even be defined further as something that is good. Now if you were Aristotelian then perhaps I can agree with you that 'good' is a primitive notion since perfect goodness is identical with being. But I know you're not (Aristotelian) so I'm not sure what you mean by 'love' and by extension 'good'. Is it for example, what is desired? I would say there are many things that desired but aren't 'good' so that can't be it. You see where I'm going here? You haven't even begun to formulate a theory based a primitive notion. Bottom line is first, self-love is anything but a primitive notion; you would have to use 'good' as that notion. And if you use 'good' as your primitive notion then you have a choice, either you define it in mind-independent terms (a la Thomistic philosophy), or in mind-dependent terms, which makes it wholly subjective. Take your pick.

As for the GR, it's just a silly notion to think, coupled with self-love, makes an objective moral theory since, unlike the symmetry of the laws of physics, the theory can be rejected and replaced by another on a whim. There is nothing inherently wrong (whatever that means) with substituting survival of the fittest and toss out GR. It's an arbitrary decision based on the feel-good of the moment and of the individual.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#606

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:57 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Spock wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I don;'t think that any of these were answered....

IS it moral to kill the one to save the many?
Is it moral to kill the few to save millions?
Would it have been moral to kill the Nazis to save the 10's of millions that died in WW2?
Would it have been moral to kill Stalin or Lenin or Mao and save 10's of millions?
Moral dilemmas are common to all moral theories. They depend upon the assumption that the moral theory defines something as immoral, and then create a situation that pits one immoral action against another. That's why it is a dilemma.

My moral theory explains why killing is immoral. The question of which horn of the dilemma would be "more immoral" depends upon further argument, as it would under any moral theory. For example, I presume you have a moral theory. How would you answer your own questions? If you can't or won't answer this point, your will be revealing that you have a double standard are not interested in seeking truth.
In other words, your moral theory is subjective.
Why do you make UNSUPPORTED assertions? If you want to assert that my argument is faulty, you need to do more than mere say that I'm wrong. You need to give reasons for your assertions. My theory is not subjective. It is objective in exactly the same way that physics is objective as I explained in an earlier post today and at length in my article The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality. Did you read either of my explanations? If not, why are you rejecting things you know nothing about?
PaulSacramento wrote: I notice you didn't answer the question though.
That is correct. It would be foolish to answer a calculus question if the person asking doesn't agree with the arithmetic upon which it is based. You must first understand the basics of my theory before we can fruitfully explore complex moral dilemmas.
PaulSacramento wrote: I refer back to this post on the first page as, truly, the most honest answer that can be given:
However, from what I've seen, the more sensible of the "moral" Atheists who have actually given thought to the matter typically acknowledge that there is no objective standard of morality in their worldview, but they say that the relative is just as valid as the absolute in their view. In their worldview, since there is no God and people are the highest form of life, there is nothing wrong with saying "I act by this set of morals because I want to, not because I believe they are inherently and objectively moral. I WANT to help mankind, therefore I try to fight sexism and racism". Which I admit, I think is somewhat noble of them, even if I as a Christian don't hold that view of morality. Just because you don't believe in objective morality doesn't mean you will go off the deep end and actively try to do the opposite of what is considered moral.
Your answer may be honest, but that doesn't help the fact that it is blatantly false in this context. I assert objective moral absolutes. Your opinion about other atheists is totally irrelevant to the validity or invalidity of my argument.
PaulSacramento wrote: So much more honest to end it here then continue because of ulterior motives.
Your constant assertion of "ulterior motives" is immoral. How would you like it if everyone in this forum answered you with such false accusations?
PaulSacramento wrote: And to answer your question, Yes I have a moral code ( not theory) and that is one that I base of Christ and His teachings and guidance from the HS.
Is it perfect? Nope, I am human
Is it without dilemma's? Nope, I am Human.
Does it give me a solid core from which to make moral judgment on acts? Yes, I believe it does.
So what is my answer to those questions.
The answer is Yes.
I am curious as to your answer of course and how the "GR" applies.
Your "moral code" sounds totally subjective in as much as it relies upon your own private interpretation of Christ's teachings the totally subjective "experience" of the Holy Spirit which is indistinguishable from your own feelings.

So you glibly answer "yes" as if there were no moral dilemma?!? Wow.

As for how I would answer - I can't explain that to you until you show some basic understanding of the argument I have put forth. It would be absurd to try to work on the roof if we are still laying the foundation.
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#607

Post by jlay » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:01 pm

Is self-love a primitive notion? I know many who would disagree. Moral realism (universals) is heavily debated. Yep, but so are the issues of self, and love.
I can only assume self-love to mean self-interest, (that which seeks what is good for self.) And I think that is correct, but is that a primitive notion?

Of course self-interest can lead to all kinds of moral problems. What if we equate 'good' to what is desired? How do we define good?
Or, what about ignorance? As I mentioned before, one can rationally and honestly say, "If I was you I would want someone to tell me what to do." Spock says it discards the 2nd person, but I disagree. my daughter adamantly does not want a flu shot. And in turn she wouldn't make me get one. But I will force her to get one, because I have knowledge she does not possess. That there is an invisible (to the naked eye) virus that can make her quite ill. Foreign missionaries run into this a lot with cultures that simply are ignorant of disease. And we could rightly say, "If I were in their position, I would want someone to force the vaccine on me."

If the GR is such an intuitive outflow of self-love it is concerning that so many in the world do not adhere, or only adhere when it is convenient to their own....... self-interest. Hmmm? Heck, we have oppressive governments that are based in seeking the 'greater good." Of course this begs us to define what we mean by good?
BryanH wrote:I have read most of the debate here about moral objectivity, but nobody mentions anything about punishment or maybe I missed it.
Without punishment people wouldn't respect that many moral values.

I don't know if moral objectivity is still in place when you educate people through punishment
No, I think it is a good point. I'd like to see more of where you are going with it.

http://www.biblewheel.com/content.php?3 ... f-Morality
Genuine love is an expression of productiveness and implies care, respect, responsibility, and knowledge. It is not an “affect” in the sense of being affected by somebody, but an active striving for the growth and happiness of the loved person, rooted in one’s own capacity to love.
Great. But isn't this just an opinion of what you prefer?
Last edited by jlay on Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#608

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:02 pm

Your "moral code" sounds totally subjective in as much as it relies upon your own private interpretation of Christ's teachings the totally subjective "experience" of the Holy Spirit which is indistinguishable from your own feelings.
Yes, of course it is subjective.
Just like yours is.
That you don;t get that makes me think that you either don't get it or you like to look of your argument on the screen.
I've said it a few times, in regards to humans, ALL moral codes/theories are subjective.
The ONLY objective moral,if there is one, is GOD because he is GOD.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#609

Post by Butterfly » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:05 pm

PaulSacramento wrote: You make the claim that you have shown that morality can exist without God ( something that the majority had already agreed on) and that this morality is OBJECTIVE ( based on your definition of objective) and that this objective and absolute(?) morality is self-love and the GR.
Which you believe naturally evolved in humans.
You seem to basically get Spock's "Natural Theory of Morality" in which he shows that objective morality can exist naturally without god...so, do you agree that objective morality can exist without the need for god? William Lane Craig says its existence proves god.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#610

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:06 pm

Seraph wrote:Trying to argue that objective morality exists without a moral God is futile. If Atheism and Metaphysical Naturalism are true, then Nihilism is true no matter which way you slice it.

However, from what I've seen, the more sensible of the "moral" Atheists who have actually given thought to the matter typically acknowledge that there is no objective standard of morality in their worldview, but they say that the relative is just as valid as the absolute in their view. In their worldview, since there is no God and people are the highest form of life, there is nothing wrong with saying "I act by this set of morals because I want to, not because I believe they are inherently and objectively moral. I WANT to help mankind, therefore I try to fight sexism and racism". Which I admit, I think is somewhat noble of them, even if I as a Christian don't hold that view of morality. Just because you don't believe in objective morality doesn't mean you will go off the deep end and actively try to do the opposite of what is considered moral.



I'll try to help out where I can. What Echoside is saying is that it's fallacious to say that Atheists appealing to the "problem of evil" are not saying that God is evil by their objective standard, but are saying that the God (when compared with the amount of disaster present in the world) appears to be less-than-good by the Bible's own standard of morality. Because of this, it is fallacious to say that Atheists have no grounds to say God appears evil because they don't believe in objective morality. They aren't saying they believe it, they are saying there is a contradiction of you do believe in both God and Biblical morality. I would agree that rather than use this arguement as a response to he philosophical "problem of evil", Christians ought to use others.
I am re-posting the whole of Seraph's post, since I don't want any confusion as to who said what.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#611

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:09 pm

Butterfly wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote: You make the claim that you have shown that morality can exist without God ( something that the majority had already agreed on) and that this morality is OBJECTIVE ( based on your definition of objective) and that this objective and absolute(?) morality is self-love and the GR.
Which you believe naturally evolved in humans.
You seem to basically get Spock's "Natural Theory of Morality" in which he shows that objective morality can exist naturally without god...so, do you agree that objective morality can exist without the need for god? William Lane Craig says its existence proves god.
-
y@};-
I am saying that ALL morality that is based on human understanding is subjective. That without God there is NO objective morality.
Morality can exist without God, it is just subjective.
It may be "objective" in a "realist" sense or a "pragmatist" sense, but it is still subjective.

Any concerns or views on WLC arguments can be discussed with him on his reasonablefaith.org website.
He answers all questions posted to him.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#612

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:10 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:It seems to me that what you have been doing is taking your view on the GR and making it "the gospel according to Spock".
Your assertion is unwarranted. I am not claiming any "Gospel" qualities to my moral theory. I am presenting a moral theory that explains our moral intuitions. But it steps on your toes because you have been taught that there would be no morality without God. Could you please try to address my argument? Your constant jabs of false assertions laden with emotion are quite tedious.
PaulSacramento wrote:You cite sources that "agree with you" and when you ask to be refuted by those that disagree, you don't accept their arguments and rule them out and then claim you have not be refuted.
I cite sources that EXPLAIN my argument. My biggest problem was choosing amongst the ten thousand witnesses which I could fit into my article. My argument is based on the unity of all science and knowledge.

I do not "rule out" any arguments. The sad fact is that few folks here are presenting any arguments at all. On the contrary, they throw out emotionally laden irrational jabs and false accusations. Why do you not address the actual logic and facts I presented in my argument?
PaulSacramento wrote: You disagree with the arguments presented showing your view is subjective and you define objective as you choose to add validity to your argument.
What arguments? I haven't seen any arguments. All I've seen are empty assertions that don't address anything I wrote in my article. If I've missed something, I'm sure it would be simple for you to quote the "argument" that I dismissed so I can rectify the situation.
PaulSacramento wrote: You make the claim that you have shown that morality can exist without God ( something that the majority had already agreed on) and that this morality is OBJECTIVE ( based on your definition of objective) and that this objective and absolute(?) morality is self-love and the GR.
Which you believe naturally evolved in humans.
Yep - that's pretty much it. But it's not "my" definition. After much meditation on this topic and the principles of invariance and symmetry in physics, I realized that objectivity was a kind of symmetry which is defined as "invariance under transformation." So I Googled objectivity invariance and found Robert Nozick's article .... after I had already derived the concept myself. That's also how I found Erich Fromm's book The Art of Loving that articulates the two axioms of my moral theory. I first made the discovery myself, then I knew what to Google to see if others had discovered it. I was thrilled to find that my insights were neither new nor unique to me.
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#613

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:17 pm

PaulSacramento wrote: I am saying that ALL morality that is based on human understanding is subjective. That without God there is NO objective morality.
Your definitions are logically incoherent. All your understandings are "based on human understanding" because you are a human just like everyone else.

Whether there is a God or not, your concept of God is subjective.

This is why I went to some length to define the meaning of objectivity. There is much confusion ...
PaulSacramento wrote: Morality can exist without God, it is just subjective.
False. Morality that is based on "codes" or "rules" given by a legislative agent are truly subjective because they are not based on reality. If they were based on reality, then they would not depend upon a legislative agent. Therefore, morals based on God are subjective, whereas morals based on the objective fact of self and the objective symmetry of the GR are objective.
PaulSacramento wrote: It may be "objective" in a "realist" sense or a "pragmatist" sense, but it is still subjective.
Your words are confused. What do you think you think you mean when you say "subjective" vs. "objective"?
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Re: Morality Without God?

#614

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:19 pm

You are stating an opinion Spock, no more, no less and all the "yelling" to the contrary doesn't change that.
Sorry.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#615

Post by jlay » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:24 pm

This is why I went to some length to define the meaning of objectivity.
Subjectively. :pound: Sorry, couldn't resist.
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