Morality Without God?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#631

Post by BryanH » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:52 pm

Butterfly wrote:I think you are mixing "apples and oranges" here.

1. A guy who steals gold and gets 3 years in jail has nothing to do with how the GR works. It is merely giving a pre-set punishment for a crime which states "Do to others whatever your law decrees you can do." The correct application of the GR would say, "If I steal 3kg of gold from you it is because I would like you to steal 3kg of gold from me."

2. An eye for an eye is not the true GR either. It states, "Do to others what they do to you" that is not the GR.

Neither one of the examples you gave defines the GR.
Actually I was not mixing apples and oranges there.

You just quoted a part of my comment and out of context.

I clearly said in my comment that moral values can't be discussed out of the PUNISHMENT context. So my interpretation of the GR is correct. You can't have moral values without punishment. It's pointless to discuss that when thousands of years of history prove that. Maybe you want to argue with history now...

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Re: Morality Without God?

#632

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:17 pm

Butterfly wrote:WLC says that OM proves the existence of God. If that is so, what are the specific OM that WLC thinks proves God's existence?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#633

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:20 pm

RickD wrote:
On another note, I still can't get over how Spock claims he was a Christian, yet he doesn't know the difference between the indwelling Holy Spirit, and his own feelings. that tells me right there, that he was never really a Christian in the true biblical sense.

Butterfly wrote:
As I have said many times, I was a Christian for nearly 28 years believing I was guided by the HS, but today I have all the same intuitions guiding me that I thought was the HS when I was a Christian. Nothing has changed in my internal sense of guidance, in every way I feel exactly the same as I did when I was a Christian...except a lot freer.
There are 2 possibilities.
1) you were and are saved, and the Holy Spirit is still indwelling you.
2) You were never saved, and you never had the indwelling Holy Spirit.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#634

Post by Butterfly » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:24 pm

BryanH wrote:
Butterfly wrote:I think you are mixing "apples and oranges" here.

1. A guy who steals gold and gets 3 years in jail has nothing to do with how the GR works. It is merely giving a pre-set punishment for a crime which states "Do to others whatever your law decrees you can do." The correct application of the GR would say, "If I steal 3kg of gold from you it is because I would like you to steal 3kg of gold from me."

2. An eye for an eye is not the true GR either. It states, "Do to others what they do to you" that is not the GR.

Neither one of the examples you gave defines the GR.
Actually I was not mixing apples and oranges there.

You just quoted a part of my comment and out of context.

I clearly said in my comment that moral values can't be discussed out of the PUNISHMENT context. So my interpretation of the GR is correct. You can't have moral values without punishment. It's pointless to discuss that when thousands of years of history prove that. Maybe you want to argue with history now...
The GR can most certainly be discussed without the need to bring in punishment. Treating others as you wish to be treated is a true standard regardless of punishment or the lack thereof. The idea of punishment comes from the idea of a law-giver and the need to force rules on people out of fear. In a perfect society where everyone followed their innate sense of the GR there would be no need for punishment, but of course we know that is not the case, nor has it ever been the case...still the GR stands on its own.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#635

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:25 pm

Spock wrote:
RickD wrote: On another note, I still can't get over how Spock claims he was a Christian, yet he doesn't know the difference between the indwelling Holy Spirit, and his own feelings. that tells me right there, that he was never really a Christian in the true biblical sense.
OK Rick,

If your words are true, then you can tell me how a person can objectively determine if they have the HS or not. This is very important because folks with radically opposing views, such as Protestants who say the RCC is the Anticrhist church, both claim to have the HS.

So please, tell us all how a "true Christian" is able to discern between their own feelings and the HS.

Thanks.
Spock, I'm not going to get into how to objectively determine if one has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when we can't even agree on the same definition of "objective". whether or not certain Protestants believe the RCC is the antichrist church is irrelevant. Those who place their faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, for salvation, have eternal life, and have the indwelling Holy Spirit. It doesn't matter which denomination one belongs to. Faith in Christ is what saves.
John 5:24
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Re: Morality Without God?

#636

Post by BryanH » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:34 pm

The GR can most certainly be discussed without the need to bring in punishment. Treating others as you wish to be treated is a true standard regardless of punishment or the lack thereof. The idea of punishment comes from the idea of a law-giver and the need to force rules on people out of fear. In a perfect society where everyone followed their innate sense of the GR there would be no need for punishment, but of course we know that is not the case, nor has it ever been the case...still the GR stands on its own.
Look Butterfly. I don't want to offend you because to be honest I don't support either the GR or OM, but please read your comment again. You make no sense.
Treating others as you wish to be treated is a true standard regardless of punishment or the lack thereof
Maybe in your world of dreams yes. In reality it works in a very different and cruel way.
The idea of punishment comes from the idea of a law-giver and the need to force rules on people out of fear.
Fear has nothing to do with a law giver. Fear is a human instinct.
In a perfect society where everyone followed their innate sense of the GR there would be no need for punishment, but of course we know that is not the case, nor has it ever been the case...still the GR stands on its own.
Since we don't live in a perfect world, I suggest you wake up from your dream. I'm saying that again because you repeat what you have already said.

I will give you the same suggestion I gave B.W. If you think that the GR still stands, go to a maximum security jail and stay there for a week. I guarantee that after one week you will agree with me 100%, that of course if you are still alive after 1 week :D

The world we live in is cruel Butterfly. The GR stands, but only to a certain point and merely as an imperfect educational tool.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#637

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:41 pm

RickD wrote:
Spock wrote:OK Rick,

If your words are true, then you can tell me how a person can objectively determine if they have the HS or not. This is very important because folks with radically opposing views, such as Protestants who say the RCC is the Anticrhist church, both claim to have the HS.

So please, tell us all how a "true Christian" is able to discern between their own feelings and the HS.

Thanks.
Spock, I'm not going to get into how to objectively determine if one has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when we can't even agree on the same definition of "objective". whether or not certain Protestants believe the RCC is the antichrist church is irrelevant. Those who place their faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, for salvation, have eternal life, and have the indwelling Holy Spirit. It doesn't matter which denomination one belongs to. Faith in Christ is what saves.
Hey there Rick,

You can't answer the question because there is no answer. The idea that you have the HS is purely subjective. You have no way to know if you really have the HS.
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#638

Post by Byblos » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:55 pm

Spock wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Spock wrote: 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.
The fact that people can reject truth says nothing about the objective reality of truth. I would have thought this would be self-evident to a Christian.

Natural selection obviously selects for organisms that have a strong instinct for self-preservation. This is a biological antecedent we inherited from our ancestors. It is perfectly coherent with the theory of evolution.

If anything is "meaningless drivel" it is your comment that we "choose self-preservation and survival of the fittest." That indicates a total lack of understanding the most basic element of the theory of evolution. Natural selection was selecting for self-preservation before any self-conscious choice-making humans evolved.
Byblos wrote: 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.
I would applaud your skepticism if you applied it consistently, but we both know that's not going to happen. If you applied similar skepticism to fundamental definitions like "God" and "Bible" your entire faith would evaporate in a nanosecond.

Questions like "what does love mean" and "what does self mean" may be interesting, but they are not objections to my theory. Descartes is a good example. He chose to be skeptical about everything, but finally realized he needed a primitive concept, so he rested on "I think, therefore I am." Your line of attack is a mere dodge.

Your suggestion that "good is a primitive notion since perfect goodness is identical with being" strikes me as empty metaphysical speculation with no content at all. This contrasts strongly with my foundation since the concept of "self" is directly accessible to every self. This is why philosophy has been such a mess for 2000 years. Folks invented meaningless abstractions like "the good" that are completely disconnected from any objective ground of meaning. Concepts like "perfection of being" - now THAT'S drivel!
Byblos wrote: 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.
Dismissing my argument as "just a silly notion" is wonderfully ironic, given its silliness.

And again you repeated your fallacy; the fact that something can be "rejected" says nothing about its truth! Duh.
You really aren't interested in any type of discourse are you? Perfect goodness as identical with being is empty metaphysical speculation? I'm going to tell you what I told butterfly, either you are a liar or you are an ignorant fool. But since you seem to be very proficient in modern philosophy I have to assume you at least ought to be familiar with classical philosophy. And if you are familiar with it you also ought to know it is the most consistent form of philosophy that no other theory has been able to touch for 2,000 years. But I suspect you already know all that and that is precisely the reason you dismiss it so readily. Which is very telling about the kind of debater and kind of person you are.

Your theory is internally inconsistent simply because it allows for all kinds of scenarios where one would have to reject self-love in order to follow the GR. The answer to your theory is precisely what you reject out of hand, i.e. Thomism and divine simplicity. You ought to look them up one day. But then again, you aren't an ignorant fool ...
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Re: Morality Without God?

#639

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:00 pm

Spock wrote:
RickD wrote:
Spock wrote:OK Rick,

If your words are true, then you can tell me how a person can objectively determine if they have the HS or not. This is very important because folks with radically opposing views, such as Protestants who say the RCC is the Anticrhist church, both claim to have the HS.

So please, tell us all how a "true Christian" is able to discern between their own feelings and the HS.

Thanks.
Spock, I'm not going to get into how to objectively determine if one has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when we can't even agree on the same definition of "objective". whether or not certain Protestants believe the RCC is the antichrist church is irrelevant. Those who place their faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, for salvation, have eternal life, and have the indwelling Holy Spirit. It doesn't matter which denomination one belongs to. Faith in Christ is what saves.
Hey there Rick,

You can't answer the question because there is no answer. The idea that you have the HS is purely subjective. You have no way to know if you really have the HS.
I disagree. But I do agree that I can't prove to you that I have the indwelling HS. Then again, it's not my job to prove that to you anyways. You can keep on thinking that I have no way to differentiate between God indwelling me, and my feelings. I pray that God will convict you, but ultimately, that's up to Him to do.
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.


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Re: Morality Without God?

#640

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:45 pm

Byblos wrote: You really aren't interested in any type of discourse are you?
On the contrary, I am very interested in intelligent discourse. Unfortunately that is not what I found in your comments which began with a needlessly rude dismissal of my argument as "meaningless drivel" followed by ludicrous logical fallacies about how no truth can exist if someone is able to reject it.
Byblos wrote: Perfect goodness as identical with being is empty metaphysical speculation? I'm going to tell you what I told butterfly, either you are a liar or you are an ignorant fool. But since you seem to be very proficient in modern philosophy I have to assume you at least ought to be familiar with classical philosophy. And if you are familiar with it you also ought to know it is the most consistent form of philosophy that no other theory has been able to touch for 2,000 years. But I suspect you already know all that and that is precisely the reason you dismiss it so readily. Which is very telling about the kind of debater and kind of person you are.
You think medieval scholastic philosophy is "untouchable?" What a joke. The fact that I reject philosophy based on speculative unknowables like "perfect goodness" does not indicate any ignorance or deception on my part. It is simply my philosophical position. Do you think that all philosophers who disagree with your personal opinions are "liars or ignorant"?

How is it that you can't see that your comments are needlessly rude and offensive? You have made no effort of any kind to find points of agreement that could be used as a foundation for rational, mutually respectful discourse.
Byblos wrote: Your theory is internally inconsistent simply because it allows for all kinds of scenarios where one would have to reject self-love in order to follow the GR. The answer to your theory is precisely what you reject out of hand, i.e. Thomism and divine simplicity. You ought to look them up one day. But then again, you aren't an ignorant fool ...
The fact that there is a tension between self-love and love for others does not imply any contradiction. If a person has a great love for another, they may be willing to sacrifice their self-love. It is that very tension that makes such an act admirable! John 15:13. If a person hated himself, he wouldn't care about others at all. You comment vindicates my theory. Thanks!

Now you say that Divine Simplicity is the "answer to my theory." Great! Now all you need to do is write a couple sentences explaining why you might think that is the case. I think I could guess what you think you think, but I also think that would be a waste of time. There's enough confusion in this thread. Please state your case with clarity comparable to mine.

Finally, just so you know - Speculative theological philosophical word weavings like "divine simplicity" and "perfect goodness" strike me as vain because they are based on all sorts of presuppositions for which I see no foundation and which actually seem quite incoherent with themselves, and more significantly, with the Bible. Its ironic that you challenge me on the meaning of the basic concept of "self" while freely accepting such abstract philosophical speculations about God.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#641

Post by The Protector » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:51 pm

Spock wrote: The fact that there is a tension between self-love and love for others does not imply any contradiction. If a person has a great love for another, they may be willing to sacrifice their self-love. It is that very tension that makes such an act admirable! John 15:13. If a person hated himself, he wouldn't care about others at all. You comment vindicates my theory. Thanks!
.
In making such a sacrifice, wouldnt a person be choosing one person (the object) over another (the self), which, according to your theory, there is no rational reason to do?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#642

Post by jlay » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:58 am

Your reduction of self-love to self-interest reveals a profound failure to understand what it means to be human. We are social organisms. We each physically emerge from the bowels of our mother. We cannot separate self from others without destroying our humanity. Self-interest ignores our profound interconnectedness with others. It is a terrible caricature of real self-love. Erich Fromm explained all this in great detail. Did you not read it? Here it is again:
Spock. What it means? You import phrases like "meaning" when it suits your theory. If we are social organisms then we are organisms, and love has no more biological significance than an elephant fart. What is meaning but an abstract concept and illusion. If there are no humans here, what meaning does love have? It's an accident of nature.
So now we see how you are confusing the whole issue. First you misidentify self-love as self-interest (words I never used and which are blatantly misdirecting) and then you toss in the abstract concept of "goodness" which I do not use in my argument and which is fraught with philosophical ambiguity. Such is the recipe of confusion. Is this your intent?
I've yet to see anything that ultimately distinguishes the two. It's fluffy feel good stuff, but I see no PROOF. Asserting it doesn't establish it.

I believe self has significance because people have intrinsic value. They have purpose. That the essence of love is that we are loved, first. And love has genuine meaning beyond some symmetrical anomaly.
So now we see how you are confusing the whole issue. First you misidentify self-love as self-interest (words I never used and which are blatantly misdirecting) and then you toss in the abstract concept of "goodness" which I do not use in my argument and which is fraught with philosophical ambiguity. Such is the recipe of confusion. Is this your intent?

As pointed out you seem to dismiss the classical philosophers. So these aren't good? care, respect, responsibility, and knowledge.
I'd love to see you discuss your theory with Ed Fesser. Either Spock is the most remarkable philosopher of the past 1,000 years, or there is a reason so many before him have avoided this road and its epistemological costs.
Why good? Well I stated
"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?"
I've given the reason. I see no reason to distinquish that self-love is nothing more than a feel good term for self-interest.
That was an explanation I quoted from Erich Fromm to help people understand basic facts about love. It not a "preference" - it is a fact about human nature.
We can make all these statements about what love is, but why is it good?
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Re: Morality Without God?

#643

Post by B. W. » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:58 am

BryanH wrote:I will give you the same suggestion I gave B.W. If you think that the GR still stands, go to a maximum security jail and stay there for a week. I guarantee that after one week you will agree with me 100%, that of course if you are still alive after 1 week

The world we live in is cruel Butterfly. The GR stands, but only to a certain point and merely as an imperfect educational tool.
:pound:

I worked in the Criminal Justice system and took up your challenge years and years and years way before you posted this here!

I will likewise differ BH - In the prison system, a person is under the rules and reg's of the justice system. How many room searches I did,shake downs who knows? Next, working inside, you learn the next point you mentioned very well - The world we live in is cruel. From this you learn that all Subjective Moral Standards cannot be governed unless the Objective Standards of the Incarceration/Criminal Justice System prevail.

On that ground, the maximum security jail rules serve as an example of the need for objective moral standards to govern all subjective rules for both inmate and hired staff.

Have a nice day!
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Re: Morality Without God?

#644

Post by BryanH » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:12 am

B.W. wrote:From this you learn that all Subjective Moral Standards cannot be governed unless the Objective Standards of the Incarceration/Criminal Justice System prevail.
The problem is that they don't prevail.
B.W. wrote:On that ground, the maximum security jail rules serve as an example of the need for objective moral standards to govern all subjective rules for both inmate and hired staff.
Of course you can't let criminals go on a rampage, but that doesn't mean that we have objective standards. We just have standards and criminals are outside those standards.

I don't think that we have objective courts. We just have standards which people must obey or else... That's about it.
B.W. wrote:I worked in the Criminal Justice system and took up your challenge years and years and years way before you posted this here!
I understand your point of view, but the point I was making is rather different. I was pointing out that once incarcerated, you will give up very fast on a lot of those "objective moral values" because that is required to survive.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#645

Post by Spock » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:15 am

The Protector wrote: In making such a sacrifice, wouldnt a person be choosing one person (the object) over another (the self), which, according to your theory, there is no rational reason to do?
Is altruism a moral virtue? Can altruism be considered a moral principle?

Altruism is logically incoherent as a moral principle. Consider two people who are in a situation where one must sacrifice himself so the other can survive. Person A and person B are both committed to the highest moral values. Should person A sacrifice himself for person B or should person B sacrifice himself for person A? If altruism is a moral principle, then the answer is self-contradictory because each would be morally obligated to sacrifice himself for the other.

Therefore, altruism cannot be a moral principle because it leads to a contradiction.
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