Proof that GOD Exists

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#31

Post by opus649 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:46 pm

I was hoping someone in this thread would explain why absolutely morality necessarily exists. I don't personally like the implications of subjective morality, but that doesn't necessarily make it untrue or inaccurate. I recently read (large portions of) The Everlasting Man by G K Chesterton. I found his argument from objective morality to be compelling, but not definitive. I think I would agree that if objective morality exists, it necessarily follows that its source is beyond human (ultimately God). But what if there is no objective morality?

I think it's far too simplistic to say (as the previously mentioned website does), "look at the Nazis! They were obviously wrong!" Why do we think killing others is wrong? Isn't it *possible* that it's simply because we've been conditioned by society and our parents to think this way? As a father of a young child, I see first hand how awful children act towards one another. They are cruel and thoughtless by nature. Why?

If there is an absolute morality (and I'm certainly not arguing against that idea), I would think it would have to be a very, very limited set of morals. A child would not know to feel guilty about taking a toy from another child. As such, I'm not sure how stealing itself could be considered immoral or "wrong." Perhaps then absolute morality would have to confine itself to the simplest of terms: do unto others. Perhaps the child's error is not in failing to understand the immorality in stealing, but merely isn't mature enough to appreciate how his/her actions have impacted the other kid.

I dunno... I'm just not sold on absolute morality.... or absolute anything for that matter. I don't feel good about nihilism, but I don't see why it's not a legitimate possibility...

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#32

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:34 am

If there is no absolute morality then any act is neither right or wrong.
It simply is and any objection is to be met with "sez who?"
If we have no notion of what is right and wrong that is absolute then anything is subjective to what we FEEL at the time, so:
Killing is ok, infanticide is ok, women do have less value then man, rape is just another form of sex and every type of sexual activity is just fine.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#33

Post by Beanybag » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:52 am

PaulSacramento wrote:If there is no absolute morality then any act is neither right or wrong.
It simply is and any objection is to be met with "sez who?"
If we have no notion of what is right and wrong that is absolute then anything is subjective to what we FEEL at the time, so:
Killing is ok, infanticide is ok, women do have less value then man, rape is just another form of sex and every type of sexual activity is just fine.
Language is subjective and yet we're still able to communicate. Perhaps it's not as clear cut as it seems. Perhaps objective statements can be made about subjective ideas. We might subjectively feel and measure pain, but certainly it is an objective fact that we feel it. I am finding the divide between objective and subjective increasingly flawed and meaningless.
opus649 wrote:I was hoping someone in this thread would explain why absolutely morality necessarily exists. I don't personally like the implications of subjective morality, but that doesn't necessarily make it untrue or inaccurate. I recently read (large portions of) The Everlasting Man by G K Chesterton. I found his argument from objective morality to be compelling, but not definitive. I think I would agree that if objective morality exists, it necessarily follows that its source is beyond human (ultimately God). But what if there is no objective morality?

I think it's far too simplistic to say (as the previously mentioned website does), "look at the Nazis! They were obviously wrong!" Why do we think killing others is wrong? Isn't it *possible* that it's simply because we've been conditioned by society and our parents to think this way? As a father of a young child, I see first hand how awful children act towards one another. They are cruel and thoughtless by nature. Why?
Very interesting thoughts, and I hope you pursue them as best as you are able. I do not think that morality is shaped by society, at least not in the way that you are implying - that would make morality arbitrary, wholly subjective, and just an opinion. I think it's possible that it's been conditioned by evolution and has developed to let humans interact in a society as best as possible - while this makes is still subjectively prescriptive, it at least has an objective basis from which we can understand it, i.e. killing is wrong because it hurts a society.
If there is an absolute morality (and I'm certainly not arguing against that idea), I would think it would have to be a very, very limited set of morals. A child would not know to feel guilty about taking a toy from another child. As such, I'm not sure how stealing itself could be considered immoral or "wrong." Perhaps then absolute morality would have to confine itself to the simplest of terms: do unto others. Perhaps the child's error is not in failing to understand the immorality in stealing, but merely isn't mature enough to appreciate how his/her actions have impacted the other kid.
The idea of property and ownership is actually very complex, stealing is not as simple as it may seem. But, note that sharing and empathy are traits that are observed in other species and in one experiment, given a choice between two buttons where one will provide food for one monkey and the other provides food for that monkey and the monkey in the cage next to it, monkeys will pick the latter button a large majority of the time. Guilt and shame are a little more complex, but certainly a child knows to share a toy every so often.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#34

Post by opus649 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:36 am

PaulSacramento wrote:If there is no absolute morality then any act is neither right or wrong.
It simply is and any objection is to be met with "sez who?"
If we have no notion of what is right and wrong that is absolute then anything is subjective to what we FEEL at the time, so:
Killing is ok, infanticide is ok, women do have less value then man, rape is just another form of sex and every type of sexual activity is just fine.
I don't see how any of that proves anything... all you are doing is describing the difference between absolute and subjective morality. My question is, why is that necessarily wrong? Because you personally feel like it's wrong? How do we know the universe necessarily has an inherent "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad?" I think it's a legitimate philosophical question.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#35

Post by opus649 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:39 am

Beanybag wrote:...that would make morality arbitrary, wholly subjective, and just an opinion.
I agree, but I don't see how that's a defense for absolute morality. I have a personal aversion to the idea that there is no absolute morality, but that doesn't make it a false doctrine.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#36

Post by Beanybag » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:42 pm

opus649 wrote:
Beanybag wrote:...that would make morality arbitrary, wholly subjective, and just an opinion.
I agree, but I don't see how that's a defense for absolute morality. I have a personal aversion to the idea that there is no absolute morality, but that doesn't make it a false doctrine.
You know, it's okay to hold an idea that you can't justify based on your intuitive experience. It's very difficult, for instance, to justify the existence or realness of knowledge, logic, or existence itself (and I certainly couldn't provide any satisfactory justification for you), but that doesn't mean we can't hold that these exist or are true. In much the same way, I am a moral realist even if I can't provide the justification for it. I don't hold the conviction as strongly as I would hold the conviction that knowledge is real in that I am willing to accept I am wrong, but I am definitely inclined to believe it. I wonder what you mean by absolute or objective morality, however. Objective morality can manifest in a number of strange ways, from moral properties in a moral space of existence, to a sort of moral natural law.. And there are many things we consider absolute in some sense that aren't physically objective, like the value of money, language, and aspects of psychology. The value of money may be subjective, but it is objectively true that people value money, for instance. Capitalism deals with subjective value in an objective way by implementing a competitive market.

In a general, broad, encompassing sense, we say that morality deals with what someone should or shouldn't do. By what authority, justification, or prescription must morality fall in order for it to still feel meaningful? I feel as if I can provide an objective basis for it as well as reduce it to a level of rationality based on elements of natural selection.. but I can't go much further than that without a better understanding of the universe and consciousness I think. It's easy to say that we have evolved to prefer living because if we didn't, we would die off - thus, natural selection selects for a preference of living, and in the same way, selects for a preference against other harms such as pain, illness, etc. and a more successful species is one that creates more successful societies and more successful societies are created by organisms that respect each other's preferences by behaving morally. But it will feel devoid of meaning if our morality is only here because it was successful for our species - not killing someone is about as meaningful as not having 3 legs or something. But we also have this strange phenomena called consciousness which makes feeling have another level of strangeness to it.. it makes things feel wrong in a more objective sense than just biological advantage. Even if it might be correct or honest to accept nihilism, it doesn't do much good (since there is no good) for us to accept it, does it? Nihilism has a sort of pointlessness to it that we might as well avoid. That's not exactly reassuring, but I find it works well enough for me so far. There's nothing interesting down the path of nihilism (nothing really at all), so let's just assume moral realism and see where that takes us.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#37

Post by jlay » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:06 pm

Summary: "It works for me."
There you have it. Self, is the standard.
Pol Pot: "it works for me."
Hitler: "It works for me."
Stalin: "It works for me."
-“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: Proof that GOD Exists

#38

Post by Echoside » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:05 pm

opus649 wrote:I was hoping someone in this thread would explain why absolutely morality necessarily exists. ...
Objective morality exists because God exists. Obviously, if you don't believe the latter this wont work for you, but I don't think you can reason the answer to this question wthout God.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#39

Post by opus649 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:38 pm

Beanybag wrote: Even if it might be correct or honest to accept nihilism, it doesn't do much good (since there is no good) for us to accept it, does it? Nihilism has a sort of pointlessness to it that we might as well avoid. That's not exactly reassuring, but I find it works well enough for me so far. There's nothing interesting down the path of nihilism (nothing really at all), so let's just assume moral realism and see where that takes us.
I appreciate your honesty, but you are right, it is not particularly reassuring.

I do not see Hilter or Pol Pot as good examples of moral absolutism and here's why: Jerry Sandusky. Is Jerry Sandusky evil? Most people would probably answer, "yes." But why? Here is a question I would like everyone ask themselves... why doesn't everyone rape children? It is because most people are morally superior to Jerry Sandusky? Or is it because they were not born with the urge to do so to begin with?

If I'm walking down the street and I find a bag with $500 in it, I have a moral dilemma. Any "normal" person in that situation could conceivably tempted to just keep the money and in that context it makes sense to talk about a "right" thing to do and a "wrong" thing to do. But I will never have to worry about fighting the temptation to molest kids. I am not morally superior to Jerry Sandusky in that regard... it's not a temptation I have to fight. There is clearly something "wrong" or "abnormal" in his brain chemistry that even allows the desire to do such a thing manifest itself.

I agree that if there is an absolute morality - if there are some things that are inherently right or wrong - then they must come from God. I just haven't seen a convincing argument yet that nihilism is untenable. You can name as many murderers or dictators or molesters of children as you want - that doesn't prove anything. In fact, if anything, it suggests there *isn't* an absolute morality because how could so many humans have such hateful desires? It just seems too pat an answer to say, "because they don't know God." Plenty of people have done atrocious things in the name of God.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#40

Post by neo-x » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:54 pm

Opus, Beany,

I think objective morality exists because the simple rules of logic, by deductive reasoning demand it. It is the same way I believe evolution to be true, not because there is concrete evidence of macro-evolution but rather without it a lot of simply does not make sense, to me at least.

The first rule of logic is that two opposite things can not be both true at the same time, hence the law of non-contradiction. Lets scrap out objective and subjective morality, lets start from zero.

My proposition is "stealing is not good", now how many states of reality does this proposition can hold to? only two in my opinion. Either this is true, or this is not true. To say we do not know whether it is true or not is irrelevant since what we believe can not alter the nature of the act in question. To say it is both true and false at all given time and space is also wrong, because it is inconsistent with the the first rule of formal logic.

To say it is true in some instances and false at others is what we call subjectivity, it is to evade the question partially because now we are defining true or false as we see fit and even that may change from our understanding over time. But why I do not find this work around impressive, is because it introduces an un-reliable variable, namely human perception and secondly, it does not address the nature of the act in question rather it judges the act according to how it is perceived by the beholders or observers. But see here the problem arises again it now appears to have broken the law of non-contradiction.

This is why I believe OM exists, two opposite things can not both be true, and if SM is true than the rules of of formal logic are also null and void. But if OM is true than the rules of logic hold and they are consistent. Subjective morality simply can not stand consistency. Objective morality can.

Even to say that subjective Morality exists, would be an act of attributing a fundamental objective property to the statement.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#41

Post by Beanybag » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:52 pm

neo-x wrote: To say it is true in some instances and false at others is what we call subjectivity, it is to evade the question partially because now we are defining true or false as we see fit and even that may change from our understanding over time. But why I do not find this work around impressive, is because it introduces an un-reliable variable, namely human perception and secondly, it does not address the nature of the act in question rather it judges the act according to how it is perceived by the beholders or observers. But see here the problem arises again it now appears to have broken the law of non-contradiction.

This is why I believe OM exists, two opposite things can not both be true, and if SM is true than the rules of of formal logic are also null and void. But if OM is true than the rules of logic hold and they are consistent. Subjective morality simply can not stand consistency. Objective morality can.

Even to say that subjective Morality exists, would be an act of attributing a fundamental objective property to the statement.
Notice the word I highlighted. You may say that x = 5, but in another instance x could be equal to 4. If something is variable, it might change. Next, truth might depend on a set of circumstances. If we have the proposition (if and only if y = 4 then x = 5), you might wish to assert that x = 5. But I will say, it depends. This might make my position seem weaker, subjective, relative, etc. But it's just acknowledging the complexity of situations. Sometimes x = 5. Sometimes it doesn't.

When we assert 'stealing is not good', there is a lot going on. There is the arduous task of defining each of those words and ascribing meaning (what does it 'mean' to have meaning?). Is it wrong for a lion to steal from a lion? What if a plant steals sunlight from a plant? We should examine the actors, doesn't it matter if they are morally relevant actors? What does it mean to steal? What does it mean to own? How do we ascribe ownership to a 'thing'? What is a thing? The obvious problems of then deciding what 'good' means. Layers upon layers of complexity, ideas, and abstractions to arrive at 'stealing is not good'. And to that, I'll have to say.. 'well, it depends.'

I'll also note that even if you have objective morality, how will we ever translate this to our subjective languages through our subjective thought processes through all these ambiguous, undefined, and unknown obstacles? Even objective morality will have a large subjective element to it.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#42

Post by neo-x » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:03 pm

Notice the word I highlighted. You may say that x = 5, but in another instance x could be equal to 4. If something is variable, it might change. Next, truth might depend on a set of circumstances. If we have the proposition (if and only if y = 4 then x = 5), you might wish to assert that x = 5. But I will say, it depends. This might make my position seem weaker, subjective, relative, etc. But it's just acknowledging the complexity of situations. Sometimes x = 5. Sometimes it doesn't.

When we assert 'stealing is not good', there is a lot going on. There is the arduous task of defining each of those words and ascribing meaning (what does it 'mean' to have meaning?). Is it wrong for a lion to steal from a lion? What if a plant steals sunlight from a plant? We should examine the actors, doesn't it matter if they are morally relevant actors? What does it mean to steal? What does it mean to own? How do we ascribe ownership to a 'thing'? What is a thing? The obvious problems of then deciding what 'good' means. Layers upon layers of complexity, ideas, and abstractions to arrive at 'stealing is not good'. And to that, I'll have to say.. 'well, it depends.'
beany, but what do you think, how this applies to formal logic? can two contradictory statements both be right at the same time?

Consider this:
Me: This glass is of cold water.
You: This glass feels warmer so the water must be warm.

Now how I see this, you're saying that If you were left in the ice chamber and then allowed to touch the glass, of course even a cold glass of water (less cold than your body temperature) will feel warm to you, because its relative. Up till here I agree with you, but does not the original temperature of the water itself matter? The water is cold, it was refrigerated, you do not feel it cold but it doesn't change the fact that its temp is below zero.

This is what I am trying to say, regardless of how you define some things, has no direct impact on the inherent nature of somethings. Relativity affects your view not how things are in their original occurrences.
Last edited by neo-x on Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#43

Post by neo-x » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:05 pm

I'll also note that even if you have objective morality, how will we ever translate this to our subjective languages through our subjective thought processes through all these ambiguous, undefined, and unknown obstacles? Even objective morality will have a large subjective element to it.
This is a problem, but a separate one.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#44

Post by neo-x » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:44 am

on an amusing, side note beany,

if I am to to be tried in a court room on the charges of theft and when I am asked to say something in my defense and I repeat the same thing in court what you wrote above:
When we assert 'stealing is not good', there is a lot going on. There is the arduous task of defining each of those words and ascribing meaning (what does it 'mean' to have meaning?). Is it wrong for a lion to steal from a lion? What if a plant steals sunlight from a plant? We should examine the actors, doesn't it matter if they are morally relevant actors? What does it mean to steal? What does it mean to own? How do we ascribe ownership to a 'thing'? What is a thing? The obvious problems of then deciding what 'good' means. Layers upon layers of complexity, ideas, and abstractions to arrive at 'stealing is not good'.

And to that, I'll have to say.. 'well, it depends.'
lol...I can just imagine the judge and jury staring at me with their jaws dropped as if I had totally gone nuts. Trying to justify stealing by that punchline just gets me every time :lol:
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#45

Post by opus649 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:34 am

neo-x wrote:can two contradictory statements both be right at the same time?
The two statements have to be actually contradictory. "This is cold" and "this is hot" are not contradictory. Words like hot and cold are just subjective descriptions. I think it would be more accurate to say our two positions are:

Objective morality exists
Objective morality does not exist

You cannot prove #1 by claiming problems with subjective morality. I would just counter with, "there is no such thing as morality." So it's not really a battle between "subjective" and "objective" morality, but simply whether or not there is any absolute, objective morality... any inherent "right" or "wrong" to the Universe. I personally view both possibilities as equally plausible, but I sure wish I could reject nihilism because it's of very little comfort to me.

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