Proof that GOD Exists

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#46

Post by Echoside » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:45 am

neo-x wrote: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.
Neo, you said "The water is cold", but I don't think there's any justification to use that term in an absolute way. At what temperature can I begin to feel "cold", and why are there people who do not feel it at the same time as me? The actual temperature might be objective, but the feelings induced by it are not.

A more correct statement would be, the temperature of the water is 0 degrees. That is objective. I have no reason to believe "The water is cold" is objective. Outside of the person who is feeling the "cold", this statement has no applicability to anyone else.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#47

Post by neo-x » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:00 am

Echoside » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:45 pm

neo-x wrote:
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.


Neo, you said "The water is cold", but I don't think there's any justification to use that term in an absolute way. At what temperature can I begin to feel "cold", and why are there people who do not feel it at the same time as me? The actual temperature might be objective, but the feelings induced by it are not.

A more correct statement would be, the temperature of the water is 0 degrees. That is objective. I have no reason to believe "The water is cold" is objective. Outside of the person who is feeling the "cold", this statement has no applicability to anyone else.
I agree we can re-structure the statement but the fact remains, relativity has no direct impact on the inherent nature of an act. I am not discussing here how we get the knowledge of something. Things exists without our knowledge of them, that is why we discover them.

if temperature sounds too tricky, lets go back to stealing. I do not think that changes anything on my argument.
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

#48

Post by Beanybag » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:36 am

neo-x wrote: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:
Our legal system has an established definition of things, liable actors, property, rights, law and punishment, etc. If I had questions such as these, I could consult the law. Although, that doesn't really get around the question of how language ascribes meaning and what meaning is. Perhaps I could get an insanity plea. Whatever 'insanity plea' even means.

Anyway, implicit, it would seem, in any statement by a person is a silent little phrase.. "...according to me" at the end (or an "I say" at the beginning). In a way. If you say, "this water is cold (according to me)", then that statement could be true (unless you were lying). According to your concept of cold and your perceptions of the water, yes, the water could be cold to you. Now, someone says, "this water is warm (according to me)". According to their concept of hot/cold and their perception of water, then the water could be warm to them. Now, this doesn't mean temperature will always have to be relative. We can verify our perceptions as being somewhat accurate through more objective measurement (compare our perception of the temperature of the water with the actual measured temperature). If we find our perceptions to be intact, we can then attempt to define which temperatures have which value assigned to them (hot, cold, luke-warm, etc.). I suspect we'll come into a lot of trouble here, since we don't really assign value of temperature to a scale like this. But say we do. Then we have established some objectivity since the truth is now outside of ourselves (even if for subjective reasons). But that still makes it relative. Not to mention temperatures feel different based on a number of things like pressure, humidity, previous exposure to other temperatures, sensitivity, etc. Afterall, when someone is very sick, they can feel very warm even when we know they should be feeling cold - how can we know anything about their subjective experience of temperature?

So, let's try to make it more objective and leave out our perception of temperature altogether. Let's consider human biology now. We know that temperature as a measurement is a combination of a few different variables, but generally those variables remain constant in most situations so let's put those aside. Human internal temperature is about 98F or 37C. We might do a well-conducted reduced-bias study on a number of humans and ask them to report if they feel hot or cold when their temperature is at certain degrees. We might study how the human body perceives temperature through the sense of thermoception and see what would usually cause a feeling of coldness or hotness (note: the way humans detect temperature is still being studied - more on this in the future!). We might study language and see what people traditionally conceptualize as cold and hot (and all the other values of temperature we use). At some point, hot and cold might then start to lose their subjectivity, so long as we understand the perspective of the value is being measured against the perceptions of a human being. We can make an approach towards objective facts even with subjective experience in this way (which is why I doubt the legitimacy of subjective versus objective as distinct binary categories and not a gradient). We just have to acknowledge the complexity, the variables, and all the room for error as well as the appropriate perspectives.

If we see an orange star moving away from us, it will appear to be red. Is the star red? Even with an objective definition for color (red is between x and y nm wavelength) we can still have ambiguity due to special relativity, general relativity, other variables, and in this case, the doppler effect. A lot of things depend on a lot of other things, even things we would consider wholly objective.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#49

Post by Beanybag » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:42 am

Now, you ask, "is stealing wrong?" to which I'd say, yes. It is wrong, or bad, by definition. The only ambiguity left would be can we define and set a concrete border on all actions that constitute stealing? That seems difficult. Can we set a concrete and inflexible value to the harm of stealing? Why is stealing a car worse than stealing a bag of chips? Is it even worse? The harm of stealing would seem to be very complex and depend on a lot of different variables, and we can even approach an objective harm without even denying subjective values exist (by the method I described above). Could stealing then be justifiable if it was, say, to steal food for your starving family? There is so much context to consider that I have trouble making absolute blanket statements. This makes morality very difficult when when don't want it to be, and intuitively, these things feel so obvious. I think ethics is a good way to simplify morality in some cases, but we also have to agree on what morality is (what is right and wrong?). Lots of issues to tackle. Morality may be objective in a way we didn't realize, though.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#50

Post by opus649 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:56 am

Beanybag wrote:Now, you ask, "is stealing wrong?" to which I'd say, yes. It is wrong, or bad, by definition.
How's that? If I take something from you without your permission, how is that "by definition" wrong?

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#51

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:07 pm

It is easy for those that have engrained "judeo-christain" beliefs of good and evil, right and wrong, to take those notions and "remove" God from the equation and then say, we don't need God because we already know what is right and wrong.
The issue is that, regardless of what we WANT to believe, without an absolute moral right, then EVERY wrong is subjective.
AN example is rape or stealing, from an naturalist POV there is nothing wrong with either since it is "survival of the fittest" and the one that can have the most by whatever means, will survive.
But is that right?

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#52

Post by Katabole » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:33 pm

opus649 wrote: If I take something from you without your permission, how is that "by definition" wrong?
Ask yourself the following questions Opus:

1) What is it that makes human actions "wrong" or "right", which applies to all of humanity?
2) Is there some standard we can all recognise to know something is right/wrong, or is it just an inward recognition of something we perceive to exist?
3) Does right and wrong really exist, or is it just an evolved feeling?
4) If right/wrong really does exist, then what is its objective reality grounded in?
5) How does this moral grounding make moral actions wrong for all regardless of what others might believe, think or feel?
6) If I go against this moral grounding, then what is it that still makes my action(s) wrong?
7) If right/wrong doesn't exist, then how can anyone say another person is morally right or wrong?

An atheist is left in a sticky position, especially when morals enter a debate. Richard Dawkins claimed it is hard to defend morals on anything except religious grounds. Let's say evolution just caused us to feel some things are wrong. But this doesn't mean actions really are wrong. Because having found out they just evolved, perhaps for the better of society, I can just decide to discard them for my own benefit. What is morally right/wrong just ultimately becomes what I find acceptable or unacceptable, unless I decide to give this up.

On the otherhand, Theism, in particular and especially Christianity, validates as true, our moral perception that some things really are wrong and evil (ex., child abuse), and other actions to be morally applauded as good (ex., self-sacrificing for others). There is a moral standard built into us which came from a Creator. Thus, what we know to be good is rooted in our Creator. And unless we are psychopaths (considered as an abnormal mental condition), our recognition of this moral standard justifies and condemns us as we live out our lives depending on whether we uphold or break it.

Atheists are people who, whether they like it or not, have the law of God written on their hearts (Rom. 2:15). They are subject to the same laws of our country (and other countries) and they have a sense of right and wrong. They often work with people who are religious and have ethical standards as well as work with other non-believers. So they are exposed to all sorts of moral behavior. In addition, they often form their own moral standards based on what suits them. Besides, robbery, lying, stealing, etc., can get you imprisoned, so it is practical and logical for an atheist to be ethical and work within the norms of social behavior, even though the reason Western socity has those laws as its benchmarks and foundation is because Western law is based on Biblical law. However you want to look at it, atheists, generally, are honest, hardworking people.

Nevertheless, some Christians raise the question, "What is to prevent an atheist from murdering and stealing? After all, they have no fear of God and no absolute moral code?" The answer is simple: Atheists are capable of governing their own moral behavior and getting along in society the same as anyone else.

At the risk of labeling atheists as self-centered, it does not serve the best interests of an atheist to murder and steal since it would not take long before they were imprisoned and/or killed for their actions. Basically, society will only put up with so much if it is to function smoothly. So, if an atheist wants to get along and have a nice life, murdering and stealing won't accomplish it. It makes sense for them to be honest, work hard, pay their bills, and get along with others. Basically, they have to adopt a set of ethics common to society in order to do that. Belief in God is not a requirement for ethical behavior or an enjoyable life.

On the other hand
Atheists' morals are not absolute. They do not believe they have a set of moral laws from an absolute God by which right and wrong are judged. But, they do live in societies that have legal systems with a codified set of laws. This would be the closest thing to moral absolutes for atheists. However, since the legal system changes, the morals in a society can still change and their morals along with it. At best, these codified morals are "temporary absolutes." In one century abortion is wrong. In another, it is right. So, if we ask if it is or isn't right, the atheist can only tell us their opinion.

If there is a God, killing the unborn for ex., is wrong. If there is no God, then who cares. If it serves the best interest of society and the individual, then kill. This can be likened to something called, "experimental ethics." In other words, whatever works best is right. Society experiments with ethical behavior to determine which set of rules works best for it. Hopefully, these experiments lead to better and better moral behavior.

There are potential dangers in this kind of self-established/experimental ethical system. If a totalitarian political system is instituted and a mandate is issued to kill all dissenters, or Hindus, or mentally ill, what is to prevent the atheist from joining forces with the majority system and support the killings? If it serves ther self-interests, why not? Morality then, becomes a standard of convenience, not absolutes.

But, to be fair, just because someone has an absolute ethical system based on the Bible, there is no guarantee that they will not also join forces in doing what is wrong. People are often very inconsistent. But the issue here is the basis of moral beliefs and how they affect behavior. That is why belief systems are so important and absolutes are so necessary. If morals are relative, then behavior will be too. That can be dangerous if everyone starts doing right in his own eyes. A boat adrift without an anchor will eventually crash into the rocks.

The Bible teaches love, patience, and seeking the welfare of others even when it might harm the Christian though it also teaches one to defend onself from harm and also and especially to hate evil. In contrast, the atheists' presuppositions must be constantly changing, and subjective and does not demand love, patience, and the welfare of others. Instead, since the great majority of atheists are evolutionists, their morality, like evolution is the product of purely natural and random processes that become self-serving.

Basically, the atheist cannot claim any moral absolutes at all. To an atheist, ethics must be variable and evolving. This could be good or bad. But, given human nature being what it is, I'll opt for the moral absolutes -- based on God's Word -- and not on the subjective and changing morals covered in human tradition that atheism offers.
Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you know you gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan

Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#53

Post by Beanybag » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:40 pm

opus649 wrote:
Beanybag wrote:Now, you ask, "is stealing wrong?" to which I'd say, yes. It is wrong, or bad, by definition.
How's that? If I take something from you without your permission, how is that "by definition" wrong?
If I define stealing as 'wrongfully taking what doesn't belong to you', then it's wrong by definition. Then, the problem is reduced to our theory of good or our idea of what makes someghing right or wrong. And also, it helps to establish what qualifies as ownership.
PaulSacramento wrote:It is easy for those that have engrained "judeo-christain" beliefs of good and evil, right and wrong, to take those notions and "remove" God from the equation and then say, we don't need God because we already know what is right and wrong.
The issue is that, regardless of what we WANT to believe, without an absolute moral right, then EVERY wrong is subjective.
AN example is rape or stealing, from an naturalist POV there is nothing wrong with either since it is "survival of the fittest" and the one that can have the most by whatever means, will survive.
But is that right?
Can you prove that? Can you show that j-c morals are from God and not evolved / developed? When human societies compete, why is cohabitation more successful and stable to power plays and might-makes-right tyrannies. Do you wonder about the possibly objective basis for our subjective preferences? Is it sumply by arbitrary chance that humans near universally wish not to be killed or value their life?

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#54

Post by Beanybag » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:47 pm

An atheist is left in a sticky position, especially when morals enter a debate. Richard Dawkins claimed it is hard to defend morals on anything except religious grounds. Let's say evolution just caused us to feel some things are wrong. But this doesn't mean actions really are wrong. Because having found out they just evolved, perhaps for the better of society, I can just decide to discard them for my own benefit. What is morally right/wrong just ultimately becomes what I find acceptable or unacceptable, unless I decide to give this up.
Does that mean its entirely subjective though? If a society tries to maximize the preferences of its constituents and it's own preferences, when an individual goes in opposition to these preferences (which have non-arbitrary objective groundings), if morality is defined as 'that which is best for society', would the action not be immoral? Its not inherently immoral, but situationally. However, does that mean its subjective? I contest the claim that there is a divide between subjective and objective and find that subjective distills to objective. While I can't prove this currently (empirically at least), this would answer the objections at this level.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#55

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:55 pm

Beanybag wrote: Can you prove that? Can you show that j-c morals are from God and not evolved / developed? When human societies compete, why is cohabitation more successful and stable to power plays and might-makes-right tyrannies. Do you wonder about the possibly objective basis for our subjective preferences? Is it sumply by arbitrary chance that humans near universally wish not to be killed or value their life?
Prove it? nope, just as you can't prove that moral evolved either.
That said, none of that changes that for the last 1000 years or so, judeo-christian values have been the cornerstone of western civilization.
Perhaps earlier even.
Very few of us doubt that viking marauders had the same morals the Christians had in regards to people OTHER than themselves.
In Rome, during the plagues, Christians were singled out for their help and caregiving to the infected while their "pagan counterparts" preferred to isolate, even kill the infected.

The notion of "value of OUR life" is not a moral one, it is a self-preservational one, the motion of the value of the life of others OUTSIDE our family/social group, that is a "moral" one.
If evolution is true and natural selection and survival of the fittest are the MAIN factors then the notion of "them" is relevant only under the aspect of "conquer them", to ensure our survival. the notion of suffering for others, risk our lives for others simply because they are "human" makes no sense in regards to naturalistic morals.
If morals did evolve under the same influences ( natural selection, survival of the fittest) then I think we would have very different looking morals.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#56

Post by Beanybag » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:08 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Beanybag wrote: Can you prove that? Can you show that j-c morals are from God and not evolved / developed? When human societies compete, why is cohabitation more successful and stable to power plays and might-makes-right tyrannies. Do you wonder about the possibly objective basis for our subjective preferences? Is it sumply by arbitrary chance that humans near universally wish not to be killed or value their life?
Prove it? nope, just as you can't prove that moral evolved either.
That said, none of that changes that for the last 1000 years or so, judeo-christian values have been the cornerstone of western civilization.
Perhaps earlier even.
Christianity and judeochristian morals certainly were very influential to our development. The question is where those values come from. Neither of us seem to have a proof for our position, and, if pressed for rationality and honesty, I'd say I don't know where they come from. But I leave open the possibility and definitely lean towards one option.
The notion of "value of OUR life" is not a moral one, it is a self-preservational one, the motion of the value of the life of others OUTSIDE our family/social group, that is a "moral" one.
If evolution is true and natural selection and survival of the fittest are the MAIN factors then the notion of "them" is relevant only under the aspect of "conquer them", to ensure our survival. the notion of suffering for others, risk our lives for others simply because they are "human" makes no sense in regards to naturalistic morals.
If morals did evolve under the same influences ( natural selection, survival of the fittest) then I think we would have very different looking morals.
Valuing our life is extremely morally relevant. I'd you don't value your own life it makes it hard to rationally justify valuing other peoples lives. Valuing your life is not a rational decision, acting consistently according to that value is what's rational. Nothing in all of math, logic, science says, "you should value your life." we are predisposed to do so because of evolution.

I'm also wondering if you understand what survival of the fittest means.. Do you know that 'fitness' is not the same as power, might, tyranny, etc.? We evolved to be social and cohabitable because we are more fit as a species when we work together. Societies are more fit than the individual.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#57

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:23 pm

Beanybag wrote: Can you prove that? Can you show that j-c morals are from God and not evolved / developed? When human societies compete, why is cohabitation more s
Valuing our life is extremely morally relevant. I'd you don't value your own life it makes it hard to rationally justify valuing other peoples lives. Valuing your life is not a rational decision, acting consistently according to that value is what's rational. Nothing in all of math, logic, science says, "you should value your life." we are predisposed to do so because of evolution.

I'm also wondering if you understand what survival of the fittest means.. Do you know that 'fitness' is not the same as power, might, tyranny, etc.? We evolved to be social and cohabitable because we are more fit as a species when we work together. Societies are more fit than the individual.
You are standing by ONE definition of survival of the fittest, one that perhaps best suits your POV and that's fine.
That "might makes right" has been a lesson through out history though.
As society and groups became larger, yes the more "personal" motivation of SOF was "won" over by the group being favored ahead of the individual and that makes sense of course BUT at its core, survival of the fittest can be reduced to the most basic level and that is what is best for a single organism.
You say that fittest doesn't equal power or might but the fact is that it does because the more powerful and mighter will be better equipped to survive than the weaker.
Even nowadays, the more powerful and mightier propagate the species ( to use a nice way to put it) fart more than the weaker.
The notion of power and might may be "blurred" at times but not typically.

No where in this "moral mode" does the notion of "not fair" or "what is good for someone else that is bad for me is still good" fit in very well.
IMO of course.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#58

Post by opus649 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:32 pm

Beanybag wrote:If I define stealing as 'wrongfully taking what doesn't belong to you', then it's wrong by definition. Then, the problem is reduced to our theory of good or our idea of what makes someghing right or wrong. And also, it helps to establish what qualifies as ownership.
Whoa whoa whoa, you are using the word "wrong" to define the word "wrong." Your definition of stealing is unfairly prejudiced.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

#59

Post by opus649 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:39 pm

7) If right/wrong doesn't exist, then how can anyone say another person is morally right or wrong?
Yes, this is a good summary of my question.
But, given human nature being what it is, I'll opt for the moral absolutes -- based on God's Word -- and not on the subjective and changing morals covered in human tradition that atheism offers.
I keep getting this... the only answer I've seen so far is, "because if there is no absolute morality, then that would really suck!" I happen to agree with that, but I don't see it as proving anything. Just because it's comforting and nice doesn't make it real.

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Re: Proof that GOD Exists

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Post by Beanybag » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:40 pm

opus649 wrote:
Beanybag wrote:If I define stealing as 'wrongfully taking what doesn't belong to you', then it's wrong by definition. Then, the problem is reduced to our theory of good or our idea of what makes someghing right or wrong. And also, it helps to establish what qualifies as ownership.
Whoa whoa whoa, you are using the word "wrong" to define the word "wrong." Your definition of stealing is unfairly prejudiced.
No, I used the word wrong to define stealing.. Thus, the definition of what constitutes stealing will depend of our theory of good. Just like the difference between murder and killing. Murder is wrongful killing - they are the same thing but one invokes wrongness in the definition. Thus, stealing and murder are wrong by definition. However, if you are a moral nihilist, then you'd say there is no actual thing as murder or stealing, just killing and taking - because nothing is wrong or right, no action will qualify as these things.

Why are you so intent on objective morality though? What are your qualms with my answer wherein I try to reduce subjectivity to objective elements?

Edit: also, people aren't arguing for moral absolutes because they want to, it follows from their belief in God.

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