Author Topic: "...Except when my God is involved"  (Read 65601 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SkyWriting

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
  • Darwins +9/-75
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1363 on: September 15, 2010, 08:34:07 PM »
What a disgusting human being. And what a disgusting religion.  :(

Good job showing how utterly selfish and shitheaded Christians can be though. Really. You do Yahweh proud, I'm sure.

And I bet if Jesus were in Nazi Germany,  Biblestudent would totally rat him out to the Nazis to avoid God's Wrath.

And by this logic, Judas was actually the GOOD guy in the bible. Afterall, he told the Truth that condemned Christ!  The Romans ask Judas to point out Jesus, and he does it with a kiss! So, you know, a totally BALLESS way to tell the truth, but Gawd bless 'em for doing it eh!? Am I right or am I right!?:D

Ugh. I'm so greatfull that this line of thinking is isolated to the lunatic fringe. What a shitty world it would be otherwise.
  Very well said!

This guy really hit a nerve.  I'm going to have to read over his posts closely.  
Does everyone know that apathy is actually the foil for love....not hate.
People always mess that up.

Offline SkyWriting

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
  • Darwins +9/-75
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1364 on: September 15, 2010, 08:40:45 PM »
Are you still trying to say that informing on Jews to Nazis was not a crime and a sin?

That is correct.


Actually a higher command is to keep ones mouth shut. 
Higher than speaking the truth about anything to those unworthy of hearing it.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1365 on: September 15, 2010, 08:45:12 PM »
You start by bringing up the discovery/invention debate mathematicians have been having for literally centuries and casually asserting it away, going with the invention crowd and against such luminaries as Galileo, Pythagoras, and Plato.[1]
Math may be a bad example for you to use here, MiC, because it is not objectively true that - for example - 1+1=2.  The axioms which underly our familiar arithmetic are logically arbitrary.  They could be anything.
This of course is a huge topic and could spawn a whole 46 page debate on it's own, so it ought to suffice to say that I'm a platonist; I think mathematical truths are objectively real.[2]
 1. For more information, here is a good place to get started.
 2. I bring this up even though it's not strictly attacking subjective morality because it's attacking the idea of subjective reality, and the two are closely related.

I didn't say that math was subjective.  I said that the axioms which underlie it are subjective.  That is different.  The artithmetic system which arises from the selected axioms, necessarily arises from them.  There is one correct answer, once the axioms are selected.  The system of logic by which this happens is objectively real, an aspect of reality.  But that doesn't make the axioms objectively true.  If they could be established as objectively true, then they wouldn't be axioms.

<snipped the vacant appeal to authority>

You go on to assert your way out of another conundrum, that being subjective morality has no basis to act because morality, under a subjective set of assumptions, does not say anything about the real workings of the universe.  In response to my "That's a pretty anemic morality you got there" you say:
What I just said contradicts the conclusion you just drew from it.  In fact, the point of what I said is that subjective morality only seems anemic from your paradigm, with your assumptions in play.

Your point seems to be that one can act on one's (subjective) morality and be perfectly consistent.   Of course you can.  I can drink chocolate milk based on nothing more than my subjective opinion that it's tasty.  I can plan ahead to acquire more chocolate milk, I can secure additional funds for the means to acquire chocolate milk, I can construct elaborate plans to secure a future rich in chocolate milk.

However, without assuming that morality is universal and objective, the way we actually treat morals is odd.  We condemn societies that don't agree with us on moral precepts, in some cases even going to war to stop a nation from committing genocide, for example.  If morals are nothing more than subjective opinions this is truly bizarre behavior.  We would never do the same over any other subjective opinion, why do we do it over a disagreement over supposedly subjective morals?

It is odd when one acts from the assumption that "oughts" are to be treated, logically, as objective facts.  I was not "asserting my way out" of the conundrum, MiC.  I was simply stating that I do not share that assumption, and indeed that I cannot share that assumption without contradicting my belief in subjective value.

The point is not that subjective moralists do not act on their opinions.  They do so all the time, but when they do, they are implicitly assuming, even if they can't see it, an objective, universal set of morals.  If you were to truly be consistent about subjecitve morals and thus act on them the same way you act on other opinions, yours would be an anemic morality indeed.

Those "subjective-moralists" who assume what you say they assume, have a contradiction to deal with, and that contradiction comes into play well before they actually go to engage in an action based on their values.  Such a person as you describe would believe that entitlement-to-action is objective.  Yet, entitlement-to-action is value-based - a statement of morality in itself.  Thus, under a consistent subjective-morality view, it, too, is subjective.  The contradiction you indicate has not been demonstrated to exist under a view of value as being consistently subjective.  Since that is the position I hold, your critique does not impact me.

But hey, maybe I'm wrong.  Let me bring in my hypothetical materialist in again, with a different opinion than you about, say, theft.  He's proud of the fact that he's managed to embezzle money from his employer.  Can you, using nothing other than your materialism and your subjective morality, convince him he was "wrong?" (Whatever "wrong" means.)  Or are you forced at the end of the day to say you and he disagree, and since such disagreement is symmetrical, you are just as wrong as he is.  The fact that (I predict) you're forced at the end of the day to come to a mere disagreement, that you are just as wrong for not stealing as he is for stealing, is what I mean by anemic morality.

That would be the case whether or not he is a subjective- or objective-moralist (you still have not established a logical relation between supernaturalism and morality, btw).  An objective-moralist would simply believe himself or herself to be objectively justified, whereas the subjective-moralist would understand himself or herself to only be acting on his or her own authority.

If you wish to draw a distinction based on having an objective view of morality, versus a subjective view of morality, then you need to eliminate other variables from the comparison.  The moral views of the person whose behaviour is under examination must be identical in both cases.  To do otherwise would be akin to showing in-practice that Ford trucks stay in better shape than a comparable Chevy truck by comparing a new Ford to a used Chevy.

Let me rephrase this so you know I understand your point.  You're saying I start with my own opinion about what "Just" means, and then since I assume God is good, I assign this quality "Just" that I just made up to Him.  Same goes for "Kind", "Merciful", "Moral," and even "Good" itself.  In other words, because God is imaginary, I'm simply assigning my morality to Him.  S.P.A.G. at it's finest.

Not quite.  "God is imaginary" does not enter my reasoning.  I was assuming the objective existence of a god for the sake of argument, but found that it made no logical difference.  Look at your own (accurate) paraphrase that I underlined above - does it assume an imaginary god in any way?  I don't see that in there.  I certainly didn't think it in my own reasoning, on my end.  So where do you draw it from?

This attack fails on the one little phrase "because God is imaginary."  Your argument takes as an assumption that God does not exist, and then goes on to prove the Christians morality is subjective.[3]  Well, of course it is!  You just assumed our source of morality out of existence!  I'd congratulate you in the same way I'd congratulate a mad prisoner defining the Sun out of existence by scribbling the word 'darkness' on his cell wall, to borrow an analogy from the venerable Mr. Lewis.  In fact, let's take that same prisoner and show how the exact same argument applies to his situation as well:

Step #1:  None of this "light" stuff you sunists keep on making up, so let's make some.
Step #2:  Define "light" and "bright" and "shiny" subjectively according to one's own opinions.
Step #3:  Assert the presence of a "light" and "shiny" sun.
Step #4:  Forget what we did in Step #2, as it is an inconvenient memory.
 3. Right there in step 1, you say "objective morality isn't around yet."

See above.  Perhaps I was unclear in my original wording.  I did not assume objective morality not to exist in line #1.  I said that in line #1, we don't have any yet.  As in, we don't have any to work with until we decide on it.  Assigning the qualities you mentioned before to your god is an act of subjective preference.  If you don't already have a subjective idea of what "just" means, then saying "God is just!" is meaningless.  If you decide that God's will defines justice, then that is a subjective personal decision.  I don't see a way out of that, frankly.

The rest of your post you devote to deconstructing my hypothetical talk to your hypothetical Christian who defies God himself, and is sounding more and more like an atheist.  When I said "If you're gonna play ball in the Christian neighborhood you play by Christian rules." I meant it - if your hypothetical Christian really is a Christian she ought to act like one.[4]
 4. To avoid the tiresome (s)he, I'll assume she's a she.  I assume it doesn't matter?

"She" works.  Though, I would like to point out a critical flaw in your parameters here.  If the moral opinions of the woman in question are not relevant to correct moral reasoning (as they would not be, if objective morality is real with God in the picture), then it cannot matter whether she agrees with God.  The same reasoning would hold true no matter what.

I will clarify.  You gave an hypothetical earlier discussing the behaviour of a "materialist" who held that morals were subjective.  Obviously, in the case of an argument as to whether the guy should have stolen, it mattered whether the guy thought stealing was wrong.  Why?  Because given subjective morality, his own morals would be key to any moral argument made to him.

Presumably, your point was that this would be different if a god was in the picture.  Yet here we are, and you are insisting that the moral opinions of the woman in our current hypothetical need to be in sync with God's in order to convince her...that God's morals are right.  How is this different?

You - the one addressing the woman - have value-set X, which we will take as being equivalent to God's value-set (i.e., you agree with God on every moral value).  The woman has value-set Y, which is somehow different.  The only way you can make a moral argument to her is if she had already adopted value-set X - i.e., if she already agreed with you.  You have basically said that no moral argument can take place unless everyone's values are already in complete agreement, which would negate the need for a value-change argument in the first place.  Thing is, the same thing could be said in the earlier hypothetical.  If the "materialist" thief had the same values as I do, then I would be able to convince him that his actions were wrong according to the subjective values he already holds.

To the extent that the values of two individuals are shared, those values can be treated - in discussions between those individuals - as though they are objective truths, no matter what they actually are.

Our hypothetical Christian would understand that when Christians talk about morality we always start with God.  Morality consists in discovering God's Will for us, the same way a platonist discovers mathematical rules instead of inventing them.  Morality is not created arbitrarily and then patched up by saying "God wants me to do this."[5]  He says creation is His, and that He is 'allowed' to dictate morality; He claims absolute sovereignty over it.  I can and do start here, and in order to stay true to the hypothetical Christian you created, you cannot cry foul.
 5. Though of course we do that all the time, to our shame.

So you have declared that the hypothetical Christian must agree with a certain set of values (God's) in order for you to be able to argue that those values must align with God's.  Sounds pretty flimsy to me.  If those values were objective truths, then you wouldn't need to assume this.  You have failed.

Let me skip a defense of the author analogy.  Like any analogy it can be stretched too far, a fact you aptly demonstrated.
A false analogy is a false analogy.  Don't put the responsibility for your failings off onto me.

Christianity, properly practiced, does not judge God.  It starts with God and takes his will for us as the definition of "Good."  The atheist usually shrieks here that if God willed it wanton Murder would be just as Good as not murdering is now.  Well, yeah.  But he doesn't, and he won't, so it's not.  Indeed, Christians discover that morality is so much more than the pathetic rules we're discussing here.  "Don't murder?"  Please, that's 101 morality.  Graduate into what the rest of us enjoy every day - a profound grattitude for the heaping blessings of Bach, working ankles, the Cross, rainbows, science and math, Carbon Leaf, Jesus Christ -- our Lord and Savior, beer, SQL databases, iPods, soft and dewey grass, Halo III and Starcraft II, tigers - the list goes on.  The longer I live the more I am in awe of God and his Goodness.  Judge Him??  I bend the knee, and am grateful for the chance to do so.
Deciding that "God is the Good" is a subjective declaration.  A part of being Christian, as you define the word?  Perhaps.  But it is still your decision to be that "proper" Christian - and you are judging already what a "proper" Christian is.  Will you try to say that "God defines what a proper Christian is"?  If so, then you are engaging in circular reasoning, since whether God can objectively define what a proper Christian is, is one of the issues directly under argument.

Ultimately your whole argument rests on an assumed rejection of Plato's "Good."  Christians, philosophically, try to discover Good, to discover God's will.  It is this philosophical position that allows us to answer with consistency why certain things are good and certain other things aren't.  Your conclusion, that we make it up, is to assume that Plato's Good, that God himself does not exist.  It's an assumption that leads to a dry and bitter life.  Drop it.  Come up into what the other 2.2 billion of us are enjoying every day, and welcome.

I prefer the humility of realizing my own opinions for what they are, rather than projecting them to be absolute truths of the universe.

I reject Plato's "God is the Good" claim, because that is merely his opinion - his judgment.  He has judged God to be the Good.  It is his preference, as indicated by the necessity for him to declare it at all.

Finally, I want to strenuously object when you say I sit on his throne.  Perhaps I do, I struggle to do less so every day.

Hardly.  Your moral position is an excuse to do exactly that.  The idea that your moral values might be your own would require too much humility, so you must declare them to be God's, as well.

However, by asserting that morality is subjective you are asserting that your personal opinion is <objectively> ultimately more important than anything or anyone else when it comes to morality.

I added and emphasized the subtext assumed by your wording.  That is not the case, MiC.  If it was, then I would be in contradiction with my own beliefs.  This is the same mistake you made earlier in the post.

Murder, Theft, what-have-you is wrong not because you are submitting to some higher authority but only for the arbitrary reason that you don't like it.

The only authority I have, meagre as it is, is my own.  I do not pretend to be acting on a "higher" authority, whatever that means.  I am small.  I am a mere human.  I have but my own authority, and it extends but a little ways.  I realize that my values are logically arbitrary.  Your pride prevents you from admitting the same of yours.  Instead, for some reason you must be able to act with what you see as the authority of a God.  You're not that big, MiC.

Your breathtaking assertion is that there is none higher than you, you and you alone ultimately decide what you shall decide is "good" and as "bad."

That is a misleading statement, MiC.  My assertion is that "higher" is meaningless in this context.  See above.  I am small.[6]

In his own pathetic, constrained, philosophical way, our hypothetical materialist is god.  None shall, indeed, none can convince him that his actions are wrong, if he wills it it is Good.  From where I sit, that looks a heckuva lot like sitting on God's throne.

Of course it does.  In your pride, it's the only perspective you understand.
 6. Actually, I'm pretty tall, but you get the metaphor.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 09:59:28 PM by Azdgari »
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1366 on: September 15, 2010, 08:49:08 PM »
Are you still trying to say that informing on Jews to Nazis was not a crime and a sin?

That is correct.

Actually a higher command is to keep ones mouth shut.  
Higher than speaking the truth about anything to those unworthy of hearing it.

I fixed your text-formatting for you.

What weren't we worthy to hear?  About how informing on Jews to Nazis was objectively morally right?

EDIT:  Your subsequent post has given more context to your statement, and I apologize for assuming the worst of you (it's this thread, I swear).
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 08:53:18 PM by Azdgari »
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline SkyWriting

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
  • Darwins +9/-75
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1367 on: September 15, 2010, 08:49:27 PM »
So, even though I have absolutely no desire or willingness to be part of the main/first cause….and I do not condone the actions of the main cause….and I willingly fight against the main cause (even if I lose my life in the process)…… and I am on this line of causality only because of someone elses moral  ”wrong” ….I am still guilty of being a part of the cause?????!!!!!
I don't buy that. I won't buy that. I will not be made to blame for a moral "wrong" (cause) that I am opposed to. That is preposterous !

If you spoke anything, then yes. Guilty. We are called to be quiet.
If you pointed, then that was sign language.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1368 on: September 15, 2010, 10:01:27 PM »
By the way, MiC - we do have a non-hypothetical moral disagreement here between Christians, do we not?  Even if you agree with BibleStudent about Nazi-informing being morally A-OK, it seems that SkyWriting does not.

Maybe we should see how that gets resolved?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Wootah

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
  • Darwins +0/-0
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1369 on: September 15, 2010, 10:24:01 PM »
I don't know what I would do. Boy that scene from Inglorious Bastards was good at the start. When you have 3 daughters and a family to feed and some people are below your house. It really would test one's faith in their beliefs. Heck the disciples were tested constantly in their faith and were with Jesus.

I would hope that I would fight and win or fight and die against the Nazi's. But then if you watched the Book of Eli, Denzel Washington's character did not help a person on the road from bandits because they were doomed and his mission was too important. So perhaps pointing out a Jew was not that immoral because the situation was so terrible that at that time fighting was not appropriate.

Isn't it horrifying, the reality of WW2, and that it was only 70 years ago.
Just letting you know ... I am Christian.
Please PM me if I have missed a post you want me to reply to.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1370 on: September 15, 2010, 10:53:24 PM »
The reality of the situation was of course far more complex than the hypothetical suggests.  That's why it was repeatedly stripped of such variables (by having their absence explicitly stated, or by removing the hypothetical from a realistic context) to make the ethical choice a simpler one.

Certainly, if one is risking the lives of one's own family by refusing to collaborate, then that complicates things.  But that wasn't a part of the hypothetical.

(oh, and I totally agree with your characterization of that scene; it's too bad much of the rest of the movie didn't live up to it)
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Wootah

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
  • Darwins +0/-0
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1371 on: September 15, 2010, 11:19:43 PM »
(oh, and I totally agree with your characterization of that scene; it's too bad much of the rest of the movie didn't live up to it)
Way OT. That scene was the movie for me.

On topic and in line with a strict hypothetical. I would cast my vote for it being immoral to help an evil person do evil.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 11:23:07 PM by Wootah »
Just letting you know ... I am Christian.
Please PM me if I have missed a post you want me to reply to.

Offline kin hell

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5380
  • Darwins +152/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • - .... . .-. . /.. ... / -. --- / --. --- -.. ...
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1372 on: September 15, 2010, 11:46:22 PM »

So, even though I have absolutely no desire or willingness to be part of the main/first cause….and I do not condone the actions of the main cause….and I willingly fight against the main cause (even if I lose my life in the process)…… and I am on this line of causality only because of someone elses moral  ”wrong” ….I am still guilty of being a part of the cause?????!!!!!
I don't buy that. I won't buy that. I will not be made to blame for a moral "wrong" (cause) that I am opposed to. That is preposterous !



Yes, well I never understood the christians' blind acceptance of "original sin" either.... :shrug
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Gnu Ordure

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3832
  • Darwins +109/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1373 on: September 16, 2010, 04:51:48 PM »
MathisCool,

Before you went away, there was a conversation here that you were engaged in. As Truehyuga said:
Quote
There a lot of good people (and one confirmed asshat) waiting for a response, MiC.

... a response to our answers to this post.

We're still waiting...
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 04:54:32 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1374 on: September 16, 2010, 05:39:13 PM »
From which post did you get that quote, Gnu?  I just want to know so I can follow who said what and when.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Gnu Ordure

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3832
  • Darwins +109/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1375 on: September 16, 2010, 05:55:41 PM »

Quote
From which post did you get that quote, Gnu?

Truehyuga's? Here.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1376 on: September 16, 2010, 05:58:13 PM »
Thanks!
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline MathIsCool

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Darwins +1/-6
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1377 on: September 17, 2010, 11:16:22 AM »
@ Gnu...

Are you referring to this?
...
Whatever. You're still wrong, because there are many atheists/strict materialists on this forum who will be happy to confirm that they are not nihilists. Do you acknowledge that, or not?

And, you have still failed to address my point that a subjective morality can be derived from any number of sources, philosophical, political or ecological, and does not rely on feelings of ickiness, as you proposed.

Gnu.

Atheists on the board who are not nihilists?  Yes, they exist.  You ought to be able to pick up from prior posts how their existence squares with my position.
Regarding your deriving subjective morality from any number of sources: congratulations.  You derive subjective morality from somewhere.  Do you see how that in no way affects the arguments I'm making?

To be perfectly frank, Gnu, my time here is limited and I don't intend to respond to non-arguments, or to every single person who replies.  If you wish to claim victory by dint of most posts, you're free to do so... though I'd point out that if more than one people take this appraoch, the thread can get up to 1377 posts with nothing new being said.  Instead, I prefer to stand on the merit of ideas raised.
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

 - Expurgate, here

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1378 on: September 17, 2010, 11:25:23 AM »
I would like to call attention to MiC's contention that God would not change his morals to something with which MiC disagrees:

The atheist usually shrieks here that if God willed it wanton Murder would be just as Good as not murdering is now.  Well, yeah.  But he doesn't, and he won't, so it's not. ...

Here, MiC makes a definite assertion about what his god will or will not do, or agree with.  If he truly takes his god's moral dictates to be the ontological foundation of morality, then he has no basis on which to make such a claim.  God's morality is arbitrary under MiC's stated worldview, generated entirely from God Himself.  It is impossible to constrain God's morality from being what God wills it to be on the basis of one's own reasoning.  If one could, then it is that reasoning that would be the ontological foundation of morality, rather than God.

Yet, here MiC is, declaring what God will or will not do, as if he has the authority of the god in question to make such declarations.  Just a case in point of MiC being the god of his own morality, despite castigating others for the very same thing.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline jetson

  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 7301
  • Darwins +170/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Meet George Jetson!
    • Jet Blog
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1379 on: September 17, 2010, 12:12:17 PM »
What a disgusting human being. And what a disgusting religion.  :(

Good job showing how utterly selfish and shitheaded Christians can be though. Really. You do Yahweh proud, I'm sure.

And I bet if Jesus were in Nazi Germany,  Biblestudent would totally rat him out to the Nazis to avoid God's Wrath.

And by this logic, Judas was actually the GOOD guy in the bible. Afterall, he told the Truth that condemned Christ!  The Romans ask Judas to point out Jesus, and he does it with a kiss! So, you know, a totally BALLESS way to tell the truth, but Gawd bless 'em for doing it eh!? Am I right or am I right!?:D

Ugh. I'm so greatfull that this line of thinking is isolated to the lunatic fringe. What a shitty world it would be otherwise.
   Very well said!

Yeah - I should have waited until this went into the pit before I had my post deleted by mods.  And yet, BS is still wandering around the forum acting as though he is untouchable in his self-righteousness.  Oh well.

Offline Brakeman

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1243
  • Darwins +47/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1380 on: September 17, 2010, 01:12:57 PM »
I would like to call attention to MiC's contention that God would not change his morals to something with which MiC disagrees:

The atheist usually shrieks here that if God willed it wanton Murder would be just as Good as not murdering is now.  Well, yeah.  But he doesn't, and he won't, so it's not. ...

Here, MiC makes a definite assertion about what his god will or will not do, or agree with.  If he truly takes his god's moral dictates to be the ontological foundation of morality, then he has no basis on which to make such a claim.  God's morality is arbitrary under MiC's stated worldview, generated entirely from God Himself.  It is impossible to constrain God's morality from being what God wills it to be on the basis of one's own reasoning.  If one could, then it is that reasoning that would be the ontological foundation of morality, rather than God.

Yet, here MiC is, declaring what God will or will not do, as if he has the authority of the god in question to make such declarations.  Just a case in point of MiC being the god of his own morality, despite castigating others for the very same thing.

Excellent Post! Thanks Azdgari!
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline Gnu Ordure

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3832
  • Darwins +109/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1381 on: September 19, 2010, 06:23:01 PM »
MiC:
Quote
Atheists on the board who are not nihilists?  Yes, they exist.
Right. Yet you agreed with me that your position was:  
Quote
Quote
Atheism ---> Meta-ethical relativism ---> Nihilism. Necessarily.
Close enough.  I'd append it to Strict Materialism---> Meta-ethical relativism ---> Nihilism, but yeah, that is my central contention in this thread.
So you admit that your contention is wrong, and that atheism does not necessarily lead to nihilism?

Quote
You ought to be able to pick up from prior posts how their existence squares with my position.
Yes, we read your 'explanation'. As I said: MiC then attempted to explain this discrepancy by positing that atheists do not (on the whole) go around murdering and raping because the idea of doing so is "icky".... which is incorrect. There are many reasons why atheists don't regularly murder and rape, and feelings of ickiness are of minimal significance.

Quote
Regarding your deriving subjective morality from any number of sources: congratulations.  You derive subjective morality from somewhere.  Do you see how that in no way affects the arguments I'm making?
It completely destroys your assertion that feelings of ickiness are somehow a crucial factor in an atheist's moral philosophy.

Quote
To be perfectly frank, Gnu, my time here is limited and I don't intend to respond to non-arguments,
Well, don't then; answer my argument instead.

Gnu.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 03:47:35 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline truehyuga

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Back. For now.
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1382 on: September 21, 2010, 03:14:46 PM »
Reposting for an actual response.

Quote
Sorry if I'm not posting often enough for you.  I didn't realize I was "lurking" last night, and to be honest, this website isn't exactly a critical priority in my life.  I try to reach a stopping point in discussions before I take off, at least.
It is normally considered lurking when you are watching a thread yet not responding to it. The fact that you were doing so while a question was directed at you could be seen in two ways; either you have the window open or you are intentionally stalling. If you, say, ignore my questions for various reasons while posting, it seems to be the latter. Not that it matters now; you have clearly taken an interest in continuing the conversation (for now at least).[1]
Quote
As these discussions are typically asynchronous, I'd appreciate if you could make your point instead of holding up the conversation asking (demanding) me to define "goodness", for example
I'm demanding because it is a huge part of the conversation. We are talking about how you believe that materialism leads to Atheism, which led to your statement that Christianity had a way out of that worldview, which is now leading to me forcing you to back it up.[2]

Quote
How do I define good?  I'll go ahead and give the answer you want here, which is of course the will of God.[2]
+
But wait!  Doesn't that make the statement "God is good" meaningless?  For if "good" is whatever God wants, then if God wanted murder, then that would be good, right?  This is just the famous Euthyphro dilemna reworded.  One famous apoligist William Lane Craig answers that question thusly:  "You split the horns of the [Euthyphro] dilemma by saying that the good is the very nature of God and that the commands of God flow necessarily out of His moral nature. Because God is just, He commands things that are for us just. So the good is neither arbitrary, nor is it something outside and above God. Rather the good is the moral nature of God Himself, which is expressed necessarily in His moral commands, which become for us our moral duties."
[3]
So your apologist doesn't really answer the question but pushes it back a step by saying what God orders is just. This still doesn't mean anything though, as just is conveniently undefined.
This is basically just pretty wording from him as he is using circular logic. Let's look at that last sentence, the conclusion, shall we?
Quote
Rather the good is the moral nature of God Himself,
What is good?
As you said,
Quote
How do I define good?  I'll go ahead and give the answer you want here, which is of course the will of God
So we can translate his statement to:
Quote
Rather the will of god is the moral nature of God Himself
SO God's will is the nature of God himself? So God naturally follows his own will? One would hope so.
Let's take a look at the other sentence as well in the light of this:
Quote
"You split the horns of the [Euthyphro] dilemma by saying that the good is the very nature of God and that the commands of God flow necessarily out of His moral nature.
becomes:
Quote
"You split the horns of the [Euthyphro] dilemma by saying that the will of god is the very nature of God and that the commands of God flow necessarily out of His moral nature (his will).
Clarified, it becomes:
"God's commands flow naturally from his will."
This has the same problems as above.

To define "good" as the will of God simply means that the will of God is always good, regardless of what it says. To get out of this, you HAVE to appeal to a higher ideology of good. Quoting meaningless rhetoric won't help your case[4]. But I'll take the bait.
Your apologetic appeals to the fact that god is "just". Care to define "Just"? You can't hide behind the undefined forever.
 1.  Not that this really matters to the conversation.
 2. ...or more accurately, showing how you cannot.
 3. You generally shouldn't put the main part of your argument in your footnotes
 4. Though honestly you're kind of screwed in this anyways.
What you allow will always increase; good or bad.

Offline MathIsCool

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Darwins +1/-6
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1383 on: September 22, 2010, 05:31:07 PM »
Let's take 'em one at a time.

Azdgari
I would like to call attention to MiC's contention that God would not change his morals to something with which MiC disagrees
...
Here, MiC makes a definite assertion about what his god will or will not do, or agree with.  If he truly takes his god's moral dictates to be the ontological foundation of morality, then he has no basis on which to make such a claim.  God's morality is arbitrary under MiC's stated worldview, generated entirely from God Himself.  It is impossible to constrain God's morality from being what God wills it to be on the basis of one's own reasoning.  If one could, then it is that reasoning that would be the ontological foundation of morality, rather than God.

Yet, here MiC is, declaring what God will or will not do, as if he has the authority of the god in question to make such declarations.  Just a case in point of MiC being the god of his own morality, despite castigating others for the very same thing.
(My emphasis)

This is ridiculous.  You're claiming that we can have no knowledge of what morality is because God could will anything, in other words; you're asserting (without backing) that God's character is arbitrary.  This is contrary to the Christian worldview: the Bible gives us lots of information about the moral nature and commandments of God,[1] and in addition, We all seem to have some sort of "built in" morality - it's pretty intuitive that the examples we're all flinging around (muder/theft/rape) are all evil.
My claiming the foundation of this morality is God in no way makes it arbitrary.  God's character is still what it is, and his commands are still what they are.

Gnu
Gnu, I'm responding out of politeness, your post contains no argument to reply to and I'm tempted to skip it.
So you admit that your contention is wrong, and that atheism does not necessarily lead to nihilism?
No.  Consistent atheism necessarily collapses into nihilism.  The existence of inconcsistent atheists does not make them consistent.  To defeat this argument, you have two options:
1) Show how atheism has some way to ground morality, show (contrary to the opinions of several atheists on this thread) that morality is more than just opinions.  All you have to do is give my hypothetical materialist an answer as to why he was wrong to embezzle.[2]
2) Show how Christianity collapses necessarily into nihilism as well.  This is the approach Azdgari and truehyuga are taking.

Regarding "ickiness", the word was simply my way of describing our shared (presumably) feeling that murder and rape, are disgusting, gross, and in some indescribable way, "icky."  You have your moral philosophies.  Good for you.  Do those moral philsophies help you convince my hypothetical materialist that he was wrong to embezzle?  If not, they are irrelevant.


truehyuga
<snipping your post to your argument>
So your apologist doesn't really answer the question but pushes it back a step by saying what God orders is just. This still doesn't mean anything though, as just is conveniently undefined.
This is basically just pretty wording from him as he is using circular logic. Let's look at that last sentence, the conclusion, shall we?
Quote
Rather the good is the moral nature of God Himself,
What is good?
As you said,
Quote
How do I define good?  I'll go ahead and give the answer you want here, which is of course the will of God
So we can translate his statement to:
Quote
Rather the will of god is the moral nature of God Himself
SO God's will is the nature of God himself? So God naturally follows his own will? One would hope so.
 1. And can we please skip the "Your God is a jerk" stuff?  It gets old quick.
 2. I haven't heard a response to this yet, can I assume there is none forthcoming, that this line of argumentation has stood?
You're claiming a tautology, but none exists.  If I were to say
"Red light has a wavelength of 650nm"
and you in turn argued "This is meaningless!  If we substitute in 650nm for "Red" your statement becomes "650nm is 650nm", which is a tautology!"
Then I think we could agree that you missed the point of the argument.

But this is exactly what you do when we look at the nature of God.  Christianity says that that 'thing' we all agree as moral is the very nature of God, and you're arguing (to use the word loosely) that this is a tautology, becuse I'm saying the nature of God is the nature of God.  I'm not.  You're saying that using your tricky substitution rhetoric, I'm the one saying that goodness is (part of) the nature of God.

Your other example falls the same way.

To define "good" as the will of God simply means that the will of God is always good, regardless of what it says. To get out of this, you HAVE to appeal to a higher ideology of good.
 
No, I don't.  I can recognize morality for what it is (as can you) but also recognize that it is grounded in the character of God.

Your apologetic appeals to the fact that god is "just". Care to define "Just"? You can't hide behind the undefined forever.
Nor can you construct an argument by asking me to define random words.  Dictionary.com gives a decent definitition of just, and now I just made it easy for you to go and check it out for yourself.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 05:34:02 PM by MathIsCool »
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

 - Expurgate, here

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1384 on: September 22, 2010, 05:49:23 PM »
I would like to call attention to MiC's contention that God would not change his morals to something with which MiC disagrees
...
Here, MiC makes a definite assertion about what his god will or will not do, or agree with.  If he truly takes his god's moral dictates to be the ontological foundation of morality, then he has no basis on which to make such a claim.  God's morality is arbitrary under MiC's stated worldview, generated entirely from God Himself.  It is impossible to constrain God's morality from being what God wills it to be on the basis of one's own reasoning.  If one could, then it is that reasoning that would be the ontological foundation of morality, rather than God.

Yet, here MiC is, declaring what God will or will not do, as if he has the authority of the god in question to make such declarations.  Just a case in point of MiC being the god of his own morality, despite castigating others for the very same thing.
(My emphasis)

This is ridiculous.  You're claiming that we can have no knowledge of what morality is because God could will anything, in other words; you're asserting (without backing) that God's character is arbitrary.

I did give backing.  I have now underlined it, since you either missed it or intentionally ignored it the first time around.  You are requiring that God's morality be constrained by something other than God Himself - that God be limited by reasoning, or by causality.  God's morality must be artitrary, for it to be a foundation at all.

This is contrary to the Christian worldview: the Bible gives us lots of information about the moral nature and commandments of God,[1] and in addition, We all seem to have some sort of "built in" morality - it's pretty intuitive that the examples we're all flinging around (muder/theft/rape) are all evil.
My claiming the foundation of this morality is God in no way makes it arbitrary.  God's character is still what it is, and his commands are still what they are.
 1. And can we please skip the "Your God is a jerk" stuff?  It gets old quick.

First of all, I did not include any "your god is a jerk stuff", so why do you bother pleading with me not to?

Anyway, the Bible, gives information about what God supposedly wanted when it was written.  But his attitudes change over the course of the book, so why couldn't they change again?  You are now requiring that the Bible is a constraint on your god's morality - that the Bible, not God, is the foundation of morality.  If it were otherwise, then God would be unbound by any description in the Bible.  He is under no obligation to agree with what he said yesterday, nor is he under any obligation to obligate himself to do so.  If he is the foundation of morality, then he cannot be subject to it.

EDIT:  By the way, if you cite some line about God being unchanging, then you must realize that you have to decide on an interpretation that reconciles such a line with the changes that demonstrably occur to the character throughout the book.  Whatever mechanism you use to do so, just apply it to the present and future, and you'll see how such a line can't be used to refute my reasoning in this context.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 05:53:11 PM by Azdgari »
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline MathIsCool

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Darwins +1/-6
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1385 on: September 22, 2010, 06:46:20 PM »
I did give backing ...  You are requiring that God's morality be constrained by something other than God Himself - that God be limited by reasoning, or by causality.  God's morality must be artitrary, for it to be a foundation at all.

your backing you underlined:

It is impossible to constrain God's morality from being what God wills it to be on the basis of one's own reasoning.  If one could, then it is that reasoning that would be the ontological foundation of morality, rather than God.

I guess I'm not sure I follow your argument.  Let me make it concrete.
Hebrews 6:18 says God cannot lie.  Let's assume the Bible is the inspired word of God and that it is inerrant (You're trying to show how the Chrisitian worldview is just as susceptible to arbitrary morality as atheism is, so let's assume the Christian worldview to see if you can show it's inconsistent.)  The Christian says lying is immoral because God cannot and does not lie.  God's not lying is certainly not something external to him, it's something internal to his character.  Nonetheless, non-lying is not arbitrary - under the Christian worldview, God's nature is very specific with regards to lying: he cannot.  To say not-lying is arbitrary is false - God is a specific not-arbitrary God, and this specific God cannot lie.

First of all, I did not include any "your god is a jerk stuff", so why do you bother pleading with me not to?
It can come up on this board from time to time.  I want to follow this thought through, not be distraced by other attacks on Christian morality.

Anyway, the Bible, gives information about what God supposedly wanted when it was written.  But his attitudes change over the course of the book, so why couldn't they change again?  You are now requiring that the Bible is a constraint on your god's morality - that the Bible, not God, is the foundation of morality.  If it were otherwise, then God would be unbound by any description in the Bible.  He is under no obligation to agree with what he said yesterday, nor is he under any obligation to obligate himself to do so.  If he is the foundation of morality, then he cannot be subject to it.
The Bible is a description of God's morality (even that isn't entirely accurate), not really a constraint on God's morality.  It's more a collection of "back in the day, God did this." not "Rule 459,134: Don't eat shellfish on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.  Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: go wild."  From it we can get some pretty good ideas about God's nature.  (Rule 5 probably really is "No murdering," cause He took the time to write it down.)  Such a description certainly doesn't contrain him though - how could it?
You're right that the rules do change.  They changed pretty dramatically when Jesus Christ died to save the world, and from where I sit he pretty much gave the definitive guide to morality, so I'd be pretty suprised if they changed again.

In any case you're introducing another thought that God's nature is changing.  If you really are trying to show how the Christian worldview leads to inconsistent and baseless morality, I can just say that under the Christian worldview God's nature is consistent and immutable.
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

 - Expurgate, here

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12466
  • Darwins +294/-32
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1386 on: September 22, 2010, 07:11:37 PM »
Hebrews 6:18 says God cannot lie.  Let's assume the Bible is the inspired word of God and that it is inerrant (You're trying to show how the Chrisitian worldview is just as susceptible to arbitrary morality as atheism is, so let's assume the Christian worldview to see if you can show it's inconsistent.)  The Christian says lying is immoral because God cannot and does not lie.  God's not lying is certainly not something external to him, it's something internal to his character.  Nonetheless, non-lying is not arbitrary - under the Christian worldview, God's nature is very specific with regards to lying: he cannot.  To say not-lying is arbitrary is false - God is a specific not-arbitrary God, and this specific God cannot lie.

Then God is constrained by something other than His will.  That other 'something' is thus the ontological foundation of morality - not God.

It can come up on this board from time to time.  I want to follow this thought through, not be distraced by other attacks on Christian morality.

I agree, and when it does come up it distracts from the topic we are discussing.  Yet, in all my posts on this thread, I have not once - to my knowledge - done what you seek to avert.  So why include it when addressing me?

The Bible is a description of God's morality (even that isn't entirely accurate), not really a constraint on God's morality.  It's more a collection of "back in the day, God did this." not "Rule 459,134: Don't eat shellfish on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.  Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: go wild."  From it we can get some pretty good ideas about God's nature.  (Rule 5 probably really is "No murdering," cause He took the time to write it down.)  Such a description certainly doesn't contrain him though - how could it?
You're right that the rules do change.  They changed pretty dramatically when Jesus Christ died to save the world, and from where I sit he pretty much gave the definitive guide to morality, so I'd be pretty suprised if they changed again.

You are using it as a constraint; that is my beef.  If God is constrained not to change his values, then there are two possibilities:
1. God's values are constrained by something else, which would then be the foundation of morality.
2. God constrains his own values from changing.  In which case, what prevents him from deciding to stop doing so?

In any case you're introducing another thought that God's nature is changing.  If you really are trying to show how the Christian worldview leads to inconsistent and baseless morality, I can just say that under the Christian worldview God's nature is consistent and immutable.

So your god is limited, constrained by a more "ultimate" reality, then?  Otherwise, he would not be constrained from changing.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline truehyuga

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Back. For now.
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1387 on: September 22, 2010, 08:25:39 PM »
Quote
You're claiming a tautology, but none exists.  If I were to say
"Red light has a wavelength of 650nm"
and you in turn argued "This is meaningless!  If we substitute in 650nm for "Red" your statement becomes "650nm is 650nm", which is a tautology!"
Then I think we could agree that you missed the point of the argument.
Nope.
The point of the argument you gave me above is that the color with a wavelength of 650nm is red, and thus if I point out 650nm=650nm, I am showing that, in your worldview, red is red. It is consistent.
There is no "argument" here. Simply a definition.

However, your job is to prove that "good" in your worldview comes from something non-arbitrary. You have stated that the good=the will of God. Your apologist defined it as the will of god. I if assume that you agree with your apologist (if you don't, you have provided a non-response to my proposed dilemma, as well as wasted my time), than I must also assume that you believe that the will of god=his moral nature.
If this is the case, than it is safe to say that god's moral nature is simply what he wills. And if the only reason good is good is because god wills it, than it is not only arbitrary, but subject to change with his will.

Quote
But this is exactly what you do when we look at the nature of God.  Christianity says that that 'thing' we all agree as moral is the very nature of God, and you're arguing (to use the word loosely) that this is a tautology, becuse I'm saying the nature of God is the nature of God.  I'm not.  You're saying that using your tricky substitution rhetoric, I'm the one saying that goodness is (part of) the nature of God.
No. I'm saying that you have done nothing to break God's moral nature from his will, besides adding a rather useless rhetorical mess that only drops the problem back another step. And my point is that you can't break God's moral nature from his will without appealing to a non-sentient, moral force or code binding God himself.
I challenge you to try.
In fact, it looks like I have an attempt here:

Quote
No, I don't.  I can recognize morality for what it is (as can you) but also recognize that it is grounded in the character of God.
Underline mine.
I assume you mean in the underlined that the morality comes from God? However, the word "grounded" implies that that is where it originates from...
So I can only take this as an assertion of your point, without any backing evidence provided alongside.
Of course, you can back yourself up easily by proving that there is a break between the moral nature of god and his will as noted above.

Quote
Nor can you construct an argument by asking me to define random words.  Dictionary.com gives a decent definitition of just, and now I just made it easy for you to go and check it out for yourself.
Cute, but idiotic.
1st sentence: Next time you want to make a quip, make sure it makes some damned sense. If you keep appealing to new terms, I need to know what those terms are. This is not a random word. It is a word that you brought into the conversation, and if I don't know what you mean by it, communication breaks down. Or should I just start speaking Japanese?
2nd Sentence: Either a willing dodge or more idiocy. There are eight definitions of the word just (in adjective form only), and each one appeals to another vague term... it seems you (or your apologist) mean "good" or "right" by it, but if you suddenly pull it of your ass with an entirely different definition than what I thought you meant, than I can't object to the bait and switch, can I? If you had simply answered "this is synonymous with good" we'd be fine, but no, you have to give me a definition that is not your personal definition, and 7 alternatives at that.

So, to sum up, MiC:
Establish that God cannot change his morality at will, without appealing to a higher code.
What you allow will always increase; good or bad.

Offline Gnu Ordure

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3832
  • Darwins +109/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1388 on: September 24, 2010, 10:33:36 AM »
MiC:
Quote
Quote
So you admit that your contention is wrong, and that atheism does not necessarily lead to nihilism?

No.  Consistent atheism necessarily collapses into nihilism.

You seem to be saying that all the atheists on this forum who are not nihilists are somehow being inconsistent. Is that correct? If so, could you explain precisely how, please?

Quote
The existence of inconcsistent atheists does not make them consistent.
That sentence makes no sense...

Quote
To defeat this argument, you have two options:
I don't know what your argument is. You've asserted that consistent atheism leads to nihilism, but provided nothing to support it.

Quote
1) Show how atheism has some way to ground morality, show (contrary to the opinions of several atheists on this thread) that morality is more than just opinions.
I did that already, as have others; Pro-socialism, Natural Law, Utilitarianism, Consequentialism. Libertarianism, and the Golden and Silver Rules. For a start.

Quote
2) Show how Christianity collapses necessarily into nihilism as well.  This is the approach Azdgari and truehyuga are taking.
That's irrelevant to my argument.

Quote
Regarding "ickiness", the word was simply my way of describing our shared (presumably) feeling that murder and rape, are disgusting, gross, and in some indescribable way, "icky."  
Some people think eating snails is disgusting and gross; so as I said, feelings of ickiness aren't a guide to what is morally right or wrong. Your implication was atheists don't do bad things merely because of feelings of ickiness. You're wrong.  

Quote
You have your moral philosophies.  Good for you.  Do those moral philsophies help you convince my hypothetical materialist that he was wrong to embezzle?  If not, they are irrelevant.
I'm not discussing this embezzler you keep referring to.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 10:37:00 AM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline MathIsCool

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Darwins +1/-6
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1389 on: September 24, 2010, 01:28:00 PM »
Azdgari, this post is to reply to you, next one will be to truehyuga.  Gnu, you're after that.

Then God is constrained by something other than His will.  That other 'something' is thus the ontological foundation of morality - not God.
How do you get from "God cannot lie" to "God is constrained by something other than His will?"[1]  A circle is 'constrained' to have all it's points be equidistant from it's center, but there isn't some super-circle constraining it - by it's very circle nature, it has taken on this constraint.

I agree, and when [The supposed meanness of God] does come up it distracts from the topic we are discussing.  Yet, in all my posts on this thread, I have not once - to my knowledge - done what you seek to avert.  So why include it when addressing me?
I'm gun-shy?  Just wanting to make sure our conversation doesn't fork off into to many directions.
In any case, thank you.

You are using it as a constraint; that is my beef.  If God is constrained not to change his values, then there are two possibilities:
1. God's values are constrained by something else, which would then be the foundation of morality.
2. God constrains his own values from changing.  In which case, what prevents him from deciding to stop doing so?
Well obviously I'd go with #2.
Your contention seems to be that God might change his mind at any moment, and decide lying, raping, killing are suddenly not only permissable, but righteous (as they would be if they were in line with his character.)
Again, the Christian worldview is that God's character is immutable and unchangeable.  I'm confused what you're asking here.

Are you asking how we can know God's character is immutable?  To quote the song, 'The Bible tells me so.'  (Note that the Bible is not 'constraining' God, but it's an accurate description of his character, which is to not change and to tell the truth.)  Thus, assuming a Christian worldview, we can ground objective morality in the nature of God and be assured they won't change tomorrow.

Are you asking why God won't decide tomorrow that he's had enough with this immutable business and, just for a change of pace, He's gonna be mutable and then make killing OK?  I'd answer His immutable-ness is as central to his nature as all-points-on-a-circle-are-equidistant-to-the-center-ness is central to the nature of a circle.  Move one point and the circle isn't a circle, change God's immutability and He's no longer God.

A side not here - I belive most theologians think God's omnipotence is limted to logically possible things - he can't make 1+1=3, because at the end the request to do so is meaningless.  I'm not sure a mutable God is logically possible, so I'm not even sure if God could change His nature.  To you, an atheist, this is probably pointless navel-gazing though, so I'll stop. :)

So [if your god is consistent and immutable] your god is limited, constrained by a more "ultimate" reality, then?  Otherwise, he would not be constrained from changing.
By no means - He is immutable by His own nature.  There's nothing external to him that's forcing him to not change, it's his own nature that's making him not change.
 1. The cheap shot would be to say yes, he's constrained by something 'other' than his will, he's constrained by his character.'
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

 - Expurgate, here

Offline MathIsCool

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Darwins +1/-6
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1390 on: September 24, 2010, 02:17:22 PM »
However, your job is to prove that "good" in your worldview comes from something non-arbitrary. You have stated that the good=the will of God.
Yes.  Things that are "good" are things that align with God's holy nature, with his will.  (A theologian would cringe that I'm using God's 'will' and God's 'nature' interchangeably, but for the purposes of discussing morality it's probably fine.)
Note that "The Will of God" and "God's nature" are hardly arbitrary under a Christian worldview, but rather concrete.

...if the only reason good is good is because god wills it, than it is not only arbitrary, but subject to change with his will.
God is not an arbitrary God with an arbitrary will.  He is a very concrete God with a very definite will.  To you perhaps this is arbitrary, since under the atheistic view God does not exist and thus ascribing any morality to a non-existent entity is arbitrary.  However, under the Christian worldview (which your laboring under in order to attempt to show a contradiction) God exists and has a very definite will.  So no, it's not arbitrary.
Regarding morality being subject to change with God's will, again, under a Christian worldview God's nature does not change, what he wills will always be the greatest good.

I'm saying that you have done nothing to break God's moral nature from his will
Why would I want to do that?  What would "breaking God's moral nature from his will" do for my argument, and what would the marriage of the two do for yours?

Regarding the word 'Just' - it's hardly a new term.  It's been a word in the english language for 7 centuries (according to dictionary.com) and as you'd been speaking english this whole time, I thought I could use it without you whining.

Generally speaking, when using a dictionary the first definition is the most common one.  You can also use the context of the surrounding sentence to determine the meaning.  Here, you could have gone to dictionary.com and found the first definition read

Quote
guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness: We hope to be just in our understanding of such difficult situations.

So, to sum up, MiC:
Establish that God cannot change his morality at will, without appealing to a higher code.
His nature is immutable.  He tells us this.  I don't know that he can't (though you could make an argument for it), I do know that he won't.  For Christians, that's enough.

Let me sum up my argument:
You started this by accusing Christianity of being inconsistent with itself, that under Christianity God's morality is arbitrary.  Thus, the onus is on you to show how this philosophy followed by 2.2 billion people, a third of the planet, provides an insufficient grounding for morality.  You seem to be arguing that God could change his mind at any moment, I've said that, under Christianity, he won't.  You must show both that He can change his mind and that he could change his mind sometime in the future, all while assuming Christian truths, in order to show how Christianity has an insufficient grounding.
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

 - Expurgate, here

Offline MathIsCool

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Darwins +1/-6
  • Gender: Male
Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
« Reply #1391 on: September 24, 2010, 02:17:54 PM »
Gnu-
...I don't know what your argument is...

Wow, really?  If this is really the case I'm not sure continued discussion between us would be fruitful.  Either I'm amazingly obtuse[1] or you're struck with a selective inability to parse only my posts; in either case, we're just wasting kilobytes typing at each other.
 1. always a possiblity
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 03:46:01 PM by MathIsCool »
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

 - Expurgate, here