Author Topic: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread  (Read 9731 times)

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Offline Ivellios

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2011, 08:04:41 AM »
Of course it's good, because God said so! Hitler, err I mean God, can have you killed if you disobey him and by virtue of that, means he's good!

Samuel 6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

Wow. Jesus... How long did it take for all 50 thousand plus people to look into the ark? Oh that's right, it only takes one...

God tells David to do a Census.
David does census.
God kills 70 thousand people to punish David.
David figures he must have done it wrong.
David having better morals than God tells God that only he should have been punished.
God realizes he is an unsufferable ass and tells David that [David]'s correct.
God moves on like nothing happened.
The 70 thousand God murdered to punish David though no fault of thier own stay dead.

God, what an immoral ass.

Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2011, 09:42:34 AM »
L-Chaim:
Quote
Objective moral values exist and are self evident...It is wrong to kill innocent people (Agree or disagree?
Disagree.

At Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Allies killed thousands of babies and children, who by any standard were 'innocent' and didn't deserve to die. Yet most (but not all) people think that killing them was the right thing to do in the circumstances.

So "killing innocent people is wrong" is evidently not objective or self-evidently true. It depends on the circumstances.

And even if you could come up with an action which everybody agreed was wrong - this would only mean that it was a universal truth - not an objective one, according to your own definition of objective : By objective i mean not influenced by personal feelings or interpretations.

Ethics gets complicated very quickly i'm not disputing there are very difficult circumstances wich can be disputed, but ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL killing innocent people is wrong if you do not agree with this then we have different moral beliefs and there not really much more to be said, as i think you would be Amoral to hold that killing innocent people is ok or is morally neutral.

It would not be a universal truth as objective moral values such as raping children are wrong even when there are people who think it's fine and even if those people were the majority it would STILL be wrong, thats an objective not a universal.


Quote
In Christian Theism God is perfectly good and Holy and is the transcendent and eternal law giver and anchor for morality (God by nature is perfectly good). (Disagree or Disagree ?)
Disagree.

Exodus 32, 9-14. God contemplates kiling all the Israelites for worshipping the Golden Calf, Moses talks him out of it:

9And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people; 10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 11And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.


There are many more examples of God behaving in ways which can be considered evil by today's standards. The genocides committed by Joshua on entering the Promised Land are an example - and unlike the Allies in Japan, Joshua and the Israelites were the aggressors.

Or God's punishment of David for committing adultery and arranging for Bathsheba's husband to be killed - God killed their child. My, how moral is that?

You seem to hold to a double standard here. You say

"So "killing innocent people is wrong" is evidently not objective or self-evidently true. It depends on the circumstances."

But when God takes life it's..... wrong ? on what bases ? if what you say above is true ?

so i'd like you to address this inconsistency, before we go any further.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2011, 09:59:09 AM »
Going to have to agree with the essence of L-Chaim's objection to your point here, Gnu:
Ethics gets complicated very quickly i'm not disputing there are very difficult circumstances wich can be disputed, but ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL killing innocent people is wrong

In the situation of bombing Hiroshima, for example, the killing of innocents was not considered a moral good.  It was considered a necessary evil.  The deaths of those innocents was not something being sought for its own sake.  I doubt many people felt good about the deaths of those innocents - which they would, if they felt it was a moral good.

The same applies in the situation of killing someone in self-defense:  Defending your own life is "good", and killing the other person is "wrong"; and the former simply outweighs the latter.  Once you break it up for analysis, the killing part ends up being a moral negative, by our standards.

I did find this to be revealing, though:
if you do not agree with this then we have different moral beliefs and there not really much more to be said, as i think you would be Amoral to hold that killing innocent people is ok or is morally neutral.

The bolded text is very curious, from someone with your position on the topic, L-Chaim.  If there was an objective moral foundation, then there would be more to be said:  He would be unable to reasonably deny the validity of your moral beliefs, or vice versa, when logic and evidence are applied.

I mean, to take a non-controversial example:  If he believed that freight trains were held to their tracks by magnetism, you could then demonstrate to him - in a variety of ways - that this is not the case.  This is because physical reality is an objective foundation, and the belief in question is about physical reality.

Why do you not believe this to be the case for morality?
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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2011, 11:06:20 AM »
if you do not agree with this then we have different moral beliefs and there not really much more to be said, as i think you would be Amoral to hold that killing innocent people is ok or is morally neutral.
The bolded text is very curious, from someone with your position on the topic, L-Chaim.  If there was an objective moral foundation, then there would be more to be said:  He would be unable to reasonably deny the validity of your moral beliefs, or vice versa, when logic and evidence are applied.

I mean, to take a non-controversial example:  If he believed that freight trains were held to their tracks by magnetism, you could then demonstrate to him - in a variety of ways - that this is not the case.  This is because physical reality is an objective foundation, and the belief in question is about physical reality.

Why do you not believe this to be the case for morality?

That's an interesting thought.

My reaction would be, not all objective truth is demonstrable truth.  Heck, Gödel showed that there are unproveable undemonstrable truths even for mathematics, a field which one might think ought not have such things.  Some folks (they tend to be atheists, but not always) seem to think that the only kind of true statements in the world are those that can be proved true by science and/or math and/or logic.  Others (like me) think statements like "Killing innocent people is evil" is true in the same sense that 1+1 = 2 is true, but we can't necessarily demonstrate it using science, or write a formal proof in mathematics.  So, no: even were L-Chaim to bring all the evidence and logic in the world to the case, he cannot prove that Gnu is wrong if he believed killing innocents is OK.

To use your example,  Let's say I'm convinced the freight train is held down by magnetism.  You endeavor to teach me about gravity, only to be interrupted by me saying "Ahh, you crazy atheists with your theory of gravity[1].  Don't you realize falling is actually accomplished by millions of little demons pushing everyone down, away from the glory of God?"  You might conclude that even though I'm objectively wrong, I'm so far gone that there really is nothing more to be said.  I'm a hopeless case.  If Gnu really believed that killing innocent people is morally good (and he doesn't: see post #45) then he'd be a similar hopeless case and there'd be no use talking to him.

Nonetheless, the objectivity of such truths are demonstrated by how we all act and talk about morals.  Exhibit #1 is Gnu's outrage at God's killing innocent people - as L-Chaim points out, he wants to show God is evil, so he assumes the statement "killing innocent people is always wrong" is objectively true in order to "prove" his point of God being evil.  If that statement is not true, then all Gnu is saying is "God is, in fact, perfectly justified in doing what he does.  I just don't like it."  This is a far less sweeping statement than what he wants to make.
 1. it is, after all, only a theory...
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2011, 11:58:15 AM »
Azdgari:
Quote
In the situation of bombing Hiroshima, for example, the killing of innocents was not considered a moral good.  It was considered a necessary evil.
I'm not sure I agree. The action saved the lives of thousands of US (and Japanese) soldiers. In context, I think it was a good thing.   

But it's an interesting point you raise: when we talk about an act being moral/immoral, are we talking about it being good/evil, or it being right/wrong?

L-Chaim talks in terms of right and wrong: killing innocent people is wrong; I say that bombing Hiroshima was right (and I'm not alone in thinking that). So his 'objective' moral standard fails on those terms.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #63 on: October 07, 2011, 11:58:43 AM »
That's an interesting thought.

My reaction would be, not all objective truth is demonstrable truth.  Heck, Gödel showed that there are unproveable undemonstrable truths even for mathematics, a field which one might think ought not have such things.

Why would we think it wouldn't, given that mathematics is based on human-selected definitions (albeit typically ones that are most useful for creating a mathematical system which mimics nature)?

Some folks (they tend to be atheists, but not always) seem to think that the only kind of true statements in the world are those that can be proved true by science and/or math and/or logic.  Others (like me) think statements like "Killing innocent people is evil" is true in the same sense that 1+1 = 2 is true, but we can't necessarily demonstrate it using science, or write a formal proof in mathematics.

Such situations are most reasonably termed "matters of opinion".  After all, if you cannot actually demonstrate, even to yourself, that X is true - only believe it to be so - then X becomes a statement about you, rather than about any objective foundation.

So, no: even were L-Chaim to bring all the evidence and logic in the world to the case, he cannot prove that Gnu is wrong if he believed killing innocents is OK.

I agree, given that they would both be making statements about different foundations:  L-Chaim would be making a statement about his own morals, while Gnu would be making a statement about his.  Or, L-Chaim might be making a statement about a god's, if he had such knowledge.  All of these foundations objectively exist of course,[1] but deferring to one over another - necessarily without a foundation external to those moralities - is an act of subjective preference.

To use your example,  Let's say I'm convinced the freight train is held down by magnetism.  You endeavor to teach me about gravity, only to be interrupted by me saying "Ahh, you crazy atheists with your theory of gravity[2].  Don't you realize falling is actually accomplished by millions of little demons pushing everyone down, away from the glory of God?"  You might conclude that even though I'm objectively wrong, I'm so far gone that there really is nothing more to be said.  I'm a hopeless case.  If Gnu really believed that killing innocent people is morally good (and he doesn't: see post #45) then he'd be a similar hopeless case and there'd be no use talking to him.
 2. it is, after all, only a theory...

The key is personal honesty, MIC.  If you gave your demon-theory as an explanation, and were honest, then you would not be able to make up ad-hoc rationalizations to get your demon-theory to adhere to observations without admitting that you are doing so.  For an obvious example, "why can't we see the demons?" -> "they're invisible!" is an obvious bit of ad-hoc rationalization, surely obvious even to you as you do it, so long as you're honest to yourself.

Of course, you might lie to yourself and/or to me about what you're doing.  But as soon as you do that, the argument is basically won; it no longer becomes a matter of reasoned argument at all, but a matter of you refusal to engage in one.  Any topic is subject to that sort of dishonest monkey-wrenching, and it has nothing to do with the objectivity (or lack thereof) of the matter at hand.

Nonetheless, the objectivity of such truths are demonstrated by how we all act and talk about morals.
Similarly, the falsity of General Relativity is demonstrated by how we act and think as if time is not relative.  And the special status of human beings in the universe is demonstrated by how humans tend to think they're the most special things in the universe.

Such tendencies are most accurately referred to as "subjective" tendencies, MIC.

Exhibit #1 is Gnu's outrage at God's killing innocent people - as L-Chaim points out, he wants to show God is evil, so he assumes the statement "killing innocent people is always wrong" is objectively true in order to "prove" his point of God being evil.

Naturally.  Because appealing to commonly-held values is the only way to have a meaningful moral argument.  Were they both to agree that killing innocent people was perfectly fine, then they could have a meaningful moral discussion that assumes that to be true, instead.  It would seem like nonsense to us, but that's because our values differ from theirs.  Our separate moral foundations are not similar enough to theirs.

If that statement is not true, then all Gnu is saying is "God is, in fact, perfectly justified in doing what he does.  I just don't like it."  This is a far less sweeping statement than what he wants to make.

Your statement is false, and by now you should know it.  What he'd be saying is, "I hold God's actions to be wrong, and so do you".  In a discussion between the two of them, what more do they need?
 1. Well, except the God one.  But that's neither here nor there.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 12:02:51 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #64 on: October 07, 2011, 12:01:14 PM »
I'm not sure I agree. The action saved the lives of thousands of US (and Japanese) soldiers. In context, I think it was a good thing.

Oh, you'll get no argument from me on that point.  But does the killing of innocent people contribute positively, or negatively, to the morality of the overall action?  In other words:  Would it have been more moral, or less moral, to include the killing of innocents, if there was an option?  According to our evidently-shared moral values, of course.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #65 on: October 07, 2011, 12:22:10 PM »
L-Chaim:
Quote
Ethics gets complicated very quickly
Indeed, and the reason for that is that there is no objective moral yardstick against which all actions can be judged. You can use the Bible as such a yardstick if you like, but others don't.

Quote
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL killing innocent people is wrong
I don't know what you mean by All Things Being Equal. Killing innocent people may be right or it may be wrong. Hiroshima, Jericho, Abortion. Right or Wrong? You make your judgments, L-Chaim, and I'll make mine.

Quote
so i'd like you to address this inconsistency, before we go any further.
You claimed that God is perfectly good. I (and Alzael) pointed out that the Bible doesn't support that view. I see no reason why you can't answer the point, my supposed 'double-standard' notwithstanding.

Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #66 on: October 07, 2011, 02:11:23 PM »
L-Chaim:
Quote
Ethics gets complicated very quickly
Indeed, and the reason for that is that there is no objective moral yardstick against which all actions can be judged. You can use the Bible as such a yardstick if you like, but others don't.

Well my argument is that Christian Theism has the best explanation for morality, this explanation is based on the moral law giver who in Himself is perfectly Good, we can discuss the merits of this claim later, once i make my point as clear as i can, This moral law giver is eternal and transcendent so the standards of Good are set in Him and by Him as He is good, so the standard of good is not IN the person it is outside the person, prove it you might say ? Well i'm convinced everyone who is mentally fit and morally healthy will accept the fact that to rape and kill a child is wrong and it is wrong the world over and is not subject to personal interpretation...it is simply wrong and anyone who does commit such and act should be punished in the most severe way ? does your blood not boil when you hear of such things ? do you not want justice for the offended person ? 

As i say this is not a direct proof beyond a shadow of a doubt but i think from the reasons given  it is the best explanation of why there are objective moral values.

On atheism there is no clear grounding or explaination for the objectiveness of the moral values, perhaps you would like to give a theory ? this is just an exchange of ideas as i say and i think the Theistic argument is coherent.

Quote
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL killing innocent people is wrong
I don't know what you mean by All Things Being Equal. Killing innocent people may be right or it may be wrong.
 

By all thing being equal i mean there is no moral dilemmas involved, like there is a train going down the track and you can save one person or save 4....what do you do and why is this the best option ? or wartime ethics. I'm simply mean in everyday life when some guy kills some random stranger for no reason...is this good/bad/neutral ?

I'm convinced most atheist would say "It's bad" but i dont want to presume.


Hiroshima, Jericho, Abortion. Right or Wrong? You make your judgments, L-Chaim, and I'll make mine.

Well this is moral relativism, so what stop me from making a "judgement" to kill you ?

This is not condemnable on your model..... or is it ? if it is then ...Why ?


Quote
so i'd like you to address this inconsistency, before we go any further.
You claimed that God is perfectly good. I (and Alzael) pointed out that the Bible doesn't support that view. I see no reason why you can't answer the point, my supposed 'double-standard' notwithstanding.

The Bible doesnt support what view ? God is good ?

Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. Ps 25:8

Your interpretation of God from scripture gives you the view that God is not good according to all the scripture verses you quoted but on your model of moral relativity  "You make your judgments, L-Chaim, and I'll make mine." what grounds do you have for making the claim that God is not good ? what standard are you using ?


Offline Alzael

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #67 on: October 07, 2011, 03:20:04 PM »
Your interpretation of God from scripture gives you the view that God is not good according to all the scripture verses you quoted but on your model of moral relativity  "You make your judgments, L-Chaim, and I'll make mine." what grounds do you have for making the claim that God is not good ? what standard are you using ?

How about that he outright admits to creating evil in the first place? I even quoted some of them.
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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #68 on: October 07, 2011, 03:33:13 PM »
L-Chaim,

As it seems to have escaped your attention, I asked in your actual debate thread whether your debate was defunct since you were posting liberally here, but not there.  It would be courteous to let me know.  If you are not going to return to that thread, just say so.  Thanks. 
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2011, 04:29:20 PM »
Well my argument is that Christian Theism has the best explanation for morality,

I can cite you several facts that debunk this notion. 

1.  Every single person in the world has different beliefs when it comes from right and wrong. You will not find 2 people who agree in every single instance.  Not even among the Christians themselves.   
2.  Within cultures, people tend to have very similar beliefs about right and wrong, but across cultures, those beliefs vary widely.
3.  Morality changes over time, even within the lifespan of the individual.  Example: it used to be morally acceptable to burn people at the stake for heresy or witchcraft.  It is no longer morally acceptable. 
4.  There is no evidence that God exists. 

Now, given these facts, do you really think the notion of Christian theism is a theory that offers a better explanation of morality over a natural version which says our moral compass is set by evolution, culture and experience? Go over each of those points I listed and ask yourself which is a better theory that explains how morality works.  God or nature... It's nature by a landslide.     

this explanation is based on the moral law giver who in Himself is perfectly Good, we can discuss the merits of this claim later, once i make my point as clear as i can, This moral law giver is eternal and transcendent so the standards of Good are set in Him and by Him as He is good, so the standard of good is not IN the person it is outside the person.

Rubbish until you prove it. 

prove it you might say ?

Yes, I might.

Well i'm convinced everyone who is mentally fit and morally healthy will accept the fact that to rape and kill a child is wrong and it is wrong the world over and is not subject to personal interpretation...it is simply wrong and anyone who does commit such and act should be punished in the most severe way ? does your blood not boil when you hear of such things ? do you not want justice for the offended person ? 

It's always the same with arguments like this.  You Christians cite the most terrible, awful possible examples of morality and ask us how we can say it is not objectively wrong to rape or kill an innocent child.  You make it seem like its allllll black and white, but it's simply not.  Just about all moral decisions have shades of gray, including raping an innocent child.  What if a man strapped a bomb to himself and ran into a crowded football stadium and told you to rape a child or he would kill everyone in the building?  Is raping a child THEN wrong?  Of course raping and killing a child is almost always wrong, but not in the way you think it is.  It is wrong for you, and it is wrong for me, because that is how we each perceive the act.  And if you ask large swaths of people all over the world, the vast, vast majority of them would agree.  That, however, does not mean it is universally wrong.  It just means there is a lot of agreement on it.  You make it seem like we are one giant organism linked at the hip, but we aren't.  We have individual minds with individual interpretations of everything that happens. 

As i say this is not a direct proof beyond a shadow of a doubt but i think from the reasons given  it is the best explanation of why there are objective moral values.

Your being convinced of something isn't even the beginnings of proof.  And given the points I cited, a Christian origin of morality seems the least likely scenario of the 2.

On atheism there is no clear grounding or explaination for the objectiveness of the moral values, perhaps you would like to give a theory ? this is just an exchange of ideas as i say and i think the Theistic argument is coherent.

Glad you asked. See above.  The theistic argument may be coherent to you, but it does not fit with the facts as presented to us by the world we see.  If you could prove the Christian God exists, prove that it is responsible for morality, explain why everyone feels differently about moral issues (though you posit it came from a singular source), explain why there are vast cultural differences (think about the Aztecs who did human sacrifice all the way up to Christians who think it's cool to chop off a piece of baby penis).  I believe the natural theory explains all of those details in a vastly superior way. 

Do you really think it's objectively good to chop off a baby boy's foreskin?  Seriously?  Because it's morally repugnant to me. 

I ask you to find holes in that position.  I have pointed out several ways in which your theory is a poor explanation of the facts.  Please do the same for mine, or accept that yours is a poorer theory.     

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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2011, 04:43:59 PM »
<snip>
Lots of stuff here, but it seems like my response would be the same thing over and over again, so let me make it once.

You say:
What [Gnu would] be saying is, "I hold God's actions to be wrong, and so do you".  In a discussion between the two of them, what more do they need?

Look carefully at the sentence "I hold God's action to be wrong."  The position being held by our hypothetical Gnu is that God's actions are wrong.  Not that he (Gnu) doesn't like them, not that Gnu would prefer He did something else, not that Gnu finds them distasteful, unpleasant, or repulsive (although I'm sure he does.)  Rather it's that those actions are wrong.  Gnu is making the accusation that God ought not have done what He did..  Gnu is silently presupposing some moral standard that over arches him and God[1], presupposing further that said moral standard includes the precept "Thou shalt not take innocent life," and then accusing God of violating this precept.

If the moral standard was only Gnu's, how could he judge God by it?  Why in the world ought God feel burdened to follow Gnu's own personal moral framework?  Really, anybody's actions (including God's) are perfectly justified, so long as they follow their own personal morality[2].  I'll grant that we may not like it when people do bad things, but statements "Person A ought not do thing B" really can't be uttered if there are no objective moral truths.
 1. existing in objective reality
 2. Even that statement is problematic.  It should go more like, "anybody's actions are perfectly justified, so long as they follow their own personal morality, or not, so long as hypocrisy is included as a a personally positive moral value.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #71 on: October 07, 2011, 05:47:18 PM »
L-Chaim:
Quote
Well my argument is that Christian Theism has the best explanation for morality,
As I said, you're free to choose that explanation if you want to. You'll find that Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus also think that murder is wrong. As do atheists. And your explanation for why murder is wrong is no better than ours. (And the fact that we all agree on this doesn't make it objective - it just means that we agree).

So when you claim that "Objective moral values exist and are self evident", you're really saying that "My moral system is the correct system". Others' mileage may vary. 

Quote
I'm simply mean in everyday life when some guy kills some random stranger for no reason...is this good/bad/neutral ?
As I mentioned to Azdgari, there's a difference between good/bad and right/wrong.

I'm happy to agree that killing random strangers for no reason is wrong, for the selfish and practical reason that I don't want to be killed by some stranger at random, so it suits me to have such behaviour criminalized. Luckily for me, most of my peers agree with my logic, and so random murder is illegal in the UK. 

Quote
Well this is moral relativism, so what stop me from making a "judgement" to kill you ?
Nothing at all. You're a free agent, do what you like. (I should warn you that I have a Black Belt in the ancient art of Bul-Shitzu, so you are unlikely to succeed in such an attempt, or even survive it).

Quote
what grounds do you have for making the claim that God is not good ? what standard are you using ?
Alzael and I were using the standard of the Bible. The Bible itself says that God created evil and does evil. Do you agree, or not?

You say that killing innocent babies is wrong; yet God, in the Flood, killed innocent babies. And at Jericho he ordered the killing of babies.

And killing people at random? God killed all the first-born in Egypt as part of his preparation for the Exodus. No good reason for it (in fact he set it up by hardening Pharaoh's heart). Why not the second-born? Or the left-handed? Or those with naturally curly hair?

I see no objective 'morality' there.

Just random acts of cruelty...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 06:04:52 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Azdgari

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2011, 05:58:06 PM »
You say:
What [Gnu would] be saying is, "I hold God's actions to be wrong, and so do you".  In a discussion between the two of them, what more do they need?

Look carefully at the sentence "I hold God's action to be wrong."  The position being held by our hypothetical Gnu is that God's actions are wrong.

That they are wrong objectively?  Hmm.  Does the Gnu in this thread agree to that?  I have my doubts about that.  If our hypothetical Gnu does, then why are we discussing that particular hypothetical quadraped, and not someone who actually claims to disagree with you and L-Chaim?

Not that he (Gnu) doesn't like them, not that Gnu would prefer He did something else, not that Gnu finds them distasteful, unpleasant, or repulsive (although I'm sure he does.)  Rather it's that those actions are wrong.

With respect to the two people in the conversation we're talking about, this is entirely accurate.

Gnu is making the accusation that God ought not have done what He did..

And is invoking his own moral authority to do so.  Just as you would, if you were to do so.  Except that he'd probably take responsibility for it openly.

Gnu is silently presupposing some moral standard that over arches him and God[1], presupposing further that said moral standard includes the precept "Thou shalt not take innocent life," and then accusing God of violating this precept.
 1. existing in objective reality

That's a lot of mind-reading.  Should we maybe ask the Gnu?  Or failing that, should we invent a hypothetical one who doesn't agree with you?  Though, I'm not sure what good a hypothetical Gnu is going to do us when you're trying to make a point about how people actually think, using the Gnu as a case study.

If the moral standard was only Gnu's, how could he judge God by it?

This question makes about as much sense to me as, "if the shovel was made of iron, then how could he dig in the dirt with it?"  It supposes a contradiction that is not evidently present.  If the moral standard was not Gnu's - i.e., if he did not adopt it and hold to it - then how could he judge God by it?  For that matter, whose moral standards do you use, when you judge your god to be good?  Take responsibility for it:  You necessarily judge that character by your own standards.  Because were they not yours, then they would not be available to you in order to genuinely judge by them.

Why in the world ought God feel burdened to follow Gnu's own personal moral framework?

Ought to feel that way to whom?  Clearly, you think Gnu ought not to judge him.  Gnu thinks otherwise.  But there's nothing any more consistent about you judging him to be good (which you do) than there is in Gnu judging him to be evil.  Why ought God feel constrained by your judgment of him as being Good?  What would he have to do for you to consider him not to be Good?

If the answer is "nothing", then you yourself have no morality.  You are Just Following Orderstm.  I doubt this is really the case.

Really, anybody's actions (including God's) are perfectly justified, so long as they follow their own personal morality.  (Even that statement is problematic.  It should go more like, "anybody's actions are perfectly justified, so long as they follow their own personal morality, or not, so long as hypocrisy is included as a a personally positive moral value.).
(Edited the footnote in normally so it'll look better in the quote.)

This isn't quite accurate, MIC.  Anyone's actions are perfectly justified to themselves, as long as they follow their own morality.  Do you disagree with that statement?  I can't see how you would object to its veracity.  It's practically tautologically true, no?

And regarding your comment about hypocrisy - hypocrisy just involves contradicting one's values.  It represents an incoherency in one's value-set, such that their state can change as is convenient.  Though, perhaps such behaviour only indicates that another, more selfish value is taking precedence over the others.  It still indicates incoherence, and as such, an absence of a genuine moral system to agree or disagree with.

I'll grant that we may not like it when people do bad things, but statements "Person A ought not do thing B" really can't be uttered if there are no objective moral truths.

Sure they can, with the understanding that "ought" is an assertion of the speaker's moral authority among those to whom (s)he is speaking.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2011, 06:18:37 PM »
Well this is moral relativism, so what stop me from making a "judgement" to kill you ?

The law? That's why we have them. To impose a certain limit on what we can and cannot do, so in order to maintain a stable and healthy society.

This is why laws are different depending on where you go. Because different places and cultures have difference ideas of what they want their society to be like. Hence, different restrictions.


what grounds do you have for making the claim that God is not good ? what standard are you using ?

Perhaps you should respond to my question as well. What do you define as good?

I've pointed out that your god creates evil. He admits to being jealous, capricious, and cruel. He commits acts of genocide several times. He tells his followers at times to commit rape, treats rape as a minor crime in all other instances and blames the victim more often than not. He kills for little to no reason. Hates many different people (in this instance I'll quote Greybeard from another thread if he does not mind)


God Hates
Hypocrites (Matthew 24:51), The Unforgiving (Mark 11:26), Homosexuals (Romans 1:26, 27), Fornicators (Romans 1:29), Those who do not seek Him (2 Chronicles 15:13), The Wicked (Romans 1:29), The Covetous (Romans 1:29), The Malicious (Romans 1:29), The Envious (Romans 1:29), Murderers (Romans 1:29), The Deceitful (Romans 1:29), Backbiters (Romans 1:30), Haters of God (Romans 1:30), The Despiteful (Romans 1:30), The Proud (Romans 1:30), Boasters (Romans 1:30), Inventors of evil (Romans 1:30), Disobedient to parents (Romans 1:30), Covenant breakers (Romans 1:31), The Unmerciful (Romans 1:31), The Implacable (Romans 1:31), The Unrighteous (1Corinthians 6:9), Idolaters (1Corinthians 6:9), Adulterers (1Corinthians 6:9), The Effeminate (1Corinthians 6:9), Thieves (1Corinthians 6:10), Drunkards (1Corinthians 6:10), Reviler (1Corinthians 6:10), Extortioners (1Corinthians 6:10), The Fearful (Revelation 21:8 ), The Unbelieving (Revelation 21:8 ), The Abominable (Revelation 21:8 ), Whoremongers (Revelation 21:8 ), Sorcerers (Revelation 21:8 ), All Liars (Revelation 21:8 )

So how is god good?

So far your argument essentially seems to be that god is good because he says that he is good. That's not a very solid basis.
 
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2011, 06:34:38 PM »
Azdgari/MathisCool,

I would love to join in your discussion about the hypothetical Gnu, the real Gnu, the Gnu-in-Itself, the Gnumenon, and the Gnu Man... but I can't follow what you're saying.

(But it's Friday night, England have qualified for Euro 2012, drink has been taken, and my grasp on simple semantics, and indeed reality, is becoming increasingly tenuous - sue me).

But do carry on, it's entertaining...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 08:18:40 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline MathIsCool

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #75 on: October 07, 2011, 07:33:05 PM »

Azdgari/MathisCool,

I would love to join in your discussion about the hypothetical Gnu, the real Gnu, the Gnu-in-Itself, the Gnumenon, the Gnu Man... but I can't follow what you're saying. (But it's Friday night, England have qualified for Euro 2012, drink has been taken, and my grasp on simple semantics, and indeed reality, is becoming increasingly tenuous - sue me).

But do carry on, it's entertaining...
Hahahahaha, very well then.  Azdgari, I'm not gonna respond to every point you made, but again, this is just to avoid repeating myself.  Sorry for any brevity - I'm in a bit of a hurry to type this up.

Look carefully at the sentence "I hold God's action to be wrong."  The position being held by our hypothetical Gnu is that God's actions are wrong.
That they are wrong objectively?  Hmm.  Does the Gnu in this thread agree to that?  I have my doubts about that.
I doubt he'd admit it - he's said before he considers himself a moral relativist.  But in that comment, he's acting like a moral realist.

Gnu is making the accusation that God ought not have done what He did..

And is invoking his own moral authority to do so.  Just as you would, if you were to do so.  Except that he'd probably take responsibility for it openly.
His own moral authority?  What authority?  His baseless preferences that correspond not a whit to the shared reality that we all live in?  That's not exactly authoritative.

I mean, c'mon.  Here Gnu is, positing a hypothetical Christian God, awesome and majestic, terrible wonder, the great I AM, author of all creation itself - and he's saying that his own moral intuitions vague preferences ought hold sway over that great and terrible God?  What's next, ought God enjoy a good strawberry jelly beans as well, according to the great and mighty taste preferences of Gnu?

No, Gnu isn't just saying "I like non-killing-innocents-so-I-think-God-ought-feel-the-same."  Gnu is saying in the reality that he and God inhabit, killing innocents is wrong, and he is holding God accountable for His crimes.

Gnu is silently presupposing some moral standard that over arches him and God[1], presupposing further that said moral standard includes the precept "Thou shalt not take innocent life," and then accusing God of violating this precept.
 1. existing in objective reality
That's a lot of mind-reading.  Should we maybe ask the Gnu?  Or failing that, should we invent a hypothetical one who doesn't agree with you?  Though, I'm not sure what good a hypothetical Gnu is going to do us when you're trying to make a point about how people actually think, using the Gnu as a case study.
Not mind reading, just reading.  Again, he implied God is wrong to do what he did, not that it conflicted with his personal moral tastes.  There's a world of difference there.

If the moral standard was only Gnu's, how could he judge God by it?
This question makes about as much sense to me as, "if the shovel was made of iron, then how could he dig in the dirt with it?"  It supposes a contradiction that is not evidently present.  If the moral standard was not Gnu's - i.e., if he did not adopt it and hold to it - then how could he judge God by it?  For that matter, whose moral standards do you use, when you judge your god to be good?  Take responsibility for it:  You necessarily judge that character by your own standards.  Because were they not yours, then they would not be available to you in order to genuinely judge by them.
Sure, if Gnu didn't share the standard, he couldn't judge by it.  Fair enough.
But you're supposing that Gnu's moral standard is his and his alone.  It is not a feature of reality, it's just a feature of how Gnu's neurons are arranged.  In judging God, Gnu is doing taking a moral yardstick and applying it to God's actions.  This makes zero sense in a moral relatavists framework - why would Gnu feel the need to do this?  It would be akin to a child worrying about failing the class - because the child next to her flunked the final.

But there's nothing any more consistent about you judging [God] to be good (which you do) than there is in Gnu judging him to be evil.  Why ought God feel constrained by your judgment of him as being Good?  What would he have to do for you to consider him not to be Good?
It's quite possible to recognize God as the ontological source of morality, and still come to know what is good before one comes to know God.  The Higgs boson is the (postulated) source of mass, but humanity understand the concept of mass far before the concept of Higgs bosons.
Also, God is the source of morality - imagining an evil God is to imagine dry water.  We both agree some things are wet, but I find myself in the bizarre situation of being the only one in this conversation who believes in water.

This isn't quite accurate, MIC.  Anyone's actions are perfectly justified to themselves, as long as they follow their own morality.  Do you disagree with that statement?  I can't see how you would object to its veracity.  It's practically tautologically true, no?
Sure, I agree.  But you're sidestepping the question.
My question to you is, is there a fundamental difference between your actions and Pol Pots?[2]  Are your actions are any more justifiable according to dispassionate reality than Pol Pots, regardless of what you or he think about them?  Both sets of actions were perfectly justified according to their own internal moral framework.

I'll grant that we may not like it when people do bad things, but statements "Person A ought not do thing B" really can't be uttered if there are no objective moral truths.
Sure they can, with the understanding that "ought" is an assertion of the speaker's moral authority among those to whom (s)he is speaking.
 2. Almost used the guy who was in charge of the Nazi's, but Godwin's law and all that...
There's that moral authority again.  Exactly what moral authority do you feel you have?  Do you feel others ought dislike murder because you do?  If so, do you feel others ought disklike sardines because you do?  If morals are subjective, what's the difference between the two?

Azdgari, let's say I'm a hypothetical person who enjoys torturing homeless people, the wretched louts, because they're contributing to the downfall to the American dream.  Dirty bums.
You, I assume, feel somewhat more compassionately toward the homeless.

Clearly, we have different moral frameworks.  My question to you is, is one set better than the other?

Thanks for the discussion, gonna be away from the computer for the weekend.

-MiC
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

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Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2011, 04:12:02 AM »
L-Chaim,

As it seems to have escaped your attention, I asked in your actual debate thread whether your debate was defunct since you were posting liberally here, but not there.  It would be courteous to let me know.  If you are not going to return to that thread, just say so.  Thanks. 


Sorry, i'll post in the actual debate one more time and try a different proposition.

Offline Alzael

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #77 on: October 08, 2011, 11:22:48 AM »
L-Chaim, I have to ask, do you actually know what "objective" means?
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Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #78 on: October 08, 2011, 12:48:00 PM »
L-Chaim, I have to ask, do you actually know what "objective" means?

I define it in the debate post #6. Now i have to ask you...can you read ?

Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2011, 12:51:17 PM »
Why the condescending comment ?  :o

Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2011, 01:00:04 PM »
Nothing at all. You're a free agent, do what you like. (I should warn you that I have a Black Belt in the ancient art of Bul-Shitzu, so you are unlikely to succeed in such an attempt, or even survive it).

lol quality, i'm form the east end of Glasgow i eat English people for breakfast sunshine, it's objectively wrong but i've watched braveheart too many times.


Offline Alzael

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #81 on: October 08, 2011, 01:47:08 PM »
Why the condescending comment ?  :o

It wasn't a condescending comment, yours was. It was asked because your arguments so clearly did not work with that definition that I found it hard to believe you actually comprehended it, and found it much more likely that you were simply repeating the definition from a place that you had found it from. So I asked to be certain.

Now if you want to continue being an obnoxious little prick, we can do that as well.

You still have failed to justify how your god can be considered good in anyway shape of form. There were numerous examples in this thread pointed out to you that directly show your god to be evil. Do you have an actual justification for your position? Or is another string of pathetically bad arguments all that you have to work with?

As an aside, just to help you out with your debate since you clearly need it, if morality were objective as you say it is then you should not have to make base assertions like you do. You should have verifiable proof that such a thing is true. Saying "X is wrong because people have said it's wrong throughout history/culture/etc" is not that. It is merely evidence that people have held those views consistently throughout time. It does not help your case if you cannot actually prove the assertion. So if your beliefs are true why can't you? Why is evidence so hard for you to provide, both on this thread and in the debate. (Yes, we all know why, but I wonder if you do?)

Can you actually prove the claim?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 01:53:27 PM by Alzael »
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Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #82 on: October 08, 2011, 02:27:30 PM »
It wasn't a condescending comment, yours was.


Now if you want to continue being an obnoxious little prick, we can do that as well.

..........

As an aside, just to help you out with your debate since you clearly need it, if morality were objective as you say it is then you should not have to make base assertions like you do. You should have verifiable proof

Ok help me out then and tell me exactly what will qualify as verifiable proof when it comes to proving moral value ? How does one prove to somebody that raping and killing a child is always wrong no matter what the zeitgeist is. what exactly are you looking for empirical evidence ? if you dont have the moral fortitude or rational capabilities to recognize this act as wrong bjectivly...then what exactly can i say to you ?






Offline jetson

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #83 on: October 08, 2011, 02:50:10 PM »

Ok help me out then and tell me exactly what will qualify as verifiable proof when it comes to proving moral value ? How does one prove to somebody that raping and killing a child is always wrong no matter what the zeitgeist is. what exactly are you looking for empirical evidence ? if you dont have the moral fortitude or rational capabilities to recognize this act as wrong bjectivly...then what exactly can i say to you ?

Well, doesn't it make sense that objectivity should leave no wiggle room?  And if so, why is there wiggle room?  You cannot call something objectively wrong unless everyone agrees that something is objectively wrong.  Can you prove that everyone agrees that something is objectively wrong? 

Your incredulity towards any opinion that does not match yours is the problem.

Offline L-Chaim

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #84 on: October 08, 2011, 02:58:05 PM »
Well, doesn't it make sense that objectivity should leave no wiggle room?  And if so, why is there wiggle room?  You cannot call something objectively wrong unless everyone agrees that something is objectively wrong.  Can you prove that everyone agrees that something is objectively wrong? 

Your incredulity towards any opinion that does not match yours is the problem.

Objective means something isn't based on opinion so consensus of opinion plays no part if it's objective, so there can be an objective moral value without consensus of the all people. It's the act in itself thats wrong.

This is why i'm "incredulous" because i'm actually talking to people who think the rape and murder of children is subject to personal opinion, not an objective rule wich says it ALWAYS wrong. Please someone say it aint so !

Offline Alzael

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #85 on: October 08, 2011, 03:03:25 PM »
Ok help me out then and tell me exactly what will qualify as verifiable proof when it comes to proving moral value ? How does one prove to somebody that raping and killing a child is always wrong no matter what the zeitgeist is. what exactly are you looking for empirical evidence ?

It's your claim. You should have the evidence to back it up. You need to show that it is objectively true. Just saying that it is (which is all that oyu have done is not evidence). If you need to ask me what the evidence is, then obviously you don't have it, don't you. So the claim has no value and needs to be retracted.

As for how to do that, you have to show that any person capable of morality and reason would naturally come to the same conclusion, no matter the conditions of their upbringing or culture. And no, before you try it you can't say that it is a natural conclusion for any moral person like you attempt to below. That argument is circular and has no basis.


 if you dont have the moral fortitude or rational capabilities to recognize this act as wrong bjectivly...then what exactly can i say to you ?

Again, this statement (aside from being an insult) is just a claim from you that everyone should reach the same moral conclusions. What you need to do is provide evidence for why everyone should naturally reach the same moral conclusions. As opposed to just trying to claim that everyone who doesn't share your values is immoral or irrational (that is called an Ad Hominem, by the way).

Child raping is not objectively wrong unless you can actually show why it is objectively wrong.

If all you have are fallacy and assertions then you have nothing, and claiming objectivity is a lie on your part.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: curiousgirl and L-Chaim: The discussion thread
« Reply #86 on: October 08, 2011, 03:10:07 PM »
Oh yes, you would also have to explain why other people come to different moral conclusions all the time.
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

"Dying for something when you know you'll be resurrected is not a sacrifice.It's a parlour trick."- an aquaintance

Philip of Macedon: (via messenger) If we enter Sparta, we will raze all your buildings and ravage all your women.
Spartan Reply: If.