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Dead Zone => The Bottomless Pit => Topic started by: Woland on July 20, 2010, 07:49:46 PM

Title: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on July 20, 2010, 07:49:46 PM
Dear Christians,

Do the attitudes summarized below seem familiar to you?

I'm just curious if you're all conscious that this is what many of us non-religionists observe of your way of thinking.

"Killing people (including children) and genocide are immoral deeds, except when ordered or done by my God."
"Nothing comes from nothing, and nothing can be eternal, except my God."
"I think it's immoral for someone else to be held accountable for my transgressions, except when the situation involves my God."
"I think slavery is wrong, except when it is condoned by my God."
"I think it's wrong to torture anyone, except it's perfectly fine for my God to torture scores of people eternally without any chance of redemption." (Note: does not apply to the Christians who have the decency to arbitrarily disregard the verses about damnation)
"I think it's wrong to punish people for the sins of their parents/relatives/ancestors, except when the situation involves my God."

I could go on, but this should suffice.

Does any of you deny that the examples above are representative of his/her attitude?

If so, please explain yourselves.

Woland
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 21, 2010, 02:50:12 AM
*chirp*
*chirp*
*chirp*
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on July 21, 2010, 10:30:53 AM
*tumbleweed blows by*
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JL on July 21, 2010, 11:01:31 AM
Bump !

C'mon xtians, do you agree or not agree to OP's statements?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: plethora on July 21, 2010, 11:03:30 AM
bm'ed
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: wheels5894 on July 21, 2010, 11:41:00 AM
I think this is going to be dead and not get much by way of replies. It is better as a 'no comment' as lawyers would say.,
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on July 23, 2010, 08:51:54 AM
As expected, Christians are enjoying their right to remain silent and deluded.

Woland
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jynnan tonnix on July 23, 2010, 08:54:24 AM
well, the site has been down for a while...maybe someone will still tackle it.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: kindred on July 23, 2010, 09:39:54 AM
BMed. Hope someone replies to this(with honesty and goes I don't know why though).
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on July 26, 2010, 10:57:02 PM
Dear Christians,

Do the attitudes summarized below seem familiar to you?

I'm just curious if you're all conscious that this is what many of us non-religionists observe of your way of thinking.

"Killing people (including children) and genocide are immoral deeds, except when ordered or done by my God."
"Nothing comes from nothing, and nothing can be eternal, except my God."
"I think it's immoral for someone else to be held accountable for my transgressions, except when the situation involves my God."
"I think slavery is wrong, except when it is condoned by my God."
"I think it's wrong to torture anyone, except it's perfectly fine for my God to torture scores of people eternally without any chance of redemption." (Note: does not apply to the Christians who have the decency to arbitrarily disregard the verses about damnation)
"I think it's wrong to punish people for the sins of their parents/relatives/ancestors, except when the situation involves my God."

I could go on, but this should suffice.

Does any of you deny that the examples above are representative of his/her attitude?

If so, please explain yourselves.

Woland

I've got 18 years of hard fundy indoctrination under my belt. Here's how a Christian might reply:


The people killed by God in the Bible were punished for their sins. No one is truely innocent in God's eyes.
Any young children that were kills would just have gone to heaven, so it's acceptable.

God is the very thing that allows the universe to exist. There can be nothing without him. Even science proves the universe has a beginning, therefore, my God must exist.

Again, God is the perfect judge of morality. It's his holy law that we live under.

They choose to live without God, so by sending them to hell, he is giving them what they deserve. Plus, hell exists for the same reason that prisons exist here. People are wicked in the sight of God and must be punished.

The sins of the parents can be transfered down the family line. God is the judge of who must bear the punishment.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 27, 2010, 02:18:18 AM
There's a short story by Lem in which a missionary to an extremely altruistic alien species keeps rambling on about martyrs and how becoming one is the greatest achievement in this life. They're converted and start skinning him alive on the spot. Basically, they're sacrificing eternal life in heaven to help him achieve his.

So yes, why wouldn't it be okay to kill people (at least those who're heaven-bound)? Why wouldn't any christian want someone else to die immediately if they're in a "state of grace" in order to preclude the possibility they fall away from it and wind up in hell?
Sure, there's a rule against killing even heaven-bound people. But it's again okay to do if you're god and not if you're people.



Thatguy merely rephrased and/or recontextualized the special pleading Woland illustrated. (With full knowledge too, I'd wager ;) Good thing the first sentence was bolded.)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Divon on July 27, 2010, 06:19:52 AM
If I were a christian, I would simply answer your question about God killing people by the thousands; "It is not for us to question how God gets his kicks". :D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 27, 2010, 08:18:36 AM
Which is also special pleading ;)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: kin hell on July 27, 2010, 10:09:44 AM
Great OP Woland

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: voodoo child on July 27, 2010, 10:26:40 AM
Christians cannot admit their own shortcomings why would they admit their god has any?
Bait set.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on July 28, 2010, 06:42:21 AM
Bump. I can't wai .... oh ... hey

Woland I agree with your assessment. When my God slays you it's good, when your's does it it's bad. But you commit intellectual suicide (you see, God didn't even need to kill you) by making a caricature of a moral philosophy whereas a Christian does expend a lot of energy understanding God in the bible and our relationship to God and each other.

At the end of the day we can discuss the examples you wish to cite from the Bible and we can discuss hypothetical moral dilemmas where good people do bad things and I think we can understand why God does bad things at times and why God chooses to work within the reality that is created rather than just fix things from those examples.

As for your retort, 'what about islam', trust me I can hear you thinking it. There are many other reasons to doubt Islam that one can be assured that Allah does not exist as God.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Sashka on July 28, 2010, 06:48:18 AM
^...And?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Sashka on July 28, 2010, 06:51:16 AM
Bait set.   

(http://www.dahmus.org/blogimg/fry-see-what-you-did-there.jpg)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on July 28, 2010, 11:00:19 AM
Hello Wootah

At the end of the day we can discuss the examples you wish to cite from the Bible and we can discuss hypothetical moral dilemmas where good people do bad things and I think we can understand why God does bad things at times and why God chooses to work within the reality that is created rather than just fix things from those examples.

1. You said repeatedly that there was no such thing as a good person.
2. You just said that your omnigood God does bad things.
3. An omnipotent being has no need to compromise and do "bad things" in any circumstance.
4. God doesn't work with the reality that is created - he created the reality and has full dominion over it.

In other words, pure sophistry and nonsense.

Anything else?

As for your retort, 'what about islam', trust me I can hear you thinking it. There are many other reasons to doubt Islam that one can be assured that Allah does not exist as God.

And yet the Muslims mindlessly believe, just as the Christians do, that their own favorite nonsensical barbaric backwards violent (and loving and merciful, let us not forget) deity in the sky exists.
Muslims point out valid flaws in Christian belief, Christians point out valid flaws in Islamic belief, but none of them realize that they're all deluded and limited by their own very small boxes.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 28, 2010, 11:12:33 AM
As for your retort, 'what about islam', trust me I can hear you thinking it. There are many other reasons to doubt Islam that one can be assured that Allah does not exist as God.
What about the seven thousand (figures may be pulled out of my ass) other religions and gods?

Quote
When my God slays you it's good, when your's does it it's bad. But you commit intellectual suicide (you see, God didn't even need to kill you) by making a caricature of a moral philosophy whereas a Christian does expend a lot of energy understanding God in the bible and our relationship to God and each other.
I note that you in no way explain how it's a caricature and/or how trying to understand a specific god is an undertaking that needs to be taken seriously. "While you merely mock the gods of the pantheon, I've taken a great effort to understand them." Relevance?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on July 28, 2010, 11:22:02 PM
Relevance?

Remember, he's a Christian. Don't expect him to make sense. He's delusional.

Quote from: Wootah
There are many other reasons to doubt Islam that one can be assured that Allah does not exist as God.

Yes, there are many reasons to doubt Islam, and one can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that Islam is false. But the same applied to Christianity.
Now, since you made the claim that Islam is surely false, please show why you say this?

After you do this, I'll change the arguement slightly to disprove Christianity as well.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 29, 2010, 12:37:29 AM
After you do this, I'll change the arguement slightly to disprove Christianity as well.
I must admit, I would be much more eager to hear an asessment of the OP. Woland may have been satirical and/or simplistic in his intent, or he may not have been. His point, however, has not yet been adressed.
If the first post is indeed a caricature, then Wootah has correctly identified a rhetorical figure, nothing more.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on July 29, 2010, 02:10:32 PM

After you do this, I'll change the arguement slightly to disprove Christianity as well.
I must admit, I would be much more eager to hear an asessment of the OP. Woland may have been satirical and/or simplistic in his intent, or he may not have been. His point, however, has not yet been adressed.
If the first post is indeed a caricature, then Wootah has correctly identified a rhetorical figure, nothing more.

It wasn't at all a caricature, as you can see by the fact that Wootah has not denied any of the example attitudes that I wrote down. Scores of Christians think just as he does.

"Whatever my God can or could be said to have done, it's the definition of perfect morality. Therefore, all sorts of despicable deeds are alright in any context where my God or his commands are involved."

This is one of the thing that disgusts me the most about religions. Religionists overwhelmingly refuse, when confronted by obvious evil deeds of their barbaric deities (who also happen to have been made up by ignorant barbaric men), to condemn these. What's more, religionists each have a threshold of evil they are ready to accept from their deity. This seems to depend more on their upbringing (YEC vs. Universalist, etc.). After this point, they will use symbolics etc. excuses - pure denial.

To illustrate this better, imagine that you find a Christian who, like most Christians, is astoundingly ignorant of the scriptures he proclaims to come from God. He, like most Christians, has never read even a significant fraction of the Bible. You ask him to unconditionally condemn killing or seriously injuring babies.

He does so.

Then you show him a passage where God genocides innumerable babies (like the flood, for example) who have never and who could never have done anything wrong.

Guess what happens. Instead of letting go of his delusion and saying that the deed is unacceptable, the Christian will either enter denial mode (symbolism! metaphor! didn't happen! wasn't God!), or, as is the case with Wootah who is a literalist, they will straight up defend the atrocity without even blinking (the babies deserved it!). Many Christians will make space for evil in their morality if they learn that their God is evil, instead of recognizing that such a God would never be worthy of worship, and is obviously man-made.

Woland
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 29, 2010, 05:42:44 PM
I am aware of all of that (you don't have to be here long to see it play out); my point was that utterly regardless of what your OP was or wasn't intended to be, Wootah didn't adress it. He merely called it a caricature.

Woland: "Theists use special pleading."
Wootah: "That's not accurate."
The end?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on July 31, 2010, 05:02:36 AM
Yes, there are many reasons to doubt Islam, and one can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that Islam is false. But the same applied to Christianity.
Now, since you made the claim that Islam is surely false, please show why you say this?
The essence of the proof that Islam is false is that Mohammad's behavior in any other context would be seen for what it is - just a tyrant. If you look at his life in a calm rational fashion not just the immorality but the blatant narcissism is evident. (As a simple example we need look no further than his desire for his cousin's wife and the next day Allah telling him that he approves.) It is akin to picking your favorite historical figure: julius ceasar, napoleon, alexander the great, etc and realizing that a tribal group has elevated and continues to elevate a historical figure.  The tragedy in a modern context is the unfortunate position of a billion people that cannot disconnect God and Mohammad. In reality to that last statement it is my guess that the vast majority are unable to leave Islam due to the abnormal level of control in their lives.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on July 31, 2010, 05:03:31 AM
I am aware of all of that (you don't have to be here long to see it play out); my point was that utterly regardless of what your OP was or wasn't intended to be, Wootah didn't adress it. He merely called it a caricature.

Woland: "Theists use special pleading."
Wootah: "That's not accurate."
The end?

Well said. I suspect that's why there isn't much traction in this direction of inquiry.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 31, 2010, 05:31:47 AM
The essence of the proof that Islam is false is that Mohammad's behavior in any other context would be seen for what it is - just a tyrant. If you look at his life in a calm rational fashion not just the immorality but the blatant narcissism is evident. (As a simple example we need look no further than his desire for his cousin's wife and the next day Allah telling him that he approves.)
As opposed to biblical leaders commiting genocide in the name of god throughout the OT? Blood sacrifices? Mose's mass murder of his own people?
Also, how does being morally repulsive make any religious leader wrong?

Well said. I suspect that's why there isn't much traction in this direction of inquiry.
I don't seem to have made myself clear enough. I agree with Woland that special pleading can be observed in abundance when disecting theists' arguments. He has provided examples that we're all familiar with, and he and I both could easily direct you towards many instances of special pleading on this forum alone.
I would like to see you dispute his premises in a more detailed way than merely claiming them a misrepresentation and leaving it at that. Unless you (or someone) challenges them in a way that can be meaningfully responded to, there will indeed be no traction.

//edit: Finally fixed the damn quotes.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on July 31, 2010, 06:48:34 AM
The essence of the proof that Islam is false is that Mohammad's behavior in any other context would be seen for what it is - just a tyrant. If you look at his life in a calm rational fashion not just the immorality but the blatant narcissism is evident. (As a simple example we need look no further than his desire for his cousin's wife and the next day Allah telling him that he approves.)
As opposed to biblical leaders commiting genocide in the name of god throughout the OT? Blood sacrifices? Mose's mass murder of his own people?
Also, how does being morally repulsive make any religious leader wrong?

Any person in the Bible, other than Jesus, is just another fallible human being. It's more the fact that his motives are so transparent.
- when he had no power the Jews and Christians were his 'buddies', when he had power they were enemies
- when he wanted something Allah would come in a vision and grant it
- the list goes on
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on July 31, 2010, 07:10:02 AM
Any person in the Bible, other than Jesus, is just another fallible human being. It's more the fact that his motives are so transparent.
- when he had no power the Jews and Christians were his 'buddies', when he had power they were enemies
- when he wanted something Allah would come in a vision and grant it
- the list goes on
As opposed to the scores of political and economical decisions in the bible? Like, it's the most mundane thing in the world to kill someone and take their land and ressources. Quite a huge part of the bible is about reglementing how people live together, which is what any law does.

And again, the motives, their transparance, and his fallibility do not mean Mohammed wasn't a prophet unless they don't jive with an already existing god concept. I'm sure that the frequent visitations of Mo would in fact be used as an argument for his closer connection to god by muslims.
There are scores of fictitious gods who are mischievous, imperfect, and/or downright evil. Discarding them as nonexistent because that's not what you think gods are like is a fallacy.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on August 01, 2010, 12:09:28 PM
Any person in the Bible, other than Jesus, is just another fallible human being.

Even God? 

We're all able to play "pretend that if there was a God he would choose violent barbarians to be prophets and represent him", but what your reply fails to address is the massive prevalence of BibleGod-approved evil throughout the Bible.

There are countless examples of this - asking Abraham to sacrifice his own son is a clear-cut, undeniable example of the insanity of the BibleGod concept.

The best you can reply to this is "God can do what he wants even if only to prove a point, it's his creation". How merciful, how loving, and also how reminiscent of the attitude of a mafia boss and of his despicable underlings.

Yes, I know the significance of this eludes you.

Woland
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 01, 2010, 06:37:52 PM
Any person in the Bible, other than Jesus, is just another fallible human being.

Even God? 

We're all able to play "pretend that if there was a God he would choose violent barbarians to be prophets and represent him", but what your reply fails to address is the massive prevalence of BibleGod-approved evil throughout the Bible.

There are countless examples of this - asking Abraham to sacrifice his own son is a clear-cut, undeniable example of the insanity of the BibleGod concept.

The best you can reply to this is "God can do what he wants even if only to prove a point, it's his creation". How merciful, how loving, and also how reminiscent of the attitude of a mafia boss and of his despicable underlings.

Yes, I know the significance of this eludes you.

Woland
Oh come now Woland - did Abraham have to kill his son? It's denial of a very clear and long established reason for that action that has you claim it signifies: There are countless examples of this - asking Abraham to sacrifice his own son is a clear-cut, undeniable example of the insanity of the BibleGod concept.

Overall that is all you have - a different interpretation to long established interpretations. My point is that I do agree with your views that Christians have to accept the interpretation we have been given but I find it to be a damn good explanation of events that do reconcile a good loving God with the nature of reality.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on August 02, 2010, 01:09:46 AM
I find it to be a damn good explanation of events that do reconcile a good loving God with the nature of reality.

It's hard to imagine being that fucking stupid.


THINK Man! Just look at this well known bit from a Bible story.
Pharoh doesn't listen to Moses (Because God harded his heart.) So God kills every first born Egyptian child.

Dude. Your religion is a lie. This forum links to two websites listing dozens of reasons why that is so. Make the most of this one life you have. Try to understand reality.

Enough with your bullshit.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on August 02, 2010, 04:21:29 AM
Overall that is all you have - a different interpretation to long established interpretations. My point is that I do agree with your views that Christians have to accept the interpretation we have been given but I find it to be a damn good explanation of events that do reconcile a good loving God with the nature of reality.
I wonder why after two thousand years of attempts at reconciliation, there are still gaping discrepancies even in just the christian denominations.

Jepthah's daughter wasn't as lucky as Isaac, was she? There's only so much interpretation you can derive from the source material before departing from it.
Also, the Midianites. If god is loving, his love seems pretty exclusive to a bunch of middle Eastern tribe throughout the OT.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 02, 2010, 04:54:32 AM
Overall that is all you have - a different interpretation to long established interpretations. My point is that I do agree with your views that Christians have to accept the interpretation we have been given but I find it to be a damn good explanation of events that do reconcile a good loving God with the nature of reality.
I wonder why after two thousand years of attempts at reconciliation, there are still gaping discrepancies even in just the christian denominations.

Jepthah's daughter wasn't as lucky as Isaac, was she? There's only so much interpretation you can derive from the source material before departing from it.
Also, the Midianites. If god is loving, his love seems pretty exclusive to a bunch of middle Eastern tribe throughout the OT.

Jepthahs' daughter is a lesson for us all in rash promises and the time in question was pretty dark.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jephthah
http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fem02c.html

The Midianites went down. You should be happy God does that to evil and wish he did it more often!  http://www.christian-thinktank.com/midian.html

There are good solid answers to nearly everything.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 02, 2010, 04:56:51 AM
I find it to be a damn good explanation of events that do reconcile a good loving God with the nature of reality.

It's hard to imagine being that fucking stupid.


THINK Man! Just look at this well known bit from a Bible story.
Pharoh doesn't listen to Moses (Because God harded his heart.) So God kills every first born Egyptian child.

Dude. Your religion is a lie. This forum links to two websites listing dozens of reasons why that is so. Make the most of this one life you have. Try to understand reality.


That is one of the few times God denies someone their free will. I think.

Quote
Enough with your bullshit.
You don't have to read these threads you know. I wasn't evening going to post except for the scoffing by several posters and Woland and me are 'internet buds'.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Sashka on August 02, 2010, 05:45:32 AM
Enough with your bullshit.

Can I steal this?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on August 02, 2010, 06:13:43 AM
The Midianites went down. You should be happy God does that to evil and wish he did it more often!
Yeah, I'm certain they were all rotten to the core. Just like all the babies in the flood. Pardon me if I disagree with you and god that killing everybody in sight except for the sexy virgins is in no way distinguishable from any evil the Midianites might have been guilty of.
There is no such thing as a community of evil anywhere except the bible (and other religious texts as well as propaganda). Am I just supposed to think they were all rotten and evil and deserved to die because the bible says so? (Never even mind that I may not agree with god on the whole death penalty issue.) What about taking away the possibility of repentance? What about the virgins, were they not evil and worthy of the same annihilation?


That's without going into questioning god's judgment in not finding a more humane solution, have the Midianites be the target of a conversion campaign, or the question of why he doesn't do it anymore.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dkit on August 02, 2010, 07:08:31 AM

That is one of the few times God denies someone their free will. I think.
Every time YHWH interferes with human activities, he's denying free will.  Adam and Eve, Isaac, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Pharaoh, Jephthah's daughter, Job's family, Onan, those who died in the flood, etc[1].  In these instances, he is directly affecting free will by punishing people for their choices or taking someone's choice away. 
 1. I'm sure there are dozens more examples, not including the NT
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on August 02, 2010, 09:06:02 AM
Oh come now Woland - did Abraham have to kill his son?

Sigh.

Did a a supposedly omnipotent being who created everything and who has dominion over everything and who is supposed to be the pinnacle of morality ask him to do so, or not?

What's your defense? "He didn't actually kill him so it's all good, no harm done"?

I realize that this is the best you can do, but honestly it's on the moral and ethical level of a 6 year old.

Overall that is all you have - a different interpretation to long established interpretations. My point is that I do agree with your views that Christians have to accept the interpretation we have been given but I find it to be a damn good explanation of events that do reconcile a good loving God with the nature of reality.

Go ahead Wootah, explain to me what could possibly make it alright for an omnieverything being to cruelly play with humans the way that he did.

I'm sure your story will reek of supreme morality.

Woland
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 09:26:01 AM
Quote
The Midianites went down. You should be happy God does that to evil and wish he did it more often!  http://www.christian-thinktank.com/midian.html

And you wonder why no one here is convinced.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Mims on August 02, 2010, 09:51:06 AM
Alright, newbie kicking in (was just surfing the web and found this site, which I find amazingly interesting)
Be gentle.

I am a Christian. But I ... am always open minded.

The first thing I want to throw at the faces of the many who do not believe in an eternal being, a God, an Allah, whatever you want to call it: If you're going to be an atheist, do it right. Because if you do not believe in a God, and everything "just is," then a lot of things that were thought to exist actually don't. I mean morals.

If you're going to play atheist, then don't bring up any support of immoral acts or any other crap about what is "good" or what is "bad," because simply put, IF there is no God, if there is no eternal law/punishment/the-rest-of-it, then there is no GOOD or BAD, everything JUST IS. Good or bad is just an as imaginary as a God, (if you are atheist) and there is no right and wrong, everything is just in the heads of humans, everything just is.

I have been taught (and potentially conditioned myself) into understanding I am not the judge. IF there is a God, which is what i believe in, he is the one to judge yaddy-yaddy-yeah he'll do that on judgement day and the rest of it... I am not the judge. I do not say somethings are right and somethings are wrong. I mean, what if everything in this world was misinterpreted? What if i misinterpret what God refers to as right as being wrong (IF God is a living being) or vice versa. I don't have perfect insight (which would be called God's judgement, his insight i suppose, which would be perfect... ), but i know i believe that morals exist --> God exists.

Criticisms? Comments? (will only be on for a few more minutes)

i actually just want to post 3 replies already so i can start a new post ...  ugh.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 02, 2010, 10:22:05 AM
The first thing I want to throw at the faces of the many who do not believe in an eternal being, a God, an Allah, whatever you want to call it: If you're going to be an atheist, do it right. Because if you do not believe in a God, and everything "just is," then a lot of things that were thought to exist actually don't. I mean morals.

If you're going to play atheist, then don't bring up any support of immoral acts or any other crap about what is "good" or what is "bad," because simply put, IF there is no God, if there is no eternal law/punishment/the-rest-of-it, then there is no GOOD or BAD, everything JUST IS. Good or bad is just an as imaginary as a God, (if you are atheist) and there is no right and wrong, everything is just in the heads of humans, everything just is.

This is just False Dilemma nonsense.  There is no god to tell us what is good and bad; humans do that.  Humans have always decided for themselves what is good or bad, often claiming that a god figure told them what is good and bad.   And almost as often, have changed their minds what IS good or bad(slavery, anyone?)

It's also very strange how the oh-so good christians are always "suggusting" to the godless atheists that they throw away their sense of morality.  Really, what's up with that?  Doesn't sound very christian to suggust to someone that they throw away their morality.



Quote
but i know i believe that morals exist --> God exists

Empathizing the keyword here.  You BELIEVE god exists; not "there is verifiable evidence for god's existence."
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 10:34:48 AM
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If you're going to play atheist, then don't bring up any support of immoral acts or any other crap about what is "good" or what is "bad," because simply put, IF there is no God, if there is no eternal law/punishment/the-rest-of-it, then there is no GOOD or BAD, everything JUST IS. Good or bad is just an as imaginary as a God, (if you are atheist) and there is no right and wrong, everything is just in the heads of humans, everything just is. 

If you think your morals are worthless because they come from yourself, then it really is no wonder why you believe in what you do.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 02, 2010, 10:40:15 AM
Alright, newbie kicking in
Welcome

Be gentle.

Fat chance

I am a Christian. But I ... am always open minded.

BAAAAAHAHAHAHAhahaha! heh heh.  Hee. Good one.  I almost peed my pants.

Of course you are.  Everyone is.  Even the most outrageously narrow minded people still claim to be open minded.  No one ever says "I am not open minded."  So why would you?

The first thing I want to throw at the faces...

You want us to be gentle and then you throw something in our faces?  What are you, some kind of asshole?

I mean morals.

Really?  Morals don't exist?  So what is it that keeps us amoral atheists from murdering all you religionists and taking your virgin daughters as loot?  That would be so much simpler and it would avoid the hassle of dealing with the fundies in court every two years to get creationism out of science class.

I am not the judge.

Preposterous.  We all judge.  It is a requirement of society and morality. Morals are the rules that allow animals like chimps, gorillas, bonobos and humans to function in a society.  Morals are limitations on our personal behaviors to allow groups to function to the mutual benefit of all the individuals.  But in order for it to work, the rules must be enforced.  That is to say, we must judge each other's actions and punishish transgression. After all, if rules are not enforced, you do not actually have rules, do you?  If xians did what they said they believe, their society would have crumbled within a hundred years of its inception.

I do not say somethings are right and somethings are wrong.

Preposterous.  Of course you do. You could not make it a week in society without that function.

While we are on the topic of morals, do you think morals exist independent of whatever iron age deity you claim to worship?  That is to say, is good good because yhwh says it is good, or is yhwh good because it adheres to a moral code that is evident?


Criticisms? Comments? (will only be on for a few more minutes)

You are using apologetics that are 60+ years old and have been wrecked by evolution.  I'm not saying evolution disproves yhwh.  I am saying, the reason you give for god belief - ie, the existence of morality - is a failure.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 02, 2010, 10:40:34 AM
The first thing I want to throw at the faces of the many who do not believe in an eternal being, a God, an Allah, whatever you want to call it: If you're going to be an atheist, do it right. Because if you do not believe in a God, and everything "just is," then a lot of things that were thought to exist actually don't. I mean morals.

Criticisms? Comments? (will only be on for a few more minutes)

i actually just want to post 3 replies already so i can start a new post ...  ugh.
Humans have created many, many things.  Art is one of them.  Skyscrapers.  Twinkies.

Morality.

You're coming at the question of morality assuming it's universal and eternal, and trying to refute atheism (atheists?) by saying "If you don't believe in God then morality could not exist".  Atheists (at best) are skeptical of this kind of morality. There's plenty of evidence that the morality practiced by all people (even those who claim to follow the Bible) is relative and changes with time.

Beyond believing otherwise as a matter of faith, there's no evidence that absolute morality exists.  Ergo, your argument isn't going to be taken as credible.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on August 02, 2010, 10:52:08 AM
Because if you do not believe in a God, and everything "just is," then a lot of things that were thought to exist actually don't. I mean morals.
Morality doesn't objectively exist. It's a bunch of rules of conduct that's subsumed under a handy term.

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If you're going to play atheist, then don't bring up any support of immoral acts or any other crap about what is "good" or what is "bad," because simply put, IF there is no God, if there is no eternal law/punishment/the-rest-of-it, then there is no GOOD or BAD, everything JUST IS.
Which is, like, true, objectively speaking.
Subjectively, I tend to follow subjective moral guidelines nonetheless.
Btw, when I point at atrocities in the bible, I fully realize that my notion of good/bad have no bearing on the bible's veracity. Just pointing out that god is vile according to my own notion of good/bad.
Moreover, following the actual topic of the thread, it's a fallacy to defend those atrocities just because god commited them when nobody would defend anyone or anything else had they commited them.
You may cite god's special insight; logic calls it special pleading.

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Good or bad is just an as imaginary as a God, (if you are atheist) and there is no right and wrong, everything is just in the heads of humans, everything just is.
Yes, precisely. Everything, including morals, is just in the head of humans.

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I have been taught (and potentially conditioned myself) into understanding I am not the judge.
Suppose there is a god. What gives him the right to judge?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 01:03:50 PM

THINK Man! Just look at this well known bit from a Bible story.
Pharoh doesn't listen to Moses (Because God harded his heart.) So God kills every first born Egyptian child.

Pharoah was responsible for the hardening of his heart. Recommend you study this story a little more in-depth.

Just out of curiosity, if you were God, how would you have gone about freeing the Israelites from the Egyptians ? (And please don’t say that you would not have permitted the situation from ever occurring in the first place.) Interested to hear your ‘plan.’

Subjectively, I tend to follow subjective moral guidelines nonetheless.

Do you believe that lying is wrong? If so, then why do you do it ? If you believe that judging others is wrong, then why do you still do it ? Are you morally perfect ? If not, why?
 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 01:30:49 PM
If you're going to play atheist, then don't bring up any support of immoral acts or any other crap about what is "good" or what is "bad," because simply put, IF there is no God, if there is no eternal law/punishment/the-rest-of-it, then there is no GOOD or BAD, everything JUST IS. Good or bad is just an as imaginary as a God, (if you are atheist) and there is no right and wrong, everything is just in the heads of humans, everything just is.

Oh, get over yourself. Do not come here and tell us how to be "proper atheists." Seriously, wtf?

Second of all, your argument is nonsense, and it's nothing we've never heard before. Our morality is a product of evolution. We, as a social species, have learned through experience and a will to survive that we must cooperate and be kind to each other. It is through that experience that we learn that certain things are wrong, like stealing or murder. We see the negative effects these things have and we decide that these things are morally wrong. But if you say you only do good because a god tells you to or because you'll get some wonderful reward after you're dead, then you're not really a moral person. I honestly don't think that's what guides your morals, or any Christian's morals for that matter, despite what they may think. And the reason for that is because they always pick and choose what they already agree with in the Bible and then chuck out the nasty parts.

But answer me this. If you found out tomorrow that there was no god, would you then skip merrily outside and go on a killing and raping spree with a smile on your face?

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I am not the judge. I do not say somethings are right and somethings are wrong.

You're doing it right now.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 01:36:48 PM

Our morality is a product of evolution. We, as a social species, have learned through experience and a will to survive that we must cooperate and be kind to each other. It is through that experience that we learn that certain things are wrong, like stealing or murder. We see the negative effects these things have and we decide that these things are morally wrong.

I will ask you a similar question to the one I asked above - Assuming you have learned through experience that lying causes "negative effects," then why do you still do it ? If you are not morally and/or ethically perfect based on your experiences, why is that ?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 02, 2010, 01:46:22 PM

I will ask you a similar question to the one I asked above - Assuming you have learned through experience that lying causes "negative effects," then why do you still do it ? If you are not morally and/or ethically perfect based on your experiences, why is that ?


Subjectively, I am perfect.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 01:48:28 PM

Our morality is a product of evolution. We, as a social species, have learned through experience and a will to survive that we must cooperate and be kind to each other. It is through that experience that we learn that certain things are wrong, like stealing or murder. We see the negative effects these things have and we decide that these things are morally wrong.

I will ask you a similar question to the one I asked above - Assuming you have learned through experience that lying causes "negative effects," then why do you still do it ? If you are not morally and/or ethically perfect based on your experiences, why is that ?


We have advanced brains to tell us that certain things cause negative effects only in certain situations.

For your second question, morals, ethics, and perfection are subjective.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 02, 2010, 01:54:31 PM
Pharoah was responsible for the hardening of his heart. Recommend you study this story a little more in-depth.

Bullshit.  The story has god stating several times that he will harden Pharoah's heart.  I made a topic on this a while ago, so I'll just copy and paste from that.

Exodus 4:21-23
The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.' "


Exodus 7:2-5
You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it."

Exodus 9:12
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.


Exodus 10:16-20
Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me." Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.


Exodus 10:27
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he was not willing to let them go


Exodus 11:9-10
The LORD had said to Moses, "Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt." 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country


Exodus 14:3-8
Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.' And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelites did this.

*(skipped some stuff here)*

The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly



The story states over and over that god worked his magic on the Pharaoh.  How could Pharaoh possibily be responsible for the hardening of his heart?  The story is unambiguous about Pharaoh being mind-controled most of the time.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 02, 2010, 01:54:45 PM
Pharoah was responsible for the hardening of his heart. Recommend you study this story a little more in-depth.

ex 4:21
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21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

ex 7:3-4
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But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you.

All other instances of pharaoh's hard heart occur after yhwh hardened it.

Does the pharaoh's magicians doing actual magic that competes with yhwh's magic not disturb you?  Where are such feats of magic these days?  Why do we not have such magicians any more?  Why is this not a warning flag for you?


edit - crap.  aaron123 beat me to it.  And more thoroughly.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 01:59:32 PM
I will ask you a similar question to the one I asked above - Assuming you have learned through experience that lying causes "negative effects," then why do you still do it ? If you are not morally and/or ethically perfect based on your experiences, why is that ?

I never claimed that lying always has negative effects, because it doesn't. It depends on the lie.

To propose that we should all be morally perfect is ridiculous. It's still a learning process. Morality has always changed, and it will continue to change. As others have said, it is subjective.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 02:32:01 PM
Bullshit.  The story has god stating several times that he will harden Pharoah's heart.  I made a topic on this a while ago, so I'll just copy and paste from that.


All other instances of pharaoh's hard heart occur after yhwh hardened it.

edit - crap.  aaron123 beat me to it.  And more thoroughly.

You assert that God somehow cast a spell (or some such thing) on Pharaoh in order to harden his heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is simply stating what He knows will be the case when Moses approaches Pharaoh and the miraculous displays of God’s power are made manifest. God knew what kind of man Pharaoh was (a god in his own prideful twisted view) and that he would only grow colder and angrier with every attempt to upset his control over the Israelite slaves. Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness grew out of his own decisions to ignore God through Moses. When God says that He will harden Pharaoh's heart, He is stating what He knows will be the effect that His planned miracles will have on Pharaoh's heart.  
1 Samuel 6:6 further attests to this correct interpretation.

edit: to correct quotes
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 03:03:06 PM
So God knew that it would make the Pharoah even more reluctant to free the Israelites but he still tried that method anyways?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: blue on August 02, 2010, 03:08:10 PM
So God knew that it would make the Pharoah even more reluctant to free the Israelites but he still tried that method anyways?
Not only that but God then stuck his people even longer in the hands of the pharaoh to try to get pharaoh to repent even though God knew he wouldn't change his mind?

Yeah makes as much sense as a talking snake.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 03:14:47 PM

I never claimed that lying always has negative effects, because it doesn't. It depends on the lie.

I see. So, you have the gift of an ‘evolved’ ability to accurately discern when it is okay to lie and when it is not?  Do your friends and family know this ? Do they know that sometimes you may be inclined to short them on the truth because you feel it’s okay ? Unless they are privy to the entire content of the code you live by, how can they, or anyone, fully trust you ? By definition, you have just labeled yourself a potentially dishonest, untrustworthy liar.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 03:23:36 PM
By definition, you have just labeled yourself a potentially dishonest, untrustworthy liar.

LOL. So because I may choose to spare my mother's feelings and tell her I loved the dinner she cooked, even though I didn't, I'm therefore an untrustworthy person? Well all right then.  :D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 02, 2010, 03:25:48 PM
BibleStudent, consider the following hypothetical, one that is often used in ethical philosophy lectures:  If you were in Nazi Germany, and you had some Jews well-hidden in your attic, would it be morally right to tell the truth to a Gestapo officer who came by to ask you if you had any hidden Jews in your house?  Or would it be better to lie?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 04:15:38 PM

I never claimed that lying always has negative effects, because it doesn't. It depends on the lie.

I see. So, you have the gift of an ‘evolved’ ability to accurately discern when it is okay to lie and when it is not?  Do your friends and family know this ? Do they know that sometimes you may be inclined to short them on the truth because you feel it’s okay ? Unless they are privy to the entire content of the code you live by, how can they, or anyone, fully trust you ? By definition, you have just labeled yourself a potentially dishonest, untrustworthy liar.

Hate to break it to you, but I think his friends, family, and just about everyone in the entire world is already under the assumption that people will lie in certain situations.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 04:29:43 PM
LOL. So because I may choose to spare my mother's feelings and tell her I loved the dinner she cooked, even though I didn't, I'm therefore an untrustworthy person? Well all right then.  :D

Why wouldn't you tell the truth in that case? Frankly, your mother would probably be more inclined to respect your truthfulness than your dishonesty if she knew about it. My family (including my children)and my friends all know that I am a staunch believer in telling the truth. As a result, my wife, for example, substantially appreciates my honesty when she asks me about how she looks in a certain article of clothing....or how a meal tastes, etc. It's just silly to lie in order to coddle to someone's sensitivities. A lie is a lie is a lie. Besides, as I mentioned, if you are viewed as someone who will knowingly stray from the truth, your integrity may be called into question when it really matters. I doubt you care but, frankly, I wouldn't trust you very much knowing this about you and you might be surprised to learn what your family and friends might think if they knew you were a willing liar, too.

BibleStudent, consider the following hypothetical, one that is often used in ethical philosophy lectures:  If you were in Nazi Germany, and you had some Jews well-hidden in your attic, would it be morally right to tell the truth to a Gestapo officer who came by to ask you if you had any hidden Jews in your house?  Or would it be better to lie?

I would tell the truth and let God's sovereignty rule the day. What would you do ?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 04:31:34 PM
Hate to break it to you, but I think his friends, family, and just about everyone in the entire world is already under the assumption that people will lie in certain situations.

So that it makes it right ? What's your point?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 04:38:06 PM
So God knew that it would make the Pharoah even more reluctant to free the Israelites but he still tried that method anyways?

Not only that but God then stuck his people even longer in the hands of the pharaoh to try to get pharaoh to repent even though God knew he wouldn't change his mind?

Yeah makes as much sense as a talking snake.

The correct interpretation of the story obviously didn't sit too well so now we'll move onto critiquing God's wisdom.  &)

Again, I ask, what would have been a better plan in your opinion ?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 04:50:49 PM
I would tell the truth and let God's sovereignty rule the day. What would you do ?

You truly are insane.  
I'm be sure your friends and family would be happy to know that they can't trust you to protect them because you're a dumbass.  You value your own ego over their lives.

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So that it makes it right ? What's your point?

"Right" is subjective.  One of the only ways you can argue about morality is to give a situation where you'd expect the other person to contradict their morality.

It's really no use in trying to argue morality with someone who answered "Yes" to the Nazi Germany question.

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The correct interpretation of the story obviously didn't sit too well so now we'll move onto critiquing God's wisdom.  Roll Eyes

It's called "Pointing out how it makes even less sense" because things that don't make sense" probably didn't happen or are wrong.

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Again, I ask, what would have been a better plan in your opinion ?

Mass teleportation.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 05:00:42 PM
"Right" is subjective.  One of the only ways you can argue about morality is to give a situation where you'd expect the other person to contradict their morality.

If "right" is subjective, then please explain to me how the Gestapo was wrong for doing what they did ? I believe that what they did was evil and wrong based on the moral code of the Bible but since you claim morality is subjective, on what grounds do you accuse them of being wrong ? You're digging yourself a hole here so be careful how you answer.

And if throwing darts at my character by calling me 'insane' and an 'a**hole' fascinates you somehow...or you're trying to impress someone then, by all means, have at it. It doesn't disturb me in the least.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 05:09:07 PM
Why wouldn't you tell the truth in that case?

Because that's how my mother raised me. She always told me to compliment the meals people cooked for me, even if I didn't like them, and I always agreed to this. And to this day, I still do this, because I have yet to see anything morally wrong with it. However, if I were in a situation where a friend was experimenting with new recipes and wanted an honest critique, then I would be honest, but in most other cases, I would just tell someone that I did like the meal.

Quote
I doubt you care but, frankly, I wouldn't trust you very much knowing this about you and you might be surprised to learn what your family and friends might think if they knew you were a willing liar, too.

And frankly, I wouldn't trust you very much knowing you would happily tell the truth to Hitler's Nazis about the location of the Jews in your attic, thus resulting in their murders.

And considering my family does the same thing I do and even taught me to do this, I can assure you, they wouldn't think it to be wrong.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 02, 2010, 05:51:44 PM
All other instances of pharaoh's hard heart occur after yhwh hardened it.

edit - crap.  aaron123 beat me to it.  And more thoroughly.
The story states over and over that god worked his magic on the Pharaoh.  How could Pharaoh possibily be responsible for the hardening of his heart?  The story is unambiguous about Pharaoh being mind-controled most of the time.

First, the part I bolded was not in my post and is wrongly quoted.  Please fix that. 

Second...
You assert that God somehow cast a spell (or some such thing) on Pharaoh in order to harden his heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is simply stating what He knows will be the case when Moses approaches Pharaoh and the miraculous displays of God’s power are made manifest.

I cannot see how that is.  It says very plainly in all those quotes provided by Aaron123 and me that yhwh hardened pharaoh's heart.  What you are saying here is a post hoc rationalization to avoid dealing with the idea that yhwh was not a nice guy.  Yhwh tortured the Egyptians just to make itself famous.  But don't worry.  No real Egyptians were harmed.  It is just a story. 


When God says that He will harden Pharaoh's heart, He is stating what He knows will be the effect that His planned miracles will have on Pharaoh's heart. 
1 Samuel 6:6 further attests to this correct interpretation.

So however you slice it, when you are an omnipotent and omniscient deity, the buck stops with you.  yhwh knew that its course of action would cause a certain response.  What is the difference?  That does not shift the responsibility onto the pharaoh.  yhwh could have used another approach that caused no human misery (omnipotent, remember?) but did not.  yhwh could have found a solution that ended with everyone parting amicably, yet instead it chose a rather vindictive and zero-sum approach.  Kind of like what an iron age nomad would do.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 06:03:30 PM
"Right" is subjective.  One of the only ways you can argue about morality is to give a situation where you'd expect the other person to contradict their morality.

If "right" is subjective, then please explain to me how the Gestapo was wrong for doing what they did ? I believe that what they did was evil and wrong based on the moral code of the Bible but since you claim morality is subjective, on what grounds do you accuse them of being wrong ? You're digging yourself a hole here so be careful how you answer.

I accuse them of being wrong based on my own moral code.  Are you going to tell me that my moral code is worthless because I don't believe that an omnipotent being supports me or created them, or that I won't exist forever?

Quote
And if throwing darts at my character by calling me 'insane' and an 'a**hole' fascinates you somehow...or you're trying to impress someone then, by all means, have at it. It doesn't disturb me in the least.

Why don't you tell everyone you know that you'd rather let them die than tell a lie.  "Insane dumbass" will be one of the nicer things you'd hear.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 02, 2010, 06:17:37 PM
BibleStudent, consider the following hypothetical, one that is often used in ethical philosophy lectures:  If you were in Nazi Germany, and you had some Jews well-hidden in your attic, would it be morally right to tell the truth to a Gestapo officer who came by to ask you if you had any hidden Jews in your house?  Or would it be better to lie?

I would tell the truth and let God's sovereignty rule the day. What would you do ?

I would follow my compassion, which dictates that I lie to the Nazis.  If you consider "God's sovereignty" to agree with the slaughter committed by the Nazi regime, then that speaks poorly of "God's sovereignty".
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 02, 2010, 06:24:59 PM
"Right" is subjective.  One of the only ways you can argue about morality is to give a situation where you'd expect the other person to contradict their morality.

If "right" is subjective, then please explain to me how the Gestapo was wrong for doing what they did ? I believe that what they did was evil and wrong based on the moral code of the Bible but since you claim morality is subjective, on what grounds do you accuse them of being wrong ? You're digging yourself a hole here so be careful how you answer.

And if throwing darts at my character by calling me 'insane' and an 'a**hole' fascinates you somehow...or you're trying to impress someone then, by all means, have at it. It doesn't disturb me in the least.


Hey everyone, it's a Bible Student!!!!  This means we finally get to know some stuff from a true authority.  Maybe he can start by telling us exactly who wrote Genesis, and why.  And bonus if he can prove it!

Speaking of digging holes...
 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 02, 2010, 08:28:58 PM
I want to know where pharoah'a magicians got the water to demonstrate that they could turn it into blood.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 08:41:49 PM
First, the part I bolded was not in my post and is wrongly quoted.  Please fix that.  

Fixed.

Second...

I cannot see how that is.  It says very plainly in all those quotes provided by Aaron123 and me that yhwh hardened pharaoh's heart.  What you are saying here is a post hoc rationalization to avoid dealing with the idea that yhwh was not a nice guy.  Yhwh tortured the Egyptians just to make itself famous.  But don't worry.  No real Egyptians were harmed.  It is just a story.  

You obviously have your mind made up and are going to dismiss outright any alternate interpretations.

And frankly, I wouldn't trust you very much knowing you would happily tell the truth to Hitler's Nazis about the location of the Jews in your attic, thus resulting in their murders.

That's because you're willing to lie and I'm not. We have opposing viewpoints on when it is okay to lie. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. I am of the belief that it is never okay to lie and to trust God in my obedience.....you are okay with telling what I think we refer to as a "little white lie."

And considering my family does the same thing I do and even taught me to do this, I can assure you, they wouldn't think it to be wrong.

Most people don't think it's wrong but that doesn't make it any less of a lie. People try to rationalize their lying ways all the time. Where do you draw the line?

I would follow my compassion, which dictates that I lie to the Nazis.  If you consider "God's sovereignty" to agree with the slaughter committed by the Nazi regime, then that speaks poorly of "God's sovereignty".

You lack a basic understanding of the Biblical account regarding mankind's descent into depravity and how God's providence is at work.....or, you are familiar with it and have chosen to disregard it.

I accuse them of being wrong based on my own moral code.  Are you going to tell me that my moral code is worthless because I don't believe that an omnipotent being supports me or created them, or that I won't exist forever?

1. You say the Nazis were evil and wrong for the torments they inflicted upon the Jews.
2. The Nazis, at the time, felt they were acting rightly by exterminating a certain race.
3. Since morality is subjective (as you said), then how is it possible that either of you are wrong ?

Morality is either subjective or it isn't. You're saying it's subjective EXCEPT when it involves......

That's double-talk.

Why don't you tell everyone you know that you'd rather let them die than tell a lie.  "Insane dumbass" will be one of the nicer things you'd hear.

Same as above- You lack a basic understanding of the Biblical account regarding mankind's descent into depravity and how God's providence is at work.....or, you are familiar with it and have chosen to disregard it. Our duty is to obey God. If the consequences of that obedience are disturbing to you then you have already written off God's existence and there is no way to counter that.

I'm be sure your friends and family would be happy to know that they can't trust you to protect them because you're a dumbass.  You value your own ego over their lives.

Ego is not at work here. In the hypothetical that was given, my admission of the hidden Jews would have likely resulted in severe punishment, perhaps even death, to myself as well.

Speaking of ego, isn't it you who are subjectively creating your own moral code to suit your own egotistical and selfish desires? You can call me foolish or whatever you choose. I call it being principled and committed to a belief system which is ordained by the God of the Bible.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 08:52:40 PM
We have opposing viewpoints on when it is okay to lie. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. I am of the belief that it is never okay to lie and to trust God in my obedience.....you are okay with telling what I think we refer to as a "little white lie."

Yep.

Quote
Most people don't think it's wrong but that doesn't make it any less of a lie. People try to rationalize their lying ways all the time. Where do you draw the line?

I never said it wasn't a lie. And I've already answered the question on where I draw the line. I made the point about lying being right or wrong depending on its negative effects, and that's how this whole debate got started.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 02, 2010, 09:12:52 PM
If "right" is subjective, then please explain to me how the Gestapo was wrong for doing what they did ? I believe that what they did was evil and wrong based on the moral code of the Bible but since you claim morality is subjective, on what grounds do you accuse them of being wrong ?

It's interesting that your example is of people with "Gott Mit Uns"  (God is with us) on their belt buckles.
Apparently the absolute moral code of sixty-one million German Christians didn't do much to stop the atrocities.

Anyway, I accuse them of being wrong because my personal experience and study of history, philosophy, and
psychology all suggest that intentionally causing harm to others should be avoided.  Of course, this is not an
absolute rule.  For example, I would not hesitate to cause harm when necessary to defend the innocent or liberate
the oppressed.  On the other hand, someone telling me a sky-fairy ordered the mass murder of innocent people
would never be a reasonable justification.







Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 09:32:01 PM
1. You say the Nazis were evil and wrong for the torments they inflicted upon the Jews.
2. The Nazis, at the time, felt they were acting rightly by exterminating a certain race.
3. Since morality is subjective (as you said), then how is it possible that either of you are wrong ?

Morality is either subjective or it isn't. You're saying it's subjective EXCEPT when it involves......

That's double-talk.

There are people in this world who dislike some of the foods you do.  Does that mean you stop saying things like "Chocolate is delicious!"?

Quote
Same as above- You lack a basic understanding of the Biblical account regarding mankind's descent into depravity and how God's providence is at work.....or, you are familiar with it and have chosen to disregard it. Our duty is to obey God. If the consequences of that obedience are disturbing to you then you have already written off God's existence and there is no way to counter that.

Our duty is whatever we choose it to be.  There are plenty of people here who would rather burn in hell than violate their own morality.

Quote
Ego is not at work here. In the hypothetical that was given, my admission of the hidden Jews would have likely resulted in severe punishment, perhaps even death, to myself as well.

Sorry, no retconning your answer.  You said the reason you'd do it was because you don't want to tell a lie.

Quote
Speaking of ego, isn't it you who are subjectively creating your own moral code to suit your own egotistical and selfish desires? You can call me foolish or whatever you choose. I call it being principled and committed to a belief system which is ordained by the God of the Bible.

It's not having an ego that most people have a problem with; it's valuing it over human lives.  You've demonstrated how little human lives mean to you compared to your own ego.

Honestly, are you trying to push people even further away from Christianity or something?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 02, 2010, 09:34:59 PM
I never said it wasn't a lie.

"Merriam Webster" defines the word "liar" simply as a person who tells lies. Since you tell lies (by your own admission), you are technically a liar and it shouldn't bother you to be called one. Right?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 02, 2010, 09:38:45 PM
Guess I am a liar, a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, a lawyer, a teacher, a field medic, a nurse, a psychologist, a preacher..etc

Guess I can now add all those to my resumé, right?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 02, 2010, 09:39:14 PM
Fixed.

Thank you.

You obviously have your mind made up and are going to dismiss outright any alternate interpretations.

I would not say that at all.  I would say I am open to a new, different explanation, but it has to make sense and correlate to what is written.  Your failed on both criteria.  If I had to pick, I would say it failed harder on not matching a plain reading of the text.

I also took the time to point out that even if you had it your way, it was still yhwh who made it happen.  You did not even respond to that.  Instead you gave me a very dismissive and disrespectful dodge.  I do not appreciate that.  Please answer my points.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 02, 2010, 09:41:25 PM
I never said it wasn't a lie.

"Merriam Webster" defines the word "liar" simply as a person who tells lies. Since you tell lies (by your own admission), you are technically a liar and it shouldn't bother you to be called one. Right?

You can't simply label people as liars, because no one lies all the time.  But I suppose labels like that make the world easier for people like you, right?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 02, 2010, 09:45:01 PM
I never said it wasn't a lie.

"Merriam Webster" defines the word "liar" simply as a person who tells lies. Since you tell lies (by your own admission), you are technically a liar and it shouldn't bother you to be called one. Right?

Everyone lies.  It's time to get over it. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 09:45:47 PM
"Merriam Webster" defines the word "liar" simply as a person who tells lies. Since you tell lies (by your own admission), you are technically a liar and it shouldn't bother you to be called one. Right?

The word 'liar' is usually associated with people who lie left and right about everything, big or small. But, if telling insignificant lies occasionally makes me a liar, then no, I can't say that it bothers me.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 02, 2010, 09:49:16 PM
Jessie, one time I did a little bit of basic web site design.

That makes me a web designer, so I can help you with your avatar problem, if you want. ;)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 02, 2010, 09:51:48 PM
I would follow my compassion, which dictates that I lie to the Nazis.  If you consider "God's sovereignty" to agree with the slaughter committed by the Nazi regime, then that speaks poorly of "God's sovereignty".

You lack a basic understanding of the Biblical account regarding mankind's descent into depravity and how God's providence is at work.....or, you are familiar with it and have chosen to disregard it.

I go only by what you say, rather than going by what you do not say.  If what you say has another context that makes it something non-heinous, then the onus is on you to provide it, rather than on me.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 09:55:22 PM
Jessie, one time I did a little bit of basic web site design.

That makes me a web designer, so I can help you with your avatar problem, if you want. ;)

Why do you feel the need to tell me in every one of your responses that you do not like my avatar? I understood you the first time.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 02, 2010, 10:05:29 PM
I like your avatar.  Reminds of a certain Woody...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 02, 2010, 10:33:22 PM
Why do you feel the need to tell me in every one of your responses that you do not like my avatar? I understood you the first time.

I work it into posts about other interesting topics.

P.S. Ton avatar me fait peur.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 02, 2010, 10:49:15 PM
I suppose I should be happy that it creeps you out.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Operator_019 on August 02, 2010, 11:03:43 PM
This is an interesting discussion. 

I'd like to see it stay on point with regard to the title. 

Thanks.

019



Edit - Thank you, A. Pony, for the correction.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 03, 2010, 12:28:47 AM
You assert that God somehow cast a spell (or some such thing) on Pharaoh in order to harden his heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is simply stating what He knows will be the case when Moses approaches Pharaoh and the miraculous displays of God’s power are made manifest. God knew what kind of man Pharaoh was (a god in his own prideful twisted view) and that he would only grow colder and angrier with every attempt to upset his control over the Israelite slaves. Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness grew out of his own decisions to ignore God through Moses. When God says that He will harden Pharaoh's heart, He is stating what He knows will be the effect that His planned miracles will have on Pharaoh's heart.  
1 Samuel 6:6 further attests to this correct interpretation.

Holy story revisionism Batman!

Just look at what the text says:
Exodus 4, god is saying:
But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

"I will" showcase his plan to do an action.

Exodus 7, god again says:
But I will harden Pharaoh's heart[/b], and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you.

Again, the "I will" showcase god's intent to do an action.

Exodus 9, 10 and 11 all have this line:

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart

I'm making that text extra big so you can see it plainly states that your god worked some magic on Pharaoh.  The text does NOT states "And the Pharaoh harden his heart, just as the lord knew he would", it explictly states that god did something to Pharaoh to "hardened" his heart.

And let's not forget WHY god did all this:
Exodus 14:
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD."

How nice.  Killing off a whole bunch of people just so he could "gain glory" for himself.  Just the sort of thing I'd expect from a loving and merciful being.  And of course, there's that "I WILL do an action" line again.  But of course, that's godspeak for "something will happen without any personal intervention on my part... honest!"


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dkit on August 03, 2010, 12:59:37 AM
Exodus10:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them,
I just don't see how anyone can get around the fact that this entire idiotic series of negotiations was for the sole purpose of boosting YHWH's ego and his standing with his people.  In his omnipotent decision making process he decided it was better to torture and steal from an Empire he didn't like to set free a subset of people within a larger group who were already descendant's of the flood Patriarch, Noah.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Noman Peopled on August 03, 2010, 02:29:32 AM
Do you believe that lying is wrong?
I you phrase it that way, no. Not under all circumstances. Specifically, the more important the information will be deemed by the recipient and the more likely it is to impact their life or our relationship, the less likely I am to lie about something.
For the record, it is possible to lie for the benefit of others.

Quote
If so, then why do you do it ?
Sometimes because it's convenient, but mostly I take care not to lie. There are some more or less conscious exaggerations, half-truths, and lies that I tend to regret and if possible correct in hindsight.

Quote
If you believe that judging others is wrong, then why do you still do it ?
I do not believe that judging others is wrong. Everybody does it all the time. Not forming a judgment would be a huge evolutionary as well as sociodynamic detriment. You have to form a judgment of X to deal with X.
The key is to keep my judgments flexible, subject to change as new information comes in.

Quote
Are you morally perfect ?
Of course not.

Quote
If not, why?
Because I'm fallibly human.

What about you? Do you never covet your neighbour's stuff?



I'd like to point out that my morality, amorality, or immorality has nothing to with your original statement that morality can't exist without god.
Neither does the fact that I on occasion violate my own moral guidelines - that just means they're not a law of nature and that I will on occasion failt to follow what I myself think is right.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on August 03, 2010, 08:20:06 AM
About the Nazis...

I would tell the truth and let God's sovereignty rule the day. What would you do ?

You truly are insane.  
I'm be sure your friends and family would be happy to know that they can't trust you to protect them because you're a dumbass.  You value your own ego over their lives.

Strongly seconded.

If you can't bring yourself to lie to nasty genocidal people in order to protect innocent lives (not even children?), you have serious issues - and obviously as well as unsurprisingly, they come from your religious beliefs. "God's sovereignty" - give me a break. I suppose it would be yet another instance where people die needlessly in the name of the "perfectly great moral absolute values" of the ever elusive (and imaginary) God of the Bible, with the approval of "true Christians" such as you perceive yourself to be.

Quote
Quote
Again, I ask, what would have been a better plan in your opinion ?

Mass teleportation.

Toasted.

There are a million ways to do things better than the BibleGod character is said to have done in any circumstance. I'm sure an omnipotent being just *has* to genocide (flood) and order genocide of his creation (many instances). There are no other ways for sure! I'm certain he just has to maul down kids with bears when they insult his prophet. Omnipotence and omniscience aren't enough to prevent this God from being dangerously psycopathic.

What can you say to this?
"You're not God so you don't know that non-violent solutions would work better than genocides and senseless massacres"?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 05:59:52 PM
I feel like we’ve probably gone as far as we need to go with the issue of being dishonest. The exchange we’ve had on this topic caused me to give pause and reflect on my own character to the point where I concede that I am a liar, too. I make an effort to refrain from being untruthful but I do catch myself from time-to-time straying from the truth. So, when I apply the same strict definition to myself, I am a liar, too.....just not with knowledge or intent to purposely deceive.

This, however, does not change my position with regards to the hypothetical situation involving the Nazis and the Jews. I realize that seems cruel and chilling to some of you, however, you’re not committed to the same beliefs and faith that I am so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. The scenario assumes that the consequences of my decision would result in certain death to others and, frankly, that is a bold assumption to make given the numerous variables that would come into play. You can label me selfish, stupid, egotistical or whatever else you deem appropriate but you have no way of knowing for certain how a confession would have played out in an actual real life situation.  

The sad fact of the matter is, our society has become increasingly indifferent to the consequences of being dishonest and I believe it is because we are straying further and further from the moral foundation that has kept us restrained. A comment or two was made earlier in this thread that indicated our morality has evolved and is still evolving….yet, we are not heading in the right direction. The condition of how we interact with each other is, in fact, getting worse. If we're evolving, we're going in the wrong direction.

Quote
1. You say the Nazis were evil and wrong for the torments they inflicted upon the Jews.
2. The Nazis, at the time, felt they were acting rightly by exterminating a certain race.
3. Since morality is subjective (as you said), then how is it possible that either of you are wrong ?

Morality is either subjective or it isn't. You're saying it's subjective EXCEPT when it involves......

That's double-talk.

There are people in this world who dislike some of the foods you do.  Does that mean you stop saying things like "Chocolate is delicious!"?


Your dodging. Please answer the question.


Exodus 9, 10 and 11 all have this line:

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart

I'm making that text extra big so you can see it plainly states that your god worked some magic on Pharaoh.  The text does NOT states "And the Pharaoh harden his heart, just as the lord knew he would", it explictly states that god did something to Pharaoh to "hardened" his heart.

And let's not forget WHY god did all this:
Exodus 14:
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD."

You didn't mention anything about these verses:

“But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.” (Ex. 8:15)

“But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also.” (Ex. 8:32)

“And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses.” (Ex. 9:34-35)

“But the heart of Pharaoh became hard.” (Ex. 9:7)

Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had worked wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? (1 Samuel 6:6)

I also took the time to point out that even if you had it your way, it was still yhwh who made it happen.  You did not even respond to that.  Instead you gave me a very dismissive and disrespectful dodge.  I do not appreciate that.  Please answer my points.

Oh brother. Are you really that sensitive?
I am trying to staying on point. We are talking about Pharaoh's hard heart.....not God' omnipotence. However, just so you don't get your undies into too much of a bunch, I will stipulate to the fact that God was fully aware and intimately involved in the event.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Omen on August 03, 2010, 06:24:06 PM
You didn't mention anything about these verses:

Why would he, they certainly do not contradict what he is pointing out.  Why did you even bother quoting the other verses, as if they explained anything at all when they don't even offer anything self evident in answer?

Why didn't you bother to offer any kind of argument, other then just quoting something else?  Why do you think that that is an effective argument at all?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 03, 2010, 06:25:33 PM
This, however, does not change my position with regards to the hypothetical situation involving the Nazis and the Jews. I realize that seems cruel and chilling to some of you, however, you’re not committed to the same beliefs and faith that I am so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. The scenario assumes that the consequences of my decision would result in certain death to others and, frankly, that is a bold assumption to make given the numerous variables that would come into play. You can label me selfish, stupid, egotistical or whatever else you deem appropriate but you have no way of knowing for certain how a confession would have played out in an actual real life situation.  

The point of that question is whether or not you'd rather lie or let innocents die.  The Jews and the Nazis were only there because it was a common realistic scenario.  I'm sure even you're against letting innocents die over that, or else you wouldn't be making excuses like "Oh they might not die after all" up.

You do a pretty good job of making religious nutjobs look repulsively insane though, so keep it up.  You're going to end up driving even more people away from the extreme side of your religion.

Quote
The sad fact of the matter is, our society has become increasingly indifferent to the consequences of being dishonest and I believe it is because we are straying further and further from the moral foundation that has kept us restrained. A comment or two was made earlier in this thread that indicated our morality has evolved and is still evolving….yet, we are not heading in the right direction. The condition of how we interact with each other is, in fact, getting worse. If we're evolving, we're going in the wrong direction.

Yes, because you're one of the few people in this world who is willing to betray a family that entrusted their lives to you over to some mass murderers over your own ego and fear of God.  It's so sad that more people don't share the same moral foundation as you do.

Quote
Your dodging. Please answer the question.

You're putting words into my mouth.
If something is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer.  At least not outside of our minds.

Here, in case you don't know what "subjective" means,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjectivity
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 06:35:29 PM

Why would he, they certainly do not contradict what he is pointing out.  Why did you even bother quoting the other verses, as if they explained anything at all when they don't even offer anything self evident in answer?

Why didn't you bother to offer any kind of argument, other then just quoting something else?  Why do you think that that is an effective argument at all?

Have you even read through the last couple pages of this thread? I had already presented an alternate argument for how Pharaoh's hard was hardened. Now I'm providing Biblical verses to support. If these verses do not suggest to you that Pharaoh's hard hardened as a result of the events unfolding by his own willful pride, then you are just ignoring the clear wording of the text.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 06:37:58 PM
You're putting words into my mouth.
If something is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer.  At least not outside of our minds.

Here, in case you don't know what "subjective" means,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjectivity

I know what "subjectivity" means. Now please explain to me how the Nazis were wrong if morality is subjective and they believed they were acting morally.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 03, 2010, 06:47:11 PM
Who cares about wrong or Ruhr when you are fully aware of their intentions?  You do not give up an innocent family to the known torture and death at the hands of monsters in order to avoid lying.  If you do, then you are also a monster.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Omen on August 03, 2010, 07:01:16 PM

Why would he, they certainly do not contradict what he is pointing out.  Why did you even bother quoting the other verses, as if they explained anything at all when they don't even offer anything self evident in answer?

Why didn't you bother to offer any kind of argument, other then just quoting something else?  Why do you think that that is an effective argument at all?

Have you even read through the last couple pages of this thread? I had already presented an alternate argument for how Pharaoh's hard was hardened. Now I'm providing Biblical verses to support. If these verses do not suggest to you that Pharaoh's hard hardened as a result of the events unfolding by his own willful pride, then you are just ignoring the clear wording of the text.

Aaron quite neatly pointed out the fact that:

Quote
And let's not forget WHY god did all this:
Exodus 14:
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD."

Plus, the actual verses where the lord 'hardens' pharaohs heart occur prior to the ones you're claiming.  I realize the apologetic rationale you're trying to make, but the scripture is pretty forward about the act itself.

There is also the overwhelming fact that other christian apologist agree with what Aaron is pointing out exactly:

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aiia/aiia-pharaoh.html

Quote
The best, most direct, simple answer to the question above is: “In order to demonstrate His power, and in order that His name might be proclaimed throughout the entire earth.”

The reason that is the best, most direct, simple answer to the question is because it is God's own answer. See Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17.

God raised up Pharaoh and hardened Pharaoh's heart in order to promote His own glory.

or

http://truthsaves.org/doctrine/harden_hearts.shtml

Quote
In the midst of these various statements on the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, Scripture gives us some clarification on this issue of who was responsible for Pharaoh's hard heart. In Exodus 7:3, God says that he will harden Pharaoh's heart. The Hebrew verb used here is a word meaning "to be hard." This is a Hiphel form of the Hebrew verb (see The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, pg. 904) with a basic meaning that God will cause the heart of Pharaoh to be hard. The Hiphil form of the Hebrew word denotes the subject (God) acting and the object (Pharaoh) participating as a second subject in the action (An Introduction to Hebrew Grammar, Waltke, page 435). The object is joining with the action. In other words, Pharaoh joins God in the hardening process. Pharaoh may be seen as the agent by which God accomplishes His hardening action. Because the Hiphil states nothing about whether the object is a willing or an unwilling participant in the action, we are left to the context to determine whether the author of Exodus sees Pharaoh as joining willingly in the hardening.

The Calvinist interpretation of scripture is the only one that logically follows, it is the only one that can be entertained by not only that usage of harden but every use of 'to harden' beyond it.

Romans 9:18 ( JKV, my favorite ) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

----

Now, ignoring all of that, your post still does not accurately or even responsibly answer Aarons.  It still does not epxlain why you think it does and you offer no reasonable/rational correlation between the two.  Instead of doing so, you offer an argument from your own personal incredulity simply to dismiss me.  Why do you think that is an effective style of argumentation?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 07:01:55 PM
Who cares about wrong or Ruhr when you are fully aware of their intentions?  You do not give up an innocent family to the known torture and death at the hands of monsters in order to avoid lying.  If you do, then you are also a monster.

In your eyes I am a monster. In God's eyes, I am not. What do you think matters to me more?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 03, 2010, 07:09:35 PM
Who cares about wrong or Ruhr when you are fully aware of their intentions?  You do not give up an innocent family to the known torture and death at the hands of monsters in order to avoid lying.  If you do, then you are also a monster.

In your eyes I am a monster. In God's eyes, I am not. What do you think matters to me more?


The more you post, the more I recognize that you prefer an imaginary god over reality.  It's your life, just keep doing what your god wants if it makes you happy.  I stated that if you prefer to let an innocent family die a certain death, then you are a monster.  It's difficult for me to believe you would actually do something like this, but what do I know.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 03, 2010, 07:10:39 PM
You're putting words into my mouth.
If something is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer.  At least not outside of our minds.

Here, in case you don't know what "subjective" means,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjectivity

I know what "subjectivity" means. Now please explain to me how the Nazis were wrong if morality is subjective and they believed they were acting morally.

I answered your question already.  I'm not going to do it again.

Quote
In your eyes I am a monster. In God's eyes, I am not. What do you think matters to me more?

The one you fear more.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 07:23:28 PM
or

http://truthsaves.org/doctrine/harden_hearts.shtml

In the midst of these various statements on the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, Scripture gives us some clarification on this issue of who was responsible for Pharaoh's hard heart. In Exodus 7:3, God says that he will harden Pharaoh's heart. The Hebrew verb used here is a word meaning "to be hard." This is a Hiphel form of the Hebrew verb (see The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, pg. 904) with a basic meaning that God will cause the heart of Pharaoh to be hard. The Hiphil form of the Hebrew word denotes the subject (God) acting and the object (Pharaoh) participating as a second subject in the action (An Introduction to Hebrew Grammar, Waltke, page 435). The object is joining with the action. In other words, Pharaoh joins God in the hardening process. Pharaoh may be seen as the agent by which God accomplishes His hardening action. Because the Hiphil states nothing about whether the object is a willing or an unwilling participant in the action, we are left to the context to determine whether the author of Exodus sees Pharaoh as joining willingly in the hardening.

Also, from the link you provided above:

Second, in considering whether Pharaoh was a willing or unwilling participant in his own hardening, there is no sense in the passage that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was contrary to Pharaoh's desire. There are no statements that Pharaoh wanted to be merciful to Israel but God prevented him from doing so. Pharaoh was a hard taskmaster over the Israelites. He was cruel and capricious. He was not a nice person before God sent Moses to Egypt. The fact that Scripture states often that Pharaoh caused his own heart to be hardened lends credence to the view that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was a cooperative effort. It was Pharaoh's desire to have a hard heart towards Israel.

and also:

Hard hearts ultimately are our responsibility, not God's. God tells us in Joel 2:12 to turn to Him with all of our hearts and to rend our hearts. A broken and repentant heart God will not despise (Psalm 51:17). And God's very nature is to show mercy (Exodus 34:5-7). Jonah knew this (Jonah 4:2)

Now, ignoring all of that, your post still does not accurately or even responsibly answer Aarons.  It still does not epxlain why you think it does and you offer no reasonable/rational correlation between the two.  Instead of doing so, you offer an argument from your own personal incredulity simply to dismiss me.  Why do you think that is an effective style of argumentation?

You may present arguments on your terms and I will present them in a manner in which I feel I necessary to support my position. I am not going to get into a debate regarding the 'proper techniques of making an argument'....nor am I moved by your implications that I lack the ability to properly frame an argument.
No one else is complaining about the 'style' I use and the discussion has been progressing just fine.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 07:25:19 PM
I answered your question already.  I'm not going to do it again.

No, you didn't....and it's because you can't.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 03, 2010, 07:27:30 PM
I answered your question already.  I'm not going to do it again.

No, you didn't....and it's because you can't.


"Morality is subjective."

"If something is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer.  At least not outside of our minds."

Put two and two together.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 07:31:37 PM
The more you post, the more I recognize that you prefer an imaginary god over reality.  It's your life, just keep doing what your god wants if it makes you happy.  I stated that if you prefer to let an innocent family die a certain death, then you are a monster.  It's difficult for me to believe you would actually do something like this, but what do I know.

Obviously not too much because, outside of the adolescent criticisms you make, you have offered nothing of any substance to the discussion.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 07:36:46 PM
"Morality is subjective."

"If something is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer.  At least not outside of our minds."

Put two and two together.

Then explain to me on what moral grounds the Nazis are to be condemned.....if within their minds they were not acting immoral.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 03, 2010, 07:42:08 PM
"Morality is subjective."

"If something is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer.  At least not outside of our minds."

Put two and two together.

Then explain to me on what moral grounds the Nazis are to be condemned.....if within their minds they were not acting immoral.

The moral grounds inside our minds.

Inside our minds, most of us see you as a monster for being willing to let a family die just because you can't tell a lie.  Inside of your own mind, you're acting perfectly just.  And in the future (or in many other parts of the world), many of the things we think are morally right may be considered wrong there.

I just have to point out that it's hilariously ironic how you're talking about condemning Nazis after the way you answered that "lie or let Nazis kill family" question.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 03, 2010, 08:22:05 PM
The more you post, the more I recognize that you prefer an imaginary god over reality.  It's your life, just keep doing what your god wants if it makes you happy.  I stated that if you prefer to let an innocent family die a certain death, then you are a monster.  It's difficult for me to believe you would actually do something like this, but what do I know.

Obviously not too much because, outside of the adolescent criticisms you make, you have offered nothing of any substance to the discussion.



That would be funny if you recognized the irony.  Good luck in heaven!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 03, 2010, 08:23:59 PM
Then explain to me on what moral grounds the Nazis are to be condemned.....if within their minds they were not acting immoral.

This is exactly the point! 

The Nazis did not think they were acting immorally because their beliefs informed them that the Jews were a lesser race and deserved death.  The rest of us feel they WERE acting immorally because they were murdered unjustly by the tens of thousands for simply being Jewish (and Gypsy's etc).  What more evidence do you need to have in order to understand that morality is subjective?  Good and bad, right and wrong are entirely in the eyes of the beholder. 

Do the Nazi's deserve to be condemned?  It depends who you ask.  If you ask 99% of the world, they will tell you yes because most of us feel certain ways about mass murder and genocide.  There will always be that 1% that thinks the Jews did deserve what they got and the Nazi's should not be condemned.  When you have that sort of consensus on an issue, then our sense of justice takes over, and it becomes necessary to hold them accountable for what they did.  Make no mistake though... the Nazi's thought they were doing the right thing. 
 
Another excellent example is you with the Jewish family.  You sicken us with the idea that you would tell the truth to the Nazi's and risk an innocent family's life simply because you think you get bonus points from your invisible sky man for not telling a lie.  Your morality says that you should not be condemned for such things, but our morality says you should.  Both of which are subjective.  You only THINK it's objective because you get your morality from a 2000 year old book written by desert people, so you have no room to think for yourself. The rest of us judge things based on our cultures, experiences and our evolved nature as people.  We think for ourselves, and find your conduct disgusting. Are either of us objectively right?  No.   

To make things more simple for you to understand... imagine for a minute that we are right and there is no god, and that we are simply an evolved species of animal with higher brain functions.  What would morality look like then?  Everyone would decide for themselves what is morally right and morally wrong, correct?  Like it or not, THAT is what our world looks like.  There are no moral laws given from on-high.  None.  And we should be thankful for that, because I for one do not want anyone telling me what my morality SHOULD be, especially the horrible God character of the bible.  Or worse yet, someone like you.... a person who would rather speak the truth and cost an entire family their lives, than to lie and save them.  If I had to follow your morality, I would shoot myself first. 

I choose to condemn what the Nazi's did because I believe they brought unimaginable suffering on a people who did not warrant it.  I would suspect a LOT of people agree with that, and when you have multitudes of people agreeing that something should be condemned, it can feel like it was objectively wrong to do what the Nazi's did, but it wasn't.  It was simply wrong in millions and millions of peoples minds. 

Sometimes the truth is not as nice as we want it to be. It is all nice and swell to think there are things that are objectively right and wrong, but like it or not, that's not how it is. 

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: mrbiscoop on August 03, 2010, 09:39:25 PM
I have always enjoyed JeffPT's posts and this one in no different. Very articulate.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 03, 2010, 10:45:26 PM
Do the Nazi's deserve to be condemned?  It depends who you ask.  If you ask 99% of the world, they will tell you yes because most of us feel certain ways about mass murder and genocide.  There will always be that 1% that thinks the Jews did deserve what they got and the Nazi's should not be condemned.

When you have that sort of consensus on an issue, then our sense of justice takes over, and it becomes necessary to hold them accountable for what they did.

Irrelevant. You cannot say that morality is subjective and then judge another person's actions when they are entitled to the same moral liberty that you are. Period. You say the Nazis actions were immoral based on what's in your mind and that there is nothing wrong with your assessment. You are neither right or wrong. Yet, you become a hypocrite the second you withhold that same liberty from someone else by judging their morality as wrong.....which is precisely what you are doing when you cast an immoral infraction against the Nazis.    
  

Another excellent example is you with the Jewish family.  You sicken us with the idea that you would tell the truth to the Nazi's and risk an innocent family's life simply because you think you get bonus points from your invisible sky man for not telling a lie.  Your morality says that you should not be condemned for such things, but our morality says you should.

Same as above. Under your idea of subjective morality, I can neither be right or wrong since I am entitled to the same freedom in choosing my moral code as you are. Again, you are a hypocrite to even suggest that I am immoral for anything I think or do.  


Another excellent example is you with the Jewish family.  You sicken us with the idea that you would tell the truth to the Nazi's

I knew the moment that I revealed my adherence to truthfulness in the hypothetical that the topics of discussion (namely Pharaoh's hard heart and the issue of morality) would become secondary to an assault on my character. Very predictable around here.


... imagine for a minute that we are right and there is no god, and that we are simply an evolved species of animal with higher brain functions.  

If you assume that our morality has evolved and that it will continue to evolve, then please explain the acceleration of immorality in our world. We seem to be heading "away" from something beneficial to the human condition rather than "towards" it. If you do not believe our morality has evolved and will continue to evolve, then disregard this question.
 

I choose to condemn what the Nazi's did because I believe they brought unimaginable suffering on a people who did not warrant it.

So do I. However, I do so with an objective moral code based on a written laws and a prescribed means for dealing with other human beings given to us by our Creator. You, however, do so under your own personally conceived sense of morality and then deprive the people you condemn of the same freedom to choose their own morality.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 03, 2010, 11:16:44 PM
A god's morals are as subjective as those held by any other being, by virtue of the fact that the god has to hold them at all.

An objective set of morals would be "true" whether the god holds them to be true or not.

EDIT:  Does anyone else appreciate the irony that BibleStudent is harping on the Nazis as an example of an objective evil, while having stated that he would have preferred to help them commit their atrocities rather than to lie to them?  :D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 03, 2010, 11:23:37 PM
Quote
If you assume that our morality has evolved and that it will continue to evolve, then please explain the acceleration of immorality in our world. We seem to be heading "away" from something beneficial to the human condition rather than "towards" it. If you do not believe our morality has evolved and will continue to evolve, then disregard this question.

BibleStudent, you misunderstand what "evolve" means in JeffPT's post.  It means "to change".  It doesn't have a goal.  When something evolves, it's not "getting better", or going "towards" something.  It isn't teleological.

Now, having been corrected on this point, you won't actually accept the correction - right?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 03, 2010, 11:29:41 PM
Irrelevant. You cannot say that morality is subjective and then judge another person's actions when they are entitled to the same moral liberty that you are. Period. You say the Nazis actions were immoral based on what's in your mind and that there is nothing wrong with your assessment. You are neither right or wrong. Yet, you become a hypocrite the second you withhold that same liberty from someone else by judging their morality as wrong.....which is precisely what you are doing when you cast an immoral infraction against the Nazis.    

Moral subjectivity is simply a fact of life, not something we grant to others.  None of us are advocating the right to choose whatever morals you want to follow.  You simply made a bunch of incorrect assumptions.

I know it seems paradoxical; believing someone to be wrong but knowing that it's only in our minds and the universe couldn't care less, but that's how it is.

Quote
Same as above. Under your idea of subjective morality, I can neither be right or wrong since I am entitled to the same freedom in choosing my moral code as you are. Again, you are a hypocrite to even suggest that I am immoral for anything I think or do.  

No, we never said you were entitled to the freedom.  You simply have that freedom.  The fact that people have different moral codes proves that people have that freedom.

We don't have to respect that freedom though.

Quote
I knew the moment that I revealed my adherence to truthfulness in the hypothetical that the topics of discussion (namely Pharaoh's hard heart and the issue of morality) would become secondary to an assault on my character. Very predictable around here.  

It's funny because this started with you assaulting someone else's character because they were willing to lie in certain situations.

Quote

If you assume that our morality has evolved and that it will continue to evolve, then please explain the acceleration of immorality in our world. We seem to be heading "away" from something beneficial to the human condition rather than "towards" it. If you do not believe our morality has evolved and will continue to evolve, then disregard this question.

When he said "evolve", I don't think he necessarily meant "got better".  
But morality is subjective, so some of us may not even see the "acceleration of immorality" that you seem to be talking about.

Quote
So do I. However, I do so with an objective moral code based on a written laws and a prescribed means for dealing with other human beings given to us by our Creator. You, however, do so under your own personally conceived sense of morality and then deprive the people you condemn of the same freedom to choose their own morality.  

Even if your morals came from a god, those morals would still be subjective.  I'm starting to think you don't actually know what "subjective" means.

Quote from: Azdgari
EDIT:  Does anyone else appreciate the irony that BibleStudent is harping on the Nazis as an example of an objective evil, while having stated that he would have preferred to help them commit their atrocities rather than to lie to them?  Cheesy
Quote from: OnePerson
I just have to point out that it's hilariously ironic how you're talking about condemning Nazis after the way you answered that "lie or let Nazis kill family" question.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Operator_018 on August 03, 2010, 11:55:31 PM
Quote
Moral subjectivity is simply a fact of life, not something we grant to others.  None of us are advocating the right to choose whatever morals you want to follow.  You simply made a bunch of incorrect assumptions.

BibleStudent, please pay attention to the corrections, as they will allow you to respond to the actual positions of the members you are debating. This one is helpful, but Azgari has also mentioned an important one regarding JeffPT here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15098.msg340591#msg340591).

Irrelevant. You cannot say that morality is subjective and then judge another person's actions when they are entitled to the same moral liberty that you are. Period. You say the Nazis actions were immoral based on what's in your mind and that there is nothing wrong with your assessment. You are neither right or wrong. Yet, you become a hypocrite the second you withhold that same liberty from someone else by judging their morality as wrong.....which is precisely what you are doing when you cast an immoral infraction against the Nazis.    

He is not offering a philosophical idea or theoretical scenario for you to critique, he is revealing the reality of the matter, for him, to you. Move past "you can't do that", perhaps, to "o.k. you do that, and here's what I think about it".  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 12:06:24 AM
Irrelevant. You cannot say that morality is subjective and then judge another person's actions when they are entitled to the same moral liberty that you are. Period. You say the Nazis actions were immoral based on what's in your mind and that there is nothing wrong with your assessment. You are neither right or wrong. Yet, you become a hypocrite the second you withhold that same liberty from someone else by judging their morality as wrong.....which is precisely what you are doing when you cast an immoral infraction against the Nazis.    

Yes I can, and I am.  They are entitled to judge my actions in the same way I judge theirs.  It's as simple as that.  I DO say the Nazi's were immoral.  That is my opinion.  Lots of people share that opinion.  I feel justified in doing so because I feel that unjustly hurting other people is wrong. 

I don't claim to be right or wrong.  It is my opinion that they acted immorally.  Whether you like it or not, I have the right to have that opinion.  That's what morality is... after all.  Simply an opinion.  Are you saying I am not entitled to think what they did was wrong?  I am judging them by how their actions stack up against what I believe to be "good" and "bad".  They are doing exactly the same thing.  They are entitled to think that they are correct and so am I.  It is not hypocritical to judge that they are being immoral when their actions are viewed (by me) as immoral.  It would only be hypocritical if I condemned them for their actions and perpetrated them at the same time.  They are free to call me immoral for wanting to save the Jews. 

But this only further strengthens my argument.  You see, the Nazi's are perfectly well within their right to claim the Jews deserve to die, because there is no cosmic, god like authority out there.  What the rest of the people on this planet do about it, is ALSO well within their rights.  The Nazi's did what they did because they believed it to be "right".  I rise against them because I believe they are "wrong".  What more evidence do you need that morality is subjective? 
   
Same as above. Under your idea of subjective morality, I can neither be right or wrong since I am entitled to the same freedom in choosing my moral code as you are. Again, you are a hypocrite to even suggest that I am immoral for anything I think or do.  

I am not claiming you are right or wrong.  I am claiming I think your actions are horrible.  It's my opinion.  I can claim an action of yours is immoral if MY version of morality says it's immoral.  You are free to claim otherwise.  Thats the beauty of subjective morality.  And it just continues to prove my point.  Problems arise when my moral code conflicts so heavily with your moral code that we can't see eye to eye anymore.  That's when conflict arises. Luckily for the world, the vast, vast majority of people find genocide to be completely repulsive, and that is one reason the world rose up against the Nazi's... because we all believed what they were doing was wrong. Were they wrong?  That depends, again, who you ask.   

It's the same with anything we form opinions on.  You might hate to eat steak.  I might love to eat steak.  Both of us have opinions about steak, but neither of us is "right" or "wrong".  We are both free to state our opinions about steak.  You are free to say "steak sucks".  I am free to say "steak owns".  Neither of us is correct or wrong. 

I knew the moment that I revealed my adherence to truthfulness in the hypothetical that the topics of discussion (namely Pharaoh's hard heart and the issue of morality) would become secondary to an assault on my character. Very predictable around here.

Dude, did you not say you would tell the Nazi's you were hiding a family?  What did you expect, hugs?  Did you not expect people to call you out for what you said?  If you don't want your character assaulted, retract it.  Otherwise it's open season.  You simply prove beyond any doubt that the morality of the atheist is far superior to that of the religious person (as long as the criteria we are judging morality on is the preservation of innocent life). 

There is a line between adherence to truthfulness and lying to tyrants in order to preserve innocent life.  My morality says you are a prick (in this case).  Your morality says you are doing what your God wants.  The reason I can call you a prick is because your moral views in this case are so far from mine that you deserve to be called all sorts of nasty names.  That is my opinion.  Am I objectively right?  No, and I don't claim to be.  But neither can you claim to be.

If you assume that our morality has evolved and that it will continue to evolve, then please explain the acceleration of immorality in our world. We seem to be heading "away" from something beneficial to the human condition rather than "towards" it. If you do not believe our morality has evolved and will continue to evolve, then disregard this question.

I do not believe there is an acceleration of immorality in our world.  What you percieve to be increasing immorality is simply your response to what the media shows you.  Bad things get more publicity / ratings than good things, and you misinterpret that to mean that immorality is increasing.  Your church may tell you that immorality is increasing, but that is just because the pastor / priest is just as fooled as you (and they watch too much Fox News).  But look around you.  The vast, vast majority of the people here are still good people.  The vast majority of people still respect each others rights.  We still help each other.  I am not blind, however, to the ongoing "bad" stuff that happens has to do with divisions caused by things like religion, nationalism, sexism, homophobia, racism etc.  Those seem to be long standing problems that are difficult to eliminate.  Imagine how much better this world would be if the divisivness of religions were gone, nobody thought their country was better than someone elses, people of both genders were treated equally and people of all races finally understood that we all put our pants on one leg at a time.  That's what being an atheist has done for me. We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses.   

Oh to be sure, morality evolved, but it's not that simple.  Morality is shaped by evolution, but culture and experiences play a giant role as well.  Case in point... the Nazi's.  Why do you think they did what they did?  Their culture and experiences made them believe that the Jews were subhuman, thereby making it easy to override the evolved notion that all human life deserves a degree of respect.  That's why they fought and died FOR each other (they still felt other Nazi's deserved respect), but killed Jews without mercy (they lost respect for Jewish life).

So do I. However, I do so with an objective moral code based on a written laws and a prescribed means for dealing with other human beings given to us by our Creator. You, however, do so under your own personally conceived sense of morality and then deprive the people you condemn of the same freedom to choose their own morality.

Bull crap.  You pick and choose what laws you want to follow out of your holy book and you know it.  You do NOT follow all the moral codes based on the written laws of your special book.  Your morality comes from inside you FIRST, and you filter the book through that to pick out what fits with your own morality... while rejecting the rest.  You are no better than anyone else and you know it.  You want examples?  Ok...
 
Do you stone children for talking back to their parents?  God explicitly commands it.
Have you ever eaten shellfish?  God explicitly commands NOT to do it.
Have you ever worked on a Sunday?  You should be killed.
Have you ever owned a slave?  No?  God says you can if you want.  Just don't beat them too badly.
Ever killed a gay person?  God says you should.

All of those are written codes within your magic book that you have chosen NOT to follow.  So how dare you get up on your high horse and claim you follow the bible when you clearly have never stoned a child at Wal Mart when he is talking back to his mommy for not getting him a pack of Juicy Fruit.   

I would never do half of the things that "the creator" tells you to do in that book.  It's a disgusting book filled with many horrible rules that most people would reject outright. 

Why do you keep saying I am depriving people of something?  I am not doing that at all.  Is it objectively wrong to kill a child for talking back to his mother? No, because there is no objective morality.  My opinion is that it is wrong, and I feel strongly enough that I would rise up against a parent who felt it morally acceptable to kill their child, for sure.  In fact, every time I read a story about how some dumb s**t parents didn't take their child to the hospital because they wanted to pray instead, I would like to strangle them.  That parent is also free to fight back at me, but unfortunately for them, the vast majority of the other people would be on my side.  But if there WAS objective morality like you say, and it came from the bible, then all 3 of my children should be dead by my own hands.  F**k any God who asks me to do that. 

I would love to hear your opinion on that though.  Is it objectively right, or wrong to kill a child that talks back to his mother?  Please give me all biblical references you can find for the way parents should treat their children when they are bad, because I would like to see them.  ( I know what they are, but I want to see how you defend the notion that it's wrong to kill children using biblical references )
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 04, 2010, 01:05:09 AM
Second, in considering whether Pharaoh was a willing or unwilling participant in his own hardening, there is no sense in the passage that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was contrary to Pharaoh's desire. There are no statements that Pharaoh wanted to be merciful to Israel but God prevented him from doing so. Pharaoh was a hard taskmaster over the Israelites. He was cruel and capricious. He was not a nice person before God sent Moses to Egypt. The fact that Scripture states often that Pharaoh caused his own heart to be hardened lends credence to the view that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was a cooperative effort. It was Pharaoh's desire to have a hard heart towards Israel.

and also:

Hard hearts ultimately are our responsibility, not God's. God tells us in Joel 2:12 to turn to Him with all of our hearts and to rend our hearts. A broken and repentant heart God will not despise (Psalm 51:17). And God's very nature is to show mercy (Exodus 34:5-7). Jonah knew this (Jonah 4:2)

None of which changes the fact that the bible directly states that GOD harden the Pharaoh's heart.  You're trying to say that the bible doesn't say this, that Pharaoh was entirely at fault for his own harden heart, that god was only saying that he knew Pharaoh was a bad boy, etc.  Nope; the text, very plainly, states that god did an action of some sort that harden the Pharaoh heart, and the text also states that god planned it that way "to gain glory" for himself.  Nothing you can say will change this.


We now return to your regulary scheduled Nazi programming...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Jessie on August 04, 2010, 01:24:38 AM
@ JeffPT

I believe your entire response deserves a trophy :)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 04, 2010, 01:45:20 AM
Quote from: Azdgari
EDIT:  Does anyone else appreciate the irony that BibleStudent is harping on the Nazis as an example of an objective evil, while having stated that he would have preferred to help them commit their atrocities rather than to lie to them?  Cheesy
Quote from: OnePerson
I just have to point out that it's hilariously ironic how you're talking about condemning Nazis after the way you answered that "lie or let Nazis kill family" question.

Oops.  Missed that one.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 01:49:17 AM
That's okay. I think it's worth repeating.  :D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on August 04, 2010, 02:59:40 AM
You know, when a Christian starts making posts, I kind of wished I had never posted, because the thread becomes nothing but the Christian promoting their BS and the atheists arguing with them.

And this thread was interesting before BibleStudent showed up.

Dude... You're full of shit. The rest of us know it. No one is taking you seriously.
Go try to convince a fundalmental Hindu or Muslim that your religion is correct. What you will hear coming from them won't be much different then what we hear coming from you, and they'll have about the same chance of converting you.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 04, 2010, 04:58:12 AM
When you have that sort of consensus on an issue, then our sense of justice takes over, and it becomes necessary to hold them accountable for what they did.

Irrelevant. You cannot say that morality is subjective and then judge another person's actions when they are entitled to the same moral liberty that you are.
He sure can.  More to the point: he already DID.

Your question should be "On what do you base judgement of another person's actions?"
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 04, 2010, 07:06:34 AM
@ JeffPT

I believe your entire response deserves a trophy :)

Hell yes, me too.

BibleStudent, you have officially been pwned in this thread by JeffPT.  I'm sure you will continue to ramble, but there really is nothing left for you to argue about here.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 04, 2010, 09:18:53 AM
The sad fact of the matter is, our society has become increasingly indifferent to the consequences of being dishonest ...

And in the Nazi example you appear to be indifferent to the consequences of being honest.  Of what value is honesty if it causes injustice?   No action is in itself intrinsically moral.  That can only be judged by the consequences. I agree that the truth is usually better than deception.  But you also have to weigh the results.

and I believe it is because we are straying further and further from the moral foundation that has kept us restrained. A comment or two was made earlier in this thread that indicated our morality has evolved and is still evolving….yet, we are not heading in the right direction. The condition of how we interact with each other is, in fact, getting worse. If we're evolving, we're going in the wrong direction.

Foundations change even for you guys.  And as for going in the wrong direction, malarkey. To quote kcrady:
Quote
Is it wrong to eat lobster wrapped in bacon?  Before Jesus: yes, both are an abomination unto the Lord.  After Jesus: no, actually that sounds pretty tasty!

Is it wrong to wear clothes made from more than one type of fiber?  Before Jesus: yes.  After Jesus: no.

Is it wrong to let somebody with any defect, like a flat nose or a crushed testicle into a place of worship?  Before Jesus: yes.  After Jesus: no.

Is it wrong to be gay?  Before Jesus: yes, it's an abomination to the Lord and ought to be a capital offense!  After Jesus: yes, but gayness can now be easily cured with a three-week counseling retreat.

Is slavery wrong?  Before Jesus: no.  After Jesus: no.  After Appomattox: yes. 
 
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/index.php?topic=7730.msg160783#msg160783 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/index.php?topic=7730.msg160783#msg160783)

You are just a Chicken Little who yearns for the "good old days", which in fact were even crappier than today. Every generation thinks things are going to hell in a handbasket.

I also took the time to point out that even if you had it your way, it was still yhwh who made it happen.  You did not even respond to that.  Instead you gave me a very dismissive and disrespectful dodge.  I do not appreciate that.  Please answer my points.

Oh brother. Are you really that sensitive?
I am trying to staying on point. We are talking about Pharaoh's hard heart.....not God' omnipotence. However, just so you don't get your undies into too much of a bunch, I will stipulate to the fact that God was fully aware and intimately involved in the event.

Look dickweed, I took the time and effort to respond to your silly post.  Maybe that was more than you deserved.  I don't think asking for a response is sensitive, getting my undies in a bunch or too much to ask so spare me the eyerolling. yhwh's alleged omnipotence is not off point.  It is a factor in determining culpability here. 

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 12:24:36 PM
‘Subjective morality’ is an oxymoron. It necessarily permits that any action can be “right” or “wrong” depending on the person who committed the act believes it to be so.  It implies that all people are morally perfect and condones acts which are obviously immoral.
 
If morality even exists, and I believe it does, then it can only exist objectively. Subjective morality suggests that anything and everything can be rationalized by each of us individually with the intent to establish reasons to legitimize our beliefs. That is a biased belief system no matter how you slice it or dice it that promotes itself on a subjective basis but imposes it objectively on others. That is about as illogical as any argument can be. It is self-contradictory. It is blatantly illogical to say that morality is “subjective” and then project your beliefs onto someone else in any way, shape, or form. It can only become logical when you point to an objective truth in order to validate your position.

You can believe in morality but you cannot justify your belief. You can say that the Nazis were wrong but without an objective standard of morality, then how can it be wrong?

That's what being an atheist has done for me. We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses.   

Ugh. Then by your own admission you, nor anyone else, has a right to infringe upon the Nazis. 

Oh to be sure, morality evolved, but it's not that simple.  Morality is shaped by evolution, but culture and experiences play a giant role as well.
BibleStudent, you misunderstand what "evolve" means in JeffPT's post.  It means "to change".  It doesn't have a goal.  When something evolves, it's not "getting better", or going "towards" something.  It isn't teleological.

Now, having been corrected on this point, you won't actually accept the correction - right?

Ugh, again. So, which is it....did it evolve or did it "change" into being ?

The definition of "evolve" states the following: to develop gradually by a process of growth and change......to develop by gradual changes; unfold.

The word "develop" means to build up or expand (a business, industry, etc.) to make stronger or more effective;


This certainly seems to suggest that the process of evolving inherently produces a move towards greater strength or effectiveness. But, since I have been informed that morality is not decaying, there is no sense discussing what mechanism(s) are at work in effecting any potential outcomes.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 04, 2010, 12:37:43 PM
That's what being an atheist has done for me. We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses.  

Ugh. Then by your own admission you, nor anyone else, has a right to infringe upon the Nazis.  

Read Jeff's statement again, paying special attention to the bold part.

The nazis were supplanting the rights of others. And that may be the only morality that's close to "objective"; the right to not have your rights supplanted, as long as your exercise of those rights do not supplant anyone elses rights. AKA The Golden Rule.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 12:57:18 PM
The nazis were supplanting the rights of others. And that may be the only morality that's close to "objective"; the right to not have your rights supplanted, as long as your exercise of those rights do not supplant anyone elses rights. AKA The Golden Rule.

Am I correct then in deducing that sometimes morality is subjective and sometimes it is objective ? This question is not meant to mock your comments....I would just like to know if I am understanding you correctly.
 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 04, 2010, 12:58:00 PM
‘Subjective morality’ is an oxymoron. It necessarily permits that any action can be “right” or “wrong” depending on the person who committed the act believes it to be so.  It implies that all people are morally perfect and condones acts which are obviously immoral.

This is the second time I've seen this false dilemma coming from you.  Really, what's with this subjective morality= people are perfect nonsense?  You're not actually sugguesting that people would be better off without god, are you?


Quote
Subjective morality suggests that anything and everything can be rationalized by each of us individually with the intent to establish reasons to legitimize our beliefs.

Well, yes.  That's how it works, basically.  I can even prove that you are doing the same thing yourself.  If you believe that god is the source of all morality, then do you believe it is OK to own slaves?  Yes or no.  Do you believe women should be treated as second-class citizens?  Yes or no.  Should parent stone their children to death for being stubborn?  Yes or no.  Should we kill those that work on the sabbath day?  Yes or no.  Should homosexual be put to death?  Yes or no.

If you answer 'no' to any of these, then you are following your own sense of morality.  Of course, I know you'll probably insist that those things are no longer vaild, since Jesus did away with them.  You consider these god-approved ideas to be immoral, but you'll try to avoid giving a direct answer so you won't be seen as an immoral person, or seen as disagreeing with god.  Which will prove my point.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 12:58:08 PM
He is not offering a philosophical idea or theoretical scenario for you to critique, he is revealing the reality of the matter, for him, to you. Move past "you can't do that", perhaps, to "o.k. you do that, and here's what I think about it".  

Okay. I see your point. Will do.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 01:01:31 PM
Quote from: BibleStudent
Am I correct then in deducing that sometimes morality is subjective and sometimes it is objective ? This question is not meant to mock your comments....I would just like to know if I am understanding you correctly.

No, morality is always subjective.  You can't be "close to objective" anymore than you can be "close to pregnancy". 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 04, 2010, 01:44:58 PM
The nazis were supplanting the rights of others. And that may be the only morality that's close to "objective"; the right to not have your rights supplanted, as long as your exercise of those rights do not supplant anyone elses rights. AKA The Golden Rule.

Am I correct then in deducing that sometimes morality is subjective and sometimes it is objective ?  

No, it is always subjective, by definition. I erred in stating that it's "close". There are no instances of objective morality, because morality is not measurable, not quantifiable, strictly speaking.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 04, 2010, 02:06:09 PM
‘Subjective morality’ is an oxymoron. It necessarily permits that any action can be “right” or “wrong” depending on the person who committed the act believes it to be so.  It implies that all people are morally perfect and condones acts which are obviously immoral.

No, and no. You're examining it as if it is a stand alone process, isolated from all other factors. By removing it from the human social context you are the one rendering the concept nonsensical. You need to respond to the position actually held by the people you are having a discussion with.

You're placing a leg in the middle of the room, and railing at it for not being an Ikea table. I'm outside with the rest of the parts wondering what you've been smoking.

If morality even exists, and I believe it does, then it can only exist objectively.

I believe that if you are in charge of defining the subject concept yourself, then this discussion is a self-reinforcing farce. The definition is the subject being debated. You might as well say "I'm right and you're wrong because I say so".  

Subjective morality suggests that anything and everything can be rationalized by each of us individually with the intent to establish reasons to legitimize our beliefs. That is a biased belief system no matter how you slice it or dice it that promotes itself on a subjective basis but imposes it objectively on others.

Yes, that is a facet. Why are you ironically employing this very component as your sole discussion strategy?

That is about as illogical as any argument can be. It is self-contradictory. It is blatantly illogical to say that morality is “subjective” and then project your beliefs onto someone else in any way, shape, or form. It can only become logical when you point to an objective truth in order to validate your position.

Why is the fact that you don't like reality a good reason to dismiss it? This way lies solipsism and your ego's ultimate ace in the hole.  

Edit: Also, humans do have some behavioural norms dictated by biology. You can't ignore cross-culturally common types of morays.

You can believe in morality but you cannot justify your belief. You can say that the Nazis were wrong but without an objective standard of morality, then how can it be wrong?

The buck stops with humankind and the cognitive linguistic process, it's sole method of exploring the matter cooperatively. You need to check your huberis at the door if you actually want to grow here.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 04, 2010, 03:43:52 PM
Hi JeffPT,

I agree with Jessie; Great Post!  Also with Jetson, you totally pwnz0red BibleStudent.  I would like some (hopefully minor) clarifications, as there are parts I'm just a little confused about.  Hopefully these should prove to be some minor addendums I'm sure you just overlooked.

To start with, you say
It's the same with anything we form opinions on.  You might hate to eat steak.  I might love to eat steak.  Both of us have opinions about steak, but neither of us is "right" or "wrong".  We are both free to state our opinions about steak.  You are free to say "steak sucks".  I am free to say "steak owns".  Neither of us is correct or wrong. 
This sounds like you're saying our opinions on what is morally right and wrong is equivalent to our opinions on weather or not chocolate milk is tasty.

Therefore, when you say
Luckily for the world, the vast, vast majority of people find genocide to be completely repulsive, and that is one reason the world rose up against the Nazi's... because we all believed what they were doing was wrong. Were they wrong?  That depends, again, who you ask.
You are saying that the "world rose up against the Nazi's" because we disagreed on a matter of no more import than the tastiness of chocolate milk.  Would you agree with this sentiment?  Also, you preface this statement with 'Luckily', indicating it was a good thing.  Would it be a similarly good thing if the majority of the world that found chocolate milk tasty rose up against that portion that didn't find it tasty and killed them (the way we did the German soldiers and civillians) for the disagreement?  If not, why not?  (I'm assuming you'll say Genocide and Choclate Milk tastiness are different.  I personally think Genocide and Chocolate Milk tastiness are in two different categories as well.  You just got through saying all disagreements are equivalent though, per your statement I quoted above, so I'm all sorts of confused)

In an earlier post you said, also speaking about the world recoiling at Naziism,
When you have that sort of consensus on an issue, then our sense of justice takes over, and it becomes necessary to hold them accountable for what they did.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'sense of justice' here.  Is it just consensus?  You mentioned in the same post the percentages of 99% and 1%, is that the kind of consensus needed for our sense of justice to take over?  If so, were those the actual percentages of people who agreed/disagreed with  Nazi's on the whole (according to you, trivial) genocide question?  Did somebody count?  If those are numbers you just made up, then what kind of consensus is needed?  60/40?  51/49?

You also said later on in your post
You simply prove beyond any doubt that the morality of the atheist is far superior to that of the religious person (as long as the criteria we are judging morality on is the preservation of innocent life).
It is?  First of all, according to your 'morality is like weather or not we like steak' idea, what does 'innocent' mean, anyway?  Innocent usually means lacking in wrongdoing, but since right and wrong are equivalent to the tastiness of steak or chocolate milk, 'Innocent' would just mean... what?  Lacking in disagreement over various aesthetic preferences?  With whom?  You?  The majority?  In that case I don't think anyone would be innocent.  I'd love to hear how you define this whole innocent life thing, as it's quite confusing.

Further, supposing we could nail down 'Innocent', why is 'preservation of innocent life' a standard against which we can judge the atheist morality to be 'superior' to that of the Christian?  Even if you were correct that the atheist morality preserved more 'innocent' life than the Christian, would you suppose it would be OK for the Nazi to then say something like 'True, but on the standard of killing as many Jewish people as possible, Naziism has both atheism and Christianity beat hands down.'?  If you're unprepared to admit Naziism is superior to your worldview (at least according to some definitions), could you explain why not?

You say
We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses.
So does that mean we really shouldn't have gone to war with the Nazis, even though they were committing a bona-fide genocide against a truly frightening number of people, because we were supplanting their right to live in a world lacking in Jewish people?  Does that mean that BibleStudent was right when he advocated not lying to the Nazi officer, because it infringed upon the Nazi officers' right to an accurate understanding of events?  I'm worried that by continuing to be a Christian, I'm supplanting Hitchens' right to live the way he wishes, in a world without Christianity, but if I drop Christianity then I'm not living the way I wish in that I'm not trusting in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.  Either way I'm gonna have to supplant somebody's right to live their lives the way they want, I was just wondering if you had any guidance on how I can avoid this moral dilemna I find myself in.

One more thing I'm confused about here.  You said above that there is no "right" or "wrong", just "Steak is tasty" or "Steak sucks!"  Doesn't that mean that the statement "We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses." carries precisely as much moral weight as "Chocolate Milk is delicious!"  Would it follow that as long as I get enough people to achieve a majority so that "our sense of justice takes over", we can remove your "don't supplant other people'se rights" silliness and supplant any of your rights we please?  That doesn't sound very nice.  I'm not sure I like your majority rule system.

You go on to say, in denying the acceleration of immorality in our world,
The vast, vast majority of the people here are still good people.  The vast majority of people still respect each others rights.  We still help each other.
Are helping each other and respecting each others rights good things then?  WHat do you mean by 'good' here, as opposed to 'bad'?  You just got through saying goodness and badness are subject to individual interpretation, are you implying that helping each other and respecting each other's rights are globally good?  If not, isn't it meaningless to say 'The vast, vast majority of people here are still good people?'  Shouldn't you instead say 'The vast vast majority of people still agree with each other on some things, but not on others' ?

It does seem like you think there's some things we really ought to agree on, like religion, nationalism, sexism, homophobia, racism, and other things are bad things.  (And what do you mean by bad, anyways?  Do the scare quotes indicate they're not really bad, just "bad?"  Are they "bad" the same way not liking Steak is "bad?")  You say these are long standing problems, and that the world would be better all these divisions were gone.  What about that other pernicious division that has long beleagured humanity, that of Chocolate Milk lovers vs those hated Chocolate Milk tastiness deniers?  Would the world be a better place without that division?  Why or why not?

Looking forward to your reply!
-MiC
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 04:01:31 PM
If morality even exists, and I believe it does, then it can only exist objectively.

Morality is just a word we use to describe our opinions regarding what is "right" or "wrong".  It does not exist as some sort of entity or concrete thing.   

Subjective morality suggests that anything and everything can be rationalized by each of us individually with the intent to establish reasons to legitimize our beliefs.

I am going to take out the first few words and make this a statement, not a suggestion.

Anything and everything can be rationalized by each of us individually with the intent to establish reasons to legitimize our beliefs.

That is a TRUE statement.  Whether or not you like the suggestion it makes, this is a TRUE statement.  We all do this.  Every one of us.  Ironically, religious people are REALLY good at it.   

That is a biased belief system no matter how you slice it or dice it that promotes itself on a subjective basis but imposes it objectively on others. That is about as illogical as any argument can be. It is self-contradictory. It is blatantly illogical to say that morality is “subjective” and then project your beliefs onto someone else in any way, shape, or form. It can only become logical when you point to an objective truth in order to validate your position.

Jesus man.  It is not a belief system.  It is the way the world works, regardless of what we would LIKE to believe.  I am not trying to impose some sort of belief system on you.  I am trying to impress upon you the fact that this is how the world actually works.  My morality is MINE, not yours.  Nazi morality is THEIRS, not MINE.  I am fully entitled to disagree with what the Nazis were doing and they are fully entitled to disagree with what I would do.  The conflict arises when one tries to impose themselves and their morality onto the other.  When the vast majority of the worlds people saw and agreed that the Nazi behavior was highly immoral (as judged by massive numbers of individuals... not some fictitious sky person), that is when the world rose up against them.  It was not because what the Nazis were doing was "objectively" wrong... it was because massive numbers of people formed the opinion that they needed to be stopped.   

You can believe in morality but you cannot justify your belief. You can say that the Nazis were wrong but without an objective standard of morality, then how can it be wrong?

I can justify my belief because in my mind, I feel what they did was a blatant violation of what I feel was "right".  Because in my mind, they were wrong. It is my subjective opinion that killing innocent people is an action that should be condemned with as much force as physically possible. 

The Nazi subjective opinion was that the Jews, Gypsy's, handicapped people of the world deserved death.  In their minds, they were right.  They justify their beliefs because they felt letting them live was the worst possible scenario for a world they wanted to create.   

I can not say they were objectively wrong.  Neither can they say I am objectively wrong.  It is a difference of opinion on the matter.  There is no scorekeeper in the sky telling which side was right and which was wrong.  It doesn't exist.   


Ugh. Then by your own admission you, nor anyone else, has a right to infringe upon the Nazis.

Huh?  How can you possibly say that?  I just finished telling you, repeatedly, that when one person's morality conflicts with another persons morality, that is when war ensues.  I am justified in infringing upon the Nazi's precisely because I believe what they were doing was wrong.  And in their minds, they also have the right to infringe upon me and the Jews as well.. Remember what we said a few mins ago? Using your words here (Anything and everything can be rationalized by each of us individually with the intent to establish reasons to legitimize our beliefs.) That is EXACTLY what I am suggesting and it is EXACTLY what both sides did.  In that situation, it is not the "right" side that wins, (as there is no objectively "right" side). It's the side who wins the war.  When the Nazi's lost, do you honestly think they said, "Gee I guess we were wrong"?  No.  They didn't.  They still felt they were right. 

This certainly seems to suggest that the process of evolving inherently produces a move towards greater strength or effectiveness. But, since I have been informed that morality is not decaying, there is no sense discussing what mechanism(s) are at work in effecting any potential outcomes.

If you want to argue that "morality" is decaying, prove that it is.  Prove that morality during the dark ages of the inquisition and witch burning was better than it is now.  Prove that the slave-owning, animal sacrificing, people of biblical times lived by a better "moral code" than we do now.  Prove to me that the people of today's world are less generous, less giving, more violent, and more willing to hurt, rape, destroy and kill than at any other time in human history. Good luck with that. It's hogwash. Every generation thinks the world is in some sort of "moral decay", when the reality is that the world... is what it is.  Sometimes people are bad, sometimes people are good.  And again... good and bad are ALWAYS in the eye of the beholder.     

As you suggest, there is no sense discussing the mechanisms of moral decay if moral decay is not occurring. 

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 04, 2010, 05:51:04 PM
‘Subjective morality’ is an oxymoron. It necessarily permits that any action can be “right” or “wrong” depending on the person who committed the act believes it to be so.  It implies that all people are morally perfect and condones acts which are obviously immoral.
You're writing without thinking...

Morality is also consensus-based.  It's subjective in the sense that the rules are chosen by people, but it's objective in the sense of it being codified by laws (re. the things that land people in court).

"Subjective morality", as you're trying just a bit too desperately to demonize, does not imply that everyone is morally perfect.  This is because most of us agree upon what constitutes right & wrong, and when we disagree, that occasionally results in a change to those standards.  As such, the consensus/standards are accepted as imperfect.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 04, 2010, 05:53:38 PM
Am I correct then in deducing that sometimes morality is subjective and sometimes it is objective ? This question is not meant to mock your comments....I would just like to know if I am understanding you correctly.

A posted speed limit is an excellent example of subjectively objective morality.  Someone chose the speed at which cars are allowed to drive along the road, but the speed limit is unambiguous and can be perceived by anyone licensed to drive a vehicle on that road.

Yes.  Human morality is both subjective (I prefer "relative" instead) and objective.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 06:06:05 PM
I agree with Jessie; Great Post!  Also with Jetson, you totally pwnz0red BibleStudent.  I would like some (hopefully minor) clarifications, as there are parts I'm just a little confused about.  Hopefully these should prove to be some minor addendums I'm sure you just overlooked.

....

At first, I typed thanks.  But you have to understand, sensing sarcasm in the first sentence of a post is hard to do online.  After reading the whole thing, I see you were not being serious.  Oh well.

This sounds like you're saying our opinions on what is morally right and wrong is equivalent to our opinions on weather or not chocolate milk is tasty.

What do you mean by "equivalent"?  I believe that opinions are formed for different reasons, and carry different amout of weight in our lives, but that they are still opinions.  Chocolate milk is tasty to me because the neurons connected to my sense of taste and smell tell me so.  I believe killing people is wrong because my life experiences have led me to understand that I would not like to be killed, so others also probably wouldn't like to be killed too.  They are both opinions. 

Moral opinions obviously carry more weight in our lives than food tastes and favorite baseball teams, but they are still opinions none-the-less.  So in that respect they carry more importance.  I guess my answer is yes, and no. 

You are saying that the "world rose up against the Nazi's" because we disagreed on a matter of no more import than the tastiness of chocolate milk.  Would you agree with this sentiment? 

Not exactly.  Some opinions form the basis for the way we live our lives.  Some opinions form the basis for what we drink at dinner time.  People don't generally go to war over their favorite beverages.  It was, however, the opinion that the Nazi's were wrong to do what they did, that sent the world into war against Germany.     

Also, you preface this statement with 'Luckily', indicating it was a good thing. 

In my opinion, yes.  You or anyone else is free to disagree. 

Would it be a similarly good thing if the majority of the world that found chocolate milk tasty rose up against that portion that didn't find it tasty and killed them (the way we did the German soldiers and civillians) for the disagreement?  If not, why not?  (I'm assuming you'll say Genocide and Choclate Milk tastiness are different.  I personally think Genocide and Chocolate Milk tastiness are in two different categories as well.  You just got through saying all disagreements are equivalent though, per your statement I quoted above, so I'm all sorts of confused)

Because someone's like or dislike of chocolate milk does not infringe in the rights of other people to live their lives in peace.  I don't rise up against chocolate milk haters because they aren't hurting anyone.  If a "Chocolate Milk hating club" rose up and started killing, raping and pillaging my town, I would rise against them too.  Similarly, if all the Nazi's did to the Jews was give them noogies and throw spit balls at them, I wouldn't have thought it prudent to go to war with them either. 

I'm not sure what you mean by 'sense of justice' here.  Is it just consensus?  You mentioned in the same post the percentages of 99% and 1%, is that the kind of consensus needed for our sense of justice to take over?  If so, were those the actual percentages of people who agreed/disagreed with  Nazi's on the whole (according to you, trivial) genocide question?  Did somebody count?  If those are numbers you just made up, then what kind of consensus is needed?  60/40?  51/49?

A large portion of the people of the world thought what the Nazi's were doing was wrong.  All I was saying is that, at that point, they acted because they had collectively formed a similar opinion (ironically, this is what the Nazi's did too).  Going to war with another country is a tough decision to make.  One person doesn't usually make that kind of decision alone.  But I don't think you are asking that.  You are asking something different.  You want to know if I think a consensus of opinion is necessary in order to take action.. is that right?  If that is what you are asking, then no, it doesn't take a consensus of people to act in defense of our own opinions.  In fact, very small groups of people could be compelled to act on their own "sense of justice".  I dare say a consensus of one is all that is needed for someone to act on one's own moral opinion.   
 
I have no idea what % of the people of the world agreed and disagreed with the Nazi's.  I made them up.  If you find out the numbers, let me know. 

You also said later on in your post
Quote
Quote from: JeffPT on 15 hours  ago
You simply prove beyond any doubt that the morality of the atheist is far superior to that of the religious person (as long as the criteria we are judging morality on is the preservation of innocent life).
It is?  First of all, according to your 'morality is like weather or not we like steak' idea, what does 'innocent' mean, anyway?  Innocent usually means lacking in wrongdoing, but since right and wrong are equivalent to the tastiness of steak or chocolate milk, 'Innocent' would just mean... what? Lacking in disagreement over various aesthetic preferences?  With whom?  You?  The majority?  In that case I don't think anyone would be innocent.  I'd love to hear how you define this whole innocent life thing, as it's quite confusing.

I'm sorry you are so confused.

I think I clarified this above.  Some opinions drive our daily life and some tell us what tastes good.  They are both opinions, but they are not equal in the way we go about using them daily.  We do not usually rise up against the things that have no bearing on human suffering. Each of us will rise up against the things that give each of us the most problems.  Everyone is different that way. 

The term innocent is used in relation to a crime.  The way I use it here has to do with whether or not each individual Jew had committed any crime worthy of death as a punishment.  As the Nazi's were not killing the Jews for any specific individual crimes, and were killing them solely based on their heritage and their beliefs, then my view is that the Jews were innocent of any crime worthy of death.  The Nazi's felt otherwise. 

Further, supposing we could nail down 'Innocent', why is 'preservation of innocent life' a standard against which we can judge the atheist morality to be 'superior' to that of the Christian? 

It is a standard that I used in this case, and I added that statement in parenthesis for exactly that reason.  Perhaps I should have said "I" instead of "we". 

Even if you were correct that the atheist morality preserved more 'innocent' life than the Christian, would you suppose it would be OK for the Nazi to then say something like 'True, but on the standard of killing as many Jewish people as possible, Naziism has both atheism and Christianity beat hands down.'?  If you're unprepared to admit Naziism is superior to your worldview (at least according to some definitions), could you explain why not?

It depends whether or not one values the killing of Jewish people.  As the Nazi's valued that, sure they could make that statement.  If you want to judge "good" based off of how many Jews you can kill, then Naziism is far better than atheism or Christianity (at least during WWII.  A good case could probably be made that Christians throughout history have killed more Jews than the Nazi's). I am prepared to admit that the Nazi's are good at killing Jews.  I am also prepared to admit that the Nazi regime constructed the autobahn, built massive infrastructure and brought Germany out of a severely depressed era after they lost the first world war.  Those are good things.  You have to take it on a topic by topic basis.  But if you judge morality on the basis of saving innocent life, I do not believe the Nazi's have the "superior" world view, as they were killing people left and right.  You are free to disagree. 

You say
We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses.
So does that mean we really shouldn't have gone to war with the Nazis, even though they were committing a bona-fide genocide against a truly frightening number of people, because we were supplanting their right to live in a world lacking in Jewish people? 

Good point.  I should clarify, as times can often come up when you are left with no choice but to infringe on someone's rights. 

In situations where it is unavoidable to supplant the rights of one person over another, such as the Nazi situation, everyone chooses what they value most.  In this case, I believe the Jewish right to live supercedes the Nazi desire to have a Jew-free world.  It seemed a large portion of the rest of the world thought the same. That is my opinion.  As your morality is completly subjective as well, you are free to disagree as the Nazi's did.       

Does that mean that BibleStudent was right when he advocated not lying to the Nazi officer, because it infringed upon the Nazi officers' right to an accurate understanding of events?  I'm worried that by continuing to be a Christian, I'm supplanting Hitchens' right to live the way he wishes, in a world without Christianity, but if I drop Christianity then I'm not living the way I wish in that I'm not trusting in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.  Either way I'm gonna have to supplant somebody's right to live their lives the way they want, I was just wondering if you had any guidance on how I can avoid this moral dilemna I find myself in.

Again, I believe the Jewish right to live supercedes the Nazi desire to live in a Jew free world.  You can disagree if you like.  I am sure you wouldn't be alone.  The Nazi's would happily join you.  The advice I can give you is that your morality is your own.  It is subjective and not beholden to any diety or dusty old book of any kind.  When faced with the decision to infringe on Christopher Hitchens right to live in a Christian free world, or choosing to live with Jesus as your Lord and savior, you must decide which you value more... truth or fiction.  If you value truth, then drop Christianity. 

One more thing I'm confused about here.  You said above that there is no "right" or "wrong", just "Steak is tasty" or "Steak sucks!"  Doesn't that mean that the statement "We all have the right to live our lives the way we wish as long as I do not use my rights to supplant someone elses." carries precisely as much moral weight as "Chocolate Milk is delicious!"  Would it follow that as long as I get enough people to achieve a majority so that "our sense of justice takes over", we can remove your "don't supplant other people'se rights" silliness and supplant any of your rights we please?  That doesn't sound very nice.  I'm not sure I like your majority rule system.

You really are a confused person.  I think we covered this a while back.  Morality is an opinion about right and wrong.  Opinions about right and wrong carry more weight in our lives than opinions about steak and chocolate milk. While they are both opinions, we don't go to war over what we think taste's good.   

Whether you "think it sounds nice" or not, that is how the world works.  The consensus of the majority wins.  To the victor go the spoils.  That is how the Nazi's came to power.  That is how the American Indians were pushed out of their homes.  That is how laws are made.  That is how witches got burned.  That is how the books of the bible came to be canonical and the other gospels got left out.  Majority rule.  I am not here to hold your hand through it.  I am just here to show you that this is the way it is, and we have to live with it.  If you are too scared to embrace the truth, then I have pity for you.  It's really not all that bad, because most people have similar opinions about what "good" is.   

Can you honestly get a bunch of people together and supplant any rights you please?  If you get enough, yep you can.  Just like the Nazi's did.  But don't expect the rest of us to take it lying down.  I am sorry you don't like it. Sometimes the truth is hard.  If it makes you feel any better, I wish ice cream didn't make me fat, but I am S.O.L there too. 

Are helping each other and respecting each others rights good things then?  WHat do you mean by 'good' here, as opposed to 'bad'?  You just got through saying goodness and badness are subject to individual interpretation, are you implying that helping each other and respecting each other's rights are globally good?  If not, isn't it meaningless to say 'The vast, vast majority of people here are still good people?'  Shouldn't you instead say 'The vast vast majority of people still agree with each other on some things, but not on others' ?

Helping each other and respecting each others rights are things I personally believe to be "good".  Based on my knowledge of people in general, I can say that a large portion of the world shares that opinion.  I am not implying that they are objectively good.  I am saying it is my opinion that the vast majority of people here fit my criteria of "good" (helpful, friendly, unwilling to kill others, respectful, etc).  And since I know from the experiences I have had in 35 years of life... that a large portion of the people of the world share most of my opinions about what constitutes a "good" person, I can form that opinion, yes. I can say "The vast, vast majority of people here are still good people" based on my opinion about what constitutes a good person.   

It does seem like you think there's some things we really ought to agree on, like religion, nationalism, sexism, homophobia, racism, and other things are bad things.  (And what do you mean by bad, anyways?  Do the scare quotes indicate they're not really bad, just "bad?"  Are they "bad" the same way not liking Steak is "bad?")  You say these are long standing problems, and that the world would be better all these divisions were gone.  What about that other pernicious division that has long beleagured humanity, that of Chocolate Milk lovers vs those hated Chocolate Milk tastiness deniers?  Would the world be a better place without that division?  Why or why not?

Of course I think everyone ought to agree with me on morality.  It's my morality!  Doesn't everyone think that?  Do you know anyone who says... "Hey MathIsCool, can I borrow your morality? Mine sucks!"  Don't all groups think their morality is right and everyone elses is wrong?  Isn't that why the Nazi's did what they did, because they believed they were right?  Isn't that why the crusades happened?  Isn't that what all religions preach?  Isn't that what Biblestudent wants?  Isn't that what Christopher Hitchens wants? Doesn't everyone think that their version of morality is the one true, greatest version and that everyone should follow theirs?  That's the problem though.  There IS no one, true, objective morality.  Mine is mine, and yours is yours, Hitchens has his, and so does Biblestudent.  The overlap is large in regard to most things, but there are some things that you would not want me telling you to do, and vice versa.  I recognize this fact.  That is why, even though I WANT everyone to agree with me on moral issues, I can honestly say it is a pipe dream.  I don't pretend it's going to happen. 

I grow tired of the Chocolate milk references.  I wish you had kept your post shorter to begin with so I didn't have to reply to the chocolate milk references so far down in the response.  I already talked about that.  It was kinda funny at first, but this far into the post, it's just lame. 

Everyone wants things to be the way they want them to be.  But you wouldn't want anyone but yourself in charge of making that happen.  That can be said of pretty much everyone on the planet.  It's just more evidence that morality is subjective. 

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: roomba on August 04, 2010, 06:32:31 PM
Am I correct then in deducing that sometimes morality is subjective and sometimes it is objective ? This question is not meant to mock your comments....I would just like to know if I am understanding you correctly.

A posted speed limit is an excellent example of subjectively objective morality.  Someone chose the speed at which cars are allowed to drive along the road, but the speed limit is unambiguous and can be perceived by anyone licensed to drive a vehicle on that road.

Yes.  Human morality is both subjective (I prefer "relative" instead) and objective.

I agree that the speed limit number itself is an objective thing. (There's only one way really to perceive 55mph) However, speed limits are laws, not morals. They are closely related, but not the same thing. I don't think many would say that going 56mph in a 55mph zone is morally reprehensible thing, it's just illegal. As citizens of a country/state/city, we agree to abide by the laws because they are (GENERALLY) beneficial to ourselves and those around us, or at the very least we believe them to be beneficial.

I think this is where BibleStudent (and others) may be getting confused. Lying to a potential murderer is, in most countries I assume, perfectly legal. Morally, though? Depends on who you ask. We all have the legal right (in America, at least) to HAVE any morals we want. It comes down to what infringes on another's liberty. Morally, I may think it's fine to kill another person, but the law of the land will convict me of murder if I act on that moral (with proper evidence and trial). Laws are more rigid in this way but still leave in exceptions for some type of moral relativity (eg. 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder, manslaughter [degrees of "wrongness"] and the different sentences that come with these), but I wouldn't call laws objective. 

Feel free to add or correct what I've stated.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 07:51:08 PM
Morality is just a word we use to describe our opinions regarding what is "right" or "wrong".  It does not exist as some sort of entity or concrete thing.   

You want to know what is truly ironic about your argument? The irony is that you have thoroughly demonstrated that your argument for subjective morality is not based on knowledge or science….. which you adamantly require of the theist to provide to substantiate their belief in God. In other words, the non-theist holds that the theist position is based on faith and other subjective assertions and not on reality and thus is irrational. Yet, you are doing the exact same thing in making your argument here…..for as soon as you point to science or concrete knowledge, morality becomes subjective by default. Now, that’s irony !!



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 07:55:24 PM
^Do you even know what you're arguing against anymore, or did you hallucinate imaginary arguments?

Honestly, I have no idea what you just posted.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 07:59:05 PM
You're writing without thinking...

Actually, you are the one that isn't thinking. The 'subjective' argument being made is so clearly illogical that I think the real logic I am pointing to is too simple to understand. 

Morality is also consensus-based.  It's subjective in the sense that the rules are chosen by people, but it's objective in the sense of it being codified by laws (re. the things that land people in court).

This is about as close as anyone has come to making any sense in asserting that morality is subjective.
Kudos to you, Weatherman!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 08:01:44 PM
^You can't express your points logically anymore, so now you've decided to give up and just say we don't make sense.  Nice job.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 08:02:36 PM
^Do you even know what you're arguing against anymore, or did you hallucinate imaginary arguments?

Honestly, I have no idea what you just posted.

This is not surprising. You are so predisposed to your ideologies that the point I just made probably sailed right over your head.

Read it again and tell me that your 'subjective morality' is based on something other than a whim.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 08:04:55 PM
^Do you even know what you're arguing against anymore, or did you hallucinate imaginary arguments?

Honestly, I have no idea what you just posted.

This is not surprising. You are so predisposed to your ideologies that the point I just made probably sailed right over your head.

Read it again and tell me that your 'subjective morality' is based on something other than a whim.


Ok, let me teach you how to do this.

Step 1: Get a dictionary.
Step 2: Look up the word "subjective".
Step 3: Read the definition.
Step 4: Comprehend its definition.
Step 5: Now ask yourself "Does morality fit under the definition of "subjective"?"

Now was that so hard?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 08:07:19 PM
Ok, let me teach you how to do this.

Step 1: Get a dictionary.
Step 2: Look up the word "subjective".
Step 3: Read the definition.
Step 4: Comprehend its definition.
Step 5: Now ask yourself "Does morality fit under the definition of "subjective"?"

Now was that so hard?

You're dodging. Please answer the question. Is your 'subjective morality' based on something other than a whim ?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 08:12:08 PM
Ok, let me teach you how to do this.

Step 1: Get a dictionary.
Step 2: Look up the word "subjective".
Step 3: Read the definition.
Step 4: Comprehend its definition.
Step 5: Now ask yourself "Does morality fit under the definition of "subjective"?"

Now was that so hard?

You're dodging. Please answer the question. Is your 'subjective morality' based on something other than a whim ?

Irrelevant question.  The argument is about the existence of subjective morality.

But to answer your question, moral codes are developed by culture, environment, genetics, how we were raised, etc.  Although they could change in certain situations on a whim.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 04, 2010, 08:12:42 PM
The irony is that you have thoroughly demonstrated that your argument for subjective morality is not based on knowledge or science…..
Why does a lack of a absolute morality suggest it is not based on knowledge or science?

Quote
In other words, the non-theist holds that the theist position is based on faith and other subjective assertions and not on reality and thus is irrational.
That is a bit of an overstatement.  Subjective assertions and experience are not necessarily irrational; in a sense, all experience and even mathematical analysis has a subjective component.  What makes the theist position irrational is that their method of separating fantasy from reality isn't effective.

That renders the rest of your argument a non sequitur.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 08:23:22 PM

Irrelevant question.  The argument is about the existence of subjective morality.

How convenient. There have been more than a few instances in this thread where someone chimed in with nothing more than a statement about the irony of my position as respects the Nazi/Jew hypothetical. I do something similar and actually add some substance to the position by providing an argument and I'm 'off topic.' I see how this works.

But to answer your question, moral codes are developed by culture, environment, genetics, how we were raised, etc.  Although they could change in certain situations on a whim.

But they are still "opinions" as I have been reminded of on more than one occasion. Correct ? If so, and you hold firmly to your position, then how does it differ from my so-called "opinion" about God, creation, etc. Do you see the irony now ?
  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 08:31:43 PM
Subjective assertions and experience are not necessarily irrational;

Are you serious? Do you know how many times I have been called "irrational" or "illogical" by the non-theist community for using subjective assertions and believing certain things by faith ? But now that we're talking about the non-theist position on morality being subjective and governed (if you will) by "opinions", now all of a sudden it isn't irrational ? Now that's some magical rationalizing right there.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 08:45:30 PM
Morality is just a word we use to describe our opinions regarding what is "right" or "wrong".  It does not exist as some sort of entity or concrete thing.   

You want to know what is truly ironic about your argument? The irony is that you have thoroughly demonstrated that your argument for subjective morality is not based on knowledge or science….  which you adamantly require of the theist to provide to substantiate their belief in God. In other words, the non-theist holds that the theist position is based on faith and other subjective assertions and not on reality and thus is irrational.


I can sort of understand you up to here.  You are right up to here.  I have not used science to argue for subjective morality.  I have used reason and logic, so far.  What empirical evidence could you or I present in defense of the notion that morality is or is not objective?  Let me try...

Would you, or would you not say that being charitable is part of one's moral world view?  I would say yes.  Well, guess what... Let me cut and paste this...

From... http://www.dancewithshadows.com/business/pharma/oxytocin-generosity.asp
Quote
A new study has suggested that those who give more to charity and are more kind to strangers have above-normal levels of the hormone oxytocin in the brain. This also means that tightfisted people have comparatively lower levels of oxytocin in their brain.

The study, conducted by Professor Paul Zak, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California, the United States, and colleagues revealed a huge increase in generosity linked to higher levels of oxytocin.

In the study, Professor Paul Zaks team gave doses of oxytocin and a placebo to participants, who were then offered a decision on how to split a sum of money with a stranger who could accept or reject the split.

To their utter surprise, the researchers found that those given oxytocin offered 80% more money than those who were given a placebo.

INTERESTING!! What does that say?  That Oxytocin levels effect the level of one's generosity.  In other words, the more oxytocin you have in your brain, the more generous you are!  Is that not scientific proof that levels of generosity are completely subject to how much oxytocin we have? You wanted it, you got it.  We now have scientific proof that at least this aspect of morality is not from "on-high"  It is from hormone levels, and thus can vary depending upon how much or how little oxytocin we have.  I have now offered you one scientific study in support of my case that morality (at least one aspect of it) is not from any type of god.  Can you give me any science or knowledge information to back up your claim that it does? 

But it goes on to say something else relevant that I didn't know...

Quote
According to the study, there is even evidence that, in American society, the levels of oxytocin in the brain are increasing, as annual levels of charity in the United States have gone up by 187% since 1954.

Wasn't it you that said morality is in decline?  Yes, I think it was!   
 
Yet, you are doing the exact same thing in making your argument here…..for as soon as you point to science or concrete knowledge, morality becomes subjective by default. Now, that’s irony !!

This sentence I do not understand at all.  What are you talking about here?  You seem as confused as MathIsCool.  At least he admits massive confusion though. 

If science and knowledge, reason and logic all pointed directly to the idea that all morality was objective, then I would embrace that as truth.  It would be easy.  All you would have to do is prove that every single person on the planet will behave in exactly the same way when faced with every single moral decision that ever was.  That would be a great starting point in trying to prove that morality is objective.  If you can not make that claim, then how can you say that all of our morality is the same and that we got it from the same place?  You clearly can't do that.  So why not just give up this crazy fight.  Morality is subjective.  Deal with it.     

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 08:45:40 PM

Irrelevant question.  The argument is about the existence of subjective morality.

How convenient. There have been more than a few instances in this thread where someone chimed in with nothing more than a statement about the irony of my position as respects the Nazi/Jew hypothetical. I do something similar and actually add some substance to the position by providing an argument and I'm 'off topic.' I see how this works.

Fine, we answered the question, didn't we?

Quote from: BibleStudent
But they are still "opinions" as I have been reminded of on more than one occasion. Correct ? If so, and you hold firmly to your position, then how does it differ from my so-called "opinion" about God, creation, etc. Do you see the irony now ?
  

Sorry, but you really have no idea what the positions you're arguing against are.

Opinions about God, creation, etc. and opinions about right and wrong aren't the same because those are concepts that talk about whether something actually exists in the universe.  "Right" or "Wrong", on the other hand, exist only inside our minds.

Quote
Are you serious? Do you know how many times I have been called "irrational" or "illogical" by the non-theist community for using subjective assertions and believing certain things by faith ? But now that we're talking about the non-theist position on morality being subjective and governed (if you will) by "opinions", now all of a sudden it isn't irrational ? Now that's some magical rationalizing right there.

That's probably because for you, everything has to be a solid black or white.  Your mistake is treating everything as the same.  That is why you claim that you will never lie no matter what the situation.

Quote from: JeffPT
All you would have to do is prove that every single person on the planet will behave in exactly the same way when faced with every single moral decision that ever was.

You should rephrase this to "Every single person on the planet has the same moral code" or something, because he could just say that some people don't act morally.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 04, 2010, 08:57:42 PM
Subjective assertions and experience are not necessarily irrational;
Are you serious? Do you know how many times I have been called "irrational" or "illogical" by the non-theist community for using subjective assertions and believing certain things by faith?

The "and" in your claim makes a huge difference.  Subjective assertions that are evidence-based and potentially falsifiable may still be rational.   Take for example Euclid's postulates... as unproven statements they are subjective assertions, but they are the foundation of a model that results in reliable and verifiable predictions.  They also are subject to falsification by demonstrating a single contrary example.  This is very different from irrational belief based on faith.



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 04, 2010, 09:01:15 PM
Subjective assertions and experience are not necessarily irrational;
Are you serious? Do you know how many times I have been called "irrational" or "illogical" by the non-theist community for using subjective assertions and believing certain things by faith?

The "and" in your claim makes a huge difference.  Subjective assertions that are evidence-based and potentially falsifiable may still be rational.   Take for example Euclid's postulates... as unproven statements they are subjective assertions, but they are the foundation of a model that results in reliable and verifiable predictions.  They also are subject to falsification by demonstrating a single contrary example.  This is very different from irrational belief based on faith.

Lol mockturtle. In essence your claim is that your shift is different from my shift and you won't acknowledge that that is the best you can do. The whole point really is to get you to acknowledge the 'and' you are so afraid of in your own reasoning.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 09:13:37 PM
That's probably because for you, everything has to be a solid black or white.  Your mistake is treating everything as the same.   That is why you claim that you will never lie no matter what the situation.

Yes!!! EXACTLY! Thank you! Hit the nail on the head sir. That's what was confusing the hell out of me trying to understand biblestudent's conversational style and mentality... I just couldn't put my finger on it.

The bold part is the nut. Biblestudent, you seem to do that with A LOT of different things. But stuff has different values. A basic concept such as subjective morality is NOT the same as a very specific story, setting, "divine law of the universe".

Subjective assertions and experience are not necessarily irrational;

Are you serious? Do you know how many times I have been called "irrational" or "illogical" by the non-theist community for using subjective assertions and believing certain things by faith ? But now that we're talking about the non-theist position on morality being subjective and governed (if you will) by "opinions", now all of a sudden it isn't irrational ? Now that's some magical rationalizing right there.



Like THIS. A chain of experiences, REAL experiences, and the conclusions drawn by them, are not equatable to believing a specific story because you believe the person telling it is an authority figure. You're trying to pigeonhole all rational thought into one giant do or die scenario, and reality, and the human experience, just aren't set up that way.

What I'm saying is... Well...  For being a guy fluent in big-wordery and professing all kinds of "wisdom", your mind AND your brain appear to only function in binary. It's weird. And hard to follow. I'm obviously not alone in this. I think it's apparent to just about anybody that you've got one massive ego, but are you really going to suggest that all these different people, from all walks of life, all different lifestyles and countries and cultures... *WE'VE* got the problem that you're hard to understand? Are you willing in any way to concede that maybe you're not expressing yourself properly?

Sigh. i doubt it. I've totally got you pegged as a guy that never gives an inch. Learn to bend a little man. You might get further in a conversation, and spend less time trying to repeat the same things in different words.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 09:19:11 PM
But they are still "opinions" as I have been reminded of on more than one occasion. Correct ? If so, and you hold firmly to your position, then how does it differ from my so-called "opinion" about God, creation, etc. Do you see the irony now ?

You are entitled to your position on God.  Has anyone here tried to take away your right to believe in God?  Both of the claims about subjective morality and the existence of the Christian God deserve the same level if inquiry.  Reason and logic (and now part of it through science) will tell you that morality is subjective.  It is simply impossible (through reason and logic) to come to the conclusion that this world as it presents to us now is bound by a universal, objective morality.  It doesn't add up.  Reason, logic and evidence (or giant lack-there-of) will tell you that belief in the Christian God is bonkers.   

It's interesting, but God is also very subjective.  What you believe about your God is very different from what other people believe about their god.  Even among believers in your own faith; God is defined differently from person to person.  And even among believers, you have people who say "God wants X" and others who say "God doesn't want X".  How can you claim that morality comes from God, if you believers can't even agree what that morality is in the first place?   

While you are entitled to your belief in God, your belief is based off of faith and what I believe to be a massively misinterpreted reading of an ancient book, nothing more.  Any belief that makes faith a virtuous thing has something to hide.  It should be scrutinized more severely than any other belief.  It's like the book says... "I know this sounds crazy, and I can't prove it, but you HAVE to believe me!"  That's what faith is.  How people can fall for that is beyond me.



Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god out there that we don't know about, the Christian version God is dead in the water. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 09:23:13 PM
<starts slow clap>

On FIRE I say!  ;D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:23:49 PM
INTERESTING!! What does that say?  That Oxytocin levels effect the level of one's generosity.  In other words, the more oxytocin you have in your brain, the more generous you are!  Is that not scientific proof that levels of generosity are completely subject to how much oxytocin we have? You wanted it, you got it.  We now have scientific proof that at least this aspect of morality is not from "on-high"  It is from hormone levels, and thus can vary depending upon how much or how little oxytocin we have.  I have now offered you one scientific study in support of my case that morality (at least one aspect of it) is not from any type of god.  Can you give me any science or knowledge information to back up your claim that it does? 

Let me see if I understand correctly. Morality is an "opinion" that can be produced by chemicals....correct?

Quote
According to the study, there is even evidence that, in American society, the levels of oxytocin in the brain are increasing, as annual levels of charity in the United States have gone up by 187% since 1954.

Wasn't it you that said morality is in decline?  Yes, I think it was!   

Yes, I did say that.....and one example of increased generosity does not prove me wrong.

 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 09:28:51 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/21/AR2009122103223.html

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"The homicide rate dropped 10 percent in the first half of this year as crime rates reached their lowest point nationally since the 1960s, the FBI reported Monday. "

This is the murder capital of the country, by the way.

Edit: Whoops. No it's not. It's NATIONALLY. Imagine my embarassment.  :-[
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 09:28:56 PM
Let me see if I understand correctly. Morality is an "opinion" that can be produced by chemicals....correct?


No, that morality can be "influenced" by chemicals or hormons rather.  But, not nearly as much as your brain has been "influenced" by religion over time and repetition of delusion.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:32:23 PM
Yes!!! EXACTLY! Thank you! Hit the nail on the head sir. That's what was confusing the hell out of me trying to understand biblestudent's conversational style and mentality... I just couldn't put my finger on it.

The bold part is the nut. Biblestudent, you seem to do that with A LOT of different things. But stuff has different values. A basic concept such as subjective morality is NOT the same as a very specific story, setting, "divine law of the universe".

To all of you holding fast to the position that morality is subjective, please visit the following link.....the article was written by an atheist:

http://www.strongatheism.net/library/philosophy/case_for_objective_morality/




Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 09:34:59 PM
Yes!!! EXACTLY! Thank you! Hit the nail on the head sir. That's what was confusing the hell out of me trying to understand biblestudent's conversational style and mentality... I just couldn't put my finger on it.

The bold part is the nut. Biblestudent, you seem to do that with A LOT of different things. But stuff has different values. A basic concept such as subjective morality is NOT the same as a very specific story, setting, "divine law of the universe".

To all of you holding fast to the position that morality is subjective, please visit the following link.....the article was written by an atheist:

http://www.strongatheism.net/library/philosophy/case_for_objective_morality/






So what if he's an atheist? He's not the pope, he's just a guy on the internet. And he certainly doesn't speak for me.

He has a point in terms of keeping a society functioning, and having the morals become laws that reinforce the morals in order to sustain  it. But I don't see where it changes the nature of the beast. Ancient Rome thought it was totally cool to pimp out 7 year old boys and hang cocks over their doors and own slaves and have prisoners kill each other for their amusement.
And this wasn't just a few radical weirdos. It was the cultural norm for a thousand years in one of the most radically advanced and powerfull empires in the history of mankind. I'd say that doesn't speak much for a hard-line stance here.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 09:38:57 PM
The guy in the article simply considers things that satisfy our needs as morally good.  It's still subjective morality.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:45:56 PM
So what if he's an atheist? He's not the pope, he's just a guy on the internet. And he certainly doesn't speak for me.

Did I say he was speaking for you ? I was simply offering another person's viewpoint on the issue of objective/subjective morality....and he happened to be a non-theist. Geeez.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 09:53:45 PM
So what if he's an atheist? He's not the pope, he's just a guy on the internet. And he certainly doesn't speak for me.

Did I say he was speaking for you ? I was simply offering another person's viewpoint on the issue of objective/subjective morality....and he happened to be a non-theist. Geeez.


My bad. You said it kind of like we should take his word as an authority or something. Thanks for clearing that up.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:54:05 PM
Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god out there that we don't know about, the Christian version God is dead in the water. 

My reply:

Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God atheism isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious non-theist beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism Christianity or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God atheism is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God atheist belief is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god atheism out there that we don't know about, the Christian atheistic version God is dead in the water.  


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 04, 2010, 09:54:32 PM
BS, you misunderstand atheism.  Atheism is not some dogmatic belief system that requires science to prove everything.  Atheism simply means that we don't believe there are real gods.  All gods are imaginary, that's it.

As far as morality, it's been beaten into the ground over the centuries, and the theists have lost ground every step of the way.  There is simply no way anyone can show that an objective morality exists.  Hell, if that were true, then you should have no problem at all getting at least all of the Christians to agree on that morality, and to follow it.  If you can do that simple task, with all of the believers in Jesus, then I will admit openly on this forum that there is an objective morality.  Deal?

If you're going to make such claims, at least show some pride in your own group of god lovers and prove to the world once and for all why Christianity is so awesome, you know, with it's nice morals and everything.

P.s.  You might want to avoid the Phelps family, they probably won't want to play nice...I'll give you that one as a bonus!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:54:57 PM
My bad. You said it kind of like we should take his word as an authority or something. Thanks for clearing that up.

No problem.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 04, 2010, 09:56:55 PM


My reply:

Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God atheism isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious non-theist beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism Christianity or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God atheism is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God atheist belief is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god atheism out there that we don't know about, the Christian atheistic version God is dead in the water.


Wow.  Very creative, and impressive!  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 09:57:06 PM
Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god out there that we don't know about, the Christian version God is dead in the water. 

My reply:

Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God atheism isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious non-theist beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism Christianity or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God atheism is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God atheist belief is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god atheism out there that we don't know about, the Christian atheistic version God is dead in the water.  

We're usually the ones who do this...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: RaymondKHessel on August 04, 2010, 09:57:35 PM
Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  

<raises hand> Umm... I did that, for what it's worth. Right around the time I got to the unicorns and dragons, the answer was a resounding "NOT A CHANCE IN BIBLICAL HELL."

Actually, that's a lie. It was much earlier. The dragons and unicorns don't come in until after the one guy sacrifices himself to himself because he didn't like the extensions of himself that he had made... whatever that was about.

Pretty much at the point that a 600 year old man spent 100 years building a boat that carried 60,000 species of spider, 300,000 species of beetle, and 5,000 species of mammal. Now THAT came after the whole bit with the rib lady and the mud man and the enchanted foodstuffs and walking talking snakes that spoke ancient Aramaic... But BEFORE the bit about mutilating your cock and magical sheep fornication.

Umm... So anyways...

Where does that leave me?

edit: Should probably say, however, if the book had said something about quantum wormholes or pocket dimensions in the cargo hold, I'd have bought Noah's Ark hook line and sinker. Just for the record.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:58:31 PM
BS, you misunderstand atheism.  Atheism is not some dogmatic belief system that requires science to prove everything.  Atheism simply means that we don't believe there are real gods.  All gods are imaginary, that's it.

No, I don't misunderstand atheism. I was just showing that I could use the same appeal from from a theist point of view. Actually, I would need to polish it up a bit in order for it to truly make sense but I think you get the point.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 09:59:14 PM
We're usually the ones who do this...

I know. Where do you think I got the idea ?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 04, 2010, 10:00:20 PM
Yeah, the man living in a fish, the talking snakes, all real!  Dumb atheists...

Talking donkey though, no way, right?  

Oh wait, who was that guy that died and came back to life...somebody help me here...uh, oh, oh Jesus!  Jesus died and came back to life...that nails it right?  Christianity, as real as it gets people....

Sigh.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 04, 2010, 10:01:29 PM
Lol mockturtle. In essence your claim is that your shift is different from my shift and you won't acknowledge that that is the best you can do. The whole point really is to get you to acknowledge the 'and' you are so afraid of in your own reasoning.

Is there a point to that response?

I stand by my argument that subjective assessments are not, by definition, irrational.
If there is a problem with my facts or logic, tell me what it is.  


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 10:01:50 PM
No, I don't misunderstand atheism. I was just showing that I could use the same appeal from from a theist point of view. Actually, I would need to polish it up a bit in order for it to truly make sense but I think you get the point.

No, you don't understand and what you did cannot be applied to atheism.  There are too many to count gods that people claim to be true.  Atheism is a non-belief in any of them.

Try it with me now...

Atheism is a non-beleif in god or gods.

Now your stance....
I beleive in jesus
I believe in god
I believe in Thor
I believe in ...... ( And this could go on for quite some time)

See the difference!?  :shrug

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 04, 2010, 10:03:34 PM
Well, I see that BibleStudent gave up the argument about disproving that morals are subjective.  Guess we get to argue about the difference between Christianity and Atheism now.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 10:04:03 PM
Let me see if I understand correctly. Morality is an "opinion" that can be produced by chemicals....correct?

The study shows that varying levels of oxytocin in the brain will ilicit varying levels of observed generocity.  I would assume varying the levels of oxytocin was exactly what the study did.  Stop saying things like "morality is..."  Morality is a just a word. It doesn't exist as something concrete.  It is just a word we use to inform others about how we see the world in terms of right and wrong.    

The study proves that generosity (a moral issue to be sure) can be changed via changing the level of a specific compound in the brain.  This is a scientific fact that you can not simply ignore.  If all our levels of generosity were directly from God, would varying the levels of chemicals in the brain be able to change how generous someone was?    




Also, with regard to that article from the atheist regarding objective morality.  He is entitled to his belief.  But not for one second, anywhere in his post, does he mention that it comes from some sort of diety.  He has some valid points, but when he talks about values and needs, all humans are different in what they value and need.  I just don't agree with him.  We share a common belief that there is no God, but it goes no further than that.  That's my OPINION.

Sam Harris in "Letter to a Christian Nation" writes...

Quote
But we can easily think of objective sources of moral order that do not require the existence of a lawgiving God. For there to be objective moral truths worth knowing, there need only be better and worse ways to seek happiness in this world.

What I disagree with is the idea that people seek happiness in ways that everyone would judge as better or worse.  If someone ate cow crap and loved it, are they seeking happiness in a better or worse way than me?  Who am I to say?  If you can't say everyone seeks happiness in the same way, then how can you say we have objective moral truths?  I may be wrong, but that's my stance.  

My reply:

Listen man, I am really sorry to say this but God atheism isn't real.  It's just not.  You are wasting time with your religious non-theist beliefs.  They are a cancer on you that you should try to get rid of.  I am not trying to convert you to any dogmatic version of atheism Christianity or to get you to buy into a time share or anything.  I am just saying there are millions of people out there who think... no KNOW, that the Christian God atheism is not real. What you do with that information is up to you.  I just want you to think for yourself a little.  Open your mind to the possibility that you are wrong.  Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real".  Look at both sides of the argument, because I am willing to bet that most of your life has been spent on one side, and not in exploration of the other.  Take it from someone who explored both sides.  The Christian God atheist belief is fake.  100% fake.  While there may be some other version of god atheism out there that we don't know about, the Christian atheistic version God is dead in the water.

I lol'd.  While I didn't agree with Sam Harris regarding his position on objective moral truths, I DO agree with him on the following from the same book...  

Quote
Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to "never doubt the existence of God" should be obliged to present evidence for his existence—and, indeed, for his benevolence, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day. An atheist is a person who believes that the murder of a single little girl— even once in a million years—casts doubt upon the idea of a benevolent God.

So you see, I don't "believe" in atheism.  You crossed out God and put atheism in there as if it is a "thing" to believe in.  It's not.  I am just making the noises people make when they hear other people believing stupid stuff.  

Yours is a wasted life in service to an invisible sky man that isn't real.  That is the truth.  You should be embarassed by it.  It's the year 2010 for Christ sake.  Wake up.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 04, 2010, 10:16:10 PM
The only part of the bible I've seen that is iffy comes right after "In the beginning" and goes until the end of Revelation.

Other than that it's pretty much perfect.

I have never been able to match the reality ascribed by the bible with the reality I live as a human being. I have never seen any religious group appear to have any sort of advantage over anyone else, be it in health, morality, longevity, peacefulness or even the ability to score higher in WoW.

So even if it were true (and it's not) what would the advantage be? Heaven? A nondescript eternity devoid of any appeal? I don't think so. Hell would be a bitch if it were real. It ain't.

I am an atheist because nothing in my life has ever even hinted at the supernatural, let alone a specific deity. I am without belief.

Sorry I have no silly stories to back up my contentions. I know that makes it hard for you to get a grasp on the concept, BibleStudent. I could make something up, which would be very helpful for you, but it would be a lie, and whether objective or subjective, I don't want to do that.

By the way JeffPT, when is your biography coming out. I'm reading one on Willie Mays right now, but I like to know more about all of my heros. Please advise.





Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 10:18:36 PM


Don't mean to tread off topic, but you have to laugh with threads like this and stand back in awe of the simplistic way of thinking still in people.  Threads like this prove to me that evolution of the brain is real (in matter of speaking of course), and that our brains evolved to have that primitve, animalistic instinct in superstition and survival even for the "afterlife" in the early days of man.


But some peoples brains have transcended the chains of primitive ideologies that now serve no real purpose for man's function to survive in 2010 society.  However, if you still live in a cave and don't understand our world and the universe, I can see how you would need the magic and superstition to keep you going to mysteriously improve your odds.


And JeffPT, you are brilliant.... please don't get bored posting in this forum.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 10:21:22 PM
Don't think it's real, ask yourself "could this be real". 

<raises hand> Umm... I did that, for what it's worth.

So have I. What this thread doesn’t reveal is just how much time and effort I have invested in making the best possible determinations I could about the subjects being discussed here and in other threads. I work from 8:30-4:30 five days a week. I get up in the morning and spend 1-2 hours every day reading and reviewing material. I normally spend my lunch hour everyday continuing the endeavor. Upon my arrival home for the day, I sometimes spend anywhere from 2-3 more hours gobbling up everything I can find. In addition to that, I frequently spend hours on the weekends consumed by my relentless efforts to satisfy the enormous craving I have had to find the answers. It has been, and continues to be, an obsession.

Despite what some may think, I was not brought up in the Christian environment that so many of the non-theistic discussion boards like to use as a case for the ‘brainwashed’ mentality that controls us theists. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I became a Christian.  My parents were not the devout Christians the non-theists would like to think. Regardless, I did have to admit that if I was going to be fair to myself when approaching the entire theist vs. non-theist debate that I would have to make a determined effort to shackle my faith.

I will tell you, very briefly, why I even approached this self imposed challenge. My faith had been subjected to some incredibly trying experiences. Over the course of the last 4-5 years, I have sensed a fading of its influence in my life to the point where I was on the brink of thinking I would have to be done with it. It was making me miserable. It was at that point that I made a conscious decision to validate once and for all whether it was real or imagined. I tend to get beat up in these discussions and criticized and labeled with disrespectful terms and words but, frankly, I could care less. This is MY journey, my endeavor….this is about ME and what I was going to decide. That may sound selfish and disrespectful but I HAD to take that approach out of fairness to myself.

What I can tell you is this. I am not 70% certain of my position. I am not 90% certain. I am unequivocally 100% certain of what I discovered. Right now, I feel better than I can ever remember feeling about the reality of God that I see. Please do not ask me to elaborate on this because I know it will only amount to an endless circle of debate....and since I won't elaborate directly, you asking me and me not responding will only get me in trouble with the mods...so, please don't do it. This commentary is simply a reply to the appeal that I take an unbiased approach to the non-theist viewpoint.

With that being said, if you haven't done so already, I would just like to encourage you, and anyone else up to the challenge, to endeavor to take a neutral approach like I did and locate, examine, and critique every piece of evidentiary material you can get your hands on…..both from a theist standpoint and a non-theist standpoint. Check out every point and counter-point that you can. Be fair to yourself. Be objective. Don’t be so quick to accept what anyone says just because they claim to be a lifelong biologist or an accredited theologian or a high profile geologist or a creationist historian, etc etc. Once you’ve reached a point where you feel committed to the conclusions you have drawn, examine the Biblical account and see if you think it influences your decision…..even if you find yourself continuing to favor a non-theistic belief.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD” – Jeremiah 29:13-14

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 04, 2010, 10:32:52 PM
Yes!!! EXACTLY! Thank you! Hit the nail on the head sir. That's what was confusing the hell out of me trying to understand biblestudent's conversational style and mentality... I just couldn't put my finger on it.

The bold part is the nut. Biblestudent, you seem to do that with A LOT of different things. But stuff has different values. A basic concept such as subjective morality is NOT the same as a very specific story, setting, "divine law of the universe".

To all of you holding fast to the position that morality is subjective, please visit the following link.....the article was written by an atheist:

http://www.strongatheism.net/library/philosophy/case_for_objective_morality/

His argument breaks down at about the same point where you ask him why (for example) survival is objectively better than death.  I mean, it's subjectively better, to me and to almost everyone else.  But that's because we have survival instincts.

He assumes several moral values as being objectively true, and then concludes (rightly) that - given those values - a definite system of morality objectively arises.

The problem is that the objectivity of those initial values is the very issue under discussion.  He is engaging in circular reasoning.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 10:33:49 PM
Stop saying things like "morality is..."  Morality is a just a word. It doesn't exist as something concrete.

What ? Morality is a word, it is in the dictionary, and can certainly be used in a sentence the way I have used it. My use of the word is a commonly accepted use. Quit the nit-picking vocabulary crap.    

The study proves that generosity (a moral issue to be sure) can be changed via changing the level of a specific compound in the brain.  This is a scientific fact that you can not simply ignore.  If all our levels of generosity were directly from God, would varying the levels of chemicals in the brain be able to change how generous someone was?

Can you establish the correlation between the moral "opinions" you spoke of earlier and this scientific evidence.....that is, if there is a correlation that can even be made.     

Also, with regard to that article from the atheist regarding objective morality.  He is entitled to his belief.  But not for one second, anywhere in his post, does he mention that it comes from some sort of diety.  He has some valid points, but when he talks about values and needs, all humans are different in what they value and need.  I just don't agree with him.  We share a common belief that there is no God, but it goes no further than that.  That's my OPINION.

Cool.

So you see, I don't "believe" in atheism.  You crossed out God and put atheism in there as if it is a "thing" to believe in.  It's not.  I am just making the noises people make when they hear other people believing stupid stuff.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, I realize the wording didn't mesh with the meaning of atheism, but I would like to think you got the point.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 10:44:24 PM
Don't mean to tread off topic, but you have to laugh with threads like this and stand back in awe of the simplistic way of thinking still in people. 

Actually, not to be a smart a**, but what is discussed and debated on this forum and others is really not a laughing matter at all.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 04, 2010, 10:53:17 PM
With that being said, if you haven't done so already, I would just like to encourage you, and anyone else up to the challenge, to endeavor to take a neutral approach like I did and locate, examine, and critique every piece of evidentiary material you can get your hands on…..both from a theist standpoint and a non-theist standpoint. Check out every point and counter-point that you can. Be fair to yourself. Be objective. Don’t be so quick to accept what anyone says just because they claim to be a lifelong biologist or an accredited theologian or a high profile geologist or a creationist historian, etc etc. Once you’ve reached a point where you feel committed to the conclusions you have drawn, examine the Biblical account and see if you think it influences your decision…..even if you find yourself continuing to favor a non-theistic belief.

It's not Sunday. What are you doing here, preacher?

I have had ample opportunity to question my stance on the bible and religion in general for 47 years and have yet to find one tiny little reason to suspect I am wrong. I am not closed-minded. Rather, I am open to a million ideas. But they have to make sense somewhere alone the line. Expecting me to roll over and play christian based on faith and belief alone won't cut it with some folks here. If there is a god, he made us this way. We're not your problem.

The lack of consistency in christian belief should itself be a dead-giveaway. That no two christians who show up here agree with each other on even some of the most basic of tenets sort of hints at a bunch of folks who hope what they want to be true is true. Persistent personal modification of the perfect word of god fails to garner my trust in the process. The nebulous variety of views on heaven, hell, floods, jesus and whatever that mysterious flying thing that sounds like aliens were around are not the type of following I would expect from something omnipotent. A certain amount of competence is assumed re: supernatural gods, and the one you claim just isn't cutting it.

You're 100% sure there is a god. I'm as close to 100% that there aren't any as my atheist buddies will let me be without tossing me in the looney bin. (Except Jetson, who has an incredibly rational head on his shoulders, since he thinks like me.) How can two humans who speak the same language, have similar life experiences, etc. end up being so far apart?

Someone is being lied to. I'll draw no conclusions publicly, though.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 10:56:37 PM
Actually, not to be a smart a**, but what is discussed and debated on this forum and others is really not a laughing matter at all.

You're exactly right "Bible Student".  I think the sad truth is that you will take what is intelligently discussed and debated here by very reasonable, intelligent people, and use it to your advantage in your christian delusion to gather weaker, unintelligent minds for your primitive, selfish cause.

You're obviously not a...

LogicStudent
ReasonStudent
TruthStudent
FactStudent
ScienceStudent
KnowledgeStudent

But I guess that goes without saying....
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 04, 2010, 11:00:50 PM
Actually, not to be a smart a**, but what is discussed and debated on this forum and others is really not a laughing matter at all.

Sorry 'bout that. It's just that now that you guys aren't burning us at the stake anymore, we're just giddy.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 11:10:29 PM
You're exactly right "Bible Student".  I think the sad truth is that you will take what is intelligently discussed and debated here by very reasonable, intelligent people, and use it to your advantage in your christian delusion to gather weaker, unintelligent minds for your primitive, selfish cause.


Are you trying to impress someone....or do you just get orgasmic when you can assemble a coherently absurd rambling ?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 11:12:24 PM

Better than getting orgasmic for chirst and the afterlife!  Sorry for the absurd rambling, my brain is melting from reading your responses.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 04, 2010, 11:14:38 PM

Better than getting orgasmic for chirst and the afterlife!  Sorry for the absurd rambling, my brain is melting from reading your responses.

Not surprised. Figured they were probably a little over your head anyway.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 11:19:20 PM

I've see many of your so-called discusions, and there is no point in trying reason with you.  But I'm glad you sunk down to the level that I was trying to bring you to.  Good job!  You must be in need of some certain chemicals so your morality will kick back up a notch or two.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 04, 2010, 11:25:54 PM

Better than getting orgasmic for chirst and the afterlife!  Sorry for the absurd rambling, my brain is melting from reading your responses.

Not surprised. Figured they were probably a little over your head anyway.



I'm impressed. You finally said something. It was wrong, but at least it was something.

Note: Taking two minutes to make a snappy comeback sort of dooms you to obscurity.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: roomba on August 04, 2010, 11:28:39 PM

Better than getting orgasmic for chirst and the afterlife!  Sorry for the absurd rambling, my brain is melting from reading your responses.

Not surprised. Figured they were probably a little over your head anyway.



A wild ego appears!!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: DVZ3 on August 04, 2010, 11:30:51 PM

^^^ Who would have thought.  ;)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 11:41:09 PM
So have I. What this thread doesn’t reveal is just how much time and effort I have invested in making the best possible determinations I could about the subjects being discussed here and in other threads. I work from 8:30-4:30 five days a week. I get up in the morning and spend 1-2 hours every day reading and reviewing material. I normally spend my lunch hour everyday continuing the endeavor. Upon my arrival home for the day, I sometimes spend anywhere from 2-3 more hours gobbling up everything I can find. In addition to that, I frequently spend hours on the weekends consumed by my relentless efforts to satisfy the enormous craving I have had to find the answers. It has been, and continues to be, an obsession.

Despite what some may think, I was not brought up in the Christian environment that so many of the non-theistic discussion boards like to use as a case for the ‘brainwashed’ mentality that controls us theists. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I became a Christian.  My parents were not the devout Christians the non-theists would like to think. Regardless, I did have to admit that if I was going to be fair to myself when approaching the entire theist vs. non-theist debate that I would have to make a determined effort to shackle my faith.

I will tell you, very briefly, why I even approached this self imposed challenge. My faith had been subjected to some incredibly trying experiences. Over the course of the last 4-5 years, I have sensed a fading of its influence in my life to the point where I was on the brink of thinking I would have to be done with it. It was making me miserable. It was at that point that I made a conscious decision to validate once and for all whether it was real or imagined. I tend to get beat up in these discussions and criticized and labeled with disrespectful terms and words but, frankly, I could care less. This is MY journey, my endeavor….this is about ME and what I was going to decide. That may sound selfish and disrespectful but I HAD to take that approach out of fairness to myself.

What I can tell you is this. I am not 70% certain of my position. I am not 90% certain. I am unequivocally 100% certain of what I discovered. Right now, I feel better than I can ever remember feeling about the reality of God that I see. Please do not ask me to elaborate on this because I know it will only amount to an endless circle of debate....and since I won't elaborate directly, you asking me and me not responding will only get me in trouble with the mods...so, please don't do it. This commentary is simply a reply to the appeal that I take an unbiased approach to the non-theist viewpoint.

With that being said, if you haven't done so already, I would just like to encourage you, and anyone else up to the challenge, to endeavor to take a neutral approach like I did and locate, examine, and critique every piece of evidentiary material you can get your hands on…..both from a theist standpoint and a non-theist standpoint. Check out every point and counter-point that you can. Be fair to yourself. Be objective. Don’t be so quick to accept what anyone says just because they claim to be a lifelong biologist or an accredited theologian or a high profile geologist or a creationist historian, etc etc. Once you’ve reached a point where you feel committed to the conclusions you have drawn, examine the Biblical account and see if you think it influences your decision…..even if you find yourself continuing to favor a non-theistic belief.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD” – Jeremiah 29:13-14

A try at honesty..  MUCH MUCH better Biblestudent.  Much better. 

Ok, this is fair.  You are 100% sure of your position and so am I.  You base that on your life and your experiences.  So do I.  The approach I took was much the same as yours.  And I came out with the opposite conclusion.  I don't see how it's possible to do what you say you did and come out with your belief intact without FIRST believing that God is real.  Did you simply ignore the things that didn't make any sense or fit with reality?  Because there are lots of them. 

If you really want to claim that you took an unbiased look at your religion, then I have to ask you... How do you get past the idea of talking snakes, unicorns, dragons, giants, jewish zombies, people surviving in fish for days and all the other things you find in the bible that make no sense, if you are really, seriously using reason and logic to determine truth?  Is there any other book that you have read in your life that had talking animals in it that was compelling to believe when you read it?  The only possible way you can get past those things is if you already believed in God prior to reading it.  Belief in God is a prerequisite for believing in things that your logic and reason will tell you are false.   It is utterly impossible to conclude that the bible is truth if you are looking at it logically and rationally.  Your every day experiences scream at you that talking animals are not real.  That dragons are not real.  That people can't live inside fish.  That when people die, they don't rise from the dead 3 days later.  That nobody knows what happens after we die because nobody has been there and come back.  How do you get past all that without first believing in God? 

But there are 2 lines of what you posted that are very telling....

Quote
Please do not ask me to elaborate on this because I know it will only amount to an endless circle of debate....and since I won't elaborate directly, you asking me and me not responding will only get me in trouble with the mods...so, please don't do it.
and
Quote
I have sensed a fading of its influence in my life to the point where I was on the brink of thinking I would have to be done with it. It was making me miserable.

First: You have to understand, we get the "I can't tell you what it is" all the time.  You won't tell us because you know we won't believe it as evidence, right?  If you couldn't convince us based on your experience, then why does the experience convince you?  If it was fool proof evidence, then I would really like to hear it.  I believe I looked very hard and with a critical eye during all the time I spent looking for the truth behind religions.  I concluded that talking snakes were most likely not real.  I concluded that people can't turn water into wine.  I concluded that leprosy is not cured by the methods approved of in the bible.  I concluded that Mohammad did not fly to heaven on a winged horse.  Those are logical assessments of the claims in religious books made from an unbiased standpoint and the reality of the world I have lived in for the past 30+ years.  It is the same assessment I would use to evaluate the book "Charlotte's Web" for truth.  Talking animals are not real, so it is most likely that "Charlotte's Web" is fiction.  The bible is just a book.  It deserves the EXACT same skepticism as "Charlotte's Web".  The minute you hold back your skepticism when you review ANY book, you are no longer looking for truth... you are only looking to confirm what you want to believe.  The minute you allow yourself to believe in an invisible sky person that can do anything, then of course anything is possible!  Talking pigs, and spiders are also possible if you believe in God.  All religions are perpetuated that way.  The question then becomes, what evidence is there for that particular sky person?  Hmm, none.     

My final question to myself was this... is it more likely that these things were all made up by people who didn't know much about the world, or is it more likely that all of it is true.  Well, from everything we know about extraordinary claims, they require extraordinary evidence.  If you are going to tell me there is a giant pink rabbit behind me, then you better back it up... especially since when I turn around, I don't see anything.  We also know that people lie... a lot.  We also know that there have been literally thousands of different religions throughout the history of time and they can't all be right.  The evidence for talking snakes, the resurrection, all of it is non-existant.  Your honest look at religion would have revealed that to you if you really did what you said.  There is no other place outside the bible that makes the claim that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead 3 days later that was written within 100 years of his death.  And the original claim isn't even from someone who SAW it.  It was second hand information! Therefore it is most logical to conclude that none of it is true.  Can you please tell me where that logic breaks down?  From a purely logical standpoint, the idea that all of it is true, is lunacy.  It is far more logical to think that they made it all up, just like E.B. White made up "Charlotte's Web". Can you tell me with a straight face, that if you read the bible story in any location besides "the bible", you would believe it?     

Second: You said it yourself... You were miserable when you were without your faith.  When someone is in that state of mind, they are vulnerable to something... anything making a positive impact on their faith.  Those "trying" experiences you had, you never let them lead you in the direction that they were taking you.  It sounds like you fought them tooth and nail.   You likely brushed aside all the things continued to lead you away from your faith and put a heightened sense of priority on things that helped to validate your faith (be them real or imagined).  The reason you were miserable probably had a lot to do with the realization that what you believed was false (why else would you have been miserable?)  If you had just let yourself embrace truth, no matter how miserable it made you feel, you would have come out the other side a better, stronger person.  But instead it seems you let some experience pull you back in because it was easier to embrace the fantasy than accept the reality.   

If you have overwhelming evidence that convinced you, then you should share it with all of us.  If there is a Christian God, I want to know.  One of us is right, and the other is wrong, yet both of us are 100% sure of our positions.  Let's face it, you don't have logic and reason (the normal way you decide between true and false) on your side.  So the evidence you have is something you should share, and it should convince us beyond any doubt that we are wrong, right? 

Otherwise, we all understand that the reason you hide it from us is because you know we can (and will) poke giant holes in it.   

Did you read any of the 50 proofs of this website?  How do you respond to all of them?  Hell, how do you respond to even 1 of them?  They are dead-on accurate. 

Finally, regarding that bible quote you put up... think about it.  "Seek and you shall find".  What happens when you don't find it?  The religious solution?  You aren't looking hard enough... you don't have enough faith.  It tells the person "if you don't find it, you aren't using your whole heart."  So what are the possible outcomes?  Either you find God, or you have to keep looking harder.  It is not a situation that allows for someone to embrace the truth that no matter how hard you search, it's not really there.  A Christian can never conclude that.  They will either find God, or die trying to find God.  Well, I didn't fall for that trick.  When I seeked God, he wasn't there.  It wasn't like I was angry, or upset at God.  I just found him to be non-existant.  It was just more validation that it's all fake. 

Can you, in all honesty, provide 1 single logical, reasonable and compelling argument that would make someone like me reconsider my position?  And remember, I have no faith, and I think the bible is all false, so you can't really use bible quotes... but I am open to you proving I am wrong using reason, logic and evidence.  Go for it.     
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 04, 2010, 11:42:42 PM
Quote
Except Jetson, who has an incredibly rational head on his shoulders, since he thinks like me.

That just brought a small tear to my left eye...   :(

I'm finally making a name for myself.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 04, 2010, 11:51:08 PM
Can you establish the correlation between the moral "opinions" you spoke of earlier and this scientific evidence.....that is, if there is a correlation that can even be made.     

Do you consider generosity to be a moral issue? 

Someone's generosity (or their opinion that they should be more generous toward another person) will change with the simple addition of oxytocin.  That is the correlation that can be made.  Are you intentionally being blind to that?  What part of that is difficult to understand? 

If you can change someone's desire to be generous toward another person with a simple addition of a chemical, then how can you say that morality is even remotely objective?  It's simply not possible to claim it.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 05, 2010, 03:47:56 AM
Do you consider generosity to be a moral issue? 

Someone's generosity (or their opinion that they should be more generous toward another person) will change with the simple addition of oxytocin.  That is the correlation that can be made.  Are you intentionally being blind to that?  What part of that is difficult to understand? 

If you can change someone's desire to be generous toward another person with a simple addition of a chemical, then how can you say that morality is even remotely objective?  It's simply not possible to claim it.   

Jeff don't worry about a chemical. Basically even a well fed person is more generous with their left overs and so on. Or another thing you could argue is that a person high on drugs is often different to one that isn't. A person still chooses to be generous or not even if a chemical or circumstance influences that choice.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 08:02:14 AM
Despite what some may think, I was not brought up in the Christian environment that so many of the non-theistic discussion boards like to use as a case for the ‘brainwashed’ mentality that controls us theists. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I became a Christian.  My parents were not the devout Christians the non-theists would like to think. Regardless, I did have to admit that if I was going to be fair to myself when approaching the entire theist vs. non-theist debate that I would have to make a determined effort to shackle my faith.

If you were raised in the USA, you were brought up in a xian environment.  xianity is so deeply ingrained in the culture, most people do not even recognize it when they see it.  For example, the idea that male frontal nudity is so horrifically offensive that it cannot be exposed in public or shown in movies.  Do you take that for granted or have you questioned just what the ruckus is about?  That is xianity at work. The Romans used to celebrate a holiday called Saturnalia.  They'd get roaring drunk and go caroling naked around the city.  When the xians got control of things, they coopted this holiday and called it "Christmas".  Now it is much less fun.

I think the idea that genitalia are taboo is crazy.  Imagine if someone said elbows are "dirty" and should not be shown in public.  It has gotten so bad, people don't even want animals to be depicted accurately (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ELEPHANT+STATUE+TOO+REALISTIC%3F+ANATOMICALLY+CORRECT+WORK+UNNERVES...-a064810686).  Insanity.  Funny how that rhymes with "xianity".


In addition, you speak as if xianity is the only form of theism.  "...when approaching the entire theist vs. non-theist debate..."  Did you seriously consider Hinduism as a viable option?  Zoroastrianism?  Or did you really only consider some flavor of xianity?  If so, that exemplifies the built in cultural bias.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: penkie on August 05, 2010, 08:15:29 AM
I think the idea that genitalia are taboo is crazy.  Imagine if someone said elbows are "dirty" and should not be shown in public.  It has gotten so bad, people don't even want animals to be depicted accurately (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ELEPHANT+STATUE+TOO+REALISTIC%3F+ANATOMICALLY+CORRECT+WORK+UNNERVES...-a064810686).  Insanity.  Funny how that rhymes with "xianity".

I also never understood that. It's natural. But this taboo is everywhere, even more hysteric in Moslim culture as it is in Christian.

Things are a bit looser around here than in the US. Most people here laughed about the fuss around the Hot Coffee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Coffee_minigame_controversy) controversy and Nipplegate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXXVIII_halftime_show_controversy).  Those controversies were truly ridiculous.
But even though less strict, most people hold similar values about the shamefulness of nudity. How screwed up are things when the most natural thing in the world that everyone participates in, sex, is mostly forbidden in e.g. video games, while the most barbaric cruel violence possible is totally fine? It blows my mind.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 09:59:33 AM
Do you consider generosity to be a moral issue?  

Someone's generosity (or their opinion that they should be more generous toward another person) will change with the simple addition of oxytocin.  That is the correlation that can be made.  Are you intentionally being blind to that?  What part of that is difficult to understand?

Okay. Thanks. I just wanted to make sure I was following you. If there is one thing that I have learned, the theist can quickly become a target for ridicule in these discussions when they respond to something without having a proper understanding of the proposition.

By the way, yes, generosity is a ‘moral’ expression.

If you can change someone's desire to be generous toward another person with a simple addition of a chemical, then how can you say that morality is even remotely objective?  It's simply not possible to claim it.  

Well, where did the inclination to be generous come from in the first place....and, please, provide some science or fact or knowledge to support your claim.


edit: chopped a hunk of commentary out. When I revisited this post, I found it to be too wordy and even I was having difficulty understanding it. Will try to assemble some comments that more clearly make the point I want to make.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 10:14:11 AM
Screw's penis-based argumentation is always interesting.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 10:16:17 AM
That's probably because for you, everything has to be a solid black or white.  

A continuance of the irony. The non-theist relies on concrete proofs (ie. demonstrating that something is either black or white) to make an argument.....but then criticizes the theist for requiring it as I have done here.


Your mistake is treating everything as the same.

I do not understand this comment. Please elaborate.




Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 10:22:58 AM
Well, where did the inclination to be generous come from in the first place....and, please, provide some science or fact or knowledge to support your claim.

The brain.

Brain lesioning can effect all sorts of morality-type changes. Neuroscientists can't just choose volunteers, cut part of their brain out and "see what happens", so, they examine participants who have sufferred specific brain injuries. Through that sort of research, and thanks in large part to motorcycles, we've learned considerably about what parts of the brain moderate what behaviours.

We do get a lot of useful stuff from animal research, but the human studies are compelling. Look into it. Morality is subject to alterations in brain physiology and chemistry.

Would you disagree that moral behaviour is subjective in this way?

Do you need me to post links in order for you to be convinced that this whole field of research exists, or are you satisfied that it is mundane to an extent that does not warrant significant evidence?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 10:24:41 AM
Are you willing in any way to concede that maybe you're not expressing yourself properly?

Yes, it can be difficult to articulate thoughts on certain aspects of this issue. I do not deny that.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 11:27:55 AM
Screw's penis-based argumentation is always interesting.

I just want to carol naked at xmas without being arrested.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 05, 2010, 12:00:40 PM
I'm not sure where the complications are in this discussion of morality?

Isn't it rational/logical to assume that, by default, morality is 1. a construct of the human mind and 2. subjective?

They are logical and rational as default stances because, well, we do make up morality as we go. An example of that are the rules and laws we introduce and enforce every single day. And depending on where you are (state or country or continent) those things that say what is right/wrong can be and usually are different one way or the other.

So given that our reality in fact does support these two positions, it seems that if you argue against it you'd need to come up with some serious evidence?

Or am I missing something here?

Oh, and can someone define "objective morality" for me please? I'm not sure what it exactly means.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 05, 2010, 12:21:15 PM
Am I correct then in deducing that sometimes morality is subjective and sometimes it is objective ? This question is not meant to mock your comments....I would just like to know if I am understanding you correctly.

A posted speed limit is an excellent example of subjectively objective morality.  Someone chose the speed at which cars are allowed to drive along the road, but the speed limit is unambiguous and can be perceived by anyone licensed to drive a vehicle on that road.

I agree that the speed limit number itself is an objective thing. (There's only one way really to perceive 55mph) However, speed limits are laws, not morals. They are closely related, but not the same thing.
Roomba, I started a response at 1AM, got tired, and went to sleep.  Before that, I'd spent comparing definitions of morality and legality, and was going to conclude the following:

You're both right and wrong :)

You're right in the sense that the two are not the same; the shortest example of this I found in a quote at one of the4 links I visited, which essentially said that our system of legality appeals to our system of morality as an authority.

However, I believe you're wrong in the sense that everyone here is implying the two are roughly interchangeable.  The closest thing we've got to an objective Christian morality is the Bible, which is merely God's morality codified.  The closest thing we have to a secularist morality are laws in which are our values codified.

A speed limit is objective in the sense that it's written down.  It codifies morality in the sense that we feel it's wrong for a person to drive in a way which endangers other drivers - and thus we make signs which define allowable driving behaviors.  The feelings (ie. it's wrong to endanger others with a vehicle) are subjective/relative, while the signs are objective.

The only sign of objective Christian morality is the Bible. We certainly don't have a deity who tells us how to behave or resolve difficult ethical problems on a daily basis.  As such, "Christian morality" can ONLY be objectively assessed by the written word - and strangely enough, that's the only way to objectively assess secular (human?) morality as well.

---

In short, I maintain that a speed limit is equivalent to scripture.  If Christians get to call scripture "objective morality", then we get to claim the same thing about posted traffic laws.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 05, 2010, 12:25:52 PM
That's probably because for you, everything has to be a solid black or white.  

A continuance of the irony. The non-theist relies on concrete proofs (ie. demonstrating that something is either black or white) to make an argument.....but then criticizes the theist for requiring it as I have done here.

We did provide concrete proof that morality is subjective.  You kind of ignored most of them and made some weird strawmans and assertions.

Let me clear it up for you.

We can provide scientific evidence, use logic and reasoning, and other stuff to argue that morality is subjective.  We can't use them (At least not in the same way) to actually come up with a code of morality BECAUSE morality is subjective.  

Can you give scientific evidence, logic, and reasoning to explain why your favorite color is yellow (Or whatever your favorite color is)?

Now, we could use scientific evidence and all that other stuff to HELP us decide what is right or wrong.  For example, you can believe that feeding a child random mushrooms you find in the wild is wrong because they may be poisonous, and you know this through scientific evidence, but you can't use scientific evidence or logic to decide that endangering a child by poisoning him is wrong.  That has to come through your own brain and emotions.

Clear enough?

I do not understand this comment. Please elaborate.

What I mean is that you believe that the context of the situation doesn't matter, and you'll use the same solution no matter what, and you assume that others think the same way.  The claim that you would never lie even to save innocent lives is an obvious example of this.  

Another example is with you calling Jessie untrustworthy because she said that she would lie in certain situations.  You're unable to fathom the idea that people act differently depending on the situation.  So you assume that just because she's capable of lying in certain situations, she's untrustworthy.  You look upon people as "Liars" and "Truth-tellers"; there are no "People who lie depending on the situation" or "People who tell the truth depending on the situation" in your mind, because you ignore the situation.  To you, every situation is the same, with the same solution.

Your comments about this irony stuff show it.  You believe that when we criticize you for using subjective assertions and experiences, it means that we'll always criticize subjective assertions or experiences no matter what the situation.  You're unable to comprehend the idea that things change depending on the situation, so you call it irony and label us hypocrites.  

It's why you present us with a false dilemma.  You can't believe that it's possible for people to believe that they're right while also believing that outside of the mind, they're neutral.  It confuses you because you always ignore the situation.  When you ask "Are the Nazis wrong?", it frustrates you because we change our answers depending on the situation, or in this case, point of view.  "Yes" inside our minds, and "No" in the universe, as well as in the minds of the Nazis.

It's this mindset, and how you look at the world in black and white, that prevents you from understanding the arguments that we're trying to make, and setting up your own strawmen.

Wow, I actually had fun typing that.  Pretending to be a psychologist is funner than it looks.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 05, 2010, 12:32:37 PM
^^ Very well said too!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 05, 2010, 01:18:56 PM
Hi JeffPT, thanks for the courteous response.

Your big point seems to be that morality is merely moral opinions that each of us have.  I'm curious what form these opinions take.

Let me try to explain myself with two analogies:

1.
You and I are doing some homework.  The first question is a math question, say 2+2.  I write down 5, you write down 4.  Later, comparing our answers, I can say "my opinion is that your answer, '4', is wrong."  You can say "my opinion is that your answer, '5' is wrong."  We both have opinions, but we are both basing our opinions on a shared framework, on a universal set of mathematical laws.  Eventually, using those same set of mathematical laws, you can probably convince me that I am factually wrong.

2.
You and I are looking at some flowers.  I say "It's my opinion that those red roses over there are the prettiest!'  You say, "It's my opinion that those yellow daisies over there are the prettiest!"  We might feel very strongly about these preferences, they might influence a large part of our lives.  But they are still aesthetic preferences, if I really really like those red roses, there's not much you can do to convince me that the daisies are prettier.

Do you think moral opinions are more like #1 or #2?  (Or is truth itself relative?  Are #1 and #2 the same kind of thing?)

When you say things like:

Moral opinions obviously carry more weight in our lives than food tastes and favorite baseball teams, but they are still opinions none-the-less.
It sounds like they're more like #2

But when you say things like:
A large portion of the people of the world thought what the Nazi's were doing was wrong...

In this case, I believe the Jewish right to live supercedes the Nazi desire to have a Jew-free world.

Again, I believe the Jewish right to live supercedes the Nazi desire to live in a Jew free world.

someone's like or dislike of chocolate milk does not infringe in the rights of other people to live their lives in peace.  I don't rise up against chocolate milk haters because they aren't hurting anyone.

Morality is an opinion about right and wrong.

It sounds more like you think #1 is the correct view.

If you're saying that a shared moral framework exists and we all have different opinions on what it is, then you and I are in agreement.

If you're saying that no shared moral framework exists, that we can substitute 'aesthetic preferences' for 'opinions', then I think you're wrong.

So, which is it?

[edit: others are of course welcome to chime in as well.]

Thanks,
MiC
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 01:38:08 PM
I'm not sure where the complications are in this discussion of morality?

Here it is in a nutshell:

1. The non-theist who holds to 'moral subjectivity' simply feels that they are correct, however, since he/she does not believe any real evidence exists, he/she does not feel compelled to produce any. This position may appear valid given the topic of discussion, however, the non-theist would deem the absence of such evidence as an inability to justify the position...if...the same line of reasoning were used to assert a belief in God. Would an non-theist ever consider subjective statements about God to be relevant to the actual issue of whether He exists or not?  The answer is no. Also, no scientist would accept subjective statements from a creationist as carrying the same weight as the facts of biological evolution. In other words, subjective evidence cannot establish objective facts. Among other things, there is a clear double-standard at work here.

2. Some atheists cite evolution as the producer of morality, that their ability to discern between right and wrong came about through a biological process and for which they assert it as being the only path to answering moral questions. However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature with the evolution of psychological mechanisms resulting from....(insert the evolutionary process you believe in). In fact I'm interested in hearing Ambassador Pony's position on this given his use of the brain in an earlier proposition.


edit: minor word changes to a sentence.
edit: changed some wording per Ambassador Pony's request.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 05, 2010, 01:48:00 PM
1.
You and I are doing some homework.  The first question is a math question, say 2+2.  I write down 5, you write down 4.  Later, comparing our answers, I can say "my opinion is that your answer, '4', is wrong."  You can say "my opinion is that your answer, '5' is wrong."  We both have opinions, but we are both basing our opinions on a shared framework, on a universal set of mathematical laws.  Eventually, using those same set of mathematical laws, you can probably convince me that I am factually wrong.

2.
You and I are looking at some flowers.  I say "It's my opinion that those red roses over there are the prettiest!'  You say, "It's my opinion that those yellow daisies over there are the prettiest!"  We might feel very strongly about these preferences, they might influence a large part of our lives.  But they are still aesthetic preferences, if I really really like those red roses, there's not much you can do to convince me that the daisies are prettier.

Do you think moral opinions are more like #1 or #2?  (Or is truth itself relative?  Are #1 and #2 the same kind of thing?)

While I can see how people can describe both types of assessments as moral judgment, are there "type 2" judgments for which there are compelling reasons to convince others?  If so, do you have examples?

(I understand that "compelling" is a bit vague.  I'm using that to imply more than just a given person not wanting to live in proximity to people who disagree.)

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 05, 2010, 01:51:17 PM
While I can see how people can describe both types of assessments as moral judgment, are there "type 2" judgments for which there are compelling reasons to convince others?  If so, do you have examples?

I'm sorry, I'm being dense here and I don't think I understand the question... can you rephrase it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 05, 2010, 01:53:17 PM
BibleStudent,
On a related point that is relevant to this thread, I have a question:  How are you able to judge God's morals as being "right" morals?  What reasoning process do you use?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 01:53:58 PM
2. Atheists cite evolution as the producer of morality, that their ability to discern between right and wrong came about through a biological process and for which they assert it as being the only path to answering moral questions. However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature. with the evolution of psychological mechanisms results from a random (non-directed) process. In fact I'm interested in hearing Ambassador Pony's position on this given his use of the brain in an earlier proposition.

To start I'd suggest two things:

1) Change "atheists" to "at least some atheists" at the start to accomodate other view points that you know about (http://www.strongatheism.net/library/philosophy/case_for_objective_morality/).

2) Accept that evolution is not a random process or abandon the discussion since you'll be led astray by a false premise throughout.

If you can change "random (non directed)" to "not directed by a sentient entity" without any qualms, then it is possible to proceed and possibly benefit.

My "proposition" (sorry, but &) ) did include a question to you, I'd appreciate if you answered it, I want to know where the baseline is with you in this matter.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 02:21:56 PM
To start I'd suggest two things:

1) Change "atheists" to "at least some atheists" at the start to accomodate other view points that you know about (http://www.strongatheism.net/library/philosophy/case_for_objective_morality/).

Done.

2) Accept that evolution is not a random process or abandon the discussion since you'll be led astray by a false premise throughout.

If you can change "random (non directed)" to "not directed by a sentient entity" without any qualms, then it is possible to proceed and possibly benefit.

I changed wording:

Quote
2. Some atheists cite evolution as the producer of morality, that their ability to discern between right and wrong came about through a biological process and for which they assert it as being the only path to answering moral questions. However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature with the evolution of psychological mechanisms resulting from....(insert the evolutionary process you believe in). In fact I'm interested in hearing Ambassador Pony's position on this given his use of the brain in an earlier proposition.

...is that acceptable ?


My "proposition" (sorry, but &) ) did include a question to you, I'd appreciate if you answered it, I want to know where the baseline is with you in this matter.

Will do.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 05, 2010, 02:22:21 PM
I'm sorry, I'm being dense here and I don't think I understand the question... can you rephrase it?

One could argue that there is clearly practical value in us coming to an agreement on the rules of math, but there is much less practical value to come to an agreement on what constitutes "pretty".  I haven't thought about it all that much, but it seems to me that the more practical value there is in coming to an agreement, the more likely the issue will be like your math example.  I'm wondering if there are counter examples I haven't thought of.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 02:26:42 PM
Would you disagree that moral behaviour is subjective in this way?

I do not disagree that moral behavior can be influenced by certain chemicals.



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 05, 2010, 02:39:22 PM
One could argue that there is clearly practical value in us coming to an agreement on the rules of math, but there is much less practical value to come to an agreement on what constitutes "pretty".  I haven't thought about it all that much, but it seems to me that the more practical value there is in coming to an agreement, the more likely the issue will be like your math example.  I'm wondering if there are counter examples I haven't thought of.

I'm more interested in whether morals are more like the math example or the flowers example.  However, even if morals were more like the flowers example I suppose there'd be some practical examples where we'd still want to agree - if you and I were neighbors, and I found roses attractive and you daisies, and we had to decide on what kinds of flowers to plant in the flower bed between our two houses -  it would be (somewhat) practical for us to come to an agreement over what to plant.  I'm not sure you or I could ever say roses are 'right' or daisies are 'wrong' though - the most we could say is roses are 'pretty.'

Does that answer the question?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 05, 2010, 02:46:52 PM
One could argue that there is clearly practical value in us coming to an agreement on the rules of math, but there is much less practical value to come to an agreement on what constitutes "pretty".  I haven't thought about it all that much, but it seems to me that the more practical value there is in coming to an agreement, the more likely the issue will be like your math example.  I'm wondering if there are counter examples I haven't thought of.

I'm more interested in whether morals are more like the math example or the flowers example.  However, even if morals were more like the flowers example I suppose there'd be some practical examples where we'd still want to agree - if you and I were neighbors, and I found roses attractive and you daisies, and we had to decide on what kinds of flowers to plant in the flower bed between our two houses -  it would be (somewhat) practical for us to come to an agreement over what to plant.  I'm not sure you or I could ever say roses are 'right' or daisies are 'wrong' though - the most we could say is roses are 'pretty.'

Does that answer the question?


I think morals are somewhere in the middle of those two anologies. It cant be like the math one, because mathematics are measurable, but the flower anology doesn't have practical value. Perhaps a more accurate analogy would be.... what kind of food to plant on a farm? One crop may have more yield than another, but the other may be more suitable for growth in that particular environment, but have a much lower yield. So then, an argument could be made for either side, and depending on one's POV, they both could be "right".
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 02:48:22 PM
Would you disagree that moral behaviour is subjective in this way?

I do not disagree that moral behavior can be influenced by certain chemicals.

I think I need to work you up to an understanding of a plausible framework for what everyone here is describing as "subjective morality". I think that getting you to characterize some components, however secondary, or minor, of moral behaviour as subjective is the start for that. Also, I feel it is important to start with the axiom we both accept, the natural world existing.

I feel your response does not accomodate the most significant component of my post, which concerned the physical structure of the brain and it's relationship with human behaviour in the category commonly labelled "moral".

Here is the re-phrase, ignore it if you want. But I would like it answered even if it seems obvious to both of us.

Is the individual characteristic expression of morality subject to a certain configuration of brain structures and chemistry? Thus, expression is "subjective" in that one and only natural (not supernatural) way?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 03:01:57 PM
I changed wording:

Quote
2. Some atheists cite evolution as the producer of morality, that their ability to discern between right and wrong came about through a biological process and for which they assert it as being the only path to answering moral questions. However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature with the evolution of psychological mechanisms resulting from....(insert the evolutionary process you believe in). In fact I'm interested in hearing Ambassador Pony's position on this given his use of the brain in an earlier proposition.

...is that acceptable ?

Not sure. Do I fill in the blank with the predominant paradigms in the fields of evolutionary biology and behavioural sciences? To what end if you are unaware of them? The foundation of my argument will be inaccessible to you......wouldn't it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 03:03:26 PM
BibleStudent,
On a related point that is relevant to this thread, I have a question:  How are you able to judge God's morals as being "right" morals?  What reasoning process do you use?

I do not judge God's morals. That is not meant to imply that I have never examined His expression of morality in certain matters, but I would never go so far as to say He is "wrong."



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 03:07:54 PM
Not sure. Do I fill in the blank with the predominant paradigms in the fields of evolutionary biology and behavioural sciences? To what end if you are unaware of them? The foundation of my argument will be inaccessible to you......wouldn't it?

Why don't you just try me....I may know than a little more about the non-theists belief in evolution than you think.
(<--- sorry....that was not meant to sound egotistical if it did?)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 03:11:12 PM
I do not judge God's morals. That is not meant to imply that I have never examined His expression of morality in certain matters, but I would never go so far as to say He is "wrong."

Why not?  Afterall, Adam and Eve ate the fruit of Knowedge of Good and Evil, right?  That bequeathed unto them the ability to make moral judgment that rivaled yhwh's.  That was why yhwh kicked them out.  It was afraid they would live forever and take over the joint. So why do you think your judgment is not good enough.  Good is good, and you should be able to tell what's what. 

Instead of using that hard won ability - the ability to know what is right or wrong - you throw away the one good thing that came from A&E's sacrifice[1].  That is probably even worse than rejecting jesus' sacrifice.  Because what is three days of dead to a god?  But the punishment mankind received for our moral sense is worse than anything else, isn't it?  You are being an ungrateful, obsequious wuss.


 1. in fact all humanity's sacrifice
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 05, 2010, 03:12:17 PM
I'm not sure where the complications are in this discussion of morality?

Here it is in a nutshell:

1. The non-theist who holds to 'moral subjectivity' simply feels that they are correct, however, since he/she does not believe any real evidence exists, he/she does not feel compelled to produce any.

When you say one 'feels that they are correct', are you referring to the different sets of moral values, or the concept of subjective morality? Because they are two different things, and there is plenty of evidence for the latter e.g.: subjective morality is part of our reality.

Quote
This position may appear valid given the topic of discussion, however, the non-theist would deem the absence of such evidence as an inability to justify the position...if...the same line of reasoning were used to assert a belief in God. Would an non-theist ever consider subjective statements about God to be relevant to the actual issue of whether He exists or not?  The answer is no. Also, no scientist would accept subjective statements from a creationist as carrying the same weight as the facts of biological evolution. In other words, subjective evidence cannot establish objective facts. Among other things, there is a clear double-standard at work here.

If "we" already consider morality a (subjective) creation of the human mind, then we already submit that subjectivity is a major element. We use subjective statements to describe what we already acknowledge as a subjective issue. That's not that strange, is it? For your double-standard claim to hold water, you would first have to admit that your god is a creation of the human mind. Because if that is your claim, do you think a non-theist would ever consider subjective statements about your god to be relevant to the issue of whether you believing (in something that the human mind thought of) would make you feel better or whatever? The answer is yes. As long as we still appreciate the subject for what it is: something that is made up by men.

But that's not your claim, is it? You claim that your god is not a creation of the human mind, but a real, independent entity that owns all of existence. One that can send us to 2 different places after our "death", depending on whether we follow and worship him or not. So for you it's not brought up as a subjective thing, but an absolute, real and factual thing.

Quote
However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature with the evolution of psychological mechanisms resulting from....(insert the evolutionary process you believe in). In fact I'm interested in hearing Ambassador Pony's position on this given his use of the brain in an earlier proposition.

I don't really understand what you're trying to say here.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 05, 2010, 03:13:11 PM
Perhaps a more accurate analogy would be.... what kind of food to plant on a farm? One crop may have more yield than another, but the other may be more suitable for growth in that particular environment, but have a much lower yield. So then, an argument could be made for either side, and depending on one's POV, they both could be "right".

OK, so I'm a farmer and you're a farmer.  I can make an argument to plant potatoes, and you can make an argument to plant squash, and while I can argue 'til I'm blue in the face, planting potatoes on the farm will never be 'correct' in the same way that 2+2=4 is correct.  Is that fair?

On this picture of morals, so long as the Nazi's were able to mount an effective argument for their genocide against the Jews, just as you could mount an effective argument for planting squash, their views wouldn't be wrong.  They might be unusual, but they're not wrong.  Likewise, our decision to stop this genocide wasn't "right", it was just our deciding we'd prefer potatoes planted on the farm instead of the squash.

Does that fairly summarize your view?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 03:16:19 PM
Why don't you just try me....I may know than a little more about the non-theists belief in evolution than you think.
(<--- sorry....that was not meant to sound egotistical if it did?)

No, it did not.

You stated evo. was random. That's all I was going on. Sounds like an oft paroted creationist canard. You know smoke fire and all that.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 03:21:19 PM
I do not judge God's morals. That is not meant to imply that I have never examined His expression of morality in certain matters, but I would never go so far as to say He is "wrong."

Why not?  Afterall, Adam and Eve ate the fruit of Knowedge of Good and Evil, right?  That bequeathed unto them the ability to make moral judgment that rivaled yhwh's.  That was why yhwh kicked them out.  It was afraid they would live forever and take over the joint. So why do you think your judgment is not good enough.  Good is good, and you should be able to tell what's what. 

Instead of using that hard won ability - the ability to know what is right or wrong - you throw away the one good thing that came from A&E's sacrifice[1].  That is probably even worse than rejecting jesus' sacrifice.  Because what is three days of dead to a god?  But the punishment mankind received for our moral sense is worse than anything else, isn't it?  You are being an ungrateful, obsequious wuss.
 1. in fact all humanity's sacrifice

No, I am simply respecting His authority. I know that makes me a wuss to you but I am far more interested in what He thinks than what you think.

 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 03:26:05 PM
No, it did not.

Good.

You stated evo. was random. That's all I was going on. Sounds like an oft paroted creationist canard. You know smoke fire and all that.

Yes, I understood your concern. I *think* I could remove the entire sentence and preserve the point, but I chose to create a 'blank' instead.
 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 05, 2010, 03:26:25 PM
Do you think moral opinions are more like #1 or #2?  (Or is truth itself relative?  Are #1 and #2 the same kind of thing?)
Responding only for myself (and not for Jeff):

It's an interesting analogy.  Morality, as I see it, lies somewhere in between the two choices.  We do not have a rock-solid framework from which to judge everything, but we're not completely at the mercy of individual opinion.  We have objective standards by which we can attempt to understand a "proper" course of action.

If I had to choose one, I would opt for "math" rather than "roses".  But I readily admit that our system of ethics/morality is nowhere near as cut and dry as the rules of mathematics are.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 05, 2010, 03:37:20 PM
I do not disagree that moral behavior can be influenced by certain chemicals.
BibleStudent, I notice that you're keen on this whole "chemistry = reality" thing, as in the way you characterize the moral relativists here in this thread.  You might be interested to learn that modern physics re4cognizes that chemistry is not 100% deterministic

Short explanation: our understanding of quantum mechanics reveals that the material world is fundamentally probabilistic.  Macroscopically, we can safely assume that if the traffic signal's circuitry says it's time to change the light from red to green, the light will become green.  On the subatomic level (aka. chemistry and smaller), you can never know exactly what's happening.  Chemical reactions are understood in terms of probabilities, not certainties.

So... if morality actually IS nothing but chemistry (and I'm not ready to make that claim), then there's still room for a deity to muck around and influence the lives of his creations...

edit: for the geeks, I recognize that at the level of circuitry, QM effects become significant.  I should have chosen a better analogy
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 05, 2010, 03:47:42 PM
OK, so I'm a farmer and you're a farmer.  I can make an argument to plant potatoes, and you can make an argument to plant squash, and while I can argue 'til I'm blue in the face, planting potatoes on the farm will never be 'correct' in the same way that 2+2=4 is correct.  Is that fair?

Yes, I believe so. However......

On this picture of morals, so long as the Nazi's were able to mount an effective argument for their genocide against the Jews, just as you could mount an effective argument for planting squash, their views wouldn't be wrong.  They might be unusual, but they're not wrong.  Likewise, our decision to stop this genocide wasn't "right", it was just our deciding we'd prefer potatoes planted on the farm instead of the squash.

Correct. They're not wrong, SUBJECTIVELY. Their views, to them, weren't wrong.

The problem with the Nazis, as well as the potential problems with the harvest, is the effect on society; that is, the Nazis were supplanting the rights of those they exterminated.

Similarly, if we say that we, as farmers, are responsible for feeding a villiage, and potatoes have a much higher yield than squash, but we decided to plant squash anyway, and the people went hungry, we could say we were wrong to plant squash, from a moral standpoint.[1].

I'll admit it is a difficult concept to make black and white. It's a big ol' shade of grey.

 1. Sorry for the run on sentence, but I'm short of time
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 05, 2010, 04:20:18 PM
[The Nazi's were] not wrong, SUBJECTIVELY. Their views, to them, weren't wrong.

The problem with the Nazis, as well as the potential problems with the harvest, is the effect on society; that is, the Nazis were supplanting the rights of those they exterminated.

I understand that the Nazi's thought they were right.[1]

However, I'm asking if we can legitimately say they were mistaken in their assessment of the situation.  When you say 'The problem with the Nazi's [is] the Nazi's were supplanting the rights of those they exterminated' it sounds like you're saying "supplanting the rights of others" is objetively wrong.

When you go on to say

Similarly, if we say that we, as farmers, are responsible for feeding a villiage, and potatoes have a much higher yield than squash, but we decided to plant squash anyway, and the people went hungry, we could say we were wrong to plant squash, from a moral standpoint.

Note that introduction of an objective moral standard (weather or not the people go hungry).  If you said planting squash is OK, I'd say it's factually incorrect - we just said you have a responsibility to feed the people of this villiage, we know (objectively) squash won't be as effective as potatoes, and we can measure (objectively) that the people went hungry - it looks like we can (objectively) deduce that you were (objectively) wrong to plant squash.

I'll admit it is a difficult concept to make black and white. It's a big ol' shade of grey.

Sure, morals are hard[2] to get right.  They're way harder than my trivial squash example above.  But I don't think our apparent difficulty in getting them right is in any way a reason to say that moral objective truths don't exist.  Math may be hard to get right, but that doesn't mean that the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter isn't always pi, even if I can't understand the derivation.


 1. And if you think about that, isn't that really scary?  Is there something we're doing that is as horrifying as what they were doing and we think we're in the right?
 2. really, really, really, really, really hard
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 04:21:08 PM
No, I am simply respecting His authority. I know that makes me a wuss to you but I am far more interested in what He thinks than what you think.

Not "He".  It.  And on what basis is do you accept authority in general?  Might makes right?  Or is it moral authority?  If moral authority, how do you know it is morally authorative without applying judgment?

If I were to believe god-beings exist, I would not accept their authority on any grounds but moral, and that would require my moral judgment.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2010, 04:27:47 PM
Your big point seems to be that morality is merely moral opinions that each of us have. 

Yes, exactly.  It's very simple.  Let me explain it as easy as I can for you.  When someone asks a question or some sort of circumstance arises that forces us to make a value judgement about Right and wrong, that is a moral issue.  So for example, I say "I believe abortion is OK when someone is raped by their uncle".   That is my opinion about abortion in that circumstance, is it not?  Of course it is.  That is my opinion but it has to do with a value judgement of right and wrong. 

When someone asks a question about tastes, like your constant Chocolate milk references, that is also an opinion, but that opinion is not a value judgment about what is right and wrong.  We know there is no objective right and wrong with chocolate milk because everyone has different tastes right?  Well, the same applies to morality. 

While my personal tastes regarding food and my views on abortion are BOTH opinions, they are not both value judgements about right and wrong.  I do not rise up against people who don't like to eat what I like to eat, because they are not value judgements about right and wrong.  Their food tastes do not infringe upon my rights at all.  If someone were to come to my door saying "Drink this chocolate milk mother f**ker or I am going to blow your head off", THEN it becomes a moral issue because killing involves a value judgement about right and wrong.   

But there is an issue that keeps getting avoided.  We talk frequently about the extremes.  We talk about chocolate milk tastes (not a moral issue at all) and then we talk about Nazi's and killing (the biggest of moral issues)  What of the middle ground?  I would say the vast majority of our moral decisions involve the middle ground.  Things such as... do I let this elderly lady cut in front of me at the grocery store, even though I am late to pick up my son from school?  Or should I give that homeless man the last dollar in my wallet?  It is not black and white.  These are all subjective issues on which everyone will act differently. I feel like you are trying to make this so black and white, when its clearly not.  Our threshold for activity on moral issues is not the same.  Some people act on moral issues that others of us deem unnecessary to act on.  What I mean is... most of us will act on things like the Nazi genocide, but not everyone will act on animal rights.  Each of us has a different threshold at which we decide to take action.  And that threshold has everything to do with the amount of impact the issue has on our lives.  As an example: a gay man is more likely to take action on gay rights issues because it impacts his life more.   

1.
You and I are doing some homework.  The first question is a math question, say 2+2.  I write down 5, you write down 4.  Later, comparing our answers, I can say "my opinion is that your answer, '4', is wrong."  You can say "my opinion is that your answer, '5' is wrong."  We both have opinions, but we are both basing our opinions on a shared framework, on a universal set of mathematical laws.  Eventually, using those same set of mathematical laws, you can probably convince me that I am factually wrong.

Ok.

2.
You and I are looking at some flowers.  I say "It's my opinion that those red roses over there are the prettiest!'  You say, "It's my opinion that those yellow daisies over there are the prettiest!"  We might feel very strongly about these preferences, they might influence a large part of our lives.  But they are still aesthetic preferences, if I really really like those red roses, there's not much you can do to convince me that the daisies are prettier.

Do you think moral opinions are more like #1 or #2?  (Or is truth itself relative?  Are #1 and #2 the same kind of thing?)

Neither because morality involves a value judgement about right and wrong.  2+2 equals 4 is not a value judgement.  Neither is pretty daisies.  But if I had to pick which it's closer to, I say #2 by a little bit.  *If you decide to go into that whole philosophical crap about how we can't really KNOW 2+2 is 4, then I won't respond to it.  It's a dead end conversation.  In our current state of existence, when you add 2 of X to 2 of X, you get 4 of X. It works every time.*

Pretty daisy's can not be proven to be more or less pretty because beauty is subjective. Do you know people who are willing to take action because someone else said the yellow daisies are prettier than the red ones?  If they do, that simply means their threshold for action is lower because they value it more.  I would probably tell that person to chill out though.  In other words, whether they take action on it is completely subjective.   

But when you say things like:
A large portion of the people of the world thought what the Nazi's were doing was wrong...

In this case, I believe the Jewish right to live supercedes the Nazi desire to have a Jew-free world.

Again, I believe the Jewish right to live supercedes the Nazi desire to live in a Jew free world.

someone's like or dislike of chocolate milk does not infringe in the rights of other people to live their lives in peace.  I don't rise up against chocolate milk haters because they aren't hurting anyone.

Morality is an opinion about right and wrong.

It sounds more like you think #1 is the correct view.

Those are opinions.  They are nowhere near number 1. In fact, in the first 3 examples you put up, I italicized the places that show each line was an opinion. I can't empirically prove any of those things to be true like I can with 2+2=4.  How the hell can you think any of those approach number 1?  And the last quote about morality being an opinion about right and wrong is simply a statement I believe to be true.  It's just defining the word. 

If you're saying that a shared moral framework exists and we all have different opinions on what it is, then you and I are in agreement.

I don't know what you mean here.  We all make value judgements about right and wrong if that's what you mean.  All I am saying is that people are all different when it comes to what we think, feel, and believe.  That difference extends to moral issues (value judgments about right and wrong) and flavored milk alike.   

If you're saying that no shared moral framework exists, that we can substitute 'aesthetic preferences' for 'opinions', then I think you're wrong.

You should define what you mean by "shared moral framework".  Does "shared moral framework" imply that every human being has the same basic notion about what is right and what is wrong?  Does "shared moral framework" imply that we are all making daily judgements about right and wrong?  I can't agree or disagree until you clarify what you mean by it. 

But maybe this will answer it.  I believe that morality is formed out of evolution, culture and experiences as I have said.  As we share a lot of culture and experiences with each other, there is naturally going to be overlap in many of our opinions regarding what is right and what is wrong. In that respect, maybe there is a quasi-framework held by people of similar cultures and backgrounds, but I do not believe it to be universal.  Evolution may give us a predisposition toward caring for others due to the inherent benefits of survival that comes with working together, but I am really not sure on that.  I am open to evidence either way.     

Let's entertain something for a minute though... If the world really DID have objective morality, how would you explain the reality that there are vast differences in the way people behave in given situations?  Are they just acting immorally?  That seems a stretch to me. Let me ask this... given a choice to act morally or immorally, what choice do you normally make?  I try very hard to act morally.  I assume you do as well.  Is it hard to imagine everyone else being the same way?  But yet, we may act very differently in different situations, right?  Are we really saying that both of us KNOW that there is an objectively right way and a wrong way to act, and that one of us is choosing not to act the right way? That's nuts!  That would mean that the Nazi's really WERE saying "Gee this is bad, we shouldn't be doing this" because they KNEW it was immoral, right?  Do you really, honestly think they were doing that?  All you have to do to prove it doesn't work that way is to ask someone a simple question...  "Do you believe it is morally OK for a woman to have the right to get an abortion?"  If you have one person that says yes, and another that says no, then you have proven that it is not objective because both of them are claiming their stance is the moral one.   

And if we have objective morality, who gave it to us?  God? Vishnu? Allah? What proof do we have that any of them are the root of it?  All religions lay claim to it, don't they?  And even worse, unless we have a documented source that tells us beyond any doubt that we are to act a specific way in every specific situation, then how are we to know what the morally correct way to act is?  The bible certainly doesn't have anything like that in it... and much worse, it gives some moral precepts that are absolutely reprehensible to the vast majority of humans on this planet.  Is there a phrase in any holy book that tells me what I should do if I lose control of my car and have to decide between killing the arguing young couple on the left or skidding toward the elderly couple holding hands on the right? 

Please, there is no such thing as objective morality. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2010, 04:35:51 PM
BibleStudent,
On a related point that is relevant to this thread, I have a question:  How are you able to judge God's morals as being "right" morals?  What reasoning process do you use?

I do not judge God's morals. That is not meant to imply that I have never examined His expression of morality in certain matters, but I would never go so far as to say He is "wrong."

You say you don't judge God's morals.  But if you never judge God's morals, how can you say he is "good" or "right"?  Do you use your own judgement to determine his goodness or are you implying that you only think He is "good" because the bible says He is "good"? 

When a small child is abducted, raped, beaten and killed, all the while your God having the power to stop it with the wave of his hand, how do you stop yourself from judging Him as "wrong"? 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 05, 2010, 05:05:58 PM
BibleStudent,
On a related point that is relevant to this thread, I have a question:  How are you able to judge God's morals as being "right" morals?  What reasoning process do you use?

I do not judge God's morals. That is not meant to imply that I have never examined His expression of morality in certain matters, but I would never go so far as to say He is "wrong."

So, you just "assume" that they are right, then, rather than judging them?  Or what?  I am trying to understand what relation a god has to "objectively right" morality.  No theist has ever managed to explain that to me in a coherent way.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 05:15:12 PM
I don't really understand what you're trying to say here.

You: I feel the Nazis were wrong for the atrocities they committed against the Jews. But, since morality is subjective, that is just my opinion and I cannot point to an objective truth to prove they are.
Me: So, they’re guilty in your mind. No ‘if-ands-or-buts' about it ??
You: Correct.
Me: In effect, then, you are holding to a belief that relies on your personal preferences, emotions, experiences, and desires ?
You: Correct.
Me: You have nothing you can direct me to which would support your personal position as being either “right” or “wrong”
You: No, I cannot. It comes from my mind. It’s an opinion. I am “right” in my own mind.
Me: Hmmmm….interesting. I believe that God exists and I rely to a certain extent on faith and a belief in things that He has done which I cannot present the direct proof that you require.
You: That’s crazy and irrational. He doesn’t exist. You need something more full proof in order to convince me that you’re right.
Me: Wait, you just made a decision based on your feelings. You formed an opinion and claim you are “right” (in your own mind) which is not going to change….. yet you cannot point to an uncontroversial moral standard that demonstrates you are right. That’s crazy and irrational based on your own methodologies for establishing truth.

You expect objective truth in the assertions I make that God exists, yet you compromise your own rules in the construction of a moral view. There is no objective truth to your morality and, if there is, it is no longer subjective.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 05:19:58 PM
Additional food for thought and the inherent dangers of a subjective morality belief:

http://www.carm.org/failure-of-atheism-to-account-for-morality




edit: fixed a word.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 05, 2010, 05:34:43 PM
^^^
Things can be both subjective and rational or based in fact.
Although you might not want to admit it, it should be
obvious to those who aren't willfully ignorant.

 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 05, 2010, 05:51:33 PM
Actually, anyone who holds morality as being subjective USUALLY DOES have objective evidence to support their moral judgments.  

Since Godwin often hovers around religious philosophical discussions, we'll stick to that theme.  I think Nazi treatment of the Jews was wrong.  How can I make this determination and have it sound more authoritative than mere personal opinion?

1) The Golden Rule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Rule)

2) The Bible (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bible_(King_James)/Luke#6:31)

3) Empathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy)

4) Common sense

5) A need for self preservation

6) Historical perspective (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history)

7) Societal consensus

8) The attitudes of the German people themselves (http://www.jstor.org/pss/2770938)

---

All of these things lend weight to my moral judgement.  This weight does not constitute absolute proof that I'm right, but since I've already acknowledged that consensus is a plays a part, I do not need absolute proof.  I only need the willingness to admit when I'm wrong, and to modify my opinions accordingly.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 05:52:49 PM
^^^
Things can be both subjective and rational or based in fact.
 

Please, if you could, provide an example of something that is both subjective and rational for each of the following:

1. Non-theist assertion that there is no God
2. Theist assertion that there is a God.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 06:04:25 PM
Actually, anyone who holds morality as being subjective USUALLY DOES have objective evidence to support their moral judgments.  

Since Godwin often hovers around religious philosophical discussions, we'll stick to that theme.  I think Nazi treatment of the Jews was wrong.  How can I make this determination and have it sound more authoritative than mere personal opinion?

1) The Golden Rule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Rule)

2) The Bible (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bible_(King_James)/Luke#6:31)

3) Empathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy)

4) Common sense

5) A need for self preservation

6) Historical perspective

7) Societal consensus

8) The attitudes of the German people themselves (http://www.jstor.org/pss/2770938)

---

All of these things lend weight to my moral judgement.  This weight does not constitute absolute proof that I'm right, but since I've already acknowledged that consensus is a plays a part

You are coming very close to making an argument ad populum here.....which the theist, ironically, is also prohibited from ever using to support a belief. The fact that a certain number of people agree does not make it valid. If I need an objective fact to assert that my belief in God is true, then so do you to prove that your "opinion" is right....even if it's just in your own head.

, I do not need absolute proof

Then why does the theist ??


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 05, 2010, 06:07:08 PM
BibleStudent: I understand what you're trying to say with the "double-standard" claim, but I don't understand this claim:

Some atheists cite evolution as the producer of morality, that their ability to discern between right and wrong came about through a biological process and for which they assert it as being the only path to answering moral questions. However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature with the evolution of psychological mechanisms resulting from....(insert the evolutionary process you believe in).

Particularly the bolded part.

You: I feel the Nazis were wrong for the atrocities they committed against the Jews. But, since morality is subjective, that is just my opinion and I cannot point to an objective truth to prove they are.

That's even assuming that there's such a thing as objective truth (sounds suspiciously like "objective morality" to me here) in the first place. Since there's no evidence that objective truth concerning morality exists, I find the latter statement meaningless, really. Unless you can prove to me that there is such a thing as objective truth to prove what moral values are "right" and "wrong", I don't think you have anything here.

Quote
Me: So, they’re guilty in your mind. No ‘if-ands-or-buts' about it ??
You: Correct.
Me: In effect, then, you are holding to a belief that relies on your personal preferences, emotions, experiences, and desires ?
You: Correct.

Actually, I'm also in the camp that says that morality is a product of evolution. More specifically, I believe that morality that helps us as a species survive and thrive is the "right" one, since survival is what we biologically/intrinsically desire. So I'd like to think that that's not as "arbitrary" or "personal" as you describe above.

Quote
Me: You have nothing you can direct me to which would support your personal position as being either “right” or “wrong”
You: No, I cannot. It comes from my mind. It’s an opinion. I am “right” in my own mind.

So I'd have to say that, from the perspective of survival of species, some moral values are more "natural/normal" ("right", I guess) than "wrong".

Quote
Me: Hmmmm….interesting. I believe that God exists and I rely to a certain extent on faith and a belief in things that He has done which I cannot present the direct proof that you require.
You: That’s crazy and irrational. He doesn’t exist. You need something more full proof in order to convince me that you’re right.

I don't think gods don't exists because of a lack of proof for their existence, actually. My default stance is "I don't know, but without evidence I won't start believing" and not "gods don't exists". However, I will say that there are some gods, like the Christian one, which have the evidence overwhelmingly against their existence (or at least their miracles). And I consider that good evidence that some of them don't exist, or aren't like they claimed they are (e.g. they'd be lying about their achievements).

Quote
Me: Wait, you just made a decision based on your feelings.

Not really. I think there's plenty of scientific/biological evidence that our species is into the surviving business. So I don't really see how modeling moral values around that is as simple and arbitrary as "based on my feelings". I'd like to think it's got a logical basis.

Quote
You formed an opinion and claim you are “right” (in your own mind)  which is not going to change….

Not really "in my own mind", but from the perspective of the survival of the species (which importance is surely shared by many, if not most), more productive moral values. And they certainly can change, because what I think is best, morally speaking, for the survival of the species can turn out to be wrong. And there are ways to measure how moral values influence our species as a whole.

Quote
yet you cannot point to an uncontroversial moral standard that demonstrates you are right.

How can an "uncontroversial" moral standard prove which moral standards are right or wrong, exactly? Is that another way of saying "objective moral standard"? What is your definition of an "objective morality" anyway? And where is your proof that it exists?

Quote
That’s crazy and irrational based on your own methodologies for establishing truth. You expect objective truth in the assertions I make that God exists, yet you compromise your own rules in the construction of a moral view.

Not really. I already acknowledge that my moral values are subjective, and that, depending on what your angle is behind your moral values, yours can be different. After all, it's just something humans made up. I certainly don't claim that my sense of morality is the "objective truth". You have, though. And that's the difference. I don't think morality exists in an absolute and objective form. I certainly have seen no evidence for it.  So no, I haven't compromised my own rules in the construction of my moral views :)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 05, 2010, 06:10:14 PM
Please, if you could, provide an example of something that is both subjective and rational for each of the following:
1. Non-theist assertion that there is no God
2. Theist assertion that there is a God.

You gave two subjective statements, but you asked for something that is subjective "for each of them".
I'm not sure what you are asking for. Are you asserting or denying they are subjective?

I gave the example in an earlier post: Euclid's postulates are subjective but their track record of leading to verifiable predictions suggests that tentatively believing them is rational. Do you deny that?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 07:42:29 PM
Additional food for thought and the inherent dangers of a subjective morality belief:

http://www.carm.org/failure-of-atheism-to-account-for-morality


The first sentence reads:
Quote
As a worldview, atheism is intellectually bankrupt and is wrought with philosophical problems.  

I stopped there.  I've read articles like this.  The point of them is not to make and intellectual point, but to demonize atheists.  Did I guess right?  I rather take that as a "fuck you" from you. 

[modbreak]Removed offensive suggestion[/modbreak]

While I'm waiting for an explanation from you, let me give you some links to some articles on morality and moral psychology that you may disagree with, but - unlike the shit you linked to - will not go out of their way to insult you.

This one (http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html) tends toward the political but has some good basics of what morality is.

This (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/316/5827/998?ijkey=9S1Vi6nUWCqY.&keytype=ref&siteid=sci) is a brilliant research paper that clearly defines what morals really are.

This one (http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt07/haidt07_index.html) ties together morality and your stupid religious beliefs. It uses ideas from the previous paper and mainly complains about the "new atheists". But it is still worthwhile.

A good article (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/science/18mora.html?_r=2&oref=slogin) from the NYTimes.

I await your response to my previous post, a good reason to not insult you and your impressions of these articles.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 07:46:10 PM
Quote
BibleStudent: I understand what you're trying to say with the "double-standard" claim, but I don't understand this claim:
Some atheists cite evolution as the producer of morality, that their ability to discern between right and wrong came about through a biological process and for which they assert it as being the only path to answering moral questions. However, the non-theists belief in biological evolution is never a means for discovering knowledge, it is simply a fact of nature with the evolution of psychological mechanisms resulting from....(insert the evolutionary process you believe in).

Particularly the bolded part.

Biological processes do not produce knowledge. You obtain knowledge as a result of the environment you live in. Therefore, knowledge doesn’t evolve….and since you use knowledge to make moral decisions you incorrectly attribute it to a biological process. Consequently, while there is objective fact (allegedly) to support biological evolution, there is no objective fact to support morality….at least not outside of a Moral Law Giver.

Remember, the point here was demonstrate the double-standard that is being employed.


That's even assuming that there's such a thing as objective truth (sounds suspiciously like "objective morality" to me here) in the first place. Since there's no evidence that objective truth concerning morality exists, I find the latter statement meaningless, really. Unless you can prove to me that there is such a thing as objective truth to prove what moral values are "right" and "wrong", I don't think you have anything here.

You’re missing the point and inappropriately shifting the burden back to me. I am asking you to provide objective fact to demonstrate your subjective morality….which is not possible. This is where the double standard exists. If I am expected to provide objective fact for my assertions that God is real, why is it acceptable for you to establish any moral code (albeit your own) absent of same. Why is okay for you to be "right" about something (in your own mind) but have to objective standard or source to cite?

Quote
Quote
Me: So, they’re guilty in your mind. No ‘if-ands-or-buts' about it ??
You: Correct.
Me: In effect, then, you are holding to a belief that relies on your personal preferences, emotions, experiences, and desires ?
You: Correct.
Actually, I'm also in the camp that says that morality is a product of evolution.]

That’s fine. But the acquisition of knowledge that you use to frame a moral position is not a product of biological evolution. Therefore, it has no objective fact to support it. Why is that acceptable ?

More specifically, I believe that morality that helps us as a species survive and thrive is the "right" one, since survival is what we biologically/intrinsically desire. So I'd like to think that that's not as "arbitrary" or "personal" as you describe above.

Look at the bold words. Why don’t you know ?....and why must I know for my argument to be valid. Double-standard.
Also, some of your fellow non-theists might disagree with you about morality not being as “arbitrary” or “personal” ….since they have repeatedly indicated that their moral decisions are just their “personal opinion.” 

I don't think gods don't exists because of a lack of proof for their existence, actually. My default stance is "I don't know, but without evidence I won't start believing" and not "gods don't exists". However, I will say that there are some gods, like the Christian one, which have the evidence overwhelmingly against their existence (or at least their miracles). And I consider that good evidence that some of them don't exist, or aren't like they claimed they are (e.g. they'd be lying about their achievements).

Again, you’re straying from the topic. I appreciate why you might feel the need to express your opinions here, but the whole point I was making had to do with practicing what you preach when it comes to validating something you believe.

Quote
Quote
Me: Wait, you just made a decision based on your feelings.

Not really.

Then what did you use ?

Quote
Quote
You formed an opinion and claim you are “right” (in your own mind)  which is not going to change….

Not really "in my own mind",

So, it happened outside of your mind ? Hmm….you better think about that one.


Quote
Quote
That’s crazy and irrational based on your own methodologies for establishing truth. You expect objective truth in the assertions I make that God exists, yet you compromise your own rules in the construction of a moral view.
Not really. I already acknowledge that my moral values are subjective, and that, depending on what your angle is behind your moral values, yours can be different. After all, it's just something humans made up.

Oh, we just made it up ? And that’s acceptable in your view ? So, why when I allegedly make up an assertion about God, it is not acceptable ? This is the whole point !!


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 07:52:52 PM
So please do give me a reason to not tell you to go fuck your mother.   

That's way over the line, bud. I want an immediate apology and a retraction of that statement or I will report this to the mods. That's a promise. Where do you get off saying stuff like that ? It's disrespectful morons like you that are responsible for many of of the derogatory comments made about non-theists.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 05, 2010, 07:56:24 PM
So please do give me a reason to not tell you to go fuck your mother.   

That's way over the line, bud. I want an immediate apology and a retraction of that statement or I will report this to the mods. That's a promise. Where do you get off saying stuff like that ? It's disrespectful morons like you that are responsible for many of of the derogatory comments made about non-theists.
I agree this is a totally subjective moral issue....
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 05, 2010, 08:03:25 PM
This thread just turned amusing.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 08:07:15 PM
That's way over the line, bud. I want an immediate apology and a retraction of that statement or I will report this to the mods. That's a promise. Where do you get off saying stuff like that ? It's disrespectful morons like you that are responsible for many of of the derogatory comments made about non-theists.

I pretty well explained where I get off saying that.  I find it precious that you are acting all indignant and morally outraged, given the content of the article you linked.  What, did you expect people here to say "hmm, that bigot has a point when he says we are intellectually bankrupt"?  Did you expect people to not take that as an insult?  Let's take a look at the last paragraph you linked:
Quote
So, after an economic meltdown when an armed stranger is approaching you on a dark road and you are taking food home to your hungry family, who would you rather the stranger be, a Christian who believes stealing is wrong and that God is watching or the atheist who sees a need and points his gun at you as he adapt his ethics to suit the moment?

Nice.  Really it is the identical talking point as this lovely bit of propaganda (http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2009/06/01/bizarre-christian-billboard-compares-atheism-to-murder/).  Did you think that would be endearing?  I'd say that kind of bigotry is the source of derogatory statements aimed at atheists, not my commentary.  Congratulations for promoting and propagating bigotry.  I bet jesus is proud.

And as I said (and you failed to comprehend), I've not actually directed you to have intercourse with your mother yet.  I asked you for a reason to not do so.  I'm still waiting.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 08:13:44 PM
And as I said (and you failed to comprehend), I've not actually directed you to have intercourse with your mother yet. 

Consider yourself reported.
I am done with you.....do not waste your time addressing me in this thread or elsewhere on this forum. I will NOT respond to you.
 

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 05, 2010, 08:17:37 PM
so you thought about it..... cool I guess...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 05, 2010, 08:22:21 PM
And as I said (and you failed to comprehend), I've not actually directed you to have intercourse with your mother yet. 

Consider yourself reported.
I am done with you.....do not waste your time addressing me in this thread or elsewhere on this forum. I will NOT respond to you.

Weren't you already ignoring about half of what we were posting and making up the rest in place of it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 05, 2010, 08:29:10 PM
Consider yourself reported.
I am done with you.....do not waste your time addressing me in this thread or elsewhere on this forum. I will NOT respond to you.


You weren't actually responding anyway.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2010, 09:12:52 PM
Let's try this in a way it would really go, not your trumped up crap...


You: I feel the Nazis were wrong for the atrocities they committed against the Jews. But, since morality is subjective, that is just my opinion and I cannot point to an objective truth to prove they are.
Me: So, they’re guilty in your mind. No ‘if-ands-or-buts' about it ??
You: Correct.
Me: In effect, then, you are holding to a belief that relies on your personal preferences, emotions, experiences, and desires ?
You: Correct.
Me: You have nothing you can direct me to which would support your personal position as being either “right” or “wrong”
You: No, I cannot. It comes from my mind. It’s an opinion. I am “right” in my own mind.
Me: Hmmmm….interesting. I believe that God exists and I rely to a certain extent on faith and a belief in things that He has done which I cannot present the direct proof that you require.


Up to here, you got it sort of right.  I could try to, but I won't correct you.  But here....
Quote
You: That’s crazy and irrational. He doesn’t exist. You need something more full proof in order to convince me that you’re right.

is where you fall off your rocker.  First, we both believe that morals are real and exist in our minds, right?  I mean, we both form opinions about things in our brain every day, correct?  Our opinions are not concrete, they are thoughts which we form inside our heads.  The atheist is not trying to claim that moral issues do not exist.  We both say, morality (opinions about right and wrong) are real and that people have them.  We are just claiming where it comes from based on reason, logic and the evidence we have pointed out to you.  Evidence A. Everyone has a different opinion on morality (right and wrong).  Evidence B. Chemicals can change one's moral opinions.  Evidence C. People raised in similar cultures and experiences form similar moral opinions that can vary with people of vastly different cultures and experiences. 

In essence, the non-theist (mine) claim is morality exists and it comes from evolution, culture and experience.  We know that morality exists because we already agree it does.  We also know culture exists, and that experiences exist and contrary to what you may think, evolution is true.  But even if you discount it, fine, culture and experiences are still real.  There is no work to be done by the non-theist in trying to prove to everyone that morality, culture, and experiences exist.  With that in mind, you can have a discussion about the validity of the original argument about whether or not morality is subjective. 

Now...

Your theist claim (and please correct me if I am wrong) is that morality exists and we get it from God.  Alright, we already agreed that morality exists, but hold the phone.  We do NOT both agree that God exists.  So the conversation would continue instead of what you posted above... with something like this...

You: It is fine for you to assert that, but in order to say something came from something else, you have to prove that both "somethings" exist.  Can you please show me some evidence for this "God" of yours?  I could say morality came from Plegmorph the giant sky pickle, but unless we both agree that Plegmorph is real, it is likely you will not simply accept what I say without proof.   
Me: Wait, you just made a decision based on your feelings...
You: No, I told you my opinion that morality is completely subjective and I use reason, logic and evidence to point to many reasons to think that way. Evidence A. Everyone has a different opinion on morality.  Evidence B. Chemicals can change one's moral opinions.  Evidence C. People raised in similar cultures and experiences form similar moral opinions that can vary greatly with people of vastly different cultures and experiences.  Can you please go back and tell me why your claim that the Christian God is responsible for morality is more "evidence based" than my claim that it comes from Plegmorph the giant sky pickle?
Me: You formed an opinion and claim you are “right” (in your own mind) which is not going to change…..
You: Absolutely wrong. My opinion could readily change because it is based off of reason, logic and evidence.  My mind is VERY subject to the evidence you can provide for your claim that morality comes from God.  Your "belief" that God exists, however, is not nearly good enough.  While I grant you that morality exists as opinions, I do not grant that God is real.  Until you can prove that, you are getting nowhere. 
Me: You cannot point to an uncontroversial moral standard that demonstrates you are right.
You: Actually, that's YOUR job.  YOU are the one claiming ALL moral standards are uncontroversial because they come from your God.  In order to claim that morality is provided to us through God, you must show that all moral standards are the same for everyone.  In that respect, to prove it, you must show that every single person would act in the exact same way in every given situation.  I will make it even easier, however... Can you show me 1 moral standard that is accepted by every single person on this planet?  In claiming morality to be subjective, I am openly saying that there ARE no uncontroversial moral standards.  Every moral standard is open for interpretation.  There are standards that approach what seems to be objectivity such as: killing, rape, slavery etc, but you can probably find lots of psychopathic people who think killling is fine (as long as it gives glory to their god or they are mentally ill... often the same thing).  But before you do that, prove your God is real.  I believe your God exists as much as I believe Plegmorph the giant sky pickle exists.  Show me the evidence that God exists and then we can have a spirited conversation about what reality would look like if it really came from your God.  If you prove God exists, then we can compare the evidence for and against Him having created morality.   

You expect objective truth in the assertions I make that God exists.

Close.  I expect evidence in the assertions you make that God exists.  The claim that God exists IS an objective claim.  Either he does, or he does not.  It's one or the other.  While it is impossible to prove something does NOT exist, it is quite easy to prove something DOES exist. 

If you require evidence in defense of my opinion that morality is subjective, look above, I gave you 3 pieces of it (A,B,C).  While I do not objectively claim to be right, there are very good reasons to form that opinion.   

Yet you compromise your own rules in the construction of a moral view. There is no objective truth to your morality and, if there is, it is no longer subjective.

I do no such thing. I am merely using reason and logic to determine where morality comes from based on things we both AGREE exist.  I am also using that same reason and logic to make the determination that talking snakes don't exist, that it is far more likely that people lied about a man dying and resurrecting 3 days later, that the bible is loaded with contradictions, absurdities and atrocities, that while heaven and hell are 1 of an infinite number of possibilities for what happens after we die, it is lunacy to claim there is more evidence for them than for anything else, etc. etc.   

I am telling you now, there is no evidence pointing to objective morality.  And if you want to prove there is, and that it comes from God, then you must at least satisfy the following conditions...

First: You have to prove your God is real.  Once you do that...
Second: You have to show how you know he generated an objective morality. It is entirely possible that a "god" created everything and didn't create morality.
Third: You must show examples that everyone follows the same "god given moral standards" as everyone else.
Fourth: You must prove beyond any doubt that my theory that morality is subjective is completely wrong, providing counter arguments to the A,B, and C I listed above.
Fifth: You must bring me a cookie.  Chocolate chip.  Oh, and a glass of Chocolate milk for MathIsCool. He is probably craving one.

Get cracking. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 05, 2010, 09:28:26 PM
Screwtape,

Do not be discouraged regarding the mod break.  We all get to a point where the bigotry and hatred is more than enough, and yet is rarely rebutted at the same level.

BibleStudent knows very, very little about Jesus, it would seem.  Big surprise.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 05, 2010, 09:31:56 PM
Consider yourself reported.
I am done with you.....do not waste your time addressing me in this thread or elsewhere on this forum. I will NOT respond to you.

You posted a bunch of bigoted propaganda and it wasn't received well.  You directly insulted your audience by appealing to that link.  Are you willing and able to own up to that very blatant and obvious fact?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 05, 2010, 09:42:19 PM
BibleStudent,
On a related point that is relevant to this thread, I have a question:  How are you able to judge God's morals as being "right" morals?  What reasoning process do you use?

I do not judge God's morals. That is not meant to imply that I have never examined His expression of morality in certain matters, but I would never go so far as to say He is "wrong."

So, you just "assume" that they are right, then, rather than judging them?  Or what?  I am trying to understand what relation a god has to "objectively right" morality.  No theist has ever managed to explain that to me in a coherent way.

This is a rather important point here, BibleStudent.  If you have no way of objectively determining that your god's morals are "correct", then you, too, lack any objective basis for your morality.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 10:08:11 PM
I’m done here….at least for awhile.

I have had all manner of darts thrown at me in this forum but NEVER anything that came close to what that moron said. It is NEVER appropriate to make ANY kind of reference to someone f**king their mother….for ANY reason under ANY circumstances. I am 47 years old and I have NEVER had anyone say that to me. My mother is still alive (81 years old and going strong) and she happens to be one of the sweetest and kindest people you’d ever meet. That was so WRONG and, frankly, very hurtful.

I am a pretty laid back person who doesn’t anger easily… but that hit a nerve BIG TIME. I have to think about whether I want to continue to keep company with a forum that has certain members who are capable of making such reckless and cruel attacks.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 05, 2010, 10:14:39 PM
And, by the way, I just want to publicly thank the moderator for removing the remark. THANK YOU !
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 05, 2010, 10:15:54 PM
You seriously never heard anyone say that in your 47 years of existence? I doubt that. He said it. A mod broke it. It's been two hours since it was said. Get over it. Seriously.

There is one solution, BS. There is the debate room where you can discuss with members one on one. How about considering that.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 05, 2010, 10:20:16 PM
I find it curious that BS thanks the mod for removing the original comment, but kept it quoted in his own posts.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 05, 2010, 10:24:20 PM
BS! Use your time away to read the links that Screw provided in his last few psts. In addition, neuroscience and the links between specific structures and behaviours.

For my part I am re-reading the bible in English. I am at Numbers, near the end, where Yahweh, through Moses, is ordering genocide because some women fooled around with some israelites and made "made" them worship the local Ball (peor). I really am at this spot.

Some falls out of memory a few days after I read it, but I have retained some fun facts like: How to make striped farm animals using sticks. That Yahweh is a column of smoke in the day and a column of fire by night. The tent of meeting is awesome, beause people bring you food and spoils, well it's all good unless you trip and fall and touch the Ark.

Ok I remember a lot. It's messed up, yo.    
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 05, 2010, 10:26:46 PM
I’m done here….at least for awhile.

I have had all manner of darts thrown at me in this forum but NEVER anything that came close to what that moron said. It is NEVER appropriate to make ANY kind of reference to someone f**king their mother….for ANY reason under ANY circumstances. I am 47 years old and I have NEVER had anyone say that to me. My mother is still alive (81 years old and going strong) and she happens to be one of the sweetest and kindest people you’d ever meet. That was so WRONG and, frankly, very hurtful.

I am a pretty laid back person who doesn’t anger easily… but that hit a nerve BIG TIME. I have to think about whether I want to continue to keep company with a forum that has certain members who are capable of making such reckless and cruel attacks.


ahh subjective morality...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 05, 2010, 10:29:57 PM
Quote
In essence, the non-theist (mine) claim is morality exists and it comes from evolution, culture and experience.  We know that morality exists because we already agree it does.  We also know culture exists, and that experiences exist and contrary to what you may think, evolution is true.  But even if you discount it, fine, culture and experiences are still real.  There is no work to be done by the non-theist in trying to prove to everyone that morality, culture, and experiences exist.  With that in mind, you can have a discussion about the validity of the original argument about whether or not morality is subjective.

Morality does not exist without objectivity. At best you can get group consensus which still ultimately fails because (1) which group do we believe and (2) some actions are immoral - even if everyone agrees to approve of some actions we know they are still immoral. This means you either accept morality is a fiction like you do about God or if there is an objective morality that is more than total group consensus then how is it occurring?

As for culture and experience - by definition culture implies traits of a group of people. By definition it is subjective. And experience is subjective. So I don't think there is any tie between morality, cultural and experience. At best from your position there is only culture and experience, morality is just made up.




Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 05, 2010, 10:38:23 PM
Morality does not exist without objectivity. At best you can get group consensus which still ultimately fails because (1) which group do we believe...
Which god story do we choose to believe?  Isn't that the same choice?

Quote
and (2) some actions are immoral - even if everyone agrees to approve of some actions we know they are still immoral.
What actions do we approve of that are immoral?  If no actions are in that category, isn't this a meaningless point?

Quote
This means you either accept morality is a fiction like you do about God or if there is an objective morality that is more than total group consensus then how is it occurring?
Is that a statement or a question?  If it's a statement it's a non sequitur.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 05, 2010, 10:40:28 PM
Wootah, perhaps you could answer the questions I had posed to BibleStudent...

By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2010, 11:03:47 PM
I’m done here….at least for awhile.

I have had all manner of darts thrown at me in this forum but NEVER anything that came close to what that moron said. It is NEVER appropriate to make ANY kind of reference to someone f**king their mother….for ANY reason under ANY circumstances. I am 47 years old and I have NEVER had anyone say that to me. My mother is still alive (81 years old and going strong) and she happens to be one of the sweetest and kindest people you’d ever meet. That was so WRONG and, frankly, very hurtful.

I am a pretty laid back person who doesn’t anger easily… but that hit a nerve BIG TIME. I have to think about whether I want to continue to keep company with a forum that has certain members who are capable of making such reckless and cruel attacks.

Grow up you child.  So the big nasty atheist said something mean to you.  Boo effing hoo.  Jesus man, you say you are 47, but it seems you are closer to 12.   You insulted him first by posting bigoted, idiotic material, and then he says something to you that offends you back, and you go running off the playground to tell your mommy.  Didn't she ever teach you "sticks and stones"?   

It's so typical though.  You are losing the argument in a massive way, so you take the first opportunity to jump ship so you can keep your idiotic beliefs intact.  Everyone here was ripping on your argument.  You were losing, huge.  An adult would take it like a man. 

BTW, he never actually told you to fuck your mother.  If you care to go back and look again, you would see that to be true.  He wanted to say it because you posted material that is openly offensive to the people on this site, but he didn't actually tell you to do it.  He probably should have.  You certainly deserved it for endorsing that mans hate speech.   

Also, do you think we never hear Christians say bad things to us?  Why don't you take a peek in the Mail bag section of this forum to see the kind of comments we have to deal with from good Christian folks like yourself.  If you think the love of Jesus imparts some sort of special ability to only be kind to others, then you really are nuts.  But do we run and hide whenever someone "touches a nerve"?  No, we take it in stride.  Know why? Because we are used to insults from Christians like you.  Happens all the time. 

If you ever get the balls to come back and finish the conversation, the grown ups will still be here.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: wright on August 05, 2010, 11:28:13 PM
BibleStudent:
Quote
That was so WRONG and, frankly, very hurtful.

Yes, I don't doubt that it was. I would feel similarly if someone had done the same to me.

But you really should have considered what response that bigoted diatribe you linked to would draw on this forum. If I had been on a Christian site and posted a link to, say, one of PZ Myer's scathing rips on Christianity, I would realistically expect a strong reaction.

Indeed, I would expect to be banned immediately for doing something so deliberately provocative. I don't mean that you should be banned; WWGHA's policy for posting is clearly spelled out and you haven't, AFAIK, violated it.

Forum members here tend to have thick-skinned egos, partly (I suspect) from that same tolerant policy. But they have their limits, and I think you should have seen this one (or something very much like it) coming.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 05, 2010, 11:55:27 PM
so sleeping with mommy is wrong?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on August 06, 2010, 12:02:37 AM
On this issue, I side with BibleStudent. Screwtape's comment was innappropriot, and useless to this forum.

Screwtape owes him an appology.

His comment was childish and completely out of place, not to mention stuff like that gives us atheists a bad name.

BibleStudent, I appologize that another member of this forum insulted you in that way, and I ask you not to think that all atheists are like that.

Now, you on the other hand, are a grown man, and you should simply ignore his stupid, childish comment, instead of getting all worked up about it.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 06, 2010, 12:04:15 AM
i am still hooked on this morality question...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Asmoday on August 06, 2010, 12:06:10 AM
I must say, this actually did make me chuckle, because it is so similar to this:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_W3xpMkgRbQ0/SRnAS2DY4jI/AAAAAAAAAJg/_ASROmSfT9w/s400/atheist-cartoon.gif)


True, BibleStudent himself did not insult anyone directly, but what has he expected when he posted that link? There's not much difference if you say "atheists eat children for breakfast" or if you don't say it directly but link to someone else saying it and you make it clear you endorse what the other one said. I mean...you can't really be surprised, if someone reacts offended and kicks back, even if you yourself "just" posted a link.

Or is it that Christians can't see, how highly offensive such texts are to those people about whom the text is?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 06, 2010, 12:07:44 AM
that is a great toon, now somebody tell my my mommy is off limits.....as if i were raised in any other way....
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on August 06, 2010, 12:44:07 AM
On this issue, I side with BibleStudent. Screwtape's comment was innappropriot, and useless to this forum.

Screwtape owes him an appology.

His comment was childish and completely out of place, not to mention stuff like that gives us atheists a bad name.

BibleStudent, I appologize that another member of this forum insulted you in that way, and I ask you not to think that all atheists are like that.

Now, you on the other hand, are a grown man, and you should simply ignore his stupid, childish comment, instead of getting all worked up about it.

Wait, I didn't see that article he linked to... Fuck you BibleStudent. You ignorant, biggotted, superstitious moron.

Still, bringing his mom into this was wrong.

HAVE A NICE DAY!
 8)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 06, 2010, 12:58:54 AM
Still, bringing his mom into this was wrong.

But Screw didn't bring BS's mother into it.  :?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: nogodsforme on August 06, 2010, 02:10:13 AM

1)Atheism is not a worldview. 2)Atheism does not make you do anything bad. 3)Atheists are just as good, kind, helpful, etc. as religious people. If you collapsed in front of a group of atheists, do you think we would ignore your suffering and step over you?  Why would we? We are human beings.

Today I helped save a dog that wandered into the street and got hit by a car.  :( We were a group of random strangers who contacted the owner, comforted the doggie and arranged for her to be taken to emergency vet care. I am going to follow up to see if the doggie is okay. What does it matter that I don't believe in god? (Yes, I do believe in DOG. :D)

I wish people would stop with the broad sweeping negative generalizations. We just can't make ourselves believe that supernatural stories are true. How does that make us immoral, or amoral or savages or people who would lie, cheat, steal, kill or whatever, just because there is no big superbeing to punish us.

Isn't the fact that misbehaving hurts other people enough to make you religious people behave? Do you have to be threatened with horrible eternal punishments to treat others as you want to be treated?

We atheists think about this stuff a lot, because religous people are always in our faces challenging us, but there is no single "atheist" viewpoint on anything.  >:(
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 06, 2010, 05:03:14 AM
I do not need absolute proof
Then why does the theist ??
The theists need absolute proof insofar as they claim already to have it.

In reality, they should spend more time being honest about the nature of faith and belief (rather than portraying it as knowledge).
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Wootah on August 06, 2010, 06:14:48 AM
Morality does not exist without objectivity. At best you can get group consensus which still ultimately fails because (1) which group do we believe...
Which god story do we choose to believe?  Isn't that the same choice?

Quote
and (2) some actions are immoral - even if everyone agrees to approve of some actions we know they are still immoral.
What actions do we approve of that are immoral?  If no actions are in that category, isn't this a meaningless point?

Quote
This means you either accept morality is a fiction like you do about God or if there is an objective morality that is more than total group consensus then how is it occurring?
Is that a statement or a question?  If it's a statement it's a non sequitur.

1) Well there are other reason not related to this topic that show other religions are false. You may have seen me mention some.
2) Pedophilia for instance, rape, murder, lying. The list is known.
3) It's a question.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 06, 2010, 07:55:48 AM
However, I'm asking if we can legitimately say they were mistaken in their assessment of the situation.  When you say 'The problem with the Nazi's [is] the Nazi's were supplanting the rights of those they exterminated' it sounds like you're saying "supplanting the rights of others" is objetively wrong.

I think it's wrong, and you (I presume) think it's wrong. Now measure it. How wrong is it? Why is it wrong?

If it were objectively wrong, why did so many Nazis think they were doing the right thing? You are effectively saying the Axis was trying to tell the world that 2+2 does indeed equal 5, to use a previous anology.

Note that introduction of an objective moral standard (weather or not the people go hungry).  If you said planting squash is OK, I'd say it's factually incorrect - we just said you have a responsibility to feed the people of this villiage, we know (objectively) squash won't be as effective as potatoes, and we can measure (objectively) that the people went hungry - it looks like we can (objectively) deduce that you were (objectively) wrong to plant squash.

We can establish an objective, which in this case was feeding the village. And then fail the objective, in which people went hungry. So, in this particular case, the farmers failed their responsibility.

However, in re-reading my original scenario, I said "we could say we were wrong to plant squash, from a moral standpoint". Rethinking it, that's a false statement. It's not wrong from an objective moral standpoint, it's only wrong from a results based standpoint. My apologies. I'm learning as I go.

But I don't think our apparent difficulty in getting them right is in any way a reason to say that moral objective truths don't exist. 

I'm not totally abandoning the idea that an objective moral truth doesn't exist, at least not at this time; I've yet to see proof that one exists. All the arguments against it are sound and logical, and I haven't heard an argument for it that works, and is measurable, or objective.

But it sure is interesting.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 08:03:07 AM
To those of you who accused me of over reacting and acting childish, I agree. Sorry, folks. In the environment and generation I grew up in, saying something like that was a BIG no-no. I regret carrying on like I did. Anger got the better of me.



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 08:07:59 AM
Quote from: Wootah
1) Well there are other reason not related to this topic that show other religions are false. You may have seen me mention some.

There's plenty of evidence that your religion is false.  You may have seen this entire forum and website mention some.

The Christian God doesn't exist.  This is a proven fact.

2) Pedophilia for instance, rape, murder, lying. The list is known.

I don't have anything against pedophilia as long as they don't go around forcing children to satisfy them.
Murder is necessary in certain situations.
We already went over lying.

Morality is subjective.  This is also a proven fact.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 06, 2010, 08:11:57 AM
1) Well there are other reason not related to this topic that show other religions are false.
And there are plenty of reasons to think that yours is false too.

Quote
2) Pedophilia for instance, rape, murder, lying. The list is known.
Go back and read the question. I asked "What actions do we approve of that are immoral?"
I don't see much approval for those, although there are many obvious justifications for
murder and lying..

Quote
3) It's a question.
There is no objective morality.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 08:17:08 AM
Screwtape,

Do not be discouraged regarding the mod break. 

I'm not discouraged. If I were a mod, I probably would have done the same thing.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 08:46:21 AM
Thanks for the support, everybody.  I hope that if I was totally out of line and acting like a total dingus you would call me on that too. 

That is a lesson on how morals work.  The group collectively decides whether an individual is acting in the interest of the group.  If he or she is too far out of synch with the group, he faces some sort of punishment based on how severe the infraction is. Ususally the punishment is some kind of social mechanism - like being labeled a "slut" or being ostracized or just a stern talking to - but it can be as severe as death - honor killings, for example.  In this case, I have been deemed "mostly moral" by my in-group.  And interestingly enough, a new member - BibleStudent - has been chastised by the group.  This peer pressure has brought his thinking around to align with the group.  Fascinating.  Gabba gabba hey, one of us.



Biblestudent,

What I said was intentionally over the top.  Do you understand why?  I wanted to get your attention but not distract from my point, which unfortunately it did.  And just to be clear, I was not insulting your mom.

To those of you who accused me of over reacting and acting childish, I agree. Sorry, folks. In the environment and generation I grew up in, saying something like that was a BIG no-no. I regret carrying on like I did. Anger got the better of me.


Does that mean you are going to address the substance of what I wrote?  Did you read the articles I linked?  Are you accepting responsibility for the offensive hate essay to which you linked?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 08:49:40 AM
Wootah, perhaps you could answer the questions I had posed to BibleStudent...

By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?

Nobody wants to address this issue...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 06, 2010, 08:54:40 AM
By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?
Nobody wants to address this issue...
Isn't the answer both simple and obvious?  He judges them based on the morality that he accepts unconditionally.

Sure, it's circular, but epistemological presuppositions generally tend to be...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 09:21:39 AM
I'd like him (or BibleStudent) to answer for himself, but if he accepts them based on the same subjective moral basis used by those he is addressing, then he has no argument.  If he is honest, then he will want to address this flaw in his thinking for its own sake.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 09:48:54 AM

Biblestudent,

What I said was intentionally over the top.  Do you understand why?  

IN ALL TRUTHFULNESS, no. I was completely startled by it. I specifically introduced the link as ‘food for thought’ and even pointed specifically to the comments within the article pertaining to the alledged inherent dangers of ‘subjective morality.’ If I had said something like “hey, check out this guy’s take on your ridiculous beliefs…he’s right on target”….then, yes, I would understand your hostility. I wasn’t even paying attention to the comments leveled specifically against atheism…..I was only interested in how the article pertained to the subject matter….which was ‘subjective morality’….and the dangers it may pose.  
No sense beating this into the ground. Lesson learned

Does that mean you are going to address the substance of what I wrote?  Did you read the articles I linked?


Not yet, but I will.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on August 06, 2010, 09:52:28 AM
This is a summary of the thread.

Non-theists: Morality is subjective and there is plenty of evidence supporting that fact. Here's a non-exhaustive list of the evidence at hand.

Religionists: It can't be subjective! It just can't! If there's no objective morality than there's nothing preventing you from raping dead baby dogs!

The end.

I forgot: sprinkle some links to bigoted, fallacious articles for additional fun.

Woland
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 09:53:16 AM
Wootah, perhaps you could answer the questions I had posed to BibleStudent...

By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?

Nobody wants to address this issue...

I will but can't right now. Will try to get something posted later on.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Woland on August 06, 2010, 09:55:10 AM
Wootah, perhaps you could answer the questions I had posed to BibleStudent...

By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?

Nobody wants to address this issue...

I want to see an answer to this, too. Please, my religionist friends, do not ignore this question even though it quite probably makes you uncomfortable to admit that your response must be circular.

"God is God, therefore his morals (which actually consists of my projection of what I *think* are his morals, which also and ironically differs significantly from any other religionist even of my denomination) are perfect and are the objective benchmark". Unconvincing at best.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 11:03:50 AM
Not yet, but I will.


fair enough.  No rush.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 11:06:29 AM
Wootah, perhaps you could answer the questions I had posed to BibleStudent...

By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?

Nobody wants to address this issue...

Hermes was always good for this discussion.  Damn him for bugging out.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 11:11:03 AM
Wootah, perhaps you could answer the questions I had posed to BibleStudent...

By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?  Is it an objective standard, or your own subjective standard?

Nobody wants to address this issue...

In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him. I say that God is perfect morality. Therefore, it is irrational for me to judge the very essence of that which is….unless, of course, like I said, there exists a standard outside of God.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 11:26:16 AM
In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him. I say that God is perfect morality.

You may say it, but so what?  I say the king of Saturn has blue eyes and I am standing on as solid ground as you.  In other words, how can/ do you know this is true?   It sounds like you are just making a convenient tautology.  Evidence rules. 

In most cases, you would probably agree with me.  For example, you too would want evidence for murder trials, pharmaceutical testing, car safety testing, etc. If the tramp you hooked up with two months ago said you got her knocked up, you'd want a little more evidence than just her say so.  But when it comes to god-claims, well, that is a whole other story, innit?  All need for evidence goes out the window and faith is the trump card. You will take the word of an unknown second century author who wrote things so preposterous that if you read it in the Wall Street Journal, you would complaing to the editor and cancel your subscription.   

Imagine that for a second.  Imagine if you picked up a WSJ and on page 10 you read about a guy in Peru who claimed to be the son of Quetzlcouatl[1], was executed, rose from the dead amists an earthquake and caused a legion of zombies to briefly visit Lima.  On top of that, some people insisted that his death was a sacrifice to Quetzlcouatl that kept your soul from being devoured by Quetzlcouatl, if only you accept that gift.  And for all this, no evidence was given.  You just had to take it on faith[2].

You would think page 10 was not even worth wiping your rear with.


 1. or some other obscure deity
 2. whatever that is
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Asmoday on August 06, 2010, 12:21:08 PM
In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him. I say that God is perfect morality. Therefore, it is irrational for me to judge the very essence of that which is….unless, of course, like I said, there exists a standard outside of God.
If you say that God is perfect morality, do I interpret it correctly that your stance is "Whatever God does or commands, it is automatically moral" and that, what is "objectivly moral" is not always the same but depends on how God feels about the issue at that specific point in time?

Furthermore about judging God: If God is the source of objective morality, or as you say "God is perfect morality," and our own morals stem from that source then how can it be that God's actions would look immoral?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 06, 2010, 12:37:03 PM
In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him.

BS from BS.  All you need is a standard of morality with a rational basis.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 12:43:27 PM

You may say it, but so what?  I say the king of Saturn has blue eyes and I am standing on as solid ground as you.  In other words, how can/ do you know this is true?   It sounds like you are just making a convenient tautology.  Evidence rules.

You seem to be moving away from a discussion about morality to a separate issue involving whether God exists or not. While I agree that there is some inherent overlap in the two, if we start debating the existence of God this thread will go on forever.
I answered the questions posed to me. Let’s try to stay on topic, shall we?


Imagine that for a second.  Imagine if you picked up a WSJ and on page 10 you read about a guy in Peru who claimed to be the son of Quetzlcouatl[1], was executed, rose from the dead amists an earthquake and caused a legion of zombies to briefly visit Lima.  On top of that, some people insisted that his death was a sacrifice to Quetzlcouatl that kept your soul from being devoured by Quetzlcouatl, if only you accept that gift.  And for all this, no evidence was given.  You just had to take it on faith[2].

You would think page 10 was not even worth wiping your rear with.
 1. or some other obscure deity
 2. whatever that is

Just so I don't get accused of dodging or ignoring....are you expecting me to respond to this or is it being presented in a rhetorical sense ?

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 12:51:39 PM
In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him. I say that God is perfect morality. Therefore, it is irrational for me to judge the very essence of that which is….unless, of course, like I said, there exists a standard outside of God.

Well, on whose authority do you get to declare this?  Thing is, you could say this about anyone, God or not.  I could say that Genghis Khan's morals are perfect morals.  Or I could say that my own morals are perfect morals.  Or that yours are.

If you are arbitrarily defining God's morals as "perfect", without an external objective standard by which to do so, then your definition is subjective.  It reflects your choice, nothing more.  How could it, if there is no standard, objective and external to your god, by which to judge its morals?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 01:18:19 PM
If you say that God is perfect morality, do I interpret it correctly that your stance is "Whatever God does or commands, it is automatically moral" and that, what is "objectivly moral" is not always the same but depends on how God feels about the issue at that specific point in time?

Yes, because God IS morality. If I say that God is always perfectly “moral” without first qualifying that statement with “God IS morality”, then you have a basis for your question since it could be construed as implying that there is a standard with which to judge God.

Furthermore about judging God: If God is the source of objective morality, or as you say "God is perfect morality," and our own morals stem from that source then how can it be that God's actions would look immoral?

I don’t know because I do not know what you might find immoral.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 01:22:51 PM
If you say that God is perfect morality, do I interpret it correctly that your stance is "Whatever God does or commands, it is automatically moral" and that, what is "objectivly moral" is not always the same but depends on how God feels about the issue at that specific point in time?

Yes, because God IS morality. If I say that God is always perfectly “moral” without first qualifying that statement with “God IS morality”, then you have a basis for your question since it could be construed as implying that there is a standard with which to judge God.

Saying "God is morality" makes about as much sense as saying "Bob is freedom" or "Tim is justice".

Normal usage of this kind of phrase usually implies that God is moral, Bob is a free person, or Tim delivers justice, but the way you're trying to say it just makes it nonsensical.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 01:27:20 PM
Well, on whose authority do you get to declare this?  

I don't declare, He does. I simply believe it.

If you are arbitrarily defining God's morals as "perfect", without an external objective standard by which to do so, then your definition is subjective.  It reflects your choice, nothing more.  How could it, if there is no standard, objective and external to your god, by which to judge its morals?

You are correct, which is why it is important to state that God IS morality. To say that God is perfectly moral without first qualifying that statement with "God IS morality," then your contention is true.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 01:29:48 PM
You seem to be moving away from a discussion about morality to a separate issue involving whether God exists or not. While I agree that there is some inherent overlap in the two, if we start debating the existence of God this thread will go on forever.
I answered the questions posed to me. Let’s try to stay on topic, shall we?

I am all for staying on topic. Let's just summarize to make sure we are.

In this series of posts (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15098.msg341280#msg341280) Azdgari brought up the question of how you know your god's morals are actually good morals.  Your answer, as best I can tell, was you assumed it.  At least, you said you did not judge god's morality and that you would "never go so far as to say He is "wrong.""  Azdgari asked the quesion, "By what standard do you judge your god's morals to be "right"?"  Your answer was "God is perfect morality".  

Do you agree that is a fair generalization of the conversation so far?

If so, my response was not so much an argument against the existence of this god-that-equals-morality.  It was to point out the poor argument you were making.  Or rather, the non-argument.  You presented a tautology as your answer - god = morality - without any way of knowing whether this is so.  Maybe god isn't perfect morality.  Maybe god is flawed morality.  Maybe god is fried softshell crab sandwiches.  I love crab.  Either way, how would you know?  

Just so I don't get accused of dodging or ignoring....are you expecting me to respond to this or is it being presented in a rhetorical sense ?

It was rhetorical.  To hopefully show you what your own argument looks like in different shoes.  

Go read my links.  They will help you.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 01:31:49 PM
You are correct, which is why it is important to state that God IS morality. To say that God is perfectly moral without first qualifying that statement with "God IS morality," then your contention is true.

Mind telling us how something can BE a concept?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2010, 01:32:37 PM
I don't declare, He does. I simply believe it.

God does not declare it.  Its PR guys do.  And why you would believe that lot of con men, hucksters and snake oil salesmen is completely beyond my comprehension.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 01:32:55 PM
Saying "God is morality" makes about as much sense as saying "Bob is freedom" or "Tim is justice".

Normal usage of this kind of phrase usually implies that God is moral, Bob is a free person, or Tim delivers justice, but the way you're trying to say it just makes it nonsensical.

That is a logical contention...if....you do not believe in God.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 06, 2010, 01:35:31 PM
In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him. I say that God is perfect morality. Therefore, it is irrational for me to judge the very essence of that which is….unless, of course, like I said, there exists a standard outside of God.
This is hogwash.

Killing people is bad.  As an omnipotent being with the power over the the existence of the entire universe, this is my standard and it applies everywhere and to everyone.

I'm gonna go kill someone now.

Is it possible to judge my actions based on the standards I've laid down?  Of course it is.

There are only a few ways in which a God can not logically be judged by his own standards.  The first is that he never lays down standards he can be judged by; this doesn't apply to the Christian God, however.  He's clearly laid down standards against which actions are supposed to be weighed.  The second situation is when there's only 1 rule: whatever God does is good.

If the Christian God can not be judged, it is because his absolute objective morality only contains this one rule.  BibleStudent certainly seems to be advocating this option, but I suspect that he hasn't thought through the consequences of such a model of morality.  It allows God to contradict his previous standards, and create exceptions as he sees fit.  "Murder" is bad only when God deems it so; lying is bad only when God says it's so; etc.

Obeying whatever God commands is the only absolute, unchanging standard.  All other standards exist purely at his whim, and are subject to change without notice or justification.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 01:42:29 PM
Saying "God is morality" makes about as much sense as saying "Bob is freedom" or "Tim is justice".

Normal usage of this kind of phrase usually implies that God is moral, Bob is a free person, or Tim delivers justice, but the way you're trying to say it just makes it nonsensical.

That is a logical contention...if....you do not believe in God.


Ok, I believe in God.

Now tell me how saying "God is morality" makes anymore sense than saying "Stacy is pain" the way you're trying to do it.

Even when people say things like "Knowledge is power", they usually mean that knowledge is something that gives you power rather than whatever you mean when you say "God is morality".
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 01:45:04 PM
Well, on whose authority do you get to declare this?  
I don't declare, He does. I simply believe it.

Well actually, you did declare it, in this very thread.  It was your declaration to which I was responding.  Regardless, your basis for the declaration is basically that "God declares it" then - right?  And you believe him.  Well, on what moral authority can God declare this?[1]

If you are arbitrarily defining God's morals as "perfect", without an external objective standard by which to do so, then your definition is subjective.  It reflects your choice, nothing more.  How could it, if there is no standard, objective and external to your god, by which to judge its morals?
You are correct, which is why it is important to state that God IS morality. To say that God is perfectly moral without first qualifying that statement with "God IS morality," then your contention is true.
 1. Just to be explicit, I am granting the existence of your god for the sake of argument; "god exists" arguments are off-topic to this line of discussion.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "God is morality"?  As written, in English, it is nonsensical.

EDIT:  Why the hell do I keep missing the "r" on the end of "your"?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 01:56:11 PM
To those of you who accused me of over reacting and acting childish, I agree. Sorry, folks. In the environment and generation I grew up in, saying something like that was a BIG no-no. I regret carrying on like I did. Anger got the better of me.

Well done! As Snoop Dogg said in Starsky and Hutch.  "You just moved up a notch in my book.  That puts you at notch 1."

In order to judge God, one would first have to accept that a standard of morality exists independent of Him. I say that God is perfect morality. Therefore, it is irrational for me to judge the very essence of that which is….unless, of course, like I said, there exists a standard outside of God.

Well, on whose authority do you get to declare this?  Thing is, you could say this about anyone, God or not.  I could say that Genghis Khan's morals are perfect morals.  Or I could say that my own morals are perfect morals.  Or that yours are.

If you are arbitrarily defining God's morals as "perfect", without an external objective standard by which to do so, then your definition is subjective.  It reflects your choice, nothing more.  How could it, if there is no standard, objective and external to your god, by which to judge its morals?

Azdgari is 100% right. 

There is a serious (probably more than one) issue with your statement that God is perfect morality.  If you really believe that the God character of the bible is (and therefore will naturally exhibit) perfect morality, what you are implying is that we should all follow in his example in ALL instances?  Is this what you would have us all do?  After all, in your eyes, what God commands can not be immoral, right? 

It's interesting.  This is the third time I have quoted from Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation".  Maybe you should just read the whole thing.  It's only 40 pages... 

Here is the quote.  He was speaking about the right to own slaves...
Quote
As the Reverend Richard Fuller put it in 1845, "What God sanctioned in the Old Testament, and permitted in the New, cannot be a sin."

My question to you is... Is Mr. Fuller correct? 

I can't wait to hear this response. lol. 

Saying "God is morality" makes about as much sense as saying "Bob is freedom" or "Tim is justice".

Normal usage of this kind of phrase usually implies that God is moral, Bob is a free person, or Tim delivers justice, but the way you're trying to say it just makes it nonsensical.

That is a logical contention...if....you do not believe in God.


No, it's still not logical even if you believe in God. If I were to say Jim is morality, what would that mean to you?  Seriously. You can believe that Jim exists, but you still have no freaking clue what that sentence means.  What the hell do YOU think God IS morality means?   You can't say "Noun is Noun".  It's as if you are trying to say it like it means something super special and that the rest of us don't get it.  You are doing that just to further inflate your own ego by  claiming that YOU understand it, and the rest of us are just fools for not understanding.  It probably makes you feel better about yourself in the face of this massive bombardment against your faith.  While to you it might give you some sort of Christian chubby, to a thinking person, the phrase "God is morality" is just gobble-de-gook. 

 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 02:04:59 PM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 06, 2010, 02:07:51 PM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.

Using that logic, why isn't the Flying Spaghetti Monster morality?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 02:10:06 PM
By the way, I see all of your questions and I assure you I am not ignoring them. They are coming rather fast right now so bear with me.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 02:12:36 PM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.

Using that logic, why isn't the Flying Spaghetti Monster morality?

You are teetering on turning this into an argument about the "existence" of God. Let's try to stay on topic or else this thread could go in a dozen different directions.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 02:14:22 PM
I'd like to weigh in on the article that BibleStudent linked to - for reference, here it is: http://www.carm.org/failure-of-atheism-to-account-for-morality .   Specifically, I fail to see how it's offensive.

I'll go through it paragraph-by-paragraph.

Quote
As a worldview, atheism is intellectually bankrupt and is wrought with philosophical problems.  In this video, let's look at the inability for the atheistic worldview to offer objective morality
OK, this is his thesis statement.  He's saying atheism is a bankrupt worldview.  Harsh, perhaps, but no different from what you guys claim about our deluded, irrational, fearful, hate-filled, bigoted, and just plain dumb worldview on this very forum.  Let's see if he can back it up.

Quote
First I need to clarify that atheists can be morally good.  They can even be people of integrity.  But that isn't the issue.  Having good morals doesn’t mean you have objective morals. One atheist’s good morals might only be coincidentally consistent with true objective morality where another atheist’s isn’t.
Wow, this is offensive.  &)
Most Christians making the kind of argument BibleStudent, myself, and Mr. Slick are making are usually very careful that atheists can, in fact, be very moral people.  It's a logical necessity, but it's also a courtesy that I note is seldom reciprocated.  It's also important to understand that this argument is not "atheists are bad people."  I sometimes wonder if the misunderstanding about this point is willful.

Quote
Objective morals are those that are based outside of yourself.  Subjective morals are those that depend on you, your situation, culture, and your preferences. Subjective morals change, can become contradictory, and might differ from person to person.  This is the best that atheism has to offer us as a worldview.
This is exactly right.  This entire thread has the subjectivists (to coin a term) claiming that morals come from within our brain (and even pointing to evidences, such as levels of oxytocin affecting generosity.)  Objectivists (me, BibleStudent) claim it is from outside us, and we go further to claim it is shared and universal, the same way the laws of mathematics are.

Quote
Think about it, in atheism, there is no moral right and wrong.  There is no moral "should and shouldn't”.  Why?  Because when you remove God, you remove the standard by which objective moral truth is established.  In atheism morality is up for grabs.
Again, exactly right.  Jeff, for example, has said the following, which perfecly illustrates this:

Do the Nazi's deserve to be condemned?  It depends who you ask.
If it depends who I ask, then there really is no condemnation, is there?  Certainly not if I asked a Nazi.  If 2+2=4 was true depening on who we asked it would be a lot less useful for building bridges and rockets.  We think the Nazi's killing the Jews was wrong unconditionally, and the fact that they didn't think so meant they were factually, objectively, mistaken.
Subjectivists (at least in my experience) want to keep the condemnation but skip the objective consequences.  We're saying if you keep the condemnation you have to follow it through to it's logical conclusions.

Quote
In an atheistic worldview, lying, cheating, and stealing are neither right or wrong.  They are phenomena to which, if the atheist so decides, moral values can be assigned.  Sure, the atheist might say that we all should want to help society function properly and it does not benefit society as a whole to lie, cheat, and steal.  But, this is weak intellectual reasoning.
lying, cheating, stealing, are neither right nor wrong because right and wrong do not exist under strict materialism.  They are not right and wrong in the precise same way they are not snufflepod-esque, the concept is meaningless.

Quote
Let me put some flesh and blood on this and show you why.  What if there were a global economic meltdown and social turmoil ensued so that robbing people at gunpoint to get food became common place.  Robbery would then be a social norm.  Would such a norm be wrong?  If it is not wrong, then you affirm situational ethics and can’t complain when the situation suits somebody else’s fancy and you get robbed at gunpoint.  Of course, this would lead to anarchy.
And this is where atheists start screaming bloody murder.  Atheists want to point to our current society (One of the wealthiest in the history of the planet, one that Christians argue is the result of 200 years of a Christian worldview), and say that they're being good and thus they don't need Christian (or any objective) morality.  Why, we'd never get to the point when we're all robbing each other, would we?  And again, I need to point out that for the most part, they're right.  Most atheists I know are fine people and don't go around robbing folks.  (some do, so do some Christians.)

The problem is, there was a society, Nazi Germany, (and Godwin's law doesn't count because it's been brought up before this) where it was a social norm to commit brutal genocide against the Jewish people.  (Lots of societies did bad stuff, really, I'm just using Nazis cuz it's been brought up here before.)  Under the situational ethics that subjectivists claim, this was not wrong.  Thus, when they condemn it (as they always do) they have to add in the disclaimer, *unless under some circumstance we started killing an entire race of people.  Once that happened, well, it would be just fine.*

If you say your morals are situational and culturally dependent, then you logically have to concede this.  If you find it offensive, it's your own worldview you're reacting against.  The reasoning is solid.

Quote
If you say such theft is wrong, then why is it wrong?  If it is your opinion that it is wrong, that is nice, but opinions don’t make ethical standards.  If you said it is wrong because it is wrong, you are just begging the question.  Besides, that would mean there was a moral standard outside of yourself to which you must answer and that would imply a Moral Law Giver.
He's simply saying that opinions can't make something wrong, the most they can do is make something distasteful.

Quote
Anyway, some atheists maintain that the best moral system is that which brings the greatest happiness, the least amount of suffering, and the greatest freedom for as many people as possible.  That is a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t work.  Take a look at slavery, for example.  The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people means that a minority of people should suffer in bondage.  This way, the greatest amount of freedom for the majority is ensured.  But if the atheist says that it is wrong to enslave a minority to benefit the majority, then why is it wrong?  Because he said so?  If he says it’s wrong because the minority is suffering, so what?  Why is suffering wrong?  It may be unpleasant.  It may not be nice.  But, from an atheistic worldview, why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the majority?  Atheism can’t help us here. It just isn’t up to the task of proving solid answers.
This is basically the standard answer to Utilitarianism.  Since that hasn't been raised in this thread, we can safely ignore this.

Quote
Let me reiterate by saying that atheism offers a subjective moral system that is based on human experience, human conditions, and human reason.  By its very nature, such moral evaluation is relativistic, dangerous, can change, can become self contradictory, and can lead to anarchy.
True morality is not merely a collection of concepts agreed upon because it helps stop the guy with the gun from taking your food.  There is something more and the Bible offers us more.

It offers us an objective set of morals:  do not lie, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not bear false witness, etc.  These morals don’t change depending on your opinion, your situation, or your personal preferences.  They are based on God’s character and since God doesn’t change, these morals don’t either.  Therefore, it is always wrong to lie, to steal, to commit adultery, and to bear false witness, but not so in atheism’s empty moral vacuum because morality is formed in a subjective manner.
The first paragraph is just reiterating what has been said before.  Subjectivist morals can work out great, but they also cannot rationally, cohesively condemn societies that everyone seems to want to condemn, such as Nazi Germany.  Subjective morals thus can be seen as dangerous for this reason.  Subjective morals can change on literally a whim, can become self contradictory, etc etc.

In the second paragraph he brings up the bible, and I can almost hear a thousand atheists angrily asking why God gets to act so mean!  The Bible is a terrible piece of objective morality!!  Why, there's killing 'n stuff!!
Well, no, I don't believe it is.  But before you judge it, you logically have to admit that there is an objective moral standard out there that you're judging it against - otherwise, your argument carries as much weight as "I don't like pudding!"
I know, I know, there's lots of killing in the Bible.  But before you say "look at all this killing, isn't it awful!" do me a favor and explain to me why killing is always wrong.  Explain to me how you can objectively know that the Christian God of the Bible (for that is he whom you judge) is bound by the same set of morality as you and I are.
Or are you just saying you don't like the Bible?  That I already knew.

Quote
So, after an economic meltdown when an armed stranger is approaching you on a dark road and you are taking food home to your hungry family, who would you rather the stranger be, a Christian who believes stealing is wrong and that God is watching or the atheist who sees a need and points his gun at you as he adapt his ethics to suit the moment?
This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the whole article.  I'm sorry if you find it offensive.  Note that the article is not saying "right now, all atheists are evil." Or even "Right now, atheist have a higher percentage chance of being immoral" or some craziness.  Instead, it's saying that those morals by your own admittance are dependant on the current cultural climate.  If that climate changed (say, a global economic meltdown in this example), to be consistent you have to admit that your morals (if they really are subjective, the way you're insisting they are) would change right along with it.  To put it bluntly: If the current cultural norm is to rob and kill people after dark, then the subjectivist has to claim that it is good, right, acceptable to rob and kill people after dark.  The article asks a pointed question - if you were in that climate, which set of morality would you prefer the other guy have?

It sometimes strikes me how some atheists feel they can with impunity attack both Christians and the Christian worldview, yet, when Christians dothe same, they cry foul.  Indeed, given this line of reasoning, I fail to see how the thesis statement (atheism is a bankrupt worldview) is incorrect.  Atheists might not be morally bankrupt - in fact, most of them I've met aren't - but their worldview, at least according to this reasoning, is.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: nogodsforme on August 06, 2010, 02:22:12 PM
This is the same as saying "god is love" or "god is good". Whatever god does (or what his representatives tell us god did) has to be the standard of loving, goodness, etc. because he defines what those concepts mean. Right? So really, this is just saying that there is no objective standard.

What god says is moral just happens to coincide with the value system of the desert tribal cultures of the ancient middle east. Amazing. Stoning, slavery, exile, rape, slaughter of entire ethnic groups, all just fine and dandy. Cause god said so.

There god is, horribly killing people right and left, and we have to somehow wrap our minds around this as good and loving behavior. God drowned the entire human population? Well, it had to be a good thing because, you see, the thousands of rotting dead baby corpses floating in the muck represent all the beautiful little angel souls that went to heaven. And they were secretly eeeeevil devil babies. Or something. (I know, gross image, but at least it did not really happen.)

Now we don't let humans kill zillions and say it is good, because you see, god is the standard, but it doesn't mean we get to imitate him, because uhh, well, yeah. Dictators always say that whatever they do is good, and STFU. Same with god. Who are you going to trust, Stalin's word, I mean god's word, or your lying eyes?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 02:27:21 PM
MIC:
Just wondering.... would you lie to save a loved one's life?



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 02:31:20 PM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.

That still doesn't make any sense at all.  Are you saying that a diety that is not expected to follow any standards of morality, has created our morality, yet He is not subject to follow those standards Himself? And THAT is what "God is morality" means? It sounds like the complete opposite to me.  In essence, he is a lawmaker that places himself above the law.  What is the purpose of the morality He gave me then?  Why would he subject US to a moral standard that He himself doesn't give 2 shits about?  If he was not subject to a moral standard, then how could GOD know what right and wrong is?  And if all of this is true, why would He not make it impossible for us to see all of His actions as immoral?  In other words, wouldn't he want us to see everything he does judged as "good" if His sole desire is to get us to love him?   

If that's true... what an ass hole.  He is one of those, "do as I say, but not as I do" types.  Why do you like this God figure again?  Are you incapable of thinking for yourself here and realizing what a horrible picture you are painting?  I'm just glad none of it is true. 

I know that's a lot of questions.  Sorry.     
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 06, 2010, 02:31:32 PM
You are teetering on turning this into an argument about the "existence" of God. Let's try to stay on topic or else this thread could go in a dozen different directions.

That is implicit in your point.

Since I can formulate an infinite number of standards for morality with no reference to gods. The claim that there is "no standard [of morality] exists independent of Him" just isn't true.  The only way you can save your claim is by making the further unsupported claim that since nothing at all exists independent of your god, that necessarily includes secular standards.  I was just jumping ahead and highlighting the special pleading fallacy.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 02:39:38 PM
MIC:
Just wondering.... would you lie to save a loved one's life?

Maybe you can respond to the argument I made instead of posing cute little questions like this.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 02:46:17 PM
MIC:
Just wondering.... would you lie to save a loved one's life?

Maybe you can respond to the argument I made instead of posing cute little questions like this.
OK, I'll be more direct then. It's about values heirarchy. I love honesty and I love life. I would lie to save a life. But God commands us not to lie.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 02:47:51 PM
OK, this is his thesis statement.  He's saying atheism is a bankrupt worldview.  Harsh, perhaps, but no different from what you guys claim about our deluded, irrational, fearful, hate-filled, bigoted, and just plain dumb worldview on this very forum.  Let's see if he can back it up.

Atheism simply means gods don't exist.  I don't see how it's an intellectually bankrupt world-view, and philosophical problems are worthless problems anyways because they basically amount to "I don't want to believe it so it must not be true."

Quote
Think about it, in atheism, there is no moral right and wrong.  There is no moral "should and shouldn't”.  Why?  Because when you remove God, you remove the standard by which objective moral truth is established.  In atheism morality is up for grabs.

This is false.  Even if God existed, his morals would still be subjective.

Quote
The problem is, there was a society, Nazi Germany, (and Godwin's law doesn't count because it's been brought up before this) where it was a social norm to commit brutal genocide against the Jewish people.  (Lots of societies did bad stuff, really, I'm just using Nazis cuz it's been brought up here before.)  Under the situational ethics that subjectivists claim, this was not wrong.  Thus, when they condemn it (as they always do) they have to add in the disclaimer, *unless under some circumstance we started killing an entire race of people.  Once that happened, well, it would be just fine.*

If you say your morals are situational and culturally dependent, then you logically have to concede this.  If you find it offensive, it's your own worldview you're reacting against.  The reasoning is solid.

Yes, because this is actually what happens all the time.

Moral subjectivism is a observation, not a moral code or way of life.  I keep seeing strawmans because people don't seem to understand this.

Quote
He's simply saying that opinions can't make something wrong, the most they can do is make something distasteful.

Which is false if you look at history.

Quote
It sometimes strikes me how some atheists feel they can with impunity attack both Christians and the Christian worldview, yet, when Christians dothe same, they cry foul.  

Knowing that your opinion is an opinion doesn't mean you can't have an opinion.

Quote
Indeed, given this line of reasoning, I fail to see how the thesis statement (atheism is a bankrupt worldview) is incorrect.  Atheists might not be morally bankrupt - in fact, most of them I've met aren't - but their worldview, at least according to this reasoning, is.  

That's because Atheism simply means belief that there are no gods.  It's like saying that not believing in Santa Claus is morally bankrupt.

There's other words that you're looking for.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 02:51:01 PM
OK, I'll be more direct then. It's about values heirarchy. I love honesty and I love life. I would lie to save a life. But God commands us not to lie.
Are you saying God is wrong to command us not to lie?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 02:54:42 PM
OK, I'll be more direct then. It's about values heirarchy. I love honesty and I love life. I would lie to save a life. But God commands us not to lie.
Are you saying God is wrong to command us not to lie?

Could you address the issue I raise instead of asking cute questions?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 03:10:54 PM
Could you address the issue I raise instead of asking cute questions?

hehe, touché.

It sounds like you're saying God is wrong to command us not to lie.

In my post I said:

Quote
But before you judge it [the Bible], you logically have to admit that there is an objective moral standard out there that you're judging it against - otherwise, your argument carries as much weight as "I don't like pudding!"

So yes, we could in a seperate thread discuss the moral weight of the Bible if you want.  Just realize by doing so, you're implicitly conceding the point I've been making all along - that an objective moral standard exists.

Alternatively, you could respond to the argument I made in my post instead of asking random questions about when and where lying is OK.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 03:17:21 PM
Could you address the issue I raise instead of asking cute questions?

hehe, touché.

snip

Alternatively, you could respond to the argument I made in my post instead of asking random questions about when and where lying is OK.

Not random at all, and with a name like yours, I thot you would put 2 and 2 together.

Or, maybe you have and are just dodging. So I ask again, would you lie to save the life of a loved one?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 03:21:28 PM
Quote from: MathIsCool
So yes, we could in a seperate thread discuss the moral weight of the Bible if you want.  Just realize by doing so, you're implicitly conceding the point I've been making all along - that an objective moral standard exists.

So does that mean if I ever argue about whether or not Song A sounds good, I'm conceding that there's an objective standard for measuring how good a song is?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 03:23:56 PM
Quote
Or, maybe you have and are just dodging. So I ask again, would you lie to save the life of a loved one?

I'm dodging??  You're the one who's not engaging anything I wrote.

You respond to what I wrote, and then we can discuss the (to me, less interesting question of) when is lying OK or not OK.

And you just snipped the part of my post where I said any such discussion would be conceding my point.  Typing 'snip' doesn't make it go away, you know.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 03:26:13 PM
So does that mean if I ever argue about whether or not Song A sounds good, I'm conceding that there's an objective standard for measuring how good a song is?

Depends.  Do you mean the Nazi's were wrong to not like Song A and ought to be condemned for it?  Or do you mean that you personally find you like Song A, but others are free to disagree?

I'm guessing it's the latter so of course not.  If it's the former then of course yes.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 03:26:29 PM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.

The same could be said of anything at all.  How is God special in that respect?

EDIT:  Of course, standards do exist independant of God.  Our own subjective standards exist.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 03:27:59 PM
By the way, I see all of your questions and I assure you I am not ignoring them. They are coming rather fast right now so bear with me.

By the way, I'd just like to stop and appreciate this.  You are doing a good job at earnestly answering questions.  It's more than I'm used to on this subject, certainly.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 03:32:05 PM
So does that mean if I ever argue about whether or not Song A sounds good, I'm conceding that there's an objective standard for measuring how good a song is?

Depends.  Do you mean the Nazi's were wrong to not like Song A and ought to be condemned for it?  Or do you mean that you personally find you like Song A, but others are free to disagree?

I'm guessing it's the latter so of course not.  If it's the former then of course yes.

Is there a difference?  People are free to disagree whether or not I want them to be able to disagree, and I'm perfectly free to condemn others (for having bad taste) if they don't like Song A whether not they're free to disagree.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 03:39:25 PM

I'm dodging??  You're the one who's not engaging anything I wrote.

You respond to what I wrote, and then we can discuss the (to me, less interesting question of) when is lying OK or not OK.

And you just snipped the part of my post where I said any such discussion would be conceding my point.  Typing 'snip' doesn't make it go away, you know.

I think I am on topic, but if the OP thinks differently I am sure he would let me know.

OK, here it is in simpler terms.

To lie or not to lie-That is the question.

If you say no, I WOULD NOT LIE in this case, then I would think you had some pretty screwed up morals....but at least you would be following your God's commandments.

If you say yes, I would lie, then it would seem like you believe your morals are higher than Gods, who commands you not to lie (Not except when a life is in danger).
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 06, 2010, 03:48:19 PM
Interesting (http://www.dana.org/news/danapressbooks/detail.aspx?id=5600) ,for both sides.

An excerpt:

Quote
Associated with every religious system I have read is a norm known as the Golden Rule. In essence, it requires that I do unto you as I would have you do unto me. This rule is so ingrained in our social behavior as to be intellectually invisible. As a result, we have rarely stopped to question where it came from. If pressed, I might have opined that its origins are lost in the mists of time – for example, when the first high priests figured out how to satisfy a sovereign’s demand for social stability.

But suppose, for the moment, that the Golden Rule is even older, that it is as old as our own biology. Moreover, while it might have acquired all sorts of socio-political decorations over the course of human history, it nonetheless is actually traceable to neuroscientific phenomena that we can identify. If this were so, we could understand why this rule and its many variations have survived in human ethical systems, philosophies and religions. In this book I want to explore a theory of the neuroscientific basis for the instinct toward fair play. I am not talking about religion, because not all statements of this rule are religious in their appearance. Instead, I will try to explain how a discoverable set of brain mechanisms can account for behaviors that follow this rule.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 03:50:28 PM
Is there a difference?
That's exactly the question we're asking, isn't it.  I'd say there is.

I'm perfectly free to condemn others (for having bad taste) if they don't like Song A whether not they're free to disagree.
Look what you did!  You're condeming others for having bad taste.  Your common sense has to sneak in at the end there the "no, no, Song A really isn't anything, this is just a matter of personal opinion, of taste."

We don't tend to talk about morals the same way we talk about finding songs good or not.  When we say Nazi Germany was wrong to kill Jewish people we say they were "wrong."  But when we say they, as a rule, tended not to like "Song A" we almost never say "they were wrong" but "they had bad taste" (if even we say that)  Futhermore, the concept of "punishment" or "deserts" makes sense in the one case, but would be unsonsciounable in the other.  Because we talk about morals differently I'm arguing we ought to admit to ourselves that they are, in fact, different.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 03:53:28 PM
I think I am on topic, but if the OP thinks differently I am sure he would let me know.

On topic or not, you're dodging.

The thrust of my argument was that an objective set of morals exist.  Not that lying is always wrong or always right or it's only right under these circumstances.  That is far less interesting to me.  I'd again note that by attempting to engage me in your [incredibly simplistic] reading of the Bible, you're conceding the point I was actually interested in making, the fact that objective morals exist.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 06, 2010, 03:56:50 PM
The thrust of my argument was that an objective set of morals exist.  Not that lying is always wrong or always right or it's only right under these circumstances.  That is far less interesting to me.  I'd again note that by attempting to engage me in your [incredibly simplistic] reading of the Bible, you're conceding the point I was actually interested in making, the fact that objective morals exist.

"Objectively", lying is wrong. Therefore, one shouldn't lie even to save a loved one.

"Subjectively", lying is usually wrong, but it's beneficial in certain social situations.

Which is correct?

edit: Y'all have a great weekend. I'll try to catch up on Monday, so please don't berate me if I don't respond to anyone.

Adios!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MathIsCool on August 06, 2010, 03:59:07 PM
"Objectively", lying is wrong. Therefore, one shouldn't lie even to save a loved one.

"Subjectively", lying is usually wrong, but it's beneficial in certain social situations.

Which is correct?
Objective morals =/= hyper simplistic morals.

so I'd say the closest I can get to the truth is "Objectively", lying is usually wrong, but it's beneficial in certain situations.

Please note I'm just trying to explain why I feel objective morals exist.  Trying to decide what they are, even using the Bible, is a completely seperate question.

edit: Gonna have to sign off - I can't claim to know the full set of objective morality, but I'm pretty sure wasting the whole day posting on an internet forum while my employer pays me to get real work done is not included in it.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 04:02:04 PM


On topic or not, you're dodging.

The thrust of my argument was that an objective set of morals exist.  Not that lying is always wrong or always right or it's only right under these circumstances.  That is far less interesting to me.  I'd again note that by attempting to engage me in your [incredibly simplistic] reading of the Bible, you're conceding the point I was actually interested in making, the fact that objective morals exist.

Yes simple is better, in my opinion.

If you can't answer the question fine. If you won't answer the question-dodging.

I guess I missed the part where you gave examples of an objective set of morals, and I just assumed you meant morals like the 4 commandments.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 04:08:25 PM
Quote
so I'd say the closest I can get to the truth is "Objectively", lying is usually wrong, but it's beneficial in certain situations.

WHAT? LYING IS NOT ABSOLUTELY WRONG?
Who decides when lying is wrong then?
Sounds subjective to me.

Quote
Gonna have to sign off - I can't claim to know the full set of objective morality, but I'm pretty sure wasting the whole day posting on an internet forum while my employer pays me to get real work done is not it.

I suppose you think objectively cheating your employer is wrong, but less wrong if you are annoying atheists (but then only for part of the work day).

Hyper-rationalization
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 04:10:41 PM
Is there a difference?
That's exactly the question we're asking, isn't it.  I'd say there is.

"Do you mean the Nazi's were wrong to not like Song A and ought to be condemned for it?" is an opinion.
"you personally find you like Song A, but others are free to disagree?" is a fact, because I like Song A, and others are able to disagree.

Unless the second statement was meant to mean "I don't care if others disagree", which would make both of them opinions.

Quote
Look what you did!  You're condeming others for having bad taste.  Your common sense has to sneak in at the end there the "no, no, Song A really isn't anything, this is just a matter of personal opinion, of taste."

We don't tend to talk about morals the same way we talk about finding songs good or not.  When we say Nazi Germany was wrong to kill Jewish people we say they were "wrong."  But when we say they, as a rule, tended not to like "Song A" we almost never say "they were wrong" but "they had bad taste" (if even we say that)  Futhermore, the concept of "punishment" or "deserts" makes sense in the one case, but would be unsonsciounable in the other.  Because we talk about morals differently I'm arguing we ought to admit to ourselves that they are, in fact, different.

I say "taste" because liking a song has nothing to do with morality.

"Right" and "Wrong" have multiple meanings.  "Right" could mean "Correct", or it could mean "Good morals".  (It can also be a direction, but that's completely irrelevant).  You can fill in the blanks yourself for "Wrong".

I can't say you're "Wrong" for not liking Song A because whether or not you like Song A is purely subjective and has nothing to do with morals.

Anyways, the reason we talk about morals differently than songs is because they're different subjects and very few people care about what songs you like.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 04:18:56 PM
I have to break this into 2 posts.  Bear with me.  I'm long winded these days...

Think about it, in atheism, there is no moral right and wrong.  There is no moral "should and shouldn't”.  Why?  Because when you remove God, you remove the standard by which objective moral truth is established.  In atheism morality is up for grabs.

I see what your problem is here MathIsCool.  You are under the impression that I care about which viewpoint is the "better" one.  THIS is where you are wrong.  I see it now.  You are going after this as if one view point is better than the other, and I don't CARE which viewpoint is "better".  I care which one is ACCURATE.  I am not trying to sell you my world view.  I am not even claiming that the way I observe the world working is the objectively "better" way to view things.  What I am trying to prove to you that the way the world works is the way I am showing you it works.

The truth about our world is what I am trying to get to.  I am not trying to claim it's the better way to look at things.  Hell, it might even be better to have objective moral truths (as long as they all come from me). All I am trying to say it is the accurate way the world works.  My view respects the truth regardless of the consequences of knowing it. 

Do the Nazi's deserve to be condemned?  It depends who you ask.

Nice bolding.  But can you prove in any way that it is not the TRUTH?  You may not like it.  Hell, you may hate it. Hell, I may hate it.  But the TRUTH is that some people believe the Nazi's should be condemned, and some people did not.  Can you deny that? 

If it depends who I ask, then there really is no condemnation, is there?

Only if you ask Nazi's. 


Certainly not if I asked a Nazi.  

Lol yep.

If 2+2=4 was true depening on who we asked it would be a lot less useful for building bridges and rockets.  

2+2=4 is not a moral issue, yada yada. We've been over this.  2+2=4 can be empirically proven. 

We think the Nazi's killing the Jews was wrong unconditionally, and the fact that they didn't think so meant they were factually, objectively, mistaken.

That's nice. It would be nice to say that.  I agree that it would be really cool if we could say it.  It's just patently false.  I am willing to accept the fact that it is false because I value truth over what makes me feel better.  Maybe you don't.   But when someone outside yourself sets up what is right and wrong for you, then you are bound by standards other than your own to determine right and wrong.  That's pretty scary shit with a book that says the things that the OT says about gays, misbehaving children, owning slaves, people who work on sundays, people who eat shellfish, etc, etc.  I don't see you out there killing those people like God has informed you to do in his magic book. 

Let me ask you this though... when it comes to moral issues, do you go with what YOU think is right, or what the bible says to do.  In other words, when God says to kill children who talk back to their parents, do you exercise your own judgement in that matter or do you do what the bible says you are supposed to do?  Or is it that you somehow magically think everything YOU think about morality is exactly the same as what God wants from you? 

Subjectivists (at least in my experience) want to keep the condemnation but skip the objective consequences.  We're saying if you keep the condemnation you have to follow it through to it's logical conclusions.

If, in my opinion, what the Nazi's did was wrong, am I not allowed to condemn them myself?  If massive amounts of people agree with me, are we not going to act upon that condemnation?  As I said earlier, whether you LIKE it or not, majority rules in these situations.  When massive amounts of people agree that a group is to be condemned, then those people get condemned.  That type of majority rule allowed the church to burn witches and heretics for centuries, just as much as it allowed us to condemn the Nazi's.  If there was only 1 guy in the church that said heretics and witches should burn at the stake, do you think they would have burned them?  No, obviously not.  It took the majority of clergy agreeing that they should be burned to make it happen.  And if there was 1 guy in the church that said they should NOT burn heretics and witches, do you think he won the day?  LOL, nope. 

Again, regardless of whether or not it is a "superior" view, yours is "factually" incorrect. 

lying, cheating, stealing, are neither right nor wrong because right and wrong do not exist under strict materialism.  They are not right and wrong in the precise same way they are not snufflepod-esque, the concept is meaningless.

They are wrong in the eye of the beholder, and that is enough.  That is why I know it is subjective.  To me, lying, cheating and stealing is wrong because I don't want those things done to me.  And since I know other people probably also feel that way, I believe it is wrong to do those things. 

If you were right, then atheists would lie, cheat and steal a lot more than Christians.  The fact is, you know that isn't true. 

The problem is, there was a society, Nazi Germany, (and Godwin's law doesn't count because it's been brought up before this) where it was a social norm to commit brutal genocide against the Jewish people.  (Lots of societies did bad stuff, really, I'm just using Nazis cuz it's been brought up here before.)  Under the situational ethics that subjectivists claim, this was not wrong.  Thus, when they condemn it (as they always do) they have to add in the disclaimer, *unless under some circumstance we started killing an entire race of people.  Once that happened, well, it would be just fine.*

If you say your morals are situational and culturally dependent, then you logically have to concede this.  If you find it offensive, it's your own worldview you're reacting against.  The reasoning is solid.

Again, wrong or right depends upon who you ask.  Now, if you asked ONLY Nazi's, they would tell you it was NOT wrong.  If you asked the rest of the world at war with the Nazi's, then it WAS wrong.  Why are you not getting this? 

I want you to think about something.  During WWII, what do you think the American people thought about the Japanese people?  I will tell you.  A good many (especially the soldiers) were of the mind set that the Japanese were subhumans.  That they were so far inferior to the Americans that they deserved to die.  It was this mentality that made it possible for a lot of those soldiers to kill them with reckless abandon.  Did we, as an American society, condemn the soldiers for their wanton destruction of the Japanese people?  Should we have told them not to kill those Japs?  IT DEPENDS WHO YOU ASK!  Right and wrong is ALWAYS a matter of perspective.  Or how about the American Indians?  The early European settlers of our country slaughtered them by the hundreds.  Were the settlers wrong to do so?  IT DEPENDS WHO YOU ASK!

I have no problem with conceding that this is EXACTLY what happened to the Nazi's. I whole heartedly accept what you said above as embracing the truth of the matter, regardless of how awful it makes you feel.  It just goes to prove my point.  You keep approaching it from the standpoint of which viewpoint has the better consequences.  I don't give a crap about consequences of accepting a subjectivist world view.  I give a crap about truth.  That matters a lot more, doesn't it?   

It takes maturity and courage to face the truth in all it's ugliness.  You can either tuck tail and run from it, burying your head in the sand and praying to a nonexistent God, or you can face it head on and learn to deal with the reality of life.  I choose to accept the truth of what you just said here. I may not like it, but I am not afraid of it.     

He's simply saying that opinions can't make something wrong, the most they can do is make something distasteful.

Opinions that involve morality can make something so distasteful, as to cause the wanton slaughter of 6 million Jews. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 04:21:29 PM
Part 2

The first paragraph is just reiterating what has been said before.  Subjectivist morals can work out great, but they also cannot rationally, cohesively condemn societies that everyone seems to want to condemn, such as Nazi Germany.  Subjective morals thus can be seen as dangerous for this reason.  Subjective morals can change on literally a whim, can become self contradictory, etc etc.

Yes they can.  And they do it by consensus of masses of people.  If masses of people equally condemn another group of people, then those people get condemned. 

I am not saying subjective morals can not change on a whim.  Of course they can.  I don't see that as a bad thing, but a good thing.  New information can, and should lead to changes in moral positions. 

For example, say some homeless man came into your house and stole some food from your kitchen.  Somehow the next day you find him and were going to turn him into the police.  But as you were about to dial 9-1-1, you saw that the food he stole was being eaten by his thin, frail young daughter.  If morality is objective, than the man who stole your food should be sent to jail regardless of whether or not he had a daughter that needed food.  With my subjective morality, I can adjust my position, put my phone back in my pocket and take them both to the grocery store.  In that respect, objective moral laws are much more dangerous (and downright stupid) than subjective ones, because you would have to have sent that man to jail for stealing

In the second paragraph he brings up the bible, and I can almost hear a thousand atheists angrily asking why God gets to act so mean!  The Bible is a terrible piece of objective morality!!  Why, there's killing 'n stuff!!
Well, no, I don't believe it is.  But before you judge it, you logically have to admit that there is an objective moral standard out there that you're judging it against - otherwise, your argument carries as much weight as "I don't like pudding!"

You really seem to remain confused here.  How many times do we have to tell you the same thing before it finally sinks in. Every single person judges moral issues differently.  You do NOT NEED AN OBJECTIVE MORAL STANDARD TO FORM AN OPINION THAT SOMETHING IS GOOD OR BAD.  I hate shouting, but sometimes it's the only thing that works.  If morality is simply an opinion, which it most certainly is, then just like any other opinion, there need not be an objective standard to hold it up against.  I think the God character of the bible is a piece of trash because the things he does are so horrible in my opinion.  He is genocidal, homophobic, arrogant, jealous, petty and so much more.  I am entitled to form that opinion based on the actions he supposedly took in the same way I am entitled to form the opinion that the Nazi's were also terrible.  Where do you not see this?  What is your problem here? 

I know, I know, there's lots of killing in the Bible.  But before you say "look at all this killing, isn't it awful!" do me a favor and explain to me why killing is always wrong.

It's not.  I do not believe that killing is always wrong.  I do believe that unjustified killing is wrong.  What are my standards for justified vs. unjustified killing? I would have to take it on a case by case basis I guess.  But from what I have read in the bible, God provides no justification for many of the killings he carries out.  Example?  How about 2 bears killing 42 children for saying a man is bald.  To me, that makes Him an ass hole. There are many other examples. 

Explain to me how you can objectively know that the Christian God of the Bible (for that is he whom you judge) is bound by the same set of morality as you and I are.

God isn't real.  He is not bound by morality because he doesn't exist.  But if you wish to say He does exist, can you explain to me how you can objectively know He is NOT bound by the same morality that you and I are?  Moreover, can you explain how that could possibly be a good thing? 

This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the whole article.  I'm sorry if you find it offensive. 

It is.  But it's not new.  Christians have been demonizing atheists for 2000 years.  Why? Because they can't beat them with logic and reason.  When you can't win with logic and reason, you demonize.   

Note that the article is not saying "right now, all atheists are evil." Or even "Right now, atheist have a higher percentage chance of being immoral" or some craziness.  Instead, it's saying that those morals by your own admittance are dependant on the current cultural climate.

Yes, and so are yours.  Consider this.  200 years ago, it was culturally acceptable to own slaves in the U.S.  70 years ago, it was culturally acceptable to seperate white and black people in every facet of American life.  In that same period, it was culturally accepted that women were not allowed to vote.

In 200 years, we will look back and say it was culturally acceptable to chop a piece of a baby boys penis off in deference to a ficticiuos diety.  In 200 years, do you really think they will still consider that "moral"?  I sure as hell hope not.  It's disgusting.  I used time as a marker there but now let me use place.  In the some places in the middle east, it is acceptable to arrest a women for being alone in a car with a man she is not married to.  It is also acceptable for a woman to be treated as a second class citizen.  It is also acceptable for men to levy the charge of adultery on to a woman with no evidence at all, and she could be thrown in jail for the rest of her life.  Time and place, it seems, determines what morality we all follow.  Again, I am not claiming this is the "better" viewpoint.  Only that it is the truth. 

  If that climate changed (say, a global economic meltdown in this example), to be consistent you have to admit that your morals (if they really are subjective, the way you're insisting they are) would change right along with it.

History has shown that this is exactly what DOES happen.  Don't you get that yet?  Need I keep saying it?  This is just more evidence that morality is completely subjective. 

To put it bluntly: If the current cultural norm is to rob and kill people after dark, then the subjectivist has to claim that it is good, right, acceptable to rob and kill people after dark.  The article asks a pointed question - if you were in that climate, which set of morality would you prefer the other guy have?

If the cultural norm was ever to rob and kill people, then our species would come to an end.  From an evolutionary standpoint, robbing and killing each other as a cultural norm would eventually end up with no more people.  That is precisely why I believe we have evolutionary trends toward working together and valuing each others lives.  Let's hope it doesn't happen. 

But do you really think this is accurate?  Do you really think Christians do not rob and kill (let's say, commit crimes) simply because they are afraid of the consequences of doing so in the afterlife?  If that were even remotely true, don't you think we would see a massive disparity in the jail systems around the country, with many more athiests in jail than Christians?  You need to do some research on those statistics.  I think you will find that there are far more Christians in jails than athiests proportional to the number of Christians and atheists in the country.  Here is just one study I found...

http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
Quote
I have expanded the figures to provide a % of the total respondents, and I have ranked them (they were presented to me alphabetically). These stats were obtained from their computer on 5 March 1997.

Dear Mr. Swift:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious
affiliations of inmates.  The following are total number of
inmates per religion category:

Response              Number      %
----------------------------  --------
Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Muslim                  5435    7.273%
American Indian         2408    3.222%
Nation                  1734    2.320%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Moorish                 1066    1.426%
Buddhist                 882    1.180%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%
Scientology              190    0.254%
Atheist                   156    0.209%
Hindu                    119    0.159%
Santeria                 117    0.157%
Sikh                      14    0.019%
Bahai                      9    0.012%
Krishna                    7    0.009%
----------------------------  --------
Total Known Responses  74731  100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)

So no, I don't think the Christian world view is going to be helpful if our society cultural norm becomes robbing and killing.  Christians would fit right in.  Considering atheists make up nearly 20% of the US population now and only 0.2% of the prison population... well, you form your own conclusions...

It sometimes strikes me how some atheists feel they can with impunity attack both Christians and the Christian worldview, yet, when Christians dothe same, they cry foul.  Indeed, given this line of reasoning, I fail to see how the thesis statement (atheism is a bankrupt worldview) is incorrect.  Atheists might not be morally bankrupt - in fact, most of them I've met aren't - but their worldview, at least according to this reasoning, is. 

There is no atheist world view.  Atheism simply says your God isn't real. 

As I have said before, this is not about which side has the better view.  This is about truth.  If you are going to say that there IS an objective morality, then please answer a few questions that I have about it with reason, logic and evidence.  I have answered all of them in detail in this post and previous ones. 

1. Where does it come from?  I assume you are going to say the Christian God, but I need some evidence for that please.  (I say evolution, culture and experience gives us our moral views)
2. Is there a specific right and wrong for every single moral situation we are faced with, and please show me how you know, and where you got it from. (I say that each individual make their own decisions about right and wrong, so there need not be an objective morality. The evidence I have is based in the fact that different cultures and different people act differently in moral situations, all the while believing theirs is the correct morality)
3. How do you explain that the Nazi's thought what they were doing was right, and at the same time the rest of the world thought it wrong?   (Precisely because morality is subjective.  In their minds they were right)
4. How do you explain that culture and time can change what is viewed as morally correct? (Precisely because morality comes from culture, experience and evolution)
5. Is the bible a good moral compass?   (I say an emphatic no)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 04:26:03 PM
so I'd say the closest I can get to the truth is "Objectively", lying is usually wrong, but it's beneficial in certain situations.

My bolding! BWAHAHAHA!

I nearly had orange juice fly out my nose on this one. ROFL!!!

How can lying be "usually" objectively wrong?? LOL!  Admitting defeat is a brave thing to do MathIsCool.  Embrace it!  It's all good bud.  All good.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 04:44:25 PM
I added this to my last post in  order not to insert between your 2 posts.^^^^
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 04:52:15 PM
MIC, yer still here, and you said you were leaving so as not to waste yer (or was that yer bosses) time.

Were you lying or did you decide that was no longer as important as seeing you get your ass handed to you on a plate (BY jEFF)?

You lost all credability with me, dude.....

Later!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 05:16:47 PM
Our opinions are not concrete, they are thoughts which we form inside our heads.  The atheist is not trying to claim that moral issues do not exist.  We both say, morality (opinions about right and wrong) are real and that people have them.  We are just claiming where it comes from based on reason, logic and the evidence we have pointed out to you. 

The problem here is that you are forming and relying on an “opinion.” Where else in your construction of a belief or concept do you accept an “opinion” as being worthy of acceptance? Would you ever say “my opinion about earth’s age is thus and thus”……or “my opinion about natural selection is thus and thus”…..and so on. No scientific conclusions that you rely so heavily upon are ever reached based on an “opinion”....yet you'll reach an opinion on a moral issue and assert it is neither "right" or "wrong." Afterall, isn't the use of an opinion, in effect, an admission that the person using it does not know enough about the subject matter in order to form something stronger than an opinion.
 
Further to that, you say that you use reason and logic to form your “opinion” and, again, that is acceptable to you. So, the question remains, why am I called foolish and insane (not necessarily by you) for employing logic and reason in the development of my assertions that God exists? And let’s avoid an argument about what constitutes reason and logic or whether my use of it is inferior to your use of it. That’s a completely different argument. The point is we are both using the same methodology to reach a conclusion…..except when you use it, it is a valid means in order to make a decision….but when I use it, it is void of logic or some such thing.

It's a double standard, man......just admit it.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 05:18:13 PM
You are losing the argument in a massive way

By the way, I disagree. It seems to be the other way around.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 05:22:02 PM
If I had to point to one thing that keeps this cult called religion alive, it is the gross misconception that without it, there would be no morals and the world would degenerate into chaos.

Morality IS subjective.  Absolutely.  It is a product of civilization, which is a product of group selection, which is fully explained by evolutionary theory.  It is man-made.  It is changeable.  It is dependent on time and place.  It existed long long before the christian bible came into being.  It was not invented by the christian bible.  And it will exist long long after the christian bible takes its rightful place in the “mythology” section of the library.  There is no basis whatsoever for the claim that it is objective or dependent on the bible.  That is ridiculous.

Granted, opinions on certain issues are so completely one-sided, they can pretty be considered “universal”.  Although this is just a figure of speech.  Nothing is truly universal.  Among these “universal” morals are the issues of slavery, baby-killing, etc.  But even these are dependent on time and place. 

For example, in the time the bible was written, slavery was not considered immoral by many.  Probably the majority of people, really.  At least among the non-slaves.  In fact, there are numerous references throughout the bible (OT and NT) describing the situations and manner in which slaves should be beaten, how they are to be sold, how they should not be coveted if they belong to a neighbor, etc.  No mention at all condemning slavery.  Even as recently as a century and half ago (coincidentally in the area of our country now known as “the bible belt”), slavery was widely accepted.  Fortunately, our society has progressed to the point where slavery is universally condemned by any rational person.

Killing innocent babies is similarly “universally” condemned.  However, what about babies killed by allied bombs during WW II?  Was this “immoral”?  Depends on how you look at it, I guess.  But in some situations a greater good is involved. 

I could come up with similar examples of lying, cheating, etc. etc.   But the bottom line is that morality is a product of society, is subjective, is dependant on time/place, and is fully explainable by evolutionary science.  If the only retorts to this are just irrelevant appeals to emotion, then you dont really have much of a case.

None of this has anything to do with atheism.  Atheism is the lack of belief in gods.  To suggest that this makes one immoral is asinine. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 05:23:11 PM
By the way, I see all of your questions and I assure you I am not ignoring them. They are coming rather fast right now so bear with me.

By the way, I'd just like to stop and appreciate this.  You are doing a good job at earnestly answering questions.  It's more than I'm used to on this subject, certainly.

Thank you for that !!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Agga on August 06, 2010, 05:24:53 PM
If I had to point to one thing...
+1.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 05:40:16 PM
And this is where atheists start screaming bloody murder.  Atheists want to point to our current society (One of the wealthiest in the history of the planet, one that Christians argue is the result of 200 years of a Christian worldview), and say that they're being good and thus they don't need Christian (or any objective) morality.  

Bolded by me.  Are you seriously suggesting that CHRISTIANITY has something to do with america’s wealth???  Are you kidding me!!!  That is one of the most bizarre, unsubstantiated, leaps of logic I have ever heard!!!  How do you possibly make that conclusion?  We are not even a “christian” society anyway.  Among other principles, this country was founded upon, and will hopefully always remain fully grounded in, the concept of separation of church and state.  I almost spit my coffee out onto the computer screen when I read this comment.

Quote
The problem is, there was a society, Nazi Germany, (and Godwin's law doesn't count because it's been brought up before this) where it was a social norm to commit brutal genocide against the Jewish people.  (Lots of societies did bad stuff, really, I'm just using Nazis cuz it's been brought up here before.)  Under the situational ethics that subjectivists claim, this was not wrong.  Thus, when they condemn it (as they always do) they have to add in the disclaimer, *unless under some circumstance we started killing an entire race of people.  Once that happened, well, it would be just fine.*

If you say your morals are situational and culturally dependent, then you logically have to concede this.  If you find it offensive, it's your own worldview you're reacting against.  The reasoning is solid.

It is not at all solid.  I firmly condemn the holocaust and consider it a textbook example of immorality.  However, there are (or were, at least) many in 1940s germany who would disagree.  So despite the fact that I personally condemn it, and have nearly everyone in the world on my side in the year 2010, it doesnt change the fact that it is subjective.  Just means that this is a situation where it is pretty much 100% on 1 side.  Hopefully, someday we’ll also live in a society where people dating or marrying those they love regardless of race or sexual orientation, or science not being inhibited by religious idiocy, is considered universally okay.  But we’re not there yet.  Your use of an appeal to emotion is not helping your case.  

So, no, I can absolutely condemn the actions of the holocaust while still poitning out that morality is subjective.  And I do.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 06:22:10 PM
The problem here is that you are forming and relying on an “opinion.” Where else in your construction of a belief or concept do you accept an “opinion” as being worthy of acceptance? Would you ever say “my opinion about earth’s age is thus and thus”……or “my opinion about natural selection is thus and thus”…..and so on. No scientific conclusions that you rely so heavily upon are ever reached based on an “opinion”

Absolutely false.  NO scientific conclusions are based on certainty.  ALL scientific conclusions leave the door open for disprovability.  Otherwise they would not be “scientific”, they would be “dogmatic”. 

Of course, the word “opinion” generally connotes a belief based on emotion, or a belief not grounded in proof, or that many would disagree with.  Generally speaking, anyway.  But this is just playing games with semantics.

Quote
....yet you'll reach an opinion on a moral issue and assert it is neither "right" or "wrong." Afterall, isn't the use of an opinion, in effect, an admission that the person using it does not know enough about the subject matter in order to form something stronger than an opinion.

No.  That’s not what an opinion is.  Not by any definition I have ever heard. 

Quote

Further to that, you say that you use reason and logic to form your “opinion” and, again, that is acceptable to you. So, the question remains, why am I called foolish and insane (not necessarily by you) for employing logic and reason in the development of my assertions that God exists? And let’s avoid an argument about what constitutes reason and logic or whether my use of it is inferior to your use of it. That’s a completely different argument.

It’s not a completely different argument at all.  What logic or reason have you employed to assert that the god you believe in exists?   I havent seen any at all.  And since you havent done this, I can honestly say that you are not using logic or reason in your assertion. 

Quote
The point is we are both using the same methodology to reach a conclusion…..except when you use it, it is a valid means in order to make a decision….but when I use it, it is void of logic or some such thing.

It's a double standard, man......just admit it.

Show us some logic or reason, then!  The only “methodology” I can see that led you to your conclusion that the bible is a true story is that someone told you it is.  We are absolutely NOT using the same methodology!!!
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 06:26:02 PM
You are losing the argument in a massive way

By the way, I disagree. It seems to be the other way around.

Out of curiosity, which point(s) of MIC's do you find compelling?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: swordcrasher on August 06, 2010, 06:30:52 PM
Any person in the Bible, other than Jesus, is just another fallible human being.

We're all able to play "pretend that if there was a God he would choose violent barbarians to be prophets and represent him", but what your reply fails to address is the massive prevalence of BibleGod-approved evil throughout the Bible.

There are countless examples of this - asking Abraham to sacrifice his own son is a clear-cut, undeniable example of the insanity of the BibleGod concept.

Uhh, I'm on your side, but it's only fair to note that the Abraham scenario was a test to test Abraham's faith. God never actually wanted him to do it and he never actually did, an angel supposedly stopped him. So is this a valid point, no. Does it show they're all a bit crazy, yes :D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 06:38:29 PM
Our opinions are not concrete, they are thoughts which we form inside our heads.  The atheist is not trying to claim that moral issues do not exist.  We both say, morality (opinions about right and wrong) are real and that people have them.  We are just claiming where it comes from based on reason, logic and the evidence we have pointed out to you. 

The problem here is that you are forming and relying on an “opinion.” Where else in your construction of a belief or concept do you accept an “opinion” as being worthy of acceptance? Would you ever say “my opinion about earth’s age is thus and thus”……or “my opinion about natural selection is thus and thus”…..and so on. No scientific conclusions that you rely so heavily upon are ever reached based on an “opinion”....yet you'll reach an opinion on a moral issue and assert it is neither "right" or "wrong." Afterall, isn't the use of an opinion, in effect, an admission that the person using it does not know enough about the subject matter in order to form something stronger than an opinion.
 
Further to that, you say that you use reason and logic to form your “opinion” and, again, that is acceptable to you. So, the question remains, why am I called foolish and insane (not necessarily by you) for employing logic and reason in the development of my assertions that God exists? And let’s avoid an argument about what constitutes reason and logic or whether my use of it is inferior to your use of it. That’s a completely different argument. The point is we are both using the same methodology to reach a conclusion…..except when you use it, it is a valid means in order to make a decision….but when I use it, it is void of logic or some such thing.

It's a double standard, man......just admit it.

You know, if you actually read some of the posts here more carefully, you'd know that we already told you why those opinions are different than opinions about morality.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 06, 2010, 06:42:54 PM

Uhh, I'm on your side, but it's only fair to note that the Abraham scenario was a test to test Abraham's faith. God never actually wanted him to do it and he never actually did, an angel supposedly stopped him. So is this a valid point, no. Does it show they're all a bit crazy, yes :D

I'm a bit confused with your answer. If God is all-knowing He would know Abraham would do what He asked. So why ask and then send an angel to stop it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 07:26:07 PM
Could you address the issue I raise instead of asking cute questions?

hehe, touché.

It sounds like you're saying God is wrong to command us not to lie.

Cant speak for monkeymind, but I am pretty sure he is saying what we all say here over and over and over ad nauseam.  Among us atheists here, no one is saying “god is wrong” on ANYTHING.  We’re saying HE DOESNT EXIST!!!  When we point out inconsistencies and logical fallacies in the christian belief system, we do so to point out that the bible is nothing more than a collection of ancient mythology.  I dont know why this is such a hard concept to get. 

How did you read his post and draw from that: “god is wrong to command us not to lie”?  How? 

Quote
In my post I said:

Quote
But before you judge it [the Bible], you logically have to admit that there is an objective moral standard out there that you're judging it against - otherwise, your argument carries as much weight as "I don't like pudding!"

So yes, we could in a seperate thread discuss the moral weight of the Bible if you want.  Just realize by doing so, you're implicitly conceding the point I've been making all along - that an objective moral standard exists.

Uhhh, no.  The “moral weight of the bible” can be judged against what the majority of 21st century civilization considers to be moral.  That doesnt make it an “objective moral standard”.  It means what the majority of us in today’s day and age consider it to be moral. 

Of course, I dont consider the bible to be im-moral at all.  No more so than I consider tales of Loki to be immoral.  The bible is just a collection of legends and superstitions of an ancient people.  Fascinating from a literary and historical perspective, because it gives us a picture of the lives and beliefs of people in that region of the world more than 2,000 years ago.  But pretty pathetic to be taken as a true story.  And absolutely asinine to be considered a “moral” standard.  Especially in the 21st century.

Quote
Alternatively, you could respond to the argument I made in my post instead of asking random questions about when and where lying is OK.

He was making a point.  You consider the bible to be an objective moral standard.  The bible says not to lie.  If you lie, you are going against this “standard”.  A->B->C.

There are no objective moral standards.  If you consider the bible to be one, that is pretty scary.  Then again, my great-grandfather once made a graven image of jesus, so i am pretty much screwed anyway.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 07:32:50 PM
NO scientific conclusions are based on certainty.  ALL scientific conclusions leave the door open for disprovability.  Otherwise they would not be “scientific”, they would be “dogmatic”.

I don’t disagree with what you said but you went so far off-topic on this I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Who said anything about “certainty”? I’m hesitant to even attempt restating what I said in more helpful way because you seem to have missed the point completely.

No.  That’s not what an opinion is.  Not by any definition I have ever heard.

One definition I found for “opinion”: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.

I don’t see the big disparity between that definition and what I said in my post but I’ll accommodate you just the same. :shrug

The key point in the definition is the absence of proof. This is critical to my point. In what other beliefs that you hold with respect to issues such as evolution, natural selection, earth age, etc, is an “opinion” good enough ? Yet, you will form a belief on morality (in your own head) which is birthed from your “opinion” (<---see definition above)   Example: The non-theist asserts that he/she believes (in his/her own head) that the Nazis were wrong absent any proof to back up the belief. The non-theist prides himself/herself on the use of logic, fact, proof, etc.  Everything the non-theist believes must be backed by proof except this. Why is it okay to form your moral belief (in your own head) without  proof ?....and why do you demand it from me? Now do you see the double-standard ?

 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 08:33:22 PM
I was just responding to your post.  If it was going off-topic, it’s because you headed us in that direction.

The key point in the definition is the absence of proof. This is critical to my point. In what other beliefs that you hold with respect to issues such as evolution, natural selection, earth age, etc, is an “opinion” good enough ?

ALL of them!!!  It’s just a question of how much logic and reason you have supporting your opinion.  But at NO point does ANYTHING in science become non-disprovable.  If it WERENT disprovable, it would be DOGMA.  And if it is disprovable, by definition it cannot be “proved”.  And therefore, the “proof” behind anything scientific is absent.  Simple as that.  

Does that mean you discard it?  Hell no.  Science is about pursuing the unknown.  Using logic, reason and scientific method to come up with the best answer.  It’s still ultimately based on opinion.

Does that mean that every opinion one has has to be based on scientific method?  Hell no.  I may believe a certain song is the most beautiful song in the world.  But beauty is just an adjective.  And it’s not quantifiable.  So I cant use logic, reason, or scientific method to support it.

But in neither case is anything I believe in based on absolute proof.  There is no double standard.  Everything is ultimately opinion.  Those who say their belief is not an opinion are delusional.  This would include those who state with certainty the bible is a true story.  Show me why it is anything but a collection of ancient legends.  Otherwise, I will go with the more likely scenario.  that they are just ancient myths, nothing more.

With regards to morality, you state:

Quote
Yet, you will form a belief on morality (in your own head) which is birthed from your “opinion” (<---see definition above)   Example: The non-theist asserts that he/she believes (in his/her own head) that the Nazis were wrong absent any proof to back up the belief. The non-theist prides himself/herself on the use of logic, fact, proof, etc.  Everything the non-theist believes must be backed by proof except this. Why is it okay to form your moral belief (in your own head) without  proof ?....and why do you demand it from me? Now do you see the double-standard ?

Morality is “birthed” from the process of evolution and from the society around me.  Through the process of natural selection, acting over many millions of years, humans are hard-wired with an instinct to help other humans out, even when this sometimes represents an immediate dis-advantage to yourself.  Because by being part of a community, you stand a greater chance of surviving.  

Of course, this doesnt work perfectly.  Evolution is not a perfect process.  People give their lives for others sometimes.  That certainly doesnt improve one’s survivability.  But those instincts, those patterns of behavior of helping those around you, DO  improve survival.  And that is how group selection works, and what gives birth to the desire to help others in need.  

But these are only basic survival instincts.  Your interactions with those around you throughout your life are what shape and refine these “morals”.  Because you have a natural instinct to want to be accepted by those around you.  A drive to be part of a community.  Again, a result of group selection.  Your survivability improves when you are part of a larger group.

As a result, opinions on what constitutes “right” or “wrong” tend to merge together into concepts most can agree upon.  These “morals” can vary from society to society, from time to time, and from place to place.  Some “morals” are so widespread and near-unanimous that they are called “universal”.  But they are still subjective and non-permanent.

There is no double standard.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 09:26:49 PM
Quote
The key point in the definition is the absence of proof. This is critical to my point. In what other beliefs that you hold with respect to issues such as evolution, natural selection, earth age, etc, is an “opinion” good enough ?

ALL of them!!!  It’s just a question of how much logic and reason you have supporting your opinion.

By your own admission, evolution just went from being a "fact" to an "opinion" ? This is amusing to say the least.


edit: removed two words


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 09:33:50 PM

Quote
The key point in the definition is the absence of proof. This is critical to my point. In what other beliefs that you hold with respect to issues such as evolution, natural selection, earth age, etc, is an “opinion” good enough ?

ALL of them!!!  It’s just a question of how much logic and reason you have supporting your opinion.

By your own admission, evolution and natural selection just went from being a "fact" to an "opinion" ? This is amusing to say the least.





Show me again where I used the word "fact".
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 09:44:15 PM
Show me again where I used the word "fact".

Well, anytime evolution is part of a discussion, the non-theist asserts it as "fact"....that's a given. But, fine. Let's back up.

Is scientific theory a "fact" or an "opinion" ?
Is evolution a "fact" or an "opinion" ?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Asmoday on August 06, 2010, 09:55:15 PM
By your own admission, evolution just went from being a "fact" to an "opinion" ? This is amusing to say the least.
And I find it rather amusing how Christians feel the need to jump at sentences like this even though they should know from the countless times they have been told: Evolution is both a fact and a theory.

It should not be hard to figure out, that Positiveaob spoke about the theory-part of evolution and not the fact part. The theory of evolution describes the fact of evolution. And yes, that evolution happens is a fact. What is not a fact is the theory explaining the mechanisms of how evolution happens.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 09:58:37 PM
Show me again where I used the word "fact".

Well, anytime evolution is part of a discussion, the non-theist asserts it as "fact"....that's a given. But, fine. Let's back up.

Is scientific theory a "fact" or an "opinion" ?
Is evolution a "fact" or an "opinion" ?


Easy one. 

Scientific theory is a descriptive phrase used to describe the way facts fit with one another.  It is neither fact, nor opinion.  Scientific theories do not "gradutate" to facts.  They always stay theories.  Let me give an example.  Germ theory of disease. 

Fact: germs exist
Fact: people get diseases
Fact: germs live inside us and can multiply out of control, killing the host in the process. 

The germ theory says that those germs are the cause of the host being killed. 

Evolution is both a fact, and a theory at the same time.  The fact aspect has to do with the idea that species change over time.  That is a fact.  It is as much a fact as 2+2=4.  Evolution via natural selection is the theory that describes the PROCESS in which things change over time through random mutations which cause positive or negative effects on the individual organism, thus increasing or decreasing chances of survival in a given environment.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 09:59:07 PM
That still doesn't make any sense at all.  Are you saying that a diety that is not expected to follow any standards of morality, has created our morality, yet He is not subject to follow those standards Himself? And THAT is what "God is morality" means? It sounds like the complete opposite to me.  In essence, he is a lawmaker that places himself above the law.

I’d say you’re kind of close. God is not subject to anyone or anything. Morality isn’t something God created. It has always been because He has always been. Now to bring it a little closer to home and a make it perhaps a little more understandable, the “objective morality” Christians live by was merely an extension of God’s moral character presented to us in the form of laws and rules. His moral substance is simply part of who He is. I guess what I would ask you is, why would the Creator of all that is good and right put Himself under the authority of His creation….especially since His creation of man turned on Him ? 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 06, 2010, 10:01:02 PM

I’d say you’re kind of close. God is not subject to anyone or anything. Morality isn’t something God created. It has always been because He has always been. Now to bring it a little closer to home and a make it perhaps a little more understandable, the “objective morality” Christians live by was merely an extension of God’s moral character presented to us in the form of laws and rules. His moral substance is simply part of who He is. I guess what I would ask you is, why would the Creator of all that is good and right put Himself under the authority of His creation….especially since His creation of man turned on Him ? 


I have to ask...how the hell do you know any of this to be true?  Did God tell you?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:07:49 PM
Easy one. 

Scientific theory is a descriptive phrase used to describe the way facts fit with one another.  It is neither fact, nor opinion.  Scientific theories do not "gradutate" to facts.  They always stay theories. 

This is getting more amusing by the minute.
I have been repeatedly criticized on this forum and others for referring to scientific theory as anything other than "fact." I have had all manner of links, videos, etc. sent to me demonstrating why a scientific theory is a "fact" and not and "opinion." Now, all of a sudden, for some bizarre reason, I am being informed that it is actually neither "fact" nor "opinion."

Do you have a reputable source for your assertions because I would love to have it for future reference.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 06, 2010, 10:11:36 PM
This is getting more amusing by the minute.
I have been repeatedly criticized on this forum and others for referring to scientific theory as anything other than "fact." I have had all manner of links, videos, etc. sent to me demonstrating why a scientific theory is a "fact" and not and "opinion." Now, all of a sudden, for some bizarre reason, I am being informed that it is actually neither "fact" nor "opinion."

Do you have a reputable source for your assertions because I would love to have it for future reference.


I think you need to look at what JeffPT was talking about. Scientific theories are composed of facts, so they always stay theories. Are you using the scientific definition for fact, or the everyday word. If the every day word then it is a fact that we share common ancestors with primates, which the theory of evolution states (among other things).
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:13:31 PM
I have to ask...how the hell do you know any of this to be true?  Did God tell you?

I think you know what answer I would give. Why do you even ask such ridiculous questions ?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 10:15:44 PM
That still doesn't make any sense at all.  Are you saying that a diety that is not expected to follow any standards of morality, has created our morality, yet He is not subject to follow those standards Himself? And THAT is what "God is morality" means? It sounds like the complete opposite to me.  In essence, he is a lawmaker that places himself above the law.

I’d say you’re kind of close. God is not subject to anyone or anything. Morality isn’t something God created. It has always been because He has always been. Now to bring it a little closer to home and a make it perhaps a little more understandable, the “objective morality” Christians live by was merely an extension of God’s moral character presented to us in the form of laws and rules. His moral substance is simply part of who He is. I guess what I would ask you is, why would the Creator of all that is good and right put Himself under the authority of His creation….especially since His creation of man turned on Him ? 

So exactly what does "morality" mean then?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:17:16 PM
I think you need to look at what JeffPT was talking about. Scientific theories are composed of facts, so they always stay theories. Are you using the scientific definition for fact, or the everyday word. If the every day word then it is a fact that we share common ancestors with primates, which the theory of evolution states (among other things).

Ok, Emily. I'll try with you:

Is scientific theory a "fact" or not ?

And out of the kindness of my heart, let me tell you before you answer that I can point you to a thread on this forum where you adamantly asserted that it was "fact."

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 06, 2010, 10:18:20 PM

This is getting more amusing by the minute.
I have been repeatedly criticized on this forum and others for referring to scientific theory as anything other than "fact." I have had all manner of links, videos, etc. sent to me demonstrating why a scientific theory is a "fact" and not and "opinion." Now, all of a sudden, for some bizarre reason, I am being informed that it is actually neither "fact" nor "opinion."

Do you have a reputable source for your assertions because I would love to have it for future reference.


Amusing?  You mean amusing as in the way you continue to act like a spoiled child in an adult conversation?  Or amusing in how you criticize people who use their brains instead of relying on magical miracles and mythology to frame the world?  Or, do you mean amusing in a condescending, theists are better than atheists way?

You know what's amusing to me?  That you are still here, pretending as though you have this under control, while clearly being shown over and over again how deluded and ignorant you are.  It can't be anything but amusing when we all know that the specific delusion you ascribe to is a mythological fairy tale riddled with more nonsense than a pack of two thousand year old goat herders who were certain that God was walking among them, and that he was born of a virgin who was never fucked, and that he died and came back to life.  

Amusing. Tell us more oh wise one.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 06, 2010, 10:19:24 PM
I have to ask...how the hell do you know any of this to be true?  Did God tell you?

I think you know what answer I would give. Why do you even ask such ridiculous questions ?


Hey, give me credit for trying to make you look foolish...wait?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:20:06 PM
So exactly what does "morality" mean then?

Do you not have a dictionary ? You obviously have a computer, try Google.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 10:20:49 PM
Show me again where I used the word "fact".

Well, anytime evolution is part of a discussion, the non-theist asserts it as "fact"....that's a given. But, fine. Let's back up.

Is scientific theory a "fact" or an "opinion" ?
Is evolution a "fact" or an "opinion" ?


When people resort to silly games of semantics, that's when I know they are getting desperate.  

As I was talking about before, the word "opinion" generally connotes significant uncertainty, where you acknowledge that other reasonable people may disagree with you.  That's why most of us avoid the word "opinion" when referring to evolutionary science.  Or any field of science whatsoever.  Because idiot religious fanatics, desperate for a chink in the armor of evolution, jump on it and go "a-HA!  Evolution is only an opinion!  Therefore, its not true!  Therefore my nonsensical belief of an invisible being in the sky speaking planets into existence must be the answer!"

The word "fact" by strict definition pretty much means an absolute truth.  Science does not deal in absolute truths.  Everything in science is falsifiable.  Some use the word "fact" to describe what no reasonable person could possibly disagree with.  Like the idea that the sun isnt going to crash into the earth tomorrow can be described as "fact" by any sensible person.  But if we're going to go by strict definition, then sure, no scientific theory is "fact" and nothing around us for that matter is a "fact".

So if you want to play a childish game of semantics, then yes.  Evolution, like any form of science, is falsifiable and therefore not "fact" by the strict definition of the word.  But if by "opinion" you mean something that reasonable people can disagree on, then no, it's not opinion.  No reasonable non-delusional person could possibly observe what we observe around us, use logic and reason, and come to the conclusion that evolution is not the best explanation.  Much less, that the bible is a true story.  

Evolution is an "opinion" in the same sense of the word that microscopic organisms causing disease (instead of evil spirits) is an "opinion" of those in the medical profession.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 06, 2010, 10:21:21 PM
I think you need to look at what JeffPT was talking about. Scientific theories are composed of facts, so they always stay theories. Are you using the scientific definition for fact, or the everyday word. If the every day word then it is a fact that we share common ancestors with primates, which the theory of evolution states (among other things).

Ok, Emily. I'll try with you:

Is scientific theory a "fact" or not ?

And out of the kindness of my heart, let me tell you before you answer that I can point you to a thread on this forum where you adamantly asserted that it was "fact."



Listen up atheists, I think God is here.  BS has us all trapped in a logical dilemma and there's no way out!!!! Run, run for your lives.  The forum is being invaded by God himself!

Geez, grow up already BS...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 10:21:55 PM
I have to ask...how the hell do you know any of this to be true?  Did God tell you?

I think you know what answer I would give. Why do you even ask such ridiculous questions ?


Actually I dont.  Anything aside from just someone telling you?  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 06, 2010, 10:22:15 PM
So exactly what does "morality" mean then?

Do you not have a dictionary ? You obviously have a computer, try Google.


He's asking you, but you knew that, right?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:23:31 PM
Amusing?  You mean amusing as in the way you continue to act like a spoiled child in an adult conversation?  Or amusing in how you criticize people who use their brains instead of relying on magical miracles and mythology to frame the world?  Or, do you mean amusing in a condescending, theists are better than atheists way?

You know what's amusing to me?  That you are still here, pretending as though you have this under control, while clearly being shown over and over again how deluded and ignorant you are.  It can't be anything but amusing when we all know that the specific delusion you ascribe to is a mythological fairy tale riddled with more nonsense than a pack of two thousand year old goat herders who were certain that God was walking among them, and that he was born of a virgin who was never fucked, and that he died and came back to life.  

Amusing. Tell us more oh wise one.

You have to be the most foolish person I have encountered on this forum. You make absolutely no sense and certainly offer little to no substance to the discussion.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 06, 2010, 10:23:57 PM
Ok, Emily. I'll try with you:

Is scientific theory a "fact" or not ?

And out of the kindness of my heart, let me tell you before you answer that I can point you to a thread on this forum where you adamantly asserted that it was "fact."



It all depends on how you use the word fact. It is a fact that the big bang happened, but the big bang is a scientific theory. So I guess there you have it.

Out of kindness please share when I have asserted it was a fact.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 06, 2010, 10:26:33 PM
By the way, I see all of your questions and I assure you I am not ignoring them. They are coming rather fast right now so bear with me.

By the way, I'd just like to stop and appreciate this.  You are doing a good job at earnestly answering questions.  It's more than I'm used to on this subject, certainly.

Thank you for that !!

Well, you're welcome...but there was that other post... ;)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 10:27:18 PM
So exactly what does "morality" mean then?

Do you not have a dictionary ? You obviously have a computer, try Google.


I did.  The definition was not "God" or "God's moral code."

I can tell that you're getting annoyed, so if you want to make things easier, why not try a debate room or something?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 06, 2010, 10:27:23 PM


You have to be the most foolish person I have encountered on this forum. You make absolutely no sense and certainly offer little to no substance to the discussion.




You're not having a discussion.  Perhaps it is time you pack up your computer and go to a forum where you can spread your bullshit to people who are as deluded as you.

It's unbelievable, the level of ignorance and stonewalling, and stupidity you bring to this forum.  And you're doing it on purpose.  Liars for Christ are a dime a dozen, but you, you're really special, aren't you.

Tell me something, has God ever spoken to you?  And don't chicken shit out like you did above.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 06, 2010, 10:30:28 PM
You have to be the most foolish person I have encountered on this forum. You make absolutely no sense and certainly offer little to no substance to the discussion.
you haven't directly responded to my posts YET....
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:33:36 PM
When people resort to silly games of semantics, that's when I know they are getting desperate.  

So if you want to play a childish game of semantics, then yes.  

These types of statements are not going to save you here.....

nor is your nonsensical spin on why evolution is sometimes a "fact" and sometimes an "opinion" depending on what corner you're backed into.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 06, 2010, 10:35:34 PM
These types of statements are not going to save you here.....

nor is your nonsensical spin on why evolution is sometimes a "fact" and sometimes an "opinion" depending on what corner you're backed into.


Do you understand what falsifiable and absolute truth (fact) means? You're the one being nonsensical, dude.

Basically BS, it sounds like you're trying to set everyone up for a strawman.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:37:28 PM
I can tell that you're getting annoyed, so if you want to make things easier, why not try a debate room or something?

You are wrong. I am not getting annoyed at all. I'm actually very much enjoying the discussion.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 10:38:28 PM
Again, you're playing a childish game of semantics to distract attention away from the fact that you have no rational support for your belief system whatsoever.  You hope that if you get us to use the word "opinion" when describing evolutionary science, then you can lump it in with "opinions" on the bible and other things and discredit it somehow.

Let's be clear.  NO reasonable, non-delusional person living in the 21st century could possibly not accept evolution as taking place around us now, and for that matter for all of known history.  

The word "fact" is generally used, by most people in everyday conversations, to connote something that no reasonable person can possibly deny.  That the sky is blue, that the bright thing in the sky is not a guy in a golden chariot, that current president is Barack Obama, etc etc.  THAT is what people mean when they describe evolutionary science as "fact".  

I am sure if you dig around far enough, I have probably used the word "fact" when describing evolutionary science somewhere on this forum.  This is because, again, it is as accepted as germ theory.  It is well beyond reasonable doubt at this point.

What I really cannot believe is that I am living in the 21st century having this discussion with someone who is not locked up in a psych ward.  Anyone else just shaking their head at this?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:39:00 PM
Do you understand what falsifiable and absolute truth (fact) means? You're the one being nonsensical, dude.

Basically BS, it sounds like you're trying to set everyone up for a strawman.

You're dodging. Please answer the question I directed to you.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 06, 2010, 10:40:48 PM
You're dodging. Please answer the question I directed to you.


I answered your damn question.

Give a definition of how you are using the word fact.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 10:44:12 PM
Again, you're playing a childish game of semantics to distract attention away from the fact that you have no rational support for your belief system whatsoever.  

You need to go back and read through the thread. Your accusations about my intent here are substantially incorrect.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 06, 2010, 10:47:04 PM
I can tell that you're getting annoyed, so if you want to make things easier, why not try a debate room or something?

You are wrong. I am not getting annoyed at all. I'm actually very much enjoying the discussion.


Really?  Most of your responses so far have been short and quick and not very elaborative, as if you want to quickly get through all the responses.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 06, 2010, 10:52:47 PM
BS, since you're big on pinning down exact definitions of words and holding everyone to them to the letter, instead of having a conversation of actual substance:  take some time and do some reading on what the words "science" and "scientific method" mean.  Then maybe you'll start to get a clue.  

One final time: evolutionary science is an "opinion" in the same sense of the word that germ theory is an "opinion".  And the idea that the bible is nothing more than a collection of of ancient mythology is a "fact" in the same sense of the word that the idea that tales of Zeus and Apollo and Santa Clause are  just legends is a "fact".  

You believe in an invisible god as defined by the christian bible because that is what you were told to believe.  If you got anything more than that, let's hear it.  Start a new thread if you want.  

Otherwise, unless someone wants to get back on topic, I'm out.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 11:09:18 PM
Really?  Most of your responses so far have been short and quick and not very elaborative, as if you want to quickly get through all the responses.

Yes, I know. Many of my responses are brief. I still have a handful of members who have been patiently waiting for me to answer their questions. A few pages back on this thread, they were coming pretty fast and furious.

My apologies and thanks to those of you who have been patient with me.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: none on August 06, 2010, 11:10:51 PM
the man speaks the truth...
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 11:15:10 PM
You're dodging. Please answer the question I directed to you.


I answered your damn question.

Give a definition of how you are using the word fact.


Definition of "scientific fact" or "fact" ?

Also, you did answer my question....in a roundabout way.....but you did answer it. Thank you. I blew right by it so I apologize for accusing you of dodging.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 11:19:19 PM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.

The same could be said of anything at all.  How is God special in that respect?

EDIT:  Of course, standards do exist independant of God.  Our own subjective standards exist.

Azdgari - Is this the post you are waiting for me to reply to ? I scanned several pages back and this one was the only I found with a question in it. Sorry and thanks !


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 06, 2010, 11:25:49 PM
take some time and do some reading on what the words "science" and "scientific method" mean.  Then maybe you'll start to get a clue.  

I know more than you think I know....thanks, in big part, to many members on this forum, including yourself.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 06, 2010, 11:30:24 PM

Definition of "scientific fact" or "fact" ?

Since I asked how you are using the word fact I thought, hey, give a definition of how you are using the word fact in this context.

You talked about how you have seen videos about both fact and theory. Well, here's another one for you;

**INCOMING: CDK007 ALERT**

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIm2H0ksawg[/youtube]

some important lines from it (from the first 2 minutes of the video), if you wish to not watch it;
A scientific fact is a verifiable observation of what just happened
A scientific theory explains all relevant facts, essentially how something happened.
The scientific usage of the word theory is almost completely opposite of the common usage of the word theory where theory is synonymous with the word guess.
Theories are ideas that explain facts.
Therefor theories cannot be facts.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: MockTurtle on August 06, 2010, 11:43:39 PM
^^^ Great video Emily. Thanks.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2010, 11:44:12 PM
The problem here is that you are forming and relying on an “opinion.”

Why again is that a problem?  

Where else in your construction of a belief or concept do you accept an “opinion” as being worthy of acceptance? Would you ever say “my opinion about earth’s age is thus and thus”


The age of the earth can be calculated semi-accurately using some basic scientific facts.  You could form an opinion on it if you wanted to, but it is vastly better not to form the opinion and to listen to the experts in the field.  Without the data, an opinion about the earths age is simply a guess.  

……or “my opinion about natural selection is thus and thus”…..and so on.

Many Christians have formed the opinion that natural selection is false.  Given that their opinion is not based on scientific facts, then they have formed their belief based on an opinion.  

No scientific conclusions that you rely so heavily upon are ever reached based on an “opinion”....yet you'll reach an opinion on a moral issue and assert it is neither "right" or "wrong."

Yes, this is right.  The reason I don't come to scientific conclusions based on my opinion is because science is based on facts, not opinions.  Opinions and facts are not the same thing.  Science and truth don't give a crap about my opinions, they care about facts.  

I will reach an opinion on a moral issue precisely because moral opinions are not based on facts.  If I could scientifically PROVE that killing is bad in all instances, then I would not have to rely on my opinion to say that killing is bad in all situations.  Unfortunately, science can not prove that to be true (or false).    

Afterall, isn't the use of an opinion, in effect, an admission that the person using it does not know enough about the subject matter in order to form something stronger than an opinion.

So if I say... I like the color green, you are saying I don't know enough about the color green to make it into something stronger than an opinion?  Um.. ok.      Equally, if I say... I think killing is bad, you are saying I do not know enough about killing to make that into something stronger than an opinion?  Are you losing our grip in reality? That's just stupid.  

Further to that, you say that you use reason and logic to form your “opinion” and, again, that is acceptable to you.


Well, if you would like to get technical, I have formed a scientific theory that morality is subjective (and nothing more than an opinion that has larger implications in our life), based on facts that back up that stance.  While I might say it is my opinion that morality is subjective, it is much more like a theory, because it is based on several facts (A,B, and C) that I already told you about.    

So, the question remains, why am I called foolish and insane (not necessarily by you) for employing logic and reason in the development of my assertions that God exists?

Because when you examine the claims of the bible using reason and logic, it is impossible to conclude that God exists.  Only faith will allow that conclusion.  That is why they made faith a virtuous thing.  Because they knew reason and logic would be the enemy.  Don't believe me?  Alright, let me prove it.  Is there any book that you have ever read that contained stories about talking snakes, unicorns, dragons, giants, people getting up out of their graves and walking around, people rising from the dead after 3 days, that you have ever concluded as factual information?  The answer is likely no.  Why?  Because reason and logic will tell you that those things are not possible.  The only way to conclude (using logic and reason, not faith) that the information in the bible is true and accurate is by having the same amount of proof that you would require of any other book that made similar, outlandish claims.  What I mean to say is... what amount of evidence would it take to convince you that Allah was the true god?  You and I likely both agree that there isn't nearly enough information to come to that conclusion, right?  Well, I simply ask the same of your religion.  You do not have any more evidence than the Muslims, yet you still form the crazy idea that it's all true.  That's why all religion is foolish.  Atheists are simply waiting for the proof.  We can change our minds if given enough evidence.  

And let’s avoid an argument about what constitutes reason and logic or whether my use of it is inferior to your use of it. That’s a completely different argument. The point is we are both using the same methodology to reach a conclusion…..except when you use it, it is a valid means in order to make a decision….but when I use it, it is void of logic or some such thing.

I don't think I did that.  I am saying that reason and logic, when applied to the bible in the same way you apply it to any other book with extraordinary claims (which is exactly the way you SHOULD apply it), will give you the net result of being impossible to believe.  Again I use the Charlotte's Web example.  The minute you read it and see talking spiders, logic and reason ring a big red metaphorical buzzer in your brain that says this is not a real story.  The buzzer is also active for stories like Harry Potter, and 1984.  The theist turns off that button when examining the extraordinary claims of the bible, and this is precisely where truth seeking stops, and confirmation seeking begins.  At that point, all you are doing is using your reason and logic to confirm your preconceived notion that God is real.  You aren't looking for truth anymore.  You brushed off truth-seeking when you started to ignore the same buzzer you use to detect truth in any other book.   An atheist is simply keeps the buzzer on all the time, for all books, including your bible.  The bible gets no free pass just because we were raised in an environment where the vast majority of people turned off the buzzer a long time ago.  

Truth be told, I think some theists might actually be better at using reason and logic (in their different way) than some atheists.  I say this because it is the theist who has to work so hard to make reality fit with god belief.  Justifying things like why evil exists, and objective morality, and a 6000 year old earth when faced with massive data to the contrary... to me is an exercise in futility.   Atheism is easy.  The world really looks like there is no God. At least not a benevolent one.  Christians have the unenviable task of having to cram the square peg of reality into the round hole of Christianity.  Sorry to tell you, atheism is a square hole and reality slides right in.



But look, let's really step back and examine both sides of this argument and see where we end up.  This is my last stab at this.  

-My argument (theory) is that morality is completely subjective and comes from culture, evolution and experiences.
-Your argument is that morality is provided to us by God, and thus objective.  

In order to begin a discussion on these arguments, we must first agree about the specific pieces of our argument.  We agree moral issues exist, we know culture, and experiences exist (evolution I will take out, just to make this easier to move forward, since you may or may not agree with it).  The only thing we disagree about is whether or not God exists.  In order for us to have an honest discussion about which one is more valid, you are required to provide evidence that God is real.  After you have successfully done that, then we can talk about whether or not He was the one who gave it to us.  

I support my argument with several facts that I already listed elsewhere.  I have grown fond of simply calling them A,B, and C which I labeled them as in earlier posts.  

From what I have seen, you have supported your objective morality claim with assertions that it simply is objective, and a small plea that the atheist viewpoint is inferior and more dangerous than the theist one. We must keep in mind... the question is not whether or not the theist view is "better" than the atheist view (it very well may be.  I do not believe that, but that's not part of this discussion). The question is which one is factually correct.  We are looking for truth here, not what feels better.  If at any point you used any facts to back up your belief that morality is objective, please either link what post they were in, or restate them here.  It's been 12 pages.  I don't remember you using a single fact to back up what you said, but I may have missed it.  

I have also not seen you explain the logical flaws with my theory in relation to the facts I stated.  You have done a lot of work in the "beliefs and opinions forming world view" topic, but I haven't really seen you take apart my argument based on counter-facts and evidence.  I would like to see you address those.  

If you can not prove that God exists, however, you have already lost your argument.  But that doesn't automatically make mine the winner.  We could both be wrong... somehow maybe.  You can still try to disprove mine using reason, logic and evidence that counter my theory.    
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 07, 2010, 12:08:18 AM
^^^ Great video Emily. Thanks.

CDK never fails to impress in his videos. And BS, that video you (hopefully) just watched was made by Dr. Chuck Kopec (http://richarddawkins.net/videos/1322-evolution-is-a-blind-watchmaker) who got his degree from here (http://gradschool.cshl.edu/alumni/alumni.html)[1]

It's a fact that we have evolved, as evolution says. But it's a theory as to what caused us to evolve (genetic mutations, etc).
 1. from judging how he speaks with a strong Long Island accent, and this school is on Long Island
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 07, 2010, 07:30:55 AM
I have to say that my recent posts above were a reflection of how discussions like this go on for so long, with the theist continuously avoiding the most important points being made, and pompously pretending to have some superior position. 

I would rather the theist just say something like "thanks for the information, let me digest it and get back to you", or "I don't necessarily agree, but I see your point".  But instead, we get useless diatribes about semantics, and "this is getting more amusing by the minute".  None of which puts the theist in any better position than before. 

BibleStudent...what are you getting out of this conversation?  What have you learned, that you can either agree with, or not?  JeffPT and others have provided more than enough explanation, to which you continue to either gloss over, or ignore.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 07, 2010, 07:59:42 AM
I still have a handful of members who have been patiently waiting for me to answer their questions.

I gave up. No matter, however, I still have a comment.

I think folks are attempting a macro level discussion with you, that, considering the subject matter, and your apparent knowledge base, would better be dealt with on a micro level. Partly, I lost interest because I perceived too great a gulf between our respective knowledge concerning the subject matter I wanted to cover.

You seem to perceive the validity and reliability of the various dating methods that leads to solid evidence of the earth's age, and thus, can probably deal with these things at a level consistent with that expertise. That allows for pretty fine higher-order dialogue, which is fun.

But, when it comes to the same sort of evidential configuration leading to another conclusion, and involving a few lines of evidence from other fields of scientific study, like evolution, that dialogue should start basic and move up. This top-down stuff going on between people of varying levels of knowledge isn't working. As someone with a science background (toot toot!) I can say it's a big turn off for me.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 07, 2010, 10:02:13 AM
"God is morality"  = a means for describing that God is not subject to a standard of morality since no standard exists independent of Him.

The same could be said of anything at all.  How is God special in that respect?

EDIT:  Of course, standards do exist independant of God.  Our own subjective standards exist.

Azdgari - Is this the post you are waiting for me to reply to ? I scanned several pages back and this one was the only I found with a question in it. Sorry and thanks !

Yes, that is the question I meant.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Graybeard on August 07, 2010, 10:17:07 AM
[...]
Example: The non-theist asserts that he/she believes (in his/her own head) that the Nazis were wrong absent any proof to back up the belief. The non-theist prides himself/herself on the use of logic, fact, proof, etc.  Everything the non-theist believes must be backed by proof except this. Why is it okay to form your moral belief (in your own head) without  proof ?....and why do you demand it from me?
 
I think it is more a question of (a) what a reasonable man would conclude to be the best explanation of a puzzling phenomenon and (b) how he went about investigating it.

Lets take lightening: Originally thought to be the Wrath of the Gods. We could have left it there, however Franklin thought otherwise - it is static in the clouds. The reasonable man concludes Franklin has it correct.

The fundamentalist will accept the Bible as God's Word and look for evidence to support his claim and, because he is convinced the Bible is inerrant, he seeks only the evidence that supports and rejects what does not. A scientist will examine all the evidence and see where it takes him.

May I ask you to look at the 2 lines of my signature? The second is, of course, ironic.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 07, 2010, 12:18:45 PM
Sorry for the late reply, was away for 2 days.

Consequently, while there is objective fact (allegedly) to support biological evolution, there is no objective fact to support morality….at least not outside of a Moral Law Giver.

Even if that were true, there's no need to have objective facts support morality, provided that morality is nothing more than a concept made up by humans, right?

Why can't we be the "moral law givers"? We certainly do make up rules of what is right/wrong.

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Remember, the point here was demonstrate the double-standard that is being employed.

Your claims, according to you, do not involve things that are just a product of humans. So you would need something more scientific and objective to support your claims. I claim morality is real BUT completely made up by humans. You claim your god is real regardless of mankind. If everybody stopped believing in gravity, we'd still slam against the pavement if we jump off buildings. If for some reason not a single person can think of a reason why executing thieves is wrong, then executing thieves isn't wrong. It doesn't have to be, but morality can be that arbitrary, that subjective. And there's no evidence of it being otherwise AFAIK

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You’re missing the point and inappropriately shifting the burden back to me. I am asking you to provide objective fact to demonstrate your subjective morality….which is not possible.

I'm not sure what this means, exactly. Can you be more specific? What exactly do you want me to prove/demonstrate? There's absolutely no (scientific) reason to think that:
1. Morality is not a byproduct of humans/ human evolution.
2. Morality doesn't come in different flavors, depending on who you are.

So there is little question that that morality, as we humans have and utilize it, is subjective. The question is then whether objective morality exists, but there's no evidence of it. So I don't understand what you're asking me to demonstrate? Why is the burden of evidence on me?

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This is where the double standard exists. If I am expected to provide objective fact for my assertions that God is real, why is it acceptable for you to establish any moral code (albeit your own) absent of same. Why is okay for you to be "right" about something (in your own mind) but have to objective standard or source to cite?

Because I admit that it's a subjective product of humans. Just like my taste in, say, women. How can I scientifically prove that one type of woman is objectively more appealing than another, if the whole idea of taste is subjective and acknowledged as such?

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Actually, I'm also in the camp that says that morality is a product of evolution.

That’s fine. But the acquisition of knowledge that you use to frame a moral position is not a product of biological evolution. Therefore, it has no objective fact to support it. Why is that acceptable ?

Because it's not considered an objective concept independent of humans in the first place?

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More specifically, I believe that morality that helps us as a species survive and thrive is the "right" one, since survival is what we biologically/intrinsically desire. So I'd like to think that that's not as "arbitrary" or "personal" as you describe above.

Look at the bold words. Why don’t you know ?....and why must I know for my argument to be valid. Double-standard.

Look, I think you're getting my message. It's subjective, and until there is pretty solid evidence that objective morality exists, I don't have to "know" whether my sense of morality is "objectively" right or not for certain. That would beat the whole argument of it being a subjective thing, after all.

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Also, some of your fellow non-theists might disagree with you about morality not being as “arbitrary” or “personal” ….since they have repeatedly indicated that their moral decisions are just their “personal opinion.”

An opinion is also based on something. Some bases more logical than others, depending on your angle.

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Again, you’re straying from the topic. I appreciate why you might feel the need to express your opinions here, but the whole point I was making had to do with practicing what you preach when it comes to validating something you believe.

I am validating what I believe to be subjective, subjectively. So why isn't that enough? Is your god also a subjective product of humans? Admit that and we won't have a problem.

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Me: Wait, you just made a decision based on your feelings.

Not really.

Then what did you use ?

Not really. I think there's plenty of scientific/biological evidence that our species is into the surviving business. So I don't really see how modeling moral values around that is as simple and arbitrary as "based on my feelings". I'd like to think it's got a logical basis.

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You formed an opinion and claim you are “right” (in your own mind)  which is not going to change….

Not really "in my own mind",

So, it happened outside of your mind ? Hmm….you better think about that one.

Can you quote the whole thing, please? There's even a comma for you to understand that that's not a complete sentence...

Not really "in my own mind", but from the perspective of the survival of the species (which importance is surely shared by many, if not most), more productive moral values. And they certainly can change, because what I think is best, morally speaking, for the survival of the species can turn out to be wrong. And there are ways to measure how moral values influence our species as a whole.


Quote
Quote
That’s crazy and irrational based on your own methodologies for establishing truth. You expect objective truth in the assertions I make that God exists, yet you compromise your own rules in the construction of a moral view.
Not really. I already acknowledge that my moral values are subjective, and that, depending on what your angle is behind your moral values, yours can be different. After all, it's just something humans made up.

Oh, we just made it up ? And that’s acceptable in your view ? So, why when I allegedly make up an assertion about God, it is not acceptable ? This is the whole point !!

It is acceptable, as long as you admit that it's just your subjective opinion, like your god is a product of your mind.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: thatguy on August 07, 2010, 12:29:16 PM
These types of statements are not going to save you here.....

nor is your nonsensical spin on why evolution is sometimes a "fact" and sometimes an "opinion" depending on what corner you're backed into.

It is a fact that life forms adapt and change over successive generations, and in turn, new species are formed.
A Theory of Evolution is an explanation of how and why this process happens.

The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, which some people might call ""The" Theory of Evolution" is our best explanation of evolution accepted by most biologists, and supported by an abundance of evidence.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 07, 2010, 12:37:52 PM
If God is morality, or, morality is an objective concept independent of humans, then what about God's morality before humans were created?

In other words, without other entities existing, with what does God's morality compare?

And so in this case with nothing to compare God's morality to, in order to exist wouldn't morality have to be independent of God?

And if morality is independent of God, then why give her the credit?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 07, 2010, 03:05:38 PM
I was just reading Numbers and there's talk of not only other gods, but yahweh punishing them.

Poor other gods, "I thought I was morality!"  :(
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 07, 2010, 03:54:07 PM
But anyway BibleStudent: Since you stated that your god equals (objective) morality, (e.g. your god being real is required for objective morality to be truth, right?), and no atheist has the burden of proof when it comes to showing that your god (or any god) is real, can I now assume that you've finally and correctly taken the burden of proof on whether objective morality is truth or falsehood?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: id on August 11, 2010, 06:38:52 PM
Hey forum, first post.  I've been enjoying this thread so I felt the need to respond.

First of all, I'll tackle the issue of morality.  Morality resembles our currency.  It wasn't here before us.  We create it, determine it's value, depreciate it through inflation and it collapses eventually due to misunderstanding, confusion and fear.  Not to mention, it will be worthless when we are no longer here.  We determine "right" and "wrong" typically based on a framework that WE have constructed.  If we would like to advance as a species, we may - after observation and experience - determine that murdering, in most cases, is not actually beneficial to the advancement of civilization, thus we would consider it "wrong" to murder.  If our goal as a species was to die out primitively, it may very well be "right" or "good" to murder each other.

Thankfully it appears that most people on the planet have decided they would rather advance the species rather than kill it off, so based on the "goal" of advancement we can determine - through healthy debates and discussions - what we consider "good" or "bad" for this endgame.

As for the people saying that morality is objective and given from God(of the Bible, for sake of the discussion), I have the following questions to ask you:

If morality is objective, then why does the creator of this objective morality contradict his own creation by committing numerous immoral acts that HE himself has deemed immoral?  How do you justify this "do as I say, not as I do" mentality?

I'm glad I'm joining in on this discussion.  I have plenty more to say, but I'll let my first post be to the point.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 11, 2010, 06:46:16 PM
Welcome to the forum, id.

Nice first post.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Disciple of Sagan on August 11, 2010, 06:48:32 PM
Welcome to the forum, id.

Nice first post.

Beat me to it! Raspberries! :P

And I'll second that, id. Welcome to the Forum! :)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: id on August 11, 2010, 07:45:39 PM
Thanks guys(girls).

I've browsed this place for a while but I've been too lazy to register an account.  I honestly can't believe the topic of morality is such an issue.  It's such a nebulous concept to even think about considering it objective.  There can be no objective morality because brand new moral situations arise every day that have never before been addressed and we MUST as people judge these situations and determine whether or not they are beneficial.  To do this we have healthy discussions and debates.  The Bible doesn't go into detail on modern issues, so how then does a believer "figure out" what is moral in these instances?  God has nothing to say on whether or not cloning is moral, for example.  How then are we going to determine whether or not it is?  By discussion of the evidence and opinions.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 11, 2010, 09:32:43 PM
Thanks guys(girls).

I've browsed this place for a while but I've been too lazy to register an account.  I honestly can't believe the topic of morality is such an issue.  It's such a nebulous concept to even think about considering it objective.  There can be no objective morality because brand new moral situations arise every day that have never before been addressed and we MUST as people judge these situations and determine whether or not they are beneficial or not.  To do this we have healthy discussions and debates.  The Bible doesn't go into detail on modern issues, so how then does a believer "figure out" what is moral in these instances?  God has nothing to say on whether or not cloning is moral, for example.  How then are we going to determine whether or not it is?  By discussion of the evidence and opinions.


It is a good question and one that I, admittedly, have not given a lot of thought to. However, since I was so heavily involved in this thread, I'll offer my .02.

Using your example of "cloning," where I say you might get something more specific from the Bible is when you examine the motivation and/or intent for cloning. In other words, what is the reason that the cloning is taking place ? Is it for the purpose of medical advancement...or maybe in order to save an endangered species ?....or is it being performed for reasons that could potentially endanger other people ?

You are correct, though. There are modern day issues which are not specifically addressed in the Bible. You will notice, though, that anytime an issue arises which could have significant societal impacts, there is a contingent of Christians involved lobbying for a "Christian" outcome....so it shouldn't be too hard to determine which Biblical belief is being defended.

Again, just my .02.
   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 11, 2010, 09:43:43 PM
Id

My superego insists I welcome you. But even my ego thinks it's a good idea.

So welcome.

(As a crazy man, that's the closest thing to psychology humor I could come up with.)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: id on August 12, 2010, 09:17:33 PM
Using your example of "cloning," where I say you might get something more specific from the Bible is when you examine the motivation and/or intent for cloning.

Which is completely subjective and ever-changing and ever-debatable.  There is "good" motivation and intent on either side of the coin if you would like to spin it that way.  You must understand that there is nothing concrete(in reference to morality).  We must, as humans who wish to advance our species, judge and determine what is moral when it comes to these issues.  How we do it is simple:  We discuss it.  We present our case and let the rest of the species either agree or disagree with it.  When it comes to certain less ambiguous actions(rape) we can usually easily agree on that which is not beneficial to us.  The rest is always changing because rarely ever are two events the same.  Murder isn't always "wrong" and lying isn't always "bad".

Quote
You are correct, though. There are modern day issues which are not specifically addressed in the Bible. You will notice, though, that anytime an issue arises which could have significant societal impacts, there is a contingent of Christians involved lobbying for a "Christian" outcome....so it shouldn't be too hard to determine which Biblical belief is being defended.    

This is completely irrelevant to the subject of objective morality.  This merely proves that Christians tend to think alike when it comes to certain issues.  Even then they usually do not gather their opinion from the Bible, because it simply is not there on certain topics.  They may, however, infer from certain verses that their particular opinion is supported by the Bible.  Most Christians, I would wager, barely know what is contained within the Bible.  There is a bit of a hive mind mentality when it comes to the types of Christians that will lobby, in public, against something.

I'll add that when you give a reference point it's easier to argue a thing is good/bad or right/wrong, but morality is still subjective and only exists in our minds.

I keep repeating myself, but if our goal as a species is to advance and become more civilized then it can be argued that certain actions are "right" and some are "wrong". It is our responsibility as a species to determine these ideas(rape, child abuse, genocide, etc) as "wrong" if we expect to further advance ourselves as a species. However, the universe doesn't care. These morals exist only inside of us, even though I do think we should stand up and place "right/wrong" labels on certain actions when the situation arises(the genocide of the Jews, for example).

I'm really sorry I joined in on this discussion at the tail end of it all.  Thanks for your reply, though.  And thanks for the welcome, ParkingPlaces.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: erinodessapage on August 12, 2010, 09:58:42 PM
Why bother asking a Christian to explain..all they will do is make excuses for God...that's all they ever do..
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 13, 2010, 07:19:10 AM
In case you missed it BS. Can you address this?

If God is morality, or, morality is an objective concept independent of humans, then what about God's morality before humans were created?

In other words, without other entities existing, with what does God's morality compare?

And so in this case with nothing to compare God's morality to, in order to exist wouldn't morality have to be independent of God?

And if morality is independent of God, then why give her the credit?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Azdgari on August 13, 2010, 08:54:12 AM
Of course, there's the issue of what "perfect morality" even means.  Does BibleStudent even know what he ment when he said it?

"Perfection" is relative to a purpose or goal.  To say that something is "perfect" is an incomplete thought.  To say that a shape is a "perfect circle", for example, is really to say - with all thoughts stated - that it is "perfect at fitting the definition of a circle".  A perfect hammer is perfect at the task (a human-required goal) of hammering things.  "Absolute perfection" is an incoherent concept, meaningless.

So, for what goal/purpose is this god's morality perfect?  Is it perfect at being or fitting the definition of morality?  Because that'd be kind of trivial.  If that's not it, then what does "perfect morality" actually mean?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 13, 2010, 02:14:11 PM
In case you missed it BS. Can you address this?

If God is morality, or, morality is an objective concept independent of humans, then what about God's morality before humans were created?

In other words, without other entities existing, with what does God's morality compare?

And so in this case with nothing to compare God's morality to, in order to exist wouldn't morality have to be independent of God?

And if morality is independent of God, then why give her the credit?


I believe that God’s attributes (or character makeup) are the foundation for His morality. God’s morality is determined by His wisdom, knowledge, love, mercy, righteousness, etc. God did not sit on His throne one day and say “hey, if I’m going to create the human race, I better come up with some morals.” Instead, the objective morality He gave us was a mere expression of the accountability He Himself would be subject to if He was in our circumstances based on who He is.

While this is contrary to what I believe, it may help better illustrate what I am trying to say. Again, this is for illustration purposes only:

if God’s existence came into being as a result of a sequence of events, then His character makeup would have existed before His morality because His morality is dictated by “who” He is. However, His morality always was because He always was.

In order to really understand this, you would probably first have to get past whatever obstacles stand in the way of understanding that the God of the Bible was NOT created. Therefore, He is not subject to anything or anyone and never was. In order for God to be subject to some form of morality, it would had to have existed before Him.


Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 13, 2010, 02:28:17 PM
If god is omni-everything, outside space-time, and the only one EVER, why would he even consider any morals that affect anyone else? How would the concept of love and mercy even begin to arise in him if he had no one to show it to or get it from?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 13, 2010, 02:43:03 PM
If god is omni-everything, outside space-time, and the only one EVER, why would he even consider any morals that affect anyone else? How would the concept of love and mercy even begin to arise in him if he had no one to show it to or get it from?

Narcissism might explain the love part, and we do know how much gods love themselves, especially the christian god, but you're right about the mercy and righteousness part.

God did not sit on His throne one day and say “hey, if I’m going to create the human race, I better come up with some morals.” Instead, the objective morality He gave us was a mere expression of the accountability He Himself would be subject to if He was in our circumstances based on who He is.

A mere expression? Can you be more specific? How did this expression came to be? As Dante said: how can such an expression even exist before the concept and creation of mankind? How would a god like this even know what's appropriate and what's not? And why did he get it wrong and adjust the primitive, violent and backward morality he spoke of in the OT?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 13, 2010, 02:46:20 PM
 
Which is completely subjective and ever-changing and ever-debatable.  There is "good" motivation and intent on either side of the coin if you would like to spin it that way.


Not sure I follow you here. What could be “good” or “right” about cloning if it was, for example, going to jeopardize the well being of the human race or a specific society ? Perhaps I am just not understanding your assertion here ?

You must understand that there is nothing concrete(in reference to morality).


Disagree. The objective morality of the Bible may not always be easily interpreted but it is still there.

We must, as humans who wish to advance our species, judge and determine what is moral when it comes to these issues.  How we do it is simple:  We discuss it.  We present our case and let the rest of the species either agree or disagree with it.

Or, if you are a Christian, you reference the Bible. I have yet to see an issue be so complicated and original that the Bible was incapable of measuring the morality of it.


When it comes to certain less ambiguous actions(rape) we can usually easily agree on that which is not beneficial to us.  The rest is always changing because rarely ever are two events the same.  Murder isn't always "wrong" and lying isn't always "bad".

When is murder ever “right” ?

This is completely irrelevant to the subject of objective morality.  This merely proves that Christians tend to think alike when it comes to certain issues.  Even then they usually do not gather their opinion from the Bible, because it simply is not there on certain topics.
 

Again, I would say that I have yet to see an issue be so complicated and original that the Bible was incapable of measuring the morality of it.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 13, 2010, 02:47:23 PM
Therefore, He is not subject to anything or anyone and never was. In order for God to be subject to some form of morality, it would had to have existed before Him.

Your argument seems to amount to "morality is part of my god's character, and so it cannot be judged by its own moral standards."  You keeps saying this, but I have not seen you explain or show why this is so.  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Emily on August 13, 2010, 02:47:59 PM
And this biblestudent is why it's completely pointless talking to you.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 13, 2010, 04:08:50 PM
When is murder ever “right” ?

Assassinating specific dictators.

But it's pointless to tell you this with you since you already consider lying to Nazis wrong.

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In order for God to be subject to some form of morality, it would had to have existed before Him.

What kind of twisted and deranged dictionary are you using?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Disciple of Sagan on August 13, 2010, 05:08:41 PM

And why did he get it wrong and adjust the primitive, violent and backward morality he spoke of in the OT?

This is something that I have wondered about ever since I learned about the distinction between the OT and the NT.

If you were to take an individual who knew nothing about Christianity and then described to them the modus operandi of god in the Old vs the New Testament, I would daresay he or she would be hard pressed to make the connection that they were speaking of one and the same deity.

I think one could make the case that if god were a human being, he would be diagnosed with having a dissociative identity disorder... a Jekyll and Hyde mentality, only in reverse where Hyde is the original persona.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 13, 2010, 07:47:07 PM
When it comes to certain less ambiguous actions(rape) we can usually easily agree on that which is not beneficial to us.  The rest is always changing because rarely ever are two events the same.  Murder isn't always "wrong" and lying isn't always "bad".

When is murder ever “right” ?

Poor choice of words on id's part.  The definition of murder is unjust or unlawful killing.  So by definition, it is always wrong.  Killing, on the other hand, is a different story... 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 13, 2010, 08:03:59 PM
Poor choice of words on id's part.  The definition of murder is unjust or unlawful killing.  So by definition, it is always wrong.

Not necessarily. It's true that murder can be defined as unjust or unlawful killing, but different countries, different laws...

Just like how something that is lawful doesn't always mean it's "right".
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Graybeard on August 13, 2010, 08:25:19 PM
I believe that God’s attributes (or character makeup) are the foundation for His morality. God’s morality is determined by His wisdom, knowledge, love, mercy, righteousness, etc. God did not sit on His throne one day and say “hey, if I’m going to create the human race, I better come up with some morals.” Instead, the objective morality He gave us was a mere expression of the accountability He Himself would be subject to if He was in our circumstances based on who He is.[...]

Here is God's morality; he hates:
Hypocrites (Matthew 24:51), The Unforgiving (Mark 11:26), Homosexuals (Romans 1:26, 27), Fornicators (Romans 1:29), 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 )

Most of them I can go along with, but a few seem to be not in tune with today's society.

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In order to really understand this, you would probably first have to get past whatever obstacles stand in the way of understanding that the God of the Bible was NOT created. Therefore, He is not subject to anything or anyone and never was. In order for God to be subject to some form of morality, it would had to have existed before Him.
Yes, getting past that "the God of the Bible was NOT created", is insuperable isn't it - it just can't be done.

We are left with the thought that bronze-age goatherders invented a god and a rigid and inflexible system of morals. And as many of those he hates are in nebulous categories, the result is that subjectively, the good Christian can place most everyone, except himself, into one category or another and then take a stance of, "It's not me that's saying it, it's God."
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 13, 2010, 08:34:25 PM
I have not read the whole post, so I apologize if this has already been said.

"Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god."
Jean Rostand, Thoughts of a Biologist (1939)
(1894 - 1977)
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 13, 2010, 09:55:49 PM
Not necessarily. It's true that murder can be defined as unjust or unlawful killing, but different countries, different laws...

Just like how something that is lawful doesn't always mean it's "right".

That means the measure of what is murder and what is justifiable killing is different.  Or, in the context of this conversation, it is subjective.  That difference was much easier to illustrate before our resident muslim fanatic got himself banned.  You see, you and I would consider killing a man because he is gay or an atheist to be murder.  Afadly called it a divine mandate.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Brakeman on August 13, 2010, 10:13:37 PM
Murdering someone who accidentally caught the Arc of the Covenant to keep it from smashing on the ground is of course moral and wholesome...   :shrug

Read about poor Uzzah..
2 Samuel 6:6-7
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: id on August 13, 2010, 11:42:58 PM
Disagree. The objective morality of the Bible may not always be easily interpreted but it is still there.

It's contradictory.  God in the Bible goes against the very universal morality that he created.

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Or, if you are a Christian, you reference the Bible. I have yet to see an issue be so complicated and original that the Bible was incapable of measuring the morality of it.

Is it moral to punish someone for something they absolutely did not do, according to the Bible?  God punishes many people throughout the Bible for things they simply did NOT do(Canaan, for example, instead of punishing Ham).  Not only does he punish a person who did nothing, but he punishes their unborn family as well.

So I repeat, is it moral to punish someone for a crime they did not commit?  Is it moral to punish and condemn that same persons unborn family for the same crime that the person did not commit?  Is it moral if that punishment is slavery for all of them?

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When is murder ever “right” ?

To be glib, when someone decides to murder Kim Jong-Il.

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Again, I would say that I have yet to see an issue be so complicated and original that the Bible was incapable of measuring the morality of it.

I'd love for you to answer my earlier question.  If the God in the Bible goes against the very morality he forces upon his creation, then God is immoral.  There is no universal morality.  Using the Bible to argue in defense of objective morality is futile.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 14, 2010, 04:59:17 AM
Not necessarily. It's true that murder can be defined as unjust or unlawful killing, but different countries, different laws...

Just like how something that is lawful doesn't always mean it's "right".

That means the measure of what is murder and what is justifiable killing is different.  Or, in the context of this conversation, it is subjective.

Yep, and I think that was id's point. I can't think of too many examples where "murder" is "right", but I can probably relate to how some killings considered unlawful in some countries aren't necessary "wrong". It's a slippery road, though.

Again, I would say that I have yet to see an issue be so complicated and original that the Bible was incapable of measuring the morality of it.

I'd love for you to answer my earlier question.  If the God in the Bible goes against the very morality he forces upon his creation, then God is immoral.  There is no universal morality.  Using the Bible to argue in defense of objective morality is futile.

Allow me to take a shot and answer for BS: "objective" morality in this context applies to humans only. God himself is not a human, so these sets of "objective" moral values do not apply to him. The only "objective" moral value that he must adhere to is basically the one that says he can do anything he wants and call it good/perfect (Gee, I wonder where that "objective" moral value originated from?).

An example: the holocaust is bad, because it was a human that ordered it. If the Christian god ordered the holocaust? You'd not have a single Christian call it wrong. They would call that divine judgement by a perfect god, as their god himself would call it. And that makes sense because everything god does is perfect and good. But when we do the exact same thing, well, that's downright evil and a deserved spot in a place of eternal suffering, obviously!

A more contextual example: if I killed a baby, you'd have every single Christian rise up and call me evil and surely going to burn in hell for eternity for the wicked, demonic act I did. If god drowns an entire planet of men, women, children, babies? Why, that's a loving, divine, righteous, perfect god executing divine judgment on our wicked souls, of course! Praise the lord! He must be praised for being so perfect and good and loving and just!

Understand now how wonderful and objective their god's "objective" moral values are? Good.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: id on August 14, 2010, 03:08:25 PM
Allow me to take a shot and answer for BS: "objective" morality in this context applies to humans only. God himself is not a human, so these sets of "objective" moral values do not apply to him. The only "objective" moral value that he must adhere to is basically the one that says he can do anything he wants and call it good/perfect (Gee, I wonder where that "objective" moral value originated from?).

It still doesn't explain how it's moral when God gives orders for certain people to commit immoral actions.  For example, telling some men to kidnap virgins.  If you want to argue that God is allowed free reign to live contradictory of the very universal morality he set in motion, then you have to wonder why he commands so many people to go against this same morality in the Bible.  Again, it's all very contradictory and so obviously fiction.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 15, 2010, 09:16:23 PM
It still doesn't explain how it's moral when God gives orders for certain people to commit immoral actions.  For example, telling some men to kidnap virgins.  If you want to argue that God is allowed free reign to live contradictory of the very universal morality he set in motion, then you have to wonder why he commands so many people to go against this same morality in the Bible.  Again, it's all very contradictory and so obviously fiction.


God has the sovereign preprogative to decide when and how a life will cease or be potentially changed for the better. Many of the acts often referred to as "immoral" fail to recognize God's execution of His authority for the purpose of protecting those whom He had chosen as His people. There really is nothing contradictory about God's morality.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 15, 2010, 10:12:19 PM
In case you missed it BS. Can you address this?

If God is morality, or, morality is an objective concept independent of humans, then what about God's morality before humans were created?

In other words, without other entities existing, with what does God's morality compare?

And so in this case with nothing to compare God's morality to, in order to exist wouldn't morality have to be independent of God?


God's morality dictates what is 'right' and 'wrong'....and 'good' and 'bad' in our world (which is what morality is all about, right?). The absence of "other entities" would make any expression of God's morality' non-existent and unnecessary. His morality is not some rule book He has had sitting next to His throne for all of eternity. As I mentioned earlier, the objective morality He has given to us is an expression of what He Himself would be accountable to if He were in our shoes in a situation that called for a 'moral' decision (see Jesus). Was Jesus ever immoral according to God's objective standards ?

God's morality becomes a reality when something or someone possesses the ability to impede His will. It is NOT independent of Him.



Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 15, 2010, 10:16:09 PM
A more contextual example: if I killed a baby, you'd have every single Christian rise up and call me evil and surely going to burn in hell for eternity for the wicked, demonic act I did. If god drowns an entire planet of men, women, children, babies? Why, that's a loving, divine, righteous, perfect god executing divine judgment on our wicked souls, of course! Praise the lord! He must be praised for being so perfect and good and loving and just!

Understand now how wonderful and objective their god's "objective" moral values are? Good.

God never gave man or woman (including you) unilateral decision making authority to decide when a life should end….so, you are correct, you would be seen as having committed an evil act. God alone maintains the right to decide when it is necessary for a person, or even an entire race of people, to cease from existing. He knows the eternal result which you or I are incapable of knowing. God’s moral character operates on a much higher level for the simple fact that He has knowledge of the eternal outcome of His decisions…which is something we do not have.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 15, 2010, 10:31:45 PM
^We don't have any eternal knowledge when deciding not to end a person's life either.

By the way, didn't you say morality is objective?  If murder is always wrong, then it can't be right just because God does it.

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God's morality dictates what is 'right' and 'wrong'....and 'good' and 'bad' in our world (which is what morality is all about, right?).

God's morality is an opinion.  It's still subjective.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: JeffPT on August 16, 2010, 12:25:36 AM
God has the sovereign preprogative to decide when and how a life will cease or be potentially changed for the better.

Do you acknowledge that life can, and does, change for the worse all the time? 

Many of the acts often referred to as "immoral" fail to recognize God's execution of His authority for the purpose of protecting those whom He had chosen as His people. There really is nothing contradictory about God's morality.

In other words, since you believe in God, God can do no wrong, no matter how wrong it seems to everyone else?  You think everything has a purpose and that purpose is for good? 

If that is true, then I have to ask you... why should we stop anything "wrong" from ever happening?  If it is God's will that someone get cancer, why should we try to stop it?  Are medical professionals (like myself) acting immorally when we try to help people get better from their injuries and diseases?  After all, those "life threatening" diseases are out to protect us, right? 

God's morality dictates what is 'right' and 'wrong'....and 'good' and 'bad' in our world (which is what morality is all about, right?).

Unless God talks directly to you, how do you see this manifesting itself in a daily manner?   Are we born with it?  Do we get it from reading the bible?  Who's interpretation?  Yours?  Does everyone who disagrees with what YOU think as "morally correct" have it wrong?  Do you speak for God?  If you don't, who does?  Does God talk to everyone with a little voice in the back of our heads?  Which is it?  Every single one of those causes massive problems for you.  If you say we are born with it, then you have to explain why people act differently in different situations, yet all think they are acting morally.  If you think we get it from the bible, then you have to explain why people all over the world, with different religious beliefs (and non-belief) still act morally and don't believe in your God, and moreso, how 30,000 different sects of Christianity all read the book the same as you, but come out with different thoughts on lots of different subjects.  If God talks to everyone, then explain to me why people who hear voices in their heads are religious if the voices say good things, but schizophrenic when they hear neutral or bad things, and also why those voices never seem to come along with knowledge that a Diety might have, or with a differing opinion than that of the listener? 

Subjective morality has no such problems.  There are no questions to be answered.  It's a neat, tidy fit with the way reality is. 

If you can, can you point to one logical problem with the idea of subjective morality that makes it unlikely to be TRUE?  I am not asking for which side is "better".  I am asking you to point out where the problems are (logically, evidentially) with the idea that all morality is subjective.  In what way does it not fit with our every day reality? 

God's morality becomes a reality when something or someone possesses the ability to impede His will. It is NOT independent of Him.

If something can impede God's will, then God is not all powerful.  Are you saying I have the power right now to impede what the most powerful being in the universe wants? 

God never gave man or woman (including you) unilateral decision making authority to decide when a life should end….so, you are correct, you would be seen as having committed an evil act.

Bullshit.  You can't have this both ways Biblestudent.  Look, every single day humans help other humans to determine when their life should end.  When a doctor spares another persons life through a medical intervention, they decide that a life should continue (end at a later time).  In effect, they make the decision to SAVE someone's life, which changes when a life should end.  I go back to my earlier question... is a doctor who saves someones life doing an evil thing by changing the time God had decided to end that persons life?  What if God really wanted their life to end and the doctors foiled Gods plan? If ending someones life changes the time that God wished them to die (making it earlier), then the same can be said for saving someone's life (making it later).  Both effect when a life should end, do they not?  I generally think of helping people survive longer as a good thing (not always, but most often).  I have helped maybe thousands of people get better from injuries they have suffered.  Have I been objectively wrong (but subjectively right) all this time?  How would your God judge me? 

How can you claim to know what God's will is in any situation, until it's already over with?  Take a cancer patient for example.  Say it's a bad cancer with a low chance of survival.  What is God's will with that patient?  How would you know?  You can't know, right?  With a bad version of cancer, the survival rate is bad, so you have to assume that God really wants those people to die off (otherwise God would have given her an easier version of cancer).  If you can't know what God wants beforehand, then how do you know that taking steps to save that persons life is the morally "right" thing to do?  I mean, since God kills people in droves with cancer, are we imposing OUR will to save their life in spite of what God wants?   

God alone maintains the right to decide when it is necessary for a person, or even an entire race of people, to cease from existing.

BZZZZ.  Wrong again.  Ask Hitler if people have the right to decide when it is necessary for an entire race of people to disappear.  They felt FULLY in the right to wipe out the Jews.  In his own mind, Hitler was well within his right to think the Jews deserved to disappear.  He went to war over it.  Caused the deaths of millions of people.  I don't care if you think that's a terrible thing, and that your version would hold that God would condemn the Nazi's for doing something objectively wrong.  It might not be all fluffy clouds and rainbows, but it's a TRUE thing that we have to accept as grown ups.  The reason the world went to war was because everyone who fought against them didn't think it was the Nazi's responsibility to decide it was time for the Jews to be wiped off the planet. The Nazi's felt one way, the rest of the world felt another, and war ensued.  The larger and more powerful groups won out.  It always works out that way.  The side that each of us would judge as the "right" side doesn't always win.   

But if you are right, then how do you know that someone murdering someone else was not just carrying out God's plan?  If God is not bound by the same moral standards as us, yet He has a will, then how can you sit there and say ending someone's life is "wrong"?  In who's eyes is killing wrong if God is not bound by the same moral standards as us?  Could it not simply be God's plan for me to out and kill that abortion doctor?  Can you see how this thinking of yours can become really, really dangerous? 

He knows the eternal result which you or I are incapable of knowing. God’s moral character operates on a much higher level for the simple fact that He has knowledge of the eternal outcome of His decisions…which is something we do not have.   

No, BS, just no.  This is flat out nonsense.  None of that is true.  There is no such thing as God, and you should be happy for it.  If there was, then you would never be bound to the idea that the plight of your fellow man is something to be concerned with.  We would all go through life not helping each other, because everyone would just chalk up everything that happened to them as gifts from God.  After all, everything that happens to us, even if it is something we can't understand, is ALWAYS for the good eternal outcome....  What a giant crock of shit...

Christian fruitcake 1: "Yay, God gave me a bacterial infection today! I should run out and thank Him for this blessing!" 
Christian fruitcake 2: "I got a huge headache! Neener, Neener, Neener!  God loves me more than you!"
Doctor: "I could help you with both of those problems if...."
Christian fruitcake 1: "NO, these things are gifts from GOD!"
Christian fruitcake 2: "Yeah man, are you stupid or something?  Why would we want to get rid of my headache if it was for the greater good of the universe?"

1 week later..

Doctor to Christian fruitcake 2: "How is the headache coming?"
Christian Fruitcake 2: "It's better!  God be praised!"
Doctor: "Where is your friend?"
Christian Fruitcake 2: "He died from the infection.  God be praised!" 
Doctor: ....

No Biblestudent.  We help each other because we are evolved social animals.  It is much more beneficial to our individual survival to help each other than it is harm each other.  Killing, stealing, lying all promote mistrust and anger, which is bad in a social setting.  These things are considered wrong by people everywhere, with all different religions. 

Let's take a closer look at just one of them... killing.  Killing is generally thought of as wrong, but in a hierarchy that follows what evolution claims.  Evolution says that our entire drive is to survive and pass on our gene pool.  Let me show you how our willingness / unwillingness to kill another person follows it perfectly....

Let's start by saying that people (as individuals, not a collective) generally understand that killing another human being is not "good" because we wouldn't want to be killed ourselves.  But when we think of killing, what group of people are the ones we are least likely to kill?  Up to a certain time, it is ourselves.  The drive to survive is very powerful, and is exemplified in all animal species on the planet.  When the time comes to have children, then the children polevault into the number 1 "do not kill" spot.  This goes along very well with evolution and the idea of passing genes down the line is the first priority.  We would do anything to prevent them from dying.  What group would you least likely kill next?  Immediate family members.  Why?  Because throughout our human history, family is support.  Think of humanity through the centuries, beginning with the cave men times.... having a family offers protection, spreads the work load, and helps kill larger animals by working together.  So we don't want to kill them, because they can help us (and our children) live.  But you would still kill a family member before you would kill your own child.  What group comes after that?  Community.  The local groups can also help by assisting in spreading the work load, and also having access to possible mates, so it is not an advantage to kill them.  But you would certainly kill a member of the community before your own family, right?  Yes for sure. After that, people in your country, then other people outside your country, etc.  It's a hierarchy.  It fits PERFECTLY with evolution.  Our species would have died out a long, long time ago if we killed each other instead of worked together.  This is why you do not see everyone jumping to help the 15,000+ children that are dying of starvation in Africa every day, while at the same time you would cut your own arm off to make sure your own child doesn't die from it. 

Now, the really cool part that makes it a FACT that morality is subjective, is that everyone will see that scenario from their own side.  In other words, for every one of the 15,000 starving children in Africa, there is a mother that would sooner kill yours or my child before her own.  From her perspective, your child is someone she would kill to keep her own child alive, and while she would likely think of it as "wrong" to kill your child, it would have been more "wrong" to kill her own.  From your perspective, you would do the opposite. 

You are just wrong Biblestudent.  Simply wrong.  God is not there.  Morality is completely subjective.  The evidence backs that up.       

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 16, 2010, 06:37:23 AM
BS,

Two questions:

If you heard the voice of the god you believe in speaking to you, would you believe it is really him?

and the million dollar question:

If this god told you to kill your children, would you do it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jetson on August 16, 2010, 06:48:29 AM
JeffPT - this book you are writing, when will it be completed?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 16, 2010, 07:03:28 AM
A more contextual example: if I killed a baby, you'd have every single Christian rise up and call me evil and surely going to burn in hell for eternity for the wicked, demonic act I did. If god drowns an entire planet of men, women, children, babies? Why, that's a loving, divine, righteous, perfect god executing divine judgment on our wicked souls, of course! Praise the lord! He must be praised for being so perfect and good and loving and just!

Understand now how wonderful and objective their god's "objective" moral values are? Good.

God never gave man or woman (including you) unilateral decision making authority to decide when a life should end….so, you are correct, you would be seen as having committed an evil act.

So killing men, women, children and babies is not objectively immoral: it solely depends on who does it (and not even why, i.e. the intent, because if I did it for the same reason as your god, it would still be wrong, according to you). Ergo morality isn't actually objective, it is whatever your god allows us to do.

God has the sovereign preprogative to decide when and how a life will cease or be potentially changed for the better. Many of the acts often referred to as "immoral" fail to recognize God's execution of His authority for the purpose of protecting those whom He had chosen as His people.

Oh, this is just too much. So your god can and does play favorites? And you still maintain there's objective morality (even among humans) with a god like this? You are so confused it's not funny. I wonder if you actually realize what you're saying here?

There really is nothing contradictory about God's morality.

I agree. After all, your god's morality amounts to "Whatever I do, whenever I do it and to whomever I do, it is always perfectly moral". How can that ever be contradictory? That's a pretty good example of subjective morality, however. I have noticed, after repeated requests, that you still haven't defined objective morality for me. Is that right? So how about that definition?

God alone maintains the right to decide when it is necessary for a person, or even an entire race of people, to cease from existing. He knows the eternal result which you or I are incapable of knowing. God’s moral character operates on a much higher level for the simple fact that He has knowledge of the eternal outcome of His decisions…which is something we do not have.

We have already established that you think your god can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants and to whomever it wants and still call it perfectly moral. Except that that isn't objective morality, as with this statement we figure out that your god is the very poster child of subjective morality. We see now that you hide that retardation of morality as "we don't know the outcome, so we can't judge", but you are judging it. You claim those actions are good and perfectly moral while at the same time stating that we have no way of knowing. Can't have it both ways BS. Your god, if real, could be an evil god calling itself and its actions good. After all, we have no way of knowing, right? Since your god, if real, has directly killed more than any person we consider "evil" has killed. Not to mention all the flaws in our "design" that allow for countless of deaths to just happen for no specific reason or purpose, like miscarriages.

If you actually believe what you're saying in the quoted text, the most honest thing for you to state about your god's morality is "we don't know if he's moral, but he does call himself such. We just have no way of knowing, so the reason why I'm saying that my god is moral is simply because he himself has stated it". Which is subjective, as you might understand.

At the same time, with the above statement, you admit that your god has basically planned the entire thing from "beginning" to (our) "end". What's the point of (punishing im)morality in a puppet show, which is what this essentially is if god already figured out the end game and is actively steering it? What a freaking farce. I don't understand how people like you can still claim stuff like "objective morality exists!" and "we have free will!" while consequently claiming that god can do whatever he wants to us, plays favorites and knows about our beginnings and endings and is actively involved in making sure that his planned endings happen, even if he has to wipe out almost an entire planet's worth of life.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: monkeymind on August 16, 2010, 08:09:09 AM
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I believe that God’s attributes (or character makeup) are the foundation for His morality. God’s morality is determined by His wisdom, knowledge, love, mercy, righteousness, etc. God did not sit on His throne one day and say “hey, if I’m going to create the human race, I better come up with some morals.” Instead, the objective morality He gave us was a mere expression of the accountability He Himself would be subject to if He was in our circumstances based on who He is.

The bible clearly states that god is/is not an omnimax God. That God is/is not changeable, is/is not just, is/is not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent.
http://attributesofgod-yoder.blogspot.com/
I guess that explains why God is/is not objective morality
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 16, 2010, 08:16:40 AM
Ergo morality isn't actually objective, it is whatever your god allows us to do.
Careful.  The bolded word is frequently misused.

A posted speed limit is objective.  A law given by an absolutely lawful law giver is objective.  Simply put, anything which is open to subjective interpretation (ie. "That's bad!") can not be objective.

If God came down and told us to do something, and if that deity were the absolute authority on how those instructions were to be interpreted, then it would be objective.

The Christian God's morality is relative to his whims.  But (assuming he exists and that his law can be communicated in a way that leaves no doubt as to its meaning) it's also objective.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 16, 2010, 09:24:17 AM
God has the sovereign preprogative to decide when and how a life will cease or be potentially changed for the better. Many of the acts often referred to as "immoral" fail to recognize God's execution of His authority for the purpose of protecting those whom He had chosen as His people. There really is nothing contradictory about God's morality.

This one paragraph begs so many questions I doubt I could list them all without help. 

Let me give you a word of advice BS - repeatedly making claims without backing them up with evidence will eventually get you banned. Simply repeating your claims with slightly different wording will eventually get you banned.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 10:01:14 AM
By the way, didn't you say morality is objective?  If murder is always wrong, then it can't be right just because God does it.

God is administering justice, not arbitrarily killing people for amusement.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 16, 2010, 10:04:08 AM
Ergo morality isn't actually objective, it is whatever your god allows us to do.
Careful.  The bolded word is frequently misused.

A posted speed limit is objective.  A law given by an absolutely lawful law giver is objective.

I think I see your point. But what exactly is an absolutely lawful law giver? And is a speed limit still objective if applying the limit depends on whether you are a favorite of this absolutely lawful law giver or not?

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If God came down and told us to do something, and if that deity were the absolute authority on how those instructions were to be interpreted, then it would be objective.

The Christian God's morality is relative to his whims.  But (assuming he exists and that his law can be communicated in a way that leaves no doubt as to its meaning) it's also objective.

True. I was trying to say that "the basis of his morality/moral laws are subjective" even though the laws themselves can be objective, in the sense that they can only be interpreted in one way.

Going back to a slightly earlier point: I think I know why BS is so hung up on the "lying is always wrong" thing, even though "killing babies isn't always wrong, like when my god does it". See, if lying isn't always wrong, then technically, god can lie about everything. And since then there's no way of knowing what is true and what is a lie, which would make his whole religious stance silly, he's got to avoid that by forcing this whole "it's in his nature not to lie (but killing babies is no problem)". It's purely to keep up with this farce that everything that god said is "real" one way or the other. Logically, however, there's absolutely no reason why an omnipotent/omniscient god cannot lie.

"He cannot lie!"
"Why not?"
"Lying isn't nice! And god is nice, so he wouldn't lie!"
"And killing babies is?"
"I'm sure god has a good reason for occasionally killing babies!"
"But not to occasionally lie?"
"No, never!"

It's just that for the purpose of keeping religions together, it's necessary that an omnipotent and omniscient god cannot lie. Kinda sad when you think about it. I wonder if they realize it's religious people projecting their god and instilling their own mandatory requirements for their religion to have even one shred of validity.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 10:12:43 AM
@JeffPT

Do you know how many question marks were in your last post ? My eyes starting bugging out even trying to count them. If you would really like me to respond, please be reasonable and try to narrow it down to those that you feel may address your major contentions. Thanks.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 16, 2010, 10:17:55 AM
Ergo morality isn't actually objective, it is whatever your god allows us to do.
Careful.  The bolded word is frequently misused.

A posted speed limit is objective.  A law given by an absolutely lawful law giver is objective.

I think I see your point. But what exactly is an absolutely lawful law giver?
My apologies, that was probably the worst thing I've written in a month :p

I meant to imply a law giver above whom there is no authority.  The buck stops there...


And is a speed limit still objective if applying the limit depends on whether you are a favorite of this absolutely lawful law giver or not?
That'd be up to the law giver.  Whatever he says - goes; if his favor was part of the equation IRT how a fast a driver could drive, then yeah, "favor" would matter.  However, I think this is a bit beyond where I was going :)  If the speed limit is posted, that speed limit is objective.  If "thou shall not murder" is written down, it is objective.  If God writes rules down, those laws are objective.

Quote from: Whateverman
If God came down and told us to do something, and if that deity were the absolute authority on how those instructions were to be interpreted, then it would be objective.

I was trying to say that "the basis of his morality/moral laws are subjective" even though the laws themselves can be objective, in the sense that they can only be interpreted in one way.
This is exactly right (though I'd tend to use "relative" rather than "subjective" in this case).  

PS. I tend to harp on the whole 'proper use of the word "objective"' thing.  Theists misuse the term when claiming that atheists have no objective basis for morality, and atheists misuse it when claiming that everything is subjective.  Everything is relative, and although they remain willfully ignorant of this fact, this is true for the theists' God's rules as well.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 16, 2010, 10:24:17 AM
God is administering justice, not arbitrarily killing people for amusement.

Lets see. I'm 59. I've been an atheist for 48 years. I'm healthy, my kids are alive, my ex ain't doing that bad (thanks to me  :)). I live in a nice place with lots of pleasant things to do. I've never been serious injured, seriously ill, nor had serious mental problems. I've only had one car break down on the road, and a couple of flat tires in all that time. The time the car broke down it died half a mile from a NAPA dealer and a ten dollar part fixed it.

How is that administering justice? I've known strong christians with young children who died in their forties or younger. I've known christians who had their parents murdered by their brother, I've known christians who shook their babies to death and are spending life in prison. I've known christians who drowned as teens, were murdered as teens, whose children drowned, who were paralyzed for life, disfigured by disease, who died in car wrecks. Etc. The list goes on and on.

Is his justice really all that arbitrary? And if so, what does it accomplish?

I of course have known many whose religious status I didn't know or who were probably atheists who had equally dire endings or problems. So it's not just christians. But why have I, a big time atheist, been spared his merciless anger?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Graybeard on August 16, 2010, 10:28:04 AM
By the way, didn't you say morality is objective?  If murder is always wrong, then it can't be right just because God does it.

God is administering justice, not arbitrarily killing people for amusement.
How would you feel about a President who "administered justice" in the way God did? Slaughtered children because their parents did not believe in God; threw people into pits of fire because they had disobeyed God or killed them for working on Sundays?

"Oh," You say, "that's different! We should not anticipate what God will do."

I say, "The President would not be anticipating, he would be "treading in God's footsteps.""

So, what about a President who said that God spoke to him? Would you believe that? What if The President started to do the things I had described? Would you say, "He's mad, he's hearing voices!"? Or would you say, "No, he is administering justice."
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 10:31:49 AM
I of course have known many whose religious status I didn't know or who were probably atheists who had equally dire endings or problems. So it's not just christians. But why have I, a big time atheist, been spared his merciless anger?

I don't know. Maybe He still believes there is hope for you given enough time !!   ;D
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 11:13:05 AM
How would you feel about a President who "administered justice" in the way God did? Slaughtered children because their parents did not believe in God; threw people into pits of fire because they had disobeyed God or killed them for working on Sundays?

"Oh," You say, "that's different! We should not anticipate what God will do."

I say, "The President would not be anticipating, he would be "treading in God's footsteps.""

So, what about a President who said that God spoke to him? Would you believe that? What if The President started to do the things I had described? Would you say, "He's mad, he's hearing voices!"? Or would you say, "No, he is administering justice."

I cannot think of any instance where a President would have Biblical justification for carrying out the deeds you described.
 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: OnePerson on August 16, 2010, 11:19:36 AM
By the way, didn't you say morality is objective?  If murder is always wrong, then it can't be right just because God does it.

God is administering justice, not arbitrarily killing people for amusement.

But if murder is always wrong, it can't be right just because it's for "administering justice".
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 16, 2010, 11:24:11 AM
In Numbers, I think, I read about Yahweh, again, killing large numbers of israelites for having sex with and/or worshipping gods of the midianites at Peor, I think. Yahweh chose disease to kill in this instance. As the killing was in process, one of the sons of Aaron, I think, saw a guy go into his tent with a midianite woman. He immediately went over there, entered the tent and killed both of them. Yahweh was impressed by the act and decided to stop killing Israelites for the time being.

The midianites weren't so lucky, of course.

I can see this as a biblical reason for a president to be a murderer, like the son of Aaron, whose name I forget.  

P.S. BS, how is it "administing justice" for an omnipotent being, if it is so easily curtailed by a little surprise (apparently) killing like that?  
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 16, 2010, 11:54:21 AM
I of course have known many whose religious status I didn't know or who were probably atheists who had equally dire endings or problems. So it's not just christians. But why have I, a big time atheist, been spared his merciless anger?

I don't know. Maybe He still believes there is hope for you given enough time !!   ;D


Why did you choose to just respond to this part of PP's post? Becuase throwing a nice platitude in there was easier than addressing the more important content?

What of this part of his post?

Quote
How is that administering justice? I've known strong christians with young children who died in their forties or younger. I've known christians who had their parents murdered by their brother, I've known christians who shook their babies to death and are spending life in prison. I've known christians who drowned as teens, were murdered as teens, whose children drowned, who were paralyzed for life, disfigured by disease, who died in car wrecks. Etc. The list goes on and on.

Is his justice really all that arbitrary? And if so, what does it accomplish?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 12:09:32 PM
Why did you choose to just respond to this part of PP's post? Becuase throwing a nice platitude in there was easier than addressing the more important content?

What of this part of his post?

Quote
How is that administering justice? I've known strong christians with young children who died in their forties or younger. I've known christians who had their parents murdered by their brother, I've known christians who shook their babies to death and are spending life in prison. I've known christians who drowned as teens, were murdered as teens, whose children drowned, who were paralyzed for life, disfigured by disease, who died in car wrecks. Etc. The list goes on and on.

Is his justice really all that arbitrary? And if so, what does it accomplish?


The question seems to presume that all of God’s actions are “justice” oriented. His actions may also stem from His mercy, love, longsuffering, compassion, etc….or a combination of same.   
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Graybeard on August 16, 2010, 12:32:57 PM
How would you feel about a President who "administered justice" in the way God did? Slaughtered children because their parents did not believe in God; threw people into pits of fire because they had disobeyed God or killed them for working on Sundays?

"Oh," You say, "that's different! We should not anticipate what God will do."

I say, "The President would not be anticipating, he would be "treading in God's footsteps.""

So, what about a President who said that God spoke to him? Would you believe that? What if The President started to do the things I had described? Would you say, "He's mad, he's hearing voices!"? Or would you say, "No, he is administering justice."

I cannot think of any instance where a President would have Biblical justification for carrying out the deeds you described.
 
But you can imagine when God might do it.

I am not surprised that you dodge the question. I am also disappointed in your biblical knowledge - you must crack open your KJV1611 sometime and see what your god does. He ordered that men should do all of these things to His Enemies.

What if some country started worshiping idols or not following God's Law? Is not the first duty of any leader to ensure that God's Laws are obeyed that the voters might better get to heaven? I know ayatollahs agree with me here.

BibleStudent,
The problem is that you want God "in theory" but not in practice. You know that His justice is barbaric - many characters in the OT were told to lead their armies against His Enemies and to show no mercy whatsoever for the sin of not worshiping Him.

Yet if a President suggested a similar genocide, I assume you would be a little disturbed, even if (like GWB) he claimed he had spoken with God.

You have a dual standard. You believe the bits that agree with you and disbelieve the bits that seem wrong.

Why was it OK for Moses to kill all the Bashenites Num.21:34-35, but would not be OK for Obama to kill all the Afghans?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 16, 2010, 12:34:20 PM
^^

If those actions are a result of his mercy and compassion, it does even less toward answering the question.

What could such arbitrary turnouts for Christians vs non-Christians possibly show about the supposed advantages of belief? And what would God's motive be for giving some people horrible enough experiences to extinguish their faith (see Erinodessapage's posts, for example), while letting heathens sail through as happily as clams?

oops...relate this to BS's post above. I was a little late in hitting submit.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 16, 2010, 12:42:40 PM
My apologies, that was probably the worst thing I've written in a month :p

I meant to imply a law giver above whom there is no authority.  The buck stops there...

Understood.

Quote
That'd be up to the law giver.  Whatever he says - goes; if his favor was part of the equation IRT how a fast a driver could drive, then yeah, "favor" would matter.  However, I think this is a bit beyond where I was going :)  If the speed limit is posted, that speed limit is objective.  If "thou shall not murder" is written down, it is objective.  If God writes rules down, those laws are objective.

Understood. Although I do have to say that for me, the "subjective morality" versus "objective morality" debate isn't really about "moral rules can be interpreted differently versus one way of interpreting moral rules" but about the degree of (relative/absolute) logic behind the basis of those moral rules.

Quote from: Whateverman
If God came down and told us to do something, and if that deity were the absolute authority on how those instructions were to be interpreted, then it would be objective.

But if the definition of "objective" is "interpreted in one way only", then, technically, it's not necessary for the authority to be "absolute" for those instructions to be objective, right? As long as they are unambiguously defined? In that sense, the use of objectivity that you're using is really no different from the term unambiguity, right?

Might respond to the rest later. Dinner time.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Whateverman on August 16, 2010, 01:00:17 PM
But if the definition of "objective" is "interpreted in one way only", then, technically, it's not necessary for the authority to be "absolute" for those instructions to be objective, right?
Correct (as I understand it)

As long as they are unambiguously defined?  In that sense, the use of objectivity that you're using is really no different from the term unambiguity, right?
Here's where it gets tricky :)

Every time an idea is communicated, we imperfect beings must interpret its meaning.  2+2=4 means something only to people who recognize the five symbols I used.  Nonetheless, if you didn't recognize them, 2+2=4 would still be (an) objective (truth).

In other words, objectivity is possible even with ambiguity, though ambiguity probably lessens its value; objective truth spoken so quietly that no one could hear it would be useless.  IMHO, the most general definition of the term implies that as long observers agree that they're looking at the same thing, it's meaning can still be shrouded in uncertainty.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 16, 2010, 01:43:57 PM
@JeffPT

Do you know how many question marks were in your last post ? My eyes starting bugging out even trying to count them. If you would really like me to respond, please be reasonable and try to narrow it down to those that you feel may address your major contentions. Thanks.


How abput just answering the two I asked previously:
BS,

Two questions:

If you heard the voice of the god you believe in speaking to you, would you believe it is really him?

and the million dollar question:

If this god told you to kill your children, would you do it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 01:45:29 PM
So killing men, women, children and babies is not objectively immoral: it solely depends on who does it (and not even why, i.e. the intent, because if I did it for the same reason as your god, it would still be wrong, according to you). Ergo morality isn't actually objective, it is whatever your god allows us to do.

You falsely identify God’s administration of justice as acts of arbitrary unlawful murder. You would need to know “why” God chose to carry out His will before you could appropriately label His acts as wrong.

Oh, this is just too much. So your god can and does play favorites? And you still maintain there's objective morality (even among humans) with a god like this? You are so confused it's not funny. I wonder if you actually realize what you're saying here?

I realize exactly what I am saying. When I refer to God’s “chosen people”….. according to the Bible, God had shown favor to a certain group of people for the purpose of fulfilling the Messianic prophesy and also for the purpose of advancing His namesake and love towards mankind by way of missionaries, prophets, and priests.  God did not choose Israel because they were particularly righteous....nor did He cast off the rest of the world's population.

I have noticed, after repeated requests, that you still haven't defined objective morality for me. Is that right? So how about that definition?

Sorry. With as many questions as I have thrown at me, I am bound to blow right by some.

Objective Morality- a standard of conduct which determines right and wrong. Is applicable to all people at all times and is provided by an identifiable source with the authority to provide it.

We have already established that you think your god can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants and to whomever it wants and still call it perfectly moral.

Yes, for the sole reason that it is not possible to prove that He has acted immorally. As a Christian, I trust that He is incapable of any evil conduct based on how the Bible identifies Him.
Except that that isn't objective morality, as with this statement we figure out that your god is the very poster child of subjective morality. We see now that you hide that retardation of morality as "we don't know the outcome, so we can't judge", but you are judging it.

No. I am simply agreeing with His declaration that everything He does is “good.” If I were able to see the eternal consequences of His actions, then I *might* be in a position to determine if His actions were immoral or not.

Since your god, if real, has directly killed more than any person we consider "evil" has killed. Not to mention all the flaws in our "design" that allow for countless of deaths to just happen for no specific reason or purpose, like miscarriages.

You say “killed” as though He acted arbitrarily and for no good reason, yet, in doing so, you have drawn a logically incomplete conclusion. How are you able to KNOW that there was no specific reason or purpose for the “countless deaths” and “miscarriages” you refer to ?

If you actually believe what you're saying in the quoted text, the most honest thing for you to state about your god's morality is "we don't know if he's moral, but he does call himself such. We just have no way of knowing, so the reason why I'm saying that my god is moral is simply because he himself has stated it". Which is subjective, as you might understand.

As I have stated before. I do not subscribe to the belief that there is any standard of morality independent of God. As such, it would be contradictory for me to judge Him based on someone else’s standard of morality….which is precisely what you are attempting to do. You have no way of knowing the entirety of His morality and “why” He does certain things so you are in no position to judge Him according to HIS objective morality.

Imagine for just a moment that the Almighty God of the Bible is real. If He is, then it is ridiculous to even begin to accuse Him of immorality. By what authority would you do such a thing? And, how would you go about dispensing corrective measures?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Positiveaob on August 16, 2010, 01:52:16 PM
I of course have known many whose religious status I didn't know or who were probably atheists who had equally dire endings or problems. So it's not just christians. But why have I, a big time atheist, been spared his merciless anger?

I don't know. Maybe He still believes there is hope for you given enough time !!   ;D


Or....he just doesnt exist.  You see every time things dont make sense, you should be asking yourself why you believed what you did in the first place.  If the only reason you believe in the christian god is because you were raised in a predominantly christian environment, and the evidence points away from such a god (as in ParkingPlaces point), you should seriously re-consider your beliefs.  The more times you do this, the more likely you are to start realizing that it's all just cultural superstitions, nothing more.  And you'll be on the fast track to rationality.

When the square peg doesnt fit in the round hole, dont just try to mash it in, dont attribute it to a translational error of "square" and "round", dont come up with some cockamamie explanation of why it doesnt seem to fit, dont just say "it must fit in a way I dont understand".  Just put down the peg and pick up one that fits, preferably a round one.

Throughout this thread you keep mentioning what "god" does with respect to morality.  How the hell would YOU know anything more than WE do with regards to an invisible, insensible, silent being in the sky???  Do you have anything at all other than just someone TOLD you this (either directly or indirectly via written word)???  Did this being ever explain this to you directly?  So why the hell do you believe it?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 01:58:17 PM
How abput just answering the two I asked previously:
BS,

Two questions:

1. If you heard the voice of the god you believe in speaking to you, would you believe it is really him?

and the million dollar question:

2. If this god told you to kill your children, would you do it?
Numbers and bold added by me.

Answers:

1. Not only would I believe it, but so would you if God Himself spoke to you. Strange question.

2. There is nothing Biblical to suggest that God would ever ask me to do such a thing so I would be inclined to dismiss any “voice” demanding that I kill my children.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 16, 2010, 02:02:00 PM
Yes, for the sole reason that it is not possible to prove that He has acted immorally. As a Christian, I trust that He is incapable of any evil conduct based on how the Bible identifies Him.

Lets' see, the bible identifies him as killing everyone except 8 people, killing all the firstborn of a nation, encouraging someone to kill his own son, having his followers massacre cities after cities, personally killed a baby, demanded that his own son be killed to please him, and is currently planning on killing billions more people.  All the while, billions are suffering eternal torment because they didn't worship him.

Seriously, how terrible does someone's conduct have to be before you finally declare it evil?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 16, 2010, 02:12:57 PM
How abput just answering the two I asked previously:
BS,

Two questions:

1. If you heard the voice of the god you believe in speaking to you, would you believe it is really him?

and the million dollar question:

2. If this god told you to kill your children, would you do it?
Numbers and bold added by me.

Answers:

1. Not only would I believe it, but so would you if God Himself spoke to you. Strange question.

2. There is nothing Biblical to suggest that God would ever ask me to do such a thing so I would be inclined to dismiss any “voice” demanding that I kill my children.


Then, exactly what happened in the story of Abraham and Isaac? Just because the sacrifice was stopped at the last minute doesn't suggest that God didn't ask it of Abraham, nor that Abraham was unwilling to proceed (with the assumption that it wasn't something God would have asked him to do).

 And as for whether anyone would believe that they heard God's voice, many people hear voices which they assume to be God's which ask them to kill. When they act upon these commands, they are generally thought of as mentallly ill and treated accordingly. Others might believe they heard a voice, yet manage to come to the logical conclusion that it was a hallucination of some type. Why, exactly, would everyone who hears a voice saying "I am God" actually come to the conclusion that it WAS in fact him?

edited to fix a couple of typos because for some reason the computer screen doesn't want to show me what I'm typing as I write it.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 16, 2010, 02:14:44 PM
I of course have known many whose religious status I didn't know or who were probably atheists who had equally dire endings or problems. So it's not just christians. But why have I, a big time atheist, been spared his merciless anger?

I don't know. Maybe He still believes there is hope for you given enough time !!   ;D


Actually, I think I've finally figured out the answer to my question. there are three possiblilites:

1- If one is not a christian and needs to be punished somehow (death, disease, natural disaster), then that's what happens.

2- If one is a good christian, exactly the same things can happen, but then it's not a punishment, but rather a test.

3- If one hasn't had anything bad happen, it's because god works in mysterious ways.

Everything is covered. There is no need to explain any more than that. It is real clear now.

I'll stick to atheism, but now I understand where the christians of the world are coming from.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 02:15:16 PM
You see every time things dont make sense, you should be asking yourself why you believed what you did in the first place.

Been there done that. Have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for God being an imaginary entity.

If the only reason you believe in the christian god is because you were raised in a predominantly christian environment, and the evidence points away from such a god (as in ParkingPlaces point), you should seriously re-consider your beliefs.

Been there done that, too.

Throughout this thread you keep mentioning what "god" does with respect to morality.  How the hell would YOU know anything more than WE do with regards to an invisible, insensible, silent being in the sky???  Do you have anything at all other than just someone TOLD you this (either directly or indirectly via written word)???  Did this being ever explain this to you directly?  So why the hell do you believe it?

I find the Bible to be everything it claims to be. Again, I have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for the Bible being nothing more than a storybook written by a bunch of goat herders.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Aaron123 on August 16, 2010, 02:18:45 PM
2. There is nothing Biblical to suggest that God would ever ask me to do such a thing so I would be inclined to dismiss any “voice” demanding that I kill my children.

Don't avoid the question.  Answer it.  He didn't ask about a voice in your head, he asked about if GOD were the one that told you to kill your children. 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 16, 2010, 02:26:02 PM
... and also for the purpose of advancing His namesake and love towards mankind by way of missionaries, prophets, and priests.  

Don't forget by way of plagues and genocides.  When I want to advance my namesake and love towards mankind, those are my two go-to methods. "Remember my name is Screwtape!" Foom! Plague of rats.  "Feel my love for you!"  Foom! A nation is put to the sword.

God did not choose Israel because they were particularly righteous..

That's weird.  In most of the OT stories, the "hebrew heroes" mainly sound like real a-holes.  Recall Laban and Jacob in their scam/ counter-scam episodes.  Recall Lot who offered his young daughters up for gang rape (and then later got liquored up and porked them both!). Recall whatshisface who sacrificed his daughter to yhwh. Scumbags all.

..nor did He cast off the rest of the world's population.

Except for the peoples he had the jews do genocide on. 


Objective Morality- a standard of conduct which determines right and wrong. Is applicable to all people at all times and is provided by an identifiable source with the authority to provide it.

I brought up kcrady's example of slavery to contrast this silly idea some time ago.  If you responded, I missed it.


No. I am simply agreeing with His declaration that everything He does is “good.” If I were able to see the eternal consequences of His actions, then I *might* be in a position to determine if His actions were immoral or not.

That sounds a lot like the ends justify the means. I understand that context is needed to deem whether an action is moral, but I don't think we need to wait for eternity to pass to judge whether raping one particular woman here/ now is immoral.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 16, 2010, 02:28:39 PM
Been there done that. Have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for God being an imaginary entity.

Why does it need to be bullet proof?  Why not just more reasonable than the idea there is such a being? 

I find the Bible to be everything it claims to be. Again, I have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for the Bible being nothing more than a storybook written by a bunch of goat herders.

Why does it need to be bullet proof?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 16, 2010, 02:51:46 PM
Been there done that. Have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for God being an imaginary entity.

Why does it need to be bullet proof?  Why not just more reasonable than the idea there is such a being? 

I find the Bible to be everything it claims to be. Again, I have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for the Bible being nothing more than a storybook written by a bunch of goat herders.

Why does it need to be bullet proof?
The way I see it, "Bullet proof" simply means that anything which can't be logically explained is chalked up to "God works in mysterious ways" or "we are unable to fathom God's thoughts/methods/general awesomeness"...which is, in fact, bullet proof as stated.


Problem is that it could apply just as well to any belief which someone chose to subscribe to. Fairies, Leprechaunds, the Flying Spaghetti monster...none of them appear valid on the surface, because there is no evidence for their existence, and plenty of holes in the stories attached to them. But, if one simply plugs up each and every hole with "theiy are not of our world, so of course we can't understand their inner workings", it all becaomes crystal-clear.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 16, 2010, 02:57:38 PM
Been there done that. Have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for God being an imaginary entity.

snip

I find the Bible to be everything it claims to be. Again, I have yet to find a bullet-proof argument for the Bible being nothing more than a storybook written by a bunch of goat herders.

So, by default, you must have bullet-proof arguments for god not being imaginary and the bible not merely a storybook written by ancient goat herders, correct?

When are you going to put the bullet-proof arguments on display so that we atheists can be saved by your loving, objective, bullet-proof god?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 03:12:48 PM
2. There is nothing Biblical to suggest that God would ever ask me to do such a thing so I would be inclined to dismiss any “voice” demanding that I kill my children.

Don't avoid the question.  Answer it.  He didn't ask about a voice in your head, he asked about if GOD were the one that told you to kill your children. 

Ease up…and kindly use some caution when you’re making an accusation. I was not “avoiding” the question. I obviously applied the “voice” he referred to in his first question to the second question.

If God asked me to kill my children, I would absolutely refuse to obey on the basis that it goes against His own declaration that such a thing is “detestable.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 16, 2010, 03:16:55 PM
If God asked me to kill my children, I would absolutely refuse to obey on the basis that it goes against His own declaration that such a thing is “detestable.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). 

You are cherry picking.  yhwh has a history of doing exactly what you say is forbidden.  Perhaps later we can get into SPAG[1] and how it is at work in your life.
 1. Self Projection As God, coined by member DTE
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 03:26:57 PM
Why does it need to be bullet proof?  Why not just more reasonable than the idea there is such a being? 

Perhaps this will help answer.....from earlier in this thread:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15098.msg340894#msg340894

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 16, 2010, 03:55:47 PM
Perhaps this will help answer.....from earlier in this thread:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15098.msg340894#msg340894

Over the course of the last 4-5 years, I have sensed a fading of its influence in my life to the point where I was on the brink of thinking I would have to be done with it. It was making me miserable.

And there's your justification.

Yes, I read the rest of that post, and you may honestly believe you looked at both sides of the god dilemma objectively. But your statement above speaks volumes; you were miserable about losing your faith. So, could all the evidence you pondered be pointing back to god's existence in your mind only, simply so you would be miserable no longer?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 16, 2010, 04:00:12 PM
^^

So, upwards of 4-5 hours daily of immersing yourself in "answers"...would amount to a kind of self-hypnosis, it seems. At that point, whatever you were delving into with such conviction and emotion couldn't help but have an impact on your perception. It would necessarily seem to suffuse each waking thought, and become more real than the "reality" surrounding you.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 16, 2010, 04:05:24 PM
So killing men, women, children and babies is not objectively immoral: it solely depends on who does it (and not even why, i.e. the intent, because if I did it for the same reason as your god, it would still be wrong, according to you). Ergo morality isn't actually objective, it is whatever your god allows us to do.

You falsely identify God’s administration of justice as acts of arbitrary unlawful murder. You would need to know “why” God chose to carry out His will before you could appropriately label His acts as wrong.

So if I can't figure out why a person killed a bunch of babies, I can't label it as wrong? It seems to me that the burden of proof is on this god that did all the killings to prove that his actions are moral. Unless killers do not have to be accountable. If that's what you're advocating...

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I realize exactly what I am saying. When I refer to God’s “chosen people”….. according to the Bible, God had shown favor to a certain group of people for the purpose of fulfilling the Messianic prophesy and also for the purpose of advancing His namesake and love towards mankind by way of missionaries, prophets, and priests.  God did not choose Israel because they were particularly righteous....nor did He cast off the rest of the world's population.

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Objective Morality- a standard of conduct which determines right and wrong. Is applicable to all people at all times and is provided by an identifiable source with the authority to provide it.

How do you reconcile these two claims exactly? Your god plays favorites with a specific group of people. And, as the bible has shown, condones certain immoral acts as moral even when carried out by (his) people. Your god himself violates his own objective morality by allowing some of (his) people to do acts he forbids others from doing. Like rape and murder/killing.

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We have already established that you think your god can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants and to whomever it wants and still call it perfectly moral.

Yes, for the sole reason that it is not possible to prove that He has acted immorally. As a Christian, I trust that He is incapable of any evil conduct based on how the Bible identifies Him.

So immorality requires proof, which you state isn't possible to provide, but considering your god's actions as moral by default requires only trust in a book that your god himself is allegedly the "real" author of. Weren't you whining (unjustifiably, I might add) about double standards before? You're a pretty shameless hypocrite, aren't you? But I will consider this as an admittance that you have no evidence that your god's actions, which includes allegedly killing almost an entire planet's worth of life, are moral.

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No. I am simply agreeing with His declaration that everything He does is “good.” If I were able to see the eternal consequences of His actions, then I *might* be in a position to determine if His actions were immoral or not.

Whether you agree with his declaration or not, it is still utterly baseless and intellectually dishonest. And I see no evidence from you to even dispute that. Thank you.

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Since your god, if real, has directly killed more than any person we consider "evil" has killed. Not to mention all the flaws in our "design" that allow for countless of deaths to just happen for no specific reason or purpose, like miscarriages.

You say “killed” as though He acted arbitrarily and for no good reason, yet, in doing so, you have drawn a logically incomplete conclusion. How are you able to KNOW that there was no specific reason or purpose for the “countless deaths” and “miscarriages” you refer to?

Actually, I say that exactly as I mean it: if god is real he's a killer. A mass killer. Killed countless of men, women, children, babies, the elderly etc. Genocide, even. If he or you can provide a reason, by all means. But why would that change the "fact" that if he's real that that he mass killed people? The burden of proof is not on me.

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If you actually believe what you're saying in the quoted text, the most honest thing for you to state about your god's morality is "we don't know if he's moral, but he does call himself such. We just have no way of knowing, so the reason why I'm saying that my god is moral is simply because he himself has stated it". Which is subjective, as you might understand.

As I have stated before. I do not subscribe to the belief that there is any standard of morality independent of God. As such, it would be contradictory for me to judge Him based on someone else’s standard of morality….which is precisely what you are attempting to do. You have no way of knowing the entirety of His morality and “why” He does certain things so you are in no position to judge Him according to HIS objective morality.

Imagine for just a moment that the Almighty God of the Bible is real. If He is, then it is ridiculous to even begin to accuse Him of immorality. By what authority would you do such a thing? And, how would you go about dispensing corrective measures?

This whole notion is ridiculous. God's "objective morality" is that anything he does is perfectly moral. That being the case, if god of the bible is real, then the idea of morality is useless. Why bother with it? What point does it serve? Why would an almighty god even care about morality? It's useless, because no matter what he does, he will call it good and he can't be punished either way. Why is rape bad? Why is lying bad? Because your god said so. What if he just says that rape is good? And lying is good? Then both are good. What is stopping him from doing so? Nothing. He's almighty, he can do anything. Who would stop him? Under what authority and morality would you disagree with the words of an almighty being that said that rape is good and lying is good?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 04:06:22 PM
And there's your justification.

Yes, I read the rest of that post, and you may honestly believe you looked at both sides of the god dilemma objectively. But your statement above speaks volumes; you were miserable about losing your faith. So, could all the evidence you pondered be pointing back to god's existence in your mind only, simply so you would be miserable no longer?

^^

So, upwards of 4-5 hours daily of immersing yourself in "answers"...would amount to a kind of self-hypnosis, it seems. At that point, whatever you were delving into with such conviction and emotion couldn't help but have an impact on your perception. It would necessarily seem to suffuse each waking thought, and become more real than the "reality" surrounding you.

Sorry, guys. I'm not going to get into defending my experience. You can read into it whatever you choose.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: Dante on August 16, 2010, 04:14:58 PM
Sorry, guys. I'm not going to get into defending my experience. You can read into it whatever you choose.

I really couldn't care less if you tried to defend your experience to us. I'd much rather you defend it to yourself.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 16, 2010, 04:17:33 PM
Perhaps this will help answer.....from earlier in this thread:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15098.msg340894#msg340894



I saw that post before and responded to to it.  It was what pony called my "penis based argument".  It was pretty brilliant.  If you responded to it, I missed it.

I have to say, that post of yours - specifically the declaration of 100% certainty - made me sad.  It is the sign of a closed mind.  100% certainty says, "I am not listening to what you have to say."  I classify 100% certainty as "evil".   

Are you saying that your godbelief is supported by bulletproof arguments?  If so, I have to object.  There have been unbelievers since there have been gods.  We are not stupid people here[1].  Most of us were some stripe of religion at one point.  If there were bulletproof arguments, we would still be believers.  For myself, I did not stop believing out of anger or grief of unanswered prayers or so I could feel better about my sinful lifestyle.  It was because I could not believe what I was told.  It was because there are no bullet proof arguments either for or against.  There is only more or less probable.

You, my friend, are trapped in an intellectual black hole (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=14285.0).
 1. not all of us, anyway
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 04:26:26 PM
So if I can't figure out why a person killed a bunch of babies, I can't label it as wrong? It seems to me that the burden of proof is on this god that did all the killings to prove that his actions are moral. Unless killers do not have to be accountable. If that's what you're advocating...

I am starting to think that you have no Biblical knowledge whatsoever pertaining to the henous acts you allege. Have you studied the stories that are associated with these alleged immoral episodes that you accuse God of ? If so, did you find any justification even offered?.....or are you settled on believing that what God did was inexcusable under ANY circumstances ? 

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 04:46:12 PM
I saw that post before and responded to to it.  It was what pony called my "penis based argument".  It was pretty brilliant.  If you responded to it, I missed it.

Yes, I saw your genetalia based argument. No comment (but I laughed). 

I have to say, that post of yours - specifically the declaration of 100% certainty - made me sad.  It is the sign of a closed mind.  100% certainty says, "I am not listening to what you have to say."  I classify 100% certainty as "evil". 

As I've said before, when it comes to which opinion matters most (God versus yours), whose do you think I really care about ?  

Are you saying that your godbelief is supported by bulletproof arguments? 
 

Not, not in the sense that you would consider them to be bullet-proof.

There is only more or less probable.

If you want to phrase it that way, then I find the God story far more probable than any non-God theory.

You, my friend, are trapped in an intellectual black hole (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=14285.0).

Terrific. Another psych analysis on how people are 'brainwashed.'
 
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 16, 2010, 04:59:11 PM
So if I can't figure out why a person killed a bunch of babies, I can't label it as wrong? It seems to me that the burden of proof is on this god that did all the killings to prove that his actions are moral. Unless killers do not have to be accountable. If that's what you're advocating...

I am starting to think that you have no Biblical knowledge whatsoever pertaining to the henous acts you allege. Have you studied the stories that are associated with these alleged immoral episodes that you accuse God of ? If so, did you find any justification even offered?.....or are you settled on believing that what God did was inexcusable under ANY circumstances ?

1. I was stating it more as a matter of biblical "fact": he's a mass killer. What's inaccurate about that? He killed countless of men, women, children and babies if the bible is to be believed. If you think that's worth justifying then by all means.

2. But alright, I'll bite. As I recall, the reason why god drowned nearly an entire planet's worth of life, including men, women, children and babies, is because they were "wicked". So the floor is yours BS: justify this genocide. I'm all ears.

3. I actually find the rest of my reply more interesting to you. Can you address those as well?
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: screwtape on August 16, 2010, 05:20:00 PM
I have to say, that post of yours - specifically the declaration of 100% certainty - made me sad.  It is the sign of a closed mind.  100% certainty says, "I am not listening to what you have to say."  I classify 100% certainty as "evil". 

As I've said before, when it comes to which opinion matters most (God versus yours), whose do you think I really care about ?  

That begs the question and misses the point.  And I find it to be a rather dismissive dodge.

Terrific. Another psych analysis on how people are 'brainwashed.'

No, not brainwashed.  If you want to talk about it, pick up the conversation in that thread.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 05:27:01 PM
2. But alright, I'll bite. As I recall, the reason why god drowned nearly an entire planet's worth of life, including men, women, children and babies, is because they were "wicked". So the floor is yours BS: justify this genocide. I'm all ears.

The people of the world had become utterly sinful and void of any recognition of God to the point that their continued existence stood in the way of God's plan to raise up a holy and devout people. He had been reaching out them through Noah for the better part of 100+ years and they continued to suppress anything He asked of them. In fact, it could just as easily be argued that He would have been unjust as Almighty God if He had failed to take action at some point...

3. I actually find the rest of my reply more interesting to you. Can you address those as well?

Much of the rest of your comments seem to revolve around the same point but I will address them:

How do you reconcile these two claims exactly? Your god plays favorites with a specific group of people. And, as the bible has shown, condones certain immoral acts as moral even when carried out by (his) people. Your god himself violates his own objective morality by allowing some of (his) people to do acts he forbids others from doing. Like rape and murder/killing.

Please show me where God condones rape.

So immorality requires proof, which you state isn't possible to provide, but considering your god's actions as moral by default requires only trust in a book that your god himself is allegedly the "real" author of. Weren't you whining (unjustifiably, I might add) about double standards before? You're a pretty shameless hypocrite, aren't you? But I will consider this as an admittance that you have no evidence that your god's actions, which includes allegedly killing almost an entire planet's worth of life, are moral.

I claim they are immoral based on what the Bible teaches about God's character. You need to show me an act of immorality committed by God before you can accuse me of being a hypocrite.

Actually, I say that exactly as I mean it: if god is real he's a killer. A mass killer. Killed countless of men, women, children, babies, the elderly etc. Genocide, even. If he or you can provide a reason, by all means. But why would that change the "fact" that if he's real that that he mass killed people? The burden of proof is not on me.

Define "killer" so I have some idea what you are accusing God of.

Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: BibleStudent on August 16, 2010, 05:28:43 PM
That begs the question and misses the point.  And I find it to be a rather dismissive dodge.

What did I dodge ? There was no question.
Title: Re: "...Except when my God is involved"
Post by: CutePuppy on August 16, 2010, 05:58:01 PM
2. But alright, I'll bite. As I recall, the reason why god drowned nearly an entire planet's worth of life, including men, women, children and babies, is because they were "wicked". So the floor is yours BS: justify this genocide. I'm all ears.

The people of the world had become utterly sinful and void of any recognition of God to the point that their continued existence stood in the way of God's plan to raise up a holy and devout people. He had been reaching out them through Noah for the better part of 100+ years and they continued to suppress anything He asked of them. In fact, it could just as easily be argued that He would have been unjust as Almighty God if He had failed to take action at some point...

Yes, because killing nearly an entire planet worth of life has worked out so well for him. This is how you justify the genocide of nearly every single human being, man, woman, child, baby? This genocide achieved absolutely nothing. The majority of people don't believe in your god. They certainly don't follow his rules. And this number of people who don't believe in your god will likely not go down. So I have plenty of evidence that his actions, if real, did absolutely nothing for achieving his purpose. So now we have an allegedly almighty god who knows our "eternal outcome" but just mass killed people with absolutely no results to show for it. So, again, where is your evidence that this is nothing more than god killing people for no (good) purpose at all? Where is your evidence that this "eternal outcome" is 1. good/moral and 2. feasible?

And may I just say that I find the idea of an omnipotent/omniscient god pulling such drastic tactics as a bit funny? What the f was he doing when he created us if he knew he'd have to kill nearly an entire planet of us in the first place? Why bother waiting so long for us to populate the earth before killing us? He knew exactly what would happen before he even created adam and eve. Why didn't he just kill adam and eve, who sinned anyway and already had god's death sentence anyway and start over? Why is he such a f up? Maybe he can't do better? Maybe he just can't achieve what he set out to do? Or maybe he's just imaginary? Eh?

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3. I actually find the rest of my reply more interesting to you. Can you address those as well?

Much of the rest of your comments seem to revolve around the same point but I will address them:

You missed the best (last) part, though. Too bad. Mind addressing that one as well?

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