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Charles
06-13-2017, 10:19 AM
In current times and throughout history there has been a tendency among many to believe that a religious approach to ethics already included a foundation, a basis, on which to base moral judgments, while a non religious approach would somehow have to “come up with something” that could make it out for the divine revelations of right and wrong.

Unfortunately this line of reasoning has been and is very dominant and in some cases it seems even more dominant today than in many other periods in world history. However that makes it even easier to show why the approach that a religious approach to ethics carries justification within takes reconsidering. The most extreme interpretations of this approach is found among religious extremists who simply seem to find that as long as God says or commands something, there is no discussion whatsoever and no other considerations are appropriate.

Why one would think the difference exists
Confronted with such an approach one would often be struck by the “clearness”. These people always seem to know what to do and what not to do. While professors in philosophy will take us through complicated lines of reasoning and pointing to theories that all seem to come to a limit at some point, religiously based ethics provide clear guidelines (at least that is the claim) and instead of “muddy” lines of reasoning about a foundation, one can point to a God who’s line of reasoning is way beyond ours and who’s commands we cannot discuss or vote about for that matter.

As already noted the religious extremist confront us with the extreme version of this. They are probably beyond the reach of any line of reasoning. However, others with a lighter approach but in the same category will usually allow themselves to make statements like “how can I claim that there is nothing wrong with being homosexual, if the Bible says it is wrong?”, “how can I claim that the idea of eternal punishment in Hell is absurd, when God is the one who judges?” and so on…

The difference only exists between extremist and non-extremists
Having come this far, one would think there is a significant difference between the positions. However that is based on a simplified approach. The quite simple reason is that a believer must either be able to justify (at least to some extent) his claim that God is right in doing this or that or he must blindly follow. If he blindly follows, he is going for an extremist position in which we can only hope his reading does not convince him of way to many absurdities. If he starts to confront himself with the question as to why God’s commands are the right ones and why God is acting fairly when judging e.g. that babies who died at an early stage must go to Hell, he will find himself in a position in which he needs to establish a foundation on which to justify such lines of reasoning.

Leibniz’s points
A prominent Christian thinker, Leibniz, actually did point to some very interesting facts about this theme. Let’s hear the man himself:

"Furthermore, if you say - as Descartes did - that things are good not because they match up to objective standards of goodness, but only because God chose them, you will unthinkingly destroy all God’s love and all his glory. For why praise him for what he has done, if he would be equally praiseworthy for doing just the opposite?"

The point is quite obvious that if there is no objective good to be known prior to God’s choices, then there is absolutely no good to be known afterwards. The praise is completely blind, as Leibniz points out. It is a praise of whatever. This is the praise we find among extremists. It should not be the kind of praise we expect to find among reflecting religious people. Thus, the challenge of finding ethical foundation is equally shared by all those who reflect, religious or not.

Leibniz goes on to say that:

"And another point: it seems that any act of the will presupposes some reason for it - a reason that naturally precedes the act so that God’s choices must come from his reasons for them, which involve his knowledge of what would be good; so they can’t be the sources of the goodness of things. That is why I find it weird when Descartes says that the eternal truths of metaphysics and geometry, and therefore also the rules of goodness, justice, and perfection, are brought about by God’s will."

Now, Leibniz was a Christian and I do not intend to use his words to put religion in a worse situation. Actually I think he is pointing to something that all reflecting people can agree on. Leibniz also makes the statement that God could not create a world in which 2 + 3 = 6. His point is the same about ethics.

What we are looking for is that which cannot be different, which could not, no matter how the world was created, be different. That kind of moral truths. If they do not exist, religious and secular people are equally worse of. Religious belief is no “stairway to heaven” when it comes to this specific challenge. It is shared.

seer
06-13-2017, 10:59 AM
Leibniz’s points
A prominent Christian thinker, Leibniz, actually did point to some very interesting facts about this theme. Let’s hear the man himself:

"Furthermore, if you say - as Descartes did - that things are good not because they match up to objective standards of goodness, but only because God chose them, you will unthinkingly destroy all God’s love and all his glory. For why praise him for what he has done, if he would be equally praiseworthy for doing just the opposite?"

The point is quite obvious that if there is no objective good to be known prior to God’s choices, then there is absolutely no good to be known afterwards. The praise is completely blind, as Leibniz points out. It is a praise of whatever. This is the praise we find among extremists. It should not be the kind of praise we expect to find among reflecting religious people. Thus, the challenge of finding ethical foundation is equally shared by all those who reflect, religious or not.

This does not make sense to me. Why can't we glorify God for what He is? Creator and sustained of life? Why does there have to be a moral standard independent of Him for us to praise His attributes of love, mercy, forgiveness, etc... And why wouldn't His immutable moral character be a foundation for ethics?



Leibniz goes on to say that:

"And another point: it seems that any act of the will presupposes some reason for it - a reason that naturally precedes the act so that God’s choices must come from his reasons for them, which involve his knowledge of what would be good; so they can’t be the sources of the goodness of things. That is why I find it weird when Descartes says that the eternal truths of metaphysics and geometry, and therefore also the rules of goodness, justice, and perfection, are brought about by God’s will."

Of course God's knowledge of what is good is based in His own character, it is not necessary for there to be an independent source of goodness. These things are inherent to His nature.



What we are looking for is that which cannot be different, which could not, no matter how the world was created, be different.

Ok, give us an example.

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 11:21 AM
What work by Descartes was Leibniz referring to? It's kind of hard to understand in isolation right now.

Charles
06-13-2017, 11:27 AM
This does not make sense to me. Why can't we glorify God for what He is? Creator and sustained of life? Why does there have to be a moral standard independent of Him for us to praise His attributes of love, mercy, forgiveness, etc... And why wouldn't His immutable moral character be a foundation for ethics?


Of course God's knowledge of what is good is based in His own character, it is not necessary for there to be an independent source of goodness. These things are inherent to His nature.

Ok, give us an example.

I will go through the three passages below:

1) How can you glorify the creator without already holding that what is created is good due to some kind of standard? You talk about an immutable moral character as a foundation for ethics. How do you know if it is a moral character without a moral standard? And if it establishes itself as the standard, we are back to the main point that this is exactly what any extremist would also claim. They claim they cannot question God, and thus they do all kinds of absurdities in his name. If you can only point to God without further justification, you are talking to the members of the church and you are not presenting a philosophical approach based on rational reasoning.

2) How do you know? Any proof? And again if God is the standard himself, then we are back to the "anything goes" logic which is what Leibniz pointed to as an error and which is ultimately extremistic. You are not even close to anything that can be presented as a philosophical approach to the problem discussed.

3) Kant's categorical imperative could be one, the golden rule (perhaps mainly in its negative form) could be another. I will go further into this in another thread, since it is not the main point in this context which is rather a first step into some very complex matters. So I will get to it when I find it is appropriate and will do so in my very own form.

Charles
06-13-2017, 11:54 AM
What work by Descartes was Leibniz referring to? It's kind of hard to understand in isolation right now.

Leibniz refers to Descartes several times in Discourse on Metaphysics from where the quotes are taken. However he never points out what work (if any) he is referring to. Leibniz wrote with any philosopher of worth back in those days, so he could have gotten it in a letter, heard it from someone or it may be from a work that he just does not make a reference to. However I think his point is absolutely clear - even if the reference is muddy at best.

seer
06-13-2017, 11:56 AM
How can you glorify the creator without already holding that what is created is good due to some kind of standard? You talk about an immutable moral character as a foundation for ethics. How do you know if it is a moral character without a moral standard? And if it establishes itself as the standard, we are back to the main point that this is exactly what any extremist would also claim. They claim they cannot question God, and thus they do all kinds of absurdities in his name. If you can only point to God without further justification, you are talking to the members of the church and you are not presenting a philosophical approach based on rational reasoning.

Charles, God is not a philosophy, He is a person in the deepest sense of the word. Again God's moral nature generally (save sin and selfishness) resonates with ours, His are image bearers, so it quite natural for like to praise like or be drawn to it. We see our attributes in Him except to a greater or infinite degree - and that is praise worthy.


How do you know? Any proof? And again if God is the standard himself, then we are back to the "anything goes" logic which is what Leibniz pointed to as an error and which is ultimately extremistic. You are not even close to anything that can be presented as a philosophical approach to the problem discussed.

But it is not anything goes, since God's moral character is immutable. God couldn't lie or say that lying is good since it would violate His nature which is impossible.


Kant's categorical imperative could be one, the golden rule (perhaps mainly in its negative form) could be another. I will go further into this in another thread, since it is not the main point in this context which is rather a first step into some very complex matters. So I will get to it when I find it is appropriate and will do so in my very own form.

This is the problem, not only will you not be able to demonstrate this objective standard - how do you then demonstrate that this standard is the morally correct one? Do we have a higher standard to by which we can judge those moral principles? And on and on. So instead of giving in to infinite regression you will have to claim that moral questions must stop somewhere - at this particular objective standard. But why not just stop at God's moral nature? And as far as I know moral truths only exist in, or are formulated, in minds - they have no independent existence.

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 12:28 PM
Charles, God is not a philosophy, He is a person in the deepest sense of the word. Again God's moral nature generally (save sin and selfishness) resonates with ours, His are image bearers, so it quite natural for like to praise like or be drawn to it. We see our attributes in Him except to a greater or infinite degree - and that is praise worthy.

As an aside, Feuerbach saw this kind of reasoning, called it anthropomorphism, and argued that the idea of 'god' was only an 'idea of our best selves' and nothing beyond that.

Just throwing that out there.

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 12:32 PM
Leibniz refers to Descartes several times in Discourse on Metaphysics from where the quotes are taken. However he never points out what work (if any) he is referring to. Leibniz wrote with any philosopher of worth back in those days, so he could have gotten it in a letter, heard it from someone or it may be from a work that he just does not make a reference to. However I think his point is absolutely clear - even if the reference is muddy at best.

Alright... thanks for tossing out the source. I don't know if Descartes would advocate DCT, at least not in the crude form as it common pops up.

seer
06-13-2017, 12:40 PM
As an aside, Feuerbach saw this kind of reasoning, called it anthropomorphism, and argued that the idea of 'god' was only an 'idea of our best selves' and nothing beyond that.

Just throwing that out there.

Jin are you a Christian? I get these ideas from Scripture, they are not inventions of my own.

Charles
06-13-2017, 12:40 PM
Charles, God is not a philosophy, He is a person in the deepest sense of the word. Again God's moral nature generally (save sin and selfishness) resonates with ours, His are image bearers, so it quite natural for like to praise like or be drawn to it. We see our attributes in Him except to a greater or infinite degree - and that is praise worthy.



But it is not anything goes, since God's moral character is immutable. God couldn't lie or say that lying is good since it would violate His nature which is impossible.



This is the problem, not only will you not be able to demonstrate this objective standard - how do you then demonstrate that this standard is the morally correct one? Do we have a higher standard to by which we can judge those moral principles? And on and on. So instead of giving in to infinite regression you will have to claim that moral questions must stop somewhere - at this particular objective standard. But why not just stop at God's moral nature? And as far as I know moral truths only exist in, or are formulated, in minds - they have no independent existence.

1) I see you giving no reason as to why we have to believe in your particular God as some kind of moral standard. Are we just to take your word for it? You can claim as many convenient things as you like about God but i see no line of reasoning, no argument, just a lot of claims that anyone could make about anything. There is nothing there that would apply to anyone apart from those who believe it already. It may have its value in a context of faith. But in a philosophical context in which we are trying to reason our way through, you have not given us any reason to believe in those claims. You wrote "it quite natural for like to praise like or be drawn to it". Again why does this constitute a moral good?

2) That may be what you claim about your God, and other would claim something different about theirs. The point is still exactly the same: you have put yourself in a situation in which you don't reflect but just go for what you are told. Ultimately what extremists are doing.

3) You wrote: "But why not just stop at God's moral nature?" You are yet to establish why we are to regard it as a moral nature. You have given no reason at all, just claims. Believers in other Gods could make similar claims about their God's moral nature.

Charles
06-13-2017, 12:49 PM
As an aside, Feuerbach saw this kind of reasoning, called it anthropomorphism, and argued that the idea of 'god' was only an 'idea of our best selves' and nothing beyond that.

Just throwing that out there.

Thanks for throwing. It reminds me of Xenophanes of Colophon (c. 570 – c. 475) who stated that if a horse was to paint a picture of God it would paint a picture of a horse. So those ideas are even older than Christianity. However, it should be noted, Xenophanes actually did believe there was a God. But his being God consisted in being completely different from human beings.

seer
06-13-2017, 12:52 PM
That may be what you claim about your God, and other would claim something different about theirs. The point is still exactly the same: you have put yourself in a situation in which you don't reflect but just go for what you are told. Ultimately what extremists are doing.

3) You wrote: "But why not just stop at God's moral nature?" You are yet to establish why we are to regard it as a moral nature. You have given no reason at all, just claims. Believers in other Gods could make similar claims about their God's moral nature.

Again Charles, why stop at this imaginary "objective standard" of yours? Where do you go to demonstrate that that standard is the correct one? One could envision the idea of a moral God (mine or any other) being the embodiment of moral truth via His moral character. It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to imagine this disembodied moral standard of yours especially in light of the facts that moral ideals are mind driven and interpersonal. No minds - no ethics.

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 12:56 PM
Jin are you a Christian?

Yes.

I'm also acutely aware of things like the via negativa tradition.


I get these ideas from Scripture, they are not inventions of my own.

And Seer misses the point.

Charles
06-13-2017, 12:56 PM
Again Charles, why stop at this imaginary "objective standard" of yours? Where do you go to demonstrate that that standard is the correct one? One could envision the idea of a moral God (mine or any other) being the embodiment of moral truth via His moral character. It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to imagine this disembodied moral standard of yours especially in light of the facts that moral ideals are mind driven and interpersonal. No minds - no ethics.

First of all you are still not providing any line of reasoning, but only a bunch of claims. In a philosophical aproach this is not enough. It is not even close. You are not answering any questions at all. It just pure claims and dogmatism.

Secondly I have already pointed out that the part about objective standards will be touched upon in another thread because that makes sense in the aproach that I have. You are not going to decide in this thread.

seer
06-13-2017, 01:03 PM
Yes.

I'm also acutely aware of things like the via negativa tradition.

Yes, that we can only define God in the negative, what He is not (if I remember correctly). But Christ was God incarnate and can be defined by positive attributes. "He who has seen me has seen the Father" never mind the fact that God even in the Old Testament self-defines with positive attributes.



And Seer misses the point.

It wouldn't be the first time...

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 01:04 PM
Yes, that we can only define God in the negative, what He is not (if I remember correctly). But Christ was God incarnate and can be defined by positive attributes. "He who has seen me has seen the Father" never mind the fact that God even in the Old Testament self-defines with positive attributes.

I'm glad you learned to google, Seer.

seer
06-13-2017, 01:11 PM
First of all you are still not providing any line of reasoning, but only a bunch of claims. In a philosophical aproach this is not enough. It is not even close. You are not answering any questions at all. It just pure claims and dogmatism.

Charles in case you missed it, you are doing the exact same thing - posing an objective standard literally ex cathedra. You are impaled on one horn of the Münchhausen trilemma and accusing me of being impaled on another horn.


Secondly I have already pointed out that the part about objective standards will be touched upon in another thread because that makes sense in the aproach that I have. You are not going to decide in this thread.

I will be waiting, but I'm pretty sure you will not escape the trilemma - the only question left will be - which horn do you find most comfortable...

seer
06-13-2017, 01:12 PM
I'm glad you learned to google, Seer.

Jin, I googled nothing - try getting off your high horse. BTW - was I wrong about the positive attributes of God/Christ?

Charles
06-13-2017, 01:22 PM
Charles in case you missed it, you are doing the exact same thing - posing an objective standard literally ex cathedra. You are impaled on one horn of the Münchhausen trilemma and accusing me of being impaled on another horn.



I will be waiting, but I'm pretty sure you will not escape the trilemma - the only question left will be - which horn do you find most comfortable...

All I have done so far is to claim that we all need to find or identify objective values no matter if we are religious or not. I have pointed to quite many reasons as to why that is the fact. You claim that we can somehow bypass this challenge. But apart from hearing you say you don't believe we will be able to find objective values, I am yet to see how your God is the solution to the problem of the founding of ethics. Even if I wont find any objective vaules, it would not prove you right, you'd be in the same boat. If you do not think so, then please give us arguments instead of claims.

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 01:36 PM
Okay so reading Leibneiz, his argument is not just about God's will, but also the potential arbitrariness of God's will. Meaning, why praise God for doing what is 'good' because he could have done anything else and it would be 'good.'

I finally dug up Descartes Meditations. (http://selfpace.uconn.edu/class/percep/DescartesMeditations.pdf) In meditation three he goes over God. After wondering how he can think about God at all, and arguing that God can't be simple extension of his own hoped for perfection, or from his parents, or from his senses... and finally concluding that God exists. He writes:


And the whole strength of the argument which I have here made use of to prove the existence of God consists in this, that I recognize that it is not possible that my nature should be what it is, and indeed that I should have in myself the idea of a God, if God did not veritably exist—a God, I say, whose idea is in me, i.e. who possesses all those supreme perfections of which our mind may indeed have some idea but without understanding them all, who is liable to no errors or defect [and who has none of all those marks which denote imperfection]. From this it is manifest that He cannot be a deceiver, since the light of nature teaches us that fraud and deception necessarily proceed from some defect.

God cannot deceive, according to Descartes. It seems then, that God could not call deception 'good.'

So while Descartes might've believed that goodness depended on God's will, I don't think he meant the kind of arbitrariness that was implied. There are things that God, in principle, cannot will or declare 'good'.

Charles
06-13-2017, 01:49 PM
Okay so reading Leibneiz, his argument is not just about God's will, but also the potential arbitrariness of God's will. Meaning, why praise God for doing what is 'good' because he could have done anything else and it would be 'good.'

I finally dug up Descartes Meditations. (http://selfpace.uconn.edu/class/percep/DescartesMeditations.pdf) In meditation three he goes over God. After wondering how he can think about God at all, and arguing that God can't be simple extension of his own hoped for perfection, or from his parents, or from his senses... and finally concluding that God exists. He writes:



God cannot deceive, according to Descartes. It seems then, that God could not call deception 'good.'

So while Descartes might've believed that goodness depended on God's will, I don't think he meant the kind of arbitrariness that was implied. There are things that God, in principle, cannot will or declare 'good'.

Interesting points. Once again we suffer from Leibniz not pointing to the source, so we do not know in what context Descartes made those claims and if they are presented accurately. However I do not think it changes anything regarding the main subject matter of this thread. I mean we could basically replace "Descartes" with "anyone" and the points would remain. We could even keep it in the form that instead of saying "Descartes said" we would say "if anyone said". The philosophical point would be the same. In the context of the history of philosophy what you point to is very interesting. And no matter Leibniz's source, you at least point to something that puts Descartes in a different light.

seer
06-13-2017, 02:22 PM
All I have done so far is to claim that we all need to find or identify objective values no matter if we are religious or not. I have pointed to quite many reasons as to why that is the fact. You claim that we can somehow bypass this challenge. But apart from hearing you say you don't believe we will be able to find objective values, I am yet to see how your God is the solution to the problem of the founding of ethics. Even if I wont find any objective vaules, it would not prove you right, you'd be in the same boat. If you do not think so, then please give us arguments instead of claims.

Charles this is the problem as I see it. You don't believe that God is a sufficient ground for ethics, but why would your objective standard (if you could demonstrate it) be a sufficient grounding for ethics? Why would we assume that? Look, use Kant as an example, be believes that lying is always wrong (no matter the consequences). Let's assume that that is a universal moral truth. Where does that leave us? What happens if one violates this maxim and lies for personal gain? Well he my get in trouble, people may distrust him, but these consequences would be the same whether the objective standard existed or not. The standard itself carries no moral authority and makes no difference in practical application.

Jin-roh
06-13-2017, 02:46 PM
Interesting points. Once again we suffer from Leibniz not pointing to the source, so we do not know in what context Descartes made those claims and if they are presented accurately. However I do not think it changes anything regarding the main subject matter of this thread. I mean we could basically replace "Descartes" with "anyone" and the points would remain. We could even keep it in the form that instead of saying "Descartes said" we would say "if anyone said". The philosophical point would be the same. In the context of the history of philosophy what you point to is very interesting. And no matter Leibniz's source, you at least point to something that puts Descartes in a different light.

The water is further muddied by the fact that terms like "perfect" and "infinite" and other words had technical meanings that are kind of lost.

I wouldn't call myself an advocate of Divine Command Theory, but it's worth noting that "God commands" doesn't necessarily entail arbitrariness, or scary hypotheticals.

seer
06-13-2017, 03:00 PM
You could try to make it clearer why your God is the solution.

Charles because there is no better solution. Especially against an "objective standard" that has no inherent authority or practical application - in what rational world is that a sufficient ground for ethics? And that is one of the reasons why Kant, as referenced in the other thread, found it necessary to finally appeal to God.



In his Critique of Practical Reason, Immanuel Kant, who has traditionally not been seen as an advocate of Divine Command Theory (for an opposing view see Nuyen, 1998), claims that morality requires faith in God and an afterlife. According to Kant, we must believe that God exists because the requirements of morality are too much for us to bear. We must believe that there is a God who will help us satisfy the demands of the moral law. With such a belief, we have the hope that we will be able to live moral lives. Moreover, Kant argues that “there is not the slightest ground in the moral law for a necessary connection between the morality and proportionate happiness of a being who belongs to the world as one of its parts and is thus dependent on it” (p. 131). However, if there is a God and an afterlife where the righteous are rewarded with happiness and justice obtains, this problem goes away. That is, being moral does not guarantee happiness, so we must believe in a God who will reward the morally righteous with happiness. Kant does not employ the concept of moral faith as an argument for Divine Command Theory, but a contemporary advocate could argue along Kantian lines that these advantages do accrue to this view of morality.

Charles
06-14-2017, 02:28 AM
Dear Seer

I will try to answer your two latest posts in this one reply. I hope that is going to work (not saying I expect us to agree :-)).

Still impossible to see how pointing to God is an answer
Starting with the “negative” points. You claim that your God is a better solution, because my solution will not work. However, apart from the points about Kant, you are yet to provide us with some kind of reason to believe in that God’s moral character as being the one we should go for. I mean, how do we know that this is the good God if we have no idea about goodness apart from the one that we should take from “his nature” or “moral character”? Even if my ideas about objective values are wrong, I am yet to see you provide any reason that yours is any better or how you can avoid the challenges that Leibniz pointed to. I think it would be interesting if you would try to address this stuff. Like I pointed out initially there is a tendency to think that religious belief constitutes a clear answer in a muddy world. But unless one goes through the exact same line of reasoning that anyone else would have to go through, you are just providing claims and dogma without further reason.

As I see your line of reasoning - and correct me if I am wrong - it goes along these lines:
- God constitutes moral values through his perfect nature
- Man has to abide by those rules
- Even if we do not do so in this life, there is an afterlife in which justice will prevail.

My commeńts to each of these points would be:

God constitutes moral values through his perfect nature
You have given no account as to why this is good. If it was of a very different kind, you would also just take that to be good, because you have made yourself dependent on a God. So, by accident, you believe in this God and the Muslim believes in another God. No one of you can give any reasonable explanation of what goodness is. You just blindly follow.

Man has to abide by those rules
Again, since the foundation is perfectly unclear we have to ask ourselves why. This line of reasoning is causing some of the biggest problems of modern day society… Just to mention

Even if we do not do so in this life, there is an afterlife in which justice will prevail.
First of all it is a great step to think it exist. Next, even if it does, it does not in itself constitute a right or wrong, so why are the rewards and the punishments fair? I have personally talked to Christians who believe that if a baby dies and it has not been baptised it will go to Hell. So in some people’s minds what we are talking about here is what they find to be a praiseworthy, namely eternal pain for a baby because of a fact over which it had no influence. This is all caused by the erroneous approach accounted for at the first point. There is no reasoning in the definition of “moral character”. It is just a claim that is, at its root, extreme.

So you claim there is no better solution. I would claim you have not even come up with something that resembles a solution.

Kant's points
You claim that an objective standard would have no inherent authority or practical application. It is a quite big conclusion to draw after writing a few lines and pointing to a short presentation of Kant’s thinking in that regard which differs from the thinking in his deontological ethics by the way. But let us examine further. It seems Kant wants to solve two problems:

1 “According to Kant, we must believe that God exists because the requirements of morality are too much for us to bear.”

This hardly seem to change the facts about what moral truth is. It does not alter the moral facts but it helps human beings because they suffer under the pressure. So no changing of the content of morality in that regard. No changing of the nature by which it exists.

2 “Moreover, Kant argues that “there is not the slightest ground in the moral law for a necessary connection between the morality and proportionate happiness of a being who belongs to the world as one of its parts and is thus dependent on it” (p. 131). However, if there is a God and an afterlife where the righteous are rewarded with happiness and justice obtains, this problem goes away.”

This makes the case that you could live a moral life but not having any reward. You could actually get into deep trouble, and it could cost you fame, money or whatever to do the right thing. I have yet to see anyone denying that. However, I see no changes in the content of morality in that approach either. The content is the same, and the foundation does not seem to be changed either, however an afterlife will help some people suffering the consequences of doing what is good in moral terms. I do not see how God suddenly changes the facts about what is wrong and wright in the quote you provided.

Keeping things straight
I have no problem that you are mentioning those points by Kant. However I think your approach makes stuff muddy because you want to talk about practical implication before we have even come to the point of what morality is. As is the case with civil law, it still exists even if we do not follow it. There is no contradiction in saying that something can be morally wrong and then go on to say that it may not have consequences doing it. I do not even see that Kant points to that. He acknowledges that it is a fact and then he goes on to find a solution to that but it does not alter the content of morality. Then, of course, you are free to ask what use it is for. But that question could belong in a different category.

If we go to some of the founding principles behind Kant’s line of reasoning we will see that an important factor is the fact that man has the ability to reason. This has some similarities with Aristotle’s description of human beings as “political animals”. We distinguish ourselves by this ability and it is a virtue, they would claim. Kant then goes on to try to establish a moral line of reasoning accounting for what our moral obligation is. The fact that some are not going to act accordingly does nothing to alter the truth (or falseness) of the theory.

You seem to forget that moral philosophy is concerned with the question about what (if anything) is good or bad. It is a fact finding mission, one could claim (it gets a littel simplified, I know) on this and it aims at giving an account of this, even if the accounts comes to the conclusion that no such thing exists. Whether people abide or not is a question of a given person’s moral integrity. Not irrelevant at all. But a question that does not necessarily belong in the first category. The content of civil law is also the same, whether we follow or not.

You wrote: “Look, use Kant as an example, be believes that lying is always wrong (no matter the consequences). Let's assume that that is a universal moral truth. Where does that leave us? What happens if one violates this maxim and lies for personal gain? Well he my get in trouble, people may distrust him, but these consequences would be the same whether the objective standard existed or not. The standard itself carries no moral authority and makes no difference in practical application.”

I have already pointed to the fact that the failure of human beings to comply makes no difference as to what they ought to do. I do not even see Kant making that point, his aim is to solve a problem regarding practical application, but it does not change what we need a practical application of. You are messing things up a bit in factual terms, though the question is fair enough.

Deontological ethics
If we look at the deontological ethics it aims at providing reason to believe that there are moral truths that one ought to follow, or rahter it states that it follows from reason that such obligations exist. You have called it subjective. The line of reasoning can of course be debated (as opposed to yours because you have provided none). What it is build upon, however, is logical statements. The reason you cannot lie is not because someone points to a God whose “nature” or “moral character” it is against, but whose nature at times (at least we are told) is ok with eternal punishments of babies, the killing of innocents and so on… The reason in Kant’s line of thinking is a logical one. If you claim “you can always lie” you have made a statement that undermines itself. If people have no reason to believe what you are actually saying (and that follows from the statement) you cannot even lie because they would not believe you in the first place. The same goes for the statement “you can always steal”. If the statement is correct, no one actually owns anything, and thus, you cannot even steal it since it was never their belonging anyway.

It is interesting to note that the content of the categorical imperative “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” resembles that of the golden rule which we find in its positive form in Christianity, you should, and in its so called negative (I dislike the word negative in this context) form in Confucius’ thinking in ancient China “One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.” In this context the justification is rather a sociological one. The question of right and wrong arises at least partly due to the fact that we have to live among other human beings. And if we are to do so in a successful way, there are certain basic principles that must apply, if we are to expect them agree on a set of “rules of the game”.

Of course the fact that the idea is present in ethical reasoning throughout history in cultures who, at the time, had no or an extremely limited knowledge of each other, is interesting. Though it is not a philosophical proof, it is rather an indication that along these lines of thinking we are moving closer to something that is very hard to ignore. That is important in the context of Kant since a basic line of his reasoning is that reason sets ultimate commandments which we have already touched upon and seen some of the logical reasoning behind.

Of course it is very easy to point to the fact that others could always think different. The question, however, rather seems to be if they can argue and provide better reasons. You seem to have made the point that because more ethical opinions exist we need some kind of entity above them to determine which one is right. I simply see no logic in that approach. What we need to do is to examine the logic and further content of those theories. And that is another important point. While moral philosophy goes through line of reasoning and provides logical statements and rational foundation in order to support a specific view you seem to think it is only “opinion”. Logic, however, is not an opinion. It is a rational line of reasoning that takes your own consideration.

seer
06-14-2017, 05:37 AM
Charles I'm going to break this up a bit, we will start here. Though I thank you for the well thought out response.



Deontological ethics
If we look at the deontological ethics it aims at providing reason to believe that there are moral truths that one ought to follow, or rahter it states that it follows from reason that such obligations exist. You have called it subjective. The line of reasoning can of course be debated (as opposed to yours because you have provided none). What it is build upon, however, is logical statements. The reason you cannot lie is not because someone points to a God whose “nature” or “moral character” it is against, but whose nature at times (at least we are told) is ok with eternal punishments of babies, the killing of innocents and so on… The reason in Kant’s line of thinking is a logical one. If you claim “you can always lie” you have made a statement that undermines itself. If people have no reason to believe what you are actually saying (and that follows from the statement) you cannot even lie because they would not believe you in the first place. The same goes for the statement “you can always steal”. If the statement is correct, no one actually owns anything, and thus, you cannot even steal it since it was never their belonging anyway.

First Charles, one could make a logical argument yet be completely wrong, utilitarian ethics is very logical, and consistent yet you or I who hold to deontological ethics would see utilitarianism as deeply mistaken in its premises and conclusion. These theories Charles are men's ideas on how we should live, yes they are subjective and logical. Moral error theory or moral anti-realism are also logical and consistent. So mere logic can't be the driving consideration to whether a moral theory is correct or not.

But Kant's view does not work on other grounds, he says that lying is always wrong (consequences be damned) - So would lying to the Nazis to save the Jews hidden in your basement be wrong? So if you lie to save a life it does not follow that you always lie, but lying, even to save a life, breaks the maxim.



It is interesting to note that the content of the categorical imperative “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” resembles that of the golden rule which we find in its positive form in Christianity, you should, and in its so called negative (I dislike the word negative in this context) form in Confucius’ thinking in ancient China “One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.” In this context the justification is rather a sociological one. The question of right and wrong arises at least partly due to the fact that we have to live among other human beings. And if we are to do so in a successful way, there are certain basic principles that must apply, if we are to expect them agree on a set of “rules of the game”.


Here is the next problem; men have known the golden rule for centuries in various forms, yet men, often for a large part, don't follow it, or follow only superficially. Nothing that Kant says is going to change that. In other words deontological ethics have no real world consequences, consequences would be there, or not, despite Kantian ethics. There is no inherent authority in these theories, no consequences when violating them, that don't already exist.


Of course the fact that the idea is present in ethical reasoning throughout history in cultures who, at the time, had no or an extremely limited knowledge of each other, is interesting. Though it is not a philosophical proof, it is rather an indication that along these lines of thinking we are moving closer to something that is very hard to ignore.

Yes God and his moral law...; )


That is important in the context of Kant since a basic line of his reasoning is that reason sets ultimate commandments which we have already touched upon and seen some of the logical reasoning behind.


And again logic is no guarantee of truthfulness or rightness, never mind the fact that practically these theories have little effect - though if any theory has had an effect I would say that utilitarianism or pragmatism has had an effect over the past century - for the worse in my opinion.


Of course it is very easy to point to the fact that others could always think different. The question, however, rather seems to be if they can argue and provide better reasons. You seem to have made the point that because more ethical opinions exist we need some kind of entity above them to determine which one is right. I simply see no logic in that approach. What we need to do is to examine the logic and further content of those theories. And that is another important point. While moral philosophy goes through line of reasoning and provides logical statements and rational foundation in order to support a specific view you seem to think it is only “opinion”. Logic, however, is not an opinion. It is a rational line of reasoning that takes your own consideration.

As we have seen logic alone can not be the defining piece of the puzzle since each of these differing theories can and do offer logical justifications with internal consistencies. So now what?

Charles
06-14-2017, 05:55 AM
So now what?

Thank you for your reply. I will get back to it and give you an answer.

What I find interesting, however, is that you only comment on the part in which I describe lines of reasoning to support my view. I also spend quite a lot of time arguing that your line of reasoning gives no answer at all. That part of it is something that you completely ignore. You can hardly claim I have not done something to describe my view (and its completely fair to disagree). However I find it a bit strange for you to completely ignore the part about your view, giving no answers, and then ask me to provide even more after I have already written quite much to explain my view. So let me ask you your own question: So now what?

And bear in mind that the topic is "a shared condition". If you find that wrong, please give us something to work with.

seer
06-14-2017, 07:00 AM
Thank you for your reply. I will get back to it and give you an answer.

What I find interesting, however, is that you only comment on the part in which I describe lines of reasoning to support my view. I also spend quite a lot of time arguing that your line of reasoning gives no answer at all. That part of it is something that you completely ignore. You can hardly claim I have not done something to describe my view (and its completely fair to disagree). However I find it a bit strange for you to completely ignore the part about your view, giving no answers, and then ask me to provide even more after I have already written quite much to explain my view. So let me ask you your own question: So now what?

And bear in mind that the topic is "a shared condition". If you find that wrong, please give us something to work with.

See Charles, if I have this correct, what we are discussing here is what offer a firm foundation for ethics. You know what God and all that includes entails, what we need to discover is there any theory that can even come close. But...


God constitutes moral values through his perfect nature

You have given no account as to why this is good. If it was of a very different kind, you would also just take that to be good, because you have made yourself dependent on a God. So, by accident, you believe in this God and the Muslim believes in another God. No one of you can give any reasonable explanation of what goodness is. You just blindly follow.

Here we are not deciding between Gods, only if a moral god would offer a foundation for ethics. If goodness is God's nature then lining up with that nature or following His commands is what is good. Look at it this way, God as a Creator has an ethical teleology for the human person. He created us for a purpose and to live in a specific fashion. No such moral purpose exists if materialism is true, our ethical inclinations are at bottom the by product of the forces of nature - that have no moral intent or purpose - in other words it was by chance that we developed this way, it could have been quite different. And as far as blindly following I will admit that the teaching of Christ strongly resonates with me. Why do I need more than that? After all why does Kant's moral theory resonate with you more than the other ones which are equally logical and consistent?


Man has to abide by those rules

Again, since the foundation is perfectly unclear we have to ask ourselves why. This line of reasoning is causing some of the biggest problems of modern day society… Just to mention


No Charles, clarity is not the question. The question is about ontology.


Even if we do not do so in this life, there is an afterlife in which justice will prevail.

First of all it is a great step to think it exist. Next, even if it does, it does not in itself constitute a right or wrong, so why are the rewards and the punishments fair? I have personally talked to Christians who believe that if a baby dies and it has not been baptised it will go to Hell. So in some people’s minds what we are talking about here is what they find to be a praiseworthy, namely eternal pain for a baby because of a fact over which it had no influence. This is all caused by the erroneous approach accounted for at the first point. There is no reasoning in the definition of “moral character”. It is just a claim that is, at its root, extreme.

Here again, you are bringing in your subjective reasoning, what is fair what isn't, what is just or not. But if such a God did exist your sense of morality could no more rise above His than a stream could rise above its source. And it also means that we do live in a just and moral universe, not an indifferent and amoral universe.

Tassman
06-14-2017, 08:29 PM
See Charles, if I have this correct, what we are discussing here is what offer a firm foundation for ethics.

Your argument is conditional upon God’s existence. If you cannot show he exists then your argument has no "firm foundation for ethics"; it has no foundation at all.


You know what God and all that includes entails, what we need to discover is there any theory that can even come close. But...

Irrelevant! See above.

seer
06-15-2017, 04:36 AM
Your argument is conditional upon God’s existence. If you cannot show he exists then your argument has no "firm foundation for ethics"; it has no foundation at all.



Irrelevant! See above.

Tass, are you stalking me? Perv!

Charles
06-16-2017, 03:15 AM
Dear seer

I apologizee for a rather late answer, but due to illness I have not been able to write it before now. Found it more important to comment than spend time on the graphics, so it is plain text. But, as they say, it is the content that matters.

I have started out by commenting on the last part in which you write in support for your own view. I will comment on the other part as well.

You wrote: “See Charles, if I have this correct, what we are discussing here is what offer a firm foundation for ethics. You know what God and all that includes entails, what we need to discover is there any theory that can even come close.”

That is not completely wrong nor is it completely right. Leibniz, whom I quoted and used to underline my point, is not concerned with that question in the quotes used. He is not pointing to what “objective values” are. Rather he is stressing, that if, as a Christian, you just point to God as the sole base of moral values without any reasoning or justification as to why those are the right values and why God constitutes them, then you are blindly following, and it may feel right (like it probably does for some extremists) but basically, you have not even started to build a foundation. It compares to just go for one ethical theory and taking all its arguments as being godly and finding the others man-made or subjective for that reason.

You wrote: “If goodness is God's nature then lining up with that nature or following His commands is what is good. Look at it this way, God as a Creator has an ethical teleology for the human person. He created us for a purpose and to live in a specific fashion.”

Again here is a lot of claims in which the first is built upon an “if”. So how do we know if goodness is God’s nature? Especially, how do we know if we have no idea of goodness without God? The “ethical teleology for the human person” seems to me to be the same type of argument, that extremists use for killing, it is, simply put, God’s purpose. And, unless you already believe that God’s purpose is good, and that the fashion he wants us to live in is good, then any talk of purpose of fashion wont get you anywhere.

You wrote: “No such moral purpose exists if materialism is true, our ethical inclinations are at bottom the by product of the forces of nature - that have no moral intent or purpose - in other words it was by chance that we developed this way, it could have been quite different.”

I think there are two important point to be made regarding that. 1) You are yet to prove the “moral purpose” right and fair. 2) I am not personally a materialist. Not that I claim you say so, but it is important to note that one does not need to become a materialist for not believing in God.

You wrote: “After all why does Kant's moral theory resonate with you more than the other ones which are equally logical and consistent?”
Very fair question to ask, and you asked it regarding my own points supporting my own view as well. I may have given a too narrow minded presentation regarding that. What I was pointing to regarding the logical approach was at least to be taken in a broader sense. You are right that two theories contradicting each other could be logically consistent on their own. What - at least in my opinion - could however not be the case would be that they all contained the right and true premises. So, you will have to look at the content, the premises, so to say, which is, in a broader context looking at the logic. Because if you can prove the premises wrong, the conclusion is most likely also wrong. Or it may be true but for other reasons than those presented in the presentation.

You wrote: “But if such a God did exist your sense of morality could no more rise above His than a stream could rise above its source. And it also means that we do live in a just and moral universe, not an indifferent and amoral universe.”

First of all, sorry to bore you, but basically we are back at fundamentalist logic. Anyone making any claim about fairness is wrong, since - no further reason given - our God is right. So, the idea that eternal torture of a baby is unfair is - in your regard - just one that one would have to blame oneself for having, since God is ultimately right whatever he does. So, I will actually have to praise God for doing so. And if he did the opposite, i would have to praise him for that. If he tortures women for being women, I will have to praise it. If he does not do so, I will have to praise it. So, it turns out, since you cannot justify the purpose God is claimed to have, it could be whatever. You seem to be stuck in the Leibnizian trap which is praising God for whatever. Which can hardly be praise, since it is a praise of whatever.

Charles
06-16-2017, 03:17 AM
Tass, are you stalking me? Perv!

Why don't you just answer? He made some fair points, and if you can prove him wrong, I'd be very interested.

Charles
06-16-2017, 03:44 AM
Dear seer

Some comments on your comments on some of the stuff I wrote in support of my own view.

You wrote: “But Kant's view does not work on other grounds, he says that lying is always wrong (consequences be damned) - So would lying to the Nazis to save the Jews hidden in your basement be wrong? So if you lie to save a life it does not follow that you always lie, but lying, even to save a life, breaks the maxim.”

I had the idea that you would bring up this obvious and very fair question. First of all, I do not follow Kant in all his lines of reasoning and I do not read his ethics like a holy book. So for me to disagree on certain parts is no bigger problem. Many people inspired by Kant have disagree with the principle that you should always tell the truth while still holding on to the core of the categorical imperative. I think this is Kant’s problem, not mine.

You wrote: “Here is the next problem; men have known the golden rule for centuries in various forms, yet men, often for a large part, don't follow it, or follow only superficially. Nothing that Kant says is going to change that. In other words deontological ethics have no real world consequences, consequences would be there, or not, despite Kantian ethics. There is no inherent authority in these theories, no consequences when violating them, that don't already exist.”

I did comment on that to a rather large extent in my original answer, so I see no point repeating myself. If you find what I wrote wrong, then please explain.

I wrote: “Of course the fact that the idea is present in ethical reasoning throughout history in cultures who, at the time, had no or an extremely limited knowledge of each other, is interesting. Though it is not a philosophical proof, it is rather an indication that along these lines of thinking we are moving closer to something that is very hard to ignore.”

Your comment was: “Yes God and his moral law...; )”

Since we all try to justify our view, I think we deserve an explanation. Confucius lived about 500 years before anyone knew of Christianity and I could go on… But if you have got nothing but a statement, then you have got nothing.

You make some comments about logic. I believe I have answered those in this context (after you wrote your questions or comments which are fair). http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=450770&viewfull=1#post450770

seer
06-16-2017, 06:37 AM
Dear seer

I apologizee for a rather late answer, but due to illness I have not been able to write it before now. Found it more important to comment than spend time on the graphics, so it is plain text. But, as they say, it is the content that matters.

Be well Charles, I really mean that...

I have started out by commenting on the last part in which you write in support for your own view. I will comment on the other part as well.


You wrote: “See Charles, if I have this correct, what we are discussing here is what offer a firm foundation for ethics. You know what God and all that includes entails, what we need to discover is there any theory that can even come close.”

That is not completely wrong nor is it completely right. Leibniz, whom I quoted and used to underline my point, is not concerned with that question in the quotes used. He is not pointing to what “objective values” are. Rather he is stressing, that if, as a Christian, you just point to God as the sole base of moral values without any reasoning or justification as to why those are the right values and why God constitutes them, then you are blindly following, and it may feel right (like it probably does for some extremists) but basically, you have not even started to build a foundation. It compares to just go for one ethical theory and taking all its arguments as being godly and finding the others man-made or subjective for that reason.


Charles, like I said earlier these questions must stop somewhere, I will get into this more below.


You wrote: “If goodness is God's nature then lining up with that nature or following His commands is what is good. Look at it this way, God as a Creator has an ethical teleology for the human person. He created us for a purpose and to live in a specific fashion.”

Again here is a lot of claims in which the first is built upon an “if”. So how do we know if goodness is God’s nature? Especially, how do we know if we have no idea of goodness without God? The “ethical teleology for the human person” seems to me to be the same type of argument, that extremists use for killing, it is, simply put, God’s purpose. And, unless you already believe that God’s purpose is good, and that the fashion he wants us to live in is good, then any talk of purpose of fashion wont get you anywhere.


God is self-definied Charles, we know that God is good because he declares it so. And like I said earlier your moral sense could not rise above his any more that a stream could rise about its source. And men don't need a god to follow to justify killing - the atheist Communists did fine without one. If such a God is real how do you object to His acts? Based on what? Knowledge? But our knowledge would be severely limited compared to an omniscient being. Our moral sense which if often culturally induced and relative? Logic? When logic is only as good as the facts it has to work with? Being limited we could never know all the long term consequences of our good choice or bad.



You wrote: “No such moral purpose exists if materialism is true, our ethical inclinations are at bottom the by product of the forces of nature - that have no moral intent or purpose - in other words it was by chance that we developed this way, it could have been quite different.”

I think there are two important point to be made regarding that. 1) You are yet to prove the “moral purpose” right and fair. 2) I am not personally a materialist. Not that I claim you say so, but it is important to note that one does not need to become a materialist for not believing in God.

My point here is if there is a God, akin to the God of Christianity, Judaism or Islam there would be a right way for man to be - morally. We were designed for a purpose. That option is lost with materialism, or your with position. What we are, how we act, morally or otherwise is at botton the result of the haphazard forces of nature.


You wrote: “After all why does Kant's moral theory resonate with you more than the other ones which are equally logical and consistent?”

Very fair question to ask, and you asked it regarding my own points supporting my own view as well. I may have given a too narrow minded presentation regarding that. What I was pointing to regarding the logical approach was at least to be taken in a broader sense. You are right that two theories contradicting each other could be logically consistent on their own. What - at least in my opinion - could however not be the case would be that they all contained the right and true premises. So, you will have to look at the content, the premises, so to say, which is, in a broader context looking at the logic. Because if you can prove the premises wrong, the conclusion is most likely also wrong. Or it may be true but for other reasons than those presented in the presentation.

This is the problem Charles, logic or reasons, no matter how consistent, can not get you where you need to go. I'm no scholar but I can not find any good reason to rationally accept one system over another, as a matter of fact I have found Moral Skepticism to be about the most logical and consistent meta-ethical theory out there. I know you will not admit it Charles but you hold to Deontology because it appeals to you. Yes, there are logical justifications - but other, contrary theories, claim equal justifications - perhaps even better ones.


You wrote: “But if such a God did exist your sense of morality could no more rise above His than a stream could rise above its source. And it also means that we do live in a just and moral universe, not an indifferent and amoral universe.”

First of all, sorry to bore you, but basically we are back at fundamentalist logic. Anyone making any claim about fairness is wrong, since - no further reason given - our God is right. So, the idea that eternal torture of a baby is unfair is - in your regard - just one that one would have to blame oneself for having, since God is ultimately right whatever he does. So, I will actually have to praise God for doing so. And if he did the opposite, i would have to praise him for that. If he tortures women for being women, I will have to praise it. If he does not do so, I will have to praise it. So, it turns out, since you cannot justify the purpose God is claimed to have, it could be whatever. You seem to be stuck in the Leibnizian trap which is praising God for whatever. Which can hardly be praise, since it is a praise of whatever.

No Charles, God is not arbitrary. His moral character in immutable, and He can not act out of character - God can not lie for instance, His very nature is truthful. And again Charles, you have no real ground from which to launch an attack against the acts or commands of God. Not based on your culturally indoctrinated moral sense, not based on knowledge, and certainly not based on logic - as I have demonstrated.

seer
06-16-2017, 07:08 AM
Dear seer

Some comments on your comments on some of the stuff I wrote in support of my own view.

You wrote: “But Kant's view does not work on other grounds, he says that lying is always wrong (consequences be damned) - So would lying to the Nazis to save the Jews hidden in your basement be wrong? So if you lie to save a life it does not follow that you always lie, but lying, even to save a life, breaks the maxim.”

I had the idea that you would bring up this obvious and very fair question. First of all, I do not follow Kant in all his lines of reasoning and I do not read his ethics like a holy book. So for me to disagree on certain parts is no bigger problem. Many people inspired by Kant have disagree with the principle that you should always tell the truth while still holding on to the core of the categorical imperative. I think this is Kant’s problem, not mine.

This is the problem Charles, I could make an exception to just about all of his maxims, so they are not maxims in fact. They are suggestions.


You wrote: “Here is the next problem; men have known the golden rule for centuries in various forms, yet men, often for a large part, don't follow it, or follow only superficially. Nothing that Kant says is going to change that. In other words deontological ethics have no real world consequences, consequences would be there, or not, despite Kantian ethics. There is no inherent authority in these theories, no consequences when violating them, that don't already exist.”

I did comment on that to a rather large extent in my original answer, so I see no point repeating myself. If you find what I wrote wrong, then please explain.

The point needs to be stressed, and this point bother Kant. In this world wicked men often prosper and die a good old age. There is no enforcement agency, if you can get away with it (whatever it is) you win. In other words for any moral theory to be rational it must be just. But the world is full of injustice with the wicked often winning. Hence Kant's need for God.


I wrote: “Of course the fact that the idea is present in ethical reasoning throughout history in cultures who, at the time, had no or an extremely limited knowledge of each other, is interesting. Though it is not a philosophical proof, it is rather an indication that along these lines of thinking we are moving closer to something that is very hard to ignore.”

Your comment was: “Yes God and his moral law...; )”

Since we all try to justify our view, I think we deserve an explanation. Confucius lived about 500 years before anyone knew of Christianity and I could go on… But if you have got nothing but a statement, then you have got nothing.


Charles, we are all created in the image of God, and God's law is written on our hearts. This is universal, therefore we should expect to find moral truths throughout different cultures and times. Of course sin and selfishness often cloud our moral senses.

Charles
06-16-2017, 07:30 AM
Thanks, I am getting better.

I am starting to feel that this part of it is slowly running in circles. What you claim about your God is not justified in any way, shape or form. Nothing, whatsoever. The best I get is “God is self-definied Charles, we know that God is good because he declares it so.” I do not know that, he never declared it to me, and interestingly, it appears that in order for your claim (since it is not argument) to be true I need to at least have a concept of what goodnes is.

To claim that God is good is meaningless, unless you expect the reader to have an idea about goodness. It seems however, that you do not think I can possibly have such an idea. When I say that eternal punishment of babies in Hell (which quite many Christians believe in) is unfair, I am told that I basically have no idea. So then we are back at the God can be anything, which you put some limits to, because your God himself points to them in your subjective understanding of him.

You wrote: But our knowledge would be severely limited compared to an omniscient being. Our moral sense which if often culturally induced and relative? Logic? When logic is only as good as the facts it has to work with? Being limited we could never know all the long term consequences of our good choice or bad.

If this is how little we know, I wonder how you can be so certain that you are right and I am wrong. You point to the limits of logic, but then go straight ahead to you use it to support the idea that we should believe in God. This hardly strengthens your case.

I wonder what your take on the following words from the Romans (Romans 2:14-15) would be:

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."

It appears that this appeals to a law written in every ones heart by God. Some kind of human nature? It appears that men can somehow act as a law unto themselves, that they reflect, that they have a conscience and are thus actually able to concern themselves with ethical thinking, even if they do not know God.

Basically I get the impression that your line of claiming is not strictly in line with the Bible, since here even Gentiles can actually reflect and act as a law unto themselves. You seem to think that if you have no God to point to, there is really nothing to point to at all. That is not what I read in the Bible.

You wrote: “No Charles, God is not arbitrary. His moral character in immutable, and He can not act out of character - God can not lie for instance, His very nature is truthful. And again Charles, you have no real ground from which to launch an attack against the acts or commands of God. Not based on your culturally indoctrinated moral sense, not based on knowledge, and certainly not based on logic - as I have demonstrated.”

If this is what you really think, then I wonder if there is much point in continuing our discussion. Because, what you basically say is, that there is no option what so ever, that you are going to change your mind. If knowledge and logic will not work, I do not really see the point. I have pointed again and again to the fact that your line of reasoning is the same as that used by extremist. But all I get is just more claims about the goodness of God. And then claim - again with no real justification - that he would not lie.

We discussed this earlier - and though this discussion has become a lot more meaningful - what I just quoted seems to support my assumption that you have a line of thinking in which the conclusion is given beforehand and cannot possibly be changed.

Or, if we are to continue, I think it would be more useful if you could make us any the wiser as to why we should believe not only in some god, but in your God in particular. Because you refuse to give us an ethical justification, but go for the claims about his nature and expect us to believe them. Then if they cannot be justified as ethical claims there must be some other way.

seer
06-16-2017, 08:16 AM
Thanks, I am getting better.

I am starting to feel that this part of it is slowly running in circles. What you claim about your God is not justified in any way, shape or form. Nothing, whatsoever. The best I get is “God is self-definied Charles, we know that God is good because he declares it so.” I do not know that, he never declared it to me, and interestingly, it appears that in order for your claim (since it is not argument) to be true I need to at least have a concept of what goodnes is.

Charles, of course we have some concept of goodness since we are created in His image, and you don't have to be personally told by God to have this intuitive moral sense.


To claim that God is good is meaningless, unless you expect the reader to have an idea about goodness. It seems however, that you do not think I can possibly have such an idea. When I say that eternal punishment of babies in Hell (which quite many Christians believe in) is unfair, I am told that I basically have no idea. So then we are back at the God can be anything, which you put some limits to, because your God himself points to them in your subjective understanding of him.

But what do you have Charles? How do you define goodness, and why should any one accept your definition?


You wrote: But our knowledge would be severely limited compared to an omniscient being. Our moral sense which if often culturally induced and relative? Logic? When logic is only as good as the facts it has to work with? Being limited we could never know all the long term consequences of our good choice or bad.

If this is how little we know, I wonder how you can be so certain that you are right and I am wrong. You point to the limits of logic, but then go straight ahead to you use it to support the idea that we should believe in God. This hardly strengthens your case.

Charles, you are the one who pointed to "logic" as the defining reason for acceptance or non-acceptance. But my point again is, on what basis could you possibly launch an attack against the moral character or commands of God.


I wonder what your take on the following words from the Romans (Romans 2:14-15) would be:

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."

It appears that this appeals to a law written in every ones heart by God. Some kind of human nature? It appears that men can somehow act as a law unto themselves, that they reflect, that they have a conscience and are thus actually able to concern themselves with ethical thinking, even if they do not know God.

Basically I get the impression that your line of claiming is not strictly in line with the Bible, since here even Gentiles can actually reflect and act as a law unto themselves. You seem to think that if you have no God to point to, there is really nothing to point to at all. That is not what I read in the Bible.



Right, I agree 100%, with that caveat that this moral sense is God given.


You wrote: “No Charles, God is not arbitrary. His moral character in immutable, and He can not act out of character - God can not lie for instance, His very nature is truthful. And again Charles, you have no real ground
from which to launch an attack against the acts or commands of God. Not based on your culturally indoctrinated moral sense, not based on knowledge, and certainly not based on logic - as I have demonstrated.”

If this is what you really think, then I wonder if there is much point in continuing our discussion. Because, what you basically say is, that there is no option what so ever, that you are going to change your mind. If knowledge and logic will not work, I do not really see the point. I have pointed again and again to the fact that your line of reasoning is the same as that used by extremist. But all I get is just more claims about the goodness of God. And then claim - again with no real justification - that he would not lie.

Charles it is not merely what I think, it is where we are in fact. You have not offered real justifications for your view that are anymore compelling or right than the justifications used for theories that are completely contrary to yours. I understand that in the end Deontology appeals to you, it does to me too, but let's not pretend that you are on a higher rational ground - you are not. And Charles, it is not that He would not lie - but He can not lie - immutability.



We discussed this earlier - and though this discussion has become a lot more meaningful - what I just quoted seems to support my assumption that you have a line of thinking in which the conclusion is given beforehand and cannot possibly be changed.

Or, if we are to continue, I think it would be more useful if you could make us any the wiser as to why we should believe not only in some god, but in your God in particular. Because you refuse to give us an ethical justification, but go for the claims about his nature and expect us to believe them. Then if they cannot be justified as ethical claims there must be some other way.

I can't argue you into believing in God Charles, but I will say this. With God we live in and have a moral and just universe (even if we can't always quantify that), and not an amoral, unjust universe. And because were are created in His image our best and most clear morals ideals are tied to something universal, transcendent and permanent - certain. Now these considerations may not be important to you, but they mean the world to me.

Charles
06-16-2017, 08:41 AM
I can't argue you into believing in God Charles, but I will say this. With God we live in and have a moral and just universe (even if we can't always quantify that), and not an amoral, unjust universe. And because were are created in His image our best and most clear morals ideals are tied to something universal, transcendent and permanent - certain. Now these considerations may not be important to you, but they mean the world to me.

I think this undermines our very different approach. You are basically going for something, that you cannot argue anyone into believing. While some may find that my line of reasoning wrong, you do not provide one. You point to a something, in which we have to believe.

You wrote: “With God we live in and have a moral and just universe (even if we can't always quantify that), and not an amoral, unjust universe. And because were are created in His image our best and most clear morals ideals are tied to something universal, transcendent and permanent - certain.”

I can make all sorts of claims about the universe we live in. And if i do not need to be able to argue for the foundation, it is, quite simply, extremely easy to just make up different ideas about justice, punishment, moral character and so on. It’s easy to make the pieces fit if you can basically just claim “I am right because I am right”, “I am right because you are wrong” or “I am right, because I point to God”. I maintain that you are not even close to doing anything other than making claims. You say that this of that is a fact. When asked why, you really follow the approach I just showed.

I like the final statement: “Now these considerations may not be important to you, but they mean the world to me.” You have claimed again and again that you ultimately end up with subjective ideas, unless you point to God. I think it is fair to say that your own statement points to that type of subjectivity.

seer
06-16-2017, 10:07 AM
I think this undermines our very different approach. You are basically going for something, that you cannot argue anyone into believing. While some may find that my line of reasoning wrong, you do not provide one. You point to a something, in which we have to believe.

Charles it is not merely that one may find your reasoning wrong, but that there is no rational way to know if it is correct. So in essence we would just "have to believe." This is why moral skepticism is such a powerful, and logical, meta-ethical theory. I really don't think you understand how shaky your moral foundation is. Or if it is a foundation at all.


You wrote: “With God we live in and have a moral and just universe (even if we can't always quantify that), and not an amoral, unjust universe. And because were are created in His image our best and most clear morals ideals are tied to something universal, transcendent and permanent - certain.”

I can make all sorts of claims about the universe we live in. And if i do not need to be able to argue for the foundation, it is, quite simply, extremely easy to just make up different ideas about justice, punishment, moral character and so on. It’s easy to make the pieces fit if you can basically just claim “I am right because I am right”, “I am right because you are wrong” or “I am right, because I point to God”. I maintain that you are not even close to doing anything other than making claims. You say that this of that is a fact. When asked why, you really follow the approach I just showed.

And Charles what have you done but make claims? Is the plank in your own eye completely eluding you? And I'm not just making stuff up - this has been basic theistic theology for centuries. And yes, men have been making up ideas of right and wrong or ethics for most of our history - like Kant, Socrates, Aristotle, Epicurus, et al...


I like the final statement: “Now these considerations may not be important to you, but they mean the world to me.” You have claimed again and again that you ultimately end up with subjective ideas, unless you point to God. I think it is fair to say that your own statement points to that type of subjectivity.

Of course it is my belief that God and His moral law exist. And that we live in a just and moral universe. It is your belief that we don't.

Charles
06-16-2017, 12:29 PM
It is important to note that the fact that different and even contradiction theories on moral reality exist, of course, does not rule out the possibility that one of them could be true. The fact that seer sees no way to determine which one is true does not rule out the possibility that one of them could be true. Even if I cannot convince anyone but myself to go for one instead of the others, it still does not rule out the possibility that one of them could be true.

Contradicting views are consistent with the existence of moral reality
There seems to be only one philosophical way of ruling out the possibility that one of them could be true. That is to prove, not just make likely, but actually prove, that moral reality could not exist in any way, shape or form. Despite many attempts and many interesting theories in which one points to the influence of different cultural, religious and historical factors in our evaluation of the basic ethical questions, I am still to see a convincing proof that moral reality could not exist at all. In all fairness I will have to admit that scepticism can appeal, while there is still extremely many miles to go in order to prove that moral reality could not possibly exist.

When I point out that what seer does is just to claim that something is the reality about moral reality, he wants to make the case that the same goes for me. I do not think that is fair. It’s completely fair to disagree with my understanding of moral reality. But I have actually pointed to some of the reasons I believe as I do. That is, in the short form that fits a forum like this, I have tried to point out what i believe to be the reality about moral. I have shortly touched upon why I think so and tried to give some insight into further reasoning along these lines.

A conclusion without any premises
I think seer’s approach is significantly different. He claims we basically cannot know anything of worth about ethics before we believe in God. He allows that we can have a concept of good. But if I am to say that eternal punishments of babies in Hell contradicts my concept of goodness completely, I am being taught that I am actually not allowed to hold such a view and that no knowledge or logic could justify it. This, in my view, is an unworthy approach since human beings actually do have the ability to reflect. It is going for lower instincts instead of higher and it will ultimately lead to an unreflected life. This, as I have pointed to repeatedly, is the case for extremists, who do not allow themselves to reflect whether killing of innocent people is wrong or right if their (so called) God claims it is right. They could follow the seer approach completely if it wasn’t that (luckily) it appear seer believes in a God who has a more peaceful approach in this world while Hell and eternal punishment exists in the praised other worldly reality of Christian thinking.

As opposed to any of the contradicting views we have discussed, seer is not really able to give an account as to why anything is good (apart from its being God’s nature, purpose and so on). He has given us no reason to believe that such a nature or purpose exists. He then goes on to mention all the convenience of holding his view. While I still don’t know if the belief in eternal punishment of babies in Hell is among these, we are told that it is beyond debate, universal, fair and so on. But again, there is no accounting of these claims. While most ethical thinkers provide an account of what they believe and the reason for doing so and thus aim at some specific conclusion, seer seems - at least to me - to jump directly to the conclusion. When asked for the way he reached it, it gets rather muddy if we get any reason at all. It seems at time that the justification of the conclusion is that it is the best conclusion. If you don’t have to worry about underlying logic, good or “best” conclusions are easier to come up with.

Anyone could point to whatever as the indisputable fact about moral reality (it would make it any more true though)
It would be quite easy to just claim that Kant or any with an opposing view were completely right and when anyone opposed just claim that their view was actually not justified, because it was inconsistent with the truth and that no knowledge or logic could justify the view that they held against the great truth. I could even tell seer that there exists no God who has been given the task of telling which of the religious views we should follow. Now most religions will claim their God tells them so. But most ethical theories also argue that they are true, and it does not convice seer at all.

seer
06-16-2017, 01:19 PM
It is important to note that the fact that different and even contradiction theories on moral reality exist, of course, does not rule out the possibility that one of them could be true. The fact that seer sees no way to determine which one is true does not rule out the possibility that one of them could be true. Even if I cannot convince anyone but myself to go for one instead of the others, it still does not rule out the possibility that one of them could be true.

Of course you would apply that to different ideas of God


Contradicting views are consistent with the existence of moral reality
There seems to be only one philosophical way of ruling out the possibility that one of them could be true. That is to prove, not just make likely, but actually prove, that moral reality could not exist in any way, shape or form. Despite many attempts and many interesting theories in which one points to the influence of different cultural, religious and historical factors in our evaluation of the basic ethical questions, I am still to see a convincing proof that moral reality could not exist at all. In all fairness I will have to admit that skepticism can appeal, while there is still extremely many miles to go in order to prove that moral reality could not possibly exist.

Of course as a Christian I do believe that morality exist. And I think in the larger picture I would say that we are moral beings, I mean even the moral relativist believes in ethics - only that they relative to the culture. Skepticism is another story.


When I point out that what seer does is just to claim that something is the reality about moral reality, he wants to make the case that the same goes for me. I do not think that is fair. It’s completely fair to disagree with my understanding of moral reality. But I have actually pointed to some of the reasons I believe as I do. That is, in the short form that fits a forum like this, I have tried to point out what i believe to be the reality about moral. I have shortly touched upon why I think so and tried to give some insight into further reasoning along these lines.

Well Charles, yes it is fair. You have not offered a reason why the reasons for your view is correct. It is an assertion, a belief. And Charles I gave you reasons why I believe that God is the best or ultimate foundation for ethics. And that is what we are discussing. And let me go back to Kant - morality must be rational, but if there isn't justice (the wicked prosper) then morality is not rational. Therefore God...



I think seer’s approach is significantly different. He claims we basically cannot know anything of worth about ethics before we believe in God. He allows that we can have a concept of good. But if I am to say that eternal punishments of babies in Hell contradicts my concept of goodness completely, I am being taught that I am actually not allowed to hold such a view and that no knowledge or logic could justify it. This, in my view, is an unworthy approach since human beings actually do have the ability to reflect. It is going for lower instincts instead of higher and it will ultimately lead to an unreflected life. This, as I have pointed to repeatedly, is the case for extremists, who do not allow themselves to reflect whether killing of innocent people is wrong or right if their (so called) God claims it is right. They could follow the seer approach completely if it wasn’t that (luckily) it appear seer believes in a God who has a more peaceful approach in this world while Hell and eternal punishment exists in the praised other worldly reality of Christian thinking.

Yes, and I'm sure that the Maoist and Stalinist reflected on the greater good as they slaughter millions of dissidents. In other words Charles one does not have to believe in God to be extreme or murder their fellow man.


As opposed to any of the contradicting views we have discussed, seer is not really able to give an account as to why anything is good (apart from its being God’s nature, purpose and so on). He has given us no reason to believe that such a nature or purpose exists. He then goes on to mention all the convenience of holding his view. While I still don’t know if the belief in eternal punishment of babies in Hell is among these, we are told that it is beyond debate, universal, fair and so on. But again, there is no accounting of these claims. While most ethical thinkers provide an account of what they believe and the reason for doing so and thus aim at some specific conclusion, seer seems - at least to me - to jump directly to the conclusion. When asked for the way he reached it, it gets rather muddy if we get any reason at all. It seems at time that the justification of the conclusion is that it is the best conclusion. If you don’t have to worry about underlying logic, good or “best” conclusions are easier to come up with.

Like I said Charles, in the end moral questions must stop somewhere. In other words someone or something must define right or wrong. Who is that? You, Kant, Aristotle, Epicurus? Who. No matter your logical reasoning this question must be paramount.


Anyone could point to whatever as the indisputable fact about moral reality (it would make it any more true though)
It would be quite easy to just claim that Kant or any with an opposing view were completely right and when anyone opposed just claim that their view was actually not justified, because it was inconsistent with the truth and that no knowledge or logic could justify the view that they held against the great truth. I could even tell seer that there exists no God who has been given the task of telling which of the religious views we should follow. Now most religions will claim their God tells them so. But most ethical theories also argue that they are true, and it does not convice seer at all.

Charles, tell me one moral truth and why it is a moral truth and I will show you why it does not obtain.

Charles
06-16-2017, 01:39 PM
Charles, tell me one moral truth and why it is a moral truth and I will show you why it does not obtain.

Since you have told that no knowledge or logic would do, I don’t think it is worth it. I am not into magic and I claim no godly nature.

The last part of the sentence “and I will show you why it does not obtain” shows a complete lack of the open and philosophical approach needed in order to discuss these matters seriously.

I actually already pointed to some, but you "stole" them and claimed they were Gods moral law (no reason for that claim, of course :-)). Anyway, I believe the readers know what we both think. Or else, they are free to ask.

Charles
06-16-2017, 02:41 PM
I just read this blog: https://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/six-reasons-why-objective-morality-is-nonsense/

It is called "Six reasons why objective morality is nonsense" so I do not agree with most of it. However it is interesting to read it.

An interesting part of it reads:

"A favourite argument of the religious is that you can’t have objective morality without a god. And they are right. What they don’t realise, though, is that you also can’t have an objective morality with a god. After all, plumping for “God’s opinion” instead of human opinion is equally subjective. Who says that God’s opinion about morality is better than Satan’s opinion? The answer that God says that God’s opinion is better is simply circular."

Though, of course, I do not agree with the fact that you need God in order to have objective morality, I find the rest is just different - and perhaps better - words on the points I have been trying to make in here.

Further on it is pointed out:

"The traditional response would be to argue that God’s nature is good, which is an appeal to some supra-God objective standard of goodness against which to measure God’s nature. Of course this begs the whole question as to what this objective standard is and where it came from, and so doesn’t begin to actually establish objective morality."

seer
06-16-2017, 03:14 PM
I just read this blog: https://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/six-reasons-why-objective-morality-is-nonsense/

It is called "Six reasons why objective morality is nonsense" so I do not agree with most of it. However it is interesting to read it.

An interesting part of it reads:

"A favourite argument of the religious is that you can’t have objective morality without a god. And they are right. What they don’t realise, though, is that you also can’t have an objective morality with a god. After all, plumping for “God’s opinion” instead of human opinion is equally subjective. Who says that God’s opinion about morality is better than Satan’s opinion? The answer that God says that God’s opinion is better is simply circular."

Though, of course, I do not agree with the fact that you need God in order to have objective morality, I find the rest is just different - and perhaps better - words on the points I have been trying to make in here.

Further on it is pointed out:

"The traditional response would be to argue that God’s nature is good, which is an appeal to some supra-God objective standard of goodness against which to measure God’s nature. Of course this begs the whole question as to what this objective standard is and where it came from, and so doesn’t begin to actually establish objective morality."

Charles, you have not seen me argue for "objective morality" but universal moral truths, God's moral sense is subjective to Him, but universal and authoritative. And again, if you have a different ethical opinion than God's on what basis would/could your opinion be more correct than His? Knowledge? But He is all knowing. Logic? He would be the very source of a rational universe. Your personal moral character? His moral nature is immutable, yours is mutable, culturally informed and flicked (like all humans). So Charles from where do you launch your attack? I have asked this a number of times now.

Tassman
06-16-2017, 08:25 PM
Tass, are you stalking me? Perv!

Just address the issue. Given that your argument is wholly conditional upon God’s existence you must show that God exists. If you cannot show that God exists then your argument does not have the "firm foundation for ethics" that you claim; it has no foundation at all.

Charles
06-17-2017, 01:43 AM
So Charles from where do you launch your attack? I have asked this a number of times now.

And I have answered a number of times.

And since you claim knowledge and logic wont do, I think it is fair to say that you ask for something that is not reasonable.

But let me ask you the same question: From where do you launch an attack (that is not just claims or at best circular)?

seer
06-17-2017, 03:32 AM
And I have answered a number of times.

And since you claim knowledge and logic wont do, I think it is fair to say that you ask for something that is not reasonable.

It is not that knowledge and logic won't do but how would you compete with God on these grounds when it came to moral opinions?


But let me ask you the same question: From where do you launch an attack (that is not just claims or at best circular)?

I'm not sure what you are asking - launch an attack against what?

Charles
06-17-2017, 05:28 AM
It is not that knowledge and logic won't do but how would you compete with God on these grounds when it came to moral opinions?

Interesting... Because you recently wrote the following:


And again Charles, you have no real ground from which to launch an attack against the acts or commands of God. Not based on your culturally indoctrinated moral sense, not based on knowledge, and certainly not based on logic - as I have demonstrated.

The word "contradiction" comes to mind...

Apart from that your statement is based on the idea that God exists which you cannot prove (or if you can, I'd be very interested). So you are claiming that something for which you can give reasons (that is many types of ethical thinking, not just Kant or utilitarism) should justify itself for attacking something for which no reason can be given. I don't get the logic in that. But it appears your belief in logic is muddy at best.


I'm not sure what you are asking - launch an attack against what?

Launch an attack based on a proven, not circular, not just claimed-to exist concept of God and his goodnes against any other ethical theory.

seer
06-17-2017, 06:40 AM
Interesting... Because you recently wrote the following:

The word "contradiction" comes to mind...

Let me make it clear, I'm not against using logic but you could not use that to launch a successful attack against God's moral opinion.


Apart from that your statement is based on the idea that God exists which you cannot prove (or if you can, I'd be very interested). So you are claiming that something for which you can give reasons (that is many types of ethical thinking, not just Kant or utilitarism) should justify itself for attacking something for which no reason can be given. I don't get the logic in that. But it appears your belief in logic is muddy at best.



Like I said Charles, I'm not here to prove God, heck I can not even prove that what goes on in my mind corresponds to reality. And I will repeat, none of these other systems lead to universal moral truths. Your own link made the same case (which I read twice, thank you). But if there is a God akin to classic theism then the possibility of universal moral truths exist.


Launch an attack based on a proven, not circular, not just claimed-to exist concept of God and his goodnes against any other ethical theory.

Charles, do you know what the Münchhausen trilemma is? Every moral argument I have seen eventually is impaled on one of the three horns. Your horn may be different than my horn but it would be no moral rational.

Charles
06-17-2017, 06:51 AM
Let me make it clear, I'm not against using logic but you could not use that to launch a successful attack against God's moral opinion.

So, now at least you are clear. The fact that you contradicted yourself remains.

seer
06-17-2017, 07:07 AM
So, now at least you are clear. The fact that you contradicted yourself remains.

I think you got my point though.

JimL
06-17-2017, 12:28 PM
Charles, God is not a philosophy, He is a person in the deepest sense of the word. Again God's moral nature generally (save sin and selfishness) resonates with ours, His are image bearers, so it quite natural for like to praise like or be drawn to it. We see our attributes in Him except to a greater or infinite degree - and that is praise worthy.



But it is not anything goes, since God's moral character is immutable. God couldn't lie or say that lying is good since it would violate His nature which is impossible.



This is the problem, not only will you not be able to demonstrate this objective standard - how do you then demonstrate that this standard is the morally correct one? Do we have a higher standard to by which we can judge those moral principles? And on and on. So instead of giving in to infinite regression you will have to claim that moral questions must stop somewhere - at this particular objective standard. But why not just stop at God's moral nature? And as far as I know moral truths only exist in, or are formulated, in minds - they have no independent existence.

God, or the objective moral standard, is not good, unless it is good for us as a people, and so, since it comes down to reason, a la Leibniz, i.e. that morals, i.e. rules of behavior, are relative to the best interests of human beings, human society, then god is unnecessary as an objective standard.

seer
06-17-2017, 01:49 PM
God, or the objective moral standard, is not good, unless it is good for us as a people, and so, since it comes down to reason, a la Leibniz, i.e. that morals, i.e. rules of behavior, are relative to the best interests of human beings, human society, then god is unnecessary as an objective standard.

Jim, that doesn't follow. Yes subjectively we would like what is best for us - but so? And who decides what is best? Like I have asked - if an alien race came to earth and began harvesting us for food would that be a moral wrong? Of course not - so what is good or bad for humanity is subjective. Of course as Christians we believe what is best for humanity is to be saved and live forever...Besides in your world we are no more important or valuable and any other species that went extinct before us.

JimL
06-17-2017, 03:02 PM
Jim, that doesn't follow. Yes subjectively we would like what is best for us - but so? And who decides what is best?
Nobody decides, what is best, morally speaking, is objective regardless of any one persons opinion. Morals are about interelationships, so they are not about what one person thinks is best for himself, they are about what is in the best interests of the group.


Like I have asked - if an alien race came to earth and began harvesting us for food would that be a moral wrong? Of course not - so what is good or bad for humanity is subjective. Of course as Christians we believe what is best for humanity is to be saved and live forever...Besides in your world we are no more important or valuable and any other species that went extinct before us.
They, aliens, aren't humans, they would be their own group, it would only be immoral if they behaved like that with each other. Why would they care any more about us than we care about the animals that we harvest for food. Of course morals can be extended to outside groups if it is found to be in the 'extenders' own best interests to do so, or so long as it is not detrimental to them.
But you are correct, other than to ourselves of course, we are no more important than the dinosaurs that went extinct millions of years ago.

Tassman
06-17-2017, 10:24 PM
Jim, that doesn't follow. Yes subjectively we would like what is best for us - but so?

It’s not a matter of “liking what is best for us” as much as our naturally occurring genetic predisposition for survival.


And who decides what is best?

Your answer would be that “God decides what’s best”. But this is not a viable option given you can’t show that your source of morality even exists.


Like I have asked - if an alien race came to earth and began harvesting us for food would that be a moral wrong? Of course not - so what is good or bad for humanity is subjective.

No, it’s simply an instinctive reaction for creatures to resist being eaten.


Of course as Christians we believe what is best for humanity is to be saved and live forever.

Fantasy wish fulfilment! Sad! All living things die, there’s no credible reason to think otherwise.


..Besides in your world we are no more important or valuable and any other species that went extinct before us.

Our survival as a species is instinctively important to us, but in the overall scheme of things there’s no reason to think that we’re more important than any other living creature.

seer
06-18-2017, 04:53 AM
Nobody decides, what is best, morally speaking, is objective regardless of any one persons opinion. Morals are about interelationships, so they are not about what one person thinks is best for himself, they are about what is in the best interests of the group.

You mean the best interest of the group like with higher primates where the strong and fit dominate and the weak and infirmed are allowed to die off. Got it...



But you are correct, other than to ourselves of course, we are no more important than the dinosaurs that went extinct millions of years ago.

Then our survival is of no more importance then theirs.

seer
06-18-2017, 09:13 AM
You know I give those unbelievers who are searching for universal moral truths credit - I think intuitively they understand that moral relativism is bankrupt as an ethical theory. Which makes it even more sad that they don't embrace the God that embodies they very truths they so long for. But there is always hope...

Charles
06-18-2017, 11:13 AM
You know I give those unbelievers who are searching for universal moral truths credit - I think intuitively they understand thatcir moral relativism is bankrupt as an ethical theory. Which makes it even more sad that they don't embrace the God that embodies they very truths they so long for. But there is always hope...

I wonder how you can state for a fact that God embodies the truth we are looking for, when you cannot even establish for a fact that God exists.

Then, in your approach, the very truths we are supposedly looking for are circular statements that God is good, because God's nature or character is good.

I am not looking for circular statements about "goodness" dependent on an entity that may not even exist. And when those "goodnes" statements include claims that babies should be punished forever in Hell or statements along those lines, I see absolutely nothing of interest. Nor anything that I would even find worthy for reflecting human beings to accept or praise.

Attacking God or just an erroneous idea about him?
I wonder how you can even claim I cannot attack a possibly unfounded circular idea of goodness that contains such horrible statements. There is no rational reason what so ever to support it, while anyone going for some universal moral theory will have at least something to point to.

And you claim I cannot launch an attack against God. But you do not know if he exists, so perhaps I am attacking your made up idea about God and nothing apart from that. You seem to easily presuppose the existence of God in your line of reasoning and then, when asked directly, you admit you cannot prove it. (The Münchhausen trilemma you point to is not an excuse for ignoring the conditions for making statements and turning assumptions into facts. Nor have you proven the claims in it right (which would also appear to be contradictory). So, basically, I do not see how that can help you in any way.)

I honestly think that if some God exists (which cannot be ruled out) then what goes on in most religions is the worst type of blasphemy, since it appears completely unworthy to hold such ideas of him that most religions hold.

No objectives, no ability to distinguish
So, you have been quite good at giving the impression that you have the answer to the questions discussed. But what you really have is dogma in the same way, shape and form that anyone following a religious line of thinking can have and as Leibniz pointed to, if you cannot point to the reason why God is good based on objective values then anything God did could be good (which is why you seem to find it so difficult to find the idea about eternal punishment of babies in Hell absurd). I know you pointed to something God could not do in your opinion. I still think Leibniz’s logic applies to most of what you have been saying.

But there is always hope...

seer
06-18-2017, 12:13 PM
I wonder how you can state for a fact that God embodies the truth we are looking for, when you cannot even establish for a fact that God exists.

Then, in your approach, the very truths we are supposedly looking for are circular statements that God is good, because God's nature or character is good.

I am not looking for circular statements about "goodness" dependent on an entity that may not even exist. And when those "goodnes" statements include claims that babies should be punished forever in Hell or statements along those lines, I see absolutely nothing of interest. Nor anything that I would even find worthy for reflecting human beings to accept or praise.

Charles we are discussing a foundation for ethics, mine is God, and yours is? And if you can, define goodness by your lights - I bet I will have you arguing in a circle before long. That is the funny this about moral questions, we always seem to end up arguing in circles. And stop with the babies in hell thing - that is a cheap appeal to emotion. Not worthy of you.


Attacking God or just an erroneous idea about him?
I wonder how you can even claim I cannot attack a possibly unfounded circular idea of goodness that contains such horrible statements. There is no rational reason what so ever to support it, while anyone going for some universal moral theory will have at least something to point to.

And you claim I cannot launch an attack against God. But you do not know if he exists, so perhaps I am attacking your made up idea about God and nothing apart from that. You seem to easily presuppose the existence of God in your line of reasoning and then, when asked directly, you admit you cannot prove it. (The Münchhausen trilemma you point to is not an excuse for ignoring the conditions for making statements and turning assumptions into facts. Nor have you proven the claims in it right (which would also appear to be contradictory). So, basically, I do not see how that can help you in any way.)

I honestly think that if some God exists (which cannot be ruled out) then what goes on in most religions is the worst type of blasphemy, since it appears completely unworthy to hold such ideas of him that most religions hold.

Whether I can prove God or not, the fact remains, without such a being you have no possible source for universal moral truths. That has been my point from the beginning, and a point Charles that you have failed to counter. Why don't you just give it up and embrace moral relativism, like the author in your link. That is the most rational position for the materialist, or the godless. Why the need or desire for universal moral realities?


No objectives, no ability to distinguish
So, you have been quite good at giving the impression that you have the answer to the questions discussed. But what you really have is dogma in the same way, shape and form that anyone following a religious line of thinking can have and as Leibniz pointed to, if you cannot point to the reason why God is good based on objective values then anything God did could be good (which is why you seem to find it so difficult to find the idea about eternal punishment of babies in Hell absurd). I know you pointed to something God could not do in your opinion. I still think Leibniz’s logic applies to most of what you have been saying.



Again, even Jin set you straight about Leibniz’s argument of arbitrariness. Christians believe that God's moral character is immutable - whether you believe it or not is immaterial, to argue that point is a straw man. And the broader point is there that are no objective moral values to compare God's acts to, or to compare your acts to. They don't exist. And every moral good that you believe God has violated is a good that you will have justify - in an objective non-circular manner. Which you won't be able to do. So any argument you use will be circular, thereby being guilty of the same thing you accuse me of.

Tassman
06-18-2017, 06:37 PM
You know I give those unbelievers who are searching for universal moral truths credit - I think intuitively they understand that moral relativism is bankrupt as an ethical theory. Which makes it even more sad that they don't embrace the God that embodies they very truths they so long for. But there is always hope...

I think we've all seen how morality embodied in a god has worked out. Not good! There can be no way to resolve conflicts about moral issues when members of competing religions and sects hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution is the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest.

Charles
06-19-2017, 03:57 AM
Charles we are discussing a foundation for ethics, mine is God, and yours is?

You still cannot claim that God “is” the foundation of your ethics since at least three possible options exist:

1) God does not exist
2) God exists in another way, shape or form than in your belief
3) God exists in the way, shape and form, you believe in

So the correct expression would be something along the lines that God “may” be the foundation. Or "if" (and that is a big IF) he exists in the way you believe, he is the foundation. Since you are yet to make us any the wiser as to why option 3 is correct, there is really no reason for us to prefer that option. The God of option 2 could get mad at us for holding a wrong view about him based on your idea of what God is.

As regards my view I have already given insight into it and answered the questions and obejctions you had. There is some of it you have not replied to. So for you to ask as if it is completely open is not serious.


Whether I can prove God or not, the fact remains, without such a being you have no possible source for universal moral truths. That has been my point from the beginning, and a point Charles that you have failed to counter. Why don't you just give it up and embrace moral relativism, like the author in your link. That is the most rational position for the materialist, or the godless. Why the need or desire for universal moral realities?

I have made you aware that I am not a materialist. As an agnostic I do not rule out the possibility of a God beyond the realm of human understanding to exist. I simply hold to it because I find that it corresponds a lot better to reality and that in lines of reasoning it is the view that is most likely to be true. Even if you think I have failed to counter the idea that universal moral values can only exist if God exists, I think I have made it quite obvious that it is rather difficult to see how the sheer fact that God holds something makes it a moral truth. And what we mainly seem to discus is not really what God holds but what seer thinks or believes God holds.

God may disagree with seer
You always use the word God as if it is the answer to all big questions. Thus I cannot allow myself to question him. However, you are doing the same against a lot of other Gods whose existence cannot be proved either. How can you launch an attack against those Gods? How can you even claim, you understand God and is capable of presenting his view? Why should I believe in the moral character of your God and not the moral character of another God?

Babies in hell
Perhaps God is also tired of the fact that you seem to allow for the option of eternal punishment of babies in hell. Perhaps he is wondering why you hold one cannot object such an idea since one was given the ability to reason. Perhaps he will hold that calling my use of it an appeal to emotion completely misses the point that we are able to reflect. Calling the point to such an extreme suffering "cheap" is beyond me. You objected to Kant that according to him we could not lie to the Nazi asking if we were hiding jews in our basement. But pointing to something which is worse not only in numbers but in eternity is "cheap" you hold....

So, I will ask you to reflect on it:

- Why is it fair to punish or allow for the punishment of a baby forever in Hell for something over which it had no control?
- What is the rationality behind it?
- Where is the glory or goodness in it?
- What does it say about the so-called God, who allows it?
- If eternal punishment of babies in Hell is a part of your just universe in which morals exist, I guess perhaps we can review the idea about “goodness”. You claim it is not arbitrary. No one with any dignity would claim the concentration camps were fair or just. You seem to hold that in your just universe, it is fair that one single baby would have to suffer more than they all did in conditions in which the pain will never end. Why is that just?

I allow myself to oppose to the idea both with very basic ideas about fairness (I guess you all know what my answers to the questions would be) and with emotions. It is a completely unworthy idea.

Charles
06-19-2017, 04:23 AM
I think we've all seen how morality embodied in a god has worked out. Not good! There can be no way to resolve conflicts about moral issues when members of competing religions and sects hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution is the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest.

Exactly. This knowledge played a huge role in Kant's reasoning about the deontological ethics. Not saying you have to agree with it, I do not do so to the full extent but to some. But it makes it even more absurd that those ideas that casued so much pain and suffering are still presented as the universal answer. But there is always hope :-)

Charles
06-19-2017, 04:27 AM
Like I have asked - if an alien race came to earth and began harvesting us for food would that be a moral wrong?

I would be interested in hearing your own take on that scenario. How would the Bible in your reading of it apply to an alien race.

seer
06-19-2017, 05:12 AM
You still cannot claim that God “is” the foundation of your ethics since at least three possible options exist:

1) God does not exist
2) God exists in another way, shape or form than in your belief
3) God exists in the way, shape and form, you believe in

So the correct expression would be something along the lines that God “may” be the foundation. Or "if" (and that is a big IF) he exists in the way you believe, he is the foundation. Since you are yet to make us any the wiser as to why option 3 is correct, there is really no reason for us to prefer that option. The God of option 2 could get mad at us for holding a wrong view about him based on your idea of what God is.

As regards my view I have already given insight into it and answered the questions and obejctions you had. There is some of it you have not replied to. So for you to ask as if it is completely open is not serious.



I have made you aware that I am not a materialist. As an agnostic I do not rule out the possibility of a God beyond the realm of human understanding to exist. I simply hold to it because I find that it corresponds a lot better to reality and that in lines of reasoning it is the view that is most likely to be true. Even if you think I have failed to counter the idea that universal moral values can only exist if God exists, I think I have made it quite obvious that it is rather difficult to see how the sheer fact that God holds something makes it a moral truth. And what we mainly seem to discus is not really what God holds but what seer thinks or believes God holds.

God may disagree with seer
You always use the word God as if it is the answer to all big questions. Thus I cannot allow myself to question him. However, you are doing the same against a lot of other Gods whose existence cannot be proved either. How can you launch an attack against those Gods? How can you even claim, you understand God and is capable of presenting his view? Why should I believe in the moral character of your God and not the moral character of another God?

Babies in hell
Perhaps God is also tired of the fact that you seem to allow for the option of eternal punishment of babies in hell. Perhaps he is wondering why you hold one cannot object such an idea since one was given the ability to reason. Perhaps he will hold that calling my use of it an appeal to emotion completely misses the point that we are able to reflect. Calling the point to such an extreme suffering "cheap" is beyond me. You objected to Kant that according to him we could not lie to the Nazi asking if we were hiding jews in our basement. But pointing to something which is worse not only in numbers but in eternity is "cheap" you hold....

So, I will ask you to reflect on it:

- Why is it fair to punish or allow for the punishment of a baby forever in Hell for something over which it had no control?
- What is the rationality behind it?
- Where is the glory or goodness in it?
- What does it say about the so-called God, who allows it?
- If eternal punishment of babies in Hell is a part of your just universe in which morals exist, I guess perhaps we can review the idea about “goodness”. You claim it is not arbitrary. No one with any dignity would claim the concentration camps were fair or just. You seem to hold that in your just universe, it is fair that one single baby would have to suffer more than they all did in conditions in which the pain will never end. Why is that just?

I allow myself to oppose to the idea both with very basic ideas about fairness (I guess you all know what my answers to the questions would be) and with emotions. It is a completely unworthy idea.

Charles, I made it clear, I'm not attempting to prove a particular God, just that a god akin to classic theism, whether Judaism, Christianity or Islam would offer a source for universal moral truths, and you have offered nothing. Then to throw the debate off track you bring up babies in hell, Nazis, some subjective notion of dignity, etc... But this is not the discussion Charles and you know it, but you need to blow smoke. So let's get back on point. You said that we could not claim that God is good, or that God could not claim Himself good without an objective standard to compare - but you have no such objective moral law or rule, you can not demonstrate such. So yes, you are free to question God, but you are doing so from a morally relative position - based on the opinion of one who was raise in a particular culture at a particular time. You are limited in understanding (unlike God you can not know the beginning and the end) , your logic is flawed since you could never have all the facts, and your moral sense is effected by cultural mores, sin and a mutable moral character.

To sum up, you question the claim of God's goodness but you have offered no objective standard to bring that goodness into question. You call the reasoning circular, but you fail to offer a non-circular definition of goodness. So when in doubt you appeal to emotion; Nazis, babies in hell, arbitrary notions of fairness and dignity... Nice that...

seer
06-19-2017, 05:16 AM
I would be interested in hearing your own take on that scenario. How would the Bible in your reading of it apply to an alien race.

It would be a moral wrong.

seer
06-19-2017, 05:23 AM
I think we've all seen how morality embodied in a god has worked out. Not good! There can be no way to resolve conflicts about moral issues when members of competing religions and sects hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution is the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest.

Stop being a hypocrite Tass, you believe all this is determined in the first place. We are determined by the laws of nature to believe in god or gods and determined to act the way we do. So again you are saying "not good" to what nature has wrought. Why do you hate nature so much?

Charles
06-19-2017, 08:26 AM
Charles, I made it clear, I'm not attempting to prove a particular God, just that a god akin to classic theism, whether Judaism, Christianity or Islam would offer a source for universal moral truths, and you have offered nothing. Then to throw the debate off track you bring up babies in hell, Nazis, some subjective notion of dignity, etc... But this is not the discussion Charles and you know it, but you need to blow smoke. So let's get back on point. You said that we could not claim that God is good, or that God could not claim Himself good without an objective standard to compare - but you have no such objective moral law or rule, you can not demonstrate such. So yes, you are free to question God, but you are doing so from a morally relative position - based on the opinion of one who was raise in a particular culture at a particular time. You are limited in understanding (unlike God you can not know the beginning and the end) , your logic is flawed since you could never have all the facts, and your moral sense is effected by cultural mores, sin and a mutable moral character.

To sum up, you question the claim of God's goodness but you have offered no objective standard to bring that goodness into question. You call the reasoning circular, but you fail to offer a non-circular definition of goodness. So when in doubt you appeal to emotion; Nazis, babies in hell, arbitrary notions of fairness and dignity... Nice that...

Three points: I am not pointing to emotion only. That simply is nut true. Second: if you cant find objective values you are trapped like Leibniz claims. It is not only my problem but also yours. And way too easy to skip the part about all the contraintuitive stuff, babies in Hell and so on, in your view.

JimL
06-19-2017, 08:28 AM
It would be a moral wrong.

Why, and how would you know?

seer
06-19-2017, 09:17 AM
Three points: I am not pointing to emotion only. That simply is nut true. Second: if you cant find objective values you are trapped like Leibniz claims. It is not only my problem but also yours. And way too easy to skip the part about all the contraintuitive stuff, babies in Hell and so on, in your view.

Again Charles, that is the point. You have no objective moral law or rule by which to judge any act of God and we are left with opinion. Therefore any moral declaration, including yours, would be trapped in Leibniz's circle. So where do you go? Moral intuition? But why would that be the guide? Based on what? Knowledge? Logic? Personal/cultural ethical beliefs? You rail against perceived acts of God while standing on shifting moral ground.

Charles
06-19-2017, 11:05 AM
Again Charles, that is the point. You have no objective moral law or rule by which to judge any act of God and we are left with opinion. Therefore any moral declaration, including yours, would be trapped in Leibniz's circle. So where do you go? Moral intuition? But why would that be the guide? Based on what? Knowledge? Logic? Personal/cultural ethical beliefs? You rail against perceived acts of God while standing on shifting moral ground.

You can claim that as much as you like, but I actually did point to some of the reasoning for what I think, and I answered your objections and questions. You may disagree which is completely fair but be honest about that.

Claiming that your circular statements formulated on shaky ground are godly makes no sence since you cannot prove your God exists or holds the view you claim he holds. If culture, moral intuition, emotion and so on plays a factor, you are not less likely to be influenced by it. But there is always hope :-)

seer
06-19-2017, 11:29 AM
You can claim that as much as you like, but I actually did point to some of the reasoning for what I think, and I answered your objections and questions. You may disagree which is completely fair but be honest about that.

Charles, I must have missed these universal moral truths. You didn't do to well with the lying thing - you could not actually universalize it. There would have been other problems but we never got that far.


Claiming that your circular statements formulated on shaky ground are godly makes no sence since you cannot prove your God exists or holds the view you claim he holds. If culture, moral intuition, emotion and so on plays a factor, you are not less likely to be influenced by it. But there is always hope :-)

Charles you keep wanting me to prove God when that is not the discussion, and you know that. You are just retreating now. Never mind that we all believe things that we can not prove, like that other minds similar to mine exist, that what goes on in our head corresponds to reality, that my mother actually loved me, etc... And I'm not sure about your point about influence, I know my faith influences me greatly-it is a driving force in my life.

JimL
06-19-2017, 05:01 PM
It would be a moral wrong.

Why? and how would you know?

Tassman
06-19-2017, 08:17 PM
Stop being a hypocrite Tass, you believe all this is determined in the first place. We are determined by the laws of nature to believe in god or gods and determined to act the way we do. So again you are saying "not good" to what nature has wrought. Why do you hate nature so much?

Determinism is not fatalism as you well know and you reinforce your fundamental dishonesty by continually pretending it is. Now answer the question. How can religious people resolve conflicts about moral issues when members of competing religions and sects hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive?

Tassman
06-19-2017, 08:26 PM
It would be a moral wrong.

Why? Is it "morally wrong" when lions kill and eat gazelles?

Charles
06-20-2017, 02:47 AM
Charles, I must have missed these universal moral truths. You didn't do to well with the lying thing - you could not actually universalize it. There would have been other problems but we never got that far.



Charles you keep wanting me to prove God when that is not the discussion, and you know that. You are just retreating now. Never mind that we all believe things that we can not prove, like that other minds similar to mine exist, that what goes on in our head corresponds to reality, that my mother actually loved me, etc... And I'm not sure about your point about influence, I know my faith influences me greatly-it is a driving force in my life.

I like the “there would have been other problems” statement, since I actually answered your questions and objections and there are still points in my answers that you have not answered. Anyway, I have said many times that it is ok to disagree, calling me a liar, however, is just way too low. In that regard it would have served you well to follow this universal moral truth: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” :wink:

You have had the attitude of knowing the answers to these questions and it is absolutely fair to point out, that you are dependent on God to exists in order for any of it to be true. If you cannot prove him here or somewhere else what you have got is a guess, a belief, a something that cannot be proven. There is no way you can claim it is universal, since you don’t know if it even exists. It’s a guess, and perhaps even God disagrees.

And your points about all other kinds of areas in which you claim we do not have knowledge does not seem to strengthen your case. It rather seems to make even less likely that you are right.

My point about influence is as simple as this: You claim any line of ethical thinking is influenced by different factors. Since you cannot prove your religion right I hold it absolutely fair to say that the views, norms and standards found in your religion are equally as likely to be influenced by these factors.

Charles
06-20-2017, 02:53 AM
This is the problem, not only will you not be able to demonstrate this objective standard - how do you then demonstrate that this standard is the morally correct one? Do we have a higher standard to by which we can judge those moral principles? And on and on. So instead of giving in to infinite regression you will have to claim that moral questions must stop somewhere - at this particular objective standard. But why not just stop at God's moral nature? And as far as I know moral truths only exist in, or are formulated, in minds - they have no independent existence.

This is the problem with the problem you claim exists: You presuppose that no objective standards can be demonstrated. But you give no reason for claiming so apart from reasons that will make it impossible even for yourself to claim that anything is true about these matters.

You ask for a “higher standards” to prove the standard right. This is in vain if the standard cannot be proven right (like you claim) and completely unnecessary if it can be proven right. When the question is answered, the questioning stops. There is no problem about infinite regress, if one does not presuppose that no answer can be given.

The actual consequences if there is no moral reality
To claim that no objective standard exists or can be proven right, is to make a claim about moral reality in and of itself. It is to say that moral reality is of such a form that only opinions can exist about it. That would have to go for rape, murder, concentration camps and so on. No one is allowed to hold anything but an opinion about it. No truth can be stated, is the claim, which by the way (contradictory) is held to be true. The statement has rather far reaching consequences. We will simply have nothing to say to any extremist claiming they have the right to kill us. Or perhaps we can say “I believe in a God, and he may even exist, but I cannot prove it, but if he does, he thinks you are wrong. But anyway, this is a moral theory I have in my head, it does not have an independent existence. God may have, but I cannot prove it.”

From an existential point of view, it is impossible for any human being to hold consistently that all kinds of actions are equally good. You may call the above an appeal to emotion. That is in and of itself a claim. It might equally as well be founded in conscience, self reflection, basic ideas about fairness, empathy and the ability to reflect on the conditions of other people. These may not all be founded in a deep philosophical line of reasoning, but they are still a lot more than just emotions.

It would make it impossible to value or disvalue anything, and it would make it impossible to act. From a philosophical perspective we are bordering at contradiction if we claim that it is a truth about moral reality that no such reality exists. This is why your claim that I should “give up” and go for relativism (at least if it is in its most relative form) is so completely misunderstood. Those who reject moral theories often go straight ahead to claim that one should not teach these theories, because they are untrue and it is unfair to ask anyone to follow them. However, then they already hold ideas about what is preferable, and since it is not only that they do not want to promote them but also that I should not, they are making it a rather universal claim in and of itself.

No one decides
We are moving closer to an important truth following this. To ask “who decides” if a universal moral truth is true is to ask a contradictory question, since if it is universal, then no one decides. If it is universalizable it cannot by its very nature be subjective. So rather, the correct answer would be could it be universalised.

You make the claim: “And as far as I know moral truths only exist in, or are formulated, in minds - they have no independent existence.” Again we see a presupposition that what goes on in ethical thinking cannot be proven right. You claim any theory, and this includes your own (which you seem to forget), just goes on in the mind, and has no independent existence. How, then, can you make the claim that my theory is wrong, if no objective reality exists? You yourself, by doing so, make a statement about moral reality. And by the very same logic you can only claim that in your mind, God is the foundation of ethics, you cannot claim that statement has any independent existence or truth value. Unless you want to contradict yourself. So why should we even give it any serious consideration?

A misunderstanding of subjectivity
The goals of ethics may be subjective. If we go for science, which we can all agree is objective (or at least should be), the same would go for the goals behind scientific research. I have to have the aim to find out what the truth about a specific scientific matter is. I can then move on to find out, using scientific method, what the truth about it is. So my subjective goal is the reason for me finding anything instead of nothing, it determines the matter about which i obtain knowledge, but it does not determine what the truth of the matter is. If ethics concerns itself with a valid, universal and logical framework, then what is the difference? Seer's constant claim about everything being "subjective" seems to rely on a misunderstanding of the proces in which a subjective aim results in a logical and rational, fact based presentation.

The foundation of the categorical imperative is not that Kant or anyone else had a personal feeling for the principle. If that was it, it would have no philosophical value. The reason it has force is that it can be universalized. We could imagine a universe in which everyone followed the principle: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

We could have everyone doing that at the same time. We could have everyone not killing at the same time. So no one needs to “decide” that it can be universalized. We could not have everyone killing, stealing or using force at the same time. That would simply not be possible. To claim that it is a universal truth that you can kill, is to claim that it is ok to kill you. And is it even killing then?

To simply claim you do not like killing, is a subjective statement. To realise the consequences it would have if everyone did so, and therefore to realise it cannot be universal, is a completely different matter. It is moving from a personal opinion of something that follows a line of reasoning that is rational, valid and universal. Which is why those who try to avoid it put themselves in a very bad position. So there is no need for a higher standard to determine whether some kinds of actions can be universalized while others cannot. It is easy to see.

So the specific approach in ethics may be subjective. However:

- Logic is not subjective
- Validity is not subjective
- The facts used in the line of reasoning are not subjective
- It is not subjective whether anything can be universal or not

So, your statement about a problem seems to include far more problems in and of itself.

Charles
06-20-2017, 04:30 AM
God is self-definied Charles, we know that God is good because he declares it so.

Just a few questions about this statement, seer.

- How do we know that God is self defined?
- Which self defined God are we talking about here?
- Do we know that he even exists?
- If we do not know that he exists, then how can we know that he is good or self defined?
- And even if he exists and declares that he is good, then how can we know?
- Why would you accept a circular statement about goodness in this context when circularity is a term used to describe a line of reasoning in which the conclusion is given beforehand?
- Is it right to claim knowledge about something that takes belief?

seer
06-20-2017, 04:51 AM
I like the “there would have been other problems” statement, since I actually answered your questions and objections and there are still points in my answers that you have not answered. Anyway, I have said many times that it is ok to disagree, calling me a liar, however, is just way too low. In that regard it would have served you well to follow this universal moral truth: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

Charles, I'm not calling you a liar I'm saying you are deeply mistake, and wrong in your reasoning. Look lets cut to the chase - make a case here for a universal moral truth, any universal moral truth. The maxim you just referenced is not a universal truth it is one man's opinion on how we should view or practice ethics. Please make a deductive (non-circular) argument for an objective moral truth. Here, now. Thank you.


You have had the attitude of knowing the answers to these questions and it is absolutely fair to point out, that you are dependent on God to exists in order for any of it to be true. If you cannot prove him here or somewhere else what you have got is a guess, a belief, a something that cannot be proven. There is no way you can claim it is universal, since you don’t know if it even exists. It’s a guess, and perhaps even God disagrees.

And your points about all other kinds of areas in which you claim we do not have knowledge does not seem to strengthen your case. It rather seems to make even less likely that you are right.

My point about influence is as simple as this: You claim any line of ethical thinking is influenced by different factors. Since you cannot prove your religion right I hold it absolutely fair to say that the views, norms and standards found in your religion are equally as likely to be influenced by these factors.

Charles you are free to reject my position, but logically a universal (omnipresent) Creator could embody universal moral truths. Especially in light of the fact that ethics are mind dependent. There is nothing implausible about that concept - now present yours...

seer
06-20-2017, 05:10 AM
A misunderstanding of subjectivity
The goals of ethics may be subjective. If we go for science, which we can all agree is objective (or at least should be), the same would go for the goals behind scientific research. I have to have the aim to find out what the truth about a specific scientific matter is. I can then move on to find out, using scientific method, what the truth about it is. So my subjective goal is the reason for me finding anything instead of nothing, it determines the matter about which i obtain knowledge, but it does not determine what the truth of the matter is. If ethics concerns itself with a valid, universal and logical framework, then what is the difference? Seer's constant claim about everything being "subjective" seems to rely on a misunderstanding of the proces in which a subjective aim results in a logical and rational, fact based presentation.

The foundation of the categorical imperative is not that Kant or anyone else had a personal feeling for the principle. If that was it, it would have no philosophical value. The reason it has force is that it can be universalized. We could imagine a universe in which everyone followed the principle: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

We could have everyone doing that at the same time. We could have everyone not killing at the same time. So no one needs to “decide” that it can be universalized. We could not have everyone killing, stealing or using force at the same time. That would simply not be possible. To claim that it is a universal truth that you can kill, is to claim that it is ok to kill you. And is it even killing then?

To simply claim you do not like killing, is a subjective statement. To realise the consequences it would have if everyone did so, and therefore to realise it cannot be universal, is a completely different matter. It is moving from a personal opinion of something that follows a line of reasoning that is rational, valid and universal. Which is why those who try to avoid it put themselves in a very bad position. So there is no need for a higher standard to determine whether some kinds of actions can be universalized while others cannot. It is easy to see.

So the specific approach in ethics may be subjective. However:

- Logic is not subjective
- Validity is not subjective
- The facts used in the line of reasoning are not subjective
- It is not subjective whether anything can be universal or not

So, your statement about a problem seems to include far more problems in and of itself.

Tell me Charles, why did Kant need to appeal to a just God at the end of the road? And if all of humanity turned on itself tomorrow and destroyed itself would that be a universal moral wrong? Is our survival a universal moral good? And Charles you don't even buy into Kantian Ethics, you completely broke with his principle on lying, you jumped into the utilitarianism/consequentialism camp on that one. So you don't actually buy into his reasoning...


We could have everyone doing that at the same time. We could have everyone not killing at the same time. So no one needs to “decide” that it can be universalized. We could not have everyone killing, stealing or using force at the same time. That would simply not be possible. To claim that it is a universal truth that you can kill, is to claim that it is ok to kill you. And is it even killing then?

So what do we glean from this Charles - does this lead to the universal truth that all killing (of humans in this case) is wrong? Do you believe that?

Charles
06-20-2017, 05:36 AM
Tell me Charles, why did Kant need to appeal to a just God at the end of the road?

Already commented on that. Look at "Kant's points" in here: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=450176&viewfull=1#post450176 :wink:


And Charles you don't even buy into Kantian Ethics, you completely broke with his principle on lying, you jumped into the utilitarianism/consequentialism camp on that one. So you don't actually buy into his reasoning...

I did use the word consequence. Like Kant would say that the consequence of saying you can always lie is that it leads to a contradiction. You do not become a utlilitarianist for saying so. And by the way, i never claimed to follow Kant strictly.


So what do we glean from this Charles - does this lead to the universal truth that all killing (of humans in this case) is wrong? Do you believe that?

Nope, this is where I differ from Kant to some degree. The “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” is the main principle for me. Formulation of practical guidelines is a lot harder. I already told you once I do not follow Kant strictly on these regards. Why do we always seem to have to start all over?

Charles
06-20-2017, 05:45 AM
Charles, I'm not calling you a liar I'm saying you are deeply mistake, and wrong in your reasoning. Look lets cut to the chase - make a case here for a universal moral truth, any universal moral truth. The maxim you just referenced is not a universal truth it is one man's opinion on how we should view or practice ethics. Please make a deductive (non-circular) argument for an objective moral truth. Here, now. Thank you.

I have already done so on told why it is the right way to do it and why it is possible. :wink:

But you reject that it is even possible. I go through lots of reasoning in order to explain why your "one man's opinion" does not hold. And then you ignore all of it and ask me to do something i have already done. So you will have to prove my line of reasoning wrong. You cannot just igore it. You should be able to realise the absurdity of asking me to do it. If what I presented was just "one man's opinion" then so would the next thing. But that line of reasoning is based on a misunderstanding which i made very clear. Read it and comment on it, instead of just ignoring it. http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=451896&viewfull=1#post451896

By the way, you said a was lying. Don't try to run from it.


Charles you are free to reject my position, but logically a universal (omnipresent) Creator could embody universal moral truths. Especially in light of the fact that ethics are mind dependent. There is nothing implausible about that concept - now present yours...

The "fact" that ethics are mind dependent is the one i just showed wrong. You seem to not even read it, or you just ignore it? http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=451896&viewfull=1#post451896

Basically if what you point to is God's opinion as a foundation for moral truths, then no, that would not do. Sorry. But there is always hope.

seer
06-20-2017, 06:17 AM
I did use the word consequence. Like Kant would say that the consequence of saying you can always lie is that it leads to a contradiction. You do not become a utlilitarianist for saying so. And by the way, i never claimed to follow Kant strictly.

Nope, this is where I differ from Kant to some degree. The “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” is the main principle for me. Formulation of practical guidelines is a lot harder. I already told you once I do not follow Kant strictly on these regards. Why do we always seem to have to start all over?

Sheesh Charles that is the point - you don't even find Kant's reasoning compelling enough to follow through on it! For goodness sake man, you don't even find universal moral truths here!

seer
06-20-2017, 06:28 AM
I have already done so on told why it is the right way to do it and why it is possible. :wink:

But you reject that it is even possible. I go through lots of reasoning in order to explain why your "one man's opinion" does not hold. And then you ignore all of it and ask me to do something i have already done. So you will have to prove my line of reasoning wrong. You cannot just igore it. You should be able to realise the absurdity of asking me to do it. If what I presented was just "one man's opinion" then so would the next thing. But that line of reasoning is based on a misunderstanding which i made very clear. Read it and comment on it, instead of just ignoring it. http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=451896&viewfull=1#post451896

By the way, you said a was lying. Don't try to run from it.

If I actually accuse you of lying I apologize - I did not have that intent. But no where in your post did you actually attempt to make a real argument for a real universal moral truth. And no where did you tell us how ethical concepts could exist apart from a mind. I'm sorry Charles, I have limited time so let's focus.




The "fact" that ethics are mind dependent is the one i just showed wrong. You seem to not even read it, or you just ignore it? http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=451896&viewfull=1#post451896

Basically if what you point to is God's opinion as a foundation for moral truths, then no, that would not do. Sorry. But there is always hope.

Of course ethics are mind dependent, you use an example from Kant that you don't in the end even agree with - your subjective mind disagreed with his subjective mind.

Charles
06-20-2017, 06:41 AM
Sheesh Charles that is the point - you don't even find Kant's reasoning compelling enough to follow through on it! For goodness sake man, you don't even find universal moral truths here!

As much as we can disagree I will have to give you that this point is rather funny :-)

On a more serious note:

- I have never claimed to follow Kant all the way
- I have just showed how it is not subjective opinion that is relevant to moral truth

You can read it here: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=451896&viewfull=1#post451896

And like I said, since you hold that all opinions on this are subjective, Gods subjective opinion might differ from yours. Sheesh seer :-)

seer
06-20-2017, 06:46 AM
As much as we can disagree I will have to give you that this point is rather funny :-)

On a more serious note:

- I have never claimed to follow Kant all the way
- I have just showed how it is not subjective opinion that is relevant to moral truth

You can read it here: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?14814-A-shared-challenge-regarding-the-foundation-of-ethics&p=451896&viewfull=1#post451896

And like I said, since you hold that all opinions on this are subjective, Gods subjective opinion might differ from yours. Sheesh seer :-)

Yes Charles, I fully agree that God's subjective opinion can differ from my subjective opinion. Just as your subjective opinion differs from Kant's.

JimL
06-20-2017, 07:28 AM
Yes Charles, I fully agree that God's subjective opinion can differ from my subjective opinion. Just as your subjective opinion differs from Kant's.

Do you think god has a subjective opinion?

seer
06-20-2017, 07:43 AM
Do you think god has a subjective opinion?

Yes, I think His ethics are subjective to Him, they are His and He is the subject.


Subjective:

a: characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind:
b: relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristic or states


In other words God moral sense or moral law does not exist independently of Him.

37818
06-20-2017, 09:03 AM
Yes, I think His ethics are subjective to Him, they are His and He is the subject.


In other words God moral sense or moral law does not exist independently of Him.

Well if we apply subjectivism to God, then God's subjectivism is the absolute objective truth. :lol:

seer
06-20-2017, 09:20 AM
Well if we apply subjectivism to God, then God's subjectivism is the absolute objective truth. :lol:

Well God's moral law would be objective to mankind.

JimL
06-20-2017, 03:39 PM
Yes, I think His ethics are subjective to Him, they are His and He is the subject.
You said "gods subjective opinion." So, are morals gods subjective opinions, or are they objective facts?



In other words God moral sense or moral law does not exist independently of Him.
So, god itself has no choice in the matter concerning what is good or what is evil? That would mean that morals are independent of god, not dependent.

seer
06-20-2017, 04:34 PM
You said "gods subjective opinion." So, are morals gods subjective opinions, or are they objective facts?

They are not objective facts. The sun is an objective fact.




So, god itself has no choice in the matter concerning what is good or what is evil? That would mean that morals are independent of god, not dependent.

What, how did you get there? There are no independent moral facts, nor can there be, moral concepts are mind dependent. How could they be otherwise? Where does "thou shall not murder" live - behind Mars?

JimL
06-20-2017, 05:20 PM
They are not objective facts. The sun is an objective fact.
Our opinions concerning morality are subjective, but what is to the good or to the bad of human society, ergo for human beings, is not subjective, even if subjectively we don't know which is true. The ways that we behave, just like the sun, are objective.





What, how did you get there? There are no independent moral facts, nor can there be, moral concepts are mind dependent. How could they be otherwise? Where does "thou shall not murder" live - behind Mars?
Our individual opinions concerning what is good or what is bad are mind dependent, but what is actually good or bad with respect to the best interests of human existence is not mind dependent. Morals are not concrete things, they are descriptive of moral behaviors which are. You are confusing the moral idea with the moral act.

seer
06-20-2017, 05:32 PM
Our opinions concerning morality are subjective, but what is to the good or to the bad of human society, ergo for human beings, is not subjective, even if subjectively we don't know which is true. The ways that we behave, just like the sun, are objective.

No Jim, the idea that humanity should even survive is subjective. And yes behaviors are objective whether a particular behavior is right or wrong is subjective.



Our individual opinions concerning what is good or what is bad are mind dependent, but what is actually good or bad with respect to the best interests of human existence is not mind dependent. Morals are not concrete things, they are descriptive of moral behaviors which are. You are confusing the moral idea with the moral act.

It is in the best interest of humanity to survive, whether our survival is a moral good or not is subjective. And why not the best interest of the few and the powerful?

JimL
06-20-2017, 07:01 PM
No Jim, the idea that humanity should even survive is subjective.
Yes, thats because it is only an idea. Idea's, in and of themselves, are subjective.


And yes behaviors are objective whether a particular behavior is right or wrong is subjective.
No, the opinion as to whether or not a behavior is good or bad is subjective, but whether or not the behavior is actually good or bad is not subjective. Good and Bad are relative to to the subject, in this case to human society, so behaviors are either to the good, or to the bad of human society, of human beings, because they can't be both.

Tassman
06-20-2017, 10:14 PM
No Jim, the idea that humanity should even survive is subjective. And yes behaviors are objective whether a particular behavior is right or wrong is subjective.

The natural instinct for all living creatures is survival. It’s an evolved instinct, not a subjective value judgement.


It is in the best interest of humanity to survive, whether our survival is a moral good or not is subjective.

See above.


And why not the best interest of the few and the powerful?

Granted this happens but it perverts the purpose of morality, which evolved as a means of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups essential for the survival of the species. .

seer
06-21-2017, 04:44 AM
Yes, thats because it is only an idea. Idea's, in and of themselves, are subjective.

Well I'm glad you agree that whether the survival of humanity is a moral good or not is subjective



No, the opinion as to whether or not a behavior is good or bad is subjective, but whether or not the behavior is actually good or bad is not subjective. Good and Bad are relative to to the subject, in this case to human society, so behaviors are either to the good, or to the bad of human society, of human beings, because they can't be both.

Jim, if the very survival of humanity is a subjective question I don't see how this would be meaningful in an objective sense. But again, the general good of humanity is a personal opinion, why not the general good of the few and powerful?

seer
06-21-2017, 04:48 AM
Granted this happens but it perverts the purpose of morality, which evolved as a means of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups essential for the survival of the species. .

That is just stupid there is no "purpose" - the higher primates do just fine with the selfish alpha males running roughshod over the group. Taking what they want, when they want. How many times do we need to go through this Tass?

Tassman
06-21-2017, 09:21 PM
That is just stupid there is no "purpose" - the higher primates do just fine with the selfish alpha males running roughshod over the group. Taking what they want, when they want. How many times do we need to go through this Tass?

Like Trump, you mean? :teeth:

Even the most “selfish alpha males” depend upon the existence of the group in order to survive. They cannot survive alone. This is the purpose of having accepted rules of behaviour, even when they’re abused.

seer
06-22-2017, 04:59 AM
Like Trump, you mean?

Well he certainly is an alpha male, unlike some...


Even the most “selfish alpha males” depend upon the existence of the group in order to survive. They cannot survive alone. This is the purpose of having accepted rules of behaviour, even when they’re abused.

The point is you can have social cohesion with the alpha males running the show.

JimL
06-22-2017, 06:37 AM
Well I'm glad you agree that whether the survival of humanity is a moral good or not is subjective
Not sure how you come up with this stuff seer. Survival is the end, morality is the means, and it is the means that are objective. Don't confuse the two! It is an objective fact that a moral against murder is in the best interests of human society, and human survival.




Jim, if the very survival of humanity is a subjective question I don't see how this would be meaningful in an objective sense.
I understand that you don't see it, not something I can force upon you.


But again, the general good of humanity is a personal opinion, why not the general good of the few and powerful?
Because the majority will always rise up against the injustice of the immoral few.

seer
06-22-2017, 07:11 AM
Because the majority will always rise up against the injustice of the immoral few.

We that is just silly Jim, first that doesn't always happen - look at Cuba, China, North Korea or the Roman empire for that matter. Second, again, it is your subjective opinion that ethics should serve the greater good as opposed to serving the privileged few.

Tassman
06-22-2017, 08:12 PM
Well he certainly is an alpha male, unlike some...

You say that like it's a good thing.


The point is you can have social cohesion with the alpha males running the show.

The point is that, as a social species, social cohesion is what morality is all about.

seer
06-23-2017, 04:31 AM
You say that like it's a good thing.

And you say it like it is a bad thing! Trump is just your average silver back doing what nature determined him to do! I just don't get it Tass, why do you hate nature so much?


The point is that, as a social species, social cohesion is what morality is all about.

Right with social cohesion maintained by the alpha males controlling the group...

Tassman
06-23-2017, 06:22 PM
And you say it like it is a bad thing! Trump is just your average silver back doing what nature determined him to do!

No, YOU said it was a bad thing that alpha male gorillas run roughshod over the group (like Donald Trump). It works just fine in gorilla society, not so well in human society.


I just don't get it Tass, why do you hate nature so much?

It's you, not me who claims that human nature is innately sinful and bad. All because of Adam and Eve if I rightly recall. :lol:


Right with social cohesion maintained by the alpha males controlling the group...

Totalitarian societies work, although there are better ways. The crucial thing is the maintenance of social cohesion to ensure the survival of the family and community, so that the human species survives. This is why we devise the rules of behaviour we call morality.

seer
06-24-2017, 03:59 AM
No, YOU said it was a bad thing that alpha male gorillas run roughshod over the group (like Donald Trump). It works just fine in gorilla society, not so well in human society.

Where did I say it was a bad thing (it may be but not for the reasons you believe). And what are you talking about - of course it works well in human society - for most of human history that is exactly how it worked - the few and powerful controlling the masses. You know, like liberals try to do today...


It's you, not me who claims that human nature is innately sinful and bad. All because of Adam and Eve if I rightly recall. :lol:



Good, then you have no problem with Trump, how nature determined him to think and act. I will remember this on the Civics board


Totalitarian societies work, although there are better ways.

Really? How do you know? Democracies, as practiced today, are fairly new - they may not survive into the future. We know that Totalitarian systems did work in history, for very long periods of times.

Tassman
06-24-2017, 06:28 PM
Where did I say it was a bad thing (it may be but not for the reasons you believe). And what are you talking about - of course it works well in human society - for most of human history that is exactly how it worked - the few and powerful controlling the masses. You know, like liberals try to do today...



Good, then you have no problem with Trump, how nature determined him to think and act. I will remember this on the Civics board



Really? How do you know? Democracies, as practiced today, are fairly new - they may not survive into the future. We know that Totalitarian systems did work in history, for very long periods of times.

Liking or disliking a system of government is irrelevant to the fact that we are social animals and must live in organised communities in order to survive. How we organise our societies is via a system of rules or ethics which we devise and which are an extension of (and supported by) evolutionary theory. There’s no need for imaginary gods laying down rules of behaviour. The history of religion-based morality has been dire. Look around.

seer
06-25-2017, 02:30 AM
Liking or disliking a system of government is irrelevant to the fact that we are social animals and must live in organised communities in order to survive. How we organise our societies is via a system of rules or ethics which we devise and which are an extension of (and supported by) evolutionary theory. There’s no need for imaginary gods laying down rules of behaviour. The history of religion-based morality has been dire. Look around.

No Tass the history of religion-based morality is not dire as long as it prompts social cohesion.

Tassman
06-25-2017, 03:02 AM
No Tass the history of religion-based morality is not dire as long as it prompts social cohesion.

All social cohesion is equal but some is more equal than others, to paraphrase George Orwell. :smile:

seer
06-25-2017, 09:13 AM
All social cohesion is equal but some is more equal than others, to paraphrase George Orwell. :smile:

Really? That is your come back.

Tassman
06-25-2017, 08:53 PM
Really? That is your come back.

It's all your assertion warrants.

seer
06-26-2017, 04:50 AM
It's all your assertion warrants.

I did not assert anything, I stated a fact. Even today some of the most cohesive countries are religious - Muslim in fact. Democracies are much more messy with different factions at odds with each other. Much less cohesion.

Roy
06-26-2017, 09:34 AM
Really? How do you know? Democracies, as practiced today, are fairly new - they may not survive into the future. We know that Totalitarian systems did work in history, for very long periods of times.


Because the majority will always rise up against the injustice of the immoral few.
We that is just silly Jim, first that doesn't always happen - look at Cuba, China, North Korea or the Roman empire for that matter. Students of history know that the Totalitarian systems you use as your main examples - China, Rome, Cuba, etc - did not work for very long periods of time, but experienced frequent violent upheavals. China, for example, has had three major civil wars since 1850, one of which produced more casualties than WWI, as well as many smaller rebellions. Cuba and China are particularly good examples where the majority did rise up against the injustice of the immoral few, leading to the dethroning of Batista and Chiang Kai-shek respectively. The current totalitarian regimes in China, Cuba and North Korea are actually all younger than the western democracies you say may not last.

All this has been pointed out to you before.

Roy
06-26-2017, 09:36 AM
I did not assert anything, I stated a fact. Even today some of the most cohesive countries are religious - Muslim in fact.Name three.

seer
06-26-2017, 09:52 AM
Name three.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain...

seer
06-26-2017, 09:57 AM
Students of history know that the Totalitarian systems you use as your main examples - China, Rome, Cuba, etc - did not work for very long periods of time, but experienced frequent violent upheavals. China, for example, has had three major civil wars since 1850, one of which produced more casualties than WWI, as well as many smaller rebellions. Cuba and China are particularly good examples where the majority did rise up against the injustice of the immoral few, leading to the dethroning of Batista and Chiang Kai-shek respectively. The current totalitarian regimes in China, Cuba and North Korea are actually all younger than the western democracies you say may not last.

All this has been pointed out to you before.

Nonsense Roy, I listed quite a few totalitarian regimes/empires some of which lasted for centuries. And China and Cuba are still totalitarian, the few ruling over the majority. Totalitarianism works - thanks for making my point. And Rome did well for centuries.

Roy
06-26-2017, 10:37 AM
I did not assert anything, I stated a fact. Even today some of the most cohesive countries are religious - Muslim in fact.
Name three. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain...

So your idea of a socially cohesive country is one which had a civil war in 1992 that included violent civilian massacres and more than 100,000 casualties, and which led to a 19-year state of emergency.

Or a country which immediately after becoming an Islamic republic experienced several rebellions and uprisings that were violently subdued with tens of thousands of executions, and then promptly invaded its neighbours, and which more recently saw widespread protests against electoral irregularities and fraud.

Or a country in which unemployment, poverty and corruption led in 2010 to intensive civil resistance followed by the overthrowing of the government and exile of the president.

Not convincing

seer
06-26-2017, 11:04 AM
So your idea of a socially cohesive country is one which had a civil war in 1992 that included violent civilian massacres and more than 100,000 casualties, and which led to a 19-year state of emergency.

Or a country which immediately after becoming an Islamic republic experienced several rebellions and uprisings that were violently subdued with tens of thousands of executions, and then promptly invaded its neighbours, and which more recently saw widespread protests against electoral irregularities and fraud.

Or a country in which unemployment, poverty and corruption led in 2010 to intensive civil resistance followed by the overthrowing of the government and exile of the president.

Not convincing

Oh stop, they are all relatively cohesive now no matter their history. We in the west have a lot of violence in our histories too.

Tassman
06-26-2017, 08:19 PM
I did not assert anything,

What you asserted was that “the history of religion-based morality is not dire as long as it prompts social cohesion”. It’s been pretty dire, look at the history of religious wars and the state of religion-based nations today.


I stated a fact. Even today some of the most cohesive countries are religious - Muslim in fact. Democracies are much more messy with different factions at odds with each other. Much less cohesion.

You’re confusing social cohesion with the demand for social conformity.

siam
06-26-2017, 09:18 PM
You’re confusing social cohesion with the demand for social conformity.

Social conformity is an important element of social cohesion---the tensions between Europeans of Muslim heritage and non-Muslim heritage is partly because there is a perception of non-conformity....

social cohesion comes about because a group gives assent to a particular paradigm---theistic or non-theistic---which gives rise to "values" upon which social rules and expectations are based....for example, the American dream and/or American exceptionalism of the U.S....or Yamatodamashi of Japan....or "Chosen People" of Judaism...or the concept of Ummah in Islam.....etc....Because these are identity-constructs, they tend to have an element of exclusion built-in....which supports and enhances social cohesion. Patriotism (love of nation-state) is also enhanced when there is an "other" preferably an enemy....

Theism is not a necessary requirement for exclusion or tensions that lead to war....rather it is entitlement---any group theistic or non-theistic, that feels it is superior to another and thereby dehumanizes the "other" will go to war much easier.

As long as identity-constructs are an element of social cohesion, there will always be tensions with other groups--it is an unavoidable aspect of human nature and group dynamics----however, if there are ways to resolve these tensions justly, with reciprocal respect---there will be less chances of war. This requires that all groups give assent to the notion that human dignity is an equal right of all humanity.

Tassman
06-26-2017, 10:22 PM
Social conformity is an important element of social cohesion---the tensions between Europeans of Muslim heritage and non-Muslim heritage is partly because there is a perception of non-conformity....

Yes it’s an important “element” among many other elements such as tolerance.


social cohesion comes about because a group gives assent to a particular paradigm---theistic or non-theistic---which gives rise to "values" upon which social rules and expectations are based....for example, the American dream and/or American exceptionalism of the U.S....or Yamatodamashi of Japan....or "Chosen People" of Judaism...or the concept of Ummah in Islam.....etc....Because these are identity-constructs, they tend to have an element of exclusion built-in....which supports and enhances social cohesion. Patriotism (love of nation-state) is also enhanced when there is an "other" preferably an enemy....

True, but our modern multicultural societies must find ways to incorporate diversity otherwise we’re looking at totalitarianism, which has never been the most desirable form of governance.


Theism is not a necessary requirement for exclusion or tensions that lead to war....rather it is entitlement---any group theistic or non-theistic, that feels it is superior to another and thereby dehumanizes the "other" will go to war much easier.

The problem with theism is its tendency to regard those of different faiths (or none) as offending against the one true god and therefore deserving of discrimination or even death.


As long as identity-constructs are an element of social cohesion, there will always be tensions with other groups--it is an unavoidable aspect of human nature and group dynamics----however, if there are ways to resolve these tensions justly, with reciprocal respect---there will be less chances of war. This requires that all groups give assent to the notion that human dignity is an equal right of all humanity.

I agree.

Charles
06-27-2017, 01:06 AM
Oh stop, they are all relatively cohesive now no matter their history. We in the west have a lot of violence in our histories too.

Stop with what? Giving facts about civillian massacres?

siam
06-27-2017, 01:19 AM
1) Yes it’s an important “element” among many other elements such as tolerance.
True, but our modern multicultural societies must find ways to incorporate diversity otherwise we’re looking at totalitarianism, which has never been the most desirable form of governance.

2) The problem with theism is its tendency to regard those of different faiths (or none) as offending against the one true god and therefore deserving of discrimination or even death.

1) not sure if tolerance is an "important" element for social cohesion (but it is necessary to varying degrees)---a set of common "values" are far more important ?....its because tolerance is not that important, totalitarian societies can have social cohesion....in fact, intolerance (such as making up an enemy or enforcing class/cast/race structures) can enhance social cohesion of the group.

2) There are elements of exclusion in all identity-constructs (otherwise they would not work as identity-constructs)---even non-theistic ones such as a nation-state excludes others---for example, the French have long excluded certain groups of Frenchmen from being fully "French"...etc. Americans have a history of viewing any new group of "Americans" with suspicion and mistrust---and some of the old groups such as African Americans are always the "other" in a system built on structural inequality....(which, right or wrong, is still a value)


...So within a greater identity-construct, there can be hierarchies (of privilege and exclusion) which become value structures of a society. These values (right and/or wrong) hold the paradigm---or the "civilization"/culture. This is the "soft-power" and one measure of power of a culture/civilization can be if it attracts others to give assent to its "values"/ways. 2 methods of attracting assent is through force or by persuasion---either one of these, if very successful, can lead to self destruction. A mono-culture can lead to stagnation which will lead to self-destruction (without dynamism and change---any paradigm/value structure will lose its relevancy) and a forced conversion will lead to rebellion....?.....

...the ideal situation would be to have diversity of cultures/value structures that create an environment of constructive competition....?......but diversity will inevitably create tensions---which is a necessary side-effect---the trick is not to avoid/ignore or try to force "toleration" of such tensions----but to engage with them constructively.....tensions caused by differences can be an important tool for positive change in some instances?

Roy
06-27-2017, 02:03 AM
Nonsense Roy, I listed quite a few totalitarian regimes/empires some of which lasted for centuries. And China and Cuba are still totalitarian, the few ruling over the majority. Totalitarianism works - thanks for making my point. And Rome did well for centuries.What point? This one?
"Even today some of the most cohesive countries are religious - Muslim in fact. Democracies are much more messy with different factions at odds with each other. Much less cohesion. "

AFAICT your 'point' is that democracies lack social cohesion because they incorporate multiple political views, while Iran and Algeria have much better social cohesion despite periodically disintegrating in civil war and mass slaughter. So that's total bollocks.

Your other 'point' seems to be that democracies such as the UK and US, both of which have had uninterrupted government for well over a century, won't last as long as totalitarian regimes such as Cuba which has had its government overthrown half-a-dozen times over the same period. So that's also total bollocks.

The only point you're actually making is that you're either ignorant of history or willing to ignore events that don't fit your false views.

Roy
06-27-2017, 02:16 AM
Oh stop, they are all relatively cohesive now no matter their history.Bollocks. A country that had its government overthrown 6 years ago, its opposition leader assassinated 4 years ago and was in a state of emergency 2 years ago is not relatively cohesive in comparison with western democracies.

seer
06-27-2017, 04:55 AM
Stop with what? Giving facts about civillian massacres?

No, the fact that totalitarianism does work. It controls the general population. Yes the that often involves destroying opposition, but that brings cohesion.

seer
06-27-2017, 05:03 AM
Bollocks. A country that had its government overthrown 6 years ago, its opposition leader assassinated 4 years ago and was in a state of emergency 2 years ago is not relatively cohesive in comparison with western democracies.

Again nonsense, do you need a list (again) of totalitarian empires that lasted for centuries? And you only cherry picked a few of the Muslim countries I listed. Hell, look what is happening in the US right now, riots, Congressman and his aids shot, and remember our own Civil War. Democracies are inherently factious with different groups vying for power. James Madison understood this, to bad you don't.

seer
06-27-2017, 05:07 AM
What point? This one?
"Even today some of the most cohesive countries are religious - Muslim in fact. Democracies are much more messy with different factions at odds with each other. Much less cohesion. "

AFAICT your 'point' is that democracies lack social cohesion because they incorporate multiple political views, while Iran and Algeria have much better social cohesion despite periodically disintegrating in civil war and mass slaughter. So that's total bollocks.

Your other 'point' seems to be that democracies such as the UK and US, both of which have had uninterrupted government for well over a century, won't last as long as totalitarian regimes such as Cuba which has had its government overthrown half-a-dozen times over the same period. So that's also total bollocks.

The only point you're actually making is that you're either ignorant of history or willing to ignore events that don't fit your false views.

I never said that Cuba will last longer than the US, I said that Cuba has a cohesive society, and that there have been totalitarian empires that have lasted for centuries, way longer than the modern liberal societies of today have lasted thus far.

Roy
06-27-2017, 06:17 AM
Bollocks. A country that had its government overthrown 6 years ago, its opposition leader assassinated 4 years ago and was in a state of emergency 2 years ago is not relatively cohesive in comparison with western democracies.Again nonsense,It's not nonsense, it's factual data that you are ignoring in favour of the insane idea that civil rebellion is social cohesion.
do you need a list (again) of totalitarian empires that lasted for centuries?You haven't produced any such list. The few examples you did provide either haven't been around for centuries, or have histories of recurrent civil war and violent seizure of power.
And you only cherry picked a few of the Muslim countries I listed.I used the examples you provided. If they don't stand up to scrutiny, that's your problem. That you tried to defend them as valid examples even after they were shot down is your problem too.
Hell, look what is happening in the US right now, riots, Congressman and his aids shot, and remember our own Civil War.I remember that the US civil war was nearly two centuries ago, in comparison to the much more recent civil wars in the countries you claim are more cohesive.
Democracies are inherently factious with different groups vying for power. James Madison understood this, to bad you don't.I understand it. What I don't do, but you do, is pretend that military dictatorships are any less factious, or that totalitarian regimes haven't experienced civil unrest.

seer
06-27-2017, 07:47 AM
It's not nonsense, it's factual data that you are ignoring in favour of the insane idea that civil rebellion is social cohesion.

No idiot, there is social cohesion after such rebellions are put down. You know like after our Civil War.


You haven't produced any such list. The few examples you did provide either haven't been around for centuries, or have histories of recurrent civil war and violent seizure of power. I used the examples you provided. If they don't stand up to scrutiny, that's your problem.

More nonsense, many of these Empires lasted much longer than the modern liberal states of today so far.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_empires

Roy
06-27-2017, 09:22 AM
No idiot, there is social cohesion after such rebellions are put down. You know like after our Civil War.Oh, so now you want to include racial segregation, voter intimidation and fraud, institutionalised discrimination/racism and anti-miscegenation in 'social cohesion'.

At this point, your idea of 'social cohesion' is effectively meaningless since you've used it to cover everything from apartheid to usurpation to armed rebellion, and any claim you make about social cohesiveness can be ignored.


More nonsense, many of these Empires lasted much longer than the modern liberal states of today so far.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_empiresWhich ones were totalitarian and socially cohesive throughout their existence?


I never said that Cuba will last longer than the US, You implied it, since the US is a democracy and Cuba is totalitarian: "Democracies, as practiced today, are fairly new - they may not survive into the future. We know that Totalitarian systems did work in history, for very long periods of times."

seer
06-27-2017, 09:39 AM
Oh, so now you want to include racial segregation, voter intimidation and fraud, institutionalised discrimination/racism and anti-miscegenation in 'social cohesion'.

At this point, your idea of 'social cohesion' is effectively meaningless since you've used it to cover everything from apartheid to usurpation to armed rebellion.

Well no, since these upheavals are usually short lived, some lead to change, but others, like in China just lead to different totalitarian regimes. The fact is Roy for most of human history most people have lived under such totalitarian rule and humanity survived and even thrived and cohesion was maintained - certainly maintained enough for survival, even growth.


Which ones were totalitarian and socially cohesive throughout there existence?


Homer, I did not say that they were necessarily cohesive throughout their existence, democracies are often in upheaval, like ours as been for a good part of our history. The very problem with factions that Madison warned about.


You implied it, since the US is a democracy and Cuba is totalitarian: "Democracies, as practiced today, are fairly new - they may not survive into the future. We know that Totalitarian systems did work in history, for very long periods of times."

I implied nothing, concerning Cuba lasting longer than the US, you are fibbing. I never even hinted that all totalitarian governments would last longer than all Democratic governments.

Tassman
06-27-2017, 10:08 PM
1) not sure if tolerance is an "important" element for social cohesion (but it is necessary to varying degrees)---a set of common "values" are far more important ?....its because tolerance is not that important, totalitarian societies can have social cohesion....in fact, intolerance (such as making up an enemy or enforcing class/cast/race structures) can enhance social cohesion of the group.

True, but not in a good way! And to avoid the dangers you mention “tolerance” (within certain guidelines) is all important.


2) There are elements of exclusion in all identity-constructs (otherwise they would not work as identity-constructs)---even non-theistic ones such as a nation-state excludes others---for example, the French have long excluded certain groups of Frenchmen from being fully "French"...etc. Americans have a history of viewing any new group of "Americans" with suspicion and mistrust---and some of the old groups such as African Americans are always the "other" in a system built on structural inequality....(which, right or wrong, is still a value)

A “system built on structural inequality” may still be a value, but it’s unacceptable in a modern multicultural society, which is why we now have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All the more important in that we now live in a global village, as opposed to separate states.


...So within a greater identity-construct, there can be hierarchies (of privilege and exclusion) which become value structures of a society. These values (right and/or wrong) hold the paradigm---or the "civilization"/culture. This is the "soft-power" and one measure of power of a culture/civilization can be if it attracts others to give assent to its "values"/ways. 2 methods of attracting assent is through force or by persuasion---either one of these, if very successful, can lead to self destruction. A mono-culture can lead to stagnation which will lead to self-destruction (without dynamism and change---any paradigm/value structure will lose its relevancy) and a forced conversion will lead to rebellion....?.....

...the ideal situation would be to have diversity of cultures/value structures that create an environment of constructive competition....?......but diversity will inevitably create tensions---which is a necessary side-effect---the trick is not to avoid/ignore or try to force "toleration" of such tensions----but to engage with them constructively.....tensions caused by differences can be an important tool for positive change in some instances?

I agree with all the above with the caveat that the dangers of "tensions", which you rightly outline, will require the "tolerance" which you seem a little ambivalent about.

Tassman
06-27-2017, 10:20 PM
Well no, since these upheavals are usually short lived, some lead to change, but others, like in China just lead to different totalitarian regimes. The fact is Roy for most of human history most people have lived under such totalitarian rule and humanity survived and even thrived and cohesion was maintained - certainly maintained enough for survival, even growth.



Homer, I did not say that they were necessarily cohesive throughout their existence, democracies are often in upheaval, like ours as been for a good part of our history. The very problem with factions that Madison warned about.



I implied nothing, concerning Cuba lasting longer than the US, you are fibbing. I never even hinted that all totalitarian governments would last longer than all Democratic governments.

Sigh!

Regardless of the best form of maintaining social cohesion, the undeniable fact is that as social animals cohesion must be maintained in some form or other otherwise our survival as a species is at risk.

Our evolution was a process of survival via selection and gene propagation. And our morality (which is what this topic is all about) is an extension of (and supported by) evolutionary theory and exists to enable our survival via group living...whether in a totalitarian environment or a democratic one. Although, I think we'd all agree that the latter makes for more pleasant living for the majority.

Tassman
06-27-2017, 10:27 PM
No, the fact that totalitarianism does work. It controls the general population. Yes the that often involves destroying opposition, but that brings cohesion.

It may well work but it's inherent violence in enforcing conformity often results in rebellion and uprisings. In any case, democratic systems are fairer for the majority and consequently more likely to remain stable.

seer
06-28-2017, 05:01 AM
It may well work but it's inherent violence in enforcing conformity often results in rebellion and uprisings. In any case, democratic systems are fairer for the majority and consequently more likely to remain stable.

Really? Have you see the leftists in my country lately! They shoot congressmen. The whole point of this discussion Tass is that if social cohesion is the goal, it can be reached in a number of ways - and no way is more or less moral than any other way.

Roy
06-28-2017, 05:56 AM
Well no, since these upheavals are usually short lived, some lead to change, but others, like in China just lead to different totalitarian regimes.You have now managed to completely reverse your premises from
1. The Chinese populace did not rise up against the government*
to
2. The Chinese populace did rise up against the government
without making the slightest change to your 'conclusion'.

Ergo, your views about social cohesion in totalitarian regimes are not based on fact, but are merely an assumed opinion that is maintained independently of reality, and can be rejected as being unfounded.



*"Because the majority will always rise up against the injustice of the immoral few."
"We that is just silly Jim, first that doesn't always happen - look at Cuba, China,..."

seer
06-28-2017, 06:10 AM
You have now managed to completely reverse your premises from
1. The Chinese populace did not rise up against the government*
to
2. The Chinese populace did rise up against the government
without making the slightest change to your 'conclusion'.

Roy, where did I say that the the Chinese populace did not rise against the government - ever? Or are you fibbing again? And in the case of China, over history, it was just one totalitarian regime replacing another totalitarian regime.


Ergo, your views about social cohesion in totalitarian regimes are not based on fact, but are merely an assumed opinion that is maintained independently of reality, and can be rejected as being unfounded.


*"Because the majority will always rise up against the injustice of the immoral few."
"We that is just silly Jim, first that doesn't always happen - look at Cuba, China,..."

Nonsense Roy, where is the majority rising up against the Governments of Cuba, China or North Korea today?

Roy
06-28-2017, 07:06 AM
Roy, where did I say that the the Chinese populace did not rise against the government - ever?It's implied by the text I quoted. I'm not going to waste tim equoting it again.
Nonsense Roy, where is the majority rising up against the Governments of Cuba, China or North Korea today?Today? No-one has said that uprisings happen continuously. That's a ridiculous caricature.

If the best you can come up with is that totalitarian regimes are social cohesive because there isn't a revolution happening today, then your arguments have become so diluted and divorced from your original claims that they aren't worth responding to.

If you feel up to trying to support your claim that majority have not and will not rise up in Cuba and China, then do so. Otherwise your claims are an assumed opinion that is maintained independently of reality, and can be rejected as being unfounded.

P.S. If you accuse me of fibbing again I'll report your post.

seer
06-28-2017, 07:31 AM
In the text I quoted. I'm not going to waste tim equoting it again.

Are you being an idiot on purpose Roy, this is what you quoted:


Jim said: *"Because the majority will always rise up against the injustice of the immoral few."

I said: "Well that is just silly Jim, first that doesn't always happen - look at Cuba, China,..."


The majority doesn't always rise up. China, Cuba, North Korea have been relatively stable since their Communist Revolutions.



Today? No-one has said that uprisings happen continuously. That's a ridiculous caricature.

If the best you can come up with is that totalitarian regimes are social cohesive because there isn't a revolution happening today, then your arguments have become so diluted and divorced from your original claims that they aren't worth responding to.



Nonsense, like I said upheavals are generally short lived, and just as often as not it is one totalitarian regime replacing another - so it is still totalitarian governments that rule.


If you feel up to trying to support your claim that majority have not and will not rise up in Cuba and China, then do so. Otherwise your claims are an assumed opinion that is maintained independently of reality, and can be rejected as being unfounded.

P.S. If you accuse me of fibbing again I'll report your post.

No Roy, I have history on my side - most of humanity, for most of our history have lived under some form of totalitarian rule and we thrived and survived and remained relatively cohesive. And if you stop fibbing about me I will stop accusing you.

Roy
06-28-2017, 07:48 AM
Are you being an idiot on purpose Roy, this is what you quoted:



The majority doesn't always rise up. China, Cuba, North Korea have been relatively stable since their Communist Revolutions.No, I'm not being an idiot - you are. You are arguing that the majority doesn't always rise up because the Chinese and Cubans haven't risen up since they last rose up. That's pathetic.


Nonsense Roy, where is the majority rising up against the Governments of Cuba, China or North Korea today? Today? No-one has said that uprisings happen continuously. That's a ridiculous caricature.

If the best you can come up with is that totalitarian regimes are social cohesive because there isn't a revolution happening today, then your arguments have become so diluted and divorced from your original claims that they aren't worth responding to. Nonsense, like I said upheavals are generally short lived,Bovine faeces. You asked about uprisings today, and that was what I was responding to. Don't think you can avoid responsibility for one of your claims by repeating a different one, especially when that other one is also complete bollocks - the last Chinese revolution spanned decades.
And if you stop fibbing about me I will stop accusing you.Post reported. Conversation over.

seer
06-28-2017, 08:10 AM
No, I'm not being an idiot - you are. You are arguing that the majority doesn't always rise up because the Chinese and Cubans haven't risen up since they last rose up. That's pathetic.

I was originally responding to Jim who said that the majority "always" rises up, that is false. And it is just as often the case that it is one elite group overthrowing another elite group with the majority having little or no input in the matter



Bovine faeces. You asked about uprisings today, and that was what I was responding to. Don't think you can avoid responsibility for one of your claims by repeating a different one, especially when that other one is also complete bollocks - the last Chinese revolution spanned decades.

I have to idea what you are babbling about now...


Post reported. Conversation over.

baby...

siam
06-28-2017, 08:08 PM
True, but not in a good way! And to avoid the dangers you mention “tolerance” (within certain guidelines) is all important.



A “system built on structural inequality” may still be a value, but it’s unacceptable in a modern multicultural society, which is why we now have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All the more important in that we now live in a global village, as opposed to separate states.



I agree with all the above with the caveat that the dangers of "tensions", which you rightly outline, will require the "tolerance" which you seem a little ambivalent about.

ambivalence of tolerance---You might be right about that!. There have been conversations in interfaith dialogue about the inadequacy of "Tolerance" when such tolerance becomes a homogenizing factor. Tolerance often requires "commonalities" between groups but too much emphasis on the common can erase differences which are crucial to identity-constructs. Multiculturalism in a secular context can also have this flaw---there is an assumption, often incorrect, that secular values are "universal" therefore a common factor that can promote tolerance.....?.....Perhaps reciprocal respect (or humanizing the "other"/human dignity) may be a broader category than tolerance?. Therefore, those whose "values" may be different or even opposed to "ours" in some aspects should be given human dignity/respect, regardless of the difference....?....(which is probably more difficult to do than merely tolerate)
Tolerance may have been fine in nation-states that had a common heritage to begin with---but in a globalized world ---perhaps we need to do better than tolerate? we need to respect differences?....One might say that the rise in angry "fundamentalists" in almost all societies could be a push-back against the homogenizing effects of this type of "tolerance"?

Modern societies---there are at least 2 ways that structural inequalities are built into Modern societies both communist and secular---One is by eliminating (communism) or privatizing (secular) "other" value systems in order to enforce a "universal" value system (---which are determined by those in power, and (unequally) enforced onto those with less power) within a territory/nation-state. And the second is in the production and accumulation of wealth---and in both systems, communist or capitalist, a few have and most have not. The non-communist system affords more freedom so built-in structural inequalities are a matter of degree....

Power inequalities are a necessary element of group dynamics...so this is not about good/bad because it is a reality. The trick is to manage (through values and systems) "real" group dynamics so that it enhances co-operation and sharing within the group and fosters reciprocal co-operation with other groups.(non-zero sum) Modern systems were "managed" based on territory---but globalization---which reduces identity with borders---is a much more complex "group" system and its dynamics of identity-constructs and structures will depend far more on non-territorial based paradigms......

UHDR---it is a good document---but again, we must get away from globalization that is based on homogenizing the world under some "universal" values.....?....
(I do think there are "universal" values because human nature has inherent commonalities---but, "Modernity" has shown us that its not enough, that identity (difference) is important for large complex groups to function effectively....)

Tassman
06-28-2017, 09:02 PM
ambivalence of tolerance---You might be right about that!. There have been conversations in interfaith dialogue about the inadequacy of "Tolerance" when such tolerance becomes a homogenizing factor. Tolerance often requires "commonalities" between groups but too much emphasis on the common can erase differences which are crucial to identity-constructs. Multiculturalism in a secular context can also have this flaw---there is an assumption, often incorrect, that secular values are "universal" therefore a common factor that can promote tolerance.....?.....Perhaps reciprocal respect (or humanizing the "other"/human dignity) may be a broader category than tolerance?. Therefore, those whose "values" may be different or even opposed to "ours" in some aspects should be given human dignity/respect, regardless of the difference....?....(which is probably more difficult to do than merely tolerate)
Tolerance may have been fine in nation-states that had a common heritage to begin with---but in a globalized world ---perhaps we need to do better than tolerate? we need to respect differences?....One might say that the rise in angry "fundamentalists" in almost all societies could be a push-back against the homogenizing effects of this type of "tolerance"?

Is it a “flaw” that societies become homogenised? They were homogenised in the tribal era. And now, in the era of the global village, the world has become one large "tribe"...or at least is in the process of becoming such. It is not beyond us to agree upon a set of common values which can unite us.


Modern societies---there are at least 2 ways that structural inequalities are built into Modern societies both communist and secular---One is by eliminating (communism) or privatizing (secular) "other" value systems in order to enforce a "universal" value system (---which are determined by those in power, and (unequally) enforced onto those with less power) within a territory/nation-state. And the second is in the production and accumulation of wealth---and in both systems, communist or capitalist, a few have and most have not. The non-communist system affords more freedom so built-in structural inequalities are a matter of degree....

Surely a universal value system can be determined at the ballot box as is the case with say, the Scandinavian countries, which are highly secular and maintain broad welfare net and universal benefits.


Power inequalities are a necessary element of group dynamics...so this is not about good/bad because it is a reality. The trick is to manage (through values and systems) "real" group dynamics so that it enhances co-operation and sharing within the group and fosters reciprocal co-operation with other groups.(non-zero sum) Modern systems were "managed" based on territory---but globalization---which reduces identity with borders---is a much more complex "group" system and its dynamics of identity-constructs and structures will depend far more on non-territorial based paradigms......

Fine! Providing that they are not based upon a totalitarian, ideological system either politically or religious.


UHDR---it is a good document---but again, we must get away from globalization that is based on homogenizing the world under some "universal" values.....?....
(I do think there are "universal" values because human nature has inherent commonalities---but, "Modernity" has shown us that its not enough, that identity (difference) is important for large complex groups to function effectively....)

But there are “universal values” and they are reflected in the UDHR.

Tassman
06-28-2017, 09:15 PM
Really? Have you see the leftists in my country lately! They shoot congressmen.

So are you arguing that a totalitarian society is preferable to a democracy such as in the USA?


The whole point of this discussion Tass is that if social cohesion is the goal,

It’s not a conscious goal as such. It’s a naturally evolved instinct which is common to all social animals, including the human animal.


it can be reached in a number of ways - and no way is more or less moral than any other way.

Yes, and some ways are preferable to other ways in that they advance the common good.

seer
06-29-2017, 04:28 AM
So are you arguing that a totalitarian society is preferable to a democracy such as in the USA?

No, I'm saying that Democracies can be inherently factious with different groups vying for power and advantage.


It’s not a conscious goal as such. It’s a naturally evolved instinct which is common to all social animals, including the human animal.


Well it certainly could be a conscious goal for us, since we are aware of the possibility.


Yes, and some ways are preferable to other ways in that they advance the common good.

Why says that the "common good" is the goal? Like with many higher primates the common good is secondary to the good of the Alphas. Of course we see that in human history too. As long as cohesion is maintained.

Tassman
06-29-2017, 10:12 PM
No, I'm saying that Democracies can be inherently factious with different groups vying for power and advantage.

Yes, so? These “factious groups” will still remain within the community nevertheless or move to another community, because humans have evolved as a social species and cannot survive alone.


Well it certainly could be a conscious goal for us, since we are aware of the possibility.

As can all instinctive behaviour e.g. nurturing our young


Who says that the "common good" is the goal? Like with many higher primates the common good is secondary to the good of the Alphas. Of course we see that in human history too. As long as cohesion is maintained.

Social cohesion will always be maintained one way or the other; it’s our evolved instinct as social animals. We cannot survive without it. But most would prefer it to be in a tolerant, accepting environment rather than a rigid totalitarian one.

siam
06-30-2017, 05:50 AM
1) Is it a “flaw” that societies become homogenised? They were homogenised in the tribal era. And now, in the era of the global village, the world has become one large "tribe"...or at least is in the process of becoming such. It is not beyond us to agree upon a set of common values which can unite us.

2) Surely a universal value system can be determined at the ballot box as is the case with say, the Scandinavian countries, which are highly secular and maintain broad welfare net and universal benefits.

3) Fine! Providing that they are not based upon a totalitarian, ideological system either politically or religious.

4) But there are “universal values” and they are reflected in the UDHR.

1) the flaws---any society that is not based upon characteristics of human nature will run into problems. Homogeneity (of thoughts/values/paradigms) stifles creativity/imagination and innovation. It also reduces the human capacity for compassion ---it takes a greater degree of compassion to like someone very different from us than someone similar to us. Even if conformity does not require violent enforcement, the use of soft power---such as dislike, prejudice against those who are different, or value/culture that strongly emphasizes conformity----will eventually self-destruct, if successful, because it will encourage the status quo, be averse to change and risk, and thus to stagnate. Some values need to adapt to changing environments and needs in order to remain relevant and dynamic.

2) Scandinavia---
https://www.quora.com/Does-the-cultural-homogeneity-of-places-like-Japan-and-Scandinavian-countries-work-for-or-against-them
It is easier to encourage homogeneity within "borders" (nation-states)...but group dynamics of social cohesion will need to creatively adapt to non-territorial paradigms in a global era...?

3) The leadership structure itself is irrelevant---either a single leader or a committee or 2 or more parties---whatever works for that cultural group within their historical trajectory....what will become necessary is to be able to co-operate within a global system/ecology of diverse groups that are all of equal/equivalent worth.
(Humanity might not survive a zero-sum trajectory in the long term---because without biological/genetic diversity, wont we simply become an "endangered" species and die out!.?)

sometimes leadership structures evolve as groups become larger and more complex---homeless phenomenon is interesting in studying evolving group dynamics....
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/22/hawaii-homeless-camps-puuhonua-safe-zones

4) Even if there are some inherent "universal" values because we are all humans after all, our historical trajectories, environments and world-views/paradigms are different and this will require that even if there is general agreement on some of the values themselves---how they are understood and their implementation will be different. Environments effect us as much as we effect the environment. It is easier to be kind and compassionate when there is abundance, it is more difficult when abundance is lacking....some Groups who have been traumatized may even replicate the structural violence/abuse onto others....and might even find ways to "justify" it.

Humanity needs to "progress" and adapt---for that we need to innovate and evolve---that requires an environment that promotes diversity---but diversity can cause tensions--to balance this tendency, we need to have values that promote reciprocity, human dignity, kindness and compassion.....?...that probably sums up my thoughts......

shunyadragon
06-30-2017, 07:46 PM
Humanity needs to "progress" and adapt---for that we need to innovate and evolve---that requires an environment that promotes diversity---but diversity can cause tensions--to balance this tendency, we need to have values that promote reciprocity, human dignity, kindness and compassion.....?...that probably sums up my thoughts......

This is where Islam fails, because by the evidence it no longer allows an environment that promotes an environment of diversity. In most Islamic countries diversity is not allowed, and to be a Baha'i is illegal and in in some punishable by death. This actually the problem of at least several minority faiths in Islamic countries. The numbers of Christians and Jews are decreasing in most Islamic countries for similar reasons.

The Baha'i Faith encourages this environment for diversity.

Tassman
06-30-2017, 08:47 PM
1) the flaws---any society that is not based upon characteristics of human nature will run into problems. Homogeneity (of thoughts/values/paradigms) stifles creativity/imagination and innovation. It also reduces the human capacity for compassion ---it takes a greater degree of compassion to like someone very different from us than someone similar to us. Even if conformity does not require violent enforcement, the use of soft power---such as dislike, prejudice against those who are different, or value/culture that strongly emphasizes conformity----will eventually self-destruct, if successful, because it will encourage the status quo, be averse to change and risk, and thus to stagnate. Some values need to adapt to changing environments and needs in order to remain relevant and dynamic.

2) Scandinavia---
https://www.quora.com/Does-the-cultural-homogeneity-of-places-like-Japan-and-Scandinavian-countries-work-for-or-against-them
It is easier to encourage homogeneity within "borders" (nation-states)...but group dynamics of social cohesion will need to creatively adapt to non-territorial paradigms in a global era...?

3) The leadership structure itself is irrelevant---either a single leader or a committee or 2 or more parties---whatever works for that cultural group within their historical trajectory....what will become necessary is to be able to co-operate within a global system/ecology of diverse groups that are all of equal/equivalent worth.
(Humanity might not survive a zero-sum trajectory in the long term---because without biological/genetic diversity, wont we simply become an "endangered" species and die out!.?)

sometimes leadership structures evolve as groups become larger and more complex---homeless phenomenon is interesting in studying evolving group dynamics....
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/22/hawaii-homeless-camps-puuhonua-safe-zones

4) Even if there are some inherent "universal" values because we are all humans after all, our historical trajectories, environments and world-views/paradigms are different and this will require that even if there is general agreement on some of the values themselves---how they are understood and their implementation will be different. Environments effect us as much as we effect the environment. It is easier to be kind and compassionate when there is abundance, it is more difficult when abundance is lacking....some Groups who have been traumatized may even replicate the structural violence/abuse onto others....and might even find ways to "justify" it.

Humanity needs to "progress" and adapt---for that we need to innovate and evolve---that requires an environment that promotes diversity---but diversity can cause tensions--to balance this tendency, we need to have values that promote reciprocity, human dignity, kindness and compassion.....?...that probably sums up my thoughts......

Thank you for the discussion. But you seem to be adjusting the facts to reach the conclusion that only your particular religion can promote the required "reciprocity, human dignity, kindness and compassion". The Christians do the same. Whereas, what’s required is facing up to the fact of multiculturalism and adopting universal values such as those found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

siam
07-01-2017, 08:31 PM
This is where Islam fails, because by the evidence it no longer allows an environment that promotes an environment of diversity. In most Islamic countries diversity is not allowed, and to be a Baha'i is illegal and in in some punishable by death. This actually the problem of at least several minority faiths in Islamic countries. The numbers of Christians and Jews are decreasing in most Islamic countries for similar reasons.

The Baha'i Faith encourages this environment for diversity.

"This is where Islam fails"---Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406 CE) has interesting theories on the rise and fall of "civilizations" (or rather, of large social groups). When we consider the old wisdom that "necessity is the mother of invention", then those societies/cultures which are too successful---will inevitably become homogenizing and thus stagnate. This is an interesting way to look at "Modernity" as well---it has been the most successful paradigm that replaced all previous paradigms....?....and so it has "failed" and now we see toxic religio-national "fundamentalism" springing up as push-back?

...But this type of zero-sum exclusivism cannot work in a globalized world....it will create too much chaos and human beings do not adapt to chaos well....we are "wired" to find connections, meanings, and balance...

Tassman
07-01-2017, 09:10 PM
"This is where Islam fails"---Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406 CE) has interesting theories on the rise and fall of "civilizations" (or rather, of large social groups). When we consider the old wisdom that "necessity is the mother of invention", then those societies/cultures which are too successful---will inevitably become homogenizing and thus stagnate. This is an interesting way to look at "Modernity" as well---it has been the most successful paradigm that replaced all previous paradigms....?....and so it has "failed" and now we see toxic religio-national "fundamentalism" springing up as push-back?

...But this type of zero-sum exclusivism cannot work in a globalized world....it will create too much chaos and human beings do not adapt to chaos well....we are "wired" to find connections, meanings, and balance...

I think the “push-back” comes from those who feel they have grievances, whether religion-based, race-based or economically based. And the solution surely, is for society to exercise greater inclusiveness, promote social justice and allocate a more equitable distribution of wealth.

siam
07-02-2017, 04:08 AM
I think the “push-back” comes from those who feel they have grievances, whether religion-based, race-based or economically based. And the solution surely, is for society to exercise greater inclusiveness, promote social justice and allocate a more equitable distribution of wealth.

Solution---Agree.
However, it is also a fact that both nation-states(borders) and religio-philosophies are undergoing changes because of globalization, Buddhists in the Far East and South East Asia are grappling with ethico-moral principles of justice, economics, medical ethics ...etc and Some Eastern philosophers are advocating for Neo-Humanist Confucianism as an alternative. For Muslims, the events after 9/11 have forced us to rethink/re-evaluate the spaces/identities we occupy in the world, especially in light of the exclusivist "Purists" strains of Islam....

In a changing environment--we all need to adapt and not all of us will want to stick with "Modernity"---we may want to find new identities and philosophies that better represent our aspirations and ethico-moral principles...?...Those of us who have successful traditions to look back to, can mine the wisdom of those traditions, others such as the more newer/emerging philosophies may need to work out the systems needed for complex group dynamics that can promote reciprocal, co-operative systems....

Rather than pre-supposing there is only one right way, why not allow for many different ways/systems so people can choose what is right for them?

Tassman
07-03-2017, 12:09 AM
Solution---Agree.
However, it is also a fact that both nation-states(borders) and religio-philosophies are undergoing changes because of globalization, Buddhists in the Far East and South East Asia are grappling with ethico-moral principles of justice, economics, medical ethics ...etc and Some Eastern philosophers are advocating for Neo-Humanist Confucianism as an alternative. For Muslims, the events after 9/11 have forced us to rethink/re-evaluate the spaces/identities we occupy in the world, especially in light of the exclusivist "Purists" strains of Islam....

Yes there will be problems; there have always been problems as society evolves. And the world is ever changing in the light of rapidly developing technologies and changing moral values. But surely it’s not beyond human capacity to devise a more inclusive, more equitable society which excludes destructive religious or ideological political extremism.


In a changing environment--we all need to adapt and not all of us will want to stick with "Modernity"---we may want to find new identities and philosophies that better represent our aspirations and ethico-moral principles...?...Those of us who have successful traditions to look back to, can mine the wisdom of those traditions, others such as the more newer/emerging philosophies may need to work out the systems needed for complex group dynamics that can promote reciprocal, co-operative systems....

Rather than pre-supposing there is only one right way, why not allow for many different ways/systems so people can choose what is right for them?

Sure, provided everyone is equally accepting of multiculturalism and equal rights for all citizens. The problem is that for many people one person's “right” is another person’s “wrong”...or “sin”.

siam
07-03-2017, 11:00 PM
1) Yes there will be problems; there have always been problems as society evolves. And the world is ever changing in the light of rapidly developing technologies and changing moral values. But surely it’s not beyond human capacity to devise a more inclusive, more equitable society which excludes destructive religious or ideological political extremism.

2)Sure, provided everyone is equally accepting of multiculturalism and equal rights for all citizens. The problem is that for many people one person's “right” is another person’s “wrong”...or “sin”.

1) In general I agree with you---One could say that because society evolves, there will be problems----in which case it is a good thing because otherwise it would mean there is no progress....
Yet....
Extreme inclusiveness that destroys identity will be unhelpful---and counter to the inherent human predisposition for names/labels. The characteristic that makes language comprehensible is the ability to exclude using names/labels, and descriptions/definitions. Our identities define us,(or rather we use identity to define us) and we construct meaning and purpose from such identity-constructs. The paradigms/meta-narratives (theistic or non-theistic) from which we construct particulars of meaning and purpose also give us our values and principles.
Identity-constructs require a degree of exclusivity---or else they are useless as identity-constructs. Group identity-constructs require degrees of creativity and innovation in order to remain vital---yet social cohesion requires that there be a degree of stability. Therefore, in order for large, complex groups to remain dynamic they need to have a creative, counter-culture movement within them. Abuse in this area can lead to extremism....?...its a side effect of adaptability that we/group needs to be vigilant against...?....that is why there need to be rules/laws for the group....?...

2)"everyone is equally accepting of multiculturalism"
---yes but whose "culture"? Multiculturism seems fine as long as the minority cultures "assimilate" to some degree to the majority culture?.
The problem is that for many people one person's “right” is another person’s “wrong”...or “sin”.
---Exactly. Even if we have some "universal" values such as killing is wrong---therefore abortion is wrong---the interpretation and implementation varies according to culture---In Japan, abortion can be performed upto 20 weeks under some (determined) circumstances....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Japan
Ireland has its own way of implementing the principles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland

Even if the ("universal") principles are straightfoward and clear---Human circumstances are rarely black and white---there are often competing concerns, tensions between rightholders, degrees of rightness, wrongness....etc...
Group "systems" will inevitably deal with these complexities in different ways.... Human social dynamics will progress but also regress depending on the environment and circumstances a group system finds itself in....Life/living on earth is not a multiple-choice questionnaire with only one right answer...Inevitably, one groups answer might be disapproved by another group, but that is the cost of the principle of human Dignity---to respect the values of the "other"....even if we may not hold to them ourselves....?....

"equal rights for all citizens."
---and this is a "problem". The exclusivity in the concept of nation-states curtails freedom of movement. A citizen is determined by "belonging to" a nation-state which is inherently territorial (attached to a particular geographic location). Identity is often derived from this attachment to territory...and those excluded are not "equal" (not citizens). But a more robust understanding of the principle of Human Dignity (Humanity of equivalent worth) would mean re-evaluating the concept of nation-state identity-constructs....?....particularly in light of human trafficking from climate change, globalization and economics....

https://www.ted.com/talks/noy_thrupkaew_human_trafficking_is_all_around_you_ this_is_how_it_works
https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_bales_how_to_combat_modern_slavery

siam
07-03-2017, 11:28 PM
For Muslims today, one tension between Human Dignity and competing value systems is about the question of homosexuality...
One Muslim scholar reflects on the issue by looking at how pre-modern Muslims grappled with these tensions....
https://media.ed.ac.uk/media/How+Intolerant+is+Islamic+LawF+Dr+Jonathan+A.+C.+B rown/1_7bknqn66

Tassman
07-05-2017, 03:36 AM
1) In general I agree with you---One could say that because society evolves, there will be problems----in which case it is a good thing because otherwise it would mean there is no progress....
Yet....
Extreme inclusiveness that destroys identity will be unhelpful---and counter to the inherent human predisposition for names/labels. The characteristic that makes language comprehensible is the ability to exclude using names/labels, and descriptions/definitions. Our identities define us,(or rather we use identity to define us) and we construct meaning and purpose from such identity-constructs. The paradigms/meta-narratives (theistic or non-theistic) from which we construct particulars of meaning and purpose also give us our values and principles.
Identity-constructs require a degree of exclusivity---or else they are useless as identity-constructs. Group identity-constructs require degrees of creativity and innovation in order to remain vital---yet social cohesion requires that there be a degree of stability. Therefore, in order for large, complex groups to remain dynamic they need to have a creative, counter-culture movement within them. Abuse in this area can lead to extremism....?...its a side effect of adaptability that we/group needs to be vigilant against...?....that is why there need to be rules/laws for the group....?...

I said it’s not beyond human capacity to develop an inclusive society, not “extreme inclusiveness”. I was explicitly opposed to extremism. I specifically included the necessity for an equitable society which excluded extremism of all kinds...especially in the religious or political arena. And while your keep emphasising the need for a “degree of exclusivity” this, in my view is secondary to maintaining social cohesion. The danger of “exclusivity” is that one group will see itself as superior to other groups, thus entitling it to override the other, and this is not acceptable.


2)"everyone is equally accepting of multiculturalism"
---yes but whose "culture"? Multiculturism seems fine as long as the minority cultures "assimilate" to some degree to the majority culture?.

Preferably integrate, rather than "assimilate"! And in doing so create a new encompassing culture...it’s the story of all immigrant societies such as in the USA or Australia where I come from.


The problem is that for many people one person's “right” is another person’s “wrong”...or “sin”.
---Exactly. Even if we have some "universal" values such as killing is wrong---therefore abortion is wrong---the interpretation and implementation varies according to culture---In Japan, abortion can be performed upto 20 weeks under some (determined) circumstances....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Japan
Ireland has its own way of implementing the principles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland

Even if the ("universal") principles are straightfoward and clear---Human circumstances are rarely black and white---there are often competing concerns, tensions between rightholders, degrees of rightness, wrongness....etc...
Group "systems" will inevitably deal with these complexities in different ways.... Human social dynamics will progress but also regress depending on the environment and circumstances a group system finds itself in....Life/living on earth is not a multiple-choice questionnaire with only one right answer...Inevitably, one groups answer might be disapproved by another group, but that is the cost of the principle of human Dignity---to respect the values of the "other"....even if we may not hold to them ourselves....?....

There’s always the base culture which is then modified as different circumstances arise.


"equal rights for all citizens."
---and this is a "problem". The exclusivity in the concept of nation-states curtails freedom of movement. A citizen is determined by "belonging to" a nation-state which is inherently territorial (attached to a particular geographic location). Identity is often derived from this attachment to territory...and those excluded are not "equal" (not citizens). But a more robust understanding of the principle of Human Dignity (Humanity of equivalent worth) would mean re-evaluating the concept of nation-state identity-constructs....?....particularly in light of human trafficking from climate change, globalization and economics....

https://www.ted.com/talks/noy_thrupkaew_human_trafficking_is_all_around_you_ this_is_how_it_works
https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_bales_how_to_combat_modern_slavery

I don’t see the granting of “equal rights for all citizens" as a problem. It’s the basis of the US Constitution for example and the grounding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These are good things.


For Muslims today, one tension between Human Dignity and competing value systems is about the question of homosexuality...
One Muslim scholar reflects on the issue by looking at how pre-modern Muslims grappled with these tensions....
https://media.ed.ac.uk/media/How+Intolerant+is+Islamic+LawF+Dr+Jonathan+A.+C.+B rown/1_7bknqn66

Looks interesting but I don't have time to view it all. Could you précis it for me? Thanks.

siam
07-05-2017, 09:43 AM
1) I said it’s not beyond human capacity to develop an inclusive society, not “extreme inclusiveness”. I was explicitly opposed to extremism. I specifically included the necessity for an equitable society which excluded extremism of all kinds...especially in the religious or political arena. And while your keep emphasising the need for a “degree of exclusivity” this, in my view is secondary to maintaining social cohesion. The danger of “exclusivity” is that one group will see itself as superior to other groups, thus entitling it to override the other, and this is not acceptable.

2) Preferably integrate, rather than "assimilate"! And in doing so create a new encompassing culture...it’s the story of all immigrant societies such as in the USA or Australia where I come from.

3) There’s always the base culture which is then modified as different circumstances arise.

4) I don’t see the granting of “equal rights for all citizens" as a problem. It’s the basis of the US Constitution for example and the grounding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These are good things.

5) Looks interesting but I don't have time to view it all. Could you précis it for me? Thanks.

1) Agree

2) Why? why not respect all (value) differences (within some parameters)?
We need to take another look at history?---the settlers of Australia and U.S. did not "integrate" to the culture of the peoples of the land---they forcibly imposed their "values" onto others!...?...Now...they want others to "integrate" to their values.....It is easier to say to others "integrate", when it is your own comfortable value system that others must adapt to....
(As a Muslim, my concern is also about Wahabism --- they want Muslims to conform to their version of "Pure" Islam. If I want pluralism within Islam, then I would be a hypocrite if I did not want it for my non-Muslim brothers too?)

Australia has made strides---it seems there is a reconciliation week? not sure what its about---but it acknowledges the cultures of the original Australian peoples...?...
http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/what-is-nrw/
Nevertheless, Public Holidays seem to be very "European"..?....
http://www.officeholidays.com/countries/australia/index.php

3) Yes---that is my point. In Muslim-majority countries/countries with a Muslim heritage---the base culture would be Muslim, in countries with a Christian or Buddhist heritage, that would be the "base culture". I don't have any problems with people integrating with the base culture/heritage. This system has worked fine in some instances. But, for now, it is attached to a country. In a global world, religio-philosophies (both theistic and non-theistic) offer identity-constructs that have the capacity to be global---because these are ideas, they are not attached to any specific geographic location. So while I agree that extremism can be a problem, religio-philosophies also have an interesting potential...at least its worth thinking on.....

4) citizens belong to a country---but who decided this invisible, arbitrary "border" belonged to them and not others? Does the Earth not belong to all humanity? I am reflecting on this question because of ISIS and the Middle East history (Sykes-Picot)---According to popular narrative, Europeans carved up the lands according to their "whims"...Then comes this crazy group claiming they are going to "unite" everyone into a "Caliphate"....
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-the-curse-of-sykes-picot-still-haunts-the-middle-east

Who has the right to decide/choose where they live, who they are, and to whom they belong?
Today the Buddhists of Burma are claiming their fellow brothers who are Muslim are not Burmese and do not belong (therefore have no rights)....so they are being killed....
In the U.S. there is systemic inequality that creates a "school-to-prison pipeline" that incarcerates large numbers of African-Americans or Peoples of Color---once this happens---it then becomes difficult to vote, get jobs....etc....
UDHR is based on the idea of nation-state---after all, it was conceived in an era where nation-states "gave" rights...(citizen). Perhaps we need to "progress" to the next step and accept the proposition that rights are not "given"---they are inherent by virtue of being human and so must be reciprocated by each individual towards another, and each group towards another?

5) According to "Islamic" values, there are some practices that are "not permitted". Dr Jonathan Brown discusses 2 practices of non-Muslims, under Islamic territories, that created moral dilemmas for (pre-Modern) Muslim Jurists
1) Zoroastrian (religious) practice of immediate family incest 2) Sati,(?) a Hindu (religious) practice where the widow commits suicide....
The first practice was rare so the dilemma was theoretical, the 2nd was actually practiced---(and Islam does not condone suicide). These practices were allowed to the followers of those religious communities on the basis that this pertained to their ethico-moral value system derived from their religious beliefs. Dr Brown then goes on to compare with Modern court decisions in the U.S. and Europe regarding various moral problems and how they were handled....

Tassman
07-07-2017, 03:37 AM
1) Agree

OK!


2) Why? why not respect all (value) differences (within some parameters)?
We need to take another look at history?---the settlers of Australia and U.S. did not "integrate" to the culture of the peoples of the land---they forcibly imposed their "values" onto others!...?...Now...they want others to "integrate" to their values.....It is easier to say to others "integrate", when it is your own comfortable value system that others must adapt to....
(As a Muslim, my concern is also about Wahabism --- they want Muslims to conform to their version of "Pure" Islam. If I want pluralism within Islam, then I would be a hypocrite if I did not want it for my non-Muslim brothers too?)

Australia has made strides---it seems there is a reconciliation week? not sure what its about---but it acknowledges the cultures of the original Australian peoples...?...
http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/what-is-nrw/
Nevertheless, Public Holidays seem to be very "European"..?....
http://www.officeholidays.com/countries/australia/index.php

Sadly what happened in Australia and the US etc dates from a different era. Australia officially apologised to its indigenous peoples recently in parliament. Plus some of their tribal lands have been restored to them. But it's too late to undo much of the damage.

The integration to which I was referring (in Australia) applies to the successive waves of immigrants from Greece, Italy and Vietnam and more recently Muslim countries. And similarly in the US and elsewhere! It’s to the mother culture people must integrate. I understand your concern re Wahabism. It would be the same if Christian Reconstructionism ever took hold in Western countries. But no forms of extremist ideology can be tolerated because they are inherently destructive.


3) Yes---that is my point. In Muslim-majority countries/countries with a Muslim heritage---the base culture would be Muslim, in countries with a Christian or Buddhist heritage, that would be the "base culture". I don't have any problems with people integrating with the base culture/heritage. This system has worked fine in some instances. But, for now, it is attached to a country. In a global world, religio-philosophies (both theistic and non-theistic) offer identity-constructs that have the capacity to be global---because these are ideas, they are not attached to any specific geographic location. So while I agree that extremism can be a problem, religio-philosophies also have an interesting potential...at least its worth thinking on.....

I don’t feel “religio-philosophies” should dominate cultures any more than atheist philosophies should...although they should all be permitted in multi-cultural societies but not to the extent that one overrides the others.


4) citizens belong to a country---but who decided this invisible, arbitrary "border" belonged to them and not others? Does the Earth not belong to all humanity? I am reflecting on this question because of ISIS and the Middle East history (Sykes-Picot)---According to popular narrative, Europeans carved up the lands according to their "whims"...Then comes this crazy group claiming they are going to "unite" everyone into a "Caliphate"....
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-the-curse-of-sykes-picot-still-haunts-the-middle-east

This is totalitarianism and this is never acceptable, or constructive, whether political or religious.


Who has the right to decide/choose where they live, who they are, and to whom they belong?
Today the Buddhists of Burma are claiming their fellow brothers who are Muslim are not Burmese and do not belong (therefore have no rights)....so they are being killed....
In the U.S. there is systemic inequality that creates a "school-to-prison pipeline" that incarcerates large numbers of African-Americans or Peoples of Color---once this happens---it then becomes difficult to vote, get jobs....etc....
UDHR is based on the idea of nation-state---after all, it was conceived in an era where nation-states "gave" rights...(citizen). Perhaps we need to "progress" to the next step and accept the proposition that rights are not "given"---they are inherent by virtue of being human and so must be reciprocated by each individual towards another, and each group towards another?

I totally agree about “systemic inequality”, but this brings us back to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn’t it?


5) According to "Islamic" values, there are some practices that are "not permitted". Dr Jonathan Brown discusses 2 practices of non-Muslims, under Islamic territories, that created moral dilemmas for (pre-Modern) Muslim Jurists
1) Zoroastrian (religious) practice of immediate family incest 2) Sati,(?) a Hindu (religious) practice where the widow commits suicide....
The first practice was rare so the dilemma was theoretical, the 2nd was actually practiced---(and Islam does not condone suicide). These practices were allowed to the followers of those religious communities on the basis that this pertained to their ethico-moral value system derived from their religious beliefs. Dr Brown then goes on to compare with Modern court decisions in the U.S. and Europe regarding various moral problems and how they were handled....

Surely the likes of Incest and sati – or polygamy among Mormons etc, etc, etc, cannot be tolerated in a modern society regardless of the imprimatur from any religion.

siam
07-07-2017, 04:46 AM
Surely the likes of Incest and sati – or polygamy among Mormons etc, etc, etc, cannot be tolerated in a modern society regardless of the imprimatur from any religion.
Yes---that is my point!!
As you noted in a previous post---
The problem is that for many people one person's “right” is another person’s “wrong”...or “sin”.
Modern Society is very "Wahabi"---it must remake everyone in its own image....
You mentioned previously about integrating to the "base culture"/ the heritage culture---but many of these heritage cultures do not come from a "Christian" heritage paradigm, consequently--their moral framework can be different....So you see---As a modern Australian---you have biases and having others integrate to YOUR standards appears right/correct to you---but may not to the one asked to do the integrating...Try putting yourself in someone else's shoes---what if you came from a culture where polygamy was morally wrong---but then you are asked to integrate to a culture that demands polygamy is right and moral...how would you handle it?

So you think ISIS is totalitarian?---then what of a "universal mono-culture"?...the demand that to be considered "civilized" one must adhere to only one set of ethico-moral standards---preferably determined by the powerful West? Would such a scenario be totalitarian too...or would it be ok because the moral standard is familiar and comfortable?

If religio-philosophies do not become dominant, then on what basis do we construct our group identities? particularly when "national" identity-constructs may become weaker (or even irrelevant) in a globalized world?
(I agree with you that identity-constructs should not override others--but co-exist in mutual respect)

...and...if we want human beings to reciprocate human dignity and mutual respect---they need to "own" these concepts---it cannot be some foreign idea imposed by some anonymous committee from somewhere. One needs to believe in these ideas in order to implement them---and this can only happen if these ideas are articulated from the bottom-up....from the groups themselves.....principles of human dignity, human rights as well as responsibilities, and reciprocal respect must be woven into the meta-narratives/paradigms of the identity-constructs in order for people to be enthusiastic about them....?....

shunyadragon
07-07-2017, 06:50 AM
"This is where Islam fails"---Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406 CE) has interesting theories on the rise and fall of "civilizations" (or rather, of large social groups). When we consider the old wisdom that "necessity is the mother of invention", then those societies/cultures which are too successful---will inevitably become homogenizing and thus stagnate. This is an interesting way to look at "Modernity" as well---it has been the most successful paradigm that replaced all previous paradigms....?....and so it has "failed" and now we see toxic religio-national "fundamentalism" springing up as push-back?

...But this type of zero-sum exclusivism cannot work in a globalized world....it will create too much chaos and human beings do not adapt to chaos well....we are "wired" to find connections, meanings, and balance...

Who may I ask is proposing a "zero-sum exclusivism"? What ever that is?!?!? Please explain.

You basically did not respond to the post and the problem of Islam in the modern world. Again . . .

This is where Islam fails, because by the evidence it no longer allows an environment that promotes an environment of diversity. In most Islamic countries diversity is not allowed, and to be a Baha'i is illegal and in in some punishable by death. This actually the problem of at least several minority faiths in Islamic countries. The numbers of Christians and Jews are decreasing in most Islamic countries for similar reasons.

The Baha'i Faith encourages this environment for diversity.

siam
07-07-2017, 07:46 PM
Who may I ask is proposing a "zero-sum exclusivism"? What ever that is?!?!? Please explain.

You basically did not respond to the post and the problem of Islam in the modern world. Again . . .

This is where Islam fails, because by the evidence it no longer allows an environment that promotes an environment of diversity. In most Islamic countries diversity is not allowed, and to be a Baha'i is illegal and in in some punishable by death. This actually the problem of at least several minority faiths in Islamic countries. The numbers of Christians and Jews are decreasing in most Islamic countries for similar reasons.

The Baha'i Faith encourages this environment for diversity.

Human endeavors will be imperfect...that is why we need creative solutions....
Bahai is a young faith and has not yet had a territory under its control like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other pre-Modern religio-philosophies.....If, in theory, Australia became a majority Bahai country---how would they deal with diversity---specifically, ethico-moral diversity?

With Atheism---we have examples of ex-communist countries and they suppressed all other rival claims...and France is somewhat similar.....they want everyone to conform to the "French way" in dress, speech, behavior, thoughts.....

Tassman
07-07-2017, 09:48 PM
Yes---that is my point!!
As you noted in a previous post---
The problem is that for many people one person's “right” is another person’s “wrong”...or “sin”.
Modern Society is very "Wahabi"---it must remake everyone in its own image....
You mentioned previously about integrating to the "base culture"/ the heritage culture---but many of these heritage cultures do not come from a "Christian" heritage paradigm, consequently--their moral framework can be different....So you see---As a modern Australian---you have biases and having others integrate to YOUR standards appears right/correct to you---but may not to the one asked to do the integrating...Try putting yourself in someone else's shoes---what if you came from a culture where polygamy was morally wrong---but then you are asked to integrate to a culture that demands polygamy is right and moral...how would you handle it?

Polygamy infringes on the equal rights of women and therefore unacceptable as far as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is concerned. Such things aside, modern secular society leaves room for all belief systems provided that none of them claims rights which are unacceptable to the others.


So you think ISIS is totalitarian?---then what of a "universal mono-culture"?...the demand that to be considered "civilized" one must adhere to only one set of ethico-moral standards---preferably determined by the powerful West? Would such a scenario be totalitarian too...or would it be ok because the moral standard is familiar and comfortable?

"Universal mono-culture" allows for all belief systems to exist, but none to dominate over the others...as we find in secular Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada and NZ etc. ISIS is totalitarianism, so was medieval Christianity so was fascism and Communism. All demand unacceptable conformity to their ideology.


If religio-philosophies do not become dominant, then on what basis do we construct our group identities? particularly when "national" identity-constructs may become weaker (or even irrelevant) in a globalized world?

Secular humanism is the way to go in a world dominated by conflicting religions, each of which hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive and cause conflicts...even wars.


(I agree with you that identity-constructs should not override others--but co-exist in mutual respect)

...and...if we want human beings to reciprocate human dignity and mutual respect---they need to "own" these concepts---it cannot be some foreign idea imposed by some anonymous committee from somewhere. One needs to believe in these ideas in order to implement them---and this can only happen if these ideas are articulated from the bottom-up....from the groups themselves.....principles of human dignity, human rights as well as responsibilities, and reciprocal respect must be woven into the meta-narratives/paradigms of the identity-constructs in order for people to be enthusiastic about them....?....

All these enlightened qualities, i.e. the “principles of human dignity, human rights as well as responsibilities, and reciprocal respect” etc are inculcated via our social acculturation when young.

siam
07-08-2017, 07:30 PM
1) Polygamy infringes on the equal rights of women and therefore unacceptable as far as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is concerned. Such things aside,
2)modern secular society leaves room for all belief systems provided that none of them claims rights which are unacceptable to the others.

3) "Universal mono-culture" allows for all belief systems to exist, but none to dominate over the others...as we find in secular Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada and NZ etc. ISIS is totalitarianism, so was medieval Christianity so was fascism and Communism. All demand unacceptable conformity to their ideology.

4)Secular humanism is the way to go in a world dominated by conflicting religions, each of which hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive and cause conflicts...even wars.

5 )All these enlightened qualities, i.e. the “principles of human dignity, human rights as well as responsibilities, and reciprocal respect” etc are inculcated via our social acculturation when young.

1) Polygyny would not reduce the right to choice of women if the practice depended on the assent/dissent of the wife. In some societies it is the first wife that looks for other wives for her husband....Nevertheless, women's choice is/should be a concern on this issue....
This (womens choice) was also an aspect of Sati debates amongst Muslim scholars...to allow Sati clearly is against the morality of Islam...to not allow it would infringe on the right of the woman to follow her religious code. So the judges came up with a compromise---they required that women first talk with a judge to ascertain they were not being coerced and that there were other options available---including financial assistance if she refused....as a last resort---the woman also had the option/choice to change her religion and not be bound by that code....

2)none claim rights unacceptable to others?---but it is Modern secular societies that advocate for homosexual marriage which could be considered a right "unacceptable" to others? In fact it was Modern secular societies that found it unacceptable for women to inherit, own property after marriage, conduct bussiness, keep their names upon marriage, the right to education (upto University level) etc...rights guaranteed to women in Islam---but not in the "Western laws" that replaced Sharia upon colonization....

3) Universal mono-culture may allow other ethico-moral systems to exist on the fringes---but itdominates all other systems---and its code is arbitrary and utilitarian---For example---the U.S. is enthusiastic about the "geneva convention" and torture when it comes to the treatment of its own "American" soldiers---but does not care a penny for laws, morality, or even decency and honor, when it come to treatment of enemy soldiers.

4) "Modernity" has not been really great at preventing wars---the Middle East is just one example---there is hardly any country left standing...before that there were wars in Korea, Vietnam, not to mention the various proxy wars...etc...we might as well retire that excuse from our conversation!....

5) Agree---education of the young is very important. Ethics/Morality should be taught---but also reciprocal respect for those who are "different"/ have different ethico-moral systems....?......otherwise how are we going to live together? religio-philosophies (theistic and non-theistic) are not going to go away.......

Tassman
07-08-2017, 09:01 PM
1) Polygyny would not reduce the right to choice of women if the practice depended on the assent/dissent of the wife. In some societies it is the first wife that looks for other wives for her husband....Nevertheless, women's choice is/should be a concern on this issue....
This (womens choice) was also an aspect of Sati debates amongst Muslim scholars...to allow Sati clearly is against the morality of Islam...to not allow it would infringe on the right of the woman to follow her religious code. So the judges came up with a compromise---they required that women first talk with a judge to ascertain they were not being coerced and that there were other options available---including financial assistance if she refused....as a last resort---the woman also had the option/choice to change her religion and not be bound by that code....

Polygamy infringes on the equal rights of a woman, because she does not have an equal right to choose a man or men...or another woman. As for Sati, the social expectations for the widow to throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre effectively force her to commit suicide. Again, an infringement of her equal rights!


2)none claim rights unacceptable to others?---but it is Modern secular societies that advocate for homosexual marriage which could be considered a right "unacceptable" to others? In fact it was Modern secular societies that found it unacceptable for women to inherit, own property after marriage, conduct bussiness, keep their names upon marriage, the right to education (upto University level) etc...rights guaranteed to women in Islam---but not in the "Western laws" that replaced Sharia upon colonization....

Woman seen as “chattels” of their husbands without equal rights dates back to the earliest times in all the Abrahamic religions. As for homosexual marriage it is their right to marry their person of choice and NOT the right of others to discriminate against them.


3) Universal mono-culture may allow other ethico-moral systems to exist on the fringes---but itdominates all other systems---and its code is arbitrary and utilitarian---For example---the U.S. is enthusiastic about the "geneva convention" and torture when it comes to the treatment of its own "American" soldiers---but does not care a penny for laws, morality, or even decency and honor, when it come to treatment of enemy soldiers.

I agree. But that is the fault of US hypocrisy, not the Geneva Convention.


4) "Modernity" has not been really great at preventing wars---the Middle East is just one example---there is hardly any country left standing...before that there were wars in Korea, Vietnam, not to mention the various proxy wars...etc...we might as well retire that excuse from our conversation!....

Nothing has been good at preventing wars, period. We are a fractious species. No wonder the advanced aliens keep away. :smile:


5) Agree---education of the young is very important. Ethics/Morality should be taught---but also reciprocal respect for those who are "different"/ have different ethico-moral systems....?......otherwise how are we going to live together? religio-philosophies (theistic and non-theistic) are not going to go away.......

Totally agree.

shunyadragon
07-10-2017, 06:52 AM
Human endeavors will be imperfect...that is why we need creative solutions....
Bahai is a young faith and has not yet had a territory under its control like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other pre-Modern religio-philosophies.....If, in theory, Australia became a majority Bahai country---how would they deal with diversity---specifically, ethico-moral diversity?

With Atheism---we have examples of ex-communist countries and they suppressed all other rival claims...and France is somewhat similar.....they want everyone to conform to the "French way" in dress, speech, behavior, thoughts.....

Baha'i spiritual laws deal directly and specifically with the questions of diversity of beliefs, and separation of religion and state. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do not.

Governments dominated by Judaism, Christianity and particularly Islam in recent history have actively suppressed and persecuted religious minorities, and that is the issue which you are dodging. Including Atheism does not change the picture,

Your challenge of 'being young' is not remotely relevant, because every religion began young. Do you believe Islam could not be considered a valid religion when it was 'young.'

We are not talking about imperfect human endeavors, and that is passing the buck. Spiritual leadership and guidance provided by the scripture, history and leadership in the religion is what is lacking in ancient religions including Islam. When almost all Islamic countries persecute, restrict, and marginalize religious minorities you need to address this up front and not dodge the issue. It is a fact that Christians and Jews are being driven out of most Islamic countries in recent history, and the Baha'i Faith is considered illegal in most Islamic countries, and punishable by death in many.

I endorse the concept of creative solutions, but this concept by the way is humanist without specific guidance from the scripture of the religion. As an up front principle we have 'The Independent investigation of Truth' in the Baha'i Faith

seer
07-10-2017, 10:02 AM
Baha'i spiritual laws deal directly and specifically with the questions of diversity of beliefs, and separation of religion and state. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do not.

Governments dominated by Judaism, Christianity and particularly Islam in recent history have actively suppressed and persecuted religious minorities, and that is the issue which you are dodging. Including Atheism does not change the picture,

Your challenge of 'being young' is not remotely relevant, because every religion began young. Do you believe Islam could not be considered a valid religion when it was 'young.'


The thing is that the Baha'i faith never had the power to oppress, there was never a Baha'i nation, nor was there ever a nation that was largely Baha'i - so they never had the kind of influence necessary to really oppress a minority. Never mind the fact that there is nothing in the teachings of the New Testament in general or the teachings of Christ or His example that would justify oppressing anyone. But men are wicked, they will use any doctrine or excuse for advantage and control. And Baha'i followers are just as wicked as any other group of men, they only have lacked the opportunity.

siam
07-10-2017, 08:20 PM
1) Polygamy infringes on the equal rights of a woman, because she does not have an equal right to choose a man or men...or another woman. As for Sati, the social expectations for the widow to throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre effectively force her to commit suicide. Again, an infringement of her equal rights!
Woman seen as “chattels” of their husbands without equal rights dates back to the earliest times in all the Abrahamic religions. As for homosexual marriage it is their right to marry their person of choice and NOT the right of others to discriminate against them.



2) I agree. But that is the fault of US hypocrisy, not the Geneva Convention.
Nothing has been good at preventing wars, period. We are a fractious species. No wonder the advanced aliens keep away. :smile:
Totally agree.

1) --So you are like the French---unless the woman plays by "our" rules she is "oppressed" (or not in her right mind...or whatever) Even if a woman claims she is wearing hijab without coercion and of her own free-will---the French insist she is "oppressed" simply because she refuses to follow their rules!!!
Abrahamic religion and mysogyny---perhaps we need to re-examine? All history is biased--so it is always better to see various sides of the issue? Of the Abrahamic religions, (Roman) Christianity may have been misogynistic (relatively)---not because of Christianity---but because of the Greco-Roman (pagan) culture of its heritage. (...the pagan Visigoths were far more gender egalitarian---relatively...as was ancient Egyptian)
ex---In Judaism, it is the women's heritage that determines the status of the child, Women were considered Prophets etc.....
http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm

(Personally, I think an exclusive focus on women's rights erases issues of non-gendered power differentials and its effects on the weak of society...it is better to focus on non-gendered human rights and responsibilities--because some men are also at a disadvantage....This is also a criticism leveled at Western Feminism by some Muslim women advocating for rights....In Islam, Men and Women are inherently equal---therefore oppression is not exclusive to women alone but can effect all genders....)

2) Agree

siam
07-10-2017, 08:52 PM
1) Baha'i spiritual laws deal directly and specifically with the questions of diversity of beliefs, and separation of religion and state.

2) We are not talking about imperfect human endeavors, and that is passing the buck. Spiritual leadership and guidance provided by the scripture, history and leadership in the religion is what is lacking in ancient religions including Islam. When almost all Islamic countries persecute, restrict, and marginalize religious minorities you need to address this up front and not dodge the issue. It is a fact that Christians and Jews are being driven out of most Islamic countries in recent history, and the Baha'i Faith is considered illegal in most Islamic countries, and punishable by death in many.

3) I endorse the concept of creative solutions, but this concept by the way is humanist without specific guidance from the scripture of the religion. As an up front principle we have 'The Independent investigation of Truth' in the Baha'i Faith

1)Separation of religion and state---Does this mean that Bahai do not have any ethico-moral principles regarding State torture and other such practices?...or declaration of war by the State, or issues of Justice, poverty and welfare, health, education...etc?........these are all civic issues and therefore "political" in nature....but a separation means that if the government decides a particular issue---the Bahai have no say in it ---unless they use NON-RELIGIOUS/SECULAR language to express their views....In other words----Bahai ethico-moral principles have no place whatsoever in such a society...?!....

2) Oppression---It is because of ISIS and the "Purists" that I am thinking of such issues---Exclusivism ---or what we Muslims refer to as "Takfirism" is a problem---particularly when this kind of zealotry gets bound up with territorial attachment/nationalism. That is why I am thinking about issues of Pluralism, Globalism and the ideologies of Nation-State and the patriotism is generates, as well as, governance and the various power structures involved in large complex group structures.
ISIS and the "Purists" are a Modern phenomenon (as are other such groups such as the 969 movement of Buddhism...etc)---a lack of/weak ethico-moral education might be one of many causes---if so, one must strengthen ethico-moral education through philosophies/religio-philosophies (one can't do it through science....) To do so will necessarily require that we take a deep and serious look at our ethcio-moral heritage and to live by it in sincerity and with integrity...
Much of the ideals of Modernity are not worth the paper they are written on because of our hypocrisy---and this hypocrisy comes about precisely because there is no accountability in our Modern paradigms....

3) Yes humanism---whether it is the Confucian based humanism or the Western Atheist based humanism---or other kinds---is a good endeavor....but if we are going to impose a humanist mono-culture on everyone on earth---why be a Bahai? of what use would any ethico-moral principles of Bahai be if they can never be implemented in the lives (lived reality) of those who are Bahai? They would simply remain as irrelevant good ideas....?....

siam
07-10-2017, 09:01 PM
The thing is that the Baha'i faith never had the power to oppress, there was never a Baha'i nation, nor was there ever a nation that was largely Baha'i - so they never had the kind of influence necessary to really oppress a minority. Never mind the fact that there is nothing in the teachings of the New Testament in general or the teachings of Christ or His example that would justify oppressing anyone. But men are wicked, they will use any doctrine or excuse for advantage and control. And Baha'i followers are just as wicked as any other group of men, they only have lacked the opportunity.

This is the problem I am pondering.....

If I understand the "Modern Project"...the claim was that since religion had been bad for humanity, the solution was to create a "neutral" (public) space that would balance out the various contentions of religions. Thus religion and its ethico-moral principles were "privatized"....
....this has not solved the problem---instead those who have been marginalized, have lost their identity-constructs and are now angry.....
It is no use to sweep this "problem" under the rug/to ignore it, because as we have seen with ISIS---anger is global too...it effects all of us....we need global identity-constructs that will clearly show us "the way"/s , that have clear ethcio-moral principles and ways of implementing them for that particular group-identity construct.....?.....

Tassman
07-10-2017, 10:19 PM
1) --So you are like the French---unless the woman plays by "our" rules she is "oppressed" (or not in her right mind...or whatever) Even if a woman claims she is wearing hijab without coercion and of her own free-will---the French insist she is "oppressed" simply because she refuses to follow their rules!!!

Well there’s the social pressure aspect from all sides, but my main objection is to the wearing of any form of religious identification by anyone, because of the proselytising implications. I also object to public religious monuments and public religious displays like Christians cribs. There's no place for such public displays in a secular society.


Abrahamic religion and mysogyny---perhaps we need to re-examine? All history is biased--so it is always better to see various sides of the issue? Of the Abrahamic religions, (Roman) Christianity may have been misogynistic (relatively)---not because of Christianity---but because of the Greco-Roman (pagan) culture of its heritage. (...the pagan Visigoths were far more gender egalitarian---relatively...as was ancient Egyptian)
ex---In Judaism, it is the women's heritage that determines the status of the child, Women were considered Prophets etc.....
http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm

You’re right of course. It was not the religion per se, but the adoption of the social values of the day, which were then incorporated into the religion. But they were ‘religionised’ nevertheless and laws were enacted and enforced with the understanding that they were religion-based.


(Personally, I think an exclusive focus on women's rights erases issues of non-gendered power differentials and its effects on the weak of society...it is better to focus on non-gendered human rights and responsibilities--because some men are also at a disadvantage....This is also a criticism leveled at Western Feminism by some Muslim women advocating for rights....In Islam, Men and Women are inherently equal---therefore oppression is not exclusive to women alone but can effect all genders....)


“Women's rights” as per LGBT rights or black rights are focused upon because, until relatively recently, these people were denied their full civil rights. It’s a question of redressing the balance.

shunyadragon
07-11-2017, 08:26 AM
The thing is that the Baha'i faith never had the power to oppress, there was never a Baha'i nation, nor was there ever a nation that was largely Baha'i - so they never had the kind of influence necessary to really oppress a minority. Never mind the fact that there is nothing in the teachings of the New Testament in general or the teachings of Christ or His example that would justify oppressing anyone. But men are wicked, they will use any doctrine or excuse for advantage and control. And Baha'i followers are just as wicked as any other group of men, they only have lacked the opportunity.

First, your neglecting the OT references the endorse violent solutions against non-believers, and basically Jesus and the New Testament references endorse the OT.

First, you need to take a more complete look at the New Testament, and how it may be interpreted. You can start with the Book of Revelation endorsing violent campaign against evil.

The parable of the unforgiving servant in chapter 18 Mathew clearly threatened extreme violence against one and the family that would not repent and believe.

The parable in Matthew 25 also advocated violence for the disobedient.

This is only the beginning . . .

It is clear and well known that When Christianity became Roman it indeed did oppress, and violently exterminated the opposition.

Claiming the Baha'i Faith is young or new is a classic selective dodge. When Christianity was young does that discount the validity of Christ and his teaching. Your also neglecting the teachings of the Baha'i Faith applied to these issues.

You need to address the teachings of the Baha'i Faith and not obfuscate an empty argument.

seer
07-11-2017, 09:49 AM
First, your neglecting the OT references the endorse violent solutions against non-believers, and basically Jesus and the New Testament references endorse the OT.

No Shuny, Christians are called to follow the teachings of Christ, not the Mosaic law, and your religion teaches that Moses was a Manifestation of God. And that the Torah was the "Book of God."

Verily, I now declare to you that Moses was the interlocutor of God and a most noteworthy prophet; that Moses revealed the fundamental law of God and founded the real ethical basis of the civilization and progress of humanity. What harm is there in this? Have I lost anything by saying this to you and believing it as a Bahá’í? On the contrary it benefits me, and His Holiness 279 Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Cause, confirms me, saying: “You have been fair and just in your judgment; you have impartially investigated the truth and arrived at a true conclusion; you have announced your belief in Moses a prophet of God and accepted the Torah the book of God.”

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BWF/bwf-17.html

So stop being your hypocritical self...



First, you need to take a more complete look at the New Testament, and how it may be interpreted. You can start with the Book of Revelation endorsing violent campaign against evil.


Show me where in Revelation where believers are called TO HARM anyone?


The parable of the unforgiving servant in chapter 18 Mathew clearly threatened extreme violence against one and the family that would not repent and believe.

The parable in Matthew 25 also advocated violence for the disobedient.

Show me here where believers are called TO HARM anyone. And you believe that Christ was a Manifestation of God - correct? So why don't you like the teaching of God?



It is clear and well known that When Christianity became Roman it indeed did oppress, and violently exterminated the opposition.


Yep, men can be wicked.


Claiming the Baha'i Faith is young or new is a classic selective dodge. When Christianity was young does that discount the validity of Christ and his teaching. Your also neglecting the teachings of the Baha'i Faith applied to these issues.

No I'm claiming that you have no power, and you are just as wicked, or not, as other men. You have not had the opportunity.



You need to address the teachings of the Baha'i Faith and not obfuscate an empty argument.

You mean like New Testament's teaching to love ones neighbor? To love ones enemies? To follow the Golden Rule? To help the poor?

shunyadragon
07-11-2017, 11:10 AM
No Shuny, Christians are called to follow the teachings of Christ, not the Mosaic law, . . .

Matthew

5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.




and your religion teaches that Moses was a Manifestation of God. And that the Torah was the "Book of God."

Verily, I now declare to you that Moses was the interlocutor of God and a most noteworthy prophet; that Moses revealed the fundamental law of God and founded the real ethical basis of the civilization and progress of humanity. What harm is there in this? Have I lost anything by saying this to you and believing it as a Bahá’í? On the contrary it benefits me, and His Holiness 279 Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Cause, confirms me, saying: “You have been fair and just in your judgment; you have impartially investigated the truth and arrived at a true conclusion; you have announced your belief in Moses a prophet of God and accepted the Torah the book of God.”

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BWF/bwf-17.html

True, but the references to violence against non-believers are not from Moses. He brought the commandments, but he is not the author of Genesis nor the the rest of the Pentateuch attributed to him.






Show me where in Revelation where believers are called TO HARM anyone?

Your taking a very naive view of the NT, Book of Revelation, and the parables are enough to advocate violence against non-believers




Show me here where believers are called TO HARM anyone. And you believe that Christ was a Manifestation of God - correct? So why don't you like the teaching of God?

I believe in Christ, but I believe the NT was added to and corrupted.

seer
07-11-2017, 11:58 AM
Matthew

5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

What is your point?



True, but the references to violence against non-believers are not from Moses. He brought the commandments, but he is not the author of Genesis nor the the rest of the Pentateuch attributed to him.


So you agree that the death penalty for things like homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, adultery, etc.. as found in the Torah were the Law of God - correct?




Your taking a very naive view of the NT, Book of Revelation, and the parables are enough to advocate violence against non-believers


Shuny, I know scripture way better than you - so I will ask again, where does Revelation call believers to HARM anyone? I will be waiting.


If you reflect upon the essential teachings of Jesus you will realize that they are the light of the world. Nobody can question their truth. They are the very source of life and the cause of happiness to the human race. The forms and superstitions which appeared and obscured the light did not affect the reality of Christ. For example, His Holiness Jesus Christ said: “Put up the sword into the sheath.” The meaning is that warfare is forbidden and abrogated; but consider the Christian wars which took place afterward. Christian hostility and inquisition spared not even the learned; he who proclaimed the revolution of the earth was imprisoned; he who announced the new astronomical system was persecuted as a heretic; scholars and scientists became objects of fanatical hatred and many were killed and tortured. How do these actions conform with the teachings of Jesus Christ and what relation do they bear to his own example? For Christ declared: “Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you that you may be sons of your Father which is in Heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and 251 the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” How can hatred, hostility and persecution be reconciled with Christ and His teachings?

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BWF/bwf-10.html.utf8?query=christ&action=highlight#gr5


So your own religion agrees with me!


I believe in Christ, but I believe the NT was added to and corrupted.

I see, so God could not preserve the teachings of Christ? Then why does your religion quote from the New Testament? From Christ and, Paul, etc..?

Charles
07-11-2017, 02:43 PM
What is your point?

I got shunyadragon's point, seer. I feel confident you will be able to get it too. Try again.

seer
07-11-2017, 05:34 PM
I got shunyadragon's point, seer. I feel confident you will be able to get it too. Try again.

Sorry, this is to involved to play tag with Shuny, but if someone wants more info they can go here: https://bible.org/article/mosaic-law-its-function-and-purpose-new-testament

siam
07-11-2017, 10:18 PM
Well there’s the social pressure aspect from all sides, but my main objection is to the wearing of any form of religious identification by anyone, because of the proselytising implications. I also object to public religious monuments and public religious displays like Christians cribs. There's no place for such public displays in a secular society.

“Women's rights” as per LGBT rights or black rights are focused upon because, until relatively recently, these people were denied their full civil rights. It’s a question of redressing the balance.

There is an interesting conflict of ideas between the first part and the second part above?---You want a homogenized society where everyone is the same---Yet, you divide people into problem groups---such as women, LGBT, Black...etc and rather than finding wholistic solutions, you want band-aid solutions for each divided group?

I think the inverse might work better?....

The celebration of positive diversity (as identity-constructs) that give (positive) meaning and purpose to large complex groups for the benefit of humanity is good...It increases our inherent human capacity for altruism, compassion, and mercy....and these characteristics play an important role in our bio-chemistry promoting (individual) happiness. It is easier to be kind to people who are "like us" than those who are different from us---but that is the reason we must promote difference---so that we can increase in civility and kindness.

When secular society has no place for positive diversity---it also decreases space for kindness and civility in our hearts and behavior towards the "other"...this then promotes "systems" that encourage exclusion and entitlements creating spaces for injustice and inequality.....?....


Humanity is creative---when we unite to solve problems---we hear each other and when we hear---we understand---then we can come up with the right solutions.
But when we divide and claim only "we" have the right answer then we fall into error because the problem was formulated incorrectly to begin with.....For example, Feminism claimed men were the problem because they were the oppressor and they called it "patriarchy".....completely ignoring the fact that there were plenty of men who were also oppressed---Blacks, the poor, the unempowered/disenfranchised....etc...
Oppression is not about gender---it is about power....or rather the abuse of power....that is why oppression is systemic. (If one individual is unjust to another it is discrimination/bigotry) Ignoring the systemic aspect of the abuse of power cannot generate wholistic solutions!! ----and systemic oppression effects many areas/groups of society....
Systemic oppression requires the State to be complicit in the oppression---because in the Modern system---it is the State that has power....
(...and this has also been the case throughout history that oppression has been systemic and connected with abuse of power)

Tassman
07-11-2017, 11:54 PM
There is an interesting conflict of ideas between the first part and the second part above?---You want a homogenized society where everyone is the same---Yet, you divide people into problem groups---such as women, LGBT, Black...etc and rather than finding wholistic solutions, you want band-aid solutions for each divided group?

Not quite. I want an integrated society (not an assimilated homogenised society) where people of different beliefs can live in harmony without imposing their beliefs on everyone else.


I think the inverse might work better?....

The celebration of positive diversity (as identity-constructs) that give (positive) meaning and purpose to large complex groups for the benefit of humanity is good...It increases our inherent human capacity for altruism, compassion, and mercy....and these characteristics play an important role in our bio-chemistry promoting (individual) happiness. It is easier to be kind to people who are "like us" than those who are different from us---but that is the reason we must promote difference---so that we can increase in civility and kindness.

When secular society has no place for positive diversity---it also decreases space for kindness and civility in our hearts and behavior towards the "other"...this then promotes "systems" that encourage exclusion and entitlements creating spaces for injustice and inequality.....?....

Good luck with that when one has a society composed of competing religious or ideological beliefs which are mutually exclusive. This is why the competing worldviews need be subordinated to the overall society with no public displays of religious or ideological differences.


Humanity is creative---when we unite to solve problems---we hear each other and when we hear---we understand---then we can come up with the right solutions.
But when we divide and claim only "we" have the right answer then we fall into error because the problem was formulated incorrectly to begin with.....For example, Feminism claimed men were the problem because they were the oppressor and they called it "patriarchy".....completely ignoring the fact that there were plenty of men who were also oppressed---Blacks, the poor, the unempowered/disenfranchised....etc...
Oppression is not about gender---it is about power....or rather the abuse of power....that is why oppression is systemic. (If one individual is unjust to another it is discrimination/bigotry) Ignoring the systemic aspect of the abuse of power cannot generate wholistic solutions!! ----and systemic oppression effects many areas/groups of society....
Systemic oppression requires the State to be complicit in the oppression---because in the Modern system---it is the State that has power....
(...and this has also been the case throughout history that oppression has been systemic and connected with abuse of power)

The solution is full civil rights for all citizens of all faiths and none, as spelt out in the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That way one will not have abuses and oppression among the various groups struggling for dominance.

Charles
07-12-2017, 01:58 AM
Sorry, this is to involved to play tag with Shuny, but if someone wants more info they can go here: https://bible.org/article/mosaic-law-its-function-and-purpose-new-testament

I just love the intro to the text you link to:


A great cause of confusion today concerns the place of the Mosaic law in the New Testament believer’s life. While this short study cannot begin to cover all the issues involved, it is my hope that it will shed some light and remove some of the confusion.

So, basically, it is rather unclear, which of course allows for different interpretations. Why would a God not want to make it perfectly clear and obvious what his point was? Now seer has to go for his personal and subjective interpretation.

Tassman
07-12-2017, 02:36 AM
I just love the intro to the text you link to:



So, basically, it is rather unclear, which of course allows for different interpretations. Why would a God not want to make it perfectly clear and obvious what his point was? Now seer has to go for his personal and subjective interpretation.

This is why seer’s argument that one must have a divine standard for morality to be real...as opposed to the relative standards of men...is nonsense. Ongoing subjective interpretation of “God’s Law” explains why it has changed so much over the centuries.

Charles
07-12-2017, 02:42 AM
This is why seer’s argument that one must have a divine standard for morality to be real...as opposed to the relative standards of men...is nonsense. Ongoing subjective interpretation of “God’s Law” explains why it has changed so much over the centuries.

Yes. There is a tendency among many to believe that relativism exists due to the lack of faith in a God or something divine. However, it is important to remember that you can find (so called) divine standards of morality pointing in every directory. So even among these theories relativism is as present as everywhere else.

Jim B.
07-12-2017, 12:00 PM
In current times and throughout history there has been a tendency among many to believe that a religious approach to ethics already included a foundation, a basis, on which to base moral judgments, while a non religious approach would somehow have to “come up with something” that could make it out for the divine revelations of right and wrong.

Unfortunately this line of reasoning has been and is very dominant and in some cases it seems even more dominant today than in many other periods in world history. However that makes it even easier to show why the approach that a religious approach to ethics carries justification within takes reconsidering. The most extreme interpretations of this approach is found among religious extremists who simply seem to find that as long as God says or commands something, there is no discussion whatsoever and no other considerations are appropriate.

Why one would think the difference exists
Confronted with such an approach one would often be struck by the “clearness”. These people always seem to know what to do and what not to do. While professors in philosophy will take us through complicated lines of reasoning and pointing to theories that all seem to come to a limit at some point, religiously based ethics provide clear guidelines (at least that is the claim) and instead of “muddy” lines of reasoning about a foundation, one can point to a God who’s line of reasoning is way beyond ours and who’s commands we cannot discuss or vote about for that matter.

As already noted the religious extremist confront us with the extreme version of this. They are probably beyond the reach of any line of reasoning. However, others with a lighter approach but in the same category will usually allow themselves to make statements like “how can I claim that there is nothing wrong with being homosexual, if the Bible says it is wrong?”, “how can I claim that the idea of eternal punishment in Hell is absurd, when God is the one who judges?” and so on…

The difference only exists between extremist and non-extremists
Having come this far, one would think there is a significant difference between the positions. However that is based on a simplified approach. The quite simple reason is that a believer must either be able to justify (at least to some extent) his claim that God is right in doing this or that or he must blindly follow. If he blindly follows, he is going for an extremist position in which we can only hope his reading does not convince him of way to many absurdities. If he starts to confront himself with the question as to why God’s commands are the right ones and why God is acting fairly when judging e.g. that babies who died at an early stage must go to Hell, he will find himself in a position in which he needs to establish a foundation on which to justify such lines of reasoning.

Leibniz’s points
A prominent Christian thinker, Leibniz, actually did point to some very interesting facts about this theme. Let’s hear the man himself:

"Furthermore, if you say - as Descartes did - that things are good not because they match up to objective standards of goodness, but only because God chose them, you will unthinkingly destroy all God’s love and all his glory. For why praise him for what he has done, if he would be equally praiseworthy for doing just the opposite?"

The point is quite obvious that if there is no objective good to be known prior to God’s choices, then there is absolutely no good to be known afterwards. The praise is completely blind, as Leibniz points out. It is a praise of whatever. This is the praise we find among extremists. It should not be the kind of praise we expect to find among reflecting religious people. Thus, the challenge of finding ethical foundation is equally shared by all those who reflect, religious or not.

Leibniz goes on to say that:

"And another point: it seems that any act of the will presupposes some reason for it - a reason that naturally precedes the act so that God’s choices must come from his reasons for them, which involve his knowledge of what would be good; so they can’t be the sources of the goodness of things. That is why I find it weird when Descartes says that the eternal truths of metaphysics and geometry, and therefore also the rules of goodness, justice, and perfection, are brought about by God’s will."

Now, Leibniz was a Christian and I do not intend to use his words to put religion in a worse situation. Actually I think he is pointing to something that all reflecting people can agree on. Leibniz also makes the statement that God could not create a world in which 2 + 3 = 6. His point is the same about ethics.

What we are looking for is that which cannot be different, which could not, no matter how the world was created, be different. That kind of moral truths. If they do not exist, religious and secular people are equally worse of. Religious belief is no “stairway to heaven” when it comes to this specific challenge. It is shared.

Sounds like you're describing divine command theory. I would guess that not that many theists subscribe to this theory. A more widely held theory is that God would be the embodiment or the instantiation of the good, that the good coincides with his nature as much as necessity does, not that God can will the good to be good, anymore than he can will himself to be.

Tassman
07-12-2017, 10:14 PM
Yes. There is a tendency among many to believe that relativism exists due to the lack of faith in a God or something divine. However, it is important to remember that you can find (so called) divine standards of morality pointing in every directory. So even among these theories relativism is as present as everywhere else.

Exactly. So a code of behaviour based on "divine revelation" or based upon cultural tradition will be equally relative, because social mores keep changing and will require reinterpretation in both instances.

Charles
07-13-2017, 01:00 AM
Exactly. So a code of behaviour based on "divine revelation" or based upon cultural tradition will be equally relative, because social mores keep changing and will require reinterpretation in both instances.

Yep. Equally as relative and then often more harmful because as soon as it becomes a part of a "divine revelation" people are very reluctant to change their ideas even if very good reason exists for doing so.

shunyadragon
07-13-2017, 06:58 PM
Yep. Equally as relative and then often more harmful because as soon as it becomes a part of a "divine revelation" people are very reluctant to change their ideas even if very good reason exists for doing so.

Yes, unfortunately by far the majority rarely do so.

Jim B.
07-15-2017, 11:52 AM
Yes. There is a tendency among many to believe that relativism exists due to the lack of faith in a God or something divine. However, it is important to remember that you can find (so called) divine standards of morality pointing in every directory. So even among these theories relativism is as present as everywhere else.

Forgive this "drive by" post, since I haven't read most of it. It's possible to believe in moral objectivism that has nothing to do with God. Man ahteist and agnostic moral philosophers believe in moral objectivism and many theists believe in determinism. There are good arguments against relativism and in favor of objectivism that don't rely on a belief in God.

Charles
07-15-2017, 05:33 PM
Forgive this "drive by" post, since I haven't read most of it. It's possible to believe in moral objectivism that has nothing to do with God. Man ahteist and agnostic moral philosophers believe in moral objectivism and many theists believe in determinism. There are good arguments against relativism and in favor of objectivism that don't rely on a belief in God.

I agree with you on that. That is what I have stated all along in this thread (which I believe you would take interest in reading). I don't see how the lines you refer to would contradict that. Have I expressed myself unclearly? At least now you know my position on this.

siam
07-16-2017, 07:24 PM
Exactly. So a code of behaviour based on "divine revelation" or based upon cultural tradition will be equally relative, because social mores keep changing and will require reinterpretation in both instances.



Yep. Equally as relative and then often more harmful because as soon as it becomes a part of a "divine revelation" people are very reluctant to change their ideas even if very good reason exists for doing so.

So if all ethical/moral principles/codes are relative---not universal---then whichever principle/code is used---it will need to be forcefully imposed on a large group of people who do not agree with it....Which then makes the nature of such a code/set of principles the same---that is they need to be forced to be accepted by people who do not give assent to them regardless of the label (religious/secular)used....

If ethical/moral codes are universal---not relative---then again---it does not matter what label is used as large groups of people around the world will give assent to them anyway, regardless of what label they are---"Christian" values will not differ greatly from "Hindu" values which will be similar to "Buddhist" values---etc....

In either case (universal/relative)---the difference will only be in the issuing authority---Secular values issued by State institution whereas non-secular values (theistic/non-theistic) issues by non-state institutions such as Sangha (Buddhism) Ulama (Islam), Church (Christianity), Rabbis (Judaism), and other such groupings of philosopher-scholars....

Reason is not a good excuse to change ethico-moral principles---it is a straight path to hypocrisy---for example, the U.S. declares that everyone is "equal" but when it comes to some of its territories neither the constitution nor the bill of rights applies---the "reason' being that these peoples are not "civilized" enough for American laws.....

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/obama-birthright-citizenship-racist-american-samoa-tuaua/

The decisions, known as the Insular Cases, date back to the early 20th century, when the US had just won the Spanish-American War and acquired Puerto Rico and the far-flung new territories of Guam and the Philippines. The US acquired American Samoa in two parts in 1900 and 1904 as part of its continued expansion. But American political leaders had a problem: They wanted the United States to become a colonial power, but they didn’t want to extend constitutional protections to the overwhelmingly nonwhite residents of the new territories. (As one of the friend-of-the-court brief in the current case notes, the Democratic Party’s official platform in 1900 argued that “the Filipinos cannot be citizens without endangering our civilization.”)

To solve that problem, the Supreme Court came up with a bizarre, racially minded solution. The court invented two categories of territory; the Constitution applied fully in “incorporated territories,” such as Arizona, which were settled mostly by white people and destined for statehood, while much of the Constitution did not apply in “unincorporated territories,” such as American Samoa, which were not considered candidates for statehood, largely because of their racial and ethnic makeup.

In fact--the U.S. and U.K. courts/judiciary systems are a laboratory of how "reason" is abused for the whims/convenience of the powerful.....

It is not that ethico-moral principles should change or remain static---what is important is that they remain consistent. For this, a paradigm/meta-narrative is required that spells out the nature, purpose and meaning of human beings and living here on earth. (Such a meta-narrative does not need to be theistic) only then can one develop consistency.....(to that meta-narrative/paradigm).

siam
07-16-2017, 07:33 PM
An-Na’im is a Muslim Scholar who is generally pro-Secular ethics/secularization yet he also recognizes the problems:-
......here he speaks of human rights---and some assumptions that come along with it....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MCkvt9y46o

shunyadragon
07-18-2017, 06:59 AM
So if all ethical/moral principles/codes are relative---not universal---then whichever principle/code is used---it will need to be forcefully imposed on a large group of people who do not agree with it....Which then makes the nature of such a code/set of principles the same---that is they need to be forced to be accepted by people who do not give assent to them regardless of the label (religious/secular)used....

First before we go any further I do not believe anyone proposes that all ethical/moral principles/codes are relative---not universal---, except maybe anarchist libertarians. This is absolutely NOT TRUE. Even humanist secular systems of morals and ethics have principles that are considered universal such as wrongful death and theft of another persons property. Even concepts of adultery are pretty much universal in all cultures Theist and secular. Before you argue further you need to come back to reality and realize this.

It is the nature of different cultures and religions over the history of humanity that ALL morals and ethics are not universal. This is an interesting point to begin with. For example: The scripture of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is ambiguous as to whether slavery in all cases is unethical and immoral, but in the Baha'i Faith all forms of slavery are forbidden by spiritual law.

shunyadragon
07-18-2017, 07:11 AM
Reason is not a good excuse to change ethico-moral principles---it is a straight path to hypocrisy---for example, the U.S. declares that everyone is "equal" but when it comes to some of its territories neither the constitution nor the bill of rights applies---the "reason' being that these peoples are not "civilized" enough for American laws.....

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/obama-birthright-citizenship-racist-american-samoa-tuaua/

The decisions, known as the Insular Cases, date back to the early 20th century, when the US had just won the Spanish-American War and acquired Puerto Rico and the far-flung new territories of Guam and the Philippines. The US acquired American Samoa in two parts in 1900 and 1904 as part of its continued expansion. But American political leaders had a problem: They wanted the United States to become a colonial power, but they didn’t want to extend constitutional protections to the overwhelmingly nonwhite residents of the new territories. (As one of the friend-of-the-court brief in the current case notes, the Democratic Party’s official platform in 1900 argued that “the Filipinos cannot be citizens without endangering our civilization.”)

To solve that problem, the Supreme Court came up with a bizarre, racially minded solution. The court invented two categories of territory; the Constitution applied fully in “incorporated territories,” such as Arizona, which were settled mostly by white people and destined for statehood, while much of the Constitution did not apply in “unincorporated territories,” such as American Samoa, which were not considered candidates for statehood, largely because of their racial and ethnic makeup.

In fact--the U.S. and U.K. courts/judiciary systems are a laboratory of how "reason" is abused for the whims/convenience of the powerful.....

It is not that ethico-moral principles should change or remain static---what is important is that they remain consistent. For this, a paradigm/meta-narrative is required that spells out the nature, purpose and meaning of human beings and living here on earth. (Such a meta-narrative does not need to be theistic) only then can one develop consistency.....(to that meta-narrative/paradigm).

Your description of the history of the American legal and constitutional system is highly biased and bogus as a three dollar bill.

Your seriously neglecting the enormous problems of the Islamic world that almost all Islamic countries severely restrict religious diversity, and most forbid the Baha'i Faith and in some to be a Baha'i is punishable by death. The minority religions and Judaism and Christianity are leaving Islamic countries for good reasons they are being driven out.

An honest less biased comparison of secular and religious systems of government would be appreciated. Your diatribe against secular governments is uncalled for when compared to Islam today.

Anomaly
08-03-2017, 09:01 AM
Coming in late and not sure the thread is still alive, but been reading here and wanted to share an idea aimed to these comments from post #25.

Seer:
God constitutes moral values through his perfect nature
Charles:
You have given no account as to why this is good.

I've been working on a hypothesis following Avicenna that truth is in the essence of things. [Bear with me, this is actually going somewhere pertinent to the op.] I broaden this to the notion that from a reductive point of view, essence contains value or one of two possible denominations--true or false. Following traditional Christian thinking, human choice has the power to fragmentally falsify what was originally a wholly true creation.

Presuppositions relevant to the discussion are:
1) All goods are derivatives of truth. Degrees of falsification produce degrees of good; perfect is an interchangeable term with wholly true. This works for moral and material things, i.e., the value of a bar of gold (in reference to the assigner(s) of gold's value) is relative to its impurities. Impurity is a falsification of the purity or truth of gold.
2) Truth has two aspects, descriptive (virtually inert) and prescriptive (forceful).
3) Descriptive truth in convergence with descriptive falsity produces a mild tension in intellectual apprehension, as in 2+3=6. Prescriptive truth and falsity create a more robust resistance. The moral sense is in effect our perception of fragmentally falsified truth in reference to an external standard, in this case absolute prescriptive truth. For example the willful torture of an innocent human being for pleasure is a falsification of the good of that person's mental and physical health. Health is a good we possess relative to our biological system's truth value; hence, the falsification of truth in the state of affairs in which the torture took place.
4) To say God is perfect or entirely good is simply to say He is wholly True. The Gen story of creation presents the proper standard, that all things conform to truth.

From within the model above Seer would be correct that moral value references the perfection (Truth) of God's nature. Why this is good is because we know intuitively and experientially that the true is in all ways and at all times better [in all those ways better can be construed] than the false.

An interesting feature of this idea is that because truth itself is the simple standard for all good, it's available to and can be seen to operate equally within theist and atheist minds; both either resist or unite with moral truths to the extent essence and cognitive functions are falsified. Disagreements are between persons in possession of various degrees of falsification relative to standards external to the conversation--moral discussions ebb and flow in degrees of variance with truth itself. My two cents worth anyway.

seer
08-03-2017, 09:12 AM
Coming in late and not sure the thread is still alive, but been reading here and wanted to share an idea aimed to these comments from post #25.

Seer:
Charles:

I've been working on a hypothesis following Avicenna that truth is in the essence of things. [Bear with me, this is actually going somewhere pertinent to the op.] I broaden this to the notion that from a reductive point of view, essence contains value or one of two possible denominations--true or false. Following traditional Christian thinking, human choice has the power to fragmentally falsify what was originally a wholly true creation.

Presuppositions relevant to the discussion are:
1) All goods are derivatives of truth. Degrees of falsification produce degrees of good; perfect is an interchangeable term with wholly true. This works for moral and material things, i.e., the value of a bar of gold (in reference to the assigner(s) of gold's value) is relative to its impurities. Impurity is a falsification of the purity or truth of gold.
2) Truth has two aspects, descriptive (virtually inert) and prescriptive (forceful).
3) Descriptive truth in convergence with descriptive falsity produces a mild tension in intellectual apprehension, as in 2+3=6. Prescriptive truth and falsity create a more robust resistance. The moral sense is in effect our perception of fragmentally falsified truth in reference to an external standard, in this case absolute prescriptive truth. For example the willful torture of an innocent human being for pleasure is a falsification of the good of that person's mental and physical health. Health is a good we possess relative to our biological system's truth value; hence, the falsification of truth in the state of affairs in which the torture took place.
4) To say God is perfect or entirely good is simply to say He is wholly True. The Gen story of creation presents the proper standard, that all things conform to truth.

From within the model above Seer would be correct that moral value references the perfection (Truth) of God's nature. Why this is good is because we know intuitively and experientially that the true is in all ways and at all times better [in all those ways better can be construed] than the false.

An interesting feature of this idea is that because truth itself is the simple standard for all good, it's available to and can be seen to operate equally within theist and atheist minds; both either resist or unite with moral truths to the extent essence and cognitive functions are falsified. Disagreements are between persons in possession of various degrees of falsification relative to standards external to the conversation--moral discussions ebb and flow in degrees of variance with truth itself. My two cents worth anyway.

That was interesting, though I may need to read it a couple of more times.

Charles
08-03-2017, 12:18 PM
From within the model above Seer would be correct that moral value references the perfection (Truth) of God's nature. Why this is good is because we know intuitively and experientially that the true is in all ways and at all times better [in all those ways better can be construed] than the false.

I may have missed some details, however, I don't feel too certain this makes much sence. You say "[...] we know intuitively and experientially that the true is in all ways and at all times better [in all those ways better can be construed] than the false." This sound something along the lines, though not identical, to Kant's statement that you can never lie. I guess both seer and I would agree that this is not the case. You can lie to a nazi if you are hiding jews in your basement. Telling him the truth would be a catastrophe in most cases (unless he decided he was actually doing something morally wrong).

If we don't know that God exists, then how do we know that moral value referenes the perfection (Truth) of God's nature? And how do we know that we know God's nature, when so many suggestions of God's nature are given, and the claim seems to be that there are no objective values without God by whom we can determine that God is good? I don't really see how this gets us anywhere beyond the problem I pointed to initially, but I may have missed something along the way, it was a rather complex and detailed presentation. Perhaps you will share some more words on this?

Anomaly
08-03-2017, 07:25 PM
I may have missed some details, however, I don't feel too certain this makes much sence. You say "[...] we know intuitively and experientially that the true is in all ways and at all times better [in all those ways better can be construed] than the false." This sound something along the lines, though not identical, to Kant's statement that you can never lie. I guess both seer and I would agree that this is not the case. You can lie to a nazi if you are hiding jews in your basement. Telling him the truth would be a catastrophe in most cases (unless he decided he was actually doing something morally wrong).
I understand it not making sense, this notion of value departs from orthodox thinking and is a bit awkward to wrap one’s head around in the beginning. Having worked on this idea for more than 20 years now I’ve suspected for some time that value and essence might be just one and the same thing, in which case things like properties and relations could be reduced to bundles or expressions of value(s), but this would be another discussion…

I agree that from a practical (i.e., utilitarian) point of view lying to save life seems meritorious. Not sure what Kant’s sense that we shouldn’t lie entails altogether, but from the hypothetical mechanism of value in essence, not lying is merely the ideal (striving for the perfection truth in thought and act) all fall short of. Seems to me we can be forgiven for lying under the kinds of situations noted above. We’re all fragmentally falsified agents participating in a similarly infected existence. We stuggle to meet the ideal in normal life circumstances, we could hardly be expected to perform perfectly in extreme situations.


If we don't know that God exists, then how do we know that moral value referenes the perfection (Truth) of God's nature?
I suspect not knowing God exists is rarely—maybe never—simply a naïve proposition by the time we reach adulthood. The more interesting question to me is, assuming God does exist and there exist sufficient evidences to warrant this belief, why do some who obtain these same evidences believe and others not? Of course if God does not exist, the question is reversed: why do some ignore evidences for the truth of nonexistence and believe in His existence? This enters an area about “value mechanics” (for lack of a better term) I find intriguing; it has theoretical ramifications in a variety of areas of the cognitive sciences, mostly regarding how value factors into the computational architecture of the brain and nervous system.


…how do we know that we know God's nature, when so many suggestions of God's nature are given, and the claim seems to be that there are no objective values without God by whom we can determine that God is good?

Assume God does exist. “A” believes this to be true. Since fragmentally falsified agents lack certitude in their beliefs, “A” maintains a subset of propositions as warrant for her belief in God.

“B” does not believe that God exists and maintains his own subset of propositions to support the case for unbelief. For me, a sufficient proof that “A” is correct and will likely, given that belief, also accept the revelatory goodness of God, is drawn from the proposal that goods derive from the true. To say God is good identifies an effect; truth is the cause and maker of good, thus God’s nature is in its purest form not merely good but true.

Because the scenario above holds that God does exist, we can know God’s nature by the fact that both A and B seek true propositions to support their respective beliefs about the existence of God. “A” seeks true propositions to support the truth that God exists, while B seeks true propositions to support the falsehood that God does not exist. The objective in all cases is to pull together and formulate truth connections to sustain belief.

The mechanics of value are pretty simple: because an agent’s moral beliefs are often inconsistent, many and variable, it seems reasonable to suppose that fragmental falsification can be mapped to an assortment of “areas” [to borrow language appropriate to spatiotemporal reality] of the soul—or content of essence or spirit or whatever term fits best—sufficient to produce these varieties of resistance or attraction to various prescriptive propositions. On the aforementioned value functions, “A” demonstrates a true-true union (e.g., the external truth “God exists” united with the internally formulated proposition “God exists”) while “B” accepts as true the false proposition “God does not exist” not in spite of its resistance to the external truth, but specifically because of it. “A” was—due to the appropriate sphere or region of essence/mind “cleansed” [made true]—free to unite with external prescriptive truth. “B”, not similarly truth-bearing in those areas, is not and resists the external truth.

This idea of value in essence directing us toward or away from absolute truth sounds deterministic, but I suspect there is in all agents a period (probably as young adults) during which attempts are made internally to overcome the resistance falsity imposes on reason to attempt proper correspondence of moral propositions. Eventually established falsehoods tend to beget more false beliefs as resistance to external truth mounts in intellectual operation. Yet in every instance of a false belief, its holder will inexorably search for true propositions to support those falsehoods.

I think the idea of God as Truth combined with supporting claims of His nature (good, derivatively) in Scripture are borne out by the fact that we support both the moral truths we believe as well as those we don’t believe only with what we accept as true propositions.

Anomaly
08-04-2017, 11:23 AM
Leibniz also makes the statement that God could not create a world in which 2 + 3 = 6. His point is the same about ethics.

What we are looking for is that which cannot be different, which could not, no matter how the world was created, be different. That kind of moral truths
Addendum to last post... I think truth itself meets the criteria of predominant value or qualitative state that could not be different in other worlds. I can't imagine a universe in which the false would have acceptable normative value or could be the quality beings would strive for. In his great little book On Truth Harry Frankfurt writes, "...notions of truth and of factuality are indispensable...for imbuing the exercise of rationality with meaningful substance. They are indispensable even for understanding the very concept of rationality itself. Without them, the concept would have no meaning, and rationality itself (whatever it might turn out to be, if anything, in such deprived conditions) would be of very little use."

This is a consideration of truth from just one perspective--its relationship to the rational--but it seems to me its indispensability can be extrapolated out seamlessly to the moral sphere too. Even if the Genesis account of creation is metaphor the symbolic structure of a wholly true [perfect] existence stained by fragmental falsity is, given truth's requisite necessity as our 'value of choice', to me a strong proof of God's hand in the book's inspiration. And similar connections are found throughout, strengthening its revelatory relation to God as Truth.

shunyadragon
08-06-2017, 04:38 AM
Coming in late and not sure the thread is still alive, but been reading here and wanted to share an idea aimed to these comments from post #25.

Seer:
Charles:

I've been working on a hypothesis following Avicenna that truth is in the essence of things. I broaden this to the notion that from a reductive point of view, essence contains value or one of two possible denominations--true or false. Following traditional Christian thinking, human choice has the power to fragmentally falsify what was originally a wholly true creation.

Presuppositions relevant to the discussion are:
1) All goods are derivatives of truth. Degrees of falsification produce degrees of good; perfect is an interchangeable term with wholly true. This works for moral and material things, i.e., the value of a bar of gold (in reference to the assigner(s) of gold's value) is relative to its impurities. Impurity is a falsification of the purity or truth of gold.
2) Truth has two aspects, descriptive (virtually inert) and prescriptive (forceful).
3) Descriptive truth in convergence with descriptive falsity produces a mild tension in intellectual apprehension, as in 2+3=6. Prescriptive truth and falsity create a more robust resistance. The moral sense is in effect our perception of fragmentally falsified truth in reference to an external standard, in this case absolute prescriptive truth. For example the willful torture of an innocent human being for pleasure is a falsification of the good of that person's mental and physical health. Health is a good we possess relative to our biological system's truth value; hence, the falsification of truth in the state of affairs in which the torture took place.
4) To say God is perfect or entirely good is simply to say He is wholly True. The Gen story of creation presents the proper standard, that all things conform to truth.

From within the model above Seer would be correct that moral value references the perfection (Truth) of God's nature. Why this is good is because we know intuitively and experientially that the true is in all ways and at all times better [in all those ways better can be construed] than the false.

An interesting feature of this idea is that because truth itself is the simple standard for all good, it's available to and can be seen to operate equally within theist and atheist minds; both either resist or unite with moral truths to the extent essence and cognitive functions are falsified. [B]Disagreements are between persons in possession of various degrees of falsification relative to standards external to the conversation--moral discussions ebb and flow in degrees of variance with truth itself. My two cents worth anyway.

Even though I believe the 'truth' exists from the perspective of God. this is a claim based on faith. The problem with this is it does not work for a 'simple standard' from the human perspective. The bold above demonstrates the problem of making a substantial argument from the perspective of any one of the many diverse religious beliefs. This also neglects that it is possible that morals and ethics can evolve naturally.

The bottom line is the claim of truth is too nebulous an argument to be convincing.

Anomaly
08-06-2017, 10:30 AM
Hello Shuynyadragon, thanks for responding.


this is a claim based on faith.

Yes, the view of truth I contend for is faith-based but it might also be true, and it seems to me appropriate to the discussion. I think this view of truth offers a reasonable and somewhat unique fit within several areas of value theory.


it does not work for a 'simple standard' from the human perspective. The bold above demonstrates the problem of making a substantial argument from the perspective of any one of the many diverse religious beliefs.
First, I disagree; I believe what you placed in bold, if you think it through, demonstrates pretty reasonably—by virtue of a shared reality in which truth is a primary component of essence—how both atheist and theist are able to share a common moral ground.

Second, it pretty much eliminates need for a “divine command” theory. I don’t see how the notion of truth qua truth as a universal standard for all humans, religious or not, to abide by is in itself controversial. God has no need to command rational agents in full possession of their faculties to attain to the one property [truth] no one can convincingly argue against as ineffectual, of no value or a waste of time to pursue. God doesn’t command morality, He exhorts falsified beings to withstand their resistance to that single, compelling attraction to the one thing we hate (Jn 3:19, etc.). From this perspective being conformed to truth isn’t a matter of will but of being cleansed (having falsity removed) from the soul sufficient to proceed in the only direction worth moving toward: absolute Truth. Morality is in this light merely a term that references degrees of prescriptive pressure (tension and resistance to truth) in intellectual operation. The more one is falsified, the more she resists truth and the more she incorporates falsehoods into her worldview to replace truths she doesn’t want to hear. This seems intuitively true from a psychological point of view too.

Third, the “problem” of using a faith-based view of truth is only problematic to those committed to a naturalistic explanation of value. When the simple mechanics of truth above are applied, this analysis goes beyond just a theory of truth to a reasonable (at least to theists) explanation of why atheists cling so stubbornly to a material-based worldview: there’s safety and comfort from the pressure morality places on the intellect if one can escape to a purely natural universe and design arguments using the mechanistic principles found therein. No ought from is; descriptive truth is inert. There, one can pretty much invent his own values without reprisal. Prescriptive truth brings pressure (truth; light) to bear on [theoretically and arguably] certain falsified locales within essence. The effect is like sunlight to the proverbial vampire.

Theists are not immune to this principle, of course. We Christians zealously bash one another over the head with truths (or “truths”) we’re sure the other guy is too fallen to grasp. I just pointed out the application as I see it played out on the broader theist vs. atheist plain.


This also neglects that it is possible that morals and ethics can evolve naturally.
It doesn’t really ‘neglect’, just offers what I consider a reasonable theistic explanation for mankind’s universal grasp of moral value via a particular view of truth. It’s why I believe this particular faith-based view of truth works to that end. Sure, I’m biased. But this hypothesis not only rings true with both the reality I find myself in and Biblical principles, it also is able to go some distance in explaining why the arguments of my atheist brethren (not to mention some of my own) fail.

To my thinking the concept of “value” requires at least one perceiving mental power. If, as some of my atheist brethren hold, value wasn’t born until humanity rose to the intellectual ability to assign it, does this mean it didn’t exist until then?

Charles
08-08-2017, 10:00 AM
Even though I believe the 'truth' exists from the perspective of God. this is a claim based on faith. The problem with this is it does not work for a 'simple standard' from the human perspective. The bold above demonstrates the problem of making a substantial argument from the perspective of any one of the many diverse religious beliefs. This also neglects that it is possible that morals and ethics can evolve naturally.

The bottom line is the claim of truth is too nebulous an argument to be convincing.

In very few words you say some very important things in this post. Though I find Anomaly's texts interesting and challenging I think these few words point to a very important truth about the entire aproach.

seer
08-08-2017, 10:55 AM
Though I find Anomaly's texts interesting and challenging I think these few words point to a very important truth about the entire aproach.

Then you would have to agree that there are no transcendent or universal moral truths to move towards or discover. Because if there are Anomaly's points would stand, even if we never fully discovered them or understood them.

Charles
08-08-2017, 12:29 PM
Then you would have to agree that there are no transcendent or universal moral truths to move towards or discover. Because if there are Anomaly's points would stand, even if we never fully discovered them or understood them.

I am not completely sure what your point is. Anomaly's claim is faith based. I do not think we should start out with a faith based aproach. That does not in and of itself rule out that we could find universal moral truths after having started not faith based. But, as I said, I may have missed your point, so correct me and write a few more lines if what you wanted to point to was something different.

seer
08-08-2017, 12:58 PM
I am not completely sure what your point is. Anomaly's claim is faith based. I do not think we should start out with a faith based aproach.

There is nothing else, even for you as we discussed.


That does not in and of itself rule out that we could find universal moral truths after having started not faith based. But, as I said, I may have missed your point, so correct me and write a few more lines if what you wanted to point to was something different.

Well Shuny's point was that moral beliefs were too diverse to come to any firm conclusions. You seemed to agree. My point is that epistemology is not ontology. That these moral truths could exist even if we were clueless. So diversity of ethical opinion does nothing to tell us about ontological realities.

Charles
08-08-2017, 01:34 PM
There is nothing else, even for you as we discussed.



Well Shuny's point was that moral beliefs were too diverse to come to any firm conclusions. You seemed to agree. My point is that epistemology is not ontology. That these moral truths could exist even if we were clueless. So diversity of ethical opinion does nothing to tell us about ontological realities.

Yes, we discussed that, and if as you know, I disagreed with you and wrote far more on my opinion than you did on yours. I have got far more than you have got and far more than you realise.

I agreed with Shuny's point that "The bottom line is the claim of truth is too nebulous an argument to be convincing." I find this to point to the weak part in Anomaly's reasoning.

Anomaly
08-08-2017, 07:06 PM
Anomaly's claim is faith based. I do not think we should start out with a faith based aproach.

I agreed with Shuny's point that "The bottom line is the claim of truth is too nebulous an argument to be convincing." I find this to point to the weak part in Anomaly's reasoning.
Well, is value mind-independent? I don't see how it could be, but I'm not a philosopher. But if it could be and the notion of value in essence turned out to be correct, value as we appear to apprehend it would seem to still be limited to true and false with true standing as the only obvious base for prescription--the false leads naturally to disunity, corruption of harmony and accord leading to chaos. With faith removed from the equation moral and ethical direction remains the same.

In this world it seems a large coincidence that value--having the inviolable character of a kind of scientific law or principle--as a feature of the natural world coincides so strongly with Biblical principles and those of other religions.

Tassman
08-08-2017, 09:17 PM
Then you would have to agree that there are no transcendent or universal moral truths to move towards or discover. Because if there are Anomaly's points would stand, even if we never fully discovered them or understood them.

It has nothing to do with “transcendent or universal moral truths”. We are simply naturally evolved biological organisms existing in an amoral material environment. The question of right and wrong arises due to the fact that we have to live among other human beings. And if we are to do so in a successful way, there are certain basic principles that must apply, if we are to expect them agree on a set of “rules of the game”.

siam
08-09-2017, 12:47 AM
Well, is value mind-independent? I don't see how it could be, but I'm not a philosopher. But if it could be and the notion of value in essence turned out to be correct, value as we appear to apprehend it would seem to still be limited to true and false with true standing as the only obvious base for prescription--the false leads naturally to disunity, corruption of harmony and accord leading to chaos. With faith removed from the equation moral and ethical direction remains the same.

In this world it seems a large coincidence that value--having the inviolable character of a kind of scientific law or principle--as a feature of the natural world coincides so strongly with Biblical principles and those of other religions.

Truth/falsehood(error)---I can agree that "Truth" can lead us to unity, harmony and peace and error to fragmentation, imbalance, and discord.....but....
In the Islamic context the primary framework (after Tawheed) on thinking of these ideas is in the context of weight/measure (Qadr = measure/destiny)..therefore "value" of an essence has degrees depending on relationship of one "value" to another.....therefore, even if the ethical principles (essence) in its broadest articulation may be universal---its implementation is usually particular (and circumstantial)

The example in the Quran is the story of the 2 sons of Adam---one son threatens to kill the other, the other son decides to not lift his hand to kill---"if you stretch your hand against me to kill you, it is not for me to stretch my hand against you to kill you: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds" (Surah 5 verse 28)...Life has "value" and this can be a universal ethical principle, as is the consequent principle---life has value---therefore do not kill. But, when one life is threatened by another life (both of equal value)---the consequent "do not kill" has to be weighed/measured differently as the saving of life (self-defense) also becomes a means of preserving the ethical principle (life has value)---even if such self-defense might lead to loss or harm to another life.....(with caveats).....

a general ethical principle can be "universal"---not because of theism/God---but because the interaction of human nature with the environment/circumstances creates "patterns" ....action/reaction ...cause/effect....etc. The nature of humanity has similarities and so our reactions to "reality" have commonalities....
Yet, our articulations and implementations of ethics/morality are different. This is because the way we make connections with "reality" is different---in part because of our language and in part because of our meta-narrative/paradigm. These 2 things help us form coherence out of the "reality" we experience and while the essence of the experience (of reality) is probably similar---its articulation is necessarily different.....
...the universal/timeless and particular/time-bound aspects of ethical principles must lead to harmony that leads to peace (balanced = Qadr)---if they are "Truth".
in order to create such balance---the ethical principles themselves must have an inherent balance in themselves---in Eastern thinking---this is done by balancing "rights" with responsibilities---so, if "Life" has value---then its preservation is a responsibility/obligation and the fulfillment of this responsibility forms the "right" to life of oneself and the other....

...the cultivation of responsibility occurs within a paradigm (meta-narrative/worldview) which then permeates to the group/members and to the communities and families...this can make the ethical/moral system self-sufficient---without the need of an outside enforcement mechanism.....but---insofar as there are multiple paradigms---there are going to be a plurality of "systems"....

seer
08-09-2017, 04:42 AM
Yes, we discussed that, and if as you know, I disagreed with you and wrote far more on my opinion than you did on yours. I have got far more than you have got and far more than you realise.

Bottom line Charles, you believe in universal moral truths but can not prove it. Yes you wrote a lot, but you never actually got there apart from first accepting unprovable assumption.


I agreed with Shuny's point that "The bottom line is the claim of truth is too nebulous an argument to be convincing." I find this to point to the weak part in Anomaly's reasoning.

So there is no truth? No moral truth? It is all too nebulous to figure out?

seer
08-09-2017, 04:44 AM
It has nothing to do with “transcendent or universal moral truths”. We are simply naturally evolved biological organisms existing in an amoral material environment. The question of right and wrong arises due to the fact that we have to live among other human beings. And if we are to do so in a successful way, there are certain basic principles that must apply, if we are to expect them agree on a set of “rules of the game”.

I was speaking with Charles who does believe that there are universal moral truths.

Anomaly
08-09-2017, 09:25 AM
Truth/falsehood(error)---I can agree that "Truth" can lead us to unity, harmony and peace and error to fragmentation, imbalance, and discord.....but....
In the Islamic context the primary framework (after Tawheed) on thinking of these ideas is in the context of weight/measure (Qadr = measure/destiny)..therefore "value" of an essence has degrees depending on relationship of one "value" to another.....therefore, even if the ethical principles (essence) in its broadest articulation may be universal---its implementation is usually particular (and circumstantial)
Okay, I find a lot of agreement so far.


...Life has "value" and this can be a universal ethical principle...a general ethical principle can be "universal"---not because of theism/God---but because the interaction of human nature with the environment/circumstances creates "patterns" ....action/reaction ...cause/effect....etc. The nature of humanity has similarities and so our reactions to "reality" have commonalities....
Back to the question: where does this value life has come from? I don't see interactions and patterns created with others within various cultural environments as having any ethical meaning per se. They have ethical guidance because imo it [value] exists in our reality a priori to living a life. If there's no value in "is", the interactions, cultural settings, etc. are just clusters of inert matter bumping around in time and space. This seems to place value, if there is any, in essence. How does value endue essence when there aren't any minds to perceive/create it?

Where do you see cause and effect's place in ethics?

Anomaly
08-09-2017, 02:01 PM
The bottom line is the claim of truth is too nebulous an argument to be convincing.
But maybe this seems so because it hasn't been sufficiently explained, not surprising in a message board venue. Let me flesh the ideas out a bit.

The metaphysic used in my other posts, while a bit abstract, is not really complicated. In it, being = information. Every thing that exists—concrete things, concepts, minds, etc.—have the common denominator of possessing being and conveying their information to perceiving minds. Information is the only things minds can apprehend—which leads to acceptance of abstract things as having real existence of some sort. The referent “greenness” imparts information to the intellect, and has existence and being of some sort by virtue of that ability. Old idea from early Greeks.

Monistic information of existence is an amalgam of two aspects or modes: particularization and value. Imagine all existence made up of ‘bits’ of information, each bit containing one ‘bit’ of value [T or F] and one of the form of particularization. This imo depicts the reality we find ourselves in. Information as an amalgamate of value and particularization pattern outward to things and attributes. From the perspective or an informational universe, properties and relations are just collections or bundles of values. Particularization is fairly straightforward, value more complicated. Am still trying to work out the apparatus (intrinsic/extrinsic, mutable/immutable, etc.) but details aren’t necessary to discussion. It's pretty simple to spot this as a sort of throwback to medieval theory.

Compatibilism is a feature important to the ethics side of discussion. Material particulars change in configuration and form macroscopically even while the underlying value of matter is [for intents and purposes] absolute re scientific laws or principles. Thus, extrinsic value mutates, but only in keeping and with respect to its intrinsic, immutable value. Our grasp of scientific laws is an example of our apprehension of the value quotient of matter’s essence. If true, then value in essence organizes and arranges the particulars of matter. Lots of atoms joined together into a whole [mass] don’t control the law of gravity, it seems intuitively to be the other way around. Another example of material value: greenness is thus because of the cumulative value of the conversion of light-to-chemical energy from object of sight to brain. The degree of goodness in sight is equal to the degree of the cumulative truth value of each of piece of the causation ; degradation or falsification of the eye, brain or interconnected parts —as genetic deficiency brings about—results in inhibition of the perfection [truth/good] of sight. Not trying to be preachy, just striving to make my case—have found that thinking about value in this way, natural to me, seems awkward to many folks.

According to the model above, it seems sensible to suggest that value is the mechanism for understanding not only material and moral landscapes but for explaining the compatibility and unity of the two realms. Simply put: particulars appear to arrange themselves by virtue of (and in deference to) the cumulative controlling forces of [quantitative and qualitative] value in the essences of all components in a given state of affairs. This could be applied to both physical and moral systems. For instance, because truth value in one thing exists in a state of attraction to truth in another, matter could conceivably form and arrange itself according to the qualitative (and as matter forms more complex arrangements, quantitative) state of the values involved in the structuring of associated particulates. The metaphysic could thus illuminate the process evolution as a value-driven mechanism.

Before moving to the more complicated prescriptive side of things, the question is still begging: while the metaphysical model above is at least intuitively able to describe a naturalist hypothesis of value in essence and how it might work in a physical universe, where would value have come from? If you insist discussion be limited to the natural state we should have some reasonable explanation of how it would work in the fundamentals.

siam
08-09-2017, 09:52 PM
Okay, I find a lot of agreement so far.


Back to the question: where does this value life has come from? I don't see interactions and patterns created with others within various cultural environments as having any ethical meaning per se. They have ethical guidance because imo it [value] exists in our reality a priori to living a life. If there's no value in "is", the interactions, cultural settings, etc. are just clusters of inert matter bumping around in time and space. This seems to place value, if there is any, in essence. How does value endue essence when there aren't any minds to perceive/create it?

Where do you see cause and effect's place in ethics?

If Tawheed (Unity) can lead to balance, harmony and peace it is "Truth". This "balance" (Qadr= measure) is made up of patterns (such as patterns of equilibrium in nature) therefore it is necessarily relational. Thus "Truth" is understood/interpreted by human beings in its relational aspect (gravity is understood in its relation to (cause/effect) other "objects") Science finds these "patterns" and confirms/tests the replication of these patterns (laws)....and we come "to know" these as "facts" that govern reality.....to mix the metaphysical and physical is confusing...so, to see this in another way....

Knowledge (Truth) exists (a priori) but it is necessarily interpreted through the human mind/form---this "interpretation" is the perceived "reality" but its articulation is diverse (different worldviews). The "Truth" is in the essence of "reality" and not its various articulations/interpretations. This quality of "Truth" makes wisdom (Wisdom = subset of Knowledge/Truth) timeless. "to Know" = to understand/interpret timeless wisdom into the particulars of our lived reality (environment, circumstances) makes this acquired "knowledge" timebound. ---in other words----our mind/form interprets the environment/circumstances around us (relationally) forming our perceptions of "reality". This "reality" is individual and universal and "to know" its realtionality is aqcuired knowledge and to know its essence is wisdom. This is to know "Truth".

If "Truth" (Tawheed/Unity) is the essence of created things then it is not "just inert matter bumping into each other" because it is the relation that creates balance (and gives meaning = value). ----and the perception and interpretation of relation is necessarily through the human intellect.....these relationships are the patterns and by making sense of these patterns (laws) we make sense of "reality" (Qadr =measure/destiny). Ethics/Morality are the codes (principles) that govern human relationships both macro and micro....not just between human beings but between humans and other living and non-living creation. The universal (timeless) would be the essence of the principles and the particular (timebound) would be the diverse human interpretation and implementation according to their lived "realities".

cause and effect are the "reasoning" mechanisms that human beings use in justifying (making sense) of ethics/morality within their perceived "reality"---a Christian will have his reasoning, a Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist, will have his....cause/effect is how we perceive and express "patterns" which make up our lived "reality" ---so, for example, one might say life has value because of survival of the species, another might say life has value because God said so....either expression/perception is true because the essence of the principle is "True" and this is so because it aligns with "Unity" which creates balance that leads to harmony.....

rules and laws that lead to fragmentation, imbalance and discord...are not aligned to "Truth" even if there is sufficient "reasoning" behind them.....

This understanding of Truth and Untruth is not linear but circular (Eastern way of thinking) because it is humanity that needs "Truth"---not the other way around....."we" need "Truth" to make sense of our reality and give meaning/purpose....and so it has to be human-centric---begins and ends with the human intellect.....

Tassman
08-09-2017, 10:00 PM
I was speaking with Charles who does believe that there are universal moral truths.

There are obvious universal moral truths based upon the fact that we have to live among other human beings and certain basic principles must apply in order to successfully do so. But I think Charles was arguing against transcendent, faith-based universal truths, as was I.

seer
08-10-2017, 04:43 AM
There are obvious universal moral truths based upon the fact that we have to live among other human beings and certain basic principles must apply in order to successfully do so. But I think Charles was arguing against transcendent, faith-based universal truths, as was I.

No Tass, universal means universal, not relative to a particular species.

Charles
08-10-2017, 11:00 AM
There are obvious universal moral truths based upon the fact that we have to live among other human beings and certain basic principles must apply in order to successfully do so. But I think Charles was arguing against transcendent, faith-based universal truths, as was I.

Yes, Tassman. That is correct. Thanks.

seer
08-10-2017, 11:20 AM
Yes, Tassman. That is correct. Thanks.

So you don't believe in universal moral truths, just what happens to work for our species. So you are a pragmatist. Got it...

Anomaly
08-10-2017, 11:42 AM
Charles was arguing against transcendent, faith-based universal truths, as was I.
This is actually why I rarely get involved in theist-atheist discussions. Most atheists argue from a fundamental circularity, as has surfaced in this thread. The atheist says to the theist, "Come, let us argue our worldviews. We have one simple rule: only objects in time and space or concepts that refer to these objects are valid for discussion. Now then, come tell me all about your God and the spiritual realm."

Like Chalmers' 'hard problem' of consciousness, ethics discussions between theists and atheists also inevitably end up at a similar dead end, alluded to earlier: from whence does the value that supplies ethics come? If it was already in the universe before intellects perceived it, how did it get here? If it only arose from intellectual perception, what is the mechanism for it? As noted in earlier posts, the Christian perspective of truth [at least from my point of view] seems to find strong unity with both revelation and experience. It seems to me a cogent and intuitive explanation not just for how morality/ethics works, but as a working hypothesis using the principles involved for why people stand on or lean toward one side of the discussion or the other.

I apologize for bringing a faith-based view to the thread, read the op but didn't see where only non-supernatural explanations were allowed. Do have to wonder, though, why you want to have a purely naturalistic discussion on a theology board? If it's because you folks are professional philosophers and feel the need to maintain the status quo so your credentials remain untarnished, I understand. All the same, good luck in your quest for truth.

seer
08-10-2017, 12:02 PM
I apologize for bringing a faith-based view to the thread, read the op but didn't see where only non-supernatural explanations were allowed. Do have to wonder, though, why you want to have a purely naturalistic discussion on a theology board? If it's because you folks are professional philosophers and feel the need to maintain the status quo so your credentials remain untarnished, I understand. All the same, good luck in your quest for truth.

You are perfectly free to argue for supernatural explanations, I do all the time. And there are no professional philosophers here... That I am aware of anyway...

Charles
08-10-2017, 12:10 PM
I apologize for bringing a faith-based view to the thread, read the op but didn't see where only non-supernatural explanations were allowed. Do have to wonder, though, why you want to have a purely naturalistic discussion on a theology board? If it's because you folks are professional philosophers and feel the need to maintain the status quo so your credentials remain untarnished, I understand. All the same, good luck in your quest for truth.

No need to apologize. And no need to feel unwelcome just because some of us do not agree. You wrote some rather interesting posts which I stressed while at the same time pointing to where I disagreed. I think that should be fair when having a discussion.

shunyadragon
08-10-2017, 07:42 PM
So you don't believe in universal moral truths, just what happens to work for our species. So you are a pragmatist. Got it...

Universal moral truths is eventually based on universal natural law which applies to the entire nature of our physical existence. Universal moral truths regardless of which planet an intelligent species exists is dependent on and cannot violate natural law, and is necessary for the survival of an intelligent species regardless.

Tassman
08-11-2017, 12:21 AM
No Tass, universal means universal, not relative to a particular species.

Moral truths are a consequence of natural selection and are universal derivatives of self-preservation and procreation in every case.

seer
08-11-2017, 04:33 AM
Moral truths are a consequence of natural selection and are universal derivatives of self-preservation and procreation in every case.

That is not universal, what you are speaking of is relative to our species.

seer
08-11-2017, 04:36 AM
Universal moral truths is eventually based on universal natural law which applies to the entire nature of our physical existence. Universal moral truths regardless of which planet an intelligent species exists is dependent on and cannot violate natural law, and is necessary for the survival of an intelligent species regardless.


Nonsense Shuny, if an advanced species came to earth and began harvesting us for food - would that be a moral wrong?

shunyadragon
08-11-2017, 12:18 PM
Nonsense Shuny, if an advanced species came to earth and began harvesting us for food - would that be a moral wrong?

No, is it morally wrong for humans doing the same thing.

seer
08-11-2017, 12:28 PM
No, is it morally wrong for humans doing the same thing.

So it is not universally wrong, and why would cannibalism be wrong. After all human Cannibalism was rather common.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism_in_humans

shunyadragon
08-11-2017, 06:34 PM
So it is not universally wrong, and why would cannibalism be wrong. After all human Cannibalism was rather common.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism_in_humans

Your line of reasoning is only justifying an evolution of natural morals and ethics through out history of humanity with no hint of a specific Divine origin that would justify your agenda. The evidence indicates that morals and ethics evolved over time, and are consistent through history.

You have offered no other 'source' of morals and ethics that can be objectively verified by the evidence based on what you propose.

Tassman
08-11-2017, 10:22 PM
That is not universal, what you are speaking of is relative to our species.

Yes it’s universal. ALL species are imbued with the instinct for self-preservation and procreation. Only humans codify this instinct as a moral code...although we see the precursors of human morality among other primates.


Nonsense Shuny, if an advanced species came to earth and began harvesting us for food - would that be a moral wrong?

It would be no more immoral for an advanced species to harvest us for food than it is for us to harvest cattle and other livestock for food. Although of course, we wouldn't like it.

Charles
08-12-2017, 01:27 AM
You have offered no other 'source' of morals and ethics that can be objectively verified by the evidence based on what you propose.

That is absolutely true.

seer
08-12-2017, 06:48 AM
Your line of reasoning is only justifying an evolution of natural morals and ethics through out history of humanity with no hint of a specific Divine origin that would justify your agenda. The evidence indicates that morals and ethics evolved over time, and are consistent through history.

You can not prove that - that God had no influence. As a matter of fact your own religion teaches that God did in fact influence our ethics, through the Torah, the teaching of Christ, and your other Manifestations of God.

seer
08-12-2017, 06:50 AM
Yes it’s universal. ALL species are imbued with the instinct for self-preservation and procreation. Only humans codify this instinct as a moral code...although we see the precursors of human morality among other primates.

It would be no more immoral for an advanced species to harvest us for food than it is for us to harvest cattle and other livestock for food. Although of course, we wouldn't like it.

Tass can you name one moral wrong that is a universal wrong?

shunyadragon
08-12-2017, 02:36 PM
Tass can you name one moral wrong that is a universal wrong?

Cause the wrongful death of another human.

seer
08-12-2017, 02:41 PM
Cause the wrongful death of another human.

Why is that universally wrong?

shunyadragon
08-12-2017, 02:46 PM
You can not prove that - that God had no influence. As a matter of fact your own religion teaches that God did in fact influence our ethics, through the Torah, the teaching of Christ, and your other Manifestations of God.

Yes, my religion not only does this, but believes God determined the attributes of humans, and this is question of belief, but that is not the issue here. In fact I acknowledge that science is able describe the attributes of of morality and ethics from an evolutionary perspective, which is how God created. There is a difference between God Law and evolved human morals and ethics. The evolved positive human morals and ethics do reflect the attributes of God.

Again . . .

Your line of reasoning is only justifying an evolution of natural morals and ethics through out history of humanity with no hint of a specific Divine origin that would justify your agenda. The evidence indicates that morals and ethics evolved over time, and are consistent through history.

seer
08-12-2017, 02:56 PM
Yes, my religion not only does this, but believes God determined the attributes of humans, and this is question of belief, but that is not the issue here. In fact I acknowledge that science is able describe the attributes of of morality and ethics from an evolutionary perspective, which is how God created. There is a difference between God Law and evolved human morals and ethics. The evolved positive human morals and ethics do reflect the attributes of God.
Again . . .

Your line of reasoning is only justifying an evolution of natural morals and ethics through out history of humanity with no hint of a specific Divine origin that would justify your agenda. The evidence indicates that morals and ethics evolved over time, and are consistent through history.

Are you completely daft Shuny? If this is true, that God endowed us with certain ethical norms, attributes and informed us through His prophets of His law, then no, evolution can not alone explain our morals and ethics, because without God we would not have developed, ethically, as we did.

shunyadragon
08-12-2017, 02:58 PM
Why is that universally wrong?

If it were not the human species would not survive.

seer
08-12-2017, 03:16 PM
If it were not the human species would not survive.

But we kill each other quite often and still survive. Besides why would it be a universal wrong for us not to survive?

shunyadragon
08-12-2017, 04:40 PM
But we kill each other quite often and still survive.

True that is how survival of the species works.



Besides why would it be a universal wrong for us not to survive?

Survival of the species is neither universally right nor wrong. Where are you going with this foolishness?

seer
08-12-2017, 04:49 PM
True that is how survival of the species works.

But you said that to cause the wrongful death of another human was a universal wrong. Obviously you were wrong.



Survival of the species is neither universally right nor wrong. Where are you going with this foolishness?

I asked Tass to present one universal moral wrong - you put your nose in with something you could not back up.

shunyadragon
08-12-2017, 06:15 PM
But you said that to cause the wrongful death of another human was a universal wrong. Obviously you were wrong.

No, it is a universal concerning the morality and ethics of humans. Beyond this Natural Law is the Universal standard that may be objectively falsifiable by the evidence.

Tassman
08-12-2017, 11:47 PM
Tass can you name one moral wrong that is a universal wrong?

The history of civilisation is replete with examples of behaviours considered to be ‘wrong or ‘right’ and these are remarkably consistent across cultures and religions. There is no good reason to limit them to the dictates of a particular deity; their very consistency indicates that they have evolved naturally.

seer
08-13-2017, 08:37 AM
No, it is a universal concerning the morality and ethics of humans.

OK, so it is not a universal moral wrong to kill your fellow man like you suggested.



Beyond this Natural Law is the Universal standard that may be objectively falsifiable by the evidence.

And this universal standard is what?

seer
08-13-2017, 08:38 AM
The history of civilisation is replete with examples of behaviours considered to be ‘wrong or ‘right’ and these are remarkably consistent across cultures and religions. There is no good reason to limit them to the dictates of a particular deity; their very consistency indicates that they have evolved naturally.

Tass, I asked for one universal moral wrong - just one.

Charles
08-13-2017, 12:06 PM
Tass, I asked for one universal moral wrong - just one.

And you have very good reason for asking. Because you have nothing objective to provide yourself (but you would rather not talk about that part, I know).

seer
08-13-2017, 12:21 PM
And you have very good reason for asking. Because you have nothing objective to provide yourself (but you would rather not talk about that part, I know).

Did I say "objective?" And the law of God is universal, it is the only thing that possibly could be universal. What else could be?

Charles
08-13-2017, 12:45 PM
Did I say "objective?" And the law of God is universal, it is the only thing that possibly could be universal. What else could be?

How can the law of a God that you subjectively believe in but cannot prove the existence of be universal? It is your subjective view from the limited understanding and limited knowledge you have as a human being under the influence of time, space and culture. But it is not universal.

Give any reason to support the idea that it is universal and I will show you why it does not apply. I will be waiting...

seer
08-13-2017, 01:30 PM
How can the law of a God that you subjectively believe in but cannot prove the existence of be universal? It is your subjective view from the limited understanding and limited knowledge you have as a human being under the influence of time, space and culture. But it is not universal.

Charles, the law of God would exist even if we all completely misunderstood it or ignored it. Its existence does not, or would not, depend on us. You are again confusing epistemology with ontology.


Give any reason to support the idea that it is universal and I will show you why it does not apply. I will be waiting...

Because God is universal, and has the authority and means to enforce His law.

Charles
08-13-2017, 02:19 PM
Charles, the law of God would exist even if we all completely misunderstood it or ignored it. Its existence does not, or would not, depend on us. You are again confusing epistemology with ontology.

Seer, I am not confusing anything. You are confusing your own subjective ideas with universal truth. You cannot avoid the fact that you cannot prove the existence of a God providing these laws by pointing to ontology instead of epistemology. Or, if you can, then everyone else can do so, and then it would not be universal. Admit it seer, what you have got is just a claim.


Because God is universal, and has the authority and means to enforce His law.

God is universal? Which God is universal. The God you cannot prove the existence of. Allah, Thor or anyone else? Some unknown God? And he has the authority and means to enforce His law? I guess the proof of that is in some afterlife? Can you prove the existence of that? Or would you say this world provides any proof?

Seer, you are so sceptical about all sorts of ideas in here. And then, when it all comes down, all you have got are subjective ideas and claims that cannot be justified.

shunyadragon
08-13-2017, 02:39 PM
Did I say "objective?" And the law of God is universal, it is the only thing that possibly could be universal. What else could be?


Natural Laws

shunyadragon
08-13-2017, 02:40 PM
Are you completely daft Shuny? If this is true, that God endowed us with certain ethical norms, attributes and informed us through His prophets of His law, then no, evolution can not alone explain our morals and ethics, because without God we would not have developed, ethically, as we did.

Does not respond to my post.

shunyadragon
08-13-2017, 02:42 PM
But you said that to cause the wrongful death of another human was a universal wrong. Obviously you were wrong.

I asked Tass to present one universal moral wrong - you put your nose in with something you could not back up.

It is a fact that wrongful death is believed by all cultures and religions of the world, supporting that it is a universal wrong in human societies.

seer
08-13-2017, 05:28 PM
It is a fact that wrongful death is believed by all cultures and religions of the world, supporting that it is a universal wrong in human societies.

That is an appeal to the majority, and not all cultures believe this. Just as the Maoist or Stalinist.