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seer
09-01-2017, 06:38 AM
I will contend here that no such thing as objective morality exists. Objective here is defined as something that exists independent of the mind or minds. If something is objective it has being apart from any personal knowledge of it. The sun, the color blue, trees, mountains etc... would all still exist even if there were no minds to grasp their reality. They have an independent existence. Morality is not in their category. Morality is interpersonal, how rational beings order their interaction with other rational beings. No rational beings, no opportunity for interaction, hence no morality. There is no independent rule "thou shalt not kill", such an ideal (which is really an abstract) does not, and I maintain, can not, exist apart from a mind or minds.

The problem is once you bring minds into the picture you have subjectivity, that is inescapable. Some will suggest that moral ideals are akin to mathematical truths, just kind of out there for us to discover. But here again we find subjectivity. Yes there is an objective distance between the moon and the earth for instance. But what you call that distance, the tokens you use to measure it, are subjective. Is the moon 384,400 kilometers away? Or 238,900 miles? Yes distance is an objective fact, how we measure it is subjective. And when it comes to ethics there are no objective facts to link a morally subjective measurement or opinion to. They are obviously not the same.

guacamole
09-01-2017, 10:30 AM
Some of these ethical terms are slippery to me because I never took an ethics course, so if I get one wrong, I'm willing to be taught.

My pov on objective morality comes down to the objective reality of logic. That is, if a thing exists, then there is an objective reality of that thing. When two things exist, necessary objective relationships exist between the two things: i.e., at least, the one is not the other, and vice versa.

So, when at least one being exists that is aware of 'life' and is capable of actual thinking about the processes of life (as opposed to say, instinct--a human, or perhaps, a gorilla might have an awareness of and think about life--your cat or a snail does not), then there is a extant moral reality. Let's call this awareness of life 'cognition.'

Just as the objective logical reality describes the relationship between existence and non-existence for one thing, or between the existential relationships between two or more things, so too then an ethical reality is created between two or more cognitive beings that can impact each others lives.

These realities--logical and ethical--are not "things" per se. Rather, these 'realities' are the set of all necessary and true descriptions of the extant beings or objects. To use your moon example, it is true that the distance between the moon and the earth would be real whether there were rational minds or not. However, were the moon or earth not to exist, there would be no logical relationship between them. That is to say, just as an ethical reality is contingent on there being more than one rational being, a logical reality is contingent on their being real things. Suppose nothing real existed, then there would be no objective logical reality.

At this point we have to decide whether or not the contingency of the descriptions (ethical or logical) has anything to do with their objective existence. I don't think so. A thing can exist objectively but be contingent upon other things. I exist objectively but would not were I not created. The fact that I did not exist prior but do exist now has nothing to do with my objective existence. Likewise--ethics is "birthed," we might say, by the creation of cognitive beings.

I agree with you that there is no "Thou shalt not kill" floating around in whatever passes for a universe before there are cognitive beings. However, there are cognitive beings now, and thus the description between us of "thou shalt not kill" is now, in some sense, accurate.

It might be that our understanding of ethic is still colored by the subjective (personal awareness being what it is) and thus somewhat relative (circumstances being what they are), but these are things to be determined, imo, by reason, rather than preference.

I'm not sure if any of this will be clear to anyone else.

fwiw,
g.

seer
09-01-2017, 10:59 AM
Just as the objective logical reality describes the relationship between existence and non-existence for one thing, or between the existential relationships between two or more things, so too then an ethical reality is created between two or more cognitive beings that can impact each others lives.


These realities--logical and ethical--are not "things" per se. Rather, these 'realities' are the set of all necessary and true descriptions of the extant beings or objects. To use your moon example, it is true that the distance between the moon and the earth would be real whether there were rational minds or not. However, were the moon or earth not to exist, there would be no logical relationship between them. That is to say, just as an ethical reality is contingent on there being more than one rational being, a logical reality is contingent on their being real things. Suppose nothing real existed, then there would be no objective logical reality.

Correct so far, that is why I made the point that morality is interpersonal and depends on the existence of rational beings (i.e. beings that can grasp moral concepts).



At this point we have to decide whether or not the contingency of the descriptions (ethical or logical) has anything to do with their objective existence. I don't think so. A thing can exist objectively but be contingent upon other things. I exist objectively but would not were I not created. The fact that I did not exist prior but do exist now has nothing to do with my objective existence. Likewise--ethics is "birthed," we might say, by the creation of cognitive beings.

OK, just one issue, I would say that this interpersonal relationship existed for eternity past in the Godhead, onward...


I agree with you that there is no "Thou shalt not kill" floating around in whatever passes for a universe before there are cognitive beings. However, there are cognitive beings now, and thus the description between us of "thou shalt not kill" is now, in some sense, accurate.

The question still would be - why is it now, with cognitive beings present, morally wrong to kill?


It might be that our understanding of ethic is still colored by the subjective (personal awareness being what it is) and thus somewhat relative (circumstances being what they are), but these are things to be determined, imo, by reason, rather than preference.

What is determined by reason? You need to have an ethical goal in mind before one can use reason to achieve said goal. And goals themselves are subjective.

Starlight
09-01-2017, 05:48 PM
I agree with seer (shudder) that guac's explanation does not go far enough to explain how it is that something like "thou shalt not kill" as opposed to an alternative (e.g. "thou shalt not kiss") arises. So I will fill in the blanks as I see them.

As beings with cognition we each have an understanding of the world around us, and our acts are performed with values and intentions. So, if I highly value my eating ice cream at this point in time, I will intentionally walk down to the local store and buy an ice cream because I know from my understanding of the world that that is a way of acquiring an ice cream.

I like guac's comment that once the moon and earth both exist, there is an inherent 'distance' between them. In the same way, I think that once beings with cognition exist, who have values, and intentions, and an understanding of the world, that ethical relations inherently exist for their actions in the same sort of way that distance inherently exists. These ethical relationships can become complicated at times because they connect those four things (beings with cognition, values, intentions, the world) that themselves can be complex at times (social situations can be complex, duh).

But let's look at a simple example: A parent and their child. The parent, let us say, feels affection and love for the child. The parent values the child highly and wants the child to live a happy and fulfilled life. That, we can note is a pretty common situation worldwide - regardless of religion or society or culture or moral code, many/most parents love their children and want the best for them, so this is hardly an unusual or uncommon example.

This loving parent, who values their child, will perform many and various actions motivated by those values. The exact content of those actions will be affected by their understanding of the world. For example, if the parent believes vaccines are harmful, they may avoid vaccinating their child. If they believe that physically smacking a child for bad behavior is a good parenting method and leads to better outcomes for the child, they will likely use that parenting technique. Other parents who also want the best for their own children, may perform the exact opposite actions on both counts because they hold different beliefs about the world and think vaccines are good and smacking is bad. In both cases the actions of the parent are being driven by the positive value they place on the child, and their actions are intended by them to benefit their child, but they have different understandings of the world and so perform different actions despite having the same values and intentions toward the child.

From this example we can note certain abstract relations between entities. One cognitive being is placing positive value upon another cognitive being, and the actions are done with intentions that are positive toward that other being. So there is an abstract relationship present between the two cognitive beings here (just as the moon and the earth have the abstract relationship of distance), and that abstract relationship is characterized by the parent placing value upon the other being, and as a result the actions undertaken by that being toward the other had positive intentions.

That, to me is how abstract ethical relations arise, like distance arises, but between two cognitive entities. A cognitive entity places some level of value on each other cognitive entity (ranging from strongly positive, to zero, to strongly negative), and we describe this using such terms as "good will", "love", "hate", "ill-will", "apathy". If the person places a positive value on many/most people we might describe them as "nice", "loving", "benevolent", "good-hearted", "kind", "self-less", "good" etc. If they place zero or negative value on many/most people we might describe them as "hate-filled", "selfish", "unloving", "malevolent", "evil" etc. Those are a variety of English-language descriptors we might use, or not use, to speak about the underlying abstract relationship between the entities, where one is placing a certain level of value upon others. Just as we might measure the abstract concept of distance in many ways using many words - "miles", "kilometers", "light-years", "inches", "leagues", "steps", "far", "near", "close" - so too we use a variety of words for speaking about the level of value placed on cognitive entities by each other.

In addition to the general disposition of a cognitive entity towards other cognitive entities discussed above, we can also consider any particular action taken. When an action is performed by a cognitive entity it is undertaken with some sort of intention which may involve intentions toward other cognitive entities. And again an abstract relationship exists with regard to any intention and the other entities: Those intentions can be positive or negative or zero. The intentions present in a specific action may or may not reflect the underlying values placed on the other person. e.g. "I bought her flowers because I love her", "As much as I hated him, I gritted my teeth and forced myself to be polite and shake him by the hand with a smile and congratulated him on his victory and quashed my desire to punch him in the face". Again we use a huge variety of English words to talk about the abstract relationship involved between the cognitive entities and the intention of the act. We can say the action was "kind", "spiteful", "loving", "caring" etc.

To sum up: In general, any two cognitive entities will each have some sort of general disposition towards the other - an amount of value they place on the other. And any act undertaken by a cognitive entity will have intentions. From these things arise inherent abstract relationships between the entities regarding the positive or negative natures of those values and intentions toward the other cognitive being. Just as distance is an abstract entity that arises from the existence of any two objects, in a similar manner these logical abstract connections between the cognitive entities arise from their existence. When anyone talks about 'objective morality' it is this that I think of - the intrinsic relationships that exist between cognitive beings: The level of value they place on one another, and the nature of their intentions in their actions toward one another. Thus statements like "love others as you love yourself" or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" can be seen as straightforward instructions to place positive value on others and perform actions with positive intentions toward others. Given the definition of objective morality I have laid out, they are hence effectively saying: "Be moral". And it is thus not at all surprising we find them throughout history and throughout cultures.

So what makes murder an 'immoral' act by this standard? It's worth noting that by this standard no act per se is immoral in itself, it's the negative intentions toward others behind the action that make it have a negative moral value. So if an insane person killed someone and didn't understand what they were doing, or a 1 year old shot someone with a gun, or a person trying to save someone killed them by accident because they had an incorrect understanding of the world, those actions have no negative intentions behind them so are not 'immoral' in the the sense of being actions performed with negative intentions. But the question itself of "why is murder generally immoral [= generally an act undertaken by a cognitive being who has negative intentions toward another cognitive being]?" seems to contain the answer within the question given an understanding of the definitions and of the world.

And finally it is worth noting that actions can be complicated because they can be performed with multiple intentions towards multiple persons - e.g. stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving family is an act that is done with positive intentions toward your family but which intentionally harms the person you are stealing from. So there is huge scope for grey areas, and actions having good and bad components.

37818
09-02-2017, 08:23 AM
That the individual shall not murder has everything to do with man being made in God's image. (See Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 9:5.)

God told Moses, ". . . See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. . . ." (Deuteronomy 32:39.) So it is that God (also being infinite) is not under the same limitations (finite) man is.

Also, ". . . O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? . . ." (Romans 9:20-21.)

lee_merrill
09-02-2017, 10:54 AM
Yes there is an objective distance between the moon and the earth for instance. But what you call that distance, the tokens you use to measure it, are subjective.
Yet the distance is an objective quantity, regardless of the units used to measure it.

If all morality is relative, then "love fulfils the law" (Rom. 13:8) is not an objective principle. But it's clearly stated as an objective principle, and we can see the reasonableness of this principle.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-02-2017, 12:38 PM
Yet the distance is an objective quantity, regardless of the units used to measure it.

If all morality is relative, then "love fulfils the law" (Rom. 13:8) is not an objective principle. But it's clearly stated as an objective principle, and we can see the reasonableness of this principle.

Blessings,
Lee

It is the law of God Lee, grounded in God's nature, subjective to God. And I did not say that all morality is relative, some can be some is not. Subjective and relative are not the same.

lee_merrill
09-02-2017, 01:40 PM
If all morality is relative, then "love fulfils the law" (Rom. 13:8) is not an objective principle. But it's clearly stated as an objective principle, and we can see the reasonableness of this principle.

It is the law of God Lee, grounded in God's nature, subjective to God. And I did not say that all morality is relative, some can be some is not. Subjective and relative are not the same.
But I can make my statement be "If all morality is subjective..." etc. I do believe morality is intrinsic, not arbitrary, If God was not good, loving others would still be good.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-02-2017, 03:36 PM
But I can make my statement be "If all morality is subjective..." etc. I do believe morality is intrinsic, not arbitrary, If God was not good, loving others would still be good.

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, subjective is not necessarily arbitrary either. They have two different meanings. God's law is subjective to Him, but not arbitrary since it is grounded in His immutable moral character.

lee_merrill
09-02-2017, 03:53 PM
God's law is subjective to Him, but not arbitrary since it is grounded in His immutable moral character.
Oh, so you mean God's law is subjective only to him? Maybe we should spend some time defining terms. But I don't understand what people mean when they say morality is grounded in God. It sounds good, but I'm not sure what they mean. We cannot be good apart from God, but I don't think that is what is meant.

But here is what I'd like to emphasize, if all morality is subjective, then "love fulfils the law" (Rom. 13:8) is not an objective principle. But it's clearly stated as an objective principle, and we can see the reasonableness of this principle.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-02-2017, 04:44 PM
Oh, so you mean God's law is subjective only to him? Maybe we should spend some time defining terms. But I don't understand what people mean when they say morality is grounded in God. It sounds good, but I'm not sure what they mean. We cannot be good apart from God, but I don't think that is what is meant.

That God is the source of morality, He is the originator of ethics. He is a moral being. But can we be good without God? Didn't you quote Paul that anything not done in faith is sin?


But here is what I'd like to emphasize, if all morality is subjective, then "love fulfils the law" (Rom. 13:8) is not an objective principle. But it's clearly stated as an objective principle, and we can see the reasonableness of this principle.


No Lee, "love" is subjective. Again go back to my definition of objective in the OP.

JimL
09-02-2017, 08:25 PM
I will contend here that no such thing as objective morality exists. Objective here is defined as something that exists independent of the mind or minds. If something is objective it has being apart from any personal knowledge of it. The sun, the color blue, trees, mountains etc... would all still exist even if there were no minds to grasp their reality. They have an independent existence. Morality is not in their category. Morality is interpersonal, how rational beings order their interaction with other rational beings. No rational beings, no opportunity for interaction, hence no morality. There is no independent rule "thou shalt not kill", such an ideal (which is really an abstract) does not, and I maintain, can not, exist apart from a mind or minds.

The problem is once you bring minds into the picture you have subjectivity, that is inescapable. Some will suggest that moral ideals are akin to mathematical truths, just kind of out there for us to discover. But here again we find subjectivity. Yes there is an objective distance between the moon and the earth for instance. But what you call that distance, the tokens you use to measure it, are subjective. Is the moon 384,400 kilometers away? Or 238,900 miles? Yes distance is an objective fact, how we measure it is subjective. And when it comes to ethics there are no objective facts to link a morally subjective measurement or opinion to. They are obviously not the same.

Morality isn't some objective thing that exists, what is objective is the results of human actions relative to human beings and human society.

lee_merrill
09-03-2017, 02:29 PM
That God is the source of morality, He is the originator of ethics. He is a moral being. But can we be good without God? Didn't you quote Paul that anything not done in faith is sin?
Indeed, we need God in order to do good.


No Lee, "love" is subjective. Again go back to my definition of objective in the OP.
But in any case, "love fulfils the law" is an objective idea, it is independent of anyone's mind or thinking.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-03-2017, 04:52 PM
But in any case, "love fulfils the law" is an objective idea, it is independent of anyone's mind or thinking.

Blessings,
Lee

No Lee, love fulfilling the law is not independent of anyone's mind - it comes from the mind of God...

lee_merrill
09-03-2017, 06:30 PM
No Lee, love fulfilling the law is not independent of anyone's mind - it comes from the mind of God...
Yes, it does, but even if it didn't, it would still be true.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-04-2017, 03:43 AM
Yes, it does, but even if it didn't, it would still be true.

Blessings,
Lee

How could it be true without any minds to subjectively find value in that statement?

lee_merrill
09-04-2017, 02:34 PM
How could it be true without any minds to subjectively find value in that statement?
If all the world went mad, would sanity still exist? Yes, it would, as an objective concept, I would say. Lack of recognition on my part, of a truth, or on everyones' part, would not make it untrue.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-04-2017, 03:25 PM
If all the world went mad, would sanity still exist? Yes, it would, as an objective concept, I would say. Lack of recognition on my part, of a truth, or on everyones' part, would not make it untrue.

Blessings,
Lee

No sanity would not still exist Lee, you can not have abstract concepts without minds. Sure, the color blue would still exist even if all creatures were color blind. The color blue would not depend on our knowledge. An abstract concept like love or sanity are different - they are completely dependent on a mind.

lee_merrill
09-05-2017, 11:48 AM
No sanity would not still exist Lee, you can not have abstract concepts without minds. Sure, the color blue would still exist even if all creatures were color blind. The color blue would not depend on our knowledge. An abstract concept like love or sanity are different - they are completely dependent on a mind.
But if everyone was insane, then someone could become sane, and this would not restore the concept of sanity, the concept of sanity would have been there all along. And isn't "1+1=2" an abstract concept?

Blessings,
Lee

37818
09-05-2017, 12:00 PM
There is objective good. Objective morality would be contingent on what is objective good.

seer
09-05-2017, 12:29 PM
But if everyone was insane, then someone could become sane, and this would not restore the concept of sanity, the concept of sanity would have been there all along. And isn't "1+1=2" an abstract concept?

Blessings,
Lee

The only reason why sanity is still there is because there is a rational Creator that is always there.

seer
09-05-2017, 12:30 PM
There is objective good.

Where?

37818
09-05-2017, 01:50 PM
Where?

Reality.

seer
09-05-2017, 02:56 PM
Reality.

I have no idea what that means.

guacamole
09-05-2017, 05:50 PM
I did not have a stroke, but I tried to give out as many Amens as possible because this thread shows how good TWeb can be.

It seems to me like we have a couple of dueling definitions of various terms. Objective truth generally means that a concept is true regardless of whether or not anyone acknowledges that truth. 2+2 is 4 regardless of whether or not a person acknowledges that--a toddler for example, or a comatose person. I feel like this term objective is important to distinguish from universal. It seems like everyone who has posted is, in some sense, an ethical realist--that is to say we agree that right and wrong are real things.

I think, after reading Seer again, and Starlight, and others (forgive me if I left you out), that without cognition there is no objective morality. That is, it is not universal. I do believe that God (at least for the sake of argument here) is the origin of morality, but not that it emanates from him like a force or substance the way that light shines from a source, but rather, that God is the origin of morality in the sense that he, as creator, founded the relationship between himself and created beings. Thus the relationship is couched in terms according to God's preference. I suppose then, I want to say that a moral action is good because God determines it to be good. This "preference" is not analogous to human "preference." Whereas human opinion is based on nothing more than carnal desire and imperfect understanding, divine "preference" is founded on omniscience--that is, practically, a full understanding of cause and effect, precedent and consequence--not emotion or psychology as we understand it. To say, then, that the good is merely good because God dictates it to be so, is ridiculous understatement. A similar objection would be to say that the plot of a novel is the plot merely because the author wrote it. Thus, as an expression the Divine character, as buttressed by omniscience, "thou shalt not murder" is an expression of a perfect understanding of the universe.

Suppose though, for the sake of argument, that there is no God. I would argue that there is still an objective ethical reality because there are at least two cognitives. Our ethics are founded then in the imperfect understanding of the universe and the ethical reality that describes the relationship between cognitive beings. That doesn't mean that there is no "best" (or at least "better") in imperfect, but nevertheless objective, morality. Just as we grow in scientific knowledge or reason, so likewise our moral knowledge can grow.

Even without God (and I would argue, this probably still holds true with God) we can find a more perfect ethic through reason, even based on the realities of selfish genetics or even human desire. We all desire to be and grow and, in some sense, reproduce. That would seem to be the bed rock of secular morality, and indeed, I agree with St. Paul that God character is revealed to us in this. The first command of Scripture, "Be fruitful and multiply," is no less an expression of the divine character than "Thou shalt not murder," and even casual investigation shows a link between "Be fruitful and multiply," and other, more seemingly obvious moral commandments.

I tend not to believe that any given statement on morality is always universally true, but must, as demonstrated by reason, be necessarily subjectively understood and relative to circumstances. There are larger universal precepts: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as you love yourself," that are always operative, but in general, it is sometimes necessary to "break" a given rule to maintain the universal precepts.

I think this is a mess and some might want to rip it apart. Have at it.

Guac.

seer
09-06-2017, 05:29 AM
I think, after reading Seer again, and Starlight, and others (forgive me if I left you out), that without cognition there is no objective morality. That is, it is not universal. I do believe that God (at least for the sake of argument here) is the origin of morality, but not that it emanates from him like a force or substance the way that light shines from a source, but rather, that God is the origin of morality in the sense that he, as creator, founded the relationship between himself and created beings. Thus the relationship is couched in terms according to God's preference. I suppose then, I want to say that a moral action is good because God determines it to be good. This "preference" is not analogous to human "preference." Whereas human opinion is based on nothing more than carnal desire and imperfect understanding, divine "preference" is founded on omniscience--that is, practically, a full understanding of cause and effect, precedent and consequence--not emotion or psychology as we understand it. To say, then, that the good is merely good because God dictates it to be so, is ridiculous understatement. A similar objection would be to say that the plot of a novel is the plot merely because the author wrote it. Thus, as an expression the Divine character, as buttressed by omniscience, "thou shalt not murder" is an expression of a perfect understanding of the universe.

I generally agree that the law of God is grounded in His knowledge, but there is more - it is also grounded in His immutable moral character. By nature He is loving, truthful, just, etc...


Suppose though, for the sake of argument, that there is no God. I would argue that there is still an objective ethical reality because there are at least two cognitives. Our ethics are founded then in the imperfect understanding of the universe and the ethical reality that describes the relationship between cognitive beings. That doesn't mean that there is no "best" (or at least "better") in imperfect, but nevertheless objective, morality. Just as we grow in scientific knowledge or reason, so likewise our moral knowledge can grow.


This is where I disagree, moral ideals must serve an ethical goal. And goals are subjective, there is no way around it. What does the "best" serve? The majority? At the exclusion of the minority? A powerful elite? Objectively there is no right answer...



Even without God (and I would argue, this probably still holds true with God) we can find a more perfect ethic through reason, even based on the realities of selfish genetics or even human desire. We all desire to be and grow and, in some sense, reproduce. That would seem to be the bed rock of secular morality, and indeed, I agree with St. Paul that God character is revealed to us in this. The first command of Scripture, "Be fruitful and multiply," is no less an expression of the divine character than "Thou shalt not murder," and even casual investigation shows a link between "Be fruitful and multiply," and other, more seemingly obvious moral commandments.


But why is the survival of our species an objective moral good in a godless universe?

37818
09-06-2017, 06:00 AM
I have no idea what that means.

God is the infinite good. And there is no reality without God. God being the uncaused Reality/Existence - His name meaning the self Existent. Being that God is the Omnipresent. ". . . For in him we live, and move, and have our being; . . ," as argued by the Apostle Paul (Acts 17:28).

Caused reality God said it was good. In the 6 day creation story of our earth God said this of each day (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21 & 31).

lee_merrill
09-06-2017, 07:12 PM
The only reason why sanity is still there is because there is a rational Creator that is always there.
This is the claim, now what evidence do we have for this? Why does knowing a truth bring it into being? And isn't "1+1=2" an abstract concept?

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-06-2017, 07:19 PM
Objective truth generally means that a concept is true regardless of whether or not anyone acknowledges that truth. 2+2 is 4 regardless of whether or not a person acknowledges that--a toddler for example, or a comatose person.
That's fine, though it would seem that moral truths are therefore objective, "love fulfils the law" is true regardless of whether anyone (including God) is actually loving.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-07-2017, 03:14 AM
This is the claim, now what evidence do we have for this? Why does knowing a truth bring it into being? And isn't "1+1=2" an abstract concept?

Blessings,
Lee

Evidence for what? If there is no God then sanity is relative, there would not be an absolute standard. And go back to my OP, I dealt with the math question there.

seer
09-07-2017, 06:40 AM
That's fine, though it would seem that moral truths are therefore objective, "love fulfils the law" is true regardless of whether anyone (including God) is actually loving.

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, I don't get this. If there were no minds how can there be a moral law that loves fulfills? I mean that particular law is the law of God, He instituted it, it is completely contingent on Him.

Charles
09-07-2017, 12:33 PM
I generally agree that the law of God is grounded in His knowledge, but there is more - it is also grounded in His immutable moral character. By nature He is loving, truthful, just, etc...

Your problem is that based to your line of reasoning any description you can use like "moral character" is based on ideas you claim follow from his own nature. So you are stuck in the "it is good because it is God's choice, nature or whatever" trap. The justification of the source is based upon the source itself. Circular, seer.

seer
09-07-2017, 12:53 PM
Your problem is that based to your line of reasoning any description you can use like "moral character" is based on ideas you claim follow from his own nature. So you are stuck in the "it is good because it is God's choice, nature or whatever" trap. The justification of the source is based upon the source itself. Circular, seer.

Charles I made this point early on in our other debate and you have yet to respond with any good argument. Every definition of good is going to end up begging the question. Please offer a definition of good that is not based on circular reasoning.

Charles
09-07-2017, 01:33 PM
Charles I made this point early on in our other debate and you have yet to respond with any good argument. Every definition of good is going to end up begging the question. Please offer a definition of good that is not based on circular reasoning.

If that is your point then why do you seem to get so angry everytime someone points to the fact that it is circular? Your definition is circular and thus it is not better or worse of than any other circular argument. Or is your subjective preference for one type of circular defintion better than another circular definition?

37818
09-07-2017, 01:51 PM
Behavior is an objective act. That there is good behavior versus an evil behavior is also a matter of objective reality. Good behavior being mutually beneficial.

lee_merrill
09-07-2017, 03:58 PM
If there is no God then sanity is relative, there would not be an absolute standard.
Sure there would, degrees of insanity could point to the concept of sanity, by extrapolation. Or by putting together pieces of sanity found in various insane people.


And go back to my OP, I dealt with the math question there.
And I replied: "Yet the distance is an objective quantity, regardless of the units used to measure it."

"1+1=2" is an abstract concept!


An abstract concept like love or sanity are different - they are completely dependent on a mind.
But it is not dependent on a mind knowing "1+1=2".

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-07-2017, 04:16 PM
...though it would seem that moral truths are therefore objective, "love fulfils the law" is true regardless of whether anyone (including God) is actually loving.
If there were no minds how can there be a moral law that loves fulfills? I mean that particular law is the law of God, He instituted it, it is completely contingent on Him.
Yet the law is a real entity, considered by itself, "do not steal" is something that can be understood as a real proposition, apart from God, even.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-07-2017, 05:34 PM
If that is your point then why do you seem to get so angry everytime someone points to the fact that it is circular? Your definition is circular and thus it is not better or worse of than any other circular argument. Or is your subjective preference for one type of circular defintion better than another circular definition?

Charles the reason I take exception is that you are suggesting that a circular argument in this case is somehow invalid - when in fact there is no non-question begging way to settle the issue. So you keep attacking my position because it is circular when you know that you can not offer anything non-circular - that is not only hypocritical but dishonest.

seer
09-07-2017, 05:35 PM
Yet the law is a real entity, considered by itself, "do not steal" is something that can be understood as a real proposition, apart from God, even.

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, I still don't get you. How can you have a moral law without a lawgiver?

seer
09-07-2017, 05:39 PM
Sure there would, degrees of insanity could point to the concept of sanity, by extrapolation. Or by putting together pieces of sanity found in various insane people.

But Lee you would still need a sane mind to piece all this together.


And I replied: "Yet the distance is an objective quantity, regardless of the units used to measure it."

"1+1=2" is an abstract concept!


But it is not dependent on a mind knowing "1+1=2".


I'm not sure of your point, if there are no minds the abstract 1+1=2 does not exist.

lee_merrill
09-07-2017, 06:29 PM
How can you have a moral law without a lawgiver?
Just like you could have an arithmetic table without a table-giver.


But Lee you would still need a sane mind to piece all this together.
Wouldn't a creature being born sane fit the bill? A sane mind could appear.


I'm not sure of your point, if there are no minds the abstract 1+1=2 does not exist.
This is where I need you to give the evidence for your claim. :smile:

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-08-2017, 04:31 AM
Just like you could have an arithmetic table without a table-giver.

Lee, you can not have an arithmetic table without a mind first creating the table.



Wouldn't a creature being born sane fit the bill? A sane mind could appear.


It would be sane compared to what? What standard would you use?


This is where I need you to give the evidence for your claim. :smile:

Well no Lee - we know that abstracts can exist in rational minds, it is up to you to show how they can exist without minds.

lee_merrill
09-08-2017, 10:41 AM
Lee, you can not have an arithmetic table without a mind first creating the table.
But the arithmetic table was not created, it was discovered, mathematical truths yet to be discovered are nonetheless real, even if no one knows them yet, even if God (per impossible) did not know them yet.


It would be sane compared to what? What standard would you use?
It would be sane in and of itself, no standard of comparison would be needed, as in the color blue, which is itself, no standard needed.


Well no Lee - we know that abstracts can exist in rational minds, it is up to you to show how they can exist without minds.
Because we discover moral principles, they are not created, they are not arbitrary.


... if there are no minds the abstract 1+1=2 does not exist.
And even though abstracts can exist in rational minds, that does not prove this statement, I need to hear your evidence for this.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-08-2017, 10:58 AM
But the arithmetic table was not created, it was discovered, mathematical truths yet to be discovered are nonetheless real, even if no one knows them yet, even if God (per impossible) did not know them yet.

Lee of course arithmetic table was created. Some one had to create the numbers one or two or three etc... You can have one rock, or two rocks or three rocks but you can not have 1+2=3 without a mind to invent the tokens we use in abstract reasoning.



It would be sane in and of itself, no standard of comparison would be needed, as in the color blue, which is itself, no standard needed.

But the color blue is a physical thing, what is considered sane is subjective and comparative.



Because we discover moral principles, they are not created, they are not arbitrary.


Well God's law is not arbitrary, but without God of course ethics are arbitrary. How or where do moral principles exist apart from minds?




And even though abstracts can exist in rational minds, that does not prove this statement, I need to hear your evidence for this.


No Lee, if you hold that abstract principles (ethical or otherwise) can exist apart from rational minds it is up to you to show how and where they exist when no minds are present.

37818
09-08-2017, 01:59 PM
seer explain why that 2 items and another 2 items make 4 items. The math symbolism aside. Explain why that or any self evident truth needs God to be true. If I was an atheist that would be one of the questions I would ask a theist. We are speaking of self evident truths Not just the math symbolism.

seer
09-08-2017, 02:51 PM
seer explain why that 2 items and another 2 items make 4 items. The math symbolism aside. Explain why that or any self evident truth needs God to be true. If I was an atheist that would be one of the questions I would ask a theist. We are speaking of self evident truths Not just the math symbolism.

They don't make anything - you may have a group of rocks but there is no mathematical value to them until a mind assigns that value. But I would say that mathematical and logical truths exist and are universal because our Creator is logical and mathematical. It is how He thinks and how He Created - it all goes back to Him.

lee_merrill
09-08-2017, 06:35 PM
Lee of course arithmetic table was created. Some one had to create the numbers one or two or three etc... You can have one rock, or two rocks or three rocks but you can not have 1+2=3 without a mind to invent the tokens we use in abstract reasoning.
But "1+2=3" even if no one is thinking of that, even if no one ever thought of that.


How or where do moral principles exist apart from minds?
They are self-existent, they are true at all times, before creation. There is a passage that argues against my view, though:


The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,,
before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep...
I would say that wisdom refers here to wisdom in reference to mankind:


To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
Thus this wisdom would be created before man. But the principles are still eternal.


No Lee, if you hold that abstract principles (ethical or otherwise) can exist apart from rational minds it is up to you to show how and where they exist when no minds are present.

"I would say that mathematical and logical truths exist and are universal because our Creator is logical and mathematical."

But why do these truths need God in order to be true? That was 37818's question.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-09-2017, 03:36 AM
"I would say that mathematical and logical truths exist and are universal because our Creator is logical and mathematical."

But why do these truths need God in order to be true? That was 37818's question.

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, mathematical and logical truths are abstracts used to map or understand the physical universe. Abstracts are the product of rational minds, they do not exist apart from minds. You could have a group of rocks, but it takes a mind to organize the idea of two rocks and two rocks equaling four rocks. The rocks would still exist without a mind, the abstract would not. Look at it this way - the sun can not both exist and not exist at the same moment. That would violate the law of non-contradiction, but that law is an abstract and it not known apart from rational minds. But it is even worse for ethics. Ethics are not mapping physical qualities in the universe, they are completely abstract. "Murder is wrong" does not track or map any physical property in the universe. It is fully subjective.

37818
09-09-2017, 07:43 AM
They don't make anything - you may have a group of rocks but there is no mathematical value to them until a mind assigns that value. But I would say that mathematical and logical truths exist and are universal because our Creator is logical and mathematical. It is how He thinks and how He Created - it all goes back to Him.

That is false. The quantity of rocks or quantity of anything else is that quantity whether there is someone to count them or not. If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound if no one hears it? It is the same type of question. Objective reality does not depend on anyone to be objective. That of course on the premise that there is no God.

And besides, God knows the number of all things without any need to count anything. God does not think as we do, God is absolutely omniscient.

Now on the premise that there is no God. Can you logically show that such a premise is an impossibility and therefore absurd? The mere presumption of God does not give any explanation as to the necessity of God for self evident truths. Uncaused existence needs no God. All traditional arguments set out to prove God is in existence. Where existence is not in need of any proof. Uncaused of existence is not in need of any god.

Morality is objective because behavior is objective. Bad behavior is defined by good behavior. Not the other way around.

seer
09-09-2017, 07:55 AM
That is false. The quantity of rocks or quantity of anything else is that quantity whether there is someone to count them or not. If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound if no one hears it? It is the same type of question. Objective reality does not depend on anyone to be objective. That of course on the premise that there is no God.

No it is not false, the rocks would exist yes, but quantifying them into two rocks and two rocks equaling four rocks does not. That is an abstract and requires a mind. And yes the tree would still make a sound - that is a physical act, not an abstract concept.


Now on the premise that there is no God. Can you logically show that such a premise is an impossibility and therefore absurd? The mere presumption of God does not give any explanation as to the necessity of God for self evident truths. Uncaused existence needs no God. All traditional arguments set out to prove God is in existence. Where existence is not in need of any proof. Uncaused of existence is not in need of any god.


And?


Morality is objective because behavior is objective. Bad behavior is defined by good behavior. Not the other way around.

Who or what defines good and bad behavior? And how can you have ethics without minds? Ethics by nature are interpersonal, persons are necessary.

37818
09-09-2017, 09:24 AM
No it is not false, the rocks would exist yes, but quantifying them into two rocks and two rocks equaling four rocks does not. That is an abstract and requires a mind. And yes the tree would still make a sound - that is a physical act, not an abstract concept. The quantity of things (not counted by any mind) is just the same quantity.





Now on the premise that there is no God. Can you logically show that such a premise is an impossibility and therefore absurd? The mere presumption of God does not give any explanation as to the necessity of God for self evident truths. Uncaused existence needs no God. All traditional arguments set out to prove God is in existence. Where existence is not in need of any proof. Uncaused of existence is not in need of any god.And?How does your point of argument (a mind) answer this?




Who or what defines good and bad behavior?What constitutes being beneficial - constructive as opposed to destructive? Evil is defined by what is good. Not the other way around. Good is the of self evident truths.



And how can you have ethics without minds? Ethics by nature are interpersonal, persons are necessary.Now ethics is a science. The laws of physics are not caused by science nor is good caused by ethics. Ethics is the study of objective good. Behavior requires minds. And behavior is the objective acts of minds. What is good is defined apart from the mind. It is ethics by which the mind discovers objective good.

seer
09-09-2017, 10:03 AM
The quantity of things (not counted by any mind) is just the same quantity.

Except there is actually no quantity assigned to them. If there are no minds to count the rocks how many rocks are there? It is unknown.


How does your point of argument (a mind) answer this?


I don't have to - we live in a universe Created by a rational mind. The source of self-evident truths.


What constitutes being beneficial - constructive as opposed to destructive? Evil is defined by what is good. Not the other way around. Good is the self-evident truths.

How is that any more than your opinion? And constructive or to destructive to what? And why is it a self-evident truth that it is a objective moral good for our species to survive.


Now ethics is a science. The laws of physics are not caused by science nor is good caused by ethics. Ethics is the study of objective good. Behavior requires minds. And behavior is the objective acts of minds. What is good is defined apart from the mind. It is ethics by which the mind discovers objective good.

Then tell me where do these objective truths exist apart from minds?

lee_merrill
09-09-2017, 11:52 AM
You could have a group of rocks, but it takes a mind to organize the idea of two rocks and two rocks equaling four rocks. The rocks would still exist without a mind, the abstract would not.
The abstract would not be appreciated, but the abstract (Plato's forms!) would still exist.


Ethics are not mapping physical qualities in the universe, they are completely abstract. "Murder is wrong" does not track or map any physical property in the universe. It is fully subjective.
In my view, moral truths, mathematical truths are there to be discovered. A proposition which is not nonsense is either true or false. "Murder is wrong" is not nonsense, even if there is no one to consider this. It is not false, it must therefore be true.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-09-2017, 12:39 PM
The abstract would not be appreciated, but the abstract (Plato's forms!) would still exist.

And I would say that Plato's Forms don't exist either - how could they? Lee, let me ask you, if objective morality is a fact is God obligated to follow those ethical laws?



In my view, moral truths, mathematical truths are there to be discovered. A proposition which is not nonsense is either true or false. "Murder is wrong" is not nonsense, even if there is no one to consider this. It is not false, it must therefore be true.

Blessings,
Lee

But math truths, the laws of physics, even logical laws are grounded in physical reality. "Murder is wrong" is no more than opinion. An opinion that all men do not hold. Then there is another problem. If I jump off a cliff the law of gravity will make sure that I experience the consequences. If a Stalin murders what consequences do objective moral laws impose on him? There would be no rational reason to follow them even if they did exist.

lee_merrill
09-09-2017, 02:18 PM
And I would say that Plato's Forms don't exist either - how could they?
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18

Now I'm not saying that Plato's forms were in mind here, but we are to fix our eyes on what is unseen.


Lee, let me ask you, if objective morality is a fact is God obligated to follow those ethical laws?
Yes!

“Aslan!” said Lucy almost a little reproachfully. “Don’t make fun of me. As if anything I could do would make you visible!”

“It did,” said Aslan. “Do you think I wouldn’t obey my own rules?” (pp. 158–59)
God is not subservient to the rules, he embodies love and grace, but he does follow his own rules, which express the rules of moral law, and which express his nature.


But math truths, the laws of physics, even logical laws are grounded in physical reality. "Murder is wrong" is no more than opinion. An opinion that all men do not hold.
No, it's a principle, which applies whether men subscribe to it or not.


Then there is another problem. If I jump off a cliff the law of gravity will make sure that I experience the consequences. If a Stalin murders what consequences do objective moral laws impose on him? There would be no rational reason to follow them even if they did exist.
The law is a standard, it does not punish in and of itself. The golden rule is like a ruler...

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-09-2017, 02:30 PM
Yes!

“It did,” said Aslan. “Do you think I wouldn’t obey my own rules?” (pp. 158–59)[/cite]
God is not subservient to the rules, he embodies love and grace, but he does follow his own rules, which express the rules of moral law, and which express his nature.

Lee, I agree that God follows His own law or more correctly His own nature. What is being argued though is that there is a moral standard that exists independently of God (independently of minds, including God's mind).



No, it's a principle, which applies whether men subscribe to it or not.

I agree that moral principles exist in the mind of God regardless of whether men know them or not. But I do not agree that moral principles have existence in themselves, or exist apart from minds.


The law is a standard, it does not punish in and of itself. The golden rule is like a ruler...

Blessings,
Lee

With no enforcement for violating them.

lee_merrill
09-09-2017, 04:44 PM
I agree that moral principles exist in the mind of God regardless of whether men know them or not. But I do not agree that moral principles have existence in themselves, or exist apart from minds.
So does a person thinking about a moral principle give being to that principle? Just not sure how this would actually work.


With no enforcement for violating them.
Correct, "through the law we become conscious of sin" (Rom. 3:20). Though there are consequences for sin, the law is not the executioner...

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-10-2017, 02:44 AM
So does a person thinking about a moral principle give being to that principle? Just not sure how this would actually work.

No, if it is a correct moral principle you are "Thinking God's thoughts after Him." We are reflecting on the "law of God written on our hearts."

37818
09-10-2017, 10:44 AM
Except there is actually no quantity assigned to them. If there are no minds to count the rocks how many rocks are there? It is unknown.Those items would be no different there not being any minds to know it.



I don't have to - we live in a universe Created by a rational mind. The source of self-evident truths. On the premise that there is not any God your argument as just given is false.



How is that any more than your opinion?My opinion does not make anything true.


And constructive or to destructive to what?It only matters to those having a mind.


And why is it a self-evident truth that it is a objective moral good for our species to survive.
Our species survive on its account.



Then tell me where do these objective truths exist apart from minds?On the premise that there is no God. They do exist. Not just because we have minds to realize them.

lee_merrill
09-10-2017, 11:06 AM
No, if it is a correct moral principle you are "Thinking God's thoughts after Him." We are reflecting on the "law of God written on our hearts."
Yes, but your view does seem like it is required to think about a principle in order for it to be. That such principles exist in the mind.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-10-2017, 11:27 AM
Yes, but your view does seem like it is required to think about a principle in order for it to be. That such principles exist in the mind.

Blessings,
Lee

Well of course Lee, these principles exist in the mind of God, or in our minds. Moral principles only exist in moral and rational minds - where else could they exist?

seer
09-10-2017, 11:32 AM
On the premise that there is no God. They do exist. Not just because we have minds to realize them.

That is a mere assertion, how do moral principles exist apart from moral and rational minds? Rocks, the laws of physics, suns, distance, gravity etc... all can exist apart from any mind - how does that work with moral principles? Be specific please.

lee_merrill
09-10-2017, 03:32 PM
Well of course Lee, these principles exist in the mind of God, or in our minds. Moral principles only exist in moral and rational minds - where else could they exist?
Well, they could be self-existent. But what if no one (for the sake of argument) thinks of a moral principle. Does it therefore not exist?

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-10-2017, 03:37 PM
Well, they could be self-existent. But what if no one (for the sake of argument) thinks of a moral principle. Does it therefore not exist?

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, the question is how can moral principles self-exist? What does that even mean? The ideal "murder is wrong" is floating behind Mars?

Tassman
09-10-2017, 09:44 PM
Well of course Lee, these principles exist in the mind of God, or in our minds. Moral principles only exist in moral and rational minds - where else could they exist?

There’s no good reason to think God exists therefore moral principles must exist only in the mind of man. And, since cooperative group behaviour is common among our fellow mammals there’s every reason to think this instinct is intrinsic to our brain biology and did not come about because of moral reasoning or religion.


Lee, the question is how can moral principles self-exist? What does that even mean? The ideal "murder is wrong" is floating behind Mars?

One could make the argument that morals exist eternally in some sort of Platonic heaven as per Plato's argument that non-physical (but substantial) forms (or ideas) represent the most accurate reality. But there's no credible reason to think this, especially when our moral principles can be better explained via natural selection'.

37818
09-11-2017, 05:52 AM
On the premise that there is no God. They do exist. Not just because we have minds to realize them.
That is a mere assertion, how do moral principles exist apart from moral and rational minds?Do moral and rational minds objectively exist? If yes, then objective morality exists in order for moral and rational minds to discover. If moral and rational minds do not objectively exist. Then you are right.


Rocks, the laws of physics, suns, distance, gravity etc... all can exist apart from any mind - how does that work with moral principles? Be specific please.What makes anything good? Either there is no such thing as good. Or good is part of our objective reality. It is behavior which requires minds.

seer
09-11-2017, 06:11 AM
Do moral and rational minds objectively exist? If yes, then objective morality exists in order for moral and rational minds to discover. If moral and rational minds do not objectively exist. Then you are right.

That makes no sense, it does not follow that because we think morally that therefore objective morality exists, that is a logical leap. I prefer steak to chicken - does that make it true that steak is objectively better than chicken?


What makes anything good? Either there is no such thing as good. Or good is part of our objective reality. It is behavior which requires minds.

Good is what conforms to the law and commands of God.

37818
09-11-2017, 02:01 PM
That makes no sense, it does not follow that because we think morally that therefore objective morality exists, that is a logical leap. I prefer steak to chicken - does that make it true that steak is objectively better than chicken? Either good is an objective reality or there is no such thing as good.




Good is what conforms to the law and commands of God.On the premise there is no God. You have not shown that premise is impossible. You are arguing good is only by fiat. Good is by the whim of a none existent God.

seer
09-11-2017, 02:34 PM
Either good is an objective reality or there is no such thing as good.


On the premise there is no God. You have not shown that premise is impossible. You are arguing good is only by fiat. Good is by the whim of a none existent God.

Well of course, if there is no God then ethics are relative - to the individual, culture or society. What else could there be?

lee_merrill
09-11-2017, 03:45 PM
Lee, the question is how can moral principles self-exist? What does that even mean?
From the dictionary: self-ex·ist·ent, ADJECTIVE: existing independently of other beings or causes.

So moral principles are uncaused, and they exist as principles.

But I need to know here, what if no one (for the sake of argument) thinks of a moral principle. Does it therefore not exist?

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-11-2017, 05:05 PM
But I need to know here, what if no one (for the sake of argument) thinks of a moral principle. Does it therefore not exist?

Blessings,
Lee

Yes Lee, if there are no minds to hold moral principles then those principles do not exist. How could they exist without minds?

Tassman
09-11-2017, 10:26 PM
Well of course, if there is no God then ethics are relative - to the individual, culture or society. What else could there be?

They are naturally built into us, because those instincts, which form the basis upon which we build our moral codes, were beneficial to the breeding and survival of our species as a social species. This is the origin of morality, not God.

seer
09-12-2017, 04:35 AM
They are naturally built into us, because those instincts, which form the basis upon which we build our moral codes, were beneficial to the breeding and survival of our species as a social species. This is the origin of morality, not God.

Yes as the desires to steal, rape, murder, lie, be selfish, etc... are also naturally built into us. But we were discussing "objective morality."

lee_merrill
09-12-2017, 10:52 AM
Yes Lee, if there are no minds to hold moral principles then those principles do not exist.
But let's say no one thinks of a moral principle, does it therefore not exist?

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-12-2017, 11:20 AM
But let's say no one thinks of a moral principle, does it therefore not exist?

Blessings,
Lee

Correct - it does not exist. If we were all still apes there would be no moral principles. The only place they could still exist would be in the mind of God.

lee_merrill
09-12-2017, 01:51 PM
... let's say no one thinks of a moral principle, does it therefore not exist?

Correct - it does not exist. If we were all still apes there would be no moral principles. The only place they could still exist would be in the mind of God.
So now let's say everyone stops thinking of a moral principle, does it cease to exist?

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-12-2017, 01:55 PM
They are naturally built into us, because those instincts, which form the basis upon which we build our moral codes, were beneficial to the breeding and survival of our species as a social species. This is the origin of morality, not God.
Morality however often goes against our inclinations, do not steal, do not lie, etc.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-12-2017, 02:43 PM
So now let's say everyone stops thinking of a moral principle, does it cease to exist?

Blessings,
Lee

I'm not sure what that means, I may not be presently be thinking of a moral ideals, but they still exist in my memory. If they were erased from our collective minds and memories then yes they cease to exist.

lee_merrill
09-12-2017, 06:17 PM
If they were erased from our collective minds and memories then yes they cease to exist.
That seems strange to me, an unexpected consequence of your view. But you are being consistent! Would dreams also cease to exist if they were to be completely forgotten?

Blessings,
Lee

Tassman
09-12-2017, 06:33 PM
Morality however often goes against our inclinations, do not steal, do not lie, etc.

As individuals yes, but as a social species we’re socialised from infancy onward by our communities to adhere to the rules of the group as a means of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups.


Blessings,
Lee

BTW: What are "blessings" meant to convey to a stated atheist such as myself?

seer
09-13-2017, 04:49 AM
That seems strange to me, an unexpected consequence of your view. But you are being consistent! Would dreams also cease to exist if they were to be completely forgotten?

Blessings,
Lee

Why does it seems strange? Moral ideals are abstracts, they have no existence of their own, they are the products of rational minds. And of course your dreams would cease to exist if they were wiped from your memory.

seer
09-13-2017, 04:50 AM
BTW: What are "blessings" meant to convey to a stated atheist such as myself?

Don't be an idiot Tass, it is just a way of wishing you well...

lee_merrill
09-13-2017, 05:03 PM
As individuals yes, but as a social species we’re socialised from infancy onward by our communities to adhere to the rules of the group as a means of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups.
But you were saying evolution gives us instincts that are moral! You've shifted your view here. But if evolution gives us social mores, are you saying evolution gives us a propensity to make laws like "do not lie", "do not steal"? I don't notice baboons and birds doing that.


BTW: What are "blessings" meant to convey to a stated atheist such as myself?
Being a theist, I wish you the best, from my God.

Blessings!
Lee

lee_merrill
09-13-2017, 05:05 PM
And of course your dreams would cease to exist if they were wiped from your memory.
I would disagree, I think an event such as a dream in the past has existence even if it is forgotten.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-13-2017, 05:26 PM
But you were saying evolution gives us instincts that are moral! You've shifted your view here. But if evolution gives us social mores, are you saying evolution gives us a propensity to make laws like "do not lie", "do not steal"? I don't notice baboons and birds doing that.

No, I do believe that evolution could cause certain behaviors, but I also believe that moral principles are God given, or God infused -(the law written on our hearts). Lee, I'm trying to defend the Aseity of God here and you seem to be attacking it.

seer
09-13-2017, 05:27 PM
I would disagree, I think an event such as a dream in the past has existence even if it is forgotten.

Blessings,
Lee

Where does it exist?

Tassman
09-14-2017, 12:28 AM
But you were saying evolution gives us instincts that are moral! You've shifted your view here.

No I haven’t. Morality simply consists of rules of behaviour which derive from our instinctive need, as a social species, to maintain our communities.


But if evolution gives us social mores, are you saying evolution gives us a propensity to make laws like "do not lie", "do not steal"? I don't notice baboons and birds doing that.

All social species, including baboons, have the propensity to maintain their communities via instinctive rules of acceptable or unacceptable group behaviour. Whilst baboons cannot conceptualization these rules in the same way that the human animal can, they nevertheless enforce them in their own way.


Being a theist, I wish you the best, from my God.

Blessings!
Lee

Personally I regard it as sanctimonious cant.

Tassman
09-14-2017, 12:35 AM
No, I do believe that evolution could cause certain behaviors, but I also believe that moral principles are God given, or God infused -(the law written on our hearts). Lee, I'm trying to defend the Aseity of God here and you seem to be attacking it.

How is "the law written on our hearts" different from morality as evolved derivatives of self-preservation and procreation consequent upon natural selection?

seer
09-14-2017, 04:40 AM
How is "the law written on our hearts" different from morality as evolved derivatives of self-preservation and procreation consequent upon natural selection?

It may not be, certainly God could have used the evolutionary process (along with Revelation) to help make us aware of His moral truths. But this is the larger point; why do you think that Moral-Realism is so popular, even in atheist circles? Because man craves certainty - moral relativism can not provide that - even though that is a logical end for materialism. The Moral Realist seeks universal moral truth or facts, seeks an objective moral standard with out the baggage of a God. Of course they can't get there, but the need is evident. Which brings us to that strange phenomenon again, as I pointed out in other areas, man seems very dissatisfied with life as it is. Why isn't the atheist, or most men, accepting of moral relativism? Why the deep desire to attach ethics to something permanent, universal or objective when if atheism is true no such standard exists?

lee_merrill
09-14-2017, 12:10 PM
No, I do believe that evolution could cause certain behaviors, but I also believe that moral principles are God given, or God infused -(the law written on our hearts). Lee, I'm trying to defend the Aseity of God here and you seem to be attacking it.
I agree with you, I'm not sure where the aseity of God comes into play here.



I think an event such as a dream in the past has existence even if it is forgotten.
Where does it exist?
As part of the past, as a past event. It is (my favorite word again) now self-existent.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-14-2017, 12:23 PM
I agree with you, I'm not sure where the aseity of God comes into play here.

If you don't believe that God is the only universal source of ethics then there is a universal moral standard apart from God, independent of God. That does bring His aseity into question since aseity claims that He is the source of everything.



As part of the past, as a past event. It is (my favorite word again) now self-existent.

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, you just can't say dreams are self-existent and not tell me where/how they exist. If they no longer exist in a mind then where?

lee_merrill
09-14-2017, 12:50 PM
But if evolution gives us social mores, are you saying evolution gives us a propensity to make laws like "do not lie", "do not steal"? I don't notice baboons and birds doing that.
All social species, including baboons, have the propensity to maintain their communities via instinctive rules of acceptable or unacceptable group behaviour.
Well, the moral law is often against my impulses, as mentioned previously, this leads me to believe that evolution is not just doctoring my impulses.

And baboons don't have moral laws, they (I believe) simply act on their strongest impulse.


Personally I regard it as sanctimonious cant.
Not trying to offend...

Best wishes,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-14-2017, 01:06 PM
If you don't believe that God is the only universal source of ethics then there is a universal moral standard apart from God, independent of God. That does bring His aseity into question since aseity claims that He is the source of everything.
I thought aseity was about God's self-existence, not about him being the ultimate source?

aseity: the quality or state of being self-derived or self-originated; specifically :the absolute self-sufficiency, independence, and autonomy of God.


Lee, you just can't say dreams are self-existent and not tell me where/how they exist. If they no longer exist in a mind then where?
Just north of Pittsburg! :rasberry: Well, they don't exist spatially anywhere, but the effects of each dream are still in the world, so it can't be like the dream didn't happen. So, the dream really happened, thus it has real existence.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-14-2017, 03:11 PM
I thought aseity was about God's self-existence, not about him being the ultimate source?

aseity: the quality or state of being self-derived or self-originated; specifically :the absolute self-sufficiency, independence, and autonomy of God.

There is more to it:


The aseity of God is His attribute of independent self-existence. God is the uncaused Cause, the uncreated Creator. He is the source of all things, the One who originated everything and who sustains everything that exists. The aseity of God means that He is the One in whom all other things find their source, existence, and continuance. He is the ever-present Power that sustains all life. There is no other source of life and none other like Him: “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isaiah 46:9).

In other words Lee, if there are objective ethics that God did not create then where did they come from?


Just north of Pittsburg! :rasberry: Well, they don't exist spatially anywhere, but the effects of each dream are still in the world, so it can't be like the dream didn't happen. So, the dream really happened, thus it has real existence.

Blessings,
Lee

How does a forgotten dream influence the world? I don't understand.

37818
09-14-2017, 05:47 PM
God is the basis of truth. Omnipresent - there is not anything without God's presence. No beginning and infinite. Even those who will perish in the eternal hell - forsaken by God - will forever be in God's presence (Ezekiel 18:32).

seer
09-14-2017, 05:55 PM
God is the basis of truth. Omnipresent - there is not anything without God's presence. No beginning and infinite. Even those who will perish in the eternal hell - forsaken by God - will forever be in God's presence (Ezekiel 18:32).

Well we agree on this.

Tassman
09-14-2017, 08:52 PM
It may not be, certainly God could have used the evolutionary process (along with Revelation) to help make us aware of His moral truths.

Why assume God at all when natural selection provides sufficient explanation?


But this is the larger point; why do you think that Moral-Realism is so popular, even in atheist circles? Because man craves certainty - moral relativism can not provide that - even though that is a logical end for materialism. The Moral Realist seeks universal moral truth or facts, seeks an objective moral standard with out the baggage of a God. Of course they can't get there, but the need is evident. Which brings us to that strange phenomenon again, as I pointed out in other areas, man seems very dissatisfied with life as it is. Why isn't the atheist, or most men, accepting of moral relativism? Why the deep desire to attach ethics to something permanent, universal or objective when if atheism is true no such standard exists?

Wanting something to be true does not necessarily make it true. Furthermore you’re projecting your own personal needs for moral certainty on to humanity as a whole. The end result of this is totalitarianism, whereby conformity to 'the truth' is demanded by the possessors of "the truth".

Tassman
09-15-2017, 02:02 AM
Well, the moral law is often against my impulses, as mentioned previously, this leads me to believe that evolution is not just doctoring my impulses.

And baboons don't have moral laws, they (I believe) simply act on their strongest impulse.

Baboons and other higher primates possess qualities such as altruism, empathy, and gratitude which underpin moral behaviour and which are precursors of human moral behaviour. These pre-moral qualities evolved in primate societies as a method of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups.


Not trying to offend...

Best wishes,
Lee

And best wishes to you.

seer
09-15-2017, 04:46 AM
Why assume God at all when natural selection provides sufficient explanation?

You are assuming that it is a sufficient explanation. That because a monkey shares a banana therefore that is a basis for conceptual laws against murder, stealing, rape, etc...




Wanting something to be true does not necessarily make it true. Furthermore you’re projecting your own personal needs for moral certainty on to humanity as a whole. The end result of this is totalitarianism, whereby conformity to 'the truth' is demanded by the possessors of "the truth".

Moral realism is popular among secular philosophers, but you can go back to Plato's Forms. You saw it here with Thinker, and more recently Charles - trying to get to moral absolutes from a secular platform. This desire for universal moral truth is ancient in man, whether these truths spring from the gods or not. That has a real queerness to it, man is once again, dissatisfied with his lot in life, craving something that you content doesn't exist.

lee_merrill
09-15-2017, 01:45 PM
There is more to it...
Well, I am arguing that morals are self-existent--I don't think God has a problem with that!


In other words Lee, if there are objective ethics that God did not create then where did they come from?
They're self-existent, they have always been true.


How does a forgotten dream influence the world? I don't understand.
Dreams can influence our behavior, for instance.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-15-2017, 01:51 PM
Well, I am arguing that morals are self-existent--I don't think God has a problem with that!

So God did not create these morals, they are eternal like God?


They're self-existent, they have always been true.


Again, how do morals exist, where do they exist?


Dreams can influence our behavior, for instance.

Blessings,
Lee

That doesn't mean that all our dreams influence behavior. But you are suggesting something different - that they are self-existent, how is that possible, where do they exist apart from a mind?

lee_merrill
09-15-2017, 02:03 PM
Baboons and other higher primates possess qualities such as altruism, empathy, and gratitude which underpin moral behaviour and which are precursors of human moral behaviour. These pre-moral qualities evolved in primate societies as a method of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups.
Well, let's take one example, "do not steal". I could see how fitness (reproductive success) would be improved by stealing, and this happens a lot in the animal kingdom, but this is a moral principle. And it doesn't seem like one that would easily evolve.

Best wishes,
Lee

shunyadragon
09-15-2017, 02:54 PM
And baboons don't have moral laws, they (I believe) simply act on their strongest impulse.


The evidence concerning primates does not support your assertion.


Though human morality may end in notions of rights and justice and fine ethical distinctions, it begins, Dr. de Waal says, in concern for others and the understanding of social rules as to how they should be treated. At this lower level, primatologists have shown, there is what they consider to be a sizable overlap between the behavior of people and other social primates.

Social living requires empathy, which is especially evident in chimpanzees, as well as ways of bringing internal hostilities to an end. Every species of ape and monkey has its own protocol for reconciliation after fights, Dr. de Waal has found. If two males fail to make up, female chimpanzees will often bring the rivals together, as if sensing that discord makes their community worse off and more vulnerable to attack by neighbors. Or they will head off a fight by taking stones out of the males’ hands.

Dr. de Waal believes that these actions are undertaken for the greater good of the community, as distinct from person-to-person relationships, and are a significant precursor of morality in human societies.

Macaques and chimpanzees have a sense of social order and rules of expected behavior, mostly to do with the hierarchical natures of their societies, in which each member knows its own place. Young rhesus monkeys learn quickly how to behave, and occasionally get a finger or toe bitten off as punishment. Other primates also have a sense of reciprocity and fairness. They remember who did them favors and who did them wrong. Chimps are more likely to share food with those who have groomed them. Capuchin monkeys show their displeasure if given a smaller reward than a partner receives for performing the same task, like a piece of cucumber instead of a grape.

These four kinds of behavior — empathy, the ability to learn and follow social rules, reciprocity and peacemaking — are the basis of sociality.

Dr. de Waal sees human morality as having grown out of primate sociality, but with two extra levels of sophistication. People enforce their society’s moral codes much more rigorously with rewards, punishments and reputation building. They also apply a degree of judgment and reason, for which there are no parallels in animals.

seer
09-15-2017, 03:30 PM
Social living requires empathy, which is especially evident in chimpanzees, as well as ways of bringing internal hostilities to an end. Every species of ape and monkey has its own protocol for reconciliation after fights, Dr. de Waal has found. If two males fail to make up, female chimpanzees will often bring the rivals together, as if sensing that discord makes their community worse off and more vulnerable to attack by neighbors. Or they will head off a fight by taking stones out of the males’ hands.

Yet Chimps do kill each other and rape (forced sex) is wide spread. And you are assigning human emotions or thinking to non-humans.

shunyadragon
09-15-2017, 04:13 PM
Yet Chimps do kill each other and rape (forced sex) is wide spread. And you are assigning human emotions or thinking to non-humans.

Sounds like you are describing human behavior more than Chimps. Your describing the similarities which remain regardless of your view. It is also observed that Chimps show empathy, social rules, reciprocity, and peace making, and like humans bad behavior. Also primative tool making and the teaching of those skills to others.

seer
09-15-2017, 04:56 PM
Sounds like you are describing human behavior more than Chimps. Your describing the similarities which remain regardless of your view. It is also observed that Chimps show empathy, social rules, reciprocity, and peace making, and like humans bad behavior. Also primative tool making and the teaching of those skills to others.

Chimps are not moral, they act on instinct. They do not conceptualize or understand moral principles. As your religion teaches it is the rational soul that separates us from the animals, and it is through the rational soul that we come to these understandings and ideals. "All sciences, knowledge, arts, wonders, institutions, discoveries and enterprises come from the exercised intelligence of the rational soul.”

Tassman
09-15-2017, 11:14 PM
Chimps are not moral, they act on instinct. They do not conceptualize or understand moral principles.

This instinctive behaviour is a precursor of human morality; only humans have the intelligence to conceptualise it into a moral system. But, since altruism, empathy, and gratitude underpin all moral behaviour, finding these qualities in our fellow primates suggests that they run deep in our brain biology and did not come about because of moral reasoning or religion

Tassman
09-15-2017, 11:38 PM
Well, let's take one example, "do not steal". I could see how fitness (reproductive success) would be improved by stealing, and this happens a lot in the animal kingdom, but this is a moral principle. And it doesn't seem like one that would easily evolve.

The other primate’s exhibit the precursors of morality, not a systematised moral code such as the more intelligent humans have developed. All social animals (including humans) have hierarchical societies wherein each member knows its own place. Social order is maintained by certain rules of expected behaviour. Dominant group members enforce order through punishment. But the higher primates also have a sense of reciprocity, e.g. chimpanzees remember who did them favours and who did them wrong and reward or punish them accordingly.

lee_merrill
09-16-2017, 04:34 PM
So God did not create these morals, they are eternal like God?
Yes, as are mathematical truths.


Again, how do morals exist, where do they exist?
And I repeat that they are self-existent. They also do not have a location somewhere.


That doesn't mean that all our dreams influence behavior.
Well, that was a "for-instance". But given that some dreams influence behavior, then at least some forgotten dreams would still exist.


But you are suggesting something different - that they are self-existent, how is that possible, where do they exist apart from a mind?
No, I'm not saying dreams are self-existent.

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-16-2017, 04:40 PM
The evidence concerning primates does not support your assertion.

These four kinds of behavior — empathy, the ability to learn and follow social rules, reciprocity and peacemaking — are the basis of sociality.
But I still do not see chimps acting against their impulses. "Do not steal" is not in effect.


They also apply a degree of judgment and reason, for which there are no parallels in animals.
So it is now required of you to show how judgment and reason could have evolved.

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-16-2017, 04:43 PM
But the higher primates also have a sense of reciprocity, e.g. chimpanzees remember who did them favours and who did them wrong and reward or punish them accordingly.
But I still hold that such higher primates only act according to their impulses, "do not steal" is not one of their principles.

Best wishes,
Lee

seer
09-16-2017, 04:59 PM
And I repeat that they are self-existent. They also do not have a location somewhere.

Since you can not show how they exist (apart form minds), and that they have no spacial location, how is this any more than an assertion?

Tassman
09-16-2017, 06:18 PM
But I still hold that such higher primates only act according to their impulses, "do not steal" is not one of their principles.

So does the human primate act according to its impulses but their higher intelligence enables their “impulses” to be conceptualised into a formal system of morality. As for “stealing”, those higher up the hierarchical scale would thump those lower down the scale if they stole from them...a more primitive means of maintaining communal Law and Order, where everybody knows their place.

shunyadragon
09-16-2017, 07:09 PM
But I still hold that such higher primates only act according to their impulses, "do not steal" is not one of their principles.

Best wishes,
Lee

In fact do not steal is a principle among Chimps only when comes to stealing from the offended chimp. Also cooperation is rewarded and freeloaders are punished.



Working with 11 chimps housed in a large outdoor enclosure at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, researchers devised an experiment to assess cooperation, defined as two or more chimps working together to access a food reward. Initially two chimps had to team up, with one lifting a barrier and the other pulling in a tray baited with small pieces of fruit. Once cooperation between two subjects was established, another barrier was added, requiring a third chimp to pitch in if all three were to obtain the spoils.

Given that the apes had nearly 100 hours to obtain their reward in the presence of bystander chimps, there were plenty of chances for competition to arise. The authors defined “competition” as episodes of physical aggression, bullying a fellow chimp to leave the scene of the reward or freeloading—stealing the prizes of others without putting in the work of retrieving them.

Although the study only looked at a small number of individuals, the results were telling. In 94 hour-long test sessions, the chimps cooperated with one another 3,565 times—five times more often than they were in competition. In addition, the animals used a variety of strategies to punish competitive behaviors, such as preferentially working with their more communal and tolerant fellow animals.
When aggression did occur, it was often used to subdue the overly competitive or prevent freeloading, perhaps an even greater affront to the chimpanzee honor code. Attempted thefts by those who did not put in the work were not well received. In fact, the researchers even observed 14 instances in which a third-party chimp—typically one of the more dominant of the bunch— intervened to punish freeloaders. “It has become a popular claim in the [scientific] literature that human cooperation is unique,” study co-author Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Yerkes, said in a statement. “Our study is the first to show that our closest relatives know very well how to discourage competition and freeloading.”

Plenty of other species exhibit cooperative behaviors—take for example the enviable coordination of ants building a subterranean metropolis. But as lead author and Canisius College psychologist Malini Suchak explains, what her team observed in chimps is even more impressive. “Although cooperation is widespread across species, cooperation in ants, for example, as well as in many other species is directed toward kin and is basically preprogrammed,” she says. “Our study shows that chimpanzees are really thinking about cooperation and actively making decisions that maximize cooperation and minimize competition.” She adds: “Cognitively, what they did in our experiment is much closer to what humans do when we cooperate than it is to what ants do when they cooperate.”

seer
09-17-2017, 02:44 AM
In fact do not steal is a principle among Chimps only when comes to stealing from the offended chimp. Also cooperation is rewarded and freeloaders are punished.

We are speaking of chimps in the wild, not controlled situation:


Bands of chimpanzees violently kill individuals from neighboring groups in order to expand their own territory, according to a 10-year study of a chimp community in Uganda that provides the first definitive evidence for this long-suspected function of this behavior.

University of Michigan primate behavioral ecologist John Mitani's findings are published in the June 22 issue of Current Biology.

During a decade of study, the researchers witnessed 18 fatal attacks and found signs of three others perpetrated by members of a large community of about 150 chimps at Ngogo, Kibale National Park.

Then in the summer of 2009, the Ngogo chimpanzees began to use the area where two-thirds of these events occurred, expanding their territory by 22 percent. They traveled, socialized and fed on their favorite fruits in the new region.

"When they started to move into this area, it didn't take much time to realize that they had killed a lot of other chimpanzees there," Mitani said. "Our observations help to resolve long-standing questions about the function of lethal intergroup aggression in chimpanzees."

Mitani is the James N. Spuhler Collegiate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. His co-authors are David Watts, an anthropology professor at Yale University, and Sylvia Amsler, a lecturer in anthropology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Amsler worked on this project as a graduate student at U-M.

Chimpanzees (along with bonobos) are humans' closest living relatives. Anthropologists have long known that they kill their neighbors, and they suspected that they did so to seize their land.


https://phys.org/news/2010-06-chimpanzees.html#jCp

Animal coercive sex

It has been noted that behavior resembling rape in humans is observed in the animal kingdom, including ducks and geese, bottlenose dolphins, and chimpanzees. Indeed, in orangutans, close human relatives, copulations of this nature may account for up to half of all observed matings. Such behaviors, referred to as 'forced copulations', involve an animal being approached and sexually penetrated as it struggles or attempts to escape.

Sexual Coercion

Male chimpanzees, like other male mammals, exhibit patterns of behavior toward females that disarm females' resistance to mating. These behaviors may include physical force and qualify in human terms as rape or sexual assault, or they may be more subtle or indirect, as when males engage in activities that partition females from other males. Direct sexual coercion includes a male keeping an ovulating female to himself, which limits sperm competition. An indirect form of sexual coercion is males killing infant babies that he is fairly sure aren't his own. This may be an effort to spur the mother into becoming fertile again so that he can mate with her. Female chimpanzees also kill the babies of other chimp mothers.

http://sciencing.com/chimpanzee-mating-habits-6703991.html

So chimpanzees regularly kill each other, steal each others territory and practice rape.

shunyadragon
09-17-2017, 04:26 AM
We are speaking of chimps in the wild, not controlled situation:



So chimpanzees regularly kill each other, steal each others territory and practice rape.

This is also true of humans in wild situations like our contemporary civilizations, which is the part of the point that primate behavior has many similarities with human behavior, but in a more primitive form. This same punishment for theft, and cooperation has been observed in the wild. The research is valid, and done in controlled conditions.

The controlled conditions do not detract from the conclusions of two independent research projects. More details here: http://www.pnas.org/content/104/32/13046.full

Again . . .



Plenty of other species exhibit cooperative behaviors—take for example the enviable coordination of ants building a subterranean metropolis. But as lead author and Canisius College psychologist Malini Suchak explains, what her team observed in chimps is even more impressive. “Although cooperation is widespread across species, cooperation in ants, for example, as well as in many other species is directed toward kin and is basically preprogrammed,” she says. “Our study shows that chimpanzees are really thinking about cooperation and actively making decisions that maximize cooperation and minimize competition.” She adds: “Cognitively, what they did in our experiment is much closer to what humans do when we cooperate than it is to what ants do when they cooperate.”

shunyadragon
09-17-2017, 04:57 AM
Primates in the wild commonly demonstrate cooperative behavior, and more specifically cooperative learned behavior shared within the primate community, and associated primitive tool making, which varies from primate communities. This behavior cannot be remotely described as 'impulse' instinctive behavior.



Multicultural chimps

Some of the best evidence for primate culture has come from field studies comparing the repertoire of chimpanzee skills and behaviors in groups around Africa. For example, in 1974 William McGrew of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, detailed how chimps at Jane Goodall's Gombe site in Tanzania used sticks to fish driver ants out of their nests. A decade later at Taï, Boesch and his colleagues noticed a slightly different technique. At Gombe, chimps use 60-centimeter-long sticks to probe an ant nest. They wait for the insects to swarm halfway up the stick, then withdraw the tool and sweep ants off with their free hand, gathering a crunchy mouthful of hundreds of ants. At Taï, chimps use sticks about half as long, wait only a few seconds, then use their lips to sweep about a dozen ants directly into their mouth. The Taï method, analogous to eating soup with a tiny sugar spoon, collects only one-fourth as many ants per minute, but in 2 decades of observation, no animals at Taï have ever eaten ants Gombe-style, presumably because no chimp there ever discovered it. "A Gombe chimp would laugh at [the Taï chimps]" for their "primitive" method of ant fishing, says McGrew.

Social interactions vary among groups, too. For example, McGrew, primatologist Linda Marchant, and their colleagues have recently documented a new behavior they call "social scratch," in which one chimp rakes its hand up and down another's back after grooming. The behavior is common at Mahale in Tanzania but never seen elsewhere. Like some human fads and fashions, the behavior isn't utilitarian, but a part of social etiquette that apparently caught on simply because it feels good. "It's unlikely to be related to functional significance of grooming," McGrew says, but rather helps to reinforce the social hierarchy. In preliminary studies, higher ranking chimpanzees received more social scratches per grooming session.

Such examples add up to an impressive list. In last week's issue of Nature, researchers from the seven longest established chimpanzee field studies combined observations and listed 39 behaviors, from tool design to grooming to mating displays, that are distinct to particular groups and not readily explained by ecological differences. "We now have, in a sense, an ethnographic record" of chimp populations, McGrew says. "We have enough data in enough populations that we can start doing the sorts of comparisons that cultural anthropologists do across human populations."

Such geographical differences suggest that a chimpanzee's specific behavior and skills are shaped by where it is raised. That idea "is the most exciting finding" in chimpanzee field research this decade, says primatologist Tetsuro Matsuzawa of the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University in Japan. Yet simply noting these geographical differences begs the question of how they develop and how they are maintained.

seer
09-17-2017, 05:02 AM
This is also true of humans in wild situations like our contemporary civilizations, which is the part of the point that primate behavior has many similarities with human behavior, but in a more primitive form. This same punishment for theft, and cooperation has been observed in the wild. The research is valid, and done in controlled conditions.

Shuny, no one is arguing that certain species don't cooperate, but that is mere instinct, and it does not tell us what is right or wrong. They are not acting, as human morality and law suggest, on ethical abstracts. Yes chimpanzees share, but they also rape, they also kill that take each others territory. A monkey will never attain the moral abstract thinking of humans, because as your own religion teaches it is the rational soul that separates us from the animals:http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BWF/bwf-28.html.utf8?query=rational%7Csoul&action=highlight#gr4

shunyadragon
09-17-2017, 05:24 AM
Shuny, no one is arguing that certain species don't cooperate, but that is mere instinct, and it does not tell us what is right or wrong. They are not acting, as human morality and law suggest, on ethical abstracts. Yes chimpanzees share, but they also rape, they also kill that take each others territory. A monkey will never attain the moral abstract thinking of humans, because as your own religion teaches it is the rational soul that separates us from the animals:http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BWF/bwf-28.html.utf8?query=rational%7Csoul&action=highlight#gr4

I cited specific scientific research that demonstrates cooperative social behavior in primates in the wild and controlled conditions that cannot be only attributed to instinct nor simply 'impulsive' behavior as the same behavior in humans cannot be attributed to instinct.

Your abusive unethical selective citation of Baha'i scripture to justify your agenda continues unabated as you do with all others who disagree with your agenda. Yes, we both believe that humans have a rational soul, but that is not the issue of this thread.

seer
09-17-2017, 05:32 AM
I cited specific scientific research that demonstrates cooperative social behavior in primates in the wild and controlled conditions that cannot be only attributed to instinct nor simply 'impulsive' behavior as the same behavior in humans cannot be attributed to instinct.

Nonsense, there is no evidence that apes can or do think in abstract moral principles.


Your abusive unethical selective citation of Baha'i scripture to justify your agenda continues unabated as you do with all others who disagree with your agenda. Yes, we both believe that humans have a rational soul, but that is not the issue of this thread.

No, the issue of this thread is objective ethical principles (do they exist and where). And how is it unethical to quote your own religion - that teaches that the rational soul is necessary for ALL knowledge.

shunyadragon
09-17-2017, 11:52 AM
Nonsense, there is no evidence that apes can or do think in abstract moral principles.

I have presented evidence that primates have primitive social behaviors, such as cooperation, and punishment for theft and more that cannot be explained by simple instinct nor impulse as some assert, and you chose to ignore it.

No, the issue of this thread is objective ethical principles (do they exist and where). And how is it unethical to quote your own religion - that teaches that the rational soul is necessary for ALL knowledge.[/QUOTE]

True, the rational souls is necessary for ALL knowledge once the first human had a soul, but nonetheless this does not preclude morals and ethics, and social behavior evolving as humans as they physically evolved, and the Baha'i writings does consider the mind as separate from the soul and possibly capable of having evolved social behavior, morals and ethics independent of the soul.

Remember the Baha'i writings are specifically clear that the understanding of the writings MUST be interpreted in the light of the evolving knowledge of science.

seer
09-17-2017, 11:59 AM
True, the rational souls is necessary for ALL knowledge once the first human had a soul, but nonetheless this does not preclude morals and ethics, and social behavior evolving as humans as they physically evolved, and the Baha'i writings does consider the mind as separate from the soul and possibly capable of having evolved social behavior, morals and ethics independent of the soul.

Remember the Baha'i writings are specifically clear that the understanding of the writings MUST be interpreted in the light of the evolving knowledge of science.

Shuny, can animals ever evolve, morally and ethically, as humans did without the rational soul?

shunyadragon
09-17-2017, 12:58 PM
Shuny, can animals ever evolve, morally and ethically, as humans did without the rational soul?

Yes. I believe science has overwhelming evidence that the human species evolved with and among the primates for millions of years including the evolution of the brain therefore the mind. God determines the course of Creation and evolution of our spiritual and physical nature not you nor I.

lee_merrill
09-17-2017, 01:24 PM
Since you can not show how they exist (apart form minds), and that they have no spacial location, how is this any more than an assertion?
Well, I believe that moral laws are not arbitrary, and thus they are unchangeable, and thus they are eternal. That's pretty close to self-existent, IMHO. And if a forgotten dream can exist, doesn't that argue against your view here?

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-17-2017, 01:43 PM
So does the human primate act according to its impulses but their higher intelligence enables their “impulses” to be conceptualised into a formal system of morality. As for “stealing”, those higher up the hierarchical scale would thump those lower down the scale if they stole from them...a more primitive means of maintaining communal Law and Order, where everybody knows their place.
There is an essential difference in denying yourself because you know it's right, and denying yourself because of fear of retribution, though.

Best wishes,
Lee

seer
09-17-2017, 01:48 PM
Well, I believe that moral laws are not arbitrary, and thus they are unchangeable, and thus they are eternal. That's pretty close to self-existent, IMHO. And if a forgotten dream can exist, doesn't that argue against your view here?

Blessings,
Lee

Lee, a forgotten dream doesn't exist. If it is hidden in our memory it would only still exist in our minds. And yes I agree that moral law is not arbitrary because it is sourced in God's unchangeable moral character. I give God the glory for an unchangeable ethical rule, what do you give glory to?

Tassman
09-17-2017, 06:20 PM
There is an essential difference in denying yourself because you know it's right, and denying yourself because of fear of retribution, though.


Isn’t that why Christians deny themselves...for fear of eternal retribution?

We deny ourselves because we are a social species and genetically predisposed to live in community. For a social species such as us the benefits of being part of an altruistic group outweigh the benefits of individualism.

Tassman
09-17-2017, 08:21 PM
I agree that moral law is not arbitrary because it is sourced in God's unchangeable moral character. I give God the glory for an unchangeable ethical rule, what do you give glory to?

Oh really! Where do you get to know about this "unchangeable moral character" of his, the bible? This presupposes both scriptural inerrancy and the truth of orthodox Christianity's beliefs. There’s no good reason for such presuppositions. Biblical arguments are weak.

seer
09-18-2017, 04:49 AM
God determines the course of Creation and evolution of our spiritual and physical nature not you nor I.

Right, and according to your religion God made humans different by creating them in His image and giving them a rational soul, so that we can discover and understand ethical abstracts and act on them.

seer
09-18-2017, 04:50 AM
Oh really! Where do you get to know about this "unchangeable moral character" of his, the bible? This presupposes both scriptural inerrancy and the truth of orthodox Christianity's beliefs. There’s no good reason for such presuppositions. Biblical arguments are weak.

Hey Homer, I was speaking to a fellow Christian - go back to your sand box...

lee_merrill
09-18-2017, 03:34 PM
Lee, a forgotten dream doesn't exist. If it is hidden in our memory it would only still exist in our minds.
But its effects persist, thus the dream is part of reality.


And yes I agree that moral law is not arbitrary because it is sourced in God's unchangeable moral character. I give God the glory for an unchangeable ethical rule, what do you give glory to?
I give glory to God for embodying goodness itself.

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-18-2017, 03:51 PM
Isn’t that why Christians deny themselves...for fear of eternal retribution?
Not at their best, no, they deny themselves out of love for God, for the love of goodness.


We deny ourselves because we are a social species and genetically predisposed to live in community.
Well, I don't know that anyone has found an altruistic gene yet.


For a social species such as us the benefits of being part of an altruistic group outweigh the benefits of individualism.
But denying myself goes against my impulses, it doesn't seem like evolution is just programming my impulses.

Best wishes,
Lee

seer
09-18-2017, 03:58 PM
But its effects persist, thus the dream is part of reality.

No Lee, there are dreams that are completely forgotten and have no further effect. And yes a dream is part of reality, the reality of the mind. Where dreams, like ethics are born.



I give glory to God for embodying goodness itself.

Blessings,
Lee

Why - since there is an external standard that He didn't create and has to up too.

Tassman
09-18-2017, 08:17 PM
Not at their best, no, they deny themselves out of love for God, for the love of goodness.

Everyone is acculturated by and to societal values, some more successfully than others, and although theists like to attribute these values to a deity there’s no reason to do so.


Well, I don't know that anyone has found an altruistic gene yet.

Or a “god” gene! This is merely the nature vs. nurture argument.


But denying myself goes against my impulses, it doesn't seem like evolution is just programming my impulses.

As a member of a social species you benefit from being a part of a community. This requires the restraint of individual selfishness. It’s clearly evolved behaviour and we see the precursors of such behaviour among the other primates.

Tassman
09-18-2017, 08:25 PM
Hey Homer, I was speaking to a fellow Christian - go back to your sand box...

I'm asking a question you have yet to answer despite being asked several times: Again: "Where do you get to know about this "unchangeable moral character" of God, the bible? This presupposes both scriptural inerrancy and the truth of orthodox Christianity's beliefs. There’s no good reason for such presuppositions. Biblical arguments are weak.

lee_merrill
09-20-2017, 03:26 PM
No Lee, there are dreams that are completely forgotten and have no further effect.
But some dreams affect behavior, and thus the effects would persist after the dream is forgotten.


Why - since there is an external standard that He didn't create and has to up too.
But God doesn't have to live up to a standard, he embodies that standard. And there being a self-existent standard I think doesn't bother the Lord.

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-20-2017, 03:44 PM
But denying myself goes against my impulses, it doesn't seem like evolution is just programming my impulses.
As a member of a social species you benefit from being a part of a community. This requires the restraint of individual selfishness. It’s clearly evolved behaviour and we see the precursors of such behaviour among the other primates.
Well, we've stated our cases, now I guess it's time to agree to disagree. I do have a question, though, since this thread is about objective morality. Are such morals objective?

Best wishes,
Lee

JimL
09-20-2017, 05:01 PM
Well, we've stated our cases, now I guess it's time to agree to disagree. I do have a question, though, since this thread is about objective morality. Are such morals objective?

Best wishes,
Lee
Morals themselves are not objective, they aren't things that have existence somewhere out there in space, they are not arbitrary, but they are not objective, but the effects of our behaviors are objective in that they effect our lives as a social species. They serve a purpose, the best interests of human life in general, and human society in particular. There is no reason to assume morals to be objective realities in and of themselves since the only purpose of human morals is that they are relative to the interests of humanity.

Tassman
09-20-2017, 10:10 PM
Well, we've stated our cases, now I guess it's time to agree to disagree. I do have a question, though, since this thread is about objective morality. Are such morals objective?

No. Morals are purely functional; they arose via natural selection to regulate behaviour in order to facilitate the process of survival via selection and gene propagation. There is no reason to suppose that they exist eternally...floating around in some sort mystical heaven of Platonic Forms.

seer
09-21-2017, 04:36 AM
But its effects persist, thus the dream is part of reality.

Lee, that does not make sense. Say I dream that I left the stove on, I get up to check, and sure enough, it was on. I turn it off. Nothing persists at that point on, it is in the past. Again Lee, you have to demonstrate how ethics can exist independently apart from a mind or minds.


But God doesn't have to live up to a standard, he embodies that standard. And there being a self-existent standard I think doesn't bother the Lord.



Why would you even need to argue for an independent standard when God already embodies goodness? To what end?

lee_merrill
09-21-2017, 10:50 AM
There is no reason to assume morals to be objective realities in and of themselves since the only purpose of human morals is that they are relative to the interests of humanity.


No. Morals are purely functional; they arose via natural selection to regulate behaviour in order to facilitate the process of survival via selection and gene propagation. There is no reason to suppose that they exist eternally...floating around in some sort mystical heaven of Platonic Forms.
Then why should I obey them? I see no special reason to follow morals if they are mere artifacts of evolution.

Best wishes,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-21-2017, 10:56 AM
Lee, that does not make sense. Say I dream that I left the stove on, I get up to check, and sure enough, it was on. I turn it off. Nothing persists at that point on, it is in the past.
Yet the world is different now that I turned the stove off at that time, there are lasting effects.


Again Lee, you have to demonstrate how ethics can exist independently apart from a mind or minds.
Like one planet forming plus another planet forming equals two planets, apart from anyone noticing this.


Why would you even need to argue for an independent standard when God already embodies goodness? To what end?
Because I believe that goodness is not arbitrary, that it could not possibly have been good to steal or commit adultery.

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-21-2017, 11:26 AM
Then why should I obey them? I see no special reason to follow morals if they are mere artifacts of evolution.

Best wishes,
Lee

And I see no special reason to follow "objective" morals - if they exist.

seer
09-21-2017, 11:30 AM
Yet the world is different now that I turned the stove off at that time, there are lasting effects.

Until I turn the stove on again, but the forgotten dream itself is still gone.



Like one planet forming plus another planet forming equals two planets, apart from anyone noticing this.


Right, but that is a physical act not an abstract principle that only exist in rational minds - as far as I know.


Because I believe that goodness is not arbitrary, that it could not possibly have been good to steal or commit adultery.


But it would not be arbitrary if it was grounded in God's immutable moral character alone. So to what end are you arguing for this?

JimL
09-21-2017, 11:30 AM
Then why should I obey them? I see no special reason to follow morals if they are mere artifacts of evolution.

Best wishes,
Lee
Like I said, the reason to obey them is because ultimately, morals, and the enforcement thereof, are meant to serve the best interests of human society, therefore, ultimately, they serve your own best interests as a human individual living in society. Surely you don't obey moral laws simply because you believe them to be objective, do you?

lee_merrill
09-21-2017, 02:13 PM
Until I turn the stove on again, but the forgotten dream itself is still gone.
But its effects are still present in the world, the world would be different if I had not turned off the stove at that time.


Right, but that is a physical act not an abstract principle that only exist in rational minds - as far as I know.
But the principle is illustrated, is demonstrated by the act, the principle is real, there really are two planets as a result.


But it would not be arbitrary if it was grounded in God's immutable moral character alone. So to what end are you arguing for this?
Because I believe it's true? Have you heard of The Euthyphro dilemma (http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/christian-ethics/divine-command-theory/the-euthyphro-dilemma/)?

The Euthyphro dilemma rests on a modernised version of the question asked by Socrates in the Euthyphro: “Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?”
I hold that morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good. Frank Turek would go farther, and say morally good acts are willed by God because he is the embodiment of goodness. I think I can subscribe to that too, I only insist that goodness is self-existent, if the world were populated by Roman gods that bicker and squabble, the standard of "love your neighbor as yourself" would still stand.

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-21-2017, 02:15 PM
Like I said, the reason to obey them is because ultimately, morals, and the enforcement thereof, are meant to serve the best interests of human society, therefore, ultimately, they serve your own best interests as a human individual living in society.
My own best interests might be to avoid going to battle! Self-preservation can conflict with societal preservation. But why should society be preserved?

Best wishes,
Lee

seer
09-21-2017, 04:13 PM
Because I believe it's true? Have you heard of The Euthyphro dilemma (http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/christian-ethics/divine-command-theory/the-euthyphro-dilemma/)?

The Euthyphro dilemma rests on a modernised version of the question asked by Socrates in the Euthyphro: “Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?”

I hold that morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good. Frank Turek would go farther, and say morally good acts are willed by God because he is the embodiment of goodness. I think I can subscribe to that too, I only insist that goodness is self-existent, if the world were populated by Roman gods that bicker and squabble, the standard of "love your neighbor as yourself" would still stand.

Blessings,
Lee

Yes, God is the embodiment of goodness so an external standard is meaningless. What God wills is good, since He is the embodiment of goodness, by nature. His acts need not be judged by or conform to an objective standard. And if God is the standard then that standard is self-existent in Him. Then you need not deal with all that nonsensical stuff about morals existing apart from minds.

JimL
09-21-2017, 05:03 PM
My own best interests might be to avoid going to battle! Self-preservation can conflict with societal preservation. But why should society be preserved?

Best wishes,
Lee
You may believe it in your own best interest to murder and rob others as well, but if ones own personal best interests were all that mattered then the same would apply to everyone which would counter your notion of what it is that you believe to be your best interests. Morals aren't all about you, you're just part of the equation.

shunyadragon
09-21-2017, 05:17 PM
My own best interests might be to avoid going to battle!

You might, but in a primate community you would be severely punished as a freeloader.


Self-preservation can conflict with societal preservation.

It is possible, but subject to severe punishment in both primate and human societies.


But why should society be preserved?

Because the survival of society is the purpose of society, and the species, and not the survival of the individual.

Tassman
09-21-2017, 06:23 PM
Then why should I obey them?

We are predisposed via natural selection to obey the rules of society. It’s not all about you; we have evolved as social beings.


I see no special reason to follow morals if they are mere artifacts of evolution.

We are all acculturated from the cradle onward, to conform to the rules of society or face the consequences.

lee_merrill
09-22-2017, 11:46 AM
And if God is the standard then that standard is self-existent in Him. Then you need not deal with all that nonsensical stuff about morals existing apart from minds.
Well, I think it's sensible! God doesn't mind demonstrating his righteousness: "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." (Rom. 3:25-26)

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-22-2017, 12:29 PM
Well, I think it's sensible! God doesn't mind demonstrating his righteousness: "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." (Rom. 3:25-26)

Blessings,
Lee

What is sensible Lee? Of course God doesn't mind demonstrating his righteousness, for by nature He is righteous.

lee_merrill
09-22-2017, 01:55 PM
You may believe it in your own best interest to murder and rob others as well, but if ones own personal best interests were all that mattered then the same would apply to everyone which would counter your notion of what it is that you believe to be your best interests.
All I'm saying is that my best interest can conflict with society's best interest. But why should society be preserved? If it comes to that, why should I be preserved?

Best wishes,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-22-2017, 01:57 PM
Because the survival of society is the purpose of society, and the species, and not the survival of the individual.
But why should I honor the purpose of society?

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-22-2017, 01:59 PM
What is sensible Lee? Of course God doesn't mind demonstrating his righteousness, for by nature He is righteous.
Indeed, God doesn't mind showing that he meets an external standard!

"Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?" (Eze. 18:28-29)

Blessings,
Lee

seer
09-22-2017, 02:41 PM
Indeed, God doesn't mind showing that he meets an external standard!

"Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?" (Eze. 18:28-29)

Blessings,
Lee

Sheesh Lee, that does not make your case, it is God, not some external standard, that defines what is right!

Isaiah 45:19

I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

Tassman
09-22-2017, 10:11 PM
But why should I honor the purpose of society?

Because we have evolved as social beings and are predisposed via natural selection to obey the rules of society;

lee_merrill
09-23-2017, 02:55 PM
... it is God, not some external standard, that defines what is right!

Isaiah 45:19

I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
Yes, the Lord speak righteousness, but you need the verse to say "I declare the things that are right". But the verse doesn't say that. And God is willing to have his deeds examined by an external standard, the verse I quoted shows just that.

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-23-2017, 02:58 PM
But why should I honor the purpose of society?
Because we have evolved as social beings and are predisposed via natural selection to obey the rules of society;
But evolution is not forcing me to obey, so (to be clearer) I restate my question: why ought I honor the purpose of society?

Best wishes,
Lee

JimL
09-23-2017, 04:28 PM
All I'm saying is that my best interest can conflict with society's best interest. But why should society be preserved? If it comes to that, why should I be preserved?
What do you mean why? See if you can answer that question for yourself, since I already have.

Tassman
09-23-2017, 11:56 PM
But evolution is not forcing me to obey, so (to be clearer) I restate my question: why ought I honor the purpose of society?

Evolution is not forcing you to obey just as it's not forcing a mother to nurture her child. But most mothers do nurture their offspring because they are predisposed via natural selection to do so.

Charles
09-24-2017, 01:38 AM
And I see no special reason to follow "objective" morals - if they exist.

But you see a reason to follow God's commands no matter their content. If you are told to kill, you will kill. And if your God started telling you to act like the religious extremists of ISIS there would be no boundries within your line of ethics to stop you from acting like that.

And the interesting part about objective morals is (given by definition) that whether you see a reason to follow them or not it makes no difference at all to their existence.

Anyway, if any of you have got the time there is rather interesting presentation by Sam Harris (whom I usually don't folllow much) concerning some of these issues. He makes some very good points as to why theistic moral systems are both philosophical nonsense and lead to absurd ideas about right and wrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM-BC5QHexU

Enjoy.

shunyadragon
09-24-2017, 04:21 AM
But evolution is not forcing me to obey, so (to be clearer) I restate my question: why ought I honor the purpose of society?

Best wishes,
Lee

Does God FORCE you to obey? If you chose not to, why should you honor the purpose of society?

The reality of human history is some obey and some do not, and some honor the purpose of society and some do not regardless of whether God exists or not.

In the natural evolution of humanity the purpose of of society is social cooperation, family and community stability, and morals and ethics that must dominate or humanity would not survive. There is no problem that some do not, but that would not dominate humanity as a whole.

seer
09-24-2017, 04:57 AM
But you see a reason to follow God's commands no matter their content. If you are told to kill, you will kill. And if your God started telling you to act like the religious extremists of ISIS there would be no boundries within your line of ethics to stop you from acting like that.

But Charles, there are no boundaries with atheism either, just look at Stalinism or Maoism. But of course there would be boundaries with God since His commands would conform to His immutable moral character.


And the interesting part about objective morals is (given by definition) that whether you see a reason to follow them or not it makes no difference at all to their existence.


Well the fact that they don't exist is interesting too. Unless you can demonstrate otherwise. And the law of God would still exist whether we decided to follow them or not.


Anyway, if any of you have got the time there is rather interesting presentation by Sam Harris (whom I usually don't folllow much) concerning some of these issues. He makes some very good points as to why theistic moral systems are both philosophical nonsense and lead to absurd ideas about right and wrong:
Enjoy.

I have read Sam Harris over the years, if you want to bring up a particular point post it here.

seer
09-24-2017, 05:00 AM
In the natural evolution of humanity the purpose of of society is social cooperation, family and community stability, and morals and ethics that must dominate or humanity would not survive. There is no problem that some do not, but that would not dominate humanity as a whole.

Shuny, evolutionary processes have no purpose for humankind, not even our survival.

shunyadragon
09-24-2017, 05:52 AM
Shuny, evolutionary processes have no purpose for humankind, not even our survival.

Assertion without support to justify your agenda.

Without the evolutionary advantages of social cooperation, family nurturing of the off-spring, and morals and ethics humans could not survive, neither could primates, and neither could life without the evolutionary advantages to adapt to environments and reproduce.

seer
09-24-2017, 08:20 AM
Assertion without support to justify your agenda.

Without the evolutionary advantages of social cooperation, family nurturing of the off-spring, and morals and ethics humans could not survive, neither could primates, and neither could life without the evolutionary advantages to adapt to environments and reproduce.

Shuny, what I said is perfectly correct - evolutionary processes have no purpose for humankind. Any more than they had a purpose for dinosaurs. The evolutionary process does not care or purpose that we survive, or not. It is indifferent to our existence. Or whether we survive in community or via a solitary life, like certain other species.

shunyadragon
09-24-2017, 01:08 PM
Shuny, what I said is perfectly correct - evolutionary processes have no purpose for humankind. Any more than they had a purpose for dinosaurs. The evolutionary process does not care or purpose that we survive, or not. It is indifferent to our existence. Or whether we survive in community or via a solitary life, like certain other species.

What you said is perfectly based on your agenda, and not the science of evolution. The fact that some species do not survive does not mean that evolution of life does not have a purpose. Different species evolve different behaviors to adapt and survive in different environments. Caring is anthropomorphic consideration. The purpose of evolution is for life and species to survive in different environments, and adapt to changes in environments. Sometimes species succeed and sometimes they fail. This is supported by objective verifiable evidence and not assertion simply based on ones desire to reject evolution and justify your agenda.

Where is the evidence to support your assertion?

seer
09-24-2017, 01:30 PM
What you said is perfectly based on your agenda, and not the science of evolution. The fact that some species do not survive does not mean that evolution of life does not have a purpose. Different species evolve different behaviors to adapt and survive in different environments. Caring is anthropomorphic consideration. The purpose of evolution is for life and species to survive in different environments, and adapt to changes in environments. Sometimes species succeed and sometimes they fail. This is supported by objective verifiable evidence and not assertion simply based on ones desire to reject evolution and justify your agenda.

Where is the evidence to support your assertion?

Nonsense Shuny, natural forces are not sentient. They do not intent or purpose anything, not our survival, not the survival of any species. Some species get lucky, others don't. That is all there is to it.

shunyadragon
09-24-2017, 03:07 PM
Nonsense Shuny, natural forces are not sentient. They do not intent or purpose anything, . . .

True but that is not how evolution works in the real world.



. . . not our survival, not the survival of any species. Some species get lucky, others don't. That is all there is to it.

That is all there is to your anti-science agenda. Evolution is not a product of anthropomorphic intent and purposes. It is a product of natural processes that life evolves to survive and adapt to different environments. by far the evidence is conclusive most species either evolve in response to a change in environment, or go extinct if the change cannot be adapted to or a catastrophic natural event. Even in events such as the extinction of the dinosaurs many species evolved and changed in response to the changes in the environment. There is no necessary anthropomorphic intent nor purpose necessary.

Tassman
09-25-2017, 12:08 AM
But Charles, there are no boundaries with atheism either, just look at Stalinism or Maoism. But of course there would be boundaries with God since His commands would conform to His immutable moral character.

The problem with this view is that God is a fictional entity and all his moral attributes were given to him by Man who made him in his own image. Hence we had a violent tribal god in Moses' time and a more loving entity in Jesus' time.


Well the fact that they don't exist is interesting too. Unless you can demonstrate otherwise. And the law of God would still exist whether we decided to follow them or not.

The law of God would only exist for as long as people believe it does. God is like Tinkerbell. If you stop believing in him he dies.

seer
09-25-2017, 07:55 AM
True but that is not how evolution works in the real world.

But you just said it was true...




That is all there is to your anti-science agenda. Evolution is not a product of anthropomorphic intent and purposes. It is a product of natural processes that life evolves to survive and adapt to different environments. by far the evidence is conclusive most species either evolve in response to a change in environment, or go extinct if the change cannot be adapted to or a catastrophic natural event. Even in events such as the extinction of the dinosaurs many species evolved and changed in response to the changes in the environment. There is no necessary anthropomorphic intent nor purpose necessary.


And? You are making my point - natural laws do not intent or purpose anything. Some species get lucky, others don't.

Charles
09-25-2017, 09:59 AM
But Charles, there are no boundaries with atheism either, just look at Stalinism or Maoism. But of course there would be boundaries with God since His commands would conform to His immutable moral character.



Well the fact that they don't exist is interesting too. Unless you can demonstrate otherwise. And the law of God would still exist whether we decided to follow them or not.



I have read Sam Harris over the years, if you want to bring up a particular point post it here.

1) There are boundries. But by using the word "either" you seem to admit your system contains no boundries. Interesting! And scarry!

2) Your point was that even if they existed you would not see a reason to follow them. In short that is like saying: even if something is objectively morally wrong I don't care.

3) I encourage you to see the video. His main point is that Christianity is not a foundation of ethics. It is a contradiction of ethics. Some of the reasons for that can be seen above. But his account is more detailed. Enjoy.

seer
09-25-2017, 10:58 AM
1) There are boundries. But by using the word "either" you seem to admit your system contains no boundries. Interesting! And scarry!

"Either" may not be the correct word, but you already knew that I believe God has moral boundaries. What boundaries does the Maoist or Stalinist have?


2) Your point was that even if they existed you would not see a reason to follow them. In short that is like saying: even if something is objectively morally wrong I don't care.


The point Charles is there is no reason to follow them, logically. If a man is selfish and can get away with whatever why follow this objective rule, even if he believed in it? What is the upside?


3) I encourage you to see the video. His main point is that Christianity is not a foundation of ethics. It is a contradiction of ethics. Some of the reasons for that can be seen above. But his account is more detailed. Enjoy.

Charles I have been around enough to know that absurdity is often in the eye of the beholder. And talk about absurdity - Sam Harris does not believe we have free will, but that all our thoughts and acts are determined biologically and by antecedent conditions - which means there is no freedom of thought, which means Harris has no idea if he was determined to believe a truism on this issue or not. But if you have a particular point please post it here.

And you should watch the this debate,where Craig takes Harris' argument apart:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqaHXKLRKzg

Charles
09-25-2017, 01:33 PM
"Either" may not be the correct word, but you already knew that I believe God has moral boundaries. What boundaries does the Maoist or Stalinist have?



The point Charles is there is no reason to follow them, logically. If a man is selfish and can get away with whatever why follow this objective rule, even if he believed in it? What is the upside?



Charles I have been around enough to know that absurdity is often in the eye of the beholder. And talk about absurdity - Sam Harris does not believe we have free will, but that all our thoughts and acts are determined biologically and by antecedent conditions - which means there is no freedom of thought, which means Harris has no idea if he was determined to believe a truism on this issue or not. But if you have a particular point please post it here.

And you should watch the this debate,where Craig takes Harris' argument apart:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqaHXKLRKzg

1) There is no way for you to determine or make any evaluation of whether those boundries are fair or not. You admitted you were prepared to kill, just to mention one. The maoist or stalinist do not know any boundries. What does that have to do with the case? Do you think they represent me or that their opinion obliges the rest of us to accept their opinion as equally qualified. As long as fools exist we cannot claim to be wise? Or what is your point? It seems very weak.

2) If the fact that something is morally wrong is not a reason enough for you to not do it, the error lies with you not with the moral truths. You are basically saying that selfishnes is the truth and what we should go for, unless it is punished and then it is better for our personal interest to treat others with a little more respect in order to avoid the consequences. A very sad view on human relations. In the opinion of many Christians a person can kill and torture innocent people everyday his whole life and then repent 5 minutes before he dies and then go to the etarnal glory in heaven while those he killed can go to hell. It may be that you do not hold this view. Quite many Christians do.

3) If you have a particular point about Craig whose points were taken apart by Harris then please post it here :lol:

lee_merrill
09-25-2017, 02:38 PM
You may believe it in your own best interest to murder and rob others as well, but if ones own personal best interests were all that mattered then the same would apply to everyone which would counter your notion of what it is that you believe to be your best interests.

All I'm saying is that my best interest can conflict with society's best interest. But why should society be preserved? If it comes to that, why should I be preserved?
What do you mean why? See if you can answer that question for yourself, since I already have.
Well, society is not going to punish me if I don't preserve myself. Why ought I to obey any moral impulse?


Evolution is not forcing you to obey just as it's not forcing a mother to nurture her child. But most mothers do nurture their offspring because they are predisposed via natural selection to do so.
But why ought I to obey?

Best wishes, Lee

seer
09-25-2017, 02:48 PM
1) There is no way for you to determine or make any evaluation of whether those boundries are fair or not. You admitted you were prepared to kill, just to mention one. The maoist or stalinist do not know any boundries. What does that have to do with the case? Do you think they represent me or that their opinion obliges the rest of us to accept their opinion as equally qualified. As long as fools exist we cannot claim to be wise? Or what is your point? It seems very weak.

No Charles, it is immaterial where you would draw the line, the question is, is there a line. With God there is that possibility, with atheism there is not.


2) If the fact that something is morally wrong is not a reason enough for you to not do it, the error lies with you not with the moral truths. You are basically saying that selfishnes is the truth and what we should go for, unless it is punished and then it is better for our personal interest to treat others with a little more respect in order to avoid the consequences. A very sad view on human relations. In the opinion of many Christians a person can kill and torture innocent people everyday his whole life and then repent 5 minutes before he dies and then go to the etarnal glory in heaven while those he killed can go to hell. It may be that you do not hold this view. Quite many Christians do.

First Charles, yes I do believe that all men can find forgiveness with God, even you! Second, you really did not answer my question - there is no upside for the selfish man. In other words objective morality has no real application in the world. A moral relativist could treat others with a little more respect just because he feels it is right, objective morality is not necessary. And you should read C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce - where the murdered man in hell meets the man who murdered him living in heaven. Interesting dialog.



3) If you have a particular point about Craig whose points were taken apart by Harris then please post it here :lol:

Well one interesting point was about what I brought up. If we really are just biological machines as Harris suggests, then how can machines be held morally responsible? In what sense are they responsible?

JimL
09-25-2017, 04:35 PM
Well, society is not going to punish me if I don't preserve myself. Why ought I to obey any moral impulse?
Not sure what the question has to do with the assertion here, but you ought to obey because morals are in the best interests of both society and ultimately yourself.


But why ought I to obey?
The best interests of society, to which you are a member, is not about you and your interests alone, thats why you ought to obey. Self interests alone, over and above the interests of society is destructive to the best interests of the whole body which in turn is detrimental to the best interests of the individual members thereof, including your own.

Tassman
09-25-2017, 06:07 PM
Well, society is not going to punish me if I don't preserve myself. Why ought I to obey any moral impulse?

But society will punish you if your behaviour imperils the stability of the society.


But why ought I to obey?

You can't make an "ought" from an "is" as the great David Hume opined. We obey because we are instinctively predisposed to obey and have been conditioned from infancy onward, to obey to rules of society.

Tassman
09-25-2017, 06:16 PM
2) If the fact that something is morally wrong is not a reason enough for you to not do it, the error lies with you not with the moral truths. You are basically saying that selfishnes is the truth and what we should go for, unless it is punished and then it is better for our personal interest to treat others with a little more respect in order to avoid the consequences. A very sad view on human relations. In the opinion of many Christians a person can kill and torture innocent people everyday his whole life and then repent 5 minutes before he dies and then go to the etarnal glory in heaven while those he killed can go to hell. It may be that you do not hold this view. Quite many Christians do.

It's seer's tiresome little game which he plays endlessly. The conclusion you are meant to draw from it is that without God there can be no morality. This is an unsupported assertion and he forgets that we have evolved as a social species and therefore predisposed to obey the rules of the group.

shunyadragon
09-25-2017, 06:55 PM
But you just said it was true...

No I did not, the fact that some species go extinct and others do not is the circumstances of the changing environment, and not luck. What you refuse to accept is the overwhelming evidence that species evolve and adapt to changing environments, and the opportunity to occupy new environments. Purpose and intent )Intelligent Design is not only not necessary for evolution to take place naturally over millions of years, but there is no objective evidence that supports this view..





And? You are making my point - natural laws do not intent or purpose anything.

No, I am not making your point. Yes, purpose and intent is not necessary concerning the nature of our physical existence as a scientific explanation. Intent and purpose is a Theist belief and not necessary for science to demonstrate that the natural processes and Natural Laws to explain the nature of our physical existence, origins and evolution of life.

lee_merrill
09-25-2017, 07:24 PM
The best interests of society, to which you are a member, is not about you and your interests alone, thats why you ought to obey. Self interests alone, over and above the interests of society is destructive to the best interests of the whole body which in turn is detrimental to the best interests of the individual members thereof, including your own.
I ought to obey so we can all have a better life? But why should we all have a better life?


You can't make an "ought" from an "is" as the great David Hume opined.
Yes, indeed--so I really need not obey any given moral impulse, especially if it looks like I can get away with it.

Best wishes,
Lee

Tassman
09-25-2017, 08:24 PM
I ought to obey so we can all have a better life? But why should we all have a better life?

It's more pleasant than the alternative.


Yes, indeed--so I really need not obey any given moral impulse, especially if it looks like I can get away with it.

Many don't. But they risk the censure and ultimately punishment by the group.

seer
09-26-2017, 04:56 AM
No I did not, the fact that some species go extinct and others do not is the circumstances of the changing environment, and not luck. What you refuse to accept is the overwhelming evidence that species evolve and adapt to changing environments, and the opportunity to occupy new environments. Purpose and intent )Intelligent Design is not only not necessary for evolution to take place naturally over millions of years, but there is no objective evidence that supports this view..

Shuny, I said that natural forces are not sentient that they do not intent or purpose anything. You said that was true. And I'm not sure what you mean by objective evidence, humankind could have never evolved to our present state of knowledge, science, ethics, etc... without the rational soul - or so your religion teaches. It is the rational soul that separates us from the animals. Human beings are not merely the product of natural evolution. And Shuny that rational soul is the product of God's intelligent creative act.

shunyadragon
09-26-2017, 07:57 PM
Shuny, I said that natural forces are not sentient that they do not intent or purpose anything. You said that was true. And I'm not sure what you mean by objective evidence, humankind could have never evolved to our present state of knowledge, science, ethics, etc... without the rational soul - or so your religion teaches. It is the rational soul that separates us from the animals. Human beings are not merely the product of natural evolution.

Not an accurate citation of what I said.


And Shuny that rational soul is the product of God's intelligent creative act.

True, but that is not related to my argument.

seer
09-27-2017, 04:54 AM
True, but that is not related to my argument.

It is related to the whole subject, humankind only developed as it did because of the rational soul. Nature alone did not get us here, not scientifically, not with general knowledge, not ethically.

shunyadragon
09-27-2017, 06:45 AM
It is related to the whole subject, humankind only developed as it did because of the rational soul. Nature alone did not get us here, not scientifically, not with general knowledge, not ethically.

Actually, humankind including the rational soul were created and developed because of God, and not the rational soul.

I believe God Created by natural methods and natural laws and in harmony with how science describes our physical existence. Your argument fails when you try to argue against science to justify your agenda. Science is neutral to Theological beliefs and justification, and describes our physical existence simply as it is.

The scientific explanation for our physical existence, abiogenesis, and evolution are the best explanation beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, there are many unknowns, but careful 'arguing from ignorance' is a fallacy, and not a coherent argument for your agenda.

seer
09-27-2017, 08:35 AM
Actually, humankind including the rational soul were created and developed because of God, and not the rational soul.

I believe God Created by natural methods and natural laws and in harmony with how science describes our physical existence. Your argument fails when you try to argue against science to justify your agenda. Science is neutral to Theological beliefs and justification, and describes our physical existence simply as it is.

The scientific explanation for our physical existence, abiogenesis, and evolution are the best explanation beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, there are many unknowns, but careful 'arguing from ignorance' is a fallacy, and not a coherent argument for your agenda.

Science can not account for the rational soul, it is immaterial, and it makes us what we are - and separates us from the animals, as your religion teaches.

JimL
09-27-2017, 08:42 AM
Science can not account for the rational soul, it is immaterial, and it makes us what we are - and separates us from the animals, as your religion teaches.
Where is this soul located in the body seer? Descartes thought it sat in the pineal gland. What do you think?

seer
09-27-2017, 09:21 AM
Where is this soul located in the body seer? Descartes thought it sat in the pineal gland. What do you think?

It is immaterial so it is non-spatial.

lee_merrill
09-27-2017, 01:23 PM
It's more pleasant than the alternative.
For us, maybe, but why should our interests trump the interests of other species?


Many don't. But they risk the censure and ultimately punishment by the group.
Certainly, so we are maximizing self-interest, with a view to the risk involved. But this would not be what most people would think of as moral behavior.

Best wishes,
Lee

shunyadragon
09-27-2017, 03:45 PM
Science can not account for the rational soul, it is immaterial, and it makes us what we are - and separates us from the animals, as your religion teaches.

I have always agreed with this, but it is not subject at hand concerning your problems with evolution, which does not deal with the rational soul, because it is beyond the scope of Methodological Naturalism.

As far as the science of evolution explaining the physical natural processes of the history of humanity, our ancestors and the evolution of life, this is supported by the objective verifiable evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, which is more certain than any other explanation.

JimL
09-27-2017, 04:23 PM
It is immaterial so it is non-spatial.

So it doesn't exist in space then? When you say it is non-spatial, do you mean to say that it isn't confined somewhere within your body?

shunyadragon
09-27-2017, 08:08 PM
For us, maybe, but why should our interests trump the interests of other species?

This is natural expected behavior in the evolution for a given species, or even population within a species that their interests trump the interests of other species, and at times groups within species.



Certainly, so we are maximizing self-interest, with a view to the risk involved. But this would not be what most people would think of as moral behavior.


Nonetheless it is the motivation for moral behavior, and not moral behavior itself. The same goes for cooperative behavior within a group is a motivation for moral behavior for mutual interest. This behavior is wide spread in the animal kingdom, as in primates, and pack hunting animals like wolves.

Tassman
09-27-2017, 10:20 PM
It is immaterial so it is non-spatial.

If the 'soul' is immaterial and non-special, how do you know it exists?

Tassman
09-27-2017, 10:31 PM
For us, maybe, but why should our interests trump the interests of other species?

The interests of all species trump the interests of other species.


Certainly, so we are maximizing self-interest, with a view to the risk involved. But this would not be what most people would think of as moral behavior.

What do you think of as moral behaviour? Morals are just rules of behaviour deriving from the instinctive need for self-preservation and procreation.

seer
09-28-2017, 03:24 AM
If the 'soul' is immaterial and non-special, how do you know it exists?

The same way Shuny does, based on Revelation.

JimL
09-28-2017, 09:48 AM
The same way Shuny does, based on Revelation.

So your body is here in space right, in Connecticut. I'm assuming that your soul hangs out with you in Connecticut, no? :lol:

seer
09-28-2017, 09:59 AM
So your body is here in space right, in Connecticut. I'm assuming that your soul hangs out with you in Connecticut, no? :lol:

Well yes, unless it gets hungry and takes off for NY pizza! I hate when that happens!

shunyadragon
09-28-2017, 01:37 PM
Well yes, unless it gets hungry and takes off for NY pizza! I hate when that happens!

I just go down a few blocks to Anna Maria's Pizzeria for New York Pizza in Hillsborough, NC.

seer
09-28-2017, 03:58 PM
I just go down a few blocks to Anna Maria's Pizzeria for New York Pizza in Hillsborough, NC.

Sorry Shuny, there is no such thing as real pizza in NC, just bread dough with ketchup...

JimL
09-28-2017, 05:16 PM
Well yes, unless it gets hungry and takes off for NY pizza! I hate when that happens!
Obviously I'm being sarcastic, but seriously, if the your soul exists together with your body wherever you are as you move about in space, then to say that it isn't spatial doesn't make sense, does it?

lee_merrill
09-28-2017, 05:51 PM
why should our interests trump the interests of other species?
This is natural expected behavior in the evolution for a given species, or even population within a species that their interests trump the interests of other species, and at times groups within species.
Well, that's "what", what I need to know is "why".



... so we are maximizing self-interest, with a view to the risk involved. But this would not be what most people would think of as moral behavior.
Nonetheless it is the motivation for moral behavior, and not moral behavior itself. The same goes for cooperative behavior within a group is a motivation for moral behavior for mutual interest. This behavior is wide spread in the animal kingdom, as in primates, and pack hunting animals like wolves.
Selfishness is the motive for moral behavior?! I protest...

Blessings,
Lee

lee_merrill
09-28-2017, 06:02 PM
For us, maybe, but why should our interests trump the interests of other species?
The interests of all species trump the interests of other species.
May the Force be with you? But I was inquiring as to why we get special priority over other species.



Certainly, so we are maximizing self-interest, with a view to the risk involved. But this would not be what most people would think of as moral behavior.
What do you think of as moral behaviour?
"Love your neighbor as yourself." This precludes an essentially selfish motive.


Morals are just rules of behaviour deriving from the instinctive need for self-preservation and procreation.
I don't think such instincts can get that far, thus the discussion here, where we seem to have arrived at enlightened self-interest.

Best wishes,
Lee

Tassman
09-28-2017, 08:57 PM
May the Force be with you? But I was inquiring as to why we get special priority over other species.

We don’t get special priority over other species. Every species gives itself priority. The lion about to attack and eat you is looking after its own interests, not yours.


"Love your neighbor as yourself." This precludes an essentially selfish motive.

This is why instinctive reciprocity and altruism is so deeply ingrained in our psyche. The Golden Rule is found enshrined in virtually every culture throughout human history, long predating Jesus.


I don't think such instincts can get that far, thus the discussion here, where we seem to have arrived at enlightened self-interest.

Our morality is grounded in the instinctive need for self-preservation and procreation. It doesn't exist to make God happy.

Tassman
09-28-2017, 09:03 PM
The same way Shuny does, based on Revelation.

One man's "revelation" is another man's mythology.

seer
09-29-2017, 05:01 AM
Obviously I'm being sarcastic, but seriously, if the your soul exists together with your body wherever you are as you move about in space, then to say that it isn't spatial doesn't make sense, does it?

Well yes, it could be non-spatial in that it is not material, like I suggested in the past - the magnet is the physical brain, the magnetic force around the magnet is the mind/soul. The magnet has a physical dimension, the magnetic force not so much even though it depends on the magnet.

lee_merrill
09-29-2017, 05:21 PM
We don’t get special priority over other species. Every species gives itself priority. The lion about to attack and eat you is looking after its own interests, not yours.
Indeed, there is no special place for humans in instinctive morality.


This is why instinctive reciprocity and altruism is so deeply ingrained in our psyche. The Golden Rule is found enshrined in virtually every culture throughout human history, long predating Jesus.
The standard is ingrained in us, yes, but altruism, not so much. Otherwise, we wouldn't need teachers to point out our shortcomings.


Our morality is grounded in the instinctive need for self-preservation and procreation.
But I don't think instincts can get as far as altruism, enlightened self-interest won't give up itself.

Best wishes,
Lee

JimL
09-29-2017, 05:23 PM
Well yes, it could be non-spatial in that it is not material, like I suggested in the past - the magnet is the physical brain, the magnetic force around the magnet is the mind/soul. The magnet has a physical dimension, the magnetic force not so much even though it depends on the magnet.

Seems to me that if what you define as the soul, exists along with your body and moves about in space, then no matter how else you might want to define it, it is spatial.

shunyadragon
09-29-2017, 08:59 PM
Well, that's "what", what I need to know is "why".

For the survival of the species, and life in general.






Selfishness is the motive for moral behavior?! I protest...

Blessings,
Lee

Protest all you like, but to no avail. If the pack of wolves does not respect the hierarchy, share the food and the need to cooperate to hunt large animals for food, the pack cannot survive.

shunyadragon
09-29-2017, 09:04 PM
"Love your neighbor as yourself." This precludes an essentially selfish motive.

No, loving ones neighbor as yourself is a motivation for a cooperative relationship for netter chances of survival.

Tassman
09-29-2017, 10:42 PM
Indeed, there is no special place for humans in instinctive morality.

There is no special place for humans other than being the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom.


The standard is ingrained in us, yes, but altruism, not so much. Otherwise, we wouldn't need teachers to point out our shortcomings.But I don't think instincts can get as far as altruism, enlightened self-interest won't give up itself.

Altruism is just as ingrained as reciprocity in social species such as us. NB the experiments of primatologist and ethologist Frans de Waal.

https://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals

seer
09-30-2017, 03:08 AM
Protest all you like, but to no avail. If the pack of wolves does not respect the hierarchy, share the food and the need to cooperate to hunt large animals for food, the pack cannot survive.

Shuny many species do not live in community, nor do they cooperate to do anything, yet they survive just fine. Lizards, squirrels, bears, etc, etc, etc... demonstrate this fact.

seer
09-30-2017, 03:11 AM
Seems to me that if what you define as the soul, exists along with your body and moves about in space, then no matter how else you might want to define it, it is spatial.

Not really because the soul would not be material. It would have no material presence.

shunyadragon
09-30-2017, 04:41 AM
Shuny many species do not live in community, nor do they cooperate to do anything, yet they survive just fine. Lizards, squirrels, bears, etc, etc, etc... demonstrate this fact.

etc., etc., etc., this seer only demonstrates your ignorance of nature of evolution and life itself on our planet. Over billions of years of evolution life evolves opportunistically to adapt to different environments. It is obvious some animals do not evolve cooperative behavior to survive and adapt to different environments in the diversity of life on our planet. The facts is, particularly in higher mammals, cooperative social behavior evolves as a mechanism for the survival of species.

seer
09-30-2017, 06:34 AM
etc., etc., etc., this seer only demonstrates your ignorance of nature of evolution and life itself on our planet. Over billions of years of evolution life evolves opportunistically to adapt to different environments. It is obvious some animals do not evolve cooperative behavior to survive and adapt to different environments in the diversity of life on our planet. The facts is, particularly in higher mammals, cooperative social behavior evolves as a mechanism for the survival of species.

That does not mean that cooperative behavior is necessary for survival, there are non-social primates and survive just fine.

shunyadragon
09-30-2017, 06:43 AM
That does not mean that cooperative behavior is necessary for survival, there are non-social primates and survive just fine.

Oh yes, seer, it does mean the cooperative behavior is necessary for survival for some species not all. It has been directly observed that when cooperative behavior breaks down individuals do not survive due to predation, breakdown of family structure, failure to nurture the young, and loose of food resources. The breakdown of social order and the individuals do not survive has been observed for in elephants, primates, wolves, and whales. It is already established and acknowledged that some species do not require cooperative behavior to survive.

I have had the college courses that describe the research concerning this. What are your qualifications to make the assertions you make based on your agenda.

seer
09-30-2017, 07:23 AM
Oh yes, seer, it does mean the cooperative behavior is necessary for survival for some species not all. It has been directly observed that when cooperative behavior breaks down individuals do not survive due to predation, breakdown of family structure, failure to nurture the young, and loose of food resources. The breakdown of social order and the individuals do not survive has been observed for in elephants, primates, wolves, and whales. It is already established and acknowledged that some species do not require cooperative behavior to survive.

I have had the college courses that describe the research concerning this. What are your qualifications to make the assertions you make based on your agenda.

Nonsense Shuny, you can not quantify this. There may be advantages in living in community, but there are also disadvantages. People can steal your stuff, hurt or kill you, you are in competition for resources.

JimL
09-30-2017, 07:52 AM
Not really because the soul would not be material. It would have no material presence.

But what differece should that make, if, along with your body, the soul moves about in space, then that is what is meant by spatial, no?

Charles
09-30-2017, 08:13 AM
It's seer's tiresome little game which he plays endlessly. The conclusion you are meant to draw from it is that without God there can be no morality. This is an unsupported assertion and he forgets that we have evolved as a social species and therefore predisposed to obey the rules of the group.

His idea basically seems to be that we have to allow that anything god finds good is good, no matter what. And it is all based on the authority of a god he cannot prove. So if anything can be good and you do not need a proof for the foundation then seer has got great stuff.... :-)

seer
09-30-2017, 08:24 AM
His idea basically seems to be that we have to allow that anything god finds good is good, no matter what. And it is all based on the authority of a god he cannot prove. So if anything can be good and you do not need a proof for the foundation then seer has got great stuff.... :-)

Charles and you have not offered a better ground or source for universal ethics than God. So in reality you are logically mired in moral relativism, which means that your protests against any act of God is as meaningless and without warrant as any other moral opinion that you may happen hold. Great stuff, that...

JimL
09-30-2017, 08:32 AM
Charles and you have not offered a better ground or source for universal ethics than God. So in reality you are logically mired in moral relativism, which means that your protests against any act of God is as meaningless and without warrant as any other moral opinion that you may happen hold. Great stuff, that...

Accept that non-believers don't protest against any act of an actual known to exist god, they don't believe in an actual known to exist god. What we protest is what we believe to be a fantasy god, that if human, most humans would find to be evil.

shunyadragon
09-30-2017, 09:41 AM
Nonsense Shuny, you can not quantify this. There may be advantages in living in community, but there are also disadvantages. People can steal your stuff, hurt or kill you, you are in competition for resources.

There are advantages that out way disadvantages that would lead to the breakdown and failure of the community. The disadvantages? are not a matter of cooperation, but individuals who break the rules both in human and animal communities. Such failure to cooperate and participate like "freeloading" and theft in primate communities is severely punished. Likewise this is true in human communities. It is the survival of the community, and not the individual. Social cooperation dominates in human communities, and animal communities where it is necessary for the community, and the individuals to survive.

seer
09-30-2017, 09:57 AM
Accept that non-believers don't protest against any act of an actual known to exist god, they don't believe in an actual known to exist god. What we protest is what we believe to be a fantasy god, that if human, most humans would find to be evil.

That is just silly Jim, you really have no ground to call anything evil, there is no evil. Just personal or collective preferences.

Charles
09-30-2017, 10:18 AM
Charles and you have not offered a better ground or source for universal ethics than God. So in reality you are logically mired in moral relativism, which means that your protests against any act of God is as meaningless and without warrant as any other moral opinion that you may happen hold. Great stuff, that...

The only defence is an attack? You agree that your reasoning is so bad that you can only hope that others can only come up with something even worse. I am certainly not a relativist. If I was I could perhaps agree with your lack of a true foundation.

And again you start talking as if we know god exists. But as already pointed out that is just a claim you make.

seer
09-30-2017, 10:40 AM
The only defence is an attack? You agree that your reasoning is so bad that you can only hope that others can only come up with something even worse. I am certainly not a relativist. If I was I could perhaps agree with your lack of a true foundation.

Of course rationally you are a relativist, even if you won't admit it, there is nothing else Charles - unless you can demonstrate that a mind independent, universal set of moral values exist. Which as we have so painfully seen - you can't. You can not take the ethical high ground because you have no such ground.


And again you start talking as if we know god exists. But as already pointed out that is just a claim you make.

What does your unbelief have to do with the reality of God's existence? In other words your rejection of God is as meaningless and without warrant as your uniformed moral opinion.

Charles
09-30-2017, 11:55 AM
Of course rationally you are a relativist, even if you won't admit it, there is nothing else Charles - unless you can demonstrate that a mind independent, universal set of moral values exist. Which as we have so painfully seen - you can't. You can not take the ethical high ground because you have no such ground.



What does your unbelief have to do with the reality of God's existence? In other words your rejection of God is as meaningless and without warrant as your uniformed moral opinion.

Rationaly any discussion of ethics is unfounded if relativism is true. I have pointed to that numerous times and given a rather lengthy line of reasoning for that. As I have for universal moral values. The fact that you do not agree makes no difference to me. Nor does it make them less universal.

My unbelief is based on the fact that you have got nothing to prove the existence of god. So it is not just a personal "belief" or opinion. I am just pointing to the fact that the god you have a subjective belief in and in which you found your subjective moral values is one you also need to have subjective faith in and is not one that can be proven to exist. So my unbelief has the same thing to do with the existence of your god as your unbelief in Allah has to do with his existence. What you have got is subjective all the way and even within that subjective box it is circular so it is very, very, very difficult to see it having any appeal.

JimL
09-30-2017, 12:43 PM
That is just silly Jim, you really have no ground to call anything evil, there is no evil. Just personal or collective preferences.

Thats why I said "what most humans would find to be evil." There is no such thing as evil in and of itself, but relative to human beings most people, if they actually looked into it, would consider the Hebrew/christian god to be an evil tyrant.

Charles
09-30-2017, 12:43 PM
That is just silly Jim, you really have no ground to call anything evil, there is no evil. Just personal or collective preferences.

That is one of the reasons why your idea that god is good is an empty claim. You do not really believe in the existence of good.

seer
09-30-2017, 01:30 PM
Rationaly any discussion of ethics is unfounded if relativism is true. I have pointed to that numerous times and given a rather lengthy line of reasoning for that. As I have for universal moral values. The fact that you do not agree makes no difference to me. Nor does it make them less universal.

Charles, I agree that any ethical reasoning apart from universal moral truths is absurd. That is why your position is absurd since you never did or could demonstrate that such truths exist, all you really did was point to the absurdity of it all - that is not an argument for mind independent moral truths, it is an argument for the absurd.



My unbelief is based on the fact that you have got nothing to prove the existence of god. So it is not just a personal "belief" or opinion. I am just pointing to the fact that the god you have a subjective belief in and in which you found your subjective moral values is one you also need to have subjective faith in and is not one that can be proven to exist. So my unbelief has the same thing to do with the existence of your god as your unbelief in Allah has to do with his existence. What you have got is subjective all the way and even within that subjective box it is circular so it is very, very, very difficult to see it having any appeal.

Right and as we have seen there are a number of things that you to take by faith, based on circular reasoning, apart from deductive justification. Do we have to go through all that again or are you going to stop playing the hypocrite?

Charles
09-30-2017, 01:51 PM
Charles, I agree that any ethical reasoning apart from universal moral truths is absurd. That is why your position is absurd since you never did or could demonstrate that such truths exist, all you really did was point to the absurdity of it all - that is not an argument for mind independent moral truths, it is an argument for the absurd.




Right and as we have seen there are a number of things that you to take by faith, based on circular reasoning, apart from deductive justification. Do we have to go through all that again or are you going to stop playing the hypocrite?

A hypocrite? For not wanting to take your subjective unprovable circular claims to be a moral truth? You can disagree with my view but at least it is one that you can actually evaluate and not just a circular statement about what I prefer. It seems to me you still have not realized that your claims that good does not exist is as undermining to the idea of God as to morals. But perhaps that is not a worry when using circular logics and basing morals on unprovable foundations?

seer
09-30-2017, 01:52 PM
Thats why I said "what most humans would find to be evil." There is no such thing as evil in and of itself, but relative to human beings most people, if they actually looked into it, would consider the Hebrew/christian god to be an evil tyrant.

So Jim when you call something evil it really isn't evil since there is no such thing as evil! Got it...

seer
09-30-2017, 01:59 PM
A hypocrite? For not wanting to take your subjective unprovable circular claims to be a moral truth?

But you already do take unprovable circular claims to be true. Do we really have go through this again? Like what goes on in your mind actually corresponds to reality. And Charles I have asked you time and time again to offer a non-circular definition of "good" and at every turn you refused to do so. The reason you don't is because you know very well that your definition will rely on circular reasoning. If not present here, now.

Charles
09-30-2017, 02:08 PM
I have presented my view much more detailed than you have. And as regards assumptions need I remind you that it follows from your own line of reasoning that you do not even know whether you have got it or not? And name one instance where you have accepted circular logic leading to a conclusion you did not already agree with. And, no, sorry, my reasoning is not circular.

Charles
09-30-2017, 02:13 PM
I have presented my view much more detailed than you have. And as regards assumptions need I remind you that it follows from your own line of reasoning that you do not even know whether you have got it or not? And name one instance where you have accepted circular logic leading to a conclusion you did not already agree with. And, no, sorry, my reasoning is not circular.

Perhaps, seer, you should try to give a detailed presentation of your view not depending on what others think but rather presenting it as a line of reasong in itself not in your typical you cannot do better form. Not attacking everyone but rather giving answers. If you have got anything....

seer
09-30-2017, 02:31 PM
I have presented my view much more detailed than you have. And as regards assumptions need I remind you that it follows from your own line of reasoning that you do not even know whether you have got it or not? And name one instance where you have accepted circular logic leading to a conclusion you did not already agree with. And, no, sorry, my reasoning is not circular.

Then Charles give definition of good and why it is good and I will demonstrate why it is circular.

Charles
09-30-2017, 02:37 PM
You know where I presented my view and are yet to prove it circular. And all the other points? Trying to escape talking about your view? Let us see a detailed account if you can give one.

seer
09-30-2017, 02:45 PM
You know where I presented my view and are yet to prove it circular. And all the other points? Trying to escape talking about your view? Let us see a detailed account if you can give one.

Charles, you don't get to avoid the question by asking me one. You know you can not present a definition of good that is non-circular, so you will do anything to push the question off. And in our debate I did show time and time again when you relied on unprovable assumptions. But you can clear it all up here - just present a definition of good and why it is good. Try being honest.

JimL
09-30-2017, 05:11 PM
So Jim when you call something evil it really isn't evil since there is no such thing as evil! Got it...

Do unto others, as you would have done to you. Evil is whatever is harmful to human beings. Why? Because whatever is harmful to human beings is not good for human beings. You already know that, because you live it every day. You believe murder is evil, correct? But you have no problem with the murdering of animals for food, right. How come? Because they're not human beings.

seer
09-30-2017, 05:49 PM
Do unto others, as you would have done to you. Evil is whatever is harmful to human beings. Why? Because whatever is harmful to human beings is not good for human beings. You already know that, because you live it every day. You believe murder is evil, correct? But you have no problem with the murdering of animals for food, right. How come? Because they're not human beings.

And that is the circular moral reasoning I was speaking to Charles about. Thank you, perhaps Charles will get it now.

JimL
09-30-2017, 06:18 PM
And that is the circular moral reasoning I was speaking to Charles about. Thank you, perhaps Charles will get it now.

Call it what you will, thats all there is to it. Your argument makes no sense at all, good and evil are arbitrary, its whatever god says whenever he says it. Murder can be either good or evil, coveting and pillaing anothers property can be either good or evil, etc. etc. etc.

Tassman
09-30-2017, 10:13 PM
Not really because the soul would not be material. It would have no material presence.

If the soul has no material presence how does it interact with our material body? Where's the point of connection.

Tassman
09-30-2017, 10:23 PM
And that is the circular moral reasoning I was speaking to Charles about. Thank you, perhaps Charles will get it now.

No it's not circular reasoning, it's based upon what we know about the natural evolution of social species like us. The "do unto others, as you would have done to you" rule merely embodies the principle of reciprocity which is common to many of the primates.

Charles
09-30-2017, 11:48 PM
Charles, you don't get to avoid the question by asking me one. You know you can not present a definition of good that is non-circular, so you will do anything to push the question off. And in our debate I did show time and time again when you relied on unprovable assumptions. But you can clear it all up here - just present a definition of good and why it is good. Try being honest.

The circle of seer... No answer just some wrong claims that others cannot answer on their part. So we will not get a long and detailed description of your view?

seer
10-01-2017, 02:22 AM
The circle of seer... No answer just some wrong claims that others cannot answer on their part. So we will not get a long and detailed description of your view?

Charles if you are going to be dishonest leave my thread.

seer
10-01-2017, 02:28 AM
Call it what you will, thats all there is to it. Your argument makes no sense at all, good and evil are arbitrary, its whatever god says whenever he says it. Murder can be either good or evil, coveting and pillaing anothers property can be either good or evil, etc. etc. etc.

Nonsense Jim, we have been over this. God's commands can not be arbitrary since His moral character is unchanging. And you just admitted that evil does not actually exist in your world view so murder can actually be good or bad depending on personal or collective preference.

seer
10-01-2017, 02:35 AM
No it's not circular reasoning, it's based upon what we know about the natural evolution of social species like us. The "do unto others, as you would have done to you" rule merely embodies the principle of reciprocity which is common to many of the primates.

It is circular Tass when you bring moral judgements to the question. Then there is the other golden rule: he with the most gold rules. When you say one is more correct, morally, than the other then you will end up in a circle to justify your position. Why should we follow the golden rule? If we can get away with taking advantage of our fellow man - why not?

Charles
10-01-2017, 04:56 AM
Charles if you are going to be dishonest leave my thread.

This is the next step in your no-answer strategy? Why not just give a detailed account of your view? Embarrased by its circularity and lack of proof?

Charles
10-01-2017, 04:58 AM
It is circular Tass when you bring moral judgements to the question. Then there is the other golden rule: he with the most gold rules. When you say one is more correct, morally, than the other then you will end up in a circle to justify your position. Why should we follow the golden rule? If we can get away with taking advantage of our fellow man - why not?

Said the nihilist...