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Thread: Objective Morality (Once More Into The Breach)

  1. #21
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    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.

    When the white flame in us is gone,
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness, left alone
    To crumble in our separate night;

    When your swift hair is quiet in death,
    And through the lips corruption thrust
    Has stilled the labour of my breath --
    When we are dust, when we are dust...
    Rupert Brooke



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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    There is objective good.
    Where?

    When the white flame in us is gone,
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness, left alone
    To crumble in our separate night;

    When your swift hair is quiet in death,
    And through the lips corruption thrust
    Has stilled the labour of my breath --
    When we are dust, when we are dust...
    Rupert Brooke



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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Where?
    Reality.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Reality.
    I have no idea what that means.

    When the white flame in us is gone,
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness, left alone
    To crumble in our separate night;

    When your swift hair is quiet in death,
    And through the lips corruption thrust
    Has stilled the labour of my breath --
    When we are dust, when we are dust...
    Rupert Brooke



  5. #25
    tWebber guacamole's Avatar
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    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.
    "Shall we mourn here deedless forever, a shadow-folk, mist-haunting, dropping vain tears in the
    thankless sea?"

  6. #26
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guacamole View Post
    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?

    When the white flame in us is gone,
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness, left alone
    To crumble in our separate night;

    When your swift hair is quiet in death,
    And through the lips corruption thrust
    Has stilled the labour of my breath --
    When we are dust, when we are dust...
    Rupert Brooke



  7. #27
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    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).
    Last edited by 37818; 09-06-2017 at 02:02 PM.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

  8. #28
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    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
    Last edited by lee_merrill; 09-07-2017 at 03:20 AM.

  9. #29
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guacamole View Post
    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

  10. #30
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    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.

    When the white flame in us is gone,
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness, left alone
    To crumble in our separate night;

    When your swift hair is quiet in death,
    And through the lips corruption thrust
    Has stilled the labour of my breath --
    When we are dust, when we are dust...
    Rupert Brooke



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