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Thread: Atheism And Moral Progress

  1. #841
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Jim moral ideals do not have independent existence, they are the product of rational minds.
    I agree with you that moral ideals don't have independent existence. They're not floating out there in the ether. They depend on rational wills. But I don't think they are the product of rational minds. God did not produce them. They've been part of His nature forever.

  2. #842
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    No, I just disagree with your analogy. Objective physical truths can be empirically tested and verified, but there is no substantive evidence of moral truths existing outside of human minds.
    You're confusing a few different issues there.

  3. #843
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    1. Empirical evidence is not the only way which we acquire new knowledge.
    Correct, not my point.

    2. 'Begging the question' does not even factor in to the discussion since both I and Jim B. already believes God exists.

    3. It is only "proof" of God if someone believes that moral virtues such as justice, fairness and goodness are objectively real.
    I was responding to the assertion that the only possible cause of the existence of love, justice, and morals and ethics is if God exists, and that is asserting God exists as the only possible explanation, which represents a circular argument.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

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    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  4. #844
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    I agree with you that moral ideals don't have independent existence. They're not floating out there in the ether. They depend on rational wills. But I don't think they are the product of rational minds. God did not produce them. They've been part of His nature forever.
    More specifically morals and ethics are a product of the evolution of the necessary social behavior of humanity to survive as a cooperative intelligent social animal, which we share in other intelligent animals to a limited extent in simpler forms.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  5. Amen Tassman amen'd this post.
  6. #845
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    There is no deeper explanation, as I've already said. The basic definition of good is simply "that which is in accordance with God's nature". Asking why exactly that is is akin to asking why water is defined as a chemical substance whose molecules are made up of 2 hydrogen atoms in a covalent bond with 1 oxygen atom.

    I don't see how love and justice could even be logically prior. There is no way to logically argue for the objective goodness of love, justice or any other virtue that we hold as good, without the existence of God. Furthermore, God is the ultimate source of everything in existence, which would include concepts such as goodness.




    Well, no, He does not create their goodness by incorporating them into His nature. Rather, good is simply defined on the most basic level in the way I defined it above. Defining good without recourse to God can only lead to a definition that while it might possibly be objective in the sense that it doesn't depend on human opinion, has completely lost the most important part of the definition, namely that which explains why we would be obligated, or even want to live in accordance with such a definition of goodness.
    I respect your opinion, Chrawnus. I'll post a longer answer later. Just out of curiosity, do you also think that God is the source of numbers and the fact that a=a?

  7. #846
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    I respect your opinion, Chrawnus. I'll post a longer answer later. Just out of curiosity, do you also think that God is the source of numbers and the fact that a=a?
    I don't think numbers exist objectively, but are subjective constructs of the mind that are used to categorize things in the real world according to quantity. But they don't exist anywhere other than in minds. So in the sense that God is the first conscious being Who is also omniscient, then yes, God is the source of numbers.

    The laws of logic in general I'm more hesitant to state anything for certain about, but I'm inclined towards the belief that they are also an expression of God's (rational) nature. I cannot imagine a world where the laws of logic didn't exist, or where they would look different from what they do now, but simply because I cannot imagine something does not mean it's not theoretically possible. So there doesn't seem to be any good reasons to posit that the laws of logic exist by necessity, outside of the being of God. If they exist and have the form that they do by necessity it would have to be because of they derive from the immutable nature of God and because the only possible worlds are ones where God's nature is identical to the nature that He has in the actual world.

  8. #847
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    I agree with you that moral ideals don't have independent existence. They're not floating out there in the ether. They depend on rational wills. But I don't think they are the product of rational minds. God did not produce them. They've been part of His nature forever.
    I agree that they are a part of God's nature, so what are we arguing about?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  9. #848
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    You're confusing a few different issues there.
    I don’t think so. There’s no doubting that physical truths can be empirically tested and verified. But moral truths arose from human minds, as did the God you claim embodies them.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  10. Amen JimL amen'd this post.
  11. #849
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I agree that they are a part of God's nature, so what are we arguing about?
    I'm saying that things like truth, love, freedom and justice have intrinsic worth. They're part of God's nature because they are good and because God is good. It's not the other way around.

  12. #850
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    I don't think numbers exist objectively, but are subjective constructs of the mind that are used to categorize things in the real world according to quantity. But they don't exist anywhere other than in minds. So in the sense that God is the first conscious being Who is also omniscient, then yes, God is the source of numbers.

    The laws of logic in general I'm more hesitant to state anything for certain about, but I'm inclined towards the belief that they are also an expression of God's (rational) nature. I cannot imagine a world where the laws of logic didn't exist, or where they would look different from what they do now, but simply because I cannot imagine something does not mean it's not theoretically possible. So there doesn't seem to be any good reasons to posit that the laws of logic exist by necessity, outside of the being of God. If they exist and have the form that they do by necessity it would have to be because of they derive from the immutable nature of God and because the only possible worlds are ones where God's nature is identical to the nature that He has in the actual world.
    I don't think that numbers exist, depending on how you define the word exist, but I do think that they are real in some sense in that they are not just subjective. Maybe they are properties that emerge between the mind and the rational structure of reality. Same with logic. If you are a Tirinitarian, then it's apparent that threeness ( and oneness for that matter ) has always been part of the nature of God and couldn't be either subjective or a product of God's mind.

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