The Instigator
Philosopher
Con (against)
Losing
74 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Pro (for)
Winning
76 Points

Is Morality dependent on the existence of God?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,149 times Debate No: 6288
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (45)
Votes (24)

 

Philosopher

Con

I intend to argue that morality is not dependent on God's existence. What I mean by this is that if God does not exist, certain actions will still be objectively right or wrong.

In the Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoevsky, it is stated that "Without God, everything is permitted" [1]. That without God to produce commands, to decide what is right and what is wrong, there is no morality.

For the purposes of this debate, I will define God as a supernatural, personal being that has power over, creates, and sustains all things. That He knows all that is possible to know, and is omnibenevolent, or perfectly moral.

Morality shall be defined as a set of prescriptions, what we ought to do, that are not subjective, but apply to all moral agents. So "I ought to eat salad, otherwise I won't be healthy" is a subjective prescription, as it is case sensitive; if you do not want to be healthy, then you are under no obligation to eat salad.

However, "I ought not to needlessly harm others" is not case sensitive, and many would argue that it applies in all instances, for all people. Thus, it is a moral obligation.

The popular moral argument for God's existence goes like this:

1) If moral obligations exist, then God exists.
2) Moral obligations exist.
3) Therefore, God exists.

I will not contend that (2) is false, as I believe that there is an objective set of moral obligations that we should follow. But I reject (1) as unsubstantiated. Is there any reason to believe (1)?

I would argue that we have good reason to reject (1), because of certain logical implications that follow. If morality is dependent on God, specifically His commands, then God decides what is right and wrong. But if this is the case, then could God have decided otherwise? Could God have commanded, for instance, that murder is right?

The Euthyphro Dilemma, outlined in Plato's Dialogues [2], states the problem in the form of two possibilities:
- Is x moral because God commands it?
- Or does God command x because it is moral?

If one accepts the first horn of the dilemma, then morality is arbitrarily based on God's commands, and hence, whatever He commands is moral. However, if one accepts the second horn, then God appears to merely acknowledge morality, rather than define it. Hence, if God commands x because it is moral, then there must be a moral standard above and beyond God, meaning that that standard would still be true even if God didn't exist.

The only conclusion we can draw from the Euthyphro Dilemma is that, if morality is dependent on God's commands, then it is arbitrary, and not in fact objective. If God had decided to make murder morally acceptable, then it would be. But then how can we call God omnibenevolent if this is the case? To say that God is moral just means that God is nothing more than a dictator, who arbitrarily dictates what is right and wrong. But this clearly isn't right. Morality cannot be based on such inclinations, no matter who makes them.

In conclusion, my opponent will have to show that (1) is true, and also show why the Euthyphro Dilemma does not pose a problem for morality based on God's commands. Otherwise, we have every reason to believe that morality is plausible in a Godless universe.

References:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.gutenberg.org...
InquireTruth

Pro

Introduction:

I was thoroughly bemused when confronted with the unique opportunity to debate an atheist, epistemological foundationalist. I hope to have an enjoyable debate and I would like to thank my opponent for his opening argument.

"For the purposes of this debate, I will define God as a supernatural, personal being that has power over, creates, and sustains all things. That He knows all that is possible to know, and is omnibenevolent, or perfectly moral."

My opponent should take note that the God he proposes is not the understanding that shaped Euthyphro's dilemma. Euthyphro's dilemma operated under the assumption of many gods.

"I would argue that we have good reason to reject (1), because of certain logical implications that follow. If morality is dependent on God, specifically His commands, then God decides what is right and wrong. But if this is the case, then could God have decided otherwise? Could God have commanded, for instance, that murder is right?"

This is no different than me asking of the variables of our universe COULD have been different. If they were, the reality of our universe would be radically altered.

1. Euthyphro's Dilemma

"If one accepts the first horn of the dilemma, then morality is arbitrarily based on God's commands, and hence, whatever He commands is moral. However, if one accepts the second horn, then God appears to merely acknowledge morality, rather than define it. Hence, if God commands x because it is moral, then there must be a moral standard above and beyond God, meaning that that standard would still be true even if God didn't exist."

The fundamental flaw is that my opponent presumes that a fixed principal cannot be arbitrary. In fact, there is a copious amount of fixed variables in our universe that, if changed, would radically alter reality. "In the universe next door, we can presume that if there is a different Creator God, then there will also be a different morality, just as a different nuclear weak force would alter the amount of hydrogen and helium in that neighboring universe.(1)"

"The only conclusion we can draw from the Euthyphro Dilemma is that, if morality is dependent on God's commands, then it is arbitrary, and not in fact objective."

False. One would have to presume that fixed principles cannot be arbitrary.

Sources:
(1) 293, The Irrational Atheist
"But this clearly isn't right. Morality cannot be based on such inclinations, no matter who makes them."

Says whom?

2. Your entire argument presupposes an objective standard of morality that is universal and binding without God.
Therefore, you must show what this metric of morality is, where it comes from, how we determine it, and why it is universally binding.

Points that need to be addressed:

1. God is an objective metric of morality because he sets fixed principles into place – that are divinely decreed – and we are judged thereby. What alternative measure of morality is there that is universally binding? That is to say, what do we appeal to when we are trying to rightly suggest that something is wrong?

2. Does my opponent wish to suggest that if we alter any of the fixed variables in our universe that nothing will change? The fact of the matter is, if we change any fixed variable in our universe, reality itself would have to drastically change. If such a change would occur when changing the fixed variables of our universe, why does my opponent assume no change would occur when changing the fixed principles of morality? That is to say, if murder was made right, the universe would have to change in such a way that murder was, indeed, morally right.

Conclusion:
Since God is an objective standard of morality, then objective morality exists with God. My opponent must prove otherwise. He needs to give a universally binding metric of morality.
Debate Round No. 1
Philosopher

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his response. I will respond to his points as I go, and then sum up.

"My opponent should take note that the God he proposes is not the understanding that shaped Euthyphro's dilemma. Euthyphro's dilemma operated under the assumption of many gods."

This is true, though the argument can be adapted to monotheism, as has been done by many modern philosophers [1] [2].

"This is no different than me asking of the variables of our universe COULD have been different. If they were, the reality of our universe would be radically altered."

This certainly is the case. And if the variables of the universe could be different and had no explanation, but were merely brute facts, then they would in fact be arbitrary.

"The fundamental flaw is that my opponent presumes that a fixed principal cannot be arbitrary. In fact, there is a copious amount of fixed variables in our universe that, if changed, would radically alter reality. "In the universe next door, we can presume that if there is a different Creator God, then there will also be a different morality, just as a different nuclear weak force would alter the amount of hydrogen and helium in that neighboring universe.(1)""

I do not presume that a fixed principle cannot be arbitrary. I have stated that, if morality is dependent on God's commands, then morality would not be the same if God had made different commands. My opponent seems to agree with me on this point, as he says that in a different possible universe, if God had made different commands, morality would be different.

"False. One would have to presume that fixed principles cannot be arbitrary."

Again, this is a misinterpretation of my point. If God timelessly commands that murder is wrong, then it will be wrong forever; that command is, as my opponent states, fixed. But, the fact that God could have timelessly commanded murder to be right, means that it is an arbitrary command.

"Says whom?"

Again, if God could have possibly commanded murder to be moral, then isn't morality subjective to God's inclination? If God had written the sixth commandment "Thou shalt kill", wouldn't we still know this commandment to be incorrect?

For morality to be objective, it must not change given the circumstances. As the Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne says, in 'The Existence of God', "Fundamental moral principles must be logically necessary." [3] This means that certain moral obligations, for instance that we ought not to cause needless suffering, are true in all possible universes. In the same way that certain moral truths must be true whatever we say about them, they must be true no matter what God says about them.

I think that where we differ on is the proposition that some truths must be necessarily true. If morality is dependent on God's commands, then you agree that they are, while fixed, arbitrary. However, if God decreed that murder was wrong, wouldn't we know that this command was incorrect? It seems that some things are wrong in every world, and that it is necessarily true that things such as needless harm will always be immoral.

"2. Your entire argument presupposes an objective standard of morality that is universal and binding without God.
Therefore, you must show what this metric of morality is, where it comes from, how we determine it, and why it is universally binding."

My argument does not presuppose an objective standard of morality that is universal and binding without God. I merely argue that morality is independent of God, and that, if God does not exist, it is still POSSIBLE that there is an objective moral standard. Keep in mind that we are not arguing about the existence of morality, but the relationship between morality and God.

"1. God is an objective metric of morality because he sets fixed principles into place – that are divinely decreed – and we are judged thereby. What alternative measure of morality is there that is universally binding? That is to say, what do we appeal to when we are trying to rightly suggest that something is wrong?"

If God can arbitrarily set up a collection of fixed moral principles, much like the arbitrary constants of the universe, then can't an atheist posit that these principles are merely a brute fact, as arbitrarily as if God had decreed them? Please keep in mind that it is not my burden to account for morality in this debate. We are trying to discern whether morality is dependent on God.

"2. Does my opponent wish to suggest that if we alter any of the fixed variables in our universe that nothing will change? The fact of the matter is, if we change any fixed variable in our universe, reality itself would have to drastically change. If such a change would occur when changing the fixed variables of our universe, why does my opponent assume no change would occur when changing the fixed principles of morality? That is to say, if murder was made right, the universe would have to change in such a way that murder was, indeed, morally right."

Is my opponent implying that, if God had commanded murder to be moral, it would be, and that in such a universe we would be morally obliged to follow God's command?

Concluding remarks:

My opponent has stated that I assume that something cannot be arbitrary and also fixed. In fact, I agree with my opponent, that if God timelessly commanded murder to be moral, and morality was dependent on God's commands, that murder in fact would always be right. But such moral principles would be, as has been said, arbitrary, as the immorality of murder would be a contingent truth.

He has also stated that I have the burden to show that without God, there is a universally binding metric of morality. But this is a misinterpretation of the debate. I am not stating that, if God does not exist, morality does exist. I am stating that morality is not dependent on God's existence. Against this proposition, I have raised the Euthyphro Dilemma, which shows that, if morality is dependent on God's commands, then it is arbitrary. But morality is clearly not arbitrary, murder and needless suffering will, it seems, always be immoral, in any world.

Has my opponent defeated the Euthyphro Dilemma? No, he has merely agreed that, if morality is dependent on God, then it is arbitrary. Has my opponent provided evidence for (1)? No, he has merely stated that objective morality exists with God. To show that morality is dependent on theism, he will need to show that morality exists BECAUSE of God.
InquireTruth

Pro

"is true, though the argument can be adapted to monotheism, as has been done by many modern philosophers"

Then you should use these adaptations and not presume that Euthyphro's dilemma says precisely what you say it does.

"Again, this is a misinterpretation of my point. If God timelessly commands that murder is wrong, then it will be wrong forever; that command is, as my opponent states, fixed. But, the fact that God could have timelessly commanded murder to be right, means that it is an arbitrary command."

Arbitrary or not, it still is an objective standard.

"Again, if God could have possibly commanded murder to be moral, then isn't morality subjective to God's inclination? If God had written the sixth commandment "Thou shalt kill," wouldn't we still know this commandment to be incorrect?"

If it is subject to God's inclination, it does not matter. It is a fixed principle. But what gives you the idea that if God commanded "thou shalt kill," that we would know it to be incorrect? If God is the creator and sustainer of all things, and he makes something moral, we would think it as such. It is like saying, if gravity on the earth always operated at a rate of 9.7 m/s squared, that we would just somehow know it should be 9.8.

"For morality to be objective, it must not change given the circumstances. As the Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne says, in 'The Existence of God', "Fundamental moral principles must be logically necessary." [3] This means that certain moral obligations, for instance that we ought not to cause needless suffering, are true in all possible universes. In the same way that certain moral truths must be true whatever we say about them, they must be true no matter what God says about them."

Morality does not change given the circumstances. Nor am I saying it does. God has placed fixed principles that are not subject to change – that is the definition of objective. To say that things must be true no matter what God says about them is simply false. That is not a requirment of objectivity.

"I think that where we differ on is the proposition that some truths must be necessarily true. If morality is dependent on God's commands, then you agree that they are, while fixed, arbitrary. However, if God decreed that murder was wrong, wouldn't we know that this command was incorrect? It seems that some things are wrong in every world, and that it is necessarily true that things such as needless harm will always be immoral."

Like I said, we would no more know that it was incorrect then we would know that gravity should be 9.8 m/s if it never was. If a fixed variable changes in physics, all the other fixed variables must also change in order to accompany that one change. If a fixed principle changes, all other related variables will change to accompany it – that includes how we feel and what we know. We cannot know something that never existed to be known.

"My argument does not presuppose an objective standard of morality that is universal and binding without God. I merely argue that morality is independent of God, and that, if God does not exist, it is still POSSIBLE that there is an objective moral standard. Keep in mind that we are not arguing about the existence of morality, but the relationship between morality and God."

What I am saying is that without God you have NO alternative basis for morality. Morality independent of God is only possible with an alternative basis for that morality. If you cannot name or define this basis, then it stands to reason that there are no morals. They are make-believe, mere human constructs designed for self-preservation or selfish gain.

"If God can arbitrarily set up a collection of fixed moral principles, much like the arbitrary constants of the universe, then can't an atheist posit that these principles are merely a brute fact, as arbitrarily as if God had decreed them? Please keep in mind that it is not my burden to account for morality in this debate. We are trying to discern whether morality is dependent on God."

With God, I can call something wrong or right. Without him I appeal only to air. You cannot merely say that morality exists as a brute fact, because we are not bound by it. What force of nature mandates that I live my life according to unseen laws?

"Is my opponent implying that, if God had commanded murder to be moral, it would be, and that in such a universe we would be morally obliged to follow God's command?"

Yes. If God sets a fixed standard of morality, I am obliged to follow it because I am judged thereby. If gravity pushed a little harder, would you be obliged to follow?

Conclusion:

There are no morals without God. An objective standard means that, even if the whole world says that adultery is right, it is still wrong. With God, such a standard is possible. Without God, no such standard is possible because there exist no reason to believe otherwise. Without out God there is nothing but human contrivances that bind us to particular rules. I ask my opponent again: If morality is independent of God, what alternative basis of morality, that is universal and binding, does he appeal to? If no such alternative basis exist, then no such morals exist. Morality needs a basis - if it has none, there is no reason to believe it exists.
Debate Round No. 2
Philosopher

Con

"If God is the creator and sustainer of all things, and he makes something moral, we would think it as such."

Why? This is merely an assumption.

"Morality does not change given the circumstances. Nor am I saying it does. God has placed fixed principles that are not subject to change – that is the definition of objective. To say that things must be true no matter what God says about them is simply false. That is not a requirment of objectivity."

The problem with basing morality on God's commands, for instance that if God commands that murder is wrong then it is, is that it assumes that we are under a moral obligation to follow God's commands. But, if we are under such a moral obligation to follow God's commands, where does this moral obligation come from?

If all moral obligations are based on God's commands, which is my opponent's contention, then the obligation to follow God's commands must itself be commanded by God. That is to say, we are under a general moral obligation to follow God's commands, so this general obligation must be based on God's commands. But it cannot be, because we can ask why we are obligated to follow God's command to follow His commands, and so on, ad nauseum.

Because all obligations spring from God, we can always ask why we are morally obligated to follow God's commands, and the only response my opponent can give is that God commands it. But how is this any different from me commanding someone to give me their wallet. If they say that they are not under any moral obligation to give up their wallet, I can say "I command you to obey my commands". But this still wouldn't mean that you should comply.

"What I am saying is that without God you have NO alternative basis for morality. Morality independent of God is only possible with an alternative basis for that morality. If you cannot name or define this basis, then it stands to reason that there are no morals. They are make-believe, mere human constructs designed for self-preservation or selfish gain."

My opponent suggests that, if we cannot think of an alternative explanation for something, the original explanation must be true. Surely this is an argument from ignorance? Just because something is inconceivable, doesn't mean it's impossible.

Nonetheless, it seems that I merely have to show a possible alternative to God to refute the proposition that morality is dependent on God. My opponent contends that God has a property thats means that He can determine morality. It is entirely possible that some other entity, without the other properties attributed to God, has the property of determining morality. Perhaps it is a property intrinsic to the universe.

Remember, I don't have to argue that there is such a being, but only that such a being is possible. There doesn't seem to be anything contradictory about positing a being or entity that can determine morality, but that doesn't have the properties attributed to God. In fact, there may be an infinite number of such beings. Hence, because these beings are not impossible, the proposition seems to have been refuted.

In the previous round I also suggested that moral principles could be a brute fact. Against this, my opponent says:

"With God, I can call something wrong or right. Without him I appeal only to air. You cannot merely say that morality exists as a brute fact, because we are not bound by it. What force of nature mandates that I live my life according to unseen laws?"

It seems that we are "bound" by moral facts, as we are morally obliged to follow them. I have shown that moral obligation is a problem if morality is based on God's commands, because we can always ask why we are obliged to follow His commands. Saying that God commands it only pushes the problem back, as we can ask why we are obliged to follow that command.

"Yes. If God sets a fixed standard of morality, I am obliged to follow it because I am judged thereby. If gravity pushed a little harder, would you be obliged to follow?"

Is my opponent suggesting that God's moral commands are binding only because He will judge us based on it? I cannot help but be confused over the contention that "might makes right", that because God will punish us if we don't, we should follow His commands. I still don't see why morality cannot be a set of brute facts, if God can command them with only an appeal to air.

Conclusion:

I have shown that divine command theory cannot account for the obligation to follow God's commands. Hence, my opponent's contention that, with God, a moral standard is possible, has been shown to be unjustified.

I have also suggested two non-theistic bases of morality. My opponent has yet to discount these possibilities, and to do so must show that it is impossible for an entity to determine morality without being God. Unless he does so, morality need not be dependent on God's existence. I do not need to show that these alternatives are true, only that they are possible.

Finally, my opponent has yet to provide evidence for (1), that "If moral obligations exist, then God exists". Instead he has called for me to justify morality without allusion to God, which I have done. The proposition that God is a basis for morality is contentious. The assumption that there is no other possible basis is groundless.

I am not seeking to show that God does not exist, or that God is immoral. I am merely arguing that morality is open to all people, no matter what their personal beliefs are. Whether the audience are theists or atheists, they will agree that some things, such as murder, or needless suffering, are clearly wrong. For these reasons, and because of the arguments I have laid out, I compel you to vote CON.

Thank you, InquireTruth, for this thrilling and challenging debate. And thank you all, for observing this debate, and judging it in a fair and even handed way.
InquireTruth

Pro

I will start by listing the points that were not adequately addressed:

1. The reason for an alternative basis

My opponent suggested that we can posit other entities that created morality, or we can simply say that morality is a brute fact of our universe. The problem with the former is that we must have a reason to follow the command. For instance, we must eat and drink if we wish to survive. What is the reason that we ought to live by particular standards? If I am on an island with another man, and for the sport of it, I decide to chop his limbs off and throw him to the sea, nothing makes that wrong if there is no REASON for it to BE wrong. If you witnessed this through a crystal ball, what objective standard would you appeal to? If the man is bound by no human law, what makes his actions wrong? Saying, "well some non-terrestrial entity created morality," is of no consolation if we have no REASON to follow what has been created.

As for the latter, saying morality is a brute fact is like me saying that the literal existence of Pokļæ½mon is a brute fact. It is no such fact until it is proved as such. My opponent cannot merely toss unsubstantiated alternatives as if they are plausible. I jump into the air and get pushed back down at a rate of 9.8 m/s squared because I must. I do not murder because…?

Also, it is my opponent who mimics the weak theistic arguments from ignorance; stating merely that it is "possible," is an appeal to air if he gives not evidence for such. As Christopher Hitchens said in his book, god is Not Great, "what can be asserted without evidence, can be disregarded without evidence."

2. The necessity of God

"then the obligation to follow God's commands must itself be commanded by God. That is to say, we are under a general moral obligation to follow God's commands, so this general obligation must be based on God's commands. But it cannot be, because we can ask why we are obligated to follow God's command to follow His commands, and so on, ad nauseum."

This is casuistry of the highest sorts. When a parent tells his kids to abstain from fighting, he need not remind them to listen to him. You can very well disobey both God and parents, the question becomes are you willing to accept the consequences. Morality can only exist with consequences. Morality, cannot be universal if the consequences are not universal – God allows for a universal objective. How do we know that morality needs consequences? Well, anthropology tells us that there is no one moral code that is deeply entrenched within the human mind as to be universal and unquestionable. We find that the concept of morality differs between cultures; even within a given culture there are sub-cultures who fight against the unspoken agreement and try to redefine moral terms. Since the consequences are not the same, the morality is not either! If the objective is different, the morality is different!

My opponent said that in round one that he intended to show that "if God does not exist, certain actions will still be objectively right or wrong." The fact that he never showed this notwithstanding – actual available evidence stands with friction against his assertion, because different cultures have different moral codes. Which culture is right, and by what objective standard to we judge them by? My opponent has furnished no such standard.
Rightness must have a source if it is to actually exist – and just as heat has a heat source – rightness must have a right source. God, is defined as perfectly moral, the only plausible source of rightness. Heat becomes less as it distances from the heat source. These levels of heat imply a source for that heat. Just as levels of right, imply a source of rightness.

When theism and naturalism are contrasted with respect to furnishing reasons for the existence of morality, theism has an adequate foundation for the affirmation of objective moral values and moral accountability. Naturalism fails in all respects, insofar as if we are to believe that moral values and duties actually exist we must have a reason to follow them. If morality is a mere human convention, then why should we act morally, especially when it conflicts with self-interest? Or are we in some way held accountable for our moral decisions and actions?

Good and Evil do not exist without God because we have no measure to judge them as such. If we cannot be good without God, then any idea of objective morality cannot exist. Because objective morality means that it is right or wrong independent of whether someone thinks it as such. Those who participated in the anti-Semitic atrocities of Nazism thought what they were doing was right, but even if the whole world thought it was right, if God exists, an object standard to know that it is actually wrong exists. If no such standard exists, we cannot call it wrong!

Conclusion:

My opponent mimics the tiresome theistic arguments from ignorance. Merely saying something is possible is ridiculous if you offer no evidence. I have offered evidence for why we need an objective standard, why that objective standard is most reasonably God, and why it cannot be what my opponent suggests.

I would like to thank my opponent for the thrilling debate and I would very much enjoy debating him in the future. Now do what is RIGHT and vote Pro.

Thanks,
InquireTruth
Debate Round No. 3
45 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
You don't need religious morality to be a good person, all you need is kindness.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
I feel bad and guilty when i do sush things, you wouldn't because you do not understand. Before i was a Christian i felt fine and unmoved about negitivity, sex before marrage etc...now ive become a Christian i fully understand the real meaning of life and why we exist. And evolution is a lie, i felt it was as soon as i turned away from my sins knowing they are wrong. Moralty exists because God does.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
"Of course you do - the Bible says so."
I fell bad about it. Not because a book says i should.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
You just said objective morality is direct from Above (no one moral code that is deeply entrenched within the human mind as to be universal and unquestionable), now you say it isn't. You claim whatever morality I do possess is riding on Christian coattails.

I should clarify this - Your belief is that God is the foundation of objective morality. I maintain that I do not need God to be moral. Then you state that there is no universal objective morality. You seem to be contradicting yourself.

I ask you this Inquiretruth - what is your drive to be moral? Why are you moral?

I am moral because it is good for me, good for my fellow man, creates a sense of well-being and self discipline, and my butt doesn't get into trouble with the actual powers that be. Not because I'm looking to get into Heaven. (I already know I am going there - see, already bought my ticket
http://www.reserveaspotinheaven.com... )

The reward for me is tangible and measurable.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
You speak of "rights" without warrant. You're moral mishaps notwithstanding, permission was given the moment they engaged in sexual intercourse.

And like every other type of permission known to man, it can be revoked.

The essential issue is not a matter of ones sexual history, but a matter of rights. As there is no such thing as the right to live inside another, whether the fetus is removed, because of incest, or rape, or "convenience" does not matter politically—whatever the reason, it is the woman's right.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
Of course you do - the Bible says so.

Inquiretruth - If it is basic human nature, prove it. If it is universally shared by all, prove it. there is no one moral code that is deeply entrenched within the human mind as to be universal and unquestionable. We find that the concept of morality differs between cultures; even within a given culture there are sub-cultures who fight against the unspoken agreement and try to redefine moral terms.

You just said objective morality is direct from Above (no one moral code that is deeply entrenched within the human mind as to be universal and unquestionable), now you say it isn't. You claim whatever morality I do possess is riding on Christian coattails.

I need not prove it, the fact that I am an atheist and moral does. Morality to me I should have said is harm vs no harm, not right and wrong.

Prove it. There would have been no need for the ten commandments had the people of that time already known the innate wrongness in stealing and murder. It would essentially equate to, "eat food in order to not hunger," - um duh.

So you claim humans before the "burning bush" were wantonly killing and stealing? That was lame. Of course they didn't. And seeing that you mentioned only 2 of 10 says something.

As clear as mud you did. So, "rightness" and "wrongness" are not universal but subject to time and place? This is in contradiction with your prior assertion of universality. Is morality subject to the amount of people that call it so? Female Circumcision, as we speak, is a cultural "right" in Mali. You have no warrant to call this wrong.

YES, I do - I do not live in Mali. How is this not clear? My morality dictates it is wrong, theirs doesn't. I do not understand what you do not understand.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
"Nothing wrong with sex before marriage" So yu think, because like i said you do not know the full exstend of morality. I see sex before marriage inmoral just like blasphemy.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
And on abortion...

The objection isn't killing a human - it's objecting to killing a potential person. But to suggest that the potential person has rights takes things a little far. That would suggest that any viable sperm and egg have rights. If you murder blast a fertile man and woman with radiation, you have just killed billions of potential human beings, but nobody thinks that is really the case.

But if you kill 1 sperm and 1 egg that have joined together, people get up in arms about it.

This suggests to me that what is really important is the notion that the sperm and egg COULD live. However, there is even a legal distinction for whether or not your life would be worth living - that is how non-aborted children that really should have been aborted can bring suit against their parents.

The notion that a person could be created and then have a life not worth living suggests to me that there is some moral justification for preventing the suffering of that individual, even if it means aborting the fetus.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
The argument for moral independence from God is simple. I don't think anyone believes that wanton, unjustified murder is NOT wrong qua wrong. So even if God had said that murder is morally upright, it would STILL remain wrong.

Ergo, morality is independent from God.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
"So no one is moral except for Christians, huh?"

I never said that. I said that you have no warrant for morality. Read carefully.

"My Moral Center is essentially the same as yours. It comes from the basic goodness of human nature, and my own sense of right and wrong that is universally shared among all people."

If it is basic human nature, prove it. If it is universally shared by all, prove it. there is no one moral code that is deeply entrenched within the human mind as to be universal and unquestionable. We find that the concept of morality differs between cultures; even within a given culture there are sub-cultures who fight against the unspoken agreement and try to redefine moral terms.

"Since everyone already has these things..."

Prove it. There would have been no need for the ten commandments had the people of that time already known the innate wrongness in stealing and murder. It would essentially equate to, "eat food in order to not hunger," - um duh.

"I know they are wrong due to my time and place - I thought I made that clear."

As clear as mud you did. So, "rightness" and "wrongness" are not universal but subject to time and place? This is in contradiction with your prior assertion of universality. Is morality subject to the amount of people that call it so? Female Circumcision, as we speak, is a cultural "right" in Mali. You have no warrant to call this wrong.

I'll ask you again, how are we to judge others by a standard that has no warrant?

"does an embryo have the right to live inside another without permission?
NO."

You speak of "rights" without warrant. You're moral mishaps notwithstanding, permission was given the moment they engaged in sexual intercourse.
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