Is The Biblical God Morally Better Than Humans
Debate Rounds (5)
I have challenged Toxifrost to a religious/philosophical debate and at the moment I'm currently awaiting his answer. Personally, I'm a Christian and a firm believer in the Bible. I will try to argue that the biblical God is morally better (even morally superior) than us humans. I hope this argument remains civil and not turn into a contest of insults or popularity contest, meaning that if I lose it is because I didn't lay out a convincing enough argument and or didn't connect all the most important dots. I hope the readers see a good and well informed debate on both sides and may the best argument(s) (not the more popular side) win.
I accept this challenge and am looking forward to a constructive discussion.
The following info comes from: https://carm.org...
As a worldview, atheism is intellectually bankrupt and is wrought with philosophical problems. Let's look at the inability for the atheistic worldview to offer objective morality.
First I need to clarify that atheists can be morally good. They can even be people of integrity. But that isn't the issue. Having good morals doesn"t mean you have objective morals. One atheist"s good morals might only be coincidentally consistent with true objective morality where another atheist"s isn"t.
Objective morals are those that are based outside of yourself. Subjective morals are those that depend on you, your situation, culture, and your preferences. Subjective morals change, can become contradictory, and might differ from person to person. This is the best that atheism has to offer us as a worldview.
Think about it, in atheism, there is no moral right and wrong. There is no moral "should and shouldn't". Why? Because when you remove God, you remove the standard by which objective moral truth is established. In atheism morality is up for grabs.
In an atheistic worldview, lying, cheating, and stealing are neither right or wrong. They are phenomena to which, if the atheist so decides, moral values can be assigned. Sure, the atheist might say that we all should want to help society function properly, and it does not benefit society as a whole to lie, cheat, and steal. But, this is weak intellectual reasoning.
Let me put some flesh and blood on this and show you why. What if there were a global economic meltdown and social turmoil ensued so that robbing people at gunpoint to get food became common place. Robbery would then be a social norm. Would such a norm be wrong? If it is not wrong, then you affirm situational ethics and can"t complain when the situation suits somebody else"s fancy, and you get robbed at gunpoint. Of course, this would lead to anarchy.
If you say such theft is wrong, then why is it wrong? If it is your opinion that it is wrong, that is nice; but opinions don"t make ethical standards. If you said it is wrong because it is wrong, you are just begging the question. Besides, that would mean there was a moral standard outside of yourself to which you must answer, and that would imply a Moral-Law Giver.
Anyway, some atheists maintain that the best moral system is that which brings the greatest happiness, the least amount of suffering, and the greatest freedom for as many people as possible. That is a nice sentiment, but it doesn"t work. Take a look at slavery, for example. The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people means that a minority of people should suffer in bondage. This way, the greatest amount of freedom for the majority is ensured. But if the atheist says that it is wrong to enslave a minority to benefit the majority, then why is it wrong? Because he said so? If he says it"s wrong because the minority is suffering, so what? Why is suffering wrong? It may be unpleasant. It may not be nice. But, from an atheistic worldview, why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the majority? Atheism can"t help us here. It just isn"t up to the task of providing solid answers.
Let me reiterate by saying that atheism offers a subjective moral system that is based on human experience, human conditions, and human reason. By its very nature, such moral evaluation is relativistic, dangerous, can change, can become self-contradictory and can lead to anarchy.
True morality is not merely a collection of concepts agreed upon because it helps stop the guy with the gun from taking your food. There is something more, and the Bible offers us more.
It offers us an objective set of morals: do not lie, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not bear false witness, etc. These morals don"t change depending on your opinion, your situation, or your personal preferences. They are based on God"s character; and since God doesn"t change, these morals don"t either. Therefore, it is always wrong to lie, to steal, to commit adultery, and to bear false witness but not so in atheism"s empty moral vacuum because morality is formed in a subjective manner.
So, after an economic meltdown when an armed stranger is approaching you on a dark road and you are taking food home to your hungry family, who would you rather the stranger be: a Christian who believes stealing is wrong and that God is watching or the atheist who sees a need and points his gun at you as he adapts his ethics to suit the moment?
(end of quote)
With that being said, I'm sure my opponent is going to pull verses out of the Bible (out of context) in the attempt to prove that God does indeed behave badly and unjustly. But, in order to do such a thing my opponent must first explain what moral standard is he adhering too and why does he believe that moral standard is good enough to judge the moral standard of others including God? Since my opponent is not the absolute standard of morality (unless he can show evidence to the contrary) then how can he or anyone else say that the Biblical God is indeed immoral or is not justified in His actions?
The following comes from: http://www.apologeticspress.org...
Dan Barker and many of his atheistic colleagues claim that atheism offers the world a superior system of morality when compared to the moral system presented in the Bible. In fact, near the end of Dan"s ten-minute rebuttal speech during our debate, he stated: "We can know that the atheistic way is actually a superior intellectual and moral way of thinking" (Butt and Barker, 2009). One primary reason Dan gave for his belief that the Bible"s morality is flawed is that the Bible states that God has directly killed people, and that God has authorized others to kill as well. In Dan"s discussion about Abraham"s sacrifice of Isaac, Dan said that Abraham should not have been willing to obey God"s command. Dan stated: "By the way, Abraham should have said, "No, way. I"m better than you [God"KB], I"m not going to kill my son"" (Butt and Barker, 2009).
In his book godless, Barker said: "There is not enough space to mention all of the places in the bible where God committed, commanded or condoned murder" (2008, p. 177). The idea that God is immoral because He has killed humans is standard atheistic fare. In his Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris cited several Bible verses in which God directly or indirectly caused people to die. He then stated: "Anyone who believes that the Bible offers the best guidance we have on questions of morality has some very strange ideas about either guidance or morality" (2006, p. 14). In his landmark atheistic bestseller, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins wrote the following as the opening paragraph of chapter two:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully (2006, p. 31, emp. added).
After listing several Old Testament verses pertaining to the conquest of Canaan, Dawkins referred to God as an "evil monster" (p. 248). Christopher Hitchens wrote that God"s actions and instructions in the Old Testament had caused "the ground" to be "forever soaked with the blood of the innocent" (2007, p. 107).
Is it true that atheism offers a superior morality to that found in the Bible? And is the God of the Bible immoral for advocating or directly causing the deaths of millions of people? The answer to both questions is an emphatic "No." A close look at the atheistic claims and accusations will manifest the truth of this answer.
ATHEISM CANNOT MAKE "MORAL" JUDGMENTS
The extreme irony of the atheistic argument against God"s morality is that atheism is completely impotent to define the term "moral," much less use the concept against any other system. Since I'm pressed for space, people can finish reading the argument here at the above link. Thank you.
A Giant Misunderstanding
The fault in your argument lies in the fact that you don't know what atheism is or what atheism states. But I am getting ahead of myself as you make some mistakes before you even get to atheism.
" First, this question assumes that there's a moral standard that is higher than God that He Himself must answer to but if God has to answer for anything including His own morals, then I think it would be safe to say that God isn't really a god at all." Ummm correct actually. God really isn't a god at all. An omipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipresent being creates paradoxes because it'd posses mutually exclusive properties that cannot co-exist within the same parameters. The real fault however lies in the fact that you "assume" that there's a "moral standard" when we see no evidence for such a thing. I actually did a debate recently on this. There is no such thing as an "objective morality" or an "objective moral standard" considering morals actually DO change from person to person, culture to culture, religion to religion, ect.
"Second, this question assumes that God is not the absolute standard of morality but if that is truly the case, then once again how can God be called God if He's not the absolute standard of morality? " Again he can't. There is no such thing as an absolute moral standard. That's just the way it is. Learn to live with it. People think very differently on different moral dillemas based on personal opinions, experiences, ect. Essentially what is moral comes down to who makes a better case.
"Now, I can try to argue and show evidence for how God is indeed the absolute standard of morality but at the moment I don't think that's necessary based on the following argument." Ummm you really should since you've presented a claim and haven't backed it up with anything but thought experiments that I easily tore down.
What Atheism Is And Is Not
All of this is actually really irrelevant and instead of actually making a case for why god is immoral you're really just using the fact that I'm an atheist to say that there's no possible way for me to even judge his morals which I could write off as an ad homenim. The fault in THIS argument lies in the fact that you obviously have no understanding of what atheism is. Atheism makes absolutely no claim on morality, objectiveness, subjectiveness, ect. The only thing and I mean the ONLY thing that atheism makes a claim on is the belief in a deity and in this case the lack of a belief. Still this is really irrelevant but I should have enough room to refute this nonsense and still make my case.
"As a worldview, atheism is intellectually bankrupt and is wrought with philosophical problems. Let's look at the inability for the atheistic worldview to offer objective morality." Well first off there is no "atheistic worldview" that is universal. There are many atheists and almost every one is a very different KIND of atheist. There are atheists who believe the universe is materialistic and yet there are others who follow spiritualism and believe in ghosts. Secondly atheism doesn't have to provide objective morality because 1. It doesn't exist as established breifly before and 2. Atheism makes no claim on morality.
"Sure, the atheist might say that we all should want to help society function properly, and it does not benefit society as a whole to lie, cheat, and steal. But, this is weak intellectual reasoning." Again atheism doesn't have a worldview or a claim on morality. But really how is this weak intellectual reasoning? One does not want to cause detriment to society and so one rules that something that would be a detriment is immoral. That's not weak that's just basic deductive reasoning.
"Would such a norm be wrong?" Yes for exactly the reasons stated above. If one does not want to cause detriment onto others than one does not do things that cause detriment. Simple. Why is this even in your argument?
"If you say such theft is wrong, then why is it wrong?" I've done this twice already just read the reasons above. "opinions don"t make ethical standards." Exactly which is why no ethical universal standard exists. People come up with their own ethical standards which is mostly derived by laws of some sort given by an authority figure or through their own reasoning. "If you said it is wrong because it is wrong, you are just begging the question. Besides, that would mean there was a moral standard outside of yourself to which you must answer, and that would imply a Moral-Law Giver." Well yes if your strawman atheist did say this then that would be a fallacy but it definitely wouldn't imply that there was an external force it just implys that he doesn't know WHY it's wrong. But your strawman atheist either doesn't exist or you're just not showing us he exists. Either way I can just write this off.
This next paragraphs argument can be refuted with my answers above and the fact that enslavement causes more uneccessary suffering that in brings in in production and "happiness" for the slave owners, which is what makes it wrong.
"By its very nature, such moral evaluation is relativistic, dangerous, can change, can become self-contradictory and can lead to anarchy." While yes it is reativistic and can change this does not mean it's "dangerous" or will lead to "anarchy" you have done nothing to actually establish these claims but the thing is is that all of this is IRRELEVANT.
This next paragraph is interesting since it proposes that the Bible offers the ulitmate moral code. But to whom? To everyone? Only Christians? Only CERTAIN Christians because let's not forget there's about 30,000 different flavors of Christianity each differing slightly on what is right and wrong. Even then which parts are to be taken as literal moral code and other as metaphorical? The Bible does not offer the ultimate moral standard as you say it does because if it did then everyone would follow wha the bible says to the letter and well we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
The remainder of this is you bringing up actual valid points from well established intellectuals but never refuting them other than to say "Atheists can't make moral judgements"!
Well let me actually make a case with my remaining characters. My moral standard derives from what is detrimental to humanity, society, and individuals in that order of importance. If something is detrimental to an individual but helps society than in my opinion it is moral so long as the reward is greater than the cost. Now this being said where does genocide fall? Well it's a detriment to societies as vast numbers of them are being wiped out. It's a detriment to indivuals as they are the ones being killed, and it is a detriment to humanity due to the shrikage of the gene pool and thereby the lowering of our chances to survive as a species. This being said I can essentially just use my arugment from last debate since I for one have never commited genocide twice and god has.
"This is seen earliest in the story of the bilical flood. Now in this story, if readers are not aware, God decides to drown each and every thing because man has become too corrupt. That's right because one species of people has defied the etherial sky daddy's instructions he decides to drown every single species of living thing, oh except 2 of each species and one family of eight people.
This is not the only example of Gods genocidal tendancies however. This is also extremely prominant in the story of Moses and the Pharaoh. In this uplifiting tale Moses tries to convince the Pharaoh to (as the famous quote goes) let his people go. God tells Moses to go tell the Pharaoh to let his people go and to show him a miracle. And Moses does this like a good little prophet.
Moses warns the Pharaoh that he will send more plagues upon him if he does not let his people go but the Pharaoh still refuses! Why? Is it because he was just being a general jerk? Was the Pharaoh just having a bad day? Or did God INTENTIONALLY "harden the pharaohs heart" to make sure he could say no so that God could send down his plagues and show off for a bit?
14:8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
14:17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
Well his grand masterpiece of a plague is to murder all firstborn Egyptian babies throughout the land despite them having no part in the enslavement of the Hebrews. God forcibly manipulates the Pharaohs mind in order to justify his genocide of an entire generation of Egyptian kids."
If my opponent is so sure that no absolute objective moral standard exist, then how can he say for certain that God"s or anyone else"s behavior is moral or immoral? He can say that in his opinion God"s behavior is immoral or moral but his opinion would be all that he really has at this point. There's an argument I wanted to post with regard to God being the absolute standard of morality but since it takes up a lot of space (as I will need the room to try to rebut my opponent's other arguments) I will post the link here.
Here's part of the argument and the rest can be read at the link I've mentioned. "The moral argument for the existence of God has been stated in a variety of ways through the centuries. One way in which the basic argument has been worded is as follows (see Craig, n.d.; Craig and Tooley, 1994; Cowan, 2005, p. 166):
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values exist.
Conclusion: God exists.
Thomas B. Warren worded the argument in a positive, more detailed manner in his debates with atheist Antony Flew (p. 173) and Wallace Matson (p. 285).
If the moral code and/or actions of any individual or society can properly be subjects of criticism (as to real moral wrong), then there must be some objective standard (some "higher law which transcends the provincial and transient") which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized. The moral code and/or actions of any individual or society can properly be subjects of criticism (as to real moral wrong). Therefore, there must be some objective standard (some "higher law which transcends the provincial and transient") which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized."
Once again I'm not trying to prove God's existence for the premise of this debate is that God dose indeed exist. I'm trying to demonstrate that if my opponent wants to deem the actions of God either moral or immoral, he must object to an absolute moral standard that is above God but the problem he has is that he believes an objective moral standard does not exist.
My opponent said that I don"t know what atheism is but once again how could I possibly define atheism if even my opponent agrees that atheism is a worldview that is not universal? He is proving my point that atheism varies from individual to individual. He also states that atheists do not make moral claims. How can that be if atheists believe that morals are subjective yet often accuse the actions of others as either morally good or bad? Is that not making a moral claim or at least moral judgment? If morals are merely opinions, why say anything or voice moral disapproval at all?
My opponent touched or social views that I brought up in my argument but once again my opponent cannot say why said social norms are either morally good or bad. He can say that we should do good things in society in order to benefit society but the question is why? Some people don't care about benefiting society. Why is benefiting society a good thing especially if people can do a much better job only benefiting themselves why ignoring the wants and needs of the rest of society?
I was considering using the rest of this time trying to rebut my opponents arguments that he pulled from the Bible but since my opponent believes that morals are subjective, it would only be his opinion that the Biblical God is immoral. He can try to explain that God is immoral all he wants but once again:
1) what moral standard is he adhering to and
2) why does he believe that moral standard is good enough to judge God?
Until he answers these two questions, he doesn't have much of an argument.
More Misunderstanding Of Terms
Well we're off to a bad start since I never actually stated that atheism is subjective because that doesn't even make sense. What I stated was that there are many atheists and each have different beliefs on certain things but the point was that they all share one thing, the lack of belief in god which is all that atheism claims.
Well it's not really an opinion more than a conclusion that I came to through logical reasoning but we'll get to that later.
Your argument of "there needs to be an objective standard in order for something to be subject to criticism" is completely fallacious. Criticism does not rely on an objective standard it simple relies on that the critic deems good or bad. Take movie reivews for an example. Is there some perfect movie to set the standard to which all movies are held to? Of course not! Movies are reviewed based on their content from a critics perspective and in the context of that review (just like this debate) the critics perspective would be that "objective" standard even though it isn't really objective. It's a weird concept. From this we can see that I have debunked the proposition that "an objective morality does exist" from your conclusion of "god exists" so you'll have to go back and rethink that.
Well it's simple to define atheism, it's the lack of belief in a god. That was easy! Seriosly though it's almost like you tried to miss the point. I was making a point that you cannot lump all atheists into having the same view of the world as worldviews are all different across all people and that the only PART of a worldview that all atheists share is that they lack a belief in a deity. And again not ALL atheists believe that morals are subjective. I happen to however. Again making a judgement based on ones moral philosophy doesn't inherently discredit any argument that they may have simply because moral philosophies are subjective. "Why say anything or voice moral disapproval at all" well for the same reason film, game, and tv critics voice their pleasure or displeasure at their respective media. Because it conflicts with that we percieve as right and we feel the need to speak up about it with rational arguments.
I never actually even talked about "social norms". I talked about social BENEFITS but those to things are certainly not the same.
To answer your two questions.
Mine, which is to say the moral philosophy of utilitarianism (although I don't follow all the tenets very closely I do agree with the overarching theme, much like many religious people). Utilitarianism is essentially this: "Utilitarianism is a very simple view that matches common sense – right and wrong can be determined by a cost-benefit analysis. We must consider all the good and bad consequences when deciding if an action is right. Utilitarians disagree about what counts as “good” or “bad.” Some think that fulfilling desires is good and thwarting desires is bad, classic utilitarians think that happiness is good and suffering is bad, and pluralists believe that there are multiple “intrinsic goods” that are worth promoting. An action will then be said to be “right” as long as it satisfactorily causes good consequences compared to alternative actions, and it will be “wrong” if it doesn’t."
2. Well because mine is actually evident to be existent while god's is not. By my moral philosophy of utilitarianism genocide is wrong as it causes uneeded suffering which is inherently detrimental to indivuals, societies, and species as a whole. Considering I have never commited these acts and god has I can therefore conclude that I am morally superior to god as a character.
A big problem with atheism and morality
I often receive complaints from atheists about the God of Christianity. They accuse him of being a monster and a moral tyrant. They just don't like him. Apparently there isn't enough room in the world for two moral judges: God and themselves. So, they want to dismiss God and judge him. Okay, so what gives them to right to judge God? Where is their standard from which they base their moral assertions about what is right and wrong? The problem is that they can't produce any objective standard. They only have their subjective opinions, and that is a problem--a big problem.
Now, just because they have a dilemma on their hands about rationally and morally justifying any sort of standard of righteousness by which they can make moral judgments, it doesn't mean they are going to give up their moral self-righteousness (isn't that what it is?) when someone shows them the irrationality door and firmly escorts their rears through it. After all, when you get to play God and make yourself the moral standard of right and wrong, that is hard to give up. I'm sure there's some internal satisfaction that permeates the atheist's soul when declaring what is good and bad and then passing judgment on others. The problem is that no atheist I've encountered has been able to provide a rational justification for his moral judgments.
Let's just take a look at their dilemma. You see, if an atheist wants to complain about the God of the Bible, that is his privilege. I will defend his right to have an opinion--even such a stupendously wrong one. But what logical argument can an atheist provide that would justify him saying that anything God does really is wrong? Think about it. The atheist could only have three possible options for the source of a moral standard:
He can develop a moral standard out of his own opinions.
He can adopt the moral standards of society.
He can use a combination of his own opinions and the morals of society.
Other than those three, I don't see any other options. So, let's take a look at them.
Deriving morality from one's own opinions
If an atheist wants to develop his moral standard based on his own opinions, then what justifies his opinions as being the right ones? His opinions are subjective--not objective. They are based on his opinions so why should we take his moral opinions seriously? And what right does he have to say that anyone else's moral position is right or wrong? Isn't their opinion on morals as valid as his? Furthermore, if he tried to say that anyone else's morals were wrong, then isn't he being arrogant by judging another's subjective opinions based on his subjective opinions? These questions expose the problem of deriving morality from one's self.
Deriving morality from society
If we go with the second option where the atheist derives his morality from society, then what makes one society right and another wrong? Haven't societies been wrong before? Think of Nazi Germany or America in the 1800's regarding slavery. Furthermore, who's to say that in the future a new moral majority might condemn atheism as an ethical danger to society? Would they be right? How would you know? The point is that deriving morality from society doesn't mean it is correct. History has shown that to be the case. Many atheists respond to this criticism by saying that society is evolving and getting better morally. Okay, but that is just begging the question. In other words, they are saying society is getting better morally because we are evolving. Really? In other words, societies are getting better morally because societies say so?
Deriving morality from opinions and society
Finally, if the atheist uses his own opinions in combination with those of society, then he is subjectively deciding what he thinks is right and wrong in the society around him. He is judging society's morals and deciding which ones are right and wrong, which ultimately brings us back to the first problem where he's deriving morality from his own opinions. He's logically befuddled.
So, the atheist doesn't seem to have a leg to stand on when it comes to making moral assertions and actually defending them as being the right ones.
Since he doesn't have any moral standing by which to make objective moral claims, then all he can say is that he doesn't like the God of Christianity. He can't say that the God of Christianity as found in the Bible is objectively morally wrong because he doesn't have an objective moral standard by which to make such a judgment. He only has a subjective opinion. If he then tries to impose his opinions on others, he then becomes guilty of arrogance and judgmentalism.
Evolution does actually explain why we think certain thongs are wrong and right. I believe that I may have discussed this before and if not I will next round.
"It would be safe to assume that whoever invented this item would know everything there is to know about it" Well not really. I mean if I invented a new type of microchip I certainly would not know every single usage or possible application it could have. Besides you have yet to establish that even if there IS an objective morality (and you saying that society influences morals actually pretty much debunks that) then god was the creator of it. Who's to say that god os the only being who could possibly create a morL standard?
It's not scientifically impossible it's called behavioural evolution and it's quite simple
The rest of this is basically the argument of why my
Opinion can be deemed better than gods opinion. Again I explained before that mine is actualy evisent to exist outside the realm of a story-book. Sorry I can't go into detail at the moment but I will next round.
Evolution Cannot Explain Morality
Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation about morality and whether evolution is an adequate explanation for morality. Many of you know that I have argued for a long time that morality -- the existence of moral things, "oughts", the notion of moral actions and moral motives, the reality of morality -- is a very powerful evidence for the existence of a moral God, whose character is the moral standard of the universe. I won't suggest that this is without problems, but I think it best answers the existence of morality. Those who are physicalistic, naturalistic, or empiricistic in nature -- physicalistic are those people who want to define everything in purely physicalistic terms that can be understood by chemistry and physics; those who are naturalistic want to explain everything solely in terms of natural law without any appeal to transcendent law or supernatural things or beings; those who are empiricistic want to explain everything in terms of that which you can access by the five senses -- are going to try to find ways of understanding morality that falls within the purview of their belief system without having to make an appeal to a divine being. But I don't think that works.
One way to go about this is to argue from effect back to cause, looking at effects and asking ourselves what is the simplest, most elegant solution that is an adequate explanation for the effects that we see. Not the simplest solution, but the simplest which is also adequate. This is also known as Ockam's Razor. I don't think the evolutionary explanation is adequate. That goes something like this: In order to survive, animals develop. Through the process of natural selection, naturalistic forces mold certain behavior that we call moral behavior which simply functions to allow the organism to exist and continue to survive. Actually, not the organism, but the species, because in some cases it requires sacrificing individual organisms so that the larger species can survive. This is all that morality ends up being.
That which we think is morality, or that which we call morality, turns out to be a description of animals conditioned by their environment to act in certain ways that benefit the survival of the species. We have just given that conduct a label. We call it morality. That is offered as a sufficient, adequate and complete description of how the behavior that we call moral behavior actually came about.
My response to that is it isn't an adequate explanation at all, because the category of things that we call moral is not adequately engaged by mere descriptions of past behavior. That morality entails a look forward to the future, not just to the past, not just looking backwards to what we have done, or what was done by certain individuals, which they happen to call moral. But it is a look forward into the future about how we ought to behave. Since morality is prescriptive, not descriptive, and if it is normative -- if it talks about how we ought to behave -- and the evolutionary description of moral behavior doesn't engage that very fundamental, core element of morality, then it hasn't explained it and morality still needs to be explained.
There was another bit of step by step reasoning that I used to show, I think, very clearly that what evolution might describe couldn't possibly be what we understand morality to be. My basic point is this: what naturalists explain when they seek to explain morality in naturalistic, evolutionary terms is not morality at all. They are explaining something different. I get to that by asking a series of questions. Instead of looking backward, I look forward, and I ask a question of moral behavior like "Why ought anyone be unselfish in the future?" for example. The question came up yesterday regarding an observation that was done with chimpanzees. There was a group of chimpanzees which had, in a sense, punished one member for being selfish by withholding food from that member and therefore teaching that member moral behavior. Apparently, the moral rule that undergirded the lesson was that the other chimpanzee ought not be selfish. That's a moral statement and the question I'm going to ask is "Why ought the chimp (or human) not be selfish?" I'm looking for a justification there.
The answer is going to be that when we're selfish, it hurts the group. But you see, that answer isn't enough of an answer because that answer itself presumes another moral value that we ought to be concerned about the health of the group. So, I'm going to ask the question, "Why ought we be concerned about the health of the group?" The answer is going to be because if the groups don't survive, then the species doesn't survive. Then you can imagine the next question. "Why ought I care about the health of the species and whether the species survives or not?" You see, the problem with all of these responses that purport to be justifications or explanations for the moral rule, is that all of these things that are meant to explain the moral rule really depend themselves upon a moral rule before they can even be uttered. Therefore, it can't be the explanation of morality. When I ask the question "Why ought I be concerned with the species?", the next answer ends the series. The answer is, "I ought to be concerned with the species because if the species dies out, then I will not survive. If the species is in jeopardy, then my own personal self interests would be in jeopardy."
So, in abbreviated form, the reasoning goes like this: I ought to be unselfish because it is better for the group, which is better for the species, which is better for me. So why ought I be unselfish? Because it is better for me. But looking at what is better for me, is selfishness. So all of this so-called description of where morality comes down to, gets reduced to this ludicrous statement: I morally ought to be unselfish so that I can be more thoroughly selfish. That is silly. Because we know that morality can't be reduced to selfishness. Why do we know that? Because our moral rules are against selfishness and for altruism. They are against selfishness and for the opposite. When you think about what it is that morality entails, you don't believe that morality is really about being selfish. Morality is about being unselfish, or at least it entails that. Which makes my point that this description, based on evolution, does not do the job. It doesn't explain what it is supposedly meant to explain. It doesn't explain morality. It is simply reduced to a promotion of selfishness which isn't morality at all.
Morality is something altogether different. We may debate about all that moral views and understandings entail, but one thing we can all agree on, I think, is that when we are looking for a definition of morality, we know it isn't about selfishness. It is about not being selfish, just the opposite. That's why these explanations don't work. They either smuggle morality into the equation by describing the behavior that is meant to be explained by evolution so they depend upon morality to do the job, or else the descriptions and explanations end up being reduced to selfishness, which isn't what we're trying to explain. We're trying to explain why one ought not be selfish, not why one ought to be selfish.
My opponent claims that I haven't proven that God is the absolute moral standard but I think I did in my "blob" paragraph which I'll leave up to the voters to decide if I did a good job or proven how God is the absolute moral standard. Morals (in a nut shell) defines what is right, wrong, good, and evil. But defining what is right, wrong, good, and evil envokes a Moral Law Giver (or god) of some kind. How? I think my opponent agrees that there is evil in the world but in order for my opponent to recognize evil he must assume there's good. When he assumes there's good, he assume there's such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But if he assumes a moral law, he must posit a moral Law Giver, but that's Who he's trying to disprove and not prove. If there's no moral Law Giver, there's no moral law. If there's no moral law, there's no good. If there's no good, there's no evil. If there's no good or evil then morality and this debate becomes pointless but I think my opponent will agree that morals are not pointless.
Here's a link to an argument that explains how God is the only foundation for morality: (http://www.christianity.co.nz...) The argument is to big to post here so hopefully those who are interested check out the argument.
In conclusion, I tried to answer the question is the Biblical God's morality better than human's and I tried to explain how my opponent cannot answer such a question from his morally subjective position. In the Bible, God carries out serious judgments on people who we would deem "innocent" but when each situation is carefully studied it turns out God was not morally wrong for His decision. We can accuse God of doing immoral things but at the same time it would be foolishly arrogant of us to think we actually know what is morally better than the being who is responsible for our moral compasses. Human history (including current times) is filled with atrocities committed by humans in the name of religion and non-religious ideas. It doesn't matter which side committed the most atrocities because one can argue that those so called "religious" atrocities were not committed in the name of religion at all depending on the religion. History has shown that we are immoral and we will try to find reasons to justify our immorality. We can try to say human morals surpass those of God's but history does not attest to this fact. History does attest that Christianity (although not perfect) has done many great things because of the biblical God.
Toxifrost forfeited this round.
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