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The Moral Argument

Dan4reason
Posts: 1,168
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8/17/2012 12:01:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I would like Christians to give me a list of most convincing arguments they have for believing the way they do. I am less interested in a debate and more into collecting arguments to debate about.

Here are some I have heard of:
Design Argument.
Fine-Tuning argument.
Argument from religious experience.
Argument from Miracles.
Argument from Near Death Experiences.
Argument from Consciousness.
Argument from fulfilled prophecies.
Argument from evidence for the resurrection.
Ontological argument.
Cosmological argument.
Moral argument.
Arguments against the theory of evolution.
Arguments against modern geology and dating methods.
Arguments against abiogenesis.
Arguments against stellar evolution and the big bang.
Arguments for faith.

Any others that are convincing to you?
Dan4reason
Posts: 1,168
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8/17/2012 12:08:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Specifically I want to go over the moral argument.

Some aspect of Morality (e.g., its objective force) is observed. (Moral realism)
Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

First, how do we know there is an objective morality?
Second, how is it reasonable to think that morality was created by a person? What if morality logically follows from analyzing a situation? What if morality does not depend on anything else to exist and is a necessary condition in the world?
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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8/17/2012 1:11:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 12:08:06 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
Specifically I want to go over the moral argument.


Some aspect of Morality (e.g., its objective force) is observed. (Moral realism)
Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

First, how do we know there is an objective morality?

Well yes. That's often the main part of debate.

Second, how is it reasonable to think that morality was created by a person? What if morality logically follows from analyzing a situation? What if morality does not depend on anything else to exist and is a necessary condition in the world?

The moral argument usually follows the line that a moral code exists within us like a sensory morality. For example, when I cheat someone that may afterwards have a negative affect on my mind or conscience but when I give food to a homeless man, I feel good about myself. That morality, if thought to objective, could not really be explained by naturalism but perhaps a supernatural authoritary source.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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8/17/2012 1:24:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 12:01:27 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
I would like Christians to give me a list of most convincing arguments they have for believing the way they do. I am less interested in a debate and more into collecting arguments to debate about.

Here are some I have heard of:
Design Argument.

Often overrated by theists and underrated by atheists but generally good.

Fine-Tuning argument.

Same as above.

Argument from religious experience.

As a deist, I'm obviously skeptical of this argument.

Argument from Miracles.

Above

Argument from Near Death Experiences.

I don't know whether there's an afterlife or not but the argument does make me more inclined to think there might be.

Argument from Consciousness.

One of the strongest arguments for God and a big problem for atheists.

Argument from fulfilled prophecies.

Poop

Argument from evidence for the resurrection.

Meh

Ontological argument.

Very misunderstood and underrated by many but I still disagree. My objection follows along Kants.

Cosmological argument.

A good argument but debated way to much.

Moral argument.

It used to be my favorite argument. I still like it but I've grown skeptical. I'm not sure about it.

Arguments against the theory of evolution.

There are no good arguments against evolution.

Arguments against modern geology and dating methods.

For the age of the earth? I believe in an old earth.

Arguments against abiogenesis.

I haven't been convinced of arguments for life evolving from non-life, so yes.

Arguments against stellar evolution and the big bang.

Both theories are very likely.

Arguments for faith.

I don't know what argument this is.

Any others that are convincing to you?

The argument from logic is interesting though I'm still not sure if it proves God or not.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Dan4reason
Posts: 1,168
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8/17/2012 1:26:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:11:02 PM, phantom wrote:
At 8/17/2012 12:08:06 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
Specifically I want to go over the moral argument.


Some aspect of Morality (e.g., its objective force) is observed. (Moral realism)
Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

First, how do we know there is an objective morality?

Well yes. That's often the main part of debate.

Second, how is it reasonable to think that morality was created by a person? What if morality logically follows from analyzing a situation? What if morality does not depend on anything else to exist and is a necessary condition in the world?

The moral argument usually follows the line that a moral code exists within us like a sensory morality. For example, when I cheat someone that may afterwards have a negative affect on my mind or conscience but when I give food to a homeless man, I feel good about myself. That morality, if thought to objective, could not really be explained by naturalism but perhaps a supernatural authoritary source.

So you are arguing is that our subjective notion of morality whether morality is objective or not cannot be explained naturalistically?

What about this intuition is unexplainable naturalistically? Do you believe this reasoning or are you only the messenger?
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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8/17/2012 1:32:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:26:11 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 8/17/2012 1:11:02 PM, phantom wrote:
At 8/17/2012 12:08:06 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
Specifically I want to go over the moral argument.


Some aspect of Morality (e.g., its objective force) is observed. (Moral realism)
Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

First, how do we know there is an objective morality?

Well yes. That's often the main part of debate.

Second, how is it reasonable to think that morality was created by a person? What if morality logically follows from analyzing a situation? What if morality does not depend on anything else to exist and is a necessary condition in the world?

The moral argument usually follows the line that a moral code exists within us like a sensory morality. For example, when I cheat someone that may afterwards have a negative affect on my mind or conscience but when I give food to a homeless man, I feel good about myself. That morality, if thought to objective, could not really be explained by naturalism but perhaps a supernatural authoritary source.

So you are arguing is that our subjective notion of morality whether morality is objective or not cannot be explained naturalistically?

I'd say that the morality I mentioned above could not be explained naturally if we assume it's objective. I could plausibly believe our mind naturally formed a certain attitude towards certain actions but it wouldn't be objective for sure.

What about this intuition is unexplainable naturalistically? Do you believe this reasoning or are you only the messenger?

Idk I'm skeptical about non logical formed morality.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Dan4reason
Posts: 1,168
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8/17/2012 1:37:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:32:07 PM, phantom wrote:

I'd say that the morality I mentioned above could not be explained naturally if we assume it's objective. I could plausibly believe our mind naturally formed a certain attitude towards certain actions but it wouldn't be objective for sure.

And since nobody can show that objective morality exists, this does not bode well for the moral argument.

But even if morality is objective, maybe it is an objective necessary fact that arises logically, rather than something contingent.

Since it is logically true there is no reason why naturalism needs to explain it any more than it has to explain why 1+1=2.

Idk I'm skeptical about non logical formed morality.

I always was even when I was a theist.
Dan4reason
Posts: 1,168
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8/17/2012 1:39:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:24:13 PM, phantom wrote:
At 8/17/2012 12:01:27 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
I would like Christians to give me a list of most convincing arguments they have for believing the way they do. I am less interested in a debate and more into collecting arguments to debate about.

Here are some I have heard of:
Design Argument.

Often overrated by theists and underrated by atheists but generally good.

Fine-Tuning argument.

Same as above.

Argument from religious experience.

As a deist, I'm obviously skeptical of this argument.

Argument from Miracles.

Above

Argument from Near Death Experiences.

I don't know whether there's an afterlife or not but the argument does make me more inclined to think there might be.

Argument from Consciousness.

One of the strongest arguments for God and a big problem for atheists.

Argument from fulfilled prophecies.

Poop

Argument from evidence for the resurrection.

Meh

Ontological argument.

Very misunderstood and underrated by many but I still disagree. My objection follows along Kants.

Cosmological argument.

A good argument but debated way to much.

Moral argument.

It used to be my favorite argument. I still like it but I've grown skeptical. I'm not sure about it.

Arguments against the theory of evolution.

There are no good arguments against evolution.

Arguments against modern geology and dating methods.

For the age of the earth? I believe in an old earth.

Arguments against abiogenesis.

I haven't been convinced of arguments for life evolving from non-life, so yes.

Arguments against stellar evolution and the big bang.

Both theories are very likely.

Arguments for faith.

I don't know what argument this is.

Any others that are convincing to you?

The argument from logic is interesting though I'm still not sure if it proves God or not.

Thanks for the responses. I also agree the argument from consciousness is very hard for atheists to explain. It is one I have been wrestling with myself.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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8/17/2012 8:58:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:37:32 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 8/17/2012 1:32:07 PM, phantom wrote:

I'd say that the morality I mentioned above could not be explained naturally if we assume it's objective. I could plausibly believe our mind naturally formed a certain attitude towards certain actions but it wouldn't be objective for sure.

And since nobody can show that objective morality exists, this does not bode well for the moral argument.

Well there are plenty of arguments such as the "sense/morality comparative".


But even if morality is objective, maybe it is an objective necessary fact that arises logically, rather than something contingent.

Agreed. That would usually be secular objective morality though.

Since it is logically true there is no reason why naturalism needs to explain it any more than it has to explain why 1+1=2.

Well yes, if we're talking about logically derived objective morality. Though there are arguments that the naturalist would need to explain why objective logical facts exist.

Idk I'm skeptical about non logical formed morality.

I always was even when I was a theist.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
TheJackel
Posts: 508
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8/18/2012 12:14:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:26:11 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 8/17/2012 1:11:02 PM, phantom wrote:
At 8/17/2012 12:08:06 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
Specifically I want to go over the moral argument.


Some aspect of Morality (e.g., its objective force) is observed. (Moral realism)
Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

First, how do we know there is an objective morality?

Well yes. That's often the main part of debate.

Second, how is it reasonable to think that morality was created by a person? What if morality logically follows from analyzing a situation? What if morality does not depend on anything else to exist and is a necessary condition in the world?

The moral argument usually follows the line that a moral code exists within us like a sensory morality. For example, when I cheat someone that may afterwards have a negative affect on my mind or conscience but when I give food to a homeless man, I feel good about myself. That morality, if thought to objective, could not really be explained by naturalism but perhaps a supernatural authoritary source.

So you are arguing is that our subjective notion of morality whether morality is objective or not cannot be explained naturalistically?

What about this intuition is unexplainable naturalistically? Do you believe this reasoning or are you only the messenger?

Understanding Moral Evolution: System of behavioral Adaptation
http://matt-mattjwest.newsvine.com...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/18/2012 7:07:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The theist has to destroy all atheistic accounts of objective morality (even the ones we haven't though up of yet) to support premise 1. Simply saying that God better grounds morality, or that atheistic objective morality isn't obvious, doesn't support premise 1. There is 0 evidence for premise 2 besides an appeal to emotion and intuition. Thus, the moral argument is baseless.
pianoforte611
Posts: 17
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8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments? I doubt it. I suspect that religious conversion (including de-conversion to atheism) has more to do with community, personal relationships and status. Its obvious why the first two are important. The third, I haven't thought through as much.

By status, I mean that if you perceive members of some group to be higher status than yourself, then you have an incentive to become a member of that group, especially if there are no correspondingly powerful influences keeping you a member of your own religion. For example, a young theist philosopher whose role models and mentors are atheists will have a strong incentive to de-convert, if he perceives their belief system as important to their philosophical work.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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8/18/2012 8:22:26 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM, pianoforte611 wrote:
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments?

People are convinced by being told it is true (by their mothers, priests, etc.). Then they need rationalizations so that they think their belief has a more sophisticated basis than "Mother told me it was true". That's where these arguments come in.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/18/2012 8:51:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM, pianoforte611 wrote:
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments? I doubt it. I suspect that religious conversion (including de-conversion to atheism) has more to do with community, personal relationships and status. Its obvious why the first two are important. The third, I haven't thought through as much.

By status, I mean that if you perceive members of some group to be higher status than yourself, then you have an incentive to become a member of that group, especially if there are no correspondingly powerful influences keeping you a member of your own religion. For example, a young theist philosopher whose role models and mentors are atheists will have a strong incentive to de-convert, if he perceives their belief system as important to their philosophical work.

Theists only use these arguments to re-enforce their pre-existing beliefs. The arguments themselves are are not all that compelling to those who do not already accept the conclusions.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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8/18/2012 9:03:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
In all future debates on the moral argument I do, I'm going to phrase it as, "if a non-natural objective morality exists, God exists." That way, logic-based secular morality won't be an issue because that is natural.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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8/18/2012 9:09:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM, pianoforte611 wrote:
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments? I doubt it. I suspect that religious conversion (including de-conversion to atheism) has more to do with community, personal relationships and status. Its obvious why the first two are important. The third, I haven't thought through as much.

By status, I mean that if you perceive members of some group to be higher status than yourself, then you have an incentive to become a member of that group, especially if there are no correspondingly powerful influences keeping you a member of your own religion. For example, a young theist philosopher whose role models and mentors are atheists will have a strong incentive to de-convert, if he perceives their belief system as important to their philosophical work.

The fine-tuning and design argument from my experience are by far the main logical arguments that make people believe. Then there's also people who've converted due to their belief of historical and archeological evidence for the Bible, such as Josh McDowell. For non-logical arguments, either they grew up believing, it was a personal experience in which they believe they experienced the holy spirit or something of the sort, or a near death experience. Arguments like the cosmological ones don't seem to garner as many converts but I've seen people who've converted because of it even on this site. I do think though that for many, it is all a combination of some of the ones mentioned that make them believe, and not just one argument.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/18/2012 9:12:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 9:09:32 AM, phantom wrote:
At 8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM, pianoforte611 wrote:
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments? I doubt it. I suspect that religious conversion (including de-conversion to atheism) has more to do with community, personal relationships and status. Its obvious why the first two are important. The third, I haven't thought through as much.

By status, I mean that if you perceive members of some group to be higher status than yourself, then you have an incentive to become a member of that group, especially if there are no correspondingly powerful influences keeping you a member of your own religion. For example, a young theist philosopher whose role models and mentors are atheists will have a strong incentive to de-convert, if he perceives their belief system as important to their philosophical work.


The fine-tuning and design argument from my experience are by far the main logical arguments that make people believe. Then there's also people who've converted due to their belief of historical and archeological evidence for the Bible, such as Josh McDowell. For non-logical arguments, either they grew up believing, it was a personal experience in which they believe they experienced the holy spirit or something of the sort, or a near death experience. Arguments like the cosmological ones don't seem to garner as many converts but I've seen people who've converted because of it even on this site. I do think though that for many, it is all a combination of some of the ones mentioned that make them believe, and not just one argument.

Someone was converted to theism because of the Kalam Cosmological Argument on this site? Lol I wonder if they still post here...
phantom
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8/18/2012 9:20:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 9:12:12 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/18/2012 9:09:32 AM, phantom wrote:
At 8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM, pianoforte611 wrote:
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments? I doubt it. I suspect that religious conversion (including de-conversion to atheism) has more to do with community, personal relationships and status. Its obvious why the first two are important. The third, I haven't thought through as much.

By status, I mean that if you perceive members of some group to be higher status than yourself, then you have an incentive to become a member of that group, especially if there are no correspondingly powerful influences keeping you a member of your own religion. For example, a young theist philosopher whose role models and mentors are atheists will have a strong incentive to de-convert, if he perceives their belief system as important to their philosophical work.


The fine-tuning and design argument from my experience are by far the main logical arguments that make people believe. Then there's also people who've converted due to their belief of historical and archeological evidence for the Bible, such as Josh McDowell. For non-logical arguments, either they grew up believing, it was a personal experience in which they believe they experienced the holy spirit or something of the sort, or a near death experience. Arguments like the cosmological ones don't seem to garner as many converts but I've seen people who've converted because of it even on this site. I do think though that for many, it is all a combination of some of the ones mentioned that make them believe, and not just one argument.

Someone was converted to theism because of the Kalam Cosmological Argument on this site? Lol I wonder if they still post here...

It wasn't Kalam
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
pianoforte611
Posts: 17
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8/18/2012 9:29:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 9:09:32 AM, phantom wrote:
At 8/18/2012 8:16:43 AM, pianoforte611 wrote:
Has anyone actually been convinced by one of these arguments? I doubt it. I suspect that religious conversion (including de-conversion to atheism) has more to do with community, personal relationships and status. Its obvious why the first two are important. The third, I haven't thought through as much.

By status, I mean that if you perceive members of some group to be higher status than yourself, then you have an incentive to become a member of that group, especially if there are no correspondingly powerful influences keeping you a member of your own religion. For example, a young theist philosopher whose role models and mentors are atheists will have a strong incentive to de-convert, if he perceives their belief system as important to their philosophical work.


The fine-tuning and design argument from my experience are by far the main logical arguments that make people believe. Then there's also people who've converted due to their belief of historical and archeological evidence for the Bible, such as Josh McDowell. For non-logical arguments, either they grew up believing, it was a personal experience in which they believe they experienced the holy spirit or something of the sort, or a near death experience. Arguments like the cosmological ones don't seem to garner as many converts but I've seen people who've converted because of it even on this site. I do think though that for many, it is all a combination of some of the ones mentioned that make them believe, and not just one argument.

Oh I'm well aware that many people claim to be persuaded by the various arguments. I just don't think that the arguments they give are their real reasons for converting. I suspect that in most cases, at least on or more of the reasons I cited are at work. I also think that most people are unaware of their actual reasons for converting.