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Moral Argument (WLC)

Bellerophon
Posts: 94
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11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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11/5/2013 7:26:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

Give me an example of an objective moral.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Posts: 720
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11/5/2013 8:01:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

While I can agree with premise one. The problem is that there is immediately a jump towards there been only objective morals. I contend that there are no objective morals but rather subjective morals.
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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11/5/2013 8:02:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

1.

- What is an objective moral?
- Why can objective morals only exist if there is a god?

2.

- Can you give an example of an objective moral rule that indisputably exists?
- Can you prove that this objective moral rule could only exist through the existence of god and could not have come about through any other means?

It's a really dreadful argument.
MysticEgg
Posts: 524
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11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/5/2013 10:27:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

Morality is based on values. What we value is completely subjective (like how I value my grandmother's locket that she gave me, but my neighbor doesn't care). Most of us share the same values, which shows that morality is collectively subjective; not objective. So, I believe Premise 2 is false.
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?
MysticEgg
Posts: 524
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11/5/2013 4:10:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?

Apparently.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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11/5/2013 4:25:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

You -- thee -- froh, I believe.
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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11/5/2013 4:30:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

God is not a magic wand that makes something "objective".

It's a term with meaning--if you exclude God from subjectivity, it's special pleading. So his commands are either in line with reality (in which case his existence is irrelevant, as the attributes of reality would exist anyway) or they are not (in which case his commands are exactly as subjective as anyone's).

And Premise 2 needs rather a lot of support before it can even be considered--support which will hinge on the meaning of "objective".
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/5/2013 4:32:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?

"I think that the Euthyphro dilemma is fatal to any theory that grounds morality in the will or character of God." - Jason Thibodeau (2012)
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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11/5/2013 4:57:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:32:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?

"I think that the Euthyphro dilemma is fatal to any theory that grounds morality in the will or character of God." - Jason Thibodeau (2012)

This may be naive, but who is this guy? I tried googling his name and got nothing.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/5/2013 5:08:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:57:55 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:32:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?

"I think that the Euthyphro dilemma is fatal to any theory that grounds morality in the will or character of God." - Jason Thibodeau (2012)

This may be naive, but who is this guy? I tried googling his name and got nothing.

He certainly seems qualified:

"Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, 2006
M.A., Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, 2002
B.A., Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 1997"

http://www.infidels.org...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Posts: 720
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11/5/2013 5:13:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:30:25 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

God is not a magic wand that makes something "objective".

It's a term with meaning--if you exclude God from subjectivity, it's special pleading. So his commands are either in line with reality (in which case his existence is irrelevant, as the attributes of reality would exist anyway) or they are not (in which case his commands are exactly as subjective as anyone's).

And Premise 2 needs rather a lot of support before it can even be considered--support which will hinge on the meaning of "objective".

I am sure the only counter argument you will receive for this is "His commands are in line with whatever reality we live in currently." And then the magic wand can come out an erase slavery as bad, whereas subjectivity requires no magic wand.
SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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11/5/2013 7:14:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

All the so-called "objections" to this argument made by New Atheists are absolutely dreadful. Interestingly enough, if an atheist were to adopt some form of Aristotelian-Thomistic Natural Law essentialist ethical theory, he could affirm that objective moral values and duties do exist, as our moral duties are set for us by our mere nature qua humans whether God exists or not. But, of course, the accepting of an essentialist ethical theory in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition would require one accept the entire Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysical apparatus. And this would commit him, even if secondhand, to the existence of God.

Those who reject P2 only do so on paper, if you will. The moment one such person folds closed his laptop and exits Debate.org, he will live inconsistently with his belief that morality is just subjective by living as if morality was objective. And so it is hardly rationally consistently tenable. Moreover, moral subjectivism, apart from being utterly useless in dealing with conflict, seems to be self-refuting, for the moral relativist must accept as equally true the claim "moral subjectivism is false."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/5/2013 7:27:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 7:14:43 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

All the so-called "objections" to this argument made by New Atheists are absolutely dreadful.

Why don't you read the philosophical literature on it then?

Interestingly enough, if an atheist were to adopt some form of Aristotelian-Thomistic Natural Law essentialist ethical theory, he could affirm that objective moral values and duties do exist, as our moral duties are set for us by our mere nature qua humans whether God exists or not. But, of course, the accepting of an essentialist ethical theory in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition would require one accept the entire Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysical apparatus. And this would commit him, even if secondhand, to the existence of God.

I have no idea what that is, but there are plenty of ways to refute the first premise so it is not necessary.


Those who reject P2 only do so on paper, if you will. The moment one such person folds closed his laptop and exits Debate.org, he will live inconsistently with his belief that morality is just subjective by living as if morality was objective.

How so? I will live as if I strongly disapprove of rape, murder, and theft.... Which is completely consistent with moral subjectivism.

And so it is hardly rationally consistently tenable.

Who are you to tell me how I act when I am off my computer? If this is your idea of a good argument, you are doing it wrong.

Moreover, moral subjectivism, apart from being utterly useless in dealing with conflict, seems to be self-refuting, for the moral relativist must accept as equally true the claim "moral subjectivism is false."

That makes no sense at all. The moral subjectivist adheres to the notion that moral subjectivism is true; not false.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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11/5/2013 8:02:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 7:14:43 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/5/2013 12:50:55 AM, Bellerophon wrote:
1, If God doesn't exist the objective morals don't
2, Objective morals do exist
/ So God exists

We've all heard it, but let's assess it. What are your favorite objections?

All the so-called "objections" to this argument made by New Atheists are absolutely dreadful. Interestingly enough, if an atheist were to adopt some form of Aristotelian-Thomistic Natural Law essentialist ethical theory, he could affirm that objective moral values and duties do exist, as our moral duties are set for us by our mere nature qua humans whether God exists or not. But, of course, the accepting of an essentialist ethical theory in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition would require one accept the entire Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysical apparatus. And this would commit him, even if secondhand, to the existence of God.

Those who reject P2 only do so on paper, if you will. The moment one such person folds closed his laptop and exits Debate.org, he will live inconsistently with his belief that morality is just subjective by living as if morality was objective. And so it is hardly rationally consistently tenable. Moreover, moral subjectivism, apart from being utterly useless in dealing with conflict, seems to be self-refuting, for the moral relativist must accept as equally true the claim "moral subjectivism is false."

Please, give me an example of an objective moral.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)
muslimnomore
Posts: 369
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11/5/2013 8:06:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I never understood this argument. If objective morals exist, how does this necessitate the existence of a god? Someone explain plz.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/5/2013 8:10:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?

Personally, I think arguing the Euthyphro Dilemma is just a good way to get a bad headache. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
bulproof
Posts: 25,218
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11/5/2013 8:10:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)
Is it right to punish someone for doing wrong?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Posts: 720
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11/5/2013 8:11:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)

Here you are making the error of confusing objective morality with subjective morality. If you look at it subjectively you would not want yourself to be hurt, this leads to the conclusion that hurting someone else is wrong. However, objectively there are times when hurting others is correct. We just have to look at the mass slaughters condoned by God in the bible.
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Posts: 720
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11/5/2013 8:13:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:10:33 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)
Is it right to punish someone for doing wrong?

That is a great question, and shows why there can be no objective morality.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/5/2013 8:17:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:32:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/5/2013 3:58:19 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/5/2013 10:19:01 AM, MysticEgg wrote:
Bad argument. The Euthyphro Dilemma. 'Nuff said. (Also, does anyone know how to pronounce "euthyphro"?)

Does anyone actually use the Euthyphro Dilemma anymore?

"I think that the Euthyphro dilemma is fatal to any theory that grounds morality in the will or character of God." - Jason Thibodeau (2012)

Why would it be? I mean, honestly, how is it any different from saying that just because science doesn't know a certain thing doesn't mean that it's not empirically knowable? If God did command it because it was already so, then I guess that he's not omnipotent, since if he were then he could make it be whichever he wanted. Personally, I love arguments like this. :)
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/5/2013 8:17:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)

You strongly disapprove of it, as do I. This is consistent with moral subjectivism. Objectivism violates Occam's Razor, as it posits something else. Anyway, we only care about preventing rape because we assign value to a female's free-will and prevention of pain, we only care about not killing other people because we value life, and we only care about people not getting there things taken because we value property. However, value is subjectively assigned! Whether we assign value individually (such as a locket from my grandmother that nobody else would probably care about), or collectively (such as the value we assign to our lives), it is still subjective.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/5/2013 8:19:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:10:33 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)
Is it right to punish someone for doing wrong?

Now that is an entirely different question, with no real bearing on the first. But if I had to answer, I would say that depends on what the "wrong" was.
bulproof
Posts: 25,218
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11/5/2013 8:23:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:19:41 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/5/2013 8:10:33 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)
Is it right to punish someone for doing wrong?

Now that is an entirely different question, with no real bearing on the first. But if I had to answer, I would say that depends on what the "wrong" was.

It really doesn't matter because you are discussing a sense of justice rather than morality per se.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/5/2013 8:24:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:11:56 PM, iamanatheistandthisiswhy wrote:
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)

Here you are making the error of confusing objective morality with subjective morality. If you look at it subjectively you would not want yourself to be hurt, this leads to the conclusion that hurting someone else is wrong. However, objectively there are times when hurting others is correct. We just have to look at the mass slaughters condoned by God in the bible.

You are being a bit vague. We're not just talking about hurting someone, but hurting someone for no reason. And we are talking about a particular reason, not just "times when hurting others is correct." Of course there are such times, like when they do something deserving of punishment. And pointing-out the mass slaughters in the Bible is no better than a Euthyphro Dilemma argument. There have been equally awful mass slaughters ordered for non-religious persons, not that I care much for religion.
Idealist
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11/5/2013 8:33:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:17:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)

You strongly disapprove of it, as do I. This is consistent with moral subjectivism. Objectivism violates Occam's Razor, as it posits something else. Anyway, we only care about preventing rape because we assign value to a female's free-will and prevention of pain, we only care about not killing other people because we value life, and we only care about people not getting there things taken because we value property. However, value is subjectively assigned! Whether we assign value individually (such as a locket from my grandmother that nobody else would probably care about), or collectively (such as the value we assign to our lives), it is still subjective.

So if a person values sex more than another's free-will then it's morally okay for them to commit rape if they know they won't be caught? Or are you saying that the values of the majority makes the act objectively immoral? I don't argue that some (maybe most) values are subjectively assigned, but I hesitate to claim that all of them are. Without any real objective values then there is no inherent wrong, only subjective wrong which is bound to change as the situation does.
s-anthony
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11/5/2013 8:36:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 8:06:26 PM, Idealist wrote:
Give me an example of an objective moral.

I think a good example of an objective morality is that it is wrong to punish someone for something they did not do. I can't think of any reason not to believe this is wrong. :)

Which actions merit punishment?