Total Posts:31|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

The PoE and Moral Arguments are Misguided

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 6:33:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Both arguments are based on a poorly (or 'taken for granted') defined definitions of 'moral', 'immoral', 'good' and 'evil'.

When making these arguments both sides need to actually explicitly define what such labels mean, as they can mean very different things, especially in secular and religious contexts.

For example, in secular contexts, moral is explicitly defined according to moral systems, some moral systems will explicitly give morality in terms of intentionally maximising or minimising harm or discomfort, maximising society self-interest etc. Even these are not always well-defined, and additional work needs to be done on laying out these definitions.

In theistic contexts, morality is often defined according to 'God's nature', 'Moral Sense', maximising 'love', etc.

The fact is, these debates will end up with both parties talking past each other since they are arguing for simple tell different things which are not explicitly defined beforehand. So I can only propose two different solutions to this absurd debate:

1. Explicitly define contentious terms (especially the four given) before actually giving arguments

2. Drop the use of moral terminology altogether and refer only to the concepts themselves. For example instead of stating 'school', say what you actually mean which could be 'educational institute for 5-16 year olds, which may well be a different definition of school to other people, but at least the core concept is now completely unambiguous.

How this applies to both arguments is that the moral argument and PoE almost universally rely on this vague undefined terminology to make their arguments seem somewhat convincing. It's no accident that I find the moral argument the most unconvincing argument for God I have ever seen, nor is it an accident that the PoE to me is clearly a terrible argument against God's existence.

The eurythro dilemma is a good tool to get theists to think about what they mean by 'moral', but it is not a good tool against God's existence.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 8:34:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 6:33:10 AM, Envisage wrote:
Both arguments are based on a poorly (or 'taken for granted') defined definitions of 'moral', 'immoral', 'good' and 'evil'.

When making these arguments both sides need to actually explicitly define what such labels mean, as they can mean very different things, especially in secular and religious contexts.

For example, in secular contexts, moral is explicitly defined according to moral systems, some moral systems will explicitly give morality in terms of intentionally maximising or minimising harm or discomfort, maximising society self-interest etc. Even these are not always well-defined, and additional work needs to be done on laying out these definitions.

In theistic contexts, morality is often defined according to 'God's nature', 'Moral Sense', maximising 'love', etc.

The fact is, these debates will end up with both parties talking past each other since they are arguing for simple tell different things which are not explicitly defined beforehand. So I can only propose two different solutions to this absurd debate:

1. Explicitly define contentious terms (especially the four given) before actually giving arguments

2. Drop the use of moral terminology altogether and refer only to the concepts themselves. For example instead of stating 'school', say what you actually mean which could be 'educational institute for 5-16 year olds, which may well be a different definition of school to other people, but at least the core concept is now completely unambiguous.

How this applies to both arguments is that the moral argument and PoE almost universally rely on this vague undefined terminology to make their arguments seem somewhat convincing. It's no accident that I find the moral argument the most unconvincing argument for God I have ever seen, nor is it an accident that the PoE to me is clearly a terrible argument against God's existence.

The eurythro dilemma is a good tool to get theists to think about what they mean by 'moral', but it is not a good tool against God's existence.

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Deuteronomy 32
39: "`See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Exodus 4:
10: But Moses said to the LORD, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of tongue."
11: Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
12: Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak."

I Samuel 2
2: There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God.
3: Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4: The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.
5: Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
6: The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7: The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.
8: He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ask heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord"s, and on them he has set the world.
9: "He will guard the feet of his faithful ones; but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might shall a man pervail.
10: The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strenght to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed."

Is God moral or immoral because of what He says through His prophets? He's the one who kills His people and makes them alive. Does this mean He's a loving God who would never kill anyone?
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 10:19:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

There is no good argument for or against God's existence until 'God' is actually defined. The OP implicitly addresses this because the issue of morality is one that is poorly defined, hence accepting or rejecting it's content is meaningless until you know or claim what the content is.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 10:58:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 10:19:23 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

There is no good argument for or against God's existence until 'God' is actually defined. The OP implicitly addresses this because the issue of morality is one that is poorly defined, hence accepting or rejecting it's content is meaningless until you know or claim what the content is.

It should be obvious what sort of God I'm talking about - the one to which the PoE applies (i.e. perfectly good, powerful and knowledgeable). And I'm saying that the PoE is the only really good argument agaisnt that God in my opinion.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 1:31:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 10:58:45 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/21/2014 10:19:23 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

There is no good argument for or against God's existence until 'God' is actually defined. The OP implicitly addresses this because the issue of morality is one that is poorly defined, hence accepting or rejecting it's content is meaningless until you know or claim what the content is.

It should be obvious what sort of God I'm talking about - the one to which the PoE applies (i.e. perfectly good, powerful and knowledgeable). And I'm saying that the PoE is the only really good argument agaisnt that God in my opinion.

Define 'good'.
user_name
Posts: 120
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 1:39:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What would you suggest we tell a child that's incapable of judging if murder is right or wrong?
Best wishes,
user-name.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 1:55:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 1:39:06 PM, user_name wrote:
What would you suggest we tell a child that's incapable of judging if murder is right or wrong?

Depends on what you mean by 'wrong', if you say it to encourage undesirable behavior then sure, if you are saying it for them to recognise it as wrong as an objective fact, then I am arguing that it is unjustified until you have an explicit meaning for what 'wrong' means.

Otherwise it just becomes a universal dumping category for 'things not to do'.
user_name
Posts: 120
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 1:57:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 1:55:05 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 1:39:06 PM, user_name wrote:
What would you suggest we tell a child that's incapable of judging if murder is right or wrong?

Depends on what you mean by 'wrong', if you say it to encourage undesirable behavior then sure, if you are saying it for them to recognise it as wrong as an objective fact, then I am arguing that it is unjustified until you have an explicit meaning for what 'wrong' means.

Otherwise it just becomes a universal dumping category for 'things not to do'.

What else did you think 'wrong' 'evil' and 'bad' were supposed to be than 'things not to do'?
Best wishes,
user-name.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 2:24:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 1:57:21 PM, user_name wrote:
At 10/21/2014 1:55:05 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 1:39:06 PM, user_name wrote:
What would you suggest we tell a child that's incapable of judging if murder is right or wrong?

Depends on what you mean by 'wrong', if you say it to encourage undesirable behavior then sure, if you are saying it for them to recognise it as wrong as an objective fact, then I am arguing that it is unjustified until you have an explicit meaning for what 'wrong' means.

Otherwise it just becomes a universal dumping category for 'things not to do'.

What else did you think 'wrong' 'evil' and 'bad' were supposed to be than 'things not to do'?

As moral system generalisations. The problem with just labelling somethign is that its both unjustified, and also any ought necessarily is subjective, you ought to eat food if you want to avoid hunger, you ought not to murder if you want to conform, etc.

Hence to any of these you can just not care about the conditional. Which is where different moral systems come in, and that includes theistic ones, which are also necessarily subjective in whether or not you should adhere to, or accept them.
user_name
Posts: 120
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 2:27:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 2:24:51 PM, Envisage wrote:

As moral system generalisations. The problem with just labelling somethign is that its both unjustified, and also any ought necessarily is subjective, you ought to eat food if you want to avoid hunger, you ought not to murder if you want to conform, etc.

You are applying morality to morality. Do you not see how utterly absurd it is to deem subjective guidance of the youth as 'immoral' if that, itself, is your subjective interpretation of it?

Hence to any of these you can just not care about the conditional. Which is where different moral systems come in, and that includes theistic ones, which are also necessarily subjective in whether or not you should adhere to, or accept them.

What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?
Best wishes,
user-name.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 2:39:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 2:27:34 PM, user_name wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:24:51 PM, Envisage wrote:

As moral system generalisations. The problem with just labelling somethign is that its both unjustified, and also any ought necessarily is subjective, you ought to eat food if you want to avoid hunger, you ought not to murder if you want to conform, etc.

You are applying morality to morality. Do you not see how utterly absurd it is to deem subjective guidance of the youth as 'immoral' if that, itself, is your subjective interpretation of it?

No. You misunderstand me here.

I stated in the OP that 'moral' means different things to different people or in different systems, and I gave a bunch of such interpretations in the OP (to minimise suffering, to conform to God's nature, maximied pleasure, etc etc.).

These are all different, and none are any more 'incorrect' than a dutchman and an englishman having different concepts of what the word 'red' means.

So the question of *what* is moral is objective, since given a definition of morality, then what is moral or immoral is at least in some sense objectively determinate. But whether you *ought* to conform, or act in any way is necessarily subjective. Oughts are necessarily conditional, and are meaningless without one (e.g. you should not murder IF you want to X).

So *what* is moral is objective in what it is (given any specific moral system), but because morality is poorly defined, then person X will hold a different definition of morality than person Y (e.g. the secular & theist clashes). A secularist for example might determine that execution for apostasy is immoral, and the theist may not agree. They are both moral, but that's because the concept of morality for both people is different.

'Moral' 'immoral' etc become useless terms.

.:
Hence to any of these you can just not care about the conditional. Which is where different moral systems come in, and that includes theistic ones, which are also necessarily subjective in whether or not you should adhere to, or accept them.

What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?

I am stating that the debate using moral arguments (for or against the existence of God especially) is rather useless and misguided, sinced they rely on undefined terminology. That's the title of the OP....
user_name
Posts: 120
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 2:41:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?

I am stating that the debate using moral arguments (for or against the existence of God especially) is rather useless and misguided, sinced they rely on undefined terminology. That's the title of the OP....

I read the title of the OP, did you read the title and apply it to your own standards and morals?
Best wishes,
user-name.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 2:48:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 2:41:47 PM, user_name wrote:
What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?

I am stating that the debate using moral arguments (for or against the existence of God especially) is rather useless and misguided, since they rely on undefined terminology. That's the title of the OP....

I read the title of the OP, did you read the title and apply it to your own standards and morals?

That statement makes absolutely no sense, since the OP is all about attacking the presuppositions in what 'moral' means in different arguments. My own standards and morals are completely irrelevant.

If you take the following two arguments, both use the word 'moral' yet they will both refer to different concepts of what 'moral' means and hence two completely different things.

P1.) If God exists, then gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2.) Gratuitous suffering exists
C.) God does not exist

P1.) If God does not exist, then objective morals will not exist
P2.) Objective morals exist
C.) God exists

Both necessarily rely on different concepts of what 'moral' is in order to be valid.
user_name
Posts: 120
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 3:03:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 2:48:00 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:41:47 PM, user_name wrote:
What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?

I am stating that the debate using moral arguments (for or against the existence of God especially) is rather useless and misguided, since they rely on undefined terminology. That's the title of the OP....

I read the title of the OP, did you read the title and apply it to your own standards and morals?

That statement makes absolutely no sense, since the OP is all about attacking the presuppositions in what 'moral' means in different arguments. My own standards and morals are completely irrelevant.

No they are not; they are the entire basis on which you asserted this.

If you take the following two arguments, both use the word 'moral' yet they will both refer to different concepts of what 'moral' means and hence two completely different things.

P1.) If God exists, then gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2.) Gratuitous suffering exists
C.) God does not exist

P1.) If God does not exist, then objective morals will not exist
P2.) Objective morals exist
C.) God exists

Both necessarily rely on different concepts of what 'moral' is in order to be valid.

Please give your correct moral code and I will forever shut up.
Best wishes,
user-name.
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 3:21:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
It maybe possible "wrong", "bad", or even "evil" is really an "incorrect according to". According to the Ten Commandments such and such is wrong, bad or evil. Hence, against so to speak. If one sins he sins or offends against what is agreed to. And that would be according to an agreement. If someone steals from a store "shop lifts" then he sins against the store, because it is agreed that the merchandise is to be pay for, in some monetary way. And that agreement is presumed when one walks into the store. If the same is ignorant of the understood agreement, that is no excuse. Why? The property owner sets the rules.

Good is simply fulfillment to the satisfaction of the agreement, spelled out in the agreement. Could be law, could be constitutions, could be between a people and its monarchy, could be repairs to your car or home, could be between God and His People, could be a simple transaction between two people, could be a marriage contract, business contract. This is not rocket science. Its executed every day by everybody that interacts with the society around them, with the expectation of the fulfillment of whatever agreement applies.

If you are not in a agreement with another, then you can"t offend the other.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 3:40:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 1:31:18 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 10:58:45 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/21/2014 10:19:23 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

There is no good argument for or against God's existence until 'God' is actually defined. The OP implicitly addresses this because the issue of morality is one that is poorly defined, hence accepting or rejecting it's content is meaningless until you know or claim what the content is.

It should be obvious what sort of God I'm talking about - the one to which the PoE applies (i.e. perfectly good, powerful and knowledgeable). And I'm saying that the PoE is the only really good argument agaisnt that God in my opinion.

Define 'good'.

"An event may be categorized as good if it involves any of the following:
a.some improvement (whether it be minor or great) in the physical and/or psychological well-being of a sentient creature;
b.the just treatment of some sentient creature;
c.anything that advances the degree of fulfillment and virtue in an individual"s life;
d.a person doing that which is morally right;
e.the optimal functioning of some person or thing, so that it does not lack the full measure of being and goodness that ought to belong to it."

http://www.iep.utm.edu...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 3:42:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 2:39:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:27:34 PM, user_name wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:24:51 PM, Envisage wrote:

As moral system generalisations. The problem with just labelling somethign is that its both unjustified, and also any ought necessarily is subjective, you ought to eat food if you want to avoid hunger, you ought not to murder if you want to conform, etc.

You are applying morality to morality. Do you not see how utterly absurd it is to deem subjective guidance of the youth as 'immoral' if that, itself, is your subjective interpretation of it?

No. You misunderstand me here.

I stated in the OP that 'moral' means different things to different people or in different systems, and I gave a bunch of such interpretations in the OP (to minimise suffering, to conform to God's nature, maximied pleasure, etc etc.).


These are all different, and none are any more 'incorrect' than a dutchman and an englishman having different concepts of what the word 'red' means.

So the question of *what* is moral is objective, since given a definition of morality, then what is moral or immoral is at least in some sense objectively determinate. But whether you *ought* to conform, or act in any way is necessarily subjective. Oughts are necessarily conditional, and are meaningless without one (e.g. you should not murder IF you want to X).

So *what* is moral is objective in what it is (given any specific moral system), but because morality is poorly defined, then person X will hold a different definition of morality than person Y (e.g. the secular & theist clashes). A secularist for example might determine that execution for apostasy is immoral, and the theist may not agree. They are both moral, but that's because the concept of morality for both people is different.

'Moral' 'immoral' etc become useless terms.


You're simply just begging the question against a moral realist.

.:
Hence to any of these you can just not care about the conditional. Which is where different moral systems come in, and that includes theistic ones, which are also necessarily subjective in whether or not you should adhere to, or accept them.

What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?

I am stating that the debate using moral arguments (for or against the existence of God especially) is rather useless and misguided, sinced they rely on undefined terminology. That's the title of the OP....
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
ThinkFirst
Posts: 1,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 4:04:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

I don't think there is any good argument FOR or AGAINST. As far as I can see, the deity is not the problem. It's the religiosity.

(And I haven't forgotten that I owe you a WLC critique. It's coming - 6 parts).
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 4:08:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 3:42:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:39:36 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:27:34 PM, user_name wrote:
At 10/21/2014 2:24:51 PM, Envisage wrote:

As moral system generalisations. The problem with just labelling somethign is that its both unjustified, and also any ought necessarily is subjective, you ought to eat food if you want to avoid hunger, you ought not to murder if you want to conform, etc.

You are applying morality to morality. Do you not see how utterly absurd it is to deem subjective guidance of the youth as 'immoral' if that, itself, is your subjective interpretation of it?

No. You misunderstand me here.

I stated in the OP that 'moral' means different things to different people or in different systems, and I gave a bunch of such interpretations in the OP (to minimise suffering, to conform to God's nature, maximied pleasure, etc etc.).


These are all different, and none are any more 'incorrect' than a dutchman and an englishman having different concepts of what the word 'red' means.

So the question of *what* is moral is objective, since given a definition of morality, then what is moral or immoral is at least in some sense objectively determinate. But whether you *ought* to conform, or act in any way is necessarily subjective. Oughts are necessarily conditional, and are meaningless without one (e.g. you should not murder IF you want to X).

So *what* is moral is objective in what it is (given any specific moral system), but because morality is poorly defined, then person X will hold a different definition of morality than person Y (e.g. the secular & theist clashes). A secularist for example might determine that execution for apostasy is immoral, and the theist may not agree. They are both moral, but that's because the concept of morality for both people is different.

'Moral' 'immoral' etc become useless terms.


You're simply just begging the question against a moral realist.

I don't see how that follows. Something can only be moral or immoral if what is moral or immoral are defined. If two moral realists define morality differently then they are necessarily talking about two divorced concepts. Which is what the atheist/theist debate usually boils down to (will I will get to in my reply to your other post).

.:
Hence to any of these you can just not care about the conditional. Which is where different moral systems come in, and that includes theistic ones, which are also necessarily subjective in whether or not you should adhere to, or accept them.

What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that your subjective distaste for objective morality should dictate the subjective decisions of others based on nothing other than your own subjective prejudice?

I am stating that the debate using moral arguments (for or against the existence of God especially) is rather useless and misguided, sinced they rely on undefined terminology. That's the title of the OP....
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 4:11:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 4:04:49 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

I don't think there is any good argument FOR or AGAINST. As far as I can see, the deity is not the problem. It's the religiosity.

(And I haven't forgotten that I owe you a WLC critique. It's coming - 6 parts).

I will agree that certain expressions of religiosity are a huge problem. But I think that's just a symptom of being too ideological which itself isn't necessarily tied to religon.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
ThinkFirst
Posts: 1,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 4:14:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 4:11:31 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/21/2014 4:04:49 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

I don't think there is any good argument FOR or AGAINST. As far as I can see, the deity is not the problem. It's the religiosity.

(And I haven't forgotten that I owe you a WLC critique. It's coming - 6 parts).

I will agree that certain expressions of religiosity are a huge problem. But I think that's just a symptom of being too ideological which itself isn't necessarily tied to religon.

I think you're right in one regard. It's more tied to zealotry. I still find religious beliefs to be ridiculous, but zealotry (irrespective of one's ideological position) is what turns ideas into venom.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 4:17:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 3:40:22 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/21/2014 1:31:18 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 10:58:45 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/21/2014 10:19:23 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

There is no good argument for or against God's existence until 'God' is actually defined. The OP implicitly addresses this because the issue of morality is one that is poorly defined, hence accepting or rejecting it's content is meaningless until you know or claim what the content is.

It should be obvious what sort of God I'm talking about - the one to which the PoE applies (i.e. perfectly good, powerful and knowledgeable). And I'm saying that the PoE is the only really good argument agaisnt that God in my opinion.

Define 'good'.

"An event may be categorized as good if it involves any of the following:
a.some improvement (whether it be minor or great) in the physical and/or psychological well-being of a sentient creature;
b.the just treatment of some sentient creature;
c.anything that advances the degree of fulfillment and virtue in an individual"s life;
d.a person doing that which is morally right;
e.the optimal functioning of some person or thing, so that it does not lack the full measure of being and goodness that ought to belong to it."


http://www.iep.utm.edu...

Yet all of those categories of that laundry list are violated in some sense in virtually every moral system I have come across. That definition only gives a generalisation, it doesn't give the why and how. Indeed whether or not action x is actually moral or immoral is most commonly taken as a balance judgement depending on the applied moral system.

For example, if you have a basic system that minimizes suffering, then action x would be moral *because* it minimizes suffering etc etc up to more sophisticated systems.

This also applies to theistic systems, where for example actions which conform to god's nature would be moral, for example. Whether or not god's nature conforms to popularised notions of 'moral' is another thing, the point is that morality is necessarily poorly defined.

Given that you adopt a notion that just actions and well being are tied to what is moral I can see why you would find the PoE the most convincing argument, but another theist may not particularly care about the claims about God's nature content, and may not actually believe that reducing suffering etc necessarily has anything to do with morality (e.g. Strict divine command theory). So for them it would be the case that the PoE is an absurd argument because good is directly defined according to God, hence all his actions, whether they be destructive or not, are intrinsically good.
SNP1
Posts: 2,407
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 4:42:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
My main problem with the arguments, I do not see the support for the first premises.

I will use your post #14:

P1.) If God exists, then gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2.) Gratuitous suffering exists
C.) God does not exist

Why would gratuitous suffering not existing be necessary if a god exists?
Furthermore, how do you determine what is gratuitous suffering?

P1.) If God does not exist, then objective morals will not exist
P2.) Objective morals exist
C.) God exists

Do objective morals, if they exist, require a god?
I also do not see support for premise 2. The closest thing I have seen is that some ethics seem universal, but the problem here is that ethics=/=morality. How can you ever support premise 2?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 5:03:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 4:42:00 PM, SNP1 wrote:
My main problem with the arguments, I do not see the support for the first premises.

I will use your post #14:

P1.) If God exists, then gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2.) Gratuitous suffering exists
C.) God does not exist

Why would gratuitous suffering not existing be necessary if a god exists?
Furthermore, how do you determine what is gratuitous suffering?

P1.) If God does not exist, then objective morals will not exist
P2.) Objective morals exist
C.) God exists

Do objective morals, if they exist, require a god?
I also do not see support for premise 2. The closest thing I have seen is that some ethics seem universal, but the problem here is that ethics=/=morality. How can you ever support premise 2?

The point is that P1 of the PoE is unjustified since suffering doesn't inherently have anything to do with what is moral or 'good' given morality is poorly defined, and P2 of the moral argument is unprovable if it's meaningless
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 5:23:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 9:44:04 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The PoE is the only really good argument against God's existence, imo.

So, are you not having the ANB or are you bracketing that as a version of the PoE?
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 5:34:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 6:33:10 AM, Envisage wrote:
Both arguments are based on a poorly (or 'taken for granted') defined definitions of 'moral', 'immoral', 'good' and 'evil'.

When making these arguments both sides need to actually explicitly define what such labels mean, as they can mean very different things, especially in secular and religious contexts.

For example, in secular contexts, moral is explicitly defined according to moral systems, some moral systems will explicitly give morality in terms of intentionally maximising or minimising harm or discomfort, maximising society self-interest etc. Even these are not always well-defined, and additional work needs to be done on laying out these definitions.

In theistic contexts, morality is often defined according to 'God's nature', 'Moral Sense', maximising 'love', etc.

The fact is, these debates will end up with both parties talking past each other since they are arguing for simple tell different things which are not explicitly defined beforehand. So I can only propose two different solutions to this absurd debate:

1. Explicitly define contentious terms (especially the four given) before actually giving arguments

2. Drop the use of moral terminology altogether and refer only to the concepts themselves. For example instead of stating 'school', say what you actually mean which could be 'educational institute for 5-16 year olds, which may well be a different definition of school to other people, but at least the core concept is now completely unambiguous.

How this applies to both arguments is that the moral argument and PoE almost universally rely on this vague undefined terminology to make their arguments seem somewhat convincing. It's no accident that I find the moral argument the most unconvincing argument for God I have ever seen, nor is it an accident that the PoE to me is clearly a terrible argument against God's existence.

The eurythro dilemma is a good tool to get theists to think about what they mean by 'moral', but it is not a good tool against God's existence.

Disagree on both counts.

Using the broadest definition possible of 'good' or 'evil' allows for common ground.

Take gratuitous suffering as the paradigmatic case of evil. Regardless if one is a Kantian/Consequentialist or a dyed-in-the-wool theist, I doubt any party is going to consider this not to be an evil, even if they disagree why this is so (which, while interesting, is strictly irrelevant).
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 6:02:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 5:34:41 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/21/2014 6:33:10 AM, Envisage wrote:
Both arguments are based on a poorly (or 'taken for granted') defined definitions of 'moral', 'immoral', 'good' and 'evil'.

When making these arguments both sides need to actually explicitly define what such labels mean, as they can mean very different things, especially in secular and religious contexts.

For example, in secular contexts, moral is explicitly defined according to moral systems, some moral systems will explicitly give morality in terms of intentionally maximising or minimising harm or discomfort, maximising society self-interest etc. Even these are not always well-defined, and additional work needs to be done on laying out these definitions.

In theistic contexts, morality is often defined according to 'God's nature', 'Moral Sense', maximising 'love', etc.

The fact is, these debates will end up with both parties talking past each other since they are arguing for simple tell different things which are not explicitly defined beforehand. So I can only propose two different solutions to this absurd debate:

1. Explicitly define contentious terms (especially the four given) before actually giving arguments

2. Drop the use of moral terminology altogether and refer only to the concepts themselves. For example instead of stating 'school', say what you actually mean which could be 'educational institute for 5-16 year olds, which may well be a different definition of school to other people, but at least the core concept is now completely unambiguous.

How this applies to both arguments is that the moral argument and PoE almost universally rely on this vague undefined terminology to make their arguments seem somewhat convincing. It's no accident that I find the moral argument the most unconvincing argument for God I have ever seen, nor is it an accident that the PoE to me is clearly a terrible argument against God's existence.

The eurythro dilemma is a good tool to get theists to think about what they mean by 'moral', but it is not a good tool against God's existence.

Disagree on both counts.

Using the broadest definition possible of 'good' or 'evil' allows for common ground.

Take gratuitous suffering as the paradigmatic case of evil.

Extreme examples which would encompass most people's take on morality does not solve the issue of morality being poorly defined. In fact as would even challenge the notion of gratuitous suffering being evil, why should gratuitous suffering be evil? The only way this can be justified is with a conditional (we should minimise gratuitous suffering IF you desire X), which is necessarily subjective.

Otherwise one could just reject or declare they do not care out of hand for your proposed moral definition.

Regardless if one is a Kantian/Consequentialist or a dyed-in-the-wool theist, I doubt any party is going to consider this not to be an evil, even if they disagree why this is so (which, while interesting, is strictly irrelevant).

Why should such a moral system have anything to do with God though? Why should what such a definition of 'moral' have anything to do with the nature of God? It simply does not follow. If it's not inherently related, then both the PoE and Moral Argument for God are completely useless, since *God's* goodness is completely unrelated to your aka than/Consequentialist goodness, and that includes the notion of gratuitous suffering being evil.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 7:06:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 6:02:00 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 5:34:41 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/21/2014 6:33:10 AM, Envisage wrote:
Both arguments are based on a poorly (or 'taken for granted') defined definitions of 'moral', 'immoral', 'good' and 'evil'.

When making these arguments both sides need to actually explicitly define what such labels mean, as they can mean very different things, especially in secular and religious contexts.

For example, in secular contexts, moral is explicitly defined according to moral systems, some moral systems will explicitly give morality in terms of intentionally maximising or minimising harm or discomfort, maximising society self-interest etc. Even these are not always well-defined, and additional work needs to be done on laying out these definitions.

In theistic contexts, morality is often defined according to 'God's nature', 'Moral Sense', maximising 'love', etc.

The fact is, these debates will end up with both parties talking past each other since they are arguing for simple tell different things which are not explicitly defined beforehand. So I can only propose two different solutions to this absurd debate:

1. Explicitly define contentious terms (especially the four given) before actually giving arguments

2. Drop the use of moral terminology altogether and refer only to the concepts themselves. For example instead of stating 'school', say what you actually mean which could be 'educational institute for 5-16 year olds, which may well be a different definition of school to other people, but at least the core concept is now completely unambiguous.

How this applies to both arguments is that the moral argument and PoE almost universally rely on this vague undefined terminology to make their arguments seem somewhat convincing. It's no accident that I find the moral argument the most unconvincing argument for God I have ever seen, nor is it an accident that the PoE to me is clearly a terrible argument against God's existence.

The eurythro dilemma is a good tool to get theists to think about what they mean by 'moral', but it is not a good tool against God's existence.

Disagree on both counts.

Using the broadest definition possible of 'good' or 'evil' allows for common ground.

Take gratuitous suffering as the paradigmatic case of evil.

Extreme examples which would encompass most people's take on morality does not solve the issue of morality being poorly defined. In fact as would even challenge the notion of gratuitous suffering being evil, why should gratuitous suffering be evil? The only way this can be justified is with a conditional (we should minimise gratuitous suffering IF you desire X), which is necessarily subjective.

First, morality isn't poorly defined, it's contentious. This conflict however just doesn't really arise in the case of gratuitous suffering (or I should add, in examples supporting the moral argument - the Holocaust, for example). Second, the crossover for what constitutes evil is pretty uniform. In fact, it's very rare you'd get a theist genuinely think gratuitous evil was morally neutral or good, for example. There's no conditional needed, because generally, there's consensus it's evil.

But even if the PoE advocate has to argue for the notion that G suffering is evil, I highly doubt this will pose a problem at all.


Otherwise one could just reject or declare they do not care out of hand for your proposed moral definition.

Regardless if one is a Kantian/Consequentialist or a dyed-in-the-wool theist, I doubt any party is going to consider this not to be an evil, even if they disagree why this is so (which, while interesting, is strictly irrelevant).

Why should such a moral system have anything to do with God though? Why should what such a definition of 'moral' have anything to do with the nature of God? It simply does not follow. If it's not inherently related, then both the PoE and Moral Argument for God are completely useless, since *God's* goodness is completely unrelated to your aka than/Consequentialist goodness, and that includes the notion of gratuitous suffering being evil.

Me and a theist, say, may have completely different account of evil, but as long as we can identify suffering as an example of evil, this difference doesn't matter. If you're hinting that a God-centred morality wouldn't count suffering as evil, I'd say this would count not only as a fantastic reason to reject such a framework, but grounds for a moral argument against the existence of God (which I'll grant is absurd for the suffering = evil theist):

P1 - If God exists, G morality is true
P2 - G morality is not true (given it excludes gratuitous suffering
C - Ta da
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/21/2014 7:30:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/21/2014 7:06:30 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/21/2014 6:02:00 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 10/21/2014 5:34:41 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/21/2014 6:33:10 AM, Envisage wrote:
Both arguments are based on a poorly (or 'taken for granted') defined definitions of 'moral', 'immoral', 'good' and 'evil'.

When making these arguments both sides need to actually explicitly define what such labels mean, as they can mean very different things, especially in secular and religious contexts.

For example, in secular contexts, moral is explicitly defined according to moral systems, some moral systems will explicitly give morality in terms of intentionally maximising or minimising harm or discomfort, maximising society self-interest etc. Even these are not always well-defined, and additional work needs to be done on laying out these definitions.

In theistic contexts, morality is often defined according to 'God's nature', 'Moral Sense', maximising 'love', etc.

The fact is, these debates will end up with both parties talking past each other since they are arguing for simple tell different things which are not explicitly defined beforehand. So I can only propose two different solutions to this absurd debate:

1. Explicitly define contentious terms (especially the four given) before actually giving arguments

2. Drop the use of moral terminology altogether and refer only to the concepts themselves. For example instead of stating 'school', say what you actually mean which could be 'educational institute for 5-16 year olds, which may well be a different definition of school to other people, but at least the core concept is now completely unambiguous.

How this applies to both arguments is that the moral argument and PoE almost universally rely on this vague undefined terminology to make their arguments seem somewhat convincing. It's no accident that I find the moral argument the most unconvincing argument for God I have ever seen, nor is it an accident that the PoE to me is clearly a terrible argument against God's existence.

The eurythro dilemma is a good tool to get theists to think about what they mean by 'moral', but it is not a good tool against God's existence.

Disagree on both counts.

Using the broadest definition possible of 'good' or 'evil' allows for common ground.

Take gratuitous suffering as the paradigmatic case of evil.

Extreme examples which would encompass most people's take on morality does not solve the issue of morality being poorly defined. In fact as would even challenge the notion of gratuitous suffering being evil, why should gratuitous suffering be evil? The only way this can be justified is with a conditional (we should minimise gratuitous suffering IF you desire X), which is necessarily subjective.

First, morality isn't poorly defined, it's contentious. This conflict however just doesn't really arise in the case of gratuitous suffering (or I should add, in examples supporting the moral argument - the Holocaust, for example).

Why is the holocaudt evil? Just throwing examples at me isn't getting you anywhere in justifying some sort of realism.

Second, the crossover for what constitutes evil is pretty uniform.

I beg to differ. And even if this was true, it doesn't solve the core issues ai am raising whatsoever, and as such the PoE or Moral Arguments cannot possibly hope to ever be sound.

In fact, it's very rare you'd get a theist genuinely think gratuitous evil was morally neutral or good, for example. There's no conditional needed, because generally, there's consensus it's evil.

This is not an argument, this is just an appeal ad populum. Please actually provide an argument. Yes theists would regard such things as 'immoral', but that in no way addresses God. At best it can only prove that God's natureis different to what theists or atheists believe it to be even if gratuitous suffering could be demonstrated to exist.

The premise that 'If God exists gratuitous suffering would not' is 'not even wrong' if we don't have a well-defined meaning of 'immoral'.

But even if the PoE advocate has to argue for the notion that G suffering is evil, I highly doubt this will pose a problem at all.

Debate me on this then. 'Assuming a gratuitous Suffering Exists, then an Omnibenevolent God does not exist' I will go Con.


Otherwise one could just reject or declare they do not care out of hand for your proposed moral definition.

Regardless if one is a Kantian/Consequentialist or a dyed-in-the-wool theist, I doubt any party is going to consider this not to be an evil, even if they disagree why this is so (which, while interesting, is strictly irrelevant).

Why should such a moral system have anything to do with God though? Why should what such a definition of 'moral' have anything to do with the nature of God? It simply does not follow. If it's not inherently related, then both the PoE and Moral Argument for God are completely useless, since *God's* goodness is completely unrelated to your aka than/Consequentialist goodness, and that includes the notion of gratuitous suffering being evil.

Me and a theist, say, may have completely different account of evil, but as long as we can identify suffering as an example of evil, this difference doesn't matter. If you're hinting that a God-centred morality wouldn't count suffering as evil, I'd say this would count not only as a fantastic reason to reject such a framework, but grounds for a moral argument against the existence of God (which I'll grant is absurd for the suffering = evil theist):

P1 - If God exists, G morality is true
P2 - G morality is not true (given it excludes gratuitous suffering
C - Ta da