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Obj. Morality > God, or God > Obj. Morality?

Double_R
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3/1/2015 1:53:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Objective morality is one of the more common topics theists pull out of their arsenal when attempting to support their belief in a deity, but what exactly is the rationale behind this? What are you trying to prove? One of the typical responses to the objective morality argument is the euthyphro dilemma:
"When God commands something, is it good because he commanded it or did he command it because it is good?".

If it's good because he commanded it then raping an innocent 12 year old girl would be moral if he commanded it.

If he commanded it because it is good then he is just a messenger, not the source.

And this is the part I can never understand... Inevitably, it seems like every theist I have ever argued with or observed will instead respond with some argument claiming that "good" and "God" can't be separated. And this is the problem: There are only 1 of 2 possibilities that can justify that argument:

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

That is no different then me defining a bachelor as a man that is not married, then claiming that no bachelor is married. Arguing from definitions proves nothing about reality, so your argument does not support that God exists and does not explain why anyone should necessarily accept your definition of morality, which is kind of the point. Or...

B) You are claiming to have knowledge of Gods character and limitations.

You cannot use the argument that God is incapable of giving an evil command without already having knowledge of what God can/can't or would/wouldn't do. And in order to already have knowledge of his character you have to already have knowledge of his existence, in which case the argument which is supposed to support his existence depends on knowledge of his existence. That argument either begs the question or is inherently circular.

So to the theists who go down this path... enlighten me. What is your point? How do we get to "God exists" from this argument?
Benshapiro
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3/1/2015 2:33:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I won't say too much here because I'm already having a discussion with you on this and don't want to be redundant.

Yes, as expected, my answer is that God is essentially good.

"Morally good" things only refer to the (1) disposition or (2) will of a mind. Since what we recognize as "'morally good" is independent of our human assessment, the source of disposition and will is outside of our own. Disposition and will are only possible with sentience. Therefore what we recognize as morally good references the disposition and will of God's mind.

Our knowledge of what is "morally good" is innate. Love, patience, humility, etc., is objectively morally good and wouldn't change no matter who tried to change it. We don't need direct knowledge of God to reach the conclusion that God exists. We recognize that objective moral goodness is only logically possible if there exists a source mind with perfect disposition and will.
RuvDraba
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3/1/2015 3:17:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 1:53:35 PM, Double_R wrote:
Objective morality is one of the more common topics theists pull out of their arsenal when attempting to support their belief in a deity, but what exactly is the rationale behind this?

As far as I can tell, there's a conflation between the absolute power to enforce will (e.g. omnipotence) and absolute moral authority (a wise, unimprovable and incorruptible sense of good.) Somehow, these are meant to produce objective morality in humans.

Humans of course, don't have omnipotence, our wisdom is emergent and so is our sense of good. So if we have an objective sense of good -- i.e, one we can communicate and agree on -- it can only improve over time as our objective knowledge does.

Presumably, absolute moral laws would help us develop objective morality if they were in fact, moral.

But if they were, then the value of absolute moral laws should be evident in that no matter how much our objective knowledge grows, the laws should hold as being consistent, necessary and sufficient for our common good.

Except.. they're not.

The laws most religions hold as absolute were formed in the Bronze Age, where key moral topics hadn't even been raised. Topics like female emancipation, the rights of the child, the equality of man, the rights of citizens, freedom of thought and worship, genocide and slavery as crimes against humanity, the value of democracy, the exploitation of colonialism, the significance of man's impact on the environment, the right to education, the germ theory of medicine, the medical and sociological origins of mental disorders...

So the absolute morality received from Bronze Age peoples invites us to live as they did -- ignorant of, and indifferent to all of these issues -- or else to recognise that our moral development is our responsibility, and not theirs.

And the problem with absolute morality is that if it fails to capture what matters, any claim of it being absolute must be abandoned forever.

So all that is left is objective morality -- a morality under continuous improvement based on empirical observation and compassionate understanding of our impacts, which as humans of good will and mutual compassion, we hope to share.

The need for this sort of morality has been understood since the Enlightenment. You can see it written in the preamble of the US Declaration of Independence, for example:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's a moral statement, but it doesn't come from any particular religious doctrine. Instead, it comes from observation of those needs which make men miserable in the lack. It's an objective observation -- we can agree that men are miserable without these rights. It's simply stating what we observe.

So we've had secular, objective morality without absolute religious morality for more than two centuries.

However, some religious adherents have yet to get the memo.
Double_R
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3/1/2015 6:50:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 2:33:23 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I won't say too much here because I'm already having a discussion with you on this and don't want to be redundant.

Yes, as expected, my answer is that God is essentially good.

"Morally good" things only refer to the (1) disposition or (2) will of a mind. Since what we recognize as "'morally good" is independent of our human assessment, the source of disposition and will is outside of our own. Disposition and will are only possible with sentience. Therefore what we recognize as morally good references the disposition and will of God's mind.

Our knowledge of what is "morally good" is innate. Love, patience, humility, etc., is objectively morally good and wouldn't change no matter who tried to change it. We don't need direct knowledge of God to reach the conclusion that God exists. We recognize that objective moral goodness is only logically possible if there exists a source mind with perfect disposition and will.

I will leave some of your points unresponded so we can discuss in the other thread, as painful as that is.

My point in this thread is to ask what you are trying to do with this argument. I guess I should have seen this one coming based on past arguments you have laid out, but you are arguing that morality shared by most people = objective morality = God. And this makes sense to you because without a God we just wouldn't know that there is anything wrong with killing other people even though our #1 desire is to live and we recognize that this is true in pretty much everyone else.

Did I miss anything?
dee-em
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3/1/2015 7:07:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 1:53:35 PM, Double_R wrote:
Objective morality is one of the more common topics theists pull out of their arse-

You should have just stopped there. Lol.
ethang5
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3/3/2015 12:23:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 1:53:35 PM, Double_R wrote:
Objective morality is one of the more common topics theists pull out of their arsenal when attempting to support their belief in a deity, but what exactly is the rationale behind this?

Where do you get the idea that the theist wants to use objective morality to prove God exists??? Theist use God to prove that objective morality is only possible with God.

What are you trying to prove?

That all systems or morality which do not source God as the final authority are subjective and non-sensical.

One of the typical responses to the objective morality argument is the euthyphro dilemma:

"When God commands something, is it good because he commanded it or did he command it because it is good?".

Neither. God is the standard of Good. Consider the standard of the ruler. 12 inches. 1 foot.
When the ruler measures something, is it one foot because the ruler measured it, or did the ruler measure it because it is 1 foot??

Neither. The question is one of those questions which seem logical on the surface to people who are basically poor thinkers but don't know it. A distance which is one foot is one foot before it is measured, and it's measurement does not cause it to "become one foot. The distance is one foot because it conforms with the standard of one foot. Regardless of whether it is measured or not.

If it's good because he commanded it then raping an innocent 12 year old girl would be moral if he commanded it.

And one mile would be a foot because the ruler measured it? A ruler cannot measure anything as one foot except one foot. To call this a "weakness" or a "limitation" as some atheist do is ludicrous. The idea of God commanding something evil is akin to a ruler measuring a mile as one foot. It doesn't make sense.

If he commanded it because it is good then he is just a messenger, not the source.

As we can see, the "dilemma" is made of smoke and mirrors and illogic. Set up two illogical impossibilities and then claim a "dilemma".

And this is the part I can never understand... Inevitably, it seems like every theist I have ever argued with or observed will instead respond with some argument claiming that "good" and "God" can't be separated. And this is the problem: There are only 1 of 2 possibilities that can justify that argument:

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

I beg to differ. When I measure a distance and find that it is one foot, I have proven that the distance conforms to the standard of one foot which the ruler is. It is not tautology to define the distance measured (1 foot) as "what is in accordance with the ruler" (1 foot).

That is no different then me defining a bachelor as a man that is not married, then claiming that no bachelor is married.

Untrue. Unmarried is not an immutable standard. If I measure one foot, I can safely say that all distances which are equal to the distance measured are also one foot. Anyone who is familiar with set theory will recognize what I'm saying. We say God is the standard of Good, and anything which conforms to that standard is also good. That is pure logic.

Arguing from definitions proves nothing about reality, so your argument does not support that God exists and does not explain why anyone should necessarily accept your definition of morality, which is kind of the point. Or...

Theists do not use this argument to prove God exists. This argument is to show that the value of "Good" only makes sense when attached to the concept of God. Just as the value of 12 inches only makes sense attached to the standard of one foot.

B) You are claiming to have knowledge of Gods character and limitations.

Christians are claiming to to have knowledge of Gods character as God Himself exposed them inside the Bible!

You cannot use the argument that God is incapable of giving an evil command without already having knowledge of what God can/can't or would/wouldn't do. And in order to already have knowledge of his character you have to already have knowledge of his existence, in which case the argument which is supposed to support his existence depends on knowledge of his existence. That argument either begs the question or is inherently circular.

Please, show me a theist, or a theistic argument using objective morality to prove God exists. Those arguments say that for objective morality to exist, God must exist. Not that objective morality proves God exists.

So to the theists who go down this path... enlighten me. What is your point? How do we get to "God exists" from this argument?

We don't. We get from "God exists" to this argument.

The thing is, an idea need not be "real" in order to have a logical argument about it. For example, we know that superman is not real, but a story saying that superman was shot in the gut and was bleeding needs to justify that given what the we know about the myth of superman. The story can be internally logical.

If unicorns were real, could you be impaled on its horn? Saying unicorns are not real dodges the excellent and logical theoretical argument that could be. But God not being "real" is the storm shelter to which atheist run whenever cornered.

The objective morality argument is meant not to prove God exists, but to prove that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory.
Envisage
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3/3/2015 12:29:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
To be honest, the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across. I can understand why a theist thinks it is string, since a theist is already committed to believing objective morals exist, but an atheist is not. So while a theist may well believe the premises, an atheist does not. Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

Even the justification for the premise that objective morals necessitates God is as flimsy as heck, it's a complete mess.
Envisage
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3/3/2015 12:31:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's also why I think the problem of evil is especially effective in practice, because both premises are usually believed by theists anyway, or they are easily justified in a believable manner.

Sometimes the objectively best argument in principle isn't the best argument in practice. I don't think the PoE is particularly useful in principle, but it's good in practice.
Iredia
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3/3/2015 12:57:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 1:53:35 PM, Double_R wrote:
Objective morality is one of the more common topics theists pull out of their arsenal when attempting to support their belief in a deity, but what exactly is the rationale behind this? What are you trying to prove? One of the typical responses to the objective morality argument is the euthyphro dilemma:
"When God commands something, is it good because he commanded it or did he command it because it is good?".

If it's good because he commanded it then raping an innocent 12 year old girl would be moral if he commanded it.

If he commanded it because it is good then he is just a messenger, not the source.

And this is the part I can never understand... Inevitably, it seems like every theist I have ever argued with or observed will instead respond with some argument claiming that "good" and "God" can't be separated. And this is the problem: There are only 1 of 2 possibilities that can justify that argument:

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

That is no different then me defining a bachelor as a man that is not married, then claiming that no bachelor is married. Arguing from definitions proves nothing about reality, so your argument does not support that God exists and does not explain why anyone should necessarily accept your definition of morality, which is kind of the point. Or...

B) You are claiming to have knowledge of Gods character and limitations.

You cannot use the argument that God is incapable of giving an evil command without already having knowledge of what God can/can't or would/wouldn't do. And in order to already have knowledge of his character you have to already have knowledge of his existence, in which case the argument which is supposed to support his existence depends on knowledge of his existence. That argument either begs the question or is inherently circular.

So to the theists who go down this path... enlighten me. What is your point? How do we get to "God exists" from this argument?

I no longer take the Euthypro argument seriously because it creates a false dilemma. Something can be good because someone is making that moral judgement, and something can be done irregardless of morals. So, asking whether God (or anyone else) commands something b'cos it's good or makes it good by commanding it is pointless. If God commands something b'cos it's good, it doesn't mean good is independent of God b'cos God must have decided that what he commanded was good. And if it is good b'cos God commanded it, it's b'cos God's commands are deemed to be good (either by Him or someone else).

Imagine me asking if someone is dead of brain damage or brain damage occurred because of death, then present it as a dilemma to death by brain damage. That's how seriously I take the Euthypro argument.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
Amoranemix
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3/4/2015 10:51:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Double_R 1
B) You are claiming to have knowledge of Gods character and limitations.
You cannot use the argument that God is incapable of giving an evil command without already having knowledge of what God can/can't or would/wouldn't do. And in order to already have knowledge of his character you have to already have knowledge of his existence, in which case the argument which is supposed to support his existence depends on knowledge of his existence. That argument either begs the question or is inherently circular.
I don't think this branch of the dilemma assumes the existence of God, but the existence of a morality that is used to define a God whose existence is then 'proved' through the moral argument. If God isn't into raping children for fun because that would be immoral, then it is immoral even if God doesn't exist.

Benshapiro 2
"Morally good" things only refer to the (1) disposition or (2) will of a mind. Since what we recognize as "'morally good" is independent of our human assessment, the source of disposition and will is outside of our own. Disposition and will are only possible with sentience. Therefore what we recognize as morally good references the disposition and will of God's mind.
Why would the source of disposition and will be outside of 'our' own and the source of God's disposition and will not be outside of his ?

ethang5 6 to Double_R
Where do you get the idea that the theist wants to use objective morality to prove God exists??? Theist use God to prove that objective morality is only possible with God.
I don't know about Double_R, but I get that idea from Christians.

The first branch should be broadened to avoid theists claiming a false dilemma. Morality should not be decided by God's commands, but by his nature. How God's nature determines morality is up to theists to explain. For example, if it were in God's nature to rape children for fun, then God raping children for fun would be benevolent. Whether it would then also be benevolent for humans to do so, I don't know.

ethang5 6 to Double_R
Neither. God is the standard of Good. Consider the standard of the ruler. 12 inches. 1 foot.
When the ruler measures something, is it one foot because the ruler measured it, or did the ruler measure it because it is 1 foot??[1]

Neither. The question is one of those questions which seem logical on the surface to people who are basically poor thinkers but don't know it. A distance which is one foot is one foot before it is measured, and it's measurement does not cause it to "become one foot. The distance is one foot because it conforms with the standard of one foot. Regardless of whether it is measured or not.[2]
[1] Double_R is talking about a benevolent god, not just any God, so a good analogy would be about a 1 foot ruler, not just any ruler.
The ruler didn't measure it because it is one foot, but the ruler measured 1 foot because it is 1 foot. If the ruler were twice as long, it would only measure a size of 0,5 feet.
[2] The size or distance would not depend on it being measured, but the qualification it gets depends on the standards for distance. In the same way, the morality of raping children for fun is whatever it is, but the moral qualification it gets depends on the used standard. So depending on what God's nature is regarding raping children for fun, according to the first branch it could receive any moral qualification.

- Double_R 1
If it's good because he commanded it then raping an innocent 12 year old girl would be moral if he commanded it.
- ethang5 6
And one mile would be a foot because the ruler measured it? A ruler cannot measure anything as one foot except one foot.[3] To call this a "weakness" or a "limitation" as some atheist do is ludicrous. The idea of God commanding something evil is akin to a ruler measuring a mile as one foot. It doesn't make sense.
[3] You are mistaken. If the 1 foot ruler were 1 mile long then it would measure 1 mile as 1 foot.
With morality defined as being determined by God's nature the only reason God couldn't do evil is the same reason that everything measured by the 1 foot ruler is 1 foot.

- Double_R 1
A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.
I beg to differ. When I measure a distance and find that it is one foot, I have proven that the distance conforms to the standard of one foot which the ruler is. It is not tautology to define the distance measured (1 foot) as "what is in accordance with the ruler" (1 foot).
You knowing something is 1 foot you would only know its length if you know the length of the 1 foot ruler. If you only know that the length of the 1 foot ruler is 1 foot long and that 1 foot is the length of the 1 foot ruler, then you don't know anything.
So in case of God-dependent morality to tell you anything useful one would need a moral description of God that does not depend on God and thus does not use moral terminology.

ethang5 6
Please, show me a theist, or a theistic argument using objective morality to prove God exists.[4] Those arguments say that for objective morality to exist, God must exist. Not that objective morality proves God exists.
[4] William Lane Craig for example.

Iredia 9
I no longer take the Euthypro argument seriously because it creates a false dilemma. Something can be good because someone is making that moral judgement, and something can be done irregardless of morals. So, asking whether God (or anyone else) commands something b'cos it's good or makes it good by commanding it is pointless. If God commands something b'cos it's good, it doesn't mean good is independent of God b'cos God must have decided that what he commanded was good.[5] And if it is good b'cos God commanded it, it's b'cos God's commands are deemed to be good (either by Him or someone else).
Under the assumptions that objective morality exists and all God does and commands is benevolent, then it is not a false dilemma.
[5] How could God do something for a reason if the reason does not exist independent from God, while avoiding circularity ?
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
Double_R
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3/7/2015 1:03:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 12:23:54 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/1/2015 1:53:35 PM, Double_R wrote:

Where do you get the idea that the theist wants to use objective morality to prove God exists???

Have you never before seen religious debate between a theist and an atheist? Nearly everyone I have seen has included the theist using the argument in this way. Off the top of my head William Lane Craig and Frank Turek come to mind.

What are you trying to prove?

That all systems or morality which do not source God as the final authority are subjective and non-sensical.

I agree that all systems of morality which do not source God as the final authority are subjective. I'd like to know how sourcing God as the final authority makes it objective.

"When God commands something, is it good because he commanded it or did he command it because it is good?".

Neither. God is the standard of Good.

You can't say neither and then give me one of the answers listed. If God is the standard of good then the only way to determine what is good is to compare it to him. That's what the word means. So when he commands something that something automatically becomes good. Which of course means that if he commands you to rape an innocent child then that would be good.

When the ruler measures something, is it one foot because the ruler measured it, or did the ruler measure it because it is 1 foot??

Neither. The question is one of those questions which seem logical on the surface to people who are basically poor thinkers but don't know it. A distance which is one foot is one foot before it is measured, and it's measurement does not cause it to "become one foot. The distance is one foot because it conforms with the standard of one foot. Regardless of whether it is measured or not.

First of all when you say "1 foot" you need to specify whether you are talking about the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot, or the label that we put on that distance.

If you are referring to 1 foot as an actual distance then the ruler will measure it because it is 1 foot. Keep in mind of course that the ruler might be defective and therefore wrong. Might God be wrong? Didn't think so.

On the other hand if 1 foot is simply a label then it is whatever we say it is, and if the ruler is our tool for determining it then it would be one foot because the ruler measured it.

If it's good because he commanded it then raping an innocent 12 year old girl would be moral if he commanded it.

And one mile would be a foot because the ruler measured it? A ruler cannot measure anything as one foot except one foot. To call this a "weakness" or a "limitation" as some atheist do is ludicrous. The idea of God commanding something evil is akin to a ruler measuring a mile as one foot. It doesn't make sense.

[A ruler] can measure [1 mile] as [1 foot] if [1 foot] is defined by [the ruler]. On the other hand if [1 foot] is not defined by [the ruler] then [the ruler] is capable of being wrong. And if it is capable of being wrong then [the ruler] is not the source of [1 foot].

Replace Ruler with God, 1 foot with good, and 1 mile with evil. Now you have a valid analogy.

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

I beg to differ. When I measure a distance and find that it is one foot, I have proven that the distance conforms to the standard of one foot which the ruler is. It is not tautology to define the distance measured (1 foot) as "what is in accordance with the ruler" (1 foot).

If the ruler is the standard then you are in fact defining 1 foot as "what is in accordance with the ruler", which means that people with different length rulers will have different "1 foots". You don't seem to recognize why you ultimately accept the distance the rulers measure as 1 foot... because that is the distance that we as human beings decided to accept as 1 foot. We could have accepted 1 foot to be what we now think of as 11 inches, or 13. We chose 12, and only after we decided that 12 inches would be one foot can we now claim to be objectively right. in the end it all comes down to what is decided. Morality is no different, even if there is a God.

That is no different then me defining a bachelor as a man that is not married, then claiming that no bachelor is married.

Arguing from definitions proves nothing about reality, so your argument does not support that God exists and does not explain why anyone should necessarily accept your definition of morality, which is kind of the point. Or...

Theists do not use this argument to prove God exists. This argument is to show that the value of "Good" only makes sense when attached to the concept of God.

And yet I have heard of no such argument, only bare assertions that ignore all of the arguments made. Most atheists define good in a moral context as that which causes the least amount of harm. How does this not make sense to you?

B) You are claiming to have knowledge of Gods character and limitations.

Christians are claiming to to have knowledge of Gods character as God Himself exposed them inside the Bible!

That demonstrates knowledge of a fictional character in a book. I'm talking about knowledge of an existent God that actually grounds concepts in the real world as it is claimed.

So to the theists who go down this path... enlighten me. What is your point? How do we get to "God exists" from this argument?

We don't. We get from "God exists" to this argument.

Thank you for stating clearly.

The objective morality argument is meant not to prove God exists, but to prove that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory.

Then why does this argument always come up in debates over whether God exists?

And what do you think a moral judgement is? It seems that your entire case against atheist morality is to start by defining morality in accordance with God, then say that atheists can't understand morality because they don't believe in God. Of course our position doesn't make sense, because you're defining our words that way even though we aren't. It's an absolutely pointless discussion to have and demonstrates serious intellectual dishonesty. Please clarify your position.
ethang5
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3/9/2015 8:11:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/7/2015 1:03:26 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/3/2015 12:23:54 PM, ethang5 wrote:

Where do you get the idea that the theist wants to use objective morality to prove God exists???

Have you never before seen religious debate between a theist and an atheist? Nearly everyone I have seen has included the theist using the argument in this way. Off the top of my head William Lane Craig and Frank Turek come to mind.

I don't know Frank Turek. As for WLC, you will have to show me where he used objective morality to prove God exist. All I've ever seen him do is use God to prove objective morality exist by showing that even atheists use objective morality.

What are you trying to prove?

That all systems or morality which do not source God as the final authority are subjective and non-sensical.

I agree that all systems of morality which do not source God as the final authority are subjective.

Thank you.

I'd like to know how sourcing God as the final authority makes it objective.

Please define "objective" for me. The definition I operate with is,

not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual:

synonyms:impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced, non-partisan, disinterested, non-discriminatory, neutral, uninvolved, even-handed, equitable, fair, fair-minded, just, open-minded, dispassionate, detached, impersonal, unemotional, clinical

It seems clear and obvious to me that only God would qualify as objective using the traditional definition of the word.

"When God commands something, is it good because he commanded it or did he command it because it is good?".

Neither. God is the standard of Good.

You can't say neither and then give me one of the answers listed.

Which is why I did not give you one of the answers listed. The "goodness" of the things God commands are not dependent on His "commanding" them. They were good before He commanded them and remain good whether He commands them or not.

If God is the standard of good then the only way to determine what is good is to compare it to him.

That is true.

That's what the word means. So when he commands something that something automatically becomes good.

No. It was "good" before He commanded it. You are now trying to use faulty western thinking. You think your becoming aware that something is good, is the same as the thing itself becoming good. Columbus "discovered" America? The western mindset thinks America became "discovered" only when they discovered it. No. It was already discovered and your "discovering" it only changed the state of your mind, not the reality of America.

Which of course means that if he commands you to rape an innocent child then that would be good.

Your logic is faulty. God would not command something which evil, as the things He can command are already either evil or good. But the atheist tries to make God's command a morphing point, where things "become" good from His act of commanding. Why? No one knows, not even the atheist.

Another error is the assumption that God can command anything. But even God says there are things He cannot do. So when an atheist says,

"Anything God commands would be considered good to the theist."

The atheist is equivocating on the word "anything", as the set of "what God would command" is only a subset of "anything." God would not command "anything".

When the ruler measures something, is it one foot because the ruler measured it, or did the ruler measure it because it is 1 foot??

Neither. The question is one of those questions which seem logical on the surface to people who are basically poor thinkers but don't know it. A distance which is one foot is one foot before it is measured, and it's measurement does not cause it to "become one foot. The distance is one foot because it conforms with the standard of one foot. Regardless of whether it is measured or not.

First of all when you say "1 foot" you need to specify whether you are talking about the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot, or the label that we put on that distance.

Well, as I am appealing to "objective" morality, I am referring to the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot.

If you are referring to 1 foot as an actual distance then the ruler will measure it because it is 1 foot. Keep in mind of course that the ruler might be defective and therefore wrong. Might God be wrong? Didn't think so.

You recognize that in the analogy the ruler is God, right?

If it's good because he commanded it then raping an innocent 12 year old girl would be moral if he commanded it.

That's like saying a mile would be one foot if I measured it thusly. No, the act is already immoral, which is why God would never command it.

And one mile would be a foot because the ruler measured it? A ruler cannot measure anything as one foot except one foot. To call this a "weakness" or a "limitation" as some atheist do is ludicrous. The idea of God commanding something evil is akin to a ruler measuring a mile as one foot. It doesn't make sense.

Replace Ruler with God, 1 foot with good, and 1 mile with evil. Now you have a valid analogy.

Evil does not have to be only 1 mile, it can be anything which isn't one foot.

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

I beg to differ. When I measure a distance and find that it is one foot, I have proven that the distance conforms to the standard of one foot which the ruler is. It is not tautology to define the distance measured (1 foot) as "what is in accordance with the ruler" (1 foot).

If the ruler is the standard then you are in fact defining 1 foot as "what is in accordance with the ruler", which means that people with different length rulers will have different "1 foots". You don't seem to recognize why you ultimately accept the distance the rulers measure as 1 foot... because that is the distance that we as human beings decided to accept as 1 foot. We could have accepted 1 foot to be what we now think of as 11 inches, or 13. We chose 12, and only after we decided that 12 inches would be one foot can we now claim to be objectively right. in the end it all comes down to what is decided. Morality is no different, even if there is a God.

No. Because if there is a God then His "ruler" is the only one with authority. It is not simply one "ruler" among many. God was not created, and there never was a time He didn't exist, and He makes no mistakes. He is immutable. His definition of "Good" is objective, authoritative, and without equal.

That is no different then me defining a bachelor as a man that is not married, then claiming that no bachelor is married.

Arguing from definitions proves nothing about reality, so your argument does not support that God exists and does not explain why anyone should necessarily accept your definition of morality, which is kind of the point. Or...

Theists do not use this argument to prove God exists. This argument is to show that the value of "Good" only makes sense when attached to the concept of God.

And yet I have heard of no such argument, only bare assertions that ignore all of the arguments made.

People hear what they want to hear.

Most atheists define good in a moral context as that which causes the least amount of harm. How does this not make sense to you?

It makes limited sense. It just isn't authoritative. It is subjective and thus has no morally binding reason to be observed by anyone. Breaking it cannot logically be called immoral. It cannot serve as a moral guide and is useless for the purpose claimed by its creators.
ethang5
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3/9/2015 8:26:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/7/2015 1:03:26 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/3/2015 12:23:54 PM, ethang5 wrote:

B) You are claiming to have knowledge of Gods character and limitations.

Christians are claiming to to have knowledge of Gods character as God Himself exposed them inside the Bible!

That demonstrates knowledge of a fictional character in a book.

And when you show us evidence that God is fictional, we will afford your opinion the respect due facts.

I'm talking about knowledge of an existent God that actually grounds concepts in the real world as it is claimed.

We don't have to prove God exists for this argument. We are talking principles. If God did exist, it is logical that His POV on good would be "Objective". This principle can be demonstrated as reasonable without having to show God actually exists.

This is not a new thing. Scientists do it all the time. The branches of science with the word "theoretical" before them are all like this. It is possible to make predictions about reality not yet known through the working out of general principles.

So to the theists who go down this path... enlighten me. What is your point? How do we get to "God exists" from this argument?

We don't. We get from "God exists" to this argument.

Thank you for stating clearly.

You're welcome.

The objective morality argument is meant not to prove God exists, but to prove that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory.

Then why does this argument always come up in debates over whether God exists?

And what do you think a moral judgement is? It seems that your entire case against atheist morality is to start by defining morality in accordance with God, then say that atheists can't understand morality because they don't believe in God.

This seems to be directed at someone other than me. I did not ask the question above.

Of course our position doesn't make sense, because you're defining our words that way even though we aren't. It's an absolutely pointless discussion to have and demonstrates serious intellectual dishonesty. Please clarify your position.

Perhaps this is also directed at someone else. But I was not stating a position. I was showing how the position of the OP was illogical. If one does not believe in God, any talk by them about morality is subjective, and any moral judgement by them is illogical.

I hope that was clear enough.
ethang5
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3/9/2015 8:32:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 12:29:17 PM, Envisage wrote:
To be honest, the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across. I can understand why a theist thinks it is string, since a theist is already committed to believing objective morals exist, but an atheist is not. So while a theist may well believe the premises, an atheist does not. Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

Even the justification for the premise that objective morals necessitates God is as flimsy as heck, it's a complete mess.

Then how come the very same atheists who claim that objective morality doesn't exist will almost always need to incorporate objective morality within their argument to be coherent?
Graincruncher
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3/9/2015 8:58:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I think the entire question of whether objective morality exists is a misleading and flawed one. A simple example; is it objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess?

P1) If it is not objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess, sometimes they would move non-diagonally.
P2) A bishop never moves non-diagonally in chess.
C) It is objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess.

This can then be extended to all the other rules of chess, up to "are the rules of chess objectively true?". We are forced to concede that they indeed are objectively true.

So, someone might object, what if we changed the rules and still called what we were playing "chess"; would it not then be subjectively true? No. What we would be playing would not be what is meant by "chess" as originally phrased. This would be down to the fact that we had then not only changed the game, but the language game being used to discuss it. What is understood as chess is no longer chess and the question has fundamentally changed. What we mean by chess in the original sense is no longer what is being discussed, so the counter-example does not stand because it isn"t an example of what was originally meant. Just as moving the bishop non-diagonally means we are not playing chess as understood in the first instance, using the word chess to describe a different set of rules means we are not playing the same language game as was being used to frame the question either.

That being the case, what is meant by "chess" can only be understood to have objectively true rules; they always apply and if you are not following them, you are not playing chess or you are playing chess incorrectly. They are both normative and definitional; if you want to play chess well then you ought to make certain moves, while to be playing chess at all there are certain rules that are objectively, universally true and must be obeyed. Now, does it seem reasonable to conclude that chess requires god because otherwise the rules wouldn"t be objectively true? Would anyone be happy to say that it is impossible that chess could exist without god because the rules of chess are objectively true?
Envisage
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3/9/2015 9:10:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 8:32:17 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/3/2015 12:29:17 PM, Envisage wrote:
To be honest, the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across. I can understand why a theist thinks it is string, since a theist is already committed to believing objective morals exist, but an atheist is not. So while a theist may well believe the premises, an atheist does not. Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

Even the justification for the premise that objective morals necessitates God is as flimsy as heck, it's a complete mess.

Then how come the very same atheists who claim that objective morality doesn't exist will almost always need to incorporate objective morality within their argument to be coherent?

That sentence makes absolutely no sense. What does objective morality have to do it's coherence? Also I don't deny there are atheists who do believe in objective morality, that is besides my point.
Envisage
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3/9/2015 9:14:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 8:58:03 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
I think the entire question of whether objective morality exists is a misleading and flawed one. A simple example; is it objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess?

P1) If it is not objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess, sometimes they would move non-diagonally.
P2) A bishop never moves non-diagonally in chess.
C) It is objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess.

This can then be extended to all the other rules of chess, up to "are the rules of chess objectively true?". We are forced to concede that they indeed are objectively true.

So, someone might object, what if we changed the rules and still called what we were playing "chess"; would it not then be subjectively true? No. What we would be playing would not be what is meant by "chess" as originally phrased. This would be down to the fact that we had then not only changed the game, but the language game being used to discuss it. What is understood as chess is no longer chess and the question has fundamentally changed. What we mean by chess in the original sense is no longer what is being discussed, so the counter-example does not stand because it isn"t an example of what was originally meant. Just as moving the bishop non-diagonally means we are not playing chess as understood in the first instance, using the word chess to describe a different set of rules means we are not playing the same language game as was being used to frame the question either.

That being the case, what is meant by "chess" can only be understood to have objectively true rules; they always apply and if you are not following them, you are not playing chess or you are playing chess incorrectly. They are both normative and definitional; if you want to play chess well then you ought to make certain moves, while to be playing chess at all there are certain rules that are objectively, universally true and must be obeyed. Now, does it seem reasonable to conclude that chess requires god because otherwise the rules wouldn"t be objectively true? Would anyone be happy to say that it is impossible that chess could exist without god because the rules of chess are objectively true?

I am not sure if we disagree, but the very act of there being a subject qualifier (underlined and highlighted) makes the notion of objective morality false. Yes, morality can be defined objectively by non moral terms, but whether you ought to conform is necessarily subjective. Which is the normative point of morality, it dictates how one ought to conform.
ethang5
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3/9/2015 10:58:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 9:10:36 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:32:17 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/3/2015 12:29:17 PM, Envisage wrote:

To be honest, the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across. I can understand why a theist thinks it is string, since a theist is already committed to believing objective morals exist, but an atheist is not. So while a theist may well believe the premises, an atheist does not. Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

Even the justification for the premise that objective morals necessitates God is as flimsy as heck, it's a complete mess.

Then how come the very same atheists who claim that objective morality doesn't exist will almost always need to incorporate objective morality within their argument to be coherent?

That sentence makes absolutely no sense. What does objective morality have to do it's coherence?

An atheist will say, there is no objective morality. God is evil.

When I tell him that his first statement renders his second non-sensical, he will claim that genocide (which he accuses God of committing) is obviously always evil.

If it is obviously always immoral, then it is an objective moral principle. Yet you claim that "...the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across." If it is so weak, how come so many atheists need it in order to support their claim that the Christian God is evil?

Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

But the objective morality argument IS accepted by the atheist! He denies it, but will use it in his arguments. His arguments make no sense without it.

Also I don't deny there are atheists who do believe in objective morality, that is besides my point.

Your point that it is a weak argument is betrayed by how many atheists use it and need it to be coherent.
Envisage
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3/9/2015 11:22:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 10:58:28 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/9/2015 9:10:36 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:32:17 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/3/2015 12:29:17 PM, Envisage wrote:

To be honest, the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across. I can understand why a theist thinks it is string, since a theist is already committed to believing objective morals exist, but an atheist is not. So while a theist may well believe the premises, an atheist does not. Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

Even the justification for the premise that objective morals necessitates God is as flimsy as heck, it's a complete mess.

Then how come the very same atheists who claim that objective morality doesn't exist will almost always need to incorporate objective morality within their argument to be coherent?

That sentence makes absolutely no sense. What does objective morality have to do it's coherence?

An atheist will say, there is no objective morality. God is evil.

I have an alias. That alias is called "Envisage", not "Atheist" not "Nihilist" not "Skeptic" but "Envisage". Generalising is effin retarded, this is not the first time I have had a go at you about that.

Now, please Mr. Ethang, find where I have *ever* said, in my 3000 post history, that "God is evil".

When I tell him that his first statement renders his second non-sensical, he will claim that genocide (which he accuses God of committing) is obviously always evil.

Has nothing to do with what I posted. None whatsoever. And assuming you are talking about the Christian God, then the moral argument (as presented by WLC etc.) is not directly relevant to it either. This tangent is completely off topic.

If it is obviously always immoral, then it is an objective moral principle. Yet you claim that "...the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across." If it is so weak, how come so many atheists need it in order to support their claim that the Christian God is evil?

So your complaint is:
People who believe objective morals don't exist cannot coherently say the Christian God is evil?

Yet I never said ipthe Christian God was evil, ever?

To answer your complaint which is irrelevant to anything I said. An atheist can coherently say the Christian God as depicted is evil by:
1. Appealing to moral relativism
2. Appealing to moral realism and argue the Christian God contradicts it (assuming they have a realism content claim, Sam Harris is an example of one that does)

In any case, it is no secret that I am a nihilist and moral noncognitivist... So this is just about the least relevant post one could make to me. Even worse is you already know my position, we have already discussed it.

Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

But the objective morality argument IS accepted by the atheist! He denies it, but will use it in his arguments. His arguments make no sense without it.

The objective argument is basically:
1. If God doesn't exist then objective morals can't
2. Objective morals exist
C. God exists

I personally reject both premises, but an atheist only needs to reject one premise to remain intellectually honest. So people who do believe in moral realism would probably reject premise 1.

Also I don't deny there are atheists who do believe in objective morality, that is besides my point.

Your point that it is a weak argument is betrayed by how many atheists use it and need it to be coherent.

Mmm... Okay I see your point.mfair enough.
ethang5
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3/9/2015 12:16:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 11:22:37 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 3/9/2015 10:58:28 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/9/2015 9:10:36 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:32:17 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/3/2015 12:29:17 PM, Envisage wrote:

To be honest, the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across. I can understand why a theist thinks it is string, since a theist is already committed to believing objective morals exist, but an atheist is not. So while a theist may well believe the premises, an atheist does not. Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

Even the justification for the premise that objective morals necessitates God is as flimsy as heck, it's a complete mess.

Then how come the very same atheists who claim that objective morality doesn't exist will almost always need to incorporate objective morality within their argument to be coherent?

That sentence makes absolutely no sense. What does objective morality have to do it's coherence?

An atheist will say, there is no objective morality. God is evil.

I have an alias. That alias is called "Envisage", not "Atheist" not "Nihilist" not "Skeptic" but "Envisage". Generalising is effin retarded, this is not the first time I have had a go at you about that.

Now, please Mr. Ethang, find where I have *ever* said, in my 3000 post history, that "God is evil".

Not that I can remember. Did I mistakenly say you did?

When I tell him that his first statement renders his second non-sensical, he will claim that genocide (which he accuses God of committing) is obviously always evil.

Has nothing to do with what I posted. None whatsoever. And assuming you are talking about the Christian God, then the moral argument (as presented by WLC etc.) is not directly relevant to it either. This tangent is completely off topic.

It probably a tangent, but it seemed related to me based on what you said about the weakness of the objective morality argument.

If it is obviously always immoral, then it is an objective moral principle. Yet you claim that "...the objective morality argument is one if the weakest arguments I have come across." If it is so weak, how come so many atheists need it in order to support their claim that the Christian God is evil?

So your complaint is:

People who believe objective morals don't exist cannot coherently say the Christian God is evil?

And that renders the objective morality argument more than "weak" and a "complete mess."

To answer your complaint which is irrelevant to anything I said. An atheist can coherently say the Christian God as depicted is evil by:
1. Appealing to moral relativism

He could, but it would not be coherent.

2. Appealing to moral realism and argue the Christian God contradicts it (assuming they have a realism content claim, Sam Harris is an example of one that does)

He could but the Christian God would not be coherently rendered immoral.

In any case, it is no secret that I am a nihilist and moral noncognitivist... So this is just about the least relevant post one could make to me. Even worse is you already know my position, we have already discussed it.

Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

But the objective morality argument IS accepted by the atheist! He denies it, but will use it in his arguments. His arguments make no sense without it.

The objective argument is basically:
1. If God doesn't exist then objective morals can't
2. Objective morals exist
C. God exists

My formulation is a little different but why quibble?

I personally reject both premises, but an atheist only needs to reject one premise to remain intellectually honest. So people who do believe in moral realism would probably reject premise 1.

They usually begin by rejecting premise #2 And then end by using premise #2 as a pillar of their argument.

Also I don't deny there are atheists who do believe in objective morality, that is besides my point.

Your point that it is a weak argument is betrayed by how many atheists use it and need it to be coherent.

Mmm... Okay I see your point.mfair enough.

You're not troll-like at all and therefore not much fun.
Graincruncher
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3/9/2015 12:22:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 9:14:48 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:58:03 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
I think the entire question of whether objective morality exists is a misleading and flawed one. A simple example; is it objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess?

P1) If it is not objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess, sometimes they would move non-diagonally.
P2) A bishop never moves non-diagonally in chess.
C) It is objectively true that a bishop moves diagonally in chess.

This can then be extended to all the other rules of chess, up to "are the rules of chess objectively true?". We are forced to concede that they indeed are objectively true.

So, someone might object, what if we changed the rules and still called what we were playing "chess"; would it not then be subjectively true? No. What we would be playing would not be what is meant by "chess" as originally phrased. This would be down to the fact that we had then not only changed the game, but the language game being used to discuss it. What is understood as chess is no longer chess and the question has fundamentally changed. What we mean by chess in the original sense is no longer what is being discussed, so the counter-example does not stand because it isn"t an example of what was originally meant. Just as moving the bishop non-diagonally means we are not playing chess as understood in the first instance, using the word chess to describe a different set of rules means we are not playing the same language game as was being used to frame the question either.

That being the case, what is meant by "chess" can only be understood to have objectively true rules; they always apply and if you are not following them, you are not playing chess or you are playing chess incorrectly. They are both normative and definitional; if you want to play chess well then you ought to make certain moves, while to be playing chess at all there are certain rules that are objectively, universally true and must be obeyed. Now, does it seem reasonable to conclude that chess requires god because otherwise the rules wouldn"t be objectively true? Would anyone be happy to say that it is impossible that chess could exist without god because the rules of chess are objectively true?

I am not sure if we disagree, but the very act of there being a subject qualifier (underlined and highlighted) makes the notion of objective morality false. Yes, morality can be defined objectively by non moral terms, but whether you ought to conform is necessarily subjective. Which is the normative point of morality, it dictates how one ought to conform.

My point is that I think the objective/subjective division is at best simplistic and at worst outright false. If you accept that morality exists, there are certain required objective truths that must be accepted along with that. You're either a moral nihilist or must accept certain moral truths. Similarly, you can play chess not to win, but if you agree that there is any value to the way you play, the rules dictate that there are objective better moves you can make.
Envisage
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3/9/2015 12:28:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
So your complaint is:

People who believe objective morals don't exist cannot coherently say the Christian God is evil?

And that renders the objective morality argument more than "weak" and a "complete mess."

Only if assuming that the atheist cannot coherently believe in moral realism without being implicitly committed to believing in God.

To answer your complaint which is irrelevant to anything I said. An atheist can coherently say the Christian God as depicted is evil by:
1. Appealing to moral relativism

He could, but it would not be coherent.

Yes he would.

2. Appealing to moral realism and argue the Christian God contradicts it (assuming they have a realism content claim, Sam Harris is an example of one that does)

He could but the Christian God would not be coherently rendered immoral.

Then the Christian God would just be rendered incoherent by said atheist. Neither are favourable for the theist, and neither make any progress on the weakness of the argument.

In any case, it is no secret that I am a nihilist and moral noncognitivist... So this is just about the least relevant post one could make to me. Even worse is you already know my position, we have already discussed it.

Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

But the objective morality argument IS accepted by the atheist! He denies it, but will use it in his arguments. His arguments make no sense without it.

The objective argument is basically:
1. If God doesn't exist then objective morals can't
2. Objective morals exist
C. God exists

My formulation is a little different but why quibble?

I personally reject both premises, but an atheist only needs to reject one premise to remain intellectually honest. So people who do believe in moral realism would probably reject premise 1.

They usually begin by rejecting premise #2 And then end by using premise #2 as a pillar of their argument.

O....kay. I have a hard time believing an atheist would honestly reject objective morals and then assert them. Perhaps you are conflating moral subjectivism.

Also I don't deny there are atheists who do believe in objective morality, that is besides my point.

Your point that it is a weak argument is betrayed by how many atheists use it and need it to be coherent.

Mmm... Okay I see your point.mfair enough.

You're not troll-like at all and therefore not much fun.

Ok.... Sorry to disappoint.
ethang5
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3/10/2015 12:49:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 12:28:49 PM, Envisage wrote:
So your complaint is:

People who believe objective morals don't exist cannot coherently say the Christian God is evil?

And that renders the objective morality argument more than "weak" and a "complete mess."

Only if assuming that the atheist cannot coherently believe in moral realism without being implicitly committed to believing in God.

Ok, so you didn't see my point.

To answer your complaint which is irrelevant to anything I said. An atheist can coherently say the Christian God as depicted is evil by:
1. Appealing to moral relativism

He could, but it would not be coherent.

Yes he would.

No, it would not. I am assuming here that we are both using standard definitions of moral, evil, and relative.

2. Appealing to moral realism and argue the Christian God contradicts it (assuming they have a realism content claim, Sam Harris is an example of one that does)

He could but the Christian God would not be coherently rendered immoral.

Then the Christian God would just be rendered incoherent by said atheist.

No, he would not. Unless you mean incoherent by the standard of moral realism, which is akin to saying God is rendered evil by moral juju-ism. It means nothing.

Neither are favourable for the theist, and neither make any progress on the weakness of the argument.

Neither is coherent for the atheist, so I fail to see how they would be unfavorable for the theist.

In any case, it is no secret that I am a nihilist and moral noncognitivist... So this is just about the least relevant post one could make to me. Even worse is you already know my position, we have already discussed it.

Persuasive arguments use premises that are generally accepted by the opponent, not yourself.

But the objective morality argument IS accepted by the atheist! He denies it, but will use it in his arguments. His arguments make no sense without it.

The objective argument is basically:
1. If God doesn't exist then objective morals can't
2. Objective morals exist
C. God exists

My formulation is a little different but why quibble?

I personally reject both premises, but an atheist only needs to reject one premise to remain intellectually honest. So people who do believe in moral realism would probably reject premise 1.

They usually begin by rejecting premise #2 And then end by using premise #2 as a pillar of their argument.

O....kay. I have a hard time believing an atheist would honestly reject objective morals and then assert them. Perhaps you are conflating moral subjectivism.

I don't think I am. Most atheists I've met do reject the truth of objective morality. Only a few accept its existence. But when they try to charge God with immorality, they all find out what the theist has been saying all along, you cannot do it coherently from a position of moral subjectivism.

Also I don't deny there are atheists who do believe in objective morality, that is besides my point.

Your point that it is a weak argument is betrayed by how many atheists use it and need it to be coherent.

Mmm... Okay I see your point.mfair enough.

You're not troll-like at all and therefore not much fun.

Ok.... Sorry to disappoint.

If you were really sorry, you would begin to behave more like one of our many trolls.

Should I expect another poorly disguised "lets all dis a theist" thread?
Double_R
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3/13/2015 10:46:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 8:11:47 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/7/2015 1:03:26 PM, Double_R wrote:
Have you never before seen religious debate between a theist and an atheist? Nearly everyone I have seen has included the theist using the argument in this way. Off the top of my head William Lane Craig and Frank Turek come to mind.

I don't know Frank Turek. As for WLC, you will have to show me where he used objective morality to prove God exist. All I've ever seen him do is use God to prove objective morality exist by showing that even atheists use objective morality.

Does objective morality require God? Yes or No?

I'd like to know how sourcing God as the final authority makes it objective.

Please define "objective" for me. The definition I operate with is,

not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual:

That's the definition.

It seems clear and obvious to me that only God would qualify as objective using the traditional definition of the word.

Did you not read your own definition, or is the God you believe exists not a mind?

Neither. God is the standard of Good.

You can't say neither and then give me one of the answers listed.

Which is why I did not give you one of the answers listed. The "goodness" of the things God commands are not dependent on His "commanding" them. They were good before He commanded them and remain good whether He commands them or not.

Then the answer to the question is: "God commanded it because it is good". Why is that so hard to say?

If God is the standard of good then the only way to determine what is good is to compare it to him.

That is true.

So when he commands something that something automatically becomes good.

No. It was "good" before He commanded it.

If God is the standard of good, then like you just agreed to... by definition... the word good literally means: "In accordance with God" (If you disagree with that then please tell me what language you speak and I will see if I can find a translator).

Therefore, you cannot... by definition... determine that something is good until you learn what God's command or position on a particular command is.

I am not going to sit here and argue with you about when did it become good, that's stupid and a red herring in this discussion. this is about what the word good actually means and how we as human beings determine what is or isn't good.

Which of course means that if he commands you to rape an innocent child then that would be good.

Your logic is faulty. God would not command something which evil, as the things He can command are already either evil or good.

If it was good independent of his command then he is not necessary.

Another error is the assumption that God can command anything.

Can you please explain to me why it is that you or I can very easily say "rape and murder that child", and yet the almighty creator of the universe (which includes) is incapable of accomplishing the same task?

First of all when you say "1 foot" you need to specify whether you are talking about the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot, or the label that we put on that distance.

Well, as I am appealing to "objective" morality, I am referring to the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot.

Then the ruler is irrelevant to whether a given distance is actually one foot.

If you are referring to 1 foot as an actual distance then the ruler will measure it because it is 1 foot. Keep in mind of course that the ruler might be defective and therefore wrong. Might God be wrong? Didn't think so.

You recognize that in the analogy the ruler is God, right?

Yes. Do you recognize yet why that makes your analogy invalid?

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

I beg to differ. When I measure a distance and find that it is one foot, I have proven that the distance conforms to the standard of one foot which the ruler is. It is not tautology to define the distance measured (1 foot) as "what is in accordance with the ruler" (1 foot).

If you're defining one foot as "what is in accordance with the ruler", then by altering the ruler all of the other previously measures distances objectively are no longer "1 foot".

If the ruler is the standard then you are in fact defining 1 foot as "what is in accordance with the ruler", which means that people with different length rulers will have different "1 foots". You don't seem to recognize why you ultimately accept the distance the rulers measure as 1 foot... because that is the distance that we as human beings decided to accept as 1 foot. We could have accepted 1 foot to be what we now think of as 11 inches, or 13. We chose 12, and only after we decided that 12 inches would be one foot can we now claim to be objectively right. in the end it all comes down to what is decided. Morality is no different, even if there is a God.

No. Because if there is a God then His "ruler" is the only one with authority. It is not simply one "ruler" among many.

Which is why your analogy is invalid.

God was not created, and there never was a time He didn't exist, and He makes no mistakes. He is immutable. His definition of "Good" is objective, authoritative, and without equal.

Prove he exists then we can discuss.

Most atheists define good in a moral context as that which causes the least amount of harm. How does this not make sense to you?

It makes limited sense. It just isn't authoritative. It is subjective and thus has no morally binding reason to be observed by anyone. Breaking it cannot logically be called immoral. It cannot serve as a moral guide and is useless for the purpose claimed by its creators.

You are conflating to different things. Authority helps address the question of "why be moral?". We're talking about "what is moral?".

I don't care about the question of "why" until we answer the question of "what", but I am awfully curious... what do you mean by "morally binding"?

And how on earth do you conclude that breaking any moral system cannot logically be called immoral? That's what the word means.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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3/13/2015 10:56:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/9/2015 8:26:31 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 3/7/2015 1:03:26 PM, Double_R wrote:
That demonstrates knowledge of a fictional character in a book.

And when you show us evidence that God is fictional, we will afford your opinion the respect due facts.

Are unicorns fictional? Can you provide evidence of this?

I'm talking about knowledge of an existent God that actually grounds concepts in the real world as it is claimed.

We don't have to prove God exists for this argument. We are talking principles. If God did exist, it is logical that His POV on good would be "Objective". This principle can be demonstrated as reasonable without having to show God actually exists.

No, it is not logical that God's POV on good would be objective. Objective according to who or what?

The objective morality argument is meant not to prove God exists, but to prove that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory.

Then why does this argument always come up in debates over whether God exists?

And what do you think a moral judgement is? It seems that your entire case against atheist morality is to start by defining morality in accordance with God, then say that atheists can't understand morality because they don't believe in God.

This seems to be directed at someone other than me. I did not ask the question above.

It really wasn't. You stated that this argument is to show that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory. So I am asking you... what is a moral judgement to you?

Of course our position doesn't make sense, because you're defining our words that way even though we aren't. It's an absolutely pointless discussion to have and demonstrates serious intellectual dishonesty. Please clarify your position.

Perhaps this is also directed at someone else. But I was not stating a position. I was showing how the position of the OP was illogical. If one does not believe in God, any talk by them about morality is subjective, and any moral judgement by them is illogical.

I hope that was clear enough.

Your point is clear, how you get to your conclusions are not.
ethang5
Posts: 4,084
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3/16/2015 6:02:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/13/2015 10:46:35 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:11:47 AM, ethang5 wrote:

Have you never before seen religious debate between a theist and an atheist? Nearly everyone I have seen has included the theist using the argument in this way. Off the top of my head William Lane Craig and Frank Turek come to mind.

I don't know Frank Turek. As for WLC, you will have to show me where he used objective morality to prove God exist. All I've ever seen him do is use God to prove objective morality exist by showing that even atheists use objective morality

Does objective morality require God? Yes or No?

As a river needs water. But the existence of water is not necessarily a river. So Yes.

I'd like to know how sourcing God as the final authority makes it objective.

Please define "objective" for me. The definition I operate with is,

not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual:

That's the definition.

It seems clear and obvious to me that only God would qualify as objective using the traditional definition of the word.

Did you not read your own definition, or is the God you believe exists not a mind?

lol! Read the definition again. And slowly this time.

God; according to Double_R, "I think, therefore I am not." Too funny.

Neither. God is the standard of Good.

You can't say neither and then give me one of the answers listed.

Which is why I did not give you one of the answers listed. The "goodness" of the things God commands are not dependent on His "commanding" them. They were good before He commanded them and remain good whether He commands them or not.

Then the answer to the question is: "God commanded it because it is good". Why is that so hard to say?

I find it difficult to say things which aren't true. If God simply commanded things because they were good, He would command ALL good things. But He does not do that. He commands what is necessary and what is according to His will out of a pool of good things. He does not command a thing simply because it is good.

If God is the standard of good then the only way to determine what is good is to compare it to him.

That is true.

So when he commands something that something automatically becomes good.

No. It was "good" before He commanded it.

If God is the standard of good, then like you just agreed to... by definition... the word good literally means: "In accordance with God" (If you disagree with that then please tell me what language you speak and I will see if I can find a translator).

In any language, good things are good, even before they are "commanded" by God. They do not "become" good, automatically or otherwise, by His command.

Therefore, you cannot... by definition... determine that something is good until you learn what God's command or position on a particular command is.

You must be using "command" in a way I don't recognize. But Christians have the Bible which displays the nature of God, His principles, so that we can know what is good and what is not. We do not need an individual statement from God on every subject to know what is good and what is not.

I am not going to sit here and argue with you about when did it become good, that's stupid and a red herring in this discussion.

Then you will not mind if I call you stupid? Because YOU are the one who said,
"So when he [God] commands something that something automatically becomes good. (emphasis mine)
I objected, remember? But I'm glad we both agree now that it is stupid.

... this is about what the word good actually means and how we as human beings determine what is or isn't good.

For thousands of years, we determined what was "good" by God and our consciences. Today's modern atheist want us to switch to another standard and then pretend it is logical and objective. The only problem about what "good" actually means is wholly in the minds of those trying to change it.

Which of course means that if he commands you to rape an innocent child then that would be good.

Your logic is faulty. God would not command something which evil, as the things He can command are already either evil or good.

If it was good independent of his command then he is not necessary.

Necessary for what? I haven't a clue why you think things are morally neutral until God "commands" them, or what you think "command" means. God does not have to "command" anything. An act is morally good or bad depending on how much it conforms to the will, nature, and purpose of God.

Another error is the assumption that God can command anything.

Can you please explain to me why it is that you or I can very easily say "rape and murder that child", and yet the almighty creator of the universe (which includes) is incapable of accomplishing the same task?

Because saying something is not the same as commanding something. You should be ashamed that I have to say this to you. God is incapable of lying.

First of all when you say "1 foot" you need to specify whether you are talking about the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot, or the label that we put on that distance.

Well, as I am appealing to "objective" morality, I am referring to the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot.

Then the ruler is irrelevant to whether a given distance is actually one foot.

If you are referring to 1 foot as an actual distance then the ruler will measure it because it is 1 foot.

The word "because" above renders your statement incorrect. Perhaps you mean,
If you are referring to 1 foot as an actual distance then the ruler will measure it AS ONE FOOT, because it is 1 foot.

Is that what you mean? The reason (implied by your use of the word "because") He measures the distance may not be directly related to it being one foot.

Keep in mind of course that the ruler might be defective and therefore wrong. Might God be wrong? Didn't think so.

You recognize that in the analogy the ruler is God, right?

Yes. Do you recognize yet why that makes your analogy invalid?

lol. You need a little work on analogies. God is a singularity, no adequate analogy is possible. And analogies are not supposed to be direct comparisons.

A) You are simply defining "good" as "what is in accordance with God" in which case you haven't proved a thing.

I beg to differ. When I measure a distance and find that it is one foot, I have proven that the distance conforms to the standard of one foot which the ruler is. It is not tautology to define the distance measured (1 foot) as "what is in accordance with the ruler" (1 foot).

If you're defining one foot as "what is in accordance with the ruler", then by altering the ruler all of the other previously measures distances objectively are no longer "1 foot".

God, unlike a ruler, is immutable. This is like analogizing the flight of a bird with that of an airplane and having someone claim the analogy is invalid because airplanes don't have feathers.

The analogy is invalid because rulers aren't immutable. lol.
ethang5
Posts: 4,084
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3/16/2015 7:25:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/13/2015 10:46:35 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:11:47 AM, ethang5 wrote:

God was not created, and there never was a time He didn't exist, and He makes no mistakes. He is immutable. His definition of "Good" is objective, authoritative, and without equal.

Prove he exists then we can discuss.

I don't have to. The logic is sound, based on the principles used. If God is eternal (uncreated), makes no mistakes, and is immutable, then His definition of "Good" would be objective, authoritative, and without equal. If you cannot accept the logical soundness of the principles, then we have no reason to discuss the particulars.

Most atheists define good in a moral context as that which causes the least amount of harm. How does this not make sense to you?

It makes limited sense. It just isn't authoritative. It is subjective and thus has no morally binding reason to be observed by anyone. Breaking it cannot logically be called immoral. It cannot serve as a moral guide and is useless for the purpose claimed by its creators.

You are conflating to different things. Authority helps address the question of "why be moral?". We're talking about "what is moral?".

Authority address what is moral also. For example, if I stood up in a court and shouted, just as the judge entered, "ALL RISE", many people would stand, but my command would have no authority and people who didn't stand would not be in contempt of court. Even with identical acts, only the authoritative is moral.

I don't care about the question of "why" until we answer the question of "what", but I am awfully curious... what do you mean by "morally binding"?

If you were to break one of my personal moral codes, sure, I could call you immoral, but you wouldn't actually be immoral. My calling you immoral would really just be me saying, "You did something i don't like." So what? My personal moral code has no legitimate authority over you which obliges you to observe it.

Breaking God's moral code is different. That code has authority and you can (and will) be held accountable for not observing it. One "ought" to observe it as it defines what is objectively moral, not simply the personal taste of someone with as little authority as you.

And how on earth do you conclude that breaking any moral system cannot logically be called immoral? That's what the word means.

I can call a wombat a feline, but that would not mean anything. I assume here that if one says I have been immoral, they mean that I have actually been immoral, not simply done something they personally don't like. There is a difference.
ethang5
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3/16/2015 10:26:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/13/2015 10:56:05 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/9/2015 8:26:31 AM, ethang5 wrote:

That demonstrates knowledge of a fictional character in a book.

And when you show us evidence that God is fictional, we will afford your opinion the respect due facts.

Are unicorns fictional? Can you provide evidence of this?

Your assumption is that belief in God is like belief in unicorns. This is not only easily shown to be wrong, it is illogical. Even atheists, (who love to imply that all zero evidence claims are equal), don't behave as if that claim is true. So I reject your implication that there is no evidence for God, and that all claims without evidence are qualitatively equal.

I'm talking about knowledge of an existent God that actually grounds concepts in the real world as it is claimed.

We don't have to prove God exists for this argument. We are talking principles. If God did exist, it is logical that His POV on good would be "Objective". This principle can be demonstrated as reasonable without having to show God actually exists.

No, it is not logical that God's POV on good would be objective. Objective according to who or what?

Objective means that it isn't relative. Sort of like the speed of light. The speed of light is objective, but objective according to who or what? Please don't say "man", for the speed of light would remain objective regardless of what "man" called it.

And it is immaterial that the speed of light can be physically demonstrated to be the same regardless of the observer. Einstein showed that he could reason to that truth long before we ever proved it through physical experiments. The speed of light HAD to be constant regardless of the observer because other observable things in the universe implied it.

The objective morality argument is meant not to prove God exists, but to prove that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory.

Then why does this argument always come up in debates over whether God exists?

Almost every argument an atheist has with a theist devolves into, "Prove God exists" by the atheist. But it is possible that some theists misuse the argument. They may think that because existence of God make objective morality necessary, the mirror is also true.

And what do you think a moral judgement is? It seems that your entire case against atheist morality is to start by defining morality in accordance with God, then say that atheists can't understand morality because they don't believe in God.

No. We say that without God your morality has no authority and thus anyone can dismiss it with no moral consequence. It is simply one group of people claiming that others should live according to their personal tastes.

This seems to be directed at someone other than me. I did not ask the question above.

It really wasn't. You stated that this argument is to show that moral judgements by atheists are self-contradictory. So I am asking you... what is a moral judgement to you?

A moral judgement is one where we determine whether an act is moral or not. It is not where we declare whether we personally like an act or not. The latter is simply a judgement, not a moral judgement.

Of course our position doesn't make sense, because you're defining our words that way even though we aren't. It's an absolutely pointless discussion to have and demonstrates serious intellectual dishonesty. Please clarify your position.

Perhaps this is also directed at someone else. But I was not stating a position. I was showing how the position of the OP was illogical. If one does not believe in God, any talk by them about morality is subjective, and any moral judgement by them is illogical.

I hope that was clear enough.

Your point is clear, how you get to your conclusions are not.

The concept is neither new or novel. We see it in parents with their kids, police and the population, judges and criminals. We use the concepts everyday in our interactions with Govt.officials, our children, and other countries.

Disliking logic, even strenuously, will not invalidate it.
Amoranemix
Posts: 520
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4/18/2015 4:48:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
ethang5 12
It seems clear and obvious to me that only God would qualify as objective using the traditional definition of the word.
Most objects are objective. As for opinions on morality, God's seems as subjective as anyone's.

ethang5 12 to Double_R
Your logic is faulty. God would not command something which evil, as the things He can command are already either evil or good. But the atheist tries to make God's command a morphing point, where things "become" good from His act of commanding. Why? No one knows, not even the atheist.
Your fallacy of choice is the hasty generalization. The atheist does not try to make God's command a morphing point.

ethang5 12 to Double_R
Well, as I am appealing to "objective" morality, I am referring to the actual distance that we recognize to be one foot.
The distance of one foot is objective, but it is also subjective, as it was decided by humans.

@Graincruncher 15
The rules of chess are objective, but morality doesn't have to be. Something can be malevolent according to a subjective standard.

ethang5 18
But the objective morality argument IS accepted by the atheist! He denies it, but will use it in his arguments. His arguments make no sense without it.
What do you mean with the 'objective morality argument' ?
The objective morality argument as described by envisage is not accepted by the atheist.

ethang5 18 to Envisage
Your point that it is a weak argument is betrayed by how many atheists use it and need it to be coherent.
You committed an appeal to popularity fallacy.

ethang5 20 to Envisage
They usually begin by rejecting premise #2 And then end by using premise #2 as a pillar of their argument.
Why do you keep challenging straw men in stead of the arguments and claims of real atheists ?

- ethang5 12
Your logic is faulty. God would not command something which evil, as the things He can command are already either evil or good.
- Double_R 24
If it was good independent of his command then he is not necessary.
No. Good is determined somehow by God's nature, so what is good is independent from God's commands, but not from God. In that view a world without God would be amoral.

- Double_R
Then the answer to the question is: "God commanded it because it is good". Why is that so hard to say?
- ethang5 26
I find it difficult to say things which aren't true.[6] If God simply commanded things because they were good, He would command ALL good things. But He does not do that. He commands what is necessary and what is according to His will out of a pool of good things. He does not command a thing simply because it is good.[7]
[6] LOL
[7] God is similar to benevolent humans in that respect : they command some things that are benevolent. So what God commands depends on what is benevolent, but what is benevolent does not depend on what God commands. So if raping children for fun is benevolent and if other conditions are fulfilled, then God can command it.

- Double_R 24
Therefore, you cannot... by definition... determine that something is good until you learn what God's command or position on a particular command is.
- ethang5 26
You must be using "command" in a way I don't recognize. But Christians have the Bible which displays the nature of God, His principles, so that we can know what is good and what is not. We do not need an individual statement from God on every subject to know what is good and what is not.
The errors in the Bible are often excused with 'The Bible is not a science book' or 'The Bible is not a history book'. Well, the Bible isn't a moral book either. It gives vague and seemingly contradictory moral advice, leading to different interpretations. In addition, even if the Bible were perfectly clear, complete and consistent on moral issues, why should we care ? Say for example that the Bible clearly states worshipping God is morally good and that doubting he exists is morally bad. Why should anyone conform to that morality ?

- Double_R 24
If you're defining one foot as "what is in accordance with the ruler", then by altering the ruler all of the other previously measures distances objectively are no longer "1 foot".
- ethang5 26
God, unlike a ruler, is immutable. This is like analogizing the flight of a bird with that of an airplane and having someone claim the analogy is invalid because airplanes don't have feathers.
The analogy is invalid because rulers aren't immutable. Lol.
You are missing the point. God's morality could in principle be anything (if we ignore the Bible), just like the length of the 1 foot ruler could in principle be anything. In that case the only reason to care about God's morality is that it is good to know what the strongest kid on the playground wants in order to suck up to him.

- Double_R 24
Prove he exists then we can discuss.
- ethang5 27
I don't have to. The logic is sound, based on the principles used. If God is eternal (uncreated), makes no mistakes, and is immutable, then His definition of "Good" would be objective, authoritative, and without equal.[8] If you cannot accept the logical soundness of the principles, then we have no reason to discuss the particulars.
[8] That doesn't follow. Without equal ? Probably. Authoritative ? That is a matter of opinion. Objective ? I don't think so.

- ethang5 27 to Double_R
If you were to break one of my personal moral codes, sure, I could call you immoral, but you wouldn't actually be immoral. My calling you immoral would really just be me saying, "You did something i don't like." So what? My personal moral code has no legitimate authority over you which obliges you to observe it.
Breaking God's moral code is different. That code has authority and you can (and will) be held accountable for not observing it.[9] One "ought" to observe it as it defines what is objectively moral, not simply the personal taste of someone with as little authority as you.
[9] Why is that ? Is it because God has the power to hold people accountable ?

- Double_R 25
No, it is not logical that God's POV on good would be objective. Objective according to who or what?
- ethang5 28
Objective means that it isn't relative. Sort of like the speed of light. The speed of light is objective, but objective according to who or what? Please don't say "man", for the speed of light would remain objective regardless of what "man" called it.
The speed of light is a quantity. God's morality is not.
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
Fkkize
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4/18/2015 5:24:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The 'God is the good' response makes the moral argument circular.
It originally goes like this:

P1) If God does not exist objective moral values do not exist
P2) Objective moral values do exist
C) Therefore God exists

For theists an 'objective moral value' in this sense is a value that is in accordance with Gods nature (since he is the good). Hence the argument becomes:

P1) If God does not exist values that are in accordance with Gods nature do not exist
P2) Values that are in accordance with Gods nature do exist
C) Therefore God exists

It is blatantly begging the question.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic