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Formal Debate: There ARE absolute moral laws prescribed by our Creator

Discussion in 'Formal Debate Threads' started by MarkRohfrietsch, May 30, 2014.

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  1. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    1. There ARE absolute moral laws prescribed by our Creator
    2.
    TheyCallMeDavid will take the affirmative position and Ana the Ist will take the negative position.
    3. There will be three alternating rounds (total of six posts).
    With TheyCallMeDavid
    making the opening post.

    4. The time limit between posts will be one week from the posts appearance.
    5. The maximum length of post will be 5000 words
    6.
    Quotes and outside references are allowed. Please note that all quotes will fall under the 20% copyright rule, but the participants may decide to disallow quotes or limit them to a certain amount of the overall word total.
    7. The following definitions have been agreed upon by the participants:

    • Objective : Opposite of a subjective viewpoint as in just someones opinion ---- appeal to a high standard which represents the best or epitome .
    • Moral : Righteous behavior as determined by an objective standard of right from wrong.
    • God: Personal theistic Creator ... a perfect, moral , loving infinite Being .
    8. The opening post will be made on or before June 10, 2014.

    Due to the nature of the topic of this debate, the Peanut gallery thread will be moderated, and can be found here: http://www.christianforums.com/t7825099/#post65712807

    Happy debating!

    Mark:)

     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
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  2. TheyCallMeDavid

    TheyCallMeDavid Well-Known Member

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    Id like to thank Ana for being willing to examine the issue of whether there exists the MORAL LAW for the human race, and where it/they are derived from . I take the firm stand that it is provable that THE MORAL LAW exists which can only reasonably come from a higher (ultimate) standard and Source ----- our personal Theistic Creator (viz. God) being infinitely moral , while Ana being a Relativist will be rebutting my declarations and defending the position that moral laws are not absolute and they were ultimately derived from an atheistic Materialism Worldview (if in fact Ana holds to the typical Worldview of Materialism ....but ill allow him to clarify that for us ) .

    In this first post, ill be addressing what is meant by THE MORAL LAW and how we know that it exists. I will be working from this fundamental deduction :

    1. Every Law has a Law-Giver.
    2. There is a Moral Law.
    3. Therefore, there is a Moral Law-Giver.

    What is meant by THE MORAL LAW is what some would call Ones conscience or Natural Law ; our Founding Fathers referred to it as Natures Law coming from our personal Creator citing the Declaration of Independence that 'these truths we hold to are SELF-EVIDENT....endowed by our Creator' ----- in modern times it is often referred to as The Moral Law. The Moral Law is a prescription that all people on Earth are endowed with to help them determine what is truly right from wrong so maximized harmonious living could be had by the Masses --- a gift from a loving concerned Creator who has our best interests at hand ; it comes with a deep seated sense that we ought to help people , that it is correct to treat Others properly, and that most people seem to exhibit the same intuitive sense that they ought to do good and shun evil --- thus, we all have an intrinsic moral oughtness or obligation written on our Souls ..... that we are all impressed with a fundamental sense of right and wrong .

    An absolute moral obligation is something that is binding on all people, at all times, and in all places. And an absolute moral law implies an Absolute Moral Law Provider which is 1 of the 4 major reasoned logical arguments for the existence of a personal Theistic Creator . The other 3 were layed out in a recent CF Formal Debate and included : The Cosmological Argument / The Teleological Argument for the Cosmos / The Teleological Argument for First Life on Earth discussed at length at this link , http://www.christianforums.com/t7813978/ , which examined if the Atheistic Materialism Worldview was credible for the realities we have today confirmed by Science. While these 3 dealt with the physical evidence for God , the Moral Law albeit NON-material , is just as real. Summarizing then.....we all have this prescription written on the fiber of our Being that we ought to do good and there are basic principles of right and wrong that everybody knows whether they will admit them or not and whether they want to obey them or choose to suppress them for whatever personal ulterior motive One may have in doing so . Some people may deny it and commit murder anyway ,for example, but deep in their Being they know murder is wrong --- even serial killers know that murder is wrong ... they just don't feel any remorse for doing it. Murder is wrong to EVERY person on earth as are other absolute moral laws.
     
  3. TheyCallMeDavid

    TheyCallMeDavid Well-Known Member

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    Next, I will be talking about how we know that the Moral Law exists by showing a few common examples :

    1. While we may see People acting in a way that demonstrates a 'freedom' from The Moral Law or of its 'non-existence' , our REACTIONS help us discover the Moral Law (right from wrong) . We are all appauled at the treatment over 6 million Jews (and Christians I might add) underwent at the hands of Nazi Germany ; we couldn't have said that the Nazis were absolutely wrong unless we knew what was absolutely right . But we DO know they were absolutely wrong, therefore, the Moral Law exists despite a Regime that felt they were doing a great service in ridding a perceived 'weaker People Group' to make way for a more superior Race . There is something that stirs our Soul when we witness a great injustice taking place ; if we didn't have a Moral Law inscribed on our Souls...then we would resign to a state of complacency or neutrality toward the heinous actions of others on others . Without the Moral Law, there would be no basis for Human Rights.

    1.a. We may feel the freedom and entitlement to do as we wish by , for example, stealing something from Somebody for our own personal gain...but watch what happens at our REACTION when WE have been stolen from ; we are not complacent toward such an offense on us ....rather, our reaction shows that an absolute moral law was violated where we are concerned as demonstrated by our outrage . If there were no Moral Law, then we wouldn't feel slighted . The Moral Law isn't always the standard by which we treat others...but it is nearly always the standard by which we expect others treat us. Jesus upheld this absolute moral law when he instructed us to abide by the Royal Law of treating others as we would have them treat us.

    2. Without the Moral Law, we couldn't adjudicate between justice and injustice. There is an unchanging standard of justice written on our hearts ; you cant know what is evil unless you know what is good. For, you cant call a line crooked unless you have some idea of what a straight line looks like. And you cant know what is objectively good unless there is an unchanging standard of good outside of yourself. Without that objective standard, any objection to evil is nothing but your opinion ------------ a concept today called 'tolerance' which is so rampant that it is causing great moral decay of our Nation. When we recognize evil in its many forms of immorality and become apathetic to it , we reap the societal consequences that occur from not abiding by the Moral Law prescribed to us so we can live civily ,responsibly, and in harmony with one another . The opposite and correct action that the Bible instructs , is for us to be our Brothers (Sisters) Keeper and lovingly go to them when we see them heading down a wrong path and to tactfully tell them in hopes they will want to change direction to avoid the consequences . That is the loving thing to do...not what our God-less Culture promotes .

    2.a. We wouldn't be able to MEASURE moral differences if there were no Moral Law . If the Moral Law didn't exist, there would be no objective difference between the behavior of Mother Theresa and Hitler. Statements like 'Murder is wrong' and 'Racism is evil' would have no objective meaning --- they are just Someones opinion ., but they ARE objectively meaningful to us . When we say the world is getting better or worse, we are comparing some moral standard beyond ourselves. That standard IS the Moral Law written on our hearts.

    3. There is no political or social dissent unless the Moral Law exists. If there is no Moral Law, then no position on any moral issue is objectively right or wrong...including the positions taken by Atheists. There would be nothing wrong with outlawing atheism and taking the property of atheists and giving them to Jerry Falwells ministry . There would be nothing wrong with Gay bashing, racism, prohibiting abortion, or sex between two consenting adults whether married to another or not.

    4. We make excuses when we violate absolute moral laws. People make excuses for behaving immorally --- it is a tacit admission that the Moral Law exists. Why make excuses if no behavior is actually immoral ? If an immoral behavior isn't objectively wrong in an absolute sense, then why would people try to cover it up / blame others for it / deny the behavior even when caught red-handed / claim they were forced to do it by another / or (pretend) insanity ?

    ____________________________________

    This concludes my first post.

    David.
     
  4. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    I'd like to start by saying "You're Welcome!" to David in response to his thanks toward me for debating this issue. I so scarcely get a situation where the person I'm discussing morality with is essentially "trapped" and unable to simply run away from the inevitable conclusions of reality. Firstly, I'd like to clarify a couplethings...

    David asked for a moral Relativist to debate with, I am indeed a moral relativist...however I will not be attempting to prove moral relativism in any way. David made some positive claims about morality, and asked for someone to take the "negative" position. The negative claim in this situation is merely that David is wrong...so my only job here is to tear down his premises. If David, the moderator, or anyone else feels this is wrong...I'd like them to refer to David's original proposal in the Debate Proposals forum. Don't worry, dear reader, it won't take as long as it took for David to create them. I cannot say if I'm a Materialist, simply because I have no idea what materialism is....I'm certainly not going to research it for this debate as I don't feel it in any way relevant to my position.

    In fairness, even though I am an atheist, I will not argue or debate against the existence of a god in this debate. It was nice of David to include his arguments for a god's existence...but he didn't need do so. It's irrelevant. What David claimed was that objective morals come from god...and nowhere in that entire opening statement did he actually explain how he, or anyone, would know this. What do morals from god look like David? Without such knowledge, even if we could prove objective morality, we wouldn't know from whence they came. Perhaps David meant to address this in his next post, so I'll leave it there for now. Let's take a look at the premises David holds and I'll explain why they are all wrong. I won't need any quotes or links...I'm just going to ask you, dear reader, to draw on your own experiences and knowledge.

    David tried to sneak in a premise without numbering it, but it's an important one, so I'll address it first. David said this...

    ".....we all have this prescription written on the fiber of our Being that we ought to do good and there are basic principles of right and wrong that everybody knows whether they will admit them or not and whether they want to obey them or choose to suppress them for whatever personal ulterior motive"

    Here David would have you believe he knows your heart, even your very mind, better than you do. I sincerely hope no one actually buys into this. It should go without saying that David cannot "know" whether people think they are doing something right or wrong. No one can. He doesn't have this ability, I don't, and neither do you dear reader. On to the other points...

    1. Nazis. Geez...do we really need such extreme examples to discuss morality? I think not. I'll be using a more everyday example later...but I'll address this anyway. You, dear reader, probably think the slaughter of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis was a "wrong" thing. I think it was a wrong thing. Does everyone? Obviously not. If such a statement were posted on a neo-nazi forum...I imagine many would think it a "good" thing. As shocking as it may seem...a great many people in our world think it a "good" thing. Is it because all such people are "evil"? Could it merely be that they hold different values from you and I? Regardless of how you answer...this is a false premise. We know not everyone thinks the holocaust "wrong".

    1a. We feel being stolen from is "wrong"...sure. Is it because stealing is always wrong? Is it because we lost something of value? Consider this...you and a friend are having some fast food together. Your friend looks away and you steal a French fry from his plate. Maybe you look away and he steals a French fry from your plate. Is that not indeed stealing? How do you feel about it? Is he now morally evil? Or perhaps...it was of such little value it matters not at all. Perhaps you were stolen from and you found it amusing. All I want you to consider here is what you value more...the French fry or your friend...and how it shapes your sense of morality. Stealing isn't always wrong. Another example...

    Your son went off to war in some faraway land. He gets shot and killed. It hurts...you value him. Was it wrong for him to be shot though? Is that not what we expect when one goes to a foreign land to shoot people? Do we not expect them to shoot back? Is the person who killed your son evil? Was he doing exactly what you would in the same situation? What I'd like you to consider, reader, is how the "value" of circumstance changes your morality.

    2. Here David is starting to confuse subjects a little. He's speaking of justice...not morality. I don't really need to address it, but I will. When you lose something of value, you feel justice is done when the person who took it loses something of equivalent value. What that "something" is can only be decided by the person who originally lost something of value...otherwise they won't feel justice is done. It really has nothing to do with morality.

    2a. We do this everyday...and we disagree. You say the world is getting morally worse...I say it's getting morally better. It's all relative to who is making the statement and the values they hold.

    3. Are there any laws you disagree with, reader? Any laws you agree with? Why? Is it because of the values you hold might not always conform to the values everyone else holds? The fact that the is no objective morality is exactly why we have political dissent. Indeed, if morality worked as David describes...we would all agree on right and wrong and write our laws accordingly. Laws change with Vic values of the majority. We once thought slavery a good and moral thing in this nation...now we don't. Currently, we are divided on many issues...and perhaps in time our people will look back and hardly understand why we thought such things were right or wrong. Values that shape our morals change with time and experience. Since our experiences are relative to ourselves...so are our sense of right and wrong.

    4. Values do change...don't they reader? Have you ever done something you thought absolutely right at the time...then later thought it so very wrong? Ever tried to avoid the consequences of your actions? Ever try to fix a mistake? If morality were objective...these things wouldn't happen. You would think you were right...do what you believed right...and always believe it right, regardless of the consequences or opinions of others. That isn't how morality works though. We all make mistakes, we all change our values. The fact that we may try to avoid the consequences of such mistakes says the exact opposite of what David claims. If we knowingly did wrong, and knew it right to make amends or pay the consequences, then no one would make excuses...plead insanity (except the truly insane)...shift the blame...deny...etc.

    To summarize my refutations...
    David can't read minds. As much as he'd like to believe an angel resides in the heart of every man, he can't know this. Furthermore, it's demonstrably wrong.
    1. We don't agree on right and wrong, good and bad.
    1a. Circumstance and value alters the way we think of morals.
    2. Justice is a different matter...related, but different altogether.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2014
  5. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    2a. We do this all the time. The fact we disagree shows the lack of any moral standard we could possibly share.
    3. Same as 2a. We do this all the time and if we all agreed...if David's god put the same moral values in us all...we wouldn't disagree.
    4. We make mistakes. We change values. We explain why our values changed (or pretend to) and we value our freedom and lives quite highly. Were we all objectively moral...it would be a much different picture.

    That's all for now. I hope you've enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing.

    Your move Dave.
     
  6. TheyCallMeDavid

    TheyCallMeDavid Well-Known Member

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    2nd Post / Part 1 of 2.

    In this 2nd Post ill give answer to some specific statements Ana made , then explain some Fallacies he made while trying to rebut the evidence for Absolute Moral Laws that I gave . Ill conclude by asking a couple of questions for Ana pertaining to being a Relativist in hopes he champions his view enough to want to provide answers to myself and any Readers about his View he believes is absolutely true (or should I say more accurately : 'relatively' true ?!) .

    ADDRESSING SOME OF THE SPECIFIC STATEMENTS MADE :

    a. Im not 'trapped' in my ideology as compared to the reality that exists today ; in fact, I acknowledged the widespread infusion of Moral Relativism in society today and its bad repercussions that can be readily observed , measured, and that has taken America into the cesspool of moral degradation by destroying many many lives (examples upon request) . Conversely, the Relativist is the one who is trapped and enslaved to a practiced ideology whereby he places himself as authority for maximizing lifestyle choices that always include vices by way of immorality instead of desiring to live above reproach with dignity . This popular atheist tenet is rightly called : Enslavement ... moreover pseudo-freedom / pseudo-liberty to behave virtually anyway One pleases in our highly permissive Society (pure self-deceit as reinforced by an amoral Mass Media and Culture) .

    b. I realize that this is your first formal Debate as you had indicated..but, when you are attempting to show that Someones position is absolutely wrong , it requires offering substantial proof based on good reason and logic instead of simply declaring that Someone 'is wrong' ; if you declare Someones view is wrong then by default you are admitting your particular view is the correct one (or at least a better one) in which case you should be prepared to give support to your view of Moral Relativism . You haven't done that thus far ... you have only acknowledged and furthered the very declarations from myself that Moral Relativism is just someones opinion if there is no objective right from wrong standard beyond Ourselves ; showing that the behavior IS in fact present in todays Society isn't discounting that The Moral Law exists -------- it shows only that it is being suppressed so People can act as they wish despite its existence . Everyday, we see people doing things that they had not ought do , and, not doing things that they had ought to do .

    c. You are the very first professed Atheist I have encountered that didn't know what a atheistic Materialism worldview is . You almost certainly hold to it as virtually every Atheist does, so, id encourage you to become familiar with it .

    d. It is indeed relevant that the proof for Gods existence be brought up since All Humans having The Moral Law written on their hearts is one of the 4 timeless examples of a personal theistic God existing despite you not being able to physically see or touch him ; I might add that if seeing or touching the Creator of the Universe is something that is mandatory for you in order to believe ... then you shouldn't believe that your House or Apartment took a Creator since you never saw the Person who created it and set it into operation either . While The Moral Law inscribed on the fiber of all Human Beings is non-material, it is nevertheless very real the same that our Laws of Science are non-material yet very real and at work . As for 'what this Moral Law looks like' .... Ive already cogently described what it is, how it is played out with all Peoples , its benefits, and why people have it ., therefore, your complaint is invalid. Lastly, because The Moral Law exists in every human being whos ever lived, we CAN know where it originated from ; there are only two possibilities : A divine very concerned personal Creator that transcends all of creation who is infinitely moral himself, or, from Materials which Atheists tell us accounts for all of creation including our Non-material entities such as Morality, Logic, Reason, abstract thought, free will, etc... (truly an absurd propositional hoax that I exposed in the other Formal Debate with Freodin on the subject of a Materialistic Universe) .

    e. As a matter of fact, it is quite possible to know to a large degree what is going on in a persons mind and thoughts from their freewill actions whether moral or immoral / ethical or unethical / good or evil ; how we animate ourselves in the form of actions, behavior, language, etc... has a direct link to our thoughts ; that's why ideas have consequences whether good or bad ... consequences that we can all observe . Desiring to live free of The Moral Law for doing good which is the natural outpouring of the atheistic Relativist position, is a sure recipe for personal moral degradation and when it is done by the Masses., for an entire Nation . Daily, you can tell what is going on in a persons mind by their willful actions....yourself included , therefore your complaint is again invalidated.
     
  7. TheyCallMeDavid

    TheyCallMeDavid Well-Known Member

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    2nd Post / Part 2 of 2.

    FALLACIES MADE BY ANA ------

    In trying to refute the examples I gave for The Moral Law existing , there are misunderstandings that Ana unknowing used in addition to actually lending support to the examples I gave for The Moral Law prescribed on all of us . I shall address that now :

    A. Fallacy #1 : The 'Is/Ought' misunderstanding . A common mistake of Relativists is that they confuse behavior with value. That is....they confuse what IS with what OUGHT to be . What people do is subject to change, but what they OUGHT to do is not. This is the difference between sociology and morality. Sociology is descriptive while morality is prescriptive . In other words, Relativists often confuse the changing behavioral situation with the unchanging moral duty . Another aspect of this same Fallacy manifests itself when people suggest that there is no Moral Law because people (like neo- Nazi's) don't obey it . Everyone disobeys the Moral Law to some level from telling white lies to committing murder. BUt that doesn't mean there is no unchanging MOral Law...its simply means that we all violate it . Everyone makes mathematical mistakes too, but that doesn't mean there are no unchanging rules of mathematics. The Nazis of Germany knew what they were doing to the Jews was absolutely wrong to do ...but they tried to justify it by the desired end goal as well as dehumanizing the Jews to carry out their heinous mass murdering. You can bet your life that a good many of those Nazi's who were responsible for cramming the bodies of dead Jews into the ovens after they were gassed, had their Conscience seriously assaulted. Its for the same reason that many Abortionists finally get out of their death-mill Trade because the sting of suppressing their Moral Conscience (The Moral Law) got too overwhelming and at last they decided to follow the truth. For the rest of the Nazis that felt no moral conviction about the atrocities, they would only need to be advised that their family member was about to be gassed with cyanide then incinerated to bring home the gravity of their absolute wrong actions (despite higher orders to carry them out) .

    B. Fallacy #2 : Absolute Morals versus applying them to particular situations. The French Fry scenario Ana gave , while lesser in gravity , is still a violation of The Moral Law ; to suggest that it is better to preserve the friendship between two people while tolerating the violation of Stealing ... is in itself, unethical , and...it doesn't therefore nullify The Moral Law. Yes, the wanton stealing of anothers property whether it be as insignificant as a French Fry or as major as taking someone elses Wife , is still absolutely wrong because the Moral Law was violated --- it doesn't become nullified just because the gravity of the theft is lower . Further, how would you feel if every time you went out with your best male Buddy, he took a French Fry of yours and gradually escalated it to taking a bite of your Steak-burger when you went to the Restroom ? Would you feel indifferent about that, or, would it lay heavy on your Mind that youre not sure if you need 'a friend' like that for he may be stealing from you in other ways you weren't aware of ? The best way of determining the Moral Law, is not by how we or others act, but when we are on the receiving end of the violation ; suddenly everything comes into sharp focus doesn't it (?) .

    C. Fallacy #3 : Morality and Justice are not related to each other . Our very Judicial System in the USA is predicated on there being absolute moral laws with the expectation of compliance to them with punishment as a consequence ... and...to provide a deterrence factor for the rest of Society to take note of so that compliance to The Moral Law would be seen as valuable and thus maintained . Can you imagine what kind of Society we would have if everyone chose to suppress the moral oughtness we should engage ourselves in ? That is what HAS led to our present day social moral ills and its what culminates in anarchy . Judicial punishment not only provides some level of satisfaction toward a rape , assault , or victim of vandalism/theft ...but it is also for the Offender to learn that being an active Moral-Nihlist must not and cannot be tolerated in a civil Society. Without the Moral Law as our objective Standard , any objection toward evil or to engage in an evil act ,is simply an opinion. If there were no Moral Law then we wouldn't be able to detect evil or injustice of any kind. Without the Moral Law of justice, injustice is meaningless. Likewise, unless there IS an unchanging standard of good, there is nothing as objective evil by way of actions. But since we all know that evil exists, then so does the Moral Law. Our American Judicial System bolsters this fact by metering out justice when a civil law is violated and the Violator is caught .

    QUESTIONS :

    1. What are the benefits to patterning Ones life after Moral Relativism ?
    2. How has Moral Relativism benefitted American Society , particularly over the last 5 decades ?
    3. Based on your Value System, how do we see that the World (America in particular) is getting better morally ? What is your truth-standard to which you are measuring it by ?
    4. Do you ever feel indifferent when you have been morally violated since the Offender may believe what he has done to you is allowable ?
    4.a. You stated : ' Circumstance and value alters the way we think of morals ' . Assuming you are married, would you be alright with your wife announcing to you that shes decided to become a Sexual Relativist as a result of circumstances and her values changing over time ? You wouldn't object to that would you since she is simply agreeing with your concept of a change of heart regarding that particular moral ?
    5. What power does following Atheism provide for changing a Person for the better including morally (assuming you believe morality is a good thing) ?
    6. How did Humans acquire morality ? Where does it come from ?

    This concludes my 2nd post.

    David
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  8. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    I'd like to apologize to the reader at this point. It seems now that Dave wishes to discuss the merits of moral Relativism...I don't blame him. He hasn't made any headway into proving moral "laws" or "absolutes" in any way...so he'd rather change the topic at this point. I'm not going to, I came to debate his concept of objective morality and that's what I'll do. Unfortunately, that means we'll be retreading the ground of my first post since Dave has nothing to add. If you want to debate moral relativism, Dave, I suggest you start a new debate. I'll address each point as it's headed.

    A. I never suggested Dave was trapped in an ideology...though it's interesting he feels I did. I merely stated he's trapped in this debate.

    B. Dave's position amounts to "I believe x is true and I can prove it!". My position amounts to "I believe Dave is wrong and I can prove it!". Dave may be upset I'm not trying to prove moral relativism, but that isn't what this debate is about. Check the title Dave, check your proposal for the debate, then check that pm I sent you where I said the onus would be on you to prove your point.

    C. This is really really sweet of Dave. He wants me to learn about materialism! Thanks Dave, I'll check that out if it ever comes up in real life .

    D. It's not relevant that god exists, because I've conceded that point for the purpose of this debate. Isn't that nice of me? I don't believe in god, but if we had to first establish it's existence, we'd never get to a discussion of morality. Here's the only important thing Dave said there...

    "already cogently described what it is, how it is played out with all Peoples , its benefits, and why people have it ."

    I'm sure Dave believes he's done these things...but he hasn't. He claimed we all have this moral law inside us because we all feel the same about nazis. Well, we don't. He said we all feel the same when stolen from. Well, we don't (remember the french fry example?). Dave claimed that because we try to escape negative consequences...we all have a moral law inside us. Well, we don't...we simply avoid what's bad for us. Here's the real problem though...

    Dave still hasn't made any attempt to show that morality comes from god. Sure, he believes it...but believing is far from knowing and knowing still far from proving. He hasn't given any evidence so far. He says it's one of two possibilities...why? Morality could come from a pantheon of gods. It's could come from Satan. It could come from highly intelligent aliens who created us. It could come from inter-dimensional pink unicorns that defecate rainbows into our brains. It's literally any countless number of options when we don't provide any evidence...and Dave hasn't. He just tells us what he believes. If that's the best he can do...then his beliefs hold no more merit than anyone else's.

    E. I'm glad Dave brings this up because it's important. Actions. If someone joins the neo-nazis is it reasonable to assume that deep down they feel bad about the holocaust? No. Just by observing actions we can see each of Dave's premises are wrong.
     
  9. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Now onto these "fallacies"...

    1. The Is/Ought fallacy. Let's start by saying I didn't commit this fallacy...because I never actually claimed what "ought" to be. Dave did that, so technically it's his fallacy, but that isn't important. Dave claimed we know we have moral laws because we all feel the same about nazis and what they did. We don't. A great many people are happy with what nazis did and support those actions. That renders Dave's first premise invalid. Dave claims those such people are simply violating moral law. How do we know? How do we know we aren't violating moral law by not killing Jews? Perhaps the nazis were right and we were wrong? How do you, dear reader feel about the US dropping an atomic bomb on so many defenseless Japanese citizens? Was it morally right because it saved more lives? Was it morally wrong because it killed so many innocent people? Why do so many disagree on this? Who's right and who's wrong? Real morality is never so clear as Dave wants to paint it.

    2. Dave says applying his "absolute morals" to certain situations is a fallacy. What good are they if we can't? I'll tell you...no good at all. He used a nazi example...I used a French fry example. He claims you know it's wrong to steal because of the way you feel when it happens. I showed that when your friend steals a french fry off your plate...you don't necessarily feel bad at all. If you're like me, you probably find it amusing. His premise is demonstrably wrong.

    3. Justice isn't built on morality, it's built on property. 99% of laws refer to the ownership of property. If you look at your "life" and your "body" as your property...and they are...you can account for that last 1%. Laws change over time. Our laws of today aren't the laws of yesterday...nor will they be the laws of tomorrow. Dave's concept of morality is unchanging...and the laws don't reflect that. Justice and morality are not the same...so I tried to help Dave by steering him from this topic...but alas, as anyone who believe in absolute moral laws knows, Dave has made a grievous error in trying to connect the two. Abortion is legal, gay marriage becoming increasingly legal, are these things moral in Dave's eyes? I doubt it. I believe them moral...but that's another topic.

    Thanks for reading my second post. Your move Dave.
     
  10. TheyCallMeDavid

    TheyCallMeDavid Well-Known Member

    +75
    Christian
    Single
    Final Post. Part 1 of 2.

    In my final Post, I shall rebut paragraphs A thru E and 1 thru 3 pointing out Ana's continued misunderstandings/illogic . I shall then show how the Moral Relativist cant properly live out his own skewed philosophy and explain why it is in fact truly hypocritical in nature . Finally, ill summarize why The Moral Law can be denied but it cant be done away with and why its a prescription on every Soul who has ever lived . I don't expect my Debate Partner to embrace this or admit it is real as a moral Relativist has his own apriori-philosophical commitment to the alleged 'freedom and entitlement' that comes with wanting to live a life of no moral absolutism yet demands it from Others.

    Proceeding....

    A. / B. Thruout the debate, Ana HAS been alluding to his concept of Moral Relativism , for, to attempt to denounce The Moral Law (absolute moral laws) , by default ,he has had to discuss Moral Relativism at length only he doesn't want to take the next step at showing why it is a better concept nor discuss the obvious moral degradation that such a concept has brought with it thru the ages and especially in our post-modern times . I did add plenty in support of The Moral Law existing in all of us ----------- its just that you can lead a Donkey to water but you cant make him open his eyes to drink of it , for it has to be a willful act . It wasn't necessary of ANA to retread the shaky ground of trying to deny The Moral Law which failed the first time around ; instead because he thinks his position makes logical sense he should have at least answered a few of the relative questions I posited at the end of my last Post . Failure to do this exemplifies the bankruptcy of the Relativists position for it would only serve to dig a deeper hole had he responded. Finally, ive never 'been trapped' in this debate -- that was just a Faux Pas attempt for the purpose of intimidation I surmise . The entrapment comes in the form of wanting to live out Moral Relativism even though the consequences are shockingly toxic.

    C. Yes, it would behoove you to examine the worldview of Materialism as its the alternate to not wanting to believe in and follow God ; Materialism is already the reality in your life and you should be well acquainted with it so you know what you formally believe in.

    D. It IS relevant that God exists , for, either The Moral Law intrinsic to all of us comes from a Prescription or it came from accidental, mindless, non willed Materials (as in the Materialism worldview of origins) . The Moral Law is one of 4 major converging lines of scientific evidence that there is a personal theistic Creator (videlicet , God) --- sensible to the person who comes to the table with an open, logic based, reasonable Mind. These 4 lines of converging evidences don't even require the opening of the Bible -------- they are just plain reality and of no specific religious persuasion . You said : Here's the only important thing Dave said there...
    " (Ive) already cogently described what it (The Moral Law) is, how it is played out with all Peoples , its benefits, and why people have it ." To that I say I appreciate your admission !

    Additionally....

    Stealing is stealing and all stealing is wrong based on the normal natural REaction the Victim had toward it ; now...if you choose to suppress that knowledge concerning your French Fry being repeatedly stolen from your plate by your Friend, then you can have that free will choice suppression ... but it still doesn't change the unchanging factual standard that it was taken from you without asking aka : an unchanging Moral Law which transcends time, circumstance, and gravity of the situation. You may blow off the stolen French Fry, but if half your $12 SteakBurger was missing when you returned from the Restroom you would rethink just blowing it off to 'friendship' . In fact, youd feel infringed upon and at a minimum, take your SteakBurger with you to the Toilet next time which would be a tacit admission that you believed in the absolute Moral Law of thou shalt not steal.

    'Escaping whats bad for us' doesn't nullify the unchanging Moral Law . If you happened to escape from a plot to rob you of your money, then wonderful .. you didn't fall prey to a violation of the established Moral Law of not robbing someone. If you did get robbed the following month, I assure you that youd realize the Moral Law had been broken . If no Moral Law were broken, then please don't even respond in anger ; just chalk it up to the Robbers needing your money for a night out on the town that weekend.

    If you don't think that The Moral Law which is inscribed on every humans heart , everywhere on this planet, at all times, and at any age as observed from between the age of 2 until death.... is just a coincidence , then that is pretty absurd . It is far more reasonable to believe that things like morality, abstract thinking, will, reason, logic, love, etc...came from a like Person than from the charade of atheistic Materialism . (How much does morality weigh ? What is the chemical composition value for love or reason ? What materials do we find in someone having an abstract thought !? This atheistic philosophy is absurd and everyone knows it. ) .

    Highly intelligent Aliens who CREATED us ??? Where did the intelligent Aliens come from , and, Im pleased to see that they carefully and intelligently created Us instead of the traditional atheist position that non intelligent , unwilled, mindless Materials from a Big Bang made us ! Like I said previously, it would behoove you to google Materialism so you can understand the Atheist worldview of Origins since youre a professed 'Atheist' who refuses to acknowledge a transcendent Creator at all cost .

    Continuing.....

    1. The 'IS/OUGHT' Fallacy is what you've been portraying. Your examples all had to do with what IS occurring presently in Society with various hate groups, etc... by trying to show that because they hold to an ideology that it therefore nullifies The Moral Law and bolsters Moral Relativism. Sure it bolsters Moral Relativism which gives carte blanche freedom and permission to behave badly ... but its a fallacious argument because the Moral Law deals with how a Person or Group OUGHT to think, act, talk, behave . Who cares what IS occurring -- we already know the sad repercussions of the Moral Relativists ideology carried to fruition in American Society. If People acted how they OUGHT to , and therefore abided by the Moral Law within them, only then could we escape the horrific consequences of the Relativists ideology to be his own god on a widespread scale. You said : 'How do we know we aren't violating moral laws by NOT killing Jews? Perhaps the nazis were right and we were wrong? ' ; I sure hope you are saying this rhetorically and that this is not otherwise . If youre truly in doubt, then just ask yourself this : How would you respond to a Group of People today that was on a mission to rid your personal nationality from the face of the planet ? I sure hope your Relativist ideology hasn't bankrupt you of your moral conscience and moral duty/oughtness. If it has, then its time for a drastic change .

    2. Again, if you wish to suppress the theft of your French fry and laugh about it, then that is your prerogative. But the Law of Stealing still stands ....it didn't go away. You just chose to disregard it and veto it . The Moral Law of Stealing didn't go anywhere...only your stolen French fry did that you paid for. I know this : At some level of theft concerning your $12 SteakBurger and French Fry dinner you paid for, would eventually come outrage. At THAT point, kiss your Moral Relativism buh-bye because although your stealing Friend believed in it wholeheartedly..... YOU suddenly became a Moral Absolutist !

    3. What foundational major Moral Laws have changed over the centuries then ? Has stealing, extortion, vandalism, lying, adultery, murdering the innocent, racism, etc.... changed or are they still absolutely wrong ? When these things become 'correct' , we will have reached anarchy in Society. By the way, we aren't far off because its the natural outpouring from People who don't want any higher authority than Self. Moral Relativism extends that vice to any who desire it. Afterall, we are well on our way if we cant call the murdering of 6 million Jews wrong because they were despised and of the 'wrong heritage' according to a Moral Relativist by the name of Hitler. Finally, legislating Laws such as abortion on demand / homosexual marriages / etc... maybe a reality today and its only because our American Nation no longer wants to abide by the Moral Law that comes from The Creator himself..and instead is alright siding with Moral Relativism ; so how do we know that this isn't all that bad ??? Simple. By the consequences of such Moral Relativism promotion occurring at Government level . The consequences tell us that even though its been scientifically proven that life starts at conception, we are still willing to suck out the developing human in pieces leaving the 'Mother' to suffer the emotional repercussions for the rest of her life. Studies show that post abortive Women suffer much greater with depression, anxiety, guilt, regret, and even suicide. As for Homosexuality, 70% of ALL AIDS comes from this Community and its killed millions prematurely and painfully ; now HIV is firmly grounded in the Heterosexual Community with a guaranteed premature death sentence . Add to that over 10 widespread diseases particular to Homosexuality including Hepatitis A and B , Gay Bowel Syndrome requiring the Person to wear a butt plug and/or diaper for the rest of their life , and other permanent diseases ............ and its not too hard to see what happens when a Government doesn't really care about violation of The Moral Law . Violation of the Moral Law can come from common people , to Legislators, to Presidents and beyond --- guess what though.....The Moral Law didn't go anywhere. Only the suppression of it, did. And you admit to these two above examples as being 'moral' ??! Im afraid your high held philosophy has blown a fuse and only due to being in a truth-less / moral-less Post Modern Era , does it become standard acceptable fare.

    Moral Relativism cant be lived out truthfully . The One who demands to live by Moral Relativism (which by now the Reader should have been able to discern as apathy toward Morals , a desired irresponsible way to live offering total moral Nihlism for whatever pleasure(s) , and ultimately...making Oneself his own god in authority) may enjoy the entitlement Moral Relativism offers.. yet strongly objects to being on the receiving end of such . So whats good for the goose is not good for the gander.

    How about Moral Relativism espoused at a Wedding Ceremony ; it would go something like this : 'I truly commit to caring for my husband thru sickness and in health , I promise to be loving and dutiful in my responsibilities as his wife, and so long as I don't embrace Moral Relativism by way of Sexual Relativism .... I shall remain faithful for the time being , otherwise , Ill be taking advantage of the ever changing views on such subjects as time goes forward because the consensus of public opinion may be different 5 years from now. ' . Whats good for the goose isn't always good for the gander. Obviously, Moral Relativism is inadequate and full of hypocrisy in addition to the furtherance of amorality for a Nation that is already mortally wounded from the many social ills Relativism is directly responsible for ; real freedom comes by obeying Gods ordained absolute Moral Laws and not from living as One likes (amorally).
     
  11. TheyCallMeDavid

    TheyCallMeDavid Well-Known Member

    +75
    Christian
    Single
    Final Post. Part 2 of 2.


    Summarizing the case for the Moral Law existing and having come from a Prescriber :

    1. There is an absolute standard of right and wrong that is written on the hearts of every human being. People like Moral Relativists may deny it, they may suppress it, their actions may contradict it...but their reactions reveal they know it. Every person on Earth has reactions that reveal they know it .

    2. Relativism is false. Human Beings do not determine what is right from wrong.....we discover what is right from wrong by what is done to us if we don't already intrinsically know it . If Humans determined right from wrong, then anyone would be right in asserting rape, murder, the Halocaust, or any other evil is not really wrong. But we know these acts are really wrong because of the moral conscience that is within us (except of those occupying a willful reprobate Mind who don't care and have no remorse. ) .

    3. The Moral Law must have a source higher than ourselves because it is a prescription that's on the hearts of all people . Prescriptions always have a Prescriber...whether they be medical prescriptions / road law presriptions / gun law prescriptions / or moral prescriptions . They don't arise from nothing, therefore , God must exist unless they can come from Materials and raw chemicals which is absurd.

    4. The Moral Law is Gods standard of rightness and it helps us adjudicate between the different moral opinions people may have . Without the Moral Law we are left with just that...opinions. The Moral Law is the objective standard by which everything is measured. Morality is not arbitrary --- the very nature of God himself is infinite justice and infinite love.

    5. Although it is widely believed that all morality is relative, core moral values are absolute and they transcend cultures. Find a Culture where murder, rape, incest, stealing, cowardice are encouraged virtues.

    6. Atheists have no real basis for objective right and wrong because they don't appeal to a higher standard beyond themselves ; they appeal to the opinions of men (an ever changing consensus) ---not something to be considered trustworthy , reliable, concrete, or the recipe for correct civil living .

    7. In the end, atheism cannot justify why anything is morally right or wrong as Ana stated emphatically himself in his last post thru the questions he offered up (ie: ' 'How do we know we aren't violating moral laws by NOT killing Jews? Perhaps the nazis were right and we were wrong?') . In order to be a consistent atheist, you have to believe there is nothing objectively wrong with murder, rape, genocide, infanticide (abortion) , torture, or any other heinous act. By faith, you have to believe there is really no objective difference between a Hitler and Mother Theresa and by faith you have to believe that real moral principles arose from nothing as the traditional atheist worldview of origins holds to even though it is absurdly unreasonable, illogical, and unprovable. Materials don't produce Mind...rather, a Mind produces Materials and our non-Material personal entities we all occupy including Moral Duty.

    The atheistic tenet of Moral Relativism is not only untrue, cannot be truthfully lived out, is fundamentally hypocritical, is the leading cause for our Nations continued moral degradation ..... it is also the biggest lie ever to be perpetuated on Oneself for the expressed purpose of maximized entitlement and permissible behavior that even the Adherant himself knows full well is wrong in his conscience . It IS the springboard to anarchy that comes thru playing the charade that there is no God and no Moral Law to abide by . As one of my 'atheist' associates recently declared : ' I just want to be my own god and do life MY way' . And that statement is what rejection of The Moral Law is fundamentally all about.

    The call to Human Beings from a concerned personal infinitely moral Creator is to live by making the Creator and his loving moral mandates priority in our lives in the midst of present day moral chaos occurring because a good Many people could care less about correct and noble living . For those who are willing, living in harmony with God and his protective loving Moral Laws brings real freedom, joy, a good feeling about Oneself thru living righteously , other people can trust you, and you leave a legacy for being a noble Person that chose to live above reproach --- a Person that can be admired (virtues that's been lost today with self centered Moral Relativism , a main tenet of sociological atheism) .

    end
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  12. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

    +6,241
    United States
    Atheist
    Married
    THE REAL FINAL POST! 1 of more than 1.

    "As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice."---Adolf Hitler.

    Please keep that quote in mind, dear reader, I'll mention it later. Firstly, I'd like to thank you for reading this far...especially after Dave's last post. It got pretty ugly pretty fast didn't it?? "Gay Bowel Syndrome"? Is that a medical term Dave? Seriously, I'd like to apologize for that dear reader...I feel partly responsible. Remember when I said that Dave would be trapped in this debate and unable to avoid the truth? Well, that's what it looks like sometimes. Like a dying animal in a trap, Dave began flailing around, spewing all the hatred and ugliness that he could, hoping that some of it would stick. A clear act of desperation.

    I'll admit, I had expected something different. I thought Dave would try to raise some new points to validate his premise, but he hasn't. He rewrote a couple of his arguments, but since his arguments don't hold up to scrutiny, he's decided to attack atheism, materialism, and moral relativism in the hopes that you, dear reader, won't notice he's failed to prove his point. It's not my job here to defend any of those things...to win this debate I just have to show you how Dave is wrong. Since that won't take long, and I have to make something of this post, here's what I'll do.

    I'll recap Dave's position and include his premises. I'll explain why the arguments he chose to validate his premises are entirely wrong and leave his premises unfounded. Then, as a special treat just for you dear reader...I'll explain what morality isn't...and finish with what it is. I'll even try to end it all on a positive note to counter all that negativity coming from Dave and his views. Let's begin, shall we?

    Dave's premises are quite simple...as they should be. After all, it's based on a view of morality that is childlike, a view of morality that most of us once held. Our brains look for patterns, they try to make sense of random and complex things. Morality isn't quite so simple though, and this view is incorrect. His premises are....
    1. Morality comes from god.
    2. God inscribed this morality on each and every person.
    3. Dave knows this because he knows your thoughts and feelings (and everyone else's too).

    Number one is fairly simple, but Dave hasn't provided any evidence for it. He has suggested that it's the only reasonable possibility. I say that Dave lacks imagination. I can imagine hundreds of ways that morality came about...as long as I don't have to provide any evidence for them. Since Dave didn't provide any evidence for morality coming from god, anything I imagine would logically be just as possible. That's not a strong premise...in fact, without evidence it's entirely worthless.

    Premise number 2 is a bit tricky. Saying that god inscribed the same sense of morals on each and every person is easy...proving it is impossible. The only way Dave can prove it is with premise number 3. Dave needs magical mind-reading powers to prove his view of morality true. Why? Because if god gave us all his sense of morality...the same sense of morality...then we would all have to feel the same about every moral situation. This is obviously not the situation. People disagree on what is morally good and bad all the time, in fact, I sincerely doubt that any two people agree entirely on every moral situation...let alone everyone in the world throughout all time agreeing. The only way Dave can get around this fact is whenever someone claims to feel differently than Dave on what is morally good or bad is for him to say, "Well that person is just denying/suppressing/lying about what they know is true". Clearly, dear reader, I don't have to explain to you why this isn't true. It would be an insult to your intelligence to explain to you why Dave can't read minds. As you can see I wasn't exaggerating earlier when I said Dave was trapped. He's trapped inside a bad argument, a false premise, an untrue belief. Hey, since I said this would happen to him in the first post...maybe I have magical mind-reading powers! Spooky! Anyways, since Dave tried to make arguments to validate his second premise...I'll go ahead and explain why they fail...even though at this point I really don't need to.

    Dave started out with a bad example about how you feel about Nazis, dear reader. I showed that not everyone feels the same about Nazis. He then tried to confuse you, reader, by claiming that I was talking about what "IS" in other words...I was talking about what people do feel. He then claimed the discussion was about what people "OUGHT" to feel. This is just a cheap tactic to try and confuse you, dear reader, and win some points for his argument. Make no mistake, we are talking about what morality IS not what it OUGHT to be. This whole debate is about what morality is...not what it ought to be. IS morality based upon a set of laws inscribed in the heart of every man? Or IS it not? What morality OUGHT to be is an entirely different discussion...one I might even take a different position on. I don't know, I've never really considered it. The point is that everyone does not feel the same about what is morally good or bad...this is clear to anyone who has had a discussion on what is good or bad in a given situation. That leaves this attempt by Dave to validate premise number 2 a failure...unless, of course, you believe Dave can read minds

    Dave's second argument was that we all feel the same whenever we someone does something immoral to us...every time, in every situation. This was demonstrated false when I showed that there are things of such little value to us that we simply don't feel any moral outrage when they are stolen from us. If Dave's argument were true, we would. I don't feel any moral outrage when a French fry is stolen from me...I'm willing to bet that many of you, dear readers, don't either. That means that often times, the outrage we feel is from the loss of something of value to us. Sometimes we may also feel outrage at being stolen from...but not every time, not in every situation. Again, it's pretty obvious that this attempt by Dave to validate his second premise is also a failure...unless of course, you believe Dave can read your mind.

    Dave's third argument was changed a little this time around. He originally claimed that we all feel the same whenever we break one of the moral laws god inscribed on our hearts. His example was that a person facing trial for a crime tries to argue for his defense. I explained that trying to avoid going to jail or being executed is simply in our best interests. Dave must've realized this was a poor argument on his behalf...so he tried to alter it in his last post here. Now he's claiming that every culture, every race, every society always includes the same basic laws based upon this sense of morality handed to us by god. This is also demonstrably false...and anyone with even a minor interest in history knows this isn't true. The Aztecs were big fans of murdering innocents, the emperor's catamites in ancient Rome were a stellar example of institutional child rape, the infamous Spanish inquisition was a study in institutional torture, and my favorite example...slavery...has fallen in and out of popularity through most cultures and societies throughout time. If Dave's argument were true...I wouldn't even have these examples to give you dear reader. So you see...this argument too, fails to support his second premise in any way. Unless, you know, you believe Dave can read minds (and in this case, time-travel!).

    So, to summarize, Dave never provided any evidence that his god created morality. Maybe that was his strategy, since without evidence I've got nothing to disprove. However, this premise is literally no better than any other bare assertion. I can claim that morality came from magical inter-dimensional unicorns...what would you say to that dear reader? Hopefully, you'd say, "Prove it...show me the evidence."...and you would be right to do so. I asked Dave for evidence of this premise more than once...he never provided any. Instead, Dave tried to smear atheism, materialism, and relativism...which even if they were wrong, would not prove that morality comes from god. Premise 1 is busted.

    Dave's second premise is that god inscribed the same unchanging morals on everyone's heart. The trotted out a few meager arguments in support of this. I just explained to you, dear reader, why each of these is wrong. Premise number 2 is busted.

    Dave's third premise is so silly it doesn't need me to address it at all except to say this....Dave can't read your mind. Premise 3 is busted.

    Now I know you're probably wondering when I'm going to address all that stuff...that horrible horrible stuff...that Dave said about atheism, materialism, and relativism. Why should I? Even if he were right about all of that, and he isn't, but even if he were....it wouldn't support his view of morality. We are talking about what morality is. If Dave's view of morality was correct...he should've been able to provide sound, reasonable arguments that support his view. He couldn't...so he railed against everything he disagrees with. Well, he isn't right about atheism...that's nothing more than disbelief in god. He isn't right about moral relativism, as I'll show you in the second part of this post. I also strongly doubt he's correct about materialism, even though I don't know much about it. I mean, what are the chances? He's wrong about atheism, he's wrong about relativism, he's even wrong about his own views of absolute morality...what are the chances he's right about materialism? What's more is that for all the evil and corruption and degradation he claims is inherent in my beliefs about morality...look at what his views have wrought. He's a man who believes he's surrounded by evil, he sees society in decline, he judges and hates and judges some more. I'll expand on that in my next and final post...and I promise to end it on a positive note...stay with me just a little longer, dear reader, and be unafraid!
     
  13. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

    +6,241
    United States
    Atheist
    Married
    THE FINAL POST! PART 2 OF MORE THAN 1...THE QUICKENING

    When we talk about what morality is, we're talking about how it applies to everyone. You get to choose what kind of moral theory you believe in...but if you need a new model of morality to describe some people, and an old model of morality to describe others...neither of those models is completely correct is it? The model of morality I believe in is known as relativism...the specifics of that word don't matter. I'll describe it to you, and you'll either believe it or not...hopefully based upon the logic and reason I use to describe it and not whether it appeals to you emotionally. First...lets look at Dave's model of absolute moral laws and why he believes what he does.

    It's a simple model...a simple model that tries to describe a complex world. It's the way a parent would try to explain right and wrong to a child. When we're children, we believe it...and many of us never progress from that model. There's right and wrong, we try to do right...we try to avoid wrong. We see people who do what we find wrong...and they appear to think what they do is right. Remember that quote from Hitler? Whether or not you believe he was christian isn't important...he believes it. He believed he's doing right. What does this simple, childlike model say about people like Hitler? Easy question....right? We've all heard it....he's evil. His views of right and wrong....are wrong. What about others like him? What about those Aztecs? Well...it's the same answer for this model...they're evil too.

    But ask yourself this....are they really? They have lives...they do things other than the evil you remember them for. They have families they love, they have children they love, they have things they learn and teach, they have acts of kindness they show each other. They live, they sing, they dance, they celebrate their traditions...they mourn their dead...they miss their dog when it wanders off. If we look at them apart from this one act, the act of mass sacrifice of innocent people...an act they did out of belief in their gods...an act they did because they thought it was right...when we look at them apart from this one act, they look much like us. They stop looking evil to us altogether. What about ourselves? Is there nothing about the way we live as a society that other societies might view as evil? There are people, in other parts of the world, in other cultures and societies, who look at all our wealth...and wonder why we let tens of thousands of our own people die every year for lack of medical care. It's not as if we couldn't stop it from happening...we.have more than enough resources to make sure everyone gets some basic care...but we don't. We don't see it as evil either. This basic, childish model begins to break down...it doesn't apply to everyone everywhere at all times. What makes them right and you wrong? What makes you right and them wrong?

    Here's the answer...and while it may not appeal to you emotionally, it's the truth. When it comes to morality, there is no "right" or "wrong" in any technical or absolute sense of the words. To use an analogy that I find useful for this explanation...it's like the words "beautiful" and "ugly". If I look at a painting and I find it beautiful...I have reasons for thinking that. These reasons...or values...that I find in the painting are exactly why I find it beautiful or ugly. Perhaps I like the symmetry of the painting, the contrast of it's colors, the complexity of it's composition. There are different reasons why I enjoy each of those values and find the painting beautiful. Likewise....you may look at it and find it beautiful as well. You may share some of the same values and appreciate them in much the same way I do. We would then agree that the painting is beautiful. However, you may have different values than me. You may like aasymmetry, little contrast, and simplicity in a painting. You may look at the same painting that I find beautiful and declare it ugly. Are you wrong? No...to you it is ugly. Am I wrong? No...to me it is indeed beautiful. You see...much like beauty, moral right and wrong, good and bad, are abstract concepts. The things that I think are right are right because of the values I hold. Values that I've gained from experience, that were taught to me, that my parents instilled in me, that society pressures upon me....all these things and more. There are even values that are external that I just don't have any control over. Values like proximity, immediacy, and time. Sometimes...the values that you hold that determine what's good and right for you will intersect with the values that I hold which determine what's good and right for me. At such intersections...you and I will agree on what is good. Sometimes though...these values that you and I hold do not intersect at all...sometimes they will conflict with each other or simply be too far apart. That those times, in those circumstances, we will disagree on what is right and good, wrong and bad.

    None of us will ever be absolutely right on any moral behavior...but at the same time, none of us will ever be absolutely wrong on any moral behavior. It sounds very chaotic....very complex and maybe even difficult, yet it isn't. We aren't at each other's throats all the time...we aren't wallowing in sin...that's because we probably share more values in common than we don't. We are able to get along in society because of that. This is the truth. It may not be as simple as having some god figure tell us what we should be doing all the time...it may require more personal responsibility for one's actions...but it's the only model of morality that works. It works in every situation, every circumstance, every culture, every individual, across all of human history. It's the only one that describes morality in all these ways and never fails.

    Now, dear reader, perhaps you're thinking that you simply can't believe this because...this being a christian forum...and you being a christian...it doesn't match up the the scriptures you believe in. It doesn't match up with how you feel god communicates with man. I get that. I'm just a humble atheist...I don't have all the answers...but would it really be so hard for you to believe this model of morality could work with your scriptures? Take another look at Dave's last post...look at how it's filled with hatred, judgement, contempt for those around him he sees as evil. That's a view bourne of his view of morality. Is that what your god wants for you? Are you not supposed to love you enemy? To me...that's a very hard thing for some christians to do. How can you love a nazi? How can you love a murderer? Well, dear reader...when you're judging them, when you're seething with contempt for them, when you're disgusted with them....when not label them evil in your eyes, you can't. There's simply no room for love then.

    However, when you try to understand them, when you examine their values and how they arrived at them, when you realize that with those same values....you would be just like them...you can love them. You can love them as people, beautiful and ugly, great and flawed. You can love them as people, who are every bit as capable of good and evil as you are. You can love them as equals.

    Maybe you think you already do that....maybe you think you love the sinner but not the sin. Ask yourself, and be true, do you really? Do you love the homosexual as a person....every bit as deserving of love and compassion as you are? Or like David, do you see them as a filthy sinner...wallowing in his sin and disease and worthy of god's wrath? If you accept this truth I've given you, you must give up a lot. You must give up the self-righteous pride that Dave shows. You won't be able to hurl judgements at everyone and proclaim that you and you alone know and do god's will. You will gain though...you gain understanding, and through it love and acceptance. You gain the ability to shrug off the judgements hurled at you by people like Dave...as if your god gave you armor...because you will know the truth. You'll know even Dave and those like him are only good and bad by their own values...like everyone else...in spite of what they believe.

    If you must believe god wrote his will upon your heart concerning good and bad, right and wrong....then believe he wrote this. You must choose for yourself. God wants you to learn, decide, and take responsibility for yourself. He doesn't want to have to tell you...he thinks you capable of it on your own. That is a lot to ask me you....but isn't that what love is after all?

    Thanks for reading my debate. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing it.
     
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