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Morality is objective, except when it isn't

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by Nihilist Virus, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    "It is objectively wrong for X to kill a child."

    Christians would normally agree until you point out that God killed hundreds of children in the Old Testament.

    "But God knew they would grow up evil" or "But God knew they'd go straight to heaven" or "But God has a divine plan."

    There are no "buts" when it comes to objective morality.

    "It is objectively wrong for X to kill a child, unless X=God" is subjective morality because the morality of the statement is subject to what X is.

    Christians understand that morality must be objective in their worldview because Jesus had to die. It was absolutely required with no exceptions. There was no other way for souls to be saved. This means that Jesus/God is/are subject to morality. But then that means that God committed evil acts by killing children.

    The alternative is that morality is subject to God. God can do whatever he wants. That "solves" the child-killing problem, but raises a new problem. If God can do whatever he wants, then why did Jesus die on the cross? He could've just saved us all as an act of will.

    Skipping to the end, there's no answer to this issue except to claim that I've presented a false dichotomy. These responses will be automatically ignored unless the third possibility is clearly and thoroughly defined and explained.
     
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  2. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    It sounds like you're trying to present the Euthyphro Dilemma which is, indeed, a false dilemma. Moral reality is rooted in the character of God. God is not subject to a moral norm that is outside of himself because God is himself the moral norm. But God is also not arbitrary or whimsical in his commands because his commands are rooted in the reality of his eternal and unchanging character.
     
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  3. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    Can you define "moral norm" for me, please?
     
  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Moral standard of judgment.
     
  5. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    Ick... Really? So because god has complete authority, he can do what he likes.

    Not a fan of that explanation. o_O
     
  6. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God is not constrained by anything outside of himself and always does what is pleasing to him. Thankfully, what is pleasing to God and what is best for his creation perfectly coincide.
     
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  7. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    Unless you're the Medianites I guess...

    I feel that the explanation that "it's ok for god to do whatever he wants because he has complete authority" passes the buck of responsibility.

    With even more responsibility comes an even higher standard, imo. Maybe I'm missing something...
     
  8. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God takes full responsibility for all his actions. To whom would he be passing the buck?

    If there is a higher standard than God, then God would not be God. The higher standard would be God.
     
  9. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    I think you mean that God's actions and/or intentions are the moral norm (which would be bad, since he kills children). If I believe a law, or if I create a law for the whole world to follow, I am not that law. If I have 8 cats, I am not the number 8. If I am not my actions; I do my actions. I am not my properties; my properties are descriptive of me.
     
  10. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    Except for the vast majority of conscious souls going to hell forever?
     
  11. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God's character and God's will are the foundation of all legitimate moral norms.
     
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  12. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    How do we know that the character of God is good?

    What if its just "ok"... or even "bad"? Then we'd be stuck with believers trying to be Ok or bad.
     
  13. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    If you go to hell, you do so willingly. You don't have to.
     
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  14. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Similar to GE Moore's naturalistic fallacy, it actually makes no sense to ask whether or not God's will is good. It's like asking if "good" is good.
     
  15. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    To shirk his responsibility because of his status as supreme being would be to shrug off all responsibility. He'd be passing the buck to whatever unlucky sap has to pick up the pieces. Namely; us.

    The only standard we have to go on is the standard he gave us, and the standard he wrote onto our hearts, right?

    I can't help but think that if he did something that I feel would repulse to think about doing myself, I have every right to feel repulsed at the thought of him doing that thing...

    I'm not impressed.
     
  16. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    How is it that God shirks responsibility?

    It would not be strange if you find God's commands or actions personally offensive. Just because God offends us does not mean that God is wrong. Perhaps we are wrong. It would be strange if God appeared to violate his own commands. Is there such an instance of this?
     
  17. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    No need to blow up the word "good" here.

    One can make a pretty solid naturalistic argument for "good" in terms of that which enables enduring human satisfaction.
     
  18. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    This would be a different question. You may be asking "does God's will enable enduring human satisfaction?"

    But we could also ask "is enabling enduring human satisfaction good?" Hence the naturalistic fallacy.
     
  19. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    I think thats what good is, at least partly. I mean, what else would it be? Certainly not some arbitrary who knows what.
     
  20. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    So if that's what you think that good is, then you understand that it makes no sense to ask whether or not human satisfaction is good. Because, for you, these things are identical.

    This is where I'm coming from with God's will. I do think it makes sense to ask whether human satisfaction is good. But I don't think that it makes sense to ask whether God's will is good. Because these things are identical.
     
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