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Morality is objective, except when it isn't

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

  1. Eight Foot Manchild

    Eight Foot Manchild His Supreme Holy Correctfulness

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    You've had an abysmal showing in this thread. You better hope there are no doubting Christians reading along.
     
  2. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Triangulating THE WAY out of the void! Supporter

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    I'm glad you think so.
     
  3. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    And when God killed David's infant son, it was unlawful. "The father shall not be put to death for the sins of the son, nor vice versa."
     
  4. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    Why?
     
  5. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    The death of David’s son would not be immoral at all if he was accepted into heaven, on the contrary it would’ve been a huge blessing.
     
  6. Nihilist Virus

    Nihilist Virus Infectious idea

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    So now you think the consequences of an action determine whether or not it is moral, even though just a second ago you were talking about commandments. Are you taking this conversation seriously? I'm ready to eject from this dialogue at the instant I determine you're a troll.

    With regards to David's son apparently being sent to heaven, you didn't say that he was sent to heaven because he was struck dead by God. I infer - and do tell me if I'm making an inappropriate inference - that you believe that children who do not yet become aware of their sins, or reach the "age of accountability", are automatically sent to heaven upon death. Is this your belief? If so, are aborted babies sent to heaven or do they not have souls?
     
  7. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I honestly can't see any evidence of that. Perhaps you can spell it out?
    I'm afraid you're going to have to prove that. On a debating forum, you're quite welcome to ignore whatever you like, of course. But if you are presented with a challenge, you must either defeat it, or else admit that you have been defeated by it. That's how debating works.
    I'm not sure what this means.
    You can't give me something I already have.
     
  8. Reasonable Christian

    Reasonable Christian Member

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    Isn't that exactly what you did earlier in this thread by declaring that naturalism "just is" a proper foundation for morality? That is even less satisfying. By saying that naturalism is the foundation for morality, you're basically grounding morality in human evolution. What if we (two humans) disagree on a particular moral issue? Does your evolution-based idea of morality trump mine, or vice versa? And what if you visited another planet where the aliens had evolved to believe that, say, rape was morally acceptable. Would you think that was okay for them because that is what their evolution dictated? I sincerely doubt it.

    Everyone grounds morality in something. Christians ground it in God's character. Atheists/materialists tend to ground it in evolution or culture or "human flourishing" or something else that depends on human opinion. On the materialist view, there is nothing that is absolutely immoral for humans to do. If we had evolved differently (a role of the dice on naturalism), our morality would be different. However, I think we can both agree that the Holocaust was absolutely immoral despite the majority opinion in Germany at the time, and it would have been absolutely immoral even if everyone on earth had evolved to think it was right. On a naturalistic view of morality, why is that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  9. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    I dont think its proper or improper. It doesnt depend on my approval. I simply think that the experience of human life on earth provides us with the correct explanation for the evolution of morality. Its got nothing to do with me thinking it should be that way.


    The only trump card is held by the majority in society. None of us individually can enforce our own idiosyncratic morality on another except by standing apart from the law, which puts us in jeopardy. Sometimes thats the right thing to do, as in the struggle for civil equality in the USA.

    What made that "right", you ask? Well, the wise among us could see that our apartheid system of human classification was the source of immense suffering and contention among the people. Thats no way to live. I believe that the wise of ancient Israel were beginning to see this too, and we can see the principle prefigured in the Bible (even as it sanctioned the ownership of other human beings. But that was earlier on in our moral evolution).

    I dont think human flourishing is as mysterious and slippery as you think it is. There's a number of core aspects of human well being that the wise identified pretty early on, and they seem pretty stable. At the periphery things do change, and we need to recognize that as well. Thats where a lot of our moral contention happens. For example: the proper role of women in society. Even just among Christians who claim an absolute source of morality, the moral evolution around this issue would be contentious. Many Christians of an earlier era would be appalled at womens roles and activities that many other Christians completely approve of today.
     
  10. TLK Valentine

    TLK Valentine You will be who you will be. We are our choices.

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    For that matter, neither would the death of the unborn... they'd be accepted straight into heaven without having to bother with this sinful world in the first place.

    Which would logically mean, in the United States in the year 2018 alone, abortion clinics sent an estimated 620,000 souls straight to heaven... how's that for a huge blessing?

    The least you could do is send Planned Parenthood a "thank you" card...
     
  11. Reasonable Christian

    Reasonable Christian Member

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    You didn't address my objection, and you also contradicted yourself. First, you said that the morality evolution has produced isn't "proper or improper," but rather that evolution merely explains how morality developed. This would at least be a coherent position, except you then made several moral judgments (human flourishing is "right," the struggle for equality is "right," apartheid is "no way to live," suffering and contention are to be avoided, etc.). In what do you ground these moral judgments other than your personal opinion? Note that I'm not disagreeing with your judgments; I'm merely questioning how you can ground them in a materialistic worldview that says that the entire universe and everything in it is a cosmic accident, and everyone thinks and acts according to their chemical/biological programming. The only grounding I can detect in your post is "majority rules." So I'll ask the same basic question I did before in a slightly different way: Just for sake of argument, what if every human being on earth except for you thought rape was just fine? Would you change your opinion on rape because the majority of people believed it – that is, because evolution apparently dictated it for the majority? Or would you still believe, in your heart of hearts, that rape is wrong? I'm going to assume it's the latter. The question is how you would justify that belief.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  12. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    The world you describe, where casually inflicting massive suffering on other people is normal and accepted, is simply unrealistic. Its not tenable. If I was fully embedded in that world, I would probably be in the majority just as a matter of odds. But I dont find it a realistic thought experiment.

    Sometimes societies do go down the road of some huge moral experiment. If that experiment turns out to violate our natural inclination to enduring satisfaction, it usually crashes and burns. State communism is a good example. Or Nazi fascism.

    "Right" is just the flavor that society labels the rules for decent living that the wise have discovered. Even though the derivation of whats "right" comes from the natural conditions of human living, I do think its been essential to imbue it with some kind of supernatural authority. How many among us are truly wise? I think we need the cosmic story of moral derivation, even if its not real, just to keep us in line.
     
  13. Reasonable Christian

    Reasonable Christian Member

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    Do I understand correctly that on your view, right and wrong are just a matter of what promotes societal longevity?
     
  14. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    I think right and wrong are what promotes or diminishes enduring human satisfaction. Sometimes thats not so clear, and wisdom is required. I think thats why we call the worlds great religions "wisdom traditions". Grasping right & wrong in this view is a multigenerational undertaking, as cause/effect relationships between behavior and outcome are often not immediate.
     
  15. Reasonable Christian

    Reasonable Christian Member

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    So is "promoting or diminishing enduring human satisfaction" something we all should strive for, or is that just a standard you apply to yourself?
     
  16. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    There's no "should" about it. Its just what people naturally want. People prefer to not suffer.

    (I think this is true whether human origins are entirely naturalistic, or if God made us.)
     
  17. Reasonable Christian

    Reasonable Christian Member

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    Ok, I'll ask this another way: Is torturing babies morally wrong, or is it just something that most people naturally don't want to do?
     
  18. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Yes its morally wrong. But keep in mind what I understand "morally wrong" means.

    I would turn the question back on you, and lets stipulate you'll agree its morally wrong. So let me ask you, why is it morally wrong?
     
  19. Reasonable Christian

    Reasonable Christian Member

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    I'm not sure I do understand (a) why you think it's morally wrong, and (b) if whatever standard you use to make that judgment applies universally or just to you.
     
  20. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    a. sort of has 2 answers
    1. the reason why we, including me, call it "wrong" is because a world where its ok would be miserable.
    2. I also have feelings on the matter. I think those also have naturalistic origins based in the biological facts of us as a social species.

    b. absolutely this applies to others, not because someone "says so", but because we're all human with the same biological and similar social ancestry. (Cant speak about hypothetical alien species. I wouldnt know how.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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