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Morals and God

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by VeraciousMaven, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    753
    +2
    I said this in a different thread and I realized that it could probably be an entire thread on its own. So here goes.

    1. Objective morals cannot exist unless God exists.
    2. Objective morals do exist.

    Conclusion: God exists.

    All you need to do is disprove one to the two to debunk the conclusion. But I say neither one can be disproved.

    [edit: I obviously did not 'invent' this argument. I borrowed it from people who are much smarter than I. In this case, Ravi Zacharias]
     
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  2. Starscream

    Starscream Well-Known Member

    +43
    Actually, because you are the one to make the claim, it is your responsiblity to prove that both premises are true.
     
  3. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    753
    +2
    Objective morals cannot exist unless God exists:

    Through purley evolution and sociological means of creation morality is completely subjective and created by the culture. There is no reason for people to have any solid morals. People have morals because of cultural norms and things that benefited the populace over the evolution of human society.

    Objective Morals do exist:

    There are certian things that are evil regardless of if anyone believes them or not. Even if Germany crushed the entire world, and killed off everyone that disagreed with them, what they did would still be wrong. If I were to rape and slowly torture a 6 year old girl, what I would be doing would be wrong. If you arrived at your morals by a purley evolutionary and sociological manner, you cannot say that this is ultimately wrong. You can say that you don't like it. That you dont agree with it. But you cannot say that it is wrong for anyone, anywhere, to have ever done it.



    Refute away.
     
  4. Jesterhole

    Jesterhole Member

    325
    +0
    <<<2. Objective morals do exist. >>>

    Really? True putting 10 five year olds on an island all by themselves, and then leave them alone for saaaay, 15 years. Then go back to the island and tell me how moral they are. (Yes, I stole this from Lord of the Flies)

    YOU have morals because they were taught to you. I think you have wrongly assumed you've always had them.

    -Drew
     
  5. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

    767
    +0
    Couldn't there be some inherent biological survival skill to doing what is best for the species, even at cost to one's self?

    I mean if a guy saved a child from a buring building, becomes a hero, marries the woman with the best genome in town, his altruism, if genetic, gets passed along.

    Now why the hot babe falls for the guy stupid enough to risk his own life running into a buring building isn't clear to my thinking, but I don't see how God comes into play here.
     
  6. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    753
    +2
    Who says that everyone is moral? Who says I thought I always had my morals? But can you say that killing and raping 6 year old girls is ultimately wrong? Even if everyone around you, everyone in the world is perfectly fine with this evil act, is it wrong?

    [edit: Also, just wait until those 5 year olds grow a little older and find out exactly what it is they are doing. See if their ideas don't change.]

    I don't see how ... maybe if the kid was the mans child. But beyone that, I don't see any reason, from a strictly evolutionary stance, that the guy would go in after the child.
     
  7. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

    767
    +0
    But you have to admit, heroes usually don't have too much problem spreading their genetic material.

    Historically, mankind has lived in small tribes where most people weren't too distant cousins. So mutual altruism, even on that scale, would be beneficial to the genome as a whole.
     
  8. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    753
    +2
    Dave,

    Basically you are granting the first point. But if you do so, you must disprove the second. Saying that morals evolved and are subjective only moves you to the other point, and that is that you have to prove that morals are indeed subjective.

    But to quickly answer your question, I don't really see how any of this is historically backed by examples. It's all mere speculation.
     
  9. Starscream

    Starscream Well-Known Member

    +43
    Lets take a look at two separate species:

    Species 'A' is a social species with a built-in morality system based on empathy and understanding. Members of this species generally strive to protect and help each other.

    Speices 'B' is a violent species. They have no problem causing harm to their own kind. Members of these species only care about themselves.

    Now, which of the species decribed above do you think has the greater chance of surviving and passing on it's genes to it's offspring? Which species has the evolutionary advantage here?
     
  10. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

    767
    +0
    I don't think so. Starscream's got my back.

    Bu then so is your initial argument. Your view that in a world without God, souless creatures driven entirely by chemical programming could not evolve to be moral, hence there must be a God, right? I'm suggesting you are making a false assumption to begin with.
     
  11. Neill

    Neill New Member

    25
    +0
    Hey there... New to this forum so I thought I'd add my two cents worth ;)

    Hmmmmm...... where did they get this built in morality in the first place??... Could it be from God who modelled it to us in the first place

    To add some more thoughts on this whole morals idea..... Think about when people have quarrels with others .... You would usually hear things like "How'd you like it if they did the same thing to you".... or "That's my seat, I was here first" or "Why are you shoving in?"
    The intersting thing is that the person who is saying these things is not just saying that the other persons behaviour doesn't please them. They are appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which they expect the other person to know as well. The other person rarely says "To hell with your standard." Nearly always they try to make out that what they have been doing doesn't really go against the standard, or that if it does that there is some special excuse, like something has turned up that lets them off keeping their promise. Both people have a kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behaviour or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. If they didn't then they might fight like animals, but they could not quarrel in the human sense of the word. Quarrelling means to show that the other person is wrong, and there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you or they had some sort of agreement about what Right and Wrong are... Just like there would be no sense in saying a footballer had committed a penalty unless there was some agreement about the rules of football

    I think that this is the sort of thing that is meant by an objective morality.

    The thing is... as soon as you find someone who says that there is no Right and Wrong, the same person will go back on this a moment later..... They may break a promise to you but as soon as someone does it to them they will complain that it "isn't fair" as fast as they can........

    any thoughts on this then??

    cheers

    Neill
     
  12. nexus

    nexus New Member

    5
    +0
    Also new here, could be Altruism explains this tendency to form Moral Codes. Other species have altruistic traits which appear to help stop unacceptable violent or disfunctional beahviour in highly complex species.
     
  13. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    753
    +2
    I'm arguing that moral objectivity exists. And because it cannot exist unless God exists ... then God does in fact exist. You are using evolution as a argument of how morals developed, but all that really does is grant the first point. Now my question to you is this, how can evolved morals be objective instead of subjective?

    And let me explain moral objectivity. Neill you pretty much had it, moral objectivity means that there are absolute morals that apply to all of humanity no matter when or where in time. It means that even if the whole world thought killing babies was great, then it would still be wrong.

    Subjective morals are morals that are developed by a specific culture or society to fit their own needs. There are no universal morals. If everyone in the world thought that killing babies was great, then killing babies is great. And I would argue that subjective morality is completely unlivable, and thus, does no even exist.

    Also, I don't think that comparing other animals with humans is a good example of morals. Considering animals react soley on instinct, and we do not. A lot of morals go completely against the instinct to survive.
     
  14. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    +3,588
    Atheist
    That is so easy to refute, it almost isn´t worth bothering.

    Does God define this "morals" or just discover and explain them?
    If the first, they are not objective (the are subjective - the subject is God).
    If the second, they would be around even without God.

    So objective morals don´t need God.
     
  15. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

    767
    +0
    OK. I agree that morals exist.

    And that is just an assumption. You have no evidence to suggest this must be the case.

    Certain needs in any biological system are universal. Killing another member of the species is always bad for the survival of that species, hence killing is always wrong (although perhaps not in self-defence). Intra-species killing might be done anyway, but it is a negative survival trait.

    But if some needs are universal to all stable cultures, then they essentially become objective. If a certain sub-group within the species believes killing their young is a good idea, eventually they won't exist anymore because of their population disadvantage.

    There are no universal morals. If everyone in the world thought that killing babies was great, then killing babies is great.

    Complex instinct is still instinct.

    I can't think of any.
     
  16. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    753
    +2
    Dave:
    OK. I agree that morals exist.


    Objective.

    Dave:
    And that is just an assumption. You have no evidence to suggest this must be the case.


    Nothing you have said has done anything but back my claim up.

    Dave:
    Certain needs in any biological system are universal. Killing another member of the species is always bad for the survival of that species, hence killing is always wrong (although perhaps not in self-defence). Intra-species killing might be done anyway, but it is a negative survival trait.


    I don't see how that is objective. The morals are still being definied for the set group that it works for. And if we all evoloved these morals to be inbred into our genetics as if it were instince, then why is there so much immorality?

    Dave:
    But if some needs are universal to all stable cultures, then they essentially become objective. If a certain sub-group within the species believes killing their young is a good idea, eventually they won't exist anymore because of their population disadvantage.


    Rape is an advantage to population.

    Dave:
    There are no universal morals. If everyone in the world thought that killing babies was great, then killing babies is great. And I would argue that subjective morality is completely unlivable, and thus, does no even exist.


    You just contradicted yourself. You say that there are no universal morals, thus morals are subjective ... but then with your next breath you say that subjective morals are unlivable and do not exist. I'm confused.

    Dave:
    Complext instinct is still instinct.


    I don't see how complex instinct or instinct is going to work for your argument. If it's in our instinct at all, then people would be very hesitant indeed to lie or steal ... but this isn't the case at all.

    Dave:
    I can't think of any.


    Marriage.

    Also seeing someone else in trouble, and helping them despite the fact that you may die as well.

    Freodin:
    Does God define this "morals" or just discover and explain them?


    Your whole argument needs to be stoped here. I didn't say "morals." I said OBJECTIVE morals as opposed to subjective morals.




    Another point. If man made all moral laws, then why are moral laws impossible to follow?
     
  17. Jesterhole

    Jesterhole Member

    325
    +0
    From VM:

    <<<Nothing you have said has done anything but back my claim up. >>>>

    You are supposed to be backing up your own claim. Can you do that? Will you?

    From Dave:

    <<<Certain needs in any biological system are universal. Killing another member of the species is always bad for the survival of that species, hence killing is always wrong (although perhaps not in self-defence). Intra-species killing might be done anyway, but it is a negative survival trait. >>>>

    I must disagree Dave. I would turn your statement around and say cooperating with another member of the species is always good for their survival, hence cooperating is always right.

    Killing a lame member of your troop who are dependent on following herds of animals is beneficial to your group survival (if cruel by modern standards.)

    Of course, this is dangerous territory, as it can lead to the stronger always killing off the weak for the "good" of the group (see Nazism).

    From VM:

    <<<And if we all evoloved these morals to be inbred into our genetics as if it were instince, then why is there so much immorality? >>>

    Man has the intelligence to overcome his base instincts. Which is why there is a lot less rape and murder than there would be if we didn't. (note: not trying to make light of rape or murder, just pointing out that man can control his urges.)

    From VM:

    <<<Rape is an advantage to population. >>>

    But a disadvantage to society.

    -Drew
     
  18. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    +3,588
    Atheist
    VeraciousMaven : Ok, so YOUR whole argument stops here, because, as I have shown, objective morals can quite well exist without God.

    OBJECTIVE morals do by definition not need a sucject to evaluate them to exist.

    You might say that God is the only one who is able to evaluate these objective morals, but they would still EXIST without him.
     
  19. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

    767
    +0
    How so?

    Perhaps we are still evolving. Antelopes evolved to escape lions, right? But some antelopes are still sometimes caught by lions. The complexity of the world also may confuse man's inate instincts.

    No it isn't, at least not in our species. Go read the book "Sperm Wars" and get back to me when you've learned about the birds and the bees.

    Oops! That was a typo -- I left something you wrote in the post I should have deleted. I corrected my post now.

    I think you'll find that very few people lie or steal unless they percieve this is necessary for their survival. I don't know about your Church, but mine teaches that there is nothing wrong with stealing food or clothing or shelter when it is needed and ones lacks legitimate means to obtain them. People are basically good, it's mostly an issue of their perceptions being clouded about what is right and what is wrong and what they must do to survive which causes them to sin. The imbalance in their perceptions is brought about by elements of civilization which their instincts have difficulty dealing with because civilization is such a new thing. Money for example, causes all sorts of confusion.

    Marriage goes against the instinct to survive? I don't see how.

    As I already explained, it is always better for the species that its member help eachother. So that works in favor of the genome, not against it.

    Moral laws aren't impossible to follow. As I said, people's instincts are just confused so it is difficult for them to figure out right from wrong in the current situation. That's where, I concede, God's help comes in handy, like in Jesus explaining what is right and what is wrong, etc. Btu that is a different argument.
     
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