A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
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12-05-2014, 04:50 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 04:22 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(12-05-2014 03:48 PM)Azaraith Wrote:  Premise 1 is false - there are other potential explanations for objective morals, such as other gods than your Yahweh, or non-theistic religions (Buddhism), or even a scientific basis for objective morality (which has been proposed, but I don't buy it).

Premise 2 is also false - the existence of objective morals has never been proven. Some morals are integral to functional society, so all functional societies have them, but they are not objective in the sense that they are set in stone by a source outside of humanity.

Beside the facts that your premises are false, your supposedly "good" deity is guilty of violating any and all morals you claim as objective. He committed genocide several times (see: worldwide flood), he commanded genocide (of the Amalekites, among others), he condones rape, and has even committed rape (if you believe that God caused Mary to become impregnated). All according to *your* holy book.

If these morals are objective as you say, your god is also guilty of violating them. If he is not, the morals are indeed not objective even in your views (should they be consistent), as they are viewed subjectively. Objective moral crimes do not become right if committed by certain actors, that makes them subjective.

I see you are eager to prove me wrong and in turn, strengthen your faith in your own beliefs.

So what have you written?

You said there are other potential ontological explanations for moral values and duties and that therefore this renders premise one false. But does it? No.

Yes, it does. You stated, "If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist." You would have to prove that God is the only possible source of objective morals for that statement to be true. You have not done so.

He stated that there could be other sources. You have not refuted that.

Quote:Just because there are other potential explanations accounts for nothing. What you must do in order to deny premise one is to give an argument as to how one of these alternative ontologies actually can account for the existence of objective moral values and duties in a way that would prove it to be more plausibly true than premise one's grounds.

No, he does not. Your first premise is logically flawed.

Quote:If we were to take your reasoning and apply it to say....the question of how homo sapiens came to be what they are, we would have to say that the theory of evolution by natural selection is necessarily false because there are other potential explanations for how homo sapiens came to be what they are!!!!

We are not assuming evolution, we are concluding evolution is the explanation based on massive amounts of evidence. Could evolution be false? Since it is falsifiable, then it could conceivably be falsified, but it hasn't been though many have tried.

Quote:So clearly this line of reasoning is a non-sequitur.

I don't think you know what that phrase means. Consider

Quote:Moving on to two you state that it has not been proven that objective moral values and duties exist. To this I will simply allow some atheists to speak for me:

Louise Antony, herself a non-theist, in a debate with Dr. William Lane Craig at U Mass, Amherst stated:

"Any argument for moral scepticism will be based upon premisses which are less obvious than the existence of objective moral values themselves. That seems to me quite right. Therefore, moral scepticism is unjustifiable."

The humanist philosopher Peter Cave gives the following example:

"Whatever sceptical arguments may be brought against our belief that killing the innocent is morally wrong, we are more certain that the killing is morally wrong than that the argument is sound. . . . Torturing an innocent child for the sheer fun of it is morally wrong. Full stop." Peter Cave, Humanism (Oxford: OneWorld, 2009), p. 146

Harris inveighs against what he calls “the overeducated atheistic moral nihilist[s]” and relativists who refuse to condemn as objectively wrong terrible atrocities like the genital mutilation of little girls.

Citing Donald Symons, he rightly declares, “If only one person in the world held down a terrified, struggling, screaming little girl, cut off her genitals with a septic blade, and sewed her back up, … the only question would be how severely that person should be punished.”2 What is not in question is that such a person has done something horribly, objectively wrong. - Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (New York: Free Press, 2010), 198.

With regards to the last bit, all the argument concludes is that God exists i.e a transcendant Moral Law Giver.

Once one accepts the conclusion, then one is no longer an atheist. Other arguments then can be used in support of the claim that God has revealed Himself in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.

None of that establishes the existence of objective morality.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-05-2014, 04:50 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 04:39 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(12-05-2014 04:18 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  If a theistic way of interpretation cannot be observed, verified, or tested, then it cannot be in any way scientific, by definition.

Theists can interpret the findings of science regarding nature to be the effects of God and atheists can interpret the findings of science regarding nature to be the effects of natural forces acting on matter. Science does not demand that it be either. This is his point and something that people like Dawkins and djhall seem to want to reject for some reason... Facepalm

Right. The difference is, your interpretation is spurious bullshit apologetics that have nothing to do with science. You're doing nothing but digging a deeper hole, proving you have nothing valid to present to support your beliefs.

No one believes your presuppositional crap but you.

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12-05-2014, 04:53 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 04:00 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You have a typical atheistic mentality when giving your idea of what reality would be like if God existed. It is evidence by your repeated "so we can't question...."..

In your mind, if God existed, thinking goes out the window.

This is pitiful. It only belies your ignorance, willful it seems. I am sure you know that many intellectuals throughout history have been devout Christians. It seems you make the same patently absurd error that Dawkins has made when he equates believing in God with not thinking.

Well, for the god of Judaism / Christianity / Islam, that is the functional reality, though not the presentation. That god claims to be love, but the reality of what he offers is just worship slavery, which you are willing to overlook since you find the deal offered to his worshippers acceptable.

I'm sure the first slave that got off a boat from Africa and was presented the offer, "You can be obedient and respectful and work for us in exchange for free room and board, or not, your choice.... yeah, that guy I'm sure said no. After they honored his wishes by tying him to a pole and whipping him to death, I'm sure the next slave "voluntarily" accepted the offer.

Similarly, your god will accept my "voluntary" love and adoration and worship and obedience, or honor my decision not to with Hell. Which is actually worse than the deal offered slaves, since they could at least end it by dying, and god isn't even decent enough to give you that option..

Sure, if your god exists then we can think, but I can't really be free to use our thinking to make our own destiny, can we? We can use all that marvelous reasoning only for the purpose of slavishly feeding god adoration and worship. Which is worse than if we simply didn't have it at all.

Jesus is my Stalker: He has graced me with his unconditional love, but if I reject it and refuse to love him in return, he will make my life Hell.
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12-05-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 04:39 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(12-05-2014 04:18 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  If a theistic way of interpretation cannot be observed, verified, or tested, then it cannot be in any way scientific, by definition.

Theists can interpret the findings of science regarding nature to be the effects of God and atheists can interpret the findings of science regarding nature to be the effects of natural forces acting on matter. Science does not demand that it be either. This is his point and something that people like Dawkins and djhall seem to want to reject for some reason... Facepalm

I don't reject that. So long as you don't make any claims regarding the factual proof and correctness of your interpretation in a debate, or use those interpretations to influence other people's lives against their will by doing things like passing laws to block their contradictory behavior, I don't give a rats ass if you interpret it as the work of cosmic leprechauns. Go for it. As it affects no one but you, and you make no claims to others about it, why should anyone else care? But when you take your interpretations, and publicly call them proof, and start pushing those interpretations onto other peoples' lives, then yeah, that is a problem.

Jesus is my Stalker: He has graced me with his unconditional love, but if I reject it and refuse to love him in return, he will make my life Hell.
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12-05-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(09-05-2014 08:54 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  This one's addressed to JW since he's not going to stop pestering the rest of us until we stop rolling our eyes and trying to shoo him away, and instead offer up a response to this old rhetorical fraud.

Morality, at its most abstract, is a rule system for classification or interpretation of decisions, beliefs, status, or actions on a spectrum of contemptible versus laudable. For example, it might classify one decision as highly contemptible, mildly contemptible, neutral, somewhat laudable, et cetera, whereas another decision might be classified differently. (Alternatively, the word can be used as a person's tendency to conform to some such rule system.) We should be able to agree on this much, even if we will disagree on important details like the particular rules.

Does morality exist? Well, we have rules systems, as described, that seem to fit the bill. We have a great many of them, many of which will agree on a great many points but differ in small or major ways on some details. Nearly everyone employs such a system. JW seems to refer to these individually held rule systems as "subjective morality". I shall refer to them as a person's "moral framework".
I agree with JW, and you are using a euphemism.

(12-05-2014 01:41 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  The question in premise 1 of the Moral Argument asks, if any of these rules systems are CORRECT in some objective manner. This question must be thoroughly deconstructed before it can be answered. What would it even mean for such a system to be objectively correct?
Easy - everybody agrees that it will guide society towards the betterment of humanity. You mean to tell me that those college philosophy profs haven't figured that out yet?

(12-05-2014 01:41 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  In any event, the onus for clearly defining what would constitute objectivity in morality falls upon the person who wishes to employ the concept. If someone asks whether I believe that objective morals exist, I have every right to ask for clarification of the question before I answer, just as if someone had asked me if zarks exist.

What do think about how I define it - everybody agrees that it will guide society towards the betterment of humanity.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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12-05-2014, 05:13 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 04:41 PM)Azaraith Wrote:  That's fucking idiotic. The premise that objective moral values depend on God is far from proven or the most logical explanation, in fact it's got absolutely no proof in favor of it.

I have not really bothered to supply anything in the way of support for premise one here in these few posts of mine. Maybe that is why you have said what you have said.

Way to get ahead of yourself champ. Thumbsup

(12-05-2014 04:41 PM)Azaraith Wrote:  Evolution, on the other hand, has strong evidence in favor of it, while the other "explanations" do not. Premise 1 is false because it's not proven - I mention other possibilities as potentially more logical and evidence-backed explanations, though I dispute the claim that objective morals exist, so of course I'm not in favor of stating that one explanation is factually correct in explaining that they exist. Also, nice use of "ontologies" - that doesn't make you sound smarter, it makes you seem pretentious, especially when it's not even used properly...

Nothing you said counters or refutes what I said. You did exactly what I thought you would do and started talking about the evidence for evolution.

You know you are wrong when you say that premise one is false because there are other potential explanations. It simply does not follow. Just because there are various potential explanations that could explain the existence of objective moral values and duties does not constitute a defeater of premise one.

(12-05-2014 04:41 PM)Azaraith Wrote:  What makes you think I give a fuck what some other atheist(s) said? Unlike you, I don't follow others' beliefs and claim them as my own. What one atheist says about the topic doesn't inform you at all as to what I believe or why. The first example makes little sense out of context, the second says nothing about objective morals (only very commonly held moral feelings on particular issues), and the last bit by Sam Harris I disagree with - I think Sam's case for objective morals is weak, and also his definition doesn't match yours (or the typical Christian's view). And the last bit certainly doesn't conclude that God exists, as God =/= a transcendent moral law giver. Sam is arguing that science is a source of objective morals (and he's been criticized for that argument, rightly so), which would make science that transcendent moral law giver, not your god.

God does equal a transcendant moral law giver.

Are you even trying? Consider
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12-05-2014, 05:17 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
1. Religious "Carrot on a Stick" theory - Conduct yourself in a manner consistent with our ideals and you get rewarded for eternity.

2. Religious "Gun to Head" theory - Conduct yourself in a manner consistent with our ideals or you'll be punished for eternity.

3. Secular - Unless you are truly mentally defective, you know the difference between right and wrong and don't need Big Spooky to tell you how to act.
Enjoy your time on Earth while you are here because when you die, that's it, you're dead.

I pick #3.
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12-05-2014, 05:20 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 05:05 PM)djhall Wrote:  
(12-05-2014 04:39 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Theists can interpret the findings of science regarding nature to be the effects of God and atheists can interpret the findings of science regarding nature to be the effects of natural forces acting on matter. Science does not demand that it be either. This is his point and something that people like Dawkins and djhall seem to want to reject for some reason... Facepalm

I don't reject that. So long as you don't make any claims regarding the factual proof and correctness of your interpretation in a debate, or use those interpretations to influence other people's lives against their will by doing things like passing laws to block their contradictory behavior, I don't give a rats ass if you interpret it as the work of cosmic leprechauns. Go for it. As it affects no one but you, and you make no claims to others about it, why should anyone else care? But when you take your interpretations, and publicly call them proof, and start pushing those interpretations onto other peoples' lives, then yeah, that is a problem.

Red Herring.

We were talking about how it is absurd to believe that only non-thinking, irrational, unreasonable people are religious.

That is the issue.

This tangent you went off on is not even pertinent. In America you are entitled to your freedom of speech. You can say what you like. You can even try to have it legislated. That is your right. If I have a problem with it, I will speak on it and likewise fight you through legislation and through the means allowed by law.

I know you feel sick because you are way outnumbered and the vast majority of the policy makers are religious.

I know that makes you mad. One day you will not have to be bothered with us poor ignorant people. Weeping
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12-05-2014, 05:24 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 05:17 PM)pablo628 Wrote:  3. Secular - Unless you are truly mentally defective, you know the difference between right and wrong and don't need Big Spooky to tell you how to act.
Enjoy your time on Earth while you are here because when you die, that's it, you're dead.

I pick #3.


I love how you wrote:

" Unless you are truly mentally defective, you know the difference between right and wrong..."

I agree....

The only problem you have is that you cannot account for how humans possess this knowledge of right and wrong on a secular view.
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12-05-2014, 05:28 PM
RE: A Deconstruction of the Moral Argument
(12-05-2014 05:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(12-05-2014 05:17 PM)pablo628 Wrote:  3. Secular - Unless you are truly mentally defective, you know the difference between right and wrong and don't need Big Spooky to tell you how to act.
Enjoy your time on Earth while you are here because when you die, that's it, you're dead.

I pick #3.


I love how you wrote:

" Unless you are truly mentally defective, you know the difference between right and wrong..."

I agree....

The only problem you have is that you cannot account for how humans possess this knowledge of right and wrong on a secular view.

Neither can you, that doesn't mean it came from god by default.
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