Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
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14-06-2011, 02:21 PM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
Aha! So this is why people think that all atheists are Satanists! It's because of people like Buddy Christ here! Tongue

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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14-06-2011, 02:27 PM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
Well I just finished the book of Isaiah, which states that "I, the Lord created evil" and refers to Lucifer as the son of the morning... which is how Jesus is referred to in the NT. So I might also be suggesting that God and Satan are the same person. Satan is just a euphemism for God's malevolent acts.

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14-06-2011, 09:03 PM
 
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/...bible.html

This guy estimates that God killed around 25 billion. Most of that comes from the flood and I have a hard time believing that there were 20 billion people killed by the flood. There just couldn't have been the infrastructure to suppo- Wait. Its the bible. I'm being silly. Sure, there were 20 billion people packed into mud huts and the such. I guess this can count Giants too.

In anycase. Even the 2 million makes him an impressive slayer of humans.
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15-06-2011, 12:57 AM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
(10-06-2011 04:18 AM)The_observer Wrote:  The fallacy in deity postulated morality is that the deity itself is not part of the group that has to preform the moral rules.

Imagine a person who has to write rules for e.g. a tennis tournament without him ever having touched a racket or seen a tennismatch.
He can do two things

  1. Make up stuff
  2. Contact another person who knows what he talks about

In the first case, he can postulate the rule of playing tennis with a baseball. Confused
In the second case, the rules are not made by him but by the pundit he contacts. Or worse listen to the pundit AND make stuff up. Undecided

The problem with a deity given morality is that there is no opening for the second case since an almighty can not turn to a pundit. So the first rule MUST apply. The common answer is that God by nature knows what's best thereby bypassing the baseball-for-a-tennis-match problem. God knows by nature that that doesn't make sense. BUT... That does not really answer the question on HOW the deity knows what was best without
  • having to make up rules in advance
  • knowing what will happen in advance and thereby disabling free will of the tennis players
  • pushing the question in infinite regress
Thereby creating more problems the there where before.

You can't attribute moral codes postulation to "Individuals" (even with capitals) who don't participate to the society they apply them on without running into problems

Layman's explanation on the euthyphro dilemma
This is one of my favourite theistic problems because it was the first time I saw that you don't need to be really sure about stuff like big-bang, origins, or divine plan to see the fallacies of religious dogma. Simple logic suffices Wink

The dilemma is only apparent. Like all paradoxes, we are here dealing with the semblance of a contradiction as is by the way explained in your own link, when they quote the works of Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas. But in fact Plato himself provides a similar answer to his own question in the "Republic". He thought about the nature of ethics and concluded that a moral system could only be viable if it had an absolute and unshakable foundation which defines what it means for an act to be good or evil, which he then called the ariston or Supreme Good that necessarily was metaphysical i.e. inevitable transcended pure materialism. This pretty much destroys atheists' world-view, or at least those parts they hold dear such as the possibility of materialist morals. From there it is but a small leap of faith to assign omnipotence to the ariston and make it the Creator of a universe unfolding according to His Plan.
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15-06-2011, 06:00 AM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
I don't see how Plato's view that the world needs an upright pillar destroys atheism. At this point we have education and history as our primary moral leanings, not god. If god were the moral compass of the US then everyone would be agreeing. We can't even get christians to agree. The general morality of a group is constituted by social teachings. Those new to a group learn how to fit in or are ostracized, so whatever is the desirable group action is what they will most likely follow. And that's how it has been everywhere for as long as humans have been social.

Generally unknowingly, people all find a way to conform and aid their society (group), and this is where the actual morals exist. You can say all you like about morals coming from a religion, but innovations both philosophically and scientifically have been the leading factor in reform of morals. I prefer today's morals to the morals of 60 years ago, don't even need to go back to the bible age to find a time that would be in drastic conflict with myself.

That progress in morals was not done by a book which is never changed only re-translated throughout the years.

And it is very true that something outside of our world would not see how things work within it. Humans are the best to take care of human issues as they best understand them. Make something omnipotent and it still won't know them well, because it will know everything and that is beyond the scope of what humans need.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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16-06-2011, 08:42 PM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
(15-06-2011 06:00 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I don't see how Plato's view that the world needs an upright pillar destroys atheism. At this point we have education and history as our primary moral leanings, not god.

The point you miss, the one which was so remarkably made by Plato, is that for ethics to be viable its foundation must be unshakable i.e. beyond any possible doubt and this requires a metaphysical, absolute guarantor of our morals. Were we to opt instead to base them on the now prevalent customs, anyone could come along and denounce them as arbitrary products of historical accident and the random vagaries of biological evolution. Even referring to the social stability and personal well-being owed to them, would be moot in absence of a fix reference point: why is it wrong to kill ? Why do we experience death as a negative outcome? From a purely materialistic point of you it is but a re-arrangement of atoms. In fact there might well have been such animals in a distant past who experienced death as a deeply agreeable event. Same goes for pain or hunger. It just turns out that these species, not trying to avoid various dangers, were selected out of the gene pool or to put in a even more materialistic language were converted to a state not lending itself to replication, which leads to propagation and finally domination. It follows that the origin of morals is necessarily transcendent. Atoms assemble quite as fondly to shape a Ghandi or a Hilter.

If you find the previous scenario too Byzantine, human history is replete with examples of groups challenging the established ethics on the grounds of it's arbitrariness. Nietzsche famously termed Christianity the "Covenant of the weak" depriving the √úbermensch of the rewards of his superiority. The Nazis then went on to abuse his work by describing themselves as the "master race" deserving supremacy and destined to exterminate the "sub-humans". Personally I shall never embrace a world-view that does not permit to unequivocally term the events at Auschwitz evil. On a more everyday scale those benefiting from the present economic order even at the cost of untold suffering could point to altruism as evolution gone astray, a weakness impeding the most optimal evolutionary outcome.

Quote:If god were the moral compass of the US then everyone would be agreeing. We can't even get christians to agree.


You are confusing the existence of an absolute truth with perfect knowledge thereof, a sadly common fallacy.

Quote:Generally unknowingly, people all find a way to conform and aid their society (group), and this is where the actual morals exist. You can say all you like about morals coming from a religion, but innovations both philosophically and scientifically have been the leading factor in reform of morals. I prefer today's morals to the morals of 60 years ago, don't even need to go back to the bible age to find a time that would be in drastic conflict with myself.
That progress in morals was not done by a book which is never changed only re-translated throughout the years.

This comment is equally fallacious and stems from the same error. Religious moral, as well as any ethical system, is very much work in progress, an asymptotic approach to perfection akin to scientific research. Biblically based morality is no exception given that even those who see Holy scripture as God's revelation of absolute truth know they must concede that being in possession of perfect message is quite a different matter to finding a perfect interpretation.

Quote:And it is very true that something outside of our world would not see how things work within it. Humans are the best to take care of human issues as they best understand them. Make something omnipotent and it still won't know them well, because it will know everything and that is beyond the scope of what humans need.

Well that didn't make any sense: being omniscient means by definition having all answers to full-fill any need. There is no such thing as knowing too much.
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16-06-2011, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2011 09:25 PM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
(16-06-2011 08:42 PM)Perithoos Wrote:  The point you miss, the one which was so remarkably made by Plato, is that for ethics to be viable its foundation must be unshakable i.e. beyond any possible doubt and this requires a metaphysical, absolute guarantor of our morals. Were we to opt instead to base them on the now prevalent customs, anyone could come along and denounce them as arbitrary products of historical accident and the random vagaries of biological evolution. Even referring to the social stability and personal well-being owed to them, would be moot in absence of a fix reference point: why is it wrong to kill ? Why do we experience death as a negative outcome? From a purely materialistic point of you it is but a re-arrangement of atoms. In fact there might well have been such animals in a distant past who experienced death as a deeply agreeable event. Same goes for pain or hunger. It just turns out that these species, not trying to avoid various dangers, were selected out of the gene pool or to put in a even more materialistic language were converted to a state not lending itself to replication, which leads to propagation and finally domination. It follows that the origin of morals is necessarily transcendent. Atoms assemble quite as fondly to shape a Ghandi or a Hilter.

If you find the previous scenario too Byzantine, human history is replete with examples of groups challenging the established ethics on the grounds of it's arbitrariness. Nietzsche famously termed Christianity the "Covenant of the weak" depriving the √úbermensch of the rewards of his superiority. The Nazis then went on to abuse his work by describing themselves as the "master race" deserving supremacy and destined to exterminate the "sub-humans". Personally I shall never embrace a world-view that does not permit to unequivocally term the events at Auschwitz evil. On a more everyday scale those benefiting from the present economic order even at the cost of untold suffering could point to altruism as evolution gone astray, a weakness impeding the most optimal evolutionary outcome.

You seem to be arguing for slavery here, as if the ethical pillars are unshakeable then they can never change. Slavery was right for thousands of years, but all the sudden we decided it's not. Are we being amoral by denouncing slavery? Nearly every holy book discusses slavery as common and natural. Social morality isn't changed completely because someone comes and says something different. There are specific constants within societies which I discuss from time to time. Don't kill within the society, Don't steal within the society, and respect societal order.

Quote:Generally unknowingly, people all find a way to conform and aid their society (group), and this is where the actual morals exist. You can say all you like about morals coming from a religion, but innovations both philosophically and scientifically have been the leading factor in reform of morals. I prefer today's morals to the morals of 60 years ago, don't even need to go back to the bible age to find a time that would be in drastic conflict with myself.
That progress in morals was not done by a book which is never changed only re-translated throughout the years.

This comment is equally fallacious and stems from the same error. Religious moral, as well as any ethical system, is very much work in progress, an asymptotic approach to perfection akin to scientific research. Biblically based morality is no exception given that even those who see Holy scripture as God's revelation of absolute truth know they must concede that being in possession of perfect message is quite a different matter to finding a perfect interpretation.

I don't see the fallacy of social morality. It's quite demonstrable. Please explain exactly how this is fallacious. I study Anthropology and am well versed in moral teachings of peoples who were without christianity when first studied. Also if religious morality is changed as people percieve gods words differently how does that make gods word an unshakeable pillar? Obviously according to your statement it changes as often as people change their minds.

Quote:And it is very true that something outside of our world would not see how things work within it. Humans are the best to take care of human issues as they best understand them. Make something omnipotent and it still won't know them well, because it will know everything and that is beyond the scope of what humans need.

Well that didn't make any sense: being omniscient means by definition having all answers to full-fill any need. There is no such thing as knowing too much.

A single answer cannot fulfill all individual needs. Being omniscient means only seeing a group as a whole and never as an individual.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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18-06-2011, 11:32 PM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
(16-06-2011 09:10 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  You seem to be arguing for slavery here, as if the ethical pillars are unshakeable then they can never change. Slavery was right for thousands of years, but all the sudden we decided it's not. Are we being amoral by denouncing slavery? Nearly every holy book discusses slavery as common and natural. Social morality isn't changed completely because someone comes and says something different. There are specific constants within societies which I discuss from time to time. Don't kill within the society, Don't steal within the society, and respect societal order.
You are again perpetuating the same old fallacy: the existence of an absolute truth is not the same as our understanding thereof. The latter evolves gradually throughout the ages as our moral frameworks slowly tend towards the former perfect archetypes in what one might term ethical progress. Moral truth, like any truth, is eternal and immutable, but we only acquire it incrementally in a process akin to scientific research and the specific approach consisting in applying theology to Holy Scripture is no exception. Slavery has always been wrong, but we didn't always know it to be so.
Quote:I don't see the fallacy of social morality. It's quite demonstrable. Please explain exactly how this is fallacious. I study Anthropology and am well versed in moral teachings of peoples who were without christianity when first studied. Also if religious morality is changed as people percieve gods words differently how does that make gods word an unshakeable pillar? Obviously according to your statement it changes as often as people change their minds.
As above human perception of God is not the same as exact knowledge of his nature. And no one is denying that the emergence of morality is a social phenomenon, only that said morality would be binding in any meaningful way if it doesn't coincide with pre-existing metaphysical absolutes.
Quote:A single answer cannot fulfill all individual needs. Being omniscient means only seeing a group as a whole and never as an individual.
Etymology is a neat thing: omniscient literally means "knowing everything" that is everything, no restrictions at all and includes the ability to discern all the details needed to fully grasp an individual's uniqueness.
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19-06-2011, 12:12 AM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2011 11:54 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
The word of god is seen promoting slavery. If the word of god is the absolute morality, then slavery is good. I agree with your view of ethics, but I cannot agree that the scripture can be viewed so differently as to completely invalidate everything it says. Christian theology clearly states that the moral guidelines exist within the bible. All the studying of passages in the world doesn't change that fact. The non-god pillar I'm using is survival. In the event the group does not follow certain edicts they will not survive. This forms the reason for society to create moral laws and ensure that the negative actions aren't taken.

Omniscient does indeed mean knowing everything, but everything is very big. Take for example if there was a choice between promoting Africa or promoting America. If the outcome of promoting America leads to a better inevitable future which God would know, and acting towards the better, god promotes America over Africa, the Africans suffer and have been given unjust treatment. This is the gap and issue of Omniscience, there is no individuality when you are promoting most the group. No matter how well the individual is understood by god an action within space and time cannot be duplicitous.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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22-06-2011, 11:19 AM
RE: Malevolent God; a moral deconstruction
(14-06-2011 02:27 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  Well I just finished the book of Isaiah, which states that "I, the Lord created evil" and refers to Lucifer as the son of the morning... which is how Jesus is referred to in the NT. So I might also be suggesting that God and Satan are the same person. Satan is just a euphemism for God's malevolent acts.

Lucifer was a Latin word for "The Morning Sun" which is Venus. As it's been known for being the bright object early in the morning before the Sun rises. That passage is actually known to have been about a Babylonian King who was terrorizing the Jews in his reign but he had fallen.

The only other legit Satan reference in the Old Testament was the book of Job. As mentioned before, Satan did mean adversary, so the whole idea Satan just is the evil acts of God makes sense in that books context. There is no devil to traditional Judaism, just the Satan who counteracted God then and seemingly only then.

It is a cool concept and would be very interesting to bring up against Christians who behold God as benevolent and go on and on about the devil. I don't know why they fear or preach so much about the devil but he really has a better record than God. His record against Jesus may not be that far off either if you take into account some of the bizarre acts of Jesus like pro slave mistreating and nature killing.
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