Sensus Divinitatis?
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15-11-2013, 10:58 AM
Sensus Divinitatis?
A friend wrote,

"I think that if I explain my model more thoroughly it will make more sense.
So far the only thing that I have addressed in my model is the existence of objective morality, which I do not think you have an issue with, but you think that it fails because it doesn’t say how we can know what they are apart from knowing God. By objective morality I mean that if some action is morally right or wrong, then it is right or wrong regardless of what I think or feel about it. We, as Christians, find our grounding for these objective morals in God, whatever that may mean, but the atheist has no ground for them, and as a result has no reason to believe in them. What I do not mean is that the atheist cannot know what is right or wrong, but that they simply cannot find a foundation for it.

As far as our knowledge of what is right or wrong goes, other than relying solely on scripture, I think that Aquinas, Calvin, and more recently, Plantiga, are on the right track with their sensus divinitatis, or ‘sense of the divine.’ As humans we are created with this faculty very much like we are created with sight or smell, except this allows us to know the things of God; in short it is what is responsible for faith, and if it exists then it produces beliefs that are warranted and may even constitute knowledge in a very similar way to memory or perceptual beliefs. The arguments for the existence of this faculty are based on Romans 1:18-23.

This faculty is argued to be the source of belief in God, fallen nature, and morality, among other things. This model is dependent only on the truth of Christianity, not on one’s believing in it. Thus, atheists are just as accountable as we are when it comes to knowing what is right or wrong since we are all created with a sense of the divine. The principle difference between Christians and atheists is that we know where these beliefs get their warrant from and the atheist does not, and as a result is not justified in believing them as if they were knowledge.

To summarize my model, then, objective morality is founded in the nature and will of God, who has all the characteristic qualities associated with Him, most notably being immutability. Since they are rooted in God’s nature, and God acts according to His nature, whatever God does is by definition morally right. We, Christian and non-Christian alike, can know what is right or wrong through beliefs which arise in us as a result of the sensus divinitatis, but Christians have a way to check if this faculty is functioning reliably through Scripture, since this faculty can be damaged or function incorrectly just like any of our other senses (such as the need for glasses with sight).

Does my model now stand better than it did in the last email?"

My reply was,

"The Atheists do find what they would call objective (or subjective yet practical) foundations for their morality in positivist ethics of reciprocity. They will literally say that murder is wrong because it has economic repercussions to them and other stupid “stuff” like that, whereas we say “love your neighbor, end of story”.

Where their ethical foundation is shaky is this—we can demonstrate from other cultures who believed murder and cannibalism to be “good” that the atheists are continuing to be subjective and counter-intuitive to Darwinism (as well as unconsciously fulfilling the last days prophecy about people who have a form of godliness without actually God).

God can only by definition do what is morally right if He chooses to do right. Since He is an omnipotent being, He just doesn’t want to do wrong but could do wrong if he wanted to—since He is omnipotent. Consider His statement on abortion—“such a thing never entered my mind”—He foreknew before the world was made that sinners would abort children—it entered His mind but His nature is good so it’s “not like Him” to do or even think about doing something wrong.

But when Jesus came to Earth, since He knew He would be killed, He did something that was not good, “To give punishment to the upright is not good, or to give blows to the noble for their righteousness…” (Proverbs 17:26) so that something much better would be resultant. An analogy is that we can break God’s law and bear false witness if we’re saving someone’s life by doing so. Another analogy would be the person who sacrifices their own child to save all the people on an airplane and so on.

I agree God’s character and person is immutable but He did something that is generally bad or wrong—punish an innocent Jesus—to save a whole world.

We don’t need an imagined sensus divinitatis, since the Bible states plainly in Romans and elsewhere that people have a conscience toward God—that is—they know what sin is, that God will judge them, etc.

Thanks for your follow up!"
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15-11-2013, 11:07 AM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
"God's character and person is immutable"? The word of god (the bible) is so mutable as to be demonstrably false. What you want to believe and what is fact are very different.

More importantly moral behavior has a social implication not a religious one.
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15-11-2013, 11:13 AM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2013 11:29 AM by evenheathen.)
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
(15-11-2013 10:58 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  They will literally say that murder is wrong because it has economic repercussions to them and other stupid “stuff” like that, whereas we say “love your neighbor, end of story”.

You really are an idiot, aren't you?

Edit: Okay I'll expound a little.

You are incapable of thinking past "god". Everything in your mind is padded. It's cozy and comfortable because at no time does any thought in your head travel one step beyond "god". Every waking moment spent in search for "knowledge" is solely spent for input that will further pad your brain against the real world, instead of facts.

Every explanation for everything ever is immediately discounted if it doesn't end with "god". Even if the explanation is clear, concise, easy to understand and logical. If it doesn't point towards god, you have to create some convoluted idea in order to fit your reality with your delusion.

It's really tiring, PJ. If you could come up with anything at all more compelling than just, "no, it's god", than you might have something worth listening to. As it stands, it's obvious that you can't think beyond god. I believe that if you did you would find yourself agreeing with us on most issues. You can't allow yourself to take one step beyond "god is everything" or else your faith will crumble.

Am I right?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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15-11-2013, 12:08 PM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
(15-11-2013 11:13 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 10:58 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  They will literally say that murder is wrong because it has economic repercussions to them and other stupid “stuff” like that, whereas we say “love your neighbor, end of story”.

You really are an idiot, aren't you?

Edit: Okay I'll expound a little.

You are incapable of thinking past "god". Everything in your mind is padded. It's cozy and comfortable because at no time does any thought in your head travel one step beyond "god". Every waking moment spent in search for "knowledge" is solely spent for input that will further pad your brain against the real world, instead of facts.

Every explanation for everything ever is immediately discounted if it doesn't end with "god". Even if the explanation is clear, concise, easy to understand and logical. If it doesn't point towards god, you have to create some convoluted idea in order to fit your reality with your delusion.

It's really tiring, PJ. If you could come up with anything at all more compelling than just, "no, it's god", than you might have something worth listening to. As it stands, it's obvious that you can't think beyond god. I believe that if you did you would find yourself agreeing with us on most issues. You can't allow yourself to take one step beyond "god is everything" or else your faith will crumble.

Am I right?

Perhaps right in a limited sense in the context of you on this forum who need extra "god" help and therefore I'm always yapping about the One.

I have a very strong will and strong desires. I pursue multiple hobbies. I travel, teach and do an astonishing number of things (astonishing from my perspective) where I'm far more flying solo than godward.

But God is the ultimate power, ultimate mind, and ultimate love, and mediatations upon such yield some pretty sweet fruit!
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15-11-2013, 12:19 PM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
Same bullshit, different day

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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15-11-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
(15-11-2013 12:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 11:13 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  You really are an idiot, aren't you?

Edit: Okay I'll expound a little.

You are incapable of thinking past "god". Everything in your mind is padded. It's cozy and comfortable because at no time does any thought in your head travel one step beyond "god". Every waking moment spent in search for "knowledge" is solely spent for input that will further pad your brain against the real world, instead of facts.

Every explanation for everything ever is immediately discounted if it doesn't end with "god". Even if the explanation is clear, concise, easy to understand and logical. If it doesn't point towards god, you have to create some convoluted idea in order to fit your reality with your delusion.

It's really tiring, PJ. If you could come up with anything at all more compelling than just, "no, it's god", than you might have something worth listening to. As it stands, it's obvious that you can't think beyond god. I believe that if you did you would find yourself agreeing with us on most issues. You can't allow yourself to take one step beyond "god is everything" or else your faith will crumble.

Am I right?

Perhaps right in a limited sense in the context of you on this forum who need extra "god" help and therefore I'm always yapping about the One.

I have a very strong will and strong desires. I pursue multiple hobbies. I travel, teach and do an astonishing number of things (astonishing from my perspective) where I'm far more flying solo than godward.

But God is the ultimate power, ultimate mind, and ultimate love, and mediatations upon such yield some pretty sweet fruit!

I have no doubt that your life yields some sweet fruit. But at the end of the day, it is you putting forth the effort and living your life. No god required.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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15-11-2013, 12:21 PM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
(15-11-2013 10:58 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  An analogy is that we can break God’s law and bear false witness if we’re saving someone’s life by doing so.

Very, very dangerous grounds. Shocking

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15-11-2013, 12:22 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2013 12:27 PM by ridethespiral.)
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
(15-11-2013 12:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 11:13 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  You really are an idiot, aren't you?

Edit: Okay I'll expound a little.

You are incapable of thinking past "god". Everything in your mind is padded. It's cozy and comfortable because at no time does any thought in your head travel one step beyond "god". Every waking moment spent in search for "knowledge" is solely spent for input that will further pad your brain against the real world, instead of facts.

Every explanation for everything ever is immediately discounted if it doesn't end with "god". Even if the explanation is clear, concise, easy to understand and logical. If it doesn't point towards god, you have to create some convoluted idea in order to fit your reality with your delusion.

It's really tiring, PJ. If you could come up with anything at all more compelling than just, "no, it's god", than you might have something worth listening to. As it stands, it's obvious that you can't think beyond god. I believe that if you did you would find yourself agreeing with us on most issues. You can't allow yourself to take one step beyond "god is everything" or else your faith will crumble.

Am I right?

Perhaps right in a limited sense in the context of you on this forum who need extra "god" help and therefore I'm always yapping about the One.

I have a very strong will and strong desires. I pursue multiple hobbies. I travel, teach and do an astonishing number of things (astonishing from my perspective) where I'm far more flying solo than godward.

But God is the ultimate power, ultimate mind, and ultimate love, and mediatations upon such yield some pretty sweet fruit!


Those poor children/people.

You don't need god to have morality, morality exists independently in various cultures and is always tailored to the environment (even among the religious, if the land and culture requires a different morality a new sect or a revision will be applied). Godless animals have a sense of morality. Moral tendencies are an evolutionary stable strategy for many social creatures. Study game theory. No god necessary.

I don't need your god for creation, I don't need him for salvation, I don't need him for morality... I don't need him for anything.

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15-11-2013, 12:49 PM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
PJ,

1. Interesting discussion and you are both getting somewhere... but need to drop the supernatural element to make real progress.

2. Your friend would do better if he/she didn't try to second guess what an atheist thinks.

3. Backward engineering.

4. Euthyphro.

Keep trying.

Thumbsup

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15-11-2013, 01:17 PM
RE: Sensus Divinitatis?
I thought this thread is about me.



I misread the title as Sexual Deviants.


Meh...

PJ, did you take some kind of a course in self delusion? This much of it surely can't come naturally.

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