Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Moral Dilemma

There's an atheist who can hardly wait to "rip apart" my description of objective morality. Oh dear. What will I do? This conversation will of course be as useless as any other conversation that I have with atheists, at least in relation to helping them see the futility of their thinking. On the other hand, there may actually be someone reading to is interested in learning - so - here we go again. The statement that is causing trouble is one that goes something like:

. If God does not exist, then objective morals, values and obligations (def. below) do not exist.

First of all I am NOT saying that people can't be moral without God. Nor am I saying that people can't recognise morals or can't form a system of morals without God. Objective morals are not dependent on whether anyone agrees with them or not. Ok?

Belief in God's existence is not necessary for objective Morals, Values and Obligations to exist.

God Himself is necessary for objective Morals, Values and Obligations to exist.


If God does not exist, then what we call morals, values and obligations are nothing but desires, good ideas, likes and dislikes. If God does not exist, then what we call moral obligations change with the ebb and flow of who ever has the most power - In a secular world, might does in deed make right.

The thing is, we know from our interactions with other people that objective morals, values and obligations DO exist. We know, and we know absolutely when someone does “wrong” to us. We don’t have to wonder for one second what our community standard on the event is. We don't have to wonder for one second what society thinks about what the person did to us. We KNOW that we were wronged. At the moment that we’ve been wronged we believe that objective right and wrong exist.

So why point to God being the source of objective morals?

God by definition is the least arbitrary stopping point.
God by definition is the least arbitrary point of final authority.
God doesn’t just exemplify goodness. He IS goodness.
God isn't just one authority, He is THE ultimate authority on right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust.

Almost everyone is willing to recognise and ultimate standard of goodness. Choosing, as Hugo does, the individual as the ultimate standard of good and bad, right and wrong sets up such obvious issues of conflict that only those who are dull of mind and profoundly slow of thought could not see that.

Why point to God being the source of objective morals?
Just as physical laws are fully realised in the physical world, objective moral laws are fully realised in Jesus and Father God. As I stated above, our daily interactions with others shows we believe without doubt that objective moral order is as real and independent of our recognition as is the natural order of things.

Our perceptions of natural and moral laws are givens of our experience.

People who are God’s enemies and who therefore can’t possibly understand the Bible, claim that God acts in a capricious and arbitrary manner. That is simply not true.

. Objective moral Goodness and Obligation are based on God’s character.
Therefore, God’s commands are not arbitrary, for they are the inescapable expression of His Just and Loving nature. And, since our moral obligations are grounded in the Divine commands, moral values and duties do not exist independent of God.

. What God commands or permits is good and what He forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive.

This is what it means for morality to be objective vs. subjective, selective or relative to the situation. Morality is not based on the individual’s character or personality or level of empathy, or that person’s likes or dislikes, sanity or insanity.

15 comments:

  1. LOL again
    At the moment that we’ve been wronged we believe that objective right and wrong exist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "First of all I am NOT saying that people can't be moral without God. Nor am I saying that people can't recognise morals or can't form a system of morals without God. [...] Ok?"

    Wow, you improved a lot! I am proud of you buddy. Way to go! How can I give you a reward or something?

    I removed the "Objective morals are not dependent on whether anyone agrees with them or not." though; because I still do not believe objective morals exist. So proving that God is necessary for them to exist is meaningless to me, as I cannot believe or disbelieve the origin of something I already do not believe in, the objective morals of course.

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  3. *************************************************************************
    how about I believe in WHATEVER I want - even in the FLYING SPAGHETTI
    MONSTER! - and you have nothing to say!
    *******************************************************************************

    let me show you the end results of this particular *ONE-DIMENSIONAL SCIENTIFIC MODE*
    of thinking that is called *CRITICAL THINKING*, which is completely divorced from
    any human objectives...

    this style has been perfected by dawkins, pz, randi and the other *NEW ATHEISTS*
    **
    THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!
    ***
    hey, atheists don't even BELIEVE IN BOOBIES!!!
    they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!

    see, I just want to make it clear to the rest of you:
    jen is unable to see that there is a CONFLICT BETWEEN EROS & SCIENCE....

    http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/in-name-of-science-i-offer-my-boobs.html


    see how we take a term and convert it into its AUTHENTIC POLITICAL DIMENSION - THAT
    OF LIBERATION - not just merely harmless expression...

    Visit for the BOOBQUAKE:

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm



    ***************************************************

    FSM....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster


    http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/AtheismPics/fsmlogo.png

    *****************************

    DOUBLE!


    FOR THE WIN...

    *******************************************

    ReplyDelete
  4. AtheistsnackbarMay 7, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Well you've managed to say a whole lot of nothing as it concerns my question. I think a simple "because god created morals" would have sufficed. Of course you gave us no reason to believe that objective morals exist. The best you could do is to say something like "we all know when we're wronged, without doubt." and I suppose that's it then. The objectivity of moral ethics are defined by god.

    The problem with you is that you think in absolutes all the time. You expect there to be a system of ethics that works in any scenario, and this is wrong. But back to the question you didn't answer... Can a man steal in order to feed his family, if there seems to be no other options? Is stealing objectively wrong without exception? But wait, does one not have the moral obligation to provide for his family? Now there is a "conflict", as you put it. Do scenarios like this not exist?

    So what exactly are objective morals? You typed a lot, but what did we learn? Well you say objective morals don't rely on anybody agreeing with them, only god. But how are we to know what gods intended morals are all the time? Does god think we should pull out of Iraq? Does god think prison guards should all go home for Sunday?
    Is the bible our key for moral guidence? I hope not, because biblical interpretation is the epitome of relitavism. How many ways are there to view the bible? Do all Christians interpret the scripture the same? How can you criticize atheists on relitavism when the bible can be so open to interpretation.

    Your not gonna find some unifying field theory of moral structure mak. We do the best we can under the circumstances. The world is filled with many many different types of people with different opinions on everything from cutting off foreskin to the death penalty and how are we to know which god prefers in every scenario? Because it's intuitive? Don't be naive. Sending troops into afganastan is not an obvious moral decision. If your so unimaginative that you can't think up a situation where the moral answer is not clear then I feel sorry for you. And that would explain a lot about your paradigm.

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  5. AtheistsnackbarMay 7, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Are my comments getting through, testing 1...2...

    ReplyDelete
  6. AtheistsnackbarMay 7, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Mak's definition for objective morality =

    "what god commands or permits is good and what he forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive"

    mak's qualification pertaining to objective morality =

    "if god does not exist, then objective morals, values and obligations do not exist."

    lol! Well your qualification is certainly correct given your definition for objective morality. That's like me saying, "objective morality is whatever Peter pan says it is" and then turn around and say "if Peter pan does not exist, objective morality cannot exist." how dull of mind of me to point that out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. AtheistsnackbarMay 7, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    If I may offer an abridged version to this post. It goes like this...

    "objective morals are whatever god says they are. I know this because it makes sense, when you think about it, cuz it's god, come on! ... and by the way atheists are super dumb."

    I think that about sums it up. Way to knock one out of the park, mak.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ok, came back to read the entire post this time... You say absolutely nothing though. It's hilarious.

    You just assert that Objective morality exists, with no justification beside:

    we know from our interactions with other people that objective morals, values and obligations DO exist. We know, and we know absolutely when someone does “wrong” to us.

    That's not a proof that objective morals, values and obligations exist, not at all. You only prove that we are all humans who feel pain, be it physical or mental.

    Good job, you just justified one of these principles I told you about. I don't remember exactly how I phrased it last time because it's not an absolute law you know...

    It was something like: Something moral should not cause unjustified suffering to someone.

    Why? because we ALL know how it feels to suffer, and we don't want that, and don't want other people to experience it, because we know that what it feels like.

    But even the feeling of suffering or the bad feeling of "when someone does “wrong” to us", these are not absolute at all, because they vary greatly from one person to another of course... in terms of degree, forms, duration, etc...

    Yet, you still use the fact that the feeling of 'someone doing wrong to us' can be experienced by anyone to justify the existence of objective morality. Completely unrelated.

    Actually, if you want to relate the two, it would mean that when someone does something wrong to us it is bad...

    At the moment that we’ve been wronged we believe that objective right and wrong exist.

    ...so we would be the ultimate judge as someone can do the same thing to two different people and one might like it and the other not, feeling wronged... so you just prove that morality is relative to the individual! GOOD JOB AGAIN!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. oh and sorry not to talk about God since you mention Him a lot, but I don't believe He exists, and since He was only the ultimate judge and the essence of objective morality which does not exist either... not much to say

    ReplyDelete
  10. "God by definition is the least arbitrary point of final authority.
    . . .
    God isn't just one authority, He is THE ultimate authority on right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust."

    I'll ask again, who decides what rules in the Bible are still applicable today? If I convert to Christianity next week I'd like to know if I should get a tattoo before converting, or is it ok in God's eyes to get a tattoo after accepting Jesus into my life? Also, before I convert, I'd really like to know if I'll be expected to stone to death new brides who were not virgins on their wedding night.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Brap

    Good questions; did you see he mentioned my name again, omg, I really think I should start that cult ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. AtheistsnackbarMay 8, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    @Hugo
    consider me a member.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi again Mak and Hugo and all others.

    This dictionary suggests objectivism as being.

    1.a tendency to lay stress on the objective or external elements of cognition.
    2.the tendency, as of a writer, to deal with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings.
    3.a doctrine characterized by this tendency.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/objectivism

    Personally i do feel their maybe are some objective morals ,morals that exist (external to my own personal mind and thoughts or feelings).Such things as blatant murder.Blatant murder doesnt need my own personal mind or thoughts or feelings to be wrong.Its simply wrong because if it was right sooner or later humanity simply wouldnt exist, if folks all went about murdering each other.

    Morals are basically about whats considered right or wrong.We dont need gods, or use of my own personal mind ,thoughts or feelings etc to know blatant murder cant really be great .Its a simple fact even by use of mere logic, if all humans did happen to go about murdering each other,then sooner or later there would only be one human left, and that would then lead to the total demise of ALL humanity as we know it today.No breeding usually takes place with only one woman or one man.


    Mak said."Objective morals are not dependent on whether anyone agrees with them or not. Ok?

    Belief in God's existence is not necessary for objective Morals, Values and Obligations to exist.

    God Himself is necessary for objective Morals, Values and Obligations to exist.


    If God does not exist, then what we call morals, values and obligations are nothing but desires, good ideas, likes and dislikes. If God does not exist, then what we call moral obligations change with the ebb and flow of who ever has the most power - In a secular world, might does in deed make right."

    No personally i dont agree Mak.It doesnt just come down to "nothing but desires, good ideas, likes and dislikes"

    It simply comes down to our very human survival.You might like to try suggesting, survivals connected to a desire.But i say survivals about more than just a desire,its actually about continued existence

    And this blatant murder that i discribe would realistically negate any desire we had,because the outcome would be likely be extinction.No desires about that.

    Then the argument might be about humans learning to create new life from Stem cells or whatever.

    But i think the argument is then just degenerates into becoming a endless circular argument, and i dont see how it points to objective moral thougt being of gods, and it being totally outside the realm of men.Because either way its still mans mind thoughts and feelings that creates ideas of gods in the first place.

    Mak says..."People who are God’s enemies and who therefore can’t possibly understand the Bible, claim that God acts in a capricious and arbitrary manner. That is simply not true.

    . Objective moral Goodness and Obligation are based on God’s character.
    Therefore, God’s commands are not arbitrary, for they are the inescapable expression of His Just and Loving nature. And, since our moral obligations are grounded in the Divine commands, moral values and duties do not exist independent of God."

    Mak if it makes you feel good you can judge me as simply being a enemy of gods .But i will still ask you if "Objective moral Goodness and Obligation are based on God’s character" as you suggest

    Then "who" gets to decide what gods "charactor" supposedly is ??

    Who gets to decide what is gods "inescapable expression of His Just and Loving nature" ??

    The argument is just simply circular and endless isnt it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Gandolf
    Very good points; however I am not convinced that we can call what you describe as being an objective morality, because it's still a personal perspective, but we all share the same.

    Slavery is a good example. It may be not as universal as murder but everyone agrees that slavery is immoral, yet it was not the case before.

    Obviously the difference with murder is that, as you wrote, murder can lead to extinction, while slavery on the other hand was beneficial for the owner.

    But I would go a step farther, even barbaric murder has been accepted before in my opinion, because human sacrifice is more or less the same thing... obviously it's moral for the people supporting the sacrifice, but ultimately the victim suffers the same fate.

    Anyway good job at explaining why it does not even matter anyway, we are so far from a proof that god exists that it's ridiculous to even think that Rod sees that as a proof that God has to exist, that God is necessary... so absurd.

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  15. Hugo i agree with you that barbaric murder has been accepted,our thought of morals are relative .But i think even if the thought of the morality of murder was relative to particular thoughts of different humans,i was suggesting its still kind of objective.In the sense that in the end no matter the difference in thinking or difference in culture you happen to belong to ...It dont really matter so much....Because if blatant murder was thought allowable/ok/moral ....And folks went around murdering each other ...sooner or later there would only be one human left in existence

    Which would spell ...Extinction of the human species

    ReplyDelete