|Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:14 pm Peanut Gallery for Tanager & Wiploc on the Moral Argumen|
|This is the peanut gallery thread for those who wish to comment on Tanager and wiploc's one-on-one discussion of the question of whether objective morality requires the existence of a god.
I couldn't fit all that in the title, above, so I just called it the moral argument.
Tanager and I won't post here until after our one-on-one thread closes. But we may respond to comments here in our one-on-one thread.
Exception: Once our one-on-one thread exists, one of us will come back here one time to post a link.
Post 81: Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:04 pm
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No, Skynet clearly has free will to disobey the command. The question is whether it ought to obey.
Suppose the people who created Skynet instruct it to let them unplug it, and Skynet instructs them not to unplug it. Both sides are giving instructions to the other. Both sides have free will, the ability to disobey. You believe--if I understand--that Skynet has the moral obligation to obey the humans, but the humans don't have the moral obligation to obey Skynet. Because the humans created Skynet, but Skynet didn't create the humans.
But I don't see what who created whom has to do with morality.
No. Not at all. Never entered my mind.
Rapists and people who torture babies for fun shouldn't do that. Because it's bad; it makes people unhappy. They are obligated to obey this rule regardless of whether they choose to disobey it.
Okay, but I have the same problem. You think the scorpion god finds it disagreeable if I don't let it sting me to death, but you go further and say it is "wrong." I don't see how you justify that.
Are we in exactly the same position, unable to justify our separate ideas of morality, or are you able to justify yours better than I can justify mine?
That claim--your claim that you can justify your morality better than I can justify mine--is the reason I suggested that we start this discussion. It is what I'm here for. I understand that you think we're here for a more give-and-take, you-answer-questions-about-your-morality-and-I'll-answer-questions-about-mine, and I'm happy to go along with that, but this specific thing is always my focus and goal.
Can you give persuasive logical reasons that we should obey creators?
I'm guessing you want me to say the car should obey me because I own it. But my ownership is against the guy who sold it to me. The car itself never agreed to obey me. It never gave me a bill of sale. I don't see myself as having any rights over a car that gained free will after I bought it from somebody else.
Post 82: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:52 am
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I don't see that as helpful, as answering the question I'm trying to ask.
Our one-on-one thread was titled, "Does Objective Morality Require the Existence of God?" In my opening post, I said this:
You responded, in part, with this:
So why is objective morality possible with gods but not without? Why should a logical person believe that? How would the existence of objective morality point to God's existence? How would the existence of gods be consistent with objective morality while the nonexistence of gods would not be? Why would some things be good or evil with gods but not without? Why would some actions be obligatory or impermissible--regardless of one's opinions on the matter--if gods exist but not if they don't?
You call your standard objective, but--as far as I can see--only because you like it, because you think calling it objective gives it legitimacy. I could call mine objective on the same basis.
Let's say that Joe wants to rape Sara, but Sara is against that.
In your view, the rape is wrong because gods forbade it. In my view the rape is wrong because it increases unhappiness.
What about that is subjective if I'm right but objective if you're right?
And if everything in my worldview is right, then my morality is exactly as objective as yours.
Is that the sum of your argument? "If I'm totally right, then I'm right"? Because that works exactly as well for me as it does for you.
Or can you work your way logically from the existence of gods to the existence of objective morality? If so, how do you do that?
I can't see that "unnatural" is the word you want. "Natural" might be better, or "unmagical."
According to Plantinga, god knew at the beginning everything that would happen in every possible world. He picked this one because he liked it. Knowing everything that would happen, he liked it. This is what he wanted to have happen. Rapists are no less part of god's plan that good people. And, according to the bible, when reprobates (people who are not among the elect, people who are bound for Hellfire) try to reform, god darkens their councils and hardens their hearts so that they will go and rape again.
I don't see any way that rapists can be against god's plan. They are part of the plan.
On your view, magic provides some humans that think rape is bad and some who think it's good.
Regardless of whether there are gods, some people think rape is good, and some think it's bad.
If you're right, both are working magically, as opposed to naturally, but it's still true that Joe thinks rape is good and Sara thinks it's bad.
People disagree about morality regardless of whether gods exist.
If the people disagree regardless of whether gods exist, then that can't be the factor that is objective for you and subjective for me.
So the difference, if there is a difference, is that you think we should obey gods and I think we should increase happiness. So, can you tell me--without shifting focus to the fact that people disagree in your view just as much as they do in my view--why your rule is objective and mine is subjective?
Is your point that your god isn't omnipotent and omniscient, so he didn't plan for Joe? Is this going to turn in to a PoE (problem of evil) debate? Or is your point something else?
Wow. I'm at a loss. If following the owner's orders is not what's good, then what is the good?
Now god designed me to be against following orders? How is that consistent with everything else you've said.
I do good (by not raping) and Joe does evil (by raping) in my view too.
The only difference is that you claim that I'm good because I'm following divine orders, and I claim I'm good because I increase happiness. How is it that your claim is "one objective truth" but mine is not?
If there are gods, humans still work in multiple ways. This cannot be a distinguishing feature.
If there is a god, then they are equally part of god's plan, and therefore equally unnatural and valid and good in that sense.
You have two people who disagree, and one rule that supersedes their personal opinions. I have the same exact situation.
According to you, in that situation, torturing children would actually be good. That's like not having morality at all. It's like the most subjective morality imaginable. Whatever gods subjectively desire you to do, that becomes magically "good."
I don't see why you think your morality is more objective than mine. Or in any way better. I don't think you have a case.
Post 83: Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:16 pm
Like this post (2): Overcomer, wiploc
That is not what I'm saying. Let me try to lay out just the logic first, then continue discussion over the content in the rest of the post. I'm saying that an objective standard for human goodness (let's call that R for moral realism) would require one intended human nature existing (let's call that H) and an authority that exists outside of individual human desires (let's call that A). If there are multiple human natures, then, at best, there are objective standards. If there is no authority that exists outside of individual human desires, then human goodness is subjective.
P1: If a view has H and A, then it has R.
P2: If a view has H1, H2, etc., then (at best) it has R1, R2, etc.
P3: If a view has H1, H2, etc. and does not have A, then it does not have R.
If my worldview is true, then H and A are true.
P1: If a view has H and A, then it has R.
P2: My view has H and A.
C: Therefore, my view has R.
If your worldview is true, then H1, H2, etc. and not-A are true.
P1: If a view has H1, H2, etc. and does not have A, then it does not have R.
P2: Your view has H1, H2, etc. and does not have A.
C: Therefore, your view does not have R.
That is why I don't think your view mirrors mine (except with God taken out). Taking God out changes other beliefs about facts and it is those beliefs about facts that change the syllogisms and conclusions. Now, whether those premises are true or not is another matter.
1. On the relationship between authority and moral realism:
Suppose a boss gives instructions to an employee and the employee tries to give instructions to the boss. Does the boss or the employee get the final say on the employee's work obligations? I think the boss has the authority to make the obligations.
The common notion of ownership, it seems to me, goes even further than the boss-employee notion of obligation. Employees can choose to quit the relationship and it is no longer a boss-employee relationship. Things that are owned cannot choose to quit the relationship. The owners have rights over their property, even from the perspective of the rights being against other people, not the item itself. In that sense, Joe should not rape Sara because God owns Sara, not Joe.
Assuming for the moment that slavery is actual ownership, an owner has the right to place obligations on their slaves and owns that slave against any other claims of ownership. That includes the slaves claim to "own" themselves or 'be free'. So, even in looking at cases of ownership involving free will, the owned cannot just choose to quit the relationship. The owner can place certain obligations on the owned. The slave can choose not to fulfill them, but that doesn't change what their obligations are.
This only becomes a problem when what is good for human flourishing conflicts with the owner's obligations. That is what happens in the scorpion god thought experiment. There is a conflict. If there is a conflict, then I think what is good for the human's flourishing trumps what the owner obligates. This doesn't put the standard above scorpion god, however, because the god decided what is good for human flourishing.
Regardless, this is a moot point as a critique of my view because there is no conflict between what is good for human flourishing and what God obligates humans to do. This is because both what is good for humans and God's commands reflect the very nature of God (God's subjective desires), which is unchanging. In the scorpion god scenario, only the obligations reflect the god's nature; the moral values or what it means for humans to flourish does not reflect the god's nature.
I don't think your view is as simple as that. Rape makes many people unhappy, but makes others happy. Good and bad are relative terms. If happiness is goodness, then rape is good relative to the rapist and bad relative to the victim. Why does the victim's happiness matter more than the perpetrator's happiness? Or why does the aggregate happiness matter more than one's own happiness and autonomy? What authority obligates them to obey this rule, on your view? What gives the victim the right to control/limit the actions of the perpetrator? And I'm not arguing that the perpetrator has the right to control/limit the wishes of the victim. I'm saying your worldview leads to there being no rights at all, either way. Therefore, every action is both good and bad depending on which subject is asked about it.
On my worldview, God has instilled certain rights upon individuals. When the perpetrator infringes upon those rights, they are claiming an ownership over that person that is not theirs. This leads to the perp's actions being bad, even though it might make them happy.
2. On the relationship between human nature(s) and moral realism:
Whatever we say is the standard of goodness would itself be subjectively good. No one can escape that. (a) Goodness is subjective for God because nothing outside of Him is responsible for His moral desires or has authority over Him. On theism, however, (b) that goodness is not subjective for humans because there is something outside of humans that is responsible for our intended moral desires and has authority over us. There is one way human nature should be. On your atheistic view, we take God's place in the logic [substitute humans for God in (a) above] and, therefore, (a) goodness is subjective for humans.
You, I think, would point to 'what increases the world net-happiness' as being outside of us, but it's really not (on atheism). What increases the world net-happiness depends upon the individual felt desires of people. If rapists outnumbered the rape victims, their loved ones and advocates, then rape would actually increase world net-happiness.
Unless you have something that logically dictates that rape must always actually decrease world net-happiness. I don't see that fitting with unguided socio-biological evolution. Natural selection has produced happy rapists in the same kind of way it has produced happy people who despise rape. Not because they go against their subjective desires, but because they give in to those evolved desires. The rapist can't be called defective on this model because there is no intended design at all to compare it to. Both the rapist and the one who is against rape are following their subjective evolved desires. That is what I mean by saying atheism produces multiple human natures. Why should one human nature that is not Joe's be Joe's judge?
Theism can provide us with an intended design that, when compared with, shows the rapist to be acting defectively (I agree 'unnatural' is not the best word, but I don't think 'natural' or 'unmagical' works either). In one sense, on my view, all humans are acting as God intended. We are all exercising our free will. But, in another sense, all humans are not acting as God wants. God wants all humans to exercise their free will in certain ways that respect each other as equals with inherent value because God loves everyone that way. So, yes, we still have the rapist, but the rapist is not acting how God intends him to. I don't see your view providing anything parallel to that. Rape does not go against natural selection (I'm sure there is a better way to say that sentence).
In my view, rape is wrong because God forbade it...God forbade rape because it causes unhappiness for both victim and rapist...it causes unhappiness for both because God designed humans to flourish in a certain way which includes not raping others or being raped themselves...God designed humans to flourish in this way because of God's subjective (but not arbitrary) desires. God's subjective desires exist outside of humans and, therefore, this source of human morality is an objective source.
On your view, what's to say that Joe isn't flourishing through raping Sara? If Joe is flourishing through raping Sara, then why should he give up his flourishing for Sara's flourishing or the flourishing of the greater good?
I don't agree with Plantinga here, then. I think the choice for God is creating a world that is either completely deterministic or free (to some extent). If God chooses to make a deterministic world, then there are various possible worlds God could choose from. If God chooses to make a free world, then there is no further choice between "possible worlds." It seems to me that if God chooses between "possible" free worlds, then it really becomes determinism.
The possibility of rapists are part of God's plan, but actual rapists are not. God's plan includes ways to try to turn their evil actions into good for both their victims and themselves, but that is different.
Let's bring it back to the different kinds of humans in the world. On my view, there is one intended human nature, but various distortions of that nature because of free will. On an atheistic view like yours, it seems to me that each different kind of human is a different kind of natural human nature; there are no distortions since there is no one objective pattern.
As to what the Bible says about election and God keeping people who want to reform from reforming, I disagree with you, but I think it is irrelevant whichever one of us is correct there. We can look at that, if you want, but our discussion does not rely upon the Bible being authoritative. If you are right, then I disagree with the Bible, but my argument here does not change.
Having divided up my thoughts that way, here is a response that brings them back together again:
I just want to know your thoughts so I can engage with them. I think the car has both an obligation to obey you as their owner and that it is actually good for the car to obey you because of what it was made to do, what it means for it to 'flourish' as a car. The car is not flourishing by pretending to be something it is not. If it has free will, it can choose to go against that, but it won't be as happy as it could be.
That is how I think it is with us and God. We flourish by following God's moral desires/commands because that is how He designed us to work best. God allows us to go against that, but we won't be as happy as we could be. God allows us to (disenfranchise - I'm blanking on which word I should use here) ourselves and face the consequences.
Post 84: Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:27 pm
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|Replying to post 83 by The Tanager]
It appears to me that this argument (related to the idea of a GOD owning humans) allows for the property owner to neglect said property. In relation to Sara being the neglected property, the idea of any GOD being the owner who is doing the neglecting, many humans who think of themselves as moral, would not consider such an idea of GOD as morally good for that reason. Indeed, they would most likely act toward their own property with care and attention to make sure that it is not neglected, and this could be an aspect of and motivated BY their sense of morality.
On your view, it appears the victim has no rights or say in the matter as Sara is the property of your GOD and - using your view - she is not a 'victim' but rather her owner is the victim, because it is the owners property which has been raped, even that the owner neglected his property in so far as the property was able to be raped.
This simply equates to the owner placing the stipulation on the property that the property is allowed to be raped or otherwise neglected. The property cannot own herself to the degree that she can seek better protection elsewhere and of her own will do so. The 'relationship' is based upon something which isn't regarded as moral by free-thinking humans, in that the property is able to have actual relationship (unlike a property which is a house, for example) yet that owner/owned context does not equate to any such type of 'relationship' at all. One says what is, and the other does what one is told without question, and even if there is question, or refusal to obey, the obligation remains the same. Hardly a relationship in terms of being based on good healthy morality.
Post 85: Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:11 am
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|Replying to post 84 by William]
I agree that it looks like that at first glance, but I think we need to look deeper. Would they be okay with negating the free will of their property in order to provide that care and attention? Is it moral to take away one's free will? To me, the ultimate question you need to judge God on here is whether God made the right choice between (a) wanting humans to freely join in God's community that loves each other and, therefore, necessitating they have free will and can reject that community or (b) making a community of perfect moral behavior that lacks freedom and, therefore, love. I think the more moral choice is (a).
I'm trying to parse out the two levels I'm seeing of my view here, thanks for helping me to think through things more deeply. I think we are given rights by God against claims made by each other. That because God created us and has say over reality, we have the right to not be controlled by another human. I think on atheism, there are no rights. We can dislike being controlled and can try to stop it, but it just comes down to who is more powerful; it's not a matter of rights.
But, in another way, I think God has given up his rights of ownership over our actions because He gave us free will. God will not force us into His community. He wants us there, but to be in that community there are rules. But those obligations match with what it means for humans to flourish because God designed humans and what it means for them to flourish. To not be in that community results in logical consequences.
Moral values come out of how humans were designed, with the rights (in relation to each other) given to them by their creator. That is why, in the scorpion god thought experiment, I say human flourishing trumps the god's obligations. But that may be heading back towards the beginning of my discussion with wiploc. I remember wiploc bringing up some objections involved with whether I was saying God as creator or sustainer was the important facet of morality being objective for humans, but I don't remember what those objections were. I think I was saying it was both, but I may be leaning back towards the creator part being more fundamental. I'm not trying to move back and forth, I assure you, I'm thinking about this issue in the deepest way I ever have and I am always open to changing my view. I bring this up, as I'm trying to best wrap my mind around this distinction, so that we can look back at those (or other) critiques concerning if it's more about God's role as creator than sustainer. I would gladly accept help in jogging our memories there.
But on atheism, although we can say humans have certain 'designs', I still don't see any rights arising that affect each other. It just becomes each person seeking their own flourishing. On theism, people were given rights that restrict what it means for every individual to flourish.
Sara is free to choose to reject God's community and seek better protection elsewhere.
In my view, God absolutely allows questions and freedom to join or reject. But the obligation remains the same because God knows better than we do. And that is just a logical corollary of the earlier beliefs in my worldview. It may be that those other beliefs (for instance, that God does know what is best for us and has our best intentions in mind) are wrong. But, if they are right, then logically God should not change the obligation simply because we want it to be changed. My daughter would be harmed (I'm mainly thinking here about suffering that will occur later in her life as she sets about living her life as an adult) if my wife and I changed the rules we put in place in our house that she sometimes wants us to change.
Post 86: Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:05 pm
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You believe a god has authority over us, the authority to dictate moral orders, to tell us what we ought to do. And, if you're right, then god has authority over us, has the right to dictate moral orders, to tell us what we ought to do.
How is that different from saying that if you're right you're right?
I believe that happiness is good, that we ought to be nice to each other, to make each other happy. If I'm right then I'm right. How is my argument weaker, less logical, less objective, or less real than yours?
Joe is for rape and Sara is against it. That's true regardless of viewpoint.
You can say that it seems like--from your worldview--that my worldview ought to regard H1 and H2 as equally authoritative because you dismiss utilitarian principle a an authority. But I dismiss gods as authorities, so from my view it looks like not-A is true from your view.
Non-theistic morality is at least as well justified as theistic morality. You have not demonstrated that theism gives you a leg up when it comes to moral foundations.
My R is just as real as your R.
You say that if there is a god, and if he somehow has moral authority over us, then he has moral authority over us. I say that if happiness is good then we ought to be nice to each other.
Nat Turner and Abe Lincoln thought there were limits to the authority of bosses. Labor history is one long renegotiation of who has how much authority over whom. Not many people today would agree with the blank check you just wrote to bosses.
If you're right, you're right. But do we have any reason to think you're right? Is there any reason we should agree that a creator god, if it existed, would own Sara, and that if he wanted her raped, she ought to make herself available for that?
Are you actually comfortable with this argument?
You're back on my team. Utilitarianism wins. Where utilitarianism and god-made morality conflict, utilitarianism triumphs. Gods, if they exist, get to tell us what to do only insofar as their orders comply with utilitarian principles.
If this were a debate, I would claim total victory.
You have effectively conceded that utilitarianism makes so much sense that god-based morality makes sense only insofar as it agrees with utilitarianism. That's hardly a "moot point."
Good is the sources of happiness. By extension, we can refer to happiness itself as good. Evil is the sources of unhappiness. By extension, we can refer to unhappiness itself as evil. There's nothing relative about that. Joe knows that rape makes Sara unhappy. Sara knows that Joe likes rape. It is an objective fact that rape is a source of both happiness and unhappiness.
Also, rape has a strong tendency to reduce overall happiness. If we take into account the effects on Sara; her family and friends; women who are afraid to go out at night; taxes paid to support police, jails, and courts; the suffering experienced by people like Joe while they are in prison; and so on, the net effect of rape is generally quite negative.
For that matter, I assume the net effect would be strongly negative even if we considered only Joe and Sara. The rape may please Joe, but not to anywhere near the extent that it displeases Sara. In this respect, Joe is like a burglar who steals a world-class coin collection only to spend it in vending machines.
That's real. It's objective. Rape does please Joe and displease Sara. That's just a fact.
I never claimed that. But I'll ask you why the rules of gods matter more than the rules of rapists.
I never claimed that one person's happiness matters more than another's. I claim that the sum total of world-wide happiness goes down as rape goes up.
You can imagine a creator god designing people so that they like to be raped. In that world, rape would be good. It wouldn't be bad, because there wouldn't be anything bad about it. It wouldn't make anyone unhappy.
Your god could still forbid rape, but I don't see how that would be a reason not to do it.
I don't understand the "autonomy" part. Surely you don't think gods destroy our autonomy by forbidding rape. In fact, you base your moral claims on us being owned, which makes it purely ironic that you think non-theist morality reduces our autonomy.
Why does aggregate happiness matter? I'm not sure I can help you if you don't get that. But you do get it, don't you. You constantly revert to utilitarian justifications for god-based morality, so I have to believe you get it.
We're talking about morality. Moral rules--when they aren't perverse--are about one of two things. Either you give up some personal happiness to increase group happiness (pay your taxes) or you give up some current happiness to increase your future happiness (do your homework).
Right back atcha.
What authority obligates us to obey creator gods? This is what you've never been able to address. You just say that if you're right about that, then you're right about it.
That's so easy to match: If I'm right, I'm right.
And I seem to be right, because you fall back on utilitarian justifications all the time.
But you don't seem to be right. I don't see anything virtuous about following the orders of creator gods.
What would be the point of obeying gods? Except in utilitarian terms, you can't offer an answer to that question.
I'm just telling you the difference in right and wrong. I'm explaining that Joe shouldn't rape Sara because that would make people (not just Sara) unhappy. Nobody claims that this gives Sara the right to control (or "own," as you would have it) Joe.
The point isn't that she controls him. The point is that he ought not have sex with people who don't consent.
And now, right back atcha: What gives your gods the right to control our actions?
That's how I feel about your view.
1. That overstates the case: Surely some events that cause happiness without causing unhappiness.
2. It doesn't matter who you ask. Sara knows that rape pleases Joe, and Joe knows that it displeases Sara.
3. The fact that many things have some good effects and some bad effects doesn't undermine my argument. The world would be hugely better off without rape, even if some individuals might arguably be a little worse off.
In my worldview, the logic of the situation instills those rights.
Rape actually makes people unhappy; therefore it is wrong. If we express this in terms of rights, we say that Sara has a right not to be raped.
In your worldview--at least as seen from my worldview--god magically instills rights, and that doesn't have any effect at all. I mean, so what? Why should we care? How does objective obligation derive from magic-based morality?
Your response to that question is generally that god designed us so that rape would make people unhappy. But, when you use that utilitarian justification, it makes my morality exactly as objective and real as yours, because, in the real world, rape actually does make people unhappy.
How so? In the real world, trenching on people's rights decreases net happiness. But what, in the magical world, is the harm in violating magical rights?
Post 87: Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:46 pm
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|Replying to post 85 by The Tanager]
Or it could be the case that GOD does not own any property, nor thinks of humans beings as property.
Wouldn't that be the more logical course to assume?
If GOD has a community where everyone loves each other willingly, rape would be less common, and people would share their bodies as they will to do so.
If they reject that kind of community, then problems of increases in rape etc naturally follow.
However, in either case, I cannot see any reason why any GOD would find it necessary to own these communities of individuals.
Basically if the question is "Is it moral to take away one's free will?" (how can a slave have FREE will anyway?) then the counter question; "Is it moral to own someone with free will?" need be asked as well.
Also, the question you ask makes one wonder why a creator being cannot create genuine loving beings without having to place them in slavery - in a situation where they are imprisoned - which goes against the idea of FREE will anyway, as it drastically reduces the amount of actual freedom they have in which to exercise their will. Relative free will which is the only way in which to tease out genuine love, seems a weak argument. Stockholm Syndrome springs to mind.
I think the premise that GOD owns humans as property is at fault here, as it allows for the type of argument you are composing, as per the type of belief you have faith in...assuming of course that you do. Ownership implies that the one owned is not free.
We are here to help one another. Principally that should be the main purpose of debating.
The right we think we have, not to be controlled by ANY other humans, goes against the actuality of the environment we are within. Having a right involves being able to exercise that right, otherwise it remains, at best, an ideal rather than an actuality.
From the viewpoint of realism, it appears that either GOD does not have say over our reality or has chosen not to exercise any control over it by allowing us to find solution - or not - re the mess being made all by ourselves.
Obviously the reality is that we do not get to chose who has rights over us and who does not in any absolute manner. The best we have are limited choices within the social systems which control us.
I think you might be forgetting the history of organised religions which grew powerful and brutally suppressed those who disagreed with and/or tried to stop it by showing that people had no rights, even that the they may have demanded such.
Atheist based sectors of human society are involved with trying to fight for the rights you allude to. Perhaps everything simply got so mixed up that it has become a matter of - whether religious or not - if one is involved in fighting for such changes, one is being right about it and arguments pertaining to which side is doing the job and which isn't, are redundant.
To presume the one is better than the other is to fail to remove the blinding object from ones own eye. Would you agree that this is a fair enough statement?
So GOD now giving up the right to own human beings actions becomes the shift in argument? How can one claim to be another's owner if one has no responsibility re the damage ones property might cause to others?
In the case of Sara, her actions were limited to having to deal with being raped as best she could, because her owner-GOD gave up his rights of ownership over HIS actions, (and inaction's). He allowed his property to be raped, which as I argued, is neglect of said property, by wanting his other property (the rapist) to have the freedom to exercise his will to rape Sara or not.
One can see that whatever such a GOD decides, these induce 'rules'. Allowing a rapist to rape on the grounds that the rapists 'free will' cannot be tampered with, is a rule.
Thus those presently 'flourishing' can claim to 'be in that community'? Was Sara 'in that community'? Obviously you are arguing that everyone is the property of the GOD, but not everyone is 'in the community' on account that they are willfully NOT wanting to be part of that community - and see themselves as 'the property of a particular GOD'
In order for your argument to stand, it would have to be that Sara is not 'part of the community' any more than her rapist is, because being raped is not 'flourishing' and everyone in said community would be looking out for each other and respecting each other as 'the willing property of the GOD'.
Is that what you are arguing for? That all who suffer at the hands of others, do so because they do not acknowledge belonging to the GOD, and thus their actions against one another are also not actions the GOD can own?
It could be argued that GOD had no absolute moral values, and the created environments made for the opportunity to examine the legitimacy of any claim that such a state existed.
Perhaps the idea of property ownership is a false right created by humans on each other and their ideas of GOD, and this because the environment created, enable such a thing to happen?
When it comes to the question 'Is GOD creator or sustainer?' as you may be aware of past discussions we have had on the nature of GOD, my own understanding is that we are aspects of GOD-Consciousness (and thus not 'created') and forms are what are created. As those aspects of GOD-Consciousness, we experience these human forms, in this rather dense physical environment, which I consider would be sustained by GOD-Consciousness in relation to what I see as intelligent purpose involved with the process.
My answer to that question is that GOD is both creator and sustainer.
Understanding as I do, that many types of religious folk share an aversion to the idea that every conscious being is an aspect of GOD-Consciousness, because the equation from that idea implies GOD is both the raped and the rapist.
Clearly the environment is designed to cause the individual to have no memory of ever having a prior existence, so in effect the individual starts out in the position of being unaware they are aspects of GOD-Consciousness.
This may equal to what you refer to as 'not being in the community', thus lack of knowledge and certainty allow for rapists to chose rape, and for the raped not be be within the protection of the community, because the chose not to, so bring rape upon themselves as a consequence.
However, the 'community' you are referring to appears to be those who claim to be 'Christians' (you can correct me about this, if it is not the case) and another aspect of history clearly shows that Christians were not able to be protected by their community anyway, so being both the property of their idea of GOD + the property could be - and usually was - neglected by that GOD, means that if the community cannot protect itself from the rapists, and GOD can if GOD wanted to, but doesn't, then what purpose if the GOD in relation to that community?
If GOD does not protect the community (his collective property) then the community will have to suffer such consequences under the impression that the GOD owns them and the GOD is the one being victimized, not the GODs property.
The beliefs wrought through the position of thinking a GOD owns human beings seriously complicates things in its efforts to align the actual circumstance humans are in, with the idea that a GOD put them there.
However, if one understands that we are aspects of GOD-Consciousness, then we can effectively say that we 'put ourselves here', and we are the ones responsible for ensuring protection of the community, and meting out penalty on those who cause harm to that community. There is no need for some property owning GOD to have to be believe in, as we are - as aspects of GOD consciousness - the very GOD with ability and opportunity to do that very task ourselves, together, as community.
Essentially all we have to do is love one another, and in that, we are effectively loving GOD. This is not only an ancient concept, but also one which Jesus is attributed with endorsing.
In that, even atheists can participate in such a thing, because there is no requirement to believe in GOD in order for such a thing to be done. The point being, what motivates us to love one another, is not here nor there, but if ones argument is that it is GOD who instills this in the individual, then one can argue that the individual is an aspect of GOD -consciousness, rather than complicate the notion through promoting a belief in a GOD separate from humanity - from human consciousness.
And how does this still make Sara the GODs slave?
You argument - as far as I am presently understanding it - is that;
1: Everyone is a slave of GODs, but not everyone is behaving as such - bearing in mind that there seems to be a great lack of clarity regarding the notion.
2: Everyone has within them an innate knowing of what is right and wrong, and this is because - somehow other than GOD is within the individual - GOD 'placed' it there.
3: What we know about this particular idea of GOD is that he never changes - and thus there is no negotiation. This may in fact not be the case, so please correct me if it isn't.
As to [2:] those who do not profess to believe in this GOD but still act on that innate knowing, could still be considered part of the community simply because of that. IOWs, it is not necessary at all to believe any GOD exists or that one is an owned slave of said GOD in order for them to act on that innate knowing of right and wrong as such should be besides the point.
Post 88: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:01 pm
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Let's start with your assumption that goodness is synonymous with happiness (or human flourishing). Then we need to look at what could and what does make humans happy.
What could make humans happy? (This may be simplifying things, but I don't think expanding the list will affect my point.) It is logically possible that:
(A) pursuing net-happiness of the world makes an individual happy (or produces human flourishing). We both put ourselves in that category.
(B) pursuing selfish desires makes an individual happy (or produces human flourishing). Ethical egoists, like our Joe, are in that category.
What actually makes humans happy or leads to human flourishing? For moral realism to be true, you need there to be one answer from the above logical possibilities.
On my view...
1. God is a personal, intentional being.
2. God has subjective desires
3. God decides to create humans and, therefore, gets to decide what will be good for human flourishing.
4. God wants to have a community where everybody loves each other freely. Therefore, God makes it so that performing loving actions towards others is part of what it means for a human to individually flourish (chooses option 1 above). God creates humans with a moral sense to help guide them towards these actions for not only the good of the entire creation, but for their own individual good. Ultimately, however, the way for humans to best love others consistently comes through being in communion with the all-knowing and all-loving God. Also, God must give humans free will.
5. Human free will may lead to humans rejecting this moral sense and performing unloving actions towards others.
6. Humans have chosen to perform unloving actions towards others and, therefore, are not in the community God intended them to have, but God continues to gift life to them in hopes that they will rejoin the community.
7. Jesus is God's answer to how people can rejoin that community.
*If this is true, then there is only one actual reality from the logical possibilities mentioned above that is true. I think that shows moral realism is true.
On your view (I think)...
1. Unguided socio-biological evolution is an impersonal, blind process.
2. Unguided socio-biological evolution has no subjective desires, because it is not an agent with desires
3. Unguided socio-biological evolution produces humans as we know them today.
4. Unguided socio-biological evolution produces humans of type A and type B (from above). Type A wants a community that seeks net-happiness of the world. Type B wants to be able to seek their own interests first. You are saying that everyone should follow option A, in spite of their natural desire or opinion on the matter, so that option A will take place. But Joe would use the same logic about option B.
5. I'm not sure what you believe about whether a human can choose to reject their strongest desires and live out what the other desire would have them do, if they were to follow that. Your answer here would change the parallel points of (6) and (7).
*If this is true, then both logical possibilities above are true, depending on the person. I think this contradicts moral realism.Here's a general post trying to compare our two views again, but I will also respond to your post in the next one.
Post 89: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:02 pm
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Please forgive me if I skip over anything. If I do, I feel I've already answered that type of response (here or elsewhere), but it may be a misunderstanding of your critique.
I'm not arguing like that. I'm saying that if what I believe is true (i.e., God has authority over us), then moral realism (i.e., that human moral truth exists outside of subjective human opinion/desires) is true. If A, then B...not If A, then A.
When you say that being nice to each other creates the most net-happiness in the world and that, therefore, we should be nice to each other, this says nothing about moral realism being true or not. It just says that if we want to work towards the most net-happiness of the world, then we should be nice to each other. It doesn't tell us why we should work towards that goal.
I did not write a blank check to bosses. I simplified the general point. Bosses have bosses, all the way up to the government that put limits on their relative authority.
Absolutely. It's following the logic of ownership. I am uncomfortable with people reading other things into it and thinking I'm saying something I'm not.
But I'm saying that utilitarianism 'wins' because God makes it so for humans. Utilitarianism, if it wins, is the guide to our actions only insofar as God made following utilitarian principles what leads to human flourishing. Utilitarianism tells us what to do only insofar as utilitarian principles comply with God's orders. Without God, utilitarianism is on the same level as egoism.
I have not effectively conceded that. The scorpion god critique is a moot point because it is not analogical to my view at all. Scorpion god's orders conflict with what he determined for human flourishing. That causes the problem. My view has no such conflict.
It's not about whether I agree that aggregate happiness matters, it's about the foundation of that agreement for us. We get the same answer, in one sense, but we are disagreeing on the foundation. I'm asking you to point to your foundation, not the answer that comes from the foundation.
So, if the world ever got to a place where rapists banded together and imprisoned those who refused to rape, to use them as rape victims...if the rapists outnumber the victims, rape would actually make people happy. You would then say that rape is right?
Post 90: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:02 pm
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Please bring back to mind anything of importance you felt I skipped over.
I'm a bit hesitant to fully agree here. In my post before my latest to wiploc, I think an idea of ownership is present in step 3 like, say, potters own their creations until they decide to give them away. I think God gives up ownership, in some sense at least, by giving humans free will. But in step 6, God is still continually giving humans life (the sustaining part I've talked about with God) so there might still be same retainer of ownership. I have some more thinking to do there.
I think you misunderstand what I'm saying there. I agree with what you say about organized religions that have gained power. I agree atheists are involved in fighting for rights of others. I'm not presuming theists are better at this than atheists; I'm not making that kind of comparison. I'm talking about the worldviews of theism vs. atheism being logically connected to moral realism.
I think God must (and does) take responsibility for allowing human free will. I think it was the better choice of those available.
That 'community' is Heaven. I think Heaven is breaking into this world, into my personal life as well, but I'm not fully in that community now, nor is it fully in the world. There are Sara's who are seeking to be in that community and those who are not. Raping any of them is wrong, in my view. Those in whom the community is breaking into have responsibility to protect each other from those who want nothing to do with such a community.
If you are arguing that there is no absolute good/bad or right/wrong, then this isn't really the thread to analyze your view. This thread is about what views can adequately account for moral realism.
I wouldn't say that. I think what our human flourishing is is entirely dependent on God as our Creator. That's when the ownership point plays a role.
I do think people are something other than God. I think we are dependent on God for life, consciousness, etc. I do think God placed a moral sense in humans.
What do you mean negotiation? I don't think God negotiates with people about what they want to lead to their flourishing.
I think being part of the community requires one to be in relationship with God. I think that we can't live out the community ethic without God's help. That does not mean I think atheists can't be good or even act better than a professing Christian. Any comparison I would make would be only for the individual. I think every individual can do better than they currently are, if they are connected to God. I think all of us fall short of perfect morality. Knowing what to do and doing it are two different things.