Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A little on OT slavery

I've been involved in a long thread on the issue of same-sex marriage for a few weeks now. It's going quite well in my estimation as approximately half of my 10 points have seen interaction with the numerous commenters, but none of that interaction has been very successful.

Anyway, today a commenter named Ai Deng has begun questioning me on a tangential, indirectly relevant issue. At first we were wrangling about subjective/objective morality, and now s/he is asking me about slavery.

Ai Deng asked:
Do you consider slavery to be objectively moral or immoral? On what grounds do you base this judgement?

I answered: "Slavery" is too broad to be able to say yes or no. What kind did you have in mind? I'll need a fair amount of detail.

Ai Deng said: I thought it was obvious, but I'm refering to slavery of human beings. Objectively moral or immoral? Grounds?

I said:
Sorry, I wasn't specific enough in my question. There have been many instances of human slavery in human history. To which institution(s) do you refer?

As for the grounds I use, I use the objective standard of the Bible, just as a preview. So you might pick out a given instance of slavery, and I'd analyse it in light of biblical moral teaching.

Ai Deng: In not outright condemning human slavery as either moral or immoral, it seems you are leaving open the possibility that some forms of human slavery are objectively morally justified. Would you care to share some instances in which you feel the slavery of human beings is objectively morally justified?

I: The Old Testament form is the only one that comes to mind offhand.

Ai Deng: What is objectively moral Old Testament slavery?

Do you think that it still applies today? I mean, could I own a slave and that would be good and acceptable in god's eyes?


This discussion is beyond the pale of the topic of that thread, so I'm creating this one for Ai Deng's benefit and also to preserve the continuity of other thread.
I answer:
I am unsure actually what "What is objectively moral OT slavery?" means. Does it mean "What is objectively moral ABOUT OT slavery?" or are you asking what the nature of OT slavery is?

If you mean the former, the God of the Bible is the transcendent and objective source of objective morality. His character is the very definition of good, and He always acts in accordance with His nature. He was the one who revealed the Mosaic Law, in which are found the provisions of OT slavery, so He commanded that that institution be put in place.

Incidentally, OT slavery might be better thought of as indentured servitude for modern parlance, since the laws governing it provide a great deal of rights for the slaves, with limited time of slavery, the limitation of which could be forfeited by the slave, not by anyone else. It doesn't resemble, for example, the slavery of the 19th-century American South all that much, though the word "slavery" leads most people to think that b/c they haven't really looked into it.

If you meant the latter question, check the following links for more information, or better yet, read Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Exodus and Deut in particular are not worthy of the typical "bore me to tears" appellation, IMHO. I'd also highly recommend, say, the John MacArthur commentary on Philemon, which is a short NT book.

Here
Here
Here (point 14)
Here (on Lev 25:44 specifically)
Here
Here (also helpful in addressing the 2nd set of questions)

These laws do not apply today b/c they were part of the civil structure of OT Israel, the theocratic kingdom, and we are no longer part of that society. Theoretically, if one wanted to set up a country using the Mosaic Law as the law of the land, I should think that slavery as defined in the OT would be justifiable, though not the best. But as it stands today, no, you would not be justified in owning a slave.

54 comments:

Daniel said...

So, based on your comment then, morality is changing?

Rhology said...

Since morality is rooted in God, who is "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (Jas. 1:17), this means then therefore that it does not change. And yet, on the other hand -and I'm gonna be frank and honest here with you, so I'm just gonna say it outright- it DID change, so.. Well, Idunno, I guess it's just one of this big, huge paradoxes, like how can God be one and yet three, or how can Jesus be at the same time human, yet divine.
I mean, that's just my own private and personal opinion, based on the Word of God (TGOTB).

Peace,

Allan.

NAL said...

Rho:
... with limited time of slavery ...

Leviticus 25:46
And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever


Only as long as they live. I guess one could consider that as a limit.

Rhology said...

That other Rhology isn't me, so, yeah.

Daniel, better said, many of the commands of the Mosaic Law were specifically fitted and meant for OT Israel. See here for more info on that.


NAL,

Oops, you're right. I forgot to make the distinction between slaves of Israelite descent and slaves of non-Israelite descent. Good call.

NAL said...

Would you say that non-Israelite slavery resembles the slavery of the 19th-century American South more than it does "indentured servitude"?

Do you think that non-Israelite slavery is immoral?

Rhology said...

I'm most familiar with OT Israel slavery, so I am somewhat qualified to make a call on that. I'm less familiar with other kinds, so I'd have to have a great deal more information.
I'll also freely admit that I don't fully understand the rationale behind God's commanding slavery in OT Israel. I know some of it, but I don't think I have my mind fully wrapped around it, and that can limit one's ability to project onto other scenarios of slavery.

Ai Deng said...

Rhology,

Let's first not sugar coat the slavery of 2,000 years past, by saying it was somehow imbued with qualities of fairness. Regardless of whether or not a master is directed to be nice or kind to his slaves, it is still slavery. And I have to say, had the same been written/prescribed by some other ancient text, take for example an atheist one, you would certainly demonize it, and rightfully so.

By the way, you must be aware, Exodus 21: 20-21 states "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property." So the Bible here gives authority for a master to beat his slave to the brink of death, and so long as the slave lives for at least 2 days afterward, this is good in the eyes of god. This certainly is not good and fair, at least not in my opinion.

Regarding indentured servants, they are not slaves, and if the Bible translated to English says slave but intends indentured servant, it should be changed.

Daniel already pointed out an interesting point here, since it would not be ok for me to own a slave in today's society, then morality is changing. The concept of a changing objective morality is odd to me. It seems to me that such a morality should not change. But if it does, does that mean your god could make it objectively moral to commit murder?

Rhology said...

Hi Ai Deng,

Yes, I might well demonise another ancient text, if the slavery prescribed therein differed qualitatively, and for the worse, from the biblical institution.
But you haven't given any reason to think that you as an atheist can acct for any objective moral standard by which to judge ANYthing wrong, including biblical moral values. Once you do so, we can start that discussion.

Re: Ex 21 - you know of someone who was beaten "to the brink of death" and who then got up 2 days later? Wow, who were they?!?! This is not a case where hyperbole serves well.
The slave had legal protection under the law - the owner would be punished if he killed him. And he's still punished if he beats him and injures him, b/c then he loses the profit/utility of that slave for the time being. And what happens if he beats him worse than that, so that he doesn't get up for 3+ days? Looks like punishment, since the text provides for no punishment on the owner if the slave gets up after 1 or 2 days.

I disagree that the translation should be changed. Rather, that's why there are context, commentaries, lexica, etc. It's not the translators' responsibility to make you understand the full range of usage of a word; it's to translate the text faithfully.

The *application* and *extent* of laws have changed, yes. It's too vague to say "morality is changing" w/o qualification, and I don't know if you have the theological understanding to make a proper case that would touch my position. Not saying you can't try, but I won't hold my breath.
As for the last question, quick answer is no, God could not make it moral to commit murder. It would be like making a square circle.

Peace,
Rhology

NAL said...

Rho:
But you haven't given any reason to think that you as an atheist can acct for any objective moral standard by which to judge ANYthing wrong, including biblical moral values.

And you haven't given any reason to think that moral values, based on God's character, are good, except by definition. By definition is not much of a reason, for me.

Rhology said...

It's the only option that is rational, for one thing. And it grounds the objectivity of it as well.

Of course, many atheists think the universe is a brute fact, or logic, or empiricism, so you go against many of your fellow atheists, even those the Ath Exp, when you say that. I guess you require evidence for empiricism?

NAL said...

But then any body's definition is as rational and objective as anyone else's definition.

Rhology said...

No, it depends on the grounding - what is the definition pointing to? Mine points to God, Who is good, holy, omnipotent, omniscient, etc.
What do others' point to?

Seth said...

...owning a slave in today's society...

Consider how Israel acquires a non-native slave during the OT time period. Would this not be a person with whom Israel was at war(military or civilian in non-combat support role) and who would have otherwise been killed or exiled? The OT calls them slaves but for us, according to Geneva we would say prisoners of war.

NAL said...

Rho:
Mine points to God, Who is good, holy, omnipotent, omniscient, etc.

By definition.

Rho:
What do others' point to?

A different definition.

Rhology said...

And can the other objects to which the other definitions point ground an objective morality?

Example 1: Allah - yes.

Example 2: Buddha - no.

Example 3: Society - no.

Ai Deng said...

Rhology,

I already provided a basis for my grounding of subjective morality in the other thread, but my morality is not what is in question here. You are the one who said Old Testament slavery was objectively moral based on your god. That is quite an alarming proposition, which is why I wanted further elaboration. Your further explanation indicates this is no longer objectively moral, silently indicating a changing objective morality. Which therefore leads me to wonder, under your objective morality, should "OT Israel, the theocratic kingdom", once again rise to power, would Old Testament slavery once again be Objectively moral?

I happy to see you recognize the difference between a circle and a square, but considering your god is not able to turn a circle into a square, doesn't that take away from his omnipotence! That is a statement, not a question.

And in response to your ever so conscending and self-indulging last paragraph, I have read the Bible, twice. And when I was done reading that book I picked up another, it was called the Koran. And when I finished with that one I read the Dao De Jing. And I read others, secular and theistic alike. And one thing I learned was there will always me people like you who bring nothing to the table but their own preconceived delusions, and will promote their agenda long after it has been shown blatently wrong and incorrect and false, and look down on everyone around them who does not share the same delusions. It's pure ethnocentricity, and it is a poison. A poison upon what? A poison upon reason, a poison upon many forms of positive growth, science and anyone outside of that society.

But then, there are those that will listen, objectively listen, and that is why I talk about these things. And it is why I will continue to do so.

Rhology said...

Hi Ai Deng,

It might be alarming TO YOU, but everyone has his own subjective morality. You may well be alone in your alarm, but there is no reason why anyone SHOULD share your alarm and think that slavery is morally objectionable, on your view.

And I already answered your first question: "Theoretically, if one wanted to set up a country using the Mosaic Law as the law of the land, I should think that slavery as defined in the OT would be justifiable, though not the best."

No, it does not take away from His omnipotence, as omnipotence = the ability to do whatever is possible. Square circles are not possible. Married bachelors are not possible. Justifiable murder is not possible, as murder is defined as "unjustifiable killing".

You accuse a follower of the Bible of ethnocentrism? Just what ethnicity do you think I am?
Did you miss Galatians 3:28 when you read the Bible?
You're making a claim on the Bible's CONTENT when you say that. Provide an exegesis of Galatians 3:28, Romans 2-3, and the meaning of "all men" in Titus 2:13. I'll be waiting.
And just what is wrong with ethnocentricity? Maybe it's wrong for YOU, but who are you to impose your subjective morality on anyone else?

Peace,
Rhology

Ai Deng said...

Rhology,

why should I, an atheist, of all people, provide you with an exegesis of "all men", as you put it? Seemingly, your own co-religionists to which You link at on your sidebar have some rather serious issues with such vague formulations. If you can't even make them listen to your side of the story, then why should I?

Rhology said...

Precisely.
You made a critique of the Bible, and I challenged you to substantiate it. You refuse. Moral of the story - don't make assertions you're not willing to defend.

And the "all means all except when it doesn't" is the Triablogue's CRITIQUE of the Arminian point that, in the Bible, "all means all except when it doesn't". You didn't even ask me whether I'm Arminian or Calvinistic. (FYI, I'm Calvinistic.)
And of course, saying "yeah, but look at your friends!" doesn't substantiate your critique. It's just a punt.

Ai Deng said...

Rhology,

You misstated my view. Yes I said everyone has their own subjective morality. No I did not say there is no reason anyone else should share in that morality. I already explained this. If my subjective moral belief is concurrently in line with society's, then both moralities should be consistent. Conversely, if someone for example decides that wearing green hats is immoral, that moral shouldn't be reflective in society's morality set unless society made justification for it, which given the example would be unlikely society would do so.

You said "Theoretically, if one wanted to set up a country using the Mosaic Law as the law of the land, I should think that slavery as defined in the OT would be justifiable, though not the best." Well, now you suggest that this would not be the preferred or "best" method. But you already told me your god was perfectly good, so why would a perfectly good being be instructing it's people to do something that is not best?

Your definition of omnipotence is incorrect. You said "omnipotence = the ability to do whatever is possible". The actual definition is 'an agency or force of unlimited power', or if you look up omnipotent 'having virtually unlimited authority or influence'. Therefore, there is nothing standing in the way of this entity, it is limitless.

On ethnocentricity, if I use the definition of Merriam-Webster, which is 'characterized by or based on the attitude that one's own group is superior', then what I characterized you as is exactly true. Your just too scared to accept your god put you somewhere else than the center of it's/his (ethnocentricity in action) universe, placed you among people who think differently and do things differently than you. So you lambast homosexuals and ignore any legitimate point made against your positions. What one said in the other thread, that you are truly a legend in your own mind is quite accurate, and unfortunate.

I do not disagree that ethnocentricity can have advantages to a group, that’s undeniable. Furthermore I don’t think all aspect of ethnocentricity are completely wrong for me. I can celebrate traditional holidays. I can enjoy spending time with my family and doing traditional things. But it also has it’s disadvantages, like preventing a particular group from advancing. It’s certainly the case in regards to science, and unfortunately one group being the subset of another, it tends to slow down the parent group.

Ai Deng said...

Rhology,

You are responding to a false "Ai Deng". Those were not my comments, but I guess somebody was having fun.

Rhology said...

Yeah, probably the same person who posted under the false "Rhology" up at the top. So, just consider my comments there an answer to Mr. Faker.

Rhology said...

They're both consistent. Well and good, but consistency is not a sufficient condition for true. You can be consistently wrong.

You said:
if someone for example decides that wearing green hats is immoral, that moral shouldn't be reflective in society's morality set unless society made justification for it

How precisely, specifically, would a society justify saying green hats is moral or immoral?
And why SHOULDN'T that moral be reflective in the society's morality unless justified? How do you know?


why would a perfectly good being be instructing it's people to do something that is not best?

Apparently that wasn't you above with the short comment, but I don't see you interacting with the first biblical issue you brought up, so why should I entertain yet another one? How many are you going to throw out without substantiating the critique? Maybe I should throw up a bunch of Kent Hovind arguments against evolution so you can blow all your time rehashing the same ol' same ol'.

The quick answer is that the Law is to deal with the real world, and there are poverty and debtors and prisoners of war in this imperfect real world. OT slavery is a good answer to those things, but of course it would be better for, say, the prisoners of war to work their way out of slavery and show themselves to be in good faith to be regarded as full "citizens", as it were. That's one example.


I don't care what the dictionary says; I define God by His self-revelation, the Bible, and choose words, sometimes with caveats, sometimes not, that describe Him well. Perhaps you think a truly omnipotent God would also be able to cease to exist, to cease to be God, to un-become omnipotent and then re-become omnipotent, to create a universe and then cause it to have never existed. Language can say alot of things that can't be actualised in reality.


As far as ethnocentrism goes, you are very ignorant. Or maybe I should say, "Your very ignorant"

Your just too scared to accept your god put you somewhere else than the center of it's/his (ethnocentricity in action) universe

This is not even worthy of comment. Pathetic. Arguments, please. I've asked questions, you're not answering them.


I don’t think all aspect of ethnocentricity are completely wrong for me

Oh, OK. So apparently, if I'm "too scared to accept my god put you somewhere else than the center of it's/his (ethnocentricity in action) universe", that could be OK too, since ethnocentrism isn't all bad according to you.

You need to step up your arguments or slink back to the Atheist Experience combox so all your buddies can help you evolve past your whiplash wounds.

x-faker said...

--So, just consider my comments there an answer to Mr. Faker--

But I'm affraid I've never asked you to answer any of my questions, dear sir. You must have surely mistaken me for someone else, sir.

Ai Deng said...

Back to objective morality, yes you can be consistently wrong, which is why I also refer to society's morality set as subjective.

How would a society determine that wearing a green hat is immoral. How does a society determine it is immoral for a woman to wear other than a burka outside of their own home? That is a rhetorical question. What if I told you that wearing a green hat in chinese society was equivalent to delcaring the whole world "My wife is cheating on me", and that when you tell a person "You are wearing a green hat", it is equivalent to saying F-you. This is actually true. Wearing green hats is not outlawed in China, people don't do it, maybe uninformed foreigners, but can you see that it is a little bit more likely that such a law could be passed in that society. Yes, it would be stupid, but at least I gave some albeit foundation.

Your next comments accuse me of attacking a second biblical issue, but I was just responding to something you had said. You said the definition of god was that he is completely good, so I believe my question as to why a completely good god would suggest a less than good solution was valid.

Back to 1st Biblical issue, I understand you are pointing out those passages as evidence that your god doesn't prevent minorities, various races, etc. from coming to heaven thru Jesus. So your argument is probably that how then is this ethnocentric. Well, if this is indeed your point, my response is that ethnocentrism can still be committed by a group of diverse individuals, and is.

Don't like definitions when they don't support your argument huh. Well, pick and choose, pick and choose.

Anyways, since you are starting to get a little nasty and continue to speak as if you are intellectually invincible, I could very well take myself elsewhere. I mean there is no sense arguing with a rock.

Rhology said...

Ai Deng said:
How would a society determine that wearing a green hat is immoral. How does a society determine it is immoral for a woman to wear other than a burka outside of their own home?

So you appeal to a supposedly divinely-revealed tradition about the burqa (allegedly derived from Islamic hadiths) to justify your society-as-boss model? Try again.


What if I told you that wearing a green hat in chinese society was equivalent to delcaring the whole world "My wife is cheating on me", and that when you tell a person "You are wearing a green hat", it is equivalent to saying F-you.

And what precisely is wrong with
1) one's wife cheating on him
2) one declaring to the world that his wife is cheating on him
3) someone telling another to go ____ himself?

You keep trying to explain how your subjective morality might inform others, but that's just the point - one's individual subjective morality has no prescription or application outside oneself. If it did, it would be objective. And your worldview can't provide for anything like that.
Maybe you think that all 3 of those things are wrong or distasteful, and maybe someone else thinks they're awesome. Who's right and how can anyone know? On your view, no one is right and it is impossible to decide between them. It all comes down basically to how you feel about it.


I believe my question as to why a completely good god would suggest a less than good solution was valid.

And that is a theological question.


Well, if this is indeed your point, my response is that ethnocentrism can still be committed by a group of diverse individuals, and is.

No one is arguing that it CAN be. I'm challenging you (now for the 3rd time) to prove that it IS INDEED THE CASE HERE. PROVE IT.


Anyways, since you are starting to get a little nasty and continue to speak as if you are intellectually invincible, I could very well take myself elsewhere.

Let the reader judge who has actually made arguments and responded to what the other guy said.
Also, what if being "nasty" is actually a moral obligation (not just permissible) on my subjective morality? Where do you get off judging me?

Peace,
Rhology

Daniel said...

Alright well, I'm going to take a step on a limp and assume that the posts by your name without the picture are not you, if this is incorrect please correct me. I don't want to waste time debating points that you don't actually follow.

Daniel, better said, many of the commands of the Mosaic Law were specifically fitted and meant for OT Israel

I went and looked at the link and it seems that you are of the opinion that the New Testament changed what was moral (at least to us) as compared to old testament society. You mention that there are some issues which are mentioned in both, such as murder, with the same penalty, and some issues, such as homosexuality, with a newly defined penalty. I am curious, what is your stance on moral laws of the Old Testament that are not mentioned in the new testament at all? Did this moral wrongs cease to be wrong because we now live in a different society? If so, how is this not a change in morality? If not, then why are these things that were moral laws, now no longer moral laws?

But you haven't given any reason to think that you as an atheist can acct for any objective moral standard by which to judge ANYthing wrong

this is a point that has been brought up several times and I, and others, have attempted to work with you to explain why this is so, and I now have a question for you. Are you asking us why one should be moral, or are you asking us why morals exist? They are two seperate questions, and I think some of the confusion might be that we're answering one question while you're asking another.


No, it does not take away from His omnipotence, as omnipotence = the ability to do whatever is possible. Square circles are not possible. Married bachelors are not possible. Justifiable murder is not possible, as murder is defined as "unjustifiable killing".


I'd like to offer you assistance on this one if you will. It isn't so much that it isn't possible for such a thing to be done, but that, in the act of doing so, what is being done is no longer effectively being described by our language. A square could be made into a circle, but doing so changes the definition of either square or circle, or both. Similiarly with murder, it could become a moral act, i.e. killing someone can be murder, but because the very definition of murder is killing someone in a way that isn't moral, it becomes an issue of definitions of words, not of feasibility of actions.


I have a few more points/comments I'd like to make, but I'm going to wait for your response first to ensure that I am not arguing against a position that you do not truly hold.

Rhology said...

Daniel,

Thank you for your circumspectness. The fake commenter used my name once, in the first comment. Other than that, so far they are all mine.

I am curious, what is your stance on moral laws of the Old Testament that are not mentioned in the new testament at all?

If they are part of the moral code of the OT, I'd say they are still applicable today.


Are you asking us why one should be moral, or are you asking us why morals exist?

Yea, it can be hard to jump into a conversation that's been going for months, hard to understand it.
Here's the fundamental question. Ai Deng thinks that there is no god. The universe is an atheist universe, a naturalist, materalist universe. There is nothing but material. There is no supernatural. The conceptual can be reduced (yeah right) to the firings of neurons in the brain.
Where is there any room in a universe like that for some over-bearing morality, that could PREscribe what one OUGHT TO do? This is the classical is/ought distinction of David Hume that I'm championing here.
So, Ai Deng makes a "you should" statement. Why should I? B/c Ai Deng said so, I guess. Or maybe I have an opposite view of what one should do. So who is right and how can we know? If the universe is like Ai Deng thinks it is, there is no way to tell who is right. Indeed, no one is right. This applies to all moral questions. Should I take this candy from this baby? Should I shove 1 million Jews into ovens? Should I line up children in a classroom and hose them with automatic weapon fire? Should I take this newborn baby, molest him sexually, then cut him up into 5 pieces and mail them to his mother? The answer is to all of those: no way to tell. Nothing is good and nothing bad in this framework.
Someone may have a moral structure. It is neither good nor bad, even if many people think it is good or bad.
So I'm fundamentally asking why one should do anything, and reminding Ai Deng and everyone that it begs the question to define anything as "moral".


A square could be made into a circle, but doing so changes the definition of either square or circle, or both.

Correct. It would be one or the other, but not both. A square circle can't exist. A square that subsequently becomes a circle - no problem. God can do that, sure.


Similiarly with murder, it could become a moral act, i.e. killing someone can be murder, but because the very definition of murder is killing someone in a way that isn't moral, it becomes an issue of definitions of words, not of feasibility of actions.

Since murder is by definition the UNJUSTIFIED killing of someone, it cannot become justified. If a killing act were justified, it wouldn't be murder.
And of course, murder doesn't exist in an atheist universe, b/c there is no moral justification possible for any action.

Peace,
Rhology

Daniel said...

If they are part of the moral code of the OT, I'd say they are still applicable today.

Then how does one determine what is part of the moral code? You've established that slavery is not a moral code, but is an issue that was designated specifically for the OT nation; by what grounds do you eliminate parts of the Old Testament that have no mention (either for or against) in the New Testament?

Where is there any room in a universe like that for some over-bearing morality, that could PREscribe what one OUGHT TO do?

Okay, so again, are you looking for a reason to follow a moral code, or are you looking for the justification of the existence of a moral code?

I think that was phrased poorly...let's see...uh...

Are you looking for a reason why someone should perform such an action that is deemed as moral or are you looking for a reason why an action is deemed as moral in the first place? They are two seperate conversations and debates.

Rhology said...

Correct, slavery was a civil institution. Abuses of it were moral and civil.
It can be a little difficult sometimes to distinguish between moral and civil laws, but much less so than telling those apart from ceremonial. To know, you read them and the context, just like anythg.
And it's not "eliminating" things from the OT, it's taking them in their proper context.


I'm looking for a reason to follow any moral code, particularly anyone else's, in an atheist universe, but justifying the existence thereof (with any explanation other than "I like it") is also part of my challenge to atheists.
Yes, why SHOULD anyone perform ANY action?
And on what basis is any action deemed moral? Any answer other than "I personally like it/don't like it" is irrational on an atheist worldview.

Daniel said...

Alright, so you want an answer to both questions. For the question of why follow a moral code, before I get into the issue of why follow a code in an atheistic universe, why do you follow the code as established in the Bible?

For the second, you want a justification for a code of ethics that can explain why some activities are moral and some are immoral that is not simply a matter of one person liking a specific action vs. others, correct?

Rhology said...

Why I follow it? B/c God changed my heart to repent of my lawbreaking and ask for His forgiveness and His help to live like He wants. B/c I love Jesus.
Why I think it's right? (It's a different question, I hope you understand.) B/c it's the only option I've seen that makes sense, actually. Atheism, as we've seen, allows for NO moral prescriptive statements. Islam and Judaism do, but they have other serious flaws that preclude their rational adoption.

2nd question, correct. On an atheist universe, I mean, unless you are defending a different worldview, in which case please inform me.

Daniel said...

B/c God changed my heart to repent of my lawbreaking and ask for His forgiveness and His help to live like He wants. B/c I love Jesus.

So then you act in a moral way because you wish to please the provider of the morals? Would you say that is a fair statement?

If so, is that enough of a reason to follow a moral code? To please the one that provided it?

On an atheist universe, I mean, unless you are defending a different worldview, in which case please inform me

Nope, we're working with a universe that has nothing that is supernatural, creating a set of morals from a system where there is no external source from them (outside of the earth that is).

Okay working on that function then, there are a couple of method through which a moral code could come into being. First, due to our nature as a social creature, there is a simple code of ethics that is founded based of the neccessity for survival. Take for example lions. Lions have a code of morals of their own, they don't hunt and kill within their own pack, because to do so would suffer a negative impact for the packs survival. Thus, a moral code could come out of what is neccessary for a group of individuals to survive.

Now, before you counter with an example of someone not following the code, remember the second half of my post is not about WHY you should follow a moral code, merely how a moral code should exists without an objective source of morality.

Rhology said...

Yes, that's a correct statement. I love Jesus and He is the source of objective morality.
And don't forget - since the morality is objective, following it is *the right thing to do*. And it also pleases the one who lovingly saved me, so it's ALL good.


Your statement boils down to: IF you want this or that (like survival or a stable society), then do these things. Morality is also supposed to inform our thoughts and values, and yours doesn't. It just begs the question that those things are good, but they're not. They're just preferable TO YOU.
Why SHOULD I want a stable society or to survive?

BTW, I've been thru all this before.

Daniel said...

Yes, that's a correct statement. I love Jesus and He is the source of objective morality.
And don't forget - since the morality is objective, following it is *the right thing to do*. And it also pleases the one who lovingly saved me, so it's ALL good.


So, then, if someone doesn't love Jesus or want to please him, then is it moral to do things that he claims otherwise? Why should someone want to love him? Why is it 'right' to do what he wants?

Your statement boils down to: IF you want this or that (like survival or a stable society), then do these things.

tsk tsk! Remember, this half of the argument isn't about WHY you should follow the moral code, simply a matter of HOW a moral code could come to be without an objective source. You're confusing the two arguments.

Morality is also supposed to inform our thoughts and values, and yours doesn't.

I appologize then. I was acting under the assumption that morality was the internalized idea of what was right or wrong to do. I think perhaps we should define morality for this discussion then?

It just begs the question that those things are good, but they're not. They're just preferable TO YOU.
Why SHOULD I want a stable society or to survive?



again, we're not currently talking about why one should follow a set of morals that originates from this methodology, we're discussing whether or not a set or morals could arise from a system without an external source.

BTW, I've been thru all this before.

Well, I can take the discussion to that particular blog post if you'd like? Or, if I hit points that you've already refuted, feel free to link me to the relevant post (or response) that was made in respect to that point.

Rhology said...

It is always moral to do what Jesus says, and always immoral to violate what He said. That should cover it. ;-)
It is right to do what He wants b/c He is the very definition of good.

Moral codes can come to be just from the imagination of any one person. Without grounding in the transcendent God, they are subjective and lack prescription or applicability to anyone else. That's the point. Who cares if there are other moral systems? They're a dime a dozen. I'm interested in which one is true (if any).

Morality = set of statements that define what one OUGHT to do.

I linked to that post so you could see what's gone before, so we wouldn't go over ground already covered. It's recommended reading for you.

Daniel said...

It is always moral to do what Jesus says, and always immoral to violate what He said. That should cover it. ;-)
It is right to do what He wants b/c He is the very definition of good.


Alright so, one should follow the moral code of the bible, because it is good? Is this the basic understanding of it?

If this is the case, then we're at a bit of a troubling point. Because what you're basically saying is that you should follow morals because it is moral to follow them. Follow them because it is good to follow them, but good is, in and of itself, a moral judgment, so...we're in a bit of a circle here.

Moral codes can come to be just from the imagination of any one person. Without grounding in the transcendent God, they are subjective and lack prescription or applicability to anyone else. That's the point. Who cares if there are other moral systems? They're a dime a dozen. I'm interested in which one is true (if any).

Then you freely admit that is possible for anyone, even an atheist, to adhere to a moral code, and for a code to exist without an objective source. Your question is whether or not one should follow such a code, correct?

Rhology said...

Yes, among other reasons, but that one is sufficient.
It's not a circle b/c it points back to the ultimate grounding of that morality - God.
The atheist is vulnerable that circle, not the Christian.


2nd question - yes, that's right.

Daniel said...

Yes, among other reasons, but that one is sufficient.
It's not a circle b/c it points back to the ultimate grounding of that morality - God.
The atheist is vulnerable that circle, not the Christian.


I am a bit confused here. If my understanding of your statement is correct, the response was, "Yes it's circular logic, but that's okay, because it's God". Is that what you meant?

But okay, I'd like to go back to the idea that I put out earlier that you seemed to agree with, that you act morally, not just because God tells you to, but because doing so is pleasing to God. Would you say that's an accurate statement of why someone should follow the morals set forth in the Bible?

I understand that "It's the right thing to do" is a very comforting argument, but that doesn't explain why you should follow a moral code. Anyone with a moral code can say that it is the 'right' thing to do. After all, you have a moral code, if the action complies with the code, it is the right thing to do. So...why follow the morals of the Bible?

Rhology said...

No, it's not circular b/c it doesn't appeal to itself. That's a circle.
The morality of it appeals to God as the grounding, not to itself.

Yes, that's an accurate statement for some of the reasons why someone should follow the biblical morality.

You apparently want to divorce any notion of goodness and rightness from the question of "should" and "ought". Why? And what's left of it if you do so?

Daniel said...

No, it's not circular b/c it doesn't appeal to itself. That's a circle.
The morality of it appeals to God as the grounding, not to itself.


I'll concede this, but it simply moves the circle back a step, where God is good, because God says he is good.

Yes, that's an accurate statement for some of the reasons why someone should follow the biblical morality.

Are there other reasons someone should follow them? I'm asking because in order to establish a reason someone should follow a moral code of a subjective nature, I need to know what, in your opinion, makes it right to follow this moral code.

You apparently want to divorce any notion of goodness and rightness from the question of "should" and "ought". Why? And what's left of it if you do so?

Not at all, that was your doing. You were the one that stated that one cannot simply use 'because it is right' as their basis for following a moral code. If you want to state that one should follow the biblical moral code 'because God says so.' then that's fine, simply say so, and we can move forward. But 'good' and 'rightous' are description of moral actions, not reasons for following a moral action.

Seth said...

Morality = set of statements that define what one OUGHT to do.

I disagree with this definition. Morality cannot necessarily be tied to 'shoulds' or 'oughts' as in behavior. To claim this implies that moral dicates are conditional on whether or not one can actually follow through. To do so also unnecessarily introduces a theological dispute - i.e., for whom was the dictate given, and from whom is adherence expected. That discussion no longer is of 'objective right and wrong'.

Lucian said...

Alright well, I'm going to take a step on a limp and assume that the posts by your name without the picture are not you

Looks like an ICON *saved* Your rheputation, Rho! >;) How do You NOW think that God reacts to people who invoke His Name without using His icon, ... hmmm? ;D

Lucian said...

Oh, yeah, and another thing:

Daniel,

welcome to the lion-den! ;-) How does it feel to be here? ;D

Rhology said...

Daniel,

For more reasons why one should follow biblical morality, I gave a fuller treatment here.

And yes, you're astute to observe that it moves the question back to God, and appeal to God as good is circular. Not viciously circular, however - God is the ultimate ground of reality, intelligibility, and morality. The buck stops with Him. He is the very definition of good.
The reason I can say this with a straight face is that all other options I've examined have utterly failed. An example is seen in this very combox, where Ai Deng has attempted to criticise another person's morality out of one side of his mouth while claiming that his morality is subjective out of the other. Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument, and these fundamental inconsistencies are all over atheistic moral frameworks. I've not yet met an atheist who's been able to resist the temptation to make moralistic statements.


a reason someone should follow a moral code of a subjective nature

I may not be understanding you correctly, but *I'm* the one who claims I follow an objective moral standard.


You were the one that stated that one cannot simply use 'because it is right' as their basis for following a moral code.

No, you misunderstand. One CAN use that. Indeed, an objective morality MUST include that in its appeal. But an atheistic moral framework has no way to ascertain or indicate any objective right or good.
So, going back to the original comment from you, it makes zero sense to say "Yeah, but why SHOULD you do something that's right?" unless you're making some sort of existential appeal, as if you and I were fingering our bloodstained knives in some dank alleyway.



Seth,

I don't see why "ought" implies "can", actually. I wouldn't argue that, tempting as it may be.
We may be missing each other on the issue of objectivity in nature vs objectivity in applicability. Some laws from God, for example, are always in force. Don't rape. Don't murder. Don't worship someone else. Others are not, such as those dependent on the gov't under which someone lives a la Romans 13.


Lucian,

My dispute with you about icons is about worship and religious context. I didn't realise anyone was proskuneo-ing me here. I kinda doubt it. :-D


Peace,
Rhology

Daniel said...

And yes, you're astute to observe that it moves the question back to God, and appeal to God as good is circular. Not viciously circular, however - God is the ultimate ground of reality, intelligibility, and morality. The buck stops with Him. He is the very definition of good.

Alright great, that is fine, save that we have no proof of this. I mean, why is he the ultimate good? What proves this to be the case?

The reason I can say this with a straight face is that all other options I've examined have utterly failed. An example is seen in this very combox, where Ai Deng has attempted to criticise another person's morality out of one side of his mouth while claiming that his morality is subjective out of the other. Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument, and these fundamental inconsistencies are all over atheistic moral frameworks.

And what of inconsistencies within the Christian framework? Should one be found would you then, immediately, reject Christianity, or would you sit and consider the proposed inconsistancy and see if there really is an inconsistancy, think about the issue and see if the statement as presented is perhaps a bit misguided, or poorly designed, or based on a faulty assumption.

In the example you give, what seems like a logical inconsistancy is really a combination of a poor choice of words, and combining two unrelated comments to attempt to disprove something, much like is someone were to, out of context, quote that the bible says that God forgives and does not forgive. It's not enough to simply take the words, one must consider the context around them, and the intent of the message.

I've not yet met an atheist who's been able to resist the temptation to make moralistic statements.

I'd like to make a comment here that this is likely because you've yet to meet an immoral atheist. As someone who is moral is, by their very nature, going to make moralistic statements.


I may not be understanding you correctly, but *I'm* the one who claims I follow an objective moral standard.


Sorry, that was poorly worded. What I meant was, I want to find out why one should follow a moral code in your opinion, to see if that reasoning can be brought to bear on a subjective morality.


No, you misunderstand. One CAN use that. Indeed, an objective morality MUST include that in its appeal. But an atheistic moral framework has no way to ascertain or indicate any objective right or good.

I'm confused now. What is right or good is, by it's very definition, that which is moral. So, that answer is like answering, "Why should I follow morals?" with, "Because it is moral to do so." By that logic, anyone with a moral code can answer, why should you do this with, it is right, because it is in the moral code. We've already established that anyone can make a moral code. So, the existence of a moral code alone isn't enough to warrent the neccessity of following it. There must be another reason other than "It is right" to follow a moral code, because that applies to all moral codes.

Lucian said...

That other Rhology isn't me, so, yeah.

Yeah, ... right! >;) ;D

Seth said...

Alan,

Point being, a moral that is "always in force" really ought not to mean "application understood" plus "application implementable".


Daniel,

I agree with you to some extent - noting that in the Bible the most comprehensive moral code is tagged with the very practical rationale of "choose life rather than death". Seems that apart from "rightness" by definition, there should be some practical tests of validity.

Rhology said...

Daniel,

He's the ultimate good b/c there are no other rational options.
Atheism leads us to a total inability to make any moral statements. You make moral statements. You have implicit belief in this God. Otherwise you'd stop making moral judgments.

Show me an inconsistency in the Christian worldview. I warn you - I'll ask questions and you only get a few opportunities around here before I (rightly) lose patience, b/c I've seen it all before. Make it good THE FIRST TIME. Make sure you take it ALL into account, and make sure you show at least an elementary understanding of how to exegete the Bible.


you've yet to meet an immoral atheist

1) If by immoral you mean someone whose behavior generally conforms to an objective standard, you have yet to show any such standard, so the statement is meaningless.
2) If you mean "an atheist who follows his own moral code", then EVERYONE is moral. Again, the statement is meaningless.
3) Further, it's irrelevant. I'm not talking about behavior here, but rather how one justifies behavior.


I want to find out why one should follow a moral code in your opinion

There are many reasons why one should follow the biblical moral code. Read the link. Again.


By that logic, anyone with a moral code can answer, why should you do this with, it is right, because it is in the moral code.

You're missing the PRESCRIPTIVE power of an objective moral code. I'm not asking why I should follow MY moral code. Indeed, there's no "should" about that question at all. I either want to or I don't, and neither is good nor bad, on atheism.
The question is, is there an objective standard that prescribes behavior to everyone, that is true whether anyone believes it or not?



Seth,

a moral that is "always in force" really ought not to mean "application understood" plus "application implementable".

Then you argue that ought implies can, and I'm just not at all sure that it is a valid argument in the Christian worldview. After all, all men are commanded to repent and believe, yet no one can outside of God's intervention.

And yes, I'd halfway agree about the practical tests of validity, but one doesn't get to ask God for His ID. Out of His generosity, He has provided some such tests, but we have no right to request or certainly to demand such tests. "since there was no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself" - Heb 6:13.

But I find discussing such tests to be a little more tedious in the course of a discussion like this, personally speaking.

Peace,
Rhology

Daniel said...

He's the ultimate good b/c there are no other rational options.

You're putting the apple before the cart here. We're currently exploring this issue, and I'd thank you not to simply make a judgment on the issue before we get to the actual issues at hand.

Atheism leads us to a total inability to make any moral statements. You make moral statements. You have implicit belief in this God. Otherwise you'd stop making moral judgments.

False. All on accounts. I have no implicit belief in your, or any other God. I maintain my ability to make moral statements, thus your premise is faulty, we are currently working at finding out where.

Show me an inconsistency in the Christian worldview. I warn you - I'll ask questions and you only get a few opportunities around here before I (rightly) lose patience, b/c I've seen it all before. Make it good THE FIRST TIME. Make sure you take it ALL into account, and make sure you show at least an elementary understanding of how to exegete the Bible.

Exactly my point. I was not claiming there were or were not inconsistencies in the bible. My point was that just because there is a percieved inconsistancy does not mean that it is actually there. Your stance on inconsistencies points out, on it's own, the very foundational idea I was talking about. Rather that starting from the assumption that an inconsistency is a fault in the entirety of logic, one must step back, and point out the inconsistency, and see if it truly is there, before using it as a point in a debate. At least, if you intend to truly have a debate and not simply advance one point, regardless of other perspectives.


There are many reasons why one should follow the biblical moral code. Read the link. Again.


I've read the link, and it points out some issues with explanations that have been given to you, but doesn't actually talk about why you should follow your moral code. Now, if I've missed a salient point about why you follow the code (or if the point you are trying to make is in the comments) then simply copy it over here, or point out where within the post such a comment is.

You're missing the PRESCRIPTIVE power of an objective moral code. I'm not asking why I should follow MY moral code. Indeed, there's no "should" about that question at all. I either want to or I don't, and neither is good nor bad, on atheism.

Actually not quite. If you possess a moral code, and do not follow it, you are, by the very definition of the word, doing bad. Good and bad are simply whether or not one is following the moral code.


The question is, is there an objective standard that prescribes behavior to everyone, that is true whether anyone believes it or not?

And I would have to state that, no, there is not an objective standard that prescribes behavior to everyone, everywhere, at all times.

Now, before you come after me with the question about raping little girls, allow me to ask you, would you ever consider it moral to march into town with an army, kill the men, and rape the women? Would you consider it moral to murder your child? Would you consider it moral to commit genocide and kill entire civilizations?

If your answer to any of these is some form of 'well it really depends on the situation...' then we come up to the fact that it isn't actually always immoral. Now, there are some acts that are, by their definition, always going to be immoral. As an example we can use murder. This is because the word murder means an unjustified killing. If a killing is justified to be an action that is moral well...it ceases to be unjustified doesn't it?

Now, I'm willing to defend my perspective, but before I do, I want you to answer for me, why it is that you follow your moral code. If your answer is simply 'because' then you have no basis for complaint or argument. If it's because "God says to" then we're in an appeal to authority, which means that if the moral system has it's own authority which one can appeal to, then you shouldn't have an issue with it.

Now, if the real reason is, as I suspect is likely based on previous discusions with Christians, that "God tells you to, and if you don't you will be punished forever, and because he's God you can't get away with not following his cod." Then you've got me. Your chosen authority is much more powerful than any other authority (by definition) and you can't get away with breaking the laws the chooses. Of course, I saw you arguing against this very idea, that one should follow a moral code because you're afraid of the consequences if you fail to, in another forum post, but whatever.

Rhology said...

You asked me for the explanation of why God is the ultimate good, and I gave it. We need a standard by which to know good from bad. Why? B/c if it's just based in human minds and conviction, there are 6+ billion humans who usually do disagree. How do we know who's right? I'm waiting for you to tell me how anyone could know that. How can we tell the good from the bad amidst the clamor of voices?


I have no implicit belief in your, or any other God

You're lying. Mostly to yourself, then to me.
But anyway, I think it's obvious to most anyone, except apparently to you, that when you, an atheist, makes a moral statement, you are stepping OUTSIDE your worldview, borrowing capital, as it were, from a theistic framework, making the moral judgment, and then stepping back inside atheism, for whatever reason. If you'd actually go ahead and forward an explanation of your moral grounding, we could see this even more clearly. What is more, YOU might actually see it.



I maintain my ability to make moral statements

Which is NOT IN QUESTION. Keep your eye on the ball. The question is whether the moral statements you make have any grounding outside of yourself. Hint: it doesn't. And given that it doesn't, why think you are in a position to make prescriptive moral statements that you think SHOULD apply to others?


I've read the lin

I don't know if I can make it any clearer. If you don't understand what I'm saying, feel free to read it again until you get it, or drop the point where it is.


If you possess a moral code, and do not follow it, you are, by the very definition of the word, doing bad.

You might be doing bad TO YOU.
1) But that means nothing to me. You like chocolate ice cream, I dislike it. You dislike raping children, I like it. So what?
2) And of course my moral code might include the precept "breaking my own moral code is good", in which case my moral code would be self-contradictory and irrational. But so what? In doing "bad", I'd be doing "good". What sense does that make? None. A moral system that starts with a human is bound to fail.


there is not an objective standard that prescribes behavior to everyone, everywhere, at all times.

{licking my chops}


before you come after me with the question about raping little girls

I'll answer, but I insist you answer this in your very next comment. No negotiation.
Is it wrong at all times, for everyone, everywhere, in every circumstance, to rape, kill, and mutilate a 7-yr old girl for fun?
Next, how do you know?



would you ever consider it moral to march into town with an army, kill the men, and rape the women?

Kill the men, yes, there is a circumstance under which that would be morally permissible. Rape the women, no.


Would you consider it moral to murder your child?

How many times do I have to tell you that murder is never justified, b/c that is a self-contradictory statement?
See here for more info on that.


Would you consider it moral to commit genocide and kill entire civilizations?

It could be, yes.


If your answer to any of these is some form of 'well it really depends on the situation...'

You asked if it COULD BE. Yes, it could be. The only thing it depends on is God's command, which is the same thing for ANY moral question at all. He is the ground of good and right, the definition of it.


If it's because "God says to" then we're in an appeal to authority, which means that if the moral system has it's own authority which one can appeal to, then you shouldn't have an issue with it.

That makes less than zero sense. Not all alleged authorities are real authorities, and not all authorities can actually ground a moral system.


Your chosen authority is much more powerful than any other authority (by definition) and you can't get away with breaking the laws the chooses.

That is correct, except for the "your chosen". I didn't choose Him, He chose me.

NAL said...

Rho:
We need a standard by which to know good from bad. Why? B/c if it's just based in human minds and conviction, there are 6+ billion humans who usually do disagree.

It seems to me that there is a general consensus among the different world cultures that murder, rape, stealing, etc. are wrong. No supernatural standard is required.

Rho:
... you are stepping OUTSIDE your worldview, borrowing capital, as it were, from a theistic framework, making the moral judgment, and then stepping back inside atheism ...

It is you who are borrowing from our evolved sense of right and wrong, and then stepping back inside your religion and attributing it to God.

Human morality comes partly from nature and partly from nurture. Partly from our evolved sense of right and wrong and partly from our parents and the society we live in. If you lived in a different society, you'd be arguing for a different standard of morality.

Daniel said...

You asked me for the explanation of why God is the ultimate good, and I gave it.

But your explanation makes an assertion that you have yet to prove, for example:

We need a standard by which to know good from bad. Why? B/c if it's just based in human minds and conviction, there are 6+ billion humans who usually do disagree. How do we know who's right? I'm waiting for you to tell me how anyone could know that. How can we tell the good from the bad amidst the clamor of voices?

Well, because there is, quite obviously, disagreement aroudn the world about what is good and bad, and yet we see a constant trend of ideas that are almost universally revered as bad AND (here's the fun part) where we see variations upon those universal truths, guess what the motivating factor for those variations are? Religion.

You're lying. Mostly to yourself, then to me.

Really? Wow. I'm impressed that you know me so well after a bare handful of posts made to each other.

But really, no, I'm not. I sometimes wish there were a higher power that I could turn to in times of trouble, I'll freely admit that. But I also wish that magic were real, that dragons could be kept as pets, and that the girl next door would date me. Just wanting something doesn't mean I think it's possible, or true.

The question is whether the moral statements you make have any grounding outside of yourself. Hint: it doesn't.

You seem rather fixated on this fact, and yet you've really not proven that my morals are rooted in myself. Hint: They aren't.

As I, and others, have attempted to explain before, while morals are internally known, they aren't simply internally created. Morals are created and shared by entire societies, with smaller societal groupings having distinct moral ideas that differentiate them, but very few, if any, are opposed to the societal ideals of the larger society that is the human race.

I don't know if I can make it any clearer. If you don't understand what I'm saying, feel free to read it again until you get it, or drop the point where it is.

Unfortunately I can't simply drop this, because until I can find the reason that you follow your moral code, I can't logically attempt to apply that reason to any other moral code.

Your link seems to basically say that you follow God because these other moral codes are wrong because XYZ. If that is your sole reason fro following the moral code of God then I think we have an issue, because the moral code of God has it's own inconsitencies, many of which have been previously pointed out to you, and they are simply justified as, "Well it was Moral THEN but it isn't now, because....BECAUSE." Which is moral relativism, even if you won't admit it.


Is it wrong at all times, for everyone, everywhere, in every circumstance, to rape, kill, and mutilate a 7-yr old girl for fun?
Next, how do you know?


Sicne you asked, here you go. First, let's break this down into parts;

Can it be moral to rape:
One of the more difficult moral values of society to break. In our current society it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a likely situation in which rape is acceptable. (Remember, that this moral system isn't simply what is acceptable to an individual but acceptable to society at large)

However, if you were to radically change society, or the circumstances in which you find yourself then it could become feasable that Rape would be morally acceptable. Though the act of rape itself isn't what would be lauded, but instead the propagation of ones group.

For example, in the time of the vikings, because of the circumstances of the vikings lifestyle, the high birth-mortality rate, and other such factors, it was morally good to capture females from cities that WERE NOT VIKING CITIES and bring them back to your city to bring into the clan to propagate.
Can it be moral to kill:

...yes. It can.

Can it be moral to mutilate:

A bit more difficult, but it is feasable for it to be so, after all it depends upon the reasons for mutilation. I recall the chopping off of hands of theives, while not 'Good' wasn't 'bad'. There was a reason for the mutilation, it wasn't simply done just to mutilate.

Now I can think of a time in which such mutilation does become good simply for it's sake, but that involves religion, which throws social morality into confusion.

Can it be moral to do the above to kids:

In some cases, yes. The actual rape of a 7 year old is something that would require some kind of crazy set of circumstances that I can't possibly imagine ever really happening, but it's feasable that such an act could be conceived by society as good. As I said though, it's increadibly unlikely for it to occur.

So really, your question can be answered with, in today's society, with todays social morality it could only in a very select seet of circumstances be moral, and those circumstances would likely cause one to question the morality of an objective source as well, making the point you are driving at moot.

As for how do I know? Well if we look at society we can see some very obvious indicators of what are 'hard' moral laws. These laws being ones which are nearly impossible to break. Rape, Murder, Mutilation, pretty much fall into those categories (mutilation is an exception because it depends upon the willingness of the subject).

Kill the men, yes, there is a circumstance under which that would be morally permissible. Rape the women, no.

*Judges 21:10-24 NLT
*Numbers 31:7-18 NLT
*Deuteronomy 20:10-14
*Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT
*Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB
*2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB
*Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB
*Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB
*Exodus 21:7-11 NLT

Really? Never?


How many times do I have to tell you that murder is never justified, b/c that is a self-contradictory statement?
See here for more info on that.


I appologize, a slip of the tongue. Consider the question revised to Killing ones own child.

It could be, yes.

Sounds a lot like subjective morality...so far I've asked about a bunch of questions of things that are normally considered to be just immoral; and yet you've responded that in certain situation they could be allowed...Save for the rape, which isn't backed by the book that supposedly tells you what your Morals should be...


You asked if it COULD BE. Yes, it could be. The only thing it depends on is God's command, which is the same thing for ANY moral question at all. He is the ground of good and right, the definition of it.


Alright, so we've now established that your moral guidelines come from an authority, and one which offers us changes in morality based on our society while maintaining a fundamental core of morality that isn't ALWAYS wrong, but usually is.

So far sounds just like societal morality. You simply put the authority that we put in the evolution of morals (those things that are usually wrong even in various different societies) in the hands of God. So...you're not that much different from us.

And since we don't accept the existence of an invisible being that hasn't shown his interference in the world in any verifiable way, we simple accept the same basic moral idea as you without an invisible man watching us all the time.

So, unless you can refute the above idea...I think I'm done. You really don't seem to have a justifiable qualm with our moral system, since you basically share it, and are instead attempting to force God into our own, to make yourself feel better for believing in him.

Enjoy life!
-Daniel

Rhology said...

NAL,

No, there are plenty of societies in which murder is acceptable. And stealing. And it leads to roundabouts of evil.
And there could have been many more, but they destroyed themselves. But that means nothing as to the question of ought-ness. Ought they destroy themselves? That's the question you have to answer.
And just b/c many people hold to one standard doesn't answer the question of whether it's the right standard.

If I'm borrowing from an evolved sense of right and wrong, then I'd be like you, w/o any direction into this question. How exactly am I borrowing from a worldview in which right and wrong evolved but could have evolved differently, so that there's no way to tell between them?

If you lived in a different society, you'd be arguing for a different standard of morality.

Oh, you mean like in ancient Israel? Or modern China, where there are more Christians than in the entire USA? Or modern S Korea where there is a higher per capita Christian pop than in the USA?
Please, spare me such idiocy. If YOU lived in a different society, maybe you wouldn't be an atheist. So what? I'm concerned about what's TRUE.


Daniel,

Be done, nice talking to you. You've never even begun to answer very many of my questions, and to that kind of "interaction", I say good riddance.

You still show little understanding of what I just explained to NAL. Once again - just b/c many people think it doesn't mean it's right. You hold to that obvious fact in many other areas of life; why the disconnect in this question? Convenience? Don't have an answer?

yet you've really not proven that my morals are rooted in myself. Hint: They aren't.

Or maybe in a bunch of somebodys like yourself. What's the difference?


Morals are created and shared by entire societies, with smaller societal groupings ...

You're answering a different question. I'm not asking you what people usually believe. I'm asking about WHAT IS RIGHT. Deal with MY QUESTION or go away.


In our current society it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a likely situation in which rape is acceptable

Based on precisely what criteria? how do you know them? Whence do you derive them? Why should someone else accept them?
Looking thru the rest of your comment, you started to discuss it but never answered the question. Actually answer the question (and as punishment, you must answer the above 4 as well) or I'm done.


Can it be moral to kill: ...yes. It can.

Based on precisely what criteria? how do you know them? Whence do you derive them? Why should someone else accept them?


Now I can think of a time in which such mutilation does become good simply for it's sake

Begging the question - how do you define "good" here? To what standard are you appealing?
You can't say "it isn't good b/c it isn't good" w/o a grounding somewhere. I'm still waiting.


Can it be moral to do the above to kids: In some cases, yes.

Case closed. Thanks for your time.


Rape

See here for a refutation.
Are you really so dense as not to realise that a historical acct doesn't necessarily approve of events it records, it just records? Why is that obvious fact escaping you?
You probably didn't even do any thinking about this in between copying from infidels.org or some other moronic website and pasting it here. Don't sully my blog with such idiocy.


Sounds a lot like subjective morality

When X factors are present, it's definitely wrong.
When Y factors are present, it's permissible.
That's far more than your subjective worldview can say. You apparently don't understand objectivity.


So far sounds just like societal morality.

B/c it's grounded in God? Where is society in "God"? Think, man.


your moral guidelines come from an authority, and one which offers us changes in morality based on our society while maintaining a fundamental core of morality that isn't ALWAYS wrong, but usually is.

The statement "maintaining a fundamental core of morality that isn't ALWAYS wrong, but usually is" doesn't make any sense, sorry. You'll have to clarify.
If you mean that the core of morality expressed in the Bible is that which is usually wrong, you'll have to prove it. You've not even come close.


since we don't accept the existence of an invisible being that hasn't shown his interference in the world in any verifiable way

Such as the Creation? the Resurrection of Christ? Riiiiiiggghhhhht.


I'm done.

You certainly are. You barely even started.

Peace,
Rhology