Monday, October 25, 2010

Suddenly ethics aren't so situational anymore

Dick Dawk and his posse really are fairly pitiful.  I mean it, I pity them.
I also laugh at them, like when they messily divorce and destroy a thriving atheist Internet hive at the Dick Dawk forum, and now when Dawk is suing his former moderator over embezzlement.

I guess when it hits you in the pocketbook, ethics aren't so situational anymore. Suddenly, roll up your sleeves, You've. Done. WRONG. 

Francis Schaeffer calls the atheist worldview unlivable.  Examples are easy to find, but some are more spectacularly amazing than others.

94 comments:

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Uh, embezzlement is a crime, genius.

Andrew said...

But why? Why are those who are against embezzlement trying to impose their morality on others?

Anonymous said...

Dawkins is a great mind and makes many excellent points from which all Christians can learn.

Embezzlement is a crime. This happens to many organizations. This is not in any way a reflection on Dawkins.

Why is embezzlement a crime? Because it harms others.

Rhology said...

Why is harming others bad?

How do you know? What is the definition of bad and how do you know it?

Isn't saying that "teaching children religion is child abuse" bad?

David said...

"What is the definition of beauty and how do you know it?"

As far as embezzlement goes, it actually doesn't matter if it's immoral or not. It's still illegal. In the world in which Dawkins lives, it's illegal, and so if someone does it, he can take legal action. This embezzlement has hurt him, so he's going to strike back. You don't need an absolute, God-given morality to explain this, my dog would do the same thing.

I simply don't understand the statement "I guess when it hits you in the pocketbook, ethics aren't so situational anymore." This makes no sense. In the situation in which Dawkins finds himself, yes, embezzlement is considered wrong.

David said...

Sorry, what is the defintion of beauty, etc., should not be in quotes. This is my question to you.

Rhology said...

Just b/c sthg is illegal doesn't mean you are legally obligated to sue someone. This doesn't get you anywhere.
Of course he CAN take legal action. Was that my question? Nope.


This embezzlement has hurt him, so he's going to strike back. You don't need an absolute, God-given morality to explain this, my dog would do the same thing.

1) Which doesn't speak to the morality of it at all. Which was my point.
2) Which reduces humans to the level of animals. Hey, why isn't it OK for me to kill humans again?


The definition of beauty: Here you go.

See, that's a lot better than "the definition of beauty is 'whatever I dig'".

David said...

"Of course he CAN take legal action."

Then what's your point? I don't get it? What does this have to do with situational ethics? Dawkins is in a situation in which he can sue, so he's suing. Why shouldn't Dawkins sue? What's so hard to understand here or why is it incorrect to say that because Dawkins is suing, ethics aren't situational?


"Which doesn't speak to the morality of it at all."

But as I said, one doesn't have to consider the morality of this at all. It's a legal matter.

"Which reduces humans to the level of animals."

Sigh. You missed the point. Dawkins sues because he's hurt, so this isn't that hard to understand, and it certainly doesn't require an abolute morals-dispensing god to understand.

(And, yes, Rho, you're an animal. We all are.)

As far as beauty goes, how about a definition that doesn't waste my time listening to a tape. If Mohler has a clear defintion, then you should be able to state it here in writing.

David said...

In short, what is the point that you are trying to make with this post?

Rhology said...

Why shouldn't Dawkins sue?

That's just it. Dawk is an atheist. On atheism, he neither should nor shouldn't sue. But he certainly acts like it matters. When it hurts HIM, his situational ethics change to alluvasudden objective. Thou shalt not hurt Dick Dawk.


But as I said, one doesn't have to consider the morality of this at all. It's a legal matter.

Um, all laws are moral statements.


(And, yes, Rho, you're an animal. We all are.)

You dont' get all bent out of shape when people grind up helpless amoebae while walking on the sidewalk, do you?
But presumably you'd be upset if someone killed a bunch of people. Why?



As far as beauty goes, how about a definition that doesn't waste my time listening to a tape.

Sorry, sometimes one-liners just won't do. It's obvious you're not looking for truth or a good answer. You just want to make trouble.

David said...

"That's just it. Dawk is an atheist. On atheism, he neither should nor shouldn't sue. But he certainly acts like it matters."

What's the reasoning here? This makes no sense at all.

"When it hurts HIM, his situational ethics change to alluvasudden objective. Thou shalt not hurt Dick Dawk."

Again this does not make sense. In his situation, he can sue. Situational ethics are still ethics. If he thinks he's been hurt, he's even more likely to sue. You are not making any sense. What does this have to do with a conclusion that ethics are situational? How is this a change from situational to objective ethics? Where's the inconsistency in Dawkinks' behavior? Maybe you need to define your terms, because I don't get this at all.

By the way, are you ever going to grow up? Dick Dawk? How childish. What are you, eight years old?


"Um, all laws are moral statements."

Nope.


"You dont' get all bent out of shape when people grind up helpless amoebae while walking on the sidewalk, do you?"

What does this have to do with the fact that you are a biological entity called an animal? My point about being an animal is that it explains certain reactions without the need to declare that there must be absolute morals handed down from a god.

Dude, you just aren't getting it and/or making any sense at all today.

"Sorry, sometimes one-liners just won't do. It's obvious you're not looking for truth or a good answer. You just want to make trouble."

Not looking to make trouble at all. Just want to dig a little deeper here. You seem to think that I should be satisfied with canned Sunday school answers. No questioning allowed.

Can't define beauty in a sentence? Really? How about two sentences? I would have thought that something like this would be easy. Right, wrong. Black, white. Beauty, ugliness. If this all comes to absolutes, how hard could it be to describe or define? Sounds to me like this definition of beauty isn't goinig to be so absolute after all.

So, how about a transcript? I can read faster than I can listen.

Andrew said...

"Um, all laws are moral statements."

"Nope."

Yup. Why legally require or forbid something if it isn't something that a person should or shouldn't do?

David said...

Um, all laws are moral statements.

Nope.

Yup.

Define "moral".

Andrew said...

Morality concerns what someone ought or ought not do.

David said...

"Morality concerns what someone ought or ought not do."

Ok, so, should someone own slaves? Is owning slaves something that someone ought to do?

Andrew said...

David,
I am more than willing to have that discussion with you; but you are changing the subject. Can you defend your assertion that not all laws are moral statements?

David said...

"I am more than willing to have that discussion with you; but you are changing the subject. Can you defend your assertion that not all laws are moral statements?"

I'm not changing the subject. You said that all laws are moral statements and morality concerns what someone ought or ought not do. So, is owning slaves something that someone ought to do?

Andrew said...

"I'm not changing the subject."

Then make your point. I suspect you are trying to make this into a debate about the morality of the bible. That is another topic. Either defend your assertion or admit that you either cannot or will not and let's go from there.

David said...

"Then make your point. I suspect you are trying to make this into a debate about the morality of the
bible."

Nope, I'm not even remotely trying to make this a debate about the morality of the bible. What I'm essentially asking is this. Is morality and legality the same thing?

Andrew said...

I see. I apologize for making assumptions.
You asked: "Is morality and legality the same thing?"

Not if you by that you mean does what is legal=what is objectively moral. What I mean, and what I am certain Rhology means, is that all laws, whether or not they are actually moral, are an expression of someone's idea of what is moral. All laws are somebody's "ought to" to the rest of society. As to the morality of slavery I suppose it would depend on whether the servitude was voluntary or forced.

David said...

"Not if you by that you mean does what is legal=what is objectively moral."

Good enough. We've seperated legality from objective morality.

Rhology said...

I'd like David to give me his best example of a law that is not also a moral statement from the lawmaker.

Andrew said...

David, you have missed the point.

David said...

"David, you have missed the point."

I don't think so. I said that embezzlement is illegal. Whether or not it's immoral is another question unless you're going to make the argument that each and every law corresponds to some specific objective moral rule. And I believe that you said that this was not true. Is everything that is illegal also immoral?

And exactly do you mean by "a moral statement"?

In any event, I still can't figure out the point of this post.

Rhology said...

Obviously, on Christianity, it's not true to say that everything that is illegal is also immoral.

A moral statement is a statement of morality. Normativity, prescription and proscription. It is permissible for you to do this and not permissible for you to do that. Speaks to "ought"ness.

Andrew said...

A law is a statement of somebody's idea of what is objectively moral. The law itself could be objectively immoral. There is no such thing as actual subjectivity in morality.

David said...

"There is no such thing as actual subjectivity in morality."

Well, alot of this depends on how you define "objective" and "subjective". I think that there is a tendency to conflate "objective" with "absolute". But yes, there is actual subjectivity in morality, just as there is actual subjectivity when it comes the question of beauty and many other concepts as well. However, perhaps this is a fight for another day.

"It is permissible for you to do this and not permissible for you to do that. Speaks to "ought"ness."

"A law is a statement of somebody's idea of what is objectively moral."

So, is every statement about what is and is not permissible is a statement about morals and morality? Every one? Every statement about what you "ought" to do in a given situation is a moral statement? Every law is a statment of somebody's idea about what is objectively moral? Every one, and the morals here are specifically objective morals?

Just want to see if I'm getting the idea. This seems to be defining "moral statement" in a very broad way.

"Obviously, on Christianity, it's not true to say that everything that is illegal is also immoral."

"The law itself could be objectively immoral."

So then we can and have de-coupled the question of the immorality of embezzlement from the question of the illegality of embezzlement. Embezzlement might be moral and it might be immoral. That's a separate question from the question of illegality. If something is illegal, than the victim of the illegal act can seek redress, regardless of, and independent of, the morality or immorality of the act.


So, any chance I can get an explanation of the point of the original post? Apparently, Rho, you thought that Dawkins was acting in some self-contradictory way. How so?

Anonymous said...

Typical Christian apologtic b.s.

Unless you can somehow defend the idea that morality handed down from some external source is objective, even though it stems from a mind, you have no argument.

This is all I hear:

"But, I don't LIKE that morality is subjective."

Guess what, pal. It IS. That's the world you live in.

Andrew said...

Anonymous, the argument is the impossibility of the contrary position. You cannot live like morality is subjective. You can claim that it is; but you cannot practice it in day to day life. To put it another way: You cannot hold your position and be consistent. We can.
Your argument seems to be that morality cannot be objective if it comes from a mind. You forget that God is the standard by which all other things are measured. Morality didn't just spring forth from a mind. It is the product of the only non-contingent mind. So it is objective.

Rhology said...

Typical Christian apologtic b.s.

If morality is subjective, what's wrong with that?


David,

Every statement about what you "ought" to do in a given situation is a moral statement?

Yes. Give me a reason to think I'm wrong.


So then we can and have de-coupled the question of the immorality of embezzlement from the question of the illegality of embezzlement.

No, we've simply shown that they're not identical. Some things are immoral that are legal (like murdering babies). Some things are morally obligatory that are illegal IN THIS COUNTRY AT THIS TIME (like the gov't begging God to have mercy on this country).


Apparently, Rho, you thought that Dawkins was acting in some self-contradictory way. How so?

Gosh, and all this time I thought I was explaining how. Maybe go back and read the post?

David said...

"You forget that God is the standard by which all other things are measured."

Yeah, I can make up stuff, too.


>Every statement about what you "ought" to do in a given situation is a moral statement?

"Yes. Give me a reason to think I'm wrong."

I ought to pick up a gallon of milk on my way home tonight. I ought to rake the leaves. I ought to go for a walk.


"No, we've simply shown that they're not identical."

Right. So, Dawkins can sue the guy who stole from him, regardless of whether or not there's a moral question involved. In any event, what does Dawkins decision to sue have to do with situational ethics versus any other type of ethics?


"Gosh, and all this time I thought I was explaining how. Maybe go back and read the post?"

Re-read the post. Still doesn't make sense. Try again.

cerbaz said...

I just read your comments on Ken Pulliam's blog. You should be ashamed of yourself. Comments like yours just help me know that I have made the right choice to turn away from christianity.
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11)

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THIS????

Søren said...

apparently Rhology IS an eight year old. His grasp of ethics is at that stage, and his snide comments celebrating someones death show he is a mean eight year old.

Rhology said...

Hey guys,

Here's a better place to trumpet how much you hate me and how I'm such a bad man for hating someone.

I mean, "I pity him" = "I hate him". It's so obvious! Anyway, go comment there, please.

Rhology said...

I ought to take a walk

I ought to protect this child from the that rapist.
Hmmm....

David said...

"I ought to protect this child from the that rapist.
Hmmm...."

Non sequitar. Doesn't explain how "I ought to take a walk" is a moral statement.

Rhology said...

If you don't know the definition of "ought"...well... I don't know how else to help you. There are varying levels of moral compunction.

David said...

"If you don't know the definition of "ought"...well... I don't know how else to help you. There are varying levels of moral compunction."

Still not answering the question. Doesn't explain how "I ought to take a walk" is a moral statement. Levels of moral compunction?

Rhology said...

Yes. I ought to stop the rapist is a diff level of moral compunction than I ought to take a walk. Just b/c 1 kg of salt is less salt than 1 g of salt, it's still salt.

David said...

Yes. I ought to stop the rapist is a diff level of moral compunction than I ought to take a walk. Just b/c 1 kg of salt is less salt than 1 g of salt, it's still salt.

STILL not answering the question. How is "I ought to take a walk" a moral statement.

STILL not explaining the original argument of the original post.

Andrew said...

David,
First clear up what you mean. Why ought you to take a walk?

"Yeah, I can make up stuff, too."

Yeah, I can not deal with the arguments and world-view of those with whom I argue, too.

Paul C said...

Andrew, try this: I ought to catch the 10 o'clock bus if I want to be in town by 12 o'clock. Where's the moral component?

Andrew said...

Paul C, ought is not an appropriate word in that instance. If all that is true is that you prefer to be somewhere by 12:00 and that requires leaving by 10:00 then you need to do so. Using a word with moral connotations to describe a situation without any moral concerns (which train to take) doesn't change the meaning of the word. It just makes your use of the word incorrect.

David said...

"Using a word with moral connotations to describe a situation without any moral concerns (which train to take) doesn't change the meaning of the word."

Rho said that all ought statements are moral statements. Paul C correctly used the English word ought in a sentence. As you said, the situation has no moral concerns. So, some ought statements are not moral statements.

Andrew said...

No David, he did not. Ought speaks to obligation, or moral rightness.

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

David said...

Ought:

1. Used to indicate obligation or duty: You ought to work harder than that.
2. Used to indicate advisability or prudence: You ought to wear a raincoat.
3. Used to indicate desirability: You ought to have been there; it was great fun.
4. Used to indicate probability or likelihood: She ought to finish by next week.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ought

Paul C used the word correctly.

Andrew said...

Okay, I'll grant the point.
However, the original point of contention was whether or not all laws are an expression of somebody's idea of what people ought (in the sense of moral obligation) to do. So I will clean up my argument by saying it this way: All laws are someone's idea of what we should or shouldn't do. By should I mean what a person is morally or ethically bound to do or abstain from doing.

Paul C said...

"So I will clean up my argument by saying it this way: All laws are someone's idea of what we should or shouldn't do. By should I mean what a person is morally or ethically bound to do or abstain from doing."

If you bothered to check the dictionary (again) you would see that the definition of "should" does not in fact contain a moral component. One part of the definition of the word "should" speaks to obligation or duty, but obligation or duty does not always have a moral component in the sense that you mean it.

Your poor grasp of the English language notwithstanding, it is plain as the nose on your face that not all laws have a "moral" component. Zoning laws, for example, have nothing to do with "morality" as you intend it and everything to do with urban planning.

Rhology said...

If you bothered to check the dictionary (again) you would see that the definition of "should" does not in fact contain a moral component.

If you had bothered to think past your customary talking points, you would see that it depends on the context of the sentence.
"I shouldn't rape that woman". Any moral component there?


Zoning laws, for example, have nothing to do with "morality" as you intend it and everything to do with urban planning.

B/c the gov't has decided that it is not morally acceptable to allow a McDonald's next door to my house. Yes, that is very much a moral issue.
You just can't get past Hume's Guillotine. It eviscerates your arguments.

David said...

"B/c the gov't has decided that it is not morally acceptable to allow a McDonald's next door to my house."

Nice try, but wrong. The presence of McDonald's next to my house is not a moral issue. I don't want a McDonald's next to my house, but it's not a question of morality. It's a preference, not a moral.

Rhology said...

The presence of McDonald's next to my house is not a moral issue.

Says you.
The gov't says "it's not right to put a McDo near his house, so we prohibit it".
You're not exactly a reliable guide to morality, as we've seen.

David said...

The gov't says "it's not right to put a McDo near his house, so we prohibit it".

Yes, but the question is WHY does the government say this? Did the government pass moral judgement on McDonald's? Or did the government just respond to the desires of folks who didn't want a McDonald's next door? Do you really believe that the placement of a McDonald's is a moral question?

Rhology said...

Lots of ppl have desires, for all different sorts of things.
When the gov't decides which desires it's going to fulfill or allow, that's a moral decision, yes.

David said...

Lots of ppl have desires, for all different sorts of things.

Right.

When the gov't decides which desires it's going to fulfill or allow, that's a moral decision, yes.

Is it? Why? I think you've simply chosen to define things as you see fit. You're free to do this, of course, but it's not very convincing.

Andrew said...

Paul, I qualified my use of the word "should". So if I may: Your poor grasp of the English language notwithstanding I really don't wish to keep getting bogged down in semantics. I explained what I meant.

So, David, is it right or wrong to put a McDonald's in the middle of a residential neighborhood despite the protests of the residents? If it isn't wrong (morally) then why a zoning law in the first place?

David said...

"If it isn't wrong (morally) then why a zoning law in the first place?"

Already answered. People don't want it. It's a desire or preference. Making it illegal is the mechanism by which people's desires are fulfilled. It's not a question of morality.

Andrew said...

David, is it morally right or not to violate that zoning law? Why or why not?

David said...

David, is it morally right or not to violate that zoning law? Why or why not?

Doesn't matter either way. It's illegal. We've already conclude that illegal and immoral are two different things.

Andrew said...

David, what has been concluded is that a law is someone's idea of what is or isn't moral. That has been the position of Rhology and myself all along. The fact that a law can be someone's wrong idea of what is or isn't moral doesn't change a thing.
So is it moral or immoral to violate that law?

Paul C said...

“If you had bothered to think past your customary talking points, you would see that it depends on the context of the sentence. "I shouldn't rape that woman". Any moral component there?

Yes, there is a moral component there. I didn't say that the word “should” cannot or is not used in discussions of morality; I merely demonstrated that not every use of the word “should” has a moral component, and a moral component is not central to the definition of the word “should”. I am hoping that this will stop you from pretending otherwise.

“B/c the gov't has decided that it is not morally acceptable to allow a McDonald's next door to my house. Yes, that is very much a moral issue.”

At this point, it seems difficult to believe that even you know what you mean when you use the word “moral”. How is it a moral issue?

Paul C said...

Andrew:

“David, what has been concluded is that a law is someone's idea of what is or isn't moral. That has been the position of Rhology and myself all along. The fact that a law can be someone's wrong idea of what is or isn't moral doesn't change a thing. So is it moral or immoral to violate that law?”

The question of whether it is moral or immoral to violate the law is not necessarily connected to whether the law itself always has a moral component. They are two different (but linked) discussions. You are asserting that the law always has a moral component, although you have yet to demonstrate how you reached that conclusion. I ask again, what is the moral component of zoning laws?

Rhology said...

B/c zoning questions come down to "Should we allow this structure here?"

It's an 'ought' statement.

How precisely do you know that "I shouldn't rape that woman" is a moral statement?

Paul C said...

B/c zoning questions come down to "Should we allow this structure here?" It's an 'ought' statement.

Ah, I see. So all "ought" statements are moral, despite the fact that it has been repeatedly shown to you that not all "ought" statements are moral. Sweet!

Rhology said...

Failed attempts do not equal "showing".

David said...

"So is it moral or immoral to violate that law?"

It's neither. It's illegal to violate the law. Again, whether it's moral or not is a related, but seperate issue.


"Failed attempts do not equal "showing"."

No one failed. It was clearly demonstrated that not all "ought" statements are moral.


This is pointless. It's obvious that repeating the facts has no effect.

Paul C said...

Failed attempts do not equal "showing".

Maybe you should rail impotently against atheist dictionaries next?

Andrew said...

"The question of whether it is moral or immoral to violate the law is not necessarily connected to whether the law itself always has a moral component."

Fine. Then answer my question.

David said...

"Fine. Then answer my question."

Already answered. I'm bored.

Andrew said...

No, you didn't. You wouldn't be so bored if you would stop playing silly word games.

David said...

"No, you didn't."

Yeah, I did, but maybe I wasn't clear.

The point is that moral/immoral is irrelevant. The terms are not applicable in this case. Violating a zoning code is just violating a zoning code. It not moral, it's not immoral. It's not moral to build a McDonald's, it's not immoral to build a McDonald's. It's illegal under certain zoning codes, and that's all it is. You might as well ask if it's moral or immoral for a lion to kill a gazelle. It's neither. The terms don't apply.

Now, if Rho would like to explain the indecipherable point of the original post, that would be interesting. Otherwise, this is getting monotonous.

Andrew said...

So if I defy a zoning law should I be punished?

David said...

"So if I defy a zoning law should I be punished?"

Sigh. Yes, you can be punished. So what? Punishment is what happens when you break the law. You're not being punished because you are immoral. This is just a necessary part of the process that begins when people desire to live without a McDonald's next door.

We're talking about zoning here. It's not about morality. It's just about matters of taste that someone doesn't want to live next to a McDonald's. I'm sorry, but not everything in life is a moral issue.

Andrew said...

I didn't ask if I can be punished. I asked if I should be punished. Why does punishment happen when you break the law? Should that happen? Just reasserting your position doesn't really get you anywhere. It's starting to sound like question begging.

David said...

"Just reasserting your position doesn't really get you anywhere."


Well, obviously it's not getting me anywhere with you.

If you have a point to make, just make it.

Andrew said...

"If you have a point to make, just make it."

I'm trying to make it, but you don't want to answer my simple question. I suspect it is because you know that an answer either way undermines your position. It's okay. I've been there.

David said...

"I'm trying to make it, but you don't want to answer my simple question."

I can answer your question, but I'm getting tired of the games. I have no idea where you're going, and I'm tired of going around in circles.

So why does punishment happen when you break the law?

McDonald's get punished, because otherwise, I don't get my wish to live without a McDonald's next door. And next year, the zoning laws could change, and McDonald's would not be punished for building next to my house. So, what's the moral issue?

Do you have a point to make?

Rhology said...

I don't get my wish to live without a McDonald's next door.

The choice to grant your wish over McDonald's' wish is a moral choice.

David said...

"The choice to grant your wish over McDonald's' wish is a moral choice."

It's not a moral choice, it's just a choice. You're degrading the meaning of the word "moral". This is just like choosing what color to paint the courthouse. I want green, someone else wants red. Someone gets there wish, someone else doesn't. We're talking about a freakin' McDonalds!

Do you think that the city council is God? Do you think that the decision to grant my wish is based on any sort of cosmic, absolute, objective truth handed down by the Creator of the Universe? Does it serve some greater noble purpose? Does God care if they build a McDonald's next to my house?

Or is it just "situational"? This time I get my wish, next time maybe I don't. If you're going to turn this into a "moral" question, then the word "moral" has lost most of its meaning.

Rhology said...

I want green, someone else wants red. Someone gets there wish, someone else doesn't. We're talking about a freakin' McDonalds!

Yes. This pretty much comes down to our respective ideas of what "moral" means.
I think it deals with "oughtness". You apparently think it only deals with what I would label "serious moral matters" as opposed to "less than serious moral matters" or "trivial moral matters".


1) Do you think that the city council is God? 2) Do you think that the decision to grant my wish is based on any sort of cosmic, absolute, objective truth handed down by the Creator of the Universe? 3) Does it serve some greater noble purpose? 4) Does God care if they build a McDonald's next to my house?

I know you're just throwing these out as smokescreen rhetorical questions to show your prejudicial contempt of our position, but I'll answer. In order:
1) No.
2) This question makes no sense.
3) Yes. Or a nefarious purpose.
4) Yes. God cared enough to decree the event.


This time I get my wish, next time maybe I don't. If you're going to turn this into a "moral" question, then the word "moral" has lost most of its meaning.

Give me a reason to think this is a different situation than the following:
Rita wishes she wouldn't get raped. She in fact escapes a would-be rapist. This time she gets her wish, next time maybe she won't. If you're going to turn this into a "moral" question, then the word "moral" has lost most of its meaning.

David said...

"I think it deals with "oughtness"."

How do zoning laws deal with an "oughtness" that is objective and God-given?


"Yes. God cared enough to decree the event."

Whoa. Well, that's a weird way to think. Can't help you there.
The Creator of the Unvierse is now involved in the placement of McDonald's.

"Give me a reason to think this is a different situation than the following..."

Stick to the subject. The subject is zoning laws.

David said...

>Do you think that the decision to grant my wish is based on any sort of cosmic, absolute, objective truth handed down by the Creator of the Universe?

"This question makes no sense."

Of course it does. You say that morals are absolute, objective entities handed down by God. So, are zoning laws absolute, objective rules handed down by God?

Andrew said...

David said:
"I can answer your question, but I'm getting tired of the games. I have no idea where you're going, and I'm tired of going around in circles."

The circle ends as soon as you answer the question.
Should I be punished. Not can I. Should I. Why or why not? Go ahead. It's fun and easy.

David said...

Should you be punished for violating a zoning law? Are you sure I didn't answer this? As I said, using the McDonald's example, McDonald's get punished, because otherwise, I don't get my wish to live without a McDonald's next door. McDonald's wants to build, I don't want them to build, so you punish McDonald's so that McDonald's doesn't build.

Is there a difference between should McDonald's get punished and why McDonald's get punished? What does this have to do with morality? What does this have to do with absolute, objective moral standards given by God?

Andrew said...

"Should you be punished for violating a zoning law? Are you sure I didn't answer this?"

Yes. I am sure.

David said...

Is there a reason why you're hung up on this word? Does "should" even matter or is it applicable? Punishment is what makes the system work.

Does that mean that you "should" punish the violator? I guess so, if you want the system to work,
but I'm sure that "should" is
quite the right word here. If I want my dog to go to the bathroom outside, then I'm going to punish the dog if he goes to the bathroom in the living room. It's not really a matter of "should" so much as it's a matter of punishing to make the system (house-breaking)work.

I guess you think the word "should" is important, so can we end the games and get to the point? And can you explain the connection between zoning laws and objective morals handed down by divine beings? This is how we know if something is moral or not, right? God gives us the word from the Book of Objective Morals, right? Does God do zoning laws, too?

Paul C said...

"Give me a reason to think this is a different situation than the following:
Rita wishes she wouldn't get raped. She in fact escapes a would-be rapist. This time she gets her wish, next time maybe she won't."

You describe a different situation for us, and then ask us to give you a reason to think that it's a different situation? You just answered your own question.

Andrew said...

Let me make sure I get you, David. You are saying that the only reason I "should" be punished for my violation of a zoning law is so the system will work. Is that correct?

David said...

"Is that correct?"

What, another question?

Is there a point here?

Andrew said...

Never mind, David. If you you would just answer a straight question with a straight answer we would have arrived at the point by now. However, you seem unwilling to answer questions about your own point of view.

David said...

"If you you would just answer a straight question with a straight answer we would have arrived at the point by now."

It's been pretty obvious for several days that you were attempting to manipulate this exchange to reach a pre-set goal. There was obvious some word or phrase that you considered to be of significance, and you wanted me to say the magic word. I think by "straight answer", you mean the answer you wished to reach by manipulation of the exchange. Sorry to disappoint.

I've been more than willing to listen if you had a point to make. You could have ended the games at any time. You choose not to make any points or answer most of the questions that I asked of you. If you don't want to make a point, it's not my fault.

Anonymous said...

"Give me a reason to think this is a different situation than the following:
Rita wishes she wouldn't get raped. She in fact escapes a would-be rapist. This time she gets her wish, next time maybe she won't."


I'm sorry, but did you just equate rape with zoning issues?

Rhology said...

Anonymous,

Yes, ON ATHEISM. (I'm not an atheist.)

Given atheism, what's the MORAL difference?

Paul C said...

Given atheism, what's the MORAL difference?

Surely it depends what definition of morality the individual atheist holds, and what moral philosophy they subscribe to?