Maximum Awesome, a "possibilian", dropped by on an older post to interact some with me. Here's my latest response to his comments.
Possibilianism is comfortable holding multiple ideas in mind; it is not interested in committing to any particular story.
So, do you think you can know much of anything about The Big Questions? Like God, death, life, man, knowledge, other minds, the one and the many, etc?
the necessity of holding multiple positions at once if there is no available data to privilege one over the others.
How can one get data without some position on how we know things, what data and evidence are, and how they relate to our minds?
Seems like empiricism masquerading as a pretty naive sophistic idea.
"the important thing" about his atonement here is still that it is *scapegoat human sacrifice*.
I don't accept that, though.
On the Christian position, God chooses how He does stuff and we judge the rightness/wrongness of our actions based on the standard that He has provided.
So, it's fine on my end. If you want to give us a way to know that that was wrong or right, I'd like to know it.
there is no underlying principle that can connect these scraps of memorisable commands into a comprehensible system
1) Would you mind quoting me to that effect?
2) I disagree; the underlying principle is God's unchanging character and nature.
There is no possibility of a Unified Theory of Morality
Not if atheism is true.
If Christianity is true, there is a unified morality.
By its very nature, this subject is not amenable to rational inquiry, nor could it ever be.
Reading and exegeting the biblical text is rational inquiry. Any viewing of a systematic theology will attest to that.
You might mean "rationalISTIC", and of course that would be true, since rationalism, the belief that human reason is autonomous and foundational, is irrational.
We think about things, sure, and we are in fact commanded to. But human reason is far from the final standard of truth.
2) God can do whatever he wants. He is not beholden to human morality.
He can behave in a manner befitting of Satan, Hitler and Ted Bundy combined
This is a specious characterisation.
Those men are murderers, grossly disobeying the law of God. By contrast, God always acts in accord with His law and His character. So no, it's totally different. God will judge (well, He has judged) those men, and I'd hate to be in their shoes.
He can both allow and cause infinite suffering for any reason he pleases.
Yes, but it's not as if those reasons are all that mysterious, or secretive. He's revealed quite a few of them, and quite clearly.
And all of His reasons are justified, by definition.
If you disagree, please make sure to let us know the standard which you're using to judge. Please also make sure to let us know how you're unsure (as a possibilian) about so many things but you're quite sure about morality. What "data" did you use to come to your moral conclusions?
If you haven't come to any moral conclusions, why are you talking like you have, and doing what seems to be judging God by them?
plucking living souls out of life and burning them forever as it felt like it.
If by that you mean "ending the lives of rebel sinners as He has decreed and given them far more patience than they deserved and placing them in the place that they wanted far more than they wanted God, which includes torment, which torment they preferred rather than bowing the knee to the God Who offered them the free gift of eternal life, which they scorned", then yes.
I was trying to get across the emotional flavour of my reaction.
Yes, and that's the principal motivating factor for pretty much any skeptic who argues like you. Y'all pretend to be so very concerned with reasonable inquiry, but it quickly becomes obvious that you're acting out of simmering bitterness.
The only ones who've got you beat in that regard are liberals.
Maybe it's the golden rule: do unto others, etc. The problem with this is, what if I'm a suicidal masochist? I can't just beat people to death because I want to be beaten to death myself.
The problem that you haven't seen is that you proposed a rule (the golden rule) and then saw sthg that doesn't agree with your already-present moral standard and so you reject it. So you're not being honest with anyone here, least of all yourself.
You need to come clean and acknowledge that you yourself personally have set up a moral standard by which you're judging these questions. The standard seems to be "What do I like?"
But that goes back to my common question - where's your badge and scepter? Who anointed you Pope of Morality?
What is your real rule?
This is where being a Christian comes in mighty handy - I can know the answer to most moral questions, and w/o much fuss. I ask God. What He says goes. Done.
You can say this precept has no basis except feasibility, usefulness, enforceability, and popularity: and I can reply that that set of traits is more likely to unite the world than any one religion such as islam, judaism, christianity, zoroastrianism, etc.
Who says that "uniting the world" is a good thing? Apparently you do, O Great Pope of Morality.
You're sneaking your assumptions in again. You have more work to do.
Morality/ethics deals with how to organise people with respect to each other in such a way that they don't make each other uncomfortable
I don't accept that definition of morality/ethics. They are the study of what one OUGHT TO DO.
Yes, impossible on atheism (or possibilianism), but that's hardly my problem.
(with "uncomfortable" here meaning everything from public urination to genocide)
1) And free speech.
2) This sentence says an awful lot about your moral system, where public urination rates hardly above genocide in terms of moral character. You can't and don't really live this way, and thus you show you don't believe this really. If you don't, who am I to disagree?
I'm not saying these secular moral concepts are perfect - they're evolving.
So there's every reason to think that the moral value of genocide (and public urination) could evolve from unacceptable to acceptable. And apparently it did - Hitler thought it was a mighty good call.
Maybe I'm farther evolved than you and have an understanding that genocide is just fine as long as it makes ME comfortable.
Who are you to judge me in the wrong?
you said something about morality being people's imperfect understanding, which evolves over time, and ethics being the permanent principles of why some things are right/wrong
I doubt I said anything of the kind, to be honest.
The statement "because god did it" is a conversation stopper:
1) So is "I have no idea and nobody else can know either".
2) "4" is a conversation stopper when it comes to the question "What's 2+2?" So what?
every believer in every kind of god can make it equally
But only believers in the True God can justify it.
Anyone can make a claim, but as we've seen with your own foundation-less claims, it's harder to substantiate the claim than to make it.
(For more on possibilianism, please also see Dusman's critique of "aloofianism".)