Welcome to Atheist Discussion, a new community created by former members of The Thinking Atheist forum.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
God can Ground Objective Morality
#51

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 02:42 AM)Alan V Wrote: Even if God existed and offered humanity an objective morality, humans themselves would always distort it by their own subjectivities, including in any reporting of it in so-called inspired holy books.  

You just can't get there from here, as any reading of human psychology will tell you.

That's why we have scholarship, sciences, democracies, laws, and trials with juries, to reduce the distortions of subjective individuals over time in our own behaviors.  That's also why any authoritarian system will become abusive over time.  You just can't reduce the distortions of subjective perceptions so easily.

The problem with far too many theists is that they are intellectually lazy.  They want simple answers to complex questions.

I'm not really good at all the "subjectivities vs objectivisms".  I know the difference, but the arguments don't fit my discussion style.

But I liked "You just can't get there from here".  And sometimes you can't argue anyone to a thought they didn't already have.  So, to lighten the discussion a bit, allow an anecdote.  There is a point at the end.

A tourist was driving through New England and became lost.  He stopped by a farmer and asked how to get back to Boston.  The farmer said, "well drive ahead about a mile and turn right.  No, wait, that won't work.  OK, go back about 3 miles and turn left at the stop sign.  No wait, that won't work either.  Well, actuslly, I don't think ya can get there from here".

Now, obviously, the tourist got to "here" from "there".  So it was certainly possible to get "there" from "here".  But it is a metaphor.  

There are people who can not understand logic.  The tourist knew there had to be a way back.  The farmer couldn't figure out the way (no offense to farmers), so it seemed to him that there actually wasn't a way back.

The tourist in my metaphor is an atheist, seeking information.  The farmer is a theist.  In his mind, if he has no actual knowledge, there really isn't a way back to Boston in his knowledge.  But there has to be since, the tourist arrived from there.  

Possibly, the farmer has subjective knowledge (his small personal understanding of the world) and the tourist has objective knowledge (knowing where he came from and the path back there should be understandable and possible).

This makes some sense to me.  Does it seem like garbled nonsense to you?
A bully hides his fears with fake bravado. That is the opposite of self-assertiveness.
The following 3 users Like Cavebear's post:
  • Alan V, Rhythmcs, pattylt
Reply
#52

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 08:01 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I'm not really good at all the "subjectivities vs objectivisms".  I know the difference, but the arguments don't fit my discussion style.

But I liked "You just can't get there from here".  And sometimes you can't argue anyone to a thought they didn't already had.  So, to lighten the discussion a bit, allow an anecdote.  There is a point at the end.

A tourist was driving through New England and became lost.  He stopped by a farmer and asked how to get back to Boston.  The farmer said, well drive ahead about a mile and turn right.  No, wait, that won't work.  OK, go back about 3 miles and turn left at the stop sign.  No wait, that won't work either.  Well, actuslly, I don't think ya can get there from here".

Now, obviously, the tourist got to "here" from "there".  So it was certainly possible to get "there" from "here".  But it is a metaphor.  

There are people who can not understand logic.  The tourist knew there had to be a way back.  The farmer couldn't figure out the way (no offense to farmers), so it seemed to him that there actually wasn't a way back.

The tourist in my metaphor is an atheist, seeking information.  The farmer is a theist.  In his mind, if he has no actual knowledge, there really isn't a way back to Boston in his knowledge.  But there has to be since, the tourist arrived from there.  

Possibly, the farmer has subjective knowledge (his small personal understanding of the world) and the tourist has objective knowledge (knowing where he came from and the path back there should be understandable and possible).

This makes some sense to me.  Does it seem like garbled nonsense to you?

Here is a real story from my own personal experiences.

I once drove Allan Hobson from his home in Brookline just outside of Boston to his country home in West Burke, Vermont.  He knew the way but was too old to drive himself anymore.  I didn't know the way.  His directions through town out to the highway north were so complicated that he didn't try to explain them to me before we left.  He just kept telling me to "turn right here" or "turn left here."  After the fact, it would have been impossible for me to explain the route we took.

So yes, we got from one place to another but I gained no practical knowledge about how I could have driven back the same way.  On another occasion with my wife, I got lost driving in the Boston area and just ignored the signs and navigated by the sun. I traveled in the generally correct direction until I got my bearings again by recognizing familiar locations.

Christian teachings have taken so many turns over the centuries that we can't really say what they were to begin with.  We can't retrace the route, so we can only speculate about the meanings beyond a point.  Therefore, to call Christian morality "objective" is just a shot in the dark.  It's mere wishful thinking.  This is borne out by the great number of different interpretations of Christian morality available both through history and today. 

If Christians can't agree among themselves about "objective" meanings, how can they expect to convince atheists? All they can claim is that they, somehow, are the real Christians, which isn't a satisfying answer.
The following 3 users Like Alan V's post:
  • Mathilda, Cavebear, pattylt
Reply
#53

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-22-2024, 10:17 PM)airportkid Wrote: By @SteveII's own count he's got 8 posters on ignore.  ...

Rofl2

Am I one?
I am not fire-wood!
Reply
#54

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-25-2024, 06:11 PM)SteveII Wrote: Additionally, and appropriate for this week, you might say observing someone being crucified and then walking around three days later appearing and disappearing and then ascending into the clouds 40 days later seems like proof (Personal Experience).
Who saw Jesus on the cross?
Nonono, not "who ALLEGEDLY" saw Jesus on the cross". I dont want hearsay. Who actually did claim to have seen Jesus on the cross? And who actually saw him walking three says later?
NonoNO, not "who is SAID to have seen him". Who actually saw him three days later?
R.I.P. Hannes
The following 2 users Like Deesse23's post:
  • AutisticWill, Szuchow
Reply
#55

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 09:39 AM)AutisticWill Wrote:
(03-22-2024, 10:17 PM)airportkid Wrote: By @SteveII's own count he's got 8 posters on ignore.  ...

Rofl2

Am I one?
Look at one of his posts.
In the lower left should be TWO buttons: "PM" and a spyglass with "find"
If you dont see "PM" --> welcome to the club
R.I.P. Hannes
The following 2 users Like Deesse23's post:
  • Cavebear, TheGentlemanBastard
Reply
#56

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 09:46 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 09:39 AM)AutisticWill Wrote: Am I one?
Look at one of his posts.
In the lower left should be TWO buttons: "PM" and a spyglass with "find"
If you dont see "PM" --> welcome to the club

yeah. i use bad words.

well, if i'm salty, child molestation leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

so does being driven to self harm and serious contemplation of suicide.

make him cry, guys.

i want to lick his tears.

mmmmmmmm -- sooooooooo salty.............
I am not fire-wood!
Reply
#57

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 09:39 AM)AutisticWill Wrote:
(03-22-2024, 10:17 PM)airportkid Wrote: By @SteveII's own count he's got 8 posters on ignore.  ...

Rofl2

Am I one?

Start telling him how much you love him and want to convert, then see if he responds. inlove
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
Reply
#58

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-25-2024, 04:18 PM)polymath257 Wrote:
(03-25-2024, 03:14 PM)SteveII Wrote: Like I said to Polymath, there is nothing logically prior to the existence of God. This is core to very concept of God.

Of course there are things logically prior to God: all of logic, for example. No assumption of the existence of God is required to do propositional or predicate logic. No part of math requires the existence of a deity. In fact, to even ask the question of God's existence requires those concepts. So, yes, those are logically prior.

These are metaphysical questions. You are talking about conceptual frameworks (unless you are a platonist--which I don't remember you being).

If God exists, it is incontrovertible that he exists necessarily (as in the definition entails existence). This contrasts with contingent beings, whose existence depends on something else. If God exists, His existence is not contingent on anything else, including the concepts of logic or mathematics; rather, everything else would be contingent upon Him--including an orderly universe that logic and mathematics can be used to explore and describe.

Your point hinges on a confused idea of "logical priority" --that because we use logic and mathematics to reason about the world (including theological concepts), these disciplines must be foundational and, therefore, prior to any conclusions about God's existence. But that is not how it works. For example, the rules of chess do not require the players to acknowledge their creator for a game to be played, but this does not mean the game or its rules are logically prior to or independent of a creator.
Reply
#59

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-25-2024, 06:47 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-25-2024, 06:31 PM)SteveII Wrote: That's why I focused on maximal goodness all through the argument and support. You are confusing the nature of maximal goodness with how that works out when there are other specific persons about. Think about describing God before creation: His nature certainly could not be described as a piecemeal ethical framework geared to humans. What other beings deserved respect for life? Who was around to be fair to? Who would benefit from his justice?

Instead, these descriptions you are referring to are human attempts to comprehend and articulate the character of God's inherently perfect nature in action in this context. The typical list of moral principles we have in mind are not components that constitute God but are derived from the holistic understanding of God's nature (maximal goodness in this case).

That doesn't change the critique at all. Maximal goodness is in fact even worst since it brings the concept that not is goodness reducible, but also quantifiable (to a certain degree). In all cases, God's nature is reducible to components and moral principles. God before creation would be fair, just, respectful of life (since your deity is "alive" philosophically speaking) and you even directly appeal to this nature to explain and justify God's creative act and the moral worth of his creation. In all cases, by your framing you are making goodness logically prior to God's existence since you define God as moral.

You are saying that maximal goodness is quantifiable and therefore reducible. That misunderstands the philosophical use of "maximal." In this context, maximal goodness refers to a qualitative, not quantitative, perfection of moral attributes. It implies completeness or fullness rather than an amount that can be increased or measured.

I think you might also be missing an important part of the conception of God. The doctrine of divine simplicity outlines how God's attributes are not separate parts but identical with God's essence. In this view, God's justice, fairness, and goodness are not components added to God but are inherent in God's singular, indivisible nature.

Quote:Even worst of all, it seems to me that your post 40 is one huge attempt at retro-fitting the moral principles that you believe are actually foundational to morality unto your ideal of God and the precise mythology you subscribe to and then credit your God for such a state in a clear case of selection bias and ad hoc reasoning instead of your knowledge of God allowing your derive such principle. It's not your knowledge of God's nature that makes your think justice is a good moral principle; it's the dogmatic belief that God is good that makes you believe he is maximally just. The only challenge of course is to explain how can God be just if there is injustice, but there are several rather unconvincing a thin excuses that can be built to preserve that dogma.

Post #40 does not help your point. You are confusing epistemology (how we know) with ontology (the nature of God's goodness) again. Those were all ways we can get a glimpse of God's goodness and start putting into a conceptual framework.
Reply
#60

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 02:42 AM)Alan V Wrote: Even if God existed and offered humanity an objective morality, humans themselves would always distort it by their own subjectivities, including in any reporting of it in so-called inspired holy books.  

You just can't get there from here, as any reading of human psychology will tell you.

That's why we have scholarship, sciences, democracies, laws, and trials with juries, to reduce the distortions of subjective individuals over time in our own behaviors.  That's also why any authoritarian system will become abusive over time.  You just can't reduce the distortions of subjective perceptions so easily.

The problem with far too many theists is that they are intellectually lazy.  They want simple answers to complex questions.

On one hand, you are describing an epistemological problem. Many theist are intellectually lazy and want simple answer to complex questions. Others try very hard to reconcile moral questions with the nature of God, his revelations a coherent idea of what it means to be human, and the context one finds themselves.

On the other hand, you are describing a capacity problem. Falling short is not only inevitable, but core to Christian theology. The NT is one big attempt at a remedy. Can you imagine if most people lived out the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Practiced the the answer that Jesus gave as to what is the greatest commandment: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself?
The following 1 user Likes SteveII's post:
  • Alan V
Reply
#61

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 12:11 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 09:39 AM)AutisticWill Wrote: Am I one?

Start telling him how much you love him and want to convert, then see if he responds. inlove

He's so goddamn tedious.........

i honestly try to read his shtick; i just can't.

all he wants to do is open a backdoor to the bible

i hate christianity. look at what it does to people.

so boring besides...................

i've seen granny-erotica more engaging than him.

and i don't want to see granny-erotica.
I am not fire-wood!
Reply
#62

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 09:14 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 08:01 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I'm not really good at all the "subjectivities vs objectivisms".  I know the difference, but the arguments don't fit my discussion style.

But I liked "You just can't get there from here".  And sometimes you can't argue anyone to a thought they didn't already had.  So, to lighten the discussion a bit, allow an anecdote.  There is a point at the end.

A tourist was driving through New England and became lost.  He stopped by a farmer and asked how to get back to Boston.  The farmer said, well drive ahead about a mile and turn right.  No, wait, that won't work.  OK, go back about 3 miles and turn left at the stop sign.  No wait, that won't work either.  Well, actuslly, I don't think ya can get there from here".

Now, obviously, the tourist got to "here" from "there".  So it was certainly possible to get "there" from "here".  But it is a metaphor.  

There are people who can not understand logic.  The tourist knew there had to be a way back.  The farmer couldn't figure out the way (no offense to farmers), so it seemed to him that there actually wasn't a way back.

The tourist in my metaphor is an atheist, seeking information.  The farmer is a theist.  In his mind, if he has no actual knowledge, there really isn't a way back to Boston in his knowledge.  But there has to be since, the tourist arrived from there.  

Possibly, the farmer has subjective knowledge (his small personal understanding of the world) and the tourist has objective knowledge (knowing where he came from and the path back there should be understandable and possible).

This makes some sense to me.  Does it seem like garbled nonsense to you?

Here is a real story from my own personal experiences.

I once drove Allan Hobson from his home in Brookline just outside of Boston to his country home in West Burke, Vermont.  He knew the way but was too old to drive himself anymore.  I didn't know the way.  His directions through town out to the highway north were so complicated that he didn't try to explain them to me before we left.  He just kept telling me to "turn right here" or "turn left here."  After the fact, it would have been impossible for me to explain the route we took.

So yes, we got from one place to another but I gained no practical knowledge about how I could have driven back the same way.  On another occasion with my wife, I got lost driving in the Boston area and just ignored the signs and navigated by the sun.  I traveled in the generally correct direction until I got my bearings again by recognizing familiar locations.

Christian teachings have taken so many turns over the centuries that we can't really say what they were to begin with.  We can't retrace the route, so we can only speculate about the meanings beyond a point.  Therefore, to call Christian morality "objective" is just a shot in the dark.  It's mere wishful thinking.  This is borne out by the great number of different interpretations of Christian morality available both through history and today. 

If Christians can't agree among themselves about "objective" meanings, how can they expect to convince atheists?  All they can claim is that they, somehow, are the real Christians, which isn't a satisfying answer.

I think my reply got lost somewhere...  I was trying to describe how logically Washington DC streets were arranged and went for an image on postimages. Then it was gone when I returned.  My fault, I'm sure.  I need to open new windows or tabs doing that.  

But my point was that Washington DC street go perfectly north/south or east/west, with some 30 or 60 degree streets connecting them.  And minor street names go outward alphabetically in single, then double and triple syllables.  It it hard to get lost there.  

I managed to get lost there!  LOL!  But I have a good sense of compass directions.  Even in the metro subway, I know which direction I'm going.  Funny how that works.  And Washington DC is surrounded by a Beltway.  So you hit it even if lost and eventually you have to find your exit.

And this time I won't try to post the map image.  See my next post...
A bully hides his fears with fake bravado. That is the opposite of self-assertiveness.
The following 1 user Likes Cavebear's post:
  • Alan V
Reply
#63

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 12:53 PM)SteveII Wrote: You are saying that maximal goodness is quantifiable and therefore reducible. That misunderstands the philosophical use of "maximal." In this context, maximal goodness refers to a qualitative, not quantitative, perfection of moral attributes. It implies completeness or fullness rather than an amount that can be increased or measured.

I think you might also be missing an important part of the conception of God.  The doctrine of divine simplicity outlines how God's attributes are not separate parts but identical with God's essence. In this view, God's justice, fairness, and goodness are not components added to God but are inherent in God's singular, indivisible nature.

Unfortunately, doctrinal arguments aren't synonimous with logical arguments. If you can dogmatically assert that God's nature is singular and indivisible, but logically, if something can be reduced it cannot be logically prior; in effect, asserting that God's nature is singular and indivisible and then asserting that it possesses a variety of qualities and properties is a clear logical contradiction. You cannot have a conceptual and personal deity at the same time. 

Quote:Post #40 does not help your point. You are confusing epistemology (how we know) with ontology (the nature of God's goodness) again. Those were all ways we can get a glimpse of God's goodness and start putting into a conceptual framework.

So you are confirming that this is exactly what you do. You procede from a principled and already determined ideal of morality, state that God is the perfect representation and incarnation of those ideals and then proceed to further describe God's moral character and agency. That's basically demonstrating that morality, even for you, is not grounded in God's nature. It's grounded in a series of principles which you then attribute to God. That's not how you make a logical demonstration that God can ground objective morality. At best it's a doctrinal statement dressed in pseudo-logical verbiage.
The following 2 users Like epronovost's post:
  • pattylt, Deesse23
Reply
#64

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 01:57 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 12:53 PM)SteveII Wrote: You are saying that maximal goodness is quantifiable and therefore reducible. That misunderstands the philosophical use of "maximal." In this context, maximal goodness refers to a qualitative, not quantitative, perfection of moral attributes. It implies completeness or fullness rather than an amount that can be increased or measured.

I think you might also be missing an important part of the conception of God.  The doctrine of divine simplicity outlines how God's attributes are not separate parts but identical with God's essence. In this view, God's justice, fairness, and goodness are not components added to God but are inherent in God's singular, indivisible nature.

Unfortunately, doctrinal arguments aren't synonimous with logical arguments. If you can dogmatically assert that God's nature is singular and indivisible, but logically, if something can be reduced it cannot be logically prior; in effect, asserting that God's nature is singular and indivisible and then asserting that it possesses a variety of qualities and properties is a clear logical contradiction. You cannot have a conceptual and personal deity at the same time. 

Quote:Post #40 does not help your point. You are confusing epistemology (how we know) with ontology (the nature of God's goodness) again. Those were all ways we can get a glimpse of God's goodness and start putting into a conceptual framework.

So you are confirming that this is exactly what you do. You proceed from a principled and already determined ideal of morality, state that God is the perfect representation and incarnation of those ideals and then proceed to further describe God's moral character and agency. That's basically demonstrating that morality, even for you, is not grounded in God's nature. It's grounded in a series of principles which you then attribute to God. That's not how you make a logical demonstration that God can ground objective morality. At best it's a doctrinal statement dressed in pseudo-logical verbiage.

Not quite.

(1) I proceed from a recognition that God, being in essence maximally good, is the standard of morality.

(2) Where we have direct revelation, we can be sure his commands are good (Divine Command Theory). OT and NT--including Paul's letters on Christian living, which contain significant instructions on how Christians should conduct themselves and why.

(3) Where we can see complex examples and how goodness plays out (post #40), we can a) understand (2) better, and b) we can infer other things or principles that are 'good.'

It does not matter if we cannot know for sure (an epistemology problem) what the exact moral thing to do is for there to exist an objective moral standard. Your point is only strong if we can't arrive at a reasonable approximation in most circumstances. Given (2) and (3), that is not the case.
Reply
#65

God can Ground Objective Morality
Washington Beltway:

[Image: temp-Imagex-Ta-Rt-S.avif]" border="0" alt="resim" onload="NcodeImageResizer.createOn(this);" />

Yay, I suppose... Thumbs Up
A bully hides his fears with fake bravado. That is the opposite of self-assertiveness.
The following 1 user Likes Cavebear's post:
  • Alan V
Reply
#66

God can Ground Objective Morality
Then whatever god does is good. Ergo genocide is good. Infanticide is good. Homicide is good. Sex trafficking is good. Substitutionary punishment and atonement are good. A small selection of things that are in gods nature, according to your historical documents™.

This is all well and good, but it remains a subjective moral system, as any system grounded in any subjects nature is accurately described to be. Seems to me like there was just some hilarious typo in the thread, an extra O. What you meant to ask was whether or not gods godness could be grounded in gods nature. Bit like asking whether or not a murderers murdering is grounded in his murderousness.
The following 3 users Like Rhythmcs's post:
  • airportkid, emjay, pattylt
Reply
#67

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 09:46 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 09:39 AM)AutisticWill Wrote: Am I one?
Look at one of his posts.
In the lower left should be TWO buttons: "PM" and a spyglass with "find"
If you dont see "PM" --> welcome to the club

Hey, I'm in the club! That means I don't have to bother sufferring (reading) his posts. Maybe if we all ignore him, he will stop bothering us.
A bully hides his fears with fake bravado. That is the opposite of self-assertiveness.
Reply
#68

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 01:25 PM)AutisticWill Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 12:11 PM)brewerb Wrote: Start telling him how much you love him and want to convert, then see if he responds. inlove

He's so goddamn tedious.........

i honestly try to read his shtick; i just can't.

all he wants to do is open a backdoor to the bible

i hate christianity. look at what it does to people.

so boring besides...................

i've seen granny-erotica more engaging than him.

and i don't want to see granny-erotica.

He's just a troll thinking himself smart.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
The following 2 users Like Szuchow's post:
  • AutisticWill, TheGentlemanBastard
Reply
#69

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 02:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: Not quite.

(1) I proceed from a recognition that God, being in essence maximally good, is the standard of morality.

(2) Where we have direct revelation, we can be sure his commands are good (Divine Command Theory). OT and NT--including Paul's letters on Christian living, which contain significant instructions on how Christians should conduct themselves and why.

(3) Where we can see complex examples and how goodness plays out (post #40), we can a) understand (2) better, and b) we can infer other things or principles that are 'good.'

It does not matter if we cannot know for sure (an epistemology problem) what the exact moral thing to do is for there to exist an objective moral standard. Your point is only strong if we can't arrive at a reasonable approximation in most circumstances. Given (2) and (3), that is not the case.

That's circular. The idea that God is in essence maximally good is derived from Divine Command Theory which is a form of subjective moral theory. As mentionned before, doctrinal pronouncements are not logical. In all cases, in your argument and it's various presentation you have made so far, good is always metaphysicaly prior to God.
The following 1 user Likes epronovost's post:
  • Mediocharist
Reply
#70

God can Ground Objective Morality
That's one of the consequences of necessity as envisioned by the nuts. If things are as they suggest, any possibility of an objective morality is ruled out at the beginning. Godness can't be described by goodness. Goodness can only be described by godness. In this metaphysical vision of reality, we're lucky gods nature wasn't even worse. This place could have been a real shithole...and whatever way that was, would be the right and proper way to organize the cosmos, no matter what we lowly human worms have to say about it.
The following 1 user Likes Rhythmcs's post:
  • Alan V
Reply
#71

God can Ground Objective Morality
“It is demonstrable," said he, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
The following 2 users Like Dānu's post:
  • epronovost, Cavebear
Reply
#72

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 03:17 PM)Dānu Wrote: “It is demonstrable," said he, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end.

I wanted to say that the quote sounded like Alice's caterpillar, but I discovered it was from Candide. Never read that one.

That being said, I loved the illogic of the reasoning of the rest of the quote. It seems very Christian. That the ends are the purpose of all things. Like noses exist because there are handkerchiefs and our feet are shaped so to match shoes. Evolution backwards. Loved it! Or should I say "it loved"?
A bully hides his fears with fake bravado. That is the opposite of self-assertiveness.
Reply
#73

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 03:05 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 02:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: Not quite.

(1) I proceed from a recognition that God, being in essence maximally good, is the standard of morality.

(2) Where we have direct revelation, we can be sure his commands are good (Divine Command Theory). OT and NT--including Paul's letters on Christian living, which contain significant instructions on how Christians should conduct themselves and why.

(3) Where we can see complex examples and how goodness plays out (post #40), we can a) understand (2) better, and b) we can infer other things or principles that are 'good.'

It does not matter if we cannot know for sure (an epistemology problem) what the exact moral thing to do is for there to exist an objective moral standard. Your point is only strong if we can't arrive at a reasonable approximation in most circumstances. Given (2) and (3), that is not the case.

That's circular. The idea that God is in essence maximally good is derived from Divine Command Theory which is a form of subjective moral theory. As mentionned before, doctrinal pronouncements are not logical. In all cases, in your argument and it's various presentation you have made so far, good is always metaphysicaly prior to God.

That's not circular. Divine Command Theory relies on (1) to be true for its grounding. It definitely is not used to support (1).

You are missing something if you think anything I said shows that  "good is always metaphysically prior to God." I would say that it is probably in not understanding what I wrote to you above:

You are saying that maximal goodness is quantifiable and therefore reducible. That misunderstands the philosophical use of "maximal." In this context, maximal goodness refers to a qualitative, not quantitative, perfection of moral attributes. It implies completeness or fullness rather than an amount that can be increased or measured.

I think you might also be missing an important part of the conception of God. The doctrine of divine simplicity outlines how God's attributes are not separate parts but identical with God's essence. In this view, God's justice, fairness, and goodness are not components added to God but are inherent in God's singular, indivisible nature.


In other words, God's maximal goodness has no content other than being a qualitative perfection of goodness. What you keep talking about with your "doctrinal pronouncements" are applications of this goodness in a particular context, not the property of maximal goodness. Divine Command Theory requires persons to command and so you are obviously already a layer down from the Nature of God in the epistemic process.
Reply
#74

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 04:22 PM)SteveII Wrote: In other words, God's maximal goodness has no content other than being a qualitative perfection of goodness.

Something that is qualitative is reducible by definition. A beautiful car is a qualitative statement but for that statement to make any sort of sense beauty is metaphysically prior to cars. It exist outside of cars and prior metaphysically speaking to cars (even if the term beauty was invented to relate a similar feeling that we have in front of this beautiful car). A maximally good God implies, in the same way that good is metaphysically prior to God. If God has a definition derived from other concepts as components of God, those concepts are metaphysically prior to it. It also shows you have actually bit the bullet of the Eutyphro dilemma and declared that whatever God thinks is good is good and furthermore that this good is universally applicable because God's thoughts are unchanging, eternal and absolute in authority.
The following 1 user Likes epronovost's post:
  • Deesse23
Reply
#75

God can Ground Objective Morality
"Good" is not a good word to use in this context; it is far too broad.  In human affairs, "good" is most of the time determined in the eye of the beholder, and what it means is in the mind of the beholder.  To say that "God is good" with neither qualification nor quantification is effectively saying nothing.  It's the same as saying God is good for nothing.  OK, that was a cheap shot. Anyway, "good" needs framing, such as "good for the betterment of humanity", but then made superlative by saying "BEST for the betterment of humanity".  The word "good" disappears for good, and we have something closer to having actual meaning.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)