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God can Ground Objective Morality
#76

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 04:35 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(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.

I see the problem more clearly now. You think that when I say maximal goodness, you think I mean that goodness is a quality that God has. Like the car has the quality of being beautiful.

No, that conception is wrong. God's moral nature is the definition of good, it is where you go to find out what the concept of 'good' is. If you are getting hung up on the word 'qualitative' (as opposed to quantitative) in my recent response, it was in reference to how we should think about the term 'good' in the content of his moral natural.

I did say this up front:

In support of Premise 2:
The premise is not intended to show that God is good. It is intended to simply state the normal, traditional conception of God: that it is his nature that is maximally good. His nature/properties are who he is. [emphasis in the original]
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#77

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 05:13 PM)airportkid Wrote: "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.

That can be solved by the traditional belief that God's moral nature is the definition of good, it is where you go to find out what the concept of 'good' is.
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#78

God can Ground Objective Morality
If gods nature is the definition of good, then good is metaethically subjective - goodness and godness being redundant terms. Just as my nature being the definition of goodness would reduce morality to subjectivity, goodness and rhythmcsness being redundant. That's what the term metaethical subjectivity means.
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#79

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 05:40 PM)SteveII Wrote: That can be solved by the traditional belief that God's moral nature is the definition of good, it is where you go to find out what the concept of 'good' is.

 So "good" = blood sacrifices and genocidal floods, then?  Facepalm
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#80

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 06:13 PM)Astreja Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 05:40 PM)SteveII Wrote: That can be solved by the traditional belief that God's moral nature is the definition of good, it is where you go to find out what the concept of 'good' is.

 So "good" = blood sacrifices and genocidal floods, then?  Facepalm

Obviously. Only worst sort of heretic can think that above mentioned actions aren't very definition of goodness. And we all know what good christians should do with heretics.  Girl_devil
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#81

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 02:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: He's just a troll thinking himself smart.

I'm not so sure, as I've said before he's been at this for years and he never ever tires of it. Trolls don't usually display such tenacity.
That doesn't mean he isn't an annoying prick with a head full of shite.
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#82

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 07:19 PM)Inkubus Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 02:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: He's just a troll thinking himself smart.

I'm not so sure, as I've said before he's been at this for years and he never ever tires of it. Trolls don't usually display such tenacity.
That doesn't mean he isn't an annoying prick with a head full of shite.

I'm however quite sure. He is interested only in spouting his inane drivel thus he is a troll. Whether he consider himself one or not is immaterial.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#83

God can Ground Objective Morality
Our definitions of 'troll' differ. Ok.
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#84

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 05:40 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 05:13 PM)airportkid Wrote: "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.

That can be solved by the traditional belief that God's moral nature is the definition of good, it is where you go to find out what the concept of 'good' is.

This is the 2nd time @SteveII has put me on ignore, then made direct reply to a post.  "Rude" is not a strong enough word to describe this.
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#85

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 06:13 PM)Astreja Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 05:40 PM)SteveII Wrote: That can be solved by the traditional belief that God's moral nature is the definition of good, it is where you go to find out what the concept of 'good' is.

 So "good" = blood sacrifices and genocidal floods, then?  Facepalm

Star Wars: That's not the cherry pick he's looking for. Dance
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#86

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 in the bottom left corner of one of Stevie's posts. If there's no PM button, then yes, you are. I take it as a badge of honor that he's blocked me. Child that he is, he'd rather silence voices he can't answer than truly engage.
[Image: Bastard-Signature.jpg]
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#87

God can Ground Objective Morality
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
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#88

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-27-2024, 12:48 AM)TheGentlemanBastard Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 09:39 AM)AutisticWill Wrote: Am I one?

Look in the bottom left corner of one of Stevie's posts. If there's no PM button, then yes, you are. I take it as a badge of honor that he's blocked me. Child that he is, he'd rather silence voices he can't answer than truly engage.

Strange way to advertise that you're licked.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#89

God can Ground Objective Morality
13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15
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
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#90

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: Horn 2-Morality is arbitrary, dependent solely on God's will: This option suggests that what is morally good is good simply because God commands it, and not because of any inherent moral value. This viewpoint can lead to the conclusion that moral values are arbitrary and could have been otherwise if God had decided differently. 

Neither horn is desirable. Neither horn grounds morality in something objective.
I have debated with plenty of Christians (particularly fundamentalists) who are perfectly fine with "horn 2" and in fact think that seeking to evade it is disrespectful regarding god's total sovereignty. God is not obligated to follow the same rules he sets for his subjects or to be any sort of role model for them. God can do things that would be evil for men to do but not for Him. And so forth. So those guys would consider this a false dilemma not because there's a better Third Way but because one of the horns isn't a horn.
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: To break a dilemma (show it be a false dilemma), you need a third alternative that is more satisfactory. The defeater of the this dilemma is to point out that God's goodness is a necessary property. Goodness is not a property that God could have lacked (that's the definition of 'necessary'). As the greatest conceivable being, there is no possible world where God is not good. 
This is just an assertion based essentially on an argument from incredulity. You can't imagine a world where God is not good -- so what? What is your definition of "greatness"? The greatest power in any given realm could be good or evil, or morally indifferent and totally opportunistic / utilitarian.
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: P2: God possesses an unchanging, inherent moral nature that is maximally morally good.

In support of Premise 2:
The premise is not intended to show that God is good. It is intended to simply state the normal, traditional conception of God: that it is his nature that is maximally good.  His nature/properties are who he is. Why is he maximally just? Because that is who he is. Why is he eternal? Because that is who he is. Why is he omnipotent?  Why is he holy?  Why is he omniscient? Because that is who he is. Goodness is in the same category as the rest of these things. There is no why. This is the conception of God.
Because you say so, then.
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: Regarding whether God's eternal unchanging moral properties arbitrary, could they have been any other way? Perhaps, perhaps not (broadly logically speaking)--that is not clear. I don't think it matters however, because a defeater would need to show that God's nature is arbitrary not in the sense that it could have been different, but that it still can be different.
I think "could have been" or "still can be" are two different things. If god's nature had been x, then it would be x now. If it had been y, then it would be y now. We are, after all, speaking of his (supposedly immutable) nature. So ... if god could have been any other way, your argument is stillborn.
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#91

God can Ground Objective Morality
The argument is stillborn regardless of what gods nature is, whether it can change, or even if a god exists. No answer to any of those questions changes the fact that metaethical objectivity cannot be grounded in metaethical subjectivity. All of that, in fact everything steve has to say on this matter, is in the baffle them with bullshit pile. He's arguing for possession of the term because he believes the term is politically valuable - but he doesn't want the content, because he believes it doesn't exist.
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#92

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-26-2024, 12:29 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(03-25-2024, 04:18 PM)polymath257 Wrote: 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.

You cannot define something into existence. For example, suppose I define a xunicorn to be an existent unicorn. Does that imply that xunicorns exist? Of course not.

For the same reason, defining God to be the 'greatest' and then using existence as part of 'greatness' does NOT imply that a God actually exists. it merely proves that *if* a greatest exists, it exists. Sort of a triviality, no?

Quote: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.

The rules of chess are *logically* independent of the author. But they are not *causally* independent of that author. There is a difference that is too often confused by theologians. Are you claiming that logic was caused?
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#93

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-28-2024, 11:25 PM)mordant Wrote:
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: Horn 2-Morality is arbitrary, dependent solely on God's will: This option suggests that what is morally good is good simply because God commands it, and not because of any inherent moral value. This viewpoint can lead to the conclusion that moral values are arbitrary and could have been otherwise if God had decided differently. 

Neither horn is desirable. Neither horn grounds morality in something objective.

I have debated with plenty of Christians (particularly fundamentalists) who are perfectly fine with "horn 2" and in fact think that seeking to evade it is disrespectful regarding god's total sovereignty. God is not obligated to follow the same rules he sets for his subjects or to be any sort of role model for them. God can do things that would be evil for men to do but not for Him. And so forth. So those guys would consider this a false dilemma not because there's a better Third Way but because one of the horns isn't a horn.

I am sure there are many who think that. In my opinion though, they do not have a well-thought-out systematic theology. A couple of points:

God's Nature: It is not clear if you former debate partners would agree that God's nature is not maximally good. I guess they would. If so, why reject that in favor of good being what God commands (subjective)? It is a waste of a perfectly good place to ground morality in something objective.

Moral Consistency: Believing that God's commands reflect inherent goodness ensures that these commands are consistent with a moral order that is objective and rational. This consistency reinforces the trustworthiness and reliability of divine moral guidance and helps develop clear ethical guidelines in areas not specifically addressed by scripture.

Moral Reasoning: Related to the above point is that humans can engage in moral reasoning, understanding why certain actions are good or evil based on their nature and consequences by comparison to moral concepts found in the nature of God. If God's commands are arbitrary, it is hard to see how moral reasoning gets off the ground.

The Problem of Evil Argument: It seems the person who wants to ground morality in God's sovereignty, has more of a problem with the PoE argument than those that ground it in the nature of God.

Quote:
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: To break a dilemma (show it be a false dilemma), you need a third alternative that is more satisfactory. The defeater of the this dilemma is to point out that God's goodness is a necessary property. Goodness is not a property that God could have lacked (that's the definition of 'necessary'). As the greatest conceivable being, there is no possible world where God is not good. 

This is just an assertion based essentially on an argument from incredulity. You can't imagine a world where God is not good -- so what? What is your definition of "greatness"? The greatest power in any given realm could be good or evil, or morally indifferent and totally opportunistic / utilitarian.

It's not an assertion.

While the Ontological Argument is a mind-bender (and might be fun for another time), we only need to borrow Anselm's definition of God as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." This definition is not merely about power or knowledge but encapsulates the entirety of perfection. Anything less than the greatest conceivable being would not be God.

The consistent conception of God throughout the Bible is not like the god of other cultures and times. In many passages it talks about God's attributes as being maximal or perfect (holiness, justice, goodness, love, wisdom). His self-existence and eternality. Omnipotence and omniscience. When you put all the attributes and descriptions together into a framework, that's when you get something like Anselm's definition.


Quote:
(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: P2: God possesses an unchanging, inherent moral nature that is maximally morally good.

In support of Premise 2:
The premise is not intended to show that God is good. It is intended to simply state the normal, traditional conception of God: that it is his nature that is maximally good.  His nature/properties are who he is. Why is he maximally just? Because that is who he is. Why is he eternal? Because that is who he is. Why is he omnipotent?  Why is he holy?  Why is he omniscient? Because that is who he is. Goodness is in the same category as the rest of these things. There is no why. This is the conception of God.

Because you say so, then.

(03-22-2024, 08:03 PM)SteveII Wrote: Regarding whether God's eternal unchanging moral properties arbitrary, could they have been any other way? Perhaps, perhaps not (broadly logically speaking)--that is not clear. I don't think it matters however, because a defeater would need to show that God's nature is arbitrary not in the sense that it could have been different, but that it still can be different.

I think "could have been" or "still can be" are two different things. If god's nature had been x, then it would be x now. If it had been y, then it would be y now. We are, after all, speaking of his (supposedly immutable) nature. So ... if god could have been any other way, your argument is stillborn.

The point was in addressing defeaters as to the objectivity of God's moral nature (the point of the whole argument). You are referring to the content. I don't think it is logically possible to have been different than it is.
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#94

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-29-2024, 01:53 PM)polymath257 Wrote:
(03-26-2024, 12:29 PM)SteveII Wrote: 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.

You cannot define something into existence. For example, suppose I define a xunicorn to be an existent unicorn. Does that imply that xunicorns exist? Of course not.

For the same reason, defining God to be the 'greatest' and then using existence as part of 'greatness' does NOT imply that a God actually exists. it merely proves that *if* a greatest exists, it exists. Sort of a triviality, no?

Quote: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.

The rules of chess are *logically* independent of the author. But they are not *causally* independent of that author. There is a difference that is too often confused by theologians. Are you claiming that logic was caused?

There seems to be an internal logic to existence (such as the laws of non-contradiction, identity, and excluded middle) a rational structure of reality itself. If God exists, he exists necessarily and everything else is contingent on his existence. If that were true, then it would seem that the internal logic of existence is part of the nature of God. So, no, logic was not caused, it is part of the nature of God and on which all contingent existence is constructed.
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#95

God can Ground Objective Morality
And if God exists, he has sprinkles on top.
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
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#96

God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-29-2024, 07:25 PM)SteveII Wrote: God's Nature: It is not clear if you former debate partners would agree that God's nature is not maximally good. I guess they would. If so, why reject that in favor of good being what God commands (subjective)? It is a waste of a perfectly good place to ground morality in something objective.
Gods nature and gods commands are both equally subjective grounding.  

Quote:The point was in addressing defeaters as to the objectivity of God's moral nature (the point of the whole argument). You are referring to the content. I don't think it is logically possible to have been different than it is.
-and here we have a demonstration of how we're using the term objective in a novel sense - amusingly, one which reduces to the content that the term subjective refers to in moral theory.
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#97

God can Ground Objective Morality
double post
R.I.P. Hannes
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#98

God can Ground Objective Morality
I always found that "defining something into existence" more than ridiculous. How desperate do you have to be to argue (very verbose and long winded): "Ill define something so that there is not only a chance it can possibly exist. No, ill define it such that there is NO chance it CANT exist ....and *poof* it DOES exist".

Really????  Dodgy

What if everybody else just does the SAME???!!  ROFL2
R.I.P. Hannes
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#99

God can Ground Objective Morality
Wouldn't matter. If they did, and even if it really worked, we'd still be watching a loon explain how grounding morality in the nature of a subject leads to a comment about the attributes of an object itself.
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God can Ground Objective Morality
(03-29-2024, 07:43 PM)SteveII Wrote: There seems to be an internal logic to existence (such as the laws of non-contradiction, identity, and excluded middle) a rational structure of reality itself. If God exists, he exists necessarily and everything else is contingent on his existence. If that were true, then it would seem that the internal logic of existence is part of the nature of God. So, no, logic was not caused, it is part of the nature of God and on which all contingent existence is constructed.

Aren't you getting closer and closer to a pantheistic definition of deity instead of a personal one?
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