Moral Law and Moral Law Giver

okamura
Posts: 11
Joined: 2009-05-20
User is offlineOffline
Moral Law and Moral Law Giver

Hello All,

I have been listening to the speeches of one Ravi Zacharias on You Tube for quite a while now. He is a famous Christian apologist. He has also written a number of Christian books although I have yet to read them.

I must admit that he is a very good speaker and he delivers his message flawlessly. However, I found some of his apologetic arguments invalid. A prominent one is his response to theodicy or the problem of evil.

The question he is asked is worded in the usual way, e.g. "How can you talk about the existence of an all-loving and all-perfect GOD when there is so much evil in this world ?"

His response goes like this :

1. If you assume that there is such a thing as good, aren't you assuming that there is such a thing as evil ?

2. If you assume that there is good and there is evil, aren't you assuming that there is such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil ?

3. If you posit such a thing as a moral law, you must posit such a thing as a moral law giver.

4. However that is what you are trying to disprove.

5. Now, if there is no moral law giver, there is no moral law.

6. If there is no moral law, there is no good.

7. If there is no good, there is no evil. What is your question ?
 

I agree with only points 1 and 2.

However, I have some problems with point 3 (and its invalidity renders points 4 to 7 irrelevant) :

- Mr Zacharias simply assumes that a moral law necessarily implies an "external" moral law giver. I believe this is not necessary.

- I agree with others  (e.g. Dan Barker) who have described morality in the following simple way : the minimization of harm.

- Hence if a moral law exists, it could be reducible to something as simple as our individual consciences which is the by-product of our ability to survive together in society.

- We do not need an external "giver" of such a moral law. If anything, it is we who give ourselves such a moral law. 

I do not mean to disparage Mr Zacharias, but I feel that he is dishonestly using some kind of intellectual "sleight of hand" to smuggle in the relevance of GOD into the picture.

I hope my learned friends here in this forum would critique my analysis above.

Thankyou v much,

Okamura.

 

 


okamura
Posts: 11
Joined: 2009-05-20
User is offlineOffline
Yes Very Good Video

Hello jcgadfly,

Yes, butterbattle kindly included that very same YouTube video in his response (see reply #16). It's very good. And Thunderfoot's assessment of Ravi Zacharias' fallacious logic is right on the target.

Thanks,

Okamura.

 


questionable (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
So each human is their very

So each human is their very own God? Does a being who gives a moral law have to be perfect or imperfect?


kyangs
Posts: 3
Joined: 2010-05-02
User is offlineOffline
If people give a moral law

If people give a moral law are we then ourselves a God? Just wondering with all these comments.


kyangs
Posts: 3
Joined: 2010-05-02
User is offlineOffline
- Mr Zacharias simply


- Mr Zacharias simply assumes that a moral law necessarily implies an "external" moral law giver. I believe this is not necessary.

- I agree with others  (e.g. Dan Barker) who have described morality in the following simple way : the minimization of harm.

- Hence if a moral law exists, it could be reducible to something as simple as our individual consciences which is the by-product of our ability to survive together in society.

- We do not need an external "giver" of such a moral law. If anything, it is we who give ourselves such a moral law. 

I do not mean to disparage Mr Zacharias, but I feel that he is dishonestly using some kind of intellectual "sleight of hand" to smuggle in the relevance of GOD into the picture.

I hope my learned friends here in this forum would critique my analysis above.

Thankyou v much,

Okamura.

Just wondering if humans need to be perfect in order to give a moral law. I'm just a curious one.

 

kp


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
Depends on what you mean by

Depends on what you mean by 'moral law'.  Most moral relativists would disagree that there can be such a thing as a moral law in the first place, so the discussion wouldn't even make it to that point.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


kyangs
Posts: 3
Joined: 2010-05-02
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:Depends on

mellestad wrote:

Depends on what you mean by 'moral law'.  Most moral relativists would disagree that there can be such a thing as a moral law in the first place, so the discussion wouldn't even make it to that point.

 

 

I see where ur going but, the comments states that humans are able to give a moral law because its through evolution. Just trying to see the picture.

kp


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5906
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Moral Law, an oxymoron

IMHO, you either have

LAW, a set of proclamations from some authority, real or imagined, that you simply are required to follow or be punished.,

or you have

MORALS and ETHICS,  a set of guidelines as to how to judge 'good' or 'bad' behaviour, typically based on ideas like the Golden Rule, the principle of minimizing harm to others, ansd so on. The guideline are based on our innate reactions to various situations, elaborated by conscious debate and discussion among members of the society. They will inevitably be seen and interpreted differently by each individual, but in any reasonably functional society, there will be enough consensus to make it workable.

Our feelings about what is 'good' and 'bad' are derived from reactions to basic situations between members of a social group, typically characterised by the feeling of 'unfairness' which many social species have been shown to experience. They are clearly naturally evolved reactions, helping to bind a social group together and so give the members of such a group a survival advantage.

So MORAL LAW is an oxymoron. Morality and Law are different ways of regulating society.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology