hello

dreems
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hello

This is my first post - and will probably go to the atheist v theist forum.

i would be interested whether anyone would be willing to discuss the following - i haven't looked around yet - the moral argument.

If you grant me that deism, at least is intellectually respectable, we could then go on to consider whether such a "God" is personal, that is, I would like to argue for theism. Although the usual arguments for God have been held to be demonstrative, i would simply like to argue that the phenomenon of morality points to, most probably a personal God. That is, that the arguments for a personal God are strong, if not conclusive, granted this datum of moral consciousness, which of course, i will need to explore.

Is this relatively clear? Any takers?

dreems

 


B166ER
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Welcome to the forums...

That being said, a couple of problems...

dreems wrote:
If you grant me that deism, at least is intellectually respectable

Deism isn't intellectually respectible, since the first cause "answer" it provides is over shadowed by the question of it's own first cause. Therefore it answers nothing.

dreems wrote:
Although the usual arguments for God have been held to be demonstrative

No they haven't, your mind is superimposing what you wish was true onto reality. If the usual arguments really were demonstrative of any deiti(es) existence, no one would be debating anything.

dreems wrote:
i would simply like to argue that the phenomenon of morality points to, most probably a personal God. That is, that the arguments for a personal God are strong, if not conclusive, granted this datum of moral consciousness, which of course, i will need to explore.

In no way does morality point to a creating deity. I fact it points us in the opposite direction.

Morality is different depending on the person and culture, and is created by social creatures to solidify in group solidarity and cohesion. If morality was created by some cosmic dictatoral law writer, then every animal would share the same morality, since it was set in stone so to speak from a universal perspective. But that just isn't the case.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


BobSpence
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The traditional arguments

The traditional arguments for God are based on clear fallacies, equivocation, and naked assertions, and unproven assumptions.

That anyone ever took the original ontological argument seriously pretty much proves that they were all a matter of juggling language and logic to find some form of words which 'kinda' made sense, if you didn't look at them to closely and without a presumption that they were actually decent arguments.

The more recent argument based on the 'anthropic' principle, the apparent 'fine tuning' of fundamental constants of physics to make possible a universe capable of supporting intelligent life, does not point to an omnipotent intelligent creator, since an enormous amount of matter and energy has been employed to 'create' a universe which only allows life to emerge on a tiny fraction of planets, maybe only one out of what are likely to be at least trillions.

The argument from morality is truly the weakest of the more 'respectable' attempts to argue for god.

Moral behaviour is so diverse, apart from the more obvious ones such as restraints on killing. Those more obvious 'sins' are so clearly damaging to the survival of a group of social animals dependent on mutual cooperation, that evolution/natural selection provides a 'no-brainer' explanation.

Whereas holy books such as the Bible contain many examples of what are clearly primitive taboos, which we no longer find acceptable, and many of which even believers now ignore or argue around.

Deism is just an attempt to cling to some vestige of the logically flawed idea of a 'God', for many of the same psychological and emotional reasons that the concept of a God of some kind has always appealed to a significant fraction of humanity. It never made sense or actually appealed to me.

It used to be more defensible when we knew less about the nature of the Universe, and before Darwin, and was often professed by the more intelligent people who could see the problems in doctrinal religions, because it was still far more acceptable in society than anything approaching Atheism.

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


Gauche
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It would probably be

It would probably be difficult if not impossible to argue with someone about morality unless you could agree with them about what one might call a "minimum conception" of morality. For example, most atheists would at the very least agree that morality requires impartial consideration of each individuals interests. One who believes that morality depends on religion may not agree with that because their position carries with it the implication that the interests of the supreme overlord of the universe are paramount and the interests of others are immaterial. I would be interested to find out exactly how you define morality that you think it is evidence of some sort of supernatural phenomenon. 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


dreems
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thanks for replying.well,

thanks for replying.

well, there is a dilemma. if i explain myself too carefully, i go on too long.

by deism intellectually respectable, i mean the likes of einstein were deists, but not theists - it seems. by held to be demonstrative, i mean by aquinas etc - he also employed arguments that he thought probable. thats what i was intending.

your last point is directly relevant to what i thought i could contribute. if you want, i posted again in the theism v atheism.

 

\


BobSpence
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I think in the case of

I think in the case of people like Einstein, they are really just considering the wonder and awe they feel at what they understand of the Universe, and what is yet to be known, and labelling that collective reality with the word "God", as having the closest connotations matching what they felt about the universe itself.

I rather doubt, from reading the things Einstein has said about God, including his explicit denial of a personal God, that his belief really matched all that well to even a Deistic vision of a 'God'.

Aquinas incorporated a number of ideas in his arguments which were respectable at the time, but which are clearly invalid under more recent mathematical and scientific understanding, such as the idea of the inherent difficulties of infinite regress. Certain forms of infinite sequence are mathematically finite in extent, such as the simple case of a converging geometric series, where each term is smaller than the previous. Despite a defined infinite number of finite terms, the sum is logically finite.

He also held to the now thoroughly out-dated ideas of the nature of 'motion', and the simplistic, pre chaos theory and quantum theory idea of cause-and-effect, current at that time, so his ideas on this topic are less than compelling, to say the least.

I am also fairly certain he was arguing to justify something he already was strongly committed to, which is not good for intellectual integrity, since it is likely to affect decisions on any point of difficulty in the argument, making it easier to go with the interpretation favouring your pre-conception, without you necessarily being fully aware of that unconscious bias.

If you are going to construct a detailed logical argument, one error is enough to destroy it. While it would not be quite fair to label some ideas that he assumed as 'errors', since they were widely accepted at the time, but we now know they were incorrect.

 

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


dreems
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I'll just try and respond to

I'll just try and respond to some of the points on morality - apologies for ignoring some interesting stuff.

 

my approach will be, not natural law, not virtue ethics, not the end of human life, obviously not utilitarianism, but value.

think of the heart as the seat of affective responses, think of objects that may be values. we can notice differences. here are three examples. we see someone nice, beautiful chaming - our response is love. a strong man confronts us, we are afraid. a dictaor cruelly puts to death the innocent, family members are made to cheer enthusiatically - we are appauled for this is wrong.

 

we don't say, be afraid of me because i am cute, or love me for i am strong - we sense that certain responses are proper. our sense that cruelty is wrong is something we perceive clearly - actually, it was hitchens, arguing the case for the iraq war, that used that third example. what's interesting is that he does argue - in other words, he is claiming that the way he feels is the way others should feel. there is a claim on our assent, and it should lead to action. he is not simply telling us facts about his psychology, as if a fit of rage was like a sneeze in the presence of pepper. pepper causes sneezing, but not because it dawns on us what pepper is. suppose we are upset at the family members are cheering, then we understand their duress, when the truth dawns, we feel differently.

conscience has a commanding voice - the voice of right, but not of might.

that morality varies, i grant - but in the case of this cruelty, there was something absolutely wrong. i think this points to a personal god - but not a "dictatorial law giver". that would be to confuse might and right. my whole argument is based on the very real difference between the two.

 

 

 


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welcome to the forums. seems

welcome to the forums. seems like we registered on the same day eh?