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Theism/god doesn't justify morality
in Philosophy

By Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 1824 Pts


Hi. 

I'm an agnostic-atheist. One of the biggest problems I see with theism is the inability to justify objective moral values and duties if you have a theistic worldview. 

Let's take Ted Bundy. He raped and killed women and girls. A theist can believe what Ted did to be wrong, but a theistic worldview doesn't allow for the condemnation of Ted's actions. You may think (and feel) that Ted was wrong to rape and murder, but ultimately one's deity/deities don't care. Moreover, Ted doesn't agree with you: he thinks and feels that he's completely justified in murdering/raping. Ted just isn't interested in playing by the rules.

The question now becomes, whether we can call what Ted did 'wrong'. I see no reason to suggest we can (based on a theistic worldview). Can a jury rightfully sentence Ted? On what grounds/rules would a jury sentence Ted? We can't use "gods" moral rules because Ted never agreed to play along. This leaves us with his own rules, but his rules don't condemn his actions, they justify them. See, the problem isn't that theists can't be moral, the problem is that theists can't expect someone else to be. And a society that can't expect everyone to adhere to moral laws is a society I do not want to live in.
PlaffelvohfenDeeZeusAres42SkepticalOneWinstonCJaguar
At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
All of that so we can argue about nothing.
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  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
     One of the biggest problems I see with theism is the inability to justify objective moral values and duties if you have a theistic worldview. 

    I agree , If a god creates right and wrong simply by his commands that makes morality arbitrary.

    If god deems murder morally laudable then it is so , a Christian may say “but he wouldn’t do that”  but why not?   Some of the most horrendous acts of brutality by God in Bible are excused away by saying it’s all part of god “plan” 

    This is only one of many challenges a theist cannot defend without resorting to utter BS 

    Happy_KillbotAlofRIPlaffelvohfenZeusAres42
  • @Dee ;
    If god deems murder morally laudable then it is so , a Christian may say “but he wouldn’t do that”  but why not? Some of the most horrendous acts of brutality by God in Bible are excused away by saying it’s all part of god “plan” 
    Even a precursory read of the bible makes it hard to understand how god can be anything but the bad guy in the "good book". In Genesis, god commits genocide by flooding the earth. Does that mean that genocide by drowning people is morally justified? Or does it mean that god wasn't acting morally?

    To think that the Christian worldview is moral only demonstrates that you haven't put any thought into what is and isn't moral.
    DeePlaffelvohfenZeusAres42
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    edited May 16
    @Happy_Killbot

     Does that mean that genocide by drowning people is morally justified? Or does it mean that god wasn't acting morally?

    It’s a ridiculous fable , an all powerful super “intelligent “ god creates man and he is pleased with his creation then destroys him because he is displeased WTF! 

    I remember Hitchens saying “ Don’t insult my intelligence with this f -cking BS “

    To think that the Christian worldview is moral only demonstrates that you haven't put any thought into what is and isn't moral.

    That’s so true , in every other aspect of life a believer puts considered thought into various philosophical positions on this it’s down to the pathetic excuse of being a faith based position 

    I don’t know if I posted this to you before it’s 3 minutes long and a lovely piece by Professor Stephen Law whose philosophy files book is wonderful entertainment.....Here is his Evil god challenge.....

    https://youtu.be/lqEl_mt7Hhk
    Happy_Killbot
  • @Glorfindel ;
    When I was a child, I prayed God would give me a bike, but then I realized God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness instead. 
    According to the bible, this method will work for getting you into heaven. I find no objective morality in that.

    Completely irrelevant to this discussion. Besides, if you think this is how Christianity works you're either uninformed or intellectually dishonest. 
    Unless you are a Catholic, that is how it works according to the word of Jesus and as the primary theological interpretation of the gospel by protestants.

    According to the gospels, you need only believe in Jesus and ask for his for your sins to get to heaven, because the assumption is that Jesus came to earth and then died as a sacrifice for everyone who is a sinner, which according to the old testament is everyone.

    John 20:13

    but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    Mark 16:16

    Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

    Luke 12:10

    "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.


    This has the consequence of course that even if you are a bad person, a rapist, a murderer, a thief, etc. yet you repent latter in life and accept Jesus that you go to heaven, where as an atheist who lived their entire life and never hurt a single person will go to hell. That is what is believed in the bible. This whole story is roughly equivalent to someone going to jail for another person and being executed for their crimes. How exactly does this justify objective morality then? Well, it technically makes everything done acceptable, but not believing in Jesus and following him? That's unforgivable and will result in eternal torture.

    How does any of this justify objective morality? It doesn't.

    SkepticalOnePlaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • AlofRIAlofRI 631 Pts
    edited May 22
    That's some of the reason I am an A-Theist. According to the theistic rules of Abrahamic religion, the WOMEN are more likely to be punished for "making themselves available". (Naughty women!) tsk, tsk! That, and I see about as much immorality in these "gods" as morality ... along with a very strange definition of "love". 
    Nope, I'll take my atheistic brand of "morality" in which a bit of naughtiness is acceptable (even required ;-), where cruelty is NOT .... even by a "god".  :blush:
    PlaffelvohfenHappy_Killbot
  • @Happy_Killbot

    I'm not 100% sure, but I get the feeling this debate is meant for me... ;)
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • GlorfindelGlorfindel 74 Pts
    edited May 24
    @Happy_Killbot

    I'd like to defend a simple argument.

    If (the Christian) God exists, then
    • Objective moral values exist.
    • Objective moral duties exist.

    Notice, though, I'm not defending the existence of God. I'm very open to that, but that's, in my opinion, a different debate. One could use this argument to reason for the existence of God (by adding another premise (objective moral values and duties do exist) and a conclusion (therefore, God exists)) but I won't be attempting this here. All this debate pertains to is whether objective moral values and duties naturally flow from the existence of God, should He exist.

    All I have to do, therefore, is to show that, should God exist, absolutes would exist, in which we can objectively ground morality.

    First, let us talk about objectivity. For something to be objective it needs to exist independent of human thought and/or recognition. For instance, the moon is objective - it exists whether we know it or not, whether we think about it or not. This doesn't mean that humans can't have subjective differences on what exactly the moon is. Some can say it's made of cheese, others sand and rock. The point is, it's there whether we like it or not. Humans can argue about the existence of the moon but even if everyone would agree that it doesn't exist, it still will.

    Likewise, objective moral values and duties would mean that these exist whether we agree on their existence or not. 

    Now, to be honest, I'm not sure why you hold that objective moral values and duties can't exist in Christianity. Do you hold that all objectives are impossible in Christianity, or just objective moral values and duties? Obviously Christianity can account for at least the objectivity of God. If God exists, if anything would be truly objective it would be Him. After all, who's existence could be more certain, more sure, more objective than the One who created everything? Likewise, we can account for the objectivity of creation - because a Creator wouldn't be a Creator without a creation. So, if the Christian God exists, we can account for the objective existence of Himself and His creation. 

    But also, because God is absolute, a whole host of other things can exist objectively. Logic is objective because 1) God is absolute (which grounds logic) and 2) God is orderly (which grants logic). Likewise, I hold that there are objective moral values and duties because 1) God is absolute (which grounds morality) and 2) God is good (which grants morality).

    Why am I constantly referring to objective moral values and duties? Because there are two aspects of morality.
    • Values: cowardice is bad, bravery is good; torture is wrong, caring for the elderly is right.
    • Duties: You ought to be brave, not coward like. You shouldn't torture, but you should care for the elderly.
    Objective moral values, I hold, are grounded in God's absolute character. Because He is the ultimate standard of good, we can measure phenomena against his character to judge whether they can be called good, or rather bad.

    Objective moral values, however, don't account for why one ought to do anything. They only account for something being good or bad. They don't demand of one to be good- they simply are. That's why we also need objective moral duties. Duties account for why we ought to do certain things. In this case, we ought to do good. 

    But how does Christianity provide a basis for objective moral duties? Well, in God's commands. God commands certain things, and we ought to follow God's commands.

    Does Christianity derive an ought from an is? Well, yes - but not in the way you expect. Let me explain. 

    Christianity says that we ought to do certain things because they are commanded by God. In that way, we certainly derive an ought from an is. But note, though, that this ought isn't rooted simply in being. We're not saying that we ought to do certain things because God is a certain way like atheists say we ought to do certain things because the universe, or society, is a certain way. We're saying we ought to do certain things because God commands it (remember, the universe doesn't command anything. The universe just is). You may ask, at this point, “Why are we obligated to do something just because it is commanded by God?” Well, the answer to that comes, I think, by reflecting on the nature of moral duty.

    Duty arises in response to an imperative from a competent authority. For example, if some random person were to tell me to pull my car over, I would have absolutely no legal obligation to do so. But if a policeman were to issue such a command, I’d have a legal obligation to obey. The difference in the two cases lies in the persons who issued the commands: one is qualified to do so, while the other is not. This command, though, is only objective within certain boundaries. Were the policeman to ask me to give him $100 it wouldn't be my duty to obey him - he'd be overstepping his boundaries.

    The question becomes, then, how can something be absolutely objective (objective in all contexts)? Donald Trump is pretty qualified to issue commands, but there's no legal obligation to obey him in South Africa (which is where I live). So obviously, Donald Trump's commands aren't absolutely objective (as they pertain to duty). Even his commands have boundaries. Now, for a command to be absolutely objective, it needs to be rooted in absolute power. Trump has limited power, which means his commands infer only limited duty. Furthermore, the moral duty that flows from his commands is limited because he's also limited in goodness. But this isn't true for God. God has unlimited power - absolute power. And he's also the absolute form of Good. In virtue of being the Good and the Powerful, God's commands therefore infer absolute moral duty.

    In other words: because God's goodness and power are absolute, his commands are absolutely binding. Absolute expressions and absolute obligations require an absolute Being - and only God is such a Being.
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Glorfindel

    Absolute expressions and absolute obligations require an absolute Being - and only God is such a Being.

    Can you name an absolute obligation from the Bible that is not also violated by Biblical characters or the Biblical god?

    Happy_KillbotZeusAres42Plaffelvohfen
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 1824 Pts
    edited May 24
    @Glorfindel

    Even if god exists, and it defines what is moral, then why ought we be moral? Just because god commands something why ought we do that?
    SkepticalOnePlaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • GlorfindelGlorfindel 74 Pts
    edited May 24
    @Happy_Killbot

    Your question was answered in my post. Where's the miscommunication: lack of reading or lack of comprehension ;) ?
    Plaffelvohfen
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @SkepticalOne

    Can you name an absolute obligation from the Bible that is not also violated by Biblical characters or the Biblical god?
    You seem to infer that most commands by God it contradictory to his character. Can you justify this assumption?

    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @SkepticalOne

    Can you name an absolute obligation from the Bible that is not also violated by Biblical characters or the Biblical god?
    You seem to infer that most commands by God it contradictory to his character. Can you justify this assumption?

    You seem to be avoiding the question.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 1348 Pts
    It's much easier for a nontheist to be able to see why Theism cannot justify morality. The problem is not that the Theist is necessarily silly. But it is by human nature that we harbor many beliefs that we hold onto since childhood. But sometimes, those beliefs are just plainly false, and they can be hard to let go of if we've held them dear to us and held onto them for so long.

    Happy_KillbotSkepticalOnePlaffelvohfen









  • @Glorfindel

    There is definitely a lack of comprehension here, your response doesn't contain an answer to my question at all.

    For example, you say that: 
    We're saying we ought to do certain things because God commands it
    Why should we do what god says though? Why ought we do what god says because he commands it?

    Your response about moral duty doesn't answer this question either:
    You may ask, at this point, “Why are we obligated to do something just because it is commanded by God?” Well, the answer to that comes, I think, by reflecting on the nature of moral duty.

    Duty arises in response to an imperative from a competent authority. For example, if some random person were to tell me to pull my car over, I would have absolutely no legal obligation to do so. But if a policeman were to issue such a command, I’d have a legal obligation to obey. The difference in the two cases lies in the persons who issued the commands: one is qualified to do so, while the other is not. This command, though, is only objective within certain boundaries. Were the policeman to ask me to give him $100 it wouldn't be my duty to obey him - he'd be overstepping his boundaries.
    That doesn't explain why we should have an obligation to any god, gods, or other mythical beings. It doesn't tell you why you ought to obey this unproven beings existence.
    The question becomes, then, how can something be absolutely objective (objective in all contexts)? Donald Trump is pretty qualified to issue commands, but there's no legal obligation to obey him in South Africa (which is where I live). So obviously, Donald Trump's commands aren't absolutely objective (as they pertain to duty). Even his commands have boundaries. Now, for a command to be absolutely objective, it needs to be rooted in absolute power. Trump has limited power, which means his commands infer only limited duty. Furthermore, the moral duty that flows from his commands is limited because he's also limited in goodness. But this isn't true for God. God has unlimited power - absolute power. And he's also the absolute form of Good. In virtue of being the Good and the Powerful, God's commands therefore infer absolute moral duty.
    This doesn't even come close to answering what I am asking, because I might ask the same about Trump or Cops, why ought I do what they command just because they have authority?

    If you disobey there might be legal consequences, but to this I would ask why ought we worry about legal consequences? You might say Jail sucks, to which I ask why ought we not go to jail, turtles all the way down.

    The same is true of the Christian god. For example, god commands things, why ought we not break these commandments? because if you break them you go to hell (Not actually in the bible) Why ought you not want to go to hell? Because it is suffering forever. Why ought someone not suffer forever? Because suffering forever would be painful. Why ought someone not experience pain? On and on and on. 

    This doesn't answer the question at all, because by your own admission you are getting an ought from an is. Hume's Guillotine is a sound argument which debunks this for the reasons I have demonstrated. You can not derive an ought from an is, ever. This is why in our other discussion I describe morality only in terms of "is" and never as an "ought".
    In other words: because God's goodness and power are absolute, his commands are absolutely binding. Absolute expressions and absolute obligations require an absolute Being - and only God is such a Being.
    This doesn't explain why we ought to do what god commands, nor does it follow logically.

    You are basically just playing a word game here, you are saying that:

    -God is what makes things objective and absolute
    -God made objective morality
    -Therefore, if we assume god exists then objective morality must exists

    Perhaps if I use an analogy you will see why I find this so philosophically dissatisfying:
    -Pepperoni Pizza is what makes things objective and absolute
    -Pepperoni Pizza made objective morality
    -Therefore, if we assume pepperoni pizza exists then objective morality must exist

    Because you define god as that which makes objective morals you inevitably land in the conclusion that morals are objective if you assume god exists. This doesn't demonstrate anything at all, and even less with a being we can not prove objectively exists (although you can prove some don't exist, including the Christian god) However, if I can prove that this being doesn't exist or is logically impossible, then that would imply that the definition isn't logically consistent, for example replace "Pepperoni Pizza" with square circles, thus demonstrating that because a square circle doesn't exist it can't make objective morality.

    I would ask you to define what exactly you mean by god, but at the moment I will use what you have here:
     Likewise, we can account for the objectivity of creation - because a Creator wouldn't be a Creator without a creation. So, if the Christian God exists, we can account for the objective existence of Himself and His creation. 
    ...
    Logic is objective because 1) God is absolute (which grounds logic) and 2) God is orderly (which grants logic). Likewise, I hold that there are objective moral values and duties because 1) God is absolute (which grounds morality) and 2) God is good (which grants morality).
    ...
    Objective moral values, I hold, are grounded in God's absolute character. Because He is the ultimate standard of good, we can measure phenomena against his character to judge whether they can be called good, or rather bad.
    So I will derive from this the following: God is an absolute, orderly being which grounds logic, and created objective reality. This being has an absolute character which represents the ultimate standard of good.

    There is actually a logical inconsistency in this definition which is parallel to Epicurus's ancient argument against god.
    Is There a Response to the Epicurus Dilemma  Bishops

    You do not define god as omnipotent, but rather as absolute, Which would in this context mean consisting in totality and is universally valid.

    Let's assume that something horrible is objective, say Ted Bundy's urge to kill. If god is an absolute good then that means that whatever it does must be good, including the creation of objective reality. This is logically the same as saying that what is objective/absolute represents the ultimate standard of good, therefore Ted Bundy's exploits are good if god created objective reality and Ted's crimes are objectively true.

    See the problem here?

    All of this without pointing out any of the specific atrocities of the bible committed in god's name if not by it directly.
    PlaffelvohfenZeusAres42
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @SkepticalOne

    I think your question is unfair because you presented me with a question that's based on an assumption you didn't justify. Your question presumes most (if not all) of God's commands are contradicted by his character. If I were to answer your question by pointing out one command not contradicted by his character you would still have won the argument because I'd be accepting your unjustified assumption. 

    So instead of directly answering your question, I'd like to point out that your question is loaded because it contains an unjustified assumption: most of God's commands are contradicted by his character. If you believe this assumption to be true - prove it.
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • GlorfindelGlorfindel 74 Pts
    edited May 25
    @Happy_Killbot

    You make some interesting points. But you keep getting back to the issue of God's existence. I'm happy to debate that any time, but this is not that debate.

    That doesn't explain why we should have an obligation to any god, gods, or other mythical beings. It doesn't tell you why you ought to obey this unproven beings existence.
    I don't think you understand my argument. I'm not saying one ought to be moral because an unproven God commands it. I'm saying if God exists objective moral values and duties exist. Now, as far as I can see you don't have a problem with objective moral values existing in the Christian worldview. Can you confirm that we agree on this: if the Christian God exists objective moral values would exist? Then we can focus all our efforts on the existence of objective moral duties.

    The same is true of the Christian god. For example, god commands things, why ought we not break these commandments? because if you break them you go to hell (Not actually in the bible) Why ought you not want to go to hell? Because it is suffering forever. Why ought someone not suffer forever? Because suffering forever would be painful. Why ought someone not experience pain? On and on and on. 
    Once again, I don't think you understand my argument. I'm not saying you shouldn't break God's commandments because if you do you'll go to hell. I'm saying God is in a unique position as the only One with absolute power and absolute goodness. No person or organization can make the claim that 1) they are the source of all human existence and 2) they're the ultimate standard of goodness. This puts God's commands in a unique position to infer moral obligation.

    You are basically just playing a word game here, you are saying that:
    -God is what makes things objective and absolute
    -God made objective morality
    -Therefore, if we assume god exists then objective morality must exists
    Perhaps if I use an analogy you will see why I find this so philosophically dissatisfying:
    -Pepperoni Pizza is what makes things objective and absolute
    -Pepperoni Pizza made objective morality
    -Therefore, if we assume pepperoni pizza exists then objective morality must exist
    I don't quite see the problem you're trying to point out. If Pepperoni Pizza were the absolute Being and could viably make the claim that He created the heavens and the earth, I hold that in both cases the conclusion flows from the premises. 

    Because you define god as that which makes objective morals you inevitably land in the conclusion that morals are objective if you assume god exists. This doesn't demonstrate anything at all, and even less with a being we can not prove objectively exists (although you can prove some don't exist, including the Christian god) However, if I can prove that this being doesn't exist or is logically impossible, then that would imply that the definition isn't logically consistent, for example replace "Pepperoni Pizza" with square circles, thus demonstrating that because a square circle doesn't exist it can't make objective morality.
    Once again. If you want to debate God's existence, I'm open to it. But none of my premises depend on the proven existence of God.

    So I will derive from this the following: God is an absolute, orderly being which grounds logic, and created objective reality. This being has an absolute character which represents the ultimate standard of good.
    There is actually a logical inconsistency in this definition which is parallel to Epicurus's ancient argument against god.
    If you want to debate the problem of evil, I'm open to it. But it doesn't affect my argument.

    How would you feel if I just kept hitting you with arguments against atheism that have nothing to do with this debate?

    See the problem here?
    I'm familiar with the problem of evil. It's, in my opinion, the only viable argument against Christianity. If you want to debate it I'm all for it, but (once again) it doesn't disprove my argument in this debate. To refresh your memory, my argument was:

    If (the Christian) God exists, then
    • Objective moral values exist.
    • Objective moral duties exist.

    Even if you could disprove the existence of God (which would be a feat indeed), my argument stands. None of my premises depends on the existence of God. 

    Once more, I really do believe God exists, but you can't expect to win this debate (Theism/god doesn't justify morality) by disproving God. Perhaps if I use an analogy you will see why I find this so philosophically dissatisfying. It's like attempting to show that elephants don't have trunks by attempting to disprove their existence.

    Once more, if you want to debate the existence of God (and all the good arguments for it, if you're not too proud and rebellious :smile: ) I'm all for it. But whether God exist or not my argument stands: If God, Objective moral values and duties.
    PlaffelvohfenZeusAres42
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Glorfindel

    You still do not answer the question, why ought we do what god commands?
    I don't think you understand my argument. I'm not saying one ought to be moral because an unproven God commands it. I'm saying if God exists objective moral values and duties exist. Now, as far as I can see you don't have a problem with objective moral values existing in the Christian worldview. Can you confirm that we agree on this: if the Christian God exists objective moral values would exist? Then we can focus all our efforts on the existence of objective moral duties.
    No, I can not agree that if the Christian god exists objective morals exists, because the Christian god doesn't ground objective moral values being an evil god. In fact, i would take it a step further and say that if the Christian god is the one true god, that there can be no real morals on account of this god changes it's mind, see levitical law. This god makes subjective judgement. (because its judgement are based on human judgement)
    Once again, I don't think you understand my argument. I'm not saying you shouldn't break God's commandments because if you do you'll go to hell. I'm saying God is in a unique position as the only One with absolute power and absolute goodness. No person or organization can make the claim that 1) they are the source of all human existence and 2) they're the ultimate standard of goodness. This puts God's commands in a unique position to infer moral obligation.
    Then there is no reason we ought to do what god says, and by extension we can say that Ted Bundy's crimes are justified by Christian morality?
    I don't quite see the problem you're trying to point out. If Pepperoni Pizza were the absolute Being and could viably make the claim that He created the heavens and the earth, I hold that in both cases the conclusion flows from the premises. 
    Logical consistency does not meaning make. I can say: "All Klurbs are Glips and some Klurbs are Tonks, therefore all Tonks are Glips" and that is logically consistent, but it doesn't mean anything because those are non-sense words that have no meaning. The problem is that god is in essence a non-sense term in the logic above. Suppose that pepperoni pizza is what actually what grounds objective morals. You can not tell that this isn't the case from this logic, so how do you know that this isn't the case?
    Once again. If you want to debate God's existence, I'm open to it. But none of my premises depend on the proven existence of God.
    No, this isn't about proving god, this is about disproving god. See, if we assume that a contradiction is what grounds morality then by exposing that contradiction we invalidate the rest of the argument. For example, suppose we take the non-sense word "Glips" and I define a Glip as an iron feather made of wood. Since something can not be both iron and made of wood we can prove that the conclusion that all Tonks are Glips is false.
    If you want to debate the problem of evil, I'm open to it. But it doesn't affect my argument.

    How would you feel if I just kept hitting you with arguments against atheism that have nothing to do with this debate?
    That sounds like surrender... Do you have any actual argument against the reason I have laid out here?

    If god created objective reality and god can only do good, then objective reality must be all good.

    Therefore, rape, murder, slavery, genocide, torture, and yes, Ted Bundy must be good if they are part of objective reality.

    If we decide that these things are not good, then either god didn't create objective reality, or god is not all good.
    I'm familiar with the problem of evil. It's, in my opinion, the only viable argument against Christianity. If you want to debate it I'm all for it, but (once again) it doesn't disprove my argument in this debate. To refresh your memory, my argument was:

    If (the Christian) God exists, thenObjective moral values exist.Objective moral duties exist.
    That isn't really an argument at all. Maybe we should talk about the Christian god, since basic philosophy seems to be not your strong suit.

    What exactly is the Christian god in your mind, and what makes it good?
    Even if you could disprove the existence of God (which would be a feat indeed), my argument stands. None of my premises depends on the existence of God. 

    Once more, I really do believe God exists, but you can't expect to win this debate (Theism/god doesn't justify morality) by disproving God. Perhaps if I use an analogy you will see why I find this so philosophically dissatisfying. It's like attempting to show that elephants don't have trunks by attempting to disprove their existence.

    Once more, if you want to debate the existence of God (and all the good arguments for it, if you're not too proud and rebellious smile ) I'm all for it. But whether God exist or not my argument stands: If God, Objective moral values and duties.
    Disproving god depends on your definition of god. The Christian god is definitely out because of logical inconsistencies in the text of the bible though.

    I think it's funny that you don't think that if by proving elephants don't exist this would prove they don't have trunks, because that would be the case.
    Consider this. If I define Unicorn as a magical horse-like being with one horn and pink fur, and someone says "Unicorn's fur is white" You can not tell who if anyone is right. However, if there is a contradiction in the term unicorn, say we define it as having white fur which is pink, then we can determine logically that this being doesn't exist, because it cant exist, what would that mean.

    Your argument doesn't hold any water because you haven't demonstrated anything. If in the other debate I claimed that atheism grounded objective morals because atheism is what makes morals objective, how would you respond to this? This is basically what you are doing here, just playing a word game that is of no consequence.
    PlaffelvohfenDee
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Happy_Killbot

    To be clear, what's your argument against the existence of objective moral values and duties in the Christian Worldview? Is it that God is evil (according to you) or that we unjustifiably derive an ought from an is?
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Glorfindel

    3 things not 2.

    -The Christian god as described in the bible can not have grounded objective morals because it changes it's mind with times and cultures, (Levitical law) meaning it doesn't actually establish an objective moral framework.

    -It is impossible to derive an ought from an is (Hume's Guillotine) therefore even if good defines what is morally right there is no reason we ought to do what it commands. Therefore god doesn't justify objective morality.

    -It is logically inconsistent to claim that a being with absolute power must be absolutely good, therefore such a being could not have made objective moral values or it could not have absolute power.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • Glorfindel said:
    @SkepticalOne ;

    Can you name an absolute obligation from the Bible that is not also violated by Biblical characters or the Biblical god?
    You seem to infer that most commands by God it contradictory to his character. Can you justify this assumption?


    It is your assumptions that are being challenged by my question. I don't think its a big stretch to say the 'absolutely binding' edicts of the Biblical god are often ignored in the Bible. Thats challenges your assertion that "God's goodness and power are absolute, his commands are absolutely binding." Not even the Biblical god adheres to this binding and he commands his subjects to violate his edicts as well. So much for "absolutely binding". Absolutes don't change.

    There are two other problems in your OP:
    1. What you and I might find reprehensible were undeniably said to be commanded or condoned by the Biblical god. Is (say) slavery wrong. If so, this is going to throw a wrench in the machine of your argument. If Biblical slavery was codified by an absolute power then these rules are absolutely objective and binding in all contexts, no?

    2. No edict of the Biblical god can be "absolutely binding" when belief in Jesus can wipe it all away. This morality is about 'good' beliefs rather than good actions.
    PlaffelvohfenDeeHappy_KillbotZeusAres42
  • @Happy_Killbot

    -It is logically inconsistent to claim that a being with absolute power must be absolutely good, therefore such a being could not have made objective moral values or it could not have absolute power.
    I'm not claiming that a Being with absolute power must be absolutely good. But even if I did, it wouldn't be logically inconsistent. It would be begging the question: why must a being with absolute power be absolutely good?

    I am claiming that God is absolute in both power and goodness (though that's different from claiming a Being with absolute power must be absolutely good). This isn't logically inconsistent - even those who hold the problem of evil to be true agree that it's possible for a Being with absolute power to be absolutely good. They just say that reality would be different if such a Being did exist. I, of course, disagree on the basis that they're vastly oversimplifying the meaning of 'good', 'evil', and 'exist'.

    I have to ask: do you know the meaning of 'logic'? Because you seem to be abusing it...

    Now: since it's not logically inconsistent to claim that God is both absolutely powerful and absolutely good, I take it you'll keep the problem of evil to yourself until we get to debate God's existence (or rather, attributes), rather than objective moral values and duties in Christianity.

    The Christian god as described in the bible can not have grounded objective morals because it changes it's mind with times and cultures, (Levitical law) meaning it doesn't actually establish an objective moral framework.
    I'm sorry but I'm gonna need more than a claim to work with. How does God change his mind about morality in Leviticus?

    It is impossible to derive an ought from an is (Hume's Guillotine) therefore even if good defines what is morally right there is no reason we ought to do what it commands. Therefore god doesn't justify objective morality.
    Hume's is-ought problem is rooted in his empiricist worldview. It assumes the basis for all knowledge to be empirical facts. It doesn't take into account a deeper, more profound way of knowing things. Therefore, by definition, Hume dismisses all moral duties, because it's impossible for empirical facts to infer moral obligation - so far we're in agreement. He doesn't take into account, however, how the Christian worldview is different from an empiricist worldview. In Christianity, the basis for all knowledge is God - not empirical facts. This allows for moral duties because as the Creator, God alone has the right to command his creatures and expect obedience.

    You may not like the Christian worldview, you may think you can disprove the Christian worldview, but in the end, it does allow for objective moral values and duties.
    PlaffelvohfenDee
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Glorfindel
    I'm not claiming that a Being with absolute power must be absolutely good. But even if I did, it wouldn't be logically inconsistent. It would be begging the question: why must a being with absolute power be absolutely good?

    I am claiming that God is absolute in both power and goodness (though that's different from claiming a Being with absolute power must be absolutely good). This isn't logically inconsistent - even those who hold the problem of evil to be true agree that it's possible for a Being with absolute power to be absolutely good. They just say that reality would be different if such a Being did exist. I, of course, disagree on the basis that they're vastly oversimplifying the meaning of 'good', 'evil', and 'exist'.

    I have to ask: do you know the meaning of 'logic'? Because you seem to be abusing it...

    Now: since it's not logically inconsistent to claim that God is both absolutely powerful and absolutely good, I take it you'll keep the problem of evil to yourself until we get to debate God's existence (or rather, attributes), rather than objective moral values and duties in Christianity.
    I'm saying that a being which with absolute power can not be absolute good, because this would mean that anything which is evil it can not do, therefore it can not have absolute power or it can not be absolute good. This is why it is logically impossible to have a being with absolute power and absolute good at the same time.

    Can you refute this logic instead of just denying it?
    I'm sorry but I'm gonna need more than a claim to work with. How does God change his mind about morality in Leviticus?
    Oh boy...
    I guess this is the part where you find out that everything they taught you in church is a lie.

    Leviticus is as you are hopefully aware, one of the books of the old testament and it contains laws and regulations that were at one point part of the Hebrew tradition. This book in combination with Deuteronomy, parts of Exodus, and numbers form the group of regulations known as Levitical law.

    This is the part of the bible that contains such gems as:
    -Do not eat pork.
    -Do not eat shellfish
    -Do not mix fabrics (single garment with multiple materials)
    -Do not remarry after a divorce
    -Don't burn yeast or honey as a sacrifice
    -Do not eat fat
    -Do not eat blood
    -Do not go to church within 33 days of giving birth to a boy, 66 days for a girl
    -Do not lie with a man as you would a woman (homosexuality, also in Romans)

    If you press a Christian on why we should not follow these rules, they will tell you it is because these rules applied only to the Hebrew people and not to Christians after Jesus fulfilled the law by dying on the cross. (Mathew 5:17-20). These specifics of this are more complex, but that should be sufficient background for my claim.

    What I am saying, is that the god which commands the Hebrews to adhere to Levitical law is the same as the one who sent Jesus to earth. This means that God in effect, changed his mind, meaning that we now have two sets of what would be objective morals, one before and one after Jesus. If we assume that god decides what is moral and makes things moral, then if god changes its mind then that is the same as if objective reality was changed (god decides the moon isn't there, the moon is not there) This however, means that god's objective moral commands are not objective morals but rather subjective based on god's will.
    Hume's is-ought problem is rooted in his empiricist worldview. It assumes the basis for all knowledge to be empirical facts. It doesn't take into account a deeper, more profound way of knowing things. Therefore, by definition, Hume dismisses all moral duties, because it's impossible for empirical facts to infer moral obligation - so far we're in agreement. He doesn't take into account, however, how the Christian worldview is different from an empiricist worldview. In Christianity, the basis for all knowledge is God - not empirical facts. This allows for moral duties because as the Creator, God alone has the right to command his creatures and expect obedience.
    You don't answer the question though, because expectation of obedience is not a reason for an ought from an is. Just as before I can start a new turtle tower from your "God demands obedience", --> but why ought we obey god? "Because a" --> why ought we do a? "Because b" --> why ought we do b? and so on ad infinitum.

    I have a major problem with the statement: "the Christian worldview is different from an empiricist worldview. In Christianity, the basis for all knowledge is God - not empirical facts."

    That problem is that this statement is completely devoid of epistemology. This is in itself a huge topic I don't want to get into, but what it boils down to is that your assumption of god is based on faith rather than observation, something you most likely agree with. The problem with having faith as the foundation for knowledge is that it has no guarantee of having any kind of accuracy or even consistency, unlike science in which everything is carefully controlled to guarantee these things.

    I'm going to pick on flat earth society here. If you have faith that the earth is flat, then I can put you in a rocket and fly you into orbit so you can see the curvature of the earth, and you would believe you were on some kind of drug, or hooked up to some sort of high-res VR or something like this.

    If you ask them how they know the earth is flat when this assumption is based on faith they might have an answer, (such as "the horizon doesn't rise") but we can then go and test this assumption, such as in a rocket as before and see that in fact the horizon does change with altitude therefore the earth is not flat, but as said above this then gets replaced with "but oh, I was drugged or something".

    The crux of the problem is that the moment we assume that we know something, (such as god exists) then we distance ourselves from the ability to actually know anything. It is like living in denial.
    PlaffelvohfenSkepticalOne
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Glorfindel
    This allows for moral duties because as the Creator, God alone has the right to command his creatures and expect obedience.
    Says who? I'm sorry but I'll need more than a claim to work with...
    ZeusAres42Happy_KillbotDeeSkepticalOne
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 1348 Pts
    @Glorfindel

    Even if god exists, and it defines what is moral, then why ought we be moral? Just because god commands something why ought we do that?


    Because he might kill us if we don't do as he commands. ;)
    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfenDee









  • @ZeusAres42
    @Glorfindel

    Even if god exists, and it defines what is moral, then why ought we be moral? Just because god commands something why ought we do that?


    Because he might kill us if we don't do as he commands. ;)

    Strange...

    Must be so far everyone who's ever died pissed him off somehow.
    ZeusAres42PlaffelvohfenDee
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Happy_Killbot

    I'm saying that a being which with absolute power can not be absolute good, because this would mean that anything which is evil it can not do, therefore it can not have absolute power or it can not be absolute good. This is why it is logically impossible to have a being with absolute power and absolute good at the same time.
    Gotcha! I actually agree with you on this one: if omnipotence is understood to mean God can do anything theoretically possible, then God is certainly not omnipotent. But most Christians don't mean "He can do anything theoretically possible" when they say "God is omnipotent." Of course there are things God cannot do. It's not just the question of whether God can do evil that comes to mind. We also have to consider other things God can't do. For example, He can't not exist. Likewise, He can't die (which is why the Son had to become a man to die at the cross). As you pointed out, He also cannot do evil things (i.e lie). 

    Glad we could clear that out of the way.

    Oh boy...
    I guess this is the part where you find out that everything they taught you in church is a lie.
    I'm curious, which church did you attend? You seem to have a very low opinion of Christian teaching...

    Leviticus is as you are hopefully aware, one of the books of the old testament and it contains laws and regulations that were at one point part of the Hebrew tradition. This book in combination with Deuteronomy, parts of Exodus, and numbers form the group of regulations known as Levitical law.
    Agreed.

    This is the part of the bible that contains such gems as:
    -Do not eat pork.
    -Do not eat shellfish
    -Do not mix fabrics (single garment with multiple materials)
    -Do not remarry after a divorce
    -Don't burn yeast or honey as a sacrifice
    -Do not eat fat
    -Do not eat blood
    -Do not go to church within 33 days of giving birth to a boy, 66 days for a girl
    -Do not lie with a man as you would a woman (homosexuality, also in Romans)

    I'd like to separate remarriage after divorce and homosexuality from the rest. Like you mentioned with homosexuality, it's reaffirmed in the New Testament. The Bible teaches it's still a sin to be homosexual. You neglected to mention that Jesus also reaffirmed remarriage after divorce to be wrong in Matthew 5:31-32. Both these sins are transgressions of the seventh commandment which commands "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14). 

    If you press a Christian on why we should not follow these rules, they will tell you it is because these rules applied only to the Hebrew people and not to Christians after Jesus fulfilled the law by dying on the cross. (Mathew 5:17-20). These specifics of this are more complex, but that should be sufficient background for my claim.
    What I am saying, is that the god which commands the Hebrews to adhere to Levitical law is the same as the one who sent Jesus to earth. This means that God in effect, changed his mind, meaning that we now have two sets of what would be objective morals, one before and one after Jesus. If we assume that god decides what is moral and makes things moral, then if god changes its mind then that is the same as if objective reality was changed (god decides the moon isn't there, the moon is not there) This however, means that god's objective moral commands are not objective morals but rather subjective based on god's will.
    OK, so this is really an interesting discussion. 

    Old Testament law can be (roughly) divided into three categories: ceremonial law, judicial law, and moral law. To make a long story short, ceremonial laws were meant to symbolize the coming sacrifice of the Messiah. Judicial laws related to how Israel should be ruled. Moral laws relate to what one ought and oughtn't to do.

    All the examples you gave (save homosexuality and remarriage after divorce) are considered ceremonial. You're right that we don't keep these anymore, but you're wrong as to the reason. It's not because we're in a different culture and these laws only applied to the Hebrew people, it's that the thing they were symbolizing (the coming sacrifice of the Messiah) already took place. Therefore, if we were to keep sacrificing animals (and obey the other ceremonial laws, like not eating pork) we'd be symbolizing through our actions that the Messiah has yet to come. But Jesus already came - so now we have the freedom to eat pork, shellfish, etc. But we also have the Lord's Supper, which symbolizes the fulfilled sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. So we still have ceremonial laws, just not the same ones.

    As to the judicial laws, it's still debated whether they were also fulfilled in Christ or should be kept even today. I haven't made up my mind on this issue yet. But everyone agrees that the moral laws (don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, etc.) were never meant to symbolize Christ's coming in the same way the ceremonial laws were. They are the reflection of God's absolute goodness and are therefore unchanging through time and culture.

    But it's not that God changed his mind at any point. God always knew He was gonna send his Son as a Man to fulfill the ceremonial laws. The laws were never meant to transcend time (at least not in letter). They were meant to symbolize the greatest event in history: the perfect sacrifice to atone for sin.

    I don't know who told you that these laws aren't kept anymore because we live in a different culture, and God changed his mind. But I don't know of a single Christian scholar who holds this view. Christian scholars agree almost unanimously on the threefold categorization of Old Testament law: ceremonial, judicial, moral. And they all agree that this is how Matthew 5:17-20 should be interpreted: we ought to keep the moral law, but the ceremonial laws are fulfilled in Jesus. There's still disagreement on the judicial laws, but whether one holds them to be still binding or not doesn't affect whether God changed objective morality.

    I hope this explanation makes sense. The laws that 'changed' were meant to symbolize the unfulfilled state of the Messiah's sacrifice. The moral laws never changed.

    You don't answer the question though, because expectation of obedience is not a reason for an ought from an is. Just as before I can start a new turtle tower from your "God demands obedience", --> but why ought we obey god? "Because a" --> why ought we do a? "Because b" --> why ought we do b? and so on ad infinitum.
    I can give you a straightforward answer if that's what you want. We ought to do good because God commands it. We ought to obey God's commands because, as the all-good, omnipotent Creator, his commands uniquely infer moral duty.

    Once again: the Christian worldview has different presuppositions than empiricism, which means we can justify moral duty without contradicting our presuppositions. There are other worldviews that can account for moral duties in this way as well. Take utilitarianism, for example. If utilitarianism is true, moral duties exist because we ought not to inflict pain and we ought to cause pleasure. This is the presuppositions of utilitarianism. This doesn't mean the utilitarian worldview is true (it's got all sorts of other problems). It just means that it's internally consistent to be a moral objectivist and a utilitarian, at the same time. Likewise, it's internally consistent to be a Christian and a moral objectivist. See? Hume's is-ought problem only applies to worldviews that rely strongly on empiricism.

    I have a major problem with the statement: "the Christian worldview is different from an empiricist worldview. In Christianity, the basis for all knowledge is God - not empirical facts."
    That problem is that this statement is completely devoid of epistemology. This is in itself a huge topic I don't want to get into, but what it boils down to is that your assumption of god is based on faith rather than observation, something you most likely agree with. The problem with having faith as the foundation for knowledge is that it has no guarantee of having any kind of accuracy or even consistency, unlike science in which everything is carefully controlled to guarantee these things.
    Epistemology really is an interesting discussion. You also make some interesting points about presuppositions in your example about a flat-earther (and I actually agree with you on the effect presuppositions have on how we interpret data). In most cases, even when the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, we'll keep to our preconceived worldviews. But not just Christians do this, atheists do this as well. I think Richard Dawkins said that, should he go out one night and see, written in the stars, the words: "I'm Yahweh and I'm real. Worship Me." He'll conclude that it was either aliens trying to deceive him or that he was dreaming. This shows that his presuppositions about metaphysics weigh more than the actual evidence. 

    The thing with worldviews (and I think you neglect to consider this) is that it's impossible not to have one. We all have preconceived ideas that we hold so dear we're really not prone to change them. I'll happily admit that I don't want to give up my worldview. It'll ruin my life if I give up Christianity. I'll lose most of my friends - not to mention the existential crisis I'd find myself in! But the same is true for atheists. I bet you'll also lose a bunch of friends, should you give up your beliefs. And you'll also be in an existential crisis. Imagine, for a minute, finding out that God is real, and that, should you die this instant, you're going to hell. Bet some part of you is happy with your beliefs, don't you think?

    I'd really like to discuss epistemology and worldviews with you if you're in for it. But for now, I suggest we stick to morality and Christianity since we still have a lot to discuss on this topic.
    PlaffelvohfenDee
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Glorfindel
    Gotcha! I actually agree with you on this one: if omnipotence is understood to mean God can do anything theoretically possible, then God is certainly not omnipotent. But most Christians don't mean "He can do anything theoretically possible" when they say "God is omnipotent." Of course there are things God cannot do. It's not just the question of whether God can do evil that comes to mind. We also have to consider other things God can't do. For example, He can't not exist. Likewise, He can't die (which is why the Son had to become a man to die at the cross). As you pointed out, He also cannot do evil things (i.e lie). 

    Glad we could clear that out of the way.
    Not sure how that is a "gotcha" since I don't think you see what I am saying here. It is still impossible for an omnipotent being to be all good, in fact it is not possible for an all good being to have created objective reality that contains evil, remember? You do nothing to diminish (or even address) this claim. The Christian god simply is not possible by your own definition in this way. Perhaps you should pick one that at least sort of makes sense, like the deistic god?
    I'd like to separate remarriage after divorce and homosexuality from the rest. Like you mentioned with homosexuality, it's reaffirmed in the New Testament. The Bible teaches it's still a sin to be homosexual. You neglected to mention that Jesus also reaffirmed remarriage after divorce to be wrong in Matthew 5:31-32. Both these sins are transgressions of the seventh commandment which commands "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14). 
    So according to the bible morals are subjective then?
    But it's not that God changed his mind at any point. God always knew He was gonna send his Son as a Man to fulfill the ceremonial laws. The laws were never meant to transcend time (at least not in letter). They were meant to symbolize the greatest event in history: the perfect sacrifice to atone for sin.

    I don't know who told you that these laws aren't kept anymore because we live in a different culture, and God changed his mind. But I don't know of a single Christian scholar who holds this view. Christian scholars agree almost unanimously on the threefold categorization of Old Testament law: ceremonial, judicial, moral. And they all agree that this is how Matthew 5:17-20 should be interpreted: we ought to keep the moral law, but the ceremonial laws are fulfilled in Jesus. There's still disagreement on the judicial laws, but whether one holds them to be still binding or not doesn't affect whether God changed objective morality.

    I hope this explanation makes sense. The laws that 'changed' were meant to symbolize the unfulfilled state of the Messiah's sacrifice. The moral laws never changed.
    You understand how you contradict yourself here right?

    Even if you separate the laws into categories nothing changes to the claim I am making, which is that laws that were applicable are no longer applicable, thus according to the bible there is a double standard across cultures. If god has one standard for the Hebrews, one for the Christians, another for Sumerians, and another for the Canaanites, then this god does not have an objective standard of morals by definition.

    If you are still not convinced, try this on for size. (I know you are Canadian but this is a notable example) The 1st Amendment to the US constitution reads:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    If you hold that the 10 commandments are moral laws which are immutable and absolute, then that means that the first, second, and third commandments make the 1st amendment immoral:

    1. You shalt have no other gods before me
    2. You shalt not make idols
    3. You shalt not take the name of the lord your god in vain

    All of these are permissible under the 1st amendment, but not under the bible. Much bloodshed has resulted from this based on personal interpretations of scripture across Europe, Africa, and the Middle east. But not in the US, where the 1st amendment makes it permissible for everyone to have their own religion without conflict. In other words, letting people worship as they please, even if that contradicts the doctrine is more moral than forcing everyone into a particular faith. If this is not conclusive proof that god's morals are subjective, then nothing is.

    I can give you a straightforward answer if that's what you want. We ought to do good because God commands it. We ought to obey God's commands because, as the all-good, omnipotent Creator, his commands uniquely infer moral duty.
    Ok, but why ought we do what god commands? Why ought we listen to a being which by logical contradiction, can not exist?
    Once again: the Christian worldview has different presuppositions than empiricism, which means we can justify moral duty without contradicting our presuppositions. There are other worldviews that can account for moral duties in this way as well. Take utilitarianism, for example. If utilitarianism is true, moral duties exist because we ought not to inflict pain and we ought to cause pleasure. This is the presuppositions of utilitarianism. This doesn't mean the utilitarian worldview is true (it's got all sorts of other problems). It just means that it's internally consistent to be a moral objectivist and a utilitarian, at the same time. Likewise, it's internally consistent to be a Christian and a moral objectivist. See? Hume's is-ought problem only applies to worldviews that rely strongly on empiricism.
    That makes no sense because what a utilitarian understands causes pain and pleasure is understood to be subjective, and it is the quantity that is important. It can be objective or subjective, where objective holds that there is an objective quantifiable amount of happiness which should be maximized, where the subjective version is that expected happiness should be maximized. Maybe it's just a bad example, but that really does nothing to demonstrate that Christian morals are objective.
    Epistemology really is an interesting discussion. You also make some interesting points about presuppositions in your example about a flat-earther (and I actually agree with you on the effect presuppositions have on how we interpret data). In most cases, even when the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, we'll keep to our preconceived worldviews. But not just Christians do this, atheists do this as well. I think Richard Dawkins said that, should he go out one night and see, written in the stars, the words: "I'm Yahweh and I'm real. Worship Me." He'll conclude that it was either aliens trying to deceive him or that he was dreaming. This shows that his presuppositions about metaphysics weigh more than the actual evidence. 
    Here is the thing that you have to understand. First off, the Christian god doesn't exist by your own definition, that possibility is off the table. There is also a huge difference between looking into the night sky and seeing this happen and jumping to the conclusion that god is true, because there are innumerable other possibilities. Only by demonstrating that it was not aliens or he is not dreaming can we move forward.

    Going back to flat earth to demonstrate, suppose someone says the earth is flat and another round. They are both wrong, says the person claiming it is an obligated spheroid. Then a satellite using Lidar circles the earth and makes an ultra-detailed model of the topography of the planet and produces a map showing everything down to each blade of grass as the shape of the earth and they are all dumbfounded. The point is that science is based on what you know is false, not on what you know is true, because you can never truly know that anything, with the exception of your own existence, is really true.
    The thing with worldviews (and I think you neglect to consider this) is that it's impossible not to have one. We all have preconceived ideas that we hold so dear we're really not prone to change them. I'll happily admit that I don't want to give up my worldview. It'll ruin my life if I give up Christianity. I'll lose most of my friends - not to mention the existential crisis I'd find myself in! But the same is true for atheists. I bet you'll also lose a bunch of friends, should you give up your beliefs. 
    This is textbook dogmatism, and I would challenge it heavily. First it is possible to have no worldview (although it would make you useless) if you simply disconnect the amygdala from the pre-frontal cortex. Sometimes people have lesions in their brain which prevents theses regions from communicating, and the result is a person who can reason about things, but not feel from this reasoning or reason based on feeling. They can understand why something is true if they think about it, but not make actions based on those feelings. That is how humans work really. You have a feeling and this feeling triggers thought and the thought triggers action.

    What is important is that once you recognize this you can take action to change it specifically to become less dogmatic and to think more rationally. For me, this is just another component of self-betterment and it can be very fulfilling. Since I have realized this I have made myself much happier and satisfied. This would not have been possible of course if I had stayed with my previous beliefs. When I was a Christian, I was actually sad but I repressed it in order to look like I was doing fine and everything was okay, and I suspect the same for you.

    It is true that when I left religion it distanced me from my old friends, but I got new friends who are frankly are better anyways and would not judge or hate me just for having different beliefs or opinions. This is something I think a lot of people don't understand about the atheist community, with the exception of a lack of belief in god, there is nothing that unifies us. We are very diverse and have tons of ideas, opinions and beliefs. We trade them, like currency, in order to become more well rounded and achieve greater understanding.

    When I first left religion, it is true that I was lost and confused, but that was only a temporary inconvenience that I grew out of as I made an effort to learn and really think critically about who and what I am, what I want and how to get there. Leaving religion was the single best decision I have ever made.
    And you'll also be in an existential crisis. Imagine, for a minute, finding out that God is real, and that, should you die this instant, you're going to hell. Bet some part of you is happy with your beliefs, don't you think?
    I separated this out because there are two important things to understand. The first is that there is no hell in the bible, it was made up later and is not an official part of the religion, but more of an adaptation of ancient folk legends in order to convert pagans. Any Christian religion that preaches hell does not preach in accordance with the bible. The closest interpretation I can see is that "hell" isn't a place of eternal suffering, but rather is just a "second death" (which i think is a euphemism for nihilism) and/or just means that you stop existing altogether.

    The second is that even if your conception of hell is true, that doesn't mean that your conception of who goes there is true. Suppose for a second that the devil invented Jesus in order to play a trick. He pretends to be the son of god, and gets people to worship him as an idol, thus breaking the 2nd commandment. This would mean that all Christians are technically worshiping the devil and anything you say to try and disprove this I can counter by making something up to cover the holes.

    The point I am trying to illustrate here is that we don't know, we can't know, and worrying about it is very, very, very, bad for your mental health. This is the true evil of religion, it is a poison to the mind.
    I'd really like to discuss epistemology and worldviews with you if you're in for it. But for now, I suggest we stick to morality and Christianity since we still have a lot to discuss on this topic.
    The only course of thought that makes any sense here is that ancient peoples invented these beings in an attempt to gain power and control over the people, in order to manipulate and persuade them. We have seen this process repeated throughout almost every culture and civilization, so we can be 100% sure that this is possible. The only difference between you and I is that I recognize this happened for all cultures, you think it happened for all but one.
    PlaffelvohfenSkepticalOneDee
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • GlorfindelGlorfindel 74 Pts
    edited May 27
    @Happy_Killbot

    Not sure how that is a "gotcha" since I don't think you see what I am saying here. It is still impossible for an omnipotent being to be all good, in fact it is not possible for an all good being to have created objective reality that contains evil, remember? You do nothing to diminish (or even address) this claim. The Christian god simply is not possible by your own definition in this way. Perhaps you should pick one that at least sort of makes sense, like the deistic god?
    You're making an awful lot of claims here. I'd like to challenge you to justify them. Why is it impossible for God to be both omnipotent and all-good? Why is it not possible for God, if He's all-good, to have created reality? And how is God not possible by my own definition? You seem to assume that I agree with you on all of this, yet you haven't justified any of it.

    So according to the bible morals are subjective then?
    I'm really beginning to think you're not interested in an intellectually honest discussion. Here's what I said:

    I'd like to separate remarriage after divorce and homosexuality from the rest. Like you mentioned with homosexuality, it's reaffirmed in the New Testament. The Bible teaches it's still a sin to be homosexual. You neglected to mention that Jesus also reaffirmed remarriage after divorce to be wrong in Matthew 5:31-32. Both these sins are transgressions of the seventh commandment which commands "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14).

    Nothing in there suggests that morals are subjective. Try understanding my answers before you reply to them. That's usually a good idea.

    You understand how you contradict yourself here right?
    Please, show me how I contradict myself.

    Even if you separate the laws into categories nothing changes to the claim I am making, which is that laws that were applicable are no longer applicable, thus according to the bible there is a double standard across cultures. If god has one standard for the Hebrews, one for the Christians, another for Sumerians, and another for the Canaanites, then this god does not have an objective standard of morals by definition.
    Did you even read my answer? Because it doesn't look like it. Here's what I wrote.

    All the examples you gave (save homosexuality and remarriage after divorce) are considered ceremonial. You're right that we don't keep these anymore, but you're wrong as to the reason. It's not because we're in a different culture and these laws only applied to the Hebrew people, it's that the thing they were symbolizing (the coming sacrifice of the Messiah) already took place. Therefore, if we were to keep sacrificing animals (and obey the other ceremonial laws, like not eating pork) we'd be symbolizing through our actions that the Messiah has yet to come. But Jesus already came - so now we have the freedom to eat pork, shellfish, etc. But we also have the Lord's Supper, which symbolizes the fulfilled sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. So we still have ceremonial laws, just not the same ones.
    These laws have got nothing to do with morality, and everything to do with symbolism. And whether they should be kept have got nothing to do with culture, and everything to do with whether you're living before or after the Messiah's coming. If we were to still not eat pork, we'd be symbolizing that Christ has yet to come. But Christ already came and so we celebrate the fulfilment of these laws.

    There is no double standard across cultures.

    If you are still not convinced, try this on for size. (I know you are Canadian but this is a notable example) The 1st Amendment to the US constitution reads:
    I'm not Canadian. I'm from South Africa.

    If you hold that the 10 commandments are moral laws which are immutable and absolute, then that means that the first, second, and third commandments make the 1st amendment immoral:
    1. You shalt have no other gods before me
    2. You shalt not make idols
    3. You shalt not take the name of the lord your god in vain
    All of these are permissible under the 1st amendment, but not under the bible. Much bloodshed has resulted from this based on personal interpretations of scripture across Europe, Africa, and the Middle east. But not in the US, where the 1st amendment makes it permissible for everyone to have their own religion without conflict. In other words, letting people worship as they please, even if that contradicts the doctrine is more moral than forcing everyone into a particular faith. If this is not conclusive proof that god's morals are subjective, then nothing is.
    You say, 'letting people worship as they please, even if that contradicts the doctrine is more moral than forcing everyone into a particular faith.' But who are you to decide it's more moral? What if the slave owners argued that, since the ones who wanted the slaves to be freed caused a war, it would be better to just let anyone own a slave as he sees fit? Would that be more moral, according to you?

    Also, I don't see what this has to do with the debate. It's not a contradiction to hold that the first amendment of the US Constitution is wrong (I'm not saying I think it is, but it wouldn't nullify my point if I did). So what exactly is your point?

    Ok, but why ought we do what god commands? Why ought we listen to a being which by logical contradiction, can not exist?
    There are two questions in there. The first was answered in my previous answer already (seriously, do you lack the intellectual capability to understand my answers or are you simply not interested?)

    You ask: why ought we do what god commands?

    I (already) answered: "We ought to obey God's commands because, as the all-good, omnipotent Creator, his commands uniquely infer moral duty."

    Now, your second question interests me more. You seem to hold that God doesn't exist, and therefore we have no reason to obey Him (you're wrong, of course. There's no logical contradiction in the existence of God). Even if you were right (you're not), however, you're not disproving the point of this debate. None of my premises relies on the existence of God. You really seem to have a short memory. I'll refresh your mind. Here's my argument:

    If (the Christian) God exists, then
    • Objective moral values exist.
    • Objective moral duties exist.
    To this, you say: "But God cannot exist because his existence is a logical contradiction."
    Now, though I disagree with you (there's no logical contradiction in the existence of God, in fact, logic demands his existence), even if you were right my argument still stands. None of my premises included something to the effect of "God exists." 

    If you want to debate God's existence, I'll happily comply. But you're not disproving my point.

    That makes no sense because what a utilitarian understands causes pain and pleasure is understood to be subjective, and it is the quantity that is important. It can be objective or subjective, where objective holds that there is an objective quantifiable amount of happiness which should be maximized, where the subjective version is that expected happiness should be maximized. Maybe it's just a bad example, but that really does nothing to demonstrate that Christian morals are objective.
    I'm not saying that utilitarianism doesn't have an awful lot of problems. I was simply using it to show that non-empiricism worldviews can account for objective morality because Hume's is-ought problem relies heavily on an empiricist worldview. Because in Christianity there are 'surer' ways to know things than can be inferred from empirical facts (i.e divine revelation), Hume's is-ought problem only applies to Christianity where we attempt to use facts about the world to infer moral duty. But because what God reveals is surer than empirical facts, and have a different epistemological impact, his commands inflict moral obligation.

    Here is the thing that you have to understand. First off, the Christian god doesn't exist by your own definition, that possibility is off the table. There is also a huge difference between looking into the night sky and seeing this happen and jumping to the conclusion that god is true, because there are innumerable other possibilities. Only by demonstrating that it was not aliens or he is not dreaming can we move forward.
    What sort of evidence would convince you that God exist?

    It is true that when I left religion it distanced me from my old friends, but I got new friends who are frankly are better anyways and would not judge or hate me just for having different beliefs or opinions. This is something I think a lot of people don't understand about the atheist community, with the exception of a lack of belief in god, there is nothing that unifies us. We are very diverse and have tons of ideas, opinions and beliefs. We trade them, like currency, in order to become more well rounded and achieve greater understanding.
    When I first left religion, it is true that I was lost and confused, but that was only a temporary inconvenience that I grew out of as I made an effort to learn and really think critically about who and what I am, what I want and how to get there. Leaving religion was the single best decision I have ever made.
    Where did you go to church? It seems to me that you left Christianity mainly because it made you unhappy. You're not alone: many atheists leave Christianity because they've had some sort of bad experience. This doesn't mean that Christianity is false, though. 

    I separated this out because there are two important things to understand. The first is that there is no hell in the bible, it was made up later and is not an official part of the religion, but more of an adaptation of ancient folk legends in order to convert pagans. Any Christian religion that preaches hell does not preach in accordance with the bible. The closest interpretation I can see is that "hell" isn't a place of eternal suffering, but rather is just a "second death" (which i think is a euphemism for nihilism) and/or just means that you stop existing altogether.
    Would you like to debate the Biblical idea of hell?

    The second is that even if your conception of hell is true, that doesn't mean that your conception of who goes there is true. Suppose for a second that the devil invented Jesus in order to play a trick. He pretends to be the son of god, and gets people to worship him as an idol, thus breaking the 2nd commandment. This would mean that all Christians are technically worshiping the devil and anything you say to try and disprove this I can counter by making something up to cover the holes.
    Do you have any reason to suggest that Jesus was sent by the devil instead of God?

    The point I am trying to illustrate here is that we don't know, we can't know, and worrying about it is very, very, very, bad for your mental health. This is the true evil of religion, it is a poison to the mind.
    Am I right to say that you fall into the group of agnostics who claim that one cannot know God?

    The only course of thought that makes any sense here is that ancient peoples invented these beings in an attempt to gain power and control over the people, in order to manipulate and persuade them. We have seen this process repeated throughout almost every culture and civilization, so we can be 100% sure that this is possible. The only difference between you and I is that I recognize this happened for all cultures, you think it happened for all but one.
    The way I see it, you have a bigger problem in this regard than me. If I'm right, the most important part of every single religion that ever existed is correct: God exists. You, on the other hand, have to hold that every person who ever believed in God (or a god) in the history of mankind was wrong about something that must have been of paramount importance to them. Even today, more than 80% of the world believe in some sort of supernatural Being. I can explain the confusion: there really is a God, and everybody knows Him (Romans 1). But how can you explain why so many people (and some of them, really, really smart people) believe in the existence of a deity? You have to hold that all these people are wrong about something that's so important to them. I can hold that they're at least right on the main point, but wrong on the details. You have to hold that they've got everything about it wrong.
    Plaffelvohfen
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • SkepticalOneSkepticalOne 567 Pts
    edited May 27
    @Glorfindel

    Sorry to interject, but this make me chuckle:

    Am I right to say that you fall into the group of agnostics who claim that one cannot know God?

    All agnostics hold this position!  (...and many of them are atheists too).


    Also, FWIW, I understand your definition of the Christian god to be logically impossible as well. Absolute power clashes with absolute goodness - the two cannot logically exist in one being. You'll never find a married bachelor, a square circle, or an omnibenevolent omnipotent being...

    Happy_Killbot
  • @Glorfindel
    You're making an awful lot of claims here. I'd like to challenge you to justify them. Why is it impossible for God to be both omnipotent and all-good? Why is it not possible for God, if He's all-good, to have created reality? And how is God not possible by my own definition? You seem to assume that I agree with you on all of this, yet you haven't justified any of it.
    This is in my first response to you, and it is Epicurus's quote. Remember my proof from contradiction/absurdity?

    Behold:

    "You do not define god as omnipotent, but rather as absolute, Which would in this context mean consisting in totality and is universally valid.

    Let's assume that something horrible is objective, say Ted Bundy's urge to kill. If god is an absolute good then that means that whatever it does must be good, including the creation of objective reality. This is logically the same as saying that what is objective/absolute represents the ultimate standard of goodtherefore Ted Bundy's exploits are good if god created objective reality and Ted's crimes are objectively true."

    Either what Ted Bundy did was good because it is objectively true (and anything else you can conceive, rape, torture, etc.), or god did not make reality.
    Nothing in there suggests that morals are subjective. Try understanding my answers before you reply to them. That's usually a good idea.
    You are cherry picking by pulling out the two that are reiterated in the new testament. In Leviticus, the same passage that tells us not to be gay (there is nothing wrong with being gay) tells us not to lie with an animal. Does this mean that this is acceptable because it is not reiterated in the new testament?
    Please, show me how I contradict myself.
    Think about it this way.

    What you are saying is that laws were created (the ten commandments, Levitical law, gods supposed goodness) and then Jesus comes in and now some of this doesn't matter.

    If you hold that moral laws were immutable and eternal, then this means that god has two sets of laws, one for before Jesus and one after Jesus. By the very definition this is not objective.

    Consider this, lets say one day a blinding light ray comes down from Heaven and a bunch of angels and Jesus and Muhammad show up, and they say that humanity has run astray and now killing, rape, murder, and torture are acceptable as long as they are in the name of god. Now we have 3 sets of absolute immutable moral laws. If what you are arguing is to hold any water, you must accept that this is a possibility, technically since Islam is an extension of Christianity there already are.
    I'm not Canadian. I'm from South Africa.
    Acknowledged.
    You say, 'letting people worship as they please, even if that contradicts the doctrine is more moral than forcing everyone into a particular faith.' But who are you to decide it's more moral? What if the slave owners argued that, since the ones who wanted the slaves to be freed caused a war, it would be better to just let anyone own a slave as he sees fit? Would that be more moral, according to you?

    Also, I don't see what this has to do with the debate. It's not a contradiction to hold that the first amendment of the US Constitution is wrong (I'm not saying I think it is, but it wouldn't nullify my point if I did). So what exactly is your point?
    LOL, that's the point of secularism. The point is no one can know which if any religion is true, so they are all acceptable as long as they don't infringe on others. In the long run this is more moral because it strikes at the heart of so much conflict and senseless bloodshed.

    I have discussed at length how I decide what is and isn't moral in the other debate. If you are looking to debate the ethics of war, I am more than happy to make a new debate about that.
    You ask: why ought we do what god commands?

    I (already) answered: "We ought to obey God's commands because, as the all-good, omnipotent Creator, his commands uniquely infer moral duty."
    Think about this, and I mean really think about it. This doesn't answer the question. So what if there is a creator who's commands infer moral duty, why ought we follow that moral duty? Any answer you give will have a similar question.
    Now, your second question interests me more. You seem to hold that God doesn't exist, and therefore we have no reason to obey Him (you're wrong, of course. There's no logical contradiction in the existence of God). Even if you were right (you're not), however, you're not disproving the point of this debate. None of my premises relies on the existence of God. You really seem to have a short memory. I'll refresh your mind. Here's my argument:

    If (the Christian) God exists, thenObjective moral values exist.Objective moral duties exist.
    I have demonstrated the logical contradiction in the Christian god, this does not apply to the deistic god, or some of the other specific ones. The Christian god however is out as described above (can not be omnipotent and all good). Furthermore, your argument does rely on the existence of a god, which can not exist, so your argument holds no water. On top of this, it isn't an argument it is a statement.
    I'm not saying that utilitarianism doesn't have an awful lot of problems. I was simply using it to show that non-empiricism worldviews can account for objective morality because Hume's is-ought problem relies heavily on an empiricist worldview. Because in Christianity there are 'surer' ways to know things than can be inferred from empirical facts (i.e divine revelation), Hume's is-ought problem only applies to Christianity where we attempt to use facts about the world to infer moral duty. But because what God reveals is surer than empirical facts, and have a different epistemological impact, his commands inflict moral obligation.
    Basically what you are saying here makes no sense, because you are implying that we need to throw out empirical understanding to understand god, making it an unsubstantiated claim and logically fallacious. Faith never replaces facts.
    What sort of evidence would convince you that God exist?
    Depends which god we are talking about. If Thor or Zeus showed up there presence is proof enough. The Christian god can not logically exist, so nothing will convince me of that any more than I can be convinced that pink unicorns which are black exist. If we are talking about a deistic god, then by definition this being can not be proven so we can never know if it is real or not and god basically equates to "that which we can not know".
    Where did you go to church? It seems to me that you left Christianity mainly because it made you unhappy. You're not alone: many atheists leave Christianity because they've had some sort of bad experience. This doesn't mean that Christianity is false, though. 
    No, I left religion because I realized it is mythology and it makes no sense to base my entire life around stories that were obviously made up. I didn't even know how unhappy I was until long after I left. Only looking back did I realize how awful things really were. Religion is very much like a drug addiction, in fact brain scans show that ritual worship lights up a lot of the same areas of the brain as using actual drugs and having sex. It's not until after you get clean that an addict understands the damage done to their life by illicit substance use, and similarly it isn't until after I left did I realize the penalties of belief.

    For example, above you tell me that understanding of god is based on something that isn't empirical. Bellow I will tie this to it's logical conclusion.
    Would you like to debate the Biblical idea of hell?
    No, because there is nothing to debate. We couldn't even come up with a good definition of what hell is because the word appears 0 times in the bible. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Do you have any reason to suggest that Jesus was sent by the devil instead of God?
    The short answer is yes, a lot actually.

    But that misses the point. Don't get caught up on the specifics, because the same would apply to every religion. There is no way you can disprove this belief (if someone legitimately has it) that is the point here. The point is that if our understanding is not based on empiricism, then anything goes, and you can say that it is reasonable that the devil invented Jesus and all Christian souls belong to it for eternal torture.

    Am I right to say that you fall into the group of agnostics who claim that one cannot know God?
    On a scale of 1 - 7, 1 being absolute certainty in the existence of god, 7 being absolute certainty in the non-existence of god, 4 being complete uncertainty of gods existence or non-existence, I would be a 6. If you are asking if I am a deist the answer is no.
    The way I see it, you have a bigger problem in this regard than me. If I'm right, the most important part of every single religion that ever existed is correct: God exists. You, on the other hand, have to hold that every person who ever believed in God (or a god) in the history of mankind was wrong about something that must have been of paramount importance to them. Even today, more than 80% of the world believe in some sort of supernatural Being. I can explain the confusion: there really is a God, and everybody knows Him (Romans 1). But how can you explain why so many people (and some of them, really, really smart people) believe in the existence of a deity? You have to hold that all these people are wrong about something that's so important to them. I can hold that they're at least right on the main point, but wrong on the details. You have to hold that they've got everything about it wrong.
    You are wrong to say that every single religion has a god. Scientology doesn't have a god. Buddhism doesn't have a god. Jainism doesn't have a god. These are all major religions that have lasted a long time.

    Besides that, it would be a bandwagon fallacy to assume that since so many people believe in a certain thing that it must be true. Think about all the time that people thought the earth was the center of the cosmos. until 100 years ago, we thought the milky way galaxy contained all the stars in the universe. We now know there are as many galaxies as stars and planets and the universe is expanding, just unfathomably large.

    For people to even claim that they have any knowledge of how the cosmos operates and fill it with god, gods, and other mythical beings is a testament to human thinking, not to reality. The fact is, you can not know if god exists or not, it isn't knowable, so declaring god a source for morality is no better or worse then simply being honest about it and understanding that morals come from people not from ancient books.
    PlaffelvohfenSkepticalOneDee
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    edited May 27
    @Glorfindel ;

    Have to jump in here as it’s too much to take ......Your whole argument is littered with contradictions , fallacies and downright nonsense , couldn’t let your closing salvo go without commenting ......

     If I'm right, the most important part of every single religion that ever existed is correct:

    A big if , it would be something if any one of you could ever post up a definitive proof of the various supernatural entities you colllectively believe in , but so far zero proof for even one of the thousands of gods put forward 

    God exists.

    Which god? I take it you believe in all gods then if not why not? 

     You, on the other hand, have to hold that every person who ever believed in God (or a god) in the history of mankind was wrong about something that must have been of paramount importance to them.

    You on the other hand will have to deny that nearly every single ones of you are the victims indoctrination

     Even today, more than 80% of the world believe in some sort of supernatural Being.

    All victims of indoctrination, your belief is faith based which is based on spiritual conviction and nothing else 

     I can explain the confusion: there really is a God, and everybody knows Him (Romans 1). 

    The only one confused is you with your constant special pleading , do Muslims and Hindus know your god and recognize him as the “one true god”?

    But how can you explain why so many people (and some of them, really, really smart people) believe in the existence of a deity?

    Because like you they were taken in infancy to churches , temples , mosques etc ,etc and the religious nonsense of their parents was forced upon them , if they were not exposed to religion till the age of 16 or so they would reject it for the BS it is  

    If a “smart “ person believed in pink unicorns would you follow suit because they’re “smart”?

    You have to hold that all these people are wrong about something that's so important to them.

    Yes they are , if not let them present proof

     I can hold that they're at least right on the main point, but wrong on the details.

    Because your religion is no doubt the only correct one , indoctrination did it’s job on you very well indeed 

     You have to hold that they've got everything about it wrong.

    They did , unless you or even one of them can prove otherwise 
    PlaffelvohfenHappy_Killbot
  • @SkepticalOne

    There are three types of agnostics.

    The first says, "I don't know, but I'm searching."
    The second says, "I don't know, and I don't care."
    The third says, "I don't know, you don't know, no one can know."

    Am I right in assuming that you're part of the third group?

    Also, FWIW, I understand your definition of the Christian god to be logically impossible as well. Absolute power clashes with absolute goodness - the two cannot logically exist in one being. You'll never find a married bachelor, a square circle, or an omnibenevolent omnipotent being...
    Please explain why it's a logical impossibility for God to be both omnipotent and all-good. All Christians understand that it's impossible for God to do evil, but we don't see omnipotence as the ability to do everything theoretically possible. We see it as meaning God can do anything He wants to do. Is there some different logical contradiction I don't know about?

    PlaffelvohfenDee
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    @Glorfindel

    but we don't see omnipotence as the ability to do everything theoretically possible. We see it as meaning God can do anything He wants to do

    So if he wanted to do something theoretically impossible he couldn’t do it , even though he wanted too .....ouch 
    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfen
  • @Dee

    So if he wanted to do something theoretically impossible he couldn’t do it , even though he wanted too .....ouch 

    Do you know the meaning of theoretically impossible?
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Glorfindel

    @Dee

    So if he wanted to do something theoretically impossible he couldn’t do it , even though he wanted too .....ouch 

    Do you know the meaning of theoretically impossible?
    We might ask you the same question... 

    Is it theoretically impossible for an all powerful all good being to exist?
    Dee
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    edited May 27
    @Glorfindel

    Do you know the meaning of theoretically impossible?

    I do yes , you seem to  constantly defeat your own statements , remember you said .... We see it as meaning God can do anything 

    Except the theoretically impossible , so he cannot do anything. Therefore your god is not Omnipotent as his powers are limited and not unlimited as believers claim 


    Plaffelvohfen
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    They always add a new explanation of what they mean when faced with such questions , and of course the answer varies with the Christian but of course each one is right 
    Plaffelvohfen
  • @Happy_Killbot

    "You do not define god as omnipotent, but rather as absolute, Which would in this context mean consisting in totality and is universally valid.
    Let's assume that something horrible is objective, say Ted Bundy's urge to kill. If god is an absolute good then that means that whatever it does must be good, including the creation of objective reality. This is logically the same as saying that what is objective/absolute represents the ultimate standard of goodtherefore Ted Bundy's exploits are good if god created objective reality and Ted's crimes are objectively true."

    Either what Ted Bundy did was good because it is objectively true (and anything else you can conceive, rape, torture, etc.), or god did not make reality.
    And this, you believe, shows that the existence of (an all-good and omnipotent) God is logically impossible?

    Once again, even if the problem of evil is true, it doesn't show an all-good, all-powerful God to be logically impossible. Logically, God could be all-good and all-powerful. But (according to the problem of evil), He cannot be the Creator of reality.

    You really do need to look up the definition of logic.

    You are cherry picking by pulling out the two that are reiterated in the new testament. In Leviticus, the same passage that tells us not to be gay (there is nothing wrong with being gay) tells us not to lie with an animal. Does this mean that this is acceptable because it is not reiterated in the new testament?
    No. If we read the Old Testament we see that there are these three categories of laws: ceremonial, judicial, and moral. It's clear from the New testament that the moral laws are still to be obeyed in the same way the people of the Old Testament did. Also clear from the New Testament is that the ceremonial laws have served their purpose and are no longer to be obeyed in a way that would symbolize the coming of Christ since He already came.

    Not lying with an animal is clearly a violation of moral law (the Ten Commandments, specifically, the 7th). The New Testament didn't have to reiterate all of the Old Testament commands to show the principle that moral laws are still to be kept in the same way, whilst ceremonial laws are fulfilled.

    Think about it this way.
    What you are saying is that laws were created (the ten commandments, Levitical law, gods supposed goodness) and then Jesus comes in and now some of this doesn't matter.
    If you hold that moral laws were immutable and eternal, then this means that god has two sets of laws, one for before Jesus and one after Jesus. By the very definition this is not objective.
    Consider this, lets say one day a blinding light ray comes down from Heaven and a bunch of angels and Jesus and Muhammad show up, and they say that humanity has run astray and now killing, rape, murder, and torture are acceptable as long as they are in the name of god. Now we have 3 sets of absolute immutable moral laws. If what you are arguing is to hold any water, you must accept that this is a possibility, technically since Islam is an extension of Christianity there already are.
    Once again: the moral laws never changed. They are still to be kept as Jesus clearly teaches in Matthew 5.

    Also, saying the ceremonial laws are fulfilled doesn't mean they don't matter. It just means the thing they symbolized has already come to pass.

    Think about this, and I mean really think about it. This doesn't answer the question. So what if there is a creator who's commands infer moral duty, why ought we follow that moral duty? Any answer you give will have a similar question.
    Moral duty means exactly this: what we ought to do.

    So actually, I did answer the question you're just not open to my explanation. Hume's is-ought problem doesn't work in Christianity because God's revelation transcends empirical facts. And as the Creator, God gets to decide what his creatures ought and oughtn't to do. Therefore, his commands inflict moral duty. 

    Think about this, and I mean really think about it, before you answer it.

    I have demonstrated the logical contradiction in the Christian god, this does not apply to the deistic god, or some of the other specific ones. The Christian god however is out as described above (can not be omnipotent and all good). Furthermore, your argument does rely on the existence of a god, which can not exist, so your argument holds no water. On top of this, it isn't an argument it is a statement.
    I've already addressed this at the top of this post. There's no logical contradiction in God's existence. 

    Basically what you are saying here makes no sense, because you are implying that we need to throw out empirical understanding to understand god, making it an unsubstantiated claim and logically fallacious. Faith never replaces facts.
    You're straw-manning. 

    Allow me to ask you a question: how do you know something to be true?

    Depends which god we are talking about. If Thor or Zeus showed up there presence is proof enough. The Christian god can not logically exist, so nothing will convince me of that any more than I can be convinced that pink unicorns which are black exist. If we are talking about a deistic god, then by definition this being can not be proven so we can never know if it is real or not and god basically equates to "that which we can not know".
    Once again, as I already showed, the assumption that the problem of evil points to a logical contradiction in God's all-goodness and omnipotence is false.

    No, I left religion because I realized it is mythology and it makes no sense to base my entire life around stories that were obviously made up. I didn't even know how unhappy I was until long after I left. Only looking back did I realize how awful things really were. Religion is very much like a drug addiction, in fact brain scans show that ritual worship lights up a lot of the same areas of the brain as using actual drugs and having sex. It's not until after you get clean that an addict understands the damage done to their life by illicit substance use, and similarly it isn't until after I left did I realize the penalties of belief.
    But how do you know Christianity is just mythology?

    No, because there is nothing to debate. We couldn't even come up with a good definition of what hell is because the word appears 0 times in the bible. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    I agree with you that the modern-day impression of what the Bible teaches about the punishment those who rebel against God will receive is largely wrong. But the Bible does teach that there's an eternal punishment awaiting those who rebel against God's sovereignty. Would you like to debate this?

    The short answer is yes, a lot actually.
    Please elaborate...

    But that misses the point. Don't get caught up on the specifics, because the same would apply to every religion. There is no way you can disprove this belief (if someone legitimately has it) that is the point here. The point is that if our understanding is not based on empiricism, then anything goes, and you can say that it is reasonable that the devil invented Jesus and all Christian souls belong to it for eternal torture.
    I asked this before. But I want to make sure you answer it: how do you know something is true? I take it, as an empiricist, you'd say reason and facts - right?

    On a scale of 1 - 7, 1 being absolute certainty in the existence of god, 7 being absolute certainty in the non-existence of god, 4 being complete uncertainty of gods existence or non-existence, I would be a 6. If you are asking if I am a deist the answer is no.
    In your previous post, it sounded like you thought it's impossible to know anything about God. You said: "we don't know, we can't know, and worrying about it is very, very, very, bad for your mental health."

    I'm not asking how sure you are that God doesn't exist. I want to know whether you think we could know Him if He does exist.

    Besides that, it would be a bandwagon fallacy to assume that since so many people believe in a certain thing that it must be true. Think about all the time that people thought the earth was the center of the cosmos. until 100 years ago, we thought the milky way galaxy contained all the stars in the universe. We now know there are as many galaxies as stars and planets and the universe is expanding, just unfathomably large.
    I wasn't attempting to use the many world religions as proof of theism. I was simply pointing out that you have a bigger problem explaining world religion than me. You have to believe so many people living today are wrong about something they must have spent a whole lot of time thinking about. I don't have this problem. They're right about the big part and wrong about the specifics.

    The point is, you said that you simply go one step further than me by recognizing that all religions are false, while I hold that all but one are false. But this phenomenon actually causes more trouble for you than me. I agree with Muslims, Jews, ancient Greeks and Romans, and all other Theists about theism. You disagree with all of us. You may like the attention of not fitting in, but it certainly doesn't produce a problem for Christians.
    PlaffelvohfenDee
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @Dee

    I'm just curious whether you can think of anything that's theoretically impossible that God would want to do?
    PlaffelvohfenDee
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    @Glorfindel



    You avoided addressing the flaws I pointed out in your original assertions, why’s that?

    I'm just curious whether you can think of anything that's theoretically impossible that God would want to do 

    I can , several in fact .....how about resurrecting Jesus ,  that you have to concede is theoretically impossible yet god wanted it to happen and according to christians it did, right ?

    How about virgin births theoretically impossible yet according to Christians not so , right? 




  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    @Glorfindel

    You really do need to look up the definition of logic.

    Irony 
    Plaffelvohfen
  • @SkepticalOne

    There are three types of agnostics.

    The first says, "I don't know, but I'm searching."
    The second says, "I don't know, and I don't care."
    The third says, "I don't know, you don't know, no one can know."

    Am I right in assuming that you're part of the third group?


    That depends on which god concept we're talking about. We have insufficient evidence to rule out all gods, but then again, we have insufficient evidence to rule them in either. I'd be an 'I don't know, and neither do you' on these.

    Some god concepts are disproved by knowledge (we now understand lightning doesn't come from Thor) or logically impossible (an absolutely just and merciful god; a god that is immortal also being mortal) and we don't have to shrug our shoulders at the possibility of their existence. I wouldn't be agnostic on this.

    Please explain why it's a logical impossibility for God to be both omnipotent and all-good. All Christians understand that it's impossible for God to do evil, but we don't see omnipotence as the ability to do everything theoretically possible. We see it as meaning God can do anything He wants to do. Is there some different logical contradiction I don't know about?
    Absolute power means absolutely anything (which is logically possible) can be done. It does not mean anything that doesn't conflict with another definitionally unrelated descriptor can be done. 

    An absolutely powerful being can absolutely do evil. An absolutely benevolent being cannot. These two traits cannot logically exist in one being at the same time. It is a logical impossibility by definition.

    Perhaps you should re-evaluate your understanding of god rather than the words you use to describe him.
  • @Glorfindel
    And this, you believe, shows that the existence of (an all-good and omnipotent) God is logically impossible?

    Once again, even if the problem of evil is true, it doesn't show an all-good, all-powerful God to be logically impossible. Logically, God could be all-good and all-powerful. But (according to the problem of evil), He cannot be the Creator of reality.

    You really do need to look up the definition of logic.
    This does very much show that either the Christian god is not all good or is not all powerful, if you think this is wrong please show me where the error in the logic is. If you believe that good is all good and created reality, then what Ted Bundy objectively did must necessarily be good.

    Do you think that what Ted Bundy did is good, or do you think that god didn't make objective reality? You can not have both of these beliefs.
    No. If we read the Old Testament we see that there are these three categories of laws: ceremonial, judicial, and moral. It's clear from the New testament that the moral laws are still to be obeyed in the same way the people of the Old Testament did. Also clear from the New Testament is that the ceremonial laws have served their purpose and are no longer to be obeyed in a way that would symbolize the coming of Christ since He already came.

    Not lying with an animal is clearly a violation of moral law (the Ten Commandments, specifically, the 7th). The New Testament didn't have to reiterate all of the Old Testament commands to show the principle that moral laws are still to be kept in the same way, whilst ceremonial laws are fulfilled.
    I assume when you say "Not lying with an animal is  clearly a violation of moral law" is a typo... otherwise I have some questions.

    Here is the thing though, lying with an animal would not be adultery unless you were married, and if someone married the animal then it would be acceptable. Similarly, homosexuals having sex isn't adultery if they are married, and this is perfectly moral. Are you not willing to accept that the bible makes these things permissible if Levitical law is not taken seriously?
    Once again: the moral laws never changed. They are still to be kept as Jesus clearly teaches in Matthew 5.

    Also, saying the ceremonial laws are fulfilled doesn't mean they don't matter. It just means the thing they symbolized has already come to pass.
    Here is something to consider: Do you know a given law is ceremonial based on the context of the bible, or do you assume so based on if it is acceptable today?
    Moral duty means exactly this: what we ought to do.

    So actually, I did answer the question you're just not open to my explanation. Hume's is-ought problem doesn't work in Christianity because God's revelation transcends empirical facts. And as the Creator, God gets to decide what his creatures ought and oughtn't to do. Therefore, his commands inflict moral duty. 

    Think about this, and I mean really think about it, before you answer it.
    I looking for the why here, and you are not providing it. Just think about what you are saying and how it makes no sense. If I replace every time you say god with pepperoni pizza it makes no sense, but logically this would stand just the same. If you throw out empiricism, then you can't actually make an empirical argument, so by definition you must admit that god can not justify morality.
    I've already addressed this at the top of this post. There's no logical contradiction in God's existence. 
    Just the Christian god, this only applies to the Christian god. This doesn't apply to a deistic god and yes there is a logical contridiction.
    You're straw-manning. 

    Allow me to ask you a question: how do you know something to be true?
    Observation and repeatable experimentation, its called science and it put man on the moon and has done more for humanity, even just in the last century than all religions that have ever existed combined.
    Once again, as I already showed, the assumption that the problem of evil points to a logical contradiction in God's all-goodness and omnipotence is false.
    You have not demonstrated this, and keep in mind the contradiction I am pointing out isn't the problem of evil exactly, but a related one which is distinct.

    Basically what I am saying is that if god created objective reality, then the only possible objective moral is "anything goes", or god did not create objective reality.
    But how do you know Christianity is just mythology?
    Just read the bible. If someone came up to you and tried to tell you that anything in the bible was literally true, no one would believe it. That and actual evidence disproves it as literal truth, for example evolution thoroughly debunks genesis and basic physics debunks Jesus.
    I agree with you that the modern-day impression of what the Bible teaches about the punishment those who rebel against God will receive is largely wrong. But the Bible does teach that there's an eternal punishment awaiting those who rebel against God's sovereignty. Would you like to debate this?
    The answer is no, because as already stated there is nothing to talk about. It would be like arguing about how many death stars it takes to destroy the Borg from star Trek. Anything you make up is perfectly valid.
    Please elaborate...

    I asked this before. But I want to make sure you answer it: how do you know something is true? I take it, as an empiricist, you'd say reason and facts - right?
    It is beside the point for me to elaborate and beyond the scope of this discussion.

    It isn't about facts so much as what we have proven wrong. For example, the Christian god 100% doesn't exist, or square circles, or pink unicorns which are black. These things are logically verifiable.

    With religion, the logic is this: The bible says it is true, so it must be true. You can not know anything in the bible to be true, but we can (and have) proven it false.
    In your previous post, it sounded like you thought it's impossible to know anything about God. You said: "we don't know, we can't know, and worrying about it is very, very, very, bad for your mental health."

    I'm not asking how sure you are that God doesn't exist. I want to know whether you think we could know Him if He does exist.
    I stand by what I said before. 6 doesn't mean I know things about god, it means that I think that god is probably false, all organised religions are definitely false, but I can't rule out the possibility of a deistic god, who by definition we know nothing about. So the short answer is that even if god were real, we can not know anything about it. Only assume we do, which is what organised religion does.
    I wasn't attempting to use the many world religions as proof of theism. I was simply pointing out that you have a bigger problem explaining world religion than me. You have to believe so many people living today are wrong about something they must have spent a whole lot of time thinking about. I don't have this problem. They're right about the big part and wrong about the specifics.

    The point is, you said that you simply go one step further than me by recognizing that all religions are false, while I hold that all but one are false. But this phenomenon actually causes more trouble for you than me. I agree with Muslims, Jews, ancient Greeks and Romans, and all other Theists about theism. You disagree with all of us. You may like the attention of not fitting in, but it certainly doesn't produce a problem for Christians.
    Explaining religion is easy, I just point to human psychology and social development and the rest practically takes care of itself. Religion makes no sense unless you assume this, because if there was actually a god then everyone should have reached the same conclusion, but since everyone reached completely different contradictory conclusions, including ones where there is no god, it must be that people made it up to control others.

    Why don't you accept other religions? What if one of them is true and your beliefs are wrong? How would you know?

    P.S, I don't know why you think this is about attention or "not fitting in", the opposite actually. In the US, religion is going away fast, most people my age are irreligious, technically the majority. Same is true in Europe. Technically, if you wanted to fit in you should abandon religion.
    https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Dee

    I can , several in fact .....how about resurrecting Jesus ,  that you have to concede is theoretically impossible yet god wanted it to happen and according to christians it did, right ?
    What's meant by 'theoretically impossible' is stuff like building a square circle, or something like that. Miracles are definitely possible if God exists.
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @SkepticalOne

    Absolute power means absolutely anything (which is logically possible) can be done. It does not mean anything that doesn't conflict with another definitionally unrelated descriptor can be done. 
    An absolutely powerful being can absolutely do evil. An absolutely benevolent being cannot. These two traits cannot logically exist in one being at the same time. It is a logical impossibility by definition.
    Perhaps you should re-evaluate your understanding of god rather than the words you use to describe him.
    Yes, I agree. God cannot do evil. Not because his omnipotence Is impotent, but because it's against his character. No Christian means that God can do evil when he says He's omnipotent.

    So if we understand omnipotence as 'being able to do that which He wants', and because He cannot want to do evil (because He's all-good), there wouldn't be a logical contradiction. Can we agree on this?

    That depends on which god concept we're talking about. We have insufficient evidence to rule out all gods, but then again, we have insufficient evidence to rule them in either. I'd be an 'I don't know, and neither do you' on these.
    Some god concepts are disproved by knowledge (we now understand lightning doesn't come from Thor) or logically impossible (an absolutely just and merciful god; a god that is immortal also being mortal) and we don't have to shrug our shoulders at the possibility of their existence. I wouldn't be agnostic on this.
    But can we know anything about God?
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • DeeDee 1903 Pts
    @Glorfindel

    What's meant by 'theoretically impossible' is stuff like building a square circle, or something like that. Miracles are definitely possible if God exists.

    I’m perfectly aware of what the term 'theoretically impossible' means, you seem confused. 

    For a miracle to take place the laws of the natural Universe must be put on hold for such an event to take place that again is theoretically impossible.

    Miracles are definitely possible if God exists.

    They’re not according to you as you admitted an omnipotent gods powers were limited but yet not limited when it suits , so tell me how come you admitted god can not do the theoretically impossible but yet can when it suits?

    Happy_Killbot
  • SkepticalOneSkepticalOne 567 Pts
    edited May 27
    @Glorfindel

    Yes, I agree. God cannot do evil. Not because his omnipotence Is impotent, but because it's against his character. No Christian means that God can do evil when he says He's omnipotent.
    Christians would dare impose limitations on god; the alleged creator of the universe? Seems fairly arrogant if you ask me. :-)
    So if we understand omnipotence as 'being able to do that which He wants', and because He cannot want to do evil (because He's all-good), there wouldn't be a logical contradiction. Can we agree on this?

    We can agree this is an arbitrary limitation on omnipotence.

    But can we know anything about God?

    I don't claim to *know* anything about gods. (You do) I simply point out some god claims do not conform to reality/logic - and that is not beyond our epistemic limits.

  • @Glorfindel
    Hume's is-ought problem doesn't work in Christianity because God's revelation transcends empirical facts.
    Seems to me that you're saying : God is, therefore we ought to... So we apparently can derive an ought from an is after all?  Special pleading?
     And as the Creator, God gets to decide what his creatures ought and oughtn't to do.
    The mere fact that one created something does not establish that one properly has absolute control over what one has created. Of course, some room remains to argue that there is something special about God's power, or about his role as creator, that makes his commands distinctively legitimate. But what is needed is an account of what is special. And, in this context, it needs to be an account that explains how God's commands, as opposed to the commands that others might issue, have an authority. Moreover, if appealing to God is to solve the metaethical puzzle posed by Euthyphro, the account offered must not itself rely on, or presuppose, the sort of transcendent standards we have been attempting to explain. 

    And your account do rely on, or presuppose, those transcendent standards...
    Happy_KillbotDeeWinstonCZeusAres42
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • @Happy_Killbot

    This does very much show that either the Christian god is not all good or is not all powerful, if you think this is wrong please show me where the error in the logic is. If you believe that good is all good and created reality, then what Ted Bundy objectively did must necessarily be good.
    Do you think that what Ted Bundy did is good, or do you think that god didn't make objective reality? You can not have both of these beliefs.
    So can we agree that there's no logical problem with the existence of God? Even the problem of evil doesn't say that God cannot logically exist...

    Also, I'm open to discussing the problem of evil, but, once again, it doesn't affect my standpoint as it pertains to this debate. This debate simply discusses the internal consistency of the Christian worldview as it talks about objective morality.

    I assume when you say "Not lying with an animal is  clearly a violation of moral law" is a typo... otherwise I have some questions.
    Yeah typo. Sorry.  :no_mouth:

    Here is the thing though, lying with an animal would not be adultery unless you were married, and if someone married the animal then it would be acceptable. Similarly, homosexuals having sex isn't adultery if they are married, and this is perfectly moral. Are you not willing to accept that the bible makes these things permissible if Levitical law is not taken seriously?
    We're stumping ourselves on the details, but I'll answer this. In Christianity, the definition of sexual morality is broader than what's generally understood under 'adultery' today. It includes not simply sex outside marriage, but also a bunch of other sexually immoral acts, including homosexuality and sex with animals.

    These things are all forbidden under the commandment "You shall not commit adultery."

    Here is something to consider: Do you know a given law is ceremonial based on the context of the bible, or do you assume so based on if it is acceptable today?
    Based on the context of the Bible, which is why I still hold (though many Christians have given it up) that homosexuality is a sin. This is not to say that I don't sometimes read modern culture into the Bible, but the goal is to rather understand culture through the Bible, than vice versa. 

    Do you understand why I don't think God no longer requiring us to obey the ceremonial laws affects the objectivity of morality?

    I looking for the why here, and you are not providing it. Just think about what you are saying and how it makes no sense. If I replace every time you say god with pepperoni pizza it makes no sense, but logically this would stand just the same. If you throw out empiricism, then you can't actually make an empirical argument, so by definition you must admit that god can not justify morality.
    I don't understand the problem. 

    God's commands (because He is the Creator) are different from any other commands because it inherently infers moral obligation. This isn't too hard to understand. After all, He created us, and in virtue of being the Creator, He gets to make the rules for human behavior. He's the Moral Law Giver. Once again, if Pepperoni Pizza could viably make the claim that He created humans, I'd see no problem in Pepperoni Pizza prescribing Moral Law. Whatsoever/Whoever created humans gets to decide what rules humans have to live by. If no one/the universe created humans, there are no moral laws. But if God created humans, whatever He commands we ought to obey, because He gets to decide what we ought to do.

    Just the Christian god, this only applies to the Christian god. This doesn't apply to a deistic god and yes there is a logical contridiction.
    Once again. The issue that the problem of evil has with God isn't that He cannot logically exist, but that if He existed, reality would be vastly different. I, of course, disagree. But that's not the point. Even if the problem of evil was proven to be correct, God's existence still wouldn't be logically impossible. Rather, we could call it an empirical impossibility. 

    Observation and repeatable experimentation, its called science and it put man on the moon and has done more for humanity, even just in the last century than all religions that have ever existed combined.
    But how do you know observation and repeatable experimentation is a reliable method to determine the truth of a concept? You can't know it by observation and repeatable experimentation - that would be circular reasoning. Likewise, you cannot know it in some other way - because that would mean we could get reliable knowledge apart from observation and repeatable experimentation.

    See, you've made a presupposition: observation and repeatable experimentation is a reliable method of determining knowledge. Now, I'm not attempting to discourage your trust in observation and repeatable experimentation, but I want to point out that your statement is begging the question: how do we know it's a reliable method for determining reliable knowledge?

    Now, what's the difference between you presupposing observation and experimentation as a reliable test for truth, and I presupposing God's Word as a reliable test for truth?

    Also, remember that the fathers of the scientific revolution were all Christians. Da Vinci, Newton, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Francis Bacon, Galileo, Kepler, Simon Marius, Descartes.

    These men saw Christianity as the reason to explore the universe. Not an obstruction as you seem to think it is.

    You have not demonstrated this, and keep in mind the contradiction I am pointing out isn't the problem of evil exactly, but a related one which is distinct.
    Basically what I am saying is that if god created objective reality, then the only possible objective moral is "anything goes", or god did not create objective reality.
    Please elaborate on this, if you don't mind.

    Just read the bible. If someone came up to you and tried to tell you that anything in the bible was literally true, no one would believe it. That and actual evidence disproves it as literal truth, for example evolution thoroughly debunks genesis and basic physics debunks Jesus.
    There are about 2000 years of missionary history that disagrees with your statement: "If someone came up to you and tried to tell you that anything in the bible was literally true, no one would believe it."

    But let's leave that aside, for the moment.

    Let's focus on Jesus. How does basic physics debunk Jesus?

    The answer is no, because as already stated there is nothing to talk about. It would be like arguing about how many death stars it takes to destroy the Borg from star Trek. Anything you make up is perfectly valid.
    If you really believe that the Bible doesn't teach anything about an eternal punishment awaiting those who rebel against God, why are you not willing to debate it? You should win the debate pretty easily if I have no texts whatsoever to stand on - don't you think?

    You can not know anything in the bible to be true, but we can (and have) proven it false.
    Firstly, how do you know we cannot know anything in the Bible to be true? This is in itself a truth statement. Am I to believe that we cannot positively know anything, except for the one thing, namely, we cannot positively know anything? 

    Secondly, what parts of the Bible's been proven false?

    I stand by what I said before. 6 doesn't mean I know things about god, it means that I think that god is probably false, all organised religions are definitely false, but I can't rule out the possibility of a deistic god, who by definition we know nothing about. So the short answer is that even if god were real, we can not know anything about it. Only assume we do, which is what organised religion does.
    Oh boy. Do you see your double standard?

    You claim that, even if God's real, we cannot know anything about his existence. You're, therefore, claiming that all truth-claims about God is impossible. But that in itself is a truth claim. How can you know that God is unknowable if we cannot know anything about God?

    Why don't you accept other religions? What if one of them is true and your beliefs are wrong? How would you know?
    Luckily I have a method of knowing whether God exists. You seem to hold a much more difficult position: God cannot be known. If it really cannot be known whether God exists, the stupidest thing you could do would be to deny his existence. Because, while all theists have a small chance at eternal salvation (according to you), you have none. What if I'm wrong? Well, so be it. According to you, it could be anybody's guess. At least I took my chances (small as they are). But what about you? What if atheism is false? You have no chance of 'getting it right' and absolutely no way of knowing whether eternal salvation is actually possible. That's a bit more worrying than my position, don't you think?

    P.S, I don't know why you think this is about attention or "not fitting in", the opposite actually. In the US, religion is going away fast, most people my age are irreligious, technically the majority. Same is true in Europe. Technically, if you wanted to fit in you should abandon religion.
    Yeah, that's true. I don't know why so many young people are leaving Christianity for foolishness. It really is saddening.
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
  • @SkepticalOne

    I don't claim to *know* anything about gods. (You do) I simply point out some god claims do not conform to reality/logic - and that is not beyond our epistemic limits.
    But do you believe it to be impossible to know whether God exists or not?
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
    Therefore, I boast in nothing but Christ.
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