For Ragnar: Morals Existing Without God Debate

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  • PGA2.0
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    Round 1

    Buzz words and phrases that form a biased picture:

    "Religious terrorists";
    "People with consciences (unlike certain religious people who only care about divine command theory, and would otherwise eat their own babies) were better breeding partners".

    ***

    A few points, one of which is that what some do in the name of religion does not necessarily follow the teaching of the biblical God. Are you suggesting that what a small minority do (eating babies) represents the vast majority and are you implying that through divine command theory that God commands such actions?

    Please state whether you are citing the biblical God as God, Ragnar since your reference seems to be a biblical one (do you have a verse of Scripture you are implying this from?). 

    ***

    I. Long Term Self Interest (AKA Consequentialism)
    People being civilized benefits everyone, there are too many things groups can do which individuals cannot. We codify this and teach it to our children. Boiling this down to the simplest terms, people seeking easier reliable access to food, does not require any divine intervention.
    True, it does not require divine intervention if what makes people seeking reliable food a moral imperative of what is right? If I seek easily accessible food by stealing your food is it right? It depends on which side of the equation you look at this from unless there is an objective, unchanging measure and reference point that knows and reveals the difference. Otherwise, it is a matter of wills and may the fittest, the strongest, the most cunning, and shrewdest win.  

    Easier reliable access to food by who? What about all those who are starving? What happens if they can't afford to buy food? Do they have the same accessibility that those do who can afford to buy food?

    "This category also includes altruists, who get a sense of joy from helping others, and care not for bribes or threats from religious terrorists."

    Again, what makes what someone likes to do something good or right? I believe you are confusing what is with what ought to be. I believe you are confusing a moral right with a subjective preference or taste. There is a different, and I ask how you derive an ought from an is? If you could then if Joe liked potatoes (what he wants to eat) then should all people like potatoes and is eating potatoes "right"? 

    With moral relativism (i.e., no absolute, universal, objective, unchanging frame for morality anything can be passed off as "good") what makes your opinion of long-term self-interests the one that others should follow? Is it because you agree with it that you base all others deciding on it as right all about? 

    I could give you a historical example after example where long-term "self-interests" counters the best interests of a vast number of people or classes of people. Apartheid in South Africa is one example. Slavery in the South of the USA is another. Killing Jews in Nazi Germany is another. Abortion is another. 

    History is replete with examples. 

  • PGA2.0
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    The other factor that goes against your argument is the changing nature of what is morally right we can point to every day. There is no absolute about what you are proposing. Show me it is not relative to different groups or different individuals. Different societies view different things as "right. This fact can be demonstrated by pointing out cultural, moral differences. Who has the "right" view of morality when two cultures, two societies, two nations, two individuals, disagree? Does might then make right or is there a real unchanging measure of appeal - a best - that better and good, wrong and right can be measured against? 

    Logically, these glaring examples I could elaborate on go against the Law of Identity. "Right" loses its identity when there is no fixed and ultimate reference point to compare goodness and righteousness against.  Either A=A (right is right; good is good) or the law is contravened. So, I do not see logic being on your side unless you can show an absolute, unchanging standard. Remember, you said, "This debate is not about mere likelihood, but an absolute. Within that understanding, I shall show two simple ways morals can exist without God (capital G., singular)."

    I do not believe you have done that.  

    And one more question, how do you ever get to good or right if your standard is always shifting and EVOLVING? 

    Is what is right now more right than it was when someone said it was right because our views are evolving? How do you measure right against a shiting standard is another way of saying this. 
     
    Finally, and it has to do with"I shall show two simple ways morals can exist without God (capital G., singular)" and then you employ a small "g" god - the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In the evidence for the biblical God, many different avenues can be used to give reasoned proof. History, as it coincides with biblical prophecy, is one such reasonable example. The Bible comprises several historical documents that speak of people, places, events. What do you have as evidence for this Flying Spaghetti Monster you pull out of the blue? Let us see if it meets the same burden of proof that the biblical writings provide. What real revelation have you of this Flying Spaghetti Monster?  



  • PGA2.0
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    --> @Ragnar
    Round 2:

    "John Smith murders Jill Ohlson..."
    The intuitive revulsion toward this crime, is contrary to religion. John may well claim that God commanded the death, and yet in our sense of morality, we would punish him regardless of his prophecy. Even if Jill sinned in the eyes of Christians by styling her hair and/or dressing nice (1 Timothy 2:9), John is still punished for murder. This is because in civilized countries justice is based on morality, and morality is not based on religion.
     
    Of course, in Sharia law John might be a hero for murdering a woman. Our natural non-religious sense of morality disagrees with this.
    Again, I'm confused. Are we discussing biblical murder or Sharia Law? For our discussion please narrow down the focus since I will gladly jump on the bandwagon with you in your fight against Sharia Law. IOW's, I will only defend the Christian position. 

    Your contention: "intuitive revulsion toward this crime, is contrary to religion"

    Contrary to religion? Not so with Judaism or Christianity. One of the Ten Commands strictly forbids murder. 

    Exodus 20:13 (NASB)
    “You shall not murder.

    Another command warns against the taking of innocent or righteous life.

    Exodus 23:7 (NASB)
    Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.

    So, your charge is mute and does not comply with the teaching of Scripture (i.e., what is taught by its words).

    ***

    Now, to contrast the biblical position against your "natural" evolutionary "sense of morality."

    The first question that comes to mind HOW does a non-thinking process decide why things are moral?

    Your biological systems operation does not have to conform to the way my biological system functions/operates and you seem to be basing morality on functionality/behaviourism. Second, you and a handful decide you don't like a particular action so you who are a like-minded bunch band together to stop this behaviour. Hitler, Kim Jong-un, President Xi, President Putin, Castro, Pol Pot, Stalin, and a host of other leaders and depots controlled power and caused a lot of death and destruction for those they did not agree with. Their solution was eliminating those who they do not like or agree with. What is wrong with that if your evolutionary group wins the day? Nothing, there is no fixed standard from your viewpoint that you can show must be this way, only a standard that you and those of like mind would prefer to be this way and enforce as the way. Human history is littered with examples of people deviating from what you consider the "absolute" norm which you identify as consequentialism. What is more, human history is littered with examples of conflicting qualitative moral values. It just begs why your particular system is any "Better" than any other. 

    Lastly, I would like to point out the Western societies have largely adopted a biblical system of morality. It doesn't revolve just around murder but the whole host of moral values we see operating in civil societies. One site I found gave good examples of this argument along with questioning how evolutionary law "undermines the rule of law." 

     It also gives the reason why laws are so necessary, 

    "we want for ourselves and our future generations...freedom under law, not absolute subjection to the arbitrary will of human authorities..., the rule of law talks about the protection of the individual by God-given liberties, rather than by an all-powerful, law-giving government endowed by god-like powers over the civil society."

    So, can you argue that a system of law based on human thought as governed by evolutionary processes has not produced the very abnormalities to justice and fairness we witness and would expect if what you say is true (i.e., Long Term Self Interest)? Whose long term self-interest?  Wars are fought over the very question. 

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    --> @Ragnar
    Round 2: 

    I.                     Long Term Self Interest
    Under this premise, allowing John to go around murdering women at random (even if it’s in the name of God), creates a danger to us (a wrongness if you will), so we band together for mutual defense. We have long ago made a system for this, so just alert the police and let them handle it, in turn allowing us to sleep safely in our beds.
    My mother was born in South Africa and we used to vacation there so I am very familiar with Apartheid and what the police-state did. Again, unless you have an unchanging measure and reference point, anything is possible and depends on who is in power as to what happens. In Nazi Germany, those who were the privileged could sleep safely in their beds. 

     I.                     Long Term Self Interest
    If something done repeatedly would harm the community (in particular regards to our survival), it is immoral. China experienced this when they decided to commit genocide against their women, and their population plummeted.

    Harm the community, like in China where aborting the female human takes priority when necessary in its two birth policy? It's like culling animals. As soon as the population of one class is unsustainable then eliminate as many as necessary. Either way, once the two-person limit is reached someone gets aborted. When humanity is not treated as intrinsically valuable any class can be eliminated or subjugated to cruelty and death. 

    ***

    II.                   The Flying Spaghetti Monster
    This competing religion disagrees with murder (yes, even if they blasphemy against pasta), so our disdain for the crime more likely stems from the FSM than God (whom outright commands the death of anyone who says God in vain).


    How long can this religion be shown to have been around (I'm speaking of factual evidence) and how did this Spaghetti Monster reveal itself to humanity (or is it just the privileged few)?

     And the absurdity of it all (blaspheming against pasta). 

    The biblical penalty for blasphemy was for specific people (Israel) who had agreed to live in a covenant relationship (Mosaic Covenant) with God (Exodus 24:3, 7). The people were being taught by God what His holiness and purity meant along with the realization that a works based system does not create peace with God. Thus, the Mosaic Covenant was always pointing to a better covenant, the one to come. There was a reason God allowed it. So, your argument that God demands the death of ANYONE who says God in vain raises questions about why you and others who oppose the biblical God are not dead? One reason is His mercy. Another is because their physical death is symbolic of a greater truth - spiritual death or SEAPARATION from God in eternity. 

     

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    --> @PGA2.0
    What, in your view is the difference between what is moral and what is immoral?
  • Ragnar
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    --> @PGA2.0
    The debate in question: https://www.debateart.com/debates/949
     
     
    First off, thanks for taking the time to read my debate. I of course welcome discussion, and outside the debate I will not be trying to win...
     
    Before anything else, I should point out that as with the case of stoning people to teach for saying God no longer being a thing, Christian Divine Command Theory is proven to be subjective to the time and place, rather than an objective truth to be obeyed forever.
     
     
    I. First Post
    Baby Eating
    This point was in challenge to my opponent, who represented people in general as only refraining from truly horrible such actions when/if God directly commands them not to (by making that claim about all people, he is representing his own people as specifically having a hard time with such moral dilemmas). It's the problem with thinking morals can only stem from divine command theory, and directly excluding reason and compassion as a possibility.
     
    Outside the debate I would say God Strictly condemns such actions. Abraham trying to kill his own son for example,was a lesson that God doesn't want us doing that shit even if we think God does(interpreted this way instead of God changing his mind, this is also a lesson against divine command theory, that we should think for ourselves...).
     
    Theft
    I would have been delighted were my opponent to raise this criticism.
     
    Skipping a few back-and-forths ahead in this discussion: Groups supports and protects their own, and the making yourself an Other has too many disadvantages to be generally worth it for short term gain. This of course does not protect members of other groups, we still get examples of this today with cases like someone saying people should go riotin the suburbs instead of just not rioting (a rather simplistic review of a complex case).
     
    So yeah, the morals we interpret will not always be correct for everyone else.
     
    altruists
    It's good because it supports thegroup, creating more good than harm: Utilitarianism.
     
    Within man made morals, Joe can runa strictly potato farm, and if he's not murdering all the other farmers people can get their preferences in the market. Blindly obeying divine command theory,Joe might believe potatoes are the divine and thus only allowed food, and go around inflicting this on everyone else. (within consequentialism, he might still try to inflict potatoes on everyone, but will more likely do so through subtle means, much like diamonds on engagement rings).
     
    History
    How many of those examples cited divine command theory as justification? Plus the long term cost for this groups, discourages future such groups. Under divine command theory, people inthe USA today still try to enslave women (mostly southern states, changing their education systems to try to maximize teen pregnancy, and then preventing them from ending said pregnancies, all with the government officials not paying child support for intentionally knocking those girls up)
     
     
    II. Second Post
    No Absolute Value
    My burden was to show that morality can exist outside divine command theory (specifically Christian divine command theory), not that they are unchanging.
     
    The absolute I referred to was my opponent's argument that morals "cannot" exist without God, it was notthat my counters needed to be absolute universals (I've got another debate which kinda touches on those).
     
    "how do you ever get to good or right if your standard is always shifting and EVOLVING?"
    Generally, by caring about the well-being of my fellow human beings. Bare in mind, I served as a combat medic,so my money is where my mouth is. 
     
    FSM
    Always glad to talk about his noodliness... 
     
    First, I should mention that I did not need to prove the FSM exists any more than my opponent needed to prove God Exists. The FSM was one possible source of morals, to refute that morals could only come from my opponent's single insisted source.
     
    Second, I do suggest checking out The Gospel from your local library. It's theory of Unintelligent Design does a far better job predicting things than both Creationism and Intelligent Design combined. For Example, it explains where those ancient seeming dinosaur bones come from (the FSM is pranking us, first planting fake bones when we dig, then changing the results of carbon dating to be older than the YAC universe).
  • Ragnar
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    III. Third Post
    Theocracy
    I used religious motivation in the hypothetical murder, to showcase how stupid theocracy is. Sharia Law is a form of it we're familiar with, but if Christians instituted similar systems,it would not be assured to be any better than what we see from Islam.
     
    The murder victim in this case could have committed any number of sins the bible outright demands death for,regardless, I showcased in context that her killer believes God commanded the death, which is the important thing for divine command theory. Christian divine command theory has massive long term subjectivity to it anyway.
     
     
    "HOW does a non-thinking process decide why things are moral?"
    It doesn't. Human beings have thought, and we apply this ability to better our lives.
     
    "What is wrong with that if your evolutionary group wins the day? Nothing"
    How many groups were reportedly made extinct in the bible? Stones and glass houses.
     
    "Human history is littered with examples of people deviating from what you consider the 'absolute'"
    Same with theology. Did you know some evil people want to baptize slaves? The horror, the horror.
     
    "Wars are fought over the very question."
    Wars have been thought over religion too. Complaining that another value source hasn't lead to perfect results, does not correct the very subjective flaws with your own.
     
     
    IV. Forth Post
    Apologies that I am replying to less and less, there's a lot of material to cover, and I do have other things to do.
     
    unless you have an unchanging measure and reference point, 
    How is the Spanish Inquisition going?
     
    China
    I showed that under the theories I was using, China';s actions were immoral. I do not understand your disagreement.
     
    More FSM
    Relevance of this appeal to tradition? There are religions older than Christianity, if age makes right, why would morals come from that instead of an older one?
     
    Relevance of the appeal to popularity? The world's most popular religion will likely soon be Islam due to breeding habits, would that suddenly make theirs the correct objective (but yet changing) standard to follow?
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    --> @keithprosser
    What, in your view is the difference between what is moral and what is immoral?
    The difference between good and bad. The question is how we decide as subjective beings. My argument is that we need a necessary, omniscient, objective, universal, absolute, unchanging measure and since morals rely on personal thinking beings that measure or reference point would be a personal Being.

  • PGA2.0
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    --> @Ragnar
    The debate in question: https://www.debateart.com/debates/949
     
     
    First off, thanks for taking the time to read my debate. I of course welcome discussion, and outside the debateI will not be trying to win...

    Thank you! It is a subject that interests me. I am curious in your explanation for questions and concerns not necessarily asked or justified by you in the debate.

     
    Before anything else, I should point out that as with the case of stoning people to teach for saying God no longer being a thing, Christian Divine Command Theory is proven to be subjective to the time and place, rather than an objective truth to be obeyed forever.

    There are moral principles that are specific to both testaments that Jesus summed up in two - love God and love your neighbour.

    The question is what that looks like and the Ten Commandments expand on these two principles to a large degree?

     
    I. First Post
    Baby Eating
    This point was in challenge to my opponent, who represented people in general as only refraining from truly horrible such actions when/if God directly commands them not to (by making that claim about all people, he is representing his own people as specifically having a hard time with such moral dilemmas). It's the problem with thinking morals can only stem from divine command theory, and directly excluding reason and compassion as a possibility.

    To counter this charge I would say that in each and every thinking human being there is a consciousness that suppresses the moral image and likeness of God because of sin. Thus, deep down we know some things are morally reprehensible yet we suppress the knowledge by hardening our hearts and moral compasses to God.

    The biblical God never condones such actions.
     
    Outside the debate I would say God strictly condemns such actions. Abraham trying to kill his own son for example, was a lesson that God doesn't want us doing that shit even if we think God does (interpreted this way instead of God changing his mind, this is also a lesson against divine command theory, that we should think for ourselves...).

    Abraham and Isaac besides being historical figures were also used as a typology lesson pointing to Jesus Christ and God giving the Son as the sacrifice for sin.
     
    Theft
    I would have been delighted were my opponent to raise this criticism.
     
    Skipping a few back-and-forths ahead in this discussion: Groups supports and protects their own, and the making yourself an Other has too many disadvantages to be generally worth it for short term gain. This of course does not protect members of other groups, we still get examples of this today with cases like someone saying people should go riot in the suburbs instead of just not rioting (a rather simplistic review of a complex case).
    I'm not following your wording, explanation, or its relevance.



     
    So yeah, the morals we interpret will not always be correct for everyone else.
    So how do you know they are correct at all? It defies logic to say two opposites are both true or that they could be.

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    --> @Ragnar

     
    altruists
    It's good because it supports the group, creating more good than harm: Utilitarianism.


    Within man made morals, Joe can run a strictly potato farm, and if he's not murdering all the other farmers people can get their preferences in the market. Blindly obeying divine command theory, Joe might believe potatoes are the divine and thus only allowed food, and go around inflicting this on everyone else. (within consequentialism, he might still try to inflict potatoes on everyone, but will more likely do so through subtle means, much like diamonds on engagement rings).

    Let me try and wrap my head around this. I'm sorry, but again I am having difficulty with your wording, grammar, and its meaning. I'll try and interpret what I think you mean. 

    I take it potatoes are a metaphor for supposed God-given morals since others can get their cultural moral preferences at the market (the smorgasbord).

    I take it that your reference to murdering the locals is the purge God commanded Israel to do when entering the Promised Land otherwise I don't get where you find God ordering killing? The reason He did this was two-fold, IMO. First, these people groups were evil. They practiced immoral acts like child sacrifice and they would not bow down to God's good will. If allowed to live with Israel they would have corrupted the people to the point of turning away from God which is in fact what the Bible tells us they did and I can provide examples of to verify my claim.   

    So Joe believes "A" is divinely appointed and he goes around "inflicting" this view on everyone else, like a dictator would do. He believes that those who do not obey his view must be murdered. I do not see how this is biblical in any way. Please explain how it is. 

    Second,  I do not see how moral relativism solves the problem of what is right (i.e., people get their preferences in the market). For something to be right, there must be a real plum line to compare values against. In the physical world, we have fixed quantitative standards in which a measurement is compared to the ideal for accuracy. Morals are not physical, thus we need a fixed standard, an ideal from which we compare the qualitative value.

    My problem with your Utilitarian standard is how do we arrive at such a standard (ideal)? Who gets to decide what is beneficial to whom? 

     
    History
    How many of those examples cited divine command theory as justification? Plus the long term cost for this groups, discourages future such groups. Under divine command theory, people in the USA today still try to enslave women (mostly southern states, changing their education systems to try to maximize teen pregnancy, and then preventing them from ending said pregnancies, all with the government officials not paying child support for intentionally knocking those girls up)

    Huh, what many people claim as divine justification is no such thing. I do not see how you can justify associating slavery in the South with biblical servitude that God commanded from Israel. It was a totally different servitude than what Israel experienced in Egypt and God forbid such treatment of others.

    Please don't confuse what people do in the name of religion with what the Bible teaches by its words. It is possible that you also confuse the two covenants in their scope and mandate. 
     
    II. Second Post
    No Absolute Value
    My burden was to show that morals can exist outside divine command theory (specifically Christian divine command theory), not that they are unchanging.
    Morals or preferences?

     
    The absolute I referred to was my opponent's argument that morals "cannot" exist without God, it was not that my counters needed to be absolute universals (I've got another debate which kinda touches on those).
    You did say, "This debate is not about mere likelihood, but an absolute. Within that understanding, I shall show two simple ways morals can exist without God (capital G., singular)."

    So, my understanding is that you did claim absolutes without God. 

    Again, I do not think you accomplished your goal. What you showed were moral preferences without an absolute reference to anything fixed as the ideal. You hinted at "long-term self-interest/consequentialism (i.e., personal tastes and personal preferences) but I do not understand how you get a right from that. All you get is the majority (or those in power) pushing their preference and idea of what is beneficial on others. That has been done many times throughout history as I pointed out to you. I also pointed out to you that your system does not appear to work because there are many conflicting ideas of what is "right." They logically can't all be true. 

    I'll look at that other debate later then.

  • PGA2.0
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    --> @Ragnar

     
    "how do you ever get to good or right if your standard is always shifting and EVOLVING?"
    Generally, by caring about the well-being of my fellow human beings. Bare in mind, I served as a combat medic, so my money is where my mouth is.
    Caring for others is something I believe you do in spite of your evolutionary beliefs, not because of them. I think you are inconsistent not only with evolutionary teaching but borrow from the Christian worldview.  
     
    FSM
    Always glad to talk about his noodliness... 
     
    First, I should mention that I did not need to prove the FSM exists any more than my opponent needed to prove God exists. The FSM was one possible source of morals, to refute that morals could only come from my opponent's single insisted source.
    There is a difference between the two. One has a lot of factual and historical references behind it that I would argue make sense in our understanding of ourselves. The other is just a farce with nothing real to base itself on other than the invention of someone's mind. It seems factless and make-believe.

    There are proofs or evidence for the biblical God that I would argue are reasonable. I would also argue that without God there is no grounding for morality. 

     
    Second, I do suggest checkingout The Gospel from your local library. It's theory of Unintelligent Design does a far better job predicting things than both Creationism and Intelligent Design combined. For example, it explains where those ancient seeming dinosaur bones come from (the FSM is pranking us, first planting fake bones when we dig, then changing the results of carbon dating to be older than the YAC universe).


    Again, to be blunt, I see FSM as a farce with no or very little credibility to it. Someone with a sense of humour or just plain stupid made it up. 


  • disgusted
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    hey golfer
    THERE IS YOUR SUBJECTIVE OPINION, your subjective moral standards are set by you and based on the writings of ignorant, primitive, superstitious savages.
    Obviously you are not the holier than thou you claim to be.
  • Ragnar
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    Got to the point of your over-analysis of the potato... Not sure if you're using Poe's Law for trolling, or if you're just thinking too hard about these things to make connections where none are intended nor needed.

    If the first: Well done! I indeed fell for it.

    If the second: Let me know and I'll find some information for you to better teach the theories than I could hope to.
  • PGA2.0
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    Got to the point of your over-analysis of the potato... Not sure if you're using Poe's Law for trolling, or if you're just thinking too hard about these things to make connections where none are intended nor needed.
    I'm not following you in your statement on Poe's law of trolling. I initiated this thread because I am interested in morality and I did not feel you have a good justification on how morality can stem from subjective human nature, especially when history is littered with human beings claiming their view of morality should be followed. I pointed out how logically it does not follow, especially when you sited Utilitarianism, Consequentalism, and the greatest benefit argument to bolster your argument. Greatest benefit in whose eyes? Greatest good in whose opinion and why are they the standard for goodness?

    If you know me you know that I season into many of my discussions the issue of morality and making sense of it. I favour two approaches above all others in my arguments for God. One is prophecy, the other is morality. I think these are iron-clad and I try to understand and exploit those who do not think these are sound. In fact, I challenge others to make sense of their worldviews, another passion of mine. 

    One other topic that I very much enjoy discussion on is abortion. I believe it is morally wrong except in the case where a woman's life is threatened and the result will be both the death of the woman and unborn. I base my views on three main principles that have been widely written about on the web and I have looked at hundreds of sites in investigating the subject, plus read four books on the subject from a pro-life position. That is why I expressed interest in your debate with Caleb and expressed my desire to prod further after the debate has been judged. 


    If the first: Well done! I indeed fell for it.
    I tend to be blunt. Please forgive me if what I said offended you.


    If the second: Let me know and I'll find some information for you to better teach the theories than I could hope to.

    I do not want LINKWARZ. Here is a definition of what that entails if you are not familiar:

    Quoting External Sources
    You are encouraged to provide support for any claims you make through the use of external sources. However, it is inappropriate to simply provide one or more links or sources (including embedded videos) and proclaim that all one needs to do is review them. Readers should not have to access your sources before they understand your argument. Where possible, you should provide a short summary of the link/video you have posted. Members who fail to observe this rule will be guilty of what is colloquially known as "linkwarz."

    The following should be followed for proper citation in threads:
    1) Other posters should not need to actually click on the link to read your support. The link is primarily for verification purposes and to allow the reader access to further details on the topic - the relevant material you want to use from it should be contained in your post itself. Depending on the context, any of the following options might be suitable:

    • Quote the material verbatim. This does not give you license to copy-and-paste large chunks of text and expect other posters to wade through them to find your support. You should be concise and quote only as much as is needed to support your claim.
    • Paraphrase the material. If you go this route, make sure your paraphrase is accurate and does not misrepresent or exaggerate what the source actually says.
    • If it is a video, you should describe (or if possible, transcribe) the relevant portions of the video that support your claim. Also, if the video allows, point out the key time frames of the relevant information in the video. Don't expect other members to load and watch the video in its entirety to find your cited evidence.
    • If your support is a graphic (e.g. a graph) that can fit comfortably in a post, post the graphic using image tags in your post itself. Else, download the image, then attach the image to the post.

    2) When quoting material, the quoted text should be clearly set apart from your main text. The best way to do this is to use indents (to prevent confusion, it is better to reserve quote tags for quoting the poster(s) you are responding to). Simply enclosing your quoted text in inverted commas is not acceptable.

    3) You should make it easy for other posters to locate the part of your source that supports your claim. So:

    • If your support is buried in a 5-page article, you should link to the exact page where your support appears (instead of the start of the article).
    • If your support is another post buried in a multi-page thread, you should link to the specific post and not the entire thread. (In case you didn't know already, the number at the top-right hand corner of each post is the link to that specific post.) If your support is spread over multiple posts, state the relevant post numbers.

    4) If it is not self-evident, you should explain how the source supports the exact claim you made. For example, if your claim is "The Iraq War is a failure" and your source talks about the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq, do not think that simply citing the source is sufficient to support your claim. You need to explain why this death toll means that the Iraq War has failed.


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    Got to the point of your over-analysis of the potato... Not sure if you're using Poe's Law for trolling, or if you're just thinking too hard about these things to make connections where none are intended nor needed.
    To elaborate on this I would like to say that many of your sentences contained run together words. Your thoughts took me four or five readings to interpret on this subject so I do not feel they were clearly expressed. I was not sure if the potato analogy was something new you were bringing into the conversation or a playoff of some analogy I made since you did not provide a context. (I'm older and don't pick up on things as easy as I did in earlier years)

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    I take it potatoes are a metaphor for supposed God-given morals since others can get their cultural moral preferences at the market (the smorgasbord).

    I take it that your reference to murdering the locals is the purge God commanded Israel to do when... 
    Got to the point of your over-analysis of the potato...
    I was not sure if the potato analogy was something new you were bringing into the conversation or a playoff of some analogy I made since you did not provide a context.
    I could keep adding to that quotation, but you brought up potatos in your first post. Later you tried to turn them into something magical and possibly connected to Israel.

    ...

    Someone started a debate "Morals Cannot Exist Without God." So I soundly defeated their arguments. They could not even challenge the counter  argument on the FSM as a possible (even if unlikely) source. ... That I did not reinvent morality, because I did not need to.

    If you want to challenge me to a rematch for him, by all means issue the challenge. If you want to actually discuss why divine command theory fails to be the only possible source of human morals, stop acting like someone using Poe's Law.

    ...

    Also I should point out that you've copy/pasted material related to the wrong website; the amount of is that is irrelevant (such as how to post pictures there) should have clued you in.
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    PS. I corrected your run together words, punctuation but not your spelling.

    III. Third Post
    Theocracy
    I used religious motivation in the hypothetical murder, to showcase how stupid theocracy is. Sharia Law is a form of it we're familiar with, but if Christians instituted similar systems, it would not be assured to be any better than what we see from Islam.
    You are far off if you mistook the values of Isalm with those of Christianity. I will only argue for Christianity since I don't believe in the rest as valid even if they contain truths.

    Second, what someone who professes Christ does is not necessarily what Christ commands. Nor do I see Isalm as teaching a similar system to what Christianity teaches. We do not derive our mandate from what those who profess Christ or Islam do but by the words of Scripture.

    The murder victim in this case could have committed any number of sins the bible outright demands death for, regardless, I showcased in context that her killer believes God commanded the death, which is the important thing for divine command theory. Christian divine command theory has massive long term subjectivity to it anyway.

    Even if there is "massive" subjectivity of interpretation, the Bible authors, inspired by God, make it plain there is a correct interpretation or way of handling God's word. Paul told Timothy to study to show himself approved, a workman who correctly understands God's word. That is taken to mean there is a correct interpretation of Scripture and it is the onus of believers to understand it. God is fully capable of making Himself understood just like you and I are. When we misunderstand each other we clarify. God's word clarifies. No Scripture is a matter of private interpretation. There are four gospels from which to come to a complete understanding. There are numerous epistles that expand on the Gospel message.  

    "HOW does a non-thinking-process decide why things are moral?"
    It doesn't. Human beings have thought, and we apply this ability to better our lives.
    The origin of human thought from a view devoid of God/gods is a non-thinking evolutionary process. Somehow there was a jump from that which was not conscious or thinking to that which was, and the question is how this takes place? Morality has its derivation from a non-moral process with such worldviews. So how do they make sense of morality or do they? Can they? I believe that lack what is necessary. 

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    If you want to challenge me to a rematch for him, by all means issue the challenge. If you want to actually discuss why divine command theory fails to be the only possible source of human morals, stop acting like someone using Poe's Law.
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    "What is wrong with that if your evolutionary group wins the day? Nothing"

    How many groups were reportedly made extinct in the bible? Stones and glass houses.
    You avoid the question. God brought judgment on evil with/through the use of different nations. If an innocent life was lost in the processs God would restore it to a better existence, thus with children and those who had not yet committed sin. God is righteous and just. A righteous and just Judge will not let evil go unpunished. He would not be good if He did so. God is also compassionate and merciful and will not do evil.

    "Human history is littered with examples of people deviating from what you consider the 'absolute'"

    Same with theology. Did you know some evil people want to baptize slaves? The horror, the horror.
    But, I would argue that we have what is necessary for the 'absolute' providing God exists. I would also say that God is essential to make sense of morality.

    "Wars are fought over the very question."
    Wars have been thought over religion too. Complaining that another value source hasn't lead to perfect results, does not correct the very subjective flaws with your own.

    Says you who are also offering your own flawed personal subjective view!
     
    Religions are human-made belief unless one view of God is correct? So, I would argue that the majority of these religious conflicts is humanity worshiping itself and a problem humans create.

    I would also argue that your view is no "better" than mine unless you can give reasonable evidence that there is an objective, unchanging source of reference that you can derive objectivity from when it comes to morality and what should be so. God's existence and revelation would grant an objective assessment when correctly interpreted.
     
    V. Forth Post
    Apologies that I am replying to less and less, there's a lot of material to cover, and I do have other things to do.

    I understand. It is a matter of interest, priorities and principle, IMO.

    I was considering a debate so that we both are held accountable by others for what we say (but that just shifts the outcome to others who also hold biases, just like we do), but the energy and time make me hesitate. And do I want to commit and to such an accomplished debater who knows many of the finer points of debating and how to win an argument even if what is believed is not necessarily true? I think I prefer the honest exchange where we can question each other more so.

    "unless you have an unchanging measure and reference point,"
    How is the Spanish Inquisition going?

    Again, you confuse what people do in the name of God and Scripture. Many times that does not match the teaching and rejects obeying and understanding the teaching of Scripture in exchange for personal biases.

    China
    I showed that under the theories I was using, China's actions were immoral. I do not understand your disagreement.

    You initially said that China committed genocide against its women. The fact is that it was a genocide against its people where only ONE birth per woman was permitted, and the male offspring was favoured to carry on the family lineage. Thus abortion was used as a population control method.

    More FSM
    Relevance of this appeal to tradition? There are religions older than Christianity, if age makes right, why would morals come from that instead of an older one?

    It makes it relevant only if God exists, has revealed Himself, and that religious view is the truth of God. That is a long discussion with many arguments and counter-arguments. Logically only one if any can be true since every religion contradicts every other religion.

    I would say a correct argument for Christianity would not appeal to tradition or popularity but appeal to the evidence and making sense of life's ultimate questions (the worldview). To say there is no evidence for the Christian worldview is a stupid statement, IMO. 

    Relevance of the appeal to popularity? The world's most popular religion will likely soon be Islam due to breeding habits, would that suddenly make theirs the correct objective (but yet changing) standard to follow?

    Popularity does not make something true/real/right. What makes it correct and valid is if its beliefs are true to what is real, authentic, and accurate.





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    If you want to challenge me to a rematch for him, by all means issue the challenge. If you want to actually discuss why divine command theory fails to be the only possible source of human morals, stop acting like someone using Poe's Law.
    I do not dispute that God is the only source of human morality. I dispute that other sources are ultimate or reasonable sources. Unless you can show me that these other sources have what is necessary for morality I will continue to dispute them. So, I guess you should establish what is necessary and what makes sense of morality. Do you think "the greatest benefit" can? It begs how a subjective being with biases and preferences decides for others what the greatest benefit is and as I pointed out, history is replete with examples of conflicting views of what is best or the greatest benefit for the greatest number. 

    As for Poes Law, I am serious in what I state for the most part and place little value in "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article" because sometimes I see satire or irony as necessary to make a point. 

    Psalms state that a fool has said there is no God. Logically that makes no sense, right? How can a limited subjective relative being know God does not exist?

    Proverbs gives advice on how to answer a fool. Here it is and this is why I use this method taken from the NASB translation:

    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.

    By contrasting the lack of sense of other worldviews I try to drive home a message of their folly. 


    Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.

    I use irony and satire (and hopefully logic) to expose folly. I see such answers as the folly deserves. 

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    If you want to challenge me to a rematch for him, by all means issue the challenge. If you want to actually discuss why divine command theory fails to be the only possible source of human morals, stop acting like someone using Poe's Law.
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    I take it potatoes are a metaphor for supposed God-given morals since others can get their cultural moral preferences at the market (the smorgasbord).

    I take it that your reference to murdering the locals is the purge God commanded Israel to do when... 
    Got to the point of your over-analysis of the potato...
    I was not sure if the potato analogy was something new you were bringing into the conversation or a playoff of some analogy I made since you did not provide a context.
    I could keep adding to that quotation, but you brought up potatos in your first post. Later you tried to turn them into something magical and possibly connected to Israel.

    Okay, you are adding to this quotation by me then. My mistake. Here it is:

    "Again, what makes what someone likes to do something good or right? I believe you are confusing what is with what ought to be. I believe you are confusing a moral right with a subjective preference or taste. There is a different, and I ask how you derive an ought from an is? If you could then if Joe liked potatoes (what he wants to eat) then should all people like potatoes and is eating potatoes "right"? 

    (And here is your response:

    altruists
    It's good because it supports the group, creating more good than harm: Utilitarianism.
    Good in whose eyes?

    Hitler thought it good for his nation to exterminate 11 million undesirables. Because he thought so and convinced others (which is what the argument from "benefit of the greatest number" would involve) the policy was followed through. Would you argue that this was "good"?

    Also, many different cultures and even subgroups and individuals within the cultures and subgroups object to what others name as "good." So, we have a disagreement on what is good and right and you say that appeal to popularity should determine the good. 

    And more of your response:


    Within man made morals, Joe can run a strictly potato farm, and if he's not murdering all the other farmers people can get their preferences in the market. Blindly obeying divine command theory, Joe might believe potatoes are the divine and thus only allowed food, and go around inflicting this on everyone else. (within consequentialism, he might still try to inflict potatoes on everyone, but will more likely do so through subtle means, much like diamonds on engagement rings).
    : Utilitarianism.
    "Within man-made morals?" What makes man-made morals anything more than preferences or personal tastes subjected onto others through force or emotional appeal? What makes preferences right/good? I like ice-cream. Is it right that you SHOULD like ice-cream too? Again, you confuse personal preference with what is morally right. Do you understand the difference between preference and a moral right?   

    Do you see how the is/ought fallacy applies? I am applying something I like (ice-cream) which is descriptive and a matter of personal taste to pass a moral judgment (prescriptive) of what should or ought to be. 

    You, in turn, are applying what should be (ought) to what is (what the majority of people like and think is beneficial). 




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    If you want to challenge me to a rematch for him, by all means issue the challenge. If you want to actually discuss why divine command theory fails to be the only possible source of human morals, stop acting like someone using Poe's Law.

    By blocking me I will take it you are not interested in the discussion. 

    How am I using "Poe's Law"? Just by asserting something does not make it so. 

    Why would I challenge you for him?

    I have about approximately a week's worth of work (rebuilding my fence) then I will think about the challenge.