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  1. #1
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    The Golden Rule and the Foundation of Objective Morality

    The Golden Rule appears to be a universal moral maxim found in all religions. Here is an excellent poster produced by the Catholic Scarbaro Missions group:




    Historically, some theists have used the universally recognized "moral facts" in a silly-gism designed to prove the existence of God. Here is how William Lane Craig presents this ancient argument [source]:
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.
    The problem with this argument is obnviously in the first premise. Morality has it's roots in human nature, not in some abstract setter of arbitrary rules. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people doing things or having things done to them. This causes us to actually feel what the other person is feeling. This is the root of empapthy and when processes through our powerful intellect, it leads us to imagine what it would be like to be that other person. And so the Golden Rule is built into each healthy human.

    The problem I've always had with the argument for God from morality is that it lacks any connection with my moral intuitions. What does the idea of "God" have to do with whether it is right or wrong to do something? My moral intutions are based on the Golden Rule, not on a giver of arbitrary rules. And if the rules were not arbitrary, then we are saying that God is conforming his rule to an objective good, so there must be an objective good that is different than God. Of course, the theist could respond by saying that God conforms his rules to his own nature, and that his nature is what gives objective reality to the idea of "good." Be that as it may (it seems to me to be a meaningly moral tautology) it has nothing to do with the root of our moral intuitions as far as I can tell.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    The Golden Rule appears to be a universal moral maxim found in all religions. Here is an excellent poster produced by the Catholic Scarbaro Missions group:

    [IMG]www.biblewheel.com/images/Golden-Rule-Poster.gif[/IMG]

    Historically, some theists have used the universally recognized "moral facts" in a silly-gism designed to prove the existence of God. Here is how William Lane Craig presents this ancient argument [source]:
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    The problem with this argument is obnviously in the first premise. Morality has it's roots in human nature, not in some abstract setter of arbitrary rules. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people doing things or having things done to them. This causes us to actually feel what the other person is feeling. This is the root of empapthy and when processes through our powerful intellect, it leads us to imagine what it would be like to be that other person. And so the Golden Rule is built into each healthy human.

    The problem I've always had with the argument for God from morality is that it lacks any connection with my moral intuitions. What does the idea of "God" have to do with whether it is right or wrong to do something? My moral intutions are based on the Golden Rule, not on a giver of arbitrary rules. And if the rules were not arbitrary, then we are saying that God is conforming his rule to an objective good, so there must be an objective good that is different than God. Of course, the theist could respond by saying that God conforms his rules to his own nature, and that his nature is what gives objective reality to the idea of "good." Be that as it may (it seems to me to be a meaningly moral tautology) it has nothing to do with the root of our moral intuitions as far as I can tell.
    Instead of "God" giving humans their moral intuitions we see quite the opposite throughout history, where religion has caused people to go against their innate sense of right and wrong and promote a warped view of morality based on whatever their particular god is telling them.
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  3. #3
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    The Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    The Golden Rule appears to be a universal moral maxim found in all religions. Here is an excellent poster produced by the Catholic Scarbaro Missions group:

    [IMG]www.biblewheel.com/images/Golden-Rule-Poster.gif[/IMG]

    Historically, some theists have used the universally recognized "moral facts" in a silly-gism designed to prove the existence of God. Here is how William Lane Craig presents this ancient argument [source]:
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.
    The problem with this argument is obnviously in the first premise. Morality has it's roots in human nature, not in some abstract setter of arbitrary rules. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people doing things or having things done to them. This causes us to actually feel what the other person is feeling. This is the root of empapthy and when processes through our powerful intellect, it leads us to imagine what it would be like to be that other person. And so the Golden Rule is built into each healthy human.

    The problem I've always had with the argument for God from morality is that it lacks any connection with my moral intuitions. What does the idea of "God" have to do with whether it is right or wrong to do something? My moral intutions are based on the Golden Rule, not on a giver of arbitrary rules. And if the rules were not arbitrary, then we are saying that God is conforming his rule to an objective good, so there must be an objective good that is different than God. Of course, the theist could respond by saying that God conforms his rules to his own nature, and that his nature is what gives objective reality to the idea of "good." Be that as it may (it seems to me to be a meaningly moral tautology) it has nothing to do with the root of our moral intuitions as far as I can tell.
    Great post! In regards to the Bible, our objective sense of morality is what leads us to find certain sayings, teachings, and doctrines within the cannon as beautiful, God-inspired...and moral. We hear preachers preach on the morally good commands of God...and skim over the morally evil commands of God...murder, stoning, the belittlement of women, the rape of women, slavery, etc. Our moral intuition finds the morality in the Bible...and the immorality as well. Talk about 'cherry picking'...LOL!
    Facing the East,
    Frater Rosae Crucis



    "It is only by the exercise of Reason, that man can discover God."
    ~ Thomas Paine

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RC Christian View Post
    Great post! In regards to the Bible, our objective sense of morality is what leads us to find certain sayings, teachings, and doctrines within the cannon as beautiful, God-inspired...and moral. We hear preachers preach on the morally good commands of God...and skim over the morally evil commands of God...murder, stoning, the belittlement of women, the rape of women, slavery, etc. Our moral intuition finds the morality in the Bible...and the immorality as well. Talk about 'cherry picking'...LOL!
    Very well stated! That's exactly how Rose and I have been seeing things. We bring our innate morality to the Bible, the Bible does not give it to us.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  5. #5
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    Looking again at Craig's argument [source]:
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.
    Here is how Craig tries to support his two premises:
    What makes this argument so compelling is not only that it is logically airtight but also that people generally believe both premises. In a pluralistic age, people are afraid of imposing their values on someone else. So premise 1 seems correct to them. Moral values and duties are not objective realities (that is, valid and binding independent of human opinion) but are merely subjective opinions ingrained into us by biological evolution and social conditioning.

    At the same time, however, people do believe deeply that certain moral values and duties such as tolerance, open-mindedness, and love are objectively valid and binding. They think it’s objectively wrong to impose your values on someone else! So they’re deeply committed to premise 2 as well.
    Is it true that "people generally believe both premises?" Does premise 1 "seem corect to them" because of their tolerance of other religions? Say what? That doesn't make any sense at all. There is no connection between "tolerance" of different values and a belief in a God. On the contrary, people who believe in a God tend to think that they should impose their values on others because they, and they alone, have the "absolute truth" of God Almighty.

    This is why this argument fails so spectacularly. There is no connection between the "God concept" per se and morality. That's no where we get our moral intuitions at all. On the contrary, religions have tended to hijack and corrupt our innate moral intuitions. Just look at what has been done in the name of religion. The Inquisition. The Crusades. The Twin Towers. Endless mayhem and bloodshed. It is not for no reason that Stephen Weinberg famously wrote:
    With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    But what about the fact that essentially all people have an intuition that some things are truly right or wrong, that objective moral values truly exist? The idea is that for objective morality to exist, it must be independent of any particular observer. If something is "objectively good" then it must be good no matter who is doing the judging. The typical example used in this debate is "It's always wrong to torture babies for fun." Anyone worth debating will usally agree to the truth of this proposition.

    Now the problem is this. If humans are "just animals" and morality doesn't apply to animals, then how can we justify our belief in objective moral facts? It's funny to watch unprepared atheists stumble over this question. They often end up feeling forced to deny that there is any objective morality. So sad! So wrong! They fell into a silly rhetorical trap hidden by a false assumption snuck into the premise. The true meaning of "objective moral facts" is this: the moral value (good or bad) exists independantly of the observer. This is mistakenly taken to mean that objective moral values must exist in the absence of any observer! That's the mistake. Moral values are objective, but they exist only within humans (or other sentient beings if they exist).

    Hows that for a solution?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #6
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    Wow

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Looking again at Craig's argument [source]:
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.
    Here is how Craig tries to support his two premises:
    What makes this argument so compelling is not only that it is logically airtight but also that people generally believe both premises. In a pluralistic age, people are afraid of imposing their values on someone else. So premise 1 seems correct to them. Moral values and duties are not objective realities (that is, valid and binding independent of human opinion) but are merely subjective opinions ingrained into us by biological evolution and social conditioning.

    At the same time, however, people do believe deeply that certain moral values and duties such as tolerance, open-mindedness, and love are objectively valid and binding. They think it’s objectively wrong to impose your values on someone else! So they’re deeply committed to premise 2 as well.
    Is it true that "people generally believe both premises?" Does premise 1 "seem corect to them" because of their tolerance of other religions? Say what? That doesn't make any sense at all. There is no connection between "tolerance" of different values and a belief in a God. On the contrary, people who believe in a God tend to think that they should impose their values on others because they, and they alone, have the "absolute truth" of God Almighty.

    This is why this argument fails so spectacularly. There is no connection between the "God concept" per se and morality. That's no where we get our moral intuitions at all. On the contrary, religions have tended to hijack and corrupt our innate moral intuitions. Just look at what has been done in the name of religion. The Inquisition. The Crusades. The Twin Towers. Endless mayhem and bloodshed. It is not for no reason that Stephen Weinberg famously wrote:
    With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    But what about the fact that essentially all people have an intuition that some things are truly right or wrong, that objective moral values truly exist? The idea is that for objective morality to exist, it must be independent of any particular observer. If something is "objectively good" then it must be good no matter who is doing the judging. The typical example used in this debate is "It's always wrong to torture babies for fun." Anyone worth debating will usally agree to the truth of this proposition.

    Now the problem is this. If humans are "just animals" and morality doesn't apply to animals, then how can we justify our belief in objective moral facts? It's funny to watch unprepared atheists stumble over this question. They often end up feeling forced to deny that there is any objective morality. So sad! So wrong! They fell into a silly rhetorical trap hidden by a false assumption snuck into the premise. The true meaning of "objective moral facts" is this: the moral value (good or bad) exists independantly of the observer. This is mistakenly taken to mean that objective moral values must exist in the absence of any observer! That's the mistake. Moral values are objective, but they exist only within humans (or other sentient beings if they exist).

    Hows that for a solution?
    Damn...that made my head swim! But it is exactly right! I'm going to see what Craig's 2012 schedule is looking like...prepare your intro speech!
    Facing the East,
    Frater Rosae Crucis



    "It is only by the exercise of Reason, that man can discover God."
    ~ Thomas Paine

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    This is why this argument fails so spectacularly. There is no connection between the "God concept" per se and morality. That's no where we get our moral intuitions at all.
    If man is created in the image of God, then man's innate morality is an attribute of God. If there is a God, and man is created in His image, then your argument fails in less spectacular fashion.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hows that for a solution?
    The jury is still out.

    Good naturalistic points though.

    John

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    If man is created in the image of God, then man's innate morality is an attribute of God. If there is a God, and man is created in His image, then your argument fails in less spectacular fashion.
    Good morning John,

    Your argument is correct if we begin by assuming that man is created in the image of God. But it can't be used to defeat my refutation of Craig's argument because he was trying to prove the existence of God. As you know, we're not allowed to assume what we are trying to prove.

    Good chatting with you, bother-man.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post

    Historically, some theists have used the universally recognized "moral facts" in a silly-gism designed to prove the existence of God. Here is how William Lane Craig presents this ancient argument [source]:
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.
    The problem with this argument is obnviously in the first premise. Morality has it's roots in human nature, not in some abstract setter of arbitrary rules. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people doing things or having things done to them. This causes us to actually feel what the other person is feeling. This is the root of empapthy and when processes through our powerful intellect, it leads us to imagine what it would be like to be that other person. And so the Golden Rule is built into each healthy human.

    The problem I've always had with the argument for God from morality is that it lacks any connection with my moral intuitions. What does the idea of "God" have to do with whether it is right or wrong to do something? My moral intutions are based on the Golden Rule, not on a giver of arbitrary rules. And if the rules were not arbitrary, then we are saying that God is conforming his rule to an objective good, so there must be an objective good that is different than God. Of course, the theist could respond by saying that God conforms his rules to his own nature, and that his nature is what gives objective reality to the idea of "good." Be that as it may (it seems to me to be a meaningly moral tautology) it has nothing to do with the root of our moral intuitions as far as I can tell.
    This is funny.

    Since God exists how would anyone be able to test if they would still have morality if God did not exist?

    God formed the heart and the conscience and it cannot be tested whether you have a "heart" or conscience with the absent of God because you cannot kill or vaporize God.

    You have to be able to prove this side by side with the existence of God.

    The One that made our heart in the first place, can also make a NEW heart in us.
    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: (Eze 11:19)


    Best to you,
    Rick

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    This is funny.

    Since God exists how would anyone be able to test if they would still have morality if God did not exist?

    God formed the heart and the conscience and it cannot be tested whether you have a "heart" or conscience with the absent of God because you cannot kill or vaporize God.

    You have to be able to prove this side by side with the existence of God.

    The One that made our heart in the first place, can also make a NEW heart in us.
    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: (Eze 11:19)


    Best to you,
    Rick
    Hi Rick,

    I'm curious, how can you make the absolute statement that God exists? What proof do you have?

    It seems you don't have any more proof that God exists, than atheists who say God doesn't exist.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

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