Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

FYI-FTR: Conscience is a gift

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In a recent exchange with BA in the WJM arguing thread, CF inadvertently revealed that he too knows or should know and acknowledge, that there is an oughtness towards truth.

This is not unexpected, given the core moral self evident truths.

For instance, we can see the first cycle:

>>1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

(This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.>>

I responded to CF in 36,  as follows:


[CF, 35:] A very wise man once told me that it’s not name calling if it is true.

The namecalling is of course not true, but that is not the most important thing at this point.

You and your ilk have so often indulged in red herrings led away to strawman caricatures laced with ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse polarise and taint the atmosphere that we know to discount such tactics to zero credit.

But something else is at work, something soberingly revealing.

Do you not see that you are arguing AS IF truth was something we OUGHT to pursue and OUGHT to respect?

That, you assume and expect that others will recognise as something they ought to pursue and respect?

Do you not see that this again reflects the underlying issues — that OUGHT-ness is a real, accurately perceived, binding condition of our moral government (not a delusion) — that you and your ilk routinely rhetorically deride and disregard when it suits you?

Do you not see that this tells us that your views show the precise incoherence and patent reductions to absurdity that have been highlighted but have been rhetorically dismissed or studiously ignored, strawmannised and derided over and over again?

Do you not realise that manifest hardness against oughtness regarding truth and right is a very bad sign?

Do you not see why it is evident that this will not end well?

For individuals and communities alike, then our civilisation as a whole?

I strongly suggest, think again:

Conscience, is a gift.

Guilt, is a mercy.

Repentance, is a grace.

Renewal and reformation, are hopes.

Perhaps, even at this late stage for a civilisation that has so obviously lost its way, something positive can be done before it is utterly too late.>>

Let us pray, reason and work that our hearts will be softened and our minds freed sufficiently from en-darkenment, that a critical mass will begin to respond to truth and right more appropriately.

Onward comments will be entertained in the ongoing thread. END