Ethics Intelligent Design Naturalism theism

Is there such a thing as morality or ethics?

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Atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty now challenges neurosurgeon Michael Egnor: There is no way to know whether a moral doctrine represents any reality apart from belief:

Michael Egnor: You’ve agreed with me that there are people who act out of respect for an objective moral law.

Matt Dillahunty: I agree with you there are people who act that way because of their belief and whether they believe it’s objective or not is irrelevant. They can believe it’s subjective and still do it. [01:29:30]

Michael Egnor: So, you don’t believe that it’s objectively wrong, for example, to kill innocent people, or rape babies, or exterminate the Jews?

Matt Dillahunty: Hang on. We just went through a whole bunch of stuff and when you got to a point where it was exposed that you were wrong about what you said, you went back to: I don’t think it’s objectively wrong to rape people and kill babies. That’s not what we were just discussing. We were discussing altruism and whether or not there’s a justification for it.

Michael Egnor: Yeah. But it’s what we’re discussing now, Matt. My question is, is it objectively wrong to do certain things, outside of opinions? [01:30:00]

Matt Dillahunty: I’ve already answered this and I’m sorry that you don’t understand it. I will try one more time.

When you declare what a foundation of morality is, once that’s done, you can compare the consequences of various actions with respect to that foundation, with respect to that goal. That comparison can be objective in the same way that the rules of chess are ultimately arbitrary. They didn’t have to be that way. We made up the game. It is objectively against the rules for you to move your pawn forward four spaces at the beginning of the game. Now, you can say, is it objectively wrong? Well, no, we could have house rules, but we’re talking about these rules.

News, “8. Does morality really exist? If so, does it come from God?” at Mind Matters News

C.S. Lewis (1898–1963) certainly disagreed with Dillahunty in The Abolition of Man (1943), where he talks about the Tao that forms the basis of all human morality.

Takehome: Michael Egnor insists that a moral law exists independently of varying opinions. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, that has always been the traditional view worldwide.


The debate to date:

  1. Debate: Former atheist neurosurgeon vs. former Christian activist. At Theology Unleashed, each gets a chance to state his case and interrogate the other. In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and broadcaster Matt Dillahunty clash over the existence of God.
  2. A neurosurgeon’s ten proofs for the existence of God. First, how did a medic, formerly an atheist, who cuts open people’s brains for a living, come to be sure there is irrefutable proof for God? In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, Michael Egnor and Matt Dillahunty clash over “Does God exist?” Egnor starts off.
  3. Atheist Dillahunty spots fallacies in Christian Egnor’s views. “My position is that it’s unacceptable to believe something if the available evidence does not support it.” Dillahunty: We can’t conclusively disprove an unfalsifiable proposition. And that is what most “God” definitions, at least as far as I can tell, are.
  4. Egnor now tries to find out what Dillahunty actually knows… About philosophical arguments for the existence of God, as he begins a rebuttal. Atheist Dillahunty appears unable to recall the philosophical arguments for God’s existence, which poses a challenge for Egnor in rebutting him.
  5. Egnor, Dillahunty dispute the basic causes behind the universe. In a peppery exchange, Egnor argues that proofs of God’s existence follow the same logical structure as proofs in science. If the universe begins in a singularity (where Einstein’s equations break down), what lies behind it? Egnor challenges Dillahunty on that.
  6. Is Matt Dillahunty using science as a crutch for his atheism? That’s neurosurgeon Michael Egnor’s accusation in this third part of the debate, which features a continued discussion of singularities, where conventional “laws of nature” break down.
    If the “supernatural” means “outside of conventional nature,” Michael Egnor argues, science routinely accepts it, based on evidence.
  7. Dillahunty asks 2nd oldest question: If God exists, why evil? In the debate between Christian neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty, the question of raping a baby was bound to arise.
    Egnor argues that there is an objective moral law against such acts; Dillahunty argues, no, it is all just human judgment.
  8. Does morality really exist? If so, does it come from God? Matt Dillahunty now challenges Michael Egnor: There is no way to know whether a moral doctrine represents any reality apart from belief. Michael Egnor insists that a moral law exists independently of varying opinions. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, that has always been the traditional view worldwide.

You may also wish to read:

Science can and does point to God’s existence. Michael Egnor: Natural science is not at all methodologically naturalist — it routinely points to causes outside of nature. If we are to understand natural effects, we must be open to all kinds of causes, including causes that transcend nature.

The Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence = nonsense. God in Himself is immeasurably greater than we are, and He transcends all human knowledge. A God with whom we do not struggle — who is not in some substantial and painful way hidden to us — is not God but is a mere figment of our imagination.

Atheist Claims about logical fallacies often just mean: Shut Up! In the recent debate, Matt Dillahunty accuses theists of “the fallacy of the argument from personal incredulity” because we examine his claims and find them incredible. What atheists fear most is having to explain themselves, and the invocation of fictitious “fallacies” is one of their favorite ways to evade scrutiny.

and

Theists vs. atheists: Which group has the burden of proof? Because Dillahunty refuses to debate me again, I’ll address his claim that atheists have no burden of proof in the debate over God’s existence in this post. Both atheists and theists make positive statements about the nature of the universe. If atheists shun the ensuing burden of proof, it should count against them.

604 Replies to “Is there such a thing as morality or ethics?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Well, of course. Evolution, properly understood, generates moral laws. Any action that helps the ENTIRE POPULATION survive is moral, and becomes written in the scriptures (genes.) Over the centuries our scriptures have accreted a lot of unnecessary details because they were edited by bureaucracies, but the basic principles of every moral system are based on survival of the POPULATION.

    The problem isn’t Darwin, the problem is the Nietzsche/Rand Darwinists who have reframed the principle to favor the single all-powerful Ubermensch/Atlas/Bezos.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    The headline and the discussion under it are not in sync. The discussion is a long rambling list of excerpts from the Egnor/Dillahunty debate and morality is only a part.

    Dillahunty Is incoherent in his arguments.

    Debates on the existence/non existence of God will never be decisive. Did God make it that way? Is it part of the fabric of creation?

    It comes down to what is the evidence for or against. As far as I can see there is no evidence that supports the against side other than the evidence for the existence side is not 100% definitive.

    The atheist has no evidence that contradicts the coherence of the universe argument. It’s just that the creator personally doesn’t show his presence in any undeniable way.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Is There Such A Thing As Morality Or Ethics?

    Yes, there are.

    Do morality or ethics have any objective existence?

    No, they don’t.

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    C.S. Lewis (1898–1963) certainly disagreed with Dillahunty in The Abolition of Man (1943), where he talks about the Tao that forms the basis of all human morality.

    Well, but that can’t be the Tao of the Tao Te Ching: the first line it “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao”. In other words (in this context) it is subjective.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    In answering the question of whether morality is objective and real, as Christians hold, or whether it is subjective and illusory, as atheists hold, the Christian, due to advances in science, no longer has to rely solely on obviously real moral principles, i.e. that it is objectively wrong to “kill innocent people, or rape babies, or exterminate the Jews”, but can now also appeal to empirical evidence to establish the fact that morality is indeed an objectively real fact of life and that it is not merely subjective and illusory as the atheist holds.

    In laying this ‘scientific’ fact out, it is first necessary to lay out, precisely, exactly what the Darwinian view of morality actually is.

    Most people think that the atheist’s view of morality is just one of, as Dawkins himself put it, ‘pitiless indifference’,

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    Yet, contrary to what Dawkins himself apparently believed, morality for the Darwinian atheist is not just the absence of morality, (i.e. amorality, ‘pitiless indifference’), but turns out to be, (when you throw the precepts of Darwinian evolution on top of the atheist’s worldview of ‘pitiless indifference’), a worldview that turns out to be completely antithetical to any sense of objective morality that we may have as Christians, or even any sense of objective morality that we may have as simply being decent human beings.

    As Charles Darwin himself put the one defining ‘general law’ of his theory, “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    As should be obvious to everyone who is not a complete psychopath, not only is “let the strongest live and the weakest die” amoral, i.e. pitilessly indifferent, but it is, in fact, completely ANTI-moral.

    Adolf Hilter himself, (whom I think even atheists will agree was a psychopath of the first order), directly echoed Charles Darwin’s words when he stated, “Nature,,, wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”

    “A stronger race will oust that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form, will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf – pg 248

    As should be needless to say, wiping out the weak to give place to the strong is directly opposed to the primary Christian ethic of the strong looking after the weak.

    Matthew 25:34-40
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    As Sir Arthur Keith noted shortly after WWII, “the (moral) law of Christ is incompatible with the (moral) law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”

    “for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.,,, Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
    – Sir Arthur Keith, (1866 — 1955) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons – Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.15

    Hitler was hardly the only genocidal maniac who based his worldview on Darwinian evolution. In fact all the leading Atheistic Tyrants of the communist regimes of the 20th century, who murdered tens of millions of their own people, in fact, all those tyrants based their murderous political ideologies on Darwin’s theory and the ‘ANTI-morality’ inherent therein.

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their Atheistic ideology – July 2020
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-on-the-relationship-between-darwinism-and-totalitarianism/#comment-707831

    Moreover, not only is Darwinian morality at ‘war’ with Christian morality, but it also turns out that Darwinian morality is at ‘war’ with the science itself.

    Namely, if evolution by natural selection were actually the truth about how all life came to be on Earth then the only life that should be around should be extremely small organisms with the highest replication rate, and with the most ‘mutational firepower’, since only they, (since they greatly outclass multi-cellular organism in terms of ‘reproductive success’ and ‘mutational firepower’), would be fittest to survive in the dog eat dog world where ‘blind pitiless’ evolution ruled and only the ‘strongest’ are allowed to survive.

    The logic of “Darwinian morality’, (or shall we say the ‘illogic’ of Darwinian morality), is nicely summed up in this following Richard Dawkins’ video:

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62031.html

    In other words, since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful, and highly efficient, reproduction be realistically ‘selected’ for? As Darwin himself stated, “every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers;”

    “every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers;”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – pg. 66

    The logic of natural selection is nicely and simply illustrated on the following graph:

    The Logic of Natural Selection – graph
    http://recticulatedgiraffe.wee.....35.jpg?308

    As you can see in the preceding graph, any other function besides successful, and efficient, reproduction, such as much slower sexual reproduction, sight, hearing, abstract thinking, and especially altruistic behavior (i.e. the ‘strong’ taking care of the ‘weak’), would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successful reproduction, and should, on a Darwinian view of things, be discarded, and/or ‘eaten’, by bacteria, and/or viruses, as so much excess baggage since it obviously would slow down successful reproduction.

    Yet, contrary to this central anti-moral ‘survival of the fittest’ assumption that lies behind Darwinian theory, instead of eating us, time after time we find micro-organisms helping each other, and us, in ways that have nothing to with their own ‘survival of the fittest’’ concerns.

    The following researchers, since it directly contradicted Darwinian assumptions, said that they were ‘banging our heads against the wall’ by the mutual cooperation that they had found amongst bacteria. They even went so far as to state, ,,, “Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”

    Doubting Darwin: Algae Findings Surprise Scientists – April 28, 2014
    Excerpt: One of Charles Darwin’s hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true.
    Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin’s theory — at least in one case.
    “It was completely unexpected,” says Bradley Cardinale, associate professor in the University of Michigan’s school of natural resources & environment. “When we saw the results, we said ‘this can’t be.”‘ We sat there banging our heads against the wall. Darwin’s hypothesis has been with us for so long, how can it not be right?”
    The researchers ,,,— were so uncomfortable with their results that they spent the next several months trying to disprove their own work. But the research held up.,,,
    The scientists did not set out to disprove Darwin, but, in fact, to learn more about the genetic and ecological uniqueness of fresh water green algae so they could provide conservationists with useful data for decision-making. “We went into it assuming Darwin to be right, and expecting to come up with some real numbers for conservationists,” Cardinale says. “When we started coming up with numbers that showed he wasn’t right, we were completely baffled.”,,,
    Darwin “was obsessed with competition,” Cardinale says. “He assumed the whole world was composed of species competing with each other, but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. They don’t grow as well unless you put them with another species. It may be that nature has a heck of a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected.
    “,,, Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”
    http://www.livescience.com/452.....f-bts.html

    And as the following study found, “‘survival of the friendliest’ outweighs ‘survival of the fittest’ for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if it benefits the bacterial community as a whole.”

    Friendly bacteria collaborate to survive – 10 October 2019
    Excerpt: New microbial research at the University of Copenhagen suggests that ‘survival of the friendliest’ outweighs ‘survival of the fittest’ for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if it benefits the bacterial community as a whole. The discovery is a major step towards understanding complex bacteria interactions and the development of new treatment models for a wide range of human diseases and new green technologies.
    https://news.ku.dk/all_news/2019/10/friendly-bacteria-collaborate-to-survive/

    Again, this ‘survival of the friendliest’ is, morally and scientifically speaking, directly contrary to Charles Darwin’s primary ‘general law’ of his theory of “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    Moreover, to dive a little bit deeper into the molecular level of life, the ‘scientific’ falsification of the Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ morality occurs at the molecular level too.

    Richard Dawkins’s ‘selfish gene’ concept is more of less directly based on Darwin’s own ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking about competition. Yet genes are now found to be anything but ‘selfish’ as Dawkins himself held. Instead of being ‘selfish’, genes are now found to be exist in an extensive holistic web of mutual interdependence and cooperation (which is the very antithesis of Richard Dawkins’s entire ‘selfish gene’ concept).

    What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? – JUN 16, 2017
    Excerpt: If you told a modern geneticist that a complex trait—whether a physical characteristic like height or weight, or the risk of a disease like cancer or schizophrenia—was the work of just 15 genes, they’d probably laugh. It’s now thought that such traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert. The vast majority of them have only tiny effects, but together, they can dramatically shape our bodies and our health. They’re weak individually, but powerful en masse.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/its-like-all-connected-man/530532/

    Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait – June 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Mutations of a single gene are behind sickle cell anemia, for instance, and mutations in another are behind cystic fibrosis.
    But unfortunately for those who like things simple, these conditions are the exceptions. The roots of many traits, from how tall you are to your susceptibility to schizophrenia, are far more tangled. In fact, they may be so complex that almost the entire genome may be involved in some way,,,
    One very early genetic mapping study in 1999 suggested that “a large number of loci (perhaps > than 15)” might contribute to autism risk, recalled Jonathan Pritchard, now a geneticist at Stanford University. “That’s a lot!” he remembered thinking when the paper came out.
    Over the years, however, what scientists might consider “a lot” in this context has quietly inflated. Last June, Pritchard and his Stanford colleagues Evan Boyle and Yang Li (now at the University of Chicago) published a paper about this in Cell that immediately sparked controversy, although it also had many people nodding in cautious agreement. The authors described what they called the “omnigenic” model of complex traits. Drawing on GWAS analyses of three diseases, they concluded that in the cell types that are relevant to a disease, it appears that not 15, not 100, but essentially all genes contribute to the condition. The authors suggested that for some traits, “multiple” loci could mean more than 100,000.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/omnigenic-model-suggests-that-all-genes-affect-every-complex-trait-20180620/

    Gene Pleiotropy Roadblocks Evolution by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. – Dec. 8, 2016
    Excerpt: Before the advent of modern molecular biology, scientists defined a gene as a single unit of inheritance. If a gene was found to influence multiple externally visible traits, it was said to be pleiotropic—a term first used in 1910.2 During this early period of genetic discovery, pleiotropy was considered to be quite rare because scientists assumed most genes only possessed a single function—a simplistic idea that remained popular throughout most of the 20th century. However, as our understanding of genetics grew through DNA science, it became clear that genes operate in complex interconnected networks. Furthermore, individual genes produce multiple variants of end products with different effects through a variety of intricate mechanisms.2,3 Taken together, these discoveries show that pleiotropy is a common feature of nearly every gene.,,,
    The pleiotropy evolution problem is widely known among secular geneticists, but rarely discussed in the popular media. In this new research report, the authors state, “Many studies have provided evidence for the ability of pleiotropy to constrain gene evolution.”,,,
    “Our study provided supportive evidence that pleiotropy constraints the evolution of transcription factors (Tfs).”,,,
    The authors state, “We showed that highly pleiotropic genes are more likely to be associated with a disease phenotype.”,,,
    http://www.icr.org/article/9747

    Such extensive, even astonishing, ‘holistic cooperation’ between genes is, needless to say, the exact polar opposite of being ‘selfish’ as Richard Dawkins had erroneously envisioned genes to be. And I would even hold that, besides scientifically falsifying a central tenet of Darwin’s theory, such holistic cooperation between genes also offers us compelling scientific evidence that morality must be objectively real in order for life to even be possible in the first place.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    But to go even further in establishing the fact that morality must be objectively real in order for life to even be possible in the first place., it is also interesting to note that the highest possible morality within Christian ethics is someone giving his life so that others may live.

    Indeed, that is the central message of Christianity, i.e. Jesus died for us so that we might inherit eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.

    John 15:13
    Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

    Such self sacrificial altruistic behavior, which is central, even defining, to the Christian’s entire view of objective morality, is simply completely antithetical to Darwin’s one ‘general law’ of “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    Yet, if it were not for such self sacrificial altruistic behavior on the molecular level of life, we simply would not even be here to argue whether morality was objectively real or not.

    Specifically, ‘apoptosis’, which means programmed cell death, is a necessary part of embryological development for multicellular organisms.

    Apoptosis in Embryonic Development
    Excerpt: As cells rapidly proliferate during development, some of them undergo apoptosis, which is necessary for many stages in development, including neural development, reduction in egg cells (oocytes) at birth, as well as the shaping of fingers and,, organs in humans and other animals. Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz, and John E. Sulston received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for their work on the genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.
    https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/apoptosis-embryonic-development

    Thus in conclusion, multicellular life would not even exist if the molecular level of life was not based upon the highest, altruistic, moral principles found within Christian Theism of self sacrifice.

    Namely, if cells did not die for the good of other cells during embryonic development, multicellular life, as we know it, simply would not exist.

    In short, the objective existence of altruistic, self-sacrificial, morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible in the first place.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Of supplemental note

    Darwin’s predictions – altruism – Cornelius Hunter
    Conclusions
    “Darwin’s theory of evolution led him to several expectations and predictions, regarding behavior in general, and altruism in particular. We now know those predictions to be false.,,,”
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/altruism

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Notice Dillahunty’s implicit, inescapable underlying appeal to duties to truth and right reason, warrant etc? That’s a clue that objectors to first duties find themselves unable to avoid appealing to what they would overthrow. That is, pervasive first principles that are inescapable and inescapably true. Self evidence, yet again. Our responsible, rational freedom is inescapably morally governed, minds are inherently moral and these first duties are moral first truths that accurately describe reality. KF

    PS: Seversky, that also means these duties are knowable, certain, objective. To try to deny or dismiss them forces one to appeal to them, undercutting the objection instantly. Self-evident by inescapability. One trying to demonstrate from imagined prior principles will run into the same issue, these are prior to proofs and arguments, they are the branch on which we all must sit so it is wise not to try to saw it off. Core moral first truths are objective and frame responsible reason, community life, governance, law and government.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, you too. KF

  9. 9
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Do morality or ethics have any objective existence?

    If they don’t then morality and ethics don’t exist. The concepts of a subjective morality and subjective ethics are total nonsense.

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: In answering the question of whether morality is objective and real, as Christians hold, or whether it is subjective and illusory, as atheists hold, the Christian, due to advances in science, no longer has to rely solely on obviously real moral principles, i.e. that it is objectively wrong to “kill innocent people, or rape babies, or exterminate the Jews”, but can now also appeal to empirical evidence to establish the fact that morality is indeed an objectively real fact of life and that it is not merely subjective and illusory as the atheist holds.

    Which makes me wonder why it is that different Christians disagree on some moral issues/topics? Both in the current day and compared to their historical antecedents.

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    Do morality or ethics have any objective existence?

    If they don’t then morality and ethics don’t exist. The concepts of a subjective morality and subjective ethics are total nonsense.

    I guess that must hold for pornography too. I’m sure Justice Potter Stewart would have liked to have had you advising him in 1964.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL: “Which makes me wonder why it is that different Christians disagree on some moral issues/topics?”

    Well, while minor moral issues are certainly debated within the Christian community, I will take it as a self-evidently true fact that anybody claiming to be a Christian who kills innocent people, rapes babies, or exterminates Jews, is obviously not a real Christian. i.e. “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

    2 Timothy 3:2-5
    For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!

    Moreover, I note that JVL did not address the meat of my argument but instead digressed.

    Once again, the meat of my argument for the objective reality of morality is the fact that, as stated in post 6,,,

    multicellular life would not even exist if the molecular level of life was not based upon the highest, altruistic, moral principles found within Christian Theism of self sacrifice.

    Namely, if cells did not die for the good of other cells during embryonic development, multicellular life, as we know it, simply would not exist.

    In short, the objective existence of altruistic, self-sacrificial, morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible in the first place.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/5

    In answering the question of whether morality is objective and real, as Christians hold, or whether it is subjective and illusory, as atheists hold, the Christian, due to advances in science, no longer has to rely solely on obviously real moral principles, i.e. that it is objectively wrong to “kill innocent people, or rape babies, or exterminate the Jews”, but can now also appeal to empirical evidence to establish the fact that morality is indeed an objectively real fact of life and that it is not merely subjective and illusory as the atheist holds.

    I am not aware of any advance in science that has supported the existence of an objective morality.

    We can hold that rape and murder are breaches of our common moral code without any need for it to be objective. All that is required is that we agree that we would rather not be raped or murdered and would rather that it didn’t happen to those we love or, indeed, any other human being.

    Otherwise, it sounds like you are saying you would not know rape or murder are bad things unless your God had told you. Is that what you are really saying?

    Most people think that the atheist’s view of morality is just one of, as Dawkins himself put it, ‘pitiless indifference’,

    Dawkins was talking about how the Universe appears to be, not morality.

    As Charles Darwin himself put the one defining ‘general law’ of his theory, “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    You seem to have difficulty in distinguishing between a description of how things are observed to be and recommendations on how we should behave towards one another. Both Darwin and Dawkins explicitly disavowed survival of the fittest as a moral basis for human society.

    Moreover, not only is Darwinian morality at ‘war’ with Christian morality, but it also turns out that Darwinian morality is at ‘war’ with the science itself.

    Except there is no Darwinian morality. Evolution is about how things are or came to be, not how people should behave. You cannot get ‘ought’ from ‘is’, which is what all this comes down to.

  14. 14
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Well, while minor moral issues are certainly debated within the Christian community . . .

    Some would say that some of the debated issues are far from minor. And, minor or major, the fact that some moral issues are not agreed upon by professed Christians, present and past, seems to imply that there is no clear, objective Christian morality.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/7

    PS: Seversky, that also means these duties are knowable, certain, objective. To try to deny or dismiss them forces one to appeal to them, undercutting the objection instantly. Self-evident by inescapability. One trying to demonstrate from imagined prior principles will run into the same issue, these are prior to proofs and arguments, they are the branch on which we all must sit so it is wise not to try to saw it off. Core moral first truths are objective and frame responsible reason, community life, governance, law and government.

    The text of The Lord of the Rings is knowable with certainty but that does not mean any of the people or places in the narrative have any objective existence.

    I think there is not too much difference between us in terms of what we would regard as immoral behavior. The real difference is the claim by Christians that their morality has some objective foundation because, let’s be clear, when people here talk about objective morality they are not talking about Islam, Buddhism, Taoism or Sikhism, they mean Christianity. In other words, it is an improper attempt by Christianity to annex the moral high ground for themselves.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states,

    I am not aware of any advance in science that has supported the existence of an objective morality.

    Yet Seversky, being a Darwinist, would not know empirical evidence that either validates or falsifies a theory if it bit him on the rear end.

    i.e. All evidence that falsifies core Darwinian precepts is simply ignored by Darwinists, such as Seversky.

    For instance:

    1. Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are now found to be ‘directed’.

    2. Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    3. Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    4. Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    5. Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by the sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    6. Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    7. Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    8. Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as modern versions of it.”

    9. Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    10. Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    11. Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    12. The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    13. Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    14. Darwinists, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    Darwinism vs. Falsification – list and link to defence of each claim
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I6fT6ATY700Bsx2-JSFqL6l-rzXpMcZcZKZfYRS45h4/edit

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL are you claiming that disagreements among Christians over moral issues is evidence that objective morality does not really exist?

    If so, you are once again (purposely?) missing the main point of my post,

    To repeat, as stated in post 6,,,

    multicellular life would not even exist if the molecular level of life was not based upon the highest, altruistic, moral principles found within Christian Theism of self sacrifice.

    Namely, if cells did not die for the good of other cells during embryonic development, multicellular life, as we know it, simply would not exist.

    In short, the objective existence of altruistic, self-sacrificial, morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible in the first place.

    Moreover, I could, (directly contrary to Darwinian claims that our lives have no real purpose and meaning), also argue, via biological science, that our lives really do have purpose and meaning by the very fact that it is impossible for Darwinian biologists themselves to do their research without constantly, and illegitimately, using words that directly imply teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/asked-at-reason-magazine-how-much-science-research-is-fraudulent/#comment-734700

    i.e. if purpose and meaning really do not exist for our lives, as Darwinists claim, then why in blue blazes is it impossible for Darwinian biologists to do their research without constantly, and illegitimately, using words that directly imply teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose?

    This stunning disconnect between the claims and actions on the part of Darwinists is, for all intents and purposes, a direct contradiction in logic on the part of Darwinists that renders their claim for a purposeless existence null and void.

  18. 18
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: JVL are you claiming that disagreements among Christians over moral issues is evidence that objective morality does not really exist?

    I’m suggesting it’s compelling evidence that there is no clear, objective Christian moral standard. Your arguments that one exists dodge addressing this point.

    If you cannot address all of the criticisms then, perhaps, your hypothesis is not correct.

    i.e. if purpose and meaning really do not exist for our lives, as Darwinists claim, then why in blue blazes is it impossible for Darwinian biologists to do their research without constantly, and illegitimately, using words that directly imply teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose?

    I don’t think that detecting possible patterns in data and testing those patterns to see under what conditions they hold up implies any kind of teleology; especially because sometimes the suspected patterns turn out to be false. What does that say about your assumption of underlying theology? Sometimes it’s wrong? If it’s wrong sometimes then can it said to be overall true?

    Anyway, back to my point: Christians can’t seem to agree on what their objective moral standard is. I can’t argue against something you cannot exhibit.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever JVL, you apparently want to argue over disagreements some Christians have on morality rather than if objective morality exists or not,,,, which is what the post is about, which reveals that you yourself really have an anti-Christian agenda rather than any desire to seek the truth of if objective morality exists or not.

    You also claim that Darwinists are not really illegitimately using words that directly imply teleology. That is a patently false claim.

    “Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her.”
    J. B. S. Haldane

    So again, whatever JVL,

    I will let my posts stand as written, I see nothing of any substance coming from you that comes anywhere near refuting the claims I made, via biological science, for the existence of objective morality, and for real purpose and meaning for our lives..

  20. 20
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Whatever JVL, you apparently want to argue over disagreements some Christians have on morality rather than if objective morality exists or not,,,, which is what the post is about, which reveals that you yourself really have an anti-Christian agenda rather than any desire to seek the truth of if objective morality exists or not.

    I’m wondering how an objective morality could exist if those who believe it exists cannot agree on what it says. Can you address that point please.

    You also claim that Darwinists are not really illegitimately using words that directly imply teleology. That is a patently false claim.

    I said I don’t see how pattern recognition and testing the proposed patterns has anything to do with teleology. You pick and choose quotes that support your view without actually addressing my particular points.

    I will let my posts stand as written, I see nothing of any substance coming from you that comes anywhere near refuting the claims I made, via biological science, for the existence of objective morality, and for real purpose and meaning for our lives..

    Again, if there is an objective morality then why is there no universal agreement as to what it says? You can’t just keep saying one exists if you can’t definitively state what it says beyond any doubt for a given issue. Consider this: why are there so many different Christian denominations and branches if they are all referencing the same, universal, common, objective morality? Shouldn’t there only be one church, one doctrine?

    Again, exploring possible patterns has nothing to do with design. Think about mathematics. I think mathematics is universal and true everywhere at all times. Do you think the fact there there are discoverable theorems and results (not appealing to any kind of deity) means the whole system had to be designed? If so that means there must be at least one other way mathematics could be set up. Can you suggest another way math could work?

    Cherry picking quotes doesn’t address the questions. You’ve convinced yourself but that doesn’t mean you’re correct.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    As I said, I’ll let my post stand as written, I see nothing of any substance coming from you that comes anywhere near refuting the points I made.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, strawman. Oddly, to make your objection (which is indirectly against first duties of reason) you implicitly appealed to said first duties, again inadvertently showing that they are inescapable, inescapably true — so, certain, objective and known — first principles of responsible reason. KF

  23. 23
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: As I said, I’ll let my post stand as written, I see nothing of any substance coming from you that comes anywhere near refuting the points I made.

    If you’re happy to not address my queries: how can there be an objective, moral code when no one can agree on what it says AND how is testing perceived patterns for robustness theleological; then I’m happy to agree you chose not to even attempt to answer those things. Plus you can’t even begin to explain if math is designed how it could have been designed differently. You just assert things and then avoid dealing with uncomfortable issues that cast doubt on your faith-based assertions.

    Again, here’s a mathematical example. It has been proven that any map can be coloured so that no ‘country’ borders another country with the same colour with at most four colours. Now, do you seriously think that some designer sat down with their advisors and thought: gosh, how many colours should it be? Three? Four? Five seems better . . . hmm . . . how do we pick?

  24. 24
    vividbleau says:

    JVL

    “ how can there be an objective, moral code when no one can agree on what it says “

    Since when does disagreement about something’s objective existence mean it does not objectively exist?

    Vivid

  25. 25
    Seekers says:

    JVL,

    What is your definition of teleology?

  26. 26
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @19,

    “Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her.”
    J. B. S. Haldane

    I love that quote! So honest for a change.

    The fact is that objective morality was delivered to us in Torah, including the 10 Commandments.

    Certainly other societies came up with similar codes, demonstrating a very fundamental human desire for some basic universal truths.

    But there are indeed more subjective expressions of morality often expressed in societal norms such as monogamy and etiquette. In addition, there are personal convictions that are no less sincerely and deeply held, such as being a vegetarian, not drinking alcohol, or clothing practices.

    I know from a long-time Christian missionary to Papua New Guinea that members of a former headhunting tribe told my friend that even when they were celebrating a great victory over a neighboring tribe and were feasting on their most noble slain warriors, that they could not understand why they always felt bad afterwards. After many of them came to the Christian faith, he let the tribes themselves sort out the details. He only introduced two practices that had the effect of increasing the average lifespan in that tribe about 10 years. Anyone want to guess what they were?

    -Q

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    Vividbleau: Since when does disagreement about something’s objective existence mean it does not objectively exist?

    If it exists then why can it not be produced, demonstrated and why is there disagreement about what it says? Can you produce this objective, moral code? For all cases? Even when many of the faithful cannot agree on what it says?

    Seekers: What is your definition of teleology?

    From Wikipedia: Teleology (from ?????, telos, ‘end’, ‘aim’, or ‘goal,’ and ?????, logos, ‘explanation’ or ‘reason’) or finality is a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal, as opposed to as a function of its cause. A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as the purpose of a fork to hold food, is called extrinsic.

    But, generally, on this forum I use it to mean something explained by the wishes or actions of a deity.

    In response #23 above I meant to say “theological” when I typed “theleogical” which clearly doesn’t make sense.

  28. 28
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    “If it exists then why can it not be produced”

    Hers is a novel idea , how about answering my question?

    Vivid

  29. 29
    Querius says:

    Vividbleau @24,

    Since when does disagreement about something’s objective existence mean it does not objectively exist?

    Obviously, this question requires a theleological answer (snicker) assuming that anything that’s non-materialistic by definition does not actually “exist” in fact. Elements in this set include

    – Love
    – Faith
    – Justice
    – Logic
    – Mathematics . . .

    -Q

  30. 30
    Seekers says:

    JVL,

    Thanks for clearing that up. I did see the typo and presumed it meant teleological, but thanks none the less for clarifying.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    To clean up any confusion that JVL, (purposely 🙂 ), tried to create about the impossibility of biologists doing their research without constantly, and illegitimately, using words that directly imply teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose, I will list a few notes:

    In the following article Stephen Talbott challenges biologists to “pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness”,

    The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014
    Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”.
    Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1.
    One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself.
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ell_23.htm

    Denis Noble, Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Oxford, also stated that “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”

    “the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.
    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
    – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    This working biologist agrees with Talbott and Noble’s assessment and states, “in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.”

    Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011
    Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.
    Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on.
    – Matthew
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-8858161

    Moreover, the following 2020 research article found that, “teleological concepts cannot be abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power, life is inherently teleological.”

    Metaphor and Meaning in the Teleological Language of Biology Annie L. Crawford – August 2020
    Abstract:
    Excerpt: However, most discussions regarding the legitimacy of teleological language in biology fail to consider the nature of language itself. Since conceptual language is intrinsically metaphorical, teleological language can be dismissed as decorative if and only if it can be replaced with alternative metaphors without loss of essential meaning. I conclude that, since teleological concepts cannot be abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power, life is inherently teleological.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/biologists-cant-stop-using-purpose-driven-language-because-life-really-is-designed/

    Moreover, to make their illegitimate use of teleological language all the more devastating for Darwinists, it turns out that it is the ‘narrative gloss’ of evolution itself that can be readily jettisoned from, and/or replaced in, research papers without negatively effecting the scientific research of the papers.

    As the late Philip Skell pointed out, “In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core.”

    “In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.,,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005

    And as the following article found, after they jettisoned the ‘narrative gloss’ of Darwinian explanations, the science in papers “not only survived, but proved healthier and more useful.”

    No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology? – December 4, 2019
    If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts, (“Darwin-ectomy”), should make research incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage.,,,
    So, here are three papers in America’s premier science journal that appear at first glance to need Darwinism, use Darwinism, support Darwinism, and thereby impart useful scientific knowledge. After subjecting them to Darwin-ectomies, though, the science not only survived, but proved healthier and more useful.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/12/no-harm-no-foul-what-if-darwinism-were-excised-from-biology/

    In short, unlike their use of teleological language, the ‘narrative gloss’ of Darwinian explanations simply is not needed in order for researchers to do their research into biology.

    Indeed, Darwinian ideas simply have not advanced any fields of science.

    As Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, stated, “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    – Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    And as Adam S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, stated, “”While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.”

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.”
    – Adam S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    Shoot, even arch-Darwinist Jerry Coyne himself honestly admitted that Darwinian ideas have been, basically, useless in so far as advancing any science:

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).)

    Thus JVL can deny the crucial, and illegitimate, dependence that Darwinists have on teleological language all he wants, but the fact of the matter is that there is no escaping their illegitimate use of teleological language in biological research.

    Whereas, on the other hand, the ‘narrative gloss’ of Darwinian explanations can be easily stripped away without any loss of explanatory power, in fact, as was shown in one of the articles I cited, removing the ‘narrative gloss’ of Darwinian explanations actually makes the science “healthier and more useful.”

    In summary, the teleological nature, i.e. goal directed purpose, of the very words that Biologists themselves are forced to use when they are describing their biological research falsifies Darwinian evolution and provides compelling evidence that life is indeed infused with meaning and purpose.

    Moreover, since biological life is itself, from top to bottom, infused with ‘goal directed purpose’, then that means that we ourselves can be extremely confident that our own lives must necessarily have a deeper purpose and meaning to them, and that our live are not completely meaningless and purposeless as Darwinists hold.

    Matthew 12:37
    for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

  32. 32
    ET says:

    There are disagreements over written laws. Does that mean those written laws don’t exist?

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    I guess that must hold for pornography too.

    Your guess is not an argument. But yes, pornography exemplifies a loss of morals and ethics.

    I’m sure Justice Potter Stewart would have liked to have had you advising him in 1964.

    Doubtful. I was only 6.

  34. 34
    Seekers says:

    Bornagain77,

    Thank you for the detailed comment and links to additional source’s much appreciated.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, did you notice how your objections implicitly appeal to and require the generally acknowledged, binding force, of duties to truth, to right reason, to warrant and broader prudence, to sound conscience etc? Have you noticed that this pattern consistently happens with those who argue or infer that it is objectively true on the subject matter of morality, that there are no objective truths regarding morality? Kindly, tell us whether or not these are inconsistencies on the part of those so objecting, and why. KF

  36. 36
    Bob O'H says:

    I’m sure Justice Potter Stewart would have liked to have had you advising him in 1964.

    Doubtful. I was only 6.

    And your advice probably wouldn’t have been any worse.

    Sorry, cheap shot. But my point was that the decision about whether anything is pornographic is subjective (as Judge Stewart) was acknowledging. In which case, it does not exist by your statement. It’s weird that you agree with me, especially as you then say that the now non-existent pornography “exemplifies a loss of morals and ethics.” From which I can only conclude that anything that “exemplifies a loss of morals and ethics” does not exist (at least according to you), and that we live in an exceedingly Panglossian world.

  37. 37
    JVL says:

    Vividbleau: Hers is a novel idea , how about answering my question?

    Why faff around with semantics? Obviously the objective truth about some things that objectively exist is disputed; just look at cosmology. But someone is claiming something so it seems to me that the easiest resolution for the discussion is to just produce the objective moral truth that is claimed to exist.

    Bornagain77: Thus JVL can deny the crucial, and illegitimate, dependence that Darwinists have on teleological language all he wants, but the fact of the matter is that there is no escaping their illegitimate use of teleological language in biological research.

    If their use is “illegitimate” are you saying that teleology has no place in biology? 🙂 Anyway, language is a crude tool for communicating scientific truths. Even mathematics has its limits. I think you’re grasping at straws, cherry-picking certain phrases and usages in an attempt to force a philosophical view when that view is not required to explain the scientific process.

    ET: There are disagreements over written laws. Does that mean those written laws don’t exist?

    Hey, if someone wants to present their objective moral code I’d love it! Then we could see what it actually says.

    KF: JVL, did you notice how your objections implicitly appeal to and require the generally acknowledged, binding force, of duties to truth, to right reason, to warrant and broader prudence, to sound conscience etc? Have you noticed that this pattern consistently happens with those who argue or infer that it is objectively true on the subject matter of morality, that there are no objective truths regarding morality? Kindly, tell us whether or not these are inconsistencies on the part of those so objecting, and why.

    Hey, I’m not the one making a claim. I’m merely asking: how can there be an objective moral standard when no one can agree what it says about certain topics? Perhaps you’d like to address that issue?

    Oh, by the way . . . from Wikipedia’s article on Dr Fred Hoyle:

    While having no argument with the Lemaître theory (later confirmed by Edwin Hubble’s observations) that the universe was expanding, Hoyle disagreed on its interpretation. He found the idea that the universe had a beginning to be pseudoscience, resembling arguments for a creator, “for it’s an irrational process, and can’t be described in scientific terms” (see Kalam cosmological argument). Instead, Hoyle, along with Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi (with whom he had worked on radar in the Second World War), in 1948 began to argue for the universe as being in a “steady state” and formulated their Steady State theory. The theory tried to explain how the universe could be eternal and essentially unchanging while still having the galaxies we observe moving away from each other. The theory hinged on the creation of matter between galaxies over time, so that even though galaxies get further apart, new ones that develop between them fill the space they leave. The resulting universe is in a “steady state” in the same manner that a flowing river is—the individual water molecules are moving away but the overall river remains the same.

    And yes, let’s remember, he was a staunch supporter of some kind of intelligent design.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, whether something is or is not sexually prurient, exploitive, degrading, victimising, contributing to moral turpitude etc has an element of judgement, i.e. prudence in it — as does anything of consequence engaged at professional level. At the same time, just to make your appeal you are unable but to implicitly turn on known duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, fairness and justice, etc. That inescapability regarding Ciceronian first duties of reason . . . see De Legibus . . . implies inescapable truth, truth that is certain, knowable and objective; which is also of moral character, even, built-in law of our rational, responsible, significantly free human nature. Law that is a pivot of sound civilisation. Indeed, these truths are self-evident and prior to proofs and objections to proofs. If you doubt, try to state your objections without implicitly turning on such appeals. I confidently predict, you cannot. KF

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL:

    I’m not the one making a claim. I’m merely asking: how can there be an objective moral standard when no one can agree what it says about certain topics?

    Do you not notice how many implicit appeals to known first duties of reason are implicit in just this snippet? “I am not making a claim,” is a claim that something is the actual case and implies duty to acknowledge its alleged truth. Obviously, it is an error. The onward implication, that we are duty bound to reason rightly and meet due burdens of proof appeals to duties to right reason, warrant and prudence. All of which further imply appeals to sound conscience, to be responsive to duty. And more.

    Your argument in miniature collapses, inescapably exemplifying what it would object to.

    Next, global or local intersubjective agreement cannot be a sound criterion of truth, warrant, objectivity as there are many cases of agreement in error on one hand and of disagreement where one party does have the better of the case on the merits on the other.

    Where, in fact, I have laid out seven ciceronian first duties that are in fact inescapable in objections and arguments. Your argument in miniature and its embedded claims exemplify precisely those duties. I have pointed to Cicero to note just how long the matter has been on record.

    Where, the now widely touted moral relativism and subjectivism behind the cited argument — while too often taken as a new gospel — are hopelessly self-defeating. I cite:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

    KF

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Hoyle was wrong about his steady state views, not only empirically defeated by microwave background etc. There is a logic of structure and quantity issue that no stepwise, finite stage successive process can span an explicit or implicit transfinite gamut. This is most easily seen by setting the span of reals in the wider span of hyperreals, R*, which will readily lead to the problem of transfinite, stepwise traverse being an unattainable supertask. One can talk about a past that extends without limit, just as one can talk about a square circle. The problem is to actually implement such, frustrated by logic of being issues.

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever JVL, given that you presented nothing other than your own personal opinion to counter my post, (and your personal opinion is, well, your personal opinion), I am quite satisfied to let my clarification of the irresolvable ‘teleological problem’ that Darwinists have with biology stand on its own merits.

    I am quite confident that readers can readily differentiate for themselves who is being forthright and who is blowing smoke.

  42. 42

    Creationism says morality is subjective.

    The morality of any chosen option is in reference to the agency making the choice, the spirit. Which spirit is inherently subjective. And subjective meaning that it can only be identified with a chosen opinion.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    People may be confused that subjective means fantasized. There is just a part of reality that is subjective, the part that makes the choices. It’s not the same as fantasy.

    Then there are the atheists who redefine subjectivity without reference to the inherently subjective spirit. The atheist idea of subjetivity is meaningless, it is just a subcategory of objectivity.

  43. 43
    Origenes says:

    What does it mean for morality & ethics to have an “objective existence”?

    Two possible answers to that question:

    A: Morality & ethics act upon us from a realm independent from us; in a way similar to how physical laws operate. Their existence is not ‘carried’ by us; it is independent from us.

    B: Morality & ethics come from us, it is what we all agree on, given a certain level of social awareness. It is very similar as to how we all agree on “I think therefore I am”, “2 + 2 = 4”, “A = A”, and so on.

    I strongly disagree with the notion that option B is necessarily ‘subjective’. I would argue that we all arrive at roughly the same moral laws—— given a certain level of social awareness——, just as we all arrive at the same mathematical and logical truths——given a certain level of intellectual awareness. This is how things work, because, at a fundamental level, we are all similar beings.

    “I think therefor I am” is beyond my subjective opinion. I exist objectively. However, this knowledge certainly does not come from a realm independent from me. This is the crux of my argument: knowledge does not have to come from a source independent from me, in order for it to be “objective”. On the contrary, this objective knowledge springs from and is ‘carried’ by me.

  44. 44

    @Origenes, and all the rest. You are just displaying a dislike, rejection, and ignorance, of subjectivity in general.

    How subjectivity works can be found, by looking at the rules used with subjective words in common discourse, like the word “beautiful”.

    You cannot just fantasize how subjectivity works, or fantasize how objectivity works. We already have rules in common discourse, follow the rules!

  45. 45
    jerry says:

    From over 15 years ago

    I have often said here that if ID ever wins the day then the real food fight would begin. It would be a religious debate and this site would then be of no use so it would take place elsewhere. But such debates have been going on for over 2000 years so it would not be new.

    Arguing there is no truth is much different than arguing we can not discern the truth. The latter leads to endless non ending discussions. But is much different that being able to argue that certain beliefs/approaches lead to much better outcomes as opposed to believing nothing is objective leads to a better outcome.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ernst-mayr-at-the-millennium-a-study-in-misplaced-triumphalism/#comment-50559. That was over 680,000 comments ago.

    People over the ages have choses the approach that certain beliefs lead to much better outcomes. Few thought they were perfect beliefs.

    Maybe this world is designed to have such a situation. That is there can never be perfect agreement on what is.

  46. 46
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    “Obviously the objective truth about some things that objectively exist is disputed; just look at cosmology”

    Then to put forth the objection “how can there be an objective, moral code when no one can agree on what it says “is a waste of bandwidth.

    Vivid

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, to so object JVL inescapably appeals to Ciceronian first duties of reason, as I noted. The self referentiality is fatal. KF

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes at 43, in regards to the claim that “Morality & ethics act upon us from a realm independent from us”, it might interest you to know that Immanuel Kant held the moral argument for God to be one of the most powerful arguments for the existence of God, but also held that, “the objective reality of the Idea of God, as moral author of the world, cannot be established by physical purposes alone. But nevertheless, if the cognition of these (physical) purposes is combined with moral purposes, they are of great importance to the practical reality of the Idea (of God).”

    “the objective reality of the Idea of God, as moral author of the world, cannot be established by physical purposes alone. But nevertheless, if the cognition of these (physical) purposes is combined with moral purposes, they are of great importance to the practical reality of the Idea (of God).”
    – God, Immanuel Kant, Richard Dawkins, and the Quantum. – 8:03 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/EQOwMX4bCqk?t=483

    In short, as Dr Suarez explained in the video, Kant’s requirement for the moral argument for God to be considered valid was that influences could somehow arise from outside space-time.

    And as Dr. Saurez also demonstrated, via advances in quantum mechanics, Kant’s requirement that influences could somehow arise from outside space-time for the moral argument for God to be considered valid has now been met via quantum non-locality.

    But to go even further than ‘just’ proving that influences can arise from outside space-time, (and thus meeting Kant’s requirement for the moral argument for God to be considered valid), and to add even more weight that God is the ‘moral author of the world’, in the following study it was found that. “Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional” and that “People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental”.

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....brain.html

    Although that is pretty good as far as it goes, Kant’s requirement for the moral argument to be considered valid was that (moral) influences could arise from outside space-time.

    And although quantum non-locality, as Dr. Suarez noted in his video, certainly establishes the fact that influences can arise outside of space-time, Kant’s requirement has been met in an even more, shall we say, ‘direct’ fashion.

    Specifically, in the following study, when subjects were randomly shown violent or sexual images on a computer screen, the researchers “found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli (appeared on the screen).”

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response. They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    Moreover, the following meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010 found that, when testing “arousing vs. neutral stimuli” that “if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes, (of ‘arousing’ stimuli), between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,”

    Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue? (meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010) – (Oct. 22, 2012)
    Excerpt: A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones, for example, can’t hear when his or her boss is coming around the corner.
    But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,,
    This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
    “I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,'” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....145342.htm

    And here is a link to the meta-analysis itself so you can see for yourself just how strong the conclusion for ‘anomalous anticipatory activity’ actually is,

    Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: a meta-analysis – 2012
    Excerpt: This meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010 tests an unusual hypothesis: for stimuli of two or more types that are presented in an order designed to be unpredictable and that produce different post-stimulus physiological activity, the direction of pre-stimulus physiological activity reflects the direction of post-stimulus physiological activity, resulting in an unexplained anticipatory effect.,,,
    To avoid including data hand-picked from multiple different analyses, no post hoc experiments were considered. The results reveal a significant overall effect with a small effect size ,,,, Higher quality experiments produced a quantitatively larger effect size and a greater level of significance than lower quality studies. The number of contrary unpublished reports that would be necessary to reduce the level of significance to chance (p > 0.05) was conservatively calculated to be 87 reports.
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00390/full

    Thus, Kant’s criteria for accepting the validity of the moral argument for God has now been met on two levels. First, it has been met by showing that there are indeed influences arising from outside space-time as he had stipulated, and secondly, and more importantly, it has been more ‘dramatically’ met by showing that the human body itself possesses moral intuitions that transcend space and time.

    Moreover, in the preceding paper one of the researchers remarked that ‘we can’t explain (the anticipatory activity of the body) using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent ‘quantum biological findings’ could potentially make sense.’… And indeed, exactly as she thought, ‘quantum biological findings’ do indeed shed light how it might be possible for the body to anticipate morally troubling situations before they even happen.

    In fact, as this following video shows,,

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    ,,, not only do ‘quantum biological findings’ shed light on how ‘anomalous anticipatory activity” can be possible, but ‘quantum biological findings’ go much further than that and establish that humans possess a transcendent ‘quantum’ component to their being on the molecular level of their material bodies that is not reducible to materialistic explanations.

    That is to say, findings from quantum biology now give us experimental evidence strongly suggesting we do indeed have a transcendent ‘soul’ that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies just as Christians have held all along.

    Specifically, in the following 2015 paper entitled, “Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules” it was found that “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,”

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    Finding quantum correlations to be present “in a wide range of important biomolecules” is simply astonishing, as well as being completely unexpected, and devastating, to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists.

    As the following article states, “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Moreover, it is also important to realize that quantum information is conserved. As the following article states, ‘In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.’

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, ‘in every important biomolecule’ in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.

    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    As Stuart Hameroff states in the following article, “the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark) (of note, this video is, unfortunately, no longer available for public viewing)
    https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/10/life-after-death-soul-science-morgan-freeman/

    Thus in conclusion, the moral argument for God does now indeed have some fairly impressive empirical evidence behind it that satisfies Kant’s criteria of a beyond space and time influence.

    Moreover the empirical evidence that provided a ‘quantum mechanism’ to satisfy Kant’s criteria for how we possibly could have a moral intuition that transcends space and time, also ends up providing fairly strong empirical evidence for a transcendent component to our being, i.e. evidence for a ‘soul’, that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    All in all, the Christian Theist is, once again, found to be sitting pretty as far as empirical science itself is concerned, and the Darwinian atheist is, once again, found to be left holding nothing but his irrational animosity towards a Being, i.e. God. he claims not to believe in, (i.e. the atheist is very much like someone claiming not to believe in pink unicorns, but none-the-less, harboring a deep animosity towards them. 🙂 )

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  50. 50
    Origenes says:

    @ 44 Mohammadnursyamsu

    According to you there are some simple rules to follow. Enlighten me. Is my knowledge that I exist objective or subjective knowledge —— and why?
    If that knowledge is subjective, I put it to you that all knowledge is subjective, and that “objective” has lost its meaning.

  51. 51

    @Origenes
    Look at the following scheme:

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    You as being a decisionmaker, belong in category 1. The spirit making choices is subjective. You as being a creation, the created body, are objective, category number 2.

    Remembering that subjective means, that it can only be identified with a chosen opinion, and objective means that it is identified with a 1 to 1 corresponding model.

    That’s how it works in common discourse. That is the logic underlying ordinary subjective statements, like to say, “I find this painting beautiful”, and ordinary objective statements, like to say, “there is a camel out back”.

    Again, don’t fantasize anything about how it works, only follow the rules used in common discourse.

  52. 52
    Origenes says:

    @51
    You didn’t answer my specific question.

    Is “I exist” a subjective or an objective statement —— and why?

    And BTW I am not really interested in following the rules of some alledged common discourse, especially when they don’t make much sense.

  53. 53
    JVL says:

    Vividbleau: Then to put forth the objection “how can there be an objective, moral code when no one can agree on what it says “is a waste of bandwidth”.

    The two communities are fundamentally different in their practices and assumptions.

    Any honest scientist will admit that all scientific knowledge is provisional, subject to new data and measurements. So, the idea that our current ideas and models are only our current best approximations of some not-fully-understood complete objective truth is baked in, it’s part of the standard operating procedures.

    But those who propose that there is some unchanging and objective moral standard don’t argue or reason that way. Maybe not all of them but a lot of them argue that they KNOW a) there is such an objective moral yardstick (not shown) and b) they know what it says. There is no acknowledgement that their proposed standard might be situational or change based on data or current conditions. In that realm that’s not ‘objective’; that’s relative and situational and subjective.

    So, again, where is this unchanging, objective, eternal moral standard? And why do so many people who think it exists disagree on what it says?

    My reason for bringing up Dr Hoyle is to show that at least one very intelligent, very ID-sympathetic cosmologist believed in an infinite past. To become a physicist of any kind requires a pretty high level of mathematical ability. Perhaps some of you would like to answer some of his arguments?

  54. 54
    JVL says:

    Here’s another way to think about it:

    If a physicist said: I have a unified field theory, it explains everything, it’s objective, it’s logical, it’s true . . . you’d be completely justified in saying: okay, let’s see it.

    And if they couldn’t show you their objective, lock-solid rule what would you think?

    Would it matter if they made lots of arguments saying: this kind of thing must exist, logically it has to exist but they couldn’t actually show you their hypothesis? Would you just buy their argument?

    When you make a claim that you have a all-encompassing, eternally-valid, consistent moral standard but fail to exhibit it I think it’s fair to be skeptical.

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    When you make a claim that you have a all-encompassing, eternally-valid, consistent moral standard but fail to exhibit it I think it’s fair to be skeptical.

    But commenters do.

    Some parts work in all situations. Some work in most situations. Because it’s not 100% perfect, does not mean it doesn’t exist.

    This has all been discussed extensively over the past year and essentially ignored by some here. Look to KF’s OP on natural law as an example.

  56. 56
    JVL says:

    Jerry: But we/commenters do.

    What does your moral standard say about giving women the right to vote? Or letting them run in marathon races?

    Women were not given the right to vote in the US until well into the 20th century.

    Women were not given the right to run in sanctioned marathon races until the 1970s;

    Given your objective moral standard did all religious leaders decry these obvious miscarriages of justice?

    Some parts work in all situations. Some work in most situations. Because it’s not 100% perfect, does not mean it doesn’t exist.

    You added this after I made my comments. And I’m glad for your qualifications. But there is still the question: what is your standard and can we access it when addressing current social issues?

    AND, if it’s not 100% applicable in all cases is it universal? Is it objective? If situations dictate modification then . . .

  57. 57
    jerry says:

    You know you won the argument when the other side brings up women not allowed running in a marathon as an objection.

  58. 58
    JVL says:

    Jerry: You know you won the argument when the other side brings up women not allowed running in a marathon as an objection.

    Nothing like a good-ole misogynistic reply to let you know your opponent has left the field because they can’t be bothered to continue on with issues they brought up.

    It’s typical: people down-play controversies and issues they think don’t matter. Which is part of the problem. And when ever someone says: this matters, we should address it; the reply is: there’s nothin’ here, what’s all the fuss about.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, I find your but you have not shown it ill-founded. For example above, several times, you have had a core frame for moral truth pointed out, the Ciceronian first duties of reason, a summary of core, built in law that . . . once the printing revolution and a cluster of linked developments paved the way . . . as a matter of fact has made a huge contribution to development of modern liberty and constitutional democracy as can be seen from say the 2nd para of the US DoI 1776 (note the reference to laws of nature and nature’s God in para 1) and the antecedent Dutch DoI of 1581. That core frame, as your and other objections show again and again — by inability to avoid implying such appeals to duty to truth, right reason, warrant and broader prudence, sound conscience, neighbour so too fairness and justice etc — is inescapable so inescapably and self-evidently true. Which, is manifestly objective. KF

    PS: On duty to right reason, I clip as a paradigmatic example the slightly later point made by Epictetus, likely in early C2:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    We here see the signature of a first principle, being a branch on which we all must sit.

  60. 60
    jerry says:

    Nothing like a good-ole misogynistic reply

    How is that a misogynistic reply?

    your opponent has left the field

    You left. Interesting that you phrase it as a contest not a quest for understanding.

    reply is: there’s nothin’ here, what’s all the fuss about.

    That’ll what I said.

    Meanwhile you should find KF’s OP on natural law. I will link to it but have been busy.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Here is a summary snippet:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable . . .

    first duties of reason:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding. Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that objectors to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    I suggest, you try to compose an objection that does not imply appeals to said duties: ________ . That may be instructive on the inescapability issue.

  62. 62
    JVL says:

    KF: VL, I find your but you have not shown it ill-founded.

    You have not exhibited precisely what your everlasting, objective moral standard is. You have not explained how it is that many people who profess to believe in an objective moral standard still disagree on some of its implications.

    Show me what your objective moral standard says about women’s right to vote. Or their right to go to university. Or whether woman can be priests or rabbis or imams.

    I suggest, you try to compose an objection that does not imply appeals to said duties: ________ . That may be instructive on the inescapability issue.

    I suggest you engage with some real world issues to see if your ideal, objective standard is up to the challenge.

    Jerry: How is that a misogynistic reply?

    An issue important to women at the time you just dismiss.

    You left. Interesting that you phrase it as a contest not a quest for understanding.

    I’m still here.

    That’ll what I said.

    Exactly. Who cares about some women’s rights?

  63. 63
    jerry says:

    An issue important to women at the time you just dismiss.

    You seem to want to paint someone negatively. You don’t seem to realize what you are doing.

    This issue has an history. I am certainly not recommending women not compete in marathons or vote but it’s a bogus issue.

    Especially since I’m one of the most knowledgeable persons in the country on people’s capability for competing in such events. Given the right testing and training history it is possible to predict a result in a race to within a small degree. For some short races to within less than a second.

    Also not too long ago most men couldn’t vote and few if any could run a marathon safely. I believe the original marathon runner died.

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, I exist, a perception of consciousness, is self-evident and objectively true. KF

  65. 65
    JVL says:

    Jerry: This issue has an history. I am certainly not recommending women not compete in marathons or vote but it’s a bogus issue.

    Really. First off: why were women prohibited from competing? Secondly, why did some of them fight so hard for the right to compete? Or to vote.

    Especially since I’m one of the most knowledgeable persons in the country on people’s capability for competing in such events. Given the right testing and training history it is possible to predict a result in a race to within a small degree. For some short races to within less than a second.

    What does the probability of winning have to do with the right or the desire to compete?

    Also not too long ago most men couldn’t vote and few if any could run a marathon safely. I believe the original marathon runner died.

    Explain to me why women fought so hard, in many countries, against scads of opposition to acquire the right to vote? Do you think they thought: oh well, even men haven’t had that ability until recently, we’ll just wait ’til it’s our turn?

    You keep brushing significant women’s issues aside as if they were insignificant. What’s the problem you keep saying. Hey, they can’t physically match up with men anyway. You’re not saying they shouldn’t vote or run marathons but . . . it’s a bogus issue.

    Why don’t you ask a woman if those are bogus issues?

    Most importantly, ask yourself: why weren’t women granted the same rights as men at the same time?

  66. 66
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @48

    Your link to Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD is 404, but this looks like an interesting experiment!

    -Q

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, again, we have the branch on which we must all sit laid out, indeed listed as the seven specific first duties traceable to Cicero. I took time to give a key case from Epictetus, on right reason. I cannot but note that your erroneous denial appeals to duty to truth etc, itself. KF

    PS: In case you think these are not tied to traditional moral principles, I note an astute observation by St Paul, in Rom 13: “8 . . . the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

    In short neighbour love is the principle behind do no harm/wrong to neighbour, thus unfolds into issues of fairness and justice. Justice being due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Where one may only justly claim a right or freedom if one is manifestly in the right; there is no right to compel another to taint soul by violating sound conscience. From this outline, a whole historical flow unfolds. As say Locke noted from Hooker in his 2nd treatise on civil govt.

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for the heads up Querius, here is a live link:

    Quantum Mind Time Flies (Backwards?)
    https://www.quantumconsciousness.org/content/quantum-mind-time-flies-backwards

    And here is a live link to the experiment

    ANOMALOUS ANTICIPATORY BRAIN ACTIVATION PRECEDING EXPOSURE OF EMOTIONAL AND NEUTRAL PICTURES
    https://www.quantumconsciousness.org/sites/default/files/presentiment_0.pdf

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, kindly note, too, the negative form: “for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless. “

  70. 70
    JVL says:

    KF: In short neighbour love is the principle behind do no harm/wrong to neighbour, thus unfolds into issues of fairness and justice. Justice being due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Where one may only justly claim a right or freedom if one is manifestly in the right; there is no right to compel another to taint soul by violating sound conscience. From this outline, a whole historical flow unfolds. As say Locke noted from Hooker in his 2nd treatise on civil govt.

    Oh, right . . . so woman should have been granted the right to go to university, vote, own property, run a sanctioned marathon at the same time as men. That’s good to know.

    So, why didn’t it happen that way? If there is an eternal and objective moral standard then:

    a) it doesn’t address such important issues.

    b) some people just didn’t understand what it said.

    c) it says something opposite of what most advanced societies now believe.

    It’s your standard so you tell me: what does your objective moral standard specifically say about giving women the same rights as men? I think that’s important don’t you?

    (Personally, I don’t understand how it ever came to be that women were not treated the same way as men. It makes no sense. To me. But considering the historical record it’s clearly been the case for thousands of years that women’s rights have been a subset of men’s rights. I’d just like to know how a proposed objective moral standard addresses that issue.)

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you seem to be unaware of the reformation principle, where in real historical, going concern settings, we have pre existing circumstances. Absent radical utopian imposition which always ends in oppression as radical revolutions since 1789, 1870 and 1917 have underscored, there has to be a slow building of sensitisation and soundnes of conscience, creation of agreed consensus on responsible amelioration or reform etc. At simple level have you forgotten the result of the prohibition experiment in the US? Namely, the Mafia gained a huge boost and the law was brought into disrepute. I suggest that your side tracking issues would be best approached through the reformation principle. And we cannot but notice that the force of inescapable first duties may have been distracted from but are not cogently objected to. KF

    PS: You also conveniently side step centuries of contribution during which those ciceronian first duties as key natural law shaped the emergence of modern liberty and constitutional democracy. Failing to attend to such is a material factor in the breakdown of lawfulness and rise of suicidal nihilism and marches of folly that are increasingly obvious in our time.

  72. 72
    JVL says:

    KF: JVL, you seem to be unaware of the reformation principle, where in real historical, going concern settings, we have pre existing circumstances. Absent radical utopian imposition which always ends in oppression as radical revolutions since 1789, 1870 and 1917 have underscored, there has to be a slow building of sensitisation and soundnes of conscience, creation of agreed consensus on responsible amelioration or reform etc. At simple level have you forgotten the result of the prohibition experiment in the US? Namely, the Mafia gained a huge boost and the law was brought into disrepute. I suggest that your side tracking issues would be best approached through the reformation principle. And we cannot but notice that the force of inescapable first duties may have been distracted from but are not cogently objected to.

    You seem to like to dance around actually discussing what your objective moral standard has to say about current and past issues. If one can’t apply it to real world situations what use is it?

    And by the way: if you think your constant and invariant moral compass took centuries to guide human kind to a kinder and gentler situation that still doesn’t explain why woman had to wait longer than men to be granted some of the same civil rights.

  73. 73
    Sandy says:

    JVL
    If it exists then why can it not be produced, demonstrated and why is there disagreement about what it says? Can you produce this objective, moral code? For all cases? Even when many of the faithful cannot agree on what it says?

    To make an objective moral statement about an objective moral system you have to have in your pocket THE objective moral code. Do you really have something like that? Where from ? 😉

    PS: when you see more moral systems inside Christianity this is the sign that for sure there is an objective moral system out there and there is only one True Christian Church because Christ is ONE. When there are 3 main Christian Churches and (only 2 that come from Apostles and split in 1054) you can’t conclude that because there are 3 Churches that means there is no true Christian Church 🙂 ,a logical conclusion should be there is only one true Christian Church that have continuity from Apostles and hasn’t change fundamentally since then.

  74. 74
    JVL says:

    Sandy: To make an objective moral statement about an objective moral system you have to have in your pocket THE objective moral code. Do you really have something like that? Where from ? ?

    I’m open to persuasion.

    PS: when you see more moral systems inside Christianity this is the sign that for sure there is an objective moral system out there and there is only one True Christian Church . When there are 3 main Christian Churches and ,(only 2 that come from Apostles) you can’t conclude there is no true Christian Church ? ,a logical conclusion should be there is only one true Christian Church that have continuity from Apostles and hasn’t change fundamentally since then.

    So, how can an outsider tell them apart?

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the corrective to radicalism and SJW-ism’s cancel culture, Red Guardism, etc stands. So do the Ciceronian first duties of reason as core to an objective framework of morality, sound community order, law and government. KF

  76. 76
    Sandy says:

    why woman had to wait longer than men to be granted some of the same civil rights.

    BS. There are no “civil rights of women” but actualy are just civil rights of “state” to destroy family and educate the children as they wish. We see the fruits now. With these “civil rights” women lost their way because they were an undestructible power inside family for children and husband. Now they are just crazy blue hair transexual freaks. Children were the main target but for that they had to remove woman from her task of preserving the family and educating the children.

    .

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: BTW as historically demonstrated the 7 Ciceronian principles articulate a global core that governs rational responsible freedom, the ellipsis implies articulation to literally anything. In a sense they are analogous to an axiomatisation, which should be obvious from what they are, the above [e.g. Paul’s elaboration of neighbour love as a microcosm of not only the decalogue but lawfulnes) and the actual course of thousands of years of history. The notion that because these are not a 32k-page EU-like Constitution that tries to capture every conceivable hobby horse, they are not comprehensive, fails. Ponder just how broad and microcosm-like and mutually coherent truth, right reason, prudence including warrant and sound conscience are. KF

  78. 78
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    For someone that rejects the objective existence of a moral code you sure do exhibit a lot of moral indignation LOL. As to rights in your worldview they have no objective existence either or do they? If they don’t well we are left with your opinion ,which your certainly entitled to and ( cough cough) might makes rights.
    Vivid

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    Vivid: “For someone that rejects the objective existence of a moral code you sure do exhibit a lot of moral indignation”

    BINGO!

    That is the same blatant contradiction in logic that William Lane Craig observed in Richard Dawkins’ arguments against objective morality.,

    “Although Dawkins says that there is no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference, the fact is that Dawkins is also a stubborn moralist. For example,,,”
    – Richard Dawkins on the Moral Argument for God: by William Lane Craig
    https://youtu.be/d-OjSKr79aQ?t=65

  80. 80
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @68,

    Thanks for the updated links. The experimental results are astonishing!

    Nevertheless in a reality that includes quantum erasure, perhaps one ought not to be surprised. Still, I find myself grasping for objections.

    -Q

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    Q, and yet that is the beauty of empirical science, the evidence is what it is.

    The meta-analysis that I listed put an exclamation point on the preceding study.

    Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: a meta-analysis – 2012
    Excerpt: This meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010 tests an unusual hypothesis: for stimuli of two or more types that are presented in an order designed to be unpredictable and that produce different post-stimulus physiological activity, the direction of pre-stimulus physiological activity reflects the direction of post-stimulus physiological activity, resulting in an unexplained anticipatory effect.,,,
    To avoid including data hand-picked from multiple different analyses, no post hoc experiments were considered. The results reveal a significant overall effect with a small effect size ,,,, Higher quality experiments produced a quantitatively larger effect size and a greater level of significance than lower quality studies. The number of contrary unpublished reports that would be necessary to reduce the level of significance to chance (p > 0.05) was conservatively calculated to be 87 reports.
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00390/full

    And please note, the more rigorous the study was, the better the results were.

    Not ‘case closed’ evidence quite yet, but still very impressive, and consistent, evidence thus far none-the-less.

    Just for curiosity sake, I looked to see if they continued their study, and I just found this 2018 update to the study:

    Predictive physiological anticipatory activity preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: An update of Mossbridge et al’s meta-analysis – 2018
    Discussion
    This update of the Mossbridge et al. (2012) meta-analysis related to the so called predictive anticipatory activity (PAA) responses to future random stimuli, covers the period January 2008- July 2018. Overall, we found 19 new studies describing a total of 36 effect sizes. Differently from the statistical approach of Mossbridge et al., in this meta-analysis we used a frequentist and a Bayesian multilevel model which allows an analysis of all effect sizes reported within a single study instead of averaging them.
    Both the frequentist and the Bayesian analyses converged on similar results, making our findings quite robust. ,,,
    Conclusion
    This update confirms the main results reported in Mossbridge et al. (2012) original meta-analysis and gives further support to the hypothesis of predictive physiological anticipatory activity of future random events. This phenomenon may hence be considered among the more reliable within those covered under the umbrella term “psi”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124390/

  82. 82
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77,

    Mindblowing! Thanks for the update.

    -Q

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: J C Wright draws out a tad regarding duty to neighbour (in the already linked):

    Moses and Confucius and Christ [–> and Paul!], and every other sage and thinker in antiquity have voiced the moral axiom of the Golden Rule: Do as you would be Done by.

    This is a wise conclusion. If you doubt it, try living your life with a moral and mental rule that the laws that apply to others apply to others only and not to you. Live in a land where everyone adopts the rule that they live with rules that apply only to others, never to themselves. Puzzle over the logic of how a dispute would be solved between two moral actors who both agree the rules only applies to the other: or how any dispute could be solved at all, in the absence of a universal rule equally applied. You will soon become confused and foolish.

    The inability to see wisdom as a valid category of thought—for it is neither arbitrary, nor unreasonable, but neither is it empiricism nor rationalism—has led modern philosophy into blatant folly and paradox.

    In short, the duty of love to neighbour of like rational responsibly free order, with do no harm/wrong and fairness-justice, is coherent and works towards the civil peace of justice. The suggestion also shows how evils parasite on others, bringing out the Kant Categorical Imperative in universalisability form.

    KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: He also comments:

    To sum up: empiricism has categories for statements of “disproved” and “not disproved” and also for “parsimonious” and “not parsimonious.” By means of a faculty other than empirical thought, a scientist invents an account, myth, or model to predict the behavior of matter. If his model contains no more entities than needed, it is “parsimonious.” If the model does not accurately predict the attempted behavior, it is “disproved”. If not, it is “not disproved.” Karl Popper adds the refinement that if there is no possible predicted behavior exists which can register a “disproved” statement, then the model is not science at all. This is empiricism.

    Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Science holds as an axiom, neither to be proved nor disproven in science, the following statement of the empirical axiom: “a parsimonious non-disproved model is true, provisionally.” This is a metaphysical statement, not open to disproof by any empirical means. This is epistemology.

    Unrelated to all this is secularism, a political posture. Secularism promotes indifference to religion, or, at least, that neutrality toward religion is the proper stance for civic and political affairs. It runs in harness with Materialism, which states that nothing outside or above the material world exists, or, if it does exist, no statements about it are open to proof or disproof, or, if they are open to proof, the proofs are of no particular objective value or subjective interest. The first is a political opinion, the second a philosophical statement of ontology: neither one can either be proved or disproved by empirical investigation. They are unrelated to science, even though they pretend to bask in the reputation science radiates.

    Methinks, we have here a person of interest who should be “assisting the police with investigations.”

    We have painted ourselves into a corner and consequences that were brushed aside and dismissed when they were mere warnings are now beginning to stare us down.

    Nihilism and lawlessness, ideological oligarchy of the lawless etc cannot build or sustain a sound civilisation.

    It is time to rethink how we got ourselves painted into this corner.

  85. 85
    JVL says:

    Vividbleau: For someone that rejects the objective existence of a moral code you sure do exhibit a lot of moral indignation LOL.

    I would call it incredulity.

    As to rights in your worldview they have no objective existence either or do they? If they don’t well we are left with your opinion ,which your certainly entitled to and ( cough cough) might makes rights.

    I would say that, sometimes, might makes laws not right.

    Sandy: There are no “civil rights of women” but actualy are just civil rights of “state” to destroy family and educate the children as they wish. We see the fruits now. With these “civil rights” women lost their way because they were an undestructible power inside family for children and husband. Now they are just crazy blue hair transexual freaks. Children were the main target but for that they had to remove woman from her task of preserving the family and educating the children.

    Ummm . . . are you saying giving women the rights to vote, own property, go to university, etc were essentially negative innovations?

  86. 86

    @origenes
    It is apparent to me that the people supporting objective morality, understand nothing about morality.

    If you are not interested in the rules used in common discourse, then don’t use the rules in talking, then talk arbitrary gibberish instead.

    You already have a position, whether you like it or not, the common discourse position. It was forced upon you, it is unavoidable. The logic of subjectivity and objectivity is the same in any language.

    So then you are supposed to research what your actual position is, in investigating common discourse. And from there, from your common discourse position, you can negotiate between it, and other intellectual ideas.

    You cannot just intellectually entertain ideas that are contradictory to common discourse, without even noting that they are contradictory, because that would leave you open to accusations that you are duplicit, and a liar. Which is immorality.

    Saying one thing is true in common discourse, and saying another thing is true intellectually.

  87. 87
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    But my point was that the decision about whether anything is pornographic is subjective (as Judge Stewart) was acknowledging.

    Hard core pornography. The decision pertained to hard core pornography. Clearly you are proud to be clueless.

  88. 88
    ET says:

    The 10 Commandments is a good place to start for objective morality.

  89. 89
    Origenes says:

    @86 Mohammadnursyamsu,

    Dictionary.com:

    Subjective most commonly means based on the personal perspective or preferences of a person—the subject who’s observing something. In contrast, objectivemost commonly means not influenced by or based on a personal viewpoint—based on the analysis of an object of observation only.

    So, here the difference between subjective and objective is the difference between a person “observing” something and a person “analyzing” something.
    First of all, this obviously does not provide a clear distinction.
    Also, given that each person can only operate from a personal perspective, [there is no such thing as a non-personal viewpoint] there is no pathway offered to objectivity.

    It is apparent to me that the people supporting objective morality, understand nothing about morality.

    As I understand it, the pro-objective-morality crowd, argues for moral laws coming from a realm independent from us. This would satisfy one of your cherised common discourse rules, namely that “objective” means not being based on a personal (human) viewpoint.

    p.s. You continue to ignore my specific question.

  90. 90

    @Origenes You don’t seem to be following any rules. You don’t seem to really read my posts, you don’t study what rules are used in common discourse. This all just seems to be about you “emoting” some point of view.

    I already, answered your question, as much as it can be answered. I also already explained objectivity and subjectivity.

    A dictionary definition is not the same as how a word is defined, in actual practical common discourse. These people from the dictionary may just likely be atheists, and define things according to their atheistic ideas, and not according to the meaning in common discourse.

    A (subjective) opinion, like to say a painting is beautiful, is chosen, and expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    An (objective) fact, like to say there is a camel out back, is a 1 to 1 corresponding model of a creation in the mind, forced by the evidence of it.

    You see? Rules. The rules for subjective statements and objective statements, as they are in common discourse, hopefully, accurately reflected by me, and not fantasized by me.

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    ET: The 10 Commandments is a good place to start for objective morality.

    It’s a start but it leaves a lot of issues out. For instance: should women be allowed to vote? Should women be allowed to be ministers or priests? Who should have jurisdiction over ancient remains (a reference to Kenewick Man)?

    Again, a good start but how do you get more granular?

  92. 92
    Sandy says:

    should women be allowed to vote?

    You are naive or evil .
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rtxG93cPlus

    Ummm . . . are you saying giving women the rights to vote, own property, go to university, etc were essentially negative innovations?

    Ummm…what are the results? You are the result of “feminism” …

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you have studiously avoided the response to your shopping list of distractors approach. For the record:

    71: >>you [by posing a shopping list of distractive demands] seem to be unaware of the reformation principle, where in real historical, going concern settings, we have pre existing circumstances. Absent radical utopian imposition which always ends in oppression as radical revolutions since 1789, 1870 and 1917 have underscored, there has to be a slow building of sensitisation and soundness of conscience, creation of agreed consensus on responsible amelioration or reform etc. At simple level have you forgotten the result of the prohibition experiment in the US? Namely, the Mafia gained a huge boost and the law was brought into disrepute. I suggest that your side tracking issues would be best approached through the reformation principle. And we cannot but notice that the force of inescapable first duties may have been distracted from but are not cogently objected to . . . .

    You also conveniently side step centuries of contribution during which those ciceronian first duties as key natural law shaped the emergence of modern liberty and constitutional democracy. Failing to attend to such is a material factor in the breakdown of lawfulness and rise of suicidal nihilism and marches of folly that are increasingly obvious in our time.>>

    75: >>the corrective to radicalism and SJW-ism’s cancel culture, Red Guardism, etc stands. So do the Ciceronian first duties of reason as core to an objective framework of morality, sound community order, law and government.>>

    77: >>BTW as historically demonstrated the 7 Ciceronian principles articulate a global core that governs rational responsible freedom, the ellipsis implies articulation to literally anything. In a sense they are analogous to an axiomatisation, which should be obvious from what they are, the above [e.g. Paul’s elaboration of neighbour love as a microcosm of not only the decalogue but lawfulnes) and the actual course of thousands of years of history. The notion that because these are not a 32k-page EU-like Constitution that tries to capture every conceivable hobby horse, they are not comprehensive, fails. Ponder just how broad and microcosm-like and mutually coherent truth, right reason, prudence including warrant and sound conscience are. >>

    The this is always year zero of the latest utopia and let us stigmatise and cancel the past approach fails. Instead, we need a sound framework that allows gradual development and reform, understood as a sound alternative to radical impositions that never end well.

    FYI, this is not year zero and we have seen where radical revolutions consistently go. We consciously accept the path of gradual, sound reformation as by far a better choice.

    KF

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: We duly note the continued side-stepping of the establishment of the point that even objectors to the first duties are forced to appeal to them to try to be persuasive. Thus we see the inescapability of first principles in action, which are inescapable so inescapably true. Framing a coherent system of first duties that allows articulation of objective, sound moral thought, law and government. Which happens to have a major history of contributing to the rise of modern liberty and constitutional democracy. The contrast to the heritage of the jacobins since 1789 could not be clearer. There is clearly no good reason to imagine there are no objective moral truths. Where that little fallacy just now is actually a claimed — failed, self refuting — morality truth claim. The subjectivism, relativism and emotivism such fallacies support have failed on the merits. Which does not prevent them from being ideologically powerful.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, at core level, duty to neighbour enfolds the decalogue; but it lays out an approach that allows the willing to think through and understand the whys of things like banning willful deception etc.. KF

  96. 96
    Sandy says:

    The subjectivism, relativism and emotivism such fallacies support have failed on the merits. Which does not prevent them from being ideologically powerful.

    Ideologies are kept alive not by ordinary people but the ordinary people are brainwashed in order to keep alive those evil ideologies .

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Locke:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    This is directly antecedent to the US DoI, 1776, charter of modern constitutional democracy. Where, note how cancel culture SJW red guards are now attacking its main author. Hence the relevance of standing on the reformation principle.

    Let’s go there, recognising that on foundation of duties to truth, right reason, warrant and broader prudence, sound conscience, duty to neighbour leads straight to fairness and justice. Justice being due balance of rights, freedoms and duties:

    When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God [–> natural law context is explicit] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15; note, law as “the highest reason,” per Cicero on received consensus], that all men are created equal [–> note, equality of humanity], that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights [–> thus there are correlative duties and freedoms framed by the balance], that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions [Cf. Judges 11:27], do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    That’s the history the radicals want to suppress, the better to cut us off from sound understanding of bitterly bought lessons on how we can escape consequences of the natural state of government by the corrupted: lawless oligarchy.

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, yes, that is why ordinary people need sound anchoring and need to be ever vigilant about would be usurpers and their stunts. KF

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: One stunt is to pretend that there is one objective moral trut;, that there are no objective moral truths. OOPS. They hope we don’t spot how this is self-referential and self-defeating. Many others simply have not realised this. But when we deal with those who should or do know better, there is no excuse for such self-refuting schemes of thought in general and especially on the moral government of our rational, responsible freedom. KF

  100. 100

    For religious people to promote objective morality, is a big lie.

    People always have problems with subjectivity, they do not have problems with objectivity.

    Atheists do not accept subjectivity, and subjective morality. I’ve discussed this with lots of atheists, because it is my main interest. By “subjectivity” atheists mean;

    – something in the brain that is entirely material, and entirely objective. –

    Atheists do not accept the entire subjective part of reality. Usually the atheist will argue like, that an emotion such as love is objective, but the experience of this love is then subjective. Then when I further question what this “experience” is supposed to consist of, they always end up with something objective.

    The atheist does not accept subjectivity in the creationist and common discourse sense of the term, that what makes a choice, is identified with a chosen opinoin.

    Atheists are also very fond of incorporating subjective terminology into science. Like Richard Dawkins, with his “seflish” gene theory. Or even Hugh Laurie the actor, who had this show where he can establish “lying” without judgement, as just a scientific fact. They like to appropiate the subjective terminology into science, and assert it all as objective and factual.

  101. 101
    Origenes says:

    @100 Mo

    A (subjective) opinion, like to say a painting is beautiful, is chosen, and expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    For me, to find a painting beautiful or not, is not a choice at all. I cannot choose to find a painting beautiful.
    Surely I can choose to express my appreciation for the painting or not and I can even choose to lie about it. But this goes for all my statements.

    For religious people to promote objective morality, is a big lie.

    Why?

  102. 102
    ET says:

    JVL:

    It’s a start but it leaves a lot of issues out. For instance: should women be allowed to vote? Should women be allowed to be ministers or priests? Who should have jurisdiction over ancient remains (a reference to Kenewick Man)?

    Please make the case that those have anything to do with objective morality. You are grasping, as usual. But please, prove me wrong.

  103. 103
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/79

    Vivid: “For someone that rejects the objective existence of a moral code you sure do exhibit a lot of moral indignation”

    BINGO!

    That is the same blatant contradiction in logic that William Lane Craig observed in Richard Dawkins’ arguments against objective morality.,

    “Although Dawkins says that there is no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference, the fact is that Dawkins is also a stubborn moralist. For example,,,”
    – Richard Dawkins on the Moral Argument for God: by William Lane Craig
    https://youtu.be/d-OjSKr79aQ?t=65

    Both WLC and you should be aware that Dawkins’s quote refers to the appearance of “pitiless indifference” of the Universe. If there is some sort of objective morality out there it sure doesn’t seem to be doing much, if anything at all.

    And if there is no objective morality out there to which we can turn, doesn’t it make it all the more imperative that we develop our own morality in the interests of a more just, fair and stable society for all?

  104. 104
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @95,

    ET, at core level, duty to neighbour enfolds the decalogue; but it lays out an approach that allows the willing to think through and understand the whys of things like banning willful deception etc.. KF

    Good point–exactly!

    In Judaism, the rabbis pride themselves in being able to extract new laws from the principles revealed in the Ten Commandments and the 603 other laws in Torah. In fact, the specificity of some of them indicates that they’re to be used as examples.

    So, let’s consider the Ninth Commandment . . .

    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. ( Exodus 20:16)

    One understands that it applies to spreading false reports, slander, libel, framing someone, malicious tweets, and so on intended to cause someone harm. It does not require that every detail must be perfect without abstraction:

    Alice: “How are you today, Bob?”
    Bob: “Fine.”

    Is this bearing false witness because Bob noticed a chipped tooth this morning and bumped his knee on a desk?

    -Q

  105. 105
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/99

    PS: One stunt is to pretend that there is one objective moral trut;, that there are no objective moral truths.

    The claim that there are no moral truths is not in itself a moral claim. It is a claim about what ‘is’ not a claim about what ‘ought’ to be.

    OOPS.

    Yes, although not in the sense you intended.

    They hope we don’t spot how this is self-referential and self-defeating.

    The claim about the non-existence of objective moral truths is neither.

    And, again, the lack of objective moral truths is no bar to our creation of moral codes with the same objectives of justice and fair treatment for all, respect for the rights of others regardless of race, sex, gender, creed or color, embracing diversity rather than fearing it, protecting the powerless from exploitation and abuse by the powerful, preserving the environment on which we all depend for our survival from exploitation by the few for short-term personal gain and so on.

    Morality is not a few divine commandments engraved on tablets of stone a few thousand years ago. It is a living, growing corpus of moral thinking that has evolved slowly and often painfully over the centuries and is continuing to be refined.

    How do you know this isn’t what your God intended to happen?

  106. 106
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 103 states,

    Both WLC and you should be aware that Dawkins’s quote refers to the appearance of “pitiless indifference” of the Universe. If there is some sort of objective morality out there it sure doesn’t seem to be doing much, if anything at all.

    But alas Seversky, you are, (once again), missing the elephant in your own ‘mental’ living room. To quote C.S. Lewis, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    — C. S. Lewis

    i.e. You yourself must have some objective standard of moral perfection in mind for you to even be able to communicate to other people your idea that the universe is morally imperfect, and/or ‘pitilessly indifferent’ as Dawkins put it.

    Yet there can be no objective standard of moral perfection that all people can recognize if God does not actually exist.

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    i.e. You, and Dawkins, in assuming that the universe is pitilessly indifferent, are both, unwittingly, assuming an objective standard of moral perfection, that all people can recognize, and that has been departed from, and are thus both, unwittingly, assuming the objective reality of God in your argument that the universe is ‘pitilessly indifferent’, i.e. morally imperfect.

    Moreover, Dawkins full quote is as such,

    “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    Yet directly contrary to what Dawkins claimed, “the universe that we observe”, and “at bottom”, screams design and purpose.

    As Luke Barnes explained, “,,, Compared to the range of possible masses that the particles described by the Standard Model could have, the range that avoids these kinds of complexity-obliterating disasters is extremely small. Imagine a huge chalkboard, with each point on the board representing a possible value for the up and down quark masses. If we wanted to color the parts of the board that support the chemistry that underpins life, and have our handiwork visible to the human eye, the chalkboard would have to be about ten light years (a hundred trillion kilometers) high.,,,”

    The Fine-Tuning of Nature’s Laws – Luke A. Barnes – Fall 2015
    Excerpt: You are made of cells; cells are made of molecules; molecules of atoms; and atoms of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons, in turn, are made of quarks. We have not seen any evidence that electrons and quarks are made of anything more fundamental (though other fundamental particles, like the Higgs boson of recent fame, have also been discovered in addition to quarks and electrons). The results of all our investigations into the fundamental building blocks of matter and energy are summarized in the Standard Model of particle physics, which is essentially one long, imposing equation. Within this equation, there are twenty-six constants, describing the masses of the fifteen fundamental particles, along with values needed for calculating the forces between them, and a few others. We have measured the mass of an electron to be about 9.1 x 10^-28 grams, which is really very small — if each electron in an apple weighed as much as a grain of sand, the apple would weigh more than Mount Everest. The other two fundamental constituents of atoms, the up and down quarks, are a bit bigger, coming in at 4.1 x 10^-27 and 8.6 x 10^-27 grams, respectively. These numbers, relative to each other and to the other constants of the Standard Model, are a mystery to physics. Like the fine-structure constant, we don’t know why they are what they are.
    However, we can calculate all the ways the universe could be disastrously ill-suited for life if the masses of these particles were different. For example, if the down quark’s mass were 2.6 x 10^-26 grams or more, then adios, periodic table! There would be just one chemical element and no chemical compounds, in stark contrast to the approximately 60 million known chemical compounds in our universe.
    With even smaller adjustments to these masses, we can make universes in which the only stable element is hydrogen-like. Once again, kiss your chemistry textbook goodbye, as we would be left with one type of atom and one chemical reaction. If the up quark weighed 2.4 x 10^-26 grams, things would be even worse — a universe of only neutrons, with no elements, no atoms, and no chemistry whatsoever.
    ,,, Compared to the range of possible masses that the particles described by the Standard Model could have, the range that avoids these kinds of complexity-obliterating disasters is extremely small. Imagine a huge chalkboard, with each point on the board representing a possible value for the up and down quark masses. If we wanted to color the parts of the board that support the chemistry that underpins life, and have our handiwork visible to the human eye, the chalkboard would have to be about ten light years (a hundred trillion kilometers) high.,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....tures-laws

    Moreover, to make matters exponentially worse for Dawkins’s claim that ‘the universe that we observe’ is, ‘at bottom’, ‘pitilessly indifferent’ to the existence of humans, is the fact that advances in quantum mechanics have now proven that ‘the universe we observe’ does not even exist until we are, in fact, observing it.

    As the following delayed choice experiment with atoms demonstrated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Thus Seversky, Dawkins and you, due to your a-priori atheistic assumptions, may falsely claim that ‘the universe that we observe’ is, ‘at bottom’, ‘pitilessly indifferent’ to the existence of humans, but as far as empirical science itself is concerned, both the fine-tuning of fundamental particles, and even the ‘observations’ of those fundamental particles themselves, both reveal that the universe is, ‘at bottom’, very far from being pitilessly indifferent’ to the existence of humans.

    Not that empirical science ever really seems to matter to you Seversky, but as far as empirical science itself is concerned, Dawkins’s claim of ‘pitiless indifference’ is now shown to be a patently false claim.

    And If you ever do decide to be intellectually honest with yourself, you should, due to the empirical science itself, immediately drop your atheistic worldview and adopt some form of Theism that holds God to be a ‘personal’ God Who is very much concerned with the affairs of men.

    Might I point out that Christian Theism has the most ‘personal’ God possible out of all the mono-Theistic religions??

  107. 107
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    In re your attempted rebuttal:

    The claim that there are no moral truths is not in itself a moral claim. It is a claim about what ‘is’ not a claim about what ‘ought’ to be.

    On the contrary, a moral truth claim asserts that it is the case that a certain state of affairs obtains in respect of right conduct. That is, it asserts or implies that oughtness on particular or general matters is an actuality, not a mere feeling, perception or imagination etc. Or else, it asserts that such a claim of oughtness is false, i.e. the denial is of the same character as the affirmation.

    Where, too, every claim regarding what is actually the case [i.e. a claim of truth], or of right or failed reasoning, or warrant or failed warrant, etc, implies associated duties that ought to be duly fulfilled. That is, fundamentally, while is and ought are distinct concepts they are inseparable in our lives of free, responsible reason. This, I will further draw out in a moment, but back to your claim as cited.

    By now, it will be evident that the assertion that there are no objective — well warranted — moral truths implies directly that all moral truth-claims are false and so dismissible. At best they are descriptions of inclinations about behaviour. But, as was pointed out in the first place, such a claim is in patent fact a huge claim about duties, obligations, the value and dignity and even end of those to whom duties are owed. That is, even hiding behind the is-ought gap, the assertion that denies objectivity to moral truth claims as a whole is in fact just such a moral truth claim.

    It is a claim that also references and contradicts itself, it is self refuting and by principle of explosion radically undermines ability to discern truth from falsity. Aided, in this, by many handy slogans about is and ought and alleged impossibility of bridging the two. (The true answer is they are inseparable and must be unified in the root of reality, but then there are entire heavily institutionalised worldviews and cultural agendas afoot and holding considerable cultural power that ill advisedly seek to undermine ability to recognise such.)

    Will Hawthorne is apt in exposing the underlying error by way of yardstick test cases that are manifest:

    Assume (per impossibile) that atheistic naturalism [= evolutionary materialism] is true [–> so, there are no realities beyond the observed temporal-causal, matter-energy, space-time order and whatever “multiverse” or quantum foam extensions thereof that are fashionable]. Assume, furthermore, that one can’t infer an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ [the ‘is’ being in this context physicalist: matter-energy, space- time, chance and mechanical forces]. (Richard Dawkins and many other atheists should grant both of these assumptions.)

    Given our second assumption, there is no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer an ‘ought’. And given our first assumption, there is nothing that exists over and above the natural world; the natural world is all that there is. It follows logically that, for any action you care to pick, there’s no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer that one ought to refrain from performing that action.

    Add a further uncontroversial assumption: an action is permissible if and only if it’s not the case that one ought to refrain from performing that action . . . [We see] therefore, for any action you care to pick, it’s permissible to perform that action. If you’d like, you can take this as the meat behind the slogan ‘if atheism is true, all things are permitted’.

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this [nihilistic, absurd] consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Now, we all know that at least some actions are really not permissible (for example, racist actions). Since the conclusion of the argument denies this, there must be a problem somewhere in the argument. Could the argument be invalid? No. The argument has not violated a single rule of logic and all inferences were made explicit.

    Thus we are forced to deny the truth of one of the assumptions we started out with. That means we either deny atheistic naturalism or (the more intuitively appealing) principle that one can’t infer ‘ought’ from [a material] ‘is’.

    See how a hidden, worldview assumption dressed up in a lab coat warps ability to recognise even patent reality?

    That should make us realise that the worldview level, question begging involved is a grand fallacy, one reducing itself to absurdity. Not only in cases such as Hitler, Stalin or the like or with those who kidnap, sexually torture and murder children on the way home from school, but already in the nature of the assertion itself. For the assertion that there are no objective moral truths, no truths regarding duty towards things and beings of value with proper ends, is itself implicitly a huge — and absurdly self-referential — claim to the truth about such matters.

    It refutes itself.

    So, the sounder view would instead start with even just the negative form of the inescapable ciceronian first duties of responsible reason: for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are demonically lawless and destructive. More positively, we cannot but appeal to generally, intuitively known and accepted, duties to truth, right reason warrant and wider prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, so too fairness and justice etc. The objector, just like the rest of us, as your own objection above implies as you set out to try to correct my perceived blunders.

    Only, they are not blunders.

    We find that yes, is and ought are distinct: what ought to be the case, in a world where wrongs, errors, follies etc obtain ever so often, may well not be what is, what obtains as fact. Further, we struggle to find an is capable of bearing the awesome weight of ought. Obviously, space-time, matter-energy wavicles and causal-temporal thermodynamically constrained chains of events cannot suffice. And so in a world with dominant evolutionary materialistic ideology dressed up in the lab coat many will be tempted to infer that ought is groundless, cannot be objective. But that is already a claim of pervasive grand delusion that undermines credibility of mind. Yet another absurdity, here self-referential to those who think like that. Another clue that something is deeply wrong here.

    Anything that invites a grand delusion inference can be freely set aside as sawing off the branch on which we must sit as inescapably rational, responsible, significantly free creatures. We can term such errors, cases of the Plato’s Cave fallacy.

    Instead, let us recognise inextricable intertwining of is and ought in our reasoning so that BOTH are real and must be fused in the one place in the system of reality where such is possible: root of reality, source of worlds including those with rational, responsible, significantly free intelligent creatures guided and guarded by conscience.

    We want an IS that is at root of reality that simultaneously grounds OUGHT. Realty root already implies necessary being capable of causing worlds including our own. Fusing is and ought points to precisely one serious candidate, and if you doubt or dismiss kindly provide another without reduction to absurdity: _____.

    Namely, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; worthy of loyalty and the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. Where, what is good or evil, constructive or chaotically destructive is often quite intelligible. So too, Euthyphro as extended from Greek superman gods to the Supreme, world-root being fails. The good is neither arbitrary decree nor independent of the root of reality but can be understood in key part by us and seen to flow from the one who is both utterly wise and inherently good.

    The radical secularist scheme collapses.

    And, we duly note how many times the objection above inescapably implies appeals to Ciceronian first duties. Duties testified to by our consciences and which thereby shape how we reason and decide.

    KF

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The rut we have put our civilisation into is longstanding; there was no excuse of innocent ignorance. Plato, c 360 BC:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics, law and government: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”), opening the door to cynicism, hyperskepticism and nihilism . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

    He went on to infer:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them . . . .

    Then, by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators . . . . they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

    Cle. Still I do not understand you.

    Ath. Nearly all of them, my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body?

    Cle. Certainly.

    Ath. Then thought and attention and mind and art and law will be prior to that which is hard and soft and heavy and light; and the great and primitive works and actions will be works of art; they will be the first, and after them will come nature and works of nature, which however is a wrong term for men to apply to them; these will follow, and will be under the government of art and mind.

    Cle. But why is the word “nature” wrong?

    Ath. Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turn out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second. [–> notice, the self-moved, initiating, reflexively acting causal agent, which defines freedom as essential to our nature, and this is root of discussion on agents as first causes.]

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.

    We have willfully forgotten and have gone right back into the same rut we were warned against on record over 2300 years ago. The rut that ruined Athens, the first democracy in our civilisation and discredited democracy for 2,000 years.

    There is no excuse for our folly.

  109. 109

    @Origenes Again, what am I to do with your arbitrary assertions that do not even try to discover any rules? You do not propose any counter set of rules, to my rules, you only propose your personal authority. You are wasting my time with your baseless assertions.

    The word “beautiful” is chosen, in spontaneous expression of emotion with free will. The emotion is not chosen, the emotion is doing the choosing, the word is chosen.

    You can tell that this is how it works, by the wide variety in personal expression of a single individual. The painting is beautiful, it’s great, marvelous etc. All the variety in expression is proof that it operates in a free way, which is by choice.

    For religious to promote objective morality, it basically means to promote social darwinism. Social darwinism is objective morality. Saying natural selection is the will of God. With subjectivity thrown out from morality, all the emotion is thrown out, causing people to become ruthless, calculating, measuring.

  110. 110
    Querius says:

    Wow, Bornagain77 @106 and Kairosfocus @107,

    Brilliant, well-crafted replies!

    I hope Seversky takes the time to consider what you both presented. But here’s why I’m skeptical. Let me suggest possibility that all Seversky wants to do here is assure himself of a defensible position with which he can rationalize his lifestyle. Nothing more.

    In other words, he doesn’t have to win the debate, just not lose. So, the key is understanding why he makes the effort and where the source of his rejection lies.

    -Q

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, a self-referentially incoherent position is not defensible on rational grounds, especially as it denies the possibility of what it implies itself to be (an objective truth regarding principles of right conduct) and as it invites the grand delusion inference, sawing off the branch on which we all must sit (if something so widely present and significant as perceived moral duties and the voice of conscience are delusional, mind comes under loss of credibility). However, far too many in our day cling to irrational ideologies such as evolutionary materialism, often failing to realise its nihilistic import warned against on public record since Plato reflected on the collapse of Athens’ democratic experiment. Evo mat, of course, while boasting of its rationality and scientific character . . . a little odd since it was on the ground as an ideology in Plato’s day . . . also fails to account for our rational, responsible freedom, necessary for reasoned thought to have credibility. KF

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, your claims pivot on a need to recognise that our being conscious, self-moved, reflexively acting agents is further constrained by the well understood fact that we are error-prone, finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often ill willed, delusional and stubborn. That is why duty to prudence includes duty to so warrant key claims through right reason that they are credibly true and at the least empirically reliable. That is what objectivity of truth claims is about, providing reasonable warrant that key claims are credible, not likely to be error-riddled or stubbornly asserted and clung to in the teeth of evident facts and logic or duties of fairness and justice etc. The destructive power of slander, gossip, bigotry, ill-founded ideologies [think Marxism and its kissing cousin nazism] or simply paranoid perceptions of the world and those around one, are suggestive of the concerns involved. As such, it does not undermine our freedom to choose but guides and guards us — yes, voice of conscience is engaged — in reasoning aright and doing due diligence on duty to truth. Which is also foundational to duties to neighbour including fairness and justice. KF

    PS: As a reminder, taking first that the truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not; Collins English Dictionary:

    objective (?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?.
    2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    3. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc
    4. (Medicine) med (of disease symptoms) perceptible to persons other than the individual affected

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Though in an age haunted by relativism, subjectivism and emotivism, beauty is often seen as a personal, non-rational perception, there is an entire discipline of aesthetics that has long since identified fairly convincing principles and guidelines that make beauty an intelligible and significantly objective study. One that demonstrably guided the artists responsible for many major classics [think here Parthenon, Giza, Mona Lisa, Nefertiti etc], and where today’s deliberate flouting . . . notoriously in architecture . . . creates eyesores such as London’s spoiled skyline. I hope that Paris at least holds the line. That could also for example extend to the young lady at the bank yesterday who helped me with a transaction. As she grew up in church I observed that while her older sister was quite pretty in face, this little girl’s face was a classic in the making. And, now that she is all grown up, that proves true, with her brilliant, shining coal eyes as focal feature.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: as example, “one ought not to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child on the way home from school for one’s [sicko!] pleasure.” This asserts and implies that it is the case that a certain state of affairs is a violation of duty to neighbour, and a gross injustice thus should not be instantiated, there is no just freedom or right to act in that way. Thus it declares a truth claim about right or wrong conduct and duty; including that certain duties are objective and intelligible to a normally functioning human being. The denial that such truth claims are objective runs right into Hawthorne’s stricture in 106, and as this is a manifest, self-evident — and sadly real life — case, the denial is a manifestation of monstrous absurdity. This is above and beyond rightly provoked feelings of revulsion, outrage etc. KF

  115. 115

    @KF We’ve been trough all this before.

    1. It is the obvious truth that people have intellectual problems with understanding subjectivity, not with objectivity.

    This is just my experience in exploring this issue for years. The scientific method does a good enough job in dealing with objectivity. There is no subjective counterpart to the scientific method, for people to get a handle on dealing with subjectivity. The instruction on subjectivity is simply generally absent.

    If people have serious problems with objectivity, it is generally because they have emotional problems, because they are so bad at dealing with subjectivity in the first place. And then you misconstrue this as people having problems with objectivity, being the root cause of the problem.

    2. History shows in regards to social darwinism, nazis and the holocaust, and also the Japanese in world war 2, that objective morality is simply emotionless, merciless, calculated morality. Also with communism, it all seems very objectified, and the objectification just leads to completely emotionless, merciless attitudes. Objective morality has a historically bad track record.

    3. It is patently obvious that atheists / materialists have deep problems with subjectivity. It is really quite obvious that atheists go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, about the facts, and science, 24/ 7 , and that they are clueless about subjectivity. You are siding with the people, who are against God.

    4. Whenever you are not trashing subjectivity, then you are just providing meaningless lip service to subjectivity, without proper logical validation. You are simply clueless yourself about how subjectivity works.

    The reason why people have subjectivity at all, is because of dealing with the issue, of what it was that made a decison turn out A instead of B.

    The solution to answering any questionof that sort, is to somehow choose an opinion on it, by spontaneous expression of emotion with free will.

    So then it can be exclaimed, emotively, that it was love that made the decision turn out A instead of B. No it wasn’t, it was a putrid evil, most foul, that made the decision turn out A instead of B. That’s how it works, THOSE ARE THE RULES!! WE MUST HAVE RULES!!

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, I wrote for needed record. KF

  117. 117
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @111,

    Q, a self-referentially incoherent position is not defensible on rational grounds, especially as it denies the possibility of what it implies itself to be (an objective truth regarding principles of right conduct) and as it invites the grand delusion inference, sawing off the branch on which we all must sit (if something so widely present and significant as perceived moral duties and the voice of conscience are delusional, mind comes under loss of credibility).

    Very true, but the fact doesn’t seen to faze certain people here. They simply jump in and out of “objective truth” as needed for the moment. There’s a reason for this.

    However, far too many in our day cling to irrational ideologies such as evolutionary materialism, often failing to realise its nihilistic import warned against on public record since Plato reflected on the collapse of Athens’ democratic experiment.

    The word “cling” is key here! Reason alone did not bring them to evolutionary materialism, and reason alone is not keeping them there. But they are indeed clinging to evolutionary materialism even though

    1. Darwinism was a 19th century speculation based on a pigeon breeding analogy but without scientific evidence, but rather the promise that such evidence would someday be found. Since then, the theory simply accommodates or rationalizes evidence that would otherwise falsify this pathetic theory.

    2. Materialism was basically shattered nearly a century ago with the discoveries in quantum mechanics that reality is fundamentally immaterial, based on probabilities, information, and conscious observation.

    Historically and currently, a huge amount of scientific effort has been expended to try to keep the ships, HMS Evolutionary and USS Materialism, from sinking, including suppression of dissent and outright fraud.

    But this still doesn’t answer the question as to why certain detractors persistently are first to respond to many posts and use the same tired, falsified information and reasoning as they always have. They do not present new information or scientific explanations, but rely on rhetorical devices to mislead, divert, or mock more serious discussion. In other words, the arguments are disingenuous and generally uninformed.

    So what baffles me is their motivation and why they even bother.

    – Do they need self validation?

    – Do they feel smug and secure in “following the current scientific narrative” that they feel invulnerable and know deep inside that they just gotta be right?

    – Do they simply want to distract other contributors from serious discussion or waste their precious time?

    The result often resembles squirrels taunting dogs to chase them into a forest (I’m speaking as one of the dogs) where they simply disappear when finally cornered and reappear on a fresh post using the same flawed information and logic as before.

    Or is there something else?

    After all, I don’t appear on evolutionary forums taunting the people there about how, for example, “Lucy’s” bones were found widely scattered in different strata without feet, and then providing a link to the following:
    https://www.icr.org/article/human-foot-bone-misidentified-lucys
    to whip the Darwinists there into a frenzy and asking them to provide other data on Lucy—which I then pronounce insufficient and ignore the work they put into assembling it.

    Just some observations and questions.

    -Q

  118. 118
    Sandy says:

    Just some observations and questions.

    The objective moral law is working even in atheists and all their “struggle” to prove us wrong with “evidences” has a base in the moral law that live in our hearths that nobody can escape from no matter what their beliefs are. Why atheists argue for truth and try to bring evidences(no matter how true or false) in their favor? Because they can’t escape from the basic rule of moral law to JUSTIFY YOUR BEHAVIOUR. The fact of appealing to false evidences doesn’t change that unwritten rule of trying to explain why they hold a particular opinion.

  119. 119
    Querius says:

    Sandy @118,

    Yes, indeed. And typically they don’t really believe in relativism in their own day-to-day experiences. Imagine their reaction to someone driving over their lawn, their dog, or their foot . . .

    All of a sudden they go absolute on someone who was just peacefully doing public performance art with their car as a political or personal statement.

    -Q

  120. 120
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, do not underestimate the significance of the penumbra of attack sites. Nor the institutionalised power of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow traveller ideologies. KF

  121. 121
    Origenes says:

    Q:

    So what baffles me is their motivation and why they even bother.

    For some reason everything is allowed to protect an obviously false narrative. What makes it so precious to them?

    My take is that they know they are part of a lie, but that is of secondary importance to them. What is all important to them is their social presence in the world; as opposed to the innerworld of self. It’s all about keeping up appearances. The narrative is all-important for the performance of their social identity.

    Summing up, we are dealing with people who have yet to learn that the social world, where the lie rules surpreme, is of lesser importance than the inner truth.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, never underestimate the intellectual influence of big-S science taken captive to evolutionary materialistic scientism. KF

  123. 123

    Actual objective morality:
    =====
    Yes comrades, throw out all those sentiments of a subjective morality, and accept the truth of the objective morality, based on God’s law of natural selection.

    Isn’t it obvious that our major emotions are geared precisely towards reproductive success? The major emotions are involved with a spouse, a mother, a father, children. Isn’t it obvious this is all about reproduction? Isn’t that the objective moral code? An objective moral code fashioned by God into a law of nature, the law of natural selection.
    =====

    The only reason why the people who say to support objective morality, do not support social darwinism, is because of the history of the holocaust. If now would have been prior to the holocaust, then all of the objective morality folks would support social darwinism. Social darwinism is simply logical, if objective morality would be true.

    It’s such an outrage that you all keep on being totally ignorant about how subjectivity works, while I have explained it time and again.

    A subjective opinion is chosen, and a subjective opinion expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    Which means, the part of reality that is subjective, is the part that makes the choices.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    Kind of a big issue, subjectivity. Yet none of you actually accept the validity of subjectivity.

  124. 124

    @Origenes Materialists have a psychological motive, which is based on them defining making a choice, in terms of figuring out the best option.

    This conception of making a choice, in terms of what is best, has enormous psychological appeal. Because people are pressured to do the best, and because people like the best.

    Materialists threw out the spirit from their concept of making a choice, is how they became a materialist in the first place.

    So then materialists conceive of making a choice, the same as like a chesscomputer calculating a move.

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY:

    materialists conceive of making a choice, the same as like a chesscomputer calculating a move

    That is the precise opposite of a choice on freely evaluated principles understood as first duties. principles that can be seen as self-evident and thus objectively the case as true.

    Objectivity as truth does not undermine or remove our freedom of choice. Indeed, duty is a concomitant of freedom, the voice of responsibility in response to discerning wisdom and soundness. Voices, manifestly, can be shut out, distorted or not heeded — including conscience. Though, here, one would be ill advised not to heed. Also, in some cases, there needs to be considerable contemplation, evaluation, prudence and more to find the way of wisdom and virtue. All of which pivots on the built in freedom of the self-moved morally — not mechanically and/or stochastically — governed agent.

    The issue is not reality of agency or freedom but establishment of first duties as pervasive, binding, so not dubious or delusional figments of imagination or community pressure. That is, objective in the relevant sense.

    With, in the stakes, the possibility of individual and community moral growth through gradual renewal, reflection, reformation informed by well warranted principles. Something, which has been historically important and which now needs to be safeguarded against manipulation by ideologues who would impose evils and perversities on others under false colour of rights. A capital example being the slaughter of 800+ million unborn children over the past generation, mounting at another million per week.

    It is difficult to strike a balance, but that is the nature of philosophy, the department of hard fundamental questions including those of value, justice, beauty, ethics and truth.

    KF

  126. 126

    @KF

    Objectivity does basically exclude freedom, because facts are FORCED by evidence.

    You are just talking outrageous lies. The truth of this matter is obvious, that the problem is that people reject subjectivity.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, please refrain from accusations like that; they are offensive beyond measure. Then too, I suggest that warrant of credible truth is not force but an appeal to duty before truth, right reason and prudence. KF

  128. 128

    @KF Your credibility that you take subjectivity seriously, is lacking. Because you assert morality as objective, and are ignorant of the basic logic of subjectivity. But I will say your comprehension of subjectivity is not exceptionally lacking. Generally everyone ignores subjectivity, and you are just one more who ignores it. It’s still a total outrage.

    Somehow it does not click with you, that hey, subjectivity could be important. Even “importance” is subjective. The popsingers are singing about the subjective emotions, as the most important thing. It is the mainstay of religion. But still, you basically just ignore subjectivity. That is incomprehensible.

  129. 129
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus,

    I’m not sure anymore whether I’m being objective or subjective, but somehow I’m strangely reminded of Robert Benchley’s famous observation that “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.”

    -Q

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, you have taken a step that is ill advised. KF

  131. 131

    I did my homework, figuring out what logic is used with objective statements, and subjective statements, in ordinary common discourse. It was rather simpler than the logic of tic tac toe, and much simpler than the rules of chess.

    The people who disregard subjectivity should get the judgement. Most clearly materialists, but I am getting the hang off it to pursue theists who disregard subjectivity as well.

    Discarding of subjectivity is not innocent.

  132. 132
    Origenes says:

    MN:

    The word “beautiful” is chosen, in spontaneous expression of emotion with free will.

    Sure. Every word a person uses is chosen. But that is besides the point. As I said, it is not a choice to find a painting beautiful or not.
    MN:

    The emotion is not chosen …

    Correct. Indeed, it is not a choice to find a painting beautiful or not.
    MN:

    … the emotion is doing the choosing …

    Nonsense. An emotion is not a person. Only persons make choices.

    MN:

    You can tell that this is how it works, by the wide variety in personal expression of a single individual. The painting is beautiful, it’s great, marvelous etc. All the variety in expression is proof that it operates in a free way, which is by choice.

    The fact that we can use different words, different languages even, to express ourselves does not tell us that the things we express are matters of choice, as you erroniously seem to argue.
    Again, it is not a matter of choice to find a painting beautiful or not.

    MN:

    For religious to promote objective morality, it basically means to promote social darwinism. Social darwinism is objective morality. Saying natural selection is the will of God.

    You completely misunderstand what people like Kairosfocus mean by “objective morality”. You seem to have no grasp of the subject at all.

  133. 133

    @querius You are obviously breaking down and discarding subjectivity in general, not just my explanation of it.

    To say a painting is beautiful, the opinion is formed by spontaneous expression of emotion with free will, therefore chosen. To be forced to say the painting is beautiful, provides a logically invalid personal opinion.

    You assert personal opinions aren’t chosen, which means you consider personal opinions to be forced, while forced opinions are logically invalid. There is things being forced, cause and effect, and things chosen, possibilities and decision. There isn’t any other mechanism, as far as I know.

    Obviously the word “chair” was chosen when it was coined. But otherwise the word chair, in it’s use, is forced. The evidence forces to the conclusion that a chair is there. The evidence does not force to the conclusion that a love for the way the painting looks is there. Objective words are forced in their use, subjective words are chosen in their use.

    The word “beautiful”, expresses a love for the way the painting looks. Out of this love the word beautiful was chosen to be spoken.

    Which means the emotion love is on the side of what makes a choice. That is the only logic function of emotions, to do the job of making a decision turn out A instead of B. Obviously you have no understanding of emotions, which is an outrage.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    Emotions belong in category 1, as being an attribute of a creator. Personal character like courage, cowardice, likewise belongs in category no 1.

    That means emotions can only be identified with a chosen opinion. It is a matter of chosen opinion whether someone has love in their heart.

    Q Is it true that social darwinism is objective morality?
    A Yes, and lots of religious accepted God’s law of natural selection as prescriptive

    Very obviously, objective morality leads people to be emtionless and calculating in moral issues, because that is the attitude that is appropriate for objective issues.

  134. 134
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY,

    only in your imagination have I discarded the subjective. I have consistently highlighted an uncontroversial epistemological point, that we are prone to error and so need to warrant knowledge claims. In the context of morality, drawing on Ciceronian first duties and noting Epictetus’ point on inescapable first principles — branch on which we all must sit — I have concluded for cause that duties to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant), sound conscience, neighbour, so too fairness and justice etc are inescapable and so inescapably true. I highlighted that even would be objectors cannot but appeal to our intuitive recognition and knowledge of those duties. A point which you actually exemplify in your untoward insinuations about lying and lack of innocence etc. Such accusations imply duties to truth, sound conscience, neighbour etc.

    Conscience, BTW is an inner and subjective voice, others have no direct access to one’s conscience. However, it can become dulled, benumbed, endarkened, hardened, calloused, silenced, warped. In the past, many were dulled to racial injustices etc.

    Accordingly its soundness must be safeguarded, hence other duties that lead to warrant and prudence, so too the validity and value of objective moral truth, truths about duty.

    Where for particular corrective example, duty to neighbour . . . to love neighbour [hardly cold-hearted calculation!] . . . implies duty to value, respect, cherish and to do no harm thus doing first duties of justice etc. Recognising objectivity of duties to justice — due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities — is not the cause of grave moral wrongs by Nazis, Communists or Capitalists for that matter.

    I repeat, well founded warrant is an appeal to duty, not force.

    And more, for record.

    KF

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, indeed, the beauty response is spontaneous and not directly chosen. However, recognition of beauty can be warped or dulled on one side, or enhanced and refined on the other. KF

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, 118:

    Why atheists argue for truth and try to bring evidences(no matter how true or false) in their favor? Because they can’t escape from the basic rule of moral law to JUSTIFY YOUR BEHAVIOUR. The fact of appealing to false evidences doesn’t change that unwritten rule of trying to explain why they hold a particular opinion.

    Yes, this is a case of the branch on which we all must sit. A mark of inescapable first truths. Here, regarding duty and right conduct.

    The attempt to assert and expect acceptance of the claim, there are no objective moral truths is thus doubly incoherent. First, it is itself an appeal to the duties it would overthrow. Second, it is or directly implies a truth claim about duty. It is self-referentially incoherent and self-defeating. Thus, an error and point of confusion.

    However, many will regard truth claims about abstract principles as suspect, as not subject to scientific inquiry. They need to look at mathematics and logic and take pause. Then, they need to realise that first duties of reason are antecedent to and foundational for both Mathematics and Science.

    But many will stoutly resist as they fear that built in law of our nature points to a lawgiver antecedent to our existence; one, who is author of that nature and its built-in intelligible laws. One who is inherently good and utterly wise, necessary being creator, whose laws are in key parts intelligible, non-arbitrary and wholesome.

    KF

    KF

  137. 137
    Origenes says:

    MNY

    To say a painting is beautiful, the opinion is formed by spontaneous expression of emotion with free will, therefore chosen.

    To say “this painting is beautiful”, to put it differently, lie about it or not to say anything at all, is a matter of free choice, as I have said several times already.
    To actually find a painting beautiful, to have a “beauty response”, as KF puts it, is NOT a matter of free choice.

    MNY:

    To be forced to say the painting is beautiful, provides a logically invalid personal opinion.

    Maybe so. But it is irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    MNY:

    (…) subjective means, that it can only be identified with a chosen opinion, and objective means that it is identified with a 1 to 1 corresponding model.

    That is the logic underlying ordinary subjective statements, like to say, “I find this painting beautiful”, and ordinary objective statements, like to say, “there is a camel out back”.

    We can use different words for both expressions, for “I find this painting beautiful” and for “there is a camel out back”. The fact that we have freedom of choice WRT our expressions obviously does not tell us which of the statements is subjective or objective.

  138. 138

    What’s the reason for for instance, school shootings in the USA? Lack of objective morality in schools, or schools having thrown out the basic understanding of making choices, subjectivity and emotions, in throwing out creationism?

    It is very obvious that if you throw love out the window, that you can expect chaos.

  139. 139

    @Origenes KF saying so that opinions about beauty aren’t chosen, is no argumentation. There are lower level decisionmaking processes involved in forming an opinion that the painting is beautiful. The lower level decisionmaking processes then present the resulting opinion to the higher level decisionmaking processes, as a basically finished opinion. So in that sense an opinion on beauty is not chosen, in that normally the higher level decisionmaking processes aren’t doing any choosing on it.

    But in case of considering an opinion on a painting by Hitler, then higher level decisionmaking processes could be engaged in choosing an opinion whether the painting is beautiful.

    Subjectivity is logical. Subjectivity is solely about expressing what it is that makes a choice. That is the function of subjectivity. And only chosen opinions can express what it is that makes a choice, facts do not apply to that.

  140. 140

    Objective morality is the overriding main cause in ideology, of both nazi and communist attrocities. That is my analysis about it.

    And obviously both nazis and communists would also still talk about love and such.

    You talking about a lawgiver and objective morality, and then combine that with natural selection being a law of nature, then obviously social darwinism would ensue. Except for having the benefit of the history of the holocaust, showing that social darwinism leads to disaster.

  141. 141
    Origenes says:

    MNY:

    You talking about a lawgiver and objective morality, ….

    When Christians talk about “objective morality” they refer to God as a lawgiver and laws such as the ones presented in his 10 commandments.

    MNY: … and then combine that with natural selection being a law of nature, then obviously social darwinism would ensue. …

    Why in the blue blazes would anyone combine the biblical 10 commandments with “natural selection”? What does that look like? I have never heard of such a thing.

    MNY: … Except for having the benefit of the history of the holocaust, showing that social darwinism leads to disaster.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

  142. 142
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, kindly note the context Paul makes in Rom 2 and 13:

    Rom 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . .

    13: 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    The Decalogue is involved indeed but is then also set in a wider context of intelligible, built in law attested to by conscience: implications of the neighbour love principle.

    KF

  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I suspect MNY does not recognise that the concept of an intelligible built in law of our nature witnessed by conscience and acknowledged by sound states long predates Darwin et al and has often been understood as laws of Nature and God in Blackstone’s terms, 1765. KF

  144. 144
    Querius says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu @133,

    Have you ever heard the saying that all True-False questions on exams are ultimately false? Try it out.

    True/False: The sky is blue.
    True/False: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
    and so on.

    In courts of law, prosecutors often try to trap the accused or witnesses with questions such as “Yes or no, have you ever contemplated . . . ” leading them down a yes/no path that destroys their credibility.

    How much more can one get misled by trying to fit everything into exactly two categories, which themselves are subject to interpretation and controversy?

    That’s all I’m going to say on the subject.

    -Q

  145. 145
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Sounds like a good argument for gay marriage to me. In the sense that loving your neighbour means supporting and standing up for him, treating him with respect and dignity, giving him the same civil rights as you.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, there is no need to entertain fashionable colour of law hobby horses, save to note that intelligible natural law is of universal jurisdiction and marriage is literally written into our XX and XY genes. KF

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A reminder. First duties of reason as core, built-in law of our morally governed nature:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable . . .

    first duties of reason:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding. Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that objectors to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

  148. 148
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Sounds like a good argument for gay marriage to me.

    Anything sounds like a good argument for gay, ie same sex, marriage to you. You don’t need marriage to love someone.

    In the sense that loving your neighbour means supporting and standing up for him, treating him with respect and dignity, giving him the same civil rights as you.

    When same sex couples can procreate with their chosen partner they can have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

    The ONLY reason for the same-sex marriage push is because insurance companies refused to allow same sex partners the same coverage as married heterosexual couples. All other alleged benefits are available to unmarried same sex couples. It is all just a scheme to undermine society. And it’s working. Heck, some 84 million complete imbeciles voted for Joe Biden. And now the USA is paying a big price for their stupidity. They are pretty much the same people who support same sex marriage.

  149. 149

    @querius The proof that objective morality is nothing but corruption, is that your understanding of subjectivity is wrong. It is not some kind of coincedence that you support objective morality, and are also clueless about subjectivity.

    There is only 1 correct answer to the question of how subjectivity works. Your answer is wrong. Which means your ideas about love, emotions in general, personal character, God, choices, must therefore also be wrong.

  150. 150
    JVL says:

    ET:When same sex couples can procreate with their chosen partner they can have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

    Lots of heterosexual couples are unable to procreate. Would you care to rethink your criteria?

    It is all just a scheme to undermine society.

    Just a bit paranoid are we?

    Heck, some 84 million complete imbeciles voted for Joe Biden. And now the USA is paying a big price for their stupidity.

    And what price is that pray tell?

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I observe a suspicious switch of terms or two, so I note for record, MNY having refused to be simply civil:

    he proof that objective morality is nothing but corruption, is that your understanding of subjectivity is wrong

    For the record:

    1 –> the issue at stake is the credible existence of objective, so, well warranted, moral truths, where it is noted that our individual and group perceptions are prone to errors.

    2 –> therefore as a matter of prudence we should do due diligence to truth on the subject of morality, involving right reason and sound warrant.

    3 –> where, morality is the study, practice and substance of right conduct, i.e. of fulfillment of the prime duties of responsible, rational, significantly free, self-moved agents.

    4 –> such duties having been identified as involving the Ciceronian first duties of reason, which are inescapable, inescapably true, self-evident and well warranted thus constitute objective, known moral truths. These guide and guard, they do not force compliance.

    5 –> namely, duties to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant), sound conscience, neighbour, so too fairness and justice, etc. It being known that these first principles can be elaborated in analysis and identification of codes, including the Decalogue, and onward sound civil law.

    6 –> This was historically done and played key parts in developing major reforms of genuine liberation.

    7 –> In that context, subjectivity can be seen as the substance of conscious experiences of an agent of this order such as we are.

    8 –> AmHD:

    sub·jec·tive (s?b-j?k?t?v)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Dependent on or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world: “The sensation of pain is a highly subjective experience that varies by culture as well as by individual temperament and situation” (John Hoberman).
    b. Based on a given person’s experience, understanding, and feelings; personal or individual: admitted he was making a highly subjective judgment.
    2. Psychology Not caused by external stimuli.
    3. Medicine Of, relating to, or designating a symptom or complaint perceived by a patient.
    4. Expressing or bringing into prominence the individuality of the artist or author.

    9 –> Where, such, as noted, can be error prone leading to concerns about objective moral truths. As was already addressed in outline.

    10 –> As a note on the other side of axiology, beauty prompts an intuitive response of aesthetic appreciation and is demonstrably subject to intelligible principles of skilled composition. Though, our senses can be warped or dulled here, too. See London’s spoiled skyline.

    KF

  152. 152
    Querius says:

    ET @148,

    While it’s obvious to many people that our culture is collapsing due to moral corruption in all our institutions, there’s no shortage of people who will argue about it all the way down. And when their pointless argumentation fails, the next step is legal coercion, and the next is simply force. It’s all happened before, which is why our leaders feel that it’s essential to erase our knowledge of history.

    Less embarrassing that way.

    -Q

  153. 153

    Subjectivity can be seen as? Quoting some arbitrary dictionary, quoting an arbitrary invidual John Hoberman?

    1+1=2. Subjectivity is that a personal opinion is chosen, and that a personal opinion expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    Any other definition of it is wrong. Although the definition could be improved on in the details.

    The definition means that the subjective part of reality, is the part of reality that makes choices. It also means the subjective part of reality, creates the objective part of reallity, because choice is the mechanism of creation.

  154. 154
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @151,

    Nicely summarized. I’d also note that the person who gets to frame an argument in their own terms has already won, which is why I reject binary philosophical classifications. What follows them are pointless and endless arguments.

    -Q

  155. 155
    Origenes says:

    @151 KF
    Two questions:

    1 –> the issue at stake is the credible existence of objective, so, well warranted, moral truths, where it is noted that our individual and group perceptions are prone to errors.

    Is, for the same reasons, the existence of “objective logical truths” equally credible?

    sub·jec·tive (s?b-j?k?t?v)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Dependent on or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world (…)

    If subjective means “dependent on or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world”, then clearly “I exist” and “I think therefore I exist” are (highly) subjective statements.
    Which is noteworthy, since subjective statements, as Kairosfocus lays out, are considered to be less trustworthy in comparison to objective statements. Subjectivity is “prone to errors” and what not.

  156. 156
    Querius says:

    Origenes @155,

    . . . since subjective statements, as Kairosfocus lays out, are considered to be less trustworthy in comparison to objective statements. Subjectivity is “prone to errors” and what not.

    Yes, especially when a person’s fantasies crash into reality. Even then, our perceptions are highly dependent on personal context.

    Then, the result of that collision might be manifested as a belief in their victimhood, their imagined genius, self importance, anger at God, or some other psychological pathology.

    I’m reminded of some of the characters in C.S. Lewis’s book, The Great Divorce. Of course they all thought they were right and suffered unjustly.

    -Q

  157. 157
    Origenes says:

    Querius:

    Then, the result of that collision might be manifested as a belief in their victimhood, their imagined genius, self importance, anger at God, or some other psychological pathology.

    But then again there is no escape from personhood. Not one of us can transcend his personhood, his subjectivity, and reach a state of mind from which he can have “objective” experiences and make “objective” statements.
    The only way out of darkness is by increasing one’s awareness.

  158. 158
    Querius says:

    Origenes @157,

    The only way out of darkness is by increasing one’s awareness.

    Yet our awareness is similarly tainted.

    We need something external to ourselves. Let me suggest the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our wrongdoing and leads us to the light of truth.

    -Q

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, actually, the first principles of right reason are “in de list,” and both were and are controversial for many indoctrinated in relativistic thinking. Distinct identity and its corollaries, non-contradiction and excluded middle. I have often enough put up Epictetus on the inescapability of core logic, thus its branch we all sit on character:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    Then, there is St Paul, to devastating effect:

    1 Cor 14: 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?

    9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.

    10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. [ESV]

    If someone want to appeal to quantum state superposition etc to dismiss this, I suggest the objector looks at the weak argument corrective no 38.

    We are looking at a general assault on basic responsible reason, prudence, truth, warranted but inconvenient knowledge, fair play and justice, not to mention beauty.

    KF

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I see MNY is now reduced to trying to suggest AmHD is an arbitrary dictionary. That speaks volumes, reference grade dictionaries are based on tracking informed usage of terms, and here, what it means to be subjective is summarised. Similarly, the reference to the self-moved agent who is a first cause is from Plato in The laws Bk X, where he goes on to identify this with life and soul. These are anything but arbitrary usages, and serve to correct idiosyncratic arguments. KF

    PS: As for objective, here is the surprisingly good Collins English Dictionary:

    adj
    1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?.
    2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    3. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc
    4. (Medicine) med (of disease symptoms) perceptible to persons other than the individual affected

    The point is, for matters of right conduct and duty, truth, knowledge, prudence, justice etc, we are known to be finite, fallible [= prone to error], morally struggling, too often ill-willed and stubborn, etc. Therefore, in all prudence, we need to identify key first principles or truths, that are reliably warranted and so are known to be true.

    Truths about right conduct and duty, i.e. morality, are clearly involved here.

    KF

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    Q: why do so many feel free to assault the first principles of civliisation and thought nowadays, without embarrassment? What does this say about where we are? KF

    PS: I again cite St Paul:

    Eph 4: 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,6 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
    25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor . . . [ESV]

  162. 162

    The point is that both subjectivity and objectivity are logical. It can be discovered how they function, by looking at the logic used with opinions and facts in common discourse. Then you obtain the correct defintion of them. And the correct definitions are the creationist definitions, and all other definitions are wrong.

    A subjective opinion is chosen, and expresses what it is that makes a choice.
    An objective fact is a 1 to 1 corresponding model of a creation in the mind, forced by the evidence of it.

    That way explaining the underlying logic in statements of opinion, like saying a painting is beautiful, and statements of fact, like saying there is a camel out the back.

  163. 163
    Origenes says:

    @ 158 —Q

    I would like to make sure that I understand the difference between objective and subjective statements. Some questions for you.

    Q: Yet our awareness is similarly tainted.

    Is your statement above objective or subjective?
    Are all subjective statements tainted?
    Is “I exist” a tainted statement? If so, what does that mean?

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, take it as suggesting proneness to error so steps need to be taken to provide credible warrant. Where, it is easily seen starting from big red X’s in early school days, that error proneness is objectively so. BTW, that is why I used green ink when I was a teacher! KF

  165. 165
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus, I am sorry but the whole subjective objective project doesn’t make sense to me. The underlying assumption is that there are non-personal statements stemming from a non-personal viewpoint. This is simply not the case.
    There are only subjective statements, some right and some wrong.

    And IMHO right and wrong has to do with ‘awareness’, completeness and coherence, as opposed to some meassurement of ‘objectivity’.
    For instance someone who says “I do not exist”, doesn’t seem to be aware of (does not take into account) the fact that he must exist in order to make the statement.
    Similarly, as Quierius pointed out, people who have an inflated belief in their victimhood, may not take into account the suffering of others.
    A true statement takes all relevant aspects into account.

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, no, it is about warrant vs proneness to error. No serious person denies individuality and conscious experience. KF

  167. 167
    Origenes says:

    @166 Kairosfocus

    … it is about warrant vs proneness to error.

    “I exist”, as you have pointed out many times in the past, is a self-evident truth. IOWs the statement has no warrant issues whatsoever.
    However, according to the dictionary you cited, we are dealing with the ne plus ultra of subjective statements.

    So, please explain to me how this whole subjective vs objective concept is about warrant vs proness to error?

  168. 168
    jerry says:

    We all have opinions. Some claim my opinions are just as good as yours.

    But in truth some opinion are more justified than others. That the sun will rise tomorrow is more justified than a week from Tuesday will be sunny.

    That there is a creator is more justified than there is no creator. There is evidence and logic for that.

    That there is a creator is more justified than the creator is the Judeo/Christian God.

    It’s all relative. Maybe better than objective/subjective is more justified vs less justified.

    Then there is the premise that it is meant to be this way. Always some uncertainty, often a lot of uncertainty and almost never that something is absolute certainty. For the latter some have questioned “Cogito, ergo sum.”

    A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’ intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”).The dictum is also sometimes referred to as the cogito

  169. 169
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Lots of heterosexual couples are unable to procreate.

    ONLY heterosexual couples can procreate. How many times do we have to go over that?

    Just a bit paranoid are we?

    Just a bit stupid and ignorant are you?

    And what price is that pray tell?

    Unchecked inflation. Laughing stock of the world for the handling of Afghanistan. Unchecked illegal immigration. And a PoTUS who is insane or just demented.

  170. 170
    Origenes says:

    @168 Jerry:

    A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’ intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”).

    Many many years ago I thought that everything was doubtable. Cogito hit me like a rock. I remember how stunned I was at the time.

    I doubt my existence, but I must exist in order to doubt my existence. Therefore I exist.

  171. 171
    JVL says:

    ET: ONLY heterosexual couples can procreate. How many times do we have to go over that?

    You mean without medical assistance. What difference does that make? Seriously, you sound more and more homophobic everyday.

    Unchecked inflation. Laughing stock of the world for the handling of Afghanistan. Unchecked illegal immigration. And a PoTUS who is insane or just demented.

    Have you checked the US inflation rate compared to other countries? Afghanistan is rarely mentioned on the news these days. Yes people were upset but no one really wanted to stay there. Unchecked illegal immigration? Really? How many illegal immigrants do you think are coming across the Mexican border every day? (Assuming you’re not worried about the Canadians.) You think Biden is insane . . . did he push his followers to the point where they tried to take over the capitol building in Washington DC? Did he threaten to put his political opponents in prison? Did he continually try and block access to his tax returns? Did he leave lots of recorded evidence that he considers women things to be taken advantage of? Did he get married three times? Did he have many businesses that failed?

    Trust me, America is much better thought of in the world since Biden became President. Not that you care what the rest of the world thinks. But you’re the one who brought up the laughing-stock perception.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, we have to be subjects to be able to know but not everything we perceive or believe is knowledge, hence warrant. KF

  173. 173
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus, to be clear, are you saying that there are two catagories of statements, namely subjective and objective, and that we can identify a statement as one or the other by ascertaining whether or not it is warranted?

  174. 174
    Querius says:

    Origenes @165,

    Kairosfocus, I am sorry but the whole subjective objective project doesn’t make sense to me. The underlying assumption is that there are non-personal statements stemming from a non-personal viewpoint. This is simply not the case.
    There are only subjective statements, some right and some wrong.

    Well stated and I agree regarding non-binary, non-reductionist interpretations of reality, especially since humans enjoy many dimensions. Thus, to reduce them to a single quality is dehumanizing. For example, humans are not merely economic animals.

    I believe objective truth exists and that we can and should apply principles of objective truth to our everyday lives, but there’s also wisdom involved. If God maintains both justice and mercy, how much more should we do so as well!

    He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8 (NIV)

    This is so profound! Justice in our actions, mercy in our priorities, and humility in our relationships.

    -Q

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, all experience is enjoyed by an experience-er, i.e. a subject. However experiences, perceptions, beliefs etc are not necessarily accurate to reality or credibly shown to be so; delusions exist, errors exist, deceptions exist, etc. Such, we all know from early childhood, this is not something novel, suspect or in the least controversial. Therefore, there is a place for a disciplined application of sound reasoning to establish that certain relevant claims are so well warranted as credibly true and reliable that we have done epistemological due diligence successfully and can rightly claim to know such beyond some reasonable [but typically revisable] standard of warrant. These claims are objectively true. Of particular relevance, certain of these claims address right conduct and duty, I have listed the Ciceronian first duties. KF

    PS: I should note, that I have little time, energy or inclination to play out needless skeptical debate games, as I am facing a major life crisis; literally I am the last man standing from a picture of an important life event of 30 years past. Pardon, therefore, that I am expecting interlocutors to act up to a certain level of reasonable expectations on issues.

  176. 176
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus

    However experiences, perceptions, beliefs etc are not necessarily accurate to reality or credibly shown to be so; delusions exist, errors exist, deceptions exist, etc. Such, we all know from early childhood, this is not something novel, suspect or in the least controversial.

    You keep repeating this, but I agree 100%, as I have made clear several times already. The existence of delusions is not at issue here, [delusions do exist] what is at issue is the question if it makes sense to point to “subjectivity” as their cause, suggesting that their is such a thing as objectivity.

    These claims are objectively true.

    No, these claims are true. It makes no sense to say “objectively true”.
    “I exist” is true. No need to say “subjectively true” or “objectively true” —— just “true” suffices.

    I have little time, energy or inclination to play out needless skeptical debate games, as I am facing a major life crisis …

    Please deal with this major life crisis. I wish you the very best.

  177. 177
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Again, my sincere best wishes and prayer for you with the assurance of an ultimately positive result at the exit of this tunnel!

    Kind regards,

    -Q

  178. 178
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    I don’t know your situation but you will be in my prayers. Stay strong my brother.

    Vivid

  179. 179
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Notice Dillahunty’s implicit, inescapable underlying appeal to duties to truth and right reason, warrant etc? That’s a clue that objectors to first duties find themselves unable to avoid appealing to what they would overthrow.

    As I’ve already extensively demonstrated in various prior threads, KF is conflating necessary appeals to truth and reason with appeals to duties to truth and reason. To date he has refused to make a coherent logical case (or is incapable of so doing) that these “first duties” he refers to objectively exist.

  180. 180
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes said:

    There are only subjective statements, some right and some wrong.

    Some right and some wrong when compared to what?

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, appeals to these are manifestly appeals to duties; we are free creatures, not programmed substrates or simulations, which cannot be rational. KF

    PS: Your attempted objection itself exemplifies how the attempt to rebut itself is unable but to appeal to said first duties. And if inescapable an inescapable, true, first principle. refusal to acknowledge on your part does not constitute failure to have shown the matter on mine, right from the outset.

  182. 182
    Origenes says:

    William J Murray:

    Origenes: There are only subjective statements, some right and some wrong.

    Some right and some wrong when compared to what?

    Compared to other statements.

    There are several aspects to consider, one is “completeness”, as I have stated before: “A true statement takes all relevant aspects into account.”
    To illustrate this I have offered two examples:

    … someone who says “I do not exist”, doesn’t seem to be aware of (does not take into account) the fact that he must exist in order to make the statement.
    Similarly, as Quierius pointed out, people who have an inflated belief in their victimhood, may not take into account the suffering of others.

    In essence, the yardstick I use is my vision of what true understanding entails.

  183. 183
    jerry says:

    This has been covered in detail elsewhere. I suggest that any questions on duties be made on those threads.

    Why not here: https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/

    The term ”duty” or “duties” gets mentioned over a thousand times.

    Has Smaug been awaken?

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, delusions are inner experiences of a subject thus subjective. Successful warrant provides good reason to infer not SOLELY subjective, i.e. reliably, credibly an accurate description of states of affairs that obtain, and this is what being objective means. KF

    PS: I visually imagine a pink, flying elephant, that is a perception of a subject. It is accurate to say I have said perception but of course there is no such animal, it is entirely subjective as an experience. That such an experience can or does occur is a second order matter and it can be objectively true that one perceives the pink flying elephant. The act of perception being the relevant state of affairs subject to warrant. Likewise one may conceive of some mathematical theorem say 4 colour and may warrant it as true. Two different things with the act of conceiving being itself a further state of affairs. More can be unpacked but this is truly a side track.

    PPS: Yes, as it is manifest from objector’s arguments that they cannot but appeal to first duties too. Inescapable so inescapably true and self evident so objectively warranted and objective. Truth about duty and right conduct, so, moral truth. When an objector can object without implying our duties then we can change that estimation. I am not holding my breath.

  185. 185
    Origenes says:

    KF: … delusions are inner experiences of a subject thus subjective.

    Sure. “I exist” is also an inner experience of a subject and thus, according to your reasoning, subjective.
    Now what?

    Successful warrant provides good reason to infer not SOLELY subjective, i.e. reliably, credibly an accurate description of states of affairs that obtain, and this is what being objective means.

    So, “not SOLELY subjective” is the road to “reliably, credibly an accurate descriptions of states of affairs that obtain”. And that is what objective is.
    However, I put it before you again, although you will probably ignore it again, “I exist” is “SOLELY” subjective. It is as subjective as things can get. One can picture oneself floating in total emptiness and still conclude “I exist”.
    So, what is the status of “I exist” in your concept of knowledge? Is it “subjectively true” or “objectively true”? And what does that even mean?

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, I really don’t have time or energy for a debate, I just note that self-conscious awareness is an inescapable truth for one in that position and so is necessarily and objectively — warranted to self evident certainty — the case. One may be deluded about some contents of consciousness but not on the fact of being self aware. Similarly, a rock has no dreams and so it cannot be deluded that it is aware either. KF

    PS: Noting that this is a distractive side track, I note that others will readily have moral certainty that one is a similar, self-moved, initiating cause agent with consciousness and mind beyond programming.

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Note, successful warrant is the point of departure. The result of faculties evidently reliably aimed at truth, operating in an appropriate macro and local environment and delivering a result that supports the conclusion, credibly true. And so forth if you are going down the microcosm rabbit hole which shows that all significant truths are connected in some way so a skeptical questions game naturally ends in dragging in a whole philosophy. Meanwhile, your own comments further exemplify the inescapability of implicit appeals to first duties.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry,

    Duty:

    duty (?dju?t?)
    n, pl -ties
    1. a task or action that a person is bound to perform for moral or legal reasons
    2. respect or obedience due to a superior, older persons, etc: filial duty.
    3. the force that binds one morally or legally to one’s obligations [Collins]

    KF

  189. 189

    Everyone should have the same understanding that 1+1=2, and everyone should have the same understanding of subjectivity and objectivity also.

    It is wrong for people to just start asserting how subjectivity and objectivity works, based on some authority.

    It can be found out how subjectivity works, and how objectivity works, by looking at the rules used with subjective statements, like to say a painting is beautiful, and objective statements like to say, there is a camel out back.

    There can be no doubt about it what those rules are, and that those rules are creationist.

    http://www.creationwiki.org/Creationist_Philosophy

  190. 190
    Origenes says:

    KF:

    …. self-conscious awareness is an inescapable truth for one in that position and so is necessarily and objectively — warranted to self evident certainty — the case ….

    In what sense is self-conscious awareness “objectively” the case? What do you mean by “objectively”?
    Allow me to repost your own quotation of dictionary:

    AmHD:
    sub·jec·tive (s?b-j?k?t?v)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Dependent on or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world: “The sensation of pain is a highly subjective experience that varies by culture as well as by individual temperament and situation” (John Hoberman).
    b. Based on a given person’s experience, understanding, and feelings; personal or individual: admitted he was making a highly subjective judgment.
    2. Psychology Not caused by external stimuli.

    Self-conscious awareness is the ne plus ultra of subjectivity. It doesn’t get any more subjective than that. We are dealing with the epitome of subjectivity.
    So, by what process does this embodiment of subjectivity get to be, as you say, “objectively the case”? Objective in what sense?

    But I repeat myself …

  191. 191
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, observe please the pivotal role of warrant. As has long since been highlighted. The perceptions, contemplations and opinions of mind can be warranted sufficiently as to be credibly true and reliable to appropriate degree. The Kantian ugly gulch and claim that we cannot know things as they are is itself a claim to accurately and reliably describe reality as it is and so refutes itself. We may know in part and be prone to error but we can and do know. In the case of self-awareness, to undeniable certainty. Similarly, Mathematics is not a chain of squiggles on paper that happen to be agreed among some circle or other, but the rational contemplation of abstract structure and quantity yielding some of the most reliably warranted — thus objective — knowledge there is. It is warrant that makes objectivity; removal of actual or potential flaws and errors, yielding reliable, credibly true results. Take a flawed block of marble, add, Michelangelo; chip away what is not David and voila, a masterpiece appears. Results, that are abstracta, inherently objects of mental contemplation; e.g. start with { } –> 0, the null set — and yes, there is only one null set, we are symbolising and pointing to a unique abstract entity. It is of course agents who so contemplate, only agents are free enough to be rational and responsible. Moving on to right conduct and duty, we can identify first duties which are inescapable, so inescapably true and self evident, thus objective, reasonably independent of our actual or potential flaws as individuals or circles. The objective needs not be empirical and external to one’s mind, it is what results from the refiner’s fire of successful warrant and has an appropriate carat rating. KF

  192. 192
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry @183,
    The better thread to read is this one:

    https://uncommondescent.com/ethics/lfp44-what-are-self-evident-truths-sets-and-why-do-they-matter/

    It clarifies into a question @ comment #99 that, IMO, reveals KF’s case for “First Duties” to be devoid of the necessary grounds for claiming any duty exists in the first place, much less anyone being able to identify that duty.

  193. 193
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    And so forth if you are going down the microcosm rabbit hole

    You can’t avoid the quantum physics problems by trying to quarantine it with the term “microcosm.” They’ve already found quantum effects in the macro world.

    News Feature: Quantum effects enter the macroworld – https://www.pnas.org/content/116/45/22413

  194. 194
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes said:

    In essence, the yardstick I use is my vision of what true understanding entails.

    The yardstick I use is the one I have the most practical success with in my life when it comes to experiencing that which I prefer.

  195. 195
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, appeals to these are manifestly appeals to duties;

    Definition of manifestly: ” in a way that is clear or obvious to the eye or mind.”

    For any duty to exist or be identified, there must be two existent and identifiable conditions: (1) an authority that holds one responsible for fulfilling one’s duties, and (2) consequences for both fulfilling and not fulfilling said duty.

    Please point out the (1) and (2) that are “clear or obvious to the eye or mind.”

    If you cannot, you cannot even establish that such duties exist.

    … we are free creatures, not programmed substrates or simulations, which cannot be rational. KF

    We cannot be free creatures if we are inescapably bound to duties with inescapable consequences.

  196. 196
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Each time I have to discard large parts of your “answers”, because they are largely irrelavant to our discussion.
    The only relavant part here is:

    It is warrant that makes objectivity

    So, you are saying that when a statement has warrant it is objective. So, “objective” is just another word for “warranted”.
    It follows that, according to you, “I exist” is an objective statement, because, as you said, it is “warranted to self evident certainty” and “It is warrant that makes objectivity.”

    There is a problem with this, and will put it before you for the last time.

    According to the dictionary “I exist” is subjective, but according to you “I exist” is objective.

    You cannot both be right, so explain to me why the dictionary is wrong. And after that, explain to me why you spoke so highly of the erronious dictionary when you wrote:

    I see MNY is now reduced to trying to suggest AmHD is an arbitrary dictionary. That speaks volumes, reference grade dictionaries are based on tracking informed usage of terms, and here, what it means to be subjective is summarised.

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, perceiving that one exists is a subjective experience, an experience of an agent. That such a perception is warranted to undeniable certainty gives objectivity to the experience of perception; it is sufficiently independent of our error-prone subjectivity that it is credibly “Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real” . . . our existence is antecedent to our mental perception, e.g. consider ourselves asleep or unconscious or in the womb etc . . . and more specifically ” Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices” i e on a warrant sufficiently free from likelihood of error to be credibly true and not readily doubted or dismissed as delusion etc. Again, contemplate the null set { }. Is there any external empirical entity that is say seen with eyes? No, squiggles represent they are not the set. Is the null set solely subjective? No, it is a core bit of the logic of structure and quantity, a quite central abstract entity; well warranted and quite objective. And trying to gin up a contradiction out of a reference not in dispute while not acknowledging the key issue of having objectivity, warrant, is an error. Pardon directness, but there has been no substantial reason for this side tracked discussion, especially under current life crisis circumstances. We all know we are error prone in perceptions etc, that subjectivity of experience alone is not enough to confer credibility of accuracy to reality and that successful warrant does move us beyond such. KF

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your attempted objections all, inescapably, appeal to first duties. And, as I have said, I am going through a life crisis [sigh, involving v close triple bereavement], I have little energy for needless exchanges, especially where the matter at stake is as plain as appeals to duty to truth, right reason, warrant etc as key to arguments having rhetorical traction. KF

  199. 199
    jerry says:

    From the site on natural law and duties

    sure everyone is not using the word “objective” to mean the same thing here.

    Using words with different definitions or vague definitions is common on this site. That is an objective truth.

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-725225

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: How the OP to that thread begins:

    Laws of Nature are a key part of the foundation of modern science. This reflects not only natural, law-like regularities such as the Law of Gravitation that promotes the Earth to the heavens (from being the sump of the cosmos) but also the perspective of many founders that they were thinking God’s creative, ordering providential and world-sustaining thoughts after him. The focal topic asks us whether our civil law is effectively an accident of power balances, or else, could it be accountable to a built in law that pivots on first duties coeval with our humanity.

    The issue becomes pivotal, once we ponder the premise that the typical, “natural” tendency of government is to open or veiled lawless oligarchy

    As for what objectivity and subjectivity are about regarding degrees of truth, subjectivity is an individual’s or group’s experience or perception etc. That may be true but is relatively prone to error so is subject to warrant that allows recognition that a truth claim is credible enough to be taken as known true and reliable to some degree of certainty. Objective truth. Objective attitude is an obvious extension, the frame of mind conducive to sound warrant.

    Absolute truth is the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the material truth on a matter.

    That’s not hard and it makes me a lot less than impressed with arguments that come across as contrived in the teeth of things we all learned by age seven about truth, error, delusion etc, esp. given my current life crisis and its drain on energy.

    As for the focal point from OP, we have seen inescapable first duties that are about right conduct etc. That suffices to establish that there are objective moral truths. Indeed the attempt to deny objective moral truths is implicitly a claim to be such a truth and refutes itself. Objective moral truths exist and the Ciceronian first duties are key cases that have been historically pivotal for civilisation. Start with duty to neighbour and to right reason.

    Or, as that OP cites from Locke using Hooker, extended back to the source:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    KF

  201. 201
    Querius says:

    Jerry,

    What I’m really interested in is your response to my question

    So let’s say you have a beautiful Bing cherry tree in your backyard. You love your children, so you tell them that they can freely eat the fruit of the cherry, but they must not chew on the pits because it can make them sick or even die from doing so. This is actually because cherry pits release hydrogen cyanide when chewed.

    But your kids don’t know what hydrogen cyanide is (not having taken chemistry classes at this point), so you warn them not to chew on the stones (or put whole cherries in a blender). Tell me, does that make you an evil dad, demanding that they won’t question you, be curious, or only do what they’re told?

    -Q

  202. 202
    jerry says:

    What I’m really interested in is your response to my question

    I haven’t a clue what you want. And why do you want my response?

    If what you say is true, then such a product should not be sold. And if sold, it would be irresponsible for any person to allow it near their household. And if somehow anyone got near this product, let alone your kids, they should be told it’s poisonous.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, apple seeds also have the same poison. Peach and bitter almonds notoriously. Guinep seeds killed a cousin of my dad by choking, being in a slippery coating and the right size. Ackee is toxic unless properly managed, I think chocolate can be very bad for dogs and a lot more. Medicines are poisons in small doses. There is a valid point to an authoritative ruling that is beyond our understanding but is taken as from trusted source. KF

  204. 204
    Querius says:

    Jerry,

    I’m sorry, I really should have been more specific as to why.

    As Kairosfocus noted about our reasonable opinions, there’s a role for authoritative warnings beyond what we can bridge with reason.

    Originally, I posed the question to JVL (which of course he hasn’t answered) purposely in parallel with the Tree of Knowledge described in Genesis.

    Your answer in @202 demonstrates not only what you would do for your kids, but that such trust, beyond reasonableness, also has an important place in our lives.

    I hope that makes sense.

    -Q

  205. 205
    JVL says:

    Querius: So let’s say you have a beautiful Bing cherry tree in your backyard. You love your children, so you tell them that they can freely eat the fruit of the cherry, but they must not chew on the pits because it can make them sick or even die from doing so. This is actually because cherry pits release hydrogen cyanide when chewed.

    Assuming the tree was already there (if this was a real risk (i.e. is the amount of hydrogen cyanide lethal?) I’d avoid planting such a tree when I had very young children) and consider getting rid of an existing one. If you kept it I think it’s a bit too complicated for young children to tell them they can only eat part of the stuff on the ground but not all. Probably better to tell them not to eat the cherries on the ground because they need to be washed in the kitchen first by their parents. Also, I have a cherry tree and never get to eat any of the cherries because the birds get ’em first.

    But your kids don’t know what hydrogen cyanide is (not having taken chemistry classes at this point), so you warn them not to chew on the stones (or put whole cherries in a blender). Tell me, does that make you an evil dad, demanding that they won’t question you, be curious, or only do what they’re told?

    Any sensible parent has to weigh up and consider all the risks they voluntary put or leave in their lives and homes when they have small children. While I don’t think it makes a parent ‘evil’ to warn children about the dangers of eating cherry pits there might be a better solution more likely to ensure danger is avoided. Why not at least find some pictures or stories about people who ingested cherry pits so they can understand things better? And if you can’t find any stories or pictures . . .

    Also, I would not say God was evil tempting Adam and Eve with the tree of knowledge but seriously, what did ‘he’ expect them to do? They weren’t seasoned adults who had lots of life experiences behind them, they had limited memory of anything really. They had no models of adults around them to help guide them. They didn’t know about life expectancy, death, diseases, etc. They didn’t even know what knowledge was.

    So, this being puts them in this garden, everything is lovely, lots of food, no dangers, no strife no risks. It begins to sound a bit boring really. WHY would anyone put in a major temptation that would destroy all that? Just to say afterwards: see, you should have listened to me and obeyed me. You’re very naughty and all humans that follow after you are going to suffer because you were stupid? Great parenting. To not even give an example (in a vision or something) of what would happen if they ate of THAT tree . . . that’s just stupid. That’s setting things up for failure. Not good parenting.

  206. 206
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, your attempted objections all, inescapably, appeal to first duties.

    Perhaps, but you have yet to show this to be the case.

    For any duty to exist or be identified as such, there must be two existent and identifiable conditions: (1) an authority that holds one responsible for fulfilling one’s duties, and (2) consequences for both fulfilling and not fulfilling said duty.

    You have yet to identify either of the conditions necessary for any duty to exist or be identified as such.

  207. 207
    William J Murray says:

    From the OP:

    Michael Egnor insists that a moral law exists independently of varying opinions. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, that has always been the traditional view worldwide.

    It’s also been the “tradition view worldwide” that an objective physical/material world exists external of individual experience. Science has conclusively disproved that perspective.

  208. 208
    Origenes says:

    @197 Kairosfocus

    A general outline of the subjective vs objective concept: subjective statements depend solely on the subject, and objective statements have warrant independent from the subject.

    In principle I have no problem with this distinction. The problem arises because of Kairosfocus’ effort to conflate “objective” with “true”, and “subjective” with “error.”
    Kairosfocus idea seems to be: subjects are error-prone, plagued by delusions and personal prejudices, but once the demand of an independent-from-the-subject-warrant is met, these flaws and errors of the subject are addressed, and the road to truth is open.

    The idea that subjective statements [meaning statements solely dependent on the subject] are false and objective statements [meaning subjective statements with warrant independent from the subject] are true, does not make sense. A (purely) subjective statement can be true or false, and the same goes for “objective statements.”

    “I exist” is a purely subjective statement. Only the subject can warrant, only the subject has access to, its conscious self-awareness. There is no independent-from-the-subject-warrant, **NO OBJECTIVE WARRANT** for conscious self-awareness.
    “I exist” is therefore a purely subjective statement … and … undeniably true.

    But Kairosfocus does not want subjective statements to be true. Instead he wants subjective statements to be error-prone, delusional and what not. Only objective statements are allowed to be true. So, what does he do? He states that the subjective statement “I exist” is an objective statement.

  209. 209
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes said:

    Originally, I posed the question to JVL (which of course he hasn’t answered) purposely in parallel with the Tree of Knowledge described in Genesis.

    The analogy fails because the father of the child with the cherry tree isn’t God.

    What’s the point in warning your children not to eat the fruit off the tree when you know as an absolute certainty they are going to do it anyway? Is it to maintain plausible deniability for your responsibility when the book is written? Would we, as parents, warn our children not to eat the poisonous fruit, and then sit in the lawn chairs and watch as they went to the tree and ate it anyway, thinking, “well, it’s their free will decision, I warned them?”

    I see JVL has said much the same thing.

  210. 210
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes @208:

    Well said and well argued.

    Let’s go further: all true or false statements are made in subjective mind and are about subjective experiences.

    Since no one has access to objective experience or thought, all we can be doing is sorting out different kinds of subjective experiences subjectively.

    The “external, objective world” can only ever be an abstraction held within the subjective mind.

    Thus, no rational statements about something “objective” can ever be made, because even “the objective, external world” is a subjective abstraction held entirely in subjective mind. It’s a labeling error where KF and others have reified an abstraction as something other than an abstraction, much in the same way that people reify an abstract model of behavior, like gravity, into an objective cause for that behavior.

    “The external, objective world” is a subjective abstract model of behaviors of things we experience in our subjective minds. We can only make statements about subjective experiences, because that is all we have to make statements about.

  211. 211
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL at 205, in regards to the Garden of Eden, states that it was, “Not good parenting.”

    Well JVL, if you object to God’s parenting style in the Garden of Eden, then God’s parenting style that was displayed in the prodigal son must really have you rolling your eyes.

    The Prodigal Son (what you NEED to know about this shocking story) – Jeffery Curtis Poor – April 26, 2021
    Excerpt: In Luke 15:12, the young brother goes to his father to demand his portion of the inheritance. An insult and a shocking request.
    In Jewish culture the older son would get a double portion of the inheritance. So in this case, the older son would get 2/3’s of the inheritance and the younger son would get 1/3. These amounts would have been divided and given out upon the father’s death.
    In essence, what the younger son is saying is I wish you were dead. He valued the money more than his own father. The audience surely would have gasped and expected a swift judicious beat down coming the son’s way.
    But the father does something equally shocking, he obliges. He divides up the inherence among BOTH brothers. Not just giving the younger brother what he demanded, but also the older brother. An important detail.
    The younger son takes his father’s money, grabs his things, and heads off to live “recklessly” as Luke describes it ,,,
    https://www.rethinknow.org/the_prodigal_son/

    And indeed it is very easy to miss God’s ‘big picture’ and take bad parenting tips away from the parable of the prodigal son.

    The Prodigal’s Non-Codependent Father – APR 15, 2011
    http://bradhambrick.com/the-pr.....nt-father/

    Of semi-related note, although Atheists, in their ‘argument from evil’, often implicitly assume that God should not allow any suffering whatsoever, the fact of the matter is that we all endure suffering for a short while when we are trying to bring about a greater good in our lives. i.e. working for a long term goal, rigorous physical training to be good at a sport, etc.. etc..

    Likewise, parents will often allow their children to endure suffering for a short time in order to, eventually, bring about a much greater good in their child’s life.

    In short, the atheist’s premise in his ‘argument from evil’, i.e. that God should allow any suffering whatsoever, collapses in on itself.

    This Theologian Has An Answer To Atheists’ Claims That Evil Disproves God – Jan, 2018
    Excerpt: In “The Last Superstition: A Refutation Of The New Atheism,” Feser, echoing Thomas Aquinas, notes that the first premise of the problem of evil is “simply false, or at least unjustifiable.” According to Feser, there is no reason to believe that the Christian God, being all-good and all-powerful, would prevent suffering on this earth if out of suffering he could bring about a good that is far greater than any that would have existed otherwise. If God is infinite in power, knowledge, goodness, etc., then of course he could bring about such a good.
    Feser demonstrates his reasoning with an analogy. A parent may allow his child a small amount of suffering in frustration, sacrifice of time, and minor pain when learning to play the violin, in order to bring about the good of establishing proficiency. This is not to say that such minimal suffering is in any way comparable to the horrors that have gone on in this world. But the joy of establishing proficiency with a violin is not in any way comparable to the good that God promises to bring to the world.
    In Christian theology, this good is referred to as the Beatific Vision: the ultimate, direct self-communication of God to the individual. In other words, perfect salvation or Heaven. Feser describes the Beatific Vision as a joy so great that even the most terrible horror imaginable “pales in insignificance before the beatific vision.” As Saint Paul once said, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
    Your Argument Assumes Its Conclusion
    I can already see the disciples of the Four Horsemen readying their keyboards, opening a copy of Dawkins’ “The God Delusion,” and preparing their response. An atheist may claim that he cannot possibly imagine anything in the next life that could possibly outweigh the Holocaust, children’s suffering, or any other instance of significant suffering in this world. According to Feser, this response is precisely the reason he states that the problem of evil is “worthless” as an objection to arguments in favor of the existence of the Christian God.
    The problem is that the only way the atheist can claim that nothing could outweigh the most significant suffering on earth is if he supposes that God does not exist and therefore there is no Beatific Vision. But he cannot presume that God does not exist in the premise of an argument that aims to prove the conclusion that God does not exist. By doing so, he is begging the question, or arguing in a circle, and therefore does not prove anything at all.
    As Feser goes on to demonstrate, the atheist is essentially stating: “There is no God, because look at all this suffering that no good could possibly outweigh. How do I know there’s no good that could outweigh it? Oh, because there is no God.”
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....oves-gods/

    Verse:

    — Hebrews 12:2
    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  212. 212
    jerry says:

    All opinions have various amounts of evidence to support them ranging from zero evidence to large amounts. The sun will rise tomorrow has large amounts of evidence to support it while the various multiverse concepts have zero evidence to support them.

    Also logical concepts such as arithmetic and subtraction have something more than evidence.

    So what’s objective and what’s subjective? Things which are logically true are classified as objective by most people. The opposite is not subjective but some other concept that means lacking evidence and logic. A concept such as “uncertain” is a much better one than “subjective” which has the same ending as “objective” but does not mean the opposite. There may be a better word than “uncertain.” Maybe “specious” is better.

    Subjective things can be objective. For example, my favorite ice cream is cherry vanilla. Absolutely objective as it is my favorite ice cream. People would call that a subjective experience. So a subjective experience is also an objective experience.

    Now cherry vanilla is definitely not everyone’s favorite ice cream. That is an objective statement too.

    In other words the whole discussion about objective/subjective is not objective.

  213. 213
    William J Murray says:

    “As Feser goes on to demonstrate, the atheist is essentially stating: “There is no God, because look at all this suffering that no good could possibly outweigh. How do I know there’s no good that could outweigh it? Oh, because there is no God.”

    BA77 said:

    In short, the atheist’s premise in his ‘argument from evil’, i.e. that God should allow any suffering whatsoever, collapses in on itself.

    And:

    Likewise, parents will often allow their children to endure suffering for a short time in order to, eventually, bring about a much greater good in their child’s life.

    Nope. This is a straw man version of the argument being presented. The atheist is arguing that if the particular, hypothetical supremely “good” God of the Christian doctrine exists, that being’s behavior is irreconcilable with that characteristic unless one takes, entirely on faith, that the world that hypothetical God created is the “best possible” world that results in the “best possible” outcome because there’s no way for us, as limited humans, to make that assessment.

    Trying to rationalize that behavior (which includes creating this particular, suffering-laden world) by comparing it to parents who allow minor, impermanent suffering in their children for their own benefit is a completely inappropriate analogy, because those parents are not remotely comparable to God and the result of God allowing us to make those decisions is not minor or impermanent.

  214. 214
    jerry says:

    I argue that the concept of evil is a bogus concept. No one can define “evil” in a coherent manner though all love to use it.

    Since it is a bogus concept, it cannot be used to argue against any creator but specifically it cannot be used to argue against the Judeo/Christian God. It just means less than perfect and since everything in this best of all possible worlds is less than perfect by design, it means everything is evil. When everything is evil essentially nothing is evil.

    To the person with extremely good health, lots of friends and admirers, physically very attractive, a large range of satisfying activities and unlimited income there would still be something missing and the lack of this missing thing would be considered an evil.

    A large amount of human activity is geared to making everyone in the world like the person described above if this objective is reached, there still would be evil.

    There have been thousands of comments on this in the last 10 years. This is not the place for another hundred or so.

  215. 215
    William J Murray says:

    Under Christian doctrine, the following is inarguable:
    1. God, obviously without my consent, forced me into a situation of extreme duress (life in this world) where the penalty of not making the decision God wants me to make here is eternal damnation.
    2. As part of that extreme duress, I have an unspecified amount of time to make that decision. At any moment before I make that decision I could die and find myself in eternal damnation.
    3. To keep this in the domain of adult decisions, and to arbitrarily assign age 18 as the dividing line between child and adult, when I turn 18 I may have a few seconds or 100 years to make that decision. Some people get a few seconds; some get 100 years.
    4. This represents the “best possible world,” and I have to take that completely on faith.
    5. The being that did all this is supremely good.

    That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

  216. 216
    jerry says:

    That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

    No the statement above is a ridiculous statement.

    This represents the “best possible world,” and I have to take that completely on faith.

    No! Logic.

  217. 217
    JVL says:

    Of semi-related note, although Atheists, in their ‘argument from evil’, often implicitly assume that God should not allow any suffering whatsoever, the fact of the matter is that we all endure suffering for a short while when we are trying to bring about a greater good in our lives. i.e. working for a long term goal, rigorous physical training to be good at a sport, etc.. etc..

    I didn’t say anything about evil in general or in the case someone else asked me specifically to comment on with my opinion.

    IF I had a plant or thing in my house or garden that could possibly kill one of my children and I didn’t get rid of it and they subsequently died because I thought my verbal injunction against interacting with that thing didn’t stop them I would be haunted for the rest of my life. How could I have let that happen? I wouldn’t be saying: well, they had free will and they made that choice. I wouldn’t be saying: well, hopefully this short-term suffering serves some greater good. All I would think about would be: why was I so negligent? Why did I put my child’s life at risk when I could have done something differently? Why was I such a bad parent?

    I still struggle with decisions like this every day. I want my child to grow up and learn to navigate the world with insight and wisdom. And sometimes I do think: well, they might get burned following their own will but hopefully they will learn from that. But I try really, really hard not to let them get too close to a potentially fatal mistake. And you make different protective decisions based on their age. When they are very, very little you ‘child proof’ your house as much as possible. You do not depend on them remembering your admonitions or warnings because kids forget. Or are curious. Or don’t understand what could be so wrong. You remove fatal temptations where possible and restrict access to those you cannot remove.

    The idea that I would leave something within easy access that could condemn my child to a life of pain and suffering and all their offspring for thousands of years . . . that’s just clearly the act of someone who doesn’t love their child. Adam and Eve were children. They didn’t know. They didn’t understand. They couldn’t possibly conceive of what God had in store if they disobeyed. That’s the real sad part about the story. They had no history or experience or parental advice to fall back on. They hadn’t even bent the rules a little to see just a glimpse of what dangers lay ahead. They weren’t given a chance to push the boundaries a bit to test the system.

    I know, it’s just a metaphor but its only point is: obey or suffer. That’s pretty sad isn’t it?

  218. 218
    ET says:

    All of these arguments from extreme ignorance are entertaining. JVL doesn’t have any idea what actually happened. He doesn’t have any idea what they knew or didn’t know.

  219. 219
    Origenes says:

    William J Murray @210

    Let’s go further: all true or false statements are made in subjective mind and are about subjective experiences.
    Since no one has access to objective experience or thought, all we can be doing is sorting out different kinds of subjective experiences subjectively.

    I agree, and I would like add to that “subjectively” doesn’t mean that anything goes. Allow me to clarify. I believe that each one of us, whether one likes it or not, is on an individual road to awareness — enlightenment if you will. Further I believe that those who reach enlightenment will agree on what understanding is, what morality is, what logic is and so on. IOWs I hold that there is a (non-external!) illuminating yardstick, although not clearly within reach.

    The “external, objective world” can only ever be an abstraction held within the subjective mind.

    When a person talks about the “external, objective world” he can only be talking about an abstraction held within his subjective mind. Indeed.
    To be clear, this is not to say that there cannot be an external objective (in the sense of existing independently from one’s mind) world. This is to say that we have but one viewpoint, that we cannot escape our personhood—our subjectivity—, we simply cannot be external to ourselves and consequently confirm the existence of this externality in the same way we can confirm “I exist”.

    Thus, no rational statements about something “objective” can ever be made, because even “the objective, external world” is a subjective abstraction held entirely in subjective mind.

    Granted that we are all subjects, no one has access to an “objective” viewpoint, whatever that means. And, as an aside, this claim “no one has access to an ‘objective’ viewpoint” is not at all “objectively true”, but instead it is just true — no need for modifiers.

    “The external, objective world” is a subjective abstract model of behaviors of things we experience in our subjective minds. We can only make statements about subjective experiences, because that is all we have to make statements about.

    Well said.

  220. 220

    The distinction between subjectivity and objectivity is the most important issue in philosophy.

    And everyone should shut the hell up about it, and solely study the rules used in subjective statements, like to say a painting is beautiful, and objective statements, like that there is a camel out the back.

    The only correct definition is the accurate reflection of the rules used in subjective statements, and objective statements.

    These kinds of argumentations, where the definition of subjectivity and objectivity are determined by authority, must be thrown out. What an outrageous arrogance is that.

  221. 221
    JVL says:

    ET: JVL doesn’t have any idea what actually happened. He doesn’t have any idea what they knew or didn’t know.

    Are you assuming Adam and Eve actually existed?

  222. 222
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, starts off by stating, “I didn’t say anything about evil in general”, and then JVL proceeds to reiterate his original complaint that God’s actions in the Garden of Eden were “clearly the act of someone who doesn’t love their child.”

    Apparently JVL, since he now claims that he is not saying anything about “evil in general”, has no real clue what he is actually talking about.

    And so it goes.

  223. 223
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: JVL, starts off by stating, “I didn’t say anything about evil in general”, and then JVL proceeds to reiterate his original complaint that God’s actions in the Garden of Eden were “clearly the act of someone who doesn’t love their child.”

    Why don’t you tell us, as a parent, what you would have done?

    Apparently JVL, since he claims that he is not saying anything about “evil in general”, has no real clue what he is actually talking about.

    Again, give up the parental insight into the situation. What would you have done in the same circumstances?

    Let’s say you’re a parent, you have ‘created’ two children. You have created a lovely garden for them to live it. It’s great! BUT you have included one tree with fruit which, if eaten, destroys the whole environment and condemns the children and all their offspring. First off, why would you do that? But, you figure: I’ll warn them. I’ll tell them not to eat the fruit from that tree. They’re children, they have no experience of the world or a history or of parents or siblings or any real idea of what eternal damnation actually means. But, I’m gonna test them, to see if they’re loyal, if they can obey my commands. And, oh dear, they failed. Well, I’ve got to do what I said I was going to do ’cause otherwise they’d never take me seriously again would they? I created the scenario, I laid down the rules, I made the game I’ve got to do what I said I would do. That’s good then. Happy with that. I’m consistent and honest. Too bad my kids didn’t get it. Oh well, they’ll learn. Someday.

    Is that how it works?

  224. 224
    jerry says:

    Here is the rationale for this being the best of all possible worlds. From 2 1/2 weeks ago.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/jonathan-wells-reflects-on-the-importance-of-junk-dna-to-francis-collins/#comment-738403

    This is the best of all possible worlds

    Why? Whoever created this world and it was created was an entity of immense knowledge and power. Such an entity is not a trivial being and does not make mistakes.

    So it was possible to make this world in many different ways. But why would this entity of immense power and knowledge make it one way and not another? Only if there was an objective in making it this particular way.

    To suggest there was a better world is to suggest that this being of immense knowledge and power didn’t know how to do it. This is an absurd argument so the issue is why/how this world is best?

    The argument from evil which is often brought up to counter the power and knowledge of the creator is an absurd argument. If supposedly bad things have a purpose and are necessary are they then not bad but necessary? The question is what is the purpose of supposedly bad things? That is the question that must be asked.

    If one examines the so called bad things, then one is led to the conclusion that everything is bad. They are all relative in how bad they supposedly are. Because eliminating any of the so called bad things just leaves more things that will be judged bad.

    Which points to that there may be something that is objectively not bad and not relative. But what is it?

    Aside but relevant. Whenever humans design something it has a purpose, maybe just to amuse us. We don’t design something to frustrate our objective.

    It’s absurd to think that the entity that designed this world did not have an objective. So with immense knowledge and power it’s absurd to think this entity didn’t get it right.

    Nothing about religion except that there is a creator with an objective.

    Is this a world of perfect imperfects? A world of trade-offs among several imperfects necessary to reach an objective?

  225. 225
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Are you assuming Adam and Eve actually existed?

    I am saying that all you can do is “argue” from extreme ignorance and prejudice.

  226. 226
    jerry says:

    The only relationship between the words “objective” and “subjective” is that they both have the same 3 letter ending. To conflate the two as opposites is a logical fallacy of some sort. Especially when zillions of subjective statements are true and are thus objective.

    Analyze productive, reflective, conservative, respective, alternative etc. What do they have to do with objective?

    By the way, zillions of subjective statement are not true and thus are not objective.

  227. 227
    JVL says:

    ET: I am saying that all you can do is “argue” from extreme ignorance and prejudice.

    Do you think Adam and Eve actually existed or not? Just picking holes in other people’s statements is just weak; you have to propose alternatives and make a commitment.

  228. 228
    JVL says:

    Jerry: The only relationship between the words “objective” and “subjective” is that they both have the same 3 letter ending.

    Actually, of course, they share the same 8 letters starting with ‘b’. Thus endeth the pedantry.

  229. 229
    Origenes says:

    William J Murray @215

    Under Christian doctrine, the following is inarguable ….

    I agree with your argument. I have a weak spot for Christianity, but there are certain things that do not make sense to me. Eternal damnation, for the vast majority of people mind you, being one of them.

    To keep this in the domain of adult decisions, and to arbitrarily assign age 18 as the dividing line between child and adult, when I turn 18 I may have a few seconds or 100 years to make that decision.

    People go to hell by their own choice, christians argue. But to me it is obvious that only a fully informed decision has true value. Life on earth is clearly confusing to many people. For one thing people are being lied to. I cannot comprehend how a good God can connect eternal consequences to such “decisions” by confused and badly informed people.

  230. 230
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, despite claiming that “I didn’t say anything about evil in general” still complains that what God did in the Garden of Eden was morally wrong.

    Apparently unbeknownst to JVL, that is a prime and shining example of the theologically based argument from evil that atheists constantly put forth.

    As Klinghoffer put their oft repeated theologically based argument, “atheists have their theology, which is basically: “God, if he existed, wouldn’t do it this way (because) if I were God, I wouldn’t (do it that way).”

    “atheists have their theology, which is basically: “God, if he existed, wouldn’t do it this way (because) if I were God, I wouldn’t (do it that way).”
    – David Klinghoffer
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....85691.html

    In fact, Charles Darwin himself used the theologically based argument from evil, (among many other theologically based arguments), in his book ‘Origin”, i.e. “10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.”

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    The primary and fatal flaw in the atheist’s theologically based ‘argument from evil’ is that, in order to even be able to communicate to other people the concept of evil in the first place, everyone must have some concept and ‘shared awareness’ of some objective standard of moral perfection that has been departed from.

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    As C.S. Lewis succinctly put it, “What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
    – C.S. Lewis

    In other words, if God does not exist, then objective morality cannot possibly exist. Yet the atheist, (apparently unbeknownst to himself), must presuppose the existence of objective morality, (an objective standard of moral perfection that everyone shares and innate and intuitive awareness of), in order for his argument from evil to even have some semblance of being a rational argument to other people.

    Specifically, the atheist, in his theologically based argument from evil, must presuppose, “There exist a large number of horrible forms of evil and suffering for which we can see no greater purpose or compensating good.”

    The Problem of Evil: Still A Strong Argument for Atheism – 2015
    Excerpt:,,, the problem of evil, one of the main arguments against the existence of an all-good and all-knowing God.,,,
    P1. There exist a large number of horrible forms of evil and suffering for which we can see no greater purpose or compensating good.
    P2. If an all-powerful, all-good God existed, then such horrific, apparently purposeless evils would not exist.
    C. Therefore, an all-powerful, all-good God does not exist.
    https://thegodlesstheist.com/2015/10/13/the-problem-of-evil-still-a-strong-argument-for-atheism/

    Yet, “By declaring that suffering is evil, atheists have admitted that there is an objective moral standard by which we distinguish good and evil.”,, thus “even as atheists make their case against the existence of God, they actually help us prove that God exists!,,,”

    Responding to the Argument From Evil: Three Approaches for the Theist – By David Wood
    Excerpt: Interestingly enough, proponents of AE grant this premise in the course of their argument. By declaring that suffering is evil, atheists have admitted that there is an objective moral standard by which we distinguish good and evil. Amazingly, then, even as atheists make their case against the existence of God, they actually help us prove that God exists!,,,
    https://www.namb.net/apologetics/responding-to-the-argument-from-evil-three-approaches-for-the-theist

    In short, if good and evil exist, as the atheist must presuppose to be true in his argument from evil, then God necessarily exists:

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: Peter Kreeft – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    – The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    Moreover, aside from this very powerful philosophical/theological argument for the existence of God, the Christian can also appeal to the scientific evidence itself in order to further back up his claim that objective morality is a real and tangible part of reality, (and not merely subjective and illusory as the atheist holds).

    Oct. 2021 – In short, the objective existence of altruistic, self-sacrificial, morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible in the first place.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-there-such-a-thing-as-morality-or-ethics/#comment-738586

    Oct 2021 Thus in conclusion, the moral argument for God does now indeed have some fairly impressive empirical evidence behind it that satisfies Kant’s criteria of a beyond space and time influence.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-there-such-a-thing-as-morality-or-ethics/#comment-738672

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, if you have an apple, peach, nectarine, plum [so, prune too] or bitter almond tree, etc you similarly have toxic seeds. And the fruit of course. IIRC for an apple or the like a dangerous dose is about 50 seeds. Peaches, etc have bigger seeds. Do you buy fresh fruit from those Rose family fruit trees? KF

  232. 232
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your denial simply underscores the point, indeed why do you expect me to demonstrate to your satisfaction? Said duties. KF

  233. 233
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: JVL, despite claiming that “I didn’t say anything about evil in general” still complains that what God did in the Garden of Eden was morally wrong. Apparently unbeknownst to JVL, that is a prime and shining example of the theologically based argument from evil that atheists constantly put forth.

    No, I’m not doing that. What I am doing is pointing out, from my point of view, that the actions of a character in what is clearly a fable or an allegory exhibit what I would consider bad parenting skills and motivations.

    The story of the garden of Eden reflects the views and opinions of those who came up with the tale in the first place. It says something about the way they thought their deity should behave. It’s not meant to be taken as an actual event and commenting on it cannot be considered a serious argument regarding the existence of said deity.

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines,

    I am on a pause from funeral preparations, that is underlying context. Which becomes material when I note a needless continuation:

    The problem arises because of Kairosfocus’ effort to conflate “objective” with “true”, and “subjective” with “error.”
    Kairosfocus idea seems to be: subjects are error-prone, plagued by delusions and personal prejudices, but once the demand of an independent-from-the-subject-warrant is met, these flaws and errors of the subject are addressed, and the road to truth is open.

    False, to the point of strawman. I have nowhere conflated subjectivity with error. Nor, objectivity with truth. I have pointed out that our perceptions, thoughts, etc are prone to error. A fact we know reliably by age 7. “To err is human.”

    In that context, objectivity is tied to having sufficient warrant that, credibly, one has a reliable result in hand, one more likely to be true to the point of being knowledge, at least in the weak sense we typically use. (Warrant is certain beyond correction only in some cases.)

    It is in that context that claimed truths and perceptions regarding right conduct can be addressed. It turns out that the first duties are inescapable, so inescapably true thus objective. By contrast, the claim there are no objective moral truths is a claim to objective truth on right conduct, refuting itself.

    KF

  235. 235
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, if you have an apple, peach, nectarine, plum [so, prune too] or bitter almond tree, etc you similarly have toxic seeds. And the fruit of course. IIRC for an apple or the like a dangerous dose is about 50 seeds. Peaches, etc have bigger seeds. Do you buy fresh fruit from those Rose family fruit trees?

    Right so the whole example was faulty from the beginning: eating a cherry pit or two is unlikely to cause any serious harm. Which is not surprising since there is NO parenting manual in the world that recommends getting rid of such trees.

    My comments were based on the assumption there might be a risk. But there isn’t so it’s a non-issue.

  236. 236
    William J Murray says:

    The reasoning @224 fails immediately:

    Why? Whoever created this world and it was created was an entity of immense knowledge and power. Such an entity is not a trivial being and does not make mistakes.

    Immense knowledge and power … compared to what? Not a trivial being …. compared to what? Even given “non-trivial immense power,” that doesn’t logically lead to “does not make mistakes.”

  237. 237
    William J Murray says:

    KF @232 said:

    WJM, your denial simply underscores the point, indeed why do you expect me to demonstrate to your satisfaction? Said duties. KF

    You’re argument here relies on mind-reading, as I’ve pointed out several times. Not a valid argument.

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    no rational statements about something “objective” can ever be made, because even “the objective, external world” is a subjective abstraction held entirely in subjective mind. It’s a labeling error where KF and others have reified an abstraction as something other than an abstraction, much in the same way that people reify an abstract model of behavior, like gravity, into an objective cause for that behavior.

    So, where do you live, where does what you eat come from, or the air you breathe etc?

    The real world that just hit me with a triple whammy well beyond anything I expected [e.g. my will is now obsolete], is independent of my perceptions and preferences, fears, biases etc. I am well advised and even duty bound to think about it accurately using methods with a track record of effectiveness, such as logic, scientific observation, good statistics, math etc.

    In that context, BTW “no rational statements about something “objective” can ever be made” is a failed attempt at such a statement, self-refers and self-destructs. Thus, it is undeniable that reasoned and reasonable and even accurate statements and chains of such about the objective world are possible and sometimes even actual.

    There is no reification, there is recognition. Including, sometimes very painful and utterly unwelcome ones that have to be faced and dealt with.

    KF

  239. 239
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you just asserted something to be the case, in massively obvious expectation that we acknowledge duties to truth and right reason. it is actually false, but that is beside the point. KF

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, I gave the case of much smaller apple seeds, recall how doubling in volume for the same shape requires only 26% increase in line. The family of trees and their fruit, especially stones and seeds, should be treated with respect. The example, BTW is not mine. Guineps is. The seeds are ball like and the flesh is slippery. As a child my dad taught us to crack seeds in half, due to danger of choking on just one seed; he lost a cousin that way. The tree is a favourite and kids love the fruit. I am not about to tell folks chop em down. Similarly, ackees can be quite toxic, but again a favourite in Jamaica, just prepare it the right way. Carrots, potatoes etc can be toxic under certain circumstances too, and more. KF

  241. 241

    This is already an out of control discussion. Then KF says something, WJM says something else, OG says something different again.

    The only correct approach is to try to find the rules in subjective statements, and objective statements, in ordinary common discourse.

    I am sick of of seeing everyone bloviating their personal point of view on the issue. How subjectivity works is NOT a matter of personal opinion. First you accept the rules of subjectivity as it is in common discourse, then you express personal opinions, according to the rules.

  242. 242
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, yes, we are prone to error and every objector here is aware that we need to take care to be correct or credibly so. KF

  243. 243
    Origenes says:

    @234 Kairosfocus

    False, to the point of strawman. I have nowhere conflated subjectivity with error. Nor, objectivity with truth.

    I will grant you that for now.

    I have pointed out that our perceptions, thoughts, etc are prone to error. A fact we know reliably by age 7. “To err is human.”

    Yes, and you have very often used the term “subjective” in that context, but I am going to let that slide for the moment.

    In that context, objectivity is tied to having sufficient warrant that, credibly, one has a reliable result in hand, one more likely to be true to the point of being knowledge, at least in the weak sense we typically use. (Warrant is certain beyond correction only in some cases.)

    So, objectivity is not to be conflated with truth, but it means “having sufficient warrant” and it is almost certainly true. Call me unimpressed.

    Sadly you haven’t addressed the following:

    Origenes: …. subjective statements depend solely on the subject, and objective statements have warrant independent from the subject.

    External to the subject are objects. Warrant that comes from external to the subject, comes from objects. Hence the term OBJECTIVE.
    When warrant comes from the subject itself, as is the case with “I exist”, it makes no sense whatsoever, zero sense, to call it “objective.”

    It turns out that the first duties are inescapable, so inescapably true thus objective.

    … thus objective …. What does “thus objective” add to our understanding? Why is “inescapably true” not enough? And what does it even mean?

  244. 244
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, whether you take the Garden of Eden to be mythical history or to be actual history, that does not detract one iota from the fact that you were, in fact, making a theologically based ‘argument from evil’.

    And whether you ever honestly admit it or not, and as I have now clearly shown in post 230, the atheist’s ‘argument from evil’ collapses in on itself since, for their argument to even be coherent to other people in the first place, atheists necessarily have to presuppose some commonly recognized standard of moral perfection that has departed from.

    In other words, atheists are forced to presuppose the existence of God in order for them to even have a coherent basis from which to argue with other people about the existence of God with their theologically based ‘argument from evil’.

    As Cornelius Van Til put the self-refuting situation for atheists, “As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    – Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

    And as Dr. Michael Egnor put the self-refuting position of atheists, “Even to raise the problem of evil is to tacitly acknowledge transcendent standards, and thus to acknowledge God’s existence. From that starting point, theodicy begins. Theists have explored it profoundly. Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.

    The Universe Reflects a Mind – Michael Egnor – February 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Goff seriously misunderstands the problem of evil. Evil is an insoluble problem for atheists, because if there is no God, there is no objective standard by which evil and good can exist or can even be defined. If God does not exist, “good” and “evil” are merely human opinions. Yet we all know, as Kant observed, that some things are evil in themselves, and not merely as a matter of opinion. Even to raise the problem of evil is to tacitly acknowledge transcendent standards, and thus to acknowledge God’s existence. From that starting point, theodicy begins. Theists have explored it profoundly. Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/02/the-universe-reflects-a-mind/

    Moreover, despite JVL trying to claim that the Garden of Eden is “clearly a fable or an allegory” and “It’s not meant to be taken as an actual event”, the fact of the matter is that the Christian Theist has very good reasons to believe that God created humans ‘in His image’ and therefore also has very good reason for regarding the Garden of Eden to be an actual event.

    First and foremost, and as I pointed out yesterday, in what a consider to be a shining example of poetic justice, the atheist, in his denial that God really exists as a real person, (the atheist) ends up being forced to deny that he himself exists as a real person. (i.e. he becomes a quote unquote “neuronal illusion” under his materialistic worldview)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/some-at-your-fingertips-stats-on-human-chimp-similarity/#comment-739099

    I find it extremely ironic that a ‘neuronal illusion’ would think himself qualified to differentiate fact from fiction and try to lecture me that the Garden of Eden is to be regarded as “clearly a fable or an allegory”. 🙂

    Moreover, the supposedly ‘scientific’ claim from atheists that humans evolved from apes is directly contradicted by several lines of fairly strong empirical evidence. i.e. from the “Fossil Record, to Genetics, to Population Genetics, and also to Human Exceptionalism”

    October 2021 – Refutation of Human evolution – Fossil Record, Genetics, Population Genetics, and Human Exceptionalism
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/science-uprising-8-why-materialism-needs-ape-ancestors/#comment-738485

    Moreover, (as if that was not more than enough to refute the claim from atheists that we randomly evolved from apes), “Everything that is truly important (about being a human), and that can be said to ‘radically’ differentiate us from all the other creatures on earth, and that truly makes us human and not animals, is immaterial in its foundational essence and character, and therefore it is simply impossible for Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, to ever give an adequate account for how humans came about.”,,,

    October 2021 – “Everything that is truly important (about being a human), and that can be said to ‘radically’ differentiate us from all the other creatures on earth, and that truly makes us human and not animals, is immaterial in its foundational essence and character, and therefore it is simply impossible for Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, to ever give an adequate account for how humans came about.”,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/some-at-your-fingertips-stats-on-human-chimp-similarity/#comment-739098

    Shoot, recent advances in quantum biology have even gone so far as to provide us with empirical evidence that man possesses a transcendent component to his being, i.e. a ‘soul’, that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    Excerpt from post 16: “quantum correlations which somehow arise from outside spacetime, are now found in molecular biology on a massive scale. In every DNA and Protein molecule,,,”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/some-at-your-fingertips-stats-on-human-chimp-similarity/#comment-739135

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, simply have no beyond space and time cause to appeal to in order to explain these ‘beyond space and time’ quantum correlations, whereas Christians readily do have a cause that they can appeal to

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    To say this ‘unexpected’ scientific evidence from quantum biology contradicts atheistic presuppositions is an understatement. It is a straight refutation of their entire worldview which holds that humans are purely material beings with no transcendent component to their being.

    Of supplemental note and in regards to the defending the validity of the Bible in general, whereas atheists have been ‘twisting in the wind’ for several decades now trying to find a purely mathematical theory of everything, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  245. 245
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, the point of concern is precisely error proneness and warrant addresses it. We may not like it but the problem of error proneness is real. Indeed the OP is in key part about the commonly pushed idea that those who perceive that there are objective moral truths, are mistaken. Indeed the absolute denial of objective moral truths implies that such objectors hold that those they object to are always mistaken on this matter. As I noted the objection however is self referential and self refuting. KF

    PS: Is the null set { } an object? Do mathematicians have objective knowledge on it such as in:

    {} –> 0
    {0} –> 1
    {0,1} –> 2
    . . .
    {0,1,2 . . .} –> omega

    per von Neumann.

  246. 246
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @245

    We may not like it but the problem of error proneness is real.

    Yes it is a huge problem. But that’s not at issue.

  247. 247
    jerry says:

    compared to what? Not a trivial being …. compared to what? Even given “non-trivial immense power,” that doesn’t logically lead to “does not make mistakes.”

    One of the more ridiculous statements ever made anywhere not just on this blog.

  248. 248
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, our error-proneness is precisely why we absolutely need warrant processes to have credible, reliable — objective — truth claims. Thus, confident knowledge of objective truth, in Mathematics [note the case of the significance of as non-empirical an entity as possible, the null set], in history, science, morals and more. KF

  249. 249
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus keep pretending that you don’t know what the issue is. Or maybe you really don’t know, and you haven’t read any of my posts.
    Whatever the case may be, it’s very dissapointing.

  250. 250
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, agents are subjects, that is not an issue. Often our perceptions — e.g. we see the world and walk around in it are highly credible. That is because we have faculties successfully aimed at truth operating in appropriate macro and local environments, compressing and paraphrasing Plantinga. At the same time our subjective perceptions etc are indisputably prone to error, that is why warrant and resulting objective truth are also important. There has been no need for this side track, we are giving a somewhat elaborated form of things we knew by age seven. The focal matter, that there is sufficient warrant that there are objective truths on right conduct, duty etc has also been addressed. Both, the denial becomes self-refuting and there are inescapable first truths that frame a whole programme of moral understanding, law and sound government etc. KF

  251. 251
    William J Murray says:

    KF said @239:

    WJM, you just asserted something to be the case, in massively obvious expectation that we acknowledge duties to truth and right reason.

    As pointed out so many times before, mind-reading is not a valid rebuttal or argument. Your inference, no matter how “obvious” it is to you, is not my implication.

  252. 252
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes @249 said:

    Kairosfocus keep pretending that you don’t know what the issue is. Or maybe you really don’t know, and you haven’t read any of my posts.

    I don’t think he’s pretending. He is so certain of his ontology/epistemology that he is completely cognitively blind to other perspectives. No matter how many times I corrected him about my own views, he still characterized my position and argued as if his own views were absolute and governing my words and behavior whether I realized it or not. He’s doing that very thing in this thread, writing as if he can read my mind and knows better than me why I say the things I do.

    Also, he simply won’t answer questions that will expose his views as rationally unsupportable; he’ll just punt back to his framework of “warrant,” which is completely embedded in his particular ontological/epistemological framework, as if that “warrant” has any rational value when assessing a completely different worldview.

    IOW, KF will not play ball in any field other than his home field and by his rules.

  253. 253
    William J Murray says:

    KF asks:

    So, where do you live, where does what you eat come from, or the air you breathe etc?

    All of that occurs in my experience.

    The real world that just hit me with a triple whammy well beyond anything I expected [e.g. my will is now obsolete], is independent of my perceptions and preferences, fears, biases etc.

    It’s not independent of your experience; it’s entirely within your personal experience, and guess what? All personal experience is subjective. All of it.

    I am well advised and even duty bound to think about it accurately using methods with a track record of effectiveness, such as logic, scientific observation, good statistics, math etc.

    In my experience, a much more effective way of dealing with anything troubling is by using my will and intent to focus on what is enjoyable, including things I can imagine. So far, it has worked well beyond my wildest expectations.

    In that context, BTW “no rational statements about something “objective” can ever be made” is a failed attempt at such a statement, self-refers and self-destructs.

    More mind-reading.

    Thus, it is undeniable that reasoned and reasonable and even accurate statements and chains of such about the objective world are possible and sometimes even actual.

    Nope. Can’t be done, even in principle, even if it did actually exist.

    There is no reification, there is recognition.

    Can’t be done, even in principle, even if it actually exists.

    Including, sometimes very painful and utterly unwelcome ones that have to be faced and dealt with.

    All of that is occurring in your personal experience, and cannot be demonstrated to be occurring anywhere else.

  254. 254
    jerry says:

    Kf, Murray lives in Texas.

  255. 255
    Origenes says:

    WJM @252

    And it is not just us. At @226 Jerry writes very critical about the subjective vs objective concept. Kairosfocus response to Jerry at @242 reads like he did not register what Jerry wrote at all:

    Jerry, yes, we are prone to error and every objector here is aware that we need to take care to be correct or credibly so. KF

  256. 256
    jerry says:

    I rarely am critical of Kf’s ideas about the world and his logic. I have been critical about his writing and presentation style and his choice of words and concepts.

    He is probably the most attacked person here, mainly because his ideas are unpopular with certain people. I often do not know what he means because of his style but when I do understand usually have no problem with what he thinks/believes.

    I have probably learned more from him than anyone here.

    But there are some people commenting here who provide nothing of substance and generally obfuscate if anything.

  257. 257
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, rhetoric on alleged mind reading — a loaded twist on the issue of implications of what is actually argued — fails. You are still expecting us to implicitly understand and acknowledge first duties of reason in your arguments. What would be interesting is why, but as I noted, I have to focus elsewhere due to life crisis. KF

  258. 258
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no, the issue is not cognitive blindness or evasion on my part. And notice, your failed armchair psycho analysis is a form of implying that I am failing in duty to right reason, prudence and warrant; thus to truth. Which are of course key first duties of reason. The underlying issue is, we are not dynamic-stochastic computational substrates under the GIGO issue, were we that alleged rationality collapses and our body of claimed knowledge would collapse into oh that’s just potentially buggy software and hardware. Instead, to be truly rational, we must be significantly and genuinely free. That implies responsibilities to use freedom aright. Hence, directly, first duties of reason. Rational, responsible freedom, with power of choice, is morally governed, governed by responsibilities towards duty, right conduct, virtue etc. KF

  259. 259
    Querius says:

    JVL @205,
    It was actually a pleasant surprise to see your reply, and a thoughtful, reasonable one in my opinion.

    Assuming the tree was already there (if this was a real risk (i.e. is the amount of hydrogen cyanide lethal?)

    Yes, it’s already there as it is in your own yard. The lethality depends on the age of your children and how many cherry pits they crunch on.

    I’d avoid planting such a tree when I had very young children) and consider getting rid of an existing one.

    As a parent, I’m sure you appreciate the number of hazards to your children—running into the street, poisonous snakes, choking, falling from a tree or second story, drowning, etc. As a parent, I’d guess that one of these or another was once narrowly avoided by your kids, thank God!

    If you kept it I think it’s a bit too complicated for young children to tell them they can only eat part of the stuff on the ground but not all.

    Exactly. You would give them a simple rule to follow without question at first. When they got older, you would certainly explain to them why. But you’re not being a dictatorial monster. You just want to keep them safe without putting them into straightjackets, right?

    Probably better to tell them not to eat the cherries on the ground because they need to be washed in the kitchen first by their parents. Also, I have a cherry tree and never get to eat any of the cherries because the birds get ’em first.

    Yep. Or maybe just have them bring you any fruit on the ground for you to qualify, wash, and prepare.

    Any sensible parent has to weigh up and consider all the risks they voluntary put or leave in their lives and homes when they have small children. While I don’t think it makes a parent ‘evil’ to warn children about the dangers of eating cherry pits there might be a better solution more likely to ensure danger is avoided. Why not at least find some pictures or stories about people who ingested cherry pits so they can understand things better? And if you can’t find any stories or pictures . . .

    I agree. We did a lot of “baby-proofing” in our home—locks on cabinets, outlet shields, locks on doors to the exterior, and so on. We also gave them pretended demonstrations on touching the stove, hot or not, as my mother did with me.

    Also, I would not say God was evil tempting Adam and Eve with the tree of knowledge but seriously, what did ‘he’ expect them to do? They weren’t seasoned adults who had lots of life experiences behind them, they had limited memory of anything really. They had no models of adults around them to help guide them. They didn’t know about life expectancy, death, diseases, etc. They didn’t even know what knowledge was.

    Genesis says that God assumed a form that allowed Him to walk with them every evening. I’d imagine that this involved kind and pleasant conversations and instruction.

    It also states that a sentient animal called “serpent” (which can mean “cunning” and/or “naked” in Hebrew) was used by Lucifer to deceive Eve and Adam with the promise of enlightenment and to be “like God.”

    So, this being puts them in this garden, everything is lovely, lots of food, no dangers, no strife no risks. It begins to sound a bit boring really.

    They were originally given a mission that sounds a lot like becoming ecologists. Eden was the example and they were to spread over the earth to tame and manage the rest of the earth over time.

    WHY would anyone put in a major temptation that would destroy all that? Just to say afterwards: see, you should have listened to me and obeyed me. You’re very naughty and all humans that follow after you are going to suffer because you were stupid? Great parenting. To not even give an example (in a vision or something) of what would happen if they ate of THAT tree . . . that’s just stupid. That’s setting things up for failure. Not good parenting.

    Imagine a vagrant or neighborhood bully crossing your property and telling your children to try something you instructed them not to do or giving them some drugs when you told your kids not to accept anything from a stranger. The damage is done, but you’re certainly going to try to rescue your children and likely want to do great violence against the interloper, right? Hopefully, your kids won’t make friends with him and listen to him again, right?

    So, how did we become “seasoned” adults? I’d say in general by making stupid but non-lethal mistakes. That’s how we learn. How many times did you cut yourself with a small pocket knife or hurt yourself with your dad’s tools even after he showed you how to use them? I have many such memories . . .

    -Q

  260. 260
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: To illustrate the point on counting on implicit adherence to first duties, let me clip on the negative form:

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Now, try to imagine a community where, overwhelmingly, such behaviour was the rule. The obvious absurd chaos and insanity that would result shows the point. That is, we are seeing the “evil is a parasite depending on the community as a whole not habitually and predominantly acting like that . . .” principle at work.

    The first duties SHOULD be uncontroversial. That some find them seemingly utterly objectionable actually tells us something about the sick, suicidal state of our civilisation.

    KF

    PS: Do I need to explicitly highlight that untruth and fallacy are the first steps to injustice, that benumbed, broken conscience is a key component of lawlessness, that disrespect for the other is key to it and the like? Yes, duty is not imposing force, we are free. But freedom implies right use of freedom, thence duty. And here is an historically pivotal example, from Locke, Hooker and Plato, with Justinian’s juris consults lurking:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

  261. 261
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: To see the sorts of things that have been deemed questionable on human nature and its moral govt etc start with Jerry’s comment here and the exchange that follows, 9 months on https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-723562

  262. 262
  263. 263

    What mainly leads to personal and societal catastrophy, is obsession with objectivity, and discarding of subjectivity.

    Like with social darwinism, nazism and communism. The kind of idea where scientific experts run society, or a scientific ideology runs society.

    Where there is no common sense subjective judgement anymore, but just calculation based on theory.

    Then apart from this systematic error of throwing out subjectivity, there are the ordinary errors like lust and greed.

    All who throw out subjectivity, like materialists, atheists, and the objective morality proponents, must be educated in the basic logic of subjectivity and objectivity, validating each in their own right.

  264. 264
  265. 265
    kairosfocus says:

    Playing games with first duties. Answered https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-723942 And BTW, the whole frame of modern constitutional, rights acknowledging democratic self government was hammered out through precisely these principles. That we have been led to be ignorant of that speaks volumes on our artificial ignorance cultivated by a failing education system and a toxic media culture. KF

  266. 266
    JVL says:

    Querius: It was actually a pleasant surprise to see your reply, and a thoughtful, reasonable one in my opinion.

    You’re very welcome.

    Imagine a vagrant or neighborhood bully crossing your property and telling your children to try something you instructed them not to do or giving them some drugs when you told your kids not to accept anything from a stranger. The damage is done, but you’re certainly going to try to rescue your children and likely want to do great violence against the interloper, right? Hopefully, your kids won’t make friends with him and listen to him again, right?

    Well, the stranger giving them something that I hadn’t decided could be present is not part of the original story. What is part of the original story is God, the parent, throwing his kids out for disobeying which I would not do on a first offence. (IF I had a child that after years and years of being rude and abusive was an ongoing threat to the rest of the household . . . well . . . then some tough choices have to be made.). I no doubt would pursue some kind of legal procedure against such a stranger though, of course.

    So, again, I just don’t understand the point of the story from a loving parental point of view.

  267. 267
    kairosfocus says:

    The objectivity debate point came up https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-724042

    Note Wiki at that time:

    >>In philosophy, objectivity is the concept of truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one’s perception, emotions, or imagination). A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence. Objectivity in the moral framework calls for moral codes to be assessed based on the well-being of the people in the society that follow it.[1] Moral objectivity also calls for moral codes to be compared to one another through a set of universal facts and not through Subjectivity.[1]>>

    In short, the pivot is successful, intelligible warrant leading to publicly accessible reason to conclude credible truth and/or reliability.

    KF

  268. 268

    No, the main systemic problem is rejection of subjectivity at the intellectual level.

    Growing up in the Netherlands among the more educated, there’s generally a sense of emotions being squeezed out. I spent 1 day in middleschool in the USA, on a holiday. I was unprepared for teacher asking to write an essay about what I did this weekend, because my teachers in the Netherlands never asked my personal opinion on anything, in all the years I went to school.

    So in that USA school it was shown to me that my level of education was maybe 2 years ahead of the US students, but the US students were about 3 years ahead of me in emotional maturity.

    There is this meanspirited atmosphere typical of the West, where people are obsessed with facts, and subjectivity is discarded. In the USA, this is less because of the constitution, and lively Christianity. But you can see that in the USA, the communists and nazis are predominantly coming from the universities as well.

    I have discussed this with hundreds of atheists on the internet. And consequently I have the rocksolid evidence that there is widespread rejection of subjectivity among people in general, and among higher educated people in particular. And evolution theory is a big catalyst in the process in education, to undermine and reject subjectivity.

  269. 269
    Origenes says:

    @267
    It’s telling that Kairosfocus quotes Wiki’s gibberish on ‘objectivity.’ Let’s have a quick look:

    wiki: In philosophy, objectivity is the concept of truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one’s perception, emotions, or imagination).

    Note that Kairosfocus accused me of erecting a strawman and wrote @234:

    False! (…) I have nowhere conflated (…) objectivity with truth.

    But here it says “objectivity is the concept of truth (…)”

    And how does Wiki define ‘subjectivity’? Well, subjectivity is “bias caused by one’s perception, emotions, or imagination.”

    Note that Kairosfocus wrote @234:

    False! (…) I have nowhere conflated subjectivity with error (…)

    Note also that the nonsensical definitions offered by Wiki leave no room whatsoever for the truth of the subjective statement “I exist” — or rather “dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum.”

    wiki: A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject.

    More gibberish.

    Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence.

    Even more gibberish.

  270. 270
  271. 271
    kairosfocus says:

    On cold words in books

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-724600

    >>the remarks I made on inescapability of seven first duties are first a matter of readily confirmed fact: even objectors to such duties, in arguing their objections inescapably appeal to these same duties. In recent days I showed several examples, and your own argument implies the binding nature of the same duties. This is not a religious inference — practically a dirty word in many quarters today — but a readily seen empirically observable pattern, manifest in how we argue or quarrel (as C S Lewis sometimes pointed out). The point is, cold words in books on shelves have no power in themselves, it is the responsiveness of people to the force of duty to truth, to right reason, to prudence, etc which makes people attend to and acknowledge the force of arguments. That is readily observed in how the objections expect those being persuaded to acknowledge and respond to said duties. If someone believes a case turns on falsehood, uses twisted, fallacious, erroneous and imprudent reasoning in service to injustice, s/he will be but little inclined to give it any weight. But if a case is seen as rooted in truth, uses cogent arguments and is prudent towards justice, it will carry weight with responsible persons precisely out of our sense of duty to same, of course augmented by awareness that the former is likely to be dangerous. And so forth.>>

  272. 272
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, partiality and bias dressed up in the lab coat is a material factor in the current, globally mismanaged pandemic. However, in the face of life crisis, I am being reminded of just how hard it is to extract a crooked yardstick, once it has been made into a pseudo-standard of straight and upright. For many in that trap, not even a naturally straight and upright plumb line . . . here, self-evident first truths . . . will be enough. But there is another answer. Pain from a broken back at the foot of a cliff needlessly gone over. KF

    PS: We should all pause to ponder Plato’s parable of the ship of state to understand the suicide of democracy.

  273. 273
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Plato:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    Where, Luke adds, from a microcosm case:

    [On Luke’s microcosm on the ship of state, Jan 1, 2013:] Entrenched highly ideological orthodoxies — and this includes successful revolutionaries, whether on institutional or community scale — that control resource flows to their benefit and which exert enormous power in institutions and society [I was speaking here about today’s evolutionary materialism dominated science], tend to be very resistant to what is new and unsettling to their comfort zones and interests. Where there has been indoctrination and polarisation, we can see this multiplied by the problem of lack of logical thinking ability and sheer lack of awareness of the true state of the balance of warrant on the merits of facts and evidence.

    The perceived heretic, then is a threat to be fought off, marginalised, discredited and if necessary destroyed. By any and all means, fair or foul.

    (I find the obsession with suggestions of a threat of religious subversion of [scientific, political, education, media and cultural] institutions long since subverted by radical secularists slightly amusing but quite sad in the end. The key threat is unaccountable, out of control power in the hands of elites prone to corruption, not that this once happened with religious elites. In the past 100 years, we saw major secularist movements and neopagan movements of political messianism that did much the same to horrific cost. And the welfare state of the past generation has not been a whole lot better. [Just ask the ghosts of the dozens of millions who have been aborted for convenience.])

    Where is there a solution?

    Frankly, at this stage, I think things are going to have to crash so badly and some elites are going to have to be so discredited by the associated spreading failure, that media propaganda tactics cannot cover it up anymore.

    My model for that comes from one of the red-flag sources that will give some of the objectors [to the design theory movement in science] the vapours.

    Acts 27.

    What, how dare you cite that, that . . . that . . . textbook for theocratic tyranny by the ignorant, insane, stupid and/or wicked followers of that bronze age misogynistic homophobic genocidal racist war god!

    (Do you hear how your agit-prop talking points are enmeshing you in the classic trap of believing your own propaganda?)

    Let’s start with, Paul of Tarsus, c. AD 59, was not in the Bronze Age but was an appellate prisoner in chains on early Imperial era grain ships having a hard time making way from the Levant and Asia Minor to Rome, in the second case ending up in a bay on Crete. What followed is a classic exercise in the follies of manipulated democracy, a case study that will well repay study in our time.

    It was late in the sailing season, and the merchant-owner was worried about his ship in an open bay at Fair Havens, given what winter storms can do.

    The passengers were not too impressed by the nearby settlements as a wintering place. (Sailing stopped in Autumn and opened back up in Spring. [–> EVERYONE knew why, the ships of that day could not bear up the storms of winter, and as time wore on in the fall, sailing became increasingly dangerous])

    The key technico, the kubernete — steersman, more or less like a pilot of an airliner — knew where his bread was buttered, and by whom.

    In the middle was a Centurion of the elite messenger corps.

    We are at ship’s council, and Paul, in chains, is suggesting that the suggestion to venture our with a favourable wind to try to make it to a more commodious port down-coast was excessively risky not only to boat but life.

    The financial and technical talking heads and the appeal of comfort allowed him to be easily marginalised and dismissed.

    Then we saw a gentle south breeze, that would have allowed a reach down the coast. (The technicos probably knew this could be a precursor to a storm, but were not going to cut across the dominant view. [Let’s add, how many days would it have taken to simply WALK to Phoenix, 40 mi away by sea? 3 – 4? We can readily see how the implicit, you won’t get money back if you “abandon” the voyage and the rosy description of a smooth, low risk afternoon’s sail could easily have swayed opinions.])

    They sailed out.

    Bang, an early winter noreaster hit them and sprang the boat’s timbers (why they tried to hold together with ropes [–> called frapping]) so the ship was in a sinking condition from the beginning.

    Worse, they were heading for sandbars off the coast of today’s Libya.

    For two weeks all they could do was use a sea anchor to control drift and try to steer vaguely WNW.

    Forget, eating.

    That is when Paul stood forth as a good man in a storm, and encouraged them with a vision from God. By this time, hope was to be shipwrecked on a coast. (Turned out, [probably] north coast of Malta [possibly, east end].)

    While the ship was at risk of being driven aground and set out four anchors by the stern from midnight on, the sailors tried to abandon the passengers on a ruse, spotted by Paul and/or Luke his travelling companion.

    By this time, the Centurion knew who to take seriously and the ship’s boat was cut away. He then took the decision to save Paul and refused the soldiers’ request to kill the prisoners to prevent escape (for which their lives would have been forfeit).

    So, they made it to a beach on Malta, having lost the ship in any case AND nearly their own lives.

    Pain, from the foot of the cliff, is an excellent teacher, if one survives and can afford the lesson.

  274. 274
    Origenes says:

    Kairofocus, there is something terribly wrong with how you (and many others) use the terms ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’.

    KF: I have to focus elsewhere due to life crisis

    Please do that, and I wish you the very best.
    Maybe, after this crisis, you will find the time and the willingness to address this issue head on.

  275. 275
    jerry says:

    there is something terribly wrong with how you (and many others) use the terms ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’.

    Are you including yourself?

  276. 276
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, I have used the terms responsibly towards a vital end. KF

  277. 277
    jerry says:

    The summary below is a repeat as is all the objections here. The title of the OP is about ethics and morality which is a topic debated throughout history.

    This specifically is from Great Course’s lectures on Natural Law.

    Ethics is an attempt to systematize and reflect theoretically about questions of morality. Among the standard approaches to the study of ethics, natural law has a distinctive standpoint.

    A. These are some of the philosophical approaches to morality now prominent:

    1. The virtue ethics of Aristotle;

    2. The duty ethics of Kant;

    3. The utilitarian ethics of Bentham and Mill;

    4. The divine command morality in some religious traditions.

    Natural law theory is another approach to questions of ethics.

    1. Here, morality is rooted in “nature” to achieve objectivity: Nature here does not mean “mother nature” or “the great outdoors” or “doing what comes naturally” or “the brute state of nature.”

    2. Rather, nature here answers the question “What sort of being is X?” by identifying the structures and abilities to act that belong to the individuals of a given class and not to others.

    3. “Universality” is required for ethical claims to be comprehensive.

    4. We must test ethical claims for their reasonability to anyone of good will. We must ask: Did a person know and did he really choose this course of action?

    5. We must remain mindful of the religious roots of morality by tracing goodness and rightness back to the Creator of human nature.

    We must be aware of some important objections.

    A. Relativism – especially in the form of cultural relativism – prefers to see ethics as merely customary and regional rather than normative or universal. In fact, morality comes from the Latin term mores, which means “customs.”

    B. Subjectivism – particularly in modern life – denies that there are objective moral standards and urges that values need to be embraced and chosen by individuals. We find these ideas in the modern period with Nietzsche and in the ancient period in Plato’s Gorgias.

    C. Skepticism – considered specifically with regard to morals – offers theoretical objections to the very possibility of knowing universal moral truths.

    “Universality” is required for ethical claims to be comprehensive.

    We must test ethical claims for their reasonability to anyone of good will. We must ask: Did a person know and did he really choose this course of action?

    We must remain mindful of the religious roots of morality by tracing goodness and rightness back to the Creator of human nature.

    I am sure some will have objections to the above not because they have a valid justified belief that is better but because they personally do not like what these ideas mean for them.

  278. 278
    jerry says:

    From the Merriam Webster dictionary

    objective – based on facts rather than feelings or opinions; existing outside of the mind : existing in the real world

    subjective – based on feelings or opinions rather than facts; relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind

    truth – being in accordance with the actual state of affairs

    fact – something that has actual existence

    Now if someone here doesn’t like these definitions, fine. But realize this how they are ordinarily used.

    connotation – something suggested by a word or thing;

    So any word can have several connotations. To discuss something, one should make sure all are using the same connotation.

    But the previous sentence is anathema to many here as they want to use their own specific connotation to drive the debate. And it is often different from the connotation being used by others. In other words people talk past each other all the time here and in the real world. (no I do not consider UD the real world as UD is limited to about 25 opinionated people. But it is possible to learn a lot here especially about science if one is careful to who they listen to.)

    Notice it is possible for something subjective to be true and thus objective using the definitions above.

    Some other definitions:

    moral – concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior. comment: begs the question of what is right or wrong.

    By the way there is no singular definition of “right” so what does the above mean? There are several definitions. The one that comes the closest is

    right – being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper; begs the question of what is good, just and proper.

    Which leads to considering what are the desired ends of human beings?

  279. 279
    jerry says:

    Two very desirable ends of human beings are survival and flourishing. What leads to these objectives. (notice a very different use of the word objective.)

    It turns out that truth is one of those things that usually leads to both. And Cicero’s duties are extremely useful for getting at the truth.

    So Kf is definitely right when he promotes Cicero’s duties. They are essential for survival and flourishing but so are some other things.

    Is it required for everyone to accept Cicero’s duties for all to have a better chance of survival and to thrive? No, some can flaunt the duties and pursue other things but the more that adopt these duties, the more likely survival and flourishing will be met. If only a small percentage adopt them, then it is unlikely that either objective with be met. (in past times if some flaunted the duties for survival, they would be dealt with by their surrounding families and community. Now we live in a very disjointed society and it is possible for some to not feel obligated by these duties and remain unaffected by their community.)

    If one wants to understand what survival and flourishing means, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a good place to start.

    I am sure someone is already thinking up a time when the truth is not useful for either survival and flourishing.

  280. 280
    William J Murray says:

    Hilarious. @257, KF attempts to show how he is not attempting mind-reading by doing some mind-reading:

    WJM, rhetoric on alleged mind reading — a loaded twist on the issue of implications of what is actually argued — fails. You are still expecting us…

    I realize he doesn’t know that he is doing it, because he considers it impossible for me to say what I say for any other reason than what his perspective insists it must be. There’s no way to penetrate that kind of cognitive bias.

  281. 281
    Querius says:

    JVL @266,

    Well, the stranger giving them something that I hadn’t decided could be present is not part of the original story.

    Oh, but it was. One of the most powerful spiritual beings that God created, among whom he had delegated power, responsibility, and free will became narcissistic, thought he should become equal to God, inserted himself into the story, and corrupted the humans God created in order to gain control of the earth, becoming its god, and desiring worship as God.

    What is part of the original story is God, the parent, throwing his kids out for disobeying which I would not do on a first offence. (IF I had a child that after years and years of being rude and abusive was an ongoing threat to the rest of the household . . . well . . . then some tough choices have to be made.).

    In the story, the interloper told your kids that by crushing the cherry pits into a powder with a hammer, they could grow up to become adults more quickly. Your kids believed him and became extremely ill. In their weakened condition, they suffered from an opportunistic infection that became persistent, and needed to be treated. It got so bad that they and their offspring needed a blood transfusion.

    So, Adam and Eve’s mission of transforming the earth to be like the garden of Eden, managing the earth’s ecology, was postponed.

    Eve, who was the last of God’s initial creations, was told that one of HER offspring (not Adam’s) would have the honor of destroying the serpent.

    I no doubt would pursue some kind of legal procedure against such a stranger though, of course.

    Exactly. God is in process of judging Satan and the angels who followed him, exposing the results of their actions, and then prepared a place specifically for them called The Lake of Fire.

    So, again, I just don’t understand the point of the story from a loving parental point of view.

    God granted us free will and independence, and He loved us so much that His only Son came to pay the cost for our atonement–a “blood transfusion”–that will heal us. No doubt you would do that and more to medically save your own children’s lives. Thus, whoever is willing to accept God’s intervention won’t perish. This includes you.

    -Q

  282. 282
    Querius says:

    Jerry @277 and 278,

    Thank you. However, one reason that I’m afraid to delve into debate on these terms comes from my awareness that philosophers have a rich history of debate and some terms we commonly use have a far different and more nuanced meaning in philosophy. Similarly, there are other terms in common use that have very specialized meanings used by lawyers.

    To conflate the meanings of certain words irrespective of context leads to intractable debate.

    In addition, as Kairosfocus mentioned, there are likely more than two categories than just subjective and objective. For example, in a class on logic, I was introduced to Goodman’s “grue” paradox:

    See 5.3 . . .

    Now Goodman introduces the predicate “grue”. This predicate applies to all things examined before some future time t just in case they are green but to other things (observed at or after t) just in case they are blue:

    (DEF1) x is grue =df x is examined before t and green ? x is not so examined and blue

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/goodman/

    So, for example, one can make a case for the existence of the “subobjective” based on time. But I won’t because it makes me sleepy. (grin)

    -Q

  283. 283
    JVL says:

    Querius: Oh, but it was. One of the most powerful spiritual beings that God created, among whom he had delegated power, responsibility, and free will became narcissistic, thought he should become equal to God, inserted himself into the story, and corrupted the humans God created in order to gain control of the earth, becoming its god, and desiring worship as God.

    This is becoming a matter for Biblical interpretation and theology. Both of which I know precious little about.

    I’ve had my say regarding the garden of Eve story in my own personal view. I’ll just leave it at that.

  284. 284
    jerry says:

    one reason that I’m afraid to delve into debate

    I am actually trying to end the debate. Nothing new is being offered. All are repeats of previous threads. If all goes according to history, my attempts will be ignored.

    This has all happened before and goes in circles as a few have no interest in doing anything other than proving others wrong and must insult them to do so. For what were they inslulted? The person insulted was just espousing what most have accepted for millennia. The person insulted tries to defend themselves by trying to explain and will get insulted for doing so. It goes on and on as if the point of view was not understood when it absolutely clearly understood.

    The best strategy is when another insults another or provides an inane reply, is to just drop it and not answer. But then some will take that as acquiesce and that they won.

    Thomas More strategy – TMS

  285. 285
    JVL says:

    Jerry: But then some will take that as acquiesce and that they won.

    As mentioned by Thomas More In his defence . . . according to Robert Bolt that is.

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, again, the rhetorical leverage on your latest objection pivots on the implicit recognition of first duties by those you seek to persuade or counter. I again highlight the negative form to show the point:

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    A community dominated by such patterns will predictably disintegrate in chaos and its members cannot be argued with, they are numb to duties of reason. Such patterns can lead to an advantage of the few. Precisely, because the root of the advantage is that generally we do not act like that. Evil parasites off the good.

    You have not escaped the ambit of those first duties, nor have you put them in a dubious, dismissable category. Instead, as pointed out you again exemplify what you object to.

    KF

  287. 287
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the Jews of the late 20’s and early 30’s in Germany thought silence their best response to Nazi fallacies. The surrounding great powers sought to appease Hitler’s grievances. How well did that work out? KF

  288. 288
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Niemoller:

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist

    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist

    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist

    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

  289. 289

    @Jerry Your dictionary definitions are worthless, but you have the right idea that the common meaning of the words must be the default definition.

    That means you must go back to the source of ordinary common discourse, and find out what the rules are for subjective statements, like to say a painting is beautiful, and the rules for objective statements, like to say that there is a camel out back.

    The dictionaries do not accurately reflect the rules used in common discourse, nor do the dictionaries even try to do that.

    Your morality about “flourishing” that is basically the same as the scientific morality of flourishing by the atheist Sam Harris. It is just social darwinism v3.0

  290. 290
    Querius says:

    JVL @285,

    This is becoming a matter for Biblical interpretation and theology. Both of which I know precious little about.

    But in @205, you wrote extensively about your opinions on God’s stupidity and poor parenting:

    Also, I would not say God was evil tempting Adam and Eve with the tree of knowledge but seriously, what did ‘he’ expect them to do? They weren’t seasoned adults who had lots of life experiences behind them, they had limited memory of anything really. They had no models of adults around them to help guide them. They didn’t know about life expectancy, death, diseases, etc. They didn’t even know what knowledge was.

    So, this being puts them in this garden, everything is lovely, lots of food, no dangers, no strife no risks. It begins to sound a bit boring really. WHY would anyone put in a major temptation that would destroy all that? Just to say afterwards: see, you should have listened to me and obeyed me. You’re very naughty and all humans that follow after you are going to suffer because you were stupid? Great parenting. To not even give an example (in a vision or something) of what would happen if they ate of THAT tree . . . that’s just stupid. That’s setting things up for failure. Not good parenting.

    And now you claim ignorance on matters of “Biblical interpretation and theology.” Of course, you can fix that by reading the first 2,000 words in Genesis. Then you won’t have to argue from ignorance.

    I’ve had my say regarding the garden of Eve story in my own personal view. I’ll just leave it at that.

    Sure, that’s fine. But I did address your objections on God’s supposed stupidity and poor parenting . . .

    -Q

  291. 291
    JVL says:

    Origenes: But in @205, you wrote extensively about your opinions on God’s stupidity and poor parenting:

    Yes, but it doesn’t mean I can back up my opinion with scriptural references.

    And now you claim ignorance on matters of “Biblical interpretation and theology.” Of course, you can fix that by reading the first 2,000 words in Genesis. Then you won’t have to argue from ignorance.

    I have actually read the whole book; it has been awhile. And I know I am unable to continue my arguments/opinions past my own vague impressions of the garden of Eden story. I don’t claim my opinion is valid or should carry any weight. It’s just my own personal opinion.

    Sure, that’s fine. But I did address your objections on God’s supposed stupidity and poor parenting . .

    Yes, and that’s when I realised you wanted to have a different discussion than I am capable of having giving your views the respect they deserve.

  292. 292
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I already asked if { } –> 0 was subjective, being an abstract entity not manifested in the empirical world. Where, von Neumann’s construction is highly instructive. The point is, objective is not a synonym for empirically observable but instead has to do with sufficiently successful warrant that credibly, the entity, claim, perception etc in question is not reasonably viewed as unfiltered, liable to bias or delusion etc, is not unduly subject to the likelihood of error. Of course senses such as sight have good reason for us to take seriously, though there are limitations. That such has become controversial speaks volumes about the waning of our civilisation’s intellectual life. KF

  293. 293
    jerry says:

    The beat goes on as predicted. And nothing will be accomplished.

  294. 294
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry @293 said:

    The beat goes on as predicted. And nothing will be accomplished.

    And part of that merry-go-round is you complaining about it every third or fourth post. Why not heed your own advice and just ignore such discussions. Mote, neighbors eye, beam, your own eye.

  295. 295
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Wiki summarises Martin Niemoller’s story:

    Martin Niemöller was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892. [–> Left out, WW1 U-Boat Captain and hero] Niemöller was an anti-Communist and supported Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. But when, after he came to power, Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned. He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler [–> They leave out, the Barmen Declaration of 1934, taken as of creedal force in Germany on the Lordship of Christ and the idolatry of political messianism]. In 1937 he was arrested and eventually confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He was released in 1945 by the Allies. He continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II.

    In short the spiral of silencing took just four years to complete the final “then they came for.”

    There is a reason why we must speak, speak strongly and insistently, even when many will try to beat down, belittle, distract from or dismiss. It is not obvious on the surface, it may not seem to be the most plausible option, but it has this advantage: we know the consequences of the spiral of silencing. Especially, in a day where the objectivity of first moral truths expresses just what ever so many are desperate to evade, universally binding, built in law partly constitutive of our nature. Valid natural law is valid wherever there are creatures having responsible, rational, significant freedom. And truth supported by right reason, prudence and sound conscience is the foundation of justice.

    I dare say, those who deny a universally binding duty to justice invite ruin. Civilisation level ruin. For generations, our academic, educational, intellectual, jurisprudential and media leaders, voices and influencers have betrayed civilisation.

    Not, for the first time.

    So, let us ponder that the lessons of sound history were bought with blood and tears; those who ignore, neglect or dismiss those lessons doom themselves to pay in the same coin over and over and over again.

    Invisible remnant and lurking audience now and future, please, remember this.

    KF

    PS: Neimoller’s poem of remembrance and warning, again:

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist

    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist

    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist

    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

  296. 296
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Notice, each and every time, would-be objectors are forced to have the implicit premise of first duties of reason. That inconvenient pattern of inescapability is a hallmark of first principles, the branch on which we all must sit. Inescapable, so inescapably true and self evident. Where, too, the attempt to state that there are no objective — successfully warranted, accurate descriptions on right conduct, duty, rights, virtue etc that rise above individual, local perception, preference, group consensus etc — moral truths, actually makes a failed, self-referential and self refuting truth claim about morality. Just remember, duty to justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and duties and duty to neighbour and to sound conscience are in the mix. There can be no just right to force another to violate sound conscience, e.g. by toeing the politically correct, false colour of law party line through enabling or uttering fashionable lies. KF

    PS: Not so many years ago, PhD candidates in the USSR were forced to submit a paper in defence of atheism to show that they had the correct scientific attitude. Take that as one slice of a rotten cake.

  297. 297

    It continues to be a total outrage that the concept of subjectivity is undermined by the majority of intellectuals, both atheist and theist alike.

    The people who will not investigate the rules used with subjective statements, or objective statements, in ordinary common discourse, and then define subjectivity and objectivity according to their bloviating authority, are intellectually fraudulent.

    They use a double meaning of subjectivity and objectivity, The meaning that is used implicitly in the rules used in common discourse, and the meaning that is used intellectually.

  298. 298
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, the true outrage is that you wish to project that acknowledging that in our subjectivity we can err so that we must be prudent in what we claim as true, seeking good warrant, is a denigration of our subjectivity . . . despite repeated correction. Recognising an important truth and acting in prudence on it is not an outrage. If we were joining the likes of a Crick, who tried to reduce our spirit and mind and soul to molecular interactions that would be another story. It is not, the note that we are finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often ill-willed is a basic recognition of our limits and struggles, requiring due prudence in how we regard our perceptions, passions, opinions, knowledge claims and judgements etc is a simple recognition of truth and wisdom. Where, I note again, that the first Duties, building on Cicero . . . and via Paul, echoing the built in law attested by conscience that challenges our conflicting thoughts . . . are to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant), sound conscience, neighbour, so also to fairness and justice. There is nothing in such that would excuse or enable a holocaust or the like, or the abandonment of recognising the spiritual roots of reality. Indeed, Cicero — a Stoic — acknowledged God in raising these, however limited his understanding was. KF

    PS: Cicero, in On the Republic:

    , On the Republic, Bk 3: {22.} [33] L . . . True law is right reason in agreement with [–> our morally governed] nature , it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it [–> as universally binding core of law], and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people [–> as binding, universal, coeval with our humanity], and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. [–> sound conscience- guided reason will point out the core] And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment. . . . – Marcus Tullius Cicero, c. 55 – 54 BC

  299. 299

    Cicero would only be relevant, if Cicero had tried to accurately reflect the rules used with subjective statements, and objective statements.

    I basically explode in anger when you try to sell me your bloviating about objectivity and subjectivity, and completely ignore what rules are used in ordinary common discourse.

    There is one correct way how to deal with this issue, and that is to investigate the rules used in common discourse with subjective statements like, I find this painting beautiful, and objective statements like, there is a camel out the back.

    And such an investigation will provide 1 correct answer for the definition of subjectivity and objectivity, and your answer that you bloviated without any investigation, is not the correct answer.

  300. 300
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, you have been adequately answered. KF

  301. 301

    You answer nothing.

    There is a difference between your use of the words objectivity and subjectivity intellectually, and the rules you use in common discourse with subjective statements, and objective statements, which differnce is duplicity on your part.

    And what a surprise, not really, subjectivity is the loser in your definitions, and objectivity the winner. You are just the same as a materialist. Intelligent design supporter in name only, like Republican in name only. Because without the inherently subjective agency of a choice, then you have no functional concept of choice. And as choice is the central mechanism of intelligent design, your support for intelligent design is empty.

  302. 302
    Querius says:

    JVL @291,

    Origenes: But in @205, you wrote extensively about your opinions on God’s stupidity and poor parenting:

    Yes, but it doesn’t mean I can back up my opinion with scriptural references.

    Actually, you meant Querius, and thanks for being honest about it.

    Here’s the problem. I’m sure you’ve heard many times that success in life depends largely on attitude. I’ve seen the truth of this statement both in academics and in industry:
    People who choose a “can do” attitude can pick themselves up after many failures and disappointments, and through grim determination, hard work, and a little luck can and do overcome the obstacles.

    I’m sure you’ve seen many examples of this dynamic as well. It’s demonstrated in many areas of human endeavor: music, sports, art, business, research, and so on.

    Considering a relationship with God, we also make a choice, but in this case, it’s based on the perspective that we choose. And our choice is based on our life experiences and our values.

    • For many people, it’s convenient to portray God as fault finding or vindictive, based on popular misinterpretations and ignorance.
    • For others, it’s a big, theatrical pout against God over life events.
    • Still others find “God” as simply a collection of “meaningless tradition and pointless ritual,” together with the endless requirement for doing “good deeds.”
    • Some recognize the disgusting fraud and abuse perpetrated by those religious leaders who have betrayed their trust for power, pleasure, or wealth.
    • Some people reject moral restraints on their life-long quest for pleasure and entertainment.
    • And finally, some people are persuaded by eminent authorities that God is simply an unscientific fantasy–an appeal to their intellectual pride.

    I’ve probably missed some, but none of these hold water if there’s truly a Creator of the universe. Our choice of perspective reveals more about ourselves than the Creator.

    Just something to think about.

    -Q

  303. 303
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, it stands answered. KF

  304. 304
    AnimatedDust says:

    MNY keeps banging the same drum, ad nauseum. He needs to go away.

  305. 305
    JVL says:

    Querius: Considering a relationship with God, we also make a choice, but in this case, it’s based on the perspective that we choose. And our choice is based on our life experiences and our values.

    Sorry for my misattribution. I’m sure you mean well and you are sincere, I have no doubt about that. But I’m just not interested in discussing these matter with you if that’s okay.

  306. 306

    This is all totally stupid. There is no real intellectual argumentation. No real intellectual discourse. You are ignorant about, subjectivity, objectivity, choice, emotions, God. You don’t understand anything, nor do you even try to.

    I have 1 unchanging position that I keep hammering, because I did my homework. This issue is 1 + 1 =2, there is no room for significant variations of opinion on the issue. Subjectivity and objectivity are the same in any language throughout history. You have this kind of consensus, where all of you disagree on the definitions, but agree to support each other’s contradictory definitions. A consensus on authority, not consensus on definitions. Where’s the criticial understanding? It’s gone.

    The social darwinists who make morality objective, must be blown out of the water. And that means I am going to blow anyone out of the water with an objective emotionless, calculating and measuring, morality.

  307. 307
    JVL says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu: The social darwinists who make morality objective, must be blown out of the water. And that means I am going to blow anyone out of the water with an objective emotionless, calculating and measuring, morality.

    Which says that subjectivity is key?

    It continues to be a total outrage that the concept of subjectivity is undermined by the majority of intellectuals, both atheist and theist alike.

    And such an investigation will provide 1 correct answer for the definition of subjectivity and objectivity, and your answer that you bloviated without any investigation, is not the correct answer.

  308. 308
    AnimatedDust says:

    Go away MNY.

  309. 309
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY & JVL,

    I note on select points, for record:

    >>The social darwinists who make morality objective,>>

    – social darwinism is an anti-morality, a nihilism of power on presumption of evolutionary advantage of favoured races or classes

    – this has nothing to do with recognising the truth that we are error prone and in all prudence should do diligence that we sucessfully warrant key principles of right conduct, duty, virtue etc.

    >>must be blown out of the water.>>

    – social darwinism was discredited with Eugenics and the like, c 1945

    >>And that means I am going to blow anyone out of the water with an objective emotionless, calculating and measuring, morality.>>

    – honest recognition of error proneness and duty to warrant key premises helps to properly train conscience and our felt responses. Our emotions are no better than the quality of underlying perceptions, judgements, premises and principles.

    >>It continues to be a total outrage that the concept of subjectivity is undermined by the majority of intellectuals>>

    – you have been repeatedly corrected. We are error-prone, truth and right conscious agents with freedom, but therefore are duty bound to seek soundness.

    >>your answer that you bloviated without any investigation, is not the correct answer>>

    – Subjectvity is an aspect of conscious agency, as noted we are error prone but truth and right aware, with freedom. Accordingly, we are duty-bound and the first duties point to soundness in fulfilling duty.

    – objectivity points to successful warrant to a relevant, feasible degree of credibility as true and reliable, beyond the particular biases, limitations and potential errors of a given individual, group or community etc.

    KF

    PS: Cicero spoke to the built-in intelligible law that expresses our morally governed nature. And, anger or rage are notoriously blinding emotions.

  310. 310

    Because you don’t have the beginnings of an intellectual justification, because you don’t investigate the rules used in common discourse, it must be the case you have some emotional justification for defining things the way you do.

    You talk about accepting proneness to error. But really you only accept error, because you also accept perfection, by which perfection you identify the error. So the motivation for your conceptual scheme is that it asserts moral perfection.

    Where in reality God judges, and God can judge either way, good or evil.

    God can present someone with a choice between A and B, and regardless of which option is chosen, God will judge it as evil.

    For instance, people high on drugs, they may only be presented with bad options.

    But also ordinarily, God can judge people evil, regardless of which options they choose, for having bad personal character. Takes some time to build up personal character.

    But this is all really psychology, and not philosophy.

  311. 311
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY,

    apparently you are unaware of the logic and first principles series. Beyond, our error-proneness is a basic in common fact, including moral error. That needs no great research to document beyond say go pick up a good newspaper. Or attend court for a week.

    Next, yes cultivation of moral soundness including due sensitivity is important. That noted, it remains that there has been a widespread challenge to objectivity of any moral truths. That is, to successful warrant beyond so much of the error proneness we face that we need to accept that there are valid moral truths, truths about right conduct, duty, virtue etc that are generally binding.

    I have long noted the real case that it is self-evidently wrong to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child on the way home from school. The attempt to deny or obfuscate simply indicates gross moral defectiveness.

    Similarly, I noted that the attempted denial is actually a truth claim about right conduct etc so is self referential and self-refuting. That there are objective moral truths is actually undeniable.

    Further, a reflection on Cicero, Epictetus, etc with how we argue, even when we try to object to first duties will rapidly show that the objector too must sit on the same branch, objections implicitly expect to gain persuasive force because we intuitively recognise duties to truth, right reason, prudence including warrant etc. Inescapable and inescapably true. To succeed pose an objection that does not appeal to such duties; consistently (and despite attempts to deny or obfuscate) objectors cannot.

    Yes we need to build good character and sound conscience — one of the listed duties! — we need to love neighbour [ditto] etc, but as part of that we need to recognise that morality contains an intelligible frame or body of knowledge resting on objective first duties. In short, it is non-arbitrary.

    Further, arguably, it traces to the root of reality, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of our loyalty and reasonable, responsible service that accords with our evident nature.

    KF

  312. 312
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Yes in certain circumstances we face a lesser of evils. In which case the least damaging option is the relative good, consider what police and courts do. That has nothing to do with whether objective truths on right conduct etc exist. It is because of those standards that we recognise a choice of evils.

  313. 313
    Sandy says:

    God can present someone with a choice between A and B, and regardless of which option is chosen, God will judge it as evil.

    For instance, people high on drugs, they may only be presented with bad options.

    Don’t use drugs before posting comments…unless you want to sound insanely insane. :)))

  314. 314

    All besides the point, because you have no rational argument in the first place.

    Because for a rational argument about subjectivity and objectivity, you need to accurately reflect the rules used with subjective statements and objective statements, in common discourse.

    When you don’t even try to do that, then you are just making up stuff. It’s got nothing to do with the actual subjectivity and objectivity as it is in common discourse. And probably you are making it up for reasons of moral perfection, is still my best guess.

    I actually obey the rules, you have to as well. And animated dust, and sandy, and origenes, you all have to obey the rules. If you don’t accurately reflect common discourse, then you have a difference between your common discourse understanding, and your intellectual understanding, which leaves you wide open to an accusation of duplicity.

  315. 315
    Querius says:

    JVL @305,

    Sorry for my misattribution. I’m sure you mean well and you are sincere, I have no doubt about that. But I’m just not interested in discussing these matter with you if that’s okay.

    Of course. As I said

    Just something to think about.

    -Q

  316. 316
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, projection. I suggest you stop it. KF

  317. 317
    AnimatedDust says:

    Obeying the rules does not include agreeing with you. You still don’t understand subjective and objective in the context you think you do, ostensibly because English is not your mother tongue. You keep beating this dead horse. And I suggest you stop it as well. You’re a tiresome boor.

  318. 318
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    And our choice is based on our life experiences and our values.

    Well, let’s explore that idea a bit, eh?

    There’s something that precedes life experiences and values. We can see this when we feed a baby different foods; some make their faces light up with delight; others make them scowl and spit the food out. They are not making a choice to like (or prefer) one food over another; they are discovering that they like one food and find the other unpalatable.

    These preferences were apparently hard-wired into us from the beginning, because life is really a process of discovering your innate preferences, and then managing those preferences (both direct and abstract) towards, as best we can, our most preferable (enjoyable) outcomes.

    Yes, we make choices based on experience, but how we experience a thing, in terms of comparable preference, and how any experience affects appears to be due to innate qualities, at least until and if we can train ourselves to change how an experience affects us, or someone else deliberately trains us into experiencing something a different way than we would naturally experience that thing.

    What are our “values” and where do they come from? Ultimately, are our values not rooted in our preferences, either direct or abstract?

    Is an atheist to blame because he prefers atheism to believing in the Christian God? Is anyone to blame because they prefer one line of reasoning to another, one theory derived from evidence over another?

    Are we really supposed to figure this out, even if in contradiction to our innate predilections, in what is, relatively speaking, a very short (and unspecified) amount of time, under duress, in a very confusing and challenging environment?

  319. 319

    I explain subjectivity and objectivity on http://www.creationwiki.org/Creationist_Philosophy

    It’s a wiki. If you can find some error on it, you can correct it.

    I try to accurately reflect the rules used with subjective statements, and objective statements in common discourse.

    I don’t bloviate some definition of subjectivity and objectivity, fantasizing it, which is what you all do. That is totally disgusting. And basically you all sound like atheists, in your argumentation.

  320. 320
    Sandy says:

    Is an atheist to blame because he prefers atheism to believing in the Christian God? Is anyone to blame because they prefer one line of reasoning to another, one theory derived from evidence over another?

    Yes and Yes. Truth is not about preferences.

    Mohammadnursyamsu
    I explain subjectivity and objectivity

    First you have to learn about something and THEN you will explain…you can’t explain something that you have no clue about.

  321. 321

    @Sandy That’s total childishness. And Animated Dust also produces nothing but childishness. If I remember correctly, Animated Dust went out on the internet looking for information on me, and then quoted some atheist criticizing me.

    This is just the same as talking to atheists. No rationality whatsoever. All just bloviating.

    KF dresses his argumentation up with the respectability of the establishement. But it’s all not even trying to accurately refelect common discourse.

  322. 322
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @318,
    Thanks for your cogent post. In general, I agree with your observations. Diving a bit deeper, you point out discovery (and subsequent evaluation). There’s a lot that comes with our experiences and values, and I’m not a fan of B.F. Skinner in this regard.

    When one thinks about experiences and values, it becomes quickly apparent how deeply they are influenced by context, attitude, and perspective. While in college, I read and edited the memoirs of a professor. I was surprised to learn that he provided counselling for many of his students.

    As a result, I saw how some of his students had some very similar tragedies in their lives but the outcomes were vastly different! A lot had to do with attitude, their personal weaknesses, what they valued and prioritized, and ultimately their Will. I could see that the clash of reason, faith, and common sense with Will (or pride or self-justification or ambition) was devastating for some of them!

    You make some profound observations:

    Is an atheist to blame because he prefers atheism to believing in the Christian God? Is anyone to blame because they prefer one line of reasoning to another, one theory derived from evidence over another?

    I don’t want to get myself mired in philosophy, but I’d rather stick to observations of people in my life.

    Humans seem to have a strong hunger for value, purpose, justice, fellowship, and eternal meaning to name a few things that transcend “the three behavioral F’s: Feeding, Fighting, and Mating” as one prof used to put it or as stated in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (what is “self-actualization,” anyway).

    Personally, I’m convinced that Christianity is widely misinterpreted, misunderstood and misapplied. Have you ever heard this description, “The teachings and sacrifice of Jesus, the Greeks turned into a philosophy, the Romans into a system, the Europeans into a culture, and the Americans into a business”?

    I think such encrustations need to be scraped off to reveal the truth. Otherwise, people become profoundly unhappy in their prosperity, their religion (or lack thereof), and their relationships with other people.

    -Q

  323. 323
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, notice, the centrality of duty to truth and how opinion, perception, preference, perversity, selective hyperskepticism etc have been piled on to squash it flat in our time? That is a measure of our folly and its end; right over the cliff. A hard collision with reality awaits. KF

  324. 324
    Origenes says:

    Querius @322

    Personally, I’m convinced that Christianity is widely misinterpreted, misunderstood and misapplied.

    Will the vast majority of people go to hell, according to Christianity, or is this idea based on misinterpretation?

  325. 325

    The only chance at getting general agreement on the definitions of the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity, is to accept the standard of accurately reflecting the rules used in common discourse with subjective and objective statements.

    I know for a fact that each of you uses different definitions. Yet you pretend you are all in agreement. Your sole agreement is to say what you want to say, and not obey the rules of rational discourse.

    One obvious problem with the thesis that lack of objective morality leads to catastrophy, is that both communists and nazis asserted objective morality, loosely based on evolution theory.

    The current vaccin catastrophy, it is all people who invoke science on what we ought to do.

    I have talked to hundreds of people on the internet about subjectivity. Everyone hates subjectivity. Everyone loves objectivity. Look at how childish people here are, in arguing about subjectivity. I have no doubt about it that the problem is in comprehension and acceptance of subjectivity, not objectivity.

  326. 326
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, we are agents so have subjectivity; that is how we are free enough to be rational and to know. The issue is not that but warrant for knowledge, including moral knowledge; knowledge of what we ought to do. KF

  327. 327
    Querius says:

    Origenes @324,

    Will the vast majority of people go to hell, according to Christianity, or is this idea based on misinterpretation?

    “Many” people will perish eternally in “the lake of fire” after the great judgement of God. I’d imagine that it would be a majority, but I don’t know how “vast.” Currently, about a third of the world is at least nominally Christian.

    Here’s what Jesus showed John at Patmos:

    After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. – Revelation 7

    Here’s what Jesus told Martha before raising her brother, Lazarus, from the dead:

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have come to believe that You are the Christ [Messiah in Hebrew], the Son of God, and He who comes into the world.” -John 11

    In Matthew 7, Jesus says

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

    In John 14, Jesus is quoted as saying

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    So, Jesus says that He is the narrow gate. But God wants as many people as possible to be saved as stated in John 3:

    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes [or trusts] in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

    And for the wealthy, corrupt and abusive religious leaders both then and in the future, Jesus said in Matthew 7:

    “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.

    And also this . . .

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    – People who choose to trust in their own righteousness (and excuses) will experience perfect justice.

    – People who confess their selfish, guilty actions, and trust instead in the mercy of God will be shown perfect mercy.

    – To make mercy available, God wrapped himself in a human body and was tortured to death on your behalf and mine.

    After all is said and done, our futures are fundamentally a matter of Our Will. Hope this helps.

    -Q

  328. 328
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    After all is said and done, our futures are fundamentally a matter of Our Will. Hope this helps.

    Our “will” is synonymous with “our preferences,” because every act of will is about preference, either direct or abstract. As I pointed out earlier, our preferences appear to be largely hard-wired things we come into this world with that we discover through our experience.

    Under Christianity, it would be God that created and fine-tuned these innate preferences that are recognizably disparate between individuals even when we are very, very young. In essence, God programmed every single choice we make because upon creating and tuning those preferences. God knew exactly where those preferences, arranged and installed by him, would lead us.

    If this is the best possible world, then it is the inescapable conclusion that God created those who he knew wouldn’t make it as necessary sacrifices in order to bring about what follows this world.

    It’s like a horror movie. How are we supposed to be happy if some of our loved ones don’t make the cut? Does God erase our memory of them? Change how we feel? Does everyone who gets into heaven become a sociopath, not even caring about all those who didn’t make it? How awful do you have to be, to enjoy heaven when billions didn’t make it, and are apparently suffering eternal torment, paying the necessary price for your admission to the glory club?

    From my perspective, you have to be insane or stupid to believe in this stuff, or just so irrationally afraid of going to hell you’re willing to rationalize anything to avoid it.

  329. 329
    William J Murray says:

    Let that sink in: God created this world knowing full well billions would end up in hell, but since it was the best possible arrangement in order to acquire the best possible world after this world with, presumably, the most people making it there, he went ahead and created the billions who were necessary as the sacrifice in order to bring that world about.

    Jesus didn’t pay anywhere near the price billions are going to pay for your eternal heaven because Jesus isn’t suffering eternal torment.

  330. 330
    Origenes says:

    Querius @327

    The idea of sacrifice seems to pervade Christianity. But to me the very idea that a person can pay the debt for the sins of others makes no sense. You don’t put an innocent man to death, because you cannot find the real murderer; even if the innocent man is volunteering. The price for sin, as I see it, can only be paid by the person who commited the sin.

  331. 331
    kairosfocus says:

    Querius, we are getting into theological speculations and side issues, where many people imagine betond their depth. We need to know as a balance the point on the informationally BC etc:

    Rom 2:6 He [God] will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking[a] and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

    9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

    11 For God shows no partiality.

    This suggests that God is exceedingly gracious to those who respond to the light they have, however stumblingly and haltingly. One has to cross a definite threshold of willful habitual evil that rejects the light one has or should have to be a subject of the just judgement of God.

    I strongly suggest, that this is not a topic for amateur speculation and rhetoric but requires thoughtful knowledgeable insight from those with expertise. It is also well off topic for this thread and blog.

    KF

  332. 332
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your views are yours. The issue is that sin is utterly toxic snake venom and we need antivenin. There is a whole theology of redemption that is not adequately addressed even in brief above and it is most unfortunate that you chose language to deride in terms of insanity. This is not the forum for such a discussion, and there are other places with those of suitable expertise to address such. KF

  333. 333
    Sandy says:

    Kairosfocus
    I strongly suggest, that this is not a topic for amateur speculation and rhetoric but requires thoughtful knowledgeable insight from those with expertise.

    So true. You must know something about the subject to say that. 🙂

    @Querius: from your comment I understand you don’t like The Church of Christ, that one that compiled and preserved the Bible for thousands of years so you can read it and misunderstand it. Flash News: Whitout a priest( that have ordination coming uninterrupted from Apostles) to absolve your confessed sins there is no salvation. But you can’t confess your sins without being baptised by a priest that …you know …from Apostles.

    @Origenes: so if you sin against an Infinite Being how you pay the price?

  334. 334
    Origenes says:

    Sandy @333

    … so if you sin against an Infinite Being how you pay the price?

    I don’t know. But my point is that it doesn’t make sense to have someone else pay the price for my sins —— an idea that seems to pervade Christianity.

  335. 335
    Sandy says:

    But my point is that it doesn’t make sense to have someone else pay the price for my sins

    Do you have family? If you were orphan and nobody taught you love and mercy you could be understood why “doesn’t make sense ” for you. Ask a mother on the street if this idea make sense for her, if she would be ready to give even her life for her children to live and be happy.

  336. 336
    Origenes says:

    Sandy @335

    Ask a mother on the street if this idea make sense for her, if she would be ready to give even her life for her children to live and be happy.

    The fact that a mother is willing to pay the price for the sins of het children, does not tell us that the concept makes sense. Does it make sense to have Hitler’s mom, even if she is volunteering, to pay the price for the sins of her son?

  337. 337
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, I am busy with EFT wire transfer details for 2 countries just now but saw your comment. The problem is, sin is like sea cobra venom, fatal. You need the spiritual antivenin and it must come from elsewhere. Much more can be discussed, but as noted this is not the proper forum. KF

  338. 338
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, the priest we need is the one of the Order of Melchizedek discussed in Ep Heb. And yes, there is some knowledge but this is not the forum. KF

  339. 339
    Sandy says:

    The fact that a mother is willing to pay the price for the sins of het children, does not tell us that the concept makes any sense.

    Ok. I can’t help you.

    Does it make sense to have Hitler’s mom, even if she is volunteering, to pay the price for the sins of her son?

    🙂 Maybe is something new for you but majority of mothers ( no matter of whom) love their children and sacrifice even their life for them . The exceptions(mothers that abandon ,reject their children) don’t cancel the general truth about mothers.
    What is the logic of inserting Hitler here? You missed the point so big that you came with Hitler’s mom?

  340. 340
    Origenes says:

    Sandy, my claim is that the price for sin can only be paid by the person who commited the sin — not by his mother, his father, his wife, his children, his neighbours and so on.

    Your counter-argument is that mothers are willing to pay the price for sins commited by their children.

    I did not deny the fact that mothers are like that, but my argument remains that it does not make sense to have mothers pay the price for the sin of their children. The idea doesn’t serve justice. In order to show that it does not make sense, I came up with the example of Hitler’s mom.

  341. 341
    AnimatedDust says:

    WJM spake:

    From my perspective, you have to be insane or stupid to believe in this stuff, or just so irrationally afraid of going to hell you’re willing to rationalize anything to avoid it.

    Maybe that is because you place infinitely more faith in the infallibility of your temporal perspective, than you do in the Superintellect who created the whole show. You judge on certainly incomplete knowledge, and you hold contempt for that which you could not begin to fully comprehend, from where you are sitting.

    Yet, with all the hubris your fallen nature can muster, you spout contempt for such an un-understood entity.

    If that is not an illustration of the folly that is claimed throughout Scripture, which begs the reader incessantly to abandon, I don’t know what is.

    You commit a mouth breather’s error of so many, in this country, especially. It goes something like this: “If I can’t think of a good reason for X, that means there can’t be one.”

    Just because you can’t think of a good reason why God designed us and this universe the way he did, that means there can’t be one.

    For someone with a profound gift of your formidable intellect, as you have, especially without higher education, it’s sad to see it so brilliant in so many ways, and so completely blind and pedestrian in others.

    Lean not on your own understanding.

  342. 342
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @328,

    These are good questions, but I believe there one’s perspective makes a profound difference in our conclusions.

    Our “will” is synonymous with “our preferences,” because every act of will is about preference, either direct or abstract.

    Haven’t you ever done things that weren’t your preferences? Consider Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane just before being crucified, ““Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

    As I pointed out earlier, our preferences appear to be largely hard-wired things we come into this world with that we discover through our experience.

    This is where even secular theorists disagree. Are you familiar with B.F. Skinner?

    In essence, God programmed every single choice we make because upon creating and tuning those preferences. God knew exactly where those preferences, arranged and installed by him, would lead us.

    I believe God programmed us to truly have an independent Free Will. We’re not meat robots. Some experiments show that we seem to have a “Free Won’t,” a way of rejecting our impulses (see Benjamin Libet, 1983).

    If this is the best possible world, then it is the inescapable conclusion that God created those who he knew wouldn’t make it as necessary sacrifices in order to bring about what follows this world.

    According to Genesis, this creation is “very good,” but it’s NOT the best possible world.

    If we believe in quantum computing, why can’t we believe that God created all possible outcomes at once rather than a single deterministic outcome. Quantum mechanics demonstrates non-deterministic outcomes. Einstein recognized this immediately and he objected to Niels Bohr that “God doesn’t play with dice.” Do you know how Niels Bohr answered Einstein?

    It’s like a horror movie. How are we supposed to be happy if some of our loved ones don’t make the cut? Does God erase our memory of them? Change how we feel?

    So how can you as an atheist be happy while knowing that some of your loved ones died and are gone for all eternity?

    The Bible says that God Himself will wipe away our tears, and the horrors and atrocities of this world will never come into our remembrance. Have you ever visited a rest home with people who are constantly reliving their memories and disappointments?

    -Q

  343. 343
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, I think an analogy misfired. As I noted, there are serious discussions but this is not the proper forum. KF

  344. 344
    Querius says:

    Origenes @330

    The idea of sacrifice seems to pervade Christianity. But to me the very idea that a person can pay the debt for the sins of others makes no sense.

    The concept of atonement is pervasive throughout all human history. It appears in Genesis, the first book of the Bible and is mentioned in Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Here’s the argument.

    If by one human, sin and death entered all humanity, then God can rescue all humanity with the death of also one man, the Messiah Jesus (God himself died for us) and still satisfy justice.

    You don’t put an innocent man to death, because you cannot find the real murderer; even if the innocent man is volunteering. The price for sin, as I see it, can only be paid by the person who commited the sin.

    I agree, but . . .

    According to the Bible, the actual murderer is a powerful spiritual being called Lucifer or Satan. He murdered Eve and Adam, and infected their descendants with sin.

    God arranged things such that the “Seed of Eve” (i.e. Mary’s Son) would have the honor of crushing Satan’s head. The blood of Jesus acts as our vaccine if we choose to accept it, so we don’t have to perish.

    The Bible also says that God prepared “the Lake of Fire” (I think of an image of a black hole as the “bottomless pit” mentioned in Revelation or perhaps the surface of the sun) to punish Satan and his angels forever for murdering us, but since we were tricked, God provided humanity with a legal loophole.

    For example, you can go into a courtroom, where a judge might say, “You have a stack of speeding tickets that are very serious. What do you have to say for yourself?”

    A. “Your Honor, I’m a good person and I’ve done many good things in my life. Besides, everybody is guilty of speeding sometime, so it’s unfair of you to find me guilty.”

    What do you think the judge will say? How about this: “Your appearance here is not for all your good deeds, but for this stack of speeding tickets. The speed laws are not unreasonable and are clearly posted. I find you guilty and you must pay the fine.”

    OR . . .

    B. “Your Honor, you’re right, and I’m guilty as hell. I’m very sorry for what I’ve done and I throw myself at the mercy of the court.”

    Here’s what the judge says in this case: “I find you guilty as charged, but I’ve just been informed that someone has paid your fine and I can legally let you go. Please stop driving dangerously.”

    -Q

  345. 345
    William J Murray says:

    Querius asks:

    So how can you as an atheist be happy while knowing that some of your loved ones died and are gone for all eternity?

    I’m not an atheist. I’m a theist. I’m not sure you can believe we exist in universal mind and operate entirely within universal mind as local arrangements of mind/consciousness and not be some sort of de facto theist.

    If we believe in quantum computing, why can’t we believe that God created all possible outcomes at once rather than a single deterministic outcome.

    I not only believe all possible outcomes exist, but that all possible experiences and chains of experiences exist.

    My argument is against the Christian perspective of God, not against theism.

  346. 346
    William J Murray says:

    Querius asks:

    Haven’t you ever done things that weren’t your preferences?

    How would I do that, even in theory?

    Consider Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane just before being crucified, ““Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

    Jesus preferred that God’s will be done, not his. I call this an abstract preference; IOW, an abstract preference can take precedence over a direct precedence, like when we don’t eat something we’d like to eat because we believe it will probably contribute to a cumulative, eventual condition we will dis-enjoy more than we enjoy eating the food – putting on weight, or contributing to general ill health, or drinking alcohol when you have to drive later. Preferences are not just direct and immediate. Our choices are not just about directly, in-the-now “pleasure,” but rather develop as we learn how to manage our preferential choice towards more likely enjoyable states. We all weigh all that – again – according to our individual preferences.

  347. 347
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @331,

    Querius, we are getting into theological speculations and side issues, where many people imagine beyond their depth. We need to know as a balance the point on the informationally BC etc:

    Yes, I agree.

    Regarding morality and ethics, and whether they exist, I answer in the affirmative, but I need to address the requirement for a basis for morality and ethics. That basis cannot simply be cultural or we will be left powerless to object to any accepted version of morality and ethics.

    Obviously, I contend that this basis is explicitly stated in Torah (the Law), illustrated in the rest of the Tanakh (the so-called “Old Testament”), and fulfilled in the B’rit Hadashah (the New Covenant or “New Testament”).

    Thank you for your observations and the scriptures you quoted.

    While I agree that that considerable amateur speculation is likely, I don’t think that a scriptural perspective is off the topic of the existence of morality and ethics, without which it seems that morality and ethics would be completely dependent on culture at best and personal at worst.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

    -Q

  348. 348
    Origenes says:

    Querius @ 344

    The concept of atonement is pervasive throughout all human history. It appears in Genesis, the first book of the Bible and is mentioned in Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Here’s the argument.
    If by one human, sin and death entered all humanity, then God can rescue all humanity with the death of also one man, the Messiah Jesus (God himself died for us) and still satisfy justice.

    I really don’t get the argument, to me it is total injustice to have an innocent man pay the price for the sin of another man.

    … but since we were tricked, God provided humanity with a legal loophole. (…)
    Here’s what the judge says in this case: “I find you guilty as charged, but I’ve just been informed that someone has paid your fine and I can legally let you go. Please stop driving dangerously.”

    Thank you for this explanation, since during our discussion it occurred to me that Christianity puts ‘sin’ in the same category as money. Indeed if someone has been robbed and wants his money back, then he might not care where it comes from. But with sin it is not like that at all. The price for sin can only be paid by the person who committed the sin. Justice is not satisfied when an innocent man is punished for the sin of another. Quite the opposite.

  349. 349
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @345,

    I’m not an atheist. I’m a theist. I’m not sure you can believe we exist in universal mind and operate entirely within universal mind as local arrangements of mind/consciousness and not be some sort of de facto theist.

    I’m sorry for my mistake!

    Because what we could believe concerning God is limited only by our imaginations, I’ve chosen to accept as truth the direct revelation by God through the scriptures alone.

    Also, what theologians argue about, I hold very lightly, avoiding speculations derived from the scriptures, but not explicitly stated. Perhaps you can appreciate why I would do so.

    Have you recently read the first chapter of the Gospel of John to see how closely your Theist beliefs correspond or diverge? It starts out like this:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    Note that the word “Word” is translated from Logos, which has a much broader meaning in Greek.

    My argument is against the Christian perspective of God, not against theism.

    My argument is that many popular conceptions of the Christian perception of God is not what the scriptures actually teach.

    Jesus was the human embodiment of God, and He comforted his disciples with the words

    “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” – John 14 (NIV)

    Jesus as God might give you the same words if you can accept them. In many cases, it’s appropriate to substitute the word “trust” for “believe” and “faith.”

    -Q

  350. 350
    Querius says:

    Origenes @348,

    Thank you—I think you understand my perspective and I do understand your objection. To me that’s sufficient for the forum and the question of morality and ethics.

    I’d point out again that the concept of substitutionary atonement is endemic to human history. One can argue whether it’s valid or not on some basis, but it does seem to be accepted in most cultures as moral and ethical.

    Without reference to any Judeo-Christian beliefs, how would morality and ethics be defined but by what’s culturally acceptable?

    In Western culture, capital crimes and those specifying incarceration are indeed generally* not “atonable,” but how would you argue that atonement is also morally and ethically wrong for every other culture?

    Also, note that it’s been argued that “penal substitionary incarceation” inferior to simple restitution. In other words, why put a man in jail for stealing $100 from a store when he can be sentenced to restoring the $100 plus a fine? Wouldn’t the shopkeeper prefer to have the $100 restored?

    * There are many examples in the news about murderers being released after atoning for their murder by time spent in prison rather than “a life for a life.” This is substitionary in a capital crime.

    For crimes that have a financial penalty, I don’t think that any court would stipulate that the fine cannot be paid by someone other than the perpetrator. Wouldn’t you agree?

    -Q

  351. 351
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @346,

    Your definition of preferences to include “indirect preferences” reminds me of an experiment done on children. Are you familiar with “The Marshmallow Test” for delayed gratification?
    https://www.thoughtco.com/the-marshmallow-test-4707284

    Here’s a cuter, more visceral demonstration of the internal conflict:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ

    So, the “indirect preferences” for each child was presumably the same as evidenced by the identical reward stimulus, waiting time, and presumably their ages.

    But consider the long-term observations about their final choice.

    Note that it’s likely that an American business person would say something about “opportunity cost” and then immediately eat the marshmallow and leave the room.

    -Q

  352. 352
    Origenes says:

    Querius @350

    Thank you—I think you understand my perspective and I do understand your objection. To me that’s sufficient for the forum and the question of morality and ethics.

    To be honest I do not understand your perspective. As I said, I don’t understand how it satisfies justice if a man pays the price for another man’s sins. And that *lack of understanding* prevents me from accepting Christianity. Substitionary atonement, the idea that “Jesus died for us”, makes no sense to me. Because to me it is clear as day that the price for sin can only be paid by the person who committed the sin.

    I’d point out again that the concept of substitutionary atonement is endemic to human history. One can argue whether it’s valid or not on some basis, but it does seem to be accepted in most cultures as moral and ethical.

    In most cultures it is accepted as moral and acceptable to have innocent people pay the price for the sins of others? If that is true I was completely unaware of that fact.

    Also, note that it’s been argued that “penal substitionary incarceation” inferior to simple restitution. In other words, why put a man in jail for stealing $100 from a store when he can be sentenced to restoring the $100 plus a fine? Wouldn’t the shopkeeper prefer to have the $100 restored?

    This is all within reasonable debate. Reasonable debate stops for me when someone suggests that justice is also satisfied when the mother of the thief is incarcerated instead of the thief himself.

  353. 353
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes states, “Reasonable debate stops for me when someone suggests that justice is also satisfied when the mother of the thief is incarcerated instead of the thief himself.”

    But alas, it is not the mother of the thief, but it is the victim of the theft, i.e. God Himself, (and the actual theft was separation of us from God by our sin), is the One who ultimately bore the price of our theft from Him upon himself, (i.e. and the price of the theft from God, i.e. that separation from God by our sin, was death), and He chooses to freely forgive us for our sin, i.e. our theft from Him, and bear the price of that theft upon Himself.

    And as far as justice is concerned, a Victim choosing to completely forgive the crimes of a repentant thief, and bearing the price of the crimes upon himself, is a different matter entirely than a mother paying for the crimes of her son against another person.

    Justice is fully served in the first instance and is, like you pointed out, not fully served in the second instance. As the Psalm’s say, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight,”

    Psalm 51: 1-12
    Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to Your loving devotion;
    according to Your great compassion,
    blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me clean of my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
    For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
    Against You, You only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in Your sight,
    so that You may be proved right when You speak
    and blameless when You judge.
    Surely I was brought forth in iniquity;
    I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
    Surely You desire truth in the inmost being;
    You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
    Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
    Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones You have crushed rejoice.
    Hide Your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquities.
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
    Cast me not away from Your presence;
    take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
    and sustain me with a willing spirit.
    Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
    and sinners will return to You.

  354. 354
    Querius says:

    Origenes @352,

    As I said, I don’t understand how it satisfies justice if a man pays the price for another man’s sins. And that *lack of understanding* prevents me from accepting Christianity. Substitionary atonement, the idea that “Jesus died for us”, makes no sense to me. Because to me it is clear as day that the price for sin can only be paid by the person who committed the sin.

    Ok, let me clarify my thoughts. The Bible states that “the penalty for sin is death.” We all sin and we all expect to die physically. The Bible says that Adam and Eve were created to be immortal, but as a result of their sin, they would die as a result.

    Jesus spoke of God’s judgment, our resurrection, and our opportunity to avoid “the second death” through repenting of sins and faith in His atonement.

    In most cultures it is accepted as moral and acceptable to have innocent people pay the price for the sins of others? If that is true I was completely unaware of that fact.

    I didn’t specify the nature of atonement—there are several to consider.

    – Historically and in some regions today, people appease the gods in atonement for their killing innocent animals for food.

    – Human sacrifice was common in ancient times for a variety of purposes—there many examples available in an internet search.

    – In modern times, suicide bombers kill themselves and innocent bystanders for atonement and rewards in the afterlife.

    Reasonable debate stops for me when someone suggests that justice is also satisfied when the mother of the thief is incarcerated instead of the thief himself.

    But, I’m sure you know that there are places in the world today where an entire family is arrested for someone’s crime against the state, or hostages get in trouble for the actions of a relative. This might not be acceptable to you, but in places such as North Korea, I understand that it’s considered normative. On what basis can you object to those punishments, which are well-publicized and considered legal and just?

    Also, I previously asked, “For crimes that have a financial penalty, I don’t think that any court would stipulate that the fine cannot be paid by someone other than the perpetrator. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    -Q

  355. 355
    kairosfocus says:

    Querius,

    again on a pause.

    I, for cause, have separated knowledge of core morality per its self-evident nature (i.e. we are morally governed creatures so free, responsible and capable of rationality), from the testimony of sound conscience (an inner witness), from the roots thereof.

    The first is seen from how even objectors cannot but imply our duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence etc. Where, just neighbour-love, as St Paul noted, implies the duties of the decalogue etc as law has been written on our hearts.

    The second is a commonplace of experience, though we also have issues of warped conscience, and benumbed etc. Hence, “sound.” Which points back to the first. Similarly, it means that things like sins and inherent crimes such as murder are not inventions of priest craft or legal fictions decreed by some power broker or other, but instead are built in law that we inherently know and so we know ourselves to be guilty, guilty, guilty and in need of rescue. In need, too, of the antivenin that cures the fatal venom within.

    As for the third the logical issue is, which candidate world root best accounts for a world with such morally governed, responsible, significantly free and so too rational creatures. That level being the only place where is and ought can be bridged successfully, post Hume and the guillotine argument.

    There is just one serious candidate, and objectors only need to offer an alternative that does not reduce to absurdity in some way to overthrow such a claim (but on track record I am not holding my breath: ____). Namely, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; one, worthy of loyalty and of the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

    A familiar figure.

    KF

  356. 356
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I note, that this is in effect a significantly distractive side issue that embroils people who often do not have requisite theological, biblical and philosophical background in attempts to answer internet form village atheist rhetoric. And on a forum that is open to accusation oh ID is just creationism in a cheap tuxedo etc. That is why I strongly insist that we should point out that this is off topic, and that there are places where relevant experts give serious discussion, for those who are genuinely perplexed and not simply playing at trollish games.

  357. 357
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @355/356,

    The distinction between your first and second points was once illustrated to me by a friend who spent about 20 years in the most inaccessible part of Papua New Guinea bringing the Gospel to tribe that had recently abandoned their traditional headhunting and cannibalistic practices (they ate only their most brave and worthy opponents).

    What he told me was in a discussion with their tribal elders, they told him that “now we know why we felt bad even after a big victory” over a neighboring tribe.

    I agree that trollish posts should be ignored although I’m not always certain whether some posts are meant to troll and waste our time or they are genuine questions. I hope I don’t make too many mistakes in this regard.

    -Q

  358. 358
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    The first is seen from how even objectors cannot but imply our duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence etc.

    When you can make your case without appealing to mind-reading, let us know. I cannot be referring to duties I am utterly unaware of, and for which the necessary conditions for those to duties to exist at all, or be known as such, have not been made apparent.

    Every time you presume to tell me what my words imply, you’re attempting mind reading and refusing correction. What you are doing is making an erroneous inference about what my words mean, and I’ve corrected you many times. When you refuse correction about what I am implying and insist that your inference is what I am really implying, you’re not involved in a debate with anyone other than yourself. You are supplying/imagining aspects to me and my argument that you require for your argument to hold up – over my corrections about what I mean and what I’m implying when I say what I do.

    Well, anyone can win a debate that way, KF.

    If I have these so-called “First Duties,” then tell me: (1) What is the authority that holds me responsible for the fulfillment of my First Duties? (2) What are the consequences for fulfilling or not fulfilling my duties?

    Unless those two conditions are met, no “duty” can be said to exist. You have yet to answer those questions.

  359. 359
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    So, the “indirect preferences” for each child was presumably the same as evidenced by the identical reward stimulus, waiting time, and presumably their ages.

    Right. And the children, even at that age, weighed those preferences differently. It appears that most preferred to wait for two marshmallows, some ate tiny bits, one ate most of it, and one immediately ate the marshmallow.

    Because what we could believe concerning God is limited only by our imaginations, I’ve chosen to accept as truth the direct revelation by God through the scriptures alone.

    Do you mean you’ve chosen to believe the scriptures are the direct revelation of God? I respect that and don’t have a problem with it (your choice,) but the problem is that I’m not familiar with your particular beliefs, so I cannot be arguing against them. I’m arguing against a more commonly expressed and defended form of Christianity.

    Such as, a perfectly good, all-knowing, all-powerful God created, out of all the possible options, the best possible reality construct for the purpose of reaching a final goal of maximum possible “goodness,” and the nature of that construct, as God knew, meant that a lot of people would end up in Hell being tormented forever.

    Of course, my argument doesn’t necessarily cover anyone’s particular form of Christianity. I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who considers themselves a Christian who believes God created “all possible outcomes.”

    Jesus as God might give you the same words if you can accept them

    My heart is not troubled.

  360. 360
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, insistent denial on your part sustained for some months now, does not shift the balance on the merits. ,your objection implies the duty to warrant credible truth using right reason and is an example that we cannot but appeal to the first duties of reason. This is very similar to and — duty to right reason — overlaps with Epictetus on logic. You, too sit on the branch with the rest of us. KF

  361. 361
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    No duty can be said to exist unless there are the following conditions: (1) an authority that holds you responsible for the fulfillment of your duties, and (2) consequences for doing and/or not doing your duty. Those things are what DEFINE any “duty.” They are necessary for a duty to exist or be known to exist. Otherwise, you’re just talking about feelings.

    We cannot help but appeal to logic and reason; that is not the same as appealing to any “duty” to logic and reason. You don’t get your duties for free by just magically attaching the word “duty” to our inescapable use of logic. The necessary price of establishing any duty is by revealing or showing the necessary conditions I’ve listed and asked you for repeatedly.

    Yet, you will not do it. I think we both know why. Your entire argument will fail if you do so. That’s why you have to rely on asserting what I’m implying – mind reading – instead of just pointing out the necessary conditions for the duties you refer to. It’s the only way to avoid blowing up your own argument.

  362. 362
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain 77 @353

    O: Reasonable debate stops for me when someone suggests that justice is also satisfied when the mother of the thief is incarcerated instead of the thief himself.

    But alas, it is not the mother of the thief, but it is the victim of the theft, i.e. God Himself, (and the actual theft was separation of us from God by our sin), is the One who ultimately bore the price of our theft from Him upon himself, (i.e. and the price of the theft from God, i.e. that separation from God by our sin, was death) (…)

    For the victim to bear the price of theft upon himself, does not make sense for one simple reason: the price for sin can only be paid by the person who committed the sin. If the sinner does not pay the price for the sin, then the price is not paid at all, since he is the only one who is in the position to pay it.
    If an innocent man is put to death, instead of the murderer, then no price for the murder has been paid — all that is accomplished is an increase of injustice.

    (…) and He chooses to freely forgive us for our sin, i.e. our theft from Him, and bear the price of that theft upon Himself.

    To be clear, a sin stems from an informed free choice, as opposed to someone who doesn’t know what he is doing, someone who acts without conscious self-awareness—in a similar way as a ping pong ball bouncing of one’s head while being asleep. The latter is not a sin, at least not in my book.
    If someone fully endorses his free informed choice, willing to repeat it at any time, and it is a sin, then it makes no sense to forgive him for his sin.
    It only makes sense to forgive a sin when a person is repentant. Why? Because repentance is the real price for sin. And only from repentance comes real atonement. To forgive is accepting the price for sin.

    And as far as justice is concerned, a Victim choosing to completely forgive the crimes of a repentant thief, (…)

    In line with what I just said, this can make perfect sense.

    (…) and bearing the price of the crimes upon himself, (…)

    And this does not.

    (…) is a different matter entirely than a mother paying for the crimes of her son against another person.(…)

    No, it is not a different matter. Neither the victim of the crime, nor the mother of the criminal can pay the price for the crimes of the criminal. Again, the price for sin can only be paid by the person who committed the sin.

  363. 363
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, insistent denial on your part sustained for some months now, does not shift the balance on the merits.

    I’m not denying your proposed “First Duties” exist; they may exist. I’m sure I have all kinds of duties under state and federal law that I don’t know about. But, if I don’t know about them, I cannot be appealing to them. And, if I ask you to show me where those duties are listed, which will provide the information of what authority will hold me responsible and the penalty for not doing my duty, you either do that or you have failed to make your case that I have any such duties.

    You have failed to make your case that such duties exist. You can appeal to consequences, feelings, “balance of merits” and mind reading all you want. Those things might imply to you that such duties actually exist; they do not imply that to me. All you have to do is answer the questions I have asked which will establish the authority and the consequences necessary for recognition that any such duty exists.

  364. 364
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes, you state,

    Origenes: “It only makes sense to forgive a sin when a person is repentant. Why? Because repentance is the real price for sin. And only from repentance comes real atonement. Forgiveness is accepting the price for sin.”

    BA77: “And as far as justice is concerned, a Victim choosing to completely forgive the crimes of a repentant thief, (…)”

    Origenes: “In line with what I just said, this can make perfect sense.”

    BA77: “(…) and bearing the price of the crimes upon himself, (…)”

    Origenes: “And this does not.”

    BA77: (…) is a different matter entirely than a mother paying for the crimes of her son against another person.(…)

    Origenes: “No, it is not a different matter. Neither the victim of the crime, nor the mother of the criminal can pay the price for the crimes of the criminal. Again, the price for sin can only be paid by the person who committed the sin.”

    Yet, as you yourself just agreed, if the criminal himself is repentant to the victim, it does make sense to forgive a sin (and/or sins). The mother can’t be repentant for her criminal son, only the criminal son can be repentant for his own crimes.

    Moreover, a truly repentant person would try to make restitution for the crime to the victim as best he could. The problem for us is that the thief, no matter how repentant he may be, has not the means, nor power, within himself to bear the full price of his crime/sin against God, which is OUR death. i.e. OUR separation from God Who is the source of all life.

    Thus, for the justice to be fully served, and as you yourself agreed, a person, i.e. a thief’ must first be repentant of his crime and then forgiveness by the victim can freely be given to the thief,,,, but still the ‘price’ of the crime must still be paid, and ultimately bore, by someone. i.e. The ‘damage of the crime’ did not just magically float away when the victim forgave the repentant criminal..

    Either the thief or the victim must bear the price of the crime and/or the damage that was done by the thief.. Seeing that the thief, if he is truly repentant, would try to make make restitution as best he could to the victim, but that the thief has not the means, nor power, within himself to make full restitution to the victim, the victim himself, in order to make his forgiveness ‘complete’ to the repentant thief, would then be required to bear some, or all, of the price of the crime/sin of the repentant thief upon himself. And the price of sin, our crime against God is,, of course, death, i.e. our separation from God Who is the source of all life. That IS the price of the crime that must be paid by someone, either the criminal or the victim, i.e. God, for justice to be fully served

    Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
    Luke 7
    36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

    39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

    40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

    “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

    41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

    43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

    “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

    44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

    48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

    49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

    50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

  365. 365
    Origenes says:

    Querius @354

    But, I’m sure you know that there are places in the world today where an entire family is arrested for someone’s crime against the state, or hostages get in trouble for the actions of a relative. This might not be acceptable to you, but in places such as North Korea, I understand that it’s considered normative. On what basis can you object to those punishments, which are well-publicized and considered legal and just?

    I see a person as a unity who is responsible for his own actions. No one but me bears responsibility for my actions, and since I do not control the actions of others [especially when they lived long before I was born], I do not bear responsibility for the actions of others. [we can have a debate about children].

    Also, I previously asked, “For crimes that have a financial penalty, I don’t think that any court would stipulate that the fine cannot be paid by someone other than the perpetrator. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    Yes I agree. However, do you agree with me that justice is not satisfied when someone other than the perpetrator pays the fine? Something is clearly off.

  366. 366
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain @364

    Yet, as you yourself just agreed, if the criminal himself is repentant to the victim, it does make sense to forgive a sin (and/or sins). The mother can’t be repentant for her criminal son, only the criminal son can be repentant for his own crimes.
    Moreover, a truly repentant person would try to make restitution for the crime to the victim as best he could.

    So far, we are in full agreement.

    The problem for us is that the thief, no matter how repentant he may be, has not the means, nor power, within himself to bear the full price of his crime/sin against God, which is OUR death. i.e. OUR separation from God Who is the source of all life.

    But here I have trouble keeping up. What is being introduced here, if I understand you correctly, is the concept of ‘collective sin’. Every human being is guilty of the crime against God, committed by, I suppose, Adam and Eve. But since I do not control their actions I reject all responsibility for them. IOWs I reject the idea that I have been “infected” by their sins, as Querius calls it.

    Thus, for the justice to be fully served, and as you yourself agreed, a person, i.e. a thief’ must first be repentant of his crime and then forgiveness by the victim can freely be given to the thief,,,, but still the ‘price’ of the crime must still be paid, and ultimately bore, by someone. i.e.
    The ‘damage of the crime’ did not just magically float away when the victim forgave the repentant criminal..
    Either the thief or the victim must bear the price of the crime and/or the damage that was done by the thief.. Seeing that the thief, if he is truly repentant, would try to make make restitution as best he could to the victim, but that the thief has not the means, nor power, within himself to make full restitution to the victim, the victim himself, in order to make his forgiveness ‘complete’ to the repentant thief, would then be required to bear some, or all, of the price of the crime/sin of the repentant thief upon himself.

    You have a point. If you mean that the victim has to cope with the irrestitutable consequences of the crime, then I agree. However, as I said, what I consider to be the true price of sin—repentance (or guilt)—can never be borne by the victim. And neither does it make sense for the victim to bear (part of) the punishment for the crime.

    And the price of sin, our crime against God is,, of course, death, i.e. our separation from God Who is the source of all life. That IS the price of the crime that must be paid by someone, either the criminal or the victim, i.e. God, for justice to be fully served.

    Jesus had to die because the price had to be paid by someone? If I understand you correctly, that doesn’t make sense to me. The victim obviously should not share the (additional) punishment. If a man’s wife has been killed, and the repentant murderer is, for obvious reasons, not able to offer full restitution, then it does not make sense for the man to share part of the punishment that comes with the price for murder; such as jail time.
    And again, “our crime against God”, that is the concept of collective sin, does not make sense to me.

  367. 367
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, we are seeing precisely the bits and pieces exchanges on theology of redemption and atonement that are of little help to anyone and which is well off topic for UD. The fundamental issue is, there are experts and references that can address concerns of the perplexed. Such are not operating here at least on a regular basis, I suggest those seeking real answers go there, rhetorical exchanges and partial analogies apt to be twisted by clever objectors will lead to no responsible outcome. I do suggest that the antivenin concept outlined above has this, it comes directly from the text of John echoing a key incident in the salvation history of Israel; indeed the context is that of the famous Jn 3:16. We are all envenomated with a fatal dose, we are helpless all of us, worse the toxin warps our thinking so in our own sense of wisdom, our thinking is crooked as we are explicitly warned. In that context God in his wisdom sent one who crushed the serpent’s head at cost of being a wounded healer, his heel so to speak was bruised. It is our response to same that gives us life for the look of penitent trust. A trust backed by hundreds of years of detailed prophecy, esp Isa 52 – 53. Fulfilled, esp. resurrection with 500 witnesses who could not be shaken by dungeon, fire, sword or much worse. With millions encountering God in saving, life transforming, miracle-working power through the face of Jesus. Those are truth anchors that will not start. KF

    PS: From Jn 3:

    1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus1 by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

    3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again2 [F/N: Or from above; the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above; also verse 7] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

    5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.3 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You4 must be born again.’ 8 The wind5 blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

    10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the [–> note, emphasis, the leading teacher] teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you6 do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

    13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.7 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.8

    16 “For God so loved the world,9 that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

    19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” [ESV]

    Notice, this specifically implies adequate awareness of and access to the gospel. For those who are informationally BC the redemption operates implicitly on a foreshadowing principle. As I noted previously, Rom 2 gives some food for thought. But to absorb this and many other things we must be inclined to be receptive and to learn and grow step by step, however halting our progress.

    Rom 2, again, excerpted:

    6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking1 and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury . . . .

    12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

    14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the [mosaic, scriptural] law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law [–> this is in-built core law attested by conscience etc] to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

  368. 368
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: We are NOT talking of “collective punishment” of the actually innocent, but about each and every one of us walking knowingly and willfully in wrong. Each is guilty, guilty, guilty, as we all know. Rhetoric that seeks to shift our own guilt is little more than projection as a defence against cognitive dissonance and the psychic pain of guilt. That is an example of the warping in view.

  369. 369
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the balance remains, you are still sitting on the same branch of first duties governing our reasoning. KF

  370. 370
    bornagain77 says:

    Origins, Forget the complication of ‘collective sin’ for a moment, are you yourself not a sinner before God? and therefore are you yourself not worthy of the punishment that sin entails before God? The punishment of sin being, of course, your separation from God, and therefore, ultimately, your death since God is the source of your life.

    And supposing you became repentant of your sin against God and God, in his mercy, decided to forgive you for your sins? Would not the ‘damage’ caused by your sin against God, i.e. your crime against God, still be in effect? Just like the damage caused by a theft would still be in effect until that which was stolen was either replaced or returned?

    Did the damage caused by your sin against God just magically disappear after God chose to forgive you?

    Of course not!

    For justice to truly and fully served, it is not enough for a sinner to be repentant before God, but the damage and consequences of that sin, our separation from God, our death, must also be comprehensively dealt with.

    And I hold, indeed all Christianity holds, that it is impossible for you, no matter how repentant you may be of your sin before God, and no matter how many good works you may choose to do for God to try to make up for your sin against God, is ever going to be enough to bridge that ‘infinite separation’ from God, i.e. that ‘death’, that your sin before God brought about.

    Therefore, since it is impossible for you to ever truly make restitution to God for the ‘infinite’ damage that your sin against God caused, i.e. your death, and yet God wants to forgive you for your sins anyway, exactly how do the think the damage caused by your sin against God Is ever going to truly be paid for if not by God himself through God’s atoning sacrifice through Jesus Christ?

    For me personally, Jesus’s atoning sacrifice for my sins before an infinitely holy and just God makes perfect sense, and always had made perfect sense to me ever since I was a child.. As one preacher once put it. Jesus atoning sacrifice is so easy that a child can immediately understand it, but is so complicated that it can keep Theologians busy for a lifetime.

    Of related note, here is a fairly recent discovery on the Shroud of Turin, (a discovery that was brought about by advances in holographic imaging), that may interest you.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    RESEARCH 3 LETTERS ON SOLID OBJECT
    THREE HEBREW LETTERS IN RELIEF ON THE SURFACE OF THE OVAL SOLID OBJECT
    —UNDER THE BEARD IN THE NECK AREA —
    Excerpt: THE THREE HEBREW LETTERS:
    Hebrew is a language that is written and read from the right to the left. So the three letters that are visible are from right to left:
    TS’ADE—ALEPH—NUN (see image 9),,,
    There is however something more with the word TS’ON. Like we mentioned before, in KLEIN’s dictionary it is translated as: “small cattle, sheep and goats”. (This is like saying “soldiers” instead of army and TS’ON is NOT a flock but “sheep and goats”).
    The EXCEPTION for the translation of the word TS’ON, we find in Exodus 12:21.

    When the Israelites are ordered by God to prepare a lamb for sacrifice and after the sacrifice put the blood on the doorposts, the word that is used for lamb is SEH (Exodus 12:3) and that is correct. However, in Exodus 12:21 it says: “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the (Passover) lamb”. The word that is used in the Bible is TS’ON and this is the ONLY TIME in the whole of the Bible that the word TS’ON is used as lamb and it is specifically translated as such for this occasion. In the Judaic Tradition this sentence in Exodus 12:21 is also understood (translated) as: “MAKE A SIGN WITH THE LAMB”, (By putting the blood of the lamb on the doorpost). The reason for this is that there is a very close relationship in the root and also in the sound, between the word TS’ON and the word TS’IOEN, and this word means “sign”. In the Judaic Tradition when words have the same root and/or sound, they are like “family of each other” and are very closely related in meaning and use.
    So, we find again a direct connection between the word TS’ON, and Jesus Christ, who is the Passover lamb, dying at the moment on Friday afternoon when in the Temple the sacrifice of the lambs took place. “The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of this world”. (See figure 16 and 17, the Passover Lamb).
    https://shroud3d.com/research-on-the-3d-materials/research-3-letters-on-solid-object/

    Isaiah 53
    Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
    4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
    he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
    8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
    For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
    9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
    though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
    10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
    11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
    because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
    For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

  371. 371

    @KF Yes subjectivity has something to do with agency.

    But you are still just bloviating about subjectivity, and not studying how subjectivity works, by trying to accurately reflect the rules used in common discourse, with subjective statements.

    Studying common discourse, we can obtain the rules for subjectivity and objectivity, which is creationism.

    Then we would have general agreement on the definitions of subjectivity and objectivity.

    Instead of as now, everyone bloviating their own ideas for another thousand posts or so.

  372. 372
    William J Murray says:

    KF said

    WJM, the balance remains, you are still sitting on the same branch of first duties governing our reasoning. KF

    Nope. I’m sitting on the branch of logic, not the apparently imaginary branch of “duties” you’re looking at. Where is the authority that holds me responsible to my duties? What are the consequences? Without those, I have no reason to consider those duties anything more than your imagination.

  373. 373
    ram says:

    Jerry: The beat goes on as predicted. And nothing will be accomplished.

    On the contrary. Some of the comments here have clarified my own thinking. There may be others on the sidelines in the same situation. Things are being accomplished.

    –Ram

  374. 374
    ram says:

    KF: That’s a clue that objectors to first duties…

    What is the very first duty?

    –Ram

  375. 375
    Querius says:

    Origenes @365,

    . . . do you agree with me that justice is not satisfied when someone other than the perpetrator pays the fine? Something is clearly off.

    No, actually I don’t agree.

    The Bible indicates that sometimes Mercy should be served rather than Justice. There’s a concept throughout that Mercy can triumph over Justice. By “triumph,” I mean that Mercy can have better long-term outcomes in some cases. There are many examples of this principle in the Bible.
    Have you ever experienced mercy rather than getting was due you?

    But I do recognize that your values don’t align with mine and you’re more of an “eye-for-an-eye” person, right?

    -Q

  376. 376
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, logic has no magical power to compel attention much less adherence. It is that we recognise that we are governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant) etc that lends force to logic. And more. KF

  377. 377
    Querius says:

    Ram @373,

    On the contrary. Some of the comments here have clarified my own thinking. There may be others on the sidelines in the same situation. Things are being accomplished.

    Yes, likewise!

    After sharing the cute “Marshmallow Test” video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ) with my wife, we talked about delayed gratification as significant component in a child’s upbringing–that some cultures (such as traditional French) actually train self-control this way to young children.

    Then it occurred to me that there are many examples of delayed gratification in the Bible. Not only with Jacob and Esau, but in reference to Jesus himself as stated explicitly in Hebrews 12:2.

    Perhaps delayed gratification is actually a component of human ethics, breaking us out of the stimulus-response cycle.

    -Q

  378. 378
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, logic has no magical power to compel attention much less adherence.

    It has no power to compel attention, but adherence to the fundamental principles is inescapable for any sentient being. You cannot have a coherent thought without them. Beyond that, though, no – nobody is compelled to adhere to rationally supportable behaviors.

    It is that we recognise that we are governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant) etc that lends force to logic. And more. KF

    I don’t recognize that I am compelled by any duty to truth because I don’t know of any such duty. I can only know of a duty I have if I recognize (1) the authority that holds me responsible for doing my duty, and (2) the consequences for doing/not doing my duty.

    IF you actually believed you had a duty to ferret out truth and apply reason to the best of your ability, you’d stop trying to read my mind and you’d stop baldly asserting such duties exist and point out the necessary conditions for it to be said a duty exist or that I’m appealing to them. You see how I just now deliberately appealed to your hypothetical duties?

    Now, in the following paragraph, I’m going to appeal to the duties you claim govern you.

    In defiance of the very duty you claim to be faithfully fulfilling to the best of your ability, you have refused now for months to point out those necessary conditions. You have refused to even answer if you agree that, without those conditions, it cannot even be said that a duty actually exists. I suspect you will not answer these questions because you know, on some level, that to answer those questions is to undermine your entire argument.

    Answer this question, KF: Can it be said a duty actually exists if the following two conditions do not exist?

    1. An authority that holds you responsible for fulfilling your duty
    2. Consequences for doing/not doing your duty

    You see, I deliberately appealed, in the above, to your hypothetical duties.

    The reason I am not appealing to hypothetical duties otherwise is because I have absolutely no expectation that you will answer truthfully or rationally. I keep pointing out your reasoning flaws the way I do for no other reason than I enjoy doing it. When I don’t enjoy it, I don’t do it.

    As I’ve explained many times here, I do this because I enjoy it. I’m not in pursuit of truth. I like to take on rational arguments because I enjoy it. I argued here for over a year in defense of “objective morality” because I enjoyed doing it. I argue now against it because I enjoy it – not because I changed my mind about it; I never believed in it and never said I believed in it.

    Stop thinking you can mind-read me or know my motivations, KF, and just answer the questions if you’re so dutiful to truth and reason.

  379. 379
    William J Murray says:

    Would you still do your duty to God if the consequence of doing your duty means you will spend eternity being tormented in hell, and those who do not do their duty get eternal life in heaven?

    If not, why not?

  380. 380
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77 @370

    Forget ‘collective sin’, are you yourself not a sinner before God?

    Before I answer your question, I would like to explain my vision on a few things. The best scenario, after a sin is committed, is for the sinner to repent. In such a case the sinner condemns (judges) himself, and brings himself in a state of remorse, which constitutes self-punishment. Next, as you wrote, “a truly repentant person would try to make restitution for the crime to the victim as best he could.”
    So, a truly repentant person judges himself, punishes himself and would try to make restitution for his crime. No (external) judge, and no imposed punishment required.

    So when do we need a judge? Solely for the unrepentant sinner. The role of the judge is obvious, and imposed punishment here is meant as a substitute for the lack of remorse. The fact that the sinner does not repent is an unjust state of affairs [the psychopath who kills for pleasure], which the judge aims to rectify by imposed punishment. Imposed punishment here mimics remorse.

    (…) and therefore are you yourself not worthy of the punishment that sin entails before God? The punishment of sin being, of course, your separation from God, and therefore, ultimately, your death since God is the source of your life.

    I was born in a mortal body, so God sentenced me to death before I sinned. However, that has probably to do with ‘collective sin’ which I am supposed to forget.
    To answer your question, in my opinion I have done nothing deservant of the death penalty; let alone eternal torment. If the latter is my destiny, and yours is heaven, then let no one ever tell you that it was by my own choice.

    And supposing you became repentant of your sin against God and God, in his mercy, decided to forgive you for your sins?

    I am not aware of any sins I committed against God that are worth mentioning.

    For me personally, Jesus’s atoning sacrifice for me before an infinitely holy and just God makes perfect sense, and always had made perfect sense to me ever since I was a child.. As one preacher once put it. Jesus atoning sacrifice is so easy that a child can immediately understand it, but is so complicated that it can keep Theologians busy for a lifetime.

    I respect, not understand, that it makes sense to you. The nobility of self-sacrifice is obvious; it’s an expression of profound love. However, the story that Jesus’ death serves justice——that he had to pay the price for the sin committed by others; and the idea that this is even possible ——doesn’t make sense to me, for the reasons I have given in previous posts. Additionally, as I have argued, imposed punishment is for unrepentant sinners only, which adds to the inappropriateness and injustice of Christ’s execution.

  381. 381
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @359,

    Such as, a perfectly good, all-knowing, all-powerful God created, out of all the possible options, the best possible reality construct for the purpose of reaching a final goal of maximum possible “goodness,” and the nature of that construct, as God knew, meant that a lot of people would end up in Hell being tormented forever.

    I appreciate your respecting my commitment in following what the Bible actually says, rather than what theologians and philosophers have endlessly argued about over the centuries. It’s made a huge difference to me–a breath of fresh air.

    The Bible NEVER states that God created the best possible reality. It states that components of God’s creation were “good” and the overall result was “very good.”

    The Bible also says that God will judge those who destroy the earth and will create “a new heaven and a new earth,” and that He created “the Lake of Fire,” a place of irredeemable destruction, specifically for the devil and his fallen angels.

    According to the Bible, God’s will is that NO human should perish, but rather that everyone should repent and find eternal life through Him. But you don’t have to do His will.

    -Q

  382. 382
    vividbleau says:

    Origenes
    “Yes I agree. However, do you agree with me that justice is not satisfied when someone other than the perpetrator pays the fine? Something is clearly off.”

    As the perpetrator I have paid the fine!!

    Romans 6:3–8 (ESV): Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
    5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

    At the cross the wrath of God ( the fine if you will) was poured out on Christ. Because I am a Christian I was in Christ as that wrath was meted out so the fine, Gods wrath ,was poured out on me as well.

    Vivid

  383. 383
    William J Murray says:

    Querius,

    So, what happens to people who don’t repent?

  384. 384
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes at 380 you state,

    Before I answer your question, I would like to explain my vision on a few things. The best scenario, after a sin is committed, is for the sinner to repent. In such a case the sinner condemns (judges) himself, and brings himself in a state of remorse, which constitutes self-punishment. Next, as you wrote, “a truly repentant person would try to make restitution for the crime to the victim as best he could.”
    So, a truly repentant person judges himself, punishes himself and would try to make restitution for his crime. No (external) judge, and no imposed punishment required.

    The flaw in your thinking here is that you think that God was not present in your becoming aware of your sin. i.e.,,, “No (external) judge”,,,,

    Yet the moral law within your heart. that you self-admittedly are aware of, i.e. that made you aware that your action(s) were sinful and needed to be repented of in the first place, cannot exist without God.

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    As Dr. Egnor recently succinctly stated, “every twinge of human conscience proves His (God’s) existence.,,”

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument Against God’s Existence = Nonsense – Michael Egnor -Oct. 4, 2021
    Excerpt: ,,, Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.,,
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/10/the-divine-hiddenness-argument-against-gods-existence-nonsense/

    Thus your claim that “No (external) judge” was necessary for you to judge yourself of sin collapses in on itself. If God did not exist you simply would never be aware that such a thing as sin even existed.

    Origenes you go on,,,

    “I have done nothing deservant of the death penalty; let alone eternal torment.,,, I am not aware of any sins I committed against God that are worth mentioning.”

    Yet, God has a very different view of sin than you do. Adam and Eve probably also thought within themselves that eating a fruit off a tree was not that big of a deal, certainly not worthy of death.

    Likewise, people, for the most part, think that simply hating someone, or simply looking at a women lustfully, is not that big of a deal. Shoot everyone does it, and it certainly is not something that anyone would consider worthy of death.

    But Jesus had a very different take on it,

    Matthew 5:
    21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.
    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

    Thus Origenes regardless of the fact that you think your sins are not that big of a deal and are not “deservant of the death penalty; let alone eternal torment”, the fact of the matter is that God Himself, as revealed in Jesus Christ, (whom without which you would not even be aware of sin in the first place), has a very different, and far more serious, take on what constitutes sin and on what the consequences of sin actually are.

    In closing I note that you also stated, “the story that Jesus’ death serves justice”.,,

    From you saying “the story” I take that to mean that you do not really believe that Jesus rose from the grave as a propitiation for our sins.

    If so, I suggest you study the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is, by far, the most scientifically scrutinized ancient relic of man and simply refuses to be explained by naturalistic processes,

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    For instance, and to give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://westvirginianews.blogsp.....in-is.html

    Basically, with the Shroud we have a clothe with a photographic negative image on it that was made well before photography was even invented. Moreover, the photographic negative image has a 3-Dimensional holographic nature to its image that was somehow encoded within the photographic negative well before holography was even known about. Moreover, even with our present day technology, we still cannot replicated the image in all its detail.
    My question to atheists and non-Christians is this, if you truly believe some mad genius forger in the middle ages made this image, then please pray tell why did this mad genius save all his genius for this supposed forgery alone and not for, say, inventing photography itself since he surely would have required mastery of photography to pull off the forgery? Not to mention mastery of laser holography? Moreover, why did this hypothetical mad super-genius destroy all of his scientific instruments that he would have had to invent in order to make the image? Leonardo da Vinci would not have been worthy to tie the shoe laces of such a hypothetical mad genius!

    In short, I hold the Shroud to be authentic.

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) –
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault – November 08, 2019
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    In fact, on top of that, I hold the Shroud of Turin, via physical evidence gleaned from the Shroud, holds the key for unlocking the quote unquote ‘theory of everything’.

    Specifically, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  385. 385
    Origenes says:

    Querius @375

    O: . . . do you agree with me that justice is not satisfied when someone other than the perpetrator pays the fine? Something is clearly off.

    No, actually I don’t agree.

    So, a murderer doesn’t do jail time at all, but in his place an innocent person spends his life in jail. And that satisfies justice in your book?

    The Bible indicates that sometimes Mercy should be served rather than Justice. There’s a concept throughout that Mercy can triumph over Justice.

    Mercy would mean that the fine is not paid by anyone.

    Have you ever experienced mercy rather than getting was due you?

    That must be the case, but no concrete example comes to me.

    But I do recognize that your values don’t align with mine and you’re more of an “eye-for-an-eye” person, right?

    In the context of unrepentant criminals, I do think so, yes. I really want them to experience what they have done to others. With these guys “mercy” is not the first thing on my mind.

  386. 386
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77 @384
    From your responses I get the feeling that we are talking past each other. Anyway ….

    Thus your claim that “No (external) judge” was necessary for you to judge yourself of sin collapses in on itself. If God did not exist you simply would never be aware that such a thing as sin even existed.

    When I wrote about an ‘external judge’ I was thinking about a human judge. Perhaps I wasn’t clear.
    However we also have another difference in opinion. I do not believe in ‘objective moral laws’ which are alien to me, coming from a realm independent from me (God).
    In @43 I write:

    O: Morality & ethics come from us, it is what we all agree on, given a certain level of social awareness. It is very similar as to how we all agree on “I think therefore I am”, “2 + 2 = 4”, “A = A”, and so on.
    (…) I would argue that we all arrive at roughly the same moral laws—— given a certain level of social awareness——, just as we all arrive at the same mathematical and logical truths——given a certain level of intellectual awareness. This is how things work, because, at a fundamental level, we are all similar beings.

    Maybe I should add that, as a believer in reincarnation, when I write “I would argue that we all arrive at roughly the same moral laws—— given a certain level of social awareness”, that I am talking about persons who have lived multiple lives and who by doing so have acquired a certain level of social awareness.
    I hope I am being clear here.

  387. 387
    bornagain77 says:

    “I do not believe in ‘objective moral laws’”

    Well, by golly, if you don’t believe in objective moral law then why do you pretend as if anything you ever do is morally significant? Even your participation on this very thread reveals that you believe truth to an objectively morally good thing for you to pursue. and thus reveals that you yourself cannot truly live your life as if objective morality does not actually exist. i.e. Your position is self refuted by the very way you live your own life!

  388. 388
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77 @387

    Well, by golly, if you don’t believe in objective moral law then why do you pretend as if anything you ever do is morally significant?

    I have explained this in my post @386. Was I being unclear or didn’t you read it?

  389. 389
    bornagain77 says:

    Social awareness does not equal a coherent objective moral law. You might as well claim that your moral sense randomly evolved for as far as ‘Social awareness’ gets you to having a objectively real and coherent moral basis.

  390. 390
    ram says:

    BA77: (speaking to Origenes) if you don’t believe in objective moral law then why do you pretend as if anything you ever do is morally significant?

    Some people find their moral law from the divine spark of Light within. A man may agree with another man about their inner Light. But the Light is necessarily subjective, I think, in the sense you are using “objective.”

  391. 391
    bornagain77 says:

    Well actually, besides people living their lives as if morality is objectively real, I can also put some physical evidence behind the fact that morality is objectively real.

    Oct. 2021 – In short, the objective existence of altruistic, self-sacrificial, morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible in the first place.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-there-such-a-thing-as-morality-or-ethics/#comment-738586
    Oct 2021 Thus in conclusion, the moral argument for God does now indeed have some fairly impressive empirical evidence behind it that satisfies Kant’s criteria of a beyond space and time influence.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-there-such-a-thing-as-morality-or-ethics/#comment-738672
    updated study that goes with the preceding link
    update:
    Predictive physiological anticipatory activity preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: An update of Mossbridge et al’s meta-analysis – 2018
    Discussion
    This update of the Mossbridge et al. (2012) meta-analysis related to the so called predictive anticipatory activity (PAA) responses to future random stimuli, covers the period January 2008- July 2018. Overall, we found 19 new studies describing a total of 36 effect sizes. Differently from the statistical approach of Mossbridge et al., in this meta-analysis we used a frequentist and a Bayesian multilevel model which allows an analysis of all effect sizes reported within a single study instead of averaging them.
    Both the frequentist and the Bayesian analyses converged on similar results, making our findings quite robust. ,,,
    Conclusion
    This update confirms the main results reported in Mossbridge et al. (2012) original meta-analysis and gives further support to the hypothesis of predictive physiological anticipatory activity of future random events. This phenomenon may hence be considered among the more reliable within those covered under the umbrella term “psi”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124390/

  392. 392
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    >>It [= logic] has no power to compel attention, but adherence to the fundamental principles is inescapable for any sentient being. You cannot have a coherent thought without them. Beyond that, though, no – nobody is compelled to adhere to rationally supportable behaviors.>>

    And yet we know that rhetorical manipulation is common and pivots on the intuitive knowledge and acknowledgement of the binding force of the duties of responsible, rational freedom. This includes for example, attempts to deflect the binding force of such duties. Yes, freedom implies freedom to be willfully irrational and manipulative to the point of cynical deception, but even those things are forced to appeal to the first duties.

    >>I don’t recognize that I am compelled by any duty to truth because I don’t know of any such duty>>

    And so, you have acknowledged that your credibility is nil or negative, with benumbed conscience. Nil, an untrustworthy source whose remarks may happen to be true. Negative, a willfully deceptive source to be regarded as most likely manipulatively twisting, half-slicing or suppressing the truth.

    Habitually.

    That is not a good place to be in, and it is not a happy thing to have to acknowledge.

    I can only suggest that you would be well advised to soberly reconsider and change; which would have to be demonstrated through a lengthy period of rehabilitation that rebuilds a modicum of confidence that we are not dealing with the negative form of the first duties:

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Remember, the first duties are foundational law, the historically pivotal basis for the rise of the lawful state and onward as the printing revolution, vernacular translation of Scripture and the ferment surrounding the reformation paved the way, constitutional, cultural buttress stabilised democracies that balance freedom and lawful order with accountable government.

    That is what the premises you are explicitly advocating undermine.

    For starters, it is no accident that Pilate cynically observed “what is truth” as he set out to judicially knowingly murder an innocent man for perceived political convenience. Untruth is the foundation of injustice.

    KF

  393. 393
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, conscience is a faculty that gives us self-awarenes of moral government. However, it can be warped, misinformed, benumbed or worse. That is why I have repeatedly highlighted sound conscience. What makes for soundness is due attention and diligence in regards to first duties, truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence especially. In that context, successful warrant leads to credible knowledge of duties to right conduct, virtue, the good etc, which by that warrant will be objective. Warrant, of course is much broader than proofs. KF

  394. 394
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @383,

    So, what happens to people who don’t repent?

    According to the Bible, they receive perfect justice, just as they’ve chosen. They stand trial, they’re found guilty, and separated from God, they sadly perish in the Lake of Fire because they didn’t want to be saved.

    -Q

  395. 395
    ram says:

    BA77: besides people living their lives as if morality is objectively real, I can also put some physical evidence behind the fact that morality is objectively real.

    No doubt that what people call “fairness” and “altruism” exist objectively. Except for a small subset of individuals (socialpaths, psychopaths), they seem to be principle features of human nature. If you want to call this “morality”, I have no problem with that. But that’s where it ends, because the application of fairness and altruism varies widely between individuals and groups due to the fact that many variables are involved which are not set to identical values from person to person.

    As an experiment, get 10 people in a room and try to define “fairness.” Everyone will have a fairly compatible idea of that in the abstract, but then start getting into the details of application and you’ll see what it’s like to herd cats.

    (Sidebar: there are two kinds of fairness in operation among humans. One is where the rules of some situation are established and agreed upon by all: the external authority concept. This can be a game of chess, a religion, laws of the land, etc. The second is more vague because subjective variables come into play that are emotion based. It’s the latter to which I refer above. A child will utter, “that’s not fair”, because she has some notion of “equality” or “equity” that is preceived to be violated. If brother gets an ice cream cone, then so should sister. Many disputes about fairness are much more complicated than that and can be informed by several variables that differ between individuals. E.g., what is the “fair share” of taxes that a million dollar income should have to pay? People have wildly divergent views about such things because of different “values” variables, and the political squabblings never end.)

    –Ram

  396. 396
    ram says:

    Querius: they sadly perish in the Lake of Fire because they didn’t want to be saved.

    If a person has a real understanding of the reality of the situation, why wouldn’t he want to be saved?

    Take an atheist. He doesn’t see what you’re seeing. The evidence in his mind militates against your view (or the Bible’s view, assuming argueno the Bible has a single view. Jews and Christians don’t see eye to eye. And neither do various Christian sects.) He may even be a former Christian who previously believed in Jesus with all his heart. But for him the evidence is now overwhelmingly against that concept being true. What now? Believe against your better judgement or else?

    At any rate, your characterization that “they didn’t want to be saved” is absurd. Absolutely nobody doesn’t want to be saved, if the story is true, except perhaps an insane person.

    This is why the concept of eternal suffering for humans is absurd. It could be applicable to rebel angels who have a perfect knowledge of the truth. But then again, even that idea is absurd, because why would an angel rebel and curse himself to eternal destruction? That implies insanity. Apocalyptic theology doesn’t make sense when all the entailments are considered. If true, I would think that such a God would provide a taste to everyone of it as a disincentive. He would be surprised how that would work wonders with his sales figures.

    –Ram

  397. 397
    Querius says:

    Origenes @385,

    So, a murderer doesn’t do jail time at all, but in his place an innocent person spends his life in jail. And that satisfies justice in your book?

    Yes. By hating a person, I’m that murderer. By lusting after women, I’m an adulterer. But as a person who has repented many times and been forgiven, this transforms me to be merciful to others. I’ve become a different person.

    Q: The Bible indicates that sometimes Mercy should be served rather than Justice. There’s a concept throughout that Mercy can triumph over Justice.

    O: Mercy would mean that the fine is not paid by anyone.

    Sometimes judges in courts of law can suspend the fine. One can argue that the state pays the fine by not collecting it.

    According to the Bible, the penalty for my transgressions was paid by Jesus being tortured to death.

    In response, I treasure mercy, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice. This isn’t a lot of empty talk. I’ve been writing, visiting, encouraging, mentoring, and helping parolees and prisoners who are very repentant for what they’ve done (and in a couple of cases, for what they didn’t actually do—that happens, too). They were thieves, armed robbers, rapists, child molesters, addicts, pimps, and drug dealers.

    Q: Have you ever experienced mercy rather than getting was due you?

    O: That must be the case, but no concrete example comes to me.

    If you do eventually remember an example, try to remember what your response was at the time.

    Q: But I do recognize that your values don’t align with mine and you’re more of an “eye-for-an-eye” person, right?

    O: In the context of unrepentant criminals, I do think so, yes. I really want them to experience what they have done to others. With these guys “mercy” is not the first thing on my mind.

    Understood. And what about repentant criminals? Same?

    Let me say that both justice and mercy are appropriate. Either one without the other doesn’t have good results. Let me also note that it takes wisdom to know what’s needed and when. That’s why I’ve taken a former parolee who spent 19 years behind bars along with me on prison visits (before Covid) and have asked for his advice many times. He’s become one of my best friends in the process.

    -Q

  398. 398
    Querius says:

    Ram @396,

    If a person has a real understanding of the reality of the situation, why wouldn’t he want to be saved?

    Because they love the pleasure of their sins and find all kinds of plausible excuses and rationalizations to defend their behavior. In my experience, it’s generally not an intellectual issue.

    But sometimes, there’s an intellectual stumbling block, and maybe I can help them remove it–I’ve studied a lot of these.

    Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. Many years ago in college, a friend of mine took me to a nursing home where I met a friend of his, a middle-aged man who was dying of cancer and he knew he was at the end. I asked him whether he thought about getting right with God before he passed away. He had many objections to God, so I asked him what he had to lose by just being willing to try. His answer?

    “I have too much to give up.”

    He passed away two days later.

    Regarding the theology of the afterlife, I recognize that it’s extremely difficult to understand a completely different, eternal frame of reference. If we have trouble understanding the quantum mechanics of this world, how much stranger should we expect the workings of the afterlife?

    So let me ask you a question. How silly is it to imagine a “bottomless pit” as mentioned in Revelation? It was very silly until 1964. But, we now research black holes, which are indeed bottomless pits.

    Ok, so if someone falls into a black hole, how long would it take them to cross the event horizon? A day? A thousand years? Both?

    I can confidently answer some theological questions with “I honestly don’t know, and I think no one else does, either.” The things that are unclear in the scriptures, I hold loosely. The things that are crystal clear, I cling to with love.

    My point with regard to the OP is that morality and ethics do exist, but what are they founded on? Culture? Logic? Relatively on a case-by-case basis? Human laws that change over time?

    I believe humans have bent shards of an eternal morality and ethics, but the revealed Word of God is the most reliable source. And once a person experiences the mercy and forgiveness of God, their values change: hopefully they Do justice, Love mercy, and Walk in humility with God (Micah 6:8).

    -Q

  399. 399
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77 @389

    Social awareness does not equal a coherent objective moral law.

    That’s not my claim. My claim is that morality stems in part from a person’s social awareness. Social awareness does not equal moral laws in the same sense that intelligence does not equal mathematical laws.

    You might as well claim that your moral sense randomly evolved for as far as ‘Social awareness’ gets you to having a objectively real and coherent moral basis.

    A person is a subject and when morality comes from persons, as is my claim, then it makes no sense to call it ‘objective’. That said, I have argued that, since we are at a fundamental level similar beings, we all converge on roughly the same moral laws given a certain level of social awareness.
    And I have argued that this process is similar to how we all arrive at the same mathematical and logical truths, given a certain intellectual level.
    You do not argue that we cannot get to an “objectively real coherent basis” for mathematics by using our intellect. Why is that?

  400. 400
    William J Murray says:

    Ram said:

    At any rate, your characterization that “they didn’t want to be saved” is absurd. Absolutely nobody doesn’t want to be saved, if the story is true, except perhaps an insane person.

    Oh, it’s even worse than that. We can only be saved by the being that forced us into the situation in the first place by creating us into this life. God is “saving” us from the conditions He created and forced us into.

  401. 401
    William J Murray says:

    KF,

    I see you refuse to do your hypothetical duty and answer the questions I asked. It seems you are being duplicitous or evasive. They are simple questions that require only simple answers, yet you’ve refused to answer them for months now.

    For any other Christian here:

    I see my question in a previous comment has not been answered by anyone. I’ll repeat it here:

    Would you still do your duty to God if the consequence of doing your duty means you will spend eternity being tormented in hell, and those who do not do their duty get eternal life in heaven?

    If not, why not?

    Anyone up to answering those questions?

  402. 402
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain @384

    Yet, God has a very different view of sin than you do. Adam and Eve probably also thought within themselves that eating a fruit off a tree was not that big of a deal, certainly not worthy of death.

    I do not believe that God wants me to obey rules that I do not understand. This is crucial: only a fully informed free act has value, can be a sin. If Christianity does not appreciate that fact, then it is mistaken.

    Likewise, people, for the most part, think that simply hating someone, or simply looking at a women lustfully, is not that big of a deal. (…) and it certainly is not something (…) worthy of death.

    I do not believe that God has a problem with sexuality by mutual consent between adults and understands it when someone has antipathy for the murderer of one’s wife and kids.

    But Jesus had a very different take on it,

    On some matters, indeed. Obviously he makes some great points, but some things simply do not make sense to me. I am a free person and WRT morality I (try to) act in accord with rules that I understand & endorse.

  403. 403
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, at this point, regrettably, you have discredited yourself: “I don’t recognize that I am compelled by any duty to truth because I don’t know of any such duty.” I suggest you need to go through a rehabilitation process that restores recognition of and sensitivity to the duty of truthfulness; which will take a fair bit of time. And no, duties do not compel, they express the oughtness force of right acts of free creatures, where error, wrong and folly can be chosen instead. Meanwhile any rhetorical effect of your comments still depends on our implicit acknowledgement of the listed first duties, esp to truth to right reason, to warrant and wider prudence. KF

  404. 404
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, the duty of neighbour-love, pivot of relevant commands and gateway to fairness and justice, is not something particularly hard to understand once we recognise our mutuality of status, dignity and worth. Having already highlighted Rom 2 and 13, I note how Locke used this at the pivotal point in his 2nd essay on civil govt by way of an expansion of his citation of “the judicious Hooker”:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    The issue is not intelligibility but our self-induced moral numbness and dullness. Paul observed:

    Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

    18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

    20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

    25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

    26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

    28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

    29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [ESV]

    I doubt that such are particularly hard to understand or connect to core ethical principles.

    Then, here is the discussion by Moses on neighbour love:

    Lev 19:15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

    17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. [ESV]

    KF

    Again, not particularly difficult of understanding and utterly non-arbitrary.

    KF

  405. 405
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, at this point, regrettably, you have discredited yourself: “I don’t recognize that I am compelled by any duty to truth because I don’t know of any such duty.”

    As I have repeatedly pointed out, my “credibility,” indeed anyone’s credibility, is irrelevant wrt to the logic of the argument and the evidence presented as links in this forum.

    You can use my “lack of credibility” as an excuse for not doing your self-ascribed “duty” to truth by truthfully answering the questions I’ve posed if you want. But, it’s still you refusing to answer questions that are logically, decisively important in this debate – and, frankly, I think it’s because you know you cannot answer those questions truthfully without destroying your own argument.

    For others that don’ know, KF has argued that it doesn’t take ontology to recognize that we have these actual “First Duties.” That’s why, IMO, he won’t answer the questions, because without the ontological presupposition of God as authority and Hell/Heaven as consequences, no such “First Duties” can be logically said to exist, much less recognized as actually existing.

  406. 406
    Origenes says:

    Thus Origenes regardless of the fact that you think your sins are not that big of a deal and are not “deservant of the death penalty; let alone eternal torment”, the fact of the matter is that God Himself, as revealed in Jesus Christ, (whom without which you would not even be aware of sin in the first place), has a very different, and far more serious, take on what constitutes sin and on what the consequences of sin actually are.

    God: “At 14 augustus 1984 at noon 13.33 you looked lustfully at Sophia Johnson. This is an enormous sin, you have been informed about that fact, yet you choose to do it”
    Me: “Indeed. I did not understand why it is a sin, so I did not accept …. ”
    God: “I want you to follow my rules whether you understand them or not. Therefor I condemn you to … ”
    Me: “You made me a free person. If you want me to follow your rules without understanding, why not make robots?”
    God: “That’s actually an interesting question …”

  407. 407
    William J Murray says:

    Here’s a more loving and much better way to create exactly what God created, and for it to play out exactly the same way, with one difference that would make no difference other than that it would result in zero “eternal suffering” for any sentient being with self-aware consciousness.

    If we postulate that self-aware, sentient beings with free will must encounter and be around other people that who make bad choices that would represent those being going to hell, then instead of making those self-aware beings, replace them with NPCs – non-aware, sentient automatons. Everyone who will end up going to heaven is a real, self-aware being.

    In this scenario, God hasn’t lied to anyone, and is not even being deceptive. If the self-aware people actually made the wrong choice, they would go to hell, and that is 100% true, but God knew beforehand that they would make the right choice, so there was no actual risk. Since God doesn’t want any real person to suffer for eternity, then the roles of the necessary “wrong-choicers” are played by NPCs God creates to fulfill that duty.

    You end up with a creation that plays out exactly the same in every respect, except at the end no self-aware, conscious person ends up suffering in hell for eternity.

    To repurpose a line from Bill Burr, I could wake up from a drunken stupor and still come up with nine better creations that the one the Christian God is supposed to have made.

  408. 408
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, credibility is absolutely pivotal, and your declaration is sadly utterly discrediting; it undermines discussion. There is now a different agenda, rehabilitation. KF

    PS: As for suggesting that your wisdom to create a world exceeds that of God, that too is a sadly revealing line.

  409. 409
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Nowhere in our discussion about “objective” vs “subjective” have you directly addressed my arguments. Nowhere did you offer a definition of “objective” that addresses my concerns. For one thing, you have simply stated that “I exist” is an “objective truth”, and completely ignored my objection that “I exist” is as subjective as a statement can possibly be.

    Something very similar occurs in your discussion with WJM. He has asked you the same question over and over again, yet you simply refuse to address it.

    Yet here you are talking about credibility and undermining discussion …

  410. 410
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, credibility is absolutely pivotal,

    Only to those who are trying to avoid the argument and/or the evidence.

  411. 411
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    As for suggesting that your wisdom to create a world exceeds that of God, that too is a sadly revealing line.

    I didn’t say any such thing. I said that I could come up with a better creation than the (hypothetical) Christian God is supposed to have made (according to descriptions offered here.)

    I’ve noticed that you and many other Christians here seem to suffer from a kind of inability to understand certain basic conceptual things in these kinds of discussion. When someone says what I said above it’s not referencing any actual God; it’s referencing a hypothetical God Christians believe in. You react as if I’m addressing the Christian God as if I hold that hypothetical God to be the real God.

    Also, it’s painfully obvious that the credibility of any person making an argument only matters if their argument relies on the other people involved believing something they say, like a personal experience or some claim of evidence or fact in dispute that cannot be verified by reference to other credible sources. There is nothing about our argument that requires that you believe something I say just because I say it. Therefore, my credibility is entirely irrelevant.

    But, it seems you cannot see that. Again, it appears to be some kind of cognitive issue, some inability to think on a conceptual level outside of your own strict perspective.

    Perhaps credibility is the actually basic currency of your entire belief system and thought process, now that I think about it, because you always seem to punt to “credible” writers and philosophers and religious figures to support your views, as if their credibility adds some kind of weight to their reasoning. You have constantly and continually reposted paragraphs and paragraphs of what those other people say instead of just directly answering questions and making the case yourself. I guess your whole concept of reality is based on credibility, not actual logic.

    Perhaps there are some people who prefer to organize their concept of reality around what credible authorities say; perhaps some people order their concept of reality around a risk vs reward analysis. Perhaps there are some that have both in operation. That would make sense when it comes to people that adopt or can remain in Christianity. That’s an interesting idea I need to spend more time on.

    IOW, I wonder if you actually have any capacity in yourself to defend your position logically without copy-pasting Cicero and others and just asserting ontological positions as absolute facts and re-issuing appeals to consequences and attempts at mind reading.

    I think I was wrong about you. I think you might be a poseur who is borrowing weight from other “credible” sources and depending on them to make your case for you, bludgeoning us here with long copy-paste tracts that don’t even address or answer challenges presented here.

    For example, you have demonstrated absolutely no capacity to understand mental reality theory, no capacity to take corrections on your misinterpretations concerning it (or any other corrections,) and always answer questions in the form of rote, repeated responses. You acted from the beginning like you completely understood it because you never asked a single question about it; you just provided rote responses based on keywords you completely took out of context and didn’t understand – or care, when corrected multiple times – what those words meant under MRT. You insist that your errant perspectives and assumptions are valid even when they obviously have nothing to do with MRT.

  412. 412
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, I have clarified repeatedly that objectivity arises as a necessity where we are error prone, hence my pointing to warrant. In respect of self-awareness and the proposition I exist, I pointed out that this is a case of self-evidence, which is a means of warrant. The attempt to deny, for example, is self-referentially absurd as one must exist to doubt or deny and as I noted a rock cannot be deluded that it is self aware. On the part of attributing similar self awareness to others, one recognises like creaturehood and accepts their testimony and behaviour, to moral certainty. I have not made empty statements that it is objective; this may be readily verified by scrolling up; you have set up and knocked over a strawman. As for WJM, his problem unfortunately starts long before arguments and assertions, he has removed himself from self awareness of duty to truth and of recognising that in his arguments he too constructs claims that implicitly pivot on our self-awareness of and recognition of said duties. I have warned that untruth is the foundation of injustice, for cause. Let me again point out the negative form, in hope that its force may register at long last, as this is literally foundational to sound civilisation:

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    I trust the issue is clear.

    KF

  413. 413
    William J Murray says:

    I was just out having a smoke on my porch and I had an epiphany about this.

    Christians are involved in a worldview that is depends entirely on respect/fear of authority/power and a misplaced sense of credibility. Logic is only applied after the other elements have reached their conclusion.

    If we take the Bible and separate it into two categories – claims vs witnessed events, and assumed all the witnessed facts (not opinions or beliefs about those facts) actually happened, this becomes crystal clear.

    Let’s postulate that all of the witnessed miracles occurred, like parting of the Red Sea, raising of the dead, prophecy coming true, etc.

    None of those events logically imply God had anything to do with any of it.

    However, because some very powerful being appears to certain people and calls itself God, and can perform miracles or fulfill prophecy (that it itself conveniently provided,) and makes promises and threats while demonstrating that power, this triggers an irrational psychological response of fear, respect and the credibility that it is what it claims and did and can do what it claims.

    But, those are just its claims. Just because I claim to be able to do X, and then do X, doesn’t mean I am who I claim to be nor does it mean I can also do Y, or that I did some Z nobody witnessed. The belief that the being is what he claims to be, and can do or did things that have not been witnessed, is built entirely on fear- and respect-driven credibility of claimed authority because of displays of power. Just because a being can do all the things witnessed, doesn’t logically imply that being is God, no matter how miraculous those things appear to be.

    It’s all about power, authority, fear-based respect, admiration, love and credibility. None of it logically implies the being in question is actually God.

    KF’s style of response makes perfect sense now. None of it holds up to logical scrutiny, but it was never – ultimately – about logic in the first place.

  414. 414
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, all that is needed to see what has gone so severely wrong is to quote your direct statements on duty to truth: “I don’t recognize that I am compelled by any duty to truth because I don’t know of any such duty.” Until you rehabilitate yourself, which will take considerable time and work, you have by own-goal broken your credibility. It’s sad but it is reality. KF

  415. 415
    Sandy says:

    @Kairosfocus you are too kind with some clowns. Sometimes to be too kind it’s not a virtue and can do more harm than good.
    To be kind, gentle, honest, humble of heart doesn’t mean to accept stupidity and imbecility from proven blockheads.

  416. 416

    WJM You seem to be confused about the role of logic yourself.

    By the rules of subjectivity, it is equally logically valid to say Jesus is the son of God, as it is to say, Jesus is not the son of God.

    Logic only forces to a conclusion with objective issues, not with subjective issues. And because God is defined in terms of being agency of decisions, and all agency of decisions are inherently subjective, therefore God is subjective.

    There is no logical error in Christianity.

  417. 417
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus,

    William J Murray: For example, you have demonstrated absolutely no capacity to understand mental reality theory, no capacity to take corrections on your misinterpretations concerning it (or any other corrections,) and always answer questions in the form of rote, repeated responses.

    Translation: You disagree with me, so you must be mentally deficient.

    Origenes: To repurpose a line from Bill Burr, I could wake up from a drunken stupor and still come up with nine better creations that the one the Christian God is supposed to have made.

    And your excellent response:

    Kairosfocus: As for suggesting that your wisdom to create a world exceeds that of God, that too is a sadly revealing line.

    Origenes’ is a type of argument from ignorance as might be restated as, “I can easily design plants and animals far better than the ones in the world today. The Krebs Cycle? Child’s play for me, in fact, I’ve been designing a much better version because I’m far smarter than your so-called ‘God’!”

    -Q

  418. 418
    Querius says:

    William J Murray: We can only be saved by the being that forced us into the situation in the first place by creating us into this life. God is “saving” us from the conditions He created and forced us into.

    Origenes: I do not believe that God wants me to obey rules that I do not understand.

    William J Murray and Origenes are firemen on a ladder trying to rescue a person trapped in a high-rise apartment building on fire. Time is of the essence. The resident exclaims,

    “Whenever there’s a fire, I see the ‘Fire’ department’s red trucks. You’re forcing me to accept your assistance when you could have prevented the fire and you probably set the fire in the first place!”

    Unless I fully understand the nature of the so-called ‘fire’ and the logic of your actions and priorities, I reject your coercion from the threat of death by eternal flames. I accept death as inevitable, but reject the existence of the so-called ‘fireman’ and so-called fire.”

    Certainly, there are contrarian analogies, but my point is that this one legitimately exists, thus the reality you reject definitely Exists in one of those infinite number of Multiverses.

    -Q

  419. 419
    ram says:

    Querius: Because they love the pleasure of their sins and find all kinds of plausible excuses and rationalizations to defend their behavior. In my experience, it’s generally not an intellectual issue.

    If excuses and rationalizations provide a psychological barrier to understanding the situation they are in, then they don’t clearly understand the situation they are in being in danger of eternal torment.

    But sometimes, there’s an intellectual stumbling block, and maybe I can help them remove it

    Which means they don’t clearly understand the situation they are in with respect to eternal torment.

    Many years ago in college, a friend of mine took me to a nursing home where I met a friend of his, a middle-aged man who was dying of cancer and he knew he was at the end. I asked him whether he thought about getting right with God before he passed away. He had many objections to God, so I asked him what he had to lose by just being willing to try. His answer? “I have too much to give up.”
    He passed away two days later.

    Then he didn’t clearly understand the situation he was in with respect to eternal torment, assuming your anecdote is a faithful account.

    How silly is it to imagine a “bottomless pit” as mentioned in Revelation? It was very silly until 1964. But, we now research black holes, which are indeed bottomless pits.

    Black holes aren’t bottomless pits. Their popular name is a bit of a misnomer. They are bodies within definite locations in spacetime geometry, that have mass, electric charge, and angular momentum, with no other properties. If you fell into one, you wouldn’t be falling endlessly into a “pit”. Your body would lose all features and information, including subatomic differentiation, and the mass value would add to the black hole’s mass.

    the revealed Word of God is the most reliable source.

    Only if one is convinced “it” is indeed revealed Word of God. (There are several configurations of “the Bible.” The Jews have theirs, Catholics have theirs, Protestants have theirs, etc. Parts of the Bibles could be true, and other parts not true. Others think the Quran or Book of Mormon is the most reliable source. Etc.)

    –Ram

  420. 420
    ram says:

    Querius: William J Murray and Origenes are firemen on a ladder…

    You’re making WJM’s point. Your analogy is indeed absurd, which is exactly WJM’s point: your brand of Christian theology is absurd. You analogy shows exactly why it’s absurd, and that you acknowledge that it is.

    –Ram

  421. 421
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @412

    Origenes: For one thing, you have simply stated that “I exist” is an “objective truth”, and completely ignored my objection that “I exist” is as subjective as a statement can possibly be.

    Kairosfocus: I have not made empty statements that it is objective; this may be readily verified by scrolling up; you have set up and knocked over a strawman.

    You have repeatedly stated that “I exist” [the most subjective statement ever produced in the entire human history] is an objective truth. Two quick examples, there are certainly more:

    Kairosfocus @64: Origenes, I exist, a perception of consciousness, is self-evident and OBJECTIVELY true. KF

    KF @186: (…) self-conscious awareness is an inescapable truth for one in that position and so is necessarily and OBJECTIVELY — warranted to self evident certainty — the case.

    And I have argued over and over, that the term ‘objective’ cannot be connected to the statement “I exist”.

  422. 422
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram,

    there are two different kinds of ignorance, and this is morally significant. Simple, primary ignorance, whereby one has no effective access to know about X. Then, there is secondary, willful, guilty ignorance where one knows or should acknowledge X, but suppresses the knowledge through various means at individual or community or even civilisational level.

    A sadly relevant example today, is the ongoing, 1 million more per week holocaust of our living posterity in the womb, well past 800+ millions since the 70’s. In a civilisation on hell-bent voyages of folly under mutinous, looter steersmen on our ships of state [yes, I allude here to Plato’s parable and to Luke’s real-life case study in Ac 27], there are many, many other cases in point enabled by deeply flawed and even patently absurd ideologies. We are on a reckless voyage to shipwreck.

    By contrast with such folly, the reality of conscience testifying to built in law, the manifest first duties to truth, to right reason, to warrant and wider prudence [your argument illustrates how these govern reasoning], etc show that we are governed by built-in morally freighted law, law that needs no parliament or judge ruling from a bench to establish it. In fact, governments are duty-bound to acknowledge such, where untruth and refusal to duly recognise and respect neighbour are foundational to injustice.

    Such has long been recognised and unsurprisingly, a capital case in point is the Roman statesman and Stoic thinker, Cicero, 100 years before Paul penned an epistle to Rome. Here, as he noted in a later passage in De Legibus, he summarises received wisdom on core law:

    , On the Republic, Bk 3: {22.} [33] L . . . True law is right reason in agreement with [–> our morally governed] nature , it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it [–> as universally binding core of law], and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people [–> as binding, universal, coeval with our humanity], and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. [–> sound conscience- guided reason will point out the core] And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment. . . . – Marcus Tullius Cicero, c. 55 – 54 BC

    In short, we are guilty as charged and we know it; but we are tempted to suppress such painful knowledge through personal and collective defences against cognitive dissonance. So, we have secondary, guilty willful suppression of moral law we know or should know tied to warped thinking. That is what, say, the apostle Paul spoke to in Eph 4, in pointing out how the Christian gospel, anchored on the truth of the risen Christ [500 unshakeable witnesses and prophecies in detail many centuries before] and with integral gospel ethics, establishes a shining city- on- a- hill in a guiltily dark world, counterculture:

    Eph 4: 11 And [the risen Christ] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds3 and teachers,4 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,5 to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ . . . .

    17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

    18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

    20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,6 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

    25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another . . . [ESV]

    We could go on, but that makes the key point of our willful guilt and suppression of that guilt by way of sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.

    But, that is not all.

    The inescapable evidence of our reasoning and arguing, especially in the heightened form, quarrelling, shows that we know ourselves to be governed by said built in law, the first duties, to truth, right reason. warrant and wider prudence, sound conscience, neighbour so also fairness and justice etc. Attempts to deny, object, dismiss or evade invariably rhetorically pivot on said principles as may be readily seen above. In the case of right reason, we literally cannot compose a coherent message without relying on distinct identity and so to its close corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle — sometimes by fallacious appeal to quantum superposition of states etc. As Paul wrote, likely citing a C1 Rhetoric 101 example:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. [ESV]

    The fact, then, that so many seek to overturn this cluster is as strong a sign of the folly of our age as can be asked for. This is an era of willful, guilty folly and utter, patently absurd incoherence.

    Now, as for the exchanges in-thread on the theology, I note again, that this is a day where average level people are generally not systematically educated on relevant theology, philosophy, jurisprudence etc, too often average parsons too, so we need to consult those who have actually studied the subject soundly at professional level and have built up expertise. Half-blind stumbling around on flawed or limited analogies etc is only going to cloud and confuse the issue and lend to cognitive dissonance defences. That is why I have pointed out that UD is not an appropriate forum for the discussion; we need relevant experts. We also need patience to follow a case from its foundational warrant forward [starting, here, with Jesus, the 500 witnesses to his resurrection and the centuries old fulfilled prophecies, which also include the core of the theology of atonement, redemption and salvation-rescue]. Otherwise, in our clouded, cognitive dissonance haunted thinking we will simply fall afoul of another warning by Paul:

    1 Cor 1: 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach2 to save those who believe.

    22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men . . . .

    27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being4 might boast in the presence of God . . . .

    2: 6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.

    7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—

    10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?

    So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

    12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by