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Author Topic:   Euthypro Dilemna
Meddle
Member
Posts: 165
From: Scotland
Joined: 05-08-2006


Message 91 of 181 (538657)
12-08-2009 8:36 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by iano
12-08-2009 6:29 AM


Re: Iano's Rationalization of Murdering His Own Family
But we're all in the same defintional boat. You might call kindness good but have no way to knowing this to be true outside a definition which says "kindness is good".

I think the point of man-made morality is not what necessarily what it says, since that can vary between individuals and cultures, but how it is arrived at. It is not simply a case of "kindness is good" but is instead a recognition of how kindness can affect our lives for the better, and the lives of those close to us. Similarly we learn from experience how being "unkind" can hurt emotionally and/or physically, and we can recognise that in others. Yes it could be argued a very simplistic take on morality, the idea of empathy and not doing to others what you wouldn't want done to you, but it works. This is why we can say that slavery, rape, or genocide are fundamentally wrong.

But since God does not share in the experiences which have shaped our moral systems, how does he arrive at what is "good"?

Which means the possiblity exists for me killing my family to be Gods request of me and Hitlers killing of many not to be Gods request of him (despite his claims)

But why do you automatically assume that God wasn't instructing Hitler, as part of a grander plan. Maybe God hardened Hitlers heart like he did Pharaohs, to make him commit those atrocities. After all you accept the genocide of the Midianites was necessary, even "good" because God ordained it, so why not the holocaust?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by iano, posted 12-08-2009 6:29 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by iano, posted 12-09-2009 6:20 AM Meddle has not yet responded

  
Hawkins
Member (Idle past 467 days)
Posts: 150
From: Hong Kong
Joined: 08-25-2005


Message 92 of 181 (538658)
12-08-2009 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Teapots&unicorns
11-28-2009 2:50 PM


Morality is a perception of Law. Law is buried in our hearts.

Good and evil are possible consequences evaluated to be beneficial or harmful. Law is defined and set up based on this evaluation.

Actually I failed to see where the dilemma is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Teapots&unicorns, posted 11-28-2009 2:50 PM Teapots&unicorns has not yet responded

  
Arphy
Member (Idle past 2325 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 93 of 181 (538667)
12-09-2009 4:05 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Teapots&unicorns
11-30-2009 10:12 PM


Hi T&U

Sorry I haven't replied earlier. Also I won't be replying in order.

Giving and taking away: In general there is a principle that if you make something you also own it or are responsible for it. While God allows us a certain amount of freedom because we are creatures with a freewill it doesn't mean that he doesn't let us go completely. Just as a parent doesn't dictate everything that a child does but still mantains some rules and provides guidance. Why? Because they are responsible for the child. In the same way God ultimatly has control of our lives because he made us. So it is his choice as to how much freedom he wants to give us. Just as in your example with the robot it is up to the programmer as to how much freedom the robot can have. That is just the nature of being a creator. If you limit the robot's freedom, is it not up to the descretion of the creator as to what those limitations should be?

How do you know that God is always correct?

How do you know God is truth?
Because he knows everything.

What is truth for you?
Is truth universal and objective?
Truth is that which is correct (i.e. opposite of a lie). It is universal and not objective. Things presented as facts are either correct or incorrect.

Well, I see pride as all right but 'glorifying' just seems to me a step too far.
we glorify God in that we acknowledge who he is e.g. our creator. To not acknowledge this is a lie. Because it is the truth that he is our creator.

Why did he not deserve it?
He tried to recieve acknowledgement of something that he wasn't. In other words he was using a lie to recieve acknowledgement i.e.it was against the truth.

For example, I don't see how 'laws' as layed out in the bible can be 'truthful' or not. This is OT, but take the circumcision of males: how would that be 'truthful'?
I wouldn't really regard this as a moral law. It was a law given to the Israelites in order to identify them from the surrounding people. Although there are also some people who suggest it was given for medical reasons. The law isn't about what is right or wrong as such.

Hope that clarifies some things,

Arphy

Edited by Arphy, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Teapots&unicorns, posted 11-30-2009 10:12 PM Teapots&unicorns has not yet responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 94 of 181 (538673)
12-09-2009 5:27 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Modulous
12-08-2009 9:56 AM


Modulous writes:

No 'because I wanted to' is not a reason. When someone asks why did you do 'x', 'because I wanted to' is a given. The question being asked is 'why did you want to do x?'

Fair enough. And that 'why?' would stem again from his nature. Looking at it simplistically (because apparent punishment isn't always punishment) we can say that consequences attach to choices and God killing the tribe delivers consequences for their choices. Why does God deliver the particular consequences attaching to particular choices? Well that would have to do with his nature:

- that which acts 'anti' his nature (his nature lies behind the commands expressed us-ward) attracts consequence x.

- that which acts 'pro' his nature attracts consequence y

There is no why about this anymore than there is a why about God's omniscience. It just is. What is being said that that which is pro God is defined as 'good' and that which is anti God is 'evil'.

-

If it is the only reason why, then it is whimsical - he killed the tribe for no other reason than a passing fancy or desire that he acted on. That's whimsy.

If he did it because it was the moral thing to do - that would be excusable.

The above should make clearer that he doesn't do it because it's good, he does it because it's his nature. And because his nature is good (by definition) it will automatically be moral (by definition).

Where to now for this "dilemma"?

-

Yes we do choose what standard of good to follow. Except God. Who doesn't do things according to a standard of morality, according to you.

Indeed. He is a standard - that is the point. And all that remains is to compare what we call good (according to whatever standard we choose) to what he calls good to see whether our good meets his standard.

If so, then consequences y for us. If not, the consequences x.

-

How could you possibly determine if god's standard is best of all? Surely not by some standard of 'goodness' - because that would be circular madness.

It's a subjective opinion. I think that if the world lived according to his standard (as I understand it) then the world would be heaven on earth. The fact that the world doesn't makes the world the way it is - other than heaven on earth. Now it might be that others like the world the way it is - I'm only telling you what I think.

And please, for those so inclined (not you Mod - you're above this ) spare me the Hitler/God comparisons.

-

Not for you, no. As I've said several times. And if you are happy with a whimsical god too - then it would seem there is no dilemma for you at all.

Whimsy will have been dispensed with above, to your satisfaction hopefully..

-

So you agree there is no actual moral reason for Yahweh to tolerate sin for only so long?

We'll have seen that morality derives from God and that everything he does is good. If he didn't tolerate sin at all it would be good. If he tolerated it forever it would be good.

What are you not getting about him being the standard?

-

You don't need a definition for what I mean by 'good'. You seem to agree that God does not do something because doing that something is 'good'.

Without a definition of 'good' to go by I've no idea if that sentence makes even the slightest bit of sense. If good is defined as "jumping up and down excitedly" then I'm in 80's Japanese Instruction Manual Wonderland and agree to nothing of the sort.

Isn't it correct to say that we are all assuming (even if silently) a certain definition of the word ' good'.

I would say that God is good by nature. And that because he is good what he does is good. Tied up inextricably with that notion is God doing things because they are good(=in his nature to do)

-

So is an action good because god does it as opposed to god doing the action because it is good?

Because God is the source of good this either/or distills down to a singularity where both are true. Similar to the redunancy of the question "which way is North" when standing at the North pole.

-

You've misunderstood. I was merely expressing that what God says goes and we don't have any choice in that.

God says what the options that go are - indeed. We chose which of those options we want.

-

Besides we are obliged to be yes-men in the sense you described. As with any obligation we can break it and there will be consequences. If someone puts a gun at my head and tells me to give them my money, I could refuse...but most people would agree that I was being forced to give them my money nevertheless.

Then Hell would be empty.

But seeing as it's not going to be, your analogy must contain a flaw. Let me suggest a possible (and plausible) reworking of it: a gun has been put to your head, but you don't actually believe it. So long as that is the case, do you suppose you'll retain possession of your money?

And what it takes to maintain disbelief is choosing to suppress that which would bring you to belief (regarding that which would result in your salvation).

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Modulous, posted 12-08-2009 9:56 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Modulous, posted 12-09-2009 10:25 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 95 of 181 (538675)
12-09-2009 5:43 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by greyseal
12-07-2009 10:48 AM


Re: do as I say, not as I do
greyseal writes:

so, god's ultimate law (well, one of them) is broken by himself before he's written it down*, after he's written it down, and then by the humans who it supposedly applies to as a triple-whammy.

The intention behind Gods law issued to man (especially effected through conscience) was to:

a) restrain mankinds sinful nature from Total Expression - which, if not restrained, would result in self-inflicted carnage to a degree never before seen (but hinted at from time to time - especially in time of war). God has a plan regarding man and that plan requires man existing for more than the nano-second it would take to wipe himself out were it that he was not so restrained.

b) convince man that man is a sinner. The law lets man know what is good and evil. Man can measure his own actions according to that law (and hopefully come to the conclusion about himself that God intended
him to come to - as a result of the law being issued). I mean, if there was no law, how could man know he does that which God hates?

That's the purpose of the law issued to us. I see nothing in that that should restrain God from acting as he pleases regarding us.

-

God's laws don't apply to god - so are they really all that good?

I dunno about that. Murder is generally understood as an unrighteous killing. On what basis can God be said to kill unrighteously - he owns our life: gives it, takes it away again? Now if he promised unconditional life terminating in a natural death at 95 years of age .. and broke that promise, you might have a case.

-

note, that's without even mentioning the fact that if "thou shalt not kill" was not a law before it was written down, then good/bad are really arbitrary conjectures from god himself

The fruit eaten at mans fall also happened to contain the (potential) antidote to his falling: a knowledge of good and evil. Adam ate and received into himself a conscience.

The written law only reflects that which is within man from the fall anyway. Witness Cains sulky, denying reaction to Gods query regarding Abels whereabouts. He knew he had done wrong. Even Adam and Eve were ashamed..

-

it's lose-lose for christians - if they're honest...and they should be, they're not allowed to lie.

No, but they are allowed to rebut

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by greyseal, posted 12-07-2009 10:48 AM greyseal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by greyseal, posted 12-20-2009 12:01 PM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 96 of 181 (538681)
12-09-2009 6:20 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Meddle
12-08-2009 8:36 PM


Re: Iano's Rationalization of Murdering His Own Family
Malcolm writes:

I think the point of man-made morality is not what necessarily what it says, since that can vary between individuals and cultures, but how it is arrived at.

I agree.

It is not simply a case of "kindness is good" but is instead a recognition of how kindness can affect our lives for the better, and the lives of those close to us. Similarly we learn from experience how being "unkind" can hurt emotionally and/or physically, and we can recognise that in others. Yes it could be argued a very simplistic take on morality, the idea of empathy and not doing to others what you wouldn't want done to you, but it works. This is why we can say that slavery, rape, or genocide are fundamentally wrong.

I'll skip past sub-ideas such as 'better = good', 'hurt = bad' which go to render "kindness=good" because they too rely on being simply defined so. Must we not finally conclude that "what is good" is something arrived as an expression our humanity and that even though there are individual variations in opinion, there is an overall agreement.

We must now turn to the notion of man "made in the image and likeness of God" as ask whether our sense of good can't reasonably be connected to our being made so - assuming we are made so.

But since God does not share in the experiences which have shaped our moral systems, how does he arrive at what is "good"?

Firstly God did share in our experiences. He walked the earth as a man.

Secondly, what is good is, I argue, derived from mans humanity which is derived from Gods own nature. Man's 'experience' is merely a canvas which allows the painting of his humanities expression to take the form it does. Whilst the painting varies from time to time, the essential essence of it stays the same - as does his morality.

I mean, man might have once held slaves and find that objectionable now. But he will still permit people to live in effective penury in order to ensure a constant supply of cheap clothing to flow in his direction.

Once it was slavery unto cotton. Now it's slavery unto cotton clothing.

-

But why do you automatically assume that God wasn't instructing Hitler, as part of a grander plan. Maybe God hardened Hitlers heart like he did Pharaohs, to make him commit those atrocities. After all you accept the genocide of the Midianites was necessary, even "good" because God ordained it, so why not the holocaust?

I haven't assumed that God wasn't insructing Hitler. I said the "possibility exists" that God wasn't instructing Hitler (whereas it is being assumed he was instructing me to kill my family). And so the comparison iano/Hitler is missing a vital componant. It's a narrow point.

Granted, God could have hardened Hitlers heart in the way he did Pharoahs.

I'd note that God hardening doesn't necessarily mean God is the prime mover in the subsequent calamity. A hardened heart is something required by someone whose desire is to do evil. See it as a peg on the nose holding back the stench. If someone is intent on functioning in a pigsty and God is an enabler of choice, then provision of a peg can be seen as part of that enablement.

The persons choice is the prime mover in the subsequent calamity however. God is merely the enabler.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Meddle, posted 12-08-2009 8:36 PM Meddle has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 97 of 181 (538705)
12-09-2009 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by iano
12-09-2009 5:27 AM


Iano,
I said earlier that 'Like Aquinas your argument is that it is a false dilemma since goodness is an essential characteristic of God'. And if you are comfortable with defining 'good' as 'that which is good', and going no further then as I have said, you won't feel any sense of dilemma.

For other people, struggling to know what is the 'right' thing to do when faced with a loved one who is going to suffer a painful drawn out death and begs to be released painlessly...that isn't much help.

"The right thing to do is what God would do."
"And what would God do?"
"The right thing."

Then Hell would be empty.

But seeing as it's not going to be, your analogy must contain a flaw. Let me suggest a possible (and plausible) reworking of it: a gun has been put to your head, but you don't actually believe it. So long as that is the case, do you suppose you'll retain possession of your money?

Indeed. God is like a bank robber with something in his pocket. It might be a banana or it might be a gun. And the lights are off, so the robber might not even be there. Sometimes the darkness gives the bank teller a bout of paranoia and they worry that there is a robber out there with a gun. In fact only the unverifiability of the robber's non-existence suggests that it might be there.

When the teller decides to act in accordance with his duties, or out of care for their friends, family and dependants and not hand over their employer's money to a stranger that might be a robber...the teller gets shot in the face. And this is good: after all the teller accepted the consequences for not believing there was a robber with a gun.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by iano, posted 12-09-2009 5:27 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by iano, posted 12-09-2009 11:02 AM Modulous has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 98 of 181 (538712)
12-09-2009 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Modulous
12-09-2009 10:25 AM


Modulous writes:

iano,

I said earlier that 'Like Aquinas your argument is that it is a false dilemma since goodness is an essential characteristic of God'. And if you are comfortable with defining 'good' as 'that which is good', and going no further then as I have said, you won't feel any sense of dilemma.

I'm not sure this rendering is the same as mine. "Good is that which is good" is a nonsense definition. It's like saying "a dog is that which is a dog". Whereas "good is that which God wills" isn't a nonsense definition. Like, you have to be able to attach some or other word to mean "that which God wills". And the word 'good' happens to be it.

I'd feel a sense of dilemma with what you're proposing (it seems a nonsense). Whereas I don't feel any sense of dilemma with what I'm proposing (which is simply a definition)

-

For other people, struggling to know what is the 'right' thing to do when faced with a loved one who is going to suffer a painful drawn out death and begs to be released painlessly...that isn't much help.

"The right thing to do is what God would do."
"And what would God do?"
"The right thing."

This is a different dilemma in that it might not be known what Gods will is in the circumstances. And that dilemma could well be one I'd have to face. If Gods will was known however and it was (for instance) an assisted death, then the dilemma is resolved.

"The right thing to do is what God wills be done"
"And what would God will in this case?"
"That you assist your loved one to die as soon as is practical - that's the right thing."

-

Indeed. God is like a bank robber with something in his pocket. It might be a banana or it might be a gun. And the lights are off, so the robber might not even be there. Sometimes the darkness gives the bank teller a bout of paranoia and they worry that there is a robber out there with a gun. In fact only the unverifiability of the robber's non-existence suggests that it might be there.

When the teller decides to act in accordance with his duties, or out of care for their friends, family and dependants and not hand over their employer's money to a stranger that might be a robber...the teller gets shot in the face. And this is good: after all the teller accepted the consequences for not believing there was a robber with a gun.

If only that bolthole was left open to you.

God says you have a knowledge of what he considers good and evil - which, if true, means you also have a way of discerning what's good and evil (irrespective of whether you believe that discernment is God-sourced or otherwise). And your response to that knowledge is posited as forming the basis by which your decision regarding God is made by you.

- will you love the truth finally - truth as defined by God and discernible as opposing lies, also defined by God. If so, you will convinced by it and will be turned to God by it and will be saved.

- or will you hate the truth finally. And stay turned from God and be lost.

You don't need to believe in God in order to believe what God says to you about you.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Modulous, posted 12-09-2009 10:25 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by Modulous, posted 12-09-2009 11:12 AM iano has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 99 of 181 (538715)
12-09-2009 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by iano
12-09-2009 11:02 AM


I'm not sure this rendering is the same as mine. "Good is that which is good" is a nonsense definition. It's like saying "a dog is that which is a dog".

I'm glad you agree it is nonsense.

Whereas "good is that which God wills" isn't a nonsense definition.

And what God will is what is good. So if the two are synonymous we can substitute them.

good = what God wills.

Therefore

what God wills = good.

Therefore 'good is that which God wills' means the same as 'good is that which is good' which means the same as 'what God wills is that which God wills'.

Which as you say is a 'nonsense definition'. But you seem happy with that.

This is a different dilemma in that it might not be known what Gods will is in the circumstances.

You should probably read the dialogue. The central thrust of it is that Socrates wants a definition of piety, or morality so that he can tell the court that what he did was moral or confess his guilt and beg forgiveness.

You would be unable to help Socrates.

You don't need to believe in God in order to believe what God says to you about you.

Either I know there is a gun pointed at my head or I don't. I first implied that I did, but you corrected me. So which is it? Am I compelled to obey god like a man with a gun pointed at his head or am I not?

Do I know the consequences or don't I? If I do then I am obliged like a man being robbed. If I don't then I am obliged like a blind man being robbed by a silent thief that never touches him.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by iano, posted 12-09-2009 11:02 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by iano, posted 12-09-2009 11:31 AM Modulous has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 100 of 181 (538717)
12-09-2009 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Modulous
12-09-2009 11:12 AM


Modulous writes:

And what God will is what is good. So if the two are synonymous we can substitute them.

good = what God wills.

Therefore

what God wills = good.

Therefore 'good is that which God wills' means the same as 'good is that which is good' which means the same as 'what God wills is that which God wills'.

Which as you say is a 'nonsense definition'. But you seem happy with that.

A dog is a four legged creature. A four legged creature is synonymous with a dog therefore we can substitute them and say a four legged creature is a four legged creature. Which is how you arrive at a nonsense definition.

-

Either I know there is a gun pointed at my head or I don't. I first implied that I did, but you corrected me. So which is it? Am I compelled to obey god like a man with a gun pointed at his head or am I not?

Do I know the consequences or don't I? If I do then I am obliged like a man being robbed. If I don't then I am obliged like a blind man being robbed by a silent thief that never touches him.

The prime question being asked of you is: what do you choose to love ultimately, truth or lie / good or evil. What you choose to love in this time and space has eternal consequences attaching - eternal ice below the surface of a temporal iceberg.

There is no need for you to be aware of all the ice below the surface in order that the direction of your love be chosen by you. All that's below the surface of either iceberg is more of the same. More of what you love in either case. You can have no complaints that the consequences of choosing to love either truth or lie is more of the same, eternally.

You are not compelled to obey - because you don't believe there's a gun pointed to your head. There isn't really a gun pointed to your head in any case: you're being offered an eternity with the consequences of that which you love, whichever way that happens to go. You do have a choice as to what you set your heart on though - because you do know good from evil. And both good and evil have their enticements.

You don't, like I say, need to know all the consequences of your choice in order to choose. Indeed, we never know all the consequences of our choices.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Modulous, posted 12-09-2009 11:12 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Modulous, posted 12-09-2009 4:44 PM iano has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 101 of 181 (538759)
12-09-2009 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by iano
12-09-2009 11:31 AM


A dog is a four legged creature. A four legged creature is synonymous with a dog therefore we can substitute them and say a four legged creature is a four legged creature. Which is how you arrive at a nonsense definition.

Nope. Cats, dogs, cows, crocodiles, flies with mishaps are all four legged creatures that are not dogs. We cannot say that four legged creature is synonymous with a dog. You, however are defining good in terms of god and god in terms of good and that's why you have arrived at this nonsense definition.

You'd have done better to say 'tetrapod'. Still the correct wording would be:

A tetrapod is something with four legs.
A leg is something a tetrapod has four of.

Here we are defining legs in terms of tetrapods. So all we are actually saying here is that a four legged thing is a four legged thing. It is meaningless. If we only had some independent meaning of the word 'leg' to refer to we'd know what a tetrapod actually was.

You don't, like I say, need to know all the consequences of your choice in order to choose.

No - but I think not knowing the consequences will mean you could well choose wrong (especially if they are important consequences). If I didn't know I was being robbed and that by not giving my money to that stranger he will shoot me, I will likely choose wrong (I won't give him my money and I'll get shot). I could choose to give my money to all strangers I pass by in an attempt to not fall foul of this eventuality, but that would considered foolish (though maybe virtuous if my reason was 'because I want to help people').


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by iano, posted 12-09-2009 11:31 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by iano, posted 12-10-2009 6:00 AM Modulous has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 102 of 181 (538787)
12-10-2009 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by Modulous
12-09-2009 4:44 PM


Modulous writes:

Nope. Cats, dogs, cows, crocodiles, flies with mishaps are all four legged creatures that are not dogs. We cannot say that four legged creature is synonymous with a dog. You, however are defining good in terms of god and god in terms of good and that's why you have arrived at this nonsense definition.

And I thought the point would be made without having to be too rigorous..

dog = animal with this (holds up genetic coding for all to see) genetic coding. This genetic coding is synonymous with dog - therefore I can substitute 'this genetic coding' for 'dog' and you get:

this genetic coding = this genetic coding.

That's a nonsense definition. 'God = good' isn't a nonsense definition, anymore than 'dog=animal with this genetic coding' is a nonsense definition.

-

No - but I think not knowing the consequences will mean you could well choose wrong (especially if they are important consequences). If I didn't know I was being robbed and that by not giving my money to that stranger he will shoot me, I will likely choose wrong (I won't give him my money and I'll get shot). I could choose to give my money to all strangers I pass by in an attempt to not fall foul of this eventuality, but that would considered foolish (though maybe virtuous if my reason was 'because I want to help people').

Comparing to Gods standard of good/evil and right/wrong, your choice will always be the right one because Gods primary desire is that you choose what you truly want - even if that means rejecting him (or more properly, rejecting his love/accepting his wrath)

Comparing to your own standard of right and wrong? Well, if choosing the path that leads to Hell (though strictly speaking, you're already on it) you'll likely find that you'd prefer not to experience those consequences once they are made fully evident. But those consequences wouldn't be the result of making the wrong choice, they would be the result of making the right (according to you) choice given the tip-of-the-ice-berg evidence available to you. Remember that there is tip-of-the-ice-berg evidence available to aid a choice for the Heaven direction too. But that of the two options (assuming equally balanced evidence for either direction) you choose Hell-bound. If arguing that the consequences for the Hell-bound direction should be made more apparent than they already are, you'd have to agree that the consequences for the Heaven-bound direction be cranked up also - in order to maintain balance of choice.

Which leaves you back where you started.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Modulous, posted 12-09-2009 4:44 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by Modulous, posted 12-10-2009 7:51 AM iano has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 103 of 181 (538806)
12-10-2009 7:51 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by iano
12-10-2009 6:00 AM


And I thought the point would be made without having to be too rigorous..

dog = animal with this (holds up genetic coding for all to see) genetic coding. This genetic coding is synonymous with dog - therefore I can substitute 'this genetic coding' for 'dog' and you get:

this genetic coding = this genetic coding.

That's a nonsense definition. 'God = good' isn't a nonsense definition, anymore than 'dog=animal with this genetic coding' is a nonsense definition.

You'll need to be rigorous. I gave you a better example. You can do the same thing with genetic codes and the like if you want, but it is the same as the tetrapod/leg argument. It is a nonsense definition if you define both sides of the equation in terms of the other side of the equation. If you defined 'this genetic coding' with 'the coding that is posessed by a dog' then we would still have no idea what a dog is or what 'this genetic code' was.

You have insisted that this setup be true from the getgo (that each side is defined in terms of the other) - so you are stuck with a consequence that you admit is basically nonsense.

That's a nonsense definition. 'God = good' isn't a nonsense definition, anymore than 'dog=animal with this genetic coding' is a nonsense definition.

But good is defined in terms of God and God is defined in terms of 'good'. This ends up with a nonsense definition. Much like when we defined tetrapods in terms of legs and legs in terms of tetrapods.

Comparing to Gods standard of good/evil and right/wrong, your choice will always be the right one because Gods primary desire is that you choose what you truly want - even if that means rejecting him (or more properly, rejecting his love/accepting his wrath)

When I say 'right choice' I mean 'the choice I would have made had I had all the information at my disposal'. I don't have the information at my disposal, so I can't make the 'right choice'. As long as we're clear on that, that's all I was saying.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by iano, posted 12-10-2009 6:00 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by iano, posted 12-11-2009 9:09 AM Modulous has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1075 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 104 of 181 (538872)
12-11-2009 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by Modulous
12-10-2009 7:51 AM


Modulous writes:

You'll need to be rigorous.

Let me try a slightly different tack.

Rather than speak of definitions, let me speak of a.k.a. (also known as). For example, one can hold up a concoction of ingredients and say that this concoction is also known as Coca-Cola. Similarily, God holds up Gods motivations, actions, nature, etc. and says these are also known as 'good'. Good is, in a sense, a trademark of God ("why do you call me good" said Jesus "only God is good") in that it's a word used to describe his attributes and actions.

It's also a word used to describe actions of those of us who act in accord with Gods will (as as result of Gods influence). 'Good' produced under licence, as it were, by those made in the image and likeness of God.

Would this resolve any dilamma which asks a believer how does he know God is good? If so, the question turns to what's left: how does what God sees as good relate to what man sees as good.

-

When I say 'right choice' I mean 'the choice I would have made had I had all the information at my disposal'. I don't have the information at my disposal, so I can't make the 'right choice'. As long as we're clear on that, that's all I was saying.

As pointed out, the information at your disposal is sufficient to provide a balance in your choice. If you were given more information on Heaven & Hell (in the sense that you actually believed in Heaven as Heaven is & Hell as Hell is) then your choice would be skewed to chose Heaven (naturally). Rendering that a non-free, skewed choice.

Supposing that a primary concern, the right choice is the choice made under balanced conditions, irrespective of the totality of information available.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Modulous, posted 12-10-2009 7:51 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-11-2009 12:35 PM iano has not yet responded
 Message 106 by Modulous, posted 12-11-2009 1:09 PM iano has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 993 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 105 of 181 (538902)
12-11-2009 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by iano
12-11-2009 9:09 AM


Iano writes:

Rather than speak of definitions, let me speak of a.k.a. (also known as). For example, one can hold up a concoction of ingredients and say that this concoction is also known as Coca-Cola. Similarily, God holds up Gods motivations, actions, nature, etc. and says these are also known as 'good'. Good is, in a sense, a trademark of God ("why do you call me good" said Jesus "only God is good") in that it's a word used to describe his attributes and actions.

This does not resolve anything. In fact it leads us back to asking: Why is God (God's actions, behavior, motivations, etc) good? I see this is going nowhere and you absolutely refuses to acknowledge there is any logical disconnect here, which to any rational person there is.

However, I think the real issue here has more to do with the moral consistency of God's behavior than the definition of goodness, since the definition of good in the religious person's case is meaningless outside the definition of God and results in circular reasoning.

You (and other religious people) state that God is good however many non-believers disagree even when using there humanistic definition of the term good aka socially and morally acceptable (not the religious circular reasoning term good) as describing the God of the Bible. Non-believers see a hyporcitical, egotistical, tyrant who does not go by the same commands and laws that he supposedly teaches (or more realistically his followers promote). There is a moral disconnect when many of us see when we read the Bible, both from an internal (consistency within the Bible itself) and external (what is being taught in Churches and other places) perspective. That is the crux of this issue in my opinion.

Iano writes:

It's also a word used to describe actions of those of us who act in accord with Gods will (as as result of Gods influence). 'Good' produced under licence, as it were, by those made in the image and likeness of God.

But why? Why is it good? Why is God good? That is the question you cannot answer? Why, because you cannot rely on non-supernatural explanations (i.e. the evolution of our ethical systems through human history and the rationale for why society considers something good or bad) for morality, you must by your own admission defer all moral judgements to the standard of God which is God himself, no questions asked.

Would this resolve any dilamma which asks a believer how does he know God is good?

That is a big fat No! You didn't answer why you think God is good. You just assert that he is with no real explanation why. And the answer is that without referencing an external moral standard you have no method for determining if he is good or not. It is logically impossible. That is what Modulus and I are trying to explain to you. You cannot define something by itself. A rational definition or explanation must refer to something outside of itself or it results in circular reasoning.

If so, the question turns to what's left: how does what God sees as good relate to what man sees as good.

But according to you everything God does and says is good, so what difference does it make what man sees is good? If God is the moral compass than it matters not what we think, say or do in relation to this moral absolute. God could say wear pink underwear and jump off a bridge and you would have no choice but to call it 'good'.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous.” - Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by iano, posted 12-11-2009 9:09 AM iano has not yet responded

  
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