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Thread: Objective Morality and God

  1. #21
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaselation View Post
    Evolution would in this case just be failed science in the face of new and superior science. The answer here is never this theory failed so "insert god". Science by its nature will move to an answer.
    Evolution is the idea that random mutations and a number of natural genetic phenomena such as natural selection caused simple life to change into complex life over time. I can't see how any alternative naturalistic explanations other than evolution are possible. With more time, we might discover some more compelling evidence or some new genetic phenomena that can better support evolution but it is not certain that they will come.

    If you are saying that science will always move to an answer then you are saying only naturalistic causes are possible. You are effectively saying that a supernatural creator cannot exist because you have ruled out the possibility of supernatural phenomena existing. That doesn't seem logical to me.

    One criticism I have of the case for evolution is that some of the evidence for evolution takes the form of "If evolution happened, we'd expect to observe X. We observe X, so this is evidence that evolution occurred." The problem is that if observing X is equally consistent with creation then observing X can only be considered evidence for evolution if creation is taken off the table as a possible explanation. Real evidence should be consistent with one explanation but inconsistent with a completing explanation. This means that any such observation presented as evidence for evolution is not real evidence. The strength of the evidence for evolution stems mostly from the fact that evolution only has to compete against itself.

    One such piece of evidence is comparative anatomy. Similarities in anatomy are consistent with evolution by natural processes from a common ancestor but are also equally consistent with a creator producing new organisms by modifying a basic design for organisms of that type. Comparative anatomy supports evolution if evolution is the only explanation permitted to be tested but doesn't support evolution over creation.
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  2. #22
    Married Mouth-breather JohnClay's Avatar
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    In this thread I'm assuming that God exists and am focusing on his morality...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    I guess it showed God's power and helped convince people that God really does exist.
    It appears that the command to kill everything that breathes would have been carried out without divine intervention.

    Maybe it was done for the benefit of future generations.
    I don't understand how killing all of the animals would have benefited anyone...

    We are talking about this one particular God thousands of years later rather than any other so-called gods who were not able to demonstrate their power in any significant way.
    I think that God's miracles were just legends. Also it seems God only spoke to Moses rather than a big voice being heard by everyone... someone hearing a voice isn't that much of a miracle.

    Life in the ancient world was very different. People were much less educated, the world was lawless and news had to be big to travel very far.
    Well God was setting up a brand new society after escaping Egypt. The punishments were harsh though e.g. death for working on the Sabbath.

    Definitely. God's genocides in ancient times and condemning people to suffer in hell does seem unfair and unloving to the 21st century human mind.
    But if morality comes from God then anything he does is objectively moral...

    Suffering serves a purpose. If there was no suffering then people would ignore God.
    The thread I linked to was just about animal suffering... they are incapable of thinking about God...

    Experiencing and witnessing suffering can also build resilience in people.
    Is the Holocaust somehow good? (in a way it is like hell as well except that in traditional Christianity hell never ends) Well I guess if it weren't for the Holocaust they might not have the nation of Israel again now.

  3. #23
    Married Mouth-breather JohnClay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    ....God wants us to choose to follow Him, which means that He needs to make it easy for us to not to follow Him.
    Yes people have all types of excuses:
    Luke 9:59-60: "Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, “Lord, let me wait until I bury my father.” Jesus answered, “Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God’s kingdom.”"
    The problem I have is the severe punishment he has for not following him. And following him isn't always straight-forward:
    Matthew 7:21-23:
    "Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.” But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”"

    If God's goal was to have as many people as possible follow Him, He'd regularly make it obvious that He is exists and is very powerful....
    Matthew 7:13-14:
    "Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it."
    God doesn't seem to have a problem with that. His goal seems to be complete dedication to him... and on judgement day most people will go to the lake of fire. I think that if only a few people rejected God then it could still be seen as a choice...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    Yes people have all types of excuses:
    Luke 9:59-60: "Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, “Lord, let me wait until I bury my father.” Jesus answered, “Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God’s kingdom.”"
    The problem I have is the severe punishment he has for not following him. And following him isn't always straight-forward:
    Matthew 7:21-23:
    "Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.” But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”"
    You worry too much. It is just saying that people who only outwardly act as Christians won't get into heaven. There must be an internal transformation of the heart. Works alone won't get one into heaven. That is all this passage is saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    Matthew 7:13-14:
    "Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it."
    God doesn't seem to have a problem with that. His goal seems to be complete dedication to him... and on judgement day most people will go to the lake of fire. I think that if only a few people rejected God then it could still be seen as a choice...
    The gate to heaven is indeed narrow. It is so easy to live for the things of this world. Living for the things of this world means going with the crowd so is comfortable and will earn you the praise of others. In contrast, living spiritually means going against the crowd so does sometimes bring hardship and will tend to attract criticism, rejection and maybe even persecution. This is just the way it has always been and always will be.
    The truth will set you free

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    I don't understand how killing all of the animals would have benefited anyone...
    Now that I think about it, God probably wanted the Jews to completely destroy everything, including the animals, to avoid the influences of that culture seeping into Jewish culture and potentially leading the Jews away from God. It was very important to maintain a religious community devoted to Him in order to receive His promised messiah at the appointed time.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    I think that God's miracles were just legends. Also it seems God only spoke to Moses rather than a big voice being heard by everyone... someone hearing a voice isn't that much of a miracle.
    If God doesn't exist then it makes sense to say that the miracles the Bible claimed took place never actually took place. However, if God does exist then I don't see why God would not have actually performed the miracles the Bible claimed He did. People might argue that God could not have performed the miracles because they violate the laws of nature, but I think that if God did create the universe and all life then the miracles ascribed to Him would have been well within His power to perform.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    Well God was setting up a brand new society after escaping Egypt. The punishments were harsh though e.g. death for working on the Sabbath.
    I take the Old Testament to be a record of the Jews repeated failure to keep Gods laws. The purpose was to demonstrate to point to the need for a saviour. God made His existence known, His law was clear and the punishment was harsh yet people were unable to follow it. People are just not able to follow laws because they have a heart that desires to do the wrong thing. The only way humans can consistently do the right thing is to have their hearts transformed to make them give rise to a desire to do the right thing. This was Jesus' message. Accepting the truth of the message and the fact that Jesus is really from God and then praying to receive the Holy Spirit to transform your heart will save you.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    But if morality comes from God then anything he does is objectively moral...
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    The thread I linked to was just about animal suffering... they are incapable of thinking about God...
    Perhaps it might cause people to contemplate God. You seem very interested in this question but unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    Is the Holocaust somehow good? (in a way it is like hell as well except that in traditional Christianity hell never ends) Well I guess if it weren't for the Holocaust they might not have the nation of Israel again now.
    The word holocaust means a Jewish sacrificial offering which was burnt completely on an altar. I have always found that an interesting choice of word to describe the mass killing of Jewish people. Is it just suggesting terrible suffering or is it suggesting that a number of individuals died (were sacrificed) so that the Jewish race as a whole could benefit by strengthening their claim to a Jewish homeland (the state of Israel) that can provide protection from persecution to Jews all around the world?

    I am no Christian Zionist. I am not sure whether the establishment of the state of Israel holds any significance for Christians.
    The truth will set you free

  6. #26
    Married Mouth-breather JohnClay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    Now that I think about it, God probably wanted the Jews to completely destroy everything, including the animals, to avoid the influences of that culture seeping into Jewish culture and potentially leading the Jews away from God.
    Jews were easily capable of being led astray without those from the promised land: see Exodus 32 about the golden calf which Aaron himself made!

    It was very important to maintain a religious community devoted to Him in order to receive His promised messiah at the appointed time....
    Actually it was the religious people that were against Jesus... the common people and tax collectors, etc, were the main followers of Jesus.

    ....The word holocaust means a Jewish sacrificial offering which was burnt completely on an altar. I have always found that an interesting choice of word to describe the mass killing of Jewish people....
    Yes it is.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    Jews were easily capable of being led astray without those from the promised land: see Exodus 32 about the golden calf which Aaron himself made!
    Indeed. The Jews repeatedly turned away from God and God had to keep intervening to bring them back to Him. Human nature means people are simply unable to do the right thing consistently. This points to the need for Jesus's message of salvation and the transformation by the Holy Spirit.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnClay View Post
    Actually it was the religious people that were against Jesus... the common people and tax collectors, etc, were the main followers of Jesus.
    The religious people of the day were a bunch of hypocrites who believed that they were right with God when they were actually far from it. It was the ordinary people and people shunned by the religious class as sinners who responded to Jesus's message because it spoke to them.

    Christianity is hard to accept for those at the top because they have to give up so much to become a Christian. There are undoubtedly some Christian leaders today who are hypocrites.
    The truth will set you free

  8. #28
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    Faith in God brings about a transformation that results in a great sense of inner peace. Suffering is mostly mental.
    I suppose that is probably true. And the kicker is, it would hold true regardless of whether the god you have faith in actually exists. Once you have faith, that point is moot.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    I suppose that is probably true. And the kicker is, it would hold true regardless of whether the god you have faith in actually exists. Once you have faith, that point is moot.
    Humans sin because they have hearts that give rise to sinful desires. Even if we want to stop sinning, we can't because our heart is still sinful. The type of transformation I am talking about is a transformation of the heart to turn it into one that gives rise to pure desires instead of impure desires.

    Faith in anything, even things that don't actually exist may be able to produce a change in thinking that has real positive effects. However, sin and our inability to overcome sin though anything we do is an undeniable aspect of human nature. We sin because of our hearts, not our heads, so positive thinking can only do so much. Humans need outside help to defeat sin. A god which has no existence cannot bring about such a major transformation of the heart.
    The truth will set you free

  10. #30
    tsuj a notelpmis QuickTwist's Avatar
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    TL;DR

    I believe objective morality is possible without God. The question is "what can you do to end suffering". No one likes to suffer but its an integral part of life. Wishing upon one harm isn't conducive to societal gains, and societal gains are come through fruition of the individual. Therefore objective morality is to do what benefits yourself as long as it doesn't harm society thereby being not imposing any kind of harm to another individual.

    What is considered harm upon another is an entirely different can of worms.
    But your individuality and your present need will be swept away by change,
    and what you now ardently desire will one day become the object of abhorrence.
    ~ Schiller - 'Psychological Types'

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