on gods and morals


where worldview of Jesus repeats the same arguments by William Craig as if they were new or as if he was saying something really creative.

It is not the case that

Everyone seems to inherently filter their decisions through an absolute moral paradigm

and when he writes

It’s easily recognizable that raping, torturing, and murdering are morally condemnable under all circumstances

am not sure what his stand is on state sanctioned murder or war.

He posits

is torturing babies for fun a morally good thing to do?

and proceeds to ask

Would anyone of sound mind answer ‘yes’ to that question?

which is an admission on his part that those of unsound mind may disagree. In this case then his earlier arguments only apply to those of sane dispositions. The christian god then is of unsound mind.

In 2 Samuel 12,

15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

who does that to a child?

Then he quotes CS Lewis[ why is it almost all apologists quote him?]. He writes

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.

How is this profound? Cruel, unjust, crooked, straight are human terms. Those are human ways of perceiving the world. They are not given to us by transcendence. He didn’t need to compare it with anything to arrive at that conclusion. All around him am sure he saw a homeless person, a starving person and an opulent guy. Only a theist would think you need god to see this.

The theist intends to use this argument to show there is a god but commits fallacies as he goes along.

In premise 1, the deck is already stacked in favour of a god. He writes

Premise One: If God Does Not Exist, Objective Moral Values and Duties Do Not Exist

It is one thing to make a claim and another to justify it. We ought, for this argument to have any import be told what these objective moral values and duties are. Besides, I am waiting for a coherent definition of god to use. Our morality has its source in human experience. We are the judges of what is right/ wrong. One should act in such a way that they get the greatest happiness for themselves with the least/ or no harm to others. Only a blockhead needs a god to help with understanding such a simple maxim. A man living alone has no need for morals. Men living in society have obligations to one another or the society would collapse.

I contend that he is wrong when he writes

These widely held moral philosophies of the secular humanists fails to refute premise one because it does not account for how objective moral values and duties would have an ontological basis.

and argue on the contrary that religious morality- whatever that means cannot be a basis for our morals.

When the church killed entire populations as witches, they based their arguments on religious writings. To accuse proponents of secular morals as side stepping issues is to me a definite pointer to beginnings of insanity.

Are we to assume that

If twenty million people are murdered so presumably the remaining portion of the world’s population may flourish, who is the judge of whether this example of murder is objectively morally wrong?

we can talk about acts being moral or otherwise if we can add objective? In counterpoint, would this christian tell us it was morally permissible to turn Lot’s wife to a salt pillar, drown cats and snails that didn’t make it to the ark, give the Canaanites ultimatum to vacate or die? Are these permissible objectively because they had a divine sanction?

To say

They affirm the first premise of the moral argument despite what the secular humanist might say.

assumes that the premise is valid. But this hasn’t been shown as the case.

To argue that we can’t talk about values because objective values doesn’t exist is to me infantile.

In his second premise he writes

Premise Two: Objective Moral Values and Duties Do Exist

but we are not told what these are.

If, for example, I say being stupid is evil, is there some sense we can say it isn’t evil? Or must it be qualified as objectively for it to be worthy of consideration?

This

Nobody could be held morally accountable for their actions because each wrongdoer has their own subjective standard of morality that is different from everyone else’s; and who is to say they are wrong!

for no atheist makes such an argument. I will add though that I have argued that to punish people for their mistakes is to punish them for being men. A man is such as he is, he is not responsible for his birth and as many things go to making a man, society should look itself in the mirror at the people it creates before it starts judging.

I think

We don’t live as though murder, rape, and torture are only wrong for those that think those actions are wrong. We live as though those actions are wrong for everyone because we acknowledge an absolute standard that identifies them as objectively wrong universally.

because they are based on human experience. It is not long ago that some slave master didn’t think of his slave as a human being and would subject them to worse treatment than they could subject their dogs, some people still do. If there is any absolute standard, it is not because of a divine law giver but because we are all men. It’s based or reciprocity.

I contend that

Premise Three: Therefore, God Exists

has not been demonstrated as valid. I will argue further that without man in society, there can be no morals. Only man in society with obligations to his fellows has use for morals and only them can define what is moral. Man has no way of knowing whether gods are or not, what gods are, and has thus no way of telling which would be a divine and non divine command. You don’t need god to know pepper is hot and ripe mangoes are sweet. We say of men who can’t tell the difference between good and bad sociopaths and some other choice words[ interesting thing here is to remember that what good is is an unanswered philosophical question][ refer to the Euthyphro dilemma].

In conclusion, this particular theist has done a poor job of repeating William Craig’s bad arguments. He/ she assumes what a god is, is common knowledge and then goes on to make wild assertions without bothering to demonstrate any.

I know am not going to look for his post where he writes about science not accounting for all truth, but my interest is in knowing what his understanding of science? Does he see science only as sitting in a lab, donning a lab coat looking through a microscope?

No, we can’t

be confident that an absolute standard of morality exists, which ultimately illustrates the existence of God

because this argument is meant to show that, but doesn’t. To ask to take it on your say so is disingenuous.

And no

This practical argument resonates with us, as fallen individuals, more than many other arguments because the rejection of it has implications that are far too extreme for any rational person to embrace

it doesn’t and we are not fallen. Only religion makes man fallen, erects a god to save him from himself and claims to be healing the world. Men are neither good nor bad, they just are but with potential for great deeds and for cruel ones too. The argument that men are fallen has made the christian an impossible citizen of the present world. He is on a journey to the other world, it matters little what happens here.

I don’t know anyone that truly and honestly embraces moral nihilism

you haven’t searched hard enough.

I find the christian apologist a predictable type. They disappoint all the time. A guy starts by making grand claims about a subject then makes deference to the bible. Because the bible says, so it is. Is it a requirement of christian apologetics to repeat the arguments of the apologist in season without adding a single thought of your own and adding a bible passage like that now gives it some authority?

I am persuaded that if we are to make any advances on morality- whatever one believes it means, we must look to man for answers, the natural man, man as he is without religion, without superstition.

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

42 thoughts on “on gods and morals

  1. I can’t get past the ‘is torturing babies moral’ question. A believer in the Christian God necessarily believes that Yahweh has aborted babies, drowned them, burned them, and more.

    So who’s okay with torturing babies? Your God, asshole!

    *huffs and rages*

    *deep breath*
    He seems to have hit on a nerve of mine…

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  2. All fixed! Good post, my friend. Apparently, the one true undeniably correct morality that exists in the universe is the christian one. Ludicrous gibberish. Like it or not, life is subjective and so is morality. Things just “are”. There is no evidence of a “god” and even less so for the christian god. It is humans who bring value and meaning to things. Human values. I suppose that’s a somewhat universal human truth. Where there are humans, human value will be projected onto the things around them. No god is necessary or true for this to happen. To help illustrate the fluidity of morality. I’ll answer the following question:
    “is torturing babies for fun a morally good thing to do?” Yes. As long as the babies are baptized christian that is. I’m assuming christians wouldn’t agree with this, but that only goes to show how wrong they are about the absoluteness of morality. Idjits. 🙂

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  3. john zande says:

    Surely it must dawn on these people that by the very fact that they have to work so hard, and leap through so many hoops just to “justify” their god, that something must be fatally wrong with that which they believe.

    I would get to the third sentence of this drivel then stop and say, “well, this isn’t flowing the way it ought to, something must be wrong here…”

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  4. Doobster418 says:

    I’ve written at least three posts on the idea of morality — objective and relative — and the fallacy that objective morality, if there even is such a thing, can only exist if God exists. You might want to take a look at this post I wrote: http://mindfuldigressions.com/2014/10/05/is-objective-morality-really-objective/

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  5. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Is this deity the same one that slaughtered the first-born of the Egyptians in order to free the Hebrews, the same who allowed Herod to kill all the Israeli children under a certain age in order to butcher the newly-born King of the Jews? The same deity who sacrificed the life of his own son?

    Why should the deity get away with murder?

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  6. tildeb says:

    Hey, I’m having the same argument over at Isaiah 53:5 Project where he demands I answer either yes or no to the question “Are torturing babies, rape, and committing atrocities in the name of religion absolutely morally wrong?” and calls anything else I might offer ‘psychbabble’ (I’m pretty sure the term is ‘psychobabble’, but that’s just me psychbabbling) and then deletes my comment. A peach of a guy who – like most religiously convinced people – really doesn’t want any other possible answers than the preselected one.

    Ark keeps taking shots at him about the biblical gods having no problems doing ‘absolutely morally wrong’ actions all the time. Ark, at least, is having his fun but I marvel at how often so many people continue drinking from this foul apologetic well as if the water this time is going to be clean (what’s the definition of ‘crazy’ again?).

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    • Yeah, I got into that with him at one point. Below I commented about what I did there. He refused to admit what he was doing, and that’s one of the many reasons why I don’t visit his blog.

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    • Ron says:

      “Are torturing babies, rape, and committing atrocities in the name of religion absolutely morally wrong?”

      So answer: “No—because Lord Genocide commands those very things in his holy books.” The ball’s now in the apologist’s court.

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    • makagutu says:

      with a handle like Is 53:5, I don’t bother reading. I guess there is always a barrage of bible verses as explanations.
      Is something only wrong when it is absolutely wrong?

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  7. I think it’s called WLC’s ontological argument, and it’s a fad going around with Christians. Really, they skip over the part where they have to have a premise stating, “Objective Moral Values exist because a deity known as God created them.”

    The whole point of it is to get non-believers to agree that certain things are morally wrong. Once that happens, there’s usually a “HA! GOD DOES EXIST!” moment. Personally, I get around this by asking what they mean by “Objective Moral Value.” The goal is to get them to admit that what they mean is a moral value, true under all circumstances, created or given to us by a deity. Smarter apologists will try to avoid saying it. In the process, they will make themselves look like an ass.

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    • Ron says:

      According to WLC:

      To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is right or wrong independently of whether anybody believes it to be so. It is to say, for example, that Nazi anti-Semitism was morally wrong, even though the Nazis who carried out the Holocaust thought that it was good; and it would still be wrong even if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everybody who disagreed with them.

      Simply replace “Nazis” and “Holocaust” with “Israelites” and “Canaanite slaughter” to drive home the implications of what’s being argued.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He is a divine command theory supporter (when it suits him), so I’m not surprised at the statement. But I think most of that is an attempt to get a statement that atheists would agree with. It’s like a bad joke with a predictable punch line that is sad and not funny.

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        • Ron says:

          I agree that Craig is a hypocrite. However, I can’t see how affirming shared moral values validates the theist’s assertion those moral values stem from a divine lawgiver (especially theirs). And once you move on to moral disputes amongst theists, their argument self-destructs completely.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re right; affirming shared moral values doesn’t validate the existence of a divine lawgiver. The argument needs a premise linking the two concepts. Just asking for that premise is enough to get Theists in a tizzy over it.

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    • makagutu says:

      most apologists are smart, they avoid answering direct questions

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ron says:

    Premise two (Objective Moral Values and Duties Do Exist) remains to be demonstrated. And premise one amounts to begging the question. One could just as easily assert:

    – If Yoda Does Not Exist, Objective Moral Values and Duties Do Not Exist

    – If Almighty Traffic Regulator Does Not Exist, Objective Driving Standards and Regulations Do Not Exist

    – If Universal Film Critic Does Not Exist, Objective Movie Reviews Do Not Exist

    – If Cosmic Jelly Donut Does Not Exist, Objective Pastry Tastes & Preferences Do Not Exist

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  9. ejwinner says:

    Off topic; just wanted to drop in and thank you for commenting on my blog.

    Wrote the post because labnut had been ‘trolled’ at another site, and I think everybody deserves a hearing. Nonetheless, he certainly does go on…

    It’s clear that even the best and the brightest have a blind-spot concerning their deepest beliefs. I’m more convinced than ever that the argument has to be won through rhetoric, appeals to personal experience and feelings, rather than reasoning. Although exactly what this means is not yet clear.

    But there seems no doubt that theists will do whatever they can to preserve their beliefs.

    Which raises another question – why do they see anyone’s non-belief as such a threat? It’s not like we’re threatening them with concentration camps or torture (- which some of them don’t hesitate to use with those they oppose, given the provocation).

    Believers are angry with us for not believing – there’s just something weird about that IMHO.

    At any rate, thank you for allowing me to vent a little here.

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    • makagutu says:

      It’s clear that even the best and the brightest have a blind-spot concerning their deepest beliefs.

      This is so true.
      I am yet to understand why they hold their beliefs so dearly. One should be able to change their beliefs and convictions in light of better information.
      Don’t worry, you can rant here the whole day and it will just be fine. You are a good host

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  10. […] start with an example argument. Thankfully Makagutu wrote this wonderful gem which starts off with the “gotcha” rebuttal of WLC, eventually listing the […]

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