Unbelievable? Chapter 3


On human value.

Justin argues we cannot value human life unless we imagine a god to have gave us life. To this he says the fact that Jesus died for us means our lives are really valuable. There are other several claims on objective morals. Or that atheists have no grounding for their morals or that we are moral because of the Judeo-Christian god or some similar argument. His response to the objection raised in the Euthyphro Dilemma is that god is good, so all its commands are good.

My objections to this chapter.

One, there are societies and have been societies where people have lived moral lives without the Judeo-Christian god. In fact, as I have pointed out in other posts, in most of African societies, morality or right conduct had nothing to do with the gods but how to live together. It is an insult to humanity to claim that a god who showed up somewhere in the middle East not so long ago is the supreme lawgiver.

I am a Jesus skeptic. And vivacious redemption is abhorrent.

Are there universal objective morals? Can they explained by positing our evolutionary past and communal living or do we need to posit an agent elsewhere as the source of our laws?

His objection to the Euthyphro Dilemma is premature. The being of a god is in question. It’s nature is another matter.

Do other species matter? Should they count?

Let us reflect on the thoughts of d’Holdbach when he writes

it is unnecessary to tell me that we degrade man when we compare him with the beasts, deprived of souls and intelligence; this is no leveling doctrine, but one which places him exactly where nature places him, but from which his puerile vanity has unfortunately driven him. All beings are equal; under various and different forms they act differently; they are governed in their appetites and passions by laws which are invariably the same for all of the same species; everything which is composed of parts will be dissolved; every thing which has life must part with it at death; all men are equally compelled to submit to this fate; they are equal at death, although during life their power, their talents and especially their virtues, established a marked difference,  which, though real, is only momentary.

About makagutu

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

19 thoughts on “Unbelievable? Chapter 3

  1. judyt54 says:

    I think the closest I can come to any kind of morality is to divide it into two sections–the private, and the public, which don’t always come out even. The privately moral man behaves as if the world were watching–he doesn’t steal, or maim, or vandalize, but he is satisfying his own sense of right and wrong in the process. The publicly moral man (think politician, or even teacher or any public figure) behaves because the world is watching.

    And every society has its own laws, born from survival and need. To say that an African bushman is immoral because of the way he lives, is to compare him to…what? A French diplomat? A German soldier? What he knows and does and holds dear is what enables him to survive in his society. It might get him killed, maimed, or arrested in another country, but for where he lives, it works.

    And yes, all species matter. They have their own survival rules, too, that work for them.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      There’s some scholarly work on private and public morality. Why does a privately moral person act differently when in public?

      The Christian is not willing to admit the place of culture in our laws. That would take some thunder from his beloved god

      Like

  2. “It is an insult to humanity to claim that a god who showed up somewhere in the middle East not so long ago is the supreme lawgiver.” $Amen$ to this, brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. foolsmusings says:

    It’s almost laughable to suggest that religion and gods give life value when really what it’s meant to inspire is fatalism. There’s a reason that religion is pushed so heavily in the military.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. the continued pathetic arrogance of Christians.

    Like

  5. Ron says:

    How did he assess that God is good? Wouldn’t one require an objective standard by which to measure God’s goodness prior to making such a determination?

    Like

  6. john zande says:

    Chinese and Indians abolished slavery about 1,500 years before Christians first raised their hands (in London) and said “Hey, maybe we should look at this…”

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  7. It sounds like your time would be better spent reading anything else. This guy isn’t offering anything new or original. New conversations can’t start with any of this old and tired nonsense.

    Like

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