Arguments for God - Logic and Morality

Introduction

In my time as an atheist I have heard and rebutted against many different arguments made for the existence of God. There are so many ways in which believers attempt to make their God seem necessary and somehow integral to the way things are. The problem is that many of these arguments, if assumed successful, only establish the need for something very vague. The Cosmological argument only establishes an uncaused cause, something that not only need not be the Christian or Muslim God but can't even be assumed to be a living being at all without additional argumentation.

In this hub I want to talk about two of the weakest arguments theists make, arguments I see made all the time by both professional apologists and believers defending their faith in a less official capacity. Both of these arguments have in common their reliance on the idea of absolutes.

In part this hub will serve as a rebuttal to a recent hub by user Asa2141 and the other part a response to the obscene and absurd anti-atheist speech recently given by Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson.

If you choose "I Don't Care" it goes to the Disney Parks website...
If you choose "I Don't Care" it goes to the Disney Parks website... | Source

Absolute Truth

The first argument I want to address is often used by presuppositionalist Sye Ten Bruggencate. Simply stated it is the idea that logic and reason cannot be trusted without God because without God they have no firm or absolute foundation. When confronted with such an argument for the first time my initial reaction was, “What, why?”. Why do we need an absolute foundation to use reason and logic in our everyday lives?

Essentially this remains my biggest objection. There doesn't seem to be any reason why logic would function better, only the vague assumption that with God it would be more trustworthy. I want to attempt to explain why logic works and how a God does not solve the problem that apologists have created with this argument.

First things first. The objection of theists is that we cannot know for certain if reason and logic are absolutely reliable, meaning that any truth we do possess could be wrong. Contrary to what the hub I'm responding to says a lack of an absolute does not turn the concept of truth relative. Rather it puts truth on a sliding scale of certainty about a given subject. Unfortunately for theists, who see themselves as having a transcendent answer to all life's mysteries in their God, all human beings are capable of is varying degrees of certainty. Even if you believe such a thing as absolute truth exists flawed human beings have no way to determine if we possess said truth in any way.

What is the suggestion being made by the argument? Is it that in my worldview as an atheist I am meant to reject logic and reason simply because I can't be sure they are 100% reliable? Or is it that because I cannot be absolutely certain of logic and reason that I must supplement faith in place of absolute certainty? If this is the case than any subject about which we cannot be absolutely certain would be a matter of faith, changing the meaning of the word faith entirely.

The intent and meaning of the theistic argument regarding absolute logic,certainty and truth completely eludes me making it one of the dumbest arguments I've heard and yet so many Christians seem to think they have a point here.

I hold that absolute certainty is not necessary at all and question the idea that any human being can be absolutely certain, especially in the sense of the word absolute used by theists.

Ironically this theistic objection to atheism falls even flatter on its face when you consider that theism does not provide the basis for why we should trust logic and reason either. In my hub about God Given Knowledge I explain the pitfalls of believing in such an all powerful God and than trusting said God to deliver only truthful and accurate information. Even if the Christian God exists human beings remained flawed and unfortunately must process logic and reason with those flaws intact.

If there is a God serving as the basis for why logic and reason are consistent with reality it does not mean absolute truth or knowledge are obtainable. In fact such a belief only further complicates our ability to be certain at all because such a powerful God could deceive a human being easily. There is no way to prevent an all powerful God from deceiving you and there is no way to be absolutely certain that information, even if it were granted directly by God, was absolutely true or accurate.


Either way we can only reason for ourselves, God or no God.

Why Logic Works

So if neither of us can be absolutely certain that logic and reason are accurate than how do we know that logic and reason are accurate? The answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is that we know logic is reliable because we rely on it and it comes through for us. In short, we know it works because when we use it it works.

Logic is underpinned by certain axioms which are demonstrably true. Not only are these axioms easily demonstrated but their negation is often nonsensical. In fact these axioms are so well accepted and understood to be accurate that they are often referred to as the Logical Absolutes. Since they prove themselves time and time again in every day life it is not necessary to have a separate foundation, let alone one as nonsensical and illogical as most gods.

Reason and logic serve as the basic building blocks from which the scientific method was devised. If reason and logic were not accurately able to assist us in understanding the world we would not have automobiles, airplanes or even agriculture. Regardless of beliefs people use logic and reason the same way we all do so I do not understand why it would give anyone pause to consider that we cannot trust logic to be absolutely true.


The Tale of James and Joe

From the hub Why I Believe God Exists – Reason and Logic:

“Besides this, according to atheists, our thoughts are just chemical reactions in our brain. Who's to say those chemcial reactions are logical or reasonable?"

I'm really not sure what is meant when theists make arguments like this. Okay so my brain signals are chemical in nature, so what? How do I know that my thoughts are logical or reasonable? Well do they correspond to logic and reason, do they line up well with observed reality? See the concept of logic and reason get shit done in our favor, its how we know they are reliable.

It's as if the author of the hub is essentially saying “What if logic really makes no sense and people are just pretending it does?” Which is a question that makes no sense and leaves me baffled.

Source

Let us posit two people, skydivers James and Joe. James knows that skydiving is dangerous and he'll die if he does not prevent this death with a parachute or other method of slowing his momentum. This is because he understands gravity, the natural world, logic and reason. Everything that he understands about the world tells him that such a fall would be deadly. But Joe rejects all this, “What do you know?” he says to James, “Your thoughts are just chemical reactions! How do you know it's reasonable?”.

So when they both go skydiving together James pulls his parachute, Joe does not. Natural selection has, in this case, favored the person who behaves according to his reason, his understanding of the world around him - his observations of the natural world and his ability to discern outcomes and judge situations. So the way we know that reason works is not through the supernatural, such an idea is laughable in the EXTREME – it is through the demonstration that reason and logic work that we know they are reliable.

Source

Absolute Bullshit

Recently Duck Dynasty host and enemy of America Phil Robertson went on a tirade against atheists which you can hear part of in the Young Turks video next to this text. In short the speech offers us a hypothetical where an atheists home is invaded and the atheist's daughters and wife are raped and killed in front of him. The argument here? Apparently Phil Robertson thinks that I as an atheist have no way to condemn the actions of the psychopaths who did this because morality is relative to an atheist.

In one of my more recent hubs on the subject of the Biblical God I explain how morality actually works versus how believers pretend that it works. The problem is that believers of Robertson's type seem to think that without some absolute dictator to determine what is and isn't okay for human beings to do that there is no way to say that things like murder and rape are truly wrong.

This argument is not isolated to people like Phil Robertson however but is actually common among Christians and the flaw comes, once again, from their delusional addiction to the idea that everything must be absolute to have any meaning or truth to it. Even William Lane Craig has been known to make the argument that from the atheistic worldview rape and murder cannot truly be called evil.

But murder does not have to be absolutely wrong to be wrong or evil. Neither does life need an absolute meaning or purpose to be meaningful. Just as logic does not need to produce absolute certainty or be absolutely reliable to produce a great deal of certainty and be extremely reliable. The idea of an absolute moral law-giver is a psychological crutch that I simply cannot understand. Even back when I was a Christian I understood that the difference between right or wrong has a lot more to do with whether or not God has a stance on it.

Once again we have more people who do not understand that in order for something to be wrong THERE MUST BE A REASON. We can reason out why things like slavery, murder, rape, and assault are wrong, we do not need the interference of something supernatural to justify these conclusions. Moral progress is possible and some atheists even believe that this progress might lead to a form of completely secular objective morality.

There is also no way to discern what God's absolute moral standards actually are. Shall we use the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon? Or shall we forgo scripture altogether and use our own conscience as a basis for our morality? Some theists will say that God's morals are “written on the tablet” of the “heart” of mankind but why assume that these instincts and moral intuitions are supernatural in origin? Seems to me that they are a natural offshoot of our evolution as a social species that must function both as individuals and as a unit. And since, in spite of God, we are the ones making the moral decisions, adding a middleman seems entirely pointless.

The image I'm responding to is from Patheos.com
The image I'm responding to is from Patheos.com

Either way, God or no God, we are left to our own devices. Even if these absolute moral standards did exist it would not make moral gray areas disappear in our day to day lives or stop us from debating, arguing, reasoning together and establishing our own morality. If a God does exist with his own moral standards and those do establish some absolute wrong or right this does not change the fact that we must make our own choices and a morality that applies to people of many faiths and of many opinions.

Conclusion

Theist arguments, if they wish to be taken seriously, must let go of this obsession with absolutes. While they believe raising these issues reveals a flaw in the atheist worldview it is a flaw in their own thinking that they are showing off. It is as if they are pointing out uncertainty to make the audience feel frightened, as though the knowledge that to an atheist murder is wrong but not in the absolute sense, is scary.

They also feel the need to invoke a celestial tyrant in order to uphold logic and reason although I do not see any logic in doing so as it leaves us no closer to absolutely certainty or absolute truth being attainable.

Sometimes it can feel like beating a dead horse but when there is continual necromancy to resurrect that horse what else is there to do?

TBS knocks it out of the park on Morality

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Comments 59 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I often wonder why theists seem to think atheists are trying to take away their gods. We simply don't believe in gods, we just don't care if you do so. Why are theists continually trying to "prove" something to us? Why must they keep apologizing for their gods?

Personally, I think because they are incapable of thinking with logic and reason. Everything must be "experienced" or "felt". Faith doesn't need proof. (An illogical statement). Perhaps this is genetic.

Some people seem to have an illogical desire to believe things that are false. They know that some of these things are false, but their religious leaders insist that these illogical things are real. The leaders must know what they are talking about, right?

The only thing that makes people believe so strongly in illogical things is the "team" mentality. Our team is the winning team, therefore we must accept the weak members and ideas as well as the strong members and their ideas. The ironic thing is that the team frequently loses, but no one notices that, or they have an excuse/apology for that.

The ability to accept false ideas and illogic seem to go hand in hand. I see it as genetic because the people with these types of personalities/brains/genes never figure it out.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Apologetics exists mainly to bolster those who already have faith but who may entertain some doubt as to whether their faith is justified. It is not that they are incapable of thinking logically, it is just that, in matters of faith, they choose to suspend their disbelief no matter what logic or reason may have to say about it. There are many intelligent rational theists who simply do not consider religion to be a matter of rational thought but a matter of faith.

"They know that some of these things are false"

I suspect the apologists in particular know more than they are letting on, the average believer may have doubts but most of them genuinely believe.

"I see it as genetic because the people with these types of personalities/brains/genes never figure it out."

I don't think there is a genetic basis for religious belief. Most of my family is religious and I once was religious but I am no longer and there are several other agnostics and atheists in my genetic family. It does seem as if some folks will never break the programming, whether genetics has anything to do with that I don't know but it seems to me to have more to do with the environment you're raised in and what kinds of ideas you're exposed to.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Titen, I think if it is genetic, that you did not inherit the double dose alleles that code for religion, LOL! Maybe you got one of the genes, but not both, and perhaps you did not inherit either.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 20 months ago from Michigan, USA

Those apologists who insist that logic and reason cannot be trusted without God don't realize how they're shooting themselves in the foot with their own argument:

If human logic and reason cannot be trusted, how do they know that God is necessary?

If they reply that God gave them the particular innate understanding that he is necessary for logic and reason, how do they know that?

In the end, if human logic and reason alone is untrustworthy, how can a believer be certain of ANYTHING he or she believes about God?

As for Phil "Douche Dynasty" Robertson, when I heard his comments about atheists and morality, I first laughed out loud, then I asked myself, is this guy retarded? Seriously?

It occurred to me that someone ought to try to inform him that we ALL get our morality from the same place -- from human empathy -- and NOT from some stupid ancient book of fairy tales. Then, on second thought, it occurred to me that, given his fantasies about rape and castration, perhaps he's the exception. Perhaps he DOES get his morality from God, after all! ;-)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"If human logic and reason cannot be trusted, how do they know that God is necessary?"

I assume that they think God gets them out of this. As in in the atheist worldview logic and reason would be untrustworthy but for some reason a God makes logic and reason trustworthy.

Honestly I don't know, like I said in the hub its one of the most baffling and stupid arguments I've ever heard.

"Then, on second thought, it occurred to me that, given his fantasies about rape and castration, perhaps he's the exception. Perhaps he DOES get his morality from God, after all! ;-) "

Funny but also kinda scary, especially knowing that Robertson isn't alone in being one of those Christians who want things to go back to the "good ol' days" of "traditional values". *shudder*


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

The very worst thing about Phil Robertson is that there are people that actually believe he is "a good Christian". It's extremely disturbing to me that states are passing "religious freedom" laws because they actually believe that they should not associate with LGBTs BECAUSE of their RELIGION! That they have even this much power to get these ridiculous bills passed telling businesses that it is OK to discriminate based on religious beliefs!

I'm just scared of the religious nuts in the world and I really shouldn't have to be.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I thought about doing a hub about Indiana's new law but when I posted a comment on Asa's hub it apparently wasn't approved because it never showed up so I decided to do a response hub and lump in morality as well. Might revive my old blog and post something there, it just seems utterly insane to me and they defend it as protecting "religious freedom", BS of the highest order.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

It's a power play by religionists im sure. If we give them an inch, they will take a mile. It all started with the hobby lobby thing saying they could use their deeply held religious beliefs to deny insurance that included birth control to their employees.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I wonder how much longer before some group or another wants to bring back slavery, witch hunting, stoning people, etcetera. I used to think that would be absurd.. Now, I'm not so sure.


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 20 months ago from Orlando Florida

I read this quote once that you can't use reason to convince anyone to change a conclusion that reached without the use of reason. Logic and religion are polar opposites. I never argue with theists.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

To some extent that quote rings true but then there are many believers who became believers because of childhood indoctrination, like I once was, and while it was reading the Bible in search of answers to my own doubts that started me on the path to atheism by the time I was done reading it for the first time I was very open to new ways of thinking, logic and seeking the truth wherever that might lead me.

They're not all lost causes Catherine you never know when something you say will get them thinking or at least stick in the back of their mind for later. I figure as someone who escaped religion myself I owe it to the world to give my perspective and maybe get people thinking.

Thanks for the comment :D


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 20 months ago from Orlando Florida

Yes Titern-Sxull: I agree that is why I put my ideas out there as I do in some of hubs. I just try not to get into arguments.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"Phil Robertson thinks that I as an atheist have no way to condemn the actions of the psychopaths who did this because morality is relative to an atheist."

He's hit the nail on the head!! All things considered, exactly what is the basis for humanity’s worth? Should God definitely not exist, it’s impossible to identify any good grounds for humankind's distinctiveness and a whole lot less for the objective truth of it's own morality. Withal, why exactly should we believe everyone has moral obligations to carry out in any way? Who possibly or what lays down any moral accountability on us?

Effectively then, whereas certain behaviors, like for instance, rape, may not be biologically or culturally befitting and hence grew to become taboo, there is on the atheistic view certainly nothing in itself immoral about engaging in rape. Should the moral tenets that dictate our behavior be mere derivations of routine coupled with consuetude, mood and trendiness then a non-conformist that opts to brush-off the drove morality has done nothing more severe than acting passé, like sporting bell bottoms or a flat top.

So you see, if there happens to be no God, every single basis for your drove morality as impartially veritable is in reality optional. At the end of the day, specifically what is so extraordinary about man on the whole? On Atheism, we are merely concomitant nimieties of the natural world having developed fairly recently on a minute speck left high and dry somewhere in a dreary and meaningless universe, doomed to oblivion one by one and certainly collectively in a relatively not too distant future.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Morality is the ability to empathize with another creature. To understand the difference between HELPING another and HURTING another.

Lack of morality is the LACK of empathy, the LACK of understanding what it is to hurt another creature.

Good morals help us, bad morals hurt us. It's as simple as that.

That's why morality can be summed up by the golden rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

@Austin

How does empathy or compassion impose any moral duties upon us? How do empathy or compassion hold us accountable for our moral decisions and actions? After all, if morality is just a matter of personal opinion, why should you act morally, especially when it conflicts with your yens?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

@Joe - No one but yourself is able to IMPOSE morality upon you. You are either morally empathetic to what is good for humanity or you are not. It's NOT "personal opinion". If you have a desire (yen) to steal money, then you must impose restraint upon YOURSELF because you know that this a harmful behavior.

Obviously, people that commit immoral acts (that harm others) do not respect ANY "moral code".


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

You don't honestly expect me to believe that before you make any moral decision you spend time weighing its benefit or detriment to the greater good, do you? Have you really not read "The Selfish Gene"?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

It doesn't impose moral duties on us, that's why human beings are able to act immorally. If some outside supernatural force was imposing moral duties on us how could we possibly disobey?

"How do empathy or compassion hold us accountable for our moral decisions and actions?"

They don't. These are basic human concepts. What holds us accountable? Or rather what makes something morally right or wrong well that's got to do with two main factors, the intent and the consequence. Anyone who has ever taken a law course understands that first degree murder holds a great penalty than vehicular manslaughter or an unintentional accidental death. Intent and motivation are important and of course the other important factor is the consequences of our actions.

Not only does society hold us accountable but we also have a social conscience, hell a conscience in general, a base level natural framework for morality built out of empathy and the ability to reason and consider the consequences and impact of our actions on those around us.

" exactly what is the basis for humanity’s worth?"

I really shouldn't even answer this, because its the dumbest (expletive deleted) question I've ever had a believer ask me... and I've had some doozies Joe.

Tell me, what is humanity's worth in the eyes of an all powerful God who's idea of a solution to our misbehavior is to drown everything on the planet? Don't pretend to have the superior position without thinking through the weaknesses of you own. Obviously every baby and child who had their fast asphyxiating lungs clogged up with silt and rushing rainwater as they cried for mercy had so much value to your God.

"certainly nothing in itself immoral about engaging in rape"

William Lane Craig called and he wants the words you just took out of his mouth... Rape is immoral because of its consequences and what the act actually entails as in the characteristics of rape correspond to the definition of a wrong behavior. What is a wrong behavior? Well a very general definition might be "any behavior that causes undue harm or suffering and has no benefit to society or the individual". Words like immoral and evil are adjectives, not nouns Joe. Like I said in my hub, if you'd read it, things are wrong FOR A REASON. And saying your God said so does not make the act itself any more pure evil than if a human being says so, by your understanding it would still be subjective. Unlike the whims of your God the human definition can actually be grounded in OBJECTIVE facts about whether a given behavior is harmful to the individual or society, beneficial or benign. We actually weigh pros and cons and reason out morality for ourselves, which is why human morality has actually been improving (no thanks to the organized religions that try to drag that progress down). And, as my hub states, god or not god, even if you are absolutely correct in your beliefs, human beings are still ON OUR OWN and ALL WE CAN DO is this kind of morality, reasoned out, trial and error, get our hands in the muck style morality. This is because absurd religions built on absolute dogmatic moralities like yours have failed us. The Biblical God condones so much evil that it should be obvious to a moral agent with any level of empathy that he is a manmade fabrication.

"specifically what is so extraordinary about man on the whole?"

Well let's see. Our brains and bodies are capable of speech and complex language we're some of the only apes that are dominantly bipedal, and since other primates often go down on all fours you can argue we're the only bipedal ape species to survive. Due to our brains we have more self-awareness than other animals. Where morality comes in is that we are social animals who thrive in groups. Uniquely are brains are complex enough to give use base level moral instincts (empathy) and the ability to reason and imagine hypotheticals, consider the consequences not just of our immediate actions but the larger impact and chain of events that can stem from multiple decisions. We also are good at adapting to almost any environment without having to evolve all that much on a genetic level because we form clothing and use tools and have harnessed fire in ways that other animals have not... We have art, skyscrapers, movies, and landed on the moon...

"doomed to oblivion one by one and certainly collectively in a relatively not too distant future."

That's one way to look at it. Individually we all die yes but as I said to you before it is the brevity of this one life we have that makes it so precious and meaningful.

Shall I keep going?

Morality is hands down THE worst argument for God ever.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

It’s true, all sound individuals rely on their innate moral awareness, their conscience. This is why, since time immemorial, even the most primitive cultures, regardless of their metaphysical values, enforced laws and regulations against homicide and various other acts of evil.

But the truth is that, just as with our verbal communication abilities, for instance, our conscience has to be refined, calibrated, made more robust. If not, it could be stunted, or worst, perverted such that evil behavior is deemed good with good ones perceived as evil.

Because of this, the eternal well being and happiness of mankind is inextricably bound to the objective moral values and responsibilities lovingly given to us by our Maker. Without these you have absolutely nothing to guard your conscience from becoming disoriented perhaps even corrupted.

An exceptional instance of this can readily be observed with child soldiers. They are demonstrably much more coldblooded and ruthless when compared to their older counterparts. “More than 300,000 children—some as young as 7—are fighting as soldiers in 41 countries around the world,” said an Associated Press dispatch. Most are between the ages of 15 and 18. “Besides being used as front-line fighters, children are used to detect land mines and also as spies, porters and sex slaves, according to the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.” Drugs are often administered to make children fearless. Those who refuse drugs are killed, said a 14-year-old rebel soldier in Sierra Leone. Regarding his fighting in 1999 when he was 15, a North African youth reported: “They put all the 15- and 16-year-olds in the front line while the army retreated. I was with 40 other kids. I was fighting for 24 hours. When I saw that only three of my friends were alive, I ran back.” The Coalition’s report stated that governments recruit children because of “their very qualities as children—they can be cheap, expendable and easier to condition into fearless killing and unthinking obedience.”

And so we arrive at the heart of our exchange. Whether or not someone possesses a conscience isn’t truly the issue. It’s if or not an individual possess a reliable one, and particularly, if he/she honestly obeys it.

This predicament calls to mind a very old Cherokee lore. It goes, roughly speaking, like this:

“An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."”

With that in mind, take into consideration what another equally wise and ancient passage reveals:

“This is what Jehovah has said [] “I, Jehovah, am your God [Creator], the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments. Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” - Isaiah 48:17,18 (Brackets mine.)

As would any caring mother or father, our Creator, Jehovah God, is keenly interested in our well-being. To this end, he instructs us on the best ways to preserve and also make full use of the conscience he produced us with.

To close, here’s a remarkable example of this loving guidance at work as reported in a well known intercontinental journal:

“In Liberia, Alex served as an altar boy in the Catholic Church. But at the age of 13, he joined a warring faction and became a notorious child soldier. To make himself brave in battle, he turned to witchcraft. Alex saw many of his companions killed, but he survived. In 1997 he met Jehovah’s Witnesses and found that they did not look down on him. Rather, they helped him to learn what the Bible says about violence. Alex left the army. As his faith began to grow, he followed the Bible command: “Let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”—1 Peter 3:11.

Meanwhile, a former child soldier named Samson came through the town where Alex now lived. He had been a choirboy but in 1993 became a soldier and got involved in drug abuse, spiritism, and immorality. In 1997 he was demobilized. Samson was heading for Monrovia to join a special security force when a friend persuaded him to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and as a result, he developed a Bible-based faith. This gave him the courage to abandon his warlike ways. Both Alex and Samson now live peaceful and moral lives. Could anything but Bible-based faith make changes in lives that had been so brutalized?” - http://bit.ly/18WopZ0

Has it become apparent to you now exactly why each of us needs to scrutinize and make use of what the Bible teaches?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't Elizabeth Bathory, Brian And David Freeman, Nelson Byrdwell, Edmund Kemper, Joshua Phillips, Willie Bosket, Laurie Tackett, Brenda Anne Spencer, Jon Venables, Robert Thompson, Jesse Pomeroy, Mary Bell, Andrew Golden, Mitchell Johnson, Jamie Rouse, Barry Loukaitis, Talat Pasha, Margaret Sanger, Josef Mengele, Reinhard Heydrich, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann, Kim Il Sung, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Emperor Hirohito, Nero, Caligula, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Leopold II of Belgium, Tomas de Torquemada, Mao Zedong, Ivan the Terrible, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Vlad Dracula once children too?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Not a big Dawkins fan to be honest.

However evolutionary biology explains how altruistic behaviors arise in social species. When a species thrives as a society, as a group, as a community, they do not benefit from selfish behavior nearly as much as socially acceptable helpful behavior. Makes sense that when you're living in a group helping others is helping yourself.

"Has it become apparent to you now exactly why each of us needs to scrutinize and make use of what the Bible teaches?"

I don't believe you actually mean this Joe.

The Bible says that if God comes down and tells you to sacrifice your first born on an altar you're supposed to be loyal enough to do it. The Bible says rebellious children should be put to death.

Work on the Sabbath - put to death.

Practice witchcraft - put to death.

Homosexual - put to death.

Daughters - Can be sold into lifelong slavery and sold off as "wives" (sex slaves)

Rebellious children - put to death

Sons of Sinners - Punished for the sins someone else in their lineage committed to the seventh generation

Slaves - Beaten to within an inch of their life, this was allowed by DIRECT VERBAL COMMAND OF GOD

Ask a believer to worship a different god - put to death

Ask your family member to convert to a different religion - your family members are to gather around you and cast the first stones until you are dead

(Expletive deleted) the Bible.

One of the reasons that made me reject the Bible in the first place was reading the evil it promotes and knowing that the God I felt when I prayed, the feelings that prayer and seeking God gave me, could not have come from the God of that book. For a while I was even convinced the Old Testament God was a Demi-Urge and that the Gnostics were right. No one should EVER take the moral advice of the Bible.

If the moral argument for God held any sway it would lead me away from the God of the Bible.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

So was Jesus.

1) What is your point?

2) Does that excuse child murder?

Because it seems to me that an all powerful God could go back in time and meet Hitler as a child and set Hitler on the right path. Rather than, you know, brutally (expletive deleted) drowning him.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

Dikaiocide isn't murder.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

You're talking about the killing of something which is inherently intrinsically evil right?

I don't believe in such a thing. I do not believe that Hitler was somehow inherently evil in some kind of supernatural way where if you went back in time to see him as a kid he would be some Damien Omen child already devises ways to torture Jews from the bottom of his playpen. Nor do I think that you could ever prove such a thing. The best we can do is talk about abnormal psychology, sociopathy and psychopathy.

Either way an all powerful God would be able to remove evil from those children and save their lives. If I can think of a better alternative than your God that doesn't say much.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"Daughters - Can be sold into lifelong slavery and sold off as "wives" (sex slaves)

Rebellious children - put to death"

"Sons of Sinners - Punished for the sins someone else in their lineage committed to the seventh generation

Slaves - Beaten to within an inch of their life, this was allowed by DIRECT VERBAL COMMAND OF GOD"

"Ask your family member to convert to a different religion - your family members are to gather around you and cast the first stones until you are dead"

And just where does the Bible teach any of this? Chapter and verse, if you would.

"No one should EVER take the moral advice of the Bible."

Then how do explain Alex and Samson's beneficent moral transformation?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"You're talking about the killing of something which is inherently intrinsically evil right?"

No, I'm talking about the just execution of someone who is inherently evil or, to put it in your parlance, is bereft of all empathy and compassion.

"Either way an all powerful God would be able to remove evil from those children and save their lives."

And then hear you bray about how God is evil because he took their Free Will away from them?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

When all else fails, make up what you think that other people will say!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Titen, you said, "absurd religions built on absolute dogmatic moralities like yours have failed us. The Biblical God condones so much evil that it should be obvious to a moral agent with any level of empathy that he is a manmade fabrication."

And I totally agree that morality is the WORST excuse that Bible apologetics use constantly.

Morality existed long before the Bible was even an ink mark on a piece of papyrus. So why do so many people think it is the definitive work on morality? Because it once contained (magically) WRITTEN laws! That is the sole reason for people to accept the idea that the writers of the books of the bible knew what they were talking about. Simply because they knew how to read and write. Everyone else was TOLD to believe in the first book ever to have been mass produced. And they weren't educated enough to question their leaders.

Silly when you think about it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

@Austin

Then how do explain Alex and Samson's propitious moral transformation?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"And then hear you bray about how God is evil because he took their Free Will away from them?"

No I wouldn't. You are saying that they are inherently evil, well obviously they did not choose to be that way since they are children. Removing that evil element that you believe exits would not in any way violate their free will. Remember Joe that I do not believe in free will, certainly not in the sense that most believers are talking about. Stop defending the incompetency of the men who wrote the Bible and suddenly everything becomes easier.

"And just where does the Bible teach any of this? Chapter and verse, if you would."

Let's see if I can do this at least in part from memory. Your daughter can be sold that's in Exodus 21 verse 7 and is directly to Moses out of the mouth of your God. Rebellious children, that's in Leviticus somewhere, there are two different verses though, one says if your child is a drunkard the other says anyone who curses their Father and Mother. The sins of the Father being passed on is in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, not sure if its in the Deuteronomy version. Beating your slaves is in Exodus 21, again directly from the mouth of God.

And finally the verses that tell you that you and your family must be the first to cast stones in putting to death your family member when that family member tries to get you to worship a god other than Yahweh is in Deuteronomy 13 (pretty sure its verse 5 or 6, can't recall off the top of my head).

I shouldn't have to do this kind of stuff, you're the Christian Joe, you should know your own Bible, didn't you say you're a minister of some kind? Tsk tsk.

As for any beneficial moral "transformations" I have yet to hear of any such transformations so complete that they would indicate the supernatural. It is true that for some people religion can be a powerful motivation tool but that isn't exclusive to your religion and so doesn't point to the Christian God. Moral epiphanies and transformations do not require divine intervention.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"I do not believe in free will"

Please oh please don't tell me you're a Determinist.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"As for any beneficial moral "transformations" I have yet to hear of any such transformations so complete that they would indicate the supernatural."

“In Liberia, Alex served as an altar boy in the Catholic Church. But at the age of 13, he joined a warring faction and became a notorious child soldier. To make himself brave in battle, he turned to witchcraft. Alex saw many of his companions killed, but he survived. In 1997 he met Jehovah’s Witnesses and found that they did not look down on him. Rather, they helped him to learn what the Bible says about violence. Alex left the army. As his faith began to grow, he followed the Bible command: “Let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”—1 Peter 3:11.

Meanwhile, a former child soldier named Samson came through the town where Alex now lived. He had been a choirboy but in 1993 became a soldier and got involved in drug abuse, spiritism, and immorality. In 1997 he was demobilized. Samson was heading for Monrovia to join a special security force when a friend persuaded him to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and as a result, he developed a Bible-based faith. This gave him the courage to abandon his warlike ways. Both Alex and Samson now live peaceful and moral lives. Could anything but Bible-based faith make changes in lives that had been so brutalized?” - http://bit.ly/18WopZ0

Has it become apparent to you now exactly why each of us needs to scrutinize and make use of what the Bible teaches?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

We've already had this discussion haven't we?

I do not believe in Free Will in the sense that most people mean it and certainly not in the sense that the religious mean it (which is usually akin to "free will is the ability to do things independent of God's will" or some nonsense). While I do think that human intelligence gives us the ability to make informed decisions and that those decisions are indeed ours I do not believe that those decisions are made solely on the conscious level. Neuroscience backs me up in saying that our brains often make choices BEFORE we are consciously aware of the choice we are going to make though it is not 100% clear if this holds for decision making where we have a serious amount of time to make up our minds.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I already read your example.

Now it really feels like you're just going in circles.

"This gave him the courage to abandon his warlike ways."

The same thing could have happened to him if he'd become Buddhist and decided to give up his worldly possessions and live a selfless life in a monastery but guess what, he was in a part of the world where the Jehovah's Witnesses and Catholic Church were located.

"he followed the Bible command: “Let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

Do you honestly expect me to believe that the Bible ALONE could have taught him this? Some vague principle about peace and it could only have come from the Bible? As I said there are other religions of peace which have changed men's minds. Hell all it really takes is a moving piece of poetry, even fictional stories can inspire this sort of thing. It does NOT FOLLOW that such a transformation could only happen if the supernatural claims of the Bible were true, it does NOTHING to prove the validity of the Bible as a moral code (if they had read Leviticus Samson and Alex may have supported laws to stone gays to death which have come up NUMEROUS times in predominantly Christian parts of Africa) and does nothing to show the Bible's supernatural claims as true.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"Neuroscience backs me up"

I remember that you cited no specific studies and, to top it all off, made this quaint statement: "I'm not a scientist so a lot of this is me trying to reason it out myself."

So much for Science backing you up, eh? :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"The same thing could have happened to him if he'd become Buddhist"

"Do you honestly expect me to believe that the Bible ALONE could have taught him this?"

So what? The fact remains that they experienced a profound moral transformation only after having read and studied the Bible. So much for your claim that "No one should EVER take the moral advice of the Bible."


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Google it Joe.

Science does back me up on free will vs. determinism. As a layperson I do have to reason things out for myself because I do not have the expertise to do the science for myself. I grow tired of you saying things that have no substance and just skirt around the actual discussion.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Uh no, it doesn't defeat my claim, the vague morality of the verse you said inspired him could have come from any source, could have been told to him by a friend, could have come from a different religion. The Golden Rule is also in the Bible but it's a common moral sentiment found in multiple religions and cultures.

Also, had Alex and Samson read the rest of the Bible they could have easily stumbled into the immoral commands of God in the Old Testament and become WORSE people.

The goodness this quote may have awoken in them was already inside of them, the fact that it was the Bible that was the tipping point is irrelevant. The Bible is still a horribly immoral book, even if it contains a handful of wisdom it contains ten times that in evil bullshit.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

I have and what the research says is that it's incorrect to say that we make unconscious decisions; the decision is conscious, but the consciousness of the decision is imperceptibly separated from the decision itself by an infinitesimal interval of time. That is to say we don't make a choice now but become aware of that choice days, weeks or years later ...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Of course the conscious is linked the unconscious, consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. Awareness of the decision is conscious that does not mean the decision was consciously made.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"one says if your child is a drunkard"

RE: Deuteronomy 21:18-21

An objective reading of this passage reveals that the penalty prescribed is for a 'glutton and a drunkard'. As such, it is intellectually dishonest to conclude that this passage refers to young children.

Furthermore, this penalty would have to be the result of a trial brought before “the older men of his city”. The execution of any individual accused of any crime without a trial would be murder - also punishable by death.

To overlook these facts in your facetious attempt to morally indict God is just pure noetical deceit.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

The point is that we don't ever make a choice now but become aware of that choice days, weeks or years later. As such, your belief in Determinism has no support in the scientific data. You take it on faith :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

Just where does the Bible institute slavery? Chapter and verse, if you kindly would.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"Removing that evil element that you believe exits would not in any way violate their free will."

And just how does taking away someone's ability to choose not violate their Free Will?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"Deuteronomy 13"

Inducing anyone to practice demon worship is in no way a benefit to them or the greater good. It is, rather, a great evil.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Did I say it refers to young children? Oh that's right I didn't.

"The execution of any individual accused of any crime without a trial would be murder."

I would argue that the execution of someone for the mere crime of being a drunkard and glutton is murder.

"To overlook these facts in your facetious attempt to morally indict God is just pure noetical deceit."

I'm not just morally indicting God, that's not the point, I'm morally indicting the Bible and pointing out that only ignorant fools would defend such a barbaric ancient document as a demonstration of the perfect Moral law-givers morality. I do not believe in God Joe, and while the God of the Bible is assuredly an evil being he is entirely fictional.

Defending the indefensible garbage of the Bible makes you look bad. You are the one sitting here saying that a God who condones slavery is morally perfect.

I don't have to twist the Bible's words to say that it's immoral NOR HAVE I done so. I said that the Bible says rebellious children shall be put to death and referenced two verses. One which states that a rebellious child who is a drunkard and a glutton should be put to death and one that says ANYONE who curses their Mother and Father shall be put to death. You may argue that the first verse is only applicable to adults, fine, but that does not mean it is a moral command to put to death a rebellious drunken ADULT child. The second verse however has no such age restriction.

Not only did I not act with any deception as you have accused but my position is morally defensible and yours is not, but of course that is what we should expect when I am defending reason and empathy as a basis for morality and you are defending a book that says working on Saturdays or being gay should get your head bashed in with stones by the entire town.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

You believe that every action, every effect, has a cause, and decisions we make are no different, they are results of prior causes, namely brain activity and the circumstances we find ourselves in to begin with.

However I already stated that I do believe those decisions are our own and that when it comes to decisions we actually have time to sit down and think about the conscious mind may influence the unconscious and vice versa. It is clear from the science however that other decisions are made before we become consciously aware and while not days and weeks later but seconds later a second is a long time in brain activity.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Your claim was that they are inherently evil, meaning there is some element of their being that makes them lean away from evil. As in they do not have free will in the purest sense because they are biased toward evil.

So removing the bias toward evil does not in anyway violate their free will, they would be put back on Earth with the ability to be good people or evil people but without a tilt to one side or the other.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Freedom of religion is one of the greatest goods human society has ever created.

And one man's demon is another man's God. Your God is worse than any demon I have ever heard of and yet billions bow before him.

"Just where does the Bible institute slavery? Chapter and verse, if you kindly would."

Exodus 21, directly from the mouth of God to Moses, immediately after the 10 Commandments were given. But I already told you this.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"The sins of the Father being passed on is in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20"

You're referring to Exodus 20:5 where Jehovah God explains how he brings "punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation of those who hate me." In other words, for all ungodly ones, being justly immured, amerced or even executed for their evil is a consequence of their wrongdoing.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"You are the one sitting here saying that a God who condones slavery is morally perfect."

“Freedom in the ancient Near East was a relative, not an absolute state, as the ambiguity of the term for “slave” in all the region’s languages illustrates. “Slave” could be used to refer to a subordinate in the social ladder. Thus the subjects of a king were called his “slaves,” even though they were free citizens. The king himself, if a vassal, was the “slave” of his emperor; kings, emperors, and commoners alike were “slaves” of the gods. Even a social inferior, when addressing a social superior, referred to himself out of politeness as “your slave.” There were, moreover, a plethora of servile conditions that were not regarded as slavery, such as son, daughter, wife, serf, or human pledge.”- A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law 1.40

All your assertions betray your particular mindset, your presumptions as to what you feel slavery to be , the way you imagine these were dealt with as well as what you feel slaves were thought of as by their society . Yet factotums in the Hebrew Scriptures were not viewed as sub-human . They possessed the right to their own personal lives , they enjoyed ‘human dignity’ , they had value . The above-mentioned details are elements anybody can readily deduce from the reality that they were able to purchase their liberty , their murder was punishable by death , they were not permitted to be punished beyond the penalties set for other free Hebrews . Aside from all that , they possessed their very own assets ( anything they bought before offering themselves and/or the cash paid to these for the transaction , they were able to ‘prosper’ and then buy themselves back ) . Their boss bestowed them a part of everything he had produced in the period they helped him as soon as they went free . These were considered cherished members of the family and took part in its regular feasts . They were able to actually consume the holy offerings if they belonged to a priest ( something which no person but members of the priest’s family could do ) . Put simply , anyone that has examined the Pentateuch well enough and without preconception can easily appreciate this .

There were absolutely no ‘two groups’ , certainly no segregation , simply no diminished dignity ( any more than the individuals ended up losing dignity by being known as slaves of the king ) , never any inhuman treatment , certainly no apathy . Simply put , you have mistaken ancient Israel's moral and just labor system for something else entirely .


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Punishing someone for the sins their ancestor committed is not justice.

It's quite evil actually.

Whether or not the individual in question shares their ancestors hatred of Yahweh is irrelevant, the verse is quite clear that they are being punished for the sins of their ancestors.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"removing the bias toward evil does not in anyway violate their free will, they would be put back on Earth with the ability to be good people or evil people but without a tilt to one side or the other."

Thing is neither you nor anyone like you would accept God's direct and deliberate interference in your lives. Like you say, "Freedom of religion is one of the greatest goods human society has ever created."


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

"Exodus 21, directly from the mouth of God to Moses, immediately after the 10 Commandments were given."

Regulating labor practices and instituting slavery are two completely different things. Try again.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I'm going to reply to this post and then our conversation is over on this subject.

“Yet factotums in the Hebrew Scriptures were not viewed as sub-human”

They were treated as property and treating another human as property IS TREATING THEM AS SUB-HUMAN. Owning another human being as property is wrong, full stop, period, it's wrong. I don't care if some slaves were treated nicely, the same argument can and WAS MADE about Southern slavery here in the USA (along with the fact that Southerners appealed to the Bible to JUSTIFY THAT SLAVERY). God is meant to be more moral than people and no moral God would ever say “hey owning people is okay as long as you're not too rough with them.”

Furthermore the Bible is quite clear the Biblical slavery is NOT pleasant or nice. In Numbers 31 after a conquest the Israelites return with prisoners of war including men, women and children. Moses tells them to kill all the boys and the men and any woman who isn't a virgin and take “for themselves” any girl who hasn't been with a man. This is sex slavery. It is explicit in other verses of scripture that women can be taken as sex slaves as a form of SPOILS OF WAR.

Other instances of sex slavery as spoils of war: Judges 21, Judges 5, Deuteronomy 21

Deuteronomy 20:14 says:

“Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you.”

“certainly no segregation , simply no diminished dignity”

This is an outright lie. It's BS and its disgusting to even have to discuss this with you. The Bible states outright that foreign slaves are not like Hebrew slaves and are not to go free after seven years as Hebrew slaves do. Daughters can be sold into slavery and sold off as wives (more sexual servitude, barf). So women and foreigners BOTH GET DIMINISHED DIGNITY.

Exodus 21, direct from the mouth of your God, states that they are allowed to beat their slaves to within an inch of the slaves life as long as the slave manages to recover in a few days time.

The reason I say our conversation is over is because no one can or should defend this sickening garbage as anything other than what it Is, the work of ancient people with a fictional God backing up their bullshit. I will not accept any defenses of slavery or the other atrocities of the Bible from you from here on out. You've stated your piece and come out looking batshit crazy. If you want to recant your support of Old Testament morality I would accept that but I have no obligation to further play host to your indefensible gibberish in regards to this issue.

If you believe that Biblical morality is true and righteous than you are no better than the Muslims who, right now in other parts of the world, want adulterers and apostates stoned to death.

Shame on you.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Your tale of James and Joe does not hold up. Nobody would be that stupid. Even someone with the lowest IQ would sense the danger. If you threw an animal out of the plane--it would sense the danger, yet it does not have the reason and logic we do. And that brings me to another point--animals can sense danger (earthquakes) and evil (demonic spirits). What would you make of that?

And are you claiming that morals have come about as a result of evolution and people's progress? I would argue no--they had to have come from "a dictator" because if there was no God, no one would EVER agree on absolute moral standards--what is right and wrong. Because what seems right to one person may not seem right to another. That is why God embedded a moral code--called a conscious, on human hearts. But we need an authority figure, because without rules to keep us in line, we, who are prone to sin, would possible silence our conscious in order to do what pleases us, even if it caused us harm. That is all God wants to do and why He gave us rules--to keep us from spiritual harm.

Morality did not come out of evolution, because if you look at ancient times, sins like homosexuality were practiced, and people engaged in fornication, and that is like it is today. So although things have changed, they have really stayed the same. So much for the evolution and progress argument--and for people getting better over time. And slavery is still practiced today in other countries. So not much has changed. Things got better for a little while but now we have degenerated into the ancient days.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Nobody would be that stupid"

I disagree, we live on a planet whee 19 Islamic hijackers believed that 72 virgins awaited them in paradise if they decided to fly planes into buildings. With the right irrational beliefs in place some people ARE that stupid. The Heaven's Gate cult is another basic example, they believed an alien craft waited for them on the back of a comet and committed ritual suicide in order to have their souls ascend to the higher reality of the coming aliens.

Animals sense danger instinctively, its a survival instinct.

"because if there was no God, no one would EVER agree on absolute moral standards"

So your argument is like this:

P1 If there was no God people would never agree on absolute moral standards

P2 People all over the world agree on absolute moral standards

C Therefore God exists

The argument is not valid or sound because people all over the world DO NOT agree on absolute moral standards, which is exactly what we'd expect to see if morality was the result of natural empathy and human reason.

"human hearts"

The heart pumps blood.

"So much for the evolution and progress argument"

Your argument is flawed because it uses homosexuality and fornication (I'm assuming this is merely sex out of wedlock) as examples and neither of those are immoral behaviors, they were merely considered immoral at one time. Homosexuality exists in hundreds of animal species and is perfectly natural and marriage is a cultural concept making fornication a mere violation of cultural norms and mores. I could use these same examples as evidence that we indeed HAVE become more moral as a society because of the way we treat people who are gay or who have casual sex, we're no longer dragging them to the gallows to be hanged or into the town square to be stoned (as the God of the Bible would have us do).

As I explain in this hub things that are wrong have to be wrong for a reason, otherwise madness ensues. We are the moral agents making decisions and so we are the ultimate deciders of morality, it can't be any other way. If there is a God somewhere that has given us a morality to live by where are those rules, they cannot be merely our conscience because everyone's conscience is unique.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Titen,

I wanted to add to this before but was busy the past few days.

Don't humans have sort of a survival instinct as well as animals?

Also, you mentioned that you do not think that homosexuality or fornication are sins. However, in your last comment, you did not address the sins of slavery, and I'll add in the sins of theft and murder as well. People are still doing that today, as they did thousands of years ago. And in other parts of the world, gay people are still being murdered (as in that article you showed me) and some may be looked down upon for having premarital sex, so you can't really argue that we've progressed in that area in terms of treating people, when you consider how people treat each other all over the world. So I am still going to argue that we are not the ultimate deciders of morality. And morality has not evolved over time at all.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Yes animals and humans have a survival instinct, what does that have to do with God? Pretty sure it makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective, but no sense at all from a Creationism perspective - because in the Bible God creates the Earth to be perfect and only AFTER the fall adds danger and disease.

Slavery, theft and murder do still occur but they are not legal and they are not legal because the average person understands that they are wrong. I never said secular morality was infallible or perfect. Human morality is filled with nuance, gray areas and there are some individuals who will have some motive that overwhelms their reason or compassion.

"so you can't really argue that we've progressed in that area in terms of treating people"

Actually I can. Here in the Western world especially we've gotten much better. Remember slavery was not that long ago, not that long ago african americans were being lynched by angry racist mobs. Interracial marriage used to be illegal in some places and considered immoral almost everywhere. Segregation was a thing. Yes its true in some areas of the world we have a lot of work to do but what is the motivating factors of places where immorality is still extreme - ignorance, lack of education, and superstition. For example in some countries they still practice female genital mutilation, that is the female equivalent of circumcision where they either pierce or remove the clitoris, this is mainly in African and Middle Eastern countries where Islam of Christianity (sometimes mixed with local African religions) are a driving factor behind their attitudes towards sex, pleasure and homosexuality.

"And morality has not evolved over time at all."

Do you have the right to vote? Are you considered property? Are their Feminists right now fighting to make sure women reach equality? The liberation of women and the rise of women's rights are a huge piece of evidence for the fact that morality IS getting better. Religion had a huge role in keeping women "in their place" and subjugating them. You can look up statistics on intelligence and morality and by far we are getting more intelligent and more moral.

http://reason.com/archives/2015/02/17/are-we-becom...

Religious morality believes it has the absolute and unchanging moral truths and it abused that claim to do all sorts of horrendous things and still in many areas holds society back. Secular morality uses reason and empathy as its foundation to get progressively better using objective measures of human well being as a baseline.

When it came time to abolish slavery there were Christians on both sides of the fight. The God of the Bible is clearly pro-slavery but these Christians bravely re-interpreted their beliefs to fit their own secular morality. In the end Divine Command is not morality at all, its edicts handed down from a dictator, a monarch in the sky. The only morality we have is the internal secular one that we have been arguing about since human beings first formed tribes.

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