I am somewhat torn between thinking that we two are quite near at some points on the one hand and thinking that we are rather far apart on the other hand.
Again I must apologize if I rearrange my answers a bit but I think its best for the discussion.
I left out the part concerning the example of the lifeguard. I do not know if it is beneficial to write something about it. If you wish so I will add another post about that later. Just some short words. You more or less only ask a question and blame one side for supposedly not being able to answer it while you don’t either.
Sure we all think he has an obligation to save the person. (I by the way think that the only difference in obligation between the guard and others is that it is his job. Apart of that I think EVERYBODY has an obligation in such a case and (as science tells you) the more people are standing around the less are likely to fullfill that.
But apart of telling me that we all feel there is an obligation on the side of someone and correctly understanding this to be an emotive normativity, you fail to explain why it should be more.
I see no reason why a biological answer (which would most probably be an emotive normativity in your eyes) is not sufficient as answer.
As for b) you said:
What you do is to proclaim something to be an objective standard. Yet with nobody agreeing to your idea it is just as valuable as a non-objective standard. And since you even have problems proving that it is an objective standard…. Who says it really is one ;-)
Topic 1: Your definition and the problems with it.
My main claim was that by you didn’t argue why God is the source of morality, you simply defined morality in a way that leaves no room for anything else but him.
As reply you kind of reiterated the definition:
And the reason might become obvious when you reread your posts.
Your definition of deontologically, normative and objective actually excludes any “authority” that is anything else but a God. For example you dismiss a biological factor as having authority. I come to that later. You also demand something which is independend of us.
Basically this only leaves some other “being” that we would refer to as authority and the only authority mankind could at all accept would be God.
So again: If you choose your definition (in that form) then in my view nobody could conclusively argue against it with anything but a God. The problem is that I do not accept the definition in that form.
The real interesting thing is why you insist on your definition. Simply stating that you “notice” some things is not sufficient, for it being an established fact. And simply declaring biology to be not authorative also doesn’t make it so. The only thing you establish is to lay down a definition that “autoproves” or “autodemands” a God.
Of course then the following statement of yours would be true:
You simply stated that the definition of yours would be the only one that counts (see above with “really the only morality there is”). You don’t really argue why.
Now I did tell you last time already that you would have problems actually differing “objective”, “authorative” morals that are “independend from mankind” from subjective morals. We are subjective beings, value judgments are per definition subjective. How would you differ between real morals and nonreal morals?
Strikingly you once say:
On the other hand you also say:
Topic 2: Supposed complexity of A as evidence for B
I think that (and this also is a reoccurring thing in your statements) that the mere idea of yours that morals not following your definition or the solution outline with God would be a puzzle or complicated is not evidence that they don’t exist or your “simpler” way is true. It only means that you have chosen a supposedly simpler path.
Statements like these here:
And frankly, I do not see how your idea is a real simplification of the question at hand.
Actually it isn’t. Its just a stop sign. God did it. Period. Not really a solution in my view.
Or look at:
Topic 3: Where we seem close and where I wonder if I misunderstood something
Throughout the last posts you haven’t mentioned the scriptures. Actually all that you stated hinted at “inherent” traits of ours as created beings. God so to speak incoporated in us morality. Scripture is (in this discussion) out of scope as of yet.
Now you said:
The interesting question for YOU would be: How did God do it, especially if you don’t need the scriptures? You said:
a) He created our souls with some morality or moral sense contained therein.
b) He injected something into the biological system of ours and nature took over.
If you think it’s within our souls then we would have to debate the question if we at all have one and what evidence for one exists (currently none from a scientific point of view). I see no reason why I would have to rely on a soul that nobody can prove or has evidence for when we have biology, the anthropic principle and normal social education by parents and society.
If you believe in b then we have a very interesting constellation. On the one hand we might say that we only seem to differ in the question WHO or HOW we got the biological traits of morality. We would actually agree perhaps on most from that point on. So it’s just a question on how we got to the bioethical state we have.
On the other hand this would go against much of your idea concerning biology as not being an authority. You would have to revise that to at least the perspective that biology alone couldn’t have coded itself in the form it is present.
Perhaps you have a third option. I would be interested to see that.
PC:-L/R: 3.50 -L/A: -4.15
MC: 0/-3 Moral Order/Moral Rules
The K Magazine
I found the following statement of yours striking:
Most of what people call pedophilia today was not considered so thousand years ago (including by the way biblical times). What we now consider pedophilia is a mental desease. But the point is a different one.
You seem to suggest that just knowing the source of something is equivalent to overcoming it. That’s not really so. You don’t stop loving a person when you get to know that your body tosses out endorphins. You don’t suddenly start to like raping people when you know that certain brain structures or hormones make you dislike it. You still dislike it regardless of whether its God who implanted a chip in your head, biology that created an organ for it, society that taught you so or any other “fixed” thing.
You might remember the last post where I spoke about the question what would be if we lived in a world where rape was considered fine and if that would mean that rape is fine or if any “objective” morals would at all be considered in such a world.
Here we have a similar thing.
There mere fact that you know where your aversion or your disgust for something comes from doesn’t inspire you to suddenly enjoy it.
Biology HAS authority over you. You might just try to look up the numerous experiments concerning behavioural changes introduced through simple chemical and biological reactions in experiments. Actually you only need to get drunk and film yourself to see how much authority biology has over you. Knowing that your changed reactions will depend on alcohol doesn’t at all change those reactions if you drink again.
Neither does knowing about endorphins stop them from flowing freely when you see your beloved kids the next time.
Another one which seems to go in the same direction:
Sacrifice doesn’t go unrewarded for the individual that sacrifices itself. Otherwise it actually wouldn’t sacrifice itself. You think if for example I had to choose between my kid and me being killed then I would not sacrifice myself simply because I know that it is a bio-sociological thing? That I would not see any “reward”?
Reward is what you make it.
Topic 5: the animal question
Now there is a wide range of science concerning that field.
Give this article a try: Honor Among Beasts - TIME
But there is far more. You see altruism according to you shouldn’t happen in the animal kingdom. At least not if its not a biological but a soul-driven trait. Yet exactly that is found.
The higher the social interaction of a species the more “moral-like” they become.
The problem for you is that you must define what exactly constitutes our features of being created in gods image. Where does Gods image stop and where start. If it is not related to biology then why do animals show moral and ethical behaviours that increase with their stage of social development?
Topic 6: What morals from scriptures then As I said already you didn’t mention your scripture lately stating most as being something that came through creation.
What additional moral values then should we find in the scripture?
Saying something extreme on purpose (but without bad intentions) I would have to say: “actually only the bad ones”
If we were created in the image of God and potentially knew morality then all GOOD things would be inherent in us. No need for a “don’t kill” except perhaps to repeat something that should be in our blood anyway. What we find (as an addition) however then in the scriptures (and normally disregard or “reinterpret”) are exactly those values that we normally would discard as evil. It takes a holy scripture to tell us that it is better to let your daughter be raped than your guest. Only a scripture can tell you its ok to kill your son if your god demands it.
Only a scripture can tell you to kill him if he doesn’t pay respect.
And all the other moral commands that you get from scripture.
You might call this a cheap attack and I sincerely believe that you are of course not listening to that stuff and have a different opinion.
Yet it is rather obviously a flaw in the very basic premise of yours that God created us this and that way. You wouldn’t need a scripture that tells you what you knew along with the opposite. But definetly you have to pick and choose as the scriptures do contain quite some horrific moral teachings that just today are not regarded anymore as to be taken serious.
Topic 7: morality of acts versus a morality of evaluation
If you take the 10 commandments you see not a single “well you must consider things this and that way”. You have rather simple single statements like “do this” “don’t do that”.
And there is no exception for any situation. Neither for other moral rules of actions. Don’t lie is without exception. Exceptions come from you yourself. That’s something your brain tells you because otherwise it would be impossible to follow the rules.
My morality is totally different. It gives me no command on how to act. It only tells me how to evaluate. The act follows the evaluation.
PC:-L/R: 3.50 -L/A: -4.15
MC: 0/-3 Moral Order/Moral Rules
The K Magazine