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Featured Can God be moral?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nimos, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    It is often stated by religious people that objective morality comes from God (Biblical), but is it really possible for him to be moral under his own rules?

    Simply using the Bible as example, but as far as I know it is the same for Islam in this case.

    Im going to use this text as basis for this (If they are wrong, let me know and explain why they are):

    The Ten Commandments

    Moses received the Ten Commandments directly from God on Mount Sinai, written on two stone tablets. They assert the uniqueness of God, and forbid such things as theft, adultery, murder and lying. The Ten Commandments are equally important in Jewish and Christian traditions and appear in the Old Testament in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

    Various Christian and Jewish traditions have different wordings for the Ten Commandments. They can be numbered differently. They appear in various forms in the Bible. This is a Christian version:

    • I am the Lord thy God: thou shalt not have strange Gods before me
    • Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
    • Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day
    • Honour thy father and thy mother
    • Thou shalt not kill
    • Thou shalt not commit adultery
    • Thou shalt not steal
    • Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
    • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife
    • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods
    The Qur'an does not list the Ten Commandments explicitly, but their substance appears in various places.

    God is often referred to as being all good, all knowing etc. and obviously also the author of morality, more specifically objective morality.

    Often there is some misunderstandings regarding what is meant by objective morality, so to quickly explain it, it simply means that morality apply regardless of humans being here or not. So when God say that killing is morally wrong, it is wrong regardless of whether not we we were here. Said in another way, in this context it means that God decides what is right and wrong.

    My question or issue is whether a person or God in this case can be said to be moral consistent, unless they themself can uphold their own moral rules.

    If I tell you that it is morally wrong to steal and I punish you for doing so, but then decide to steal something myself, would you consider me to be morally justified since I made the rule?

    Same can be asked about God, "Thou shalt not kill" yet we know that God kills and orders the killing of many people in favour of the Jews. So does God's objective moralities applies to him as well, as they do to me in the above example or not?

    Despite him being the creator of everything, objective morality is rules decided by God to be true and therefore arguably part of his nature. But is it possible for someone, God or human to be moral, if they can't uphold their own moral standards?

    I want you to take into consideration that, simply because you create or is seen as the caretaker of something, does that mean that you are not morally responsible for said creation? By caretaker I mean, let's imagine you own a dog and it have puppies, and you are morally against killing puppies, are you then not morally obligated to treat all puppies according to your own moral rules, if you want to stay morally coherent, under the concept of objective morality?

    If not, God must obviously follow subjective moral ideas and therefore objective morality is likely to be an illusion applied to us by God as if they were, and therefore seen more as divine laws, which God himself apparently doesn't seem a need to uphold himself. Wouldn't that make God immoral, under the general human understanding of morality?

    Because I would argue, that a person can't be morally consistent, if they can't uphold their own moral standards. For instant most people will agree that under most circumstances stealing is wrong, yet most people have probably stolen something at some point that they weren't legally entitled to. (Doesn't have to be anything major) But still this would be considered morally inconsistent in my opinion, if we claim that stealing is objectively wrong.

    So can God be moral? And if so why?
     
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  2. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    God is morality
     
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  3. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    but is he coherent, if he can't follow them himself?
     
  4. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    God is above our understanding in morality so even God do things we can not understand, it is Gods rules. So when we think it must be wrong, it does not mean God do imoral
     
  5. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    God in the Bible breaks many of his own commandments so no, God is a poor and contradictory example of the biblical version of morality.


    Morality itself is just how well a cohesive group gets along. That's all it is. So morality is a subjective quality that varies from group to group. It's not some universal standard for people to follow.
     
  6. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    God is moral, God is Love, God has a nature. The Israelites wrote and rewrote the Old Testament and in favor of themselves. Where God is supposedly narrating, its just the authors speaking in "preacher speak", as if God lead them to do this or that. (They may well have believed that their God was behind the scenes of destiny but that doesn't make it so).

    But still in the end God is the creator we are the effect. God writes the rules.
     
  7. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    But to God, his morality must be clear. Or do you say that God uses another form of morality? And if that is the case, why would he give us a flawed or wrong view of morals and expect us to live by them?
     
  8. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I personally hold that belief as well.
     
  9. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    You say that God is moral etc. So when a person kills a child, just for doing it, which most human probably would agree is immoral, it is basically God that is behind it?

    And when two people fall in love, its just an illusion caused by God? If that is the case, why wouldn't God just make everyone love each other and there would be peace on Earth?
     
  10. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    NO! Where did you get that idea from my post? We are children of God, morality is innate to personality because our personality comes from a moral God. As free will beings we can act selfishly, animalistic, or morally according to our moral compass.

    The closest thing we have to God was Jesus of Nazareth, we can see how he treated people.
     
  11. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, thought that was what you meant.

    So just to clarify it, when you say that God is moral, do you mean that, no matter what he does it is morally right? And when he is love, that means that everything he does is out of love?
     
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  12. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Gods morality is so high that humans would not be able understand. So yes our human moral is lower than God
     
  13. jonathan180iq

    jonathan180iq Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the argument that God creates or establishes morality, is that it ends up in this circular reasoning pattern, wherein everything God does, or ever did, whether it be logically coherent or not, is accepted as moral and perfect and good.

    If God creates morality, then anything God does is moral, even when it's not... This creates a bit of a problem for anyone actually trying to reason
     
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  14. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with that, yet it does not prevent lots of religious people from claiming that without a God objective morality doesn't exists, which I essentially agree with. But my opposition to that, is that even with God there is no valid objective morality either, at least not in the sense that we as human understand it.

    Objective morality, in the simplest terms, is the belief that morality is universal, meaning that it isn't up for interpretation. ... Religious people will define objective morality according to the commandments of their god(s). Other people may look at some universal laws, such as murder, as inherently bad.

    If it's not up to interpretation, God, regardless of being the creator of such, ought to live by them as well, or he is essential interpret them and therefore by definition they are not objective.

    So if God say that "Thou shall not kill" and then does it, then he is being immoral based on the definition of immorality:

    immoral
    1. not conforming to accepted standards of morality.
    So God made the standards for what is considered objective morally right, but doesn't conform to them, which means that God would have to live by subjective moral standards as I see it, making objective morality an illusion, if God exists.
     
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  15. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that nails it! I have 3 children. I learned a lot about God by having kids. I have hopes for them and can guide them to the extent that they listen. They may go against my will but they were born with free will. Our evolutionary world experience is like that.
     
  16. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    So as I mentioned in the OP and the above, when God kills those he doesn't like, despite having made the rules that its morally wrong. He, as God is actually being moral, and kills these people out of love? Would that be correctly understood? Would you as a human agree that, this is what you understand by love and being moral, or that we are simply to primitive to understand the concept of killing, love, moral, when God does it, but not when human does it?
     
  17. jonathan180iq

    jonathan180iq Well-Known Member

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    Right. Which is exactly why I think it's much more accurate, and honest, to admit that objective morality simply doesn't exist. It's a pipe dream.

    With or without God, we're just making excuses for why something is acceptable sometimes but not others.
     
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  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I think it would mean that, no?

    If morality is a set of rules that God defines, and then God doesn't follow those rules, then this would make God immoral.

    The best you could do, I think, is to argue that it's somehow okay that God is immoral.
     
  19. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Being in full support of subjective morality myself, I occasionally like watching debates between those that support it. Which usually goes, that the religious person will call out the atheist for having no foundation for objective morality, which the atheists for the most part just accept, which to me is kind of weird, but I assume its because the religious person is basically correct, how it's not really easy to argue against, as an atheist that support that idea, I think.

    But I honestly don't think that the religious people have a very good case for this either, except if one accept that God is not bound by our understanding of morality. But if the atheists grand them this, they should equally be allowed to bend the rules or make assumptions as well, which is probably not going to be accepted by the religious person, because to them God is real and therefore a valid agent in this setup, despite them not having provided a single piece of evidence for it. So I think atheists that do support objective morality, ought to make a better case for it, because I do think that it is possible to do with what I wrote above.
     
  20. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    When is God killing people? At the final judgment of the unsaved? Or do you think God kills people on earth?
     
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