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Old 04-05-2021, 05:33 PM   #376
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
Premiss #1 is a stipulative definition, which BF proposed and I didn't find objectionable for the purposes of my discussion with him.. A stipulative definition doesn't require an "argument", since stipulative definitions aren't truth claims.
Anyone can stipulate a definition of the word "morality." This is trivial and just as open to materialists as theists. The question we are interested in is whether your stipulated definition of morality matches up to some interesting part of reality.

For instance, here is a similar argument:

1) A person has acted immorally if they say a number.
2) If a person says "ten," then that person has said a number.
3) If a person says "ten," then that person has acted immorally.

This is a sound argument if we understand (1) to be a stipulative definition. But this is just because we have defined a new word "morality," and has nothing to do with actual morality.

Quote:
I didn't think that the definition would be controversal.

I will seek a new definition.
This will be a waste of your time. Given any definition that you provide, I will still want to know what your persuasive deductive argument is that it is true - that it describes morality in the world, not just in your dictionary of words.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:39 PM   #377
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Anyone can stipulate a definition of the word "morality." This is trivial and just as open to materialists as theists. The question we are interested in is whether your stipulated definition of morality matches up to some interesting part of reality.

For instance, here is a similar argument:

1) A person has acted immorally if they say a number.
2) If a person says "ten," then that person has said a number.
3) If a person says "ten," then that person has acted immorally.

This is a sound argument if we understand (1) to be a stipulative definition. But this is just because we have defined a new word "morality," and has nothing to do with actual morality.



This will be a waste of your time. Given any definition that you provide, I will still want to know what your persuasive deductive argument is that it is true - that it describes morality in the world, not just in your dictionary of words.
I responded to your previous post while you were posting this post.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:39 PM   #378
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Here is the argument that is most persuasive for me personally:

P1: All actions in which a person violates a command of God is immoral.*
P2: The act of killing a baby for fun violates a command of God. **
Co: The act of killing a baby for fun is immoral.

*The biblical word for an immoral act would be sin. The Bible defines sin as the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:8,9)

**Of course, killing a baby for fun violates many of God's commands.
What is your persuasive deductive argument for (P1)?

Also, I see no support for your definition of sin in 1 John 3:8-9

Quote:
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:53 PM   #379
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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What is your persuasive deductive argument for (P1)?

Also, I see no support for your definition of sin in 1 John 3:8-9
Sorry, the verse is 1 John 3:4.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:55 PM   #380
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Re: Do you believe in God?

I think that you missed a question that I asked earlier:

Do you agree or disagree with the conclusion of my argument?
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:08 PM   #381
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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I think that you missed a question that I asked earlier:

Do you agree or disagree with the conclusion of my argument?
I didn't miss it, I ignored it so we don't get sidetracked. Please give me a persuasive deductive argument for the claim that all actions in which a person violates a command of God is immoral.

FWIW, I also disagree with this claim.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:19 PM   #382
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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I didn't miss it, I ignored it so we don't get sidetracked. Please give me a persuasive deductive argument for the claim that all actions in which a person violates a command of God is immoral.
1 John 3:4: Whosover committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I'm treating sinful and immoral as synonyms.


Quote:
FWIW, I also disagree with this claim.
Is there any act that you would classify as sinful or immoral?

Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:31 PM   #383
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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1 John 3:4: Whosover committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I'm treating sinful and immoral as synonyms.
Here is your statement in modern English:

1. Whoever commits sin also breaks the law.
2. Sin is the breaking of the law.
3. Sin and immorality are the same thing.

That is not an argument, just a series of assertions. (2) just seems to be a restatement of (1). (3) is assumed without justification, but is in no way derived from (1) and (2). I'm interested in your deductive argument that has as its conclusion:

"All actions in which a person violates a command of God is immoral."

Last edited by Original Position; 04-05-2021 at 06:39 PM. Reason: accuracy
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:37 PM   #384
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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FWIW, I also disagree with this claim.
More accurately, I should say that I think the set of "commands of God" is the empty set and so this is functionally equivalent to amorality, which I disagree with.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:25 PM   #385
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
1 John 3:4: Whosover committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I'm treating sinful and immoral as synonyms.

Is there any act that you would classify as sinful or immoral?

Thanks.
So do you not have a deductive argument that justifies your belief that all actions in which a person violates a command of God are immoral? Should I infer from this that Christians might as well murder, rape, and pillage if they want to since they have no rational justification for their moral views?
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:00 PM   #386
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
So do you not have a deductive argument that justifies your belief that all actions in which a person violates a command of God are immoral? Should I infer from this that Christians might as well murder, rape, and pillage if they want to since they have no rational justification for their moral views?
Not only that, but if god did not command these Christians not to kill and pillage, are we to presume that is what they would be doing? Not only that, but if god commands them in the privacy of their minds to kill and go genocidal to neighboring towns now, they are justified, moral and holy in so doing.

The religion does not correspond to reality, and everyone either knows it or chooses not to know it. It's kind of like that scripture that says god is obvious just from the nature of things. This is a pure con, the exact way a con works, you just turn the truth around. All of the natural world and systems make it apparent that the god of the Bible is not feasible or reasonable, so they say exactly the opposite. Like Trump. That's the MO of it.
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:48 PM   #387
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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So do you not have a deductive argument that justifies your belief that all actions in which a person violates a command of God are immoral? Should I infer from this that Christians might as well murder, rape, and pillage if they want to since they have no rational justification for their moral views?
P1: If a person violates a command of God, then that person has done an immoral act.

P2: A person who kills a baby for fun is violating a command of God.

C: A person who kills a baby for fun has done an immoral act.


If you recall, my "challenge" to you was for you to produce a deductively valid argument that you would find persuasive that had the conclusion "Killing babies for fun is immoral."

The above is an argument that I would find persuasive, being an adherent of the so-called Divine Command Theory of Ethics.

Obviously, if one rejects the Bible as an authoritative source for morality, then my argument would not be persuasive.

Which means I will next proceed with giving reasons that I believe support the supernatural nature of the Bible.

I will dedicate a thread to that task. (I'll basically be doing a copy/paste from an apologetics article I wrote a few years ago.)

See y'all there!

(And here too, of course.)
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:52 AM   #388
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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P1: If a person violates a command of God, then that person has done an immoral act.

P2: A person who kills a baby for fun is violating a command of God.

C: A person who kills a baby for fun has done an immoral act.

The above is an argument that I would find persuasive, being an adherent of the so-called Divine Command Theory of Ethics.

Obviously, if one rejects the Bible as an authoritative source for morality, then my argument would not be persuasive.

Which means I will next proceed with giving reasons that I believe support the supernatural nature of the Bible.

I will dedicate a thread to that task. (I'll basically be doing a copy/paste from an apologetics article I wrote a few years ago.)

See y'all there!

(And here too, of course.)
I don't understand why you keep repeating yourself with this argument. I'm asking for your justification for P1, not C. P1 is a premise here, not a conclusion. I want your argument demonstrating that P1 is true. Telling me that you accept Divine Command Theory just tells me you accept P1, not your argument for it. You don't need to start another thread, or post an article you previously wrote. Just answer my question right here. What is your argument for P1?

Quote:
If you recall, my "challenge" to you was for you to produce a deductively valid argument that you would find persuasive that had the conclusion "Killing babies for fun is immoral."
You keep asking this of me. The first time you asked me was after I demonstrated that your claim that materialism implies amorality was false. You didn't have a response to my argument and so instead asked this question. I answered it then like this:

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I am not aware of such an argument for anything other than maybe "I exist." Certainly not for something as complex as a specific moral claim about killing. This is true for theists just as much as atheists. I've talked about this in the past, but I reject foundationalism as a failed epistemic model and instead am a holist about justification. Similarly, I view moral systems as models for organizing our most general normative claims about human behavior and purpose in the world for coherence and generative capacity.

So in my own moral model I would say that all humans above a certain cognitive capacity should be treated as having inherent worth and dignity as value-creating entities. Our capacity to love, hate, create great works of art and thought, perform deeds like fly to the moon, and so on is part of what it means to be human and insofar as we value these capacities in ourselves we should value them in others. Killing anyone just for our own pleasure is incompatible with valuing that person's inherent dignity and worth.

But I wouldn't regard this argument as generally persuasive unless the most central claims of this framework were already accepted. Thus, if I was trying to actually persuade someone of this claim, I would first figure out their core moral commitments and then create an argument on that basis.
To this you responded with a non sequitur about the nature of nihilism and then dropped it. I don't really have anything to add to this, so you should just respond to what I've already written.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:48 AM   #389
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Original Position's comments just reminded me that I was surprised to see you accept my definition of moral/immoral ("immoral behaviour is another way of saying causing unnecessary harm or suffering to another person") as a satisfactory response to your question.

You said
Quote:
Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
I like your definition of immoral, BF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
Premiss #1 is a stipulative definition, which BF proposed and I didn't find objectionable for the purposes of my discussion with him.. A stipulative definition doesn't require an "argument", since stipulative definitions aren't truth claims.

I didn't think that the definition would be controversal.
The fact that you didn't find it objectionable was something I found interesting, since that's not how YOU define it, at least when you're in 'apologetics mode'**, which would be immoral==sin.

What I was expecting to hear from you would have been somewhat equivalent of Original Position's pushback to your attempts to answer him. Yet, you didn't even ask why I associated morality with causing unnecessary harm.

Beyond "make an argument" demands, I think it reveals something about you, that you already understand morality as being about causing unnecessary harm, and only when you go into 'apologetics mode' that you switch to a completely different meaning.

Similarly, how you occasionally declare "professing atheists are suppressing the truth" while you are in 'apologetics mode', but then seem to understand that atheists actually don't believe when in 'conversation mode'.

(It's slightly off topic from your line, but do you have any comments on this, Original Position?)
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:04 AM   #390
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Original Position's comments just reminded me that I was surprised to see you accept my definition of moral/immoral ("immoral behaviour is another way of saying causing unnecessary harm or suffering to another person") as a satisfactory response to your question.

You said




The fact that you didn't find it objectionable was something I found interesting, since that's not how YOU define it, at least when you're in 'apologetics mode'**, which would be immoral==sin.

What I was expecting to hear from you would have been somewhat equivalent of Original Position's pushback to your attempts to answer him. Yet, you didn't even ask why I associated morality with causing unnecessary harm.

Beyond "make an argument" demands, I think it reveals something about you, that you already understand morality as being about causing unnecessary harm, and only when you go into 'apologetics mode' that you switch to a completely different meaning.

Similarly, how you occasionally declare "professing atheists are suppressing the truth" while you are in 'apologetics mode', but then seem to understand that atheists actually don't believe when in 'conversation mode'.

(It's slightly off topic from your line, but do you have any comments on this, Original Position?)
There are a number of acceptable definitions of morality. But, as an adherent of the Divine Command Theory, any definition that I would find acceptable would at least have to be consistent with the Divine Command Theory. "Causing unnecessary harm is immoral" certainly follows from my biblical definition.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:11 AM   #391
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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I don't understand why you keep repeating yourself with this argument. I'm asking for your justification for P1, not C. P1 is a premise here, not a conclusion. I want your argument demonstrating that P1 is true. Telling me that you accept Divine Command Theory just tells me you accept P1, not your argument for it. You don't need to start another thread, or post an article you previously wrote. Just answer my question right here. What is your argument for P1?



You keep asking this of me. The first time you asked me was after I demonstrated that your claim that materialism implies amorality was false. You didn't have a response to my argument and so instead asked this question. I answered it then like this:



To this you responded with a non sequitur about the nature of nihilism and then dropped it. I don't really have anything to add to this, so you should just respond to what I've already written.
My justification for P1 is that that is what the Bible teaches.

Macro questions precede micro questions.

For example, the micro question, "Is lying morally wrong" could only be answered by first answering the macro question, "What makes anything morally wrong?"

Another example would be, "Why does God allow human suffering?" (a micro question). Before that question could be answered, the macro-question "Why does God allow anything?" would have to be answered.

I will dedicate a thread tomorrow to reasons why the Bible is to be trusted.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:49 AM   #392
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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There are a number of acceptable definitions of morality. But, as an adherent of the Divine Command Theory, any definition that I would find acceptable would at least have to be consistent with the Divine Command Theory. "Causing unnecessary harm is immoral" certainly follows from my biblical definition.
Lol, no it doesn't, unless you think God could not command some unnecessarily harmful action 'A'! (or perhaps I could use 'J', for Job?).
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:37 AM   #393
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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My justification for P1 is that that is what the Bible teaches.

Macro questions precede micro questions.

For example, the micro question, "Is lying morally wrong" could only be answered by first answering the macro question, "What makes anything morally wrong?"

Another example would be, "Why does God allow human suffering?" (a micro question). Before that question could be answered, the macro-question "Why does God allow anything?" would have to be answered.

I will dedicate a thread tomorrow to reasons why the Bible is to be trusted.
So to be clear, your argument is something like this:

4) The Bible is to be trusted.
5) The Bible teaches that if a person violates a command of God, then that person has done an immoral act.
P1) Therefore, if a person violates a command of God, then that person has done an immoral act.

Okay. This isn't exactly valid, although you can easily enough change it around to be so. I don't accept (4), which seems clearly false. Please don't start a new thread tomorrow, just improve this argument into a valid form and give me your argument for your improved version of (4).
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:33 AM   #394
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Lol, no it doesn't, unless you think God could not command some unnecessarily harmful action 'A'! (or perhaps I could use 'J', for Job?).
God Himself determines what harms are necessary and which are not.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:41 AM   #395
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Why You Can Trust the Bible - Page 1 of 4


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17


Voddie Baucham explains why we can trust the Bible (based on 2 Peter 1:16-21):

"The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses, and they report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and they claim that their writings are divine rather than human in origin."


In his book A Peculiar Glory, John Piper writes, “The whole bible authenticates itself by shining with the glory of the one who inspired it.”


This is from the Westminster Confession of Faith:

“The authority of the Holy Scriptures, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it it is the Word of God...our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”

Last edited by lagtight; 04-08-2021 at 10:58 AM. Reason: spacing, etc.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:58 AM   #396
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Re: Do you believe in God?

Why You Can Trust the Bible - Page 2 of 4

1. The Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. These aren’t vague prophecies like Nostradamus. Specific people and places are named. There are over a hundred prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ hundreds of years after the prophecies were written.

2 .The Bible is a unified whole. It is 66 books, written by about 40 authors, on three continents, in three languages, over a 1,500-year period, by such diverse authors as kings and sheepherders. Yet it is completely one in consistency and its overarching theme of mankind’s creation, fall and redemption.

3. The Bible is packed with unmatched insights and profundity (i.e. answers the big questions of life): What am I?, Where did I come from?, What is my purpose in life?, What has gone wrong with the world?, What is my destiny?, What is the solution to our problems?

4. The historical, scientific and archaeological accuracy of the Bible proves it’s
trustworthiness.

5. Over the centuries the Bible (and its readers!) have been subject to being banned and burned. Every attempt has been made to destroy and/or discredit the Bible. Yet it has been supernaturally preserved!

6. Billions of lives have been enriched and radically changed by the truths found in the Bible.

7. The honesty and bluntness of the Bible writers enhances the credibility of the veracity of what they say.

8. The Bible has never been successfully duplicated.

9. Jesus Christ could not have been a creation of fiction:
Only Jesus Christ exemplifies perfect justice and perfect mercy.... Only Jesus Christ exhibits a majesty and meekness like nobody else in history.... Only Jesus Christ as judge suffers the punishment that the criminal (you and me!) that we deserved.... Jesus Christ is both fully man and fully God... It is only Jesus Christ that man must not only believe in what He said, but must also
believe on who He truly is and what He did for His elect... Only through trusting in Jesus Christ can man be delivered from the penalty, power, and (ultimately) even the presence of sin.

10. We measure time from the date of Jesus’ birth.

11. Christianity is not “works based”, unlike every other religion, philosophy, worldview and self-help program.

12. Jesus Christ is the most revered, influential, controversial, and talked-about person in history.

13. Jesus’ impact on virtually every nation, culture, age-group, socio-economic class ,intellectual level and ethnicity is unmatched in world history.

14. Unlike complicated “philosophies”, even the most simple-minded person can be saved and have joy in Christ. (A nine-year-old can’t have joy in Plato or Kant.)

15. The Bible is the best-selling and the most distributed book of all time. Millions of copies have been given away for free. No book is more quoted or translated than the Bible.

16. The Bible is the most scrutinized book of all time. Yet, it thrives in part because of that fact, not in spite of that fact.

17. The inner-witness of the Holy Spirit testifies to the believer that the Bible is in fact the Word of God.

18. The Bible has never been out of date. It has been edifying and radically transforming its readers for thousands of years.


(More to come .....)

Last edited by lagtight; 04-08-2021 at 11:03 AM. Reason: spacing and stuff
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:56 AM   #397
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Original Position's comments just reminded me that I was surprised to see you accept my definition of moral/immoral ("immoral behaviour is another way of saying causing unnecessary harm or suffering to another person") as a satisfactory response to your question.

You said




The fact that you didn't find it objectionable was something I found interesting, since that's not how YOU define it, at least when you're in 'apologetics mode'**, which would be immoral==sin.

What I was expecting to hear from you would have been somewhat equivalent of Original Position's pushback to your attempts to answer him. Yet, you didn't even ask why I associated morality with causing unnecessary harm.

Beyond "make an argument" demands, I think it reveals something about you, that you already understand morality as being about causing unnecessary harm, and only when you go into 'apologetics mode' that you switch to a completely different meaning.

Similarly, how you occasionally declare "professing atheists are suppressing the truth" while you are in 'apologetics mode', but then seem to understand that atheists actually don't believe when in 'conversation mode'.

(It's slightly off topic from your line, but do you have any comments on this, Original Position?)
I'm not really sure how to take lagtight's talk of defining "morality." Insofar as he means you are merely stipulating a definition of morality, then it is trivial that your definition is correct. If he is satisfied that by that, then his entire argument that materialism implies amorality fails as your definition of morality is consistent with materialism - the concept of harm doesn't imply anything immaterial.

So what is really going on here? Lagtight might think that a conceptual analysis of "morality" would show that it actually has a different meaning than the one you are stipulating, so you are just talking about a different concept. You can't just stipulate that the concept of morality is not doing unnecessary harm. But in that case he will need to do a conceptual analysis of "morality," demonstrating that isn't its meaning. He nowhere does that, only proposing a different and conflicting meaning for the term.

However, I think this is all on the wrong track. I don't think lagtight's claim that atheism implies amorality is based on an analysis of the meaning of moral terms. Rather, I think his view is that materialist metaphysics doesn't ground moral claims in anything real and so it is just a personal choice akin to preferring vanilla to chocolate whether or not to be moral.

The problem here is that this doesn't show that materialism implies amorality. Nothing rests on whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla. But that is not true of all preferences, including for materialists. It is a personal choice whether or not to drink arsenic. But that doesn't mean that drinking arsenic won't kill you. In the same way, under Christianity, it is a personal choice whether or not to obey God, but disobeying God will still see you burn in hell.

Instead, this should be understood as asking whether it is rational to be moral or immoral. Let's assume that your understanding of morality is correct. Does this imply that materialists should not act morally? Lagtight seems to think the answer is here is yes - materialists should just be selfish egoists and ignore moral considerations. So good for you if you decide to be moral, but you have no better reason for being so under materialism than a psychopath does for killing people.

But why? In thinking about rationality, there are two primary questions - do our means fit our ends, and are our ends the right ends to desire? And here lagtight is assuming that under materialism moral considerations do not lead to a better life for the individual, and that individuals should not desire the good of others.

However, neither of these claims are implied by materialism. For instance, group selection in evolution is an example of how individuals can benefit by working to achieve group aims (and various collective action problems in game theory demonstrate the same logic). Furthermore, when we pay attention to how people in the past have talked about what made them as individuals happy and content in life, you'll often find them describe how caring for others is for most people an essential part of the good life. Humans are generally social animals.

Thus, we have good reasons as materialists to think that moral considerations are useful means to achieving the end of living a good life. Thus, there is no implication from materialism to amorality, as lagtight claims.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:17 PM   #398
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
Why You Can Trust the Bible - Page 1 of 4


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
A few problems. Some letter written by someone we don't know said that some unspecified writings are inspired by God. We don't know which writings are being referred to. We don't know what is implied by the claim that they are inspired by God. This could mean as little as that God gave the author the idea to write a book, something Christians still claim today. Also, this is circular reasoning, why should we accept this letter as as accurate? We don't know almost anything about it.

Quote:
Voddie Baucham explains why we can trust the Bible (based on 2 Peter 1:16-21):

"The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses, and they report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and they claim that their writings are divine rather than human in origin."
"The Bible" refers to a disparate collection of letters, tracts, biographies, histories, poems, etc. Why should a putative miracle described in the Gospel of John imply that Paul's Epistle to the Romans is inspired? The reasoning here doesn't make sense.

Also, this is pitiful reasoning and evidence. Here is an ancient book that includes reference to some historical events that happened, and some other people maybe claimed it was inspired later on, so we should believe everything it says, even really implausible claims about miracles. When I read contemporary history books that are much more rigourous, I don't accept this kind of reasoning, but instead take a critical approach. These ancient books much more so.

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In his book A Peculiar Glory, John Piper writes, “The whole bible authenticates itself by shining with the glory of the one who inspired it.”
lol

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This is from the Westminster Confession of Faith:

“The authority of the Holy Scriptures, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it it is the Word of God...our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”
What an awful way to decide whether a book is truthful. I looked at my feelings and they were really positive so I guess everything here is true.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:46 PM   #399
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
I'm not really sure how to take lagtight's talk of defining "morality." Insofar as he means you are merely stipulating a definition of morality, then it is trivial that your definition is correct. If he is satisfied that by that, then his entire argument that materialism implies amorality fails as your definition of morality is consistent with materialism - the concept of harm doesn't imply anything immaterial.

So what is really going on here? Lagtight might think that a conceptual analysis of "morality" would show that it actually has a different meaning than the one you are stipulating, so you are just talking about a different concept. You can't just stipulate that the concept of morality is not doing unnecessary harm. But in that case he will need to do a conceptual analysis of "morality," demonstrating that isn't its meaning. He nowhere does that, only proposing a different and conflicting meaning for the term.

However, I think this is all on the wrong track. I don't think lagtight's claim that atheism implies amorality is based on an analysis of the meaning of moral terms. Rather, I think his view is that materialist metaphysics doesn't ground moral claims in anything real and so it is just a personal choice akin to preferring vanilla to chocolate whether or not to be moral.

The problem here is that this doesn't show that materialism implies amorality. Nothing rests on whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla. But that is not true of all preferences, including for materialists. It is a personal choice whether or not to drink arsenic. But that doesn't mean that drinking arsenic won't kill you. In the same way, under Christianity, it is a personal choice whether or not to obey God, but disobeying God will still see you burn in hell.

Instead, this should be understood as asking whether it is rational to be moral or immoral. Let's assume that your understanding of morality is correct. Does this imply that materialists should not act morally? Lagtight seems to think the answer is here is yes - materialists should just be selfish egoists and ignore moral considerations. So good for you if you decide to be moral, but you have no better reason for being so under materialism than a psychopath does for killing people.

But why? In thinking about rationality, there are two primary questions - do our means fit our ends, and are our ends the right ends to desire? And here lagtight is assuming that under materialism moral considerations do not lead to a better life for the individual, and that individuals should not desire the good of others.

However, neither of these claims are implied by materialism. For instance, group selection in evolution is an example of how individuals can benefit by working to achieve group aims (and various collective action problems in game theory demonstrate the same logic). Furthermore, when we pay attention to how people in the past have talked about what made them as individuals happy and content in life, you'll often find them describe how caring for others is for most people an essential part of the good life. Humans are generally social animals.

Thus, we have good reasons as materialists to think that moral considerations are useful means to achieving the end of living a good life. Thus, there is no implication from materialism to amorality, as lagtight claims.
It is the desire for a higher quality of life that drives us toward righteousness / higher morality. The issue with rationality is the same with any other authority that provides cover. The cover provided includes managing negative emotions and a general sense of security, but subordinating to cover is not a long term solution. It doesn’t fulfill the desire for higher quality of life.

That is why the person who is serious about fulfillment and righteousness focuses on keeping themselves uncovered, in tension, uncomfortable, and insecure. They keep themselves in the dark by voluntarily blinding one eye.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:34 PM   #400
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Re: Do you believe in God?

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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
Why You Can Trust the Bible - Page 2 of 4

1. The Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. These aren’t vague prophecies like Nostradamus. Specific people and places are named. There are over a hundred prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ hundreds of years after the prophecies were written.
Yeah, this is dishonest. These prophecies are almost uniformly entirely self-contained, or misinterpretions of prior writings, or application of vague statements to future events in arbitrary ways.

Quote:
2 .The Bible is a unified whole. It is 66 books, written by about 40 authors, on three continents, in three languages, over a 1,500-year period, by such diverse authors as kings and sheepherders. Yet it is completely one in consistency and its overarching theme of mankind’s creation, fall and redemption.
So? And no it isn't. Christians disagree about what books are part of the Bible, we don't know who wrote most of it or when (although most scholars think it was written within a 900 year-old span, not 1,500), and that overarching theme is true of some parts and not true of other parts.

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3. The Bible is packed with unmatched insights and profundity (i.e. answers the big questions of life): What am I?, Where did I come from?, What is my purpose in life?, What has gone wrong with the world?, What is my destiny?, What is the solution to our problems?
Plato's Republic is packed with insight and profundity, but I don't think that makes it divinely inspired.

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4. The historical, scientific and archaeological accuracy of the Bible proves it’s
trustworthiness.
No it doesn't. We don't write blank checks to ancient writers because they get a few parts of their history correct.

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5. Over the centuries the Bible (and its readers!) have been subject to being banned and burned. Every attempt has been made to destroy and/or discredit the Bible. Yet it has been supernaturally preserved!
lol.

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6. Billions of lives have been enriched and radically changed by the truths found in the Bible.
Billions of lives have been enriched and radically changed by the truths found in Confucius's Analects. I don't derive from this that everything in it is true.

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7. The honesty and bluntness of the Bible writers enhances the credibility of the veracity of what they say.
Sure, okay, I can accept this.

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8. The Bible has never been successfully duplicated.
I don't know what this means. Other religions also have holy books. The Koran seems like a fairly close comp.

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9. Jesus Christ could not have been a creation of fiction:
Only Jesus Christ exemplifies perfect justice and perfect mercy.... Only Jesus Christ exhibits a majesty and meekness like nobody else in history.... Only Jesus Christ as judge suffers the punishment that the criminal (you and me!) that we deserved.... Jesus Christ is both fully man and fully God... It is only Jesus Christ that man must not only believe in what He said, but must also
believe on who He truly is and what He did for His elect... Only through trusting in Jesus Christ can man be delivered from the penalty, power, and (ultimately) even the presence of sin.
Nah, Jesus is not really that interesting a person imo. He wandered around a Roman province for a couple years preaching some boring religious stuff and some semi-interesting moral ideas. Then he was killed by the Roman state and his followers made up some stuff about how he was actually still alive in an invisible place and someday will return. Okay? His followers are much more interesting imo.

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10. We measure time from the date of Jesus’ birth.
Again, lol.

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11. Christianity is not “works based”, unlike every other religion, philosophy, worldview and self-help program.
This is false. For instance, many versions of Buddhism are not "works-based." And many versions of Christianity are works-based. You are picking and choosing.

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12. Jesus Christ is the most revered, influential, controversial, and talked-about person in history.
Maybe? Because for most of recorded history most humans have lived in Asia
it seems possible that Confucius or Buddha might be more so.

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13. Jesus’ impact on virtually every nation, culture, age-group, socio-economic class ,intellectual level and ethnicity is unmatched in world history.
Maybe? See above. Also, who cares? This is obviously specious reasoning for the claim that the Bible is inerrant, you are just listing reasons why you think Jesus is awesome.

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14. Unlike complicated “philosophies”, even the most simple-minded person can be saved and have joy in Christ. (A nine-year-old can’t have joy in Plato or Kant.)
That seems to make it less likely to be true.

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15. The Bible is the best-selling and the most distributed book of all time. Millions of copies have been given away for free. No book is more quoted or translated than the Bible.
So if Harry Potter was a bit more popular that would mean it was inspired by God?

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16. The Bible is the most scrutinized book of all time. Yet, it thrives in part because of that fact, not in spite of that fact.
I'm sure you realize that most of these are not arguments. So why are you posting them?

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17. The inner-witness of the Holy Spirit testifies to the believer that the Bible is in fact the Word of God.
Sounds like the Holy Spirit was lying to you.

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18. The Bible has never been out of date. It has been edifying and radically transforming its readers for thousands of years.
You're just repeating yourself now.

So now that we went through that Gish Gallop, please present a valid argument for P1.

Last edited by Original Position; 04-08-2021 at 02:48 PM.
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