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AngelRho
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09 Nov 2022, 11:47 pm

cubedemon6073 wrote:
If morality is built into nature then let me ask you this. Why do we need a book that is filled with 1,281 pages to tell all of us what is moral and what is not? Why is the Bible even needed if morality is truthfully built into nature? Why do any of us need and are required to go to church? And, why are we required to have faith in Jesus Christ and accept him as our lord and savior if morality is built into nature?

And, if morality is built into nature then why do animals kill other animals for food? Why do some animal species kill and eat their young? And, is the nature of the Frog vs. Seagull vs. Dog the same or are they different because they're different species?

If morality can be derived from nature then what specifically can we derive from nature?

According to Christian eschatology more specifically Genesis 3
https://biblehub.com/bsb/genesis/3.htm

If the ground is considered cursed then how can we derive any kind of morality from what is cursed?

I’m pretty sure you already answered your own questions here. The existence of a natural law and objective morality only indicates that a law is given to humanity to obey God. The existence of objective morality does not obligate human beings who exercise their freedom to accept objective morality or follow it. A free society, for example, could conceivably choose NOT to prosecute murderers. The problem with not prosecuting murder is that it’s not in the best interest of society to allow murder. It’s especially not in the best interest of free individuals within society to let people get away with murder. That’s an example of how people MUST obey God’s law whether they believe in God or not. And there again underscores the irony or absurdity that people may not believe in God yet they love Him by obeying His commandments.

And no, you don’t need the Bible for that. But the way you frame this, what’s written in the Bible is the least of your worries. What about laws currently on the books in various countries? There’s a saying that you cannot legislate morality. And that saying is false. You most certainly can legislate morality. It happens all the time. Rather than take aim at the Bible, consider laws around the world.

The Bible’s purpose is not an instruction manual to understand objective morality. I believe there are many, MANY objective truths contained within the Bible. The whole point is that man is separated from God through sin nature. Only God can save us. Salvation comes through accepting God’s grace through faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. That’s pretty much the entire Bible as brief and concise as I can make it. The Bible simply represents the origins of Christian faith and presents a record of God’s interaction with the faithful. It lays out the case for why atonement is necessary in the first place and how individuals can make a free decision to accept the free gift of grace. That’s why the Bible is necessary: it is the inspired word of God.



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09 Nov 2022, 11:50 pm

AngelRho wrote:

So I make no bones about where I stand on the issue. My particular view is this: Humans possess freedom and a rational mind. This means that life is a choice and the greatest human value. Being the greatest human value establishes life and its preservation as an objective ethical and moral standard, i.e. ethics and morality exist APART FROM the human mind. And since they are objective, they are universal.


Neuroendocrinology and economists disagree - we can think rationally, if we force ourselves, but the default is to go by intuition and habit.
But if we do think rationally about what neuroendocrinology and behavioural biology tell us, we should accept that our brains do whatever the chemicals at that point in time trigger the neurons to do. You can predict a person's decisions, if you know their brain chemistry. Some brain diseases like Huntington's have the most astounding symptoms that precipitate in behaviour (usually extremely irresponsible behaviour)- ten years before the neurological symptoms become apparent. There's a kind of brain tumor that turns ordinary people into mass murderers, and so on....

I also don't understand how that would lead to life being a choice. No one asked me if I wanted to be born, but there is a self-preservation drive that keeps me from haphazardly deciding against life. I also did not ask for that.

And that still doesn't establish preservation of human life as the highest value. That's just a remnant of Christianity, turned into secular Humanism, and makes assisted dying for the terminally ill and/or depressed needlessly complicated.

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Murder is not simply wrong in a relativistic sense. It is UNIVERSALLY wrong. EVERY culture and society forbids murder. You can try to say murder is relatively wrong, but once murder is allowed you are forced to give up your freedom in fear of retribution. You forfeit your life, in other words. No existence in hiding is really living as humans understand life. A murderer, even if he is never brought to justice, will always be a walking dead man. Therefore, murder isn’t relatively wrong. It is absolutely wrong and objectively wrong.

Not all killing is objectively wrong. Murder is objectively wrong because it is UNJUSTIFIED in all cases by definition. Not all killing is unjustified. Defending your country in wartime is justified. Defending yourself and your loved ones is justified. The death penalty for murderers is justified. Abortion to save the life of the mother is justified. Killing plants and animals for food is justified. So you could possibly make a case for killing being relativistic or situational ethics. But murder MUST be absolutely and objectively wrong.

The way to get around that is merely to define the person you want to kill as less valuable, not a member of your group. Sometimes that's by declaring someone not human, but sometimes it's enough if the person is not white, not male, not hetero, not cis-gendered, not a member of your tribe or nation, or simply not old enough to be considered a person. Infanticide of female newborns was very common until recently in China. Oh, and of course: another species. that's obvious.
So, even if you were to state MURDER as absolutely immoral, that says nothing about who, in practice, is affected.

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Some things being immoral don’t make rational sense. Certain taboos don’t seem to have a rational basis, but are still objectively wrong. Sibling incest is one of the ickiest. We know it is objectively wrong because it creates genetic bottlenecks that amplify harmful, recessive traits. Yet I see the incest taboo so long as siblings consent to being together as antithetical to human freedom—what happens in the privacy of your bedroom is nobody’s business but your own. And that means it’s a logical puzzle that there are real consequences, not merely legal ones, for incest. Why does Nature impose its own law against incest? If you know your ancient history, the Egyptian and Greek pantheons are rife with incest, and it is known that Pharaohs married their sisters in imitation of the divine. Nature itself steers humans away from imitating pagan deities.


Incest is a weird one. Small children usually pheromonally imprint on the people around them, and show no sexual interest in them in later life. That explains why it's pretty rare - and why for most people, the idea ellicits disgust. It is almost a universal taboo, but that is on top of the biological aspects. It's a law based on the instinctual reaction most people have. But if humans were rational, they could agree that it could be legal, given how rare it is. And it's not illegal to make babies with genetic risks, that's not an explanation, and also there's contraceptives. But ut just feels a bit wrong. You know. Norally wrong, even rhough rationally it could be okay...

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What fascinates me is that, as far as I’m aware, religions that normalized taboos like incest and bestiality are largely if not completely extinct.


Almost all religions that existed throughout human history are extinct. Religion is culture, and most cultures are extinct, and increased communication and travel are homogenizing the few that are left.

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And if a religion could be objectively false or nonexistent, there could also be a religion that is objectively true. I tend to take the next step and say that since Nature is objectively true and an objective moral code is written into an objective nature, it necessarily follows that a Creator exists to write that morality into nature. Atheists and agnostics cannot exist in the truest sense because to assert that God doesn’t exist or God is unknowable is to assert that God’s Law is nonexistent or unknowable. But since it IS possible to know and obey objective laws or morals, atheists and agnostics are actually doing good things in obedience to a God they supposedly don’t believe in. It’s absurd that you’d obey a divine law and claim to not know the divine Law-giver, therefore it is absurd to say there is no God.

But that is a leap I’m willing to make. Nearly all your classic Objectivists are atheists and would probably agree with me that morality exists apart from the mind, even if we don’t agree on its origins.


what's a classic objectivist? You mean Ayn Rand's Objectivism?

Also: no... you have not conclusively shown that there is such a thing as objective morality, and the idea that if there were one, it would require a creator, is just a non sequitur.
People bend interpretations to square their own behaviour with whatever values their current civilizations officially respect,which are usually rooted in some founding-myth which that civilization consuders an identity-giving story.


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AngelRho
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10 Nov 2022, 12:03 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
And, if morality is built into nature then why do animals kill other animals for food? Why do some animal species kill and eat their young? And, is the nature of the Frog vs. Seagull vs. Dog the same or are they different because they're different species?

If morality can be derived from nature then what specifically can we derive from nature?

According to Christian eschatology more specifically Genesis 3
https://biblehub.com/bsb/genesis/3.htm

If the ground is considered cursed then how can we derive any kind of morality from what is cursed?

Morality is written into nature and animal behavior exemplifies it. But I have to point out that this isn’t about animal behavior. This is about human behavior. Animals are instinct-driven and are compelled by instinct to behave in certain ways. Animals must preserve their own life out of instinct. Human beings only preserve their own life as it is in their best interest to do so. Human beings are prone to suicide. We can decide to no longer live. The decision to stay alive comes only with respect to the value human individuals place on it. The Objectivist cannot separate freedom and life. The collectivist believes in the rejection of life and freedom for the benefit of a society who doesn’t care about individuals, hence why there are so many miserable Russians and Belarusians these days and, to be frank, miserable Americans. If human beings were no more than animals, we’d live in huts no more sophisticated than bird’s nests. No, we live in multi-room houses with natural gas lines, electricity, running water, and hooked up to either municipal sewers or septic systems.

Oh...and if you knew the Bible you’d know the curse on the ground was already lifted.



AngelRho
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10 Nov 2022, 12:20 am

shlaifu wrote:
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Murder is not simply wrong in a relativistic sense. It is UNIVERSALLY wrong. EVERY culture and society forbids murder. You can try to say murder is relatively wrong, but once murder is allowed you are forced to give up your freedom in fear of retribution. You forfeit your life, in other words. No existence in hiding is really living as humans understand life. A murderer, even if he is never brought to justice, will always be a walking dead man. Therefore, murder isn’t relatively wrong. It is absolutely wrong and objectively wrong.

Not all killing is objectively wrong. Murder is objectively wrong because it is UNJUSTIFIED in all cases by definition. Not all killing is unjustified. Defending your country in wartime is justified. Defending yourself and your loved ones is justified. The death penalty for murderers is justified. Abortion to save the life of the mother is justified. Killing plants and animals for food is justified. So you could possibly make a case for killing being relativistic or situational ethics. But murder MUST be absolutely and objectively wrong.

The way to get around that is merely to define the person you want to kill as less valuable, not a member of your group. Sometimes that's by declaring someone not human, but sometimes it's enough if the person is not white, not male, not hetero, not cis-gendered, not a member of your tribe or nation, or simply not old enough to be considered a person. Infanticide of female newborns was very common until recently in China. Oh, and of course: another species. that's obvious.
So, even if you were to state MURDER as absolutely immoral, that says nothing about who, in practice, is affected.

I agree, actually. But by dehumanizing the victim, I would argue that people are behaving irrationally and outside their own self-interest. If YOU can get away with murder by dehumanizing someone, YOU could also be murdered when someone decides you are an inferior species. So it's absurd to do that.

I’m not saying it doesn't happen. The Jewish Question. Rwanda. Babies. I’m just saying that rationalizing murder isn't the product of reason.

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Some things being immoral don’t make rational sense. Certain taboos don’t seem to have a rational basis, but are still objectively wrong. Sibling incest is one of the ickiest. We know it is objectively wrong because it creates genetic bottlenecks that amplify harmful, recessive traits. Yet I see the incest taboo so long as siblings consent to being together as antithetical to human freedom—what happens in the privacy of your bedroom is nobody’s business but your own. And that means it’s a logical puzzle that there are real consequences, not merely legal ones, for incest. Why does Nature impose its own law against incest? If you know your ancient history, the Egyptian and Greek pantheons are rife with incest, and it is known that Pharaohs married their sisters in imitation of the divine. Nature itself steers humans away from imitating pagan deities.


Incest is a weird one. Small children usually pheromonally imprint on the people around them, and show no sexual interest in them in later life. That explains why it's pretty rare - and why for most people, the idea ellicits disgust. It is almost a universal taboo, but that is on top of the biological aspects. It's a law based on the instinctual reaction most people have. But if humans were rational, they could agree that it could be legal, given how rare it is. And it's not illegal to make babies with genetic risks, that's not an explanation, and also there's contraceptives. But ut just feels a bit wrong. You know. Norally wrong, even rhough rationally it could be okay...


Right. And it's tempting to say, well, it's taboo, it feels wrong, so SOMETHING must be bad about it if everyone feels that way about it. So we can just assume that it's objectively and universally wrong.

But then that’s a red herring.

You can't deny that there are natural consequences for it. So my question as a theist is this: are there natural consequences for incest because of its links to ancient pagan religions and idolatry, or is there some greater purpose why God would want to join families together in marriage? I get that genetic diversity allows the human species greater adaptability over time and greater survivability in extreme and exceptional environments. But as a Christian I wonder if it's not more than that. Marriage certainly does encourage greater cooperation and intimacy among more people with mutual interests.



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10 Nov 2022, 12:49 am

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Oh...and if you knew the Bible you’d know the curse on the ground was already lifted.



I went and looked it up. Genesis 8:20-21. After the flood during Noah when God made a covenant with Noah!

Well, it looks like you're right on this one. You learn something new everyday. And, there are preachers and churches who promote that the ground is still cursed and they are wrong.

So, I stand corrected on this. Cool beans!



AngelRho
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10 Nov 2022, 12:55 am

shlaifu wrote:
Also: no... you have not conclusively shown that there is such a thing as objective morality,

The Holy Trinity of Objectivism is Life, Freedom, and Reason. Anything that affirms those things is objectively good; anything opposed to them is objectively evil. The juxtaposition of good over evil forms the basis for any morality. Thus an objective morality does exist.



AngelRho
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10 Nov 2022, 1:03 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
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Oh...and if you knew the Bible you’d know the curse on the ground was already lifted.



I went and looked it up. Genesis 8:20-21. After the flood during Noah when God made a covenant with Noah!

Well, it looks like you're right on this one. You learn something new everyday. And, there are preachers and churches who promote that the ground is still cursed and they are wrong.

So, I stand corrected on this. Cool beans!

Yep. We still live in a world corrupted by sin, so I think it is premature to assert that there is no curse on the ground at all. But THAT curse with regard to Adam and Eve specifically was lifted. My opinion is the curse on the ground served the purpose of forcing Adam and his descendants to turn to animal husbandry to sustain themselves, leading up to the Israelites primarily earning their living trading livestock to the Egyptians.



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10 Nov 2022, 1:51 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Morality and ethical thought existed long before Christ.
Religion can attempt to organise or personify good vs evil, but it did not create them.

It's sad when a sect tries to proclaim itself to be the only valid way to live.

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* I adore Gibran. I had several readings at my wedding.

He has a couple of insightful pieces on marriage and love in The Prophet. I don't know how he managed to put these things so well.

Jakki wrote:
Agrees with these posts … :D :D :)

Thank you Jakki.



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10 Nov 2022, 3:48 am

Here are some Moral "laws" that do not cite any supernatural source:

• Do not commit fraud or theft.

• Do not commit violence, in word or in deed, against another person.

• Do not curse the handicapped or cause them to stumble.

• Do not end or endanger another person's life.

• Do not mistreat foreigners or people of different colors.

• Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge.

• Do not steal.

• Do not use force for profit or pleasure.

• Judge others fairly and impartially, without regard to their age, ancestry, disability, race, sex, or wealth.

• Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.

• Pay your workers on time, and in full.

• Provide food, clothing, shelter, and comfort for your children, and for those members of your family who cannot provide for themselves.

• Put in an honest day's work for your pay.

• Show respect for your parents and for the elderly.

• Speak and write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

• Use honest standards of measurement.

Does anyone have objections to any of these?


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10 Nov 2022, 4:55 am

Fnord wrote:
Here are some Moral "laws" that do not cite any supernatural source:

• Do not commit fraud or theft.

• Do not commit violence, in word or in deed, against another person.

• Do not curse the handicapped or cause them to stumble.

• Do not end or endanger another person's life.

• Do not mistreat foreigners or people of different colors.

• Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge.

• Do not steal.

• Do not use force for profit or pleasure.

• Judge others fairly and impartially, without regard to their age, ancestry, disability, race, sex, or wealth.

• Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.

• Pay your workers on time, and in full.

• Provide food, clothing, shelter, and comfort for your children, and for those members of your family who cannot provide for themselves.

• Put in an honest day's work for your pay.

• Show respect for your parents and for the elderly.

• Speak and write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

• Use honest standards of measurement.

Does anyone have objections to any of these?


None, except for one of them.

• Speak and write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

What if what you're speaking you reasonably believe it to be true at the given time but turns out you were mistaken? No, I can't guarantee that I will speak and write the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because I'm not perfect so I don't have perfection knowledge.

On some things, I could be wrong even if I believe x is true x may be true because I could be misinformed.

and

Show respect for your parents and for the elderly.

What if an elderly person and one or both of your parents were pedophiles?

AngelRho, do you see the problem now with absolutist moral codes that have no relativism to them?



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10 Nov 2022, 10:53 am

Fnord wrote:
Here are some Moral "laws" that do not cite any supernatural source:

• Do not commit fraud or theft.
• Do not commit violence, in word or in deed, against another person.
• Do not curse the handicapped or cause them to stumble.
• Do not end or endanger another person's life.
• Do not mistreat foreigners or people of different colors.
• Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge.
• Do not steal.
• Do not use force for profit or pleasure.
• Judge others fairly and impartially, without regard to their age, ancestry, disability, race, sex, or wealth.
• Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.
• Pay your workers on time, and in full.
• Provide food, clothing, shelter, and comfort for your children, and for those members of your family who cannot provide for themselves.
• Put in an honest day's work for your pay.
• Show respect for your parents and for the elderly.
• Speak and write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
• Use honest standards of measurement.
Does anyone have objections to any of these?

I agree with them more than I disagree with them. But under some circumstances I'd be OK about breaking some of them.



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10 Nov 2022, 12:12 pm

I treat people with respect regardless of their age, unless of course they don’t deserve respect.

I will be violent in self-defence if my life or that of a loved one is threatened physically.

Re: Theft. Have you ever read Les Mis, Fnord? Can a person steal bread to feed a starving family?

Do not bear a grudge? Ever? Even against psychopathic rulers or killers? Harm my child and I will not forgive.



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10 Nov 2022, 6:50 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I treat people with respect regardless of their age, unless of course they don’t deserve respect.

I will be violent in self-defence if my life or that of a loved one is threatened physically.

Re: Theft. Have you ever read Les Mis, Fnord? Can a person steal bread to feed a starving family?

Do not bear a grudge? Ever? Even against psychopathic rulers or killers? Harm my child and I will not forgive.


Isabella, this is what is wrong with moral absolutistism and universal type laws and ethics. This is the point that I was making and conservative and Christian types never really answer. What happens when conflicts crop up?



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10 Nov 2022, 7:45 pm

Interesting note here concerning animals and the effects of killing members of the species.
Surely some animals hunt for Food ,some hunt for sport, house cats for instance . But .
When a Crow is killed in the wild . Have read that a murder of crows show up and hang around for days .
( as if to mourn the death of one of their own .) Thought this was something to note in this thread .
It seems Crows have been noted to be quite intelligent.


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10 Nov 2022, 7:51 pm

^^

I can't answer that because I don't believe in moral absolutism or normative ethics.
I study metaethics, but interpret religion and theism as applied metaphysics.



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10 Nov 2022, 11:20 pm

AngelRho wrote:
I agree, actually. But by dehumanizing the victim, I would argue that people are behaving irrationally and outside their own self-interest. If YOU can get away with murder by dehumanizing someone, YOU could also be murdered when someone decides you are an inferior species. So it's absurd to do that.

I’m not saying it doesn't happen. The Jewish Question. Rwanda. Babies. I’m just saying that rationalizing murder isn't the product of reason.



So... People are reasonable, because god, but when they are murdering people, they are unreasonably rationalising, unless its war or self defense, then the rationalising is reasonable, but not in socioeconomic circumstances where they only think it's a reasonable choice. Sounds like reason is a pretty relative affair.

Quote:

Right. And it's tempting to say, well, it's taboo, it feels wrong, so SOMETHING must be bad about it if everyone feels that way about it. So we can just assume that it's objectively and universally wrong.

But then that’s a red herring.

You can't deny that there are natural consequences for it. So my question as a theist is this: are there natural consequences for incest because of its links to ancient pagan religions and idolatry, or is there some greater purpose why God would want to join families together in marriage? I get that genetic diversity allows the human species greater adaptability over time and greater survivability in extreme and exceptional environments. But as a Christian I wonder if it's not more than that. Marriage certainly does encourage greater cooperation and intimacy among more people with mutual interests.


I don't get how you can be a Randian and a Christian at the same time, she's the world's most widely read atheist, and not a humanist at that.
But anyway: it's not merely about adaptability, but mainly about avoiding genetic diseases to duplicate without a "safe" version of the gene for backup. Incest has a higher likelihood of recessive traits being passed along. - a single copy of a certain gene can make you less susceptible to tuberculosus, two copies of the gene cause Tay-Sachs disease and the child won't reach the age of five.
There's no higher power needed to explain why a disgust reflex towards sexual relations with one's close kin evolved. It leads to a higher chance of healthy offspring who carry on this trait.
But traditionally, marrying cousins was pretty darn widespread. That's not an awful lot better for the genepool, but it keeps communities tight-knit and wealth in the family. It's also better than not passing on your genes at all. What was god thinking when he came up with that?


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