The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

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Tayi
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The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

Post by Tayi » Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:48 am

I have come across the Moral Argument from Dr. William Lane Craig (www.williamlanecraig.com), and I highly recommend browsing his website for formal debates and other materials on these issues and others.

Here is the argument:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

By "objective", I mean valid and binding independent of whether or not anyone believes in it. An example of premise (2) is the fact that torturing a child is wrong no matter what anyone thinks about it.

By the way this argument is NOT saying:
1. that one has to believe in God in order to be good
2. that one has to believe in God in order to recognize moral values

OK, I'll let y'all go at it now :-)

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Objective morality? Since when?

Post by Jman » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:52 am

As interesting as this argument for the existence of God is, it's a very poor one, and crumbles before even the slightest scrutiny. I could respond with a few anomalies so that the readers of this thread could be disenchanted with the bluff of logic the argument presents, but it's the lack of sincere thought in that response and its subject, that breed countless more of the sort for people to see and then ignore on an intellectual level time and time again. I do intend to make a sincere response to this though, because I really do care about reaching out to the readers intellectually, and will address all three parts of the argument.

First off, since when did objective morality have to coexist with God?
Objective morality is the concept of a morality that is universally applicable in all related cases, but there are many ways to explain a morality's ubiquity than with God's existence. One example is that evolution posits that some universal moralities arose as a necessity for increasingly larger groups of animals to form societies that were safe and feasible to live in. A link between God and objective morality is purely an assumption that requires that the person believes in a single, omnipotent god already, hardly solid material to boldly state what you have. "Verified" is the last word that came to mind when I saw this first step. "Thought out" was farther down the list, but that's two words.

This raises a question I like to ask theologians like you: Is God the decider or the observer/enforcer of objective morality? If he is the decider of what is moral, then what we call right and wrong can change to his liking, and morals lose all objectivity in the face of his will, making the phrase a paradox. If he is the observer/enforcer of objective morality, then objective morality is independent from him, and his existence thereof. God's existence is not only irrelevant to objective morality, but could even be anomalous to it. But anyway, it's time to move onto the second part of your argument.

Since when does objective morality exist? Moralities have always been subject to an individual's customization, eras in. I don't mean to imply we don't share moralities, that's probably very far from the truth. I'm sure we both agree on many things, like rape being impermissible in all scenarios, the equality of all races of people, and George Bush's incompetence. But many of your dearest moralities, many more than you may realize, are hard to put the label "objective" on. In your opinion, do people have the right to abort their children? Is there an objective morality that relates to this subject, and does your opinion correlate with it? How many people on the opposing side do you think recognize that as the objective morality for this topic? The perceived objective, absolute morality on this subject starts to become interchangeable with the opinion polls on the matter, and what you call "objective" morality starts to look like nothing beyond your own opinion on the matter. And that's the truth of the matter.

The popularity of a morality might make you believe that it's held everywhere, and that, mixed with other factors, like the belief in a super god for example, might make you think that it, among many other moralities, are held so commonly because there's a righteous entity that deemed it absolutely correct. But don't let all that make you feel your opinion is less important. It's as important as any other opinion, no matter its popularity, or divine verification for that matter. When you get to the bottom of things, objective morality is just an arrogant term used to boost one's opinion...of their own opinion. It's hard to take an argument against your morality seriously when you somehow KNOW that it is divinely correct. And you don't need objective morality to know you're right if you really believe in your own judgment anyway.

And as for the third step...hehe. I'm gonna skip it this time. As much as I'd like to deliberate on the subject, I started writing to invalidate the argument, and I think I've taken enough of your time to do that. Hope this was fun to read for a few of ya :)

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:49 pm

Jman, you have expressed <i>your own opinion</i> beautifully...

gelin

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Post by Tayi » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:01 am

Jman,
It was a pleasure to read your post. I am glad you took the time to interact with the argument. Such is welcome here. I have not seen your name here before, so please allow me to say, "Welcome!" I also noticed that you have only one post on the forum, and it happens to be in this thread; I am honored :-)
(By the way, I will be in Haiti till January 11th and may not have a chance to reply soon to other posts, so please be patient. Thanks.)

I will now respond to the arguments and comments that you made in your reply.

As you may recall, premise one (1) of the argument states: If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
In response you made a couple points:

First, you stated: [quote]Objective morality is the concept of a morality that is universally applicable in all related cases, but there are many ways to explain a morality's ubiquity than with God's existence. [/quote]

That might be true if one subscribes to the definition of “objective morality” that you just provided. But remember the definition I proposed above: By "objective", I mean valid and binding independent of whether or not anyone believes in it. An example of premise (2) is the fact that torturing a child is wrong no matter what anyone thinks about it. So I am not assuming the ubiquity of any moral values at all. For example, The Holocaust was objectively wrong, even if the Nazis believed it was right. Let's say, Hitler was successful in wiping out everyone who thought it was wrong, leaving only Nazi minded people on the earth who all believe that the Holocaust was right. Even in that case the Holocaust must still be considered objectively wrong, even if no one believes it.

Given definition I proposed, I don't see how evolution (or anything else besides God) could be the basis for objective (not just ubiquitous) moral values. How can evolution make something “valid and binding” independent of what we think of it? It seems to me that evolution might explain how things came to change to become the way they are, but not how things MUST be, which is what objective morality is. One MUST not torture a child. The reason is deeper than just saying that evolution would suggest we do not torture children in order to “form societies that were safe and feasible to live in”.

By the way, the first premise is not just a belief of theists. As Craig points out in his article, “Does God Exist?” (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=5507): “Many theists and atheists alike concur on this point. For example, the late J. L. Mackie of Oxford University, one of the most influential atheists of our time, admitted: "If . . . there are . . . objective values, they make the existence of a God more probable than it would have been without them. Thus, we have a defensible argument from morality to the existence of a God." (J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982),pp. 115-16.) Craig also explains: “Friedrich Nietzsche, the great 19th century atheist who proclaimed the death of God, understood that the death of God meant the destruction of all meaning and value in life.”

You then noted: [quote]This raises a question I like to ask theologians like you: Is God the decider or the observer/enforcer of objective morality? If he is the decider of what is moral, then what we call right and wrong can change to his liking, and morals lose all objectivity in the face of his will, making the phrase a paradox. If he is the observer/enforcer of objective morality, then objective morality is independent from him, and his existence thereof. God's existence is not only irrelevant to objective morality, but could even be anomalous to it.[/quote]

God is the decider and enforcer of morality. So how do I escape the perceived dilemma? Easy. God decides morality according to His unchanging nature. So morality is simply an expression of His nature. I would hold that God is good and therefore He will put forth goodness, just so He puts forth justice, and so forth.

My second premise was: Objective moral values do exist. You denied that by saying, among other comments:
“What you call "objective" morality starts to look like nothing beyond your own opinion on the matter. And that's the truth of the matter.” Further down you state: “But don't let all that make you feel your opinion is less important. It's as important as any other opinion, no matter its popularity, or divine verification for that matter. When you get to the bottom of things, objective morality is just an arrogant term used to boost one's opinion...of their own opinion.”

This is kind of scary to me, and I hope you do not really believe these things. If morality is just an opinion thing, then how can we say the holocaust was objectively wrong? How can we judge Hitler's actions as morally wrong if there is no objective standard against which to judge his actions, which in the view of the relativists, can just be an expression of his equally important opinion? Or do you really believe that the holocaust was only wrong relatively, dependent on opinions? Was there nothing about it that was wrong in itself?

When you say that my opinion is just as important as any other opinion no matter its popularity, would you still think that, if my opinion were that the Holocaust was a morally right thing? You would rightly think I am nuts! You may not know HOW you know that the Holocaust is objectively wrong, but I have a feeling that you agree with the fact that it was objectively wrong, i.e., it was wrong despite the opinions of the Nazis. Yes, there is something really wrong with anti-Semitism. Similarly, there are things that are really objectively good, such as love, equality of races, etc. These are not good only because we share the belief in their goodness. Even if we all thought that hatred was the way to go, love would still be objectively good. Again, you may not know how to prove that, but that is irrelevant. If you know it, you know it. You may also not know how to prove that you are not plugged into the matrix responding to stimulations to the brain as it happens in the movie. But there is NO REASON to think that you are, no reason to make you doubt what you clearly apprehend, which is the fact that you really exist as a real person. The same way there is no reason to doubt what we clearly apprehend in our moral experiences that there are indeed some objective moral values.

I wonder how many relativists are really relativists. I think many relativists will claim that there is no objective wrong until they get punched in the face or their car gets stolen; then they feel that a real wrong is done to them—it is wrong no matter what the puncher or thief think about their actions.

The last point I want to make on this second part of the argument is that he fact that there might be unclear cases in what is objectively moral does not invalidate the argument. As long as there is even one (1) objective moral value, premise 2 stands.

The third part of the argument is: Therefore God exists. This part is not just another step; it's the conclusion of the argument. The argument has a logically valid form, so as long as the two premises are true, the conclusion will necessarily follow.

So it seems to me that the argument indeed works. It has withstood not only your scrutiny, but also that of many other philosophers. I have heard Craig present it in formal debates against several atheists, and I have yet to hear a strong rebuttal. You can take a look at some of those debates at his website: www.reasonablefaith.com Look for DEBATES and/or AUDIO-VISUALS.

Here, I repeat the argument:
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist
2. Objective moral values do exist
3. Therefore God exists.
Given the logical validity of this argument, and in the absence of anything to invalidate any of the premises, it is very reasonable to believe that indeed God exists!

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Post by Guysanto » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:55 am

Hi Tayi!

I did not get into this one, because I found Jman (welcome!)'s first forum entry intriguing enough, and frankly I am waiting for more of the kind. However, I would like to add briefly my own comments to your so-called "PROOF" that "God" exists. Though you may not be its originator, it is clear that you have decided to adopt it as your own. The argument immediately appealed to me, due to its apparent conformity to mathematical logic structure (of which I was quite fond in my student days). . The structure of the argument is of course unassailable. But it's the premises you wrap around that structure which make the argument itself subjective and not universal in any interpretation one may conjure up so to stretch reason and to comfort him/herself with a predetermined conclusion.

Your argument, for all I see, is analogous to:
1. If the moon is not made of Swiss cheese, then there are no craters on its surface.
2. There are craters on the moon's surface.
3. Therefore the moon is made of Swiss cheese.

Laughable, right? Yet the substantive difference in your argumentation and mine resides only in the validity (or lack of) we attach to its premises. Here is another: that there are craters on the moon's surface may be a bit more believable than the existence of "objective", that is absolute, unchanging, "moral values".

Note that it is not at all my purpose to attempt to prove that God does not exist. I believe that I believe in a divine nature that is immensely greater than anything that I can possibly conceive and for that matter that any passionate human advocate of "God" can.

The argument appears logical, but ultimately it is bogus. It belongs not in the field of logical proof, but in a probabilistic realm of thoughts that merely make us feel good about our innate and "eternal" search for the how and why we exist.

I have much more to say, but "soup joumou" is calling.

Say a prayer for me. I'll say one for you too.

May your 2008 be kinder than whatever 2007 was. I am glad it's gone. I look forward to a renewed spirit of exchanges on this forum.

Guy

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Post by Serge » Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:50 am

I have been reading this thread which I find extremely interesting, particularly since the participants so eloquently in present their argumens. Let me first say that this is not my area and I will no dare go too deep into the subject. By the way, I welcome Jman on this forum and I am looking forward to reading more of his posts. I hope that he will continue to participate with this high level of analysis and argumentation.

As I said, it is not my intent to dig into this subject, I will just say this. Like Jman, I do have problem with the juxtaposition of objective reality and the existence of God. As a matter of conviction and principle, I usually avoid discussing religion with anyone, because I consider it to be such a personal matter that I am not going to knock on someone who may have different beliefs. Morality is an integral part of relationships in a society, it has a lot to do with the fact that we live in this society, therefore, someone's rights ends where that of the other starts, so that we can achieve the right balance in the society where we all live.

I find the the following observation by Jman quite pertinent:

"Is God the decider or the observer/enforcer of objective morality? If he is the decider of what is moral, then what we call right and wrong can change to his liking, and morals lose all objectivity in the face of his will, making the phrase a paradox. "

I am reminded of the "Christian" politicians in the US who seem to wear the mantle of God on their shoulders, while they engage in all kinds of shady business. I also recall for example the Vatican who had recognized the bloody regime of Cedras in 1991. The question is: what objective morality had led the Vatican to make such a decision? Sorry, I do not mean to introduce politics in such an important discussion. Anyway, in my mind, I am very weary of linking objective morality with the existence of God. I respect the argument so forcefully presented by Tayi - and I hope by the way that we will continue to enjoy reading him more often during the year and beyond - and I agree with him when he says : "By "objective", I mean valid and binding independent of whether or not anyone believes in it". However, my uneasiness stems from the link he establishes between objective morality and the existence of God, even though I am not an atheist and I do believe in a higher being. Again, while I take note of his point of view, I respectfully disagree.

Let me stop here, because I had not planned to write that much and I hope I did not disgress too much from the subject. Looking forward to reading about the rest of the argument among our main protagonists.

Serge

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Post by Tayi » Sat May 10, 2008 10:38 pm

I guess, I'll jump back in first since I started this whole thing :-)

This should be even more interesting since I have now met everyone that has commented on this thread so far.

First, I must say that Serge makes some very interesting points even though he claims this is not his domain. The first thing I'd like to point out is the fact that though he is a theist he does not agree with premise #1 (If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist). At least, he is uneasy with it. I guess that shows that some theists may not find this argument useful or sound. Despite that fact, I still do not see any other way for objective moral values to exist but in God. So I will keep putting forth this argument. If somehow one can show me definitively that one of the premises is false, I will be prepared to throw away this argument. I hope you notice though, (as Guy implied) that, to debunk this argument is not to disprove the existence of God. You would need to do much more than debunk AN argument to prove that God does not exist. I don't think anyone can actually do that; many have tried in the past (the greatest atheistic argument being that of the problem of evil) but failed.

Another point from Serge I'd like to highlight is when he mentions some of the acts of the Church or others he feels are wrong. Two things become clear here:
1. The existence of objective moral values does not not mean that everyone will recognize them all. Even the most religious may have gray areas. What is worse is that even those who do recognize certain objective values might not follow them completely (we are weak humans).
2. If there are no objective values, then by what standard to we judge this or that act to be wrong? If engaging in shady business is only subjectively/relatively wrong then what right do we have to impose our subjective views on those "crooked" preachers? If objective morality does not exist then we are just dictators imposing our views on others who we think are wrong.

Finally, Guy, I appreciate the prayers which you promised to say for me. I also prayed for you.

I agree with your observations on the structure of the argument, but I have yet to see how the substance of the premises lead to the argument being "bogus". Ou pa fouti di ou pa fin bwè soup joumou an! :-)

Jman, common back bro.


Tayi

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Post by Tayi » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:11 pm

Some of you may be interested in this debate between Dr. William Lane Craig (big proponent of the Moral Argument) and Dr. Louise Antony (atheist from U-Mass Amherst). You will find the video/audio in two parts on the page. The question being debated is "Is God necessary for Morality?" You will notice that this is the first premise of the Moral Argument. Both debaters, interestingly enough, agree with premise (2) that objective moral values do exist! Great debate with bright intellectuals representing both sides. Enjoy! I hope this helps clarify my first premise that "If God does not exist, objective morality does not exist." (Oh, there are other goodies, in terms of other stimulating debates, on the web page for your enjoyment! :-))

Tayi

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Post by Guysanto » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:48 am

Tayi, since objective moral values do exist, please name them. After you do, it would be interesting to find out whether the Biblical God has not violated them at any time or commanded others to do so. Oh, sorry about that, because some might infer that if he violated those objective moral values, then they would not be so objective after all or God himself would have been immoral on occasion... something that I am sure would be an impossibility in your mind, in the believer's mind. To deny the possibility of immorality in God, to make that strictly impossible no matter what is on the record, we must then agree that whatever the Biblical God says or does is the unique expression of absolute moral values. [He cannot do wrong because, by definition, everything he does is right. How could it be otherwise?]

Since God is the expression of absolute moral values [God cannot be immoral] and the premise states that absolute moral values cannot exist without God [which remains unproven, but is accepted as a matter of faith], then I would argue that God and the existence of absolute moral values are really the same concept. In the mind of the believer, one cannot possibly exist without the other: God cannot be immoral and absolute morality is not conceivable without God. Therefore, the argument can be reduced to this (by substitution): God exists because God exists. And there is no stronger argument, from the believer's standpoint than just that.

In fact, that is an irrefutable, "absolute" argument for the believer, though it will remain forever unconvincing to the atheist mind or to anyone who does not accept the axiom that absolute values do exist. In fact, one could also argue that God does not exist simply because God does not exist.

Someone else may not at all believe in the existence of absolute morality (which, once again, is purely axiomatic) and yet accept the notion that a Supreme Being exists (or may exist).

Finally, among those (of various religions or dispositions) who believe in the "existence" of absolute moral values, an independent observer might conclude that what is touted as "absolute" by each individual is truly relative from a group standpoint (or vice versa), as the concept of those values shifts from one individual to another individual, from one geographic region to another, from one culture to another, from one ethical society (including the ethical atheist) to another, and I even dare say "from a Tayi to a Gelin".


In God We Trust.

Guy

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Post by Tayi » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:38 am

Dear Guy,

A thoughtful response. Thanks!

Let us examine the argument in light of your reply.

The first premise is: If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
A key point in the first premise is the definition of "objective" that we started with:
"Valid and binding independent of whether or not anyone believes in it."

It is important to note that at this point of the argument, we are not presupposing the existence of such "objective" moral values. However, IF said values exist, I am arguing that they cannot exist apart from God. By God here, I simply mean a transcendent being that metaphysically grounds these values.

You seem to think that this is a purely Christian/theist statement. Please reread my first response to Jman for examples of atheists who hold to the first premise. Did not Nietzsche, the great 19th century atheist who proclaimed the death of God, seem to understand and defend that first premise?; as he proclaimed the death of God, did he not think that meant the end of all objective meaning of life?

So the first premise is not just a Christian invention. But is the premise more plausible than not? (I only have to show that the premises are more plausible than not in order to prove that the conclusion is reasonable to hold.) I think yes for the following reason:
1. IF there are such values as to have the character of a moral obligation, to the point that is is binding no matter if anyone believes it or not, they would require the existence of a supreme being that can metaphysically anchor such values to give them that binding character.
There are no better explanations; the theory of a supreme being to ground these values (if they exist) works better than any other explanation; so it is more plausible. So far on this thread, if I remember correctly, only one alternative has even been proposed, namely evolution. But I have already shown why that can't work. Please, if you can think of any other alternatives, share them with us. Remember, you don't have to believe in actual objective moral values to hold premise one or to come up with a proposed explanation if they were to exist.

I would like to point out that so far I have not once relied on the Bible for this argument (because I think it can be supported on reason alone), only on philosophy and common sense. You brought up the issue of the Biblical God and whether or not He violated any so-called objective moral values. Nice question to explore, but that has no bearing on this argument. This argument can be used by anyone Christian or not. So even if you were to show that the Biblical God violated moral values (which I do not believe He did--though that is for a different thread) or that the Bible is completely wrong, you still would have to face the force of this argument on its own terms!

By the way, we must distinguish between God and moral values. Though I think they are inseparable, I still think they are different concepts. The latter is grounded/anchored in the former. Inseparable concepts, but distinct, at least in my mind.

Now let us move on to the second premise which states: Objective moral values do exist.

It is at this point we make the claim that said objective values actually do exist. You claim this is axiomatic (self-evident). I think I agree! But I hope you do not think this is a weakness to the premise. Take for example a law in logic called the law of non-contradiction, which states, according to the great Wikepedia: "one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time"
This is self evident to me, and I hope to you, but CANNOT be proven; yet it is so foundational and so true. When something is self-evident, you are justified in believing it until something falsifies it (in which case it was only apparently self-evident). Nothing falsifies the claim that objective moral values exist.

You asked me to name them. Fine, but let us, again, make some distinctions. In moral study, there are three categories to keep in mind:
1. Moral ontology--the foundation of morality in reality (the being of moral values)
2. Moral epistemology--how we come to know said values
3. Moral practice--how we apply these values

Premise two of my argument is more concerned with moral ontology. Moral epistemology and practice are based on moral ontology, but you must admit that something can exist even if we do not know it (or not know how we know it) or act like it in our lives.

And now, nevertheless, let me name a couple objective moral values: Justice and love!
Is it not clear that justice is objectively better than injustice, love better than hatred? Is that just a relative thing? I challenge you to even imagine a world in which injustice and hatred are better than their opposites! You will quickly object with different ways people have applied justice that seems contradictory, but hold on! Just because moral values exist (ontology), it does not guarantee that everyone will grasp them equally or practice them consistently (practice). Gray areas can exist.

In case anyone would like to dismiss these values, consider the following:
1. If justice is relative, where in the world do we get our "inalienable rights" from? Why can't someone step on your rights if in his opinion, you rightly deserve to be assaulted, for example? What can you appeal to? Your own relative opinion? He responds "who cares?", and he has more power than you. Is there anything objectively wrong with that? Or is that just someone expressing his own relative values against you?

2. On the relativistic view, what RIGHT did Haiti have to demand its independence from and to condemn France? If justice is just relative, why couldn't France have its own relative values that trumped Haiti's--such as value for monetary gain on Haiti's back, etc. Who is to say their values were wrong while Haiti's were right?

3. How can we as a society judge anybody's actions as wrong or right if it is all relative? On the relativistic model, prisons are simply a sign of the stronger force of one group of society (namely the government) trying to stump on the equal views of a minor part of society (namely the criminals).

Moral relativism is not only wrong, it is not livable or practical! We can PRETEND objective moral values do not exist, but we cannot live that way.

So, nothing so far has been brought forth to show that the two premises are not more plausible than not. It follows, then, necessarily from the structure of the syllogism that the conclusion is more plausible than not and that the theist is rational in his belief that:

God exists!

Thank you and God bless!
(Sorry for the long post)

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Post by Guysanto » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:09 am

Bravo, Tayi for your informed and impassioned argumentation!

[quote] It follows, then, necessarily from the structure of the syllogism that the conclusion is more plausible than not and that the theist is rational in his belief...[/quote]
Rational? yes (there never was any doubt).

Convincing? you bet (anpil moun ap pran kominyon nan men w san konfesyon).

Conclusive? far from it, Tayi.

You have argued for the plausible validity of two premises that were crafted for the purpose of demonstrating a predetermined conclusion. In so doing, you end up reinforcing that notion to yourself, and in reality... that's not a bad thing.

But even if convinced of that plausibility, whenever you say the word "God", I feel absolutely certain that you cannot distance yourself, let alone divorce yourself, from the concept of the Biblical God, because your faith in (him) is irrevocable. You truly set out to prove that the Biblical God does exist, because you accept no other notion of God (because your God is extremely jealous of any consideration of non-existent Gods other than (himself) !! Yet, your so-called "moral" argument does not advance one iota the identification of that metaphysical supreme being (whose existence is merely plausible by your arguments) with that of the Biblical God which you have been programmed to believe in by an accident of history, culture, and geography.

By the way, I do not think that Justice and Love are objective moral values. I think that they are mere ideals that mark our common humanity. I was not arguing from a "moral relativism" standpoint. I am simply stating that those ideals change according to our own capacity to define them and yes, "evolve" them. Other such concepts to consider are the discreteness of a single life (as opposed to the continuity of a life force), the existence of a soul associated to the discreteness of a single human life, and a universal sense of beauty (there are indeed faces that only a mother could love).

[quote]Moral relativism is not only wrong,[/quote]
based, of course, on your sense of objective morality, though I am sure that the myriad beetles, earthworms, flies and mosquitoes you have killed in your lifetime would be quick to make the same claim, if only it'd stopped you... But truly that statement presupposes the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, which you have inherited to be sure from your earliest ancestors, Adam and Eve, who tasted the fruit from that Tree, which your God made accessible to them in full knowledge that they would come to experience it for themselves, as they were programmed to do in any case. But enough about "moral relativism". The existence of objective or absolute morality is not for me to decide, other than to observe its variability from one chapter of your sacred texts to the next. Rather than judge whether it is right or wrong, I'd rather say that it IS or that it ISN'T.

[quote]...it is not livable or practical! We can PRETEND objective moral values do not exist, but we cannot live that way.[/quote]
Voltaire said it this way: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

And we keep trying... though I am not sure why we need to.

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:30 pm

[quote]Voltaire said it this way: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

And we keep trying... though I am not sure why we need to.[/quote]
Jesus said God is his Father, he is Spirit and lives in Heaven. Between Voltaire and Jesus, guess which one I believe.

gelin

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Post by Guysanto » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:58 am

[quote]Jesus said God is his Father, he is Spirit and lives in Heaven. Between Voltaire and Jesus, guess which one I believe.[/quote]
No contest! I know that you really believe Voltaire...

But thank you, Gelin, for making my point! That is exactly what I had been trying to convey to Tayi, but you conveyed it much more succinctly: God exists because "we" believe that God exists! By extension, the Biblical God exists because "we" have Faith in his Word, what is commonly referred to as the Bible. "We" do not doubt the Word, because the Word tells us that it would be excessively dangerous to our bodies and souls to doubt IT, and simply because "the Bible says" ... just so.

My hat off to you, Gelin!

But I do have one additional remark and one additional question for you, my friend. I have not researched the full context of Voltaire's statement, but when I do examine it strictly on its face value, it does not contradict at all the other statement from Jesus. In other words, what Voltaire said (based on that statement alone) is "IF God did not exist" and not "God does not exist". And finally, he posits: "it would be necessary to invent him." I believe that is an acute observation of human nature, that's all.

And here's my question to you, Gelin: In stating "Jesus said God is his Father," how does Jesus state that he, himself, is God? I know that somewhere else, he supposedly says: "I am in the Father and the Father is in me". Is this just a mind game? And do you personally believe that Jesus is God (please note that I am not saying "the son of God").

And now back to Tayi... Sorry that I do not buy into your proof. Personally, I do not set out to prove nor to disprove. I leave that task to you and my other good friend Leonel.

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:12 pm

Voltaire also said that in roughly 100 years the bible will be outdated and people will be so educated that they will stop reading it and believing in God. Don't we know what happened? A few years after his death his own house became a center for bible distribution, bought by the Geneva Bible Society....

Did Voltaire write a few good things? Absolutely. Should I believe Voltaire? Of course not.....:-)

gelin

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