| Posted 06/05/08 at 04:33 PM||Reply with quote #16 |
You say "Raping someone, for instance, is not wrong. It is just unbeneficial." What do you mean here? I doubt seriously if anyone doing normative ethics (excluding non-cognitivists) would say they cannot account for the wrongness of rape. Kant, Mill et al accounted for such actions without grounding ethics in God's nature. As I have said on another thread, can God make a rock more valuable than a human? Or perhaps I could say, could God make smashing a rock unethical? The answer to both questions is no (I hope this is obvious), but this should show that the nature of ethics is grounded in the intrinsic nature of those in the moral community in virtue of their constitution, not what caused them to exist. As such, a naturalist and a theist could both account for ethics. I often get the impression that for many Christians, a secular ethics is somehow a compromise of the Christian faith and I am not sure that it is. There are a lot of important issues that have not been discussed or clearly explained, e.g., Platonism, nominalism, realism, hedonism. What a lot of Christians mean by naturalism is actually reductive physicalism or eliminativism. These latter views definitely have problems accounting for ethics.
Where morality came from: whether it be from God or nature has nothing to do with if its truly right or wrong..We you assume that something has value because of its intrisic nature of those in the moral community in virtue of their constitution but not what caused them to exist then you make the mistake of thinking that the theist argues that God is the "cause" of morality and thus would logically follow that we are moral because "he caused us to be".
However I would say the theists position is not: God causes human beings to be moral (however I and some christians believe this but its not the debate) but rather God is the grounds on which morality can be objective. When you deny the truth of something based on the cause of something then you commit the genetic fallacy.
I think its safe to say that God may not be the main "cause" of morality or intrinsic value found in creatures. But He is the grounds on which value and worth can even exist. This is outside of just the human's own self thinking..we are getting into the whole "Absurdity without God" talk.
and how does it follow that because "smashing a rock" might not be unethical that the only value we have is only because of the community around us.
Are you a rock? Would you like to be the rock that was getting smashed
jokes at the end there! im not tree hugger!
| Posted 06/06/08 at 01:03 AM||Reply with quote #17 |
bwalker said: "can God make a rock more valuable than a human? Or perhaps I could say, could God make smashing a rock unethical? The answer to both questions is no (I hope this is obvious)"
the first idea seems obvious - the second is not. you seem to be assuming that things/objects can't have some value that it would be wrong to destroy (which is not obviously true). there my be a rock that has been carved into a work of art - say Mount Rushmore - smashing that could be considered unethical... or smashing someone's petrock could be unethical too...
What your second example could show is that rocks unlike people are not the sort of things that are proper to love - to such a high degree...
| Posted 06/08/08 at 12:07 AM||Reply with quote #18 |
The genetic fallacy does not fit into this discussion. Why bring it up? Re-read my comments; you did not understand what I said. If intrinsic value is necessarily tied to its cause, then the value is not intrinsic. You later make reference to God providing an objective basis for ethics but you did not say how he does this. This is the million dollar question that theists have yet to elucidate. Also, you missed my point about humans being part of the moral community. Value is not an inter-relational property (which you seem to imply is what I am saying). If there was one human, that human would be valuable and the rock would not. No, I am not a rock given what rocks are. I think an excellent source to read on the intrinsic nature of persons is Immanuel Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.
| Posted 06/08/08 at 01:06 AM||Reply with quote #19 |
It seems that you agree with the first point, but you misread what I was getting at with the second point. Sure smashing a rock could be unethical, but it would not be because God made it unethical. It would be unethical because it was the property (or art work as you described) of some one else. This would be disrespectful to that person. But smashing a rock just for the sake of smashing a rock could not be made wrong by God.
| Posted 12/10/08 at 06:11 PM||Reply with quote #20 |
|I think the ethics of "If it doesnt better [yourself or society], then it is immoral" isn't correct. It doesnt follow that because something is bettering [society or yourself] that it is therefore good. Plus, I can think of plenty of examples where something that hurts oneself or society is indeed morally good. The real question here, I think, is the meaning of "good." And so on naturalism, I can't see "good" as anything physical and thus there is no good or evil on atheism.|
| Posted 02/20/09 at 01:45 PM||Reply with quote #21 |
|It is interesting to think on the matters of morality and ethics between christians and atheists.
Christians don't see how morality can properly exist without their god in some capacity, and atheists see morality, on often similar terms, with little significance changed when accounting for the christian god (i.e. Neither a christian or an atheist would freely murder people, the former because of their god, the latter of another reason).
However, I think that it is absurd to insist that any kind of morality requires the christian god; because there are moral codes that exist outside of christian dogma whereas the only authority christians have to impose their values is 'my god says so'. In other words, your moral code is no more valuable, your authority is self-assumed, and the fact that others share similar morals does not mean they are based upon yours.
So...I suppose an interesting question is: What about moral systems based upon a different creator god? Understand that christianity is an exclusive religion, so you can't credit your god for what theirs did.
| Posted 08/31/11 at 02:11 PM||Reply with quote #22 |
Originally Posted by apwilson
I posted this mistakenly into the middle of a well-established debate. I should have started a new thread it seems!
I am relatively new to the Reasonable Faith website but have found it a worthwhile source of stimulating material.
By way of introduction I am Tony from the UK and hold an evangelical christian worldview (in the emerging "red letter" sense of Tony Campolo).
I was very interested in the debate between Drs Craig and Antony on the possibility of the existence of absolute morality in the absence of God. By choosing to play "burden of proof" volleyball, Dr. Antony effectively admitted she had no substantive reason to justify her belief in absolute morality and she simply had to repeatedly ask Dr. Craig to explain his position on Euthyphro. I won't delve into this too deeply because I see there is a debate going on this already.
Instead I want to focus on Dr. Antony's insistence of a self-evident moral obligation to protect sentient life. She explained that she was not "speciesist" in the sense that she considers our moral obligation extends to other lifeforms with less well developed consciousness. I am not sure where she stands with respect to vegetarianism or animal experimentation, but I assume she would have to embrace the former and reject the latter. If not, then we are drawn into establishing a scale of moral values. Is it acceptable to experiment on a monkey in order to save human life? If not, are laboratory rats acceptable?
Consider an alien life form whose sentience and intelligence exceeds ours by the same factor that differentiates us from rats. It could be perfectly justifiable for them to enslave us, farm us and even perform live experiments upon us if it could be shown that the benefit conferred to their species was significant. Moreover, if the universe really does have moral absolutes in some kind of Platonic sense (the only way I think Dr Antony can really hold that this is true), it could be our moral obligation to assist the alien species to carry out their programme against the human species. It would be morally wrong to resist.
I have listened to the debate but have not heard any of the Q&A so I am not sure if issues of this kind were discussed.
I don't think absolute morality and objective morality are the same. You could say that it is wrong to kill another human being, but this isn't an absolute position unless you think you shouldn't kill another human being even in cases of self defense.