Is God necessary for morality?

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Ginkgo
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Ginkgo »

Belinda wrote: At this juncture we revert to "is God necessary for morality?" I claim not so because morality is intersubjective and not an objective, natural and absolute law.
Please don't start Immanuel Can off on this again, I couldn't stand it. At this juncture we are up to casual chains.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:22 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:04 am
Belinda wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:47 pm I await your reply to my question before I answer your question.
I'll give you one, and I'll bet you use it, too. Use logic. If something is inherently self-contradictory, it's not true.

So what do you do?
I agree with you if something is inherently contradictory it's not true. However I can and often do believe two interpretations of the same text.
If the interpretations contradict, that would be irrational. If they do not, it would be possible.
How I distinguish between a deluded idea and a true idea is a question I have to introspect to answer. I sometimes have an internal argument about whether an idea is deluded or not.

That's good -- okay. But now, drill down on that a bit. When you have this "internal argument," what sort of things do you access in order to decide "whether an idea is deluded or not": is it strictly logical arguments, or empirical ones, or experiential ones, or some other kind of data your "arguers" take to be relevant?
To call someone deluded is to disparage them
It can be. But it can also be a statement of fact, devoid of animus against them. So, for example, you would not be unreasonable to speak of the early people of the world who thought the Earth was flat as "deluded," without despising them for that. They were only going with what they thought they could discern. They were wrong, but they were honestly wrong.
... most individuals are enmeshed in a total world view .
I'd go farther. I'd say all people have a worldview, and it's always dependent on their first ontological beliefs. Some people know that fact, and some people are unaware of it and imagine they are perfectly free of belief, as hard-nosed realists. The former are more realistic than the latter, though.
At this juncture we revert to "is God necessary for morality?" I claim not so because morality is intersubjective and not an objective, natural and absolute law.
Yes, I know you claim that. But you should perhaps entertain the thought that the very reason it seems to you that morality must be intersubjective is the fact that you've already taken God out of the equation. And that first step is merely assumptive. We do not know that morality is intersubjective at all. And if there is a God, it's obviously not.

Moreover, we can't actually make intersubjective morality, as a concept, make any sense, even if we leave God out of the equation. Morality just dissolves if it's intersubjective. It's just another intersubjective impression or provisional negotiation, and one grounded in no objective reality at all, then. What makes it "moral"? Why isn't is just an odd fact that people are deluded in this particular way, or prefer this or that value contingently, and in a culturally-relative way? What makes it more than that?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Ginkgo wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:14 am At this juncture we are up to casual chains.
I'm fine with going back to that. I believe I asked you if you thought causality was a delusion, and you said it was, because of quantum physics.

But if causality is a delusion, then you surely don't believe in science; for science rests on inductive detection of causality. An experiment shows that this or that cause regularly issues in this or that effect -- but your position would be that that proposed connection is merely a delusion, no?

So if we see a ball roll down an inclined plane 100 times in a row, say, which is probably what would happen, we are not justified in concluding that balls placed on an inclined plane under normal gravitational conditions will roll down?
Belinda
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Belinda »

Ginkgo wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:14 am
Belinda wrote: At this juncture we revert to "is God necessary for morality?" I claim not so because morality is intersubjective and not an objective, natural and absolute law.
Please don't start Immanuel Can off on this again, I couldn't stand it. At this juncture we are up to casual chains.
I thought we had done causal chains. I hope I may add causation is more than chains. Causes of events are not only ordered sequential chains but are also simultaneous events.

When fundamentlist Xians claim God is original cause of everything they usually play down or ignore simultaneous causes. They do so because simultaneous causation applies to God's immanence. Immanence of God is too close to pantheism to be comfortable for fundamentalists who are attached to God's transcendence.
Belinda
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Belinda »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:02 pm
Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:22 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:04 am
I'll give you one, and I'll bet you use it, too. Use logic. If something is inherently self-contradictory, it's not true.

So what do you do?
I agree with you if something is inherently contradictory it's not true. However I can and often do believe two interpretations of the same text.
If the interpretations contradict, that would be irrational. If they do not, it would be possible.
How I distinguish between a deluded idea and a true idea is a question I have to introspect to answer. I sometimes have an internal argument about whether an idea is deluded or not.

That's good -- okay. But now, drill down on that a bit. When you have this "internal argument," what sort of things do you access in order to decide "whether an idea is deluded or not": is it strictly logical arguments, or empirical ones, or experiential ones, or some other kind of data your "arguers" take to be relevant?
To call someone deluded is to disparage them
It can be. But it can also be a statement of fact, devoid of animus against them. So, for example, you would not be unreasonable to speak of the early people of the world who thought the Earth was flat as "deluded," without despising them for that. They were only going with what they thought they could discern. They were wrong, but they were honestly wrong.
... most individuals are enmeshed in a total world view .
I'd go farther. I'd say all people have a worldview, and it's always dependent on their first ontological beliefs. Some people know that fact, and some people are unaware of it and imagine they are perfectly free of belief, as hard-nosed realists. The former are more realistic than the latter, though.
At this juncture we revert to "is God necessary for morality?" I claim not so because morality is intersubjective and not an objective, natural and absolute law.
Yes, I know you claim that. But you should perhaps entertain the thought that the very reason it seems to you that morality must be intersubjective is the fact that you've already taken God out of the equation. And that first step is merely assumptive. We do not know that morality is intersubjective at all. And if there is a God, it's obviously not.

Moreover, we can't actually make intersubjective morality, as a concept, make any sense, even if we leave God out of the equation. Morality just dissolves if it's intersubjective. It's just another intersubjective impression or provisional negotiation, and one grounded in no objective reality at all, then. What makes it "moral"? Why isn't is just an odd fact that people are deluded in this particular way, or prefer this or that value contingently, and in a culturally-relative way? What makes it more than that?
Logical contradiction can be applied only to deductive thinking. Deductive thinking is special thinking tools that don't apply to everyday propositions. We deal with everyday propositions by inductive thinking. The fact of the matter however much one aims for absolute truth it's impossible. Not possible nor desirable as we are each individual subjects of experience and that is how we are creative beings.

I am sometimes gullible and I try not to be. I try to get reliable info i.e. info from the most disinterested sources I know. In practice this means I trust a free newspaper, the Guardian, more than I trust Murdoch newspapers. It also means when God believers believe as they do because God belief makes them happy, or powerful, or rich, then I think those believers are not disinterested and therefore are not reliable sources.
I was brought up as a Christian and respected transcendent God, so transcendent God was there for me before I was introduced to newer ideas. God had priority so you are wrong I was prejudiced against God, I was not.
By "intersubjective" I refer to shared cultural values, traditions, and myths. God does not disappear but moves with cultural change. God is an icon not some everlasting Person. Goodness me you surely know how people are no longer tolerating statues of past 'heroes'!

Morality is intersubjective like art , religious rituals, language, even science are intersubjective. I know you believe God injected morality into people's awarenesses. That idea might have been a life supporting idea in former times, but not for modern people who have largely dismissed the idea of a supernatural Being Who intervenes in history.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:39 pm Logical contradiction can be applied only to deductive thinking. Deductive thinking is special thinking tools that don't apply to everyday propositions.
Who told you that? Sorry, they lied.

It applies very well to empirical matters, actually, especially to questions of existence. A thing cannot "exist" and "not exist" in the same sense and at the same time period. That's a perfect case, actually.
I am sometimes gullible and I try not to be. I try to get reliable info i.e. info from the most disinterested sources I know. In practice this means I trust a free newspaper, the Guardian, more than I trust Murdoch newspapers.
Trusting a source is not always a bad strategy. For example, if you are asking about geography, your geography prof is probably more reliable than your drunk uncle Bill. But it's not a guarantee, of course. And these days, all newspapers are particularly unreliable. It's like they've all decided it's perfectly fine form them to choose a political party and just shill for it unapologetically. And they bat away the accusation that they are "not objective" by saying, "well, it's all perspective anyway...don't you want me to be honest about my perspective?"
It also means when God believers believe as they do because God belief makes them happy, or powerful, or rich, then I think those believers are not disinterested and therefore are not reliable sources.
That's a good thought. If you actually know that they believe BECAUSE of those things, that is. Those are not only not adequate reasons to believe, they aren't even relevant reasons to believe.
By "intersubjective" I refer to shared cultural values, traditions, and myths.

I know. But it's a useless thought.

If it's true, their being "shared" doesn't impart to them any bit of moral dignity. One can "share" many values you and I would recognize as deeply evil. Conservative Islamists "share" the value of keeping women down. Rioters "share" the value of looting stores and burning them. Propagandists "share" the value of advancing their cause through lies and distortions...and so on. All those are "intersubjective," but not a bit moral.
God does not disappear but moves with cultural change.

Then he's not real.
God is an icon not some everlasting Person.
An "icon" is a statue, a false image, an idol, an artifact of human crafting only, and for religious purposes. It has neither reality nor any real moral standing.

A "person," in contrast, is an entity with his own identity, rights, wishes and volition. It's convenient to keep God as a comforting idea, an "icon," but it's too convenient. It nicely avoids the expedient of letting Him make any claims on one's life...at the expense of making God seem unreal.

You should maybe ask Him what He thinks of that. Consult the first commandment of the big 10.
uwot
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by uwot »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:03 pmConsult the first commandment of the big 10.
Mr Can, commandment number 1 is the only rule that all despots agree on - 'I am the Lord thy god', 'Thought shalt have no other gods before me', 'I am the truth, the way and the light'. Everything else is fake news. Jesus, Stalin, Trump. What's the difference? Mr Can, you fear me because I might be right; when you can deal with that, you will finally grow up.
Skepdick
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:15 pm
Skepdick wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:12 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:36 am
The size of the universe. For certain, it has one, since we know it's expanding; but nobody knows exactly what it is. And by the time they decide, it's bigger. So there's a truth only knowable to the Supreme Being.

Or the number of hairs on your head right now. Or the number of stars above, or the sand of the seashore. All these things are finite, and so must have a true number. But you don't know what that number is.
If all those things do have a true number, then why aren't you telling me what it is?
You know why. Read again.
I know that you don't know about transfinite numbers
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:37 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:15 pm
Skepdick wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:12 am
If all those things do have a true number, then why aren't you telling me what it is?
You know why. Read again.
I know that you don't know about transfinite numbers
You think there are an infinite number of hairs on your head?

To the barber with you...though she will never finish. :D
Ginkgo
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:07 pm
Ginkgo wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:14 am At this juncture we are up to casual chains.
I'm fine with going back to that. I believe I asked you if you thought causality was a delusion, and you said it was, because of quantum physics.

But if causality is a delusion, then you surely don't believe in science; for science rests on inductive detection of causality. An experiment shows that this or that cause regularly issues in this or that effect -- but your position would be that that proposed connection is merely a delusion, no?

So if we see a ball roll down an inclined plane 100 times in a row, say, which is probably what would happen, we are not justified in concluding that balls placed on an inclined plane under normal gravitational conditions will roll down?
Actually, I didn't say that.I am not saying causality is a delusion,what I am saying is that cause and effect in the physical world is a fact. Because cause and effect are empirical claims it's not a contradiction to say there are effects without causes. The problem I have the casual chains is that cause and effects in the physical world are so intertwined that it is impossible to trace cause and effect back to a first cause.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Ginkgo wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:31 am ...what I am saying is that cause and effect in the physical world is a fact.
Oh. Okay. Well, then how do you then say...
...there are effects without causes.
Okay, then...now you say there are such things as effects that have no causes. That seems to contradict your claim that cause-and-effect is a fact, but I'm ready to hear how it can make sense to say both.

What would an example of such an effect be?
Belinda
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Belinda »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:03 pm
Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:39 pm Logical contradiction can be applied only to deductive thinking. Deductive thinking is special thinking tools that don't apply to everyday propositions.
Who told you that? Sorry, they lied.

It applies very well to empirical matters, actually, especially to questions of existence. A thing cannot "exist" and "not exist" in the same sense and at the same time period. That's a perfect case, actually.
I am sometimes gullible and I try not to be. I try to get reliable info i.e. info from the most disinterested sources I know. In practice this means I trust a free newspaper, the Guardian, more than I trust Murdoch newspapers.
Trusting a source is not always a bad strategy. For example, if you are asking about geography, your geography prof is probably more reliable than your drunk uncle Bill. But it's not a guarantee, of course. And these days, all newspapers are particularly unreliable. It's like they've all decided it's perfectly fine form them to choose a political party and just shill for it unapologetically. And they bat away the accusation that they are "not objective" by saying, "well, it's all perspective anyway...don't you want me to be honest about my perspective?"
It also means when God believers believe as they do because God belief makes them happy, or powerful, or rich, then I think those believers are not disinterested and therefore are not reliable sources.
That's a good thought. If you actually know that they believe BECAUSE of those things, that is. Those are not only not adequate reasons to believe, they aren't even relevant reasons to believe.
By "intersubjective" I refer to shared cultural values, traditions, and myths.

I know. But it's a useless thought.

If it's true, their being "shared" doesn't impart to them any bit of moral dignity. One can "share" many values you and I would recognize as deeply evil. Conservative Islamists "share" the value of keeping women down. Rioters "share" the value of looting stores and burning them. Propagandists "share" the value of advancing their cause through lies and distortions...and so on. All those are "intersubjective," but not a bit moral.
God does not disappear but moves with cultural change.

Then he's not real.
God is an icon not some everlasting Person.
An "icon" is a statue, a false image, an idol, an artifact of human crafting only, and for religious purposes. It has neither reality nor any real moral standing.

A "person," in contrast, is an entity with his own identity, rights, wishes and volition. It's convenient to keep God as a comforting idea, an "icon," but it's too convenient. It nicely avoids the expedient of letting Him make any claims on one's life...at the expense of making God seem unreal.

You should maybe ask Him what He thinks of that. Consult the first commandment of the big 10.
Intersubjectivity is a fact of life. Even Jesus needed to be born of a woman and a Jewish family as a matter of fact. If Jesus had not been born into a family he would have been feral.

Regarding sources, disinterest is the best guide we have to integrity. Disinterest characterised the self sacrifice of all known heroes from any and every culture. Disinterest is not always fatal, of course and some people are praised for their disinterest and even rewarded for it while they are alive.

An icon is precisely not the same as a statue . We know that statues are false icons because statues are made of long lasting materials and set up in high status places. This is why some statues are now being packed away into museums. This is why a man carved in stone or bronze and honoured is idolatry. It is wrong to idolise any person: statues of persons are wrong if the idea is to honour that man, as opposed to honouring some idea. NB I am not saying ideas should be caste in stone or bronze either although I do like some of those very much. An icon is not a worthy icon unless it's movable. And this, precisely, is the strength of Xianity, that the icon at its head is a man and a man's life open to reinterpretation through the centuries and from country to country. I suppose the ideas of great men stand the test of time while the ideas of lesser men and bad men die often before the person is dead. In this way I do support tradition, however I don't support tradition at the cost of repressing creativity.
Ginkgo
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Ginkgo »

Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:01 am
Ginkgo wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:31 am ...what I am saying is that cause and effect in the physical world is a fact.
Oh. Okay. Well, then how do you then say...
...there are effects without causes.
Okay, then...now you say there are such things as effects that have no causes. That seems to contradict your claim that cause-and-effect is a fact, but I'm ready to hear how it can make sense to say both.

What would an example of such an effect be?
Quote mining again I see. You left out the bit where I said that causes and their effects are an empirical fact and as such it is not a contradiction to say there are effects without causes. Please note again, I didn't say there are effects without causes in the physical world, I just said it is not a contradiction.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Belinda wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:40 am Intersubjectivity is a fact of life.
That is true. But saying so doesn't even remotely justify thinking it grounds morality. People negotiate all the time. It doesn't imply that they simply negotiate morality into existence. That's magical thinking.
Regarding sources, disinterest is the best guide we have to integrity.
Wait.

Why? :shock:

Think carefully. What would we be supposing, if we think "disinterestedness" is the key? Setting aside the Postmodern insistence that "disinterestedness" is actually impossible to human beings, let's suppose it can be done. How would we know it would it be morally "good"?

It would only be "good" if we had already established that equality was a moral value, was "justice," and that "justice" was also a correct moral goal. And how do we know these things? We would need grounds for thinking it, and it is not apparent from any natural observation we have. What's clear from natural observation is that people are unequal, and what we choose to call "injustices" happen all the time. What are our grounds for thinking we should go against such a natural observation?
An icon is precisely not the same as a statue .

Right. It adds the element of worship. It's closer to an idol than a statue ever is.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is God necessary for morality?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Ginkgo wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:19 am You left out the bit where I said that causes and their effects are an empirical fact and as such it is not a contradiction to say there are effects without causes. Please note again, I didn't say there are effects without causes in the physical world, I just said it is not a contradiction.
I note this. But a "cause" automatically implies an "effect," and the reverse is true as well; and "effect" implies there was a "cause." "Contradiction" is not the right word for the problem: "entailment" is. The one is entailed by the other.

Now, I don't see the example I asked for. And you say such things do not exist in the physical world? But you did say "there are". I took that to be a claim that causeless effects do, in fact, exist...and it's not unreasonable of me, then, to ask you for one, is it?

But if no such things as "causeless effects" exist in the physical world, then we are indeed on a linear timeline with a cause-effect chain in place, empirically. And we're back to the infinite regress problem: no chain of causes and effects can be infinite, because mathematically, infinite prerequisites means the impossibility of a starting point.
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