Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:33 am
surreptitious57 wrote: ↑Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:12 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
how good and evil can have any objective content at all or even any reality to back a subjective claim of the same if Atheism is the assumption
Atheism has nothing to say about morality and you agree with this so then why are you still asking questions about it in relation to good and evil
Atheism stultifies those concepts completely. They refer to nothing. That means that if one is an Atheist, and wants to behave rationally and consistently with what one says one believes, one is also obligated to believe there is no evil.
Can you live with that?
I'm a great admirer of the English author, C.S. Lewis. I first read his seven Narnia Chronicles when I was about 12 years old, and over the years I have re-read them as an adult several times. Every time I "step through the wardrobe" that sits against the wall in the bedroom of that English Country House and re-enter Lewis's enchanted winter world of Narnia I immediately feel all of my senses starting to work "overtime" in anticipation of what new truth the books will reveal for me this time in my own reality. By the time I have reached p.15 of of the first chronicle: "The Loin the Witch and the Wardrobe"
, I am already emotionally affected at a very deep level. Lewis was a unique and brilliant prose stylist, he was honoured not that long ago with a well-deserved place in "Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey near Chaucer and Charles Dickens. From memory, some 100,000,000 copied of the Narnia Chronicles have been sold to date since they were first published in England in the 1950's.Lewis' non-fiction books in Christian apologetics have sold in the region of 10-20 million copies each. How does one explain his extraordinary success as a writer? Personally, I think he had mastered the craft of blending the supernatural knowledge of his Christian faith with that knowledge that is the fruit of human reasoning (logic, rationality, science) in his writing. I find it very difficult to clearly illustrate what I mean here in terms of providing some quick examples, though I'll give it a shot...
The best I can do is say that I think one of the most distinctive hallmarks of C.S.Lewis writing (fiction and non-fiction) is the artistic combination of logic and emotion or love, etc; (other affective experiences) - of fact and fiction, of the magical and the mundane, of dreams and reality, - of the numinous and the commonplace, of the material/physic and the existential, of prose and poetry. For instance, in the Narnia Chronicles he created a Christian world that could be thought and felt (or, rather: "felt- as- it was - thought" and "thought-as- it- was- felt", a world that it would be, for instance, strictly "logical to love"). His narratives successful in both providing answers to intellectual questions and in satisfying those spiritual yearnings that are connected with them; he demonstrates the importance of images and stories for the life of faith without forgetting to include the necessary, reasoned, coherent belief as well. I think C.S Lewis was a 20th century version of St Thomas Aquinas insofar as he came to understood that faith and reason must not be viewed as separate and incompatible ways of knowing, but rather, are intended to work together in harmony. When a harmonious synergy between faith and reason is established man journey toward the Truth is guided in the correct direction. Pope John Paul II - who was no mean philosopher himself - summed it all up very elegantly 20 years ago in his Encyclical: "FIDE ET RATIO" ("FAITH AND REASON") when he wrote...
"Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth, and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth - in a word, to know himself - so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves."
Here's a passage from C.S,Lewis' wonderful "Mere Christianity"(regarded by many eminent Christian theologians as one of the 20th century's great texts in Christian apologetics)
) that I think has some relevance to the set of topics (atheism vs theism, objective morality, etc.) currently under discussion on this thread...
"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. Just how had I got this idea of just and unjust ? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line, what was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust ?... Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist - in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless - I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality - namely my idea of justice - was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning."
As you are also discussing the question of morality in the context of atheism and theism (i.e, the belief or lack of belief in a Biblical God), here are some brief points in support of those who are arguing for existence of God and objective morality.
Basic moral values do exist and there is no good reason to deny them, Moreover human beings all have an innate dignity (worth) because they were fashioned in the image of God who is the cause of all greatness and morality. To put it simply, naturalism cannot adequately account for moral obligation or human rights (natural rights) since valueless processes cannot conceivably produce valuable human beings.
If God doesn't exist, then objective moral values and rights don't exist. In addition, morality is not the by-product of evolutionary forces, but rather reinforces human dignity as bestowed by God. Atheists may argue that if God exists, then God's commands or character must be subject to non-arbitrary principles of goodness that are independent of God, so moral values can exist independently of God. The sub-argument even claims that such moral values and dignity are, in fact, supported by atheists who are forced to recognise the inherent connection between God ans objective moral values and human dignity. However, it is by the very interconnected and inherent relationship between faith and reason that theological scholars are able to declare such moral values and dignity have their basis in the creator God.
With respect to the mention I made above of the relationship between faith and reason (philosophical, scientific) I agree that while faith and reason are wholly different modes of knowing in themselves, they are nonetheless intended to work together in a complimentary, and intimately intertwined relationship In this way. To borrow John Paul's analogy, just as the two wings of the Dove - when they functioning in proper natural consonance - loft the creature skyward; so too can faith and reason working together in accord lift the human spirit ever closer to truth. Parallel to this relationship between faith and reason, I believe there is an intrinsic connection between God and objective moral vales along with human dignity and natural rights. Ironically enough, support for this notion came from astute, intellectual atheists who recognise the the existence of morality, but cannot trace its origin to any scientific or philosophical source. I think it's fair to use remarks by such atheists for support of the morality - God association, because all human beings are hard - wired the same way; that is they are made to function in the correct, proper manner, when the are living morally. The moral awareness is a part of God's general self - revelation. We see something of God in the moral order of the universe.
The concept of morality is a tricky one to grasp given that many people do, in fact, acknowledge such a sensation and intuitive awareness of right and wrong, however, they cannot pinpoint its cause or connotation without first acknowledging a diving being in the sense of God. Here is an elegant little explanation I came across of the God - morality relationship...
"Theism is the more natural...Given materialistic, impersonal, non-conscious, valueless, deterministic processes, the atheist is hard pressed to account for personal self-consciousness, valuable, morally responsible persons. Theism offer a better fit, and this fit is one important basis for affirming one context (in this case theism) and rejecting another (naturalism). The reason theism makes more sense here is that personhood and morality are necessarily connected. That is, moral values are rooted in personhood. Without God (a personal being), no persons - and thus no moral values - would exist at all.
Finally, in sum, the moral assertion for proof of God's existence via the presence of morality and human dignity claim that there is the necessity for such a divine being. The argument points to a personal God to whom the human race is responsible. Therefore, only if God exists can such moral properties found in the world be realised and logically affirmed through such reasoning.
Dachshund (Der Uberweiner) WOOF !! WOOF!!
PS: I read a piece in "The Guardian,- (a left-leaning, "progressive", English newspaper typically read by cosmopolitan, "chattering class" neo-Marxist intellectuals who have never done a day's work in a real job in their lives) -, reporting how C.S. Lewis' and his Narnia Chronicles had been viciously attacked by a clique of modern day writers of children's fantasy books. Leading the assault was an author called Phillip Pullman. Pullman had written a popular trilogy called His Dark Materials" which was awarded a number of British literary awards, and three or so other fantasy books He is an outspoken atheist (and moral relativist) and has generated controversy in respect of the explicit anti-Christian content in his books. For example, In his trilogy, a young girl, Lyra, becomes enmeshed in an epic struggle against a nefarious church called the Magisterium. Another character, an ex - nun turned particle physicist - named Mary Molone, describes Christianity as " a very powerful and convincing mistake." and so on. According to Pullman every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them. In an essay he wrote for "The Guardian" entitled "The Dark Side of Narnia." Pullman took a meat-cleaver to Narnia in this piece, condemning the Chronicles as: "morally loathsome"; laden with "nauseating drivel"; "misogynistic", "sexist", Racist"; a celebration of "sado-masochistic violence", life-despising and teaching that "death is better than life", "filthy", "evil"; "detestable", "exploitative"; "propagandistic" and so on. Well a well-educated, middle-aged, Englishman unleashes this kind of poisonous invective against a colleague (now deceased) I think it is a classic example of ressentiment, of curdled, bitter vengeance against a man, Lewis, whom he always knew was his superior in the literary world. This in, turn, would suggest that Pullman is a high-brow socialist. It's all enough to make me lose my faith in human nature, I swear !