The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
Dachshund
Posts: 412
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Dachshund » May 21st, 2018, 9:48 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
May 20th, 2018, 6:48 pm
There seems to be an obvious flaw in Craig's argument. He calls objective morality one which is rooted in people's hearts, in other words, one which is innate to agency, to consciousness. By definition, that will make such morality subjective, not objective. In order for it being objective, it would have to come from an external source and be completely independent of the subjects. Craig might want to say that this is exactly what happened at the moment of creation, when morality was implanted in human beings. But there's no logical argument of empirical demonstration that Craig can offer in support of that view, while the problem of morality not being objective remains unsolved.
No, you misunderstand Craig. Craig is a Divine Command Theorist.

His argument is that moral values are real objective things that are determined by God. What Craig means when he says that moral values and duties are objective, is that in any moral situation you happen to find yourself there is, in fact, a right thing to do and there is, in fact, a bad or wrong thing to do. He does not say that this is always easy for us to discern; some situations present moral questions (dilemmas) for us that are tremendously complex and difficult to resolve. In other words it is important not to confuse epistemology ( which is how we come to know moral values and duties) with ontology ( which is the objective reality of moral values and duties which are determined by God). Craig would also say that because moral values and duties are objective, it does not mean in consequence, that we are always prevented from mis-applying them. That is, we can do the wrong thing; this happen because despite the fact that moral values and duties are objective, we human beings can and do apply them ( i.e. moral values and duties) subjectively regardless. This is what Craig would call "Sin".

Regards

Dachshund

Eduk
Posts: 1784
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Eduk » May 21st, 2018, 10:01 am

Personally I think there is an even more obvious flaw in Craig's argument. There is zero evidence (logical or empirical) for him, or anyone else, to believe his claims. At absolute best you can make the claim that he can't be disproved and therefore one must remain agnostic to his claims. But, to me, that is like saying I should remain agnostic as to whether a monkey can write Shakespeare. I guess technically I should be agnostic but in practice I'm not.

Dachshund
Posts: 412
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Dachshund » May 21st, 2018, 10:10 am

Eduk,

Tell what, in your opinion was the nature of the state of affairs that existed immediately prior to the "Big Bang"?

Regards

Dachshund

Dachshund
Posts: 412
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Dachshund » May 21st, 2018, 10:11 am

NB: I meant: "Tell me what, in your opinion"...

Eduk
Posts: 1784
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Eduk » May 21st, 2018, 10:14 am

Unknown Dachshund. I am thinking of adding a signature to me posts which reads 'unknown = unknown' as so many people can't grasp this concept.

Dachshund
Posts: 412
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Dachshund » May 21st, 2018, 10:26 am

I know exactly what you mean by "unknown". When I gaze into the boundlessness of the night sky I absolutely do not know who or what set that which I am looking into in place. I do not know how to account for the fact that I am staring into potential infinity, nonetheless that is precisely what I know I am doing.That you say it is "unknown" what the nature of state of affairs that existed prior to the "Big Bang" happened to be, does mean that there was no state of affairs. There WAS indeed a state of affairs that obtained before the "Big Bang", there must have been mustn't there? And IMO Craig offers a very compelling and very reasonable argument for what this state of affairs most likely was.

Eduk
Posts: 1784
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Eduk » May 21st, 2018, 10:47 am

You don't 'know' you are staring into the potentially infinite. And how would you prove it was? For example it is logically impossible to prove infinity empirically. So logically space can't be infinite, even potentially.
You don't 'know' there was a state of affairs 'before' the big bang. And if there was it would still not describe the state of affairs before the state of affairs which your average eight year old can posit.
You are making multiple assumptions without even realising?

I understand that you find it a compelling and reasonable argument. I assume you also understand that I don't?

Dachshund
Posts: 412
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Dachshund » May 21st, 2018, 11:30 am

Eduk wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 10:47 am
You don't 'know' there was a state of affairs 'before' the big bang.
Yes, I do.

You are, I take it, suggesting that it might have been possible that a state of nothingness ( i.e. of non-being) may have existed (somehow ?) before the "Big Bang"?

If so, what you are proposing is logically impossible, since nothing can come from nothing (can it?) , not even the "Big Bang".

You you understand what I am saying ?

Regards

Dachshund

Eduk
Posts: 1784
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Eduk » May 21st, 2018, 12:20 pm

I am saying it is unknown not known. I am not claiming to know there was no state of affairs before the big bang. I am not claiming to know the nature of existence. Hence my initial comment about how people can't understand that unknown equals unknown.

For example if you claim that it is logically impossible for something to come from nothing then you are left with an infinite regression which is logically impossible? So you have resolved nothing.

User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 361
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm

Re: The Existence of God and Objective Morality

Post by Count Lucanor » May 25th, 2018, 9:49 pm

Dachshund wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 9:48 am
Count Lucanor wrote:
May 20th, 2018, 6:48 pm
There seems to be an obvious flaw in Craig's argument. He calls objective morality one which is rooted in people's hearts, in other words, one which is innate to agency, to consciousness. By definition, that will make such morality subjective, not objective. In order for it being objective, it would have to come from an external source and be completely independent of the subjects. Craig might want to say that this is exactly what happened at the moment of creation, when morality was implanted in human beings. But there's no logical argument of empirical demonstration that Craig can offer in support of that view, while the problem of morality not being objective remains unsolved.
No, you misunderstand Craig. Craig is a Divine Command Theorist.
Actually, your response seems to confirm my observations. As we can see:
Dachshund wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 9:48 am
His argument is that moral values are real objective things that are determined by God.
That's already dealt with in these sentences:
Count Lucanor wrote: In order for it being objective, it would have to come from an external source and be completely independent of the subjects. Craig might want to say that this is exactly what happened at the moment of creation, when morality was implanted in human beings.
Remember, he's saying the existence of god is demonstrated by the existence of objective morality. So, if he says that the proof that objective morality exists is that god implanted it, that's an invalid circular reasoning. He's only left with the option to prove empirically that either god or morality have objective existence.
Dachshund wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 9:48 am
What Craig means when he says that moral values and duties are objective, is that in any moral situation you happen to find yourself there is, in fact, a right thing to do and there is, in fact, a bad or wrong thing to do. He does not say that this is always easy for us to discern; some situations present moral questions (dilemmas) for us that are tremendously complex and difficult to resolve. In other words it is important not to confuse epistemology ( which is how we come to know moral values and duties) with ontology ( which is the objective reality of moral values and duties which are determined by God).
That's already dealt with in these sentences:
Count Lucanor wrote: He calls objective morality one which is rooted in people's hearts, in other words, one which is innate to agency, to consciousness. By definition, that will make such morality subjective, not objective.
So he finds that moral behavior is innate to people. That makes it subjective, unless he can prove that it came from somewhere and got implanted in people. No such proof is provided.
Dachshund wrote:
May 21st, 2018, 9:48 am
Craig would also say that because moral values and duties are objective, it does not mean in consequence, that we are always prevented from mis-applying them. That is, we can do the wrong thing; this happen because despite the fact that moral values and duties are objective, we human beings can and do apply them ( i.e. moral values and duties) subjectively regardless. This is what Craig would call "Sin".
"Misapplying" here has the connotation of an unconscious technical error, which obviously discards moral choice. It's a workaround for not saying directly that people cannot challenge the divine norm, it is supposedly imposed upon them and don't have any choice. That brings a lot of trouble to Craig's arguments, since sin as "technical error" shatters the whole concept of a divine telos in the relationship between the deity and its human vassals.

Post Reply