Spiral wrote: ↑
May 18th, 2018, 8:32 pm
Gertie wrote: ↑
May 18th, 2018, 12:06 pm
Its power is really as an emotional appeal, we instinctively feel it's objectively Wrong to murder an innocent child (not just a subjective opinion), to say otherwise is appalling, so we instinctively want to defend it as objectively wrong. Then Craig can say, but on what basis is it Objectively wrong. I have this God over here to explain its objectivity, what do you have but evolution which says these intuitions evolved for utility?
[*] "I have this God over here to explain its objectivity."
If you ask 5 different believers in God about God's views on moral questions, you could easily get 5 different answers. In reality, when someone says, "I have this God over here," all they are really saying is, "I have my own subjective
beliefs about God over here and I will pretend that these beliefs are objective."
[*] Then Craig can say, but on what basis is it Objectively wrong.
Some people think that the God of the Bible is objectively wrong in numerous situations.
Perhaps God was wrong to drown the entire world except for a handful of human beings led by Noah and a handful of animals. Perhaps God was wrong to command the Israelites to commit genocide.
Craig has argued that killing infants can be good because the infants go directly to heaven. These views are Craig's personal opinions. Are they objective opinions or personal religious biases?
Craig is a disingenuous salesman who uses his philosophical skills to basically 'lie for Jesus', but it's a fair point that without some external moral grounding/authority, we're left with the reality that our moral intuitions about Right and Wrong are just evolutionarily useful traits in our social species. In other words if we invented God, then we also invented the notion that Right and Wrong has some objective existence beyond the happenstance of our evolved traits.
So there are two issues -
What is morality - which I think can be explained in evolutionary terms and we just came to think of it as having some objective existence.
And the more difficult question of how do you get an Ought from an Is in light of that knowledge. Can we come up with a different foundation than God which we can treat
as 'objectve', axiomatic and foundational. A touchstone against which to test Oughts. I agree that the well-being of conscious creatures is such a foundational axiom. (Then once you have the foundation, you have the separate problem of how best to achieve the well-being of conscious creatures).
The problem with picking The Welfare of Conscious Creatures as your foundation, your grounding for Rights and Wrongs, is what makes that so special from any other other proposed foundation? Essentially it's treating one of our evolved social pre-dispositions, about care/harm, as something more than a useful evolutionary trait, as having its own justification. (Haidt's Moral Foundation Theory has come up with about 6 broad categories of universal evolved human 'moral intuitions', Care/Harm (aka well-being/suffering) is just one of them http://moralfoundations.org/
). That's where you need a philosophical argument to make the case for Care/Harm, or The Welfare of Conscious Creatures, as your Foundational Principle. I think the case can be made, but it's not really an Objective vs Subjective case, it rests on the special qualiative nature of conscious experience
- as Goldstein would say, the welfare of conscious creatures Matters
Then once you have that foundational basis of the welfare of conscious creatures Mattering, Goldstein treats the issue of how we go about putting that into practice in a similar way to Harris - she calls it The Mattering Map rather than The Moral Landscape. But it's the same sort of idea, and it makes sense because when you're dealing with the welfare of conscious subjects, some things will Matter to all of us, and some things will Matter more to me than you, and Mattering is difficult to quantify.
That's a crude nutshell version, but I think it makes the point. It's not as satisfying and tidy as having a Perfect Parent Substitute to tell us what's naughty and nice, and it requires us to be sophisticated, responsible adults, so we'll have to see if such a post-god approach to morality will catch on... but philosophy is offering us a solution to Craig's challenge which we could cohere around.