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Thread: Bread and The Bible page 28

  1. #271
    UTfootball747's Avatar
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    ...and while we're quoting things that support our arguments...

    This is a Hobbesian view: in the state of nature “[t]he notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law: where no law, no injustice.” But no atheist has to agree with this account of morality, and lots of us do not. We “moralistic atheists” do not see right and wrong as artifacts of a divine protection racket. Rather, we find moral value to be immanent in the natural world, arising from the vulnerabilities of sentient beings and from the capacities of rational beings to recognize and to respond to those vulnerabilities and capacities in others.
    First let’s take a cold hard look at the consequences of pinning morality to the existence of God. Consider the following moral judgments — judgments that seem to me to be obviously true:

    • It is wrong to drive people from their homes or to kill them because you want their land.

    • It is wrong to enslave people.

    • It is wrong to torture prisoners of war.

    • Anyone who witnesses genocide, or enslavement, or torture, is morally required
    to try to stop it.

    To say that morality depends on the existence of God is to say that none of these specific moral judgments is true unless God exists. That seems to me to be a remarkable claim. If God turned out not to exist — then slavery would be O.K.? There’d be nothing wrong with torture? The pain of another human being would mean nothing?
    This will seem a harsh judgment on the many theists who subscribe to what is called Divine Command Theory — the view that what is morally good is constituted by what God commands. Defenders of D.C.T. will say that their theory explains a variety of things about morality that non-theistic accounts of moral value cannot, and that it should be preferred for that reason. For example, they will say that atheists cannot explain the objectivity of morality — how there could be moral truths that are independent of any human being’s attitudes, will or knowledge, and how moral truths could hold universally. It is true that D.C.T. would explain these things. If God exists, then He exists independently of human beings and their attitudes, and so His commands do, too. If we didn’t invent God, then we didn’t invent His commands, and hence didn’t invent morality. We can be ignorant of God’s will, and hence mistaken about what is morally good. Because God is omnipresent, His commands apply to all people at all times and in all places.

    That’s all fine. It would follow from D.C.T. that moral facts are objective. The problem is that it wouldn’t follow that they are moral. Commands issued by a tyrant would have all the same features. For D.C.T. to explain morality, it must also explain what makes God good.

    The problem I’m pointing to is an ancient one, discussed by Plato. In his dialogue “Euthyphro,” the eponymous character tries to explain his conception of piety to Socrates: “the pious acts,” Euthyphro says, are those which are loved by the gods.” But Socrates finds this definition ambiguous, and asks Euthyphro: “are the pious acts pious because they are loved by the gods, or are the pious acts loved by the gods because they are pious?”
    D.C.T. is arguably even more radical and bizarre than the Hobbesian nihilism I discussed earlier. On the nihilistic view, there is no pretense that a sovereign’s power would generate moral obligation — the view is rather that “morality” is an illusion. But D.C.T. insists both that there is such a thing as moral goodness, and that it is defined by what God commands. This makes for really appalling consequences, from an intuitive, moral point of view. D.C.T. entails that anything at all could be “good” or “right” or “wrong.” If God were to command you to eat your children, then it would be “right” to eat your children. The consequences are also appalling from a religious point of view. If all “moral” means is “commanded by God,” then we cannot have what we would otherwise have thought of as moral reasons for obeying Him.
    Link.

    The point: You seem to be hung up on the philosophical. . . which is fine. But hopefully you're not under the misperception that all PhDs and philosophers break towards your argument.
    Last edited by UTfootball747; 04-04-2013 at 05:45 AM.

  2. #272
    Lynna's Avatar
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    I don't have the time go through all the "religion" posts to find out if anyone actually answered the basic question. Today's wheat is a lot different than ancient wheat. If you want to find out more google emmer and einkorn. Following is some discussion regarding the genetics of emmer and einkorn.

    Medpedia News & Analysis - Medpedia

    You can find pasta and flour made from einkorn - I've bought it to use occasionally - DH doesn't appreciate the spaghetti squash substitute. I've eaten it, I like it much better than conventional wheat pasta.
    Last edited by Lynna; 04-04-2013 at 07:33 AM.

  3. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynna View Post
    I don't have the time go through all the "religion" posts to find out if anyone actually answered the basic question. Today's wheat is a lot different than ancient wheat. If you want to find out more google emmer and einkorn. Following is some discussion regarding the genetics of emmer and einkorn.

    Medpedia News & Analysis - Medpedia

    You can find pasta and flour made from einkorn - I've bought it to use occasionally - DH doesn't appreciate the spaghetti squash substitute. I've eaten it, I like it much better than conventional wheat pasta.
    Even though today's wheat is substantially different from the wheat that was available in Biblical times, Greeks of that time were aware of the existence of celiac. So it has undoubtedly always been a problem for some of those who eat cereal grains.

    The reason why all morals must derive from belief in or acceptance of the supernatural pretty much boils down to "because Scott F can't imagine it any other way".

  4. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    The reason why all morals must derive from belief in or acceptance of the supernatural pretty much boils down to "because Scott F can't imagine it any other way".
    The good old argument from personal incredulity.

  5. #275
    Lynna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post

    The reason why all morals must derive from belief in or acceptance of the supernatural pretty much boils down to "because Scott F can't imagine it any other way".
    Being a plain spoken person and not an intellectual, I'm not sure I quite grasp the meaning of the above sentence. Could you please state it in plain English?

  6. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynna View Post
    Being a plain spoken person and not an intellectual, I'm not sure I quite grasp the meaning of the above sentence. Could you please state it in plain English?
    That's as plain as English gets. Scott F is saying morals must derive from a belief in the supernatural or not exist at all because he can't imagine them existing otherwise outside of a purely mechanistic (materialist) viewpoint.

    In other words, because things are complicated, they require an explanation. Because that explanation is extremely complex, it's easier to imagine magic is at play. But that's not really proof that magic is at play.

  7. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynna View Post
    Being a plain spoken person and not an intellectual, I'm not sure I quite grasp the meaning of the above sentence. Could you please state it in plain English?
    Oh, that's easy. I can even offer several versions:

    One-sentence version: Scott F is wrong.

    Two-sentence version: Scott F is wrong. Scott F is stupid.

    Three-sentence version: Scott F is wrong. Scott F is stupid. We are smarter than Scott F.

    :-D

  8. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumifer View Post
    Oh, that's easy. I can even offer several versions:

    One-sentence version: Scott F is wrong.

    Two-sentence version: Scott F is wrong. Scott F is stupid.

    Three-sentence version: Scott F is wrong. Scott F is stupid. We are smarter than Scott F.

    :-D
    Now you've made it too plain & simple.

  9. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Now you've made it too plain & simple.
    It's just a proper translation for "a plain spoken person and not an intellectual" :-)

  10. #280
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    I think the reference is to "Scott F" (the handle of the poster here who was complaining about atheists) and not "F. Scott Fitzgerald," who I assume you're referring to...

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