October 20, 2011

Logical Reasons why Moral Relativism is False

The following is an outline of some reasons why moral relativism and relativist ethics are false and destructive. A sub-theme hints at the manner in which moral relativism ultimately leads to a totalitarian state,  something not very desirable for most people. But that theme would require an additional article to fully develop. Before reading the meat of the article, consider some logical syllogisms that debunk moral relativism:

I. Logical Reasons why Moral Relativism is False

P1. Cultural relativists propose moral rightness is a matter of obedience to cultural values.
P2. Nazi henchmen complicit in genocide were obedient to the accepted cultural values of Nazi Germany.
P3. Nazi henchmen were publicly convicted based upon the cultural values of the international community by way of an international trial and codes of the Geneva Convention.
P4. Both Nazi Germany and the international community considered their values to be correct.
P5. The moral opinions of 2 cultural groups to which Germany belonged were contradictory.
C. Therefore, cultural values alone are not enough to determine moral rightness.

P1. Moral relativists claim that there are no absolute moral standards.
P2. The claim "All moral standards are relative" proposes an absolute moral standard.
P3. To propose there are no absolute moral standards using an absolute moral standard is illogical.
C. Therefore, the relativist's claim "All moral standards are relative" is illogical.

P1. Torturing babies just for fun has been considered immoral throughout the world and throughout history.
P2. The existence of a universal and timeless standard implies there is probably an absolute standard.
C. Therefore, an absolute standard of morality probably exists.

II. Basic Arguments and Premises Supporting Moral Relativism Refuted

A. Values differ from culture to culture, therefore moral relativism is valid.

Cultural relativism at work.
Moral cultural relativism is a subset of plain-old cultural relativism, also known as cultural Marxism. For a look into how this philosophy has been used to influence Western Civilization, research the goals and methods of the Frankfurt school. In terms of moral arguments, Moral cultural relativism is basically an argument for meta-ethical relativism, which offers that moral judgments are true by virtue of their being predominantly accepted in the cultural groups that have created them. Cultures where habitual cannibalism and headhunting have developed over time would be considered morally acceptable in those environments but not in contemporary Western Civilization, which has its own standards. The underlying presumption of this argument is that moral rightness is a matter of obedience to cultural values and this is always true.[1]

A refutation of this argument is based on historical perspective and international court rulings. Looking back historically, most people today would agree that Hitler's slaughter of innocent Jews was morally wrong. And the international war trials found that Nazis who claimed "I was just following orders" offered an insufficient excuse. The judges basically ruled that you cannot blame your local society, environment or your leaders for crimes you were personally involved in. This leads to the question, "If moral cultural relativism is true, how could these German citizens have been held responsible?" The basic summation is that we all have a conscience that is a moral compass. and that this compass is fixed to a "True North" of absolute morality that has international and universal standards. Some may say the Allies committed crimes also and were not judged. Even if this is true, the Geneva Convention was the international law in force and it condemns these actions. Two wrongs don't make a right.

B. Ethical relativism is the natural (and desirable) result of evolution and social conditioning.

This is similar to the previous argument. Peter Kreeft points out that, though society does condition our opinions about values, it does not change the values themselves. At the heart of the argument is a false assumption that whatever values we learn from society must be subjective values.[2] The study of morality is a metaphysical subject, not a materialistic one. And this evolutionary argument is based on a philosophical presupposition of naturalism. If social Darwinism is the modus operandi of morality, then "might makes right" should probably be a foundational moral code today and political movements such as Fascism should be considered natural and normal. According to an interview with Richard Dawkins July 30, 2005 in Austria, social Darwinism would naturally tend to result in a fascist state: "No self respecting person would want to live in a Society that operates according to Darwinian laws. I am a passionate Darwinist, when it involves explaining the development of life. However, I am a passionate anti-Darwinist when it involves the kind of society in which we want to live. A Darwinian society would be a Fascist state."[3]
Dawkins flip-flops.

Though admitting a close relationship between Darwinism and Fascism, in 2008 it seems Dawkins had a change of opinion. According to The New York Times, "People who have seen the movie (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed) say it also suggests that there is a link between the theory of evolution and ideas like Nazism, something Dr. Dawkins called 'a major outrage.'"[4] Why does Dawkins declare it is "a major outrage" to correlate Darwinism and Fascist Nazi Germany, when he himself stated a Darwinian society would be a Fascist state? According to common definitions, Nazism is considered a form of Fascism that emphasizes racism.[5] Therefore, because Nazism is a subset of Fascism, his outrage is illogical.

The overlapping between Nazism and Fascism is more common than people may realize. Like Nazi Germany, Italy during WWII was also a fascist state that had aspects of racism. Secret diaries by Mussolini's long-term mistress were quoted in a book entitled "Secret Mussolini" outlining how Mussolini was a fierce anti-Semite who hated the Jews and vowed to "destroy them all."[6] According to historians, "Life in Mussolini's Italy was little different from other dictatorships which existed between 1918 and 1939." Were Italy's Black Shirts much different from Germany's Brown Shirts? In Italy, "One favored way of making people conform was to tie a "troublemaker" to a tree, force a pint or two of castor oil down the victim's throat and force him to eat a live toad/frog, etc."[7] It seems the main difference between Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy was that Italy didn't have the resources to commit genocide, as Hitler did.

It seems that Dawkins didn't like the implications of his beliefs and therefore felt the need to deny the Darwinian-Nazi Fascist connection. Not only does Dawkins dislike the correlation, apparently he is willing to flip-flop and back-peddle in order to attempt to persuade us that no such association exists. Friedrich Nietzsche was one who outwardly proposed that Darwinian ethics are better than theist ones and made no excuses. This was, of course, before Hitler's rise and fall.

C. Morality is determined only by situations.

M.C. Escher's "Relativity"
Relativists argue that lying to the Nazis and saying there are no Jews hiding in your walls would be considered moral under those kinds of circumstances, so therefore moral relativism is true. This example, however, does not negate the existence of moral absolutes. Apolonio Latar explained how morality is not determined by situations, but is conditioned by them.[5] There is some truth to situational ethics because each aspect of each situation plays a role and influences the situation partially, but not wholly. Latar elaborates, "There are three things that make a moral act good or bad: situation, motive, and the act itself. All this means is that one should apply objective principles to situations." An example would be killing in self defense versus cold-blooded murder. In both cases killing is involved, but in the first case the person would be innocent and in the latter case, guilty, according to what seems to be a universal consensus on this issue. In the case of Jew-hunting Nazis, lying to them would not be considered immoral in this situation because the Nazi's were in the process of breaking a fundamental natural law and thus did not have the right to request the truth from anyone who would then become complicit in their immorality. In a similar manner, a Christian soldier would be morally justified in refusing orders by a government authority to shoot an innocent person who is far from a battlefield. The artist M.C. Escher produced an image entitled "Relativity" which sums up the conundrum of creating a system of morality based merely on situational variables with no objective anchoring points.

D. Moral relativism allows for more happiness.

While happiness is a subjective phenomenon, there have been numerous statistical reports that help to discern that psychological happiness decreases for people who live with a philosophy of moral relativism. For example, sociologists Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, authors of book, "Premarital Sex in America," have noted a correlation between sexual promiscuity and depression. Quoting a New York Times article, "Their research, which looks at sexual behavior among contemporary young adults, finds a significant correlation between sexual restraint and emotional well-being, between monogamy and happiness, and between promiscuity and depression."[6]

Values clarification needed.
Correlation does not necessarily prove causality, but as you examine other related subjects similar negative effects are associated with moral relativism. For example, when the highest value in a woman's life is how thin she is, then eating disorders such as anorexia may result. Certain values are promoted for commercial gain. Thin women sell products and the subtle message is, you've got to be thin. If a person isn't grounded with healthy and true moral values, then he or she may follow along with any of the value systems being promoted, no matter how unhealthy.

Also, consider the negative statistics on pornography. Relying on extensive research from a variety of sources, the testimony of Jill Manning was presented to the US Senate outlining the following results of pornography:

Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce,
Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction,
Infidelity
Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices,
Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing,
An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behaviour.[7]

E. Moral relativism offers more freedom.

This premise is ill-conceived for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is an implied assumption that pushing the moral envelope will give a person more happiness. This aspect of happiness was addressed in the previous argument but has more specific meaning with regard to the concept of personal freedom. The logic of moral law is predicated on the scientific law of cause and effect. As documented in the prior example, Specific immoral actions produce specific negative results. Actions are not bad because they are forbidden, they are forbidden because they are bad and have devastating consequences. When individuals believe they are not subject to the basic law of cause and effect, they end up living an illusory and destructive life, not a world of true freedom. During the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970's, many young people embraced this illusory understanding of freedom and ended up psychologically and emotionally devastated, addicted to drugs and homeless.
Adams warned about it.

Moving from personal experience to societal trends, many scholars have pointed out how the negative effects of moral relativism multiply as entire societies become more and more committed to the ideology. The more  people there are seeking illusory freedom in moral relativism, the more likely a brutal totalitarian government system will be the result. Just prior to the time when Rome became an officially a Christian state, the previous emperors were mostly brutal dictators. A well-respected secular historian, Edward Gibbon, outlined that most of the first Roman emperors were homosexuals: "of the first fifteen emperors Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct".[8] Though he was opposed to Christianity, Gibbon described homosexuality as a morally aberrant behavior that helped bring the Roman Empire to ruin. Immorality was so widespread at the time that Gibbon described marital faithfulness in the Roman Empire as practically nonexistent, and he noted how "The dignity of marriage was restored by the Christians."[9]
Lewis warned about it.

The progression from moral relativism to totalitarianism can be outlined as a simple progression. A lack of convicting moral boundaries coupled with an ideal of selfishness encourage an environment of widespread corruption. The corruption leads to disorder and a spirit of anarchy. The vacuum of order is filled by a the forceful rule of a totalitarian leader who promises to bring a new order. If there is no internal self control then external control will be required. People will either end up in prison or as slaves in a politically repressive environment. The US Founding Father John Adams stated, "We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."[10] C.S. Lewis warned of the same scenario: "Out of this apparently innocent idea [that values are subjective] comes the disease that will certainly end our species (and, in my view, damn our souls) if it is not crushed; the fatal superstition that men can create values, that a community can choose its ideology as men choose their clothes.[11] George Orwell warned in his novel 1984 how moral relativism can be used against society in order to gradually enslave people, according to this quote: "The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely
Orwell warned abou
destroy; we change them. Do you understand what I mean by that?"[12] And this quote shows how civil rights are taken away through relativist conditioning, "Indeed, as long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison they never even become aware that they are oppressed."[13] Michael Novak, a Templeton Prize winner, echoed Orwell's concerns in his award address: "'Believe what seems right to you...Follow your feelings.' Those who speak in this way prepare the jails of the twenty-first century. They do the work of tyrants."[14]

III. Objectively Evaluate any Moral View

Greg Koukl has pointed out, "Given a particular standard of morality, the person who is most moral is the one who practices the specific system's key moral rule consistently."[15] The prime example of any moral philosophy is the person who best represents the ultimate end result by adhering to its principles. Many people hold that there is a valid absolute moral ideal in the person of Jesus Christ. He proposed that an absolute standard of morality does exist and that it is a higher standard than even the most religious people of His day believed. For this reason, God's grace was emphasized by Christ as a means of accepting God's holiness and salvation by faith. Despite God's grace, Jesus stated he came to fulfill the moral law in its entirety.[16] Jesus did not deny the reality of the human conscience but, on the contrary, He affirmed that the conscience, also referred to as "the inner voice" in today's society, would become all the more important. As He stated, "My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."[17] Jesus taught that love and self sacrifice were the highest moral ideals. Jesus exemplified unity with the Father even as he admonished His followers to enjoy unity with Him. This unity is centered in the experience of God's truth and love as the ultimate and supreme goal.
The relativist state.

Now, consider an extreme example of moral relativism, a person who expunges the conscience as a barrier to self gratification and who holds little regard for the feelings and rights of others. This person would be an inverted saint, a stark contrast to the model of Christ. Let's suppose a young man is walking down the street and finds some free porno in the garbage. This supposedly doesn't harm anyone, so the results cannot be too bad, right? Suppose the young man finds more graphic and violent porno images. Well, still, these are just pictures we're talking about, not real people. So a relativist can't really say he is doing something morally wrong. But suppose he becomes addicted to the pornography to the point where he feels the need to act out on what he is seeing, what then? We can better understand the mechanisms of this kind of inner conflict by listening in on an interview:

"JCD: How long did you stay at that point before you actually assaulted someone?

Ted: A couple of years. I was dealing with very strong inhibitions against criminal and violent behavior. That had been conditioned and bred into me from my neighborhood, environment, church, and schools.
Porno Product

I knew it was wrong to think about it, and certainly, to do it was wrong. I was on the edge, and the last vestiges of restraint were being tested constantly, and assailed through the kind of fantasy life that was fueled, largely, by pornography.

JCD: Do you remember what pushed you over that edge? Do you remember the decision to "go for it"? Do you remember where you decided to throw caution to the wind?

Ted: It's a very difficult thing to describe - the sensation of reaching that point where I knew I couldn't control it anymore. The barriers I had learned as a child were not enough to hold me back from seeking out and harming."[18]

Notice that there were some ethics taught in church and other places that helped to restrain Ted Bundy a bit. But in a perfectly relativist world, there would be no church. On the contrary, relativists are generally intolerant towards church and Christians because objective morals are supported. Bundy ended up brutally raping and killing at least 28 girls. When relativists argue correlation does not prove causality, it may be helpful to point out that the sum-total of activities justified by relativism produce more negative than positive results, including, but not limited to, promiscuity, pornography and drug use.

As bad as Bundy was, he actually knew deep inside what he was doing was morally wrong and had tried to resist his addictions. Bundy represents any weak-willed person in a relativist society who has a difficult time coping with the types of actions and addictions the society promotes. Bundy's tragic story is a product of pornography. To some degree, you could say he was a victim of a relativist society. What if he never found the free porno? His life may have been a lot different. Bundy warned that there will be more of his type in society as relativism continues to ramp up high octane, adrenaline pumping temptations. That was the main reason he wanted to give an interview to James Dobson in 1989 just before his walk to "the chair."[19]

Inverted Morality
What of those who are not necessarily weak-willed, but who fully give themselves over to inverted morality, calling evil good? What of those who aim for a transvaluation of theist ethics, such as Nietzsche? In Nietzsche's, The Anti-Christ, he advocates a morality opposite the merciful and kind nature of Christ. This quote gives an indication of how Hitler was able to justify his actions based on Nietzsche's philosophy, "The weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy. And one shall help them to do so."[20] Nietzsche's "superman" ideal was a brutal, blond Arian with morals in the basement. If Nietzsche was basing his morality mainly on Darwinism, there would have been no need to title a book, The Anti-Christ. The desire to oppose theist moral principles brings morality to its lowest levels. And the ultimate example of depraved moral relativism may be those who practice satanic ritual abuse.

Satanic ritual abuse as an ultimate relativist code: the inversion of theist values.

Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) has been called a myth by some people but documented cases prove that it is, unfortunately, a very real phenomenon. An autobiography published in 2008 by Anne A Johnson Davis, entitled Hell Minus One, documents an account of a young girl in Utah who experienced SRA by her mother and stepfather from the age of 3 to the time she ran away from home at age 17.[21] By the time she stepped forward to incriminate her parents, they were ready to sign affidavits admitting they performed the horrific acts described. A sibling also corroborated the account, as well as law enforcement officers who were involved throughout the verification process. Essentially, SRA practice involves a mock sacrifice in order to please a satanic spiritual entity. This is extreme moral relativism, so extreme it is basically a kind of inverted morality.

Anne Davis
SRA Survivor
SRA promotes the destruction of what is good and innocent for the supposed pleasure of an evil entity. If moral relativism is true absolutely, then how can SRA perpetrators be judged for what they believe is good, this inverted morality? The reason, apparently, is because society says it's wrong. But, what if the norm in society changes to the point where good is called evil and visa versa? Then, SRA could technically be considered justified according to the "cultural relativism" argument for moral relativism. That doesn't seem very just or logical, does it? But that is precisely what moral relativism suggests when taken to its logical conclusion. In Isaiah 5.20, the prophet described people who practice inverted morality: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." In opposing the traditional standard of morality based on theism, satanists are actually affirming that good and evil do in fact exist, and, thus, they are affirming God's existence. When Anne's mother and stepfather signed affidavits admitting their actions were wrong, they were affirming that their satanic relativist morality was neither rational nor morally acceptable.

References

[1] Kreeft, Peter, Realtivism Transcript, (http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/05_relativism/relativism_transcription.htm#2)
[2] Ibid. 
[3] Die Presse, Darwinismus: Rebellen gegen die Gene,(http://diepresse.com/home/techscience/wissenschaft/155678/Darwinismus_Rebellen-gegen-die-Gene)
[4] NY Times, No Admission for Evolutionary Biologist at Creationist Film (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/science/21expelledw.html?ref=science)]
[5] Neocleous, Mark. Fascism. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1997 p. 23.
[6] SFGATE, Mistress' diaries detail Mussolini's racism, (http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-11-29/news/17180223_1_fascist-dictator-mussolini-s-fascist-fascism)
[7] History Learning Site, Life in Fascist Italy, (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/life_in_fascist_italy.htm)
[8] (http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/p17.htm)
[9] Why Monogamy MattersBy ROSS DOUTHAT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/opinion/07douthat.html?_r=1&hp)
[10] The Heritage Foundation, Pornography's Impact on Marriage & The Family (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Testimony/Pornographys-Impact-on-Marriage-amp-The-Family), TESTIMONY OF JILL C. MANNING, M.S., HEARING ON PORNOGRAPHY’S IMPACT ON MARRIAGE & THE FAMILY SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION, CIVIL RIGHTS AND PROPERTY RIGHTS COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY UNITED STATES SENATE,
November 10, 2005 http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2010/pdf/ManningTST.pdf
[11] Gibbon, Edward, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, book 1, in connection with Hadrian's love for Antinous, noted in James Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality (University of Chicago) 1980:61, (analyzed and quoted Boswell 1980:63ff.) Sourced from Conservapedia, (http://www.conservapedia.com/History_of_homosexuality)
[12] Ibid, p.478
[13] Adams, John, Address to the military, Oct. 11, 1798.
[14] Lewis, C. S.  "The Poison of Subjectivism," in Christian Reflections (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), 73. 
[15] Orwell's Warning: Relativism, G. Stolyarov II, (http://rationalargumentator.com/Orwells_Warning3.html) (in novel 1984 p. 209)
[16] Ibid, (p. 171) 
[17] Awakening from Nihilism: Michael Novak, address presented by Mr. Novak at Westminster Abbey on May 5, 1994.
[18] What Is Moral Relativism? Greg Koukl (http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=229)
[19] Matthew 5.17 
[20] John 10:27, NIV
[21] Pure Intimacy, Fatal Addiction: Ted Bundy's Final InterviewTed Bundy granted an interview to James Dobson just before he was executed on January 24, 1989.
(http://www.pureintimacy.org/piArticles/A000000433.cfm)
[22] Ibid.
[23] Nietzsche, Friedrich, The Antichrist, (Franz Overbeck and Heinrich Kˆselitz, 1895) section 2
[24] Davis, Anne A Johnson, Hell Minus One (Transcript Bulletin Publishing, 2008)

(revised 02/17/12)

Tags: Dawkins' cultural relativism, Dawkin's moral relativism, proof relativism is false, syllogisms disproving moral relativism, cultural Marxism, why moral relativism fails


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60 comments:

  1. Thanks, Rick, I really needed the laugh. Your ignorance and false logic are always hilarious. The funniest thing would be how you honestly believe in all that nonsense. 8)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your cogent commentary.

    Truth is a pleasure to share, but even more so when there are some interesting rebuttals.

    Maybe Havok will have some original ones. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rick: A. Moral Relativists hold that absolute moral truth does not exist.
    The statement "Absolute moral truth does not exist" is an absolute moral truth.
    Therefore, absolute moral truth does exist.

    I would claim that premise 2 is false. I'd state that the claim "Absolute moral truth does not exist" is a provisional claim based upon our best arguments and evidence.
    This syllogism therefore fails.

    Rick: Moral relativists assert that all moral standards are relative.
    The statement "All moral standards are relative" implies an absolute moral standard.
    Therefore, all moral standards are not relative.

    Again, like the above, this would be a provisional claim.
    This syllogism also fails.

    Rick: Torturing babies for fun is always immoral.
    If Torturing babies for fun is always immoral, absolute morality exists.
    Therefore, absolute morality exists.

    This runs into your ignorance of moral philosophy, Rick.
    The claim "torturing babies is always wrong" could have "if you value life, happiness, etc", which is how I would view it.
    Therefore this syllogism also fails.
    But more than that, you've demonstrated another hole in your own claimed moral system. If, on your account, God commanded you to torture babies for fun, then such a thing would be a moral duty. On your system torturing babies for fun is not always wrong ignoring any other consideration in the same way as mine. I just appeal to values and desires people actually have as opposed to making claims about a non-existent being :-)

    Rick: Hitler based his morality on Nietzsche's Evolutionary model.
    Hitler's actions were immoral and invalid.
    Therefore, Nietzsche's evolutionary model is immoral and invalid.

    I believe this is called "afirming the consequent" and is a logical fallacy.
    Just because Hitler (you claim) based his morality upon Neitzche and the results were "immoral", it does not follow that Neitzche's moral views were "immoral" or wrong, merely that Hitlers were. You'd need to further argue that Neitzche's own moral views, not those adopted by Hitler, were wrong/immoral.

    Rick: Local cultures produce different moral codes.
    A moral system requires a consistent and objective code.
    Therefore, a local culture cannot produce a valid moral code.

    Your second premise is controversial at the least, and therefore your conclusion is not necessarily true - ie. I don't accept 2, therefore I don't accept your conclusion.

    Rick: A valid moral code is objective and consistent.
    Relativism cannot produce an objective and consistent moral code.
    Therefore, moral relativism is invalid.

    This assumes what you're trying to prove, and is therefore logically fallacious.
    I don't doubt that you believe premise 1, but it is far from obviously true.

    You don't seem to actually deal with any of these responses in the body of your post, nor do you show any sort of engagement with moral philosophy, especially that of non-objective morality which you claim to be arguing against.

    For instance, I see no mention of J.L. Mackie nor of Gilbert Harman, two rather famous proponents of non-objective morality.

    I had hoped you were doing some reading during your vacation from this blog, but apparently I was mistaken :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Havok,

    Thanks for your comments.

    
H: I would claim that premise 2 is false. I'd state that the claim "Absolute moral truth does not exist" is a provisional claim based upon our best arguments and evidence.
 This syllogism therefore fails.

Rick:

    R: That’s a good point, “Absolute moral truth does not exist” should be defined as a claim. I'll clarify that.

    And your point about the second syllogism is helpful also, thanks.

    Moral relativists claim that all moral standards are relative.

    The claim, "All moral standards are relative" implies an absolute moral standard exists.

    Therefore, the claim of relative moral standards is a false claim.

    
H: The claim "torturing babies is always wrong" could have also "if you value life, happiness, etc", which is how I would view it.


    R: I’ll consider that, thanks.

    H: If, on your account, God commanded you to torture babies for fun, then such a thing would be a moral duty.

    R: God wouldn’t command something that is sadistic, though many atheists would, and have, as I pointed out with the satanic ritual abuse case.

    H: You'd need to further argue that Neitzche's own moral views, not those adopted by Hitler, were wrong/immoral.



    R: That’s not very difficult, based on his quotes. That would make for a rather long syllogism, however. I'll consider how to improve it.

    H: I see no mention of J.L. Mackie nor of Gilbert Harman, two rather famous proponents of non-objective morality.

    R: The last time you presented a source you offered Wielenberg, who is not widely known. Mackie doesn’t even register on the radar at the Stanford Encyclopedia’s summary of moral relativism:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-relativism/

    As far as Gilbert Harman goes, I couldn’t find one article on the Internet clearly summarizing his views. He doesn't seem very popular. I have a lot of books already waiting. Perhaps you know of a summary article of Harman’s thesis?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hm...Havok only addresses the logic part...I guess I will have to point the mistakes in the rest of the essay.

    1) The Nurnberg trial is a poor example from a moral point of view. No one condemned the Allies for the bombardment of the non-military Dresden or for the nuclear strikes in Japan. Not to mention, that since then, international law treaties have stated that "following orders" is often a good excuse.

    3) Discussing Dawkins is useless, I believe. Rick, you refuse to understand that Dawkins was talking about 2 different matters.

    4) Christian morality completely depends on the interpretation. Distorting the Commandments is incredibly easy, you did it yourself, Rick. There is a commandment "Thou shall not kill", killing would be a sin, no matter the circumstances (there may be extenuating circumstances, but it is still a sin).

    "Universal" values formed only because each society needs more or less common laws to operate. But there is still a huge number of differences (the taboo in Hindu culture to consume beef and so on)

    ReplyDelete
  6. 5) In that paragraph you are mostly confusing the cause and effect. No matter the values, the internal psychological process will still remain.

    6) We already addressed the issue of totalitarian society. The less critical it is, the more likely it will become totalitarian.

    And the claim of almost all Roman emperors to be homosexual is completely false. At best, they were bisexual. Read Tranquillus for more information.

    7) Love and self-sacrifice were definitely not new concepts 2000 years ago. I am not going to argue once again about the likelihood of the existence of Jesus as it is described in the Bible.

    Your examples to condemn relativism are completely unfounded. Your example with Ted Bundy is a confusion between cause and effect. As for Anne Davis, she is a text-book case for false memory. http://www.religioustolerance.org/rmt_reli.htm

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous,

    A: "The Nurnberg trial is a poor example from a moral point of view. No one condemned the Allies for the bombardment of the non-military Dresden or for the nuclear strikes in Japan. "

    R: I believe the Geneva Convention and Hague Convention are opposed to killing innocent civilians. If you've read any of my more political articles, you'd see I don't support politicians who call themselves Christians and break national and international laws. I'm not alone:

    Christian Hugs and Handcuffs for George W. Bush
    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/02/christian-hugs-and-handcuffs-for.html

    No one is above God's moral law, and I don't believe any politicians can justify holding themselves above the law either.

    A: "Not to mention, that since then, international law treaties have stated that "following orders" is often a good excuse."

    R: Maybe for you and other relativists it is, because you have no objective standards of morality.

    A: Rick, you refuse to understand that Dawkins was talking about 2 different matters.

    R: It's sad to see you trying to justify Dawkins' flip-flopping.

    A: There is a commandment "Thou shall not kill", killing would be a sin, no matter the circumstances (there may be extenuating circumstances, but it is still a sin).

    R: You should probably at least do a Google on a subject you don't know about before sharing your opinion. Here's the reality. The Commandment is against murder, not just killing is a generic sense. Didn't you wonder why Christians aren't vegetarians?:

    "First, the verb used in the Torah commandment is "ratsah," which generally is translated as murder and refers only to criminal acts of killing a human being. The word "kill" generally refers to the taking of life for all classes of victims and for all reasons. This generalization is expressed through a different Hebrew verb "harag."

    http://jewishveg.com/schwartz/killormurder.html

    A: "Universal" values formed only because each society needs more or less common laws to operate."

    R: Most people aren't tempted to torture babies for fun. Actually, that isn't specifically on any law book I'm aware of. If your point is true, show me a society that needs this law? And show one case where this universal moral abomination is acceptable.

    A: We already addressed the issue of totalitarian society. The less critical it is, the more likely it will become totalitarian.

    R: That's a bit vague.

    A: And the claim of almost all Roman emperors to be homosexual is completely false.

    R: That's not my claim. Edward Gibbon is considered an expert. HE was actually opposed to Christianity but that didn't sway his objective viewpoint, unlike revisionist history textbooks today with an agenda to change values.

    A: Your examples to condemn relativism are completely unfounded.

    R: If you say so it must be true.

    A: Your example with Ted Bundy is a confusion between cause and effect.

    R: Oh, right, it must have been his church attendance that caused him to kill 28 victims. He must have been completely lying during the interview with only hours to live. Yup, makes sense.

    A: As for Anne Davis, she is a text-book case for false memory.

    R: Hmmm. So her mother and stepfather were sharing her false memories when they signed an affidavit admitting they tortured her, and paid a large sum of money to make ammends And her siblings also shared her false memories when they corroborated her accounts. That's a very interested theory. What kinds of drugs are you taking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is generally considered impolite to name call in an argument; ad hominem is an ugly look. It is reasonable to disagree with someone, it is not to call them names when you do.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure what name calling you are referring to. You didn't actually post an example.

      Anonymous at one time stated he prefers to comment at my blog when he is drunk. It would seem quite possible he likes to take drugs before he comments as well.

      In any event, I am frequently called worse by atheists posting at this blog. Have you ever pointed out any ad hom attacks by atheists here? Can you post a link to such a comment?

      Or, are you selectively criticizing the theist here on this issue?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous,

    Just to clarify once and for all,

    Which of the two positions did Dawkins not make, in your opinion:

    2005: "A Darwinian State would be a Fascist state."

    2008: Stating its "a major outrage" to suggest a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state.

    If he held these two opinions, then he flip-flopped.

    It's not a matter of deep intellectual discernment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. R: I believe the Geneva Convention and Hague Convention are opposed to killing innocent civilians.

    Yes, they are opposed to killing civilians. But modern treaties state that it is the one, who is giving orders who is held accountable. Thus, your example with Nuremberg fails, it is more in the realm of "might makes right".

    R: It's sad to see you trying to justify Dawkins' flip-flopping.

    It is even more sad, that you refuse to even read arguments against your claim.

    R: Here's the reality. The Commandment is against murder, not just killing is a generic sense.

    So you do acknowledge the fact, that the modern bible is distorted because it is a translation? How good is your Hebrew, Rick?

    R: Most people aren't tempted to torture babies for fun. Actually, that isn't specifically on any law book I'm aware of.

    Your rebuttal is off the mark. Torturing babies is not incorporated in law for two reasons: no one is really interested and it is extremely harmful for a society. That is universal for any prosperous society.

    R: That's a bit vague.

    Let us take the example of secular/religious sects. No one is allowed to doubt the orders of the leader. One is forced to follow orders to the letter and no personal thinking is allowed. It is much easier to convince a person, who does not think critically to jump off a cliff. It is another matter with someone who is used to doubt initial premises. Same thing with a religious/secular totalitarian government.

    R: That's not my claim. Edward Gibbon is considered an expert.

    I know it is mostly irrelevant to the discussion. I just cannot stand a false statement like that and I feel compelled to correct it.

    R: If you say so it must be true.

    It is not me who is saying so. It is psychology and other sciences who are saying so.

    ReplyDelete
  10. R: Oh, right, it must have been his church attendance that caused him to kill 28 victims. He must have been completely lying during the interview with only hours to live. Yup, makes sense.

    What are your knowledge on criminal psychology, Rick? Almost every serial killer had some traumatic childhood full of abuse. For Ted Bundy porno was a trigger at best even if he believed it was the cause. If he was right, porn would have been banned a long time ago for producing serial killers. However, it is more plausible that porno allows to satisfy the urges of those broken people.

    R: Hmmm. So her mother and stepfather were sharing her false memories when they signed an affidavit admitting they tortured her, and paid a large sum of money to make ammends

    You once again have proven that you refuse to be educated. Rick, you have not read the small 2 page article the link to which I posted, have you? I guess I will have to repost some of the arguments here.

    1) Anne s parents were found innocent by the court.

    2) Anne Davis claimed to have given birth to a child, but a medical examination proved she did not. Childbirth leaves some traces in a woman s body.

    3) The massive human sacrifices described in her book could not go unnoticed by local authorities.

    4) She never had the memories in the first place, she "recovered" them through "therapy".

    5) And yes, false memories can be shared. That is the reverse side of complete trust. My parent/child/psychiatrist/holy book told me so, then it must be true even if I do not have any memories of it.

    R:Just to clarify once and for all,

    So you suddenly had a change of heart? Alright, let us try once again to have a discussion. This time you have chosen different quotes from your previous article.

    First of all, Communism, Fascism and Nazism are very different systems, read some text-book on political science to try to understand it. Dawkins was outraged of an implied correlation between the theory of evolution and Nazism, not Fascism.

    Secondly, Nazism goes against principles of genetic diversity, it cannot be considered a Darwinian society.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rick: God wouldn’t command something that is sadistic, though many atheists would, and have, as I pointed out with the satanic ritual abuse case.
    How can you claim this Rick?
    On your view there is nothing inherently wrong with infantacide, and your holy book states your God has commanded it (Isaac).
    The arbitrariness of your morality comes around to bite you once again :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rick: Moral relativists claim that all moral standards are relative.

    The claim, "All moral standards are relative" implies an absolute moral standard exists.

    Therefore, the claim of relative moral standards is a false claim.

    You still miss the mark. It's not an absolute claim but a tentative one.
    T-his syllogism, like all your others, seems to fail.

    Rick: That’s not very difficult, based on his quotes. That would make for a rather long syllogism, however. I'll consider how to improve it.
    then why didn't you do it Rick, instead of presenting a logically fallacious claim (If X then Y. Y therefore X)

    Rick: The last time you presented a source you offered Wielenberg, who is not widely known. Mackie doesn’t even register on the radar at the Stanford Encyclopedia’s summary of moral relativism:
    Look up "Moral Error Theory" Rick. Mackie is very widely known.

    You might start here for Harman.

    It really doesn't seem that you looked very hard.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous, I didn't bother with Rick's "explanations" past his syllogisms. I figured that since he'd failed to make a coherent case where it should have been simple, his explanation would simply be a further display of his blustering ignorance - I didn't even bother reading the rest.

    Briefly looking at your comments, it seems I was spot on (and my prediction from the previous thread seems to have been spot on)

    ReplyDelete
  14. If the base of the structure is unstable, no wonder the whole thing collapses after a small wind 8)

    Rick is mostly repeating himself, but maybe he will understand the mistakes in his claims. If not through logic, then through practical examples. After all, he seems to finally have acknowledged that the Bible is distorted.

    ReplyDelete
  15. H: How can you claim this Rick?

    On your view there is nothing inherently wrong with infantacide, and your holy book states your God has commanded it (Isaac).

    R: This is a definition of sadism: "The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty."

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sadism

    God does not enjoy the punishment of the wicked, as 2 Peter 3:9 states: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

    The offering of Isaac was not in any way sadistic, for pleasure's sake. But I can understand why you would think this so. Rabbi Charles Feinberg has addressed this question in "THE AKEDAH: FEELINGS AND PRINCIPLE" which is a bit too long to post here in its entirety but would be helpful for you to read at this link:

    http://www.adasisrael.org/upimages/downloads_sermons/AKEDAH-Feelings%20and%20Principles-RH-5771.pdf

    Here are just 2 paragraphs...

    The story of the binding of Isaac, which is the Torah reading on the second day of the holiday, can be read as a sadistic horror story. God steps forth and tells his faithful servantto offer up as a sacrifice his only beloved son. God appears as totally capricious. In theprevious chapter God delivers to Abraham and Sarah the long promised son. This son, the child of their very old age, is the bearer of all their hopes and dreams. Suddenly, without any warning, God demands the son back. We know God doesn't mean to do this from the opening words of the chapter. It was a test. What kind of God would put a 100-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman through such an ordeal? Is God a sick sadistic joker?

    ...Abraham recognizes there can be no freedom without sacrifice; that the gift of a son is really not a gift but more like being entrusted with the care of a precious jewel. Someday, the Owner will reclaim His possession. Our bodies and our souls ultimately belong to God for He is the Creator, the Master of life and death. Abraham realizes what his soul mate, Job, realized, "Naked I left the womb of my mother, naked I will return there. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away." The God, who gave him a son one day, can take it back the next. Abraham understands the paradox that the fragility of life teaches us to value life. We could not love or create without death being so unpredictable. Nor could we believe in a god who did not have the power of life and death. So Abraham subdues his feelings for his child for the sake of his belief in a God who is the Creator of life. Terrifying? Yes! A horrible decision? No doubt about it. A morally indefensible decision? No! It is an incredibly moral decision, an awesome decision that leaves us quaking.

    H: The arbitrariness of your morality comes around to bite you once again :-)

    R: No, not arbitrary at all when you have an eternal perspective, i.e., a true and objective perspective. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Havok,

    H: You still miss the mark. It's not an absolute claim but a tentative one.
    This syllogism, like all your others, seems to fail.

    R: This is not a tentative claim: "Moral relativists claim that all moral standards are relative."

    A "moral relativist" is not by definition someone who is tentative, unsure and uncommitted regarding the question of whether o not all morality is relative, i.e., "Maybe some morality is relative and some is not...I'm not sure."

    This seems to be your position:

    1. “retract your foolish points concerning the lack of an "objective morality" without God." (August 18th)

    2. "I'm not particilarly convinced that morality is an objective feature of reality." (September 13th)

    3. “there is no objective means to establish what values a person "ought" to have.” (October 8)

    Perhaps you need to try and become a bit more objective. Not everyone has the tentative flip-flop mentality you seem to enjoy.

    Think it through: A moral relativist is, by definition, someone committed to the moral ideology, the moral stat of affairs, (as obviously erroneous as it might seem) that all morality is relative, all the time. Yes, that is a paradox and it is non-sensical, but don't blame me because I don't believe it for a second. :)

    H: Look up "Moral Error Theory" Rick. Mackie is very widely known.

    R: "very widely known"? He doesn't register at all in the Stamford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's outline of moral relativism. Not what I would call a front runner. :)

    H: You might start here for Harman.

    R: I asked for a brief summary of Harman's work: "Perhaps you know of a summary article of Harman’s thesis?" and a 22 page article is all you could find?

    If we were talking about something complex, say proving Intelligent Design using DNA in biology, it would be understandable that there would be a lot of reading involved, such as Meyer's "Signature in the Cell" (which you apparently aren't willing to engage in) but for a philosophical idea one would think it possible to summarize the main concept in a brief article.

    Anonymous,

    Quoting Anonymous, "If the base of the structure is unstable, no wonder the whole thing collapses after a small wind."

    R: You know you are really onto something there. Try to wrap your mind around your own illogical beleiefs mein freund.

    As an atheist you can be one of two things with regard to morality. 1) You remain totally uncommitted and uncertain as to whether or not morality is objective. Or, 2) You are a relativist committed to an

    , one who is absolutely certain there is no objective morality. So, in summary, you are either an ignorant atheist or an illogical atheist because morality cannot be both absolute and relative at the same time. Which one are you, Anonymous? :) I think I hear that small wind a blowin' :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Havok,

    H: You still miss the mark. It's not an absolute claim but a tentative one.
    This syllogism, like all your others, seems to fail.

    R: This is not a tentative claim: "Moral relativists claim that all moral standards are relative."

    A "moral relativist" is not by definition someone who is tentative, unsure and uncommitted regarding the question of whether o not all morality is relative, i.e., "Maybe some morality is relative and some is not...I'm not sure."

    This seems to be your position:

    1. “retract your foolish points concerning the lack of an "objective morality" without God." (August 18th)

    2. "I'm not particilarly convinced that morality is an objective feature of reality." (September 13th)

    3. “there is no objective means to establish what values a person "ought" to have.” (October 8)

    Perhaps you need to try and become a bit more objective. Not everyone has the tentative flip-flop mentality you seem to enjoy.

    Think it through: A moral relativist is, by definition, someone committed to the moral ideology, the moral stat of affairs, (as obviously erroneous as it might seem) that all morality is relative, all the time. Yes, that is a paradox and it is non-sensical, but don't blame me because I don't believe it for a second. :)

    H: Look up "Moral Error Theory" Rick. Mackie is very widely known.

    R: "very widely known"? He doesn't register at all in the Stamford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's outline of moral relativism. Not what I would call a front runner. :)

    H: You might start here for Harman.

    R: I asked for a brief summary of Harman's work: "Perhaps you know of a summary article of Harman’s thesis?" and a 22 page article is all you could find?

    If we were talking about something complex, say proving Intelligent Design using DNA in biology, it would be understandable that there would be a lot of reading involved, such as Meyer's "Signature in the Cell" (which you apparently aren't willing to engage in) but for a philosophical idea one would think it possible to summarize the main concept in a brief article.

    Anonymous,

    Quoting Anonymous, "If the base of the structure is unstable, no wonder the whole thing collapses after a small wind."

    R: You know you are really onto something there. Try to wrap your mind around your own illogical beleiefs mein freund.

    As an atheist you can be one of two things with regard to morality. 1) You remain totally uncommitted and uncertain as to whether or not morality is objective. Or, 2) You are a relativist committed to the moral ideology that all morality is 100% relative absolutely all the time, "no ifs ands or buts."

    So, in summary, you are either an ignorant atheist or an illogical atheist. Which one are you, Anonymous? :) I think I hear that small wind a blowin' :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. R: You know you are really onto something there. Try to wrap your mind around your own illogical beleiefs mein freund.

    Hm... That is it? Instead of addressing the topic a hand or to answer my questions, you jump to another subject, which suspiciously looks like a mix of red herring and ad hominimum? You are not even trying to justify your claim this time.

    I will tell you a secret, Rick. If you can t personally understand a moral system it does not make it illogical. You never managed to even refute Weilenberg s one, doubting each time the efficacy of human intuition, instead of criticizing the core system of "brute ethical facts".

    If you want to know about my personal moral system, I believe that humanity should strive for happiness and progress. To achieve those initial premises some logical actions should be taken by each individual.

    P.S. And please, Rick, do try to read about the use of inverted commas. I know that my plea is mostly futile, but your accusation of Havok s "flip-flop" is even more ridiculous than the Dawkin s one.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous,

    A: "Instead of addressing the topic a hand or to answer my questions, you jump to another subject, which suspiciously looks like a mix of red herring and ad hominimum?"

    R: Anonymous, your comments are nothing but troll disinfo. Were you trained by the KGB for the Russian Ministry of Truth? Did you write for Pravda?

    I don't know why I even bother addressing your points.

    Anonymous, October 21, you wrote, "As for Anne Davis, she is a text-book case for false memory." and you gave a link...

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/rmt_reli.htm

    Then you wrote, "You once again have proven that you refuse to be educated. Rick, you have not read the small 2 page article the link to which I posted, have you? I guess I will have to repost some of the arguments here.

    1) Anne s parents were found innocent by the court.

    2) Anne Davis claimed to have given birth to a child, but a medical examination proved she did not. Childbirth leaves some traces in a woman s body...."

    R: I "refuse to be educated"??? Click the link you will not find one mention of Anne Davis, only Gloria Grady, Eileen Franklin and Christena O'Brien are mentioned. Neither are Anne's parents mentioned or her child.

    The title of the article is somewhat related: "ARE RECOVERED MEMORIES RELIABLE?"

    This leads me to deduce you are a Monarch mind control victim and certain words in my article trigger your troll-like tendencies and cause you to post non-sequitor comments.

    If I'm wrong, check your link and tell me which paragraph Anne Davis is mentioned in!

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/rmt_reli.htm

    A: And please, Rick, do try to read about the use of inverted commas.

    R: In Russia you call them "inverted commas" (кавычки) but it's a mistranslation and they do the same in Ukraine. Just a grammar tip, use the phrase "quotation marks" which is the accepted English phrase.

    Let's examine the meaning: “retract your foolish points concerning the lack of an "objective morality" without God." (August 18th)

    the phrase objective morality here can possibly be sarcastic (ironic) or it can be signaling unusual usage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark

    Let's present it as sarcastic and re-read it:

    “retract your foolish points concerning the lack of a "probably untrue and silly objective morality" without God."

    In the case of ironic use, the author is calling for the retraction of "silly objective morality." If he calls it "silly" and is calling for its retraction it doesn't really make that much sense.

    However, if it is a case of unusual usage it makes more sense: "“retract your foolish points concerning the lack of "this unusual phrase known as objective morality" without God."

    A: your accusation of Havok s "flip-flop" is even more ridiculous than the Dawkin s one.

    R: I saw you didn't answer my question from October 22:


    "Just to clarify once and for all,

    Which of the two positions did Dawkins not make, in your opinion:

    2005: "A Darwinian State would be a Fascist state."

    2008: Stating its "a major outrage" to suggest a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state.

    If he held these two opinions, then he flip-flopped."

    Can you address this question please?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Let us still discuss Havok s alleged flip-flop. From his perspective all (theistic and atheistic) "objective morality" does not exist, so a sarcastic remark is the most plausible conclusion or else his whole post would not make sense. Read my arguments I posted on October 8th at 6:10 pm.

    And I would also like to know, Rick. Do you admit that the modern Bible is distorted because it is a translation?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Damn, it seems I have huge problems with my posting

    ReplyDelete
  22. R: Anonymous, your comments are nothing but troll disinfo.

    Yes, I do owe you some apologies here. I did mistake Davis with Gady, since the stories are almost identical. The only difference would be that Ann s parents were not brought to court because of a lack of evidence and the childbirth did not occure.


    R: I saw you didn't answer my question from October 22

    Do I need to copy-past my response at the bottom of my post from October 22?

    ReplyDelete
  23. A: Do I need to copy-past my response at the bottom of my post from October 22?

    R: Yes, please try to make it clear and legible, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. R:Just to clarify once and for all,

    So you suddenly had a change of heart? Alright, let us try once again to have a discussion. This time you have chosen different quotes from your previous article.

    First of all, Communism, Fascism and Nazism are very different systems, read some text-book on political science to try to understand it. Dawkins was outraged of an implied correlation between the theory of evolution and Nazism, not Fascism.

    Secondly, Nazism goes against principles of genetic diversity, it cannot be considered a Darwinian society.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous,

    I agree I need to clarify how Nazism and Fascism relate to each other. I added a couple of references to the article:

    "Nazism is defined as a form of Fascism that emphasizes racism.[5] Consider another country that promoted Fascism, Italy. There was little difference between Germany's Fascism and that of Italy. Secret diaries by Mussolini's long-term mistress were quoted in a book entitled "Secret Mussolini" outlining how Mussolini was a fierce anti-Semite who hated the Jews and vowed to "destroy them all."[6] According to historians, "Life in Mussolini's Italy was little different from other dictatorships which existed between 1918 and 1939." Were Italy's Black Shirts much different from Germany's Brown Shirts? In Italy, "One favored way of making people conform was to tie a "troublemaker" to a tree, force a pint or two of castor oil down the victim's throat and force him to eat a live toad/frog, etc."[7] It seems the main difference between Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy was that Italy didn't have the resources to commit genocide, as Hitler did."

    ReplyDelete
  26. R:Were Italy's Black Shirts much different from Germany's Brown Shirts?

    I would like to remind you that Hitler de facto got rid of his Brown shirts in 1934.

    Furthermore, your new syllogism is more in favor of relativistic morality. The Nuremberg and Tokyo trials were only the illustration of "might makes right" (as we have already established). Or do you consider the bombardment of Dresden and the Atomic strikes on Japan to be moral? Not to mention the story with the Unit 731, who was not convicted.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just noticed this, and can't be bothered going through the comments to see if it was mentioned/addressed:

    Rick:
    P1. Torturing babies just for fun is always considered immoral by all rational people.
    P2. A standard showing what's always immoral by all rational people is an absolute standard.
    C. Therefore, an absolute standard of morality exists.


    This is a massive non-sequitur.
    P2 is quite simply false, for a start - all rational people could simply be wrong.

    After all, for quite some time all rational people thought the earth was flat, and all rational people thought the sun went around the earth.

    So is seem to me to be invalid to claim that what all rational people agree to amounts to an absolute rule.

    And we can go from here to also point out that this claim actually undermines theistic morality of the sort you claim.
    For example, if all other rational beings apart from God claim that torturing babies for fun is wrong, but God says torturing babies is morally obligatory, then torturing babies is a good thing, and you're "wrong" if you fail to do so.

    If you claim that God would never order such a thing, then we need look no further than the bible, which has all sorts of immoral commands (Isaac is ordered to kill his son in a ritual - that sounds suspiciously close to torture to me. The Israelites were ordered to kill the infants of other races/cultures/religions, which also sounds suspiciously close to torture).

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ah, I see why I missed it - I initially addressed the logical claims. I didn't read the rest since the log was so bad :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Havok, >This is a massive non-sequitur.
    P2 is quite simply false, for a start - all rational people could simply be wrong.
    After all, for quite some time all rational people thought the earth was flat, and all rational people thought the sun went around the earth.

    - I'll admit it may not seem like an absolute certainty, and should be qualified. But I find the flat Earth analogy a bit obtuse, as people at the time simply did not have the technology or science to fully comprehend and evaluate this question while torturing babies for fun is a fairly simple concept for anyone to fully comprehend.

    P1. Torturing babies just for fun has been considered immoral throughout the world and throughout history.

    P2. The existence of a universal and timeless standard implies there is probably an absolute standard.

    C. Therefore, an absolute standard of morality probably exists.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very good article.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Rick: Torturing babies for fun is always immoral.
    If Torturing babies for fun is always immoral, absolute morality exists.
    Therefore, absolute morality exists.

    Unless of course biblegod tells you to do it...

    Besides, what about Psalm 137?



    Rick: A valid moral code is objective and consistent.
    Relativism cannot produce an objective and consistent moral code.
    Therefore, moral relativism is invalid.

    So much for your bible then. Remember all those verses where your god has babies and pregnant women killed for various "reasons"? Yet christians pretend to be "pro-life"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christians are often Pro-Life. How do you define Pro-Life? If you define Pro-Life as not killing babies and pregnant women, as your comment suggests, then that is a good thing. It is my belief that most Christians are often Pro-Life in this regard as well. Christians are also Pro-God. God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours. As such, situationally, God may have permitted or requested something that we would have ordinarily not.

      Similarly, man situationally may have permitted or requested something that we would have ordinarily not, such as murder.

      I can be against the death penalty, but still believe that in certain situations someone may be justifiably killed (e.g., in self-defense).

      I'm not seeing a contradiction here.

      Delete
    2. You must be daft. Can you explain just what all the pregnant women and babies did in the OT to justify being killed? At least when we do capital punishment, we just go after the guy who, you know, did the actual crime!

      Now, what makes you think that "god's ways are higher than ours"? How does his actions bear that assertion out?

      Whenever "god" does something we consider "good", that's used as evidence of his goodness, but whenever he does something that we normally consider "evil", that is excused by people like you.

      "Self-defense"? Really? Yeah, those babies really had it coming didn't they? Even if they were afraid of future reprisals from those kids whose families they killed it does not explain why the Midianite women (the virgins anyway) where spared. They were older than the babies that were killed in other Israelite genocide campaigns, thus they'd have more motive for vengeance.

      Yet the babies were killed and the virgin women were spared.



      Sorry but if you can't see any contradiction between being "pro-life" and having no problem with god-ordained killing in the bible, you have something wrong in the head.

      Just an example of the typical xian subjective morality, which you people try to pass off as "objective"!

      Delete
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