Sunday, March 01, 2020

The Moral Argument

Image result for crab nebula




This is my own version of the classic moral argument that I promised as part 3 in my answer to Counter Apologist.[1][2] This version I believe avoids all the pit falls or most of them that his arguments were about. The first and most basic pitfall is that it does not seek to prove the existence of God. So we don't have to  worry about begging they question on assuming God because all that matters is that God as the best source of Grounding warrants believe ot does not have to prove it.


Argument:


(1) Humans are possessed of moral motions which we find to be real and important. We cannot deny the senes of moral outrage over "evil" or the sense that one "ought" to do that which we find "good."

(2) Such moral motions can be understood as grounded in terms of behavior in our genetic endowment, but no explanation can tell us why we find them moral or how to justify them as "ought's."

(3) Genetic explanations only provide an understanding of behavior, they do not offer the basis of a moral dimension (
trying to turn "is" into "ought").

(4) Social contract theory offers only relativism that can be changed or ignored in the shifting sands of social necessity and politics (this is both a practical issue and a matter meta ethical theory).

(5) matters of feeling are merely matters of taste and should be ignored as subjective (the atheist dread of the subjective).

(6) God is possessed of a loving nature that makes the good a matter of rational on the part of the creator and his status as creator means he is more than qualified to be judge to translate te good  into moral values.


 (7) Therefore, God is the only source of grounding which works as a regulative concept for our moral axioms and at the same time actually explains the deep seated nature of moral motions.


Universal Moral Law.

The Apostle Paul tells us that there is a universal moral law written upon the human heart (Rm 2:6-14). We can see evidence of this universal law throughout the world. Now social science is quick to tell us that moral codes of all cultures differ throughout the world; some are so drastically different as to allow for multiple mirages, in some cultures gambling and even cheating each other are expected, and in a few cultures there doesn't seem to be any notion of right and wrong. But we shouldn't expect that all the moral codes of the world would be uniform just because there is a moral law. The evidence of a universal law is not seen in structured belief systems but in the humanity of humans. People in all cultures have concepts of right and wrong, even though they may attach different kinds of significance to them. There are a few cultures that are actually pathological examples, but in the main most people are capable of being good, exhibit a basic human compassion, and feel moral outrage at cruelty and injustice.

It is this sense of moral outrage and the ability to empathize and to feel compassion that marks the moral law best of all. In Niangua in the 1980s members of the contra army fighting the Sandinistas conducted a campaign of terror to prevent the people from supporting the revolutionary government. To enforce a sense of Terror they cut off the heads of little girls and put them on polls for all to see (see Noam Chomsky Turning The Tide...Chomsky's example comes from United Nations Human Rights Report in 1984). [3] The modern equivalent is Issis. People are also repulsed their doings. There is something about this act, regardless of our political affiliations which fills us with anger and revulsion; we want to say it is evil. Even those who believe that we must move beyond good and evil are hard pressed not to admit this sense of outrage and revulsion, yet if they had their way we would not be able to express anything more than a matter of taste about this incident for nothing is truly evil if there is no universal moral law.

Moreover, the nature of the moral universe is such that we are capable of elevating basic moral motions to the level of ethical thinking. We understand by this that we must deliberate about moral conditions and to do that we must have free moral agency, a sense of the meaning of duty and obligation, and a notion of grounding for moral axioms. All of these things are without foundation in the relativist scheme but they are part and parcel of what ethical thinking is about. Before trying to link the universal moral law to the existence of God we must first explore the objections to it.

PIT 1:As to the a pitfall the argument avoids, the first is the question begging nature of Craig's argument (the one attacked by the CAa0 and also the problematic nature of the objective argument. Craig's argument is:

(1) if God exists, there are objective moral values

(2) there are objective moral values

(3) therefore God exists.


(as stated by CA in part 1. The problem here is that all the atheist has to do is say there are no objective values and then the apologist would have to prove there are. But he can't prove that by appealing to God because it's supposed to prove the existence of God. My argument works in reverse. Rather than assert something I can't prove and hope they agree I argue that I don't; need to pro e iot because I', not arguing it, I didn't say objective morality proves God I said God is the best explanation for our sneeze that morality is valid and meaningful. I do believe moral   values are objective but rather than assert that I argue that God is the best explanation and that with God as grounding we have a good reason to accept the validity of objective values. It's not circular because I don't claim to prove the existence of God. Like Kant I argue that God is necessary as a regulative principle for ethical axioms. I think tye reason he accepts te premise that moral as values exist is because he thinks he can assure them for atheism with moral realisms.


PIT 2: CA's "GMO." The Grand metaphysical Object. This he reads into theistic morality as an object of belief. He asserts that all theists think of morality as this metaphysical stuff that can't be understood but functions as the only valid object of ethical thinking. In my first response I dispelled this myth and explained how it's not true It's not true of any moral argument except the most amateurish perhaps. I think my argument has a built in fail safe ageism kit by appealing to God's loving nature rather than any sort of mystical holiness. Don't get me wrong I am all for mystical holiness. I just don't think we need to appeal to it to make the moral argument work (rom 6-7)..

PIT 3:He doesn't dispute that issue of He faults apologists for not being able to produce real reasons for objective moral values. He says those can work as well for atheism because they don't have to come from God, but apologists can't prove them. Apologists will often observe that life is unlivable without such moral values but that is not proof they exist. "Plus, such an appeal can do as much work for a moral system that is compatible with atheism." 


pit 4 Euth

MorL realism, FAILS. I think I gave it to moral realism pretty well in part 1. What he tries to stick theist ethicists with in his post he actually  is stuck with in  moral realism. rather than a big supernatural "object" of goodness  he has moral values grounded in nothing. like presupositionaioists they try to bully them into place as "realism," Christian moral values are truly grounded in reason.










[1] Joseph Hinman, "The Counter Apologist's Attack on The Moral Argument," (part 2) Metacrpcl's Blog (Sunday, June 05, 2016)
http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-counter-apologoists-attack-on-moral.html

Ibid. part 1 May 29,2016, http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-counter-apologiost-attacks-moral.html


[2] The Counter Apologiost, "A much longer Counter to the Moral Argument." The Counter Apologist Blog. (May 13, 2016) URL:
https://counterapologist.blogspot.com/2016/05/note-this-is-much-longer-version-of-my.html?showComment=1464336604963#c3125601153601767783
accessed 5/28/2016


[3] Noam ChomskyTurning the Tide:U.S. Intervention in Central America, South End Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 1999)

1 comment:

Eric Sotnak said...
I reject premise 5: "(5) matters of feeling are merely matters of taste and should be ignored as subjective"

Suppose I drop a bowling ball on your toe. You scream, "Ow! That hurts!"
I reply, "That's merely a matter of taste and can be ignored as subjective."

Nonsense. It is an objective fact about you that you are in a subjective state that you experience/feel as unpleasant.

12 comments:

7th Stooge said...

Joe:I see no justification for that statement at all. I fail to see how "God is morally perfect," -- "strips God’s nature of any features that would make His goodness intelligible." For example I say that love is the basis of all morality,
god's nature is love thus God is the basis of the good. How does this strip content? On the contrary it fills it in, the content is love.

Jim: Because he's saying that for "God is the Good" to be understood as a strict identity statement, then the Good has to be logically prior to any good-making property, such as being just, loving, merciful, etc. The good has to logically come before anything that could possibly make it good; otherwise, God's goodness would be logically dependent on those properties and there would therefore be a moral standard independent of God.

If God "is" love, is this because love is good, or because love happens to be what God is? If God is love because love is good, then the good must be logically prior to love; but then God's goodness is a featureless blank without anything making it good. But it makes more intuitive sense to say that God is love (even though I have problems with saying 'God is love' as an identity statement) because love is good than to say that God is love simply because that is what God is. Sounds like a tautology.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Jim: Because he's saying that for "God is the Good" to be understood as a strict identity statement, then the Good has to be logically prior to any good-making property, such as being just, loving, merciful, etc. The good has to logically come before anything that could possibly make it good; otherwise, God's goodness would be logically dependent on those properties and there would therefore be a moral standard independent of God.

I think that argument must come before any sense making property.I think we use the term "good" to describe certain kinds of things,those things came firs then the label for the kinds of things they are was invented,

If God "is" love, is this because love is good, or because love happens to be what God is?

Those are the same thing. We are running into a problem of he development of language verses metaphysics. We say God is love God's character is the primordial example of something that loves.We categorize love as a good.


If God is love because love is good, then the good must be logically prior to love; but then God's goodness is a featureless blank without anything making it good. But it makes more intuitive sense to say that God is love (even though I have problems with saying 'God is love' as an identity statement) because love is good than to say that God is love simply because that is what God is. Sounds like a tautology.


"God's goodness would be logically dependent on those properties and there would therefore be a moral standard independent of God."

Dp you really agree with that? those properties are description of quaintness
God posses. To say there's an independent standard, Makes no sense because those are all qualifiers that God posses and he is the origin of those qualities."

describing qualities does not make them independent of God, they originate in
God.

7th Stooge said...

Joe: The whole question for me boils down to this:

Is love a good thing merely due to the fact that God loves? Or does God love because to love is a good thing? I know you're saying they are the same thing in terms of his character, but there's a logical distinction that must be made. Even if God is the primordial and exemplary instance of loving, that would not, IMO, alter the fact that love is an intrinsically good thing. And if it is an intrinsically good thing, then there is a moral standard that is logically independent of God.

How, just by being the primordial and exemplary act of loving, would God make love a good thing? If God is the primordial and exemplary instance of mathematical thought, would that thought actually confer reality on mathematical objects?

It's not clear how God could actually confer goodness on things that people normally consider to be intrinsically good things, such as health, life, consciousness, friendship, love, etc.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

What do you mean by "good?" If good is just that which benefits us then killing your friend and stealing his money would be good. We have a sense that there is a core level at which this you don't do, and this this you do. It's not necessarily clear why and it can overlap with benefit but not always.I think that is attuned in us to the good because we are made in God's image thus his charter is our default good.

7th Stooge said...

I mean "good' in the normative sense, in the sense of what one 'ought' to desire under some sort of ideal conditions. I agree with everything else you say. The only caveat is that for the statement "God is the good" to have meaning or content, there has to be a standard independent of God. Otherwise, all we're saying in effect when we say that "God is good" is "God is God." And "God does what is good" becomes "God does what God does." There has to be something logically independent of God to fill in the concept to give it meaning.

7th Stooge said...

I mean "good' in the normative sense, in the sense of what one 'ought' to desire under some sort of ideal conditions. I agree with everything else you say. The only caveat is that for the statement "God is the good" to have meaning or content, there has to be a standard independent of God. Otherwise, all we're saying in effect when we say that "God is good" is "God is God." And "God does what is good" becomes "God does what God does." There has to be something logically independent of God to fill in the concept to give it meaning.

7th Stooge said...

I mean "good' in the normative sense, in the sense of what one 'ought' to desire under some sort of ideal conditions. I agree with everything else you say. The only caveat is that for the statement "God is the good" to have meaning or content, there has to be a standard independent of God. Otherwise, all we're saying in effect when we say that "God is good" is "God is God." And "God does what is good" becomes "God does what God does." There has to be something logically independent of God to fill in the concept to give it meaning.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I mean "good' in the normative sense, in the sense of what one 'ought' to desire under some sort of ideal conditions. I agree with everything else you say. The only caveat is that for the statement "God is the good" to have meaning or content, there has to be a standard independent of God. Otherwise, all we're saying in effect when we say that "God is good" is "God is God." And "God does what is good" becomes "God does what God does." There has to be something logically independent of God to fill in the concept to give it meaning.

I don't see why. There is a distinction between X is good for a reason. vs Simon says X is good. how could it be separate from the ground of being?

7th Stooge said...

But if God is the 'ground of being' then NOTHING is separate from God. I'm talking about a logical distinction, not an actual one. If God is the ground of being, then without God, there'd be no possibility of anything being good, or anything being bad, or anything being indifferent, or any way at all. But that's just the necessary condition of goodness, not the sufficient condition.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

sure but that does not necessarily support your assertion that God must be independent pf the good.

7th Stooge said...

Au contraire.

Jesse said...

Here are some musings on the moral argument:

https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-golden-rule-is-found-in-all-ancient.html

https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2017/03/arguments-for-existence-of-god.html