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« Monument to Atheism | Main | Late-term Abortion »

July 03, 2013

Comments

Hi Ben, now we are back to whoever has the biggest stick. Sure government can compel obedience, but does govenment get to define right and wrong because it has the big stick at the time? This is what I think you are saying. Is "king law"....[I thought we progressed past this a long time ago]? In this system, the law prohibiting Ben(s) from possessing property can become a reality--if you object to this law, you have no right to call foul--not until you have a big stick on your side. I know you dont live like this is ok...a few post up, you objected to such a law, knowing intuitively that this kind of unequal treatment is wrong...you just dont want to admit where your intiuition comes from and where the authority to appeal correction is found--it is found in the only One who has the right to compel obedience from within, the Creator.

Also, a while back, you claimed God is a monster etc...where did you get the testimony to make such a claim? How was this judgement rendered, in other words, can you show your work?

Hi Ben, scblhrm's comments are usually obviously coherent, you just have to look a little harder through spiritualist/idealist prose to see it. That being said, scb said this:

"Yes, but this still does not say why murder is wrong in atheism’s construct.
“I've said most of that before. So I'm not sure why you think your question has not been answered.."
Because saying that Ontology A is different than Ontology B, though both agree epistemologically, does not answer the question of, “Why, on B’s ontological terms, is murder wrong?” (B being Atheism) The question seems to go unanswered."
is an appropriate criticism that is clear and concise. You might not want to see it, but it isn't hidden in spiritual language.

Thanks, Brad B., for the informative response. I'm glad to hear that my thinking was on the money because I have no problem with civil disobedience when it's merited. That said, I am also aware that there are those who will disagree with what I see as a law being just or unjust in the spiritual sense. Yet without a God-informed perspective, we get what we have today--judicial tyranny, where judges impose their individual take on an issue, despite what the people vote on, what is moral, etc. I can only see this getting worse, with hostility toward Christianity and its principles being the flavor of the day to bash and denigrate. How quickly we forget our history and our battles and the foundations they were won upon!

Brad B,

If I understand you correctly, you want me to answer a different question than you yourself have tried to answer. That is, you have your own concepts for moral language which depend on God's commands, but then you think the atheist needs alternative concepts for moral language. So for example, the word "wrong" has two different meanings. In the context of your version of Christianity, it means "criminally against God" or "against God's prohibitions," or something like that. Let's call this being C-wrong. But then you apparently think the atheist needs for the word "wrong" to mean something else entirely, call it A-wrong, whatever it is.

The result is two different questions: Why is murder C-wrong? and: Why is murder A-wrong?

We have both answered the first question. On your version of Christianity, murder is C-wrong because God has prohibited it (where C-wrongness is defined in part by those things which God has prohibited). In contrast, on atheism murder is not C-wrong, because God does not exist on atheism to prohibit anything.

So now you want to talk about A-wrongness. The problem is---and I've said as much before---I don't know what you mean by A-wrongness. So also as before, I suggest that you answer the question first, and by doing so show me what exactly you mean. Because as long as I don't know what you mean, I cannot answer the question.

Anyway, you wrote: "...does govenment get to define right and wrong because it has the big stick at the time? This is what I think you are saying."

Oh my no! That is certainly not what I'm saying. I simply pointed out that, contrary to your suggestion, powerful organizations (like most governments) have the power to compel obedience to the law, regardless of whether or not God happens to exist. We don't need God to have a functional society.

You add: "...if you object to this law, you have no right to call foul--not until you have a big stick on your side."

I don't really care very much about "rights," which as far as I'm concerned is just another vague term with plastic usage in natural language. Instead, I will call foul if and when it pleases me to do so.

You also write: "...a few post up, you objected to such a law, knowing intuitively that this kind of unequal treatment is wrong..."

This is incorrect. I have expressly stated that, on atheism, it is not wrong according to your definition of moral wrongness. I also explained how I don't know any better definition where it would be wrong. But recall that I don't need to speak in moral terms. I am free to criticize the law as unfair and cruel, etc.

Hi Ben, whether you use words like cruel, unfair, or even wrong, there is an implied standard behind these words that give them meaning. If someone says "that law prohibiting Ben(s) from possessing property is unfair, it has the same intentional meaning as saying it is wrong, cruel, a crime, etc...

Behind the words unfair is fair, wrong/right, crime/legal, cruel/kind...just because an entity with authority granted by the biggest stick can claim to make the standard, it doesn't mean that there isn't a higher authority the reigns over their particular definition at the time. Atheism cannot justify any standard, so you have no right under that system to judge right/wrong, fair/unfair, cruel/kind...these terms are void of meaning to the atheist if he would require justification.

The atheist system leaves us with opinion, an unstable moving target that never really has the basis to judge, much less justify meaning. Without this basis, life experience is incoherent, you feel joy, sadness, love, hate, only because there is meaning, real true meaning.

The thing is, the image of God in man speaks to Gods standard because He made man a moral being...atheists too, so when you speak of meaning behind unfair and cruel, you are operating in the Christian worldview. Same thing goes for reasoning in the first place. It is in your nature even though you deny His handprints all over you and the world we live in.

Brad B / Ben,


Brad B started this whole discussion with the statement that the theistic construct is more comprehensive, more plausible than the atheistic construct. It turns out he is correct. And here is why:

We need not expect any further regress from Ben beyond his now noted, “when it pleases me” of mutable whims and to various sized sticks. Mutable itches and sticks. But, of course, he’ll never reduce it into those terms. Better (why?) to stop short of such when asked for one’s regress? Well, mutable sorts of “when it pleases me” and “sticks” is enough of a regress to work with. The regress in Love’s Triune was given, though Ben seems unaware. The sophomoric hedge of “Ontology A is different than Ontology B” (you say wrong, I say cruel) still does not answer the “why” of Ontology B (atheism). Perhaps the mutable whims of “when it pleases me” and “the power of sticks” is all we will get out of our good friend Ben. Atheism just has nothing more to offer. As it turns out, it is enough to stop there.


“You say wrong, I say cruel.” Really, Ben? So the theist cannot shout out, “How cruel!”? Epistemological semantics have nothing to do with moral ontology….. of which you are aware.


Sophomoric hedging.

Moral epistemology and ontology seem finally settled here because whether we phrase it as “irrationally conditioned itches and sticks” or as mutable whims within “what pleases me” and “big sticks” amounts to a non-distinction. We have Atheism’s Moral Ontology and we can now engage in more sophisticated forward-thinking dialogue about what actually agrees with our perceived contextual reality.


Brad B noted this: “…..found in the only One who has the right to compel obedience from within, the Creator…..”


Ben (well, Atheist’s in general it seems, but I refer to Ben here because of Idealism and how it comes to intersect here) will speak that which he himself does not believe, which is a variant of the genetic fallacy, in something along these lines borrowed from WLC, “You believe in it [democracy] only because you were born in a democratic society.” And then all sorts of manipulations of the Is To Ought Fallacy and the Genetic Fallacy will take place. All the while never allowing himself to state the actual ontological bedrock of all that fluff and filler, namely: Irrationally conditioned itches some of which are scratched harder than others with differing sticks of various sizes. All sorts of violence bring XX and XY together. What pleases me.


Brad-B you may as well see it coming: at this juncture Ben will (Atheists in general will) appeal to society and what it values, as he (they) seems to think the “what pleases us” is somehow more tame than “what pleases me” or somehow hints at some different ontology. It does not. So of course this still does not get to an ontological basis, as Wisdomlover pointed out with this question to Ben, “I don't think you've escaped the circle on morality/moral obligations. To say that I'm under a moral obligation is just to say that a moral rule or moral law applies to me and I must follow it. To say society 'values' moral rules is simply to say that they expect me to follow the moral rules that apply to me. But the issue of how the rule came to be, and how it came to apply to me is left unanswered.” (My apologies to WL for the quote)


I think the reason Ben (and Atheist’s in general) never quite brings himself to “get to the point” is based in two reasons.


First, as an Immaterialist/Idealist (Ben, not Atheists in general) he does not want to weaken or undercut in some way Mind’s/Reason’s volitional milieu and, in atheism, at some point there comes the contradiction of (in volition) Nature Free Of Nature, which is absurdity and so by implication of circularity all his mentation would be fated to nihilistic ends and simple materialism in some spooky precursor to the content of Mind/Thought/Word. There can be no Mind-Independent Reality, on pain of circularity, and so Ben does not really wish to regress too far into simple atheism as Word just cannot be the final regress therein. As it turns out, Love’s Immutable Semantics await the Idealist in all of us.

Second, our brutal moral experience is telling us something else. It is telling Ben and all of us that such moral absurdities are wrong and are so regardless of how far the sticks and itches of individual contexts or how far the sticks and itches of collective contexts happen to carry us over time. The Objective trumps the Subjective. The Moral Testimony contradicts the Material Testimony. That is why our epistemological dances are the same while our ontological dances are worlds apart. No one wants to hear themselves say of child sacrifices, “Well, that is The-Good because that is the context in which our mentation was fertilized” and so the fluff and filler of the is-to-ought fallacy and the genetic fallacy are employed to hedge.


Now, that is the ontological “from within” where Ben will go to, or at least has gone, and that is the fluff and filler of two logical fallacies most Atheists will stop at when in these discussions, just as Ben himself is stopping at in this thread.


He won’t regress further. It’s too ugly. Or, it threatens his supposed escape hatch of Idealism.


There is another “from within” and, in Idealism such is found in Mind, and in Mind comes all the nuances housed within Word, and then we are in a place where the atheist cannot function for Mind/Word cannot be the Final Regress. Though, perhaps, Ben means after all to pull back and posit that there is in fact some ill defined precursor to all his Idealism/Mind. The self contradiction of Nature Free of Nature would then ensue and mere inexplicable axiom would be the final regress within something like Dark Matter or some other spooky some-thing, just as mere inexplicable axiom is the final regress as to the existence of everything, just as mere inexplicable axiom is the final regress for our brutally repeatable experiences in the Moral context, in the Physical context, and in the Mental context (in atheism’s construct). Nothing at all anywhere in the Matrix can self-account for all things are themselves contingent and thus in the Isolated-Matrix there just must be an appeal to inexplicable axiom on all fronts. The more plausible: E Pluribus Unum. That the universe is not contingent is a tough sale to make even to atheists.


Nothing in this our Matrix is plausible in the Matrix. The In/Self that is the Universe finds that should it will its own Isolated-Self it can know only insanity for all things in the Matrix are found to be contingent. The Universe that is this Matrix, this Self, must will the embrace of the In-Out, the Self-Other should it find the Plausible, the Sane. It is a tough sell that the physical universe is our necessary something contingent upon No-Thing; science itself tells us it cannot be “inexplicable” and in fact we just don’t believe it is our final regress and herein science and theism disagree with materialism’s key presupposition. “We have, one can safely say, a strong intuition of the universe's contingency. A possible world in which no concrete objects exist certainly seems conceivable. We generally trust our modal intuitions on other familiar matters; if we are to do otherwise with respect to the universe's contingency, then the atheist needs to provide some reason for such skepticism other than his desire to avoid theism.” (WLC) Idealism itself brings us here, to Mind, to the nuance of uncreated Word, of uncreated Law, well, that is if we don’t cheat. “For if the universe by definition includes all of physical reality, then the cause of the universe must (at least causally prior to the universe's existence) transcend space and time and therefore cannot be temporal or material. But there are only two kinds of things that could fall under such a description: either an abstract object or else a mind. But abstract objects do not stand in causal relations. Therefore it follows that the explanation of the existence of the universe is an external, transcendent, personal cause—which is one meaning of "God." (WLC)


The most comprehensive, the most plausible, the most contextual:


When we posit that Ultimate Actuality is Love, we allow that Word there which we label Love to house all that it does when Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self inside of Word is fully manifest and it becomes readily apparent that the most comprehensive of all contexts and the most plausible TOE out there is not Atheism nor generic Theism, but, specifically, it is a peculiar theism wherein the Final Regress is what we all Know and Taste in our Mind/Knowing there inside of Logic and is also what we all Know and Taste there inside of Love. We discover that all these vectors casually set sail and carry us to a necessarily triune topography on all fronts.


Contextual Perceptions testify of the Triune Fabric of Actuality and thus whether we appeal to Idealism or to Observational Reality or to Theism matters not for all our perceptions lead us to that final regress within the Uncreated Triune. As in:


Epistemology just does happen in a triune milieu for Knowing happens in/by the context of Self/In who knows within that context of Self/In, and, also, Knowing takes place in/by relation to the context of the Other/Out, and, also, Knowing takes place in/by the milieu of these two within Embrace within yet a third context, the Singular-Us that is the In/Out, the Self/Other. Epistemological experience just is Triune in Topography there amid the I-You-We. Mind is not selected for by material, is not pushed around by nature but, instead, Mind pushes nature around, Mind precedes the material, Mind begets, selects the material.


In Love we find again the necessarily triune milieu. There is no Love void of Self. There is no Love void of Other. There is no Love void of that Embrace of Self-Other that just is Love’s Singular-We, the necessarily begotten E Pluribus Unum amid and among Love’s I-You-We. Ontology reveals its Triune Topography within Being's singular and pleural amid the I and the You and the singular I-You for Being itself regresses to Love's embrace among the I and the You wherein the Singular-We streams uncreated as it is forever begotten.

On a purely experiential basis all of what we call Knowing, all of what is Being, all of what is Logic, all of what is Mind, and all of what is Love find their Final Regress there within the Necessarily Triune Ultimate Actuality. But we have more than just our experiences to speak Truth to us, for the God Who is Love comes to us in our brutal moral reality here inside our false hope of this barren wasteland of the knowledge of good and evil and Love Himself does what Love does for the Beloved and He spreads His arms wide and He pours Himself out high upon a Tree called Life wherein all our bitterly felt and painfully tasted nuances of Guilt, of Justice, and of Restoration are fully satisfied within perfect tensions amid Justice/Mercy and amid Grace/Truth. We discover in these perfect tensions upon that Hill that neither is aborted and if Love’s satisfaction of all these tensions seems to depend on which end of Love’s Passion one's vantage point lives in we need not fear for we find that Love Himself lives in more vantage points than we.


All the atheist’s anger at God stands contradicted for we discover in the Triune God Who is Love the perfect expression of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self as He gives Himself away and this for His beloved, who He claims is you and I and us as He is debased and we are glorified. All-Sufficiency Himself is, as He must be if the Final Amalgamation of Word-Corporeal is to happen, debased, and, we the In-Sufficient are, as we must be if the Final Amalgamation of Word-Corporeal is to happen, glorified. All the anger of the Atheist against his made-up-version of God is thus quenched for the God Who is Love –tis but debased, -tis but poured out, -tis but emptied, and we His beloved are but glorified, but poured into, but filled up. Love’s Necessarily Triune finds all vectors converging wherein all of Logic and all of Love set sail and easily traverse the Ocean that is our Final Regress. These infinite sets of triune patterns of a singular whole freely self-manifesting in these fashions fully account for all that we see, all that we observe, all that we perceive, all that we feel, all that we cry, and all that we scream out as we soar to our highest within Ivy League armchairs and as we descend to our lowest stumbling over corpses in all our fields of carnage. Tens of thousands of strong vectors and in fact all vectors whatsoever slice up the skies above our heads with the glaring light of the Truth of all things.


Brad B,

That's still not correct. Morality is not part of my concept of fairness nor of cruelty.

In the latter case, although it may well be true that cruelty is always morally wrong (on some concept of moral wrongness), nevertheless cruelty is defined independently of that moral wrongness. We can know this by reflecting on the concept and observing that we can make sense of it without appealing to moral concepts or terms. And as icing on the cake, we can know that cruelty is defined independently of morality since otherwise it would not be a substantive claim to say that cruelty is morally wrong!

Fairness is even more obviously independent of morality. For example, a basketball game between myself and Michael Jordan would not be morally wrong, yet it is clearly unfair!

And if you want to invoke A-morality then the problem is still more obvious. For if, say, cruelty is defined in terms of morality and morality is defined in terms of God, then that means cruelty is defined in terms of God. That is to say, cruelty would on your view just be certain behaviors God prohibits, or something along those lines. And you could not say in that case that God prohibits them because they are cruel, on pain of circularity. It would make God's prohibitions against those behaviors utterly arbitrary and meaningless.

I should add: I'm not denying that there is a standard behind the words "cruel" and "unfair." There is! But the standard is just a linguistic standard. Every word in the English language must have some (informal, natural) standard of meaning. So there is nothing special in this regard about the words "cruel" and "unfair." All words have standards of meaning!

Are you perhaps trying to say that God's authority is required for any word to have meaning? So for instance, is God's authority required for the word "bicycle" to have meaning? If so, then why have you singled out what you consider to be moral terms?

So let's be clear: Please tell me whether you think there is something special about moral terms for which God's existence is required. And if not, then let's use some more mundane examples instead (like "bicycle") which are easier to work with.

Circularity is a non-starter, Ben. It won’t help you. It would only help you if we intentionally short-circuited the Chain before its bitter end. We progress to the bitter end of Love’s Ontology and discover plausibility in all of our perceived contexts whether physical, mental, or moral, as described in my last post (posts) and in Brad-B’s as well.


However, you’ve yet to regress further back than your own satisfaction.


In this way you fail to progress to the bitter end of atheism’s construct of morality within a species, and thus when asked for your regress all you give us is the death of circularity on your end. Not ours. The Necessary End can leave no circle, Ben, for A and Z logically define one’s stated hard-stops and plausibility is either therein or it is not. Now, death to logical coherence does come when, as you do, one cuts the chain at some point and attempts to bail out, leaving one’s newly found ends dangling in the death of inexplicable axiom within the inconsistent and incongruent. That is why your Euthyphro’s Dilemma is a fallacy, though you wish to employ it here. Well, again, it just doesn’t work. “Your points are relevant to those who misguidedly try to rescue the false dilemma posed in the Euthyphro argument: either something is good because God wills it or God wills something because it is good. Because these alternatives are not contradictories it is open to the theist to propose a third alternative, viz., God wills something because He is good. Unhappy with this defeat of their dilemma, some have demanded: is something good because of the way God is or is God that way because something is good? The critic isn’t listening. We’ve already said that something is good because of the way God is. “But why is God good?” the critic persists. It’s hard to make sense of this question. The moral theory just is that God is the paradigm of goodness, and it makes no sense to ask why the paradigm of goodness is good. The critic must be asking, “Why believe your theory?” The answer is, “because it makes the best sense of objective moral values and duties.” It is the most plausible ethical theory out there.” WLC (Link here.) Another fun read is WLC’s Q&A 159, “Does the Ontological Argument Beg the Question”

Ben asked us for Love’s Regress, and, such was given earlier in a few different ways. He asked, we gave. We’ve asked for his final regress, and rather than dialogue he seems intent on skirting. As for Ben’s hedging and evading where moral ontology is concerned, he seems to be set on avoiding it and instead just keeps diving into the semantics of moral epistemology. I’ll defer to previous posts as to why this just won’t do. You say wrong, I say cruel” is all about the semantics of epistemology, and not the ontological bedrocks he asked for and which we gave, and which we asked for but which he just will not give. As to why theism is more plausible than atheism in the moral context, in the physical context, in the mental context, and in the context of perceived reality, I’ll defer to my previous post and to other posts in this thread. Great points Brad B.


The link provided above is from William Lane Craig’s “Question and Answer” pages, indexed for easy reference at his website. Some fun reading on this difference between moral epistemology and moral ontology (and if circularity exists in the Necessary, whether Material or Immaterial) can be found in Q&A numbers 159 (the ontological does not beg the question), 188, 165, 208, 270, 293, 294, 304, 324, and the link here is fun as well.


Ben states that he is an Idealist/Immaterialist. For reasons as to why that would give him due pause and thus avoid traveling too far down simple atheism's regress, I'll defer to my earlier posts. This may explain why he will not regress more proximally than his own immediate and capricious satisfactions and appetites as the basis of everything in the moral realm. It would make sense for him not to go too far down that road given his Idealism/Immaterial presuppositions.

Another problem, Ben, is that all your semantics are by your own concession arbitrary. It may be good to offer child sacrifices, and so on. Mutable Semantics. The Immutable Semantics of Love's Triune gives to these children something all your fluff and filler never can give to them. Ever. -Tis your passion which denies these children of life by its arbitrariness. -Tis Love Whose Immutable Semantics rescues them from Ireationality's lie.

Ben, all your semantics are by your own concession arbitrary. It may be Good to offer Child Sacrifices, and so on. Mutable Semantics. The Immutable Semantics of Love's Triune gives to these children something all your fluff and filler never can give to them. Ever. -Tis your passion which denies these children, and us, of life by its arbitrariness. -Tis Love Himself Whose Immutable Semantics rescues them, and us, from irrationality's lie.

Hi Ben, words like cruel, wrong, fair, kind...speak of treatment toward other mankind. Bicycle does not, the fact that you dont see that the converstation we are having regarding morality which speaks directly to behavior toward man--even self inflicted behaviors, makes me think I'm not clearly addressing your objections-not enough to keep you from suggesting what you have anyway. I'll try to stay on this point so that you'll see why this question about the definition all/any words [like bicycle] should not even be considered.

As created beings, men are not their own, they possess God's image, to which they owe obligation to protect that image by imaging holiness in their actions. God anticipated that some would not obey the inner law, that law written on the heart of everyman/woman, so He instituted civil magistrates to create fear as restraint those who purpose to do evil.

Too bad you dont want to read scblhrm, there's some good reasoning in there.

In alignment with what he's mentioned, the atheistic worldview cannot justifiably say anything is either morally good/bad, it cannot support a standard that is obligated upon those it is aimed at controlling. To do so, it must have a legitimate authority over those it intends to effect. If man has to come to some conclusion as to what is considered acceptable behavior toward one another, they can at another time change the standard. What would you say if ground swell of consensus arose to allow slavery of Black Africans to become legal [again], or even further, a tyrant came to power and then legislated mandatory slave ownership to you? This can coherently happen in atheist lawmaking[morality]. What's there to stop it?

Ben, why is murder (Child Sacrifice) wrong? How does atheism construct the value system? Where does all that come from? Evolution? The Immaterial? How does it come to apply to me?


Brad, I’m not sure going further with objections to his use of the word bicycle as a candidate for a moral term where murder is concerned will be helpful if he has yet to give his ontological bedrock on Atheistic terms, Idealistic terms, Immaterialistic terms, or otherwise. Merely telling us over and over that our definitions are/will be different is simple evasion in what is supposed to be dialogue.


It occurred to me that Ben has, in all these thousands of words, still not described the ontological basis for our interior nuances of intuiting and judging as to why A or B are wrong, why A or B should not have been done as an act of one person in/with/on another person. He has only stated that our two ontological bedrocks will be different (he actually keeps stating that as an answer to “why”). To me this dance of his seems a bit sophomoric but in the end perhaps he really does not hold to Atheism’s Naturalism as he is an Immaterialist/Idealist and thus perhaps he is true to this and knows that Mind does in fact precede all else, in fact, all else is begotten by Mind. And so he really may have no concept of, or belief in, genome evolution to which he would regress yet further as our usual Atheist usually does. But this is still not an explanation for his ontological bedrock, for, he has never said if such is the case, or is not the case. Well, “why is murder wrong on atheistic grounds” remains unanswered by Ben on any specific terms, Atheistic, Idealistic, Immaterialistic, or otherwise.


Ben was asked, “What judgments are you employing to call this example law absurdly unfair or cruel on atheistic terms?” The answer never came, but only this hedge within epistemology (rather than ontology) by Ben, “You're talking about moral justification, right? But you evidently define morality in terms of God's prohibitions. So on atheism, there is no such thing as a morally-unjustified anything…”


In other words, Ben’s answer when asked for atheism’s ontological bedrock of morality was this: “Well, the ontology of atheism will be different than the one you’ve given for theism’s ontology”.


Brilliant. Yes. They are different. I’m not sure Ben is interested in answering the question for us despite the fact that we have been gracious enough to answer him.

Ben’s invoking the word bicycle as a candidate for a moral term in the issue of Child Sacrifice (murder) is, well, bizarre.


Why Ben’s epistemological definitions just are not what he is being asked by this question about murder are eluded to in this paraphrase: The claim that moral values and duties are rooted in God is a Meta-Ethical claim about Moral Ontology, not about Moral Linguistics or Epistemology. It is fundamentally a claim about the objective status of moral properties, not a claim about the meaning of moral sentences or about the justification or knowledge of values and moral principles. I’m convinced that keeping the distinction between moral epistemology and moral ontology clear is the most important task in formulating and defending a moral argument for God’s existence of the type I defend. A proponent of that argument will agree quite readily (and even insist) that we do not need to know or even believe that God exists in order to discern values or to recognize duties. Affirming the ontological foundations of values and duties in God similarly says nothing about how we come to know those values and duties. The theist can be genuinely open to whatever epistemological theories his secular counterpart proposes for how we come to know values and duties........ The salient point is that God constitutes our moral duties. That is a claim of moral ontology. How we come to know our moral duties is a matter of moral epistemology and is irrelevant. (WLC, paraphrased)

Brad/Ben:


Ben,


How will an Idealist address genomic evolution as a component of homosapien’s Mind? Does the Idealist not believe there are genes? Well, more specifically, whatever “genes” “are”, does he posit that “they” (whatever they actually “are”) select for the contents of his thoughts, or, does he posit that Mind selects for the contents of the genome?

Where does the Idealist’s regress take us, Ben? To Un-Evolving Mind? To evolving-mind enslaved to some other spooky some-thing? Where do our appetites and preferences come from? And how do all those laws (non-persons) come to apply to me (person) anyway?

“Why is murder wrong” as an ontological question is asking you for these sorts of regresses, Ben.

Brad,


You said, “…..they can at another time change the standard….”

Now, elsewhere Ben has stated that in fact the morally absurd can be Good if society does decide to define it as such. So I don’t think it’s important, I mean his answer here as we already knows he does not believe in objective morally, which transcends Man’s appetites. He does not belief that it is always wrong to sacrifice Children atop an alter of fire.

He just does not believe it.

That such is contrary to the massive majority of us in our brutal moral experience only shows that his theory is not as plausible as is theism for coherent experience / ontology. In a prior thread with Wisdomlover it took him about ten thousand words (I’m guessing) to finally come around to ejecting the notion of objective moral values and conceding that some moral absurdity can be Good if we define it that way. “Man feels” is the End of his line.

But that end of that line is not the question being posed to him and I’m not sure you need go further until he actually tells us why murder is wrong on/in regress.

The question is about the ontological basis for Atheism’s modes of intuiting and reasoning what persons should do when interesting with other persons. Where does the “feel” of “We Feel” come from? Photons? Genes? The Immaterial? The Material? What will an Idealist say of such a question? Will he regress back to genomic evolution? Will he claim Mind Un-Evolving, Un-Changing? Evolving Mind? If evolving, what is pushing it around?. And how does all that come to apply to me?


Love's Triune easily houses all of the Christian's regresses into Know-Ing (epistemology) and Love-Ing (ontology)....as already given. It would be nice of Ben's end-of-the-line were regressed for us.

My question will seem very elementary after all of the above back and forth dialog, I'm sure, but I have a general question for all atheists here participating in this discussion: Has your conscience ever bothered you?

Carolyn/Ben,


“has my conscience ever bothered me?” Well, probably about a hundred times a day ;)

The metaphysical implications of conscience are relevant, but not if we fail to posit its origins. Theism has some obvious regresses on such, as does Atheism. But I don’t think Ben will actually tell us where he thinks that regress goes. He seems determined to stop at “What satisfies me” and just avoid the whole issue of regress all together.



Ben,


Observational reality is not im-materialism. It is materialism. And if all your end-points land us at merely, “Reality is who knows what, but our observations and perceptions amount to ABC and ABC are useful to the extent that they are…….” We find this is all simple materialism and says exactly what materialists say. You try to evade Mind, Thinking, Knowing, by employing terms of content-of-thought. I’m happy to go there if you’d like.

How will an Idealist address genomic evolution as a component of homosapien’s Mind? Does the Idealist not believe there are genes? Well, more specifically, whatever “genes” “are”, does he posit that “they” (whatever they actually “are”) select for the contents of his thoughts, or, does he posit that Mind selects for the contents of the genome? On your webpage you regress to “the contents of thoughts” in order to evade having to imply a thinking mind. Well, are those contents shaped, pushed around and evolving, or, are they un-evolving, un-changing? Where does the Idealist’s regress take us, Ben? To Un-Evolving Mind? To evolving-mind, evolving [thought content] enslaved to some other spooky some-thing? If evolving, what is pushing it/them around?. Where do our appetites and preferences come from? And how do all those laws (non-persons) come to apply to me (person) anyway? The question is about the Atheist’s (or your Idealist) ontological basis for modes of intuiting and reasoning what persons should do when interesting with other persons. Where does the “feel” of “We Feel” come from? Photons? Genes? The Immaterial? The Material? What will an Idealist say of such a question? Will he regress back to genomic evolution (whatever genes “are”)? Will he claim Mind Un-Evolving, Un-Changing? Evolving Mind/Thought-Contents? If evolving, what is pushing it/them around?. And how does all that come to apply to me?

The regress from Society, back to the Individual, back to the Content-Of-Thought, back to these Thoughts/Contents being pushed around by actuality, or, pushing actuality around, and back to…….to what, Ben? Mere observational reality? Well then, welcome to simple materialism at the end of all your philosophy.

You’ve yet to give an ontological basis for anything more proximal than “What satisfies me” and “sticks”. But surely you have thought about evolution and Mind and where all these “feels” come from further back in regress. Or perhaps you have not.

There is no world W in which putting children atop an alter of fire is “Good”. Now, you can dance and call it Good on the grounds that Culture calls it Good, Ben. Perhaps you believe such can be beautiful, so long as we all “find satisfaction” therein. “Whatever satisfies me”. All your semantics are by your own concession arbitrary. It may be Good to offer Child Sacrifices, and so on. Mutable Semantics. The Immutable Semantics of Love's Triune gives to these children something all your fluff and filler never can give to them. Ever. -Tis your passion which denies these children, and us, of life by its arbitrariness. -Tis Love Himself Whose Immutable Semantics rescues them, and us, from irrationality's lie. God is Love and Love is Triune necessarily, and therein we find our epistemology and our ontology wholly satisfied from A to Z.

Sorry, scbrownlhrm...I meant to address my small question to Mike. My error. I might as well add the rest of it here:

Mike, if you have ever HAVE HAD your conscience bother you, why do you suppose that happened?

Thanks.

Carolyn,

Sure, my conscience has bothered me in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Ben,

In “February 15, 2013 Our Sense of Moral Obligation Proves Materialism Is False” it becomes readily apparent in a discussion between Wisdomlover and yourself that there just is no such thing as a physical system free of physical systems as guilt nuanced beneath ought-not-have wrapped up inside accountable all die the death of inexplicable axiom and philosophical incoherence at best or intentional auto-hypnosis at worst. More plausibly it is simply (obviously) a lot of both. This (obviously) has implications on what we are to make of our conscience (of course). If Mind in general and, just as necessary, Mind of a Peculiar Nature is not our Final Regress then it becomes unavoidable: that faintest of echoes coming up from the worm’s eye view, as Dr. Alexander would perhaps reference, of guilt swathed within the mesh of bothers-me merely speaks another of irrationality’s lies. In that thread you feign a motion toward a regress out of the Physical as the Primary, the Un-Derived, yet there, as in anything else I’ve read of yours (beautiful writing it is BTW), you never do give us a reason to think the [content of thoughts] (which you appeal to in your attempt to avoid a regress to thinking-mind it seems) are in themselves not also pushed around by some ill-defined and equally volition-less precursor which is nothing short of their Taskmaster, and herein the Circle is found complete for the move to free the automaton is a move into nothing more than a volition-less despot made of some other “stuff” that just is not “matter” and so in this Circle nothing changes category. Unless and until we change Category we have not arrived at a Necessary End, but have only made a Circle.

And worse, as we will describe a little further down (should you reply), we discover that merely freeing the automaton by granting it volition alone (which you’ve yet to do despite your appeal to the immaterial) still cannot free our Child from such a Sacrifice atop such an Altar made of such a Fire as we eluded to earlier in this thread, which your mutable semantics claim can house the Beautiful so long as we find “satisfaction” therein. There is but One Categorical End wherein the Lovely, the Beautiful are housed within Love’s Immutable Semantics wherein we discover (as we are discovering here inside our brutal moral experience in the wasteland of the knowledge of good and evil) that such a Sacrifice of such a Child atop such an Altar can never be The-Good in any possible world comprised of Self/Other. There is another category of Sacrifice, unending, atop another category of Altar, unending, wherein we find Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, but, as we will discover (should you reply), such is the Good, the Lovely, and the Beautiful for such Love does and this for the Beloved, and this in all possible worlds, for the All-Sufficient One must be debased and we, the Insufficient, must be glorified should Uncreated Mind embrace Begotten Mind there within Love’s Embrace inside that final felicity that just is Word-Corporeal.


And what is the Necessary End of the Immaterialist? Does the Immaterialist not believe there are genes? Well, more specifically, whatever “genes” “are”, does he posit that “they” (whatever they actually “are”) select for the contents of his thoughts, that they (whatever they “are” at bottom) ultimately push around their slave which we “define” as “mind”, or, does he posit that Mind pushes around Actuality? Does Word appear on a small blue planet and push nature around? Or, does Nature (whatever it “is”) push Word around? The Immaterialist gives us no evidence that there is no distinction to be made between Actuality pushing Mind, Mind pushing Actuality, and so he leaves us in need of one for he cannot commit, and worse he gives us no evidence as to where he means his regress to travel though he hints at commitment. On your webpage you regress to “the contents of thoughts” in order to evade having to imply a thinking mind as our end. Well, are those [contents of thought] shaped, pushed around, and evolving, or, are they un-evolving, un-changing? Where does the Idealist’s (Immaterialist’s) regress take us? To Un-Evolving Mind? Does it travel across Necessity’s Ocean into evolving-mind, evolving [thought content] enslaved to some other spooky autocratic tyrannical some-thing which cannot grant Volition even should it Will (which it can’t, for it has no Will) to grant such? If evolving, what is pushing it/them around?.

Where do our appetites and preferences, like conscience, come from? And how do all those laws (non-persons) come to beget me (person) anyway? How do they come to apply to me where volitional ought is concerned? The question is about the ontological basis for modes of intuiting and reasoning what persons should do when interesting with other persons. Where does the “feel” of “I Feel” regress to? What will an Idealist (Immaterialist) say of such a question? Will he regress back to genomic evolution (whatever genes “are”) and then back yet further to Life-Less-Ness encased within inexplicable axiom? Inexplicable? Everybody knows this universe is contingent. A defeater of sufficient strength to overcome such just is not out there and thus our regress without such just is less plausible (by far) than Immutable Will for abstract objects in themselves just do not function in Cause. Will the Immaterialist claim Mind Un-Evolving, Un-Changing? Evolving Mind/Thought-Contents? But again, if evolving, what is pushing it/them around?. And how does all that come to apply to us there inside our (irrational?) screams of ought-not-have?

The regress from Society, back to the Individual, back to the Content-Of-Thought, back to these Thoughts/Contents housed there within Word and this back to being pushed around by actuality, or, instead, pushing actuality around, and, or, which way? Neither? Back to………to what? Immutable Love?

Ben,


You commented:


“Are you perhaps trying to say that God's authority is required for any word to have meaning? So for instance, is God's authority required for the word "bicycle" to have meaning?........Please tell me whether you think there is something special about moral terms for which God's existence is required……”


Well of course Immutable Love is necessary for such Moral Terms. Though you define (in your possible worlds) the sacrifice of the child atop the altar of fire as beautiful (in your possible worlds) and as good (in your possible worlds), your claim here of “cruel” or “unfair” are moral terms which are hollow and do not gain you any ground, for obvious reasons.


Now, we were warned that you would be question begging and refusing to evaluate Love’s Ontology within the A to Z which it claims is Actuality. Instead you redefine (rather than dialogue) and, then, (and this is comical, but you actually make this move) you tell the Christian to prove that a God is needed to substantiate that your (the atheist’s) definitions can “exist”. Perhaps you consider this to be serious thinking: “Is God needed for the meaning of atheism’s terms to exist?” Well, that is as disappointing as your inability to give to us (when asked) what we gave to you (when asked), a regress to your (atheism’s) methods of developing morality within a species.


For your definitions to have your sort of meaning, there are several possible bedrocks to regress to. Either no god, or, a mutable god, or, an immutable god of immutable malevolence. All three of those allow for the Moral Terms which you define to “exist” for Love and Truth and Person are all at some point in the journey merely a means to an end. And, these three I suppose provide for the word bicycle to have meaning and for that meaning to exist. But none of these bedrocks justify any differentiation between the word “cruel” and the world “beautiful” where our child is lying atop an altar of fire for the solar winds of wave, or particle, or whatever you regress to (you won’t ever say), ever change such volition-less inclinations within Mind as Mind is pushed around and is but the slave of some ill-defined autocratic tyrant which is its precursor void of will, void of immutable love. As it turns out, even with the Immutable Love as our final regress, Atheism can still flourish for the Self’s volition is left un-accosted, un-coerced and thus The-Self finds it is free to move out of the community of the Self-Other that just is love’s embrace for the only autocratic tyrants enslaving their automatons in this game are the Materialist’s and Immaterialist’s ontological categorical endpoints void of Immutable Love.

The Immaterialist is unable to give us his proof of a change in category anywhere in his circular reasoning. The moral landscapes of the Immaterialist and the Materialist are one and the same.


The Moral Landscape of the Materialist and the Immaterialist are both one and the same for the only objective anything is Mutability and this where The-Self is the End of all things and therein we find all sorts of possible worlds (even this world on atheism’s terms) where the child sacrificed atop the altar of fire is, well, The-Good, or, The-Lovely, or, The-Beautiful. Mutable Semantics. The Immutable Semantics of Love's Triune gives to these children the Life these confused moral landscapes of materialism/immaterialism can never give to them, not ever, for their mutable semantics deny these children, and us, of life by their arbitrariness. -Tis Love Himself Whose Immutable Semantics rescues them, and us, from irrationality's lie. God is Love and we find that Love is Triune necessarily and therein we find our epistemology and our ontology wholly satisfied from A to Z.

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