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January 17, 2014

Comments

@RichardMcGough: You wrote,

"My last word? This thread exemplifies exactly the level of intellect I have come to expect from Christians. Nuff said.

Thanks for clarifying that you are not a Christian--for a moment there, I thought you might be confused about that.

scbrownlhrm wrote:

The nature and contents of all that is in my own Self are, I find, all over the map, frequently misaligned, innately fragmented, and too often sickeningly unkind toward the Other. Confession and repentance are ever my companions.

Frequently misaligned? Innately fragmented? It sounds like you are saying that your self lacks integrity. It is, therefore, not an argument against but rather for my theory which is founded upon the concept of integrity. As I have explained more than once in this thread, the word "integrity" has both an ontological and a moral meaning:

INTEGRITY
1) [Ontological Definition] The state of being whole, undivided, perfect in composition; unity, wholeness, completeness.

2) [Moral Definition] The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

It is no "mere coincidence" that this one word has these two meanings. The ontological integrity of the self is the foundation of all morality. It also is the foundation of logic, epistemology, science, and love. I discuss this in my article "On Integrity as the Highest Value".

http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/31/on-integrity-as-the-highest-value/


RM,

Its not an arguement. It's merely a description of myself, the end of your regress.

scbrownlhrm wrote:

“All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you. I never had a selfless thought since I was born. -

That comment reveals a fundamental confusion about love. The concept of love independent of self is incoherent because love is founded in the self. It makes a mockery of the idea of "unity in love" if everyone is loving others that hate themselves! Where is the unity in that? The Christian doctrine of love is as incoherent as the Christian doctrine of morality. Neither has anything to do with the ontological foundation of either love or morality.

RM,

Lewis isn't arguing. He is merely describing himself.

Carolyn wrote:

Thanks for clarifying that you are not a Christian--for a moment there, I thought you might be confused about that.

I was a Christian for about 17 years. I described myself as a "blood bought born again Bible believing non-denominational Trinitarian Christian". I read the Bible daily and felt that God was real. Learned Greek and Hebrew. I could not imagine ever losing my faith. But then truth insisted on having its way with me. I saw that Christian apologists would pervert truth to defend error. Finally I had enough and had to admit the truth. I am confident the same thing will happen to anyone actually committed to truth.

Loving others as I love myself is a goal I aim at, and fail at.

Often.

I'm not arguing - I'm describing.

scblhrm wrote:

Loving others as I love myself is a goal I aim at, and fail at. Often. I'm not arguing - I'm describing.

I understand. But the fact we fail to reach perfection says nothing about the foundation of morality. Morality is a synonym of "integrity" which is itself a fundamentally ontological term. Integrity of heart and mind is both an ontological as well as a moral concept. The two are really one and the same thing. This is the foundation of my moral theory.

Sometimes my Self drops that goal all together and aims at other goals. Happily.

This is not an argument of any kind - it is only a description of a truth, the truth about my Self.

In no way do I mean to imply this is the case with all Selves.

Integrity is an objective concept. Consider a cup that has integrity. If I smash it on the floor I will have objectively destroyed its integrity. Morality is objective, like a pair of scales. (Google that.) It has nothing to do with any concept of any god. It is grounded in what it means for a thing to "be". But mere philosophy of being (ontology) would not give any "power" to morality. It is powered by love that originates in the unity of self. Integrity. Unity. Love. These concepts are all connected. Finally, the love of self is reconciled with the love for others through the symmetric logic of the Golden Rule. The universal principle of morality is founded on symmetry, just like the universal laws of physics. I explain this in my article The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality.

scbrownlhrm wrote:

Sometimes my Self drops that goal all together and aims at other goals. Happily.

Yes, of course. But that says nothing about the truth that morality is founded in love of self and the Golden Rule (moral symmetry).

I wish I were like you, RM. Lot's of things power my Self. I'm not arguing with you, I'm only describing the truth about my Self.


The rejection of self-love is incoherent because it says that each person is supposed to love the self that is hated by the other. It makes no sense at all. Real love is mutual love. Love of my own self and the self of the other.

I'm just supposed to love myself and other people too?

Quite often I am quite happy doing otherwise...

I think I'm in trouble here. Again, I'm only giving a truthful account of my real world.

scbrownlhrm wrote:

I'm just supposed to love myself and other people too?

Quite often I am quite happy doing otherwise...

I think I'm in trouble here. Again, I'm only giving a truthful account of my real world.


Yes, you are "supposed to" love yourself and those you love just like you are "supposed to" feed, clean, and clothe yourself and your loved ones. Is this really that hard to understand?

Okay,

I'll just take your word that you know how I should live.

Why should I clothe and feed myself?

Is life valuable?

Not everyone agrees.

Clarification: Not every Self agrees that life is valuable, perhaps their own or that of another.


In my own Self it seems that Self determination towards my own happiness is objective. Mind and Heart, upon weighing all the ups and downs, are quite in harmony, there in my happiness.


This is just a descriptive of my own Self.

I don't mean to imply that this is the case for all Selves.

The innate prescriptive is yet lacking, that is, in my own Self.

I'm only describing, not prescribing.

RM,

I'll go on giving the descriptive of the objective powers which drive the Self.

Descriptive seems to equate to prescriptive in your reasoning.

But you haven't given me any reason to believe you.

You seem to be foisting inexplicable axiom based solely on your own particular preference.


In my own Self it seems that Self determination towards my own happiness is objective, and the scales are on my side. Mind and Heart, upon weighing all the ups and downs, are quite in harmony, quite within integrity, there in my happiness.

The innate prescriptive is yet lacking, that is, in my own Self. I'm only describing, not prescribing. I suppose if I were to observe an objective something within my Self to which assign the position of King, of Prescriber, that would be happiness. And the only road I've found that gets me there is Self determination, not your determination.

RM,

Are those who weigh in your scales all the ups and all the downs and self determine that assisted suicide provides more happiness than living can provide all by your artificial definitions "insane"?

It seems in the end happiness outweighs life.

Everybody's scales are different. Someone could, in principle, be me, and, if I'm laden with terminal and perpetual pain, and so on, I may decide that happiness is worth it and call up the physician. Or I may be more happy staying awhile longer.

Either way, I hardly think I'm insane.

It seems there are times when happiness outweighs, in those scales, life.

We can come up with all sorts of ways in which this is the final weight in those scales.

I don't know why you inexplicably foist the notion that life is the Prescriber.

It isn't.

Happiness is.

Happiness within the Self seems to be atheism's end of moral regress.

Inexplicable axiom in the designation of that powering force as the Prescriber, certainly, but it is an objective (real) fuel in the Self.

What makes me happy?

What makes you happy?

Happiness is an odd thing.......

scbrownlhrm wrote:

Okay,

I'll just take your word that you know how I should live.

Why should I clothe and feed myself?

Is life valuable?

Not everyone agrees.

I am not asking you to "take my word" for anything. I have presented a normative theory of morality based on the scientific definition of objectivity. I ask only that you evaluate it to determine if it is true or not. The truth of a scientific theory does not depend on whether people "agree" or not. It depends on whether the theory accounts for the facts. If not, the theory should be rejected. So what are the facts my theory explains? Moral facts. What are moral facts? Moral statements that are true.

Are there moral facts? Not everyone agrees. Does this mean that Christians should reject the Moral Argument for God? Yes, if they think they can reject my theory by denying the existence of moral facts. But then they are left in a wasteland of moral relativity which contradicts the essence of their faith.

Therefore, let us begin with the assumption that moral facts exist. Can they be known? William Lane Craig says yes, they can be known. And not only that, he asserts that everyone - theists and atheists alike - can discern what is actually moral or immoral without any reference to God. How then can God be the foundation of objective morality? Craig answers by driving a wedge between moral epistemology and moral ontology, and asserts that even though the atheist could determine what is immoral without God, it would not "really" be immoral without God. His argument is absurd and incoherent. It destroys the integrity of moral epistemology and moral ontology. I discuss this specific error in this article called The Golden Rule and the Foundation of Objective Morality.

http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/11/the-golden-rule-and-the-foundation-of-objective-morality/

RM,

When you say "supposed to", do you base that on "people do" equals "people should" as an objective identity claim?

You seem unable to embrace and include the real world in your formulas.

I know why Immutable Love leads us to love others as much as we love ourselves.

But I don't have any idea how your end of regress leads us to that location.

You seem to want to say is equals should, and then on mere preference pick which is-s are "really real" .

But all is-s are objective / real.

Do you regress out of Self? Into Happiness? Into Appetite? Into Cultural belief?

Formulas are nice, but reality can't be ignored just because our wish fulfillment drives us to so formulate.

scblhrm wrote

When you say "supposed to", do you base that on "people do" equals "people should" as an objective identity claim?

No. Your question appears to be a confused attempt to confuse the issue by introducing a confusion based on the old "is/ought" confusion.

Such confusion plays no role in my moral theory.

scblhrm wrote:

You seem unable to embrace and include the real world in your formulas.

Your comment is absurd. My theory is based fundamentally on "real world" moral facts. Your comment indicates nothing but your ignorance of my theory. If you want to challenge my theory you need to at least read it so you know what it says. Here again is the link to my main exposition:

http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/25/the-logic-of-love-a-natural-theory-of-morality/

Your theory cannot account for reality as we find it.

You foist Life as the Prescriber, but I see, in the real world, Happiness as a far more common, and powerful, Prescriber.

You foist "supposed to" but you do not account for this with any objective (real) something, and this is worrisome as your theory cannot reach beyond the human machine.

You still have not addressed assisted suicide, life, and happiness.

I have no idea how Craig is part of your theory, and I am therefore puzzled why you keep using him as a proof of your theory.

Your theory cannot stand on the fact that another theory is false.

You have to account for the above findings / questions with your own terms.

I don't see you doing that.

You just keep foisting love and ignoring the other is-s which power the human machine.

A theory which ignores large chunks of reality without justifying that move is not very sound.

Ought-Not seems as hopeless as Ought in what you've given us to work with thus far.


Supposed to?

Why?

I know why we're supposed to in the context of Immutable Love, but I don't know why we are supposed to on the terms of your theory.

You refuse to say.

scbrownlhrm wrote:

You foist Life as the Prescriber, but I see, in the real world, Happiness as a far more common, and powerful, Prescriber.
I "foist" nothing but logic and facts, of which you have apparently chosen to remain ignorant. I can't do anything about that.

It appears you have no concept of moral philosophy or the meaning of a normative theory of morality (which is what I am presenting). Here is the definition from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Normative morality refers to "a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons."

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/

Supposed to?

Why?

I know why we're supposed to in the context of Immutable Love, but I don't know why we are supposed to on the terms of your theory.

You refuse to say.

"ALL"?

So all people do agree?

Or are they "supposed to" agree in order to accommodate your theory?

That is a Cultural-Belief, if I am not mistaken, that bit about Normative / All persons will agree, and so on.

I take it then that your regress ends in Cultural Beliefs?

Do we finally have our source of supposed-to?

"...given specified conditions...."

As in child sacrifice eons ago.... as in, well, those specific mental constructs in various ages employ all sorts of un-love-ing supposed-to's.

Is this then the final regress for your theory?

If so then that is fairly straight forward....

[Culture] = [Supposed To].

Or do you prefer instead,

[People Do] = [People Should]

Or perhaps,

[Inward Drive] = [Should Follow]

Most atheists take a mixture of all of the above as it happens to suit the current discussion.

But I'm happy with this as your final regress if you are as I'm satisfied that the world's unloving ways are wholly ignored by your formula if you mean to isolate be-nice as the sole mover in this world's real (objective) is-s.

scbrownlhrm wrote:

Supposed to?

Why?

I know why we're supposed to in the context of Immutable Love, but I don't know why we are supposed to on the terms of your theory.

You refuse to say.

Ah ... I had to read that a quite a few times to understand what you were getting at. It appears you are assuming that there would be no reason for anyone to care for themselves or others outside of the "context of Immutable Love". I have no idea what you think you mean by the "context of Immutable Love" since that has no objective meaning. It sounds like some sort of New Age mystical religious mumbo jumbo with no referent in reality.

My theory is based on objective reality. Organisms that want to survive are "supposed to" take care of themselves. This does not imply any "duty" to some "authority figure". If you don't want to be sane, rational, happy, whole or anything like that, then whose to stop you? The same goes for any moral theory. No "god" makes any difference on this count.

Please explain what you mean by the "context of Immutable Love" and how a person is supposed to know anything about this "Immutable Love" and why it would give a reason a person is "supposed to" do anything.

Organisms which want = supposed
Don't want = not supposed


Do I read you correctly here in that your final regress is:

[Want] = [Ought]

?

Or perhaps,

[Want] = [Does] = [Supposed to]?

Which we can reduce to:

[People Do] = [People Should]

Is that it?

Why explain Christianity?

This thread is about Atheism's end of moral regress.

I think we are getting closer to a real answer from you.

Speaking of sanity:

End of life, assisted suicide, endless pain, life, happiness.....

The Prescriber, in the real world, in our "Culture", is Happiness.

Not Life.

Self determination is insanity?

Well, before we go there, I think I'll wait for your final answer with [Want] = [Do] = [Ought].

Organisms which want = supposed Don't want = not supposed Do I read you correctly here in that your final regress is: [Want] = [Ought]

You are trying to force my theory into your Procrustean Bed. My theory has nothing to do with the old is/ought confusion. If you want to critique my theory you will have to quote something I wrote about it.

"Organisms that want to survive are "supposed to" take care of themselves..."

I see want and I see supposed to...

Can you help me see?

Clarification:

I see [Want-To] and I see [Supposed-To].


In the sentence you wrote.


I think I understand that, but perhaps you can clarify?

scbrownlhrm wrote:

This thread is about Atheism's end of moral regress.

And that's what I talked about on the first page of comments. Here is what I said:

The fundamental premise of the article is false. Atheism does not entail nihilism or even materialism. Buddhists have been atheists for thousands of years. Atheists can be as "spiritual" as anyone. Atheism implies nothing but a rejection of a theistic style god who is an agent that goes about pretending not to exist.

The most grievous error in the article is the assertion that there could be no objective morality without a God. That is entirely false. Morality is objective, like a pair of scales. Google that phrase if you want to see why.

Now you have expressed confusion about why I brought up William Lane Craig. The errors in the article are based on his arguments. Specifically, the article claimed there would be no morality without God. This is Craig's argument, and it is fundamentally fallacious. I have explained why in these three articles:

http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/11/the-golden-rule-and-the-foundation-of-objective-morality/

http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2013/12/22/morality-is-objective-like-a-pair-of-scales-another-fatal-flaw-in-dr-craigs-moral-argument-for-god/

http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/18/why-animals-are-not-moral-agents-fatal-flaws-in-dr-craigs-moral-argument-for-god/

RM, this is your theory, and this thread is about an atheist's end of regress.

You are describing appetites, and equating the descriptive-of-want to the prescriptive-of-should, a hollow sort of should, but a should nonetheless (the only kind of should atheism can account for).

This isn't as hard as you are making it.

Do you prefer a different regress?

You said organisms which want / should.

I see and end of regress there.

No?

Hmmm... typo:

You said organisms which "want" / "should".

I seen an end of regress there.

No?

You are describing appetites, and equating the descriptive-of-want to the prescriptive-of-should, a hollow sort of should, but a should nonetheless (the only kind of should atheism can account for).

I am doing no such thing. You don't have a clue what my theory entails. You have not quoted a word from the articles I wrote. You are just trying to force it into your Procrustean Bed. It has nothing to do with the silly "is/ought" confusion caused by the false presumption that morality is "duty". That's the root of your confusion. And you apparently have no concept of what a normative moral theory entails.

I grant you, BTW, that you really mean something like:

[Want] = [Tend To Do] and would not use "should" in the way we use "ought".

This is, it seems to me, a pure descriptive being presented as the final Prescriptive.

What is, is, and what is, should be..... and so on...


I don't see you dissecting this any cleaner RM.

RM, this is your theory, and this thread is about an atheist's end of regress.

You are describing appetites, and equating the descriptive-of-want to the prescriptive-of-should, a hollow sort of should, but a should nonetheless (the only kind of should atheism can account for).

This isn't as hard as you are making it.

Do you prefer a different regress?

That is NOT my regress. I have repeatedly explained that the root of morality is in the INTEGRITY OF SELF. It is in Self Love which is what any rational being feels for its own self. You simply are not dealing with anything I have written.

I quoted your sentence.

Perhaps you can explain the organism who wants to, should do, and so on. It's your statement, and it seems I've read you correctly. Perhaps you can explain?


I would find that helpful at this point.

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