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Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

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Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?
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itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 694Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

Okay, so in the "evolution is a fact" Hackenslash said he'd be willing to discuss the existence of God with me. The reason I made a thread instead of a PM is I'd like to get some other opinions as well.

So I'll give my two best reasons I have for beleif in God, but first, I'll clarify how I view God. I used to be a Progressive Creationist of sorts, but now I accept evolution. I'm pretty mellow as a Christian can be, don't expect the end times to really ever happen now that I've studied the historical context of Revelation, Genesis is purely Alegorical, meant to convey our place in the grand scheme of things. As I see it, God isn't very personal. It's like a mix between a Deistic and Theistic God.

So, if I don't think God is too involved, what are my reasons for belief then? Mostly DNA and the way I understand it functions, and morality.

 1. DNA. It's almost like an actual code, it contains actual information for the proteins used to build an organism. Basically the DNA is a code argument. Granted, I haven't reaserched DNA in depth, and after doing a little more thinking about this I'm starting to feel this argument is grounded in ignorance. Plus, given Hackenslash's signature, I'd figure he'd be a good person to ask.

2. Morality. Wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if no God existed. As I understand it, God's nature is the standard of morality. But without that standard, doesn't that mean there's no objective morality at all? If there is none, why is it humans seem to be born with an inborn sense of morality? Could a purely naturalistic world account for this inborn sense of right and wrong? If so, how?

I know you guys probably get arguments like this all the time and I don't want to annoy anyone, so I won't start any arguments. I'd just like others takes on these arguments, preferably with links to sources of further reading. I'll read or watch anything given and come back with any questions I have, and hopefully a constructive conversation can take place :)

Thanks ahead of the time
"If evidence could shake the Protestant Faith, then there would be no Protestant Faith" ~Donovan Lafferty
Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:39 pm
redPosts: 142Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:11 am

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote:2. Morality. Wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if no God existed. As I understand it, God's nature is the standard of morality. But without that standard, doesn't that mean there's no objective morality at all? If there is none, why is it humans seem to be born with an inborn sense of morality? Could a purely naturalistic world account for this inborn sense of right and wrong? If so, how?

I know you guys probably get arguments like this all the time and I don't want to annoy anyone, so I won't start any arguments. I'd just like others takes on these arguments, preferably with links to sources of further reading. I'll read or watch anything given and come back with any questions I have, and hopefully a constructive conversation can take place :)

Thanks ahead of the time

I will leave the DNA question to others, as you were right in that others have a better grasp.
On morality, perhaps you can tell us how you would behave if there was no God - take it as a thought experiment, given your belief to the contrary.
Then we have something to work off.
Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:53 pm
itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 694Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

red wrote:I will leave the DNA question to others, as you were right in that others have a better grasp.
On morality, perhaps you can tell us how you would behave if there was no God - take it as a thought experiment, given your belief to the contrary.
Then we have something to work off.


A better way to ask the question would probably be if I didn't believe in God. Just saying.

But good question. I'd think (though couldn't say for certain) I'd behave the same.

But that's the thing, to me it seems that humans have an inborn source of morality, which is why I think a God is required in the first place. Where does that inborn source come from? Is there an natural explanation for it?
"If evidence could shake the Protestant Faith, then there would be no Protestant Faith" ~Donovan Lafferty
Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:04 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2772Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

Greetings,

itsdemtitans wrote:Okay, so in the "evolution is a fact" Hackenslash said he'd be willing to discuss the existence of God with me. The reason I made a thread instead of a PM is I'd like to get some other opinions as well.

So I'll give my two best reasons I have for beleif in God, but first, I'll clarify how I view God. I used to be a Progressive Creationist of sorts, but now I accept evolution. I'm pretty mellow as a Christian can be, don't expect the end times to really ever happen now that I've studied the historical context of Revelation, Genesis is purely Alegorical, meant to convey our place in the grand scheme of things. As I see it, God isn't very personal. It's like a mix between a Deistic and Theistic God.

So, if I don't think God is too involved, what are my reasons for belief then? Mostly DNA and the way I understand it functions, and morality.

 1. DNA. It's almost like an actual code, it contains actual information for the proteins used to build an organism. Basically the DNA is a code argument. Granted, I haven't reaserched DNA in depth, and after doing a little more thinking about this I'm starting to feel this argument is grounded in ignorance. Plus, given Hackenslash's signature, I'd figure he'd be a good person to ask.

As you surmise, the argument from DNA is one of ignorance. It's ironic, as this also is the reason for your second argument...

itsdemtitans wrote:2. Morality. Wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if no God existed. As I understand it, God's nature is the standard of morality. But without that standard, doesn't that mean there's no objective morality at all? If there is none, why is it humans seem to be born with an inborn sense of morality? Could a purely naturalistic world account for this inborn sense of right and wrong? If so, how?

I know you guys probably get arguments like this all the time and I don't want to annoy anyone, so I won't start any arguments. I'd just like others takes on these arguments, preferably with links to sources of further reading. I'll read or watch anything given and come back with any questions I have, and hopefully a constructive conversation can take place :)

Thanks ahead of the time

The fact is that our morality is due to our being social animals, which - in turn - means our behaviour as social animals is grounded in our evolutionary path that's encoded in our DNA.

Members of our ancestors who were not group-oriented tended to be less successful at passing on their genes - those more group-oriented tended to be more successful.

As a result, "do unto others as you would be done by" is encoded in our DNA.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:11 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote:Genesis is purely Alegorical, meant to convey our place in the grand scheme of things.


Herein lies the first problem, as I see things.

If Genesis is purely allegorical, and you accept evolution, especially the place of humanity within the evolutionary paradigm, then we have an issue from a Christian perspective. The problem is this:

If Genesis is allegory, then Adam and Eve didn't exist. This also gels well with evolution, in that there could have been no 'first humans' (evolution is a population phenomenon). With that in mind, how are we to address original sin? Without original sin, what is it that we need original sin for?

 1. DNA. It's almost like an actual code,


The operative word here is 'almost'.

Really, though, this entire line of enquiry is flawed. DNA is chemicals. As I've said in the debate thread, the 'letters' of the code are the initial letters of the names that we've given to the chemicals. Note that the important words in that sentence are 'we've given'. Much import is given in some quarters to the idea that DNA is in some objective sense a code. It isn't. We've assigned tags to the chemicals in DNA, and we've treated them like a language, and even built chemical 'words' out of them, describing their interactions. That doesn't mean that DNA is actually made of letters, or that they make up actual words. They simply don't.

it contains actual information for the proteins used to build an organism.


Did somebody mention information?

Here, we require a definition of information that is robust. Now, there are two robust formulations of information theory, and both of them need to be considered. The first is that of Claude Shannon and, while this is the formulation that most of them will cite, largely due to apologist screeds erecting various claims about information having to contain some sort of message and therefore requiring somebody to formulate the message, it doesn't robustly apply to DNA, because it's the wrong treatment of information. Indeed, when dealing with complexity in information, you MUST use Kolmogorov, because that's the one that deals with complexity.

So just what is information? Well, in Shannon theory, information can be defined as 'reduction in uncertainty'. Shannon theory deals with fidelity in signal transmission and reception, since Shannon worked in communications. Now, given this, we have a maximum information content, defined as the lowest possible uncertainty. Now, if we have a signal, say a TV station, and your TV is perfectly tuned, and there is no noise added between transmission and reception of the TV signal, then you receive the channel cleanly and the information content is maximal. If, however, the TV is tuned slightly off the channel, or your reception is in some other respect less than brilliant, you get noise in the channel. The older ones of you will remember pre-digital television in which this was manifest in the form of 'bees' in the picture, and crackling and noise in the audio. Nowadays, you tend to get breaks in the audio, and pixelated blocks in the picture. They amount to the same thing, namely noise, or 'an increase in uncertainty'. It tells us that any deviation from the maximal information content, which is a fixed quantity, constitutes degradation of the information source, or 'Shannon entropy' (Shannon actually chose this term because the equation describing his 'information entropy' is almost identical to the Boltzmann equation for statistical entropy, as used in statistical mechanics.

This seems to gel well with the creationist claims, and is the source of all their nonsense about 'no new information in DNA'. Of course, there are several major failings in this treatment.

The first comes from Shannon himself, from the book that he wrote with Warren Weaver on the topic:

Shannon & Weaver wrote:The semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering aspects


And

The word information, in this theory, is used in a special sense that must not be confused with its ordinary usage. In particular, information must not be confused with meaning. In fact, two messages, one of which is heavily loaded with meaning and the other of which is pure nonsense, can be exactly equivalent, from the present viewpoint, as regards information.


So we see that Shannon himself doesn't actually agree with this treatment of information relied on so heavily by the creationists.

The second is that Shannon's is not the only rigorous formulation of information theory. The other comes from Andrey Kolmogorov, whose theory deals with information storage. The information content in Kolmogorov theory is a feature of complexity or, better still, can be defined as the amount of compression that can be applied to it. This latter can be formulated in terms of the shortest algorithm that can be written to represent the information.

Returning to our TV channel, we see a certain incongruence between the two formulations, because in Kolmogorov theory, the noise that you encounter when the TV is slightly off-station actually represents an increase in information, where in Shannon theory, it represents a decrease! How is this so? Well, it can be quite easily summed up, and the summation highlights the distinction between the two theories, both of which are perfectly robust and valid.

Let's take an example of a message, say a string of 100 1s. In it's basic form, that would look like this:

1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Now, there are many ways we could compress this. The first has already been given above, namely 'a string of 100 1s'.

Now, if we make a change in that string,

1111111110111111111011111111101111111110111111111011111111101111111110111111111011111111101111111110

We now have a string of 9 1s followed by a zero, repeated 9 times. We now clearly have an increase in information content, even though the number of digits is exactly the same. However, there is a periodicity to it, so a simple compression algorithm can still be applied.

Let's try a different one:

1110011110001111110111110001111111111100110011001111000111111111110111110000111111000111111110011101

Now, clearly, we have something that approaches an entirely random pattern. The more random a pattern is, the longer the algorithm required to describe it, and the higher the information content.

Returning once again to our TV station, the further you get away from the station, the more random the pattern becomes, and the longer the algorithm required to reproduce it, until you reach a point in which the shortest representation of the signal is the thing itself. In other words, no compression can be applied.

This is actually how compression works when you compress images for storage in your computer using the algorithms that pertain to Jpeg, etc. The uncompressed bitmap is the uncompressed file, while the Jpeg compression algorithm, roughly, stores it as '100 pixels of x shade of blue followed by 300 pixels of black', etc. Thus, the more complicated an image is in terms of periodicity and pattern, the less it can be compressed and the larger the output file will be.

What the above does is comprehensively demolish any and all creationist claims concerning information.

Information? [spoiler=2]From sand dunes, we can learn about prevailing wind directions over time and, in many cases, the underlying terrain just from the shape and direction[/spoiler]
Image

Information? [spoiler=1]
Theropod";p="1721437 wrote:Dogshit. The dogshit can tell us what the dog ate, how much of it ate, how big the dogs anus is, how long ago the dog shat on your lawn, the digestive health of the dog, whether there are parasite eggs in the shit and contain traces of the dog's DNA we can sequence to identify the individual dog. Seems like a lot of information to me. It also seems like more than enough information is present to shoot your assertion down
[/spoiler]Image

Information? [spoiler=3]DNA is information in the sense that it informs us about the system, not that it contains a message. It is not a code, more something akin to a cipher, in which the chemical bases are treated as the letters of the language. There is nobody trying to tell us anything here, and yet we can be informed by it.[/spoiler]
Image

Information (actually, I just decided that this is my new favourite example, because it is so informative)? [spoiler=4]ABout 1% of the interference pattern on an off-channel television screen is caused by the cosmic microwave background.[/spoiler]
Image

Information? [spoiler=5]This is information in the sense that the squiggles represent more data than would be contained on a blank piece of paper, although even a blank piece of paper is information. In this example, information is defined as the number of bits it would take to represent it in a storage system. This is pure kolmogorov information.[/spoiler]
Image

Information? [spoiler=6]Of all the information sources in this post, this is the only one that actually contains a message, and is therefore the only one to which Shannon information theory can be applied, as it is the only one that could actually decrease in terms of signal intergity.[/spoiler]
Image

Which of the above are information?

Answer: All of them. They are just different kinds of information. ;)

More here by the Blue Flutterby:
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/viewt ... 1#p1934111

Basically the DNA is a code argument. Granted, I haven't reaserched DNA in depth, and after doing a little more thinking about this I'm starting to feel this argument is grounded in ignorance. Plus, given Hackenslash's signature, I'd figure he'd be a good person to ask.


I think so too, not least because, in very real terms, I'm an expert in information theory. Shannon-Nyquist theorem, named in part after one of the founders of information theory named above, is as essential to my profession as evolutionary theory is to a biologist.

2. Morality. Wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if no God existed.


Well, if morality is predicated on the commandments of a single individual, regardless of said individual's divinity, it's even more arbitrary. Really, though, this entire line of argument simply overlooks what morality is. I don't want to give the game away here, but I'd venture that you haven't actually worked out for yourself what morality is, and have simply gone with what you've been told (I don't mean that as any sort of slight, simply a statement of my assessment). Ask yourself this question seriously. What is morality really?

As I understand it, God's nature is the standard of morality. But without that standard, doesn't that mean there's no objective morality at all?


If there's no lawgiver, how can there be law?

If there is none, why is it humans seem to be born with an inborn sense of morality?


This is an excellent question, because it gets to the nub of the matter. Here's another question: If there is no objective definition of toe, how is it that humans seem to be born with ten of them? It might look like a silly question, but if you think hard about it, it really isn't.

Could a purely naturalistic world account for this inborn sense of right and wrong? If so, how?


Right? Wrong? Are you sure? Is your right the same as mine? Your wrong?

More importantly, could you explain how we have ten toes in a purely naturalistic framework? What things might go into such an explanation, should you have one?

I suspect if you think long and hard about the two questions I've posed, you'll find the answers to your own questions.
Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:22 am
itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 694Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

Well then, I feel like I just got a slap in the face :lol:

Thanks for the response. I'll admit you're right, I've never given too much thought on the morality issue. I've been exposed to the theist side but never the secular side until recently. I'm gonna reread your post later tonight (got a date :D) and do some hard thinking.
"If evidence could shake the Protestant Faith, then there would be no Protestant Faith" ~Donovan Lafferty
Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:45 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

I'd concentrate on the date. That's far more important.
Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:49 am
redPosts: 142Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:11 am

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote:Well then, I feel like I just got a slap in the face :lol:

Thanks for the response. I'll admit you're right, I've never given too much thought on the morality issue. I've been exposed to the theist side but never the secular side until recently. I'm gonna reread your post later tonight (got a date :D) and do some hard thinking.

Dragan Glas was brief on morality, but there are well documented examples in the mammalian world of positive moral behaviours which are beneficial to species continuation.
I am not sure the extent that DNA encodes morality per se, merely the behaviours which evolutionary principles show as most fit for survival.
At the human level we have the power to "reason". If you test these powers for yourself you will realise that what we call morality is little more than an understanding of the deleterious effects of actions on others.
God interposes an "objective" status for moral decision making - should one need an objective overlay to morality. However, unless one believes that they are receiving direct messages from said entity, there is no way it is possible that said entity's will can ever be done.
Sadly, religion does lead some people to the illusion they are carrying out the will of their almighty and they have done, and continue to do terrible things - things which defy rationality (such as is happening in the present where caliphates are being established in Allah's name).
Finally, I trust you test your moral compass on your hot date, and wonder when you needed divine intervention to realise what you were up to.
Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:02 am
AlligoosePosts: 30Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:24 am Gender: Cake

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

I won't dog pile. Everyone has thoroughly and thoughtfully answered you. I write only to commend you on your honesty and ability to self-examine your own views.

My advice? Read. Read a lot. Read a lot of Christian sources regarding morality, and read just as much on secular theories. Then, and only after you've read all of this, ask yourself "is God required for morality?"

After you've answered that, follow up with "is God required for anything?"

Cheers, good luck, and stick around. I recommend reading the debate threads.
If the Earth is billions of years old, why is it only 2015? Checkmate, atheists.
Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:32 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2772Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

Greetings,

red wrote:
itsdemtitans wrote:Well then, I feel like I just got a slap in the face :lol:

Thanks for the response. I'll admit you're right, I've never given too much thought on the morality issue. I've been exposed to the theist side but never the secular side until recently. I'm gonna reread your post later tonight (got a date :D) and do some hard thinking.

Dragan Glas was brief on morality, but there are well documented examples in the mammalian world of positive moral behaviours which are beneficial to species continuation.
I am not sure the extent that DNA encodes morality per se, merely the behaviours which evolutionary principles show as most fit for survival.
At the human level we have the power to "reason". If you test these powers for yourself you will realise that what we call morality is little more than an understanding of the deleterious effects of actions on others.
God interposes an "objective" status for moral decision making - should one need an objective overlay to morality. However, unless one believes that they are receiving direct messages from said entity, there is no way it is possible that said entity's will can ever be done.
Sadly, religion does lead some people to the illusion they are carrying out the will of their almighty and they have done, and continue to do terrible things - things which defy rationality (such as is happening in the present where caliphates are being established in Allah's name).
Finally, I trust you test your moral compass on your hot date, and wonder when you needed divine intervention to realise what you were up to.

Perhaps I did answer briefly on morality - and I may not have been quite clear as to why our "morality" is encoded in our DNA.

As social animals we've evolved empathy - this is a very important trait as it helps us relate to others' pain and how we would feel if it were us on the receiving end.

You commented about our "understanding of the deleterious effects of actions on others", red - but the basis for that understanding is our ability to empathise, which has evolved in us as a requirement for us to get along with each other as social animals.

That ability is encoded in our DNA.

Those who lack that ability are called socio-paths - they are literally unable to empathise with another's pain. They are not necessarily born that way, it's the result of extremely traumatic (as victims of physical and psychological abuse/violence) upbringing. A particular gene is associated with this, called the "warrior gene" - personally, I think this is wrong: it's more a case of the violent upbringing resulting in the gene being activated, and switching off one's empathy for others, hence their inability to feel the pain of others. [The possibility has been raised by some that this could be reversed with suitable therapy, offering the possibility of a cure.]

There's also the issue of what are called "loners" - as has been pointed out by psychologists, there are no such thing as loners, just "failed joiners". As social animals, we are joiners - we are group-oriented and form groups (associations, boards, clubs, organisations, societies, etc). Those who, for one reason or another, are lacking in the social skills necessary to join-in, fall by the wayside.

The above two examples show how those who are socially-skilled will prosper in society, whilst those who're unable to do so will not. Thus empathy and social skills are passed down through the generations as social animals through our DNA.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:14 am
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 504Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote:Okay, so in the "evolution is a fact" Hackenslash said he'd be willing to discuss the existence of God with me. The reason I made a thread instead of a PM is I'd like to get some other opinions as well.

So I'll give my two best reasons I have for beleif in God, but first, I'll clarify how I view God. I used to be a Progressive Creationist of sorts, but now I accept evolution. I'm pretty mellow as a Christian can be, don't expect the end times to really ever happen now that I've studied the historical context of Revelation, Genesis is purely Alegorical, meant to convey our place in the grand scheme of things. As I see it, God isn't very personal. It's like a mix between a Deistic and Theistic God.

So, if I don't think God is too involved, what are my reasons for belief then? Mostly DNA and the way I understand it functions, and morality.

 1. DNA. It's almost like an actual code, it contains actual information for the proteins used to build an organism. Basically the DNA is a code argument. Granted, I haven't reaserched DNA in depth, and after doing a little more thinking about this I'm starting to feel this argument is grounded in ignorance. Plus, given Hackenslash's signature, I'd figure he'd be a good person to ask.

2. Morality. Wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if no God existed. As I understand it, God's nature is the standard of morality. But without that standard, doesn't that mean there's no objective morality at all? If there is none, why is it humans seem to be born with an inborn sense of morality? Could a purely naturalistic world account for this inborn sense of right and wrong? If so, how?

I know you guys probably get arguments like this all the time and I don't want to annoy anyone, so I won't start any arguments. I'd just like others takes on these arguments, preferably with links to sources of further reading. I'll read or watch anything given and come back with any questions I have, and hopefully a constructive conversation can take place :)

Thanks ahead of the time

So I seen have Dragan Glas give an explanation on moraltiy as a benificial evoltionary trait. And it is really a good explanation for it but often there will be objections from fundamental theists (insert your type here) and often it is this sort:
"But if survival is the benefit of morality, wouldn't someone morality be better for their own survival if they found lying, cheating and murdering to be acceptable"?


Well no. When they make this argument they often forget that it is "survival of the species" not "survival of the individual". Our specie tends to survive better when we collaborate and work as a group. As such, lying stealing and murdering is not very conclusive to that end. Even in the case of "suvival of the individual", lying, stealing and murdering pretty much ensures that the individual will be a social pariah, rejected by the society which he needs to pass on his genes. So this objection to morality stemming from our evolutionary past does not really hold.

But what I would like to point out now and ask of you is:
"Why wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if a God existed?"
"Is there in fact an objective morality and if so, what is it?"
"Slavery is morally ok" - A public information message from the League of Reason's christians
Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:02 pm
itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 694Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

red wrote:Dragan Glas was brief on morality, but there are well documented examples in the mammalian world of positive moral behaviours which are beneficial to species continuation.


I'm gonna have to look into this further, it sounds intresting.

I am not sure the extent that DNA encodes morality per se, merely the behaviours which evolutionary principles show as most fit for survival.


After thinking it over, I came to this conclusion as well. My only question is how does DNA code for behavior? I'd assume it has to do with how much of what hormone is produced and that just has an outward effect which can be selected for. If I'm mistaken someone correct me.

At the human level we have the power to "reason". If you test these powers for yourself you will realise that what we call morality is little more than an understanding of the deleterious effects of actions on others.


So morality could be said to be the basic observation that if you say, steal a child's food, not only is the child deprived but it angers his parents which not only is a threat to you but causes tension in the entire group, and that tension could make it collapse, which puts the survival of the entire group in jeapordy?

Sadly, religion does lead some people to the illusion they are carrying out the will of their almighty and they have done, and continue to do terrible things - things which defy rationality (such as is happening in the present where caliphates are being established in Allah's name).


Don't forget the fundies who firebomb abortion clinics.

Finally, I trust you test your moral compass on your hot date, and wonder when you needed divine intervention to realise what you were up to.


:D

I really didn't need divine intervention for taking my girlfriend out to dinner. But, afterwards, well I'll let you fill in the blank, but I don't think I needed it then either :lol:
"If evidence could shake the Protestant Faith, then there would be no Protestant Faith" ~Donovan Lafferty
Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:31 pm
itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 694Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

MarsCydonia wrote:But what I would like to point out now and ask of you is:
"Why wouldn't morality be completely arbitrary if a God existed?"
"Is there in fact an objective morality and if so, what is it?"


This is actually starting to bother me, as I see the morality argument is pretty bad. I'll need further reading, but as it stands, I'm starting to wonder why it's even used.

1. I don't know. I guess...well, my pastor explained it as not so much God's commands but His nature that is the standard. But even so, I guess he'd have to apply that...which still makes it arbitrary?

2. I'm still feel objective morality is a thing, but atm it seems like it's more basic observation. Rape is wrong because it causes psychological and physical harm, not because someone says so....and even if God wouldnt do it, that isnt the reason why its wrong. I'm gonna have a to work this out further.
"If evidence could shake the Protestant Faith, then there would be no Protestant Faith" ~Donovan Lafferty
Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:38 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 504Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote:1. I don't know. I guess...well, my pastor explained it as not so much God's commands but His nature that is the standard. But even so, I guess he'd have to apply that...which still makes it arbitrary?

Welcome to the Euthyphro dilemma as it more formally known among theologians and philosophers. In short, it is the reflexion:
"Is something good because God commands it or does God command it because it is good"?

itsdemtitans wrote:2. I'm still feel objective morality is a thing, but atm it seems like it's more basic observation. Rape is wrong because it causes psychological and physical harm, not because someone says so....and even if God wouldnt do it, that isnt the reason why its wrong. I'm gonna have a to work this out further.

Exactly. If rape is wrong, then it is wrong independent of God's existence. Meaning that "Good", if objective, would be greater than God since good would exist independantly of God and God would be subject to it.

However, if rape is evil because God says it is wrong, then evil could be arbitrary as God could command it to be good. (Now, there's the ought/should dilemma which is equally interesting but another issue).

After millenias (Euthyphro dilemma dates back to Plato and Socrates), philosophers and theologians still reflect on this issue, even when sometimes they don't realize it goes by that name. Bertrand Russel, in his "Why I Am Not a Christian" wrote:
"The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are then in this situation: is that difference due to God's fiat or is it not? If it is due to God's fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good."

As you can see, it is the dilemma reworded.

Trying to resolve the dilemma and reconciling an all-loving and all-powerful God with the morality (or immorality) found within the Bible is how I left Christianity for Deism (how I left Deism for Atheism is a whole other story).
"Slavery is morally ok" - A public information message from the League of Reason's christians
Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:23 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

A civil conversion with a theist. I like it. :D
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:51 pm
MugnutsBloggerUser avatarPosts: 383Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote: I'm still feel objective morality is a thing, but atm it seems like it's more basic observation. Rape is wrong because it causes psychological and physical harm, not because someone says so....and even if God wouldnt do it, that isnt the reason why its wrong. I'm gonna have a to work this out further.

This video seems to get repeated here quite a bit because many will agree with it being a sound and succinct description of morality at it's core and what it means to us from a secular standpoint.



What we've had for thousands of years is religions inserting their own take on how and why their/The creator made things without bending to the reality of the times. Morality can change and we've definitely seen that even in our own lifetimes. There are still some main cores which can seem objective like torturing babies. I can find no reason for any benefit to anyone other than self pleasure...which is repugnant in all scenarios as far as I'm concerned, and I doubt anyone would be willing to argue for that position.

With that being said it is the questions of how our environment shapes our own or our close knit societies that drives what we decide is moral. If you look at the most compelling and successful TV dramas we are drawn to stories that make us think on how we would react if everything changed or was different. IE: Breaking Bad - taking care of your family financially when your end is foreseeable and soon. Then deciding to manufacture illegal drugs to make money that your family will need after you die (no insurance and a new baby involved). As far fetched as a world were the dead come back to life and try to eat you, look at how morality is now re-shaped in the Walking Dead series.

Think about how many things that can be considered immoral yet are not illegal. I doubt I need an example.

Think about things that are illegal due to certain perceived morality statements that you can say are atrocious. Treatment of Homosexuals around the globe comes to mind. Ever heard of Alan Turring? It all comes down to what humans do and why we do it. That's all there ever was and will be as long as we are around and it will always be up to us how a good life can be lived. The objective morals proposed by Christianity are far from capable of doing so which is evidenced on how throughout time the religious have justified truly horrible actions because their holy scripture said it was god's will.


If God existed and cared well, I wish these were my words but when it comes down to the existence of god/s

"In the end theologians are jealous of science, for they are aware that it has greater authority than do their own ways of finding “truth”: dogma, authority, and revelation. Science does find truth, faith does not. " - Jerry Coyne
Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:51 pm
redPosts: 142Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:11 am

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,
Perhaps I did answer briefly on morality - and I may not have been quite clear as to why our "morality" is encoded in our DNA.
As social animals we've evolved empathy - this is a very important trait as it helps us relate to others' pain and how we would feel if it were us on the receiving end.

Dragan Glas
There is again much more than you mentioned, and I realise the need to be succinct, so appreciated your addition. If you have not seen this, then you may be amazed by aspects of fairness, cooperation and reciprocity that are also encoded as behaviours:
http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals?language=en
Yes, I need to learn how to embed links - sorry!
Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:29 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2772Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

Greetings,

red wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,
Perhaps I did answer briefly on morality - and I may not have been quite clear as to why our "morality" is encoded in our DNA.
As social animals we've evolved empathy - this is a very important trait as it helps us relate to others' pain and how we would feel if it were us on the receiving end.

Dragan Glas
There is again much more than you mentioned, and I realise the need to be succinct, so appreciated your addition. If you have not seen this, then you may be amazed by aspects of fairness, cooperation and reciprocity that are also encoded as behaviours:
http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals?language=en
Yes, I need to learn how to embed links - sorry!

Thank you, red, I actually saw this talk when it came out.

If you hover over the URL button above the "Post a reply" window, it'll show you the two ways to include links - you did the first one. here's the second:

Moral behaviour in animals

If you click the "Quote" button at the top-right of my post, you'll see how this looks.

It's important to note that all of these - fairness, cooperation and reciprocity - are all based on empathy: they're not separate behaviours based on other genes.

A lack of empathy results in a person - or other animal - being unable to cooperate and/or reciprocate enough to pass on their genes: sex does require cooperation, reciprocity and being "fair" after all!

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:58 pm
DustniteUser avatarPosts: 505Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

itsdemtitans wrote:But that's the thing, to me it seems that humans have an inborn source of morality, which is why I think a God is required in the first place. Where does that inborn source come from? Is there an natural explanation for it?


You seem to think there needs to be a 'source' of morality, like morality is this river that comes from somewhere. Where is the 'source' of politics? The 'source' of economy? The 'source' of art, or of creativity?
"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:35 pm
itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 694Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Critiques of my arguments for the existence of God?

I'll reply to you guys as soon as I can, but my computer is busted and I'm stuck with my phone, so it's gonna take a while. Thanks though to everyone for their responses.
"If evidence could shake the Protestant Faith, then there would be no Protestant Faith" ~Donovan Lafferty
Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:45 am
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