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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Philosophy and God » The moral argument for Gods existence

The moral argument for Gods existence

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1 The moral argument for Gods existence on Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:15 pm


The moral argument for Gods existence

If you agree, that its wrong in any circumstances to rape, torture and kill little babies for fun,  then you agree that objective moral values exist. Since that is the case,  this takes you to really believe much more than you might think you do. This is a very big thing that you are admitting here. I don't think you realized how big. You are saying that you are confident -- you have a reasonable certainty -- that something exists somewhere in a realm which you can't see, taste, touch, smell or hear. You believe something exists that you can't prove empirically. Think for a moment about a moral absolute. Where did it come from?

 The implications of this fact  you believe that that rule applies to everyone, in other words, it is a moral absolute, then you have just affirmed a belief in something that is immaterial that you don't access by your five senses but you do access with some certainty by some other means. There is a sense of moral intuition that has a play here. If a moral absolute exists, it's fair to ask the question, what kind of thing is it? It's not a physical thing. A moral thing is not physical. It doesn't extend into space, it doesn't weigh something, it has no physical qualities or characteristics. It is a non-physical thing that really exists. It's an immaterial thing, something that you know exists but you can't get at with any of your five senses. If it seems that the moral thing exists and has moral force on our behavior, then it seems to me the most reasonable option is that Someone made that moral thing and so that moral rule is a rule of Somebody's, and it's not just a disembodied principle. When you break the moral rule, you offend the Person Who made the rule itself.

That's true for a lot of people who object to the idea of God because they can't find Him with their senses.   In other words, there are other ways to learn about things than just the five senses.   I think there is a sense of moral intuition that has a play here. But in any event, you can be considered rational in believing that such a rule actually exists. Once you do that, it does a lot of work for you.

Well, when you say that a thing like an absolute moral rule exists, you've made an admission that has profound implications for many other beliefs. In other words, a whole bunch of other beliefs are bound up in that statement.

For example, when you say that some absolute moral laws exist, you're saying that immaterial things -- like moral laws which aren't made out of physical stuff -- certainly do exist. Therefore, materialism as a worldview is false. Instead, it is reasonable to believe in things you don't see and can't test with the five senses. Strict empiricism would be false, then. Now this is a big step, because in the case of many atheists one of their frequent  arguments against God is that He hasn't shown Himself to us. But by your own admission, it can be reasonable to believe in something you simply can't see. In other words, there are different ways to "show" things to people, ways that don't involve the senses.

Given that this moral rule is out there somewhere, where did it come from?

You have only a limited number of options.

1.  It could have just come into existence out of nowhere. It could have just "poofed" into existence.
2.  It could have self-created itself. Though if it did then one could ask how is it that an arbitrary thing like a moral rule could have any moral force?  If it is an accident, if it just comes from nowhere, why would it have any moral force on me? And part of our argument is that a moral rule does have moral force. Maybe it assembled itself by accident out of available immaterial stuff floating around in wherever that world is that morals float around in. Of course, if it happened by accident then you'd still have to answer the question, how does an accidental thing have moral force? Or,
3.  it could be that the moral law was made by Someone Who lives in that immaterial realm. Now, those are your options. I don't know how many other options there are, but it seems to me you are stuck with these three.

You see, you do not have the liberty of standing in a neutral place on this issue. You've got to believe something. If you refuse to believe God made moral laws, given that you admit that they are there, then you're opting for one of the other two alternatives. And if you say that they just popped into existence or that they assembled themselves by chance, you have new problems to solve. In other words, I don't think those are tenable alternatives.

My point is to look at what seems to be the obvious existence of moral absolutes and to then look and see where that observation leads us, and it seems to lead us to the existence of a God who makes those moral rules because moral rules are designed kinds of things that don't make themselves, it appears. And it seems that a very good explanation for their existence is that a God with moral character made a set of moral rules that express His character and those rules then become absolutes which are incumbent upon us

Apart from God, there is no ultimate reference point to distinguish between what is human and what is inhuman. There is no ontological human compass - certain actions may be held in contempt by society because those actions jeopardise the safety and flourishing of others, but there is no ultimate anchor in which to place those OPINIONS – no commandments from the Divine to endorse or condemn

I usually use a imaginary illustration  to make a point in regard of the moral argument of Gods existence. I ask :  Is  there a case where it could be considered a morally good thing to torture, rape, and kill babies for fun ? Obviously, the only correct straightforward answer is:  no, its always wrong ( which has the implication that it would be then objectively  wrong ) , and a pointer to prescriptive moral values that can only derive from God.  A better illustration is this real life case :

Grandmother admits to horrifying abuse of two grandchildren while dressed as her witch alter-ego Nelda

OKLAHOMA CITY - A shocking confession from a little girl as she exposes an Oklahoma City woman's alleged child abuse scheme, which includes dressing as a witch. Geneva Robinson, 49, is in jail for the allegations. This all came to light when she took a severely abused child to the hospital, and what that little girl told the workers lead to the discovery. Police said the child was "malnourished and very thin,” her "armpits were bruised with small cut” and " "her face had scratches and whelps on it.” They also said "the back of her neck had scarring" and "along her jaw line she had whelps and bruising." Reports state the child's skin was coming off her infected ankles. Hospital workers called DHS, and the little girl told them Robinson "would dress up as a witch, wearing a green mask, and would take her out to the garage, bind her up at night and make her sleep on a pair of jeans, because she was in trouble." The child told them "the witches name was Nelda," and that "she got the marks under her arms because Nelda would take a pink dog leash and hang her in the middle of the garage underneath her arms.” The girl also said Nelda told her "the creatures in the attic were going to come and get her at tonight,” and that she was "hit with an orange and black whip.” The girl "talked about fire and being burned" and said "Nelda would use a wand knife and put it to her neck." Police showed up to Robinson's house, and they said as soon as they walked into the garage, they saw "a pink dog leash hanging with a black dog leash connected and attached to the garage door railings on the ceiling."

They also found a "horse whip" and "dagger" along with a witch hat, black wig and "hooded cloak with red eyes costume." They said the items are evidence that backs up the child's story. Robinson's home was described as a "house of horrors," the outlet reported.  "What she did was horrific and what she did will forever impact this child and her siblings," assistant district attorney Merydith Easter told the judge. "She deserves the same amount of mercy that she showed this child, and that's none."

Geneva Robinson, 51, was sentenced Thursday to three consecutive life terms, The Oklahoman ( 2pf0p6u ) reported. Her boyfriend, 33-year-old Joshua Granger, was also sentenced after he admitted to helping Robinson frighten her granddaughter. According to the outlet, he would dress up as a demon named "Coogro." He will serve 30 years in prison.

Could there be a situation, where we could classify Geneva Roberts behavior as morally justifiable, or even as good, or morally virtuous ? What, if we would invert our moral standard ?   

The founder of an orphanage in Burundi,  Marguerite Barankitse,  defied death threats and witnessed unspeakable violence as she saved thousands of children from ethnic slaughters in the 1990s. She was the winner of a new prize created in memory of the Armenian genocide a century ago. 2

Could we imagine to invert moral values, set a new standard, and it would become suddenly extraordinarily good and morally desirable, and apprechiable of what Geneva did, and give the prize , which Marguerite won, to her and her boyfriend ? Imagine : " Geneva Robinson  is the winner of a new prize created in memory of the Armenian genocide a century ago because of her extraordinary humanitarian achievment of torturing little children." In other words: could  it depend  just on someones or a societies preferences or a new determination , or simple change to introduce a new moral standard  ? 


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2 Re: The moral argument for Gods existence on Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:59 pm


In his book, In the Blood: God, Genes and Destiny, Steve Jones
suggested that criminal behavior was determined largely by
genetic make-up (1996, pp. 207-220). In discussing Jones’
book, one writer, Janet Daley, insisted that if genetics is indeed
ultimately responsible for “bad” traits, it also must account
for “good” ones. She observed: “If we can never be
truly guilty, thenwecan never be truly virtuous either.” Daley
went on to say:

Human beings are only capable of being moral insofar
as they are free to choose how they behave. If they
have no power to makereal choices—if their freedom
to decide how to act is severely limited by forces outside
their control—then it is nonsense to make any
ethical judgements about them. It would be wrong,
as well, to base a judicial system on the assumption
that people are free to choose how they will act. The
idea of putting anyone on trial for anything at all becomes
absurd (1996).

Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist,
and manis in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find
anything todependuponeither within or outsidehimself....
Nor, on the other hand, if God does not exist,
are we provided with any values or commands that
could legitimize our behavior (1961, p. 485).

Agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell

We feel that the man who brings widespread happiness
at the expense of misery to himself is a better
man than themanwhobrings unhappiness to others
and happiness to himself. I do not know of any rational
ground for this view, or, perhaps, for the somewhat
more rational view that whatever the majority
desires (called utilitarian hedonism) is preferable to
what theminority desires.Theseare truly ethicalproblems
but I do not know of any way in which they can
be solved except by politics or war. All that I can find
to say on this subject is that an ethical opinion can
only be defended by an ethical axiom, but, if the
axiom is not accepted, there is no way of reaching
a rational conclusion
(1969, 3:29,emp.added).

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3 Re: The moral argument for Gods existence on Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:46 am



Without a divine lawgiver, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say that you are right and I am wrong.

The moral argument:

   Our recognition of the moral culpability of the driver (rather than the car) is an admission that materialism (physicalism) fails to explain who we are as humans. Consider the following argument:

   No Physical System is a Free Agent Physical systems are either “determined” (one event necessarily following the other) or “random”

   Therefore No Physical System Has Moral Responsibility Moral responsibility requires moral freedom of choice

   Human Beings DO Have Moral Responsibility We recognize that each of us has the responsibility and choice to act morally, and indeed, we seek to hold each other legally accountable for each other’s free-will choices

   Therefore, Human Beings Are NOT Simply Physical Systems Our recognition of moral responsibility and our efforts to hold each other accountable are irrational and unwarranted if humans are merely physical systems

If we, as humans, are only physical systems (merely matter), we ought to stop trying to hold each other accountable for misbehavior. In fact, there can be no misbehavior if we are only physical brains and bodies; there can only be behavior. Our actions have no moral content at all unless we truly have the freedom to choose and the ability to break the bondage of physical event causation. As a homicide detective, I can’t prosecute the gun or knife that was used by the murderer, but I can certainly arrest the free-agent human that used the physical tool to commit the murder in the first place. I can’t do this if the human was only another purely physical object in a sequence of caused events. If materialism (physicalism) is true, there is no need for homicide detectives. We still employ detectives, however, because our sense of moral obligation proves materialism to be false.

William Lane Craig, PhD University of Birmingham, England-  on the moral argument:

   Real moral obligation is a fact. We are really, truly, objectively obligated to do good and avoid evil.
   Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the "religious" one.
   But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation.
   Therefore the "religious" view of reality is correct.

How can I be absolutely obligated by something less than me—for example, by animal instinct or practical need for material survival?
How can I obligate myself absolutely? Am I absolute? Do I have the right to demand absolute obedience from anyone, even myself? And if I am the one who locked myself in this prison of obligation, I can also let myself out, thus destroying the absoluteness of the obligation which we admitted as our premise.
How can society obligate me? What right do my equals have to impose their values on me? Does quantity make quality? Do a million human beings make a relative into an absolute? Is "society" God?
The only source of absolute moral obligation left is something superior to me. This binds my will, morally, with rightful demands for complete obedience

There are four possible relations between religion and morality, God and goodness.

Religion and morality may be thought to be independent. Kierkegaard's sharp contrast between "the ethical" and "the religious," especially in Fear and Trembling, may lead to such a supposition. But (a) an amoral God, indifferent to morality, would not be a wholly good God, for one of the primary meanings of "good" involves the "moral"—just, loving, wise, righteous, holy, kind. And (b) such a morality, not having any connection with God, the Absolute Being, would not have absolute reality behind it.
God may be thought of as the inventor of morality, as he is the inventor of birds. The moral law is often thought of as simply a product of God's choice. This is the Divine Command Theory: a thing is good only because God commands it and evil because he forbids it. If that is all, however, we have a serious problem: God and his morality are arbitrary and based on mere power. If God commanded us to kill innocent people, that would become good, since good here means "whatever God commands." The Divine Command Theory reduces morality to power. Socrates refuted the Divine Command Theory pretty conclusively in Plato's Euthyphro. He asked Euthyphro, "Is a thing pious because the gods will it, or do the gods will it because it is pious?" He refuted the first alternative, and thought he was left with the second as the only alternative.
But the idea that God commands a thing because it is good is also unacceptable, because it makes God conform to a law higher than himself, a law that overarches God and humanity alike. The God of the Bible is no more separated from moral goodness by being under it than he is by being over it. He no more obeys a higher law that binds him, than he creates the law as an artifact that could change and could well have been different, like a planet.
The only rationally acceptable answer to the question of the relation between God and morality is the biblical one: morality is based on God's eternal nature. That is why morality is essentially unchangeable. "I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy" (Lev. 11:44). Our obligation to be just, kind, honest, loving and righteous "goes all the way up" to ultimate reality, to the eternal nature of God, to what God is. That is why morality has absolute and unchangeable binding force on our conscience.

The only other possible sources of moral obligation are:

My ideals, purposes, aspirations, and desires, something created by my mind or will, like the rules of baseball. This utterly fails to account for why it is always wrong to disobey or change the rules.
My moral will itself. Some read Kant this way: I impose morality on myself. But how can the one bound and the one who binds be the same? If the locksmith locks himself in a room, he is not really locked in, for he can also unlock himself.
Another human being may be thought to be the one who imposes morality on me—my parents, for example. But this fails to account for its binding character. If your father commands you to deal drugs, your moral obligation is to disobey him. No human being can have absolute authority over another.
"Society" is a popular answer to the question of the origin of morality "this or that specific person" is a very unpopular answer. Yet the two are the same. "Society" only means more individuals. What right do they have to legislate morality to me? Quantity cannot yield quality; adding numbers cannot change the rules of a relative game to the rightful absolute demands of conscience.
The universe, evolution, natural selection and survival all fare even worse as explanations for morality. You cannot get more out of less. The principle of causality is violated here. How could the primordial slime pools gurgle up the Sermon on the Mount?

― Robert J. Sawyer, Calculating God

“If theft is advantageous to everyone who succeeds at it, and adultery is a good strategy, at least for males, for increasing presence in the gene pool, why do we feel they are wrong? Shouldn't the only morality that evolution produces be the kind Bill Clinton had - being sorry you got caught?”

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Police: 3-year-old hung up by feet, beaten, killed in Chester County

WEST CALN TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Police say a man and his girlfriend are charged with murdering the girlfriend's 3-year-old son in what a prosecutor described as an "unspeakable act of depravity.".

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrests of Gary Fellenbaum and Jillian Tait Thursday morning. He says Fellenbaum, his wife, and girlfriend, Tait, all lived together in a mobile home in West Caln Township and worked at a local Walmart.
On Tuesday authorities were called to their residence for the report of an unresponsive child. Responding EMTs found 3-year-old Scott McMillan suffering from bruises, lacerations and puncture wounds all over his body.
Police say Fellenbaum, Tait, and Fellenbaum's wife, Amber, confessed that the little boy had been beaten with blunt and sharp objects, whipped, taped to a chair with electrical tape and beaten, hung up by his feet and beaten, leading to his death.
Authorities say they beat Scott to death using homemade weapons, like a whip, a curtain rod, a frying pan, and an aluminum strip.
Police say Tait explained that the fatal beating began when the boy wouldn't eat his breakfast.
Hogan said, "Little Scotty McMillan is dead. Over a three day period ... he was systematically tortured and beaten to death. He was punched in the face and in the stomach. He was scourged with a homemade whip. He was lashed with a metal rod. He was tied to a chair and beaten. He was tied upside down by his feet and beaten. His head was smashed through a wall."

Hogan said professionals with deep experience in these types of cases were brought to tears.
"Our ER nurses see a lot of terrible things. But when they saw his body, they wept," Hogan said.
The district attorney says Gary Fellanbaum and Tait went car shopping, bought pizza, took a nap and engaged in sexual activity - all while the child lay dying after weeks of relentless torture.
Tait allegedly told police that Fellenbaum beat her 6 and 3-year-old boys on a number of occasions. He would allegedly hit them with a closed fist in the head, face, chest and buttocks, and on one occasion she says he strung the boys up by their feet and beat them, while she and Fellenbaum laughed.
That 6-year-old boy is now in the care of relatives.
Fellenbaum and Tait are charged with murder and are currently being held without bail. Hogan says he will be seeking the death penalty.
One neighbor told us, "I don't know if they should [be sentenced to death]or not... because they would probably suffer more in jail all their lives."
The Fellenbaums and Tait only moved into the mobile home community last month. Authorities say there are no signs of drug use in the home.


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