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Jack
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005, 06:14 AM
Kierkegaard put the question pretty simply. Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life - regardless of whether it's Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Kantian morality, whatever - the life where some actions are simply not to be done, while others are actively encouraged?

Oskorei
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005, 04:00 PM
Hegelian and Marxian philosophy explains it well, with the concept of "Species Being" (Artväsen in Swedish). I have a nature, and according to that nature some actions are natural and some are not.

This also correlates to the magical/pagan idea of macrocosm and microcosm. There are, in the Cosmos, some Laws, and they are in us as individuals as well. We can follow these laws/our nature, or we can break them and act against our own nature. Of course if we act against our own nature we harm ourselves, and eventually turn into unhappy and twisted beings.

The nice thing with this approach is that it is more Aryan than the "thou shalt not"-morality (not that I don't believe that there are insights of this kind also in the teachings of Jesus and several Christian thinkers).

infoterror
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005, 07:28 PM
Kierkegaard put the question pretty simply. Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life - regardless of whether it's Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Kantian morality, whatever - the life where some actions are simply not to be done, while others are actively encouraged?
Why: measurement of self.

Morality: Aryan morality is morality of the whole; bureaucratic morality is morality of the collective; Judaic morality is morality of the individual as a social, external construct.

Telperion
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 03:25 AM
Assuming by morality you mean principles or rules that shape and constrain the scope of human behaviour (implying ethics as well, and social norms generally), it would seem that morality raises a sort of collective action problem that touches on issue of how to efficiently organize social and economic cooperation. By promoting honesty, abstention from unprovoked violence, and other virtues, morality decreases the transaction costs inherent in social interaction by ensuring that behavioural rules that encourage social cooperation are internalized in individuals. Absenct such an internal constraint on behaviour, external authority is needed, i.e. law and coercion of the individual by the state. In so far as morality and/or law enable and facilitate social cooperation, they make possible economic exchanges that promote specialization and the division of labour, trade and the gains from it, consequent technological progress, and ultimately civilization itself.

To elaborate, it would seem that in a civilized society any one individual would be better off behaving immorally rather than morally, as long as the majority of their colleagues remain moral. By being dishonest, manipulative, etc., they can potentially shift the distribution of available gains from social and economic interaction in their favour (beyond what they would attain through behaviour recognized as moral).

However, if every individual were to behave in a totally immoral or amoral way, it is difficult to conceive of how highly organized social and economic cooperation would be possible - "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is in effect the law of the jungle, and a mode of behaviour incompatible with the requirements social cooperation in a civilized society, since it would result in the breakdown of mutual trust and personal security required to enable social cooperation. Thus, to the extent that morals are internalized, they provide a check on behaviour that would otherwise disrupt the web of social cooperation and decrease net welfare. To the extent that morals are not optimally internalized by all individuals in a society, the law is a necessary requirement of a civilized society, since it can provide disincentives to behaving contrary to social norms by ensuring that coercive measures are applied against lawbreakers.

One could conclude that morality, to the extent that it is internalized, enhances the efficiency of social cooperation, since the more individuals behave in a civilized, cooperative manner based on their own internalized behavioural code, the less coercive intervention is required by the state in order to maintain social order.

Rhydderch
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 04:12 AM
Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life -
God created the world to function in a certain way (and perfectly, in accordance with his holiness), and any violation of that will stop it from functioning, or will cause it at least to misfunction.
Because man sinned, he has a natural aversion for God and God's holiness, and that is why God made the moral law; if man was sinless, then man would conform to the moral law without being 'coerced'.

Also, for obvious reasons God hates sin, and punishes it.

Jack
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 04:58 AM
Rhydderch and I are going to have fun if the Gladiator Pit opens :D But for the moment I don't have time to answer his explanation, I have to get ready for work soon.

I mostly agree with Telperion, except for his statement regarding 'Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law'. Azdaja once explained this to basically mean 'do what's in line with your true will', similar to the concept of species being which Osokrei put foward.

I assume most (excluding Rhydderch) agree with the statement: 'morality is a set of rules, obedience to which results in the enhancement of the power (or well being) of both the individual acting and the community of which he is a part'.

I suspect even Rhydderch can agree with this, if I leave the option that morality was decided by God as a means for us to become more well (i.e. virtuous) to get into heaven, and to avoid sin, i.e. self-destruction.

That being the case, supposing we were to focus on the virtues (the excellent qualities) required to live in a non-super-sensible community (i.e. virtues required to live here on earth), what virtues would you suggest would be best for living in a mono-ethnocultural community?

Rhydderch
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 05:16 AM
I assume most (excluding Rhydderch) agree with the statement: 'morality is a set of rules, obedience to which results in the enhancement of the power (or well being) of both the individual acting and the community of which he is a part'.
I wouldn't disagree with that (unless my concentration has lapsed). Morality is a set of rules, and obedience to it does result in the enhancement of the well-being of an individual and his community. Taken at face value, that's a true statement, but it's only part of the story.

Jack
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 01:56 PM
I wouldn't disagree with that (unless my concentration has lapsed). Morality is a set of rules, and obedience to it does result in the enhancement of the well-being of an individual and his community. Taken at face value, that's a true statement, but it's only part of the story.
We agree on that much, which is the important part - it's the part where our 'stories' coincide.

I agree with the American moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, that rule based ethics (Kant - "Act so that the maxim [determining motive of the will] may be capable of becoming a universal law for all rational beings.") is rather, well - stupid, and unjustifiable (this rolls back onto the question "Why should we be moral?"). What I'm pushing - virtue ethics - depends on the simple fact of existence. Man exists as a social animal, the purpose of ethics is to provide guidance for living the good life, and so the virtues are the qualities which, when practice, grant man well being for both himself and his community.

Well, does anyone want to venture a few suggestions on the virtues desirable for us as Germanic nationalists?

Oskorei
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005, 08:40 PM
The fundamental virtue is self-control. Without it, all other virtues are useless. And once one creates a personal set of rules to follow, honor, courage and loyalty comes naturally.

Jack
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 12:18 AM
The fundamental virtue is self-control. Without it, all other virtues are useless. And once one creates a personal set of rules to follow, honor, courage and loyalty comes naturally.
What is self-control? Assuming man possesses (or is possessed by) a number of competing desires, can self control really be said to be 'restraining' one's desires, or simply regimenting them in the most effective order to be achieved?

My suggestions.

The primary virtue of all is intelligence: the willingness to be open to alternative pathways of action, to be open to amending one's outlook if one's ideas are refuted on rational grounds, the capacity to act on information regarding a situation if it has the potential to improve one's odds of success.

Fortitude: The firmness of mind which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage, or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression, or despondency.

Integrity: The unwillingness to bow before anything not derived from reason.

Honesty: The unwillingness to distort reality as is known to one's self.

Pride: The desire to enhance one's own power in service of one's own being, the desire not to have that power infringed upon or reduced.

Productivity: The desire to sustain one's own being only by one's own efforts.

Those are the ones I've thought up. Feel free to add more.

Rhydderch
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 12:43 PM
I agree with the American moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, that rule based ethics (Kant - "Act so that the maxim [determining motive of the will] may be capable of becoming a universal law for all rational beings.") is rather, well - stupid, and unjustifiable (this rolls back onto the question "Why should we be moral?").Well, I did say in my first post that God created the world to run in a certain way, so in other words if a man (or a community) lives life in a closer accordance with the moral law, then he and his community will generally be better off (in a natural sense, though not necessarily spiritual) than those whose lives are less moral, even if he doesn't believe in the God who created the world; and even if he doesn't know what the moral law per se is.

I think an example can be found in such people as the early Romans, who although pagans (and definitely not godly), had a strong family structure and a relatively (and I stress 'relatively') moral lifestyle. I think that this is a major reason for their (at least initial) success.
Whereas, people like the South sea Islanders and Australian Aborigines who (prior to the nineteenth century anyway) were very degraded and possessed very little cultural advancement, their lives were relatively miserable, in other words there was little 'well-being' among them. And they lived a much more immoral life.



What I'm pushing - virtue ethics - depends on the simple fact of existence. Man exists as a social animal, the purpose of ethics is to provide guidance for living the good life, and so the virtues are the qualities which, when practice, grant man well being for both himself and his community.How do you define 'good' and 'well being' if you don't believe in God or his law? Would you define it as something which contributes to the survival of an individual and/or his 'kind' (i.e. survival of the fittest)?

Jack
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 12:58 PM
Well, I did say in my first post that God created the world to run in a certain way, so in other words if a man (or a community) lives life in a closer accordance with the moral law, then he and his community will generally be better off (in a natural sense, though not necessarily spiritual) than those whose lives are less moral, even if he doesn't believe in the God who created the world; and even if he doesn't know what the moral law per se is.I'm not sure what you're referring to by 'moral law' but I agree that's what the effects of abiding by morality are.


I think an example can be found in such people as the early Romans, who although pagans (and definitely not godly), had a strong family structure and a relatively (and I stress 'relatively') moral lifestyle. I think that this is a major reason for their (at least initial) success.The Athenians also.


Whereas, people like the South sea Islanders and Australian Aborigines who (prior to the nineteenth century anyway) were very degraded and possessed very little cultural advancement, their lives were relatively miserable, in other words there was little 'well-being' among them. And they lived a much more immoral life.Actually they lived lives much like any primative tribes do. It had little to do with the possibility that they were immoral, and far more to do with the fact they were simply


How do you define 'good' and 'well being' if you don't believe in God or his law?Easily. What is good for my happiness, what is the best way that I can fulfill and enhance my own well being, as I am? i.e., as a young Anglo-Saxon Australian man. I have effectively defined my own idea of 'good' and 'well being' above.


Would you define it as something which contributes to the survival of an individual and/or his 'kind' (i.e. survival of the fittest)?Survival is just the beginning. The propagation of his own genes and his community, the enhancement of both his own material power and that of the community, increasing knowledge, wealth, the achievement of his highest potential.

Rhydderch
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 01:35 PM
I'm not sure what you're referring to by 'moral law' but I agree that's what the effects of abiding by morality are.By 'moral law' I mean the laws of God.


Actually they lived lives much like any primative tribes do.Yes, certainly; I was basically using them as examples of such people.


It had little to do with the possibility that they were immoral,Their lives were far less in conformity to the moral law (as set down in the Bible) than those of Romans and the like, and i think it showed up in their relatively miserable lives.


and far more to do with the fact they were simplySimply what?


Easily. What is good for my happiness, what is the best way that I can fulfill and enhance my own well being, as I am?So basically you mean morality for you is simply what makes you feel good yourself (a mentality mentioned in the Bible as 'every man did that which was right in his own eyes')?
If so, then that would mean you don't believe morality is something objective, something universally applicable, is that correct?

Jehan
Friday, June 3rd, 2005, 07:00 PM
Hegelian and Marxian philosophy explains it well, with the concept of "Species Being" (Artväsen in Swedish). I have a nature, and according to that nature some actions are natural and some are not.

This also correlates to the magical/pagan idea of macrocosm and microcosm. There are, in the Cosmos, some Laws, and they are in us as individuals as well. We can follow these laws/our nature, or we can break them and act against our own nature. Of course if we act against our own nature we harm ourselves, and eventually turn into unhappy and twisted beings.

The nice thing with this approach is that it is more Aryan than the "thou shalt not"-morality (not that I don't believe that there are insights of this kind also in the teachings of Jesus and several Christian thinkers).
Actually, the "Thou shalt not" morality is exactly that: respect of one's nature which is, in our case, creatures of God.

Also, Anarch, I don't see why you should even bother looking for your own advancement if God doesn't exists and you're just a relative vain pile of flesh with no real purpose. If morality's goal is mainly to regulate men's social behaviors for us to be able to live in society, it has no real purpose. I don't see the point of having a great civilization and culture if there's no absolute value and purpose(i.e. God) to it.

Finally, a moral system which is not based on God is merely an opinion.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Saturday, June 4th, 2005, 07:50 AM
The Jewish Big 10 is a moral code that not even a solitary member of the Chosen can live up to. Honor, Duty, Loyality are great cornerstones with which to bounce off moral decisions but, again, consistency and human nature start making compromise. The Tenfold Path of Buddah asks a participant to just pick one and follow it. Few can even do that. Finally, the code of the street: "never betray a friend". Ok, how many of us have even lived up to this one? Women accuse men of the morals of a dog. In Yiddish the words "F--- Y--" are "Trust Me" (more truth than joke) Are humans immoral by nature or moral and just imperfect?

Jack
Saturday, June 4th, 2005, 12:55 PM
By 'moral law' I mean the laws of God.
Ok.


Their lives were far less in conformity to the moral law (as set down in the Bible) than those of Romans and the like, and i think it showed up in their relatively miserable lives.
How? Filial piety, punishment for thieving from members of your own community, lack of adultery etc. were observed by aboriginies. Some tribes did observe one God above all, but this did not enhance the material advancement of their community particularly noticably. They still never constructed houses, or even mud huts.


Simply what?
Faliures of nature.


So basically you mean morality for you is simply what makes you feel good yourself (a mentality mentioned in the Bible as 'every man did that which was right in his own eyes')?
"... Survival. The propagation of his own genes and his community, the enhancement of both his own material power and that of the community, increasing knowledge, wealth, the achievement of his highest potential."

There's a slight difference between this and having one's seratonin levels skyrocket via drugs.


If so, then that would mean you don't believe morality is something objective, something universally applicable, is that correct?
And the morality set down by God is objective? Any more objective than if I issued a bunch of commands? You have a problem, Rhydderch ;)


Actually, the "Thou shalt not" morality is exactly that: respect of one's nature which is, in our case, creatures of God.
I do not believe in your God. Please don't get pissed off, but accept it as fact, and recognise that belief in your God is not something we can use as common basis for discourse.


Also, Anarch, I don't see why you should even bother looking for your own advancement if God doesn't exists and you're just a relative vain pile of flesh with no real purpose.
I do not need to believe in God in order to be a good man. You might. If so, I'm at liberty to call you a weak degenerate who needs to be commanded by someone else (God, in this case) in order to be a decent man. If you think you would be capable of being a good man supposing you didn't believe in God, then you understand my position.


If morality's goal is mainly to regulate men's social behaviors for us to be able to live in society, it has no real purpose.
I have stated that the regulation of social behaviour within a community is the purpose of morality. You have claimed this is 'no real purpose'. I have left open the option that God may exist and that he may define moral law and virtue for those who desire to live in the Kingdom of Heaven (a community), supposing such a place, and the soul, exists - which I leave for you to decide. I have left open these options. If you declare that regulating man's behaviour within a community is 'no real purpose to morality' than you've really shot yourself in the foot, because you're effectively stating that getting into God's kingdom is no real purpose for morality.


I don't see the point of having a great civilization and culture if there's no absolute value and purpose(i.e. God) to it.
Ok. You can leave this topic if you don't like it. The discussion has effectively boiled down to What virtues are most desirable for an ethnocultural nationalist to practice? We are not discussing God or the seven deadly sins or the seven cardinal virtues. We are discussing virtues which should be possessed by an ethnocultural nationalist.


Finally, a moral system which is not based on God is merely an opinion.
States the man who has most probably never read Aristotle, the Stoics, Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Hegel, Feuerbach, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Ignorance is bliss, but please don't display it.

Jehan
Monday, June 6th, 2005, 03:56 AM
I do not believe in your God. Please don't get pissed off, but accept it as fact, and recognise that belief in your God is not something we can use as common basis for discourse.
If you're referring to the Christian God, it's not mine either so I won't get pissed off. And even if it was....nah. I was just saying that Christianity has its own little theory about what Man is and the "respect your nature" theory works for that too. But yeah, we're still creatures of God. Probably.




I do not need to believe in God in order to be a good man. You might. If so, I'm at liberty to call you a weak degenerate who needs to be commanded by someone else (God, in this case) in order to be a decent man. If you think you would be capable of being a good man supposing you didn't believe in God, then you understand my position.
I do not need to believe in God to be a good man. It's not that I don't have enough strength of will to restrain myself from shooting people in a Mcdonald, that's not the point. The question I'm asking is: why should one be good exactly? Admitting God doesn't exist, and maybe he doesn't, I'm not really sure about that yet, why would you seek the well-being of your community? In fact, it would be more profitable to you if you didn't. Since you don't have a soul and when you'll die you'll be eaten by evil worms, it doesn't really matters what happens to this earth after you, right? So why should one have any principle except "let's fornicate and get high"? I can see you are moved by something greater than your own physical pleasure, be it thirst for knowledge, honor or pride, probably all three of them, and I recognize there is a difference between this and "having one's seratonin levels skyrocket via drugs" but why exactly?



I have stated that the regulation of social behaviour within a community is the purpose of morality. You have claimed this is 'no real purpose'. I have left open the option that God may exist and that he may define moral law and virtue for those who desire to live in the Kingdom of Heaven (a community), supposing such a place, and the soul, exists - which I leave for you to decide. I have left open these options. If you declare that regulating man's behaviour within a community is 'no real purpose to morality' than you've really shot yourself in the foot, because you're effectively stating that getting into God's kingdom is no real purpose for morality.
Argh, my foot:|. The main difference here is that I have stated this is no real purpose admitting God doesn't exist. Which is another thing.



Ok. You can leave this topic if you don't like it. The discussion has effectively boiled down to What virtues are most desirable for an ethnocultural nationalist to practice? We are not discussing God or the seven deadly sins or the seven cardinal virtues. We are discussing virtues which should be possessed by an ethnocultural nationalist.
No, no, I like it. Personally I'd say that respect for oneself is the key thing. That would naturally include righteousness, honor, loyalty, respect of one's blood(relatives, community, culture, etc.) But...these should be possessed by everyone, not only ethnocultural nationalists. In fact, I think everyone should be an ethnocultural nationalist!:D



Finally, a moral system which is not based on God is merely an opinion.
I'm just saying you're a relative being. Aristotle was a relative being too. God is an absolute one. Therefore anything you can state is from your point of view, thus relative, therefore it is an opinion. So yes, the morality set by God has to be objective, more than if you just issued a bunch of commands. I'm not necessarily talking about the Jewish Big 10:D.

But yes, you're right, I definitely have a lot of reading to do. Anyone who doesn't have a book he wants to read after the one he's reading now is losing his time. I'm sure you'll agree on this. At least.

Rhydderch
Monday, June 6th, 2005, 04:17 AM
How? Filial piety, punishment for thieving from members of your own community, lack of adultery etc. were observed by aboriginies.Peoples around the world have had various aspects of the moral law which they were willing to conform to, but it's the overall picture we need to look at. For instance, when a man wished to marry, it was a common (and accepted) custom to go secretly to another tribe, bash a woman on the head with a club, and drag her back to his own tribe. (And bear in mind that God forbids stealing from anybody, not just members of one's own community)

Now, I'm not sure about Aborigines, but the South sea Islanders were cannibals, not only eating the bodies of slain enemies, but when the women of their own tribes misbehaved, they would be killed and eaten, and according to one islander, "all the rest would be good for a long time to come".
I could go on and on, but at any rate it's obvious to me that their lives were more immoral than those of other, generally more advanced peoples.


Some tribes did observe one God above allSatan himself believes in only one God. However, I think most polytheistic peoples have tended to consider one God to be over all the rest.


Faliures of nature.Whether or not you regard it as failures of nature, it is clear that the laws of God are good for man even in a natural sense.



"... Survival. The propagation of his own genes and his community, the enhancement of both his own material power and that of the community, increasing knowledge, wealth, the achievement of his highest potential."But what is the ultimate purpose of these things? Why is it 'good' or 'preferable' to pass on your genes, increase your knowledge etc. Is it not because it will ultimately make you 'feel good'?


There's a slight difference between this and having one's seratonin levels skyrocket via drugs.And maybe even slighter than you realise ;)

But anyone with sense will know that drugs could well be his ruin in a relatively short term, so clearly many people will go for what they think can make them feel good in the longer term.


And the morality set down by God is objective?If God made the world, and mankind, then obviously he knows how we are meant to function, and what is good for us, so of course it's objective. Even if you only consider it hypothetically (and don't actually accept that God exists), it is a consistent belief.


Any more objective than if I issued a bunch of commands?Well, if you created the world and mankind etc. then I suppose not :D Otherwise, the varying opinions of individuals on morality are totally arbitrary, and therefore morality could be just about anything.


I do not need to believe in God in order to be a good man. You might. If so, I'm at liberty to call you a weak degenerate who needs to be commanded by someone else (God, in this case) in order to be a decent man.'Decent' in whose eyes? In your own eyes, in the eyes of your community? If the latter, then you are effectively being commanded by your community, which indeed has long been based on a belief in God.


I have left open the option that God may exist and that he may define moral law and virtue for those who desire to live in the Kingdom of Heaven (a community)You've got it the wrong way round; God didn't arbitrarily define moral law and virtue for the purpose of getting some people into the Kingdom of Heaven. He created man sinless, in which case they would have got there anyway; But man 'has sought out many inventions' (i. e. sinned, terribly) for which he is to be punished.


If you declare that regulating man's behaviour within a community is 'no real purpose to morality' than you've really shot yourself in the foot, because you're effectively stating that getting into God's kingdom is no real purpose for morality.There is no real purpose to regulating man's behaviour within a community if there is no God; we might as well be all murderers and sodomites. But if someone is doing well in this world (in all respects), it is often because he is acting in a way which just 'happens' to be in closer conformity to the laws of God.


What virtues are most desirable for an ethnocultural nationalist to practice?Okay, so you've defined your version of morality, is that right?


We are not discussing God or the seven deadly sins or the seven cardinal virtues.We are discussing morality, on the basis of our respective 'versions' ;)


States the man who has most probably never read Aristotle, the Stoics, Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Hegel, Feuerbach, etc., etc., ad nauseum.Do you mean to say that their moral systems are more than an opinion?

Mind you, I think Aristotle believed in some sort of god didn't he?


Ignorance is bliss, but please don't display it.Do you know how many snails are in my back yard? If not, I don't think it would be reasonable for me to say you are therefore ignorant :D

Jack
Monday, June 6th, 2005, 06:53 AM
Peoples around the world have had various aspects of the moral law which they were willing to conform to, but it's the overall picture we need to look at. For instance, when a man wished to marry, it was a common (and accepted) custom to go secretly to another tribe, bash a woman on the head with a club, and drag her back to his own tribe. (And bear in mind that God forbids stealing from anybody, not just members of one's own community)
Would you like me to read through Genesis and find the exact name, chapter and verse in which a Jewish girl has sex with her father in order to further the existence of her people?


Now, I'm not sure about Aborigines, but the South sea Islanders were cannibals, not only eating the bodies of slain enemies, but when the women of their own tribes misbehaved, they would be killed and eaten, and according to one islander, "all the rest would be good for a long time to come".
Which I suppose is a great deal of an improvement over stoning someone to death because they had sex before marriage. Right?


I could go on and on, but at any rate it's obvious to me that their lives were more immoral than those of other, generally more advanced peoples.
What is wrong with cannibalism?


Satan himself believes in only one God. However, I think most polytheistic peoples have tended to consider one God to be over all the rest.
Certain aboriginal tribes were monotheistic ;)


Whether or not you regard it as failures of nature, it is clear that the laws of God are good for man even in a natural sense.
The laws of God (whether this God exists or not is irrelevant for this section of the topic, we're discussing the laws) are good for advancing the well being of a community, I agree.


But what is the ultimate purpose of these things? Why is it 'good' or 'preferable' to pass on your genes, increase your knowledge etc. Is it not because it will ultimately make you 'feel good'?
Why is it good to satisfy the will of God?


And maybe even slighter than you realise ;)
Drugs are a simulacra of the real thing.


But anyone with sense will know that drugs could well be his ruin in a relatively short term, so clearly many people will go for what they think can make them feel good in the longer term.
Exactly. In the long term, advancing one's community and passing on one's genes, increasing one's knowledge and material power is good for the self.


If God made the world, and mankind, then obviously he knows how we are meant to function, and what is good for us, so of course it's objective.
Then are not any commands I may choose to issue be just as objective? We may discuss God creating mankind and the universe in another thread if you wish.


Even if you only consider it hypothetically (and don't actually accept that God exists), it is a consistent belief.
Actually it isn't. If God created man, and God is an omniscient being, free will is ruled out of the equation a priori because God knows man's fate (having designed him). If man does not have free will, the existence of God's commands is irrelevant. Put simply: this is all very predictable to God. Actually, if God knows everything, he knows what he's going to do next irrespective of what any of us do (because he designed us and foresaw everything), God really doesn't have any free will either. So if we're going to reduce it all to cause and effect, then God is simply part of one big universal machine, and has no soul of his own. Leaving asides the question of who created him (I have no objections to infinite regression).


Well, if you created the world and mankind etc. then I suppose not :D Otherwise, the varying opinions of individuals on morality are totally arbitrary, and therefore morality could be just about anything.
Is not the design of us by God, the universe, the laws of physics etc. etc. simply an arbitrary construction by God?


'Decent' in whose eyes? In your own eyes, in the eyes of your community? If the latter, then you are effectively being commanded by your community, which indeed has long been based on a belief in God.
Decent in my own eyes - being me, in the most perfect way I can. I am of course, part of my community, having being born into it, socialised in it, indoctrinated with it's history and world-outlook.


You've got it the wrong way round; God didn't arbitrarily define moral law and virtue for the purpose of getting some people into the Kingdom of Heaven. He created man sinless, in which case they would have got there anyway; But man 'has sought out many inventions' (i. e. sinned, terribly) for which he is to be punished.
He created man sinless but designed him with the capacity to sin and then rigged all the dominos (God is all powerful and omniscient, isn't he? So he'd better be a decent guy and not blame it on his annoying little bitch-son called Satan, who he created knowing full well what he'd do) so man would sin. And we go to hell for it :P :-O


There is no real purpose to regulating man's behaviour within a community if there is no God;
Why not? Your statement that if God knows what's good for us and tells us, then we should do it, so his morality is 'objective'. Assuming God does not exist, do you then claim it is impossible for us to know what is good for us?


we might as well be all murderers and sodomites.
While we're on the subject of sodomy, has anyone ever proven that the story of the destruction of Sodom was due to homosexuality, or - was it due to rape?


But if someone is doing well in this world (in all respects), it is often because he is acting in a way which just 'happens' to be in closer conformity to the laws of God.
Alternatively, the 'laws of God' were issued by Moses and happened to be well-calculated rules for ensuring the cohesion and well being of the Jewish people, and were well-calculated enough to be good rules for any people.


Okay, so you've defined your version of morality, is that right?
I have my ethics pretty much concretised, yes.


We are discussing morality, on the basis of our respective 'versions' ;)
Perhaps we may very well be discussing the seven cardinal virtues then. Are you a Catholic? I have a feeling this would put us on more common ground (if you're a Catholic, you would have very little objection if I suggested you adopt a Thomist position, I've opted for a neo-Aristotelian position). In any case, feel free to outline what virtues you think would be good for man to adopt for his well being in this world (leaving open the question of whether or not they may be good for man to possess in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven - you may take this into account if you wish).


Do you mean to say that their moral systems are more than an opinion?
This is the fun bit: I don't draw a distinction between truth and opinion. We can discuss that in another thread, if you'd like.


Mind you, I think Aristotle believed in some sort of god didn't he?
He did. His 'god' was more akin to a state that man enters when he contemplates for the sake of contemplation (philosophy, basically).


Do you know how many snails are in my back yard?
If not, I don't think it would be reasonable for me to say you are therefore ignorant :D
This is off topic :D

Jack
Monday, June 6th, 2005, 07:05 AM
If you're referring to the Christian God, it's not mine either so I won't get pissed off. And even if it was....nah. I was just saying that Christianity has its own little theory about what Man is and the "respect your nature" theory works for that too. But yeah, we're still creatures of God. Probably.
If I was an idealist (i.e. reality exists as though), I have grounds not to believe in God. If I was a materialist, I would not believe in God either. I reject dualism :P


I do not need to believe in God to be a good man. It's not that I don't have enough strength of will to restrain myself from shooting people in a Mcdonald, that's not the point. The question I'm asking is: why should one be good exactly? Admitting God doesn't exist, and maybe he doesn't, I'm not really sure about that yet, why would you seek the well-being of your community?
Would you like me to throw this back in your face? Why should you do anything? Why obey God? Why revere him, why follow his directives? Why should man prefer well being over harm? Why not commit suicide? Why avoid suicide? Why do anything at all? ;)


In fact, it would be more profitable to you if you didn't.
In the short term, that's true. In the long term, that's incorrect.


Since you don't have a soul and when you'll die you'll be eaten by evil worms, it doesn't really matters what happens to this earth after you, right?
If you're basing this argument in the premise that the soul does not exist, then what is this 'you' that you are addressing? :D


So why should one have any principle except "let's fornicate and get high"? I can see you are moved by something greater than your own physical pleasure, be it thirst for knowledge, honor or pride, probably all three of them, and I recognize there is a difference between this and "having one's seratonin levels skyrocket via drugs" but why exactly?



Argh, my foot:|. The main difference here is that I have stated this is no real purpose admitting God doesn't exist. Which is another thing.
The purpose in admitting God does not exist is to advance my own well being ;)


No, no, I like it. Personally I'd say that respect for oneself is the key thing. That would naturally include righteousness, honor, loyalty, respect of one's blood(relatives, community, culture, etc.) But...these should be possessed by everyone, not only ethnocultural nationalists. In fact, I think everyone should be an ethnocultural nationalist!:D
Sure, I agree with respect for one's self. This is largely synonymous with the virtue I've outlined and named pride, unless I'm mistaken and you may be using 'respect' in some other manner. What do you mean by righteousness? Honour? Loyalty to who, and for what end? And what if one's own blood is dissolving? This is an important point.


I'm just saying you're a relative being. Aristotle was a relative being too. God is an absolute one. Therefore anything you can state is from your point of view, thus relative, therefore it is an opinion. So yes, the morality set by God has to be objective, more than if you just issued a bunch of commands. I'm not necessarily talking about the Jewish Big 10:D.
Relative in what sense? Absolute - in what sense? If you define these terms I think you'll find the conversation has a great deal of room to extend itself :D


But yes, you're right, I definitely have a lot of reading to do. Anyone who doesn't have a book he wants to read after the one he's reading now is losing his time. I'm sure you'll agree on this. At least.
Definetly. I have over a dozen books on my 'to read' list. :thumbup

Rhydderch
Monday, June 6th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Would you like me to read through Genesis and find the exact name, chapter and verse in which a Jewish girl has sex with her father in order to further the existence of her people?You're thinking of Genesis 19;30-38. However, she wasn't Jewish/Israelite, and if you think this was condoned by God, well to put it simply, you're wrong. Indeed, you can find plenty of examples in the Bible of vile sins committed by both Jews and Gentiles.


Which I suppose is a great deal of an improvement over stoning someone to death because they had sex before marriage. Right?I see a difference between eating your womenfolk for slight misbehaviour, and stoning someone for adultery (it was adultery which was punished with stoning, not fornication).

Added:

Actually, I remember now that the women were also feasted upon at great inter-tribal celebrations of an alliance or something of the kind, so not only as punishment for misbehaviour.


What is wrong with cannibalism?If I was an atheist I'd say it's fine ;)


Certain aboriginal tribes were monotheistic ;) Yes, some of the most 'primitive' tribes around the world have been. This is probably to do with their non-progressive nature; they didn't advance their culture, and they didn't uphold the culture which they formerly had (perhaps due to laziness), i.e. they degenerated. This same attitude would have resulted in a lack of innovation in their (already false) religion.


Why is it good to satisfy the will of God?I take it your answer to my question is 'yes'? ;)

As for your question, well that's really what ultimately defines 'goodness'. Without God, 'good' and 'evil' are arbitrary, relative terms.


Exactly. In the long term, advancing one's community and passing on one's genes, increasing one's knowledge and material power is good for the self.But you see, some people get a sort of satisfaction out of torturing themselves. If there is no God, then who's to say that's not 'good' for their 'self'.

Now, we had a similar discussion a few months ago (remember?), so here's a relevant post which may additionally answer some queries:

http://www.forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=27959&page=4&pp=20
Post 65


Then are not any commands I may choose to issue be just as objective?No, because you are not the Almighty God, who created the universe.


We may discuss God creating mankind and the universe in another thread if you wish.I'd be happy to join in, if you want to start another thread on that issue.


Actually it isn't. If God created man, and God is an omniscient being, free will is ruled out of the equation a priori because God knows man's fate (having designed him). If man does not have free will, the existence of God's commands is irrelevant. Put simply: this is all very predictable to God. Actually, if God knows everything, he knows what he's going to do next irrespective of what any of us do (because he designed us and foresaw everything), God really doesn't have any free will either. So if we're going to reduce it all to cause and effect, then God is simply part of one big universal machine, and has no soul of his own.Man is a created being, but God is the creator. We don't understand this aspect of God both because he is supernatural, and because he actually created the world; our whole way of thinking is based on the created world around us, and that's why God's nature is not always comprehensible to us, and indeed it would be a strange thing if it were comprehensible. There is nothing inconsistent in this, even considered hypothetically.
God can predict the future, but this doesn't mean he's responsible for it.


Leaving asides the question of who created him (I have no objections to infinite regression).That would be applying natural, created rules to a supernatural Creator. As I've said on another thread, one inherent problem of atheism is that it cannot explain how the natural universe came into existence because all natural things have a beginning and an end, so much so that our natural minds cannot comprehend infinity. Time itself (so I believe) was created by God.


Is not the design of us by God, the universe, the laws of physics etc. etc. simply an arbitrary construction by God?Again, arbitrarity is a created concept. But even so, issuing commands to created objects/beings is not the same as one of those beings issuing arbitrary commands to the others.


Decent in my own eyes - being me, in the most perfect way I can.Well, if morality is anything you want it to be, then of course you can be a decent man without belief in God :D You could be a mass murderer and still call yourself 'decent'. However, that wouldn't mean you are any less weak and degenerate than somebody who bases his morality in the belief that God exists. Quite the contrary, if anything.

Added:

In fact, (in my belief) you would be a slave of Satan and your sin.


He created man sinless but designed him with the capacity to sinYou're assuming that someone who does a certain action always had the capacity to do it. We have trouble comprehending otherwise, but this is because man is now sinful, and everyone has the capacity to sin from birth. But the fact that we can't comprehend something doesn't mean it has no sense to it.


and then rigged all the dominos (God is all powerful and omniscient, isn't he? So he'd better be a decent guy and not blame it on his annoying little bitch-son called Satan, who he created knowing full well what he'd do) so man would sin.Blaming Satan would only shift the problem, because Satan was also created sinless. So the above applies here as well.


And we go to hell for it :P :-O And here we come to man's age-old blaming of God for his sin. When God confronted Adam for his rebellious violation of God's strict command, Adam said, "The woman which you gave to be with me, she gave me (the fruit) of the tree".

(I have also mentioned this 'blaming' mentality in the linked post)


Your statement that if God knows what's good for us and tells us, then we should do it, so his morality is 'objective'.As I said, 'issuing commands to fellow created objects/beings is not the same as.....etc.


Assuming God does not exist, do you then claim it is impossible for us to know what is good for us?Assuming God does not exist, then 'good' and 'evil' are meaningless concepts.

But (assuming my view) I would say that atheists are capable of knowing what is good for them ;)


While we're on the subject of sodomy, has anyone ever proven that the story of the destruction of Sodom was due to homosexuality, or - was it due to rape?It was due to their terrible immorality, which had 'waxen great before the face of the Lord', and in fact the men they wanted to "know" were actually in the city to inform Lot that it was to be destroyed. The fact that they wanted to abuse these men in such a way simply exemplified their sin, and possibly hastened their destruction.


Alternatively, the 'laws of God' were issued by Moses and happened to be well-calculated rules for ensuring the cohesion and well being of the Jewish people, and were well-calculated enough to be good rules for any people.Well, then we come to the question of why one would believe otherwise. Obviously I think the law and whole Bible indicate otherwise.


Are you a Catholic?No. Are you? I hear you at least have been in the past.


This is the fun bit: I don't draw a distinction between truth and opinion.In other words, truth is a meaningless concept? Truth is, by definition, something objective and fixed; but opinion is variable.


He did. His 'god' was more akin to a state that man enters when he contemplates for the sake of contemplation (philosophy, basically).mmm......I had thought he believed in a god with a mind of his own (i. e. a spirit) but anyway.......

Rhydderch
Monday, June 6th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Sure, I agree with respect for one's self. This is largely synonymous with the virtue I've outlined and named prideWell, you've stated yourself that conformity to God's laws tends to result in our well-being; now, pride (in the sense of selfishness and inordinate self-exaltation) is something condemned by God.
Also, killing someone for a marriage which is permissible by God's law would obviously be condemned by God as well ;)

So you can expect that this will not result in your well-being.

Jack
Tuesday, June 7th, 2005, 05:15 AM
You're thinking of Genesis 19;30-38. However, she wasn't Jewish/Israelite, and if you think this was condoned by God, well to put it simply, you're wrong. Indeed, you can find plenty of examples in the Bible of vile sins committed by both Jews and Gentiles.I don't recall God condemning that specific instance.


I see a difference between eating your womenfolk for slight misbehaviour, and stoning someone for adultery (it was adultery which was punished with stoning, not fornication).

Added:

Actually, I remember now that the women were also feasted upon at great inter-tribal celebrations of an alliance or something of the kind, so not only as punishment for misbehaviour.Ok. And?


If I was an atheist I'd say it's fine ;)Where does God explicitly condemn cannibalism?


Yes, some of the most 'primitive' tribes around the world have been. This is probably to do with their non-progressive nature; they didn't advance their culture, and they didn't uphold the culture which they formerly had (perhaps due to laziness), i.e. they degenerated. This same attitude would have resulted in a lack of innovation in their (already false) religion.They continued the traditions which they had inherited. Whether their religion is false or not is irrelevant - we have not examined whether your position, that the Christian God exists, is valid or not. That is outside the scope of this discussion in any case. What you have consistently done in this topic is escape and slander every position other than your own, and you have refused to consider the case from other perspectives (which does not imply you accept these perspectives).


I take it your answer to my question is 'yes'? ;)What was the question again? I don't see a connection between your statement and the statement I responded to which you quoted.


As for your question, well that's really what ultimately defines 'goodness'. Without God, 'good' and 'evil' are arbitrary, relative terms.In short: You obey God because he knows what is best for you. What is best for you is in fact your prime value from which all other values are derived. You cannot escape that conclusion: you effectively said it yourself :P What do you mean by arbitrary and what do you mean by relative? Relative to what?


But you see, some people get a sort of satisfaction out of torturing themselves. If there is no God, then who's to say that's not 'good' for their 'self'.They decide.


Now, we had a similar discussion a few months ago (remember?), so here's a relevant post which may additionally answer some queries:

http://www.forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=27959&page=4&pp=20
Post 65Actually I hadn't seen this post before you just linked to it then. I think I might have fun dissecting it later.


No, because you are not the Almighty God, who created the universe.Why did not God simply program us to behave virtuously? You cannot answer this question. You cannot answer why a being created something faulty by his own standards and then decided to blame it, instead of his own incompetence and insanity. And yet you revere a creature, and have no rational justification for doing so. Why attempt to engage in rational discourse, then?


I'd be happy to join in, if you want to start another thread on that issue.Sure. The basic rules would be A) conduct the debate according to logic, B) The Bible is not considered a commonly shared point of reference and so cannot be used to reinforce one's own position. Do you feel up to it?


Man is a created being, but God is the creator. We don't understand this aspect of God both because he is supernatural,You do not understand God, yet you claim he exists. I'm well and truly willing to concede that you may believe he exists, on non-rational grounds (faith is not rational), however this does not survive the heat of rational argument.


and because he actually created the world;If you cannot comprehend how he can create the universe, react to it, all while being both omnipotent and omniscient, you are not in a position to assert his existence on rational grounds.


our whole way of thinking is based on the created world around us, and that's why God's nature is not always comprehensible to us, and indeed it would be a strange thing if it were comprehensible. There is nothing inconsistent in this, even considered hypothetically.
God can predict the future, but this doesn't mean he's responsible for itIf I write a book, knowing full well how it will turn out, and then I torch it because it disgusts my standards of writing, then I am responsible for writing below my own standards. Do you agree? Or not?


That would be applying natural, created rules to a supernatural Creator. As I've said on another thread, one inherent problem of atheism is that it cannot explain how the natural universe came into existence because all natural things have a beginning and an end, so much so that our natural minds cannot comprehend infinity. Time itself (so I believe) was created by God.You're assuming the universe did come into existence. In fact, existence and the universe are inseperable. The universe by definition is everything that exists. As such, God would have to, by definition, be a part of the universe. Yet you wish to somehow exclude God from being part of the universe, because you claimed he invented it. To reconcile both of these positions, you would have to claim the universe is a self-generating machine, which is a logically incoherant position which our minds are genuinely incapable of comprehending. But then, belief in the irrational is the key to faith, isn't it?


Again, arbitrarity is a created concept. But even so, issuing commands to created objects/beings is not the same as one of those beings issuing arbitrary commands to the others.How is it not?


Well, if morality is anything you want it to be, then of course you can be a decent man without belief in God :D You could be a mass murderer and still call yourself 'decent'. However, that wouldn't mean you are any less weak and degenerate than somebody who bases his morality in the belief that God exists. Quite the contrary, if anything.A rational ethical system is one of logical causality. One position is accepted as a given. This position is then extrapolated and the ethical system is outlined. The position that a mass murderer may be a decent person is left to the question of what 'decent' means, what is the prime value from which you can expand on the ethical system which defines the mass murderer as decent.


Added:

In fact, (in my belief) you would be a slave of Satan and your sin.And you wish to be the slave of God and his 'virtues'.


You're assuming that someone who does a certain action always had the capacity to do it. We have trouble comprehending otherwise, but this is because man is now sinful, and everyone has the capacity to sin from birth. But the fact that we can't comprehend something doesn't mean it has no sense to it.

Blaming Satan would only shift the problem, because Satan was also created sinless. So the above applies here as well.If Satan is sinless, where did sin come from? From free will? Suppose I'm standing in an electronics store, and I'm faced with purchasing one CD drive for my computer, or another. Both are identical in every respect - same price, same components, same speed, same manufacturer, same distance to reach to pick it off the shelf, same distance to walk to the both are equally servicable towards my ends. This is the problem of sin coming into the world. If Satan is sinless, he lacks sin. You claim that Satan had checkout. Which to choose? I have no inclination to choose one or the other - no inclination towards sin (i.e. unlike us now, he had no inherited sin). In that case, he cannot have been the source of his own sin, because there is no cause from within him which can have driven him towards sin. God, being the omniscient, omnipotent creator, must have imparted upon Satan some capacity and inclination to sin. You know what this means? It means your God, if he was incarnated with all his psychology in a physical form on earth, would be institutionalised and pumped with drugs for schizophrenia.


And here we come to man's age-old blaming of God for his sin. When God confronted Adam for his rebellious violation of God's strict command, Adam said, "The woman which you gave to be with me, she gave me (the fruit) of the tree".If I write a book and then burn its pages because I find the contents of the book disgusting I have no one to blame for its being disgusting other than myself. God is indeed the responsible one for any and all sins man may have.


As I said, 'issuing commands to fellow created objects/beings is not the same as.....etc.How so?


Assuming God does not exist, then 'good' and 'evil' are meaningless concepts.Au contraire. If God exists, everything is permitted. "Don't blame me, God programmed me this way - he knew everything I was going to do when he created Satan, how Satan would influence my life, and yet - it happened! And he created me, and all of this, so it ain't my fault, I'm just a cog in the machine!" And you have nothing to shoot this argument down, because it so perfectly fits your own mythology of the world. To condemn it is to condemn your own faith.


But (assuming my view) I would say that atheists are capable of knowing what is good for them ;)I say that everyone is capable of knowing what is good for them. I just find your frame of reference insane.


It was due to their terrible immorality, which had 'waxen great before the face of the Lord', and in fact the men they wanted to "know" were actually in the city to inform Lot that it was to be destroyed. The fact that they wanted to abuse these men in such a way simply exemplified their sin, and possibly hastened their destruction.Their immorality? In what sense did God view the desires of these men abusive? That it would have been homosexual intercourse, or rape?


Well, then we come to the question of why one would believe otherwise. Obviously I think the law and whole Bible indicate otherwise.Exceptionally decent poetry.


No. Are you? I hear you at least have been in the past.I understand the positions of the Catholic Church adequately.


In other words, truth is a meaningless concept? Truth is, by definition, something objective and fixed; but opinion is variable.I do not recognise 'objectivity'.


mmm......I had thought he believed in a god with a mind of his own (i. e. a spirit) but anyway.......The essence of God is contemplation, according to Aristotle. In contemplating, we become godly.


Well, you've stated yourself that conformity to God's laws tends to result in our well-being; now, pride (in the sense of selfishness and inordinate self-exaltation) is something condemned by God.I'm well aware of my own capacities, I have a desire to extend them, and I do not pretend I'm capable of something I know I'm presently not. Pride and honesty are not incompatible.


Also, killing someone for a marriage which is permissible by God's law would obviously be condemned by God as well ;)What I have stated is that the moral rules (ten commandments) serve to enhance the well being of a group and its cohesion. I have no particular desire to enhance the cohesion of the modern world nor the society you wish to encourage ;)


So you can expect that this will not result in your well-being.Perhaps. But if it came to that, I'd be playing the game of power, and that's something different altogether.

Rhydderch
Tuesday, June 7th, 2005, 03:03 PM
I don't recall God condemning that specific instance.You'll find plenty of horrid actions mentioned in the Bible which aren't condemned there and then; we are to understand from the whole Bible that certain actions are forbidden. The Bible is precise, and doesn't go to unnecessary lengths condemning various sins, and in fact, it deliberately leaves out such condemnations, in order that men learn God's word in whole.
In this case though, the law itself does explicitly forbid such a practice.

Where does God explicitly condemn cannibalism?The same applies here.


Whether their religion is false or not is irrelevant - we have not examined whether your position, that the Christian God exists, is valid or not.Obviously I meant false from the viewpoint of God's word.


What you have consistently done in this topic is escape and slander every position other than your own, and you have refused to consider the case from other perspectives (which does not imply you accept these perspectives).What I have done is describe it from my viewpoint. It would be tedious to tell you every time I do this; the context makes it clear where I am doing it. But indeed I have also considered it from other viewpoints, no less than you have.


What was the question again? I don't see a connection between your statement and the statement I responded to which you quoted.I asked you a question and you responded with another question.

In short: You obey God because he knows what is best for you. What is best for you is in fact your prime value from which all other values are derived.All I've said is that obedience to God's laws will generally result in a man's well-being, which is plainly logical if God created the universe. But I think the writers of the Chatechism said it well, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever".


What do you mean by arbitrary and what do you mean by relative? Relative to what?I mean as opposed to something absolute, fixed. In other words, if they are relative/arbitrary terms, then 'good' and 'evil' can be manipulated to mean anything the user wants them to mean.


Why did not God simply program us to behave virtuously?He did, as I already said.


conduct the debate according to logicCertainly. Provided I've understood you correctly.


The Bible is not considered a commonly shared point of reference and so cannot be used to reinforce one's own position.I'm not sure that I quite understand what your getting at there. I wont use the Bible as a shared point of reference, but obviously I believe it is an eyewitness account, so I'm not going to leave it out altogether.


You do not understand God, yet you claim he exists.I don't understand God in every aspect, that doesn't mean God is just some vague idea in my head.


I'm well and truly willing to concede that you may believe he exists, on non-rational grounds (faith is not rational), however this does not survive the heat of rational argument.As I've indicated in the other post, blind men would consider you irrational for believing in such a thing as colour, and if someone told you in a dream that there was reality outside of the dream, you probably wouldn't consider the idea rational either.


If you cannot comprehend how he can create the universe, react to it, all while being both omnipotent and omniscient, you are not in a position to assert his existence on rational grounds.Well, belief in God's existence is a matter of faith, but I think even in nature itself we can find proof that atheism is absurd. But obviously, something true will always be rational.


Do you agree? Or not?I fully agree, but again you're assuming that everything which applies to us, must also apply to God. Why do you expect that it should?


The universe by definition is everything that exists. As such, God would have to, by definition, be a part of the universe.By one definition perhaps, but I was using it in the sense of the physical universe.


But then, belief in the irrational is the key to faith, isn't it?It's thoroughly irrational to those who think it's claims are false.


The position that a mass murderer may be a decent person is left to the question of what 'decent' means, what is the prime value from which you can expand on the ethical system which defines the mass murderer as decent.Exactly, so if he's decent by his own definition, then he can do anything he likes.


If Satan is sinless, where did sin come from? From free will? Suppose I'm standing in an electronics store, and I'm faced with purchasing one CD drive for my computer, or another. Both are identical in every respect - same price, same components, same speed, same manufacturer, same distance to reach to pick it off the shelf, same distance to walk to the both are equally servicable towards my ends. This is the problem of sin coming into the world. If Satan is sinless, he lacks sin. You claim that Satan had checkout. Which to choose? I have no inclination to choose one or the other - no inclination towards sin (i.e. unlike us now, he had no inherited sin). In that case, he cannot have been the source of his own sin, because there is no cause from within him which can have driven him towards sin. God, being the omniscient, omnipotent creator, must have imparted upon Satan some capacity and inclination to sin.Again that's applying physical rules. Under normal, physical circumstances, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, they only change form, so that something humans create always has to have 'come from somewhere', albeit in a different form. It's simply small-minded to think that it has to be the same in a supernatural world.

Now you might say that I can't prove these things, which is true, but as I said I also cannot prove to a blind man that colour exists. But, neither can you prove to me that God doesn't exist (and of course if you don't believe in his existence, then you must explain everything in natural terms, which creates many more problems than you would have with a belief in the supernatural). So, someone with faith is either in a position equal to yours, or he is in a better one; either way, he's not in a worse position.


You know what this means? It means your God, if he was incarnated with all his psychology in a physical form on earth, would be institutionalised and pumped with drugs for schizophrenia.Or rather, if a man were to act in such a way, then certainly that would be the case, but that's because God created man and his ideas of logic.


To condemn it is to condemn your own faith.The 'argument' is small-minded enough to assert that every created rule must also apply to the creator.


I say that everyone is capable of knowing what is good for them.I do too; it's in their conscience, even though most try to ignore their conscience as much as possible.


In what sense did God view the desires of these men abusive? That it would have been homosexual intercourse, or rape?Well, both are immoral of course, and as for abusive, well I suppose it would be the rape itself (especially considering the circumstances), but aggravated by the homosexuality. Why do you ask? I don't see anything puzzling about it; are you seeing a significance in it which I perhaps haven't noticed?


Exceptionally decent poetry.Glad you appreciate it :D


I do not recognise 'objectivity'.And yet you think you're rational?


I'm well aware of my own capacities, I have a desire to extend them, and I do not pretend I'm capable of something I know I'm presently not.Pride doesn't necessarily involve a higher expectation of oneself than what he is capable of. It can be simple self-satisfaction, feeling good simply because you think you are (or in some cases may actually be) better than other people in some (or all) respects.

Jehan
Wednesday, June 8th, 2005, 03:18 AM
Would you like me to throw this back in your face? Why should you do anything? Why obey God? Why revere him, why follow his directives? Why should man prefer well being over harm? Why not commit suicide? Why avoid suicide? Why do anything at all? ;)
Argh, my face.:| Ok, so here we go. God is the creator of the universe. I am part of this universe. I therefore have a very close link to Him. In fact, my very existence depends on Him, thus the only entity that gives meaning to it is Him. I therefore live because of and for God. This implies I follow His directives, whatever they may be. The only reason why Man should prefer well-being over harm is because it is God's will. Commiting suicide is rejecting God's work and gift, thus it is rejecting God himself. Since outside of God you are nothing, this simply means you cease to exist, which is my conception of Hell. I know there are many flaws in this system of thought, I'm not really done with it yet. And there's also the fact that this question is more the size of 10 books than one paragraph.

Now, why don't you stop throwing stuff back at people's faces and just answer the questions I asked you?;)


In the short term, that's true. In the long term, that's incorrect.
Ah, come on, human life does not count as long term.:P


If you're basing this argument in the premise that the soul does not exist, then what is this 'you' that you are addressing? :D I'm talking to that more or less complicated and organized pile of organic matter defying all laws of entropy that wants, if will can be considered a characteristic such a thing would possess, to further its own good, calling GOOD anything that furthers its existence as an organized heterogenous pile of organic matter as opposed to a disorganized pile of organic matter. And I find this funny. :D

So now it's your turn. Since you're the atheist here, please explain to me what do you mean by "I", if you don't have a soul. But maybe you believe you have one. If that's true, please explain how does that work, I'm curious.


The purpose in admitting God does not exist is to advance my own well being ;)
You still didn't tell me why do you want to advance your own well-being.



Sure, I agree with respect for one's self. This is largely synonymous with the virtue I've outlined and named pride, unless I'm mistaken and you may be using 'respect' in some other manner. What do you mean by righteousness? Honour? Loyalty to who, and for what end? And what if one's own blood is dissolving? This is an important point.
You are right, respect for oneself is pretty much the same thing as pride. As for righteousness, it means :
In accordance with virtue or morality: a righteous judgment.
Obviously following one's moral system is a requisite to any moral system, but I think it is important to underline the need for a great discipline in that matter, because society as a whole do not seem to hold much respect for virtue anymore. Morality haven't really changed, it is just seen as not important anymore. Honour is really closely linked to pride. I see it as the synthesis of one's virtues. As for Loyalty, well, obviously, to God, to oneself and to your kin. Loyalty to oneself and to your kin is directly linked to pride and I already explained above why loyalty to God was important.

I'm not sure I understand your point about blood. You mean if your kin (family and/or people) is quickly degenerating to something not worth fighting for?(wow, that sounds so much like reality:|) Please explain.


Relative in what sense? Absolute - in what sense? If you define these terms I think you'll find the conversation has a great deal of room to extend itself :D
Absolute Philosophy.
Something regarded as the ultimate basis of all thought and being. Used with the.
Something regarded as independent of and unrelated to anything else
I am mostly referring to the second definition, even though I find the first one quite pertinent to this discussion too. As for relative, well...it's the opposite of absolute.


Definetly. I have over a dozen books on my 'to read' list. :thumbup
See, I KNEW we would agree on something.:P

Jack
Saturday, June 11th, 2005, 04:48 PM
You'll find plenty of horrid actions mentioned in the Bible which aren't condemned there and then; we are to understand from the whole Bible that certain actions are forbidden.
Sure, the ones explicitly stated. Like adultery and murder, for example. Until you provide me with biblical evidence that cannibalism is to be considered immoral, I am free to believe it is acceptable from a Christian perspective ;) :thumbup


The Bible is precise, and doesn't go to unnecessary lengths condemning various sins, and in fact, it deliberately leaves out such condemnations, in order that men learn God's word in whole.
How does one learn the commands and regulations of God when your God misses out on bits and pieces?


In this case though, the law itself does explicitly forbid such a practice.
The same applies here.
Proof?


Obviously I meant false from the viewpoint of God's word.
And... why is it that you accept God's word as your own viewpoint?


What I have done is describe it from my viewpoint. It would be tedious to tell you every time I do this; the context makes it clear where I am doing it. But indeed I have also considered it from other viewpoints, no less than you have.
Ok.


I asked you a question and you responded with another question.
Very well. I can't seem to find what the original question was, hence I'm not sure whether I can say 'yes' or 'no'. To the next part of your message, in any case:


All I've said is that obedience to God's laws will generally result in a man's well-being, which is plainly logical if God created the universe. But I think the writers of the Chatechism said it well, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever".
The paradox is that God legislates for his own creations, perfectly aware of what they will do (him being omniscient) and being in total control of the beginning (omnipotent). And yet you presume we have a choice, which is logically impossible, presicely because we have been created by an omnipotent, omniscient being.


I mean as opposed to something absolute, fixed. In other words, if they are relative/arbitrary terms, then 'good' and 'evil' can be manipulated to mean anything the user wants them to mean.
Relative and arbitrary are two different terms. Relative means that the thing being discussed is a relation between one thing and another. Abitrary means... well, I'm not sure what it means, simply because I do not believe in free will. But I can make a good enough guess, and being absolute and relative are not mutually incompatible. God's will is certainly arbitrary :P


He did, as I already said.
Why, being an omnipotent creature that he supposedly is, did he leave open 'gaps' for the machinery to screw up? If he programmed everything well, then Satan wouldn't have revolted against God and given man the fruit of good and evil - man would have been programmed to resist the temptation and to automatically reject the fruit. Of course, nothing in the universe happens without God's permission, which is precisely why he must have intended man to fall. Which, given there is no room for 'free will', means God must be some sort of sadistic nutcase that has found a way into decieving himself so that he becomes temporarily ignorant of his omniscience and so finds this all amusing. If not - there is no logic to the madness at all.


Certainly. Provided I've understood you correctly.
I'm not sure you have.


I'm not sure that I quite understand what your getting at there. I wont use the Bible as a shared point of reference, but obviously I believe it is an eyewitness account, so I'm not going to leave it out altogether.
I would not be discussing the existence of Jesus, or the three wise men, or the virgin mary, or the resurrection, and very little of Moses, if anything. Most of it will simply be about God.


I don't understand God in every aspect, that doesn't mean God is just some vague idea in my head.
Ha. 'I don't understand part of X but that doesn't mean I don't understand X'. Is a thing different from the sum of its parts?


As I've indicated in the other post, blind men would consider you irrational for believing in such a thing as colour, and if someone told you in a dream that there was reality outside of the dream, you probably wouldn't consider the idea rational either.
You're talking about my incapacity to understand the irrational while I'm employing reason. Yes, that's correct. I don't understand it. There are other varieties of madness I can more easily comprehend.


Well, belief in God's existence is a matter of faith, but I think even in nature itself we can find proof that atheism is absurd. But obviously, something true will always be rational.
Yes, something true must be rational, if you define the true as the rational. But then - I would like to see proof that atheism is absurd.


I fully agree, but again you're assuming that everything which applies to us, must also apply to God. Why do you expect that it should?
I do not believe in worshipping the incomprehensible. If something is omnipotent and omniscient, it presumable can see the future. It therefore has no excuses, given that it also possesses the property of omnipotence, for faliure. Your God is either perfect or it isn't. If it isn't, it isn't God. And if it's perfect, there is no morality. To attempt to hold both in your own head is to pretend that you can eat a croissant and still hold it in your hands at the same time. It's to fall into the realm of insanity.


By one definition perhaps, but I was using it in the sense of the physical universe.
I have yet to see any evidence that a non-physical universe exists.


It's thoroughly irrational to those who think it's claims are false.
I can claim the law of non-contradiction is false - but that would be irrational to do so. Regardless of whether I think it is false or not, any attempt to prove it as false requires accepting the law of non-contradiction as true, which means I've just contradicted myself. Contradictions do not exist. If your God is rationally explicable, please, go ahead and explain your way out of this: "I don't understand God in every aspect, that doesn't mean God is just some vague idea in my head". If your God is rationally explicable, you can use your faculty of logic to explain to me, in terms we both understand, my issues with your God, morality, and free will. If you can't do this - which you basically claim you can't, because you don't know, because you can't know, because there is no excuse or logic or reason to it, it's an article of faith, a myth you can't explain - well then.


Exactly, so if he's decent by his own definition, then he can do anything he likes.
Incorrect. If he's decent by a rational moral standard, then he is decent. My position does not allow me to go find a chainsaw, hack my neighbours to pieces, make pretty pictures with the blood on the inside of their house, and then proclaim myself a moral saint.


Again that's applying physical rules. Under normal, physical circumstances, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, they only change form, so that something humans create always has to have 'come from somewhere', albeit in a different form. It's simply small-minded to think that it has to be the same in a supernatural world.
It is small minded to believe in a several thousand year old superstition spawned from a wondering tribe of savages who wandered across deserts when we live in the most intellectually, scientifically, and economically advanced civilization ever seen in human history.


Now you might say that I can't prove these things, which is true,
Why argue from a position for which you cannot demonstrate the validity of your own argument?


but as I said I also cannot prove to a blind man that colour exists.
That's debatable. Turn on the right neurotransmitters inside his brain and I'm willing to bet he'll know what colour is. Incidentally, what is blue? ;)


But, neither can you prove to me that God doesn't exist (and of course if you don't believe in his existence, then you must explain everything in natural terms, which creates many more problems than you would have with a belief in the supernatural). So, someone with faith is either in a position equal to yours, or he is in a better one; either way, he's not in a worse position.
Actually, not believing in the supernatural makes my position rather, erm, easier. This is because I deny the (indemonstrable) validity for the foundations of your own argument.


Or rather, if a man were to act in such a way, then certainly that would be the case, but that's because God created man and his ideas of logic.
Are you seriously suggesting schizophrenia is some sort of simulation of godliness on earth?


The 'argument' is small-minded enough to assert that every created rule must also apply to the creator.
What's the difference between the universe and one's comprehension of it?


I do too; it's in their conscience, even though most try to ignore their conscience as much as possible.
Most people certainly do not ignore their conscience as much as possible. Were that the case, Government would have collapsed centuries ago.


Well, both are immoral of course, and as for abusive, well I suppose it would be the rape itself (especially considering the circumstances), but aggravated by the homosexuality. Why do you ask? I don't see anything puzzling about it; are you seeing a significance in it which I perhaps haven't noticed?
Yes. I'd appreciate further evidence from your Bible that both homosexuality and rape as such are explicitly condemned.


Glad you appreciate it :D
The Finnish Kalevala is more beautiful. The Koran is great poetry as well.


And yet you think you're rational?
Yes. I think we might be understanding objectivity in different ways.


Pride doesn't necessarily involve a higher expectation of oneself than what he is capable of. It can be simple self-satisfaction, feeling good simply because you think you are (or in some cases may actually be) better than other people in some (or all) respects.
I disagree. How is pride a product of comparing one's own skills with those of another? I was under the impression that pride is emotional satisfaction resulting from the achievement of one's own goals.

Jack
Saturday, June 11th, 2005, 05:20 PM
Argh, my face.:| Ok, so here we go. God is the creator of the universe. I am part of this universe. I therefore have a very close link to Him. In fact, my very existence depends on Him, thus the only entity that gives meaning to it is Him. I therefore live because of and for God. This implies I follow His directives, whatever they may be. The only reason why Man should prefer well-being over harm is because it is God's will. Commiting suicide is rejecting God's work and gift, thus it is rejecting God himself. Since outside of God you are nothing, this simply means you cease to exist, which is my conception of Hell. I know there are many flaws in this system of thought, I'm not really done with it yet. And there's also the fact that this question is more the size of 10 books than one paragraph.
*yawn* Erm. God as creator of universe. I have yet to see evidence that the universe was created. Actually, you would be a part of God. Here's why. Nothing else except God exists. Universe pops into existence: God 'created' it. God cannot, of course, have created the universe out of anything except his own power. You as part of the universe are therefore an extension of God's power, God's power being part of him, you are a part of God. The idea that God can tell himself (i.e. issue you directives) what to do while becoming otherwise (you actually doing something contrary to his directives) implies that God is somehow a 'split being', a schizophrenic, of sorts, a contradiction. And of course, since we're employing reason here, I might as well copy out Aristotle's Law of Non-Contradiction:

"It is impossible for the same thing at the same time to belong and not belong to the same thing at the same time and in the same respect."
-Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1005b20
Formulation for the Law of Non-contradiction

So the possibility that your God exists is... nothing, rationally :D


Now, why don't you stop throwing stuff back at people's faces and just answer the questions I asked you?;)
Because I have already answered your questions on other places of Skadi.


Ah, come on, human life does not count as long term.:P
I won't be crying if the universe collapses in on itself in a few trillion years time. Will you?


I'm talking to that more or less complicated and organized pile of organic matter defying all laws of entropy that wants, if will can be considered a characteristic such a thing would possess, to further its own good, calling GOOD anything that furthers its existence as an organized heterogenous pile of organic matter as opposed to a disorganized pile of organic matter. And I find this funny. :D
What is funny about this, exactly?


So now it's your turn. Since you're the atheist here, please explain to me what do you mean by "I", if you don't have a soul. But maybe you believe you have one. If that's true, please explain how does that work, I'm curious.
That's an incredibly tall order. I have spent the better part of the past four years at least assembling my philosophical system. I'm not ready yet.


You still didn't tell me why do you want to advance your own well-being.
Because it's hard coded into me. The only explanation I have, the cause of my present temporal existence, is that my ancestors acted to further their own well being.


You are right, respect for oneself is pretty much the same thing as pride. As for righteousness, it means :

In accordance with virtue or morality: a righteous judgment.
Obviously following one's moral system is a requisite to any moral system, but I think it is important to underline the need for a great discipline in that matter, because society as a whole do not seem to hold much respect for virtue anymore. Morality haven't really changed, it is just seen as not important anymore. Honour is really closely linked to pride. I see it as the synthesis of one's virtues. As for Loyalty, well, obviously, to God, to oneself and to your kin. Loyalty to oneself and to your kin is directly linked to pride and I already explained above why loyalty to God was importamean nt.
I'll be sure to leave God out of it if I choose to follow your ethics :D


I'm not sure I understand your point about blood. You if your kin (family and/or people) is quickly degenerating to something not worth fighting for?(wow, that sounds so much like reality:|) Please explain.
If my community is busy dissolving itself into something pathetic, I have no obligations to save them if I can move to a similar, related community to which I would easily fit in, and better serve as a virtuous individual there.


Absolute Philosophy.

Something regarded as the ultimate basis of all thought and being. Used with the.
Something regarded as independent of and unrelated to anything else
I am mostly referring to the second definition, even though I find the first one quite pertinent to this discussion too. As for relative, well...it's the opposite of absolute.
In that case, nothing is absolute. The only way to define one thing is to oppose it to what it is not. One percieves and organises sense perceptions into 'things' which one then comes to 'know' about by employing rudimentary, logic-based knowledge to 'test' it, from which one then extracts more knowledge, and in doing so, further contrasts this object and one's knowledge of it (which are the same) with what it isn't.


See, I KNEW we would agree on something.:P
It's a beginning ;) :thumbup

Rhydderch
Monday, June 13th, 2005, 04:55 AM
Sure, the ones explicitly stated. Like adultery and murder, for example.No, if God was to condemn explicitly every sin possible, then no-one would be able to read even an eighth of the Bible in his whole lifetime; it would be thoroughly redundant to condemn them explicitly, because they are provided for in various laws and also by an understanding of the whole Bible. For instance, damaging your neighbour's property is provided for in the law, 'thou shalt not steal' and probably also in the law, 'love thy neighbour as thyself'. These laws are very comprehensive, and include every deed which will tend to the harm of somebody or his property.

God made man with an intellect, and doesn't have to tell him things which are obviously to be taken for granted, in the context of God's law and His nature.

Until you provide me with biblical evidence that cannibalism is to be considered immoral, I am free to believe it is acceptable from a Christian perspective ;) :thumbupYou are free to believe that homosexuality is acceptable from a Christian perspective, until you read the passage where it is forbidden ;)

As for cannibalism, I would possibly have to read you quite a bit of the Bible, and explain it, to prove the point. However, God did say that various curses would come on the Israelites for disobedience, one of which was cannibalism.


How does one learn the commands and regulations of God when your God misses out on bits and pieces?My point is that learning God's word in whole will fill in those bits and pieces which you presume are 'missing'.


Proof?Leviticus 18;10 and a number of other places forbid it.


The paradox is that God legislates for his own creations, perfectly aware of what they will do (him being omniscient) and being in total control of the beginning (omnipotent). And yet you presume we have a choice, which is logically impossible, presicely because we have been created by an omnipotent, omniscient being.If we made a being, it would be impossible to make it with free will, so that's why we can't comprehend this. Again, you don't seem to be stepping out of your own viewpoint; if there is a God who created the universe and a system of logic to suit it, then it would be inconsistent to think that we should be able to comprehend aspects of God which fall outside these bounds.


God's will is certainly arbitrary :PIf you don't believe that God exists, then your world is a world where everything must be understood in natural terms, so then you are not in a position to describe the nature of something supernatural ;)


If not - there is no logic to the madness at all.No, not in your world where everything must be explained in terms of natural (and in my opinion, created) logic.


I would not be discussing the existence of Jesus, or the three wise men, or the virgin mary, or the resurrection, and very little of Moses, if anything. Most of it will simply be about God.I think I understand what you're saying. You mean discuss whether there is evidence for a God in nature itself?


Ha. 'I don't understand part of X but that doesn't mean I don't understand X'. Is a thing different from the sum of its parts?Do you understand every aspect of the universe? If not, I don't see that you would have reason to believe it doesn't exist.


You're talking about my incapacity to understand the irrational while I'm employing reason.While you're employing your version of reason.

But faith is not irrational, it is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". It sees things which cannot necessarily be seen naturally, but this doesn't mean it contradicts things which can be seen naturally.


But then - I would like to see proof that atheism is absurd.
I have yet to see any evidence that a non-physical universe exists.Well, if we employ natural rules, our very existence as human beings is outside the bounds of the normal rules of chance. And can you explain how life arose from non-living matter? Life is 'irreducably complex', so it is also outside the rules of chance that such a condition could arise randomly which would create and support life. The more I know of biology, the more I find of these irreducable complexities, and consequently, the more I see the absurdity of atheism. There is such an obvious purpose and design in nature.

Or maybe you believe life has always existed, but then you have the problem of explaining how something natural could be infinite, contrary to the normal rules of nature.

If you cannot explain everything in natural terms, then you have a bigger problem than someone who believes nature and its logic was created by a supernatural being.


If you can't do this - which you basically claim you can't, because you don't knowNot because I 'don't know' but because you 'don't see'.


Incorrect. If he's decent by a rational moral standard, then he is decent. My position does not allow me to go find a chainsaw, hack my neighbours to pieces, make pretty pictures with the blood on the inside of their house, and then proclaim myself a moral saint.That's because you have presumably forbidden such an action in your own definition. My point is that someone could do that and remain decent by his own definition, but not necessarily by yours.


Why argue from a position for which you cannot demonstrate the validity of your own argument?Ask yourself :D


Turn on the right neurotransmitters inside his brain and I'm willing to bet he'll know what colour is.As I said in that linked post, 'he will only understand if he gains sight'. Turning on the right neurotransmitters is in effect possibly doing that. Either way you can't use arguments to make someone understand colour when he's never seen it.


Incidentally, what is blue? ;) A particular variety of colour :D


Are you seriously suggesting schizophrenia is some sort of simulation of godliness on earth?Only if you've misunderstood the statement ;)

God created man and the logic which orders nature; therefore, if a man violates this logic, then something is wrong with him, even in God's eyes.


What's the difference between the universe and one's comprehension of it?Well, the latter doesn't always conform to reality.


Most people certainly do not ignore their conscience as much as possible. Were that the case, Government would have collapsed centuries ago.Yes, as much as possible. How much this is possible depends on many things, and it's not necessarily fixed.


Yes. I'd appreciate further evidence from your Bible that both homosexuality and rape as such are explicitly condemned.For homosexuality, Leviticus 18;22 and 20;13. Also in Romans 1;27 and a number of other places.

For the latter, a man was to pay whatever price the girl's father stated (in money or some form of wealth); but again this is something less explicitly condemned, so my earlier statement largely applies here.


The Finnish Kalevala is more beautiful. The Koran is great poetry as well.Interesting you don't mention the Bible. Personally I find the Koran's poetry to be a bit of a pathetic emulation of the Bible's.
The Bible has a flavour to it which is not like any other book, religious or otherwise.


I was under the impression that pride is emotional satisfaction resulting from the achievement of one's own goals.It depends on definition then, I suppose.

Rhydderch
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005, 01:00 PM
I have a nature, and according to that nature some actions are natural and some are not.

This also correlates to the magical/pagan idea of macrocosm and microcosm. There are, in the Cosmos, some Laws, and they are in us as individuals as well. We can follow these laws/our nature, or we can break them and act against our own nature. Of course if we act against our own nature we harm ourselves, and eventually turn into unhappy and twisted beings.Actually this is really what the Bible does teach, except the difference with the Bible is it states that only God truly knows what is best for his creatures, so we can't decide for ourselves (due to our now flawed and sinful nature) what is natural for us.

Edit: I should add that man is not totally incapable (according to the Bible) of knowing what is natural for him. Man has a conscience and some sins in particular (such as sodomy) are repulsive even to people who can't see anything wrong with it in principal. But other, 'lesser' sins are often desirable even though man's conscience tells him they are wrong.

Oskorei
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005, 02:34 PM
Actually this is really what the Bible does teach, except the difference with the Bible is it states that only God truly knows what is best for his creatures, so we can't decide for ourselves (due to our now flawed and sinful nature) what is natural for us.
I don't have any trouble accepting that. My main concern is that many Christians emphasize our sinful nature to a degree that is neither healthy, nor realistic. Different people have different natures, and while some are very flawed and sinful they need religions like Islam and brands of Christianity that tells them exactly what to do, and threatens them with punishments of an external kind. However, we "noble ones" aren't equally flawed. ;)

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005, 05:04 PM
Kierkegaard put the question pretty simply. Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life - regardless of whether it's Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Kantian morality, whatever - the life where some actions are simply not to be done, while others are actively encouraged?

Unless we assume there is a God to whom punishes evil but rewards good. There is no benefit in doing good and there is no detriment in doing evil.

Society simply encourages moral behavior because immoral behavior is destructive to it's fabric.


Actually this is really what the Bible does teach, except the difference with the Bible is it states that only God truly knows what is best for his creatures, so we can't decide for ourselves (due to our now flawed and sinful nature) what is natural for us.

Yeah God knows best. But the wonderful thing is though God knowing the best does not force the best upon us even if we choose the worst.



I don't have any trouble accepting that. My main concern is that many Christians emphasize our sinful nature to a degree that is neither healthy, nor realistic. Different people have different natures, and while some are very flawed and sinful they need religions like Islam and brands of Christianity that tells them exactly what to do, and threatens them with punishments of an external kind. However, we "noble ones" aren't equally flawed. ;)

The emphasis of Christianity is the dependence of man upon his creator. All depravity and sin stems from the desire of man wanting to be his own God.

Those who see human nature as totally depraved don't understand it.

Oskorei
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005, 05:25 PM
The emphasis of Christianity is the dependence of man upon his creator. All depravity and sin stems from the desire of man wanting to be his own God.

Those who see human nature as totally depraved don't understand it.
What is interesting is to compare the Judeo-Christian myth of the Fall with other similar myths. Adam tries to eat two apples, but he fails half-way and is punished, and it is described as being a sin on his part.

However, in other myths, we find heroes who also try to eat a similar apple /apples/fruits (Heracles is an example, and so is Gilgamesh, and the apples are also found in Asatru). Some of them succeed, and become wise, immortal heroes as a result. What is interesting however, is that when non-Judeo-Christian heroes fail to eat/get the apples, there is no moral judgment involved. They fail, and they don't become immortal, and that is it.

The interesting question is: what would have happened if Adam had managed to eat both the apples in the garden?

Rhydderch
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005, 04:12 AM
Unless we assume there is a God to whom punishes evil but rewards good.Biblical Christianity teaches that everyone deserves hell, and that only God can save us from that. God says "all (man's) righteousnesses are as filthy rags", so in other words "being good" will not in itself save anybody. The Bible teaches that Christ took the punishment on himself which men deserved, so that eternal life will be granted to "as many as God has given", which number of course is not specified in the Bible. Elsewhere Christ said that "he who believes on me shall have eternal life"

So I believe there are really only two world religions: man's religion, and that taught by God (in the Bible). The fundamental difference between the two is that man's religion claims that man is naturally capable of being good enough to get to some sort of future paradise, but the God of the Bible says that man is saved only by God's mercy.

The moral law is very comprehensive, so that while most of the Ten Commandments are possible for most people to keep if you only look at them on the surface (for example 'Thou shalt not commit adultery' or 'Thou shalt not steal), they actually forbid every sinful thought as well.

So it is simply impossible to keep from breaking the moral law, and so it is really intended as a guide, and to show us our hopelessly sinful nature.

'Good works' are the product of being saved from the curse of sin and hell, rather than a condition on which men are to be saved.


Yeah God knows best. But the wonderful thing is though God knowing the best does not force the best upon us even if we choose the worst.I understand you think God is under an obligation to do so, is that right?

Rhydderch
Thursday, June 23rd, 2005, 12:05 PM
Adam tries to eat two apples, but he fails half-way and is punished, and it is described as being a sin on his part.

The interesting question is: what would have happened if Adam had managed to eat both the apples in the garden?The Bible only mentions one apple, and in any case it was the act itself of eating the apple which was punishable, so it made no difference whether or not he finished it.

You may be thinking of a non-Biblical story.

Oskorei
Thursday, June 23rd, 2005, 12:17 PM
The Bible only mentions one apple, and in any case it was the act itself of eating the apple which was punishable, so it made no difference whether or not he finished it.

You may be thinking of a non-Biblical story.
There were two apples/trees. One of wisdom, and one of life/immortality.
Also, the Lords choice of words in 22 is very intriguing. "Like one of us". A remnant of polytheism, or the concept that man might become immortal?

In any case I choose to interpret this along the lines of pagan Traditionalism. Adam tried to achieve wisdom and immortality, like so many other heroes, but he failed. And for some reason,it was interpreted as punishment.

8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=3&version=31#fen-NIV-80e)] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Northern Paladin
Thursday, June 23rd, 2005, 01:56 PM
Biblical Christianity teaches that everyone deserves hell, and that only God can save us from that. God says "all (man's) righteousnesses are as filthy rags", so in other words "being good" will not in itself save anybody. The Bible teaches that Christ took the punishment on himself which men deserved, so that eternal life will be granted to "as many as God has given", which number of course is not specified in the Bible. Elsewhere Christ said that "he who believes on me shall have eternal life"

So I believe there are really only two world religions: man's religion, and that taught by God (in the Bible). The fundamental difference between the two is that man's religion claims that man is naturally capable of being good enough to get to some sort of future paradise, but the God of the Bible says that man is saved only by God's mercy.

The moral law is very comprehensive, so that while most of the Ten Commandments are possible for most people to keep if you only look at them on the surface (for example 'Thou shalt not commit adultery' or 'Thou shalt not steal), they actually forbid every sinful thought as well.

So it is simply impossible to keep from breaking the moral law, and so it is really intended as a guide, and to show us our hopelessly sinful nature.

'Good works' are the product of being saved from the curse of sin and hell, rather than a condition on which men are to be saved.

I understand you think God is under an obligation to do so, is that right?

Yes I do think God is under the obligation to punish evil and rewards good. Since punishment tends to discourage something and reward encourage it.

As for the belief man can live a moral life apart from God the main flaw in that is assuming man can even judge what is right and wrong.


What is interesting is to compare the Judeo-Christian myth of the Fall with other similar myths. Adam tries to eat two apples, but he fails half-way and is punished, and it is described as being a sin on his part.

However, in other myths, we find heroes who also try to eat a similar apple /apples/fruits (Heracles is an example, and so is Gilgamesh, and the apples are also found in Asatru). Some of them succeed, and become wise, immortal heroes as a result. What is interesting however, is that when non-Judeo-Christian heroes fail to eat/get the apples, there is no moral judgment involved. They fail, and they don't become immortal, and that is it.

The interesting question is: what would have happened if Adam had managed to eat both the apples in the garden?

Obviously it can't be denied that Judeo-Christian story of the Fall has parallels with other creation stories of the same region. But what distinguishes the Biblical account is the theme man choosing ot disobey God and the punishment associated with that.

I believe that at the heart of man's desire for Immortality was his failure to obtain it. Man was made to live forever but because of his sin he was cursed with death.

Adam could not have eaten both fruits because God specifically tells Adam he should abstain from the fruit of the Tree of Wisdom and Knowledge because upon eating it he will surely die.


There were two apples/trees. One of wisdom, and one of life/immortality.
Also, the Lords choice of words in 22 is very intriguing. "Like one of us". A remnant of polytheism, or the concept that man might become immortal?

In any case I choose to interpret this along the lines of pagan Traditionalism. Adam tried to achieve wisdom and immortality, like so many other heroes, but he failed. And for some reason,it was interpreted as punishment.

8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=3&version=31#fen-NIV-80e)] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Adam did attain the wisdom to discern between Good and Evil after eating of the fruit but as a result forfeited his immortality. It is a wonder why God didn't destroy human kind upon this act of rebellion.

The meaning of "Like one of us" can only be speculated. But only two has two possiblities. The Angels or God the Son.

Rhydderch
Friday, June 24th, 2005, 12:55 PM
There were two apples/trees. One of wisdom, and one of life/immortality.
Also, the Lords choice of words in 22 is very intriguing. "Like one of us". A remnant of polytheism, or the concept that man might become immortal?This is an indication of the Trinity (i.e three distinct "persons" but one God). It is rarely found in the Bible but I believe it has been placed here and there to make clear the concept of the Trinity.


In any case I choose to interpret this along the lines of pagan Traditionalism. Adam tried to achieve wisdom and immortality, like so many other heroes, but he failed. And for some reason,it was interpreted as punishment.His desire for the knowledge of good and evil was a temptation from Satan, and as Northern Paladin says, he gained that knowledge; but that knowledge involved knowing what evil was (or experiencing it), and therefore becoming sinful. And sin was worthy of death, so Man became mortal.


22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."These words are a sarcasm or irony; God is stating in an ironic sense what man expected to gain by disobeying him (so says 17th century commentator Matthew Poole). Man aspired to become as God by eating the fruit, but had in fact made life miserable for himself (relatively speaking) by knowing good and evil, and his sinful aspirations now were likely to make him dream he would regain immortality by eating from the tree of life, but it would simply have profaned the sacrament or symbol of eternal life, and thereby invoked further Divine judgement.


23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=3&version=31#fen-NIV-80e)] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.From the context and from the earlier verse it seems clear that Adam and Eve were not forbidden to eat from the Tree of Life while in the Garden in a state of sinlessness.

Jack
Friday, June 24th, 2005, 12:56 PM
No, if God was to condemn explicitly every sin possible, then no-one would be able to read even an eighth of the Bible in his whole lifetime;
The question remains, then, why God created us with the potential to fail by his own standards, and then arranged the chess pieces so we did.


it would be thoroughly redundant to condemn them explicitly, because they are provided for in various laws and also by an understanding of the whole Bible. For instance, damaging your neighbour's property is provided for in the law, 'thou shalt not steal' and probably also in the law, 'love thy neighbour as thyself'. These laws are very comprehensive, and include every deed which will tend to the harm of somebody or his property.
That's interesting. Is it ok to damage the property of those from other nations? I have a friend who is well read in the Old Testmanent (a follower of Christian Identity) who has read passages in which God encourages the Jews to lay waste to the temples and property of other nations, enslave their women, and slaughter their children.


God made man with an intellect, and doesn't have to tell him things which are obviously to be taken for granted, in the context of God's law and His nature.
You are free to believe that homosexuality is acceptable from a Christian perspective, until you read the passage where it is forbidden ;)
I have not claimed that homosexuality is acceptable from a Christian viewpoint. What I'm wondering is whether God views homosexuality as such disgusting and undesirable, or simply that he doesn't like humans violating his own directives.


As for cannibalism, I would possibly have to read you quite a bit of the Bible, and explain it, to prove the point. However, God did say that various curses would come on the Israelites for disobedience, one of which was cannibalism.
For disobedience.


My point is that learning God's word in whole will fill in those bits and pieces which you presume are 'missing'.
How can I learn God's word when he hasn't spelled it out to me? I do not hear God speaking to me and I don't 'have faith' (well, I do, but not in your God).


Leviticus 18;10 and a number of other places forbid it.
The footnote to Leviticus 18:22 on NET Bible (www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm (http://www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm)) reads:
31tn Heb “And with a male you shall not lay [as the] lyings of a woman” (see Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 123). The reference is to homosexual intercourse.

I have heard this is a mistranslation.


If we made a being, it would be impossible to make it with free will, so that's why we can't comprehend this. Again, you don't seem to be stepping out of your own viewpoint; if there is a God who created the universe and a system of logic to suit it, then it would be inconsistent to think that we should be able to comprehend aspects of God which fall outside these bounds.
My viewpoint is rationally coherant: an omniscient, omnipotent being cannot create a being that it cannot predict. Such a thing is a contradiction in terms. It is an attempt to both be and not be at the same time, it is an escape from the law of non-contradiction, from reason, which is our sole means of acquiring knowledge. You cannot prove your God exists. Your entire case exists on a self-deception which cannot stand equal with reason.


If you don't believe that God exists, then your world is a world where everything must be understood in natural terms, so then you are not in a position to describe the nature of something supernatural ;)
You have yet to demonstrate such a realm as the supernatural exists. Correct, as a rational being I am not qualified to discuss spooks. Which is exactly what your Bible is - an elaborate Jewish myth, clouded with ghosts and angels and devils that terrify children into submission before the commands of their parents. Your Christ? A social revolutionary who opposed the Rabbis in Palestine, proclaimed himself the messiah who existed as prophesised in Jewish myth. Of anything more, we have no proof other than contradictory witness statements made how many years after Jesus died?


No, not in your world where everything must be explained in terms of natural (and in my opinion, created) logic.
And in your opinion, created - logic. Please explain using reason how reason can be 'created'. If you cannot do so, I

I think I understand what you're saying. You mean discuss whether there is evidence for a God in nature itself?


Do you understand every aspect of the universe? If not, I don't see that you would have reason to believe it doesn't exist.
That what doesn't exist? I'm not arguing that the univers does not exist. I'm arguing that your God doesn't exist because the facets you claim that compose his existence contradict each other. I simply stand in favour of the tenant that man is capable of knowledge.


While you're employing your version of reason.
Please do elaborate on any form of reason that claims 'a thing can both be and not be in the same time and in the same respect'. No, really. Elaborate. This is going to be fascinating.


But faith is not irrational, it is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".
'MUM! WAKE UP! I SAW A GHOST OF AN OLD GRANNY WHO OFFERED ME A LOLLIPOP! SHE WALKED RIGHT THROUGH THE WALL! COME AND TAKE A LOOK!'


It sees things which cannot necessarily be seen naturally, but this doesn't mean it contradicts things which can be seen naturally.
And I'm batman.


Well, if we employ natural rules, our very existence as human beings is outside the bounds of the normal rules of chance. And can you explain how life arose from non-living matter? Life is 'irreducably complex', so it is also outside the rules of chance that such a condition could arise randomly which would create and support life. The more I know of biology, the more I find of these irreducable complexities, and consequently, the more I see the absurdity of atheism. There is such an obvious purpose and design in nature.
I haven't explained how life arose from non-living matter, nor have I claimed I know. Do you understand the concept of irreducable complexity? It effectively states that man is incapable of knowledge. That a system cannot be broken down and comprehended by its component parts. What obvious purpose and design in nature do you believe exists?


Or maybe you believe life has always existed, but then you have the problem of explaining how something natural could be infinite, contrary to the normal rules of nature.
What normal rules of nature? I am well and truly prepared to state that I have no objections to infinite regression. It's a step above you 'something came out of nothing' mystifications.


If you cannot explain everything in natural terms, then you have a bigger problem than someone who believes nature and its logic was created by a supernatural being.
How so? I have no claimed omnipotence.


Not because I 'don't know' but because you 'don't see'.
You're right. I don't see. I don't see because if I could 'see' I'd be 'seeing' nothing but a foggy, self contradictory haze whose existence I could never be sure of. My dad did acid in the sixties and he in fact saw stuff that he knew was not actually there - what drugs are you on, that you don't see things but know they're there - and give me the number of your dealer. I'll be in Sydney at the end of the year.


That's because you have presumably forbidden such an action in your own definition. My point is that someone could do that and remain decent by his own definition, but not necessarily by yours.
I have forbidden such an action by my own logic, not by my definition.


Ask yourself :D
I feel like I'm a British Royal Navy officer attempting to communicate with an Aboriginal savage.


As I said in that linked post, 'he will only understand if he gains sight'. Turning on the right neurotransmitters is in effect possibly doing that. Either way you can't use arguments to make someone understand colour when he's never seen it.
This is an entirely different case. Man's sense of colour does not conflict with logic. It does not put something in front of him that both is and is not there.


A particular variety of colour :D
So is purple. What makes one seperate from another?


Only if you've misunderstood the statement ;)
Hardly. I comprehend it better than you do. I actually have it.


God created man and the logic which orders nature; therefore, if a man violates this logic, then something is wrong with him, even in God's eyes.
This is not possible. God being omnipotent and omniscient, is both all knowing and all powerful. He has no excuses for making a faulty being.


Well, the latter doesn't always conform to reality.
Prove to me via reason that anything exists outside your comprehension of it.


Yes, as much as possible. How much this is possible depends on many things, and it's not necessarily fixed.
I and several others I know are evidence against your statement. And the exception to the rule not only challenges the rule but the authority behind it. You are wrong.


For homosexuality, Leviticus 18;22 and 20;13. Also in Romans 1;27 and a number of other places.
See above.


For the latter, a man was to pay whatever price the girl's father stated (in money or some form of wealth); but again this is something less explicitly condemned, so my earlier statement largely applies here.
Earlier statement...?


Interesting you don't mention the Bible. Personally I find the Koran's poetry to be a bit of a pathetic emulation of the Bible's.
That's nice. The Koran had more of an effect on me re conversion than the Bible did. The Kalevala is more beautiful than both.


The Bible has a flavour to it which is not like any other book, religious or otherwise.
Sure. The Koran has the quirky quality of not attempting to say that 3 = 1 and 1 = 3, whatever else of it is myth.


It depends on definition then, I suppose.
And your definition is...?

Northern Paladin
Friday, June 24th, 2005, 07:19 PM
The question remains, then, why God created us with the potential to fail by his own standards, and then arranged the chess pieces so we did.



My viewpoint is rationally coherant: an omniscient, omnipotent being cannot create a being that it cannot predict. Such a thing is a contradiction in terms. It is an attempt to both be and not be at the same time, it is an escape from the law of non-contradiction, from reason, which is our sole means of acquiring knowledge. You cannot prove your God exists. Your entire case exists on a self-deception which cannot stand equal with reason.


God having created beings with free will created the potential for evil. Since not being infinite is an imperfection the free will alloted to the finite being would allow for evil. God's free will differs from his finite creatures in the fact that it is within his very nature to be perfect in all ways.

Evil is simply a lack of perfection that becomes a potential with all created beings because of the finiteness.

Ultimately God deemed a greater Evil not to create than to create a world where evil was a possiblity.

Rhydderch
Saturday, June 25th, 2005, 06:52 AM
The question remains, then, why God created us with the potential to fail by his own standardsIn a sense that question could be asked, but either way it doesn't contradict the concept of God being righteous and omnipotent; and of course, if you believe God did create the universe, then the question is a pointless one, since arbitrarity would only exist with respect to the actions of non-absolute beings.


That's interesting. Is it ok to damage the property of those from other nations? I have a friend who is well read in the Old Testmanent (a follower of Christian Identity) who has read passages in which God encourages the Jews to lay waste to the temples and property of other nations, enslave their women, and slaughter their children.We know from numerous passages in the Bible that God punishes people; he does so in various ways, through various instruments. Sometimes the instrument was the Hebrews themselves, who were indeed commanded explicitly to exterminate the Canaanites (though they only partially obeyed this command, much to their later detriment).
This was not an encouragement to indiscriminate plundering and damaging of property.

In the same way, certain sins were to be punished with execution. This punishment was of course to be carried out by a fellow man (at least generally).

So the difference between God commanding the Hebrews to kill and to plunder the 'spoil' of other nations, and arbitrary vandalism and slaughter, is equivalent to the difference between murder and execution.


I have not claimed that homosexuality is acceptable from a Christian viewpoint.That's right, but you said you were free to assume cannibalism is acceptable to a Christian viewpoint because I hadn't proved otherwise. I was just pointing out that by the same reasoning you are free to accept homosexuality is acceptable from such a viewpoint, if I haven't yet shown you it's not.


What I'm wondering is whether God views homosexuality as such disgusting and undesirable, or simply that he doesn't like humans violating his own directives.Well God isn't human, so he doesn't have reactions to something disgusting and unnatural in the same way that we do.But God is righteous and perfect, so any violation of his perfect law is undesirable and wicked. God doesn't tell us in what way he views these things though, and I would imagine it is incomprehensible to us, just as his omnipresence and invisibility is incomprehensible.


For disobedience.Yes, because of their disobedience, God cursed them by (among other things) allowing them to degenerate to cannibalism. In other words, it is seen as something terrible.

How can I learn God's word when he hasn't spelled it out to me?God's word is the Bible.


(well, I do, but not in your God).And you have admitted that faith is irrational, haven't you?


The footnote to Leviticus 18:22 on NET Bible (www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm (http://www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm)) reads:
31tn Heb “And with a male you shall not lay [as the] lyings of a woman” (see Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 123). The reference is to homosexual intercourse.
I have heard this is a mistranslation.Did the claimant state how he thought it should be translated?


My viewpoint is rationally coherant: an omniscient, omnipotent being cannot create a being that it cannot predict.He can predict what will happen, though without being responsible.
Can you prove that there is an inconsistency in God being perfectly righteous and omnipotent, and yet creating something which he knew would sin? If you think there is a contradiction then you have failed to understand 'free will'. By saying a contradiction exists here you are effectively saying that there cannot ever have been such a thing. Well, prove it :D


Correct, as a rational being I am not qualified to discuss spooks.mmm.......it'd be interesting to know how an atheist would explain spooky stories; whether he would see them as amazing natural (and perhaps unknown to science) phenomena.

It would appear that you haven't had a spook before. Lots of people have.


Which is exactly what your Bible is - an elaborate Jewish myth,An elaborate 'myth' alright ;)


clouded with ghosts and angels and devils that terrify children into submission before the commands of their parents.And I wonder how an atheist would explain the universality of belief in the supernatural, and of sacrifices and worship. Perhaps mankind just spontaneously thought of it.


Your Christ? A social revolutionary who opposed the Rabbis in Palestine, proclaimed himself the messiah who existed as prophesised in Jewish myth.Actually, you'll find some amazing 'coincidences' in the Bible, and of New Testament events just 'happening' to coincide perfectly with Old Testament prophecies.


Of anything more, we have no proof other than contradictory witness statements made how many years after Jesus died?Who are these contradictory witnesses you're referring to?


And in your opinion, created - logic. Please explain using reason how reason can be 'created'.By definition, that would be an absurdity, a contradiction, to think that it could be explained in such a way :D


If you cannot do so, IKeep going......

And here is my earlier question:
I think I understand what you're saying. You mean discuss whether there is evidence for a God in nature itself?


Please do elaborate on any form of reason that claims 'a thing can both be and not be in the same time and in the same respect'.Why do you want me to do that? Have I claimed such a thing existed?

Your version of reason apparently claims that one cannot be sure of anything which can't be experienced with the physical senses.


'MUM! WAKE UP! I SAW A GHOST OF AN OLD GRANNY WHO OFFERED ME A LOLLIPOP! SHE WALKED RIGHT THROUGH THE WALL! COME AND TAKE A LOOK!'Oh, so you have had a spooky experience :D

Faith is the 'evidence of things not seen', not of 'anything or everything not seen'.

And I'm batman.Are you? Well, fancy that. But what does that have to do with the price of fish?


I haven't explained how life arose from non-living matter, nor have I claimed I know.Well, really it cannot be explained unless you believe God exists, so in other words it is very good evidence for His existence. Atheism has to explain the existence of life as being the result of random events. But the problem is, randomness tends to destroy, rather than create.


Do you understand the concept of irreducable complexity? It effectively states that man is incapable of knowledge.That a system cannot be broken down and comprehended by its component parts.Irreducable complexity with respect to biology refers to a system which is totally functionless without the presence of any one component part. In other words, it can't be gradually built up over time by random events; it has to be built as a whole, with every component part being built to exist and function at the same time.


What obvious purpose and design in nature do you believe exists?Randomness is basically the opposite to purpose, and organisms as well as non-living things show abundant evidence of purpose as opposed to randomness. Even many of the ancients could see the absurdity of the idea that random collisions of atoms had ended up creating the world and all its functions. I think one Roman or Greek writer likened it to believing that a random clashing and throwing about of letters could produce the equivalent of an Encyclopaedia.


What normal rules of nature? I am well and truly prepared to state that I have no objections to infinite regression. It's a step above you 'something came out of nothing' mystifications.No it's not, because you're trying to explain everything in natural terms, and yet infinity is an unnatural concept, as I've said. Natural things have a beginning and an end, such that it is beyond human comprehension to try to think of something which doesn't.
But if God created natural things, and human minds, then it is no strange thing if we have trouble understanding something which isn't natural.



I have no claimed omnipotence.I never said you did. What prompted your statement? I don't quite understand what you mean.


You're right. I don't see. I don't see because if I could 'see' I'd be 'seeing' nothing but a foggy, self contradictory haze whose existence I could never be sure of. My dad did acid in the sixties and he in fact saw stuff that he knew was not actually there - what drugs are you on, that you don't see things but know they're thereDo you believe wind exists. You don't have to be on drugs to know that.


- and give me the number of your dealer. I'll be in Sydney at the end of the year.Sydney. Why Sydney? If I was a 'druggie' I'd probably be directing you to the town of Simpson :D


I have forbidden such an action by my own logic, not by my definition.Which is effectively the same thing in this context.


I feel like I'm a British Royal Navy officer attempting to communicate with an Aboriginal savage.On the other hand, perhaps you're the Aboriginal savage ;)

'Ask yourself', because I don't believe you can demonstrate the validity of your argument.


I and several others I know are evidence against your statement.The fact that you may think you're not ignoring your conscience, doesn't mean that you are not doing so in reality. Obviously, I was talking from my point of view, and in my opinion you have given ample evidence that you are indeed ignoring your conscience. It isn't necessarily an intentional ignoring either.


And the exception to the rule not only challenges the rule but the authority behind it.Why is that?


Earlier statement...?What earlier statement, and what about it?


The Koran had more of an effect on me re conversion than the Bible did.What do you mean by your re-conversion?


And your definition is...?The word 'pride' can probably have a bit of range of meaning (like almost any word), depending on usage; and I've already made it clear how I used it.

Jehan
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 02:48 AM
*yawn* Erm. God as creator of universe. I have yet to see evidence that the universe was created.
Actually, we are pretty sure the universe is expanding(expanding into what is a tricky question though), which leads to the conclusion that it once had a beginning(known as Big Bang). You could argue that this doesn't imply a creator, but the fact that an enormous amount of matter and energy sprang out from nowhere isn't really rational either anyway...:D



Actually, you would be a part of God. Here's why. Nothing else except God exists. Universe pops into existence: God 'created' it. God cannot, of course, have created the universe out of anything except his own power. You as part of the universe are therefore an extension of God's power, God's power being part of him, you are a part of God. The idea that God can tell himself (i.e. issue you directives) what to do while becoming otherwise (you actually doing something contrary to his directives) implies that God is somehow a 'split being', a schizophrenic, of sorts, a contradiction. And of course, since we're employing reason here, I might as well copy out Aristotle's Law of Non-Contradiction:

"It is impossible for the same thing at the same time to belong and not belong to the same thing at the same time and in the same respect."
-Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1005b20
Formulation for the Law of Non-contradiction
I am the result of God's power. I don't think God took his power and shaped it into stars and planets...and no, it didn't happen in 7 days;). If you write a letter, are the words part of the pencil? I also don't think you can say reason apply to God, because then he would be limited by rules, and would exist according to principles and law, which would therefore make him "relative".


I won't be crying if the universe collapses in on itself in a few trillion years time. Will you?
Probably not, but if my grandgrandgrandchildren live in a state where family is seen as a despicable bourgeois construct and where the weakest amoral individual is seen as a poor victim of social alienation that should be listened to just as much as any sane person, I wouldn't really like it, I guess. So I do my best for this not to happen. That's a bit more long term than what I will live to see, and that's my main point.




What is funny about this, exactly?
It is just incredibly vain, which is, if not funny, a bit sad.



That's an incredibly tall order. I have spent the better part of the past four years at least assembling my philosophical system. I'm not ready yet.
You asked me the meaning of life some time ago. Was that tall order:D? I'm a bit young to have a complete philosophical system ready too, you know.



Because it's hard coded into me. The only explanation I have, the cause of my present temporal existence, is that my ancestors acted to further their own well being.
That explains how you got there, not why. And don't you find it irrational to do something just because the pile of organic matter that "made" "you" did the same?


If my community is busy dissolving itself into something pathetic, I have no obligations to save them if I can move to a similar, related community to which I would easily fit in, and better serve as a virtuous individual there.
Don't you think that being part of that community, it is your duty in some way to prevent it from becoming pathetic?



[b]
In that case, nothing is absolute. The only way to define one thing is to oppose it to what it is not. One percieves and organises sense perceptions into 'things' which one then comes to 'know' about by employing rudimentary, logic-based knowledge to 'test' it, from which one then extracts more knowledge, and in doing so, further contrasts this object and one's knowledge of it (which are the same) with what it isn't.
The only way for a limited human being to define things is through perception and reasoning, agreed. However, that doesn't mean that things do not exist outside your perception.


further contrasts this object and one's knowledge of it (which are the same)
So one's knowledge of something is the same thing as the thing itself? Thus, since different people have different perceptions of things, that means that three different people looking at a chair are in fact looking at three different chairs? So we all live in different worlds? and basically, yours has no purpose, mine has a god in it, and in some other guy's world, differences between men and women are just social constructs, right? Why are we even discussing right now, since we're not talking about the same thing? But I probably totally misunderstood what you meant. I hope.

Jack
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 03:14 AM
In a sense that question could be asked, but either way it doesn't contradict the concept of God being righteous and omnipotent; and of course, if you believe God did create the universe, then the question is a pointless one, since arbitrarity would only exist with respect to the actions of non-absolute beings.Your definition of 'absolute' is baseless. Absolute means self-contained, independent regarding its own existence. Reality certainly does contradict the concept of God being 'righteous' (what is that? God being self-righteous?) and omnipotent. Innocent people die every day. Some people get crushed in car crashes. Some people die in riots in third world nations, some are murdered in Iraq by terrorists. God being omnipotent presumably has the capacity to prevent this kind of harm, and if he really is righteous - whatever that is - well, it logically follows that these things don't happen. But they do. Hence your God isn't real.


We know from numerous passages in the Bible that God punishes people; he does so in various ways, through various instruments. Sometimes the instrument was the Hebrews themselves, who were indeed commanded explicitly to exterminate the Canaanites (though they only partially obeyed this command, much to their later detriment).

This was not an encouragement to indiscriminate plundering and damaging of property.'Do this' 'Ok'. ('It' is done). 'Can I do it again?' 'No' 'Why not?' 'Because I said so' 'But you told me to do it before, so why can't I do it now?' 'Because I decided you can't' 'That's a double standard' 'Yes, it is' 'How can you call yourself just if all you do is decide whatever you want and then order it to happen?' 'Shut up. You're doubting my own sense of justice - that's sinning' 'You're a tyrant. You have no sense of justice. There's no logic to it' 'I invented your logic, so don't go complaining to me' 'You have no sense of justice! You're a tyrant!' 'No, I'm not. I'm being perfectly just' 'Well, what's justice?' 'Whatever I want' 'That's not justice, that's... tyranny!' 'SHUT UP, SINNER! BURN IN HELL!'


In the same way, certain sins were to be punished with execution. This punishment was of course to be carried out by a fellow man (at least generally).Ok.


So the difference between God commanding the Hebrews to kill and to plunder the 'spoil' of other nations, and arbitrary vandalism and slaughter, is equivalent to the difference between murder and execution.Not really. The difference between murder and execution is that the public accepts the authority of the murderer when it's called execution.


That's right, but you said you were free to assume cannibalism is acceptable to a Christian viewpoint because I hadn't proved otherwise. I was just pointing out that by the same reasoning you are free to accept homosexuality is acceptable from such a viewpoint, if I haven't yet shown you it's not.Sure. Doesn't mean I will though.


Well God isn't human, so he doesn't have reactions to something disgusting and unnatural in the same way that we do. But God is righteous and perfect, so any violation of his perfect law is undesirable and wicked. God doesn't tell us in what way he views these things though, and I would imagine it is incomprehensible to us, just as his omnipresence and invisibility is incomprehensible.If God existed prior to the physical world, and he created it, it naturally follows from God being omnipotent and righteous that nothing is going to happen that disrupts his wishes. So naturally Genghis Khan was partly correct when he stated 'Oh people, know that you have committed great sins. For if you had not committed these sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you'. Except he's wrong because these people can't have committed sins, because God is perfect and he made them, and he's powerful enough to prevent anything from going wrong. So God's a nut case, or isn't real.


Yes, because of their disobedience, God cursed them by (among other things) allowing them to degenerate to cannibalism. In other words, it is seen as something terrible.You've already said that God doesn't find things disgusting in the sense we do. What evidence do you have to say that cannibalism is to be regarded as something disgusting, rather than something that simply happened, like having a bird shit on your car on the way to work?


God's word is the Bible.You've already stated that the Bible doesn't contain every possible sin we must avoid. So if God's word is the Bible, then... God's word isn't complete.


And you have admitted that faith is irrational, haven't you?My 'God' counts as little more than an inspiration of aesthetic taste.


Did the claimant state how he thought it should be translated?It was a 'she'. A former poster. I don't recall how she thought it should be translated exactly. Heard of 'spooning'?


He can predict what will happen, though without being responsible.In the legal world, a man is not responsible for his actions if he is declared insane. Are you stating God is insane? That he does not possess this (conceptually bankrupt concept) free will you like to refer to? What exactly are you saying? Do you know what you're saying?


Can you prove that there is an inconsistency in God being perfectly righteous and omnipotent, and yet creating something which he knew would sin?I'd say it's pretty fucking obvious to all but the voluntarily retarded.


If you think there is a contradiction then you have failed to understand 'free will'.Free will is irrational bullshit.


By saying a contradiction exists here you are effectively saying that there cannot ever have been such a thing. Well, prove it You are grasping at something beyond the realm of logic. I cannot deal in your terms - you're dealing with the something beyond insanity from your own chaotic and irrational point of reference which is practically on the same level as paranoid antisemitic Nazis.


mmm.......it'd be interesting to know how an atheist would explain spooky stories; whether he would see them as amazing natural (and perhaps unknown to science) phenomena.Biochemical-hormonal disruptions of 'normal' brain functions.


It would appear that you haven't had a spook before. Lots of people have.No one has ever seen anything if you want to get philosophical about it.


An elaborate 'myth' alright Haha. Yeah. Lord of the Rings is a damn good elaborate myth too. The Illiad was pretty cool. I do like the Kalevala though.


And I wonder how an atheist would explain the universality of belief in the supernatural, and of sacrifices and worship. Perhaps mankind just spontaneously thought of it.Mankind has never thought of anything. People think of things, and they do so for a reason - fame, wealth, power, entertainment, fascination, etc. Power is a good one. I'll invent something you can't see or fight and say it's all powerful and point to a few events and say my invented spook did it and use it to gain power over my community.


Actually, you'll find some amazing 'coincidences' in the Bible, and of New Testament events just 'happening' to coincide perfectly with Old Testament prophecies.One myth takes on where another one drops off. Your point?


Who are these contradictory witnesses you're referring to?How about the Gospels?


By definition, that would be an absurdity, a contradiction, to think that it could be explained in such a way Why do you believe in the incomprehensible, then? Do you realise how... bizzare that is? ... logically?


Keep going......If you can't do so, I rest my case.


And here is my earlier question:

I think I understand what you're saying. You mean discuss whether there is evidence for a God in nature itself?No, not 'by nature'. By logic. Let's do a logical investigation of the concept of God itself.


Why do you want me to do that? Have I claimed such a thing existed?You most certainly have. You claim I'm using 'my version of logic' which is in fact the only form of logic, based simply on Aristotle's law of non-contradiction. Hence you imply there is another version of logic, your version, which allows contradiction, which I've challenged earlier in this post.


Your version of reason apparently claims that one cannot be sure of anything which can't be experienced with the physical senses.Logic rests on the undeniable axiom that something is itself, and cannot be other than itself. That's all. Economics is not something I understand simply by the physical senses, I understand it via logic. Same goes for philosophy and political theory. These I understand rationally, even though the knowledge is 'immaterial'.


Oh, so you have had a spooky experience Not really.


Faith is the 'evidence of things not seen', not of 'anything or everything not seen'.You're quoting someone. Fantastic. That's brilliant, really. Explain the reasoning.


Are you? Well, fancy that. But what does that have to do with the price of fish?Have faith, whatever that is.


Well, really it cannot be explained unless you believe God exists, so in other words it is very good evidence for His existence. Atheism has to explain the existence of life as being the result of random events. But the problem is, randomness tends to destroy, rather than create.It cannot be explained? How do you know? I may very well have faith that life may have arisen out of matter of its own accord, in which case - faith of course cannot be dealt with on rational terms, right? - I'd be in the same position as you. Only I do not have faith in this, I leave the option open. Oh, and randomness does not destroy or create. It transforms.


Irreducable complexity with respect to biology refers to a system which is totally functionless without the presence of any one component part. In other words, it can't be gradually built up over time by random events; it has to be built as a whole, with every component part being built to exist and function at the same time.Irreducable complexity is not an accepted concept within the scientific community. Irreducable complexity is a load of crap. It assumes organisms simply go 'pop' and come into existence, fully functioning. Why do you object to evolutionary theory?


Randomness is basically the opposite to purpose, and organisms as well as non-living things show abundant evidence of purpose as opposed to randomness.Purpose implies intent, which implies consciousness. A rock does not possess consciousness. Neither does a tree. It does not 'try' to do anything. It simply happens. There is no actor which can be seperated from the act. Both the rock and the tree are defined by their history of transformation. You see purpose, I see that you seek out spooks behind every rock and tree and wave of the ocean and 'behind' the air your breathe.


Even many of the ancients could see the absurdity of the idea that random collisions of atoms had ended up creating the world and all its functions.Oh, really? I'm sure Epicurus, Heraclites, even the Stoics would agree with you there. Which ancients?


I think one Roman or Greek writer likened it to believing that a random clashing and throwing about of letters could produce the equivalent of an Encyclopaedia.An infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters...


No it's not, because you're trying to explain everything in natural terms, and yet infinity is an unnatural concept, as I've said.How is infinity an unnatural concept?


Natural things have a beginning and an end, such that it is beyond human comprehension to try to think of something which doesn't.Natural things do not have a beginning and an end. 'Things' are artificial, constructed by the minds of men. If you wish to argue epistemology, feel free to establish a thread in the relevant subforum.


But if God created natural things, and human minds, then it is no strange thing if we have trouble understanding something which isn't natural.
Have trouble? Your God is incomprehensible. Your God is a set of contradictory statements. The concept of 'benevolence' is understandable. The concept of 'creating' is understandable. The concept of 'power' is understandable. What is incomprehensible is that you take these concepts, heighten them to their strongest possible intensity and then clump them together. And they don't fit - so you 'have faith', which is effectively standing at the court of life and taking the insanity plea.


I never said you did. What prompted your statement? I don't quite understand what you mean.
Sorry. I should have said 'omniscience' in place of it. To answer your question - I do not appeal to a myth and pretend that it answers questions about quantum physics.

Do you believe wind exists. You don't have to be on drugs to know that.Wind is a process, not a thing. A thing has a defining line, between what it is and what it is not. Wind, like colour, has no dividing line - it does not 'start' here and then 'stop' there. It exists as a concept and almost nothing more.


Sydney. Why Sydney? If I was a 'druggie' I'd probably be directing you to the town of Simpson
You'd have to be a druggie, you live in Sydney, it stands to reason your dealer is in Sydney too :D

Which is effectively the same thing in this context.
*sigh*

There's a slight difference between following every instinct as soon as it kicks in and living the good life.

On the other hand, perhaps you're the Aboriginal savage ;)

'Ask yourself', because I don't believe you can demonstrate the validity of your argument.
I have, several times over. But then again, I'm using logic, and you've already precluded using that, so I have nothing else to offer.

The fact that you may think you're not ignoring your conscience, doesn't mean that you are not doing so in reality. Obviously, I was talking from my point of view, and in my opinion you have given ample evidence that you are indeed ignoring your conscience. It isn't necessarily an intentional ignoring either.I don't have a conscience. I have foresight, however.


Why is that?Because the rule is created by an agent certain knowledge and power for the effect of enacting an intention. The refutation of the rule is a refutation of the man who created it.


What earlier statement, and what about it?
You stated: "For the latter, a man was to pay whatever price the girl's father stated (in money or some form of wealth); but again this is something less explicitly condemned, so my earlier statement largely applies here." I'm wondering what statement you're talking about.


What do you mean by your re-conversion?
'Re' is short for 'regarding'. Long term members here are aware I was driven into nationalism via Islam and history.


The word 'pride' can probably have a bit of range of meaning (like almost any word), depending on usage; and I've already made it clear how I used it.Actually you haven't.

Telperion
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 03:59 AM
It is curious that this thread began as an examination of the purposes of morality, and has now become an argument over the substantive validity of theism vs. atheism. Maybe the question should be rephrased to ask, what is the purpose of morality from a sociological or philosophical (i.e. a secular) standpoint? Of course, that's narrower than the original question, but it does have the advantage of avoiding an interminable debate on religious issues. It seems a bit incongrous to be arguing over religion on the philosophy board.

(Now I shall wait to be attacked by everyone...:D )

Jehan
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 04:25 AM
Actually if you go quickly through the whole thread, all the atheists are kind of agreeing with each other a lot. That would'nt have been a great debate.

And since when is philosophy necessarily atheist?

Jack
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 04:44 AM
It is curious that this thread began as an examination of the purposes of morality, and has now become an argument over the substantive validity of theism vs. atheism. Maybe the question should be rephrased to ask, what is the purpose of morality from a sociological or philosophical (i.e. a secular) standpoint? Of course, that's narrower than the original question, but it does have the advantage of avoiding an interminable debate on religious issues. It seems a bit incongrous to be arguing over religion on the philosophy board.

(Now I shall wait to be attacked by everyone...:D )
*sigh*

That was the point at the start of it. Then Rhydderch kept bringing up God while I tried to drag the conversation towards my original intended idea of the thread - to find out what people think virtues would be good in an ethnoculturally homogenous community. Finally it became irresistable, and I crossed the event horizon into a zone I haven't been in since Moody Lawless left :)

Telperion
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 04:51 AM
Actually if you go quickly through the whole thread, all the atheists are kind of agreeing with each other a lot. That would'nt have been a great debate.The debate on theism vs. atheism has been interesting. But in the course of that debate, the discussion of "why morality" itself strikes me as not having been discussed in much detail. It soon became an argument between two competing assertions, i.e. that we must be moral because God says to be moral, versus God doesn't exist and so claims about a religious mandate for morality don't justify morality. In the process, a great many other issues have been left by the wayside. E.g. if the individual is sovereign, how can the community justifiably make any moral claims on the individual, given that morality implies absolute standards by which the individual's conduct will be assessed, even if he does not agree with those standards? There are enough sub-issues raised by that question and its implicit assumptions to fill up a number of PhD dissertations in philosophy.

The point, then, is that there are a lot of fruitful areas of discussion that aren't being touched on, because instead everyone is arguing over whether God exists.


And since when is philosophy necessarily atheist?It isn't, but religious philosophy tends to be conducted on the basis of common agreement by the participants in the philosophical exercise that God (or at least some sort of higher metaphysical reality) exists in some form, thereby making the religious content analyzed by the philosophy a meaningful basis for discussion from the standpoint of all concerned.

However, a consensus on the existence of God obviously doesn't exist amongst the participants of this current thread, and so the argument has become one about the substantive validity of religion itself, which (I presume) wasn't the original point of the thread.

Telperion
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 04:52 AM
*sigh*

That was the point at the start of it. Then Rhydderch kept bringing up God while I tried to drag the conversation towards my original intended idea of the thread - to find out what people think virtues would be good in an ethnoculturally homogenous community. Finally it became irresistable, and I crossed the event horizon into a zone I haven't been in since Moody Lawless left :)
It appears you have succumbed to temptation. Alas! ;)

Jack
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 05:02 AM
This is why we need the Gladiator Pit subforum :| - so I can split this thread and dump the theist vs atheist chunk in there and so we can continue with the original course of discussion.

But yes - sovereignty, authority, decision and other topics would have been good fuel for the discussion. I've been stewing over problems related to them for months.


The debate on theism vs. atheism has been interesting. But in the course of that debate, the discussion of "why morality" itself strikes me as not having been discussed in much detail. It soon became an argument between two competing assertions, i.e. that we must be moral because God says to be moral, versus God doesn't exist and so claims about a religious mandate for morality don't justify morality. In the process, a great many other issues have been left by the wayside. E.g. if the individual is sovereign, how can the community justifiably make any moral claims on the individual, given that morality implies absolute standards by which the individual's conduct will be assessed, even if he does not agree with those standards? There are enough sub-issues raised by that question and its implicit assumptions to fill up a number of PhD dissertations in philosophy.

The point, then, is that there are a lot of fruitful areas of discussion that aren't being touched on, because instead everyone is arguing over whether God exists.

It isn't, but religious philosophy tends to be conducted on the basis of common agreement by the participants in the philosophical exercise that God (or at least some sort of higher metaphysical reality) exists in some form, thereby making the religious content analyzed by the philosophy a meaningful basis for discussion from the standpoint of all concerned.

However, a consensus on the existence of God obviously doesn't exist amongst the participants of this current thread, and so the argument has become one about the substantive validity of religion itself, which (I presume) wasn't the original point of the thread.
Hey, we almost push the door to get to metaphysics and epistemology in some parts :D But yes. Satanist vs Christian and victory is not in sight for either side :(

Jehan
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 05:02 AM
The debate on theism vs. atheism has been interesting. But in the course of that debate, the discussion of "why morality" itself strikes me as not having been discussed in much detail. It soon became an argument between two competing assertions, i.e. that we must be moral because God says to be moral, versus God doesn't exist and so claims about a religious mandate for morality don't justify morality. In the process, a great many other issues have been left by the wayside. E.g. if the individual is sovereign, how can the community justifiably make any moral claims on the individual, given that morality implies absolute standards by which the individual's conduct will be assessed, even if he does not agree with those standards? There are enough sub-issues raised by that question and its implicit assumptions to fill up a number of PhD dissertations in philosophy.

The point, then, is that there are a lot of fruitful areas of discussion that aren't being touched on, because instead everyone is arguing over whether God exists.
You're free to bring up all those issues. I'm listening.:) But still, wether god exists or not is really important in determining the purpose of morality.

Jack
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 05:04 AM
It appears you have succumbed to temptation. Alas! ;)
...And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil :D

Jehan
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005, 05:09 AM
Anarch, are you going to answer to my last post, or is that debate really closed?

Jack
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005, 02:29 AM
Actually, we are pretty sure the universe is expanding(expanding into what is a tricky question though), which leads to the conclusion that it once had a beginning(known as Big Bang). You could argue that this doesn't imply a creator, but the fact that an enormous amount of matter and energy sprang out from nowhere isn't really rational either anyway...:DWhich is precisely why I don't object to the 'big bang big crunch' cyclical view of the universe, nor do I close my mind to the possibility that quantum physics might answer the question.


I am the result of God's power. I don't think God took his power and shaped it into stars and planets...and no, it didn't happen in 7 days;). If you write a letter, are the words part of the pencil? I also don't think you can say reason apply to God, because then he would be limited by rules, and would exist according to principles and law, which would therefore make him "relative".Are the words part of the pencil? They're marks, drawn off from the pencil onto the piece of paper, percieved by the eyes and translated by the mind into terms we associate with linguistic meaning which relate to our experiences. The pencil is one part of the whole mesh of flux which is exactly what this temporal realm is. Are you saying only the relative is comprehensible?


Probably not, but if my grandgrandgrandchildren live in a state where family is seen as a despicable bourgeois construct and where the weakest amoral individual is seen as a poor victim of social alienation that should be listened to just as much as any sane person, I wouldn't really like it, I guess. So I do my best for this not to happen. That's a bit more long term than what I will live to see, and that's my main point.It's not a bit more long term than what you will live to see. Move to Sweden and witness it if you wish.


It is just incredibly vain, which is, if not funny, a bit sad.I find it sad that I should place the true honour of every one of my successful actions to a ghost whose existence I don't comprehend.


You asked me the meaning of life some time ago. Was that tall order:D? I'm a bit young to have a complete philosophical system ready too, you know.For me, no, because I can answer that question :D


That explains how you got there, not why. And don't you find it irrational to do something just because the pile of organic matter that "made" "you" did the same?'Why'. Interesting. There are two ways humans can comprehend change. One is cause and effect, the other is teleology, that of goal directed behaviour, which implies a consciousness that in a habitus, position which includes a frame of reference, desires, and expectations. 'Why' is an inquiry as to the frame of reference which the one who acts refers in which we seek out the trigger for his action. I have no objections to stating that there is no 'why' behind the universe, and this does not render my life meaningless - because the fact stands that I exist.


Don't you think that being part of that community, it is your duty in some way to prevent it from becoming pathetic?A community is an overlapping result of a collection of human agents which are at essence the will to self extension. If the state of the community does not coincide with my will to self-extension then it is my decision to reform it or to withdraw my alleigence and work for my own self-extension without it. And given the concept of decision is a rationalisation of an event in which one desire within the consciousness of an agent overrides another - to answer your question, if it suits me.


The only way for a limited human being to define things is through perception and reasoning, agreed. However, that doesn't mean that things do not exist outside your perception.There is nothing outside your perception except flux, change, and even you are part of this :)


So one's knowledge of something is the same thing as the thing itself?The thing itself is a concept which is just like your God - unreachable. Precisely because it doens't exist.


Thus, since different people have different perceptions of things, that means that three different people looking at a chair are in fact looking at three different chairs?Correction. Three people recieve a bunch of perceptions, which they then organise, eliminate the 'unnecessary' (which is defined by utility, given by the will to self extension) elements of those perceptions, assemble it all together into a 3D object and label it - using the same word, they think they're referring to the same thing. They're not, but interpersonal communication organises their conception of the object so the objects concieved by each of those three humans come to be more and more similar in their minds.


So we all live in different worlds?See above.


and basically, yours has no purpose, mine has a god in it, and in some other guy's world, differences between men and women are just social constructs, right?God is the myth you hold to. I don't have a myth, and the guy that rambles on about social constructs quite probably doesn't know what's he's talking about.


Why are we even discussing right now, since we're not talking about the same thing? But I probably totally misunderstood what you meant. I hope.I understood you very well. The reason we're capable of discussing it right now is because we were raised in the same linguistic structures with very similar world-outlooks.

Jack
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005, 02:32 AM
Anarch, are you going to answer to my last post, or is that debate really closed?
See above.

Jehan
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005, 04:54 AM
Which is precisely why I don't object to the 'big bang big crunch' cyclical view of the universe, nor do I close my mind to the possibility that quantum physics might answer the question.
I agree, the big crunch theory could explain many things. But it's really only a theory, with nearly as much evidence for it than "the God theory", if not less.


Are you saying only the relative is comprehensible?
Good question. Perhaps we cannot have a perfect understanding of something absolute, and we are in some way forced by our own limitations to analyze the absolute according to principles which do not apply to it. I must admit I'm not sure about that yet. On the other hand, the fact that I don't completely understand how a computer works does not prevent it from working properly.


It's not a bit more long term than what you will live to see. Move to Sweden and witness it if you wish.
I live in Canada.:| I witness it every day. Just imagine something worse, and the point still stands.


I find it sad that I should place the true honour of every one of my successful actions to a ghost whose existence I don't comprehend.
I do not feel sad that my mother gave birth to me. I'm actually quite happy it happened and I do not consider it to be an obstacle to my own success. It does not undermine my existence. I do not see why God creating me would do such a thing.


For me, no, because I can answer that question :D
The fact that you can answer a question does not mean it's not a big one anymore.


'Why'. Interesting. There are two ways humans can comprehend change. One is cause and effect, the other is teleology, that of goal directed behaviour, which implies a consciousness that in a habitus, position which includes a frame of reference, desires, and expectations. 'Why' is an inquiry as to the frame of reference which the one who acts refers in which we seek out the trigger for his action. I have no objections to stating that there is no 'why' behind the universe, and this does not render my life meaningless - because the fact stands that I exist.
I'm sorry, could you translate that in french?:| Your syntax is quite confusing.

The fact that you exist does not give meaning to your existence. Unless you're God.


A community is an overlapping result of a collection of human agents which are at essence the will to self extension. If the state of the community does not coincide with my will to self-extension then it is my decision to reform it or to withdraw my alleigence and work for my own self-extension without it. And given the concept of decision is a rationalisation of an event in which one desire within the consciousness of an agent overrides another - to answer your question, if it suits me.
I don't think a community is a bunch of people who rationally decided they were better off together.

I know this is getting slightly off-topic, but is there such a thing as love in your world-outlook?



The thing itself is a concept which is just like your God - unreachable. Precisely because it doens't exist.
It is unreachable because of my limited condition, not because it doesn't exist.


Correction. Three people recieve a bunch of perceptions, which they then organise, eliminate the 'unnecessary' (which is defined by utility, given by the will to self extension) elements of those perceptions, assemble it all together into a 3D object and label it - using the same word, they think they're referring to the same thing. They're not, but interpersonal communication organises their conception of the object so the objects concieved by each of those three humans come to be more and more similar in their minds.
Those people, they receive a bunch of perceptions from what? Is light reflected by an object and redirected into the eye of the subject? What object? Does the object exist? If it doesn't, why do we get information that tells us it does? Are our senses designed to apprehend reality or not?


God is the myth you hold to. I don't have a myth, and the guy that rambles on about social constructs quite probably doesn't know what's he's talking about.
So you're right and we're both wrong? Is there such a thing as truth then?


I understood you very well. The reason we're capable of discussing it right now is because we were raised in the same linguistic structures with very similar world-outlooks.
And why do people always seem to get similar world-outlooks? Could it be because there's a real world out there?

Rhydderch
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005, 03:13 PM
Your definition of 'absolute' is baseless. Absolute means self-contained, independent regarding its own existence. Reality certainly does contradict the concept of God being 'righteous' (what is that? God being self-righteous?) and omnipotent. Innocent people die every day. Some people get crushed in car crashes. Some people die in riots in third world nations, some are murdered in Iraq by terrorists. God being omnipotent presumably has the capacity to prevent this kind of harm, and if he really is righteous - whatever that is - well, it logically follows that these things don't happen. But they do. Hence your God isn't real.You have have made an (false according to God) assertion here, and have based your conclusion on it.

The Bible teaches that everyone is guilty of sin, and it is only by God's mercy that anyone escapes hell and those terrible kinds of premature deaths, so really you could ask why it doesn't happen more often.

I have said something similar in post 35 on this thread.

Men can argue over whether or not they think mankind is fundamentally good, but either way there is not an inconsistency here, because if God is righteous, and man's heart is fundamentally evil without God's help, then they deserve any bad thing which befalls them.


'Do this' 'Ok'. ('It' is done). 'Can I do it again?' 'No' 'Why not?' 'Because I said so' 'But you told me to do it before, so why can't I do it now?' 'Because I decided you can't' 'That's a double standard' 'Yes, it is' 'How can you call yourself just if all you do is decide whatever you want and then order it to happen?' 'Shut up. You're doubting my own sense of justice - that's sinning' 'You're a tyrant. You have no sense of justice. There's no logic to it' 'I invented your logic, so don't go complaining to me' 'You have no sense of justice! You're a tyrant!' 'No, I'm not. I'm being perfectly just' 'Well, what's justice?' 'Whatever I want' 'That's not justice, that's... tyranny!' 'SHUT UP, SINNER! BURN IN HELL!'If God is righteous, as he says, then "Whatever he wants", is, by definition, perfect. He will not 'decide' to do something which is unrighteous, so again you've made a false premise.

Surely you can see the absurdity of your argument.

There are no double standards here. God says that murder is wrong, but not killing, per se.


Not really. The difference between murder and execution is that the public accepts the authority of the murderer when it's called execution.It doesn't really have anything to do with the public. It is (at least in theory) the putting to death of a wrong-doer after he has been proven guilty by a proper process of judgement.


If God existed prior to the physical world, and he created it, it naturally follows from God being omnipotent and righteous that nothing is going to happen that disrupts his wishes.Unless he makes a being with free will. The fact that God is powerful enough to do something doesn't mean he's under some sort of obligation to do it.


So naturally Genghis Khan was partly correct when he stated 'Oh people, know that you have committed great sins. For if you had not committed these sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you'. Except he's wrong because these people can't have committed sins, because God is perfect and he made them, and he's powerful enough to prevent anything from going wrong. So God's a nut case, or isn't real.You don't seem to be grasping the profoundness there is in creating a being, which is not part of the creator. An entirely seperate and free-willed being. It's not like a human creating something, so again this is not strange that it's so difficult to comprehend, because it's so alien to the natural way of thinking.



I'll reply to the rest later........

Rhydderch
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Your definition of 'absolute' is baseless. Absolute means self-contained, independent regarding its own existence. Reality certainly does contradict the concept of God being 'righteous' (what is that? God being self-righteous?) and omnipotent. Innocent people die every day. Some people get crushed in car crashes. Some people die in riots in third world nations, some are murdered in Iraq by terrorists. God being omnipotent presumably has the capacity to prevent this kind of harm, and if he really is righteous - whatever that is - well, it logically follows that these things don't happen. But they do. Hence your God isn't real.You have have made an (false according to God) assertion here, and have based your conclusion on it.

The Bible teaches that everyone is guilty of sin, and it is only by God's mercy that anyone escapes hell and those terrible kinds of premature deaths, so really you could ask why it doesn't happen more often.

I have said something similar in post 35 on this thread.

Men can argue over whether or not they think mankind is fundamentally good, but either way there is not an inconsistency here, because if God is righteous, and man's heart is fundamentally evil without God's help, then they deserve any bad thing which befalls them.


'Do this' 'Ok'. ('It' is done). 'Can I do it again?' 'No' 'Why not?' 'Because I said so' 'But you told me to do it before, so why can't I do it now?' 'Because I decided you can't' 'That's a double standard' 'Yes, it is' 'How can you call yourself just if all you do is decide whatever you want and then order it to happen?' 'Shut up. You're doubting my own sense of justice - that's sinning' 'You're a tyrant. You have no sense of justice. There's no logic to it' 'I invented your logic, so don't go complaining to me' 'You have no sense of justice! You're a tyrant!' 'No, I'm not. I'm being perfectly just' 'Well, what's justice?' 'Whatever I want' 'That's not justice, that's... tyranny!' 'SHUT UP, SINNER! BURN IN HELL!'If God is righteous, as he says, then "Whatever he wants", is, by definition, perfect. He will not 'decide' to do something which is unrighteous, so again you've made a false premise.

Surely you can see the absurdity of your argument.

There are no double standards here. God says that murder is wrong, but not killing, per se.


Not really. The difference between murder and execution is that the public accepts the authority of the murderer when it's called execution.It doesn't really have anything to do with the public. It is (at least in theory) the putting to death of a wrong-doer after he has been proven guilty by a proper process of judgement.


If God existed prior to the physical world, and he created it, it naturally follows from God being omnipotent and righteous that nothing is going to happen that disrupts his wishes.Unless he makes a being with free will. The fact that God is powerful enough to do something doesn't mean he's under some sort of obligation to do it.


So naturally Genghis Khan was partly correct when he stated 'Oh people, know that you have committed great sins. For if you had not committed these sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you'. Except he's wrong because these people can't have committed sins, because God is perfect and he made them, and he's powerful enough to prevent anything from going wrong. So God's a nut case, or isn't real.You don't seem to be grasping the profoundness there is in creating a being, which is not part of the creator. An entirely seperate and free-willed being. It's not like a human creating something, so again this is not strange that it's so difficult to comprehend, because it's so alien to the natural way of thinking.



I'll reply to the rest later........

Rhydderch
Thursday, June 30th, 2005, 07:49 AM
You've already said that God doesn't find things disgusting in the sense we do. What evidence do you have to say that cannibalism is to be regarded as something disgusting, rather than something that simply happened, like having a bird shit on your car on the way to work?I said that God doesn't have the same reactions as we do. Exactly how he sees it I have no idea, because he's never told us, and it's not necessary to know. However, it is clear that God hates sin, and it is because of his mercy that he did not destroy Adam immediately when he sinned.


You've already stated that the Bible doesn't contain every possible sin we must avoid. So if God's word is the Bible, then... God's word isn't complete.The Bible doesn't state every individual sin explicitly, but all sin is provided for, in the same way that (to look at it simplistically) if a man doesn't want his son to steal, he doesn't tell him "you are not to steal cars, you are not to steal money, you are not to steal radios etc. etc. He simply says "don't steal".


My 'God' counts as little more than an inspiration of aesthetic taste.A very common mentality, whether someone claims to believe in God or not.
This is provided for in the law "Thou shalt have no other gods before me", which includes putting anything in the place of God, and getting your primary satisfaction out of it. So it doesn't have to be just worshipping another supernatural being.


It was a 'she'. A former poster. I don't recall how she thought it should be translated exactly.Was she a sixteen-year-old (or thereabouts) Jewish girl?


Heard of 'spooning'?Not until I looked it up in the dictionary :D. But the Hebrew word 'shakab' is translated perfectly well as 'lie' or 'lie with'; it has the same range of meaning as the English word.

However, to say it means 'spooning' is only evading the issue, because that would simply be a less heinous sin, but of the same nature; so if even that is forbidden, then obviously something worse of the same kind would be even more worthy of condemnation.


In the legal world, a man is not responsible for his actions if he is declared insane. Are you stating God is insane?You seem to have made the assumption that God and his actions are one and the same with his creatures and their actions. You haven't proved that.
Again, clearly you don't understand the concept of created beings with seperate minds and souls of their own, apparently not even hypothetically.


I'd say it's pretty fucking obvious to all but the voluntarily retarded.

Free will is irrational bullshit.Then I rest my case. It's 'obvious' to anyone who can't even hypothetically grasp the idea of free will, but it makes perfect sense if you can grasp it, hypothetically or otherwise.

Why, in your opinion, is it unrighteous for God not to stop something when he has the power? God is not responsible for the actions of other beings with free will and minds of their own, and so is under no obligation to stop them, even though he has the power. There is no inconsistency.


Biochemical-hormonal disruptions of 'normal' brain functions.There are a number of reasons why that iterpretation doesn't make sense, such as two people seeing the same thing at the same time, and the fact that certain 'spooky' events happen frequently in specific location. I would have thought an atheist might like to explain it in terms of unknown (to science) phenomena (which of course I don't think makes sense either)

Atheism (and a general lack of belief in the supernatural, conscious or not) tends to arise more in materialistic societies. I believe Satan is less active on a directly supernatural level in such societies, because people are motivated more by their interest in material things, than by fear of the supernatural.
But in other societies, and among Western people who try to contact (in my opinion evil) spirits, strange things do happen far more frequently. Satan has more power over these people by contacting them directly.


No one has ever seen anything if you want to get philosophical about it.I'm not sure what you mean by that assertion.


Mankind has never thought of anything. People think of things, and they do so for a reason - fame, wealth, power, entertainment, fascination, etc. Power is a good one. I'll invent something you can't see or fight and say it's all powerful and point to a few events and say my invented spook did it and use it to gain power over my community.True, but what distinguishes the Bible from man's word is that it claims man is not capable of being 'good enough' on his own merits. Man has a natural aversion to this idea.


One myth takes on where another one drops off. Your point?My point is that for example the Old Testament has a prophetical meaning to it which is perfectly in accord with the events of the New.


How about the Gospels?Do you mean they contradict each other? Bring it on.


Why do you believe in the incomprehensible, then? Do you realise how... bizzare that is? ... logically?I believe in something which is not fully comprehensible, and so does everyone. In my opinion it is comprehensible enough to make sense.

Of course, believing in a dream that the dream is not real would seem bizzare too, until you wake up.


No, not 'by nature'. By logic. Let's do a logical investigation of the concept of God itself.What we've started doing, you mean?


You most certainly have. You claim I'm using 'my version of logic' which is in fact the only form of logic, based simply on Aristotle's law of non-contradiction. Hence you imply there is another version of logic, your version, which allows contradiction, which I've challenged earlier in this post.All I have said is that some aspects of God are beyond the understanding of logic; they don't contradict it.


You're quoting someone. Fantastic. That's brilliant, really. Explain the reasoning.I'm not sure what's so fantastic about me quoting someone, but anyway, it's part of something I quoted earlier, from Hebrews chapter 11. It's a fairly simple statement though, and doesn't really need explanation.


Have faith, whatever that is.That would be 'blind faith' since God has shown me no 'evidence of the thing not seen'


It cannot be explained? How do you know? I may very well have faith that life may have arisen out of matter of its own accord, in which case - faith of course cannot be dealt with on rational terms, right? - I'd be in the same position as you.No, because you're seeking to explain everything in natural terms, and yet, faith is not a natural thing, nor is life coming out of non-living matter, so considered hypothetically, your position would be inconsistent.

But my position is that life was created miraculously, and that faith is not a natural thing


Oh, and randomness does not destroy or create. It transforms.True, but in transforming, randomness simplifies something. Therefore very complex organisms cannot come out of very simple ones through random processes.


Irreducable complexity is not an accepted concept within the scientific community. Irreducable complexity is a load of crap. It assumes organisms simply go 'pop' and come into existence, fully functioning.Irreducable complexity doesn't assume anything, it is a feature of many organisms; they cannot function if any one of a number of major components is removed. If that forces us to the conclusion that they came into existence fully functioning, then so be it.


Why do you object to evolutionary theory?So you've concluded I have an objection to it :D. Well, first and foremost, because it contradicts God's word, but I also object to it on purely scientific grounds.



To be continued.........

Rhydderch
Thursday, June 30th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Purpose implies intent, which implies consciousness.Yes, it implies consciousness, but not necessarily on the part of the object which is its evidence. I see purpose in the fact that the earth is at a perfect distance from the sun, neither too far nor too close; just the right condition to support life. The earth's position and numerous aspects of it's function are mutually dependent, and irreducably complex; I see a purpose behind this, but that doesn't mean these objects have a consciousness (or that I think they have one). They are evidence for a conscious designer.

I also see purpose behind the fact that certain enzymes run up and down DNA at replication, to check for errors (mutations).


Oh, really? I'm sure Epicurus, Heraclites, even the Stoics would agree with you there. Which ancients?I don't remember the name of the particular fellow I had in mind, but in any case, if there had been no contemporaries promoting the idea, he wouldn't have needed to express his disbelief at the absurdity of the idea.


An infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters...Which of course is logically impossible :D


Natural things do not have a beginning and an end.Can you fully comprehend infinity? It is not natural, and I'm sure you can't comprehend it (at least in the sense that I mean). This is because natural things are limited, and I believe our natural minds were created to understand things in this way.

As I said earlier, I think that time itself is probably a created thing. This is evidenced by the fact that it is relative, and is capable of being manipulated; the greater the gravitational force, the slower time travels.


Sorry. I should have said 'omniscience' in place of it.Right. But you have a bigger problem than someone believing in the supernatural, if something is impossible to explain by natural logic, rather than being simply unknown or unseen.


To answer your question - I do not appeal to a myth and pretend that it answers questions about quantum physics.Neither do I appeal to a 'myth' ;). Nor do I 'pretend' that it answers such questions; it is plainly obvious to me that they are inexplicable without a God, and if I were to think otherwise it would be because I hadn't thought of the full consequences of such an idea.


Wind is a process, not a thing. A thing has a defining line, between what it is and what it is not. Wind, like colour, has no dividing line - it does not 'start' here and then 'stop' there. It exists as a concept and almost nothing more.All right, you don't have to be on drugs to know that air exists.


You'd have to be a druggie, you live in Sydney, it stands to reason your dealer is in Sydney too :DI'm not a druggie, and what posesses you to think I live in Sydney? :D


There's a slight difference between following every instinct as soon as it kicks in and living the good life.Yes, 'slight' is the word ;) (at least if your an atheist)

But you have defined your own moral code, based on what you believe to be logical, and which will make you 'feel good' in the long term; so, as I said, your 'logic' and your 'definition' are the same thing in this context.


I don't have a conscience.Well then from my point of view you are clearly evidence that man tends to ignore his conscience, even going so far as to deny that he has one!


Because the rule is created by an agent certain knowledge and power for the effect of enacting an intention. The refutation of the rule is a refutation of the man who created it.I'd say you've heard of the expression "there is an exception to every rule". A rule is (in this context), by definition, something which is a general fact, but doesn't always hold true. So to find an exception to a rule is not to refute it. In this case though, as I've said, you haven't proven that there is an exception.

But to refute a rule is only proving that the creator of it is not infallible.


You stated: "For the latter, a man was to pay whatever price the girl's father stated (in money or some form of wealth); but again this is something less explicitly condemned, so my earlier statement largely applies here." I'm wondering what statement you're talking about.My earlier statement where I said something about certain sins being provided for by an understanding of the whole Bible, rather than by explicit reference.


'Re' is short for 'regarding'. Long term members here are aware I was driven into nationalism via Islam and history.So you mean your conversion to nationalism? I don't see that that proves anything about the Koran having as good or better poetry than the Bible though.

Rhydderch
Monday, July 11th, 2005, 06:33 AM
Which is precisely why I don't object to the 'big bang big crunch' cyclical view of the universe, nor do I close my mind to the possibility that quantum physics might answer the question.There is a theory called "White hole cosmology" which I think may explain things fairly well, from my point of view :D

UmbraWraith
Wednesday, July 13th, 2005, 01:47 AM
I was wondering if you would have a link or article on Microcosm and Macrocosm?

Is there any author who writes on this particular subject?

I am very interested in reading of this.

;)




Hegelian and Marxian philosophy explains it well, with the concept of "Species Being" (Artväsen in Swedish). I have a nature, and according to that nature some actions are natural and some are not.

This also correlates to the magical/pagan idea of macrocosm and microcosm. There are, in the Cosmos, some Laws, and they are in us as individuals as well. We can follow these laws/our nature, or we can break them and act against our own nature. Of course if we act against our own nature we harm ourselves, and eventually turn into unhappy and twisted beings.

The nice thing with this approach is that it is more Aryan than the "thou shalt not"-morality (not that I don't believe that there are insights of this kind also in the teachings of Jesus and several Christian thinkers).

Rhydderch
Monday, July 18th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Anarch, have you forgotten about my posts, or have you decided to leave it at that? :D

infoterror
Tuesday, July 19th, 2005, 05:17 AM
Postmorality

If there is one thing humanity needs to hear right now, it is this: "Grow up!" However, this is not the form of maturity of which is commonly spoken, by which they mean a certain docility and resignation that allows one to call a job and servitude to social prestige a meaningful life. The usage here refers to the ultimate maturity, which is an ability to accept reality in all of its positive and negative dimensions, and resolve to act upon it as is necessary.

We could call this ultimate maturity "realism," because when all the semantic arguments are brushed aside, and all the ontological concerns shown to be aspects of the same question, we realize that most of human discourse centers on objects of perception without stopping, first, to form a comprehensive system. Since there is no explanation for our world as a whole, what replaces logic is an ability to analyze details intently, without ever discovering the interconnection between data.

This basic failing is akin to us as humans selecting to believe only that which originates in a human mind, and to relegate reality - the interaction of beings, natural forces, and objects in our physical real-time world - to second-class status. Whether we pick materialism or dualism, both extremes serve us badly by taking our attention away from an observation of life and pointing it toward arbitrary linguistic problems that do not necessarily related to reality.

As such, realism is the king of all scientific outlooks, and herein is its paradox: although we all live in the same world, not all have the fineness of perceptual analysis to understand realism. Most people not only "would prefer to" cling to stolid absolutes that require no interpretation or context to be applied, but also cannot conceive of any other form of belief system. It is only in our recent (400 years) mania for new customers to not offend that we have made the presumption that all people, if "given the same advantages," can understand the same complex thoughts.

Thus we have a troubling situation, onto which another is rapidly piled: a nearly indefinable belief based upon a reality in which we all live, but which we perceive to different degrees. Luckily, nature makes this easy for us, and the best-bred among us are the ones who - owing to greater intelligence, health and moral character - are able to perceive not only what is, in an immediate sense, but its function, even over time. These are realists who often move to the next level, which is idealism.

Idealism in the vernacular means something different from philosophical idealism; in philosophical idealism, one suggests that the world is (a) composed of thought or (b) operates in a similar method to thought; the two are roughly conflatable, in that if the world operates as thoughts, on the high level of abstraction at which philosophy works, it might as well be thought. Still, even the most spacy of the idealists affirm realism as the basis for their idealism. How does this work?

What we call science is the process of deducing structural functions to our world, and then using those to in turn predict responses to certain events or actions. When we understand how our world works (realism), we can then turn toward the question of its manipulation (idealism), which is subdivided into questions of how, which relate directly to our degree of realistic perception, and why, which are more akin to the goal-setting tendencies of idealism. Realism is perception; idealism is a study of design both in perception and moral action.

Of course, balancing these two ideas is quite a challenge for almost anyone, and only the smarter ones among us can do it - but among Indo-Europeans, this is not as small of a population as one might think. Although the dumbest among us make themselves known as the loudest, there is usually a silent group who function at a high level of efficiency and care deeply about doing the right thing; these however lack the impetus to draw attention to themselves, as they already understand a spiritual principle by which self is secondary to whole. These people understand the secret of nihilism.

Unlike most philosophical systems, which are based on achieving an ideal or asserting a value as higher than others, nihilism is a discipline. It's a way of training your mind to look at the world, and from it, as in any fully-developed philosophical system, comes an explanation of the entirety of philosophy as opened for us by the initial realizations of nihilism. Once again, it's not for everyone; if you don't get it, you might not be ready, and many among us will never be ready, as they literally lack the circuitry to understand it. Much as you cannot educate a kitchen blender into a supercomputer, you cannot make a philosophical genius out of the average mind.

Nihilism seems a paradox. It denies all value, thus obliterating the objective/subjective and mind/body divisions favored by dualists, yet it upholds the idea of abstract structure ("design") behind our cosmos, as when one denies value one turns to function, specifically function of the physical world. It is not, however, materialism, as materialism champions a faith that material comfort and individual survival are the highest goals that exist; most likely, those who are materialists lack the circuitry to go further. Nihilism is a form of idealism, in that it posits an order to the universe that can be understood through logic, but rejects value-judgments as a method of doing this; don't categorize and classify, suggests nihilism, but describe. Describe structure, not physicality or emotionality.

In this we achieve the beginnings of a fully mature philosophy, something akin to the "pragmatic idealism" Nietzsche described or the pessimistic Hindu-inspired idealism of Schopenhauer; it is reminiscent of the beliefs of early Greco-Roman civilizations, where the gods personified natural forces and were beyond any form of "moral judgment," or classification into good and evil. When the ashes settle over the last thousand years of Western civilization, it will quickly become clear that moral classification led us to a kind of linear thought that detached us from a study of systemics, and thus allowed us to do ludicrously destructive things in the name of details - the individual, an absolute moral principle, or the need to make some cold hard cash.

One of the best aspects of nihilism and cosmic idealism alike is their rejection of absolute moral judgments, meaning any type of rule that applies without context and to all people alike. The simplest example is the hypocrisy over murder in the West; we say murder is wrong, and then murder people for committing murder. A nihilist avoids the initial error by never saying "murder is wrong," but instead, electing to murder those who threaten whatever values are held dear. A rapid stratification appears among human beings at this point, because depending on where we are on the intelligence-moral character scale, we value different things. Those who are at the higher end of such a scale have valuable opinions, and the rest... should probably be oppressed.

All philosophical concepts are interrelated, and every philosophical system uses a core concept as an introduction to all other parts of philosophy; if your system is idealism, for example, you translate all other philosophical questions into idealist vocabulary, and then analyze them and synthesize responses from that point. A nihilist system is no different. Nihilism is both radically different from Christianity, but agrees with it on many points, much as it does with Hinduism and other cosmic idealist systems. If it has an enemy, it would be the lower-level systems, like materialism and superstition, which rules out Judaism and Voodoo.

However, any good nihilist does apprehend quickly why in ancient societies the principle of karma/caste was rapidly attached to a postmoral system: if there is no prohibition against killing, one had better limit that function to those who know enough to handle it. In the same way we do not give firearms to three-year-olds, certain privileges must be earned by those who show aptitude and character for them. As most of the questions of philosophy are complicated enough to take a lifetime, ancient societies tended to breed people for these roles, thus producing the original definition of aristocracy: the philosopher-kings and warrior-kings who knew how to wield the power they had.

A modern comparison to this is any form of martial art. The students are taught slowly to take on the powers of a fully capable fighter, so that alongside raw technique they may absorb years of wisdom - and be sent away by their teachers if they are psychopaths or otherwise defective. Just as one does not teach post-911 Arab students to take off in planes but not land them, one does not teach nutcases to kill with a punch. The caste system is part of this karmic order in that it is recognized that, with each advance in breeding, the design of the next generation changes; those designs are most likely to function as their ancestors did. As a result, one creates groups like aristocracies which are bred for the finest traits and pass them along to their offspring.

This system works surprisingly well. Outside of a few defectives, most people have the abilities of their parents, if developed by education. Even more importantly, they have the moral inclination and traits of their parents, and therefore make similar types of decisions. The power of nihilism and postmorality in ancient societies was kept among those who had for generations proven themselves able to wield it; this is a more effective system than our modern one, which supposes that "anyone" could be effective with this kind of power, so we give it to them and hope they don't screw up. Remember that during election year.

What we refer to as postmoralism was designed for elites by breeding, as it is a complex system. Essentially, traditional "Western" (Judeo-Christian) morality is designed around simple rulesets: evil is bad, murder is evil, therefore if you murder, you are evil and we should murder you. Postmoral tradition, as mentioned above, does not waste time banning murder. It asks, simply, was the murder fortunate? which means: did the murder increase the elegance and graceful function of a natural order? If one has murdered a child molestor, order is increased and made better; if you murder a child who otherwise would likely done great things, you are probably a psychopath and should be murdered.

In warfare, for example, murder was viewed as glorious in the idealistic tradition, as those who lost lives had done so in fulfilment of their place in a natural order, and in doing so, had risen a level in the karmic cycle by not shirking from what must be done. Even more, victims were sacrifices to the gods of the nature, and had fulfilled their own role; material fortunes came second to spiritual ones (a complete reversal of the modern logic). One did not weep for a conquered enemy, but sang for the whole of nature, as in the growth of better people a more logical order was instituted.

Other examples come to mind. Idealists tended to treat their women better than any other group; they gave them privileges, had laws against their mistreatment, and tended to murder and mutilate those who committed rape, incest, and assault in peacetime. In war, it was different; rape of a conquered enemy was viewed as a chance to increase the breeding potential of that tribe, and was thus a joyful occurrence. If a warrior with IQ of 140 raped a woman with IQ of 85, the logic went, she received an upgrade (payable in next generation) of some IQ points, thus all was cool. It's important to note, of course, that idealists did not engage in world wars for economic and political commodities, thus it's impossible to compare their actions to those of a modern time.

Another example is money. For those who deserved money as a means of achieving their function, it was viewed as a natural right and something not to be questioned; for those who did not have such a use, it was seen as suspect to care too much about it. If you have enough to live and retire, what is the need for desiring more? - they viewed it in the same way our current society views people who spend their entire income on pornography and lubricant: obsessive. Money was something granted by the gods for a purpose, not a purpose in itself, as it is in modernity.

Unfortunately, this system was replaced with a one-size-fits-all system, in which postmoral rules cannot apply, because they must apply to everyone, equally, in order to be "fair." As one might guess, such a system was not created by the few highly intelligent ones, but by the masses of unstable and unspecialized people who inherently fear those who might be more capable than they. The masses won by numbers, and overwhelmed their leaders and aristocracy, and that brought us the downfall of Greece, of Rome, and the future downfall of America. It also brought us absolute moral judgment and "good"/"evil."

Now that America has run its course, and it has become clear to even liberals that the system is collapsing under its own weight and paradox, the idea of a postmoral society is again considered. And, as all concepts are linked, people are again considering the concept of an aristocracy of our most capable to wield the kind of unfettered power that such a civilization allows. Creating rigid moral rules, and then having checks and balances on leaders, hasn't worked; not only has corruption flourished, but we've been unable to make necessary long-term decisions.

While our system is reassuring to those who fear they are inadequate, it has traded sanity for the accomodation of those who are defective or underperforming, and not surprisingly, the results have been terrible. This is why humanity needs to "Grow up!" and realize that we're not all equal, and we need some qualified leaders fast, before we make ourselves miserable and then in short order, exterminate ourselves and all that we care about. To take that step, we need to go down the winding path from realism to idealism through nihilism, and in doing so, to cultivate in ourselves a new maturity.

July 18, 2005
http://www.anus.com/zine/articles/postmorality/

Deling
Saturday, July 23rd, 2005, 12:59 PM
"Postmorality" is as moral as anything else, because it preaches an abandonment of morals, just as Nietzsche, and thus is a moralism. Nihilism is a moral code like all others, just an unconventional moral.

SuuT
Monday, August 21st, 2006, 07:32 PM
The most laborious rationale has been offered-up over the eons for rationale; on occasion, we see entire lives offered-up in waste to the gods of this or that ratiocination without so much as a pause from them (the god, individual, or wasted life) to reflect upon the axiomatic structure that constitutes what are, rather naively, one's principles.

Even the brave and capable enough to venture in to the realm of motive and motif lose their way; and reach out in the dark for the wall to at least guide them in their blindness: like half-waking from a nightmare, and not knowing where one is--panicked and sweating bullets. After to much of that ("too much": a relativity), one is usually inclined to do one of two things: go 'back to sleep' as a sheer defence against shock for having pried open their own third-eye; or, flail for the familiar light-switch that simply needs to be remembered--and turned "on".

In other words, a return to the same basic state that yields more and growing passivity and numb comfort: as if colours are brighter under false light.

I am reminded of a professor I had as an undergraduate who listened intently, blinking the statistically required number of times to indicate that he was not uncomfortable with the discussion, as I proceeded to elucidate that I had (up to that point) met a grand total of 13 Souls in the entirety of my post-awakening life that I thought had more value than my dog.

After a series of questions that were very thinly veiled attempts to see if I was 1.) insane 2.) violent 3.) troubled in any way that might affect him, directly; and 4.) serious, he let loose a sting of banal idioms and unrelated moral blather as to why I was misguided. He, in that Persian bizzare manner that always seemed to exemplify who he was (is), summed-up his points that let me know that the discussion was over; his comfort level had been reached; he was offended.

We left his office.

I watched him as he walked down the hall, passing and smiling at collegues and students he knew; occassionally reaching out and touching some of them with an enthusiastic "hellow!"--smiling.

I tell you this for the sole reason that it was widely known that this man was a self-proclaimed Nihilist; was, and still is, publishing on the subject. He actually gave routine lectures about the lack of truth that pervades our existence; how our moral and ethical constructs are just that in the pejorative sense--baseless fictions; and that a more "poetic" approach to being is requisite to yielding "deeper understanding".

What is perhaps most intriguing about is that this man found a greater identification with others, and they with him, as a result of his Nihilism: he grew more moral, in the modern proclivity...in a "baseless" cosmos. He was able to smile as a result of his affinity with the baseless whole.

Now, I ask you: is this even possible!? The answer is No--it is not: and yet it is. After a time, one can distinguish which ethical perspectives carry weight, innovative or otherwise. This man was a sales-pitch: trading and espousing falsehoods in a cosmos for sale and addicted to the void.

Because the Nihilist is inclined to pleasantries and deeply--biologically--goverened by the mores and folkways of his time, he lies; but innocently.
For you, he is none the less insidious.

He, and his flock, may be used exactly because he, and they, are irreparably, paradoxically, and indefensibly--Principled.