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J Ballard Pm's A Response


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First, to make sure that everyone gets to read what I write I am going to post what I wrote in BurnedOut's thread "Why are Christians Afraid to Debate Me?" with Joshua Ballards reply. Then I will respond:

 

1. Absolute moral values.

 

- I am interested in your idea of absolute moral values. Could you possibly point me to these absolute moral values and how we can identify them? This would put to rest hundreds of years of debate between philosophical scholars. It appears as if you are trying to create a circular statement here, although you can correct me if I’m wrong. You indicated that moral values come from God…so essentially you are saying that absolute moral values confirm the existence of God, even though you presuppose that God is the source of absolute moral values.

 

We both know that a direct proof, beyond "I think therefore I am" is difficult to assert. I would not like to offer "proof" of Absolute moral values any more than I would like to offer "proof" of mathematics or of the laws of logic...I would instead attempt to demonstrate, rather than prove. After all...that's the best we can do isn't it?

 

If Consciousness logically cannot be denied...then it would follow that it would be immoral to teach a system of thought that ignores this demonstration.

 

I think it would also be immoral or absolutely WRONG to assert that the law of identity is false. I'm sure you would agree.

 

As for the absolute values proceeding from God...Christians talk of the eternally-proceeding from the reality of God...some theologians say that God doesn't merely exist...he is the ground of ALL being.

 

I say that by observing the absolute nature of moral values, that we can infer that there is an absolute value giver. The Christian affirmation is that being is affirmed by the existence of God.

 

 

 

 

2. Self-worth is an interesting concept...Biblically it is rejected as the source of all sin.

 

- I care not what the Bible says is the source of all sin. I am aware that it is supposedly pride that is the source of all sin, however you would have to specifically point me to your reasoning that self-worth is sinful. Pointing out a slight incoherency in your argument, you stated that no one is worth of loving themselves. Isn’t the aspect of loving oneself the appreciation of God’s own creation? In recognizing that you are created by God, you are valuing his creation. By devaluing yourself, you are devaluing God’s creation. Regardless, I think this aspect of Christianity is wholly evil and irrelevant.

- Self-worth is what gives us reason to want to live. It is the choice to live. Living is not the state of existence, living is the act of being fully human and embracing the qualities that make us human. Our reasoning capabilities allow us to obtain knowledge that helps us become better people and productivity allows us to be happy and benefit from living in society. Are we supposed to, as Christianity puts it “devalue” ourselves and not be productive and happy? Are we not supposed to want to live? It’s an irrational doctrine that states that we must hate ourselves in order to be considered worth even a modicum of recognition in God’s eyes, and that we must humble ourselves before a creature who essentially has all the power and has no reason for such pride to need humility. It would appear that a creature as powerful, knowledgeable and immutable as God would be above petty circumstances as considering ones own life valuable with or without God.

 

I understand that you don't particularly care for the Biblical understanding of sin...but it is not only humans with the inherent death problem that can fall into pride. After all, Lucifer was a created angel...who was described as "perfect in beauty and wisdom" who decided that he was worthy of praise. His beauty and wisdom was given to him by God...and his focus should have remained on God...If you love God...then a passive and latent function will be a love of his creation, which should be structured with God as number one...others as number two...and self as bottom of the three. As God is lifted up...the other two are drawn up as well, depending on how well the others reflect the character of God.

 

 

3. Self-causation and immutability.

 

- You see, Joshua, here is one of your problems (and I will compound these problems into a list). You derive your philosophical beliefs off of things that have no empirical merit or rational merit. You stated “This is why I would challenge you to self-cause your way out of the coffin. Jesus did it...why can't we?” Well I’m sure many mythological beings did things we wish we could do, that is why they are mythological beings. Achilles was invincible except for his ankle…why can’t we be? Well, the fact is that overcoming death is something that many people seek to do and religion provides nearly the perfect answer. The only problem is, there’s no evidence for it.

 

 

Historical evidence for the resurrection is carried by the FACT that Jesus is not a mythological being. Jesus DID live, teach and was executed under Roman rule. We have secular Roman sources as well as Non-Christian sources that state that Jesus existed and taught a type of "philosophy" (the Romans didn't call it a religion because it did not affirm the Roman Pantheonic structures, and it was called a "philosophy" because it affirmed moral shift, rather than simply ritual sacrifice). The fact of the resurrection is shown with analysis of the dramatic transformation of the Apostles...from cowering in a locked room after Jesus' execution, to those that were prepared to die preaching the resurrection of Jesus...most people will die for something they THINK to be true...but not many people will die for something they KNOW NOT to be true. There is more evidence available...but I'll let you assess that first.

 

 

 

4. The essence of immorality….a broken soul.

 

- Now, here is where we can start looking at the holes in your ideas. Your entire philosophy rests upon one gigantic naked assertion; the existence of God. From that false premise, you create a whole slew of premises that have no merit: The resurrection of Jesus, the existence of a soul, the state of this soul, the sinful nature. Here’s the principle of selling something:

 

well, I say that it ISN'T a false premise....the existence of the soul is something that simply cannot be adressed within a strict methodologically naturalistic worldview. So unless you are prepared to step beyond that...then we can't really talk about metaphysics can we? Except for the niggling little fact that Morality is a metaphysical reality that cannot be "scientifically" tested. You cannot "touch" morality...you cannot "weigh" morality. Yet it exists.

 

 

a. Create a problem. demonstrate the problem by observation of evil

b. Convince people that they have this problem. as G.K. Chesterton once said..."original sin is the only philosophy that has been most empirically demonstrated over the last 3500 odd years of history

c. Offer a solution to the problem. only if there is one available

 

 

 

Even if this is just a descriptive idea of your philosophy, it still is accurate even if it’s not consciously done. You’ve created a problem, you’ve convinced some people that they have this problem and then you offer a magical solution that is magically free. Except it’s not. It requires immense sacrifice and loss of the value of oneself. We must sacrifice ourselves to a concept that is intangible and unevidenced in order to obtain the solution to a problem that we don’t have.

 

can you show me that you haven't simply done the same with my philosophy? The knife cuts both ways

 

5. You are right...Oughts do not imply design and purpose....but Design and purpose implies Oughts.

 

- It is true that design and purpose implies that what has design and purpose should be used for it’s intended purpose (although that is not true in all cases). Despite your extreme example (and probably a few others), I would say that something that is designed for a specific purpose does not necessarily preclude that it can’t be used for another end. Unfortunately, you have come across a non sequiter in your example as this really has nothing to do with morality. Humans are not designed for a specific purpose unless God exists and he created us for a specific purpose. This again leads you right back to your naked assertion that God exists.

 

my observation of metaphysical realities such as "love", "justice", "relationship" and "moral values" implores me to look for the origin of such absolute values. I posit that no matter how many levels these values may be filtered through...the ultimate end is the expression of an eternal God...not exactly proof...but a demonstration

 

6. But even if you must retain parental pro-creation...take it all the way back to the first parents...who pro-created them?

 

- We are going into a philosophical realm that is treading into speculative territory. Not only are we going into the creation of sexual organisms, but we are delving into the beginnings of life itself, something that I cannot make mention of since we do not have enough information to positively or negatively come to a conclusion about. Suffice it to say that life itself was caused by natural processes of a chemical nature of which I have no evidence for, since it is speculation. Anyways, even if I had absolutely no idea as to how life began it would not prove that God exists.

 

 

remember that we were talking about consciousness...not necessarily physical bodies. The point was that your consciousness once did not exist...who created your consciousness? After all, we could solipsistically deny that we even have bodies.

 

Again, this demonstrates that we have a creator...this is generally a term reserved for God within a Christian worldview.

 

 

7. Social acceptance.

 

- I don’t remember stating that social acceptance was the foundation of morality.

 

8. Social contractarianism is remarkably short sighted.

 

- Why?

 

I'm going back to the idea of multiple societies that have to interact with each other. There IS evidential conflict with multiple societies having different value structures...

 

Even internally, you cannot expect positive moral change...remember...if social contract has deemed what is acceptable...then any attempt to change the social contract is unacceptable. The change is immoral, whether positive or negative...(i.e. Racism and civil rights or even in current discourse...Homosexual marraige rights)

 

It also assumes that people want to look out for the needs of others...it also implies that people SHOULD want to look out for the needs of the group. While a Christian will affirm this, we affirm it out of a different position. We say that we should look out for the needs of others, because God values his image, which he has bestowed on one level, people and on another level creation.

 

 

9. I've already seen evidence of that in these forums...people saying things like "fuck Jesus" and the like..."fuck that God" and everything else...they are only expressing that which is innate to their own nature. A rejection of God. Why should the loving God embrace them, and therefore inflict more pain on them? Hell is the merciful option that God has created for those who hate him.

 

- You’ve seen evidence of people who are angry and hurt at what religion has done to them. Jesus is a symbol for that religion and the figurehead. “Fuck Jesus” is an expression of rebellion against that religion and freeing oneself from the bounds of a religion that you admitted contains no room for those who have self-esteem and love for themselves. They don’t actually reject God, since it is not indicative that God exists. They reject the religion and what it has done to them. I’m sure if God actually existed he would realize this and understand that. Being embraced by God and finally knowing (not just having faith) that He exists and does actually love them would be merciful and loving. Abandoning them to ignorance stemming from the shunning and hatred of his so-called followers would be umerciful and cruel.

 

I suppose at this point, it is almost a cliche to say that the values that God places on religion and ritual are virtually nil. It is the Christian assertion that God exists eternally in peri-choretic communion of perfect love. The pain that religion causes is usually related to broken people fallibly trying to relate the love of God to people. The failure of religion is not the failure of God. Religion is a vehicle for humans to connect with God. The question is whether the vehicle is acceptable to God or not.

 

Cheers.

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First, to make sure that everyone gets to read what I write I am going to post what I wrote in BurnedOut's thread "Why are Christians Afraid to Debate Me?" with Joshua Ballards reply. Then I will respond:

 

 

 

 

Perhaps you could edit the original post to show where your statements end and mine begin? I didn't realise that you would be posting the contents of the Private Message, but I don't particularly mind. On other forums it is considered poor form to post the contents of Private Messages...but as I said...I don't particularly mind in this instance.

 

A heads up would have been nice though...I usually directly link to the other thread.

 

Awaiting your thoughtful response...

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Perhaps you could edit the original post to show where your statements end and mine begin? I didn't realise that you would be posting the contents of the Private Message, but I don't particularly mind. On other forums it is considered poor form to post the contents of Private Messages...but as I said...I don't particularly mind in this instance.

 

If it was a particularly private statement directed solely towards me with information that others should not be privy too then I would not have done so. Since it was a response to a post that was already publicly made and you were just responding to it (reason being that you were not participating in that thread anymore) I thought it was ok.

 

A heads up would have been nice though...

 

Possibly, and in the future I'll be mindful of it. I didn't think it was a big deal.

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It also assumes that people want to look out for the needs of others...it also implies that people SHOULD want to look out for the needs of the group. While a Christian will affirm this, we affirm it out of a different position. We say that we should look out for the needs of others, because God values his image, which he has bestowed on one level, people and on another level creation.

 

Christian boldly disobey their God when it tells them to observe all the laws of the "Old Testament".

So much so for Christian absolute "morals"

 

The Subjective Nature Of Absolute Morality

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1. Absolute moral values.

 

JBallard states:

We both know that a direct proof, beyond "I think therefore I am" is difficult to assert. I would not like to offer "proof" of Absolute moral values any more than I would like to offer "proof" of mathematics or of the laws of logic...I would instead attempt to demonstrate, rather than prove. After all...that's the best we can do isn't it?

 

Nietchsze had some interesting ideas but I prefer to look at three axioms thus:

 

1. Something exists.

2. Consciousness exists.

3. Existence is identity.

 

Even demonstrating the existence of Absolute Morals would be a feat that the greatest minds (the giants whose shoulders we stand upon) could not come up with.

 

By mere demonstration, one would be proving their existence.

 

If Consciousness logically cannot be denied...then it would follow that it would be immoral to teach a system of thought that ignores this demonstration.

 

I think it would also be immoral or absolutely WRONG to assert that the law of identity is false. I'm sure you would agree.

 

I would disagree.

 

One would be false in stating that consciousness does not exist, as consciousness is axiomatic. By their rejection of consciousness they are proving it exists.

 

Same thing with the law of identity.

 

Being false does not mean one is being immoral. They are just ideas, concepts that are created. It's what people do with those concepts, the actions in their interactions with others that are moral or immoral.

 

As for the absolute values proceeding from God...Christians talk of the eternally-proceeding from the reality of God...some theologians say that God doesn't merely exist...he is the ground of ALL being.

 

Which is pure naked assertion.

 

Values are not and cannot be absolute. Values are subjective to each person. We choose the values that we hold and we choose the morals that we hold to.

 

Just because some moral values are logical does not mean they are absolute.

 

I say that by observing the absolute nature of moral values, that we can infer that there is an absolute value giver.

 

Even if it were true that moral values exist, why should we infer that there is an absolute value giver any more than there is a logical law giver?

 

If they are absolute then they exist necessarily and require nobody to create them.

 

2. Self-worth...

 

JBallard:

I understand that you don't particularly care for the Biblical understanding of sin...but it is not only humans with the inherent death problem that can fall into pride. After all, Lucifer was a created angel...who was described as "perfect in beauty and wisdom" who decided that he was worthy of praise. His beauty and wisdom was given to him by God...and his focus should have remained on God...If you love God...then a passive and latent function will be a love of his creation, which should be structured with God as number one...others as number two...and self as bottom of the three. As God is lifted up...the other two are drawn up as well, depending on how well the others reflect the character of God.

 

Pride is not inherently evil in and of itself either. To state that we shouldn't take joy in what we do is pure nonsense.

 

Surely you don't expect me to accept the idea of a story (regardless of its origins) that has such incoherency?

 

An angel described as "perfect in beauty and wisdom" who does not have the wisdom to see that it would be unwise to challenge God?

 

Anyways, not only do I not accept the idea of Christianity but I consider it immoral to state that we are to sacrifice oneself for others.

 

3. Self-causation and immutability.

 

Historical evidence for the resurrection is carried by the FACT that Jesus is not a mythological being. Jesus DID live, teach and was executed under Roman rule.

 

And here comes in a pointed predictable issue with Christians of nearly all walks of life.

 

There is no historical evidence for the resurrection. Jesus is a mythological being, there is no evidence that he lived, taught or was executed.

 

We have secular Roman sources as well as Non-Christian sources that state that Jesus existed and taught a type of "philosophy" (the Romans didn't call it a religion because it did not affirm the Roman Pantheonic structures, and it was called a "philosophy" because it affirmed moral shift, rather than simply ritual sacrifice).

 

No Roman Sources or Non-Christian sources contemporary to Jesus' time affirms his existence of his execution or his resurrection.

 

The fact of the resurrection is shown with analysis of the dramatic transformation of the Apostles...from cowering in a locked room after Jesus' execution, to those that were prepared to die preaching the resurrection of Jesus...most people will die for something they THINK to be true...but not many people will die for something they KNOW NOT to be true. There is more evidence available...but I'll let you assess that first.

 

All is required for people to become zealots is that they believe that something is true, and usually that belief contains no thinking.

 

You are analysing a story with no historical merit.

 

4. The essence of immorality….a broken soul.

 

JBallard:

well, I say that it ISN'T a false premise....the existence of the soul is something that simply cannot be adressed within a strict methodologically naturalistic worldview. So unless you are prepared to step beyond that...then we can't really talk about metaphysics can we? Except for the niggling little fact that Morality is a metaphysical reality that cannot be "scientifically" tested. You cannot "touch" morality...you cannot "weigh" morality. Yet it exists.

 

Where did I state that I am strictly scientific in my thinking? It is your own misrepresentation of my position that would cause you to think that and nothing I said.

 

Morality is an abstract created to apply to reality, it exists only as a concept. Are you willing to admit that the soul is nothing more than a concept? That I would agree with.

 

I doubt you are stating that the soul is abstract, but that it contains existence. However, you have nothing to suggest that a soul exists, so unless you are willing to demonstrate its existence...

 

a. Create a problem. demonstrate the problem by observation of evil

b. Convince people that they have this problem. as G.K. Chesterton once said..."original sin is the only philosophy that has been most empirically demonstrated over the last 3500 odd years of history

c. Offer a solution to the problem. only if there is one available

 

Evil does not indicate the problem that Christianity states. I dont' care what GK Chesterton once said, it is irrelevant.

 

can you show me that you haven't simply done the same with my philosophy? The knife cuts both ways.

 

I have no idea what you are talking about, please explain.

 

5. You are right...Oughts do not imply design and purpose....but Design and purpose implies Oughts.

 

JBallard:

my observation of metaphysical realities such as "love", "justice", "relationship" and "moral values" implores me to look for the origin of such absolute values. I posit that no matter how many levels these values may be filtered through...the ultimate end is the expression of an eternal God...not exactly proof...but a demonstration

 

How does it demonstrate God? So far you've stated that concepts such as love, justice, relationships and ethics is the expression of a God, but where is the connection? How is this demonstration logical/rational, even if it's not evidenced?

 

6. But even if you must retain parental pro-creation...take it all the way back to the first parents...who pro-created them?

 

remember that we were talking about consciousness...not necessarily physical bodies. The point was that your consciousness once did not exist...who created your consciousness? After all, we could solipsistically deny that we even have bodies.

 

I see no dichotomy between body and mind, the consciousness is the ability to form concepts from sensory perception.

 

Nobody created my consciousness, it's the sum total of the aspects of my body that allow me to interact with reality and to know things.

 

7 and 8: Contractarianism -

 

JBallard:

I'm going back to the idea of multiple societies that have to interact with each other. There IS evidential conflict with multiple societies having different value structures...

 

So? Culture clash is problematic, but the creation of a global economy necessitates the agreements of similar values that will create mutual benefit.

 

Contractarianism is only workable in a society that has minimal government involvement except as a mediator and police.

 

Even internally, you cannot expect positive moral change...remember...if social contract has deemed what is acceptable...then any attempt to change the social contract is unacceptable. The change is immoral, whether positive or negative...(i.e. Racism and civil rights or even in current discourse...Homosexual marraige rights)

 

You misunderstand the idea of contractarianism. It doesn't deem was is acceptable or unacceptable.

 

We are talking about business contracts (exhanging a service for another service or a monetary investment for a service) and relational contracts (exchange of emotional values). There are no "social contracts" which state "this is acceptable" and "this is not". That is the complete antithesis to contractarianism which states that people have societal rights that, as trading partners, we should respect those rights in order to mutually benefit from each other as trading partners.

 

It also assumes that people want to look out for the needs of others...it also implies that people SHOULD want to look out for the needs of the group.

 

No it doesn't, it states that we have no obligation to look out for the needs of others and that our primary concern should be our own life.

 

You're talking about Communism and Socialism...again, you have no idea what you're talking about in regards to my belief system.

 

9. I've already seen evidence of that in these forums...

 

I suppose at this point, it is almost a cliche to say that the values that God places on religion and ritual are virtually nil. It is the Christian assertion that God exists eternally in peri-choretic communion of perfect love. The pain that religion causes is usually related to broken people fallibly trying to relate the love of God to people. The failure of religion is not the failure of God. Religion is a vehicle for humans to connect with God. The question is whether the vehicle is acceptable to God or not.

 

The question is "Does God exist?". I was simply stating what you have observed has nothing to do with any actual God, since no actual God exists. It is the religion that they speak of and the symbols that represent those religions.

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I've not been paying any attention to the other thread, but generally speaking it is almost always inappropriate to take a PM and publicize it without gaining permission from the sender first. Otherwise, why call them PRIVATE messages?

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I've not been paying any attention to the other thread, but generally speaking it is almost always inappropriate to take a PM and publicize it without gaining permission from the sender first. Otherwise, why call them PRIVATE messages?

 

 

Ok, I realise that so there's no need to keep posting about it.

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