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Sources of Ethics and Morality


Bravus

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I have nothing against Shane or Gerry personally, but they demonstrates how nice people can hold horrendous ethical beliefs.

I don't think they are nice at all because if they have truly accept this type of god they have assumed those self-same characteristics. Scary!

Rob

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God cannot break His own ethics and rules. If He did then they would cease to be His ethics and rules. God does not have one set of rules for Himself and another for humanity.

God claims to be a just God and gives out justice to the innocent. When this God orders Israel to kill every man, women, child, fish, bird, and any other animal, this is clear evidence that this God has no interest in justice.

How can a child be guilty of the death penalty?

How can a fish be guilty of death?

How can this God instruct his people to participate in full scale violence?

There are so many problems with this that it is impossible to keep God from being declared a murderer of children and the innocent.

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Job was speaking of his self-righteous boasting

we've been through this many times, Robert. Your position contradicts the very words God says in the book of Job.

Your position makes no sense! God smites Job just to prove Satan wrong? Please, what arrogance. God let Job's family be wiped out just to prove Satan wrong? No, you got it wrong. Why? You have God wrong.

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Originally Posted By: Shane
Consider Job's reflections about questioning God's judgment.

"I uttered that which I understood not, Things too wonderful for me, which I knew not."

Way off context! Job was speaking of his self-righteous boasting

Rob

"If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse." (Job 9:20)

That doesn't sound like a self-righteous guy to me. Job's offense was questioning the motives of God in what he believed to be a punishment from God. At least that is how my Bible reads.

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Job was speaking of his self-righteous boasting

we've been through this many times, Robert. Your position contradicts the very words God says in the book of Job.

Exactly. Not only God but the narrator. We are told in the very first verse that Job was a blameless and just man. If Job wasn't, we have a narrator who is unreliable.

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There are so many problems with this that it is impossible to keep God from being declared a murderer of children and the innocent.

Some people cannot understand some things.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14)

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When this God orders Israel to kill every man, women, child, fish, bird, and any other animal, this is clear evidence that this God has no interest in justice.

We're back to square one. Would this be <your> definition of justice? And if so, why should I accept it? Or are you appealing to a "universal" concept of justice?

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Your position makes no sense! God smites Job just to prove Satan wrong? Please, what arrogance. God let Job's family be wiped out just to prove Satan wrong? No, you got it wrong. Why? You have God wrong.

Here's the pertinent text:

"JOb1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

Since the word translated "LORD" is the personal name of God, "YHWH," your position has a fundamental problem. If you hold the Bible to be inspired, then the narrator was faithfully reporting what God, in fact, said. Indeed, if God did not reveal this little tidbit, how else did it come to be recorded? Did the author of Job have a spy in the room? You have to "play the ball where it lies," Robert. You can't just put it where you want it to be.

Until you can explain how Job brainwashed God into telling Job's "lie," you might as well give it a rest. Your position is like a wham sandwich without the wham. Or the bread. Or the mayonnaise. To wit: you got nuttin'

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When this God orders Israel to kill every man, women, child, fish, bird, and any other animal, this is clear evidence that this God has no interest in justice.

We're back to square one. Would this be <your> definition of justice? And if so, why should I accept it? Or are you appealing to a "universal" concept of justice?

This was from another line of reasoning. This statement implies that God is inconsistent with his own definition of justice.

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Originally Posted By: cardw

There are so many problems with this that it is impossible to keep God from being declared a murderer of children and the innocent.

Some people cannot understand some things.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14)

Shane, now you're simply being lazy.

What you are doing is when the questions get tough you pull out the old natural man can't understand the things of Spirit. This means that no matter how moronic the reasoning, its still must be right because this is how you read the Bible.

This is a cop out.

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I guess, my point is that your view of morality should derive from something.

It can derive from a choice of the goal of morality, but I don't believe there is a method to determine if morality comes from the god of the Bible or any god for that matter. I think it can be demonstrated that the morality of the Bible came from tribal survival and while it may share some common conclusions about morality with many cultures, I see no evidence that the Bible presents a superior morality.

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Wouldn't it be more madness for a Judge not to redress injustices and not restraining rampant evil and suffering?

That's not what I'm talking about. Putting an innocent child to death simply because they are a member of a certain race would require that we visit upon God a redress of injustice. This is what you are ignoring and this is what is madness.

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I see no evidence that the Bible presents a superior morality.

Okay. Around the circle again.

On what basis would you decide what a "superior morality" was?

Using the Bible as a basis of morality demonstrates that it is not a superior morality. It doesn't even meet its own standards.

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Is it, then, possible to imagine a new Natural Philosophy, continually conscious that the `natural object' produced by analysis and abstraction is not reality but only a view, and always correcting the abstraction? I hardly know what I am asking for.

This Natural Philosophy, which I also suspect is there, is not evidence that the Bible contains a perfect manifestation of this Natural Philosophy, nor that the god of the bible is the origin of this Natural Philosophy. It could also exist because of thousands of years of analysis and abstraction by human beings and its hidden behind so many small modifications to human consciousness that consciousness itself is not aware of how it came to be.

Because I recognize a mystical order I am not a general atheist in that I am not willing to declare that there is no god period, but rather I have reasoned that agnostic is the closest to what I can claim to be true. And I suspect that what C.S. Lewis is describing here is simply another abstraction that sounds more like agnostic positions, rather than belief.

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Using the Bible as a basis of morality demonstrates that it is not a superior morality. It doesn't even meet its own standards.

How would you know if it was superior? ON what basis would you make that judgment?

Is consistency--"meets its own standards"-- what it takes to make a "superior morality"?

You throw around these terms, yet we don't know what standard you are appealing to. If it's just your own preferences, then they have no moral authority which anyone else is bound to respect.

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Using the Bible as a basis of morality demonstrates that it is not a superior morality. It doesn't even meet its own standards.

How would you know if it was superior? ON what basis would you make that judgment?

Is consistency--"meets its own standards"-- what it takes to make a "superior morality"?

You throw around these terms, yet we don't know what standard you are appealing to. If it's just your own preferences, then they have no moral authority which anyone else is bound to respect.

Well, since we aren't comparing the Bible to anything, we are basically playing the shell game I was talking about. It is impossible, beyond individual pain/pleasure, to determine a universal moral standard.

There are those who claim that the Bible is a perfect revelation of a superior moral standard. I think a standard that is not consistent with itself is not a standard at all. So the Bible is disqualified from being any standard. And this would be inferior to any other standard that was consistent with itself.

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Arrgh - please take this old discussion of Job to a new thread so we can get back on track with the topic of this one.

If we are going to question God's morality in a discussion onethics than we cannot exclude a discussion about Job.

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Originally Posted By: Shane

Some people cannot understand some things.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them' date=' because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14) [/quote']

Shane, now you're simply being lazy.

What you are doing is when the questions get tough you pull out the old natural man can't understand the things of Spirit. This means that no matter how moronic the reasoning, its still must be right because this is how you read the Bible.

This is a cop out.

Not at all. I use Biblical reasoning. It is logical and conclusive. However such logic falls on deaf ears to those that question the existence of God or the inspiration of the Bible.

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Originally Posted By: ichabod
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Job was speaking of his self-righteous boasting

we've been through this many times, Robert. Your position contradicts the very words God says in the book of Job.

Your position makes no sense! God smites Job just to prove Satan wrong? Please, what arrogance. God let Job's family be wiped out just to prove Satan wrong? No, you got it wrong. Why? You have God wrong.

Yes, the book of Job is very clear that God allowed Satan to do terrible things. God still allows Satan to do terrible things. They help to prove God's case because they demonstrate Satan's character and prove that God's way is best.

What do you think the whole great controversy is about? It's all about proving Satan wrong and God right. All of us are involved in this war. There's a battle over each one of us. God gives us an opportunity to show that God is in the right but we also have an opportunity to side with Satan.

The issues are much bigger than our individual lives. Whether God is proved right or not is far more important than our lives or even our personal salvation.

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It's an oversimplified position though that does not take into account lives of Job's children.

God does not need to prove himself right, if He is indeed a God. The purpose of this book was not to show that God needs to prove to Satan that his ways are wrong. But the purpose of the book is to show that God is all powerful, and does not derive His sense of justice from human view of "fairness".

From the "knowledge of the future" perspective... the suffering is for our own benefit of human experience. If God really wanted to create a world without suffering that would be the case.

Logically, you can't derive the origin of suffering from our ability to choose. Do you believe that we will have choices in Heaven? Of course we will. Sufering and "goodness" or "evil" does not originate with the agent of choice... but with creator of the agent.

Our minds are computers programmed to function in world of causes and effects. Our choices therefore are predetermined by the pre-existing information. To say otherwise is to make ourselves equal with God. Only the creator would have the "choice" in true meaning of the choice. What we have are the illusion of choices that we learn from as we progress in history.

At any rate, the free will is an illusion, because of the way our minds function, and the cause and effect history that we engage in. The moment you have made "the choice"... it has been pre-determined long ago.

For proponents of the "choices that we make". Consider the following. In Adventism we don't believe in a "soul" as an external spiritual side of man. Therefore we take it that all of the functions happen on physiological and biochemical level. Our bodies can trigger emotional states just like our brains can trigger states in body. Our memories are not stored in our "sole hard rives" that somehow survive death. Therefore all that happens in our minds depends on the physical environment that we are currently in that is set in motion by forces external of our immediate control. You can't control the amount of estrogen your body generates, just as you can't stop breathing on your own. Everything is caused by something else from the moment of conception, to the moment of death.

Therefore it is unreasonable to conclude that your choices are largely determined by the environment you are in and people that you come into contact with... because on physiological level... knowledge is simply rearranged cells in folds of your brain.

All of the new knowledge is filtered through pre-existing knowledge and determines the choices that you will make. You will not make choices outside of the knowledge of "morality" and "ethics" that you already have. If you view it ethical to save a man from dying you will. If you view it ethical to put the same man out of his misery.... you will do that. The simple knowledge of Biblical truths does not magically transform your brain and rid you of pre-existing knowledge... like many believe to happen.

Therefore, anything that was meant to happen... will happen, and you will participate in it, and learn from it.

I think that's point of the Book of Job if you read between the lines. Jobs suffering happened because it was meant to happen from the beginning. We are not creators... so we can't "create" choice... a change in history that is outside of realm of cause and effect. If our choices are caused by something, it is not a real CHOICE. It is simply an effect of something that caused us to move in certain direction. If there's no separation between mental and physical, then there's no separation between effect and "decision".

And there's no reason to be depressed about this. It simply means that God is trying to teach us something as our lives progress and we should try to learn from whatever comes our way.

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we are basically playing the shell game I was talking about. It is impossible, beyond individual pain/pleasure, to determine a universal moral standard.

So far, you are the one playing the 'shell game.' I can't get a single statement from you about where your notions of morality come from. You claim something is 'not superior' but without any criterion to validate that claim.

We've already eliminated pain as any sort of standard. Pleasure won't do either. So what's your standard? Consistency "inferior to any other standard that was consistent with itself."?

Nietschze's "will to power" is consistent. Everyone wills to power, we all duke it out, and whoever wins rules.

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