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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Origen

The Moral Argument

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This argument is very often misunderstood by both non-believers and believers. The argument does attempt to prove that non-believers cannot be moral. Non-believers can be just as moral as believers (but in my opinion that is not saying much). Rather the moral argument seek to demonstrate that objective moral values are do not exist unless there is an object moral standard, namely God.

 

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Is a rock morally good or bad when it provides a perch for a turtle to warm itself? If there is no God, then we are like that rock, just a chance collections of atoms mechanistically following physical laws. I agree, without God, there is no good or bad. Is an Atheist good when he rescues a cat from a tree? From the perspective consistent with Atheism, the Atheist is being neither good or bad.

 

Unlike the video, I think it's fair to ask can an Atheist be good without God? I say "no." It's not goodness that led him to rescue a cat from a tree. Maybe he rescued the cat because he's squeamish (like someone who does't want to gut a fish that's already dead, but will gladly eat it), and he wouldn't care at all about a cat in the tree unless he actually sees it there. Maybe he's making a philosophical statement about cats and people being the same (we'd rescue a person, so he'll rescue a cat to spite us). Mostly, I think it's utilitarian. He wants us to think he's a good person (so we'll do "good" to him) and he wants us to rescue his cat if his cat is stuck in a tree (doing "good" to him). But, if it is goodness that led him to rescue that cat, I submit that he's not really a complete Atheist in his worldview, but has been influenced by the non-Atheist culture. Rescuing the cat is just the customary thing to do. For example, most Atheists (and their close relatives, Christian Liberals) use to not promote SSM because SSM by itself is pointless. But, once SSM became another excuse to oppress Christians, they jumped on board SSM. (E.g. late movie critic and Atheist Roger Ebert commented, "The first time I heard gay marriage mentioned, I was incredulous..." but then he jumped on board SSM with both feet)

 

For an Atheist rescuing a cat in a tree, he's no more good than a cat catching a mouse is a bad cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Cornelius

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Even if there are some atheist whos motives are utilitarian, according to their own thinking, no one can deny that there are atheist who are moral. They don't steal, they don't murder, etc. And more often than not, I have found that they appeal to objective moral standard. As C.S. Lewis puts it:

 

But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining "It’s not fair" before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter; but then, next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong--in other words, if there is no Law of Nature--what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature just like anyone else?

 

The moral argument, if it proves anything, proves that no one, not even an atheist can actually live as if there are no object moral values. I think that is the force of the moral argument. They may claim that they don't live by any object moral standard but in reality they do even if they don't admit it. And since there are objective moral values, and simply because they deny it but yet still live as if there are, it points to an object moral standard, namely God.

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Morality as defined by man is different from morality as defined by God. Most people lie. Most people hate their enemies. There are many things which God hates that people do or are which we wouldn't know about if we didn't know the laws of God to guide us. So by human standards though an unbeliever might appear to be good, there'll be some darkness in him which humans may not see but God will.

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Humans appealing to 'good' without being based on a universal standard--the law of nature so to speak--the appeal of 'goodness' is merely subjective. It is based upon the 'goodness' or 'evil' of the people around them. By such logic, all things are relative to the time and place. But people don't live that way. They live with objective truths: murder is always wrong, lying is evil, etc. So in reality, they are living in their subjective denial of objective reality.

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Humans appealing to 'good' without being based on a universal standard--the law of nature so to speak--the appeal of 'goodness' is merely subjective. It is based upon the 'goodness' or 'evil' of the people around them. By such logic, all things are relative to the time and place. But people don't live that way. They live with objective truths: murder is always wrong, lying is evil, etc. So in reality, they are living in their subjective denial of objective reality.
So true.

 

 

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I don't think you have to be a believer of a certain religion to "do the right thing". It's not even a matter of theology, to be honest. It's just humans being humans, and God has nothing to do with it. It's more about people doing things to other people, and even if the person is a non-believer, if he does the right thing, who are we to judge about his lack of faith? I'm sure God would even welcome it, as you really don't need to believe in a divine power or eternal damnation after death to make your daily life filled with helping other people around you. So no, I disagree that you have to be religious to be moral. Lots of religious people I know are the worst of sinners, especially those who go to mass every Sunday. Having faith does not immediately mean that you are good, and being good doesn't immediately mean that you are religious.

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I don't think you have to be a believer of a certain religion to "do the right thing". It's not even a matter of theology, to be honest. It's just humans being humans, and God has nothing to do with it. It's more about people doing things to other people, and even if the person is a non-believer, if he does the right thing, who are we to judge about his lack of faith? I'm sure God would even welcome it, as you really don't need to believe in a divine power or eternal damnation after death to make your daily life filled with helping other people around you. So no, I disagree that you have to be religious to be moral. Lots of religious people I know are the worst of sinners, especially those who go to mass every Sunday. Having faith does not immediately mean that you are good, and being good doesn't immediately mean that you are religious.
The moral argument concerns the foundation for morality. The argument does not can claim that atheist or non-believers cannot act ethically. The argument points out that without God there is no basis for morality. In other words, without God morals are purely subjective.

 

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The moral argument concerns the foundation for morality. The argument does not can claim that atheist or non-believers cannot act ethically. The argument points out that without God there is no basis for morality. In other words, without God morals are purely subjective.

 

There exists a sub-culture that does, in fact, embrace that logic. Hand in hand with the erroneous conclusion that there is no God, comes an acceptance that there is no objective morality. Nihilism becomes more than a philosophy, it becomes a self-destructive lifestyle.

 

Living in in a world of sheep, who none the less empower wolves to deal harshly with such threats, we borrowed a page from the sociopaths and learned to paint a smiley face upon our amorality. We lived with no expectation of "fair" or "just". We offered no loyalty except "tit for tat". It was, and remains, a cold, dark, harsh world that quickly spirals into the darkness.

 

It is from this that God snatched me. So it does exist ... and thank God it is as rare as it is.

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There exists a sub-culture that does, in fact, embrace that logic. Hand in hand with the erroneous conclusion that there is no God, comes an acceptance that there is no objective morality.
No doubt there is. The problem is no one can consistently live out that philosophy. The moral argument, if it proves anything, proves that no one, not even an atheist can actually live as if there are no object moral values.

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No doubt there is. The problem is no one can consistently live out that philosophy. The moral argument, if it proves anything, proves that no one, not even an atheist can actually live as if there are no object moral values.

 

It becomes easier if you start at 16 and are dead before 21. :(

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It becomes easier if you start at 16 and are dead before 21. :(
Man you are on a roll.

 

 

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