Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Proof That God Exists (Followup) - Absolute Moral Law

In my previous post I examined in detail a supposed proof of God. There's so much wrong with it, my mind is still reeling, and I have plenty of followup points to discuss.

In today's episode of "WTF?!?™", I am going to dive deeper into the "Molesting children for fun is absolutely morally wrong" option from Step 4, and explain how this line of thinking is bogus.

Creationists can be incredibly deceptive and manipulative, utilizing any tactic available, so long as you hugz teh Jesus. This section is an example of just that.

I'll be repeating some stuff here from the previous post, but I think it's necessary for full context.

Topic

To recap, Step 4 asks two questions regarding what you think about "Absolute Moral Laws":
  1. Absolute Moral Laws Exist
  2. Absolute Moral Laws Do Not Exist
Well, if you choose #2, you get the additional options for a followup question.
  1. Molesting children for fun is absolutely morally wrong
  2. Molesting children for fun is not absolutely morally wrong

It's a loaded question

If you're asked the question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?", and are only allowed the options "Yes" or "No", there's no way to win at the question - you beat your wife, one way or another.

Similarly, this setup of a question is forcing you down a road in a manipulative fashion.

The implication is that if you select #2, molesting children for fun is not absolutely morally wrong - you are essentially saying that there are cases where it's okay.

You aren't allowed to disagree with the premise of the question without coming across as a horrible monster.

Do Absolute Moral Laws exist?

I argue that it doesn't. Let me put it this way - this is how I would answer the question if it was open-ended:
I believe that molesting children is always wrong, but it's not an absolute moral law.
These apologists would be completely baffled by this statement, but I'll explain.

1) They're equivocating objective physical laws with subjective opinions they're labeling "laws"

They're essentially asserting that, like gravity as a law of physics always applies, there's some "law" that says child rape is always wrong that's an intrinsic mechanism of the universe. If you don't agree with this, you're apparently a horribly person.

Our species values minimizing harm, which is why child rape is wrong. That, however, is relative to our species, and emerges out of evolution. Social species fail if the members don't get along, and harm is the antithesis to cooperation (very brief synopsis of Secular Morality here).

As a social species, child rape will always be wrong, and the members will believe that child rape is always wrong always everywhere. The values to make that assessment is relative to our species.

The apologists' objection is typically that we could decide tomorrow that child rape is okay, but that's simply not the case. Child rape would still be harmful, and as a social species, we'll still conclude it's wrong. Morality isn't a question of decree, but rather an objective assessment of how well the goals (in our case, happiness, liberty and prosperity, etc) are accomplished. If the moral rules aren't working, they're upgraded.

Another species that has a fundamentally different base for existence might not have the same core values as us, and might not regard child rape as wrong. We would, but they might not.

In this regard, there cannot be an "absolute moral law", because it's not true everywhere. It'd be like saying that gravity works here on Earth, but not on Venus.

I find the secular morality explanation much more cogent because it doesn't rely on mere declarations by invisible people.

This is why I could, at the same time, believe there are no absolute moral laws, at the same time I believe there are no instances where child rape isn't immoral. They're trying to trick you into agreeing with their premise through emotional and definition manipulation.

2) Why would these Absolute Laws be correct?

Yes, I'm bringing up the Euthyphro Dilemma
  1. Is it moral because God said so, or establishes it some way?
  2. Or, is it moral, and God is simply relaying that information to us?
If it's #1, it's arbitrary. That means God could declare tomorrow that child rape is moral, and it would be. All we've done is relocated the problem of subjective morality from us humans to one supernatural being.

If it's #2, then God isn't the source. We can all go home because the apologist argument crumbles. There's an objective morality and we're thus capable of eventually figuring it out.

Of course, they have a third option - "It's God's nature to be good", which is really just #1 again, without God verbally declaring anything. At that point, it really isn't morality anymore. It's adherence to a standard. We're still left with the the basic question - "Why is child rape bad? Because we're following the lead of some entity?" They've only pushed back the problem by one step.

In regards to presuppositionalist arguments for morality, this is how they fail. They say that naturalism cannot account for morality, therefore their assertion of God-source wins by default. The problem is that their assertion fails too, as it's logically invalid.

3) Christian morality is not absolute

Even within the Bible, morality shifts. The God of the old testament is a murderous genocidal maniac. In the New Testament, he's a bit better, and is more about love and hugs and stuff. Slavery is never rejected in the Bible. At no point does it say it's bad. Looky what the New Testament had to say below:

1 Timothy 6:1-3 (ESV)
1 Timothy 6:1-3 (ESV)
This is in the New Testament. Commands to "don't own people" are clearly absent. Yet, most modern Christians are opposed to slavery as morally wrong. Why is the Bible so clear on the sins of homosexuality, but not on owning people? The moral question of slavery is probably the single easiest to answer in existence, and the Bible fails miserably.

It's not absolute then, is it, since it's clearly been changing?

Many Christians will try to dismiss the issue because "it was a different time back then", or "they had to be morally educated over time", etc. Do you know what they're doing here, with these rationalizations?

They're using Moral Relativism.


It's now based on contexts and situations, and isn't just an "Absolute Moral Law".

Hell, most of the time, they're making up different contexts in which it's okay to kill others. They'll say "well the Bible meant thou shalt not murder, not kill". Murder is when you illegally kill someone (or something), which is entirely relative to the legislation of the society at the time. So, still relative.

Conclusion

In short, not only is the sequence of questions of that website deceptive and manipulative, but even if you agree with them, Christianity cannot possibly account for Absolute Moral Law, if such a thing could even be established to exist at all.


And no, asking a deceptively loaded question doesn't establish Absolute Moral Law. That's what we call lying.

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