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  #1261  
Old 21st March 2017, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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  #1262  
Old 21st March 2017, 08:38 AM
ptutt ptutt is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

Quote:
stevebrooks said View Post
Don't know what exactly you find scary, but your comparing a rock, that can only react to physical changes in keeping with the physics of that process doesn't really have any similarity to a person.

Unfortunately your ii) doesn't take into account god, who already knows everything that has ever happened and is going to happen. In that scenario you don't have free will, you are always going to do what god knows you are going to do whether you think you are exerting free will or not!

In scenario ii) how can you be held responsible for actions that are going to happen regardless of your illusion of free will?
The person and rock are the same in that their actions are fully determined by their physical characteristics and environment. The causal chain is fully contained and unbroken since creation.

Knowledge of what will happen does not mean God causes it to happen. God possesses knowledge of the free choices people will make.

I may know a person will choose a million dollars over a pile of rubbish, but my knowledge does not cause them to act in accordance with my knowledge. Goldenmane countered this by saying something like you don't really know....you just have reasonable expectation. That is true, but only because I dont have all knowledge...but God does therefore he can know. Even so, I still see no reason for knowledge of future events to necessarily mean those events are then caused by the one with that knowledge.
  #1263  
Old 21st March 2017, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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ptutt said View Post
I just wanted to confirm if you wanted to hold to the view that morality has improved. Thanks.
Yes I do.

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ptutt said View Post
Note here, you are trying to support your case by asking for my agreement. I am asking you to support your case from first principles. How do you know it has improved? How do you evaluate improvement? How do you measure the goodness of morality?
The "first principle" I am relying on is that knowledge changes and decisions on how to behave in a certain circumstance must be based on all that knowledge. You seem to think it is self-evident that we can discard all of our collective knowledge based on some "objective" moral standard. Your position refuses to acknowledge that knowledge changes over time and therefore so do morals.

Sigh. I’m just repeating myself now, because you are refusing to see the most important point. Hint: The most important point is the bit in bold below.
I do not accept that you need to measure it against some arbitrary manufactured morality from a very long time ago. We judge morality against the knowledge of the day, as we have more knowledge available to us with each passing day. Which means there is no objective morality. It’s not difficult, ptutt. That is, it's not difficult if you are not trying to import a god concept into it.

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ptutt said View Post
Not quote mining, I was just too lazy to type the codes for italics. Sorry about that.
Apology noted, but it was quote mining, even without the italics, because you did not quote the whole comment. Which means you did not apply my reference to the knowledge we have gathered over time. You focused solely on "wisdom", not "collective wisdom of tens of thousands of years of information and understanding".

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ptutt said View Post
You say “The collective wisdom of tens of thousands of years of information and understanding.” How is that a measure? Please demonstrate how you use it to evaluate the 'goodness' of an action.
See the bolded bit above and the seizure example below.


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ptutt said View Post
Actually, if you review my question and your response you would see that your answer, was not an answer to my question.
Yeah I did answer your question. I can't help it if you don't like my answer. See below for yet another example.

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ptutt said View Post
I stated "Good and bad have to do with intent/purpose. To decide if something is good/bad we first need to determine what we are trying to achieve."
Agreed. And that is based on the knowledge we have available to us at the time. For example, Jesus thought someone was possessed. He was probably just having a seizure, as we now know things. The moral thing to do at the time was to try and exorcise the demon. The moral thing to do today is to put the seizing person in the recovery position and to seek medical assistance. Not difficult to see how knowledge improves the outcome is it?

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ptutt said View Post
I then used the example to demonstrate that when purpose is subjective, how can one person say that another's actions are wrong if they don't hold to the same intent or purpose of particular actions.
Through the application of knowledge. Example: A car is neither moral nor amoral. It is how the car is used by a human that makes it moral or amoral. If you transport the seizing person to hospital or a doctor, you are acting for the good of that person. If you run them over, your act is immoral.

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ptutt said View Post
I ended my example with "So the problem is if purpose is arbitrarily assigned, even if useful one cannot say to another that what they are doing is wrong if they have arbitrarily assigned a different purpose.
You should understand this problem if you answered my question from my previous post, which you ignored. That question was:

Quote:
I think the fact that humans now understand that slavery, raping your enemies' daughters and killing children in the name of religion are immoral means morality has improved. Don't you?
If you agree with me is the whole point. If you agree with me then your premise is disproved. If you do not agree with me then you had better explain yourself.

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ptutt said View Post
The point you made seemed to be that behaviours that promote greater survival prevail. From what I can tell this has nothing to do with my questions you claim to have answered.
"promoting greater survival" was an example. Written within the context of your problem. It was not meant to be an exhaustive response. Are you not capable of extrapolating that example into other scenarios? Reducing suffering = good. Reducing harm to others = good. Not punishing the innocent = good. Not destroying the planet = good. Etc etc And they all = good because of what we as a species have learned over tens of thousands of years.

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ptutt said View Post
Suggestion respectfully denied
Readers of this discussion will see the errors here.

Next, for future reference, please take it as a given that if I say “for example” I mean “for example”. I do not mean “this is the only reason for this idea”.

Finally, please give me an example of how you judge the good of something, from your "objective" moral standard.
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Last edited by Stubby; 21st March 2017 at 11:46 AM.
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  #1264  
Old 21st March 2017, 11:44 AM
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The Irreverent Mr Black The Irreverent Mr Black is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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[God possesses knowledge of the free choices people will make.
There are two main streams of thought on the predestination thing: Calvinist and Arminian.

Calvinism: God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass." Westminster Confession of Faith, III.1

Arminianism - (huge lift of 5 Articles of Remonstrance from the Wackypedia here):
  • Salvation (and condemnation on the day of judgment) was conditioned by the graciously-enabled faith (or unbelief) of man;
  • The Atonement is qualitatively adequate for all men, "yet that no one actually enjoys [experiences] this forgiveness of sins, except the believer ..." and thus is limited to only those who trust in Christ;
  • "That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will," and unaided by the Holy Spirit, no person is able to respond to God's will;
  • The (Christian) grace "of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of any good," yet man may resist the Holy Spirit; and
  • Believers are able to resist sin through grace, and Christ will keep them from falling; but whether they are beyond the possibility of ultimately forsaking God or "becoming devoid of grace ... must be more particularly determined from the Scriptures."
Now the Calvinists have to live with the idea of a god allowing people to come into existence, fully aware they are already irrevocably damned, and the Arminians have a god who is weaker than the will of a human.

Where do you stand, Ptutt?
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  #1265  
Old 21st March 2017, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

ptutt, because this is still outstanding:

Please provide evidence that god has caused every human death.
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  #1266  
Old 21st March 2017, 12:34 PM
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Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

ptutt wrote:-

Quote:
I have had a sense of God's presence and who God is.
First of all, I am going to accept this claim as a true report of what you believe. Second, I accept your claim that you came to this conclusion at an early age, about 5 years old as you say.

The first and obvious question is that, in feeling something, can you remember what made you feel that? How did you identify the phenomenon or experience or feeling as the presence of god? And I also want you to share with us how you understand what god is, or who he is. I know this is a difficult ask to cast your mind back to so long ago, but if you like you can give your current impressions of who god is, and how you feel his presence.

Quote:
My nature is to always question. Question everything. I annoy people because they think I don't trust their knowledge, but I just seek to understand and I continue to prod until I do.
.

A good notion. With that in mind, have you ever looked for alternative explanations for what you believe god to be. The experiences you had that led your to believe the presence of god. Is that fair enough?

The human brain is a funny thing though. The human brain is fallible. As individuals we sometimes get things wrong. As groups we can get things wrong. Even in science, we can get things wrong. In law, eyewitness testimony has often been proven to be wrong. A person picked out in a police-line-up was found not to be in the state when the murder was committed, or the DNA evidence didn't match, or both. No matter how meticulous the investigation, whether it be in law or science, we get it wrong sometimes. In law and in science, various methods and procedures have evolved to try to minimise the risk of being wrong. Advances in techniques can help as we can see in this story I have linked to below, about scientists originally believing the human chromosome number was 48, and the eventual confirmation that the correct number was in fact 46 chromosomes:-

http://www.nature.com/scitable/conte...-a-brief-15575

So getting the correct information can be quite a challenge. But it is not only about getting the correct information, but having justifiable confidence that the information we do acquire is reliable.

As we saw from the human chromosome story, humans can get it wrong, even adults, and even with the best scientific training and methods of the period. Humans are highly suggestible, as we have seen in mistaken eyewitness testimonies in law, and even in science. Truth is hard-won, and even then there is always a little bit of doubt. In fact, there are good epistemological arguments to suggest that absolute truths are unobtainable.

So all we can do is try the best we can to find out what is probably true. In science we construct hypotheses with the specific aim of trying to prove that they are NOT true. If such ideas survive the test of evidence, especially contrary evidence then we conclude they are scientifically true. But that just means that such truths are only good until the next experiment or observation. In effect, they are "working truths" -information deemed useful unless or until they are proved incorrect in the future.

Now we come to your younger self, the five year old boy. First, I am going to assume that you were brighter than average in intelligence. true or not, it would have little bearing on what I am going to say next. Simply this, as a child you would not have the knowledge and skills of an adult crime investigator, or lawyer, nor would you have had the skills and training of an experienced scientist. Do you agree?

If so, then you must concede that how ever true an experience feels, whether one is adult or child, it does not necessarily mean that experience was interpreted correctly.

In short, although I have accepted that you reported your feelings and notions and experiences as a young child truthfully, the content, the interpretation, and beliefs surrounding your experience are highly questionable in terms of you knowing god, or that god even exists.

I know you want to believe god exists, and that might be influencing your judgement.

Quote:
In my early 20's I saw the futility of life as it laid before me and sort deeper meaning and purpose and decided I should go to church.
Fair enough. But I don't seek meaning or purpose to life. Why then, do I not kill myself? As an atheist who happens to believe that there is no given meaning or purpose to life, how do I get up in the morning? Or to put it another way, if I assume no purpose to life, no meaning to life, how come I don't collapse in despair?

First, as an adult, and in the [assumed] absence of a god-parent, the buck stops with me. My behaviour or misbehaviour is entirely my responsibility. I live in a society with laws, which contain me not to do certain things, so in practical terms I do not have complete freedom to do what I like, or at least, if I do something bad, then I am likely to be punished by the law.

But in addition, I have a personal ethics. I would not murder for example. But it is not primarily the law that prevents me from committing such a crime [nor as you will probably agree, is fear of god stopping me either].

No the reason is ordinary human feeling. As a human I have a theory of mind [in fact many non-human animals do], so I can understand pain and suffering and grief from my own experiences, so why should I make another person suffer or die? And all this, my theory of mind, my cognition, my empathy for others, is all explained by evolutionary theory.

But as a cognitive and empathetic being, I can assign my own meaning and purpose to life. For example, I love to teach, and although retired now, taught at university. Second I have family and friends to love, and that too, is both explainable by biology and gives further meaning and purpose to life.

As to god, I can only reply in the manner of Pierre-Simon Laplace:-

"Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là."

[I have no need of that hypothesis].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Simon_Laplace
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  #1267  
Old 21st March 2017, 01:00 PM
stevebrooks stevebrooks is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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ptutt said View Post
The person and rock are the same in that their actions are fully determined by their physical characteristics and environment. The causal chain is fully contained and unbroken since creation.

Knowledge of what will happen does not mean God causes it to happen. God possesses knowledge of the free choices people will make.
Really? Knowledge of what will happen, given that he/she has the power to change things (apparently, he/she is all powerful) means that everything that happens only happens because god lets it happen. if you claim the causal chain is unbroken since creation, and that therefore we have no choice in what happens, how then do we have free will.

This subject has been discussed to death, you are doing a particularly bad job of it, given that god exists everything happens because of god, of course god causes everything to happen, otherwise why bother with a god at all?

Apparently not only does morality change, so does god, this is not the god
of the isrealites we are discussing obviously, when did you decide which version of god was real?
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  #1268  
Old 21st March 2017, 01:33 PM
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wearestardust wearestardust is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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ptutt said View Post
I'm not sure of the implied link between:

"because I believe that all sorts of things exist due to my direct experience of them..."

And

"... then therefore one can just think whatever one wants"

Are you effectively saying that personal experience should not automatically trump other forms of evidence? I would agree with that.
No you don't agree with that because you are insisting that your feels are sufficient grounds for god belief, with all the unpleasantness and awfulness that entails.

Unpleasantness and awfulness? But you're a nice guy?

Well, others, and particularly DB, have tried very hard to cover off some epistemological issues.

But for me it comes down to this.

You believe because feels? So do those men in ISIS who cut off people's heads, slowly. What's the difference between you and them? Well, we can't say. That's DB's point about the feels being unable to be evaluated.
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  #1269  
Old 21st March 2017, 01:43 PM
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wearestardust wearestardust is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

And on god sees but does not act. This is at variance from usual norms of ethics. If I see something bad happening near me and I can influence it, then I have at least some moral obligation to do something.

Say I saw someone needing immediate medical assistance related to drug use. At the very least it would be a virtue to call for medical help. More strongly, I think it would be reasonable to say there would be an expectation on me to do so if I could. For me to say, 'I am not calling for assistance, I am just going to watch them, because free will', would reasonably be considered to be monstrous.

The easier and more cheaply assistance can be given, then one might think the greater the obligation to do something. Nothing, of course, is cheaper and easier than the actions of a putatively omniscient and omnipowerful being.

But god gets the 'but free will' excuse? If one wants to stick to that, then that is special pleading.

(incidentally: actually happened to me once. And yes I did call the Ambos).
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  #1270  
Old 21st March 2017, 01:45 PM
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The Irreverent Mr Black The Irreverent Mr Black is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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wearestardust said View Post
(Brevity Bris done by Black)
You believe because feels?
Good Colleague WAS, you have spoilerised the punchline of all that guff I will be posting from my notes-for-the-book.

In short, my Feels were actually Mentally Ills.

The glow was the same, the lucky happenings fed the confirmation bias equally tastily, and the bad happenings and inconsistencies were lost in the rosy glow.

It was all going swimmingly until I got better.
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