• TheMadFool
    2.4k
    I don't want to try to describe a complete set of ethics. I am open to examples of what is good and what is right. The question I would put to anyone is what basis do we have on atheism for believing that goodness and rightness have any meaning at all? On atheism, it seems me, we are just animals, and anything goes. You don't try to read morality into the animal world. For example, lions kill each other, mate with their relatives, and kill cubs when they take over a pride. However, no one is making a moral judgment that lions are bad, incestuous, child murderers, are they? Or take the example of child torture. Forgive the extreme example, but did you know that certain cultures practice ritual genital mutilation of children? On atheism, it seems to me, that these people are merely being taboo, but why believe that there is anything inherently wrong with that? Animals do all kinds of things that are taboo to us, so why believe that our morality is superior to theirs? To do so is to succumb to an unjustified bias about our own species. What makes us the seat of objective moral reality? On atheism, we are just an advanced species of primate that evolved relatively recently on a speck of dust called Earth, lost the vast ocean of a dying universe, and yet somehow, we are beset with delusions of moral grandeur. So that is premise (1) in a nutshell.cincPhil

    At first glance, it may look like atheism loses a very strong pillar of morality - divine authority. However, examine God and you'll see it's not really as strong as initially thought out to be (Euthyphro's dilemma). It seems that both theists and atheists are in the same boat.

    Premise (2) says, "But wait! Morality really is objective!" Is it wrong to torture a child? Any sane person knows the answer, and I would agree: "Of course it's wrong to torture a child!" We have an objective moral obligation to love children, and to protect them, not to hurt them. Is it wrong to rape, or may I "forcibly copulate" as the male great white shark does? Again, only an insane person would say "I forcibly copulate as the white shark does". Is it wrong to kill my fellow man? The chimpanzee does it. Why not his primate cousin, homo sapiens? Again, it seems obvious to any sane person that each of us has a binding, objective obligation to respect human life, and to not take it just because one feels like it. That is (2) in a nutshell.cincPhil

    Objective morality is something that appeals to me but your post implies that the universe, without humans, is amoral. So, doesn't this defeat your claim that there's an objective morality?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    I think we're at an impasse; I'm not arguing from atheism. Are you?
  • cincPhil
    20
    I didn't think you were, but I'll work on my communication skills for next time. Thanks for the challenge!
  • cincPhil
    20
    However, examine God and you'll see it's not really as strong as initially thought out to be (Euthyphro's dilemma). It seems that both theists and atheists are in the same boat.TheMadFool

    Please see my response to Thorongil...

    Also, I'm aware of the Euthyphro dilemma...cincPhil

    Objective morality is something that appeals to me but your post implies that the universe, without humans, is amoral. So, doesn't this defeat your claim that there's an objective morality?TheMadFool

    I'm not sure what led you to that conclusion. On the contrary, objective morality, if it exists, would be independent of humans beings. That's the definition of an objective reality. It's quite plausible to me that moral values could exist in a universe without human beings. Consider other objective realities, such as stars, planets, and cars, the world of physical objects, or truth. Certainly truth and planets could exist without humans. In fact, some philosophers might say that truth exists necessarily. Similarly, philosophers have thought of moral values like love in this way (Plato for example).
  • t0m
    319
    Think about premise (1). If atheism is true, then how can morality be objective? That's the question.cincPhil

    Another question: how does a God make morality objective? Is it just His power to punish? But the state has power to punish. Does creation of conscious entity automatically entail the institution of an objective morality?

    Let's imagine that there is a God. Let's further assume that everyone knows or believes this. Still further, he tells us what he would like us to do. Perhaps he threatens us only with finite punishment, not eternal flames but only a certain duration and intensity of pure pain varying with the violation.

    Do we not still have our terrible freedom? Would we not make the same calculations? All believing in God, we could still debate the legitimacy of his moral authority. If we throw infinite punishments into the mix, then we arguably just have a fearsome tyrant. Moral action would only be "objective" in this case by being undeniably and even immeasurably prudent.

    The sense I can make of the lack of an objective morality involves the questionableness of every candidate for this role. Our ability to question and doubt what others forbid and demand seems to be the real issue. Since we are mortal, all punishment and reward is finite. It makes sense that some have wanted to believe and wanted others to believe that authority could reach beyond the grave. This raw ability to question, doubt, and disobey is eerie. Notions of "objective" morality and eternal truths that aren't tautologies are perhaps attempts to get an absolute-permanent-rustproof handle on a fragile and ambiguous situation.
  • cincPhil
    20
    t0m,

    Thanks for the response. You gave me a lot to sift through, but I can appreciate your "ability to question and doubt". My entry into philosophy was spurred by a period of intense doubt. I was a Christian at a very young age, and I believed strongly, but anyone who has been around knows what life can dish out, and after my share of hard knocks, I began to question things. Suddenly, I was hit with the same feeling that probably hit Sartre and Nietzsche: emptiness and despair; the fear of the black void, if you will. I became truly terrified. I sincerely hoped that God existed, but I asked myself, had my last thirty years up to that point been a waste? Had I been following some sort of false hope, or even worse, a lie?

    So I immediately started searching for answers. What I found is that, for a sincere seeker of truth, reason leads away from dread or despair, and towards hope, love, and even something beyond all of it.

    Now, let me attempt to answer a couple of your concerns:

    "All punishment and reward is finite." Yes, that is true on atheism. If atheism is true, then our lives would be limited to the physical, and constrained within our physical bodies; there would be no life after death, and thus no reason to be concerned with any notion of rewards or punishments beyond the grave. Of course, that assumes atheism is true. On the other hand, God's existence would allow for other possibilities; for example, eternal life. If life were to extend beyond the physical world of objects, then reward and punishment might also extend beyond that world.

    "How does God make morality objective?" St. Anselm saw God as the greatest conceivable being. Simply put, if one were to conceive of a great being, and you could imagine anything greater or better, then that would be God. So God, if he exists, would need to be maximally great. Classical examples of maximally great attributes would be things like omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, moral perfection, and personal existence. If God were indeed morally perfect, then objective moral values would be grounded in his character. By his very nature, he would command what is right, and give what is good. So if God exists, morality would not merely be a subjective set of social conventions produced through socio-biological evolution, but instead, morality would be objectively grounded in the nature and character of God.

    Do we not still have our terrible freedom? Would we not make the same calculations? All believing in God, we could still debate the legitimacy of his moral authority. If we throw infinite punishments into the mix, then we arguably just have a fearsome tyrant. Moral action would only be "objective" in this case by being undeniably and even immeasurably prudent.t0m

    First, your question is about free will. My argument doesn't even address that. The question I am addressing with this argument has more to do with the nature of morality. It is at least possible that morality exists independently of human beings. Many philosophers (including Plato) believe that moral values could exist as abstract objects. Furthermore, some see certain moral truths as necessary. For example, consider the statement, "malice is good". There is no possible world in which malice would be truly good. Furthermore, there exists a possible world with only moral truths such as "malice is bad", and "kindness is good".

    Second, you seem to have confused punishment with morality. Moral values do not always carry obligations. For example, it may be good for you to start a non-profit, but you are not obligated to start a non-profit. It may be good for you to take a humble job, but you are not obligated to do so. Because moral values do not carry obligations to act, consequences are irrelevant, and therefore punishment need not be considered when discussing moral values. Actions come in when we discuss moral duties, but even then, the question is about the nature of those duties, and whether they stem from objectively grounded values, or subjective experiences.

    If you are interested, I hope you will refer back to the argument, and read a few of my responses to different people. I believe I have illustrated it fairly well. Thanks again.
  • t0m
    319
    t0m,

    Thanks for the response.
    cincPhil

    It's a good thread, a deep question.

    I began to question things. Suddenly, I was hit with the same feeling that probably hit Sartre and Nietzsche: emptiness and despair; the fear of the black void, if you will. I became truly terrified. I sincerely hoped that God existed, but I asked myself, had my last thirty years up to that point been a waste? Had I been following some sort of false hope, or even worse, a lie?cincPhil

    I've been there. I absorbed a certain amount of religion, then gave it a real go at 15. But thinking about free will, hellfire, the "mechanical" nature of theology/metaphysics, exposure to secular thinkers, etc. "killed" the usual version of God for me.

    So I immediately started searching for answers. What I found is that, for a sincere seeker of truth, reason leads away from dread or despair, and towards hope, love, and even something beyond all of it.cincPhil

    I can relate to that. At least I think that "atheism" can touch the "divine." All of these mere words can only do so much out of context. I feel "behind" words in a way that is more conceptual than mystical. Or I'd describe the mystical in terms of feeling. Nietzsche's profound portrait of Christ in the The Antichrist hints at this.

    How does God make morality objective?" St. Anselm saw God as the greatest conceivable being. Simply put, if one were to conceive of a great being, and you could imagine anything greater or better, then that would be God. So God, if he exists, would need to be maximally great. Classical examples of maximally great attributes would be things like omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, moral perfection, and personal existence. If God were indeed morally perfect, then objective moral values would be grounded in his character. By his very nature, he would command what is right, and give what is good. So if God exists, morality would not merely be a subjective set of social conventions produced through socio-biological evolution, but instead, morality would be objectively grounded in the nature and character of God.cincPhil

    Respectfully, I think you're accidentally dodging the question. From my perspective I'm pointing at that leap that grounds moral values in His character. Here's the issue for me. What does it mean to say that God is morally perfect? Influenced by Feuerbach, I contend that "moral perfection" is deeply and completely anthropomorphic. The "content" of moral perfection can only be, it seems to me, some version of the ideal (wo)man, even if this (wo)man is immaterial, etc. The "feelings" or "motives" of God must be the kinds of feelings that humans can worship or revere. Otherwise God is just an alien we don't understand --hence my talk of a law enforced by the threat of punishment. God only makes sense, in my view, as an image of that which is highest in human experience --love, wisdom, freedom, etc.

    I, on the contrary, let religion itself speak; I constitute myself only its listener and interpreter, not its prompter. Not to invent, but to discover, “to unveil existence,” has been my sole object; to see correctly, my sole endeavour. It is not I, but religion that worships man, although religion, or rather theology, denies this; it is not I, an insignificant individual, but religion itself that says: God is man, man is God; it is not I, but religion that denies the God who is not man, but only an ens rationis, – since it makes God become man, and then constitutes this God, not distinguished from man, having a human form, human feelings, and human thoughts, the object of its worship and veneration. I have only found the key to the cipher of the Christian religion, only extricated its true meaning from the web of contradictions and delusions called theology; – but in doing so I have certainly committed a sacrilege. If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism – at least in the sense of this work – is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature. — Feuerbach
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/feuerbach/works/essence/ec00.htm

    Second, you seem to have confused punishment with morality. Moral values do not always carry obligations. For example, it may be good for you to start a non-profit, but you are not obligated to start a non-profit. It may be good for you to take a humble job, but you are not obligated to do so. Because moral values do not carry obligations to act, consequences are irrelevant, and therefore punishment need not be considered when discussing moral values. Actions come in when we discuss moral duties, but even then, the question is about the nature of those duties, and whether they stem from objectively grounded values, or subjective experiences.

    If you are interested, I hope you will refer back to the argument, and read a few of my responses to different people. I believe I have illustrated it fairly well. Thanks again.
    cincPhil

    I can see why you interpreted me that way, but I was really trying to get at the point above. I did go back and read earlier posts. I don't think the absence of objective morality entails a dog-eat-dog mentality. I think we are already social, already moral. On the whole we don't want to be evil, though admittedly we have anti-social tendencies. My theory is that much of morality is "objective" in the sense that we will always find something like a core set of prohibitions/duties in any society. It's a blurry "core" around which lots of less-settled prohibitions/duties are still being established and dissolved. As I see it, the "scientistic" vision of man as an animal is too quickly adopted as the only viable metaphysical flavor of 'atheism.'

    Even if we are thrown here into a godless nature, this godless nature is itself a cultural construct --good for predicting and controlling public objects but far from an exhaustive account of being-there or existence in all of its complexity. And of course it's powers of prediction and manipulation are still very finite. I say show me the machine that can predict word-by-word the philosophical masterpiece of the 22nd century. I suggest that humans can only be understood historically, culturally. The image of godless nature is still impotent in that regard. Its superior method in one sense is only superior by severely limiting itself to quantitative prediction and control by means of lifeless, ideal entities. "Nature" is a systematic image that is "pasted" over the world as know. Dazzled by its success in one realm, we are tempted to adopt it as an understanding of existence as a whole. (Yet I personally offer nothing supernatural. My loyalty is to something like phenomenology, going to the things themselves as we experience them. I don't reduce being in love to atoms, for instance. Being-in-love or listening to Erik Satie "is what it is." No ultimately pragmatic predictive-manipulative methodology removes that "is-ness.")
  • Henri
    99
    (1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    (2) Objective moral values and duties exist.
    (3) Therefore, God exists.
    cincPhil

    I don't think moral argument can be used as proof for God, but as an observation that points to God.

    Problem regarding proof is (2) - that there are objective moral values. I do understand moral values to be objective, but I don't think that one human can prove to another human that they are.

    We can imagine atheistic universe where people are living under delusion that moral values are objective. Delusion would come from "evolutionary" processes that condition brain to think certain way regardless if it's true or not, because it's useful for sustaining life.

    So although even to an atheist it can very much seem like that moral values are objective, human can't prove it, as I see it.
  • cincPhil
    20
    I offered the idea of a maximal being as a way to think about God, if you will allow it. Please understand that I am open to ideas, and I do not mean to confuse the issue. It is part of a different argument, the ontological argument, which argues that a maximally great being exists. But again, that is an entirely different argument.

    What might you suggest to make "that than which no greater can be conceived" meaningful and coherent?Thorongil

    In a nutshell, there cannot be anything greater than God. If something or someone greater were to exist, then that would be God. For example, no being could know more, or love more, or have more creative power than God. Now let's bring it back to morality, which is the topic at hand. Is it better to be all-loving or partially loving? God is seen as a being of maximal love. Do we not all apprehend love? Or when there is an absence of love in people? Do you apprehend love at least as clearly as you apprehend your car keys? In other words, do you believe morality is objective? I'm honestly asking.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    For example, no being could know more, or love more, or have more creative power than God.cincPhil

    Why is it "greater" to know, love, and be powerful, than not?

    In other words, do you believe morality is objective?cincPhil

    I do. But that doesn't mean I have to accept, or in this case, will understand, the idea of infinitized great-making properties somehow cohering in a single, immaterial being.
  • JWK5
    4
    (1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Not exactly. Outside of religion morals serve the purpose of fostering cooperation and cooperation is essential for any social species to thrive. We have a lot of hard-wired system in the brains that are geared towards sensing each other's pain, pleasure, etc. and inflicting guilt when we feel we have violated the integrity of our group. Morality is just the codified extension of what we already have built in us. Fear and stress are usually what drive people to violate these in-built moral functions (for example, the fear of scarcity which is tied to the fear of death leading to the urge to rob another or the thrill of shoplifting as relief from the pressures of restrictive social norms). You don't need a concept of "God" to have a sense of "morality".

    (2) Objective moral values and duties exist.
    They exist in the sense that they are a kind of collectively agreed upon contract wherein everyone in the group agrees this is good and that is bad as a means of keeping everyone on the same cooperative page. They are a fairly nebulous series of collective concepts manifested from social-oriented functions in the brains of those in the group.

    (3) Therefore, God exists.
    God is not needed for "morality" so this is a faulty argument. I am a bit of an "apatheist", so the way I see it if "God" exists things are the way they are, and if "God" doesn't exist things are the way they are. I am okay with either because regardless of which case is true I will do the best I can to be a "good" person and if that is not good enough I accept whatever consequence comes of it.

    Not to go on a tangent, but personally while I don't necessarily believe "God" exists in the form of a person-like entity, it is observable even through science that we are connected through all things. I mean, everything we are made of exists on its own out there in the universe. There are precursors to us (if you believe in evolution). Life exists as one big web of things that make up things that make up things. There is a creator there, whether it is the "big bang" (if you believe that theory) or all things collectively as one big existence.

    To say it is or is not intelligent is an effort in futility because we only understand intelligence so far as the human mind is capable of understanding intelligence, anything beyond that scope is outside our ability to define. So though I am not really concerned one way or the other when it comes to whether "God" exists, at least observably I can see that there is definitely creative forces at work.
  • Henri
    99


    Whatever you would call "objective morality" in atheistic universe is an illusion, since said "morality" would have to ultimately come from non-living unconscious processes, by chance. Basically, it would be a result of a role of a dice, and as such, what's it's inherent value? Plus, there is no known natural law that says that since certain distribution of morality states within human beings is as is today, it has to be like that in the future. Process that comes about by chance is probably going to continue by chance, and change states during time.

    Even more so, in an universe where every being ultimately came to existence from unconscious processes, by chance, however such being is, that's fine. Some humans would be rapists and hateful because that's how they feel most fulfilled and driven. Others would be peaceful because that's how they like it the most. And both would be equally "moral", since both ultimately came from what can be described as nothingness, by chance.
  • JWK5
    4
    Adjective: moral
    Concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles


    Right and wrong are primarily established by the group/tribe collectively. It's not a roll of the dice, it is based on what ensures the best cooperation between the group as a whole. We didn't arrive at what is commonly accepted as a general sense of morals (don't murder, rape, steal, etc.) today by accident, they are based on past mediation and arbitration. We collectively came to the conclusion these things are harmful to our ability to cooperate. There is nothing illusory about it.

    Yes, morality does change with time, culture, etc. A lot of what is commonplace today was very amoral in the past. Morality changes with society. Social animals have morality as well, in a lot of different species violating the morals of the group/troupe/herd/etc. can result in exile or death.

    Morality is strictly about cooperation, it is religion that associates it with divinity. Religion goes the extra step of instead of arbitrating behavior with a physical worldly judge it implies there is also a supernatural judge. Even without religion, you can still experience guilt for carrying out acts that go against the morals of your group. The whole point of guilt as a feeling is likely to keep you cooperating with your group which ultimately is essential to your own survival (and survival as a species).
  • Henri
    99
    Right and wrong are primarily established by the group/tribe collectively.JWK5

    Then those are not right and wrong but utility contracts. That's why in atheistic universe objective morality is illusion. It's just about utility - don't do harm to me, I won't do it to you.

    But some people do like to do harm others, and they are not objectively bad in atheistic universe, they are just bad for people whom they harm. Unless they are harming masochists, in which case they both enjoy it.

    On the other hand, what God reveals about morality is not about utility, but about inherent nature of existence. You cannot use secular definition for moral to describe God given morality.
  • t0m
    319
    Why is it "greater" to know, love, and be powerful, than not?Thorongil

    Exactly. That's where what we already understand as virtue comes in.
  • t0m
    319
    On atheism, it seems me, we are just animals, and anything goes. You don't try to read morality into the animal world.cincPhil

    This move from atheism to 'just animals' is (as I see it) trapped within an unconsidered framework. You basically split the field into theism and scientism, since you seem to be identifying atheism and scientism. There's no more reason for an atheist to take the biological interpretation of the human more seriously than he takes the traditional religious understanding of man. In my view we humans are always still interpreting ourselves and the world we find ourselves in. One could argue that the concept of animal is therefore not even stable.

    It's true we don't hold animals to human standards. But that's because their nature seems relatively fixed. We humans however are constantly revolutionizing what it means to be human. We are the 'animal' that largely fashions its own nature --an ascending spiral as opposed to a circle. For this reason the 'animal' conception of man is suspect when applied metaphysically.

    Do you apprehend at least a loose set of objective moral values, such as love, freedom, equality, tolerance, etc? Now, what if society as a whole decided to replace them with greed, narcissism, bigotry, and malice? Does that mean that those things are good? In what possible world is malice good? Don't some values seem necessary, like love for example?cincPhil

    Malice would be good in precisely the world of your hypothetical society, which we arguably find offensive from the perspective of this society. But most of would probably agree that culture can only oppose our social instincts so much and no further. The idea that there is no definite metaphysical ground of our decency or current understanding of virtue can be unsettling. But, as I argued before, God doesn't obviously provide such a ground. The notion of a metaphysical ground is questionable in the first place, as I see it. It sounds better than "it's just the way we do things," I agree. But is this God more than a projection of the society agrees is virtuous in the first place? Is God just the idea of a metaphysical ground? Less solid upon analysis?
  • SophistiCat
    528
    It seems that you haven't made much progress in developing your argument, so let me try to prod you along, starting with premise 2: There is objective morality.

    You have gestured towards an argument with your references to moral evils, such as the Holocaust. This is a common road to take for those advocating "objective morality," and it generally takes the form of an ad hominem. Now, don't cringe: ad hominem is not necessarily something bad and fallacious; it can be an effective strategy in an argument. In this context it means just this: Suppose you have a contested thesis, such as your premise (2). You then show by way of an argument that rejecting this thesis inevitably leads to accepting some proposition that most people would be loath to accept (e.g. "Perpetrating the Holocaust was not wrong.") Now your opponents face a dilemma: either they concede and accept your thesis or they bite the bullet and accept the unpalatable consequences of rejecting that thesis.

    So let's take me for example. I am strongly convinced that the Holocaust was an evil. (And I also think that any person ought to have this attitude, not just me.) At the same time, let's say that I do not believe in "objective morality" (if nothing else then because I don't have a very clear idea of what it is.) But I am not laying any other cards on the table: I am not claiming a commitment to any particular system of morality, nor for that matter any other metaphysical system.

    So how am I wrong? Based on what I said above, am I committing myself to some untenable position? Or perhaps I really do believe in (what you take to be) "objective morality" without realizing it?
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Exactly. That's where what we already understand as virtue comes in.t0m

    What are trying to say? Are you trying to defend the claim by an appeal to intuition here?
  • t0m
    319


    On this issue I'm coming from a Feuerbachian perspective. 'Intuition' is not the perfect word, but it's not wrong either. God only makes sense as something to worship or revere in terms of his ultimately human predicates. For instance, it would be absurd to worship a powerful alien invader whose motives we could not understand. We might obey and fear, but this would be a sad form of religion.

    As far as 'intuition' goes, that connects to how we want to conceptualize the experience of value. I like the word 'feeling' as less metaphysical. Understanding religion in terms of knowledge claims (making it about epistemology) obscures the feeling that gives it whatever life it has --at least as I see it.
  • andrewk
    1.6k
    And I know that if God did not exist, then I would embrace my animal instinct, you know? I would live like the animal that I am. I would rob banks, and maybe worse.cincPhil
    You cannot know this. The only way to know it is for it to happen and for you to know that it happened. But it didn't happen, so you can't know it.

    All you can say is that you imagine that if you didn't believe in God then you would live without morals. Imagination of counterfactuals doesn't count for much in a philosophical argument.

    Also, people have lived with morals and without God since time immemorial.

    Also, it might help to know that the argument for God from morals via Nazism has been made by Christian apologists for yonks. It has been rebutted so many times that it's often not even considered worth acknowledging by some philosophers.
  • Henri
    99
    People have lived with morals and without God since time immemoria.andrewk

    In universe that God created, everybody have some morals, regardless of their relationship to God. God gives, or decrees, some morals to everybody, just as everybody gets a heart, brain, air to breathe etc.

    In universe that got to exist from basically or literally nothingness, by chance, your opinion about morals is ultimately worthless, serving your personal purpose in life, which is random, since you came from ultimately nothing, by chance, just like everybody else. You are neither morally better nor worse from the rest, you are just living through your randomly given state of existence.
  • andrewk
    1.6k
    In universe that got to exist from basically or literally nothingness, by chance, your opinion about morals is ultimately worthless, serving your personal purpose in life, which is random, since you came from ultimately nothing, by chance, just like everybody else. You are neither morally better nor worse from the rest, you are just living through your randomly given state of existence.Henri
    That is a statement of a dogma, not an argument.

    You believe it. I don't. Except for where you say that I am morally no better nor worse than anybody else. While I wouldn't put it that way, I believe moral comparisons between people, and especially assertions of moral superiority, are unhelpful, so I'm supportive of your making that claim.

    If you believe the rest of it, and that belief brings you joy, more power to you.
  • Henri
    99


    So, what do you believe? You don't believe in atheistic big bang and evolution, nor do you believe that those are most probable explanations of how universe got to exist, as far as you can tell? If you believe in it, than you believe that you came from what is essentially nothingness, by chance. And if that would really be the case, your opinion about morals, mine too, would be ultimately worthless.

    I understand that God exists, so I do see each of us living morally better or worse relative to inherent nature of reality. Everybody falls short, though.
  • andrewk
    1.6k
    You don't believe in atheistic big bang and evolutionHenri
    'atheistic'?!?

    Were you aware that the big bang theory was developed by Georges Lemaitre: a Roman Catholic priest?
  • Henri
    99


    No need for ?s and !s really. In order to shorten back and forth, which didn't work, I asked if you believe in big bang and evolution as an atheist, because there are people who believe both in God and big bang and evolution, but with different explanations about it. You still didn't say what is it that you believe.
  • andrewk
    1.6k
    What makes you think I'm an atheist?
  • Henri
    99


    I don't know if you are. I'm asking a question. If you care to answer, answer, if not, don't.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    Were you aware that the big bang theory was developed by Georges Lemaitre: a Roman Catholic priest?andrewk

    Careful now. Long after LeMaitre’s theory was published, the then-Pope learned about it and formed the view that it was compatible with Catholic doctrine as it appeared to support the notion of creation ex nihilo. However, LeMaitre was embarrassed by this development, as he wished to keep his scientific work strictly separate from his religious faith. He prevailed upon the then Papal Scientific Adviser to the Pope to ask His Holiness to refrain from referring to his work in support of the faith, which he apparently assented to. (This is documented in Simon Singh’s book Big Bang.)
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Good thing he did, for the pope clearly had a confused notion of creation ex nihilo and the big bang.
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Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.