tonyenglish7 wrote:Interesting post. I see what you are saying but here is the issue. 1) If God simply arbitrarily declares morals, then he really isn't moral at all, just powerful, and 2) if he has to live himself under some moral code, then where or how is that moral code grounded? In a God higher then God?
The only other option 3) is that God is indeed moral in his Character. Then, because of his position of authority, having caused the universe and keeping it in existence, he then requires moral actions between persons.
So, the middle option 2) is logically impossible. There can be no moral code outside of God that God has to live under Himself.
Between option 1 and 3 we need to choose the best option. The option 1) (God is Arbitrary), doesn't make any sense because you yourself have a sense of Morals in as much as you are able to judge God in this regard. Where did you get the sense of morals? If God is arbitrary you would not be able to judge Him yourself. We see that the morals we sense work, as per Emery's view. We see that stealing hurts everyone, and is therefore bad. We all seem to agree on the basics of moral grounding. So the first option doesn't work. God cannot be arbitrary. The only other option left is 3). God is Moral in his character and grounds the incumbency within himself.
We also see that God is 100% (theoretically), in every category. For instance, knowledge, power, goodness, purity or whatever. Any characteristic of God is 100%. So if he is Moral, he is perfectly moral. If he is powerful, he is 100% powerful. If he is knowledgeable, he knows everything that is knowable. He cannot be partially moral.
Therefore, God causes the oughtness of morals by is actual existence and his actual nature. Or, morals are a complete illusion that evolved into our consciousness for the reasons that Emery stated. And if this is the fact, then there is no rational discussion possible. All sense of ideas, opinions, moral discussion is based upon no grounding whatsoever. Any statement you make is just the result of random chance previous simple events. You could never know if you are right.
Morals however are seen by the mind in the first person just like a tree is. They are self evident, they need grounding which can only be explained in the actuality of God and we can know this because we are not only DNA but are persons with rationality and moral senses.
Hi Tony, thanks for replying to my post.
I really like the way you restated the issues.
This is how I would re-state your no. 3)
3) If God is inherently moral in his Character, then morality is a quality like hot or cold, green or blue, independent from actions.
From reading your argument it seems apparent to me that you see morals as a 'quality', like hot or cold, heavy or light, rather than relative to the situation.
Saying God is moral in his character is much like saying lead is heavy. Which would be a true statement. But it’s only true if we assume other things, like the presence of gravity, and more importantly we need to compare with something that is not heavy. Lead is heavy compared to a feather, but not compared to a black hole.
So the statement "lead is heavy" is meaningless in and of itself.
That is why Gods character having the inherent 'quality' of moral doesn’t hold much weight with me. I just don’t find it convincing as an argument.
Maybe a better question to ask would be:
"Is there any action God could take that would render him immoral."
If 'no' then his morality would fall under the definition of arbitrary, or at least his morality would be a 'quality' (independent from his actions).
If yes, well then my point still stands about us having to use some other sort of morality to make that determination.
I understand that we're probably not going to come to a consensus on this.
But for me to concede your argument you would have to explain to me how either
a)God's character being moral is not an inherent quality, and is defined in some other way.
b)How morality as an inherent quality is not arbitrary.
Lastly, you seem to be hung up on the idea that non-god-given morals would be an illusion.
They are no more an illusion than the strain experienced when picking up a heavy weight is an illusion.
Does there have to be an external ethereal personification of ultimate heaviness for the experience to be real?
Yes, heaviness is relative to other assumptions, but to the person doing the lifting that weight IS
heavy in a very real sense. And that is not an illusion.