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A perfect god can not exist?

 
 
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 01:06 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;155159 wrote:
The first time I read this paragraph I read the last phrase as "spiritual accent" which I suppose has connotations that run contrary to your point. And I like your point. The commonalities are overemphasized. It is much better to focus on the differences. Probably the motivation for overemphasizing commonalities and finding commonalities that aren't really there are noble enough i.e. the desire to see everyone as human and the same equally valuable and all that jazz. Yet the resulting homogenization of spiritual experience is more likely to silence or muffle the unique spiritual experiences of the various traditions and individuals who have them and at the same time dumbing down (or perhaps mundaning down) such experiences to the lowest common denominator. Post-modern approaches like Lyotard's recognition of disjunct and incommensurable grand narratives and his ethic of "bearing witness to the differend" is, I think, a far wiser approach.


But postmodernism is just the problem. Humanism and political correctness are good and noble things, but only to an extent because then they start to be politically incorrect by ignoring idiosyncratic differences. I see postmodernism as a form of tyranny, trying to whitewash distinctions so as to erect its own "universal" hodgepodge of doublespeak and illogical nonsense because it throws out any centralized meaning or concept of truth and relativizes those things to the culture. Ever read Brian McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy? Yuck. It's a perfect representation of the postmodernism in religion today--"I am a Calvinist, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim." He believes one thing one day, and another thing the next. Any given chapter is totally confusing; you learn nothing; and you walk away feeling empty--"what the hell did he just say? Did he succeed in saying anything at all?" ooze.....
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 01:10 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155158 wrote:
Precisely. Your thesis of cultural relativism logically entails that you cannot rightfully make any objective moral complaint against what other countries do on any objective moral grounds, since there aren't any. If you try, that would be just your own subjective opinion. So you would have a hell of time trying to make a case against Hitler in an International Court of Law for any Crimes committed against humanity if cultural relativism is true. That's precisely your pickle.


I don't see it as a problem. Just because I don't accept killing people because of their racial or religious background it does not mean that I am universally right. It is only my subjective thought. By all means it could be neither good nor bad. The universe does not care about humans so I can't imagine the universe really cared what happened or will happen.

If you belong to the group that is in line with your thoughts of good or bad then you will probably have very little conflict within that group. However if there is a group that has varying thoughts on what is good or bad, there is where you will always find some kind of conflict.

Just like we see being Christians and Secularists. Christians want to proclaim that being homosexual is a sin and wrong. They refuse to accept gay marriage as a right. They thing it is wrong and try to strong arm the government to make laws to not allow gay marriage. Or drug use, or prostitution and gambling. If they had their way they would probably outlaw evolution being taught in public schools.
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 01:20 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;155162 wrote:
I don't see it as a problem. It is only my subjective thought. By all means it could be neither good nor bad.


Wait. So now good and evil don't exist at all? I thought you said they were subjective and dependent on culture?

Krumple;155162 wrote:
If you belong to the group that is in line with your thoughts of good or bad then you will probably have very little conflict within that group. However if there is a group that has varying thoughts on what is good or bad, there is where you will always find some kind of conflict.


Well within the context of WWII Germany, since it is permissible for Hitler to order the extermination of 6 million Jews, and you lived in that country as a Jew, then you would be in error if you thought your being gassed was morally wrong because good and evil don't exist. Bad news for the Jew. He can't make any formal case to the international courts since there is no such thing as a "Crime Against Humanity."

Krumple;155162 wrote:
Just like we see being Christians and Secularists. Christians want to proclaim that being homosexual is a sin and wrong. They refuse to accept gay marriage as a right. They thing it is wrong and try to strong arm the government to make laws to not allow gay marriage. Or drug use, or prostitution and gambling. If they had their way they would probably outlaw evolution being taught in public schools.


But if you are right, then the gay community doesn't even have a case since there is nothing wrong with taking away gay rights. There aren't any gay rights at all. So what are you talking about? Homosexuals are forced to submit to what the community wants.

And what would be wrong with outlawing evolution in schools, then?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 01:46 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155161 wrote:
Exactly. I was thinking the same thing: "postmodernism." Humanism and political correctness are good and noble things, but only to an extent because then they start to be politically incorrect by ignoring idiosyncratic differences. I see postmodernism as a form of tyranny, trying to whitewash distinctions so as to erect its own "universal" hodgepodge of doublespeak and illogical nonsense. Ever read Brian McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy? Yuck. It's a perfect representation of the postmodernism in religion today--"I am a Calvinist, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim." He believes one thing one day, and another thing the next. Any given chapter is totally confusing; you learn nothing; and you walk away feeling empty--"what the hell did he just say? Did he succeed in saying anything at all?" ooze.....

Haven't read McLaren's book but it sounds rather banal.

But note please that I was actually advocating the post-modern approach (or Lyotard's approach anyway). A statement like "I am a Calvinist, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim." is not a postmodern sentiment. Postmodernism is more likely to recognize and refuse to overlook the disjunctivity and incommensurability of religions than to insist upon overriding commonalities. In a sense postmodernism is a reaction against the Modernity that insisted upon such commonalities. "Humanism" is a Modern sentiment not a Postmodern sentiment.

I cringe a little when I forfeit the word "humanism" or even the word "modern"; nevertheless, for the time being I have to use such words conventionally albeit incorrectly until language catches up with reality.

"Postmodernism" is a ridiculous word though tolerable. It has the ring of "post-apocalyptic" and I like this because it suggests that something has been revealed.

"Posthumanism" is a harder word to swallow. Yet if "humanity" and "humanism" and for that matter "human" are poorly defined by convention and if using these same words while breaking with conventional definitions proves to be more confusing than communicative one may have to leave "humanity" behind in order to preserve ones sense of humanity. Currently "posthumanism" is a term that is only popular among Fukuyama fans and science fiction cults, neither of which turn me on. Perhaps a brand new word will need to be coined to denote, preserve, and also reveal a better understanding of humanity.

In any case, I welcome "Post-secular".
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 02:16 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;155164 wrote:
A statement like "I am a Calvinist, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim." is not a postmodern sentiment. Postmodernism is more likely to recognize and refuse to overlook the disjunctivity and incommensurability of religions than to insist upon overriding commonalities.

"Postmodernism" is a ridiculous word though tolerable. It has the ring of "post-apocalyptic" and I like this because it suggests that something has been revealed.

"Posthumanism" is a harder word to swallow. Yet if "humanity" and "humanism" and for that matter "human" are poorly defined by convention and if using these same words while breaking with conventional definitions proves to be more confusing than communicative one may have to leave "humanity" behind in order to preserve ones sense of humanity. Currently "posthumanism" is a term that is only popular among Fukuyama fans and science fiction cults, neither of which turn me on. Perhaps a brand new word will need to be coined to denote, preserve, and also reveal a better understanding of humanity.

In any case, I welcome "Post-secular".


I understand postmodernism rejects "grand-narratives" and biased generalizations--but that's part of the very problem. Postmodernism is still part of this new-age brand of minimizing distinctions and differences--because this is exactly the consequence of deconstructing the centralized meanings of a culture or religion its methodology can only pretend to understand, but not actually understand.

Admittedly, I haven't read Lyotard since I have a general distaste for post-modernism. So avoiding a dispute over labels, let's just say it is sufficient that post-modernism (at least in philosophy) arose alongside Structuralism and Post-structuralism with individuals like Saussure, Lacan, Foucault, Levi-Strauss, and Derrida--and those are not individuals I readily respect since they think language is essentially a power-structure in which biases play out their struggles--which I think is only partially true. They reject centralized meanings, deny reference, deny objective truth, and deny or underplay distinctions altogether. I think it is generally a biased way of practicing semiotics and linguistics against the objectivity of the mainstream disciplines that are already there, by proceeding non-scientifically with a preconceived deconstructive attitude towards meaning. So I just reject some of its methodology: it can easily become philosophically and linguistically biased, just like the theories it reacts against, and it's results are too often confirmed--the fact that it advances no "theories" is what makes this possible. And confirmation, in case everyone has forgotten, is not a virtue--it's a vice. I can confirm the predictions of Astrology all the time, too. But it's not as if astrology is a viable science because it says everything and nothing at once--just like postmodernims in philosophy.

Deckard;155164 wrote:
I cringe a little when I forfeit the word "humanism" or even the word "modern"; nevertheless, for the time being I have to use such words conventionally albeit incorrectly until language catches up with reality.


But is there "a reality" in postmodernism? I thought it denied universality and objectivity altogether. Humanism is good. I just find it incomplete and stale, at least with respect to how one might formulate it into a manifesto. But postmodernism is not the knee-jerk solution we need to solve the traditional philosophical problems and biases of modernity. In fact, it just succeeds in making things worse by assuming it already understood these linguistic meaning-units of other cultures and religions it seeks to deconstruct without being an inside participating subject.

We just have to be smarter, more skeptical, more cautious before we adopt the theoretical models floating around in modern culture --not abandon theoretical approaches to the world altogether in favor of advancing deconstructive methodologies so as to put postmodernism's own relativized "power-play" conception of language in their stead. So I don't think these theoretical models of modern culture are always correct, but they are not always incorrect either.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 02:42 am
@awareness,
awareness;152925 wrote:
God has nothing to do with the universe's functioning (see free will)


So babies die from painful bone cancer because... they freely willed it?
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 02:43 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;155173 wrote:
So babies die from painful bone cancer because... they freely willed it?


According to scientologists, yes! Smile
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 02:46 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155175 wrote:
According to scientologists, yes! Smile


And I guess AIDS is just a state of mind too.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 03:18 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155163 wrote:
Wait. So now good and evil don't exist at all? I thought you said they were subjective and dependent on culture?



Well within the context of WWII Germany, since it is permissible for Hitler to order the extermination of 6 million Jews, and you lived in that country as a Jew, then you would be in error if you thought your being gassed was morally wrong because good and evil don't exist. Bad news for the Jew. He can't make any formal case to the international courts since there is no such thing as a "Crime Against Humanity."



But if you are right, then the gay community doesn't even have a case since there is nothing wrong with taking away gay rights. There aren't any gay rights at all. So what are you talking about? Homosexuals are forced to submit to what the community wants.

And what would be wrong with outlawing evolution in schools, then?


I guess I need to repeat myself, again. I think this will be the fifth time I have said it, so I won't bother saying it again to you.

Your ideals are completely subjective. If you think something is good, it does not mean that everyone thinks what you think is good. So if you think something is right, it does not make it universally right. It is just your subjective point of view. It does not preclude anyone from making rules. It does not mean you can't charge someone of something you think is wrong.

For example. Let's say that I think you responding to me is wrong and punishable by death. You might not think so, so if you do it then I will find you guilty of breaking my rule. Now if I have power and the ability, I could place you under my ruling. But if you have the power and ability, you could reject my ruling. Who ever has the power, tends to have majority interest in that societies ideal.

In other words, there could have been Germans who disagreed with what hitler was doing. From his perspective he would find them guilty and punish them. Yet there were others who supported and carried out his plans. Those people from his perspective were right.

So after all that, if you still have a problem, I suggest you go look up subjective and objective. Morals are not objective, there is no universal moral law that everyone accepts. There might be a lot of people who accept some or most but there will always be some who disagree. It only makes them wrong, if the majority agree that they are wrong.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 03:32 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155170 wrote:

But is there "a reality" in postmodernism?

It would have been better to have said "my reality". However, I am occasionally pleasantly surprised when "my reality" becomes "our reality". I just don't insist upon it.
0 Replies
 
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 03:41 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;155181 wrote:
I guess I need to repeat myself, again. I think this will be the fifth time I have said it, so I won't bother saying it again to you.

Your ideals are completely subjective. If you think something is good, it does not mean that everyone thinks what you think is good. So if you think something is right, it does not make it universally right. It is just your subjective point of view. It does not preclude anyone from making rules. It does not mean you can't charge someone of something you think is wrong.

For example. Let's say that I think you responding to me is wrong and punishable by death. You might not think so, so if you do it then I will find you guilty of breaking my rule. Now if I have power and the ability, I could place you under my ruling. But if you have the power and ability, you could reject my ruling. Who ever has the power, tends to have majority interest in that societies ideal.

In other words, there could have been Germans who disagreed with what hitler was doing. From his perspective he would find them guilty and punish them. Yet there were others who supported and carried out his plans. Those people from his perspective were right.

So after all that, if you still have a problem, I suggest you go look up subjective and objective. Morals are not objective, there is no universal moral law that everyone accepts. There might be a lot of people who accept some or most but there will always be some who disagree. It only makes them wrong, if the majority agree that they are wrong.


So what? You are missing the point entirely. I understand you are proposing cultural relativism through and through. But you are committing a logical fallacy. You are just restating your unargued for assumption that lack of consensus among people's moral beliefs logically entails, or is evidence for, the thesis that no objective moral principles exist at all, or that everyone is simultaneously correct because moral principles are relative to the cultures within which they are embedded and find their origin.

Your error is this: You fail to notice objectivity is not synonymous with universality, so they don't always overlap. For instance, the whole planet could believe the earth was flat, but everyone would be objectively in error. But this certainly doesn't entail there is no fact of the matter about whether the earth is round, hexogonal, or trapezoidal. Similarly, persons A, B, C, and D can believe the President of the United States is John Kerry, George Bush, John McCain, and Rush Limbaugh respectively. So each person would apparently be wrong. But this doesn't entail, nor is it evidence for, the fact that there is no President of the United States at all--or that Obama is NOT the current president of the United States. Nor is it evidence that four people are president of the united states all at once. So your argument is a hasty generalization, an argument from ignorance, and an inverse appeal to the people to establish a conclusion based on what the masses do or do not believe. So errors in science are just a frequent as errors in moral judgments--but none of this entails science is not objective, or doesn't have at least something truthful to say about the world in fact.

Second, whether or not people do or do not agree on commonly accepted moral principles is not what I was explicitly taunting you with. I am just pointing out if moral objectivity is false, but cultural relativism is true--no one can have any moral case against any other culture worldwide for crimes against humanity, and that it would be very unlikely any such international tribunals would be set up in the first place--this just falls logically out of your view. But this is a good reason for thinking it is false since the world does set up world-wide organizations to address international abuses and crimes against others by those in power. So it is more likely some set of objective moral principles exist than that none exist at all, and that many others will sometimes be wrong about what those objective moral principles are or just fail to heed them out of greed, power, or nationalistic pride and jingoism.

The point is that your view is completely counterintuitive and lacks any good argument or reason for believing it is true. The burden of proof is on you.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 04:26 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155184 wrote:
Your error is this: You fail to notice objectivity is not synonymous with universality, so they don't always overlap. For instance, the whole planet could believe the earth was flat, but everyone would be objectively in error. But this certainly doesn't entail there is no fact of the matter about whether the earth is round, hexogonal, or trapezoidal.


We still all agree on what being flat entails. We can observe whether or not a surface is curved. Flatness is a public property. The question is therefore empirical in nature and the answer can only be found by observing the world. Whether or not a surface is curved is to be settled in public by pointing to the curvature of the surface.

If I don't understand what you mean by flatness, it's pretty easy to point to the curvature of a surface and say "see how that's bent, that's not flat" then point to a non-curved surface and say "see how that's not bent, that's flat" but it's difficult to point to wrongness and do the same thing.
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 04:59 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;155193 wrote:
We still all agree on what being flat entails. We can observe whether or not a surface is curved. Flatness is a public property. The question is therefore empirical in nature and the answer can only be found by observing the world. Whether or not a surface is curved is to be settled in public by pointing to the curvature of the surface.

If I don't understand what you mean by flatness, it's pretty easy to point to the curvature of a surface and say "see how that's bent, that's not flat" then point to a non-curved surface and say "see how that's not bent, that's flat" but it's difficult to point to wrongness and do the same thing.


This is beside the point. My analogy is used to illustrate that fact that the phenomenon of potential error or disagreement does not entail, nor is it evidence for, the thesis that there is no fact of the matter about this or that at all. This kind of argument would be a silly argument if someone tried to make it work, which is precisely one of the alleged arguments of cultural relativism.

In any case, wrongness--though not an empirically observable property of actions--can still easily be identified by most people throughout the world with respect to a common set of core moral principles shared by most people.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:06 am
@Alan McDougall,
"The many live each in their own private world, while those who are awake have but one world in common". Heraclitus (quoted in John Fowles, The Aristos.)

Interpretation: the extent to which you live in your own world, a subjective world of personal opinions and private facts, mirrors the degree to which you are alienated from a greater relationship with reality. This is why renunciation, or at least a degree of austerity, and the ability to transcend one's own personal desires, is the hallmark of sagacity.
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:12 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155197 wrote:
In any case, wrongness--though not an empirically observable property of actions--can still easily be identified by most people throughout the world with respect to a common set of core moral principles shared by most people.


That definitely proves most people can agree on some things. Most people agree that chocolate tastes good and pop music sounds good. I agree with the former and disagree with the latter. I don't see what that has to do with objectivity though.
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:18 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;155200 wrote:
That definitely proves most people can agree on some things. Most people agree that chocolate tastes good and pop music sounds good. I agree with the former and disagree with the latter. I don't see what that has to do with objectivity though.


But I don't see how moral claims have anything to do subjectivity.

Nor do I see how "torturing innocent babies for fun is wrong" is anywhere near analogous to an expression of Humean distaste for a certain flavor of ice cream.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:43 am
@Alan McDougall,
Why cant God evolve from his present position in his creation into another better reality for his creation?
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 06:48 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155184 wrote:
Your error is this: You fail to notice objectivity is not synonymous with universality, so they don't always overlap. For instance, the whole planet could believe the earth was flat, but everyone would be objectively in error.


You are trying to use something that is testable towards reality. Obviously a shape of something can be determined. However; moral objectiveness can not be determined because moral values are completely subjective. The same goes for you name example. You can test such a theory through questioning the person, their name, however; once again with moral values you can not determine their objectivity because they are not objective truths.

If they are objective, prove it to me. You say the burden is on me, I say you are equally required to do so or state the case that moral values are objective truths.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 10:25 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155201 wrote:
But I don't see how moral claims have anything to do subjectivity.

Nor do I see how "torturing innocent babies for fun is wrong" is anywhere near analogous to an expression of Humean distaste for a certain flavor of ice cream.


What's really the difference? As far as I'm concerned, the only difference is that I have a strong emotional response at the thought of torturing babies for fun (as opposed to profit?) whereas I really don't care what you do to ice cream. If you think that my moral qualms go beyond that, I don't see it.

If we disagree on the height of the Statue of Liberty we can always just go measure it and see who is wrong. If we disagree on the morality of abortion, there's nothing we can do. Likewise, if we disagree on the taste of ice cream, we can either agree to disagree or go to war.

De gustibus non est disputandum.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 10:42 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;155235 wrote:
What's really the difference? As far as I'm concerned, the only difference is that I have a strong emotional response at the thought of torturing babies for fun (as opposed to profit?) whereas I really don't care what you do to ice cream. If you think that my moral qualms go beyond that, I don't see it.

If we disagree on the height of the Statue of Liberty we can always just go measure it and see who is wrong. If we disagree on the morality of abortion, there's nothing we can do. Likewise, if we disagree on the taste of ice cream, we can either agree to disagree or go to war.

De gustibus non est disputandum.



That means that there is no use arguing about matters of taste. So, if whether chocolate ice-cream tastes better than vanilla is a matter of taste, then there is no use arguing about it. That means, I suppose, that there is no right or wrong about it. But is whether torturing babies is wrong a matter of taste? That's the question. What makes you think that it is?
 

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