Atheist Petra Fans

A place for Petra fans to discuss other topics
curt
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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by curt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:13 am

So it is not right because it is right but because it is written in our heart? You have claimed an atheist cannot have moral obligation. Now you seem to say he can but cannot account for it. You have made moral understanding and obligation dependent on the existence of God. If it is dependent on him, it is not even comparable to the law of gravity. That law is not dependent on belief. But you claim moral obligation is. You just cannot compare the two without contradicting yourself.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by curt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:32 am

The fact that you compare natural laws with moral law shows a basic misunderstanding. Ethics is conserned with the ought while science is concerned with the is. The first takes an interpretation that is not Scientific. That is why you cannot compare.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by curt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:00 am

According to your quote Gentiles can act as a law unto themselves. Law implies obligation. Thus they can have obligation contrary to what you have claimed. This text contradicts your own points.

Furthermore it seems to point to human nature as a source of ethics. It is certainly not incompatible with Leibniz's ideas. And not incompatible with the idea of objective values. It is only incompatible with your claims.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:00 am

curt wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:13 am
You have claimed an atheist cannot have moral obligation. Now you seem to say he can but cannot account for it. You have made moral understanding and obligation dependent on the existence of God.
None of this is contradictory. If atheism is true then moral obligation does not exist. However, moral obligation does exist, and the atheist instinctively recognizes that it exists, but his worldview can not coherently account for its existence; therefore, atheism is false.

You say, "According to your quote Gentiles can act as a law unto themselves." First of all, it's not my quote as you so dismissively call it, it's the Word of God. And secondly, the whole point is that Gentiles can't claim they didn't know any better because God has written his law on their hearts which they instinctively obey even if they refuse to acknowledge the source.

You did, of course, completely miss the point of my analogy with the law of gravity. I wasn't likening moral obligation to a natural law. Rather, I was pointing out that just because someone rejects objective reality does not mean that objective reality stops having an influence on him.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Dan » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:08 pm

*Mountain Man drops the mic*

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by curt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:21 pm

Read the words again: "When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts..." (Romans 2:14-15)

If someone who does not believe (which goes for Gentiles) can act as a law to himself then that of course implies obligation since a law without obligation does not exist. Compare the statement of "law to themselves" with your following words: "To put it another way, until the atheist can point to someone or something to which he is ultimately accountable, even after death, then he has no basis for supposing that there is moral obligation." You have pointed to the dependencies time and time agian. They do not exist in the quote above. Quite the opposite.

The Gentiles in the descibtion above do not have the law, they do not know God and thus have not heard about consequences that exist according to the law. Yet not only do they suppose that there is moral obligation. They can act as a law to themselves. It is also said that the law is written on their hearts (perhaps it means it is a part of human nature). How does this compare to your statements that there is no objective reason to act morally if one does not believe in God. If it is in our nature, written in our heart, then that would seem a good reason to suppose the opposite.

And again the quote from the Romans does not prove that God is the source of moral obligation nor that there are no objective values existing independently unless you are already a believer. For a believer it tells a truth but for a non-believer it is just a claim, not a proof. You claimed there was some sort of proof. Where is it? We are yet to see it.

I have even pointed to the fact that other religions contain a God or more gods and also the punishment in an afterlife. So even if your ideas are correct (which they are not in my oppinion) how come Christianity in your understanding and not Leibniz's or many other Christians is correct and is what the obligation points to or works as a proof off? Buddhism also contains punishment in an afterlife. Can they account for moral obligation in your view, and if, then how do you prove their understanding is wrong without presupposing Christianity is right?

You did compare natural law to physical law without pointing to the obvious difference. They do not exist in the same way, shape or form. If you claim that someone who refutes the law of gravity will still experience it and use that fact to point out that an atheist will also somehow be confronted with a moral reality even if he tries to ignore it then that undermines your own point regarding the "no objective reason" for him to act morally since, then, he cannot just ignore it. And then there is objective reason. But you had pointed to the opposite. So choose which one of your points you want to keep. You cannot have them all. They are inconsistent.

Basically I think your points are going in quite different directions from time to time and are bordering to a contradiction.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by curt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:16 pm

I think my points are further clarified if we read a little longer: "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."

So there is a conscience bearing withness and thoughts in a constant selfreflection among those who do not know God. Added to the human nature written into their hearts by God (whom they do not know of). No objective reason?

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