User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42

Thread: Is there such a thing as absolute morality? - Battle Royale II - Knight vs. Zakath

  1. #1
    Axe dropper webby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The deep dark cellar
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    518

    Exclamation Battle Royale II - Knight vs. Zakath

    Battle Royale II - Knight vs. Zakath

    TOPIC:
    Is there such a thing as absolute morality?

    Have both combatants read, understand and agree to the battle Royale Rules?

    I need a post from each combatant stating "YES" regarding the rules.

    This will be a 10 round battle and will be refereed by me and by Becky.
    - Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. - Proverbs 27:5

  2. #2
    Axe dropper webby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The deep dark cellar
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    518

    Exclamation

    ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (webmaster), Becky, Zakath or Knight. You may discuss Battle Royale II here.
    - Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. - Proverbs 27:5

  3. #3
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,596
    Thanks
    218
    Thanked 1,391 Times in 715 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1011260

    Thumbs up YES

    I understand the rules. I better - I wrote them!
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

    Download the new TOL app for iPhone, iPad, and Android...


  4. #4
    Resident Atheist Zakath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    3,015
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    228
    Nice logo!

  5. #5
    Resident Atheist Zakath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    3,015
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    228

    Re: Battle Royale II - Knight vs. Zakath

    Originally posted by webmaster
    ...Have both combatants read, understand and agree to the battle Royale Rules?

    I need a post from each combatant stating "YES" regarding the rules.
    You've got it. Consider this my "YES" regarding the rules...

    This will be a 10 round battle and will be refereed by me and by Becky.
    Looking forward to it...

  6. #6
    Pain Killer Prisca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    583
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Blog Entries
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    203

    Exclamation Coin Toss

    Okay, get ready for the coin toss! I’ve got Knight as “tails” and Zakath as “heads”. Here goes….and “heads” it is. Okay Zak, you go first!

  7. #7
    Axe dropper webby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The deep dark cellar
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    518

    Exclamation OK......

    From this point on any posts by Knight or Zakath will be counted as a "round" in the Battle. Therefore post wisely. Remember you only have 2 minutes to edit your post after posting it or it will be deleted (as the rules state).

    ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (webmaster), Becky, Zakath or Knight. You may discuss Battle Royale II here.

    Zakath is on the clock and has 48 hours to make his first post.

    BATTLE ROYALE II - Is there such a thing as absolute morality?

    Lets get it on!
    Last edited by webby; July 22nd, 2002 at 04:18 PM.
    - Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. - Proverbs 27:5

  8. #8
    Resident Atheist Zakath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    3,015
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    228
    Does absolute morality exist? Zakath's Post #1

    This is the question to which the "goode Sir Knight" and I will address ourselves for the next twenty posts to this thread.

    There are any number of ways we could proceed, but I'd like to start out by examining the term "absolute morality" and explaining what I understand it to mean. Then, I'll raise a couple of potential conflicts between Christian theology and the concept of absolute morality.

    Since morality is a "system of ideas of right and wrong conduct" (1), we are then looking for a system that is "absolute" or one that is "... regarded as independent of and unrelated to anything else." (2) Putting these two concepts together, we come up with this definition:

    Absolute morality - a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct that is independent of and unrelated to anything else.

    This definition would agree with Richard Swineburne's (a well-known contemporary Christian theologian) ideas. Swinburne asserts that atheists and religionists can both argue in favor of some of the same moral positions since those positions are not dependent on any command of God for their truth. (3)

    As I see it, this view raises several potential problems for the religionists, particularly Christians. I'll discuss two of them briefly here:

    Problem One: How can absolute morality be created?
    The Christian Bible teaches that YHWH, the deity of the Bible, has created all things (Eph. 3:9, Col. 1:16, Rev. 4:11). As we demonstrated above, if absolute morality exists, it is independent of anything else. Thus, to be absolute, it must be independent of deity. The Christian Bible also asserts, in Col 1:17, that "all things are held together in him". This means that morality is dependent (past and present) upon YHWH. If YHWH created everything, that means he made morality, if morality depends upon him for its continued existence, it cannot independent of him and is not absolute.

    Problem Two: How can absolute morality and an omnipotent deity exist simultaneously?
    Suppose we ignore Ephesians, Colossians, and Revelation and hypothecate the existence of some set of absolute morals. Christians claim their deity is omnipotent (Lk. 1:37). Christians also claim their deity cannot commit an evil action (Num. 23:19, James 1:13). How can a deity be omnipotent if it must obey an absolute law external to itself? This is similar to the difficulties the Greek, Roman, and Norse deities had with "fate" or "the fates". In those religions, even the gods cannot contravene fate since it was absolute. By insisting in absolute morality, Christians demote their deity to a secondary position of authority to a universal absolute morality. He remains powerful, but is not omniopotent. It appears they cannot have their cake (an omnipotent deity) and eat it (absolute morals) too.


    There are other issues, like the Euthyphro dilemma, but we'll save those for future posts.

    ==============================================
    References:
    1. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    2. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    3. Swinburne, Richard. The Coherence of Theism. Oxford University Press, 1977, pg. 204

  9. #9
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,596
    Thanks
    218
    Thanked 1,391 Times in 715 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1011260

    Thumbs up Knight's POST #1

    You know throughout the years I have grown to like our old friend Zakath. At times me and Zakath have agreed very strongly on certain subjects, I think several of Zakath's posts have been very well written and raised some excellent questions. However.... as of late, Zakath seems to have lost his edge and struggles sometimes to comprehend the argument on the table. This is evidenced by his opening statements in this very debate. I will comment on some of Zakath's opening statements and then make a few comments of my own and finally close with a simple question for Zakath to respond to.

    Zakath defines Absolute morality as....
    Absolute morality - a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct that is independent of and unrelated to anything else.
    "Independent and unrelated to anything else"??? I think that is a pretty careless definition of Absolute Morality. When defining a common phrase you can't always look up the definitions for the individual words within the phrase and stick the definitions together to make a reasonable definition for the phrase itself. I think most people would agree that Absolute Morality means that there are certain morals (behaviors and actions), that are wrong even if society, government or individuals deem those behaviors or actions to be "not wrong". In other words... absolute morality means that there is a standard of right and wrong that supercedes - or is greater than - man's standard of right and wrong. Now keep in mind this debate is not to determine what specific morals are absolute. This debate is to determine IF there is such a thing as absolute morality. If there exists just ONE item, (behavior or action) that is absolutely wrong (or right) then absolute morality exists and Zakath has lost the debate.

    In Zakath's first post he goes on to site what he calls "potential problems for the religionists, particularly Christians." I knew going into this debate that Zakath would have a hard time making his point and conducting this debate without attempting to discuss the Bible and Christianity. Unfortunately for Zakath the question of "Does absolute morality exist?" is not necessarily a Christian issue. What this issue/debate really boils down to is....... if we can determine that absolute morality exists, (which reasonable people can do) THEN we can determine that a god(s) exists. After that determination has been made then we can go on to discuss what sort of attributes that god must have based on many factors, but the latter is not at issue in this debate.

    In the following debate I will demonstrate several things such as:

    - If one argues against absolute morality they have no standing to argue for ANY type of morality, they might think they have standing, but ultimately they do not and I will show that.

    - Those who argue against absolute morality consistently contradict themselves by borrowing from existing moral (and even absolute moral) standards in order to at least have SOME standard of right vs, wrong (the consistently logical stance for the moral relativist would be to have NO standard of morals whatsoever, but that's just downright embarrassing and unworkable even for the moral relativist!).

    - The consequences of TRULY having no moral absolutes is totally unworkable, unnatural and contrary to the reality in which we all live.

    - Those that argue against moral absolutes trick themselves into thinking certain things are not absolutely wrong. I will expose their "trick", and once I expose this "trick" it will be easy for you to spot the "trick" and you will then know how to combat this "trick".

    - Moral relativists often accuse Christians and other religious groups of doing things that are wrong and even absolutely wrong! How does that fit in with their moral relativists stance?

    - Moral relativists know full well the logical consequences of moral absolutes which is the only reason that they are silly enough to argue against them.

    - And much much more!!!!

    Battle Royale II - a note about this battle -
    If you are judging this battle upon who has the largest vocabulary or who can quote the most philosophers and theologians then I am sure Zakath has the advantage. But if you are a truth seeker and are more interested in which argument is the most logical, true and in harmony with reality you will quickly see that Zakath will fail miserably.

    To summarize our differences....
    The moral absolutist:
    The moral absolutist believes that there are things (behaviors and actions) that are absolutely wrong, wrong EVEN in the face of how society, government or individuals feel about these behaviors and actions. Moral absolutists believe that there is a standard of right and wrong that supercedes mankind's standards of right vs. wrong. Moral absolutists believe that mankind's standard of right and wrong is often in error and we can ONLY determine these things are in error because there is such a thing as ABSOLUTE MORALITY.

    The moral relativist:
    The moral relativist believes that actions and behaviors are only right or wrong based on what is right or wrong in the eyes of the society, government or the individual. In other words.... what is wrong in ones eyes might be OK - or even right - in another's eyes.

    Ask yourself.... which of the above are you?


    My closing question for Zakath....
    Zakath, in your heart of hearts, deep in your gut and entrenched in your brain, do you honestly believe that there is NO action or behavior (none whatsoever!!!) that is wrong, EVEN if that action or behavior happens to be accepted by any given society, government or individual?

    A "YES" or "NO" answer with additional explanation would be great.


    And now look below for the fun part........
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

    Download the new TOL app for iPhone, iPad, and Android...


  10. #10
    Axe dropper webby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The deep dark cellar
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    518

    Exclamation DING DING DING

    That's the end of round #1. Zakath is back on the clock - great first round!!!

    And remember....

    ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (webmaster), Becky, Zakath or Knight. You may discuss Battle Royale II here.
    - Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. - Proverbs 27:5

  11. #11
    Resident Atheist Zakath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    3,015
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    228
    Does Absolute Morality Exist? Zakath's 2nd post

    I thank my opponent the "goode Sir Knight" for his first post and will take this opportunity to say that he played it true to form and did not disappoint us. He went straight for the emotional appeal. While I found his pseudo-altar call at the end humorous, it was disingenuous and, if I didn't know him better, would be insulted. He is merely "playing to the gallery" by indirectly accusing me of believing that "there is no action or behavior (none whatsoever!!!) that is wrong...". I'd like to answer his final question first with a simple yes; and further clarify it by saying that if I did not believe that some actions were wrong, I wouldn't be wasting my time debating this topic with him.

    Now, to address his other points.

    1. First Knight attempts to seize the high moral ground by discounting my proposed definition of "absolute morality". I could quibble about this, but being the delightfully gracious fellow that I am, I will willingly yield and accept his definition.

    I can afford to be generous here, particularly since the definition he proposed is quite adequate for me to prove my point. That said, for the rest of this discussion we will use the following definition of "absolute morality" provided by Knight himself:
    "Absolute morality means that there is a standard of right and wrong that supercedes - or is greater than - man's standard of right and wrong." - Knight 7/23/02
    2. Knight then assures us that "this debate is not to determine what specific morals are absolute." He then proclaims that if he can accomplish just that, by proving the existence of a single absolute right or wrong action or behavior, that I will have lost the debate!

    In his exuberance, Knight has thereby accepted the burden of proof in this debate. I encourage him to go for the kill! I, and any number of readers, will be waiting to see Knight prove the existence of a single absolute right or wrong behavior or action without determining a specific moral as absolute...

    3. In the following paragraph, Knight "takes the bait" and spends a bit of effort attempting to sidestep my two theological propositions. He appears to feel it was inappropriate for me to use Christian theological points on a Christian discussion board. Perhaps he would rather I used Hindu, Zoroastrian, or Celtic theology? I would warn him to be very careful trying to use his Christian Bible to support his side of the argument. He would do well to remember that his Bible can be a "two edged sword", meaning in this case, it can cut both ways...

    On a more serious note, in the fourth sentence, Knight engages in a standard tactic here on TOL when he attempts to refocus the debate from the original point to his own issue:
    "What this issue/debate really boils down to is....... [sic] if wecan determine that absolute morality exists, (which reasonable people can do), THEN we can determine that a god(s) exists."
    I have no wish to refocus the debate. I think we have plenty to discuss with the current topic and would suggest we shelve this new one for later...

    4. Knight lists six additional items that he claims he will demonstrate during the debate. Since this is the preliminary statement and he presented no supporting argument for these statements, I will be interested to see his points fleshed out and will discuss each one as he presents it.

    5. Thank you Knight for the compliment about my vocabulary and sources (even if it was backhanded). I'm sure that with a bit of study you could be even more facile than I. He did hit one point right on the money; those seeking truth have a lot to gain from reading discussions like this. This discussion will provide readers an opportunity to compare secular logic with emotional religious appeals and see which one better fits the real world in which the reader dwells.

    Lastly, I find Knight's definition of moral absolutist intriguing. He claims the existence of a set of absolute morals and I am waiting with interest his attempt to demonstrate evidence of their existence without determining any single one to be absolute.

    Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, the ball is in your court, Sir Knight!
    Last edited by Zakath; July 24th, 2002 at 11:38 AM.

  12. #12
    Axe dropper webby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The deep dark cellar
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    518

    Exclamation RULES VIOLATION!!!!!!!

    Zakath, why did you break the "Don't edit your posts rule"?

    The rule is pretty clear....
    NO POSTS CAN BE EDITED
    Once a response has been made each combatant will have exactly 2 minutes to make any edits to their post. After that the "last edited by...." message will be posted on the post and the moderator will delete the post and the combatants turn will be forfeited. IS THIS RULE CLEAR? This rule will be strictly enforced and will have ZERO exceptions!

    Basically make sure you are ready to post your response when you post it because we do not want combatants editing their posts after they have been posted.
    However, in light of the fact that Knight has not responded yet and you are the first to break the rule I am going to make an exception this one time and let your post stand. Maybe this will help to make future battle combatants understand the rule.

    This rule is place so that combatants do not waste time responding to points that have been changed or deleted after the fact by the other combatant. It should be pretty obvious as why we have the rule.

    I happen to have inside info that Knight has not started his POST #2 so it wont matter this time. However, this will be the only time we make an exception to this rule. The next offense will result in a deletion of the post all together. Thanks in advance for your time.
    - Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. - Proverbs 27:5

  13. #13
    Resident Atheist Zakath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    3,015
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    228
    Webmaster,

    I was not aware that I had edited outside the two minute period. The screen shows the time listed on my post is 6:36 AM and the edit time is 6:38 AM. As nearly as I can tell that is two minutes. It appears we are discussing a matter of seconds here... Would you please reveal how long a period transpired between my initial post and my edit? How many seconds was I over?

    Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation.

  14. #14
    Axe dropper webby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The deep dark cellar
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    518

    Exclamation RULES VIOLATION #2

    Come one Zakath you could have private messaged me your last post! The rules clearly state...
    NO combatant will be allowed to post TWO posts in a row
    When you said "YES" that you understood the rules, I assumed that you meant "YES - I understand the rules". Get with the program!!!!
    - Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. - Proverbs 27:5

  15. #15
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,596
    Thanks
    218
    Thanked 1,391 Times in 715 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1011260

    Smile POST #2

    Wow... I guess that shot to the head with the folding chair was pretty effective! There is almost no substance whatsoever is Zakath's post #2. However the small bit of substance that I could find within his post shatters his side of the argument! TKO in the second round????

    I asked Zakath....
    Zakath, in your heart of hearts, deep in your gut and entrenched in your brain, do you honestly believe that there is NO action or behavior (none whatsoever!!!) that is wrong, EVEN if that action or behavior happens to be accepted by any given society, government or individual?
    And he answered....
    I'd like to answer his final question first with a simple yes; and further clarify it by saying that if I did not believe that some actions were wrong, I wouldn't be wasting my time debating this topic with him.
    I am pretty sure Zakath meant to answer "No". Because by answering "YES" he is saying he believes NO action or behavior is wrong (none whatsoever). But in his clarification he stated... "if I did not believe that some actions were wrong, I wouldn't be wasting my time debating this topic with him." Therefore Zakath believes that some things ARE wrong even though they are accepted by a given society, government or individual. Either Zakath meant to answer "NO" or he is psychotic I know Zakath well enough to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant to answer...
    I'd like to answer his final question first with a simple no; and further clarify it by saying that if I did not believe that some actions were wrong, I wouldn't be wasting my time debating this topic with him.
    So Zakath believes that some things are wrong.

    REVIEW:
    In this debate Zakath is arguing that what is right and what is wrong is relative to the individual, society or government, yet Zakath claims that some actions and behaviors are wrong even if the individual, society or government have accepted them as right! Apparently Zakath does not adhere to the standard of morality he is debating!

    Said another way - Zakath himself doesn't even believe (or at least practice) what he is arguing! If he DID believe his own argument he would accept that the individual, society or government could rightfully determine what is right and what is wrong relative to themselves.

    Ultimately the readers of this debate will see (if they haven't already) that this monumental contradiction in Zakath's world view is a hurtle to large for him to ever clear.

    I had so much more planned for post #2 but there really isn't any need for it right now.

    The only logical thing to do at this point in the debate is to ask Zakath a follow-up question.....

    FOLLOW-UP QUESTION FOR ZAKATH:
    In light of your answer that you believe some actions and behaviors are wrong even if the action or behavior happens to be accepted by any given society, government or individual on what basis or standard can you
    determine that such an action or behavior is wrong?

    Asked in another way.... If you, (Zakath), determine that an action or behavior is wrong, what makes that action or behavior wrong?
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

    Download the new TOL app for iPhone, iPad, and Android...


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About us
Since 1997 TheologyOnline (TOL) has been one of the most popular theology forums on the internet. On TOL we encourage spirited conversation about religion, politics, and just about everything else.

follow us