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Thread: Battle Royale VII Specific discussion thread

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    Originally posted by AROTO
    Bob is proving a valuble point, atheists can not allow themselves to believe in absolutes for the simple fact of where the absolute comes from, and they will do flips trying to get out of the argument with some sort of half baked scheme by trying to put every condition on an action.[/b]
    Bob isn't proving anything, and hopefully Zakath will call him on this in the next round. To begin with, the arguement he is making is non sequitur. Even if it were theoretically possible to come up with an absolute moral (it isn't), there is no reason to believe it came from God in the first place. Therefore it certainly would not constitute evidence that God exists. The leap of logic Bob is making is incredible, despite the fact that he has yet to give an example of an absolute moral, good or bad.

    This is the underlying problem with Bob's position. He assumes God's exists, and tries to work the proof's backward. Atheists look at the evidence before them and allow that to lead them to the conclusion. Despite what you may think of atheists, most would love to know that God really does exist. Who wouldn't. An eternity in "heaven" sure sounds nice. Beats an eternal dirt nap any day of the week. But we can't base conclusions on things that are "nice to hear". We can't make something true just because we "like" it. Facts are facts, and if you are going to examine them, you must do so with an open mind, not by starting with an assumtion then trying to make the facts fit.

    Originally posted by AROTO
    Is it absolutely wrong to shoot a homeless person in the head while he is sleeping on the sidewalk?
    No it isn't. You don't understand the arguement I made above. It doesn't matter if you think God would or wouldn't tell someone to do this. The fact is (according to the theists), he is omnipotent, so he can tell someone to do it. Therefore it must be considered when looking for absolute morality. You can't just rule out possibilites that you don't like. You have to prove they could never happen. So far Bob has done nothing of the sort. Hopefully Zakath doesn't let him get away with this short-sighted assertion.

    There is a reason the bible requires you to rely on faith as a cornerstone of your worldview. Because nothing in it is provable. God, if he exists, knows this, hence the requirement of "faith". By asserting he can "prove" God exists, Bob is undermining the entire basis of his belief system. In the end, that will be the downfall of Bob in this debate.

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    Aroto,

    Your supposed absolutes are just inventions of man anyway. As we created God we must also (by default) have created any absolutes that go along with him.

    I wonder why you guys can fail to grasp that any of our concepts (like absolutes) are just thatÖ OUR concepts. Man made idea, inventions, concepts to explain what we know and donít know.

    We invented God yet you donít give us the kudos fro inventing the concept of absolute morals.

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    Originally posted by Michael12
    But we can't base conclusions on things that are "nice to hear". We can't make something true just because we "like" it. Facts are facts, and if you are going to examine them, you must do so with an open mind, not by starting with an assumtion then trying to make the facts fit.
    Um.... there are no absolutes, remember? We don't HAVE to do anything. There are no real facts. We don't have to have an open mind.

    Even the atheist in his attempt to disprove absolutes can't avoid using words and phrases like "must", "can't", "facts are facts".

    It's almost like you have a "moral" compulsion for us to see the abolute truth that there are no absolutes.
    ~spackle~

    just filling in the cracks

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    [Knight: I apologize if this is not appropriate for this thread, but I sincerely have these questions about Pastor Bob's premise that "Absolute Morality" is evidence for the existence of God.]

    I further hope that if Pastor Bob does not address these questions outside of the debate, that Zakath will ask him to clarify the position within the debate by asking him the same (or similar) questions.

    I posted the following response to Pastor Bob in this other thread:

    For the record, I posted the following on this thread:

    Originally posted by Bob Enyart
    Looking forward to reading your posts, -Bob Enyart
    Pastor Bob - did you get a chance to read my post? If you have the time, I would really like if you could answer those questions (or let me know if and why you can't right now). I hope you can tell that these are honest and legitimate questions, as I truly do not understand the concept of "Absolute Right & Wrong". You have used this to prove that God exists. Perhaps you could help me and others understand this idea so we might better understand this point you made in the current debate.

    Thank you.

    --ZK
    Pastor Bob responded with this:

    Originally posted by Bob Enyart
    ZK: You guessed it, I don't have the time, but I do invite you to call your questions into the radio show any weeknight (but not on July 4th, we're re-airing our interview with Norma Rogers, the nurse who found Juanita Broaddrick sobbing shortly after she says she was raped.) -Bob E.
    Perhaps Zakath can ask Pastor Bob to respond to these questions in the current debate. These are the types of questions that NEED TO BE ANSWERED to get any benefit out of Pastor Bob's position that Absolute Right & Wrong are evidence of the existence of God.

    It may not be the case, but I think Pastor Bob's "not having time" really just means he doesn't know, or that his answers will only serve to strike this major premise from his argument.

    --ZK

    =============================================

    For ease of reference, here are the questions that I asked regarding Absolute Morality:


    Can a theist that is well-versed in the idea of "Absolute Right & Wrong" (and believes it is true) please answer some honest questions I have? If Pastor Bob could answer these too (If you have time), that would help me (and others) understand (some of) your positions in the current debate more. The more detail the better. Thank you.

    1) In reference to the ideas of "Absolute Right" and "Absolute Wrong", can you please define the following terms: "Absolute", "Right", "Wrong", "Absolute Right", "Absolute Wrong". In addition, if you use any other terms that are likely to be misinterpreted, please define them too. (ie: "Subjective"; "Relative"; "Conditional"; "Action" (just the act itself, or inclusive of motives and any/all conditions?))

    2) If I believe there is only one Absolute Right & Wrong, and that every other action is relative, does that mean I believe in "Absolute Right & Wrongs"? What if I believe there is only one action that is Relative, and all others are Absolute? In other words, would I have to believe ALL actions are absolutely right or wrong to believe in "Absolute Right & Wrong"? Would I have to belive that ALL actions are relative in order to believe in "Relative Right & Wrong"? What language would you use to differentiate whether someone believed most (but not all) actions are Absolute (Right & Wrong implied from now on), as opposed to someone that believed most (but not all) actions were Relative (again, Right & Wrong implied from now on)?

    3) Can something that is Absolutely Right or Wrong be MORE or LESS Absolutely Right or Wrong than something else? If so, is the scale of Absolutes also Absolute? If so, can someone please provide me with that scale (for at least the top 10 or so actions that usually come up in debates regarding this issue: Murder, Rape, Lying, Stealing, etc...)? If there is a scale, then is there some sort of weight that can be applied to the actions - is that relative or absolute? In other words, if "Murder" is worse than "Lying", is it 5 times worse? 10 times worse? Or is the weighting more relative? What is the scale for Absolute Rights also?

    4) Are thoughts also Absolutely Right or Wrong? Are motives or intentions a part in deciding if something is Right or Wrong? How is this Absolute (or Relative) and how does that affect the answer(s) in #3? Jesus compared "hate" and "lust" (just the thoughts) to "murder" and "adultery". Was he saying those thoughts were *just as bad* as the actions? Would thoughts about those actions be at the same level in the scale discussed in #3? Actions seem to be more "black and white" than thoughts. Either you murdered the person or you didnt (for example)? But it seems thoughts are a bit more gray. What if the thought crosses my mind that "I wish this person was dead" (for example), but is immediately replaced with "No, that would be wrong, I should love this person"; Is that already as bad as if I were to have killed them? If not, at what point do those thoughts become bad? Or is it the more I think about them, the worse they become? Is this "worse" relative or absolute? Where do they fit on the scale on #3? Intentions and Motives never seem to be pure, and seem to be rather "gray". If they play a part in something being Right or Wrong, how can the actions still be "Absolutely Right or Wrong"?

    5) How does the ability to prevent something Wrong from happening fit in with all of this? If you can prevent a Wrong, but don't, is that *just as bad* as if you had done the Wrong? Is it bad/wrong at all? Where on the scale (#3) would it be? What if you try to prevent a Wrong, but it still happens? Where is that on the scale? What if you didn't try your hardest? What if you could have prevented someone from being murdered by jumping in front of the bullet (for example), but you didn't? Is that just as bad as having murdered them yourself?

    6) (Depending on the answers above, the answer to this question may be apparant.) Does the end ever justify the means? Is it ever right to do something wrong in order to make something right happen? Example: Would it ever be right to Lie in order to prevent someone from being Murdered? Why or why not?

    I truly hope that someone can answer these questions truthfully without obfuscating their answers.

    Thank you,
    --ZK

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    Originally posted by spackle
    Um.... there are no absolutes, remember? We don't HAVE to do anything. There are no real facts. We don't have to have an open mind.

    Even the atheist in his attempt to disprove absolutes can't avoid using words and phrases like "must", "can't", "facts are facts".

    It's almost like you have a "moral" compulsion for us to see the abolute truth that there are no absolutes.
    Nice try, but the topic is absolute morality, as it's being discussed in the debate. I never claimed there were NO absolutes in general. Just no absolute morals.

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    Michael, you said this:

    "But we can't base conclusions on things that are "nice to hear". We can't make something true just because we "like" it. Facts are facts, and if you are going to examine them, you must do so with an open mind, not by starting with an assumtion then trying to make the facts fit."


    Yeah, but who cares? Without absolute right and wrong, what's the difference how we approach the facts? Correct is no more right than incorrect. If we approach the facts without assumptions (or as near as we can manage) we might get closer to "truth", but what does that gain us?

    You say that morals are subjective and each person decides for himself what is right and wrong, so what's the problem with persuing that for the individual? You say that it all comes down to what the individual likes and then tell that individual that what they like isn't important.

    You're trying to make a case for the value of absolute truth when outside of an absolute moral system, absolute truth has no value. You have no reason to argue.

    Say I suddenly agree with you and state "there is no moral absolute." What has that gained me even if it's true? Truth? So what? Why is it better to be true than to be false?
    ~spackle~

    just filling in the cracks

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    Originally posted by spackle
    Michael, you said this:

    "But we can't base conclusions on things that are "nice to hear". We can't make something true just because we "like" it. Facts are facts, and if you are going to examine them, you must do so with an open mind, not by starting with an assumtion then trying to make the facts fit."


    Yeah, but who cares? Without absolute right and wrong, what's the difference how we approach the facts? Correct is no more right than incorrect. If we approach the facts without assumptions (or as near as we can manage) we might get closer to "truth", but what does that gain us?

    You say that morals are subjective and each person decides for himself what is right and wrong, so what's the problem with persuing that for the individual? You say that it all comes down to what the individual likes and then tell that individual that what they like isn't important.

    You're trying to make a case for the value of absolute truth when outside of an absolute moral system, absolute truth has no value. You have no reason to argue.

    Say I suddenly agree with you and state "there is no moral absolute." What has that gained me even if it's true? Truth? So what? Why is it better to be true than to be false?
    You are confusing absolute truth, with absolute right/wrong.

    Here is an example...

    2+2=4 That is an absolute truth. There is no "good" or "bad" about it. But it is absolute.

    The earth is one astronomical unit (AU) from the sun. Again, not "good" or "bad" but absolute. No matter the circumstances under which you are considering these two assertions, they are still "absolutely correct"

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    Zakath's only real mistake thus far was in his opening. He allowed Bob to gain the advantage by asking Bob definitions in his first post. This put him on the defensive when he should have taken the bull by the horns and assumed offense from the very first paragraph. Here is how I would have started....

    "How can you presume to PROVE the existence of God when he has made it quite clear, by way of his requirement of faith, that he chooses to remain unproven. Are you saying you can defy God's will, Bob? Or are you saying the bible is wrong, and that faith is not a requirement?"

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    Originally posted by Michael12
    You are confusing absolute truth, with absolute right/wrong.

    Here is an example...

    2+2=4 That is an absolute truth. There is no "good" or "bad" about it. But it is absolute.

    The earth is one astronomical unit (AU) from the sun. Again, not "good" or "bad" but absolute. No matter the circumstances under which you are considering these two assertions, they are still "absolutely correct"
    Fantastic.
    My question was, "what's the value in being right?"
    ~spackle~

    just filling in the cracks

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    Originally posted by spackle
    Fantastic.
    My question was, "what's the value in being right?"
    That is a context sensitive question.

    If you are "right" about 2+2, then you can base an entire mathematical model on that assertion and be sure that any further calculations within that model will be correct. So there is an intrinsic value in being correct in asserting 2+2=4

    If you are "right" about "it's bad to kill people", you can not assume you will always be correct because your motive behind the assertion is circumstance, which can, and does, change. So there is NO intrinsic value in asserting "its bad to kill people" because you cant base further assertions on it.
    Last edited by Michael12; July 3rd, 2003 at 10:11 PM.

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    Michael,

    Sorry, I don't mean to be frustrating.

    My question is bigger than that.
    Outside of an absolute value system where it's good to be right and it's bad to be wrong, what is the ultimate value of being right?

    Don't you see that the only place where being correct means anything is where your reference point is beyond your own system?

    Here's what I'm getting at...
    You are arguing for a position that you hold that we, in the interest of seeking truth, must do so and so and can't do so and so. I agree with you, because I believe in the value of being right. I believe in the value of truth beyond the question of the accuracy of facts.

    It's tied to morality, although morality is a much more slippery issue. I believe that humans where created good, but are fallen. How can such a being be expected to perform an absolutely good OR evil act? You look at human acts and try to find an absolute when humans are not supposed to be an absolute. We reflect an absolute, though, even with relative terms like "right" and "wrong". The specifics don't matter because the sense of right and wrong is there.

    In order to get a feel for the moral absolute, I think you have to get personal. Don't ask, "is rape always wrong?" Instead ask "Is there anyone on the earth who, if they were raped, would not think that it was wrong?"

    Sorry for rambling. I'm in a stream of conciousness mood.
    ~spackle~

    just filling in the cracks

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    Originally posted by Michael12
    There is a reason the bible requires you to rely on faith as a cornerstone of your worldview. Because nothing in it is provable. God, if he exists, knows this, hence the requirement of "faith". By asserting he can "prove" God exists, Bob is undermining the entire basis of his belief system. In the end, that will be the downfall of Bob in this debate.
    Well in an direct way, Bob's answer to the question if God exists as an independend and objective entity outside of the mind, is: "never mind".
    A truthfull answer, which means he is not giving an answer to such a question, since the only answer he can give would conflict with the position he holds in the debate.
    Not that he could, or should have given any other answer or that I would have expected him to give a truthfull answer, cause the reason for faith and belief is the lack of evidence, and it is not to be argued that there exists faith and belief in the existence of that omnipotent super being, but this stands fully apart from the fact if and wether such a deity at all exist.
    On the contrary, all forms of faith and belief in God would not have been there, in the case that the existence of such an omnipotent deity as existing outside and independend of the mind would have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Likewise, nobody has faith and belief in the existence of gravity, cause gravity exists independend of faith and belief in it. And nobody would, in an attempt to save oneself from drowning, conjecture against the laws of gravity. Instead, one could better learn to swim!
    Last edited by heusdens; July 4th, 2003 at 05:50 AM.

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    And the other thing is, how do we know - at all - that anything (anything at all) exists apart from independend from and outside of the mind?

    I know about the world, solely because sensory data is reflected in my brain, forming a picture of the world around me. Apart from my own awarenesses, how do I know in fact that there is an objective world, which exists independend, apart from and outside of my mind?
    The position taken in by various philosophical viewpoints on this fundamental issue, is clearly contradicting. One viewpoint taken in, which is the viewpoint of Idealism, is that no such objective world apart from independend from and outside of the mind exists. Taken this point of view to the extreme means that apart from my mind, nothing would be existent, which is the viewpoint of solipsism. Another moreobjective version of this vision is that, yes, there is an objective world, but it exists in primary instance in the form of a fundamental principle, absolute idea or in the form of a Supreme Being, and secondary in a material form.

    The opposite viewpoint of Idealism is that of Materialism, which is the vision that in primary instance the world exists in the form of matter in eternal motion, and consciousness and mind are secondary forms of highly developed material forms. Matter exists independend, apart from and outside of the mind. Apart from matter, nothing exists. Consciousness has no objective existence outside and independend of matter, and the fact that we can acknowledge the existence of consciousness, means it is ultimately based on material processes and properties of matter.

    The fundamental issue in philosophy, which also is the contrasting viewpoint between religion and material sciences is, the acknowledgement of what the world in primary instance is.

    Materialism answers that the world in primary instance is matter in eternal motion, which is independend, apart from and outside of mind, and does not require us to assume 'Supreme Beings' for it's existence. Consciousness arises out of matter, and is a secondary feature of the world and which does not exists apart from, outside and independend of matter.

    Idealism answers that we have to assume that in primary instance there is a fundemental principle or absolute idea. Matter exists only secondary, and is dependend of such a principle or idea.
    The theistic interpretation is that such a fundamental principle or absolute idea denotes God. Matter would not exist apart from, outside and independend of such a Deity (hence 'He' created heavens and earth and men). Solipsisms at last, assumes neither of both, but just states that apart from one's own mind, nothing exists.

    It is arguable that for denoting that what exists in primary instance as independend, outside and apart from the mind , we do not need two concepts. That is we have to choose between God and matter, since they are mutually exclusive.
    And the situation is that apart from the idea of God, the faith in God and the belief in God, about God itself we know nothing, because this being, which is stated of being all-powerfull, did not in last instance make it's existence in the world clear beyond all reasonable doubt in an objective way, and in fact lacks objective existence.

    About matter, we already have a deep and thorough understanding about the material world, and even when in our mind and despite the fact we can conjecture against matter and/or materialism (that is: form within our mind a mental representation of the world, in which the world would in primary instance not exist in the form of matter in eternal motion, but instead would exist as a 'creation' of a 'Superbeing') and might even 'win' an intelectual debate about this issue, this stands far from the fact that matter nevertheless has objective existence apart from and independend of the mind.

    Let us assume that we would continue this intelectual debate about wether or not the world exists in the form of matter in a primary instance, just when we cross a busy traffic road, and a big bus is nearing us when we cross the street. Right at that moment we will avoid being over run by this bus and make a quick move in order to avoid us being overrun, and continue our discussion at a safer place.

    Even when we can make a consciouss leap in our vision about the world, in which we could conjecture against and deny the material world to have objective existence, in reality we have to deal nevertheless with the fact that the material reality has independend existence, apart from and outside of our mind (as also inside our subconsciousness as well, which causes us to automatically and instinctmatically to react to any outside life threats).
    Last edited by heusdens; July 4th, 2003 at 06:21 AM.

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    Originally posted by heusdens
    Not that he could, or should have given any other answer or that I would have expected him to give a truthfull answer, cause the reason for faith and belief is the lack of evidence, and it is not to be argued that there exists faith and belief in the existence of that omnipotent super being, but this stands fully apart from the fact if and wether such a deity at all exist.
    heusden - we have a problem. I've wanted to say that for a while now.

    I really enjoy reading your posts... but I was hoping maybe I could ask a favor from you? See, I'm stupid and am not able to comprehend very much at one time. For instance, in the books that include phrases such as "See Spot." "See Spot run." "Run, Spot, run." -- I can get those. But, if they put too many words in one sentence, then I get confused.

    So, I guess I'm just asking if you could help my brain out a bit by shortening your sentences? Just add some periods here and there where appropriate. That will help me out a whole lot!! I'm sorry I'm so stupid. Please forgive me.

    Thanks & Sincerely,
    --ZK

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    Zorkewl:

    So sorry to forget about interpunction. I will keep my sentences shorter.

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