Discussion thread for: Battle Royale XIII

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avatar382

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We are not arguing relative responsibility, we were talking about "God's immutable laws." When we place "doubtful things" superior to these immutable laws (I'd call them apodictic), then we always run into this sort of "dilemma."

Nope. You can't reason your way to a command. God's commands (apodictic laws) are worded such that you cannot miss them: "You shall love the LORD your God..." and "You shall not steal." They are not circumstantial, CM example of the "justifiable stealing" of napkins notwithstanding. There is no instance in which stealing can be justified.

Nope. That would be failing to "love the LORD your God..." - in direct violation (by omission) of his apodictic law.

It cannot be overstated: do not make law out of "doubtful things" - things not expressly, explicitly declared as apodictic law.

Just to make sure I understand you fully, tell me if the following accurately summarizes your argument:

Stealing is forbidden by immutable apodicitc law, yet it not required by apodictic law to procure food for a starving sibling (or otherwise intervene to save the life of an innocent)

So in a situation where one has to choose between following the mandate to not steal and one's obligation to save the life of an innocent when one has the power to do so, the moral choice is to not steal, because apodictic laws (not stealing) trump "doubtful things" (doing what you can to save a life)
 

Nick M

Black Rifles Matter
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Shouldn't an absolute, immutable moral law like "Thou shalt not steal" apply in both peace and war?

Otherwise, it wouldn't be absolute, would it?

It sure isn't. In war, you steal as much as you can from an enemy, so as to defeat them.
 

chrysostom

Well-known member
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If it is true that it is only because of the power the Democrats have that we don't get pro-life judges from the Republicans then your argument against Bob's position has some merit. But if it is true then you should be able to establish it as such.

Can you do that or are you content with simply making the assertion and letting everyone take your word for it?

Resting in Him,
Clete

I invite you to comment on this thread

http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52249
 

avatar382

New member

How about this. An American soldier is trapped behind enemy lines and frequently raids the enemy camp or food and other needed supplies. Is it theft? What about a enemy soldier trapped behind U.S. lines. The enemy raids U.S. camps for the supplies he needs to survive, is that stealing? What about these two kids trapped behind enemy lines stealing what they need to survive, is it stealing? In all cases it is stealing. Is it morally wrong? Harder to answer. When you lie to protect the innocent you are not lying for personal gain. Your intention is only to protect the innocent. In this case you, are not stealing for personal gain but only to survive. In the case of the soldiers, they want to survive to return home. In the case of the children, they are just trying to survive. Since the sin is in the intention behind the act, I am not inclined to see this type of theft as a sin. Admittedly, I would be hard pressed to support that statement with scripture as clear as the scripture about the Jewish midwives. Within the confines of a war, I do not think this would be sealing.

BY the way, lying is not morally neutral. There is a direct commandment against bearing false witness (lying) against your neighbor. It is more accurate to say that our definition of a lie and God's definition of a lie are not synonymous. Lying to protect your Jewish neighbor from the Nazi's is not a moral act. Telling the Nazi's that your next door neighbor is Jewish when, in fact, they are not is an immoral act.



Thank you for your answer.

It undercuts a vital point in the absolute/relative morality debate that I've never seen explored in depth. It really is too bad it wasn't brought up and discussed in Battle Royal 2, where Knight and Zakath debated morality oh so long ago.

Anyway, you made an interesting and vital point: Sin, or moral wrong, is defined not by the act itself, but by the intention behind the act. Guilt, or violation of a moral standard, cannot be established without mens rea -- a guilty mind; criminal intent. An essential concept in all human justice systems, because without it, an accidental killing in justified self defense cannot be differentiated from a premeditated killing for personal gain.

In the example about the starving orphans, you admit that guilt, or moral violation is not present in the act of stealing food for survival as a last resort, because there is no criminal intent.

Now, you have expressed this concept succinctly, but that is not the only way to express it.

Knight, Clete, and many others here on TOL have expressed, in this thread and others, the same concept by assigning specialized terms to specific moral situations. For example, the term murder is defined to be an immoral killing -- that is, when we say murder, we mean "a killing in which criminal intent and motive is present."

Now, lets talk about these specialized terms in the context of absolute morality: In saying "Murder is absolutely wrong", what is really being said is that "Killing in which a criminal intent and motive is present is abolutely wrong." And here is the crux of my argument:

The term murder, by definition, presupposes the presence of moral wrong. It is equivalent to stating: moral wrong is absolutely morally wrong. It is a tautological statement, with no real meaning, like saying "black is black" and "That car is a car."

What makes killing murder? The circumstances of the killing. Whether or not there was criminal motive and intent. It is situational. It depends on context. I apologize for the redundancy, but I must emphasize the conditional nature of the term murder! This argument can be applied to any of the terms used in debates about morality: perjury, rape, larceny, you name it!

All human morality is ultimately conditional/relative, because we cannot determine the morality of an act without understanding the circumstances in which it occurred. That is, an act, performed twice different mens rea each time may well have a different moral value.

The average moral absolutist will read this and say: "You have completely missed the point, absolute morality means that we get our moral directives from a single unchanging eternal source and no matter what time and place we are in, we apply those directives as we were told, all the time." Wikipedia has another way of saying this:

Wikipedia article on moral universalism said:
The same things are right and wrong for all similarly-situated people, regardless of anyone's opinions, though not necessarily regardless of context.

In reality, this is not absolute morality, but rather moral universalism. To understand the difference, consider true absolute morality:

True absolute morality is the view than an act has a moral value devoid of context. Think about that. Devoid of context. In this light, the statement "murder is absolutely wrong" is a contradiction in terms, because context is intrinsic to the term murder! Now, can you think of anything that you would consider to be morally wrong devoid of context?

Moral Universalism comes in many flavors, such as Christianity (God is the source of the moral guidelines we are to apply conditionally), Humanism (The concept of dignity of human beings is the source of moral guidelines are are to apply conditionally) and Utilitarianism (The concept of "greatest good for the most people" is the source of moral guidelines to apply conditionally)

What the heck does any of this have to do with voting for a candidate?? Sure makes things less black and white, doesn't it?
 

CabinetMaker

Member of the 10 year club on TOL!!
Hall of Fame
Thank you for your answer.

It undercuts a vital point in the absolute/relative morality debate that I've never seen explored in depth. It really is too bad it wasn't brought up and discussed in Battle Royal 2, where Knight and Zakath debated morality oh so long ago.

Anyway, you made an interesting and vital point: Sin, or moral wrong, is defined not by the act itself, but by the intention behind the act. Guilt, or violation of a moral standard, cannot be established without mens rea -- a guilty mind; criminal intent. An essential concept in all human justice systems, because without it, an accidental killing in justified self defense cannot be differentiated from a premeditated killing for personal gain.

In the example about the starving orphans, you admit that guilt, or moral violation is not present in the act of stealing food for survival as a last resort, because there is no criminal intent.

Now, you have expressed this concept succinctly, but that is not the only way to express it.

Knight, Clete, and many others here on TOL have expressed, in this thread and others, the same concept by assigning specialized terms to specific moral situations. For example, the term murder is defined to be an immoral killing -- that is, when we say murder, we mean "a killing in which criminal intent and motive is present."

Now, lets talk about these specialized terms in the context of absolute morality: In saying "Murder is absolutely wrong", what is really being said is that "Killing in which a criminal intent and motive is present is abolutely wrong." And here is the crux of my argument:

The term murder, by definition, presupposes the presence of moral wrong. It is equivalent to stating: moral wrong is absolutely morally wrong. It is a tautological statement, with no real meaning, like saying "black is black" and "That car is a car."

What makes killing murder? The circumstances of the killing. Whether or not there was criminal motive and intent. It is situational. It depends on context. I apologize for the redundancy, but I must emphasize the conditional nature of the term murder! This argument can be applied to any of the terms used in debates about morality: perjury, rape, larceny, you name it!

All human morality is ultimately conditional/relative, because we cannot determine the morality of an act without understanding the circumstances in which it occurred. That is, an act, performed twice different mens rea each time may well have a different moral value.

The average moral absolutist will read this and say: "You have completely missed the point, absolute morality means that we get our moral directives from a single unchanging eternal source and no matter what time and place we are in, we apply those directives as we were told, all the time." Wikipedia has another way of saying this:



In reality, this is not absolute morality, but rather moral universalism. To understand the difference, consider true absolute morality:

True absolute morality is the view than an act has a moral value devoid of context. Think about that. Devoid of context. In this light, the statement "murder is absolutely wrong" is a contradiction in terms, because context is intrinsic to the term murder! Now, can you think of anything that you would consider to be morally wrong devoid of context?

Moral Universalism comes in many flavors, such as Christianity (God is the source of the moral guidelines we are to apply conditionally), Humanism (The concept of dignity of human beings is the source of moral guidelines are are to apply conditionally) and Utilitarianism (The concept of "greatest good for the most people" is the source of moral guidelines to apply conditionally)

What the heck does any of this have to do with voting for a candidate?? Sure makes things less black and white, doesn't it?

It is my understanding that the sin, the moral wrong, lies primarily in the intention.

For instance. Say I com home a find a man in my home assaulting my family. I immediately come to the aid of my family and a struggle ensues.

a)During the course of the struggle I kill the man. Am I guilty of murder? No. I did not set out to kill the man, his death was incidental to the struggle.

b)I over power the man and he surrenders. I tie his hands and leave him on the floor and then turn to my family. I become so angry that I go back to the man and kill him. Am I guilty of murder? Yes. My intention was to kill a man that had already surrendered. I acted out of anger and hate instead of out of a desire to protect my family. Whether the legal system would see it this way or not is an all together different matter. But I think from God's point of view my analysis is consistent with the Bible.

This opens up all sorts of issues. Can a soldier be guilty of murder? Yes. If he kills prisoners or non-combatants because he wants to, that's murder.

Are the woman who has an abortion and the doctor who performs it guilty of murder? There intention is to prevent the birth of a baby. If that intention is based on selfish desires such as not to be saddled with the responsibility of raising a child, then yes for both. If it is to save the life of the mother such as terminating an ectopic pregnancy, then no.

Is it always wrong to steal? When you are stealing for personal gain then yes.

Is it always wrong to lie? When you are doing so to avoid responsibility for your actions or to slander a neighbor, yes.

Is it always wrong to kill somebody? When the intentions behind the killing make it a murder as you describe above, yes.

Is it always wrong to have sex outside of marriage? When that sex is consensual, yes.

Is it always wrong to covet your neighbors possessions? Yes, though it is okay to admire them.

God has provided us with an absolute set of moral standards. If we interpret them as rigid laws then we are going to get ourselves in trouble. When we look at them at laws then it is always wrong to steal and the children and the soldiers would be guilty of theft.

Instead, we need to look at God's morals as a standard against which we measure our intentions. Is it our intention to honor God? Can I honor God by seducing my neighbors wife? No. Can I honor God by murdering the man who breaks into my house? No. Can I honor God by lying to the Nazi's by telling them my neighbors are not Jews? Yes.

I think that where the differences come in between God's absolute morality and man made codes of morality are in the areas that are not considered criminal. Theft and murder and slander are covered by laws. But adultery is one place where God says absolutely not and men say its okay between consenting adults. This will always reveal the great divide between God's standard and mans.




 

genuineoriginal

New member
All human morality is ultimately conditional/relative, because we cannot determine the morality of an act without understanding the circumstances in which it occurred. That is, an act, performed twice different mens rea each time may well have a different moral value.
Like I said before, you think this because your morals are flexible.
The average moral absolutist will read this and say: "You have completely missed the point, absolute morality means that we get our moral directives from a single unchanging eternal source and no matter what time and place we are in, we apply those directives as we were told, all the time."
You have completely missed the point!
Absolute morality means that we base our moral principles on what a single LIVING eternal source would find acceptable for the time and place we are in, period.


Romans 14
16Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

 

jsmiller

New member
Look, I'm fed up with this whole discussion! I don't want any more psychobabble. If you either cannot address my argument or don't want to address my argument, then don't address me at all on this issue. I don't want to talk about it any more unless you intend to directly answer the question I've asked which is as follows...

How does a conservative that votes for a third party that has no chance of winning or stays home and doesn't vote at all, not make it easier for the worse of two evils to win the election? How does my choosing to fight the lesser enemy not make me the ally of the greater enemy?

And

If you concede that it does make it easier for the worse of two evils to win, how do you justify that course of action?

Now I'm serious. If you don't want to answer those questions directly and substantively then I'm just going to ignore anything else you have to say. I've heard it all anyway, and in fact have made the very arguments you've been making myself more times than I can count. None of them address the question I'm asking.

Clete: Sorry for responding so late...was very busy...

Just curious about a few things (sincerely):
1) Do you feel your questions were answered directly by Bob? or indirectly?
2) Who will you vote for and why?

Jonathan
 

nicholsmom

New member
Just to make sure I understand you fully, tell me if the following accurately summarizes your argument:

Stealing is forbidden by immutable apodicitc law, yet it not required by apodictic law to procure food for a starving sibling (or otherwise intervene to save the life of an innocent)

So in a situation where one has to choose between following the mandate to not steal and one's obligation to save the life of an innocent when one has the power to do so, the moral choice is to not steal, because apodictic laws (not stealing) trump "doubtful things" (doing what you can to save a life)

I would never steal even food. I would seek other means of obtaining food (charity for instance) & if there were none, I'd go to a great feast in Heaven quite hungry.

I must ask you what you mean by an "innocent" - is that a baby who's had no chance to sin, a child who cannot be held accountable for sin, or someone who is "good" by your estimation? The only other alternative for "innocent" is one who has been justified by the blood sacrifice of Christ and so bears the righteousness, not of self, but of Jesus.
 

hollyivy

New member
NW said;

I think you have already lost the argument here. You admit abortion is murder every time (except when trying to save both mother and child but technology prevents saving the child at that time).

And you admit that John McCain allows for abortion in the case of incest and rape. So how can you say it would be moral to vote for a man that would place his stamp of approval on the murder of innocent children?

I would conclude that if you do you fall under the condemnation of Romans 1:32 :drum:

A vote for McCain is NOT in anyway shape or form a vote in support of choice for victims of rape and incest. Given the fact that voters do not have another option, a vote for McCain is a vote in support of life, regardless of McCain's own personal opinions regarding victims of rape and incest.

What other choices do we have? We can choose not to vote, but that is also a choice that impacts our country. There is no such thing as not choosing. We can choose a different candidate, but I believe that voting for a candidate or party that has zero chance of winning is like not voting at all, because it is a refusal to enter into the battle against abortion.

Not voting for McCain impacts the direction our country goes and is helpful to Obama, a man who will see that the pro-choice agenda is alive and well and will continue to promote the killing of countless unborn babies every day. Just ask Obama himself. If you are unwilling to vote for him, I am quite sure he would rather you didn't support McCain either. He will take your help despite your intentions.

If we don't wish to support Obama, we are left to do the only thing we can do to save as many lives as we possibly can and that is to support McCain. I ask all pro-life people NOT to support Obama, and I believe this is exactly what some of you are doing when you spread the message that pro-lifers should not support McCain.

Is voting for McCain immoral? Ask yourselves why you are voting for McCain. If it has nothing to do with his opinion regarding choice for rape and incest victims, and you are voting for the lesser of two evils, then you are voting in good conscience and you are not commiting a sin against God.

Regarding Romans 1:32, there is a lot I would like to say, but I will just say this: When I vote for McCain, it is not to give my approval for his sins against the unborn. It is to assure that my approval and help is NOT given to the man that I believe has absoltuely no regard for God when it comes to the lives of the unborn. I do not wish to help Obama by NOT voting for McCain.

Furthermore, McCain may be misguided, but can we really judge his intentions? In other words, is he acting without regard to God's will, or is he truly acting in a way that he believes is in accordance with God's will? Intentions matter when it comes to a person commiting a sin against God, and I think the previous passages to the above mentioned verse as well as this verse itself makes that quite clear. For example, can we really call McCain full of envy, wickedness, evil, greed, and malice? Is he ruthless and heartless? In verse 32 we read, "although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." It seems to me, that before one can be considered evil in the eyes of God, he has to KNOW the will of God, and despite knowing better, act contrary anyway. Willful intention must be involved in an evil act in order for it to be considered a sin against God. I cannot believe that McCain has evil intentions against God despite the fact that he knows God's will. I think he is misguided and not thinking out his position carefully. When I vote for McCain, I do not believe that I will be voting for a man who willfully engages in pactices against God. I will be voting for the lesser of two evils.

Again, I ask you, what choices do we have in this election? There is no such thing as not making a choice. Not voting is a choice. Every choice we make short of voting for McCain is a choice that supports Obama and his pro-choice agenda.
 
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Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
Clete: Sorry for responding so late...was very busy...
Don't worry about it. I'm up to my eyeballs myself.

Just curious about a few things (sincerely):
1) Do you feel your questions were answered directly by Bob? or indirectly?
Very directly.

2) Who will you vote for and why?

Jonathan
I don't know.

It is likely that, assuming that something dramatic doesn't happen to cause me to make a firm decision one way or the other, I will decide to defer to him whom I call my pastor (i.e. Bob Enyart) and follow his guidance and vote for neither McCain nor Obama. In that case, I will probably not vote at all since there is no third party candidate on the ballot in Oklahoma (that I know of) and write ins are, in my estimation, a complete waste of time.

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
A vote for McCain is NOT in anyway shape or form a vote in support of choice for victims of rape and incest. Given the fact that voters do not have another option, a vote for McCain is a vote in support of life, regardless of McCain's own personal opinions regarding victims of rape and incest.

What other choices do we have? We can choose not to vote, but that is also a choice that impacts our country. There is no such thing as not choosing. We can choose a different candidate, but I believe that voting for a candidate or party that has zero chance of winning is like not voting at all, because it is a refusal to enter into the battle against abortion.

Not voting for McCain impacts the direction our country goes and is helpful to Obama, a man who will see that the pro-choice agenda is alive and well and will continue to promote the killing of countless unborn babies every day. Just ask Obama himself. If you are unwilling to vote for him, I am quite sure he would rather you didn't support McCain either. He will take your help despite your intentions.

If we don't wish to support Obama, we are left to do the only thing we can do to save as many lives as we possibly can and that is to support McCain. I ask all pro-life people NOT to support Obama, and I believe this is exactly what some of you are doing when you spread the message that pro-lifers should not support McCain.

Is voting for McCain immoral? Ask yourselves why you are voting for McCain. If it has nothing to do with his opinion regarding choice for rape and incest victims, and you are voting for the lesser of two evils, then you are voting in good conscience and you are not commiting a sin against God.

Regarding Romans 1:32, there is a lot I would like to say, but I will just say this: When I vote for McCain, it is not to give my approval for his sins against the unborn. It is to assure that my approval and help is NOT given to the man that I believe has absoltuely no regard for God when it comes to the lives of the unborn. I do not wish to help Obama by NOT voting for McCain.

Furthermore, McCain may be misguided, but can we really judge his intentions? In other words, is he acting without regard to God's will, or is he truly acting in a way that he believes is in accordance with God's will? Intentions matter when it comes to a person commiting a sin against God, and I think the previous passages to the above mentioned verse as well as this verse itself makes that quite clear. For example, can we really call McCain full of envy, wickedness, evil, greed, and malice? Is he ruthless and heartless? In verse 32 we read, "although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." It seems to me, that before one can be considered evil in the eyes of God, he has to KNOW the will of God, and despite knowing better, act contrary anyway. Willful intention must be involved in an evil act in order for it to be considered a sin against God. I cannot believe that McCain has evil intentions against God despite the fact that he knows God's will. I think he is misguided and not thinking out his position carefully. When I vote for McCain, I do not believe that I will be voting for a man who willfully engages in pactices against God. I will be voting for the lesser of two evils.
You should read post 338 and see if it changes your mind any. I'd be interested in your response.
 

Delmar

Patron Saint of SMACK
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
Don't worry about it. I'm up to my eyeballs myself.


Very directly.


I don't know.

It is likely that, assuming that something dramatic doesn't happen to cause me to make a firm decision one way or the other, I will decide to defer to him whom I call my pastor (i.e. Bob Enyart) and follow his guidance and vote for neither McCain nor Obama. In that case, I will probably not vote at all since there is no third party candidate on the ballot in Oklahoma (that I know of) and write ins are, in my estimation, a complete waste of time.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Wow! you are correct! I looked up a sample ballot for Oklahoma and there are no 3rd party candidates listed.

In Indiana we have a load of them

Bob Barr - L
Wayne Allen Root
Michael L. Faith - AI
Darrell Castle - CON
Cynthia McKinney - G
Chuck Baldwin - CON
Lawson Mitchell Bone - I
Kevin Mottus - I
Ralph Nader - I
John Leroy Plemons - I
Lou Kujawski - R
Brian Moore - S
 

Lighthouse

Star-Spangled Kid
Gold Subscriber
Hall of Fame
Wow! you are correct! I looked up a sample ballot for Oklahoma and there are no 3rd party candidates listed.

In Indiana we have a load of them

Bob Barr - L
Wayne Allen Root
Michael L. Faith - AI
Darrell Castle - CON
Cynthia McKinney - G
Chuck Baldwin - CON
Lawson Mitchell Bone - I
Kevin Mottus - I
Ralph Nader - I
John Leroy Plemons - I
Lou Kujawski - R
Brian Moore - S
That's more than we had last time. The only third party then was Libertarian.
 

Jugulum

New member
I just found this debate, and haven't finished it yet. While I'm still reading, I thought I'd drop in the thoughts I already have:

If you think of the alternatives like this, then you'll probably think it's immoral to vote for McCain: "Am I going to vote on principle, lending my support to the right man in order to get him into office?"

If you think about it this way, you'll probably think you have a moral obligation to vote for McCain: "Am I going to use my vote just to make a statement? Or am I going to vote in order to affect what happens? Am I going to vote in order to help divert our country from an evil path toward a better one?"

(Of course, that assumes that McCain's policies will involve fewer acts of evil than Obama's.)


Another thought: Question GG3 was simply pathetic.
GG3: Two men are trying to break into a school. One wants to kill all the kids in the school and the other only wants to kill some of them. Neither one is personally threatening your life. You have a key to get into the school. Which one are you going to support, knowing that eventually one will succeed in getting in? To whom do you give your key?
In that situation, neither one will necessarily get into the building unless you give them your key.

Try a situation more like this:
Two men are running toward a school. One wants to kill all the kids in the school and the other only wants to kill some of them. Whoever gets there first will lock the door behind him, preventing the other from gaining access. You have to opportunity to trip one of them. (Or, you have the opportunity to remove a roadblock from in front of one of them.) Are you going to do nothing? Or are you going to act so that it's more likely the second one will make it there first?
 

The Graphite

New member
I just found this debate, and haven't finished it yet. While I'm still reading, I thought I'd drop in the thoughts I already have:

If you think of the alternatives like this, then you'll probably think it's immoral to vote for McCain: "Am I going to vote on principle, lending my support to the right man in order to get him into office?"

If you think about it this way, you'll probably think you have a moral obligation to vote for McCain: "Am I going to use my vote just to make a statement? Or am I going to vote in order to affect what happens? Am I going to vote in order to help divert our country from an evil path toward a better one?"

(Of course, that assumes that McCain's policies will involve fewer acts of evil than Obama's.)


Another thought: Question GG3 was simply pathetic.

In that situation, neither one will necessarily get into the building unless you give them your key.

Try a situation more like this:
Two men are running toward a school. One wants to kill all the kids in the school and the other only wants to kill some of them. Whoever gets there first will lock the door behind him, preventing the other from gaining access. You have to opportunity to trip one of them. (Or, you have the opportunity to remove a roadblock from in front of one of them.) Are you going to do nothing? Or are you going to act so that it's more likely the second one will make it there first?
Your example doesn't work, because in an election, there's no such thing as voting against a candidate. One only votes for someone, not against someone else. There is no lever or button that says "Not Obama." Hence our example of providing a key.

However, that whole analogy and question of ours was soon abandoned since our opponents conceded the debate in such away as to make the school analogy totally moot. Our opponents freely conceded that it is immoral to vote for any candidate that wants to keep abortion legal and who funds abortion. These two points were incredibly easy to prove. So the school question became totally irrelevant.
 

Jugulum

New member
Your example doesn't work, because in an election, there's no such thing as voting against a candidate. One only votes for someone, not against someone else. There is no lever or button that says "Not Obama." Hence our example of providing a key.
And hence my alternative, "Or, you have the opportunity to remove a roadblock from in front of one of them." (I thought about removing the "trip up" version entirely, but I assumed that if anyone objected like you did, they would still pay attention to the parenthetical alternative.) I think that would match up with the election.

Or, if you don't think "remove a roadblock" is active enough, we could replace it with a more active form of "help one of them get to the door first".

Either way, your question still suffered the flaw that I pointed out. By providing a key, you let someone into the building who might not have gotten in otherwise. That example doesn't work.

And whether or not it turned out to be moot for your debate, I'm curious what your answer is. Would you help the "kill some people" person get to the door first? Or would you choose inaction and allow the "kill everyone" person to get there first?

However, that whole analogy and question of ours was soon abandoned since our opponents conceded the debate in such away as to make the school analogy totally moot. Our opponents freely conceded that it is immoral to vote for any candidate that wants to keep abortion legal and who funds abortion. These two points were incredibly easy to prove. So the school question became totally irrelevant.
Hmm, I hadn't gotten through the entire debate yet. I'll watch for that concession.

At the moment, I'm puzzled as to why they would concede it. Because I would have answered GG2 with, "Depending on who's the other party's candidate, yes."

Suppose the two candidates were (1) Adolf Johnson, who intends to start a government-organized Holocaust of Jews, black people, and the elderly, and (2) Jack McKain, who intends to make it legal to lynch black people (and he'll even fund the ropes). As my wife and I are walking past the polls, we find out that all the other votes have been cast, and Johnson is up by 1 vote.

We can choose to:
1) Keep walking. Johnson will win, and millions upon millions will be slaughtered.
2) Walk in and vote for McKain. McKain will win, and the vast majority of those millions will be spared.

By your argument, our moral mandate is to keep walking. To choose a course of (in)action that results in the deaths of millions, when it was in our power to choose a course of action that prevents most of them from dying.

And that puzzles me.

I suppose I could understand it if you view a vote as "endorsing or partaking in the actions of the candidate". (I wouldn't torture a baby, even if someone threatened to blow up the world unless I did.) But I don't see why you should view a vote as anything other than, "I prefer the results of this action to the results of my other options."


P.S. I voted for Chuck Baldwin. But I live in Texas, which is solidly McCain. If I lived in a swing state... I'm honestly not sure what I would have done. My decision was less complicated than that.
 

The Graphite

New member
And hence my alternative, "Or, you have the opportunity to remove a roadblock from in front of one of them." (I thought about removing the "trip up" version entirely, but I assumed that if anyone objected like you did, they would still pay attention to the parenthetical alternative.) I think that would match up with the election.

Or, if you don't think "remove a roadblock" is active enough, we could replace it with a more active form of "help one of them get to the door first".
The road block is no different from tripping them. There is no "roadblock" button (or equivelant) in the election booth. The only meaning a vote has in a positive one - giving approval to one person (or issue). It carries no negative meaning at all regarding any other choices on the ballot.

For example, if you have 5 candidates, and 3 of them are wicked, and two of them are great, wonderful men, but one has a month more experience in his previous elected office than the other, so you vote for him... does that mean you disapprove of the other good man? Does that mean you're trying to trip him up? Or putting a roadblock in front of him? No; you'd be wonderfully happy to see him in office. But how would the state know this when tabulating your ballot? They can't. They don't know anything about who you dislike or oppose. They only know one person whom you support - the one you voted for. Nothing else.

So, you might be outrageously opposed to all 4 other candidates, or you might love your second-favorite guy on the list quite a lot.... but your vote doesn't say anything about that. It only says one thing.

I approve _______ to be hired for this job (elected office).

You have authority over Obama and McCain; you are a member of an organization's hiring committee that is delegated the authority to hire someone new for the job (of president). You're the one with authority, therefore you should use it wisely. So, if you're hiring someone as an office clerk, and he tells you up front that he occasionally takes money from the till, do you share responsibility if you hire him knowing that, and then money is stolen? Of course you do. If you are on a committee to approve a new pastor for your church and a candidate has a record of having affairs with married women in the congragation in 3 previous churches, and he is not even repentant of this... if you hire him, are you partly responsible if it happens again at your church? Of course you are.

There's nothing wrong with giving approval to candidates who are more or less qualified. But intentionally hiring someone you know is evil, who is a thief, a philanderer, a liar... a killer... makes you responsible for what they do with the authority that you gave them. You gave them the power to do that. Therefore, you are culpable.

And whether or not it turned out to be moot for your debate, I'm curious what your answer is. Would you help the "kill some people" person get to the door first? Or would you choose inaction and allow the "kill everyone" person to get there first?

Hmm, I hadn't gotten through the entire debate yet. I'll watch for that concession.

At the moment, I'm puzzled as to why they would concede it. Because I would have answered GG2 with, "Depending on who's the other party's candidate, yes."

Suppose the two candidates were (1) Adolf Johnson, who intends to start a government-organized Holocaust of Jews, black people, and the elderly, and (2) Jack McKain, who intends to make it legal to lynch black people (and he'll even fund the ropes). As my wife and I are walking past the polls, we find out that all the other votes have been cast, and Johnson is up by 1 vote.

We can choose to:
1) Keep walking. Johnson will win, and millions upon millions will be slaughtered.
2) Walk in and vote for McKain. McKain will win, and the vast majority of those millions will be spared.

By your argument, our moral mandate is to keep walking. To choose a course of (in)action that results in the deaths of millions, when it was in our power to choose a course of action that prevents most of them from dying.

And that puzzles me.
My course of action doesn't cause those deaths. Both of those candidates cause those deaths. It doesn't make any sense to say that if a million other people vote for these two killers, and I vote for a pro-life conservative, that they're not responsible for the resulting deaths.... but that I somehow am. That is perverted and utterly backward. I voted for a good man, and they voted for either of two killers. How can their sin be imputed to me? That is what puzzles me.

I suppose I could understand it if you view a vote as "endorsing or partaking in the actions of the candidate". (I wouldn't torture a baby, even if someone threatened to blow up the world unless I did.) But I don't see why you should view a vote as anything other than, "I prefer the results of this action to the results of my other options."

P.S. I voted for Chuck Baldwin. But I live in Texas, which is solidly McCain. If I lived in a swing state... I'm honestly not sure what I would have done. My decision was less complicated than that.
You will see our argument really brought out in the second half of the debate, as you'll soon see. I look forward to further input.
 

Jugulum

New member
I see that you've replied again, but I only have time at the moment to post a quick comment in reply to something you said in the debate, answering a question about the definition of "voting":
QQA-NWQ6: We basically agree, with two exceptions. First of all, some immoral stances are far worse than others and therefore function as litmus test issues. If a candidate is right about every other issue except that he advocates slavery, then he is unfit for office, no matter how wicked his opponent is.
I agree with that statement. However, I do not agree that it is immoral to vote for a person who is unfit for office.

That is because of the way I defined a vote: "I prefer the results of this action to the results of my other options."

Note: I am also implicitly assuming that this vote is not an act of participation in the policies that the candidate enacts. If I became persuaded otherwise on that point, I would change my view about the morality of voting for an unfit candidate. Because then it would be a matter of committing an evil act in order to achieve a well-intentioned end.
 
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