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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Morality ... and God!

Victor Reppert: "If the Christian God exists, doesn't he get to decide what is right or wrong? Or could an existing God be mistaken about, for example, whether gay relationships are right or not.

Consider the following scenario: God created the world, and decreed that marriage was the only proper place for sex, and that marriage was a relationship between a man and a woman. But, he got it wrong, and gay was really OK.

Is that scenario even possible?

Legion of Logic: "Can God be wrong about morality? Can the creator of chess be wrong that bishops move diagonally?

The only way God could be wrong about morality would be if either he didn't create the universe, or morality somehow transcends both God and the universe. But in any scenario in which God created the universe and morality does not transcend both, then God can't possibly be wrong ...

me: Moreover, if one posits that morality transcends God-the-Creator-of-the-Universe, all one has actually done is assert-without-reason that there is a God-Above-God-the-Creator ... and then we are right back to Square One with nothing "solved" from the point of view of the person who wishes to set himself up as competent to put God-the-Creator on trial.

Morality exists if and only if there are persons -- which is to say, free agents -- for moral obligations obtain only between persons/agents. That is, a person does not have a moral obligation to a rock, nor a rock to a person, for only agents may have moral expectations which impose corresponding moral obligations upon other agents.

Moreover, morality exists if and only if there are persons in communion or relationship, for moral obligations obtain only between persons in relation to other persons. That is, the precise moral expectations and obligations between persons depend upon and follow from the relationship between them -- for example: if there are persons living on a distant planet, we have no moral obligations to them, nor they to us, because there is no relationship whatsoever between them and us.

HOWEVER, the reality of moral expectatons and obligations cannot be grounded in the relationships between contingent persons. To attempt to do so is just another way of denying the transcendent reality of morality; it's just to deny that there really is any such thing as morality.

Consider: if one person is a ruler and another person is ruled by that ruler, then those two persons are in a relationship which imposes certain, though different, expectations and consequent obligations on each. Now, add a third person, one who is also ruled by that same ruler. IF the moral expectations and obligations between ruler and ruled followed from the relationships between these contingent persons, then any commonality between the moral expectations and obligations obtaining between the ruler and the first subject, on the one hand, and between the ruler and the second subject, on the other hand, would be accidental/coincidental -- to discover/understand some fact of the moral expectations and obligations obtaining between the ruler and the first subject would tell you nothing about the moral expectations and obligations obtaining between the ruler and the second subject.

THUS, morality is, and must be, grounded in the relationship(s) obtaining between non-contingent persons.

And, by the way, I have just demonstrated that God is a plurality of persons -- while this is not a demonstration that God is precisely Three Persons, it *is* a demonstration that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is not in conflict with what "unaided reason" can tell us about the nature of God ... or of ourselves.

At the same time (without getting into it here), reason also tells us that there is One God.

So, there is One God ... who is a plurality of Persons.