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Monday, October 31, 2011

God is morality

This post duplicates a comment I made in a recent thread on Victor Reppert's blog, which comment I think deserves to be directly shared with Gentle Reader. It is a fuller expansion on this exchange:
Ilíon: "Because I said so" isn't the entirety of Christian ethics; but neither is it contrary [just as this is the case when a parent says "Because I said so" to a child].

Victor Reppert: Do you think God can make something right by commanding it?

Ilíon: I believe God cannot command what is wrong. There is a difference.

Ilíon: Or, to look at another way ...

If God were to lie, then God, being Truth Itself, would die.

If God were to command the immoral, , then God, being Morality Itself, would die.

And *everything* would not exist.

KingAnon: "truth" and "morality" are not agents. they are static, abstract entities like numbers. they cannot do anything.

Ilíon: That's just one more way of asserting the falsehood that there is no truth nor morality.

[deumrolls] And here is the post (it’s pretty lengthy; I expect it must have just slipped under Blogger’s character-limit for a commbox post):
Morality is inter-personal and relational (*) -- it exists only between persons, and its specific content with regard to those persons depends upon the precise relationship between them. To deny these two points shows one merely to be one who has not, or will not, think about the issue. For, rocks don’t have moral obligations to persons nor moral expectations of persons; fathers have different moral obligations to, and expectations of, sons than sons to/of fathers; kings have different moral obligations to, and expectations of, subjects than subjects to/of kings.

But, morality is also transcendent – it exists independently of any human person or of any human relationship. To deny this point is to deny that morality even exists … and the claim that morality is not is self-defeating, besides being blatantly false: fathers and sons, kings and subjects, *do* have moral obligations to, and expectations of, one another, and we all know this.

Now, IF one imagines that one can judge God as being immoral or having acted immorally, THEN one must be appealing to some (true/objective/transcendent) standard of morality; just as one must be if one judges some human person(s). That is, IF one imagines that one can judge God as being immoral or having acted immorally, THEN one is saying that there exists some true and objective universally binding standard of morality that exists independently of God. But, morality is inter-personal and relational – it cannot exist independently of persons in relationship.

So, if one wants to condemn Jehovah as immoral, than one must be saying that Jehovah isn’t actually God, but is rather, like human beings, a morally flawed creation of the real God; one must be appealing to the standard of morality which exists by virtue of this “real” God. And then, the same “logic” which first led one to claim that Jehovah is immoral must all-but-inevitably lead one to claim that this “real” God is immoral, and that there is a “realer” God behind him. It’s pretty much a vicious infinite regress.

If one wishes to deny that Jehovah is God, then one must be very careful in one’s argument, especially if one wishes to argue this by appeal to his alleged moral wickedness.

(*) Which fact, by the way, can show us, independently of the Christian revelation, that God, while One, is a multiplicity of Persons.

Morality is real, and is universally binding – we *all* know this; even the persons who explicitly deny the reality of morality know this, and they always appeal to this reality in the very act of denying it.

Morality is interpersonal and relational – it does not (and cannot) exist independently of persons-in-relationship.

(Getting back to the OP), Morality is not arbitrary – it is not the power, nor mere say-so, of the person asserting a moral obligation or expectation which makes it so.

Morality is transcendent – it exists “above” or “beyond” any particular human persons or human relationships.

Pulling all these things together, our moral obligations and expectations are not real merely because God has so commanded it, but rather because God is God; morality cannot be separated from God – God *is* morality, just as God *is* being, just God *is* love.

Those who understand what they’re talking about already know/understand that love is morality
[and that morality is love -- betrayal, for instance, so violates/outrages our sense of morality, such that all men despise the traitor who aids them, and hurts us so deeply when we are the victims of it, precisely because it so deeply violates love].
The deeper context of the above is several threads on VR’s blog over the past few weeks trying (for, as almost always, once ‘atheists’ jump into the conversation, it is almost impossible to have conversation) to deal with the common atheistic assertion that the God of the Bible is an immoral monster.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Truro Cathedral

Mark Richardson, Oz Conservative: Truro Cathedral -- do check out the video at the end of the post.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The intersection of unions and politics

2 teachers union lobbyists teach for a day to qualify for hefty pensions
SPRINGFIELD [Illinois] —— Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.

Steven Preckwinkle, the political director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and fellow union lobbyist David Piccioli were the only people who took advantage of a small window opened by lawmakers a few months earlier. ...

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A Herman Cain video

I'm pretty close to deciding that I cannot support Herman Cain. Nevertheless, I can see that this is an excellent political video, despite (or because?) that it doesn't say a damned thing, and the flash to Mr Cain at the end is the best part.

Unlike That Interloper, does Cain understand Americans, or what?

As the commentor, Casey Abell says:
But let's get back to something resembling reality. Herm continues to bumble and stumble...I'm pro-life and pro-choice and let's not talk about abortion any more! My economic plan is the number nine! Except when it's the number zero! Lighten up! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Mark Steyn: When the ’Stan Hits the Fan

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Monday, October 24, 2011

At it again

The One True Bureaucracy is at it again.

Kathy Shaidle's succinct response is, "Dear Catholic Church: We’re breaking up. This time I mean it. It’s not me. It’s you."

My slightly less succinct reaction is this:
By and large, socialism is Catholicism without "all that bothersome God-talk." Certainly, there are multitudes of Catholic persons who abhor socialism, but modern Catholicism itself explicitly supplies the theological and moral justification for socialism (*). That it’s a false theology and a false morality is a different matter. Further, while the man-in-the-pew may tend to abhor socialism, just as with the “liberal” Protestants, the more a Catholic person regards himself as an intellectual, the more likely he holds to socialism … eventually making of it a substitute for Christianity, just as the “liberal” Protestants do.

(*) I strongly suspect that this is because way back in the mists of time, the RCC made a virtue of poverty -- and thus, today, the One True Bureaucracy hates wealth … when it’s owned and controlled by private parties.
There are, after all, reasons that many, perhaps most, “low-church” Protestants do not, and never will, trust the One True Bureaucracy; it’s not just about mutual bloodshed 500 years ago, it’s about what the RCC is to this day, about what its bureaucrats advocate and what they condemn.

Being wholly contrary to all of human nature - being contrary both to virtue and to vice - socialism can never be achieved, and all attempts at it must inevitably involve windrows of human copses. For a bureaucracy that claims to “think in terms of centuries,” the One True Bureaucracy sure does seem to have a glaring blind-spot regarding actual lived history.

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The Flea Party ... and the Flee Party

It seems that the "liberals" and other leftists see the "Occupy [whatever]" movement (such as it is) as their answer to the Tea Party movement. So, apparently, we have a Tea Party, for liberty from tyrany (including the "nice" kind) and for personal responsibility for one's own life and choices, and a Flea Party, for liberty from the tyrany of soap and for living at someone else's expense.

As a response to (or reaction against) the Tea Party movement, there is *also* a "Flee Party" contingent to the Democrats; I refer to the elected legislators in multiple States who this past year fled to other States so as to deny the Republicans a quorum in the respective legislatures as they attempted to deal with some of the issues which gave rise to the Tea Party.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

No limits on self-defense

Vox Day: No limits on self-defense -- I totally agree (which doesn't happen often) with Vox Day's expressed opinion on this.

Moreover, consider this (NYC Cashier Who Beat Customers Claims Self Defense):
Video recorded by a customer showed two furious women vaulting a counter to attack McIntosh after some sort of dispute.

McIntosh grabbed a metal bar and fought back with savage force, continuing to deliver crushing blows even after the women were incapacitated on the floor.

The video begins *before* the beat-down. What are the odds? How often do people just randomly film other people placing their orders at McDonald's?

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Richard Dawkins is an inveterate liar

Dawkins, now: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig -- This Christian 'philosopher' is an apologist for genocide. I would rather leave an empty chair than share a platform with him

Dawkins, then: There are no such things as 'right' and 'wrong'

Ilíon, then and now: Dawkins is an inveterate liar (and even admits as much in print)

Tim Stanley: Richard Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for refusing to debate William Lane Craig (Dr Tim Stanley is a research fellow in American History at Oxford University.)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Euthyphro Dilemma

The "Euthyphro Dilemma" is not, and never has been, a real dilemma, and especially is not for Jews and Christians. Doug Benscoter provides a simple-to-grasp explanation of why: The Euthyphro Dilemma

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