Those who deny morality

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T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
Those who believe morality is relative to the individual or believes that morality is just an illusion...what are your arguments against this individual? How would you handle this situation?
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
The burden of proof is on them to show that morality is logically impossible. Or, just wait until they make a normative statement.
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
the latter part is pretty much the approach I take now, showing they cannot live like it etc. wasnt sure if there was a way to make this self defeating or something else that I hadnt realized
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
P. F. Pugh is dead on in his critique. Another area that I like to go to is the whole areana of value statements, which ethics is a part of (it is better to behave this way or that way etc..). I go there to show that value statments are unavoidable in human thought and therefore must be accounted for. If you argue that it is all an illusion than why do you make value statments of anykind, this steak is better than that one for instance.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Those who believe morality is relative to the individual or believes that morality is just an illusion...what are your arguments against this individual? How would you handle this situation?

I'd punch him in the face and see if he objects when I tell him that his anger at me for his injury is illusory.
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
The Following argument would be "that just shows you dont like something" rather it be you dont like getting hit or you dont like steak etc."
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Yes, but that would only explain his personal displeasure at being struck but he ought to be ambivalent about how the striker views the act.

For the record, I was joking. I wouldn't really hit him.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
What I mean is that if morality is confined to the individual then he has no basis for being offended by me. His pain and displeasure would simply be a preference but, rationally, he would have no basis for telling me that what I did was wrong. This would immediately betray that he believes I ought to share his illusion that striking him is wrong.

Frankly the statement that morality is illusory is self-referentially incoherent because it makes a universal statement. If he believes this then he would simply keep his mouth shut and realize that his particular view is only true for him.
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
just because its a universal statement wouldnt make it moral, now if he was teaching it and teaching that people ought to believe this fact (which in most cases is what happens) then he is showing a logical obligation but I do not see how its self defeating by simply stating a fact as long as he does not believe we ought to believe it.
And your right when you say if he believes that you ought not to strike him and share his value but if he merely stated he doesnt like it but you are not obligated to not hit him, and in reality you could do what ever you want to him, he might not like it but its not immoral, then there still wouldnt be an ought
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I think you're missing my point. If he doesn't really believe I ought to regard his view of the matter then he wouldn't react with anger to my ambivalence (which was my first point). Why should he care how I view the act? In other words, his view has transcended personal opinion on the matter at that point if he is angry that I don't share his sense of offense.

I'll let others pick this up. I have to tend to other matters.
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
but there would be a distinction between him not wanting you to do it because he simply does not like it and him not wanting you to do it because its just not right and you ought not to do something that hurts someone etc.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Sceptism about morality is one of these self-refuting philosophical positions that shoots itself in the foot rather obviously.

Atheism is another, as shown by Van Til and others.

That is why atheism and practical atheism in the West, won't have the longevity of worldviews like Islam that at least try to provide a metaphysical and epistemological foundation for morality, although the wrong one.

Maybe in some sense the apologist should have more respect for "religious" worldviews that try to account for morality, uniformity of nature and logic, by at least offering some kind of foundation for them although an erroneous one.
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
If he says there is no such thing as absolute truth. Ask him if he absolutely believes that.

Google "arguments against moral relativism". There's a lot of stuff out there. . . some pretty good.
 
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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
That is why atheism and practical atheism in the West, won't have the longevity of worldviews like Islam that at least try to provide a metaphysical and epistemological foundation for morality, although the wrong one.

Look at how quickly the French Revolution unravelled with its emphasis on the goddess of (finite, fallen and fallible) human reason.

Well, look at Communism. An atheist "full-orbed" worldview that came about in the nineteenth century. It's already in a bad state of repair. E.g. Islam, on the other hand has lasted for 1,400 years.

Fascism wasn't explicitly atheist and took different forms in different countries, but along with other Enlightenment-style solutions, it put a lot of store in man's finite, fallen and fallible interpretation of general revelation, and little or no store in regenerate man's interpretation of general revelation by special revelation. Fascism is not doing very well today.

When Man (or individual men) is made the measure of all things, including ethics, society has made a more obvious blunder in its reasoning than those who hold to a false god(s)/God(s).

Our own Western Secular Humanist democratic societies are a slower outworking of the Enlightenment folly that Man is the measure of all things including ethics. But they have the seeds of their own destruction in them close to the surface. They aren't going to last for 1,400 years or anything near it.
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
That is why atheism and practical atheism in the West, won't have the longevity of worldviews like Islam that at least try to provide a metaphysical and epistemological foundation for morality, although the wrong one.

Look at how quickly the French Revolution unravelled with its emphasis on the goddess of (finite, fallen and fallible) human reason.

Well, look at Communism. An atheist "full-orbed" worldview that came about in the nineteenth century. It's already in a bad state of repair. E.g. Islam, on the other hand has lasted for 1,400 years.

Fascism wasn't explicitly atheist and took different forms in different countries, but along with other Enlightenment-style solutions, it put a lot of store in man's finite, fallen and fallible interpretation of general revelation, and little or no store in regenerate man's interpretation of general revelation by special revelation. Fascism is not doing very well today.

When Man (or individual men) is made the measure of all things, including ethics, society has made a more obvious blunder in its reasoning than those who hold to a false god(s)/God(s).

Our own Western Secular Humanist democratic societies are a slower outworking of the Enlightenment folly that Man is the measure of all things including ethics. But they have the seeds of their own destruction in them close to the surface. They aren't going to last for 1,400 years or anything near it.

very nice post, now explain how denying morals is self defeating
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
People like Philip, Bahnsen, Frame and Van Til have already done it, far better than I could. I'm often not very "quick-off-the-draw" with my answers to make a great apologist in certain circumstances.

Quote from Philip
Or, just wait until they make a normative statement.

You need a modicum of morality even to have a civilised discussion about morality with someone.
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
well listening to bahnsen and reading him as well as frame, I have never heard them state that.
I have heard them state that they cant live like morality is subjective and they will make immutable objective statements and they have no answer for why we ought etc. But I have never heard or read them state that.
 

jandrusk

Puritan Board Sophomore
They can be moral, they just cannot justify as to why they should be moral. Listen to the Bahnsen vs. Stein debate. You could always take his wallet to see how he reacts and to use that as a platform to justify his most likely reaction, which would be anger. This can be especially fun if the person is a Darwinian and you could just say that it was due to natural selection. You naturally selected to take his wallet, because you needed to buy a 50" T.V.
 
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