Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Moral Argument

What ATHEISTS get WRONG most of the time about the moral argument!
24th March 2022 | Paulogia Live

I'll go both on the ontological and the epistemological side. As usual, I'm adressing points made in the video around or just before the time signature.

4:54 I actually disagree.

Stopping me from arguing on the ontology of morality is maximising my suffering and minimising my flourishing!

And apart from some chosing apologetics as a hobby (as you do with counterapologetics) the correct answer can sometimes also save correct actual solutions. Like the day abortion gets stopped (hoping this happens in the West before Harmageddon, at least for some time), the idea that "morality ultimately comes from God" will - if so - have contributed.

No, morality doesn't come from a god. Religion has inflicted so much suffering on humans, all the while claiming to be inspired by a god. The unparalleled support Christians gave to slavery is a major example of this.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@ADEBAYO STEPHEN Catholic Christians have in fact given unparalleled little support for slavery.

Of all the European (and ex-colonial) states that freed slaves from Queen St. Bathilde forbidding the slave trade sometime in the 650's to the Emperor of Brazil freeing all slaves in 1888, exactly one only was done by a secularist. Schoelcher. And he was kind of a slave trader in another way, when it came to parental rights vs state rights over children.

All the rest were done by Christians. Usually Roman Catholics.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl I disagree with you on this. Forbidding the ownership of slaves legally did little to avail the condition of slaves in Europe as slavery persisted into the 19th century. Are you in defence of Christianity or just Catholicism?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@ADEBAYO STEPHEN In Europe, slavery did not persist into the 19th C.

The last either European or ex-colonial state to forbid slavery on the own territory was Brazil, so, ex-colonial.

The slaves owned by Europeans were in the colonies, and the colonies tied to a European motherland had all finished it by the time of Schoelcher.

Are you aware that in the successor states of the Frankish Kingdom, only France and Netherlands came to have colonies with individually owned slaves? In Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy, and protectorates like Hungary and Poland, slavery was not a thing?

And in France and Netherlands, it only was so after Americas were discovered.

Are you aware that, when Jefferson visited France, he was advised to take a slave that was old and spoke no French, since a slave setting foot in France could (during the Ancien Régime) be freed simply by asking for it?

@ADEBAYO STEPHEN As to your last question, Catholicism is the original Christianity.

The opposition to the abolition of slavery was majorly expressed by Christians who felt they had a God-given right(enshrouded in the bible) to own slaves. Given the theocratic nature of the Catholic church and its political influence, she was unwilling to pursue and prosecute slave traders/owners but was active in the prosecution of heretics, free thinkers, and non-conformists.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@ADEBAYO STEPHEN I think you have just shown a very deep lack of historical knowledge.

The opposition to abolishing slavery in England's colonies in 1770's came from freethinkers (like Jefferson).

And Pope Gregory XVI issues an encyclical against slave trade.

And theocracy doesn't mean dogma is all one cares about, it means the things you care about should be run by dogma.

This involves the truth that the Bible passages actually do not endorse one particular type of slave ownership which leaves no room for freeing slaves, and should be weighed against others, that laud the freeing of slaves as a a good work. The fact you can hire paid workers is sufficient to allow for the former passages.

Protestants have misread certain passages, but freethinkers were before them in endorsing slavery in a racist way. Read Boswell's Life of Dr Johnson. It's the freethinker Boswell who is pro-slavery, it's the High Church Christian who is against slavery. In the form it had in the colonies, not in the sense of having paid workers or tenants on your fields.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl I guess that is in the defence of your denomination. However, Catholicism played a minor role in the abolition of slavery in major parts of Europe.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@ADEBAYO STEPHEN Not the least.

In Europe itself, slavery was abolished sooner or later before the end of the Middle Ages. Before there were any Protestants.

6:06 You can make other choices than your maker made for you?

Sure. God gave us free will.

And some of those other choices (like healthy Aryan flourishing, Jewish suffering, handicapped quick "release from a painful existence" - for some handicaps - whether or not this was actually what certain men chose in Germany, though it seems at least some did, 1933 to 1945), some of those other choices, you will agree that they are bad. Am I wrong? Are you so open to "moral choice" and closed to "moral objectivity" that the stereotypal (whether historically accurate or not) National Socialist choice is "just another choice" to you?

I can say this for Catholic moarlity apart from the credibility of its objective reason, it has some show of being the objective choice, in so far as it reads a bit like a wiki for the other ones, either agreeing where all agree (except on the generous provision of slavery in all non-Catholic cultures, including the modern one, but under different names) or standing in the middle where extremes disagree.

Look at who sterilised Indians, Esquimaux, sometimes I think even Gypsies and French Canadians, measured by who was running the hospital facilities - Anglicans, yes, United Church of Canada, yes, Presbyterians, yes, Methodists, yes, I think it is yes for all of these. But ... Catholics, no. And this was not due to Canadian law, on the contrary, all the Protestants were fine with obeying Canadian law, it's because Catholics said "there is an objective morality, and, as Pope Pius XI just defined in Casti connubii, this Canadian law cannot be applied, because it is against objective morality".

6:50 And as you are a former resident of Alberta, you would very likely be familiar with this Canadian law, since it was state law in Alberta and British Columbia, not all over Canada (unlike residential schools).

However, as long as "cowboy flourishing" doesn't mean "Indian suffering" - I'm for "cowboy flourishing" as one species of human flourishing.

11:23 In fact, all the bad laws that NS did go with and Alberta and BC too, they were derived from the Darwinian paradigm.

The idea "maximise flourishing, minimise pain" leaves out not just "for whom" but also "for whom in a case of conflict" and a lot of technicalities.

So, while it would normally not be an epistemological problem, in practise, some people do seem to get epistemologically challenged - including "Mr. Paulogia" (forgot your real last name) on abortion, I just heard.

Frank Turek may be a bit challenged on this example, because, whether or not he belongs to a Church that didn't even exist in Canada between 20's and 70's or one which did, he doesn't belong to one which both did so and fought against sterilising First Nations.

12:42 ok ... does this mean, you endorse the idea that while forceful sterilising was in law in Alberta and British Columbia, in Alabama and South Carolina, in the four Nordic countries, and, for a fortunately shorter while, in Germany (or "Germany +") - it was "objectively OK to sterilise certain people"?

Because, there was in a very real and legal sense an agreement on those evil rules.

In the contemporaries of Joshua outside his people but inside where they were settling, there was agreement on rules that would arguably shock even more (I think child sacrifice was already en vogue among them). A real and legal "agreement" (which Israel did not participate in).

On the other side of Joshua's conflict there was also a real and legal agreement to actually go on and kill some Canaaneans who were not just doing such things, but doing such things in a land promised to Abraham. Does this make this OK for you?

Or, do you make your "when we agree" more meta than that? Frankly, I think you do. (Turek pun only half intended).

13:45 There is a common purpose to playing a game with certain rules : exercising mind and body in a fun way.

The hypercompetitive person, the carreer man, and a few more, could not exist within the game they have chosen unless they thought that game (whether chess or lacrosse, yeah, I read Hal Foster) was, to them, fun. Those who are mandated to the game against their will are not likely to play it well.

Now, exercising mind and body in a fun way does fall within "human flourishing" - and mandating someone to a game he can't stand does fall within "human suffering" - yet, there has been legal agreement in lots of countries that gym teachers can mandate people to play whatever they are most playing in that country, even on pupils who can't stand the games.

Is school compulsion and mandatory PE OK to you, because it was agreed on?

Even when some pupils are (de facto, even if the school pretends otherwise) in places where their only social value is on performing the game of sport, can't stand it, and are driven to suicide? C. S. Lewis named one of the chapters in his autobiography Surprised by Joy "Belsen" - the chapter ends on the note that when he told his pa, he would use his revolver to end the misery, pa took him out of there and gave him a private tutor. Like, that day was to him, what 1945 was to some people held in the camp I named.

14:26 C. S. Lewis (Problem of Pain, I think, Mere Christianity, one chapter of Miracles, and Abolition of Man) doesn't argue "we can't know morality for sure unless we see the real purpose" - he argues "all people actually, in any given quarrel, spontaneously treat morality as an objective given, that some people and societies can't just walk out on" (obviously you could be one of the few who never get into quarrels, and you may have never ever taken a quarrel with Joshua or Elisha's bear story) "which suggests it is so - but finite minds evolving from matter could not make that so, therefore, something made all the cosmos so, and attuned, at least on a rough level, our minds to that fact".

This is where one man actually - unlike Turek - will actually take up the ontological question in a way that is not an epistemological one.

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