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If God made us, why did he make us so stupid?

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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25 April 2019 13:47
 

Offline for a while.  Life calls.

 
 
TwoSeven1
 
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25 April 2019 15:55
 
Jefe - 25 April 2019 01:44 PM
TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

“But if we accept the reduction to be indicative, we risk losing the meat of the concept, and possibly the nuance(es).
Along with synergies with other concepts and disciplines.”  I agree that the risk exists.  It’s better to understand than to not, though.  The more we know, the less naive we are.


So you reduce athiesm and athiests to nihilism and discard ’ the rest’.  To me, that does not increase understanding.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

” a summary should only function as a summary.
Ruduction, by itself, is not a benefit.”  If we are gaining knowledge from reduction, then we are benefitting.

See above.  I see no benefit to reducing athiesm to nihilism, and no increased knowledge.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

  Perhaps.  That depends on what society is doing in relation to the group’s ideology.

...reducing and discouraging discrimination through legal protections.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

What different individual athiests claim about rationality and critical thought may be correlated with athiesm or secularism - more likely education and practice, IMHO, but is not a fundamental part of that world view.  Athiesm is not a guarantor of clear thinking or critical thought patterns.”  This is a good point.  However, I do see what I explained consistently coming from the atheist community.  Gnostics seem more open to the reasoning of outsiders.

then perhaps you should change your presentation to meet the percieved standards?

“Similarly, some religious folk try to claim a moral and ethical high-ground when many of their traditions are clearly discriminatory and harmful.”  Also a good point.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

Perhaps they (athiests) have fewer qualms about speaking out about religious social constructs. Or perhaps they dont allow cherished mythology to insert stupid concepts or ideas to over-ride knowledge and evidence?”  The only problem I have with this is that atheists don’t have a philosphical foundation to say what is stupid and what is good, especially when speaking about society.  All they have is their subjective morality.

all human morality is subjective.
Philosophy is not a guarantor of objectivity.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

...so that makes Ben Carson stupid.”  If he’s intelligent, then he’s not stupid.

then I think you have a problem…

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

....but his pyramid notions are stupid.  Thus, by your argument, making him simultaneously stupid.
...or are you trapped in a false dichotomy?”  They are stupid in your subjective opinion.  They aren’t in mine, because I don’t care about the pyramids.  I (addressing myself) cannot honestly call a brain surgeon a stupid person.  He may be misinformed, but not stupid.

not being stuck in a false dichotomy, i have no problem viewing him as both.  Especially the ‘dig-in-and-double-down” when presented with evidence contrary to his stupid notions.
It has nothing to do with caring about pyramids or not.  It has everything to do with irrationality and cherished ideas. So if you truly desire understanding, this example should be important as an illustration about intelligence and stupidity.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 01:26 PM

The only way to really show that someone is stupid is to show that they are unintelligent.

see above.

“So you reduce athiesm and athiests to nihilism and discard ’ the rest’.  To me, that does not increase understanding.”  I didn’t reduce atheists to nihilism.  An atheist is a person.  I reduced from atheism and arrived at the conclusion that the things that matter to an atheist can only be subjective. What is the rest?

“See above.  I see no benefit to reducing athiesm to nihilism, and no increased knowledge.”  If we reduce like this, then we can understand that atheism doesn’t give us a foundation for morals or ethics.  That is valuable information to understand.

“...reducing and discouraging discrimination through legal protections.”  Look at the trend happening in Canada.  Would an institution or government be discouraging discrimination by compelling speach?

“then perhaps you should change your presentation to meet the percieved standards?”  I qualified my response to your question about atheism.

“all human morality is subjective.
Philosophy is not a guarantor of objectivity.”  Agreed.  We either have man’s philosophy or God’s standard.

“not being stuck in a false dichotomy, i have no problem viewing him as both.  Especially the ‘dig-in-and-double-down’ when presented with evidence contrary to his stupid notions.
It has nothing to do with caring about pyramids or not.  It has everything to do with irrationality and cherished ideas. So if you truly desire understanding, this example should be important as an illustration about intelligence and stupidity.”  Someone can’t be stupid and intelligent simultaneously.

 
Jefe
 
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25 April 2019 18:47
 
TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

I reduced from atheism and arrived at the conclusion that the things that matter to an atheist can only be subjective.

Everything perceived or conceived by people is subjective.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

If we reduce like this, then we can understand that atheism doesn’t give us a foundation for morals or ethics.  That is valuable information to understand.

Atheism doesn’t claim to.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

Look at the trend happening in Canada.  Would an institution or government be discouraging discrimination by compelling speach?

Trend?  What trend?
One school does not make a trend.
Speech is not really being compelled, despite some stories being touted by a few. And yes, laws outlining discriminatory behaviours help reduce discrimination.  Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination due to gender identity - meaning goods and services cannot be denied to people based on their gender identity.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

all human morality is subjective.
Philosophy is not a guarantor of objectivity.”  Agreed.  We either have man’s philosophy or God’s standard.

You misunderstand me.  I mean all morality is subjective;
‘god’s standard’ as you put it is simply human subjective morality wrapped in religious myth.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

not being stuck in a false dichotomy, i have no problem viewing him as both.  Especially the ‘dig-in-and-double-down’ when presented with evidence contrary to his stupid notions.
It has nothing to do with caring about pyramids or not.  It has everything to do with irrationality and cherished ideas. So if you truly desire understanding, this example should be important as an illustration about intelligence and stupidity.”  Someone can’t be stupid and intelligent simultaneously.

...and yet we have carson, an intelligent man, being stupid.

 
 
TwoSeven1
 
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25 April 2019 22:20
 
Jefe - 25 April 2019 06:47 PM
TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

I reduced from atheism and arrived at the conclusion that the things that matter to an atheist can only be subjective.

Everything perceived or conceived by people is subjective.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

If we reduce like this, then we can understand that atheism doesn’t give us a foundation for morals or ethics.  That is valuable information to understand.

Atheism doesn’t claim to.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

Look at the trend happening in Canada.  Would an institution or government be discouraging discrimination by compelling speach?

Trend?  What trend?
One school does not make a trend.
Speech is not really being compelled, despite some stories being touted by a few. And yes, laws outlining discriminatory behaviours help reduce discrimination.  Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination due to gender identity - meaning goods and services cannot be denied to people based on their gender identity.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

all human morality is subjective.
Philosophy is not a guarantor of objectivity.”  Agreed.  We either have man’s philosophy or God’s standard.

You misunderstand me.  I mean all morality is subjective;
‘god’s standard’ as you put it is simply human subjective morality wrapped in religious myth.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 03:55 PM

not being stuck in a false dichotomy, i have no problem viewing him as both.  Especially the ‘dig-in-and-double-down’ when presented with evidence contrary to his stupid notions.
It has nothing to do with caring about pyramids or not.  It has everything to do with irrationality and cherished ideas. So if you truly desire understanding, this example should be important as an illustration about intelligence and stupidity.”  Someone can’t be stupid and intelligent simultaneously.

...and yet we have carson, an intelligent man, being stupid.

“Everything perceived or conceived by people is subjective.”  Aren’t you teetering on the brink of nihilism here?  If what you say here is true, then how can we say that anything is the truth without violating our own subjective perception, and how can you make your statement to begin with?

I want to keep on track with our philosphy/logic discussion, so I’m not going to provoke more responses along the political line.

“You misunderstand me.  I mean all morality is subjective;
‘god’s standard’ as you put it is simply human subjective morality wrapped in religious myth.”  If morality is based on myth, then there’s an argument to be made for its subjectivity, but if it’s based on the truth, then it cannot be subjective.  If the Bible is true, then aligning our morality with it is the right/good/correct/valuable thing to do.  Here we also find the meaning of life, and why Jesus’ words are so important.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” - John 3:16-17

 
Jefe
 
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25 April 2019 22:43
 
TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

Everything perceived or conceived by people is subjective.”  Aren’t you teetering on the brink of nihilism here?  If what you say here is true, then how can we say that anything is the truth without violating our own subjective perception, and how can you make your statement to begin with?

No.  This is not nihilism. 
Subjectivity does not preclude people finding meaning in their lives.
Subjectivity does not mean life is meaningless.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

“You misunderstand me.  I mean all morality is subjective;
‘god’s standard’ as you put it is simply human subjective morality wrapped in religious myth.”  If morality is based on myth, then there’s an argument to be made for its subjectivity, but if it’s based on the truth, then it cannot be subjective.

If = subjectivity.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

If the Bible is true, then aligning our morality with it is the right/good/correct/valuable thing to do.

If=subjective.
I don’t presume the bible is true. Much of it is wrong or contradictory.  It is rooted firmly in the bronze age of understanding - when it was authored by people.  We have long since surpassed that understanding.  Further, morality has changed over the courseof the centuries, with biblical ‘morals’ being discarded as our understanding surpassed them.

Some of the discriminatory practices being embraced by modern evangelicals are immoral IMO. Use of the bible to defend them doesn’t change the harm inherrent in those positions.

The emphasis on some pieces of morality over the disregard forother pieces of morality contained within the bible further illustrates the subjectivity of its contents. And the fickleness of its adherents.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

  Here we also find the meaning of life, and why Jesus’ words are so important.

John 3:16-17

That may be your meaning.  But it too is subject to the relative truth of the mythology on which it is based. Others may have access to different meanings for their lives.

 
 
TwoSeven1
 
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26 April 2019 09:01
 
Jefe - 25 April 2019 10:43 PM
TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

Everything perceived or conceived by people is subjective.”  Aren’t you teetering on the brink of nihilism here?  If what you say here is true, then how can we say that anything is the truth without violating our own subjective perception, and how can you make your statement to begin with?

No.  This is not nihilism. 
Subjectivity does not preclude people finding meaning in their lives.
Subjectivity does not mean life is meaningless.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

“You misunderstand me.  I mean all morality is subjective;
‘god’s standard’ as you put it is simply human subjective morality wrapped in religious myth.”  If morality is based on myth, then there’s an argument to be made for its subjectivity, but if it’s based on the truth, then it cannot be subjective.

If = subjectivity.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

If the Bible is true, then aligning our morality with it is the right/good/correct/valuable thing to do.

If=subjective.
I don’t presume the bible is true. Much of it is wrong or contradictory.  It is rooted firmly in the bronze age of understanding - when it was authored by people.  We have long since surpassed that understanding.  Further, morality has changed over the courseof the centuries, with biblical ‘morals’ being discarded as our understanding surpassed them.

Some of the discriminatory practices being embraced by modern evangelicals are immoral IMO. Use of the bible to defend them doesn’t change the harm inherrent in those positions.

The emphasis on some pieces of morality over the disregard forother pieces of morality contained within the bible further illustrates the subjectivity of its contents. And the fickleness of its adherents.

TwoSeven1 - 25 April 2019 10:20 PM

  Here we also find the meaning of life, and why Jesus’ words are so important.

John 3:16-17

That may be your meaning.  But it too is subject to the relative truth of the mythology on which it is based. Others may have access to different meanings for their lives.

“No.  This is not nihilism. 
Subjectivity does not preclude people finding meaning in their lives.
Subjectivity does not mean life is meaningless.”  If everything is subjective, then nothing can be objective.  If nothing can be objective, then truth cannot exist.  If truth cannot exist, then life cannot have meaning, and nothing really matters beyond our subjectivity.

If/Then statements aren’t examples of subjectivity.  When I search for the definition of the word “subjective,” I get this top result:
“based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.”

“That may be your meaning.  But it too is subject to the relative truth of the mythology on which it is based. Others may have access to different meanings for their lives.”  Do you believe that the truth is subjective?  What about mathematics?

 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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26 April 2019 09:44
 

@TwoSeven1

Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology. Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation. In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect. Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.

Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity. Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective. Muslims have chosen the Quran as their ‘objective’ model of morality. You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.

Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.

 
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26 April 2019 10:37
 
proximacentauri - 26 April 2019 09:44 AM

@TwoSeven1

Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology. Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation. In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect. Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.

Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity. Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective. Muslims have chosen the Quran as their ‘objective’ model of morality. You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.

Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.

“Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology.”  If the theology correctly adheres to the truth, then what is it?

“Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation.”  Is the theology of each sect necessarily incorrect?

“In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect.”  Similar question as above.  Is the theology of the individual necessarily incorrect?

“Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.”  The Catholic religion includes many things that are taught against in the Bible.

“Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity.”  The question of whether or not a person can attain perfect understanding of the truth is different than the question of whether they can know what the truth is.

“Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective.”  But the truth is true in all circumstances.  Can we know the truth?

“You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.”  If we can prove the Bible to be true, then all other religions are proven to be untrue.

“Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.”  Logically, if a religious moral code is based on the truth, then it’s not subjective.

We should care to know what the truth is.

 
Jefe
 
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26 April 2019 10:45
 
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

“No.  This is not nihilism. 
Subjectivity does not preclude people finding meaning in their lives.
Subjectivity does not mean life is meaningless.” 

If everything is subjective, then nothing can be objective.

Religion and morality is subjective.  See Proxima Centauri’s post above.
It is subject to differing variables, including personal opinion, birth location, education or lack-thereof, etc…

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

If nothing can be objective, then truth cannot exist.



This does not follow.  Objective Truth cannot exist (capital O objective, that is).
But facts exist, independent of our emotional position about them, or our opinions, or feelings.
Is a fact a truth?  Because if so, objective truth (small o objective) exists all around us.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

If truth cannot exist, then life cannot have meaning, and nothing really matters beyond our subjectivity.

That’s quite an assumption train.  I cannot accept it, because I don’t ascribe to it’s three main points.
Facts exist.  If they are truth, then truth exists.
I don’t see how you are connecting the meaning of life to facts in this particular statement, but I have no difficulty finding meaning for my life outside of religious claims or religious philosophies.
And everything that impacts my life matters to me, so I can’t connect your ‘nothing matters’ statement to my life, meaning, goals, or accomplishments. 

I’d need more info on how you’re connecting these items to make sense of the statement.  Perhaps you mean ‘nothing you currently value’ matters?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

If/Then statements aren’t examples of subjectivity.


If/then statements illustrate subjectivity.
They demonstrate the dependence of a conclusion on the value of the statement.

If god is real, so is heaven.
If god is not real, heaven may also not be real.  (along with all other god-claims). 
Thus the existence of heaven is (largely) subject to the existence of god.
I don’t presume god to be real, so I must analyze the subjectivity of any god-claim based on it’s merits and relative accuracy as compared to our current base of knowledge.

If the bible is true….
But many parts of the bible have been shown not to be true…
Thus the truth of the bible requires rigorous examination and verification…
The truth of the bible is subject to its historical accuracy - which is shakey.
The truth of the bible is subject to the nature of its authors - which were many, and all were people - possessing all the various limitations, biases, prejudices and opinions that people come with.
The truth of the bible cannot be taken for granted due to past errors, edits, additions and modification…

If facts are truths then we can observe objective information.
2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples is ‘objectively true’ (small o) because the language of mathematics that we have created to communicate these facts translates fairly universally.  There is some subjectivity involved in language, concepts and translation within the human brain, but the statement itself holds up over time and mental map so we can take it as a fact that is not based on opinions, emotions, or preferences.

I would suggest that any (large O) objectivity attributed to god(s) get rooted in the subjective nature of that god(s)’ existence.

Also beware of the dangers of reification of concepts like objectivity and truth.  (Big O and big T).

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

When I search for the definition of the word “subjective,” I get this top result:
“based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.”

That’s a pretty limited definition. Top Results do not include the depth of philosophical and sociological meanings ascribed to the word.  Or the meaty concepts with which the word is used. Perhaps the philosophical and sociological definitions of subjectivity would be more useful.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

“That may be your meaning.  But it too is subject to the relative truth of the mythology on which it is based. Others may have access to different meanings for their lives.”

Do you believe that the truth is subjective?

Are we talking about facts now, or are we talking about value statements with questionable veracity and mysterious origins?
Or do you wish to talk about meta-concepts and thought problems?

In a court room, witnesses vow to tell the truth.
But what they recall may not be the truth - even though they swear by it.
This is due to limitations of human cognition and recall, and the plasticity of our memories when in stress-situations.
That doesn’t mean they don’t think they are telling the truth, but it can mean that what they think of as telling the truth is not, in fact, true.  That truth is subject to the limitations and stress effects on human memory and recall.

If we’re talking about truth such as ‘earth is the third planet in the sol system’, this would seem to be objectively true (small o).  The statement itself is subject to various language conventions and conceptual structures, but on the whole it is true.  So this statement is objectively true - with minor quibbles.

If we’re talking about metaphors, midrash, and sacred writings, then we can know immediately that they are subject to the nature of their authors, and readers, and thus non-objective(small o).  Even though they may contain nuggets of truth (small t), or rather, nuggets of decent life-instruction within them.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

What about mathematics?

See above.

 
 
Jefe
 
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26 April 2019 10:57
 
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology.”  If the theology correctly adheres to the truth, then what is it?

Exactly.  what is the truth, in this case?  Has it been reified, or is it still subject to the interpretation of the flock?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation.”  Is the theology of each sect necessarily incorrect?

Some christian groups accept gay folks as members of the flock and even pastors. 
Some christian groups actively discriminate to exclude gay folks from their flocks.

Some christian groups actively encourage females to take up pastoral and ministerial roles.
Some christian groups actively prohibit females from taking pastoral or ministerial roles.

Is one practice more correct than the other?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect.”  Similar question as above.  Is the theology of the individual necessarily incorrect?

It illuminates the subjectivity of the faith.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.”  The Catholic religion includes many things that are taught against in the Bible.

And yet, catholics, being christians, illustrate the subjectivity of the faith.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity.”  The question of whether or not a person can attain perfect understanding of the truth is different than the question of whether they can know what the truth is.

Sounds like reification of the truth to me.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective.”  But the truth is true in all circumstances.  Can we know the truth?

We can certainly know truths.  (small t). 

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.”  If we can prove the Bible to be true, then all other religions are proven to be untrue.

With all its contradictions, edits, additions and multiple human authors spread throughout the centuries, it would be difficult to demonstrate that the bible is 100% true - even if there are some decent nuggets of behavioural guidance in there. (along with some deplorable examples, I am compelled to point out…)
That being said, this statement illustrates that christianity is subject to the veracity of the bible.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.”  Logically, if a religious moral code is based on the truth, then it’s not subjective.

Reification again?  Some of the moral codes derived from the bible have been abandoned as harmful or unjust in the past.
What’s to say more are not in the future?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
We should care to know what the truth is.

We should be wary of reifying the concept of truth.

[ Edited: 26 April 2019 11:00 by Jefe]
 
 
proximacentauri
 
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26 April 2019 11:55
 
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM
proximacentauri - 26 April 2019 09:44 AM

@TwoSeven1

Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology. Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation. In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect. Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.

Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity. Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective. Muslims have chosen the Quran as their ‘objective’ model of morality. You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.

Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.

“Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology.”  If the theology correctly adheres to the truth, then what is it?

“Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation.”  Is the theology of each sect necessarily incorrect?

“In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect.”  Similar question as above.  Is the theology of the individual necessarily incorrect?

“Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.”  The Catholic religion includes many things that are taught against in the Bible.

“Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity.”  The question of whether or not a person can attain perfect understanding of the truth is different than the question of whether they can know what the truth is.

“Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective.”  But the truth is true in all circumstances.  Can we know the truth?

“You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.”  If we can prove the Bible to be true, then all other religions are proven to be untrue.

“Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.”  Logically, if a religious moral code is based on the truth, then it’s not subjective.

We should care to know what the truth is.

You cannot objectively determine that your ‘chosen’ theology or it’s attendant moral code is the truth.

So what your left with is the demonstration of your faith and the hope that you’ve chosen the correct theology. ‘Choosing’ the correct theology is a subjective choice, is it not? But most people simply adopt the dominant theology of their geographical place of birth and/or familial theology. So for most, the randomness of one’s geographical birthplace determines one’s adopted theology. Had you been born a Muslim, you would be just as convinced of the objectiveness of Islam’s moral code as dictated by the Quran. And this would be your personal ‘truth’.

Yes, we should all care to know the truth. But many Christians find it difficult to even entertain the thought that they could somehow have hitched their wagon to the wrong theology. Or the much more likely scenario, that all theologies including theirs are man-made.

Back to the ‘truth’ of the morality of the Bible, slavery is accepted to the point where God gives instruction for beating one’s slaves and admonishes slaves to “serve their masters well.” Enslavement of a fellow human being is heinously immoral, and yet the Christian god somehow misses this. Subsequently the human misery of slavery, enabled by a theologically defensible reading of the Bible, continued till the 19th century.

Ask yourself what is more likely. That the Bible represents perfect moral truth, or that slavery was overlooked because the Bible is the product of men who could not imagine a world without slavery.

 

 

 
TwoSeven1
 
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26 April 2019 13:12
 
Jefe - 26 April 2019 10:45 AM
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

“No.  This is not nihilism. 
Subjectivity does not preclude people finding meaning in their lives.
Subjectivity does not mean life is meaningless.” 

If everything is subjective, then nothing can be objective.

Religion and morality is subjective.  See Proxima Centauri’s post above.
It is subject to differing variables, including personal opinion, birth location, education or lack-thereof, etc…

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

If nothing can be objective, then truth cannot exist.



This does not follow.  Objective Truth cannot exist (capital O objective, that is).
But facts exist, independent of our emotional position about them, or our opinions, or feelings.
Is a fact a truth?  Because if so, objective truth (small o objective) exists all around us.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

If truth cannot exist, then life cannot have meaning, and nothing really matters beyond our subjectivity.

That’s quite an assumption train.  I cannot accept it, because I don’t ascribe to it’s three main points.
Facts exist.  If they are truth, then truth exists.
I don’t see how you are connecting the meaning of life to facts in this particular statement, but I have no difficulty finding meaning for my life outside of religious claims or religious philosophies.
And everything that impacts my life matters to me, so I can’t connect your ‘nothing matters’ statement to my life, meaning, goals, or accomplishments. 

I’d need more info on how you’re connecting these items to make sense of the statement.  Perhaps you mean ‘nothing you currently value’ matters?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

If/Then statements aren’t examples of subjectivity.


If/then statements illustrate subjectivity.
They demonstrate the dependence of a conclusion on the value of the statement.

If god is real, so is heaven.
If god is not real, heaven may also not be real.  (along with all other god-claims). 
Thus the existence of heaven is (largely) subject to the existence of god.
I don’t presume god to be real, so I must analyze the subjectivity of any god-claim based on it’s merits and relative accuracy as compared to our current base of knowledge.

If the bible is true….
But many parts of the bible have been shown not to be true…
Thus the truth of the bible requires rigorous examination and verification…
The truth of the bible is subject to its historical accuracy - which is shakey.
The truth of the bible is subject to the nature of its authors - which were many, and all were people - possessing all the various limitations, biases, prejudices and opinions that people come with.
The truth of the bible cannot be taken for granted due to past errors, edits, additions and modification…

If facts are truths then we can observe objective information.
2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples is ‘objectively true’ (small o) because the language of mathematics that we have created to communicate these facts translates fairly universally.  There is some subjectivity involved in language, concepts and translation within the human brain, but the statement itself holds up over time and mental map so we can take it as a fact that is not based on opinions, emotions, or preferences.

I would suggest that any (large O) objectivity attributed to god(s) get rooted in the subjective nature of that god(s)’ existence.

Also beware of the dangers of reification of concepts like objectivity and truth.  (Big O and big T).

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

When I search for the definition of the word “subjective,” I get this top result:
“based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.”

That’s a pretty limited definition. Top Results do not include the depth of philosophical and sociological meanings ascribed to the word.  Or the meaty concepts with which the word is used. Perhaps the philosophical and sociological definitions of subjectivity would be more useful.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

“That may be your meaning.  But it too is subject to the relative truth of the mythology on which it is based. Others may have access to different meanings for their lives.”

Do you believe that the truth is subjective?

Are we talking about facts now, or are we talking about value statements with questionable veracity and mysterious origins?
Or do you wish to talk about meta-concepts and thought problems?

In a court room, witnesses vow to tell the truth.
But what they recall may not be the truth - even though they swear by it.
This is due to limitations of human cognition and recall, and the plasticity of our memories when in stress-situations.
That doesn’t mean they don’t think they are telling the truth, but it can mean that what they think of as telling the truth is not, in fact, true.  That truth is subject to the limitations and stress effects on human memory and recall.

If we’re talking about truth such as ‘earth is the third planet in the sol system’, this would seem to be objectively true (small o).  The statement itself is subject to various language conventions and conceptual structures, but on the whole it is true.  So this statement is objectively true - with minor quibbles.

If we’re talking about metaphors, midrash, and sacred writings, then we can know immediately that they are subject to the nature of their authors, and readers, and thus non-objective(small o).  Even though they may contain nuggets of truth (small t), or rather, nuggets of decent life-instruction within them.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 09:01 AM

What about mathematics?

See above.

“Religion and morality is subjective.”  Not if they’re adhering to the truth.

“But facts exist, independent of our emotional position about them, or our opinions, or feelings.
Is a fact a truth?  Because if so, objective truth (small o objective) exists all around us.”  This violates your previous statement that everything we perceive or conceive is subjective.  If your previous statement is to be believed, then nothing can be objective and there is no such thing as truth.  The truth cannot be true for one person, but not another.  The truth must be true in all circumstances.

“Facts exist.  If they are truth, then truth exists.”  If we accept your previous statement, then how can we say that facts exist since we would be saying this from a subjective perception?

“I don’t see how you are connecting the meaning of life to facts in this particular statement, but I have no difficulty finding meaning for my life outside of religious claims or religious philosophies.”  If you adhere to your previous statement, then the meaning of your life that you find can only be subjective.  I don’t doubt that many people have similar philosophy to yours, however, it’s unsatisfactory to the concept of truth.  Our lives cannot only have the purpose that we give them.  If that were the case, then I could justify nearly anything I want to do and call it “good,” which is why atheism cannot give society a foundation for morals and ethics.

“And everything that impacts my life matters to me, so I can’t connect your ‘nothing matters’ statement to my life, meaning, goals, or accomplishments.”  I don’t mean that nothing matters to the individual.  I am speaking of the logical concept that nothing can matter.  If everything is subjective and temporary, there is no convincing reason to say that anything we do in our lifetimes matters.

“But many parts of the bible have been shown not to be true…”  Which parts?

“Thus the truth of the bible requires rigorous examination and verification…”  Rightfully so with any historical document.

“The truth of the bible is subject to its historical accuracy - which is shakey.”  What parts are shakey?

“The truth of the bible is subject to the nature of its authors - which were many, and all were people - possessing all the various limitations, biases, prejudices and opinions that people come with.
The truth of the bible cannot be taken for granted due to past errors, edits, additions and modification…”  Why do you suppose the 66 different books that make up the Bible were canonized?

Something we say can’t be objectively true if we are always saying it from a subjective perception.  Aren’t you painting a target around the bullet holes when you redefine the word “subjective?”

“That’s a pretty limited definition.”  It is the definition, however.

“Are we talking about facts now, or are we talking about value statements with questionable veracity and mysterious origins?
Or do you wish to talk about meta-concepts and thought problems?”  If something is a fact, then it is the truth.

“So this statement is objectively true…”  I agree that it’s objectively true, however, I don’t understand how you are logically able to say that it’s objectively true in light of your belief that everything is subjective.  If everything we perceive or conceive is subjective, then all of your reasoning with me is subjective.

“Even though they may contain nuggets of truth (small t), or rather, nuggets of decent life-instruction within them.”  From your perspective, if there is truth in them, then how do you reconcile that with the subjectivity of everything?  Are they true only if we perceive then to be true?

 
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26 April 2019 13:13
 
Jefe - 26 April 2019 10:57 AM
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology.”  If the theology correctly adheres to the truth, then what is it?

Exactly.  what is the truth, in this case?  Has it been reified, or is it still subject to the interpretation of the flock?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation.”  Is the theology of each sect necessarily incorrect?

Some christian groups accept gay folks as members of the flock and even pastors. 
Some christian groups actively discriminate to exclude gay folks from their flocks.

Some christian groups actively encourage females to take up pastoral and ministerial roles.
Some christian groups actively prohibit females from taking pastoral or ministerial roles.

Is one practice more correct than the other?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect.”  Similar question as above.  Is the theology of the individual necessarily incorrect?

It illuminates the subjectivity of the faith.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.”  The Catholic religion includes many things that are taught against in the Bible.

And yet, catholics, being christians, illustrate the subjectivity of the faith.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity.”  The question of whether or not a person can attain perfect understanding of the truth is different than the question of whether they can know what the truth is.

Sounds like reification of the truth to me.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective.”  But the truth is true in all circumstances.  Can we know the truth?

We can certainly know truths.  (small t). 

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.”  If we can prove the Bible to be true, then all other religions are proven to be untrue.

With all its contradictions, edits, additions and multiple human authors spread throughout the centuries, it would be difficult to demonstrate that the bible is 100% true - even if there are some decent nuggets of behavioural guidance in there. (along with some deplorable examples, I am compelled to point out…)
That being said, this statement illustrates that christianity is subject to the veracity of the bible.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
“Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.”  Logically, if a religious moral code is based on the truth, then it’s not subjective.

Reification again?  Some of the moral codes derived from the bible have been abandoned as harmful or unjust in the past.
What’s to say more are not in the future?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM

 
We should care to know what the truth is.

We should be wary of reifying the concept of truth.

“Exactly.  what is the truth, in this case?  Has it been reified, or is it still subject to the interpretation of the flock?”  If it adheres to the truth correctly, then logically, it is the truth.

“Is one practice more correct than the other?”  Yes, but better wording of your question would be:  Is one correct and the other wrong?  To which, the answer is yes.

“It illuminates the subjectivity of the faith.”  It illuminates the fact that individuals have the ability to believe different things, not that their individual beliefs are true or untrue.

“And yet, catholics, being christians, illustrate the subjectivity of the faith.”  Catholics illustrate that the fact people have the ability to disregard/ignore/change what they don’t like.  If something is the truth and we modify it, then is it still the truth?

“We can certainly know truths.”  In context of your statement, we can only know them subjectively.

“... That being said, this statement illustrates that christianity is subject to the veracity of the bible.”  Agreed.

“Some of the moral codes derived from the bible have been abandoned as harmful or unjust in the past.
What’s to say more are not in the future?”  If they are abandoned in the future, what does that fact change their truthfulness?

 
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26 April 2019 13:14
 
proximacentauri - 26 April 2019 11:55 AM
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 10:37 AM
proximacentauri - 26 April 2019 09:44 AM

@TwoSeven1

Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology. Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation. In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect. Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.

Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity. Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective. Muslims have chosen the Quran as their ‘objective’ model of morality. You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.

Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.

“Morality based on theology is subjective with respect to interpretation of that theology.”  If the theology correctly adheres to the truth, then what is it?

“Different sects of Christianity have differing moral codes based on interpretation.”  Is the theology of each sect necessarily incorrect?

“In addition to that, individual Christians have their own personal interpretive take which may differ from the sect.”  Similar question as above.  Is the theology of the individual necessarily incorrect?

“Most Christians I know moderate the official moral stance of their chosen sect based on modern day ethics, especially Catholics.”  The Catholic religion includes many things that are taught against in the Bible.

“Further, those who wish to follow Divine Command Theory to the letter still cannot claim perfect objectivity.”  The question of whether or not a person can attain perfect understanding of the truth is different than the question of whether they can know what the truth is.

“Why? Because choosing the correct theology is subjective, not objective.”  But the truth is true in all circumstances.  Can we know the truth?

“You can’t fault them, all you can say is they’ve chosen a false theology. But objectively you cannot prove their theology to be false and yours to be true.”  If we can prove the Bible to be true, then all other religions are proven to be untrue.

“Therefore, religious moral codes all reduce to subjectivity.”  Logically, if a religious moral code is based on the truth, then it’s not subjective.

We should care to know what the truth is.

You cannot objectively determine that your ‘chosen’ theology or it’s attendant moral code is the truth.

So what your left with is the demonstration of your faith and the hope that you’ve chosen the correct theology. ‘Choosing’ the correct theology is a subjective choice, is it not? But most people simply adopt the dominant theology of their geographical place of birth and/or familial theology. So for most, the randomness of one’s geographical birthplace determines one’s adopted theology. Had you been born a Muslim, you would be just as convinced of the objectiveness of Islam’s moral code as dictated by the Quran. And this would be your personal ‘truth’.

Yes, we should all care to know the truth. But many Christians find it difficult to even entertain the thought that they could somehow have hitched their wagon to the wrong theology. Or the much more likely scenario, that all theologies including theirs are man-made.

Back to the ‘truth’ of the morality of the Bible, slavery is accepted to the point where God gives instruction for beating one’s slaves and admonishes slaves to “serve their masters well.” Enslavement of a fellow human being is heinously immoral, and yet the Christian god somehow misses this. Subsequently the human misery of slavery, enabled by a theologically defensible reading of the Bible, continued till the 19th century.

Ask yourself what is more likely. That the Bible represents perfect moral truth, or that slavery was overlooked because the Bible is the product of men who could not imagine a world without slavery.

 

 

I’ll try to respond to this later.

 
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26 April 2019 13:47
 
TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 01:13 PM

Is one practice more correct than the other?”  Yes, but better wording of your question would be:  Is one correct and the other wrong?  To which, the answer is yes.

Subjective.  Based on who has the more correct interpretation of right/wrong.  And subject to an acceptable definition of right/wrong.  And subject to whether that definition actually describes harm versus benefit - or is simply politics wrapped in religion.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 01:13 PM

It illuminates the subjectivity of the faith.”  It illuminates the fact that individuals have the ability to believe different things, not that their individual beliefs are true or untrue.

Methinks each group would view their position as true in regard to their doctrinal interpretation.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 01:13 PM

And yet, catholics, being christians, illustrate the subjectivity of the faith.”  Catholics illustrate that the fact people have the ability to disregard/ignore/change what they don’t like.  If something is the truth and we modify it, then is it still the truth?

You tell me.
Christians in the south US used to embrace slavery upon biblical arguments. Now they don’t (mostly).
Which position is a closer representative of thruth?

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 01:13 PM

We can certainly know truths.”  In context of your statement, we can only know them subjectively.

Of course our knowledge is subjective from many perspectives.  Reified Objectivity (big O) is a conceptual construct.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 01:13 PM

... That being said, this statement illustrates that christianity is subject to the veracity of the bible.”  Agreed.

So then are we into sola scriptura here?
Because you and I both know that some of the bible is mere metaphor.  Much of it is not to be taken as “fact”.  Much of it is cautionary tales.  Much of it is borrowed or pirated from previous mythologies.

There was no “first couple”.  Adam and Eve are metaphorical figures.  There was never a time when there were only 2 humans alive on earth.

We know the creation story and yhe ordering of the 6 days is also metaphorical and bears little resemblance to the actuality of the cosmos.

There was no global flood, and that idea may have been borrowed from persian myths.

We know some stories contradict themselves - because they were written by different people at different times.  It can’t even get the story of the tomb after easter straight.  We can’t know whether it was one person, a few people, no one, men or women at the tomb, in the story, because the books differ.

We also see the relative lack of extra-biblical corroboration of the ‘historical’ myths.  Was there a census at bethlehem? The roman records are strangely silent on that topic.

TwoSeven1 - 26 April 2019 01:13 PM

Some of the moral codes derived from the bible have been abandoned as harmful or unjust in the past.
What’s to say more are not in the future?”  If they are abandoned in the future, what does that fact change their truthfulness?

Mixed cloth, while forbidden in deuteronomy and leviticus, seems to be ok now.

Owning slaves from neighboring states, while once biblically acceptable, is now not ok.

Crop rotation and variety, while biblically forbidden, seemd to be helpful for long term sustainability.

There are other examples of ‘incorrectness’ in biblical passages.

Need I go on?

 

 
 
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