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How do we know what's right and what's wrong? how do we decide? What IS right and wrong?

Morality and Christianity

Postby Joel Blazing Pants » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

I have a few questions about Morality and Christianity.

It's often said that God is the source of human morality.

So does that mean that Morality exists and God simply guides humanity to be moral?

If Morality exists on it's own, couldn't humanity eventually find it without guidance, as we have done over time?


Or is God the definition of Morality, and everything God does and commands is what's moral?

Or if God and Morality are one, does that mean whatever God does is moral?

Are contradictions to God immoral?

Take the blanket statement of "killing children is wrong". Wouldn't that be a contradiction since God is perfectly moral and God commanded the deaths of all firstborn children in Egypt?

So is the statement that "killing children is wrong" immoral?

Or can you contradict God and still be moral?
Joel Blazing Pants
 

Re: Morality and Christianity

Postby jimwalton » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:38 am

You've asked a lot of questions in the same post. If we start going back and forth on several of them, the posts are going to get unwieldy. But we can give it a shot.

> It's often said that God is the source of human morality.

That is correct. God's nature is the objective standard of morality.

> So does that mean that Morality exists and God simply guides humanity to be moral?

That's a tricky question. Morality doesn't "exist" on its own (which could be one way of interpreting what you wrote), but only as the practical expression of God's nature.

God doesn't "simply" guide humanity to be moral. God invites humanity to be godly as the fullest expression of our humanity, which naturally would involve being moral. It's a nuance that might make a difference depending on where you're going with this set of questions.

> Or is God the definition of Morality, and everything God does and commands is what's moral?

God is not the definition of morality. God is the definition of God. Morality is intrinsic to His nature, but He is not the definition of morality. For instance, there are some parts of morality that are not objective but instead are culturally defined and driven, possibly such as obeying the speed limit laws, though that could be a trite example.

> Or if God and Morality are one, does that mean whatever God does is moral?

That's another possible trick question. I'm not sure I'd agree that God and morality are one. God is assuredly distinctly moral and cannot be immoral, but we are not to construe that as to claiming that God can act immorally and that act, since God did it, becomes moral. I hope I'm clarifying where your questions may be a little subversive, and I'm reticent to accept them at face value.

> Are contradictions to God immoral?

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but I will tentatively agree that contradictions to God are immoral.

> Take the blanket statement of "killing children is wrong". Wouldn't that be a contradiction since God is perfectly moral and God commanded the deaths of all firstborn children in Egypt?

Your blanket statement is where the flaw lies. There may be situations where killing a child is right. For instance, suppose a child contracts a toxic lethal contagious disease for which there is no cure. If the child is allowed to live, the whole nation and possibly more will be infected and die. Would it be right to kill the child to save humanity? I would say yes.

"Wouldn't that be a contradiction since God is perfectly moral and God commanded the deaths of all firstborn children in Egypt?" It's not automatically a contradiction because God had a reason for that judgment, just as the doctors or the people in my previous illustration had justification to kill the child.

> So is the statement that "killing children is wrong" immoral?

This is a trick question. Killing children is generally and almost always wrong, but there are certain situations where the killing of a child may be considered right. Even in our culture we recognize that in the case of childbirth where if we don't abort the baby it will endanger the life of the mother and child, it become justifiable, in our cultural way of thinking, to kill the child to save the life of the mother.

> Or can you contradict God and still be moral?

You have sort of already asked this question, and I've sort of already answered it, but it depends what you mean by it. Generally speaking, you cannot contradict God and still be moral, but it depends what you mean by it. I can't take a stand without further comment.
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Re: Morality and Christianity

Postby Joel Blazing Pants » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:47 pm

I'm not asking about certain situations, I'm talking about the blanket phrase.

The blanket phase "killing children is wrong" contradicts God's actions, of course it can be amended but that's not the point.

The statement in of itself contradicts God, but does that mean it's immoral, if God is morality, wouldn't contradictions to morality naturally be immoral?

And if there are situations where one can contradict God and still be moral, doesn't that mean that in at least some regard, Morality is not defined specifically by God?
Joel Blazing Pants
 

Re: Morality and Christianity

Postby jimwalton » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:13 am

> I'm not asking about certain situations, I'm talking about the blanket phrase.

I won't go with a blanket phrase. It sets up a false dichotomy, similar to "Have you stopped beating your wife?" If I say yes, it implies I have been beating her, and if I say no, it implies that I'm still beating her. Your blanket phrase, "Is killing children wrong?" doesn't allow for all contingencies, and to answer it blankly leads to dishonesty and misunderstanding.

> The blanket phase "killing children is wrong" contradicts God's actions, of course it can be amended but that's not the point.

Therefore the emendation is very much to the point. The blanket phrase is a false dichotomy and leads to misleading conclusions. I won't agree to misleading conclusions yielding a false result.

> The statement in of itself contradicts God, but does that mean it's immoral, if God is morality, wouldn't contradictions to morality naturally be immoral?

You are following an illogical line put forth as logical, similar to...

    * All crows are black.
    * John is black.
    * Therefore, John is a crow.

> And if there are situations where one can contradict God and still be moral, doesn't that mean that in at least some regard, Morality is not defined specifically by God?

I never admitted that one can contradict God and still be moral, so why would I agree to this statement? Morality, as I said, is not particularly defined by God as it is the logical extension of His nature.

Maybe it would help if you gave me an example of a situation where someone can contradict God and still be moral, since I in general reject the premise.


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