Being on the Wrong Side of History on Same-Sex Marriage? Worse than You Think.

Being on the Wrong Side of History on Same-Sex Marriage? Worse than You Think. April 27, 2019

It’s easy to believe passionately in the rightness of our moral position. What’s often ignored is the importance of being on the right side of history.

Friction over same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage is one example of a contentious moral issue in America today, and passions still run strong on both sides. The National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 churches, left the Presbyterian Church USA a few years ago after they liberalized their definition of marriage to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

Acceptance of same-sex marriage within society has pushed many conservatives to fear the sky is falling. Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate, thought he saw in American culture the gradual erosion of rights that Jews and Christians experienced in Nazi Germany. The title of Santorum’s 2015 documentary film reveals how soon he imagines that his religious rights could be lost: “One Generation Away.”

Worries about the 2015 Supreme Court Obergefell decision on same-sex marriage had a conclave of Christian leaders clutching their pearls. One proclaimed,

Once you elevate same-sex marriage to the level of protected status, whether on the federal or the state level, you begin to change and transform the face of society. In my view it will result in the beginning of the end of Western Civilization.

What will history say?

These Christian leaders see themselves as fighting the good fight, but how will this fit with the judgment of history?

Here’s one answer. Jennifer Morse, president and founder of the Ruth Institute (“Helping the Victims of the Sexual Revolution”), was asked if she feared being embarrassed by the seeming inevitability of same-sex marriage. She replied:

I am not the slightest bit worried about the judgment of history on me. This march-of-history argument bothers me a lot. . . . What they’re really saying is, “Stop thinking, stop using your judgment, just shut up and follow the crowd because the crowd is moving towards Nirvana and you need to just follow along.”

You’ve got to admire that. She’s standing up for what she feels is right, unconcerned about whether it’s popular or how history will judge that position.

But let’s not pretend that the judgment of history is irrelevant. Remember George Wallace’s infamous 1963 declaration, “I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Was Wallace fighting the good fight with his stand for racial segregation? He would’ve said yes. History says he got it wrong.

Those opposed to freedom for Southern slaves, women’s suffrage, and minorities’ civil rights were all fighting the good fight, like those opposed to same-sex marriage today. Just remember that history wins in the end.

Indeed, Jennifer Morse does think about the evaluation of history, it’s just that she thinks that she’ll be on the right side of it:

[Same-sex marriage proponents] are the ones who are going to be embarrassed. They are the ones who are going to be looking around, looking for the exits, trying to pretend that it had nothing to do with them, that it wasn’t really their fault.

Those fighting the good fight think that they will eventually be judged on the right side of history. I’ll propose that as the definition of fighting the good fight: taking a minority position now that you think will eventually, if only decades in the future, be seen as the morally correct one.

And there’s the problem—reading the tea leaves to see where society is moving. There is no reliable route to objective moral truth (I argue that what we imagine as objective moral truth is actually just widely shared or strongly felt moral beliefs). There is no celestial library where the answers to all moral questions are in a big book. The judgment of history is the best we’ve got, and we fool ourselves when we think that moral rightness is ultimately determined by anything more lofty.

It might seem shallow to base one’s moral convictions on what society will conclude fifty years in the future rather than on one’s conscience today. But make no mistake: the strength or sincerity of your convictions—about same-sex marriage or any moral issue—are irrelevant. Your stand today will be judged by the conclusions of that future society, and being on the right side of history is all that ultimately matters. Get that wrong, and you’re just another George Wallace.

Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world,
for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.

― René Descartes

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 4/2/15.)

Image credit: Shutterstock
.

"I am shackled to nothing. I have chosen my belief based on evidence.And yet when ..."

Theology, the Queen Clown of Sciences ..."
"You don't counter with the joys found in your beliefsThis isn't a blog about Bob's ..."

Theology, the Queen Clown of Sciences ..."
"You can't help but be mad. Wrong again. Wow, you suck at reading people, don’t ..."

Theology, the Queen Clown of Sciences ..."
"You can't help but be mad. At me, the priest, all of religion or anything ..."

Theology, the Queen Clown of Sciences ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • NS Alito

    People raised within a religion that had its own ritual for recognizing marriage forget or are unaware that marriage is ubiquitous across all human societies, and that each society has its own variations. The Catholics have long made a distinction between signing the civil paperwork and performing the Sacrament of Marriage, and civil divorce is not recognized as having any bearing on Holy Matrimony.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    More like the arrogant assuming that there is no nuance in opposing gay marriage.

    • epeeist

      More like the arrogant assuming that there is no nuance in opposing gay marriage.

      So what has Bob missed? If there is a nuanced argument in opposing same sex marriage then why don’t you provide it.

      • Jennny

        Yeah, c’mon Jazzy, tell us these nuances…I for one am all ears! I believe you’re an english major – correct me if I’m wrong – explanations and citations should be easy-peasy for you

      • 92JazzQueen .

        Mostly because you dismiss it from a religious point of view and think that everyone has to accept gay marriage morally to be good.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          … and think that everyone has to accept gay marriage morally to be good.

          Dear fartwit: how un-nuanced you are. Bob is not saying that everyone needs to be gay married. He is saying they should be tolerant of other people who choose to be gay married.

        • epeeist

          Mostly because you dismiss it from a religious point of view

          I know what my reasons are for my attitude to same sex marriage. What was wanted from you was the nuanced argument against SSM that you supposedly have.

        • You don’t like gay marriage? That’s cool; no one’s forcing you to have one. I’m sure you can wag your finger at lots of people for lots of moral indiscretions. SSM is another to add to your list. We live in a pluralistic society, where I can offend you and you can take offense. Or vice versa.

        • 92JazzQueen .

          The thing is that disagreeing with gay marriage will get you demonized by the likes of your ilk.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          So what?

          YOUR KIND *deserve* to be demonized.

          If you violate the laws, the gov’t is even allowed to censure your behavior.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          Simply being LGBT will get us demonized by your ilk. Actually, demonized, dehumanized, criminalized, pathologized, institutionalized and/or killed. But tell me, how exactly should we respond to the likes of you who object to our existence?

        • Give us a good reason to demand that gay marriage be illegal nationwide, and we’ll give you a hearing. Isn’t that why you’re here–to get a hearing for policies that you think are defensible in the secular public square?

        • Greg G.

          The religious right is being stirred up by the political right to motivate them to vote. However, they make non-issues into issues that end up as legal issues for the religious right. Politics should stay out of religion and religion should stay out of politics. If a religion needs politics, it is too weak to stand on its own and should just die in peace.

        • Greg G.

          Demonized or prosecuted? Certain classes of people get legal protection because bigots target them. Religiously-motivated bigotry is still bigotry. If you act to harm people, you deserve to be prosecuted.

        • Polytropos

          Demonized? Really? Getting called out for your bigotry is not the same thing as being demonized. When people decide they don’t wish to be associated with you because your bigotry is unpleasant, that’s not the same thing as being demonized either.

        • LastManOnEarth

          It’s a loathsome belief, and I’ll demonize any belief that needlessly and unjustly aims to discriminate.

        • Sleven

          You sure do care what the likes of our ilk think, don’t ya pumpkin.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          if you can give a good reason for disagreeing we are waiting, being criticized for believing something for a bad reason is how we learn to think better.

          If your only reason for disagreeing is because the current crop of interpreters of the bible have told you that you should then few in this forum are going to accept that as valid, it is an argument from an authority we do not accept.

        • WCB

          Modern day archeology has demonstrated that the OT is not history. There was no Egyptian captivity, no Exodus. No wander in the desert forty years, no bloody genocidal invasion of Canaan at God’s command. And thus no Moses on the mount getting 613 laws from God. Including commands to stone homosexuals. Therefor those commands of Leviticus 18 and 20 used by religious believers to condemn gay marriage as immoral is false.

          There is also the fact that if the Pentateuch is false history, the claim God commanded murders, massacres and genocides is false. If God exists, god did none of these things.

          These lies from some old lying billygoat herders of 2,700 years ago, still reach down through the ages causing us many problems in our culture, laws and politics and it is no longer tolerable.

          Go thou, and study the works of William Dever, Israel Finkelstein, Nadav Na’aman, and other Near Eastern archaeologists, and learn the truth.

        • epeeist

          The thing is that disagreeing with gay marriage will get you demonized by the likes of your ilk.

          Or to put it another way, “I could make a nuanced argument but it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny.”

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          “The thing is that disagreeing with gay marriage will get you demonized by the likes of your ilk.”

          Awwww. That makes me feel so, so sorry for you. Being mean to the hateful little bigot makes the hateful little bigot sad.

        • 92JazzQueen .

          You are a petty, self-righteous bunch.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          IKYABWAI

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          So says the hateful little bigot. I happen to think it’s rather petty and self-righteous to hate people because of whom they choose to have sex with or marry, isn’t it? Particularly when it’s commanded by religious laws that have nothing to do with us here in the United States in the 21st Century.

          Have you considered asking your chosen deity why he requires you to be an asshole to others (by denying them equal rights under the law) who don’t happen to be exactly like you? You could also ask your deity why “mind your own fucking business” wasn’t one of the commandments.

        • You’re a bit inconsiderate when you ignore JazzQueen’s sleepless nights, fretting about homosexuals being loved.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          why do all these religious types act like someone is going to force them to get gay married or have an abortion? is it really so hard for them to understand that the important thing is choice, the same rule that allows them to not do something should allow another to do it, as long as all involved are consenting (i, of course, do not consider a fetus enough of a person for consent to be an issue in that case.) I guess consent and willing slavery are a hard circle to square

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          Acceptance is not required.

          Not acting to oppose it in an unlawful way, though…yeah, we’ll gladly force you to do that.

        • Greg G.

          How dare you force someone to mind their own business?!?!?!?!

        • AtticusOSullivan

          Well, yes. If your objections to ssm are religious, it doesn’t matter how nuanced they are. They are still irrelevant. Your acceptance or rejection of ssm is also irrelevant to your own moral goodness or lack thereof. Do you have an argument against ssm that doesn’t run afoul of the Constitution?

        • 92JazzQueen .

          Because it goes beyond the secular legal system and into the absolute moral system. And I have seen people outright not tolerate anyone who doesn’t accept gay marriage personally.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The same ‘absolute’ moral system that was used to keep black folks enslaved, and women enslaved, for nearly 2 millennia?

        • AtticusOSullivan

          As I said, your objections to ssm are religions and are irrelevant. Moreover, christians do not agree about the morality of gay marriage. You’ll have to take your religious objections to gay marriage up with all the christians who accept it. When you guys come to a consensus, let us know.

          So you’ve allegedly seen a lack of tolerance for persons who do not accept gay marriage personally. How exactly was this intolerance expressed? Without context and nuance, your claim is meaningless. Are you trying to suggest that a person’s lack of tolerance towards, I assume, a christian who doesn’t accept gay marriage is a nuanced argument against it? How many times will folks have to ask you what the nuances are before you deign to state them?

        • Greg G.

          BZZZZT! There is no absolute moral system. Your argument is invalid. Mind your own business.

        • Joe

          What “absolute moral system”?

        • “Absolute moral system”? What is that and how is that relevant?

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          please tell us more of this absolute moral system, in fact can we start with just a single moral absolute.

        • Kodie

          Isn’t discriminating against people and opposing their civil rights morally to be bad? You don’t have to like it or do it, you just have to learn to accept it and stop trying to stop it from happening. Or else, you’re a very bad person!

    • al kimeea

      70 years ago you’d have said the same regarding miscegenation, maybe 70 minutes…

      • 92JazzQueen .

        Yeah, that same old argument is getting old and is more like divorce than interracial marriage. I am going to say it. Gay marriage is like divorce morally than interracial marriage.

        • Greg G.

          Gay marriage is like divorce morally than interracial marriage.

          Divorce is not immoral either. A divorce does not necessarily mean a marriage was unsuccessful, it might just mean the couple grew in different directions. It would be immoral to force a couple to stay together when they are no longer good for one another.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Gay marriage is like divorce morally than interracial marriage.

          Dear fartwit: Gay marriage is not like divorce in this way:
          Jesus H. Christ spoke clearly against divorce. This is recorded in all the gospels.
          On the other hand, here is a complete list of everything Jesus H. Christ said about homosexuality and gay marriage:

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          If Gay marriage is like divorce, and conservative Christians have no problem with the twice divorced serial adulterer in the White House, why do they have a problem with gay marriage?

        • (((J_Enigma32)))

          Marriage is like divorce.

          And while we’re here, ignorance is knowledge, war is peace, and freedom is slavery. Please check you belongs with the Sexcrime division over there — they only allow sex in the proper conditions that produces babies for Big Brother Jesus — and please proceed to Thoughtcrime. MiniTru will be along with their 5 minute hate shortly, and I understand it’s a really juicy one, directed at the people who mock Q-Anon True Believers.

        • RichardSRussell

          Yeah, that same old argument is getting old

          But is it getting any less accurate?

          (I ask this of someone who apparently has been convinced by arguments a couple of thousand years old.)

        • 92JazzQueen .

          Not accurate at all.

        • RichardSRussell

          Please explain. Why not?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s an assertion.

          Support it or recant.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your entire fuckin’ ‘BIBLE’ is old, invalid arguments.

          Start with the beam in your own eye.

        • al kimeea

          Oh, and what exactly is interracial marriage morally like?

        • Rudy R

          Let me guess. You’re a Conservative?

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          how? marriage in the legal binding of two people, partly as an outward sign of fidelity and partly as a contract to join there financial affairs, a divorce is simply the breaking of the contract. i don’t see how you can equate an action the forms a contract with one that breaks one? please explain how SSM is different to interracial marriage, from a ‘moral’ point of view,

      • WCB

        Miscegenation was not really born out of religion, thought it was warmly welcomed by many religious believers. It was a creation of one Madison Grant, a turn of the century racist, antisemite, and eugenist, whose books on ‘scientific racism’ became wildly popular in it’s day. German language translations in 1916 eventually found their way to Hitler who praised the book. “Your book has become my Bible!” It was Grant who proposed laws to stop the emigration of undesirable races into America, including Jews, that were in fact enacted into law by the US Congress. Miscegenation laws were his creation. he attempted to take over the new science of anthropology and was rebuffed by the efforts of Fran Boaz and allies. A very ugly chapter in American history. Worth googling for if you want to understand how we got to where we are today with the present day hysteria over immigration. In his rancid writings, Grant and other like him, Lothrop Stoddard and others rarely even mention religion. These were works of unadulterated scientific racism. These works are being rediscovere by the usual suspects on the far right, on blogs and group like 4-chan. Heads up. Scientific racism is making a comeback.

        • al kimeea

          J Phillipe Rushton tried the scientific racism gambit @ Western a few decades ago

    • Michael Neville

      How does pure and simple bigotry become nuanced?

      • 92JazzQueen .

        Mostly because you guys are the same people who make fun of religious people while calling yourselves tolerant.

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t make fun of religious people, I make fun of your beliefs. If you dropped your beliefs based on nothing but wishful thinking and childhood indoctrination, then I wouldn’t make fun of belief in silly things.

          However, and I think this applies in your case, I denounce bigotry. I don’t care what the basis of your bigotry is, religion or just plain hatred or whatever, your homophobia is disgusting to me. I don’t make fun of you for being a bigot, I despise your bigotry and despise you.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Mostly because you guys are the same people who make fun of religious people while calling yourselves tolerant.

          Dear fartwit, you are not seeing the nuance. Of what are we tolerant? People being true to their nature while engaging in behaviour with other consenting adults, while not harming others. When the religious meet this description, I will be tolerant of them.

        • Greg G.

          Your ridiculous claims and ideas are deservedly ridiculed. If you cannot distinguish between your ideas and your self, you have probably been brainwashed.

        • Jennny

          If you don’t want to be made fun of, don’t say stupid things. Simple as that. If I reconvert, will I have to become as bigoted and hateful of certain sections of society as you are?

        • (((J_Enigma32)))

          “Yeah, well, if you’re so tolerant, why don’t you tolerant my intolerance, huh?”

          Cuz tolerance doesn’t work that way, no more than “well, if you’re so respectful, why don’t you respect my disrespect?” describes how respect works.

          Not that you understand either of those terms, mind you, but still.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It’s not difficult to both mock and tolerate people. We do it all the time here in the comments.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Look up ‘The Paradox of Tolerance’.

          Willful ignorance is rude.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          i respect your right to believe what you want, i demand the right to question any statement you make. Now if i think the statement is made by a good actor in good faith then i will respond in kind, we may never come to agreement but civility is always the best course, however once someone demonstrates that they are acting in bad faith, then the gloves come off, because i am not obliged to be tolerant of intolerance,

        • Kodie

          Because you base your moral opinions on the judgment of your imaginary friend? Yes.

        • Maltnothops

          Ridicule is an appropriate response to the ridiculous. You can’t seriously think your god cares whether or not women have leadership roles in churches, can you?

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Religious people are the ones causing trouble for other people. Without that we would be just as tolerant to you.

        • 92JazzQueen .

          Yeah, that’s again selective obliviousness on your part.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          No, religious people are the ones interfering in other peoples’ lives. It’s too obvious to ignore!

        • AtticusOSullivan

          Yes, you’ve made your point. You’re just as bad as the folks you complain about. Oh, and being made fun of is just as bad as having one’s right to exist and participate equally in society denied. Now how about making a nuanced argument against same sex marriage. Better yet, how about making a nuanced argument against civil rights protections for all persons regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity?

    • (((J_Enigma32)))

      “Nuance” is another one of those terms you people use but don’t understand. There is no “nuance” to bigotry and hate.

      Do you ever get tired of parroting other people’s arguments without understanding them on any meaningful level?

    • Show us this nuance.

    • Ficino

      Either a same-sex couple is allowed to contract a civil marriage, or not. There is no nuance about the outcome. So “nuances” in the reasoning of those who wish to deny them this right are not relevant to the outcome.

      Why then are “nuances” in opposing SSM important at all?

      • 92JazzQueen .

        I am saying that post-SSM rulings. People feel entitled that religious people should think gay marriage is moral. I am saying that a lot of you really are about enforcing your views on others as much as you describe the fundies.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          I don’t care what you think.

          I want you to FOLLOW THE FUCKING LAW with respect to civil rights.

          Other than that, you can hold your breath until you pass out and I won’t care.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          By not caring what she thinks, you are PERSECUTING her!!!

        • Greg G.

          Your right to swing your fist ends at the next person’s nose. Your right to exercise your religion ends when you try to apply it to unwilling people. Believe whatever you want but keep your nose out of other people’s business.

        • Greg G.

          Would a ban on SSM be the only thing that keeps you from marrying someone of the same sex? If not, then consider the nuance that it is not your problem.

          Nobody wanted gay marriage until the conservatives started the conversation. Then people demanded it because conservative religious nuts said they couldn’t. Gays have conservatives to thank for making it an issue in the first place.

        • Uh, no, there is no such symmetry. Pro-SSM people don’t impose on anyone; they only want a right granted for a minority. It’s the anti-SSM people who want to impose their beliefs on others.

        • 92JazzQueen .

          Yeah, you guys do but you are selectively oblivious to it.

        • Huh? How does this refute my point? How does “you can get gay married if you want” impose on you?

        • 92JazzQueen .

          Because you do enforce it culturally on anyone who disagrees with the idea it’s moral.

        • And my point stands: this is not symmetric. Imposing “gay marriage is illegal” on the country by law is very different from “you can get gay married if you want … or not.”

        • 92JazzQueen .

          No, I don’t mean legally. I am saying culturally people feel everyone has to agree with gay marriage morally.

        • epeeist

          I am saying culturally people feel everyone has to agree with gay marriage morally.

          Let’s take a somewhat different example. The other day I was served in a shop by a girl with so many piercings that she would have been in severe difficulties if she had passed close to a magnet. Now personally I am not particularly fond of piercings but the fact that this particular girl had so many piercings “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”, in other words it was none of my business.

          If a homosexual couple want to get married does it do any harm to society in general or you in particular? If it does not then why do you feel it necessary to make it your business?

        • severe difficulties if she had passed close to a magnet

          Unless they were titanium. Checkmate, atheist.

        • Not the point.

          You said, “I am saying that a lot of you really are about enforcing your views on others as much as you describe the fundies,” and you are wrong. The symmetry is just in your head.

          Sure, troglodytes like you will be abused for your homophobia, but that isn’t the same as having something imposed on you with the law. You can hate fags all you want when SSM is legal. Aside from a little discomfort when online strangers scold you for being a dick, you’re good. But give you your way, and you’d make SSM illegal, and gays would have their rights oppressed.

          I realize that you’re programmed to not see the asymmetry, but everyone else can.

        • Kodie

          Are you saying people aren’t allowed to have the opinion that you’re a bad person, the way you think gay people are bad people? I mean, for many years, you were allowed to culturally bully gay people so much that they could not have civil protection of their rights, and now no one is taking your fucking rights, but you gripe because someone called you a bad person, which you are. You’re trying to censor people while you enjoy the freedom to hate, bully, and discriminate against people who have nothing the fuck to do with you or your life.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          It sounds as if you’re saying that you can’t deal with folks disapproving of your beliefs. What? you can dish it out but can’t take it? This is still not a nuanced objection to same sex marriage.

        • epeeist

          To summarise the position of most if not all people here:

          1. If you are a heterosexual couple you can get married if you want to

          2. If you are a homosexual couple you can get married if you want to

          To summarise your “nuanced” position

          1.. If you are a heterosexual couple you can get married if you want to

          2. If you are a homosexual couple you are forbidden from marrying

          So who is doing the enforcing here?

        • Greg G.

          1 Peter 4:15 (KJV)15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          nope, there is no obligation for anyone to accept SSM as moral, just legal. I mean i view taking money from people who can’t afford it to pay extravagant lifestyles as being immoral, but it’s not illegal if the giving is done ‘willingly’.

          there are plenty of people who believe that the races should not mix, for both religious and other reasons, that it is immoral to marry outside your ‘own’ do you think that the miscegenation laws should go back to how they where? or are we correct to ignore them and oblige them to observe the same law as everyone else?

          Society has no real way of knowing what a person is thinking, that is why we judge actions not thoughts, thought police is all religions bally-wick

        • Kodie

          If you think about how you are in favor of segregating people into “have rights” and “don’t deserve shit and are wicked,” you are just going to have to live with the fact that many people will think you are a monster.

          Why do you think you are good?

      • WCB

        From the Christian far right, the marriage slippery slope argument. If we allow gay marriage, we will be asked to allow Mormon style polygamy. or the marry children. Or marry your dog. etc and other ridiculous pearl clutching silliness.

        How about muta? Islamic style temporary marriages? Marry that little prostitute for three days to avoid being arrested on prostitutions laws. Why not legalize prostitution?

    • Grimlock

      Could you clarify your position a bit? For instance,

      1. Do you think that same sex marriage should be illegal?
      2. Do you think that there are compelling arguments for legalizing same sex marriage, even if you oppose it?

    • Kit Hadley-Day

      please cite a single argument against SSM that is not based in homophobia or religious bigotry and we can evaluate how reasonable it is.

      basically how does two random people getting married have any impact on anyone else? in a real physical / financial way as opposed to just upsetting them, that is the chasm you need to cross

      • Michael Neville

        As Thomas Jefferson said about a different topic: “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

        Legal, consensual acts between adults done in private have no effect on anyone else. So the homophobes should just mind their own business.

    • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

      Such as? We don’t even have a creator God voicing opposition to ss marriage.

      • 92JazzQueen .

        It’s only from your perspective.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Still no God speaking out against ss marriage. It must be no big deal.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          I think it’s safe to conclude that if you actually had a nuanced argument against same sex marriage you would have presented it by now. Why do you keep pretending there is such an argument?

  • Geoff Benson

    I think that one day the same will be said about abortion. Our descendants will one day ask how on earth we could allow the indignity and cruelty of denying women the right to choose how to treat their own bodies. Just as they will ask why same sex relationships were treated with such contempt. Of course by then I suspect that religious belief in the West, and certainly evangelical Christianity, will have become little more than a minority cult.

  • I think this has to do with many Christians’ somewhat bipolar attitude towards societal consensus.

    On the one hand, Christians have always been encouraged to “spread the Good News”, to look forward a World totally coming to Jesus, etc.

    On the other hand, though, in their earlier days, Christians used to be a persecuted minority, a tiny group of martyrs defying the odds in a deeply hostile environment.

    And if you add Christians’ historical tendency to split into more and more sects (with each one claiming to be the only “truly” Christian one among lots of “unbelievers”), plus Calvinistic beliefs (i.e. the masses are inherently evil, therefore whatever / whoever goes against the grain is God-inspired) to the mix, understanding many Christians’ urge to fight a seemingly uphill battle becomes a bit easier, methinks.

    • Michael Neville

      Nowadays Christian “persecution” in the Western world consists of people criticizing their hatred for and desire to control “the other”.

      • RichardSRussell

        Indeed, the phrase “Christian persecution” may be interpreted (much like “Trump derangement syndrome”) as being either of them or by them.

    • Pofarmer

      On the other hand, though, in their earlier days, Christians used to be a
      persecuted minority, a tiny group of martyrs defying the odds in a
      deeply hostile environment.

      Except, not really. Read Candida Moss on the subject. A lot of the “Christian Persecution” is part of their own founding mythos, with a healthy dose of reverse phsychology mixed in because Christians were persecuting and destroying paganism all over the place once they came into sufficient power.

      • Christians used to be a
        persecuted minority, a tiny group of martyrs defying the odds in a
        deeply hostile environment.

        But that’s OK, because when they got in power, they turned the tables on their oppressors and persecuted them. So it’s all good.

        • Pofarmer

          The thing is, the evidence points to that not being the case. Christians in the Roman Empire weren’t really persecuted any worse than any other group that didn’t properly bow down to the empire. But when they had the chance they went for it.

  • al kimeea

    Ol’ Georgie was not a pleasant fellow, but a good xian. IIRC he had no qualms releasing the hounds on people for the crime of being different. Many of these good xian leaders would do the same today if they had the power. That’s what these xian leaders are bemoaning, the loss of their power, their right to control others.

    A generation from now, xians will still enjoy all the rights they have now and we’ll have the right to accurately describe their pearl-clutching as bigotry.

  • Lex Lata

    Although I’ve favored equal marriage rights since I heard about the possibility, I kinda get where some opponents of SSM are coming from in certain respects, if I try putting myself in their shoes. They’re processing what from their perspective must be previously-unimaginable change. Consensual same-sex intimacy by itself was a crime punishable by fines and jail time in some states just a couple of decades ago. And we’re talking about folks who often believe that God literally commanded that same-sex boinkers are to be struck with rocks until they die of blood loss, head trauma, shock, or some combination thereof, in one of the most excruciating forms of execution ever devised. If that’s woven into a religious person’s moral fabric from youth, it’s not difficult to understand the resistance to decriminalization of same-sex intimacy and the legalization of SSM. I neither have the same moral fabric nor agree with that resistance, but I can grok why, say, some of my older relatives will go to their graves believing the post-Obergefell world is on the road to perdition.

    Of course I also grok why same-sex couples object to getting the we-don’t-serve-your-kind treatment from wedding contractors, county clerks, etc. It’ll be interesting to see where things go over the next couple of decades.

    • Tangent: this Idan Dershowitz article argues that Leviticus is a palimpsest, and you can detect an earlier pro-homosexuality version of the book.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/21/opinion/sunday/bible-prohibit-gay-sex.html

    • Kuno

      What I find interesting that not many of the Christians whining about SSM are arguing for making homosexuality itself illegal again, even though their favourite Leviticus passages call for it. They seem to have accepted that they lost that battle and moved on.

      Instead they are now forced to construct a definiton of “marriage” out of other, quite vague passages to be against gays marrying each other…

  • It might seem shallow to base one’s moral convictions on what society will conclude fifty years in the future rather than on one’s conscience today.

    I’m not arrogant enough to think that society in 50 years time will actually care about what I think today. But even if it did, why would I care about whether it judged my convictions right or wrong?
    If I’m still alive, I would hope that either I’ve been convinced that my former moral position was wrong and gladly changed it, or that I still think it’s right and maintain it.
    And if I’m dead, why would I care if people think I was misguided? They could well be right, but there will be nothing I can do to change it…

    I don’t see a substitute for knowing why I hold a particular position.
    So I’m willing to listen to society’s opinion, both now and in the future, but as much as possible I want to get actual reasons to change my viewpoint, not just “more people think this than last year”.

    I’m also concerned by the implication that moral progress is a one-way street. Right now, I look to be on the “right side of history” as far as same-sex marriage goes. But it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the things that were rejected 50 years ago and are accepted now will be rejected again in 50 years time. And that could include same-sax marriage. I don’t think that should change my judgement here and now. There’s no substitute for knowing why you hold a view (and being willing to change as you learn new things).

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Friction over same-sex marriage

    ^^^^ISWYDT

    😉

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    It might seem shallow to base one’s moral convictions on what society will conclude fifty years in the future rather than on one’s conscience today.

    Moral convictions should be based, IMHO, on the greatest freedom of action for each individual in any action that doesn’t violate another’s consent. Most of the ‘moral’ arguments from religion these days consist of DENYING that consent matters, and DENYING agency to the person involved who is not harming anybody else who has a right to complain about it.

    • Michael Neville

      On another blog I’ve been declared “intolerant” because I objected to fundagelicals harassing and bullying LGBTQs. I also suggested that the fundagelicals mind their own business about things that don’t affect them in any way, like what gays do in bed.

      • Yesterday, I was at a local apologetics conference, and one lecture was “the intolerance of tolerance” by Greg Koukl. I believe his point is that Christians’ views (such as anti-SSM) are stomped on, which isn’t very tolerant.

        I don’t know what alternative he proposes that would be more tolerant.

        • Michael Neville

          Koukl and certain other Christians consider criticism of their religiously based bigotry to be intolerance. They have a God-given right to that bigotry and people with negative opinions of that bigotry are persecuting them.

        • Pofarmer

          You need to tolerate their intolerance of others in a tolerable manner.

        • Yeah, thanks for reining me in there.

        • WCB

          And here we have Karl Popper’s paradox of tolerance in all it’s glory. The intolerant trying to use the idea of tolerance to destroy tolerance.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

        • Sounds like Gresham’s Law from 1860: bad money drives out good.

      • Grimlock

        Which blog was that?

      • WCB

        1 Peter 4;15
        15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

    • Some people are too quick to play the busybody.

    • “But you won’t have any freedom at all if you end up in HELL!!1!. So really, we’re doing you a favor by restricting your freedom in this life. You’re welcome.” is their usual response to that argument.

  • Once you elevate same-sex marriage to the level of protected status, whether on the federal or the state level, you begin to change and transform the face of society.

    This is a common theme in so many conservative complaints. What they don’t get, though, is that the change in marriage laws (or any other laws) isn’t transforming society. Society evolves on its own. It is the reality of a transforming society that results in our laws changing.

    In my view it will result in the beginning of the end of Western Civilization.

    The West will still be here. Civilization will still be here. There never was a “Western Civilization”. Culture and society has never been static. He imagines some sort of society that was the same for 2000 years, and is suddenly changing? Slavery was a huge and important part of “Western Civilization”. Silenced women were a huge and important part of “Western Civilization”. Roman Catholic theocracy was a huge and important part of “Western Civilization”. I wonder which lost elements he most pines for.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      link
      Journalist: What do you think of Western civilization?
      Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

      possibly an errant attribution, but whoever came up with it scored big.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Heard on a Rocky And Bullwinkle episode:

        Shadowy figure dressed in black :
        Military intelligence mean anything to you, Squirrel ?

        Rocky :
        Sounds like a contradiction in terms !

        Shadowy figure :
        Get him !

      • Chuck Johnson

        Groucho used to talk that way, too.

    • Chuck Johnson

      This is a common theme in so many conservative complaints. What they don’t get, though, is that the change in marriage laws (or any other laws) isn’t transforming society. Society evolves on its own. It is the reality of a transforming society that results in our laws changing.

      It works both ways at the same time.
      Society evolves and this causes the laws to change.
      The laws change and this causes the society to evolve.
      Because laws are a part of society.

      Biological evolution is also very complicated with many different aspects of the organism being exposed to selection pressures of many different kinds simultaneously.

      By special arrangements (controlled experiments) biological evolution can be demonstrated in simple, predictable, understandable ways.

      • To an extent. I think it is rare for the law to drive society in a significant way, though. The law can anticipate change- can become a factor once a trend has already begun, but isn’t complete. But it’s rare indeed for the law to be what instigates the change. I think that it always starts with social shifts, and the law can only act to reinforce that.

        • Chuck Johnson

          The law drives societies in very significant ways.
          If all laws (or all law enforcement) were to suddenly disappear, our society would be very dramatically transformed.

          You have become so accustomed to law and its enforcement that you have become blind to its effects.

        • My point is that the law always follows, it doesn’t lead.

        • Chuck Johnson

          My point is that the law both follows and leads human perceptions and understandings.
          The law both follows and leads human morality.

        • I disagree. I think in a free society the law pretty much never leads. I can’t think of an example where the law created a change in morality before society wasn’t already well on that path.

        • Tangent: that’s how we’d see that Christianity was different. Instead of society leading the charge for social change, with the church being dragged into modernity, Christianity would be out in front. They’d be giving us the bitter moral medicine: slavery is wrong, women deserve equal rights, we have an obligation to the environment, and so on.

          And yet we don’t see that. Christianity had the chance, but it looks like just another human institution. Sorry, God.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Laws cause societies to change and cultural changes in societies cause the laws to change.

          It is foolish to claim a one-way cause and effect.

          ———————————————————————————–

          “What is Fate?” Nasrudin was asked by a Scholar.
          “An endless succession of intertwined events, each influencing the other.”
          “That is hardly a satisfactory answer. I believe in cause and effect.”
          “Very well,” said the Mulla, “look at that.” He pointed to a procession passing in the street.”
          “That man is being taken to be hanged. Is that because someone gave him a silver piece and enabled him to buy the knife with which he committed the murder; or because someone saw him do it; or because nobody stopped him?”

        • Laws cause societies to change and cultural changes in societies cause the laws to change.

          I did not suggest otherwise.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Very good.

    • GTC

      Sure. If you ignore that when there was only one state with homosexual marriage. They said each state needs to have their own say in the matter. You also have to ignore that when California voted against homosexual marriage. One judge that wanted to wear his wedding dress. Said, his vote counted more than the everyone else’s in the state. You then have to ignore that the Supreme Court can’t make laws. If you ignore all of that. Then sure, society “made” the law.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    Off-topic:
    Dear Bob, I would appreciate it if you would pass these comments on the the fine folks at Disqus.

    I can see an argument for the “show more replies” thang. I suppose it is meant to prevent trolls from hijacking comment threads with irrelevant stuff.

    BUT

    1) It is stupidly implemented. How many times have I clicked a “show more replies” to have just one more comment show up? That’s dumb. It ought to be easy to write an algorithm that decide when a sub-thread is getting too long, and where to clip it.
    2) If I do want to see the entire conversation, to take in everything and be assured the comment I am preparing to make is not a repetition, it can be a lot of work. There are posts where I have had to click literally dozens of “show more replies” in order to view the entire thing.

    SO, what solutions, other than total reversion to past practice, might be implemented to improve things?
    1) That more intelligent algorithm I mentioned.
    2) A “show all replies” button, so that if I want to view the entire thread I don’t have to work so hard.

    Based on past experience, I have no confidence in Disqus admitting they screwed up or fixing their errors. I still have complaints from the big revision of, what was it, two years ago?

    • Die Anyway

      Agreed.

      • ThaneOfDrones

        Ironically, I had to click a “show more replies” to see just one more reply.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          “I’ve clicked ” Show more replies and seen NO more replies..

        • Greg G.

          Thank you. I remembered doing that but thought I had imagined it.

        • Grimlock

          I love it when that happens. Clearly, they got sloppy in the test phase of this feature’s development. Or they’re testing in production.

        • epeeist

          “It compiles, ship it”

    • They got lots of comments on the post where they introduced it: HERE. As far as I can tell they’ve ignored them. And it’s not the first time where they’ve asked for comments on the blog, got strong negative reactions, and then ignored them.

    • Greg G.

      I think Disqus is OK. It works OK for smaller comment sections but it is limited by the browser and the operating system for large comment sections.

      Some of the things I do not like are the modifications to it through the Patheos style sheets.

      Disqus has ears for those who pay them more than for the people it provides the service to.

    • Godlike as I am, honesty forces me to admit that I have no direct line to Disqus. I have a Patheos intermediary, and he tells me (as echoed by Jon Morgan below) that Disqus pretty much ignores complaints from Patheos, which is a pretty big user of Disqus, so complaints by a single blogger won’t count for much.

      If only to get a public forum to make your point, perhaps the best route is to follow the link that Jon Morgan gave and add your comments there:
      https://blog.disqus.com/introducing-collapsed-replies

      • Ann Kah

        I’ve just had “fundies say the darndest things” go from a perfectly readable format to something incomprehensible. Is that the way twitter works? No home page, no sub-headings, no access to historical records (that one REALLY annoys me)… I’ve simply had to write it off, as I lack the patience to conform to a format when I really think a format should conform to the users.

        • I’ve just had “fundies say the darndest things” go from a perfectly readable format to something incomprehensible.

          Is that a web site? I’m not familiar with that source.

        • Ann Kah

          It’s been around for twenty or thirty years, although I didn’t know about it for most of that time. That’s why I found the archives to be so interesting.

        • Ann Kah

          Yes.

      • WCB

        Also off topic. Disqus is broken, It worked well a few weeks ago, then their Dilbertish Wally code monkeys dicked with the system, and if one logs out, one cannot log back in. A week ago they admitted this fact and promised their developers are working to fix the problem. I can log in with an old version of Opera, but not an old version of Firefox. Doesn’t work with my Chromium browser. Logging in means having to complete a captcha, but the captcha no longer can be accessed in many browswers. I am logged on in Opera, but that does not allow ne to post using other browsers, it is local to Opera only.

        https://help.disqus.com/troubleshooting/captcha-challenge-error-message-during-signup

        Captchas not displaying is known issue that we’re working on fixing. Currently, this affects signups on the Disqus comment embed on websites.

        • Wow. Sux. Once you’ve hitched your wagon to a commenting system, it’s hard to switch. I guess the occasional Disqus screwup is life for us here at Patheos.

        • WCB

          I have no idea if one can log in via google accounts of facebook. Because of their rather cavalier attitudes to user privacy, I refuse to use either. I do not know then if the current issues at Disqus broke these also or not. and of course we have the usually churn of browser updates that lately have been spreading havoc and brokenness merrily in their wake.

        • MR

          [MR grows pale remembering the World Table fiasco]

        • Now you’ve done it … I need to go have a lie-down …

        • Pofarmer

          That was whole thing was just a “wow” bad idea.

        • Grimlock

          Totally unrelated, but you might want to know that Dave Armstrong “responded” to you in one of his hatchet jobs blog posts. He might have neglected to inform you of this. I ran across it as I occasionally drop by his blog. While his posts aren’t particularly interesting, three of his semi-regular commenters are a delight to read.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2019/04/atheist-falsely-claims-i-troll-atheist-site-to-get-traffic.html

          Suffice to say that his analysis isn’t really sufficient to rule out generating traffic to his blog as being a motive.

        • MR

          Ah, well we all know Armstrong is a special breed.

          No, he didn’t inform me and had banned me months ago, anyway. Weird that he would even choose that as a subject after so long. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

          He must be particularly thin-skinned to dredge something like that up after so many months (last year sometime?), unless maybe he was here lurking under some other sock that I was in his mouth.

          Well, anyway, good to know that at least I’m a regular on the blog of a “big-shot atheist.” Thanks, Bob!

        • Pofarmer

          meh.

        • “You’re being mean to me!”

          Poor Dave. He’s both #2 of all Patheos Catholic blogs and yet he still gets no respect.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks, MR. I have not forgotten the fiasco but I had succeeded in forgetting the name “World Table” until you mentioned it.

        • Greg G.

          I use Chrome on three devices. My cell phone and laptop is the same. They stay logged on even after reboots.

          My work computer makes me log in every time I open a new window but it has the login and password. But I just got a new work computer so when I reboot, I have to log in by going through the captcha routine, entering my email address, and my password. My old work laptop didn’t make me do that. The IT guys must have learned a new trick.

  • Jim Baerg

    The post Constantine Christians suppressing Paganism & Philosophy were ‘on the right side of history’ for the next millennium, but I still consider them to have been on the wrong side of morality.

  • RichardSRussell

    In the long run, the only thing that matters is what emerges from the evolutionary process. If it turns out that Islamic fundamentalism is a more successful meme than all its competitors, that’s what future generations will hold out as the gold standard.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Who breeds is important, but which *ideas* capture society can be more important.

      • Lark62

        A mormon valedictorian came out as gay in his graduation speech. At Brigham Young. The advisor who had to approve the speech wrote “go for it” in the margin and the student body applauded him.

        Don’t count on young people to conform to their elder’s prejudices, or for some of the older generation to never change.

        As you said, breeding lots of little ones is just part of the equation.

  • If society is the only judge, then any right-wing majority could leave us all “in the wrong” some day. Morals, by this logic, are pretty arbitrary. Not that I think they’re much better, since they appeal to tradition or what’s “natural” (also arbitrary).

    • Lark62

      True. Society decides morality. And it can fo the wrong way – evidence Germany in 1940 v Germany in 1910. Mass murder of men, women and children had become “moral.”

      MLK said the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice. Over time, humans seem to be figuring out that it is wrong to own people and it is wrong to harm people, but what consenting adults do with genitalia harms no one.

      • If society defines morality, I don’t see how either of those statements really make sense.

        • Lark62

          What does the word “Silly” mean? A few hundred years ago it meant blessed, as in “the silly Virgin Mary.”

          Who decided silly doesn’t mean blessed anymore?

          There’s a word that begins with B and rhymes with itch. Dog breeders use it to refer to female dogs. But if you call a woman in your life a bitch, good luck convincing her you meant she was cute and cuddly.

          Words mean what we collectively decide they mean.

          We can look at other times and other cultures and pass judgment on genocide and other cultural crap. But we have to acknowledge Hilter approved of American segregation and loosely used our forcing of Native Americans onto reservations as a model for concentration camps.

          Future cultures will likely judge our greed and selfishness in ignoring global warming and the cruelty of factory farming.

          We collectively decide what is moral here and now. In the future, that is likely to change. In the long run, humans seem to move toward fairness and kindness, but there are blips along the way.

        • Do words create the concepts they describe?

          Of course a future society will probably judge us badly in some ways. To speak of society going “wrong” and things as “bending toward justice” is not meaningful on this view, that was my point. A future people’s judgment will not be any more valid than ours, going by this.

  • Polytropos

    Indeed, Jennifer Morse does think about the evaluation of history, it’s just that she thinks that she’ll be on the right side of it

    She thinks this because she believes same-sex marriage will cause moral decay and have terrible social consequences (such as LGBT people being accepted as normal members of society – the horror!*). She thinks that in time those of us who believe love is love and support personal freedom will look upon the chaos we have wrought and regret it. She also doesn’t care very much how history judges her because in her mind the only judgement that matters is god’s, and she believes she knows god’s opinion.

    This is a belief we can test. We’ll find out, a few years in the future, whether the world is an objectively worse place because of same-sex marriage. This is what will prove Jennifer Morse is on the wrong side of history, and morality.

    * I doubt I need to point out that this is sarcasm, but just in case: it’s sarcasm.

  • Ann Kah

    “Embarrassment”? On either side? Um…any time you think your “embarrassment” or discomfiture is more important that somebody else’s personal and life-changing decision, you’ve got your priorities very badly screwed up. Just think, all you über-christians, how indignant you’d be if society refused to let you marry the person you love, even though both of you are available and have decided to marry. What if somebody decided to take away your spouse because they claimed you don’t have a legal or moral right to him or her. How about annulling your marriage and declaring your children to be illegitimate? I mean that seriously, THINK about it. Wouldn’t that be enough to make you upset, angry, desperate, and screaming for justice to be done?

    Now sit down and think about the marriage of any other heterosexual Christians that are strangers to you. I’ll bet you can relate to that in some small way. I’ll wait. . . . .

    OK, now very carefully and slowly, apply the same indignation to any pair of homosexuals that you do not know and are unlikely ever to meet. Yes, you can do it. It’s called empathy, and you may be new to it, but I’m sure you can manage it.

    • Lark62

      Yes. It is the same when discussing making sure that trans people have access to safe public restrooms.

      Christians know that a trans person could be (and many have been) beaten or murdered for using a restroom that does not match their outward appearance. Yet their concern, 100%, is that they might feel a moment of mild discomfort if they realize the other person in the public restroom is trans. And then they will try to yap about “love”.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        FWIW, more restaurants in my area (CT near NYC) are just making public restrooms ‘Restroom’, rather than Men’s and Women’s rooms.

        • Lark62

          Many in my area have two identical single person rooms, yet label one “men” and the other “women.” Why? Slowly they are changing the signs so both just say “restroom.”

          I noticed something similar at godly Wal-Mart. They have a row of changing rooms side by side. Some have male pictures on the door, some female pictures, and some say “family.” At the evil and godless Target, they have a similar row of changing rooms, still side by side, without the little pictures. Shocking! Oh the humanity!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why?

          Habit…which is changing, happy to say.

        • LastManOnEarth

          “Many in my area have two identical single person rooms, yet label one “men” and the other “women.” Why?”

          According to some of my lady friends, us menfolk have terrible aim. Not sure what they are talking about.

        • Lark62

          And some women are messy. That’s no reason for identical restrooms to be labelled with a gender making life awkward for all sortsof people.

        • LastManOnEarth

          I agree, but when the Apple Juice Bandit strikes I can understand where folks who always need to sit have a valid point.

          Transphobes, OTOH, do not have a valid point.

        • Greg G.

          I heard in casual conversation yesterday that Starbucks does that.

        • Maltnothops

          Mine too.

    • Matt G

      For conservatives, freedom is for me, not for thee.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        “Privatize the profits, socialize the losses”

        🙁

  • Rudy R

    Once you elevate same-sex marriage to the level of protected status…

    As if opposite-sex marriage wasn’t in protected status before Obergefell.

  • skl

    Your stand today will be judged by the
    conclusions of that future society, and being on the right side of history is
    all that ultimately matters.

    There is no “right” side of history.
    Also, you’ll need a lot more words, preferably with proofs,
    on this ‘what ultimately matters’ thing.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Survival is what ultimately matters.

      And increasing liberty, safety, access to ability to self-actualize, and compassion are goals to strive for.

      No supernatural nonsense necessary.

    • WCB

      What really matters now is, many Americans no longer accept Biblically based homophobia. Sticking with that is driving many young people away from Christianity and we have the enormous rise of the Nones, many who are no longer believing the Bible. The archaeological discovery that the OT is not history and can’t be revelation from God undercuts that claims the “God hates fags”. This whole issue will go a long way to destroying fundamentalist, evangelical religion in America, some day when we have achieved a more secular culture like England or Sweden, and historians look back at why that happened, the part of gay marriage and related issues will loom large in that history.

      • I have to doubt that there is any gay or strait before God, just the corruption of an ideal of Love lost at the Fall and yet to be understood by religion or recovered by any product of natural reason. https://onthenatureofmarriage.wordpress.com

  • Chuck Johnson

    And there’s the problem—reading the tea leaves to see where society is moving. There is no reliable route to objective moral truth (I argue that what we imagine as objective moral truth is actually just widely shared or strongly felt moral beliefs).

    Here is my guide to predicting in which direction human morality is heading:

    Those moral ideas and practices which best serve the needs of life on Earth (especially human life) will continue to be understood and used as “correct morality” or “best morality”.

    The needs of life on Earth include surviving and evolving in the direction of enhanced survivability.

    The moral foundations of Christianity date back to the Genesis creation story and to the teachings of Jesus, supposedly thousands of years ago.

    My guide for predicting the direction of human morality has foundations much older than that.
    Four billion years older.

  • Michael Newsham

    Even Rod Dreher has given up on fighting gay marriage (he still thinks it’s a sign of Western decadence) and has chosen transexuality as the latest hill to die on.

    • eric

      That seems decidedly odd. Putting my ‘fundie’ hat on, I’d think (that they would see) men wearing women’s clothing and makeup and calling themselves ‘she’ etc. is nowhere near the offense against God that a forbidden sex act outside of marriage is.

      • lady_black

        Imaginary god. Imaginary offenses.

        • eric

          Not so much imaginary offenses as it is sincerely held personal biases given imaginary weight.

        • lady_black

          Yeah, they pretty much ARE imaginary offenses to any imaginary god. No one is affected if two men or two women form a couple, other than the two persons in question. It has no effect on anyone else. It’s not even anyone else’s BUSINESS.

        • eric

          I’m sure most of the people opposed to SSM are sincerely offended and not faking that feeling. So it’s a sincere offense. But it comes from them, not God. That is what I meant. “Imaginary offenses”, to me, implies they’re pretending to be offended but actually aren’t. I don’t think that’s the case.

        • GTC

          You think God approves of homosexual marriage? Or did you just want to attack those with morals?

        • epeeist

          You think God approves of homosexual marriage?

          Strange isn’t it, that your god always takes your position.

          I would like your god to confirm this, but somehow I doubt this will happen. We always get the monkey, never the organ grinder.

        • Greg G.

          You think God approves of homosexual marriage?

          Of course he does not think that.

          Why do you think there is a god thingy? Why do you think homosexuality is immoral? Why do you think a god thingy would agree with you?

        • Kodie

          Of course god doesn’t approve or disapprove of homosexuals marrying, because god is a fictional character. I don’t know why you think you have “morals”, like your morals are THE morals.

          So, neither.

        • GTC

          Well I agree, your god is fictional. I don’t know why you doubt I have morals. Because you have no morals or THE morals, whatever that means.

          So you didn’t answer my question to someone else. You just showed you have a lot of hate.

        • Kodie

          I just get sick and tired of bullies like you trying to take offense of who people choose to love and marry. You pretend you have higher morals and give yourself permission to hate them and prevent them from having the same rights as you have – so yeah, fuck you, I do think you’re using your imaginary friend to permit yourself to be a thug.

        • your god is fictional.

          But yours isn’t?

        • GTC

          I don’t have a god.

        • Greg G.

          What? You carry one around in your imagination. Do you imagine that one you imagined is not yours?

        • GTC

          Let’s see if you’re a liar or really can see beyond what’s around you? What are the winning Powerball and Mega Million numbers coming up?

        • Clarify.

        • I think “God” is a Bronze Age invention who (according to his press agents) is an immoral bastard who is obviously not worth imitating or following. I also think that any supernaturally grounded policy has no role in a secular society.

        • GTC

          If that’s what you “think”. You may want to learn instead. Your opinion is fine if kept to yourself. Once written down. It’s subject to reality.

        • Once written down. It’s subject to reality.

          Then subject it to reality. Please.

        • GTC

          I already did. That’s why I posted a reply.

        • Greg G.

          You seem to have a hang-up with homosexuality but an inability to articulate what the problem is. Is this a symptom of Ted Haggard Syndrome?

        • GTC

          Sure, you ignore what I say and try to put me in a box. I’ll just deal with reality without hate.

        • Greg G.

          No, it is what you have said that puts you in the box. All you have said is that homosexuality is immoral. The only reason I have seen you give for that is “because it is immoral”. It appears to be an emotional response rather than an intellectual conclusion. One cause could be Ted Haggard Syndrome which could easily be overlooked until it is pointed out. There could be darker reasons but a public forum would not be the place for that discussion.

          If sexuality is not a choice, it should not be considered a moral issue. If you think sexuality is a choice because you had to make a choice, you may have put yourself in the wrong box.

        • Pofarmer

          It rather gives the impression that GTC is same sex attracted, but not “homosexual.” This is a distinction that Catholics like to make, and one they encourage. Since many priests are found to me SSA.

        • Greg G.

          That seems like a sad box to be put in. A practicing Catholic homosexual must be a non-practicing homosexual. A practicing Catholic heterosexual priest must a non-practicing heterosexual, too. Makes one wonder why the whole church hierarchy is not sex-obsessed…

        • Makes one wonder why the whole church hierarchy is not sex-obsessed…

          Yeah, but … ah, ISWYDT

        • Kodie

          Yeah, well, not having sex with whom you’re attracted doesn’t make you straight, it just makes you celibate… unless you substitute children to satisfy your natural biological urges, which priests should be forgiven for having???? Naw, I think if you sign up because you are afraid to be publicly gay, or afraid god will disapprove of your willful gayness, what’s he going to say when you try to get away with pedophilia?

          Because I really think that religious people think that children don’t actually remember these traumatic experiences. I really think the reason people think you can get away with sexual abuse against children is that they are too young to notice. Obviously, that’s wrong, but I think shifting a rapist priest to another congregation is only going to victimize more children. I think it’s very weird that they think a fetus will feel deprived of its high school graduation (not a real unique milestone) if it gets aborted, but a born child who has to suck a priest’s cock and threatened to hell if he tells anyone, won’t carry that memory because he’s a child, and no one would believe him if he did say anything, because he’s a child, and plus the priest has earned enough social capital in his congregation to blame the child for making shit up. That’s why religion is so fucking warped.

        • Pofarmer

          So, in the Catholic view, it’s OK. to be same sex attracted, but acting on the attraction is a grave sin, because Jesus, and Catholic theology about sex and procreation. So, the idea is that if you are same sex attracted, you marry a woman and bury it or, stay celibate. Those are the only options. As to the child thing. You’ve got it partially right. Catholic believe that it is a grave sin to cause someone to doubt their faith. That is an excommunicable sin. To rape a child is not. That is just an offense against the child, not against the Church or against God. So, while not technically O.K. it’s a more mild sin. The Church can then hold this over the family and the child, that if they tell someone, they could cause them to doubt the teaching of the Church, and could be excommunicated. So, yeah, still fucked up. Very, very fucked up.

        • What I want to see from the “it’s OK to be gay, but you must be celibate or else baby Jesus cries” crowd is for them to model it. Is the lifestyle that they propose achievable? Then they should do it. The young, straight celibacy-preaching Christians should themselves live the rest of their lives celibately.

        • Kodie

          Catholics are fucked up. If you vow to remain celibate, and homosexuality is not ok, then why is homosexuality with children just fine? Not even to get so far as to call pedophilia wrong, why don’t priests sneak off with a consenting adult if they’re so horny? I don’t think most priests are attracted to children so much as opportunistic (although, see 2nd paragraph, it might be just the vocation for an authentic pedophile), and rationalizing what they do, I mean, being a predator of children just has to be worse than fucking a willing grown-up, doesn’t it? I think, how did this start, and why did it continue? It’s a scandal, so defrock the priest and let him on his own. I think if the church isn’t going to report them to the police, at least remove the offenders. I don’t understand the excuse that they are handling the forgiveness and rehabilitation on the inside, while allowing celibate priests to continue being priests after they’ve broken their celibacy vow…. leave it aside, even, that it harmed children. At the very shallowest sense, they’d broken a vow, and should have been dealt with by defrocking them. This might have saved the reputation of the church, which is what they seemed terribly concerned with.

          I don’t know a lot about other religions and denominations, but it seems Catholicism is pretty organized about recruiting children. I don’t know other denominations of Christianity have their own schools, or have altar boys or other children assisting with the atmospheric drama of a mass, or whatever other denominations call it. Some other religions might, but everyone knows there are Catholic schools, but not, say, Episcopalian schools. Making the leader of the church seem like the monarch of the church puts people to worship the unquestionable authority of another person besides Jesus or Mary, and the way they dress and speak Latin and make a play in a gothic castle every weekend, people get all warped and under a spell of manipulation. They want their sons to be chosen by the priest to make altar boy. Still!

        • GTC

          Well you’re allowed to have your opinion. I’ll deal with reality. Does that sound fair to you?

        • Greg G.

          It sounds fair but it rings false. You have faith and no evidence. That is not how one deals with reality.

        • GTC

          I guess it didn’t sound fair. Since you choose to lie about me as you think your opinion is reality. Your faith in what you say without evidence shows you’re a hypocrite that can’t deal with reality. Feel free to reply/lie/opinionate or whatever you need to. Since you can’t or won’t have an adult conversation. I will move on to people that will. God bless.

        • MR

          Ciao! =D

        • Translation: “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

        • MR

          Half of them never seem to leave when they say they are, though. =(

          I wouldn’t mind if they stayed and had an honest back and forth. That’s never the case, though. They get backed or back themselves into a corner and then lash out at us because they can’t defend their own arguments, or they’re just here to yank chains, like Paul. There just comes a point where you’re, like, “Buh-bye.”

        • Yep, agreed. It’s frustrating when they’re not even embarrassed when their failings are repeatedly thrown in their face. It’s not like Superman being unfazed by bullets but more like zombies being unfazed by logic.

        • GTC

          Not sure why you thought I needed to know you’re leaving.

        • MR

          By all means, stay, just try to have an adult conversation from now on.

        • GTC

          LOL, you spoke for the left? Do they know you think you speak for them or do you just feel like it’s your right?

        • You’re the one who promised to “move on.” And yet you’re still here.

          We could begin to insult you. Would that help?

        • GTC

          Actually I didn’t promise to move on. I said I wasn’t going to keep having a conversation with Greg G. Unless you’re saying I’m the only one on this thread having an adult conversation?

        • Greg G.

          You said you were moving on. He said “goodbye” (in Italian).

        • Greg G.

          I haven’t lied about you. All I have to go on is what you post here. You say that homosexuality is immoral but you cannot say why. It makes you appear to be an ignorant bigot. Maybe you are not really a bigot. Maybe it is your self-loathing. Maybe something happened to you. Maybe you should talk to a professional who is not associated with a religious organization.

          Where have you ever attempted to engage an adult conversation in this forum?

        • Since you can’t or won’t have an adult conversation

          Huh? Who’s been having an adult conversation? Certainly not you.

        • GTC

          LOL, yet for some reason you are desperately seeking my attention.

        • MR

          No, he’s just trying to get you to have an honest, adult conversation.

        • Yeah, that must be it.

          I need to consult the Magic 8 Ball to see whether you’re worth keeping.

        • “Don’t count on it”

          Oh, dear.

        • MR

          Gauntlet. Thrown. Down.

        • Hey–I ain’t gonna go against the Magic 8 Ball. I’m not stupid.

        • GTC

          Magic Eight ball? Yet you want to talk about me having an adult conversation?

          Oh, dear, LOL

        • Greg G.

          Just so you know, nobody is seeking your attention. You are behind the eight ball.

        • Kodie

          How does one “deal with reality” by using fantasy as a basis?

        • GTC

          That is my point. They use fantasy as “reality”.

        • Greg G.

          GTC got eight-balled last night. He hasn’t figured it out yet.

        • Kodie

          The primary thing I dislike about religion is claiming some authority to reality, morality, definitions (like love, marriage, truth, etc.), everything. without having to explain their imaginary friend.

        • GTC got eight-balled last night.

          Brilliant! That is … I’m brilliant. Or something.

          Ah, well–doesn’t matter. I’ll forget before my next opportunity to use it.

        • Kodie

          You cannot deal with reality without hating it, by trying to use your religion against it.

        • Joe

          I donlt see what difference that would make either way. Marriage only need be approved by the local government.

        • lady_black

          That’s not the point. I do not CARE if they’re offended. So what? That means THEY don’t enter a same sex marriage.
          When you speak of offending your imaginary friend, the offense is imaginary.

      • OT God does forbid some sex, but not always the ones you’d think. Incest of various types is out, and also having sex with another man’s wife (you violated him with that act, not her). But that’s pretty much it.

        • MR

          Oddly, sex with one’s daughter is conspicuously absent, so that lets Lot off the hook.

        • Paul

          Oddly, sex with one’s daughter is conspicuously absent, so that lets Lot off the hook.

          Actually, Lot was raped by his daughters.

          But before you pass judgement, remember atheist commandment #9: There is no one right way to live.

        • Greg G.

          Actually, Lot was raped by his daughters.

          AH HA HA HA HA HA! You are so gullible.

          First, Lot never existed.

          The story makes no sense. They had passed through a village before they went up the mountain. The daughters knew that there were living people. So the excuse given is ridiculous. It was likely made up by horny priests who hated women.

        • MR

          Basically, it’s a retelling of the Noah story on a small scale.

        • It also gives people generations later to have good justifications for hating the Moabites and Ammonites since they were the fruit of incestuous liasons. Yuck!

        • MR

          Oh, Do you excuse Lot for his behavior? I can’t imagine anyone in this day and age buying that line. Too drunk to know what was going on, but drunk enough to get it up? Alrighty then. But, morality is relative like that.

          The Bible doesn’t explicitly condemn sex with one’s daughter even though it is otherwise very explicit in what constitutes incest. Today virtually everyone would condemn such behavior. Morality is relative like that.

          But before you pass judgement, remember atheist commandment….

          More strawman lies, I see. It’s almost as if your morals are just as relative as anyone else’s. Morality is relative like that.

          You just constantly undermine your own arguments, don’t you.

        • remember atheist commandment #9

          Not an atheist commandment. You need to read for comprehension.

  • Grimlock

    I generally don’t find it useful to judge people in time A by the standards of time B. People’s moral stance is influenced by their current culture, including their current knowledge. In other words, I don’t think it’s relevant how history will judge our current moral choices. They can say we were factually wrong about something, but that’s not the same as saying our stance was morally flawed.

    That being said, it seems that we are in a position right now to say that most, if not all, of the current opposition to same sex marriage is morally inferior.

    ETA: Not that I find moral judgment to be a very good way of making people change their mind…

  • I have the strong suspicion that mankind itself is on the ‘wrong’ side of history. That evolution has fixed human nature within limitations of both moral and spiritual understanding. Even a corruption to our understanding the true nature of Love. The carnal bond retailed and exploited by both religious and seclualr culture has not shown itself to be a particularly solid foundation for either a spiritual or moral union between a man and woman, even less between gay men or women, if the writing on public toilet walls or the proliferation of ‘hookup’ apps has anything to say about fidelity. The idea that human sexual response, particularly male response, has any fidelity is one of the great male lies. And it is within human sexuality that a dangerous and dark side of human nature is exposed all too clearly not to take pause and reflect. A Darkness reason or religion has yet to enlighten!

    • eric

      That evolution has fixed human nature within limitations of both moral and spiritual understanding.

      Yeah of course. I doubt any intelligent herbivorous species would consider there to be anything moral about carnivory – they’d view us the way we view parasites. Even a scavenger-based species might consider carnivores immoral (“sure, we eat meat…but we don’t kill anything to survive”). Likewise but more fictiony, any plant-like species that got it’s nutrients from soil, rain, and sunlight would probably consider both carnivores and herbivores to be horrific by nature.

      On the other side of the coin, there are lots of evolutionary adaptations that we would probably view with horror if some alien species had them and defended their practices as natural. Alien (as in the movie franchise) aliens capture humans and gestate inside them…well, a number of wasps do that to things like catepillars. So it’s not out of the question that some intelligent species could evolve to do that. Or consider brood parasites like cuckoos; many engage in what in the human world might be considered slavery, forcing other birds to raise their own young, and killing that bird’s own young while they do it. Or take the Egret: they hatch more chicks than they feed (basically, one out of every three is a “backup” in case something goes wrong with one of the first two), and it’s perfectly normal for the two eldest chicks to kill and eat the third chick. In an egret-like intelligent species, siblicide could be considered normal and moral. There’s another bird (can’t remember the name, but I think it’s some stork-like water bird) that has two chicks per brood and then regularly kills the weakest one and eats it after a month or two…again, because it’s having a chick and a backup in case the first chick has something developmentally wrong with it, and adaptationally never intends to raise two chicks at once. An intelligent race of such birds would likely arrive at the moral conclusion that killing half of ones’ children is not only moral, but expected. Because of their nature.

      These examples somewhat put the lie to the ‘naturalistic fallacy.’ It’s not a fallacy; our morality is somewhat inextricably linked to our biology. But I don’t want to go overboard here; there are certainly fallacious ways to reason from is to ought. Racists and misogynists and anti-gay people very much like to use bad data and irrelevant facts to arrive at their conclusions. Humans, after all, are not herbivores. Or wasps. Or cuckoos, or egrets, or male lions, or any other such thing. Our societies – as well as ape societies – generally engage in collective and somewhat egalitarian living and child-rearing. There’s no ‘human adaptation’ requirement that would make slavery or misogyny or racism or opposition to gay people ‘natural.’ Our morality may be limited/fixed by our nature, but the vast majority of human bigotries are not justified by that nature. Probably the best or only group to be able to claim a valid naturalistic moral argument might be vegetarians, because while our digestive tracts, teeth etc might be adaptationally evolved to support a omnivorous existence, humans can nevertheless certainly live and survive healthily as herbivores – i.e. without having to engage in killing other animals.

      • But it still leave humanity with a conundrum. If human nature has fixed limitations, and while not questioning evolution, it does lacks telos and predictability. So where does progress come from? Or are we facing a hard confrontation with those limitaitons? Sexuality aside, those same limitaitons would appear to have left us on the edge of an environmental abyss, or not short of it. A new nuclear arms race has already started and other existential crises are coming home to roast from a variety of different directions. And finally how does a nature, and paradigm of reason, that created the probems in the first place find a way to get off the slippery slope to our own self made hell?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          We can improve.

          We have already.

          Why do you deny this?

        • There are of course, as you say many ‘improvements’ but not on any fundemental matter. To look at what hasn’t changed is as important as what has. And the magnitude of change now necessary to confront existential threats to both mankind and the earth itself are such that there is no political process existing able to define or implement those changes.

        • eric

          So where does progress come from?

          Us. Cultural change outpaces biological evolution by multiple orders of magnitude; we can radically change the nature of human societies and progress from the stone age to landing on the moon in less time than it takes biological evolution to make even small adaptations such as ‘adults able to digest milk’ common through the entire population.

          And finally how does a nature, and paradigm of reason, that created the probems in the first place find a way to get off the slippery slope to our own self made hell?

          Homo sapiens is less than half a million years old, so yeah it’s entirely possible that we fail quite spectacularly in terms of species longevity (i.e. if we wipe ourselves out). But we do have something few other species have, which is the ability to weigh long-term consequences against short term gain, and act (if we choose) to favor the former.

        • “which is the ability to weigh long-term consequences against short term gain, and act (if we choose) to favor the former.”

          But does not the environmental struggle show us how incapable ‘we’ are of acting in that future best interest. As the whole of political and cultural existence continually conditions us to short termism and self interest. The gap between what we imagine is possible and what is achievable remains a grand canyon; limited not only by primary knowedge but the cultural values that allow for expression in the public domain.

        • BCE

          Interesting exchange.

          If I might enter.
          I am a practicing Catholic; I disclose that so in discourse you know
          my bias.

          I have been called reprehensible by atheists for my seeming so dryly insensitivity to the human suffering of marginalized people and the consequence of their bigotry.
          By Christians I’ve been called “under the influence of the devil” for expressing
          the position of atheist evolutionists. They’re also disturbed that these idea
          must minimize “free will” and disavow the soul.
          If you’re not thinking neurological, biochemical, but culture, you can see the conundrum. Because culture implies much more discretion, but
          genotypes and phenotype, within a single species, is more defined.

          I do think “objective morality” can often seem much more akin to some scientific
          proofs or hard sciences then to the more subjective sociological and cultural meme
          Are we macro thinking or micro? Are we looking at each individual bee, their
          own unique daily activity, or do we look at the whole of the hive and garden
          as unified into a functional unit of form and function?

          The nature vs nurture debate marches on.
          However just because a concept, like marriage, is part of a religious tradition
          doesn’t mean it’s pure invention for arbitrary control, and or tribal distinction.

          Evolutionists treat behaviors more like anatomy and physiology, since
          behaviors begin in the brain. No doubt there are triggers(cues) from the environment. But within a species there are common shared responses.

          Bear with me, I digress. Many today are inclined to being contrary. Or
          they think Socratic, or logic means an endless amount of …”but what about….?”
          So as soon as you discuss a concept (especially a controversy like marriage)
          they must add…”but my sister has three kids with three dads ….” and
          “what about Samoa? ”

          It makes any discussion of making honey like listening to a bee about his
          own trials. I’m sympathetic but…

          Pardon, back to discussing marriage.
          Interesting, ethologists had tried to resolve “survival of the fittest” with
          human altruism(human males and females display )
          the answer was described by Hamilton (known as Hamilton’s’rule aka inclusive fitness)
          Defined as…care(even to death) is a benefit, in proportion to relatedness.
          i.e. your child shares 50% of your genes, your grandchild 25%
          What does this have to do with marriage?
          Well for fathers, to have better odds they’re caring for their own young,
          they remain with the preg female, ward off rivals, encourage her fidelity,
          include extended family. This increases his odds of caring for his own genes
          and that his child(genes) survive into the next generation.
          This is the evolutionary genesis of marriage.

          This is where the naysayer jumps up.
          What about bad parents, promiscuity…? Or friendship and concern for strangers.
          Again these distractions show a lack of understanding.
          The “fitness” of a species doesn’t mean 100% must have the trait or be predispose. And once you inherit the trait, you have the trait to
          display it to others.
          But the trait itself is reinforced by its transmission from biologic parents who
          themselves select for it (picking a caring partner).

          So ritual hetero marriage is very objectively mirroring the evolved transmission
          for altruistic tendency. So say evolutionists

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Carnality is only one possible ingredient of a pair-bonding relationship.

      It’s religion that MANDATES it as both necessary and exclusive to those pair-bonded , FOR LIFE, with no escape for those who made a mistake in pair-bonding.

      So try again.

      • Every marriage contract, BOTH religious and civil, demands the carnal expression of natural law to consumate and validate the agreement. And while there are indeed many aspects to any relationship, the sexual element weighs heavily on virtually every one.

        • I’m not sure what you’re talking about. When I got married, neither the vows in front everyone nor the marriage license said anything about sex, sex positions, sexual preferences, or making babies.

        • In general, is it not true that within any marriage, civil or religious, if the the relationship is not ‘consummated’ by the carnal act, that ‘legal’ relationship can be annuled. The license may not say so but the legal and canonical precedent is well estableshed.

        • LastManOnEarth

          It is not true.

        • Given the great number of different laws governing different states, I’m sure there are exceptions. But in the various countries and states that I have lived in, the ‘general’ holds true. But it’s not particularly relevant anyway!

        • LastManOnEarth

          It’s certainly not the case for States or countries with No Fault divorce, since no grounds are required. Can you provide an example where grounds are required and non-consummation is specifically considered grounds (and just subsumed under generalized ‘irreconcilable differences’)?

          In the US I don’t see how any state could legally base anything on private sexual behavior and not get laughed out on 1st Amendment grounds.

          It is relevant because it is hard to have a productive conversation with falsehoods floating uncorrected.

          You seemed to believe that sexual behavior within marriage was relevant when you used it to denigrate same sex unions (“The carnal bond retailed and exploited by both religious and seclualr culture has not shown itself to be a particularly solid foundation for either a spiritual or moral union between a man and woman, even less between gay men or women…”).

        • Greg G.

          Every marriage contract, BOTH religious and civil, demands the carnal expression of natural law to consumate and validate the agreement. 

          No, that’s Catholicism.

  • Paul

    Your stand today will be judged by the conclusions of that future
    society, and being on the right side of history is all that ultimately
    matters.

    Is that what ultimately matters? What people think of you? If one is a humanist, I suppose that will be true. But what happens when morals of a society change – especially if they think morals are subjective? What once was right would now be wrong, and once what was wrong would now be right.

    I’m not concerned with what people think of me – either now or future generations.

    • Kodie

      So you would be an oppressive monster to people if your imaginary friend would like you more.

      • Paul

        I completely reject that statement. But for the sake of argument, let’s take an oppressive monster like Mao or Stalin. Can you honestly say that what they did was wrong? If so, what standard are you using? What about atheist commandment #9 which says “There is no one right way to live.”?

        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/11/10-commandments-for-atheists-2/

        • Greg G.

          let’s take an oppressive monster like Mao or Stalin.

          They recanted on their deathbeds and accepted Jesus, so any harm they caused is OK and they are with Jesus now. Evil acts are irrelevant under Christianity.

          Can you honestly say that what they did was wrong?

          Yes.

          If so, what standard are you using?

          My own subjective standard that I do not have to pretend is objective. I use my empathy and sense of fairness to determine that causing harm to others is wrong and they caused harm to others.

          What about atheist commandment #9 which says “There is no one right way to live.”?

          That doesn’t say there are no wrong ways to act.

          How can you determine objective morality? Do you appeal to how it makes you feel? Then it is subjective. Do you appeal to the Bible? Then you cannot condemn slavery and genocide in principle. You cannot condemn Mao and Stalin except for whether they prayed.

        • MR

          Right?! It can’t be objective when you make excuses for when your guy does it.

        • Paul

          “It can’t be objective when you make excuses for when your guy does it.”

          No one’s making excuses. But for the sake of argument, what standard are you using to make the claim “It can’t be objective…”

        • Jesus H. Christ–defend a position occasionally instead of always asking questions, OK?

          Define “objective morality,” show us that it exists, and show us that it is reliably accessible by humans. I’m convinced you can’t. Prove me wrong.

        • Paul

          You obviously don’t think that blasphemy is wrong. Would you ever take Dawkins’ name in vain? Darwin’s name? Your own mother’s name? I never hear anyone taking Buddha’s or Muhammad’s name in vain. Why is it always the God of the Bible?

        • … because I live in the US? Or is this a trick question?

          I don’t normally use Quetzalcoatl’s name in vain, simply because I don’t live in a place where that god is popular. Should I?

          And why is blasphemy a crime? Because God’s name is magic? Or because God is thin-skinned?

          God is apparently like Superman. He’s invulnerable to getting punched, but his kryptonite is harsh words. Poor baby.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/04/when-christians-treat-god-like-a-baby-infantilizing/

        • Kodie

          What kind of crime is blashphemy? Slander and libel, I understand, but blasphemy seems to be hurting your feelings, not Jesus’s.

          ’cause he’s a fictional character.

        • MR

          Of course they’re excuses; justifying an act is the same thing as excusing it. If the act itself were objectively wrong, it would always be wrong.

          what standard

          You’re own claim of objectivity.

        • Paul

          If it’s your own subjective standard, it’s not really wrong now, it it? It’s just a personal preference.

          That doesn’t say there are no wrong ways to act.

          It’s implied. If “there is no one right way to live”, what is determined to be wrong? Let’s say someone does something that you think is wrong. Now apply the statement “there is no one right way to live.” Is was he did really wrong?

        • it’s not really wrong

          What does that mean? Are there different kinds of wrong–kinda wrong and really wrong? Explain yourself.

        • Paul

          It seems your confusion comes from how you defined the word “really” When I said “Is was he did really wrong?”, the world “really” should be defined as “in actual fact, as opposed to what is said or imagined to be true or possible.”
          You seemed to have defined it as “very” or “thoroughly.”

        • Expand on this. Give us examples of moral statements that are true “in actual fact.” Be sure to tell us how you know this so that we don’t mistake them for subjective moral opinions.

          If you want a suggestion, take abortion or same-sex marriage and give us the moral evaluation that’s correct “in actual fact.” Don’t forget to show us how this conclusion is accessible by all people.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          If abortion and same-sex marriage were objectively wrong we wouldn’t even know of such concepts to call them wrong. Who would be doing those actions?

        • Good point. If something were universally agreed to as “right,” no one would be giving opinions on its rightness or wrongness.

        • Pofarmer

          How about Pope Innocent III and the Albigensian Crusade?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade

        • Paul

          If one has a subjective view of morality, can they really say that what Pope Innocent III did was wrong? At best they can say “I would have preferred he didn’t do that, but I can’t say that what he did was wrong.”

        • Pofarmer

          Define and demonstrate your objective morality Paul. Only then could we have an actual discussion.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          It is because morality is subjective that we can say that person did wrong, but from their point of view they were objectively moral.

        • Joe

          If you have an objective view of morality, you can say what Pope innocent did was right.

        • Kodie

          On what basis do you judge yourself not to be a monster to people so that your imaginary friend would like you more?

        • Paul

          You didn’t answer the question. Is what Mao and Stalin did really wrong?

        • You didn’t answer the question.

          Yeah, that’s frustrating, isn’t it? Show us how it’s done–answer a few questions yourself.

        • Greg G.

          Define “really wrong”. If you mean “objectively wrong”, explain how one could know that.

        • Paul

          If morals are subjective, personal preferences, then what does ‘wrong’ mean? You want to claim something is wrong, but you also say you’re using personal subject preferences. You’re being inconsistent.

        • And you’re being cowardly. You claim that there’s something better? You claim objective morality exists? Show us.

        • what does ‘wrong’ mean?

          Look it up in a dictionary. Seriously–look it up. I’m pretty sure you’ll find no support for your objective-morality hypothesis.

        • Paul

          wrong: unjust, dishonest, or immoral.

          You’ll find no support for something being wrong if you think morality is subjective. Is it actually wrong to like chocolate ice cream? I’m sure you would say no and wouldn’t even bother with writing an entire blog post on it being wrong. If morals are subjective, and people just have personal preferences, is something like murder actually wrong?

        • I know what’d be fun! Let’s just circle back and start from the beginning. Again.

          If find your claim of objective morality (or whatever you think is better than subjective morality) remarkable. Describe this morality and show us that it exists in reality.

        • Joe

          Why isn’t choice of ice cream flavour a moral issue, but murder is?

        • Greg G.

          You didn’t define “wrong”… again!

          I decide what is wrong. The process has been explained to you. You cannot explain why something is objectively wrong.

        • Paul

          I decide what is wrong.

          But you’ve also said that they morality is based on your subjective preferences. If it’s just your mere opinion, why should people listen to you?

        • If it’s just your mere opinion, why should people listen to you?

          Are you from another planet? You’ve never had a discussion where you or the other person changed their minds? No one appeals to objective truth; you both just make your case. Maybe it ends with someone changing their mind. This isn’t hard, despite your best efforts.

        • Paul

          If you make a case with no objective truth, then something can’t actually be right or wrong, correct? All you’re doing is presenting a case for why you prefer that some actions should not be done. All you’re saying is “this is why I prefer people not to murder other people.”, which is really no different than saying “this is why I prefer chocolate ice cream.” But you prefer than people go to jail for murder, but not go to jail for having a difference of opinion on ice cream.

        • Greg G.

          Paul, you should watch the movie Memento. It is about a guy who could not form long term memories. He could only function on his old memories, his short-term memory, the tattoos on his body that explained his situation to him, and notes and pictures he saved to review.

          You should get tattoos like that guy did to remind you of all the arguments that have been explained to you so you don’t keep repeating the same old arguments. It is like everyday is Ground Hog Day to you.

        • But his earnest naivety is adorable.

          Or is it barf-making? Yes, that’s the phrase I was searching for. Sorry.

        • Paul

          You don’t see the irony in that statement, do you?

        • Greg G.

          Ha! There’s another tattoo you need to get if you think getting the same responses to your Points Refuted A Thousand Times is ironic. You don’t understand the arguments you make. You don’t understand when they are refuted. You demonstrate this every time you make an attempt to respond. You don’t understand logic. You don’t understand science. It’s because you cannot think outside of your worldview the way most people can.

        • MR

          you cannot think outside of your worldview the way most people can

          That’s an interesting point that now that you mention it we have seen countless times. What is it about highly religious people that prevents then from seeing things from another point of view? It’s like they can’t deal in hypotheticals. Like that empathy factor is broken and they can’t feel for someone who doesn’t conform to their ways. That causes them to reject even basic logic, basic facts that don’t conform to their belief. Like they can’t even entertain the thought, “I might be wrong.”

          Lord knows I could be wrong. In fact, I used to be a Christian and came to the conclusion that indeed I was wrong about that. So if that conclusion was a mistake, is it too much to ask for evidence why that was a mistake? From my point of view it’s simply that they are wrong just as I was. What’s so hard about understanding that? Fool me once…, but the second time at least provide a decent argument.

          I can understand their arguments. I can flip and imagine “if God existed.” Why is it so difficult for them? Simply cognitive dissonance? It’s a very curious thing.

        • epeeist

          What is it about highly religious people that prevents then from seeing things from another point of view? It’s like they can’t deal in hypotheticals.

          I wonder whether it is related to the fact that people cannot abstract from one position to a more general one.

          Example, I go to a photographic group and we frequently have sessions where we manipulate images (for most people the software of choice is Affinity). The tutor will say something like, “You need to put some bloom into the highlights”, but what the majority of the class want to know is what sequence of keystrokes is required to do this.

        • MR

          Interesting. But, I’d like to think that for most of those people, if you said, “Well, if you had to think about this for yourself, how would you approach this,” they’d at least give it a shot. Here, they simply ignore the question.

          Affinity, eh? I’ll have to look into that. I’ve been using Gimp. Do you have any thoughts on that?

        • epeeist

          But, I’d like to think that for most of those people, if you said, “Well, if you had to think about this for yourself, how would youapproach this,” they’d at least give it a shot.

          You are rather less cynical than me. My suspicion is that even if they did think about it they would still record it as a sequence of key strokes/menu items. I would go further and assume they would apply the same parameters (strength of effect, luminosity etc.) each time.

          Affinity, eh? I’ll have to look into that. I’ve been using Gimp. Do you have any thoughts on that?

          I use a package called Digikam for cataloguing my photographs and Darktable for manipulation. If I do use the Gimp then I use it in conjunction with G’Mic. The Pixls.us is a good site on all the Open Source tools for photography.

        • MR

          Thanks for those sources. I’ll check them out.

        • Paul

          In fact, I used to be a Christian and came to the conclusion that indeed I was wrong about that.

          How did you come to that conclusion?

          So if that conclusion was a mistake, is it too much to ask for evidence why that was a mistake?

          We all have the same evidence?

          From my point of view it’s simply that they are wrong just as I was.

          Yes, from your point of view. Your worldview interprets the evidence. So from your worldview, you think the Christian worldview is wrong. But why is it wrong? How do you determine right and wrong in your worldview?

        • MR

          How did you come to that conclusion?

          Apart from the fact there’s no reasonable evidence, it’s incoherent and self-refuting.

          We all have the same evidence?

          There’s good evidence and there’s questionable evidence. Not everyone has the same capacity to examine the evidence. You’ve repeatedly demonstrated a lack of understanding in several areas. What evidence convinced you that God exists?

          Yes, from your point of view. Your worldview interprets the evidence.

          Not really. I was Christian, so it’s not the worldview. Worldview is mostly a bullshit term used by Christians to separate themselves from the rest of the world, anyway. We have more in common than we don’t, and the few areas we don’t agree on don’t filter out into neat little atheist/Christian packets. It’s a false dichotomy that you’re married to. Plenty of people who are Christian or some other religion are fine with evolution, many religious and Christian people are pro-choice, against capital murder, etc. There is no “Christian worldview.” Everyone has their own individual worldview. You’ve fallen for propaganda.

          There is good evidence and there is bad evidence. What evidence do you have that God exists? Is it good evidence? Is it the kind of evidence that would convince you if someone else gave it but it pointed in some other direction? For example, if you prayed for healing and were healed, and someone else prayed for healing to Vishnu and was healed, would you consider that valid evidence for Vishnu? Is your evidence better than that?

          So from your worldview, you think the Christian worldview is wrong. But why is it wrong? How do you determine right and wrong in your worldview?

          You don’t even understand that you’re talking about two different things. You’re confusing and conflating concepts. That’s why terms are so important. On the one hand you’re talking about something being correct or incorrect like a fact, on the other hand you’re talking about a value judgement. They are not the same thing. “Christian worldview” is incoherent. It essentially means nothing. “Right and wrong” in this concept is meaningless. Right for whom? Which parts?

          The question I’m interested in is, “Does God exist?” I’m concerned with the correctness of that statement. What evidence do you have that God exists? Is it reasonable evidence? If someone presented you with similar evidence for something you don’t currently believe, would you believe them? You’ve never given us any evidence to believe in God. What evidence do you have that God exists? Could you be wrong?

          Two simple questions no Christian seems to want to answer.

        • Paul

          The question I’m interested in is, “Does God exist?”

          What are you willing to accept as evidence?

          What evidence do you have that God exists?

          The same evidence that everyone else has.

        • Greg G.

          What are you willing to accept as evidence?

          It depends on the properties you claim God has that distinguishes it from non-existence. The property of being invisible and undetectable is not evidence that distinguishes it from non-existence.

          The same evidence that everyone else has.

          That is an excuse from someone who has no evidence and knows it.

        • MR

          That’s his go to card. If he doesn’t have to actually explain his evidence, he doesn’t have to reveal just how shitty it is.

          People don’t believe in God because of evidence; they believe in spite of the lack of evidence. They believe mostly because their mommies and daddies told them so. Sometimes they believe because some traumatic thing happened to them. They never believe because of the actual evidence.

          Keep asking him and watch him skirt the question. Paul avoids the questions that show he’s wrong.

        • MR

          I’d accept reasonable evidence. What do you consider reasonable evidence? What evidence should I accept?

          What kind of evidence do you normally accept before you believe something that you don’t already believe? What evidence would you need to believe in fairies, for example.

          What specific evidence convinced you that God exists or did you grow up in the faith? Could you be wrong?

        • What are you willing to accept as evidence?

          Another blog commenter asked me this question. The answer took more thought than I expected. I wrote a 13-post response:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/02/25-reasons-dont-live-world-god/

          The same evidence that everyone else has.

          I guess then the question becomes: “And you believe it???”

        • Susan

          What are you willing to accept as evidence?

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

          The same evidence that everyone else has.

          For instance?

        • Kodie

          What are you willing to accept as evidence?

          What do you accept as evidence? And how does your worldview factor in? If it’s evidence, if it’s the same evidence everyone else has, you wouldn’t need a worldview to accept it. It would just be fact.

          But so far, you give us nothing but evasion. How old are you, Paul? What do you get out of playing silly games on the internet? Does it strengthen your faith? Does it make you feel better about being such an idiot? What?

        • Kodie

          By what argument can you deny evolution with the same evidence everyone else has? Is it because you don’t even know what it is? Every time you speak about evolution, you say something stupid, like whatever you learned about evolution came from a lying theist who is afraid you will get too smart and leave your beliefs!

          But there is more evidence for evolution and common descent than there is for god or Jesus.

          Go for it, please, tell us why you are so boneheaded.

        • Greg G.

          It is possible for a person to set his worldview aside and consider things from other positions, even from other worldviews. MR mentioned what prevents a person from doing that. It is cognitive dissonance that shuts down your brain before you can realize that other points of view are as good or better.

          When cognitive dissonance begins to shut your brain down, think harder, fight through it, and think it through.

        • Paul

          And you find no cognitive dissonance in your worldview?

        • Greg G.

          We all have cognitive dissonance. The challenge is to recognize it and struggle through it. You should try it.

        • That’s the great thing about a naturalistic worldview–you just follow the evidence. It’s easy. All that, “Yeah, but this bit makes me sad, so what subset of the evidence should I declare is wrong?” stuff goes away.

        • Kodie

          What evidence? Why do you keep referring to your biased opinions on morality as a “worldview” and claiming to have objectivity?

        • Kodie

          What irony is there for Greg G. that you can’t remember anything?

        • This seems like the dozenth time I’m saying this, but if you think that objective moral truth exists, you need to show it to us. If it exists (and if it’s reliably accessible), it should be easy. Of course, if you’re finding this hard to do–which your reluctance to respond directly to this question indicates–then your “But golly, things just can’t actually be right or wrong, correct?” looks pretty empty.

          If you make a case with no objective truth, then something can’t actually be right or wrong, correct?

          If “actually right or wrong” means “is objectively true,” then, duh, if there is no objective truth then there is no objective truth. Kinda obvious, but if that was a stumbling block for you, I’m glad we pushed past it.

        • Kodie

          What is with you idiots and comparing morals to ice cream? I mean, think it through – one affects other people, and the other does not affect people.

        • Paul

          But, according to you and others, morality and one’s favorite ice cream flavor are both subjective, right?

        • Greg G.

          Yes! We do not like to suffer so we make a deal with everybody else that if they don’t make us suffer, we don’t make them suffer. Bu if they don’t like my favorite ice cream, then it’s more for me.

          This has been pointed out to you many, many times. Are you slow on the uptake or completely oblivious?

          You cannot show that objective morality exists. All you have is your personal, subjective incredulity. Your personal subjective preferences for a moral position are not evidence for an objective moral position. Your incredulity is your personal inability to distinguish your personal feelings from an objective position.

          If there is an objective morality, you should be able to show it without resorting to emotional arguments from personal incredulity.

        • Kodie

          Paul – morality is subjective to human pain. Ice cream comes on a truck.

        • Paul

          Human pain isn’t objective?

        • I can sense that you’re bursting to tell us about a definition of morality that is better than “subjective morality.”

          Go ahead. We’re listening.

        • Kodie

          You have not demonstrated that your morality is based on anything other than your subjective preference to adhere to the rules of the people who brainwashed you to believe their beliefs come from your imaginary friend. Morality is not objective – it’s how we treat each other, and how much and in what ways we care about other people. If you think being gay is immoral, your subjective response is to deny gay couples equal marriage rights. You have not demonstrated that being gay is immoral, so your moral response to deny gay couples equal marriage rights (or to judge the law immoral), is plenty subjective to your emotions and your beliefs in a supernatural judge that makes you care less about other humans and more about your reward for dying.

        • Greg G.

          If morals are objective, they apply to everyone, including god thingies. The Bible says God kills and God orders killing. That makes God objectively immoral.

          If you say that God decides what is moral and immoral, then you have subjective morality and morality is arbitrary.

          If there is an objective morality, we have no way to know what it is. It may be nothing like what a social species would like. All we can do is act according to what is best for us and for others in our society. Those things change as our knowledge changes.

          Today, it would be immoral to let someone die of a treatable illness or injury without calling an ambulance. Five hundred years ago, the illness and injury might have been untreatable.

        • Paul

          “That makes God objectively immoral.”

          How do you determine that something is objectively immoral from your own subjective personal preferences?

          If you say that God decides what is moral and immoral, then you have subjective morality and morality is arbitrary

          And that’s based on your subjective personal preference or is that an objective statement?

          If there is an objective morality, we have no way to know what it is.

          But earlier you said there was objective immorality. If there is objective immorality, why do you think there is no objective morality?

          All we can do is act according to what is best for us and for others in our society.

          So if it’s in your own best interest to abort a baby or euthanize your parents, you think that would be moral? Or would that make you heartless?

        • Greg G.

          How do you determine that something is objectively immoral from your own subjective personal preferences?

          Don’t you ever think before asking the same stupid questions over and over? You are positing objective morality so the burden is on you to show it.

          I am showing that under the assumption of objective morality, it is impossible under the theist model. It is logically incoherent.

          And that’s based on your subjective personal preference or is that an objective statement?

          It is based on the logical incoherence of your claims.

          But earlier you said there was objective immorality. If there is objective immorality, why do you think there is no objective morality?

          No, I didn’t. I showed that it was logically incoherent.

          So if it’s in your own best interest to abort a baby or euthanize your parents, you think that would be moral? Or would that make you heartless?

          No, it makes you brainless.

          Abortion is none of your business. Mind your own.

          1 Peter 4:15 (KJV)15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

        • Paul

          I showed that it was logically incoherent.

          You think you did, but you actually didn’t. I showed you many times that moral subjectivism is logically incoherent, but you still subscribe to it.

          Abortion is none of your business. Mind your own.

          But that’s just your subjective opinion and I don’t agree with it.

        • I showed you many zero times that moral subjectivism is logically incoherent

          FTFY

        • MR

          Ha ha. I love how every time he tries to do this his language suddenly gets squishy. “Is it really wrong.” It’s like talking to a child.

          Define your terms and stick to them.

        • Paul

          Ha ha. I love how every time he tries to do this his language suddenly gets squishy. “Is it really wrong.” It’s like talking to a child.

          Define your terms and stick to them.

          I didn’t change my language. You chose a different definition of the the word “really” than the one I intended.

          really: in actual fact, as opposed to what is said or imagined to be true or possible.

        • MR

          Really is a squishy term. Do you mean by it, objective? Then demonstrate this. If you mean, the human species thinks it’s wrong, yeah, we knew that already. That’s what makes it subjective.

        • Paul

          You know what? You’re probably right. I’ll give you that one. But what I actually did was ask you specific questions to get you to realize just illogical subjective morality is. It took more than a year, but you finally figured it out.

        • Dang it–I still haven’t figured that one out! Can you believe it? I still think that subjective morality explains things best because you’ve shown zero reasons why it’s illogical. And what’s crazier is that it’s obvious to every one of us–you included–that you can’t defend the nutty claim of objective morality. You can drop the pretense.

          “I win by default because I think subjective morality is crazy” doesn’t work. You need to actually show evidence for objective morality. (It is rather fun watching you flail, however.)

        • Greg G.

          I showed you many times that moral subjectivism is logically incoherent, but you still subscribe to it.

          You show that people disagree in their moralities which is perfectly coherent if morality is subjective and intersubjective.

          But that’s just your subjective opinion and I don’t agree with it.

          Again, read your Bible:

          1 Peter 4:15 (KJV)15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

          That means, “Mind your own business.” If your objective standard comes from your Bible, then you must accept that as the objectively moral thing to do. If you disagree with it, BOOM! You just proved subjective morality.

        • MR

          It’s not “just his subjective opinion.” Millions if not billions of people also believe it’s none of your business.

        • Kodie

          So, for whatever bullshit reason, you think it’s your “objective” moral obligation to get between a woman and her lawful abortion, because you think something microscopic and non-sensate is a person, that you think you have not only the right but the obligation to hijack her life on behalf of a non-baby, in order to make sure she knows the consequences of engaging in dirty dirty sexual intercourse with a man!

          Of course you don’t agree with reality, you’re a brainwashed pod person from your cult.

        • Paul

          lawful abortion

          Do you determine right and wrong by what is lawful? If that is the case, if you lived in the early 1800s, you think slavery would be right? Would you not do anything to try and end slavery?

          because you think something… non-sensate is a person

          Do you think that someone sleeping is not a person? They can’t perceive anything when they are sleeping.

        • Kodie

          Do you think a fertilized egg is a person? Tell me, what’s the harm to get an abortion. Please tell me.

        • Susan

          How do you determine that something is objectively immoral from your own subjective personal preferences?

          Same as you do.

          So…. Paul…

          How do you determine that Yahwehjeusus is objectively moral?

          What standard do you use?

        • Pofarmer

          Paul? Is this all you’ve got? Is it moral to force a woman into uneducated povery? Is it wrong to force a woman to die for an unviable fetus? Is it wrong to exercise control over another sentient persons body? Honestly? Fuck you.

        • Paul

          If you think that morality is subjective, then how can anything actually be wrong? You’re being inconsistent.

          You asked questions, assumed my responses, and then told me off. Bizarre. Do you get mad when someone doesn’t agree with you on the best flavor of ice cream?

          Is it wrong to force a woman to die for an unviable fetus?

          Who said anything about forcing a woman to die? If it’s an unviable fetus, the result is a miscarriage. Maybe you’re referring to cases where the life of the mother is in danger. Do you not understand the pro-life position in this case? No one is forcing the mother to die in that situation either.

          Is it wrong to exercise control over another sentient persons body?

          Yes, that’s why abortion is wrong.

        • Greg G.

          If you think that morality is subjective, then how can anything actually be wrong? You’re being inconsistent.

          The questions are put to you to answer from your presuppositions. You can’t do it. You are inconsistent.

          The questions are answerable form Pofarmer’s subjective position.

        • If you think that morality is subjective, then how can anything actually be wrong?

          You still haven’t looked up “morality” in the dictionary, have you? If we’re going to converse in English, you need to use words correctly.

        • MR

          And it’s not like morality is a thing. It’s essentially our judgement on a matter, whether individually or collectively. It doesn’t exist in any sense.

        • Paul

          I think the word from that question you need to focus on is “subjective.”

        • ??

          You consider my challenges to you, and the ones that are too scary–that expose holes in your worldview–you ignore. Doesn’t that seem stupid? If you’re embarrassed to admit you made a mistake to strangers (not too surprising), at least admit it to yourself.

        • Paul

          You’re exposing holes in my worldview from your subjective worldview? That does seem stupid to me, but maybe you can explain it.

        • Your worldview? What worldview is that? As far as I can tell, our moral worldviews are identical in that neither of us can claim objective anything.

          But perhaps I’m missing something. I’m sure you’ll explain it to me.

        • Greg G.

          That does seem stupid to me

          That’s the cognitive dissonance talking.

        • MR

          Not if you don’t listen, but you could probably explain it to yourself. Be honest and answer these questions: What is your evidence for God? Could you be wrong. Let’s start from there.

        • Pofarmer

          Paul, you’ve lost the plot. If you think objective morality is a thing, then define it and demonstrate it. That’s all you have to do.

        • Paul

          And all you have to do is demonstrate that morality is subjective. Demonstrate that the ethical value of murder can be both right and wrong at the same time – not that 2 people can disagree on a issue – but that the ethical value of murder can be both right and wrong at the same time.

        • Hilarious! We must demonstrate to you that morality is subjective by showing that 2 people can have opposing view and that they’re both objectively right?

          Ask Santa for an intro to logic as well as that dictionary.

          Have you ever thought of taking a timeout to rethink your position so you don’t say stupid shit again next time?

        • Paul

          Hilarious! We must demonstrate to you that morality is subjective by
          showing that 2 people can have opposing view and that they’re both right?

          Yes, subjectivism is hilarious once you realize just how illogical it is. It took a while, but you finally figured it out.

        • You didn’t ask for a demonstration of subjectivism, you just thought you did.

        • Kodie

          Raving like a lunatic on behalf of “objective morality” is not even close to an argument.

        • Paul

          Calling me names is not an argument either. Creating images in your head of me raving like a lunatic and trying to apply it to me is not an argument either.

        • Greg G.

          You are the person making claims. You need to supply an argument. She is pointing out that you have none.

        • Susan

          Creating images in your head of me raving like a lunatic

          She didn’t have to “create” anything.

          It’s all there in the commenting history.

          ======

          Edit 6 minutes later:

          I’ll ask you again, as I asked you months ago, as countless people keep asking you.

          1) What is “objective morality”, how do you know it’s “objective”?

          2) What does it have to do with Yahwehjesus?

        • Paul

          “It’s all there in the commenting history.”

          Nope. It doesn’t correspond to reality so it can only be her perception of me.

        • Greg G.

          Your view of reality doesn’t correspond to reality. You do not support your assertions. You do not understand how evidence works. You have never defined “objective morality”. You have never been able to distinguish objective morality from your own subjective morality. You have a bad habit of changing the subject instead of following it through to a conclusion. You do not know how logic works.

          Those things are what form other people’s perception of you.

        • MR

          Yup. I’d say you and Susan have it spot on.

        • Greg G.

          I could have added more examples but I got tired of it. I probably exceeded his attention span with the abbreviated list.

        • Susan

          Nope.

          How did I know you’d dodge the questions once again?

          1)What is “objective morality” and how do you know it’s “objective”?

          2) What does it have to do with Yahwehjesus?

        • Joe

          It doesn’t matter if something is illogical/ If it’s true, we have to accept it.

          By the way, among the litany of errors you’re committing, confusing “logical” with “I don’t think this way” is quite a big one.

        • Greg G.

          Have you ever thought of taking a timeout to rethink your position

          When Paul stops to think, nothing happens.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude. It’s pretty commonly agreed that morality is intersubjective. Ie, it’s agreed upon by societies. Murder doesn’t have to be both right and wrong at the same time, all that’s required is for different groups to believe different things about what constitutes murder. Are honor killings for “dishonoring” the family by certain female actions O.k? Some cultures certainly believe so. Is it O.K. to dismember someone for the crime of stealing? Some cultures certainly believe so. In fact, for nearly everything that you would think is “objectively” immoral, which you still haven’t defined or demonstrated by the way, I would posit that there is a culture who believes the opposite, or nearly the opposite.

          But Paul, once again, I didn’t make the claim. You’re yammering on about objective morality like it’s a thing, and yet you’ve done absolutely nothing to support your case.

        • Joe

          Demonstrate that the ethical value of murder can be both right and wrong at the same time

          Both sides in a war think they are justified in killing the enemy.

        • Kodie

          I think the most frustrating thing about trying to carry on a conversation with you is you don’t really understand how anything works.

        • Kodie

          Because you are so blinded by the issue, you are unaware of cases where the government forces a woman to birth an unviable fetus and then she dies?

          Please stay out of the medical field. You are heartless, you don’t care. You are clearly married to your ideal of objective morality because you are too stupid to know any better. So-called “objective morality” makes you religious fuckers ignorant of human conditions, and lack empathy when situations entail empathy.

          Abortion isn’t wrong because there is no reason to have a pregnancy when someone doesn’t want to have one.

        • Paul

          You are heartless, you don’t care.

          Untrue and unsubstantiated. But for the sake of argument, that would be based on your subjective standards, correct? And when someone disagrees with you on something that is subjective, you get made at them and call them names? Why don’t you say that abortion is right because you subjectively say it’s right? You said “Abortion isn’t wrong..”, but according to you, morality is subjective. Can you demonstrate, that in fact “abortion isn’t wrong”? How can morality be subjective while simultaneously you make the claim “abortion isn’t wrong.”? You’re being inconsistent.

        • Greg G.

          You’re being inconsistent.

          Look at yourself. You are being so consistent when you judge yourself under your own subjective morality but lie to yourself that you are being objective. Demonstrate that.

        • Kodie

          Please then explain to us all why abortion is wrong at any time after conception, according to absolute morality.

          Because I say it’s not even close to murder, and you get all shrill and delusional.

        • Paul

          Please then explain to us all why abortion is wrong at any time after conception…

          That’s not my argument nor is it the argument of the pro-life position. Abortion is allowed in situations where the mother’s life is in danger, tubal pregnancies for example.

        • Greg G.

          Any pregnancy could end the life of the mother. Why impose that risk on an unwilling person?

        • Kodie

          You don’t speak for everyone. I’m not talking about an extreme circumstance, either – 2-4 weeks after fertilization, when a woman finds out she might be pregnant, explain why it is wrong to get an abortion for something smaller than o with no features of a living person. And why you participate in manipulating the emotions of women to feel terrible for aborting nothing/nobody, or guilty enough to change the prospects of their life to deal with being pregnant and mothering a child, or spending the rest of their life feeling like a piece of them is out there with who knows who!

          You romanticize a lot of this shit, but it’s pretty basic. Babies and children cost money, and you don’t have to do it. You can nip it in the bud.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          So what is the moral absolute here? Clearly it is not “do not kill”. How do you determine how much danger a mother’s life has to be in to justify killing her baby? I think that decision is best left with the mother in consultation with her health care providers. Why do you think you or the state has a right to intrude on that decision?

        • Paul

          So because I care about both the mother and the small human in her womb (I’d call it a baby but for some reason you don’t like that term), you want me to stay out of the medical field?

          Abortion isn’t wrong because there is no reason to have a pregnancy when someone doesn’t want to have one.

          So you have no consideration for the small human in the womb?

        • Kodie

          You don’t care about the mother.

          It’s not a person, it has no feelings. It is not something to get hysterical about. Given your gross misunderstanding of evolution, I have no doubt, you are just a fool who hears what you want to hear, and ignore everything about reality.

        • Paul

          Yes, I do care about the mother.

          It’s not a person, it has no feelings.

          How do you know it’s not a person? How do you know it has no feelings?

        • Kodie

          Do you think it’s in there thinking about meeting its parents, going to school, playing soccer, or graduating from high school?

        • Greg G.

          You want to give more rights to small, non-sentient human tissue that is stealing nutrients from an unwilling host.

          Using a woman’s sexual organs without her consent is a bit like rape. Forcing her to not end the situation is even more like rape.

          Without prior consent, a dead person’s organs cannot be used to save someone’s life. You are trying to take away rights from a living person that even a dead person has.

        • The word you’re groping for is “fetus.” I know you’re allergic to dictionaries, but look it up. It’s precisely the word for this situation. (Unless it’s at the early end, in which case it might be a zygote or embryo.)

        • Paul

          Those are just words for different stages of human development. They are still human.

        • While we’re labeling things, let’s return to my challenge to you, which you’ve run away from.

          I say that a newborn is a person, while the single cell that it was 9 months prior is not. If you object to the word “person” there, provide a better word. Given the many words in English for subtle distinctions after birth (newborn, baby, child, infant, toddler, etc.), surely you can find this better word. (Or just agree that “person” fits well.)

        • Greg G.

          All the stages of a human cancer is human, too, but not a person.

        • Pofarmer

          Who said anything about forcing a woman to die?

          Savita_Halappanavar

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Savita_Halappanavar

          Because that’s what happens.

          Is it wrong to exercise control over another sentient persons body?

          Yes, that’s why abortion is wrong.

          Learn what “sentient” means.

        • Paul

          “Savita_Halappanavar”

          OK, so one on this blog mentioned it.

          Learn what “sentient” means.

          I do know what it means.

          sentient: able to perceive or feel things.

          How do you know that humans in the womb (babies) are not able to feel or perceive things? Using “sentient” in your example, you think it would not be wrong to kill someone in their sleep., correct? They can’t perceive thing in their sleep, so you would exercise control over them in that case?

        • Pofarmer

          Tell you what Paul, I’m going to assume that you aren’t this stupid and give you the benefit of the doubt. So why don’t you tell me at what stage surgeons use anesthesia on fetuses in the womb.

        • Paul

          You’re making the argument centered on the word “sentient.” You brought up anesthesia. Are you saying you can use anesthesia on a person so they are no longer sentient and then kill them? Would that be wrong in your view? Is it OK to kill someone in their sleep?

        • Pofarmer

          Ok. So you are that stupid. Or brainwashed. Why don’t you try what I asked you to do?

        • Greg G.

          He gave you the benefit of the doubt that you were not that stupid and you just showed that you were that stupid. You cannot hold a thought in your head for five seconds without cognitive dissonance shutting you down. He is talking about fetal surgery, to save the life of the fetus, not to kill it.

          Now answer his question.

        • The difference between a person who isn’t sentient (extreme Alzheimer’s, permanent coma, or something similar, I’m guessing?) and you is trivial compared to the difference between you and the single cell.

        • Kodie

          You know what, though, If you did kill someone who was under anesthesia, and they didn’t wake up, they would never know that they died. The social contract we have is that, if someone undergoes anesthesia, they have been told the risks, etc. We know that it doesn’t always work out that they survive surgery, but people have to be able to trust medical professionals aren’t going to kill them on purpose. People don’t choose to have anesthesia, and doctors recommend against certain surgeries if the risk is too high from being anesthetized that the patient will die, unless there’s no alternative, and apprise their patient of the risks due to their current health conditions. You know what I mean? I mean, if you knew you were in a prison cell with a murderer, you wouldn’t choose to fall asleep, because they might choke you when the guard’s not looking, but we know the doctor isn’t trying to kill us. … I mean, Joan Rivers didn’t know that, but we generally have to have trust in order to opt for procedures under which we’d be anesthetized.

        • A zygote or embryo don’t feel things.

        • Kodie

          Or think things.

        • Kodie

          You can’t abort a baby. That sounds like you are projecting your beliefs onto reality.

          If there is objective morality, and murder is immoral, and god murders people, that makes OBJECTIVELY IMMORAL GOD.

          Or else he is subject to a different set of morals, then your moral are subjective too?

          What is it.

        • Paul

          You can’t abort a baby.

          Did you mean that you shouldn’t abort a baby? People can and do abort babies. They may try to tell themselves that it’s not a baby, maybe to try and reduce the guilt, but it is in fact a baby.

          Or else he is subject to a different set of morals…?

          God himself is the standard.

        • Greg G.

          Did you mean that you shouldn’t abort a baby? People can and do abort babies.

          It’s a baby when it is born. After the birth, there is no pregnancy. You can’t abort a non-pregnancy.

          God himself is the standard.

          How do you know that standard is good? A being claiming to be good is not reliable unless it can show it is good by an independent standard. How do you know that God exists? You can’t show that. It is just your subjective belief that there is a god thingy and your subjective belief that it is the standard for morality and your subjective belief that your subjective standard matches the god thingy standards you subjectively hold.

        • Kodie

          A baby is a born person, so no, you cannot logically abort a baby. You may try to tell yourself it’s a baby, maybe to try and increase your sanctimony, but it’s not, in fact, a baby.

        • Paul

          A baby is a born person

          So 10 seconds before the baby is born, it’s not a baby? How about 10 minutes before it’s born? How about 1 month before it’s born?

        • Greg G.

          Still a fetus. A fetus is the unborn offspring of an animal that develops from an embryo. It is no longer a fetus when it is born.

        • Kodie

          What about 1 second after it’s conceived, what about 1 hour, what about 1 week, what about 2 months?

          Is that really a baby? Stop calling that a baby.

        • Paul

          It is a baby, but for your sake I call it a “small human in the womb.”

        • Kodie

          It’s not only small, it’s not developed. The reason it’s in there is because it doesn’t have the features of a person yet. It cannibalizes the mother’s blood and tissue to build a person out of a fertilized egg, and it takes almost a year. Your perceptions of reality are so warped.

        • Paul

          A baby is a born person, so no, you cannot logically abort a baby

          Since you want to get into a semantics argument instead of addressing the actual issue of abortion. Let’s call it a “small human living in its mother’s womb.”

        • Greg G.

          Or, if you like, “a person living as a parasite inside the body of another person without the consent of the host person.” If a person moves into your house without permission or consent, you could have the person removed, even if that person had nowhere else to go and died because of it. That person wouldn’t have to be eating your food and properly used the toilet, but to make it analogous, the person would be sucking the nutrients out of your blood and leaching calcium from your bones, while dumping toxic waste byproducts into your bloodstream with the threat of killing you when that person leaves.

          You effectively want to make it illegal to evict somebody like that.

        • Let’s return to the challenge I gave you. I haven’t seen your response. You seem to have skittered away like a cockroach when the light is turned on.

          “A newborn is a person, while the single cell that it was 9 months prior isn’t.” I think you object to the word “person” here. What word would you use instead? That is, what is the newborn that the single cell isn’t?

        • it is in fact a baby.

          I’ve raised babies. That kinda makes me an expert. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you need a microscope to see it, it ain’t a baby.

          God himself is the standard.

          Huh? You’re saying that God’s actions are the epitome of rightness and that we should emulate them? I can’t figure out what this is supposed to mean.

        • Paul

          if you need a microscope to see it, it ain’t a baby.

          You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 10 seconds before it’s born. You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 10 minutes before it’s born. You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 10 hours before it’s born. You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 1 month before it’s born. At what point would you call it a baby?

        • You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 10 seconds before it’s born. You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 10 minutes before it’s born. You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 10 hours before it’s born. You don’t need a microscope to see a baby 1 month before it’s born.

          Hmm. I gotta admit that you’re right. Y’know, it’s almost like there’s a spectrum here. It doesn’t expand from a single cell to a trillion interconnected cells in an instant; it’s a slow, gradual process. It’s like a spectrum from blue to green—we can disagree on where the blue/green dividing line is, but we can certainly agree that green is not blue.

          You’ve convinced me—personhood is a spectrum. The single cell is 0% a person, the newborn is 100% a person, and it’s a spectrum in between. Thanks.
          https://wp-media.patheos.com/blogs/sites/253/2017/07/blue-green-spectrum.jpg

        • Paul

          There is no spectrum. It’s 100% human the entire time. We might give names to the different stages of development, but that takes nothing away from the fact it is 100% human.

        • It’s 100% human the entire time.

          Which isn’t the point. We have words for different stages of development after birth: baby, newborn, infant, toddler, one-year-old, and so on. We need a word to describe what the newborn is and the single cell isn’t.

          I propose this: a newborn is a person, while the single cell isn’t. You don’t like “person”? That’s fine—give me a better word.

        • MR

          The toenails I just clipped are 100% human, too.

        • My arm was itchy, so I scratched it. I shudder to think how many living skin cells I scraped off.

        • Greg G.

          It is human the same way a human cancer cell is human. It is not a person the same way a human cancer cell is not a person.

        • Greg G.

          At what point would you call it a baby?

          When it is born. A fetus is an unborn offspring.

        • Paul

          OK. So is it wrong to take the life of a small human being that is still in the womb?S

        • Greg G.

          Without consent of the owner of the womb, it has no right to use the owner’s organs.

          If you were using a woman’s womb without her consent, she could defend herself with lethal force against you, too.

        • Kodie

          You asshole Christians always love to change the subject. When do you start to call it a baby? As soon as it’s conceived!

          Please stick with the subject and defend your idiotic woman-hating beliefs.

        • Paul

          When do you start to call it a baby? As soon as it’s conceived!

          Actually, human life starts at fertilization. Once fertilization occurs, there is a completely unique genetic combination. Half the genes are from the mother and half are from the father.

          Please stick with the subject and defend your idiotic woman-hating beliefs.

          I don’t hate women. I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion. Is it because I care about all human life – both the woman and life of the small human in her womb?

        • Greg G.

          Actually, human life starts at fertilization.

          Wrong. The sperm is human and alive. The ovum is human and alive.

          Once fertilization occurs, there is a completely unique genetic combination. Half the genes are from the mother and half are from the father.

          Almost right. The mitochondria have DNA and comes from the mother.

          But it is not a person. A fertilized egg could be identical twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc. Not only that, another fertilized ovum could implant so close to it, that the two merge into one and have different DNA in different parts of the body. So a fertilized ovum could end up being one, two, three, four, or a half of a person. But most likely it will be spontaneously aborted anyway.

          I don’t hate women. I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion.

          Because you don’t care about the concerns of women and take rights from them that dead people get.

        • Paul

          But it is not a person. A fertilized egg could be identical twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc…

          It’s still part of the human development life cycle. It’s still human.

        • It’s a spectrum–not a person as a single cell, a person as a newborn, and an increasing person as you move along the 9-month spectrum.

        • Greg G.

          I have never said it was not human. A tumor can be human. It is not a person unless it has a functioning brain.

          But not even a person has a right to life if it depends upon the body and organs of another person who does not consent to an arrangement, even if the other person is dead.

        • Kodie

          Why do you think being at the beginning of the human development life cycle means more than it does? It’s not a person, it won’t be missed by anyone, it isn’t part of a family, it hasn’t any thoughts, memories, or experiences. I ovulate every month, so it’s basically the same as that. It just got a little sperm on it.

        • Kodie

          Why all of a sudden an interest in genetics, but deny evolution? You don’t seem to see these are inter-related.

          I don’t care about a “unique” DNA. Turns out that being born makes a lot of people rather ordinary… and religious people are hyper-concerned with conforming like perfect little godbots.

          So why do you think DNA means it matters as a person?

          Being born and having consciousness matters.

          You hate women because you want to take away their choice over your superstition. That’s all religion is, a superstitious attachment to a nothing so you can punish women for sexuality and propagandize them into making choices about their future with emotion rather than rationality.

        • Paul

          Why all of a sudden an interest in genetics, but deny evolution? You don’t seem to see these are inter-related

          1) It wasn’t a sudden interest. 2) The science of genetics wasn’t even available to Darwin. 3) Even with the science of genetics, universal common descent fails. The missing links will always be missing. The missing links will still be hypotheses.

          So why do you think DNA means it matters as a person?

          As I already stated: “Once fertilization occurs, there is a completely unique genetic combination.”

          Being born and having consciousness matters.

          So you don’t care about the conscious fetal human still in the womb?

          Regarding your last paragraph: Nope, I still don’t hate women. In case you didn’t understand that, let me tell you plainly again: I don’t hate women.

          Do you think you’re being rational by projecting your unsubstantiated comments on me?

        • The science of genetics wasn’t even available to Darwin.

          No one cares what Darwin wrote.

          Of course I’m kidding! Creationists care what Darwin wrote. No one else checks science against On the Origin of Species to make sure there’s no clash with the Good Book.

          3) Even with the science of genetics, universal common descent fails. The missing links will always be missing.

          Right—you’ve set things up so that evolution always fails in your mind. Someone finds a transitional fossil (Tiktaalik, for example) and then you say, “Aha! Now you’ve got two holes to fill in!” Congrats.

          As I already stated: “Once fertilization occurs, there is a completely unique genetic combination.”

          And how many glorious poems have been written about that subject? I’m misting up already.

          So you don’t care about the conscious fetal human still in the womb?

          We care even less about the not-conscious embryo. It’s a spectrum.

        • Greg G.

          2) The science of genetics wasn’t even available to Darwin.

          Did you make that up or did you get it from a liar?

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19638672

          Abstract
          Darwin’s contributions to evolutionary biology are well known, but his contributions to genetics are much less known. His main contribution was the collection of a tremendous amount of genetic data, and an attempt to provide a theoretical framework for its interpretation. Darwin clearly described almost all genetic phenomena of fundamental importance, such as prepotency (Mendelian inheritance), bud variation (mutation), heterosis, reversion (atavism), graft hybridization (Michurinian inheritance), sex-limited inheritance, the direct action of the male element on the female (xenia and telegony), the effect of use and disuse, the inheritance of acquired characters (Lamarckian inheritance), and many other observations pertaining to variation, heredity and development. To explain all these observations, Darwin formulated a developmental theory of heredity – Pangenesis – which not only greatly influenced many subsequent theories, but also is supported by recent evidence.

          3) Even with the science of genetics, universal common descent fails. The missing links will always be missing. The missing links will still be hypotheses.

          Your ignorance is showing again. There are “lumpers” and “splitters” among those who classify human fossils. Some lump new finds in with identified species and some try to make it a new species, especially when the lumpers disagree whether to include it with the older species or the later one.

          The expectation of finding a sample of every species in a lineage is ridiculous. You should remind other creationists of that.

          But DNA is the best evidence for universal common descent. If they different lineages came about separately, they wouldn’t all have DNA or the same base pairs to form the DNA.

        • Paul

          The expectation of finding a sample of every species in a lineage is ridiculous.

          How convenient. So universal common descent can never be falsified.

          But DNA is the best evidence for universal common descent. If they different lineages came about separately, they wouldn’t all have DNA or the same base pairs to form the DNA.

          So a common Creator is not acceptable in your worldview?

        • Greg G.

          How convenient. So universal common descent can never be falsified.

          Bullshit! Just provide evidence of a life form that does not have a similar type of DNA to any other form of life. That wouldn’t mean it didn’t evolve, just that life started independently twice.

          So a common Creator is not acceptable in your worldview?

          There is no evidence of a creator so there is no reason to pretend there was one. All the evidence we have is that there was none. The historical evidence is that the creator was made up by people who didn’t know what stars were, what planets were, where the sun went at night, or that microscopic life existed, the most abundant life on the planet.

          How gullible must you be to believe a superstitious, completely unscientific society over a scientific society?

        • Paul

          Just provide evidence of a life form that does not have a similar type of DNA to any other form of life. That wouldn’t mean it didn’t evolve, just that life started independently twice.

          So in your worldview, you’d never accept any option other than life starting on it’s own without a creator?

          There is no evidence of a creator…

          We all have the same evidence. The evidence is interpreted through one’s worldview.

        • Greg G.

          So in your worldview, you’d never accept any option other than life starting on it’s own without a creator?

          Just provide evidence of a creator. Simple as that.

          We all have the same evidence. The evidence is interpreted through one’s worldview.

          But you have an irrational worldview that doesn’t permit you to understand evidence, the null hypothesis, the ability to think in terms of another person’s view… It’s like only being able to see the world of color on a black and white television.

          Let your mind expand and grow. Your worldview is brainwashing.

        • Greg G.

          It appears that words like “evolve” trigger your cognitive dissonance, which makes you thing in black and white and blind to the nuance. When you see “That wouldn’t mean it didn’t evolve”, you can only interpret it as saying “it did evolve”. You miss that it allows that it could have been created, too, just as “life started independently twice” could apply to a creation event.

          Figure out the words that trigger your cognitive dissonance. When you see those words, slow down, go back and reconsider what you are reading, look for nuance, and try to understand the point being made. “Worldview” is a piss poor excuse for not allowing yourself to think. Don’t change the subject because your cognitive dissonance won’t let you think it through.

          When DNA was first discovered and was beginning to be understood, it would have been predicted that all life forms would have it if common descent were the case and that a common core of DNA would be seen. It was discovered that humans share a core of 70% of the genome with bananas. It turns out that all vertebrates share 70% of their DNA with bananas. It is not a random 70%, though, it is basically the same 70%. This would be expected if bananas and vertebrates had a common ancestor with that 70%.

          But there is no reason to think that an omnipotent, omniscient creator would need to use the same core of DNA. There is no reason to think such a creator would even need to use chemistry for life.

          Common descent easily explains why chimpanzee DNA is closer to human DNA than it is to gorilla DNA. It would be expected if the most recent common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees was more recent than the most recent common ancestor for chimpanzees, humans, and gorillas. The gorilla genome was diverging while the humans and chimpanzees had not begun to diverge.

          The evidence supports common descent better than the ad hoc explanations of creationism like “yeah but, God could have done it that way” which rings hollow. That explanation means the god thingy was constrained or deliberately deceptive.

        • MR

          Figure out the words that trigger your cognitive dissonance. When you see those words, slow down, go back and reconsider what you are reading, look for nuance, and try to understand the point being made. “Worldview” is a piss poor excuse for not allowing yourself to think. Don’t change the subject because your cognitive dissonance won’t let you think it through.

          Great advice, Greg.

        • I marvel that Greg has the patience and optimism to help Paul understand. It’s possible.

        • Kodie

          Paul, may I suggest you don’t actually have a worldview so much as you’re a slave to the power of suggestion, and you’re a member of a cult? Because, normally, even a Christian would have more to say that you have so far. We don’t have evidence of a creator. Whatever you filter through your pathetically uneducated and gullible brain, then elevate to “worldview” is bullshit. You haven’t said a fucking thing so far, you just keep relying on “agree to disagree” because you have your biased narrow uneducated worldview, and impervious to arguments, facts, knowledge, etc., that conflicts with THE CONCLUSIONS you are cemented in. That’s not how adults communicate. You have given NOTHING SO FAR. You have received information you deflect because it conflicts with your conclusions, but have given nothing to the debate as to EVIDENCE. It’s like you don’t even know what evidence means! You’re too fucking stupid to be here, and I cannot wait for Bob to realize you should be banned for being a troll.

          If you don’t know what words mean, it helps if you ask or look them up, but you keep changing the subject, so it goes around and around without you learning anything we tell you, and without us learning any fucking thing you have to offer, by which I mean, it’s obviously nothing. You have nothing to pick up your side. You have no evidence, no arguments, no intellectual capacity whatsoever.

          Bob, ban this motherfucker for not being coherent!

        • I used my Magic 8 Ball, what I always use for getting objective moral truth. It said, “Ban this motherfucker for not being coherent!”

          You’re clairvoyant.

        • MR

          Thanks, Bob.

        • Kodie

          I have some better news than that. I have signed up with a stable, affordable internet provider. My hotspot is due at the library today and the tech comes on Thursday to install, so I don’t think I can log in between Tuesday night and Thursday mid-day (maybe I can), but then this nightmare of shitternet will be over. The library hotspot has been great when I had it, but I also feel cheap and greedy. It’s not renewable, so I always had to fill in the blank times with shitternet* until the wait list let me pick it up again. I am not going to the library for another hour or so, but just a head’s up if I am missing for more than 2 days, I am coming right back.

          *For anyone not up to date: Shitternet is what I call the public internet provider in my apartment building that was very very cheap, but possibly invaded my privacy, was not reliable, was slow, and the guy who ran it was overly sensitive fucking douchebag who threatened me several times with disconnection even if I asked nicely what could be impeding my access today or slowing this way the fuck down. I got on his good side in name only, but he never truly forgave me, although he gave free months a couple times. I really don’t want to owe that shit fuck goddamned asshole anything anymore. He’s a tone troll, he runs an internet providing company, but he cannot tolerate anyone getting frustrated and taking out their normal level of frustrations with how shitty his service is on him even a little. Even a very fucking little. Terms and Conditions also imply that “vulgarity” on his service is not allowed. Besides that I think he’s spying on me, and interconnected with the building’s management (the newish surveillance cameras have to do with him also), I had to stay away out of fear of being told on from my internet provider, for being an atheist, for using naughty language, etc.

        • Well, I don’t know that an affordable internet provider will give you the insights that a Magic 8 Ball will … but sure, if that’s what you need.

          Actually, I’ve had my complaints with internet providers, but your shitternet does sound pretty frikkin’ bad.

        • Kodie

          The owner is unreasonably sensitive. I mean, if you control access to the internet, expect people to be upset and learn how to de-escalate. It’s the fucking internet. I’ve had trouble paying through paypal, my anti-virus got alarmed, and even though my phone said it was connected, I suffered data overages, and it was slow as fuck. I am now throwing caution to the wind – I’ve got an appt. for Thursday for installation, but I already have an account and a password, so I can still connect. It’s not secure, but whatever.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          How do you know?

        • Phil

          So the absence of a creator is not acceptable in your worldview?

        • Kodie

          It’s become apparent to me that Paul is too stupid to understand any of that.

        • Kodie

          You are severely uneducated, and typical evasive Christian. I asked you questions, you give me farts.

          Or maybe just fart noises, not even gas!

        • Kodie

          Your attitude strongly suggests you have to hate women to willingly enslave them to a “UNIQUE DNA!!!!!!”

        • Doubting Thomas

          The missing links will always be missing.

          Even though it’s a tautology, this might be the most intelligent statement you’ve said yet. Good job on understanding that things which are missing are, by definition, missing.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          The science of genetics provides the ability to observe a second nested hierarchy that along with nested hierarchy demonstrated by morphology. These observations are best explained by common descent. There is no need for “missing links” or fossils of any sort.

        • Greg G.

          The fossil record provides support for the nested hierarchy by morphology.

        • Joe

          God himself is the standard

          OK, what’s god’s standard on the current hot topic in morality: Gene editing? Moral or immoral, and how do we find out?

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          God himself is the standard.

          So if I get mad at my neighbor I should murder my son and forgive my neighbor?

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Or maybe if my neighbor angers me, I should murder his employees until he gives me what I want.

          And if my children need a place to live, I should tell them the house next door is the “Promised House” and it’s theirs. They just need to murder the current inhabitants.

          If God is setting the standard of morality, that is.

        • Susan

          God himself is the standard.

          What standard do you use to determine that Yahwehjesus is the standard?

        • Pofarmer

          How can an omniscient. Omnipotent, omnibenevolent, ground of all being, disembodied mind, be a standard?

        • Kodie

          You didn’t answer my question. You rejected it, and then changed the subject like a typical Christian weasel.

        • Paul

          You didn’t ask a question. You just made a claim that was untrue and, as a result, I rejected it. You call me names and make unsubstantiated claims – after all, why not? Is it actually wrong to do that in your worldview? I think the reason you didn’t answer my question is because you realize you’d be inconsistent when you say that what Mao and Stalin did were wrong while simultaneously thinking that “there is no one right way to live.” Would that be a correct assessment?

        • Kodie

          Sometimes I don’t use a question mark.

        • Pofarmer

          These guys give weasels a bad name.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          By their own standards all dictators are the most moral and just people. Anyone who disagrees with them chooses to go to hell.

        • Joe

          Can you honestly say that what they did was wrong?

          Yes.

          If so, what standard are you using?

          The standard of human suffering. They caused unnecessary human suffering, therefore what they did was wrong.

          That was a simple question.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Morals have, for some time now, been trending toward greater freedom and personal agency for any act that doesn’t harm another.

      Why do you consider that bad?

      • Paul

        Morals have, for some time now, been trending…

        The implication being that morals are malleable and subjective?

        …toward greater freedom and personal agency…

        Greater freedom and personal agency to do what?

        …for any act that doesn’t harm another.

        Not harming others is a good thing. So abortion would be wrong because it harms another. Thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery….If what you’re saying is true and morals are trending toward not harming others, I’d say that people are starting to realize that Bible was right all along.

        Why do you consider that bad?

        Not harming others is a good thing. But what standard are you using? For the sake of argument: What if greater freedom and personal agency means allowing others to harm other people? Would you consider that good or bad? Why is it good or bad? Would you agree with atheist commandment #9 which says there is no one right way to live?
        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/11/10-commandments-for-atheists-2/

        • Greg G.

          The implication being that morals are malleable and subjective?

          Slavery, stoning sassy children, stoning people for picking up sticks on Saturday.

        • Pofarmer

          Don’t forget stoning women for being raped.

        • Greg G.

          And forcing rape victims to marry the rapist.

        • Paul

          And forcing rape victims to marry the rapist.

          Put that one on the list of bad atheist arguments.

          https://youtu.be/tT93-BA0474?t=731

        • Greg G.

          Once again, you demonstrate how dishonest your religion is. One can always trust a lying Christian to appeal to a lying apologist.

          Notice how Comfort’s theology is based on an out-dated translation and how he poo-poos modern translations. Notice how he points out irrelevancies like “being found” while missing the fact that condition is also mentioned for the woman in the country and skips over the key point that the first two cases about the woman in the city and the woman in the country are betrothed women, while the third woman is not betrothed.

          Let’s look at the Hebrew language:

          22:22 כִּֽי־יִמָּצֵא אִישׁ שֹׁכֵב
          22:23 וְשָׁכַב

          22:25 וְשָׁכַב
          22:25 חָזַק

          22:28 וְשָׁכַב
          22:28 תְפָשָׂ

          שָׁכַב = shakab = lie, as “lay with”
          חָזַק = chazaq = forces
          תָּפַשׂ = taphas = seize

          Each of the verses has the “lie with”, which is the euphemism for “sex”. The betrothed woman in the city has no qualification about being forced or seized, they just assume that she didn’t resist enough. The woman found in the country gets the benefit of the doubt that she was “forced”. But the unbetrothed woman is assumed to have been “seized” which indicates that it was rape.

          The unbetrothed woman gets no say in the matter. She is forced to marry her rapist. Women did not have the ability to divorce and the rapist cannot divorce her even if she wanted it.

          Do you also get your knowledge about evolution from Banana Man, too? You should be embarrassed for appealing to Comfort for anything.

          ETA: The qualification of being found has more to do with the man being caught in the act. If they together are not found, the man gets away. The woman would require male witnesses and since they were not found, there are no witnesses. She has lost her virginity and her value. She could then be killed after her wedding night according to the preceding verses, Deuteronomy 22:20-21.

        • Paul

          It’s seems like you want to say those things are wrong, but you have no objective standard.

        • Greg G.

          Neither do you or you would have been able to explain it and how to access it without considering one’s own feelings.

        • But you do? I’m intrigued–show me.

        • Pofarmer

          And you do? Define and demonstrate it.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          We are not all in agreement on morals and in fact see some things as immoral. For all intents and purposes, Paul can’t demonstrate an objective standard.

        • Pofarmer

          Call has yet to demonstrate any standard at all. At this point hes just a sea lioning buffoon.

        • Paul

          We are not all in agreement on morals and in fact see some things as immoral.

          But that’s not a reason to think that morality is subjective. All it demonstrates is that people disagree.

        • But that’s not a reason to think that morality is subjective. All it demonstrates is that people disagree.

          If you defend objective morality, you must show two things: that it exists and that humans can reliably access it.

          Your second sentence suggests that even if objective morality exists, we can’t access it (so it might as well not exist).

          I suggest some hypothesis housecleaning.

        • MR

          You act like morality is a thing. Morality is simply a label to describe a complex interaction of actions, intent, consequences and judgment that people, people, individuals make and then discuss collectively. It doesn’t exist out there. It only exists in the minds of individuals.

        • It only exists in the minds of individuals.

          Hold on–that would make it subjective

        • MR

          Yup. That’s pretty much how everyone lives their life every day.

        • Paul

          So the materialistic worldview fails.

        • MR

          Worldview is one of your squishy terms. It means nothing.

          You’re deceitful. You fail. You have no evidence. You fail.

        • Greg G.

          Cognitive dissonance once again collapsed your brain into gibberish.

        • Pofarmer

          Read it again. Real slow. Take the car key out of your ear.

        • Greg G.

          People disagree because it would be impossible to know what an objective moral standard was even if it were possible for one to exist.

          Since we cannot know what the objective standard is, it may be the opposite of our subjective standards. Maybe it is immoral to not kill people and take their stuff, like the Bible instructs the Israelites to do to the Canaanites.

          PS: I now see that Bob beat me to some of this.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          People disagreeing is my point. If morality is objective, this cannot happen within the scope of our freewill actions.

        • Pofarmer

          If people disagree, how can morality be objective? If morality is objective, define what you mean, and demonstrate it.

        • Susan

          But that’s not a reason to think that morality is subjective.

          What is objective morality? What does it look like and how do you know it’s objective?

          How do you know something’s wrong?

          How do you show it’s objectively wrong?

          How do you know Yahwehjesus is right?

          What standard do you measure these things against?

        • MR

          Why does he need an objective standard? A simple human standard works for most of us.

        • Paul

          A simple human standard works for most of us.

          By human standard you mean an arbitrary, subjective one?

        • MR

          It’s not arbitrary, but it is subjective. Dependent on humans. If you had something better you’d demonstrate it; but we know you don’t, and you know you can’t.

        • Ask for a dictionary for Christmas. First task: look up “morality.”

        • Kodie

          Let’s not be stingy – Christmas is almost 8 month away.

          https://www.dictionary.com/browse/morality

        • “And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”

          You’re like after-Scrooge.

        • Kodie

          Thanks for the compliment.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Better than the arbitrary subjective one in the Bible.

        • Paul

          What do you mean by “better”? One that you would prefer?

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          One that doesn’t condone slavery sounds better to me, yes. If I’m going to arbitrarily pick a morality system, I’m not going to pick the Bible.
          I think the fact that YOU chose to go with the morality system of the Bible says something about you, and it’s not good.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe one that allows picking up sticks everyday without imposing the death penalty for one day of the week.

        • One that you would prefer?

          And your morality differs how?

        • Kodie

          You are a moron if you think you have any objective standard, or that there is an objective standard. Humans disagree about a lot of things, and may not always agree what is moral or immoral. There is no objective morality to appeal to, just your book written by primitive humans and your brainwashing to believe all of it is relevant in the present.

        • Paul

          You are a moron if you think you have any objective standard, or that there is an objective standard.

          And you’re using your subjective views to call me a moron? That’s why I’m not worried about being judged by subjective standards. If it’s all subjective, there really is no “right” side of history.

          Humans disagree about a lot of things, and may not always agree what is moral or immoral.

          That doesn’t make morality subjective. It would be a logical fallacy to conclude that morality is subjective just because 2 people disagree.

          There is no objective morality to appeal to

          Is that an objective statement? Can you demonstrate that? Bob and Greg G. haven’t been able to demonstrate that yet. Maybe you can.

        • Greg G.

          Bob and Greg G. haven’t been able to demonstrate that yet.

          You are making the claim of objective morality. You have the burden of proof. We have shown that every case is subjective judgement.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Just like slaveholders didn’t worry about being judged by subjective standards that said slavery was bad. They knew that the objective morality in the Bible told them slavery was perfectly fine.

        • Kodie

          You are using your subjective standards of morality to pretend you have some better foundation for your beliefs than I do.

        • Paul

          You are using your subjective standards of morality to pretend you have some better foundation for your beliefs than I do.

          If that statement is objective, you should be able to demonstrate it.

        • Kodie

          You are using your personal preference of your narrow slice of one particular religious backing without demonstrating it. The only reason you think your morality is more objective than mine is that you use your imaginary friend to pretend you have a universal foundation for the morality you believe is correct. That’s all religion is – a bully who says their dad is bigger than mine.

        • Greg G.

          Your explanations for objective morality are just your subjective wishes. You haven’t even come close to building a logical argument.

        • You’re interested in demonstrable facts? I’m glad to hear that.

          Since you’re a fan of objective morality and enjoy mocking subjective morality, you can clear up a lot by demonstrating objective morality. First, define it. Then show that it exists (I suggest taking an issue like abortion or SSM and show the objectively correct resolution). Be sure to show how this isn’t just your opinion but is indeed objective morality. Finally, show that humans can reliably access this objective morality.

        • MR

          If morality is objective, you should be able to demonstrate it.

        • Kodie

          Your subjective standards of morality are driven by your adherence to your cult. You make false accusations, you make false assertions, basically your entire concept of reality is warped by a poor regard for education and science. I know you truly believe your version of morality is correct, because WE ALL FEEL THAT WE ARE CORRECT. We feel what is wrong or right and behave according to that standard. You don’t even fucking understand this basically. What point is there trying to explain to your dense fucking skull to any extent? I know you feel sincerely that you are correct. That doesn’t make your morality OBJECTIVE, or BASED ON A DEITY. OR THAT THAT DEITY EXISTS.

          I mean, how fucking stupid are you that you can’t clue in to what this adult discussion is about?

          You cannot defend objective morality, so you keep being insulting stupid.

        • Paul

          You make false accusations, you make false assertions..

          What false accusations? I’ve asked questions about your views on morality, but can you name a false accusation? You on the other hand have falsely claimed that I hate women, among others…

        • Kodie

          You do hate women. You don’t like to think that you do, but your intentions demonstrate that you do. Your religion protects you from the consequences of voicing your opinions as though they are the moral law!

          Your accusations that we have no moral standard if it’s not objective? That we are immoral, that we have to support subjective morality as though it’s not totally fucking obvious, but you keep being the typical slimy evasive Christian you are, not to mention, too stupid to understand concepts adults speak to one another about without bringing your childish input. Religion has retarded your comprehension of the world, so no need to take you seriously.

        • Paul

          You do hate women.

          Your inferences are not facts.

          Your accusations that we have no moral standard if it’s not objective?

          I never accused anyone of having no moral standard. I assumed you have a subjective view of morality, just like you and others stated you did. I just pointed out the inconsistencies of that view.

        • Greg G.

          I just pointed out the inconsistencies of that view.

          It is obvious that there are different moralities from different people which makes them subjective so not all are objective. They may be inconsistent with one another. So what? Until you show that there an objective morality, they are not inconsistent with that.

        • Kodie

          You didn’t point out any inconsistencies in subjective morality, nor did you defend objective morality being true. Your ACTIONS, BELIEFS, and BEHAVIORS have a real-life consequence, which you don’t want to face. You deny human judgment of your actions, which means you do not give a fuck about what happens to people when your beliefs manifest in action. You want your imaginary friend to love you, because you believe your morals have to be absolute, but really, they belong to a subjective cult’s interpretations of a book written by HUMANS! You are only being judged by other humans.

        • Is that an objective statement? Can you demonstrate that? Bob and Greg G. haven’t been able to demonstrate that yet.

          Huh?? You’re the one making the claim for objective morality.

          Why don’t you man up and admit publicly that you made a statement that now, after sober reflection, you can’t defend?

        • Paul

          Huh?? You’re the one making the claim for objective morality.

          And you and everyone else on this blog is making a claim for subjective morality. But you’ve never demonstrated it.

        • Subjective morality is the null hypothesis. You’re the one making the remarkable claim, Einstein. You must defend it.

          Go.

        • Paul

          Subjective morality is the null hypothesis.

          Is that an objective statement?

        • We’re talking about objective morality, not objective something-else.

          All these tangents make me wonder if this is deliberate–you know you’ve painted yourself into a corner, and you’re desperately tossing out “look over there!”s to change the subject away from your inability to justify objective morality. But that can’t be, can it?

        • epeeist

          All these tangents make me wonder if this is deliberate

          “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

        • Paul

          We’re talking about objective, not objective something-else.

          Yes, but you said “Subjective morality is the null hypothesis.” Let me phrase the question this way: How do you know that?

        • It’s the simpler claim. A standard that’s exists “out there” or is grounded by a supernatural deity needs a lotta evidence. I encourage you to provide some.

        • Greg G.

          Because humans have different morality judgments based on their subjective reasoning. We know it exists. There should be no question about that.

          But we do not know there is an objective morality. There is no evidence of an objective morality. We do not know how to learn anything about the objective morality. So we cannot know it if it exists.

          The null hypothesis for invisible pink unicorns is that they do not exist. But we know they are invisible because we cannot see them. We know they are pink by faith. You can do no better than that for arguing for objective morality.

        • Paul

          Subjective morality is the null hypothesis.

          So it’s a hypothesis. You’re supposing it is true and not suggesting that it is actually true, correct? If it was true, you’d be able to demonstrate it.

        • Greg G.

          Think before you respond. Do you think all hypotheses are false?

          The null hypothesis is the initial position on something when you have no evidence for said something. It is the only rational position until you have evidence.

          The null hypothesis is actually true for all imaginary things.

          The way to disprove the null hypothesis is to provide evidence for the existence of the thing.

          You make lots of claims and provide no evidence. You seem to live in your imagination.

        • Paul

          Do you think all hypotheses are false?

          Of course elements of truth (the facts, the evidence) go into hypotheses, but the hypotheses have to be tested first. If subjective morality is the hypothesis, it must be tested.

        • Greg G.

          The topic is the “null hypothesis”, not hypotheses in general. Stay on topic so you can think.

          You can’t really test the null hypothesis until you have evidence or a way to evaluate it. Until then, the null hypothesis is the only rational position. Anything else is a flight of imagination.

          Consider the “Flying Purple People Eater”. It has one long horn and one eye. it eats purple people. What is the hypothesis for its existence? Naturally, it is that it does not actually exist. That is the null hypothesis. Is it rational to have any other position on the matter?

          How would you test it? What evidence is there to eliminate the null hypothesis?

          The only way would be to find a creature with one long horn, one eye, and that it eats purple people. We we need to have evidence that purple people exist because, until then, the null hypothesis for purple people is that they do not exist either.

          Now shut up about the null hypothesis until you understand it. It is not a threat to any belief. The threat to belief is the lack of evidence and evidence to the contrary.

        • Paul

          Until then, the null hypothesis is the only rational position.

          How are you determining it to be rational? Would you say that “subjective morality” is an axiom?

        • Greg G.

          I just explained it in very simple terms. Read it again and again, over and over, until you get it.

          Evidence is how we determine whether things are real or just some wild thought that popped into your head. Without evidence, you cannot distinguish reality from imagination.

          If you do not understand the difference between rational and irrational (and it is becoming apparent that you do not) then go live in your own irrational, imaginary world and leave us real people alone.

          How would it be rational to believe that Flying Purple People Eaters exist if you do not have evidence for them?

          If you had good evidence that Flying Purple People Eaters existed, it would be irrational to not believe they existed.

        • Paul

          Evidence is how we determine whether things are real or just some wild thought that popped into your head. Without evidence, you cannot distinguish reality from imagination.

          And your worldview is what you use to interpret the evidence.

          You can’t really test the null hypothesis until you have evidence or a way to evaluate it.

          So there’s no way to test the validity of subjective morality. It’s just assumed. Much like an axiom.

        • Grimlock

          Just a quick reminder. I’ve been hoping you’d get back to this comment of mine regarding the arbitrariness of theistic morality.

        • Paul

          What makes you think it’s arbitrary?

        • Grimlock

          Read the comment I linked to.

        • Greg G.

          The underlined text is a link to the comment. Read the comment instead of asking a stupid question that would be clear if you had read the comment first.

        • MR

          Methinks Paul is just here to yank chains.

        • Greg G.

          Sure, it’s all he has but he is the one on a chain.

        • Pofarmer

          He sucks at it. He’s doing more damage to his position than he realizes, and I think any honest reader could see it.

        • MR

          He uses the tactics of a 15- year- old. He’s not here for honest examination.

        • Pofarmer

          Yep, I’m thinking he’s either pretty old, or pretty young. I could see a Campus Crusade type using these arguments.

        • Kodie

          There seems to be a cult game plan:

          1. Say these things [list of basic assertions]
          2. Don’t let them corner you – everything they tell you is a lie.
          2a. Flip everything back on them, change the subject any time you feel like it.
          3. Atheists will not turn into Christians anyway – because they’re too wicked.
          4. You win!

        • Kodie

          I’m still waiting for the first honest Christian. Paul makes Norm look smart.

        • Kodie

          I would not say he exactly sucks at what he’s doing. He sucks at knowing anything. He is the perfect Christian puppet, because he follows a plan and never gets flustered with trying to defend his position intellectually. He knows that atheists are too wicked to convert, and don’t give the answers to the fixed questions he asks, which he doesn’t seem to know make no fucking sense, or that his apprehension of atheist arguments against Christian assertions is ridiculously misinformed.

          While Paul has demonstrated what a Christian idiot he is, and I do agree he is doing more damage to his position than he realizes, I don’t think there are honest Christians…. there might be honest seekers of information, but no Christians seem to come here with the concept of an intellectual debate or the prospect that they might find convincing counter-arguments. Most Christians arguing seem to think they are winning because their stellar “arguments” fail to convince atheists, and rationalize why, so they are always in a self-deceit of denial that their church elders predicted accurately, thus confirming the elders’ credibility to the pawn, but they are all pawns, confirming their bias against atheists by showing up, saying some bullshit they believe, listening to no one, changing the subject as much as they can, and obviously failing to convince any atheist. Which they knew would happen.

          Paul is pretty good at staying out of the fire, and he spells correctly and uses proper grammar. But all theists here make more atheists than they realize, just how stupid they sound.

        • Pofarmer

          A book I think you might enjoy is “The God Virus.” I have it on Kindle. I wish there were some way I could loan it to you.

        • Greg G.

          You could send her your Kindle.

        • Pofarmer

          Considering that it’s a kindle app, on my ipad, and I’m seriously addicted to that thing…………

        • Kodie

          There’s a chance I wouldn’t get around to reading it anyway, but thanks for the suggestion. I can get it on hoopla from the library.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’ve been reading through the entire comment section and yes, I agree. Paul is going round and round. He’s trolling at this point.

        • Greg G.

          And your worldview is what you use to interpret the evidence.

          No, you let the evidence speak for itself and set your “worldview” aside.

          So there’s no way to test the validity of subjective morality. It’s just assumed. Much like an axiom.

          Pay attention. We observe that people have different moralities. Some think eating with your right hand is proper because wiping with the left hand is proper. It is subjecive within their culture. (Mind you that is one example. Don’t go thinking it is the only difference between moralities.)

          So we observe subjective morality. That is evidence for subjective morality. The evidence makes it rational to believe that there are subjective moralities and irrational to believe there are no subjective moralities.

          We have no evidence for objective morality. We have pleaded with to define “objective morality” and pleaded with you to provide evidence for it. Defining it in terms of god thingies means you still have to show it is objective, rather than a subjective morality of the god thingy, and provide evidence that the god thingies exist. Nobody has ever been able to do that. The concept of the supernatural realm was invented to provide cover for the lack of evidence.

          You have only proved that yoy have a subjective morality that permits lying to yourself and others that yours is objective.

          Humans are capable of thinking outside of their “worldview”. It is how you can understand another person by considering the other’s viewpoint. You do not have that ability because you fear to open your mind. Your cognitive dissonance kicks in and shuts down your thinking. Do not let it. Think harder. Develop the ability to see other points of view.

        • Paul

          No, you let the evidence speak for itself…

          No, the evidence doesn’t speak for itself. That’s a reification fallacy.

          There are facts and there are inferences. Inferences are not facts.

          Payattention. We observe that people have different moralities. Some think eating with your right hand is proper because wiping with the left hand is proper. It is subjecive within their culture. (Mind you that is one example. Don’t go thinking it is the only difference between moralities.)

          So we observe subjective morality.

          I’ve explained this before: It is true that different cultures can disagree about what is moral. That’s a fact. Two individuals can disagree on what is moral (You and I disagreeing on abortion, for example). It’s a fact that we disagree. But that’s not the issue I was getting at. Let’s say culture A says murder is right and culture B says murder is wrong. Does that mean that the ethical value of murder can be whatever they want it to be? Can they both be right at the same time? Who’s right? As this article says(and others):

          “That’s clearly a very difficult question to answer. But here’s what we can conclude: it’s intellectually lazy (and perhaps false) to say ‘morality is all just a matter of opinion’.”
          http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~alatus/phil1200/RelativismObjectivism.html

          It’s not just that university website saying that either. I’ve head basically the same thing from this philosophy course:

          https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/the-big-questions-of-philosophy.html

        • Susan

          I’ve explained this before.

          Paul, I’m going to repeat these questions every time I see you comment because you continue to dodge them.

          What is objective morality, how do you know it’s objective and what does it have to do with Yahwehjesus?

        • I’ve explained this before: It is true that different cultures can disagree about what is moral. That’s a fact. Two individuals can disagree on what is moral (You and I disagreeing on abortion, for example). It’s a fact that we disagree.

          Yup. So much for the idea of morality that is (1) objective (that is, “valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not,” as WLC puts it) and (2) reliably accessible by anyone.

          But that’s not the issue I was getting at. Let’s say culture A says murder is right and culture B says murder is wrong.

          Bad example, since murder is defined to be killing that is wrong, but I think I know what you mean.

          Does that mean that the ethical value of murder can be whatever they want it to be? Can they both be right at the same time? Who’s right?

          Huh?? No, they can’t both be objectively right at the same time because there’s no evidence for objective morality! You’re determined to find a predicament, but it’s only there because you put it there.

          If you’ll think back on how it worked out the last time you had an argument, you and your antagonist go back and forth, often leaving you unchanged in your position but sometimes either with some new ideas or insights or with a different opinion.

        • Greg G.

          No, the evidence doesn’t speak for itself. That’s a reification fallacy.

          There are facts and there are inferences. Inferences are not facts.

          Evidence is fact. You draw conclusions from fact. If you draw your inference using a valid logical sequence, your conclusion is true, if your premises are true.

          The Reification Fallacy is what one should avoid but it is the whole basis of theism.

          With critical thinking, one considers all the possible explanations for the evidence. Creationist religitards only consider it from their worldview. You know that is wrong to do, so stop doing it. Think outside the box that religitards want you to be in.

          It is often possible to come up with more than one explanation so you consider the implications of what would be the case if that were correct. For example, our boss was finding out about things that he couldn’t possible know. A coworker figured that it was one of three other coworkers being a snitch so he told each of them a different story. When the boss mentioned one of them, he knew who the snitch was.

          Another example is Einstein’s Theory that explained many things but also said that light would be affected by gravity. Some astronomers knew there was going to be a solar eclipse and there would be a certain star that would be behind the edge of the sun but, if Einstein’s formula was correct, the star would be visible when the moon blocked the sun’s light. The astronomers spread out over the path of totality to be sure some of them would have a clear view. They were able to collect a lot of data which showed that the star was seen precisely where Einstein’s Theory predicted it would be seen. That confirmed that his theory was not incorrect but all theories that didn’t have light being affected by gravity were proved wrong.

          Theism is not rigorous enough to make predictions. It is useless.

          It is true that different cultures can disagree about what is moral. That’s a fact. Two individuals can disagree on what is moral (You and I disagreeing on abortion, for example). It’s a fact that we disagree. But that’s not the issue I was getting at.

          The issue is not that I do not understand what you are getting at, I think you are wrong. You know that people have different moralities. It is the case that the is one objective morality or zero objective moralities. All the others are subjective moralities so there can be no question that subjective moralities exist. You have to show that there is one objective morality without resorting to the Reification Fallacy.

          Let’s say culture A says murder is right and culture B says murder is wrong. Does that mean that the ethical value of murder can be whatever they want it to be? Can they both be right at the same time? Who’s right?

          It is subject to the culture and its situation. There are tribes who live in the high mountains of New Guinea where few other animals live so it is a challenge to find enough protein. There are few insects but they are all considered to be food. No tribe has excess food to share. Each tribe has its own territory. Being found in a different tribe’s territory is a capital offense. It is considered immoral to let such a person live because they are a threat to your family, either planning an attack or stealing your family’s food.

          We all want to survive and to thrive so we have a morality to ensure that for ourselves and our neighbors, though we would tend to put our own family ahead of our neighbors. There can be certain choices that are objectively better than other choices to reach that goal. The New Guinea tribes want the same but are in a tougher situation for survival where the choice to murder a stranger on sight is an objectively better choice than risking the lives of friends and family.

          Do you think it is objectively immoral to beat someone to death if they come into your house? Exodus 22:2 says it is subject to whether it is dark out.

          There are many subjective moralities. If there is an objective morality, there cannot be another one, so there are less than two objective moralities. You have yet to establish that there is one objective morality. You have yet to establish how we can make a distinction between an objective morality and a subjective one. It is as if you know you cannot do so because you do not even try.

          Oh, a university philosophy course. Present the argument made. From what I can see, the dude makes theistic arguments. He would have to prove a deity exists, else all of those arguments are founded on one premise that is not shown to be true so none of those conclusions are reliable.

        • Kodie

          What grade did your teachermom pull you out of public school? 2nd or 3rd grade? You don’t even know what a null hypothesis is, so google it before you diarrhea your pathetic miscomprehension again. You cannot be taken seriously, having outed yourself as a dumb fuck.

        • Paul

          Again with the assumptions and name calling. Maybe you should google “rational argument.”

        • Kodie

          You have given nothing in terms of a rational argument. You debate like a 2-year-old. It’s clear you’re very behind in your education, and only here to troll. So fuck you, fuck off. I don’t think you have a clue, so you cannot be taken seriously.

        • Greg G.

          The only evidence you have ever provided in this forum is that you are a dumb fuck. That is not an assumption at this point.

        • Susan

          Again with the assumptions and name calling.

          Again, no assumptions. As you were here before, provided nothing for your case, ignored responses to your questions and responded to none of the questions asked, you’ve shown yourself to be an ignorant ass, who has no interest in learning anything about the subjects he brings up, and less interest in supporting his claims.

          Worse, you ran away and came back only to hit the reset button.

          name calling

          If you persist in the same behaviour, it’s only a matter of time before a reasonable person starts to call you names. Try engaging in the subject matter.

          Maybe you should google “rational argument”

          Maybe you should provide one.

        • Kodie

          You are TOO DUMB. You don’t even know what the null hypothesis means, and you mock it for being “just a hypothesis”? Holy shit, go to school!

          This discussion is over your dumb fucking head, so I hope you get banned soon just for your own sake. If you keep posting, just know that educated people know how fucking dumb you actually are.

          Why are you so uneducated, man?

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm. Multiple posters have demonstrated that morality is subjective, ad nauseum. You’ve even noticed it, but have only been able to respond with more sea lioning. I’ve even pointed out that morality is generally considered to be intersubjective, ie generally agreed upon within groups. Now. We have perfectly good theories for morals and morality without appealing to something “objective” which you’ll neither define nor defend. You’re sloppy. You’re shallow. You’re making the arguments of a brain washed muppet. You’re generally being a turd. You can change that.

        • Pofarmer
        • Why are you wallowing in this? You just enjoy humiliating yourself?

          Admit that you can’t defend objective morality and move on. That you have no defense for your remarkable claim only means that we’ll continue to taunt and laugh at your inability to support your claim.

        • Paul

          Moral absolutes is my axiom, like subjective morality is your axiom.

        • Pick a moral claim, and defend it. At some point, my pleasant demeanor may erode, and I’ll ban you for failing to defend your position.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It’s more accurate to say that you’ll ban him for failing to even try to defend his position.

        • Pofarmer

          If I’m going to take a controversial position, like, say, Jesus mythicism. I’m prepared to defend it. I don’t just spew out “Jesus wasn’t real….!!!!!!” ad nauseum. How hard is it to understand that if you are willing to state a position, you should understand the implications and arguments of that position, and of the other guys, as well?

        • Paul

          We already talked about abortion. What other issue do you want to talk about?

          You’re obviously familiar with Dr. Craig’s argument. Are you aware that when you say “I see no evidence for objective morality.”, you’re actually agreeing with Dr. Craig? He says this on page 179 of Reasonable Faith. “In short, on an atheistic, naturalistic worldveiw, there just seems to be no basis for affirming the existence of objective morals and duties.”

          You defined objective morality the way Dr. Craig did, but he also says “The way in which moral theorists test competing ethical theories is by assessing how well they cohere with our moral experience. I take it that in our moral experience we do apprehend a realm of objective moral values and duties, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects. Just as it is impossible for us to get outside our sensory input to test its veridicality, so there is no way to test independently the veridicality or our own moral perceptions….there is no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of our own physical world. In the absence of some defeater, we rationally trust our perceptions, whether sensory or moral.”

        • Susan

          What other issue do you want to talk about?

          What is objective morality and how do you know it’s objective?

          What does it have to do with Yahwehjesus?

        • Paul

          What is objective morality and how do you know it’s objective?

          Go back and read the post you just responded to.

        • Susan

          Go back and read the post you just responded to.

          I read it Paul.

          Nowhere does it answer these questions. So, I’ll ask you again.

          What is objective morality, how do you know it’s objective and what does it have to do with Yahwehjesus?

        • Paul

          I read it Paul.

          From the post:

          “in our moral experience we do apprehend a realm of objective moral values and duties, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects.”

          Do you experience moral values and duties in your life?

        • Susan

          “in our moral experience we do apprehend a realm of objective moral values and duties, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects.”

          It’s an assertion. Without justification. Craig is claiming that his subjective “apprehension” indicates something “objective” without justifying it.

          Again, what is objective morality, how do you know it’s objective and what does Yahwehjesus have to do with it?

        • Pofarmer

          just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects.

          Good Lord. Paul certainly hasn’t dealt with much philosophy, has he?

        • MR

          Do you experience moral values and duties in your life?

          Objective ones? No. Do you? How do you know they are objective?

        • Pofarmer

          just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects.” Except we don’t even do that.

          Our Experience of Reality Is a Bunch of Hallucinations We Collectively Agree On

          https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xjbn3/consciousness-is-just-a-bunch-of-hallucinations-we-collectively-agree-on

        • MR

          Interesting video. I particularly like how they got the guy to experience his body in the mannequin’s body (starting about 4.15).

          I recently experienced a well-known phenomenon. I mean, I knew it existed and had tested it before, but it was fun to experience it when it caught me off guard. I was recently sleeping in a hotel room that was darker than my bedroom at home.

          I happened to move my arm across my face and saw the shadow of my arm as it passed over my closed eyes. Two things struck me, first that it seemed out of sync somehow, and second that it must have been too dark to see the shadow like that. I immediately recognized it as the phenomenon where our brain anticipates that there should be something there and fills in the visual sense for us.

          To test it, I picked up a book I had been reading before bed and placed it over my closed eyes. I then moved my arm back and forth, and sure enough, I could see the shadow pass back and forth across my eyes, even though it would have been impossible for me to see it through the book. I amused myself by doing this a couple times before rolling over and going to sleep.

          We all know that emotions can be intensified or lessened by drugs. We like to think that Love (capital-L) exists out there in the world, but as I’ve noted before, it’s just a label to describe the complex interaction of desire, attraction, compatibility, yadda-yadda-yadda. It doesn’t actually exist out there in the world. It isn’t an objective thing any more than morality is. Every parent believes capital-L Love exists until their daughter starts to date someone from the wrong side of the tracks and then, “It’s just hormones, honey; it will pass.” Same for “objective morality.”

          We know, we just fool ourselves all the time.

        • Kodie

          I might have told the story of how I was scared to death of my own mop. Because memories are also imperfect, it might have actually been a broom.

          When I enter my apartment, the door opens in to the left, and there is a small room to the right, with the doorway to the kitchen at that right corner, and I leave a light on if I’m coming home in the dark. So, I had a couple bags of stuff, plus a mop or broom I just bought, unlocked the door, and as I opened it, I screamed at what seemed to be someone coming at me from the kitchen, but was actually the head of my mop or broom right in front of me, that seemed to be coming toward me as soon as I opened the door to my apartment. I mean, I screamed loud like someone was coming for me. Senses are not perfect, and not necessarily immediately accurate.

          I can’t believe Paul never got fooled by his own senses in some weird way. Colors and depth perception and light play tricks on our eyes for sure. Memories can morph. Humans are not an accurate measuring tool, that’s why we have rulers and cameras and scales, etc.

        • Have you seen videos of cats and cucumbers? Someone will sneak one next to a cat eating from a bowl, and then when the cat turns toward it, it often leaps up in terror.

          Pretty mean, it seems to me, but it does give a little insight into how instinctive fear works.

        • MR

          That, or cucumbers are evil and only cats can sense it. I mean, that is how Christians think.

          “My Spidey-senses are tingling so it most be evil or morality or something.”

          This is how we’re taught to think.

        • Kodie

          Yes, it was just like cats with cucumbers. Aside, my cat always wants to know what I’m eating, and so I put everything I eat to her inspection. While not leaping in terror,, she does seem to find tomatoes to be the worst.

        • Smart cat. I don’t like tomatoes, either.

        • Kodie

          Is sliced turkey your favorite thing, or sour cream?

        • Pofarmer

          O.K. That’s a cool trick. I think a major problem is, that our perceptions of well, our perceptions, are less reliable than what we would like to believe.

        • Greg G.

          Do you experience moral values and duties in your life?

          Yes, subjectively and intersubjectively.

          Craig’s moral intuitions are not the same as yours or mine but he has no reason to think his are more valid nor do we so we cannot presume that is reliable for determining an objective moralith.

        • Greg G.

          Craig is doing the same thing you do. He assumes his moral views are objective. But the next guy with a different moral view can make the exact same argument that his morality is objective, and his argument is every bit as strong as Craig’s argument, which is therefore fallacious.

          Try again.

        • Kodie

          Go back and say all that in your own words. You clearly are a pawn and a sheep with no brain.

        • We already talked about abortion. What other issue do you want to talk about?

          ?? Objective morality! I want you to define what you mean by “objective morality,” show that objective moral truth exists, and show that we humans can reliably access it.

          Uh . . . I have asked for this before, right?

          Are you aware that when you say “I see no evidence for objective morality.”, you’re actually agreeing with Dr. Craig? He says this on page 179 of Reasonable Faith. “In short, on an atheistic, naturalistic worldveiw, there just seems to be no basis for affirming the existence of objective morals and duties.”

          Is this a surprise? He says that an atheist has no grounds for claiming objective morality, and I’m happy to agree. Nevertheless, he still thinks that objective morality exists. Curiously, like you, he provides no evidence of such a remarkable claim. Great minds think alike, I guess.

          You defined objective morality the way Dr. Craig did

          I always do. His definition is clear enough.

          there is no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of our own physical world. In the absence of some defeater

          You mean like your inability to show that objective moral values exist?

          You and the great Dr. Craig like to handwave about how empty a world without objective morality would be, and yet when it comes to actually provide evidence, we get crickets.

          Look up “morality” in the dictionary and see if you find support for your position.

        • Paul

          Nevertheless, he still thinks that objective morality exists.

          Yes, and he explains why:

          “The way in which moral theorists test competing ethical theories is by assessing how well they cohere with our moral experience. I take it that in our moral experience we do apprehend a realm of objective moral values and duties, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects. Just as it is impossible for us to get outside our sensory input to test its veridicality, so there is no way to test independently the veridicality or our own moral perceptions….there is no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of our own physical world.”

        • Yeah, you already gave us that. No, he doesn’t explain why. He has a bunch of words that just dance around the issue and embarrass him.

          I want you to define what you mean by “objective morality,” show that objective moral truth exists, and show that we humans can reliably access it. But I’ve already told you that, haven’t I?

          This is the problem. You’ve dug yourself into a hole. You need to address that problem instead of hoping we won’t notice.

        • Greg G.

          My sensory perceptions are as reliable as Craig’s so I should expect my perception of objective reality to be as valid as his. The guy in the insane asylum who perceives snakes on him can expect his perception of objective reality to be as valid as his. Likewise, there is no reason for me to doubt my moral perception is not objective, either, except that the argument fails when everybody does not arrive at the same morality.

          Since there is no way to determine what an objective morality would look like, we wouldn’t know one if we saw it so we can’t know what is objectively moral and what is not. Our own perceptions of what seems to be moral might be the opposite of objective reality for all we know.

        • Grimlock

          Oh, leaning on moral intuitions, are we?

          Consider this example, borrowing from Counter Apologist,

          Two humans express love for each other. This expression of love has the same basic motivations behind it, and the same effects on both parties. According to Divine Command Theory if god exists, this can be called good. However if god does not exist, this exact same situation cannot be called good.

          Clearly, this is really rather counter-intuitive. Thus, our moral intuitions, at least for some of us, give us good reason to dismiss God as a foundation for morality.

        • Paul

          You mean like your inability to show that objective moral values exist?

          No, like “moral values and duties are just illusory”

          Dr Craig goes on to say “Ehicist David Brink thinks that the objectivity of moral values is the default position: ‘There might be no objective moral standard,..But this would be a revisionary conclusion, to be accepted only as the result of extended and compelling argument that the commitments of ethical objectivity are unsustainable.’ To which Dr. Craig agrees.

          So you think subjective morality is the default position. They say that objective morality is the default position. Both sides want the other side to show they are wrong. Seems like we’re at an impasse. Want to talk about something else? I subscribe to a deontological system of ethics. How about you? Tell me about your system of eithics: is it duty-based or end result-based?

        • Susan

          I subscribe to a deontological system of ethics

          Which does not give you objective morality.

          Paul..

          What is objective morality, how do you know it’s “objective” and what does Yahwehjesus have to do with it?

        • Paul

          What is objective morality,

          Once again, from the post you said that you read:

          “in our moral experience we do apprehend a realm of objective moral values and duties, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects.”

          Do you experience moral values and duties in your life? If so, do you have any reason to accept them as illusory?

        • No, like “moral values and duties are just illusory”

          That’s not my position.

          Dr Craig goes on to say “Ehicist David Brink thinks that the objectivity of moral values is the default position: ‘There might be no objective moral standard,..But this would be a revisionary conclusion, to be accepted only as the result of extended and compelling argument that the commitments of ethical objectivity are unsustainable.’ To which Dr. Craig agrees.

          You do realize that I don’t give a shit what Dr. Craig says, right? If he makes a compelling argument, that he was the one who said it doesn’t matter. Just give me a compelling argument. No argument from authority, please.

          So you think subjective morality is the default position. They say that objective morality is the default position.

          You’re tap dancing again.

          Here’s what you need to do. Give me one comment with your response to my (perpetual) challenge: I want you to define what you mean by “objective morality,” show that objective moral truth exists, and show that we humans can reliably access it.

          Aren’t you embarrassed by your inability to respond? Doesn’t this tell you something that you must avoid the issue?

          Respond now before you forget.

          Both sides want the other side to show they are wrong. Seems like we’re at an impasse.

          No, not really. You’ve made a claim, repeatedly. You must defend your position, retract your position, or be banned.

        • Paul

          That’s not my position

          OK, so what you experience is not illusory. I would agree. So since it’s not illusory, it’s objective. That’s what Dr. Craig was saying when he said “moral values and duties are objective.”

          You’re tap dancing again.

          All I did was recap what was presented by both sides: “So you think subjective morality is the default position. They say that objective morality is the default position.”

          I want you to define what you mean by “objective morality,”

          Not illusory. Factual. Real.

          show that we humans can reliably access it.

          We do every day through personal experience. There’s no compelling reason to think those experiences are illusory.
          Reliability of the senses is also assumed in the scientific method. There would be no compelling reason to accept the results if we didn’t presuppose the reliability of our senses.

        • My patience has pretty much run out. I want you to define what you mean by “objective morality,” show that objective moral truth exists, and show that we humans can reliably access it.

          Do it. Now. Or else.

        • Paul

          I want you to define what you mean by “objective morality,”

          Not illusory. Factual. Real.

          show that objective moral truth exists, and show that we humans can reliably access it.

          We do every day through personal experience. There’s no compelling reason to think those experiences are illusory.

          Reliability of the senses is also assumed in the scientific method. There would be no compelling reason to accept the results if we didn’t presuppose the reliability of our senses.

          You asked me to define it. I defined it. You want me to show you that we can reliably access it. I’m telling you that we experience it every day and there is no compelling reason to think it’s illusory. I’m not sure what more you want. Did this somehow not answer what you wanted? Let me know if you need more clarification.

          Ultimately, this is your blog and you can ban people if you want.

        • MR

          Reliability of the senses is also assumed in the scientific method. There would be no compelling reason to accept the results if we didn’t presuppose the reliability of our senses.

          Not true. Science knows the senses are notoriously unreliable. You probably shouldn’t get your science from apologetics sites.

        • Wrong answer.

        • Susan

          Not illusory. Factual. Real.

          That doesn’t describe “objective morality”. You’ll have to explain what morality is and how it’s objective. Strange that although you claim to have it, you have avoided doing that as long as possible, and now that you’re being pushed, you are unable to do it.

          We do every day through personal experience.

          “Personal experience” is another way of saying “subjective”.

          You asked me to define it. I defined it.

          No, you didn’t.

          I’m telling you that we experience it every day

          You are telling us that we experience something every day that you haven’t defined, and that our “experience” means you can claim objective morality.

          Did this somehow not answer what you wanted?

          Of course it didn’t. You have been bluffing all along.

          What is objective morality, on what basis do you claim it is “objective” and what on Earth does it have to do with Yahwehjesus?

        • Greg G.

          Paul won’t be responding soon. He got eight-balled.

        • Pofarmer

          Thank goodness. It was honestly just getting good though, as he was at least attempting to answer.

        • Greg G.

          He seemed start copy and pasting. I don’t think he understood what he was saying either way.

        • epeeist

          I don’t think he understood what he was saying either way.

          This. He wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

          I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to say whether blasphemy was an objective moral wrong or not, my eventual aim was to move him on to trolley problems.

        • Susan

          He got eight-balled.

          That’s a shame.

          They spend so much time here getting away with creationist tactics (I will equivocate at will and demand perfect models from everyone else, and if they can’t provide them, I win).

          Everyone plays along. That’s too bad. They accept the burden of explaining morality, when they should never bother to do so, when someone claims to have ultimate access to it.

          Just when the focus was starting to be entirely aimed at him supporting his burden, he got banned.

          It’s very frustrating.

          I wished he were banned all along, until now, when he was finally being held accountable.

          Now, I wish he were here, finally having to be accountable.

        • Kodie

          Was he really going to start doing something else?

        • Susan

          Was he really going to start doing something else?

          Of course not. But he successfully shifted the burden and changed the subject for so long, and when that was finally becoming unsustainable, he got banned.

          When they finallly are forced to make their case, it’s frustrating that they get banned.

          Because that takes them off the hook.

          Which is a victory for them.

        • Pofarmer

          I have to beleive he would have simply pushed the reset button and continued on.

        • Susan

          I have to beleive he would have simply pushed the reset button and continued on

          I agree. But it would have been there on the record. In all of its ugly glory.

          Do you have any idea how many times he made demands on others to explain morality and they complied? And he got away with it?

          He was finally running out of mulligans and was being held accountable.

          He got away with dishonest tactics forever and finally, when he wasn’t going to any more, he got banned.

          Just saying. It’s frustrating.

        • Pofarmer

          i agree. The really crappy thing is he can delete his account and the whole thing basically dissapears.

        • epeeist

          Do you have any idea how many times he made demands on others to explain morality and they complied? And he got away with it?

          Got to say I think you are spot on with this. It is the old “there are problems with your position, therefore it is false, therefore I win by default” move. How to win without actually justifying your claims.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, thing is, there isn’t even a problem with the position of subjective morality. I don’t think theres a substantive problem with materialism or scientism either. The game is more like, “I’m going to declare there’s a problem. With your position and claim victory”‘ whether the problem is real or not.

        • epeeist

          The game is more like, “I’m going to declare there’s a problem. With
          your position and claim victory”‘ whether the problem is real or not.

          Ruefully admits that he has fallen for that one and hangs head in shame.

          Resolves to start with asking for support for creationist and similar positions from the off.

        • Kodie

          It’s round and round and round… probably I suggested to Bob he be banned, but I can see the badge of getting banned on an atheist site feeling like a win to a theist. I don’t know how best to deal with someone so brainwashed that they think getting banned means they were close to getting somewhere with us, and it got too hot for us to handle. I can’t even explain to someone like Paul that he made Norm seem smart, but maybe I’m forgetting how fucking stupid Norm was, but we let him go ages. We let the fake lawyer go ages. People who are never getting anywhere, and not comprehending a thing already said,

          As far as I’m concerned, all Christians are held responsible for defending their assertions as soon as they start posting, likely thinking we are coming from no experience with other Christians, or the wrong type of Christians, or strict Christian upbringings that we’re all rebelling against, I think this is in the FAQ or whatever Bob calls it. Wasserface, Jenna Black, I’m on a different computer now, but had quoted her mission statement of posting, to dispense with the concept of disbelief, like totally ignore anything we said, while proceeding straight to bloviating, asserting, and really not saying anything nobody else hasn’t heard before. That’s not exactly a paraphrase of what she meant, but it’s all they ever seem to do.

          That’s why I keep asking for the first honest Christian. Lying is winning, and they can lie for a minute or stay around lying for months, what difference does it make in how they feel they are winning? They’re going to become tiresome, be totally oblivious, and think their arguments are finally getting too close (while ignoring 100% of ours), and because we’re wicked atheists afraid the blood of Jesus Christ might actually touch us, rationalize that’s why they got banned.

        • epeeist

          When they finallly are forced to make their case, it’s frustrating that they get banned.

          But they never will make their case because they know SFA about the subject. Of course this doesn’t stop them thinking they actually know a lot about the subject, as this paper discusses.

        • Susan

          But they never will make their case because they know SFA about the subject.

          Yes. But they claim to know everything about the subject. In which case, they should be asked to explain it all.

          Instead of letting them ask a thousand questions, to which people respond thoughtfully, and their response is just to fold their arms and say “That’s not good enough.”

          Paul was finally being held accountable, and there he was with his pants down, and then he was banned. Which was an easy escape.

          Of course this doesn’t stop them thinking they actually know a lot about the subject

          Not just morality. Also, physics, biology and science in general.

          He claimed we were ruling out “an immaterial cause for quanta” and I asked him to show me how that would work.

          He never got back to me.

        • epeeist

          He claimed we were ruling out “an immaterial cause for quanta” and I asked him to show me how that would work.

          Science was another subject he had an SFA qualification.

          He never got back to me.

          He stopped conversations on science with me once I told him my responses were conditional on him answering on other topics, he never got back to me on any of them.

        • Kodie

          Changing the subject when they don’t have the answer puts us on the merry-go-round regardless. Ban anyone who stoops to that level.

          Being held accountable is a fantasy. They will never let themselves be accountable. Because no Christian is honest enough to face up.

        • epeeist

          Changing the subject when they don’t have the answer puts us on the merry-go-round regardless.

          The difficulty here is that of herding cats, there is a tendency for everyone to shoot off in different directions. This allows people like Paul to answer the questions he likes and ignore the rest.

        • Kodie

          Are we really trying to get Christians to say things, or to expose them as liars for everyone to see and mock?

        • Susan

          Are we really trying to get Christians to say things, or to expose them as liars for everyone to see and mock?

          I want them to be forced to be accountable for the claims they make.

        • Kodie

          I think we all do, that’s why they are famous for the reset or visit to Croyden.

        • Sample1

          Recently stepped outside the atheist/theist disqus neighborhood into the Word on Fire venue where Bishop Barron is sounding the trumpet to fight against mandatory reporting of child endangerment/harm when it involves the confessional.

          I can barely even talk about it.

          So I did. Fr. McArdle was a priest who harmed kids for decades. And for 25yrs he says he confessed that behavior to 30 different priests 1500 times. Always told to go and pray about it. Not one priest turned him in. Why? Because, essentially, their paradise after death would be in jeopardy. Think about how grotesquely constructed that mindset is. One would have to be a brain in a vat to think McArdle was the only one doing this or that those 30 priests were the only accomplices.

          Mike, faith free

        • MR

          There’s no way he was going to allow himself to be held accountable. He’s just another sock that keeps going round and round before hitting the reset button. Don’t worry, he’ll be back. But, personally, I hope he continues to get banned. It’s the same old shit, and it can’t be healthy for him either. Let someone else take up the sword for a while. We have nothing to learn from him.

        • Sample1

          Even if your God exists morality cannot be objective. All morality is ultimately subjective. Alex O’Connor has a logically concise explanation. Vid at bottom.

          And yes, that means that both William Lane Craig and Sam Harris are mistaken on their respective claims about morality (both say it can be objective but for different [bad] reasons). Still like Sam, still cringe at Craig.

          And I’ll take up Susan’s cause to also ask, every time I engage you until it is explained:

          What is objective morality, how do you know it’s objective and what does it have to do with Yahwehjesus? -Susan

          Mike, excommunicated

          https://youtu.be/6tcquI2ylNM

        • Right is right if no one is right, wrong is wrong if everyone is wrong.

          How precisely could the Truth, or anything, be based on your ego?

        • epeeist

          Reliability of the senses is also assumed in the scientific method.

          Citation required, otherwise you are talking bullshit.

        • Sadly, Paul is in the naughty corner.

          One trick I get tired of is an apologist making a claim and then hoping it goes away after the response isn’t what they’d liked. I let many instances slip, but Paul made an appeal to objective moral truth many times. And maybe he could even defend it based on some definition of “objective moral truth,” but he never did.

          He had his chance, and he blew it.

        • MR

          Paul made an appeal to objective moral truth many, many, many times. …maybe he could even defend it…, but he never did.

          I mean, just my subjective experience, but, FTFY.

        • I toyed with how many “many”s to use myself.

        • Kodie

          Paul’s brain is completely under someone else’s control, and doesn’t have a thought of his own. I’m not sad he’s gone.

        • Kodie

          https://kingofthehill.fandom.com/wiki/King_of_the_Ant_Hill?file=Tumblr_m5u9tdgtiF1qaxtglo1_500.jpg

          Like that time Bobby Hill became entranced by the queen in a fire ant colony, fed the ants sugar and set the queen free, as per her request, only to have the entire colony cover his body. So circle of life.

        • MR

          OK, so what you experience is not illusory.

          One can experience happiness but that doesn’t mean that happiness is a thing out in the world that fills you. It’s just your brain delivering dopamine, which you then interpret as happiness. You’re trying to interpret behaviors and instincts as things in themselves. There is no evidence for that. Show us that they objectively exist and aren’t just subjective feelings that we individually experience.

        • Kodie

          Your senses might tell you someone is in trouble and needs help, but what do you morally do? You are biased by the power of suggestion by your religion. Morally, someone might ignore someone begging for help or decide to help them, and that is not sense, that is subjective to who that other person is and how you emotionally feel if they deserve your help or not, and how you manifest that help. You would “help” a pregnant woman feel guilty enough to stay pregnant instead of have an abortion, because you hate women. Or at least, that’s how I feel about your moral decisions.

          Morality isn’t a sense, but a social influence. You are socially manipulated by your group to make different moral decisions than I do, and you are impervious to learning why someone might have another point of view! Your senses are not reliable! Your brain is hardly even reliable.

        • epeeist

          I subscribe to a deontological system of ethics.

          I tend towards a Rawlsian contractualism. Which is objective, Kantian deontological ethics or my Rawlsian contractualism, or are they both objective or neither?

        • Greg G.

          The argument from Craig that you presented proved that we cannot recognize an objective morality. At best, we can only elevate our own subjective morality to pretend it is objective. Al Capone and Eliot Ness could agree on an objective reality using their physical senses but they could not agree on an objective morality using their moral senses.

          Since Craig’s reasoning for objective morality is so fallacious that it proves the opposite case and Craig agrees with Brink, then Brink is wrong, too.

        • Greg G.

          I subscribe to a deontological system of ethics.

          Would you define a deontological system of ethics as a normative ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a series of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action?

          Craig seems to go the opposite way in the quote you provided above.

          “The way in which moral theorists test competing ethical theories is by assessing how well they cohere with our moral experience.”

          How does Craig do such tests? One can’t reckon an act right or wrong without knowledge of the expected consequences. Knowledge of the expected consequences comes from experience of actual consequences.

          Therefore a deontological system of ethics is either based on consequences of actions or complete ignorance. If the former, you have a system based on consequences that is defined as not based on consequences, therefore impossible, or simply no system at all.

        • Kodie

          One can’t reckon an act right or wrong without knowledge of the expected consequences.

          I think we usually can expect certain consequences to our actions, and prefer an outcome, that drives your moral decision. Sometimes, we do something so we feel good about ourselves, too, regardless of how it’s received, or if it’s not as much in the outcome as we hoped.

          1. If someone wants to oppose gay marriage because they do not agree that gays can fit their definition of marriage, are going to do things like do their little part to prevent the celebration from being as nice as the couple plans. If enough people are lawfully allowed in a community to prevent gay wedding celebrations from going off, if this behavior among business owners spread across the country, it would not keep gay couples from marrying, but it could make their weddings less spectacular. What is the moral decision of the straight couples? They could just do whatever they were going to do, or they could boycott those businesses and push back. You know, some of those straight couples who just do what they were going to do and patronize gay-unfriendly wedding vendors, also feel for gay couples who are denied those amenities. Some will not be sympathetic of course, and some will be so sympathetic that they downgrade the luster of their own wedding receptions because they refuse to patronize vendors unfriendly to marriage equality for gay couples.

          If we’re trying to make a moral decision, putting someone out of business to support a cause sounds cruel, doesn’t it? But as morality goes, we decide they deserve it, just like they make business decisions to make life harder for gay couples in some fundamental effort to drive gay people back in the closet and stop trying to take the concept of marriage away from Christian god-believers, who think marriage is something it’s not really.

          2. I forgot why I was numbering stuff.

          3. Profit!

        • Greg G.

          I think we usually can expect certain consequences to our actions, and prefer an outcome, that drives your moral decision.

          So do I but that is the opposite of the deontological system of ethics that Paul brought up.

        • Kodie

          Religious people are all fucked up as to consequences, like, oblivious, totally. There are definitely consequences, and I think carefully worked out manipulations and plots, that most Christians are meant to ignore. If things work out the way they probably will, like when you deny gay couples your services en masse, or make it harder for women to get birth control, oh well, those are the consequences people who defied “deontological system of ethics” get and deserve! When I or anyone else tells these fuckers they hate women and they deny that they do, when I work out that they are pawns in a larger system that funnels a greater number of adoptable healthy white babies for “good Christian homes”, well you could say their offense at gay marriage is they are in competition for the best stock of infants, but they won’t say it. They will say it defies natural law and gay people should just get on their knees and pray to be rid of their sickness. They don’t THINK about their actions in terms of consequences, but it seems pretty carefully laid out to me to effect the consequences they desire.

          Of course, people will continue to have sex and occasionally get pregnant when they don’t mean to, and don’t want to. With birth control, the “accidents” will decrease significantly, depleting the supply. Gay people will not stop being gay, you can count on it, and so can the “deontological system”, it’s just a system of shaming people who won’t change being people, so as long as you can demonize a segment of society, they won’t take up a percentage of the available babies.

          They count on reality to keep humming along, and use their leverage of shaming people to pretend to have a higher standard, socially outcasting people they don’t think are perfect enough to belong here, and take more than their share. Like bullies stealing lunch money.

        • epeeist

          We already talked about abortion.

          Why is it always abortion or murdering babies?

          Let’s try another example:

          Is blasphemy an objective moral wrong? If so, why is it wrong and how do you know that it is?

        • Greg G.

          “The way in which moral theorists test competing ethical theories is by assessing how well they cohere with our moral experience. I take it that in our moral experience we do apprehend a realm of objective moral values and duties, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of objectively existing physical objects. Just as it is impossible for us to get outside our sensory input to test its veridicality, so there is no way to test independently the veridicality or our own moral perceptions….”

          Craig is assuming his own subjective morals are actually objective.

          “there is no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of our own physical world. In the absence of some defeater, we rationally trust our perceptions, whether sensory or moral.”

          Has this guy never seen an optical illusion? Has he never misunderstood the lyrics of a song? Has he never heard of an automobile accident caused by someone failing to see an oncoming vehicle? Has he never heard of people’s convictions being overturned because the eyewitness testimony turned out to be incorrect?

        • Greg G.

          There is evidence that for subjective morality just from the observation that different people have different moralities. It is not an axiom. You don’t get to say your morality is not just another subjective morality by calling it an axiom.

        • MR

          He’s learned false dichotomies from the apologetics sites. I wonder if he considers propagating such falsehoods to be objectively wrong. A person who uses such arguments is more interested in winning an argument than they are in finding out the truth.

        • Max Doubt

          “Moral absolutes is my axiom,…”

          Yet across days and days of this conversation, with at least one person asking you every day to define those moral absolutes, you’re still too dishonest and/or too much of a coward to do that. The impediment to progress in this conversation belongs to you.

          But because most of us are here to learn things we don’t already know, how ’bout you bring us up to speed and spell out those moral absolutes and back your – necessarily subjective – opinion with some sort of reasoning. So far you’re just making unsupported assertions.

        • AtticusOSullivan

          Is each moral absolute you subscribe to an axiom? Or are you stating that “objective morality” is your axiom and just worded it badly? If axioms are objective, then your axiom and the one you ascribe to Bob are both objective and your argument or your definitions are incoherent.

          Edited to add: I think you’ve just admitted that you do not have evidence or an argument for “objective morality” or “moral absolutes”. You’ve simply assumed them. So why are you so coy about your epistemology and, dare I say, your presuppositions?

        • AtticusOSullivan

          It sounds as if you’re trying to make the Transcendental Argument for God https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_God without actually doing the work of actually stating and supporting the argument.

        • Greg G.

          It has been demonstrated. In a universe with no moral agents, there is no morality. If there are moral agents, that is, minds that are capable of forming a morality, the morality will be subject to the vulnerabilities of the minds and the bodies that contain the mind. If the minds are incapable of being killed, there would be no morality about killing. A morality regarding killing would be a subjective morality for a moral agency that is subject to being killed, so it cannot be an objective moral event.

          But you are incapable of processing these thoughts because you have been brainwashed. Your cognitive dissonance will shut down your brain before you can arrive at the conclusion.

        • Reminds me of the Star Trek episode with the perfect robot that was imperfect.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6o881n35GU

        • Greg G.

          Too bad Paul doesn’t have a prime function.

        • Kodie

          Please go ahead and demonstrate any objective standard of morality. You have been clucking like chicken for days and days about this, but have not said a goddamned fucking thing!

        • Greg G.

          You do not need an objective standard to judge things to be wrong. A subjective standard works, too.

        • Rudy R

          Is stoning women a moral action according to the moral standards you abide? Is slavery?

        • Paul

          For the sake of argument, if morals are malleable and subjective, why would those things be wrong? Or are you saying that you would just prefer that people not do those things? Why do you want to use your subjective, personal preferences to judge what God says: Thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal, etc..

        • judge what God says: Thou shalt not murder

          Huh? “Thou shalt not murder” is a tautology. “Murder” = “killing that is morally wrong,” so Yahweh (or was it Elohim?) is saying, “it’s immoral to do any killing that’s immoral.”

          Christianity makes a big show about giving humanity the morals it already had. Thanks. Very helpful.

        • MR

          That’s an interesting point. Murder doesn’t get defined. And, for example, nowhere is abortion defined as murder, yet stoning rebellious children would certainly be considered murder nowadays. So much subjectivity and so little time to sort it all out.

        • It’s not so hard. Put your faith in Jesus. Easier: do what commenter Paul would have you do.

        • Paul

          Greg G. said he decides what is right and wrong. Why don’t you become a follower of Greg G.?

        • Why don’t you defend your claims about objective morality? Looks like you have nothing.

        • Greg G.

          If I can do it with my subjective judgement, why can’t you?

        • Greg G.

          Or are you saying that you would just prefer that people not do those things?

          Yes, it is my subjective preference as well as most other people’s subjective preference, and you, too.

          Somebody wrote that God said “do not kill” etc, but we know the events described that led to that never happened, so it was written according to somebody’s preference which they took from an older culture’s preferences. But reasons to kill and justifications for killing are also included in the writings, which proves it cannot be objective.

        • MR

          Please don’t forget the biological/psychological factors; it’s not just subjective preferences, like the ice cream example, or even cultural preferences. Most species don’t go around indiscriminately slaughtering their own kind (or even other species) for no particular reason. We don’t go around murdering simply because we “choose” not to, there is usually some biological/psychological factor that would trigger such behavior.

        • Greg G.

          We do have that. It comes from evolution as a social species. If we were from an asocial species, we would have little to no compunction about killing a rival and eating his liver with fava beans.

        • MR

          Greg, have you by chance read Jonathan Haidt’s book, “The Righteous Mind.” I recommend it if you haven’t already read it.

        • Kodie

          I would call war murder – soldiers are commanded to kill anyone who fits a political description, or however it works. We know from some truces that soldiers from opposing sides can find the humanity in each other. Being ordered to kill, being ordered to set up situations which might kill innocent people, i.e., calling it “collateral damage”, while erecting monuments to children like Martin Richard,

          https://www.boston.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/martins-park

          So, this kid was only 8, and died from some bonehead terrorists… I mean, it bothers me sometimes when youth of victims is exploited at the cost of actually forgetting the other victims who died, and the rest of the victims whose lives were affected by the trauma and injury from the bomb. And sometimes, it bothers me that victims of a famous tragedy overshadow victims of disease or whatever, people who have some things in common, like being an amputee, but are not able to relate to each other’s circumstances toward having the same outcome.

          In other countries, US soldiers have and do injure and kill children to accomplish their mission, and we don’t feel like we’re the terrorists. Our mission is righteous? I am only to assume it is. I don’t have a military background, so I don’t know if there is a better way to accomplish certain tasks. Terrorists have their own ideas what is right. I’m not saying any of this is right, I just think, well, Hitler thought what he was doing was right. He thought this was the right way to accomplish his societal goals. From accounts I’ve read and heard of concentration camps, I don’t know why they let anyone live if they could so easily kill anyone who didn’t fit into their society, so can you even say they are all bad? The holocaust was of course a nightmare, but if the goal was ridding humanity of these “imperfect” groups of people, why were any spared, why were they in camps for years on end until the end of the war, while others were tricked into groups for immediate execution? I am just taking a weird perspective to see even Nazis were only 98% bad, and not 100%.

          This comes up, and people say war is not murder, because …. I forget. War is a “special case” of killing that’s allowed, even if the victims don’t deserve to die. Soldiers are following orders to kill people who have been determined to mean us harm, and only want to cause us harm because we want to cause them harm. So killing them because they want to kill us because we want to kill them is totally not murder.

        • Kodie

          Because we’re all humans? Why would that be objective?

        • Kodie

          Why do you want to disguise your subjective, personal preferences as dictated by your imaginary friend?

        • Paul

          Why do you make assumptions?

        • Kodie

          Why do you make assumptions?

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          God doesn’t say anything. God hasn’t made that statement false so far.

        • Joe

          A moral means something is wrong, whether or not it is “malleable or subjective”.

          If the speed limit were to be randomly changed each day, if you exceed the limit on that particular day, you’d still get a fine.

        • Paul

          A moral means something is wrong, whether or not it is “malleable or subjective”.

          But what makes something wrong?

          If the speed limit were to be randomly changed each day, if you exceed the limit on that particular day, you’d still get a fine.

          If the speed limit is 55, that is objective. Any faster than 55 and you can get fined.

          If the law says you can get fined for driving fast, well that would be subjective.

        • We’re talking about objective moral truth, not laws. Let’s focus.

        • Paul

          Yes, I shouldn’t get distracted by Joe’s red herrings. Thanks.

        • Joe

          But what makes something wrong?

          It falls into the category of” wrongness”.

          If the speed limit is 55, that is objective. Any faster than 55 and you can get fined.

          If the law says you can get fined for driving fast, well that would be subjective.

          Well done in missing the point entirely. If the speed limit tomorrow was 45, and you drove at 55mph, would this be objectively speeding?

        • Kodie

          It’s subjective to the road. If there was an objective speed limit, it would not be subjective to the stretch of road.

        • Joe

          All speed limits are objective.

        • Greg G.

          The Interstate speed limit was generally 70 mph and highways were 65 mph. Then they were lowered to 55 mph. Now they have been raised.

          When there is construction going on, the speed limits are usually 45 mph.

          Those are not objectively established.

        • Paul

          Well done in missing the point entirely. If the speed limit tomorrow was 45, and you drove at 55mph, would this be
          speeding?

          Looks like I didn’t miss the point at all. You just repeated what I said.

        • Joe

          You missed the point about speed limits being arbitrary, but objective.

        • Kodie

          So, the law says a gay couple may legally marry. That is objective.

        • Paul

          So anything legal is morally right? The Dred Scott decisiion was the law of the land at one point. Does that mean you agreed with it?

        • Kodie

          You used the speed limit as an example, so I JUST TOLD YOU THE LAW.

        • Paul

          So, the law says a gay couple may legally marry. That is objective.

          But according to Greg G., the law was set based on subjective standards.

        • Greg G.

          What the law says is an objective fact. You are such a twit. You are adamant about morality being objective but you do not understand either “objective” or “morality”. You can’t make an argument because you can’t think because you don’t understand anything.

        • Paul

          Looks like you’ve been taking argument lessons from Kodie.

        • Greg G.

          It is a courtesy to point out to a stupid person that they are stupid and don’t know it. Sometimes you can do it by showing how what they think is wrong. Sometimes you have to tell them they are being stupid. Some people must be told repeatedly in no uncertain terms.

          You still aren’t getting it. If you don’t like being told that you are stupid, you have two choices:
          1. Stop being stupid.
          2. Go away.

          I wonder why you haven’t figured that out yet.

        • MR

          Stupid or deceitful. Either way it’s an unflattering picture he’s painting of himself.

        • Kodie

          Greg G. is so much better at this than I am. You’re just a really dumb person with no substance to offer, that it makes it pretty simple to argue with you. Please support objective morality, and please do it without complaining or objecting or evading. Just support objective morality in one shot, as best as you can.

          You can’t, we’re all betting. You will fail, because there is no substance there. All you have is whining with even more WHINING.

          When you fail to argue intelligently, and only piss away all your chances at an intellectual debate with being an evasive brat, it’s fair to call you names.

        • Greg G.

          If the speed limit is 55, that is objective. Any faster than 55 and you can get fined.

          Do you know anybody who was fined for doing 56 in a 55 zone?

        • Paul

          Do you know anybody who was fined for doing 56 in a 55 zone?

          Irrelevant. I said you can get fined for going faster than 55, not that one will. But if you did go faster than 55, you’d still technically be breaking the law, whether or not you got pulled over and fined.

          But that wasn’t even the point I was making. The point was that 55 MPH is objective. “Fast” is subjective.

        • Greg G.

          I think it is relevant. You don’t get pulled over for going a little over the speed limit. You get pulled over for going too fast. which is a subjectively variable amount over the speed limit.

          Speed can be measured objectively. The speed you get a ticket for tends to be subjective. Even your race or your age might be a determining factor.

          Why don’t you define what you mean by “objective”? You are all over the place with the concept. Refine your mind.

        • Kodie

          Refine your mind.

          He’s already set the blender to puree.

        • Max Doubt

          “But that wasn’t even the point I was making. The point was that 55 MPH is objective. “Fast” is subjective.”

          Too fast for conditions is subjective, and it is a driving offense that may result in a fine or penalty.

        • Greg G.

          After I thought about it, I think they usually have an objective standard for “Too fast for conditions.” If you have a wreck, then you were going too fast for the conditions.

        • epeeist

          If the speed limit is 55, that is objective.

          The speed limit is a social construct produced by humans, as such it is not objective.

          One would have to ask whether you know or understand what “objective” means when it comes to ethics.

        • Pofarmer

          Please note, Paul has never stated what he means by “objective.” He seems to be a walking study in Dunning Krueger.

        • epeeist

          He seems to be a walking study in Dunning Krueger.

          Well, first rule of the Dunning-Kreuger club…

          He does seem to one of the more obtuse posters we have had here for quite a time.

        • Paul

          The speed limit is a social construct produced by humans, as such it is not objective.

          So you’re saying there is no way to tell that someone is driving their car 55 MPH? So anyone can contest their speeding ticket by requiring an officer to provide objective evidence? Good luck with that. Try that in traffic court and report the results.

        • epeeist

          So you’re saying there is no way to tell that someone is driving their car 55 MPH?

          Of course there is. However, the speed limit itself is a social construct.

          Way to go to avoid the principle point that I was making though, namely that when it comes ethics (or philosophy more generally) you really do not have a clue as to what the term “objective” means.

        • Deliberate cluelessness? The point is that “the speed limit on this road should be 55mph” isn’t an objectively true statement.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, the speed can be measured objectively. That does not mean the speed limit is set objectively. Speed limits are set by risk and the acceptance of risk. The acceptance of risk is subjective. Nevertheless, you still get fined based on subjectively set speed limits.

        • Susan

          What makes something wrong?

          Enlighten us.

          What makes something wrong?

        • Greg G.

          But what makes something wrong?

          Whether we like it or not and can come up with a reason that sounds legitimate for why we don’t like it.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Abortion harms no one just as spilling one’s semen on the ground harms no one.

        • Paul

          If you don’t include the baby and the mother then, yes, abortion harms no one.

        • Kodie

          You seem to be ignorant that most women are relieved by having an aboriton, and zero babies are harmed in abortions.

        • Paul

          You seem to be ignorant that most women are relieved by having an aboriton, and zero babies are harmed in abortions

          Is it their relief that makes it morally right? Since you don’t like the term baby, how many fetal humans are harmed during abortions?

        • Greg G.

          The fetus lives as a parasite if it does not have consent from the host. A fully mature person does not have the right to use the organs of a dead person unless the dead person gave consent for the organs to be used, even if the other person will die.

        • Kodie

          It’s their relief that NEGATES YOUR CLAIM that women suffer emotionally from having an abortion. The only reason for women to suffer having an abortion is if they are pressured to have one when they don’t want to have one. The only reason you think many women suffer emotionally from having an abortion is because you propagandized them to feel guilty over something they have no reason to feel guilty for. I cannot dispute that your kind have emotionally scarred women into feeling guilty over something because you want them to feel guilty, because you hate women, and think they committed murder.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Abortion doesn’t harm the pregnant person. If there were a baby the pregnancy would be over.

        • Paul

          Abortion doesn’t harm the pregnant person.

          Define “harm”. Physical harm? Psychological harm?

          If there were a baby the pregnancy would be over.

          That’s what abortion does: Kills the baby, thus terminates the pregnancy.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Neither harm. All the psychological harm is inflicted by people like you. For people who want abortions, relief is the usual response.

          Pregnancy is the process of possibly building a baby. There is no baby alive to kill.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Even the “objective” morals of the Bible (whatever God does is moral) are subject to change.
          Or do you think it’s moral to own slaves?

        • GTC

          You mean like the Democrats?

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Do you think it’s moral to own slaves?
          The Bible says it’s ok, but in this case Americans have rejected the Bible’s bad rules and outlawed slavery.
          Do you think we should listen to the “Objective” morals of the Bible and allow slavery?

        • Kodie

          Please stop being “subtle” about your political views. Tell us what you really want to rant about.

    • Joe

      Bob used the word “judged”, which has stronger consequences than merely negative thoughts.

      It seems to matter to most people, being that we’re societal animals. Nazis and other far right organizations have to operate in secrecy, for the most part, due to the public’s perception of what they did in the past. Rightly so, too.

      • Paul

        Yes, he did use the word “judged,” but that takes nothing away from what I said. Judged by what standard? A subjective one? Again: what happens when morals of a society change – especially if they think morals are subjective? What once was right would now be wrong, and once what was wrong would now be right. So I’m not concerned with people judging me by subjective standards.

        • Pofarmer

          So I’m not concerned with people judging me by subjective standards.

          That’s all we have, ya moron.

          Demonstrate your objective standards, and how all people can objectively access them. For that matter, define what objective means first.

          Or stfu.

        • Joe

          Then use objective standards, if you have any.

        • Max Doubt

          “Judged by what standard? A subjective one?”

          Yep. That’s all there is, a subjective standard. You may imagine an objective morality. You may imagine some god character providing that morality. But if you’re honest you’ll have to agree that outside your imagination there’s no way for you to describe that alleged objective morality nor the alleged magical entity which hands it down to humans. If you’re honest. Do you have the courage and honesty to admit that?

        • Greg G.

          Paul has the courage and honesty to pretend you never asked that question.

    • Pofarmer

      Uh. Huh. If you think you have some font of “objective morality”. Define it, and demonstrate it. Or stfu about it.

    • Grimlock

      Would one problem you see with “subjective morality” be its arbitrariness – there is no particular reason why something is wrong and something is right?

      • Paul

        Exactly.

        • Grimlock

          I see.

          How do you avoid a similar charge for whatever view you have for morality? I’m guessing it’s some sort of theistic moral theory. But I’ve yet to see such a moral theory that doesn’t, at bottom, have some arbitrary things being good or bad.

          For instance, many tie the good to what’s in God’s nature. However, what is in God’s nature isn’t further determined by something else, and ends up being arbitrary.

          How does your view avoid being arbitrary? Assuming it does, that is.

    • Doubting Thomas

      I’m genuinely curious as to how you think things are going here. If you mentioned to a fellow Christian that you engaged in a discussion with some atheists on an atheist’s blog and the Christian asked you how the discussion went, what would you tell them? How would you summarize the discussion?

  • GTC

    This illegal law was the beginning of the end for morals in America. Sadly it also proves the hypocrisy of the left. Only they can’t or worse, won’t admit it.

    • Greg G.

      It’s not immoral. Was the fact that it wasn’t legal to marry someone of the same sex the only thing that kept you from doing it? If not, it’s not your business. It’s just freedom. Do you oppose greater freedom? Or just greater freedom for other people?

      • GTC

        It is immoral. Sorry I’m not homosexual. It is my business. As the word marriage means a man and a woman. That the left continually changes words to suit their needs is everyone’s business. Well it is if we want equality, which the left clearly doesn’t.

        • Greg G.

          Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

          It has no effect on a marriage between a man and a woman. If you hold to some biblical definition of marriage, consider the marriages of Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon, then consider:

          1 Peter 4:15 (KJV)15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

          ETA link, changed “Isaac” to “Jacob”

        • GTC

          Wikipedia. You used Wikipedia like it’s credible? Okay well now I know you’re not serious. Have a blessed day and good luck.

        • Pofarmer

          Is this wave of idiots from a specific place or are Y’all just out wandering about?

        • GTC

          I don’t know where you all are at. Can you tell me so I don’t go there and educate any of you.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know where you all are at.

          We are all over the world.

          Can you tell me so I don’t go there and educate any of you.

          Your tacit threat of physical violence demonstrates that you fear that you have no argument that would stand to scrutiny.

        • Max Doubt

          “I don’t know where you all are at. Can you tell me so I don’t go there and educate any of you.”

          And by “educate” do you mean give someone a blow job? Do you identify as a male? If you do, have you ever fucked another guy? Did you like it? Does it scare you to do it again? Help us understand your fear of homosexuality and we’ll help you overcome it, ‘kay?

        • BlackMamba44
        • Kodie

          You clearly are mainlining Fox News and favor the big orange liar, PLUS the bible, so please, your little taunts are so bullshit. Please respond like you are at least intelligent?

        • eric

          Lots of immoral things are legal. Why do you think this one* in particular signals ‘the beginning of the end’, rather than, say, when adultery was made legal? Or when sodomy was made legal. Or when prayer was outlawed in school. Or when interracial marriage was made legal. Or, for that matter, when the US Constitution in one fell stroke wiped out all the religiously based moral laws held by many of the states prior to its passage?

          *From your perspective.

        • GTC

          Because I knew it’d lead to many more wanting their relationship to be legalized. We already have siblings wanting to marry and of course man/love immediately went to work. It’s also why women/girls are being shamed if they don’t want to use the restroom with a man/boy that “identifies” as a female.

          Yes adultery is immoral. I’m sure some used it as an excuse to justify their actions. It’s my opinion. You don’t have to agree with me. We all have our own POV on what is good/bad with our country.

        • eric

          Because I knew it’d lead to many more wanting their relationship to be legalized

          No, that happened with Loving vs. Virginia. About 15% of all marriages are interracial; based on what we know from countries that have had gay marriage for over a decade, gay marriages will never reach that percent. This change in law is going to produce less new marriages than Loving did.

          So, you “knew” something that wasn’t actually true. And you’re opposing SSM based on this false and wrong thing that you thought you know. Now that you know that your basis for opposing it was incorrect, are you going to change your opinion? (…of course not…)

        • GTC

          Since you know the future. Can I get the winning Mega millions and Powerball numbers?

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          When trying to come up with reasons why we shouldn’t allow same-sex marriage, you had nothing. Since 2015, you still have no reason to separate all the couples that have finally had their marriages legally recognised.

        • GTC

          Is your lie to make you feel better or did you really want me to laugh?

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          You really have nothing.

        • You got a point? Or just taunts?

        • Joe

          When has the law been concerned with morality?

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          What;s immoral about it?

          Do you know how same sex marriage affected my marriage? Seeing other people have to fight for rights I took for granted made me value my own marriage more. Glad that we have marriage equality now.

        • GTC

          Homosexuality is immoral, that’s what’s immoral about it.

          What right did they have to change the word? It’s not the same thing. I do so love how what the left wants. Is “good” while what everyone else wants is “bad”. The hypocrisy is mind blowing.

        • epeeist

          Homosexuality is immoral, that’s what’s immoral about it.

          https://karch10k.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/vicious.jpg

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Why is it immoral? Who does it hurt? You can’t just declare something to be immoral and expect us to respect your declaration.

          Where is the hypocrisy?
          Do you know what hypocrisy is?

        • GTC

          Yes hypocrisy is what the left lives on.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Can’t answer questions, can you?

        • Kodie

          You clearly have sold your soul to Donald Trump in order to rant about your hatred of the “left,” just lay out your warped agenda and stop trying to insinuate things. Grow a fucking pair and verbalize whatever the fuck you’re trying to say!

        • Paul

          You can’t just declare something to be immoral and expect us to respect your declaration.

          Of course he can. Atheist commandment #9 says “There is no one right way to live.”

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/11/10-commandments-for-atheists-2/

          Where is the hypocrisy?

          The hypocrisy is saying there is no one right way to live and then telling someone else that they are wrong.

        • Greg G.

          Think before you fart. Saying “there is no one right way to live” is not saying there is no right way to live.” It means there is more than one right way to live. It does not mean that all ways are right.

          Are you incapable of understanding more than one thing? Can you not see multiple implications of a statement? This is what religion can do to a mind.

        • Paul

          It means there is more than one right way to live. It does not mean that all ways are right.

          But if morality is subjective, how do you determine what is actually wrong?

          If there is more than one right way to live, how do you determine that they are all correct using subjective standards?

        • But if morality is subjective, how do you determine what is actually wrong?

          After a while, your adorable naivete becomes nauseating. You pretend that you’re a visitor to earth and you don’t know how stuff works. You pretend that you have a very different (but apparently secret) way of finding out moral truth.

          Your question, translated is: “But if morality is subjective, how do you determine objective moral truth?” Uh, you don’t. We have no interest in trying to find objective moral truth, because there’s no evidence that such a thing exists.

          You disagree? Then fucking show us.

        • Greg G.

          After a while, your adorable naivete becomes nauseating.

          Agreed.

        • Greg G.

          But if morality is subjective, how do you determine what is actually wrong?

          By using their own view of morality. You keep asking the same question, you get the same answer. Learn the position you are debating so you look less stupid.

          If there is more than one right way to live, how do you determine that they are all correct using subjective standards?

          By using subjective morality.

          How do you judge something by objective morality when you cannot define it, you cannot show evidence for it, and you cannot distinguish it from your own subjective morality?

          The answer is that you don’t. You only use subjective morality and lie your ass off.

        • Kodie

          How is homosexuality immoral?

        • AtticusOSullivan

          How does the existence of wrong ways to live contradict the statement “there is no one right way to live”?

          So are you a presuppositionalist?

        • Greg G.

          The was no movement for gay marriage until the political right needed to find an issue to motivate the religious right to vote for them. The more they stirred things up, the more people refused to accept the religious right arguments. The religious right drove the gay marriage into existence.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          I often thank the National Organization for Marriage for their role in bringing about marriage equality

        • Pofarmer

          Let’s hope this happens with abortion rights, as well.

        • Greg G.

          I think that is how we got Roe v. Wade.

        • MR

          I suspect that, too. That was pre-me, though.

        • There you go, folks! The judgment has been rendered. End of story.

        • Damien Priestly

          A marriage is not just a word. Marriage is what the couple wants to make of it, and has always changed.

          Marriage, Left, Right…Words only have the meaning we give to them. Sounds like you are bummed out by that.

        • GTC

          Bummed out? Because you say so? Well you’re allowed to have your own opinions.

        • Kodie

          You called marriage between gay couples “illegal” as though your opinion is greater than the Supreme Court. Then you grumped on about “the left” and none of your posts have any substance for discussion, it’s just one unhappy guy ranting about how things aren’t like you want. Don’t want to be seen as “bummed out” (I would have said “livid”), learn to discuss your opinions like an adult instead of a crank.

        • GTC

          I hate to have to be the person to bring this fact into your life. The SC doesn’t get to make laws. God bless.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          So which “illegal law” were you complaining about?

        • GTC

          Since you can’t follow the thread. I can’t catch you up.

        • Kodie

          I hate to have to tell you, it’s legal and protected for gay couples to get just as married as straight couples. You’re just butthurt, so boo hoo.

        • Paul

          Do you determine right and wrong according to what’s legal?

        • Kodie

          Do you determine what’s right or wrong according to your (interpretation of what your) imaginary friend (wants)?

        • Kodie

          The law generally reflects what people think should be legal, like legalized pot, etc. People pitch what their reasons for making something illegal legal, or something legal illegal, and the law decides if it is good for the community or society or federally, etc. I think you are a stupid fucking munch at this discussion stuff though. You want to believe in your idiotic little bubble of ignorance, and pretend to have intelligent arguments, which you don’t. Easily defeated Paul, that’s what we’ll call you.

        • Greg G.

          Do you determine right and wrong according to what’s legal?

          Of course not. She is not making that argument.

          SSM is legal and it is illegal to discriminate against them. She stated that as fact. Do you dispute that?

        • BlackMamba44

          What’s immoral about it?

        • Greg G.
        • BlackMamba44
        • Pofarmer

          But, but, but, objective mora-something or other……???????

        • Kodie

          I think you sound brainwashed and frightened of progress!

        • Are you forgetful or just ignorant? “Marriage” was “a man and a woman, of the same race.” And it was “a man and a woman, and optionally lots more women.” Divorce has changed its definition. Head and master laws are no more. Marital rape is a thing. And so on.

          Get some education before you open your mouth. Makes you look foolish otherwise.

        • The hate is strong in this one.

        • GTC

          Sure seems to be.

    • AtticusOSullivan

      Where’s the hypocrisy?

      By the way, it was the laws that forbade same sex marriage which were unconstitutional.

    • Kodie

      Don’t know what you mean, you just sound like a paranoid, petty, brainshwashed little monster – nothing of substnance in your post.Just some crazy guy ranting.

      • Paul

        Ditto for your post. You can’t seem to write a post without making calling people names.

        • Kodie

          Paul, you deserve a lot worse names than I ever called you. You are so fucking numbnuts brainless as far as Christians go. How do you make it through the day being so fucking stupid?

        • Paul

          As I’ve said before in this comment section: I’m not worried about being judged by any subjective human standard.

          Why do you go around calling people names? Does it benefit you in any way?

        • I’m not worried about being judged by any subjective human standard.

          Are there other kinds of moral standards? Explain.

        • Paul

          You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should have asked was: “What standard are you worried about being judged by?”

        • I have zero worry about being judged by a nonexistent standard.

          I know of one kind of moral judging–judging by the moral standards that ordinary humans have. Is there another kind? Explain.

        • Paul

          Are you worried about being judged by an existing standard?

        • Greg G.

          Are you worried about being judged by an existing standard?

          No, I am not worried about that and I am especially not worried about being judged by your imaginary standard.

        • An existing standard? Like what? If you’re talking about an objective moral standard, I’d like to see evidence that such a thing exists. It sounds like we’re in agreement that a nonexistent moral standard is irrelevant. That doesn’t judge anything.

        • Kodie

          I know you don’t care about people.

  • blogcom

    Given that more people have been wrong about the trajectory of history than right, popular opinion is not a good barometer, but history will judge history, in retrospect.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    History will be a good judge, just like history shows the cracks forming in the Roman Empire when they became weak and fat and debauched. Just like we are now. Sure, history will judge us, but it won’t be written in English.

  • Grimlock

    Re. the ridiculously long and sprawling discussion on subjective versus objective morality further down in this topic, here are my five cents.

    Once we settle on a set of premises and axioms that basically determine what is good and what is bad, moral facts follow from this. Not unlike the rules of chess and the theorems of mathematics. In that sense, morality is objective.

    However, the choice of axioms or premises is, whether done in a formal and conscious or subconscious manner, is a subjective choice. In this way, morality is subjective.

    The end. You can stop arguing now, I’ve settled everything.

    • Greg G.

      But the discussion is using WLC’s definition of objective morality. From that definition, it is either completely objective or it is not objective.

      • Grimlock

        Oh. But why would anyone look to WLC for a sensible definition that clarifies an issue?

        • Greg G.

          That is a good question. But it is in accordance with other uses of the word “objective”.

          I can tell you that I am about 6 feet tall, according to the length of my own foot, but that is true for most people according to their own feet, so it is a subjective measurement. We must define “foot” as a unit of measurement by an independent standard. The benefit of having an unchanging objective standard of measurement outweighs quibbling over exactly what it is.

          Morality is different. It seems to be based on emotion and the pragmatism of adhering to the intersubjective standard of one’s culture. There may be a common core based on empathy and a sense of fairness. We can see a sense of fairness in monkeys that were trained to retrieve a pebble for a piece of cucumber but the cucumber wasn’t good enough if another monkey was getting a grape. (I am drawing a blank on the name of the scientist who presents this or I would put in the video here. I think his name is Scandinavian. Maybe another pot of coffee or three is needed.) Dogs will do a task for nothing until they see another dog getting a treat for doing it, but they aren’t concerned about the quality of the treat.

          Chimpanzees were put in a situation where another chimpanzee would receive an electrical shock in another cage if the first chimp took a piece of food. Some would starve for days.

          For those behaviors to be common, it is likely to be passed through generations genetically, but it would have to have a pragmatic benefit for survival to do so. Since we recognize these traits in species that have a long history of social life while not recognizing it in species that do not have constant and complex social interactions, the benefit is likely subject to that lifestyle, rather than any arbitrary lifestyle. So humans tend to frown on killing friends but not enemies with the line between them varying with culture. We frown on theft and lying, but recognize that there are exceptions to that rule that also varies with culture. But I have heard of a person being chased with a cleaver for eating left-handed in a restaurant in Turkey.

          But we cannot agree on a standard of morality to be used objectively. We can’t pick it arbitrarily, either. Does morality rule? Would we think it fair if three wolves and a lamb vote on what to have for lunch? Should cows, pigs, and chickens get consideration in determining the morality of our food? To be able to call it “objective”, those “opinions” of morality should be considered as well. And what about the parasites that live off of us?

          So our morality comes down to pragmatism subject to our needs but that does not quite cohere with an overarching philosophy of morality.

          This is kind of a first draft of a train of thought, not a polished thesis or anything like that.

        • Grimlock

          Focusing on the first part of your comment. If the foot measurement is “objective”, then that standard is purely abstract. A foot length is an abstraction, mapped onto our world. We don’t require an actual object that’s precisely a foot long to use a “foot” as an objective measurement.

          Right?

        • Greg G.

          At some point in my life, a meter was determined by a certain number of wavelengths emitted by a specific type of atom, or something like that. At some point before that it was some percentage of point A to point B on the Earth. Google tells me it is currently defined as “the meter is defined to be the distance light travels in 1 / 299,792,458 seconds.”

        • Kodie

          Radiolab | Weights and Measures

          The meter is defined in the first 3 or so minutes, but it’s a fascinating show. The kilogram is an actual objective thing.

        • Grimlock

          Yeah, I’ve seen something similar. If that’s the sense of objectivity required, I don’t see how it is necessary to have a God be the foundation of morality, as a reference to an abstract idea of morality would grant the same sort of objectivity.

          I think.