hotrodhell

More to the reply for Chris

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 11, 2009 at 4:31 am

Chris-

I do agree with Lamont’s statement that actions in themselves are not inherently right or wrong. So what do we mean right or wrong, since these are value assessments in themselves? Everyone needs to come up with a working definition of what in the world we mean by this. How do we define what is right/moral? Through some appeal of a standard (religion, philosophical system, personal standard, etc) or through its consequences? Like Lamont, it is my opinion that the consequences are the ultimately means of assessing what is right or wrong. I do understand that this leads to a relativistic system of morals or a situational type ethical framework, but to me, that is simply reality.

What is deemed correct in one situation would be morally wrong in another. So we must look at who and what it affects along with the overall changes in happiness, suffering, or pain. Here lies my working definition of what is right/moral. It is anything that decreases the amount of pain and suffering in the world or anything that increases happiness or quality of life. This definition for me works in most cases as broad principle, but I’m sure there are many cases in which it is not so black and white. Pertaining to sin within the context of Christianity, I would say that many of the things that deemed immoral are simply not moral issues based on my previous definition. For example God defined eating unclean foods as a sin in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Is eating ‘unclean’ food really a damnable offense? The Bible makes this particular issue a moral one claiming to be a sin (or an offensive against God or his will).

Dan-

Chris as I read your definition of morality I see it manifesting as Cultural and Moral Relativism-i.e. the beliefs of a person or group of persons are “true” for them , but not necessarily for others. Ultimately, no truth is universally, objectively, true or false. One person’s “truth” which is really an opinion, can conflict with another’s “truth” and still be valid. And the Moral Relativist would maintain that there are no moral absolutes, no objective ethical right and wrong. Moral values are true –or “genuine “-for some, but not for others. Since there are differing expressions of morality in the world, there is no reason to think that one is any truer and objectively binding than another. If I have misstated please forgive me and correct me. For the present I’ll stick to this as my understanding. Your example of decreasing pain and suffering or anything that increases happiness and quality of life is interesting. I would point to Hitler (drastic I know but will suffice for examples sake) he wanted to decrease Germany’s suffering and pain, increase the happiness of the Aryans and make a better quality of life for them. And his ultimate goal of the Übermensch as a goal humanity can set for itself.

All human life would be given meaning by how it advanced a new generation of human beings. The aspiration of a woman would be to give birth to an Übermensch, for example; her relationships with men would be judged by this standard.

The point of adding this information was to contrast how the suffering and destruction of WW2 stands as an example of trying to achieve the goal of happiness through social engineering. Devoid of any standard apart from God morality lacks any consistent standard to evaluate actions and any action would be justifiable in some situations. The Holocaust if in the long view makes the whole of society happy and would eventually end suffering for the human race then the tragedy of the loss of life is only necessary for the betterment of all. I think you would have to agree we need a standard that would apply to all morality and be judged on that basis. Relativism misses on a crucial point test of internal consistency.” Something can be true for one person but false for another “fails to meet its own criterion for truth. While a worldview can be internally consistent of logical yet still be false, no worldview can be true if it contradicts itself.

I must always return to the scriptures for proof and validity so I have a couple of scriptures for contemplation:

(Rom 2:14-15)  So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences testify in support of this, and their competing thoughts either accuse or excuse them

 

(Act 10:34-35)  Then Peter began to speak: “In truth, I understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.

 

(Rom 1:19-20)  since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

 

(Rom 2:27)  A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who fulfills the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter of the law and circumcision.

 

These versus attest to the moral standard set by God and the consequences of rejecting His Son.

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  1. Thank you for pointing out the flaws of moral relativism, Dan, as well as the devasting results. I can’t wait to hear your lesson on how we recognize what is true through the Holy Spirit!

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