The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Commands Of The Monster God Of The Old Testament


#21

We do, if I’m not mistaken, live in THIS world, the only one we truly know about.
The concept of possible worlds was not invented in order to show that any idea we could dream up is possible. It was invented to show what is truly necessary and what is contingent, what is modally necessary, not what is cosmologically possible… God, being the same in any possible world because of His necessary being, cannot be different in one world from another.


#22

Bob,

We can prove necessary moral truths as Richard Swinburne has argued:

We might say that acts of telling lies in such and such circumstances are bad. But it must be said that if there is a world W in which a certain action A having various non-moral properties is bad, there could not be another world W* which was exactly the same as W in all non-moral respects, but in which A was not bad. The concept of the moral is such that it makes no sense to suppose both that there is a world W in which A is wrong and a world W* exactly the same as W except that in W* A is good. It follows that there are logically necessary truths of the form "If an action has non-moral properties B, C, and D, it is morally good, if an action has the non-moral properties D, E, and F, it is morally wrong and so on. If there are moral truths some of them are necessary moral truths. - Richard Swinburne

My Examples:

  1. Necessarily, telling a lie in such and such circumstances is wrong

a) telling a lie just to see if you can get away with it when it would harm
others is wrong.

  1. Necessarily, cheating in such and such circumstances is wrong

a) Copying someones Ph.D. dissertation just to get a Ph.D. to look smart is wrong

  1. Necessarily, killing in such and such circumstances is wrong

a) Murdering an innocent 13 year old girl in a drive by shooting for fun
is wrong.

  1. Necessarily, stealing in such and such circumstances is wrong

a) Stealing money from your mother to buy drugs just to get high
is wrong

“Killing the innocent is wrong” isn’t a necessary moral truth as I showed.


#23

So I responded that I see no reason to believe that such a world exists. To argue an action can be moral simply because it’s “possible” that there are “justifiable reasons” for it is simply a tautological hypothetical that asserts that any thing questionable can be right or justified IF there’s a situation where it would be right & justified, and such a premise could show that any questionable action might be affirmed as moral. (E.g. IF I assert that there is a possible world where totally betraying my wife and children to torture them for years would have ‘justified’ reasons, then, sure, I can assume that betraying them could be a righteous thing to do.)

My POV here was that many see some moral issues as unchanging, and most sense that e.g. slaughtering innocent children is never good. So I saw the burden as on you, since you gallantly asserted that it was right earlier but now has evolved. So I responded that your arguments were unconvincing. Thus you repeated that it I who still hadn’t shown that such treatment of the innocent had to be wrong. So I said, of course, I’d never claim any moral truths can be proven. If a person doesn’t perceive that torturing the innocent (or anything else) is innately morally problematic, how could one prove otherwise?


#24

I posted before you Bob while you were posting your last post. I’ve answered you in the post right above your previous post. Scroll up and see the post above yours.


#25

Hollytree,
I apologize that I am not seeing how this answers the contention of my last post, and I’m lost on how you think this “showed” killing the innocent is sometimes moral.

Indeed, I would not assume that killing an innocent 13 year old could be righteous even if it was not done for fun, or wasn’t done in a drive by. E.g. I’d assume that murdering her by any means, say because one saw it as the righteous consequence that her wicked parent deserved, wouldn’t baptize the evil of inflicting such a penalty on the innocent. ISTM that what your case actually calls for is showing how sometimes murdering the 13 year would be recognized as the righteous thing to do. And I find that more challenging.


#26

“Killing the innocent is wrong” isn’t a necessary moral truth because there is a possible world where it would be justified to kill the innocent. - Namely, saving the whole world. I gave the argument for necessary moral truths and a few examples. There are many others. You haven’t proven that “killing the innocent is wrong” holds in all possible worlds. Indeed, I showed you it doesn’t.


#27

The reason for the Amalekite slaughter is given in the Bible, and it’s not for some greater utilitarian purpose of saving more lives.


#28

You don’t know that. Logical explanations are infinite in number. Especially when we are dealing with a being who is infinite in wisdom and knowledge.


#29

Actually I do know the reason. The Bible says the Israelites were commanded to slaughter Amalek as a matter of retribution.


#30

It doesn’t say it’s the only reason. The Bible also says that the hidden things belong to the Lord. Job had no idea why he suffered.


#31

Stop being obtuse.


#32

My friend, as far as I can see, you have not at all engaged my lengthy response to your contention about moral claims being "proven, nor my detailed explanation of why your repeated claim that you have done that and “showed” that killing innocents is righteous is completely unsupported. You appear to think that you can overcome others’ deepest sense of morality by simply repeating your sheer assertions. Sorry, claiming there IS a world that requires killing innocent people to ‘save’ all of it is just bald hypothetical assertion, as I detailed at length. I see no believable argument presented for it, and even find the notion weird and appalling.


#33

Sorry Bob. You haven’t dealt with the argument.


#34

What argument? You don’t have to be satisfied. But I’ve responded in detail to everything you’ve said. And you have offered no rebuttal at all. If you want someone to disown their sense of morality, you have to offer something of substance.


#35

Could you agree that God has possibly changed and his view of the creation has evolved?

I understand our own conscience and that beliefs are set in stone to some degree by the scripture we have, but hey, can we think out of the box here a bit? :wink:


#36

Jesus taught that the Most High God is kind to unthankful people and to evil people:

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. (Luke 6:35)

According to Malachi, Yahweh, the God of Israel, the only true God, does not change.

I am Yahweh, I do not change,(Malachi 3:6)

It follows that if God does not kill his enemies now, but is kind to them, neither did He kill them in the days of ancient Israel. But when I say this, I am accused of “not believing God’s word, the Bible.” So be it. I would rather affirm that parts of the Bible are false, than to falsely describe God’s character, ascribing to Him, the killing evil people and harming them in other ways, rather than being kind to them as Jesus affirmed. If anyone was ever aware of the true character of God, it was Jesus God’s only begotten Son.


#37

Yes Don, it is the crux, and I am in your camp. But the fact is that there was a certain part of history (called the Old Testament) where we as folks who study the bible, in our 21s century, need to realize that we are divorced from much of the language of the ‘Bibles’ New Testament was a extension of what that very ‘Old Testament’ was about.

Good luck on that


#38

I imagine that depends on how one decides any notion is “possible.” I cannot prove that there could not be a creative being who evolves.

But the Christian tradition has defined God as a perfect and omniscient being that is not like those created who needs to grow, develop and evolve, and thus would not use the term, “God” for any creature that goes through such changes. I can only say, that if there is a Deity that created everything, that traditional conception of God is the one that make more viable sense to me.


#39

True, but what if we could somehow say there was a God that created something so special that the God who created it needed to re evaluate what was done. Or maybe say that the God that created us may well be working with us.

So the God that created humanity figured He needed to adopt Israel. He was making a statement.

Israel became God’s chosen people within the context of history, He worked with them and chastised them and He had a view for all of humanity, through them…

Now we much later can somehow realize an understanding we are different and not the same as first century Israelites.

So there you go.


#40

In what ways exactly, MM?