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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:50 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
byourCreator wrote:
Miserere, it is not I who have misunderstood juditupp’s argument, but rather you who have not grasped what I have said.

If one begins by assuming that God has not revealed Himself to us, then one has already abandoned any basis for reason from the start. If God is removed from the discussion then reason does not exist; there can no longer be a right and a wrong. The whole basis from which you hope to argue has evaporated. They can say one thing, and you can say another, but because God has been outlawed from the discussion, there no longer remains such a thing as a lawgiver or a valid law. There is no longer a right and there is no longer a wrong. All that is left is meaningless power. All that is left is evil, but one can not even call it evil for it has been defined away.


But you're talking about philosophy (specifically, some kind of divine command theory, maybe), and we're talking about politics. Politically/practically, in a sense, it is irrelevant to me why someone votes the right way. If an atheist votes pro-life because he recognizes the person in the womb and recognizes that murder is wrong, then that's really good enough politically.

Someone can deny God and yet admit other aspects of reality, including moral reality. Someone can read the law book and somehow think no one wrote it. It might not make sense to you or me but it still works politically.

I mean, it's hard enough to get everyone to agree on a moral position or policy. It's probably impossible to get everyone to to agree on a moral position for the right reason.

Exactly!

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"It is true poverty for a child to die so that we may live as we wish."


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Well here was my first construct to which you objected:

Quote:
God says homosexuality is sin.
Governor Christie says it is not.

Hmmmm..... who should I go with here?



Perhaps you will like this one better?

-God says to always be ready to give a true and sound reason for what we believe.
-Others say to only employ "non-God" reasons for our beliefs, (even if one recognizes that they are ultimately indefensible).

Hmmmm..... who should I go with here?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:27 pm 
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byourCreator wrote:
Well here was my first construct to which you objected:

Quote:
God says homosexuality is sin.
Governor Christie says it is not.

Hmmmm..... who should I go with here?



Perhaps you will like this one better?

-God says to always be ready to give a true and sound reason for what we believe.
-Others say to only employ "non-God" reasons for our beliefs, (even if one recognizes that they are ultimately indefensible).

Hmmmm..... who should I go with here?


Romans 2 14-16 "For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law.
They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them
on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people’s hidden works through Christ Jesus."

Scripture seems to indicate here that the moral law is written on our hearts. The pagan can know right from wrong, whether or not he explicitly knows Christ.

The mistake is in thinking that giving an argument based only in reason is somehow "non-God." God is the author of reason.

_________________
THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.



Post by Miserere Liked by: Southern Doc
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:32 pm 
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byourCreator wrote:
Well here was my first construct to which you objected:

Quote:
God says homosexuality is sin.
Governor Christie says it is not.

Hmmmm..... who should I go with here?



Perhaps you will like this one better?

-God says to always be ready to give a true and sound reason for what we believe.
-Others say to only employ "non-God" reasons for our beliefs, (even if one recognizes that they are ultimately indefensible).

Hmmmm..... who should I go with here?

That is a pejorative summation of what has been said. You are also paraphrasing 1 Peter 3:15 in a manner that distorts its meaning. Are you interested in real communication or "winning" an argument?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:50 am 
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Oh, I agree Miserere, God is the author of reason, and Romans 2 does teach us that the law of God is indeed written on the heart of every man and I believe that the instrumentality of that is specifically reason. But, you see, what you have failed to grasp is that I am not arguing against reason at all. In fact, I am arguing just the opposite; I am arguing for sound reason.

Do you not find it interesting that although I argued for the use of reason, even being careful to modify the word with the adjective “sound” to distinguish what I was advocating, and contrasting that to unsound reason, yet you feel in necessary to chide me for not recognizing that our arguments are to be based upon reason?

You rightfully bring in Romans 2 as an argument for the fact that all men have been endowed by their Creator with the knowledge of the law, but are you restricting that knowledge to only the second part of the law, that which pertains to man’s responsibility towards his fellow man? Does not the law also include man’s responsibility to his Creator; to God? Well, of course it does, and that was the very point of Romans 1 and the fact that God is known to every man by means of creation. If we can validly assume the knowledge of the law as it pertains to man and his relationship with man, the golden rule, then are we not also to assume the knowledge of man and his relationship to God? If we may assume that man inherently knows that it is wrong to steal, are we not also to assume that man inherently knows that it is wrong to not worship the true God? According to Romans 1 idolatry is at the heart of homosexuality. Homosexuality is declared to be a judgment upon man precisely because of his idolatry. To reason against homosexuality and yet leave out this fact is unreasonable. To argue for a moral position and yet leave out the Author of morality is not a well reasoned argument. To argue for a point of law but purposely leave out the fact that there is a law-giver is to abandon any hope of real success from the beginning.

The problem is that you are interpreting my argument as an argument against reason because apparently you, as many others, have two categories in your thinking that are kept separate and between which there lies a great gulf. There is the realm of reason and there is another realm of faith. You will call both “true” but to you they are “true” in a different since.

I do not recognize this dichotomy. I see but one reality, but one truth, and whether we are speaking of physical or spiritual matters, the truth of each lies in the realm of the same reality. This is why I find it less than pointless to argue for truth, whether moral or physical, by assuming from the outset that what is true is not. It is probably not a good illustration, but it reminds me of the dilemma that Anne found herself in with Marilla in Anna of Green Gables. Anne told Marilla the truth about what she had done with the lost broach, but since Marilla would not believe her, she abandoned what she knew was true and made up an elaborate story instead.

If we know that God not only exists but that He is our Judge and that it is His nature and His revelation to us of that nature that is the determiner of what is right and what is wrong, then to start an argument that something is right or wrong by first assuming that this truth is false or irrelevant is simply a lie. Since the truth is that right and wrong are predicated upon the fact that there actually is a supreme moral being who demands our compliance with His moral nature, to assume that this reality is not true can only end in an unreasonable demand. If God is the determiner of what is right and what is wrong, but if He is excluded from the discussion right from the beginning, then the reason for something being either right or wrong has been eliminated before any other proposition has been put forth. The result is that it is impossible for reason to function, because reason must work with truth. It would be like trying to argue that 1+1=2, but agreeing from the beginning that the proposition that 1 is a reality will not be allowed in the argument.

If the reason that homosexuality is morally wrong is because it is against God’s law, then agreeing from the beginning that God as the law-giver is not allowed in the discussion can only lead to an impossible and unreasonable argument. I am not arguing against using reason in the argument, I am arguing that one’s reasoned arguments are invalid; that is, they are unreasonable if one leaves out the very first premise, that God is the law-giver.

What this means in practice is this. Instead of “the homosexual lifestyle is anything but gay”, one needs to bring in the reason for this truism (that is, it is customarily true). The homosexual lifestyle is not generally found to be a happy one for those who practice it, because it is contrary to the way God our Creator designed humans to behave. God, in His wisdom and mercy, designed sinful behavior to customarily have painful consequences, both here and hereafter.

Instead of “the average male homosexual lives only into his young forties” needs to be expanded in the same way so that God’s warning that unseemly and vulgar practices, which are obviously contrary to His design will generally result in undesirable consequences. Thumbing one’s nose at one’s Creator can not be expected to make one healthy and happy in the long run. God will not be mocked; whatever a man sows that he will also reap. This is the reason for all of these bad and undesirable consequences.

If abortion is only wrong because it stops a beating heart or because the baby feels the pain, then if the baby is killed before the heart is formed or if the child is anesthetized prior to the murder then the problem is solved and it is no longer wrong. However, if the child is created in the image of God and therefore has worth from the moment of conception, then it does not matter if it can be done sooner or less painfully, it remains evil, and there will be consequences, often in this life, and certainly in that to come.

“Divorce is bad for the children” is true, but it does not adequately convey the reason. Divorce is bad for children because it is contrary to God’s design, and He has designed that violators of His laws will suffer consequences; usually now, but certainly hereafter.

One who argues (as some have above) that it is unfair to call homosexually a sin and forbid a relationship to be recognized by government as marriage, is wrong because it is based on the assumption that THEY are the determiner of what is just and fair and that MAN is the inventor of the marriage relationship. In arguing this they have set themselves up in God’s place and given themselves His authority. They have become a law unto themselves and rejected the law of God. The reality is that God the Creator is the sole authority for what is right and what is wrong, and He is the inventor of marriage, and He has defined it as between a man and a woman. Furthermore, He has defined in no uncertain terms that sexual relationships between men and men, between women and women, or between men and beasts is sin. Just because one does not yet recognize God’s authority does not mean that it does not exist or that their presumed authority usurps His.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:52 am 
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Now, QVA, please give me the credit of having enough sense to never presume to attempt to win an argument with a woman, let alone three women at one time. :D

I really must insist, however, that God would have us use sound reason that is based on sound first premises, not that which concedes the argument from the beginning.

You may have been offended by my use of the descriptive “non-God”, but I was attempting to keep it brief and avoid the first term which suggested itself, “God-less”. I specifically chose the first to try and avert unnecessary offense. I see I did not succeed. In context you will understand that I am attempting to describe an argument which excludes God as a foundational premise.

This discussion started because I was criticized for bringing God into an argument about the issue of homosexuality. I am simply pointing out that it is impossible to leave God out of a moral argument and, ultimately, still have a reasonable argument. Those who attempt to do so, on either side, are simply inconsistent. If the Author of Morality is not allowed, than neither are statements like “it is not fair” or “it is not right.” If God does not exist (the atheistic position) or has not revealed Himself (the agnostic position) then truly there is no right or wrong, fair or unfair, indeed, (but I will not develop this) no meaning at all. Now most people do not either want nor find themselves able to go there precisely because both atheism and agnosticism are both unreasonable and contrary to the way man is constituted. Man truly does know that God is, that He is personal (moral) in nature, and that He will therefore judge. This is the inside information that we have regarding those who oppose the truth. We already know that they already know this, we just need to remind them and invite them to read what God wrote in their heart already.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:16 pm 
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byourCreator wrote:
Now, QVA, please give me the credit of having enough sense to never presume to attempt to win an argument with a woman, let alone three women at one time. :D

:lol: Okay, but you should know that Miserere is not a Ms.

byourCreator wrote:
I really must insist, however, that God would have us use sound reason that is based on sound first premises, not that which concedes the argument from the beginning.

Not at all - the difference is that you appear to be insisting that the opposing side must acknowledge God as the first premise in order to proceed - or to succeed - & we are arguing that it is not necessary to force the other side to take lessons in philosophy that they are likely ill-prepared to receive (even in the very unlikely event that they are willing), in order to get them to accept the plain common sense of our side.

byourCreator wrote:
You may have been offended by my use of the descriptive “non-God”, but I was attempting to keep it brief and avoid the first term which suggested itself, “God-less”. I specifically chose the first to try and avert unnecessary offense. I see I did not succeed. In context you will understand that I am attempting to describe an argument which excludes God as a foundational premise.

Actually, what I found problematic with your last response was the assertion that those who were disagreeing with you were arguing for something they were not - an argument is not God-less simply because He is not mentioned by name. God not only gave us common sense with which to reason, but He also created this world so that we can objectively point to the concretely measurable things that go awry when you go against the Manufacturer's specifications without having to first get into whether or not there is a Manufacturer.

Also, 1 Peter 3:15 states that we must be prepared to defend or give an answer for the hope that is in us - which is different from a mandate that we must always explain our faith regardless of the effect it will have on the recipient. That sort of hammer approach has driven many away from Christianity.

byourCreator wrote:
This discussion started because I was criticized for bringing God into an argument about the issue of homosexuality. I am simply pointing out that it is impossible to leave God out of a moral argument and, ultimately, still have a reasonable argument. Those who attempt to do so, on either side, are simply inconsistent. If the Author of Morality is not allowed, than neither are statements like “it is not fair” or “it is not right.” If God does not exist (the atheistic position) or has not revealed Himself (the agnostic position) then truly there is no right or wrong, fair or unfair, indeed, (but I will not develop this) no meaning at all. Now most people do not either want nor find themselves able to go there precisely because both atheism and agnosticism are both unreasonable and contrary to the way man is constituted. Man truly does know that God is, that He is personal (moral) in nature, and that He will therefore judge. This is the inside information that we have regarding those who oppose the truth. We already know that they already know this, we just need to remind them and invite them to read what God wrote in their heart already.

If you've ever argued with an atheist then you know full well that they themselves tend to be unreasonable and contrary, & you can lead a person to reason but you can't make him think (to borrow a phrase). They are pre-prejudiced to fight against Theism, but you can usually get around that brick wall by approaching them with logic and scientifically measurable evidence.

It sounds as if you are arguing that you must convert everyone to Christianity in order to get them to reject SSM & that is untenable as well as un-reason-able.


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