<<<Another question which should be addressed before I think PWP's questions
are even considered, would be: Does man need morality? And, if so, why?
Again, I could not find the answer to these questions in the Bible, because
these terms do not even appear in any of my Bibles.>>>
"I do not see how you could miss it in reading the Bible."
I certainly miss what is not there. Let's see if what you provide answers my
"Every value judgment that the Bible makes is a judgment on morality."
Oh, so the Bible does speak on values? Where??? I don't find this term
anywhere associated with the development of a rationally integrated axiology
in the Bible, nor is it defined in any of my Bibles. Perhaps you're
borrowing this concept from non-biblical philosophy? If you cannot justify
this term by citation of its meaning and significance to biblical morality,
then it surely seems you have to go outside the Bible to have the Bible make
any sense to you.
"Does man need it?"
That's the question. Let's see how the Bible answers it, eh?
"Well, that ultimately is the question that you need to decide, isn't it?"
I've already decided it. I simply want to know how the Bible answers it.
Please cite for us book, chapter and verse how the Bible answers this
question. Please define your terms as you go by citation to the source in
question (which you have not done).
"If man does not need morals, then I suggest you stop arguing that it is
wrong for God to act in a certain manner or in any specific way (if there
are no morals, how can you judge God?)."
Fair enough. But that is not my position on the matter in question. So, I
will proceed with my interrogation, like it or not.
"If man does need morals then you must answer the problem of how you get
I already know how I "get" my morals. I determine them by means of *reason*
(which I think I made sufficiently clear in my last post). But still I'm
waiting to see how you address these questions by direct reference to the
Bible. Again, the questions are: a) Does man need morality? and, if he does
need, it, then b) WHY?
So far, these questions have not been answered by either Peter, or the
Bible. I am not surprised. You're right on time here.
"As to what the Bible addresses on this issue, again, every statement that
it makes on the issue demonstrates the need for man to be moral."
Yes, this is what you're called to establish. Simply repeating it here does
not establish it. Again, the questions are: a) Does man need morality? and,
if he does need, it, then b) WHY?
"Indeed, the very judgments that come to pass because of immorality point to
the need for morality."
This is circular for it assumes what needs to be demonstrated, and you have
not demonstrated it (nor have you answered the questions). Inadequate.
"How do those judgments normally occur?"
My moral judgments always occur by my use of my mind according to reason.
The standard is a code of values which guides my choices and actions. No
Bible needed for this. Indeed, taking the Bible seriously could only
confound one's use of reason (as we've seen with believers and their
"By God allowing men to do whatever they want (ie: unrestrained evil)."
Agian, here's a word which you have yet to define, the concept 'evil'. And
in this statement, it seems that the definition to infer would be "that
which men choose to do." Is that your definition of 'evil', Peter? If not,
then please define it for us, and cite your sources.
"They do not normally occur by God "jumping in" so to speak and blasting
Indeed, this cannot occur if God does not exist in the first place. Duh!
"He allows the evil that people practice to carry them away. As such, the
wicked are "blind" to their wickedness."
I'm getting the picture: the terms 'evil' and 'man' appear to be
conceptually equivalent in this view. No wonder the Bible does not speak of
values! Surely you did not intend to give away the game here like this, did
<<<Likewise, I tried to find the term 'objective' in my Bibles, and again I
struck another dry well. Clearly, the Bible has no authority on that which
it neglects to define, and thus it is inadequate on these grounds alone to
serve as a moral guide. It doesn't even define the terms in question!>>>
"This is a completely bogus argument."
Which basically means: Peter doesn't LIKE it. Tough.
"It does not matter if a word is used or not--the argument stands or falls
based on content,"
You're making my point for me! Yes, content is crucial to meaning.
"not individual words used."
Don't the individual words which you use have any content? If not, then they
are contentless. That's pretty simple. You used the term 'objective'. I
looked in the Bible to find how it defines this term. I found no usage of
the term, and no definition. It seems that the authors of the Bible,
primitive as they were, had no familiarity with the concept. Again, it seems
you are borrowing from non-biblical worldviews in order to give the biblical
worldview authority which it cannot earn without such external borrowings.
"I maintain that the Bible makes direct statements of moral issues"
Yes, we know this, Peter. But so far you have not shown us how the Bible
defines any of these concepts in question. That alone makes it inadequate to
stand alone. The Bible does not even define its own terms, nor does it
define terms which bibliolaters hijack from non-biblical worldviews (e.g.,
'objective', 'value', etc.) in order to give their position more
"--how anyone could disagree is beyond me"
Which again means: Peter doesn't like it! So what?
"--and therefore is by definition a moral guide whether it says so or not."
You've gained no ground yet so far.
"Again, do laws in the US state that they are moral laws? No. But they are
statements of morality."
Irrelevant. This is sounds like a tu quoque: "well, if US state codes do not
state explicitly that their laws are moral laws, then why should the Bible
be held to the same standard?" This is basically saying that, for purposes
of expedience (when things are getting hot under the collar), one should not
hold "god's word" to standards any higher than what we hold men. Nice dodge.
"Every law does two things: 1) it determines what is right and what is not
and 2) it discriminates against those who disagree by punishing them."
Did you take this from the Bible? If so, please cite chapter and verse. If
not, why not?
"We can argue whether or not any specific law is just or unjust, but the
fact of their existence necessitates that they are moral statements."
On what definition? You have not provided a Bible-based definition of the
terms in question. What authority do your pronouncements have?
The Bible lists many law. It is impossible for it to not be a moral guide."
Okay, here's another claim for you to back up. So far, your list of things
to do has increased. Perhaps now you should attempt to get some of them
"As to the term "objective", I'm using that term because that is the most
common term used by atheists."
"I have yet, your response included, seen an answer that actually
demonstrated something objective about morality."
That's fine. No one has requested that I define it as of yet. I only used it
after I saw you use it. That's why I asked you to define it as you use it.
Indeed, if the Bible gives definition to this term, why should I or any
other atheist have to define it for you?
"In this issue, Andy had it right on: "It is up to the individual whether
they favour the morality of the masses, the 'herd morality'".
Yep. One certainly cannot bypass man's volitional nature in discussion of
morality. But you implied above that what man chooses is equal to evil. Go
As for 'herd mentality', this is what sheep exhibit. And the New Testament
makes it pretty clear that Jesus wanted his followers to think of themselves
I'll opt for a more individualistic approach, thanks.
<<<Indeed, the Bible speaks extremely little about values, taking them
completely for granted, and again, failing to define the term in question.
"Again, only an attempt to purposely misread the Scriptures would allow you
to come to the conclusion that the Bible does not speak on morals or
Tell us, Peter: Where does the Bible define 'value'? What is that
definition? How is this term integrated to formulate and develop a coherent
axiology? Please address these questions.
"Tell me, what does it speak about if it is not those things? What,
exactly, have you read of the Bible?"
Essentially, this is the question I'm asking you. After all, you want me to
accept the Bible as an authority on these matters, right? Well, to do so,
you're going to have to carry your part of the burden.
<<<Again, according to my view, a morality proper for man is based on a
metaphysics of objective reality (e.g., reality does not conform to
consciousness), and an epistemology of reason (e.g., consciousness must
conform to reality). For the mystic (including Christians, Muslims, etc.),
morality has its basis in subjective metaphysics (e.g., reality conforms to
a form of consciousness, e.g., "god's will") and the epistemology of faith
(e.g., "I just know god exists!" - i.e., consciousness does not need to
conform to reality in order to "know").>>>
"Okay, but how about answering the question? How does the objectivist view
The Objectivist views morality as a code of values which guide his choices
and actions. He views it as a guide which enables him to live on earth and
deal with reality on its own terms (as opposed to escaping reality). The
Objectivist views morality as a branch of philosophy which is based on the
primacy of existence metaphysics and on the epistemology of reason. The
Objectivist therefore rejects all expressions of subjectivism, including
supernaturalism, mysticism, 'faith', self-sacrifice, and collectivism.
"You say that reality conforms to existence, not consciousness."
Not precisely. Reality is the realm of existence. Thus, the two terms are
axiomatic (they lie at the root of our knowledge, and cannot be defined in
terms of prior concepts). Thus, the statement "reality conforms to
existence" is a little redundant. I hold that since existence exists
independent of consciousness (a principle which even mystics must accept to
some degree, albeit implicitly and inconsistently), reality does NOT conform
to a form of consciousness.
"Fine--what does that matter to morality?"
You don't know, do you? Well, if you take the Bible to be authoritative on
matters of morality, this does not surprise me.
"You say that consciousness must conform to reality."
Yes, I do.
"We are supposed to accept this because you says so?"
"Again, even if it did, how would that make anything moral or immoral?"
Good question. I wonder how the Bible would address this question.