That only follows if bodily death is strictly implied by bodily life. If bodily immortality is possible, then bodily death is not strictly implied by bodily life. In that case, axiom 1 survives.
Not in formal logic. In formal logic, all premises add things to prior premises, and the result is a conclusion that is the sum of the premises. Thus the argument…
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
…is not circular. The argument I posted about God and morality has the same form, and therefore is not circular either. Unless I’ve misunderstood something.
In other words, you need to define what God is first, and if that definition is “objective goodness itself” then you cannot make an assertion like #2 without begging the question.
This is the same objection in clearer words, so it is covered by the previous explanation: in formal logic, the conclusion must appear in the sum of the premises in order to be valid. Your objection appears to be that the conclusion appears when you add the premises together, but that’s what must happen or the argument would be invalid. Since the conclusion is the correct sum of the premises, the only possible objection to the argument is that one of the premises is false – again, unless I’ve misunderstood formal logic.
That is a terrible argument for a number of reasons
I think it can only be for two possible reasons: either the argument doesn’t follow logical structure or at least one of the premises is false. But the argument does follow the structure of formal logic, so which premise(s) do you deny?
but I think some Christians would think that such reasoning was an attempt at defining goodness without God.
Some might think that, but I don’t think they would be correct.
But the problem isn’t the existence of an objective measure of goodness or positivity, it is the actual definition that will allow us to objectively decide which things are good or positive and which are not.
That seems accurate. We can’t objectively decide which things are good or bad merely by saying “God is the standard of morality.” We would first have to know at least something about God’s behavior.
Just knowing it exists isn’t enough, we need to know what it is in order to figure out if being God-like is actually positive.
I don’t think that’s quite accurate. I think we can show that existence is a positive quality by carefully examining the contrary. If existence was a negative quality, it would seem to follow that it is impossible to posit that anything exists. The reason is that I believe the word “positive” in this case refers to the ability to logically posit that quality Y belongs to subject X. If that is correct, and if you can logically posit that anything exists, it seems to follow that existence is a positive quality, i.e. a quality that can be posited about a subject.
I assume that is why Godel included Axiom 3 at all, it lets him avoid the question and most people would just agree offhand since the word “positive” seems like a thing God-like-ness would be, and forget the fact that since “positivity” hasn’t actually been defined, they don’t know what they’re agreeing to.
I don’t think that is what he is doing. I think he is using the term “positive quality” in a way that is more like “actually existing quality” than like “morally good quality.” You can’t posit that a quality belongs to something if the quality does not exist. You can only posit that it belongs to something if it does exist. Positive in this case seems to relate to the ability to logically posit that a quality belongs to something. If you can’t logically posit that quality Y belongs to subject X, then Y is not a positive quality.
Can you give me the actual, concrete definition of goodness or positivity which would allow us to start objectively evaluating properties to see which ones Godel’s proof would assert that God has?
I think positivity in this case is the same thing as actually existing, and only includes moral goodness if moral goodness is a quality that actually exists (i.e. a positive quality).
We could take the easy way and say that properties are good or positive iff God has them, but that would certainly lead to a circular argument.
That seems likely.
If altruism and morality are explained by evolution, does that mean we are morally obliged to obey evolution?
- An objective standard of morality does not exist. Take for example, the use of artificial birth control for a married couple with seven children. One standard says that this is morally wrong, but another standard (including the majority belief of married American Roman Catholic women) will say that it is morally acceptable.
Your example does not seem to prove your point. An objective standard of morality seems to be able to exist in the face of people who contradict it in the same way that objective facts exist in the face of people who contradict them. What am I missing?
If we banned the pill, we could punish its possessors in the same way that possessors of other contraband products are punished. I’m not sure how other contraband is regulated, but I don’t think the cases would be much different.