If there were no God


That would belong to the protection the victims. You are getting really desperate to make such ridiculous statements. “Initiating violent actions” is what needs to be protecting against, and the “desire” of the psychopath is irrelevant.

I was hoping that equating a rape with administering a life saving vaccine is beyond your level of irrationality, but I was mistaken. Sheesh!

The funny thing is that you (finally) realized that it is fine to use force against a violent act, but only if the protection is performed by another “moral agent”. And that is your nonsense. If we could build a “robotic system”, which could detect an impending violent act (like a rape) and the system could “zap” the perpetrator-to-be with a directed stun-gun, that would be the proper way to do. Even though the robot is NOT a moral agent. If a “benevolent god” could do the same, that would be the proper way to go.

If we could perform a simple operation to re-program the psychopath and make him to become a benevolent person, that would be the proper way to go. You have this ridiculous fixation that being able to perform some gratuitous sociopathic act is “intrinsically valuable”. That to deprive the “psychopath-to-be” of this ability somehow creates “more evil”. Get real.


No. It just means that I disagree that you do. :wink:

As well you should be.

Piece of cake:

  • ethics is concerned with what is moral
  • meta-ethics is concerned with what ethics itself is

“the system X is an absolute moral system” is a statement about ethics (in particular, one system of ethics).
“there is no system X such that X is an absolute moral system”, then, is likewise a statement about ethics (namely, that such a system does not exist).

Neither of these discuss what ‘ethics’ is, but rather, describe the existence (or non-existence) of a particular system.

Glad I could help clear that up for you. :smiley:


No, the desire is almost the only relevant thing as it pertains to agency. And not just of the psychopath, of everyone in the entire human race.

No. It’s just an obvious hole in your bleeding-heart argument. We perform harm that good may come of it all the time. Ever heard of a hospital? Particularly the OR ward?

No. I’m certain I mentioned it near the top when I said “the actors must be free to act” and then followed up with "the ref cannot interfere.

You’re just attempting to claim another high-ground here because I’m shooting holes (with ease) in the paper mache absolutes you keep issuing.

Unless (number 106? 107? maybe?) the benevolent god considered the gift of free moral agency to be even more benevolent. It has good legs, as it appears to allow for what actually happens in reality…

It’s certainly relatively valuable. Its intrinsicity it contingent upon the existent of your psycho-god.

Good is good because we have other moral acts like bad which which to juxtapose.

And to be crystal clear - I don’t have a fixation. But you’re convinced that it’s not possible and I’m just picking apart your reasons why. “It can’t be this!” just sounds like a challenge.

Depriving him of agency might create more evil because, presumably, all of humanity is deprived of this agency.

I’m not trying to be snarky here - really - but dismissives and denials are all you have. Which is fine. I guess I just want you to realize that. I’m unable to prove the necessity of free moral agency under a benevolent god as “right”. But you really, really need to internalize that you’re wholly unable to prove it’s impossible.

I understand you don’t like it. But if psycho-god exists, it makes the rules. Not you. Not me.


What is “moral” presupposes an ethical system, so all you did here is create circular definition. Try again. I suggest to realize that all ethical propositions are “OUGHT” types, or “SHOULD” types.

Exactly. About “ethics”, which is part of “meta-ethics” (like meta-physics is about physics). Maybe you have problems with comprehending what “metaphysics” is. These are NOT ethical propositions.

The proposition “there is no absolute morality” is NOT an ethical proposition. It says nothing about “how we should behave” - which would be an ethical proposition. Saying that there is or is not an absolute ethical system is neither of them. Don’t you get it?

On the other hand if you wish to maintain that THERE IS an absolute ethical system, go ahead, make my day. Present it. What kind of system would it be? Deontological? Normative? Consequentialist? Virtue ethics? As I said before, all you have to do to refute the proposition “there is no absolute moral system” - is to provide one.


Keep going; the fun you provide is priceless. Of course the Catholic stance is “one cannot perform EVIL (not “harm”), so that good may come out of it” - which depends on the definition of “evil”. In my ethical system “rape” is evil. Administering a life-saving drug is NOT “evil”. You cannot see the difference. All you believe that ALL actions performed by a moral agent are “equally desirable”, whether the act is beneficial or detrimental to others.

The truth is that I have never met anyone as irrational as you, who confuses a gang-rape with a life-saving injection of an antidote. So, keep going. Let’s see the next installment of your stupidity.


Oh I don’t particularly care what the Catholic stance is as it pertains to philosophical problems (and that goes double for your interpretation of it).

These issues are centuries older than the Church.

I didn’t mention pharmacology. I mentioned surgery. And surgery involves bodily harm - that good may come of it. It’s one of zillions of examples that disprove your device of “no harm unless in self defense”.

Again widening the goal-posts to try and regain a high-ground you chronically lose with your poor position.

No I don’t. I just think that moral actors must be free from divine involvement to carry out their actions. And, lo and behold, this is appears to be what we see in reality.

You’re just wholly unwilling to accept that a benevolent god might not exist as you envision it. Which is just a lack of imagination (or proof of irrational bias) on your part.

I “confuse” them as both possible expressions of free moral agency. And, if he exists, god seems to agree since they both occur in this world.

This doesn’t mean they’re both equally “good” outcomes of agency. I don’t think they are. But this is a distinction you’re unwilling to see as evidenced by the name-calling.


Or in defense of others. In this case the person who is defended is the same as the one who is being “hurt”. And you keep on confusing the “surgery” with “gang-rape”. 'Nuff said.

Anyone who could interfere in a rape, and does not is on the same “moral” level as the perpetrator himself. Not “benevolent”. Looks like you don’t even know what “benevolent” means.

It is also funny that within the same post you contradict yourself. In one paragraph you disavow the Catholic stance, and the other one you refer to it. But just keep going. The entertainment is priceless.


It might be worth noting that in all these discussions, one side always looks at the big ticket items. And God is like Superman and Batman rolled into one swooping down to prevent the bank robbery or the rape.

But if He’s going to prevent evil then one might assume it’s evil as Catholocism sees it. So unless we agree on and pass on a list of things to the Big Guy on what it is exactly we want stopped, then there is a whole raft of things, especially on the other side of my bedroom door, that I want Him staying out of.

Because if He doesn’t, then we aren’t really people any more. Just characters in a divine on-line game show. And it’s a huge call for all right minded Catholics. Would you prefer to be controlled every second of your life and forgo rape and the holocaust and Pol Pot by limiting your free will or have total control.

It’s a tough call to make. Luckily for me I don’t have to make it because I don’t believe in God anyway.


Nonsense. What are they being “defended” from? The agency of their bad appendix? No such thing. Your device breaks.

No. I keep equating them as outcomes of moral agency - which they are. From serving impoverished elderly widows to murdering children - the moral agent must be free to practice their moral agency, as the argument goes.

I think Bradskii nailed it succinctly;

At least someone gets it…

If benevolent god incumbers agency against rape in the name of benevolence, why not do the same for extra-marital, extra-heterosexual sex? Or having a few too many beers at your social outing? Where is the line drawn in a way that isn’t obviously capricious on your part?

*Looks at my own profile…

Nope. Doesn’t say “Catholic”.

And I’ve read over the post a few times looking for the error you identify. No dice. It seems most of your entertainment is self-contrived.


Not so fast. You’re still stuck with general will vs. determinism.

Not quite the same, but if you squint…


Absolutely correct. And since nature abhors a vacuum, those who are tepid or lukewarm in their faith will see it replaced by a redoubled fervor for something else: sports, nationalism, politics, food, you name it. Whenever someone is inordinately passionate about one of these or something else, I always wonder how they really feel about Christ and Our Lady. Then I have to immediately rebuke myself and remind my snoopy soul that other people’s hearts are none of my business. My brief is to work out my salvation in fear and trembling.


This is only your argument, and it is sheer nonsense. Helping those elderly widows is intrinsically good, while murdering those children is intrinsically evil. Don’t you see the difference? No, I guess you don’t.

If you don’t see the difference between a forced rape and “extra-marital, extra-heterosexual” but consensual sex you will never understand the problem.


This is simply a denial. Rationally, it has no value. You can’t show why it’s nonsense beyond your self incriminating appeals to rape, nazis, self-humor and other appeals made by 1st year philo students.

Of course I do.

What I’m arguing is that the ability to choose between these moral paths is arguably a greater good that outweighs the bad things that result from it.

It depends on what the god in question defines as benevolent, not you.

If benevolent god deems that only sex between a married man and woman is the only “good” sex, then your benevolent god must also obliterate any other expression of sex.

The benevolence of the benevolent god isn’t determined by your eye, but rather its own. Among your scores of other errors, you also lack anything resembling an objective limiting principal beyond “Well! It’s obvious that…” - as shown here.


I sure can. Read on…

If you know it, then you don’t care. And that tells me everything about you.

That is merely your opinion, and it is sheer baloney. If you are interested, open a poll, or conduct some research and see if the consensus agrees with you. I predict, it will go against you. And your “arguably” is the one that gives the game away. It is NOT arguable.

That is ridiculous. What is benevolent is not subject to the definition of some arbitrary agent, a “god” or “you” or “myself”. Words have meanings, objectively existing meanings.

Oh, well… keep on going. As I said, the entertainment is priceless.


But don’t you want this SPECIFIC Christian God to prevent, for example, rape? Your whole argument is ‘Why doesn’t God prevent X’ when X is obviously immoral as far as all reasonable people would agree.

But what about acts that to you and me are not immoral but are such to God? If He (as Catholics teach) says contraception is evil, then as well as preventing rape, he’s going to prevent you using contraception. Even if you are medically urged to do so. He’s going to prevent any type of sex that isn’t specifically for procreation. And yes, He’s going to prevent consensual sex between adults if they are not married.

All this and more. Unless He asks YOU for a list of what YOU want prevented. And that would cause some problems, not least that we would disagree on many things.

The problem with suggesting that God is not all good because He allows evil is that we don’t get to define what evil is as far as He is concerned.


Briefly, as I’m off line for a few hours, I think that I have a will that exhibits itself in my preferences. Which are generally genetically determined. Some people like bitter, some IPA. Some like tall women, some short.

The fact that I buy a beer at any time is a mixture of deterministic (thirsty, being able to afford one, being in a bar at that moment) and will (I really fancy that new West Coast IPA).

So when you say that you chose a beer with free will, what you are saying is that you expressed a preference for it withing the conditions that were current. Which were deterministic.

Anyway, that’s where I am currently with this problem. Which has been a concern for many years.


I’m going to guess that you’re simply going to issue more denial and dismissives…

Bingo. What’s my prize?

We’ve actually had similar polls on this very site. Something akin was actually posted by the user Vera Ljuba whose rhetoric yours so closely matches. The poll ended up favoring freedom, as may surprise you

Of course it is. Just more denial here…

The words themselves might have an objective meaning. But how we apply those words isn’t objective at all. I would imagine you and a radical Muslim would have quite a few disagreements over examples of “goodness” or “benevolence”.

Again, qed.


The best I could do during my Calvinist days was to conclude that the sovereignty of God (determinism, fate) and the responsibility (thus agency, choice) of mankind existed in duality. Both true at the same time.

I realize it’s purely an axiomatic position.


Ah, Vera. Though these are not one and the same person. I caught Vera out quite some time ago when he started re-posting as Vera as his style was identical to that of his earlier persona. Used a lot of ‘quotes’ for no ‘apparent’ reason.


That is a good starting point. Though the major problem with rape is not that it is frowned upon by most people, but that it is a forceful intrusion into the woman’s privacy. As such it is contradicted by the modified golden rule. (Don’t do unto others…) This is the only ethical rule that is accepted across all societies and all ages.

As I said before, there are many things where I agree with the church, and also many things where I don’t. Contraception and/or extramarital sex are some of these latter ones. I do not automatically respect any so called authority - especially not the self-proclaimed ones (too independent minded, you see :slight_smile: ). Show me that the authority is rational, and I will follow the guidelines.

Of course I don’t believe that God cares either way. Since God is supposed to be a rational being, we can safely assume that whatever he does, or permits is A-OK by him. Only an idiot would allow something that he categorically, unconditionally and absolutely disagrees with.

In this case all conversations are futile - at least until God himself - and NOT the self-proclaimed interpreters / mouthpieces of him - comes and tells us, personally.

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