Monday, November 07, 2005

Conversations with God, part 11

Morality, part 1

Nowhere in the book does Walsch's God contradict herself more than in her statements about morality. God's position on morality is a combination of nihilism, relativism, and egoism. Nihilism is the view that there's no such thing as right and wrong, good and bad, should and shouldn't. There are no obligations or objective values in the world. Relativism is the view that moral values depend on each individual. If I think something is right, then it's right for me, and it may be wrong for somebody else who thinks it's wrong. Egoism is the view that we ought to always act in self-interest. These views are not necessarily inconsistent with each other, depending on whether you take egoism to be a moral obligation or just a good idea for practical reasons. If it's just a good idea for practical reasons, then egoism is not inconsistent with relativism and nihilism. These are all forms of moral non-realism. That is, morals are not objective features of the world. They don't exist in reality. They are only the subjective preferences of individuals.

The problem with Walsch and just about everybody else who claims that there's no such thing as right and wrong, good and evil, ought and ought not, is that they seem to find it impossible to be consistent. I believe this is owing to the fact that morality presses itself on the human psyche in much the same way as the external world does. There may be people who claim the external world doesn't exist, but the external world continues to impress itself on those same people in a way which seems very real to them. People may deny and try to ignore their moral compass, but they can never rid themselves of it entirely. I'll go through some examples of how God says one thing and then another, showing that God may deny the reality of objective moral values all she wants, but she still believes in them.

to be continued...

Part 12


At 11/07/2005 7:18 AM , Blogger daleliop said...

It's kind of ironic that the truthfulness of the argument for objective morality depends on the person reading it, in the same way that the relativist claims that subjective morality depends on the person's opinion of it.

i.e. The argument for objective morality only works if the person admits that they believe in objective morality. The argument can only convince them if they believe it to be true. If you can not convince them that they actually believe in objective moral values, then your argument fails since it hinges on what they believe.

At 11/07/2005 9:45 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

The hardest thing to convince people of sometimes is what they already believe. Weird.

At 11/07/2005 1:46 PM , Blogger Steve said...

if people are unconvinced by what they already believe, doesn't that suggest they dont fully believe it?

i think any careful study of science demonstrates that we rarely if ever understand the external world - we're not sure what is real.

The way things appear, and the underlying forces which control them, are not the same.

At 11/08/2005 5:38 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Steve, people often act on basic assumptions without even thinking about it, so it is possible for a person to consciously deny what he unconsciously believes. For example, a lot of people claim to hold to some other theory of truth besides the correspondence theory. But in their every day lives, they use the word "true" just like the rest of us. When they ask if something is true, they want to know if it really corresponds to reality.

At 11/08/2005 11:36 AM , Blogger Jeff Travis Henderson said...

Another example is the person who did't believe in the laws logic.


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