Saturday, October 06, 2012

McCormick argues that a God who perfoms miracles would be immoral

Here

If God can be moral while permitting suffering, I don't know that you could then argue that God can be immoral if he both performs miracles and permits suffering. So I am not sure that this changes the dynamic of the argument from evil, which is in play here.

151 comments:

Cole said...

All I really need to know in dealing with the problem of evil and suffering is that God had morally justifiable reasons for creating a world that now contains evil and suffering even if I don't know what those reasons are. I'm not all-knowing or infinite in wisdom and I can not see all of reality like He does. To say that God could have done it otherwise assumes that the physical laws are not based on any kind of mathematical necessity. But that's hardly the case since the physical laws are based on basic symmetries. From Noether's theorems we know that conservation laws are mathematically connected to symmetry principles. For example, conservation of momentum is based on physical laws being symmetrical with respect to space translation. This is a mathematical requirement that if the laws of physics with respect to space translation are the same in different parts of the universe, then you have conservation of momentum. If conservation of momentum is violated, then this symmetry is violated. If we think of these symmetries as "metaphysically necessary" for our type of classical universe, then the conservation principle itself is necessary. To read more about the laws and symmetry go here: Symmetry (physics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Since the laws are based on mathematical necessity then God can't make basic symmetries to be false. For He is a God of truth as well. He cannot lie or go contrary to His own nature. It seems that God would have set up these physical laws for a universe to naturally emerge. His spiritual laws would likewise be in place for a spiritual universe to emerge as an extension of this process. As I said above, God can't make a lie a truth, so metaphysical necessity (e.g., truths of symmetry) don't do away with God's ability to make responsible choices either. He simply cannot go contrary to His own nature. As long as God can choose to meet His divine objectives within whatever constraints he must work within, then His will is not frozen. He is also omnipotent if we look at omnipotence in a narrow sense in that there is no external agency that can prevent him from achieving his goals. Omnipotence doesn't have to mean that God can do the logically impossible, broadly logically impossible, or go contrary to His own nature.

What about miracles?

What God needs to avoid is a violation of conservation principles. These are macro laws that apply to a classical scale as a whole. On the quantum scale, it's permissible for God to temporarily violate conservation laws. This account of God being limited by mathematically necessary physical laws applies only at a classical scale. God is freely able to pick and choose a particular quantum event to occur just as long as he doesn't disrupt the overall probability of events happening randomly. So, with regard to miracles, God can "build up" a prior series of events by selecting certain key quantum events to occur. In this case, the evolution would appear perfectly natural, except that the evolution is guided by those selective quantum events that God chose to be extremely influential in our evolution. Miracles are just a special case of this kind of evolution. God sets up the circumstance ahead of time, and if event X occurs, then X is just a trigger mechanism to bring about the miraculous set of events.

Cole said...

Now, in the case of the Resurrection, it's important to note that this event includes New Physics. We've never encountered bodies that can go through walls or can fly into the air and just disappear. If we assume that the Shroud of Turin is Jesus' actual burial cloth, then the New Physics might be have electromagnetic effects. However, the way such a miracle of New Physics could be initiated is on the quantum scale.

Unfortunately the only evidence of God's interacting with the world would be the event itself. We can't detect a quantum event being influenced by God since from our eyes there would be nothing unusual about a quantum event going in the X-direction instead of the Y-direction. The only thing is that the X-direction is fortuitous and the Y-direction is not. Similarly, there would be no way for us to know that God couldn't prevent the Y-direction for horrible events to occur because there are just too many Y-events that God would need to prevent in order to stop all such horrible events. God has a quota of how many X-events that he can exercise without violating conservation laws, and therefore he has carefully picked and chosen which events to exercise his omnipotent will.

There is some scriptural evidence of the above. The scriptures say that he chooses the least to accomplish his will. He calls certain of these least to accomplish the greatest of purposes, and he does this through an indeterministic process. This biblical principle is what we are applying to the quantum realm. What's nifty about it is that it accounts for the natural world as well as the hiddenness of God. Why do terrible things happen and not to all? God is restricted by conservation laws to control every Y-event. The good things, which we should be very thankful for, are because God does exercise control over certain X-events. Some of those events are miracles that happen in our lives. Unfortunately, if a Y-event occurs, we have to understand that God's plan required that the conservation laws to be maintained in that instance.

Cole said...

No matter what I'm going through I can always rely on God's love. God brings beauty out of ashes. My faith is in Him even though I may not understand what He is doing at the time. God isn't displeased with me just because suffering falls on me. Rather, He is tenderly present in it carrying me through it. By opening myself up to God's love and compassion I can gain a deeper experience of His love in my life. By letting His love flow from me to others I double my joy in Him. It is this joy that carries me through the hard times. I don't believe that God directly causes the suffering in the world. He permits it (for morally justifiable reasons) even if I don't know what those reasons are. He sees all of reality (I do not) and He knows what is best in each circumstance even if I'm in the dark because of my finite and limited understanding of reality and His ways. God's sovereign will is His business alone. My job is to carry His mercy to the hurting. As I am motivated by God's love to trust in Him and love Him above all else, I will clean house and help others. God is not merely "good" in the sense of what we think of as good. No, He is Holy, Holy, Holy. He is seperate and distinct in all His attributes. He is morally pure. There are ways we are to be like God and ways we are not to be like God. To try and be like God in every way leads to pride and arrogance. He alone is God. There is no other. We can not be like God in every way.

Here's a few ways we are not like God:


God is all-knowing - we are not

God is infinite in wisdom - we are not

God is all-powerful - we are not

God is sovereign over the universe - we are not

God is self-sufficient - we are not

God is necessary being - we are not


I am humbled in knowing there is a God and I'm not like Him in every way.

BenYachov said...

One more time. God is ontologically and metaphysically good. God is Goodness Itself but God is not a moral agent who has obligations to us & given His nature in Classic terms it is incoherent to conceive of Him in that fashion.

All of God's good acts that He might do for us are gratuitous and acts of supererogation. He doesn't owe us anything & can't be condemned for not giving us any particular good and can only be praised for the Good He does.

Enough of this Theodicy bullshit. A Classic Theistic God needs a Theodicy like a fish needs a bicycle.

BenYachov said...

BTW that last was aimed at that McCormick fellow I wasn't responding to Cole.

Just so everyone knows.

Cole said...

I take it as a bit of common sense that I don't know everything neither do I see all of reality like God does. My God wants me to trust Him even when I don't know at the time why He is doing what He's doing. Faith can look back and believe that Christ died for our sins and look out and trust the person of Christ. It can also look forward and be assured about a promise. But when faith embraces this past reality it's essence includes embracing the implications of that reality for the present and the future. When we repent and embrace Christ as Savior and Lord we are guranteed His future blood bought promises. So, faith is future oriented but it is experienced in the now. When my future is in the hands of an all-powerful, all-wise, all-holy God who promises to work all my circumstances together for my good, anxiety and frustrations are broken and I experience loving assurance and hope in the now. Faith -> Hope -> Love.

As we can see there is more to it than just love. Let us summarize the above with a modified argument from Cilfford Williams:

1. Some need cosmic security. They need to know that they will live beyond the grave in a state that is free from the defects of this life, a state that is full of goodness and justice. They need a more expansive life, one in which they love and are loved. They need meaning, and need to know that they are forgiven for going astray. They also need to experience awe and wonder, to delight in goodness and to be present with those they love.

2. The best explanation for the presence of these needs in humans is that there is a God who has put them into humans.

3. Faith in God satisfies these needs.

4. Therefore, they are justified in believing there is a God in whom they can have faith


For me, when I'm in the presence of what I consider to be "beautiful" some of those needs often come up. "Beauty" often stirs within me a longing for the transcendent. It's like something just tells me that there has to be more to it than just this temporary existence. It's like I possess an instinct for transcendence, stimulated by beauty. For me, beauty evokes an ideal that is more real than anything I've encountered in this transitory world. It stirs up a sense of longing in my soul.

Why doesn't God put these needs in everyone? I don't know all of God's reasons for doing what He does. I know He's not obligated to give rebel sinners grace. They willfully reject God. They don't want to have anything to do with Him. So, God's not obligated to give such people grace. To say that God is obligated to give sinners grace goes against the whole concept and meaning of grace. If He gives it to some and not others then He does nothing wrong. He reserves the right to have mercy on whomever He pleases. This is the Divine prerogative.

Thrasymachus said...

My guess is a miracle-performing God might make life harder for theodicy if these miraculous intercessions seem to be poorly prioritized. Two examples from people I have talked to.

1) "My friend used to be short-sighted, yet after he prayed he now has 20/20 vision and no longer leaves glasses" - But why didn't God treat all those hundreds of thousands with River blindness, Vit A def, etc. etc. Surely they are far more deserving.

2) "We really needed money for a new keyboard. Miraculously, we got anonymous donations for a week - no one knew we needed it - and so we could fund it." Again, couldn't god miracle up some funds for Against Malaria, or Oxfam, or a destitute family?

So the problem with miracles which look poorly prioritized is that they rule out certain theodicies (God obviously can intervene in the natural order), but suggests divine injustice - the most deserving people find their prayers unanswered, whilst god seems to have all the time in the world to intercede for comparatively trivial first world problems.

B. Prokop said...

As I wrote in a previous posting some months ago, my personal standard for whether a miraculous account is credible or not is as follows:

Is the purported miracle a reflection of the Incarnation and Resurrection? Does it give us some new insight into the meaning of these events? If so, then it deserves further inquiry. If not, it is bogus.

Walter said...

All of God's good acts that He might do for us are gratuitous and acts of supererogation. He doesn't owe us anything & can't be condemned for not giving us any particular good and can only be praised for the Good He does.

Why not post this on Matt's blog? Take the fight to the enemy.

Cole said...

Atheists often question the infinite wisdom of God with their finite and limited understanding of reality. God knows all the details of reality and of everbody's life. Atheists don't trust in God's sovereign wisdom instead they rely on their own. This is the height of arrogance. God doesn't owe His creation anything, especially sinners. Grace (common or saving) is a gift. It's undeserved. You cannot deserve to be created. So, life itself is a gift. God never owes His creation common or saving grace, especially to sinners. The only way this could be unfair is if God owed grace. But He doesn't. He reserves the right to have mercy on whomever and whatever He pleases. He alone is God.

Dan Gillson said...

Well Cole, you are right about one thing: atheists definitelyquestion the infinite wisdom of God. You are wrong, in my view, to equate that sort of skepticism with arrogance. It doesn't necessarily follow from the fact--if it indeed is one--of God creating me that I owe him my obedience or servitude; if life is, indeed, a gift, then why does God include it with strings attached? While is my servility necessary? I didn't ask to be created, nor did I volunteer to be part of a special plan for the restoration of the world (apokatastasis), so I shouldn't be forced to consent to a contract I had no part of. That's not arrogant, that's practical.

Crude said...

Dan,

Well Cole, you are right about one thing: atheists definitelyquestion the infinite wisdom of God.

Are you sure? What they seem to question is God's existence, period. This is like saying a-unicornists question whether unicorns are pretty. They really don't seem to - that question doesn't even come up for them.

I didn't ask to be created, nor did I volunteer to be part of a special plan for the restoration of the world (apokatastasis), so I shouldn't be forced to consent to a contract I had no part of.

Sure, but where is your consent forced? You're free to reject taking part in it and accept what outcomes that follow.

Syllabus said...

"I didn't ask to be created, nor did I volunteer to be part of a special plan for the restoration of the world (apokatastasis), so I shouldn't be forced to consent to a contract I had no part of."

Yes, you've certainly had the shit end of the stick thrust upon you, what with existing and all.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"All of God's good acts that He might do for us are gratuitous and acts of supererogation."

It seems to me that if God is an actor at all - if he does anything to influence the outcome of events in the world, he must be regarded as a a moral actor. Then he must bear responsibility for evil.

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

Your response, while interesting, is tangential. I am challenging Cole's conception of God as a sovereign debtor: why do I owe God for something I had no say in, i.e., my existence? If I'd have known that life would be a kind of loan, I might have declined the offer.

Crude said...

Dan,

I am challenging Cole's conception of God as a sovereign debtor: why do I owe God for something I had no say in, i.e., my existence?

I don't see where it's claimed that you owe God something - I saw arguments that God owes humans nothing.

If I'd have known that life would be a kind of loan, I might have declined the offer.

That makes no sense, since you'd have to exist to accept or decline. I know that sounds like I'm splitting hairs and making a meager point, but I actually think it's salient - the ability to make any choice at all requires life and existence.

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

First, a correction: I meant sovereign creditor, not debtor.

Second, I can't imagine that Cole, in advancing his argument, intended to argue that our obligation to God is null. I think that Cole thinks that our obligation to God is fully enforced; the language of sin and grace and the notion of deserts gives him away. So, while he didn't state outright that humans owe God, his argument assumes it.

Third, you assume it as well: "You're free to reject taking part in it [the restoration of the world] and accept what outcomes that follow." Just like I'm free to default on my student loans, and see what happens to my credit score.

Crude said...

Dan,

Third, you assume it as well: "You're free to reject taking part in it [the restoration of the world] and accept what outcomes that follow." Just like I'm free to default on my student loans, and see what happens to my credit score.

First of all, in that scenario, you are. You really can default on your student loans. Are you saying you don't have a choice, just because making a choice may result in something you personally dislike? And really, I don't think the comparison works precisely because there is no person making a choice prior to creation. Talk of "well, maybe I would have said no" is a popular response, but I don't think it stands up to scrutiny.

Either way, I don't think God's situation works out to debt. In fact, I'm seeing the opposite here - you're suggesting that God is the one who's in debt and owes humanity (at least each individual person) something. Where God owes you not only the ability to make a choice, but also the result that you are happy with that choice/that the results are something you approve of.

BenYachov said...

I wrote this in the past so I will repeat myself.

The problem of Evil presupposes God's Goodness consists of perfect moral goodness. Or more accurately that God is a perfect moral agent.

Some attempts to defend God based on this presupposition mostly consist of showing how it is logically impossible for God to give us some goods without allowing some evil. Father Brian Davies thinks these arguments thought powerful ultimately fail(but might have some small validity).

(side note the Thomistic view of omnipotence tells us God cannot do the logically impossible. Example: Can't God do anything? So why can't He make 2+2=5? Answer: God can do anything 2+2=5 does not describe anything. It describes nothing and gives new meaning to the phrase "There is nothing God cannot do". Same applies to to Rock so heavy blah blah blah)

Brian Davies argues OTOH given a Classical understanding of the nature of God instead of an anthropomorphic Theistic Personalist one.

God's Goodness cannot be conceived of coherently as moral goodness. God is not and cannot by nature coherently be conceived of as a moral agent unequivocally the same way a human might be conceived thus. That is not to say God is not in some sense the same as what a morally good human person is but He is not unequivocally the same.

We might ask since God contains all Perfections does it not follow God has perfect muscle tone? Clearly not? That would be incoherent. Since God cannot have perfect muscle tone without having muscles. But if God had muscles he would be composite not simple in substance and thus not perfect. Also Muscles have potency that become actual while God is purely actual. If God had muscles He could not be purely actual. We can say God is Perfection Itself. Being Itself and Existence Itself. Since His existence and Essence are identical He can be the metaphysical source of perfection in perfect muscle tone without himself having muscles or perfect muscle tone.

In a like manner given the Thomistic Definition of Goodness. God can be the source of the Goodness in moral agency without being a moral agent Himself. We can't say coherently God is sober, temperate and Chaste they have no meaning given His Nature. Moral Agents share a moral community and God is not a member of a community with us given His wholly Other nature. Thus God cannot coherently be called a moral agent. Thus the problem of Evil becomes a non-problem.

As Davies says people who argue the Problem of Evil on both sides, Atheist and Theist have largely been wasting their lives. It's like arguing about wither or not Tennis players should be able to run the mile in under 10 minutes. A Tennis player is not the sort of athlete concerned with running the mile but playing tennis. God is not a moral agent. God's Goodness is not moral Goodness. Though he is the source of the Goodness in morality. God's goodness is something else. Being the First Cause and the Final Cause and goal of all things.

Morality requires obligations. God coherently doesn't and cannot have obligations to us. Morality requires sharing a moral community under a moral law. God doesn't and cannot coherently be said to share a community with us. God can be said to be the moral law by nature but God is not under the moral law since it is logically incoherent to claim God can be under Himself.

BenYachov said...

Aristotle said, we cannot attribute moral virtues to divinity: the praise would be vulgar. Equally, moral blame would be laughable.

The following I copied from a blog post that no longer exists.

QUOTE"God As Morally Deficient
The point for now is just to indicate how different the classical theist’s conception of divine goodness is from that of the theistic personalist – and, for that matter, from the conception taken for granted by atheists who suggest that the existence of evil shows that God, if He exists, must in some way be morally deficient.

While God is not a Platonic Form, for the classical theist, to suggest that God is in some way morally deficient nevertheless makes about as much sense as suggesting that Plato’s Form of the Good might be morally deficient. The suggestion is unintelligible both because characterizing the God of classical theism as either virtuous or vicious is unintelligible, and because characterizing Him as deficient in any way is unintelligible. An atheist could intelligibly deny that such a God exists at all (just as he could intelligibly deny the existence of Platonic Forms), but to suggest that the God of classical theism might be morally deficient merely shows that such an atheist does not understand the view he is criticizing (just as an opponent of Platonism who suggested that the Form of the Good might be unloving or vicious would only show thereby that he doesn’t understand what sort of thing a Form is supposed to be)."END QUOTE

BenYachov said...

The following descriptions of TP & CT are taken from Feser's TLS


Quote"The theistic personalist or neo-theist conceives of God essentially as a person comparable to human persons, only without the limitations we have. The idea is to begin with what we know about human beings and then to abstract away first the body, then our temporal limitations, then our epistemological and volitional confinement to knowing about and having control over only a particular point of space and time, then our moral defects, and to keep going until we arrive at the notion of a being who has power, knowledge, and goodness like ours but to an unlimited degree.
Theistic personalism or neo-theism also rejects divine simplicity and its implications; indeed, this is the motivation for developing a conception of God by abstracting from our conception of human persons, for the theistic personalist objects to the notion of God as immutable, impassible, and eternal – finding it too cold and otherworldly, and incompatible with a literal reading of various biblical passages – and typically has philosophical objections to the notion of divine simplicity. Davies identifies Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne as theistic personalists.END QUOTE

As a Catholic & based on the Tradition of the Church I reject Theistic personalism. Indeed I am a Strong Atheist as to the existence of any Theistic Personalist view of God...

BenYachov said...

Classic Theism as defined by Philosopher Edward Feser

QUOTE"God is not an object or substance alongside other objects or substances in the world; rather, He is pure being or existence itself, utterly distinct from the world of time, space, and things, underlying and maintaining them in being at every moment, and apart from whose ongoing conserving action they would be instantly annihilated. The world is not an independent object in the sense of something that might carry on if God were to “go away”; it is more like the music produced by a musician, which exists only when he plays and vanishes the moment he stops. None of the concepts we apply to things in the world, including to ourselves, apply to God in anything but an analogous sense. Hence, for example, we may say that God is “personal” insofar as He is not less than a person, the way an animal is less than a person. But God is not literally “a person” in the sense of being one individual thing among others who reasons, chooses, has moral obligations, etc. Such concepts make no sense when literally applied to God."END QUOTE

The above view is what I would call God.

BenYachov said...

>Why not post this on Matt's blog? Take the fight to the enemy.

I did that to Stephen Law & you know how I am how ruthless I a dick I am?

He mostly ignored me & then he kicked me out after a confontation over Brian Davies & the proper understanding of Theodicy..

I had a better time on Justin Vacula's blog even though it was brief but I lost interest when he started to post about politics. Justin seems a civil sort though & is a philosophy student.

I'll think about it but maybe after the silly season I'll do that or not.

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

>It seems to me that if God is an actor at all - if he does anything to influence the outcome of events in the world, he must be regarded as a moral actor. Then he must bear responsibility for evil.

Thomists might say He is formally responsible for evil but not morally.

If you read my posts above I submit your statement can only apply to a Theistic personalist view of God. It can't coherently apply to a CT view.

When you get around to it THE REALITY OF GOD & THE PROBLEM OF EVIL BY Brian Davies is about this topic.

It's a good read.

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

The student loan analogy is meant to elucidate the nature of obligations, not the consequences of choices. What happens when I don't pay my bills is not nearly as important as what happened to saddle me with the obligation to pay them: I consented to the terms of a contract. With Cole's God, there is no possibility to consent. I come into being, without consent, and God's rules are applied ex post facto, without consent. I have a hard time seeing here how it turns out that life is a gift, and not a curse.

Crude said...

Dan,

With Cole's God, there is no possibility to consent. I come into being, without consent, and God's rules are applied ex post facto, without consent.

Sure, but 'without consent' in this case is because you don't exist at all. That's a pretty unique situation. You can't possibly be asking to have had permission to give consent to your own existence (or if you are, you'll see the problem with that.)

I have a hard time seeing here how it turns out that life is a gift, and not a curse.

Let me get this straight, using the view of God you're discussing here.

You are freely willed into existence by your creator. Your creator provides you with the opportunity to accept or reject to live according to His rules (love thy neighbor as thyself, follow the commandments, etc). He rewards His creation with heaven (yes, we didn't define heaven, but for now there you go).

This makes you regard life as a curse, because you may not like the rules?

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

In my view, moral agency involves making decisions that will affect the lives or well-being of sentient beings. In nature, there is no conscious intent to make the world what it is. But if God intended things to be as they are, he willed the suffering of his creatures. This seems inconsistent with the definition of God as being inherently good and above any question of morality.

Perhaps Davies can help clear this up for me.

Cole said...

Dan,

Grace is unmerrited favor. You cannot deserve as a non-being to be created. God creates out of the overflow of His grace. He wasn't obligated to create and He's not obligated to sustain.

cl said...

Thrasymachus,

Though I understand the logic you're attempting to invoke—and I'm saying this even though I think many claims of miracles are silly nonsense—the problem I see is that your account simply assumes that "more physical suffering" = "more deserving of God's intervention." However, a rather complex argument would need to be given before that can be accepted (in my opinion).

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

I'm using the notions of consent and obligation in tandem; in my view, one cannot be without the other. Seeing as I have never consented to God's terms for existing, i.e., upon arrival on planet Earth, creatures 1.) must believe in the essentials of the Christian religion, whatever they may be and 2.) must act in accordance with at least one version of the Christian religion, I don't know how I would be obligated to them. That I have to abide by terms, to which I didn't agree, which fly in the face of reason is the reason why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

cl said...

Dan Gillson,

It's really all a matter of perspective. You can view your life as more of curse, or more of a blessing.

Also, how do you know you never consented to being brought into Earth? For all we know, each one of us may have had a pre-birth conversation with God, wherein we were fully warned of the consequences.

Just some thoughts for further chewing.

BenYachov said...

>I'm using the notions of consent and obligation in tandem; in my view, one cannot be without the other.

If you could "create yourself" or cause your own existence & sustain it you might have a case.

But as it stands your unstated presupposition here is you are the lawful possesor of yourself over & against God and thus have grounds to complain against God for Cosmic copyright violations for making you without obtaining your permission.

But since that is not the reality you have no moral grounds to complain. Since your existence is totally dependent on God for causing you to be an actual being you have no moral basis to complain since you can't claim to possess yourself or your being to the degree God processes you & thus morally protest your creation.

>I don't know how I would be obligated to them.

It is your created nature. You are obligated to God in the same way you are obligated to eat food in order to get nourishment from it. You can refuse to eat & bitch at the food all you like for not nourishing you unless you condensed to eat it.

But in the end of the day to do that is irrational.

Before your creation there simply was no you. The non-existent you had no good whatsoever & without being created had no prospects.

You objection is fundamentally irrational since it's like being offered a winning lottery ticket & complaining because the person who gave it too you didn't ask your permission to offer it too you(please note my precise wording here).

There is no immorality on the part of God for creating you "without your permission" here rather there is IMHO immoral ingratitude.

Maybe God doesn't exist but this argument is not rational.

If God exists you owe Him. There is no getting around it & that is a just situation.

>That I have to abide by terms, to which I didn't agree, which fly in the face of reason is the reason why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

Even thought you belong completely to God, God has given you to choice if you want him to "belong" to you in the Beatific Vision. You can choose to have Goodness Itself as an everlasting possession.

You can also choose the contradiction of calling the fundamental goodness of existence & the possession of Goodness Itself a curse but you have to deal with the consequences of choosing a contradiction.

BenYachov said...

Additional problems with this argument of Dan's.

As my wife notes one could use this argument to condemn one's parents for procreating you & imposing rules on you growing up.

It is also as absurd as Harry Potter complaining against J.K. Rowling for making Him up & writing about Him without asking his permission to be made up and written about.

The metaphysical gulf between an author and a fictional character is almost as great as the one between a mere being vs Being Itself.

The gulf between us and God in the Classic sense is much greater.

Dan Gillson said...

1.) Whether or not I am the lawful possessor of myself, and I don't believe that I am, I have the grounds to complain against God, whether or not he exists. Scripture, particularly the Psalms, sets that precedent and I'll take full advantage of it.

2.) Eating, or the need to, is compulsory, not obligatory. There is nothing about my nature, created or not, that obligates me to eat. Likewise, there is nothing about my nature that obligates me to serve God; that's simply because you cannot enumerate my obligations by appealing to nature, whether or not you believe in God. God may try to compel, cajole, coerce, or bully me into his service. He may try to use my nature against me, like the cold does, compelling me to seek shelter. But he can't hold me accountable to a contract I never consented to. So, no: my argument isn't fundamentally irrational. I don't owe God my fealty, much less anything else.

Crude said...

I'll probably have more to say later - busy day here - but really, to me this seems like the worst kind of Pharisee-style approach, to the absolute Nth degree.

I mean this line in particular.

Scripture, particularly the Psalms, sets that precedent and I'll take full advantage of it.

God says, "You interpreted that wrong." and we're done.

You're taking on a whole lot of unspoken metaphysics and views about ownership, nature, duty, etc to make the argument you are, and at the end of the day if you want to say "Well, yes I am, but those are my views, and I say life is a curse unless I can (say) chop up infants without remorse!" - while it may be productive to get into a discussion about natures, duty, justice, etc - the short answer seems to be, "Right, well, you go ahead and think that I suppose."

It's like imagining someone arguing that it's a violation of their constitutional rights that they be imprisoned for grand theft auto, since 'cruel and unusual punishment' is forbidden and confinement is, in their opinion, cruel and unusual. Yes, you can get into a nice long argument there, but that's right around the point where discussing just about anything else seems more productive.

BenYachov said...

@Dan

You have some "issues" my son.

>1.) Whether or not I am the lawful possessor of myself, and I don't believe that I am,

Then you concede the lion's share of the argument to me & thus have no moral basis to complain to God for creating you without your permission.

>I have the grounds to complain against God, whether or not he exists. Scripture, particularly the Psalms, sets that precedent and I'll take full advantage of it.

God likely wrote the Psalms if He exists & thus as Crude points out He is the final interpreter of what He wrote like all authors. If He says your wrong. End of story.

>2.) Eating, or the need to, is compulsory, not obligatory. There is nothing about my nature, created or not, that obligates me to eat.

You miss the point of my analogy. If you wish to nourish yourself with food you are obligated to eat it. You cannot obtain nourishment from food without ingesting it in some manner. Your nature does not allow you any other means to have food unless you ingest it. Even if you want to be a smart ass & say "I can always take it intravenously" well that is still a form of ingestion.

If you seek the good you must ultimately pursue God who is Goodness Itself. Even in your weird nihilism you are pursuing something good in however a disordered manner.

>Likewise, there is nothing about my nature that obligates me to serve God;

I'm afraid that is not the case. Your nature moves you to seek the good & obligates you too. Sin is the disordered pursuit of good. The suicide pursues what he thinks is the good of escape from pain. The glutton the pleasure of consuming food at all costs. The person with the eating disorder the feeling of control that comes from denying themselves sustenance.

The pursuit of power, freedom and control are not in themselves evil. So your disordered pursuit power & control over your own life and freedom at the expense of God are a pursuit of the good in a disordered manner. But your nature still compels you to pursuit the good. You can't escape your nature.

Ever.

>that's simply because you cannot enumerate my obligations by appealing to nature, whether or not you believe in God.

I just did. You must eat to receive sustenance from food there is no other way to get that sustenance out of it. You must pursue God to obtain Goodness Itself, the one who is Goodness Itself. You may want to eat but the rules of food are very clear.

You nature will always want the good but the question is will you choice to obtain it in the way consistent with reality or in rebellion against reality?

>God may try to compel, cajole, coerce, or bully me into his service. He may try to use my nature against me, like the cold does, compelling me to seek shelter.

Rather it is you who rebel against nature that causes the pain here. You can't be ultimately happy without the good and you really can't be happy without the Source of the Good. But if you desperately want to be unhappy you will be obliged.

>But he can't hold me accountable to a contract I never consented to.

You can scream at a delicious banquet all day "I AM HUNGRY GOD DAMN IT! NOW NOURISH ME YOU STUPID FUCKING FOOD! I CAN'T BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO A CONTRACT THAT SAYS I MUST EAT YOU TO GET SUSTENANCE! I NEVER CONSENTED TO THAT!"

But in the end of the day you are fundamentally irrational & if He exists you do owe God your fealty. That's life & Reality. Live in UN-Reality of you prefer but that is your choice.

BenYachov said...

additional:

Obligation is a form of compulsion.
It is the compulsion of morality. You can resist obligation with your will. Just as you can resist the natural compulsion to eat.

But in the end of the day we must serve God or be slaves to our self chosen contradictory nature.

Walter said...

>You must pursue God to obtain Goodness Itself, the one who is Goodness Itself. You may (not?) want to eat but the rules of food are very clear.

The rules of food are very clear; the rules pertaining to the pursuit of "goodness" are far from clear.

Dan Gillson said...

James,

Why--why!?!--can't you cohere your thoughts together into some semblance of a paragraph? When you don't use paragraphs, you make reading what you write such a chore. I'm sure that you know the fundaments of writing, so please, for my sake, use them.

I didn't miss the point of your analogy. Your analogy failed. It failed because the notion of obligation, as I have been using it, is a forensic, legal-ish one, vastly different from the notion of compulsion. An obligation requires a consensual contract, which is to say that when one offers consent, it suffices for an obligation. Neither the person nor the food offer such consent, therefore there is no obligation. A person, however, may be compelled to eat the food. A compulsion can be defined as an irresistible urge to act, or a state of being overpowered by such an urge. Hunger is not an obligation to eat food, but a compulsion to seek it. Such a compulsion is purely natural, as are the compulsions for sex, water, or friendly company. I would accept that certain compulsions can be enumerated by appealing to nature, but you have yet to argue successfully that obligations can be so enumerated.

cl said...

I would just like to publicly state that I don't approve of Ben Yachov's immature, profanity-laden tantrums that are ostensibly in Jesus' name.

Any atheists / skeptics / fence-sitters, please don't judge Christianity on account of such froth.

So depressing.

cl said...

Dan,

"So, no: my argument isn't fundamentally irrational."

That depends how you define "irrational." If you're interested in an attempt at a coherent counter-argument against yours, without the profanity and insults, I'm game.

If not, cheers, keep playing with Yachov.

BenYachov said...

@Dan wrote:

>Why--why!?!--can't you cohere your thoughts together into some semblance of a paragraph? When you don't use paragraphs, you make reading what you write such a chore. I'm sure that you know the fundaments of writing, so please, for my sake, use them.

Sorry but I will write in whatever manner amuses me & if you don't like it don't respond. You are the first to complain about a writing format I have used for years and has been used back at me. This is just seems like passive aggressive nonsense to cover for not having a command of the issues or the arguments.

Walter wrote:
>The rules of food are very clear; the rules pertaining to the pursuit of "goodness" are far from clear.

Different argument, I was addressing the moral obligation we have to the creator & too goodness and the alleged immorality of Him creating us without first obtaining our permission. Dan if you would read him more closely presupposed for the sake of argument that even if God exists then somehow he still doesn't owe him fidelity. I think I disposed of that.

Dan Gillson said...

1.) You write in whatever manner amuses you, then. I will say that the ability to write lucidly reflects the ability to think clearly, and you, not demonstrating the former, certainly don't exhibit the latter. If you don't want to prove yourself capable or worthy, that's your own business.

2.) What are the "issues" or "arguments" that I lack command of? Or is that you petty, ad hominem way of bowing out of the discussion.

BenYachov said...

@Dan

>I didn't miss the point of your analogy. Your analogy failed. It failed because the notion of obligation, as I have been using it, is a forensic, legal-ish one, vastly different from the notion of compulsion.

This would be a valid objection if I was using obligation and compulsion in a totally unequivocal manner. But I clearly wasn't. Obligation is however still a form of compulsion otherwise what in it "compels" you to follow it?

Hair splitting here won't help you. If God exists you owe Him & it is very just that you owe him and must obey him. If He doesn't exist you don't owe him because you can't own nothing anything.

>An obligation requires a consensual contract, which is to say that when one offers consent, it suffices for an obligation.

You are incoherent. You just admitted you don't believe you are the lawful possessor of yourself so how can God have a consensual contract obligation with you if you don't own the property in question and He does? I already shown without counter argument on your part if God exist he possesses you more fully than you do yourself thus God doesn't morally require your permission to create you. Not that God is a moral agent in the first place but still this would apply even to a false Theistic Personalist "god".

>Neither the person nor the food offer such consent, therefore there is no obligation.

I think you are trying to go out of your way to miss the point or perhaps you really don't get it. So I will use a different emphasis. If you wish to nourish yourself with food you are obligated to eat it. If you can come up with a way to nourish yourself with food without taking into your body let's hear it.

Obligation is a type of compulsion. Accept it! It is moral compulsion. Some biological compulsions can be ignored or resisted by the will. We can resist the metaphysical compulsions of our nature to seek the good and thus resist God with our will or we can just go with it.

>I would accept that certain compulsions can be enumerated by appealing to nature, but you have yet to argue successfully that obligations can be so enumerated.

I just did. You have yet to argued at all why God requires your permission to create you, especially since you conceded you are not lawful possessor of yourself.

That is like you suing my neighbor for building a fence over my property line. You have no standing in court since it's not your property and you have no standing objecting to God for creating you. Accept it. It's a lame argument. Come up with something else because even in an real godless universe on logic alone your argument fails.

BenYachov said...

>2.) What are the "issues" or "arguments" that I lack command of? Or is that you petty, ad hominem way of bowing out of the discussion.

See previous post.

>you write in whatever manner amuses you, then. I will say that the ability to write lucidly reflects the ability to think clearly, and you, not demonstrating the former,

Son your the guy who on the one hand said you are not the lawful possessor of yourself & yet brings up analogies of contract law.

In psychology we call this projection.

Syllabus said...

Dan:

Question: do you think that you only have an obligation to comply with regulations/rules/what-have-you that you have personally agreed with?

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

What is weird is he conceded he is not the Lawful possessor of Himself yet thinks he can dispute with God over what he admitted is not his.

If God causes Dan, Cl, myself & you Syllabus to exist here and now & sustains that existence then He is the Lawful Possessor of us all and He doesn't need our permission to create us and it's not required. Plus He has done us an objective good & to call it a curse is morally an act of ingratitude.

It would be more reasonable to make philosophical arguments for the non-existence of God or to critique Arguments for His Existence then to pursue this invaded approach.

Syllabus said...

"If God causes Dan, Cl, myself & you Syllabus to exist here and now & sustains that existence then He is the Lawful Possessor of us all and He doesn't need our permission to create us and it's not required. Plus He has done us an objective good & to call it a curse is morally an act of ingratitude."

Well, yeah. That flows from an understanding of God as Creator AND Sustainer of the universe. But still, I imagine that people will still say that they owe God nothing, or at least nothing that would warrant Him to make requests or issue binding laws on them. Sounds vaguely Randian.

BenYachov said...

I kind of detect that myself. I love Ayn Rand's anti-communism & anti-Socialism shtick. What conservative doesn't? Rand unlike modern Gnus has a deep respect for Aristotle. But it seems Randians don't have any Arguments against belief in God they just take God's nonexistence as a starting point & pursue the will to power. Like Nietzsche. Existentialists wither Atheist or Theist take an anti-rational approach that is maddening to a scholastic.

Dan Gillson said...

1.) You clearly haven't tracked my argument, because, if you had, you'd have realized that I'm not arguing that God needed my permission to create me; I'm arguing that it doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him. My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide. I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything. God, or his followers, may use the fact, if it is one, of my creation to compel me into His service, but that purported fact isn't eo ipso enough to create an obligation.

2.) I am incoherent? Really? I'm working with clear, forensic distinctions between compulsion and obligation, and you think--without argument, by the way--that the properties of compulsion are reducible to the properties of obligation; that, somehow, because I am compelled, i.e., overpowered, by a sense of hunger or need of nourishment, it means that I am obligated, i.e., morally or legally bound, to eat food. Quite frankly, I'm not morally or legally bound to eat food. You want to apply this analogy to God when the analogy clearly fails.

Syllabus said...

"But it seems Randians don't have any Arguments against belief in God they just take God's nonexistence as a starting point & pursue the will to power."

True, but I mean it more along the lines of the radically individualistic and selfish contentions that they make (see that abominable monologue in The Fountainhead). And from what I recall of Rand, she didn't offer any real proof against God, she just asserts that all proofs fail, and boom! proceeds from there.

"Like Nietzsche. Existentialists wither Atheist or Theist take an anti-rational approach that is maddening to a scholastic."

My predilection towards Kierkegaard's writing style aside, I tend to agree with you.

BenYachov said...

I sense goal post shifting in The Force.

>You clearly haven't tracked my argument, because, if you had, you'd have realized that I'm not arguing that God needed my permission to create me;

You argued you never agreed to be created by God and too serve Him and therefore you are not obligated too serve Him. But if he doesn't need your permission to create you how does he need your permission to obligate you his creation to serve him by giving you a nature that pursues the good? You also argued such a creation is a curse.

I still showed your argument fails. You are just repeating yourself hoping I will ignore what you actually said.

>I'm arguing that it doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him.

You made a lot of assertions but little by way of argument.

>My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide.

Which is incoherent since I already said if you could create yourself without God then maybe you could dispute with God over creating you without your permisson (i.e. Cosmic Copyright violation etc) But you didn't interact with this argument.

>I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything. God, or his followers, may use the fact, if it is one, of my creation to compel me into His service, but that purported fact isn't eo ipso enough to create an obligation.

Now you are simply repeating an incoherent argument I already dispatched. You got anything else?

>2.) I am incoherent? Really? I'm working with clear, forensic distinctions between compulsion and obligation,

Not really since obligation is a form of compulsion it is moral compulsion and analogous to biological compulsions in it can be resisted and it can be instantiated into nature.

You are incoherent because you contradict yourself.

> and you think--without argument, by the way--that the properties of compulsion are reducible to the properties of obligation; that, somehow, because I am compelled, i.e., overpowered, by a sense of hunger or need of nourishment, it means that I am obligated,

One more time. Your obligation is If you wish to nourish yourself with food you are obligated to eat it.

If you can find someway to obtain nourishment from food without eating it I would like to hear it.

>i.e., morally or legally bound, to eat food. Quite frankly, I'm not morally or legally bound to eat food. You want to apply this analogy to God when the analogy clearly fails.

If you want to starve yourself I am not stopping you but you still can't sit in front of the food you eat and yell at it for failing to nourish you unless you condisend to eat it. In a like manner if you wish to resist Goodness Itself you will be deprived of Goodness Itself. In either case you suffer from Justice. If you refuse to eat you starve. If you refuse Goodness Itself you will continue to exist without Goodness Itself and spiritually starve. Natural Justice and Divine Justice.

It's that simple. Obligation is moral compulsion. The State can obligate you to obey the Law & you can whine all you like that you don't have too but you will still be thrown in jail. God like the State can obligate you to worship him. His obligating is more fundamental.

Crude said...

Ben,

Regarding the 'obligation' to eat food - considering failing this results in death, I would think natural law would argue that yes, we are morally obligated to eat, or to do our best to eat. Rather like how there's an obligation not to, all things being equal, commit suicide.

Or am I wrong?

BenYachov said...

Good point brother Crude.

At this point my Spider senses tell me Dan is running on emotion here.

I don't believe Mormonism is true but it logically follows if it where true or at minimum I thought it was true then it's not much of a leap to figure out I can no longer follow Pope Benedict but I must follow what's his name the Prophet in Utah.

If God exists He morally can obligate you. If not then not. Dan's arguments are weird.

Syllabus said...

Given the kind of God that we're talking about, perhaps a better analogy would be a teenager claiming that they did not agree to have their parents clothe and feed and raise them, and that therefore they don't see that they owe their parents anything.

BenYachov said...

I used that silence from Dan.

Walter said...

Given the kind of God that we're talking about, perhaps a better analogy would be a teenager claiming that they did not agree to have their parents clothe and feed and raise them, and that therefore they don't see that they owe their parents anything.

Interesting analogy. Are children expected to serve their parents for the remainder of their life? Should you pursue whatever career your parents wish for you, or marry who they say, since they were the proximate cause of your existence? Or do you feel that you have the right to your own life at some point?

cl said...

Dan,

"...I'm not arguing that God needed my permission to create me; I'm arguing that it doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him."

A-ha! With that clarification, I am 100% on your side, and I say that as a Christian. Yachov is... well, besides just Yachin' off as usual, just plain wrong.

You are not obligated to serve God. The choice is yours. It's as simple as that. All Ben's vitriol is over nothing. Now, that doesn't mean I agree with your refusal to serve God, or that it's wise. If you don't want what's on offer, don't take it. It's that easy.

cl said...

Yachov,

"At this point my Spider senses tell me Dan is running on emotion here."

I actually don't see it that way. As Dan pointed out, and I seconded, you're the one totally losing your cool and going into a cussing, frothing rage. Dan strikes me as much more level-headed and lucid. Sorry, not trying to take sides, but it's the plain truth. Show me one verse where the apostles took your approach and I might change my mind.

Syllabus said...

"Interesting analogy. Are children expected to serve their parents for the remainder of their life? Should you pursue whatever career your parents wish for you, or marry who they say, since they were the proximate cause of your existence?"

ou misunderstand, I think. Throughout the course of our entire lives, we are perpetually in the position of the teenager, God being both Creator AND Sustainer. If my parents were giving me cash, food, room and board throughout the course of my life, I would owe them substantially more than I would if I were completely self-sufficient. Maybe not all the things that you put forward, but I would at least be inclined to take them more seriously. And besides, when comparing what one's parents would be giving one in this situation against what God gives one in real life - a.k.a. every damned thing - I would be inclined that we owe God a deal of deference and respect that is at the very least many, many orders of magnitude beyond what we would owe our parents.

"Or do you feel that you have the right to your own life at some point?"

In certain senses, yes of course. But from what I understand of Dan's point, he's not arguing that life should be "his own", whatever that means. He seems to be saying that God has no right to demand any binding obligation from him, or at the very least saying that he doesn't see that there are good grounds to do so. That strikes me of absurd. Essentially, it boils down to this: does the one that gave you and continues to give you everything you possess have a legitimate say about how that stuff gets used? It seems to me that they would.

And I don't think that God has a blueprinted outline around which he expects us to orient our lives around in any minute detail, OR ELSE. Sure, there are certain things that He does seem to decree - love for Him and neighbour, moral behaviour, rejection of sin, etc. - but I don't think that it's an exhaustive plan. That's one of the points of giving us volition in the first instance.

BenYachov said...

cl

Your still resentful because of that time you falsely accused me of beating up on Cole or belittling him for having mental illness issues.

I viciously smacked you back because you hit me where I live(being the father of three mentally handicapped children) & I don't think you quite forgave me or got over it.

Dan is running on emotion and so are you. My use of foul language is not directed at all against Dan but I clearly used it to satirize some hypothetical weird person who thinks it's unjust food won't nourish him unless he eats it.

It's over the top I grant but that is just me.

If you really think Dan argument has merit take over for him. It has no merit & I will crush it with the same brutal logic I've so far employed.

Come get some.

BenYachov said...

>You are not obligated to serve God. The choice is yours. It's as simple as that.

You are conflating that fact Free Will allows you to resist the obligations of nature with the obligation itself.

Because you have free will you have obligations to what made you and gave you free will. You are obligated morally to choose the good.

This is bad philosophy and bad reasoning on your part.

>All Ben's vitriol is over nothing. Now, that doesn't mean I agree with your refusal to serve God, or that it's wise. If you don't want what's on offer, don't take it. It's that easy.

I don't dispute Dan like anybody else may use their will to rebel against their obligations both natural (eating food) vs supernatural and metaphysical (serving God). But it is still a rebellion against nature.

You are confused cl & you need to get over the thing between us.

If it makes you feel better I am sorry I hurt your feelings but you did touch a sensitive area where even my logic will leave me and raw anger will take over.

Dan Gillson said...

I'll start from the top. Hopefully it will become clear to you that you are indeed not tracking what's going on:

Cole: Atheists are arrogant because they reject the sovereign wisdom of God, and instead they rely on their own. God doesn't owe them anything, rather, they don't realize that they are indebted to God's sovereign wisdom. [Editor's note: I redacted what I think is Cole's argument for the sake of clarity.]

Me: You are right that atheists question God's wisdom, but wrong to think that that's arrogant. It doesn't necessarily follow from the fact of God creating me that I owe him my servility. If life is, indeed, a gift, why should I be so indebted God? It wasn't, after all, something I asked for. I'm not being arrogant in questioning the wisdom of God, but practical.

Crude: Atheists don't question the wisdom of God, they question God's existence. And where, by the way, did God force you to accept his sovereign wisdom? You can always see what happens when you don't.

Me: Interesting, but irrelevant. I'm challenging Cole's notion of God as sovereign debtor. Why do I owe God for something I didn't consent to?

Crude: Cole didn't claim that you owed something, he claimed that God owes humans nothing. And you need to exist to make the choice to consent.

Me: 1.) Oops! I meant sovereign creditor, not debtor. 2.) Cole's argument assumes that humans are indebted to God; the language of since and grace and the notion of deserts gives him away. 3.) You're assuming it too.

Crude: Well, you are free to see what happens when you don't pony up, you don't have to pay back what you owe God for your existence. And it doesn't make sense for you to say you would have declined, because you need to exist to make such choices. Furthermore, it seems like you are saying that God is indebted to you.

Dan: I'm not trying to talk about the consequences of choices, but the nature of obligations. Obligations require consent. Cole's God doesn't give us an opportunity to consent, He just saddles us with the burden of ponying up. I have a hard time seeing, under Cole's conception, that life is a gift, not a curse.

Crude: You can't give consent when you don't exist--duh. And wait: God freely wills you into existence, gives you the free opportunity to accept or reject his rules, and, if you accept, he rewards you with heaven? This means that life is a curse?

Me: Your misunderstanding me. Consent and obligation are in tandem. Obligation entails consent, and vice versa. Seeing as I never consented to God's terms, I have a hard time seeing how I'm obligated to them. These terms 1.) aren't things I agreed to, and 2.) fly in the face of reason, is why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

Dan Gillson said...

Ben: 1.) You are presupposing that you are the lawful possessor of yourself [editors note: where?]. Since that's not the case, you have no grounds to complain. 2.) Your created nature obligates you to God, just like your nature obligates you to eat food. Food isn't obligated to nourish you if you won't eat it. 3.) [Scattered, irrelevant rambling about lottery tickets, and the beatific vision.]

Me: 1.) Whether or not I am the lawful possessor of myself is beside the point. I have grounds to complain because Scripture, particularly the Psalms, sets the precedent. 2.) Eating is compulsory, not obligatory. Nothing about my nature obligates me to eat, or serve God. That's because you can't enumerate my obligations by appealing to nature. God, if he exists, can use my nature to compel me, but I'm not obligated to serve Him.

Ben: 1.) [Grammatically incoherent gobbledegook]. 2.) You missed the point of my analogy, you are obligated to eat food if you want it to nourish you. You need to ingest food for nourishment. [Irrelevant nonsense about seeking the Good.]. . . [More irrelevant nonsense about the suicide, the glutton, and the eating disorder]. . . [More irrelevant nonsense that, even though I pursue it in a disordered manner, I'm still pursuing the Good, and a weird, unrelated statement that I can't escape my nature, even though I never argued such a point.] 3.) [Question-begging assertions about how I won't be happy without the Source of the Good.] 4.) [Again with the bad food analogy.]

Me: 1.) I can't handle your scatterbrained approach to writing. Please write like you went to college. 2.) Your analogy failed. The need to eat is a compulsion, not an obligation; a compulsion is the urge to act out of necessity, or a sense of deficiency, or a sense of being overpowered by such an urge. An obligation requires one to consent to something, and since neither person nor food offer their consent to eat or be eaten, respectively, but such things happen out of a sense of deficiency or necessity, i.e., a compulsion, you can't say that it is an obligation.

Ben: I'll continue to write like I'm in 7th grade. Obligation is a form of compulsion, otherwise, what compels you to follow an obligation? [Editor's note: I'm still waiting for you to argue that point, bud.]. . . [Conclusory statement that if God exists, I somehow owe him.]. . . [Claim that you have shown that God possesses me more fully than I posses myself (editor's note: well, no, you haven't.)]. . . [Conclusory statement that an obligation is a type of compulsion.]. . . [Gobbledegook about my being illogical when you can't even write a coherent paragraph.]

. . . and we have arrived at our final two comments.

BenYachov said...

Ayn Rand's philosophy applied to this discussion assumes the fundamental equality between human beings who deal with each other.

God is simply not our equal not just in degree but in kind.

cl said...

Yachov,

"Your still resentful because of that time you falsely accused me of beating up on Cole or belittling him for having mental illness issues."

Yeah, that's it. It can't possibly be because I think you trudge the Lord's name through mud with your language and posturing, for, that would imply something other than the conclusion you're pre-determined to arrive at, wouldn't it?

"I don't think you quite forgave me or got over it."

I forgave you then, and I've been over it since, so, take your armchair psycho-analysis elsewhere because it just doesn't apply here.

"Dan is running on emotion and so are you."

No. No, no, no and no again. Dan clarified. Dan is coming off as articulate and lucid. Dan is refraining from taking the Lord's name in vain, swearing and using ALL CAPS to indicate yelling. You, on the other hand, are doing all those, and I feel compelled to take a level-headed stance against it.

"It has no merit & I will crush it with the same brutal logic I've so far employed."

LOL! Look out everybody! Robo-apologist is here! He will utterly crush you with brutal logic, four-letter words and irreverence for the very God he pays such homage to!

Get real Yachov, and have the last word while you're at it—because this is not a discussion worth continuing. I have absolutely no interest in debating you on anything. I voiced my opinion, and now I am finished.

BenYachov said...

>Me: Interesting, but irrelevant. I'm challenging Cole's notion of God as sovereign debtor. Why do I owe God for something I didn't consent to?

I showed why you consent is not required to be in debt to God. You didn't answer me you just reasserted you claim.

>Me: 1.) Oops! I meant sovereign creditor, not debtor. 2.) Cole's argument assumes that humans are indebted to God; the language of since and grace and the notion of deserts gives him away. 3.) You're assuming it too.

Apple and Oranges. You admitted you don't possess yourself thus you can't argue either credit or debt without being incoherent. Still no response to this from you.

>Dan: I'm not trying to talk about the consequences of choices, but the nature of obligations. Obligations require consent. Cole's God doesn't give us an opportunity to consent, He just saddles us with the burden of ponying up. I have a hard time seeing, under Cole's conception, that life is a gift, not a curse.

I already showed obligations don't require consent. God doesn't need your consent to create you & you can't create yourself. He created you & therefore you owe him. You can welch but you suffer the consequences of that.

>Your misunderstanding me. Consent and obligation are in tandem.

You never explain why & you admit you don't possess yourself so how can you argue about what you don't own compared to God?

>Obligation entails consent, and vice versa. Seeing as I never consented to God's terms, I have a hard time seeing how I'm obligated to them. These terms 1.) aren't things I agreed to, and 2.) fly in the face of reason, is why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

Sorry no obligation doesn't require consent. I am obligated to eat food to get nurishment from it. If you can give me a means of getting nurishent from it without eating it I would still like to know.

>Ben: I'll continue to write like I'm in 7th grade. Obligation is a form of compulsion, otherwise, what compels you to follow an obligation? [Editor's note: I'm still waiting for you to argue that point, bud.]. . . [

This passive aggressive response is a substitute for actual argument. Which is understandable you haven't given any.

You are conflating obligation with the free will to resist obligation.

BenYachov said...

cl

Get over it. You felt humiliated when I ripped your head off. I'm sorry but like I said you did hit me where I live.

Dan Gillson said...

1. James, you are incorrigible. You haven't shown me anything, you've only sputtered out irrelevant, conclusory statements. If you think that you have shown me something, then quote yourself from your posts; I'll leave it up to you to dig through the incoherent mess that is your writing.

2. I have made an argument. It is as follows: "It doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him. My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide. I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything. God, or his followers, may use the fact, if it is one, of my creation to compel me into His service, but that purported fact isn't eo ipso enough to create an obligation."

cl said...

Dan Gillson,

"James, you are incorrigible."

If you really believe that, may I politely ask why you continue to engage? Is this some new form of BDSM that I'm unaware of??

BenYachov said...

@Dan

Again with the projection.

>My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide.

Five posts from now you will say this is not your argument.

Obligation is still moral compulsion ignoring that brute fact doesn't help your argument.

After all if you consent to an obligation what is it that obligates you to do it?

What if I say like the Frengi on Star Trek "My word is my bond till I break it"?

>I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything.

Which doesn't logically follow. He created you & gave you Free Will and a Nature. You can use that free will to rebel against your nature & deny reality. But you do owe him since you cannot create yourself & withotu God there can be no you to make a bogus complaint against being created and obligated without your consent.

I don't think the word "obligation" has any objective meaning to you.

You are saying like Lucifer of old "I will not Serve". Well fine see what it gets you. But Lucifer like you was obligated to the Creator even if you mis-used your free will to go against your natures.

Good luck with that.

BenYachov said...

>Obligations require consent.

Says who?

Then any young child may at will rebel against their parents unless they give their consent?

I must first give my consent to stop at a traffic light? I never passed that law nor did anyone ask me to make it a rule we must stop at traffic lights. That rule has been here before I was born.

Don't cite Democracy to me if Almighty God can't obligate me to follow his Laws I don't see how a Democratic Government can do the same.

Dan you are not rational & neither is your argument. If God exists you are obligated to Him.

It's as simple as that.

BenYachov said...

Of course young children aren't the equal to their parents thus their parents may obligate them. But how are we then equal to God? If my parents can obligate me without my consent then how much more so can God who sustains me more then my parents?

This point has been brought up over and over and from Dan. Silence.

BenYachov said...

OTOH children can rebel but if they do so they violate their obligation to obey their parents.

I am going to predict if Dan continues to defend the indefensible he will bring up some irrelevant tangent that kids are not obligated to obey their parents if they tell them to do something bad. Which of course is not the point.

It's still an analogy not a total unequivocal comparison.

Kids are obligated to obey their parents & their consent to be subject to them is not required or needed.

The same with God.

Syllabus said...

"If you really believe that, may I politely ask why you continue to engage? Is this some new form of BDSM that I'm unaware of??"

Oh brother, cl, I'm not entirely sure you want that question answered...

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

cl's whole argument is that I am rude & I use foul language.

Guilty, but so what? His claim Dan's argument is intelligent or coherent is laughable & a product of emotion.

I am convinced based on logic alone if God exists and He created us then we are obligated to Him & there is no moral philosophical basis too deny this truth.

The obligation is intrinsic to our nature & is analogous to our obligations to obey our parents & does not require our consent.

That among other examples which where given & Dan saw fit to ignore with his passive aggressive complaints about my "posting style".

Bullet responses to his immediate arguments using a ">" symbol apparently confuse him.

Too date he is the only one to complain about my posting style.

Dan Gillson said...

1.) This statement, "[m]y argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide", is not my argument. It never has been my argument. It is a premise of my argument--a premise!. I even said "my argument is based on", and you missed it entirely! From the beginning, my argument has been, "[i]t doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him". Learn to read.

2.) You keep saying that an obligation is a moral compulsion but you have yet to argue that point, i.e., you have yet to attach a premise to your sputtering conclusion. I keep saying that obligation requires consent because a notion of consent is inherent to the notion of an obligation. Merriam-Webster's first definition for obligation is, "the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)." One consents, i.e., yields, complies, agrees to, via promise or vow, to a course of action. The notion of obligation requires some form of a notion of consent.

3.) My "passive aggressive" complaints about your "posting style" happen because you make me sift through this kind of garbled nonsense: "He created you & gave you Free Will and a Nature. You can use that free will to rebel against your nature & deny reality. But you do owe him since you cannot create yourself & withotu God there can be no you to make a bogus complaint against being created and obligated without your consent." Disjointed, ungrammatical, and juvenile; it irks me that you think so highly of your intellect when you can't even construct a simple, coherent sentence, much less punctuate it correctly.

Dan Gillson said...

cl,

I haven't thanked you yet for chiming in, but thank you. It's good that someone recognizes Yachov's boorishness and calls him out on it. I wish others would do the same.

cl said...

You're welcome. Frankly, Dan, I think there's a bit too much slack cut here on account of the whole "brother" thing. For me it's about being honest, not partisan.

Although I do think you at least alluded to the "permission" angle early on in your argument, and I think that's a weak premise, as I said, the clarified version stands: you are only "obligated" to repent if you desire the fruits of the deed. If you don't want to do it, God won't make you do it, but boy... does God want you to do it! I believe that if God believed otherwise, we wouldn't have free will. Make no mistake: it saddens, troubles and burdens me to hear you speak the way you do about God and yourself, but, consider that a statement borne out of love, not judgment. For me, I just can't understand why people would trample God's grace like that—but again, please don't take offense, as none is intended. Your life is your life and I'm sure I haven't the slightest idea regarding the state of affairs that lead you to your current stance.

B. Prokop said...

"Too (sic) date he is the only one to complain about my posting style."

Then I also will complain. I find it extremely annoying, to the point that I quite often skip over your comments in toto, and I'm sure that's not the effect you are looking for.

grodrigues said...

@cl:

"For me it's about being honest, not partisan."

I will try, within the best of my abilities, to be honest and not partisan. Ben Yachov is completely right and Dan Gilson's argument is simply incoherent. He maintains he has no debt towards God, debt being used in a legalese fashion, because he did not consent to being created, but this is simply an equivocation. A contract between human parties presupposes the existence of human parties that freely agree to enter into a contract and accept the obligations derived from it. But there is no existent Dan or Ben or cl to give or withhold consent to God's act of creation. The notion is simply incoherent. You, and the rest of us, came into being, because God freely willed it so; not only that, God imparts being and conserves you in being in the here and now and at every moment of your existence. You can stamp your foot as much as you want, but it still is a brute fact of reality, that God imparts you the free gift of being. And insofar as it is a free gift, you are in debt to God, whether you recognize it or not. Because of your Free Will, you can in fact *not* recognize it and be an ungrateful brat and spit in His face, but then do not complain of the consequences coming from denying reality.

Dan Gillson said...

grodrigues,

You can be as partisan as you want to be; you can argue as sharply as you need to. All I ask is that you organize your thoughts into coherent paragraphs, and make some effort at punctuating them correctly. That's all I ask.

I have been arguing that the fact of God creating me, if it is one, isn't enough to establish eo ipso an obligation. This is because the notion of obligation requires some form of a notion of consent. I added a gloss to the dictionary entry of "obligation" that I cited to bring out how a notion of consent is at play in the notion of obligation: one consents, via promise or vow, to a course of action. The purported fact of God creating me can eo ipso be used either by God or His followers, to try to compel me into God's service. The best that such service can be is compulsatory, not obligatory.

cl said...

grodriquez,

Before I even bother reply, let me know if you're willing to engage. I've tried engaging you before only to be ignored, but if you want to discuss this with me, I'm game. Since you always present level-headed, lucid commentary to this blog, without four-letters word and taking the Lord's name in vain, you have a much greater chance of persuading me (and probably Dan) than Yachov.

Let me know.

BenYachov said...

@Dan your responses are irrational. Time to crush them with logic & brute reason.

>1.) ...... It never has been my argument. It is a premise of my argument--a premise!.

I reply: The fact is it is a false premise & I have shown you why with no substantial rebuttal other then passive aggressive complaints about how hard it is for you to read my bullet replies doesn’t seem to faze you? I don’t see how this bit of goal post shifting saves an intrinsically bad argument? I attacked this “premise” of your and got no defense whatsoever.

>..... From the beginning, my argument has been, "[i]t doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him". Learn to read.

I reply: If this is true why did you keep arguing? If the argument isn’t some definitive statement or conclusion how come you didn’t say “"It doesn't necessarily follow from the fact but it is possible we do owe obligations to the Deity”? Instead you kept arguing in a strong manner that you did not owe any obligations to your creator. I showed that is not the case and you still have not answered me.

>2.) You keep saying that an obligation is a moral compulsion but you have yet to argue that point, i.e., you have yet to attach a premise to your sputtering conclusion.

I reply:It’s self evident! What do you want me to argue & prove “up” means moving away from a center of gravity before I can use that term? If I am obligated to do something I am being compelled by morality to do it. The burden is on you. You prove obligation isn’t some form of compulsion in anyway & see where it gets you.


>keep saying that obligation requires consent because a notion of consent is inherent to the notion of an obligation.

I reply:You inability to distinguish between analogical argument vs unequivocal one astounds me. Clearly you are the typical undergraduate.

>Merriam-Webster's first definition for obligation is, "the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)." One consents, i.e., yields, complies, agrees to, via promise or vow, to a course of action. The notion of obligation requires some form of a notion of consent.

This is just sloppy! Have you looked at the other definitions? A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action…..A course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which one is bound or restricted.

Apparently according to the dictionary there is more then one definition & some of them do not include consent(i.e. a course of action imposed etc). This is weak sauce & further proof you don’t know what you are talking about.

BenYachov said...

>3.) My "passive aggressive" complaints about your "posting style" happen because you make me sift through this kind of garbled nonsense:

I have never pretended my grammer & spkelling are anything other then abysmal. But if that is all you have to argue with then I am vindicated in my certain belief I have destroyed your argument on every level and it cannot be rescued even by SEAL TEAM .

Yes I am obnoxious, rude, cruel and pretty smug right now because you have made the mistake of championing an intrinsically invalid argument & it was pretty much easy pickings. But take some solace in the fact that in my experience when I get this puffed up The Almighty always to date sees fit to drop a rock on me to put me in my place.

But for now on the merits of the argument you lost. Unless you want to show me your definition of obligate is the sole definition or explain to me how obligation isn’t a form of compulsion we are done. Good luck with that BTW.

BenYachov said...

To put it simply:

>I have been arguing that the fact of God creating me, if it is one, isn't enough to establish eo ipso an obligation. This is because the notion of obligation requires some form of a notion of consent.

The Dictionary which Dan accepts as a source doesn't exclusively define obligation in terms of consent.

"A course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which one is bound or restricted.etc"

So basically he can't rescue this turkey. My advice live with it.

You can still disbelieve in God Dan & accept whatever anti-Theism arguments you think are valid but based on raw fact & reason you can't believe you have no obligations to a Deity if He exists.

You are entitled to you own opinions but not your own facts even if the facts are presented by a foul mouth, impious, mean spirited jerk like myself.

Dan Gillson said...

Ben. . . James. . . whoever you are,

You don't use logic or reason to "crush" anything. You use a scatterbrained, confetti approach to try to distract your opponent from the actual topic; you dodge, digress, and falsely accuse; you abdicate any responsibility to support your conclusions, and then you have the gall to say that I'm the typical undergraduate. Not only am I five years removed from college, but you do all the things that undergraduates typically do when they argue. To borrow from your playbook, "in psychology, we call this projection."

Where have you attacked my premise--where!?! Quote yourself from your posts! To support my premise, I quoted Merriam-Webster. I'll quote the other definitions, if you like. italicizing the words that imply consent, and offering commentary on the definitions, using brackets:

2a : something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom [appealing to a custom as a source of obligation is an argumentum ad verecundiam, and is only valid if one consents to the authority) that obligates one to a course of action.

2b: a debt security (as a mortgage or corporate bond). [My consent is necessary in order to impose such a debt.]

2c: a commitment (as by a government) to pay a particular sum of money; also: an amount owed under such an obligation

3a: a condition or feeling of being obligated [A condition is imposed by consenting to the obligation; the second part, the feeling, is elucidated in 3b.]

3b: a debt of gratitude

4: something one is bound to do: duty, responsibility [This last definition is the closest thing you have to an argument, but even that is tenuous: why am I bound to do things to which I have no consented? Lacking consent, the best one can do is try to compel someone to do something]

Dan Gillson said...

So, no: after quoting from all four definitions of "obligation" from Merriam-Webster, it precisely, isn't self-evident that obligation is a form of compulsion, but it is self-evident, i.e., part of the very definition of the word "obligation", that some sort of notion of consent is inherent to the notion of obligation.

BenYachov said...

Dan

I quoted the freeonline dictionary that shows obligation does not always require consent.

End of discussion.

Merriam Webster never says obligation always requires any type of prior consent. I don't claim obligation never requires any consent. You are the one putting forth the novelty Obligation always requires consent. Or more accurately one must give prior consent before one can be obligated.

Certainly I would concede after the fact consent. I never denied it I presuppose it.

You are obligated to your creator & you may choose to resist that obligation & you must consent to it in order to observe it.

The brute fact is obligation does not always require consent. My quote from an online dictionary show that & yours right here do as well.

: something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action.

Do we give consent before hand to the demand of custom? But the obligations of custom are imposed on us. Sure we may resist custom and not consent to follow it but the obligation is still there.

You can't rescue this Turkey my friend. Logic is not on your side.

You have a better chance of proving scientifically the Earth was created in 6 literal day IMHO.

BenYachov said...

>So, no: after quoting from all four definitions of "obligation" from Merriam-Webster, it precisely, isn't self-evident that obligation is a form of compulsion,

It is not self evident prior consent is part of obligation either. But what about obligations imposed by custom?

I was never consulted on the content of any custom that has been imposed on me,obligated to me by society.

>but it is self-evident, i.e., part of the very definition of the word "obligation", that some sort of notion of consent is inherent to the notion of obligation.

Of course you daft twit! I grodriquez, Crude and other don't deny free will or that you must consent to follow the obligations imposed on you.

Are you really this thick?

Anyway we have sharpened the argument. Merriam-Webster shows Society and custom can obligate you. There is no hint you must give prior consent for the obligation to be put upon you. But you can resist your obligations with free will.

Like I said you can't save this turkey no matter how desperately you move the goal posts.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

Dan wants us to forget his original premise was God didn't give us any prior consent to make us or obligate us therefore he is under no obligation to God.

He is trying to equivocate prior consent with continuing consent(which is not in dispute).

Clearly Society can obligate me to follow custom. We don't give prior consent to the imposed customs of society though we may revoke consent to follow it.

God obligates us to follow him & we may withhold our consent but the obligation remains.

Society may obligate custom & we may rebel but prior consent is not required. Society's obligations remain. Continuing consent is always required but I never disputed we have free will and can choose to go against the grain.

At this time Dan it would be a good idea on your part to move the goal posts again and pretend your argument is something else.

BenYachov said...

>Where have you attacked my premise--where!?!

grodriquez just gave cl a neat summery. I've been saying it all along & so has Crude. You keep ignoring it & bluster at me. It's so tedious.

BenYachov said...

clarification:

It is not self evident prior consent is exclusive part of obligation either. But what about obligations imposed by custom?

BenYachov said...

Let's look at the actual text of Merriam-Webster sans Dan's self-serving and ignorant cometary.

QUOTE"Definition of OBLIGATION
1
: the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)
2
a : something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action
b : a debt security (as a mortgage or corporate bond)
c : a commitment (as by a government) to pay a particular sum of money; also : an amount owed under such an obligation
3a : a condition or feeling of being obligated
b : a debt of gratitude
4: something one is bound to do : duty, responsibility
See obligation defined for English-language learners »
See obligation defined for kids »
Examples of OBLIGATION

1. She believes that all people have a moral obligation to defend human rights.
2. He argues that people in a community have certain obligations to each other.
3. She failed to fulfill her obligations as a parent.

First Known Use of OBLIGATION
14th century
Related to OBLIGATION
Synonyms: burden, charge, commitment, devoir, do [archaic], duty, imperative, incumbency, need, office, responsibility

Related Words: oath, pledge, promise, troth, vow, word; arrangement, prearrangement, setup; compact, contract, covenant, pact, trust; debt, payment, tribute; COMPULSION, constraint, restraint; must, requirement; coercion, duress, force; appointment, engagement, reservation; burden, onus END QUOTE

Notice that word in bold large letters?

Nuff said.

cl said...

Dan,

I need you to clarify something for me. In my response to you October 09, 2012 10:50 AM, I cited the following words of yours:

"...I'm not arguing that God needed my permission to create me; I'm arguing that it doesn't necessarily follow from the fact, if it is one, of God creating me that I am obligated to serve him."

It was this statement of yours that led me to take your side in this debate with Ben. However, more recently, at October 10, 2012 9:43 AM, you've written,

"...it is self-evident, i.e., part of the very definition of the word "obligation", that some sort of notion of consent is inherent to the notion of obligation."

This strikes me as an apparent discrepancy, but I'm just as open to the possibility that I'm misinterpreting you. Therefore, I propose a very straightforward question which requires a Boolean reply: Are you, or are you not, arguing that consent is required in order for an obligation to obtain?

BenYachov said...

>Are you, or are you not, arguing that consent is required in order for an obligation to obtain?

cl morally condemn me all you like but I need to remind you of the following.

Nobody here is arguing you can't resist any obligation(withdraw consent) imposed on you either by prior consent or imposed by authority(i.e. society, custom, government, Law, Parents or God).

Consent is required after the fact to observe an obligation imposed on you but the brute fact of the obligation remains.

You are obligated to obey your parents & prior consent on your part is not required or coherent.

Dan doesn't get that. He insists all obligation requires prior consent to have force. He denies obligation is a form of moral compulsion. Clearly he is wrong & incoherent.

cl said...

Yachov,

Back off, will ya? I'm asking Dan, and I already explained that I want nothing to do with you.

BenYachov said...

>Back off, will ya?

No I won't. You are not my Father,bishop,Pastor or Father Confessor. I don't recognize you have any right to tell me what to do. I will do as I please.

>I'm asking Dan, and I already explained that I want nothing to do with you.

Well as long as you grant yourself the right to call me out 7 correct what you think are my character flaws then you have something to do with me.

If you don't like it follow your own advice and leave.

I'm not going anywhere. I am in the middle of this like it nor not.

So tough.

BenYachov said...

>[appealing to a custom as a source of obligation is an argumentum ad verecundiam, and is only valid if one consents to the authority)

So if I run a red light I can get out of the ticket if I say "I never prior consented to be subject to the Authority of the City or State of whatever at my birth or before I was born. I was simply born here and this 'you may not run a red light rule' was imposed on me without my consent. Thus I don't have to pay a ticket."

Good luck trying that one in court. Never the less Miriam-Webster as I cited above relates obligation to force, compulsion, debt, duty etc.

If I am born into the USA I am obligated to follow the Laws of the USA & prior consent is not required or coherent. I may choice to rebel but I suffer the consequences of bucking my obligations as a natural born citizen. Being created and born in our Conditional Reality makes us obligated to the Unconditional Reality that creates us.
To live as a citizen I m required to give continual consent. Just as a believer I must do the same in the assent of faith.

But the prior nonsense is incoherent and clearly not mandated as the exclusive definition of obligation as given by Webster Dictionary.

The FreeOnline Dictionary describes "obligation" as being an imposition which excludes prior consent for obligation to be present.

Again this turkey cannot be saved. It can only be cooked till dead.

I find it ironic I am accused of argumentum ad verecundiam when Dan appeals to the verecundiam of Webster's dictionary.

BenYachov said...

additional: The FreeOnline dictionary doesn't make imposition the only form of obligation sans prior consent either.

With both dictionaries it's not either or it is in fact both and.

cl said...

"If you don't like it follow your own advice and leave."

Uh, I didn't ask anybody to leave. I'm just asking you to back off and not talk to me, the same way I would if somebody came up and started yelling at me, cursing and taking the Lord's name in vain on the street. Just think about how your demeanor reflects on the message. That's all I'm asking. That, and, don't be such an abrasive jerk to people just because they disagree with you.

BenYachov said...

@Gaven

>Uh, I didn't ask anybody to leave.

You asked Dan if he really thinks I am "encouragable" then why is he still here? The implications for you are obvious. Physcian heal thyself.

>I'm just asking you to back off and not talk to me, the same way I would if somebody came up and started yelling at me, cursing and taking the Lord's name in vain on the street.

The only time I yelled at you was that time you beared false witness against me & as I recall you didn't exactly turn the other cheak yourself you got agressive back after I verbally smacked you upside the head.

As for "taking the Lord's name in vain" I merely created a fictional statement from a hypothetical person who is angry at food for not nurishing him unless he eats it as a metaphor for person who curses God for creating them & imposing obligation on them then rewarding them with Eternal happyness if they comply.

I am a Catholic sir both culturally and religously. I am not some Evangelical Prot. My wife who is a former ex-Catholic turned Evangelical told me Evangelicals are very judgemental & unforgiving when it comes to bad language. She has personal experience with this. I never believed her till now. Anyway genius if you ever read the Italian of THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS you have St Francis advising one of His monks that if the Devil appears to him again to harass him he should tell the Devil & I quote "If you open your mouth again I will shit in it".

Foul Language is relative. Old English translations of the Bible (especially Protestant ones) have lines in them like "I the LORD will strike down all those who piss against the wall".

So spare me your Evangelical Prot cultural Imperialism!


>Just think about how your demeanor reflects on the message. That's all I'm asking. That, and, don't be such an abrasive jerk to people just because they disagree with you.

Well Gaven I don't know how old you are now do I? Are you older then me? I'm 44 did you bother to find out my age because Scripture condemns rebuking an older man. You must exort me as a Father if you think I am in the wrong. OTOH I reached out to you on your blog after I went upside your head and you took my post down. You never responded other then to write me off.

So spare me your histeronics and unforgiveness.

BenYachov said...

@ cl/Gaven

I went too your Webpage Blog & saw the following posted by you.

TWIM supports free speech. Comments and criticisms from readers, writers, logicians, freethinkers, believers, skeptics, atheists, agnostics, scientists, theologians, philosophers, cranks, haters and trolls are welcomed.....Inflammatory vitriol, opinionated ramblings and fallacious arguments are subject to harsh rebuttal and/or mockery.

Apparently you are not welcoming to cranks on other blogs. Also you reserve the right to mock and harshly rebutt persons with whom you disagree with but object harshly when I do it?

One person's "jerk" is another person's mocker and harsh rebutter son.

So now...truce or do you want to keep doing this pointless dance?

BenYachov said...

This is one of the reasons I don't keep a blog if only so nothing I say in the past can be throw back at me by some "jerk".

Dan Gillson said...

James,

Firstly, I'd like to point out that you spent over an hour responding to me over five posts. Instead of taking a half an hour to organize your thoughts coherently, another twenty minutes to write them down in a single post, and an extra ten to proofread what you wrote, you vomit out an garbled mess for me to sift through. What the heck, dude?

Secondly, where did I argue that obligation requires prior consent? I have said, "obligation requires consent", only to have elucidated that statement by saying "the notion of obligation requires some form of a notion of consent." (You see, since my arguments aren't a complete mess like yours, I can actually easily find something I said and quote it!) This is an important point because it illustrates your lack of reading comprehension and your penchant arguing straw-men.

Thirdly, what makes the demands of custom valid? Are the demands of custom superlative, unimpeachable features of reality? According to you, they must be: "But the obligations of custom are imposed on us. Sure we may resist custom and not consent to follow it but the obligation is still there." So, in a society that practices female genital mutilation, it is a woman's obligation to be circumcised whether or not she goes along with the practice, i.e., whether or not she consents to it? That's brutal, man. However, on my conception, she isn't obligated to be circumcised precisely because she didn't consent to the practice in the first place. It's a blessing of modern, liberal societies that customs don't carry the kind of authority to enforce an obligation, that some sort of consent is required by the individual in order for an obligation to be valid.

cl said...

I was going to just let this go and ignore you like Paps but you've went off on so many tangents, now I have to correct all the false information, as well as ask a few questions about the genuine bewilderments your diatribe entails...

"You asked Dan if he really thinks I am "encouragable" then why is he still here?"

Correct, except, "incorrigible". That's because Dan was actively seeking conversation with you, and it makes no sense to actively seek conversation with somebody one thinks incorrigible. That's precisely why I'm trying my best to avoid conversation with you. That's the difference.

"The only time I yelled at you was that time you beared false witness against me..."

Nonsense. Learn what "bear false witness" means before you go shooting off accusations. I misunderstood something you said, and you acted like a jerk about it, just like you are here. I forgave you then, I also apologized, and then I forgot about it. So your armchair assumptions that I'm still hung up on that are ludicrous.

"My wife who is a former ex-Catholic turned Evangelical told me Evangelicals are very judgemental & unforgiving when it comes to bad language. She has personal experience with this. I never believed her till now."

I don't care. Your wife is irrelevant here. Your assumption that I'm an "Evangelical" is mistaken. If you want to spread the gospel with profanity sprinkled here and there, be my guest. I have the right to disapprove. I have the right to take a stand and say that your demeanor and attitude are simply not biblical here. No salt, no grace, no love or fruit of the spirit, just attack, attack, attack, and mean-spirited at that. First at Dan, now even at another believer!

"Well Gaven I don't know how old you are now do I?"

Who is Gaven? What is going on in your head?

"I'm 44..."

I never would have guessed because, quite honestly, you act 14. Come back and reread this thread in a few weeks after you've settled down.

"You must exort me as a Father if you think I am in the wrong."

I did. You lashed out in return, instead of stopping and thinking whether anything I said might have a grain of truth. I should have known better, as I'm not a newb here.

"OTOH I reached out to you on your blog after I went upside your head and you took my post down."

Huh? You are either lying, or mistaken. I don't know which. I never took any post of yours down. I have no idea what you're talking about. Feel free to go back over there and try again.

"So spare me your histeronics and unforgiveness."

Unforgiveness? There's no unforgiveness whatsoever. How could I *NOT* forgive you? Christ forgives me of far worse offenses. Believe me, I would like nothing better than for you to just think about what I've said and go on your merry way.

"So now...truce or do you want to keep doing this pointless dance?"

No "truce," as there is no war. All I said is that you're acting like a jerk, and you are. I was content to drop this a long time ago, but you just have to keep pushing, post after post after post. I wouldn't have even bothered another response, but I felt obligated to, because you're going off on all these wild assumptions and tangents about me.

Have the last word. Get your last digs in. So long as it doesn't contain any factual errors or odd tangents that require explanation, I won't be responding.

Dan Gillson said...

By the way, I will no longer be responding to comments on this thread. There will be plenty of time to continue this conversation, or a variant of it, elsewhere on this blog.

BenYachov said...

At this point Dan you are just delusional.

Your wrote:
>Secondly, where did I argue that obligation requires prior consent?

You also wrote:
>I'm using the notions of consent and obligation in tandem; in my view, one cannot be without the other. Seeing as I have never consented to God's terms for existing, i.e., upon arrival on planet Earth, creatures 1.) must believe in the essentials of the Christian religion, whatever they may be and 2.) must act in accordance with at least one version of the Christian religion, I don't know how I would be obligated to them. That I have to abide by terms, to which I didn't agree, which fly in the face of reason is the reason why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

>October 08, 2012 1:17 PM

You also said:
My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide. I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything.

October 09, 2012 9:51 AM

I reply: So what has changed? Make up your mind please.

>I have said, "obligation requires consent", only to have elucidated that statement by saying "the notion of obligation requires some form of a notion of consent."

That is what you are saying now since grodriquez reading what you originally wrote & re-wrote said I was correct & you where incoherent. Even cl noticed "discrepancies".

If you are going to contradict yourself don't put it in print.

>(You see, since my arguments aren't a complete mess like yours, I can actually easily find something I said and quote it!) This is an important point because it illustrates your lack of reading comprehension and your penchant arguing straw-men.

Smells like projection.

Dan Gilson you have left reality.

>Thirdly, what makes the demands of custom valid?

Who cares? They are obligated to you without prior consent. It is not required you agree too them beforehand as is your demand of God.

Also your attempted tangent on Female circumcision while interesting is not relavant. Female circumcision is immoral according to Natural Law since it is mutilation. You are not obligated to any custom that is intrinsically immoral.
Earlier in the thread you said we are not obligated to eat but here you correctly conclude we are not obligated to perform female circumcision. You are couriously inconsistant. Yours is not a valid analogy.

My analogy is more correctly thus...It is a brute fact if you are born an American citizen you are obligated to follow the Laws of the USA. Now you may renounce your citizenship & leave the country or resist her laws and be arrested or assent to them. But you are obligated to them from birth.

Let's look at this again "I never agreed to the obligations of American citizenship that I supposedly assumed when I was born in this country to American citizens, so I don't owe America anything."

Yes you do. You are obligate to obey her laws. If you break them you are punished or you can renounce citizenship and leave. But you can't be a citizen & not be obligated to her laws. The obligation of which was imposed on you at birth without prior consent. This analogy applies to God. I've already explain a number of times why so I won't repeat myself.

@cl I will politely answer you at your blog when I get the chance.

BenYachov said...

@cl

>Who is Gaven? What is going on in your head?

So Gavin in India(I followed the link) is not your blog?

Well that explains a lot. I guess there has been a misunderstanding.

Well I will deal with it later cl.

I wan to see how Dan weasels out of this one.

BenYachov said...

@Dan Gilson wrote:
>By the way, I will no longer be responding to comments on this thread. There will be plenty of time to continue this conversation, or a variant of it, elsewhere on this blog.

Yes run away better to do that then defend the delusional & disingenuous nonsense you just wrote.

Just to remind everyone.

Your wrote:
>Secondly, where did I argue that obligation requires prior consent?
October 10, 2012 6:50 PM

You also earlier wrote:
>I'm using the notions of consent and obligation in tandem; in my view, one cannot be without the other. Seeing as I have never consented to God's terms for existing, i.e., upon arrival on planet Earth, creatures 1.) must believe in the essentials of the Christian religion, whatever they may be and 2.) must act in accordance with at least one version of the Christian religion, I don't know how I would be obligated to them. That I have to abide by terms, to which I didn't agree, which fly in the face of reason is the reason why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

October 08, 2012 1:17 PM

You also said:
My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide. I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything.

October 09, 2012 9:51 AM

Yes little Gnu run away. Better to do that then stay here & answer for your disingenuous nonsense.

cl said...

Dan Gillson,

Well. Now I don't know what to think. I must say, you do appear to be directly contradicting yourself, which is why I asked that straightforward question in my last response to you. Trust me, I can see why you don't want to continue with Yachov anymore, but, so this whole thing isn't a total waste, would you at least try continuing with me? I mean, after all, once you're in a civil discussion with somebody, aren't you "obligated" to continue?

;)

(that is an attempt at light-hearted humor, not mean-spirited sarcasm)

BenYachov said...

Yeh cl he punked out on you. He didn't even answer your question about his "discrepancy".

From you his "friend".

Now he has left you with egg on your face & holding the bag.

No one should ever trust his character again.

I guess you had to learn the hard way. Anyway I am preparing a response to you on your blog.

Don't worry I won't curse & I'll take it easy on you.

Your name is Gavin not Gaven? Sorry about that.

cl said...

My name is not "Gavin" or "Gaven." I figured out what happened. In your hysteria, you clicked my name, completely overlooked the fact that "Gavin in India" was listed as a blog I follow, then leapt to the conclusion that that must be my name. It was just another of many mistakes you've made in the last few hours.

I just waded through 400+ comments in the spam trap, and I didn't see any from you. A search for "Yachov" turned up null.

Comment if you wish, but, if your comment even hints of the behavior you've exemplified here, I won't be responding. Like I said, I want you to *NOT* engage or talk to me. The last thing I want is you, all frothing and raging, at *MY* place.

Take care Yachov, and I mean that.

BenYachov said...

@cl

>My name is not "Gavin" or "Gaven." I figured out what happened. In your hysteria, you clicked my name, completely overlooked the fact that "Gavin in India" was listed as a blog I follow, then leapt to the conclusion that that must be my name. It was just another of many mistakes you've made in the last few hours.

Did some maintenance on it did you?

Because when I clicked on it GAVIN IN INDIA was listed on MY BLOGS above as well as BLOGS I FOLLOW. I seem to clearly recall that an hour ago.

So it's your fault.

Be well & God Bless! I mean that too.

cl said...

No, Yachov, it's not "my fault," you're just flat-out wrong and it really irks me that you've got so much pride you can't just admit it. I went back and re-checked the "blogs I follow" box, and it remains checked. Click the link. The string "My Blogs" does NOT appear above "Blogs I Follow," or anywhere else for that matter.

Good night.

BenYachov said...

@cl

>No, Yachov, it's not "my fault," you're just flat-out wrong and it really irks me that you've got so much pride you can't just admit it.

Pride? You are real piece of work cl with the knee-jerk moral accusations son.

As I recall you had three blogs listed in MY BLOGS. Two of them where about art or something.

You had maybe five or more listed under blogs I follow.

The last time I clicked you had no blogs listed. Now you have GAVIN IN INDIA as your sole blog listed under BLOGS I FOLLOW.

I'm not crazy. So either there is some internet anomaly at work or you have a hacker or you forgot what you listed where or your lying.

I don't care which it is.

But it's your confusing profile therefore your fault.

>I went back and re-checked the "blogs I follow" box, and it remains checked. Click the link. The string "My Blogs" does NOT appear above "Blogs I Follow," or anywhere else for that matter.

Yes that is how it looks now thought I recall you had a few minutes ago no blogs listed in any fashion. Now you have Gavin in India under BLOGS I FOLLOW.

Let it go.

BenYachov said...

OTOH maybe it's Gavin's profile I'm thinking of?

It your confusing profile cl so I still blame you.

cl said...

No, Yachov, you are wrong, and you aren't a big enough man to admit it. Again: all I did was go and uncheck the "blogs I follow" box, since I didn't want the next froth-at-the-mouther to make the same mistake. There was only one blog listed: Gavin in India. Then, when you tried to back your way out of your error, I went back and re-checked the box. That is it, and that's how I've left it. You can go look for yourself.

There's no internet anomaly. It's called pride, and this is the end of our tenure.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...




Whatever you say cl you are a great mature grown up moral awesome christian example the rest of us can follow.

To bask in your greatness awes me!

I am humbled one as super duper as you can condescend to help a poor pride infested wretch like moi.

I think I can walk? Hey I can Walk!!

Oh wait I could always walk never mind.

ps that is subtle. Just so you know.

B. Prokop said...

This entire thread has been uber-depressing in its tone and adolescence.

Ben, please listen to the well-meant advice you're hearing from cl and others. The tone of your postings is quite off-putting, and does a disservice to whatever point you are trying to make. Let me add my own two cents: no name-calling, don't borrow from the gnu playbook and call others delusional, no ALL CAPS please, and no ad hominems.

cl, the best way to respond to incessant internet prodding is to ignore it utterly. (I know I myself fail at this at times).

But really, what I've read above makes me almost miss Papalinton!

grodrigues said...

@cl:

note: a memory reconstruction from the previous, as the original seems to have been eaten up by blogger.

"Before I even bother reply, let me know if you're willing to engage. I've tried engaging you before only to be ignored, but if you want to discuss this with me, I'm game."

I cannot remember the specific circumstances, but it was certainly not because you have the Mark of the Troll. Maybe I was out time or out of patience. I was certainly out of *something*. So first, my apologies for ignoring you, and second, if you want to reply go ahead, but as my late response should indicate, I have a full plate and while I intend to check back on the thread, I cannot promise to do it in a timely fashion.

Syllabus said...

"But really, what I've read above makes me almost miss Papalinton!"

SHHH! Don't write that! He's like Beetlejuice that way.

BenYachov said...

@hay Bob

>Ben, please listen to the well-meant advice you're hearing from cl and others.

I didn't find cl's "advice" well meaning.
I found it off putting especially considering the other issues between us hanging over it.

I also found it hypocritical cause on his own blog he has a message before his posts saying bad arguments will be mocked as well has harshly crushed yada yada. So he can do it too Gnus on his own blog but I can't do it here?

Plus he is a younger man & by his own Evangelical biblicism has no business rebuking me. He should have extorted me as a Father.

Now you Bob I would listen too because I am certain any rebuke or extortion comes from a position of friendship. Plus I think you know how do to it without setting me against you.

>The tone of your postings is quite off-putting, and does a disservice to whatever point you are trying to make.

I think I was quite mild to Dan. Contrary to cl's misreading I didn't curse at him I created a fictional person who was cursing at food as a metaphor for people who curse at God. He has some Evangelical legalism against foul language I don't hold too.

>Let me add my own two cents: no name-calling, don't borrow from the gnu playbook and call others delusional, no ALL CAPS please, and no ad hominems.

Go back & read what I wrote. I called Dan out on his irrational arguments for the most part & Dan gave as good as he got san any intelligent counter-argument. cl spent some time enabling him but in the end Dan burned him & left the poor guy with egg on his face.

>But really, what I've read above makes me almost miss Papalinton!

The only thing I object too to that description is Paps has zero ability to make any intelligent argument for Atheism or critique of Theism. I can argue even if I am a jerk about it. So give me some credit will ya?;-)

Cheers.

BenYachov said...

That's funny Bob. You and I have different views on why we find Paps annoying.

You are annoyed because he acts like a jerk. I am annoyed because he is a jerk who can't argue.

It's kind of funny. But like all comedy it has a tragedy beneath it.

cl said...

grodriques,

Sorry to have to ask this, but, did you intend the "Mark of the Troll" comment literally, as in, you really don't think I bear the mark? Or, did you intend it satirically, as in, you *DO* think I bear the mark, and that's likely why you ignored me? From the tone of the rest of your comment, I assume the former, but given the recent transactions on this thread, I want to ask.

As far as the actual arguments in question, Dan Gillson kind of left us hanging. The remarks of mine which you disagreed with were predicated on a position that Dan seems to be embracing despite saying he is not. Therefore, I don't really know how to proceed unless he comes back and answers my question about the apparent discrepancy (see my comment October 10, 2012 11:38 AM).

I originally took Dan as saying prior consent was required in order for an obligation to obtain. My original reply was to point out that for all he knows, he may have given prior consent! Now, I realize this reply doesn't work given some schemas of creation. As you note, and as I agreed even before I replied to Dan, it would seem logically impossible to get consent before creating a free being. However, that wasn't what I was getting at. I was simply trying to proffer that, perhaps each of us had some spiritual existence and communion with God before getting birthed into Earth? Sure, this doesn't square with the average Christian position, and by no means do I believe it, but for me, this is about philosophy, and philosophy requires exploration of options beyond the limited range of held beliefs.

At any rate, that's about as much as I can say now. Cheers to you, I've always enjoyed your commentary here. If you have a blog or anything like that, I would love to read more of your writing.

B. Prokop,

"Ben, please listen to the well-meant advice you're hearing from cl and others."

All I can say there is, thank you, and it's too bad that even your correction seems unable to elicit a humble apology.

"cl, the best way to respond to incessant internet prodding is to ignore it utterly."

Oh, I know, and I had every intention of doing that after the first two-dozen angry screeds. I only jumped back in when Yachov started going off on wild tangents that ended up spreading false information about me, and what I believe. Trust me, there will be no further interaction between Ben and I. In fact, chances are I'll be pulling another Houdini act, even longer than the last one. The "fruit to spoil" ratio is just far too high here these days (in the comboxes, at least). I don't come here to hear froth, rage and boorish attitudes of intellectual superiority. I come here to get inspired, or to be challenged, on a real level, as opposed to insulted, mocked and attacked, be it from atheists or self-touted Christians of any denomination.

As you said, it's uber-depressing. It's actually worse than that. Aside from trudging the Lord's name through mud, it is, quite literally, adverse to one's mental, physical and spiritual health to engage in these sort of "discussions." These days, I need lower blood pressure, and less anger—not more to the Nth power.

I apologize for my part, and I am ashamed of whatever I've contributed to it.

BenYachov said...

cl wrote:

about me.

>No salt, no grace, no love or fruit of the spirit, just attack, attack, attack, and mean-spirited at that.”

>All I can say there is, thank you, and it's too bad that even your correction seems unable to elicit a humble apology.

>Yachov started going off on wild tangents that ended up spreading false information about me,

cl also wrote about me.

>The verdict is in: too proud to admit error, even in something as small as misreading a clear headline in a frothing rage.

>Yachov was so angry he couldn’t read and/or comprehend what he was reading, and even after being called on it, it’s “my confusing” profile, and I’m the one to blame. Take notice, folks, this is stubborn pride run amok. Religiosity at it’s worst. A total pity.

>Well, I *DID* say I would ignore Yachov if he came over here acting like a 14-year-old, and that he did, but one thing I can’t let slide, since it is, at best, an indication of his immense pride, and at worst, an indication of his downright dishonesty (I’m not sure which evil force is at work).

cl you pretty much at this point became what you loath in me. I looked threw the thread & I noticed Bob chided me way back. He then let it go.

You need to do the same.

I'll say this one last time. Your not my Father, Bishop, Father Confessor, or Pastor & I know you are not qualified to be such tome. You don't get to tell me what to do son & you don't know how to do it in a prudent manner.

So for your sake as well as mine refrain.

>I apologize for my part, and I am ashamed of whatever I've contributed to it.

I'm sorry too. But you rub me the wrong way & vice versa so not talking to me is best.

God Bless.

BenYachov said...

One last bit.

>I was simply trying to proffer that, perhaps each of us had some spiritual existence and communion with God before getting birthed into Earth?

This Deus Ex Machina neo-Mormonism is not a worthy response for any Trinitarian Chacedonian Christian.

It's absurd. So you are gonna tell Dan in the Joseph Smith Pre-existence He consented to God to submit to him but he doesn't remember it?

He should believe this why? Also Dan whole argument was one giant falllacy that needed to be exposed.

That was a bad argument. Sorry very bad.

Dan Gillson said...

I'll bite one more time.

Firstly, you have gone a long way to prove that you can't track what's going on. The supposed discrepancy you point out can be explained by the rather uninteresting reason that, as the conversation mutated, it no longer needed to address Ben's conception of God as a sovereign creditor. I'm not even sure how it counts as a discrepancy

Secondly, your little evasion, the "who cares?" of your reply to me, is really a sad attempt at repressing what you already know. What makes obligations valid is relevant to a discussion of the nature of obligations. So, I'll ask you again: what makes the demands, i.e., the obligations, of custom valid or invalid?

Thirdly, seeing as female genital mutilation is a custom practiced in parts of the world, and since we are on a discussing the validity of obligations, particularly the validity of those obligations that come from custom, a discussion of female genital mutilation is quite relevant to the topic. I'm wondering: in societies that practice such bestial things, are people who dissent from practicing female circumcision still under an obligation to perform or to receive one? My answer is no, your answer is. . . mumble, mumble, evade, evade. . .

Lastly, let's take you analogy as an example. You say, "It is a brute fact if you are born an American citizen you are obligated to follow the Laws of the USA. Now you may renounce your citizenship & leave the country or resist her laws and be arrested or assent to them. But you are obligated to them from birth." First, a material correction. My obligation to the laws of the USA is not a brute fact, it is an institutional, or socially constructed fact. Brute facts, as the concept is used in philosophy, are those facts that are embedded in the natural world, facts such as, "the atomic weight of hydrogen is 1.00794 u". This leads into my second point that, since my obligation to the laws of the USA is an institutional or socially constructed fact, and since institutional or socially constructed facts depend on human agreement for their existence, it necessarily follows that the existence of my obligations to the laws of the USA depends some form of a notion of consent.

Care to keep trying?

Dan Gillson said...

Sorry about the typos. I started work very early this morning, and only just got home.

BenYachov said...

So basically Dan you are now changing the subject because you don't want to answer your friend and ally cl's question about your obvious discrepancy?

I just think you blatantly contradicted your self & you now see you can't back up your original argument.

Your wrote:
>Secondly, where did I argue that obligation requires prior consent?
October 10, 2012 6:50 PM

You also earlier wrote:
>I'm using the notions of consent and obligation in tandem; in my view, one cannot be without the other. Seeing as I have never consented to God's terms for existing, i.e., upon arrival on planet Earth, creatures 1.) must believe in the essentials of the Christian religion, whatever they may be and 2.) must act in accordance with at least one version of the Christian religion, I don't know how I would be obligated to them. That I have to abide by terms, to which I didn't agree, which fly in the face of reason is the reason why such a life is more a curse than a gift.

October 08, 2012 1:17 PM

You also said:
My argument is based on a notion of obligation that is consensual, very distinct from a notion of compulsion, which you elide. I never agreed to the debt that I supposedly assumed when God created me, if he did, so I don't owe God anything.

That is just pathetic.

BenYachov said...

Also since you obviously can't back up your original objection that you need to have a prior agreement with YHWN before being obligated to His Authority you now wish to change the subject too the Question "Are you obligated to any authority that compels you to do something immoral"?

Short answer no.

But it seems you now wish to change your argument to "I am not obligated to obey God because I believe it is immoral for him to try to obligate me without my prior permission".

>My obligation to the laws of the USA is not a brute fact, it is an institutional, or socially constructed fact.

No the fact you born an American is a brute fact. It is also a brute fact you didn't need prior agreement to be obligated as a born citizen.

>Brute facts, as the concept is used in philosophy, are those facts that are embedded in the natural world, facts such as, "the atomic weight of hydrogen is 1.00794 u".

Which further buries you since God is the creator of the natural world and the natural order & thus His creating you obligates you too Him as a brute fact.

Your argument is and remains an epic fail as is your pathetic attempts at dodging.

Dan Gillson said...

Wait, wait, wait. . . you're saying that, because I started out arguing that Cole's conception of God as a sovereign creditor doesn't jive well with the idea of life as a "free gift", and ended by arguing with you about the nature of obligations, I am contradicting myself. Like I said, the supposed contradiction is explained by the natural mutation in the conversation. I started off with a response to Cole, continued with responses to Crude, and finished off with responses to you. Uninterestingly, I have had to adapt my argument to different interlocutors. I'm not sure why that's such a big deal.

BenYachov said...

>So, I'll ask you again: what makes the demands, i.e., the obligations, of custom valid or invalid?

This is of course not the topic we originally discussed. That one having been proven incoherent.

But I would say intrinsically moral demands imposed by legitimate authority are valid.

Said legitimate authorities derive their efficacy from God.

Immoral demands & non-legitimate authorities can't obligate you at all.

That is all.

Dan Gillson said...

My argument is really quite sound. It's your replies that are actually quite bad: they're scatterbrained, ungrammatical, and incoherent. Now I did you quite the favor by constructing some semblance of an argument from the garbled messes that you left me, the least you can do, if you aren't going to admit that I'm right, is thank me for my time.

BenYachov said...

>Wait, wait, wait. . . you're saying that, because I started out arguing that Cole's conception of God as a sovereign creditor doesn't jive well with the idea of life as a "free gift", and ended by arguing with you about the nature of obligations, I am contradicting myself.

You can keep pretending the conversation was other then what it was but even your friend cl noticed the discrepancy as did grodrigues.

Bottom line "Seeing as I have never consented to God's terms for existing, i.e., upon arrival on planet Earth etc" is not a valid objection.

BenYachov said...

Well grodrigues is a scientist and mathematician who know a good deal of philosophy and cl was trying to be an advocate for you.

He saw a discrepancy you refused & still refuse to resolve and grodrigues said you argument was incoherent and I was right.

That in an of itself doesn't make you wrong & me right but if I was a neutral gambling man I would be a fool to bet on you here.

Dan Gillson said...

That's fine if you think that I'm wrong, but you still are obligated to thank me for putting my time in making sense of your nonsense. :)

BenYachov said...

Dan I don't understand you here. I know intellectually if the Morman Church where true or at least if I thought it was true logic and common sense would tell me I am obligated to obey the Prophet in Utah & not obey the Pope.

I could with ease be an Atheist & still logically conclude if God really existed I am obligated to him.

Your objections to the later have thus far not been coherent.

BenYachov said...

>That's fine if you think that I'm wrong, but you still are obligated to thank me for putting my time in making sense of your nonsense. :)

That I will do.

I will also take back my implication you where a run away coward. You did come back to finish what you started so I am obligated morally :-) to give you props.

Props!!:-)

cl said...

Dan,

"Firstly, you have gone a long way to prove that you can't track what's going on."

Was that for me? If so, I'll be bowing out, right here, right now. I've been as patient, gracious and kind with you as I could possibly muster, and for you to come back and treat me so tersely—if indeed that's what's happening—just strikes me as pure wrongness.

Please clarify. If you're not being terse to me, and that was for Ben, then I'm willing to proceed. All I need in order to offer thoughts on your argument is a clear answer to this question: Are you, or are you not, arguing that consent is required in order for an obligation with God to obtain?

I bolded / empasized "with God" because I've just read where you say your obligation to the US requires prior consent. BTW, you are flat wrong about that. If you are born here, you're obligated to follow the rules. You're also free to leave.

Now, you could argue that willful citizenship is a form of consent. What I mean is, say you're born here, and you don't like the laws. Okay, fine. Once you're old enough, you can leave. But you remain obligated until then, wouldn't you say?

BenYachov said...

cl he was talking to me and only to me.

Geez will you give it a rest it's not all about you.

This ready fire aim busybody shit on your part has got to stop.

Now you are pouring gas on the fire.

Just let it go son.

Dan Gillson said...

James,

Thank you for ending this on friendly terms. I understand that the point I'm trying to make is far from simple; I understand that it seems, from your point of view, to be incoherent. (I realize others have said the same, but I'm addressing you personally.) If the topic ever comes up again, I'll hopefully be better prepared to elaborate on it more clearly.

BenYachov said...

Fair enough.

Cheers.

grodrigues said...

@cl:

"Sorry to have to ask this, but, did you intend the "Mark of the Troll" comment literally, as in, you really don't think I bear the mark? Or, did you intend it satirically, as in, you *DO* think I bear the mark, and that's likely why you ignored me?"

First option.

"However, that wasn't what I was getting at. I was simply trying to proffer that, perhaps each of us had some spiritual existence and communion with God before getting birthed into Earth?"

But that only kicks the problem to another level. I have not read yet Dan Gilson's more recent posts (and the thread seems to be dying out anyway), but even if he were to grant such a putative pre-Earth existence it would have no influence in his contention.

"If you have a blog or anything like that, I would love to read more of your writing."

I had one, but it was a long time ago, and it was more of a personal diary. Thank God no one read it. And it was in my first language (Portuguese). No patience, time or the interest in having one anymore.

cl said...

Dan,

Just so you know, the reason I asked if that sentence was for me is because you refer to Ben in the third person in said paragraph. That, to me, is reasonable grounds to assume one of two things: that that particular sentence was for me, or that there was a grammatical misstep. Personally, I feel it's better to ask when unsure rather than make wild assumptions that lead to more confusion.

grodriques,

Thanks for clarifying on the Mark of the Troll thing.

Yeah, unfortunately Dan doesn't seem willing to finish it. Don't get me wrong, I understand why. I'm anxious to get out of here, too, so this will be my last word on it:

"even if he were to grant such a putative pre-Earth existence it would have no influence in his contention."

That depends on his contention. I understood his contention as something like, "I didn't consent to such a painful Earthly existence," or something along those lines. Well, if everything was gravy in heaven, and God told Dan the burdens of Earthly existence, and Dan agreed, then he has no argument.

BenYachov said...

>But that only kicks the problem to another level.

In other words Dan could simply say he didn't prior agree with God to be created in your hypothetical neo-Mormon Pre-Earth existence & thus doesn't feel obligated to God etc...

Unknown said...

Every example McCormick offers is an attempt to prove that Choice should not ever effect negative consequences in the lives of others. If he’s right, I wonder if he thought about this before having those perfect children of his, whom, before he begat them, he knew would never ever produce negative consequences upon others. But my kidding’s over, so, knowing this, why did he beget them, knowing they would at times be part of the problem and not part of the solution? By his own standards, then, doesn’t that make him evil?

Well, if not him (in the event he’s childless), then, uhh, certainly his parents.