Saturday, September 10, 2011

Atheistic morality debate: David's final statement

I want to once again thank Skierkowa for participating in this debate with me. I have very much appreciated and been challenged by his interesting entries. While I have not changed my opinions during the course of this debate, Skierkowa has certainly helped me to clarify my position.

I don't think that it is necessary here to go over the contents of this debate in depth. I want instead to use this opportunity, as my last entry in this debate, to do two things: First, I will list the points pertaining to our debate which I believe have been sufficiently evidenced during the course of this debate; afterwards, I will then briefly list some final thoughts on morality.

First, what I believe to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in this debate:
  1. Judeo-Christian morality is, ultimately, the moral system to which the entirety of Western Civilization, and, via the influence and supremacy of Western Civilization, much of the rest of the world, adheres.
  2. The philosophical underpinnings of Judeo-Christian morality rest upon two principles in particular: 1. Man is created in the image of God, and therefore all human life possesses inherent, equal, and immeasurable value. This is the foundation upon which all Jewish law regarding relationships between human beings rests (see Genesis 9:6, for example). 2. God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, thereby redeeming and sanctifying humanity and further uniting humanity with divinity.
  3. Judeo-Christian morality rests upon these two principles and collapses without them.
  4. Infanticide is one example of a practice that has been banned because of the impact of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  5. Atheism removes these two foundational principles of Western morality and so, in order to be consistent, atheists must not adhere to Western moral standards.
  6. The Principle/Being known as Tao, Logos, Ma'at, Dharma, and by many other names throughout a great variety of cultures, but in its most complete form in the Judeo-Christian tradition, has provided a metaphysical foundation for ethics throughout most of human history.
  7. This foundation has been provided as men have sought to imitate and become like the Principle, making Its Will their own and seeking harmony with It.
  8. Atheists reject this Principle in favor of naturalism. Nature and instinct give no consistent foundation and can produce no moral system but that of "might makes right."
Others may not feel that these points have been sufficiently proven in this debate, but I believe that they have and that an unbiased reading of the contents of this debate can lead to no other conclusions than those I have listed above.

What we have discovered in this debate is that there are in fact three possible sources for philosophical foundations for morality:
  1. The nature and will of God as revealed by him in the Judeo-Christian tradition. This is, as I said above and have proven in this debate, the philosophical foundation for Western morality.
  2. The Logos/Tao/Ma'at/Dharma/etc. This is the Transcendent Principle which great sages, philosophers, and mystics have sought harmony and oneness with and upon which traditional ethics in most societies have been based.
  3. Nature and instinct. This is the only foundation available to atheists, who posit that there is no transcendent/spiritual reality. This standard is, however, a very flawed and inconsistent one, especially from the perspective of modern atheists, who necessarily were raised within a context which posits Judeo-Christian values as its norm. Skierkowa, for instance, in his third question, mentioned certain apparent innate moral features of mice and monkeys. These are interesting examples, but the problem with them is that male mice also kill and eat their young and mother monkeys will kill their own offspring if they find that there isn't enough food for both the child and the mother. Nature and instinct are no foundation for human ethics like the ones Skierkowa would like to espouse. He, therefore, and all atheists, contradict their own and only foundation. Their philosophy is found to be inconsistent at best and self-contradictory to the put of absurdity in the end.
My thanks go to Skierkowa again and to all who have followed this debate and commented on its progress along the way.

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