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You said "so argument seven is poorly constructed and your argument fails", but argument seven is part of the OP, and is not part of my argument.

 

I said argument seven is poor constructed and I said your argument fails. They are both true. I am sorry I was unclear.

 

 

 

Hmm. I think one might argue that love is a part of moral perfection, not a separate attribute, but the specifics aren't entirely relevant.

 

Some may think that, and it would remain little more than an unjustified opinion unless it can be logically established.

 

Here's what I meant by my argument: Suppose God does value love above moral perfection, and suppose these are competing properties. God takes certain actions that demonstrate his perfect love but are morally imperfect -- he can't achieve both at once because this is logically impossible. If this is the case, then God is not morally perfect.

 

What if he values them equally and is perfect in both love and morality?

 

However, the OP stipulates a morally perfect God. You're essentially saying "but that's not a God anyone believes in," or perhaps "God doesn't have to be morally perfect to be exceedingly good -- he may just be good at other things."

 

I believe you mischaracterize what I am saying.

 

I think Anselm would say so. Anselm (archbishop of Canterbury a thousand years ago) posited that God is perfect, and defined this to mean that God is that than which a greater cannot be conceived. Using this argument, he was able to describe God's attributes: omnipotent, omniscient, immaterial, eternal, unchanging, and so on. Now, he meant it differently than I think you do. He didn't say God is perfect in every way. For example, one might ask whether God is a perfect liar, but to Anselm lying represents a lack of power. To lie is to imply that you cannot get away with the truth, or that you are of weakened moral character, and so the perfect ability to lie is not perfection at all, but a weakness.

 

So Anselm would say it is quite possible for God to be perfect, but that does not require that he is perfect at everything.

 

This is because perfect is not being used in the same sense. One cannot exist and not exist at the same time. One cannot be less than perfect and perfect at the same time.

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OK, I'll completely analyze the issue of free will being incompatible with morality: 1) Suppose free will is incompatible with perfect morality. Therefore, any morally perfect being (such as God, if

That is an idiotic objection. You can obviously analyze a belief without actually holding such a belief. In fact: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepti

You do not believe in God: why should you now believe in Satan? Do you really believe Satan exists if God doesn't? If you don't, yours is no argument.

What if he values them equally and is perfect in both love and morality?

Then they're not competing or exclusive values, and so this isn't relevant.

 

If they're exclusive, and he values love over moral perfection, than moral perfection is not possible to achieve.

 

I believe you mischaracterize what I am saying.

You're not exactly doing the best job of clarifying. If I am not understanding you properly, please explain in more detail.

 

This is because perfect is not being used in the same sense. One cannot exist and not exist at the same time. One cannot be less than perfect and perfect at the same time.

Yes. So Anselm says God is perfect, because he has the best of all possible attributes. Being "perfect in every way" is neither possible nor necessary, because God is only perfect in those things that make him greater.

 

Look, you originally argued this:

 

Therefore, since moral goodness can be mutually exclusive of another attribute of value then there is the possibility of competing goods, so argument seven is poorly constructed and your argument fails.

If we have another attribute of value that is mutually exclusive, and God values that higher, He will by necessity not be able to achieve moral perfection. For example, if love were a mutually exclusive but more desirable attribute, God could become perfect in love, but would be logically unable to be morally perfect. Correct? (This is not to say that love is indeed more desirable or mutually exclusive; feel free to substitute in any other property you believe meets those requirements.)

 

If this is true, then you're saying the argument fails in the case that God is unable to be morally perfect. This is quite true, because the argument rests on the premise of God's moral perfection, and removing that makes the argument fail.

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...Either way we all agree the argument fails. Am I right or wrong?

 

The following is a simplification of what the dictionary says...Moral = right, Immoral = wrong

 

...Hence morality has no standard and is different for everyone although society does tend to agree on many things that are immoral and moral.

Law is basically an attempt to create a standard code of what is moral and immoral. A standardisation of morality if prefer.

 

So Cap' refsmmat, I'd say your argument is wrong because my definition of morality tells me morality applies to all things equally and is not a standard that is above or below anything.

 

You however may have a different definition.

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...Either way we all agree the argument fails. Am I right or wrong?

Depends. Does it fail at disproving the existence of a perfectly moral, omnipotent, omniscient God? I don't think so. Do we actually believe in a God with those attributes? Perhaps not.

 

The following is a simplification of what the dictionary says...Moral = right, Immoral = wrong

 

...Hence morality has no standard and is different for everyone although society does tend to agree on many things that are immoral and moral.

Law is basically an attempt to create a standard code of what is moral and immoral. A standardisation of morality if prefer.

 

So Cap' refsmmat, I'd say your argument is wrong because my definition of morality tells me morality applies to all things equally and is not a standard that is above or below anything.

 

You however may have a different definition.

There are many versions of morality. You are right that a moral relativist (which you appear to be) could apply morality to God and find him immoral. However, from a theological moral perspective, one could say God is the source of moral knowledge, and hence He creates the standards. This is particularly attractive to some Christian groups, who claim that moral relativism ("morality has no standard and is different for everyone") is unacceptable and plain wrong.

 

Kant believed there is one single rational form of morality, and God, as a rational being, would be forced to abide by it if we are to consider Him moral.

 

So yes, my argument only works with certain forms of morality.

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wait...So Christians believe it is moral to commit genocide?!? If god sets the standard then it must be moral...then again he said you can't murder...So it's moral but you will be killed and sent to hell for it? That doesn't sound fair...and it doesn't make much sense...

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Then they're not competing or exclusive values, and so this isn't relevant.

 

You seem to be trying to change my argument. Since it is possible that morality and love are competing goods, they continue to be in competition, in the sense that one can only be maximized at the expense of the other, regardless of how they are valued. Earlier I spoke of the goods being in competition, not the value of the goods.

 

 

You're not exactly doing the best job of clarifying. If I am not understanding you properly, please explain in more detail.

 

You suggested I am disagreeing with the stipulation that a benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God would necessarily have a perfect sense of moral imperatives and perfectly behave according to them. I do not reject the stipulation given by the OP. Instead, I offer one logical possibility that goods are competing and perfection must be measured in consideration with what is possible.

 

If we have another attribute of value that is mutually exclusive, and God values that higher, He will by necessity not be able to achieve moral perfection. For example, if love were a mutually exclusive but more desirable attribute, God could become perfect in love, but would be logically unable to be morally perfect. Correct? (This is not to say that love is indeed more desirable or mutually exclusive; feel free to substitute in any other property you believe meets those requirements.)

 

No, not correct. How can the unachievable be more perfect than the best of what is possible? Why must you stipulate god values one good to a higher degree than another?

 

If this is true, then you're saying the argument fails in the case that God is unable to be morally perfect. This is quite true, because the argument rests on the premise of God's moral perfection, and removing that makes the argument fail.

 

I believe it fails either way, since one must accept the logical reality that God cannot accomplish the impossible.

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Since it is possible that morality and love are competing goods, they continue to be in competition, in the sense that one can only be maximized at the expense of the other, regardless of how they are valued. Earlier I spoke of the goods being in competition, not the value of the goods.

As has already been pointed out, Divine Love is an aspect of Moral Perfection. I know of no philosopher of religion who denies this. They are not in competition as one falls out of the other. You might as well say the speed of light is in competition with Maxwell's equations.
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As has already been pointed out, Divine Love is an aspect of Moral Perfection. I know of no philosopher of religion who denies this.

 

It has been established here that some philosophers of religion claim that love is an aspect of morality. I have seen no formal proof that it is actually so. Appealing to authority is a logical fallacy.

 

They are not in competition as one falls out of the other. You might as well say the speed of light is in competition with Maxwell's equations.

 

Whether love and morality are or are not in competition is not the issue. Love was merely used as an example of one of any number of possible competing goods. Since it is possible that some good of value (including love) could be in competition with morality, this is sufficient for my argument.

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You seem to be trying to change my argument. Since it is possible that morality and love are competing goods, they continue to be in competition, in the sense that one can only be maximized at the expense of the other, regardless of how they are valued. Earlier I spoke of the goods being in competition, not the value of the goods.

Very well. Let's consider the possibility that they are competing goods.

 

You suggested I am disagreeing with the stipulation that a benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God would necessarily have a perfect sense of moral imperatives and perfectly behave according to them. I do not reject the stipulation given by the OP. Instead, I offer one logical possibility that goods are competing and perfection must be measured in consideration with what is possible.

 

No, not correct. How can the unachievable be more perfect than the best of what is possible? Why must you stipulate god values one good to a higher degree than another?

Hm. I think I'm beginning to understand your point, so let me double-check before I continue.

 

You're saying that there may be multiple competing goods God attempts to maximize. As such, it is impossible to fully maximize any one good, because that would cause the neglect of another. Because God can only achieve what is possible, he achieves as much moral perfection as is possible without harming the other goods. Were he to disregard other goods (such as love, for example) he'd be able to achieve greater moral perfection, but those other goods are important and possibly (but not necessarily) more important than moral perfection.

 

Have I got that right?

 

It has been established here that some philosophers of religion claim that love is an aspect of morality. I have seen no formal proof that it is actually so. Appealing to authority is a logical fallacy.

Not exactly. It's only a fallacy when the authority is not a legitimate authority on the particular subject.

 

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

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See premise 7 of the argument. Hiding our powers of moral perfection does not maximize the likelihood of moral goodness, and hence means that God is not morally perfect.

 

Yeah its morally right for a morally perfect god to create human beings who behave in a morally good way rather than just having hidden inherent attribute of moral goodness. But the problem is tommorrow suddenly we might have a global spiritual revolution who knows and the hidden attribute of moral goodness might just spurn out and the world may appear morally perfect. The fact that god might have given hidden inherent powers doesn't prevent this from happening. So its wrong to come to a conclusion that the given God is not morally perfect by looking at the current affairs of the world. So one has to be very carefull here before concluding that way.

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Very well. Let's consider the possibility that they are competing goods.

 

 

Hm. I think I'm beginning to understand your point, so let me double-check before I continue.

 

You're saying that there may be multiple competing goods God attempts to maximize. As such, it is impossible to fully maximize any one good, because that would cause the neglect of another. Because God can only achieve what is possible, he achieves as much moral perfection as is possible without harming the other goods. Were he to disregard other goods (such as love, for example) he'd be able to achieve greater moral perfection, but those other goods are important and possibly (but not necessarily) more important than moral perfection.

 

Have I got that right?

 

Yes this is one point.

 

Not exactly. It's only a fallacy when the authority is not a legitimate authority on the particular subject.

 

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

 

I believe your link is incorrect about the logical fallacy. It is far more commonly understood the way wiki describes it.

 

Since it is possible that the authority may be incorrect, it is a fallacy to imply that the authority's claims makes it true. In addition, YodaPs failed to established that this unnamed group of is even an authority so he failed even by your weaker measure. I hope that double standards are not being applied here.

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Yes this is one point.

Ah, glad I've understood.

 

Let's suppose there are two competing goods, A and B. God can achieve a level of each. Suppose we give a scale, 1 to 10, of how much He achieves of each. For example, if A were moral perfection, having 10 A would imply total moral perfection, whereas 1 would imply total moral corruption, and so on.

 

Because these goods are competing, it's logically impossible for God to achieve a 10 in both A and B simultaneously, as we've agreed. Perhaps, then, God achieves, say, an 8 in both, and this is the maximal expression of both goods logically possible.

 

But he is an 8 in A, not a 10, so he's not perfect in A -- he's just exceedingly good at it.

 

Likewise, you essentially argue that God is not morally perfect, but merely as morally good as it is possible to be with competing goals and purposes. But the premises of the argument stipulate a God that is morally perfect, and scores a 10 in that category.

 

In short, you say the argument does not apply because God may have competing goals and hence isn't totally morally perfect. (Rather, it is logically impossible for him to be so.) Theologically, I suppose this isn't a big issue, so long as he is still morally better than anyone else imaginable.

 

I believe your link is incorrect about the logical fallacy. It is far more commonly understood the way wiki describes it.

 

Since it is possible that the authority may be incorrect, it is a fallacy to imply that the authority's claims makes it true. In addition, YodaPs failed to established that this unnamed group of is even an authority so he failed even by your weaker measure. I hope that double standards are not being applied here.

Hurley's A Concise Introduction to Logic, 9th edition, defines it as "appeal to unqualified authority" and says it "occurs when the cited authority or witness lacks credibility." Also, I believe ydoaPs cited Schellenberg, who has a DPhil from Oxford in a field of philosophy of religion. I'm sure he can find us other sources as well, although the point is not immediately relevant to this discussion.

 

There cannot be a double standard here, since I apply no standard in this discussion -- I am forbidden from moderating it by our own moderation policy, as I am already involved. If you do believe violations of forum policy have occurred, feel free to report them. But ydoaPs has not shown a consistent pattern of using appeals to authority and other fallacies in debates.

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Also, I believe ydoaPs cited Schellenberg, who has a DPhil from Oxford in a field of philosophy of religion. I'm sure he can find us other sources as well, although the point is not immediately relevant to this discussion.

Even in Schellenberg's discussion of the topic, he quotes Swinburne(another giant in the field of philosophy of religion) and even a few theologians whose names I cannot remember offhand. This is a very standard view in philosophy of religion.

 

But ydoaPs has not shown a consistent pattern of using appeals to authority and other fallacies in debates.

I'm also fairly certain I presented a resource with a discussion on the topic supporting the view. Yes, again, I am recommending Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason-it's a very interesting book putting forth a great argument and happens to talk about this issue of divine love as an aspect of moral perfection. It is well written as well, so it's not very dry.

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Because these goods are competing, it's logically impossible for God to achieve a 10 in both A and B simultaneously, as we've agreed. Perhaps, then, God achieves, say, an 8 in both, and this is the maximal expression of both goods logically possible.

 

But he is an 8 in A, not a 10, so he's not perfect in A -- he's just exceedingly good at it.

 

If due to logical restrictions and constraints, it is not it is not possible to exceed your measure of 8, then 10 is an impossible standard, and 8 is best and thus perfection. It makes no sense to compare achievement to a standard that is impossible.

 

 

 

 

Hurley's A Concise Introduction to Logic, 9th edition, defines it as "appeal to unqualified authority" and says it "occurs when the cited authority or witness lacks credibility." Also, I believe ydoaPs cited Schellenberg, who has a DPhil from Oxford in a field of philosophy of religion. I'm sure he can find us other sources as well, although the point is not immediately relevant to this discussion.

 

Why, if it is not relevant to the discussion, do you persist with it? It is relevant because I responded to YodaPS's argument by pointing out that it is a logical fallacy and only an example of other possible competing goods. If it is not a logical fallacy, then I may have some obligation to address it in some other fashion I will drop it when you do as a signal that it is not relevant. Clearly there is a disagreement over the form of this logical fallacy. The wiki page addresses this by discussing it as informal logic . If YodaPs meant to say that a single authority he cited previously holds a particular belief, then he should not have said:

 

"As has already been pointed out, Divine Love is an aspect of Moral Perfection. I know of no philosopher of religion who denies this. They are not in competition as one falls out of the other. You might as well say the speed of light is in competition with Maxwell's equations."

 

He states this as if it is an absolute fact. It is at best an opinion a group of people hold but it is not an established invariant truth.

 

There cannot be a double standard here, since I apply no standard in this discussion -- I am forbidden from moderating it by our own moderation policy, as I am already involved. If you do believe violations of forum policy have occurred, feel free to report them.

 

I don't recall accusing you of moderating or of holding to a double standard. I did quip that I hope one was not being applied.

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If due to logical restrictions and constraints, it is not it is not possible to exceed your measure of 8, then 10 is an impossible standard, and 8 is best and thus perfection. It makes no sense to compare achievement to a standard that is impossible.

But it's not impossible. God could clearly achieve a 10 in A if only he'd disregard B. If we claim that God is perfect in A for achieving an 8, the best He can under the circumstances, one could imagine another deity that neglects B entirely and achieves a 10 in A. It would be "more perfect."

 

It's fine if stipulating moral perfection in the premises of the argument also requires God to neglect other potential goods. We must simply consider a hypothetical God that achieves a 10 in moral perfection, whatever that means for other goods God might want.

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If due to logical restrictions and constraints, it is not it is not possible to exceed your measure of 8, then 10 is an impossible standard, and 8 is best and thus perfection. It makes no sense to compare achievement to a standard that is impossible.

 

If God chooses to be less moral than possible, even if he has a good reason, then that is not moral perfection. You're the one who brought up the argument of competing goods and now you forget what it means for them to be competing? It's not impossible to achieve perfection in one good, but it is impossible to achieve in two competing ones. If A and B compete you can't be perfect in one without being imperfect in the other, and being as perfect as possible in both simultaneously means necessarily being imperfect in at least one, or even in both. But that doesn't make the perfection in one impossible, just that you can't have both.

 

All the competing goods argument would say would be that it might not be ideal to achieve moral perfection. But that seems like it would be quite the contradiction because morality is the basis for judging things good or bad, so how could it be bad to be good?

 

In any case, love is the word Jesus says fulfills all the law (love god and love your neighbor). So I've seen no evidence that love and morality should or even can be in conflict.

 

"As has already been pointed out, Divine Love is an aspect of Moral Perfection. I know of no philosopher of religion who denies this. They are not in competition as one falls out of the other. You might as well say the speed of light is in competition with Maxwell's equations."

 

He states this as if it is an absolute fact. It is at best an opinion a group of people hold but it is not an established invariant truth.

 

So show him even one philosopher of religion who disagrees and you prove one of his statements wrong.

 

And if we're talking about the Christian version of morality, you have Jesus' word that love fulfills all the law.

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If God chooses to be less moral than possible, even if he has a good reason, then that is not moral perfection.

 

If God chooses to be as moral as possible given a boundary condition, how is that not being best? How can one be better than best?

 

So show him even one philosopher of religion who disagrees and you prove one of his statements wrong.

 

And if we're talking about the Christian version of morality, you have Jesus' word that love fulfills all the law.

 

This would not prove his statement wrong. He said that he knows of no philosopher of religion ... His statement is a fallacy because he treated his belief and the opinion of others as if it was an invariant truth when it has not been established as such. I don't recall seeing any stipulation in the opening post that we are speaking of Christian morality.

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I don't recall accusing you of moderating or of holding to a double standard. I did quip that I hope one was not being applied.

 

!

Moderator Note

Which is appeal to innuendo. Cap'n Refsmmat's post was a chance to get back on topic. Please do so.

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If God chooses to be as moral as possible given a boundary condition, how is that not being best? How can one be better than best?

 

Because of the boundary condition. For example if I choose to be as moral as possible given a boundary condition of murdering people I don't like, how is that not being best? And how can you judge what is best other than by using morality?

 

This would not prove his statement wrong. He said that he knows of no philosopher of religion ... His statement is a fallacy because he treated his belief and the opinion of others as if it was an invariant truth when it has not been established as such. I don't recall seeing any stipulation in the opening post that we are speaking of Christian morality.

 

So you don't know any philosophers of religion who disagree with him either? Because if you gave him an example of one, his statement would become false. Can't get much easier than that.

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Because of the boundary condition. For example if I choose to be as moral as possible given a boundary condition of murdering people I don't like, how is that not being best? And how can you judge what is best other than by using morality?

 

Your example may work if you were the authority who established morality; in other words, if your were God.

 

I am not the judge of what is best with respect to morality which raises yet another potential problem with YodaPs' argument since it presumes to be capable of judging the best choices of a perfectly moral God.

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The reason why I objected to your example is because in it you simply redefined what it means for you to be moral. The case I argue involves competing goods of value that would cause God to allow others to behave less than morally perfect for a time while maintaining the highest moral standard for oneself and even for those who fail to meet it..

 

I feel post 43 addresses the substance of 41.

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