Morality and Reality

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jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 04:14 pm
@jeeprs,
Quote:
Total certainty is delusional(except in the case of a definition, which comes totally from man), it is in fact always dogmatism.


Does this mean we don't know anything for certain?

---------- Post added at 08:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:14 AM ----------

Quote:
Is God's moral objective or is it subjective?


This indicates that all of reality can be understood as comprising the subjective realm, plus the objective world. So either something is real 'subjectively' - something I know about myself, some opinion I hold, a philosophical idea or religious belief - or 'objectively' - some real object or property or measurable attribute of the world.

This is the implicit assumption of the modern, secular outlook on life. In other words we see ourselves as thinking subjects situated in a world of objects, forces and people. It is a reasonable outlook to have. This is certainly the way everything seems to be.

However it completely fails to comprehend the realm of the transcendent, which is neither objective nor subjective, and where resides the origin of 'the gods' or 'God' or the other realities behind religions.

So - my answer is, God's moral is neither objective, nor subjective, but transcendent. In Christianity, this is 'revealed' through the Bible as 'the Word of God'. In Eastern religions, it is revealed by scripture but can also be 'realised' by the spiritually enlightened.

But it is neither case is it a matter of opinion, nor a matter of physical observation. So it is neither objective nor subjective. It is spiritual and needs to be understood through that perspective.This is the approach of Eastern non-dualism (advaita or advaya).

Otherwise what you have, as various other contributors have noted here, is simply a collection of conventions about how we should behave, and a set of hypotheses about the way the world is. And there you have the modern outlook. And the only way this outlook can understand the spiritual outlook is to say that it must be 'dogma' (in other words, by reducing it to some category that it already understands.)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 06:25 pm
@jeeprs,
Quote:
The twelve commandments are a good start. The further detailed teachings of Jesus and situations in the Old testament are all sources for 'moral' actions. So clearly we just need a document and a reason to follow it.


TWELVE commandments??
 
hue-man
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 08:40 pm
@jeeprs,
I don't understand what you mean when you say that God's purpose is transcendent. That appears to be another way of saying that God's purpose is objective. Assuming that this God does exist (and I don't), it still stands that this God's purpose for the universe is subjective, assuming that you find a way to leave some leg room for free will in a fatalistic universe designed by an omniscient being.
 
The Start Online
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 10:53 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;71509 wrote:


So - my answer is, God's moral is neither objective, nor subjective, but transcendent. In Christianity, this is 'revealed' through the Bible as 'the Word of God'. In Eastern religions, it is revealed by scripture but can also be 'realised' by the spiritually enlightened.


Indeed it seems that moral is transcedent in religions. It can't be understood and thus there is nothing for discussion.

If I had to describe transcedent moral and reality with few words, I would describe them with moral nihilism and epistemological nihilism.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 12:16 am
@jeeprs,
Just because you don't understand something, don't you think it is arrogant to say there is nothing that there to be understood?

---------- Post added at 05:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:16 PM ----------

Quote:
I don't understand what you mean when you say that God's purpose is transcendent. That appears to be another way of saying that God's purpose is objective


'Transcendent' and 'objective' mean different things.

'Objective' means 'existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality'. The common sense view is that this what really exists, and only what exists.

'Transcendent' literally means 'beyond', as in 'beyond thought' or 'beyond experience'. Actually it is not controversial to say that 'God is transcendent', as this is one of the basic attributes of diety in any religion or tradition, East or West. It is a hard concept to grasp, no doubt, and it is certainly not 'objective' which is maybe why it is largely banished from modern discourse. Maybe in a scientific age, objectivity is the only thing we can agree on, whereas in a spiritual culture, we have a shared 'story' which includes 'the transcendent'. That is what a spiritual culture is. (India is much more spiritual than the West in this way.)

When you say 'you don't believe in God', it might mean you don't believe that there is anything transcendent, or that the idea of transcendence or God is not meaningful. And indeed it may not be, to you. This however does not mean that it is not real.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 08:18 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;71629 wrote:
'Transcendent' and 'objective' mean different things.
'Objective' means 'existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality'. The common sense view is that this what really exists, and only what exists.

'Transcendent' literally means 'beyond', as in 'beyond thought' or 'beyond experience'.


I know that transcendent means beyond, or above material existence, or being beyond comprehension. But doesn't that mean that if God's purpose is beyond the universe, then God's purpose is not a part of the universe? Describing God's purpose as transcendent is a little too ambiguous. Also, would you consider God's purpose to be independent of thought or an observer as part of reality?

jeeprs;71629 wrote:
When you say 'you don't believe in God', it might mean you don't believe that there is anything transcendent, or that the idea of transcendence or God is not meaningful. And indeed it may not be, to you. This however does not mean that it is not real.


I don't know if anything transcends the universe, or if it's causally related to the universe at all. I withhold belief in other universes because I adhere to the principle of parsimony. Let's assume that something does transcend the universe - do I believe that that something is a transparent, ghostly figure that looks like an old man, and has magical powers - no. Do I believe that this transcendent reality has any consequence for us in this universe - no. I believe that questions about God and transcendence are meaningful inquiries.

Imagining that something is real, and it actually being real, are two different things. This would be reducing reality down to mere imagination.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 08:41 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;71189 wrote:
So - there no Truth, with a capital 'T'?


Not unless it begins a sentence. Then, you of course, need a capital. But I never had any clear idea what people meant by spelling "truth" with a capital, when the capital did not belong there.

---------- Post added at 10:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:41 AM ----------

hue-man;71721 wrote:

Imagining that something is real, and it actually being real, are two different things. This would be reducing reality down to mere imagination.


How exactly would a real mermaid differ from an imagined mermaid? Suppose you were asked to paint of picture of each. How would those pictures differ?
 
hue-man
 
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 12:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;71730 wrote:
How exactly would a real mermaid differ from an imagined mermaid? Suppose you were asked to paint of picture of each. How would those pictures differ?


I'm not quite sure of the motive behind your question, but mermaids don't exist. There are no real mermaids, only imagined ones.

I think I know of a better alternative to your question. Let's say that someone drew a picture of me. I'm certainly real, but is the picture real? If I died today, would I still exist as that picture? The answer is no. The picture is but an imagined drawing of me, but it is not me in the sense of my being.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 02:55 am
@jeeprs,
Quote:
But I never had any clear idea what people meant by spelling "truth" with a capital, when the capital did not belong there.


It is perfectly simple, if you understand it. Truth with a capital T stands for that type of truth which must be sought out and realised within. (If I could express an Indian accent at this point, I would.)
 
 

 
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