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2013-03-04

As I said before, sometimes the bible get’s things right with morality. But because there isn’t ever a valid reason for the bible’s morality; it’s only right on accident. Take Leviticus 18:17-18 for example. Let’s say you marry a widow and she has a daughter. Most of us can agree that it’s probably a bad idea to also have sex with her daughter. Or, if your wife has a sister, it’s probably best not to have sex with her sister. A rational reason to not do this is pretty obvious, it will create a lot of unhealthy tension and competition, and it’s very easy to abuse your position of authority as a step-father.

God’s explanation for these restriction, however, is a bit less lucid. God’s answer is, don’t do this, because!

Well, he does get a bit more detailed. For these various forms of incest, you’re not supposed to have sex with relatives for two different reasons. One, because they’re relatives. Two, because it causes dishonor. Okay, maybe I was right from the beginning—it’s wrong, because.

I can’t help but be reminded of the Euthyphro dilemma. Is an action good because God says it’s good, or is it good of its own merit? If it’s good because God says so, then God can declare murder good, and murder is good, but if things are good of their own merit, then God is unnecessary to understand morality. Of course, this isn’t a true dilemma, but the point is pretty obvious.

Apologists have tried for years to weasel their way out of this problem, but continue to fail. One of the more common responses is that morality is good because God makes it good, but God would only ever do good things, thus he would never say that murder is good. This argument fails because it requires “good” to be defined as “that which is good,” a useless tautology.

 

Comments

tallguy writes:

 

What a "good" comic!

Ladyofthemasque writes:

 

I still love the way morality from an aethist's viewpoint is described in that YouTube video I linked earlier.

Imagine if you will, the worst possible circumstances for mankind to suffer. Once you've imagined the worst possible circumstances to suffer, then you've opened up a whole spectrum of circumstances which aren't as bad as that, and ones that aren't as bad as those...on up through to whatever best circumstances there might be. And once you acknowledge that there are circumstances that are the worst things for humanity to suffer through, then you have a direction for your moral compass: Either toward suffering for yourself and/or those around you, or away from that suffering.

Good things are inherently good because they are based upon this spectrum of suffering versus non-suffering, in the sense that they do not require some supreme authority to declare them to be good. They are already good. What makes them good is where they lie upon the spectrum of suffering versus not-suffering. (But that's another argument, as some would claim eating your veggies is good for you, while others would claim the opposite, lol.)

...A similar argument was mentioned in a recent webcomic over at Scenes From A Multiverse: http://amultiverse.com/2013/02/25/the-problem-of-evil/

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Ladyofthemasque: Yes, I think Sam Harris really hit the nail on the head with "The Moral Landscape." I've watched apologists try and argue against his position (William Lane Craig, for example) and they fail miserably. Craig's argument went like this:

Harris: Objective morality can be based on human suffering since everyone agrees that suffering is bad.
Craig: No it can't. It can only be based on God because I don't like how persuasive your argument is.

someguy writes:

 

didn't Jacob marry his first wife's sister and have children with both, and had 1 on 1 conversations with god... and god never said a word about it.

 

Oh the irony!