My research indicates Jesus wasn't supposed to talk about his divine nature. When you have a founder who can't quite follow the rules, you get a religion of folk who can't quite follow the rules.
Let's talk a bit about ad hominem. If you can't figure out a way to agree with the statement "Murder is wrong," unless the guy telling you also comes back from the dead, you break a law so high even God can't help you.
Ye Olde Booke has lots of good advice. However, there's a profoundly prosaic reason behind Jesus' sin. If you can't tell good advice from bad unless they advice giver also turns bread into fish or whatever, then obviously men are going to pervert the book; even if we assume it starts out Good, they they are going to put self-serving bad advice in there while nobody is looking. Precisely because you can't tell the difference.
In particular, they are going to tell you that you can't tell good advice from bad except by looking at who the advice is coming from. (See also: localism.)
Monday, November 18, 2019
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>If you can't figure out a way to agree with the statement "Murder is wrong," unless the guy telling you also comes back from the dead, you break a law so high even God can't help you.
There is this issue that moderns understand morality or ethics purely negatively. Don't do this or that. And within those limits, do what you want to. And you are right, the limits one should be able to figure out without any reference to the supernatural.
But there is that older, deeper, Aristotelean sense of ethics, that also tells you what to do, what goals, purposes are worthy for pursuing in your life. Well of course if you tell modern people "X should be your life goal" they show you the door. But a more interesting approach would be: by what method could we determine what should be our life goal?
And that's difficult. And when there is a task people are not smart enough to solve, they plead something irreducible. Which is what I am going to do now. Except that in my case the irreducible source of value jugdements and terminal goals is not God, but aesthetics. Basically I want my life and the world in general to be like a cool movie. When everybody is suffering in hopeless abject poverty, that makes a boring movie. But a Brave New World where everybody is lazing around in tepid pleasure also makes a boring movie. An interesting movie requires a world that has both pleasure and pain, where there are challenges to overcome, to strive, and to win bigly, which means it should also be possible to lose.
What method? Easy. Science. Same boring answer that's always right. Hypothesis. Prediction. Test. Repeat. The secret is merely remembering to try rather than quitting by default. Christianity as we know her gives answers that are obviously wrong in any case.
You now should ask (but probably won't unless I remind you), "Did it work for you?" Yes, it worked in its normal, boring, reliable way. One could certainly scale it up to a full society, but that part isn't something I can do by myself.
How do you test a value judgement?
Err, you try it?
Hypothesis: I value sex. Prediction: I should buy a prostitute. Test: buy sex. Result: I did not value this experience. Update based on what exactly I didn't value about it. Get new hypothesis. Try again. Of course I don't have to actually carry out this experiment; it's supposed to be an example with an obvious result, so we don't have to contend/argue about the result.
Values behave as the 'is' from which 'oughts' are derived. Do you value a meaningful life? Okay, how do you know it's meaningful? "It's meaningful when I get result X." So try something you believe to be meaningful, and see if you observe X. If you don't, try something else. Or maybe you committed a fallacy deriving X, and need to look for Y instead. Standard science.
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