Yes and no. There are many other wills that affect my judgment and demands. There are the wills of other people. There's the will of the Universe. Each of them will present a substantial roadblock in my life when it comes to make decisions and actions, and it will be up to me to decide whether or not to try to find an alternate route or continue on the path, hoping to overcome such resistance.
In other words, you don’t believe that you are accountable in any way to a transcendent God who brings forth a transcendent moral law. You bring up all sorts of temporal examples above, but none of them are satisfactory when we’re discussing the issue of ethics. Given what I’ve seen from you thus far, it appears that you possess no moral compass outside of your own personal preferences.
If what I'm getting out of this is that human society and lives are at the mercy of the limits and laws we have placed on ourselves as a a collective group in the past, present and future, then yeah. Freedom over ourselves and are actions are never truly boundless, however, that's not to say that some of those boundaries can't be broken or overcome, regardless if they're self imposed or not.
Absolutely not. I’m not talking about civil governments or any other kind of human government. I’m talking about a sovereign God having ultimate authority over the lives of all human beings. In this sense, I’m not really talking about physical restraints or limitations per se. Rather, I’m speaking to the reality that we are not autonomous over our own lives in the ultimate sense of the term.
Your words are most definitely true, but like devout followers of the bible who fail to understand that some things simply have no more cultural or practical application, some people fail to understand that societal acceptance of things can, and will, evolve and change, and over time, legal acceptance of such things may or may not change with it, not that everything needs to have legal acceptance or contempt.
Then what you’re saying is A) you don’t believe in ethics at all since moral behavior is always subject to societal trends, B) words really don’t have any meaning for the same reason, and C) that our moral behavior is inherently tied to pragmatism.
The problems with points A and B are obviously problematic for obvious reasons I‘ve addressed previously, so I won’t belabor those issues lest I repeat myself. That said, pragmatism is no basis for determining what we ought to do. Just because a particular behavior is beneficial from a pragmatic standpoint doesn’t mean that it’s ethical. Moreover, cultural changes aren’t inherently didactic for determining ethics either for the precise reason that cultures are not equal in and of themselves.
Not really. It wasn't meant to be threatening, I'm just saying I've already got a rather strong argument with sources to make one think. Not change an opinion or a belief, but to think.
How is that going to make me think? Writing a term paper with selected sources that support your point of view is simply a recapitulation of what has been discussed here and elsewhere. What makes people think are original ideas and I certainly don’t see the “other side” articulating any. All I hear is the same hackneyed banter about “equality.”
I don't really know. Does everything have to have reliable factors? I mean, have you ever seen the God that you speak of or the miracles he's worked, or have we simply taken the "miracles" in life to be works of his, and thus applied them to the belief that there must be a god for such extraordinary things to happen? Where's the reliable evidence in theology?
That we can look to the created realm around us--what we call general revelation--to discern the existence of God is no doubt at issue, but the condition of human reprobation negates man by himself to have any ability to properly discern such things. In his state of total depravity, the reprobate is blinded to such aspects of general revelation. Apart from a sovereign act of regeneration by God, the individual man shall remain in this state.
Before one can know God and understand His attributes, he must first understand just how sinful he really is. Yet the latter cannot take place unless regeneration takes place. The reprobate lives in darkness and cannot see his own sin. He worships anything and everything but the one true God. Indeed, the reprobate actively suppresses the truth in unrighteousness, something the Apostle Paul articulates in Romans chapter 1:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
In view of all of this, it really doesn’t matter what evidence is offered because your reprobate mind will reject it no matter what. The evidence is certainly manifest, but you will never recognize it anyway. You daily suppress the truth of which I speak. You are a man of lawlessness. Repent and believe, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.
A book eons old that has been passed through so many hands and had the potential to be rewritten and had it's entire history molested and twisted back when the majority of the populous couldn't read and placed faith in the kings that upheld god's law and the scribes and priests who read from the book? Such a reliable and secure source.
You are obviously ignorant of textual criticism or else you wouldn’t have made such a ridiculous comment. First, whether the book is “eons old” is irrelevant to whether its substance is true. It’s a logical fallacy to use age as a criteria to determine whether something is true or correct.
Second, you offer no substantive argument whatsoever to suggest that the canon of Scripture has been “rewritten” or anything like that. For someone who demands evidence of everyone else, you have absolutely no factual basis for making such assertions. In fact, the texts of Scripture are some of the most reliable ancient documents we have. To quote Hank Hanegraaff on the subject:
In fact, interestingly enough when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumran, they predated the earliest extant text — the Masoretic text by almost one thousand years — yet in spite of this vast span of time, there was no substantive difference at all…..In fact, in looking at Isaiah 53 there were only 17 changes between the Masoretic text and those found at Qumran — 10 involved spelling, 4 style and 3 involved the Hebrew letters for the word light in verse 11. However, none of these differences were substantive — God has indeed preserved His Word.
And whether the common people were literate during ancient times? Again, that’s irrelevant as well. Plenty of people in the masses were illiterate when the Declaration of Independence was written, so are we now going to question the validity of that text as well? What about the Magna Carta? That’s how silly your post-modern arguments really sound.
Exactly. Your point? Mine is that just because an argument or a statement has alternative implications and applications outside of the initial application doesn't mean that such implications and applications need to be applied. That doesn't mean that I don't want to deal with those consequences or unforeseen possibilities or actions, it just means that such extraneous circumstances needn't be constantly brought up as ways to debase someone's argument or theory, otherwise nobody gets anywhere in a discussion.
It’s not an issue of alternative implications because given human nature we will always see the results of these arguments when they are fully realized. Ideas have consequences and they don’t exist entirely within an abstract vacuum.