Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reason For God: The Grand "Sez Who"?

The Star Trek Dilemma

Greg Koukl: "The Prime Directive of the Federation prohibits the crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek shows from interfering with alien civilizations. Moral standards are set internally, by one’s culture. What’s right for one society isn’t necessarily right for another. Since morality is relative all competing values are equally legitimate the crew of the Enterprise was forbidden to intrude."

But even secular anthropologists who saw no objective basis to judge other culture’s morality are compelled to promote women’s interests and oppose oppressive practices against women in the societies they studied. “When there is a choice between defending human rights and defending cultural relativism, anthropologists should choose to protect and promote human rights. We cannot be bystanders”, wrote Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban. But why? We cannot live without morality.

"That’s why even Captain Kirk ignored the Prime Directive so often. It wasn’t just good TV. It was good moral thinking."

Habermas: Despite their European origins, “human rights” now constitute the only language in which the opponents and victims of murderous regimes and civil wars can raise their voices against violence, repression and persecution all over the world. But where do they come from?

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor gives some options:
1)      Human rights come from God because human beings are made in His image with sacred and inviolable dignity. But there are so many agnostics out there.
2)      Natural law: It fits with the way things are. But there is also violence in nature.
3)      We made them up in the interest of societies for the long run. But what if a majority decides it is not in their interest to grant human rights? Can’t we legislate it out of existence? Why give that right to an individual if it is not in the society’s interest?

Rights cannot be created – they must be discovered, or they are of no value. Dworkin: “The nerve of the sacred lies in the value we attach to a process or enterprise or project rather than to its results considered independently from how they were produced”.

Michael Perry, law professor responds: But who is ‘we’ here? The Nazis? The Jews? The conspicuous problem with Dworkin’s secular argument for rights is that he assumes a consensus among human agents that does not exist and never has existed.

If there is no God, there is no good reason to be kind and loving and work for peace. It’s will to power: Sez Who? In the absence of God, each legal system must ask: Who among us is qualified to declare ‘law’ that ought to be obeyed? Who can take His place? Apart from God, our moral preferences are just mere opinions about our favorite ice cream flavors. But we still live as though they exist. We cannot not know morality… Are we humans the moral freaks in an amoral world? Or if a premise (There is no God) leads to a conclusion you know is false (i.e. torturing babies is morally relative), then why not change the premise?

Keller: I’m not proving God’s existence to you but show that you already know he is there. We live as if it is better to seek peace instead of war, truth instead of lies and love instead of hate. But that only make sense if there is a Moral Lawgiver. How do you know something is crooked unless you know what straight means? It is dishonest to live as if He is there and yet fail to acknowledge Him and all that He has given us (want the benefit of having God without the cost of following him).   

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