Thursday, April 24, 2003

In today's episode, our hero is thrown into a philosophical tumult by the nefarious Crwuidth!
(believe it or not, that's pronounced COO-roo... Gaelic blows my mind.)

Smurf**********: try and define morality for me, right here

the Razor Clown: I like to think of morality as discerning right and wrong and acting accordingly.
the Razor Clown: regardless of social mores.

Smurf**********: Ah, but right and wrong are functions of society.

the Razor Clown: no.
the Razor Clown: no, no, a thousand times no.

Smurf**********: explain how right and wrong can exist to a man who is entirely alone.

the Razor Clown: that's too hypothetical.
the Razor Clown: entirely. meaningless. no man is entirely alone.

Smurf**********: i'll put boundaries on it then. This hypothetical man is not a product of any society, he was never taught any regard for others, he is merely a function of his cerebrum. Can he know right and wrong? If so, how?

the Razor Clown: i've never met the man. find him and ask him.

Smurf**********: Imagine.

the Razor Clown: why should I? what if I imagine incorrectly? i am not that man.

Smurf**********: then why any faith at all? What if you believe incorrectly?

the Razor Clown: I have enough reason to believe. I have no reason to consider this man at present, for I have not met him. I am more concerned with your case and mine.

Smurf**********: By your argument, for example, unless one is God, it is improper to imagine that one understands God's will. Are you thus denying the validity of biblical texts?

the Razor Clown: preposterous. I have seen and read the Biblical texts. I know of no man who is as you describe him.
...pardon me. i will consider him.

Smurf**********: No, i was referring to the argument that non-existence as a subject makes the subject ineffable.

the Razor Clown: lemme see... I'd like to think that he'd have an innate sense of right and wrong, but that's C.S. Lewis talking. and the scriptures.

Smurf**********: where would it come from? Is right or wrong a basic need, like food, water, air, safety and sex?

the Razor Clown: as far as I know, right wrong are largely crafted around our needs as living beings, and as spiritual beings.

Smurf**********: how do they come to be so crafted?

the Razor Clown: *smirk* God.

Smurf**********: ah, but God and a being indicates a society.

the Razor Clown:
the Razor Clown: that's really stretching it.
the Razor Clown: unnecessarily, i think.
the Razor Clown: (one n?)

Smurf**********: i disagree as soon as isolation ceases and interaction begins, there is society, even with an incorporeal partner.
Smurf**********: ((no, two ns))

the Razor Clown: fine. me and God make a society.
the Razor Clown: thus, morality is based on society. but only, only, only... in that sense.

Smurf**********: Excuse me, i was vague. i will define Sociiety as interaction between any subjects that changes one or more of the subjects involved. Will you still accept my argument based on these premises?

the Razor Clown: works.

Smurf**********: Ah, excuse me again. Let me say "Conscious interaction between any..."

the Razor Clown: all well and good. your point is made.

Smurf**********: So you will accept that given such a definition, right and wrong are functions of said society?

the Razor Clown: only given that definition, and only in a very specific context: society being composed of God and the individual.

Smurf**********: i accept, for the moment. May we continue hypothesizing?

the Razor Clown: you may go ahead.

Smurf**********: In the case of an individual and God in isolation (Not necessarily alone, but we will say, from our definition, that the only interactions that affect this individual are his interactions with God), will the individual's sense of right and wrong come from himelf, from God, or both?
Smurf**********: think carefully about that.
Smurf**********: himself, that is.

the Razor Clown: the answer, O Sphinx, is both. if the man did not exist, why would God bother with morality? God is innately correct and right.

Smurf**********: Are you feeling strangled?

the Razor Clown: not strangled, no.
the Razor Clown: I feel like a controversial senator surrounded by flashing cameras and microphones.

Smurf**********: i ask because the word "Sphynx" means "Strangler" in Greek. If you are not adverse to our conversation continuing, then my response would follow thus: My question is not, is right and wrong present with man, god or both. My question refers to the origin of right and wrong. Do right and wrong, as our currently defined moral sense, originate from God to man alone, from man alone, or from both together?

the Razor Clown: hmm. that's a bit tricky.

Smurf**********: that is why i suggest you be careful in answering.
Smurf**********: Unfortunately, the answer cannot be "None of the above" without us changing definitions again.

the Razor Clown: can't it? gimme a sec.

Smurf**********: it can if we redefine right and wrong to be outside of society again, but that makes them immutable by either man or god, which is likely to be distasteful, we can also redefine man to include God, but that presents religious/moral complications. There are surely others, but i can't see them yet.

the Razor Clown: without man (or angels, or what have you), there is no need for morality. thus, the existence of morality would depend on man. however, it is God who creates the morality, crafts it, defines it... not man. man is a part of it, but not the author. that is my answer.

Smurf**********: That would fit the first basic answer.

the Razor Clown: so be it.

Smurf**********: Then here's where it gets tricky again.

the Razor Clown: huzzah.

Will the Razorclown survive this merciless mental melee? Stay tuned for part two!

For a closer look at the Razorclown's assailant, check out his blog.

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