Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Friday, May 08, 2009

Objective morality: God is love, mind is love, consciousness is love

It's often said that morality is only 'objective' if there's a God. But what is that supposed to mean? How is morality any more 'objective' if a God exists? I think the following situation would make morality objective in a very significant way, if it was true:

Imagine that just like being physical is part of our concept of 'a stone,' so loving and rejoicing in doing the right thing is part of what it means to be a 'mind' or 'conscious.' Love and goodness is to consciousness what being physical, or existing in the universe, is to a rock. Mind/consciousness is a kind of substance or thing that follows different rules to physical stuff. One of these aspects of mind, different to rocks, is loving and being good. So mind is love.

But humans have minds, so why aren't we completely loving? Because our mind is localised in (based off) a brain, and the brain isn't 'love.' Our mind pulls us in the direction of loving others unconditionally. But our brain isn't love, and so we have a source of thinking that isn't love. This ends up 'pulling' us into thinking thoughts that aren't loving. Our mind gives us the free will to follow either side. This means that humans have to fight our (non-mind) brain to love in accordance with mind, whereas mind by itself is so loving that it IS love (God is love). (Read more about this dualistic assumption here.)

The question is: why did God make us brain-Minds instead of 'Mind' by itself? Couldn't God have taken away the possibility of evil? The answer is that to be pure mind you basically have to be God, I think. So the above setup (which makes sin very likely) needs to be the case.

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Anonymous Emily said...

I'm a philosophy student in England and i was browsing your blog out of interest. Just wondering how philosophy is taught for you? as you are a thiest i wondered if it was taught in a theist way for you that your blog expresses your view points only?

Blogger Will G said...

Hi Emily,

Philosophy wasn't taught to us in a theistic way. Apart from the philosophy of religion class I took theism was rarely mentioned. Most of the time it just didn't come up in what we were discussing. In some classes it was noticeable that there was an assumption that reality is fundamentally materialistic, which wasn't really discussed. But it was a more of a passive assumption that reality is fundamentally materialistic rather than an active issue, that was probably not noticed by many people.


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