In one of his answers Ravi talks about being completely determined saying:
“if you are making a truth claim you are rising above the bondage of subjectivity and the moment you say a truth claim you violate determinism.”
And in another one he says:
“If science deals with moral issues it talks about the evolution of morality then it is deterministic and if it is deterministic it is not making a true assertion and therefore if it says that morality is not true the assertion itself either claims to be true or is not true and if it claims to be true then it goes beyond science”
So I didn’t really understand the latter one.
And I can’t really see the relation between being completely determined and therefore not being able to make truth claims.
Hey @Gabriel, Great question. So as the first statement says, in order to make a truth claim you have to be free to choose and think for yourself and make the choice to do whatever you want. But if you are determined, you are just saying or doing whatever you are “programmed” or “forced” to do and not making your own assertion, aka you are a robot.
In the second statement, what he saying is if evolution is the source for morality, meaning you are genetically coded to do certain actions, then you dont have a freewill and you are not making a choice by yourself. You are only acting out what your DNA or the molecules are forcing you to do. You are a robot. So then you would be determined and cant make a truth claim. So then that proves that science/evolution can not derive morality. As morality requires a free choice and ability to discern one thing from another and make a choice freely.
I hope that helps.
@Gabriel Science also cannot address metaphysical concepts like morality because metaphysics is beyond its capabilities. It can only judge what can be measured through empirical observation. Therefore any “scientific” claims about morality are absurd.
I think this line of thought is just what the RZIM Team are expecting/hoping for! You are quoting Ravi, and attempting to reason how morality and determinism function as a synergism. You are good to keep on asking such questions, until You come upon another, more compelling question. That is, explore Your question, until You feel satisfied with an answer. But do not ‘close the book’, so to speak - as more reasoning may come at another time, on what You once asked. I don’t write often, here, but have been an occasional student of Ravi and the Team. I love them dearly, and marvel at their grasp of so many issues! I saw Your comment, and so I hope i addressed it in love! In Christ, Karen
Hi Gabriel – Thanks for posing the question, this is not really an answer, just a response. I hope it adds to the conversation.
In order for something to be absolutely true for everyone it needs to be objectively true (true whether someone believes it to be true or not). A truth claim is essentially another term for a statement of absolute truth. With that in mind, how can someone assert an absolute truth from a worldview of subjectivity? Someone is either not acting in line with their worldview or are inadvertently implying that they have a higher claim to truth to which everyone else should be subject.
That said, I view subjectivity and determinism as two separate topics and I think that determinism is more difficult to manage. For one thing, if everything is completely determined it is not limited to atheism or subjectivity. Couldn’t God create a fully determined world? Many have believed so. In atheism isn’t there at least some objectivity rooted in understanding of natural laws? Either way, however, the ability to assert truth comes down to what is subjective and what is objective. So an intellectually honest atheistic determinist (that’s a mouthful!) would be restrained to proven empirical evidence and would have to claim agnosticism towards everything else – including morality.