Humans are Born with a Sense of Morality?

To be fair, I tried to find Picht’s book and gather its entire context. I cannot find any that is free for reference. [I would not spent $$ on such views]. Do you have an electronic copy for reference?

This is a pantheistic [not a theistic-theological] view of an absolute spirit underlying all of reality (Hegel).
The idea of any reified absolute is illusory.

Spinoza is wrong. One can derive a general sense of morality from the necessary attributes of God. There is no such thing as natural law, unless by “natural law” you mean the will of God, i.e. God given rights.

If morality is derived from DNA, then morality would have to be immutable because the DNA of the human species aka what makes us human has not changed in about 200,000 years.

LOL! You say evil is in our past. No, it’s not. Not even close. :astonished:

No, and if there even is such a thing, it’s in German, as there is no English translation. There would be few books more worthy of your dollars, though. Anyway, it’s not necessary to gather its entire context for the purposes of our discussion. Our discussion has unfolded as follows:

  1. Your OP spoke of “good” babies.
  2. I asked you according to what standard those babies are judged good if not a God-given standard.
  3. You, by appealing to Kant, suggested human reason.
  4. I translated a passage which argues that, if human reason is not timeless, the knowledge gained by it can only be true if history is the manifestation in time of absolute spirit.

In other words, your OP asserted the existence of moral goodness; Kant argued that that goodness was established by human reason; etc. In shorthand:

Your OP: moral goodness.
Kant: human reason → moral goodness.
Historicism: history → human reason → moral goodness.
Hegel: absolute spirit → history → human reason → moral goodness.
Nietzsche: human will to power → history → human reason → moral goodness.

[size=95]“The image of the sun refers to the origin of the God-concept of Occidental metaphysics, namely to Plato’s allegory of the cave; there, that God which from Plato to Hegel is understood as the source of the light of knowledge, namely the idea of the good, is compared to the sun. Pascal calls the God in question, namely the God of absolute metaphysics, the God of the philosophers and opposes him to the God of Biblical revelation. I will not say that which should be said here for the purpose of clarification, because we are pressed for time and I can spare myself the trouble of repeating what you can read back in my essay on the God of the philosophers [ibid. pp. 321-346]. I think only one thing is necessary to emphasize: The observation that the God about whose death Nietzsche informs us be not the God of the Bible, but rather that Greek God whose epiphany was carried out in the great Greek philosophy from Parmenides to Plato, could be misunderstood as if we Christians were not affected by the event of the death of God, and as if it had been a mere error on Nietzsche’s part to equate this God with the God of the Christian faith. Theology and Church cannot exempt themselves from the God of metaphysics so easily, unless we wish to venture to throw overboard almost two millennia of the history of Christian Church, Christian thought and faith, and Christian culture, as theology on occasion actually has attempted and still attempts. If that were possible, then the ramification of such a dissociation between faith and European history would be this: that the Christian faith does not mean anything for the actual life and action of man anymore. For this reason the Church and theology are not permitted to renounce the two thousand years of Christian history which were determined by the fusion of theology and metaphysics.” (Picht, op.cit., pp. 214-215.)[/size]

[size=95]“The absoluteness of Hegel’s absolute idealism comes down, roughly speaking, to this. Hegel’s philosophy is a philosophy of spirit, where spirit in its self-conscious aspect contains reason, whose content in turn is the Idea (Idee). The activity of spirit consists in the actualization of the Idea, which is something like the content of the self-consciousness of spirit. On the one hand the Idea stands as the transtemporal or transhistorical ‘Concept’ [Begriff which partakes of eternity, and on the other the Concept makes itself concrete in temporal and historical reality. The integration or identification of temporality and transtemporality is what Hegel calls the Idea. On this view things that are merely ideal, in the sense of not being actualized, are not truly Ideas. The Idea is not something subjective, thought about in the mind, or contained within consciousness. Conversely, reality is grasped as truly real Being only when it is grasped as the actualization of the Idea. Hegel sums this up on his famous statement: ‘What is rational is actual, and what is actual is rational.’ For him, the Idea is ‘the synthesis of the concept and existence.’ This synthesis is the result of a dialectical movement in which the transtemporal is first realized (realisiert) as actual things and events, and then from within real Being becomes aware of Idealität as its essence.” (Nishitani, The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism, trans. Parkes, pp. 9-10.)[/size]

I stated the Kantian moral goodness is based on human reason, but it is still Kantian if as follows;

Kantian Goodness* to extend to the following;

  1. human reason → moral goodness.
  2. Historicism: history → human reason → moral goodness.
  3. human ‘spirit’ [not absolute]-> history → human reason → moral goodness.
  4. human will to power [not absolute] → history → human reason → moral goodness
  • should be categorical imperative formulation.

Thus as long as there is no reification of the Absolute, 1-4 are compatible with the Kantian categorical imperative and goodness. There is no need for any ‘real’ god to precede moral goodness.
An analogy is that of the Principles of Gravity within the Scientific Framework. There is no need to attribute gravity to any God at all. What is critical is we formulate the principles and make good use of these principles to benefit mankind.
Similarly, humans can rely on a moral framework to enable the principles of the categorical imperative [goodness included therein] and apply these principles for the well-being of humanity in the future.
I don’t deny fixed theological moral standards has benefitted mankind, but they are transitional and relevant to a certain era and conditions.

Kant made provision for the idea of “God” in his moral philosophy but he merely assumed and postulated god for his theory. For me, I will assume the Ens Realissimum instead of an illusory God.

From what I gathered, Picth was trying to conform Hegel’s concept of the Absolute to his idea of God. This is controversial.#
In addition he insisted Nietzsche was not referring to the Christian God when he stated God is dead. This is obviously false and wrong [emotionally bias] interpretation.

For Picht, God is pre-requisite and necessary for reason.
However, for Kant, it is the other way round, pure [note] reason generate an illusion of God for many to cling to as a security blanket and when institutionalized contributed to evils of various kinds.
I anticipate you will ask, where did reason come from? It is a long story, the essence is human need critical reasoning to critique pure reason and itself to realize the point of the this seemingly circular issue.

#Hegel - atheist or theist?

I think you fail to see the abyss that appears with the death of God–like Wile E. Coyote before he realizes there is no longer any ground beneath his feet. If human reason has arisen from a history that is “the rule of non-sense and chance” (Strauss, SPPP, page 189), it probably does not reflect the nature of the universe at all (and if it does, only accidentally)… I again refer you to the first passage I quoted:

[size=95]“[…] For philosophy the ambiguity of lumen means the following: the seat of the lumen naturale is the human faculty of knowledge. It rests on the inborn ideas which give reason the faculty of knowing the world the way it is in truth. But these ideas could, as Descartes establishes, just as well be a deception. They could just as well force us to know [or: cognize] the world the way it is not. We could well have been created by an evil spirit which has created us as a creature fallen prey to deception. The truth of the inborn ideas, and with that the lumen naturale, is ensured only if it is proven that the hypothesis of an evil God is unthinkable. As long as we do not transcend the bounds of the human faculty of knowledge, the only unquestionable thing is that we think. If, over and above that, we wish to ensure that what we think is true, we have to assure ourselves of the knowledge of God.” (Georg Picht, Nietzsche, page 217, my translation.)[/size]

Er, did you at all read the last passage I posted from his book?..

When I was really young, I couldn’t stand watching violent tv and movies. Death and disease seemed foreign to me, wrong, evil, disturbing, etc.

Germs, viruses, parasites, etc. are lifeforms. They must consume, change, harm in order to survive, thrive and maybe evolve. Disease and such is harmful to other life forms but, how is it evil? It would make all life evil if true.

Maybe you’re living in a hell-realm and have never seen any true society?

What is most evident is experience and history. From this real base we use reason to understand what the situation we are in. If necessary we can speculate what things can be or will be, but this has to be based on possible experience and knowledge.

Now your idea of God is based on a speculation of the impossibility and thus God in this case is illusory. If one kill the idea of God, there no question of ‘nothing beneath one’s feet’ because in the first place there is no God at all.
You keep mentioning the illusory God but you cannot prove God exists.

The bottom line of this quote by Picht is God exists.
But the existence of a monotheistic God is an impossibility.

The problem with Picth like most theists is he dogmatically insisted God exists but he did not prove God exists at all.

What I gathered is, Picth typical inference of an illusion is as follows;

  1. For every effect there must be a cause.
  2. An infinite regression of cause is not possible.
  3. Therefore God is the first cause.

Hume had demonstrated that the principle of cause and effect is a psychological impulse within humans.
Therefore whatever follows from this point, e.g. no infinite regression therefore god are based on psychological impulses within humans. There is no independent God existing out there creating the creations we observed and experience.

Which one? Frankly the point is getting messy and blur.

My bottom line to this is, it is impossible for a real God to exist.
The theistic God is an transcendental illusion.

Thus whatever morality that theists claimed to come from God is actually man-made [psychologically].

Secular evil is related to the human mind and human-based activities only.
Thus whatever events that happened naturally, that is due to nature.

The only issue is when one believe in a real omnipotent God that create all things. Then the question is how can such a God be so evil to kill hundred of thousands in an Earthquake, Tsunami, epidemic diseases and others catastrophe. This is the Problem of Evil that theists do not have any rational answer. The typical answers are the silly excuses are that god is testing and punishing humans for the sins they commit etc.

Wrong. The bottom line is that, if God does not exist, that is a problem. Who says Kant’s a priori ideas are true, if God is dead?

Where did you get this?

Which is a problem.

The bottom line is there is no ‘dead God’ because there is no God in the first place.
Note Kant’s Copernican Revolution and principle do not start [is not grounded] from God as a basis but rather starts from the human condition.

The truth of Kant’s a priori elements are solidly justified via his Deductions.
The test of these truths is whether they make sense and work or not.
The psychological god conjured by theists on the other hand cannot be proven, justified nor verified.

Without reading his book, I inferred that from the various quotes you provide.
In any case, that is the fundamental basis that all theists will fall back when trying to justify the validity of their God, which is the case for Picth.

It is only a problem for theists.

1.Theists claimed God is a source of morality.
But they are ignorant that 1 actually has nothing to do with God but is actually man-made.

The fact is morality has a human source and progressively improved.
The state and competence of morality [of the average human] at present is very ‘low’.
However, there is a trend of improvement and this will progress in time.
The critical thing is for humans to take morality serious and expedite its progress to say 90/100 if the current status is say, 40/100.
There is no need for an illusory God to be in the equation of human morality.

You do not think it is silly for atheists to cry out for a god to stop these things if it truly exists? Atheists call these evil too not just theists. A planet such as ours must have these lifeforms for life.
If theists need a god for comfort then let them have it with respect. Atheists have their security blankets. Hating and blaming religion/religious for all ills of society is equal to saying a god did it.
Human nature is an animal nature, we are in the painful process of evolving past our animal natures and security blankets for the mind. Blaming something is very comforting.

What makes you think humans are evolving “past our animal natures and security blankets for the mind”? Are you referring to an “evolution” in thinking or are you referring to actual evolution involving genetic mutations in human DNA? And if you are referring to the later, then on what basis are you claiming a survival advantage and how do you know that such a genetic mutation has in fact occurred?

Wrong. It naively or at best sneakily starts from the God of the philosophers as a basis.

Who says Kant’s a priori ideas are true, if there is no God? Who says they are true, if the human condition is ruled by non-sense and chance?

Wait a minute: so the test of the truth of Kant’s a priori elements–the elements that enable us to make sense of things–is whether it makes sense or not?..


Only those theists who have been persuaded to justify it with rational arguments–i.e., who have already chosen in favour of reason as opposed to revelation. I quote again:

[size=95]"What the sun is in the domain of the sensual world, the idea of the good, which Plato in his later works designates as God, is in the domain of true being. As light and heat radiate from the sun, so truth and being radiate from the idea of the good, and as the sensual eye of man is at the same time brought forth by and adequate to the light of the sun, so that he can see what appears in this light, so the spiritual eye of man is both engendered by and adequate to the idea of the good, so that he can know [erkennen, also “cognize”] what is in truth.
Modern philosophy calls this spiritual faculty of knowledge ‘reason’, and adheres to the doctrine that reason is able to know what is solely because reason is in accord with that light of truth in which we are able to know all that is. Christian metaphysics calls this light the lumen naturale, the natural light, in contradistinction to the lumen supranaturale, which is also called the lumen fidei [light of faith], namely the light of eschatological revelation. (Georg Picht, Nietzsche, page 217, my translation.)[/size]

Improved according to what standard? Hint: does that standard also have a human source?


There is no native morality but a native system of values. Babies do not have morality; morality requires that the child can understand most of the language of those who have already morality. The language of those who have already morality leads to the understanding of morality, to a consciousness of morality, ethics, philosophy of law, … and so on. It is a question of a language-dependent education. A baby understands baby talk and merely a very, very little of the language of those who have already morality; so a baby is not able to understand enough of the language with morality, thus a baby is not able to understand morality.

A baby has values, is able to value; but a baby has no morality, is not able to judge morally.

Please, do not confuse morality with values, norms, rules, laws.

Arnimius point is valid until the last sentence: law and rules are in the same category as morality: coherence, language, grammar In the wider sense.

A baby has values, its parents will “teach” it to cohere these values with their values by what is known as understanding.

Morality begins to rear its head once one begins to occupy oneself with making sense of why one has values. Usually this sense making is rather an estranging from the raw basis of ones innate values, whose coherence relies only on the physiological entity that the baby happens to be.

Any externally facilitated coherence of internally held values is morality.

Nah… value implied some degree of computation and a baby is incapable of that.

I think we have to present some definitions for consensus.
Fundamentally morality [like sex, hunger, breathing] is an inherent impulse within all humans as programmed in the DNA.
Judgment is dealt within the topic of ethics.
Morality is the pure [Ought] while ethics [IS] is the applied aspects.
Value is dealt within Axiology, i.e. a sub-part of ethics.

Not all humans are born with a Sense of morality… what is the definition of morality. One definition is: Descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by society; or The quality of being in accord with the standards of right or good conduct. Now what is “right or good conduct”? These standards are either created by humans or based on a belief in what is right or wrong. To be moral is to do good not harm to your fellow humans or creature of this world. Some people (look at history, prisons, etc.) are not born with morals. Some people can harm others without feeling an ounce of compassion or empathy for others. Even if you live your whole life without any relationship with another human you can live that life without doing harm. Morality is a sliding scale. Some people can kill a bug without feeling anything for that bug: Some people can not harm a bug and not feel some kind of sympathy of empathy for that bug. A person that can do unspeakable things to another is not nor were they born with morals.