1.DCM wrote: “You’re alluding to Plantinga’s EAAN. I’m already having a discussion concerning that argument. Thus, I find it useless to begin another discussion concerning EAAN.”
Well, I wasn’t actually alluding to anything. I was just stating what has always seemed ridiculous to me, even when I was an atheist. Truth does not matter in an evolutionists world: Every prospect of every creature is geared toward whatever will help it survive and pass on its DNA. Beliefs & practices also fall under this category; therefore, if Christianity is a crutch for some – meaning that it provides them with a reason to hope, live a helpful life, procreate and fill the earth, and sustain social order – then it is irrational for the evolutionist to want to eradicate it. The question of whether or not the evolutionary product called “the human species” can have any knowledge at all is not really my focus. You misunderstood my argument.
“Beliefs and practices also fall under this category.” You are definitely alluding to EAAN; either that or this is a pure coincidence. Truth does matter in my world; that’s exactly why I don’t share your beliefs and that’s exactly why I require evidence before holding y or z as true.
2. DCM: “I do have the authority to make moral judgments. As a matter of fact, I have authority to make absolute moral judgments without god. The following is The Argument for Objective Moral Ontology without God:
P1 The qualities that make us normal human beings begin to exist in the brain.
P2 Morality is a quality that makes us normal human beings.
C Therefore, morality begins to exist in the brain.
Only a dualist will deny the truth of P1 — a property dualist to be exact. Property dualism is effectively addressed by employing Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation is to be preferred. Therefore, it is simpler to conclude that the mind exists in the brain rather than concluding that the mind exists separate from the brain and is a property that acts on the brain. I sincerely hope you accept the simplicity of my explanation rather than identifying yourself as a property dualist for the sake of disagreeing with me.”
If you are a naturalist, which appears to be the case, then you cannot make absolute moral judgments. Sure, you could irrationally ascribe to yourself the authority to do so. That isn’t what I am talking about. Instead: There is no logical basis for your ever arriving at any absolute, as you are limited to induction. This is the first reason why your moral judgments are necessarily relative and not absolute. However, beyond the fact that induction is always incomplete, i.e. Disregarding the fact that is logically impossible for an inductivist to arrive at a knowledge of absolute morals, it is likewise logically impossible for you to derive an ought from an is, or from an infinity of is’s. You can assert whatever you want, but it isn’t absolute – it is necessarily relative.
“You can assert whatever you want…”. Yet this entire section is loaded with baseless assertions. Given your presupposition, I cannot arrive at a knowledge of absolute morals. Your presupposition is that absolute morals are arrived at a priori; given the fact that evolution has occurred, my presupposition in regards to absolute morals is a posteriori. You are committing what Hume called “severe skepticism.” Hume advised one to be practically skeptical of induction. I have made the most logical conclusion based on the information available. It narrows down to this question: if there are absolute morals, is it more plausible to conclude that Yahweh is the absolute moral lawgiver or is it more plausible to conclude that normal humans are absolute moral law pioneers and developers and hence, absolute moral lawgivers? Given my knowledge of science and history, the latter is the more plausible conclusion. If I were to conclude that some god is the absolute moral lawgiver, I would conclude that a god of the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Hittites or any other civilization that predated the early Jews is the absolute moral lawgiver given the fact that these civilizations had every law found in the OT plus some prior to the OT! You wouldn’t concede this though; thus, it is more plausible to conclude that we invented and developed morality, and if there are absolute morals, they no doubt arise in our brains.
Your comments about dualism are, well, silly. I could say the same of physicalism, or epiphenomenalism. You are merely asserting what you believe to be the case. This is good for bugging Christians and rallying up support from those who don’t know any better, but really?
I’m not attempting to bug Christians or rally support; I’m anticipating a response and the only response I should expect is one from a property dualist. Unfortunately, you cannot employ Occam’s Razor when concerning physicalism or epiphenomenalism. Both are simple and plausible when compared to a contortion like property dualism. Property dualism is attempting to have it both ways. The same cannot be said of epiphenomenalism and definitely not of physicalism.
Do I reject your first premise? Yes. It is a universal statement that you cannot justify, on the basis of your own assumed epistemology. In other words, your epistemology never gets off of the ground to (i.)make universal statements as to how all human brains work, and (ii.)to make statements about morality that are absolute.
All human brains? Correction: normal human brains. I can have you observe four people for example: someone with MR, someone with autism (not high functioning), someone who is a psychopath and someone who suffers from no brain impairments and/or diseases. You can identify the difference and so can I. Even a five-year-old will realize that something is clearly wrong with at least the first two individuals as psychopathy would require professional diagnosis or extensive observation. I can also make statements about morality that are absolute. You simply disagreed with P1 for the sake of disagreeing, but your disagreement is baseless. Your qualms with an a posteriori epistemic are out of bounds to be honest. Induction is limited and I have no problem admitting that, but one cannot base severe skepticism on such limitations.
- DCM: “Not only are you dabbing in semantics, you are also guilty of the usual apologetics for genocide. Moreover, you are guilty of a fallacy in this section, namely appealing to authority. To quote the Bible as truth, you must first prove that the Bible is true.”
Semantics? Lol No, I’m trying to clearly define terms. There is no appeal to authority in my response either, DCM. I’m interpreting the text in light of what it actually says. You have gathered verses of Scripture in order to substantiate your claims about God’s behavior. I contextualized what you misunderstood. Now, you are free to contest God’s ability to judge children, and anything else you find objectionable. Logically, however, you are wrong. If the text is about God’s judgment of the wicked, and God has judged all men to be worthy of death, and He has the authority to judge mankind, then the text does not present God as commanding the murder of children, and it does not present God as commanding the murder of innocent children.
In order to make these types of statements, you must establish the veracity of the text. Otherwise, it is open to interpretation. Since it is open to interpretation, I deem your god a murderer of children and an infanticidist, and rightly so. Arguing context will not change the fact; furthermore, you’re still arguing from authority. You have now elevated yourself as the authority in claiming that you know the proper context; yet you haven’t provided any reason outside of scripture that tells me that I should adopt your context. Basically its a vicious circular argument; moral characteristic x doesn’t apply to god because the Bible, which supposedly was written by god, says that moral character x doesn’t apply to god. Again, these kind of statements require that you establish the veracity of scripture from the onset.
This is not an appeal to authority. I am clarifying what is happening in the text. Like I said, you can question the motives of God, the actions of God, and whether or not there are innocent children. However, you are blatantly misrepresenting the content of those verses you presented. At least be honest in your assessment of the situation. If you want to identify God’s command to destroy an entire nation as genocide (a term which you are equivocating on, by the way, by conflating the denotative and connotative significations of that term – and therefore arguing fallaciously once more), then you need to do so. To identify the actions of God as murder when the text explains what is occurring is to presume what you wish to prove: that God is acting in a way that is not perfectly good.
This section presents the same issues as the section before it. In any case, I’m not conflating denotation and connotation when speaking of genocide; I’m calling it as it is. 1 Samuel 15:3 is ethnic cleansing and it is genocide; no context changes the fact: at the root, they were murdered by the Israelites because they believed and acted differently, and they believed and acted differently because they were a different culture. It’s really that simple. Let’s not complicate things Hiram.
Regarding whether or not I have to prove to you that the Bible is the Word of God, you are wrong for two reasons. (i.)my retort did not in any way appeal to the veracity of Scripture, I was merely highlighting your fallacious argumentation; (ii.)all philosophical systems start with an indemonstrable axiom, mine is simply this: The Bible is the Word of God written. What is yours? There is no God? The universe is all there is, was, and will be? All knowledge is derived via sensation & some undefined process of abstraction? You have one; we all do.
“There is no God.” Yes, but as an agnostic atheist, I have no obligation to prove that in every case; however, I have no issue proving that when concerning your god. “The universe is all there is, was, and will be?” Perhaps, but as an agnostic atheist, I don’t have to prove that conclusion; however, on naturalism, I conclude that that is most likely the case and thus, it is my opinion based on the available knowledge. “All knowledge is derived via sensation & some undefined process of abstraction?” To the first half, I would say yes; the second half is poorly worded. Your reply did appeal to the veracity of scripture; in simply quoting another verse to support your point, your presupposition is made obvious. Therefore, you must prove that the Bible is the word of god; if not, do not quote scripture as factual and authoritative.
4. “According to the Christian worldview, the Bible is the word of god; my Argument from Distinction proves otherwise:
P1 If any scripture be divine, we should expect it to be distinct from other scriptures.
P2 The Bible does not meet that expectation.
P3/C1 Therefore, the Bible is not divine.
P4 If the Bible is not divine, it could not have been written and/or inspired by a divine source.
P5 The Bible is not divine.
P6/C2 Therefore, the Bible could not have been written and/or inspired by a divine source.
From P6/C2, one can infer that since the Bible isn’t written and/or inspired by a divine source that it isn’t the word of god.”
I know that God’s Word is true. You believe otherwise, and I understand that. Your argument, however, doesn’t prove anything.
Regarding premise (1.): Says who? How is the second clause of this proposition necessarily implied by the first?
But granting that your first premise presents us with two clauses that are necessarily logically inseparable, your second premise is false. As an inductivist you cannot say that you have read every other “holy book” that has been written. Therefore, you do not know if the Bible is not distinct from other Scriptures. You are, again, merely asserting yourself. You are confident, but on some other grounds than your ability to reason correctly. Unless you are omniscient you cannot say P2 is true. Therefore, your argument is false. Your first premise is another non-sequitur, and your second premise is a hasty generalization. Your conclusion, therefore, does not follow.
Excuse my primal language, but I’m starting to smell blood. You have straw manned yet again. I never said that it was necessary to read every hold book and I never said that omniscience was necessary; you’re saying such things in order to build a straw man. It is only necessary to read scripture that predates the Bible and scripture that would be considered its contemporary. The Qur’an, the Adi Granth, the Book of Mormon, etc. aren’t the scriptures I’m referring to. I’m talking about the the Pyramid Texts, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Vedas, the Enuma Elish, etc. Creation accounts? Check. Flood myths? Check. Laws? Check. Polytheism (say what?)? Check. Animal sacrifice? Check. Miracles? Check. Death and resurrection? You bet. It’s like beating a dead horse. Therefore, P2 isn’t faulty and the argument isn’t a non-sequitur. You straw manned rather than asking for clarification. Most Christians dismiss the Qur’an because it bears too much similarity with the Bible; ironically, if they dig further back, they’ll reject the Bible because it bears too much similarity to scriptures before it, but that doesn’t convenience the Christan or bolster his/her beliefs.
The rest of the argument is refuted by the incoherency of the first part of the argument.
Are you still so sure?
- “For the sake of argument though, you are arguing from an unsubstantiated variable, namely sin. In order for sin to be true, Adam had to exist; Adam is a mythological character and thus, the original sinner didn’t exist and it follows that since there was no original sin, sin did not continue and there is thus no sin. Perhaps you will argue that the original sin is rooted in Satan’s rebellion; however, Satan is also an unsubstantiated character and thus, you cannot argue from sin. Sin is simply a thought, word or action that offends god; therefore, it is incumbent on you to prove that god exists, at the very least, in order to base an argument on sin. Thus, before arguing from sin, you must prove that it exists. Being that your presupposition is unsubstantiated, this entire section is moot.”
DCM, you pointed to Scripture, identified God’s behavior as murder and identified children as innocent. I am not wrong to point out that the texts you are pointing to do not say what you say that they do. On strictly logical grounds, your argument is a failure. Your argument needs to be supplemented by your reasons as to why you do not think the Bible’s explanation of God’s behavior, as well as the Bible’s identification of all men as fallen sinners are wrong. You simply assumed your point in saying that God’s command to destroy a nation of people was a command to murder a nation of people in which innocent children were murdered. This is fallacious argumentation.
I did provide reasons. Didn’t I say that Adam didn’t exist? Didn’t I say that Satan doesn’t exist? Didn’t I say that it is incumbent on you to establish the veracity of the Bible before correcting me based on it? I did say all of that. Thus, your argument needs to be supplemented by your reasons as to why the Bible is factual and authoritative. The fallacious argumentation is clearly on your end. You simply assume your point that the Bible is the word of god and that is precisely why you quoted Romans 5:12 as authoritative and factual. That is the verse you used to correct me and the verse you used to support your conclusion that god isn’t a murderer.
6. “This section has the same issues the first had: you’re arguing from sin and you’re using the Bible as an authority. Any being that charges guiltless children and infants isn’t a just judge — regardless of what the Bible says. I find it appalling that Christians are incapable of sharing that conclusion.”
sigh. I’m not arguing from sin, nor am I explicitly using the Bible as an authority. I was giving an analysis of your argument. You used Scripture, did not define the context, but opined by identifying God as One who commanded the murder of innocent children. I was clearing up what the text actually says. Whether or not you agree with the Bible’s explanation of God’s intentions, thoughts, deeds, etc, moreover, cannot be brushed over by mere assertionism. If your opinions are rationally irrefutable, then perhaps you should argue them instead of saying that Christians are “incapable” of sharing your “conclusion.” You are assuming that children are innocent. Show me that they are, and then show me how they have been charged unjustly with sin. Then you will be arguing your position and not merely asserting it as you have done repeatedly so far.
Unfortunately, children can’t be charged with a nonexistent abstraction. Do I have to prove to you that an infant is innocent? Really? Your religion has effectively buried your humanity, and that is exactly why I call you an apologist for genocide.
7.“Also, your Merriam-Webster definition describes first degree murder. It does not define murder in its entirety, but that is beside the point.”
This is a rational response, how? Where is your definition? How can I know what you are even talking about? Lol. How philosophical disputation has fallen upon hard times!
The definition of murder you provided is: “the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought.” Aforethought as in premeditated — as in devised. There is a clear distinction between that and murdering on a whim. If I pull out a pistol and shoot someone in the head without a clear motive or plan, I will be charged with second degree murder; if I plan to murder John Doe by breaking and entering into his house and leaking CO into his house, and I execute the plan, that is first degree murder. The motive and the plan are clear.
8.“This is a straw man. In your god’s case, the argument would speak to his moral character and not just his absolute authority to legislate absolute laws.”
No, given the construction of your argument, there is no necessary logical link between the moral superiority of the law giver and his authority to give an absolute moral law.
The logical link is to be assumed given who is mentioned in the argument. Christians know their presuppositions better than I do; I am under no obligation to reiterate their views on god.
9. “While it is true that an absolute lawgiver need only have absolute authority, that isn’t true of your god.”
It is logically true of any lawgiver, DCM. Authority and Character are two different categories.
It is not logically true of your god. His authority to author absolute morals is supposedly derived from his perfect moral character.
10. “Christians argue that he not only has the authority to hand out absolute laws, but he is also morally perfect to do so. Therefore, the argument is designed to argue against the Christian god as the absolute lawgiver and as a perfectly good being. Once again, you’re dabbing in semantics in this section; unfortunately, that is perhaps the weakest reason why your responses failed to address my argument.”
Yes, He has the authority to do so. Yes, He is morally perfect in so doing. But you are missing the point, there is no logical link between authority and character. One may have absolute authority to tell others to do what he knows is morally correct, but himself not do those things. This isn’t semantics, either, DCM. It’s simply applied logic.
I got your point, but as I stated previously, your point doesn’t apply to your god.
11. “Your category error was refuted. P6 is only a non sequitur given your straw man argument; thus, P6 is not a non sequitur.”
No, my category error still stands. P6 is a nonsequitur. I did not argue a strawman.
You did argue a straw man. Your category error buckled and fell as soon as you published your response.
12. “Yahweh tells us that no person is righteous.” Correction: the Bible tells us that.”
In the Bible, Yahweh tells us that no person is righteous. Like, literally. There are places where Yahweh is speaking and He says that no man is righteous. You don’t like the Bible. I know, but you are merely asserting that such records are false. You aren’t arguing a logically coherent point.
I can assert that the records are false because I can prove that the records are false. Unlike me, you cannot prove the contrary. The character Yahweh did say that. I can concede that, but you weren’t speaking of the Yahweh I had in mind. You were speaking of the Yahweh you worship — the one you think you have a relationship with. That Yahweh cannot say a word; thus, I consider it more accurate to say: the Bible says.
13. “That leads us to the consistent issues present in your responses. You have argued from three unsubstantiated presuppositions:
1) The Bible is authoritative
2) God exists
I didn’t argue on any of these bases. Lol. I examined your argument. It was bad. It was filled with fallacies and false premises. I believe all three of the propositions you have listed here, but I was simply looking at your argument to see if it was logically coherent. It wasn’t.
Based on your unsubstantiated authority, namely a verse that contradicts my conclusion on Yahweh.
14.“These presuppositions will remain unsubstantiated and thus, your responses fail. Therefore, my arguments remain both valid and sound.”
You are wrong, DCM. Let’s have a valid and sound argument.
I’m right. Verbosity on your part with little substance.
15. “I’ll take off my philosophical cap for a second. I continue to expect more than shameless apologetics for genocide. Most Christians have truly shut the eye of reason. Rather than attempting (in futility I might add) to absolve god of moral injustices, accept him for what he is: a character in literature who lives up to his titles, namely the god of war or the god of armies. Only a truly ignorant person believes that he exists based on a scripture that’s indistinguishable from its contemporaries and scriptures that predated it.
Note to followers: the individual has been notified of this post.”
DCM, your philosopher cap had blown off some time even before your wrote your response to my post. No offense, but your argumentation is logically invalid and unsound. Instead of proving your points, you have resorted to assuming them. And now you place the ad hominem icing on top of the cake. My contention was not that I have some way of absolving God of guilt, but that your argument was bad. I stand by that contention not to be contentious but to point out to those readers of your blog that if they are looking to your blog in order to find out whether or not they should abandon the Christian faith, they are looking at a bad resource.
I’m not offended by empty claims Hiram. My philosopher cap is on when I need it and off when I don’t need it. Ad hominem? Example please. My blog is a bad resource? Tell that to my former opponents, now atheists; tell that to people who struggled with the Christian faith and found my blog as useful when relinquishing it. Tell that to the blogs that deactivated after some encounters with me; oh wait, you can’t message them because they no longer have blogs. This section oozes confirmation bias and I’ll make that clear for everyone to see: how can you conclude that my blog is a “bad resource” after two responses? It is safer to conclude that you’ve concluded that because anything that involves “[abandoning] the Christian faith” is damnable in your view.
Maybe it was the quickness with which you responded that made you argue erroneously again. I don’t know. So I am willing to hear you out again, if you can explain yourself without resorting to the same errors you exhibited here.
There were no errors; you either imagined them or concocted them. Either way, you stand corrected. Yes, I do respond quickly, but I’m also careful and methodical.