Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It would appear these "inherent fallacies" are elusive

Thomas, one of the Atheist Experience guys, has taken an honest stab at answering the questions raised by me two posts ago. It's really more of the same, though hopefully it will lead him and his readers to a better understanding of the huge problems they face.
Let's keep our eye on the ball here. They have made arguments against the biblical worldview based on moral condemnations: "The OT Law is so horrible as to allow ____", "How could such a 'loving' God send people to hell?" That sort of thing. I have challenged their ability, as holders of an atheist worldview, to make ANY judgment as to right OR wrong beyond personal preference. They are struggling to respond.


Thomas said:
they are not always objective. I think I was wrong when I argued that they were

Very well; I'll make sure to keep that in mind.

subjectivity does not negate a concept.

Agreed, but it limits its applicability and proscriptive power.
You'll note that I defined what I meant by the "objectivity" of the biblical morality, its scope, its applicability, whom it judges, how it judges, etc.

If 99% of the world defines "water" in a certain way, then the word has a definition.

True, but take "green" for example. It can mean
1) a color that is a blend of blue and yellow
2) environmentally conscious
3) political activist to favor less pollution
4) political activist to favor less pollution who goes way too far
5) a color of face expressing envy
6) a color of face demonstrating seasickness
7) money

etc. So it's both.

morality is a concept that describes equitable treatment toward one's fellow man.

Here's where the subjectivity comes into play.
I don't recognise your right or ability to make this pronouncement as if you were the Pope of Morality. I know you don't consider yourself to be such, so I wonder how you get off saying this.
So you're not making an authoritative pronouncement.
Are you trying to recognise what morality is to most people?
1) When did "most people" get together and make this judgment?
2) How did they do so? Did they take a vote?
3) What's "most"? 50.1% 60%?
4) How do you know either way?

And of course some people enjoy suffering.
And still others enjoy inflicting suffering on others.

So we have 3 choices. How do you know which one is correct?

Morality is about understanding the underlying fears and motivations common to all individuals, and helping each other to deal with the negative, while promoting the positive.

This is begging the question. You're trying to define good/bad, positive/negative; you can't appeal to them to define them.

To define those as preference is like stating that a car prefers to drink gasoline and not be smashed with a sledgehammer.

Bad illustration - cars don't prefer anything.
If you mean that humans "run" better with one morality than with another, you're begging the question again as regards what "runs better" means. Does running better refer to treating others gently? Making lots of money? Conquering the world? Becoming fat? How do you know either way?

If you look at the definition used by the majority of the world, including individuals from all faiths, as well as those with none, then they have defined the morality concept in a similar way.

1) This is easily explained by a biblical understanding. God put that there.
2) So what? The extreme majority of people who have ever lived have believed in the supernatural; that doesn't mean you think you should follow them in that, do you?

As for the question of someone with a different definition, well, you are entitled to disagree, within limits.

Who sets those limits?

trying to redefine those standards is like trying to convince others that the number 3 should come after 4, or that "water" should mean "pizza".

You're confusing IS with OUGHT. 3 comes after 4, mathematically. Morality is not reducible to mathematical equations.
And "water" to "pizza" is not as far as you are saying, so I think this is another bad example. See my "green" illustration above. Shoot, in the US (I don't know if you live in the US or not), lots of people use the word "bad" to mean something positive or great.

So again, thanks for going after it, but you have a long way to go yet. Hopefully you'll be inspired to keep going.

48 comments:

merkur said...

The question "How could such a 'loving' God send people to hell?" isn't a moral judgment - it's merely pointing out the inherent contradiction in the idea of a loving God that sends people to hell. It doesn't require the person asking the question to share the same morality, only that the person answering the question answers the question within the framework of their own beliefs.

merkur said...

e.g. Everything that you wrote after your first paragraph is largely irrelevant to this particular question.

Rhology said...

The question-begging assertion is in the arbitrary and nonbiblical definition of "loving" in that statement.

If someone were asking that question in the framework of the biblical worldview, then they would know that God is the very definition of love.

Rhology said...

Thomas has responded and I'll get to responding a little later.

Anonymous said...

"If someone were asking that question in the framework of the biblical worldview, then they would know that God is the very definition of love."

So you don't actually have a definition of love, then? That would explain why you have such difficulty answering the question.

merkur said...

Plus, you're talking complete nonsense. There's a huge body of work devoted to trying to answer that particular question, much of it written by Christians. Indeed, it is one of the key issues in theodicy, having exercised minds such as Liebniz, C.S. Lewis, Plantinga, Calvin and so on. In fact, theodicy is central to the entire Christian perspective - I would argue that it's essential to the entire Christian project, but that's another story. Unless you're trying to argue that none of the Christians that have thought and published on this issue had a "biblical worldview", then perhaps you should stop using the phrase, since it appears to be completely meaningless.

EgoMakarios said...

In reality the atheist is recognizing God's absolute morality instinctually and being too big of a jerk to admit it. He'd rather think himself super smart for coming up with the idea that murder is wrong than accept that God came up with it first.

John Morales said...

Bad illustration - cars don't prefer anything

Oh boy oh boy... I wasn't going to spam you (ie I was planning to stay with the existing dialog on your previous post) but this is rich, since earlier, when I pointed out that verse ("20And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 21Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.") you replied Ex 21:20 - why would someone beat up his property? Wouldn't that be an economic loss? When's the last time you took a hammer to your car dashboard?

It's evident an inanimate object is not a conscious being. One beats people to motivate them (or to make of them an example to others, cf the treatment of slaves in the US back in the day).

Now you say comparing things to people is a category error.

Sigh.

merkur said...

"In reality the atheist is recognizing God's absolute morality instinctually and being too big of a jerk to admit it."

If atheists - and presumably Christians - recognise God's morality "instinctually" [sic], then

a) how could anybody ever do anything that contravenes said morality, and
b) on what basis would you condemn an atheist morality?

merkur said...

Oh, and while you keep whining that "atheist morality" doesn't provide an "ultimate justification", you haven't actually explained why that's anything resembling a problem.

Rhology said...

Howdy,

Anon said:
you don't actually have a definition of love, then?

Sure I do.
You know, this is indicative of a desperate attitude - grasping at whatever you can to break down what I'm saying here. Why aren't you defending your own position?
Love = like God. Since that's the definition, I can't give a different one. If that's "difficult" in your mind, sorry.


merkur said:
theodicy is central to the entire Christian perspective - I would argue that it's essential to the entire Christian project

Sure it is, but the conventional Reformed answer is not only easy on the eyes but avoids all the pitfalls of the atheistic theodicy.

a) how could anybody ever do anything that contravenes said morality

B/c humans have freedom to commit good or evil, for a time.
B/c of the fall of man.

b) on what basis would you condemn an atheist morality?

1) I'd be interested to know EgoMak's answer to this.
2) EgoMak is no friend of my position in general, just FYI. (I don't expect you to know that, I'm just trying to clarify.)
3) It is condemned b/c God condemns it for being evil, for not drawing correct distinctions, for having no objective basis, for being the product of an unbelieving heart, for emerging out of a heart that prefers to set itself up as God rather than reverence the One True God (which is what EgoMak said above).

you haven't actually explained why that's anything resembling a problem.

I have, but I'll repeat it here.
B/c on atheism, raping a little girl is not wrong, it's just against some people's personal preference.
Murdering 5 million Jews is not wrong, it's just against some people's personal preference.
Etc.



JohnMorales said:
It's evident an inanimate object is not a conscious being.

Unless you're an atheist, in which case a human is a head of broccoli is an amoeba is a single-celled organism.

Now you say comparing things to people is a category error.

Of course it is, but the atheist worldview empties the category error of any meaning. There is no reason to make a distinction.

Peace,
Rhology

merkur said...

"Sure it is, but the conventional Reformed answer is not only easy on the eyes but avoids all the pitfalls of the atheistic theodicy."

That's right. Reformed theology has resolved the question of theodicy.

You say that your condemnation of an atheist morality (which you equate with God's condemnation - you've got to love the humility!) is

"b/c God condemns it for being evil, for not drawing correct distinctions, for having no objective basis, for being the product of an unbelieving heart, for emerging out of a heart that prefers to set itself up as God rather than reverence the One True God (which is what EgoMak said above)."

Essentially you are saying that the value of a moral system has nothing to do with the content. An atheist could have exactly the same moral values as you, and you would still condemn their morality on the above grounds. Fairly standard stuff, but one thing I've always wondered is, how do you keep a straight face when you tell us that we might wake up tomorrow and find that we "like rape", when you might wake up tomorrow and find that God "likes rape"?

merkur said...

I loved this line:

"Unless you're an atheist, in which case a human is a head of broccoli is an amoeba is a single-celled organism."

Which is clearly a lie.

Rhology said...

How is it a lie?

Anonymous said...

"Unless you're an atheist, in which case a human is a head of broccoli is an amoeba is a single-celled organism."

Do you sleep, display reason, produce waste, use problem solving abilities, use tools, show emotion, reproduce by hereditary biological mechanisms, sustain your body and its organs via various biological mechanisms, kill and eat other organisms for sustenance, have social rules to follow, will you live for a certain period of time before dying and decaying? Yes.

So in many regards we are exactly the same as other living things (I don't know of anyone who simply relies on faith in God to do all of the above - after all do you know anyone who believes in God who refuses to ever eat because it's reliant on a "materialistic" view of the world?).

My and many others aim is purely to enjoy life as much as possible while Im here with minimum harm to others, simply because that's what I like to do/what my various biological reactions have the effect of making me want to do. You like to follow the bible, and more power to you if you like to do that, but I don't. I'm not expecting any eternal reward for following the rules that have been laid down by us, but neither am I expecting eternal punishment for not following someone else's interpretation of a set of texts with little bearing on reality. Conveniently, so do a huge number of other people - it's just a preference a lot of people have but so what?

"Of course it is, but the atheist worldview empties the category error of any meaning. There is no reason to make a distinction."

Atheists still distinguish between things that are alive and things that are not alive. I'm still not certain why it is a big problem with simply liking the benefits that most people reap from a particular set of rules that we have constructed for ourselves - what's the difference between some God making a set of rules we have to follow and doing it ourselves? Also, as regards "playing God" isn't modern medicine just another form of us playing God amongst ourselves - ie we don't like how we were created to fall apart and break down originally, so we do something about it (one thing Ive never understood is that religious people are convinced they will receive eternal reward, but almost all of them are afraid of dying hence the reason they get health care). I'd say it's better as we can choose the ones that the majority prefer and that benefit the most people (whilst also accepting you can't please all the people all of the time). Besides despite what you say, I am sure there are societal laws that you take and enjoy the benefit of that don't tie in with biblical ones.

The problem is your entire worldview is based on the idea that the bible is indeed the word of God - what proof do you have of this, other than the bible says it is, therefore it must be (ie circular reasoning)? what is stopping someone of comparable moral character (in your view) as the biblical authors writing something down and claiming it as the word of God - how would you prove that it wasn't? Do you even consider it a possibility that people simply wrote things down and claimed them as such (genuine question, not an attempt at sarcasm or anything)?

Anonymous said...

Oh and an amoeba is a single celled organism - no need for it to be written twice (although that was the only part of that sentence that was correct) :)

merkur said...

How is it a lie? Because it's not true.

Carrie said...

The problem is your entire worldview is based on the idea that the bible is indeed the word of God -

Did you come up with this on your own or did another Christian tell you? If you understand that yourself, I find that very interesting.

Anyway, the proof that the BIble is what it says it is more than just "it says so". The Bible has divine attributes - men over many centuries could never have written it and managed to be so consistent. Plus there are fulfilled prophecies, archeological support, manuscript preservation, etc. I'm sure you have heard the arguments, but I just wanted to mention that the "proof" is a bit more than circular reasoning.

Rhology said...

merkur,

Ah, it's a lie b/c it's not true. Brilliant.
Any time you feel like giving a reasonable reply, you have the floor.


Anon,

I don't know of anyone who simply relies on faith in God to do all of the above

How is that even remotely relevant?

do you know anyone who believes in God who refuses to ever eat because it's reliant on a "materialistic" view of the world?

Um, eating is not necessarily based on a materialist view of the world. A theistic view also encompasses the fact that humans need food to sustain their physical existence.
This is not starting well.

My and many others aim is purely to enjoy life as much as possible while Im here with minimum harm to others, simply because that's what I like to do/what my various biological reactions have the effect of making me want to do.

1) Personal preference, like I've been saying. You guys scream and yell but all end up affirming my point.
2) Biological determinism. You're like Dan Barker, who says free will doesn't exist. See, it's not just Calvinists!

. I'm not expecting any eternal reward for following the rules that have been laid down by us, but neither am I expecting eternal punishment for not following someone else's interpretation of a set of texts with little bearing on reality.

1) It doesn't matter what you expect or like. IT doesn't change the reality that you will be judged based on your actions (which are hopelessly corrupt) when you die by God.
2) Make an argument that the texts have little bearing on reality. Read this and give me your best 5, keeping in mind the rules in the post.

Atheists still distinguish between things that are alive and things that are not alive.

But I'm talking in moral terms, and the JUSTIFICATION for doing so. Not IS, but OUGHT.
Again, you guys all confuse IS and OUGHT. It's an epidemic.

what's the difference between some God making a set of rules we have to follow and doing it ourselves?

Sheesh, I've spent countless words explaining why. If you don't know why yet, I can't help you now.

almost all of them are afraid of dying hence the reason they get health care)

Fear of dying is not why I seek health care. You don't seem to know alot about Christianity...

I am sure there are societal laws that you take and enjoy the benefit of that don't tie in with biblical ones.

Well, if we can throw around ludicrous ignorant hypotheticals like that, then I am sure that you have 48 people tied up in your basement to whom you feed nothing but steak and Teddy Grahams washed down by vegetable juice. How are they liking it? Have the police suspected anythg yet? Do you like it in Saskatchewan?


what proof do you have of this, other than the bible says it is, therefore it must be (ie circular reasoning)?

More proof you don't know Christianity well at all. I'm not trying to be critical or offensive, I'm just stating observations.
Tell you what, read this (it's the same one I linked to above) for a good start.

an amoeba is a single celled organism

Oops. Well, I'm still way behind the Atheism Experience commenters in the repetition department.
"It's wrong because it's wrong!"
"Empathy is the basis for our morality b/c we're empathic creatures!"



Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, the proof that the BIble is what it says it is more than just "it says so". The Bible has divine attributes - men over many centuries could never have written it and managed to be so consistent. Plus there are fulfilled prophecies, archeological support, manuscript preservation, etc. I'm sure you have heard the arguments, but I just wanted to mention that the "proof" is a bit more than circular reasoning."

the only problem being that it is not consistent - from simple inconsistencies in facts (snakes being forced to eat dust - yet they eat animals) and numbers (eg sizes of armies etc) to differing accounts of the same incidents and statements by different individuals. The fact that many of the words and phrases have ambiguous translations not fully understood by even the best scholars should caution against accepting any English version as literal fact.

The fact that many of it's central stories (eg the resurrection/story of Jesus) bear striking similarities to other religions from similar regions that predate Christianity (eg Mithraism) particularly calls into question its originality, and makes parts of it more likely as a reworking or embracing of earlier/contemporary mythologies.

Horoscopes are sometimes fulfilled - do you believe that astrology is an accurate indicator of how people's lives will pan out, or merely that if you keep the claims general enough many of them are very likely to be fulfilled? furthermore if people have prior knowledge of the prophecies, it is often easy or at least more possible to make them happen.

I would expect there to be some archaeological support - the bible was written in various times and therefore is very likely to have borne some reflection of those times and places in some regards. there is also a lot of archaeology that doesn't support the bible, or doesn't support to the same extent as many of the grander claims being made.

Finally some of the ideas are simply ludicrous - we have never witnessed a single person live to anywhere close to 900 years old. We have never witnessed a burning bush talk to someone or a cane turn into a snake. if someone claimed this happened today, even the most devout Christian would deride them as either making it up or being a lunatic. Why was it so commonplace back then and not now?

Finally there are an equal number of religions that as equally convinced their version of God is the correct one - there is nothing to suggest one particular relgion's God is any more likely than any other (although the effects on the natural world of the claims made by the various books can be examined scientifically - none of them hold up without invoking unaccounted for miracles every step of the way)

Anonymous said...

"Ah, it's a lie b/c it's not true. Brilliant.
Any time you feel like giving a reasonable reply, you have the floor."

well from a simply factual point of view, brocolli has more cells than an amoeba and has a different phenotype (appearance), likewise for a human.

I'll get round to the rest once I get home from work.

Carrie said...

the only problem being that it is not consistent - from simple inconsistencies in facts (snakes being forced to eat dust - yet they eat animals) and numbers (eg sizes of armies etc) to differing accounts of the same incidents and statements by different individuals.

There are only perceived inconsistencies, there are always answers for these. For example, a snake eating dust is not meant literally, it is figurative, like "eat my dust".

The fact that many of it's central stories (eg the resurrection/story of Jesus) bear striking similarities to other religions from similar regions that predate Christianity (eg Mithraism) particularly calls into question its originality,

Where is the proof? Somehow I bet people that believe this accept it with much lesser historical evidence than the evidence for the biblical accounts.

Horoscopes are sometimes fulfilled - do you believe that astrology is an accurate indicator of how people's lives will pan out, or merely that if you keep the claims general enough many of them are very likely to be fulfilled?

The biblical prophecies are more detailed, more specific, and predicted hundreds of years before their fulfillment. Not quite the same as a horoscope.

there is also a lot of archaeology that doesn't support the bible, or doesn't support to the same extent as many of the grander claims being made.

Like what?

Finally some of the ideas are simply ludicrous - we have never witnessed a single person live to anywhere close to 900 years old. We have never witnessed a burning bush talk to someone or a cane turn into a snake.

But the idea that we evolved from a chemical reaction isn't ludicrous? Have you ever actually seen one species evolve into another?

Finally there are an equal number of religions that as equally convinced their version of God is the correct one - there is nothing to suggest one particular relgion's God is any more likely than any other

Yes, there are many religions but that doesn't mean that none are correct. No doubt the Christian Bible is the only claimed divine book that lives up to its claim. Of the few books that actually claim a divine author, only the Bible has all the evidence I mentioned previously.

Anonymous said...

"But the idea that we evolved from a chemical reaction isn't ludicrous? Have you ever actually seen one species evolve into another?"

This has been observed in both a lab and nature, is very common and can happen very rapidly in some cases - a species being defined as a population that is reproductively isolated and becomes unable or unwilling to breed with its parent stock (Im assuming what you actually mean is changes between higher taxa such as genera - this is inferred from the fossil record, which i can discuss in more detail if you like).

Chemical evolution is one of the principles behind abiogenesis (which is not fully understood yet - science admits to what it doesn't know, religion claims to know the answer to everything. Life is never that simple.), it isn't actually part of the theory of evolution which simply deals with what happened once life existed. We're made up of chemicals though, so I'm not sure why it is such a surprising idea that chemicals could form life via various processes.

also your claim that evolution/abiogenesis is ridiculous still doesn't answer the idea of whether you think what i listed is ridiculous or not.

"There are only perceived inconsistencies, there are always answers for these. For example, a snake eating dust is not meant literally, it is figurative, like "eat my dust".

Well this illustrates my point - two people reading exactly the same thing take it 2 different ways. Which one of us is right? it's very ambiguous. How can something infallible be ambiguous? The actual passage says "upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:". I'm fairly certain the phrase 'eat my dust' is a modern invention rather than one of ancient biblical times, which would suggest it was a punishment to actually eat dust.

An inconsistency - sin did not enter the world until eve ate the apple. yet the snake was sinful prior to this (acting to undermine God presumably being sinful), and was a creation of God who made all the animals and who is supposed to be all good. why did God create a sinful animal? any reply to this is just pure speculation as the bible does not state an explanation of this. yet what God has told us is supposed to be 'sufficient' for us to understand what he requires of us.

Carrie said...

Anon,

I'm not going to answer all your points other than to say there are reasonable explanations for all that you said. We could go back and forth forever and likely accomplish nothing. I just wanted to state that the supposed lack of proof/evidence for the Bible and Christianity is not so simple. In reality, there is great logical/evidential support for the claims of Christianity.

One thing I did want to ask about was this comment: "This has been observed in both a lab and nature, is very common and can happen very rapidly in some cases". What exactly are you talking about? Not primordial soup, I hope.

Carrie said...

Sorry, one more thing.

Well this illustrates my point - two people reading exactly the same thing take it 2 different ways. Which one of us is right? it's very ambiguous. How can something infallible be ambiguous? The actual passage says "upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:". I'm fairly certain the phrase 'eat my dust' is a modern invention rather than one of ancient biblical times, which would suggest it was a punishment to actually eat dust.

I didn't mean to imply that the bible use of eating dust was the same as how we say "eat my dust" today. Just using our modern day phrase as an example of a figurative meaning.

As far as ambiguity and infallibility, they are not related. The truths found in the Bible are infallible in their essence, not based on individual interpretations (or misinterpretations). Truth is truth regardless of varying opinions.

Anonymous said...

How is that even remotely relevant?

You seemed to be coming from the perspective that we are radically different to animals/other organisms so much so that we are to be considered some sort of special case, when the reality is we have far more in common than many theists would like to admit (eg very similar genetically to chimps).

Um, eating is not necessarily based on a materialist view of the world. A theistic view also encompasses the fact that humans need food to sustain their physical existence.
This is not starting well.

Again ties into the first point that we are not hugely different from other animals.

1) Personal preference, like I've been saying. You guys scream and yell but all end up affirming my point.
2) Biological determinism. You're like Dan Barker, who says free will doesn't exist. See, it's not just Calvinists!

ive never denied the first part. if someone doesn't believe in God then of course they are going to attempt to come up with a set of rules to live by based on their personal preferences. hence the reason every society has different ones. interestingly Norway has the largest atheist population (70% i believe) yet is also considered to have the highest standards of living on average in the world. is god sending at least 70% of norwegians to hell even though what they have chosen benefits a vast amount of people?

lobotomies for medical reasons, brain tumours and brain damage can completely alter someone's personality and change even a previously devout Christian into someone very very different in terms of how they would behave and conduct themselves.

damage to certain regions can obliterate speech, emotion, memory etc.

germ line mutations can cause drastic changes in the properties of a human both good and bad (resistance to normally lethal diseases, increased blood pressure above the norm, obesity etc)

So our correctly functioning biology plays an essential part in how our lives pan out, and dictates much of our social behaviours. You seem to think its role is minimal at best in our lives as far as I can tell.

1) It doesn't matter what you expect or like. IT doesn't change the reality that you will be judged based on your actions (which are hopelessly corrupt) when you die by God.
2) Make an argument that the texts have little bearing on reality. Read this and give me your best 5, keeping in mind the rules in the post.

1) you don't get this - I don't believe god exists. you have no way of proving he does other than simply stating the bible is his word and therefore proves his existence, or that the fact we are here is proof of a creator. Someone writing something down does not make it fact. Someone asserting something does not make it fact. lack of an explanation does not make an alternative explanation a fact. Once i die, it's game over as far as Im concerned. I behave in a particular way because a) the laws of the country i live in say i have to, and b) because I want to and I like to. (a) ties in with (b) in part, because i dont like the idea of jail either, but even without that threat b still stands.

You have a preference for Christianity - at some point in your life you chose it as you preferred it to the alternative of not being a Christian (I assume). Which is fine, but again it is just a preference. you prefer to believe the bible is god's word for a variety of reasons. I don't. Either way our justifications both lie in personal preference.

But I'm talking in moral terms, and the JUSTIFICATION for doing so. Not IS, but OUGHT.
Again, you guys all confuse IS and OUGHT. It's an epidemic.

On the basis of their physical properties is how we judge them as alive or not (although when non-life became life was no doubt a very fuzzy line).

"Sheesh, I've spent countless words explaining why. If you don't know why yet, I can't help you now."

I know why you follow what are supposedly God's rules - but for someone who doesn't believe in God, there is no difference to me if i decide that following society's rules in terms of the eternal consequences is a better idea as i do not expect to be punished. likewise, playing God with healthcare is no different to playing God with morality. eg God sentenced women to endure pain during childbirth - we now give women epidurals to block the pain. Are we therefore undermining God by subverting/not accepting his punishment?

"Fear of dying is not why I seek health care. You don't seem to know alot about Christianity..."

Or fear of suffering. people pray for all sorts, but they don't seem to have much faith when it comes to God's ability to heal/ease physical pain and instead rely on materialistic science as per usual. So if not to prevent death/suffering what reasons do you seek healthcare?


Well, if we can throw around ludicrous ignorant hypotheticals like that, then I am sure that you have 48 people tied up in your basement to whom you feed nothing but steak and Teddy Grahams washed down by vegetable juice. How are they liking it? Have the police suspected anythg yet? Do you like it in Saskatchewan?

So do you follow all biblical laws to the word? And the folks in my basement are doing fine (although i have no idea what Teddy Graham's are, or where Saskatchewan is) ;)


"More proof you don't know Christianity well at all. I'm not trying to be critical or offensive, I'm just stating observations.
Tell you what, read this (it's the same one I linked to above) for a good start."

OK, I'll read it when I have a little time.

"Oops. Well, I'm still way behind the Atheism Experience"

given that you deny evolution, should you not know basic things like an amoeba being single celled if you are in a position to dismiss virtually all of modern biology?

Anonymous said...

""This has been observed in both a lab and nature, is very common and can happen very rapidly in some cases". What exactly are you talking about? Not primordial soup, I hope."

No i was talking about speciation events. I accept that the original formation of life from non-life is not fully understood yet(and even if eventually shown to be possible, is not necessarily how life came to exists, merely a possibility).

Carrie said...

No i was talking about speciation events. I accept that the original formation of life from non-life is not fully understood yet(and even if eventually shown to be possible, is not necessarily how life came to exists, merely a possibility).

Okay, I am not up on speciation events - I'll have to look into it.

I am glad you admit that the jump from non-life to life is not understood. That is what I meant by a "ludicrous idea" from your side - going from chemicals to extremely complex life (by chance), sounds as crazy as a 900 year old men.

Frankly, I think evolution is a much bigger leap of faith than creationism. If you need to remove God from the picture then I guess that evolution is about as good of a theory as you can come up with, but the evidence really just isn't that strong.

Anonymous said...

"Frankly, I think evolution is a much bigger leap of faith than creationism. If you need to remove God from the picture then I guess that evolution is about as good of a theory as you can come up with, but the evidence really just isn't that strong."

Not really - we can observe evolution happening today (evolution being the change in alelle (gene in simple terms) frequency of a population with each successive generation). The temporal order of the appearance of the most simplistic life forms first in the fossil record followed by more complex ones in more recent rocks (this can be observed purely in terms of the order in time/space without even using absolute dates of rocks - there are at least 25 sites in the world where the geological column exists as you'd see in a textbook). were creationism correct (based on the evidence in the natural world), there should be no sorting from simple to gradually more complex - any fossils should appear in any strata (with maybe some sorting via weight eg elephants at the bottom). Human fossils have never been found in the precambrian strata for example. radiometric dating confirms the absolute rock ages (this will open up another can of worms I can guarantee :)) which confirms what the geological evidence indicates.

Also going by the Noachian flood model, to carry every species on a boat would require enormous space (vastly bigger than that available in the dimensions given in the bible) to carry the estimated 5 million + species. or if 'kinds' means e.g. genera or families they would have had to undergo some kind of superevolution to generate each new species (and the numbers of animals within those populations of species) at an absolutely phenomenal pace in the space of 6000 years. add in that the carnivores would have eaten most animals (I've heard that creationists state T-rex was a vegetarian and lived alongside humans - teeth like steak knives are not for eating vegetables is all I can say...) on board and it doesn't really stand up without invoking speculative miracles.

add to the fact that to the best of our knowledge everything that has ever been born has had an ancestor, we share varying degrees of genetic similarity with every other organism (with the most human-like being the closest in genetic relatedness), and that spontaneous generation of whole lifeforms does not occur (see Louis Pasteur's experiments for more detail), and that populations continue to evolve today, it doesn't require much of a leap of the imagination.

Evolution doesn't actually negate (or prove) God - it merely disagrees with the literal biblical interpretation of God, the existence of the bible also neither proves nor disproves God for reasons I've given in previous posts (eg writing something down and claiming it as the word of God does not make that a fact)

Carrie said...

Evolution doesn't actually negate (or prove) God - it merely disagrees with the literal biblical interpretation of God,

True, evolution doesn't negate God, but the emphasis that so many who are opposed to religion place on it makes it feel like its own anti-God religion. I find the fact that atheists spend so much time thinking about atheism interesting.

It has been many years since I have studied evolution so I am sure there are new findings, but I have never been impressed with what I have seen. A non-evolutionary reason could always be formulated to account for the supposed evidence (common designer can explain genetic similarities across species) and microevolution and genetic shifts can still exist without proving macroevolution. Science is a world of competing theories and a place where firmly held theories can quickly be replaced (peppered moths, appendix). In the end you have to go with what makes the most sense overall and I still see going from a few chemicals to life as impossible.

the existence of the bible also neither proves nor disproves God for reasons I've given in previous posts (eg writing something down and claiming it as the word of God does not make that a fact)

True again. I can't really prove God 100% to someone just as evolution can never be proven. But I think the Bible does a pretty good job of showing the existence of God with a very high certainty. The claim of the Bible that it is the Word of God and the claims of Jesus as being God are pretty lofty claims, but yet they hold up to scrutiny. So while the claims themselves don't make it true, the claims must be examined to disprove them.

Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if most atheists examine the evidence to disprove God before becoming atheists? There is certainly as much proof for a God as there is for something like evolution, but I would bet most people start off with the presupposition that evolution is true but God is not. That of course would bias any investigation.

Anyway, thanks for talking with me, it's been interesting. I should probably be more interested in the whole evolution vs creationism debate (since I am a biologist), but that never keeps my attention that long. I enjoy theology so much more - go figure.

Carrie said...

add in that the carnivores would have eaten most animals (I've heard that creationists state T-rex was a vegetarian and lived alongside humans - teeth like steak knives are not for eating vegetables is all I can say...) on board and it doesn't really stand up without invoking speculative miracles.


BTW, I thought this was funny. I'm not sure why someone would claim T-rex is a vegetarian but I agree that is a stretch. Again, haven't spent much time thinking/studying this stuff but I never thought dinosaurs made it onto the ark - that would have wiped them out if they were still around.

As far as controlling carnivores on the ark, that would have been God's work just as getting them all onto the ark would have. The God who created the universe can certainly control a few animals.

Rhology said...

Anon,

Thanks for your input. Evolution/creation doesn't always bore me but today it does, so I'll use the excuse that it's off-topic.

Which one of us is right? it's very ambiguous.

Check the context, grammar, vocabulary, etc. It's actually not that tough.
I'm fairly sure, for example, that I have gleaned from your posts here that you are not a conservative Reformed Babdist.

How can something infallible be ambiguous?

That's a non sequitur.
I call it the fallacy of the perfect computer manual. If the perfect computer manual existed, it wouldn't follow that it's imperfect just b/c imperfect and non-omniscient humans neglect part of it, neglect ALL of it, refuse to follow it b/c they like their way better, forget part or most of it, misunderstand it, etc.

which would suggest it was a punishment to actually eat dust.

You may have noticed that snakes typically travel by crawling on their belly with their head close to the ground. The ground is where dust is.

sin did not enter the world until eve ate the apple.

Did not enter into MAN. And DEATH had not entered into the world until Eve ate the apple.

why did God create a sinful animal?

God created Satan upright but with a will that had a certain amount of freedom, which he exercised to rebel against and try to replace God.

the bible does not state an explanation of this

Sure it does, in multiple places.
And before you do much more attacking of the Bible, respond to my challenge if you please. Read my post and give me your 5 best challenges.


Again ties into the first point that we are not hugely different from other animals.

Thus begins a series of statements that seem not to be responding at all to what I had said. I don't know if you got mixed up or something, like you got to the end of a 200 question multiple choice exam filling in little bubbles and realised that you had one more question left to answer but no more lines to fill in.

if someone doesn't believe in God then of course they are going to attempt to come up with a set of rules to live by based on their personal preferences

OK, you mercifully made it a lot easier than the pulling teeth I've been having to do over at the Atheist Experience.
Remember though that this view of morality holds serious consequences for you. Given this, if you argue against Christianity on the basis of morally objectionable things that Christians or the Christian God has done, you have no basis to make such judgments beyond "I don't like it", and so these arguments have no merit at best and at worst (for the atheist) presuppose a theistic framework of objective morality in order to argue against said theistic worldview.
Just a reminder.

is god sending at least 70% of norwegians to hell even though what they have chosen benefits a vast amount of people?

Remember what I just said.
And God will probably send more than that to hell. Being an atheist is not what gets you to hell. Your sin is.

lobotomies for medical reasons, brain tumours and brain damage can completely alter ...even a previously devout Christian into someone very very different in terms of how they would behave and conduct themselves.

1) I leave that in the hands of God.
2) I don't see how appealing to brain DAMAGED thinking to support a rational case for a worldview helps you.
3) I'll see your lobotomy and raise you a set of explicit cases of Near Death Experiences.

you have no way of proving he does

You have no idea one way or the other b/c you haven't asked. I certainly don't accept the strawman you've set up here.
You can start here if you're interested in talking about that.

Someone writing something down does not make it fact.

Agreed 100%. But if God says it, it does.

You have a preference for Christianity - at some point in your life you chose it as you preferred it to the alternative of not being a Christian

Actually, I repented of my sin b/c I realised I was hopeless the way I was going and I lacked any purpose in life. And I was a dirtbag, as is everyone.
I have a preference for Christianity NOW of course, but for years I refused it.
And preferences don't change whether sthg is true; that's my whole point.
You have a preference for not raping little girls - at some point in your life you chose it as you preferred it to the alternative of raping.
The problem for you here is that I'm not aware of any way you'd have to tell whether that action is wrong. You can of course enlighten me. :-)


Either way our justifications both lie in personal preference.

You don't know whence cometh my justifications. Why don't you actually respond to what I've written on the topic in the article I linked to in the last comment?

Rhology: Again, you guys all confuse IS and OUGHT. It's an epidemic.
On the basis of their physical properties is how we judge them as alive or not

This is where I think you got mixed up b/c this is totally irrelevant.

Are we therefore undermining God by subverting/not accepting his punishment?

1) Where in the Bible would lead us to believe that?
2) Epidurals are still uncomfortable at least.
3) Some dont' work at all.
4) Pregnancy is also said to be pretty uncomfy at times.

they don't seem to have much faith when it comes to God's ability to heal/ease physical pain and instead rely on materialistic science as per usual

God has made no promise to heal any and all physical ailments. There's this thing called the fall of man that leads to death in the world.
Faith is therefore irrelevant to this question.
I seek healthcare b/c I don't like to suffer; I like my body to function well when possible. Why *shouldn't* I seek healthcare?

do you follow all biblical laws to the word?

1) An irrelevant question.
2) And no I don't. That's why I need a Savior to rescue and forgive me. And so do you.
3) Whether I FOLLOW them is completely different from whether I believe them.

should you not know basic things like an amoeba being single celled if you are in a position to dismiss virtually all of modern biology?

If I'd really cared I'd've looked it up.
If you'd like to know some of my reasoning for believing evolution is garbage, I refer you to the following: here here here here
But comment on those posts, not here, if you're so inclined.

A quick aside on the Ark question - it's invalid to assume a naturalistic framework. Prove that framework before you go throwing it around like that.


Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

"Agreed 100%. But if God says it, it does."

But this is the big problem with your entire argument - yes, if God exists and states something it is indeed a fact that God said it.

However, a human saying 'I have spoken to God and written down what he said' does not mean that God exists and that statement is therefore a factual representation of God's opinions and thoughts.

Even if we decide the bible is consistent in its logic and reflection on reality or the natural world (which, scientifically at least it certainly isn't, but that's beside the point) this still doesn't answer the question - we have absolutely no way of knowing whether it really is God's word other than assuming biblical truth to prove biblical truth.

therefore it simply comes down to preference just like the atheist/agnostic/allegorical interpretations of the bible. your basis for your world view is as much based on preference as those of the people you are criticising.

Do you believe people today when they say - 'God has told me to do action X, Y or Z'? eg president Bush has stated that going to war in Iraq is his mission from God - I think he's talking rubbish, but how would you know he is not being truthful? there is nothing to distinguish his assertions from the assertions in the bible.

"Remember what I just said.
And God will probably send more than that to hell. Being an atheist is not what gets you to hell. Your sin is."

Out of interest, how do you know that God will not change his mind on a whim as to who does and doesn't go to hell, even if they believe/follow his rules? after all he told Eve she would surely die if she ate the apple, then changed his mind once she did.

"1) An irrelevant question.
2) And no I don't. That's why I need a Savior to rescue and forgive me. And so do you.
3) Whether I FOLLOW them is completely different from whether I believe them."

Not really irrelevant - you criticise other people for lack of belief or not having a morality grounded in Christianity (or at least tell them what their fate will be for doing so). yet by your own admission you don't follow the worldview you espouse either. It seems somewhat "Pascal's wager-ish" ie you might as well believe because the end results look good, whereas whether you follow these rules is secondary to merely believing them. out of interest, how do you decide which ones you follow and which ones you don't other than personal preference (even sticking to your country's laws is a personal preference)? I mean I'm aware of (at least some) biblical laws, but choose not to follow them also - but at least I will acknowledge that is just my personal preference. A number of high profile Christians over the years used this same justification to excuse their behaviour - ie I did action X which is morally wrong according to the bible, but my belief is sincere therefore I will be saved regardless (not that I'm equating you with these people, I assume you are probably a normal guy like I am, just with different views).


"But comment on those posts, not here, if you're so inclined."

I will if I have the time - i briefly clicked on one, it looks very Dembski-esque with the whole 'useful information' parts :) unfortunately Dembski and behe's arguments are, to put it mildly, very, very dubious. But as you say, i should reply to them separately.

Carrie said...

Out of interest, how do you know that God will not change his mind on a whim as to who does and doesn't go to hell, even if they believe/follow his rules? after all he told Eve she would surely die if she ate the apple, then changed his mind once she did.

If I can just jump in a minute. No doubt Rhology can answer you better.

God doesn't "change his mind on a whim" - that would go against his character. Your example of Eve is incorrect - she did die. She died spiritually immediately and physically eventually.

This is a good example of why it may appear that there are inconsistencies in the Bible but in reality you are just misunderstanding the text. You can imagine if God is true that not only is he difficult for our minds to fully grasp (like his perfection and immutability, ie he doesn't act on a "whim") but his own Word can be a bit deeper than just a light reading can uncover (like "die" meaning a spiritual death).

Again, when I say that the Bible shows itself to have divine characteristics, this is one of the things that convinces me of such. There are layers and layers of deep, consistent truths found in the Bible that no man could ever write (and certainly not multiple individual men over many centuries). There is much more "proof" than that, but since I mentioned this earlier I thought I would just follow up.

Sorry Rhology, hope you don't mind me jumping in :)

Rhology said...

Thanks Carrie, no, of course I don't mind a little help! :-)


Hi Anonymous,

If you think there's a case to be made that the Bible is NOT divinely-inspired, I've told you where to find arguments that will prove that wrong.
I'd be happy to engage your thoughts on that topic, but a few drive-by comments don't help anyone, as I'm sure you can see.
And if you don't think the Bible lines up with "scientific" thought, please define what "scientific" is and then show how it doesn't.

It doesn't come down to "preference" just b/c you say it does. There are good arguments for the TRUTH of the claim that the Bible is inspired by God.
And even if it weren't divinely inspired, it's a fixed point of reference, as opposed to the atheist POV where your morality is as transient as how you feel that day, what you ate for breakfast, how the neurons fire that day and in what sequence. It's based on thin air. A text is better; a divinely-inspired text yet more so.
And of course, if I'm wrong, then I wasn't *wrong*. I was just following my neurons, just as you are yours.

Do you believe people today when they say - 'God has told me to do action X, Y or Z'?

If what they say/do conflicts with the Bible, no.
If it doesn't, then *maybe*, but I kinda doubt it unless they mean that the Scripture commands the course of action in which case they'd be right (if it does).

there is nothing to distinguish his assertions from the assertions in the bible.

Oh no, there's plenty!
There is a great deal of evidence that the Bible is God's revelation. It's far different than one guy saying he thinks God said sthg to him.
And I think that this "Pres Bush thinks Iraq is God's command" bizness is a little exaggerated on your part.

you criticise other people for lack of belief or not having a morality grounded in Christianity

Strawman again.
I have said from the beginning that I am calling out people *who criticise Christianity on moral grounds* to provide a justification that any moral judgment they make means anythg beyond their personal preference. Nobody has provided it. The complaints are therefore as grounded as the person's opinion on ice cream flavor.
It is disturbing to me, anonymous commenter, that you still can't keep track of the argument I'm making. Why do you continue to misrepresent what I'm saying?

"Pascal's wager-ish

I don't see how. If I use that kind of argument, it's for a very narrow purpose.

how do you decide which ones you follow and which ones you don't other than personal preference

Do you mean the biblical laws and commands?
I figure out which ones apply by reading the context and the whole Bible. It took a little time and is still a work in progress but I've got a pretty good understanding right now. It is possible! I'd be happy to help you understand it if you have specific questions.

A number of high profile Christians over the years used this same justification to excuse their behaviour - ie I did action X which is morally wrong according to the bible, but my belief is sincere therefore I will be saved regardless

I think you're making a category error here.
If someone like Ted Haggard (who I think the chances are not good that he really has a relationship with Christ, but for the sake of argument we'll say he does) calls what he had done "sinful", then he's right. Objective, based on the solid standard.
But a Christian is not defined as "one who never sins". It's "one who has a relationship with Jesus Christ and whose sins, by virtue of that, have been forgiven in their entirety by God."
ANY Christian, if they're honest, MUST say "yes I did Action X and it was sinful but by the grace of God, by His unmerited favor, I will still go to heaven, I still am His friend, His child, His slave, today and forever." That is the message of Jesus. It's still available to you as well, and I pray you'll accept it one day soon.

I assume you are probably a normal guy like I am

Yes, absolutely!
Could I just point out that all sin is condemned by God? Without His forgiveness, all of us are toast! Me, you, Billy Graham, everyone.
That's why, instead of complaining and moping around, we can have joy, peace, and hope thru Jesus Christ. Just repent of your sins, tell Jesus you want to be His child and follow Him, and all will be forgiven. There is always time, until your last breath.

And I'm more interested, honestly, in you tackling your alleged errors in the Bible than stuff about evolution/creation. My arguments for creation are more fundamental than parsing "scientific findings" as I briefly did in a few of those posts.


True Peace to you,
Rhology

RinTinTin said...

since you aksed for contradicitions - i have the new living translation bible open in front of me just now:

In John 5, Jesus states if he were to testify on his own behalf, his testimony would not be valid

In John 8 he then goes on to state that 'these claims are valid even though I make them about myself'

In that same chapter in John 7 he states that 'you work on the Sabbath too when you obey Moses law of circumcision' - this is wrong as it is in fact Abraham's covenant with God that is the reason for circumcision, not Moses', as stated in Genesis.



In John 1: John explains that noone has ever seen God except for Jesus

yet in Genesis 32, Jacob names Peniel after the fact that he has seen God face to face (Peniel = face of God)

additionally Adam and Eve both must have seen God as he walked in the garden of Eden as it states in Genesis 3


So there's 3 to start with, which took me about 10 minutes of reading through John and referencing back to other passages I'd read.

Rintintin said...

and an example of God changing his mind is in Exodus 32:14 - "So the Lord withdrew his threat and didn't bring against his people the disaster he had threatened"

As was discussed above, God is capable of changing his mind, so even if someone does exactly what God wants, they might still be looking forward to a pretty warm afterlife if God can change his mind whenever he wants for whatever reason.

Rhology said...

I address your failed attempts here.

G-man said...

"B/c on atheism, raping a little girl is not wrong, it's just against some people's personal preference.
Murdering 5 million Jews is not wrong, it's just against some people's personal preference.
Etc."

Wow, sad sad sad. There's a good word for this. It starts with a "big" and ends with an "otry."

Rhology said...

Bigotry? When I've spent thousands of words analysing the implications of the atheist worldview for morality?
Please.

G-man said...

Atheism carries no moral implications, Rhology. It is nor a moral theory. Moreover, no typical ethical system compatible with atheism promote this view - whether Objectivism, utilitarianism etc (except perhaps some form/s of subjective relativism).

Rhology said...

G-man,

Atheism carries no moral implications, Rhology. It is nor a moral theory.

Brilliant, I could hardly have said it better myself.
You do realise, of course, that your atheist fellows frequenting my blog these days are not too fond of my pointing that out and even less my pointing out the logical conclusions of that view?

So that leads us to the question: You seem to think that bigotry is not good. On what basis since atheism carries no moral implications, since it is no(t) a moral theory? Help me out here. Why is the statement:

"B/c on atheism, raping a little girl is not wrong, it's just against some people's personal preference.
Murdering 5 million Jews is not wrong, it's just against some people's personal preference.
Etc."

incorrect?

G-man said...

"Brilliant, I could hardly have said it better myself."

I hope you recognize that "not a moral theory" does not = "is an immoral theory." Atheism has no moral implications just like the theory that milk will go sour if left out on the counter too long.

Logical conclusion that follow include that (many) people can be BOTH atheists AND followers of a moral theory/ies.

"You seem to think that bigotry is not good."

That's correct. I believe this is demonstrable in the light of the claims made by desire utilitarianism - which is a theory of morality. It also has little or nothing to do with personal preference or even societal preference.

Rhology said...

G-man,

I hope you recognize that "not a moral theory" does not = "is an immoral theory."

It doesn't?
There's some sort of neutral ground, then?
There's
MORAL NEUTRAL IMMORAL

So I would imagine things fall somewhere in between, depending, right?
Fair enough, but to what do you compare those things, that you can place them under each value?

Atheism has no moral implications just like the theory that milk will go sour if left out on the counter too long.

This illustrates the problem to which atheists all-too-often fall victim - confusing IS and OUGHT.
The milk IS bad. Fine.
Murdered Jews by Nazis ARE dead. Fine.
Where's the OUGHT in there? Whence does it come?

people can be BOTH atheists AND followers of a moral theory/ies.

I've never denied that, and this assertion shows that you're not following me.
What is the JUSTIFICATION for those moral theories that atheists follow, beyond personal/societal preference?

It also has little or nothing to do with personal preference or even societal preference.

What's it based on, then?
My (educated) guess is that you're going to beg the question, so I'm hoping you'll head that off at the pass. Don't just tell me its basis - JUSTIFY its basis.

Peace,
Rhology

G-man said...

"There's some sort of neutral ground, then?"

Yes. A good example is a pen. Would you describe a pen as moral, immoral or neutral?

Atheism is neutral with regards to morality. It makes no claims about morality. It only makes existential claims - like a myriad of other existential claims either in the positive or the negative.

"This illustrates the problem to which atheists all-too-often fall victim - confusing IS and OUGHT."

Atheists are not especially prone to this mistake; nor are they immune to it, I agree.

"Where's the OUGHT in there? Whence does it come?"

Ah, now the answer is best sought in moral theories. Atheism by itself has nothing to say here.

"Don't just tell me its basis - JUSTIFY its basis."

I'd be talking about desire utilitarianism - not atheism. That topic is probably best handled at my blog site where I'm planning a response to some of your questions from this summer.

Rhology said...

Hey G-man,


Would you describe a pen as moral, immoral or neutral?

Neutral. A pen IS. "A pen oughts", if you will, makes no sense.


Atheism is neutral with regards to morality. It makes no claims about morality.


Then on what basis could an atheist say something like this?
"One of the reasons I can't believe in Jesus is b/c He commanded horrible barbaric atrocities in the Old Testament."

Is that statement justifiable or not?


Atheists are not especially prone to this mistake; nor are they immune to it, I agree.

In general they may not be, but whenever they talk about morality, they are guilty of it. It's endemic to the atheist worldview - there is no grand OUGHT, so everythg reduces logically to IS.
So I wouldn't agree. Not b/c they're more horrible than anyone else but b/c their worldview forces them into it.

the answer is best sought in moral theories. Atheism by itself has nothing to say here.

Bring up any moral theory you might wish. Desire utilitarianism, deontologism, virtue ethics, whatever.
Without a Lawgiver to justify the moral tenets of the system, it all comes back to the same problem, and that problem goes back to atheism.
I'm just trying to clear away the clutter.

Peace,
Rhology

G-man said...

Ok, good. To say "a person ought, because of atheism" makes no sense either. Another similar example: "a person ought, because she believes the earth is round" makes no sense.

"Then on what basis could an atheist say something like this?"

He could say that on the basis that the ordering of horrible barbaric atrocities is inconsistent with the actions of a good person; therefore the person ordering the atrocities was a bad person.It would have to be quite an argument - stating that someone did immoral things hardly leads to the conclusion that "therefore, the person didn't exist." :)

"It's endemic to the atheist worldview - there is no grand OUGHT, so everythg reduces logically to IS."

Unless IS and OUGHT are interchangeable in some cases...

"Bring up any moral theory you might wish. Desire utilitarianism, deontologism, virtue ethics, whatever."

Just did that in a newer post of yours. However, I'd like to make sure we're on the same page - atheism by itself is an existential claim; it makes no claims about morality. Got it?

Rhology said...

Hi G-man,

To say "a person ought, because of atheism" makes no sense either.

That's OK.

He could say that on the basis that the ordering of horrible barbaric atrocities is inconsistent with the actions of a good person;

There you go begging the question again.
Who defines, on atheism, "good" in the term "good person"? You? Why would/should anyone submit their moral judgments to what you say?

Unless IS and OUGHT are interchangeable in some cases

Which is a philosophical category error.
One of the things I'm thankful for about the biblical worldview is that holding to it does not lead me inexorably to making logically fallacious statements to back it up.

I'd like to make sure we're on the same page - atheism by itself is an existential claim; it makes no claims about morality.

That may be true, but any moral system that tries to join itself to atheism is subject to the same criticisms I've been making. As I said above, I'm trying to clear away the confusion and take it back to the base.

Peace,
Rhology