Tuesday, April 08, 2008

If atheists get to repeat themselves...



...then so do I.
The difference is that I am forced into it. I ask a question, the atheist begs the question. I explain why it's begging the question and ask him to answer it again. He then repeats the same "answer". Et cetera.

Consider the latest offering from JeffPerado. His thinking is so muddled and shallow that I almost cringe to link to him, but what the heck. He is trying to respond to my cheery, cheeky Christmas scenario.

Well done, JeffPerado, you've successfully begged the question. Hard. Again and again. One wonders whether it could ever be begged again after such an enervation. Sadly, it's what I expected.
You simply refuse to engage (or are incapable of engaging) the question at hand.
This is what I mean when I say that atheism is the usurpation of God's rule. You've taken on the role of Arbiter of Morality.
How?
-They would have a good reason, their girls were being raped.

Prove it's a good reason.

-Now is war moral? If your self-preservation is on the line then yes.

Prove it's moral if your self-preservation is on the line.

-Clearly we have a situation where war is moral.

Prove it.

-They were following a "moral" practice and now are fighting for their lives because of it. Is that moral? No. Because win or lose, they lose valuable resources:

Prove that losing valuable resources is immoral.
Prove that human resources are indeed valuable.

-Morality is sick when it comes from any supposed supernatural outside-of-human-experience source

Because you say so?
Prove it.

-I don't make these rules or decide morality.

Actually, it looks like you're doing precisely that.

-Society does, and it does so only after time and (human) experience determines it as moral.

Prove it.
Also, which society? At what time? How long does it take? What % of people?
Tkalim's society, I remind you, supports this practice 100%, unanimously. So it's right to do this. Right?

-In other words, would you Rhology, allow your daughters to be raped if God ordained it, but would call it immoral if some other god ordained it, both being via supernatural origins.

God has never ordained rape. You are very ignorant and it is showing, seriously.
Nor would God ever ordain rape. Your premises are bad, so the question is vapor.

21 comments:

Chris said...

Rhology,

Every time anyone says a moral statement, you jump on it as if the person is claiming something similar to yourself, which is that your morality comes from the creator of the universe, and is therefore "right".

It has been pointed out to you multiple times that not everybody thinks like you, and that people can make moral statements without claiming some objective principle, however it doesn't seem you listen.

It seems you can't really comprehend anything beyond your worldview. Everything must be interpreted according to your interpretation of God. It's taken me a while to figure out that's really how you think.

I hope one day you'll actually understand that there are really people that don't believe in God, are doing quite nicely, and might even be right.

But, as you said on JeffPerado's blog
"A guy's got to know when to walk away." That guy is me. I won't be posting any more. Have fun Rhology, thanks for the discussions. They've been educational.

Rhology said...

Cool, see you Chris. Nice talking to you.
What I'm doing is pointing out inconsistencies in, here, JeffPerado's statements.
He would prescribe morality for everyone else, call stuff "moral" and "immoral", say things like "What God did in the OT is barbaric". Then, when pressed for the standard by which he knows this, he just repeats himself.
So I demonstrate the inconsistency, and also indirectly reveal the unlivability of the moral system that's based on atheism. You can't bring yourselves to live consistently with it, yet you want me to join you? Tsk tsk.

NAL said...

Since Methodists and Baptists used the Bible to justify slavery in the southern United States, I fail to see that Christianity offers an objective moral standard.

The Jolly Nihilist said...

Much as I hate to admit it, I think Rhology is correct on this count. Claims to moral fact drive me batty.

I greatly respect Sam Harris, and my copy of his book "The End of Faith" is well worn from multiple reads. However, when he gets to the topic of morality, he dramatically steps on an appendage on which one should not step.

He writes, "A rational approach to ethics becomes possible once we realize that questions of right and wrong are really questions about the happiness and suffering of sentient creatures."

He also writes, "If there are truths to be known about how human beings conspire to make one another happy or miserable, there are truths to be known about ethics."

What absolute piffle.

In a book decrying faith, Harris makes a flagrant faith appeal in saying morality is bound up with the happiness and suffering of sentient creatures (but particularly humans). He makes no attempt to prove this, which is only natural because we are demonstrably morally ignorant.

I am a nihilist because I recognize this moral ignorance. Perhaps human suffering is relevant vis-à-vis moral questions, with increased suffering being immoral and decreased suffering (or increased pleasure) being moral. Then again, maybe not. For now, there is no way to know. Morality might have to do with how humans treat hamsters, or how females treat national parks. There simply is no evidence that has been proved relevant.

Harris might as well have said, with respect to which number between one and 20 is the best number, the fundamental question is which number is divisible by both two and seven. It is arbitrary.

John Morales said...

JN: In a book decrying faith, Harris makes a flagrant faith appeal in saying morality is bound up with the happiness and suffering of sentient creatures (but particularly humans). He makes no attempt to prove this, which is only natural because we are demonstrably morally ignorant.

I don't think Harris is making the claim - language is. All he'd have to do to prove it is to point at a dictionary.

You are implying morality is not bound up with the happiness and suffering of sentient creatures.

I find that odd.

Could you please clarify what you understand morality to be?

The Jolly Nihilist said...

My moral opinions have much to do with happiness and suffering. I find much that is appealing about Harris' standards. However, they are not factual, but rather opinions.

I would say moral actions are those which are "good" or "virtuous." I would say immoral actions are those which are "bad" or "wicked."

The problem is this: We do not know relevancy.

If I were to cut somebody's hand off, it would be clear that I was making the person suffer. There would be a factual link between my action and my victim's suffering.

Who could prove the link between my action causing suffering and my action being wicked?

John Morales said...

JN, there's of course a difference between one's best considered opinion [BCO] and verity.

The problem is this: We do not know relevancy.

We do not know in an absolute sense, but ineluctably must use our BCO in the same manner as we would use facts.
That's a subtler difference, and I think Harris is using linguistic shortcuts that obscure this.

I have insufficient context, since I haven't read that work, to determine if
he's (however informally) established a "universe of discourse" to which this quote applies. Which means I withhold judgement on whether the claim you thought piffle really is.

Anyway, somewhat more on topic, I suppose that I should mention I also consider this post gives me an interesting perspective on Rhology's POV and his self-esteem.

How closely that POV approaches reality can only be judged by one's BCO, and I suspect yours and mine may be similar :)

.oOo.

R: Well done, JeffPerado, you've successfully begged the question. Hard. Again and again. One wonders whether it could ever be begged again after such an enervation. Sadly, it's what I expected.
You simply refuse to engage (or are incapable of engaging) the question at hand.
...
Prove it.


Rhology, your condemnation leads me to believe you're using "begging the question" to mean both avoiding the question and inviting another question, whilst connoting that (since there is a logical fallacy of the same name) he's being fallacious.

A lame rhetorical techique, in my opinion.

John Morales said...

PS

JN: I'm glad we're on the same page about what morality is.

Rh: a slight edit to the above for clarity:
(since there is a logical fallacy of the same name though of different meaning)

Chris: I don't blame you for being disillutioned; it's clear that Rhology doesn't have an open mind in the sense he's unwilling to change his beliefs for any reason.

I'll get bored at some point too, but I pegged him early. The corpus of evidence is overwhelming.

jeffperado said...

Rhology,

God endorsed rape:
1. A man who rapes a virgin must marry her -- Deuteronomy 22:27-29 God endorsed rape.
2. A woman who is raped but her cries are not heard is to be stoned to death -- Deuteronomy 22:23-24 God condemns the rape victim to death
3. Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped. God forgives the rape if circumcision is performed -- Genesis 34. Might I add that Levi and Simeon are God-chosen.
4.Judges 21 tells of the sexual needs and advances of the Benjaminites. Killing the men and taking the women to be thier wives despite their resistence. God condones forced marriage and rape.
5. A hebrew soldier who sees a desirable woman among the conquered, that women shall be forced to be his wife -- Deuteronomy 21:11-14 God ordained the forced marraiges of of conquered women. God-ordained rape.

Sorry Rhology. Your attempt to garned sympathy by moving the goalposts has once again been proven wrong by the very word of God.

Maybe instead of reading my words, you should read God's words and decide for yourself what they mean and say. I did and as a result I rejected the words written down by a primitive and superstitious peoples.

jeffperado said...

Heh,

as for the rest of this post, if you do not agree that the rape of your daughter and that of your neighbors is reason enough for war, then I have no more to say. for any sane person would be enraged by the rape of their duaghter. But then again I can understand why you are not, your very own bible justifies rape so often that you must be numbed to it. But as for anyone else, the rape of their duaghter is reason enough for war.

P.S. Tell the parents of the next rape victim you see on TV that they should not fight for the prosecution of the rapist because rape is moral (according to you). And I can only assume that you think rape is moral as you have made it a major theme in your argument against me.

"raping" Rhology. Can I call you that now that you have set your position that I have to prove why rape is wrong and reason for retailiation, and you defend a book that calls rape a good thing in the eyes of its sky-fairy god?

Actually Rhology, I want to thank you. You are living, breathing proof why Christian apologetics are logically and factually flawed.

Phinehas said...

@jp

You still haven't answered the question. And what's worse, you've resorted to calling names.

Of course Rhology doesn't believe rape is a good thing. He's using the scenario as one of the worst things he can possibly imagine - and then asking HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THAT IT'S WRONG through your worldview. "Because retaliation feels right to me," seems to be all that you're answering.

After reading your posts again, I'm wondering if you even recognize the question (which you totally avoided answering in your onslaught). Hopefully you come back and respond a bit less biting and a lot more informing.

Seekin' the truth like you are,
Phin

jeffperado said...

Phin,
I thought the answer to your question was simple.

Rape harms the innocent.

Oh, and god still endorses rape.

You draw your own conclusions.

Phinehas said...

Hey Jeff,

Who determines who is and isn't innocent?

That's the base of this argument. If you say "society", then remember that this fictional society accepts it 100%. If you say "me", you're appealing to your personal preference and making it binding on everyone else.

Christians say "God" and that his laws are binding, whether people choose to believe in them or not. Unlike those who choose not to believe in God, Christians have something more than personal preference by which to base morality. So in this case they have a basis to say that what they're doing is wrong.

re: Rape,
http://www.thirdmill.org/answers/answer.asp/file/99778.qna/category/ot/page/questions/site/iiim

It may not be the most comprehensive answer, but I'm going to believe someone who's studied the Bible professionally as opposed to someone who took a couple verses out of context and shouted "that's not right".

And once again, we have to ask, who determines what is right?

NAL said...

Phinehas: Unlike those who choose not to believe in God, Christians have something more than personal preference by which to base morality.

And we can examine history to see how well that's worked out. Slavery in the southern United States is an example where Christians took both sides of this morality issue. Any base for morality that can be used to either justify or condemn slavery, is nothing more than personal preference.

Rhology said...

JeffPerado's comments are in the clear, for all to see. He either cannot engage or refuses to engage the question at hand. It makes me wonder if he even understands it, since he has never really touched it.

Here is a perfect example of what I mean:

Rape harms the innocent.

John M, what I mean by "JeffP begs the question" is that I ask him HOW he knows ___ is immoral, and he responds "B/c it's immoral!" basically.
How does he know that harming the innocent is morally wrong? He doesn't say, just assumes it, but that's precisely what's under question here. It's just another example of self-repetition. Reminds me of a title of a post I wrote recently...


A few other kind-of relevant comments:
You are implying morality is not bound up with the happiness and suffering of sentient creatures.
I find that odd.


Another example of what I mean. Make the case that morality is bound up with the happiness and suffering of sentient creatures.
As the JN said, "It is arbitrary." (In the atheist worldview, of course; not in the Christian worldview.)


Slavery in the southern United States is an example where Christians took both sides of this morality issue.

This is the Perfect Computer Manual fallacy.
It is a non sequitur to claim that the perfect computer manual is actually imperfect just b/c people don't read it, don't read part of it, believe some other document or person over and above it, forget or ignore part of it, etc.

Any base for morality that can be used to either justify or condemn slavery, is nothing more than personal preference.

Not at all. The basis is objective, the law is objective. Whether imperfect and willfully- and unintentionally-ignorant people interpret it correctly is another matter, a matter of communication and of competency of reader, bias, etc.
Compare with the atheist basis for morality - its very nature is person-oriented, not other-based. Not based on a Lawgiver Who enforces it, Who makes it prescriptive and binding on all people, at all times.
'Course, there's nothing there to misinterpret.

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

The charge of rape is answered here.

If you go there to comment, feel free to remind us how you know that rape is wrong again?

NAL said...

Rhology: Whether imperfect and willfully- and unintentionally-ignorant people interpret it correctly is another matter, ...

No, that is exactly the matter. The fact that it can be interpreted incorrectly is exactly the matter. The South's interpretation was based on their preference for slavery. The problem is not that people don't read a "Perfect Computer Manual", the problem is that people do read an "Imperfect Computer Manual".

Rhology said...

Ah, truth by stipulation.
Make the argument that it is the latter in exclusion to the former.

NAL said...

Rhology: The basis is objective, the law is objective. Whether imperfect and willfully- and unintentionally-ignorant people interpret it correctly is another matter, a matter of communication and of competency of reader, bias, etc.

So, people can interpret it correctly and they can interpret it incorrectly. That alone makes it non-objective.

Rhology said...

I missed the argument in there, NAL, but naked assertions are always in vogue, I guess.

Of course anyone can see here how I've been using the term "objective" all along...

NAL said...

I was using the definition of objective from Merriam-Webster:

3 a: expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by ... interpretations