- out-of-context "contradictions" in the Bible,
- blatant appeals to emotion, such as "walk into any children's hospital and you'll know there is no God", and
- ridiculous claims to lacking faith in anything, such that atheists are the only purely rational people in the world.
Barker: ...So morals are relative, to the situation...
Wilson: Why, given the fact that there is no God, and no objective morality (as you just told us that morality is relative to the situation)...
Barker: But there is an objective basis, I said, for morality. I didn't say there's no objective morality.
Wilson: OK, what is that basis?
Barker: It's nature, it's human nature and pain. We evolved to require water, for example. What if we'd evolved to require, um, sthg else like arsenic, then this might be evil, but relative to our human nature, to what helps us, what either enhances our life or what causes harm for our life, we can say relative to our human nature, this is sthg that's good. There is no Cosmic Objective Good out in the universe.
Wilson: We also evolved a mechanism whereby we blow up our enemies. So why was doing that in OKC wrong?
Barker: B/c that hurts. It causes pain. If you don't grasp the simple idea that morality is an issue of avoiding pain, blowing up people in OKC was painful, it was tragic, it was hurtful, it was bloody, and you ought to know that there's sthg wrong with that.
Barker never grasped what Wilson was getting at. Listen to his most recent debate on the same topic with James White, 12 years later. He hasn't gotten any closer to explaining why anyone should agree with him that "human nature and pain" is the objective basis for morality. He just asserts it. Thus spake Dan. Ironically, he also is fond of saying things like, in his debate with Paul Manata:
There is no moral interpreter in the cosmos, nothing cares and nobody cares.
When Wilson challenged him in that debate, and in their 2nd debate, Barker both times whiffed badly on the point, retreating to statements like "Well, if you believe that, then you're not healthy" or "you're sick, and we have police and laws to protect us from people like you". How is that even relevant to the question?
Now, consider another dumb argument Barker makes. He likes sometimes to begin his debates with something like
"There are many gods which Christians reject. I just believe in one less god than they do. The reasons that you might give for your atheism toward the Roman gods are likely the same reasons I would give for not believing in Jesus."
Vox Veritatis blows holes in this "argument" here. I'd simply like to ask Dan this question, and hopefully I'll get the chance to when/if he comes to my area in mid-November:
There are many moral systems which "moral atheists" like you reject. I just believe in one less moral system than you do. The reasons that you might give for your rejection of those other moral systems are likely the same reasons I would give for not accepting yours, that "human nature and pain" is the objective basis for morality. Now, without blatantly sidestepping the question by rejoicing that you have the law on your side (for now) and can put me in jail for acting on my beliefs that there is no morality and I can do what I want, please show why your morality is right.