So, in order, we have:
He commented on my "Rape Commanded?" post.
And here we are with his response.
Before we begin, let's remember from my last post that he'd said (emph. original):
You are correct. My morality is subjective. Everyone's morality is subjective, to be technical about it, but let's stick to atheism. Yes, subjectivity, relativity, all true. Your critiques are true. I have no objective standard by which to demonstrate that my morality is such.I spent a great deal of my last post diving deep into the absurdity and unliveability of such a position, and how he proves it throughout his position. Let's see if he has changed anything since then.
ME: "Quite simply, it leaves him stuck in the middle of nowhere. Have you ever tried to convince someone who preferred pizza with pineapples and Canadian bacon that pizza with pineapples and Canadian bacon is, in fact, revolting? How far did you get?"
HIM: This, and where you go with it, seems to me like a false equivocation. Taste in pizza toppings is purely subjective, as is my morality, as I agreed. Okay, so far so good. Problem is, taste in pizza toppings and feelings on say child rape, are not equally subjective.
But he said "NO objective standard". Why is he backtracking now and trying to mix some objectivity into the mix?
I know why - he's realised the horror of his proposition and is trying to move the goalposts later. I commend him for this, b/c of course his position IS horrible and disgusting, but I will not accept this sort of tapdancing. He needs to wholly retract it.
There are degrees to which something is subjective. There are external factors (ie, evidence) which one can point to in order to try and substantiate his or her subjective opinion.
Really? He's both falling into the "brain scan" problem I posed to him in my last post, and committing Hume's naturalistic fallacy - making an IS into an OUGHT. What magx01 needs to do here is correct Hume and show us precisely the reasoning involved in getting from "Evidence X exists" to "I should do something different".
There are real world implications that in and of themselves, are objective/can be objectively assessed.
I don't think anyone would dispute this. The question is: If atheism is true, why should anyone care? And it appears that magx01 gets that, for he says:
Of course, your response to this will likely just be “so what?” You're taking the subjectivity/relativity thing too far.
Well, we'll see if he can substantiate that accusation.
Just because we have not been prescribed the notion that an action that does harm is bad by some objective, outside source, does not preclude us from coming to that consensus ourselves and working on avoiding such effects by limiting behaviour.
Does magx01 think I'd object to this? Of course! But the question has never been: "Do people prefer petting dogs on the head to torturing them?", but "Is it morally right for me to pat the dog on the head rather than torturing it?" Merely telling me how people feel about a given question tells me nothing about the moral value of it, short of an argument that makes the connection. It's simply a repeat of the naturalistic fallacy.
What it comes down to is limiting harm and maximizing benefit/pleasure/survivability/health, etc. I can immediately foresee you making the obvious objection: But HOW did you come to those as criteria if you have no objective basis by which to select criteria? This is the part you keep getting stuck on, and the answer to it is the part you seem to be missing: Experience, our nature/biological/social drives, discussion, and usually, majority rule.
This seems to be the crux of magx01's argument, and I've seen it all too many times before. But does magx01 give me a reason to think it's morally right to accept his moral framework? And what happened to his previous contention that "I have no objective standard by which to demonstrate that my morality is such"? Easily discarded when it became inconvenient and too painful to hold, as I expected.
The other thing that magx01 has not considered when making man the measure of his morality is that man has also experienced what he'd consider evil. Who exactly does magx01 think commits crimes? Rapes children? Commits genocide? Blows up school buses? Why, humans, of course. magx01 is simply committing special pleading in this, as he refuses to take into account the obvious fact that not everyone throughout human history, nor even in modern times, has held the same moral values that he does, as I pointed out before.
Majority rule = might makes right. A regime could come into power that passes a law condemning all atheists who like video games to lives of hard labor in a gulag; I presume magx01 could express no moral objection to this, especially if the regime in question were to remind him that "our experience leads us to believe that you're unpleasant people, and we prefer you be out of our sight, turning big rocks into littler rocks with hammers." And how much more if they threw in: "We're also biologically driven to do so. It gives us a thrill, a pleasurable rush of hormones, and relief to the headache that you give us. Besides, we're biological determinists and clearly don't have any choice in the matter."
While we have no objective standard to say that the benefit to the person performing behaviour A
magx01 needs to realise that if no objective standard exists for morality, then even using the word "benefit" is question-begging. How does he know that it's an objective benefit for me to live a pain-free life, free of people torturing me? He doesn't; he's just guessing b/c it's what he thinks he'd like. But is he everyone? Does he have access to the moral opinions of even a fraction of what all people think?
Susan (who was raped) is harmed in that the rape does her physical damage,
Begging the question again. "Damage" in a universe without a grand design, goal, or purpose is irrelevant. Besides, both Susan and John her rapist are going to end up in the same place - the great infinite unconscious rot of decomposition. So what?
People in the community are harmed in that they now must deal with fear and paranoia as there is a rapist at large, and whatever other effects there would be that I cannot even conceive of at the moment, and are not really worth me trying to rack my exhausted brain to try and fuss out.
No argument as to how he measured John's benefit vs the "harm" done to the community and family. How did he perform that assessment? What are the rules? Since they're not objective, why should anyone think they are worth anything?
My poor brain is being taxed trying to defend/explain the entire moral system of secular humanity
He's actually doing a very good job; the problem is that the worldview being defended is so ridiculously empty, it's impossible to defend.
A rape does no good for the society at large.
1) How could he possibly know that?
2) Even if he could, John the rapist is part of the society. So are other rapists. Unless magx01 wants to commit more special pleading and a priori exclude them from his definition of "society".
Do you honestly think that it's monumentally difficult for a group of people over time, witnessing this, to say, “hey, you know what? John and his ilk should not be allowed to go around raping people anymore. No more rape. The harm is does far outweighs what good there may be, and said good is both selfish AND comes at the expense of others, so no more rape!”
No, but not because atheism is true. They think that way b/c God has put eternity in their hearts and written His law on their hearts.
Even if they did think that way, and even if atheism were true, to think that way would be to think inconsistently with their worldview, outside of a substantiating argument from magx01.
I don't see what the purpose of you pointing out the subjective nature of “atheistic morality” is when its subjective nature does not preclude it from producing tangible positive effects.
This is what atheism does to people - it blinds them from the obvious in many areas to the degree that they can say "I have no objective standard by which to demonstrate that my morality is such" one moment and the next turn 180º around and say stuff like this. How does magx01 know that these effects are positive? And how does he know that one should seek positive effects?
Speaking of slavery, you will say that the bible (aka god) does not condone slavery
No, I would not say that, and I reserve the right to qualify my statement with specific explanations.
Who was a huge part of the contingent that wanted to maintain the slave trade, while secular morality was in the process of moving us away from said action, and what did they use as support for their arguments? CHRISTIANS, using THE BIBLE!!
1) magx01 simplistically equates "slavery" with "The African slave trade of the 17th-19th centuries".
2) No recognition that Christians also were the driving force behind abolition.
3) Is this more of his not-objective yes-objective waffling?
4) Perhaps magx01 could give us an argument that takes us from "People used Document X to lend Behavior Y moral credence" to "Document X actually teaches that one should engage in Behavior Y". Where is his exegesis of the relevant passages and historical context? Nowhere - he simply assumes it, probably b/c he was told to by some amateur like the Skeptic's Annotated Bible or Dick Dawk.
5) Such behavior is actually predicted by the Bible - misuse of God's words for sinful men's own ends. magx01 joins the long line of atheists who never take the Fall of Man into account when evaluating the Christian worldview. They must think that God promised all daisies and roses in this life.
magx01: "I don't see you offering a justification for your assertion that god's laws are moral at all."
ME: “Should I? Why?”
And this is the first time I feel like being blatantly rude to you. Are you ----- kidding me? You spend an inordinate amount of cognitive energy on trying to demonstrate to me that your morality is objective, and therefore superior to mine, which is subjective. I ask you to demonstrate this to me (aka validate/backup/provide evidence for, your claim) and your response is “why should I?”
Notice how magx01 never answers the questions. I guess I'll have to repeat the question. Why should I provide any rational justification for my view? Is there some objective obligation upon me to do so? magx01 already laid out how we can know how stuff is moral - Experience, our nature/biological/social drives, discussion, and usually, majority rule.
Well, experience tells me that he won't answer my own request for clarification, so I don't feel like answering.
My natural, biological drive is toward laziness, so why should I expend the energy to think about and type up a reply?
And this is my blog - I'm the only majority who matters here. Since might makes right, I am exercising what magx01 said I get to exercise in making my own rules.
It's also a terrible debate tactic.
1) Where does magz01 get the objective definition of good and bad debate tactics? How does he know what is the "best" way to defend a viewpoint?
2) So what if it's terrible? Is magx01 the Pope of Morality, defining for the rest of us that we should debate well rather than terribly?
3) Since magx01 keeps begging the question over and over again, it's actually a pretty good debate tactic, incidentally.
you are making the mistake of conflating rules of logic, reason and debate with morality.
magx01 just said "rules". A Freudian slip, to be sure.
I have not once felt as though I am wasting my time here, and I am trying hard to make sure you feel likewise
Well, on a personal note, I definitely do not think this is a waste of time. The fact that magx01 doesn't think that EVERYthing is a waste of time, however, demonstrates that he can't live consistently with his atheism.
magx01: You contradicted yourself.
Me: "So what? Is there something wrong with self-contradiction? If he says it is irrational, again, so what? Is there some reason I shouldn't be irrational, on his worldview? What if my morality says it's morally obligatory to be irrational?"
Come on man, first see above. Second, you're just being disingenuous now. This is you blatantly running from a legitimate criticism on my end.
Note the lack of a substantive response. Imagine if it had gone like this:
Me: God exists.
magx01: No, there's no evidence for that. Further, lines of evidence A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H all militate against it.
Me: Come on man. Of course He exists.
Would magx01 consider that a substantive reply? Not if it's not him receiving the benefit.
DOES your christian worldview prescribe irrationality and inconsistency to you by divine command? No, and you know it. The answer to your question is this: BECAUSE YOU SAID IT IS BETTER. If it is not better, YOU HAVE NO POINT and no legitimate CONTENTION with ATHEISM.
magx01 still seems not to get my point here. Of course I think it's better, but on atheism I am asking him to give me a reason to think it's better. His continuing failure to give us a reason to think so is proof enough of the absurdity of the atheistic worldview. These are fundamental questions I'm asking, and if he can't give us a reason to think it's a good idea or obligatory to make moral judgments and think rationally, then there's no reason for him to talk to anyone, ever.
How does the subjective nature of my morality stop me from wondering if you are personally bothered with what you claim to be an objective fact?
It doesn't. It's when magx01 starts acting like his personal subjective morality has any normative bearing on anyone else that the problems begin.
Me: “Hmm, this brings up a good point, which can serve as a clarification for our further discussion. I shamelessly ripped that line off of William Lane Craig, but I forgot to tweak it for my own use. I mean it is a moral system that is prescriptive and that is true whether or not any human believes it.
So hopefully that will help.”
magx01: Oh, it helps all right. It helps YOU. You just changed the definition of objectivity in order to suit your purpose.
Well, pardon me. magx01 needs to know that retractions and corrections, if admitted candidly, are perfectly acceptable on this blog. Nobody's perfect, least of all me, and so if I need to tweak the expressions of my view so as to better represent what I actually believe, I'll apologise for the poor previous explanation and move on. I am sorry that I got it wrong before, and this is the fix. Hopefully magx01 will be gracious enough not to carry on about such a thing.
This gives you the perfect out, as it neatly sidesteps the issue of objectivity going out the window if morality is contingent upon god's mind.
Well, yes, quite so. I couldn't have said it better myself - my position does indeed match reality. That's why I continue to hold to it despite putting it to the test time and again.
You conveniently change an established definition to mean only HUMAN minds as opposed to any
Sorry about that, but let's try to deal with my actual position, K?
SPECIAL PLEADING 101.
I'm very sorry to inform magx01 of this, but if this is the big 'special pleading' he's going on and on about, he's going to end up looking foolish. It's not special pleading to correct a bad expression of one's own position. Does he even know what special pleading is? It's unlikely, given the numerous times he himself has committed it in the course of our convo.
you can;t and won't just come out and admit that your so called objective morality was created by a mind
Speaking of fallacies, strawmen are fallacious.
your belief is irrational and predicated upon faith, which we both know means a lack of evidence.
magx01 needs to do some elementary reading before spouting nonsense like this.
Your belief is not based on rationality and reason.
magx01 is forcing me to be a bit of a broken record here, but one more time -
Why should I provide any rational justification for my view? Is there some objective obligation upon me to do so? magx01 already laid out how we can know how stuff is moral - Experience, our nature/biological/social drives, discussion, and usually, majority rule.
Well, experience tells me that he won't answer my own request for clarification, so I don't feel like answering.My natural, biological drive is toward laziness, so why should I expend the energy to think about and type up a reply?
And this is my blog - I'm the only majority who matters here. Since might makes right, I am exercising what magx01 said I get to exercise in making my own rules.
So your answer to the euthyphro dilemma is to say “Not a, but not not a?”
magx01 shows little recognition of what the Euthyphro "dilemma" is in reality. And there is a very easy solution, as I deal with here and which TrueFreethinker does here.
magx01: “If they did come from god, well there goes your claim of objectivity, since they are not independent of a mind.”
Me: “ The mind in question is a transcendent mind, of the Ultimate Lawgiver.”
magx01: Uh huh.....any evidence of this?
Sure, lots of evidence, but we're not discussing that right now. Feel free to peruse my blog - it's easily found. What concerns us here is a comparison of worldviews and specifically how atheism deals with moral claims. So far, not well, and bunny trails don't help.
Besides, what if I were to ask magx01 for evidence of his own worldview? I'm sure that'd go over well.
It looks like your objective morality is not superior to my subjective morality in the slightest
And yet how could we possibly know this? What does "superior" even mean?
And (William Lane Craig) is supposed to be the be all end all of christian rationality.
He's not, just FYI. He's quite smart and very good at what he does well, but he doesn't do everything well. How about asking me what I believe?
Valid points were made, but they were made in the pursuit of disingenuously attacking me for things that you yourself share with me, but care not to realize....or admit.
I'd be happy to discuss them if magx01 could point some out.
Of course, why not be disingenuous? Where has magx01 given us any reason to think that it's better not to be disingenuous than otherwise?
Where have I attacked him?
And even if I have, what's wrong with that? Why discard his own moral criteria, as he told us above, when convenient for him? That is special pleading.