If you read my last blog, I took the time to examine an argument made by one of my new followers on twitter, Deconversion Movement. He was kind enough to take the time to respond to my response, so I thought I’d respond to his response. What follows is my last response … for now at least ;)
You can read his response here, I suggest doing so as it would help you contextualize the points I am refuting.
1.DCM wrote: “You’re alluding to Plantinga’s EAAN. I’m already having a discussion concerning that argument. Thus, I find it useless to begin another discussion concerning EAAN.”
Well, I wasn’t actually alluding to anything. I was just stating what has always seemed ridiculous to me, even when I was an atheist. Truth does not matter in an evolutionists world: Every prospect of every creature is geared toward whatever will help it survive and pass on its DNA. Beliefs & practices also fall under this category; therefore, if Christianity is a crutch for some – meaning that it provides them with a reason to hope, live a helpful life, procreate and fill the earth, and sustain social order – then it is irrational for the evolutionist to want to eradicate it. The question of whether or not the evolutionary product called “the human species” can have any knowledge at all is not really my focus. You misunderstood my argument.
2. DCM: “I do have the authority to make moral judgments. As a matter of fact, I have authority to make absolute moral judgments without god. The following is The Argument for Objective Moral Ontology without God:
P1 The qualities that make us normal human beings begin to exist in the brain.
P2 Morality is a quality that makes us normal human beings.
C Therefore, morality begins to exist in the brain.
Only a dualist will deny the truth of P1 — a property dualist to be exact. Property dualism is effectively addressed by employing Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation is to be preferred. Therefore, it is simpler to conclude that the mind exists in the brain rather than concluding that the mind exists separate from the brain and is a property that acts on the brain. I sincerely hope you accept the simplicity of my explanation rather than identifying yourself as a property dualist for the sake of disagreeing with me.”
If you are a naturalist, which appears to be the case, then you cannot make absolute moral judgments. Sure, you could irrationally ascribe to yourself the authority to do so. That isn’t what I am talking about. Instead: There is no logical basis for your ever arriving at any absolute, as you are limited to induction. This is the first reason why your moral judgments are necessarily relative and not absolute. However, beyond the fact that induction is always incomplete, i.e. Disregarding the fact that is logically impossible for an inductivist to arrive at a knowledge of absolute morals, it is likewise logically impossible for you to derive an ought from an is, or from an infinity of is’s. You can assert whatever you want, but it isn’t absolute – it is necessarily relative.
Your comments about dualism are, well, silly. I could say the same of physicalism, or epiphenomenalism. You are merely asserting what you believe to be the case. This is good for bugging Christians and rallying up support from those who don’t know any better, but really?
Do I reject your first premise? Yes. It is a universal statement that you cannot justify, on the basis of your own assumed epistemology. In other words, your epistemology never gets off of the ground to (i.)make universal statements as to how all human brains work, and (ii.)to make statements about morality that are absolute.
- DCM: “Not only are you dabbing in semantics, you are also guilty of the usual apologetics for genocide. Moreover, you are guilty of a fallacy in this section, namely appealing to authority. To quote the Bible as truth, you must first prove that the Bible is true.”
Semantics? Lol No, I’m trying to clearly define terms. There is no appeal to authority in my response either, DCM. I’m interpreting the text in light of what it actually says. You have gathered verses of Scripture in order to substantiate your claims about God’s behavior. I contextualized what you misunderstood. Now, you are free to contest God’s ability to judge children, and anything else you find objectionable. Logically, however, you are wrong. If the text is about God’s judgment of the wicked, and God has judged all men to be worthy of death, and He has the authority to judge mankind, then the text does not present God as commanding the murder of children, and it does not present God as commanding the murder of innocent children.
This is not an appeal to authority. I am clarifying what is happening in the text. Like I said, you can question the motives of God, the actions of God, and whether or not there are innocent children. However, you are blatantly misrepresenting the content of those verses you presented. At least be honest in your assessment of the situation. If you want to identify God’s command to destroy an entire nation as genocide (a term which you are equivocating on, by the way, by conflating the denotative and connotative significations of that term – and therefore arguing fallaciously once more), then you need to do so. To identify the actions of God as murder when the text explains what is occuring is to presume what you wish to prove: that God is acting in a way that is not perfectly good.
Regarding whether or not I have to prove to you that the Bible is the Word of God, you are wrong for two reasons. (i.)my retort did not in any way appeal to the veracity of Scripture, I was merely highlighting your fallacious argumentation; (ii.)all philosophical systems start with an indemonstrable axiom, mine is simply this: The Bible is the Word of God written. What is yours? There is no God? The universe is all there is, was, and will be? All knowledge is derived via sensation & some undefined process of abstraction? You have one; we all do.
4. “According to the Christian worldview, the Bible is the word of god; my Argument from Distinction proves otherwise:
P1 If any scripture be divine, we should expect it to be distinct from other scriptures.
P2 The Bible does not meet that expectation.
P3/C1 Therefore, the Bible is not divine.
P4 If the Bible is not divine, it could not have been written and/or inspired by a divine source.
P5 The Bible is not divine.
P6/C2 Therefore, the Bible could not have been written and/or inspired by a divine source.
From P6/C2, one can infer that since the Bible isn’t written and/or inspired by a divine source that it isn’t the word of god.”
I know that God’s Word is true. You believe otherwise, and I understand that. Your argument, however, doesn’t prove anything.
Regarding premise (1.): Says who? How is the second clause of this proposition necessarily implied by the first?
But granting that your first premise presents us with two clauses that are necessarily logically inseparable, your second premise is false. As an inductivist you cannot say that you have read every other “holy book” that has been written. Therefore, you do not know if the Bible is not distinct from other Scriptures. You are, again, merely asserting yourself. You are confident, but on some other grounds than your ability to reason correctly. Unless you are omniscient you cannot say P2 is true. Therefore, your argument is false. Your first premise is another non-sequitur, and your second premise is a hasty generalization. Your conclusion, therefore, does not follow.
The rest of the argument is refuted by the incoherency of the first part of the argument.
- “For the sake of argument though, you are arguing from an unsubstantiated variable, namely sin. In order for sin to be true, Adam had to exist; Adam is a mythological character and thus, the original sinner didn’t exist and it follows that since there was no original sin, sin did not continue and there is thus no sin. Perhaps you will argue that the original sin is rooted in Satan’s rebellion; however, Satan is also an unsubstantiated character and thus, you cannot argue from sin. Sin is simply a thought, word or action that offends god; therefore, it is incumbent on you to prove that god exists, at the very least, in order to base an argument on sin. Thus, before arguing from sin, you must prove that it exists. Being that your presupposition is unsubstantiated, this entire section is moot.”
DCM, you pointed to Scripture, identified God’s behavior as murder and identified children as innocent. I am not wrong to point out that the texts you are pointing to do not say what you say that they do. On strictly logical grounds, your argument is a failure. Your argument needs to be supplemented by your reasons as to why you do not think the Bible’s explanation of God’s behavior, as well as the Bible’s identification of all men as fallen sinners are wrong. You simply assumed your point in saying that God’s command to destroy a nation of people was a command to murder a nation of people in which innocent children were murdered. This is fallacious argumentation.
6. “This section has the same issues the first had: you’re arguing from sin and you’re using the Bible as an authority. Any being that charges guiltless children and infants isn’t a just judge — regardless of what the Bible says. I find it appalling that Christians are incapable of sharing that conclusion.”
sigh. I’m not arguing from sin, nor am I explicitly using the Bible as an authority. I was giving an analysis of your argument. You used Scripture, did not define the context, but opined by identifying God as One who commanded the murder of innocent children. I was clearing up what the text actually says. Whether or not you agree with the Bible’s explanation of God’s intentions, thoughts, deeds, etc, moreover, cannot be brushed over by mere assertionism. If your opinions are rationally irrefutable, then perhaps you should argue them instead of saying that Christians are “incapable” of sharing your “conclusion.” You are assuming that children are innocent. Show me that they are, and then show me how they have been charged unjustly with sin. Then you will be arguing your position and not merely asserting it as you have done repeatedly so far.
7.“Also, your Merriam-Webster definition describes first degree murder. It does not define murder in its entirety, but that is beside the point.”
This is a rational response, how? Where is your definition? How can I know what you are even talking about? Lol. How philosophical disputation has fallen upon hard times!
8.“This is a straw man. In your god’s case, the argument would speak to his moral character and not just his absolute authority to legislate absolute laws.”
No, given the construction of your argument, there is no necessary logical link between the moral superiority of the law giver and his authority to give an absolute moral law.
9. “While it is true that an absolute lawgiver need only have absolute authority, that isn’t true of your god.”
It is logically true of any lawgiver, DCM. Authority and Character are two different categories.
10. “Christians argue that he not only has the authority to hand out absolute laws, but he is also morally perfect to do so. Therefore, the argument is designed to argue against the Christian god as the absolute lawgiver and as a perfectly good being. Once again, you’re dabbing in semantics in this section; unfortunately, that is perhaps the weakest reason why your responses failed to address my argument.”
Yes, He has the authority to do so. Yes, He is morally perfect in so doing. But you are missing the point, there is no logical link between authority and character. One may have absolute authority to tell others to do what he knows is morally correct, but himself not do those things. This isn’t semantics, either, DCM. It’s simply applied logic.
11. “Your category error was refuted. P6 is only a non sequitur given your straw man argument; thus, P6 is not a non sequitur.”
No, my category error still stands. P6 is a nonsequitur. I did not argue a strawman.
12. “Yahweh tells us that no person is righteous.” Correction: the Bible tells us that.”
In the Bible, Yahweh tells us that no person is righteous. Like, literally. There are places where Yahweh is speaking and He says that no man is righteous. You don’t like the Bible. I know, but you are merely asserting that such records are false. You aren’t arguing a logically coherent point.
13. “That leads us to the consistent issues present in your responses. You have argued from three unsubstantiated presuppositions:
1) The Bible is authoritative
2) God exists
I didn’t argue on any of these bases. Lol. I examined your argument. It was bad. It was filled with fallacies and false premises. I believe all three of the propositions you have listed here, but I was simply looking at your argument to see if it was logically coherent. It wasn’t.
14.“These presuppositions will remain unsubstantiated and thus, your responses fail. Therefore, my arguments remain both valid and sound.”
You are wrong, DCM. Let’s have a valid and sound argument.
15. “I’ll take off my philosophical cap for a second. I continue to expect more than shameless apologetics for genocide. Most Christians have truly shut the eye of reason. Rather than attempting (in futility I might add) to absolve god of moral injustices, accept him for what he is: a character in literature who lives up to his titles, namely the god of war or the god of armies. Only a truly ignorant person believes that he exists based on a scripture that’s indistinguishable from its contemporaries and scriptures that predated it.
Note to followers: the individual has been notified of this post.”
DCM, your philosopher cap had blown off some time even before your wrote your response to my post. No offense, but your argumentation is logically invalid and unsound. Instead of proving your points, you have resorted to assuming them. And now you place the ad hominem icing on top of the cake. My contention was not that I have some way of absolving God of guilt, but that your argument was bad. I stand by that contention not to be contentious but to point out to those readers of your blog that if they are looking to your blog in order to find out whether or not they should abandon the Christian faith, they are looking at a bad resource.
Maybe it was the quickness with which you responded that made you argue erroneously again. I don’t know. So I am willing to hear you out again, if you can explain yourself without resorting to the same errors you exhibited here.