Original Sin

MattShizzle
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Original Sin

This is one of the most irrational ideas in Christianity - ehich is like saying "this is one of the least safe interstate highways to sleep on." The idea that people are punished for something a very distant ancestor did. Could you imagine sending someone to prison because thier many-times great grandfather robbed banks back in the old west? And eating a fucking apple is a much lesser crime than that! Not only that, they had no way of knowing right from wrong anyway before eating it. This of course assumes the story is true, which of course it isn't.

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agustine
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Your Comments Concerning the Doctrine of Original Sin

Mr. Shizzle,

 With respect to your comment "This is one of the most irrational ideas in Christianity." Might I inquire: what specific criterion of rationality have you employed in order to arrive at such a conclusion?  Or is your assertion merely an assumption? With respect to your comment "The idea that people are punished for something a very distant ancestor did." It appears as though you are not sufficiently conversant in the orthoox doctrine of original sin, and I suspect completely unaware of the orthodox doctrine of original righteousness. With respect to your comment "Religious war is people killing each other over who has the best invisible friend." To what then do you attribute the systematic murder of countless millions in this century alone by atheistic ideologues such as Stalin, Hitler and Mao. Moreover, on an atheistic worldview how could one object to such systematic murder? Interesting....

 

Agustine  

 

 

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MattShizzle
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Woop! Woop! Woop!

Woop! Woop! Woop! Irrationality! Same things we've heard before. Hitler was a Christian and Mao and Stalin killed in the name of Communism, not Atheism.

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agustine
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Mr. Shizzle. With respect

Mr. Shizzle. With respect to your comment "Woop! Woop! Woop! Irrationality!" What specific criterion of rationality are you alluding to? With respect to your comment "Hitler was a Christian..." What! This is nothing more than historical romancing.... How does one arrive at such a position devoid of historical precedent? With respect to your comment "Mao and Stalin killed in the name of Communism, not Atheism." Collectivist ideologies are inherently atheistic. The individual is pronounced subordinate to the state, and thus the state is exalted to the status of deity. Were you not present during history and economics 101.

Agustine

 

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MattShizzle
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Ummm... Did you hear how

Ummm... Did you hear how Hitler said he was only finishing what Christ started? Or how the SS had "Gott mitt uns" (God with us) on their belt buckles? You might want to learn to deal with reality.

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Spewn
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agustine wrote: Moreover,

agustine wrote:

Moreover, on an atheistic worldview how could one object to such systematic murder? Interesting....

 

 

You're saying that your only objection to murder comes from god(or the bible) saying it's wrong?

 

Where do you live?  I'd like to avoid that area if possible. 


agustine
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To Mr. Shizzle. Interesting

To Mr. Shizzle. Interesting response! With respect to your comment "Ummm... Did you hear how Hitler said he was only finishing what Christ started?" I have had the opportunity to read Hitlers' "Mein Kamph" or “My Struggle” along with and Albert Speers’ "The Third Reich". Speer was considered by most historians as one of the most intimate of Hitlers' collaborators. Speer never mentions any reference to Hitler being a Christian, nor does Mein Kamph contain any express profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. Now, allow me to inquire, it is your contention that Adolf Hitler, the former Chancellor of the German Nation, “Führer und Reichskanzler” or “Leader and Head” of the German Reich, the leader and founder of the NSDAP ("Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" or “National Socialist German Workers Party”), the "Standarte des Führers und Obersten Befehlshabers der Wehrmacht" or leader and supreme commander of the armed forces of the German Reich, the prime motivator of the Final Solution to the Jewish Question, was a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hitler placed his trust in the Jewish Messiah otherwise known as the Christ for his salvation and the forgiveness of his sins, he believed that Christ had reconciled him with God the Father, that he was baptized upon a profession of faith and preached the Gospel to the ends of the Earth as well as baptizing others in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in accordance with the Great Commission, (Matthew 28:16-20) that he fervently believed in the sovereignty of God and centrality of Christ, that he affirmed the Tanakh or Old Testament in its entirety including the Torah (1st five books of Moses), the Nevi’im or Prophetic writings and the Ketuvim or historic and wisdom writings, that he submitted to the apostolic authority of the Messiah’s Jewish disciples and their writings contained in the B’rit Chadashah (meaning New Covenant) or New Testament, that he firmly assented to and daily kept God’s commandments given first to Moses and later affirmed by the Jewish Messiah, along with those He instituted, for example “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” ibid. This is your contention, that Adolf Hitler was a Christian! It now appears my friend that your contention does not cohere quite well with reality. God Bless.....

 

Agustine

 

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MattShizzle
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You are commiting the "No

You are commiting the "No True Scotsman" Fallacy - by defining a Christian too narrowly.


Spewn
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agustine wrote: Now,

agustine wrote:

Now, allow me to inquire, it is your contention that Adolf Hitler, the former Chancellor of the German Nation, “Führer und Reichskanzler”, was a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes.  As much as the crusaders of the 11th to 13th century did.  We call them christians too.

 

agustine wrote:
 

Hitler placed his trust in the Jewish Messiah otherwise known as the Christ for his salvation and the forgiveness of his sins, he believed that Christ had reconciled him with God the Father, that he was baptized upon a profession of faith and preached the Gospel to the ends of the Earth as well as baptizing others in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in accordance with the Great Commission, (Matthew 28:16-20) that he fervently believed in the sovereignty of God and centrality of Christ, that he affirmed the Tanakh or Old Testament in its entirety including the Torah (1st five books of Moses), the Nevi’im or Prophetic writings and the Ketuvim or historic and wisdom writings, that he submitted to the apostolic authority of the Messiah’s Jewish disciples and their writings contained in the B’rit Chadashah (meaning New Covenant) or New Testament, that he firmly assented to and daily kept God’s commandments given first to Moses and later affirmed by the Jewish Messiah, along with those He instituted, for example “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” ibid. This is your contention, that Adolf Hitler was a Christian! It now appears my friend that your contention does not cohere quite well with reality. God Bless.....

Agustine

 

Unfortunately, this part of your post essentially proves there are no Christians.  I can go to any secular group of christianity and get a whole list of reasons why any person "isn't really christian".  Compile these reasons together, and they will cover every person alive.  This obviously can't be correct, unless it's your contention that Christianity doesn't exist.  If that's the case, I'd accuse you of wishful thinking. 


agustine
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To Mr. Spewn. With respect

To Mr. Spewn. With respect to your comment, "As much as the crusaders of the 11th to 13th century did. We call them christians too." Interesting response…. I’m not entirely clear regarding the substance of your comment. The crusades were largely defensive actions. After the death of Mohammad in 632 - among his last words were instructions to “Push the infidels out of the Arabian Peninsula.” - and the subsequent fall of Jerusalem in 644, Muslim armies ventured out from Arabia and conquered the areas surrounding Jerusalem including Syria and Egypt, all of which were formerly Christian territories. They eventually conquered all of North Africa and Spain by the end of the eight century. They continued their forays into Christian territories from Spain well into the ninth and tenth centuries. During the eleventh century, a new Islamic people, the Turks, swept through Asia Minor. The Christian Emperor in Constantinople was left without options and in 1071 called upon the Pope to raise an army. Thomas Madden professor and chairman of the Department of History at Saint Louis University and author of The New Concise History of the Crusades, is widely regarded amongst historians as one of the foremost experts on the Crusades. According to Professor Madden, there were two central elements motivating the first crusade. 1. It was viewed as an act of Christian Charity, insofar as there was an enormous expense associated with forming an army and moving it thousands of miles away from their homeland, in addition to the great risk of loss of life associated with such an endeavour. The first crusaders took unto themselves a vow to liberate their Christian brothers from the control of the Muslim empires that conquered the former Christian territories while halting and thus reversing the Muslim aggressors. 2. Liberation of the Holy Land was a secondary concern, achievable only in the event they were successful at halting and so reversing the Muslim aggressors. According to Madden, most historians are in agreement that the Popes call for the first crusade had as its object the cessation of Muslim aggression in Asia Minor. Nevertheless my friend, it appears as though you have drawn a false analogy between Hitler’s purported Christianity, insofar as his reference to Christ is not a veiled reference to himself, and a strained attempt to cast the first crusaders in a negative light as aggressors, despite every historical detail in opposition to your thesis, and particularly in light of the great sacrifice and acts of charity performed by the first crusaders. A better grasp of history will contribute greatly toward avoiding such mistakes in the future.

Agustine

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Spewn
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agustine wrote: To Mr.

agustine wrote:

To Mr. Spewn. With respect to your comment, "As much as the crusaders of the 11th to 13th century did. We call them christians too." Interesting response…. I’m not entirely clear regarding the substance of your comment.

 

I know.

Quote:
 

The Christian Emperor in Constantinople was left without options and in 1071 called upon the Pope to raise an army....A better grasp of history will contribute greatly toward avoiding such mistakes in the future.

Some of the crusades was defensive.  Was "re-taking" Constantinople circa 1200 CE instead of invading Jerusalem through egypt, defensive?  Would invading Jerusalem(as planned and ordered by Pope Innocent III) have been more or less defensive than what happened?  The point is, I don't see a differense between any two forms of mass slaughter.  You can call it defensive, I call it deplorable.

 

Interesting though, that you ignore the rest of what I said and focus only on the comparison I made.  I won't venture a guess as to why.  I'll just wait.


agustine
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To Mr. Shizzle. With

To Mr. Shizzle. With respect to your comment “Unfortunately, this part of your post essentially proves there are no Christians.” This appears to be merely an assumption, predicated upon, might I say, an underlying animus toward Christianity. Although there are many that profess Christ as Lord and Savior, scripture itself admonishes us regarding false professions, to wit: Luke 6:44 wherein the Lord said “Each tree is known by its own fruit…..,” 1 John 2:4 “Whoever says I know Him but does not keep His commandments is a liar…..,” 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us…..” With respect to your comment “I can go to any secular group of Christianity…” A gathering of Christians would not be described as “secular”. The term “secular” is a derivative of the Latin “saeculum, which when translated means “other worldly”. The term is used to describe a person, groups of person or activities and/or organizations that are devoid of religious content. With respect to your comment “and get a whole list of reasons why any person "isn't really Christian".” To actually label Adolf Hitler as a Christian strains the imagination, and yet the attributes of Biblical Christianity I described in my previous post are manifested quite well by scores of professing Christians who are truly known by their fruit. With respect to your comment “Compile these reasons together, and they will cover every person alive.” Good point, you have just affirmed the Christian doctrine of Total Depravity. Well done my friend! With respect to your comment “If that's the case, I'd accuse you of wishful thinking.” Accusations aside, even the most inveterate atheist with a cursory grasp of history would not put forth the argument that you have attempted to advance concerning Hitler. I have been subject to certain lines of argumentation whereby Hitler has been characterized as an antichrist. I suspect such a charge would be more fitting and thus entirely consonant with the cannon of historical investigation.

 

God bless…..

 

Agustine 

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


agustine
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To Mr. Shizzle. With

To Mr. Shizzle. With respect to your comment "You are commiting the "No True Scotsman" Fallacy - by defining a Christian too narrowly." A few points.... First, scripture defines the substance of what constitutes a Christian. Second, its interesting that you would invoke Antony Flew insofar as he has renounced his atheism, citing the Socratic Maxim, I must go where the evidence leads. I do so applaud his honesty. Third, you are in error sir, insofar as the predicate concept, although not contained within the subject, nevertheless  coheres with the definition provided in scripture. All of the attributes I enumerated are definitive a priori of a Christian. Accordingly, the arguments I advanced are properly synthetic, a priori propositions.

 Agustine 

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Cory T
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First of all, I stopped

First of all, I stopped reading Augustine's remarks when he appealed to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.  Because none of those murders were religious in nature.  Hitler, of course, did believe he was serving God by eradicating Jews and that made his murders all the more reprehensible.

We are not being punished for the act of actually eating the apple.  The story of the Garden and original sin are spiritual stories as much as they are literal history.  Eating the apple gave us the knowledge of good and evil; it awakened us to the potential of our free wills.  Unfortunately, God's judgement was that we would then face death.  The wage of sin is death. We inherit the nature to commit sin from our ancestors.  We will then sin as the opportunities arise.  I know I do!

This is why the plan of salvation is necessary. We cannot be justified by a set of rules or laws because of our self-serving natures.  We will violate the laws; it is just of question of when for what purpose.  Christ bore the punishment for us, provided we believe this and that God raised Him from the dead, then we will never have to suffer the fires of hell.

Hell, by the way, to me is a place of eternal mental and emotional anguish.  Constant boredom, constant despair, and continuously feeling "left out" of something greater than you could have ever imagined.  This is not a place I would wish on anyone, which is why I endeavor to evangelize and preach the Good News. 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


agustine
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To Mr. Cory T. with respect

To Mr. Cory T. with respect to your comment “First of all, I stopped reading Augustine's remarks when he appealed to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. Because none of those murders were religious in nature.” I think you may have misunderstood my comments. I was responding to Mr. Shizzle’s signature which contains the following assertion “"Religious war is people killing each other over who has the best invisible friend." Most often, critics of Christianity place particular emphasis on the horrors committed by many in the name of Christ. With the Augustinian dictum in mind, that is “A philosophy should not be judged by its abuse,” I posed two questions: 1. To what then do you attribute the systematic murder of countless millions in this century alone by atheistic ideologues such as Stalin, Hitler and Mao? 2. Moreover, on an atheistic worldview, how could one object to such systematic murder? Now, my point is twofold: 1. The very critics to whom I allude conveniently exclude the atrocities committed by atheistic regimes and their purported leaders. For example, Stalin alone, after his rejection of God and subsequent withdrawal from the seminary and profession of atheism, affiliated with the Bolshevik party and became an intimate collaborator of Vladimir Lenin and Trotsky – despite his general dislike for him - and after the death of Lenin ascended to the position of General Secretary of the Soviet Union and was responsible for the murder of an estimated one hundred million people. 2. The murders to which I allude are the logical outworking of an atheist worldview. Now, allow me to be specific. I am not suggesting that all atheists are murderers. Yet, on an atheist worldview, man is nothing more than the product of time + chance + matter + primordial slime. There is no rational basis for which an atheist can ascribe any value to human life; people are merely a part of the furniture of the universe. They exist for but a moment, and then are eventually committed to the grave. In his book the “Doctor and the Soul” Viktor Frankl, one of the founders of modern Psychology along with Freud and Adler, drawing from his experiences while interned in the Nazi concentration camps, wherein he described what he saw as the logical outworking of an atheist worldview. Thus he explains “If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drive and reactions, as mere product of heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone. I became acquainted with the last stage of corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment--or, as the Nazis liked to say, "of blood and soil." I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.” These were the very people who during the day murdered countless millions and at night sat enthralled at the music of Wagner, even to the point of shedding tears. Contrast that with the atrocities committed in the name of Christ and ask the following question: do the murders thus described cohere logically with the outworking of a Christian worldview? What specific example of His life or teaching can one employ to justify their exertions? I submit to you sir, none. For example, when they came to arrest the Lord, one of His disciples, Peter, drew a sword and cut off the ear belonging to one of the Levites named Malchus, who was there to assist in the arrest. The Lord ordered Peter to sheath his sword, John 18:10, and proceeded to heal the ear of the man who came to arrest him. Luke 22:51 The Lord then admonished Peter “For all who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” Matthew 26:52 While hanging on the cross, the Lord prayed for those that crucified him, saying “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 Accordingly, and in the interest of brevity, I think the clarity of my point cannot be overstated.

 

God Bless, sir….

 

Agustine

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MattShizzle
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It was due to them being

It was due to them being dictators and their version of communism, NOT ATHEISM! Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein all had mustaches - does that make mustaches evil? It's called false cause.

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I posed two questions: 1.

I posed two questions: 1. To what then do you attribute the systematic murder of countless millions in this century alone by atheistic ideologues such as Stalin, Hitler and Mao? 2. Moreover, on an atheistic worldview, how could one object to such systematic murder?

The atheist criticism levelled against religion is not it's irrationality but rather it's dogmatic nature. Dogmatism of any kind is bad, whether atheistic or religious. The problem is that monotheism is inherently dogmatic.

As to point two, this is merely a rephrasing of the ridiculous "how can you be moral without God fallacy, which is answered by my essay on this forum "Morality without God".

Now, my point is twofold: 1. The very critics to whom I allude conveniently exclude the atrocities committed by atheistic regimes and their purported leaders.

You are unbelievable. I have never forgotten to mention Stalin and Mao, whose insanity I despise just as much as Tomas de Torquemada. The argument from religious atrocity still stands because the root cause is always dogmatism, and the atheists on the forum despise dogmatism, be it Stalinist or Christian...

2. The murders to which I allude are the logical outworking of an atheist worldview. Now, allow me to be specific. I am not suggesting that all atheists are murderers. Yet, on an atheist worldview, man is nothing more than the product of time + chance + matter + primordial slime. There is no rational basis for which an atheist can ascribe any value to human life; people are merely a part of the furniture of the universe. They exist for but a moment, and then are eventually committed to the grave

This is

a) merely another way of restating the morality fallacy

b) An extremely ignorant way of phrasing primordial and stellar evolution

c) an objection which is fully dealt with in my essay which you ought to read because this is so tiring.

I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.” These were the very people who during the day murdered countless millions and at night sat enthralled at the music of Wagner, even to the point of shedding tears.

EXCUSE ME??? There was to be sure a mixture of both at Wannsee. You are doing something that no religious apologist has ever done. Instead of excusing religious atrocity on grounds that atheists have done the same, you are actually stating that atheists are somehow worse. Study your fucking history!

Contrast that with the atrocities committed in the name of Christ and ask the following question: do the murders thus described cohere logically with the outworking of a Christian worldview? What specific example of His life or teaching can one employ to justify their exertions? I submit to you sir, none.

This is what passes as reason to the theologian? The No True Scotsman fallacy rephrased again.

Read my essay, sir. It counters all of your rubbish.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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agustine
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Mr. Shizzle. With respect

Mr. Shizzle. With respect to your comment "It was due to them being dictators and their version of communism, NOT ATHEISM!" I think you are incorrect. Communism is one amongst varying economic modalities thus termed Collectivism. Expressed in strict economic terms, Collectivism is the government’s exertion of control over the means of production, distribution and supply. However, extending it tenets into the social strata, Collectivism is a socio-political worldview whereby the individual is pronounced subordinate to the collective, or within the broad political context, subordinate to the state. The underlying premise of Collectivism and accordingly its hybrid forms such as Socialism and Communism is the egalitarian ethic, or more modestly, the equality of condition and result. The central thesis of collectivism in general, and Socialism and Communism in particular, is founded upon the dialectic. For example, not the employer or the employee, synthesize the two and produce a classless society, a veritable utopia.      This is achieved by eliminating social distinctions predicated upon either wealth or class; however the two are most often viewed as correlative. In order to implement the pure Collectivist program, the dispersal of power common to democratic societies such as ours must be reversed. That is, the legislative, executive and judicial powers must be consolidated in either one person or one political organ of the state. Any restraint placed upon the state’s unilateral exercise of power either explicit or implicit such as those found in our constitution must be eliminated. All exertions of the collective and the individuals that compose it must be directed toward advancing the interests of the state. This is usually accompanied by a strong inducement of Nationalist expressions. Nationalism is the cohesive fabric of the collectivist state. Any dissent is viewed as individualism, which is inherently antithetical to the advancement of the collective interests. Accordingly, dissent cannot be tolerated. Individual rights cannot be allowed insofar as they would constitute restraints upon the power of the state to act unilaterally and therefore achieve its goals. Most often, pure Collectivism leads to Socialism but most often Communism, whereby the last vestiges of individualism are stripped from the collective through the nationalizing of all private property. Here the collectivist program is fully realized whereby individuals are thus transformed into mere microcosms of the state. Now, I have two questions for you: 1. What specific worldview contains the requisite moral construct, or lack thereof, that permits the implementation of the collectivist program and all of its attendant implications such as the stripping of its citizen’s individuality from themselves, the seizing of private property, and the overall elimination of the soul’s right to breath, to wit: freedom? 2. Other than Communism, what underlying worldview did Lenin, Stalin and Mao have in common?

 

Agustine

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agustine
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To Mr. deludedgod With

To Mr. deludedgod With respect to your comment “Dogmatism of any kind is bad, whether atheistic or religious. The problem is that monotheism is inherently dogmatic.” I would be inclined to agree except insofar as such a disavowal may in point of fact lead to a relativizing of truth. With respect to your comment “As to point two, this is merely a rephrasing of the ridiculous "how can you be moral without God fallacy, which is answered by my essay on this forum "Morality without God".” I would absolutely agree that such a proposition as “One cannot be moral unless they were a theist.” is inherently fallacious. Yet, that is not my thesis. I am arguing for a logical coherence and a moral ontology. I think you have blurred this most critical of distinctions and as such ventured into the arena of moral epistemology. One can lead a moral life and profess atheism, albeit the rational problems aside with such a profession. I do not know of any Christian Apologist, Theologian or Philosopher that has taken such a position. Scripture itself affirms that being made in the image of God, that is possessing reason, intellect, will, emotion and a moral sense, otherwise known as the communicable attributes, men naturally know the law of God. Romans 2:14 With respect to your comment “This is a) merely another way of restating the morality fallacy….” No sir, again operating within an atheistic worldview, moral absolutes cannot be rationally supported. Why? Because there isn’t any adequate ontological basis for grounding metaphysical postulates such as ethics. By way of example, Philosopher J.L. Mackie, probably the most prolific atheistic writer of the twentieth century, now since deceased, arguing against the existence of God and using in support of his position, according to Mackie, the absence of moral absolutes, commented, “Moral properties constitute so odd a cluster of properties and relations that they are most unlikely to have arisen in the ordinary course of events without an all-powerful god to create them."' The Miracle of Theism, pg. 115 Mackie understood the problem of positing any moral construct in the absence of or within the context of his argument the non-existence of God. Atheist Philosopher Paul Kurtz, the author of the Humanist Manifesto, proffering an argument against the existence of God similar to Mackie commented “The central question about moral and ethical principles concerns their ontological foundation. If they are neither derived from God, nor anchored in some transcendent ground, are they purely ephemeral? It seems to me that they would be ephemeral, if they are not so grounded.” Forbidden Fruit, pg. 65 Christian Philosopher J.P. Moreland in his debate with the atheist Philosopher Kai Nielson concerning the subject: “Does God Exist,” argued “On an evolutionary, secular scenario, . . . human beings are nothing special.  The universe came from a Big Bang.  It evolved to us through a blind process of chance and necessity. There’s nothing intrinsically valuable about human beings, in terms of having moral, non-natural properties. The view that being human is special is guilty of specie-ism, an unjustifiable bias towards one’s own biological classification.quoting from Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer’s book Should the Baby Live; Studies in Bio-Ethics Kuhse and Singer are both atheists and naturalists. Interestingly enough, their charge of specie-ism itself invokes a moral law. Yet, if on an atheistic, naturalist worldview all morality is ephemeral and thus reduced to mere expressions of preference, how then can they rationally make such a judgment? With respect to your comment “Instead of excusing religious atrocity on grounds that atheists have done the same, you are actually stating that atheists are somehow worse.” No sir. My point is that it can be rationally justified on an atheist worldview. Atheism allows for this type of behavior. There is a rational coherence between the two. Now, I’m not suggesting that all those that profess atheism shall murder. Much to the contrary, whether the professing atheist so chooses to live a moral life or a life of licentiousness is of no consequence. All inclinations are morally neutral. Essentially, without a transcendent ontology all morality and ethics are mere expressions of preference.

Agustine 

   

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agustine
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To Mr. deludedgod. I do so

To Mr. deludedgod. I do so apologize however I forgot to inquire about the following comment “EXCUSE ME??? There was to be sure a mixture of both at Wannsee.” A mixture of both? I’m not certain I understand your assertion. Are you suggesting that there were both Philosophers and Scientists present at Wannsee for Hitler’s declaration? What is the point of your comment? If I am correct in my assumption, whether philosophers or scientists were present is irrelevant. The point of relevance is the nihilism they espoused, which is entirely consonant with and dependent upon atheism. Thank you Mr. Neitze…

 

Agustine

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By the way you might want to

By the way you might want to not be so long winded. I skip posts that are more than about a page long.

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No, what I meant was that

No, what I meant was that there were both theists and atheists and Wannsee. The Nazi party stance on religion was somewhat enigmatic. Considering what Hitler had done at Concordat in 1934 (lied to the Pope and convinced him to dissolve the Catholic political party) I think it was fair to call him a backstabbing traitor. The Nazis were oddballs on religion. It is clear they regarded it as useful suppression yet they could not always control when it spoke out against the Nazis (like the T4 program for example) because it was so popular.

But such a proposal is inherently meaningless, just like it doesn't matter that every soldier in the Wehrmacht and the SS that ran the concentration camps had Gott Min uns on their belt buckles.

Furthermore, you must not have read my essay, which does in fact deal with your questions: here is a snippet:

Furthermore, on what basis does a theist state that God is necessary for morality? The typical argument is that absolutism and malum in se are meaningless without God. But is absolutism genuinely a desirable state of affairs? (The rhetorical question is employed because a theist who makes that argument is imlicitly stating that absolutism is desirable. No, actually, they would be calling it necessary. The question was set up to demolish the presupposition.) It seems to me that “you cannot be moral without God” is the same as saying “I get my morality from four gospels and a collection of letters written by Paul to various groups of people 2000 years ago, collated by a savage ancient culture”. Richard Dawkin’s objection was similar: Does a theist genuinely believe that the only reason he/she is moral is fear of God? Is it really true that faith in God’s existence and law is the thin shield which stops such a theist from acting immorally? If such is the case, I do not wish to be anywhere near the person who would claim so.

In fact, it would seem to me that such a claim about morality would validate a standard atheist objection that religion is inherently fear-based. This is also validated by another, rather strange and similar religious objection: “If one does not believe in judgement after death, on what basis does one live a moral life, what is the purpose in doing so?” This typical argument from despair against metaphysical naturalism is another argumentum ad consequentiam which is hopelessly naïve. It is simply a way of saying “I am so unable to think for myself that I need the fear of judgement to restrain my baser urge to act in an immoral way”. So, we return to the point made two paragraphs ago: On what basis do religious adherents claim absolutism is a good thing? On what basis do they claim fear-based morality is a requisite for a moral life?

Indeed, there is no evidence to suggest that theists are any more moral than atheists. This claim is just like every claim in theism: There is no evidence. Witness the wine and attractive women that flowed mysteriously into monastaries in England and the 50 billion dollars the Vatican sucked from it's starving constituents and I think it is fair to say that the pious, who are the only ones arrogant enough to claim moral high ground, are hardly so.

Ah, a theist might say. But these were not true Christians. Please. The no true scotsman fallacy is ridiculous. The very fact that so many people have completely different interpretations of the same book of fables and all of them believe in Jesus Christ and God means that there really is no such thing as a true Christian. It is merely a projection of the underlying character of the Christian hence the litmus test analogy. The preists who strapped innocents into chains and ripped off their limbs were true Christians. They believed in Jesus Christ, they believed they were doing the work of God.

Of course, such a term as morality is rather difficult to quantify, but if we look at history, the Spanish Inquisition and the Witch hunts alongside Stalin’s purges and Mao’s Great Leap Forward, I would say that atheists and theists both have their fair share of things to atone for.

An extension of such a line of thought is Albert Camus’ question: Why don’t we all commit suicide? This seems to me an offshoot of the argument from despair. It is a testimony to human arrogance that we can create ridiculously over-inflated teleological significance for our own existence to comfort ourselves. Indeed, this would seem to be an entirely human phenomenon as we are the only creatures capable of philosophizing. After all, no other animal has higher cognition therefore no other animal operates under the delusion that their life has teleological meaning. We do not see morose little bunnies hurling themselves off cliffs. If one requires the notion that their life has teleological significance attached to it to prevent oneself from suicide, it would seem that we are quite a sorry species.

and another snippet:

If someone cherry-picks their scripture, choosing the pieces they like and ignoring the parts they find unpalatable, what right do they have to criticize atheists for lack of absolutist morality? Indeed, it begs another question. They (theists) must have another source of morality which guides them to select only scripture which does not command them to bludgeon their children with heavy stones. What this means is that religion is merely a litmus test for someone’s morality. If you are immoral and believe it is right to kill people by flying a plane into a building, well, your Holy Book can certainly iterate that for you, as evidenced by the nineteen men who did just that. If you are moral and believe in love and compassion, then if you scour enough, you can find that too. So, that means that there must be an external source of morality that guides someone to decide which passages are right, and which are not.

To this, a common theologian’s response is the phenomenon of allegory. These terrible passages should not be interpreted as calls to violence. Rather they are just nasty stories which should not be taken as literal tenets. Indeed, nearly every theologian today takes allegorical reading of the nasty stories of the ancient texts.

But this argument cannot coincide with the argument that scripture is the basis of one’s morality. Firstly, allegory for violence is a modern phenomenon. As evidenced by the ghastly atrocities committed by the cross-bearers and followers of Muhammad throughout the pre-Enlightenment era, a literal interpretation of violence was indeed utilized for over one and a half millennia. What actually used to happen was that the nice passages were ignored. Indeed, there are still people who adhere to such Orthodox literal readings, such as Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. The idea of interpreting the worst of the Bible metaphorically has only been around since the Romantic era.

This in itself completely defeats the notion of morality from scripture. When society is violent, the interpretation of scripture is violent. When society is complacent, people fall for sappy Romantic-era insistence of theologians that the Bible doesn’t really warrant you to kill people, when in fact it does. Now matter how someone tries to construe it, absolutist morality from a Holy Book is a logical contradiction. Everyone’s interpretation is different. Don’t think so? Check how many distinct denominations of Christianity exist today. Those lunatics holding up signs saying Thank God for AIDS are just as much Christians as the run-of-the-mill peaceful churchgoer.

Ironically, any theist who says a violent Inquisition preist is not a true Christian is merely defeating his own argument by admitting that religion is subject to the forces of social and moral change which of course, is caused by secularism. The passages that people follow and interpret would merely reflect a litmus test of society as a whole. Since it is so open to interpretation because it doesn't really have any absolute message, the theists adovocation of absolutist morality from the Bible collapses on itself.

It is secular influence that has morphed religion into a passive stance. moral progress almost never goes hand in hand with religion. I choose my words carefully here. Obviously religious people can make great contributions to moral progress, like Martin Luther King, but it does not require a history degree to realize that if Europe was still a theocracy, genial old scholars would still be burned alive for blaspheming the Bible (this, in fact, is exactly what is happening in Islamic nations, except, of course, with the Qur’an). In fact, “justice” only ceased to be a misnomer when the British secularized judiciary in the 19th century.


On how religion steals from secular morality, the argument I always use is the comparison of Islam and Christianty.

When Islam was at the height of it's empire, Christianity had sunk. Europe was a miserable ignorant cesspool. They were so evil and theocratic that when the Islamic armies stormed Barcelona, the Jewish inhabitants begged them to liberate them from the ghastly horrors of Christendom. Now, Islam was not much better but it certianly flourished! It brought the literacy, mathematics and astronomy back to Europe to later rekindle the Enlightenment. What made it successful? It was much more secular than Europe. The Islamic empire needed talent. It didn't care if the talent was Jewish, or Asiatic or from anywhere across the Fertile Crescent. It was not bound under the iron grip of the Quran just yet.

Of course, the Islamic empire collapsed and Christianity surged through to the Enlightenment, benefiting off the knowledge the Arabs had brought to Spain. It was only when science tore free from being a branch of theology (Enlightenment) that it took off. The success of the West was it's secularization. The reason that it had such moral progress was secularization. The reason we don't behead unbelievers or ship slaves from the Canary Islands. You think it is faith that led such a revolution?

Now let's look at what happened to Islam. With the collapse of the empire, the secular intellectual tradition vanished. Islam turned inwards and embraced fundamentalism. The black pearl of religious intolerance has passed to Islam. It is the only religion still in existence where proselytizing, religious debate, atheism, Judaism, apostasy, blasphemy, homosexuality, premarital sex and adultery are still punishable under the criminal code. Far worse, all of the above-mentioned offences carry the death penalty.

When religion is running the morality show, you can be guaranteed that the results are not going to be good. Here is formula I use:

Religion + Secular influence = diluted influence = good

Religion - secular influence = dogmatism = theocracy = bad

When societies are subject to religious revisionism (the 1979 Revolution of Iran), the results are grave.

 The salient points and conclusion are as follows:

-It is inherently ridiculous to state God as a requisite for morality because if you need a requisite for morality, you are not inherently moral, merely a suck up

-Furthermore, there is no evidence from history to state that theists are more moral than atheists

-The first argument is little more than an offshoot of Camus' argument from despair, which would seem to imply that humans require teleological significance because they are so self-centered that they cannot give meaning to their own life. At any rate, any theist claims that life is "pointless" is inherently ridiculous in and of itself because no one claimed that teleological "point" to life was a requisite for life and morality.

I would say that any theist who would make such a claim about morality is nailing their own coffin. They are implicitly stating that

a) Fear-based absolutist dogma is necessary

b) They are only moral out of fear

Which means they are not moral which in fact would mean the argument can be turned on it's head to state that atheists are actually more moral.

And thus validate every atheist objection about religion! It's absolutist nature, it's dogmatic rigidity and the fear. History has taught us that absolutism in social codes in a terrible force. Any theist who thinks that absolutist religious codes are necessary for morality should look up the human rights records of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

I think the single most important sentence out of that is: -It is inherently ridiculous to state God as a requisite for morality because if you need a requisite for morality, you are not inherently moral, merely a suck up.

I think this deals with your insistence of absolutism and lack of source of morality quite well.

 

Now If you wish to read on where atheists get their morality from, you will have to read the whole essay.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Agustine, please use some

Agustine, please use some formatting and paragraphs in your posts. They're very difficult to read.


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agustine wrote: Mr.

agustine wrote:

Mr. Shizzle. With respect to your comment "It was due to them being dictators and their version of communism, NOT ATHEISM!" I think you are incorrect.

No, he's correct. Their atheism was merely incidental. The motives for Stalin were Stalinism. The motives for Mao were, Maoism. 

The real danger here is there unwavering, dogmatic adherence to ideology - which is a  problem shared by religion.

You're claim therefore commits the fallacy of 'accident'... you've confused an incidental element for a causal one.

 

Quote:

, I have two questions for you: 1. What specific worldview contains the requisite moral construct, or lack thereof, that permits the implementation of the collectivist program and all of its attendant implications such as the stripping of its citizen’s individuality from themselves, the seizing of private property, and the overall elimination of the soul’s right to breath, to wit: freedom?

Any worldview that inculcates dogmatic adherence to ideology.

There is nothing within 'atheism', a lack of belief in theism, that has anything to do with this.

However, religion does inculcated dogmatic thinking.

Quote:
 

2. Other than Communism, what underlying worldview did Lenin, Stalin and Mao have in common?

 

Probably many..... They also wore pants, and wore underware. Do you seek to implicate wearing pants too?

You're commiting a basic blunder here... And you're compounding it with an irony: religion inculcates blind allegience to ideology just like Stalinism and Maoism do.... whereas Atheism is simply a lack of belief in the exceptionally poor logic found in theism....

 

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deludedgod wrote:  The

deludedgod wrote:

 
The atheist criticism levelled against religion is not it's irrationality but rather it's dogmatic nature. Dogmatism of any kind is bad, whether atheistic or religious. The problem is that monotheism is inherently dogmatic.

Bingo, you nailed it. Nothing about a lack of belief in theism necessarily leads to Stalinism, whereas religion actually inculcates dogmatic adherence to unprovable claims.

   

Quote:
 

Read my essay, sir. It counters all of your rubbish.

His argument is childish garbage.

 

 

It's a puerile 'tit for tat' response to valid atheist charges against religion vis a vis religious wars and religious sanctioned hate.  The reality is that religion inculcates dogmatic thinking, and it can easily be used used to elevate some party's petty hatreds into the anger of some "god".  If the best a theist can do is respond with a false cause argument, then that tells you how hard this point hits them.

 

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To Mr. todangst. Please

To Mr. todangst. Please excuse me for my brief hiatus; however, the demands of business are unavoidable. Nevertheless, how interesting it is that what I would otherwise consider to be a mundane dialogue has in effect been so ennobled by the participation of a titled participant, and such a lofty title at that. I applaud your discriminating eye sir, well done! However, I must say sir, you greatly err. Atheism is not incidental to Stalinism or any other form of collectivism, it is foundational. Turning now to the substance of the matter, and in the interest of brevity, I find it difficult to envision how you along with Mr. Shizzle cannot recognize the most evident extension of atheistic principles into a coherent political framework, to wit: Stalinism, Leninism, Maoism, or any other variant of collectivism. I find your indifference on this point confounding to the sensibilities. My argument was in point of fact predicated upon the relationships that obtain between the atheistic worldview and its logical outworking. Now, a worldview, in a very broad and general sense, is the total set of beliefs a person holds or, in an effort to be sensitive to my atheist friends, a human animal holds, and the relations among those beliefs. The range of beliefs encompassed within a coherent worldview contain in-part the following subject matter:

1. Beliefs about “Origins”

2. Beliefs about “Meaning”

3. Beliefs about “Morality”

4. Beliefs about “Destiny”

Now, atheism has come to embody an episteme or conceptualization of knowledge and justified true belief consisting, again in a very broad and general sense, of the following threefold concepts:

1. Hard Empiricism, or the belief that all knowledge is exhausted by sense perception; and,

2. Scientism, or the belief that scientific knowledge exhausts what can be known; and,

3. Evolutionism understood as the Dawkinian blind watchmaker thesis, whereas our etiology is explained exhaustively by the atomic theory of matter and biological evolution.

In light of the epistemic context I have illustrated, I submit to you sir that it is entirely rational within an atheistic worldview to affirm a political ideology such as Stalinism or any other form of collectivism whereby the person or animal is viewed as nothing more than matter rearranged in a more complex form, by a process consisting of time + chance + primordial slime. Operating within the political sphere of the collectivist in general and thus the Stalinist in particular, it is quite rational upon atheistic principles to affirm a concept of man and his relationship to the state as one characterized most agreeable to “subordinationism,” wherein the person is pronounced subordinate to the state, thus stripping him of any sense of individuality and/or personhood. There is no rational basis for ascribing personhood to the human animal. He is merely another animal, largely the product of a cosmic accident, coming from nothing and going nowhere, and within the collectivist political context he is reduced to a mere microcosm of the state. The state is therefore free to act unilaterally in all things and thus define for itself the relevant sphere of good and evil. On this basis Stalin’s decision to murder is no different than deciding whether to have a tuna fish sandwich or a bowl of spaghetti for lunch. I do so apologize for the short answer but I am pressed for time….

God Bless

Agustine

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Augustine, your argument is

Augustine, your argument is merely a regurgitation of the social darwinism fallacy and the judgement requisite fallacy. I have more or less answered this above. Thomas Huxley and Darwin wrote a whole book debunking your nonsense. But I will answer it again here:

Whole civilizations, for centuries, mostly due to their geography, have been wholly cut off from the nucleus of Abrahamic Faith. Did these nations descend into barbarity because they did not hold beliefs about a ruthless, judging God? On the contrary, secular societies, with the exception of the vile, dogmatic, banal communists, have been extremely successful, peaceful and prosperous. I have had the good fortune to live in Norway and Japan, two of the worlds most irreligious societies.

Right and wrong are fully subjective. If you can provide an example of just one moral meme that has not experienced change or has remained totally rigid, I will listen. But I have studied sociology and history for a long time, so I doubt you will be able to. Morality must evolve over the progress of civilization. It is the very nature of morality to evolve. Absolute right and wrong only exist at any given point X is time.

By absolutism, I mean a fixed principle. An absolute principle is a sense of right and wrong that has remained embedded over long periods of history. But I see no evidence of such. I never said right and wrong do not exist. Right and wrong are subjective. Thus when I say that something is evil, I am evaluating it from the perspective of a Westerner born in the late 20th century in a liberal secular society and raised  on such values. Across the world there are people whose morality is wholly different to mine or yours. Morality is not fixed in any way. As it should be.

Like I said, it is in the very nature of morality to evolve. IN 50 years, I imagine people will consider our society deeply immoral. In the same way that we consider the Aztecs immoral for human sacrifice.

Augustine, your comlete and utter failure to appreciate the highly complex nature of our morality, not to mention your utter failure to dictate that Origin belief has no bearing on morality because everyone acknowlodges that by the creation of society, humans have fully departed from their evolutionary origins. Your arguments are naive, silly, and show a lack of appreciation for history and sociology.

Social Darwinism fallacy is ridiculous. The only reason that there is a fundamental driving force to evolve is out of necessity. In nature, evolution is necessary for survival. But humans, because they build societies and protect themselves from nature, have ground evolution to a halt. I see no reason why humans should "need" to evolve, unless you can give me a good reason.

Our origins tell us the ruthless method by which nature created us. Does that mean we have to do the same?

Furthermore, I would point out the obvious, that the social darwinism fallacy is a naive argumentum ad consequentium, except in reverse. X is undesirable therefore X is untrue. I do admit that it would feel quite nice to think that God created us for some special purpose or that we are somehow different to any other animal. But the fact of the matter is, it simply isnt true.

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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To deludedgod. Well sir, it

To deludedgod. Well sir, it appears that you have clearly enough misunderstood my argument. My argument is one predicated upon logical coherence. I have argued that such atrocities are entirely consonant with the logical outworking of an atheist worldview. I have not argued that every outworking of atheism produces such a result. What I am interested in is the degree to which such atrocities cohere with an atheistic worldview. For example, one could not provide a logical foundation for Stalinism based upon Christian teaching. The sacrificial love exhibited by Christ is entirely antithetical to the relations that obtain between man and the state within a Stalinist political framework. Take for instance your claim that moral absolutes do not exist, quote “Right and wrong are fully subjective.” You have just affirmed my point. Operating upon atheistic foundations and thus extending those principles into his political ideology, Stalin thought that murdering millions in order to advance the interests of the state was not only permissible, but favorable, insofar as such exertions are indicative of the ends sought to be accomplished by a collectivist state. Thank you for the assistance.

What I find troubling is your characterization of the Abrahamic faith and their central tenet which is the belief in a “….ruthless, judging God.” Within an atheistic worldview how can one rationally make such judgments, moreover any judgments at all? insofar as to affirm such a judgment requires a way to differentiate between ruthlessness and non-ruthlessness. Yet this is what you are trying to disprove and not prove. It appears to me that from your own moral construct your characterization cannot be objectively supported. What I find more interesting is your comment “not to mention your utter failure to dictate that Origin belief has no bearing on morality because everyone acknowledges that by the creation of society, humans have fully departed from their evolutionary origins.” I think C.S. Lewis said it the best. When a ship sets out to sea it must answer three questions:

1. What it is doing out there in the first place?
2. How to keep from sinking?
3. How to keep from bumping into other ships?

The first question answers essential ethics, the second question answers individual ethics and the third question answers social ethics. Yet if one does not know why he is out there in the first place the other two questions are meaningless. Why? Because the answer to the first question provides the foundation for all ethics. If I am just the product of a cosmic accident, devoid of any value or meaning, then the comment made by the atheist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre in a moment of his reflective consciousness or “Nausea” is absolutely true, that in the end it does not matter whether you help the old lady across the street or run her over with your car, it really does not matter. I think he understood quite well the entailments of asserting atheism. Whether you have a society founded by humanism, which I find absolutely absurd, or a Stalinist society, within an atheistic worldview it really does not matter. In fact there really isn’t any point to asserting atheism insofar as a point presupposes value. Yet, within an atheistic construct value does not exist in the objective sense.

God Bless

Agustine

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Your argument is still

Your argument is still ridiculous, and I can deduce several things by it:

1. Perhaps you are under the delusion that a Christian has any more belief in absolute right and wrong than an atheist does. History tell us otherwise. I have already dealt with this in my long essay post several days ago.

By "right and wrong" are fully subjective, I meant that they are dictated by society not God. Indeed, Christians have taken this principle to heart just as much as atheists.

2. Your statement that something requires inherent value for morality is something fully dealt with above. Evolution has perhaps programmed us to think in terms of teleological significance, but I shall not talk about that now. The fact of the matter is, the statement that teleological meaning is necesary for morality is extremely false and you clearly are under extraordinary delusions. In the long post I made several days ago which you fully failed to respond to, I already made these points.

"Under the atheist worldview, it does not matter whether you run over an old lady with your car or help her across the street".

1. Your implying that we need fear of judgement after death to be moral? I have already countered this.

2. Actually, an atheist cares deeply about what we do here. We only have one life. We had better make the most of it.

3. I have already explained that morality is a product of a functioning society, and a functioning society is a product of evolution. Whether we need to believe in judgement and God is wholly irrelevant.

4. I think I have explained in full that Christianity has stolen so much from secular Enlightenment morality that they have no right to criticize atheism.

 

Finally: I would not invoke Stalin considering that Chrisitians have produced an equal number of evil societies that atheists have, perhaps more so. If you want to take history potshots about who was worse, be my guest. Don't use the No True Scotsman Fallacy as I have already dealt with that.

Furthermore, invoking evolution and atheism is ridiculous. Seeing as the vast majority of theists in the world accepts evolution, I would venture to guess that there are more theists who accept in evolution than atheists overall.

In light of these, you have failed to justify your implying that a Christian worldview is better from a morality standpoint. In fact, Christian society was an utter failure for it's first thirteen centuries. Barbaric, cruel and vindictive. The regime of Stalin had a great many complex factors attached to his rise to power. the fact is. Christians have produced a large amount of evil, so have atheists. Thus if you invoke the latter, I will invoke the former. I do not think either group could possibly claim moral high ground.

Furthermore, I would add the obvious point that you set up a false dichotomy. By your own criterion, only the people who believe in an afterlife and a judging God "should" act in a moral way. Atheists are not the only people who reject the nonsense of the afterlife and all the babble that is attached to the God concept. What about pantheists? What about philosophical theists? What about Buddhists (nontheistic religion)?

The fact of the matter is, your understanding of why men should be moral is obscene. By your understanding, it is the followers of Abraham that "should" be most moral. History tells us otherwise, sir.

To state that an athiest should not "care" about life and morality the way that you have would be just as fallacious as me saying that a Christian should not care about this life or fear death because they know (ie are deluded into thinking) that death is not the end. But I do not make such statements because they are ridicuous.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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To the most gracious Mr.

To the most gracious Mr. deludedgod. At your behest I have undertaken a perusal of the post you unremittingly tout as, inter alia, a comprehensive refutation of my arguments. However, a well studied examination yields the opposite of the intended effect. It merely affirms the substance of my position. For example, with respect to your comment “But is absolutism genuinely a desirable state of affairs?” I was under the impression that in positing God as the locus of moral values I was arguing for a moral ontology. Nevertheless, from the preceding quotation it appears as though ontological investigation from at least your perspective ought to include such fleeting notions as human desires. You follow with a rationale for positing the rhetorical question that contains a patently false statement, to wit: “The rhetorical question is employed because a theist who makes that argument is implicitly stating that absolutism is desirable.” No sir, this is entirely presumptuous, and to my knowledge neither I nor any other theist has ever grounded arguments in support of a moral ontology in the desires of men.

Operating within the sphere of “desire” as the prime motivator that you find so appealing, the ontological question is motivated by a visceral desire for logical coherence. Outside of a transcendent foundation, there is no common point of reference for the unconditional ought. If man is thus the locus of moral values, they cannot by definition be objective. If a moral ontology exists such that the values they embody are objective, a transcendent foundation is in point of actual fact metaphysically necessary. You then proceed to make the following assertion “It seems to me that “you cannot be moral without God” Sir, please identify where in this thread have I argued that an individual cannot lead a moral life unless that person were a theist. I submit to you sir, I have not employed such an argument, nor would I ever embark upon such a faulty course of argumentation. Moreover, I have explicitly argued to the contrary, to wit: “I would absolutely agree that such a proposition as “One cannot be moral unless they were a theist.” is inherently fallacious.” see Agustine, post 14, responding to your comment “As to point two, this is merely a rephrasing of the ridiculous "how can you be moral without God fallacy, which is answered by my essay on this forum "Morality without God". Also, scripture is quite clear that God has endowed men with a moral sense insofar as man is created in the image of God. Genesis 1:26, 27; 5:1; 9:6; Romans 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:7 The forgoing proposition affirms in substance that an individual can lead a moral life to the best of his ability apart from God yet it preserves in substance the proposition that God is the locus of objective moral values. An interesting aside however, within scripture the Lord does in point of fact draw a marked distinction between “that which is highly esteemed among men” being in most cases an “abomination in the sight of God”. Luke 16:15

You then provide a riposte of sorts to the assertion in what appears to me to be an attempt to clarify a most substantively fallacious argument, to wit: “is the same as saying “I get my morality from four gospels and a collection of letters written by Paul to various groups of people 2000 years ago, collated by a savage ancient culture.” A few points…. First, your comments betray a distinctive strand of argumentation known to the theist as a variant of the common atheistic prejudicial conjecture, or the “seems likely” argument. Here you have placed particular emphasis upon the antiquity of the Judeo/Christian scriptures and thus prejudging them on that basis it “seems likely” that they are irrelevant, the very product of a “savage ancient culture”. The propriety of drawing such an inference from the antiquity of a document without considering its substance is on its face spurious. Second, the underlying premise of your comment confirms my overall suspicions. You have blurred the most critical distinction between moral epistemology and moral ontology, thus confusing the question regarding how we come to know moral values with whether they are real. Our gradual, fallible apprehension of objective moral values in no way undermines their reality. This is an elementary example of the genetic fallacy. One cannot simply explain away the reality of something on the basis of how we come to know it, or the degree to which anyone even agrees with it. Knowledge of something or one’s assent to the validity of something has never been tests for truth. In the end, your argument here appears to take on the very character of a strawman. Third, in your condemnation of the culture that produced the vilified writings, you invoke a moral law in the very condemnation as “savage”. This appears to be to be the most, might I use the descriptive “irrational,” aspect of your argument. Why? Because in order for you to shoulder the burden of proof requisite for such a condemnation, it require a way to distinguish between “savage” and “non-savage”. Yet this way as you have described it in your previous post as ontologically “subjective” militates against your argument. You may think they were savage but your opinion does not carry with it the weight of objectivity. It is merely ephemeral.

You then proceed to cite that most inveterate of atheists Richard Dawkins, quote “Richard Dawkin’s objection was similar: Does a theist genuinely believe that the only reason he/she is moral is fear of God?” Interestingly enough, the Lord Christ answered that question two thousand years ago. Jesus said to the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35, He then proceeded to explain to the disciples that the very the foundation of obedience rests not upon fear but upon love, to wit: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15; Jesus then said shortly thereafter “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21 He then followed with “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23 Accordingly, it appears as though Mr. Dawkins, insofar as his comments pertain to Christianity, is patently incorrect. The primary source documents affirm the proposition that obedience is not predicated upon fear but upon love.

You thereafter continue to proverbially “beat the dead horse” with your comment “In fact, it would seem to me that such a claim about morality would validate a standard atheist objection that religion is inherently fear-based.” Nevertheless, as it pertains to Christianity we have effectively dispensed with the notion of a “fear-based” obedience. However, your comment does raise an interesting question, why should anyone pursue a moral and/or ethical life? On an atheistic worldview I don’t think there is any good reasons for affirming the unconditional ought or duty. For morality to be truly objective, it must be universal and binding upon all of humanity whether the individual accepts it or not. I cannot identify any good grounds within the atheistic worldview for binding and thus rendering universal the unconditional ought, or notion of duty.

Moving now to your summation, quote “In fact, it would seem to me that such a claim about morality would validate a standard atheist objection that religion is inherently fear-based. This is also validated by another, rather strange and similar religious objection: “If one does not believe in judgment after death, on what basis does one live a moral life, what is the purpose in doing so?” This typical argument from despair against metaphysical naturalism is another argumentum ad consequentiam, which is hopelessly naïve. It is simply a way of saying “I am so unable to think for myself that I need the fear of judgment to restrain my baser urge to act in an immoral way”. So, we return to the point made two paragraphs ago: On what basis do religious adherents claim absolutism is a good thing? On what basis do they claim fear-based morality is a requisite for a moral life?” A few points…. Christians do not fear the judgment of God upon our sins; our sins were judged upon the cross. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 This is the substance of the Gospel, the certainty of salvation by the merits of Christ. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” II Cor. 5:21 Herein lies the critical distinction between the Gospel and world religions, and thus underscores the uniqueness of the Gospel revelation. Religion is man’s attempt to work himself into God’s favor by being perfect. The Gospel is God condescending to cloak Himself in human flesh and become perfection for us. Second, this poor horse is dead, why continue to do him harm? Neither I nor any other theist I know have appealed to emotivism in an effort to sustain a moral ontology the logical outworking of which are unconditional. I reject metaphysical naturalism because it does not provide any good grounds for positing an objective moral ontology.

Your comment “Indeed, there is no evidence to suggest that theists are any more moral than atheists. “ From the Christian perspective I don’t think your point carries with it any validity. Appealing again to the primary source documents, “The heart of a man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it.” Jeremiah 17:9; “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:1; “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us….If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10 “For there is none righteousness, no not one. No one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside…..no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:11-12; “For there is no distinction, all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God.” Roman 3:23 Christians are the only people that regularly gather together to affirm and thus declare the fact that they are miserable sinners and require a savior. The Puritan theologian Thomas Manton once said “God only had one son without sin, but none without a cross.” Another once said, “….the ground at the foot of the cross is level.” We all come before God as miserable sinners.

I would suggest you spend some time in the primary source documents in order to better acquaint yourself with the substance of what you have already judged to be irrational.

God Bless

Agustine

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agustine wrote: To Mr.

agustine wrote:

To Mr. todangst. Please excuse me for my brief hiatus; however, the demands of business are unavoidable. Nevertheless, how interesting it is that what I would otherwise consider to be a mundane dialogue has in effect been so ennobled by the participation of a titled participant, and such a lofty title at that. I applaud your discriminating eye sir, well done! However, I must say sir, you greatly err. Atheism is not incidental to Stalinism or any other form of collectivism, it is foundational.

This is both a Red herring and a missing of the point. Whether or not it is 'foundational' to Stalinism is moot, what matters is whether it has a causal role in the killings that went on, under Stalinism, or Maoism. And it does not.  Stalinists killed in the name of acquiring power, and later on, in the name of paranoia. Not atheism. You need to demonstrate where Stalinists, or any collectivists, kill in the name of atheism. 

Your error, again, for a second time, is that your argument has this form:

Stalinism requires:

pseudo-collectivism

dogmatic thinking

and the wearing of pants.

Ergo, wearing pants is the reason for the ills of Stalinism

 I will make it even more clear for you, so that you can avoid your red herring again: atheism is incidental to the murderous acts of Stalinism or any collectivist atrocity.

I do hope you'll recognize this causal error now, as your argument is juvenile.  

 

Quote:
 

Turning now to the substance of the matter, and in the interest of brevity, I find it difficult to envision how you along with Mr. Shizzle cannot recognize the most evident extension of atheistic principles into a coherent political framework, to wit: Stalinism, Leninism, Maoism, or any other variant of collectivism. I find your indifference on this point confounding to the sensibilities.

I am unconcerned that your sensibilities are confounded, because your sensibilities rest upon a causal error. 

 

Again, what matters is whether or not you have an argument that links atheism, causally, to the murderous acts of Stalinism, et al. And you do not. You merely have an assertion that atheism is foundational to these collectivist frameworks, therefore atheism is the cause of the barbarism of collectivism. 

 The question before you is this: Does atheism have a causal role in the murderous acts?

And you do not demonstrated this.  You merely repeat the already identified and refuted causal fallacy.

 

Quote:
 

Now, atheism has come to embody an episteme or conceptualization of knowledge and justified true belief consisting, again in a very broad and general sense, of the following threefold concepts:

Quote:

Stop. You're claim is false. Atheism is a lack of belief in theism. It does not entail any particular concept. One can be a buddhist atheist believing in dualism and an afterlife. Atheism is merely a lack of belief, not a 'worldview'.

Please note: You continually commit the same error: you conflate atheism with something other than atheism.

 

Quote:
 

In light of the epistemic context I have illustrated, I submit to you sir that it is entirely rational within an atheistic worldview

Bzzt... "Atheist worldview' is yet another expression of the same error I've identified above.

Your post is a long winded causal fallacy, just as your last post on the matter was. Despite now having twice demonstrating this, I imagine you'll just repeat it again, like some mal-programmed automaton.  Stalinists also wear pants. Do you implicate pants wearing with barbarism too? If not, you have the ability to see your causal error.

I look forward to repeating this argument ad nauseum..... so rather than respond, can you just read this, and then post to yourself and then read my comment again.... consider it a home version of the RRS game.

 

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Blaming atheism for the

Blaming atheism for the atrocities of Stalin/Mao is the logical equivalent of giving credit to primitive tribesmen banging on drums for making an eclipse end.

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I have no idea what you are

I have no idea what you are talking about because you are not even making an argument.

The argument from morality from theists is divided into two parts: The argument from value and the argument from scripture. I got so sick of hearing the latter that I drafted that. However, it would seem that you are positing the morality from value argument, namely that the theist beleives in inherent value. Furthermore, that was a generic response, thus not directed directly to you. I was unsure at first whether you were positing an argument from value or scriptue (the latter being the crux of the absolutism argument which some theists do indeed make). But seeing as you have made it obvious that you are indeed making the argument from value, I shall turn to that.

BY the argument from value, you would suggest that the inherent value that a theist attaches to the world is moral. You would further have that objective morality is good.

The argument you continue to make from the stance of the objectively moral theist who makes the morality from value argument is that an atheist should not lead a moral life, because there is no reason to. I quote "The atheist believes life is time + chance +primordial slime".

I would first point out your general ignorance over evolutionary theory, as I would just love to know where in evolutionary theory it says that (because you know, in fact, that it says nothing of the sort, it is a complex, guided process)

Your mention of evolution caused me to attack the wrong argument. I went for social Darwinism and apologize. Hence, you understand that the various objections I posted in the long post (ie religion is fear based) are arguments against the morality from scripture argument and morality from judgement argument, which by the way, are not strawmen, but I have actually encountered. Using the argument of morality from scripture/judgement would imply finding favor with absolutism/fear or any objection which I raised.

And first I wish to clear up the subjective morality argument. Note that in one of your last post (I am pleased to see that you have inserted paragraphs), you said atheists "relitivize the truth". I imagine the subjective morality comment, you think boosted such a position. Sir, every atheist I have ever met hates moral relitivism. The examples from sociology I gave would indicate that I, like my cohort, am a progressivist. Thus, the subjective morality means that when I evaluate something as moral/immoral, I do so from the perspective of someone born in late 20th century Western society and raised on a certian set of values. It does not mean I embrace the contemptable moral relativism. This is what I mean by subjective morality. You are also subjectively moral, regardless of how you construe it. Much of the values you have are very much an accident of place and date of birth.

Back to the morality from value. Why don't I do whatever I want, and lead an immoral life? Sir, if you need to ask that question, you are, I'm sorry to say, quite ridiculous.

I wrote this some time ago on the subject. It took me a while to find:

Each one of us is here by trillion to one odds. The number of genetic permutations that could have been instead of us...outnumbers the atoms in the universe. The fact that we will one day die makes us the lucky ones.

The fact that life comes only once is what should make it taste so sweet. We must make the most of the time we have here on this Earth. Every second is precious. We should wake up and think "what is the most constructive thing to better myself and humanity that I could do today"?

As an Atheist I understand that this is my only life, and so I do everything I can to to better it. What kind of lack of appreciation would I show for the infinitesimal probabilities by which we have our lives if I did not?

Quite frankly, if you cannot understand that, I will be wholly astonished.

By asking the inherent value question, you sound as though you are restating Camus' question. Can we not give value and meaning to something ourselves? Do we need teleological inherency and significance to be moral, good people? To state such would be arrogance of the highest degree. I actually pondered such an idea, once.

 

The idea that God has any interest in this foolish little creature called man, to say nothing of the nonsense of his obsession with a particular tribe of Israel, is so utterly ridiculous that it ought have us rolling on the floor laughing that people once and still do sincerely commit to this insanity

By stating over and over in a tiresome fashion that without inherent value, an atheist should not care whether he helps an old lady across the street or runs over her with his car, you are commiting a absurdum quod non sequiter. Multiple AQNS, in fact.

The atheist does not believe in X

If not X, there is no basis for morality

By failing to provide any justification for statement two, you are commiting another logical fallacy, the argumentum ad nauseam.

Note: Inherent value and value are different concepts. Value is a concept which humans affix. This, again, returns to the point I have made numerous times about the source of morality being a symbiosis between nueroplasticisty and societal value. Hence, any moral judgement that I make and any value that I affix will most likely be in line with the moral zeitgeist into which I was born.

You will do the same as I. The only difference is that I realize it and you do not. By blindly making the objective morality fallacy, you commit another AQNS, because you do not actually have objective morality.

Three times I set you the challenge to provide a sociological example of a moral principle or cultural meme that had remained more or less fixed throughout the history of culture and judiciary. The fact is that none such exist due to the progressive nature of moral memes. The only things that we would regard as more or less constant are instincts that evolution has deeply coded into us for obvious reasons like "don't kill your children or commit incest". It is demonstratable that people who do such things do have mental illness.

Thus I have explained why atheists feel life has value: Because it is very short and it is also incredible and it would be insanity to waste such an incredible opportunity considering how short lived it is. This is what I said to a friend:

Imagine a spark illuminating a dark vastness for but a split-second. This is our conciousness. It is the ultimate product of evolution: A being capable of thinking and analyzing. It is the most beautiful thing in the universe. However, it's time is very, very short. So, while it is still lit, this spark has a duty to mankind.

I then explained multipe times that inherent value is not necessary, things can still have value even if it is not inherent, but you continue to make blind assertions.

I then pointed out that everyone's morality is subjective. Even yours. I had actually covered this point ad nauseam before. Even Christians have no objective morality. Certianly not according to history. Christianity has been used to justify slavery, but also abolish slavery. It was used to justify charity and inquisition. It was used to justify feeding the poor and stealing a very large amount of money from them. It is just as elastic as any moral system. But you continue to make assertions.

 

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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To Mr. todangst. I would

To Mr. todangst. I would expect a far more cogent argument from one who purports to be included among those who fancy themselves as the paragon of rationality. Nevertheless, your thinly veiled attempt to avoid the substance of the argument from coherence by invoking causality and/or causal error is at best sophomoric. I have never argued that atheism causes Stalinism. My argument is best represented by the following question: does atheism cohere logically with Stalinism? The answer is a resounding yes. My argument is structured along the lines of logical coherence. I have never alluded to causality. There is an observable distinction made amongst intellegent men between causality and coherence. This is not rocket science my friend……

God Bless

Agustine

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To Mr. Shizzle. What is it

To Mr. Shizzle. What is it about logical coherence do you not understand? I have not blammed atheism for Stalinism, not suggested that atheism causes Stalinism. I have argued that atheism coheres logically with Stalinism where a theistic worldview such a Christianity does not logically cohere with Stalinism nor with any other variant of collectivism. Why are the great professors of rationalism so confounded by this most fundamental of relations? 

 God Bless

 Agustine 

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


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Christianity even more so

Christianity even more so coheres with Fascism. By the way, you are starting to border on trolling.

Flying Spaghetti Monster touch you with his noodly appendage

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To Mr. Shizzle. I think you

To Mr. Shizzle. I think you have really stepped in it now.... Please qualify the following assertion "Christianity even more so coheres with Fascism." I anxiously await your response.

 

Agustine  

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Well lets see: the whole

Well lets see: the whole idea of obeying a dictator without question, believing things without evidence, the death penalty for trivial offenses, the fact that fascism is extreme right wing which is invariably Christian, etc.

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To Mr. Shizzle. Please sir,

To Mr. Shizzle. Please sir, I was expecting a rational qualification. Surely ye jest. By the way, I though this site guaranteed a rational response. I'm waiting.....................

 

Agustine

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OK. Now you are definitely a

OK. Now you are definitely a troll. Buh-bye now!


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To Mr. Shizzle. God Bless

To Mr. Shizzle. God Bless my friend....

 

Agustine  


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To Mr. deludegod. With

To Mr. deludegod. With respect to your comment "The argument from morality from theists is divided into two parts: The argument from value and the argument from scripture." Incorrect sir... Try again...

 

Agustine  

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A fantastic way to complete

A fantastic way to complete avoid my entire post and single out one paragraph. Well done. OK I'll try again.

Argument from scripture: Theist asserts that because we have no Holy Book or belief in Judgement, we cannot be moral.

Argument from value: Your argument. States that because we have no inherent value attachment due to materialist philosophy, we have no reason to be moral.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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agustine
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To Mr. deludedgod. I am at

To Mr. deludedgod. I am at a complete loss sir.... I have never argued that the absence of a revelatory volume renders one immoral. I have explicitly argued the opposite, and then repeated it. Please sir, I think we may be at an impasse, insofar as I am concerned with a moral ontology and thus less concerned about how we come to know moral absolutes. I am not aware of any theist of good repute that has made the argument you have posited.

 

God Bless

 Agustine 

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You are not aware of many

You are not aware of many theists of good repute who would posit such arguments?

Indeed. You would have to be a theist of remarkably poor intellect to posit the arguments which I was targeting. Unfortunately, in my experience there is no shortage of such people.

But I am still at a loss: What is your argument? A moral ontology as in literally the existence of morality? Surely the neurological and sociological evidence abound, sir, we can conclude that much of moral values is a social construct. We can also conclude that baser instincts are obvious evolutionary hand-me-downs, such that people who lack these particular traits turn out to have a mental illness.

If you state such a moral ontology argument, I would turn to you for your definition of morality.

After all, it is a rather vague word, one must admit. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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