whywontgodhealamputees.com

Main Discussion Zone => Why Won't God Heal Amputees? => Topic started by: Hatter23 on July 10, 2012, 01:25:52 PM

Title: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 10, 2012, 01:25:52 PM
But not here, where the strawman, appeals to ignorance, and circular reasoning will be, you know, NOTICED

http://www.conversantlife.com/theology/why-wont-god-heal-amputees


Why won’t God heal amputees?”  The question caught me by surprise.
I had just finished my “Why I Am a Christian” talk at Calvary Chapel Chino Valley’s youth conference in April.  After talking with a few students and leaders, a young man approached.  He challenged me with this question, explaining his atheist friend had asked it earlier in the week. And he had no answer for his friend.

Apparently, it’s a question atheists make a big deal about. There is even an entire website dedicated to it (www.whywontgodhealamputees.com).  The website claims “this is one of the most important questions we can ask about God.”  Sometime, somewhere I had heard the objection but had never given it much attention.  Now it was staring me right in the face.  Immediate attention was required.

I proceeded in usual fashion—by asking clarifying questions.  “What conclusion does your atheist friend draw from this question?” I inquired.  He responded, “Well, if God doesn’t heal amputees when we pray for them, then He doesn’t exist.”  I followed with a few more questions, gathering the gist of the atheist’s argument.

The atheist claims that alleged healings, like the disappearance of a cancerous tumor or diagnosed disease, seem to be ambiguous.  Did God supernaturally heal the person or is modern medicine responsible?  Both causes could be offered and both could be disputed.  But according to the atheist, if an amputee grew back a missing limb after intercessory prayer was offered on his behalf, this would be a clear case of the miraculous and thus proof for God’s existence.  On the other hand, no new limb means no God.  A fail-proof test, right?  Wrong.

First, I pointed out this atheist’s argument is guilty of a logical fallacy called a non sequitur.  The fallacy is committed when a conclusion or statement does not logically follow from a previous argument or statement.  If amputees do not grow back limbs when we pray for them, does it follow God does not exist?  Of course not.  His existence is independent of what actions He would or would not take.

But why limit myself to amputee miracles?  Any miracle will do.  A million dollars in my bank account today.  World peace starting tomorrow.  And if these miracles don’t occur, then God doesn’t exist.  Well, I think you can see the irrationality of such claims.  God’s failure to perform a miracle at my request says nothing about His existence.  In fact, even if we granted the atheist his assumption that amputees are not healed, at the very most we could only conclude God does not heal amputees.  Not a profound conclusion.

Second, I pointed out his atheist friend simply assumed no amputees have been healed.  But just because an atheist says there’s never been an amputee healing in thousands of years of human history doesn’t mean it’s true.  Now, I’ve never researched this question but I wanted this young Christian to catch a healthy bit of skepticism, particularly when it comes to anti-Christian claims.  Research is now in order but my point was you cannot simply assume what needs to be proven. 


But we also have to test the intellectual honesty of the atheist asking this question.  If we can produce a credible report of an amputee’s missing limb being healed and replaced, is the atheist willing to accept that evidence?  There are credible reports of miraculous healings in our own time and in the Bible, but he dismisses these wanting further evidence of a particular kind of miracle.  So is this an honest question or an insincere request for evidence when no evidence will suffice?

Third, even personally witnessing a miracle is no guarantee that someone will believe.  This was the case with the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.  They witnessed His miracles, but their response was to conspire to crucify Him.  Greg Koukl calls this “unbelievable unbelief.”  Jesus told them, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

You see, our essential problem is moral, rebellion against God.  Asking for evidence is legitimate, but evidence doesn’t guarantee belief because sinners don’t want to bend their knee to the Lord.  So the question actually arises from a wrong understanding of the atheist’s fundamental problem.  It’s not lack of evidence, it’s sin and rebellion to the Truth. 

Fourth, I reminded this young Christian that God does not promise He will answer every request with a “yes.”  Many times he says “no” or “later.”  And it could be there are some requests He says “no” to all the time.  Might God have a morally sufficient reason for doing so?  Absolutely, even if He never reveals those reasons to us in this lifetime.  As a dad, there are things I do for the good of my kids—taking them to the doctor for shots, punishing them for wrong behavior, or forcing them to eat their vegetables—which they don’t understand right now.  The same is true between God and us.

And this last response requires a bit of maturity to understand.  Frankly, many atheistic arguments are childish.  “If God doesn’t do what I ask right now, I don’t have to believe in him.”  Well, I don’t think God is really interested in becoming a magic genie.  He’s interested in something much deeper and more profound.  He’s interested in the kind of human being you become.  Indeed, Jesus suggests voluntary “amputeeism” for the sake of character development:  “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:30).  Better to lose a hand than have your moral choices drag you away from God, forever.  Indeed, someone like Nick Vujicic understands God's perspective.


After our conversation, the young man thanked me and walked away with a look of relief.  An atheist’s challenge was turned into a teachable moment.  And a teachable moment strengthened this student’s trust in God’s existence and character.

______________________________________________________________________________________________
For Bonus stupidity we have respones like:
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What a question! That's like asking why didn't God make a lion able to fly? Would you think asking God to make that Lion fly is crazy? Basically who could give a good answer, it all rhetorical?
Being born as an AK and BK I never questioned the fact of why I could never "magically" grow limbs or if God even wanted me to, it's just a fact of life. What concerns me about all this stuff is why don't people help other amputees or anyone in need?
God could heal amputees, just like he healed the blind, the lame, ect. I’m not saying I don’t get bitter sometime and maybe just plain sick of the whining of perfectly capable people that could make a difference in this world and help others, but most had rather debate an unwinnable subject like this. If we would work at helping everyone who needs help whether it’s a handicap, mental disablities, or from job lose, ect. YOU WOULD FIGURE OUT WHY GOD DOESN”T HEAL AMPUTEES. . Handicap people were put here to glorify God, make you think? Get the picture? He doesn’t because he wants us to help each other and by helping others we become better people and in the end see that all God wants us to do, praise his and love other as you would love yourself. I don’t pretend that sometime I don’t get really pissed at God, buy who I to question his judgment! I’m an amputee, to make people appreciate what they have, and if it gives God the glory then let it be.

So asking for a person to be whole = lions flying. You've never asked yourself a question like this one that might lead you to using your brain? Oh why am I not surprised? So people, flawed selfish people who are sometimes overwhelmed by their day to day lives, who if they gave every moment and every dime to solving the amputee problem...and it still wouldn't happen...bear the responsibility but an entity that could do it with less relative effort than you making one keystroke of that message you wrote, doesn't? That's amazingly inane and moroninc! And furthermore you thing the fucked up people are fucked up for YOUR BENEFIT?????????????????? You disgust me!



Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: boobatuba on July 10, 2012, 01:34:11 PM
After our conversation, the young man thanked me and walked away with a look of relief.  An atheist’s challenge was turned into a teachable moment.  And a teachable moment strengthened this student’s trust in God’s existence and character.

This is amusing. "Thank you, pastor, for arming me with more circular logic and arguments that don't address the question."

My personal favorite is the old chestnut..."Maybe god HAS healed amputees before and we just don't know about it!" Yeah, right.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Aaron123 on July 10, 2012, 01:40:45 PM
I wonder if they're aware that they're saying that god does nothing that can be detected.  Or for that matter, that god's actions are indistinguishable from a god that does not exist.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 10, 2012, 01:46:19 PM
I wonder if they're aware that they're saying that god does nothing that can be detected.  Or for that matter, that god's actions are indistinguishable from a god that does not exist.

This is why all apologia must be long winded, they need to hide that summary.

Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 10, 2012, 02:24:39 PM
your link takes me to an article about making detroit into a zombie theme park.  I like it, but I think you wanted to link something else.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 10, 2012, 02:30:25 PM
your link takes me to an article about making detroit into a zombie theme park.  I like it, but I think you wanted to link something else.

corrected
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Astreja on July 10, 2012, 02:52:49 PM
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Handicap people were put here to glorify God...

Wow.   Just... wow.  So these people worship a god that needs to deliberately mutilate its own creation in order to make itself more glorious?

That kind of thinking is so perversely bat-shit insane and inhuman that the word "wrong" can't do it justice.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: blueangel on July 14, 2012, 08:18:13 PM
mutilate his own creation?  Ha ha.  What a perverse thought.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: jetson on July 14, 2012, 09:10:47 PM
mutilate his own creation?  Ha ha.  What a perverse thought.

Indeed, and coming from the benevolent and loving God of the Bible, even more perverse.  And telling.

Quote from: Genesis
6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: kin hell on July 14, 2012, 09:25:39 PM
mutilate his own creation?  Ha ha.  What a perverse thought.


(http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt164/kin-hell/Picture14.png)


greetings blueangel

....so is that your natural colour, or just your camouflage from my blue heaven? ;)
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 02:27:56 AM
Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument, at least it seems. To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver. Protest to this is welcome.
Science itself has been since its origin been used to prove and disprove God. But the true undeniable fact is that only the bible out of all religious text states things which have been proven correct by modern science. Such as in Job where it states that our earth hangs on nothing referring to gravity no visible by the eye. The bible tought you were to circumcise a boy on the 8th day they were living. And now modern science tells us that on this day only in life the chemical in the body which clots blood is at an all time high for all of their life. For many years humans did not have any conception of the amount of stars in the universe and not untill only modern science  have we learned that it is or almost is infinite this number. Yet thousands of years ago so
How the bible stated the number of stars is like the number of particles of sand on earth.  I can keep going if anyone would like but the evidence for not only God but the bible extends from science to historical, archeological, mathmatical, and more.
God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: oogabooga on July 19, 2012, 05:54:55 AM
Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument, at least it seems. To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver. Protest to this is welcome.
OK, I protest then. The concepts of good and evil have changed dramatically over the ages. Today we consider it evil if a parent kills a child for disobedience, while the Bible not only condones it, but demands it. Today we think genocide is appalling and we punish those responsible for it, while it was not just something quite common in the Bible, but a direct order and compulsory - if they're different from us, they must be killed or enslaved. And while slavery is frowned upon today, it was something god seemed to have no qualms about. Today we believe that a victim of rape is not responsible for it and we do all we can to keep them as far away from their assailants as possible, while in the Bible it's demanded they should either be killed or married to their assailants. We are also not very fond of animal sacrifice nowadays while only a few thousand years ago it was demanded of the chosen people.

Of course we have certain moral standards and we base our laws on them - but the key word here is 'we'. As we change, and with us our perception of the world, we change those laws and standards. We are the law givers. Are we therefore god?


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Science itself has been since its origin been used to prove and disprove God.
Wrong. Science has always been a series of attempts of understanding the world around us and explaining its inner workings. It has absolutely nothing to do with proving or disproving god. It has become its side-effect, I'll give you that, but it's not its purpose, not even remotely.

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But the true undeniable fact is that only the bible out of all religious text states things which have been proven correct by modern science. Such as in Job where it states that our earth hangs on nothing referring to gravity no visible by the eye.
Wrong. The Earth doesn't 'hang'. Gravity doesn't serve as a string, never has, never will. The Bible also says that the universe is water.

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The bible tought you were to circumcise a boy on the 8th day they were living. And now modern science tells us that on this day only in life the chemical in the body which clots blood is at an all time high for all of their life.
Wrong. Circumcisions can be performed at any time in life without much fuss. The general recommendation is that it should be performed at least 8 days after birth (not on the eighth day, because that's the average time needed for the body to start forming Vitamin K. After that time (I repeat, not on that exact day) blood just clots better. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that after a week or so after birth male babies don't bleed as much when you chop off a part of their penis.

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For many years humans did not have any conception of the amount of stars in the universe and not untill only modern science  have we learned that it is or almost is infinite this number. Yet thousands of years ago so
How the bible stated the number of stars is like the number of particles of sand on earth. 
There's a lot of stars. There's a lot of grains of sand. We use simile for all sorts of things. We say that people who have lots of kids breed like rabbits. Yet they don't have up to 12 kids at a time more than once a year, do they?

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I can keep going if anyone would like but the evidence for not only God but the bible extends from science to historical, archeological, mathmatical, and more.
Oh, please, do keep going. While you're at it, explain how dragons exist, how people can survive inside whales and how those same whales are fish, how rabbits chew cud, how Pi is 3 and how you can cure leprosy with pigeon blood.

I would love to debate those other biblical stories that are scientifically accurate.

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God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.
He suffered the most in the few hours he was hung on a piece of wood? I find that statement arrogant, to be honest. There are people (whose existence is extremely well documented and proven, unlike god's) who have suffered for years on end, there are even stories of Christian saints who actually suffered far, far more than Jesus. Not to mention those who suffered far more and far longer at the hands of Christians. There is extensive documentation on people who were crucified by the Romans well before and after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus. How did Jesus suffer the most when he was just one of so many? There were two named in the Bible alone. They were nailed to their own crosses and died there - and weren't given the satisfaction of being taken off early, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, there are (insane) people who have themselves crucified today. Even more than once in their lifetime. Did Jesus suffer more than them? How?

If we're evil, we were created evil by that same creator you seem to worship so much. He supposedly made us. He made us flawed. Now he blames us for his crappy workmanship. I've used this comparison once before, but what the hell - would you consider it loving if a drug addict blamed her child, deformed by her drug use, for its deformity? 

Anyway, we were made in his image as well, at least that's what's claimed by Christians, isn't it? So god must be as prone to evil as we are.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: jetson on July 19, 2012, 06:34:50 AM
Welcome Samuelke.  I hope you can stick around to discuss your post, as it contains some amazingly inaccurate and baseless claims!  It seems that you are taking the approach of "the Bible say's it, science confirms it, so God is real".  If so, I would ask you to refute the Koran and it's scientific accuracies, so we can eliminate that book from the discussion, you know, before we give ALL of the credit to ancient middle eastern goat herders who had no idea they were standing on a planet, in a galaxy, in a universe - that is now billions of years old.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 19, 2012, 07:24:53 AM
Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument, at least it seems. To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver. Protest to this is welcome.


If there was a moral law giver, there would be one morality. The morality of the ancient Jews, the Aztecs, Japan in 1938, and the Vikings were all quite different. We only have to look at the morality of Italy in 1935 versus the Morality of France in 1935...both Catholic countries, on the same contininent, during the same year to see that morality is not objective.




Science itself has been since its origin been used to prove and disprove God.



That statement is uttterly fictional. People have used scientific language to do so, but not a single thing in the scientific method does anything of the sort.  The side affect of scientific metod however has been used to disprove claims about God or gods. When scientific jargon is used to "prove God," it always boils down to an appeal to ignorance.





 But the true undeniable fact is that only the bible out of all religious text states things which have been proven correct by modern science.



Illiad and the Trojan war(proven)

Load of websites for the Koran;
http://pintails7886.hubpages.com/hub/Science-and-Islam






 Such as in Job where it states that our earth hangs on nothing referring to gravity no visible by the eye.


First of all, quite a stretch of the language; second, so what? Throw enough phrases in poetic language around and you might get something that sticks; look at Nostradamus.



 The bible tought you were to circumcise a boy on the 8th day they were living. And now modern science tells us that on this day only in life the chemical in the body which clots blood is at an all time high for all of their life.


Yup and the ancient druids gave willow bark tea as a meditive for pain.  Concentrated this is what we now call asprin.

Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: naemhni on July 19, 2012, 07:37:06 AM
Hi, Samuel, welcome to WWGHA.

Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument, at least it seems.

Not the main one, no, but I guess you could say it serves as a sideline.  The main reason is that Jesus explicitly said that all of his followers would be able to work any miracle they saw fit -- indeed, he said that his followers would do even greater miracles than he did.  Yet no amputee has ever gotten his leg back.

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To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver. Protest to this is welcome.

The degree of attraction between any two objects is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.  This is also a law.  Does it require a lawgiver?

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Science itself has been since its origin been used to prove and disprove God.

When?  Where?  Where did Kepler, for example, ever say, "The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci... therefore, God exists"?

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But the true undeniable fact is that only the bible out of all religious text states things which have been proven correct by modern science.

Muslims say the same thing about the Koran.  They're just as wrong as you are.

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Such as in Job where it states that our earth hangs on nothing referring to gravity no visible by the eye.

Scripture also says that the earth is flat, that the moon is a lightsource, that insects have four legs, that rabbits chew the cud, that day and night have nothing to do with the existence of the sun, that you can determine an animal's coat by breeding it in front of certain kinds of sticks, and that snakes and donkeys can talk.  And unlike your example with "the earth hanging on nothing being a reference to gravity", we don't need to run any of those scriptures thru a magic decoder ring to know what they actually say.

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The bible tought you were to circumcise a boy on the 8th day they were living. And now modern science tells us that on this day only in life the chemical in the body which clots blood is at an all time high for all of their life.

This is just flat out wrong.  It's a myth that has been long discarded.

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For many years humans did not have any conception of the amount of stars in the universe and not untill only modern science  have we learned that it is or almost is infinite this number.

No, it is not infinite.  We actually have a pretty good idea of that number.  The number of subatomic particles in the visible universe, for example, is estimated at about 10^80.  The number of stars in the universe, therefore, is significantly less than that, which is not infinite.

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Yet thousands of years ago so How the bible stated the number of stars is like the number of particles of sand on earth.

Unlike the Job scripture you reference above, this is a case where scripture actually is using a simile.  Scripture also says that there are some men whose "emissions" (i.e., joy juice eruptions) are like that of horses.  Horses, on average, put out 70 milliliters of jizz with each ejaculation, and volumes as high as 250 milliliters are not terribly uncommon.  Do you think that actually means that these guys averaged 70 to 250 milliliters of spunk every time they frosted the pastry?[1]  Or could it just be a figure of speech?

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I can keep going if anyone would like but the evidence for not only God but the bible extends from science to historical, archeological, mathmatical, and more.

We've heard it all before, or at least, so it always seems whenever we get a new visitor like you.  If you think you have something new, by all means, let's hear it... but don't be surprised if we tell you we've heard it before and have an answer for it, just as we have for these matters you've brought up here.

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God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven

I didn't ask him to, and if I had been asked, I would have said no.

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because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.

If he created us, and we're evil, doesn't that mean he created us evil, in which case being evil isn't even our own fault?  So how can we blamed or need to be forgiven for it?
 1. hint: the average volume with humans is perhaps ten to fifteen milliliters.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: One Above All on July 19, 2012, 07:42:42 AM
The number of subatomic particles in the visible universe, for example, is estimated at about 10^80.

That seems low. Where did you hear that?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 19, 2012, 07:47:18 AM
Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument,

It's not. You have misunderstood the question.  Don't feel bad, though.  Lots of people misunderstand.  So many people get it wrong that I have a stock response:

There is a certian type of xian who attempts to justify his or her god beliefs by claiming that people are miraculously healed of various afflictions by divine intervention.  The afflictions may include cancer, diabetes, coma, heart conditions, tooth decay, halitosis, spastic colon, etc.  We frequently hear anecdotes about how some church group prayed for some guy and the next day he was completely healed. 

But there are several problems with this kind of reasoning.  First, data shows many of these types of afflictions sometimes "clear up" without any kind of prayers.  It seems to be a natural response or a misdiagnosis. 

Second, people of all religions make the same claims.  And last, there is a whole class of ailments that are never, ever cured by prayer or naturally.  People never regrow lost limbs.  Lost eyes never regrow in the empty sockets.  Retarded people never gain normal mental capacity. Alzheimers and Dementia sufferers never recover.  Old people never rejuvenate. 

This has clear implications about a god that supposedly heals people.  It leaves you only a few conclusions about such a god.

 
To say that you believe in evil,

I don't.  Most people here don't.  You are putting the cart before the horse.  You should ask questions before making assumptions.

 
But the true undeniable fact is that only the bible out of all religious text states things which have been proven correct by modern science.

That's not what the muslims say.  Or the hindus. 

Such as in Job where it states that our earth hangs on nothing referring to gravity no visible by the eye.

That's silly.

For many years humans did not have any conception of the amount of stars in the universe and not untill only modern science  have we learned that it is or almost is infinite this number

You are uninformed.

God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.

That is wishful thinking at best.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: naemhni on July 19, 2012, 07:52:56 AM
The number of subatomic particles in the visible universe, for example, is estimated at about 10^80.

That seems low. Where did you hear that?

I don't remember the specific source, but it was in one of my textbooks in college.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: jaimehlers on July 19, 2012, 09:29:54 AM
I think what the writer of that article didn't get is that it's about providing testable empirical evidence.  Anyone can make a claim about something, but only by testing it can we determine how valid that claim is.  I'm sure the apologist argument makes Christians feel really good about their beliefs, but it isn't very useful for anything but sustaining those beliefs, because it can't be tested.

If an apologist could point to an example of an amputee being healed only by the intercession of prayer, in a way that could be empirically tested and scientifically validated, then it would be a different story.  But for some reason, they never seem to be interested in doing that.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Grimm on July 19, 2012, 09:30:46 AM
I... am not sure I can agree with this one either.

You're talking about the Eddington Number, right?  That's 1.57x10^79 - or the observable number of protons in the universe.  The actual number of subatomic particles would be much, much higher - this is just one.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: DumpsterFire on July 19, 2012, 09:37:22 AM
He suffered the most in the few hours he was hung on a piece of wood? I find that statement arrogant, to be honest. There are people (whose existence is extremely well documented and proven, unlike god's) who have suffered for years on end, there are even stories of Christian saints who actually suffered far, far more than Jesus. Not to mention those who suffered far more and far longer at the hands of Christians.

My thoughts exactly. I've never understood why xtians say Jesus suffered for all of mankinds sins (so we don't have to) when the suffering he endured, while terrible, wasn't at all the amount one would think would be required to atone for all mankind. Every person tortured into confession and subsequently burned at the stake for witchcraft surely suffered more.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: naemhni on July 19, 2012, 09:45:10 AM
I... am not sure I can agree with this one either.

You're talking about the Eddington Number, right?  That's 1.57x10^79 - or the observable number of protons in the universe.  The actual number of subatomic particles would be much, much higher - this is just one.

Well, when you consider that the universe is, what, 98 percent hydrogen?  What you would do, then, is take your number and double it (hydrogen = one proton and one electron) and you'd have just about all the subatomic particles in existence.  You'd still be missing some, but that's still in the general range of the number I gave, which is a factor of ten higher than yours.

In any event, that number is an estimate; obviously there's a lot of "wiggle room" here.  Regardless, though, the highest number I've ever heard for this estimate is 10^82, or a thousand times larger than the number you gave.

If we want to pursue this further, we should probably start a thread in the Science section, though.  We're wandering off-topic here.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Grimm on July 19, 2012, 09:47:10 AM
On newborn coagulation/eighth day nonsense:

http://tinyurl.com/7v2haq4

Allow me to quote from William Oliver's paper:

"The newborn coagulation system matures to adult concentrations and function over 6 months, even if premature birth temporarily depresses system capabilities.  Maturation does not ensure normal concentrations of all clotting factors.  Infant prothrombin levels lag behind adult concentrations by 20% into childhood, even though thrombin formation is the center of clotting...  Term and preterm infants form thrombin poorly.  Overall clotting capacity is below that of adults because of reduced clotting factors and contact proteins.  Ultimately, this impacts anticoagulation during CPB and hermostasis postoperatively."


TL;DR?  Infants have less coagulation capability than adults, with the system improving into childhood.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: One Above All on July 19, 2012, 09:47:26 AM
<snip>

Protons and neutrons are made up of three quarks each. You also have gluons, muons, neutrinos, and a bunch of other subatomic particles. Just saying.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Grimm on July 19, 2012, 09:51:28 AM
I... am not sure I can agree with this one either.

You're talking about the Eddington Number, right?  That's 1.57x10^79 - or the observable number of protons in the universe.  The actual number of subatomic particles would be much, much higher - this is just one.

Well, when you consider that the universe is, what, 98 percent hydrogen?  What you would do, then, is take your number and double it (hydrogen = one proton and one electron) and you'd have just about all the subatomic particles in existence.  You'd still be missing some, but that's still in the general range of the number I gave, which is a factor of ten higher than yours.

In any event, that number is an estimate; obviously there's a lot of "wiggle room" here.  Regardless, though, the highest number I've ever heard for this estimate is 10^82, or a thousand times larger than the number you gave.

If we want to pursue this further, we should probably start a thread in the Science section, though.  We're wandering off-topic here.

Agreed, and we should - but as a final thought:  Photons, Mesons, neutrinos?  Just photons alone are almost uncountable, due to their nature.  10^80 may represent baryonic matter, but it's far from /everything/. 

To the science section!
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: hickdive on July 19, 2012, 09:59:43 AM
Unfortunately for the pastor, had he seen the whole video instead of simply responding to the WWGHA question he would have seen that his objections on the grounds of logical fallacy are dealt with.

Furthermore, a god of whatever flavour, NEVER performs a miraculous restoration of a missing body part. Which leaves us with the options of a god that exists but doesn't care or a god that exists but is bound by the limits proposed by Epicurus so why worship it or call it god? Or, no gods exist.

Hopefully the young man will present his pastor's arguments to his atheist friend and have them refuted.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: hickdive on July 19, 2012, 10:08:14 AM
The bible tought you were to circumcise a boy on the 8th day they were living. And now modern science tells us that on this day only in life the chemical in the body which clots blood is at an all time high for all of their life.

I asked my wife about this. She's a Senior BMS specialising in Haemostasis (i.e. blood clotting) in a major teaching hospital which includes the largest maternity unit in the country. She holds an MSc in her field and she's also contributed to several published scientific papers on the topic including WHO standards.

Her considered response to this allegation was, "bollocks".
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Astreja on July 19, 2012, 10:21:25 AM
To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver.

It appears that the "moral law giver" is community consensus, not gods.

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But the true undeniable fact is that only the bible out of all religious text states things which have been proven correct by modern science.

Unless you can demonstrate that pi=3.0, and Fed-Ex a Talking Snake™ to My house, you're dreadfully wrong about the scientific truthiness in the Bible.  It's full of nonsense, and I suspect that anything they *did* get right was plagiarized from real scientists in neighbouring cultures.

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God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.

That's a ridiculous proposition.  Why would a god have to sacrifice itself to itself to forgive?  At least when Oðinn hung on Yggdrasil for 9 days and nights He came out of it with some useful information rather than a guilt trip to lay upon the hapless mortals in Midgard.  Not impressed by your dead-guy-on-a-stick theology.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Frank on July 19, 2012, 02:28:24 PM

God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.

Christ, assuming he existed at all, was neither the first nor the last person to be cruxified. I doubt his suffering was any greater than anyone else's who received the same punishment. Are you against capital punishment or just capital punishment that hurts?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 05:02:42 PM
So what your are telling me morals are what you decide them to be and what I choose them to be how will we ever know if one society is right to think all people should have value and love their neighbor or if it is right of those who choose to eat their neighbor. You can't refer to a system like that with the term morals it would be like that of the animal kingdom. It is said that all material things that show a sign of intelligence we assume intelligabillity behind it. Like apologist Ravi zacharias states you can not say that the dictionary was caused by an explosion in the printing press. Someone replied to my post saying we are God. If so then show me how to produce a story with no author. You can't because you can't use and bend physics and chemistry to your will and make it happen. Thos who are saying Jesus did not exist this I profound to me seeing all the different cultures that historically say things about him and text outside the bible saying he rose from the dead. Even the Quran states that he was born of a virgin mother. It also says he appears to die on the cross. Knowing you all will want more evidence for these last statements that's what I'll be doing right when I'm out of the car.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: HAL on July 19, 2012, 05:11:03 PM
So what your are telling me morals are what you decide them to be and what I choose them to be ...

Right, you got it.


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... how will we ever know if one society is right to think all people should have value and love their neighbor or if it is right of those who choose to eat their neighbor.

If you like eating people then you associate with others who like to eat people and form a society. If you want to love your neighbor you do same with other like-minded people. If the people-loving society doesn't like your people-eating society (or vice versa) they might start a war and whoever wins gets to make the laws.

There is no absolute moral right or wrong. See how simple it is?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 05:19:00 PM
What evidence do you have to support this claim that we have no moral absolute?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: HAL on July 19, 2012, 05:25:38 PM
What evidence do you have to support this claim that we have no moral absolute?

There is no proof of it. Do you have a proof of an absolute moral standard? Until there is a proof I can't agree there is such a thing.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Astreja on July 19, 2012, 06:04:55 PM
...you can't use and bend physics and chemistry to your will and make it happen.

You forgot biology, Samuel.  That's why I do not believe that Jesus came back from the dead -- In the hypoxic state that follows heart arrest, the brain dies and the cells of the body start to decay.

And don't try to use the Bible as evidence unless you're prepared to supply Me with a real, live Talking Snake™ just like the one in Genesis.  *You* may be uncritical enough to believe any wild story your preacher or a holy storybook tells you, but if you want to convince us you're going to have to find evidence that meets *our* standards rather than your own.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: jetson on July 19, 2012, 10:09:40 PM
What evidence do you have to support this claim that we have no moral absolute?

We don't need proof.  The absence of a moral absolute dictates that the one who claims there is a moral absolute, must show that there is a moral absolute.  Same with God.  Those who claim he is real must show he is real, not the other way around.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 10:45:44 PM
Alright I'll give you that all day about proof for the moral absolute you don't need it for what your saying but that doesn't mean that you are free from having some view and evidence for how all this came to be here life and all things. I'd like to hear that. Also I'd like to ask what each of you all saying this personally feels about good and evil in your own life or those around you, so do you ever feel that choices you make or others are better in the way choices of all kinds in life have repercussions on ourselves and those around us.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 11:01:24 PM
Well in my own belief which I understand here we disagree, but in Christian theology the belief is the God of the bible is separate from his creation not in our realm appart from it. He's always exsisted or uncreated and in his supernatural capabilities can work miracles as Lewis said you can't accept God without accepting miracles. No one can even try an claim that the tomb of Jesus wasn't empty. That is accepted as factual evidence look it up, it's the explation that we can debate on. But I'd just add that not only biology but all the sciences together can not fully explain this world and all it's complexities and will not be able to. It can explain a lot but it is just one of our many subjects.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: sun_king on July 19, 2012, 11:12:17 PM
No one can even try an claim that the tomb of Jesus wasn't empty. That is accepted as factual evidence look it up, it's the explation that we can debate on.

I looked this up, came up with no factual evidence. If you have something that is not found in a Google search, please share with us.

Biology and all the sciences together cannot fully explain this world and all its complexities, but use caution when you claim that it will not be able to. We are making impressive progress every day.

Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 19, 2012, 11:25:27 PM
Alright I'll give you that all day about proof for the moral absolute you don't need it for what your saying but that doesn't mean that you are free from having some view and evidence for how all this came to be here life and all things. I'd like to hear that.

A byproduct of the big bang was a planet (earth) that happened to be conducive to life and eventually I showed up.

Worked for me.

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Also I'd like to ask what each of you all saying this personally feels about good and evil in your own life or those around you, so do you ever feel that choices you make or others are better in the way choices of all kinds in life have repercussions on ourselves and those around us.

Stuff I do has repercussions? Whoda thunkit.

Seven billion people on the planet and christians want to simplify every problem via the good/evil paradigm. How cute. What better way to solve a problem than to simplify it beyond recognition?

I love the christian emphasis on good and evil. The world is made black and white, righteousness is evoked, and everyone not a member of the club is said to be in league with the devil.

But it isn't good and evil. It is "stuff that seems to work pretty good for most people" vs. "you a**hole, what did you do that for?" People, being inherently capable of a wide range of actions, at times go off the deep end and cause harm. Others accidentally do good stuff. Most of us intentionally do okay. But christians often seem to gloat about how wonderful you are and how horrid those of us are who are not biblically inclined.

I know what bad is, and I don't do it. Despite my lack of sky-daddy guidance. I have yet to shoot another. I have yet to rape. I've never beat a child. Nor robbed a bank or liquor store. Or anything else. So I have no idea why I should go into guilt mode or be mystified by my acceptable behavior just because I don't happen to have a well defined, non-ambiguous, clearly stated and all-encompassing set of moral guidelines from upon high like you do. Well, I exaggerated their quality and quantity and clarity, but thats because I lie sometimes.

Get over it. The only reason you have any high ground is because believers pile it on thick then stand atop it. The christian position is atop an artificially constructed and erroneously valued hill of righteousness that is too dependent upon the mass production of bullshit to be something worthy of pride.

Besides, to complain about our morals while basically admitting that you text and drive is just plain silly.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 11:39:51 PM
Not my words
Summing up this position, Dr. Thomas Arnold, the former chair of modern history at Oxford and author of the well-respected three volume “History of Rome” says: “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”5


Brooke Foss Wescott, an English scholar, said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.

Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, concluded that, “If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement.


One man who was highly skilled at dealing with evidence was Dr. Simon Greenleaf. He was the famous Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University and succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law in the same university. The rise of Harvard law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States is to be ascribed to the efforts of these two men. Greenleaf produced his famous three-volume work, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which still is considered one of the greatest single authorities on this subject in the entire literature of legal procedure.

Greenleaf examined the value of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ to ascertain the truth. He applied the principles contained in his three-volume treatise on evidence. His findings were recorded in his book, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Greenleaf came to the conclusion that, according to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.


I can give this website where it states more
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 19, 2012, 11:42:29 PM
"I love the christian emphasis on good and evil. The world is made black and white, righteousness is evoked, and everyone not a member of the club is said to be in league with the devil.

But it isn't good and evil. It is "stuff that seems to work pretty good for most people" vs. "you a**hole, what did you do that for?" People, being inherently capable of a wide range of actions, at times go off the deep end and cause harm. Others accidentally do good stuff. Most of us intentionally do okay. But christians often seem to gloat about how wonderful you are and how horrid those of us are who are not biblically inclined."

You say no good and evil then in your own explanation you used the word good?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Aaron123 on July 19, 2012, 11:52:13 PM
Not my words
Summing up this position, Dr. Thomas Arnold, the former chair of modern history at Oxford and author of the well-respected three volume “History of Rome” says: “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”5


Brooke Foss Wescott, an English scholar, said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.

Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, concluded that, “If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement.

So where is this evidence that they speak of?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 20, 2012, 12:02:01 AM
I said in the car not driving clearly you misread. I spoke about morals nothing about myself and what I do good or bad. I don't believe myself to be good I've never done anything you stated either but I've done other things and I will always mess up, I feel I am not better or greater then anyone else in any way shape or form. I simply believe what I believe with all my being that it is true and if you don't agree that's fine I still respect you or anyone no matter what. I was raised in this belief and always doubted untill I renounced my faith later in my teens. After some time I set out to find some truth on my own terms. Personally after a couple years of researching which I still do but I ended up seeing no other possible way. More then anything though and I understand many of you can't accept this, but the personal relationship I have with God, it is through this and answering my prayers is where my belief was made as solid as it is. Just trying to share some thoughts here and those who think I'm a lunatic i can only say I understand that's ok though
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Astreja on July 20, 2012, 12:07:43 AM
You say no good and evil then in your own explanation you used the word good?

Samuel, please distinguish between "good" and "evil" as absolute, abstract values and "good," "bad" and "evil" as used in day-to-day conversation.

Even without referring to anything divine or supernatural, most people know when someone has helped or hurt them.  From that point of view, "good" is that which brings happiness and positive outcomes; "bad" is a situation that brings unhappiness and negative outcomes, and "evil" is a subset of "bad" when someone deliberately strives to cause extreme harm and unhappiness.  For instance, a volcanic eruption might be bad, but it isn't evil.  An act of premeditated murder is evil because it was performed with malice of forethought.

As an aside, I find it interesting that the English language doesn't really have two distinct words for {deliberate good} and {incidental or natural good} that correspond to the words "evil" and "bad."

Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: sun_king on July 20, 2012, 12:14:52 AM
Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, concluded that, “If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement.

Cool, so mankind has the technology to ascertain what is contained in an arbitrary volume on any given day in history!!!

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I can give this website where it states more

I can give you this link http://www.alagaesia.com/ and you should start believing in Saphira and the Elves.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Astreja on July 20, 2012, 12:18:36 AM
I don't believe myself to be good I've never done anything you stated either but I've done other things and I will always mess up...

I felt sad when I read this.  Self-esteem is an important part of living a fulfilling life, and all too often I've seen religions beat it out of people with slanderous nonsense like Original Sin or the myth of a perfect, holy god who supposedly can't bear to be in our presence.

There's plenty of room in the universe for good gods and good mortals.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 20, 2012, 01:04:12 AM
Well about the bad, evil, and good I totally agree with you bad things I'd consider like you said natural elements of this world like volcanoes and animals. But humans being the odd balls on the planet have counsciousness and in that evil is created through selfishness, aragonce and things like this. Ravi zacharias tells this story about a women he met on a plane who rescued children from the sex trade. She told him the night before she saved an infant baby from a man who went to this place in the city where they are given a mix of snakes blood and liqour and then this child to do with it as they please. He points out which I strongly agree that yes the act this man is doing to this infant is evil but the greater evil is the man that is supplying all this to him.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: DumpsterFire on July 20, 2012, 01:13:04 AM
Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument, at least it seems. To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver. Protest to this is welcome.
OK, I protest then. The concepts of good and evil have changed dramatically over the ages. Today we consider it evil if a parent kills a child for disobedience, while the Bible not only condones it, but demands it. Today we think genocide is appalling and we punish those responsible for it, while it was not just something quite common in the Bible, but a direct order and compulsory - if they're different from us, they must be killed or enslaved. And while slavery is frowned upon today, it was something god seemed to have no qualms about. Today we believe that a victim of rape is not responsible for it and we do all we can to keep them as far away from their assailants as possible, while in the Bible it's demanded they should either be killed or married to their assailants. We are also not very fond of animal sacrifice nowadays while only a few thousand years ago it was demanded of the chosen people.

Of course we have certain moral standards and we base our laws on them - but the key word here is 'we'. As we change, and with us our perception of the world, we change those laws and standards. We are the law givers. Are we therefore god?

The Problem of Evil is troubling, indeed. Many members in many threads here have demonstrated that objective morality cannot exist, and I fully concur. Unfortunately, this also means that at least a part of your argument is correct: It is impossible to define something as evil with certainty. Even something that virtually everyone agrees is an evil act, such as the baby rape you speak of, could be considered acceptable by certain groups in certain situations. I bet if the Bible said that raping babies was the only way to get into heaven there would be gaggles of True BelieversTM droppin' trou and kickin' open the nursery door.

One thing that can be objectively determined, however, is suffering. No one can deny, for example, that a person who is going hungry, or an infant being raped, is suffering. Thus, the Problem of Suffering is a far more compelling argument against the existence of Yahweh. So, Sam, care to enlighten us with your thoughts on why an all-powerful and all-loving god allows so many of his children to suffer so horribly, especially when Jesus was supposed to have taken on all the suffering for mankind?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 20, 2012, 01:36:58 AM
Ok no about my self-esteem you've got that very wrong that's a promise. I'm 22 and you can see a male and I have been working in a day care for the past almost 3 years. I've since changed my major to elementary education because first I love working with and teaching kids. Multiple people in the field and most of all parents have told many times they think I need to pursue this. And also there is a huge reward to me in teaching when a child lets me know the impact I've had on them. This is one aspect of my life I know I can do some good in. The love I have and continue to experience from people. Literature, art, philosophy, science and many more similar things bring beauty and enjoyment to my life. Studying them and expressing through some. But to sum it up I would give to this , I know I'm not perfect, I know also that I have essential worth equal to everyone and I will continue to try my best everyday to be a good person and help those around me to the best of my abilities. I do not think highly of myself and I do not think lowly of myself.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Astreja on July 20, 2012, 01:47:28 AM
I love working with and teaching kids. Multiple people in the field and most of all parents have told many times they think I need to pursue this. And also there is a huge reward to me in teaching when a child lets me know the impact I've had on them. This is one aspect of my life I know I can do some good in.

Sounds great, Samuel.  If you love it, go for it!

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But to sum it up I would give to this , I know I'm not perfect, I know also that I have essential worth equal to everyone and I will continue to try my best everyday to be a good person and help those around me to the best of my abilities. I do not think highly of myself and I do not think lowly of myself.

Also good.  (And, for the record, I think that "perfection" is overrated.)
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 20, 2012, 03:17:06 AM
Yes I'd like to say your question is well taken and one I struggled with for a long time but I believe that people like C.S. Lewis and this apologist Ravi zacharias have done excellent in dealing with this. I'd like to answer you with reference to Ravi when he says the biblical Christian world view says the the very most supreme ethic is love. None are greater but love can't exist without free will meaning conformity and the forceing of love destroys it. A perfect world would be robotic and programmed. Another thing to consider is pain and why our life would need it. I can't remember the name of this ailment but it cause a person to be completely numb to pain and unable to perspire. But a person with this has to always be watched by someone because of the danger of them not knowing they are bleeding profusely. So we see some reason for pain. But then you have to realize that while it is true we can become weary to pain and it can leave us feeling empty but the same can be said of pleasure and this can be seen so clearly in so many places one being Hollywood. To switch lanes and close here with the fact that I have long been in doubt of many parts of the bible but over time for me the bible shows truth in its prophesy where predictions of Jesus come many years before his birth but all the many prophesies in the old testament on kingdoms and their rise and fall and if you go and follow that and look at history you will see the predictions come true. But In that prophesy and importance the bible gives  us that Jesus is the only way to the father. The central thought about the bible is that many parts of it have the possible literal and or figurative meaning seeing that most of it is written in parables. But we all in the community believe that the bible makes this importance of jesus amongst all things clear. And Jesus was the ultimate symbol of love. In they way he dealt with this life and the evil in it, first he was always purposefully surrounding himself with evil, but his only goal was to over and over present love in the face of evil. Then we see the love of God in him sending his son for our sins. For me the lowest points of my life were the times that I felt and understood God more then ever in my life. And trying to say that the bible and what it entails is just a wishful fantasy but go and read the book from start to finish and them say that we wish for all that to happen to us. It even says once you are a believer you will continue to see and feel pain and or evil and or suffering, but then in those times of suffering he increases his grace. That some very few my words mostly to who I stated.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 20, 2012, 03:24:26 AM
Thanks for that question
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 20, 2012, 03:30:39 AM
I used the word love a lot and there is the difference in our love and Gods love. When we love and love is lost we hurt because we have lost but when God loves and the love is lost he hurts only because we have lost.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: oogabooga on July 20, 2012, 06:59:23 AM
So what your are telling me morals are what you decide them to be and what I choose them to be how will we ever know if one society is right to think all people should have value and love their neighbor or if it is right of those who choose to eat their neighbor.
Morals are man made, so, yes, morals are what we (not I, not even close) decide - all of us, not just a small number of people. This is where science comes in. Humans are social creatures and as all social creatures we need certain rules in order to survive. We're slow, clumsy and quite badly equipped to survive alone, not to mention the fact that our offspring takes forever to develop enough to be able to survive. That's why we formed societies. And we figured out pretty early on that cooperation works best. If we look out for others, they will look out for us in return. This way we can be safer, better fed and better off in general. Not killing our neighbours (or better, not killing members of our community - your god, the lawmaker, the foundation of morality, doesn't seem to frown on killing neighbours) wasn't 'ordered', it was something humans found to be counterproductive for the development and well-being of their society.

Cannibalism as such is fairly rare in higher species in general and has always been extremely rare in humans - and it always had a religious underpinnings. Please, dwell on that a bit.

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You can't refer to a system like that with the term morals it would be like that of the animal kingdom.
Animals have morals. Social animals protect members of their own society and care for each other. Yes, that means that our morals don't differ much from the morals of other social animals. Animals, too, get rid of harmful members of their society, they also frown on having members of their own group kill other members for no reason. There are documented cases of chimpanzees risking their own lives to save members of their group. Why is it that you find it so distasteful or even insulting when we compare humans to other living creatures?

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It is said that all material things that show a sign of intelligence we assume intelligabillity behind it. Like apologist Ravi zacharias states you can not say that the dictionary was caused by an explosion in the printing press. Someone replied to my post saying we are God. If so then show me how to produce a story with no author. You can't because you can't use and bend physics and chemistry to your will and make it happen.

It may be said, but it's wrong. However the analogy with the dictionary (or the Boeing) is horribly inaccurate. I also don't understand what it has to do with morality, so it's also completely out of place.

If you're talking about evolution, however, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the theory that explains the process. I won't go into detail here, because I seriously doubt anyone here would want to be subjected to an involuntary reading of lengthy post about something that's been discussed and explained at least a fre dozen times on this very forum. Let me just say that the idea you're talking about is commonly referred to as the 'watchmaker fallacy' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_analogy) and has been refuted more times that I can count since its inception by William Paley in 1802.

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Thos who are saying Jesus did not exist this I profound to me seeing all the different cultures that historically say things about him and text outside the bible saying he rose from the dead. Even the Quran states that he was born of a virgin mother. It also says he appears to die on the cross. Knowing you all will want more evidence for these last statements that's what I'll be doing right when I'm out of the car.
There are no contemporaneous sources proving Jesus' existence. There are writings from nearby nations mentioning the fact that there were people who claim he existed, which is not surprising. No-one refutes the fact that Christians exist and that they existed at the time, and I haven't come across any claims that those particular beliefs exist. That doesn't make them accurate or true.

There are numerous sources claiming the existence of all sorts of other gods and their supposed children. There are written sources on various messiahs throughout history that are practically identical to the story of Jesus. Which one is right? Krishna, Mithras, Buddha, Marduk, Osiris, Horus and all sorts of gods peoples of that region worshiped long before Jesus, share much of his CV, they performed the same types of miracles and they were claimed to be sons of gods or gods. All those mythologies borrowed heavily from one another because those kinds of beliefs were simply prevalent at the time. There is nothing new or even strikingly original in the story of Jesus. The only thing that's really sort of original in the NT is the acid-driven ramblings in the Revelations. And even that is just a rehash of various other end-of-time or end-of-world myths.


I used the word love a lot and there is the difference in our love and Gods love. When we love and love is lost we hurt because we have lost but when God loves and the love is lost he hurts only because we have lost.
This also caught my eye. So, let me recap (and repeat something that you seem to have ignored): god loves us, but he is willing to punish us for all eternity for the fact that he made us flawed, and he hurts because of it.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: naemhni on July 20, 2012, 07:16:07 AM
And trying to say that the bible and what it entails is just a wishful fantasy but go and read the book from start to finish

You appear to be assuming that most of us here have not read the bible.  In fact, most of us have read it, cover to cover, more than once and in more than one translation.  I'm one of the exceptions to this, but check back with me in another three, maybe four weeks.  I'm working my way thru the ESV and should be done with it by then.  (I'm currently up to Acts 3.)  Thank you for reminding me of one of the bigger reasons that I undertook the project.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 20, 2012, 08:59:04 AM
Summing up this position, Dr. Thomas Arnold,

yeah.  He died in 1842.  Long, long, long before archaeology got good.  Long before historians stopped using the bible as a field guide.  Long before advanced dating methods were available.

Brooke Foss Wescott, an English scholar,

died 1901 and not a historian.

Dr. Paul L. Maier,

has a vested interest in denial of reality.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_L._Maier 
Quote
serves as Second Vice President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Jeeze, why not quote the Pope too?


Dr. Simon Greenleaf.

died 1853


Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: DumpsterFire on July 20, 2012, 10:18:29 AM
None are greater but love can't exist without free will meaning conformity and the forceing of love destroys it. A perfect world would be robotic and programmed. Another thing to consider is pain and why our life would need it. I can't remember the name of this ailment but it cause a person to be completely numb to pain and unable to perspire. But a person with this has to always be watched by someone because of the danger of them not knowing they are bleeding profusely. So we see some reason for pain. <snip>

 It even says once you are a believer you will continue to see and feel pain and or evil and or suffering...

I agree that a world utterly without pain and suffering would not be in mankind's best interest. Pain and suffering alert us to things that are physically or emotionally harmful to us, and this type of mechanism is necessary for the overall growth of the species.

Its the extensive and excessive (and unnecessary) suffering so prevalent in this world to which I refer. It is not a sin, my dear xtian, to be born in an impoverished area, but millions of children suffer every day of their lives for it. Surely the god who the bible says rained manna down from heaven would see fit to provide these folks with some food to eat, right? And it wouldn't even have to be as dramatic as the whole manna thing. Simply 'designing' a new, nutrient-rich crop that could be easily cultivated and thrive in harsh climates would do it. And it wouldn't even violate that precious 'free-will' clause most xtians so desperately cling to. If such a crop existed, we would just accept it as fact and move on. Meanwhile, prolonged human suffering in this world would be greatly diminished.

I know, I know, its the cruel warlords that control the food supply in many of these places, and god can't interfere with free-will in those cases (standard xtian response in other similar threads). But I call BS on that, as well. A nice, strategic heart attack here and there would work wonders in that department:

Mugabe: "OK men, you must go collect the shipments of rice that just arrived from the Red Cross. Do not let any villagers have any, and kill anybody who tries to stop you."

Soldiers on Mugabe's payroll: "Yes, Boss!"

Mugabe: "Actually, you can pretty much kill as many of the locals as you wish, just make sure to bring those rice bundles back her...AAAGH!...chest tightening...arm...numb...hard to...breathe..."<collapses to floor>.

Soldiers: "Boss! Boss! You OK?"

Soldier 1: "I think he's dead!"

Soldier 2: "OMG, what should we do? Should we still seize the rice bundles?"

Soldier 1: "Hell no, that shit's heavy. Let's grab his wallet and get the hell out of here!"


People die of heart attacks all the time, so no one would be the wiser. Of course, god couldn't kill all these bastards the same way or we might be on to him. He would have to get creative and throw in some fatal car wrecks, plane crashes, flesh eating bacteria, who knows? There are plenty of ways to die. God could even make the guy trip and shoot himself with his own gun, wouldn't that be fitting?

The best part of this arrangement would be that xtians would say god is helping us by getting rid of evil people, but we atheists would still say it was just a coincidence and not evidence of god. Suffering is diminished and free-will remains intact.

Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Gnu Ordure on July 20, 2012, 10:38:31 AM
Not my words
Summing up this position, Dr. Thomas Arnold, the former chair of modern history at Oxford and author of the well-respected three volume “History of Rome” says:
For the record, these are the words of Josh McDowell, taken from his book The Resurrection Factor, (http://bible.org/article/resurrection-jesus-christ) and endlessly recycled by Christians ever since, even though the quotations are rubbish, as Screwtape pointed out.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 20, 2012, 11:11:49 AM
It is not surprising xians quote people who died over a century ago.  Because they tout a "holy" book that is 2000 years old, of course using sources obsolete for 100 years is no biggie.  I mean, what could we have possibly learned in the last 100 years that would be of any value or could contradict them?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 20, 2012, 11:15:54 AM
So what your are telling me morals are what you decide them to be and what I choose them to be how will we ever know if one society is right to think all people should have value and love their neighbor or if it is right of those who choose to eat their neighbor. You can't refer to a system like that with the term morals it would be like that of the animal kingdom.

You forget we ARE part of the animal kingdom...the breath, we eat, we, crap, we die. You are just appealing to emotion and pity....societies have occasionally allowed for cannibalism. However it was either ritually religious, or it was be calling another society as unworthy of being considered "real" humans. You can try to point at your sky God all you like but you ignore the very real world examples I put in front of you how morality varies.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 04:34:22 AM
Just because social similarities arise with us and animals doesn't mean we are the same. Any kind of truth requires coherence and I ask if you can show me that in your claims?
If I knew how to post the link I would this article relates I believe on Rzim.org on the left side of the page the read option and then in the just thinking section the article the new atheism and maybe it will help
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 21, 2012, 07:33:44 AM
Just because social similarities arise with us and animals doesn't mean we are the same.

Are you saying people are not animals?

If I knew how to post the link I would ...

paste the url you want linked into the text box. 
put your cursor at the end of the url and then press the "Enter" key. 
click "post". 
you now have posted a link.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 10:44:34 AM
I agree that we are a part of the animal kingdom but due to a vast amount of information about human intelligence and complexities of our physical bodies and our bodies of work( art, history, civilizations) these things not even a monkey can compare to. And thanks
http://www.rzim.org/justthinkingfv/tabid/602/articleid/10020/cbmoduleid/881/default.aspx
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 21, 2012, 12:03:14 PM
I agree that we are a part of the animal kingdom

okay, good.

...but due to a vast amount of information about human intelligence and complexities of our physical bodies and our bodies of work( art, history, civilizations) these things not even a monkey can compare to.

Intelligence, I agree.  physical complexities?  I don't know how we are any more complex than a chimp or any other mammal.  And even if we are, I don't understand what conclusion you want us to draw from that.


And thanks

No sweat.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 12:28:59 PM
The brain specifically I was talking about in light of all these questions we can come together ask them and exchange ideas hundreds or thousands of miles apart. No other animal has come to rule over nature as we have and as now we attempt to stab deadly knives into nature. This is relevant to me because the bible is very clear from the beginning that God intended for us to be over all the animals.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 21, 2012, 12:47:20 PM
Sorry if this sounds  rude, but your link was not very good.  J.M. Njoroge - the guy who wrote the essay - is either dishonest or stupid.  Probably an unhealthy dose of both.

I do not think it is worth going through his whole essay to defeat it.  It is stupid on its face.  He talks about atheists spewing vitriol.  Seriously?  Does he listen to how xians characterize atheists?  He also stuffs several strawmen, makes a lot of assumptions, begs a lot of questions.  Intellectually, this is a joke. 
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 02:25:04 PM
No it's not rude of that's what it is to you that's that. Could you give me a few lines which you think lack logic or intellect I would like to see.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Ambassador Pony on July 21, 2012, 03:33:31 PM
I agree that we are a part of the animal kingdom but due to a vast amount of information about human intelligence and complexities of our physical bodies and our bodies of work( art, history, civilizations) these things not even a monkey can compare to.

Neanderthals did ok.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal)

art, history, civilization, language...
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Zankuu on July 21, 2012, 03:49:19 PM
I agree that we are a part of the animal kingdom but due to a vast amount of information about human intelligence and complexities of our physical bodies and our bodies of work( art, history, civilizations) these things not even a monkey can compare to.

Homo sapien intelligence was, and still is, a work in progress! From the smaller 400cm3 brain sized Australopithecus (3 million years ago), to the 850cm3 brain found in Homo erectus (1.5 million years ago), to our current 1100cm3 brain size (200,000 - present).
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 04:12:11 PM
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=intelligence-evolved
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Zankuu on July 21, 2012, 04:27:17 PM
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=intelligence-evolved

What are your thoughts on that link?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: mrbiscoop on July 21, 2012, 05:38:58 PM

God loves us so that he suffered the greatest on the cross so we can be forgiven because as the creator of us he knows us, and he knows our human nature is evil.

Christ, assuming he existed at all, was neither the first nor the last person to be cruxified. I doubt his suffering was any greater than anyone else's who received the same punishment. Are you against capital punishment or just capital punishment that hurts?
Maybe Jesus had like the lowest pain tolerance imaginable.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 21, 2012, 05:46:22 PM
Just because social similarities arise with us and animals doesn't mean we are the same. Any kind of truth requires coherence and I ask if you can show me that in your claims?


Ok coherence:

I state we are part of the animal kingdom. Period.

You state we are part of the animal kingdom, but are separate from it

Which of these statements are more coherent?

I state that morality it a cultural thing that has evolutionary roots. I show examples through history to confirm this claim.

You state morality is absolute, therefore God. You do not address the variety of morality humans show or that some base morality has evolutionary roots. You state that animalistic morality shows some similarities, then go off on a complete tangent that doesn't address the question of morality


Which of these statements are more coherent?


I state that all god are complete fictional characters

You make an exception for the one popular in the culture you grew up in at the time you were born.


Which of these statements are more coherent?


Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 09:11:01 PM
That article I likens a decent bit of it but my question there is how does something come from nothing they are still left with that problem in the claims of the beginning. I do believe in some form of evolution though.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: boobatuba on July 22, 2012, 09:16:27 PM
That article I likens a decent bit of it but my question there is how does something come from nothing they are still left with that problem in the claims of the beginning. I do believe in some form of evolution though.
There are plenty of intelligent people who believe that something has always existed and always will. It takes care of that little problem of something coming from nothing.

Or, at least, it's better than goddidit©.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 09:27:43 PM
I never said we were separate from it we are just different and unique among all others for a long list of reasons.

If morals are a cultural thing then how do you explain the massive list of people who have gone against all notions of their societies?

And I never said God was morals. I said he is the moral law giver yet he also gives us free will.

I've studied many religions and I haven't found one yet other then the bible that that corresponds so well to reality. Things like islam saying there is no compulsion in religion and hindus saying we should free ourselves from every single desire even if that may be your own child.C.S Lewis before he believed in God said he came to the conclusion that the only two possible religions that could be true are pantheism or christianity.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 09:29:55 PM
Are you saying I have that problem to because of the biblical definition for God?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 22, 2012, 09:32:28 PM
That article I likens a decent bit of it but my question there is how does something come from nothing they are still left with that problem in the claims of the beginning. I do believe in some form of evolution though.

"I don't know" is an answer...."god of the gaps" is not. Gods being the reason has been an incorrect answer for disease, lightening bolts, earthquakes, origin of man. Atheists just have the sense to see that line of reasoning being wrong every time in the past and assume that it will continue.



Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: boobatuba on July 22, 2012, 09:40:08 PM
I'm wondering if someone can please teach Samuelke to quote so I can have some semblance of an idea if he's talking to me or not.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 22, 2012, 09:43:50 PM


If morals are a cultural thing then how do you explain the massive list of people who have gone against all notions of their societies?

For the same reason that cultures evolve, new forms of art develop, new music, new words. There's always rebellion against the status quo. Sometimes those rebellions gain momentum, sometimes they do not.

Mostly however they stick towards the basic problems presented by evolution of a pack animal. Selfishness will get your genes passed on, but a pack consisting of only selfish individuals will die out versus a cooperative pack. Two diametricly opposed evolutionary imperatives create a complex interplay.
I never said God was morals. I said he is the moral law giver yet he also gives us free will.


I never claimed you said God was morals. I said you claimed Morality, therefore God. You are still claiming this, and it is still incorrect. Morality is a set of cultural items that has biological roots. From "women and children first" of Edwardian Sensibilities; to the execution of Jews under the Inquisition(they are not of our tribe) all pretty straight forward.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: DumpsterFire on July 22, 2012, 09:59:41 PM
If morals are a cultural thing then how do you explain the massive list of people who have gone against all notions of their societies?


If morals are objective, how do you explain the massive list of people who have gone against all notions of their god?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 10:16:07 PM
I'm wondering if someone can please teach Samuelke to quote so I can have some semblance of an idea if he's talking to me or not.

My bad
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 10:33:38 PM


For the same reason that cultures evolve, new forms of art develop, new music, new words. There's always rebellion against the status quo. Sometimes those rebellions gain momentum, sometimes they do not.

Mostly however they stick towards the basic problems presented by evolution of a pack animal. Selfishness will get your genes passed on, but a pack consisting of only selfish individuals will die out versus a cooperative pack. Two diametricly opposed evolutionary imperatives create a complex interplay..


I never claimed you said God was morals. I said you claimed Morality, therefore God. You are still claiming this, and it is still incorrect. Morality is a set of cultural items that has biological roots. From "women and children first" of Edwardian Sensibilities; to the execution of Jews under the Inquisition(they are not of our tribe) all pretty straight forward.

But how do you say that these morals are from culture and society when every culture has their morals based on some form of religion?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 10:39:01 PM
Morals is another thing that makes us different then the rest of the animals
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Barracuda on July 22, 2012, 10:43:03 PM
Just jumping in, Samuelke, I think you might find this video interesting http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html

I think the degree to which we are "unique" or different from every other species is grossly overstated.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: oogabooga on July 23, 2012, 02:55:08 AM
I never said we were separate from it we are just different and unique among all others for a long list of reasons.
All species have a long list of characteristics in which the differ from others. I don't get your argument.

Quote
If morals are a cultural thing then how do you explain the massive list of people who have gone against all notions of their societies?
That's precisely the way moral precepts change. There are people who believe something we do is wrong and should be done in a different way in order to further our development and better our lives. Their ideas gather momentum and 'infect' other people. After a sufficient amount of time they become standard. This is how we got rid of slavery, gave women equal rights, started to abhor child abuse, started to punish crimes against humanity (especially genocide) and so on. All of the above is something your god has practically commanded in the past, but is now considered appalling at best. Your god either demanded or approved of slavery, it was his will that women and children be property of the man, he commanded mass murder (more precisely the wiping of entire nations, therefore genocide).

Your moral law giver gave humanity those same laws that some peoples we now call terrorists are trying to enforce in their own societies and the rest of the world is trying to prevent that. Allah as seen by the Taliban is a lot like your own god (actually, it is your own god, since Islam as an Abrahamic religions is just another offshoot of Christianity), but Sharia law is something even you would probably find too gruesome for words.

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And I never said God was morals. I said he is the moral law giver yet he also gives us free will.
And for that free will he's willing to punish us. He used to, didn't he? He punished Adam and Eve for their free will. He drowned the world because people had the audacity to exercise their right to free will. And by 'talking' to a bunch of 'holy' men he keeps on punishing people for exercising their god given right - the Jews, the supposed witches, pagans, heretics and so on. How does that compute? Would you really find it just to punish your child for doing something after telling him he can do whatever he wants? And how exactly do we have free will if it comes with a price and a whole bunch of prohibitions? My will is either free or it's not.

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I've studied many religions and I haven't found one yet other then the bible that that corresponds so well to reality. Things like islam saying there is no compulsion in religion and hindus saying we should free ourselves from every single desire even if that may be your own child.C.S Lewis before he believed in God said he came to the conclusion that the only two possible religions that could be true are pantheism or christianity.
The Bible corresponding best to reality is your wishful thinking. No compulsion in religion equals free will, doesn't it? So Islam therefore corresponds better to your god's supposed ideas than your own religion (if that was true, but it isn't - Islam has just as many prohibitions as Christianity and only certain denominations hold such beliefs). Hinduism consists of various traditions that don't even begin to conform to what you claim (complete asceticism is not the norm), but I would like to point out that Jesus said a lot of those same things. Again - same geographic region, same types of beliefs. That's neither surprising nor a sign of any of them being right.

C.S. Lewis' conclusions are simply wrong, because they are the product of his own wishful thinking. He believed something therefore he was convinced that one or the other version of his own beliefs are the only possible ones. Most people who have firm beliefs in something will claim the same, regardless of the origin of their beliefs.

How can Christianity be 'one true religion' when its own members can't decide on what their one single holy book even means? There are over 30 thousand denominations with vastly different convictions. Which one of them was C.S. Lewis talking about? Let me guess - his own?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: sun_king on July 23, 2012, 05:30:28 AM
hindus saying we should free ourselves from every single desire even if that may be your own child.C.S Lewis before he believed in God said he came to the conclusion that the only two possible religions that could be true are pantheism or christianity.

Hinduism doesn't say anything explicitly like "free ourselves from every single desire even if that may be your own child". That is more of Buddhism. The Hindu's even have a god for sex, won't that be redundant if desire is frowned upon? Get a grip on the facts before making tall claims.

And for the record C.S. Lewis was also heard saying "Our divisions should never be discussed except in the presence of those who have already come to believe that there is one God and that Jesus Christ is his only Son" So much for the only "two possible religions"
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: naemhni on July 23, 2012, 05:51:58 AM
how does something come from nothing they are still left with that problem in the claims of the beginning.

Atheists don't actually make this claim, so it's a strawman.  Just for the sake of argument, though, let's say they did -- they would probably have to reply, "I don't know."  The theist, in turn, would probably say, "God did it."  The funny thing is, the theist doesn't realize that he's saying "I don't know", too.  He's just using different words for it.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Hatter23 on July 23, 2012, 07:33:06 AM
But how do you say that these morals are from culture and society when every culture has their morals based on some form of religion?

Even if that is true, which it isn't(but it is more often true than not...not the "every" in your statement): Have you noticed that different cultures and societies have different religions? Seriously. Different societies have different languages, cultures, morality, and religion. All points to the fact there isn't one universal law giver, no universal right and wrong.

In fact when religious texts contain contradictory statements; I can only attest for the Torah, Bible, and Koran, what portions are chosen to emphasize reflect the society as it will self project itself as the image of the god they wish to worship.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Zankuu on July 23, 2012, 08:05:55 AM
Morals is another thing that makes us different then the rest of the animals

This is untrue since other species exhibit moral behavior.

Samuelke, is there a specific moral action performed by homo sapiens that you believe seperates us from other species? I'm quite confident I can present you with a similar behavior displayed by another ape family.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 23, 2012, 09:20:26 AM
No it's not rude of that's what it is to you that's that. Could you give me a few lines which you think lack logic or intellect I would like to see.

Quote
The trademark of this new brand of atheism is its vitriolic attack on religion.

It's funny, we point out the obvious and it's "vitriolic".  Did you know there are several state constitutions that ban atheists from serving in any governmental capacity?  Is that not vitriolic?  Have you read our Mail Bag? 

Quote
A good example of a claim against religion that does not sit well with the facts of reality is issued in the form of a challenge to the believer to ...

This is a strawman argument.  I have never heard an atheist use that exact statement to argue god does not exist.  Not even the one he quoted.  It was from a Hitchens editorial in which Hitch was addressing a specific accusation against him.  If that is not intellectually lacking, it is dishonest, which I think is worse.  The original Hitch editiorial:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/13/AR2007071301461.html

Quote
Without God, morality is reduced to whatever mode of behavior human beings happen to favor either because of their genetic makeup or conventional accords.

Incorrect.  He does not understand what morality is.  He thinks it is about Good and Evil, Right and Wrong.  It's not.  It is about what works.

enough?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: screwtape on July 23, 2012, 09:23:23 AM
No other animal has come to rule over nature as we have and as now we attempt to stab deadly knives into nature. This is relevant to me because the bible is very clear from the beginning that God intended for us to be over all the animals.

I bet the dinosaurs said that too.  Only they have more right.  They ruled for about 165 million years.  We've only been at it for a couple tens of thousands. If things keep going the way they are, we won't see another thousand years.



But how do you say that these morals are from culture and society when every culture has their morals based on some form of religion?

Are you sure morals come from religion?  Is it possible that morals are just instutitionalized by religion? 

As I see it, religion is an instrument of culture.  It is a tool that cultures use to enforce and promote the rules of the culture.  In that sense it is a conservative mechanism.  The problem is, cultures change and adapt, but religion resists change.  Religions want us to live exactly like the people who started them did, forever. 

So here we are with people running around in the 21st century trying to claim their morals come from the 8th century BCE.  What you and many xians don't realize is you are being selective about what morals you get from the bible.  In reality, your morals come from your modern society, which is good, because we are far, far more moral than Iron Age Hebrews.

However you conveniently forget to count all the outdated laws and rules that you do not follow in your Iron Age holy book.  You deny they were mandates for morality, you excuse them by saying jesus H made them unnecessary or just pretend they aren't there.   


edit - post break commentary added

 
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: The Gawd on July 23, 2012, 03:37:11 PM
good thread.

Sam, it appears as though you are reading the responses which I give you credit for as there are a lot. However, it seems as though youre not considering the responses once you read them because some of the same issues keep coming up. I kindly ask that instead of seeing each point as a point of debate 1st, if you would consider the point and try to understand it, then determine if its actually a point you can argue.

For example, many people have suggested that we are indeed animals, and you have accepted that. Yet, the debate for some reason continues when it shouldnt.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Nam on July 23, 2012, 04:39:47 PM
My problem with the OP is: the Bible says if you believe in Jesus and Biblegod, and you pray to Biblegod for something, it'll answer your prayers. But that's not what the Christian responds with (making me think he hasn't read his Bible or is dismissing that part to make his argument more sound based on the lack of knowledge the average Christian actually has of the Bible, since most of them haven't actually read it), instead he responds with "Maybe god decided not to for some reason" [paraphrasing] which makes anything said after that pointless. He lost his argument when he stated that.

-Nam
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Garja on July 28, 2012, 10:11:30 PM
Quote
Handicap people were put here to glorify God...

Wow.   Just... wow.  So these people worship a god that needs to deliberately mutilate its own creation in order to make itself more glorious?

That kind of thinking is so perversely bat-shit insane and inhuman that the word "wrong" can't do it justice.

I don't know how someone can write that and feel that they hold the moral high ground. Rediculous and obscene.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: kcrady on July 29, 2012, 02:50:37 AM
Alright so first off if you were to start with the problem of evil, which is basically the backbone of the amputee argument, at least it seems. To say that you believe in evil, you are assuming a moral law to know what is good or evil, and to have a moral law means that there must be a moral law giver.

I am going to disagree a bit with some of my fellow atheists and argue that there is objective morality, at least within certain resolution limits.  My reasoning goes like this: human beings are entities of a specific nature.  There are certain things that are genuinely harmful to human beings, like causing them injury, raping them, stealing from them, enslaving them, and so on.  There is general agreement among societies that doing such things to someone is "bad" and doing certain other things (treating people with courtesy, listening to what they have to say, respecting their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and so on) are "good"--when applied to people recognized as "Us."  Moral differences in societies in this sphere generally arise from where the boundary of "Us" is defined.  To my knowledge, the rules of moral treatment are fairly consistent throughout history, when you're talking about male landowners.  Women, children, foreigners, etc. have often been defined as outside of the boundary of "Us," so the way they have been treated has varied widely.  Moral progress happens when the boundary of "Us" is extended to include more and more different types of people, and to some degree at least, the planetary biosphere on which we depend. 

The type of morality I'm talking about here is your basic Bill and Ted morality ("Be excellent to each other!" *air guitar*).  When we get into things like consensual sex (what type of partners, sex positions, kinks, etc. are OK, which ones aren't), what foods we "should" and "should not" eat, whether we ought to wear clothes made from blended fibers or not, which mind-altering substances we can use and the like, "morality" does become a great deal more subjective and diverse across different cultures.  However, to the extent that we're talking about demonstrably objective morality[1] this derives not from some "moral law" or "moral lawgiver" but from principles derived from human nature and our need to live together in cooperating societies.

But OK, what if all morality did derive solely from the authority of a "moral lawgiver (MLG)?"  If the MLG has no boss of its own, then for the MLG there is no such thing as morality.  How can there be, when the MLG doesn't have an MLG?  Which means, in turn, that whatever "moral laws" it issues are wholly arbitrary.[2]   We see this exemplified in the Bible, when Yahweh gives Moses a "Commandment" forbidding killing (which was supposedly given much earlier, to Noah), yet the moment Moses comes down from the mountain, he and his Levite stormtroopers kill 3,000 people for having a pagan religious celebration in his absence.  This "Great Lawgiver" goes on to order his people to exterminate entire societies and take their land, presumably relaying the orders from Yahweh himself.  Also, according to Biblical situation ethics, it can be OK to rape little girls after murdering their families in front of their eyes (Numbers 31:17-18).  So, the only thing that's keeping you and people like you from murdering your own children is that you don't hear the Big Booming Voicetm of your Moral Lawgiver telling you that doing so is the new Good.  Right?  See: Yates, Andrea.

Another problem of the authoritarian "morality" you propose is that "law" is only as good as its enforcement.  If a government had a law against the use of LSD, but never, ever enforced it even if there were psychedelic churches handing it out on their communion wafers and broadcasting the whole thing on their television ministries, then for all practical intents and purposes, LSD is legal there.  In the same way, if Yahweh has a "moral" law, but never, ever does anything to enforce it (as is the case), then his moral law is non-existent for all practical intents and purposes.  Threats of burning in Hell, or ambiguously ordinary natural events (Yahweh sent Katrina because he doesn't like buttsex!) don't count even if true precisely because the existence of the MLG, the "laws," and the connection between them is...wait for it...subjective.  A preacher can interpret Katrina as punishment for buttsex, and a Druid can interpret it as punishment for too many people driving cars.  Who is right?  Can't tell from any observation of the hurricane.  It might also be just a bad storm.  Returning to my analogy of the "law" against LSD: let's say there was no actual law written on any law books published by the government.  Instead, there were a few people who claimed that the law was passed in a secret session of the legislature, and that the incidence of car accidents and bank robberies involving dead hostages were actually the result of government covert operations teams "enforcing" the "law" against LSD.  There is still no actual, objective law.  The linkage of those random-appearing events to a "law" that may or may not have actually been enacted by the government is a purely subjective interpretation.

In the same way, different Bible-believers (Christians and Jews) have different, subjective interpretations of what Yahweh's "moral law" is.  So that sort of "moral law" does not provide firm moral absolutes.  It provides the very sort of whimsical, arbitrary, subjective "morality" that you're trying to argue against.

Bonus Question: what if you found out that there was no Moral Law handed down from the heavens, that nothing is forbidden and everything is permissible.  Would you act differently? 
 1. I think most if not all of the moral subjectivists here would agree that the United States or Western Europe are more moral than the Aztec Empire or Saudi Arabia, and it's not just a matter of personal taste.
 2. If it's possible for an MLG to have an objective morality that derives from its nature, it's possible for us as well, and we actually exist.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Quesi on July 29, 2012, 08:29:21 AM

We see this exemplified in the Bible, when Yahweh gives Moses a "Commandment" forbidding killing (which was supposedly given much earlier, to Noah), yet the moment Moses comes down from the mountain, he and his Levite stormtroopers kill 3,000 people for having a pagan religious celebration in his absence.  This "Great Lawgiver" goes on to order his people to exterminate entire societies and take their land, presumably relaying the orders from Yahweh himself.  Also, according to Biblical situation ethics, it can be OK to rape little girls after murdering their families in front of their eyes (Numbers 31:17-18). 

But but but... I mean.... I think he meant don't kill people who don't deserve to be killed.  Right?


 Threats of burning in Hell, or ambiguously ordinary natural events (Yahweh sent Katrina because he doesn't like buttsex!) don't count even if true precisely because the existence of the MLG, the "laws," and the connection between them is...wait for it...subjective.  A preacher can interpret Katrina as punishment for buttsex, and a Druid can interpret it as punishment for too many people driving cars.  Who is right?  Can't tell from any observation of the hurricane.  It might also be just a bad storm. 

I think I'm going to vote for the Druids!


Bonus Question: what if you found out that there was no Moral Law handed down from the heavens, that nothing is forbidden and everything is permissible.  Would you act differently?

And that is the question, isn't it?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Azdgari on July 30, 2012, 08:54:50 AM
Kcrady, as I recall, you bailed out of the argument where I was opposing the double-speak you're currently engaged in.  'There are things that objectively do what we think of as harming humans' - "harm is what we don't want to happen to humans'.

Yeah, totally subjective.  And you know it.  But hey, it's politically useful to deny that, so...

EDIT:  The abandoned argument lies here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20871.msg464372.html#msg464372).
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Zankuu on July 30, 2012, 10:17:52 AM
BM
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: kcrady on July 30, 2012, 09:08:33 PM
Kcrady, as I recall, you bailed out of the argument where I was opposing the double-speak you're currently engaged in.  'There are things that objectively do what we think of as harming humans' - "harm is what we don't want to happen to humans'.

Yeah, totally subjective.  And you know it.  But hey, it's politically useful to deny that, so...

EDIT:  The abandoned argument lies here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20871.msg464372.html#msg464372).

OK, so you believe there's no objective difference between "harm" and "well being."  Fine.  Don't ever become a doctor.  Yet somehow I get the sneaking suspicion that when it comes to how you live your life, you don't actually act on that belief.  Your moral subjectivism is a hothouse plant that can live within the ivory tower of purely philosophical debate, but not out in the real world.  If we were to encounter a neo-Nazi, or a Muslim fundamentalist proclaiming the virtues of female genital mutilation, I would be very surprised if you responded to them by saying, "Well, OK, whatever floats your boat.  It's not as if there are any objective facts that make my moral values any better than yours." 

At the time, you had a signature quote condemning gay bashing (I don't remember what it was, and you've got a different sig now).  But to condemn gay bashing as wrong, and not just something you don't like or wouldn't want to participate in, is to act as if that's a moral fact that the other person ought to agree with, instead of having their own, different-but-equal subjective morality.  I do not think that moral subjectivism is the sort of thing that can pay rent in anticipated experiences (http://lesswrong.com/lw/i3/making_beliefs_pay_rent_in_anticipated_experiences/), e.g., in the behaviors I anticipate that you will manifest when confronted with moral disagreement.  In other words you act (and I anticipate that you will continue to act) as if there are genuine moral facts, even though you profess otherwise in philosophical debates. 

It's the same thing we observe in a believer who claims to believe that they've got an omnimax superbeing as their best buddy (a.k.a. a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ") and that their Bible is infallibly true, but when they feel a gut pain they think might be appendicitis, rush to the hospital instead of to the elders of their church (James 5:14-15).   

If you aren't persuaded that moral subjectivism is the valid position "all the way down" (i.e., outside of the realm of ivory tower philosophy), then I will tend to find your arguments for it unpersuasive.  For example, in the previous thread, you brought up the question of whether it was OK to exterminate Neandertals as if that represented a genuine quandary for my position.  Conveniently, Neandertals no longer exist, so there is no actual or plausible life-situation in which a moral decision needs to be made.  When I inserted a class of entities that actually exists [Jews--people with Down's syndrome, blacks, or any other class of people once treated as sub-human could have been used with equal effect], suddenly the "quandary" disappeared for you.  You did not try to argue that the species boundary or horizon of moral concern was impossible, or even difficult to place anymore.  You didn't try to argue that "Jews should be exterminated" is a subjective opinion that's just as valid as your opinion that they shouldn't.

Or to put it another way: I think you know a moral fact when you see one, even if you intellectually profess that such things don't exist.

P.S.: I owe you an apology for leaving that thread the way I did.  I'd explain why, but that would be saying "I'm sorry, but..." which isn't a real apology.  So, I'm sorry, no "buts." :)
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Azdgari on July 30, 2012, 09:54:43 PM
OK, so you believe there's no objective difference between "harm" and "well being."  Fine.  Don't ever become a doctor.

Why not?[1]  No, seriously, why not?  I can't for the life of me figure out what difference it makes in practice, unless my subjective idea of "harm" diverges wildly from that of society at large.  Further, this is a fallacious appeal on your part, and you know it.  Casting aspersions on another's character in lieu of a reasoned argument is old hat.

Yet somehow I get the sneaking suspicion that when it comes to how you live your life, you don't actually act on that belief.

And those atheists who rescinded their Christian beliefs weren't really Christians to begin with.

Your moral subjectivism is a hothouse plant that can live within the ivory tower of purely philosophical debate, but not out in the real world.

Says the one who doesn't even try to live with it and act with it in the real world.  But you're wrong.  It doesn't make much of a difference to my actions in the real world.  It's just a different understanding of my own values, and of what justifies action from a personal perspective.  It doesn't end up being different, in most respects, from the logically incoherent "objective morality" meta-ethical viewpoint, except that it doesn't inhibit understanding of others' values in the same way.

If we were to encounter a neo-Nazi, or a Muslim fundamentalist proclaiming the virtues of female genital mutilation, I would be very surprised if you responded to them by saying, "Well, OK, whatever floats your boat.  It's not as if there are any objective facts that make my moral values any better than yours.

I never said I was a normative relativist.  In fact, I distinctly recall denouncing normative relativism, either in that thread or in one of our PMs at the time.  It is a self-contradictory meta-ethical position.  I would denounce such a person on my own social authority.  Which is all I can speak from.  Hopefully others would do the same.  Otherwise, objective morality or not, I would have no influence.

Unless I could show that their values contradict each other, which is quite likely.

At the time, you had a signature quote condemning gay bashing (I don't remember what it was, and you've got a different sig now).  But to condemn gay bashing as wrong, and not just something you don't like or wouldn't want to participate in, is to act as if that's a moral fact that the other person ought to agree with, instead of having their own, different-but-equal subjective morality.

This is unequivocably false.  Of course, you give no reasoning to support the claim above ^^, you just go and claim it.  Your claim is wrong because under a coherent subjective-morality meta-ethic, personal values - from the perspective of the person in question - justify judgment and action in a very similar way to the way in which the incoherent-on-closer-inspection "objective value" concept works for you.  Moral judgments only contradict a subjective-morality meta-ethic when one adopts the premises of an objective-morality meta-ethic.  Which is entirely unsurprising.

I do not think that moral subjectivism is the sort of thing that can pay rent in anticipated experiences (http://lesswrong.com/lw/i3/making_beliefs_pay_rent_in_anticipated_experiences/), e.g., in the behaviors I anticipate that you will manifest when confronted with moral disagreement.

Your anticipations are based in a flawed understanding about how a subjective-morality paradigm can work, as you've demonstrated above.  Of course you'll fail to accurately anticipate my responses based on it.

In other words you act (and I anticipate that you will continue to act) as if there are genuine moral facts, even though you profess otherwise in philosophical debates.

This is akin to a Christian saying that an atheist who behaves in an acceptable manner is "acting as though (s)he really believes in God".

It's the same thing we observe in a believer who claims to believe that they've got an omnimax superbeing as their best buddy (a.k.a. a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ") and that their Bible is infallibly true, but when they feel a gut pain they think might be appendicitis, rush to the hospital instead of to the elders of their church (James 5:14-15).

No.  It is not.  See above.

If you aren't persuaded that moral subjectivism is the valid position "all the way down" (i.e., outside of the realm of ivory tower philosophy), then I will tend to find your arguments for it unpersuasive.

Or rather, if you can convince yourself that you know my thoughts better than I do, and that I don't really believe what I profess to believe (and actually do act on), then you will be able to find my arguments unpersuasive, no matter the quality of their content.  This is faith behaviour.

For example, in the previous thread, you brought up the question of whether it was OK to exterminate Neandertals as if that represented a genuine quandary for my position.

No.  I did not.  I brought it up as a means to question the importance of species-boundaries that you'd cited:
Quote from: Kcrady on the other thread
We are talking about principles of human behavior, after all.  Every other species has a set of behaviors adapted to maximize its well-being, why should humans be any different?

Apparently, the ability to breed and produce reproductively viable offspring is a critical moral divide for you.  My point in bringing up neanderthals was to probe this concept, to see if it holds up.  Instead of addressing this, you went all Godwin on my ass.

Conveniently, Neandertals no longer exist, so there is no actual or plausible life-situation in which a moral decision needs to be made.  When I inserted a class of entities that actually exists [Jews--people with Down's syndrome, blacks, or any other class of people once treated as sub-human could have been used with equal effect], suddenly the "quandary" disappeared for you.

You had completly dodged the point of my question.  My intent was to bring up an actual species-boundary between organisms which exhibit moral behaviour.  Of course, as you pointed out, neaderthals were a poor pick for that, as their different-species status is ambiguous at best.  But instead of using that to dodge my point, you could have engaged me honestly.

You did not try to argue that the species boundary or horizon of moral concern was impossible, or even difficult to place anymore.  You didn't try to argue that "Jews should be exterminated" is a subjective opinion that's just as valid as your opinion that they shouldn't.

Relative to me, it's not just as valid.  Relative to you, it's not just as valid.  That permits us to rationally treat it in a similar manner to how you'd treat an "objectively true" moral opinion.  We always act from our own values.

Or to put it another way: I think you know a moral fact when you see one, even if you intellectually profess that such things don't exist.

That's very convenient for you.  It allows you to avoid actually engaging me, or anyone with my position, on this the subject.  Just paint us as liars.  Very, very convenient.  It also removes the need to actually grasp what that opposing position actually means, or how it works.  Just deny that it even exists in practice.

P.S.: I owe you an apology for leaving that thread the way I did.  I'd explain why, but that would be saying "I'm sorry, but..." which isn't a real apology.  So, I'm sorry, no "buts." :)

Accepted; I've left big arguments before, without even intending to actually abandon them.  Just lost track.  It just burned me a bit when you'd abandoned it, and then carried on in another thread as though no points had even been raised.  Then gain, given that you've assumed me to be lying from the outset, I guess that makes sense.
 1. Not that this is an accurate representation of what I said, but I'll roll with it.
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: kcrady on July 31, 2012, 04:04:22 AM
OK, so you believe there's no objective difference between "harm" and "well being."  Fine.  Don't ever become a doctor.

Why not?[1]  No, seriously, why not?  I can't for the life of me figure out what difference it makes in practice, unless my subjective idea of "harm" diverges wildly from that of society at large.
 1. Not that this is an accurate representation of what I said, but I'll roll with it.

Do you believe there's an objective difference between "harm" and "well-being" or not?  Your footnote implies that you do think there's an objective difference, at least disagree with the idea that you believe there's no objective difference.  But then you go on to argue that the belief that there is no objective difference wouldn't be a problem for a doctor as long as their idea of "harm" is in agreement with that of society at large.  So, if "society at large" believes that Western medicine is harmful (OMG, SCARY CHEMICALS!) and all ailments ought to be treated with homeopathy and "colon cleansing," do you think that would make those treatments actually work?  There was a time when "society at large" thought ailments could be treated by balancing the humors and bleeding people with leeches.  How big of a majority would it take to make bleeding with leeches the new proper medical treatment for anemia?

I guess I'm not getting what a poll of the subjective beliefs of "society at large" has to do with the efficacy of medical treatments, i.e., whether a doctor is causing "harm" or healing ("well-being") with the treatments they provide.  I think that if the doctor does not understand that there is such a thing as actual, healthy functioning of the human body, in contrast to actions/treatments that actually cause harm to the human body, they're not in a position to diagnose and treat ailments.[2]  And if their method is to take a poll of "society at large" to find out what their subjective opinions on the proper treatment of cardiac arrhythmia or brain tumors is, I'd have to say that doctor's a quack.  Since you seem to think (or at least you'll pretend to think, for the sake of debate) that the subjective views of "society at large" even matter in this context, then I stand by my statement that you should not be a doctor.  I'd say the same thing about a pilot who thought that the proper way to fly an airliner was to poll the passengers for their subjective views.  Of course, you'll say I'm "mis-representing" your views, without bothering to explain your views.  When you make arguments like this, it's very easy, for me at least, to get a wrong idea of what your views are, if I am in this case.  If you don't actually think that the subjective views of "society at large" have anything to do with what does, or does not cause "harm," then you shouldn't argue as if you do.

Further, this is a fallacious appeal on your part, and you know it.  Casting aspersions on another's character in lieu of a reasoned argument is old hat.

I'm not casting aspersions on your character.  Many of my arguments rely on you being a decent person.  I'm just saying that if you really, actually don't think there is a difference, in reality between "harm" and "well-being," then you would be a very poor doctor.  You might be able to get along for awhile by peeking over the shoulders of "society at large," (most voters would probably think that emptying a person's body of all blood would constitute "harm" to that person, so you'd avoid doing it), but there's always the chance that "society at large" could vote wrong.  There's a reason doctors go to medical school instead of hiring pollsters. 

Yet somehow I get the sneaking suspicion that when it comes to how you live your life, you don't actually act on that belief.

And those atheists who rescinded their Christian beliefs weren't really Christians to begin with.
 2. Of course a doctor's knowledge of the human body is limited and fallible.  They can arrive at the wrong diagnosis, or prescribe the wrong treatment, or just plain not know what the illness is or how to treat it.  Not knowing all of the facts about the human body doesn't mean there are no facts, and the doctor should call for a popular vote.

Apple, meet orange.  I was not saying that if you changed your beliefs about moral subjectivity to something else, that your original belief in moral subjectivity was not genuine.  I was saying that the belief you hold on the level of profession does not appear to hold on the level of action, when you act on your moral beliefs (specifically, when confronted with other moral claims you firmly reject, i.e, acting as if your beliefs are in some way more valid than theirs).  If someone claimed to be a Christian, while worshiping Zeus in his temple every Sunday instead of going to church, I think it would be legitimate to question their claim to be a Christian.

>snip<It doesn't make much of a difference to my actions in the real world.  It's just a different understanding of my own values, and of what justifies action from a personal perspective.  It doesn't end up being different, in most respects, from the logically incoherent "objective morality" meta-ethical viewpoint, except that it doesn't inhibit understanding of others' values in the same way.
>snip<
I never said I was a normative relativist.  In fact, I distinctly recall denouncing normative relativism, either in that thread or in one of our PMs at the time.  It is a self-contradictory meta-ethical position.  I would denounce such a person [like a Nazi or a fundamentalist Muslim --KC]on my own social authority.  Which is all I can speak from.  Hopefully others would do the same.  Otherwise, objective morality or not, I would have no influence.

I snipped a few things there to try (and probably still fail) to keep things somewhat brief.  So you would be able to denounce certain types of actions and/or moral philosophies as wrong (or even "evil," perhaps?) on the basis of your own personal judgment and social authority.  Within the context of your philosophy, do you have any way to make an argument that your personal judgment is better than theirs on the subject?  Would you have any basis for moral outrage?  Can I assume that you would not say something along the lines of "I think my judgment is better because I judge it to be better" (which would be circular)?

Unless I could show that their values contradict each other, which is quite likely.

That assumes a valuation of logical consistency, which is also subjective, right?  You could write a brilliant essay demonstrating the logical contradictions in their position, and they could just say, "Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.  The ideas you see as 'contradictory' in my morality are like two pillars that rise into the clouds, and somewhere up there, God puts a roof on it."[3]  Then we're back to the issue of why your subjective judgment ought to carry any more weight than theirs.

>snip<Your claim is wrong because under a coherent subjective-morality meta-ethic, personal values - from the perspective of the person in question - justify judgment and action in a very similar way to the way in which the incoherent-on-closer-inspection "objective value" concept works for you.  Moral judgments only contradict a subjective-morality meta-ethic when one adopts the premises of an objective-morality meta-ethic.  Which is entirely unsurprising.

Your anticipations are based in a flawed understanding about how a subjective-morality paradigm can work, as you've demonstrated above.  Of course you'll fail to accurately anticipate my responses based on it.

OK, then I'm probably misunderstanding what you mean by "subjective."  I understand the term to refer to inner personal experiences, feelings, etc. that may feel very "true" or "right" to the person having them, but have no basis or validity in external reality.  For example, a person can have an experience of alien abduction that feels very real to them, so that they become convinced that it is real.  They come on to a site like this and try to persuade us that their abductor-aliens are real, and people here would start saying things along the lines of, "Do you have any evidence?  Anyone else see the saucer?  Were you able to scratch an alien with your fingernails and collect forensic evidence?  No?  Then all you've got is a subjective experience.  And BTW, "sleep paralysis" and "hypnogogic dreaming."  So, not matter how real the UFO abductee feels their experience is, or how real a person experiencing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary feels that is, they have no basis for their claims in external reality.  They would not be able to persuade each other, or scientific-minded skeptics.  Do you think that morality is "subjective" in this sense?

Now, there might be a situation in which a thousand people saw (what they believed to be) a flying saucer.  We might call an event like this inter-subjective.  They still have no pieces of the alleged craft or any physical evidence, but people here would probably agree that they saw something.  They may be wrong about what it actually was, but there was some object in external reality (not in their heads) that they saw.  Perhaps different groups among this thousand people might have different opinions--some might think it was a flying saucer, some might think it was an angel, some might think it was a military flare drop or swamp gas.  These interpretations are all subjective.  However, there is an element of external reality involved, and it would be possible, at least in principle, for there to be facts that make one of the groups most likely to be right.

We could say that science is subjective.  When a person looks at the readout of a scientific instrument or observes the results of an experiment, that's a subjective experience.  If multiple scientists repeat the experiment, their observations of its results are also subjective.  It's subjectivity all the way down.  Yet, I think we would agree that there is an objective, external reality, and that through scientific methodology the scientists can converge on an ever-more-accurate understanding of that reality, even though their understanding is still subjective.  Would you say that your concept of moral subjectivism is closer to this?

For example, in the previous thread, you brought up the question of whether it was OK to exterminate Neandertals as if that represented a genuine quandary for my position.

No.  I did not.  I brought it up as a means to question the importance of species-boundaries that you'd cited:
Quote from: Kcrady on the other thread
We are talking about principles of human behavior, after all.  Every other species has a set of behaviors adapted to maximize its well-being, why should humans be any different?

Apparently, the ability to breed and produce reproductively viable offspring is a critical moral divide for you.  My point in bringing up neanderthals was to probe this concept, to see if it holds up.  Instead of addressing this, you went all Godwin on my ass.
 3. This is an argument (in response to conflicting Christian doctrines) that I heard apologist Hank Hanegraaf use on his "Bible Answer Man" radio show back in ancient times when I was a Christian.  The pillars-and-roof thing, that is.

No, my concept has to do with what is, or is not "good" (or "bad") for an entity based on the facts of its nature.  A bullet, or a rapist, is just as "bad" for a Neandertal as for one of us.  Now that I think I see where you're going, hopefully I can offer a better example.  Let's say we encountered a race of intelligent methane-breathing cephalopods living in Jupiter's atmosphere.  These beings mate like black widow spiders--the female kills and eats the male after fertilization, and uses his flesh to fill the nutrient sacs of her eggs.  Each successful mating produces thousands of offspring, and when they hatch, the mother stands by and watches while they attack and eat one another, until only a few are left.  If a female tries to spare her husband, he dies anyway, and then her children do as well, because their eggs' nutrient sacs are empty.  If she tries to keep her children from eating each other, she ends up with a horde she cannot feed or educate that overruns everyone else's family, and if a society tries this, they rapidly outgrow their resource base, and all starve.  Could we morally criticize these aliens for killing their males after mating and letting their children eat each other?  I think I would have to say 'no,' and also that they could not morally criticize us for not killing males after sex and doing our best to raise all of our children to adulthood.  In the same way, we could not prescribe oxygen treatment to a cephalopod who was having difficulty breathing, and they could not prescribe pure methane for a human with asthma. 

In that sense, morality would be subjective (or "inter-subjective") to each species, since the Cosmos would not adjudicate between our species and theirs.  But that doesn't mean there are no facts upon which the different moralities (or methods of treatment for breathing difficulty) are based. 

However, the moral question becomes tougher if one or both species has highly sophisticated genetic engineering, so that the aliens could be made more like humans, or vice versa.  If a human turned themselves into one of the aliens (presumably female!) to live among the alien society, would that be moral or immoral?

Is that the sort of argument you were trying to make?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: 12 Monkeys on July 31, 2012, 01:58:14 PM
  It all depends on your perspective on what constitutes "harm" and "well being". When England and Spain and others were roaming around the world subjugating the barbarian hordes of the world their perspective(as well as the history books) was that they were conquering the heathens and bringing the light.  When the nations imported slaves for the "good people" to use as they saw fit,they were just following the commands of God and were subjugating a "sub species" of man.

 When the Germans were doing it in WW1 and WW2,the perception changed and the Germans were now doing harm and were corrupting the well being of others. The reason perception changed was that a white man now wanted what another white man had,how did it go from good to bad to conquer peoples in a short span of time?

 Why when England,Spain,Italy and others were conquering was it percieved as "not harmful",but when the Germans set out to do the same thing it was deemed harmful to humanity? Why do the history books report other nations as explorers and others as the axis of evil when the only difference of the people they were conquering and killing was their skin colour?
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: Nam on July 31, 2012, 03:38:02 PM
When you do it to a Zulu, it's righteous. When you do it to a Christian, it's murder.


I read that in a book about the Zulus. Forget what book. I have the movie Zulu Dawn, I always cheer for the Zulus. Same with movies against Native americans.

-Name
Title: Re: Hold the phone; another theist weighs in on refuting us
Post by: 12 Monkeys on July 31, 2012, 10:31:41 PM
When you do it to a Zulu, it's righteous. When you do it to a Christian, it's murder.


I read that in a book about the Zulus. Forget what book. I have the movie Zulu Dawn, I always cheer for the Zulus. Same with movies against Native americans.

-Name
So you root for the cowboys or the Native Americans?