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Messages - babyeatsdingo

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131
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 01:07:21 PM »
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1.      The attributes of God are not consistent with the existence of evil

This line says God cannot possibly have a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil. The defender need only say to this: how so? Wrestle with this "how so?" for a while then let me know what you come up with.

132
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 01:03:47 PM »
I'm familiar with Hume's criticisms of arguments from design to God and unmoved by them.

If we lack warrant to believe the laws of nature and random chance explain the formation of something so simple as a single nucleoside then an inference to design from the overwhelmingly more complex human genome is quite reasonable.

We can say a lot more about design but I think we're already plenty busy talking about the problem of evil and the moral argument I put forward.

133
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 12:52:35 PM »
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Suffering is the one universal "bad."  HTH.

Do you mean by this that everyone everywhere always dislikes suffering? Please clarify.

134
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 12:48:26 PM »

And, this is the argument that led me to stop tything.

The Problem of Evil
1.      If God exists, then the attributes of God are consistent with the existence of evil.

1.      The attributes of God are not consistent with the existence of evil.

1.      Therefore, God does not and cannot exist.


There are at least two good answers to the problem of evil: the unknown purpose defense and the free will defense. The first essentially says if it is possible that God has a morally sufficient reason to allow evil then it is false that God's existence is incompatible with evil. Since it is true that God may have a morally sufficient reason to allow evil, his existence is compatible with evil. The burden lies with the advocate of the problem of evil to show that God cannot have a morally sufficient reason to allow evil generally or some specific evil in particular. But since he can't possibly know whether God has a morally sufficient reason to allow evil, he can't show that God cannot have a morally sufficient reason to allow evil and so the problem of evil fails as an argument against the existence of God.

Alvin Plantinga defeated the problem of evil thirty years ago with his book "God, Freedom and Evil" in which he articulates the free will defense. Atheists and other non-theists in academia have essentially abandoned the problem of evil as a result.

135
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 12:32:48 PM »
This is the argument that led me to stop going to church (except for Christmas and Easter, of course)

The Paradox of Omnipotence
1.      Either God can create a stone that he cannot lift, or he cannot create a stone that he cannot lift.

1.      If God can create a stone that he cannot lift, then he is not omnipotent.

1.      If God cannot create a stone that he cannot lift, then he is not omnipotent.

1.      Therefore god is not omnipotent.


The properties of a square and circle are mutually exclusive such that a single entity cannot logically have the properties of both a square and a circle (cf. law of excluded middle, law of non contradiction, law of identity). God cannot make a round square for he can only do that which is logically possible. The argument above essentially faults God for not being able to do that which is not logically possible.

136
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 12:20:01 PM »
Moral facts are logically derived from the (true) axiom that suffering is bad.  HTFH.

What do you mean by bad? Morally bad? Please clarify. I'll assume you mean morally bad, while we await clarification.

You cannot explain what makes things morally bad by asserting that suffering is morally bad. If, for example, we say it is morally bad to abuse infants for one's own amusement because human suffering is morally bad then we explain moral badness by appealing to moral badness, which is circular.

Suppose we say suffering is bad. Suppose others say suffering is good. How do we decide who is right? If we try to justify our view over and against the other's view then we admit our view cannot be axiomatic since axiomatic truths need no justification.

137
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 21, 2007, 11:42:25 AM »
For context, the argument in dispute again:

1. If God is not real then there are no moral facts.
2. There are moral facts.
3. God is real.
4. Every non-religious worldview is false.

the argument is valid, but premise #1 is wrong.1

there's no good reason prima facie to believe that #1 is true2. moreover, if it's true, then it proves the existence of god, since there are moral facts 3. since god doesn't exist (at least, since there's no independent evidence that she does)4, then the truth of #1 entails a false fact (or a proposition that's not corroborated by any evidence).

you try to lay the burden of proof on those who want to dispute #1. this is unreasonable. a reasonably skeptical person would require the truth of #1 to be established with some affirmative evidence.5

My responses below are written as footnotes to your words above.

1If the first premise is wrong, as you say, then there exists something other than God to ground moral fact. What is this alternate ground?

2As just noted, the first premise invites the question: what other than God would ground moral fact? Since we know of nothing other than God to ground moral fact we are justified in thinking only God grounds moral fact unless and until we have a more likely alternative. This line of reasoning constitutes a prima facie reason to tentatively accept the first premise as true.

3You are correct here. If there are moral facts, as you say, and if we admit the first premise, as I argue we should until and unless we find a more likely ground of moral fact than God, then it follows necessarily that God exists.

4If the argument is valid, as you admit, then you cannot deny the conclusion, as you do above, unless you deny the premises from which the conclusion "God is real" follows. You do not deny the existence of moral fact so you must provide a better ground of moral fact than God in order to deny the first premise and avoid the conclusion you apparently dread.


I note that you say the first premise is wrong (or false, I take it) and cite as justification your belief that there is no good prima facie reason to accept the first premise. If you know of no good prima facie reason to think the first premise is true then you are justified to suspend belief with respect to the first premise but you are not justified in thinking it false or wrong. But in view of my argument above, you do now have a good prima facie reason to think the first premise is true. Since you admit the existence of moral fact, you must also admit the existence of God unless you provide a more likely alternative ground to moral fact.

138
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 20, 2007, 06:44:04 PM »
Here's the rub: my argument presents a dilemma and forces the secular critic to fall on either one horn or the other. Let's look at the argument again:

1. If God is not real then there are no moral facts.
2. There are moral facts.
3. God is real.
4. Every non-religious worldview is false.

Since the argument is valid you must deny 1 or 2 in order to avoid 3 and preserve your non-religious worldview. If you deny 1 then you must ground moral fact in something other than God, which is monumentally difficult if at all possible. If you deny 2 then you admit all sorts of moral absurdities (e.g., it is not really wrong to abuse infants for one's own amusement) and the livability problem. I'll have to get into these things tomorrow though as I'm out of time for today.

139
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 20, 2007, 06:20:16 PM »
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I'm not suggesting that it's right to abuse infants for one's own pleasure.

Are you saying you agree that it is always wrong to abuse infants for one's own pleasure? Please clarify.

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Let's accept that there are moral facts that are absolute and that one of them is stated above.  How do you know it is so?

Well, there are only so many plausible candidates to ground the existence of an absolute moral standard, one that always applies to everyone, everywhere. Human standards may and do change. The character of an immutable being like God does not. So between the two, the second is the more likely ground of moral facts. This is why many naturalists simply prefer to deny the existence of moral facts. But this move has it's own set of problems.

140
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Do you belive in the Devil
« on: June 20, 2007, 06:17:12 PM »
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The phrase "moral fact" itself assumes a religious, rather than philosophical, truth.

The phrase "moral fact" does not assume religion or religious truth. Some non-religious, naturalist philosophers accept the existence of moral facts though they are at a loss to explain them satisfactorily (maybe the future legal community can help them). Also, religion and philosophy are not mutually exclusive. Many universities have philosophy of religion departments. Some of the world's most rigorous thinkers and writers are philosophers of religion (e.g., Plantinga).

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But, that does not mean that God is required for morality to exist.


I'm not saying God must exist in order for men to make up rules for behavior. I'm saying God must exist in order for a moral rule to express a truth that applies to everyone in every place at every time.

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