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TM
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23 Feb 2012, 1:35 pm

I’ve discussed and debated religion, faith, spirituality and atheism for quite a few years now and I’ve come to one conclusion; do not approach a lack of reason with reason. If a believer in the supernatural was a rationalist vis-à-vis religion, the mentioned believer would not be a believer. I love discussing religion and I especially love being faced with a skilled debater on the topic, however if mutual agreement on certain does not exist, the discussion is pointless.

The position of each debater:


A believer of any religion will switch his or her position without notifying the audience. An example of this is found in any debate on religion featuring William Lane-Craig, a professional Christian apologist who in the course of one round can go from evangelical to theist to deist and then back to evangelical in his arguments.

This constitutes a challenge in any debate, due to the fact that one is supposed to present arguments for or against a proposition. If a person is rapidly changing positions it becomes excessively hard to counter arguments since one will not know for sure which position a person is arguing from at any given time. The tendency of certain believers (Lane-Craig especially) to treat the Theistic and the Deistic position as interchangeable further complicates the issue.

For instance, the difference between a creating force that does not interact with human life (Deism) is widely different from a creating force that also gets directly involved in human life (Theism). In a debate where the proposition is “The Christian God exists” using an argument from Deism is not relevant to the discussion at hand. However, many believers will “force” the atheist to concede that the existence of a “Deistic god” is possible, and treat that as proof that the Christian god is possible.

Furthermore, the believer is likely to exclude large amounts of material that is clearly relevant to the discussion. For instance, if one is arguing against the proposition “Christianity is a force for good in the world”, one will face the argument that the Old Testament is no longer relevant after Jesus and thus every example one can draw from it is irrelevant to modern Christianity. When one then points out that the values from the Old Testament are still widely being used among Christians, one is faced with the counter-argument that is a “no true Scotsman” fallacy, in that “Those are not real believers”.

Introduction of scripture as fact

Another issue you will face is the argument “The Bible says the Bible is true” or other variations of introducing scripture. Since scripture is often open to interpretation, this means that one is not arguing against the literal word of the scripture, nor against the common interpretations of the scripture, nor against the effect of the scripture, but against the believers personal interpretation of the scripture, which usually isn’t stated.

This is a big problem, because it opens the door for a fallacy commonly known as “moving the goalposts”, which means that you might as well not argue against the person because as long as they move the goalposts, they will always claim “he didn’t refute my argument” because just like a personal god who loves you, it’s impossible.

The other element that makes this the ultimate “shadow boxing” move is that it traps you in your own bias. For instance, I know perfectly well that if someone brings up the Bible and Christianity, I’m going for the throat with the Old Testament material right away, rather than delivering bodyblow after bodyblow about the immorality of Jesus. I also know that I’ll go for that throat without setting up the clear connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament, something that puts me in a problematic position, since the Theist is likely to argue that the Old Testament is invalid or that I interpreted it wrong.

Debating around scriptural arguments made by your opponent is like debating which ice-cream flavor is the best; you cannot win because they can always change their interpretation without telling you. `

Argument from anecdote

This is probably the one I end up facing in most debates about the supernatural. Whether its Allah, Poltergeists or Zombies, the argument from anecdote is present. A family member of mine has this as her favorite and I think that’s because it is the easiest “argument” to come up with on the spot. “Well, Bill told me about his cousins, brother’s friend who couldn’t walk and then stood up after a priest laid his hands on him” (This is not a good point to make an altar boy joke in a formal debate btw).

A common technique here is to combine the anecdote with emotion and a respectable source in order for it to have a greater impact with the audience. If you do it really well you can even create a situation where trying to refute the anecdote leads to the “refuter” alienating the audience.

“Argumentum Luciferus”

I made this one up because I couldn’t quite find any logical fallacy that fits. This takes place when someone argues that Satan is the source of everything evil and god is the source of everything good. However, this is an erroneous conclusion.
If “god” is the creator of everything, then he is also the creator of Satan.

If “god” is has no capacity for evil, then he cannot create anything evil.

Therefore, if god is good, there can be no Satan. However, if god can create evil, then he has a capacity for evil and therefore could be the source of evil in the world.

Furthermore, if one has the power to prevent evil but chooses not what does that say about morals? Well, according to the categorical imperative, if everyone chose not to prevent evil in every situation where an omnipotent god does not, IE every situation where there is evil.

It’s pretty much textbook ad hoc.

Non causa pro causa (non-cause for cause)

These are some non-formal fallacies related to wrongful identification of cause. B.F Skinner did an experiment where pigeons would be fed every time they hit a button. Then he changed it to every random time and the birds turned superstitious all of a sudden and started redoing the actions they’d done prior to the previous successful feeding.
This brings me to..

Miracles

In the case of all miracles, there is a psychological bias at work where a believer attributes something to a wrongful cause. There is of course confirmation bias and subjective bias, but more importantly the Forer effect plays a part.
If I hear that a friend of mine died, then the next time I take a walk I run into my friend alive and well, is it then likely that my friend died and was resurrected or that I misheard something?

In the case where no natural cause can be found, it does not mean it doesn't exist and it does not mean god did it, in fact if you argue that he did, its a "god of the gaps" and a non sequitur.

The “challenge”

The challenge that is the sum of the parts above is that in order to hold a belief in the supernatural, one has to commit fallacies in ones reasoning if one even engages reason. Francis Collins a brilliant scientist and a born-again Christian, tells the story of his conversion as him walking out in nature, watching how beautiful it was “and just feeling” like there was something more.
Others elect to pick the “god of the gaps” and then add the characteristics of their deity of choice to this “god of the gaps”. This is how we end up with the following exchange:

“So what created man”

“We evolved from a common ancestor we share with other primates, which itself evolved from a prior organism, which itself evolved from a prior organism”

“What came before the organism?”

“I don’t know”

“Hah! Then it’s god!”

I think Christopher Hitchens approached it in a way that works, which is not to try to convince his adversary or refute his or her ambiguous arguments, but to address the audience when an ambiguous argument is presented.

Feel free to add your own.



Ancalagon
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23 Feb 2012, 10:06 pm

TM wrote:
I’ve discussed and debated religion, faith, spirituality and atheism for quite a few years now and I’ve come to one conclusion; do not approach a lack of reason with reason.

How do you think you should approach a lack of reason? A lack of reason yourself? Silence?

Quote:
If a believer in the supernatural was a rationalist vis-à-vis religion, the mentioned believer would not be a believer.

An assertion without support.

Quote:
William Lane-Craig, a professional Christian apologist who in the course of one round can go from evangelical to theist to deist and then back to evangelical in his arguments.

I'm not saying anything for or against this guy in particular, but is there supposed to be a problem with this? What is it?

Quote:
However, many believers will “force” the atheist to concede that the existence of a “Deistic god” is possible, and treat that as proof that the Christian god is possible.

If you're in a debate where you admit the possible existence of a deist god, but don't want to admit the possible existence of a Christian God, maybe you should point that out when the debate reaches that point. If arguments frequently reach this point, you could even start out the debate by admitting the possible existence of a deist god, and go straight to your objections to the other kind that you really disapprove of.

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When one then points out that the values from the Old Testament are still widely being used among Christians, one is faced with the counter-argument that is a “no true Scotsman” fallacy, in that “Those are not real believers”.

This is an oversimplification of the issue. The general Christian point of view on the OT is that it has good stuff in it, but is not applicable as a set of laws.

Quote:
Since scripture is often open to interpretation

Yes, and it should be. Even the most literalistic variations on Christianity interpret some things less than literally.

This is, IMHO, a big problem area for atheist debaters. Frequently, they assume a naive, literalistic, legalistic approach that is most convenient for their argument (though not realistically what their opponent thinks). Then they complain when the believer doesn't go along with their strawman.

Quote:
a fallacy commonly known as “moving the goalposts”,

I've seen this applied by atheists as well. Being on a particular side of an argument doesn't make you immune from logical fallacies.

Quote:
The other element that makes this the ultimate “shadow boxing” move is that it traps you in your own bias. For instance, I know perfectly well that if someone brings up the Bible and Christianity, I’m going for the throat with the Old Testament material right away, rather than delivering bodyblow after bodyblow about the immorality of Jesus. I also know that I’ll go for that throat without setting up the clear connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament, something that puts me in a problematic position, since the Theist is likely to argue that the Old Testament is invalid or that I interpreted it wrong.

I'm not quite sure where you're going with this.

If you're complaining that your opponents trip you up by exploiting your fondness for a particular flawed argument, there is a simple solution: don't use the flawed argument.

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If “god” is the creator of everything, then he is also the creator of Satan.

If “god” is has no capacity for evil, then he cannot create anything evil.

Therefore, if god is good, there can be no Satan. However, if god can create evil, then he has a capacity for evil and therefore could be the source of evil in the world.

This is quite easy to get around. You have seen shadows before, right? Shadows are darkness (really absence of light) cast by a solid object in the presence of light. The analogy with God (light) and evil (darkness) is now quite obvious. The argument can be made more concrete by appealing to freedom of will.

There is a separate 'greater good' argument, which can also be made.

Quote:
Furthermore, if one has the power to prevent evil but chooses not what does that say about morals?

Assuming you're referring to God's morality, the 'greater good' argument would answer this. There is also our incomplete knowledge of every possible factor, making any moral judgement we might make speculative in nature.

Quote:
In the case of all miracles, there is a psychological bias at work where a believer attributes something to a wrongful cause.

You assume miracles do not exist. A reasonable assumption, but an assumption nonetheless.

Quote:
The challenge that is the sum of the parts above is that in order to hold a belief in the supernatural, one has to commit fallacies in ones reasoning if one even engages reason.

You again state this with no proof.

I think the second biggest problem I have with typical atheist debate behavior is the tendency to assume that rational=atheist. I wouldn't have so much of a problem if they were to argue that this is the case, more often they just assume it and act like a believer is crazy for assuming anything.

If you're an atheist for rational reasons, state the rational reasons. If you're an atheist because of an assumption or choice to believe/disbelieve something, then don't give theists a hard time for doing the same thing you yourself do.


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23 Feb 2012, 10:08 pm

TM, you seem to be equating religiousness with irrationality, which is totally specious.



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24 Feb 2012, 12:20 am

You hit the nail on the head TM


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24 Feb 2012, 12:37 am

This is totally misguided. Rationality is about how you update your beliefs, it isn't about what beliefs you have.

I'll stick my neck out and be more specific: a person is rational to the extent that they use Bayesian reasoning and logical arguments to update their beliefs. But this doesn't mean that a rationalist has to have certain beliefs right now.

Different people have started with different arbitrary priors, and have had different life experiences that led them to update these priors in different ways. Different people have heard different logical arguments, and may have different unspoken assumptions that led them to believe or disbelieve the premises of these arguments.

In short, it doesn't matter what you think, it matters how you think. Once you realise this, it is no longer surprising that intelligent people might have different views to you.

EDIT: I made a distinction in my original post that doesn't actually work. Logical arguments and Bayesian reasoning can actually be applied to the same subject matter. But the former always trumps the latter, in the sense that if P implies Q, then you can never assign a higher probability to P than to Q.



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24 Feb 2012, 1:05 am

TM wrote:
An example of this is found in any debate on religion featuring William Lane-Craig, a professional Christian apologist who in the course of one round can go from evangelical to theist to deist and then back to evangelical in his arguments.


That isn't my experience of William Lane Craig. From what I've seen of him, he is actually the most clear and honest debater anyone could hope for. He makes nice presentations where he explains exactly how his arguments work, and exactly what the argument is supposed to show, and he challenges his opponent to explain which of the premises is wrong.

It's true that he is personally much more than a theist. But I have never seen him fudge the distinction; in fact he seems to respect the distinction much more than his opponents sometimes do. Whenever he is arguing for Christianity, he talks about Jesus and tries to convince the audience that Jesus rose from the dead. Whenever he's simply arguing for God's existence, he gives arguments which attempt to establish God's existence, and he might throw in Jesus since Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence.



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24 Feb 2012, 2:10 am

Declension wrote:
Whenever he's simply arguing for God's existence, he gives arguments which attempt to establish God's existence, and he might throw in Jesus since Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence.


Um...

No.


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24 Feb 2012, 2:17 am

NarcissusSavage wrote:
Um...

No.


Could you be more specific? Are you saying that you can think of an example of William Lane Craig fudging the deist/theist/Christian/evangelical distinction, or are you saying that Christianity is not logically stronger than God's existence?

If the former, please elaborate.

If the latter, then maybe you don't understand my language. "P is logically stronger than Q" means "If P is true, then Q is true". In other words, when I say "Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence", I am saying "if Christianity is true, then God exists". So evidence for Christianity is also evidence for God's existence.



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24 Feb 2012, 4:10 am

Declension wrote:
NarcissusSavage wrote:
Um...

No.


Could you be more specific? Are you saying that you can think of an example of William Lane Craig fudging the deist/theist/Christian/evangelical distinction, or are you saying that Christianity is not logically stronger than God's existence?

If the former, please elaborate.

If the latter, then maybe you don't understand my language. "P is logically stronger than Q" means "If P is true, then Q is true". In other words, when I say "Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence", I am saying "if Christianity is true, then God exists". So evidence for Christianity is also evidence for God's existence.


I am saying no to your logic. Christianity is a religion, and has ample evidence that supports it exists. God does not. Evidence supporting that Christianity exists does not support a god existing.

I do not concede that "If P then Q" is applicable here.

Ps. Also the former..."throwing in" Jesus to a Deist arguements changes it to a theist one. Which is exactly what you are saying he doesn't do, and you support that claim by saying he does it.....


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24 Feb 2012, 4:22 am

NarcissusSavage wrote:
Christianity is a religion, and has ample evidence that supports it exists. God does not. Evidence supporting that Christianity exists does not support a god existing.


When I say that Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence, I mean that the statement "Christianity is true" is logically stronger than the statement "God exists". This seems clear, since the Christian worldview involves God existing.

So, if I convince you that Christianity is true, then I have automatically convinced you that God exists. Evidence for Christianity is also evidence for God's existence (but not vice versa).

Obviously the fact that the religion "Christianity" exists doesn't prove that it is true. But Craig never tries to say that. He tries to convince the audience that Christianity is true, by talking about the resurrection of Jesus being the best explanation for historical facts.

NarcissusSavage wrote:
"throwing in" Jesus to a Deist arguements changes it to a theist one. Which is exactly what you are saying he doesn't do, and you support that claim by saying he does it.....


We are defining our terms so that Christianity is logically stronger than theism, which is logically stronger than deism, right? Like how all squares are rectangles, and all rectangles are quadrilaterals.

Well, if I am trying to convince you that deism is true, one way I can do it is to try to convince you that Christianity is true. This works, because if Christianity is true then theism is true, and if theism is true then deism is true.



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24 Feb 2012, 4:27 am

Declension wrote:
NarcissusSavage wrote:
Christianity is a religion, and has ample evidence that supports it exists. God does not. Evidence supporting that Christianity exists does not support a god existing.


When I say that Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence, I mean that the statement "Christianity is true" is logically stronger than the statement "God exists". This seems clear, since the Christian worldview involves God existing.

So, if I convince you that Christianity is true, then I have automatically convinced you that God exists. Evidence for Christianity is also evidence for God's existence (but not vice versa).

Obviously the fact that the religion "Christianity" exists doesn't prove that it is true. But Craig never tries to say that. He tries to convince the audience that Christianity is true, by talking about the resurrection of Jesus being the best explanation for historical facts.

NarcissusSavage wrote:
"throwing in" Jesus to a Deist arguements changes it to a theist one. Which is exactly what you are saying he doesn't do, and you support that claim by saying he does it.....


We are defining our terms so that Christianity is logically stronger than theism, which is logically stronger than deism, right? Like how all squares are rectangles, and all rectangles are quadrilaterals.

Well, if I am trying to convince you that deism is true, one way I can do it is to try to convince you that Christianity is true. This works, because if Christianity is true then theism is true, and if theism is true then deism is true.


Christianity cannot be true. It is a religion, not a statement. It still is not the P.


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24 Feb 2012, 4:33 am

NarcissusSavage wrote:
Christianity cannot be true. It is a religion, not a statement.


Christianity is the sort of thing which is either true or false. It isn't a single statement, but it is a collection of statements.

Let's say something vague like this. Christianity is true if and only if all of the following statements are true:
"The God of Israel exists and gave the Old Testament to Israel."
"Jesus was the son of this God, and the prophesied messiah."
"The Gospels are an accurate record of his miraculous ministry."
"God raised Jesus from the dead, and his death allowed a new covenant between humanity and God."

There's probably some quibbling that can be done, but clearly each of these statements is either true or false. So all of them together is either true or false.



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24 Feb 2012, 4:50 am

Declension wrote:
This is totally misguided. Rationality is about how you update your beliefs, it isn't about what beliefs you have.

I'll stick my neck out and be more specific: a person is rational to the extent that they use Bayesian reasoning and logical arguments to update their beliefs. But this doesn't mean that a rationalist has to have certain beliefs right now.

Different people have started with different arbitrary priors, and have had different life experiences that led them to update these priors in different ways. Different people have heard different logical arguments, and may have different unspoken assumptions that led them to believe or disbelieve the premises of these arguments.

In short, it doesn't matter what you think, it matters how you think. Once you realise this, it is no longer surprising that intelligent people might have different views to you.

EDIT: I made a distinction in my original post that doesn't actually work. Logical arguments and Bayesian reasoning can actually be applied to the same subject matter. But the former always trumps the latter, in the sense that if P implies Q, then you can never assign a higher probability to P than to Q.


Hi Declension,

To your edit: "EDIT: I made a distinction in my original post that doesn't actually work. Logical arguments and Bayesian reasoning can actually be applied to the same subject matter. But the former always trumps the latter, in the sense that if P implies Q, then you can never assign a higher probability to P than to Q."

Such loose language allows: From a sample of 200 reptiles consisting of a box of 100 lizards and two additional boxes totalling 100 snakes, with one box of 50 snakes being Rattlesnakes and the second box of 50 of snakes being Garter-snakes, if P is a "picked" rattlesnake (the "former"), which implies being Q (a snake (the "latter"), how does "randomly" picking one of the 200 animals, which necessarily is a reptile for this group of 200, gives the "picked" animal (being 100% certain of being a reptile (the "later latter") the higher probability of being a rattlesnake than 100% certainty (when the "frequency" results of "picking" is only 25%)???

If, while I know what's in which box, and you don't, but I allow you to pick a box, with you wanting rattlesnakes, then I reveal that one of the boxes that you didn't pick, had lizards in it, should you take up my offer to allow you pick the other of the two remaing boxes? Whichever, to increase your "chances" of choosing the box of rattlesnakes, since your choice of odds is 33.333% or 66.666% for rattlesnakes (another "former" not "trumping" the "later").

If I heard a different prior logical argument about the speed of light not being constant in all frames of reference, does my hearing the earlier logical argument change the speed of light? Does the speed of light change based on how I think, but not on what I think? Would I experience the detecting of any of these proposed differences by measurements??

Bayesian reasoning is not necessarily "rational", either that, or many "rational" people like the taste of one of their own feet.

I did believe that updating my beliefs of the good in updating my computer OS, was correct, but now "Adobe Air" doesn't work none too well. That "how" with beliefs is very painful, but the "have" did feel good.

Tadzio



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24 Feb 2012, 5:04 am

Declension wrote:
NarcissusSavage wrote:
Christianity cannot be true. It is a religion, not a statement.


Christianity is the sort of thing which is either true or false. It isn't a single statement, but it is a collection of statements.

Let's say something vague like this. Christianity is true if and only if all of the following statements are true:
"The God of Israel exists and gave the Old Testament to Israel."
"Jesus was the son of this God, and the prophesied messiah."
"The Gospels are an accurate record of his miraculous ministry."
"God raised Jesus from the dead, and his death allowed a new covenant between humanity and God."

There's probably some quibbling that can be done, but clearly each of these statements is either true or false. So all of them together is either true or false.


Maybe Christianity, God, & Jesus, et al. are very, very fuzzy.

Tadzio

P.S.: Is it impossible to be more fuzzy than Baby Graham on Christian "Cults" not being regarded as being "Christian" by a majority of all other members of self-regarded groups of "Christians"?



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24 Feb 2012, 5:13 am

Declension wrote:
NarcissusSavage wrote:
Christianity cannot be true. It is a religion, not a statement.


Christianity is the sort of thing which is either true or false. It isn't a single statement, but it is a collection of statements.

Let's say something vague like this. Christianity is true if and only if all of the following statements are true:
"The God of Israel exists and gave the Old Testament to Israel."
"Jesus was the son of this God, and the prophesied messiah."
"The Gospels are an accurate record of his miraculous ministry."
"God raised Jesus from the dead, and his death allowed a new covenant between humanity and God."

There's probably some quibbling that can be done, but clearly each of these statements is either true or false. So all of them together is either true or false.


Assume all of the above is true. (It hurts to even assume this, for me, but let's assume it so, all the same)

This entity you describe is not what I would even call a god. It certainly is not the same entity as a deist god. So the P then Q statement still fails to be applicable.

On a side note, why do Christians even call it god? I might be mistaken, but isn't the thing's name Yahweh??
And oddly;
Quote:
"I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols."

Seems to be in direct conflict to revering Jesus....I always thought that was humorous.


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24 Feb 2012, 5:21 am

Declension wrote:
TM wrote:
An example of this is found in any debate on religion featuring William Lane-Craig, a professional Christian apologist who in the course of one round can go from evangelical to theist to deist and then back to evangelical in his arguments.


That isn't my experience of William Lane Craig. From what I've seen of him, he is actually the most clear and honest debater anyone could hope for. He makes nice presentations where he explains exactly how his arguments work, and exactly what the argument is supposed to show, and he challenges his opponent to explain which of the premises is wrong.

It's true that he is personally much more than a theist. But I have never seen him fudge the distinction; in fact he seems to respect the distinction much more than his opponents sometimes do. Whenever he is arguing for Christianity, he talks about Jesus and tries to convince the audience that Jesus rose from the dead. Whenever he's simply arguing for God's existence, he gives arguments which attempt to establish God's existence, and he might throw in Jesus since Christianity is logically stronger than God's existence.


Hi Declension,

The quote from , summarizres some of WLC from sources:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/forums-posti ... 95831.html
Tadzio wrote:
91 wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
mean, to be quite frank, for large parts of the 20th century, I'd actually guess that the proper conclusion was that Communism/communist friendly theories was/were more likely to be right on the grounds of the evidence we had.


I think I will save this quote from you up for a later date.

Quote:
Are you seriously this foolish? The "theistic revolution" is simply that theism is no longer just dismissed as literal nonsense, so philosophy of religion has a place at departments again. That's not much of a revolution. Even if we look at the current population statistics, the numbers aren't pretty.


From Commonsenseathism: http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=538

Christian philosophy has experienced a renaissance, and has contributed to genuine progress in philosophy. The first half of 20th century philosophy was dominated by Russell and Ayer. Religion was considered nonsense, and had almost no intellectual defense. By 1966, Time asked “Is God Dead?” The very next year, Plantinga published God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God. Since then, Swinburne, Alston, Craig, MacIntyre, and others joined Plantinga in leading a renaissance of serious Christian thought. Atheist philosopher Quentin Smith says naturalists have been resting on their laurels in the face of so many “intelligent and talented theists entering academia today.” Moreover, these philosophers have not just revived dead arguments, but actually contributed to the progress of philosophy.


91 wrote:
A morality based on social interaction makes the person who goes against it objectively unpopular but not objectively wrong. I don't think there can be good without God.


A "one star" review of William Lane Craig's book "Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics" at amazon-dot-com includes the nearly identical "opposite" quote from Craig's website:

"So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing."

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=5767 around the 7th paragraph from the bottom of the long web page.


Tadzio wrote:
91 wrote:
^^^

So let me deal a bit with what you are claiming. Theistic morality in the sense I am talking about deals with moral ontology (where it comes from) not moral epistemology (what is right and wrong). The first sign that someone either does not know what they are talking about or just wants to muddy the water is that they discuss moral epistemology in a discussion of moral ontology. If you want to investigate OT ethics go buy a copy of 'Is God a Moral Monster' by Paul Copan, it deals sufficiently with your objections.


Hi Craig91,

So you claim two Craig quotes can't go together without conflict because of departmental policy.

That's a crock of balderdash and then some.

"Where it came from" is distinct from "what is right and wrong" (unless you're on a one-way street, going the wrong way, or maybe into a scatology fetish). That explains "Don't Do As I Do, Do As I Say", but how does it fit with your "I don't think there can be good without God", since the "God" origin is to be distinctly cut? Don't worry, it happened to the Titanic too. And, "wrong departure" means "heavenly bliss" in La-La Land.

Wait!! ! Darn, Double Darn, there are "ontology" sections and all my sectioned "epistemology" and "philosophy" books. Those idiots must not know Craig's Mandatory Golden Rules of Thinking Thoughts. Then,: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=45085

Well, "consciousness" is a good example, because it has no valid, nor objective, definition. Such nonsense is best avoided in science, and nonsense should be minimized in everything else: See Wolff, Kant, Heidegger, Quine, and hundreds of others. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract

"Did you get the count of the bubbles in your beer?" also has both ontological and epistemological aspects, and all three taken to excess endanger sobriety.

I put Paul Copan with the stack of "WatchTower's" and "Awake's" with his "When God Goes to Starbucks" apologetics (2008), out of the way.

In the real world, Ted Bundy & Hitler couldn't make the "few-thousand-years" wait list, though at the Pearly Gates, I doubt the argument involving distinctions between ontological aspects and epistemological aspects of crimes against humanity worked as any "Get Out of Hell For Free" Card.

Meanwhile, cow manure makes a smelly, but still better, compost ingredient than recycled paper.

Tadzio


This states part of a few of my concerns also:

"Contemporary popular apologists tend to look for any way to salvage the text, no matter how unlikely or untenable the argument. They’ll use scholarly sources selectively, or pounce on one scholar’s argument and run away with it, without any concern for the fact the vast majority of scholars haven’t been persuaded by it. They don’t often make arguments for what’s plausible, preferring to argue for what’s “possible,” if it serves their immediate purposes. They trade in eisegesis, wild speculation, and fanciful interpretations, reading into the text what isn’t there, indeed, what’s often contradicted by the very passages they cite."
From "Is God a Moral Compromiser? A Critical Review of Paul Copan’s 'Is God a Moral Monster?'" by Thom Stark (2011), page 1.

While Stark says to buy Copan's book (since Copan's "publisher" prohibits even moderate quotations) to follow his (Stark's) critiques, I am not going to purchase any more Copan's/WLC's books, as WLC, et al. WLC's clones & groupies, have played way too many Mutt & Jeff games with the same old rehashed noxious balderdash with numerous others, back-and-forth, and even at nominal prices, prices add up to too much money for so little worth, and then, the vast amounts of such commingled & toxic trash.

Stark's review is available for free at (and elsewhere):
http://arizonaatheist.blogspot.com/2011 ... stark.html

The concepts of "Renaissance" and the "Christian Thought" of, and threatened violence from, fanatical apologists, are not compatible, except for "Bible-Thumping" propaganda purposes for the fascist apologists.

Tadzio


WLC's selective careless stupidity with Bayesian Probability fallacies is also reflected in the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JQD6uVVqf0
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JQD6uVVqf0[/youtube]

Tadzio