Search This Blog

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Deliver us from Evil - Contrasting God's morality versus the immorality of Atheism

In the beginning of this series it was pointed out that Atheistic Darwinism was not only morally deficient but the root cause of many evils in the world.   Darwinism has been the impetus for many evil deeds and the excuse for many more.   I invite you to reconsider the series so far if you have missed any of it:


Deliver us from Evil - Identifying the evils of Darwinism - The Ongoing Holocaust 

Deliver us from Evil - Identifying the evils of Darwinism - Islamic Terrorists, Christless Christianity

Holocaust past and present. A reminder of the cost of abandoning God and submitting to Darwinist philosophies.

Deliver us from Evil - Identifying the evils of Darwinism - Compromising and Postmodernist "Christianity"

Part of the issue I have with naturalistic materialists is that they depend upon constructs that are only logical if God exists.  Logic doesn't make sense in a Universe generated randomly without purpose.  It is like the joke in which scientists come up to God and say, "We've discovered how to make life!"   God says, "Okay, show me."  The scientists begin saying "First, you take a little dirt..."  but God interrupts and says, "Wait a minute, get your own dirt!"  Logic comes from God.

Morality comes from God.  God invented morality because He established right and wrong.  Mankind may fight against the inherent belief in a Creator, but mankind also understands inherently that there is good and evil.   The existence of morality is a proof for the existence of God (bluing of some quotes done by this blogger and not by the Apologetics Press.  Notice the copyright notice on this article,  readers must contact AP before printing out this portion of the post.): 

The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.   


In November 2006, several of the world’s leading atheistic evolutionary scientists gathered in La Jolla, California for the first “Beyond Belief” symposium (see Lyons and Butt, 2007), which the scientific journal New Scientist called “an ‘atheist love fest’” (Reilly, 2007, 196[2629]:7). The conference was held to discuss science, religion, and God, and specifically whether science should “do away with religion” (Brooks, 2006, 192[2578]:9). New Scientist writer Michael Brooks summarized the overall attitude of the attendees in the following words: “science can take on religion and win” (p. 11). The participants were ready to roll up their sleeves and “get on with it” (p. 11). They were ready to put science “In Place of God,” as Brooks titled his article.

Fast-forward one year to 2007—to the “Beyond Belief II” symposium—where some of the participants apparently approached the idea of a Supernatural Being much more cautiously. Even New Scientist, who covered the conference for a second year in a row, chose a drastically different article title the second time around—from “In Place of God” to the more sober, “God’s Place in a Rational World” (see Reilly, 196[2629]:7, emp. added). Author Michael Reilly gave some insight into the meeting by recording what one attendee, Edward Slingerland of the University of British Columbia (and founder of the Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture), openly acknowledged.
“Religion is not going away,” he announced. Even those of us who fancy ourselves rationalists and scientists, he said, rely on moral values—a set of distinctly unscientific beliefs.
Where, for instance, does our conviction that human rights are universal come from? “Humans’ rights to me are as mysterious as the holy trinity.... You can’t do a CT scan to show where humans’ rights are, you can’t cut someone open and show us their human rights.... It’s not an empirical thing, it’s just something we strongly believe. It’s a purely metaphysical entity” (p. 7, emp. added).
Although some at the conference had the naïve belief that “[g]iven time and persistence, science will conquer all of nature’s mysteries” (Reilly, p. 7, emp. added), it is encouraging to know that at least one person alluded to one of the greatest proofs for God’s existence—the moral argument.

OBJECTIVE MORALITY

Why do most rational people believe in objective morality? That is, why do people generally think that some actions are “right” and some actions are “wrong,” regardless of people’s subjective opinions? Why do most people believe that it is “evil” or “wicked” (1) for someone to walk into a random house, shoot everyone in it, and steal everything in sight? (2) for a man to beat and rape a kind, innocent woman? (3) for an adult to torture an innocent child simply for the fun of it? or (4) for parents to have children for the sole purpose of abusing them sexually every day of their lives? Because, as evolutionist Edward Slingerland noted, humans have metaphysical rights—rights that are “a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses” (“Metaphysical,” 2011)—and  “rely on moral values.” The fact is, most people, even many atheists, have admitted that real, objective good and evil exist.

Antony Flew

During the last half of the 20th century, Dr. Antony Flew, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading in Reading, England, was considered one of the world’s most well known atheistic philosophers. From 1955-2000, he lectured and wrote extensively on matters pertaining to atheism. Some of his works include, but in no way are limited to, God and Philosophy (1966), Evolutionary Ethics (1967), Darwinian Evolution (1984), The Presumption of Atheism (1976), and Atheistic Humanism (1993). In September 1976, Dr. Flew debated Dr. Thomas B. Warren, Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Christian Apologetics at Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to this four-night debate on the existence of God, Warren, in agreement with the rules of the debate, asked Flew several questions in writing, including the following: “True/False. In murdering six million Jewish men, women, and children the Nazis were guilty of real (objective) moral wrong.” Flew answered “True.” He acknowledged the existence of “real (objective) moral wrong” (Warren and Flew, 1977, p. 248). [NOTE: In 2004, Flew started taking steps toward theism as he acknowledged the impossibility of a purely naturalistic explanation for life. See Miller, 2004 for more information.]

Wallace Matson

In 1978, Dr. Warren met Dr. Wallace Matson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California in Berkeley, California, in a public debate on the existence of God in Tampa, Florida. Once again, per the agreed-upon guidelines, the disputants were allowed to ask up to 10 questions prior to their debate. Once more, Warren asked: “True/False. In murdering six million Jewish men, women, and children the Nazis were guilty of real (objective) moral wrong.” Like Flew, Matson answered “True:” “real (objective) moral wrong” exists (Warren and Matson, 1978, p. 353). Matson even acknowledged in the affirmative (i.e., “true”) that “[i]f you had been a soldier during World War II and if the Nazis (1) had captured you and (2) had given you the choice of either joining them in their efforts to exterminate the Jews or being murdered, you would have had the objective moral obligation to die rather than to join them in the murder of Jewish men, women, and children” (p. 353, underline in orig.). Do not miss the point: Matson not only said that the Nazis were guilty of objective moral wrong, he even indicated that a person would have the “objective moral obligation to dierather than join up with the murderous Nazi regime.

As Easy as 2 + 2

Although objective morality may be outside the realm of the scientific method, every rational person can know that some things are innately good, while other things are innately evil. Antony Flew and Wallace Matson, two of the leading atheistic philosophers of the 20th century, forthrightly acknowledged the existence of objective morality. Though at times atheist Michael Ruse has seemed opposed to the idea of moral objectivity (see Ruse, 1989, p. 268), even he admitted in his book Darwinism Defended that “[t]he man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children, is just as mistaken as the man who says that 2 + 2 = 5” (1982, p. 275, emp. added). Indeed, one of the many reasons that “religion (i.e., God—EL) is not going away,” to use Edward Slingerland’s words, is because moral values are a metaphysical reality (cf. Romans 2:14-15). Philosophers Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl said it well:Those who deny obvious moral rules—who say that murder and rape are morally benign, that cruelty is not a vice, and that cowardice is a virtue—do not merely have a different moral point of view; they have something wrong with them (1998, p. 59, emp. added).

THE MORAL ARGUMENT

The moral argument for the existence of God has been stated in a variety of ways through the centuries. One way in which the basic argument has been worded is as follows (see Craig, n.d.; Craig and Tooley, 1994; Cowan, 2005, p. 166):
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values exist.
Conclusion: God exists.
Thomas B. Warren worded the argument in a positive, more detailed manner in his debates with atheist Antony Flew (p. 173) and Wallace Matson (p. 285).
  1. If the moral code and/or actions of any individual or society can properly be subjects of criticism (as to real moral wrong), then there must be some objective standard (some “higher law which transcends the provincial and transient”) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized.
  2. The moral code and/or actions of any individual or society can properly be subjects of criticism (as to real moral wrong).
  3. Therefore, there must be some objective standard (some “higher law which transcends the provincial and transient”) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized.
The “society” that Warren used as a case study in his debates was Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. In the 1930s and 40s, Nazi Germany committed state-sponsored genocide of so-called “inferior races.” Of the approximately nine million Jews who lived in Europe at the beginning of the 1930s, some six million of them were exterminated. The Nazis murdered approximately one million Jewish children, two million Jewish women, and three million Jewish men. The Nazis herded them into railway cars like cattle, shipping them to concentration camps. Sometimes the floors of the railway cars were layered with quicklime, which would burn the feet of the prisoners, including the children. The Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on like animals. Hitler slaughtered another three million Poles, Soviets, gypsies, and people with disabilities (see “Holocaust,” 2011 for more information).

So were the Nazis guilty of “real (objective) moral wrong”? According to atheist Antony Flew, they were (Warren and Flew, p. 248). Atheist Wallace Matson agreed (Warren and Matson, p. 353). Whether theist or atheist, most rational people admit that some things really are atrocious. People do not merely feel like rape and child abuse may be wrong; they are wrong—innately wrong. Just as two plus two can really be known to be four, every rational human can know that some things are objectively good, while other things are objectively evil. However, reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective point of reference. If something (e.g., rape) “can properly be the subject of criticism (as to real moral wrong) then there must be some objective standard (some ‘higher law which transcends the provincial and transient’) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized” (Warren and Matson, p. 284, emp. added).

DOES ATHEISM PROVIDE A LEGITAMATE OBJECTIVE STANDARD FOR MORALITY?

Recognition by atheists of anything being morally wrong begs the question: How can an atheist logically call something atrocious, deplorable, evil, or wicked? According to atheism, man is nothing but matter in motion. Humankind allegedly evolved from rocks and slime over billions of years. But who ever speaks of “wrong rocks,” “moral minerals,” “corrupt chemicals,” or “sinful slime?” People do not talk about morally depraved donkeys, evil elephants, or immoral monkeys. Pigs are not punished for being immoral when they eat their young. Komodo dragons are not corrupt because 10% of their diet consists of younger Komodo dragons. Killer whales are not guilty of murder. Black widows are not exterminated simply because the female often kills the male after copulation. Male animals are not tried for rape if they appear to forcibly copulate with females (cf. Thornhill, 2001). Dogs are not depraved for stealing the bone of another dog.

The fact that humans even contemplate morality testifies to the huge chasm between man and animals. Atheistic evolutionists have admitted that morals arise only in humans. According to Antony Flew, man is a moral being, yet “value did not exist before the first human being” (Warren and Flew, p. 248). Flew believed that morals came into existence only after man evolved, not beforehand when allegedly only animals existed on Earth. Though George Gaylord Simpson, one of the most recognized atheistic evolutionists of the 20th century, believed that “man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind,” he confessed that “[g]ood and evil, right and wrong, concepts irrelevant in nature except from the human viewpoint, become real and pressing features of the whole cosmos as viewed morally because morals arise only in man” (1951, p. 179, emp. added). Atheists admit that people (i.e., even “atheists”) have “their own innate sense of morality” (“Do Atheists…?, n.d.). No rational person makes such admissions about animals. As evolutionist Edward Slingerland stated, Humans,” not animals, “rely on moral values” (as quoted in Reilly, 2007, 196[2629]:7).

Atheistic evolution cannot logically explain morals. Real, objective moral right or wrong cannot exist if humans are the offspring of animals. Young people (who are not allowed to act like animals at school) are frequently “reminded” in public school textbooks that they are the offspring of animals. According to one Earth science textbook, “Humans probably evolved from bacteria that lived more than 4 billion years ago” (Earth Science, 1989, p. 356).

When I graduated from high school in 1994, millions of public high school students in America were introduced to a new biology textbook by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. What sort of amazing things did they learn? For one, they were informed, You are an animal and share a common heritage with earthworms” (Johnson, 1994, p. 453, emp. added). Allegedly, man not only descended from fish and four-footed beasts, we are beasts. Charles Darwin declared in chapter two of his book The Descent of Man: “My object in this chapter is solely to show that there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties (1871, 1:34). More recently, evolutionary environmentalist David Suzuki was interviewed by Jo Marchant of New Scientist magazine. Suzuki proclaimed: “[W]e must acknowledge that we are animals.... We like to think of ourselves as elevated above other creatures. But the human body evolved” from animals (as quoted in Marchant, 2008, 200[2678]:44, emp. added). One has to look no further than Marchant’s title to know his view of humanity. Allegedly,We Should Act Like the Animals We Are (p. 44, emp. added). The fact is, as Thomas B. Warren concluded in his debate with Antony Flew, “[T]he basic implication of the atheistic system does not allow objective moral right or objective moral wrong” (1977, p. 49).

ATHEISM: CONTRADICTORY AT BEST, HIDEOUS AT WORST

Atheists cannot logically condemn the Nazis for objective moral evil, while simultaneously saying that we arose from rocks and rodents. They cannot reasonably rebuke a child molester for being immoral, while at the same time believing that we evolved from slime. Reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective reference point. As Warren stated: “[T]here must be some objective standard (some “higher law which transcends the provincial and transient”) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized” (Warren and Matson, p. 284).
Atheists find themselves in a conundrum: (1) They must admit to objective morality (which ultimately means that a moral lawgiver, i.e., God, Who is above and beyond the provincial and the transient, exists); or, (2) They must contend that everything is relative—that no action on Earth could ever be objectively good or evil. Rather, everything is subjective and situational.

Relatively few atheists seem to have had the courage (or audacity) to say forthrightly that atheism implies that objective good and evil do not exist. However, a few have. Some of the leading atheists and agnostics in the world, in fact, understand that if there is no God, then there can be no ultimate, binding standard of morality for humanity. Charles Darwin understood perfectly the moral implications of atheism, which is one reason he gave for being “content to remain an Agnostic” (1958, p. 94). In his autobiography, he wrote: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones(1958, p. 94, emp. added). If a person has the urge to suffocate innocent children, like a snake may suffocate its victims (including people), then, if there is no God, there is no objective moral law against suffocating children. If a person impulsively drowns a kind elderly person, similar to a crocodile drowning its prey, then, if atheism is true, this action could neither be regarded as objectively good or evil.

According to Richard Dawkins, one of the early 21st century’s most famous atheists, “[L]ife has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA” (1995, 273[5]:80):
So long as DNA is passed on, it does not matter who or what gets hurt in the process. Genes don’t care about suffering, because they don’t care about anything…. DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music…. This universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference (p. 85, emp. added).
Although Dawkins could never prove that life’s sole purpose is to perpetuate DNA, he is right about one thing: if there is no God, then there is no good and no evil, only “pitiless indifference.” “It does not matter” to atheistic evolution “who or what gets hurt.”

Like Darwin and Dawkins, atheistic evolutionary biologist William Provine implicitly acknowledged the truthfulness of the first premise of the moral argument as stated by philosophers Craig and Cowan (“If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist”). In 1988, Provine penned an article for The Scientist titled, “Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible” (2[16]:10). Although true science and Christianity live in perfect harmony with each other, Provine, in so far as he was referring to evolutionary science and its implications, was exactly right: evolutionary science and religion are incompatible. According to Provine,
No purposive principles exist in nature. Organic evolution has occurred by various combinations of random genetic drift, natural selection, Mendelian heredity, and many other purposeless mechanisms. Humans are complex organic machines that die completely with no survival of soul or psyche. Humans and other animals make choices frequently, but these are determined by the interaction of heredity and environment and are not the result of free will. No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life (1988, p. 10, emp. added).
Provine went on in the article to accuse evolutionists who fail to take their theory to its logical conclusion of suffering from the “trying to have one’s cake and eat it, too” syndrome. He supposed that they may be acting out of fear or wishful thinking or may just be intellectually dishonest. Why? Because they do not boldly admit what he does: atheistic evolution is true. Therefore, “No inherent moral or ethical laws exist.”

Atheistic philosopher Jean Paul Sartre summarized atheism well in a lecture he gave in 1946 titled “Existentialism is a Humanism.” Sartre stated, Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist…. [H]e cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself ” (1989, emp. added). “If God does not exist,” Sartre recognized that we have no “values or commands that could legitimise our behaviour. Thus we have neither behind us, nor before us in a luminous realm of values, any means of justification or excuse” (1989).

Though few they may be, atheists such as Provine, Sartre, and others refuse to walk down the road of contradiction. That is, rather than deny the premise: “If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist,” they acknowledge it: “[e]verything is indeed permitted if God does not exist” (Sartre, 1989). Yet, if atheists refuse to admit that real moral objectivity exists, then they are forced to admit that, for example, when the Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on “like the animals” they reportedly were (cf. Marchant, 2008), the Nazis did nothing inherently wrong. They were, to borrow from Provine, merely complex organic, meaningless mechanisms that chose to follow the orders of the Fuhrer. Or, to apply Dawkins reasoning, how could Hitler be guilty of wrong doing if he was simply trying to perpetuate the survival of the “best” DNA possible? “[I]t does not matter who or what gets hurt in the process,” right? “So long as DNA is passed on” (Dawkins, 273[5]:85). Should we not just react with  “pitiless indifference” since atheism implies that objective good and evil do not exist (p. 85)?

What about most of humanity’s condemnation of rape as an objective moral evil? Is it really an inherently evil act? Although evolutionist Randy Thornhill, co-author of the book A Natural History of Rape, “would like to see rape eradicated from human life” (Thornhill and Palmer, 2000, p. xi), he touted in a 2001 speech he delivered in Vancouver that rape is actually “evolutionary, biological and natural…. Our male ancestors became ancestors in part because they conditionally used rape” (2001). According to Thornhill and Palmer, “Evolutionary theory applies to rape, as it does to other areas of human affairs, on both logical and evidentiary grounds. There is no legitimate scientific reason not to apply evolutionary or ultimate hypotheses to rape…. Human rape arises from men’s evolved machinery for obtaining a high number of mates in an environment where females choose mates” (2000, pp. 55,190). If God does not exist, and if man evolved from lower life forms, in part because they “conditionally used rape,” then even rape cannot be called an objective moral evil. In fact, that is exactly what atheist Dan Barker admitted.

In his 2005 debate with Peter Payne on Does Ethics Require God?, Barker stated: “All actions are situational. There is not an action that is right or wrong. I can think of an exception in any case” (emp. added). Four years later, Kyle Butt asked Barker in their debate on the existence of God, “When would rape be acceptable?” (2009, p. 33). Although Barker tried to make his response as palatable as possible, he ultimately admitted that rape would be permissible if, for example, it meant saving humanity from certain destruction (pp. 33-34). [NOTE: One wonders how Barker can logically say that no actions are right or wrong, but then claim that situation ethics is right? Such a claim is a self-defeating statement. “Nothing is right. But situation ethics is right!?” Furthermore, on what basis does Barker think it is “right” to save humanity? His entire answer ultimately contradicts his already contradictory contentions.] Barker went on to admit (and even disturbingly joke) that it would be acceptable to rape two, two thousand, or even two million women, if, say, it resulted in saving six billion people from hypothetical alien invaders (p. 34). [NOTE: Alien invaders are not really all that imaginary in the world of atheism. After all, since life supposedly evolved on Earth, according to atheistic evolutionists it had to have also evolved in one form or another on some other distant planets in the Universe.] Do not miss the point. Dan Barker admitted that rape would be acceptable given certain circumstances. One obvious question is: who gets to decide the circumstances that warrant the rape of innocent women? Who is Barker to say that a man would be wrong to rape a woman for revenge, say, because she crashed into his new car? Or, who is Barker to say that it would be wrong to rape a woman for stealing $1,000 from him, etc. The fact is, once Barker (or any atheist) alleges that (1) God does not exist, and (2) therefore, “[n]o inherent moral or ethical laws exist” (Provine, 1988, 2[16]:10; a logical deduction if God does not exist), then no one can logically be criticized for anything. As Sartre put it: “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist” (1989). Rape, child abuse, multiple murder, pedophilia, bestiality, etc. cannot be condemned as objective evil, if God does not exist.

What happens when atheistic evolutionists take their godless philosophy to its logical conclusion, at least theoretically? They unveil the true, hideous nature of atheism. Consider, for example, the comments evolutionary ecologist Eric Pianka made in 2006 in Beaumont, Texas where he was recognized as the Distinguished Texas Scientist of the Year. According to Forrest M. Mimms, III, Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, Pianka condemned “the idea that humankind occupies a privileged position in the Universe” and “hammered his point home by exclaiming, ‘We’re no better than bacteria!’” (Mims, 2006). Pianka followed up this comment by expressing his concerns “about how human overpopulation is ruining the Earth” (Mims). According to Mims,  Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.... His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years (2006; for more information, see Butt, 2008, 28[7]:51-52).

Although most people (a good 90% anyway) find Pianka’s suggestion appalling, if atheism is true, and humanity really “evolved from bacteria” (Earth Science, 1989, p. 356), there would be nothing inherently wrong for a man to attempt to murder billions of people, especially if he is doing it for a “good” reason (i.e., to save the only planet in the Universe on which we know for sure life exists). [NOTE: Again, such a  reason that is deemed “good” can only exist if God does.]

CONCLUSION

The moral argument for God’s existence exposes atheism as the self-contradictory, atrocious philosophy that it is. Atheists must either reject the truthfulness of the moral argument’s first premise (“If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist”) and illogically accept the indefensible idea that objective morality somehow arose from rocks and reptiles, or (2) they must reject the argument’s second premise (“Objective moral values exist”), and accept the insane, utterly repulsive idea that genocide, rape, murder, theft, child abuse, etc. can never once be condemned as objectively “wrong.” According to atheism, individuals who commit such actions are merely doing what their DNA led them to do. They are simply following through with their raw impulses and instincts, which allegedly evolved from our animal ancestors. What’s more, if atheism is true, individuals could never logically be punished for such immoral actions, since “no inherent moral or ethical laws exist” (Provine, 1988, p. 10).

For those who refuse to have God in their knowledge (Romans 1:28), life will forever be filled with the self-contradictory, unreasonable, inhumane lies of atheistic evolution. Indeed, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1a). When atheists actually follow through with their godless philosophy and let it complete its journey of indifference, they peel back the phony charming façade of atheism and reveal it for what the psalmist said that it actually is: corrupt and abominable, where no one does good (Psalm 14:1b). On the other hand, when theists follow the evidence to the Creator (cf. Psalm 19:1-4), they discover a benevolent God Who is good (Psalm 100:5; Mark 10:18) and Who demands that His obedient followers “do good to all” (Galatians 6:10).

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan and Peter Payne (2005), Does Ethics Require God?, http://www.ffrf.org/about/bybarker/ethics_debate.php.
Beckwith, Francis and Gregory Koukl (1998), Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), http://books.google.com/books?id=JulBONF0BKMC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false).
Brooks, Michael (2006), “In Place of God,” New Scientist, 192[2578]:8-11, November 18.
Butt, Kyle (2008), “The Bitter Fruit of Atheism—Part 1,” Reason & Revelation, 28[7]:49-55, July, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=603.
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Cowan, Steven (2005), “The Question of Moral Values,” The Big Argument: Does God Exist?, eds. John Ashton and Michael Westcott (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Craig, William Lane (no date), “Moral Argument,” Reasonable Faith, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/documents/podcast_docs/defenders_2/Existence_of_God_Moral-Argument.pdf.
Craig, William Lane and Michael Tooley (1994), “Dr. Craig’s Opening Statement,” A Classic Debate on the Existence of God, http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-tooley1.html.
Darwin, Charles (1871), The Descent of Man: Volume 1 (New York: Appleton), http://books.google.com /books?id=ZvsHAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA126&dq=The+Descent+of+Man+volume+1&hl=en&ei=vzwwTtjoDurc0QH7 mNWFAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Darwin, Charles (1958), The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: W.W. Norton).
Dawkins, Richard (1995), “God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, 273[5]:80-85, November.
“Do Atheists Have Morals?” (no date), http://www.askanatheist.org/morals.html.
Earth Science (1989), (New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Jovanovich).
“Holocaust” (2011), Encyclopedia.com, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Holocaust.aspx#1.
Johnson, George B. (1994), Biology: Visualizing Life (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston).
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2007), “Militant Atheism,” Reason & Revelation, 27[1]:1-5, January, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3195, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=585.
Marchant, Jo (2008), “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are,” New Scientist, 200[2678]:44-45, October 18-24.
“Metaphysical” (2011), Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphysical.
Miller, Dave (2004), “Atheist Finally ‘Sobers Up,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1467.
Mims, Forrest (2006), “Meeting Doctor Doom,” The Ecologic Powerhouse, http://www.freedom.org/board/articles/mims-506.html.
Provine, William (1988), “Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible,” The Scientist, 2[16]:10, September 5, http://classic.the-scientist.com/article/display/8667/.
Reilly, Michael (2007), “God’s Place in a Rational World,” New Scientist, 196[2629]:7, November 10.
Ruse, Michael (1982), Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley).
Ruse, Michael (1989), The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge), http://books.google.com/books?id= 4iAhPbYwHOUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+darwinian+paradigm&hl=en&ei=3dgtTomSOofagAeiqLH7Cg& sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Sartre, Jean-Paul (1989), “Existentialism is Humanism,” in Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, ed. Walter Kaufman, trans. Philip Mairet (Meridian Publishing Company), http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm.
Simpson, George Gaylord (1951), The Meaning of Evolution (New York: Mentor).
Thornhill, Randy (2001), “A Natural History of Rape,” Lecture delivered at Simon Fraser University, http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/Readings/Thornhill_on_rape.pdf.
Thornhill, Randy and Craig T. Palmer (2000), A Natural History of Rape (Cambridge: MIT Press).
Warren, Thomas and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Ramer, TN: National Christian Press), info@nationalchristianpress.net.
Warren, Thomas B. and Wallace I. Matson (1978), The Warren-Matson Debate (Ramer, TN: National Christian Press),  info@nationalchristianpress.net.



Copyright © 2011 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Atheists find themselves in a conundrum: (1) They must admit to objective morality (which ultimately means that a moral lawgiver, i.e., God, Who is above and beyond the provincial and the transient, exists); or, (2) They must contend that everything is relative—that no action on Earth could ever be objectively good or evil. Rather, everything is subjective and situational."

The above statement explains why the people who run talkorigins are perfectly happy to post incorrect information.  If you are truly a dedicated Darwinist, you will gladly accuse others of misdeeds but you yourself are willing to lie and cheat to advance your cause because you decide that there is no moral imperative you must obey.   Thus, Haeckel deliberately drew faked embryos and Huxley invented a new life form and Darwin cheerfully plagiarized Creationist and Atheist alike.   This meant that Lyell had no qualms lying about the erosion rate of the Niagara Falls in order to prop up his uniformitarian concept which is now proven to be false.   Gingerich invents transitional forms from pretty much thin air and in fact Darwinists often take a couple of tiny fossil parts and invent entire creatures from them.  Oops, Nebraska Man was actually a pig!  Oops, Lucy was pictured with humanid hands and feet but there was no fossil record of them and in fact there was no reason to think Lucy had them unless you were a hopeful Darwinist.  Peppered Moths were glued to tree trunks because they stubbornly refused to land on them as the Darwinist myth demanded.  Now we see Darwinists denying that fossil remains of dinosaurs and other creatures caught in the sedimentary layers have been found - blood and flesh rather than stone!

It has to be kind of tough to be a Darwinist these days.   Really, the evidence for your hypothesis that Darwin asserted would have to be found - inumerable transitional forms - aren't there.  The explanations for existence, life and information are still missing in action.  Many decades of tests have failed to detect macroevolution or even forced it to happen.    It doesn't happen in nature.  The more we study organisms, the more design and complexity and purpose we find.   Meanwhile, the widescale murders by Stalin and the Kaiser and Hitler can be traced directly back to Darwinism.   The continual holocaust against unborn children?   Also a straight line back to Darwinism.   Darwinism is arguably the most evil philosophy on Earth.  Even Islam is in second place when it comes to murderous barbarism. 

Darwinist, your underlying philosophy is bankrupt.

37 comments:

creeper said...

"Atheists find themselves in a conundrum: (1) They must admit to objective morality (which ultimately means that a moral lawgiver, i.e., God, Who is above and beyond the provincial and the transient, exists); or, (2) They must contend that everything is relative—that no action on Earth could ever be objectively good or evil. Rather, everything is subjective and situational."

What exactly is the conundrum? There is no objective morality. Morality is a man-made construct, and is subjective (though subject to an evolved consensus) and situational.

Even the Bible reflects the gradual evolution of man's moral understanding over the millennia. If you think that God is "above and beyond the provincial and the transient", then why is this entity so stunningly provincial and transient? The OT even has him taking part in tribal wars. This moral lawgiver that you propose to prop up objective morality actually operates in very subjective and situational ways.

-- creeper

AmericanVet said...

Morality has no basis without God's law. The basics of morality obviously stem from the Ten Commandments legally, and there is no explanation for the inner sense of morality that man is born with. It is not in line with evolution at all. Evolution in fact has no basis for claiming a "drive" or "purpose" since it is supposedly a random set of accidents. You cannot claim that evolution calls on the "survival of the fittest" and then at the same time call upon the concept of tribal awareness.

You do not know what you are talking about concerning Bible history. All men knew the morality of God. Those who lived in Canaan were murdering their children and committing various atrocities. God wanted these hideous deeds to stop. It was like the land was full of Hitlers and abortionists. Creeper, I am going to repeat what I said earlier about those ignorant of the Bible:

"Those who are not Bible students and make comments on this subject are like kids who read the Cliff's Notes on War and Peace and then try to teach a class on the meanings, characters and nuances of the same. Duh.

Bible study begins with some basic rules, one of which is that you let the Bible interpret the Bible. The way words are used in the Bible teaches us their meaning. If we fail to research the original language we can miss things.

Also, you must consider who wrote the book, when it was written, who was the intended audience and what kind of book is it? Historical like Genesis, Wisdom like Ecclesiastes, Prophetic like Ezekiel, Doctrinal like Galatians or songs of praise like Psalms. Prophetic books use powerful imagery that is not taken literally, while historical books are meant to take quite literally.

The completely unschooled and ignorant derision of atheists concerning the most read and published book in the world reminds me of little kids shooting spitballs at an armored Humvee with a 50 caliber or an MK-19 grenade launcher. Just be thankful God doesn't take you out for your insolence. He gives you an entire life to change your mind."

creeper said...

"Morality has no basis without God's law."

And yet other religions (and even the irreligious), lacking "God's law", also have morality - they abhor murder, rape etc. It seems you're merely imposing your own worldview and declaring it to be indispensable, though without substantiating your claim.

And let's not even get into God sanctioning slavery, murdering one's offspring etc. Basis of morality? Please.

It's all man-made. That's the only way to explain the evolution of morality over time.

"The basics of morality obviously stem from the Ten Commandments legally, and there is no explanation for the inner sense of morality that man is born with. It is not in line with evolution at all."

The connection between evolution and altruism can certainly be explained: kin selection. How do you imagine that that isn't in line with evolution?

-- creeper

"Hot Lips" Houlihan said...

"All men knew the morality of God."

Did they know it before or after the Ten Commandments?

highboy said...

"Even the Bible reflects the gradual evolution of man's moral understanding over the millennia. If you think that God is "above and beyond the provincial and the transient", then why is this entity so stunningly provincial and transient? The OT even has him taking part in tribal wars. This moral lawgiver that you propose to prop up objective morality actually operates in very subjective and situational ways."

What does God taking part in tribal wars, sanctioning slavery, or anything else have to do with it? God's morality isn't some laundry list of do's and don'ts, his morality is "DO WHAT I SAY". The fact that He may act differently at different times means absolutely nothing.

If you don't believe in objective morality fine, but its not something that cave men just sat around and decided "hey, lets come up with a way to coexist". Morality isn't just a rule book, its a sense of obligation, a sense of "ought". For there to be a moral obligation to coexist, there would have to an obligation to exist in the first place, making our very existence a moral obligatory issue. That can't happen in an amoral universe. Certainly atheists can act just as morally as any Christian if you believe morality is just a meaningless man-made mechanism for coexistence. But that leads to the ultimate question of morality's origins. If its man made than the idea of forming a basis of which to coexist didn't happen over time, it was something man would have had to collectively decided together. Instead, there is an indwelt sense of "ought" in every human being. That isn't "man made" morality.

Anonymous said...

"God's morality isn't some laundry list of do's and don'ts, his morality is "DO WHAT I SAY"

If God tells you to kill someone, would you do it?

Jon Woolf said...

I hope you play poker better than you debate, Radar. You need to learn when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. This is definitely one of the latter.

It is not in line with evolution at all. Evolution in fact has no basis for claiming a "drive" or "purpose" since it is supposedly a random set of accidents.

Wrong on multiple counts. First of all, the evolutionary process does have a purpose: to improve the fitness of the next generation. Second, evolution is not random. Variation is semi-random, or random within limits. Selection is emphatically non-random. If selection favors individuals with a stronger tribal sense, and degree of tribalism is a heritable trait, then later generations will inherit that stronger tribal sense.

And if selection favors individuals with a strong moral sense, well then the moral sense will be strengthened in the next generation. Unfortunately, humans have traded most of our instincts for increased intelligence, so while most of us have an understanding of 'right' and 'wrong' as abstract concepts, we have to learn what specific thoughts, words, and actions are 'right' or 'wrong.'

creeper said...

"First of all, the evolutionary process does have a purpose: to improve the fitness of the next generation."

Is that a purpose or an effect?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Did they know it before or after the Ten Commandments?"

Hm, where did morality come from before the Ten Commandments?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"What does God taking part in tribal wars, sanctioning slavery, or anything else have to do with it?"

It means he's not "above and beyond the provincial and the transient".

"The fact that He may act differently at different times means absolutely nothing."

For starters, it means that God cannot be a source of "objective" morality. Something that is objective doesn't change at the whim of one entity/agent. That amounts to subjective morality, it just happens to be God's. And not just that, it's pretty dang situational as well.

"If you don't believe in objective morality fine, but its not something that cave men just sat around and decided "hey, lets come up with a way to coexist"."

No, they just coexisted, and in doing so of course had to find the best way to do it. Part of this involved evolution, including kin selection, which explains our sense of altruism and empathy (and altruism is even observed in animals), while part of it involved cultural development, including various religions that evolved over time. For the most part it wasn't a conscious decision or actual discussion (though that happened too, once humans invented laws and government etc.).

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Morality isn't just a rule book, its a sense of obligation, a sense of "ought"."

I think it's both, and it seems you agree.

"For there to be a moral obligation to coexist, there would have to an obligation to exist in the first place, making our very existence a moral obligatory issue."

I don't follow the logic in your statement that if there is a moral obligation to coexist, then there must be a moral obligation to exist in the first place, but that aside, who says there is a moral obligation to coexist? All that is needed is the very fact of coexistence.

"Certainly atheists can act just as morally as any Christian if you believe morality is just a meaningless man-made mechanism for coexistence."

A mechanism that's both man-made and evolved, yes. Meaningless? We know we're human, we know we exist, and we know that mutual respect results in a better way to live. Is a mythology really needed to add some kind of narrative meaning?

"But that leads to the ultimate question of morality's origins. If its man made than the idea of forming a basis of which to coexist didn't happen over time, it was something man would have had to collectively decided together. Instead, there is an indwelt sense of "ought" in every human being. That isn't "man made" morality."

There is an inherent sense of "ought", though as has been mentioned, that does not require a supernatural origin. Man is a social animal. Empathy and altruism are beneficial to forming social groups, which in turn protect us. I wouldn't call that part "man-made" necessarily. More like "evolution-made".

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Creeper: Is that a purpose or an effect?

Somewhere in between, I think. On one level it's just an mathematically inevitable effect of the selection process, and to even suggest there's an awareness at work is anthropomorphic and dangerous. On another level ... well, there are genes that 'latch onto' other proven-successful genes and tag along for the ride. There are individuals that are very fit in their own right but fail miserably at reproducing. There are individuals that are less fit than others in every way except reproducing. And there's the trait shared by nearly every organism on Earth, to reproduce at higher than the replacement rate so that there will be competition for resources. It's possible to imagine a world and ecosystem where organisms don't do that, and where selection actually favors individuals whose reproductive drive is not too high. But that world isn't this world.

highboy said...

"It means he's not "above and beyond the provincial and the transient"."

Not sure what the argument is. God can be personal and transcendent. He's God. Unless I'm totally misunderstanding your point. (which happens)

"For starters, it means that God cannot be a source of "objective" morality. Something that is objective doesn't change at the whim of one entity/agent. That amounts to subjective morality, it just happens to be God's. And not just that, it's pretty dang situational as well."

God's actions may very from situation to situation but that doesn't mean His moral code (which was designed for humans, not gods) is situational or subjective at all.

"I don't follow the logic in your statement that if there is a moral obligation to coexist, then there must be a moral obligation to exist in the first place, but that aside, who says there is a moral obligation to coexist? All that is needed is the very fact of coexistence."

For coexistence to be a matter of right and wrong existence itself has to be a matter of right and wrong. That is why morality is an act of distinguishing right from wrong. How is coexistence "right" if existence isn't "right" or "wrong" but just is? The idea of coexistence if a fact, yes, but that doesn't mean we have to. If I'm not morally obligated to coexist with my fellow man, I'm not acting immorally when I don't. I have to be obligated to act a certain way first in order for one behavior or another to be deemed immoral.

Anonymous said...

"If I'm not morally obligated to coexist with my fellow man, I'm not acting immorally when I don't. I have to be obligated to act a certain way first in order for one behavior or another to be deemed immoral."

If 'coexistence' means 'survival', would you feel obliged to co-exist? Or were you going to hunt down that mammoth and fend off the wolves all on your own?

creeper said...

"Not sure what the argument is. God can be personal and transcendent. He's God. Unless I'm totally misunderstanding your point. (which happens)"

So we're going with a "having tea and no tea at the same time" argument here. See, to me that sounds like special pleading, and a little iffy in its logic as well. If a deity acts provincial and transient, then it's not above being provincial and transient, no matter how you slice it.

"God's actions may very from situation to situation but that doesn't mean His moral code (which was designed for humans, not gods) is situational or subjective at all."

It's not just that God's actions vary, it's that the moral code presented in the Bible varies from situation to situation, and that makes it situational. I mean, isn't that the very definition of situational? That it varies from situation to situation?

And when you say that God's morality is "DO WHAT I SAY", that means it's not an objective morality, but merely God's own subjective morality. To go back to an earlier thought experiment, what if God commanded you to kill babies? According to your worldview, you would then go out and kill babies. Given an objective morality, killing babies is either right or wrong; it can't be wrong one moment and right the next.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"For coexistence to be a matter of right and wrong existence itself has to be a matter of right and wrong."

I don't think anyone was arguing that coexistence itself is a matter of right and wrong. For the most part, humans coexist (with the exception of a negligible number of hermits), and once there is coexistence, i.e. once there is a group of intelligent entities, a moral code develops. The coexistence itself doesn't have anything to do with right or wrong. We don't argue about whether it is right or wrong to live together in communities.

"I have to be obligated to act a certain way first in order for one behavior or another to be deemed immoral."

By virtue of existing in a group, you are implicitly obligated to act in a way that benefits the group in some form. If you look at moral arguments, they initially tend to revolve around this question: does it benefit the group? Starting with murder, theft etc. It proceeds from these basics to also include how we want to be treated.

-- creeper

creeper said...

It seems to me that Radar is (and others are) merely presenting a false dilemma here, namely this one:

"Objective morality", meaning some things are "objectively" wrong - which in this case means that everyone agrees they are wrong,

vs.

"Subjective morality", where it's all just a matter of "opinions"

It's clear that no such thing as "objective morality" exists, for a number of reasons, but the extreme opposite is a mere strawman argument, since nobody is proposing that. There is something that resembles objective morality, and that is simply the human consensus. Certain things we can pretty universally agree on: murder of the innocents is bad, rape is bad etc. You can say that this is no more than opinion, but it is an overwhelming opinion to the point of being just about universal, passed on through our different cultures (including via religions) and that is backed up by instinctive emotions such as altruism and empathy.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"By virtue of existing in a group, you are implicitly obligated to act in a way that benefits the group in some form."

No I am not. Where is my obligation to the group coming from? Or is it because the group says I have to than I have to? That isn't "ought". And you haven't answered the point that if coexistence is a matter of right and wrong than existence itself has to be in the first place.

"And when you say that God's morality is "DO WHAT I SAY", that means it's not an objective morality, but merely God's own subjective morality."

Incorrect. Because God's moral code once again is this: do what I say. That's it. You can go through the Bible and show where God told one person to do this and another to do that but it all boils down to God's law being do what He says, whatever that may be.

radar said...

Actually, man left alone without the Bible does not tend to accept Biblical morality. For instance, one tribe in New Guinea valued and elevated treachery as the height of virtue. There was no more celebrated act than convincing someone that you were his friend and ally, getting him to trust and accept you and then murdering him and his family and taking all of his possessions. They would say, "We have fattened you up with friendship for the slaughter."

The tribe was called the Sawi, and one of the missionaries who worked in the area with some friends of ours (who are still there) named the Richardsons used the story of Judas and then the story of Jesus to change their culture. A book called "Peace Child" is still in print, describing the practice.

Our friends the Pfaffs live in Papau New Guinea and have for many years, helping the natives modernize without forcing them to Westernize. The people of the area where the Pfaffs live now has fresh water and electricity and have abandoned many cruel practices, such as burying sick people alive.

Many Native American tribes valued taking scalps of their enemies as a great virtue and sign of manhood and strength. Not because of war, but because it was their culture to attack, kill and/or subjugate.

Also many people valued cannibalism. The Carib Indians (for which the sea/region is named) were the warlike cannibals that Columbus faced off against when he arrived in the "New World." They subjugated and even devoured other tribes in the area.

If you know your history (it seems you do not) you know that many cultures valued human sacrifices. In fact God ordered Israel to destroy the local cultures who were doing these murderous things. God ordering people to execute the ungodly is not murder. The commandment means that you shall not murder if translated properly.

Look at Islamists who advocate Jihad or Intifada. Islamists give praise to those who do cowardly acts like flying a jet full of citizens into the side of tall buildings, or blowing up a busload of people with bombs strapped around their chests.

There is nothing in Darwinism that calls for a moral code. Darwinism cannot have purpose and the myth that it is natural for mankind to develop moral codes that are like the Bible code is just that, a myth. Men are more than just animals.

Anonymous said...

@highboy:

"And you haven't answered the point that if coexistence is a matter of right and wrong than existence itself has to be in the first place."

Why should there be any connection between the two? 'Existence', i.e. 'life' isn't a choice; one does not choose to be born. 'Co-existence', however IS a choice as a means of staying alive. Since one does not choose to live (being born), it has no moral value. However, staying alive does entail a choice, so it does have moral value. Hope this helps.

"You can go through the Bible and show where God told one person to do this and another to do that but it all boils down to God's law being do what He says, whatever that may be."

So what if God tells you to kill babies? Do you follow his or your moral code?

highboy said...

"Why should there be any connection between the two? 'Existence', i.e. 'life' isn't a choice; one does not choose to be born. 'Co-existence', however IS a choice as a means of staying alive. Since one does not choose to live (being born), it has no moral value. However, staying alive does entail a choice, so it does have moral value."

Choosing to stay alive doesn't make it morally "right" or morally "wrong" so it doesn't answer the point. If I decided that life has no purpose and decide to wipe it out why is that choice right or wrong? Why is the will of the group "right" in wanting to stay alive?

"So what if God tells you to kill babies? Do you follow his or your moral code?"

God's all the way. Its funny because in these debates you can almost count down to when some atheist asks that exact same question. Its like clock work. LOL. Yet it doesn't cloud the point. If God exists, and He is the highest principle, what He says, literally is. Understand? So if He says its "right" than its "right". The fact that His creation may disagree is irrelevant. Of course God doesn't order me to kill babies which is one of a zillion reasons I praise Him.

Anonymous said...

"If I decided that life has no purpose and decide to wipe it out why is that choice right or wrong?"

Whose life would you wipe out? And 'right' or 'wrong' according to whom? Please be more specific.

"Of course God doesn't order me to kill babies which is one of a zillion reasons I praise Him."

If you REALLY think 'God all the way', then I sincerely hope your luck holds, as a quick Google search will learn that it appears that He did order moms and dads to kill their children.

And by the way: the question was already asked a while ago, so it seems your clock is a bit off. ;-)

radar said...

creeper needs to understand that the Bible is, in part, a history book that gives us the early history of mankind. As such it records things both good and bad done in the times of the early ancestors. God decides morality and His Law just happens to be the basis for the laws of England, Canada and the USA and if you know your jurisprudence you will know that. One thing that makes the Bible authentic is that the characters are given to us warts and all if the warts have a reason to be exposed. Therefore King David was not only a man of great faith, he was also an adulterer and a conspirator to murder. He paid a high price for that.

In fact, most Biblical characters are shown to make mistakes, commit sins and sometimes be quite remarkably wrong. All of mankind knew of the Word of God before they split at Babel. Many cultures converted ancestry into mythology and ancestors became "gods" like Jupiter (Actually Japheth) as man warped the memory of God into weird stories. Most cultures have a flood story but only the one in the Bible actually makes sense (in fact the measurements of the Ark are basically the blueprint for massive oceangoing vessels today) and tells the actual story.

One biblical character who did not sin, Jesus Christ, is the one that troubles you. An infinite God required an infinite Sacrifice to pay for the massive sin-debt to God. You do not want to be responsible to God so you believe in a fairy tale so bizarre that it sounds like something Homer would reject as too far out. Nothing made everything? All of the designed and remarkably complex systems with innumerable information sets just luckily happened from nowhere for no reason by no one? Now that sounds like something a small child would say.

Jon Woolf said...

"An infinite God required an infinite Sacrifice to pay for the massive sin-debt to God."

Why?

highboy said...

"Whose life would you wipe out? And 'right' or 'wrong' according to whom? Please be more specific. "

Your question makes my point for me. Its being argued that morality is subjective and that there is no objective morality yet at the same time morality is and only is, about the coexistence of mankind. But none of you are showing how me or any man are obligated to act a certain way. So again, why would it be morally right or morally wrong to end human life in that regard?

"If you REALLY think 'God all the way', then I sincerely hope your luck holds, as a quick Google search will learn that it appears that He did order moms and dads to kill their children."

*yawn* Lame. Not only is it not even relevant that someone claims God told them to kill babies but its an old argument that has never stuck. Why? Because people with common sense realise that the God described in the Bible from cover to cover, the God that gave us Jesus as our example, simply doesn't do that. Of course the common sense label excludes desperate skeptics clinging to the juicy parts in the OT like all get out in some lame attempt at making God this evil tyrant who uses humans like cannon fodder. The OT is an historical account, the NT is our instruction. Its really pretty simple.

highboy said...

"Why?"

Why ask radar?

Anonymous said...

"Your question makes my point for me

I think you didn't really understand the question. But here's another one: why would you wipe out life because it has 'no purpose'? What is 'purpose'? Who defines it?

"Because people with common sense realise that the God described in the Bible from cover to cover, the God that gave us Jesus as our example, simply doesn't do that."

Oh, so you know what God can or can't do? Impressive.

highboy said...

"But here's another one: why would you wipe out life because it has 'no purpose'? What is 'purpose'? Who defines it?"

You're still making my point for me. The answer to your question? If I'm an atheist? Not a damn clue. That's the point. Who defines why its right or wrong for mankind to coexist? "Right" and "wrong" are moral terms that aren't used to define a survival for a species but a sense of higher obligation. All attempts to explain this obligation in an amoral universe have failed and most of you haven't even tried, just simply ask more question. Problem is, these questions are exactly my point. For coexistence of man kind to morally right or wrong, there has to be a moral obligation and existence itself would have to be right or wrong. There is no other way to call it. In the Christian worldview God defines purpose, He created us for a purpose, and defines what is right or wrong for that purpose. In the atheist worldview we just are. No reason, no rhyme, yet you would still conclude that its a moral issue to coexist, which isn't even logical.

If our existence just is or isn't, than our coexistence just is or isn't. There is no right or wrong to attach to it. Period.

"Oh, so you know what God can or can't do? Impressive."

It would be if that's what I claimed, but even more impressive is that you can't even be bothered to actually read a post before responding to it, because if you did, you'd see I claimed no such thing about what God can or can't do.

Anonymous said...

"Right" and "wrong" are moral terms that aren't used to define a survival for a species but a sense of higher obligation.

Why? You say no-one adresses the issue, yet you keep stating that morality needs a 'higher obligation' without actually proving that it does. So why is a 'higher obligation' necessary for morality?

It would be if that's what I claimed, but even more impressive is that you can't even be bothered to actually read a post before responding to it, because if you did, you'd see I claimed no such thing about what God can or can't do.

You're right, so let me put it another way: how do you know that God doesn't order people to kill babies (or other human beings)? It seems that would require absolute knowledge of everything God does. Do you have this knowledge?

highboy said...

"Why? You say no-one adresses the issue, yet you keep stating that morality needs a 'higher obligation' without actually proving that it does. So why is a 'higher obligation' necessary for morality?"

Because morality requires obligation. If you're not obligated to act a certain way, how the hell is wrong behavior considered wrong?

"You're right, so let me put it another way: how do you know that God doesn't order people to kill babies (or other human beings)? It seems that would require absolute knowledge of everything God does. Do you have this knowledge?"

Of course not. What I do have is the Bible, and the God I have experience with which matches up with the God described in the Bible, who doesn't order me to kill babies, but love others. Of course you know all of this, which is why I'm not sure what the point of this line of questioning is. I just know its always coming regardless of who is doing the questioning. Like I said, people with common sense who have read the Bible cover to cover usually come to the conclusion that God doesn't want us to kill babies, which is why the vast majority of people who claimed to believe in God throughout history don't claim that He ordered them to kill babies.

Anonymous said...

"Because morality requires obligation. If you're not obligated to act a certain way, how the hell is wrong behavior considered wrong?"

You're still pretty vague about this 'obligation'. You seem to say that an external force is necessary for people to behave morally, without actually proving why. If experience has learned us that individuals benefit from belonging to a group, can't that be enough to behave morally?

"Of course not. What I do have is the Bible, and the God I have experience with which matches up with the God described in the Bible, who doesn't order me to kill babies, but love others."

Sure, but that's your own personal experience. It doesn't prove that God does not order people to kill babies. In fact, other people's personal experiences tell a completely diffent story and there's no way for you to prove that God didn't tell them what they claim He told them.

highboy said...

"You're still pretty vague about this 'obligation'. You seem to say that an external force is necessary for people to behave morally, without actually proving why."

Its not a philosophical argument I'm making, its simply a fact in terms. For an action to be "right" or "wrong" you have to be obliged to act a certain way first. It can't be broken down any simpler than that. I ask again: how can an action be "wrong" if you're not obligated to act "right"?

"Sure, but that's your own personal experience. It doesn't prove that God does not order people to kill babies. In fact, other people's personal experiences tell a completely diffent story and there's no way for you to prove that God didn't tell them what they claim He told them."

And....your point? I realise you're trying to play the predictable game of "gotcha!" because you think it proves a point but its headed nowhere. The Christian God is the God described in the Bible and the God described in the Bible is what I base claims about the Christian God. I can't make that any clearer. Pointing out that there is a very elite minority of people that claim to have an experience with the Christian God that ordered them to kill babies does nothing to refute that. You are the one that brought up the stupid hypothetical about God ordering to kill babies and you have yet to actually make a point with it. So I say again: He didn't order me to kill babies nor do I believe He does based on the teachings of Christ in the Bible. So the point of your obsession with baby killing is....??

Anonymous said...

"I ask again: how can an action be "wrong" if you're not obligated to act "right"?"

That question has already been answered (though maybe not in clear enough wording for you to understand it): life has value in and of itself. So it stands to reason that anything that benefits life can be considered 'good' while anything that is detrimental to life can be considered 'wrong'. You still have to demonstate though, why a 'higher purpose' is needed to give a person's life value, or obligate him/her to act morally. A person recognising the value of his/her life is and can be enough.

"So I say again: He didn't order me to kill babies nor do I believe He does based on the teachings of Christ in the Bible."

Well, first off: you don't 'say again'. Earlier you said that God 'doesn't order people to kill babies' while you now say you believe that God doesn't do this. The latter requires faith, while the former requires knowledge you cannot possibly have. That was what I was pointing out.
The 'killing babies' question does prove another point, though: when push comes to shove, you would rather follow your own innate morality than an order from God that would be in conflict with that. You say that you would kill babies if God told you to, but since your own morality rejects even the thought of it, you quickly state that 'God would never do that'. It proves what has been often observed in religious people: what they want, their God wants. No matter what moral position people have; the God they worship will hold exactly the same position.

highboy said...

"life has value in and of itself."

Says who? Where does the inherent worth come from? There has to be a source. Even if its left up to the human individual, than there can't be a conclusive and absolute "killing humans is wrong", because I may decide human life has no worth.

"You still have to demonstate though, why a 'higher purpose' is needed to give a person's life value, or obligate him/her to act morally."

The higher purpose is moral obligation. If I'm not obligated to act a certain way to my fellow man, than I'm not wrong. Period. And one man may decide his life has value but that does not mean I myself am obligated to see that value in him and treat him accordingly.

"Earlier you said that God 'doesn't order people to kill babies' while you now say you believe that God doesn't do this. The latter requires faith, while the former requires knowledge you cannot possibly have. That was what I was pointing out."

Oh, word salad. Gotcha.

"you would rather follow your own innate morality than an order from God that would be in conflict with that. You say that you would kill babies if God told you to, but since your own morality rejects even the thought of it, you quickly state that 'God would never do that'. It proves what has been often observed in religious people: what they want, their God wants."

100% false, and its becoming clearer as this discussion goes on that you just exegete whatever you want out of someone's comments regardless of what they actually say. I reject the thought of God ordering me to kill babies based on His written Word. Jesus' teachings are pretty clear in the Bible and if killing babies was part of my gig as a Christian it would say so in Christ's teachings. Its not.

Anonymous said...

"Says who? Where does the inherent worth come from?"

Originally? Instinct. Every organism has an instinct for survival; to survive and reproduce; to live and stay alive to ensure the survival of the species. Humans, by means of their evolved intelligence, can understand this as 'value'. No God or external source needed.

"And one man may decide his life has value but that does not mean I myself am obligated to see that value in him and treat him accordingly."

If it's just the two of you: maybe. But remember we were talking about co-existence? Humans survive best in groups, but this requires co-existence. If you decide that your fellow-groupmembers have no worth you will find yourself kicked out of the group because you threaten the very fabric that ensures the group's survival (and yours). You might also see that value in another human because he helps you hunting down mammoths (so you have food) and fend off wolves (so you are safe), which you wouldn't be able to do all on your own.

"100% false, and its becoming clearer as this discussion goes on that you just exegete whatever you want out of someone's comments regardless of what they actually say."

Not really, since there has actually been done some research on the subject:

epiphenom DOT fieldofscience DOT com/2009/12/what-you-want-god-wants DOT html

"Jesus' teachings are pretty clear in the Bible and if killing babies was part of my gig as a Christian it would say so in Christ's teachings. Its not."

That's of course the interesting thing about the Bible: you can use it to support or reject just about any position. History is full of it. But of course those who used to Bible to support, say, slavery or segregation were 'no true Scotsmen'...

highboy said...

"Instinct."

Instinct isn't used to decide between right and wrong. Instinct doesn't tell me my fellow man is just as valuable as I am.

"But remember we were talking about co-existence? Humans survive best in groups, but this requires co-existence. If you decide that your fellow-groupmembers have no worth you will find yourself kicked out of the group because you threaten the very fabric that ensures the group's survival (and yours)."

You're just speaking of negative reinforcement. That isn't morality. If I beat my dog every time he pees on my rug, eventually he puts the two together and quits peeing on my rug, but he still doesn't understand why its morally right or wrong. Morality is about obligation, a fact you just keep ignoring. A sense of "ought".

"Not really, since there has actually been done some research on the subject:"

not only is that really weak research but it also would require Jedi Mind powers to determine whether or not someone is basing their beliefs on God or basing their God on their beliefs.

"That's of course the interesting thing about the Bible: you can use it to support or reject just about any position. History is full of it. But of course those who used to Bible to support, say, slavery or segregation were 'no true Scotsmen'..."

which really has nothing to do with anything, much like the entire back and forth about your obsession with baby killing.

Anonymous said...

LOL it just keeps going on and on and on and on....

Anyway, it's clear that we are not capable of understanding each other so as far as I'm concerned I'll just agree to disagree.

I'll just throw in one more link which (hopefully) makes things a bit more clear

www DOT psy DOT miami DOT edu/faculty/mmccullough/Media Coverage/Science of Good and Evil_Begley_Newsweek.pdf