June 3, 2020

The Council

A modern day council!

Recently. Eli Alyala had a conversation with a popular Atheist YouTuber Tom Jump. I’ll give my thoughts about this conversation.

Others have commented about the conversations Tom Jump have had at other times.


The conversation starts with the issue of the foundation of ethics(metaethics). Tom Jump is a moral realist that bases his metaethical view on the basis of human intuition and consensus. Eli presses on the issue of subjectivity. Many people don’t have those intuitions and completely different intuitions. So, why privilege Tom Jump? Why does his intuition have the final say? Tom responds that most people have the same intuitions as him. So, he simply has no means to argue it with Eli. That leaves many questions as to why think Human intuitions are apt towards true ethical norms. Why suppose the majority of human intuitions are correct?  Furthermore, Tom Jump is simply ignorant of the other arguments for moral realism. Dr. James Anderson that moral realism is necessary for rationality:


There are other issues to be discussed  about the issue of the foundation of ethics but I’ve argued that issue elsewhere has a Christian foundation:


Tom Jump states that the problem of evil(logical) shows that the Christian God can’t exist. Eli does a fine job of pointing out the flaws in that objection. Tom Jump simply presupposes that God could have higher morally superior reasons compared to the morally sufficient reasons he has. But he bases this all on his intuition. For further reflection on the problem of evil:


This leads us to a conversation about what are presuppositions. Tom Jump states that they are merely unjustified assumptions. Eli agrees with him on this and this is where I disagree with them both. There are different theories about what presuppositions are:


We have no reason to accept that definition. The presupposition of scripture is justified by God’s own self-testimony. I’ve discussed that while discussing revelational epistemology:



Tom Jump appeals to Descartes to find something he knows apart from the evil world of ontology. Eli wisely asked him “How do know reality isn’t such a way that that is impossible to know?” and I’m not sure if that ever gotten responded to. Eli raises questions of what the “I” means. I’ve discussed the continental rationalist elsewhere:


Tom Jump is a bit of a Kantian. He maintains that he can’t know anything about ontology but merely the world of appearances. He says that he doesn’t hold to an ontology but that seems rather impossible to pull off. Imagine Heraclitus’ Flux. If knowledge can change to non-knowledge, then how can Tom Jump maintain that he has knowledge?

Tom Jump mentions that presuppositionalist has no real response against say a Muslim. The issue with that response is that it is silly. He is saying that another theist could simply make the same argument. But that applies to any argument. The ability to take the same form of an argument doesn’t mean each argument is equally sound. You could argue that the Flying-Spaghetti-Monster is necessary for rationality but it will be very difficult to show that logic depends on his noodles.

He mentioned that he has the moral intuition that it is never okay to take the life of an infant. Many atheists are abortionist and are perfectly fine with the taking of the life of infants. So, it seems like many “superior” minded atheist would disagree with him. But let’s suppose a thought experiment:

A woman is going to die by giving birth to an infant. The woman is unconscious and has moments to live with no close relatives to make a decision for her. Who does Tom Jump choose to live? If he chooses the woman, then he admits that infant mortality is acceptable for the equal good of a woman surviving. If he chooses the baby, then he is saying that a woman’s death can play to either the equal or greater good of her child surviving.

So, when Tom Jump answers he then allows for God to have morally superior reasons to his for choosing one to live and another to die.

Tom Jump appealed to naturalistic panentheism. If this force that permeates and pervades all things in the world is the case, then it permeates evil. Why trust a force that is known to also be evil? The other issue is if such a force existed, then how do you preserve individuality? If we are this “one” force, then how can we draw distinctions that aren’t merely illusory? How can science be possible if change is illusory? I’ve talked about this here:


I’ve also talked about this issue here while discussing Spinoza:


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