The Book of Eli

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.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2019/03/is-there-no-evidence-for-gods-existence.html

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:

https://www.proginosko.com/2016/08/atheism-amoralism-and-arationalism/

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:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/01/12/absolute-personality/

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:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/01/18/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:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presupposition/

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:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/07/04/parsing-revelational-epistemology/

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/12/01/meals-on-wheels/

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:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/03/17/the-continental-rationalist/

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:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2017/10/12/panentheism-and-christian-theology/

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

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/03/17/the-continental-rationalist/

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Is Agnosticism Possible?

Jimmy Stephens shares his thoughts on the issue of whether someone can be an agnostic:

The agnostic is committed to the position that he does not know whether God exists. With respect to worldviews, the agnostic is pluralistic, believing that no worldview sufficiently answers whether God exists or not, at least none that he knows of, at least not yet. All the while, agnosticism presupposes the autonomy of humankind. The agnostic holds that he does not know whether God exists, that he does not have access to any worldview capable of answering the question, and that in the meantime, he is quite capable of reasoning, of analyzing worldviews, and adjudicating about facts whether they support God’s existence.

Quintessentially, the agnostic defense of autonomy is that there might be a worldview out there that explains the independence of reason from God. Somewhere across the buffet of worldviews sits that special sauce that proves man’s ability to reason without relying on God’s revelation, and the agnostic has caught a whiff of it. The problem is that this defense is self-defeating.

In principle, the argument is that because it is possible there is an explanation yet to be found or offered why autonomy is the case, agnosticism is warranted. It is then alleged that the Christian has the duty of disproving this possibility. Instead, the Christian replies in kind. It is possible there is an explanation yet to be found or offered why agnosticism is incoherent or otherwise impossible. Therefore, it is up to the agnostic to show otherwise and thus directly or indirectly defend autonomy.

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Skylar’s Fictions

Skylar Fiction is an old-face from the group of youtube atheist. He is your rather prototypical village atheist and lives to make pathetic videos about his senseless opinions(a lesser version of “The Talk” or “The View”). Dialogue with him is like talking to a woman going through PMS. Skylar is no different from any other atheist of the New Atheist movement devoid of actual serious argument. He plays on the emotional heartstrings of village atheist. Skylar’s game is 90% deceptive rhetoric and 10% self-defeating statements. Skylar appeared on Vocabs show and I’m not going to comment on everything that was said. Skylar was just being obnoxious and passive aggressive the entire time. That was expected for the most part and he lived up to expectations.

1. Skylar commits himself to two different arguments. At some points he’s providing an internal critique of Christianity at other points he’s implementing an external critique. He often mixes the two confusing them. Why would we expect any precision in a discussion? Skylar complains about the Bible’s ethics constantly while admitting that he isn’t doing any rational activity by doing so since he thinks ethical discussions are reduced to human emotions. That said I wasn’t a fan of the arguments provided against moral anti-realism. The argument should’ve turned epistemological. Why should we trust human minds that are evolved to hold many illusions of such significance? If our minds are just producing illusions that humans have intrinsic worth and are morally relevant beings, why trust it? Another question is why we ought to believe what Skylar is saying is true? It is difficult where and how Skylar can square the normativity of epistemic norms with his anti-realism.

Skylar pretends to be giving village atheist hope by helping them escape the God of the Bible by turning them to nihilism. Take for example Skylar states that Christians have to say it’s morally acceptable for God to command the slaughter of infants. He doesn’t state it but he is implying his view is better. But given his view, the only reason he doesn’t murder his family in the most violent ways possible is that he just doesn’t feel like it. It just so happens that Skylar feels the way he does but at any moment he could torture his family and murder them merely for feeling like it. In truth, Skylar believes he is ultimately just a lazy Hitler. How is that really superior? He cares for sodomites one day and could on a whim choose to be a Nazi. So, from an intelligent perspective, Skylar is just sound and fury signifying nothing.

Skylar states you could have a Deist God that’s simply amoral. This is something he states rather than showing. Given his old claims to be a Deist he’s probably fond of it as a counterexample to presuppositionalism. The issue with it is that it is clearly false. An amoral deist God could return at any moment and choose to be indifferent on the world. He may have returned and he’s deceiving us. He could be choosing to manipulate our minds and so forth. A deist God is no better than an infinite deceiver. Skylar is wrong once again.

2. Another issue was discussed whether God loves every child. I’m of a narrow group of individuals that maintains God only loves the elect. So, this isn’t really an issue for my position. Furthermore, I’d be fine with even an appeal of theological paradox about the issue. Skylar would have to show that the move is unwarranted.

3. In passing he mentions slavery. The very issue my friend Tyler Vela kindly informed him on those issues a couple years ago.

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2017/06/05/the-bible-and-slavery/

4. Skylar references 1 Sam. 15:3 as something he doesn’t like. Some like Dr. Paul Copan have argued that the genocide passages carry a hyperbolic element to them and maintain that ANE embellishment is occurring here:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/09/04/is-god-a-moral-monster-ot-genocide-dr-paul-copan/

Even if it weren’t the case, I think God is still justified. God has the right to take and give life. Infants on Christian worldview are fallen in Adam and nobody deserves life. Skylar thinks the better view is just to state that babies have no intrinsic value and that they have no cosmic value. In Skylar’s worldview, killing babies is just as morally significant as loving babies. How does Skylar’s position have any significant advantage? Maybe Skylar should encourage people to reject his position for safety purposes.

There was a slight discussion about David’s son and the Mosaic code about children not bearing the punishment of the Father. Vocab correctly pointed out that those statements Skylar is speaking about are in terms of the Mosaic law code:

http://www.tektonics.org/lp/paydaddy.php

5. Some discussion of original sin occurred:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2017/04/05/original-sin-is-unjust/

Also, discussion occurred of war brides happened:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/10/27/does-the-bible-condone-rape/

6. Skylar is against Christianity because it is a “dangerous” religion. He even had to puzzle about whether it was more dangerous than Islam. His reasons for encouraging people not to be Christians also implies he should encourage people shouldn’t become atheists. Since atheism is consistent with any activity people generally call immoral. Furthermore, atheistic secular governments slaughtered how many innocent people? The truth is Skylar’s emotional issues are products of his hate towards the God that made him.

 

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The Depravity of Man

If I was ever asked about evidence for the truth of Christianity, then I just point to the variety of the lines of evidence for it. I can always look at the truth of the testimony God provided us about Human nature. That man isn’t essentially good, but since the fall man has been totally depraved. So, no better worldview has explained the nature of man and evil so well. I don’t subscribe to the answer he gives to the problem of evil but he gives great statements of evil than answer about it. I’ll provide to resources I use on the issue:

Problem of Evil

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Does the Bible condone rape?

You know that this is going to be a collection of resources on the topic of rape in the Bible. I think the Bible is against rape and condemns such.

Tyler Vela:

FREED BYTE: Deut 22:28-29: A Manual for Marrying a Rapist?

Dr. George Athas:

Does The Old Testament Condone Rape? Professor of Old Testament

Triablogue:

War grooms

The joy of rape, robbery, murder, and mayhem

Legal technicalities

10 questions

“Marry your rapist law”

He done her wrong

Justified rape

Ali Baba and the godless naifs

Tekton:

What about God’s cruelty against the Midianites?

Wheel of Stupid Biblical Marriage Series 5 (Deut. 22:28-9)

Wheel of Stupid Biblical Marriage Series 3 (Numbers 31, Deut. 21)

Sam Shamoun:

The Old Testament and Rape

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Presuppositionalism and Historical-Grammatical Hermeneutics

Recently, I was on the atheist brain-cell killing zone of “Friends of The Bible & Beer Consortium”. The group attracts all the village atheist to leave their intelligence behind and set up shop in a Facebook group. The exchange I had was between Randall Theo(a troll) and Ty Wilson. Neither of them has a view of their own and can’t answer basic questions of their own worldview. But in the middle of their profound ignorance they asked a question that pops up from time to time:

TheSire said:
Randall, how do you account for laws of logic, objective moral norms, and induction?

Randall said:
Which one involves a talking snake? dude, it’s Saturday night(he said this on Thursday and Friday. Is Randall in the movie “Groundhogs Day”?). I am out with friends on vacation. Get out of your mothers basement and go have a beer. Have a couple.

Ty Wilson:
What is the source of the apprehension and understanding of revelation? How did you determine this method was a reliable pathway to truth?

TheSire:

Ty conflates all the revelations from God as being the same. Some require us going through historical investigation and others do not. The issue of general revelation wasn’t addressed. That all facts presuppose the existence of God was just passed over to attack the grammatical-historical and the redemptive-historical methods of interpretation. Why suppose those methods are correct in obtaining truth? I don’t know if Ty really understands what he is doubting. Is he saying that we need to understand what someone is saying apart from their own words and historical setting? How does Ty read any text(these words including) without relying on the grammar and historical meaning of the terms? Does Ty receive magic beams of meaning into his head? Ty’s only response to presuppositionalism is to give up communication. The historical-grammatical method of interpretation is necessary for any meaningful conversation. You only know what someone is saying if you know what the words they are using mean(grammar and the historical setting). So, Ty responds that we need to give up communication in order to defeat presuppositionalism. We can just read Ty as saying this “Christianity is true but I’d rather be a sinner.” So, Christians have a solution to this. That God created this world and gives us a book with a historical setting by which we are to understand it. All knowledge is revelation of God and he chose to reveal himself through the means of written communication. God presents a timeline in which we are able to know how to interpret the Bible.

Ty runs into another problem. I asked him if he was a Particularist or a Methodist. He wisely tucked his tail and ran from the question, but it still applies. He proposes a Methodism for his position. But how does he ever know his method is correct apart from particular facts? Bahnsen’s apple orchard covers the issue of having a method of what a good apple is without already knowing something about apples. In Christianity, God provides a method and particular instances of knowledge. So, the Christian needn’t choose.

Other stuff:

A little Presup before Dinner

Presup before Dessert

Knowledge of God

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Moral Anti-realist and Politics

I find that most atheists are antirealist when it comes to morals. They yet spend their lives wasting away to discuss the issue of political systems. They tend to be angry communist-socialist with many strange arguments for it. The issue is they are anti-realist about ethics and think that their political beliefs are better than another. But given the rejection of objective moral norms and obligation no system is “better” than another and nothing obligates you to push their idea. All their arguments are reducible to preference without any fact of the matter. They live an absurd life, In rejecting God and his law they ruin the ground for any political discussion that is possible.

Most Democrats are atheists. So, if Democrats are correct, then nobody ought to care about the Democrats agenda. When a Democrat speaks they aren’t talking about objective reality, but they are just giving their opinions. But who cares about their opinions? They don’t think anything is objectively wrong with systematic oppression of minorities or women. They just don’t like it. Politics isn’t about facts to them but just competing feelings/preferences. It is self-defeating to be a Democrat.

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Is God good?

The Euthyphro Dilemma sets theist with a Dilemma. Is God’s will good because he wills it, or because it appeals to an outside standard of goodness? The Christian takes this to be that Goodness is grounded in God’s being or nature. The issue that arises from that is that people push the issue to another problem: What does it mean to say God is good? Does that mean God is God? Does goodness lose all meaning? The way Christians get around this issue is that when we say “God is good” we are saying not that “God is God” but rather that God is the moral standard that we ought to live in reference to. He is the Archetypal Good and we deal with Ectypal good. The issue being dealt with raises another question: Why does God have these properties over against another set of attributes? Are these attributes good because God possesses them or are they good apart from God? The way the Christian gets around this is that God is by Divine Simplicity. God is co-referential to his attributes. These are not parts that makeup God but are him. They are necessary and not contingent.

God is not an abstraction, but rather a person that reveals his character. That gives us the content of our norms and obligations. So, I think God ground objective ethics and anyone that rejects that has a dilemma of their own: They are either a realist or non-realist(ignoring quasi-realist) when it comes to ethics. If they are a realist, then they can’t accept this argument because it reduces to an infinite regress. If they are an anti-realist, then they have to give up rationality.

Absolute Personality

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