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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mailvox: the logic of God

Passerby's challenge somehow tends to remind me of this series of photographs.  But who knows, perhaps the stag will surprise us:
Definition of evil:  the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing

I'm an atheist and going by Merriam-Webster's def. of evil above, I say evil exists.  According to VD, my stance is irrational. Prove it. Anyone. Show your work. Lay out the steps proving my logic is flawed. You'll fail. I will crush you.
Well, let us see about that.  He has made his claim that his stance is rational, (which is to say that evil exists but God does not), so I'll take up the burden of attempting to falsify it.
  1. Passerby asserts that "the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing" exists.
  2. The existent fact of wrongdoing necessarily requires that there is a material universal standard of right and wrong by which actions can be classified.
  3. A material universal standard of right and wrong must be objective.
  4. Man's standards of right and wrong are inherently subjective and non-universal.
  5. Therefore the objective, material, universal standard of right and wrong cannot be produced by Man.
  6. The most likely source of an inhuman, objective, material, universal standard of right and wrong is an intelligence of grand scope possessing a direct connection to the area in which that standard applies.
  7. The scope required for that inhuman intelligence to provide the universal standard implies, though it does not necessarily require, extra-universality.
  8. The most reasonable connection between the presumably extra-universal intelligence providing the standard and the area in which that standard applies is that of creator to creation.
  9. The presumably extra-universal intelligent creator that provides the objective, material, universal standard to its presumed creation is quite reasonably described as God.
This logic provides for a small degree of wiggle room here.  A being need not necessarily be either extra-universal nor the creator to successfully impose an objective standard on the universe.  However, since any act of creation that results in an observed objective standard necessarily requires the creation of a standard of some kind, the most rational conclusion is to assume that the standard observed was provided by the creator rather than by some other intelligent, inhuman entity that successfully replaced the original standard.

But I think even if the logic-dictated provider of the universal standard of right and wrong is neither the creator nor extra-universal, its observed ability to impose such a standard upon the universe suffices to justify its recognition as an existent god, at the very least, if not necessarily the Creator God or the Creator God of the Christian Bible.

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100 Comments:

Anonymous Cinco October 28, 2012 8:50 AM  

I think most people just fail to grasp the difference between morality and societal norms. Atheists want to believe they are "good" people, but in pointing out that "goodness" must stem from morality, which in turn must come from a Creator, you are effectively destroying their world view; and, you are making them aware that instead of being part of the next "evolution" of human intellect, they are in fact just parroting the Judeo-Christian beliefs of the last 2000 years.

Take away their 95% Judeo-Christian surroundings, and we will see real quick what their version of "morality" turns into.

Anonymous Salt October 28, 2012 8:52 AM  

The fact of misfortune is laughable in the guise of evil. A paper cut can be said to be misfortune.

a : an event or conjunction of events that causes an unfortunate or distressing result : bad luck
b : an unhappy situation


You must be evil Vox, as Passerby has had the misfortune of being here.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 28, 2012 8:56 AM  

Sigh. Another dumb atheist who clearly do not understand his/her position on morality.

Anonymous Porky? October 28, 2012 8:59 AM  

I will crush you.

Lol!

Anonymous revrogers October 28, 2012 9:02 AM  

I thought of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Some guy with a lot of bluster has confronted the rascally rabbit, and Bugs turns to the fourth wall, addressing the audience, "He don't know me veh-wee well, do he?"

Anonymous Question October 28, 2012 9:03 AM  

"Lay out the steps proving my logic is flawed."

I don't see any logic, just bald assertion -- "I say evil exists."

Did Passerby actually make an argument at some point, or is it all just chest-thumping?

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 9:09 AM  

Chest-thumping is the correct answer.

Anonymous The Great Martini October 28, 2012 9:38 AM  

Consider something that has something like a similar ontological status as does evil: the feeling of pain. If every living creature ceased to exist, would pain exist?

Christians, of course, believe that evil is a "thing," a real entity in the universe, and if every person suddenly died, evil would still exist as a latent property inherent in the universe. But if evil is more like pain, then evil is contingent on living creatures to feel it or suffer its influence. This is the ontological status most, if not all, atheists give evil. It's similar to (but not the same as) the status given qualia by philosophers, like the feeling of pain, or perception of the color red. Some philosophers don't give them any ontological status at all. As for evil, this is different than saying that evil is a process or property of human interaction, but that's very far from the Christian conception.

Anonymous Faust October 28, 2012 9:49 AM  

From the linked article:

"'The bison caught his antlers and tossed him into the air like a rag doll and then the stag fled into the trees."

"The deer hits the floor head first before fleeing for his life. But he was found dying from severe head injuries."

Yeah... yeah that sounds about right.

Anonymous Koanic October 28, 2012 9:50 AM  

To play the Devil's advocate, and inject a little variety:

Might one not say that pornography exists, yet there is no material universal standard? Then why not evil? And likewise, love?

Anonymous HongKongCharlie October 28, 2012 9:52 AM  

It's been some time since I've seen such a pleading for a beating! It seems Vox has established the first drive through for beatings. Passerby, such an appropriate name for the first customer.

Brightens my day

HKC

Anonymous Procol Harumph October 28, 2012 10:00 AM  

"Take away their 95% Judeo-Christian surroundings, and we will see real quick what their version of "morality" turns into."

We have the example, and have had it for a very long time. It's called China.

Anonymous The Great Martini October 28, 2012 10:00 AM  


Might one not say that pornography exists, yet there is no material universal standard? Then why not evil? And likewise, love?


Not to mention the fact that empirical observation seems to suggest that there really is no objective standard, as one person's or group's evil is often another person's or group's good. The most that seems to be easily concluded is that good is judged by large group consensus, but hardly universal consensus, as might be provided by social construct perhaps aided by biological instinct.

I can predict that someone is going to counter with something like, really, you think that Jeffrey Dahmer's actions might be condoned in some group consensus? Well, I happen to be enough of a misanthrope to believe that it's possible, and that's really all I need.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 10:22 AM  

I think the point is rather more subtle.

Ones person's red is another person's brown let's say.

But is the perception real? or is Red and Brown just some subjective stuff that nobody know what it is?

The point is something like that. Or the idea behind is something that.

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli October 28, 2012 10:25 AM  

Great googley-moogley. Evil exists the same as any other verb "exists". Simple as that.

Now, I'm not going to say "I'll crush you" in response to someone who wants to argue. I prefer to take Bane's approach and say "I will break you." Maybe trill the 'r' a bit for emphasis. Like a boss.

Anonymous Riki-Tiki-Tavi October 28, 2012 10:26 AM  

Premise 2 is likely false.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 10:31 AM  

Premise 2 is likely false.

Do explain, please. And in doing so, recall that you are addressing an undisputed "fact of wrongdoing", not merely a subjective sense of wrongdoing.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 10:38 AM  

Perhaps Vox, Riki-Tiki is somewhere in his mind... maybe... thinking about saying that going from the fact of evil does not entail a material objective ruler to right/wrong and good/evil.

Or maybe he is saying that the fact of evil is subjetive, just like people in opposite sides of a bottle may say that the fact of the bottle is subjective ???

or maybe he is just trolling and I am just doing his job...

Anonymous Riki-Tiki-Tavi October 28, 2012 10:43 AM  

fact of wrongdoing = subjective sense of wrongdoing...

at least as far as anyone knows...

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 10:44 AM  

But is the perception real? or is Red and Brown just some subjective stuff that nobody know what it is?

No, we have already done the equivalent of postulating that Red is a material fact. It is not Brown. It is not some subjective stuff that nobody knows. Logic does not permit you to leap backwards and start questioning the postulates because you don't like the conclusions, which is precisely why they are called "postulates".

Unless you want to assert that all material facts are subjective, which opens up many, many other cans of worms, this is not a possible avenue of attack.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 10:47 AM  

fact of wrongdoing = subjective sense of wrongdoing...

*buzzer* You're out.

Fact = "something that actually exists". It is neither subjective nor a sense.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 10:48 AM  

What if I go with the... people see different type of reds and everything is subjective except what Science tell us!!!!

FUCK ... this makes less sense then believing that there are Aliens from Pluto cleaning radioactive waste at the South Pole.

* Yeah I discussed something similar just yesterday. So why not have some fun discussing stuff with Vox XD!*

Anonymous Spectator October 28, 2012 10:48 AM  

"fact of wrongdoing = subjective sense of wrongdoing...

at least as far as anyone knows..."

I get a sense of wrongdoing whenever I go to the DMV, that doesn't make it evil

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 10:53 AM  

What if I go with the... people see different type of reds and everything is subjective except what Science tell us!!!!

That doesn't help. You can't get around the admission of fact, because subject to your additional strictures, we must assume that we know wrongdoing exists because Science tells us so. In logic, you must work from the postulates, which don't necessarily reflect observable reality.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 10:55 AM  

we must assume that we know wrongdoing exists because Science tells us so.

Correction: in your case, we must assume that we know Red exists because Science tells us so. And the perceived gradations are irrelevant to its existence.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 10:56 AM  

But wait Vox. Wouldn't we be pressuposing Evil if we gonna use Science to tell us about it?

Wouldn't science tells us nothing at all about what define before doing science?

Anonymous ben October 28, 2012 10:59 AM  

I don't think his argument is irrational, it's merely trivial. Maybe someone already posted this, I'm too lazy to check, however, suppose according to our experiences:

definition of x = various bunk
given the definition of x above, x exists. So what? Eternal consequences = ?

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 11:02 AM  

Oh okay.

"And the perceived gradations are irrelevant to its existence."

oh welll ... fucking naturalistic astronomy professor with worthless fake colors argument. I tend to agree with you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alright, there is one more step I can give. The redness is subjective but the frequency that we correlate to Red... is objective.

So evil is the same thing. The feeling of evil is subjective but actions that we interpret as evil are just neither evil nor good.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 11:05 AM  

Wouldn't we be pressuposing Evil if we gonna use Science to tell us about it?

No. Again, I direct your attention to the postulates. You have postulated that it is a fact that Red exists and that facts can only be determined by Science. Therefore, in your scenario, science has established the material existence of Red. Or, since you're now swapping the terms around again, science has established the material existence of Evil.

That has not actually happened, to the best of my knowledge. But it is the inescapable logical consequence of what you have postulated here.

Blogger Russell October 28, 2012 11:07 AM  

Did Passerby just try to use the dictionary as the source of moral standards?

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 11:08 AM  

Alright, there is one more step I can give. The redness is subjective but the frequency that we correlate to Red... is objective. So evil is the same thing. The feeling of evil is subjective but actions that we interpret as evil are just neither evil nor good.

That's not correct. The correct analogy is that evil objectively exists, but precisely when and how we experience it is different and subjective. Which, as it happens, is precisely what I consider to be the case.

Anonymous Booch Paradise October 28, 2012 11:13 AM  

Might one not say that pornography exists, yet there is no material universal standard? Then why not evil? And likewise, love?

I'm pretty sure that a perfectly adequate standard of pornography can be found. Try this: any media that is created with the intent of inspiring a sexual response in those who consume the media is pornographic.

I'll have to think more on love, but given time I don't see that one being a problem either. Evil on the other hand cannot be defined as it is a non-concept without God, barring 100% subjective definitions of course.

Anonymous Scintan October 28, 2012 11:15 AM  

#2 does not automatically follow #1, as someone else has pointed out. Assertion of fact ╪ fact.

Of course, the dictionary definition of evil offered is a poor one for this discussion to start with, and is not Webster's primary definition of evil, so this was destined to be a trainwreck from the start.

Anonymous Scintan October 28, 2012 11:17 AM  

Ok, somehow a large part of my above post got cut, and I'm not going to rewrite it, so you might want to just delete these two posts.

Anonymous darrenl October 28, 2012 11:19 AM  

"....everything is subjective except what Science tell us"

...round and round we go. Where scientism stops, nobody knows.

What can science tell us about what is clearly a metaphysical assertion?

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 11:23 AM  

Well, Vox. You do know we are going slowly towards metaphysics right. I could just play the materialist card, but heck, they don't even believe in morals in the first place so that won't make any sense.

Although I am mostly kidding with you Vox. *Secretly I am a Theist and was raised a Catholic*. I will tend to go towards the Scholastic way of thinking about morals, so passerby's phrase to me is just something that troll passerby's say.

So let me reboot this, see if I can gear up our discussion. If evil is real, what would be the model of evil you will have Vox? Is the model falseable? * yeah positivist shit, but since I decided to play the devil's advocate... * What were the experiments the have shown the model to be less false or true?

Now this would be if we postulate Science as the Judge. But what if we decide to change things, and think that the question about objective morals is related in principle with the question: How do we identify something's existence?

I think that is where I would begin the talk. Better than most of the shit people that passes by have to say.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 11:25 AM  

Might one not say that pornography exists, yet there is no material universal standard? Then why not evil? And likewise, love?

No. That's the whole point. Having established the factual existence of X, X cannot be Not-X depending upon the observer. Some of you seem to be having a very difficult time understanding the difference between objective and subjective.

Objective: X equals Y.
Subjective: X can equal Y or Not-Y, depending upon the observer.

If X exists, it cannot both exist and not-exist.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 11:25 AM  

Darrenl

I am just playing the Scientism card. U_U wouldn't that be what you would expect of a standard Web Atheis? I would expect that, because that is what I get all the time.


Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 11:26 AM  

So let me reboot this, see if I can gear up our discussion. If evil is real, what would be the model of evil you will have Vox? Is the model falseable? * yeah positivist shit, but since I decided to play the devil's advocate... * What were the experiments the have shown the model to be less false or true?

No, we're focusing on the logical response to Passerby's claim here. That is too far of a tangent.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 11:29 AM  

#2 does not automatically follow #1, as someone else has pointed out. Assertion of fact ╪ fact.

Of course it does. For the purposes of logic, a postulate of fact = fact. If you begin a logical argument with the postulate "assume X = 2", then claim that X + 3 = 5, a critic cannot leap in and argue "that's not true! Assertion that X = 2 does not mean X alwas and actually equals 2!"

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 11:30 AM  

Passerby claim to me is just as good as Krugman on economics according to you!

But, if passerby's claim uses Science as a judge, as a postulate; Wouldn't we work with models of Ethics to identify the features of Ethics and eventually models for these features?

I mean, if Passerby's is going down that road, this is all he has! Anything else is just science by definition.

Anonymous Scintan October 28, 2012 11:40 AM  

Of course it does. For the purposes of logic, a postulate of fact = fact. If you begin a logical argument with the postulate "assume X = 2", then claim that X + 3 = 5, a critic cannot leap in and argue "that's not true! Assertion that X = 2 does not mean X alwas and actually equals 2!"

As I noted, my post got chopped. What that originally noted was more to the point of #1 not being an adequate definition of evil, despite the assertion of it as the baseline.

Anonymous Joshua October 28, 2012 11:42 AM  

The best definition of "Evil" I've come across is: "What ought not be."
Simply put, it's the opposite of good.

Anonymous Gx1080 October 28, 2012 12:18 PM  

Most leftists that I've seen, when confronted about this, just admit that they think that all morality comes from the State....which, frankly, scares me.

Anonymous Koanic October 28, 2012 12:35 PM  

This is a semantic trap with a rhetorical impact. I'm not making the logical error of claiming that evil can objectively exist in an atheist worldview. Rather, I'm pointing out that it exists with the same strength and reality that pornography or love possess. To me, that's an intelligent rhetorical counter.

One could further buttress the rhetorical argument by pointing out that we may be living in the Matrix; 100% objective certainty of anything is impossible yet we nevertheless get along and live our lives.

So I would turn it around - by appealing to this ridiculous standard of the objective, you are the one denying everything. Surely God has not also set an objective standard for pornography - titties ok but DP over the line? Therefore let rivers of tentacle rape flow!

Arguing disingenuously is certainly a novel exercise.

Anonymous Spectator October 28, 2012 12:49 PM  

Yes, Koanic, naturally something can be stated to exist without any objective definition of what it is. However the difference between your arguments and those made here is that they are defining it while you are not. It is the equivalent of you coming and declaring that bigfoot Could exist not only without any proof but without stating what a bigfoot is. Sure to those who are familiar with the legend it might make sense, but if you were describing it to someone who hadn't, how exactly would it make sense to them without that frame of reference?

Anonymous The Traveler October 28, 2012 12:50 PM  

I asked God what is a soul and the spirit and what is the difference. He came down and said to me:”Gregg why do you not understand that which is so simple?” Almost if he was waving his arms in front of me explaining to a child why he should not cross a busy street. He said “Do you not see that I made the serpent, the bear and all creeping things and that all have a spirit?” I said “Yes my Lord I see.” He replied “Did I give them a choice or an ability to choose or know me?” I said “no my Lord” Then he said “Why do you ask me such questions, I am growing ever more impatient with man? Did I not make the stars in heaven and the moon above? Only man knows and can seek the heavens that glorify him that glorify me. I shall only remember my sheep and to that fold you are welcome, come see my glory for it is all about the soul which is a choice. Come to me!”

Anonymous JACIII October 28, 2012 12:51 PM  

Gx1080 October 28, 2012 12:18 PM
Most leftists that I've seen, when confronted about this, just admit that they think that all morality comes from the State....which, frankly, scares me.


Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Anonymous Syllabus October 28, 2012 1:06 PM  

Christians, of course, believe that evil is a "thing," a real entity in the universe, and if every person suddenly died, evil would still exist as a latent property inherent in the universe.

I'm not sure that this is true. Classical Christian theology, be it Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, has always defined evil as a privation or corruption of some good, in the same way that a wound is a corruption of healthy flesh, a lack of something.

Anonymous Koanic October 28, 2012 1:19 PM  

Spectator, does blue not exist because blind men can't see it? Objectivity and universality of comprehension are not the same thing. But I already said I reject objectivity. Thus, answered rhetorically and logically.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 28, 2012 2:10 PM  

Strange. 50 comments and Passerby hasn't shown up to fall into the traps Vox set for him or to defend his honor against the combined sarcasm of the Ilk.

Anonymous Noah B. October 28, 2012 2:13 PM  

I'm with you right up until #6. It at least seems possible that the physical properties of the universe itself give rise to an objective standard of right and wrong in a highly complex way that we do not even begin to understand.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 2:15 PM  

Well he was just ... passing by! XD

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 28, 2012 2:16 PM  

Now that I say that, I wonder where the rest of the usual subjects are. This thread has been downright reasonable, like a bunch of people trying to get at the truth as best they can with flawed intellects.

I'll have you all know this cynicism didn't come cheap, and you're all just throwing it away.

Anonymous Cheddarman October 28, 2012 2:27 PM  

"Passerby's challenge somehow tends to remind me of this series of photographs."

note to self - don't get in a head butting match with Vox during rutting season.

Anonymous Bob October 28, 2012 2:43 PM  

Buzzer yourself. We cannot observe fact, only experience our individual perceptions of reality. The equation is correct, not in sense, but in reference. To correct its sense, you'd have to start using "fact" correctly.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 28, 2012 3:05 PM  

And Bob puts everything back in perspective :-). Thanks Bob.

Anonymous Rantor October 28, 2012 3:13 PM  

I would ask Passerby to define "wrongdoing" as you either think that right is defined by man or by not-man.

If man than who? The Queen of England? Ghandi? Mao? Hitler?

If not-man, than what or who? Could a non-personal force (the Force or a universal spirit) determine right and wrong? If so what is it and how do you measure it.

If not that, you are left with a personal force, a type of person, a being able to communicate and control things, possibly create and order them.

Of the possibilities I see, only a rational, personal God makes sense to me. As most man-made Gods are neither rational nor personal you are left with very few to choose from.

Anonymous Rex Little October 28, 2012 3:33 PM  

It's not clear to me that a standard of right and wrong (or anything else) is "objective" because it is promulgated by God, or a God-like being. An opinion held by such a being is certainly more worthy of respect than yours or mine, but it's still an opinion.

Anonymous Bobo October 28, 2012 3:38 PM  

VD: "This logic provides for a small degree of wiggle room here"

That's enough for me. Atheist FTW.

Anonymous The Wanderer October 28, 2012 3:41 PM  

"It's not clear to me that a standard of right and wrong (or anything else) is "objective" because it is promulgated by God, or a God-like being. An opinion held by such a being is certainly more worthy of respect than yours or mine, but it's still an opinion."

it is not meant be clear, it is called faith, look it up.

Anonymous JaimeInTexas October 28, 2012 3:47 PM  

The typical confusion between mores and ethics. Ethics/ethical are universal. Mores/morals are behavior that are normal within groups. No universal standards, at best, all you have left are group predilections. Does the group become god? If not, then the individual must be god and the ultimate judge of good -his own. The consequences are not pretty.

Anonymous VD October 28, 2012 3:49 PM  

Buzzer yourself. We cannot observe fact, only experience our individual perceptions of reality. The equation is correct, not in sense, but in reference. To correct its sense, you'd have to start using "fact" correctly.

Nope. You're still failing to understand the concept of a postulate.

That's enough for me. Atheist FTW.

Thus illustrating that it is only the Christian God and not any other type of supernatural being that is of concern to you. You're not an atheist, you're simply an anti-Christian.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 3:50 PM  

Rex, look at the philosphy dictionary so it will give you a better insight on what they mean by objective.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 3:52 PM  

Actually the word Ethos is related to how we behave. Morals is just the set of rules or principles with a certain Ethical Theory.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 3:56 PM  

Faith, even if defined as believing without evidence has nothing to do with not being clear. One can have faith in aliens on Orion's belt and be quite clear about what kind of alien he thinks it is there.

Anonymous Anonymous October 28, 2012 4:09 PM  

Dear Noah B.,

Good day once again. I just wanted to note that your comment and critique is invalid. The reason for this is due to the fact that Vox clearly stated in Premise 6 that:

"6.The most likely source of an inhuman, objective, material, universal standard of right and wrong is an intelligence of grand scope possessing a direct connection to the area in which that standard applies."

Please note Vox's clear use of the term 'most likely.' By using this term, Vox's premise implicitly accepts the mere possibility that you raise in your objection, and then his Premise implicitly rejects your claim as substantially less likely than the option that he puts forward. Vox's argument, therefore, has essentially already considered and overcome the very objection that you raise. Your objection, therefore, has already been defeated by the way that the argument is formulated.

Now if you would like to argue that the 'mere possibility' that you raise is in fact a more likely source for objective moral values and duties than the one that Vox argues for, then please go ahead. However, note that you will have an extremely difficult uphill battle in doing so, for most atheist philosophers readily admit that God's existence is indeed the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values and duties while also stating that if the universe is all that exists, then moral values and duties are most likely not objective in any real sense.

Take care,

RD Miksa

PS - A possible suggestion for Vox: You may wish to consider using the terminology of 'reasonable doubt' rather than 'likeliness', for while they are ultimately both subjective terms, 'reasonable doubt' has a more objective and rigourous definition to it that would help make the argument more precise, thereby making it less open to challenge.

Anonymous Anonymous October 28, 2012 4:17 PM  

Dear Bobo,

You said:

'VD: "This logic provides for a small degree of wiggle room here"

That's enough for me. Atheist FTW.'

Which simply shows how irrational you are. Essentially, every single argument that human beings use for essentially every single topic can be subject to a level of skepticism that creates a little bit of wiggle room in the argument. And yet we do not call the people who find this small wiggle room to avoid the conclusion of any argument rational, instead we call them extreme skeptics that admit to knowing nothing.

Take care,

RD Miksa

Anonymous The Wanderer October 28, 2012 4:25 PM  

"Faith, even if defined as believing without evidence has nothing to do with not being clear. One can have faith in aliens on Orion's belt and be quite clear about what kind of alien he thinks it is there.'

You don't understand faith, I said look it up; last time.

11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Abel offered the lamb, Cain offered the works of his hand, and Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, what is it you do not to get? Can't you see this in your own life?

Shall you say now that this is an appeal to authority go a head it is.

Anonymous Koanic October 28, 2012 4:30 PM  

Evil is like ugly. Sure we all know what it means, roughly, but there's enough variation that for an atheist to try to claim it as an objective thing is retarded. At most you could point out a majority historical consensus.

That atheists nevertheless frequently attempt to do so underlines that they are disproportionately retarded.

"God doesn't exist... because I'm an asshole." Non sequitor! Be assholes for Jesus.

Anonymous Koanic October 28, 2012 4:39 PM  

What's staggering to me is that Dawkins is 1. not sure that God doesn't exist and 2. ignores the copious evidence that religion is good. So he's 1. not evidence driven, 2. overselling his faith and 3. malicious. It's purely a personality thing. Out of the overflow of the bowels, the man speaks.

Anonymous Eduardo October 28, 2012 4:42 PM  

lol. Since faith is one of those words with different flavors and sometimes contracting flavors, I won't bitch about that XD. But is just awkward the way you putted. SO I kind of wanted to give a heads up on a different view.

Anonymous Rex Little October 28, 2012 4:43 PM  

One thing nobody has mentioned is that the dictionary definition quoted by Passerby doesn't really square with the way the word is used by most people: Christian, atheist or otherwise. Evil acts may cause suffering, but is the fact of suffering evil in and of itself? OK, some people (liberals, for example) may believe that to be so. But misfortune? If an unwanted event is caused by an evil act, it's not misfortune.

Anonymous LES October 28, 2012 5:00 PM  

VD: "2. The existent fact of wrongdoing necessarily requires that there is a material universal standard of right and wrong by which actions can be classified."

While I believe in God and Morality, what are the moral absolutes? The 10 Commandments?
How do people know these moral absolutes? Has society determined that some behaviors are
detrimental and elevated their prohibition to absolute morality? I would like to be able to answer these questions.

Anonymous Bobo October 28, 2012 5:44 PM  

Bobo: That's enough for me. Atheist FTW.

VD: Thus illustrating that it is only the Christian God and not any other type of supernatural being that is of concern to you. You're not an atheist, you're simply an anti-Christian.

Why only the Christian God? What about this wiggle room you granted precludes my rejection of any other form of organized religion?

Anonymous The Wanderer October 28, 2012 6:00 PM  

"Why only the Christian God? What about this wiggle room you granted precludes my rejection of any other form of organized religion?"

In my best Irish accent "You are a stupid man"

Blogger Lud VanB October 28, 2012 7:23 PM  

"1.Passerby asserts that "the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing" exists."


which of these isent a subjective qualifier?

Blogger Crude October 28, 2012 7:42 PM  

RD Miksa,

Hey man, nice to see you writing. Just a heads up - I believe the blog policy here is that you shouldn't comment as 'anonymous', and should instead pick some nick, any nick.

Anonymous righteous gobbler October 28, 2012 7:42 PM  

I just have to wonder how one can posit a universal morality without a God to decree it;...and then go on to say that a woman should have the right to take out a contract on her defenseless baby in the womb.

Got consistency?

Anonymous Toby Temple October 28, 2012 10:14 PM  

Why only the Christian God? What about this wiggle room you granted precludes my rejection of any other form of organized religion?

Bobo. You clearly do not understand what is the "wiggle room" for.

Read VD's response to your "That's enough for me. Atheist FTW." and then VD's main post where he left the "wiggle room."

Here is a hint: He was not limiting you to the Christian God.

Anonymous Rex Little October 28, 2012 10:32 PM  

Somewhat off topic, but related, a question for the Christians here: are "sin" and "evil"(noun), or "sinful" and "evil"(adjective), synonymous? If not, how would you describe the difference?

Anonymous Toby Temple October 28, 2012 10:49 PM  

Somewhat off topic, but related, a question for the Christians here: are "sin" and "evil"(noun), or "sinful" and "evil"(adjective), synonymous? If not, how would you describe the difference?

I think sin and evil(noun) are not synonymous. Sin is transgression against the Law of God while evil is a type of nature.

For example - Satan is evil. You cannot replace evil there with sin.

For sinful and evil(adjective), no. I think they are also not synonymous with each other.

A sinful person can be someone who is prone to giving in to temptation. He/she still feels guilty for the sins committed.

An evil person is someone who is by nature sinful and wicked. The other description closest to it would be a person with no conscience.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 28, 2012 10:55 PM  

I'm sorry. Let me correct my answer to the sinful and evil as adjectives.

Sinful is not synonymous with evil.

A sinful act can just be caused by failing to go against temptation or because one was provoked.

Evil as adjective describes something that is also wicked such as sinful acts that are premeditated or planned.

It can then be said that evil acts are sinful acts, but not all sinful acts are evil acts.

Anonymous Bobo October 28, 2012 11:03 PM  

Toby Temble: "Here is a hint: He was not limiting you to the Christian God."

VD: "Thus illustrating that it is only the Christian God and not any other type of supernatural being that is of concern to you. You're not an atheist, you're simply an anti-Christian."

Anonymous Toby Temple October 28, 2012 11:23 PM  

Bobo. Vox's statement is saying that your response:

"That's enough for me. Atheist FTW."

is ILLUSTRATING that you are just concern about the Christian God and not the entire concept of GOD.

In other words, Vox is saying that YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF TO THE CHRISTIAN GOD.

You failed to understand this and is proven by this statement of yours:

"Why only the Christian God? What about this wiggle room you granted precludes my rejection of any other form of organized religion?"

The small wiggle room allows for a god that is "not necessarily the Creator God or the Creator God of the Christian Bible."

Anonymous Bobo October 28, 2012 11:35 PM  

Toby Temple: "In other words, Vox is saying that YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF TO THE CHRISTIAN GOD."

VD: "not necessarily the Creator God or the Creator God of the Christian Bible."

Nope, by VD's own words the wiggle room applies to any Creator God, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu ...



Anonymous Toby Temple October 28, 2012 11:54 PM  

Toby Temple: "In other words, Vox is saying that YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF TO THE CHRISTIAN GOD."

VD: "not necessarily the Creator God or the Creator God of the Christian Bible."

Nope, by VD's own words the wiggle room applies to any Creator God, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu ...


~facepalm~

Read your response again:

Bobo - VD: "This logic provides for a small degree of wiggle room here"

That's enough for me. Atheist FTW.



And then Vox's response to your "That's enough for me. Atheist FTW."

VD - Thus illustrating that it is only the Christian God and not any other type of supernatural being that is of concern to you.

Then you responded with this:

Bobo - Why only the Christian God? What about this wiggle room you granted precludes my rejection of any other form of organized religion?

You failed to understand the logical implication of your own statment - That's enough for me. Atheist FTW


Anonymous Noah B. October 29, 2012 12:27 AM  

"Please note Vox's clear use of the term 'most likely.' By using this term, Vox's premise implicitly accepts the mere possibility that you raise in your objection, and then his Premise implicitly rejects your claim as substantially less likely than the option that he puts forward. Vox's argument, therefore, has essentially already considered and overcome the very objection that you raise. Your objection, therefore, has already been defeated by the way that the argument is formulated."

Miksa, on what basis is the likelihood of these various possibilities calculated? Do provide numbers, please.

Anonymous Passerby October 29, 2012 3:12 AM  

(1of2)

Well! I wasn’t expecting an entire fresh post devoted to my challenge in that other thread. I’m so honored. Pardon my late arrival.

Okay, first off, VD, looks like you threw a gutter ball from your second premise, as Riki-Tiki-Tavi already sensed. Let’s have a look at it:

2. The existent fact of wrongdoing necessarily requires that there is a material universal standard of right and wrong by which actions can be classified.

Incorrect. The existent fact of wrongdoing/evil does not require a material universal standard of right and wrong. The existent fact of wrongdoing is self-evident because the alternative is… the nonexistence of wrongdoing. Good luck making a sound argument for the nonexistence of wrongdoing. Think anyone can do it passably? I don’t and I suspect you don’t either. So we should agree there. That’s point number one.

Point number two. Another thing wrong with this “necessary universal standard” claim of yours (I noticed you used that word “standard” seventeen times in your post, so to continue the bowling metaphor, it’s like your very bowling ball to bowl with, without which… well, game over -- but I’ll give you a dollar so you can go play some Ms. PacMan) is that six billion people in the world could have six billion different standards of wrongdoing, but everyone would nonetheless agree that wrongdoing does exist in the world.

So let’s imagine those six billion individuals’ six billion different standards of wrongdoing can be each given a numerical value. I’m not saying it can ever actually be done, but just go with me here. After they’ve all been given a numerical value, they’re arranged in order on a vertical meter with a red zone on the bottom and a green zone on the top. Put the meter on the lowest setting of “1”. That setting belongs to a guy who disagrees with all 5,999,999,999 people above him whom he considers to be an increasing bunch of prissy Miss Manners types who see wrongdoing in all kinds of ways he doesn’t. But he at least sees one instance of wrongdoing in the world and everyone above him agrees that he at least got one right. So it seems to me (I’m just now coming up with this, but I’ll try to land this thing in one piece) that this minimum setting of “1” is the standard, if anything, for the existence of wrongdoing. Below that is “0” which represents nonexistence of wrongdoing.

Point being, our subjectivity is flawed, but it’s far from useless! There is, after all, communication and agreement. It’s precisely because of our limitation as trapped individuals of subjectivity that science is the best idea we’ve ever come up with (or happened upon) to make gains on objectivity. To paraphrase Steven Pinker, science is our highest, purest expression of reason. Objectivity is perhaps an unattainable goal, but we’ve seemingly made lots of progress toward it given our technological conquests, our steadily decreasing rate of violence in ever larger, more complex populations, etc. I say seemingly because a cosmic rug pulling could be in store for us a la The Matrix at any time, but that caveat aside, it’s our processes of communication, cooperation, record keeping, rhetorical persuasion, experimentation, reason, science, etc. that we arrive at standards of right and wrong be they amoral (e.g., math, chemistry, physics) or moral. And we arrive at them, to the extent we do, through our own shared reasoning, thank you very much. No divinity needed or even evident.

Anonymous Passerby October 29, 2012 3:20 AM  

(2of2)

As I was saying, no divine being is needed or even evident to give us moral standards or a “universal moral standard.”

Imagine if God was about to die or go on vacation to another universe or whatever and tapped you on the shoulder and said, “Tag, you’re It.” Now you’re God of this universe and it’s your show. You just got a crash course from the shoulder tap and now you’re all-knowing and all-powerful. Can you honestly not think of any improvements you could make on our little blue planet? I know I could. Take that 15 yr-old Pakistani girl who the Taliban shot in the head because she advocated for educating girls. As a new God, I’d not only see to it that that kind of thing never happened again, I’d make sure she got a full recovery and I’d commence to opening up a can of whup-ass wrath on her assailants as they prayed their crying eyes out in vain to their enabling, slacker god who just left. They’d be surprised to learn there’s a new overseer in town and homey don’t play dat. That’s right, their misogynistic scumbag days are over. “Supreme being” ha! I could do better. You theists here should all think you could do better, too.

One final thing to cap this off. As to how atheism plays a vital, fitting role here, the amount of evil I see in the world is exactly what I would expect to see in a godless universe. The Problem of Evil exists for theists, but not for atheists. One might think that atheists are then stuck with a Problem of Good. Not so. The amount of goodness in the world is cogently explained by evolution, stemming from the proven successful survival technique of cooperation; and that’s coupled with the amount of evil being cogently explained stemming from the rival successful survival technique of ruthless self-interest.

Anonymous VryeDenker October 29, 2012 3:34 AM  

The best definition of "Evil" I've come across is: "What ought not be."
Simply put, it's the opposite of good.


I don't agree. Evil is not simply the opposite of good or "that which should be", it is the corruption of good. This is why enslaving the less fortunate with social grants is evil: there's nothing wrong with giving money to the poor. It is making them dependent on the dole instead of encouraging them to look after themselves that is evil.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 29, 2012 3:38 AM  

Incorrect. The existent fact of wrongdoing/evil does not require a material universal standard of right and wrong. The existent fact of wrongdoing is self-evident because the alternative is… the nonexistence of wrongdoing.

Lol! How stupid can you possibly?

Right and wrong is self-evident?

How can fraud be universally wrong when there is no universal standard that states that fraud is wrong?

Anonymous Eduardo October 29, 2012 7:57 AM  

Well if God is Evil... Then atheists are fucked.

Now if your atheism is simply defined as believing in the non existency of the Christian God, and coupled with the premiss that from something completely good, there can only come good things no matter what or who experiences it.... Then yeah I think theists aka Christians have a problem. Otherwise... No. The overall theistic or atheistic model would not entail any evil or goodness in the world. They would simply entail, the lack of something or the presence of something. Depending on how we treat morals, then theism and atheism might entail more than that.


Anonymous Eduardo October 29, 2012 8:07 AM  

Another thing. If the world was completely made of good things.... How the heck will ever found out about bad things. If people believe in a Good God, is because they might have experienced Evil. So it s expected that sentient being would describe a god with some type of ethics in world where there is good and evil.

So the idea that, you expect a Good world from a Good God makes no sense. A good God would most likely be described by people that live in a world with evil and good.

Anonymous Eduardo October 29, 2012 8:14 AM  

Even you atheists tend to say that you see no evidence for any gods. i hardly doubt you have tried to make a serious model of gods by studying multiple religions and then going after the evidence.

I a, not going to say that theists do that, but when someone claim to know that there are no evidences for something, one must know exactly what evidences to expect from that.

Is a boring ass job, but is one that must be made in other to discuss something seriously.

Anonymous Eduardo October 29, 2012 8:36 AM  

So wait. Human being can reason with one another, therefore there is no God. What kind of fucked rule of inference is this?

I give the fuck up... The only way to describe this is to use my motto: " If atheism is right, it ain't atheists that will show me "

Blogger Markku October 29, 2012 10:40 AM  

Incorrect. The existent fact of wrongdoing/evil does not require a material universal standard of right and wrong. The existent fact of wrongdoing is self-evident because the alternative is… the nonexistence of wrongdoing. Good luck making a sound argument for the nonexistence of wrongdoing. Think anyone can do it passably?

There is no need, as the proposition that merely doing exists is a null hypothesis.

Blogger Markku October 29, 2012 10:54 AM  

Wrongdoing is the sort of doing that is wrong, and wrong is merely another way to say evil. The definition is circular, except for the fact that it states that there are some things that are evil that don't consist of someone doing something.

Anonymous JaimeInTexas October 29, 2012 11:59 AM  

Evil is any action that mars God's character and purpose. God, pure being, self-existent created all that is outside Himself. Adam and Eve understood evil when they were commanded not to eat out of the tree of good and evil. Evil became actualized, to Eve, the instant the serpent began to tempt her.

As to faith, if you are having difficult time defining it, then, simply use the word trust. They are synonyms.

Anonymous BAJ October 29, 2012 12:20 PM  

Funny how the atheists uses the morality of the Bible to condemn the Bible. :-/

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