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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A discourse on Euthyphro

Since this exchange concerning the classic dialogue took place on Chad Orzel's blog more than four years ago, a lot of you never had the chance to read it.  I think it's worth posting here in its entirety because it is very nearly a textbook example of the way half-educated midwits who can't believe they are not smarter than their intellectual superiors behave.  Notice how at every step along the way, there are repeated attempts to disengage, attempts to avoid having to support the naked assertions without recanting them, pointless passive-aggressive shots, and in general, a consistent effort avoid dealing with the actual subject at hand.  And, in the end, the hapless midwit simply runs away, still clinging to his now-exposed assertions, appealing to others in the hopes that they will pat him on the head and tell him that he is still a smart and good boy.

This behavior is quite typical when dealing with the moderately intelligent.  They are so accustomed to being superior that they literally cannot grasp the idea that the thinking of the highly intelligent is as far beyond them as they are beyond those they regard as ignorant mouth-breathers.  Anyone who disagrees with them must be stupid and a bad thinker; the possibility that they are in over their heads despite their ability to even follow, much less address, the salient points genuinely does not occur to them.  This particular discourse began with a throwaway comment by one Jasper in reference to The Irrational Atheist.



[T]here’s no reason not to allow him to continue to maintain those particular beliefs – although not necessarily the beliefs in the book itself, most of which are a little sad, insofar as he genuinely appears to think that he’s resolved the Euthyphro dilemma. (A clue: he hasn’t.)
As usual, nothing but safely general comments… because you can’t make the specific case. Regarding Euthyphro, you’re about the 20th atheist to claim this. And yet, every time I ask the person to explain precisely how my resolution of the dilemma on either Christian or Socrates’s own terms is mistaken, they fall silent. Every single time. So, by all means, Jasper, please show how my resolutions of it are flawed, as I always like to improve my arguments. Post your critique on my blog or email it to me, I’ll post it in its entirety and we’ll see how valid it is.
In seeking to resolve the dilemma, you state that At first glance, this looks easy enough, as simply substituting “obedience” for “the pious” will destroy the dilemma because it eliminates the tautology posed. One can’t do this since it’s not right to simply substitute whatever terms one likes and declare the problem solved. Later in the argument, you then say: At this point we can reach three conclusions: 1. The Euthyphro “dilemma” is defeated by shifting the focus from “the pious” to “obedience,” therefore it is an inappropriate criticism of Christian morality that is founded on obedience to God’s Will. So this point is based on you doing something that you have previously declared is not allowed.

You also state that it can only be considered a genuine problem for those who insist that a fixed principle cannot be arbitrary. In other words, for those paying absolutely no attention to reality. There are a panoply of fixed variables which, if they were different than they are, would radically alter the reality of our universe. Here you conflate moral principles with physical variables; but they are not the same, and consequently this point is irrelevant.

You finally state that The section about disagreement between gods regarding the pious and impious does not apply to a monotheistic god or a Supreme God who rules over other, lesser gods and deines their morality for them. Socrates and Euthyphro agree in the course of the dialogue to discuss that “what all the gods love is pious and holy, and the opposite which they all hate, impious” – in all respects, a situation identical to being under a monotheistic god. So this point is irrelevant.

The rest of your refutation rests on a misunderstanding of what actually constitutes the Euthyphro dilemma. You focus obsessively on a literal translation of the language, rather than attempting to understand the underlying argument. In modern terms, this is phrased as: Is something moral because god commands it, or does god command it because it is moral? You simply don’t address this at all in your supposed refutation, as far as I can see; I may be missing the point entirely, but in that case you have not managed to convey your argument well. You may then say that you are not prepared to compromise your writing in order to make yourself understood; but then why did you bother to write in the first place?
Jasper, thank you very much for presenting your response to my critique of the Euthyphro “Dilemma”. In summary, yes, you did miss the point, in fact, you managed to successfully miss the point on all four issues you raised. As promised, I will explain this in whatever detail is necessary on the blog tomorrow, so please consider stopping by.
Vox: if that’s the case, I’ll withdraw my points, so there’s no need to post them on your blog. Since you accuse nearly everybody that disagrees with you of missing the point, your only problem is that you appear to be unable to communicate fairly simple points, which I would have thought was a pretty crippling problem for a writer.

Incidentally, why are you not prepared to address my response on this blog? It’s all very Sun Tzu, but a little bit childish.
"Vox: if that’s the case, I’ll withdraw my points, so there’s no need to post them on your blog."

Please tell me you’re kidding. You don’t seriously expect me to believe that you’re willing to just take my word that your critique is flawed after you’ve informed us how my arguments are mostly sad and my Euthyphro refutation is a failure?

"Since you accuse nearly everybody that disagrees with you of missing the point, your only problem is that you appear to be unable to communicate fairly simple points, which I would have thought was a pretty crippling problem for a writer."

I don’t accuse anyone of anything I can’t demonstrate. I don’t pretend to be a particularly good writer, so fortunately, it’s merely a pasttime. Perhaps if I really concentrate and write really well, I’ll be able to demonstrate why the Euthyphro refutations are solid.

"Incidentally, why are you not prepared to address my response on this blog? It’s all very Sun Tzu, but a little bit childish."

I’ll post it here too if you like. I just assumed that no one would see it if I post it here tomorrow.
You didn’t say that my critique was flawed, you said that I’d completely missed the point of your argument. If I’ve missed the point of your argument, that means that my critique is not of your argument. Nobody knows your argument better than you, so why wouldn’t I take your word on it?

Since we’ve already established that you can’t convey relatively simple points, why on earth do you think you’re “demonstration” will be any more comprehensible than your original text? There are two possibilities here – either you’re a poor thinker or a poor writer – but in either case, why would anybody read your work?
"In seeking to resolve the dilemma, you state that “At first glance, this looks easy enough, as simply substituting “obedience” for “the pious” will destroy the dilemma because it eliminates the tautology posed. One can’t do this since it’s not right to simply substitute whatever terms one likes and declare the problem solved.” Later in the argument, you then say: “At this point we can reach three conclusions: 1. The Euthyphro “dilemma” is defeated by shifting the focus from “the pious” to “obedience,” therefore it is an inappropriate criticism of Christian morality that is founded on obedience to God’s Will.” So this point is based on you doing something that you have previously declared is not allowed."

You’re skipping over the extremely relevant section wherein I distinguish between refuting the Euthyphro dilemma on its own terms and refuting its mistaken application to Christian morality because the definition of that morality precludes the second horn of the dilemma. Ergo, no tautology and no dilemma. One cannot simply change Socrates’s definitions and claim to be attacking the dilemma on its own terms, while on the other hand, one cannot apply the dilemma to a specific morality such as the Christian moral standard without first changing those definitions.

"You also state that it can only be considered a genuine problem for those who insist that a fixed principle cannot be arbitrary. In other words, for those paying absolutely no attention to reality. There are a panoply of fixed variables which, if they were different than they are, would radically alter the reality of our universe. Here you conflate moral principles with physical variables; but they are not the same, and consequently this point is irrelevant."

Conflate? Combine into one? Not at all. You’re forgetting the rather obvious fact that whereas the necessary physical variables of this universe are fixed, moral principles vary even within it. Therefore, it is a massive logical error on multiple levels to assume that in the universe next door, moral principles must be the same as they are in this universe, while physical variables are assumed to be different. In fact, given the competing moral principles currently on offer in this universe, one couldn’t possibly even say which of them must be the fixed ones next door.

"You finally state that The section about disagreement between gods regarding the pious and impious does not apply to a monotheistic god or a Supreme God who rules over other, lesser gods and deines their morality for them. Socrates and Euthyphro agree in the course of the dialogue to discuss that “what all the gods love is pious and holy, and the opposite which they all hate, impious” – in all respects, a situation identical to being under a monotheistic god. So this point is irrelevant."

You’re incorrect. If you read the dialogue more closely, you will see that the situations are not identical because in the one case, the net result of “what all the gods love” is a drastically restricted set of polytheistic divine preferences reduced to the lowest common denominator, whereas in the monotheistic case, the preferences are singular and exercised in full. For example, Athena’s love for Athens would have to be excised in the former case, but retained were she the sole god in the latter one.

"The rest of your refutation rests on a misunderstanding of what actually constitutes the Euthyphro dilemma. You focus obsessively on a literal translation of the language, rather than attempting to understand the underlying argument. In modern terms, this is phrased as: Is something moral because god commands it, or does god command it because it is moral? You simply don’t address this at all in your supposed refutation, as far as I can see; I may be missing the point entirely, but in that case you have not managed to convey your argument well."

This is a false statement based on intellectual laziness. There is no “underlying argument”, Socrates makes a specific and detailed argument which contains various assertions and assumptions along the way, and as I have shown, some of them are not logically justifiable. Now, if you want an answer to what you describe as the modern terms, it is that something is moral because god commands it. God’s game, god’s rules. Now, you can still argue that God doesn’t exist or that his rules are imperfectly understood by Man, but that’s a tangential subject that cannot be reasonably used to defend the dilemma.
I think we’ll have a problem with continuing the dialogue. It seems fairly clear that – whether I have missed your points or not – you genuinely don’t understand either my comments or – more worryingly – the Euthyphro dilemma itself.

For example, your response to my first point appears to be completely unrelated to the point that I’ve actually made – which was that you said “one could defeat it by doing X, but obviously one can’t do X” and then later said “by doing X, I’ve defeated the argument.” On the “drastically reduced” set of preferences – it’s irrelevant to the discussion. If there’s only one thing on the menu of divine command, it still poses exactly the same problem for theists. On the “variable morals”: well, you’re the one arguing that there is in fact only one set of fixed morals in this universe (your god’s) – and since some physical variables in this universe do vary depending on context, it seems that your point is defeated on both sides. To be brutally honest, though, your writing is poor enough that it’s possible that even you’re not sure what your argument is.

Euthyphro stands. If you honestly don’t see that, there isn’t really anywhere for the discussion to go – we can just leave it here and other readers can decide for themselves. 

If you want an answer to what you describe as the modern terms, it is that something is moral because god commands it. God’s game, god’s rules.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum! It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
 "I think we’ll have a problem with continuing the dialogue. It seems fairly clear that – whether I have missed your points or not – you genuinely don’t understand either my comments or – more worryingly – the Euthyphro dilemma itself."

Actually, Jasper, you omitted what has become the most obvious conclusion, which is that you’re simply not very intelligent. The fact that you are having trouble understanding this doesn’t mean everyone is. But do keep making those little passive-aggressive statements, I’m sure they’re very convincing.

"For example, your response to my first point appears to be completely unrelated to the point that I’ve actually made – which was that you said “one could defeat it by doing X, but obviously one can’t do X” and then later said “by doing X, I’ve defeated the argument.”"

It’s not unrelated and I didn’t write “by doing X, I’ve defeated the argument”, I wrote “The Euthyphro “dilemma” is defeated by shifting the focus from “the pious” to “obedience,” therefore it is an inappropriate criticism of Christian morality that is founded on obedience to God’s Will”. It is not only appropriate to amend the relevant terms in order to correspond with a religion that differs from the original, it is necessary. You are clearly having problems understanding the distinction between refuting the dilemma on its own terms and explaining why the dilemma can’t successfully be applied to Christian morality. Christian morality != “the pious” or “what God loves”.

"On the “drastically reduced” set of preferences – it’s irrelevant to the discussion. If there’s only one thing on the menu of divine command, it still poses exactly the same problem for theists."

No, it isn’t because the second horn of the dilemma depends upon this “irrelevancy”. You clearly haven’t read the dialogue closely enough. Socrates even admits that he is amending his original definition because he has to narrow it so closely that all individual preferences are removed in order to maintain the viability of his argument. This is why the second horn could be a problem for polytheists, (although it really shouldn’t, due to the bait-and-switch on Socrates’s part), but it is no problem for monotheists or those who worship one supreme God.

"On the “variable morals”: well, you’re the one arguing that there is in fact only one set of fixed morals in this universe (your god’s) – and since some physical variables in this universe do vary depending on context, it seems that your point is defeated on both sides. To be brutally honest, though, your writing is poor enough that it’s possible that even you’re not sure what your argument is."

You’re dancing to avoid the obvious. Physical constants are assumed to vary from universe to universe. There is absolutely no logical reason to declare that moral principles could not vary as well, whether the Creator God is the same in both universes or not.

"Euthyphro stands…. Quod Erat Demonstrandum! It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad."

It doesn’t stand in either modern or Greek terms. Do you also find William of Ockham’s logic to be funny and sad, given that he reached precisely the same conclusion I did?
Where do you go with these kinds of discussions, when somebody misses the point of a basic philosophical argument so completely – and defends himself by accusing everybody who disagrees with him of missing the point? I begin to see what you were getting at in your original post…



Perhaps, after reading this, one will better understand why I am so often forced to tell people that they are missing a relevant point. Now, perhaps it is because I am a bad thinker, or because I am a bad writer and my points are so often insufficiently clear. Or, alternatively, perhaps Most People Are Idiots. I leave it to you to decide which explanation is more strongly supported by the documentary and scientific evidence.

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276 Comments:

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Anonymous VryeDenker January 15, 2013 6:42 AM  

One tends to gloss over things one can't immediately grasp. Glossing over is about the same as not having heard the argument being made at all, ergo it never happened.

Blogger Duke of Earl January 15, 2013 7:25 AM  

Euthyphro has been regarded as questionable in academia for years.

One of the common answers is simply "the good" is identical to "that which God wills". Since God is eternal the good is likewise eternal, neither preceeds the other so the dilemma simply fails.

Blogger IM2L844 January 15, 2013 7:52 AM  

I tend to be less optimistic. I believe that peopel like Jasper deliberatley ignore the actual points being made and intentionally try to insert red herrings in their place. If I thought people like Jasper were simply too stupid to get it, they wouldn't piss me off so much. It's the all too typical atheistic drill. Harris and Dawkins are famously guilty of this approach.

Anonymous VryeDenker January 15, 2013 7:55 AM  

Euthyphro's dilemma stands as long as the gods are greek. Greek gods were created inside the universe, hence they may or may not be mere actors in it. The Judeo-Christian God was the Creator of the universe, hence He can both declare arbitray laws AND create a universe in which those laws are pious by nature. They are, therefore, both Pious because GOd commands it AND God commands them because He made them Pious when He created the Heavens and the Earth.

Anonymous This Is The Hand, The Hand That Takes January 15, 2013 8:04 AM  

VD: "There is no “underlying argument”, Socrates makes a specific and detailed argument which contains various assertions and assumptions along the way, and as I have shown, some of them are not logically justifiable."

I'm no huge Plato expert, spent a semester in high school reading and debating Republic, and I skimmed Apology and Symposium and I think Crito, maybe one or two more of the short ones, and that's about it. But something I did notice is that the arguments tend not to be logically water-tight; in many cases, they're not even close. It doesn't mean that the ideas in play aren't challenging and supremely interesting (which is all I ask), I just got the sense that Socrates rarely if ever made his case in a completely satisfying way. You can cause Republic to grind to a total halt on virtually any page of it, simply by (quite reasonably) refusing to grant the premises, or arguing not that they're wrong per se but that they admit several different streams of conclusions, and the other possible tributary streams will tend to undermine Socrates' argument.

It doesn't invalidate Plato, whom I tend not to believe but who I nevertheless found very interesting and rewarding; it's just that people shouldn't use exacting words like "therefore" in his vicinity.

Anonymous Greatheart January 15, 2013 8:13 AM  

One human trait I've noticed among those who refuse to be intellectually honest with themselves is the, "My minds made up; do not confuse me with the facts," syndrome. They hate the thought of themselves being wrong, so they refuse to even consider evidence (or even opinions) to the contrary. In the Bible it is stated as, "every man did what was right in their own eye." And it has been stated to me that, "what is true (or right) for you is not so for me." The arrogance and pride of the delusional knows no limits. Truly, none is so blind as they who WILL NOT see.

Blogger Joe A. January 15, 2013 9:22 AM  

Seems like Vox was being immensely charitable by even stopping by that blog to comment in the first place. They have an unhealthy obsession with him over there..

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 9:25 AM  

The funny thing is that they always project and cry that I'm obsessed with them. Apparently they just want to be left to their gamma sniping in peace. You should read the stuff on the SFWA blogs that's starting to come out in response to my candidacy; it's hysterical.

Anonymous Papapete January 15, 2013 9:26 AM  

One problem with the moderately intelligent is that since most scholastic pursuits require little effort for them it is easy to become intellectually lazy, a habit that is reinforced by modern academia. It requires great discipline (and a few hard knocks) to overcome the habit of fast superficial analysis.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 9:29 AM  

@Vox Day

If you want an answer to what you describe as the modern terms, it is that something is moral because god commands it. God’s game, god’s rules.

Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 9:40 AM  

Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished.

Not at all. You're erroneously conflating the moral standard with the potential motivation of someone's response to it. Furthermore, your statement requires you to read minds and correctly ascertain the motivation for a subjective decision.

Would you similarly say that the immorality of the unrighteous non-Christian boils down to his lack of concern about being punished?

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 9:41 AM  

Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished.

For which a vile, immoral creature like you should be very grateful. Were it not for my fear of losing my eternal soul, I'd be very busy because there are many, many who need killing in this dark world.

Blogger vandelay January 15, 2013 9:42 AM  

One thing that's really remarkable about this is how much it shows Scalzi has changed since 2008. After what he's become over the last couple years, it's almost shocking to see him even sort of defending throwing the "curve ball" of VD's writing into the broader discourse.

Anonymous Daniel January 15, 2013 9:57 AM  

An overriding desire for enclaves and hive minds infects the spiritual DNA of the intelligent. Only the distant outliers have a natural bulwark against it: they have too few peers.

The Tower of Babel, if a myth, is the foundation of history.

Blogger Nate January 15, 2013 10:10 AM  

This should be titled... "The Perils of having an IQ in the 120s".

Blogger Nate January 15, 2013 10:13 AM  

"Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished."

This makes Jasper look like a careful thinker...

There are various rules here at VP that most of us choose to obey. Do we do so out of fear of punishment? or do we do so out of respect for the owner's property rights?

Anonymous VryeDenker January 15, 2013 10:19 AM  

I thought Jesus took that whole punishment thing away. Wasn't that quite a while back already?

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 10:26 AM  

I thought Jesus took that whole punishment thing away. Wasn't that quite a while back already?

Jesus also warned of the unforgivable sin which is denying the Holy Spirit, whence comes the point of no return.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 10:32 AM  

@Vox Day

Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished.

Not at all. You're erroneously conflating the moral standard with the potential motivation of someone's response to it. Furthermore, your statement requires you to read minds and correctly ascertain the motivation for a subjective decision.


Not precisely. I'm conflating the principles of Christian morality with a Christian's motivation for embracing those principles.

It begs the the question, why ought Christians embrace God's commands? Because he commanded it? That's too circular. Do Christians obey God's commands because He deserves this due to His status as the creator? If this is the case then we need to determine where the moral obligation to follow the commands of a benefactor derive from as in this case they clear precede the command to obey god.

Nevertheless, in the case that God's laws are moral because God commands them, we have a decidedly arbitrary set of moral principles that could change at God's whim. So, for example, tomorrow God may command that we torture senior citizens that help other less able senior citizens across the street. This would lead to water boards enjoying an increase in sales at Christian-oriented hardware stores.

Observing this new law from God and understanding the pain it would bring to able bodied senior citizens who take an interest in caring for the less able bodied senior citizen, the Christian would naturally ask, "really"? They would then consider the consequences of disobeying this new Godly command. And we all know what those consequences are.

No, the only rational reason to follow God's commands under your view of the Dilemma is to please God because 1) there is a pre-Godly moral requirement to obey a benefactor (that's problematic) or 2) of fear of the consequences of not obeying God.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 10:35 AM  

@Nate

There are various rules here at VP that most of us choose to obey. Do we do so out of fear of punishment? or do we do so out of respect for the owner's property rights?

Why do you respect the owner's property right? (or, what obligates you to respect them?) Is there a moral principle involved here? If so, from what dos that principle derive?

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 10:36 AM  

No, the only rational reason to follow God's commands under your view of the Dilemma is to please God because 1) there is a pre-Godly moral requirement to obey a benefactor (that's problematic) or 2) of fear of the consequences of not obeying God.

It's as if you're trying to write a discourse on the inability of the atheist to understand love. You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?

Blogger Tom January 15, 2013 10:39 AM  

As a teacher who sees lots of different students thinking and making mistakes in lots of different ways (I'd almost claim expert status on spotting others mistakes, except my experience only directly applies to a narrow range of academic material), I'd say that the problem with Vox's arguments is that he uses long sentences with multiple clauses that interrelate to one another.

Many people don't take the time to work all the way through the whole sentence. They read the first clause and think they know what it says. From my experience, this is because they haven't encountered many comparably complex sentences or ideas in their intellectual lives.

It would be a mistake to call them all idiots. Poorly educated and intellectually inexperienced would seem more accurate to me. Nothing says that they can't improve themselves and start learning and thinking better, except their own stubbornness.

Anonymous VryeDenker January 15, 2013 10:40 AM  

Jesus also warned of the unforgivable sin which is denying the Holy Spirit, whence comes the point of no return.

Agreed. What I said was in response to the charge that we simply follow God's commandments out of fear.

Anonymous Daniel January 15, 2013 10:41 AM  

This should be titled... "The Perils of having an IQ in the 120s".

Subtitle: IQ 123: The Gamma Mode of Clever

Anonymous VryeDenker January 15, 2013 10:44 AM  

It's as if you're trying to write a discourse on the inability of the atheist to understand love. You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?

I think at this point he's merely playing Bite-sized Rebuttal Bingo, Argument Pokemon or is simply shifting the goal posts.

Anonymous This Is The Hand, The Hand That Takes January 15, 2013 10:44 AM  

"we have a decidedly arbitrary set of moral principles that could change at God's whim."

Congratulations, you just summarized Islam. But not Christianity.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a precious coin that a woman lost within her household, and so she swept her entire house clean until she found that coin."

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who learned that there was a great treasure buried in a certain field, and so he sold everything he had, and he bought that field."

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny seed that a man took and planted in his garden. And behold, the seed grew into a great tree, and all the birds of the air nested therein."

Blogger Nate January 15, 2013 10:45 AM  

"Why do you respect the owner's property right? (or, what obligates you to respect them?) Is there a moral principle involved here? If so, from what dos that principle derive?"

Bzzzt. moving goal posts.

You said the motivation must be fear. Here I show that the motivation is not fear but respect. Vox brings up gratitude and love as well.

Even Kant provides an option for such motivations.

so... you fail.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 10:49 AM  

@Vox Day

You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?

What obligates a Christian to obey God's commands, let alone love or have gratitude for God? I'm not obligated to love my parents, nor to obey them.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 10:52 AM  

@Nate

"Why do you respect the owner's property right? (or, what obligates you to respect them?) Is there a moral principle involved here? If so, from what dos that principle derive?"

You suggest that following God's commands (no matter what they are) is akin to following Vox Day's rules. Asking in response, what motivates that respect/obligation is a legitimate response. If you fear to answer the questions or can't, I won't condemn you for that. I'll just make note of it.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 10:55 AM  

@The Hand

"we have a decidedly arbitrary set of moral principles that could change at God's whim."

Congratulations, you just summarized Islam. But not Christianity.


If the source of morality is what God says is moral, and if there is no antecedent, then we have an arbitrary set of moral commands. Furthermore, we have a formula by which that which is moral could change tomorrow. Tomorrow, God could command the stabbing of senior citizens in the eye with a long knife when they smile. And this would be moral....until God said it wasn't.

Blogger Nate January 15, 2013 11:07 AM  

"
You suggest that following God's commands (no matter what they are) is akin to following Vox Day's rules. Asking in response, what motivates that respect/obligation is a legitimate response. If you fear to answer the questions or can't, I won't condemn you for that. I'll just make note of it."

Wrong.

You ASSERTED that christians obey out of fear.

I noted that we follow the rules here... and not out of fear.

Now you're looking to dance and move the goal posts. We don't play that game around here. You've made a simplistic statement that has been demonstrated to be completely false.

So blow me.

Anonymous This Is The Hand, The Hand That Takes January 15, 2013 11:09 AM  

"Furthermore, we have a formula by which that which is moral could change tomorrow"

All you did was, you just re-stated what you already thought. You didn't consider the parables I gave you... which come, as it happens, from the mouth of God.

Huh.

"They have ears to hear, they do not hear."

When the man and the woman whom God placed in the Garden ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (an act that is replicated in most every human life), they didn't just gain the knowledge of Evil... they also gained knowledge of the Good.

You see where I'm goin' with this?





Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 11:11 AM  

Someone living a culture that has arbitrarily decided that killing babies on demand and sexual licentiousness are now moral rights, needs to STFU about God's morality, which has never wavered, of being arbitrary.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 11:15 AM  

@Nate

You ASSERTED that christians obey out of fear.

I noted that we follow the rules here... and not out of fear.


Actually, you asserted that you follow the rules here out of respect and not fear and, yes, you asserted this in response to my assertion.

Surely, your response about what you do at this blog was not a non sequitor. Surely you meant it as an analogy for why you (or Christians) follow God's commands.

So, do you follow God's commands out of respect (if so, what moral principle demands that respect) or do you follow god's commands out of obligation (what moral principles demands this obligation)? The same could be asked about why you follow the rules here.

You've not been clear at all.

As for blowing you, you could only be so lucky.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 11:17 AM  

@J Doe

Someone living a culture that has arbitrarily decided that killing babies on demand and sexual licentiousness are now moral rights, needs to STFU about God's morality, which has never wavered, of being arbitrary.

Are you SURE that God's moral declarations have never wavered? And whether or not they have, it still does not dispute the fact that, according to Vox Day's Theory, God's Moral Commands are arbitrary. He'd certainly agree this is the best assessment of their origin.

Blogger Nate January 15, 2013 11:18 AM  

How excellent that this exchange should take place on this particular thread.

"So, do you follow God's commands out of respect (if so, what moral principle demands that respect) or do you follow god's commands out of obligation (what moral principles demands this obligation)? The same could be asked about why you follow the rules here.

You've not been clear at all."

The fact that you can't follow... doesn't mean I haven't been clear. It means you're simply not tall enough for this ride... or more likely... you're willfully being obtuse.

My specific motivations are entirely irrelevant to your assertion.



Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 11:21 AM  

STFU faggot.

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 15, 2013 11:35 AM  

OT, but Requiescet in Pace Aaron Swartz, sadly and tragically driven to suicide, at least in part by gubmint crackpots. Eternal peace grant unto him, O Lord, and may your heavenly Light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace. And say we all Amen.

I have a very limited understanding of the issues that concerned him, so I have no real way of knowing if he was right or wrong. Nevertheless it is quite clear from watching the videos of his talks that he was very much concerned with doing what he thought was right, not in aggrandizing himself. Whatever it was that he was doing, it seems to have been done in very good faith, and moreover without harming others.

May he rest in peace.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 11:37 AM  

@j Doe

STFU faggot.

Perhaps one of the better examples of the typical christian response to reason?

Anonymous patrick kelly January 15, 2013 11:42 AM  

To merely state "God's game, God's rules" is an overly simplistic error of western heterodoxy.

God is not some ubber powerful, intelligent man, like the "sky daddy" atheists like to mock, making arbitrary, volitional decisions about what is good or moral, and what is bad or evil. The universal game designer analogy ultimately fails.

God IS. "I AM that I AM". All real, true morality or law comes from His very being. God IS just, IS love, IS righteous, IS moral. He is the standard, ultimate source, of a morality which could not be arbitrarily different any more than God The Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth could arbitrarily be different than HE IS.

Human understanding and application is incomplete and changes.

/soapbox

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 15, 2013 11:45 AM  

"Perhaps one of the better examples of the typical christian response to reason?"

Heh. Mucho +points for dignity under attack and good humor to be sure; but not for analysis, as the thing is not "typical" of a Christian response in any demonstrable way.

You were saying, I believe, before I interrupted you, something about "reason"?

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 11:45 AM  

You’re skipping over the extremely relevant section wherein I distinguish between refuting the Euthyphro dilemma on its own terms and refuting its mistaken application to Christian morality because the definition of that morality precludes the second horn of the dilemma. Ergo, no tautology and no dilemma. One cannot simply change Socrates’s definitions and claim to be attacking the dilemma on its own terms, while on the other hand, one cannot apply the dilemma to a specific morality such as the Christian moral standard without first changing those definitions.

At the risk of exposing myself as a midwit, I'll admit I had difficulty with this one particular point when I read TIA. I got hung up on your initial statement, At first glance, this looks easy enough, as simply substituting “obedience” for “the pious” will destroy the dilemma because it eliminates the tautology posed. One can’t do this since it’s not right to simply substitute whatever terms one likes and declare the problem solved. And then later on, it appeared that you were doing exactly that. After rereading and thinking about it, I figured the word had to be changed to "obedient" in order to map the argument onto a Christian moral standard, but I still wasn't sure because of your statement that it's not right to simply substitute. Now that you've explicitly stated why the substitution had to be made, the resolution to the dilemma makes total sense. But it would have helped (me, anyway) to have had this stated more explicitly in the book.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 11:49 AM  

Perhaps one of the better examples of the typical christian response to reason?

Like everything you touch, you pervert reason. Contempt is the least of what you deserve.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 11:58 AM  

So, do you follow God's commands out of respect (if so, what moral principle demands that respect) or do you follow god's commands out of obligation (what moral principles demands this obligation)? The same could be asked about why you follow the rules here.

Again, we're back to love, Tad. There is no moral principle that demands love ... or respect or obligation, for that matter. You have free will, which is the only way that love is possible. Perhaps this earthly experience is, among other things, to see who freely chooses to love his Creator and who doesn't.

I'm going to recommend a book to you. It's called God According to God: A Physicist Proves We've Been Wrong About God All Along by Gerald Schroeder. Since Schroeder is Jewish, he only considers the Old Testament, which is what most atheists point to when objecting to various notions about God anyway. Schroeder shows that you if you take God at his word, i.e. scripture, then most common and accepted notions of God -- including yours -- are wrong.

God IS. "I AM that I AM".

The actual Hebrew translation of that passage in scripture is "I will be that which I will be." Make of that what you will.

Blogger Unknown January 15, 2013 12:00 PM  

Hmmm...Forgive this question if it has already been brought up. Is not Euthyphro's dilemma, in fact, a false dilemma?

As it applies to the Christian God, God simply IS the good(pious), which is a third option. Which means when He declares something good, the declaration eschews from His nature, which is good and eternal.

I ask at risk of being called simple-minded.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 15, 2013 12:16 PM  

Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished.

Wherein Tad reminds us that the motivating spirit of Leftism is to be free of consequences, free of responsibility.


On the general topic of Euthyphro, it's always amusing in a sad way to watch either a thiest or an athiest attempt to prove their respective side on the question of God's existence without allowing faith a place in the discussion. It's doubly amusing when the athiest doesn't realize that his conviction God doesn't exist is every bit a matter of faith as is the thiest's believe that God does exist.

Anonymous John Rega January 15, 2013 12:28 PM  

In Fear and Trembling S.Kierkegaard toys with the whole idea quite a bit, referring to the "teleological suspension of the ethical" in the context of Abraham gaining favor (and that's putting it mildly) by agreeing to kill his son Isaac and actually attempting it, only to be halted by, you know, an angel. Somehow an act that was objectively evil - killing your own child - became not only permissible but positively heroic.

Fear and Trembling is quite a bit more sophisticated, and dare I say far deeper, than the baby/undergraduate philosophy level represented by the Euthyphro. Wrestling with those Socratic arguments is fine as far as it goes, and certainly they should be revisited from time to time - after all, that level of discourse is far superior to most political and social debates that actually take place publicly. But there has been a lot of water under the bridge since Plato; it's not only silly, but wasteful, to ignore the many developments and advances in reasoning built on top of Plato over centuries, belaboring questions that have already been addressed in very valuable and insightful ways by others, as Kierkegaard did with with the so-called Euthyphro's dilemma in the 19th century, albeit from a Christian perspective.

In the same vein, the objections that God could suddenly declare that it was obligatory to, say, put out the eyes of the elderly or the newborn on some absurd condition or other has a certain polemical effectiveness, but in a way that is too puerile, not to mention facile, for a genuine engagement and exchange of thoughts or ideas. Such hypotheticals are all too familiar to the believer, who can cite many examples of God ordained or permitted atrocities (apparent) from scripture; the atheist provocateur always overestimates the shock value of that kind of argument, and in the end shock value is all it really has.

It's hard for an atheist to come up with anything that some Christian apologist, somewhere along the way, hasn't already addressed. It's been centuries, and a lot of very bright guys - Augustine, Jerome, Anselm, Aquinas, just to name a few - have recorded their thoughts and insights.

No need to keep reinventing the wheel, says I.

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 12:38 PM  

Vox, I understood your replies to his critique in all but one area. I wondered if you could clarify that one.

Where you mentioned that the dilemma isn't the same for monotheists and he said something to the effect of, "Since it's only what they all love, it's the same thing", how is his rebuttal not correct?

If you boil down what all of the gods love to a single list, are you still not working with a single list, just like you would with a monotheistic God? Yes, you had to go through an intermediary step, but in the end, you are at the same place with respect to why the things on that list are on the list.

In other words, if the loves of all the gods could be summed up in a list of ten things and the loves of a single God can be summed up in a list of ten things, isn't the dilemma the exact same regardless?

WATYF

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 12:40 PM  

Perhaps one of the better examples of the typical christian response to reason?

Perhaps one of the better examples of the typical atheist using the lowest common denominator to define all of Christianity.

I wonder if you're OK with using the worst street thug as a way to define the "typical" black man or the most depraved child molester as a way to define the "typical" homosexual.

WATYF

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 12:45 PM  

Perhaps one of the better examples of the typical atheist using the lowest common denominator to define all of Christianity.

If that was really an example of the lowest common denominator, that filthy faggot would still be hiding in the closet, where such a creature belongs. It is the compassionate, tepid manginas who are the lowest common denominator today.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 12:48 PM  

@j Doe

Like everything you touch, you pervert reason.

Does this mean that if I touched you (presumably in just the right place) you too would become perverted?

Or has that horse left the barb already?

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 12:50 PM  

@ Tad

Please answer the questions expressed by VD to you, either Yes or No will suffice.

It's as if you're trying to write a discourse on the inability of the atheist to understand love. You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 12:52 PM  

@Stickwick:

Perhaps this earthly experience is, among other things, to see who freely chooses to love his Creator and who doesn't.

Are there any consequences to the soul, particularly after this life, for choosing not to love his creator?

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 12:54 PM  

Does this mean that if I touched you (presumably in just the right place) you too would become perverted?

Or has that horse left the barb already?


If you were to try, you would become dead. Retarded faggot. Trying to deflect your vileness onto others

Anonymous Bobo January 15, 2013 12:55 PM  

Good link:
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-obligation-and-euthyphro-dilemma.html

Anonymous Dan in Tx January 15, 2013 12:56 PM  

Ugh, Tad again. I'd like to petition the blog to see if we can trade him in for a better troll.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 12:56 PM  

@J. Doe


If you were to try, you would become dead. Retarded faggot. Trying to deflect your vileness onto others


Just asking the question. After all, you are the one that suggested it. Don't worry, I won't provide you with the benefit of being touched is ALL the right places.

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 12:56 PM  

Thereby reminding us that the morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished.

And do you have a reason to object to that?

I'm not saying it's true (that's obviously not the way it's described in actual Christian scripture), but even if it were true, why is that a "bad" motivation?

So, do you follow God's commands out of respect (if so, what moral principle demands that respect)

I don't think you realize that this statement can be used to destroy your own views on morality. It is, essentially, a "turtles all the way down" argument. Any moral principle behind "respect" would just have to be followed by another moral principle which obligated you to do that one (and then another behind that one, and so on).

But that's the ultimate difference between your moral view and a theistic one... the theistic one STOPS at some point (at "Because God decreed it and we are subject to Him"). Yours is just baseless.

WATYF

Anonymous Jack Amok January 15, 2013 12:57 PM  

If you boil down what all of the gods love to a single list, are you still not working with a single list, just like you would with a monotheistic God? Yes, you had to go through an intermediary step, but in the end, you are at the same place with respect to why the things on that list are on the list

I imaging Vox is busy on Reddit, so I'll give it a go.

If there is one and only one God, then His will wins. What He says goes. But if there are multiple gods, then they disagree and thus you have no single list.

As far as getting a list of ten things all the gods love, that's fine but it is incomplete. What of the things not on that list? What of the things some gods love and others hate? Using any of the polytheistic mythologies from history, the things the gods disagreed on where signficant. No complete moral framework, no functional guide to living a pious life, can be constructed from just those things the gods agree on, because the gods do not agree on everything that is important.

And if they did agree on everything that is important, than they wouldn't be separate entities, they would simply be multiple aspects of the same will. If the list of ten things the gods all loved was complete and comprehensive, then there would be no difference between one God and many, the many would simply be the One.

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 12:58 PM  

Are there any consequences to the soul, particularly after this life, for choosing not to love his creator?

According to Christianity, yes. But that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the "why" of choosing the Creator.

WATYF

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 1:01 PM  

Don't worry

I don't and never will. Creatures like you are a threat to society as a whole, never a personal threat to me. Retarded, delusional faggot.

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 1:10 PM  

If there is one and only one God, then His will wins. What He says goes. But if there are multiple gods, then they disagree and thus you have no single list.

Obviously this isn't what I'm referring to. The argument rests on them agreeing upon a list of ten things.

As far as getting a list of ten things all the gods love, that's fine but it is incomplete. What of the things not on that list?

Why would things not on that list matter?

What of the things some gods love and others hate?

They wouldn't matter.

Using any of the polytheistic mythologies from history, the things the gods disagreed on where signficant. No complete moral framework, no functional guide to living a pious life, can be constructed from just those things the gods agree on, because the gods do not agree on everything that is important.

But how would we know something was "important" if the gods didn't agree on it?


If the list of ten things the gods all loved was complete and comprehensive, then there would be no difference between one God and many, the many would simply be the One.

This is pretty close to what I'm saying.

WATYF

Anonymous Jeffrey S. January 15, 2013 1:10 PM  

Bobo,

Thanks for posting that link. Ed Feser is a philosophical giant (I'm biased of course, since I'm Catholic). Here is a section from that post that answers many of Tad's questions:

"The Euthyphro dilemma goes like this: God commands us to do what is good. But is something good simply because God commands it, or does He command it because it is already good? If we take the first option, then it seems we are committed to the possibility that God could make it good for us to torture babies just for fun, simply by commanding it. If we take the second option, then it seems we are committed to saying that there is a standard of goodness independent of God, to which He refers us when He commands. Neither option seems a good one from the point of view of theism. The first makes morality arbitrary, and the claim that God is good completely trivial. The second conflicts with the core theistic claims that God is the ultimate cause of all things, and in particular the source of all goodness. So, we have a problem, right?

Actually, we don’t, because the dilemma is a false one – certainly from the point of view of Thomism, for reasons I explain in Aquinas. As with all the other supposedly big, bad objections to theism, this one rests on caricature, and a failure to make crucial distinctions. First of all, we need to distinguish the issue of the content of moral obligations from the issue of what gives them their obligatory force. Divine command is relevant to the second issue, but not the first. Second, it is an error to think that tying morality in any way to divine commands must make it to that extent arbitrary, a product of capricious divine fiat. That might be so if we think of divine commands in terms of Ockham’s voluntarism and nominalism, but not if, following Aquinas, we hold that will follows upon intellect, so that God always acts in accordance with reason. Third, that does not entail that what determines the content of morality and God’s rationale for commanding as He does is in any way independent of Him.

The actual situation, then, is this. What is good or bad for us is determined by the ends set for us by our nature, and given the essentialist metaphysics Aquinas is committed to, that means that there are certain things that are good or bad for us absolutely, which even God could not change (since God’s power does not extend to doing what is self-contradictory). Now God, given the perfection of His intellect, can in principle only ever command in accordance with reason, and thus God could never command us to do what is bad for us. Hence the first horn of the Euthyphro dilemma is ruled out: God can never command us to torture babies for fun, because torturing babies for fun is the sort of thing that, given our nature, can never in principle be good for us. But the essences that determine the ends of things – our ends, and for that matter the end of reason too as inherently directed toward the true and the good – do not exist independently of God. Rather, given the Scholastic realist understanding of universals, they pre-exist in the divine intellect as the ideas or archetypes by reference to which God creates. Hence the second horn of the Euthyphro dilemma is also ruled out.

Anonymous Testing123 January 15, 2013 1:11 PM  

If a man approaches me with his right hand in his coat pocket, clearly holding something and he asks me for $20.00 to purchase food. It would be most admirable if I, motivated by a sense of community and brotherly love, gave the man what he asked.

However, it would also be completely rational for me to give him what he asked because I feared he had a pistol and would blow my head off if I didn’t.

Blogger Res Ipsa January 15, 2013 1:22 PM  

@Tad

“If the source of morality is what God says is moral, and if there is no antecedent, then we have an arbitrary set of moral commands. Furthermore, we have a formula by which that which is moral could change tomorrow. Tomorrow, God could command the stabbing of senior citizens in the eye with a long knife when they smile. And this would be moral....until God said it wasn't.”

You’re making several assumptions:
1. The set of morals is arbitrary.
2. The system of morals is dramatically changeable
3. God is subject to whims of fancy
4. God’s whims are logically indefensible
5. God is equally likely to change from one set of rules to another and then back again.
6. You are able to evaluate God.

You’re catching a lot of flak here, not because you’ve put forward something intelligent that is non-refutable, but because you’re assuming that your view of theism is universally correct regardless of the religion in question. Classical Greek Atheism utilized a similar approach to debunk its pantheon of divine personalities. That approach was effective because the mythology was arbitrary and man was expected to accept it. It’s been pointed out to you that your view of theism is true of Islam but not Christianity. This is correct. Judaism and Christianity have a unique perspective on, whom and what God is and does that is not equaled in any other theology. Most people don’t understand this truth because they have not made any serious effort to study Abrahamic Monotheism.

This entire conversation can be summarized as you shouting at the top of your lungs “BROWN CARS ARE BAD!!!” while everyone is telling you that they are on a cruise ship.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 1:24 PM  

Where you mentioned that the dilemma isn't the same for monotheists and he said something to the effect of, "Since it's only what they all love, it's the same thing", how is his rebuttal not correct?

Because it is ignorant. He doesn't know or understand the basis for the dilemma.

If you boil down what all of the gods love to a single list, are you still not working with a single list, just like you would with a monotheistic God?

Yes, but that is irrelevant.

In other words, if the loves of all the gods could be summed up in a list of ten things and the loves of a single God can be summed up in a list of ten things, isn't the dilemma the exact same regardless?

No, not at all. Because it doesn't exist in the first place. You're skipping over all of Socrates's work - and two of his cheats - in order to get there. The dilemma doesn't exist in a vaccuum; the two horns are two arguments which are supposedly sound. Although, as it happens, they are not sound.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 1:24 PM  

This entire conversation can be summarized as you shouting at the top of your lungs “BROWN CARS ARE BAD!!!” while everyone is telling you that they are on a cruise ship.

(laughs) Oh, Res, you crack me up. You simply do not comment here often enough.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 1:26 PM  

Are there any consequences to the soul, particularly after this life, for choosing not to love his creator?

Yes, there are logical consequences for this choice. The consequence in this life is the removal of God's provision and protection. Think Cain after the murder of Abel. Cain's punishment was exile from God. Nothing physically happened to him as a consequence of his disobedience to God -- he wasn't jailed or executed -- but his spiritual isolation from God was more than he could bear. Note that this doesn't mean the Christian who truly loves God won't experience bad things, but all you have to do to understand what it means to have God's provision and protection is watch how genuinely Christian people deal with these bad things, e.g. the Amish in Pennsylvania after a school shooting claimed the lives of five of their children.

In the afterlife, the consequence is also isolation from God. God has given you free will, and if you freely decide that you do not love God and therefore do not want to be with him, then he will not force you to be with him. Therefore, you will not be with him. To help you truly understand what this means, I have another book recommendation for you: C. S. Lewis' The Great Divorce.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 1:30 PM  

@WATYF

According to Christianity, yes. But that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the "why" of choosing the Creator.

Not necessarily? OK. Can you imagine, however, that internal damnation of the soul might provide some measure of motivation?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 1:32 PM  

@j Doe

I don't and never will. Creatures like you are a threat to society as a whole, never a personal threat to me. Retarded, delusional faggot.

Once again, I'm humbled by the kind of christian love you offer here. You DO deserve to be touched in all the right places.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 1:37 PM  

And you continuously prove that you deserve nothing but contempt and haven't the slightest inkling of a clue of what it is to be Christian. Hint: it is not about loving the profane and evil.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 1:40 PM  

VD: "God's game, God's rules"

Why? This is an unfounded moral statement. God's ability to define morality is dependent on this and you have given no reason why this should be taken as a given. You want this to be an axiom but the thing about axioms is there is no justification for them.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 1:42 PM  

@Res Ipsa

You’re making several assumptions:

1. The set of morals is arbitrary.
If moral is merely what god says is moral, then this moral is unquestionably arbitrary..

2. The system of morals is dramatically changeable
Under what limitations does God exist?

3. God is subject to whims of fancy
See above

4. God’s whims are logically indefensible
I never suggested anything about whether this God's capability of changing his commands is defensible or indefensible.

5. God is equally likely to change from one set of rules to another and then back again.
I never suggested anything about likelihood. Only about capability.

6. You are able to evaluate God.
Given certain assumptions, yes.

It’s been pointed out to you that your view of theism is true of Islam but not Christianity.
As someone said, "God's Game, God's rules". If this is true, then either God's rules (morality) is arbitrary or His rules are conditioned upon some other set of rules outside his power....which brings us back to the first horn of the dilemma.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 1:44 PM  

@J. Doe

And you continuously prove that you deserve nothing but contempt and haven't the slightest inkling of a clue of what it is to be Christian. Hint: it is not about loving the profane and evil.

Ah...well this explains it.... What is then about being Christian that demands name calling and denigration? And are you sure you don't want to be touched in all the right places?

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 1:50 PM  

STFU faggot. You project your vileness onto others. I'm done with you. Dialogue with scum serves no purpose.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 1:52 PM  

j Doe, you are making the classic mistake of conflating the weapon with the aggressor. Homosexuals may consider themselves bold cultural warriors, but they are in fact merely exploited as the spearhead in the humanist war against Christianity. In and of themselves they are of no real threat, and the architects of the war (not to be confused with their useful idiots) care little for them beyond their utility. Humanists in general are the real threat. You neutralize them, and homosexuals are, culturally-speaking, of little consequence.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 1:54 PM  

The resident faggot clown makes all the trolls in the history of VP look almost decent in comparison.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 2:00 PM  

Humanists in general are the real threat.

Faggots are a specific subset of humanists. God had no problem hating them specifically for being faggots.

OpenID marellus January 15, 2013 2:01 PM  

testing

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 2:01 PM  

@ Tad - 2d Request

Please answer the questions expressed by VD to you, either Yes or No will suffice.

It's as if you're trying to write a discourse on the inability of the atheist to understand love. You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?



Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 2:02 PM  

Why? This is an unfounded moral statement. God's ability to define morality is dependent on this and you have given no reason why this should be taken as a given. You want this to be an axiom but the thing about axioms is there is no justification for them.

It is nothing of the sort. It is a purely logical one. The rules are intrinsically defined in the act of creation by the creator. Only the creator is even CAPABLE of defining the rules.

If I create a game called Schnizzleball, I must define the rules in order for Schnizzleball to exist. There is not only a justification for me to create the rules, but without the rules, Schnizzleball does not exist. And if someone tries to change the rules, for example, claiming that one can score three points when wearing red rather than blue, then it is not Schnizzleball.

God created the game, ergo the game is necessarily defined by His rules.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 2:03 PM  


@J Doe

STFU faggot.

Nasty, Nasty language! I'll assume you are NOT Christian. Because...well, I just can't imagine.



















































Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 2:07 PM  

It is nothing of the sort. It is a purely logical one. The rules are intrinsically defined in the act of creation by the creator. Only the creator is even CAPABLE of defining the rules.

If I create a game called Schnizzleball, I must define the rules in order for Schnizzleball to exist. There is not only a justification for me to create the rules, but without the rules, Schnizzleball does not exist. And if someone tries to change the rules, for example, claiming that one can score three points when wearing red rather than blue, then it is not Schnizzleball.

God created the game, ergo the game is necessarily defined by His rules.


So you're saying that its impossible for people to go against God's rules? Since if they went against God's rules they would presumably cease to exist since they would no longer be playing God's game? Good to know I have done nothing wrong since I'm still here. I am without sin.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 2:07 PM  

@j Doe

Faggots are a specific subset of humanists. God had no problem hating them specifically for being faggots.

This is an unusual perspective. You don't usually hear an analysis or description of the Christian God "hating" homosexuals, let alone "faggots"....Though it's been a while since I very closely looked at the detailed working of the bible...perhaps it does use the term "faggots".

In any case, my recollection is that the christian God prefers His disciples hate the sin, not the sinner.

Good to know, J. Doe.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 2:13 PM  

@Question

So you're saying that its impossible for people to go against God's rules? Since if they went against God's rules they would presumably cease to exist since they would no longer be playing God's game? Good to know I have done nothing wrong since I'm still here. I am without sin.

I think he's saying one can't go against God's rules and still be claiming to play God's game. I may claim to be a great Schnizzleball Player, But when I declare my red jersey, combined with my success in moving the ball past the schnizzle post, entitles me to 3 points, I'm really not describing Schnizzleball any more. However, I don't disappear.

Anonymous JoshuaM January 15, 2013 2:14 PM  

Tad, you seem to know a little about Christianity.

Sorry, I meant to say, "you seem to know little about Christianity." Here's what I mean: You write,

[b]"[T]he morality of a righteous Christian boils down to a concern not to be punished."[/b] By "morality," here, you mean, "moral behavior," rather than morality [i]per se[/i]. The Euthyphro dilemma deals with morality [i]per se[/i], and not moral behavior. You exhibit this same mistaken understanding of the essence of the dilemma when you refer to VD's "view of the Dilemma" as somehow being related to one's rationale for obeying God's commands.

What's more, your statement is plainly false. Christians have no fear of punishment, because Christ has already borne the punishment for our sins. Thus, for a Christian (who understands the significance of Christ), fear cannot be the motivation for moral behavior.

Second, you ask, [b]"why ought Christians embrace God's commands?"[/b] You then inform us that it [i]can't[/i] be because God's commands are God's commands, because that would be circular. But would it? Consider the following syllogism (in which "Commands" refers to a type of a type of decree from God, and "command" refers to a decree of that type): (1) Humans are morally obligated to follow God's Commands; (2) X, Y, and Z are commands from God; (3) Therefore, humans are morally obligated to follow X, Y, and Z. Is this circular? Is it any more circular than (1) All men are mortals; (2) Socrates is a man; (3) Therefore Socrates is mortal? The problem with the morality syllogism just stated is not that it is circular, but that you don't accept the argument supporting premise (1), and so you conclude that (1) begs the question. But the reason given in support of (1)--that, as creator of the universe, God's commands carry preferential weight with respect to the acts of free agents--is sound.

To avoid the force of the above argument supporting premise (1), you rephrase the argument as one in which a person is morally obligated to obey the commands of his or her "benefactor"--as though any person here has suggested that I could enslave you by lending you my bicycle! Do you not understand the significant differences between bicycle-lending and universe-creating?

But enough on that subject. You continue, [b]"[W]e have a decidedly arbitrary set of moral principles that could change at God's whim."[/b] You should know that this doesn't follow. God is not merely a command-giver randomly dispensing morally obligatory commands--He is a Person (or, if you prefer--I know VD doesn't--three Persons) who dispenses commands that are consistent with His character. Thus, there is an "antecedent" to God's commands such as you refer to in a later comment--namely, His nature. Because God's commands are always consistent with His nature, and because His nature doesn't change, God could not dictate new moral principles that contradict those already dictated "at [a] whim."

So, you'll forgive me if, when you say something like, "[W]e all know what those consequences [for disobeying a new command from God] are," I mentally replace "we" with "you" (and, because I'm Texas, combine "you" and "all" into "y'all"), being sure to excise you, Tad, from the class of those who understand Christian doctrine.

Anonymous JoshuaM January 15, 2013 2:15 PM  

[Sorry for the double post, btw, but I forgot to preview the post before posting--otherwise I'd have seen that the emphasis tags have apparently changed. Still, you're all smart folk and can imagine that I've bolded and italicized in the proper places.]

Blogger Nate January 15, 2013 2:15 PM  

BROWN CARS ARE BAD!!!

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 15, 2013 2:17 PM  

"The resident faggot clown..."

If you're doing this sort of thing in some peculiar spirit of 'showing the colors', or for any other reason, well, I sort of wish you wouldn't. If you have a reasonable argument with Tad (and who wouldn't?), then take it up under the mantle of reason. Name-calling like this not only does not score you any points, but it also brings your side of the quarrel into (rather unnecessary, I should think) disrepute. I cringe when I hear stuff like this... and that is bizarre, because I believe quite firmly that people who think as I do have not a thing to cringe about.

You know, when I was a kid, I was the target of the word "faggot" on a pretty constant basis, from around ages 6 to 12. Sometimes I fought over it, sometimes I was diplomatic or indifferent. The odd thing was that neither I nor the kids hurling this epithet had any idea what it actually meant until we were a good deal older: nobody calling me a faggot when I was say 9, had any real idea about homosexual sex, it just meant a sissy kid they didn't approve of.

Well you know what? There's always going to be people who you don't approve of, for your various irrational reasons. The only real question is, what are the consequences of those reasons? Do they affect your genuine interests? And the interests of your children, your culture, your way of being? Do you even know what your genuine interests ARE? If you can answer those questions intelligibly, then by all means, proceed with your prejudices, as they may very well MATTER. But if not, then you're just some babbling fool who's annoyed because it doesn't rain pork chops twice on a Thursday afternoon. Whatever.

I'll tell you this: you had better make a good job of figuring out what your real interests are, or else in pretty soon time, your children (if you've bothered to have 'em) won't even know what a word like "Thursday" means. And they certainly won't get the Chesterton joke.

Carry on. But a bit more brightly, if you don't mind.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 2:18 PM  

The faggot refuses to answer a direct question. His tedious blather should be put to an end.

OpenID marellus January 15, 2013 2:20 PM  

So the Euthyphro Dilemma is this :

"Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?"

To have a creed, that frees forlorn understanding.
To do a deed, that frees a lore sundered handling.
And sing to troopers' maddened dogs
That we are just, the madmen of gods.


Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 2:24 PM  

If you can answer those questions intelligibly, then by all means, proceed with your prejudices, as they may very well MATTER.

When the argument comes down to explaining that water is wet, there are no questions to answer. Contempt and derision for those who would require such is all that remains.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 2:29 PM  

I think he's saying one can't go against God's rules and still be claiming to play God's game. I may claim to be a great Schnizzleball Player, But when I declare my red jersey, combined with my success in moving the ball past the schnizzle post, entitles me to 3 points, I'm really not describing Schnizzleball any more. However, I don't disappear.

You disappear from the game of Schnizzleball you're playing. Since God's game is supposed to be the universe you disappear from the universe if you violate his laws right? The way sports get around this moving outside the rules is to describe rule violations within the rules and the consequences of them. Christianity does the same thing with sin and hell. But what's important to notice is that no one is actually violating any laws in either of these instances. If God's game is the universe it is impossible for anyone in it to violate the rules because our existence is dependent on the game. But this drains all moral force from God's laws and just turns them into laws of physics. Sin and you go to hell by cause and effect. And we know how well religion does when it starts to make scientific statements.

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 2:38 PM  

Chad Orzel clings quite tenaciously to Chairman Scalzi's junk. Observe:

"It was clear, though, that it wasn’t worth the mental effort that would be required to wring a drop of sense out of it."

Close those ranks, gentlemen; the wilderness is a wild, unpredictable place where your arrows and native shame-anism only cover so many yards 'round your rambunctious hipster tribe.

I especially enjoyed this one: "And how DARE he accuse Richard Dawkins of being a “faux-intellectual fraud” that “utiliz[es] pseudo-scientific sleight of hand” to do anything at all! As one of the leading scientists in the world today, if not THE leading scientist, Day has proved his complete ignorance of what is supposed to be a counter-argument to Dawkins!"

Good times; hilarity ensues.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 2:40 PM  

@J. Doe


When the argument comes down to explaining that water is wet, there are no questions to answer. Contempt and derision for those who would require such is all that remains.


Well, let's be honest. It's not ALL that remains. There's also the question of your attraction to the word "Faggot", your relationship with christian teachings and the particular place you'd prefer to be touched, whether that place is wet or not.

Anonymous Testing123 January 15, 2013 2:40 PM  

As Christians we are commanded to speak the truth in love.

Tad is not so bad, and certainly not beyond redemption.

Quoting C.S. Lewis, and speaking for myself:
"But even a traitor may mend. I have known one who did.”

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 2:43 PM  

" And we know how well religion does when it starts to make scientific statements."

Indeed we do.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 2:45 PM  

You see, scoobius dubious, this is the reason one doesn't suffer faggots. You only encourage their vileness. But you are more interested in wagging your finger at me.

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 2:46 PM  

@ Tad - 3rd Request

I draw your attention to the Rules of the Blog. Specifically, #2 which states in part,

"If you are asked a direct question relevant to the topic, then you will be expected to answer it in a straightforward and non-evasive manner... The dishonest and evasive tactics that are so common in Internet argumentation are not permitted here.

Following VD's original inquiry, I've asked you the same two questions twice. Instead of answering me, you have continued glibly commenting away provoking and insulting others, and calling foul when someone has responded in kind. You've had every opportunity to answer these questions, but you refuse.

So, I ask you again. Answer the questions expressed by VD to you, either Yes or No will suffice.

It's as if you're trying to write a discourse on the inability of the atheist to understand love. You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?



Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 2:53 PM  

Stop queening around and answer the question, Tad. You know the rules.

Anonymous Gerd January 15, 2013 2:55 PM  

Thank you for posting the link to Chad's blog. He seems quite full of his own self. And as most of his ilk (not dread), he labels honest folks as trolls and uses crude words to amplify how progressive he is.

I am curious to know if he is an unpunished rapist as well?

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 2:58 PM  

Nasty, Nasty language! I'll assume you are NOT Christian. Because...well, I just can't imagine.

So, what you're saying here is... you're not intelligent enough to tell the difference between not being able to imagine a single Christian saying something like that and assuming that because one person in this conversation did, they must typically be like that?

Don't run away from your bigotry and hide behind hyperbole. If you're a hypocrite, then by all means, proudly embrace it. :Op

Not necessarily? OK. Can you imagine, however, that internal damnation of the soul might provide some measure of motivation?

Of course it could, but 1) why is one motivation "better" than any other and 2) it still makes your objections irrelevant, because the fact that eternal damnation "might" be a motivation doesn't mean it actually "is".

Once again, I'm humbled by the kind of christian love you offer here.

"Christian love" isn't defined as "the way in which any random person who claims to be a Christian acts". It's defined by the tenets of Christianity. Try 1 Corinthians 13, if you're actually looking to educate yourself on the topic.

As someone said, "God's Game, God's rules". If this is true, then either God's rules (morality) is arbitrary or His rules are conditioned upon some other set of rules outside his power....which brings us back to the first horn of the dilemma.

It doesn't bring us to any such conclusion. The whole argument is a False Dilemma because it's founded upon an unsupported value judgement. You first have to have a means by which to declare that "arbitrarily decided morals" are "bad", and no one has such a means. Even if all of God's moral decrees were the result of a drunken afternoon game of darts, we still have no basis upon which to say, "No, that's not how he should have come up with morals". Because using the word "should" in that statement IS A MORAL JUDGEMENT. It implies a moral code outside of the one that we're arguing about. In fact, the statement of Euthyphro's Dilemma itself is firmly rooted upon the assumption that the first horn is true.

We don't even have to get into whether it actually was arbitrary or not (or whether it simply arises, by necessity, out of God's nature or any other such arguments) in order to refute the supposed "Dilemma".

So you're saying that its impossible for people to go against God's rules?

I think he's saying one can't go against God's rules and still be claiming to play God's game.


Both of you are incorrect. If someone paying football decides to face-mask an opposing player, they neither 1) "cease to exist" on the playing field nor 2) "are no longer playing football". They exist AND they're playing football, they're just doing it against the rules and will be appropriately penalized.

WATYF

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 2:59 PM  

So you're saying that its impossible for people to go against God's rules? Since if they went against God's rules they would presumably cease to exist since they would no longer be playing God's game?

Have you learned nothing here? Have you not learned that whenever anyone begins a statement with "So you're saying..." the answer is almost always no?

So, no. Obviously God permits people to violate His rules. And He provides consequences for those violations. The fact that the ball doesn't instantly move back 10 yards when holding occurs during an NFL game does not mean the rule, or the penalty, does not exist.

Look at Tad's antics. Can you honestly watch him thrash around like a fish on land and not conclude that he is not experiencing negative consequences for his violations of God's rules?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 2:59 PM  

@Joshua

Isn't "All men are mortal" a different kind of premise than "All Humans are morally obligated to follow God's commands?

I think so.

Why are humans morally obligated to follow the commands of their creator? Because the creator said so? This is indeed circular.


Commands in themselves do not create any obligation to be obeyed in those commanded unless there is some pre-existing authority attached to the commander and that authority cannot be the commands themselves.

So again, by what authority (or moral principle) are we required to follow God's commands (moral principles)? A common answer to this is God's place as our creator. However, this assumes some previous moral principle outside of God that we be grateful to our creators. There is really on one way to explain this principle: Might Makes Right. Hence, following out of fear.

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 3:08 PM  

@ Tad

Son, why the aversion to speaking to me directly?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 3:08 PM  

@Vox Day

You seriously can't even imagine the concept of obeying your Creator out of love and gratitude? Not even as a theoretical POSSIBILITY?

Of course I can imagine it. But I can also imagine broom-flying toads at the upcoming Super bowl. What I can imagine probably shouldn't decide the issue or prove what might be likely.

The fact is, Christians rely on two things in their attempts to obey God: 1) the notion that they have some sort of obligation to be grateful to their creator and the knowledge that the consequences of not doing so will be severe. I also imagine love my play a part....when they need to get around justifying their fear.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 3:12 PM  

@Vox Day

Look at Tad's antics. Can you honestly watch him thrash around like a fish on land and not conclude that he is not experiencing negative consequences for his violations of God's rules?

Funny, first thing I thought of when I read this is that your flailing about criticizing other authors in our field must certainly be evidence that you've violated God's rules. But I could be wrong.

But what's doubly amusing is that what you describe as "thrash[ing] about like fish on land" is a reiteration of your own explanation of the matter.

Boy, sometimes this place gets really precious!

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 3:13 PM  

@Beau

Son, why the aversion to speaking to me directly?

Who are you, boy?

Anonymous Anonymous January 15, 2013 3:14 PM  

you managed to insult alot of us who think we are smart. question, tell me what original thought you have had that would bestowe intellectual superioity upon you? iq means very little when it comes to survival.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 3:18 PM  

Who are you, boy?

Tad, Beau is a VP elder, he's probably your elder, and likely the most genuinely Christian man you'll ever encounter. Showing him disrespect like this is unwise.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 3:19 PM  

VP is increasingly becoming like one of those Pentecostal snake handling rituals, where they keep getting bitten by the vicious, hissing reptile.

It'd be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 3:21 PM  

So, no. Obviously God permits people to violate His rules. And He provides consequences for those violations. The fact that the ball doesn't instantly move back 10 yards when holding occurs during an NFL game does not mean the rule, or the penalty, does not exist.

I said as much above. The penalty in this case is just as much a part of the rules as the rule to which it is a penalty for. It is impossible to violate the rules of football and still play football. It is impossible to violate the rules of the universe and still 'play' the universe. This makes God's laws objective in the same sense the laws of physics are objective. But we don't call the laws of physics moral laws. Defining morality this way does away with morality as a category.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 3:24 PM  

@Stickwick


Tad, Beau is a VP elder, he's probably your elder, and likely the most genuinely Christian man you'll ever encounter. Showing him disrespect like this is unwise.


Elder? Amusing.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 3:26 PM  

Who are you, boy?

Tad, Beau is a VP elder, he's probably your elder, and likely the most genuinely Christian man you'll ever encounter. Showing him disrespect like this is unwise.


You're shitting me right? You intentionally left off what he was responding to.

Son, why the aversion to speaking to me directly?

Now, child, if you wish to be taken seriously by adults you'll be wise to not leave out easily available information in an attempt to slander your betters.

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 3:28 PM  

Who are you, boy?

Someone willing to risk reaching out to you. Although many use the word son in internet conversation to imply inferiority, I use it in a paterfamiliar sense, conveying love of another. I sorry you didn't recognize this.

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 3:30 PM  

I also imagine love my play a part....when they need to get around justifying their fear.

And how many Christians do you know personally?

Or should we assume you're an expert on the internal motivations of Christian... just because?

WATYF

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 3:31 PM  

OT:

"God IS. "I AM that I AM"."

I always took it to be a play on words, the phrase using both the construction for our equivalent of "I am" with the construction of the name of God, which uses the same letters and thus by extension (or original intent) the same term and concept; "Exist I, the Self-Existent One". It's difficult because the name/term seems to encompass etiology-par-excellence in a much more explicit way than our current generic term God; "self-existent Creator Being potentate", or something to that effect.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 3:34 PM  

@Beau

Someone willing to risk reaching out to you. Although many use the word son in internet conversation to imply inferiority, I use it in a paterfamiliar sense, conveying love of another. I sorry you didn't recognize this.

You would have done a better job at "reaching out" in a paterfamiliar sense had you possessed the courage to actually make note of the pretty vile language directed at the person you merely hoped to convey love to. But you failed at that.

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 3:37 PM  

"Although many use the word son in internet conversation to imply inferiority, I use it in a paterfamiliar sense, conveying love of another."

I figured it like how D.I. Galloway uses "my son".

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 3:41 PM  

Just remember folks, the coffee is virtually unlimited in federal offices. Don't expect to push a boulder uphill, especially when it's been planted in the middle of the road to that purpose.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 3:44 PM  

The wittle snake's delicate sensibilities have been offended. Bad! bad! Christians for not coming to its rescue.

Evil simply must be seen to be believed.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 3:46 PM  

You're shitting me right? You intentionally left off what he was responding to.

No, I'm not. This is the problem with you young punks on the Internet who think "son" is only deployed in a demeaning, dominating way. I've been commenting here for years, and based on what I know of Beau's character -- and given the high probability that he's much older than Tad -- I surmised he was using "son" in the same gentle, endearing way older men have used it since time immemorial. You and Tad are making utter fools of yourselves.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 3:48 PM  

Just remember folks, the coffee is virtually unlimited in federal offices. Don't expect to push a boulder uphill, especially when it's been planted in the middle of the road to that purpose.

VD: "And, in the end, the hapless midwit simply runs away, still clinging to his now-exposed assertions, appealing to others in the hopes that they will pat him on the head and tell him that he is still a smart and good boy."

Blogger WATYF January 15, 2013 3:48 PM  

So again, by what authority (or moral principle) are we required to follow God's commands (moral principles)?

Are you seriously asking this?? By God's authority, of course. Your statement assumes that He's not in authority over us intrinsically.

A common answer to this is God's place as our creator. However, this assumes some previous moral principle outside of God that we be grateful to our creators.

It does no such thing. If God declares that "being grateful to your Creator" is good, then it is. He doesn't need any previous principle to base this upon any more than He needs preexisting physical principles upon which He can base the speed of light or the law of gravity. The whole point is that He made all of this from nothing.

There is really on one way to explain this principle: Might Makes Right. Hence, following out of fear.

This is a False Dilemma fallacy wrapped in a non sequitur wrapped in a baseless value judgment.

The False Dilemma: "Might makes right" is not the "only" way to explain your "principle" since there are the other arguments, such as "It necessarily arises out of God's nature" that are alternatives to "Might Makes Right". That's ignoring the fact that I just pointed out that your "principle" is erroneous.

The non sequitur: Even if we concede that "might makes right" is the case, we still can't assume that obedience follows due to the "might" part. It could just as likely follow from the "right" part (as in, people see that God is good and love Him as a result). We could be completely oblivious to the fact that it is God's might that makes Him right and still obey. So, the latter does not automatically follow from the former.

The baseless value judgement: Even if we concded your first point AND your second point, you still have no means by which to declare that "Might Makes Right" OR "following out of fear" are "wrong" or "worse" than any other scenarios. Your whole argument is built upon a foundation of personal preference.


The more I hear you talk about this, the more I'm convinced that your entire view of the topic is predicated on the idea that the first horn of Euthyphro's Dilemma is true... that there is some "right" out there by which you can judge God. It's almost as if you can't fathom a universe in which your personal feelings on a given topic aren't paramount in determining whether or not that thing is "good" or "bad".

WATYF

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 3:49 PM  

@ Tad

But you failed at that.

Not at all. You provoke and insult. Others respond in kind. I am am just as much responsible for your comments as I am for those made by anyone else - that is - not at all. Quit trying to play the overwrought victim, it is unbecoming of a man of reason.

Blogger Res Ipsa January 15, 2013 3:51 PM  

@ Nate

The pigs are in the azaleas!!!

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 4:00 PM  

Funny, first thing I thought of when I read this is that your flailing about criticizing other authors in our field must certainly be evidence that you've violated God's rules. But I could be wrong.

You are. I'm not flailing about in the slightest. The reason people have reacted so strongly is that most people know, or at least suspect, that I am correct. The field isn't just infected, it is dying. Read the Locus numbers, they're simply shocking.

Elder? Amusing.

Yes, Beau is an elder here, in every sense of the word. You would do very, very well to listen to him.

This makes God's laws objective in the same sense the laws of physics are objective. But we don't call the laws of physics moral laws. Defining morality this way does away with morality as a category.

Or, if you prefer, it does away with physics as a category. It makes no difference. They're all objective and they're all built into the creation, the rules and the penalties alike.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 4:01 PM  

our field

Tad... Tad Williams? What have you published?

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 4:04 PM  

@ Tad

Now, it is unsurprising you do not recognize love conveyed, either from a Creator, or from a fellow human being. The only guiding principle you discern is fear. How then can you explain Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well? "Woman, where are your accusers?" et al. Or the penning of the below verse:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I rose, the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth and followed thee


Explain these two examples as samples of might makes right. Or isn't it simply love?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:10 PM  

@Vox Day

Yes, Beau is an elder here, in every sense of the word. You would do very, very well to listen to him.

I read him. I heard his excuses and explanations. I'm not impressed. But what do I know....I'm just a faggot who needs to STFU according to your well tended ilk.

....and what are odds of that??

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:11 PM  

@VD

our field

Tad... Tad Williams? What have you published?


misplaced the "Y"....that's all.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 4:15 PM  

I am not an ilk, well tended or otherwise, you retarded fag. Your feigning victimhood when cornered has been noted. You're even more vile and disgusting for it.

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 4:17 PM  

"It is impossible to violate the rules of the universe and still 'play' the universe."

Then by all means, leave the field at your earliest convenience my son.

Anonymous JoshuaM January 15, 2013 4:20 PM  

Tad:

You ask, "Isn't 'All men are mortal' a different kind of premise than "All [h]umans are morally obligated to follow God's [C]ommands?" and answer, unhelpfully, "I think so." Since you think so, please explain precisely how the two premises are different in a sense relevant to render one of the syllogisms circular and the other not.

You again ask, "Why are humans morally obligated to follow the commands of their creator?" You apparently fail to appreciate that your questions relates only to premise (1) of my syllogism, and is answered by the "God's game, God's rules" argument. If that argument is effective, then the syllogism is no longer circular. You attempt to refute that argument by reframing it as a "previous moral principle outside of God that we be grateful to our creators," but this is false. To begin, gratefulness is irrelevant.* More importantly, there need be no--and isn't--a "previous moral principle outside of God." To behave morally simply is to follow God's commands. It is akin to saying that a planet is behaving "normally" when it orbits a star in the ordinary fashion. To behave "immorally," then, would be akin to a planet willingly orbiting in a fashion that physics wouldn't otherwise allow. To say that one "ought" to do this or that is simply to say that God has commanded that this or that be done (or , more typically, that this or that is consistent with God's commands).

*Your "on[ly] one way to explain this principle" is not, in fact, the only way to explain such a principle, however. It doesn't follow from the premise that humans ought to be grateful to their creator that "[m]ight [m]akes [r]ight." While it would seem that, to create humans, a creator would have to be "mighty," the principle isn't based on the creator's might, but on the creator's act of creation. What's more, even if it were true that might makes right, this would not mean that those who order their lives so as to comport with the commands of the mighty do so out of fear. Following the commands of the mighty does not necessarily imply fear of the mighty--particularly if one believes that doing so is morally right. Seriously, that last paragraph in your response to me was just nonsense. All this aside, though, you apparently failed to read the portion of my previous post where I established that Christians who understand the significance of Christ cannot be said to follow God's commands out of fear of punishment, because they have nothing to fear.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:22 PM  

@beau

Now, it is unsurprising you do not recognize love conveyed, either from a Creator, or from a fellow human being.

Beau: Tell me how you appear to know as a matter of fact that I am incapable of recognizing love from another human being, as you state.

And please, no reference to your seemingly condescending "Son" comment. There must be something else from which you derive this conclusion since the only piece of evidence is my inability to recognize your apparent expression of love covered as it was in a crush of other recent expressions of loving uses of the terms "faggot", "vile, immoral creature", "filthy faggot", "retarded faggot", "Retarded, delusional faggot", "Scum", and "resident faggot".

Anonymous Dan in Tx (waiting breathlessly) January 15, 2013 4:23 PM  

Since the comments section has once again turned into the "Tad all about me" show, do enlighten us Tad. Since I'm sure you're headed to some amazing conclusion to dumbfound us all, here you go: yes we all follow God's laws out of pure fear of hell fire and damnation and no other reason (I won't get into the fact those of us who are saved through Jesus Christ are no longer under the law as that will no doubt cause you to veer the topic into yet another direction). So there you go, now do tell us where you are headed with this? Or as I suspect, you aren't really headed anywhere except the usual circular reasoning leading to another question and another and another or the request for the definition of a word we all know the meaning of.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 4:24 PM  

You forgot clown, faggot asshole.

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 4:32 PM  

@ Tad

At the end of the day, in fact even now, I am loved by my Creator, my wife, children, friends from several decades, and the Ilk. You are scorned. What do you have to offer me, O homosexual polemicist? Death? Marshall you best arguments. Can you do it succinctly? O, and please leave off the vile comments, at least with me, as they seem to offend you greatly.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 4:32 PM  

The creature's attempt to vilify someone for using "bad" words, when everything about the godless faggot is, without his uttering a single word, a sin against God and nature, is typical Leftist strategy of deflection. This is as far as anyone can ever get with these maggots. Reason is a virtue that none of his kind are capable of lest they are faced with their utter vileness.

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 4:37 PM  

@ Tad

And please, no reference to your seemingly condescending "Son" comment.

Why not? Waving away the evidence doesn't actually make it go away. You inability to distinguish between interlocutors is not my defect in reasoning.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:41 PM  

@Beau

At the end of the day, in fact even now, I am loved by my Creator, my wife, children, friends from several decades, and the Ilk. You are scorned. What do you have to offer me, O homosexual polemicist? Death? Marshall you best arguments. Can you do it succinctly? O, and please leave off the vile comments, at least with me, as they seem to offend you greatly.

I didn't see here, O loved one, where you explain how you can state with certainty that I am incapable of recognizing love conveyed.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:43 PM  

@beau


Why not? Waving away the evidence doesn't actually make it go away. You inability to distinguish between interlocutors is not my defect in reasoning.


It may not be. But so far, you've offered no reasoning for your statement that I am incapable of recognizing love conveyed when offered. But as you can see from my comment above, I await your reasoning, O Love One.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:48 PM  

@Dan

now do tell us where you are headed with this? Or as I suspect, you aren't really headed anywhere except the usual circular reasoning leading to another question and another and another or the request for the definition of a word we all know the meaning of.

It all simply goes back to the original assertion that this god's laws are arbitrary.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 4:49 PM  

@J. Doe

The creature's attempt to vilify someone for using "bad" words, when everything about the godless faggot is, without his uttering a single word, a sin against God and nature, is typical Leftist strategy of deflection. This is as far as anyone can ever get with these maggots. Reason is a virtue that none of his kind are capable of lest they are faced with their utter vileness.

Well then, no more deflecting! Let's get to it. Where exactly do you want me to touch you?

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 4:50 PM  

Good. Now that the misunderstanding regarding my usage of son is behind us, can you accept my usage of the term for you in a paterfamiliar sense?

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 4:55 PM  

Or, if you prefer, it does away with physics as a category. It makes no difference. They're all objective and they're all built into the creation, the rules and the penalties alike.

Except there is no evidence of God much less God's laws. The argument from morality for theists has always been used to support the existence of God but since you've made morality into nothing more than a cause and effect relationship like physics there is nothing transcendent that needs to be explained about morality. Your answer to the is-ought debate is that there is only "is" and you've turned your position into about the most extreme materialism possible. I don't believe in objective morality but even I acknowledge that there is such a thing as morality even if its only a combination of evolutionary instinct and social constructs.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:03 PM  

Where exactly do you want me to touch you?

I get to go first. Remote touching, via lead. Right between the eyes from about 10 yards away would the preferred spot on you - I wouldn't want any splattering to reach me.

As to your repeated insistence on touching me, it is not having the effect you want. A female is hardly offended, shocked or repulsed by a faggot threatening to touch her. Although, the chance of you carrying other diseases is quite high, but a faggot Jew atheist does not exist anywhere in the my reality. Only on this blog am I exposed to your vileness - hardly anything to be concerned about. You may stick that train of thought up your filthy faggot ass.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:03 PM  

@Beau

Good. Now that the misunderstanding regarding my usage of son is behind us, can you accept my usage of the term for you in a paterfamiliar sense?

Absolutely. But I prefer "Tad" or "Godless Faggot".

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:08 PM  

@J. Doe

I get to go first. Remote touching, via lead. Right between the eyes from about 10 yards away would the preferred spot on you

Really? Given the opportunity to touch me or kill me you'd go with Kill? Hmmm...that's interesting, if not unsurprising. Would it be due to my jewishness, my gayness or my godlessness? Or some combination?

Me, I'd go with touch. If only to see your reaction to being touched for the first time in a way that sets your eyes back in your head.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:11 PM  

The snake doesn't know it's already dead.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 5:13 PM  

As to your repeated insistence on touching me, it is not having the effect you want. A female is hardly offended, shocked or repulsed by a faggot threatening to touch her. Although, the chance of you carrying other diseases is quite high, but a faggot Jew atheist does not exist anywhere in the my reality. Only on this blog am I exposed to your vileness - hardly anything to be concerned about. You may stick that train of thought up your filthy faggot ass.

Oh man I really want this to be a real Bible thumper and I have met plenty of people like this in my life but this is just too good to be true. You went a little to far in parody my brother, the people that post here have to at least be able to use a computer and guy who act like that are hardly literate.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:14 PM  

The faggot continues to prove what I've always suspected about these creatures, and that's that they are literally possessed. One doesn't play nice with demons.

Blogger Duke of Earl January 15, 2013 5:15 PM  

Well in this thread we have established that Tad is smarter than Question.

J. Doe, STFU. Whatever Tad is, was, has done, might do, or whatever, name calling and threats are unseemly and morally wrong. Even when Jesus called out the Pharisees in their challenge-riposte world, the harsh language referred to their self-righteousness and inability to distinguish the letter of the law from the spirit.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:17 PM  

@J Doe

The snake doesn't know it's already dead.

Until it climbs up your Christian skirt and confronts the long stewing potion that once lived, but now kills.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:18 PM  

You went a little to far in parody my brother

I'm not your brother, and if you can't really understand the whole crux of the faggot's threat to touch me and my response, that's not me going too far, it's you being obtuse.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 5:18 PM  

Except there is no evidence of God much less God's laws.

You personally do not recognize the existence of any evidence for God. Doesn't mean none exists.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:20 PM  

@stickwick

You personally do not recognize the existence of any evidence for God. Doesn't mean none exists.

The evidence is recognized, but deemed lacking in the extreme. Evidence is a dime a dozen.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:22 PM  

Nice to see the churchians gathered here are unanimous in their embracement of faggots. Really, it's touching...

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:22 PM  

@J. Doe

The faggot continues to prove what I've always suspected about these creatures, and that's that they are literally possessed. One doesn't play nice with demons.

Gosh, if I was a demon you probably have more problems than just trying to stop swooning over me get and figuring out another way to use the term Faggot.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 5:25 PM  

J. Doe ... is this Taylor, back to spew her venom? Whoever you are, congratulations, you've out-banaled Tad. What point do you think you're making by continuing this same line over and over ad nauseum?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:26 PM  

@J. Doe

Nice to see the churchians gathered here are unanimous in their embracement of faggots. Really, it's touching...

Doesn't the saying go, "love the sinner, hate the sin"? Or was it "STFU you filthy faggot"?

I can't recall.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:26 PM  

Perhaps a churchian could kindly explain to the ignorant faggot the difference between possession and actually being a demon.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 5:29 PM  

You personally do not recognize the existence of any evidence for God. Doesn't mean none exists.

I hate to use a cliche but yours was a cliched response so here goes. I personally don't recognize the existence of any evidence for Santa either. Doesn't mean none exists. But if an adult or even a child over 9-10 years old told me they believed in Santa? I'd laugh at them.

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 5:30 PM  

@ Tad

OK, thanks. I've read quite a few of your comments on several threads. What sparked me to address you now is your assertion that fear-based interactions with the Creator are the only possible explanation for human action vis-à-vis God. I'd like to explore this a step at a time with you. Has does love shape one's behavior to the beloved?

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 5:30 PM  

The evidence is recognized, but deemed lacking in the extreme. Evidence is a dime a dozen.

Question made the positive statement that no evidence for God exists; he either worded this poorly or does not recognize the evidence. But since you're responding to this, have you personally examined every piece of evidence? On what basis did you determine it's lacking?

Incidentally, if J. Doe is who I think she is, you gain absolutely nothing by engaging her. She's irrelevant. She's been shut down here a number of times for doing precisely what she's doing now. I advise you to ignore and move on.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:33 PM  

J. Doe ... is this Taylor, back to spew her venom? Whoever you are, congratulations, you've out-banaled Tad. What point do you think you're making by continuing this same line over and over ad nauseum

So very amusing. One thing I am doing for sure is making the churchians all agog over the "venom" spewed against the godless faggot.

It's come to an end now. I'm done. You can now get back to getting bitten by the snake and tell yourselves how very tolerant and christian you are for it.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 5:34 PM  

I hate to use a cliche but yours was a cliched response so here goes. I personally don't recognize the existence of any evidence for Santa either. Doesn't mean none exists. But if an adult or even a child over 9-10 years old told me they believed in Santa? I'd laugh at them.

It was not a cliched response. Perhaps you see it as such, because it was a response to what was either a trite or poorly-worded statement.

I have a challenge for you. Read Gerald Schroeder's The Science of God and make a case that none of what he presents counts as serious evidence for the existence of the God of the Bible.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:34 PM  

Perhaps a churchian could kindly explain to the ignorant faggot the difference between possession and actually being a demon.

Oh, would somebody please do this. I can't wait to find out if I'm a real Demon (where are my damned powers) or just possessed (in which case, I want to sell movie rights).

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 5:39 PM  

One thing I am doing for sure is making the churchians all agog over the "venom" spewed against the godless faggot.

Don't flatter yourself. No one's agog. You're just tiresome. Far more cogent and powerful arguments can be made against the cult of celebration of homosexuality; but you either don't have the wit or you're too consumed by wrath to do anything but spew and rage. It's neither useful nor entertaining.

It's come to an end now. I'm done.

We can only hope. DLTDHYOTWO.

Anonymous Dan in Tx January 15, 2013 5:40 PM  

Scripture must be read and understood in spirit. To those whose hearts are not open to it, it will sound as nothing more than a bunch of rules, fables and even contradictions. Trying to explain the spiritual with mere words to someone whose heart is hardened is largely an exercise in futility (though I wouldn't say pointless as there are many others besides the ones being addressed who may read the exchange who are open to receiving the message). The Tads of the world will argue in their own reasoning all the way to the point that they are shouting their arguments across the abyss to those of us on the other side. The truth is that those of us who are saved are no longer under the law. I could theoretically murder, rape and pillage to my heart's content and still go to heaven. So why do I not, since the threat of hell has been removed? Because those things are removed from my heart and replaced with the Holy Spirit, though the carnal nature of the flesh still remains and will as long as I am in this world. Should I expect any of that to make since to those who are of the world? Of course not nor should I expect those of the world to accept it, even if I talk until I am blue in the face.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:40 PM  

@beau

OK, thanks. I've read quite a few of your comments on several threads. What sparked me to address you now is your assertion that fear-based interactions with the Creator are the only possible explanation for human action vis-à-vis God. I'd like to explore this a step at a time with you. Has does love shape one's behavior to the beloved

Actually, Beau, I'm first waiting for that explanation of yours as to how you can be so sure I am incapable of detecting the conveyance of love.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:46 PM  

@stickwick

Question made the positive statement that no evidence for God exists; he either worded this poorly or does not recognize the evidence. But since you're responding to this, have you personally examined every piece of evidence? On what basis did you determine it's lacking?

As I think you'll agree, some evidence is more pertinent and more directly speaks to the question than other evidence. For example, the 5th grader who claims to have spoken to God in his dream, well that's evidence of a sort, but probably not the kind you want to deploy in defense of the assertion that God exists. On the other hand, evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ would seem more pertinent and more important to deploy. So, to answer your question, no, I've not examined every piece of evidence. However, that proffered evidence that seems important I have looked at.

Incidentally, if J. Doe is who I think she is, you gain absolutely nothing by engaging her. She's irrelevant. She's been shut down here a number of times for doing precisely what she's doing now. I advise you to ignore and move on.

I appreciate the advice. However, her attitude isn't that unusual for many of the participants on this site. So I find that just letting her go on and on in her fashion is nifty way to expose the nature of that fashion to the many others who also adopt it. I'll finish with her eventually.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 5:49 PM  

but you either don't have the wit or you're too consumed by wrath to do anything but spew and rage. It's neither useful nor entertaining.

I have no intention of being useful or entertaining. I have plenty of wit when wit is called for - not here where this creature has taken up residence. My wrath is at watching you idiots make this human garbage the centerpiece of your discussions. If anyone is tiresome, it is this creature, but evidently you prefer a snake that keeps its venom masked.

That's it. Now, I done.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:54 PM  

@Dan in Texas

The truth is that those of us who are saved are no longer under the law. I could theoretically murder, rape and pillage to my heart's content and still go to heaven. So why do I not, since the threat of hell has been removed? Because those things are removed from my heart and replaced with the Holy Spirit, though the carnal nature of the flesh still remains and will as long as I am in this world.

I personally find it very satisfying that you don't consider raping, pillaging or murdering, no matter what your reason for setting that aside. I wonder though if you have always been "saved" and if not did you murder, pillage and rape prior to being saved?

Personally, I'll admit, I'm saved also. I'm saved by a compassion and love and empathy for my fellow human being that possesses my mind and being. And for this reason, I don't pillage, murder or rape....just like you don't. In the end, it's interesting that you and I find the same results, though you attribute it to God's influence. I don't.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 5:57 PM  

@J. Doe

I have no intention of being useful or entertaining.

Plese, J., believe me when I tell you that you have been VERY useful. And I thank you for that, at least.

For example:

I have plenty of wit when wit is called for - not here where this creature has taken up residence. My wrath is at watching you idiots make this human garbage the centerpiece of your discussions. If anyone is tiresome, it is this creature, but evidently you prefer a snake that keeps its venom masked.

Your usefulness apparently knows no bounds, not even as your sagging ass departs the room. Good riddance. And again, thank you.

Anonymous kh123 January 15, 2013 5:59 PM  

"Incidentally, if J. Doe is who I think she is..."

Figured the same.

Anonymous Stickwick January 15, 2013 6:02 PM  

@ Tad: The question brought up wasn't whether Jesus was resurrected, but whether God exists. What evidence for God's existence do you dismiss? You don't have to offer every single piece; the three strongest pieces of evidence should suffice to determine if you've given serious consideration to the question.

So I find that just letting her go on and on in her fashion is nifty way to expose the nature of that fashion to the many others who also adopt it.

I don't really care about this -- it's your time -- but I have to ask, to what end? If these others are as unreasonable as J. Doe, you can't possibly accomplish anything useful. The regulars have been there and done that with "J. Doe," and it has long ceased to have any elucidation, curiosity, or entertainment value.

Anonymous J. Doe January 15, 2013 6:10 PM  

And conservatives wonder why they're losing their country. The ilk imagine themselves superior to this rotting culture but they are so mired in its decay they would willing side with the vile and profane over those who aren't witty, entertaining, or useful enough for their taste. And that venon spewing is just awful. Really.

You truly deserve every bite from that snake.

Anonymous Question January 15, 2013 6:31 PM  

What evidence for God's existence do you dismiss? You don't have to offer every single piece; the three strongest pieces of evidence should suffice to determine if you've given serious consideration to the question.

I can't think of any good evidence. The Genesis story is just literally wrong and most of the Old Testament reads like a children's book written by a sadist. I mean what kind of evidence can you give that someone survived in the belly of a whale or lost their strength by getting their hair cut? The New Testament at leasts lacks the sense of the fabulous but reading that Jesus performed miracles is far from knowing its true, there are literally thousands of mythologies that claim similiar things. Any type of philosophical argument ends up the with the theist having defined God into existence and most of them employ an Aristotelian reasoning that has long been superseded by more modern philosophy for everyone but the Catholic church. And about Catholic theologians a good quote "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

Anonymous Dan in Tx January 15, 2013 6:34 PM  

Tad:"Personally, I'll admit, I'm saved also. I'm saved by a compassion and love and empathy for my fellow human being that possesses my mind and being."

Saved from what? What is this "compassion" and "love" of which you speak? Are they not nothing more than chemical reactions in your brain? These concepts are nothing more than arbitrary standards put on you by society to keep you from doing whatever you want and enjoying this short pointless time here on earth to the full extent that you can. Who is to judge what is right and wrong? If we're all just here by happenstance on a random spinning rock in the middle of the void, by pure coincidence that some atoms decided on their own to come together and form life, then there can be no right or wrong. You are a fool not to spend what little time you have here before you return to the void getting the most you can for yourself during the short period of time that you are here. Now don't try to say that you are more righteous than others because you chose to do right even though you don't believe in God, judgment, hell and all that. After all, who can even define what is right or wrong at all? You? Who made you judge over anyone? An arbitrary set of standards imposed on men from other men to keep society together? And when this pointless life is over and you wasted your little bit of time that the universe gave to you at random following society's stupid standards, what did you gain?

Anonymous Asher January 15, 2013 6:41 PM  

@ Tad

misplaced the "Y"....that's all.

I though gays avoided the "Y"

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 6:43 PM  

@stickwick

The question brought up wasn't whether Jesus was resurrected, but whether God exists.

Are we talking the God of Abraham, or just any old generic deity?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 6:49 PM  

@Dan

You are a fool not to spend what little time you have here before you return to the void getting the most you can for yourself during the short period of time that you are here.

Why do you assume I'm not?

After all, who can even define what is right or wrong at all?

You can. I can. A society through its laws can. It's just that there is no objective and timeless right and wrong.

And when this pointless life is over and you wasted your little bit of time that the universe gave to you at random following society's stupid standards, what did you gain?

The benefit of enjoying the life and hopefully helping others to do the same.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 6:49 PM  

@Asher


misplaced the "Y"....that's all.

I though gays avoided the "Y"


Believe me, we try. We try.

Anonymous Bobo January 15, 2013 6:51 PM  

Question: "And about Catholic theologians a good quote "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

It's more likely that you don't understand it or that you've never bothered to study it. A-T philosophy has never been refuted. What has been done is that it was merely replaced for political reasons to avoid having to deal with its obvious conclusions.

BTW most philosophers of religion are theists, i.e. people who understand the actual arguments.

Anonymous Asher January 15, 2013 6:53 PM  

@ Stickwick

The actual Hebrew translation of that passage in scripture is "I will be that which I will be." Make of that what you will.

"Whatevah, whatevah, I do what I want" - Eric Cartmann

Anonymous Asher January 15, 2013 6:54 PM  

@ Tad

Believe me, we try. We try.

For that some want you to die.

Anonymous Dan in Tx January 15, 2013 6:56 PM  

Tad: "You can. I can. A society through its laws can. It's just that there is no objective and timeless right and wrong."

So if the Hutu come to power and decree the Tutsi to be a dangerous scourge and decree by law that all Tutsi must be exterminated, why must we be burdened with all this silly talk of this being a tragedy? If a law was passed and the Hutu decided it was right to do this, what's the problem? After all according to Hutu societal standards, getting rid of the Tutsi is the "right" thing to do. Who are we to judge?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 6:57 PM  

@Asher

For that some want you to die.

No, No, No. It's a combination of factors including my mother being jewish and my lack of belief in big things unseen. Plus, the buggery.

Anonymous workingman January 15, 2013 6:58 PM  

God is just a way for you to feel connected. You dissolve your isolation in an abstraction. You love because you fear. But you can't separate those and eliminate the one, although you try to convince yourself that one day you will. When it comes down to it that's the bottom line to religious belief.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 6:59 PM  

@Dan


So if the Hutu come to power and decree the Tutsi to be a dangerous scourge and decree by law that all Tutsi must be exterminated, why must we be burdened with all this silly talk of this being a tragedy?


Because we disagree with the Tutsi and see their acts as immoral.

Who are we to judge?

Us.

Anonymous Asher January 15, 2013 7:01 PM  

@ Tad

Plus, the buggery.

Every woman I ever dated enjoyed an occasional good buggering.

Blogger Asher Jacobson January 15, 2013 7:03 PM  

@ Dan in TX

After all according to Hutu societal standards, getting rid of the Tutsi is the "right" thing to do. Who are we to judge

Who gives a fuck whether or not a bunch of third-world savages want to bash each other's brains out. Why would you even waste your time judging them?

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 7:07 PM  

@Asher

Who gives a fuck whether or not a bunch of third-world savages want to bash each other's brains out. Why would you even waste your time judging them?

You are an advocate of the idea that "power" is most often the determining factor, right? I can imagine a few non-moralistic arguments based on power that would lead a nation not only to judge the Tutsi, but work to prevent the massacre.

That said, a moralistic judgement of the Tutsis actions doesn't take much effort and can reaffirm the moral system adopted by the judge.

Anonymous Tad January 15, 2013 7:09 PM  

@Asher

Every woman I ever dated enjoyed an occasional good buggering.

Really??? That wasn't my experience. Alas...

Anonymous Asher January 15, 2013 7:21 PM  

@ Tad

You are an advocate of the idea that "power" is most often the determining factor, right?

What is considered moral is always in the last analysis a function of power. That said, the exercise of power has consequences that are not determined by us and can affect us negatively. Yes, the Athenians were correct that the strong do as they can but doing what you can may have negative consequences that you will not appreciate.

I can imagine a few non-moralistic arguments based on power that would lead a nation not only to judge the Tutsi, but work to prevent the massacre.

Theoretically, sure, but I doubt you're going to be able to find many practical examples.

That said, a moralistic judgement of the Tutsis actions doesn't take much effort and can reaffirm the moral system adopted by the judge.

To judge is to assert moral authority. To assert moral authority is to assume moral responsibility. This is what basically happened to the Roman Empire. Moral responsibility is a burden and like any burden it has costs.

I keep telling this to conservatives who wish to assert Christian moral authority over the mongrel collection of peoples we hilariously call "the American people". Hello? Is anybody listening? Moral authority has costs that you just might not be willing to bear. How is that difficult to understand?

What people seem to want is authority without responsibility.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 7:25 PM  

I can't think of any good evidence.

That is not indicative of the limits being on the side of the evidence. Look around you, Question. Do you see the shiny, sexy, seculatopia you were promised by the progressives rising around you?

Do you seriously not understand why you don't, despite decades of equality, libertinism, and technological advancement? Do you still think the next iPhone will bring paradise on Earth?

Anonymous VD January 15, 2013 7:28 PM  

Except there is no evidence of God much less God's laws.

There is no evidence of the sculptor, said the man staring at the statue....

Anonymous Beau January 15, 2013 7:30 PM  

@ Tad

Actually, Beau, I'm first waiting for that explanation of yours as to how you can be so sure I am incapable of detecting the conveyance of love.

First, because of your statement that Might Makes Right is the only possible explanation for human obedience to God. If this were truly the sole determinant, then no reasonable explanation exists for altruism, or any other Other-valuing behavior. Neither is there any explanation for the wellspring of devotion and beauty found in books and hymns down through the ages. Love explains this.

Second, because you did misapprehend, thus the misunderstanding. Which happily is past.

And Third, your demonstrated need to slander and attack ad infinitum. You've derived some personal emotional benefit by being outrageous and obnoxious, even while as a polemicist you argue poorly (Don't take this a criticism, Tad. It's just an observation.). Have you never detected not everyone you argue with here hates you? More aptly put, can you distinguish between someone who attacks your ideas versus someone who attacks you? Can you see that someone who takes the time to craft an explanation for you does so solely for your benefit and not of animus? (Stickwick's comment at 1:26 PM is an excellent example) He who attacks a flawed idea is perhaps a potential friend, and almost certainly the best of enemies. Haven't you seen this?

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 15, 2013 7:48 PM  

Really. Honestly. The 24-Hour-a-Day All Singing, All Dancing, Non-Stop Tad Show has become quite tiresome.

He is, as the saying goes (I think it might be Wilde), not only dull, but a cause of dullness in others.

Ah well. Party on.

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