Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's Good for the Hitch is Good for the Dawk?

So apparently, the guy who shot up the Florida school board meeting and then offed himself was not only an uber-liberal, as evidenced by the V he pained on the wall in reference to that retarded movie V for Vendetta, but he also lists himself as a humanist on his Facebook profile. So let me ask, if it's okay for Dick Dawk and Humble Hitchens to use past committed atrocities done in the name of religion, is it okay for us to use this as evidence for the eradication of atheism?

66 comments:

Ryan Anderson said...

I would say it all washes, for every Mao there's a Hong Xiuquan and for ever dude shooting up a school board meeting, there's a christian woman with a drowned child.

Byron said...

Religion has a terrible track record. On some Baptist blog I was on, a blogger was praising Baptists for never being behind inquisitions and the like. Duh, that's because they've never wielded sufficient power to do so, silly. Religion LOVES power, especially fundamentalist Baptist religion like I am well acquainted with. I personally think the only reason that religious atrocities are not greater in number and severity is due to the lack of political power of many fundamentalist groups (like the SBC).

Havok said...

is it okay for us to use this as evidence for the eradication of atheism?
The best you could do is argue for eradication of humanism (secular humanism, I assume).
It also seems your comparison is flawed - the shooter doesn't seem to be motivated by his atheism/humanism.
Hitch/Dawks on the other hand tend to emphasise atrocities which were motivated by religious beliefs.

bossmanham said...

Ryan and Byron,

I'm going to be really generous to you guys and say that those who killed and said they were Christians is about 2.5 million in Christianity's history. This would include the big ones like the Crusades and anything else that's pointed in pop literature. This is very high, since things like Encarta put the crusades at 100,000.

At, most, the inquisition executions were about 10,000 and those who died in prison maybe 100,000.

So again, very generous with the 2.5 million.

Ok, so Christians, in 20 centuries, maybe responsible for 2 - 3 million deaths. Atheism, in one century, at least 100 million. Seeing as how Mao Zedong killed 80 million and Stalin at least 27 million (direct murders and starvation victims) it's probably more than that. And these deaths flow from the worldview that was wrought by these regimes' atheism. That's how the men rationalized it. Part of communistic thought is taking out part of the population because "people cannot change."

I'm sorry, but the comparison is laughable.

Havok,

Atheism is a necessary condition of secular humanism, and secular humanism is probably the most popular manifestation of atheism, so I think getting at the root is more important than a branch.

It also seems your comparison is flawed - the shooter doesn't seem to be motivated by his atheism/humanism.

The big 'V' didn't do it for you, eh?

This sounds suspiciously like the Christian's defense when the crusades and inquisitions are brought up. While I would actually say the Crusades were justified (thought not some of the actions in the crusades) Christians would say the evil actions done were not in line with the teachings of Christianity. So they didn't flow from Christianity at all, but rather from the minds of men who claimed to be Christian. Anyone can do that.

But Dick Dawk and big Hitch continue to rattle off the atrocities done in the name of God without being so gracious as to listen to us when we say that they weren't. Why should I be so gracious with them?

Havok said...

Bossmanham: And these deaths flow from the worldview that was wrought by these regimes' atheism.
That statement in itself is laughable :-)

Bossmanham: theism is a necessary condition of secular humanism, and secular humanism is probably the most popular manifestation of atheism, so I think getting at the root is more important than a branch.
But, assuming secular humanism WAS a motivating factor in the shooting, this does nothing to indict atheism at all. You'd need to make a further argument that it was atheism and not simply secular humanism which was the motivating factor. And since bare atheism is rather devoid of anything which would conventionally be called motivational (as is bare theism), you'd certainly have your work cut out for you.

Bossmanham: The big 'V' didn't do it for you, eh?
Nope. Not sure what "V for Vendetta" has to do with secular humanism. I recall it being more against the tyranny of government, but perhaps I'm incorrect.

Bossmanham: So they didn't flow from Christianity at all, but rather from the minds of men who claimed to be Christian. Anyone can do that.
They flowed from their Christian beliefs. You may claim that their beliefs were mistaken, but that is a different argument all together (and may result in making a "No true scottman" type of argument).

Bossmanham: But Dick Dawk and big Hitch continue to rattle off the atrocities done in the name of God without being so gracious as to listen to us when we say that they weren't.
If someone says they do X in the name of God, who am I (and you) to contradict their intent?
of course, you may claim that what they did was not something (your conception) of God would have wanted or approved of, but again, that's a different argument, and one which would appear to have some difficulties.

Ryan Anderson said...

Hong Xiuquan rebellion accounted for 20 million. The Albigensian Crusade probably accounted for 1 million alone, and let's not even get into the 30 years war and the Huguenots. But seriously, who's counting?

Ryan Anderson said...

No doubt your laughably reduced body count comes from Vox Days "work", but here's the deal, if we really wanted we could weasel out of the "atheist" body count the same way you do. However, a real man simply looks at the history and says "whoa... ok, don't mix atheism and totalitarianism and/or communism, good to know".

But what do you learn from the horrors your religion has inflicted on humanity? Apparently nothing, because in your mind, only pretenders to your religion or the victims are responsible for the horrors so you stay clean.

Weaselly, very weaselly.

The Seeking Disciple said...

Any killings done in the name of Christ are not a representation of true disciples of Christ since He clearly taught against this (see Matthew 5:38-48; Romans 12:19-21). Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). Our fight is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) and our weapons are not of the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:4-6). The way that disciples of Jesus conquer a nation is not by force but through the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8).

Ryan Anderson said...

Parable of the Talents...

zilch said...

Seeking- whatever you believe is fine with me, if you behave nicely. The question is, do people who consider themselves Christians behave better than people who consider themselves, say, Muslims, or atheists? Doesn't seem so. As an atheist, I don't have access to the information about "true" belief: I can only judge by behavior.

cheers from nominally Catholic but de facto largely atheistic Vienna, zilch

bossmanham said...

That statement in itself is laughable :-)

Yet it’s true. I agree that it’s laughable that atheism is ever even considered, but it does logically lead to the justification of mass murder, whereas Christian theism does not.

But, assuming secular humanism WAS a motivating factor in the shooting, this does nothing to indict atheism at all.

Sure it does, because secular humanism is a rationalization and organization of atheism. Not to mention that atheism would lead to the ability to justify these crimes in any situation. You don’t have anyone to say that it’s bad.

I’m just trying to reason like Dick Dawk and Hitch here. They say because some people say they kill in the name of God, therefore anything associated with God is bad. I’m just extending that to this situation. Maybe you missed the whole point of the post, mm?

Nope. Not sure what "V for Vendetta" has to do with secular humanism. I recall it being more against the tyranny of government, but perhaps I'm incorrect.

Then you missed the whole blatant humanism thing in the movie. The people at humanistsforpeace.com certainly don’t mind associating with the movie. Why do you think this humanist painted the ‘V’ on the wall if he wasn’t influenced by it?

They flowed from their Christian beliefs. You may claim that their beliefs were mistaken, but that is a different argument all together (and may result in making a "No true scottman" type of argument).

If they were mistaken, then they can’t be classified as Christian. That’s the whole point of being mistaken. You aren’t adhering to the actual state of affairs, in this case what Christianity happens to be and teach. Objective moral law = murder bad. Atheism = no objective moral law = murder just another event.


If someone says they do X in the name of God, who am I (and you) to contradict their intent?
of course, you may claim that what they did was not something (your conception) of God would have wanted or approved of, but again, that's a different argument, and one which would appear to have some difficulties.


And if someone is doing something in the name of V for Vendetta, then who are we to contradict that intent, and all of the views associated with it?

Ryan,

No doubt your laughably reduced body count comes from Vox Days "work", but here's the deal, if we really wanted we could weasel out of the "atheist" body count the same way you do

No, it comes from Encarta, Wikipedia, and some of Dinesh D’Sousa’s stuff. The highest estimate for the crusades is 2,000,000. I think it’s more like 30,000, but I’m being generous.

But what do you learn from the horrors your religion has inflicted on humanity? Apparently nothing, because in your mind, only pretenders to your religion or the victims are responsible for the horrors so you stay clean.

What I’ve learned from looking at the killings and the ideologies that the people who committed espouse is you don’t judge an ideology by it’s abusers, especially if the abusers are being inconsistent with said ideology.

Zilch,

whatever you believe is fine with me, if you behave nicely.

And you’ve yet to give a justification for telling people they ought to behave nicely.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: but it does logically lead to the justification of mass murder,
Something as content free as bare atheism certainly doesn't seem able to support a justification of mass murder. I'd be interested in seeing this argument.

Bossmanham: whereas Christian theism does not.
Since people have claimed their Christianity as a reason for violence and mass murder (not to mention Yahweh supposedly commanding it in the bible - there are precedents), along with difficulties in identifying delusion from genuine revelation and the general inconsistency and contradictory nature of the "holy text", I suspect this argument is as unlikely as the one you claim above.

Bossmanham: Sure it does, because secular humanism is a rationalization and organization of atheism.
And the atrocities commited in the name of Islam are an indictment of Theism, since Islam is a rationalisation and organisation of theism. I suspect you're over reaching here.

Bossmanham: Not to mention that atheism would lead to the ability to justify these crimes in any situation.
Again, i'd like to see you develop this argument.

Bossmanham: You don’t have anyone to say that it’s bad.
Reading your comment further down, I thought you opted for objective morality, and yet here you're opting for subjective morality. Strange, no?

Havok said...

Bossmanham: They say because some people say they kill in the name of God, therefore anything associated with God is bad. I’m just extending that to this situation. Maybe you missed the whole point of the post, mm?
I suspect you missed the whole point of the arguments Hitch and Dawks are making. Perhaps you ought to re-read them?

Bossmanham: Then you missed the whole blatant humanism thing in the movie.
Perhaps I did. Please indicate which parts of "underground struggle against totalitarian government" indicates "Humanism"?

Bossmanham: The people at humanistsforpeace.com certainly don’t mind associating with the movie.
Because they seem to be about opposing things which are represented in the movie, perhaps? Doesn't make it a "humanist" movie.

Bossmanham: Why do you think this humanist painted the ‘V’ on the wall if he wasn’t influenced by it?
He may have been influenced by the movie. What you're claiming is that because he was influenced by the movie, therefore Secular Humanism is at fault, yet it seems to me your argument has several large holes in it.

Bossmanham: f they were mistaken, then they can’t be classified as Christian.
You missed the part where I mentioned it was your opinion that they're mistaken. It was their opinion they were not mistaken.

Bossmanham: You aren’t adhering to the actual state of affairs, in this case what Christianity happens to be and teach.
Again, we're working on the claim that in your opinion they're mistaken. I'm sure in they're opinion you'd be mistaken.

Bossmanham: Objective moral law = murder bad.
Unless of course you're asked to by a special person (God). Doesn't seem quite so objective with that little caveat.
So, how can we know that these people who committed murder in the name of the Christian deity were not in fact asked to do so by said Christian deity - The bible has numerous instances of Yahweh commanding murder and death, so it's not without precedent.

Bossmanham: Atheism = no objective moral law = murder just another event.
I suspect you need tom investigate the philosophy of morality and ethics. What you're arguing for, it seems, is not objective morality, but subjective transcendant morality (attached to a person, dependant on that persons desire/will/commands/nature).
While investigating, you may be surprised to find that there are objective moral systems which don't rely on a deity. Happy researching :-)

Bossmanham: And if someone is doing something in the name of V for Vendetta, then who are we to contradict that intent, and all of the views associated with it?
We aren't - I suspect he put the 'V' on the wall as a protest to some (perceived or otherwise) totalitarian attitude or some such from within the school board (or from the larger government).
Now, how we get from there to an indictment of secular humanism is something you still need to accomplish.

bossmanham said...

Havok,

Something as content free as bare atheism certainly doesn't seem able to support a justification of mass murder. I'd be interested in seeing this argument.

It’s the lack of content that would make it possible to support mass murder, or any murder. There is no content within atheism that posits wrongness about any action. Murders and other evils are just events that happen in a mechanistic universe. There’s no more moral component to biological creatures killing each other as there is to a planet orbiting the sun, since both are just a rearrangement of matterial parts. All the communist has to say is that there is no moral authority over them, and therefore they can do what they want.

And besides, atheism is not content free, as it makes many positive knowledge claims. It claims there is no God, that matter is all there is, etc. But it does lack content that would make morality objective.

Since people have claimed their Christianity as a reason for violence and mass murder (not to mention Yahweh supposedly commanding it in the bible - there are precedents), along with difficulties in identifying delusion from genuine revelation and the general inconsistency and contradictory nature of the "holy text", I suspect this argument is as unlikely as the one you claim above.

But they’d be wrong about what Christianity teaches then. Surely you don’t think someone claiming something makes it true, do you?

And the atrocities commited in the name of Islam are an indictment of Theism, since Islam is a rationalisation and organisation of theism. I suspect you're over reaching here.

I suspect you have missed the point of the post.

Again, i'd like to see you develop this argument.

No moral authority = no moral boundaries. Plain and simple.

Reading your comment further down, I thought you opted for objective morality, and yet here you're opting for subjective morality. Strange, no?

I’m not sure whether to take you seriously here, or whether you’re just being dense on purpose. Surely you know that in argumentation you can perform an internal critique of the view you are arguing against. To do this, you, for the sake of argument, grant one of your opponent’s premises and then follow its logic to its end to show it is unacceptable. AKA a reductio ad absurdum. Your worldview is unable to provide an objective morality. Of course I believe there is an objective morality. I’m arguing why atheists can justify evil actions; namely there wouldn’t actually be evil on atheism.

XAtheistX said...

You retard. Atheists argue that it's the religious beliefs that cause harm but what belief inspired harm in this shooting? It's right there in the article. The man was pissed that his wife was fired. The article said “Colbert said Duke’s wife had been terminated from the school board within the past year and that Duke had harbored “some lingering feelings” for Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt, who was present during the meeting.”

That's the motive, not atheism at all, you fool.

bossmanham said...

I wonder if the bigger fool would be the person who can't seem to understand irony, or that no matter the motive, without a morality you can justify any action. Food for thought.

bossmanham said...

I suspect you missed the whole point of the arguments Hitch and Dawks are making. Perhaps you ought to re-read them?

No I got em, which is why I'm parodying them here.

Perhaps I did. Please indicate which parts of "underground struggle against totalitarian government" indicates "Humanism"?

That isn't. It was the whole finding fulfillment in human desires and the rejection (and straw man) of religious authority of any kind. If you missed it, you either had your eyes closed, or are pretty dense.

Because they seem to be about opposing things which are represented in the movie, perhaps? Doesn't make it a "humanist" movie.

No, if you'd actually follow the link to familiarize yourself with the relevant data you'd see that they are promoting the movie as an essential piece of humanist material.

He may have been influenced by the movie. What you're claiming is that because he was influenced by the movie, therefore Secular Humanism is at fault, yet it seems to me your argument has several large holes in it.

Yes, I'm arguing like Dick Dawk and Hitch. Either you're starting to get it, or you really are that clueless.

You missed the part where I mentioned it was your opinion that they're mistaken. It was their opinion they were not mistaken.

It's your opinion that atheism doesn't lead to violence. It was Mao's opinion that it does.

Again, we're working on the claim that in your opinion they're mistaken. I'm sure in they're opinion you'd be mistaken.

And we're working on the claim that in your opinion, Mao was wrong. I'm sure he'd think you were too. I'm so glad that opinions determine truth. Aren't you?

Unless of course you're asked to by a special person (God). Doesn't seem quite so objective with that little caveat.

Funny that one can't act against one's nature, therefore God couldn't command murder...hmm.... Don't tell me you don't know that murder is the unjustified subset of killing. There are just killings. Or were you ignorant of that fact?

The bible has numerous instances of Yahweh commanding murder and death, so it's not without precedent.

No, the Bible has instances of Yahweh commanding killing. It's logically impossible for that to be murder.

I suspect you need tom investigate the philosophy of morality and ethics

Any atheistic morality is subjective. That means it's based on personal preference. That means there is no objective morality beyond what people arbitrarily choose. That means that there's no way to tell people they ought to adhere to your arbitrarily chosen moral system. That means that what they do isn't really wrong. Just like green isn't really blue.

What you're arguing for, it seems, is not objective morality, but subjective transcendant morality (attached to a person, dependant on that persons desire/will/commands/nature).

Well, since it's a morality that is true for all in spite of what they think, that can't be construed as subjective.

While investigating, you may be surprised to find that there are objective moral systems which don't rely on a deity

Already done. They're all subjective.

We aren't - I suspect he put the 'V' on the wall as a protest to some (perceived or otherwise) totalitarian attitude or some such from within the school board (or from the larger government).
Now, how we get from there to an indictment of secular humanism is something you still need to accomplish.


And then justified his reaction with his secular humanistic worldview. Ta da!

Havok said...

Bossmanham: There is no content within atheism that posits wrongness about any action.
Nor is there any such content in bare theism, but you're not arguing against theism for some reason :-)

Bossmanham: Murders and other evils are just events that happen in a mechanistic universe...
Now you're going beyond what atheism entails. Atheism doesn't entail physicalism, fatalism, or amorlity or whatever it is you seem to be arguing against here.

Bossmanham: All the communist has to say is that there is no moral authority over them, and therefore they can do what they want.
"All the Christian has to say is that God told them to do it and therefore they can do whatever they want".
Whatever moral laws you think do exist, there is nothing stopping people from doing whatever they want anyway. Morality is not like gravity. Now, we can appeal to shared values, and use punishment and reward etc to try to shape behaviour, but even if your deity existed people can still do what they want - it's a basic component of many theodicies.

Bossmanham: It claims there is no God, that matter is all there is, etc. But it does lack content that would make morality objective.
Actually, it only entails the first one, and it's usually in a weaker sense, claiming what we have no knowledge or good evidence that a god exists.
As for objective morality, you don't seem to be using the term in the normal fashion - you're arguing for some form or transcendant morality rather than simply objectivity - there are non-theistic objective moral theories.

Bossmanham: But they’d be wrong about what Christianity teaches then. Surely you don’t think someone claiming something makes it true, do you?
Would they be wrong though? The text is contradictory and inconsistent. If you think God has told you to do something (whether through plain revelation, some scriptural revelation, or whatever) you have a moral obligation to follow through on it. Since "good" as applied to your God doesn't seem to be "good" as we apply it to other persons, and since your God can supposedly allow and/or order "evil" deeds in order to achieve some greater good (which is usually somehow mysterious) I don't see how you can claim these people were plainly wrong.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: I suspect you have missed the point of the post.
I still don't think so. You seem to equate atheism with something much more developed, and are arguing against the latter position, not the former.

Bossmanham: No moral authority = no moral boundaries. Plain and simple.
You're yet yo equate athiesm with having no moral boundaries. Even the subjective and/or relativist moral theories you seem to rail against have boundaries. I suspect even those who deny morality, such as amoralists, would say there are boundaries on behaviour (though they'd likely then claim that claiming something was good/evil in any real sense was nonsensical).

Bossmanham: I’m not sure whether to take you seriously here, or whether you’re just being dense on purpose.
Well, you claim objective morality exists under your version of Christian Theism, then you go on to claim that this morality relies upon the will/command/nature/whatever of a person (God). That seems to be the very definition of subjective morality.
Take that however you will :-)

Bossmanham: Your worldview is unable to provide an objective morality.
You're yet to demonstrate that. You've claimed it a few times, but you've not developed the argument further. As I suggested earlier, if you look into various ethical systems you may be surprised to find that there are objective moral systems which do not rely upon your God (or any other deity).

Bossmanham: Of course I believe there is an objective morality.
I understand that you "think" you believe in objective morality. But what you're actually arguing for is a subjective moral system. You're also claiming that morality requires objectivity, and so I think you have a serious problem with your claims.

bossmanham said...

havok,

Nor is there any such content in bare theism, but you're not arguing against theism for some reason :-)

I am arguing for Christian theism. I thought that was pretty clear. No version of atheism can posit wrongness, some versions of theism can.

Now you're going beyond what atheism entails. Atheism doesn't entail physicalism, fatalism, or amorlity or whatever it is you seem to be arguing against here.

I can't see how you can be an atheist and not be a physicalist, though I'm aware there are those who try. That doesn't change anything about this argument.

I think atheism does entail DETERMINISM, not fatalism. Unless there's some immaterial agent to break the deterministic chain, this universe would operate like a stack of dominoes. Though this too is irrelevant to this argument.

And without a source of morality, then we're left with no such thing as morality; ergo amoral.

"All the Christian has to say is that God told them to do it and therefore they can do whatever they want".

No, because there is a revelation of God that says the exact opposite. If a claimed command says otherwise, then it is not from God.

Whatever moral laws you think do exist, there is nothing stopping people from doing whatever they want anyway.

Yeah, people can sin. Shocker!

But people can't do whatever they want and get away with it. Either your sins are taken car of by Christ, or you are judged for them. No one gets away with their moral crimes on Christianity. You can't say that on atheism.

Actually, it only entails the first one, and it's usually in a weaker sense, claiming what we have no knowledge or good evidence that a god exists.

You may want to view this post to see how I feel about that.

As for objective morality, you don't seem to be using the term in the normal fashion - you're arguing for some form or transcendant morality rather than simply objectivity - there are non-theistic objective moral theories.

Objective morality would be like physical objectivism. There is a tree in my front yard regardless of what anyone else thinks, whether they want there to be one or not, whether they like trees or not. Same with objective morality. It's true regardless of what people think. So yes, I'm arguing for something that transcends human attitudes and thoughts.

No atheistic moral theory can say that. Redefining things doesn't change that.

Would they be wrong though? The text is contradictory and inconsistent.

Of course you have to say that. But we're not even talking about Biblical inerrancy here. Orthodox Christianity has certain doctrines that, if one runs afoul of them, they aren't orthodox Christians.

Also, you don't need Biblical inerrancy to have a good historical record of the teachings of Christ, which if one runs afoul of they can't consider themselves following Chistian teaching.

But no supposed contradiction of the Bible ever holds up under scrutiny, and even if there is one that seems hard to solve, it is not a reason to abandon inerrancy. JP Moreland explains in this paper that minor unexplained facts aren't enough warrant to completely overhaul your thinking.

bossmanham said...

Havok 2,

If you think God has told you to do something (whether through plain revelation, some scriptural revelation, or whatever) you have a moral obligation to follow through on it.

If it blatantly contradicts Christian teachings, then it can't be called Christian. Of course people can say God told them to do something. They even may actually believe it and may themselves think it is Christian. But if it doesn't correlate to the objective teachings of Christianity, then it can't be considered Christian.

This is true of any ideology. If it doesn't match up, it can't be associated with whatever ideology it is being claimed to follow. This is easy. I don't understand why you're having so much trouble here.

I still don't think so. You seem to equate atheism with something much more developed, and are arguing against the latter position, not the former.

Nope. Atheism of all stripes lacks a source of objective morality.

You're yet yo equate athiesm with having no moral boundaries.

I just did it. There's no moral authority, so that entails there's no moral boundaries. I'm not claiming the no moral boundaries thing without the former premise.

Even the subjective and/or relativist moral theories you seem to rail against have boundaries.

They may, but they aren't...now listen closely because you obviously missed what you just quoted...they aren't authoritative. There's nothing to tell people they ought to adhere to them. So there's no real moral boundary, just ones people pretend they have.

So, to clarify. no moral authority entails no moral boundaries.

Well, you claim objective morality exists under your version of Christian Theism, then you go on to claim that this morality relies upon the will/command/nature/whatever of a person (God).

It does depend on the nature of that God who exists necessarily. The moral aspect of His nature exists necessarily as well. That is an *gasp* objective truth. That's not the definition of subjective in the least. Subjective is something that is based on what someone thinks. Chocolate is only delicious if someone thinks so. God is who He is regardless of what people think.

Seems as though you've been taken in by this rather weak attempt at conflating definitions by Muehlhauser. Hopefully you give it up after this sad attempt. It really is a bad argument.

Bossmanham: Your worldview is unable to provide an objective morality.
You're yet to demonstrate that. You've claimed it a few times, but you've not developed the argument further.


No, I've shown it several times.

As I suggested earlier, if you look into various ethical systems you may be surprised to find that there are objective moral systems which do not rely upon your God (or any other deity).

And you may want to scroll up and see my response to that. You claim there are said moral systems, let's see one.

I understand that you "think" you believe in objective morality. But what you're actually arguing for is a subjective moral system.

Let's see. DCT is true in spite of what anyone thinks, doesn't depend on thought in the least, applies to everyone
, and everyone is held accountable to it...I wonder if you missed this word in English class.


You're also claiming that morality requires objectivity, and so I think you have a serious problem with your claims.

No I'm not. You can make up your own moral code on atheism, and it would exist, but it's entirely dependent on you existing to carry it on. It depends entirely on what you think. That could be conflated as some kind of morality, but not one that anyone intuitively senses as true.

Havok said...

Bossmanham, you're yet to show that theism provides the only possible account of objective morality, or show that objective morality exists or must exist. Various forms of moral systems which posit intrinsic value, or other "realist" moral objects would seem to show objective morality is possible on non-theism/atheism (some forms of consequentialism/utilitarianism seem to fall into this category). Also, the number of anti-realist moral systems which are also still live options seem to demonstrate that objective morality isn't a prerequisite/requirement.

You're now claiming that due to God being a necessary being (a somewhat bald stance given the controversial state of ontological arguments), and that this being's nature is also necessary, the content of this nature is an objective fact. While it may be the case, should we accept the controversial premises of this argument, that God having a nature is an objective fact, the content of that nature just happening to correspond to "the good" still seems to fall afoul of Euthyphro, which can be restated (here from Michael Martin):
"While some retort that goodness flows from God's nature, this merely changes the form of the dilemma: Is compassion good because it is a part of God's nature, or is compassion a part of God's nature because it is already good? The first option produces problems parallel to those for DCT. If malice were a part of God's nature, for instance, it is doubtful that malice would automatically be good. If there are any objective moral standards at all, then a god can be either good or evil, and the assessment of a god's character would depend upon appealing to standards independent of any god's commands, opinions, statements, nature, or character."

So, rather than having shown that atheism provides no basis for morality/moral behaviour, nor any sort of moral authority, you seem rather to be relying upon your own opinion in these matters.
You also seem to have dismissed all of the difficulties that come with DCT ethics, such as Euthyphro, how/why moral obligations are owed, why the morality is arbitrary (most seem to apply the moral commands to us but not to God, so it's not a universal morality), various formulations of the problem of evil, etc.
While the discussion does seem to be ongoing, to simply claim victory without any sort of nod towards these problems and the further issues proposed solutions seem to yield seems to be rather premature.

Havok said...

Regarding Christians who justify moral atrocities by reference to their faith, given the diverse nature of revelation claimed within the bible (genocide, infantocide, brotherly love etc) as well as the behaviour of Yahweh (Noahide flood, Ananias & Sapphira), and what seems to be a general inability to distinguish between "genuine" and false revelations, I really can't see how your claims that these people were not "real Christians" can be held. It seems to come down to your own beliefs being unable to countenance such a thing, and yet your own holy books says such things have most certainly happened in the past.

Havok said...

The J.P. Moreland discussion, while interesting, fails to take into account that scientific theories are actually abandoned in praactice. While there may be no strict critieria for this, it seems a general indication is the theory accumulating ad-hoc assumptions WITHOUT further clarification or predictive power. And this appears to be exactly what biblical innerancy as it is generally put forward seems to be - all additional assumptions and rationalisations seem to do nothing but prop up the claim.

Havok said...

And, back to the actual topic of the post. Thus far you've asserted that the gunman's Secular Humanism was motivation for his actions, and therefore atheism ought to be blamed. Your evidence has been the 'V' which the gunman scrawled on a wall, a nod to the 'V for Vendetta' movie. You claim that because the content of the movie was anti-religious authority, presented a "humanist" philosophy and is claimed by a Secular Humanist Group as "require viewing" as justification for the claim that Secular Humanism was a/the motivating factor. Even if we were to accept these claims (which I think are doubtful, though apparently that is something of the point you're making regarding the parady of Hitchens/Dawkins arguments), there is still no reason to "go after" atheism given. As I've mentioned above, Hitchens and Dawkins don't seem to lay blame at the feet of Theism for atrocities commited in the name of Christianity/Islam/whatever. They tend to lay the blame at the feet of the specific religion in question (and then perhaps generalise to all religions, due to the shared nature of unquestionable authority?), but still don't argue against general theism. So even as a parody, your particular argument fails to be faithful to the arguments you're riffing off of.

bossmanham said...

Bossmanham, you're yet to show that theism provides the only possible account of objective morality, or show that objective morality exists or must exist.

Nope, shown it quite well. All moral systems created by humans are based on a subjective and contingent ground. Ergo, they cannot be objectively true.

Various forms of moral systems which posit intrinsic value, or other "realist" moral objects would seem to show objective morality is possible on non-theism/atheism (some forms of consequentialism/utilitarianism seem to fall into this category).

All of the supposed value is simply subjective thought processes of contingent creatures and is not true unless they value it.

Also, the number of anti-realist moral systems which are also still live options seem to demonstrate that objective morality isn't a prerequisite/requirement.

Thee assertions, no arguments, strike out.

You're now claiming that due to God being a necessary being (a somewhat bald stance given the controversial state of ontological arguments)

Irrelevant. The God under discussion would be a necessary being by definition. If you're talking about some other god, then go do it with someone who cares.

Michael Martin doesn't seem to get it. Compassion IS good because it is part of God's essential nature, yes. His question about malice is silly, since God is who He is necessarily, in every possible world, and therefore it's a meaningless question. A being with a malicious nature would not be what we're talking about here. Awful awful argument. Paul Copan refutes it here.

So, rather than having shown that atheism provides no basis for morality/moral behaviour, nor any sort of moral authority, you seem rather to be relying upon your own opinion in these matters.

No, I'm relying on reason and logical argumentation. I appreciate your opinion, however.

You also seem to have dismissed all of the difficulties that come with DCT ethics, such as Euthyphro

I've ignored that because it isn't a problem.

how/why moral obligations are owed

Because God gave us our existence and rules His creation. He is the governor of it, we are subject to His laws.

why the morality is arbitrary (most seem to apply the moral commands to us but not to God, so it's not a universal morality)

God is the definition of goodness. He IS the good. Just as there is a definition of a meter. You don't measure the definition of a meter against anything else to see if it's actually a meter. God does act in accordance to His nature, however, so every act He would perform would be good as it would correlate to His nature.

various formulations of the problem of evil,

None of which hold against theistic defenses, not to mention that the problem of evil assumes a moral objectivity on the level of DCT.

bossmanham said...

While the discussion does seem to be ongoing, to simply claim victory without any sort of nod towards these problems and the further issues proposed solutions seem to yield seems to be rather premature.

Except it's not. The atheist arguments simply fail here.

Regarding Christians who justify moral atrocities by reference to their faith, given the diverse nature of revelation claimed within the bible...and what seems to be a general inability to distinguish between "genuine" and false revelations, I really can't see how your claims that these people were not "real Christians" can be held. It seems to come down to your own beliefs being unable to countenance such a thing, and yet your own holy books says such things have most certainly happened in the past.

You're assuming a lot in this assertion. First of all, it's a de jure objection based on whether it's reasonable to claim to be able to understand divine revelation. But I've already stated that I'm not relying on Biblical inerrancy, but on the accepted Christian creeds of antiquity and the teachings of Christ, which are almost universally granted.

Second, even if there is some disagreement, that doesn't mean that no one can understand it, since this de jure objection can be applied to any form of literature. It's pretty clear that we can understand things.

Third, you're assuming that things done by God in the OT (and in the NT, since Yahweh will condemn people to hell) are evil in some way, which I argue is impossible. Just because they make you queasy doesn't mean they're bad. You're not the ontological foundation of morality.

Fourth, you assume that these things aren't Christian dogma, but they clearly are. But, they also aren't akin to moral atrocities committed by misguided midieval Christians.

Your comments on the Moreland paper: I don't see how you think this is relevant. Small unresolved issues one may have with the Bible are not enough to drop Biblical inerrancy for many reaons, not least of which is the possibility we don't have enough information. And what you said is false anyway, since there are often holes in theories that don't automatically invalidate the scientific theory. It's inherent in the method of induction to have this ambiguity in evidence.

On your final post, I think I have sufficiently argued for all of my points, and you haven't offered sufficient rebuttal arguments, but only assertions. Further, it's false that Hitch and Dawk only pinpoint specific religions, and irrelevant even if true. Dawkins very clearly detests all religion as seen here. On the point's irrelevancy, even if he is pinpointing specific religions, my parody still holds and his method of reasoning is employing the same fallacy; the guilt by association fallacy.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: Paul Copan refutes it here.
Following the full exchange, found here, it seems Martin wasn't satisfied with Copan's responses and claims. To claim Copan refutes Martin seems a little premature.
Martin's point about Copan's (and your) reliance upon a necessary being seems rather problematic given the lack of a successful ontological argument.

Bossmanham: I've ignored that because it isn't a problem.
And, as Martin points out Copan's arguments against this point fail.

Bossmanham: None of which hold against theistic defenses
Really? How do you figure that?

Bossmanham: not to mention that the problem of evil assumes a moral objectivity on the level of DCT.
I can assume your claim for the sake of pointing out it's flaws, without actually believing it. If God and morality exist as you claim, then it seems the problem of evil has force (and therefore, God and morality cannot/do not exist in the way you claim).

Bossmanham: The atheist arguments simply fail here.
Yet they're taken seriously, discussed, disected, etc in Philosophical circles.

Bossmanham: Third, you're assuming that things done by God in the OT (and in the NT, since Yahweh will condemn people to hell) are evil in some way, which I argue is impossible.
You claimed "atrocities" would be against the nature of God, and yet according to the bible, God did order atrocities in the past. You can (and others do) claim that God has sufficient reason for ordering those acts in the past, but we could not be sure that God doesn't have sufficient reason for other atrocities which have been done in the name of God.
I don't see how one can/could distinguish legitimate from illegitimate "commands" from God?

Bossmanham: But, they also aren't akin to moral atrocities committed by misguided midieval Christians.
By your own account, if God ordered/approved of those atrocites, as the perpetrators seem to have believed, then they aren't moral atrocities, by your own lights.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: Small unresolved issues one may have with the Bible are not enough to drop Biblical inerrancy for many reaons, not least of which is the possibility we don't have enough information.
"Small unresolved issues" doesn't describe the many glaring problems with the bible, whether internally or externally. I'm sure you're aware of these numerous "difficulties", and the ad-hoc assumptions added to save the doctrine of Innerancy :-)

Bossmanham: And what you said is false anyway, since there are often holes in theories that don't automatically invalidate the scientific theory.
I don't think I claimed otherwise. What I did say was that "live" theories tend to be confirmed by further evidence, whereas "dead" theories tend to accrete ad-hoc assumptions to protect the base hypothesis - and that the latter is closer to the state of biblical innerancy than the former - ie. It's about as falsified as empirical induction allows us to claim (depending on what you actually claim "Innerancy" means).
Of course you can go on including ad-hoc assumptions to protect the claim of biblical innerancy, but in the end it seems far more reasonable to simply scrap the hypothesis and accept the hypothesis which better/more easily fits the data :-)

Bossmanham: On the point's irrelevancy, even if he is pinpointing specific religions, my parody still holds and his method of reasoning is employing the same fallacy; the guilt by association fallacy.
I think you're still missing the point. Dawkins and Hitch don't seem to tar bare theism when they point out the "evils" of religion. You're parody attempts to tar bare atheism, and therefore fails to be a successful mirror of their arguments. Dawkins and Hitchens could paint all religions as a groups, as being "evil" or bad, and your parody would still fail because simple belief in God doesn't require a religion. I'm not sure where they actually argue that belief in a deity (not the deity(s) of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc) is "bad" - there are seemingly always qualifications (acceptance of doctrine, dismissal of empirical evidence, etc) which they characterise as being "wrong". So I still don't see that your parody is a successful reversal of their own statements.

bossmanham said...

Havok, it's kind of weird to pick this up after almost a month.

Your link takes me to my own post. I'm not sure if you meant to do that.

I never relied on the ontological argument here, though I think it is sound. Rather I'm relying on the Christian definition of God. As I said, if you want to talk about some other god, go elsewhere. If God exists then He exists necessarily and has the maximal degree of great making properties. Goodness is one of those properties, and His very nature is good. This is definitional.

And Copan refuted the very point you brought up as a problem, so to that extent he has refuted Martin.

And, as Martin points out Copan's arguments against this point fail.

I've not seen that at all. Why don't you tell me how they fail? All you're doing now is asserting such.

Bossmanham: None of which hold against theistic defenses
Really? How do you figure that?


The problem of evil hasn't been a logical problem for the theist for years.

I can assume your claim for the sake of pointing out it's flaws, without actually believing it. If God and morality exist as you claim, then it seems the problem of evil has force (and therefore, God and morality cannot/do not exist in the way you claim).

Then if morality doesn't exist, you can't say that evil precludes the existence of God, because evil would not exist.

Bossmanham: The atheist arguments simply fail here.
Yet they're taken seriously, discussed, disected, etc in Philosophical circles.


Not really that seriously. Who cares anyway, you clearly aren't discussing them here, you're just throwing around these buzz phrases in your assertions and expecting me to roll over. Argue your position or your posts are purposeless.

You claimed "atrocities" would be against the nature of God, and yet according to the bible, God did order atrocities in the past.

The BIble never says, "God ordered atrocities." YOU think they're atrocities, but who the heck are you? If God orders something, it is not an atrocity. It flows from His necessarily good nature. Furthermore, Copan has pretty much demolished this line of reasoning anyway.

You can (and others do) claim that God has sufficient reason for ordering those acts in the past, but we could not be sure that God doesn't have sufficient reason for other atrocities which have been done in the name of God.

No, I argue that if God commands it then it isn't a moral atrocity, otherwise God wouldn't command it. God's commands flow from His necessarily good nature, so if he commands you to kill someone then the killing is justified. Killing without justification is murder, but a divine command (or self defense) gives someone a justified reason to kill. That would mean that these aren't atrocities. And it's pretty obvious that God has reasons to command what He does.

By your own account, if God ordered/approved of those atrocites, as the perpetrators seem to have believed, then they aren't moral atrocities, by your own lights.

Which means I don't think God ordered the silly things some medieval Christians did. Shocker, huh?

bossmanham said...

"Small unresolved issues" doesn't describe the many glaring problems with the bible, whether internally or externally. I'm sure you're aware of these numerous "difficulties", and the ad-hoc assumptions added to save the doctrine of Innerancy :-)

I'm aware of some difficulties brought about by an ignorant or ungracious reading of the text. Once corrected, you'd think atheists would shut up about it. No such luck I suppose. And you'd have to clarify what ad hoc assumptions one has to have to believe in inerrancy.

What I did say was that "live" theories tend to be confirmed by further evidence, whereas "dead" theories tend to accrete ad-hoc assumptions to protect the base hypothesis

Which doesn't advance the conversation in the least, and is false anyway.

It's about as falsified as empirical induction allows us to claim (depending on what you actually claim "Innerancy" means).

This sentence is pretty poorly formulated. Are you saying that empirical findings have disproved the Bible? That's a laugh riot. Wait, I've been keeping track; this is literally your three hundredth unbacked assertion.

I think you're still missing the point. Dawkins and Hitch don't seem to tar bare theism when they point out the "evils" of religion. You're parody attempts to tar bare atheism, and therefore fails to be a successful mirror of their arguments.

1) You invented the term "bare atheism." Atheism itself entails many things, as I've argued for here. One of them is no moral authority. 2) Hawk and Hitch DO criticize religion as a whole and in general, which I've also provided a link to corroborate. 3) You obviously don't know much about the guys you are defending. 4) It says a lot about you that you'd defend people whose positions are so intellectually weak.

Dawkins and Hitchens could paint all religions as a groups, as being "evil" or bad, and your parody would still fail because simple belief in God doesn't require a religion

How does this hurt my parody?

I'm not sure where they actually argue that belief in a deity (not the deity(s) of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc) is "bad"

Are you kidding? His book is THE GOD DELUSION. He thinks people that believe in God are deluded. He thinks that belief is bad.

So I still don't see that your parody is a successful reversal of their own statements.

Well, I can't overcome the denseness of everyone.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: Havok, it's kind of weird to pick this up after almost a month.
People tend to do stuff around this time of year you know - only just got to write the response :-)

Bossmanham: Your link takes me to my own post. I'm not sure if you meant to do that.
My mistake - the link to the Martin-Copin exchange can be found here (fingers crossed this time).

Bossmanham: I never relied on the ontological argument here,
Yes you did, when you claimed God as a necessary being (and God being necessarily good). Sure you didn't explicitly mention it, but your argument does rely upon some version of it.

Bossmanham: though I think it is sound.
It's nice that you think so, but I'm unaware of any formulations which are.

Bossmanham: If God exists then He exists NECESSARILY and has the maximal degree of great making properties. Goodness is one of those properties, and His very nature is good. This is definitional.
There you go - relying upon there being a necessary being, which needs an successful ontological argument to get of the ground, as far as I can tell - you can't simply define something into existence :-)

Bossmanham: And Copan refuted the very point you brought up as a problem, so to that extent he has refuted Martin.
Martin, in his further reply to Copan didn't think it the case:
"Has EMAR escaped the other horn--the dependence horn? No, it has not. As noted, the thesis that morality is dependent on God is not established by the thesis that moral goodness is part of God's essential attributes. In addition, EMAR does not establish that God's moral attributes are moral simply because they are necessary attributes of God. Moreover, I have offered reason to suppose that objective morality is possible without God. Further, the view that morality is dependent on God's essential nature has absurd implications.". Copan's further reply doesn't seem to refute the points Martin makes (as he points out in his final response).


Bossmanham: I've not seen that at all. Why don't you tell me how they fail? All you're doing now is asserting such.
Martin points out in his final response:
"I gave no less then seven arguments against EMAR:
(1) EMAR conflicts with a common view of God.
(2) It does not follow that if a property is an essential property of God, it could not exist without God.
(3) There is no contradiction in denying God and asserting that there are moral facts.
(4) There is no good argument that moral facts are improbable in a godless universe.
(5) It is a fallacy to argue that if a moral attribute is an essential property of God, then it is a moral attribute because of this.
(6) Naturalistic objective ethical theories remain unrefuted.
(7) The view that morality depends on God conflicts with our well-supported judgments that the torture of babies is wrong.

Copan does not begin to answer all these points...

Havok said...

Bossmanham: The problem of evil hasn't been a logical problem for the theist for years.
This (which also seems to be reformulated here) look to "get around" the Free Will Defense. This, while still appearing to be a work in progress, introduces the LPE from a slightly different angle.
And still, assuming that the LPE is not a problem does not invalidate the evidential problem of evil :-)

Bossmanham: Then if morality doesn't exist, you can't say that evil precludes the existence of God, because evil would not exist.
If we assume morality doesn't exist then, assuming some conception of God actually exists, it isn't the one you're championing.
If we assume your God exists, then the LPE shows (if successful) that this is contradictory, and the EPE shows that this is highly unlikely.

Bossmanham: Argue your position or your posts are purposeless.
The simple fact that the Martin-Copan exchange took place along with publications concerning Eurythpro, and DCT by both theists and atheists alike is evidence that the discussion is ongoing and your claims of victory seem premature.

Bossmanham: Which means I don't think God ordered the silly things some medieval Christians did. Shocker, huh?
I don't see how you can make this determination in anything other than an ad-hoc fashion. How can one tell a genuine command from delusion?

Bossmanham: And you'd have to clarify what ad hoc assumptions one has to have to believe in inerrancy.
Depends on what "variety" of innerancy you hold to. It seems many stories presented as "historical events" retreat into myth and metaphor (Noah's flood for example) when found lacking by empirical investigation.

Bossmanham: Which doesn't advance the conversation in the least, and is false anyway.
You may have to illuminate just why this is false (hopefully not only due to sloppy language).

Bossmanham: Are you saying that empirical findings have disproved the Bible?
Parts of it, yes. For example, the Conquest of Canaan, as presented in the bible, doesn't seem supported by archaeological findings (same for the Exodus, Noah's flood as mentioned above, the "united kingdom", etc).

Bossmanham: Wait, I've been keeping track; this is literally your three hundredth unbacked assertion.
Shucks, thanks for keeping count.

Bossmanham: Atheism itself entails many things, as I've argued for here. One of them is no moral authority.
No, you've made the claim, but you've not actually argued the point (not successfully anyway).

Bossmanham: Hawk and Hitch DO criticize religion as a whole and in general, which I've also provided a link to corroborate.
But not bare belief in a God, from my recollection. From memory it's more to do with acceptance of things on faith and from authority, without sufficient evidence, which seems to be (or at least, they argue that it is) a trait unfortunate trait religions share.

Bossmanham: Are you kidding? His book is THE GOD DELUSION. He thinks people that believe in God are deluded. He thinks that belief is bad.
Where God is (one of the) Abrahamic deities (focussed on Christianity).
He thinks belief without sufficient (and in the face of contrary) evidence is bad.

bossmanham said...

My mistake - the link to the Martin-Copin exchange can be found here (fingers crossed this time).

Ok, now your goal is to tell me why the response I gave is wrong.

Yes you did, when you claimed God as a necessary being (and God being necessarily good). Sure you didn't explicitly mention it, but your argument does rely upon some version of it.

That's not the ontological argument. That's definitional. My argument in no way depends on the success of the ontological argument.

It's nice that you think so, but I'm unaware of any formulations which are.

Your ignorance doesn't bother me.

There you go - relying upon there being a necessary being, which needs an successful ontological argument to get of the ground

No it doesn't. All it needs is a defined word. I don't need other theistic arguments to make statements about the one I have already defined. Those arguments may lend support to the argument that God exists, but we're dealing with the conditional propositions IF this God exists...

You're simply stacking the deck to say I HAVE to have supported the ontological argument to say anything about God. If God exists, He is who He is by definition. If moral goodness is an essential attribute of a being, then moral badness cannot come from that being. If that being were some other way, we'd no longer be talking about the same being.

as far as I can tell - you can't simply define something into existence

I never said you could. There are certain essential properties that define GOd. You and Martin say, "well what if God's nature were this way, would morality be different." If the being's nature of whom we are speaking were different, then the being would not be God.

Now, since we are talking about the God of the Bible, I will stick to that. If you want to talk about some other god, go elswhere.

bossmanham said...

Martin, in his further reply to Copan didn't think it the case:
"Has EMAR escaped the other horn--the dependence horn?...


And Copan replies, "But this continues the argument at the epistemological level; you are essentially saying that we don’t have to know or believe in God’s existence to affirm that torturing babies is wrong. I agree. But this evades the ontological point: you are assuming that human beings would be valuable if God did not exist, and that is precisely the point I am contesting. Why is this a problem? There would be no persons—no valuable beings—if God did not exist. Hence, there would be no moral properties to speak of. I’m sure that, unless you’re a Platonist, you would have to admit that on your view, there could be no property of benevolence or justice if there were no intrinsically valuable persons that evolved over time; no such supervenience could take place. But, granting the remarkable unlikelihood of this scenario for the reasons given above, why then do you find it so far-fetched to link moral properties to the ultimate personal Being, in whose image human persons have been made?"

I think another line of argument would also be appropriate. If God exists, then, objectively, morality is what comports to His moral nature by definition. Similar to how a meter is defined by the distance travelled by light in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second, morality is defined by God's essential attributes. You hold up a meter stick and compare it to the distance travelled by light in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second to see if it's a meter, and you hold up moral actions to God's nature to see if they are good.

But Martin seems to be introducing red herrings into the argument. His initial complaint was that the Euthyphro dilemma pertaining to the arbitrariness of morals if based on God's commands also extends to them if they were based on his nature. Theists, Copan in this case, Points out that God's nature, who He is, is hardly arbitrary. So Martin complains about not knowing how morals would be based in God's nature. Essentially, he already conceded the point.

(1) EMAR conflicts with a common view of God.

No it doesn't.

(2) It does not follow that if a property is an essential property of God, it could not exist without God.

Copan gave other arguments for that. No one said it did.

(3) There is no contradiction in denying God and asserting that there are moral facts.

Sure there is, because moral facts can't exist without God. There would only be individual moral preferences, ie moral relativism.

(4) There is no good argument that moral facts are improbable in a godless universe.

Ha, there are a lot of them. The onus is on you to show how objective morality could exist without God.

(5) It is a fallacy to argue that if a moral attribute is an essential property of God, then it is a moral attribute because of this.

Not if that is the definition of morality.

(6) Naturalistic objective ethical theories remain unrefuted.

No they aren't, because all you have to do is point out that they're conditionally based on what humans think. They are relative to how we feel, not based on an objective and binding standard.

(7) The view that morality depends on God conflicts with our well-supported judgments that the torture of babies is wrong.

What is he joking? I must say, Michael Martin isn't that impressive.

bossmanham said...

This (which also seems to be reformulated here) look to "get around" the Free Will Defense. This, while still appearing to be a work in progress, introduces the LPE from a slightly different angle.
And still, assuming that the LPE is not a problem does not invalidate the evidential problem of evil


How about you tell my why the free will defense fail? Throwing atheist's papers at me wihtout at least a summary of the argument makes you look lazy, and I'm not going to refute an entire paper here (though Alexander Pruss has here). My discussion is with you. YOU tell me how it's failed.

If we assume morality doesn't exist then, assuming some conception of God actually exists, it isn't the one you're championing.
If we assume your God exists, then the LPE shows (if successful) that this is contradictory, and the EPE shows that this is highly unlikely.


I've alredy shown in my argument how your argument defeats itself. Objective morality must exist for objective evil to exist, and that entails that God exists. So the co-existence of God and evil must be possible.

The simple fact that the Martin-Copan exchange took place along with publications concerning Eurythpro, and DCT by both theists and atheists alike is evidence that the discussion is ongoing and your claims of victory seem premature.

This response doesn't argue anything. You're still simply asserting things and throwing around some atheist's articles. You are welcome at any time to present your arguments here. Till then, I really have nothing to respond to.

I don't see how you can make this determination in anything other than an ad-hoc fashion. How can one tell a genuine command from delusion?

I don't think you know what ad-hoc even means. I haven't made any ad-hoc statements. All of my statements follow from what I believe.

And just because there's the epistemic issue of how to recognize a genuine divine command in no way calls into question my argument concerning divine commands.

Depends on what "variety" of innerancy you hold to. It seems many stories presented as "historical events" retreat into myth and metaphor (Noah's flood for example) when found lacking by empirical investigation.

Then you're misusing the word "ad-hoc." You need to get its definition straight before you go confusing the argument with an incorrect usage.

Whatever the Bible intends to teach as truth is true. If the Biblical writers used metaphor to get across some truth, then the stories they told not being actual events would not be a strike against inerrancy, because the stories were meant to be metaphorical. Whether that's the case with Noah's ark is another discussion.

You may have to illuminate just why this is false (hopefully not only due to sloppy language).

Because live scientific theories have to explain away conflicting evidence all the time. Not to mention scientists with the same evidence come to entirely different conclusions. One has to look no further than the issue with vaccinations to see this.

bossmanham said...

Parts of it, yes. For example, the Conquest of Canaan, as presented in the bible, doesn't seem supported by archaeological findings (same for the Exodus, Noah's flood as mentioned above, the "united kingdom", etc).

I assume you're referring to Finlestein's work, where he "pretends to describe what we now really know about archaeology and how it contradicts various biblical claims; however, it does so in a biased and non-objective manner. Contrary opinions in interpreting the new evidence are not discussed, much less given a fair hearing. The book is ideologically driven and should be treated that way by any one who reads it."

But I'll go back to JP Moreland's point earlier. Either these supposed archaeological findings are lacking information, or archarologists are misinterpreting it.

No, you've made the claim, but you've not actually argued the point (not successfully anyway).

Actually I did, and you never gave a contradictory argument.

But not bare belief in a God, from my recollection.

That's never been a problem for my parody of their reasoning capabilities. My parody simply points out the guilt by association fallacy, which you seem stubbornly incapable of realizing. Again, I can't overcome the denseness of everyone.

Havok said...

Firstly, it seems to me that your argument regarding morality requires the existence of a necessary being (God), yet all you provide regarding the existence of this being is you think an Ontological Argument succeeds. I'm glad what you think is the final arbiter of truth.
Without reason to think that your necessary being exists, I see little reason to entertain your claims.

Secondly, regarding my (and Martin's) claims regarding the goodness of God, there seems no intrinsic reason why rape (Martin's example) would be condemned by a necessary being, which I think is his point. You're claim, that whatever God's nature is, and whatever he condones given that nature, is good by definition. This is true given your definition of God, but this does not mean that this nature need to conform to what we might see as being "the good". After all, genocide and slavery are both condoned by Yahweh in the bible, and yet neither are seen as "good". You seem to need a further argument as to why it is that God's nature is the way it is, and failing that the charge that said nature is arbitrary - the thing you're arguing against - seems appropriate. Though you claim that Copan and yourself have avoided this charge, I don't think that you have.

As for the EMAR,
(1) it (as Martin points out) conflicts with Volantarism because it constrains God's will/power
(2) Martin seems to think (and I agree) that Copan's arguments fail.
(3) It's far from obvious that moral facts cannot exist without God, and Martin lists a number of moral theories which do not require God to establish moral facts. Copan doesn't seem to interact with these, and you dismiss them without argument.
(4) You claim that they cannot exist, so it's up to you to demonstrate the impossibility - unless you want to make the weaker claim that up till now no one has established that they do (to which I'd respond with the examples Martin uses which purport to do so).
(5) If you're allowed to redefine terms to support your argument, then there seems little point in continuing.
(6) Doesn't work, as you present a strawman for non-theistic objective morality.
(7) You may want to read his letter regarding this, as it's an argument for our intuition that some things are intrinsically wrong (regardless of the existence of God).

Havok said...

On the FWD:
- It seems to require libertarianism, which seems inconsistent and possibly incoherent.
- Requires that some goods require lesser evils, which seems to conflict with the idea of God being the embodiment of (all) good and no evil.
- It requires that God's freedom be less valuelable than ours, which is inconsistent with God's claimed greatness (Pruss addresses this, and the second link I gave addresses Pruss's objections).
- Requires that God could not have done better, even though not everything was under God's control (due to his creations free will - addressed in the 3rd link).

Concerning the LPE/EPE, the statements (1) God is omnipotent (2) God is omnibenevolent (3) Evil exists have not been shown to be in contradiction. Regardless of the actual status of morality (whether it is objective or not, whether God exists or not) the statements above need a resolution (which the FWD attempts, but seemingly fails to provide).

My argument regarding the ongoing discussion concerning DCT's the Eurythphro dilemma etc was merely that it is ongoing. A quick google search would have turned up recent papers by theists and atheists alike demonstrating my statement correct.

Regarding people doing "evil" in the name of God. By your own argument you seem unable to claim this. Whatever God commands must be good, by definition, so if someone acts on God's commands, then he is doing good. But revelation seems indistinguishable from delusion (the epistemic problem you mention), so a person seems unable to be sure whether God has spoken to them or not. You appealed earlier to doctrine, regarding judging if an act is wrong, etc, but since your own text containswhat appear to be, on the surface, horrific acts commanded by your deity (though if we accept your claims, they were acts of goodness), it seems this is no help in determining whether a believed command of God to commit what seems to be an evil is legitimate or not.

Regarding biblical innerancy, how can we tell what it is that the bible intends to teach as true? Adam & Eve seem to be accepted as "real" people by Paul and the Gospel authors (and Jesus if the words put in his mouth are his), and yet the evidence indicates otherwise (Biologos recently did a series of posts on reconciling this problem - all rather terrible). The conquest of Canaan is presented as historical, and yet the evidence doesn't line up (most glaringly Jericho was a ruin and Ai didn't exist at the supposed time). Even archaeological maximalists (Kitcher for example) present a reconstruction which doesn't match the bible (and leave problems like Jericho and Ai unaddressed). There are numerous examples of this, and all of them are rationalised away by believers, either denying the external evidence or assuming hyperbole and exageration (the Noahide flood was merely local) etc.
Contrasting the hypothesis of biblical innerancy with live scientific hypothesis seems a mistake, as hypothesis, while explaining away "difficult data" also add to our understanding of the world. They provide predictive and explanatory power. Biblical Innerancy seems to be limited to adding assumptions to explain away the "difficulties".
I also made note that scientific theories are dropped in favour of competing, more successful theories. Yet here we have a more successful (or at least, less troublesome theory) to explain the bible (that it is simply the work of me who made mistakes, exacgerated, etc).
No, I don't think the contrast with successful scientific theories work - perhaps contrasting innerancy with astrology, homeopathy and the like is more apt.

Regarding your parody, while I understand what you were trying to achieve, you seemed to overreach in your attempt (while at the same time seeming to claim some sort of equivalence). That was the source of my original claim that you ought to have stuck with laying the blame on Secular Humanism.

Havok said...

Oh, you also haven't supported your contention that morality just has to be objective. The work of J.L. Mackie ("Error Theory") and Richard Joyce ("Fictionalism") would be examples of this which you'd need to refute.

bossmanham said...

Firstly, it seems to me that your argument regarding morality requires the existence of a necessary being (God), yet all you provide regarding the existence of this being is you think an Ontological Argument succeeds

Morality does require a necessary being, but the ontological argument doesn't have to succeed for that being to exist. It could be a terrible argument (it's not) and a necessary being could still exist. Come on.

Secondly, regarding my (and Martin's) claims regarding the goodness of God, there seems no intrinsic reason why rape (Martin's example) would be condemned by a necessary being, which I think is his point.

If it is because it is diametrically opposed to that being's very nature, and that being's commands flow from that nature, then there is an intrinsic reason; namely that it is diametrically opposed to that being's very nature.

You're [sic] claim, that whatever God's nature is, and whatever he condones given that nature, is good by definition. This is true given your definition of God, but this does not mean that this nature need to conform to what we might see as being "the good".

Then what you think is the good is wrong.

After all, genocide and slavery are both condoned by Yahweh in the bible, and yet neither are seen as "good"

Both claims demolished in Copan's new book. Not to mention that I and others have torn these stupid and cliched claims apart. See here and here and here.

it (as Martin points out) conflicts with Volantarism because it constrains God's will/power

I don't hold to Voluntarism.

Martin seems to think (and I agree) that Copan's arguments fail.

But they don't, and I've argued about the same thing here.

It's far from obvious that moral facts cannot exist without God, and Martin lists a number of moral theories which do not require God to establish moral facts. Copan doesn't seem to interact with these, and you dismiss them without argument.

I don't, I'm asking you to show how it's the case. No moral theory besides DCT gives an objective ontological basis of morality.

You claim that they cannot exist, so it's up to you to demonstrate the impossibility - unless you want to make the weaker claim that up till now no one has established that they do (to which I'd respond with the examples Martin uses which purport to do so).

I have argued for it here.

If you're allowed to redefine terms to support your argument, then there seems little point in continuing.

You'll need to show where I did that.

Doesn't work, as you present a strawman for non-theistic objective morality.

Yawn...

You may want to read his letter regarding this, as it's an argument for our intuition that some things are intrinsically wrong (regardless of the existence of God).

So?

It seems to require libertarianism, which seems inconsistent and possibly incoherent.

No it isn't.

Requires that some goods require lesser evils, which seems to conflict with the idea of God being the embodiment of (all) good and no evil.

No it doesn't. It argues that God can't decide that there will be no evil if He's given free will.

It requires that God's freedom be less valuelable than ours, which is inconsistent with God's claimed greatness (Pruss addresses this, and the second link I gave addresses Pruss's objections).

No it doesn't.

bossmanham said...

Requires that God could not have done better, even though not everything was under God's control (due to his creations free will - addressed in the 3rd link).

Nope.

You would need to argue for all of these assertions. I know other philosophers have, but I'm speaking to you. If you can't do it, then it's not worth wasting my time here.

You appealed earlier to doctrine, regarding judging if an act is wrong, etc, but since your own text containswhat appear to be, on the surface, horrific acts commanded by your deity (though if we accept your claims, they were acts of goodness), it seems this is no help in determining whether a believed command of God to commit what seems to be an evil is legitimate or not.

Horrific acts on whose judgment? Yours? I see God ordering the demolition of an evil and disgusting people. I see God exercising His right over His creation. I can't construe that as evil or bad.

Trying to extend an epistemic problem to an ontological level just doesn't work.

Regarding biblical innerancy, how can we tell what it is that the bible intends to teach as true?

By intense study and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Of course this again is an epistemic issue. Just because some people have trouble doesn't mean that there's an inherent issue in the text.

archaeology...


Or archaeologists are messing up in their interpretation of the evidence somewhere. Since the vast majority of the Bible matches up just fine with archaeological findings, a few unresolved issues isn't a big deal to me.

Contrasting the hypothesis of biblical innerancy with live scientific hypothesis seems a mistake, as hypothesis, while explaining away "difficult data" also add to our understanding of the world

Hey, so does the Bible (minus the explain away thing)!

They provide predictive and explanatory power.

The Bible presents amazing predictive and explanatory power. Predicts many things, like the coming of the Messiah, the fall of Jerusalem, the return of Christ. Explains all of creation and why there is such strife and turmoil. Huh...

I also made note that scientific theories are dropped in favour of competing, more successful theories

Which makes it seem like I should have trouble believing any scientific theory as literally true when the "truth" is so spasmodic. Looky there, an epistemological problem for scientism.

Regarding your parody, while I understand what you were trying to achieve, you seemed to overreach in your attempt

Only in the eyes of someone who is hopelessly dense, devoted, or deluded.

Oh, you also haven't supported your contention that morality just has to be objective.

I have no reason to think otherwise. Any argument you can give to make me think my moral sense is an illusion, a parallel one can be given to make me think my physical senses are. But I have no reason to believe either. If morals aren't objective, then it's okay to torture babies for fun. It's not okay to torture babies for fun, therefore morals are objective.

Havok said...

Bossmanham, you seem more than happy to claim your own assertions without argument, but require me to argue my case personally and in depth(without reference to more in depth, philosophical papers, apparently).

Perhaps reading the papers I mentioned on the LPE, perhaps Mackie and Joyce (and others) on non-objective morality, as well as non-theistic moral theories (those mentioned by Martin might be a start) and seriously engaging with them might prove interesting to you :-)

It's been fun, but since you don't seem interested in interacting seriously with things which go against your beliefs, I don't see too much point in continuing. Thanks :-)

bossmanham said...

I also want to draw your attention to the past 150 years or so of archaeological Biblical criticism.

1) No evidence present of certain town/event/person.

2) Skeptics deny deny deny that it ever existed.

3) Make fun of Christians.

4) Find evidence of certain town/event/person.

5) Not mention denial.

6) Look for something else to deny.

7) Repeat from 1

bossmanham said...

Maybe someday I will read those papers. They certainly aren't a priority for me today, and you've done nothing here to make any of their cases persuasive.

In denying everything you asserted, I'm doing so because you offered no argument in support of them. I'm not going to go off and read pages and pages of stuff off site by other philosophers and refute it all to you right here. If you were to make the argument yourself, I would. You seem to be unwilling or incapable of doing so. I, therefore, have nothing to answer.

I am interested in serious interaction, which is why this blog exists. When you're ready to bring some, I'll be here. Throwing out random atheist names and papers isn't serious interaction. It would be like me just throwing around Bible verse references without quoting or expounding on them.

Come on, man.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: Morality does require a necessary being
No it doesn't. As I've said before, see the various non-theistic moral philosophies around.

Bossmanham: but the ontological argument doesn't have to succeed for that being to exist.
But absent such an argument there's no reason to think such a being does exist.

Bossmanham: If it is because it is diametrically opposed to that being's very nature
You've given no reason as to why certain are/must be aligned with such a beings very nature, just asserted it to be the case.

Bossmanham: Then what you think is the good is wrong.
So far the definition given by yourself has been lacking.

Bossmanham: Both claims demolished in Copan's new book
If that book is "Is God A Moral Monster?", then I doubt that - it seems to have it's share of negative critiques. If it relies upon Copan's claims regarding a necessary being, then it falls afoul of the objections Martin makes for such things.

Bossmanham: Not to mention that I and others have torn these stupid and cliched claims apart.
Not really. You claim that, by definition, these acts could not have been "evil", but all such rationalisations seem to fail to demonstrate that this was the best/only way in which "God" could achieve it's goals. Such a claim would seem rather difficult given God is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent - there would appear to be a myriad of other ways to achieve whatever aims are claimed for these acts which could be reasonably said to be "better".

Bossmanham: I don't hold to Voluntarism.
Never said you did. As Martin points out, your and Copan's view of morality conflicts with Volantarism, and Volantarism does seem to be a commonlt held position.

Bossmanham: But they don't, and I've argued about the same thing here.
Then how is Martin able to point out, in his final response, the ways in which Copan's response(s) fail?

Bossmanham: I don't, I'm asking you to show how it's the case. No moral theory besides DCT gives an objective ontological basis of morality.
As you continue to claim, but you haven't shown this to be the case. Martin seems to think there are a number of live non-theistic objective moral systems which Copan doesn't seriously address (and neither have you thus far).

Bossmanham: I have argued for it here.
No, you've really just asserted it to be the case, sans proof.

Bossmanham: You'll need to show where I did that.
You said earlier "Not if that is the definition of morality.", regarding Martin's point 5, above. This is not the general definition of morality.
Hence, you seemed to be (re)defining terms to suit your argument.

Bossmanham: Yawn...
Whatever...

Bossmanham: So?
You asked if Martin was being serious regarding something you took as being something of a joke. I pointed out that it was an argument which is taken seriously which had you bothered to read the full Martin-Copan exchange, you would have picked up. You expected me to read Copan's letter, so I assumed you had or would read the entire exchange.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: No it isn't.
It makes decisions essentially random, which seems to take the will out of "free will". "Present Luck" seems to be a/the term used to describe this, and it's problematic because responsibility cannot (seemingly) be attached to things which are a matter of luck.

Bossmanham: No it doesn't. It argues that God can't decide that there will be no evil if He's given free will.
Yes it does. It demonstrates that, since God is the "highest good", and since (it is generally taken) that everything but God exists contingently, God alone could exist, therefore any change from this state, which introduced any evil would be, seemingly by definition, less good.

Bossmanham: No it doesn't.
Pruss' objection to Smith's argument shows that a being who was created by God to always choose the good would be determined by God, and therefore lack an important freedom. The second link I mentioned shows that Pruss' objection also applies to creatures who were created by God to not always choose the good, and therefore there are problems for Pruss' objection.

Bossmanham: (re: moral luck) Nope.
If free will exists in the sense that you seem to require, then God is not in control of everything (specifically because we can choose freely). This means that God's plan is contingent on our choices - had I chosen another way things might have been better/worse. This means that (logically) things could have been better, and therefore while God may not be morally blameworthy for this, he is also not as morally praiseworthy as he could be (due to a reliance upon other beings free choices). Yet God is defined as that which is the most morally praisworthy (generally), which raises a problem.
You may need to read the paper to get a better understanding :-)

Bossmanham: If you can't do it, then it's not worth wasting my time here.
And if you insist upon giving single word and sentence responses instead of indicating what sort of dispute you (may) have to a position, then I see no point in further wasting my time either - hence my previous response.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: Horrific acts on whose judgment? Yours?
Presumably according to God's standards - morality ought to be binding after all.
Also, you've not crossed the epistemic gulf between veridical revelation and delusion, so I don't see that you can claim that these acts were commanded by God rather than being due to delusions on the part of those participating.
It also seems that the evil attributed to the "other" is mostly hyperbole rather than supported by the (extra biblical) evidence.

Bossmanham: I see God ordering the demolition of an evil and disgusting people. I see God exercising His right over His creation. I can't construe that as evil or bad.
And yet I can see many ways in which God could have approached the situation in a different fashion, which would seem, even by the standards espoused within the Bible, to be better. I'm pretty sure you can too. Why can't we expect God to have done these things?

Bossmanham: By intense study and reliance on the Holy Spirit.
Which seems rather circular, given there is no reason to suspect the "Holy Spirit" offers any such aid other than the text of the bible.
It also seems that the Holy Spirit is rather confused, given the proliferation of different interpretations promulgated.

Bossmanham: Since the vast majority of the Bible matches up just fine with archaeological findings, a few unresolved issues isn't a big deal to me.
But it doesn't.
We would expect to find the remains of the sojourn after the exodus, but we haven't. We would expect to find evidence of the military conquest of Canaan, but what we find is far more peaceful (Finkelsteins survey of villages in the Judea region, indicating Hebrew occupation from very early times right into the time of the kingdom of Judah would be a fine example, as would the lack of evidence of violent overthrow of various walled cities within the supposed timeframe).
Of course you can rationalise all of this evidence away as being "a few small unresolved issues", but I see no good reason to do so.

Bossmanham: Predicts many things, like the coming of the Messiah, the fall of Jerusalem, the return of Christ. Explains all of creation and why there is such strife and turmoil. Huh...
"That which explains everything" and all that. I'm sure you've read some of the contrary views on all of those claims, so there doesn't seem much point in reiterating them.

Bossmanham: Which makes it seem like I should have trouble believing any scientific theory as literally true when the "truth" is so spasmodic. Looky there, an epistemological problem for scientism.
Not really, as science is understood to be provisional. We assign confidence to scientific theories based upon how well corroborated they are.

Havok said...

Bossmanham: Only in the eyes of someone who is hopelessly dense, devoted, or deluded.
If you say so it must be true - we already established earlier that what you thought was the final arbiter of truth :-P

Bossmanham: I have no reason to think otherwise. Any argument you can give to make me think my moral sense is an illusion, a parallel one can be given to make me think my physical senses are.
I doubt it, since we have epirical data for those physical sense (eyes, ears, etc). The empirical data for a "moral sense" doesn't support some contact with objective morality, but rather indicates that it's an evolutionary "cludge" of sorts.

I suspect you've never read, or taken seriously, anything written in favour of non-objective morality.
From what I can tell, Mackie's "Error Theory" still garners interest ("Ethics: Inventing Right And Wrong" though it's a little old now). Joyce's "The myth of morality" seems to be a more recent serious effort, though I've not gotten to read it yet.


Bossmanham: But I have no reason to believe either. If morals aren't objective, then it's okay to torture babies for fun. It's not okay to torture babies for fun, therefore morals are objective.
Again with the strawmanning of other views of morality. I'd take your claims of wanting to look seriously into these things if you didn't make these sorts of silly claims and fallacious arguments (Affirming the Consequent in this case).

Havok said...

Ps. And now we see the posts becoming rather large due to needing to address a large number of points, and showing that perhaps it would be more economical of both our time to simply read the papers and then discuss them :-)

bossmanham said...

No it doesn't. As I've said before, see the various non-theistic moral philosophies around.

None of which give us an objective morality.

But absent such an argument there's no reason to think such a being does exist.

Um, except for all the other arguments for theism...

You've given no reason as to why certain are/must be aligned with such a beings very nature, just asserted it to be the case.

It's definitional.

So far the definition given by yourself has been lacking.

To you? So? I don't honestly care whether you're impressed by this definition or not. Your impression doesn't determine whether this is true or not.

If that book is "Is God A Moral Monster?", then I doubt that - it seems to have it's share of negative critiques. If it relies upon Copan's claims regarding a necessary being, then it falls afoul of the objections Martin makes for such things.

You seem to be quite adept at simply waving your hand. Probably the main reason this discussion hasn't gone anywhere; you refuse to actually present an argument or interact with mine at any substantive level.

Not really. You claim that, by definition, these acts could not have been "evil", but all such rationalisations seem to fail to demonstrate that this was the best/only way in which "God" could achieve it's goals

Um, that doesn't entail that it's wrong. An omnipotent being would know.

Such a claim would seem rather difficult given God is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent - there would appear to be a myriad of other ways to achieve whatever aims are claimed for these acts which could be reasonably said to be "better".

This isn't an argument at all, but rather your feeling. You don't like what God did, boo hoo. So? That doesn't mean it's evil (because that's incoherent) or inefficient (because you're not in the position to make that call). What we've got here is an arrogant non-omniscient non-omnipotent being telling an omniscient and omnipotent being that He didn't make the best call. All one can do is laugh at such silliness.

Never said you did. As Martin points out, your and Copan's view of morality conflicts with Volantarism, and Volantarism does seem to be a commonlt held position.

Not by most theistic philosophers.

Then how is Martin able to point out, in his final response, the ways in which Copan's response(s) fail?

He hasn't shown any failing. I would say your speediness to accept his critique is a symptom of your unobjectivity in the matter.

As you continue to claim, but you haven't shown this to be the case. Martin seems to think there are a number of live non-theistic objective moral systems which Copan doesn't seriously address (and neither have you thus far).

And *gasp* whadda ya know. Martin is wrong.

No, you've really just asserted it to be the case, sans proof.

Wow, that's ironic.

You said earlier "Not if that is the definition of morality.", regarding Martin's point 5, above. This is not the general definition of morality.
Hence, you seemed to be (re)defining terms to suit your argument.


Maybe not Martin's definition, but Martin is wrong.

bossmanham said...

You asked if Martin was being serious regarding something you took as being something of a joke. I pointed out that it was an argument which is taken seriously which had you bothered to read the full Martin-Copan exchange, you would have picked up. You expected me to read Copan's letter, so I assumed you had or would read the entire exchange.

As I've said, when you're able to present the argument here, I'll address it. I have presented shortened condensed arguments for my position here and you have simply rushed me off to some atheist philosopher's papers of whom I have no interest. That is a pretty one sided discussion. Can you imagine if in a face to face conversation I kept telling my peer to just read this guy's paper how silly that would get very quickly?

When you are able to present the arguments to me in your words in a form that is appropriate for this setting, I will address it. Until then, you're impeding the conversation.

It makes decisions essentially random, which seems to take the will out of "free will". "Present Luck" seems to be a/the term used to describe this, and it's problematic because responsibility cannot (seemingly) be attached to things which are a matter of luck.

Nope. Decisions made by agents cannot be construed as random. The cause of the decision may be sui generis, but so what? In making decisions, agents are actually paralleling God's creative action. We may have personal reasons for said decision, but the end of the causal chain for a decision is the agent who chooses it.

Yes it does. It demonstrates that, since God is the "highest good", and since (it is generally taken) that everything but God exists contingently, God alone could exist, therefore any change from this state, which introduced any evil would be, seemingly by definition, less good.

Unless a world in which incarnation and atonement is a better world than any that doesn't, even if that world is just God alone. God is the definition of "the good", but it would silly to say that God acting can't bring about great goods. You're making a category mistake.

Pruss' objection to Smith's argument shows that a being who was created by God to always choose the good would be determined by God, and therefore lack an important freedom. The second link I mentioned shows that Pruss' objection also applies to creatures who were created by God to not always choose the good, and therefore there are problems for Pruss' objection.

Now, you present the argument here, and I'll deal with it.

If free will exists in the sense that you seem to require, then God is not in control of everything (specifically because we can choose freely)

God is not in control of other creature's free decisions.

This means that God's plan is contingent on our choices - had I chosen another way things might have been better/worse.

But our choices are contingent on the world in which God places us. You'd need to have an understanding of middle knowledge to correctly frame this answer. Basically, God providentially controls creation by placing people in situation in which He knows what they will choose. The crucifixion as a prime example.

bossmanham said...

This means that (logically) things could have been better, and therefore while God may not be morally blameworthy for this, he is also not as morally praiseworthy as he could be (due to a reliance upon other beings free choices).

Things may be able to be presently better, no issue with that, but it's entirely possible that the ultimate end of things would not obtain in the greatest possible way unless current evils are allowed. Of course this is but one possible explanation. There is also Bruce Little's Creation/order free will theodicy, though I'm less familiar with it.

And if you insist upon giving single word and sentence responses instead of indicating what sort of dispute you (may) have to a position, then I see no point in further wasting my time either - hence my previous response.

Then present the arguments, because what you're doing at present is only asserting certain things without argument, which only garners a one word response; "false."

Presumably according to God's standards - morality ought to be binding after all.

God obviously didn't think what happened was horrific, but rather justice being served. You not liking that changes nothing.

Also, you've not crossed the epistemic gulf between veridical revelation and delusion, so I don't see that you can claim that these acts were commanded by God rather than being due to delusions on the part of those participating.

Christ did that for me when He verified the entire Old Testament as the infallible word of God. But regardless, the epistemic problem doesn't change my initial argument.

And yet I can see many ways in which God could have approached the situation in a different fashion,

Which would be a mistake on your part.

Which seems rather circular, given there is no reason to suspect the "Holy Spirit" offers any such aid other than the text of the bible.


The Holy Spirit exists sans revelation and it really doesn't matter what way you come to know about the work of the Holy Spirit. Us knowing about Him doesn't change what He does. So in no way can this be considered circular.

It also seems that the Holy Spirit is rather confused, given the proliferation of different interpretations promulgated.

Hah, or people don't listen correctly. Which is more likely? We'll see if you can guess.

But it doesn't.

But it does! No other Book is used like the Bible in archaeological study. Thanks for playing, though.

We would expect to find the remains of the sojourn after the exodus, but we haven't.

Not necessarily, knowing how the Egyptians neglected to keep records of embarrassing incidents and the amount of time that has passed since the Exodus. We may yet find it.

bossmanham said...

We would expect to find evidence of the military conquest of Canaan, but what we find is far more peaceful (Finkelsteins survey of villages in the Judea region, indicating Hebrew occupation from very early times right into the time of the kingdom of Judah would be a fine example, as would the lack of evidence of violent overthrow of various walled cities within the supposed timeframe).

Of course I've already cited a critique of Finkelsteins non-objectivity and ideologically driven work.

Of course you can rationalise all of this evidence away as being "a few small unresolved issues", but I see no good reason to do so.

Right, two records of which we lack some evidence for is not "a few." Of course you're aware that the lack of evidence here really isn't indicative of anything.

Not that we really are completely lacking of evidence for either event, but it is a convenient red herring for the dogmatic skeptic.

"That which explains everything" and all that. I'm sure you've read some of the contrary views on all of those claims, so there doesn't seem much point in reiterating them.

But it does show that what you said was false. Congrats.

Not really, as science is understood to be provisional. We assign confidence to scientific theories based upon how well corroborated they are.

So you just repeated the epistemological problem that I just pointed out. Wow. Scientific conclusions are provisional, and if they are the greatest source of truth, then truth is provisional.

I doubt it, since we have epirical data for those physical sense (eyes, ears, etc).

We use those very things to sense empirical data...so this is circular reasoning.

I suspect you've never read, or taken seriously, anything written in favour of non-objective morality.

I actually have. Terrible arguments.

Ps. And now we see the posts becoming rather large due to needing to address a large number of points, and showing that perhaps it would be more economical of both our time to simply read the papers and then discuss them :-)

In my leisure, perhaps. Not for your sake.

Havok said...

None of which give us an objective morality.
So you keep saying, but you've not gotten there yet.

Um, except for all the other arguments for theism...
Apart from being, to use your terms "Terrible arguments.", they don't seem to get you a necessary being, which is required for your claims, as far as I can tell.

It's definitional.
It's word/semantic games.

Your impression doesn't determine whether this is true or not.
Neither does your opinion.

you refuse to actually present an argument or interact with mine at any substantive level.
You made the claim that Copan refutes the ideas in that book. I'm simply pointing out that that claim is far from obviously true.

Um, that doesn't entail that it's wrong. An omnipotent being would know.
You're assuming your conclusion it seems. If we can see that there are ways in which an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being could have acted wchich is more in line with omnipotence and omnibenevolence as we (think) we understand them, then that is evidence that perhaps those acts were not those of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being.

You don't like what God did, boo hoo. So?
Again, you're assuming your conclusion. We're trying to decide IF an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being did certain things.

That doesn't mean it's evil (because that's incoherent) or inefficient (because you're not in the position to make that call).
If after reflection the acts seem to be evil, then that's evidence against your deity performing/allowing them (and counts against biblical innerancy, I suppose). "Optimality" or "efficiency" is something I think we must assume for such a being when analysing it's (purported) actions.

What we've got here is an arrogant non-omniscient non-omnipotent being telling an omniscient and omnipotent being that He didn't make the best call.
No, we've got 2 arrogant, non-omniscient beings discussing the purported actions of an supposed, possibly existent, omniscient, omnipotent being.
Your supposed deity is welcome to plead his case here if you're unable to :-)

Not by most theistic philosophers.
Really? It seems that voluntarism is required for certain theologies (any in which God's power is only curtailed by what is logically impossible). Classical Theism seems to be an example of this. The many Christians writing in about other conceptions of DCT seems to support my contention.

Havok said...

He hasn't shown any failing. I would say your speediness to accept his critique is a symptom of your unobjectivity in the matter.
So you'd be happy to address the points in his final response then?

And *gasp* whadda ya know. Martin is wrong.
I think I'll take the opinion of a number of experts in the field of moral philosophy over some random on the intertubes thanks :-)

Maybe not Martin's definition, but Martin is wrong.
Only if your definition of morality is correct, which it isn't (even if your contentions are correct).
Redefining terms to support your position.

As I've said, when you're able to present the argument here, I'll address it.
You asked about a point Martin made, and I tried to clarify it. I wasn't presenting an argument. Since you referred to Copan's response initially, I had assumed that you'd read the entire back and forth between them. Sorry if I was mistaken.

In making decisions, agents are actually paralleling God's creative action. We may have personal reasons for said decision, but the end of the causal chain for a decision is the agent who chooses it.
In the literature, what you're describing doesn't seem to coincide with how contra-causal or libertarian free will is normally presented. It seems you're actually advocating some version of compatibalism, where the decision process/agent is influenced by the pre existing causal chain. One of the basic claims of libertarian free will seems to be you could have done otherwise, which seems to deny any sort of existing reason for a particular decision - hence the view of them as being essentially "random" or the invocation of "Present Luck".

Unless a world in which incarnation and atonement is a better world than any that doesn't, even if that world is just God alone.
well a world with God alone wouldn't need incarnation and atonement to overcome "evils", and it seems incoherent to say that anything could be added to the world of "God alone" and expect an increase in the amount of "good".

You're making a category mistake.
I may be presenting the argument a little unclearly, but I doubt your claim.

Havok said...

Now, you present the argument here, and I'll deal with it.
Pruss claims:
- God creates Patricia in circumstances C, she has certain counterfactuals of freedom specifying a good action A in C
- and so God determines her doing of A in C.
- since the same is true of every action Patricia performs, and since every action Patricia performs is good, it is (surely!) the case that God determines that she lead a wholly good life.
- Hence, she is not externally free with respect to leading a wholly good life.
The second link shows that Pruss' argument is not limited to created beings leading a wholly good life, but to all created beings:
- God creates Manuel in circumstances C, having counterfactuals of freedom specifying his doing A in C
- means that God determines his doing of A in C.
- The same is true of every action Manuel performs.
"To complete the symmetry, we can let ‘M-life’ denote the kind of life that Manuel would live in C given his counterfactuals of freedom – then, that God creates Manuel in C (surely!) determines that he lead an M-life. Hence, Manuel is not externally free with respect to leading an M-life."

God is not in control of other creature's free decisions.
Which means that the world could have been better had those creature's free decisions been better, which makes God not as morally praiseworthy as perhaps he would otherwise have been, which is incoherent because God is (usually?) claimed to be the most morally praiseworthy being possible.

Basically, God providentially controls creation by placing people in situation in which He knows what they will choose.
God is in control of the exact situations we find ourselves in, and knows how we'll choose in these situations, which seems to rule out "free will" as it is usually envisaged as being important, and would seem to certainly rule out the free will defence.

Things may be able to be presently better, no issue with that, but it's entirely possible that the ultimate end of things would not obtain in the greatest possible way unless current evils are allowed.
Yet things could still be better if creatures made better choices morally, so the point still stands.

Havok said...

God obviously didn't think what happened was horrific, but rather justice being served. You not liking that changes nothing.
Sorry, I'm not having this discussion with God.
YOU obviously don't think what happened was horrific, or have some idea that justice was being served (even though other scenario's would seem obvious and obviously better).
You not liking that your God could have done better doesn't change things.

Christ did that for me when He verified the entire Old Testament as the infallible word of God.
He did that personally, or are you relying upon third hand information for that? :-)

But regardless, the epistemic problem doesn't change my initial argument.
Yeah, it does. It means that you've undermined your own claims to knowing whether something was or was not the act/command of your deity (an epistemic problem for you, which you seem to have admitted to above).

Which would be a mistake on your part.
How so?
Remember, you've not demonstrated your deity as necessarily existing, so this sort of argument appears to be evidence against the existence of God as you're defining it.

The Holy Spirit exists sans revelation and it really doesn't matter what way you come to know about the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit doesn't exist outside of believers heads, so it really does matter how one comes to know about the idea.

Us knowing about Him doesn't change what He does. So in no way can this be considered circular.
Except of course that the only reason you believe the Holy Spirit exists is due to Christian Doctrine (and/or the Bible), and one of the major supporting evidences often cited for the truth of Christian Doctrine (and/or the Bible) is the action of the Holy Spirit.
Not sure how that isn't circular (William Craig cites this explicitely in "Reasonable Faith", and it also seems to form the bedrock of Plantinga's "Reformed Epistemology").

Hah, or people don't listen correctly. Which is more likely? We'll see if you can guess.
We've got an omnipotent, omniscient being communicating - assuming this being wants to be clear, it seems incoherent to think that people even can listen incorrectly.

But it does! No other Book is used like the Bible in archaeological study. Thanks for playing, though.
The role of the bible in archaeology has steadily decreased due to findings which invalidate it's claims to historical accuracy (though you rationalise them away).
Thank you for playing sir! :-)

Not necessarily, knowing how the Egyptians neglected to keep records of embarrassing incidents and the amount of time that has passed since the Exodus. We may yet find it.
So, where are the records of a collapsing economy (due to a huge portion of the population or workers simply moving away)?
Where are the records of this large number of people travelling through the Sinai? (We have evidence of older and smaller groups moving through the area. We also have evidence of the region being dotted with Egyptian outposts).
I'm sure we simply "haven't looked hard enough" - you simply know the Exodus happened, right?

Havok said...

Of course I've already cited a critique of Finkelsteins non-objectivity and ideologically driven work.
Which may be true, but doesn't mean he's wrong, or that his conclusions in this regard are faulty.
I suppose you accept the work of people who aren't objective, and are ideologically driven, when the conclusions match your initial beliefs, right?

Right, two records of which we lack some evidence for is not "a few." Of course you're aware that the lack of evidence here really isn't indicative of anything.
It's a start. There are many, many more (though I wouldn't side with the minimalists in saying there is no history recorded in the bible).

Not that we really are completely lacking of evidence for either event, but it is a convenient red herring for the dogmatic skeptic.
The evidence doesn't support your contentions and in many cases goes against them, regardless of how much you rationalise the situation.

Wow. Scientific conclusions are provisional, and if they are the greatest source of truth, then truth is provisional.
Great non-sequiter.
Scientific conclusions are provisional (big deal).
Scientific conclusions tend to become more accurate as time goes on, and so come closer and closer to the "truth" of reality.

We use those very things to sense empirical data...so this is circular reasoning.
If we start with things which seem undeniable (experiences), it seems we can build up to our scientific conclusions. Things like the function of eyes and ears, when investigated with the conclusions we've gathered previously, support those previous conclusions and assumptions.
It seems a long way from circular.

I actually have. Terrible arguments.
If you say so...

In my leisure, perhaps. Not for your sake.
Take your time, but do try to refrain from making claims (such as the LPE/EPE fails, there is an objective morality and only God can account for it, etc) until you have read them ;-)

bossmanham said...

So you keep saying, but you've not gotten there yet.

Sure I have. Burden of proof is now with you.

Apart from being, to use your terms "Terrible arguments.", they don't seem to get you a necessary being, which is required for your claims, as far as I can tell.

Terrible, yet they've persisted for at least 1000 years, are still being defended by very capable philosophers, and are still being discussed by their detractors. Yeah...we see Havok's sophistication here.

It's word/semantic games.

It's a shame that words have to have meaning, eh?

Neither does your opinion.

Gasp! Really?

You're assuming your conclusion it seems. If we can see that there are ways in which an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being could have acted wchich is more in line with omnipotence and omnibenevolence as we (think) we understand them, then that is evidence that perhaps those acts were not those of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being.

But you couldn't know that, because you aren't omipotent...It's laughable to think that you can assess the actions of said omnibenevolent and omnipotent being in your terms. How are you to assess the correctness of how God acts?

By definition, if God is either of those things, then it would seem to be logically impossible for Him to act in such a way that wasn't the best way for Him to act. You critiquing the action of God is just silly.

And I don't have to assume that God exists to see the logical implications of a maximally great being and how He would act.

Again, you're assuming your conclusion. We're trying to decide IF an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being did certain things.

No.....not here. You've claimed that He wouldn't act in such a way. I'm saying that you're basing that off of your own personal feelings and not on an objective assessment of what kinds of acts God could perform.

If after reflection the acts seem to be evil, then that's evidence against your deity performing/allowing them (and counts against biblical innerancy, I suppose). "Optimality" or "efficiency" is something I think we must assume for such a being when analysing it's (purported) actions.

Or it just means you're wrong about it being evil. I'm more inclined to side with God here.

Really? It seems that voluntarism is required for certain theologies (any in which God's power is only curtailed by what is logically impossible). Classical Theism seems to be an example of this. The many Christians writing in about other conceptions of DCT seems to support my contention.

It seems you're mistaken.

So you'd be happy to address the points in his final response then?

If you present them. As I said, it's pretty silly for one party in a conversation to constantly say "well go read what this guy said and refute it!!!11!1one!!eleven"

I think I'll take the opinion of a number of experts in the field of moral philosophy over some random on the intertubes thanks :-)

It's you prerogative to accept unsound arguments I suppose.

bossmanham said...

Only if your definition of morality is correct, which it isn't (even if your contentions are correct).
Redefining terms to support your position.


Of course you haven't argued anything of the sort. But maybe some weak minded individual will be satisfied with your bare assertion.

In the literature, what you're describing doesn't seem to coincide with how contra-causal or libertarian free will is normally presented. It seems you're actually advocating some version of compatibalism, where the decision process/agent is influenced by the pre existing causal chain. One of the basic claims of libertarian free will seems to be you could have done otherwise, which seems to deny any sort of existing reason for a particular decision - hence the view of them as being essentially "random" or the invocation of "Present Luck".

No, I'm pretty familiar with the whole debate. A reason isn't causal in the sense that it necessarily entails an action. And even if it were, that's not to say that the agent doesn't formulate his own reasons for something. I don't have an issue with ending the causal chain in an agent, because there's nothing weird about not adhering to some infinite regress of causal chains.

well a world with God alone wouldn't need incarnation and atonement to overcome "evils", and it seems incoherent to say that anything could be added to the world of "God alone" and expect an increase in the amount of "good".

You'd need to argue for that. God is the good. Bringing about other things that are good increase the amount of good things, does it not?

On Smith and Pruss: Just because God determines that Patricia is in circumstance C doesn't mean He determines she do A in C, unless He actually determined that she would do A in C. Simply determining the circumstance she is in doesn't entail that He also determined the action.

If in C, Patricia's action would be evil given free will, God couldn't stop that unless He caused her to act otherwise, which would be determining C in A, which is relieving her of her free will.

Which means that the world could have been better had those creature's free decisions been better, which makes God not as morally praiseworthy as perhaps he would otherwise have been, which is incoherent because God is (usually?) claimed to be the most morally praiseworthy being possible.

What? Perhaps you misunderstood what I just said, because your statement here betrays some sort of misunderstanding on your part. God is not in control of other creature's free decisions, meaning He doesn't control those decisions, meaning the feasible worlds that God can create with creatures that possess free will aren't entirely up to Him.

That means that it's entirely possible that this actually is the best feasible possible world with free creatures.

God is in control of the exact situations we find ourselves in, and knows how we'll choose in these situations, which seems to rule out "free will" as it is usually envisaged as being important, and would seem to certainly rule out the free will defence.

Just because He knows what we will do doesn't mean He causes us to do it, or that it isn't within our power to act otherwise. This is just another form of the modal fallacy.

Yet things could still be better if creatures made better choices morally, so the point still stands.

Yet the choices creatures make aren't up to God if they have free will, so no the point doesn't stand at all.

bossmanham said...

Sorry, I'm not having this discussion with God.

But you're asserting to know how God should or would act in a certain situation. You don't. If a maximally great being decides to wipe out some of His creation, then it isn't an evil act.

He did that personally, or are you relying upon third hand information for that? :-)

Have pretty reliable sources of Christ's teaching. I don't have an issue with third hand info, since most of what anyone believes is not based on first hand experience. Finklestein's stuff that you have presented here is third hand info, yet you have no qualms about taking him at face value.

Yeah, it does. It means that you've undermined your own claims to knowing whether something was or was not the act/command of your deity (an epistemic problem for you, which you seem to have admitted to above).

My initial argument doesn't rely on knowing what God has said, though I think we do know some of what God has said.

The Holy Spirit doesn't exist outside of believers heads, so it really does matter how one comes to know about the idea.

Which is a bald, unbacked, and un argued for assertion. Perhaps that weak minded reader will also accept this one?

Except of course that the only reason you believe the Holy Spirit exists is due to Christian Doctrine (and/or the Bible), and one of the major supporting evidences often cited for the truth of Christian Doctrine (and/or the Bible) is the action of the Holy Spirit.

And this doesn't show that it's circular at all. The Holy Spirit would act as a confirming source of Christian doctrine. You don't have to know anything about Christian doctrine for the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you.

It seems you have issues with argument form and how to spot fallacies. Many philosophers have written books on that. Maybe check it out?

We've got an omnipotent, omniscient being communicating - assuming this being wants to be clear, it seems incoherent to think that people even can listen incorrectly.

That seems like a pretty stupid statement. An all powerful being can't figure out how to communicate effectively?

The role of the bible in archaeology has steadily decreased due to findings which invalidate it's claims to historical accuracy (though you rationalise them away).
Thank you for playing sir! :-)


No it hasn't. Thanks for playing.

I'm sure we simply "haven't looked hard enough" - you simply know the Exodus happened, right?

Um, what? All I said that the Egyptians didn't keep records of embarrassing incidents. The things you cite really aren't relevant. And I just said that we may yet find further evidence of the Exodus, though I'm not sure how the ancient documents known as the OT don't count as evidence. Oh right, you cherry pick your evidence.

Which may be true, but doesn't mean he's wrong, or that his conclusions in this regard are faulty.

Never said it did. But it is pretty bad when you ignore some evidence so that you can present a version of history that you like. James Hoffmeier looks at similar, if not the same, evidence and comes away with an entirely different interpretation. So your citation of the book certainly isn't reason for me to start doubting the reliability of the Bible.

bossmanham said...

Scientific conclusions are provisional (big deal).
Scientific conclusions tend to become more accurate as time goes on, and so come closer and closer to the "truth" of reality.


How would you know if it's getting closer to the truth unless you actually know the truth? How could you even begin to be sure it what is supposed to be getting closer to the truth is constantly being revised?

If science is the best or sole arbiter of truth, then it doesn't seem like you can believe anything it claims is true, meaning we can't know anything.

If we start with things which seem undeniable (experiences), it seems we can build up to our scientific conclusions.

But you can't start science unless you assume many many truths that aren't based on science, which is the point and shows that science isn't what you scientism-ists think it's cracked up to be.

Things like the function of eyes and ears, when investigated with the conclusions we've gathered previously, support those previous conclusions and assumptions

That's not possible. You can't support what you're relying on as your foundation with the method that relies on the foundation. You have to assume your physical senses are reliable to study the organs that are supposedly responsible for relaying this information to you. Scientism is self referentially incoherent.

Take your time, but do try to refrain from making claims (such as the LPE/EPE fails, there is an objective morality and only God can account for it, etc) until you have read them ;-)

Err, no! Since the LPE follows basically the same formulation in all its forms, I have no reason to think that revisions here and there can defeat the responses to them. Though you're more than welcome to present them here.

Havok said...

If you present them.
I presented some, which you handwaved away without taking them seriously.

It's you prerogative to accept unsound arguments I suppose.
If you can show the arguments are unsound, then have at it. If you're claiming I'm making an argument from authority, then I think you're mistaken

Of course you haven't argued anything of the sort. But maybe some weak minded individual will be satisfied with your bare assertion.
I don't see why I ought to take your redefinition of "morality" seriously, so perhaps you'd like to support this redefinition and see if we can't progress.

No, I'm pretty familiar with the whole debate.
You don't seem to be, to be honest.

A reason isn't causal in the sense that it necessarily entails an action.
So then whatever reasons you might have for an action cannot actually be reasons for said action - you could have chosen differently.

And even if it were, that's not to say that the agent doesn't formulate his own reasons for something.
Which cannot be the reasons for action, as above. Contra-causal free will, with it's requirement that we could have done differently in EXACTLY THE SAME circumstances (which would mean exactly the same reasons) undermines the claim that these choices are "ours" in any sense, and not simply indeterministic. This is the whole reason the concept of "Present Luck" is brought into the discussion.

I don't have an issue with ending the causal chain in an agent, because there's nothing weird about not adhering to some infinite regress of causal chains.
But contra-causal free will weds you to the claim that there is no reason for an action, whether external or internal, or whatever. The "choice" is indeterminate, could have been (vastly) different, and there are thererfore problems with assigning moral responsibility to these non-choices.

You'd need to argue for that. God is the good. Bringing about other things that are good increase the amount of good things, does it not?
if God embodies all the good making properties (omnibenevolent), then there are no good making properties which entail evil making properties, hence the possibility of God not creating (and avoiding the creation of evil making properties) is "more good" than the subsequent creation+God ensemble.

On Smith and Pruss:
You've simply restated Pruss' objection to Smith's argument. You've not engaged with the counter objection, that Pruss' objection applies to all creatures, not just those which are wholly good. This means that Pruss' objection fails - either he mistaked strong and weak entailment, or the type of free will required to defeat Smiths LPE is not valuelable in some fashion. Neither of those outcomes defeats Smith's LPE.

bossmanham said...

Havok, I think three weeks is beyond the time allotted for continuing a conversation.

Havok said...

Whatever you say