Sunday, July 03, 2016

Could God be mistaken?

If the Christian God exists, doesn't he get to decide what is right or wrong? Or could an existing God be mistaken about, for example, whether gay relationships are right or not.

Consider the following scenario: God created the world, and decreed that marriage was the only proper place for sex, and that marriage was a relationship between a man and a woman. But, he got it wrong, and gay was really OK.

Is that scenario even possible? 

54 comments:

William Brown said...

"....Is that scenario even possible?"

No. You'd have to reject the OT and NT, 2000 years of tradition, belief in God; pretty much the whole thing.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

If the Christian God exists, doesn't he get to decide what is right or wrong?

The answer depends on one's view of the relationship between the Christian God and moral values and duties, especially because your question contains the word "decide." Unqualified Divine Command Theorists (DCT-ists) would answer, "Yes, period." Modified Divine Command Theorists (MDCT-ists) would answer, "Yes, but with the caveat that we're talking about the commands of a loving God." Other Christian theists would answer, "No, even God doesn't get to decide that, just as he cannot decide whether 2+2 equals 4 or whether it possible for a proposition to exist and not exist at the same time.

Or could an existing God be mistaken about, for example, whether gay relationships are right or not.

I take your second question to be independent of the first question. Regardless of the Christian God's relationship to morality, God is by definition omniscient. It is impossible for Him to be mistaken about whether gay relationships are right or not, just as it is impossible for Him to be mistaken about anything else. That's just part of what it means to be "God."

There are two additional questions you didn't ask. In fairness, you probably consider them a tangent.

Assuming the Christian God exists, could our records of what He commanded be incomplete or inaccurate in some way? Are we correctly interpreting God's commands we do have?

In the context of Christian sexual ethics, my layman's impression is that the traditional Christian position -- that sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman -- is correct, i.e., the Bible really does seem to teach that any other kind of sexual activity is prohibited by God.

Consider the following scenario: God created the world, and decreed that marriage was the only proper place for sex, and that marriage was a relationship between a man and a woman. But, he got it wrong, and gay was really OK.
Is that scenario even possible? 


No. Even if God doesn't get to decide what is right or wrong, His omniscience entails that he knows all moral truths. And His moral perfection entails that He would tell the truth. So, if the Christian God actually said or commanded that marriage was the only proper place for sex, it follows by definition that it is impossible for God to have gotten that wrong, just as it would be impossible for God to have gotten anything else wrong. If a being got something wrong, that being cannot be God by definition.

Angra Mainyu said...

Victor,

That depends on how you define "Christian God" and "God". Let's consider "the Christian God", to simplify.
For example, if by "the Christian God" you mean something like "the entity described in the Bible", and let's fix that definition until further notice.
Then if an entity exists meets a number of those biblical claims (e.g., if he created the universe, took part in history as described, etc.), then that is the Christian God (by that definition), even if not all of the biblical claims about him are true. In particular, most moral claims - I would reckon - aren't true, since he would be morally evil.
Of course, he can also be mistaken. So, this is a possible scenario as actual (see Richard Chappell's 2-d semantics for the distinction between possibility of scenarios of worlds considered as actual or as counterfactual; http://www.philosophyetc.net/2006/04/intro-to-two-dimensionalism.html http://www.philosophyetc.net/2006/04/2-d-semantics.html ).
So, in short, if that's what you mean by "the Christian God", it's possible (as actual) that he is mistaken about many things (and also, that he's evil), just as it's possible in that sense that scientists got it wrong and water is not H2O.

Now, is it possible as counterfactual (i.e., in the usual sense of metaphysical possibility) that the Christian God (under that definition) be mistaken?
I would say that since "the Christian God" fails to refer (because he does not exist), then the answer is negative, because that's a rigid designator, so the Christian God cannot possibly exist (though something similar possibly does). However, assuming for the sake of the argument that the Christian God does exist, we're in the situation of possibility "as actual", so yes, sure, he can be mistaken.

Why would a creator be infallible?

On the other hand, if by "the Christian God" you mean something like "an essentially omnimax being" (i.e., a being who is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect), then the answer is negative. Even if it's possible that such being exists (in some sense of "possible"), it's impossible that he would be mistaken, as long as he remains omnimax (there is a further question of whether such a being possibly becomes less powerful, but I'm inclined to think otherwise, in terms of metaphysical possibility in the usual - Kripkean - sense).

"Consider the following scenario: God created the world, and decreed that marriage was the only proper place for sex, and that marriage was a relationship between a man and a woman. But, he got it wrong, and gay was really OK.

Is that scenario even possible? "
That depends on your definition of "God" and the sense of "possible" at play. If you clarify those two points, I'll address that question.

B. Prokop said...

No.

John Moore said...

Right and wrong aren't rigid rules, but they just depend on God's goals. Whatever helps God achieve his goal is good, and whatever hinders God's goal-pursuit is bad. Thus, it's entirely possible for God to change his tactics in response to the changing historical and cultural environment. Homosexuality was evil before, because people had not achieved the level of awareness necessary to accept homosexuals as full-fledged members of society, and that hindered God's purpose for the world. But today homosexuality is OK, because human cultural consciousness has now developed sufficiently. Today it serves God's purpose to let homosexuals have all their freedoms and respect.

Satta M. said...

Like other commenters, I find the word "decide" is sticky here. Either:

The wrongness of homosexuality "flows" from god's nature and is immutably wrong.

It could be wrong at one time, and not wrong at another, depending on god's whims

planks length said...

I'll go with the "immutably".

SteveK said...

Not possible.

The decision and the decree to create beings that way gets expressed in the nature of the beings themselves as they were created to be. Just as you can understand that the nature of human digestive system was decreed by God to be the place to process food for the purpose of nurishing the body, so too can you understand what the nature of human sex is (male female union) and what it is for (many things).

God could not decree that the nature of the human digestive system is now to polish rocks, and likewise God could not suddenly decree that human sex is now gay unions.

steve said...

It would be better to frame the issue in natural law terms. Homosexuality is wrong because God designed men and women to be physically and psychologically compatible in a sexual relationship, whereas men and men or women and women (or men and boys) are not physically and psychologically compatible in that respect.

SteveK said...

John Moore
Your understanding of Christianity is horrible.

Dave Duffy said...

Bob,

There were two questions in Victor's post. I'm guessing your "No" is the answer to the second.

Any thoughts about the new sexual ethical standards in the military? I know you, like myself, served. I think Victor did as well.

I do like the thoughts by JJL. I keep finding new definitions for thought and try to figure out where I fit in the new categories. Making your way through the world keeps getting more complicated to explain.

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

Off topic fourth of July special. Discussion of C Wright Mills and Herbert Marcuse om metacrock's blog. Atheist reduction of knowledge to sciemnce

Metacrock's blog

Joe Hinman said...

debating historicity of Jesus with Bradley Bowen of secular outpost, the second go round first wwsv Talmud, this one is on Papias.

On ?CADRE blog

Joe Hinman said...

Jeff

The answer depends on one's view of the relationship between the Christian God and moral values and duties, especially because your question contains the word "decide." Unqualified Divine Command Theorists (DCT-ists) would answer, "Yes, period." Modified Divine Command Theorists (MDCT-ists) would answer, "Yes, but with the caveat that we're talking about the commands of a loving God." Other Christian theists would answer, "No, even God doesn't get to decide that, just as he cannot decide whether 2+2 equals 4 or whether it possible for a proposition to exist and not exist at the same time.

But your statement assumes that moral commands have the same a priori nature as math.well at least your rendition of"everyone else." I doubt that moral axioms have kind ofpull unless they are mandeated by God.

Joe Hinman said...

s that scenario even possible?"

No. You'd have to reject the OT and NT, 2000 years of tradition, belief in God; pretty much the whole thing.

no you don't. you are equating all belief in God with Verbal Plenary inspiration that's just absurd. you are rejecting 2000 years of civilization.

we have to understand all injunctions in Bible in cultural context.

Legion of Logic said...

Can God be wrong about morality? Can the creator of chess be wrong that bishops move diagonally?

The only way God could be wrong about morality would be if either he didn't create the universe, or morality somehow transcends both God and the universe. But in any scenario in which God created the universe and morality does not transcend both, then God can't possibly be wrong. Otherwise come play me at chess, where my bishops can teleport to whatever square I want and yours can't because chess relativity.

Edgestow said...

"Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?"
(Genesis 18:25)

Joe Hinman said...

Can God be wrong about morality? Can the creator of chess be wrong that bishops move diagonally?The only way God could be wrong about morality would be if either he didn't create the universe, or morality somehow transcends both God and the universe


I agree LL. there;'s one other possibility no one seems to get. we could be wrong about what God said!

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger Edgestow said...
"Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?"
(Genesis 18:25)

does having right doctrine make you mistake proof?

Ilíon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ilíon said...

LoL: "Can God be wrong about morality? Can the creator of chess be wrong that bishops move diagonally?

The only way God could be wrong about morality would be if either he didn't create the universe, or morality somehow transcends both God and the universe. But in any scenario in which God created the universe and morality does not transcend both, then God can't possibly be wrong.
"

Moreover, if one posits that morality transcends God-the-Creator-of-the-Universe, all one has actually done is assert-without-reason that there is a God-Above-God-the-Creator ... and then we are right back to Square One with nothing "solved" from the point of view of the person who wishes to set himself up as competent to put God-the-Creator on trial.

==========
Morality exists if and only if there are persons -- which is to say, free agents -- for moral obligations obtain only between persons/agents. That is, a person does not have a moral obligation to a rock, nor a rock to a person, for only agents may have moral expectations which impose corresponding moral obligations upon other agents.

Moreover, morality exists if and only if there are persons in communion or relationship, for moral obligations obtain only between persons in relation to other persons. That is, the precise moral expectations and obligations between persons depend upon and follow from the relationship between them -- for example: if there are persons living on a distant planet, we have no moral obligations to them, nor they to us, because there is no relationship whatsoever between them and us.

HOWEVER, the reality of moral expectatons and obligations cannot be grounded in the relationships between contingent persons. To attempt to do so is just another way of denying the transcendent reality of morality; it's just to deny that there really is any such thing as morality.

Consider: if one person is a ruler and another person is ruled by that ruler, then those two persons are in a relationship which imposes certain, though different, expectations and consequent obligations on each. Now, add a third person, one who is also ruled by that same ruler. IF the moral expectations and obligations between ruler and ruled followed from the relationships between these contingent persons, then any commonality between the moral expectations and obligations obtaining between the ruler and the first subject, on the one hand, and between the ruler and the second subject, on the other hand, would be accidental/coincidental -- to discover/understand some fact of the moral expectations and obligations obtaining between the ruler and the first subject would tell you nothing about the moral expectations and obligations obtaining between the ruler and the second subject.

THUS, morality is, and must be, grounded in the relationship(s) obtaining between non-contingent persons.

----------------
And, by the way, I have just demonstrated that God is a plurality of persons -- while this is not a demonstration that God is precisely Three Persons, it *is* a demonstration that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is not in conflict with what "unaided reason" can tell us about the nature of God ... or of ourselves.

At the same time (without getting into it here), reason also tells us that there is One God.

So, there is One God ... who is a plurality of Persons.

B. Prokop said...

Wonderful post, Ilion!

I've more than once shown how God must be a "plurality of Persons" in order for John's statement "God is love" to make any sense, but I never thought of the Trinity as being a demonstration as to why morality must be grounded in God's very nature.

Love it!

Ilíon said...

^ Thank you; it's a realization I had come to a couple of years ago.

Whether it's by nature or by habit (self-training), I tend to approach these things "from the outside in", so to speak. By that I mean that rather than starting with a Biblical text or concept and then showing that pace the rabid secularists it is reasonable/rational, I start with what can be known by experience and reason and frequently end up with a Biblical concept.

Ilíon said...

^ for instance, back in February 2014, in this post (and its continuation, since it was a long post) I had explored at greater length the realization that the transcendence of morality shows that God is a plurality of Persons.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Vic, Is that the kind of question your mind is filled with these days?

How about some of the presuppositions that lie behind your question?

Namely

1) that the Bible contains writings inspired by God, or

2) Genesis is history (there could have already been gay hominids around even when the first "humans" arose)

3) that one's interpretation of the Bible is correct. Besides, if you want to endorse anti-gay laws based on the Bible, then what about keeping slavery legal since it's never a sin in the Bible?

oozzielionel said...

I see behind the question the presumption that the Christian position about homosexuality has changed (not for me but for a growing consensus). If the previous consensus was right about what God thought about the issue and the new consensus is now right about what God thought, we need a theory about why God changed his mind.
a) The previous consensus had it wrong all along. This is troublesome since it was such a broad consensus for a very long period of time. You can't even use the argument that there were various interpretations. There weren't.
b) The new consensus has it wrong. This is troublesome since it puts Christianity under the judgment of society as bigoted, against loving relationships, judgmental, and in danger of breaking new laws created by the new consensus.
c) This is a new situation. Up to this time, there was little thought of convenental homosexual relationships. We need a new morality for a new category. The old consensus misapplied sexual immorality to prohibitions that only addressed assault, prostitution and idolatrous worship practices. Unfortunately this strained argument has caught on. It does violence to serious biblical interpretation.
d) God changed his mind. This creates a harbor for the old consensus and a way into the new alignment with cultural moral values. You can be orthodox and progressive -- Just as God changed his mind on slavery and divorce and interracial marriage and usury and premarital sex and going to church and most kinds of lying and lots of types of stealing and using his name in vain and tithing, (insert sarcasm emoji), God changes his mind again.
OR, e) Homosexual behavior is still a sin, sorry.

planks length said...

oozzie,

I'll go with (b). The "new consensus" has it wrong - dead wrong. And as much as I dislike making predictions that cannot be proven or disproven until future generations, I believe this consensus will not hold over the long term. Centuries from now, today's sexual ethics will be viewed with the same distaste that we today cringe at the casual and socially acceptable child abuse prevalent during ancient Greece and Rome.

And as to "This is troublesome since it puts Christianity under the judgment of society as bigoted, against loving relationships, judgmental" etc... Too bad. Christianity was accused of worse during the Roman persecutions, and emerged quite well from that period, thank you. If today's genderfascists demand that I sew a "Bigot!" patch onto my clothing, I'll wear it with pride.

SteveK said...

I start with what can be known by experience and reason and frequently end up with a Biblical concept.

This is me to a fault, perhaps. I almost never rely on scripture to argue for God (against atheism) because I don't think it's necessary. That's how obvious it is to me.

B. Prokop said...

SteveK,

I will unabashedly use Scripture in an argument. But not as an "argument" per se, but rather as a punctuation - for emphasis, if you will.

I am forever amazed by The Bible. Truly, were it not inspired by the Holy Spirit, that would be an even greater miracle. No other writing in history comes even close in terms of depth of meaning and in covering the gamut of human experience. (And yes, to the unbelievers out there, I have read the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Daodejing, the Mahabharata (abridged version), Zhuangzhi, The Kojiki, and even the Book of Mormon.) There is quite literally nothing I have ever done, experienced, seen, heard of, or just plain thought about that isn't illuminated by at least a line of Holy Scripture.

And one never gets to the bottom of it - ever. There must be passages in the Gospels that I have read more than a thousand times over the years, yet with each new reading, I find something new - often times something so profound I can scarcely believe I had missed that in previous encounters.

But no, I would never use Scripture as an argument. When I do quote it, it is to explain and/or illustrate my own position. Just putting it out there, so to speak, in a "take it or leave it" fashion.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Ilíon said...

SteveK: "This is me to a fault, perhaps."

Considering the rest of what you said, I don't understand this.

SteveK: "I almost never rely on scripture to argue for God (against atheism) because I don't think it's necessary. That's how obvious it is to me."

So, you do what I do ... and see it as a fault? Well, stop doing it!


SteveK: "I almost never rely on scripture to argue for God (against atheism) because I don't think it's necessary."

It's not just "unnecessary", it's futile and counter-productive. And it's generally begging the question.

Ilíon said...

B.Prokop: "I will unabashedly use Scripture in an argument. But not as an "argument" per se, but rather as a punctuation - for emphasis, if you will. ... But no, I would never use Scripture as an argument. When I do quote it, it is to explain and/or illustrate my own position."

Sure, but even that raises the hackles of the typical so-called atheist. Many of them will even try to pretend that you *are* basing your argument on Scripture ... but then, all God-deniers are liars simply by anti-virtue of their God-denial.

B. Prokop said...

"Sure, but even that raises the hackles of the typical so-called atheist."

Maybe so, but as I explained a few days ago over on Crude's blog: "I've had it with arguing with gnus who hypocritically claim rationality whilst showing not the least indication that they know what the word means. If the horse refuses to drink, it's pointless to lead him to the trough. So I don't debate the Faith any more - I proclaim it. I'll leave it up to the Holy Spirit as to whether or not the seed falls on good ground."

Jezu ufam tobie!

William Brown said...

Homosexuality is inimical to human flourishing, so, of course God will counsel against it. Anyone who argues otherwise is only fooling himself with rationalisations for what has been obvious for millennia, or is just brainwashed by the culture (or both).

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger William Brown said...
Homosexuality is inimical to human flourishing, so, of course God will counsel against it. Anyone who argues otherwise is only fooling himself with rationalisations for what has been obvious for millennia, or is just brainwashed by the culture (or both).

not the same thing as being an abomination

Ilíon said...

"I've had it with arguing with gnus who hypocritically claim rationality whilst showing not the least indication that they know what the word means. ..."

You might want to be careful saying that. It would be a shame for people to figure out what it means (*) and then start accusing you of having a "poison personality".

(*) among other things, it means "I have no patience for intellectual dishonesty"

B. Prokop said...

Ilion,

Looking back on my time on the internet, I can't believe how many ones and zeros I wasted in a vain attempt to blast through the concrete skulls of the likes of Skep and Papalinton. All of it wasted time, since they were never the least bit interested in reasonable discussion from the get-go. But almost worse are the likes of Jeffery Lowder and Angra Mainyu. Unlike the first two mentioned, they manage to put together coherent sentences and understand paragraph structure. But this only makes the nonsense they peddle all the more dangerous, since it acquires a veneer of superficial rationality, and can all the more easily fool the unwary. But scratch the surface, and you'll come up against the very same armor-plated resistance to any outside thought. Small wonder that now the atheists are demanding safe zones, where their worldview will not be challenged.

Jeu ufam tobie!

Angra Mainyu said...

B. Prokop,

Your unjust and irrational attack merits a reply, so:

I'm being rational about this. You aren't. To make it worse, it's not only about this. You believe things like Jesus's resurrection, or worse, that the Bible is a good guide to moral truth (either an inerrant one or not; I don't know what your belief on that matter is). A problem is that you almost certainly will never realize that. A bigger problem is that there are so many like you. An even bigger problem is that most people who don't have an emotional commitment to those epistemically irrational and false beliefs, have emotional commitments to some other epistemically irrational and false beliefs. Whatever.

Perhaps an even bigger problem than people like you are people like Ilíon, who in addition to being both intelligent and a promoter of irrational and false religious beliefs, he also usually and irrationally believes that his opponents are not only making false claims, but knowingly so. But I say "perhaps", because maybe you too are strongly inclined to such false and irrational attributions of intent. Some of your words provide evidence of that, though they're inconclusive.

By the way, I'm not demanding any "safe zones", and it's not true that "the atheists" are demanding safe zones. That's a gross overgeneralization. Some atheists are. Many other atheists aren't doing any such demanding.

All that said, of course I do not expect you to ever be persuaded by my words.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

But almost worse are the likes of Jeffery Lowder and Angra Mainyu. Unlike the first two mentioned, they manage to put together coherent sentences and understand paragraph structure. But this only makes the nonsense they peddle all the more dangerous, since it acquires a veneer of superficial rationality, and can all the more easily fool the unwary. But scratch the surface, and you'll come up against the very same armor-plated resistance to any outside thought. Small wonder that now the atheists are demanding safe zones, where their worldview will not be challenged.

Wow, B Prokop, I had no idea you felt that way about me, nor do I understand why you do. Since you do feel that way, however, I doubt that anything I write will change your mind -- not about philosophical arguments-- but about me. So I write the following, not for you, but for anyone else.

B Prokop falsely claims that I display "an armor-plated resistance to any outside thought." This is not only false, but obviously false, as demonstrated by the fact that I have changed my mind about theistic arguments in the past and now believe that the following are evidence favoring theism over naturalism:

* the cosmic life-permitting conditions of our universe
* consciousness

and have publicly defended arguments for theism based on those two facts. I have also defended a third argument I am sympathetic to, but reject: an argument from moral agency. Furthermore, I have repeatedly invited theists to publish papers (or have previously published papers republished) on the Secular Web. That is pretty much the opposite of being afraid of having one's worldview "challenged."

B Prokop also writes: "Small wonder that now the atheists are demanding safe zones, where their worldview will not be challenged."

I have no idea why that is linked to me. I do not demand "atheist safe zones." In fact, I see no reason for them and think they are a bad idea.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Just to follow-up on my last email, I just posted a blog post in which I reject and criticize the idea of an 'atheist safe space.'

LINK

Ilíon said...

JJL: "I have no idea why that is linked to me. I do not demand "atheist safe zones." In fact, I see no reason for them and think they are a bad idea."

This is just one more reflection of JJL's intellectual dishonesty. B.Prokop didn't "link" the recent demand/whine of some God-deniers of "safe-spaces" to JJL, he speculated that the demand/whine is prompted by or grounded in "the very same armor-plated resistance to any outside thought" which is common to *all* God-deniers.

B.Prokop in no wise said or implied that *all* God-deniers, or any specific God-denier, will automatically express their "armor-plated resistance to any outside thought" in this specific way.

JJL is not stupid and he's not illiterate; he's dishonest.

JJL: "Wow, B Prokop, I had no idea you felt that way about me, nor do I understand why you do. ..."

I encourage Gentle Reader re-read that post, and try too notice or identify some of the games he is playing.

Re-read that post keeping in mind that this is the same fellow who recently posted this gem, wherein he peddles a popular atheist lie about a provision in the Mosaic Law regarding a man's seduction of and fornication with an unmarried/unbetrothed woman.

Ilíon said...

JJL: "B Prokop falsely claims that I display "an armor-plated resistance to any outside thought." This is not only false, but obviously false, as demonstrated by the fact that I have changed my mind about theistic arguments in the past and now believe that the following are evidence favoring theism over naturalism:

* the cosmic life-permitting conditions of our universe
* consciousness

and have publicly defended arguments for theism based on those two facts. I have also defended a third argument I am sympathetic to, but reject: an argument from moral agency. Furthermore, I have repeatedly invited theists to publish papers (or have previously published papers republished) on the Secular Web. That is pretty much the opposite of being afraid of having one's worldview "challenged."
"

What a whiney little bitch! One of the games he's playing that I want Gentle Reader to pick up on is his appeal to some over-arching and real standard of morality -- "How *dare* you say such dasterdly things about me!" -- even as he denies, as he logically must, that there is any such thing as morality.

That JJL exhibits "an armor-plated resistance to any outside thought" is not false, much less is it obviously false. But, even if it were false and obviously false, since when is it true -- since when is it part of the fabric of reality -- that one ought not make false claims about others? Let us pretend that it is false, and obviously false ... so what? Get a grip on your own metaphysics, and stop bitching because the world works the way you insist it works.

JJL: "... obviously false, as demonstrated by the fact that I have changed my mind about theistic arguments in the past and now believe that the following are evidence favoring theism over naturalism: ... "

If he had changed his mind, he'd no longer be a God-denier. He might not yet admit the truth of Christianity, but he *would* admit the reality of the Creator.

But, notice, Gentle Reader the game he's playing here to have it both ways -- "I have changed my mind about theistic arguments in the past and now believe that the following are evidence favoring theism over naturalism ..."

What in the Hell! "evidence favoring theism over naturalism"!!! The question of the reality of God isn't "both-and", it's "either-or". Consciousness -- mere consciousness, to say nothing of self-consciousness and personhood/agency -- cannot exist if atheism is the truth about the nature of reality ... which is why, when they are being honest about the logical implications of their God-denial, God-deniers assert that consciousness is an illusion. The reality of consciousness is not "evidence favoring theism over naturalism", it is evidence falsifying naturalism and atheism.

B. Prokop said...

"Wow, B Prokop, I had no idea you felt that way about me"

Jeffery,

I do not feel about you at all, having never met you nor knowing anything about you. But I definitely feel "that way" about the things you post to this and to your own site.

Like all atheists, you fail to acknowledge the inescapable conclusion to your belief that death results in your personal extinction, that nothing matters - that life is ultimately meaningless and purposeless.

Like all atheists, your failure to acknowledge an external judge* means there can be no Objective Morality, no Good or Evil, that child molestation and genocide are matters of personal preference, that you cannot criticize anyone for their behavior.

* The umpire in a baseball game cannot be a player in the game. He must be an objective external judge of what goes on, in order for his calls to have any meaning. Without God (Who is not Himself part of creation, but rather the Creator), there can be no objective judge.

Like all atheists, you cannot account for your very existence - or for existence itself. You are compelled to either fall back upon "brute fact" explanations (the "adult" equivalent of a child saying, "Just because!") or alternatively, appealing to random chance (as in various "multiverse" theories).

Like all atheists, you refuse to acknowledge the inescapable conclusion that you yourself, as Jeffery Jay Lowder, do not exist. Yes, there are various atoms in your body, and there are sundry patterns and combinations that they make up, but there is "no there there". Disassemble the components, and what have you? A pile of relatively worthless chemicals and a couple of liters of water.

Like all atheists, you fail to see that there is no point in your proclaiming your atheism, or in trying to convince believers they are "wrong". After all, our very thoughts are nothing more than byproducts of chemical reactions in our brains. Who's to say that such activity ever results in anything "true"?

Like all atheists, you must assume that 99.9 percent of Humanity throughout history has been dead wrong about the most important questions ever, whilst you (along with a rounding error of 0.01 percent of humanity) somehow got it right, overturning the wisdom of the most brilliant minds our race has ever produced, ignoring the testimony of our greatest art, our most sublime music, our most inspiring architecture, our most cherished feelings, discounting the lives of the "vast cloud of witnesses" testifying to their faith, ignoring history (who founded the universities, who built the hospitals, the orphanages, the libraries, who rushed to the scenes of disaster, who resisted the tyrants, who fought for abolition, who spearheaded the Civil Rights movement, who today speaks out for the pre-born?)

No, I have no intention of ever again arguing with an atheist. I will announce the Good News. Whether or not it is accepted is not up to me. And if I wish to embellish said proclamation with a passage or two from Scripture, consider it as such.

Jezu ufam tobie!

SteveK said...

God's not mistaken but a lot of brain research probably is...

"...a new study suggesting that a bug in fMRI software could invalidate the results of some 40,000 papers."

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-bug-in-fmri-software-could-invalidate-decades-of-brain-research-scientists-discover

"...but instead we found that the most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%.

Sam Harris may have to rewrite all his books.

B. Prokop said...

Angra writes: "A problem is that you almost certainly will never realize that."

Realize what? You forgot to identify what it is that I will never realize.

Angra Mainyu said...

That you're being irrational about the things I mentioned before I said that; for example, that I'm not being irrational about the matter of the thread (see my first and second post), but you're being irrational in believing that I'm being irrational, that it's only a "veneer" of rationality, etc.

Joe Hinman said...

What a whiney little bitch! One of the games he's playing that I want Gentle Reader to pick up on is his appeal to some over-arching and real standard of morality -- "How *dare* you say such dasterdly things about me!" -- even as he denies, as he logically must, that there is any such thing as morality.

Look who is talking!, you resort to name calling that is what I expect from a pretencious assshole but I thought you had the brains to appear less crass.

You Idion I do not see you as a Christian, I don't accept you as a brother at all you are av phony I;ll tell you man I've been posting on SOP for a year and Lowder and those guys have been ahell of alowst more supporotove of me than any Christan here save Victor.

Huge irony, the phrasee who thinks he;s god;s gift to patriotism is the destroyer of faith and the guys that ran the secular web have actually helped heal of the trraumas of posting,
I hope you see that as the commentary on yur fiath that I mean it to be.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

B Prokop -- Replace the word "feel" in my previous comment to "think."

I disagree with all of your anti-atheist arguments, but since you have declared you will never again argue with an atheist, I won't bother arguing with you.

Ilíon said...

"Sam Harris may have to rewrite all his books."

I'm sure he'll get right on that.

The thing is, anyone with ... dare I say it ... half a brain understands that these materialistic "studies" never did (and never could) support the claims to which they were being put. Moreover, when a dead salmon run through these "tests" shows "brain activity", it was obvious to anyone not intentionally closing her (*) eyes that the entire edifice was bunk.


(*) see what I did there?

Ilíon said...

that intellectually dishonest fool: "I disagree with all of your anti-atheist arguments ..."

The astute reader will have noticed that --
1) JJL has never even tried to show (much less succeeded at it) that
a) B.Prokop has made a logical flaw in any of his anti-atheism arguments;
b) B.Prokop has taken a conclusion further that his anti-atheism argument(s) can support;
2) JJL -- as is common with God-deniers (*) -- imagines that his denial of B.Prokop's anti-atheism arguments suffices as a refutation of them.


(*) this is another manifestation of that "very same armor-plated resistance to any outside thought" of which B.Prokop spoke.

Ilíon said...

some comedian: "... but since you have declared you will never again argue with an atheist, I won't bother arguing with you."

Squabbling isn't arguing.

Joe Hinman said...

I bet half of you dom't even know what you are arguing about.

John Mitchell said...

"The umpire in a baseball game cannot be a player in the game. He must be an objective external judge of what goes on, in order for his calls to have any meaning. Without God (Who is not Himself part of creation, but rather the Creator), there can be no objective judge."

Breathtakingly accurate.

This is far more than just an analogy, this seems to me to be the rough sketch of an unbelievably strong argument.
You should really flesh it out, have it peer-reviewed and published in a philosophy journal.

"The argument from baseball against non-theistic accounts of moral judgement"

B. Prokop said...

Thanks, John. But I'm no philosopher, so my "peers" would be laypersons like myself. However, I will (eventually) get around to posting something on the topic over on my own blog.