How do you explain Laws of Logic and Morality?

I’m interested in a respectful exchange of differing worldviews. Interested?

I’m a Christian, pastor, and rookie apologist. I’m interested in putting my views up to the test on this forum to learn and grow from the discussion. So here’s what I have for starters (can’t wait to read your replies):

I propose that some type of God exists (not going so far as to say it’s my Christian God in this thread) because the atheistic (specifically Naturalist/Materialist) argument to the contrary is self-contradicting. The atheistic worldview (as I understand it) does not give a reasonable explanation for immaterial, universal laws of logic and moral absolutes yet tries to support its view based on these immaterial and universal laws.

The laws of logic we will use in this discussion are abstract (not material). The atheist responder will depend on the laws of logic to make an argument but has no explanation for how immaterial and universally applied laws of logic exist in a materialist view of the universe. It is inconsistent to deny immaterial universals like logic while making a logical case for a solely material universe with no God. Without an explanation for laws of logic, the atheistic worldview appears self-defeating from where I’m sitting. The Christian worldview has an explanation: immaterial, universal laws proceed from an immaterial, eternal Creator. But, again, I’m not going so far as to make a case for the Christian God of the Bible in this thread.

Similarly, atheists have no reasonable explanation for appealing to the problem of evil. What do you mean by evil? Or the often-used word: atrocities? By what standard does the atheist apply these labels? If morality is not universal, but merely a social convention, then on what basis do you call something evil?

So many fallacies that have been addressed in other parts of this forum.

  1. There are many things that we don’t understand and/or have answers for . . . but just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean we should automatically invoke God. If we just claimed God every time we don’t understand something, then women would still be dying of childbed fever “because it’s God’s will” instead of using science to push handwashing, cleanliness, and antibiotics.
  2. If God created the Universe, then where does God come from? If God has always existed, then why not save a step and decide that the Universe has always existed? The Big Bang does not mean the Universe came from nothing, as the Big Bang is the begining of the current presentation of the Universe, which is very different from saying the Universe came from nothing.
  3. I don’t believe moral absolutes exist. Morality is a matter of context . . . which isn’t the same thing as saying that morality is a matter of convienence. As an example, cannibalism is usually considered to be evil. Yet it happens all of the time every day in hospitals across the world. When we eat food, it is used (in part) to build and maintain human tissues and organs. When we do an organ transplant (such as a heart or kidney), we are taking organs from a dead human and putting them in a live person . . . which is like cannibalism, except that we skip the digestive system.
  4. Theists often use the Kalam Argument, which states that if everything has a cause, than the Universe must have a cause, which we may as well call God. The problem with this is that we know (in the light of quantum mechanics) that there are events that don’t seem to have causes. Also, if the Universe has a cause, we don’t know that this cause must be God.
  5. Apologists (such as Kent Hovind and Ray Comfort) often used arguments based on “common sense.” Common sense may often be useful, but it isn’t a font of absolute wisdom. There are many times when common sense is wrong. An example is that man are superior to women, or that the Earth is the center of the Universe. A better example (from healthcare, as I’m now an RN) concerns people who have had a heart attack. Common sense is that they must rest and save their energy for healing, when it’s actually better if they get up and walk. Lying in bed instead of walking can cause pneumonia.
  6. If the Universe has been fine-tuned for life, then why is more than 99.9999% of it unihabitable? We can’t live in the vast gulfs between galaxies, or on the surfaces of stars.
  7. Theists often claim that the definition of good and evil must come from God. However, if we have faith in God, why not save a step and have faith in an idea of what is good or evil rather than taking the unneccesary step of claiming God? So, I can have faith that robbery is evil without having to justify this belief with a faith in God. If the only reason why we feel a need to be “good” (in however we define the term) is out of fear of eternal punishment, then is the person truly good or just being a victim of blackmail?

And so on. Please look at some of the other threads on this forum.

All my best.

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There is no “atheist worldview”…atheism is a response to exactly one proposition - the existence of god(s). I’m sure you can understand that this does not amount to a worldview. With this in consideration, the rest of your sentence does not hold.

Which atheist responder?

Can you demonstrate this?

Which atheist?

Note: I speak only for myself.
Unless I’m waxing poetic, I typically don’t use the word evil. But I will say that shitty stuff does happen. How would I define shitty stuff? I suppose I would say it’s shitty if it causes damage to one’s well being.

Have you examined every explanation posited by everyone who identifies as atheist? Additionally, please help me understand what constitutes reasonable.

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There is no “atheistic worldview” you have been badly misinformed.
Atheism is a single issue, the disbelief in the claimed existence or truth of the claims for a deity. That’s it.
Ask an atheist.

Because they do not exist. If you can demonstrate “immaterial, universal laws of logic” or even one moral absolute I would be thunderstruck. Go for it…we are waiting agog.

I have no idea what other atheists would call evil. I suggest you do not know what every christian would call evil…sex slavery? Torturing newborns? Genocide? Are they evil?

You seem to be proceeding from assumptions that are false. Can you see that?

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As an additional few points, when has Christianity accomplished what science has?

Dr. Maurice Hilleman is a microbiologist who (along with his team) discovered over 40 vaccines that have saved the lives (including many children) of over 225 million people.

Or–to look at this in another way–if I transported Hilleman back in time (with a science fictional time machine) to Biblical times, he would be considered a holy man who would be celebrated for his miracles in preventing disease, yet today he is “just” a scientist.

Christianity justified the genocide of the Native American people, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and so forth. Yes, Christianity has done some good . . . but what compares with Hilleman’s 225 million people?

This is before we consider Pasteur, Koch, and Semmelweis.

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That is where I stopped reading.

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Maybe I should of as well.

My issue is that I keep seeing the same arguments from apologists over and over again. Don’t any of them have the imagination and/or creativity to come up with something new?

I keep hoping to see an original argument. Even a new nuance on an old argument would be interesting to me.

Is it me? Am I the one who has the problem? Or does everyone else see this, too?

I have even come up with a very different argument for God’s existence (not neccesarily the Abrahamic God), yet I haven’t thrown it out here because I haven’t been able to figure out a way to falsify my claims . . . which makes my points nothing more than speculation.

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Welcome to the forum. We love people with genuine interest. I am going to teach a class right now but look forward to responding in an hour or so. As long as your are willing to discuss things honestly, everyone on the site is pretty good at explaining things.

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Not just you, it’s the same thoroughly debunked arguments over and over. They have nothing new. I suppose there are only a certain amount of arguments available when all you have are unsubstantiated claims of an invisible deity that insist you believe wildly improbable claims on faith.

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Key word: empathy. We are all born with hard-coded empathy(*), the ability to identify with or understand the situation or feelings of another person. Even some animal species have been shown to exhibit empathy. Empathy is a quality that has emerged through evolution, and it helps individuals and groups to cooperate, to help each other out, in order to increase the chance of survival, and thus to bring one’s genes on to the next generation. The term “evil” could then be defined as actions that cause injury and/or pain, and/or is generally harmful to other individuals or groups. The feeling of these actions being “evil” is then attributed to empathy, in that you understand the recipients of the “evil” are in pain or have been harmed, and how they feel. Empathy causes you to feel their pain, and drives you to help them.

Thus, there is no need to invoke any supernatural shit like a god to define “evil”, all you need is empathy and the desire to increase the success, survivability and well-being of yourself and your own family/group/species. In short, “evil” can widely be defined as something that causes injury, harm, pain to yourself and other individuals.

(*) Well, not quite all - psychopaths are one example, but these are aberrations.

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Why appeal to the problem of evil? I don’t even believe in evil. Unfortunate things happen in the world.
Calling something evil does nothing to describe the act, the unreasonableness of it, or its moral value. Evil things to some people have been perfectly moral to others. Your god did not send butterflies to tickle the boys for calling the prophet ‘Baldy!’ I’ve got another class. I will be back soon. Why use the word “EVIL” at all? It is a form of 'black-and-white thinking." It is a false dichotomy to pretend things in life are good or evil. There is no problem of evil until you assert there is a God thing that is all good. Again, good is just a word to describe things that I like. It is not a ‘thing.’ It is not a ‘force.’ There is no problem of evil outside your assertion of good and evil.

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I see you have a lot of replies already. I quickly addressed the problem of evil. You will have to demonstrate what ‘evil’ is outside of just calling something evil, for the conversation to proceed. The problem is only a problem if I accept there is a God that is all good. Without the God thing, who calls things good or evil, the problem vanishes into the imaginary mist that created it.

=============
Okay my friend, let’s see what you have to say…

P: Some god/God exists.
Because materialism, naturalism, is self-contradicting.

Okay, you win. Materialism and naturalism are self-contradicting and have no evidence for the laws of logic, outside the fact that we use them and they work. Unfortunately, you must also use them to demonstrate the existence of your god.

So, let’s throw materialism and naturalism out the window. Please demonstrate the existence of your god. Not just an assertion, an actual demonstration of its existence. This demonstration should also only apply to your god and not to all the imitation gods out there. Just saying your god created the universe, well anyone can say that about any god. If we are throwing out materialism and logic, what else do you have?

First: There is no atheist worldview. If you think there is one, please define it. We can start there.
Second: Yes, the laws of logic are abstract. Science is abstract and life is abstract. I can show you how the laws of logic work. I can demonstrate their reliability. Can you do anything at all like that for your God?

Sure I do. They are not things. They are guidelines for a thinking process. You’re pulling an equivocation fallacy. The laws of logic are a useful paradigm for decision-making. They are not things. Ahhh… Here is the problem. Laws are descriptive and not prescriptive. They are not “LAWS” handed down by reality, a god, or anything else. They are said to be laws by virtue of their utility. You are equivocating on the meaning of the word “LAW.”

"Laws of logic are human inventions. They were developed over centuries through careful observation of how people reason and communicate meaning. They are not revealed to us in any way. Some people believe that the laws of logic are indisputably true and immutable, but that is not correct. The Law of Excluded Middle is under serious threat philosophically due to the problem of logical paradoxes. That does not change the fact that the laws are useful and the best tool we have for epistemological inquiries. Science does not postulate truths. It builds models. When you can come up with something more effective and more useful than the laws of logic, we will drop them and use your idea. When we follow the laws, we can be comfortable making valid deductions and then assert our conversations are rational.

Immaterial, creator. If it is immaterial by what means are you claiming it to exist? If you claim it to exist, can I not use your exact same argument to claim anything in my imagination exists?

So you got to the “Presuppositional Garbage” and you decided to try it out. Well good for you. A presupposition of God’s existence does not demonstrate a god exists. Anyone can presuppose anything. If you don’t have the laws of logic to weed out the bullshit, what do you have?

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Why not just accurately define the deity you believe exists? Offering up a generic unfalsifiable claim just seems pointless, as we can’t know anything about unfalsifiable ideas, I would always remain agnostic about all unfalsifiable claims, and of course I would withhold belief, as that is the only rational and open minded position, since it involves no contradictions or bias for or against any claims.

FYI, materialism and atheism are not remotely the same. While atheism is simply the lack or absence of belief in any deity, and need not involve a contrary claim and of course is not itself a belief, materialism is a belief, and all beliefs are the affirmation of a claim. I don’t believe anything exists beyond the material for the same reason I don’t believe any deity exists, because no objective evidence is ever demonstrated to support either belief, but I don’t make the claim or hold the belief that they don’t exist, as this would incur an epistemological burden of proof I could not meet. I do however know that the material exists as an objective fact, so adding unevidenced assumptions of any kind violates Occam’s razor.

What atheistic worldview? An atheistic worldview is any worldview that doesn’t involve a belief in a deity, this would encompass innumerable world views, and atheism is not itself a worldview. Why you would expect the lack of belief in a deity to explain anything is unclear, one assumes you don’t believe in mermaids, does this lack of belief explain materialism? You seem to be attempting to use an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

What moral absolutes? Morality is subjective, it cannot be otherwise. Logic is a method of reasoning that adheres to strict principles of validation, it’s efficacy is demonstrable, and the method was created by humans, so I am not sure what your point is?

Humans created them, what on earth are you talking about?

Well those are both straw man fallacies you seem to have created, and nothing at all to do atheism. I have met and debated atheists who were relentlessly irrational for a start. Atheism also does not need to make any case for a universe without a deity, you’re again using an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

Sigh, humans created them.

What atheistic worldview? Accurately define what it is you think this means? If you mean atheism, then just say atheism, as this is not a worldview.

So what? What objective evidence can you demonstrate that any deity exists, or is even possible? Also the claim a deity did something has no explanatory powers, you are using a begging the question fallacy, by simply assuming a deity exists and is possible in your argument for a deity.

You just did exactly that?

What problem? Evil is a subjective notion as is good, it doesn’t exist in any objective or absolute way, it is what we subjectively perceive actions to be. That fact presents no problem for not believing claims for deities unsupported by any objective evidence that I can see?

They’re in the dictionary, I am happy to use those definitions. So is the word unicorn of course and mermaid, but this does not mean they exist in any objective way.

Subjectively obviously,the same as theists, but without blind adherence to archaic superstitions derived from patriarchal Bedouin societies.

Again, subjectively, just like theists, had you not noticed that theists don’t agree on what is moral? Do your morals reflect those of ISIS or the Taliban for example?

Your argument seems to involve more than one false equivalence fallacy, that a) equates atheism with materialism, and that b) equates emergent properties of the human brain like consciousness and the brains ability to imagine complex methods like logic, with religious claims for the supernatural. Ironically using this fallacy is itself irrational, and thus poorly reasoned. Logic can be demonstrated to work, as a far more reliable method of reasoning for understanding what is likely to be true, that’s all I need to know in order to use it. You are assuming it this method exists independently of the humans who created it, but like your Christian deity, can you demonstrate any objective evidence for either claim? If not then why would I believe either claim?

Basically the fallacy you’re using is a semantic false equivalence of the word immaterial with the word supernatural. All one need do to illustrate how poorly reasoned this is, is replace deity with an immaterial unicorn, if your argument were compelling then you would have to admit that it was equally compelling that the imagined immaterial unicorn also existed outside of the human brains that have imagined it. I can’t think of a better way to show how meaningless the argument is.

And of course you would need to demonstrate that a complex method of reasoning humans have created (like logic) exists or could exist without an evolved human brain to create it, for your argument to have any meaning at all, can you do that? You would still need to demonstrate sufficient objective for a deity even then, if your argument is not to simply be an fallacious argumentum ad ignorantiam attack on atheism of course.

FYI, I have no problem with the idea that humans invent deities, this is a fact we can easily demonstrate objective evidence for, so equating any deity with something else we’ve imagined, like the method of logic, is something of an own goal if you’re purpose is to argue that deity has objective reality, or exists outside of the human imagination.

Oh and welcome to AR by the way, I look forward to your thoughts on this.

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Oh look, the in tray is full again. This promises to be fun. The regulars here will understand that the tone of voice being deployed here is very definitely Stadtler & Waldorf, for reasons that will become apparent shortly, and you are strongly recommended to pay attention to the entire post to learn why.

So, let’s begin yet another excursion into the world of “It’s petunias time again”, shall we? (Bonus points to those who understand the reference).

Let’s see if your conduct of discourse from this point on lives up to this billing, shall we? Only the past experience of numerous individuals here, myself included, leads to treating assertions such as yours above with deep suspicion - in my case, 14 years of dealing with posts such as this in various forums has provided me with a large data set informing me that such assertions do indeed deserve deep suspicion.

Your user name told us that. Though of course the regulars here are used to needlessly vocal declarations from your ilk.

And already, the antennae are starting to twitch. Be patient, you’ll learn why in due course.

Captain to crew, we’re in the AO, the TERCOM is set to TF 200, hard ride … DSO, keep vigilant watch for SAMs.

I suspect your assertion about your eagerness above is woefully premature.

No surprise there, And already, the familiar parts of the aetiology of your ilk are coming to the fore.

Oh dear. It’s this tiresome assertion I’ve seen so many times before from your ilk. Indeed, if I’d been paid £10 for each time in the past an assertion of this sort had crossed my path, I would now be driving a Bentley. Again, stay tuned for reasons why this assertion is, to put it bluntly, horseshit.

And here is your first big problem. Namely, atheism isn’t a “worldview”, or any of the other things mythology fanboys keep asserting it to be (let’s see, going through the checklist, it isn’t a “belief system”, an “ideology”, or a “religion” either, three other favourite assertion we see from your ilk frequently).

Atheism, in its rigorous formulation, is nothing more than suspicion of unsupported mythology fanboy assertions. That is IT. It’s the only thought process that is found observationally to be universal among atheists, and as a corollary, is sufficient to constitute a definition. Don’t bother with facile recourse to argumentum ad lexicographium or any other such nonsense, I’m not interested in what sources lacking rigour assert on the matter.

As a direct corollary of the above, atheism as a thought process doesn’t involve presenting assertions., at least if done properly. Instead, it consists of requiring mythology fanboys to provide genuine, rigorus support for THEIR assertions, because without said genuine, rigorous support, the assertions in question are safely discardable in accordance with the rules of proper discourse, rules which sadly I’ve learned over the past 14 years that mythology fanboys are either [1] completely ignorant of, or [2] regard themselves and their assertions as being exempt therefrom. I’m not letting them play that game, an haven’t for a long time.

Oh, and before you even begin to respond to the above, be advised that “My favourite Bronze Age mythology says so” isn’t “evidence” for your cartoon magic man, it’s evidence solely for the propensity of the authors thereof to make shit up, then pretend that their made up shit supposedly constitutes fact. A prime example of this is provided by the ridiculous assertion contained within the pages of your mythology, that genetics is purportedly controlled by coloured sticks. That assertion was utterly destroyed by a 19th century monk, when he launched modern genetics as a properly constituted scientific discipline. I can provide similar rebuttals of other ridiculous assertions contained in your mythology with ease.

So, already, your “understanding” is found wanting.

Meanwhile, before I continue, another concept for you to factor in at this juncture. Namely, because atheism, when conducted properly, only concerns itself with one issue, it does NOT pretend to have answers to the myriad of questions that mythology fanboys wrongly (and frequently dishonestly) assert purportedly constitute the remit of “atheism”. They don’t. Those other questions are the remit of well-defined human endeavours to whom those of us who paid attention in class, turn to find out if there are any genuine, rigorous answers to said questions.

Examples of relevant well-defined human endeavours called upon include the physical sciences, pure mathematics, and certain branches of philosophy. The latter class of endeavours needs to be approached with caution, because all too often, these have been infected with varying degrees of unwarranted assertionist cant and blather that need to be swept aside, before reaching the kernels of genuine reasoning cloaked by said cant and blather. Again, several of us here have long experience of the epistemological tank traps awaiting the unwary.

You are strongly advised to pay close attention to the above before moving on, because it will pay dividends shortly.

First of all, learn the distinction between “immaterial” and abstract. Again, typical failure of rigour on your part.

First of all, every process that has ever been observed, while residing in large part in the abstract realm, has its basis in material interactions. There are no exceptions. Every attempt to conjure purported “exceptions” into existence via apologetic spells has failed dismally, and if I have time, I’ll explain to you why apologetics is itself a dismal failure of an enterprise. But, let’s deal with issues in their proper priority, and cover this ridiculous assertion of yours.

Quite simply, mythology fanboys like you cannot even give a proper, rigorous definition of the so-called “immaterial”. I’ve never observed one being provided by your ilk. Furthermore, one of the tank traps that your ilk continue to fall into, centres upon the fact that any entities or interactions that are observable, fall within the remit of scientific investigation by definition. That’s what science is - the study and analysis of the observable. The various branches thereof have been spectacularly successful in this matter, and scientists have alighted upon vast classes of entities and interactions, that the Bronze Age nomads responsible for your mythology were completely incapable of even fantasising about. Furthermore, those same scientists have placed said classes of entities and interactions into usefully predictive, quantitative frameworks of knowledge, of a sort that said Bronze Age nomads would have regarded as magic.

Meanwhile, back to your ridiculous assertion above. The mere fact that, to take your example of the laws of logic, these can be instantiated in a machine (Alan Turing was merely the first to place this realisation on a rigorous footing), suggests strongly that there is no “magic” involved, and as a corollary, no magic man needed. Again, we’re dealing here with processes, and once again, every process that has ever been observed has had a a material basis without exception.

There’s also the little matter that the first well-defined formal treatise on logic was written by Aristotle, fully 300 years before your religion and a significant part of its accompanying mythology even existed.

As for ethics, you’re in for a very hard ride shortly, but that will come a little later. But, one problem you have, is that your assertions about a purported “objective morality” are fatuous. Because “Magic Man says so” is as far removed from “objective” as it gets. In case you never learned the genuine meaning of the word, an objective phenomenon is one that can be reliably observed and understood by multiple independent observers, regardless of whatever presupposition they my hold, and the nature of which is wholly unaffected by any presuppositions present.

Mythology fanboy assertions about “objective morality” fail this basic test dismally. Their assertions on the matter are by definition critically dependent upon well-known presuppositions, the presupposition that a magic man from a specific mythology is real being central thereto.

On the other hand, those of us who paid attention in class, recognise certain key facts about ethical behaviour. The first being that humans were engaging in ethical behaviour, and devising ethical codes to abide by, fully two millennia before your mythology existed, and as a corollary, fully two millennia before your magic man was asserted to exist. Perhaps the canonical example being the Code of Urukagina, which was the first ethical code generated by humans, to institute prohibitions against slavery and the exploitation of the poor by the rich. On those matters, your mythology fails dismally.

But, there’s even worse to come for your naive and blithe assertions on this topic. Namely, that there exists an abundant scientific literature, documenting in exquisite detail the evidence for the evolutionary and biological basis of [1] our capacity for ethical thought, and [2] the motivation to act thereupon. Given the vast scope of the literature in question , I provided an extensive document covering said literature and its findings, and again, you are strongly advised to read that document in full, and learn what scientists have alighted upon over the past 50 years or so.

There’s also this nice video clip you can spent time watching and learning from, provided by the author of several of the peer reviewed scientific papers I cite in my document:

So already, a large number of your presuppositions have been roundly tossed into the bin by rigorous work in relevant fields.

So, let’s move on …

I just provided a detailed exposition that made no recourse to your imaginary “immaterial laws”, but instead relied upon proper examination of observational data. You’re not very good at this are you?

Just dealt with this above. Apparently you still need to learn that abstract concepts are capable of being materially instantiated.

And once again, we see that familiar and tiresome part of the mythology fanboy aetiology - the posturing on the part of the mythology fanboy, as being in a position to lecture us on what we think, without bothering with the inconvenience of actually asking us if the requisite presuppositions bear even the most tenuous connection to reality. 14 years of seeing this is wearing a little thin.

Looks like your initial billing about your purported discoursive conduct is heading into the same sewer as many of your other assertions.

Bare faced lie.

The "laws of logic " are nothing more than a conceptual rendering of processes. And as such, are amenable to material instantiation. See, for example, every computer that has been built since 1945.

At bottom, it’s all data processing, as Alan Turing taught us in his paper On Computable Numbers, and which was subsequently expanded upon by such as Kolmogrov and Chaitin. No imaginary “immaterial” entities involved.

Once again, there’s a difference between abstract and “immaterial”, which I’ve already told you about.

And there’s another of your big problems.

Namely, that those of us who treat this topic seriously, do NOT assert that a god type entity in its most general form does not exist. Instead, we recognise that the question is unanswered. Not least because, if a genuine, rigorous answer had ever been provided in the past, this would now be part of our mainstream boy of knowledge, and no one would be arguing about this (except for the likes of flat Earth contrarians).

Instead, the BIG mistake mythology fanboys ALWAYS make, is to presume that the only possible candidate for the “god role” is whichever candidate is asserted to exist in their favourite choice of pre-scientific mythology. The fact that the mythologies in question ARE pre-scientific, and frequently contain ludicrous assertions about the natural world, has no effect upon their complacent pursuit of this parochialism. Furthermore, another elementary concept that mythology fanboys fail to register, is that any entity asserted to exist, can be safely discarded if that entity is asserted to possess contradictory or absurd properties, and cartoon magic men from pre-scientific mythologies all fail this basic test.

There’s also the little matter that mythology fanboys cannot agree among themselves on a global scale, which of the numerous mythologies humans have invented is purportedly the “right” mythology, and that adherents of a particular mythology cannot agree among themselves what said mythology is purportedly telling us. Yet against this hilarious backdrop of rampant anti-consilience, mythology fanboys posture as being in a position to assert that their choice of mythology, and their choice of cartoon magic man, is the only possibility.

Furthermore, as a counter to your complacent (and possibly dishonest) assertions about my thinking, I’m on public record here and elsewhere, as welcoming any genuine evidence for any god type entity that might exist, on the basis that should said evidence be forthcoming, it will falsify all of our ridiculous pre-scientific mythologies at a stroke. Indeed, I’ve entertained ideas about the issue that mythology fanboys are frequently incapable of even fantasising about, and as an example, I direct you to this thread I provided for the purpose. Yes, I’ve been diligent and prolific here. Once again, you’re strongly advised to peruse the material in question in full, not least because I’m sadly familiar with mythology fanboy indolence.

Meanwhile, in case you’re wondering why scientists propose explanations for the universe and its contents based upon material entities and interactions, there’s a simple reason for this - namely, material entities and interactions are the only ones that have been reliably and repeateably observed and measured in the centuries that scientists have been operating. Scientists have a habit of sticking to whatever is supported by evidence.

Already dealt with your fallacies here above in detail. Once again, we have evidence for material entities and interactions in abundance, as documented in several million peer reviewed scientific papers. We have ZERO evidence for the merely asserted “immaterial”.

This isn’t an “explanation”, its a blind assertion. Learn the difference.

Given the nonsensical assertions associated therewith, it’s just as well.

Poppycock. Some operators in the ethical realm will choose personal gain over collective well-being. There’s no mystery here about this from the standpoint of not treating a cartoon magic man as real. On the other hand, it’s a gigantic problem for you and your assertions about a magic man.

Try “does the action in question result in observable harm being dispensed to the recipients?”

No cartoon magic man needed.

Heard of empathy, have you?

You know that you don’t want someone to break your legs with a baseball bat. It doesn’t take anything other than basic empathy, to realise that the same is the case for other members of your species. Indeed, that extensive exposition on ethics I provided above via that Google document, covers the matter in some detail.

Now, I’ll enjoy seeing your failure to respond to the above with substance, a prediction that arises from a large data set obtained over 14 years of dealing with your ilk.

But, before departing, two observations. One, why is is that every mythology fanboy launches into predictable peddling of repeatedly destroyed assertions here, without once performing even the most elementary of checks to see if these assertions have been addressed by previous posters? Is due diligence a skill that your education system failed to teach you?

Also, as for apologetics … the deconstruction thereof I’ve just provided above, should be telling you something important. Namely that the whole business of apologetics, is nothing more than the concoction of convoluted semantic fabrications and elisions, aimed at pretending to provide evidential support for blind mythological assertions, with which to dazzle the gullible and uneducated. It’s a variation on the failed mediaeval theme of trying to conjure entities into existence with magic spells.

Enjoy your homework.

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Exactly, and it is quite demonstrably not an explanation, but a bare unevidenced claim. The claim goddidit has no explanatory powers at all? Just off the top of my head:

  1. How did this deity do anything?
  2. Where did this deity come from?
  3. How is this deity possible?
  4. If it is immaterial, then how does that differ objectively from things that exist purely in the human imagination?

etc etc etc…Explanations must explain, they can’t simply make a string of unevidenced claims that the user finds consistent. I could posit anything immaterial did it, and his argument would lose nothing. Though to be fair it had little to lose, no offence, but this is the problem when people invoke arguments about logic without even a basic understanding of what it is, what it does, and the principles that it must adhere to.

The generic stereotypical straw man caricature he has created in his argument obviously, using the false and fallacious assumptions in the post, for example the false equivalence between atheism and materialism, how often have we seen apologists make this error. The false equivalences that equate the lack or absence of one specific belief, as a belief and even a worldview. I don’t believe in mermaids or unicorns, are those both worldviews now?

Exactly so, the term evil has little meaning without a subjective notion of what we consider wrong or right behaviours, and like yours mine would necessarily encompass avoiding where possible causing unnecessary suffering or harm.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and after reading hsi posts suggest this might be a presuppositional belief he holds that reasonable equates with Christian belief. Given free reign I’d bet at some point a no true Scotsman fallacy would be presented. Though now i read this back I see i amy have stepped in too soon again, apologies.

Exactly so, there are worldviews that happen to be atheistic, but then there are worldviews that don’t involve all manner of beliefs.

Exactly right, he is simply making a string of unsupported assumptions, and then claiming they are consistent, well so what? If one posited that the Loch Ness monster possessed omnipotence and omniscience, and could appear at will as material then disappear, this is consistent with sacans of the entire loch not desontrating any monster exists in there, it does not however represent evidence it does exist.

Of course, but we have to assume that a) they are unaware of this, and b) are approaching this with an open mind, or at least perceive they are and want genuine debate.

It’s hard not to become jaded when presented with the same fallacious arguments over and over, but it is a debate room, so we have to try. Maybe try not to scare them off so quickly, unless they are obviously here to troll of course, like that idiot yesterday, I have no problem with calling that one out from his first post, but maybe I have anger issues i need to deal with? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :innocent:

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I want to make it blatantly obvious that you are going to hell for the above comment. God himself is quite clear about this.

Exodus 20:3-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
“You shall have no other gods before Me.

You are arguing for a god that is not the God of your bible. You have created an amorphous immaterial thing in order to win a debate. You are either lying for your faith or you are a woefully misguided religious person. Isn’t it amazing how the apologists never argue for the God they profess to believe in. That makes you a liar. Or are you willing to say that you do not believe in the God of the bible, and are arguing for some other version of a god?

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Which god are you serving? Not the God of the Bible Tell me why this dishonesty does not tear at your soul?

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Should you not be ashamed of yourself for attempting such deceit?

God is immaterial? Explain this…
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,

As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. I havent met immaterial people.

I just gotta say…
So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

You gotta come up with something better than 'Some god might exist."

Well, you all certainly didn’t leave me without anything to respond to! Thank you for that! I thought you might blow me off and ignore me. Much the opposite! Let the learning begin (for me)!

  1. I want to apologize that I don’t have the time (or ability) to respond to everything. I admitted at the outset that I’m a rookie apologist. I will defend and support my positions with responses to some of your material the best I can. Let’s start with some quick responses…

  2. Thank you @Kellii for assuming the best about me. Despite holding a view that some of you seem to despise, I actually do come with the purest motives I know how to have. Yes, I want to “try out” arguments for my worldview, and yes, some of my arguments are against what some of you hold to. I am truly attempting to do so with respect and with a posture toward learning from our exchange. It’s kind of ironic that so many of you pointed to empathy as the key to atheist morality, but seemed to lack any empathy for me. Perhaps my initial post was flawed, presuppositional, repetitive, or whatever, but I don’t think it was attacking or offensive toward atheists as humans. At least I did not intend it to be so. If I was disrespectful, I apologize for that.

  3. @Cognostic claims I’m going to hell based on making an argument for an immaterial being without explicitly arguing for my Christian God. I realize he’s trying to flip the tables and show that my religion is foolish or that I’m hypocritical, thus my arguments should be disregarded. However, I do not believe I’m going to hell for this argumentation strategy. I am actually arguing for the Christian God that you’re mocking. I simply chose to begin with a single step in that direction. I chose to begin by trying to argue that there is an inconsistency in a materialist understanding of the universe because the materialist builds a case based on immaterial laws of logic. The materialist often challenges Christianity based on the problem of evil but does not have a framework for objective evil or good.

  4. Many of you pointed out that I claimed without any evidence that “immaterial, universal laws proceed from an immaterial, eternal Creator.” You are absolutely right! I did not make a case or present evidence to support that claim. I intended to contrast the Christian faith with a materialist perspective. Christianity has a framework for logic that universally and objectively applies whether our physical brains agree about that or not (we call him God). A materialist does not have a consistent framework for universal, objective laws of logic (in my opinion). Would anyone like to present a materialist framework for this? I think we can move forward in this line of argumentation. Likely with responses from materialists that the laws of logic are not laws at all or that they are subjective, based in the electrochemical functions of our brain. Isn’t that circular though? If logic is not universal, then how can we say anything definitively? This is where I see the materialist perspective as self-defeating or self-contradictory. I’m truly asking for explanation here, not just poking fun at you if this is your belief.

  5. Many of you expressed frustration that I used the term “atheistic worldview.” I can appreciate that it’s not fair to coin terms you wouldn’t use of yourself or misrepresent you. The challenge is that there are many different atheists and many different theists, and not all agree. I see that. I wouldn’t want to be misrepresented (and don’t like the ways I have been in this conversation). I apologize for misrepresenting your position. I have tried to use more specific words in this reply, focusing on the Materialist “perspective.” What I mean by that is the view that everything that exists is based in matter, denying any immaterial laws or morals, and certainly denying an immaterial being known by Christians as God.

I believe this is a fair perspective to debate against, although I recognize there may be atheists who are not materialists. But, in favor of my approach, many of you made arguments with the presupposition that the only type of existence is matter-based. Would you like to give evidence for that claim, rather than just call my God a “cartoon magic man”? We all have biases. We all bring personal experience to the discussion. We all consider certain things to be self-evident. Our best bet is to be honest about them and try to mitigate our biases the best we can rather than falling into the Neutrality Fallacy. You are not truly neutral. I am not truly neutral. We came into the conversation with pretty entrenched perspectives. That’s ok. But it’s not ok to pretend we didn’t. That undermines fair discourse.

But there’s that sticky wicket again, fairness is an immaterial, universally applied moral evaluation. Is it fair to gang up on me in this forum since it shows empathy to the majority of people reading? I clearly don’t want my proverbial legs broken, but is it ok to do so? Then would it be fair to mistreat you in a Christian forum since, in that case, it would empathize with the most people? Christians have a very clear answer to these questions. What’s yours?

Oxford Reference - defines materialism as sometimes invoked to argue against the transcendent explanation (which is my position in this thread)

I’ll likely reply to more of your response later, but this immediately stuck out to me. I didn’t hear any presuppositions that the only type of existence is matter-based. Instead, I read that folks posited that the only type of existence DEMONSTRATED to exist is matter-based. Big difference.

It’s been my experience here that most regular posters endeavor to be precise with their language. It will benefit the discussion a great deal to consider this going forward.

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Did you skip the part talking about immaterial vs. abstract?

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What’s mine? Mine is that posters here are not a gang. You, an individual, opened up a discussion. Individuals responded to that opening. The people here who identify as atheist are not a many-legged creature with one brain.

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