Thursday, September 19, 2013

Open Air Atheist

I had a discussion with Open Air Atheist on my Youtube channel. Here is my reply to him.

Please explain logically how objective values are contradictory? You maintain my question “…is like asking [you] to explain why a square circle is logically contradictory.” And then conclude, “It simply is the case that both of these concepts are by definition distinct from one another.”  No one disputes circles and squares are distinct. Your main point is misplaced. If the concept of objective moral values is logically contradictory, as you claim, then a conceptual analysis is due on your part to demonstrate it. But what you level against objective moral values is no simple task. You must show logically there is no possible world in which objective moral values can exist. But as I see it, by the use of possible world semantics, a conceptual analysis of ‘objective moral values’ can be shown as logically coherent.   

First, lets fill in the content of the words “objective moral values.”  By objective moral values, we mean moral values/facts that are universally binding on all people regardless of whether or not people acknowledge them. For example, an act of rape is morally wrong no matter if anyone believes it or not. 

Why is God essentially rational? I think this kind of question is wrongheaded. It is like the question, who made God? The question is fallacious or worse utter nonsense. I kindly take it to be the former than the latter. It is a category mistake on the part of the questioner. What the question is fundamentally asking is why God, a being who is necessarily rational, is not contingently rational. But clearly such a question confuses the categories of being, namely the necessary and contingent.    

Define your use of the term "created"? Do you mean A can cause something to come from nothing? If so, then if something can come from nothing, then we don't need God (whatever that is if indeed an is).

I maintain that God, who is omnipotent (i.e. consistently by nature all powerful), brought the universe, and humans into existence from no thing. It is the biblical doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. And my view conforms to biogenesis. Thus something only comes from something. But if you deny the biblical doctrine of creatio ex nihilo you are left with affirming the absurd conclusion that something comes from nothing by nothing. In the words of William lane Craig, “ such a view is worse than magic.” 

What is God? "God is a person?" Obviously you don't mean that in the usual sense. A person has qualia and physical correlates. If you say no! Then its like saying God is a person which is not a person, or at least not like any person you have experienced which tells me nothing!

What is qualia? Please define qualia. There are plenty of definitions for God. But since you asked me, I would subscribe to the Westminster or London Baptist Confession of Faith’s definition. Now if you wish to tell me the word ‘God’ has no referent; and in effect, all Christians are deluded when they talk about God, such a tactic gets us nowhere in discussion. Moreover, by leveling such a claim, you are taking upon the burden to prove all Christians are deluded when they speak of God and the word itself is meaningless. But there are countless books that would demonstrate the term ‘God’ is meaningful.[1] Moreover, your questions show you are out of step with the Christian renaissance in contemporary analytic philosophy. God is absolute personality, the one in the many, Tri-personal: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is absolute in lordship, authority, presence, knowledge, power and goodness.

Because value judgments are by nature intrinsically subjective. They are personal like, dislikes, expectations (first person experiences) etc.

So is it your subjective value judgment that all value judgments are subjective? This is clearly self-refuting.  I do not deny the subjective component to values but nor do I deny the normative component to values either. And the latter component was the main focus of my discussion with you.

Define your usage of the term "reality" without committing a fallacy of definition.

What is the fallacy of definition? If you are claiming it is a tautology I'd refer you to Quine's paper Two Dogmas of Empiricism.  It is obvious this question is simply a tactic to get away from debating. All one has to do to reveal this fact is ask, "is it true to reality you do not know what ‘reality’ means?" By reality I mean the actual state of affairs.  

 I know what I mean when I use the term "know," but I'm asking you to define your usage of the term. 

Again, another obvious question simply to get away from debating. But I will answer. The term “know” refers to knowledge, which is traditionally understood as justified true belief. But after Alvin Plantinga came along, it might properly be changed to warranted true belief.

 "Why care about truth?" The reason I project value onto truth etc, is because it suits my goals.

Goals to what ends? So truth is merely instrumental? It is instrumental to what? If there is no ultimate end to the means, then one is left in an infinite regress.    

[1] JP Moreland and Kai Nielsen. Does God Exist? The Debate between Theists and Atheists (Prometheus, Amherst, 1993)p.p.57-59,156-158.
Kenneth Boa and Robert Bowman Jr. The Unchanging Faith in a Changing World (Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1997)p.p.72-76.
Smith, George H. Atheism: The Case Against God. 2003. PDF. p.22.
Adler, Mortimer J. How to Think about God: A Guide to a 20th-Century Pagan.(Macmillan, New York, 1980)p.p.78-93.
William Lane Craig. Defining God  

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