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Michael Egnor: Prayer during an epidemic makes sense; Jerry Coyne is scandalized

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It started when diehard Darwinian Jerry Coyne made fun of U.S. Veep Mike Pence and colleagues praying about the coronavirus epidemic:

There’s even a picture of the virus task force praying together! We don’t need prayer; we need science! Here’s the photo, which distresses me but doesn’t surprise me… [a]fter all, one godly intervention is just as delusional as another!

Jerry Coyne, “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Pence” at Why Evolution Is True

Michael Egnor responded,

Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne thinks that only fools would pray about Coronavirus. He is wrong and here is why…

If God is real, then prayer is probably the first thing you want to do in a crisis. A plea to the Boss is a fine preamble to the grunt work of managing a crisis. I’m a neurosurgeon, and I pray before each operation. It really helps.

Michael Egnor, “Why prayer is wise during a pandemic” at Mind Matters News

He goes on to offer logical proofs of the existence of God, concluding that “The prayer of the coronavirus task force is wise and wholly appropriate, for both theological and scientific reasons.”

Then Coyne replied, offering responses to specific arguments and adding,

And we don’t need a Christian community now during a pandemic: that’s been replaced by epidemiologists and, most of all, medicine and medical care, all based on materialistic science.

Finally, has Dr. Egnor asked himself this: if praying to God stops people from dying, so God has the power to cure, why did God allow coronavirus to spread in the first place? It’s not just killing off evil people, you know: it’s taking babies who haven’t even had the chance to do evil, or learn about the salvific effects of accepting Jesus. In fact, pandemics are one bit of evidence against the existence of any god who is powerful and empathic.

Jerry Coyne, “Egnor: We need to pray during this pandemic” at Why Evolution Is True

And now Michael Egnor has replied, quoting Coyne and responding:

Coyne, in reply: If there are going to be arguments for god that are convincing, they will have to be empirical ones, not theoretical lucubrations of ancient theologians.

Coyne is clueless. All valid proofs of God’s existence—and there are many—are empirical proofs. As St. Thomas observed, any proof of existence must contain empirical evidence in its premise, because a purely logical proof, which is valid for mathematics and logic, cannot demonstrate the existence of anything. That is why the ontological proof of God’s existence is invalid. You can’t, by pure reason alone, conclude that God (or anything) exists. You must have evidence.

Michael Egnor, “Jerry Coyne hasn’t got a prayer” at Mind Matters News

Egnor sums up: We are more scientifically certain of God’s existence than we are of quantum mechanics or Newtonian or relativistic gravitation. The logic is rigorous.

Over to Coyne.

See also: Michael Behe muses on design and COVID-19 Behe: … most viruses do not affect humans and may well have a positive, necessary role to play in nature of which we are currently unaware. (I would bet on it.) From time to time a storm arises in the virosphere and affects humans. But that’s no reason to think either that viruses weren’t designed or that the designer of viruses isn’t good.

61 Replies to “Michael Egnor: Prayer during an epidemic makes sense; Jerry Coyne is scandalized

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    I’m sure the Christian people of Europe in the Middle Ages prayed fervently for protection from the bubonic plague. That didn’t stop a third of the continent’s population being wiped out by it. Maybe there was no one there to hear them?

    As for the claim that God’s existence amounts to a scientific certainty, I don’t know whether this is hubris, egnorance, a blatant disregard for the Ninth Commandment or all three.

  2. 2
    Truthfreedom says:

    @1 Seversky

    I’m sure the Christian people of Europe in the Middle Ages prayed fervently for protection from the bubonic plague. That didn’t stop a third of the continent’s population being wiped out by it. Maybe there was no one there to hear them?

    Yes, keeping on being alive to know each and every day of your existence is ‘purposeless’ is quite nice.
    -Hearing naturalists like dawkins would have helped people in the Middle Ages a lot.

    Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA… life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. Richard Dawkins.

    Pray Darwin.

  3. 3
    Ed George says:

    If God is real, then prayer is probably the first thing you want to do in a crisis.

    Prayers have done such a wonderful job at stopping mass shootings.

    If God exists then he has a purpose for COVID-19. If God exists, why should be doing something that goes against this purpose?

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Eddie George:

    If God exists then he has a purpose for COVID-19.

    OK. Perhaps it is to cull those who should have been dead already.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Or even better, the virus is an impetus for us to learn.

  6. 6
    Truthfreedom says:

    If God exists then he has a purpose for COVID-19. If God exists, why should be doing something that goes against this purpose?

    Maybe His purpose is hearing evoTARDs like you praying.
    -If naturalism is true (and there is proof that it is not) life is meaningless and helping people to avoid sickness/ death is a waste of time/ a ‘trick’ or a spandrel.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Coyne claims that,

    And we don’t need a Christian community now during a pandemic: that’s been replaced by epidemiologists and, most of all, medicine and medical care, all based on materialistic science.

    And yet Coyne also admitted that, “Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably.”

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).)

    And as Philip Skell pointed out.

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

    Well if, as Coyne himself pointed out, the ‘materialistic science’ of evolution is not helping us to develop new vaccines, then exactly what is? Well that obviously would be humans intelligently designing new vaccines, via empirical evidence and various ‘rational design’ strategies:

    Vaccines: From Empirical Development to Rational Design – 2012
    Excerpt: most currently available vaccines were empirically designed. In this review, we discuss why rational design of vaccines is not only desirable but also necessary. We introduce recent developments towards specifically tailored antigens, adjuvants, and delivery systems, and discuss the methodological gaps and lack of knowledge still hampering true rational vaccine design. Finally, we address the potential and limitations of different strategies and technologies for advancing vaccine development.
    https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1003001

    And as Michael Egnor points out, “Evolutionary explanations by themselves are worthless to medicine. All medical treatments are based on detailed proximate explanations.”

    Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations – Michael Egnor – neurosurgeon – June 2011
    Excerpt: 4) Evolutionary explanations by themselves are worthless to medicine. All medical treatments are based on detailed proximate explanations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47701.html

    And as Dr. Egnor further points out, Darwinian evolution has played no role in medical science and yet medical science has been remarkably successful,,

    Against “Darwinian Medicine” – Dr. Michael Egnor – August 9, 2016
    Excerpt: Darwinist Randolph Nesse has been peddling “Darwinian Medicine” for years.,,,
    He argues for integration of Darwinian science into medical school curricula,,,
    The very admission that Darwinism has had no role in medical science is a telling argument not for its inclusion, but for its irrelevance. Medical science is remarkably successful. Antibiotics, cybernetics, cancer chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, hip replacements, heart transplants, and a host of near-miraculous advances have greatly extended our lifespan and improved the quality of our lives — all without Darwin.
    Whether or not Darwinian hypotheses can be teased out of some medical advances, it is simply a fact that doctors and medical researchers pay no attention to Darwinian speculations in their work, and their work has been astonishingly successful.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03058.html

    In fact, “almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    Adam S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    Moreover, in so far as Darwinian speculations have influenced science and medicine at large, those speculations have always been detrimental to science and medicine, i.e. for instance the false predictions of junk DNA and vestigial organs,, etc.. etc…

    As well, the consequences for societies at large, from ‘Darwinian speculations’, have been always been catastrophically bad,

    A Dehumanizing Ideology Unsurprisingly Catalyzes Violence – Michael Egnor – August 7, 2016
    Excerpt: And it is precisely the metaphysical commitments Coyne has championed that have catalyzed atheist violence — the denial of an objective moral law, the denial of eternal accountability for transgressions, the reduction of human beings to animals or even to meat robots, deprived of free will or of any claim to human exceptionalism. These are all tenets of atheist belief, and Coyne himself is one of the loudest salesman for the dehumanizing ideology inherent to atheism.
    Just how violent and repressive can atheism be?,,,
    In the past century, a number of nations have been governed by explicitly atheist governments. Atheist governments murdered more than 100 million people during the 20th century.,,,
    Looking at modern history, we see: Christian culture creates reasonable and tolerant democracies. Islamic regimes create repressive theocracies. Atheist regimes create totalitarian hellholes.
    The denial of free will and the other anti-human inferences inherent to atheism are not merely theoretical affronts to humanity.
    The fact is that atheism is the most violent ideology in the 20th century, and given its short run and unprecedented rate of state-sanctioned murder, it is also the most violent and repressive ideology in human history.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03055.html

    Darwin on Marx – by Richard William Nelson | Apr 18, 2010
    Excerpt: Marx and Engels immediately recognized the significance of Darwin’s theory. Within weeks of the publication of The Origin of Species in November 1859, Engels wrote to Marx –
    “Darwin, by the way, whom I’m reading just now, is absolutely splendid. There was one aspect of teleology that had yet to be demolished, and that has now been done…. One does, of course, have to put up with the crude English method.”
    Marx wrote back to Engels on December 19, 1860 –
    “This is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view.”
    The Origin of Species became the natural cause basis for Marx’s emerging class struggle movement. In a letter to comrade Ferdinand Lassalle, on January 16, 1861, Marx wrote –
    “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”
    Marx inscribed “sincere admirer” in Darwin’s copy of Marx’s first volume of Das Kapital in 1867. The importance of the theory of evolution for Communism was critical. In Das Kapital, Marx wrote –
    “Darwin has interested us in the history of Nature’s Technology, i.e., in the formation of the organs of plants and animals, which organs serve as instruments of production for sustaining life. Does not the history of the productive organs of man, of organs that are the material basis of all social organisation, deserve equal attention?”
    To acknowledge Darwin’s influence, Marx asked to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin.
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/2010/04/darwin-on-marx/

    In conclusion, contrary to what Coyne believes, there is no such thing as ‘materialistic science’. In fact, the term ‘materialistic science’ is an oxymoron, An oxymoron that Coyne used just to try to shoehorn his Darwinian religion into science.

    The fact of the matter is that all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism., (i.e. ‘materialistic science’).
    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    In short, Coyne is a snake oil charlatan who is selling quackery when he tries to claim that science is ‘materialistic’ . The assumption of materialism, much like the assumption of Darwinian evolution itself, has nothing to do with science save to be a unnecessary hindrance to it.

  8. 8
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    @ET #4
    ET said ” …Perhaps it is to cull those who should have been dead already.”

    Thanks for the preemptive post-hoc.

  9. 9
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Pater- The question was post-hoc. Perhaps there are only so many souls. And then suppose that the death rate is artificially low, while the birth rate is climbing. War or the culling of those who are artificially kept alive?

  10. 10
    Truthfreedom says:

    People are dying jerry. And? According to you

    “The universe and life are pointless…Pointless in the sense that there is no externally imposed purpose or point in the universe”.

    And were not you the evoTARD who affirms there is not free-will? Michael Egnor is just a neuronal illusion that can not choose his religious beliefs… Well, he can choose nothing really and he does ‘not exist’ (according to your mental flatulence).
    Wow, evoTARDs that swallow coyne’s bilge used to be called ‘lunatics.’ 🙂
    Padded rooms and all.

  11. 11
    john_a_designer says:

    I think it’s really pointless to get into arguments with intolerant people. Obviously Coyne can’t tolerate the fact that people pray. What’s his problem? No one is forcing him to pray. What business is it of his what other believe?

    Christians of all denominations do more than pray.

    For example:

    CHA advances the Catholic health ministry of the United States in caring for people and communities. Comprised of more than 600 hospitals and 1,600 long-term care and other health facilities in all 50 states, the Catholic health ministry is the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation. Every day, more than one in seven patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital.

    https://www.chausa.org/about/about/facts-statistics

    There are also a large number of hospitals with Methodist and Baptist in their name.

    Even though neither I nor my parents were Catholic, I was born in a Catholic hospital, spent six weeks recovering in a Catholic hospital after being in a serious auto accident and my present primary care physician is part of a Catholic medical group.

    I am sure they would care for even Jerry Coyne. It’s the Christian thing to do.

    Guess who’s going to be on the front line fighting the Coronavirus pandemic? Not Jerry Coyne.

  12. 12
    Truthfreedom says:

    @11 John_a_designer:

    I am sure they would care for even Jerry Coyne. It’s the Christian thing to do.

    And according to coyne, that would bear no merit, because people are meat-robots and free will does not exist.

    Your decisions result from molecular-based electrical impulses and chemical substances transmitted from one brain cell to another. These molecules must obey the laws of physics, so the outputs of our brain—our “choices”—are dictated by those laws.
    j. coyne
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/Jerry-A-Coyne-You-Dont-Have/131165

    It is obvious that evolution supporters are not mentally sound.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    the now predictable dripping hostility to God and to those who seek or trust or serve him is telling. It seems advisable to speak briefly to the philosophy and theology of prayer. I must also note that there is a very good reason why many public meetings or assemblies begin with a prayer:

    Psalm 127 is a classic:

    1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
    They labor in vain who build it;
    Unless the Lord guards the city,
    The watchman keeps awake in vain.

    2 It is vain for you to rise early,
    To retire late,
    To eat the bread of anxious labors—
    For He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep.

    We are all too finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often arrogant or otherwise ill-willed. Therefore, instead of dismissively boasting of our ideological, Evolutionary Materialistic Scientism and pretence to effective omniscience and authority, humbling ourselves before Him who is inherently good, utterly wise and source of worlds is advisable. Hubris goes before a fall.

    In this context, there is a seeming paradox: why should we be telling the all-knowing about our needs that he knows better than we could?

    The answer, is that prayer is relational and attitudinal. We humble ourselves — humility, not being a noted characteristic of current mockers of God and of godliness — and open ourselves to one who is wiser and better than we. This in fact makes it safer for things to be granted or given to us. It also makes us more willing to seek and listen to a famously still, small voice. Then, to heed it.

    Where of course, that voice can come from anyone, even that 2 – 3 year old child.

    And, here is a pivotal prayer-promise:

    1 Jn 5:14 This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [c]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.

    15 And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.

    Note, asking according to his will. First, we must be aligned with him in accord with the truth of the gospel. Second, we must be informed in accord with scripture, circumstances [which obviously includes sound observation] and the voices in the situation . . . our own, others, conscience, ethics, law, science, philosophy, mathematics, economics, sociology and psychology, organisation behaviour, logistics, management, strategy, communication and media principles, political science, natural and medical sciences etc. Third, we must humble ourselves to ask, seek, knock.

    Lastly, an obvious but readily overlooked fact.

    If yes, there were plagues in the classical world [cf. early Peloponnesian war], if yes there were plagues in the middle ages [Black Death], there are also — manifestly — plagues and pandemics in our own day [such as is unfolding before our eyes].

    So, our vaunted science has not secured for us immunity to plagues.

    Indeed, dark science has led some to try to create terrifying weapons that pervert our understanding of microbiology to create new plagues and our travel and trade have opened up conduits that can literally spread a plague globally within a week or two. Technically, 24 hours.

    It seems, we have a wisdom and ill will problem that cannot be cured by technical knowledge of science or even professional ethics.

    Save, the Lord build the house, save the Lord guards the city . . .

    KF

    PS: EG, you forget a basic fact. Mass shootings, bombings, wars etc that do not happen generally don’t make the headlines. Again, a statistical blunder; this time, of selection and headline grabbing/slanting effects. How many have learned to chain the wolf-warrior within to become honest, honourable sheep dogs through spiritual disciplines including prayer, scripture, regular attendance on church teachings and habitual discipline under gospel ethics? How often is this headlined or made into movies or is the subject of those notorious Sunday Morning talking head fests that seem to specialise in un-wisdom? Let us think again.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    TF,

    Great catch:

    Your decisions result from molecular-based electrical impulses and chemical substances transmitted from one brain cell to another. These molecules must obey the laws of physics, so the outputs of our brain—our “choices”—are dictated by those laws.
    j. coyne
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/Jerry-A-Coyne-You-Dont-Have/131165

    Does he realise that such words are inherently self-referential and undermine his own notion that he has freely and rationally drawn his conclusions on the weight of warrant duly judged and accepted?

    Do we not see how such self-referential incoherence cuts its own throat, necessarily falsifying itself?

    Or, is it that we refuse to see that every aspect, every facet of responsible rationality is inescapably morally governed by and pervaded with the first duties of reason? To wit, to truth, to prudence [so, warrant], to right reason [so, logic and epistemology, sound observation etc], to sound conscience, to neighbour [so, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice etc?

    Do we not understand the principle, ex falso quod libet? From the false, anything, that is a necessary falsity in our system will undermine our ability to reason and perceive soundly.

    KF

  15. 15
    john_a_designer says:

    Why do we never hear Christians saying to an atheist “that’s not very atheistic of you”? Or, “you are not being very atheistic.” The answer should be obvious. Neither atheism nor any atheistic world view (even most “honest” atheists don’t think atheism itself is a world view) provides a sufficient foundation for ethics. Christian’s know that and so do the atheists. Indeed, most of what atheists living in western society believe morally or ethically has been coopted from Christianity and Judaism. That by itself is hypocritical.

  16. 16
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    Forking Shirtballs. The DJIA was 19,827 the day Obama left office. Right now it’s 20,814.

  17. 17
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @JAD that’s called self-congratulation. It’s pride, and Christians aren’t supposed to do it. But they do, big surprise.

  18. 18
    john_a_designer says:

    When I was growing up my parents got to know a doctor who worked with the poor in Bangladesh– a so-called medical missionary. One incident that occurred during this man’s life has always stood out to me. It happened in the late 1960’s, when I was in high school. The clinic this doctor was working out of for some reason just got overwhelmed with Bengali’s seeking medical treatment (some had very serious conditions.) He and his staff had no choice but to turn people away knowing that many of them would die. It was during this period that Dr. K. had a massive heart attack. His friends said the circumstances literally broke his heart. However, miraculously, he didn’t die. His staff was somehow able to save his life.

    They then had him flown to Europe where he underwent surgery and then began rehabilitation.

    I remember having a discussion with some of the adults at our church after a special prayer meeting we had for Dr. K. One of the questions I heard them asking was, what was he going to do next? It seemed obvious to all of us that he couldn’t go back to his work. But after he recovered that’s what he did. That’s what he had to do. That was his calling.

    Three points:

    First, a lot of atheists use the so called argument from evil to argue against the existence of God, but they then turn a blind eye to the suffering around them. This man believed in God and that like many Christians is what motivated him to do something about the suffering in the world. Who’s the hypocrite? It appears to me that atheist uses the so-called argument from evil as an excuse to do nothing about what they term “evil.”

    Second, if more people like Dr. K. existed we would be able to mitigate a lot more of the suffering that exists in the world. But if mitigating suffering is not really (objectively) good then why would anyone be obligated to do anything about it?

    And finally, if there is no such thing a moral truth* (objective moral values and obligations) as many atheists argue then Dr. K. was no more moral than Hugh Hefner who at the time was advancing his hedonistic playboy philosophy. According to atheistic materialism there is absolutely no moral difference between Hugh Hefner and Dr. K. They just made different freewill moral choices (ironically, using free will that the materialists say is just an illusion.) In fact from that perspective Dr. K. was a fool. He should have set up his medical practice here in the U.S. where he could have made a lot more money.

    (*Of course, if there are no objective values and obligations then there is no real evil– thus there is no problem of evil. Maybe that’s what our atheist interlocutors are really arguing.)

    Let’s take God out of the equation. Does evil exist? If it does where does it come from? Take for instance evil in human society. Where does evil in society come from? Isn’t the source man himself? Who then is responsible to take care of the evil?

  19. 19
    Truthfreedom says:

    @17 JimThibodeau

    That’s called self-congratulation. It’s pride, and Christians aren’t supposed to do it. But they do, big surprise.

    Mmmm… That is called compassion and reasoning. It is fantastic, and materialists are not supposed to do it. And they do not, so everything is ok. No surprise 🙂

    Meanwhile, take a look, materialism is dying (it is an idiotic philosophy):
    https://strangenotions.com/the-big-problems-with-naturalism/

  20. 20
    john_a_designer says:

    What is the point of moral subjectivists in even being here? If nobody is right about morality then moral subjectivists like them certainly cannot be right. So why do they persist? What are they trying to prove since even if they irrationally believe they are right they cannot logically prove they are right?

    The only reason that I can think of is that they are self-centered and intolerant. Of course, what else would you expect from a moral subjectivist?

    Obviously moral objectivists do not believe that everybody is right about morality (that’s the point of an objective transcendent standard) but it does not follow from that that nobody is right about morality. The latter is self-refuting because it’s making a universal truth claim about moral truth. which ironically is exactly what the subjectivists are claiming cannot be done.

    If they were really intellectually honest about their so-called beliefs the moral subjectivists would move along because they have nothing to say here. So called moral subjectivism is basically moral nihilism, which is about nothing. Therefore, they have nothing to say.

  21. 21
    Truthfreedom says:

    Jim Thibodeau and MatSpirit are lowering the materialist bar each time they post here. They are j. coyne/ r. dawkins level stupid.

  22. 22
    john_a_designer says:

    I don’t enjoy, nor do I think it is very wise, getting sucked into baseless “arguments” that lead nowhere. There is big a difference between making logically valid arguments and being argumentative. Some of our regular interlocutors have a “talent” for just being argumentative which only has the purpose of derailing, disrupting or subverting the discussion.

    Unfortunately, too many people on the ID side get sucked into that kind of nonsense.

    As I have said here several times before:

    I have my own personal standard when it comes to interacting with our regular interlocutors. I usually only engage under two conditions:

    First, our interlocutor must be willing to ask and answer honest questions.

    Second, they need make a logically valid argument, which can be stated using succinct fact based premises. Being argumentative is not the same as making a valid argument. Neither is pretension and posturing, obstruction or obfuscation. Reasonable people know how to make reasonable arguments.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-is-seeing-the-glaringly-obvious-so-hard/#comment-688055

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, sometimes, it is necessary to correct for record, and sometimes it is necessary to slog it out to break the bewitchment of certain ideologies. After some time of that, there is a palpable shift in the clear balance on merits here at UD and I am confident elsewhere. For example, notice that materialism’s self referential incoherence and amorality inviting nihilistic factionalism is no longer a strange idiosyncratic notion or a readily ignored clip from a long dead philosopher? That, the fine tuning of the cosmos, the presence of language and algorithms in life and other signs of design have spoken? Even, that we have found a balance on the subject of the transfinite and the challenges of spanning a suggested temporal causal succession of such stages in steps? [This last took three years of hotly contested argument.] What is now emerging is a raw hostility against the Judaeo-Christian heritage that seems to be full of misunderstandings and unbalanced assertions and linked challenge to address the moral fabric of our civilisation i/l/o its roots, the human challenge as well as responsible, rational freedom. The tide has perceptibly been shifting. KF

  24. 24
    Ed George says:

    JaD

    What is the point of moral subjectivists in even being here? If nobody is right about morality then moral subjectivists like them certainly cannot be right. So why do they persist?

    Moral subjectivism is just a conclusion based on observation and evidence. Why does it need to have a point or a purpose if it is true?

  25. 25
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    Hell’s Bells. DJIA fell 2,997 points today. -12.93%.

    It was at 19,827 when Obama left office. It’s 20,188 today.

  26. 26
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    It’s too bad the Recent Comments feature doesn’t work many hours at a time.

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    John_a_designer: What is the point of moral subjectivists in even being here? If nobody is right about morality then moral subjectivists like them certainly cannot be right. So why do they persist? What are they trying to prove since even if they irrationally believe they are right they cannot logically prove they are right?

    I’ve been waiting to ask this question for a long time and forgive me if I phrase it badly: If there is an objective morality then where is it? I’m asking ’cause there’s lots of disagreements between people of faith and I do not want to make any assumptions. I’d just like to know how I can check with the objective morality to see how I’m doing or to guide me when I’m confronted by some situation I don’t know how to handle.

  28. 28
    Truthfreedom says:

    @13 Kairosfocus

    Note, asking according to his will. First, we must be aligned with him in accord with the truth of the gospel.

    Yes. People usually ask for Iphones, Netflix accounts and big b**bs. And when they do not get them, they cry foul.

  29. 29
    Axel says:

    ‘I think it’s really pointless to get into arguments with intolerant people. Obviously Coyne can’t tolerate the fact that people pray. What’s his problem? No one is forcing him to pray. What business is it of his what other believe…… ?’ – Jad

    Nobody wants to go to hell, alone, John. For most atheists, that fear is like an itch.

  30. 30
    Truthfreedom says:

    @27 JVL

    I’ve been waiting to ask this question for a long time and forgive me if I phrase it badly: If there is an objective morality then where is it?

    May I ask another question?
    -What are ‘morals’ and what is their meaning within the evolutive paradigm?

  31. 31
    Truthfreedom says:

    @ Kairosfocus:
    Truthfreedom wrote (#12)

    Your decisions result from molecular-based electrical impulses and chemical substances transmitted from one brain cell to another. These molecules must obey the laws of physics, so the outputs of our brain—our “choices”—are dictated by those laws.
    j. coyne
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/Jerry-A-Coyne-You-Dont-Have/131165

    Kairosfocus replied (#14)

    Does he realise that such words are inherently self-referential and undermine his own notion that he has freely and rationally drawn his conclusions on the weight of warrant duly judged and accepted?

    Who knows.

  32. 32
    Truthfreedom says:

    @ Kairosfocus:
    Excellent post #13.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, and why should we pay a red cent’s worth of attention to facts and evidence that are inconvenient? Or to the arguments you give in answer? Or acknowledge that you may have a valid point? Why would objective even have any significance, apart from duties to truth, prudence and right reason? KF

  34. 34
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    I like the smell of a well-seared steak. That’s a completely subjective opinion. Nothing objective about that at all. But I use that subjective truth to make my life better, and the lives of my loved ones.

    If somebody started obsessively saying how can you like steak! there’s nothing objective about liking steak! why do you like steak at all! why don’t you just give up on liking steak? I would advise them to stop wasting their life attacking others and do something productive.

  35. 35
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @JVL the “objective” morality is exactly what the person making the claim tells you it is. Never mind that all the other people claiming objective morality tell you different things, they’re all wrong. 😀

  36. 36
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, and why should we pay a red cent’s worth of attention to facts and evidence that are inconvenient? Or to the arguments you give in answer? Or acknowledge that you may have a valid point?

    Why start now? You have ignored everything I have said so far in favour of rhetorical talking points.

  37. 37
    mike1962 says:

    Jim Thibodeau: I like the smell of a well-seared steak. That’s a completely subjective opinion. Nothing objective about that at all. But I use that subjective truth to make my life better, and the lives of my loved ones.

    The Cartel bosses could say the same thing for why they feel justified in selling cocaine and heroin to Americans.

  38. 38
    Truthfreedom says:

    Well, here is a man with his own perspective on ‘morals’. He wanted to provide shelter to his daughter, and well, he did.

    Austrian man who kept his own daughter prisoner in a warren of soundproofed rooms beneath his home and repeatedly r***d her is reportedly close to death.
    Morals Are Subjective

    If the daughter feels any sadness (‘spandrel’?), she will surely find some comfort reading these words:

    … life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. Richard Dawkins

    J. Fritzl really tried his best to fullfil such a ‘purpose’ (DNA and all that).

  39. 39
    john_a_designer says:

    JVL @27

    I’ve been waiting to ask this question for a long time and forgive me if I phrase it badly: If there is an objective morality then where is it?

    Well we don’t mean objective in a literal sense. So moral truth is not like a rock, a frog or a drop of dew on the petal of a flower which can be located somewhere in space and time. We mean it’s true for everyone not just you.

    A few years ago student activists at Claremont Pamona College in California succeeded in shutting down a lecture by Manhattan Institute scholar and author Heather Mac Donald. In a letter to the school’s president they wrote:

    The idea that there is a single truth — ‘the Truth’ — is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain,” the students’ letter stated, according to The Claremont Independent. “This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny.”

    The following article gives several more long excerpts from the letter:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/m.....ee-speech/

    Libertarian writer, Kat Timf observes that…

    “Once you start trying to argue that it’s bad to encourage people to seek the truth, you have officially reached peak idiot. For one thing, admitting that you find valuing the truth to be offensive hardly helps your case when you’re literally trying to convince others that something is true.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-supremacy

    Indeed, you can’t begin to make a moral argument unless it is based on moral TRUTH and that it is true that morality is really grounded in interpersonal moral obligation. It appears the Pomona students reject moral truth but still believe in some kind of interpersonal moral obligation. That is either hypocritical or absurd. Their beliefs and opinions are clearly based on passion not reason. When such idiotic thinking begins to spread through a democratic society it’s putting that society at risk. It will first lead to anarchy and then end up with tyranny or totalitarianism.

    My position can be stated very succinctly. For example, some time ago on another thread I wrote:

    Our regular interlocutors are motivated by either ignorance, delusion or dishonesty. There are no other choices. Whichever it is, there is no evidence that they are here to engage in honest debate or dialogue.

    To enter into an honest debate one must be able to give honest arguments. An honest argument begins with premises which are, in some sense, either self-evidently true (as in mathematics,) probably true or at the very least plausibly true. In other words, your argument is a waste of everyone’s time unless there really is something or some things which are really true. That begins with the idea of truth itself. Notice the absurdity of the argument the Pomona students are making (see #10 above.) They are arguing that there is no “truth — ‘the Truth’ — “. But that is self-refuting, because their claim, there is no truth, is a truth claim– a universal truth claim. You can’t even begin to talk rationally about something like universal human rights (as they are trying to do) until you recognize there are moral truths that are universal. Indeed, the idea of truth itself is universal– it must be.

    Please notice, the implications this has for atheism. If atheistic materialism/naturalism is “true”* [*something a subjectivist can’t rationally argue] then is does not provide any grounding for human rights. So our atheist interlocutors do not, indeed cannot, support human rights. And it does not matter whether they believe that or not, they cannot rationally argue otherwise.

    (emphasis added.)

    Truth and honesty, which requires the idea of objective truth, cannot be rationally defended or demanded by moral subjectivists. Incredibly they don’t seem to comprehend this.

    Once again we have an example of our regular interlocutors doing what they do best: obfuscating and obstructing, and once again, unfortunately, people on the ID side foolishly pander to it and enable it.

    To enter into an honest debate one must be able to ask honest questions or present honest arguments. An honest argument begins with premises which are, in some sense, either self-evidently true (as in mathematics,) probably true or at the very least plausibly true. In other words, your argument is a waste of everyone’s time unless there really is something or some things which are really true. That begins with the idea of truth itself.

  40. 40
    vividbleau says:

    “I like the smell of a well-seared steak. That’s a completely subjective opinion. Nothing objective about that at all. But I use that subjective truth to make my life better, and the lives of my loved ones.”

    And Hannibal Lecter liked human livers with fava beans, Hitler liked his Jews dead, you like a seared steak.

    Vivid

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, false, acting with disregard to truth. For cause, I have repeatedly corrected your errors, yes. That is not ignoring. Meanwhile, you have again done the Wilsonian sidestep: your arguments inescapably rely on our knowing and responding to the first duties of reason to have persuasive effect, but because of the worldview level implications of such a built in governing law of our nature, you refuse to acknowledge what is actually blatant. It would be amusing, if it were not so sad. KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    TF:

    We are all subjects and have subjective experiences as part of our consciousness. That subjectivity does not change the manifest fact that some objects of our experience are not merely matters of our particular consciousness, tastes, conditioning etc but carry warranted independent character. That is, they are objective. Classically, that 2 + 2 = 4 is not subject to the Party’s view or whether one may or may not love Big Brother.

    Going further, simply inspect the structure of and appeals in your own arguments. As just noted to EG, they depend, inescapably, on our knowing and adhering to first duties of reason. That is a strong clue as to their objective character. Absent those duties — to truth, prudence [so, warrant], right reason, sound conscience [a built-in compass pointing to duty], fairness & justice etc — the whole structure of your arguments collapses.

    For example, what is objectively true is that which for credible and adequate cause is well warranted as true. That directly involves duties to truth, prudence and right reason.

    Your unresponsiveness to the blatant facts manifest from your own arguments does not change them.

    All it shows instead, is the impact of generations of indoctrination in relativism.

    Where, for instance, “tolerance” [in the warped form projected] is imposed as a claimed duty of reason. Yes, it is a duty to responsibly respect others under fairness and justice, but that has limits due to reciprocity — the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities.

    To give a yardstick case, it is self-evidently true that it is wrong, unjust, evil, wicked to kidnap, bind, gag, sexually assault and murder a child for one’s sick pleasure. Like unto this, were we to encounter this in progress, it would be our duty to intervene to rescue the victim. This case of course pivots on and illustrates several of the relevant duties.

    And indeed, the claim that moral truth claims are inherently subjective similar to response to a steak on the fire, is a truth claim regarding matters of morality. It is in fact a claimed moral truth, but it is incorrect.

    Recall, truth accurately describes relevant reality. Duty to truth implies that we are to be accurate to reality. It is no mere coincidence, that people who are sufficiently out of contact with reality are regarded as mentally ill. For cause.

    KF

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, if it is objectively true that 2 + 3 = 5, where are these entities to be found? Where can we examine w, the order type of the natural numbers? In other words many objective truths are about abstracta and we recognise them per reasoning on good axioms and premises, or we note the pattern — another abstractum — in experiences or observations. A classic is the proof that the diagonal of a square is incommensurate with its sides. Similarly, that the angle on the circumference of a circle is half the angle at the centre standing on the same arc. Another, is that the number of primes is transfinite. And many more cases. KF

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Do you not see how your own arguments inescapably pivot on first duties of reason, if they are to have any persuasive traction? Would you try to persuade a PC, or simply reprogram it (with GIGO lurking)? Now, think about the consequences that would follow if we were to treat one another like that as the universal pattern of behaviour: ruinous chaos. The first duties of reason mark requisites of a coherent society, a clue that they are of moral character, are inescapable and are true.

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, notice, further, what you so artfully glided over: “Why would objective even have any significance, apart from duties to truth, prudence and right reason?” Answer that soundly and the issue will be plain. KF

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    JT, a pandemic that hits global production and distribution (or, is perceived to do so) will create uncertainty and even panic over the future. If what is happening with China is right, they have hit the logistic curve cap, with a sharp fall in new cases. That would naturally lead to a rebound in financial markets. Especially, if Italy, Europe and the US begin to get ahead of the virus curve like that. KF

    PS: I cannot but notice a falloff in comments on prayer after my remarks at 13 above.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    TF, 32. Thanks. Notice, the subject switch once 13 was on the table, to other lines of attack? It seems the issue is to attack, not to address issues on the merits. KF

  48. 48
    ET says:

    Subjective morals were contrived from objective morals. Where can the objective morals be found? Start with the 10 Commandments.

  49. 49
    Truthfreedom says:

    @47 Kairosfocus

    Notice, the subject switch once 13 was on the table, to other lines of attack? It seems the issue is to attack, not to address issues on the merits.

    Kairosfocus, you mentioned the forbidden words:

    humbling ourselves…

  50. 50
    Truthfreedom says:

    @49 ET:

    Subjective morals were contrived from objective morals. Where can the objective morals be found? Start with the 10 Commandments.

    Hitting the nail on the head.

  51. 51
    Ed George says:

    KF

    PS: EG, you forget a basic fact. Mass shootings, bombings, wars etc that do not happen generally don’t make the headlines.

    You got me there. 🙂

    Prayer must work because I have been praying that COVID-19 doesn’t result in a zombie apocalypse and, we are still zombie free.

  52. 52
    Seversky says:

    Our profound thanks to Ed George for his sterling work in fending off the zombie apocalypse.

  53. 53
    Ed George says:

    No need for thanks. It was a purely Darwinian act. With brain as big as mine, zombies would be lining up to get at me. 🙂

  54. 54
    Ed George says:

    But ET and TF have no need to worry. In the land of brain hungry zombies they would be the fittest non-infected humans on the planet.

  55. 55
    Seversky says:

    Ten Comandments?

    I am the Lord thy God

    Says who? Sounds pretty tyrannical to me. Might makes right? How is that objectively moral?

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me

    Why not? Freedom of religion anyone? Still don’t see any rationale that makes this objective in the slightest.

    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

    Again, why not? No rationale given, No reason to assume it’s objective. Freedom of expression anyone?

    Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

    See above.

    Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

    I’m all for public holidays but how is thatobjectively moral? No explanation again.

    Just what do you mean by “objectively moral”, anyway?

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, kindly note 13 above, and particularly 1 Jn 5 vv 14 – 15. Notice also, the specific context of Heine’s remarks. 1831. KF

    PS: Heine:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . do not overlook the obvious], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame [–> an irrational battle- and blood- lust]. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world.

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

    PPS: I am confident we will not see such a collapse, though our sinful folly on the lines of Ac 27, has been much in evidence. That holds here, where we just confirmed a first case, a traveller from the UK to the St Patrick’s festival.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    ET & TF (attn Sev):

    I think the do no harm to neighbour principle, as drawn out by Paul in Ac 13, expresses that respect/ love for neighbour that is at the heart of those first duties, fairness and justice:

    Rom 13:8 [a]Owe nothing to anyone except to [b]love and seek the best for one another; for he who [unselfishly] loves his neighbor has fulfilled the [essence of the] law [relating to one’s fellowman]. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor [it never hurts anyone]. Therefore [unselfish] love is the fulfillment of the Law.

    What is now largely forgotten, is that the root of the Common Law tradition, Arthur’s Book of Dooms, literally begins with the decalogue. And this is how Locke grounds what would become modern liberty and democratic self government:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    Seversky is setting up and knocking over a strawman. And note, his appeal to objectivity: thus to prudent warrant on truth and first principles of right reason . . . he cannot escape what he has evaded, the appeal to first duties of reason. So, he, too shows how is and ought are entangled in our reasoning.

    I just note, on his attempt to deride the first table, that it is clear that the IS-OUGHT gap is real, that we — including him — cannot but appeal to first duties of reason, and that therefore oughtness is inextricably intertwined with all of our rationality. If the IS-OUGHT gap is not bridged in the only possible place [post Hume and even post Plato] . . . the root of reality . . . it cannot be bridged, on pain of ungrounded ought. There is precisely one serious candidate, after centuries of debates on comparative difficulties. If you doubt, just put up another _____ and warrant per factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power ____ .

    Namely, the inherently good and utterly wise Creator-God, a necessary and maximally great being; worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. Where, many centuries before we could understand it philosophically, the very name, Yahweh [often rendered Jehovah] expresses necessary being self-existence, I AM THAT I AM.

    As we see to our sorrow, respect for the root of reality is the foundation of moral government and just law. We see the ongoing consequence of this, the enabling of the ongoing worst holocaust in history, the slaughter of our living posterity in the womb at a reported rate of nearly a million further victims per week.

    I tremble, then, at our worse guilt than that addressed by Lincoln:

    One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

    Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered—that of neither has been answered fully.

    The Almighty has his own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

    We should be ashamed and repent as a civilisation.

    KF

  58. 58
  59. 59
    ET says:

    It’s very telling that all seversky can do is quote-mine the 10 commandments.

  60. 60
    Truthfreedom says:

    @55 Seversky
    I am the Lord thy God.
    Says who?
    Mmm… What a weird question. The Lord thy God.

    Sounds pretty tyrannical to me.

    Mmm… No freedom within the evolutive paradigm:

    “Your decisions result from molecular-based electrical impulses and chemical substances transmitted from one brain cell to another. These molecules must obey the laws of physics, so the outputs of our brain—our “choices”—are dictated by those laws.”
    Jerry Coyne, the dim-witted biologist
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/Jerry-A-Coyne-You-Dont-Have/131165

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    TF, in addition, the first duties of responsible reason pivot on our being significantly free and are manifestly inescapable. Try to imagine a society in which just a large minority habitually disregard truth, prudence, first principles of right reason, respect for neighbour/rights, fairness, justice etc. Communication would be impossible [save with possibly calibrated trust], transactions would be unreliable, law, law enforcement and courts would be oppressive or capricious, government would be a grand con game. Collapse would follow, quickly. KF

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