Intelligent Design

What If Only Seversky Believed The Holocaust Was Wrong? So Far He Refuses to Say.

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Seversky wrote:

The psychopath may decide that he is morally justified in satisfying his appetite for rape and murder but all his potential victims are equally justified in deciding that they don’t want to be actual victims. Given that the potential victims greatly outnumber the psychopaths the will of the majority is likely to prevail. What’s wrong with that? The Nazis may have believed that they were morally justified in believing that the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and mentally disabled were corrupting society and should be exterminated. If they had been asked, those groups would almost certainly have disagreed, as would at least part of the German people. As did much of the rest of the world. The Nazi regime was overthrown at great cost. Was that wrong?

I responded:

“The Nazi regime was overthrown at great cost. Was that wrong?”

Under your theory of morality, the most powerful prevailed. And the mere fact of their prevailing makes their actions right.

The more interesting question Sev is what about the opposite. Suppose the Nazis had won WWII and eradicated the Jews and homosexuals and then taken over the school systems of the world and taught everyone to believe that the eradication of every Jew and homosexual on the face of the earth was a good thing. Suppose further that you came along and bucked the system, so that you were literally the only person on the face of the earth who says killing all the Jews and homosexuals was wrong.

Would you be right and everyone else wrong?

I predict you will dodge that question. And why will you dodge it? Because if you give the only obviously correct response, the entire materialist edifice you have constructed for yourself will come tumbling down. And you will never allow that. Better to avert your eyes from the glaringly obvious truth than abandon the comforts of your materialist worldview.

So far my prediction has been confirmed.

 

83 Replies to “What If Only Seversky Believed The Holocaust Was Wrong? So Far He Refuses to Say.

  1. 1

    What say ye, Seversky? Was the holocaust wrong?

  2. 2
    RexTugwell says:

    Once I very cautiously taunted my Jewish coworker by saying that no persons were killed during the Nazi Holocaust. When she was on the verge of tears (we were close enough friends that I had gotten away with this without being fired), I made the point that the Nazis had declared Jews (and others) non-persons. Ergo no person, no murder, no crime, no wrong.

    My point was to help her see (she was pro-abortion) that abortion is justified by saying the unborn child is not a person because the courts have ruled so. The Nazis were wrong about personhood and so were the Supreme Court justices.

    I suppose if Seversky wants to say that Jews and homosexuals are not persons and have no right to life there may be a way out for him.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Was the crucifixion of Christ wrong?

  4. 4
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Mung, “Was the crucifixion of Christ wrong?”

    That’s going to open a can of worms. I assume that we would all agree that his crucifixion was unjustified (killing an innocent person, not to mention killing god’s incarnation on earth). But, according to scripture, he died for our sins. Was that wrong? If he decided not to die for our sins, would that be wrong? Would Christianity even exist? I’m sure that Monty Python could have fun with this. Thank you Mungy.

  5. 5
    Pindi says:

    Hi Rex,

    So you see abortion and the Holocaust as similar? If so, how could you be friends with your co-worker? Surely if she was a Nazi who advocated the killing of Jews (and homosexuals, gypsies, and the intellectually handicapped) you would not want to be friends with her?

  6. 6
    RexTugwell says:

    Pindi, murder is murder. However, until the pro-aborts start rounding up pro-lifers and their children and start killing us, I’ll continue to be friends with them. One wonders how history would have played out if more Germans loved their enemies.

  7. 7
    Timaeus says:

    “I predict you [Seversky] will dodge that question.”

    In my experience, Seversky dodges *all* questions, so this would be nothing new.

  8. 8
    Rationalitys bane says:

    I hold my judgement on weather Seversky is dodging the question until after I see him comment again at UD. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    So far my prediction has been confirmed.

    Patience, young padewan, and trust in the Force.

    “The Nazi regime was overthrown at great cost. Was that wrong?”

    Under your theory of morality, the most powerful prevailed. And the mere fact of their prevailing makes their actions right.

    Eventually the most powerful but, more importantly, ultimately the more numerous.

    The more interesting question Sev is what about the opposite. Suppose the Nazis had won WWII and eradicated the Jews and homosexuals and then taken over the school systems of the world and taught everyone to believe that the eradication of every Jew and homosexual on the face of the earth was a good thing. Suppose further that you came along and bucked the system, so that you were literally the only person on the face of the earth who says killing all the Jews and homosexuals was wrong.

    Would you be right and everyone else wrong?

    In my view, I would be right and, in the view of the Nazis, I would be wrong. Since the Nazis would somewhat outnumber me, their view would prevail and be the one handed down to history. That is what would happen.

    That’s what happens in the Bible, for Mog’s sake. In one story, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah are obliterated, in another almost the entire population of the planet is annihilated. These are presented as righteous acts, that those people deserved what they got. And maybe they did. The problem is that’s the story of the God who did the killing or His followers. We never get to hear the other side. Neither the inhabitants of the two cities nor the rest of the world’s population are given the chance to present their case.

    If you’re asking if there’s some ultimate, objective moral code against which all acts can be measured then my answer is no, I don’t think there is. All we have are ourselves and our common needs and interests. We all need secure supplies of water, food and shelter; we all need a secure environment in which we can raise a family and provide for them. As I see it, you can build a perfectly decent moral code around respecting and protecting those common interests.

  10. 10
    jdk says:

    Yes, the holocaust was wrong – very wrong.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev,

    In my view, I would be right and, in the view of the Nazis, I would be wrong. Since the Nazis would somewhat outnumber me, their view would prevail and be the one handed down to history. That is what would happen.

    Translation: “I would prefer my view and they would prefer their view. There is no standard to arbitrate between our conflicting views, and the stronger prevails.”

    Madness. Sheer evil madness.

    Sev,

    As I see it, you can build a perfectly decent moral code around respecting and protecting those common interests.

    And, under your view, you can build a hell on earth as in my example. And under your moral theory there is no way to arbitrate whether one is good and one is evil.

    It comes down to this, Sev. You are saying “I personally disagree with the slaughter of every single Jew and homosexual, but that is just my view and if someone has a different view I cannot say their view is objectively bad and mine is objectively good. The only thing that matters is who is stronger.”

    You horrify me.

  12. 12
    RexTugwell says:

    It would have been better for Seversky and his credibility if he had not answered at all.

  13. 13
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry@12, “In my view, I would be right and, in the view of the Nazis, I would be wrong. Since the Nazis would somewhat outnumber me, their view would prevail and be the one handed down to history. That is what would happen.”

    Sounds remarkably like all of human history. What tends to be perceived as moral and immoral, good and bad, right and wrong is, for the individual, subjective. What tends to prevail in a society as moral and immoral, good and bad, right and wrong, tends to be based on the concensus of individual subjective opinions. It is far from perfect, and is open to abuse and manipulation, but it was enough to abbolish slavery, get the vote for women, get rights for homosexuals and get legal recognition for same sex marriage. So, it seems to have its benefits.

  14. 14
    J-Mac says:

    Seversky,

    There is a major difference between holocaust and the obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Flood. Can you point out what that difference is?

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB @ 15

    it was enough to abolish slavery

    Nonsense on a stick. Slavery was abolished because Christian abolitionists like Wilberforce (who almost single handedly defeated it in the British Empire) understood that it could not be reconciled with Christian ethics, and therefore they insisted that it end.

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB @ 15

    What tends to be perceived as moral and immoral, good and bad, right and wrong is, for the individual, subjective.

    So you join Sev in saying “I personally disagree with the slaughter of every single Jew and homosexual, but that is just my view and if someone has a different view I cannot say their view is objectively bad and mine is objectively good. The only thing that matters is who is stronger.”

    God help us.

  17. 17
    jdk says:

    Was slavery wrong?

    Was the way the native Americans were treated as the white man took over America wrong?

    In both cases, the people involved (all Christians) didn’t seem to think so.

    What has gotten society to change its opinion on such things as slavery?

    To what extent has Americans come to see the treatment of the Native Americans as very wrong?

    Is bombing civilians in the Middle East wrong? I sure think so, but my government and many US citizens don’t seem to agree with me.

    In 100 years, it seems at least possible to me that the world in general will see modern warfare, as we wage it now, as terribly wrong, but I won’t be around to see it.

  18. 18
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, “Nonsense on a stick. Slavery was abolished because Christian abolitionists like Wilberforce (who almost single handedly defeated it in the British Empire) understood that it could not be reconciled with Christian ethics, and therefore they insisted that it end.”

    And scripture was used by other Christians to defend the practice. I don’t think either of us really want to open this Pandora’s box.

    But, at the end of the day, abolishionists convinced a critical mass of society to change their views such that slavery could be abolished. In short, they were successful in getting a significant percentage of society to change their subjective moral view on slavery.

    We saw the same pattern with equal rights, desegregation, the death penalty, etc. A shift in societal morality. A few decades ago we were forcing homosexuals to decide between incarceration or chemical castration, because of our moral values. Now we have legalized same sex marriage and adoption. Some see this as a moral step forward and others as a moral step backwards. Again, it all comes down to individual subjective morality.

  19. 19
    EDTA says:

    Neither the inhabitants of the two cities nor the rest of the world’s population are given the chance to present their case.

    In no case that I can think of (earthly or otherwise) do the created and the creator play by the same rules. Nor can I think of a good reason why they should have to.

    But if one presumes that we’re “it”, then our sense of fairness has to set the standard…

  20. 20
    Pindi says:

    Rex @7

    So if you were, say, a catholic living in Nazi Germany during the holocaust, you would do nothing, and continue to be friends with Nazis, provided they did not start killing catholics?

  21. 21
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Pindi, the sad thing is that none of us can answer this honestly. With the benefit of hindsight, we would all like to say that we would take action. Or, at the minimum, distance ourselves from our Nazi friends. Unfortunately, the fact that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Germans turned a blind eye to what was going on suggests that not all of us would be as righteous as we think we would be.

    I would like to here Barry’s or KF’s or BA77’s opinion on this. Would they act or lay low?

  22. 22
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB @ 20:

    And scripture was used by other Christians to defend the practice.

    And they were objectively wrong, weren’t they? Or is this another instance where all you can say is: “I personally disagree with dehumanizing chattel slavery, but that is just my view and if someone has a different view I cannot say their view is objectively bad and mine is objectively good. The only thing that matters is who is stronger.”

  23. 23
    RexTugwell says:

    I didn’t say I would do nothing. Don’t put words in my mouth. You seem to think you have a gotcha question but you don’t.

  24. 24
    Pindi says:

    Rex, its not a gotcha. Its just that you say equate abortion with mass murder but you don’t really mean it. If you did, you would treat abortion supporters the same way you would (I hope) treat Nazis. That is, at the very least, you would not have them as friends.

  25. 25
    Pindi says:

    RB, my point was more about abortion. I’ve observed that the people who say it is mass murder, comparing it to the holocaust as Rex did, don’t act consistently with that belief. That tells me that in their hearts they don’t really believe it is mass murder.

  26. 26
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, “And they were objectively wrong, weren’t they?”

    Were they? There are plenty of scriptures about slavery in the bible, but not a single verse that says it is wrong, or evil. It is not even one of the commandments.

    But that is not the point I am trying to make. There are plenty of examples of things that were considered morally acceptable (if not obligatory) in the past that are now considered morally objectionable. And I am not talking about either being enforced through “might”, although there are plenty of examples of that.

    Homosexuality is always a controversial subject so let’s talk about that. Prior to the eighties, acts of consensual homosexuality could result in jail time. This was something that there was majority approval for (tacitly, in many cases). But today, you will be hard pressed to get much support for this punishment. Except from the nut jobs at the Westboro Babtist church (forgive me for that little jibe).

    Up until this century, homosexuals would be kicked out of the military.

    Up until 2014, homosexuals were not allowed to be members of the Boy Scouts of America (atheists are still prohibited).

    The idea of same sex marriage would have been considered immoral by the majority of the population even a decade ago. Today it is the law of the land, supported by the majority. And they are now allowed to adopt.

    KF would have us believe that all of this is the result of his “lawfare”, and that it is being forced on people in spite of the will of the people. Unfortunately, he is mistaken. All of these changes have been the result of societal shifts in subjective moral opinion.

    The one objective aspect about morality that I will concede is that we all have deeply entrenched moral beliefs. But the actual morals themselves are subjective. I wish it were otherwise, but human history suggests otherwise.

  27. 27
    Querius says:

    Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

    – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Simple logic confirms what Solzhenitsyn had one of his characters assert:

    If God does not exist, everything is permissible.

    I would add that the only sin, transgression, or crime then is to get caught by a more powerful group who can administer their arbitrary justice on you by force.

    Might makes right. The weak deserve to die. Truth is what the strong impose on the weak.

    Hope you enjoy your new world.

    -Q

  28. 28
    Tim says:

    Q
    I believe that quotation should go to Dostoevsky from The Brothers Karamazov.

  29. 29
    Tim says:

    Seversky’s outwitted (what were the odds?);
    His subjective morals allow for death squads.
    So he tries to enhance
    His ethical stance
    By equating his thought-life with God’s.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, Kindly read Philemon — it seems, plausibly, the de facto manumission statement for the later bishop of Ephesus, Onesimus [who may have led in collecting the NT documents] — with open eyes, noting that the Antislavery movement’s motto directly comes from it. Recognise, Paul wrote chained to a Roman soldier, while awaiting trial as an appeals prisoner (where, harbouring a fugitive slave could cost one his life) with his life already in the stakes before the judgement seat of Nero [he was likely heard by Burrus], only a fairly short distance from the Appian way that had been lined with 6,000 crosses after Rome put down the Spartacus slave rebellion. Then ponder how his letter decisively undermined slavery twice in history. Recognise i/l/o such, that until C17 – 18, peaceful mass movements for civil rights were simply not feasible. Understand the import of “Apphia our sister . . . “ And, “. . . this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me.” KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    RB,

    your first problem — given your evident evolutionary materialism — is to get to a genuine subject to be subjective about; as in on such the individual is an illusion of Brain-CNS neural networks. Why should we take the particular patterns of inherently non-rational blind chance and necessity that fired off neurons that triggered the comment that appears above seriously? Why should we take evolutionary materialist scientism as anything more than:

    (a) a self-referentially incoherent and necessarily false scheme of thought, which is also

    (b) utterly, irretrievably amoral, manipulative, oppressive and in some cases outright nihilistic . . . with well past 100 million victims in the past 100 years (not counting the hundreds of millions of innocents slaughtered in the womb after being conveniently dehumanised)?

    Then, you have to address how you get to responsible, rational freedom required to argue logically and to imply an appeal to the moral government that you ought to seek and speak the well grounded truth and right.

    This implies onward, you have to find a world-roots level IS capable of sustaining OUGHT; which simply does not exist on evolutionary materialism.

    (That’s why you and your ilk predictably fail to see the direct import of such, that might and manipulation make “right” and further fail to see that politically correct power games cannot invent morality or rights, they can only put up agendas that intimidate and marginalise under colour of law by usurped force of the sword that ought to serve justice. In particular, to claim a right, one demands of others that they have a duty to uphold oneself in that matter; e.g. how dare you claim on conscience that you can refuse us your labour and creativity to bake this cake for us . . . on pain of bankruptcy and maybe losing your house. Such can only be properly done where one is manifestly in the right; or else one is usurping the sword of justice to serve injustice and oppression through — yes, dismiss all you want, that inherently meaningless noise in the neurons cannot change the facts and grounds of warrant — lawfare (and here outright robbery of livelihood). And for far too many fashionable causes today, all that is being done is that wrongs are wearing the robes of right and are demanding under false colours of law, that we taint our consciences and harm our souls by upholding the brazen in the manifestly wrong, foolish or outright insane. The grim Dominical warning is, ’twere better to have a millstone put around one’s neck and fall irrecoverably into the deep sea than to so taint the soul of just one child.)

    KF

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, Rationalitys bane, and jdk.

    I have a question for you.

    Under atheism, many leading materialists/Darwinists around the world, and at America’s top universities, teach that the entire concept of personhood, (i.e. that we really exist as a real persons, which is the most sure thing we can know about reality), is merely a fiction and/or illusion generated by the material brain. Yet, personhood is what gives us the right to life under the law. My question is this, how do Darwinists/Materialists and Atheists in general, since they deny we are really persons, guarantee anyone’s right to life under the law?

    8 Horrific Times People Groups Were Denied Their Humanity
    July 02, 2014
    Excerpt:
    1. African-American Slaves
    Buckner Payne, a publisher, declared in 1867 that “the negro is not a human being.”
    “In the eyes of the law…the slave is not a person.” – Virginia Supreme Court, Bailey v. Poindexter’s Executor (1858)
    “In the opinion of this court … slaves [and], their descendants … had no rights which the white man was bound to respect. … The negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” – United States Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

    Approximately 12.5 million Africans were kidnapped and transported to the Americas between 1500 and 1866. Millions more were born into chattel slavery, treated as property rather than persons under the law.

    2. Native Americans
    “An Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution.” – George Canfield,American Law Review (1881)

    “The tribes of indians inhabiting this country were fierce savages whose occupation was war.” – United States Supreme Court, Johnson & Graham v. M’Intosh (1823), denying the right of Native Americans to own property.

    Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans were forcibly removed, killed, and expropriated.

    3. Persons With Disabilities
    “It is better for all the world… [if] society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind … Three generations of imbeciles is enough.” – United States Supreme Court, Buck v. Bell (1927).

    65,000 people were forcibly sterilized under eugenic laws, which were enacted in more than 30 states (in fact the Nazis praised America’s Eugenic movement as a model to emulate).

    4. Women
    Take Canada as just one poignant example:
    In 1876, British common law is used in Canada to uphold the notion that “women are…not persons in the matter of rights and privileges.” While they have the right to life, they cannot inherit property or sue for damages so as to benefit their lives.

    In 1916, defense attorney Eardley Jackson yells at police magistrate Emily Murphy, “You have no right to be holding court. You’re not even a person!”

    In 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously declares that although women are human, women are not “persons” within the meaning of the British North American Act.

    This decision was appealed and on October 18th, 1929, the Privy Council in England declared, “The word ‘person’ in Section 24 of the BNA Act, 1867 includes members of either sex.” They probed: “to those who ask why the word person should not include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?”

    5. Political Dissidents
    The Soviet Union designated those purged by the regime as “unpersons.” During the trial of one such “unperson” in 1938, prosecutor Andrei Vyshinski called them “a foul-smelling heap of human garbage.”

    The Soviet Union exterminated as many as 20,000,000 people.

    6. Persons of Jewish Descent
    Sociologist Irving Louis Horowitz summed up the plight of Jews during the rise of NAZI Germany by saying, “The Jew as a national question; the Jew as a cultural question; the Jew as an economic question, never a person.”

    In May 1923, Adolph Hitler asserted, “The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human.”

    According to Ernst Fraenkel, a German legal scholar, the Reichsgericht, the highest court in Germany, was instrumental in depriving Jewish people of their legal rights. In a 1936 Supreme Court decision, “the Reichsgericht refused to recognize Jews living in Germany as persons in the legal sense.”

    Nazis described Jews as Untermenschen, or subhumans to justify exterminating them. To the Nazis, all the Jews, Gypsies and others were rats: dangerous, disease-carrying rats. Approximately 6,000,000 people were exterminated by the NAZIs.

    7. Rwandan Tutsis
    During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Hutu radio broadcasts dehumanized Tutsis, calling for a “final war” to exterminate the Tutsi “cockroaches.” Up to 800,000 Tutsis were murdered during the genocide.

    8. Unborn Children
    “The word person … does not include the unborn.” – United States Supreme Court,Roe v. Wade, (1973) legalizing the killing of unborn children through abortion.

    “A fetus is a damn parasite and it invades the mother’s body like one too.” – DailyKos author, 2012.

    In the United States today, “unwanted” children in the womb are systematically denied personhood. More than 55,000,000 unborn children have been killed by legalized abortion in the United States. That’s more than all aforementioned violations of human personhood put together.
    http://www.personhood.com/8_ho.....r_humanity

    For Its Moral Ideals, Evolutionary Materialism “Freeloads” on Christianity – Nancy Pearcey – May 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Westerners pride themselves on holding noble ideals such as equality and universal human rights. Yet the dominant worldview of our day — evolutionary materialism — denies the reality of human freedom and gives no basis for moral ideals such as human rights.
    So where did the idea of equal rights come from?
    The 19th-century political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville said it came from Christianity. “The most profound geniuses of Rome and Greece” never came up with the idea of equal rights, he wrote. “Jesus Christ had to come to earth to make it understood that all members of the human species are naturally alike and equal.”
    The 19th-century atheist Friedrich Nietzsche agreed: “Another Christian concept … has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the ‘equality of souls before God.’ This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights.”
    Contemporary atheist Luc Ferry says the same thing. We tend to take the concept of equality for granted; yet it was Christianity that overthrew ancient social hierarchies between rich and poor, masters and slaves. “According to Christianity, we were all ‘brothers,’ on the same level as creatures of God,” Ferry writes. “Christianity is the first universalist ethos.”,,,
    At the birth of our nation, the American founders deemed it self-evident that human rights must be grounded in God. The Declaration of Independence leads off with those bright, blazing words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident — that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
    In the summer of 2013, a beer company sparked controversy when it released an advertisement for Independence Day that deleted the crucial words “by their Creator.” The ad said, “They are endowed with certain unalienable rights.” (Endowed by whom?) The advertisement is emblematic of what many secularists do: They borrow ideals like equality and rights from a biblical worldview but cut them off from their source in the Creator. They are freeloaders.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95901.html

    After you guys figure out how to ground personhood in a worldview that denies personhood, I have another question for you. As a bonus question for you guys, there are approx. a billion trillion protein molecules that make up the material body of a person. Protein molecules which, by all rights of reductive materialistic thinking, ‘go their own way’. My question is this, what power prevents all those billion-trillion protein molecules from ‘going their own way’ for precisely a lifetime and not a moment longer?

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott – 2010
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    picture – What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    http://www.crystalinks.com/obe.lady.jpg

    Scientific evidence that we do indeed have an eternal soul (Elaboration on Talbott’s question “What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?”)– video 2016
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1116313858381546/?type=2&theater

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 16:26
    What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Soulshine – Allman Brothers
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDIQ7Otf1mw

  33. 33
    Dionisio says:

    Querius @29

    Excellent quote. Very timely. Thank you.

  34. 34
    Dionisio says:

    kairosfocus @32

    Sobering reference to Paul’s letter to Philemon.
    Perfect argument.
    Thank you.

  35. 35
    Dionisio says:

    Of course, the terrible things I heard from the Nuremberg Trials, about the six million Jews and the people from other races who were killed, were facts that shocked me deeply. But I wasn’t able to see the connection with my own past. I was satisfied that I wasn’t personally to blame and that I hadn’t known about those things. I wasn’t aware of the extent. But one day I went past the memorial plaque which had been put up for Sophie Scholl in Franz Josef Strasse, and I saw that she was born the same year as me, and she was executed the same year I started working for Hitler. And at that moment I actually sensed that it was no excuse to be young, and that it would have been possible to find things out.

    Traudl Junge on her emotions on learning she was the same age as a famous martyr of the White Rose anti-Nazi activist group, in Im toten Winkel – Hitlers Sekretärin (2002) [Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary]

    Of course the horrors, of which I heard in connection of the Nuremberg trials, the fate of the 6 million Jews, their killing and those of many others who represented different races and creeds, shocked me greatly, but at that time I could not see any connection between these things and my own past. I was only happy that I had not personally been guilty of these things and that I had not been aware of the scale of these things. However, one day I walked past a plaque that on the Franz-Joseph Straße (in Munich), on the wall in memory of Sophie Scholl. I could see that she had been born the same year as I, and that she had been executed the same year when I entered into Hitler’s service. And at that moment I really realised, that it was no excuse that I had been so young. I could perhaps have tried to find out about things.

    Until the final hour.
    Melissa Müller.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    In further reflection on Talbott’s question ‘What Power Holds that Moment Off For Precisely A Lifetime?”

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics
    https://youtu.be/rCs3WXHqOv8

  37. 37
    Dionisio says:

    #37 correction & addendum

    Traudl Junge reproaches herself for having chosen the wrong path through life, and even worse for simply having let life sway her without going her own way at crucial moments.

    Only later does she links her depression with the atrocities of the Nazi regime, which are in such painful contrast to what she felt was her innocuous role in the Third Reich. Guilt feelings of an increasingly concrete nature weigh down on her – suddenly even the excuse ‘you were so young at the time’, which has comforted her for so long, seems hollow.

    ‘At that time I must often have walked past the commemorative plaque to Sophie Scholl in Franz-Joseph-Strasse without noticing it. One day I did, and I was terribly shocked when I realized that she was executed in 1943, just when I was beginning my own job with Hitler. Sophie Scholl had originally been a BDM member herself, a year younger than me, and she saw clearly that she was dealing with a criminal regime. All of a sudden I had no excuse any more.’

    She has not built up a façade, but has tried to be honest with her fellow human beings. The years of painful confrontation with herself did have a purpose: they matured her.

    ‘I withdrew and let the guilt feelings, the grief and sorrow eat into me. Suddenly I had become interesting as an eyewitness – which brought me into severe conflict with my guilt complexes. Because the conversations were never about the question of guilt, only about the historical facts. So I could describe them without having to justify myself. That was something that weighed on me even more – and gave me even more to think about.
    Today I mourn for two things: for the fate of those millions of people who were murdered by the National Socialists. And for the girl Traudl Humps who lacked the self-confidence and god sense to speak out against them at the right moment.’

    Until The Final Hour
    Hitler’s Last Secretary
    Traudl Junge
    Edited by Melissa Müller
    Translated from the German by Anthea Bell
    Arcade Publishing . New York

    PS. The text quoted @37 was copied from online sources.

  38. 38
    Dionisio says:

    BA77

    Interesting comments @34.
    Thank you.

  39. 39
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB @ 28:

    Barry, “And they were objectively wrong, weren’t they?”

    RB: “Were they?”

    Yes, that is the question. I say yes. Instead of dodging the question and changing the subject, why don’t you tell me what you say?

  40. 40
    jdk says:

    Barry, how do you know that the Holocaust, or anything, is objectively wrong, as opposed to your subjective belief?

    Can you give details as to how this distinction is made?

  41. 41
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry@41, I say no. they were not objectively wrong.

  42. 42
    jdk says:

    ba77 writes,

    Seversky, Rationalitys bane, and jdk.

    I have a question for you.

    Under atheism, many leading materialists/Darwinists around the world, and at America’s top universities, teach that the entire concept of personhood, (i.e. that we really exist as a real persons, which is the most sure thing we can know about reality), is merely a fiction and/or illusion generated by the material brain. Yet, personhood is what gives us the right to life under the law. My question is this, how do Darwinists/Materialists and Atheists in general, since they deny we are really persons, guarantee anyone’s right to life under the law?

    We started this question once before. BA’s “question” contains critical distortions and misunderstandings. I haven’t read much what these “top” atheists have said, and some of what I’ve read (Harris) has struck me as pretty bad philosophy, so I’ll just offer some of my own thoughts.

    First, atheism and materialism are not the same thing, but let’s start with materialists.

    Obviously, materialists don’t believe that there is some distint non-material entity residing in and interacting with the material body that is our “real self”, our “I”. The “ghost in the machine”, to use a common phrase, is an illusion: the central misconception of the material/non-material dualism.

    Equally obviously, individual people are distinct physical entities – integrated organisms that act in an integrated fashion for the sake of the overall person. Materialists accept each of us a person in that sense, and accept the legal and social rights and responsibilities that go with personhood.

    So when BA says materialists deny that we are real persons, he is confusing the denial of a self in the religious, non-material sense, which materialists do deny, with the materialist and humanist understanding of what a person is.

    I know this explanation won’t mean anything to BA, or others here with similar views, as he think material organisms (at least people) without a non-material aspect are impossible. The jury is out on that one, of course, but not to BA.

    But his question is a non-question, for the reasons I mention. Denying that we have a non-material “I”, and discussing the nature and roll of our our sense of self from a material biological point of view, are two different things. For the materialist, the material person is what a person is, and is deserving of being treated as such morally, legally, socially, and in all other ways.

    ===
    And, now a comment on the difference between materialism and atheism. Some Eastern religions, such as Buddhism or Taoism, are atheistic but not materialistic. In respect to the self, they believe that each of us partake of the divine spark that pervades the universe, but the universal spirit is not conceived of as an conscious, willfull entity – a God – as in Western religion. In this sense, these are atheistic, or better, non-theistic religions.

    In these religions, the divine spark is not the same as the self or soul, in Western religions. In Buddhism, the “I” that we identify with, the ego, is an illusion created by our attachment to the material world. One of the goals of the religious journey in Buddhism is to give up that attachment, and thus discover that “I” am not a separate entity, but rather part of the great oneness.

    Even though I like certain parts of Eastern philosophy, I am way too much of a Westerner to be attracted to this idea: I’m attached to being me. But I mention this because it is another perspective: one that is non-materialistic but in which the “I” is also considered an illusion in a different way than a materialistic denial of any non-materials aspect to the self.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk states that a person is defined as such:

    integrated organisms that act in an integrated fashion for the sake of the overall person. Materialists accept each of us a person in that sense,

    So integrated organisms that act in an integrated fashion are persons according to jdk.

    So why am I not in jail for murdering cockroaches?

    Moreover, is it only multicellular creatures that count for personhood in his ‘integrated complexity’ definition of personhood or does he consider the integrated complexity of bacteria sufficient to grant them the legal status of personhood as well?

    Harvard Law school awaits your respected scholarly opinion jdk 🙂

    Or perhaps, like me, they don’t!

  44. 44
    jdk says:

    Your being silly, BA, and/or intentionally dishonest. The full quote from me is

    Equally obviously, individual people are distinct physical entities – integrated organisms that act in an integrated fashion for the sake of the overall person.

    I am obviously talking about human beings.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    So if a person is merely ‘integrated organisms that act in an integrated fashion for the sake of the overall person.’ exactly what in that sentence separates us from the animal kingdom?

    Do you think apes are persons? How about lemurs?

    Darwin had difficulty deciding where he should demarcate humans from animals:

    ‘At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes [that is, the ones which allegedly look like people] … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian [Aboriginal] and the gorilla’ — Charles Darwin

    How about unborn babies? Are they persons since they certainly are ‘integrated organisms that act in an integrated fashion for the sake of the overall person.’ ? Or do you play god like Hitler did and arbitrarily draw a the line of personhood to suit your own personal prejudices?

    Do you hold with Dawkins and Singer that infanticide is OK?

    Just where and when does the legal status of personhood kick in is your ‘integrated complexity’ definition of persons?

    And are you for or are you against speciesism? Is eating beef, chicken and pork OK in your book?

    spe·cies·ism
    the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals.

    Please be very specific and precise in your demarcation of personhood. And remember, no stealing from Christianity in order to make your definition of personhood complete!

  46. 46
    jdk says:

    Stupid, antagonistic questions, BA. Once again, all of my remarks obviously are meant to be about human beings.

  47. 47

    seversky @ 10: “If you’re asking if there’s some ultimate, objective moral code against which all acts can be measured then my answer is no…” Then stop complaining when people don’t act the way you want them to. You are just one person with an opinion of what is right or wrong. Your opinion means nothing to me, and I am sure my opinion means nothing to you.

    jdk @ 48: You are stupid and antagonistic.

  48. 48
    Marfin says:

    Seversky,jdk et al.Forget about subjective and objective morality being in question, please define, morality , good, and evil to begin with.
    As a christian I cannot say look here is objective morality because jdk etc can say but God does not exist so your objective morality has no basis and they would be right without a moral law giver a judge of what morality is there can not be objective morality, and thats the point.
    If there is a God who claims to be the moral law giver then you have a basis for knowing what moral law is and can have defined subjective moral laws if such a law giver does not exist you can`t.
    To the Atheist I say does natural selection select for good, for right for the moral well being of man, you see these thing in the world and you could say yes it does, but you also see murder , rape, and untold atrocities , so it also selected mans desire to carry out these terrible deeds , Because it selects for survival not good or evil, it has no moral compass its just blind to everything but survival.
    So before you get to objective or subjective what on earth are morals to begin with, and who gets to make that call.

  49. 49
    RexTugwell says:

    Pindi, apparently I’m not acting the way you think I should. Would you prefer I put a bullet through the heads of my pro-abortion friends? Would you be satisfied that I’m being consistent at that point?

    Besides, your argument is fallacious. You’re equating the Nazis of WWII Germany with the rank-and-file citizens of today’s United States like my friend. Rather, the real comparison should be with today’s politicians like the gutless “Catholic” Tim Kaine who’s “personally opposed to abortion…” in addition to all NARAL/PP types.

    I guess I wasn’t explicit enough: I would not be friends with the Nazis. I would be friends with my fellow German citizens who have swallowed the propaganda of their day believing that Jews are not persons. Of course, if my personal safety were at risk as well as that of my family, I would unload on said aggressor. ‘Nuff said!

  50. 50
    Origenes says:

    Integrated by what? Integrated why? What keeps it integrated?

    What Power Holds Off Disintegration For Precisely A Lifetime?”

  51. 51
    jdk says:

    I take back calling BA’s questions stupid, and I apologize, BA.

  52. 52
    REW says:

    I disagree with everyone here, including Seversky.
    The Holocaust was perfectly moral, at least it would have been 1000 years from now if the Nazis had won.
    Perhaps there would be an addendum to the Bible which would explain it all. When the Jews were the chosen people they were instructed by God to kill all the Amalakites, and they did because its moral to do what God commands you. But then they murdered Christ, their own Messiah. For 2000 years God mulled over what to do. Then he decided to wipe them out, just has he had decided to wipe out the Amalakites. He chose as the instrument of his vengeance the German people, specifically the Nazis among them.

    So 1000 years from now, theists of the WLCraig sort would say that the genocide of the Amalakies and the Jews were both moral acts because thats what God commanded.
    See how simple it is??

  53. 53
    jdk says:

    HI Origenes. I think you are the guy who I discussed this with before, and we concluded (let me know if I am wrong about any of this) that you believe some non-material property must exist in organisms in order for them to function in an integrated fashion.

    I, as a non-non-materialist, don’t believe that. The various parts of a person have evolved over time so they work together,: we are biologically integrated.

    I know I can’t convince you of that, and I don’t want to try.

    Backing up a few steps, I want to make it clear that I am not here in this discussion to try to convince anyone here that I am right.

    I responded to BA’s to try to clear up various misconceptions he has about what atheist/materialists believe in respect to what “I” is. It seems people ought to have a genuine understanding about the positions of their discussion opponents if they are to be able to make good arguments, rather than misconceiving and distorting those positions.

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk, a useless and circular legal definition of personhood just so as to serve your own atheistic agenda ain’t going to cut it.

    Moreover, even if you could somehow legally define personhood in a satisfactory manner without reference to the principles that are uniquely inherent to Theism, and Christianity in particular, atheistic materialists/naturalists still have an extremely difficult time assigning any real worth or value to persons in the first place (if there were really even such things as ‘persons’ within atheism):

    It is interesting to point out that the materialistic/atheistic philosophy has an extremely difficult time assigning any proper value to humans in the first place, i.e. Just how do you derive value for a person from a philosophy that maintains all our transcendent values are illusory?:

    How much is my body worth?
    Excerpt: The U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils invested many a hard-earned tax dollar in calculating the chemical and mineral composition of the human body,,,,Together, all of the above (chemicals and minerals) amounts to less than one dollar!
    http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia...../worth.asp

    I would like to think, despite the atrocities of abortion, Nazism and Communism, that most people intuitively know that they are worth far more value than a dollar?!? Yet, as pointed out, on materialism you have the ‘resale value’ of less than one dollar!

    Of course, in the marketplace some arrangements of inexpensive matter carry much more intrinsic value than other arrangements of inexpensive matter. But this is only because of the craftsmanship inherent within how that inexpensive matter is arranged that makes it worth much more than it would normally be. But materialists, besides denying we are made in the image of God in the first place, also resolutely deny that there is any true craftsmanship within humans. We are merely the happenstance product of filtered accidents! Thus, under atheistic materialism, why should any person’s particular arrangement of material carry any more worth and value than that of a pile of sand?

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Whereas in Theism, particularly in Christianity, there is no trouble whatsoever figuring out how much humans are really worth, since infinite Almighty God, in Who’s image we are made, has shown us how much we mean to him, since he was willing to trade heaven to pay the ultimate sacrifice so as to redeem us from death:

    1 Corinthians 6:20
    For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    MercyMe – Beautiful – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vh7-RSPuAA

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes. BINGO! And I guarantee he will never honestly address that question:

    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    Talbott

    As to the actual scientific evidence for a soul, due to advances in quantum biology, the Christian is sitting extremely pretty right now:

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics
    https://youtu.be/rCs3WXHqOv8

  56. 56
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Barry, how do you know that the Holocaust, or anything, is objectively wrong, as opposed to your subjective belief?

    The same way you do.

  57. 57
    jdk says:

    BA writes,

    Moreover, even if you could somehow legally define personhood in a satisfactory manner without reference to the principles that are uniquely inherent to Theism, and Christianity in particular, atheistic materialists/naturalists still have an extremely difficult time assigning any real worth or value to persons in the first place (if there were really even such things as ‘persons’ within atheism):

    It is interesting to point out that the materialistic/atheistic philosophy has an extremely difficult time assigning any proper value to humans in the first place, i.e. Just how do you derive value for a person from a philosophy that maintains all our transcendent values are illusory?

    There is no problem in legally defining personhood, as human beings are obviously different from all other animals. Nothing circular, and no theism needed.

    Also, I notice how BA loads the questions, so to speak: he says “real” or “proper” worth and “transcendent” values. Assuming that by real and proper he also means transcendent, then yes, those things are illusions.

    But just dismissing anything that isn’t based on theism as unreal isn’t much of a argument: it’s just a dogmatic position.

    Irrespective of theistic or non-theistic beliefs, people still assign value to other people. Children from the day they are born are building a sense of connection and caring with other humans, and as they grow they develop more mature understandings of the value, including rights and responsibilities, of other humans This is not a problem: people who don’t believe in God or transcendent values do all this as part of being a human being in the material, biological sense.

  58. 58
    groovamos says:

    Was slavery wrong?

    yes

    Was the way the native Americans were treated as the white man took over America wrong?

    Sam Houston lived among native Americans. Are you going to accuse him of treating them “wrong”?

    See thing is leftists have created this new sectarian belief system about “white”, and to teach it to all the children so “whites” will go away. To them what the “whites” should have done was build a wall around North America to reserve the whole continent for a couple of million people, and keep all “whites” out. Yes indeed. This is the major demonization right there, those “whites” back then did not build that wall, and they should disappear for that reason.

    In both cases, the people involved (all Christians) didn’t seem to think so.

    Believe me when I say it, jdk really knows who is Christian and who isn’t. See, when “whites” do bad stuff like take over a continent, they are Christian. But then the next step, when they establish a civilization on the continent, they and the civilization are not Christian. Easy logic to understand and you are a bigot if you don’t get it.

    What has gotten society to change its opinion on such things as slavery?

    Christianity, Judaism and humanism, at the beginning of the abolitionist movement. That’s why slavery in the Islamic world is so widespread, the Christians who oppose it have been enslaved and massacred and run off in Islamic countries.

    To what extent has Americans come to see the treatment of the Native Americans as very wrong?

    Sorrow for what happened to some, for the founding of any civilization, is pretty universal. How would jdk have done it better? Would jdk, living hundreds of years ago, financed the building of that wall around north America to keep the continent for a couple of million people and to keep all “whites” out?

    Is bombing civilians in the Middle East wrong? I sure think so, but my government and many US citizens don’t seem to agree with me.

    Is jdk promoting a lie about purposeful bombing of civilians? I think he is without using the word ‘purposeful’ but implying it. Purposeful bombing of civilians is what is done by jihadists and they admit it and promote it. Rocket attacks on residential neigborhoods in Israel and bomb attacks on buses carrying children are what Muslims do and admit and promote.

    In 100 years, it seems at least possible to me that the world in general will see modern warfare, as we wage it now, as terribly wrong, but I won’t be around to see it.

    Totally naive. There is no entity out there to legally grant any nation the “right” to exist without the backup of arms. Every nation and civilization through history earns its survival by force of arms, either wielded by its own people or the earning of goodwill of people in other established nations having the force of arms. There is no other method of deciding who gets to be a nation and who does not. This is the way of history and it will be this way until humankind is extinguished. The worlds’ scriptures even say it, so to think otherwise is naive. Idealism and utopianism can never change it; utopian thinking has been around thousands of years.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, why do you think that it is important to be correct (rather than persuasive or powerful) about views on morality? Does this not speak to the inescapability of our being under moral government, in reasoning as in the rest of life? What then follows if we for argument suppose that this sense is delusional — as ever so many are eager to assert or imply? Does this not land us in undermining our whole inner life by letting grand delusion loose thus pointing to self referential chaos of incoherence? By the converse we have good reason to accept that our sense of being under moral government reflects reality, just as we have reason to hold that we are capable of rationality and knowledge of the world. Subjectivity of conscious experience insofar as we have reason to believe it can be reasonably accurate, points to the objectivity of morality just as other major facets of the life of the mind. KF

  60. 60
    bb says:

    REW

    Perhaps there would be an addendum to the Bible which would explain it all. When the Jews were the chosen people they were instructed by God to kill all the Amalakites, and they did because its moral to do what God commands you. But then they murdered Christ, their own Messiah. For 2000 years God mulled over what to do. Then he decided to wipe them out, just has he had decided to wipe out the Amalakites. He chose as the instrument of his vengeance the German people, specifically the Nazis among them.

    So 1000 years from now, theists of the WLCraig sort would say that the genocide of the Amalakies and the Jews were both moral acts because thats what God commanded.
    See how simple it is??

    “Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
    Can a man be more pure than his Maker?”
    -Eliphaz, Job 4:17

    “Would you indeed annul My judgement?
    Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?”
    -God, Job 40:8

  61. 61
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk, I have no problem knowing that I really am a real person. Nor does anybody else. That we really exist as real persons is the most sure thing we can know about reality.

    The problem arises, for Darwinian materialists, in placing matter first and mind secondary. For them mind must be emergent from a material basis. They simply refuse to even consider the proposition that mind may have preceded matter. And thus the end result is the insane insistence of leading Darwinian proponents saying, for all the world to hear, that mind is an ‘illusion’ of the brain.

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    You, on the other hand, want to disagree with what the leading proponents of Darwinism in the world are saying and instead you want to insist that you really do exist as a real person. And I don’t blame you for doing so since you really are a real person. (again, it is the most sure thing you can know), But your beef is not with me, your beef is with the likes of Coyne, Dawkins, Harris, Dennet, and all the other leading atheistic academics who are teaching people that their minds are just illusions:

    Perhaps instead of trying to ‘correct’ me, you should instead write all these leading Darwinists in the world, lay out your ‘integrated complexity as a person’ argument for them, and try to convince them that they are not illusions? That is where the source of trouble is in the first place is it not?

    Supplemental notes, in the following article, Dawkins himself admits that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live as if his atheistic worldview were actually true:

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video 37:51 minute mark
    Quote: “It turns out that if every part of you, down to sub-atomic parts, are still what they were when they weren’t in you, in other words every ion,,, every single atom that was in the universe,, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.
    You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.”
    An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    [Nancy Pearcey] When Reality Clashes with Your Atheistic Worldview – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Kpn3HBMiQ

    podcast – Are Humans Simply Robots? Nancy Pearcey on the “Free Will Illusion”
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....more-30001

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on fantasy.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    Point of View Livecast – April 7, 2015
    Nancy Pearcey discusses her book, “Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism and Other God Substitutes,” in which she explains five powerful principles that penetrate to the core of any worldview.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRtbkN2tx4I

  63. 63
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB @ 43:

    Barry@41, I say no. they were not objectively wrong.

    Then why do you condemn them?

    The only answer to that question under your moral theory is the same one I gave for you at 24:

    I personally disagree with dehumanizing chattel slavery, but that is just my view and if someone has a different view I cannot say their view is objectively bad and mine is objectively good. The only thing that matters is who is stronger.

    At the end of the day, RB, your view amounts to whatever happens, happens, and sometimes you personally prefer what happened and sometimes you don’t.

    Why should I care what you personally prefer? As WJM says, isn’t it immoral for you to attempt to impose your views on another person if they are based on nothing but your personal preference?

  64. 64
    Pindi says:

    Rex @51

    Thanks for explaining that.

    Personally, I would not ever entertain the idea of being friends with someone who considered Jews non-persons, whether it was through them being propagandised or otherwise. I don’t maintain friendships with people who have abhorrent beliefs.

  65. 65
    Rationalitys bane says:

    Barry, “Then why do you condemn them?”

    I condemn them because it is my personal belief that slavery harms the people involved and it harms society and, as such, it harms me. Whether or not they care about my condemnation is academic.

    Why should I care what you personally prefer?”

    That would depend on whether or not you agree with my “preference”.

    As WJM says, isn’t it immoral for you to attempt to impose your views on another person if they are based on nothing but your personal preference?”

    If I am not violating any of my other moral convictions, or the law (which it is my “preference” to obey), then no. However, the person who I attempt to impose my moral conviction on, and you, and many others, may think it is immoral. That is the nature of subjective morality. If you want to mischaracterize it as “might makes right” be my guest.

  66. 66
    Origenes says:

    Jdk @50,

    Jdk:
    HI Origenes. …. you believe some non-material property must exist in organisms in order for them to function in an integrated fashion.

    Materialism fails to ground organisms, therefore logic informs us that a complete explanation involves non-materiality.

    Materialism holds that all of reality consists of impersonal indivisible fundamental elements; fermions and bosons.
    —Rock.
    At macro-level a rock may present itself to us as one indivisible thing, however its oneness is an illusion; in fact it is nothing over and beyond fundamental elements. There ‘is’ no rock. What truly, eternally and indivisibly exists are fermions and bosons. Stuff at the macro-level is temporal, composite and can be fully explained bottom-up.
    —Robot.
    Similarly a robot, made from Lego blocks, may present itself to us as one indivisible thing which wants to grab something, but in fact there is nothing over and beyond Lego blocks which care about neither the robot nor its apparent urge to grab something. The illusion of an intentional personal robot is fully produced by indifferent impersonal Lego blocks. To be clear, there is in fact no robot, no person and there is no urge to grab something.
    —Human being.
    Similarly a human being, made from fermions and bosons, may present itself to us as one indivisible thing with its own intentions, but in fact , according to materialism, there is nothing over and beyond fermions and bosons which care about neither a human being nor intentions. The illusion of an intentional personal human being is produced by unintentional impersonal fermions and bosons. To be clear, according to materialism, there is in fact no person and there are no intentions.

    Jdk: The various parts of a person have evolved over time so they work together,: we are biologically integrated.

    Those are words without meaning. Given materialism there is nothing that evolves. There is neither a ‘person’ nor a ‘we’.

  67. 67
    Mung says:

    Thank you Mungy.

    You’re welcome. 🙂

    It does open a can of worms, doesn’t it. Jesus Christ was “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”

    So it would appear that the crucifixion was just a carrying out in time of something timeless.

    And Jesus even prayed that God forgive them. How did God answer that prayer, I wonder?

  68. 68
    Mung says:

    jdk: I take back calling BA’s questions stupid, and I apologize, BA.

    Miracles happen all around us, every day.

  69. 69

    jdk,
    The various parts of a person have evolved over time so they work together,: we are biologically integrated.

    The specific organization of matter that allows biology to exist is non-integrable. This has been known for abut half a century now.

    Oh wait. You don’t deal in physical facts; you protect your beliefs from them instead. Nevermind.

  70. 70
    jdk says:

    BA writes,

    The problem arises, for Darwinian materialists, in placing matter first and mind secondary. For them mind must be emergent from a material basis. They simply refuse to even consider the proposition that mind may have preceded matter. And thus the end result is the insane insistence of leading Darwinian proponents saying, for all the world to hear, that mind is an ‘illusion’ of the brain.

    This is the great undecided question that has been part of philosophy since the Greeks: which came first, mind or matter. You are wrong, at least in respect to me, that I haven’t considered that mind may have preceded matter. I am agnostic on such things at the ultimate metaphysical level. However, I think mind as we know it is grounded and and emergent from the material world.

    However, this doesn’t make mind an illusion. Many things are made of matter (in the very broad way in which this term in now understood in physics) and yet have properties that are far different than those possessed by the basic components of matter. (A very simple example is salt.)

    As I have explained before, the idea that mind is a non-material something that lives in us and yet is separate from our body is an illusion. That doesn’t mean that what we commonly experience as our mind doesn’t exist.

  71. 71
    jdk says:

    I appreciate kfs short, specific post. Here are some equally short (almost) responses.

    why do you think that it is important to be correct (rather than persuasive or powerful) about views on morality?

    I want to be correct as best as I can for myself in respect to all the sources of information and opinion that I can gather, but ultimately the only thing I can do in respect to others is try to be persuasive, through my actions and my words.

    Does this not speak to the inescapability of our being under moral government, in reasoning as in the rest of life?

    No. There is no “moral government” that has governance over human beings.

    What then follows if we for argument suppose that this sense is delusional — as ever so many are eager to assert or imply? Does this not land us in undermining our whole inner life by letting grand delusion loose thus pointing to self referential chaos of incoherence?

    No. I don’t argue that the sense of moral government is delusional. I just don’t believe it exists.

    And no, my whole inner life is not undermined by not believing in this moral governance of which you speak, nor do I suffer from self-referential incoherence. I’m a pretty normal human beings with a strong sense of behaving morally, as I and the people I interact with have determined best exhibits morality.

    By the converse we have good reason to accept that our sense of being under moral government reflects reality, just as we have reason to hold that we are capable of rationality and knowledge of the world.

    I believe rationality and reason leads us to fairly reliable knowledge about the world. However moral standards aren’t real in the sense that the world that we live in is: what is real are various opinions about what is moral from lots of different people, but there is no “real” morality out there any place accessible to my experience.

    Subjectivity of conscious experience insofar as we have reason to believe it can be reasonably accurate, points to the objectivity of morality just as other major facets of the life of the mind.

    Our conscious experience of the external world is reasonably accurate. However, human beings also create stories about the world that go beyond what we experience, and that form the structure of our relationships with other. Social arrangements are constructions rather than observations of existing things. Systems of religion, including morality, norms of behavior, possible roles within society, etc. (in other word, social culture) are made up and then become entrenched, and the variety of such has been tremendous despite the underlying common human nature.

    So who we are is a combination of what we know about the external world, which we confirm, and choices we, along with our society, have made about how to live: these latter are affirmations, not confirmations. Religion, morals, social arrangements, etc., exist because we choose for them to exist, not because they exist outside of us in the same sense that physical reality does.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk, the question, although it may have perplexed some of the ancients, is not hard to answer. Modern science has definitely decided in favor of Mind preceding matter. i.e. The Theist is more than vindicated in his claims by empirical evidence.

    I would relist the evidence once again, but you would only ignore it again.

    i.e. I got better things to do than watch jdk chase his tail around in denial!

  73. 73
    Seversky says:

    Barry Arrington @ 12

    In my view, I would be right and, in the view of the Nazis, I would be wrong. Since the Nazis would somewhat outnumber me, their view would prevail and be the one handed down to history. That is what would happen.

    Translation: “I would prefer my view and they would prefer their view. There is no standard to arbitrate between our conflicting views, and the stronger prevails.”

    Close, but I would say that ultimately the stronger is the side that has the greatest number of supporters. That is how the Nazis were beaten. They had what even their enemies conceded was the best army in the world at that time. But their exclusivist ideology concerning an Aryan master-race and the atrocious behavior they believed it justified turned most of the rest of the world against them. No matter how good their army was they were never going defeat the overwhelming numbers brought against them. That was always going to be their downfall.

    It comes down to this, Sev. You are saying “I personally disagree with the slaughter of every single Jew and homosexual, but that is just my view and if someone has a different view I cannot say their view is objectively bad and mine is objectively good. The only thing that matters is who is stronger.”

    Essentially right. I don’t believe there are any objective moral standards against which all other moralities can be measured. The moral code that will ultimately prevail will be the one that offers the broadest guarantees and protections to the greatest numbers of people. Extreme exclusivist ideologies or theologies are ultimately doomed in the same way that the Nazis were.

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis Doodle – animated apologetics (the transcendent nature of the moral law)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_VYCqCexow

    Here is a complete reading of C. S. Lewis’s classic book ‘Mere Christianity’ on youtube. Chapter 3 deals with the reality of the moral law within man.

    Mere Christianity – C. S. Lewis – Easy to follow playlist:
    http://www.truthaccordingtoscr.....ty-toc.php

  75. 75
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Oh wait. You don’t deal in physical facts; you protect your beliefs from them instead. Nevermind.

    Hold on there pardner! jdk loves the physical facts. When they are in his favor.

  76. 76
    Origenes says:

    jdk @72

    jdk: I think mind as we know it is grounded and and emergent from the material world.

    Freedom of choice is a prerequisite to morality. If people don’t have freedom of choice they cannot be accountable for their actions and morality does not exist. A person must be free from physics and chemistry or a “moral” choice is no different than a stream flowing through a gully.

    1. If determinism is true, then all our actions and thoughts are consequences of events and laws of nature in the remote past before we were born.

    2. We have no control over circumstances that existed in the remote past before we were born, nor do we have any control over the laws of nature.

    3. If A causes B, and we have no control over A, and A is sufficient for B, then we have no control over B.

    Therefore

    4. If determinism is true, then we have no control over our own actions and thoughts.

    Therefore, assuming that responsibility requires control,

    5. If determinism is true, then we are not responsible for anything we do or think.

    Therefore, assuming that freedom entails responsibility,

    6. If determinism is true, then we are not free, which is to say that every form of compatibilism is false.

    [ Bill Vallicella ]

  77. 77

    The moral code that will ultimately prevail will be the one that offers the broadest guarantees and protections to the greatest numbers of people.

    1. What does “ultimately prevailing” mean? Wins every battle? Every war? Wins the fight for top-down implementation in a particular country? Stands as the moral system for that particular country for hundreds of years? Thousands? Forever? Will, in some future, become the accepted morality of the entire world?

    2. “Broadest guarantees” .. of what?

    3. “Protections” … of or from what?

    4. What happens to those who disagree with that system?

    5. On what evidence do you base this view?

    Extreme exclusivist ideologies or theologies are ultimately doomed in the same way that the Nazis were.

    Again, on what evidence do you base this view? I don’t understand your reasoning. What constitutes and ‘exclusivist, extreme” ideology? Who decides what is exclusivist or extreme?

    Do you think the Nazis were defeated because of their “extremist” moral codes? That it rallied masses of people to the cause to defeat them because most people disliked Nazi morality? If numbers in disagreement is the answer, why didn’t the German people rise up and overthrow Hitler? Why did the USA and Soviet Union not get involved substantively until they were directly attacked? Why was there deep division in the USA about whether or not to get involved?

    IF it is a numbers game, then isn’t a morally valid way of achieving a superiority of numbers killing those who disgee?

    I think seversky is using vague phrasing and terminology, along with historically unsubstantiated and convenient opinions, to express his views with as positive an emotional spin as possible, as if his personal, humanistic moral ideal would somehow be the logical, inevitable outcome of purely mechanistic processes (numbers game or game theory of human social interactions).

    Unfortunately for seversky, though, the actual state of the world both currently and historically would be the factual evidence that shows exactly what such a mechanistic process in fact delivers. What you see is what you get out of the mechanistic numbers game. Terrorism on the rise. Belief in a fanatical system which degrades women and children and horribly kills off non-believers on the rise throughout the world. Governments that are entirely corrupt and use and manipulate populations for the personal gain of elite cartels.

    In other words, what you actually “ultimately get” out of mechanistic processes over tens of thousands of years is what you see: the vast numbers being used and abused by a powerful, elite few for their own personal gain. Worldwide slavery even in countries that outlaw it. Giant corporations that harm entire populations and take advantage of workers for the sake of shareholder profits.

    The facts directly refute seversky’s vague, idealistic promise of a mechanistically-delivered humanistic morality.

  78. 78
    asauber says:

    I have a question for Seversky:

    How does it feel to live in a universe where Love doesn’t exist?

    Andrew

  79. 79

    In #79, “The moral code that will ultimately prevail will be the one that offers the broadest guarantees and protections to the greatest numbers of people.” is a quote from Seversky’s post.

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N:

    It is clear from the above that we do find ourselves morally obligated, i.e. under moral government, even in the context of argument as to what is true . . . oh, you OUGHT to be right fairly reeks out of the arguments. It is further clear that those who argue against our being significantly responsibly and rationally true – directly or by implication — let grand delusion loose and end in self referential incoherence. But that is going to be hard to acknowledge. Instead of making shipwreck of rationality and responsibility, it seems much better to start there as a clear first datum, then look at schemes of thought that imply such is illusion, delusion or non-existent — in fact, we sense the obligation so the worst it can be is delusional — as being clearly in error. To use the gift of responsible, rational, conscience-guided freedom to argue that such is delusional, is futile by way of being self-defeating. As, we see ever so often. KF

  81. 81
    RexTugwell says:

    Pindi @ 66
    Those beliefs you find abhorrent are just your personal opinion. Right?

  82. 82
    Pindi says:

    Rex @83

    Of course. But fortunately I am able to live in a community where most people I know share them.

    Not you apparently.

  83. 83
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @ 79

    1. What does “ultimately prevailing” mean? Wins every battle? Every war? Wins the fight for top-down implementation in a particular country? Stands as the moral system for that particular country for hundreds of years? Thousands? Forever? Will, in some future, become the accepted morality of the entire world?

    “Ultimately prevailing” meaning eventually prevailing, not immediately prevailing. Meaning that, as the world’s populations become aware of their common interests, moralities will converge on that which offers the greatest protection for the common interests and agreed rights of all.

    I don’t expect this to happen any time soon. I suspect it will take a long time for people to get past parochial thinking or concern only for the interests of their “tribe” or in-group. There’s no guarantee that this will happen but neither is it impossible.

    The advantage it has over any so-called objective morality is that these objective moralities are always somehow the personal moralities of the proponents of such a concept. When Christians propose an objective morality it almost invariably turns out to be Christian morality. There is no way they are going to recognize Muslim or Hindu moralities as the objective one. The same, in reverse, is going to apply to Muslims and Hindus concerning Christian claims to objective morality.

    2. “Broadest guarantees” .. of what?

    3. “Protections” … of or from what?

    Guarantees and protection of common human rights and interests. Human beings – the vast majority, anyway – have a common interest in personal survival, which means water, food, shelter and a secure environment in which to raise and provide for a family. Any morality which requires respect for those and other interests and protects against violations of the rights and interests of all by other members of society should have the broadest appeal to potential adherents.

    Again, on what evidence do you base this view? I don’t understand your reasoning. What constitutes and ‘exclusivist, extreme” ideology? Who decides what is exclusivist or extreme?

    Extreme and exclusivist ideologies or theologies are those which only protect the rights of the few. Those who swear fealty to IS enjoy the protections of the extreme form of Islam they espouse. IS morality permits them to commit almost any form of atrocity against any who are infidels or apostate by their beliefs. That theology is hardly likely to endear them or appeal to the far greater number of non-IS members. As Barry Arrington argued in the parallel case of the Nazis, in principle, if such a group were able to wipe out all its enemies then their morality would prevail, which is true. In practice, all the non-Nazi or non-IS people in the world are hardly going to sit still and allow themselves to be annihilated by these groups. They are going to defend themselves and should prevail through their much greater numbers.

    Unfortunately for seversky, though, the actual state of the world both currently and historically would be the factual evidence that shows exactly what such a mechanistic process in fact delivers. What you see is what you get out of the mechanistic numbers game. Terrorism on the rise. Belief in a fanatical system which degrades women and children and horribly kills off non-believers on the rise throughout the world. Governments that are entirely corrupt and use and manipulate populations for the personal gain of elite cartels.

    In other words, what you actually “ultimately get” out of mechanistic processes over tens of thousands of years is what you see: the vast numbers being used and abused by a powerful, elite few for their own personal gain. Worldwide slavery even in countries that outlaw it. Giant corporations that harm entire populations and take advantage of workers for the sake of shareholder profit

    I wasn’t arguing that we are there yet or anywhere near it. There is no question that the world faces all the problems listed above and more. The scale of the problems have grown as the human population has grown but I don’t think they are any worse than they were before because I don’t think basic human nature has changed much over the last few thousand years. There are still those who are capable of great good and great evil and the great majority who just want to get along the best they can. I still believe that the solution ultimately lies in our hands not some god or alien super-intelligence or designer.

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