Atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty now challenges neurosurgeon Michael Egnor: There is no way to know whether a moral doctrine represents any reality apart from belief:
Michael Egnor: You’ve agreed with me that there are people who act out of respect for an objective moral law.
Matt Dillahunty: I agree with you there are people who act that way because of their belief and whether they believe it’s objective or not is irrelevant. They can believe it’s subjective and still do it. [01:29:30]
Michael Egnor: So, you don’t believe that it’s objectively wrong, for example, to kill innocent people, or rape babies, or exterminate the Jews?
Matt Dillahunty: Hang on. We just went through a whole bunch of stuff and when you got to a point where it was exposed that you were wrong about what you said, you went back to: I don’t think it’s objectively wrong to rape people and kill babies. That’s not what we were just discussing. We were discussing altruism and whether or not there’s a justification for it.
Michael Egnor: Yeah. But it’s what we’re discussing now, Matt. My question is, is it objectively wrong to do certain things, outside of opinions? [01:30:00]
Matt Dillahunty: I’ve already answered this and I’m sorry that you don’t understand it. I will try one more time.
When you declare what a foundation of morality is, once that’s done, you can compare the consequences of various actions with respect to that foundation, with respect to that goal. That comparison can be objective in the same way that the rules of chess are ultimately arbitrary. They didn’t have to be that way. We made up the game. It is objectively against the rules for you to move your pawn forward four spaces at the beginning of the game. Now, you can say, is it objectively wrong? Well, no, we could have house rules, but we’re talking about these rules.News, “8. Does morality really exist? If so, does it come from God?” at Mind Matters News
C.S. Lewis (1898–1963) certainly disagreed with Dillahunty in The Abolition of Man (1943), where he talks about the Tao that forms the basis of all human morality.
Takehome: Michael Egnor insists that a moral law exists independently of varying opinions. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, that has always been the traditional view worldwide.
The debate to date:
- Debate: Former atheist neurosurgeon vs. former Christian activist. At Theology Unleashed, each gets a chance to state his case and interrogate the other. In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and broadcaster Matt Dillahunty clash over the existence of God.
- A neurosurgeon’s ten proofs for the existence of God. First, how did a medic, formerly an atheist, who cuts open people’s brains for a living, come to be sure there is irrefutable proof for God? In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, Michael Egnor and Matt Dillahunty clash over “Does God exist?” Egnor starts off.
- Atheist Dillahunty spots fallacies in Christian Egnor’s views. “My position is that it’s unacceptable to believe something if the available evidence does not support it.” Dillahunty: We can’t conclusively disprove an unfalsifiable proposition. And that is what most “God” definitions, at least as far as I can tell, are.
- Egnor now tries to find out what Dillahunty actually knows… About philosophical arguments for the existence of God, as he begins a rebuttal. Atheist Dillahunty appears unable to recall the philosophical arguments for God’s existence, which poses a challenge for Egnor in rebutting him.
- Egnor, Dillahunty dispute the basic causes behind the universe. In a peppery exchange, Egnor argues that proofs of God’s existence follow the same logical structure as proofs in science. If the universe begins in a singularity (where Einstein’s equations break down), what lies behind it? Egnor challenges Dillahunty on that.
- Is Matt Dillahunty using science as a crutch for his atheism? That’s neurosurgeon Michael Egnor’s accusation in this third part of the debate, which features a continued discussion of singularities, where conventional “laws of nature” break down.
If the “supernatural” means “outside of conventional nature,” Michael Egnor argues, science routinely accepts it, based on evidence.
- Dillahunty asks 2nd oldest question: If God exists, why evil? In the debate between Christian neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty, the question of raping a baby was bound to arise.
Egnor argues that there is an objective moral law against such acts; Dillahunty argues, no, it is all just human judgment.
- Does morality really exist? If so, does it come from God? Matt Dillahunty now challenges Michael Egnor: There is no way to know whether a moral doctrine represents any reality apart from belief. Michael Egnor insists that a moral law exists independently of varying opinions. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, that has always been the traditional view worldwide.
You may also wish to read:
Science can and does point to God’s existence. Michael Egnor: Natural science is not at all methodologically naturalist — it routinely points to causes outside of nature. If we are to understand natural effects, we must be open to all kinds of causes, including causes that transcend nature.
The Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence = nonsense. God in Himself is immeasurably greater than we are, and He transcends all human knowledge. A God with whom we do not struggle — who is not in some substantial and painful way hidden to us — is not God but is a mere figment of our imagination.
Atheist Claims about logical fallacies often just mean: Shut Up! In the recent debate, Matt Dillahunty accuses theists of “the fallacy of the argument from personal incredulity” because we examine his claims and find them incredible. What atheists fear most is having to explain themselves, and the invocation of fictitious “fallacies” is one of their favorite ways to evade scrutiny.
Theists vs. atheists: Which group has the burden of proof? Because Dillahunty refuses to debate me again, I’ll address his claim that atheists have no burden of proof in the debate over God’s existence in this post. Both atheists and theists make positive statements about the nature of the universe. If atheists shun the ensuing burden of proof, it should count against them.