Intelligent Design

MF Runs Away; Anyone Else Care to Play?

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Mark Frank apparently no longer wants to play. So I will throw the question I asked him open to any of the other materialists who post here.

Imagine the following exchange:

Barry:

Mr. Materialist, is it possible to imagine a universe in which torturing an infant to death for personal pleasure is actually an affirmatively good thing?

Mr. Materialist:

The answer to your question is that my metaphysics compel me to say that the phrase “affirmatively good thing” is all but meaningless in the sense you are using it. There is no such thing as “good.” There is no such thing as “evil.” There is only my personal preferences competing with everyone else’s personal preferences, and all of those personal preferences can be reduced to the impulses caused by the electro-chemical processes of each person’s brain.

Certainly there is no external standard by which we can discern whether the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in my brain are in any sense morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in anyone else’s brain.

It follows, Barry, that if by the word “good” you mean the desirable and by the desirable you mean that which a person actually desires, then of course I can imagine a universe in which torturing an infant to death for personal pleasure is actually an affirmatively good thing. In fact, we live in just such a universe. How do I know? Because certain people have in fact desired to torture an infant to death for personal pleasure.

On the other hand, if by “good” you mean “conforms to an external moral standard,” the question is, as I said, meaningless, because no such standard exists.

End of exchange.

Materialists, it is up to you to tell me how any of the conclusions I’ve reached are not in fact compelled by materialist premises.

WJM is correct. Very very few people actually live as if materialist metaphysics were actually true. And those people who do we call psychopaths.

55 Replies to “MF Runs Away; Anyone Else Care to Play?

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: is it possible to imagine a universe in which torturing an infant to death for personal pleasure is actually an affirmatively good thing?

    According to whom?

  2. 2
    Mark Frank says:

    Barry I “ran away” as you put it because you had fallen into the same old sterile debating tactics. I am happy to continue the discussion if you agree not to use the following tactics:

    * Declaring you are obviously right.
    * Telling your opponents they are dishonest or fooling themselves.
    * Telling your opponents what they really mean.
    * Telling your opponents why they hold the beliefs they do.

    I understand this doesn’t leave you with many arguments.

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    I will translate comments 1 and 2 from the materialist dialect into plain English:

    Zachriel: “I’ve got nothing.”

    Mark Frank: “I’ve got nothing.”

  4. 4
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: I will translate comments 1 and 2 from the materialist dialect into plain English: Zachriel: “I’ve got nothing.”

    Actually, it’s a pertinent question going to the heart of what is meant by subjectivism. You ask us to imagine an alternative universe, but one not so different in that there are human infants to sacrifice to your metaphysics.

    If, by your question, you mean what Zachriel would think, well, we’re rather fond of the little hominids. Consider it a peccadillo if you like, but we’re against it. If you mean per the god of the volcano who insists on virgins being thrown into the fire, then you might get a different answer.

  5. 5
    Mark Frank says:

    BA – so you are straight into telling me what I mean. Sorry – unless you want to have a debate based on arguments and evidence I am not playing.

  6. 6
    mahuna says:

    I haven’t bothered with this silliness before, but there are any number of occasions in human history where some group (normally professional priests) do in fact take pleasure in killing infants and tell society that what they do is a good thing because it makes some god happy. The Phoenicians come to mind.

    Any number of societies, including modern Chinese, kill girl infants because they’re more trouble than they’re worth. But I suppose we might quibble over whether starving someone to death is “torture”.

    Torturing adult humans to death for fun and profit has been morally acceptable for millennia. But I’m guessing that your choice of infants has something to do with whether the victim is “innocent”. While they could still run things in New England, the Puritans (who came to America to gain the “religious freedom” to torture non-believers) famously tortured, mutilated, and executed otherwise innocent Quakers for, well, BEING Quakers in a Puritan town. All of the torturing, mutilating, and executing was at the direction of the RELIGIOUS leadership of the colony, who were most assuredly concerned with “morally good things.”

    More recently, there was an incident in Somalia (I believe) in which a gang of Moslems captured a Christian village in the middle of nowhere and demanded that the Christians convert to the “morally good” Mohammedism. When one father refused to convert, they grabbed his daughter (who was 5 years old and so not technically an “infant”) and forced him to watch while they burned her hand off up to the wrist. When the father still refused to accept the “morally good” Mohammedism, they made him watch as they burned her OTHER hand off to the wrist. And though this was clearly torture of an innocent, they didn’t kill her. At least not directly.

    So OF COURSE torturing innocents to death for fun and profit has been declared to be a “morally good thing”. You should read more history. As the bishop declared during the Albigensian Crusade in southern France when confronted with some thousands of captives that included both heretical Cathars and conforming Catholics, “Kill them all, God will recognize his own.”

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Barry notes,

    WJM is correct. Very very few people actually live as if materialist metaphysics were actually true. And those people who do we call psychopaths.

    So true. However materialists invoke self-righteous holy anger when someone disagrees with their actions, not realizing that someone else’s invasion of their personal universe does not constitute any moral violation.

    Taking this even further, should someone commit a crime such as robbing their house, they should not respond negatively, since they are in no position to judge someone else’s values.

    True materialists cannot even retreat into pragmatism, since that ‘s also an artificial value.

    But as you imply, they are hypocrites since they do not actually live as they claim. They adopt materialism only when it suits them to do so, or when cornered in an argument.

    -Q

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Mahuna: There is a world of difference between finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed people pretending or even being deluded to imagine that evil is good, and what is objectively good or evil, per sound basis. To confuse the two and so reveal the underlying error that might/manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth, ‘knowledge,’ ‘science,’ etc is a characteristic blunder of radically relativist or subjectivist schemes of thought. And of course the new atheists often wish to add to that their cramped and sophomoric view that “religion” is a catch-all expression and can be transferred as poisonous tar to tar one and all as they see fit. Time to think again. KF

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Mahuna,

    The examples you provided are gut wrenching and tragic, but are also common in the political realm as leaders strive for utopia, which also typically hits a few genocidal “bumps in the road.”

    Since becoming a Christian, I’ve lived my life following this description from the prophet Micah:

    With what shall I come to the LORD
    And bow myself before the God on high?
    Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,
    With yearling calves?

    Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams,
    In ten thousand rivers of oil?
    Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts,
    The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

    He has told you, O man, what is good;
    And what does the LORD require of you
    But to do justice*, to love kindness,
    And to walk humbly with your God?

    * Also translated “equity.”

    – Micah 6:8 NASV

    Since I’m convinced that God sacrificed his own life through his Son, Jesus Christ, for a selfish, sinful, hateful world, shouldn’t I follow His example?

    -Q

  10. 10
    Roy says:

    What conclusions?

    None are given. There’s only a couple of scenarios which are dependent on the definition being used for the word “good”, for which no definition has been supplied.

    Roy

  11. 11
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    If, by your question, you mean what Zachriel would think, well, we’re rather fond of the little hominids. Consider it a peccadillo if you like, but we’re against it.

    It’s a little irregular to describe what Zachriel thinks in terms of “we.” What you seem to be saying is that Zachriel is against infant torture because it doesn’t feel right for Zachriel. But you are forgetting the point of the post. As a subjectivist, you have no rational answer to the question as to why your feelings should be preferred over those of the torturer, for whom it does feel right.

    Mark Frank

    BA – so you are straight into telling me what I mean. Sorry – unless you want to have a debate based on arguments and evidence I am not playing.

    One way around this problem is to address the issue. Your perennial claim that we just don’t understand subjectivism doesn’t suffice,

    mahuna

    So OF COURSE torturing innocents to death for fun and profit has been declared to be a “morally good thing”. You should read more history. As the bishop declared during the Albigensian Crusade in southern France when confronted with some thousands of captives that included both heretical Cathars and conforming Catholics, “Kill them all, God will recognize his own.”

    The outrage dripping from your anti-religious rant reveals more than you intended. For you, torturing babies for fun, or even in the name of a man-made god, is objectively wrong—not merely subjectively distasteful.

    On the other hand, if you revert back to subjectivism, then your strong feelings deserve no more consideration than the strong feelings of of the religious fanatic that prompted the outrage.

  12. 12
    goodusername says:

    WJM is correct. Very very few people actually live as if materialist metaphysics were actually true. And those people who do we call psychopaths.

    That’s how I live each day, yet no one has ever accused me of being a psychopath, and I don’t think anyone has thought me as such.

  13. 13
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mark is just so weary of it all that he is going to take his marbles and go home. OK.

    Zachriel absolutely refuses to address the OP and set forth step by step how the analysis is flawed. He cannot, but he also cannot admit that he cannot. His dissonance would then be unbearable. So, as usual, he deflects and distracts.

    Mahuna does not give the slightest nod at an attempt to answer the logic of the OP. He is too full of self-righteous anger to be bothered by such things as logic and reason. But let’s explore what he says in a passage dripping with sarcasm:

    So OF COURSE torturing innocents to death for fun and profit has been declared to be a “morally good thing”. You should read more history. As the bishop declared during the Albigensian Crusade in southern France when confronted with some thousands of captives that included both heretical Cathars and conforming Catholics, “Kill them all, God will recognize his own.”

    Now, in the OP I challenged the mahunas of the world to answer the following logic. The materialist premises compel him to say:

    There is no such thing as “good.” There is no such thing as “evil.” There is only my personal preferences competing with everyone else’s personal preferences, and all of those personal preferences can be reduced to the impulses caused by the electro-chemical processes of each person’s brain. Certainly there is no external standard by which we can discern whether the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in my brain are in any sense morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in anyone else’s brain.

    It seems obvious that mahuna believes the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in his brain are in fact objectively and self-evidently morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in bishop’s brain.

    Do tell mahuna. Why is that?

  14. 14
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: As a subjectivist, you have no rational answer to the question as to why your feelings should be preferred over those of the torturer, for whom it does feel right.

    Zachriel prefers Zachriel’s own moral scruples thank you very much.

    StephenB: For you, torturing babies for fun, or even in the name of a man-made god, is objectively wrong—not merely subjectively distasteful.

    There’s no way to determine that from mahuna’s comment.

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    “There’s no way to determine that from mahuna’s comment.” It really is astonishing how stupid some of the things you say are. Into the moderation box for a while.

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @ 11

    It’s a little irregular to describe what Zachriel thinks in terms of “we.” What you seem to be saying is that Zachriel is against infant torture because it doesn’t feel right for Zachriel. But you are forgetting the point of the post. As a subjectivist, you have no rational answer to the question as to why your feelings should be preferred over those of the torturer, for whom it does feel right.

    What is wrong with consulting the victims whose views seem to be consistently ignored in these scenarios? Do their feelings count for nothing? Isn’t protecting them from pain, injury or even death a sufficient reason in itself? If we have to decide between the subjective moral beliefs of the torturer and the subjective moral beliefs of the victim what other test can you apply than that of the lesser of two evils? If you free the victim the torturer may experience frustration at being deprived of a source of personal gratification but the victim will have been rescued from pain, injury and possibly death. Do we need a concept of objective good and evil before we can sense that preventing a victim from being tortured is a moral thing to do?

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky @ 16:

    Really? Can’t you at least try to face the logic of your premises head on? Let’s take a look at your evasion:

    What is wrong with consulting the victims whose views seem to be consistently ignored in these scenarios? Do their feelings count for nothing?

    “Victim” is a morally-freighted word. You materialists don’t’ get to use it (at least in a way that is logically consist with your premises). You are just trying to push the inquiry from view. I will illustrate using mahuna’s example of “victims””

    Now, in the OP I challenged the Serversks of the world to answer the following logic. The materialist premises compel him to say:

    There is no such thing as “good.” There is no such thing as “evil.” There is only my personal preferences competing with everyone else’s personal preferences, and all of those personal preferences can be reduced to the impulses caused by the electro-chemical processes of each person’s brain. Certainly there is no external standard by which we can discern whether the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in my brain are in any sense morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in anyone else’s brain.

    It seems obvious that Seversky believes the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in his brain are in fact objectively and self-evidently morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in bishop’s brain. Otherwise, he would not call the people with whom the bishop was dealing “victims.”

    Do tell Seversky. Why is that?

    Isn’t protecting them from pain, injury or even death a sufficient reason in itself?

    No, actually. Is protecting the gazelle from the pain inflicted by the lion sufficient reason to call the lion’s actions immoral? Of course not. The gazelle and the lion are simply acting according to the electro-chemical processes in their respective brains. Humans, on materialist premises, are no different from these other animals.

    If we have to decide between the subjective moral beliefs of the torturer and the subjective moral beliefs of the victim what other test can you apply than that of the lesser of two evils?

    Really? Seriously? After all this time you still think you get to use the word “evil” or, even worse, compare one thing you call evil with another thing you call evil and rank them on a scale other than the scale of your personal preferences. Astounding. It really is astonishing that you don’t see the glaring flaws in your logic. Your efforts to handle your dissonance have left you literally blind to plain truth.

    Do we need a concept of objective good and evil before we can sense that preventing a victim from being tortured is a moral thing to do?

    Do we need a concept that morality means something other than personal preference to determine whether one personal preference is morally superior to another? Why, yes actually, we do. Wow.

  18. 18
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    Zachriel prefers Zachriel’s own moral scruples thank you very much.

    Yes, we know that. Your moral scruples are based on your personal preferences just as the torturer’s moral scruples are based on his personal preferences. The two questions you need to answer are these: Are your moral sensibilities superior to his? Why?

    Seversky

    If we have to decide between the subjective moral beliefs of the torturer and the subjective moral beliefs of the victim what other test can you apply than that of the lesser of two evils?

    …except for the fact that the subjectivist has no way of determining which moral evil is greater than another or if there is even any such thing as a moral evil in the first place.

  19. 19
    Box says:

    A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, Ch.5:

    But we should also worry about the public relations nightmare for scientism produced by the answer theists try to foist on scientism. The militant exponents of the higher superstitions say that scientism has no room for morality and can’t even condemn the wrongdoing of a monster like Hitler. Religious people especially argue that we cannot really have any values—things we stand up for just because they are right—and that we are not to be trusted to be good when we can get away with something. They complain that our worldview has no moral compass. These charges get redoubled once theists see how big a role Darwinian natural selection plays in scientism’s view of reality. Many of the most vocal people who have taken sides against this scientific theory (for instance, the founders of the Discovery Institute, which advocates “intelligent design”) have frankly done so because they think it’s morally dangerous, not because it lacks evidence. If Darwinism is true, then anything goes!
    You might think that we have to resist these conclusions or else we’ll never get people to agree with us. Most people really do accept morality as a constraint on their conduct. The few who might agree privately with Darwinism about morality won’t do so publicly because of the deep unpopularity of these views. “Anything goes” is nihilism, and nihilism has a bad name.

    There is really one bit of bad news that remains to trouble scientism. We have to acknowledge (to ourselves, at least) that many questions we want the “right” answers to just don’t have any.

    Nihilism says that the whole idea of “morally permissible” is untenable nonsense. As such, it can hardly be accused of holding that “everything is morally permissible.” That, too, is untenable nonsense.
    Moreover, nihilism denies that there is really any such thing as intrinsic moral value. People think that there are things that are instrinsically valuable, not just as a means to something else: human life or the ecology of the planet or the master race or elevated states of consciousness, for example. But nothing can have that sort of intrinsic value—the very kind of value morality requires. Nihilism denies that there is anything at all that is good in itself or, for that matter, bad in itself.

    First, nihilism can’t condemn Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, or those who fomented the Armenian genocide or the Rwandan one. If there is no such thing as “morally forbidden,” then what Mohamed Atta did on September 11, 2001, was not morally forbidden. Of course, it was not permitted either. But still, don’t we want to have grounds to condemn these monsters? Nihilism seems to cut that ground out from under us.
    Second, if we admit to being nihilists, then people won’t trust us. We won’t be left alone when there is loose change around. We won’t be relied on to be sure small children stay out of trouble.
    Third, and worst of all, if nihilism gets any traction, society will be destroyed. We will find ourselves back in Thomas Hobbes’s famous state of nature, where “the life of man is solitary, mean, nasty, brutish and short.” Surely, we don’t want to be nihilists if we can possibly avoid it. (Or at least, we don’t want the other people around us to be nihilists.)
    Scientism can’t avoid nihilism. We need to make the best of it. For our own self-respect, we need to show that nihilism doesn’t have the three problems just mentioned—no grounds to condemn Hitler, lots of reasons for other people to distrust us, and even reasons why no one should trust anyone else. We need to be convinced that these unacceptable outcomes are not ones that atheism and scientism are committed to. Such outcomes would be more than merely a public relations nightmare for scientism. They might prevent us from swallowing nihilism ourselves, and that would start unraveling scientism.
    To avoid these outcomes, people have been searching for scientifically respectable justification of morality for least a century and a half. The trouble is that over the same 150 years or so, the reasons for nihilism have continued to mount. Both the failure to find an ethics that everyone can agree on and the scientific explanation of the origin and persistence of moral norms have made nihilism more and more plausible while remaining just as unappetizing.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    * Declaring you are obviously right.

    That’s right Barry. There’s no right and wrong either.

    It’s obvious that you just ought not be the way you are Barry.

  21. 21
    Barry Arrington says:

    Box @ 19,

    I am sorry for this comment and retract it. I did not read the quote carefully enough. Thank you KF for setting me straight.

  22. 22
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mung @ 20 🙂

  23. 23
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    Materialists, it is up to you to tell me how any of the conclusions I’ve reached are not in fact compelled by materialist premises.

    Your question doesn’t have to do metaphysical ontology per se, but rather it is a question of moral theory, and in particular the question of subjectivism vs. objectivism.

    Before we can debate the coherence and relative merits of subjectivist or objectivist ethics, we need to decide how we can tell subjective propositions from objective ones – a question in the realm of epistemology. How can we ever demonstrate that some fact is objectively true, except to achieve inter-subjective agreement? Your argument against subjective morality boils down to a claim that this can be done somehow, but you fail to say how.

    Unless you explain how a proposition can be objectively grounded, you are left with only inter-subjective agreement upon which to ground our common beliefs, including our moral beliefs.

    All reasonable people with a normal color sense agree that the sky is blue. All reasonable people with a normal moral sense agree that puppy torture is evil.

    If you ask me why I know that sky is blue, I will tell you that I can’t prove it, I only perceive it. Likewise if you ask me why puppy torture is wrong.

    If you tell me that the sky is green, I will disagree with you and think you’re odd (or colorblind), but I won’t be emotionally affected, because I don’t care what color you think the sky is. If you tell me that it is good to torture puppies I will think you are a horrible person and I’d do everything I could to stop you from torturing puppies, because I care a great deal about sentient beings suffering.

    You can pretend that your moral precepts are somehow more objective than mine, but they aren’t. You can tell me there is a god who has told you what is right and wrong, but I have no reason to believe you, just as you wouldn’t believe me if I told you that my morality was declared true by some other god.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, in science to see if something is ‘objectively real’, i.e. true, we test to see if it can be measured. And when that has been done for morality we find that morality is a tangible part of reality that is ‘objectively’ real and not merely an illusion of our subjective minds.

    A new atheist once stated:

    “Good and evil are very meaningful to us even if they are ultimately subjective.”

    That is the whole point of contention between atheists and Theists on the subject of morality. Atheists hold that morality, like the sense of personhood, no matter how real it may seem to us, is ‘ultimately’ illusory and subjective. Whereas the Theist holds that morality, (as well as the sense of ‘self’, ‘I’, ‘me’), is exactly what it appears to be to us. That is to say Theists hold that the reason that morality ‘seems’ so real to us is because morality is in fact real and ‘objective’. Martin Luther King Jr. puts it like this:

    “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”
    – Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    It is hard to argue against the reality of morality since our entire justice system is predicated on the the belief that morality is objectively real. Indeed, practically every newscast has some current story headlined on whether something was morally right or not, or maybe some nuance of how right or wrong the event may be..
    Moreover, contrary to what the materialist/atheist would presuppose beforehand, we find much scientific evidence to back up Dr. King’s assertion that “there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws”. For instance, it is found that ‘moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional’:

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....brain.html

    This following study shows that objective morality is even built/designed, in a very nuanced fashion, into the way our bodies differentiate between hedonic and ‘noble’ moral happiness:

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ’empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    And although a ‘instantaneous moral compass’, and the nuanced genetic responce between noble vs. hedonic happiness, is pretty good for establishing that “there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws” (especially since Darwinian evolution has yet to demonstrate the origination of a single gene by unguided material processes), the following studies go one step further and shows that our moral intuition transcends space and time to the point of eliciting physiological responces in us prior to us becoming fully aware of a particular ‘moral’ situation:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue? (meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010) – (Oct. 22, 2012)
    Excerpt: “But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,,
    This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
    “I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,'” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....145342.htm

    As well, the following experiment, from Princeton, is very interesting in that it was found that ‘perturbed randomness’ precedes a worldwide ‘moral crisis’:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE1haKXoHMo

    Mass Consciousness: Perturbed Randomness Before First Plane Struck on 911 – July 29 2012
    Excerpt: The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened – but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.,,
    Now, even the doubters are acknowledging that here is a small box with apparently inexplicable powers. ‘It’s Earth-shattering stuff,’ says Dr Roger Nelson, emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the United States, who is heading the research project behind the ‘black box’ phenomenon.
    http://www.redorbit.com/news/s.....he_future/

    The Data section of GCP (Global Consciousness Project) provides access to the empirical results including, for me, the highly significant bottom line.

    Formal Results: Testing the GCP Hypothesis
    http://teilhard.global-mind.org/

    There is simply no coherent explanation that a materialist/atheist can give as to why morally troubling situations are detected prior to our becoming fully aware of them or before they even happen. The materialist/atheist simply has no beyond space and time cause to appeal to to explain why the phenomena should happen! Whereas as a Theist, especially a Christian Theist who believes that the Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again to pay for our sins, it would be fully expected that ‘objective’ morality would have such a deep, ‘spooky’, beyond space and time, effect.

    Moreover, to add futher weight to the Theist’s position that morality is real and objective, in Christian Theism it is held that there are two very different eternities that await us after death: A heavenly eternity or a hellish eternity:

    Matthew 25:34 & 41
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.,,,
    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

    And just as with morality, and also completely contrary to what the atheist/materialist would presuppose beforehand, we also find scientific evidence for these two very different eternities.
    In special relativity it is shown that time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop for a person traveling the speed of light:

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    https://vimeo.com/93101738

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    And, as with accelerating to the speed of light, it is found that for any ‘hypothetical’ observer falling to the event horizon of a black hole, that time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop for them. This is because the accelerative force of gravity at black holes is so intense that not even light can escape its grip:

    Einstein – General Relativity – Thought Experiment – video
    https://vimeo.com/95417559

    also see: Gravitational time dilation tests
    per wikipedia

    Space-Time Curvature of a Black hole – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8

    Of related interest to the space-time curvature of a black hole, there is also tunnel curvature in space-time for any hypothetical observer accelerating to the speed of light. Please note, at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.).

    Seeing Relativity – Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

    It is also interesting to note that special relativity is found to ‘merge’ with quantum mechanics whereas general relativity does not ‘merge’ with quantum mechanics:

    Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity
    Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.
    In the 1960s and ’70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you’ve already been introduced to.
    If you examine the forces and particles that have been combined in the theories we just covered, you’ll notice that the obvious force missing is that of gravity.
    http://www.infoplease.com/cig/.....ivity.html

    It is also very interesting to note that Special Relativity and General Relativity reveal two very different ‘qualities of eternity’ (as predicted in Christian Theism). In particular, Black Holes are found to be ‘timeless’ singularities of destruction and disorder rather than singularities of creation and order, such as the extreme (1 in 10^10^123) order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang.

    Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010
    Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated.
    http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Moreover, in stark contrast to Darwinian claims for which we have no direct observational evidence, we have actual observational evidence from Near Death Experience testimonies of eternity and of people going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension,,,

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://vimeo.com/79072924

    Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg

    As well, A man, at the 7:00 minute mark of this video, gives testimony of ‘falling down a tunnel’ in the transition stage from this world to hell:

    Hell – A Warning! – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HSgH2AHkfkw&list=PLCB5F225ABC1F7330#t=420

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    And to repeat, the ‘observational’ evidence from Near Death Experiences is far more robust that the ‘observational’ evidence for neo-Darwinian evolution is:

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/on-a.....31791.html

    In light of this dilemma that these two very different eternities present to us spiritually minded people, and the fact that Gravity is, in so far as we can tell, completely incompatible with Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity (i.e. Quantum Electro-Dynamics),,, string theory, M-theory, etc.. ,,in light of that dilemma, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/19tGkwrdg6cu5mH-RmlKxHv5KPMOL49qEU8MLGL6ojHU/edit

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life (Jesus) – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    Kevin Moran – optical engineer

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:

    Verses, Propitiation (i.e Grace), and Music

    John 8:23-24
    But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.

    G.O.S.P.E.L. – (the grace of propitiation) – poetry slam – video
    https://vimeo.com/20960385

    Matthew 10:28
    “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Evanescence – The Other Side (Music-Lyric Video)
    http://www.vevo.com/watch/evan.....tantsearch

  28. 28
    StephenB says:

    Hi RDFish

    All reasonable people with a normal moral sense agree that puppy torture is evil.

    What do you mean by “a normal moral sense?” What do you mean by evil?

  29. 29
    Barry Arrington says:

    RDFish @ 23. bla bla bla bla.

    SB destroyed your argument in 9 words. You are a fool, an arrogant and tiresome one at that, which is a very toxic combination. You think you are so smart and sophisticated. Any ten year-old would know you are an idiot.

  30. 30
    Graham2 says:

    BA77: I didn’t read your stuff (who does?) but did you cover the shroud of Turin ?

  31. 31
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Graham2:

    BA77: I didn’t read your stuff (who does?) but did you cover the shroud of Turin ?

    It did. How did you know? It even covered an on-topic topic: torturing of people in hell. I bet if one can imagine hell one can imagine “a universe in which torturing an infant to death for personal pleasure is actually an affirmatively good thing”.

  32. 32
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    What do you mean by “a normal moral sense?”

    In the same sense that I said “a normal color sense”. Do you not understand what that is? Do you think that color sense is relative – that if somebody reported the sky is green and the grass is blue then that would be normal too? I think you wouldn’t, just as you wouldn’t think that one who believed puppy torture was good would be normal (and neither do I).

    What do you mean by evil?

    Just what you mean (morally wrong or bad, immoral, wicked, harmful, injurious, etc). We disagree about whether (a) we have an innate sense of morality akin to our innate sense of color, or (b) some god tells us is moral and what isn’t.

    Take a few minutes and read what I’ve written and just try to respond to what I’ve said. I respond to each point you make, but you ignore what I say. This makes it appear that you have no response to the particular arguments I’ve put forward.

    Here it is again, and I’ve made it simpler for you to respond. Just two points:

    1) Unless you explain how a proposition can be objectively grounded, you are left with only inter-subjective agreement upon which to ground our common beliefs, including our moral beliefs. Can you explain how a proposition can be objectively grounded? I think you can’t.

    2) All reasonable people with a normal color sense agree that the sky is blue. All reasonable people with a normal moral sense agree that puppy torture is evil. If you ask me why I know that sky is blue, I will tell you that I can’t prove it, I only perceive it. Likewise if you ask me why puppy torture is wrong.
    Can you show why you accept a “normal color sense” but not an analogous “normal moral sense”? I think you can’t.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  33. 33
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    bla bla bla bla.

    SB destroyed your argument in 9 words. You are a fool, an arrogant and tiresome one at that, which is a very toxic combination. You think you are so smart and sophisticated. Any ten year-old would know you are an idiot.

    I will cherish this illuminating response, thank you.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  34. 34
    Andre says:

    Rdfish

    Normal colour sense is deducible to chemicals. Are moral senses deducible to chemicals? That is an extraordinary claim.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, I’d suggest Rosenberg declares too much; but in so doing sets up the proverbial target-rich environment. Evolutionary materialism is an ideology imposed on science, education and society alike, dressed up in a lab coat. It is self-referentially incoherent on the reality of responsible freedom and inextricably linked rationally contemplative mind. AND, it lacks evidence, indeed due to that inescapable incoherence, undermines the very reality of evidence. As we saw in a recent thread or two. So, we have very good reason to object to, correct and expose a widespread, pernicious error. KF

  36. 36
    Jerad says:

    KairosFocus,

    Would you let me get away with this kind of statement?

    SB destroyed your argument in 9 words. You are a fool, an arrogant and tiresome one at that, which is a very toxic combination. You think you are so smart and sophisticated. Any ten year-old would know you are an idiot.

  37. 37
    Box says:

    Jerad, there are two inequalities between you making this kind of statement and Barry. First, Barry’s statement is an accurate description of reality and last but not least Barry is the owner of this website.

  38. 38
    Jerad says:

    Box #37

    Barry’s statement is an accurate description of reality

    If I dispute that would it be appropriate then to label me an idiot as well?

  39. 39
    Piotr says:

    #37 Box,

    Yes, Barry is the master of this sandbox and that gives him a right to spit at other kids and break their shovels and buckets if they piss him off.

  40. 40
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Jerad & RDF:

    Barry-samas behaviour is well known. And the solution is pretty simple. I’ve already mentioned it in one of kf-kun’s threads: If you don’t want to be bullied by Barry-sama, ignore his threads!

  41. 41
    Jerad says:

    Box, Piotr, JWTruthInLove

    I’m not afraid of Barry’s comments, I’d just like a clarification on what is and is not acceptable behaviour. I’d like to assume that the criteria are applied uniformly. But you all are suggesting that is not the case.

  42. 42
    Piotr says:

    #41 Jerad,

    From the Comment Policy:

    No swearing.
    Try to be polite.
    Try to be tolerant.
    Try to keep belligerence and sarcasm in check.
    No one is perfect. We’ll try to be forgiving.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    Graham2 the dogmatic atheist at 30 and JWTruthInLove the Jehovah’s Witness at 31 state:

    “I didn’t read your stuff (who does?) but did you cover the shroud of Turin ?”
    and
    “It did. How did you know? It even covered an on-topic topic: torturing of people in hell. I bet if one can imagine hell one can imagine “a universe in which torturing an infant to death for personal pleasure is actually an affirmatively good thing”.”

    Besides presenting evidence for the physical, objective, reality of morality, I also presented empirical evidence for both the authenticity of the Shroud and the physical reality of a timeless, infinitely destructive, eternity, i.e. a ‘hell’.
    It is interesting that the response from both the dogmatic atheist and the Jehovah’s Witness, (strange bedfellows indeed), was not a responce of any empirical evidence countering the empirical evidence that I presented, but was one of a sneering dismissal of both claims based on the personal opinions of both the dogmatic atheist and the Jehovah’s Witness.
    But in science personal opinions are a dime a dozen and empirical evidence is suppose to have the final say, so why do these two think their sneering dismissals, based on personal opinion, count as valid refutations?
    If a disagreement is not settled by reference to empirical evidence, then you are not doing science but are merely seeing who, by rhetorical ploys, can make their opinion seem more reasonable.
    I hold that whoever relies primarily on rhetoric to try to make his case for his position is not really interested in the truth of the matter but is merely interested in maintaining his personal philosophical bias regardless of what the actual truth of the situation might be.

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Verse and Music:

    2 Peter 1:16
    For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

    More Than You Think I Am – Danny Gokey
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su5DG8pQMB8

  44. 44
    Barry Arrington says:

    RDFish @ 32 and 33.

    You use the following words: “morally wrong or bad, immoral, wicked, harmful, injurious”

    When are you materialists going to understand that you don’t get to use those words in any sense other than “things I do not personally prefer.”

    Again, you demonstrate that no one actually lives (or speaks) as if materialism were true.

    It is exasperating that you are so dense and so arrogant about your denseness.

  45. 45
    Barry Arrington says:

    Let us subject Red Fish’s analysis to the same analysis that I have already used with Serversky and Mahuna:

    Now, in the OP I challenged the Red Fish of the world to answer the following logic. The materialist premises compel him to say:

    There is no such thing as “good.” There is no such thing as “evil.” There is only my personal preferences competing with everyone else’s personal preferences, and all of those personal preferences can be reduced to the impulses caused by the electro-chemical processes of each person’s brain. Certainly there is no external standard by which we can discern whether the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in my brain are in any sense morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in anyone else’s brain.

    It seems obvious that Red Fish believes the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in his brain are in fact objectively and self-evidently morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in those who torture puppies.

    Do tell. Why is that?

    You have no answer. Otherwise you would have provided it.

  46. 46
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    You are a fool, an arrogant and tiresome one at that, which is a very toxic combination…Any ten year-old would know you are an idiot…It is exasperating that you are so dense and so arrogant about your denseness.

    You have nothing but invective, Barry. No arguments, no clarifications, and no understanding. No wonder Mark Frank has given up talking to you.

    It seems obvious that Red Fish believes the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in his brain are in fact objectively and self-evidently morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in those who torture puppies.

    Since I argued explicitly against objectivism, this strawman of yours reveals you are incapable of understanding the first thing about the issues here.

    Can you address a single aspect of my argument? Of course you can’t. Hence your schoolyard insults, born of the frustration of a man who is manifestly terrified because he cannot rationalize his faith.

    I leave you to stew in your fear and anger, Barry.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  47. 47
    Box says:

    RDFish,

    did you even bother to read the second sentence of the OP?

    Barry: So I will throw the question I asked him open to any of the other materialists who post here.

    If you did, how can you term the following quote a “strawman”?

    Barry: It seems obvious that Red Fish believes the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in his brain are in fact objectively and self-evidently morally superior to the personal preferences resulting from the electro-chemical processes in those who torture puppies.

  48. 48
    lack of Focus says:

    The tone and behaviour of any blog is only as good as the tone and behaviour of the moderator.

  49. 49
    Andre says:

    Lack of focus

    You are welcome to not post here if it’s too much for you.

  50. 50
    Andre says:

    RDFish

    So do you hold the moral high ground now or will you finally acknowledge that in a material world good and evil are meaningless?

  51. 51
    StephenB says:

    SB: What do you mean by “a normal moral sense?”

    RDFish

    In the same sense that I said “a normal color sense”. Do you not understand what that is?

    I understand what it is, but I am not persuaded that you do. Do the elements that are perceived relate to an objective reality that can be apprehended by a person with a normal sense of color and morality?

    Or is normalcy defined by “intersubjective agreement” (i.e. if 51% to 99% of the people agree that torture is wrong, then torture is wrong). Intersubjective agreement is just another term for majority opinion.

    If the majority agrees that slavery is morally acceptable, is that consistent with a “normal moral sense?” If the majority later declares that slavery is evil, is that also consistent with a normal moral sense? Both positions were arrived at by intersubjective agreement. Which one, in your judgment, is normal?

    SB: What do you mean by evil?

    Just what you mean (morally wrong or bad, immoral, wicked, harmful, injurious, etc). We disagree about whether (a) we have an innate sense of morality akin to our innate sense of color, or (b) some god tells us is moral and what isn’t.

    That begs the question. What is immorality? What is wickedness? What is it about injury or harm that makes it evil?

    How does evil relate to the good? Is metaphysical evil a privation of an objective good? Is personal evil a perversion of the will?

    If evil is not those two things, then what is it? You continue to use words that you don’t define and appear not to understand.

    Also, you are also quite wrong to think that God’s commandments are alien to or separate from our inate sense of right and wrong. It isn’t an either or proposition.

    1) Unless you explain how a proposition can be objectively grounded, you are left with only inter-subjective agreement upon which to ground our common beliefs, including our moral beliefs. Can you explain how a proposition can be objectively grounded? I think you can’t.

    I can easily explain how objective morality is grounded. It is grounded in our human nature and what is best for it. However, you cannot explain how intersubjective agreement can establish a normal moral sense. Would you care to try?

    Can you show why you accept a “normal color sense” but not an analogous “normal moral sense”? I think you can’t.

    Again, you are comparing apples and oranges. I agree that we have an inate moral sense, but it is not akin to our inate sense of color. That is a materialist assumption. The moral sense is not physical and comes through the intellect, while the sense of color is, in part, physical and comes through the senses. The moral sense involves concepts and judgments, the sense of color does not. They are not similar enough to compare. I don’t care to discuss the subject of color. It is irrelevant.

    Why not just answer the challenge and explain why you think that Barry’s conclusions do not follow from materialist premises, because they clearly do. It has nothing to do with our perception of color, or intersubjectivity, or any distinction between metaphysics and morality, or any determination of how objectivity can be confirmed. Those are all distractions calculated to avoid the argument, and you are clearly avoiding it.

  52. 52
    lack of Focus says:

    Andre: “Lack of focus
    You are welcome to not post here if it’s too much for you.”

    Andre, I wasn’t passing a judgment, merely stating a fact. If a moderator is seen to frequently use name-calling, other commenters will think that this is tolerated, if not condoned.

  53. 53
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @

    Seversky

    If we have to decide between the subjective moral beliefs of the torturer and the subjective moral beliefs of the victim what other test can you apply than that of the lesser of two evils?

    …except for the fact that the subjectivist has no way of determining which moral evil is greater than another or if there is even any such thing as a moral evil in the first place.

    Yes, we can, by the Golden Rule if nothing else. I know that while being prevented from doing something I like would be frustrating, being tortured and killed would be a lot worse. I assume it would be the same for any other victim of torture so, yes, I have a means of deciding which is the worse option.

    I assume the same would be true for you and everyone else here. Or, as I’ve asked many times before, are you really saying you would have no way of deciding what is right or wrong if God had not told you?

  54. 54
    ppolish says:

    Seversky, I would not know right from wrong if God did not tell me. Or more precisely, if God did not create. Right was created first along with free will. Then wrong came along.

    Knowing right and wrong is knowing God. God told you too btw. How else would you know:)

  55. 55
    Barry Arrington says:

    Comments on this thread are closed. Comments on the topic should be placed on the new “RDFish is an Idiot” thread.

Comments are closed.