Intelligent Design

Sev and Ed Respond to Upright Biped (and Fail Spectacularly)

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Ed George asserted that morality is based on societal consensus.  Upright Biped utterly demolished that argument.  See here.  Seversky and Ed tried to respond to UB’s arguments. 

Let’s start with Sev: 

I, like everyone else here, would also want [the rape] to stop. Why? I should not have to say this but it is because we can imagine her suffering and know that it is not something we would like to experience nor would we want to see it inflicted on anyone else. It’s called empathy and its derived principle of the Golden Rule which, in my view, is more than sufficient grounds for morality.

This is a muddled mashup of two of the materialists’ favorite dodges.  First Sev appeals to empathy as the basis for morality.  He completely ignores several problems with this argument, including: 

1.  Mere feelings are a very flimsy ground for a moral system. 

2.  Some people do not have empathy (we call them sociopaths).  If empathy is the basis for morality, a sociopath has no basis for morality.

3.  Even for those with empathy, Sev offers no reason why they should not suppress their feelings if they believe the pleasure of their act exceeds the cost of the act in pangs of empathy. 

Next Sev appeals to the Golden Rule as a ground for morality.  Well, Sev, it certainly is.  Yet, materialism offers no ground on which to adhere to the Golden Rule as opposed to any other rule such as “might makes right” or “if it feels good do it.”  Sev demonstrates yet again that no sane person actually acts as if materialism is true. 

Sev, if you have to act as if your most deeply held metaphysical commitment is false as you live your everyday life, perhaps you should reexamine your metaphysical commitments.

Now let’s go to Ed, who writes:

. . . UB’s question is not worth responding to

Ed states that a person who lives by himself has no moral obligation to anyone who venture near him.  UB points out that if that is true, Ed has just given said loner a license to rape any woman who ventures too near without breaking any moral injunction.  Instead of abandoning his screamingly stupid assertion, Ed pretends UB’s extension of Ed’s premises to their logical conclusion is “not worth responding to.” 

Ed is not only stupid.  He is a coward.

14 Replies to “Sev and Ed Respond to Upright Biped (and Fail Spectacularly)

  1. 1
    Dick says:

    A serious problem with any naturalistic ethics is that it cannot give an answer to the egoist who asks why he should care about anyone else. Why, exactly, is it wrong to care only about one’s own interests, and what does the word wrong even mean in a world with no transcendent moral authority, in which death is the end of existence and in which there’s no ultimate accountability?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Dick pointed out that,

    “in which death is the end of existence and in which there’s no ultimate accountability?”

    Indeed why do atheists even bother getting out of bed in the morning? Much less coming on this blog day after day trying to prove to us that their life and everything else is completely meaningless?, (Ironically trying to prove that life is meaningless with language that is itself necessarily full of meaning)., Man, if you really believe everything is utterly meaningless, as the bible says, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” In other words, go “party tell you drop.” There simply is no point in sacrificing for ‘higher’ eternal goals. As Paul stated,

    1 Corinthians 15:32
    What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

    Perhaps the greatest proof that life is meaningful is that atheists themselves are unable to live their lives consistently as if it were truly meaningless, and thus they make up illusory meanings and purposes for the lives,

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Meaning of Life
    First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet (atheistic) philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.
    Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.
    The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    MARCH 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    This admittance by atheists that they are simply making up illusory meaning and purposes for their lives underscores Dr. Craig’s main point, Namely, it is impossible for anyone to live their life both happily and consistently as if life really had no objective meaning or purpose. And in so doing, the very way that Atheists choose to live their lives, (as if it really did have meaning and purpose), directly refutes their stated belief that their life has no meaning.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover this act of self-delusion on the part of atheists, of making up illusory meaning and purposes for their lives, apparently has an extremely limited beneficial effect for the atheist.

    For instance, Christians report being much happier than atheists are,

    ‘Believers are happier than atheists’ – Jonathan Petre – 18 Mar 2008
    People who believe in God are happier than agnostics or atheists,
    A report found that religious people were better able to cope with disappointments such as unemployment or divorce than non-believers.
    Moreover, they become even happier the more they pray and go to church, claims the study by Prof Andrew Clark and Dr Orsolya Lelkes.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1581994/Believers-are-happier-than-atheists.html

    Christians also report having significantly fewer suicide attempts than atheists do,

    Of snakebites and suicide – February 18, 2014
    RESULTS: Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....d-suicide/

    Christians also report having greater life satisfaction than atheists do,

    Associations of Religious Upbringing With Subsequent Health and Well-Being From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: An Outcome-Wide Analysis
    Ying Chen, Tyler J VanderWeele – Sept. 10, 2018
    Excerpt: Compared with no attendance, at least weekly attendance of religious services was associated with greater life satisfaction and positive affect, a number of character strengths, lower probabilities of marijuana use and early sexual initiation, and fewer lifetime sexual partners. Analyses of prayer or meditation yielded similar results. Although decisions about religion are not shaped principally by health, encouraging service attendance and private practices in adolescents who already hold religious beliefs may be meaningful avenues of development and support, possibly leading to better health and well-being.
    https://academic.oup.com/aje/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aje/kwy142/5094534

    Christians also report having less mental and physical health issues than atheists do,

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface

    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    As well, Christians live significantly longer than atheists do.

    Can attending church really help you live longer? This study says yes – June 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
    “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/02/can-attending-church-really-help-you-live-longer-study-says-yes/364375001/

    Study: Religiously affiliated people live “9.45 and 5.64 years longer…”
    July 1, 2018
    Excerpt: Self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity. However, previous work has largely relied on self-report data and volunteer samples. Here, mention of a religious affiliation in obituaries was analyzed as an alternative measure of religiosity. In two samples (N = 505 from Des Moines, IA, and N = 1,096 from 42 U.S. cities), the religiously affiliated lived 9.45 and 5.64 years longer, respectively, than the nonreligiously affiliated. Additionally, social integration and volunteerism partially mediated the religion–longevity relation.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/study-religiously-affiliated-people-lived-religiously-affiliated-lived-9-45-and-5-64-years-longer/

    Can Religion Extend Your Life? – By Chuck Dinerstein — June 16, 2018
    Excerpt: The researcher’s regression analysis suggested that the effect of volunteering and participation accounted for 20% or 1 year of the impact, while religious affiliation accounted for the remaining four years or 80%.
    https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/06/16/can-religion-extend-your-life-13092

    Moreover, besides all of that evidence, there are also many lines of empirical evidence that the Christian can point to show that our lives really do have meaning and significance in this universe and that our lives are not completely futile as the atheist believes:

    March 2019 Thus, besides the CMB anomalies, Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity overturning of the Copernican principle, the centrality of life in the universe is also further established by yet another fairly impressive angle in physics in which life is found to be at ‘the geometric mean’ or quote unquote ‘the middle’ of the universe.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/an-astrophysicist-makes-clear-why-a-multiverse-must-exist/#comment-674458

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives – video (review of the scientific evidence starts at the 13:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/aqUxBSbFhog?t=782

    It is beyond me why atheists would even want to try to delude themselves, and others, that their lives are utterly meaningless. What is the point? There simply is no payoff for them no matter what angle you try to look at it from.

    Myself, I choose to live in the real world. A world of promise and hope in which death is certainly not the end.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    1 Corinthians 15:55-57
    O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
    The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
    But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    This is a muddled mashup of two of the materialists’ favorite dodges. First Sev appeals to empathy as the basis for morality. He completely ignores several problems with this argument, including:

    1. Mere feelings are a very flimsy ground for a moral system.

    I would say that most people’s feelings of revulsion against child abuse, rape and murder are anything but flimsy.

    2. Some people do not have empathy (we call them sociopaths). If empathy is the basis for morality, a sociopath has no basis for morality.

    Quite right, but the rest of society that is capable of empathy does.

    Besides, do you really think that the sort of sociopath we are discussing – one who cares only for his own perverted pleasures – nothing for others – is going to be persuaded to change his ways by arguments about morality being objective?

    3. Even for those with empathy, Sev offers no reason why they should not suppress their feelings if they believe the pleasure of their act exceeds the cost of the act in pangs of empathy.

    See above.

    Next Sev appeals to the Golden Rule as a ground for morality. Well, Sev, it certainly is. Yet, materialism offers no ground on which to adhere to the Golden Rule as opposed to any other rule such as “might makes right” or “if it feels good do it.” Sev demonstrates yet again that no sane person actually acts as if materialism is true.

    The Golden Rule is a moral principle which is grounded in the human capacity for empathy.

    Materialism is a metaphysical position concerning the nature of what is. If you cannot derive ‘ought’ from ‘is’ then being a materialist has no bearing on one’s moral beliefs. I can believe that we live in a material universe that is blindly and pitilessly indifferent to human welfare and also believe that whatever life we have would be much happier if we treated each other with respect and consideration.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Dick@ 1

    A serious problem with any naturalistic ethics is that it cannot give an answer to the egoist who asks why he should care about anyone else.

    For the extreme egoist you are envisaging there is probably nothing you could say that would change their attitudes, least of all metaphysical claims about the objective nature of morality.

    Why, exactly, is it wrong to care only about one’s own interests, and what does the word wrong even mean in a world with no transcendent moral authority, in which death is the end of existence and in which there’s no ultimate accountability?

    There is nothing necessarily “wrong” with caring only about your own interests unless furthering them depends on sympathetic consideration of them by others. In other words, if you want to live in society with others then caring nothing about their interests is maybe not the best way to make friends and influence people.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims that “being a (Atheistic) materialist has no bearing on one’s moral beliefs.”

    Au contraire

    Among the Disbelievers:
    Why atheism was central to the great evil of the 20th century
    – GARY SAUL MORSON / SEPT. 17, 2018
    Excerpt: In its 300-year history in Spain, Portugal, and the New World, the Spanish Inquisition killed a few thousand, perhaps even a few tens of thousands, while in the atheist Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, that was the average toll every week or two. To this objection, the atheist has a ready reply: Atheism had nothing to do with Bolshevik carnage. As Richard Dawkins explains in The God Delusion: “What matters is not whether Hitler and Stalin were atheists, but whether atheism systematically influences people to do bad things. There is not the smallest evidence that it does.” This comment displays an ignorance so astonishing that, as the Russian expression goes, one can only stare and spit.,,,
    Bolshevik ideology demanded that religion be wiped out. Perhaps even more than constructing dams and factories, creating a population of atheists became the regime’s most important criterion of success. “Atheism [was] the new civilization’s calling card,” as S.A. Kuchinsky, director of the Leningrad State Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism, explained.
    Communist society could be built only by a new kind of human being, one who would at every moment be guided by partiinost (party-mindedness), a singular devotion to the Party’s purposes. Partiinost demanded militant atheism (mere unbelief was not enough), and atheism became, as Smolkin observes, “the battleground on which Soviet Communism engaged with the existential concerns at the heart of human existence: the meaning of life and death.”
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/among-the-disbelievers/

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    “169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
    I BACKGROUND
    2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
    3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
    II 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
    4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
    12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
    IV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
    15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

    This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    As well,

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their ideology (Nov. 2018)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-human-evolution-theorists-were-attempting-to-be-moral-teachers/#comment-668170

    In response to this Seversky often resorts to trying to claim that Christianity is itself, of all things, a murderous religion, so here is a defense against that false claim,,

    (February 2019) Defense against Seversky’s false claim that Christianity is a murderous religion
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-human-evolution-theorists-were-attempting-to-be-moral-teachers/#comment-672834

    Christianity, contrary to what Seversky wants to believe, has certainly been a powerful force for good in the world,

    From Josh McDowell, Evidence for Christianity, in giving examples of the influence of Jesus Christ, cites many examples of Christianity’s positive influence on the world. Here are just a few:
    1. Hospitals
    2. Universities
    3. Literacy and education for the masses
    4. Representative government
    5. Separation of political powers
    6. Civil liberties
    7. Abolition of slavery
    8. Modern science
    9. The elevation of the common man
    10. High regard for human life

    Now if Seversky wants to know what a truly murderous religion looks like, let me introduce Seversky to a truly murderous religion. Muslims exceed even communistic atheists in deaths by murder –

    Tears of Jihad – Mar 3 2008 | by Bill Warner
    Excerpt:,,,120 million Africans,,,
    ,,,60 million Christians,,,
    ,,,80 million Hindus,,,
    ,,,10 million Buddhists,,,
    This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad (since Islam was founded).
    https://www.politicalislam.com/tears-of-jihad/

    Although. to be fair, Muslims have been at it far longer than communists and/or socialists have.

    Let me also introduce Seversky to the Darwinist Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University.

    Australia Awards Infanticide Backer Peter Singer Its Highest Honor – 2012
    Excerpt: Singer is best known for advocating the ethical propriety of infanticide. But that isn’t nearly the limit of his odious advocacy. Here is a partial list of some other notable Singer bon mots:
    – Singer supports using cognitively disabled people in medical experiments instead of animals that have a higher “quality of life.”
    – Singer does not believe humans reach “full moral status” until after the age of two. Singer supports non-voluntary euthanasia of human “non-persons.”
    – Singer has defended bestiality.
    – Singer started the “Great Ape Project” that would establish a “community of equals” among humans, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans.
    – Singer supports health-care rationing based on “quality of life.”
    – Singer has questioned whether “the continuance of our species is justifiable,” since it will result in suffering.
    – Singer believes “speciesism” — viewing humans as having greater value than animals — is akin to racism.
    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/0.....est-honor/

    Again Singer, a Darwinist, is professor of bioethics at Princeton University. This IS the leading thinker in America on the morality inherent in Darwinism.

    In other words, Darwinian ‘morality’ apparently is and always has been putrid garbage!

  7. 7
    Dick says:

    Sev @5
    ” In other words, if you want to live in society with others then caring nothing about their interests is maybe not the best way to make friends and influence people.”
    This is true, of course, but what makes such a life morally wrong? Imagine a man somewhat like the one Plato describes in The Republic who lives entirely for himself but manages to convince others that he cares for them. He enjoys their acclaim while continually exploiting and abusing them. His power is such that even were he “found out” no one could do anything about it. Would he be wrong to live this way? If so, why?

  8. 8
    Marfin says:

    I will ask this question one more time as I have asked it many times before , if we as humans are a product of mindless evolution then how can any standard of objective morality exist? We are selected for fitness not for good or evil , right and wrong good and evil are just word to describe how we feel based on chemical reactions in our brains they have no ultimate foundation.So some people may feel rape is bad Genghis Khan and his armies obviously did not so based on feeling what is right and what is wrong.
    Notice how Sev and others always pick rape murder , and bring up the golden rule, on the basis of the golden rule divorce is evil as millions are badly hurt and damaged by divorce, single motherhood is evil as its now well know that children from single parent homes do worse and have more issues in life.
    Morals are objective otherwise there are no morals only what I want to do.

  9. 9
    vividbleau says:

    “Instead of abandoning his screamingly stupid assertion, Ed pretends UB’s extension of Ed’s premises to their logical conclusion is “not worth responding to.”

    EG when driven to the wall and his vacuous arguments exposed appeals to this line of defense ,I won’t answer because it’s a loaded question,

    Now I like Ed and he has been respectful in my dealings with him but it does appear that he sort of hits and runs when the going gets tough, when his arguments ( if one wants to call them that) are challenged in a significant way he dissapears from the thread , this has happened to me several times,
    I would also note that he is quite adept at giving answers that on the surface gives the impression that he agrees with you yet couches his agreement in terms that are designed in such away that he is not agreeing with you at all.One must read the fine print when dealing with him,
    My critique should not be taken to mean I have any animosity toward him, I’m sure he is a fine fellow and I have so far gotten along with him, His arguments are really screeds and like I said if pressed to defend his pronouncements he either cries foul or just moves on without answering key questions
    Vivid

  10. 10
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky @ 4

    You state that, “I would say that most people’s feelings of revulsion against child abuse, rape and murder are anything but flimsy.”

    Why wasn’t that enough to stop the Japanese Army from doing that and far worse? The Rape of Nanjing is just one example of their brutality. They tortured and experimented on POWs, and women were far worse off than men.

    Why did it not stop the SS from acting in much the same fashion as the Japanese? Their brutality is no secret and the horrors of the camps went well beyond what should have been stomached by anyone according to you.

    Why did it not stop the Soviet Army from raping women and children on their way to Berlin? It’s been said that every female between 8 and 80 was fair game. The Soviets were every bit as brutal as the Japanese Army and the SS.

    All 3 believed they were justified in their actions and only the Soviet leadership escaped war crimes, but not from lack of actually committing war crimes. Where was the revulsion that should have been felt? Where was the empathy for those that suffered on a global scale? That’s what happens when morality becomes subjective and the evidence continues to occur to this day.

  11. 11
    BobRyan says:

    Marfin @ 8

    You ask an important question, “If we as humans are a product of mindless evolution then how can any standard of objective morality exist?” It is one that will never be responded to by evolutionists in any kind of significant way. We are dealing with people that truly believe in worshiping at the altar of Darwin and are unable to think logically. They are incapable of reason, due to being emotionally charged. Emotion and reason are always at odds and strong emotion will always trump logic.

    There are no laws in nature and no one thinks an animal guilty of things like murder and cannibalism. If we are nothing more than animals, then there should be no laws restricting our animalistic nature. I’ve never heard an evolutionist actually claim there should be no law, which is admitting we are more than animals. It is only through being more than animals and truly unique as species that laws can be expected.

    Only humans believe it is wrong to commit murder. Only humans believe in the value of hospitals and doctors. Only humans are particularly skilled at developing new ways to kill each other and new ways to bring nations together. We are both destroyers and builders and no other species can come even close.

    Japan went from being a bitter enemy to strong ally in a short period of time. The United States spent vast resources to bring the nation to its knees, including dropping 2 bombs the likes of which had never been seen before. The same United States spent vast resources to rebuild Japan with very few Japanese getting abused in the process. I believe a total of 78 Japanese women accused Americans of raping them, compared to the millions of women the Japanese and Soviets raped.

    What made the United States different from the other nations that viewed themselves as conquerors?

  12. 12
    john_a_designer says:

    Point #2 from the OP:

    Some people do not have empathy (we call them sociopaths). If empathy is the basis for morality, a sociopath has no basis for morality.

    Lack of empathy doesn’t end with so-called sociopaths. What about white Americans living in the antebellum south who enslaved, owned and oppressed blacks they imported like livestock from Africa? Or, the Germans who allowed the Nazi’s to use a deep seated cultural anti-Semitism to carry out the so-called final solution? Or the Marxist-Stalinist who condemned their political opponents to almost certain death in the Gulags? It’s an historical fact that a lack of empathy leads to some horrible things. (Or, are they horrible simply because I feel that way about them?)

    Empathy is not the same as moral obligation. Jesus followed up the golden rule with two commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (see Matt 22: 34-40.)

    Commandments are moral or legal obligations. According to the dictionary an obligation is, “an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.” In other words, obligations do not depend on personal beliefs, preferences or opinions.

    If we are not discussing or debating obligation we are not talking about the same thing. For example, one of the basic obligations for the functioning of society is the obligation to be truthful and honest. Frankly I don’t think most of our regular interlocutors are being truthful and honest. How can they be when they believe there is no moral or ethical obligation to be truthful and honest? In other words, so-called moral subjectivists have basis for morality because they have no moral obligations of any kind. Frankly then, they are not moral people. Their arguments are nothing more than rhetorically empty pretense and posturing. One has to ask why they bother to persist? I have no idea. Maybe one of them will tell us. But that would require them to be open, honest and transparent, something for which they have absolutely no basis.

  13. 13
    LoneCycler says:

    John_a_designer @12

    “Their arguments are nothing more than rhetorically empty pretense and posturing. One has to ask why they bother to persist? I have no idea.”

    I consider attempts to advance the atheist/materialist worldview to be a moral crime. I asked myself for years what drives some a-mats to zealous efforts and have reached the conclusion that like all other crimes there are only three reasons. People commit crimes for greed of money, sex/lustful relationships or power over others. There’s only these three reasons.

    For a-mats it is the last, power over others. For many that profess to have no belief in anything besides materialism, it’s not enough for them to claim that’s all there is. They want everyone else to think the same way. Most a-mats claim to believe in free thought, free inquiry and free everything else, but scratch the surface and you’ll discover they are fascist to the core.

  14. 14
    Marfin says:

    Personally speaking when I heard the gospel in my twenties I did not want it to be true but the evidence against my atheism and belief in evolution was stacking up so I had two choices go against the evidence or follow where the truth and evidence lead .
    That was over 30 years ago , I am still a christian ,and still get times where I wish it was not true, as a life of wine women and song just seems easier at times, but realistically speaking following where the truth and evidence leads is always best for us , we just need to be honest enough to do so.

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