Intelligent Design

The Argument from Evil is Absurd

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Jerry and I are having a constructive exchange on the problem of evil.  My argument starts when Jerry asks me to define “good.”

Jerry, the issue is not how one would define “good” in any particular situation.  The issue is whether it is possible to define good in a way that is not grounded in subjective preferences.  The only way to do that is if there is some objective standard of good.  Such an objective standard would necessarily stand over and above all men’s subjective preferences.  The character of God is advanced as the source of that objective standard. 

The argument goes like this:

The good is that which is consistent with the objective transcendent standard grounded in the character of God.

Evil is the privation of the good.

Evil exists. 

Therefore, the good, of which evil is the privation, also exists.

Therefore, an objective transcendent standard grounded in the character of God exists.

Therefore, God exists. 

Thus, as Vivid has noted, the existence of evil – if the word “evil” means anything other than “that which I do not subjectively prefer” — is powerful evidence for the existence of God.

This all boils down this: Objective evil exists only if objective good exists. Objective good exits only if God exists. Objective evil exists. Therefore, God exists.

Now this does not necessarily mean that evil in the objective sense (i.e., the privation of the transcendent standard grounded in God’s character) exists.  It may be that “evil” means nothing except “that which I do not subjectively prefer.”  And if evil in the objective sense does not exist, the argument for the existence of God from the existence of evil (which implies the existence of objective good) never gets off the ground.

BUT, the atheist argument from evil never gets off the ground either. This should be plain from the my other post to which you have already alluded. 

If you use your definition and not use the word evil but the phrase,. “privation of the good” then you will end up with nonsensical arguments.

False.  One may agree or disagree with the argument I set forth above.  It is not nonsensical. 

But they [i.e., atheists] think their version of evil does exists and will point to examples.

It is certainly correct that all sane people, including atheists, understand that evil exists.  That is why I am constantly saying that no sane person lives their life as if materialism is true. 

So the standoff is to use logic to show that their definition is meaningless in the context of what the Christian God promise. That is what I am doing.

The challenge is to show that the atheist’s definition of evil is incoherent in any context.  And I have done that in the prior post.

I doubt your definition, which come from Augustine, will win many converts because it does not sync with the typical atheist’s use of the term. 

I advance arguments.  The arguments stand or fall based on whether they are grounded in logic and evidence.  A sound argument is sound regardless of whether it results in “converts.” 

Yes, my definition of evil does not sync with the typical atheist’s use of the term.  My project is to point out that when the typical atheist uses the term, they invariably do so in a way that is incoherent.  By this I mean that they invariably argue that God, if he exists, has “done evil thing X” or “allowed evil thing X to happen,” and since God would not do that, God does not exist.  The problem is that for the argument to work, “evil thing X” must actually be objectively evil.  And for the atheist “evil thing X” means “that which the atheist does not subjectively prefer.”  And it is incoherent to argue “God does not exist because he does not arrange affairs in a way I subjectively prefer.” 

The theodicy argument breaks down because [atheist’s] version of evil is meaningless.

If by the “theodicy argument” you mean “the argument from evil,” we agree.

 But I doubt atheists would accept your definition of evil.

Of course, their premises preclude them from accepting my definition.

So how can you claim that their argument is incoherent based on it.

Perhaps “incoherent” is the wrong word.  Absurd is probably better.  To argue that God does not exist on the ground that he does not arrange affairs in a way I subjectively prefer is not incoherent.  All one has to do is advance the following syllogism:

Major Premise:  If God exists, he would prevent evil (defined as “that which I do not subjectively prefer) from happening.

Minor Premise: Things that I do not subjectively prefer happen all the time.

Conclusion:  Therefore, God does not exist.

The argument is not incoherent.  Rather, it is based on an absurd major premise. 

Do you have evidence that atheists use your definition?

You raise an interesting point.  When they argue from the problem of evil, atheists implicitly use my (i.e., Augustine’s) definition of evil.  Otherwise, as anyone who thinks about it for two seconds can see, the argument is absurd (see the absurd syllogism above).  What does this mean?  It means that atheists cannot adhere consistently to their own premises.  And that is not surprising (no sane person . . .).  Instead, as is often the case, they reject the existence of objective evil while smuggling that very thing in through the back door when they argue from the “problem of evil.”

71 Replies to “The Argument from Evil is Absurd

  1. 1
    Yarrgonaut says:

    Couldn’t they be accepting Augustine’s definition for the sake of argument?

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Yarrgonaut, no, because accepting it for the sake of argument would undermine their argument. IOW, accepting for the sake of argument that a proposition is true (“God exists”) is something you cannot do if one is trying to argue that God does not exist. It results in the following incoherence: Assume for the sake of argument God exists, blah blah blah, therefore, God does not exist.

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
    Epicurus said it first, said it best and it cannot be refuted by playing sophistic games of “objective” vs. “subjective” morality. The so-called dichotomy of “no good without evil” begs the questions “from whence cometh evil” (obviously God if you are a theist) and “what is evil” (that which is not good, thus spinning us off into tautology land…).
    Morality, by definition, is objective because morality is a social construct–it defines the rights and duties of each person vis a vis every other person. Another word for objective morality is law which derives by force (from the sovereign) or consensus (from the people). The fact that morality, i.e. the law, can change in one of these two ways does not make it “relativistic” or “subjective.”

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Chuck writes

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

    Let us insert the atheist’s definition of “evil” into this question:
    Is God willing to arrange affairs in a way that I subjectively prefer, but not able?
    The question is absurd Chuck. Why should anyone care about whether God is able to arrange affairs to please you. Or anyone else.
    As you know, your own premises dictate that your conception of evil is yours only. And if Eichmann has another conception, you have no ground on which to argue that yours is superior to Eichmann’s.
    Let’s have another go at your question from Eichmann’s perspective.
    “Is he able [to allow me to continue to completion the mass slaughter of the Jews], but not willing? Then he is malevolent.”
    Again, absurd.
    You see, Chuck, just as I demonstrated in the OP, your argument works only if there is objective evil. And objective evil exists only if there is objective good. And objective good exists only if God exists. Therefore, your argument works only when it does not work. In a word, it is incoherent.
    Now it is fair to ask why God allows objective evil to exist. But it is incoherent to argue from the existence of objective evil to the non-existence of God.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    Chuck:

    Another word for objective morality is law which derives by force (from the sovereign)

    The Holocaust was legal. Far from violating any internal law of Germany, it was pursued pursuant to the law of Germany.
    There you have it folks: Accordingly to Chuck the Holocaust was objectively moral.
    Chuck, if your premises lead to absurd conclusions, you should re-examine your premises.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    Barry,

    I am having a problem wrapping my mind around your argument. I maintain that evil does not exist except for the one instance I have indicated. Since all other designations of events as evil do not exist I believe it then negates your argument. But it also negates the argument against God because of the existence of evil. Are we playing semantics. Maybe. I don’t believe I am but admit I could be persuaded.

    Aside: I have no proof that this evil I believe in exists. But if it does exist then this only form of evil cannot be used in an argument to disprove God.

    You could say that this evil which I believe in is the privation of the Good in one basic way, the separation of an individual from that Good for eternity.

    No one is using the deprivation of God from eternity as the reason there is no God. They are using unpleasant events in this world as the basis of that proof. Primarily natural events not moral ones.

    But what everyone else is calling evil, I do not believe are really evil. They are just unpleasant or undesirable things. All are finite and temporary and are insignificant compared to eternity.

    I am sure this could be expressed better. But basically there is nothing evil except the eternal privation of God. All other things called evil are just unpleasant events and are finite. As such they can not be used to negate God because these finite events exist when God is promising literally something infinitely more.

    Further aside: we could have a debate about why these unpleasant events exist. I believe they must exist to have a meaningful world. I believe in Leibniz’s “Best of All Possible Worlds” proposition. The then related question is what has to be to make this proposition valid. That is the much bigger question.

  7. 7
    vividbleau says:

    Jerry
    As I said yesterday I don’t think we are very far off in our thinking.

    Let me pose this scenario. Immediately after the fall, before any progenitors , while still in the garden, before any effects of the fall were visible, did evil exist? I say yes

    Vivid

  8. 8
    Yarrgonaut says:

    Barry Arrington, what about “If God exists, then Evil exists, blah blah blah therefore the existence of God results (allegedly) in contradiction.”?

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Jerry,
    I tend to think that the issue you have is one of categories. My argument is ontological (the nature of reality; being). It seems to me your are responding from an epistemological (knowing and how we know) point of view.

    This is what I mean. As I said above, the argument for the existence of God from the existence of objective evil does NOT depend on knowing whether any particular thing is evil. In other words, it is not an epistemological argument. Instead, the argument is based on the possibility of whether objective evil can exist. In other words, it is an ontological argument.

    The argument goes like this:
    Objective evil does not have independent existence.
    Instead, objective evil is the privation of the objective good.
    Therefore, the existence of evil is derivative of the existence of the objective good of which it is the privation.
    Objective evil exists.
    It follows from the above, that if objective evil exists, then objective good also exists.
    But objective good cannot exist apart from an objective and transcendent standard.
    Therefore, if objective evil exists, an objective and transcendent standard must also exist.
    The source of an objective and transcendent standard is the character of God.
    Therefore, God exists.

    Note that I did not have to conclude that any particular thing is good or evil to make this work. The argument works if objective evil exists, whatever particular thing one considers to be objective evil.

    Therefore, if anything — no matter what that thing is — is objectively evil, the argument works and leads to the conclusion that God exists.

  10. 10
    Fasteddious says:

    Here is a somewhat different take on the problem of evil; not as sophisticated as many Theodicy arguments and philosophical treatices, but possibly helpful for some: https://thopid.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-problem-of-evil-theodicy-101.html

  11. 11
    harry says:

    Barry Arrington @ 9,

    That was an excellent post.

    From a Christian perspective evil and suffering can be understood, I think, by way of the following story:

    A father of a big family had to leave the care of his family to his eldest son since he had no choice but to be away for a couple of years. The father knew that things were going to become very difficult while he was gone. He asked the eldest son to do whatever it took to care for his younger siblings, and warned him in advance that doing so would entail much suffering on his part.

    And so it happened. Years later the eldest son’s younger siblings find out about those two years; they realized that they had been shielded from all distress and had been oblivious to what their elder brother had suffered for their sakes. They were upset with their father. They said to him “Why didn’t you tell us what was going on? We would have helped out! Why did you think so little of us?”

    Christians who experience evil and suffering must realize that our Heavenly Father, unlike the one in the story, thinks very highly of us. He expects us to share the burden of carrying the cross with His Son, Who explicitly told us that we must take up the cross and follow Him.

    As St. Paul put it “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church …”
    — Colossians 1:24

    Even though Paul’s remark is mysterious and leaves us wondering “What could possibly be lacking in the sufferings of Christ?”, it makes sense if we realize that we were all meant to share with our Elder Brother the burden of the cross.

    Our sufferings and the evil we endure have redemptive value if we unite them to the sufferings of Christ. One of the verses of Amazing Grace says it well:

    Must Jesus bear His cross alone, and all the world go free?
    No, there’s a cross for everyone, a cross for you and me.

  12. 12
    vividbleau says:

    Fast
    Yes people give little thought to the “how “God could prevent the evil actions of moral agents, I doubt they would not like it very much.

    Vivid

  13. 13
    EDTA says:

    Old arguments of course, and all off-base:

    >Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Perhaps willing and able, but not ready to put a stop to it yet, for reasons we are not fully privy to.

    >Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Able? Yes. But unwilling to do it right now and to our satisfaction does not make him malevolent.

    And the remaining questions become superfluous.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Evil is our doing. Evil is our responsibility. We are judged by how we deal with it. That’s just the way it is.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    Barry,

    You said:

    Objective evil exists

    How do you know that evil exists? I certainly do not know that for sure. I maintain that it doesn’t exist unless there is a God who has provided the opportunity of an eternal union with Him and somehow that union is denied. Then that is the only evil that exists in our creation.

    But that assumes the Judeo Christian God exists which I believe and think probable but it certainly isn’t absolute. If it were absolutely clear then there would be no atheists. But if there is no God, the concept of evil in anyway makes no sense. And if the Judeo Christian God exists, then the eternal deprivation from Him is the only evil that exists.

    Whether God exists or not, the average person will say unwanted events happen. That’s life. This person will then call some of these unwanted events evil. But that is arbitrary. And we have the conflation of different definitions into the one word which makes the discussion incoherent.

    But that is not what you are talking about. It seems you are saying evil exists because God or Good exists. But that is an assumption.

    What I am doing is not proving there is a God. That is not my objective. What I am doing is proving that the existence of unwanted events or what the average person calls evil is not a proof there is no God. I prefer to steer clear of concepts such as ontological and epistemological. I believe the logic is much simpler.

    Given all that, the average person desperately wants to use the word “evil.” Just look at the comments on these two OP’s and past OP’s that discussed evil. It is so ingrained in us to think of the world this way. So I don’t expect many will stop using the term.

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    Jerry,

    How do you know . . .

    Again with approaching the question from epistemology.

    If you are unwilling to consider the ontology of evil, you will never understand the argument.

    It seems you are saying evil exists because God or Good exists. But that is an assumption.

    You are getting closer, but you are not quite there. I am saying that IF objective evil exists, then God exists. That is not an assumption. It is a deduction.

    the average person desperately wants to use the word “evil.”

    Of course they do. Because every sane person knows that objective evil does exist. And that is why our atheist interlocutors twist themselves into such knots when they try to deny it.

    I prefer to steer clear of concepts such as ontological and epistemological. I believe the logic is much simpler.

    My argument from the ontology of objective evil is quite simple. A bright child can understand it.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Harry,

    He expects us to share the burden of carrying the cross with His Son

    “I want to know Christ and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,” Paul also said.

  18. 18
    harry says:

    Barry Arrington @ 17,

    Yes, and Philippians 3:10-11, which you cited:

    … that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

    sound a lot like Romans 8:16-17:

    … it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

    Both make willingness to share in Christ’s sufferings quite necessary in order to “attain the resurrection” and to be “glorified with him.”

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, the basic challenge is that we are at first principles which are mutually entangled. It’s like looking at facets of a jewel, the whole is in the part and the part in the whole. From rational freedom and first duties, we see that moral government is embedded in reality from its roots up. In that context, such can only be grounded in the inherently good, utterly wise. As we explore onward, we see that we need necessary, maximally great being, which embraces all that is great-making and nought that is not. God is not a trickster or capricious, etc. In that context we gradually understand his goodness as stemming from and bound up in his pure, maximal love that cherishes and opens up a world in which there are creatures who albeit finite, can love and so are free. Perfect maximal love working out in thought, word, deed is the heart of goodness and as we appropriately respond and reflect such, goodness flows from us too. In that context evil stems from self-centred abuse of freedom and frustrates, perverts, despoils, wrecks what is from its proper end. Which is the heart of evil. Which also will be fundamentally incoherent. KF

  20. 20
    BobRyan says:

    Socialists live in a world of contradictions. They view themselves as morally superior to those who are less enlightened. They are the ones who want to decide what is right and what is wrong. They want to use government to force people to submit through any means necessary. They see people as nothing more than animals in need of control.
    Japan and Germany had high ranking people put on trial for committing war crimes, but ignored the same actions taken by the Soviet Army. Stalin was a socialist and they want to give him a free pass. They go so far as to limit just how many people he murdered. Stalin was the biggest mass murderer in history.

  21. 21
    BobRyan says:

    Those who believe there are no moral absolutes must believe there is no free will. If there is no free will, there should be no laws. Without free will, no one can be held accountable for anything. They are just doing what their brains have been programmed to do.

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    Note that I did not have to conclude that any particular thing is good or evil to make this work. The argument works if objective evil exists

    Two things:

    First – I do not agree that your argument works because I don’t believe you have shown that evil exists. I doubt you could find a school child who would understand it. I am more interested in adults who can understand it.

    Second – You seem to be saying that there are no examples of evil in this world only that it somehow exists?

    For a term that is used a lot it is strange that there are no examples. First time I ever encountered that observation in my life time.

  23. 23
    Barry Arrington says:

    Jerry,

    I do not agree that your argument works because I don’t believe you have shown that evil exists.

    You do not understand my argument if you think it depends on showing that evil exists.

    You seem to be saying that there are no examples of evil in this world only that it somehow exists?

    I said nothing remotely like this. Again, you do not understand the argument.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    Again, you do not understand the argument.

    Agreed!

    But just as an exercise why don’t you provide some examples of evil.

  25. 25
    Truthfreedom says:

    @20 BobRyan:

    Stalin was the biggest mass murderer in history.

    True.

  26. 26
    Truthfreedom says:

    @9 Barry Arrington:
    Excellent post.

    Note that I did not have to conclude that any particular thing is good or evil to make this work. The argument works if objective evil exists, whatever particular thing one considers to be objective evil.

    (Emphasis added).
    Atheists focus on how evil is instantiated and overlook the fact that it exists. (Ontology vs epistemology).
    And hence all the conundrum.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    TF,

    BobRyan: “Stalin was the biggest mass murderer in history.”

    Truthfreedom: “True.”

    Actually, this researcher claims that “Mao beat out Stalin” in monstrous evil.

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master (Black Book of Communism)
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    Moreover, although it took them far longer, a case can be made that Muslims, via their continual ‘holy’ jihad against non-believers, exceeded even these atheistic tyrants in terms of monstrous evil:

    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/

    Verse

    Matthew 5:21-22
    Murder Begins in the Heart
    21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A21-22

  28. 28
    Truthfreedom says:

    @27 Bornagain77:
    Thank you for the data. The competition is really fierce.

    Murder Begins in the Heart. Matthew 5:21-22

    Right now is: murder begins in the brain neurochemicals (and it’s an illusion ).
    We owe so much to the barnacle collector and his followers.

  29. 29
    vividbleau says:

    Jerry,
    Did you miss my post #7 or was it just not worthy of your response? ( don’t know how to do the smiley face thingy)

    Vivid

  30. 30
    Truthfreedom says:

    @29 Vividbleau:
    Blank space + two points followed by end parenthesis.
    How is your daughter-in-law doing?

  31. 31
    vividbleau says:

    TF
    Thanks for asking. She is getting better but it comes and goes, she feels good for a few hours then not so good. Last week was rough chills, fever, body feeling like it’s on fire, Severe nausea, really bad headaches, etc.
    What is so puzzling is that her Covid test came back negative and her common flu test came back negative, we are all trying to figure out what the heck she has.

    Vivid

  32. 32
    jerry says:

    Did you miss my post #7

    I saw it but didn’t know exactly what you meant by it. Since I only believe there is one evil for humans and that is eternal separation from God, that obviously existed as a possibility before the Fall and after the Fall. So I am not sure what the timing of the Fall had to do with it. I don’t know what I was supposed to say other than what I just did.

    So evil in my definition of it, is a possibility for every person that ever existed and will exist. The Fall has no relevance to it existing as a possibility. I am aware that some say the only reason we have natural disasters or anything naturally bad is because of the Fall.

    The only reason I assign the word “evil” to my definition is because it is eternal.

    We have a tendency to use the same word, “evil”, for numerous situations and then assume we are discussing the same thing. But we are not and that is the main problem with the word. It is why I ask people to not use it and then use the definition one has in mind to express the same idea. I often use the phrase, “unpleasant events.”

    If everyone here was asked not to use the word “evil” but some equivalent word or phrase in its place, then maybe we could be on common ground. So I look at “lack of the good” or something like it to be a start but then I would ask for the replacement of “good” with its definition since I can find a lot of ways this term is used. The objective is to reduce ambiguity.

    That way we could all be on the same page. But we are not. We are just talking past each other with our own definitions kept safely in our heads as we conflate very different concepts with the same word.

  33. 33
    vividbleau says:

    Jerry
    “The only reason I assign the word “evil” to my definition is because it is eternal.”

    I don’t know what to make of this, the only thing that is eternal ( no beginning ,no end, etc) is God ,so evil exists in God? Somehow I don’t think that’s what you mean.

    Vivid

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    the only thing that is eternal

    I suggest you look up the common usage of the term, “eternal.”

    There’s eternal bliss and eternal damnation. And a lot of other common usages. All taught in Christianity.

  35. 35
    vividbleau says:

    Jerry

    I said that did you miss it ? Now I know what you meant. I suggest you not be so condescending

    Vivid

  36. 36
    jerry says:

    I suggest you not be so condescending

    I apologize. I didn’t mean to come across as condescending.

  37. 37
    BobRyan says:

    bornagain77 @ 27

    There were millions sent to the gulags, which was a death sentence without actually being called a death sentence. Those who died pushed Stalin up to around 100,000,000 dead, which beats out Mao by about 20,000,000. Had Mao been given more time, he would have passed Stalin.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    BobRyan at 37, for Darwinists, what’s a few more 10 million dead here or there? As Dawkins said, “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. ”

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    ? Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    Oh well Mr. Dawkins, Que sera, sera!

    The unimaginably horrible consequences of Darwinian ideology imposed at the government level is simply lost for each individual person with such large numbers.

    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

    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
    From 1900-1987 over 250 million dead through Atheism’s grasp for domination:
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.TAB1.GIF
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM

    Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao? – Ian Johnson
    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/02/05/who-killed-more-hitler-stalin-or-mao/

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Atheist Murderers
    http://www.thomism.org/atheism.....erers.html

    etc… etc… etc…

    My opinion is that nobody will ever know the real numbers for deaths. But it is interesting to note that every time a revision is made to the numbers of dead (with some certainty) that the revision is almost always in the upwards direction. Never a revision downwards.

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: for Darwinists, what’s a few more 10 million dead here or there? As Dawkins said, “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. ”

    But he’s not saying he doesn’t care!! He’s not saying it’s a good thing! He’s just saying that’s the way it is. “[N]or any justice.” He doesn’t like it anymore than you do. He’s saying that unguided processes cannot care or take pity, we have to make up the difference.

    The unimaginably horrible consequences of Darwinian ideology imposed at the government level is simply lost for each individual person with such large numbers.

    I don’t know any biologist or atheist that thinks Darwinian ideology should have anything to do with government policy except when dealing with mutating pathogens and nearly extinct life forms.

    Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    Most Germans in the 1930s were not atheists, they elected the fascists and then afterwards found out what a colossal mistake they had made. Most of the Russians who supported the revolution during the 1910s were not atheists, they supported what they thought was strong leadership and then afterwards discovered that they should have done things a bit differently.

    Unscrupulous and pathological individuals are always quick to exploit a situation where things are in flux and they have some support. Being atheists isn’t what made them evil (if I am allowed to use the term this once!), they were sick and broken and not enough people stood up to them when they got the reigns of power.

    And sometimes ideas born out of fear get people to behave very badly. I just heard recently that during the Black Plague people all over Europe, not knowing what was causing the wholesale deaths, decided to blame a group of people they had decided were the cause: the Jews. Whole Jewish enclaves were wiped out because people were scared and were desperate to stop the slaughter. The Jews themselves seem to suffer fewer deaths which may be down to better hygienic practices but it made them look even more responsible. A sad, sad chapter in European history. Nothing to do with evolution or atheism.

    It’s not atheism or Dawinists you should fear. Fear fear and those who choose to exploit it.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL “But he’s not saying he doesn’t care!!”

    But alas, since, under Darwinian premises, Dawkins himself is purely a material being with no free will, i.e. with no moral agency, then it directly follows that Dawkins cannot possibly care.

    Tell me, exactly where is the ‘meat robot’ of Dawkins, since he has no free will, going to step in to impose justice on a unjust world? The denial of free will, moral agency, by atheists is insane!

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.”

    The rest of your argumentation in your post is similarity superficial and insane so I will not even bother.

  41. 41
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: But alas, since, under Darwinian premises, Dawkins himself is purely a material being with no free will, i.e. with no moral agency, then it directly follows that Dawkins cannot possibly care.

    That’s why I don’t participate in the free will discussion. I believe Dr Dawkins does love and care and wants to protect other people from plagues and pestilence and such. If that means he’s wrong about free will then he’s wrong.

    Tell me, exactly where is the ‘meat robot’ of Dawkins, since he has no free will, going to step in to impose justice on a unjust world? The denial of free will, moral agency, by atheists is insane!

    You’ll have to argue with him about that.

    The rest of your argumentation in your post is similarity superficial and insane so I will not even bother.

    Fine. Why did you participate in the discussion? One of three things was going to happen: I was going to stand my ground which you find ‘insane’, I was going to run away with my tail between my legs or, just maybe, I was going to admit I was completely mistaken. Since the third option was pretty unlikely I suspect you were anticipating one of the others to come about. If that was the case then what did you hope to get out of the conversation? I like to find out what and how other people see the world. I like to get to know people. What about you? Why did you bother?

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL

    That’s why I don’t participate in the free will discussion.

    Later on

    Why did you participate in the discussion?

    LOL, well for you, the denial of free will is insane and refutes your atheism. so it is obvious why you would refuse to participate. For me, I have much better things to do than argue with someone who refuses to address the evidence honestly. Moreover, you did not start nor were you part of this discussion to begin with. I was addressing TF, vivid, BobRyan, and Jerry. Perhaps they have time to waste on you.

  43. 43
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Moreover, you did not start nor were you part of this discussion to begin with. I was addressing TF, vivid and Jerry. Perhaps they have time to waste on you.

    Okay!! Stay safe, stay healthy.

  44. 44
    Truthfreedom says:

    @43 Bornagain77:

    Perhaps they have time to waste on you.

    Until adversaries of some caliber arrive. Sparrings have their purpose too.

  45. 45
    Truthfreedom says:

    @41 JVL

    That’s why I don’t participate in the free will discussion.

    You do not participate because it is one of the most difficult ones. Most people do not even understand the implications of this. That’s why you (and others) hide behind the ‘I’m not interested’ quote. And you are fooling no one.

  46. 46
    vividbleau says:

    “Perhaps they have time to waste on you.”

    Sigh, we can be better than this.

    Vivid

  47. 47
    JVL says:

    Truthfreedom: Until adversaries of some caliber arrive. Sparrings have their purpose too.

    Thanks for your support.

    You do not participate because it is one of the most difficult ones. Most people do not even understand the implications of this. That’s why you (and others) hide behind the ‘I’m not interested’ quote. And you are fooling no one.

    I choose not to participate because I can’t parse the arguments for there being no free will; it feels like I do have free will so I have nothing to contribute. I’m not hiding at all. I’m being honest. I guess I’m not of a high enough caliber then.

  48. 48
    JVL says:

    Vividbleau: Sigh, we can be better than this.

    And I thought the atheist would be the one telling others their opinions and views don’t mean anything!!

    Anyway, I’m not taking it personally. Bornagain77 I know has very strong opinions and views and I respect that; he(?)’s been very, very consistent over a long period of time. Truthfreedom seems to enjoy sniping at views he(?) doesn’t agree with just for the pleasure of it which means I probably won’t respond to his(?) posts much in the future.

    I don’t mind being disagreed with! That’s fine. But, if in the back of your mind you think “This person is just another one of those materialist nutters who can’t think” then don’t waste my time and yours responding. As I’ve said before, I like getting to know people and finding out why they think the way they do. I don’t expect to come to an agreement. I hope to build some respect and consideration so that we can move forward on some important issues that will require compromises from every one.

    I don’t know how many of you remember the TV series The Ascent of Man presented by Jacob Bronowski (it came out a long time ago). At the end of one of the episodes he travels to the Auschwitz camp and appeals to all of us to stop treating each other as lesser beings then ourselves. He mentions that the pond there contains the ashes of some of his own family and he implores us all to get to know each other. I still find that moment extremely powerful. And I’m trying to take it to heart: I don’t want to write anyone off as insane or so wrong they’re not even worth talking to. I don’t want to live in a society where we’re just shouting at each other. I want everyone to be able to speak and be heard. It’s the least we can do for each other.

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    vivid,

    Sigh, we can be better than this.

    The belief that “we can be better than this” presupposes free will, i.e. moral agency.

    I rest my case.

  50. 50
    vividbleau says:

    “The belief that “we can be better than this” presupposes free will, i.e. moral agency.”

    I certainly agree but are any of us perfectly consistent in living out our worldview beliefs?

    Vivid

  51. 51
    Truthfreedom says:

    @48 JVL

    And I thought the atheist would be the one telling others their opinions and views don’t mean anything!!

    Again, opinions are of no value unless you address why you hold them (meaning you are addressing the underlying reasons ). Those underlying reasons can be easily destroyed if they do not stand logical scrutiny (that is why logic is so beautiful, because it is objective. Logic is a UNIVERSAL tool).
    Opinions: in the tavern.
    Facts: at UD. 🙂

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    vivid:

    but are any of us perfectly consistent in living out our worldview beliefs?

    As a Christian I can live perfectly consistently with the fact that I am not morally perfect but that I am a sinner saved by grace. I fail to be morally perfect, or even to be morally acceptable to others, very often. It is part and parcel with being a Christian!

    On the other hand, it is impossible for the atheistic materialist to live his life consistently as if his worldview were actually true, i.e. as if he had no free will, no moral agency, whatsoever.

    Here are quotes from leading atheists admitting that it is impossible for them to live consistently as if their worldview were actually true. As Nancy Pearcey comments, they have “abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.”

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

    Richard Dawkins himself admitted that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if his atheistic materialism were actually true

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

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

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

  53. 53
    vividbleau says:

    BA

    “As a Christian I can live perfectly consistently with the fact that I am not morally perfect but that I am a sinner saved by grace. I fail to be morally perfect, or even to be morally acceptable to others, very often. It is part and parcel with being a Christian!

    On the other hand, it is impossible for the atheistic materialist to live his life consistently as if his worldview were actually true, i.e. as if he had no free will, no moral agency, whatsoever.”

    Could not agree with you more, the inconsistency I was referring to was to the acting out towards others in Christian charity, attack ideas not the person.

    I should not have said that we all are inconsistent in our worldview beliefs because the Christian is not,. For instance in the past I have been a hypocrite, I am sure I will be a hypocrite in the future, this is not inconsistent within the Christian worldview.

    Vivid

  54. 54
    JVL says:

    Truthfreedom: Again, opinions are of no value unless you address why you hold them (meaning you are addressing the underlying reasons ). Those underlying reasons can be easily destroyed if they do not stand logical scrutiny (that is why logic is so beautiful, because it is objective. Logic is a UNIVERSAL tool).

    Do you love your spouse? Why? Do you love your children? Why? Do you love your pets? Why? What is your favourite band? Why do you like them? What’s your favourite meal? Why? Do you think John Grisham is a great author? Why?

    How many of your opinions can you defend logically? If you can’t does that make them worthless?

    I didn’t strongly try and defend my opinions; I honestly reported them as such and I gave some reasons why I was led to them but I admitted they might be incorrect.

    For that I get vilified.

  55. 55
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: As a Christian I can live perfectly consistently with the fact that I am not morally perfect but that I am a sinner saved by grace. I fail to be morally perfect, or even to be morally acceptable to others, very often. It is part and parcel with being a Christian!

    On the other hand, it is impossible for the atheistic materialist to live his life consistently as if his worldview were actually true, i.e. as if he had no free will, no moral agency, whatsoever.

    Why is consistency more important than your feelings? In my experience most Christians have had a significant life experience which led them to Christ. Experiences which cannot be logically explained or scrutinised. Do you examine those with the same critical eye for consistency? Did you do so during or after your experience? I am not calling the experiences into question; I’d just like to know how they fit into your logical, justified worldview?

    Can we just trust in our heart of hearts that some things are true even if we cannot logically defend them? Is consistency the most important criteria?

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, the belief that we can infer conclusions on evidence and logic rather than following unconscious but fundamentally non rational dynamics implies a belief in fundamental, significant freedom. Freedom in turn implies moral government and a root that grounds the good. KF

  57. 57
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    “Can we just trust in our heart of hearts that some things are true even if we cannot logically defend them? Is consistency the most important criteria?”

    I don’t think so. The consistency has to do with , for lack of a better term, intellectual worldview consistency. If your intellectual worldview is inconsistent with your experience then something is wrong with your worldview.

    Secondly experience is a bad test for whether something is true, jump up does the floor move under your feet ? The world is spinning around at thousands of miles per hour but you don’t experience that you experience the opposite.

    Finally logic cannot tell us what is true but it does tell us what cannot be true regardless of experience. One of the greatest divides on this sight is the primacy of evidence, logic or experience, I say the former. Also I am hard pressed to think of any experience that is illogical., but keep in mind logic does not tell us what is true but rather what cannot be true, big difference.

    Vivid

  58. 58
    EDTA says:

    JVL,
    >What is your favourite band? Why do you like them?

    Those are just subjective opinions, and they don’t really matter. I don’t even mind when someone makes fun of my favorite band. 🙂

    >How many of your opinions can you defend logically? If you can’t does that make them worthless?

    Opinions I don’t need to defend. But my stances on issues I can almost always defend logically. If I can’t, then I don’t engage in discussion of them until I’ve thought them through. Or I am very tentative in what I express. If I cannot defend them, then yes, they are pretty much worthless. In things that matter, I try to hold defensible positions. I try to hold positions that are more likely to be correct than the positions I reject. I prefer to hold positions that I think others ought to join me in agreeing with for sound reasons that they should be compelled to accept. These matters (philosophical, political, religious) are extremely important to life, and therefore important that positions be defensible.

    >Why is consistency more important than your feelings?

    Feelings can change by time of day, because of the weather, because of who I last spoke to or how bad traffic was today. In other words, they are my most ephemeral aspect. If I followed my feelings more than my intellect, I would get myself into more trouble than I can imagine. I would do things I would hate myself for moments after I did them. My feelings are therefore subordinate to my intellect as much as I can make that the case.

    >In my experience most Christians have had a significant life experience which led them to Christ. Experiences which cannot be logically explained or scrutinised.

    Yep, those are extremely ephemeral also. I would be concerned that later life experiences could just as quickly make them non-Christians. In fact, most of those I know who have left the church did it for emotional reasons, not intellectual ones.

    I do examine my feelings and experiences, but always in light of what I can best determine is/was true. My feelings do not guide my search for truth, as far as I can prevent them.

    >Can we just trust in our heart of hearts that some things are true even if we cannot logically defend them? Is consistency the most important criteria?

    Having a consistent worldview is very important to me. I know how my feelings can fluctuate, and do not trust them as a guide to any sort of truth. I see feelings lead people into all sorts of pain and dysfunction. Feelings are also incredibly easy to manipulate, and I see demagogues and lotharios manipulating people’s feelings often, to the victim’s ultimate harm. Please place less emphasis on feelings. I think it will improve the outcomes in your life. Make those feelings subordinate to facts.

  59. 59
    Seversky says:

    It seems to me that the concept of “worldview” is too vaguely defined to be of much use.

    If it refers to the sum total of the knowledge we acquire as we grow and age and the inferences we derive from that knowledge then they are almost bound to be inconsistent since there is so much we still don’t know about ourselves and the Universe in which we find ourselves.

    If it refers to some sort of notional framework theory or more general explanation then the same caveat applies. As Karl Popper wrote, while we may each differ in the amount we know in different areas, we are all alike in our infinite ignorance.

    In physics, integrating relativity and quantum mechanics has so far proven to be an insuperable obstacle and there doesn’t seem to be any radical new approach on the horizon which will subsume them both.

    Christianity is riddled with inconsistencies to put it mildly. The current benevolent versions of the faith can only be sustained by discarding or, at least, ignoring a lot of the Old Testament.

    So, when the charge of inconsistency is leveled by someone at the worldview of another with the intention of trying to undermine it, I would answer, let him who is without that particular “sin” cast the first stone.

  60. 60
    vividbleau says:

    Sev
    Thanks for sharing some of your worldviews.

    Vivid

  61. 61
    vividbleau says:

    Sev
    “So, when the charge of inconsistency is leveled by someone at the worldview of another with the intention of trying to undermine it, I would answer, let him who is without that particular “sin” cast the first stone.”

    Yikes, this coming from someone that constantly tries to undermine theism and Christianity. Since we are appealing to scripture I would suggest “ first get the mote out of your own eye”

    Vivid

  62. 62
    ET says:

    The current benevolent versions of the faith can only be sustained by discarding or, at least, ignoring a lot of the Old Testament.

    You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how convoluted it is. Your ignorance, while amusing, is not an argument.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    Worldview is pretty much as described in the word itself:

    world·view (wûrldvy)
    n. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.
    1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
    2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.
    [Translation of German Weltanschauung.]

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    This describes a complex but vital fact of life which is central to living, working and thinking together. It should be unsurprising that how we think about ourselves and our world or wider reality is not a simple thing. Even Geometry or Arithmetic and Algebra should prepare us for that. Or even, learning to play Chess.

    A key insight involved, pivots on the structure of warrant and what we face as finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed creatures who obviously come with a wide range of takes on what reality is and what entities are real vs perceived or assumed etc. To accept A as so, we ask, why. B. But, why B? C, then onward.

    We face three unpalatably humbling options identified long since: impossible infinite regress of warrant, circularity that begs big questions, finitely remote start-point that rests on first plausibles not subject to further proof and sustained on comparative difficulties [global factual adequacy, logical & dynamical coherence, balanced explanatory power . . . neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork]. Of the three, the only defensible one is the third, responsible, reasonable faith resting on a well thought through faith point.

    In a world that has committed the gross fallacy of imagining hyperskepticism an intellectual virtue (being put in the place of prudence) being forced to admit to having unprovable or unproved first plausibles or presuppositions that vary from person to person and which include inescapable first principles and duties of reason is often a shock. One, that will be resisted in the imagination that big-S Science has the answers. However, it turns out that evolutionary materialistic scientism is both question-begging and irretrievably, utterly incoherent. This then taints fellow traveller views.

    What is self-referentially incoherent is necessarily false by way of refuting itself and undermining ability to have confidence in chains of implication — the principle of explosion. In this case, there are multiple ways in which such a view undermines the credibility of mind. Often, this is projected to others, classically through Marxists’ dismissal of class conditioning, or Freud’s pointing to potty training or Crick’s imagined bag of nerves and electrochemistry etc. In every case, a subtle personal exception of expertise is imagined, revealing the incoherence in the face of self-referentiality.

    So, no, the worldview concept is complex because it has to address reality rather than ideology. Where the most central branch of Philosophy is Metaphysics, in effect critically aware analysis of worldviews, including study of the logic of what is, being. That is, Ontology.

    KF

  64. 64
    BobRyan says:

    Socialists like to pick their evils. Hitler was evil, but silent about Stalin being evil as well. The Imperial Japanese Army was evil for how they carried out actions, but the Soviets did many of the same thing. The rape of Nanking led to prosecutions for war crimes, but no one was prosecuted for the rape of Berlin.
    If free will does not exist, then how can anyone truly be guilty of anything? Without free will, there is no choice in violation of any laws. Man is simply acting on nature and the idea of any government existing at all should be abhorrent to socialists. Government stands in the way of man’s nature, since governments create laws that stand in the way of being able to act as we must, but our nature alone.

  65. 65
    Truthfreedom says:

    @63 Kairosfocus

    being forced to admit to having unprovable or unproved first plausibles or presuppositions that vary from person to person and which include inescapable first principles and duties of reason is often a shock.
    One, that will be resisted in the imagination that big-S Science has the answers. However, it turns out that
    evolutionary materialistic scientism is both question-begging and irretrievably, utterly incoherent. This then taints fellow traveller views.

    Nail. Hammer. Head.

  66. 66
    Truthfreedom says:

    @59 Seversky

    So, when the charge of inconsistency is leveled by someone at the worldview of another with the intention of trying to undermine it, I would answer, let him who is without that particular “sin” cast the first stone.

    So you are saying that all worldviews are equally inconsistent?

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    TF,

    irretrievable incoherence is the death of a worldview, but insofar as a worldview has become a powerful ideology with cultural agenda and influence, it dies hard. Fascism had to be beaten by war and lived on in various states for a generation or more. Today, it seems blended in into states that nominally follow its sister ideology Marxism. That one, in turn took a prolonged global cold war with economic stagnation and in mutant form [cultural marxism] dominates the academic, educational and media worlds.

    We can use possible worlds speak to characterise a worldview as a candidate possible world, CPW, comprising a sufficiently comprehensive assemblage of propositions w1, w2, . . . wn. These define the entities proposed as in the core of reality, and how that core generates a world, with dynamics and a narrative framework for how the CPW unfolds. It has to be sufficiently plausible that it will attract one or more adherents who have to live in an actualised world AW. That means, flaws and breakdowns, factual gaps, incoherence, failure to achieve explanatory balance must be somewhat subtle and perhaps may be suppressed by power wielders in AW.

    In that context, the tension between CPW and AW will work its way out through a Lakatos-like separation of a protected core of assertions that if shattered would be instantly fatal, and an armour belt of in the end expendable auxiliary assertions that are more directly in touch with circumstances. That is, w1 to n is partitioned into a core and belt structure. If there are aspects of these propositions and frameworks that support significant success of power centres then that can help to reinforce the CPW. Of course, even when they clash, neighbouring worldviews may overlap considerably. In this context, A version of the Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyerabend type picture of competing paradigms can be seen as a component of said views.

    In that context, the key issue is to break through the protective belt to the core, where part of a given CPW will be characterisations of other views and their adherents. A capital example is how Dawkins and other “New/Gnu Athiests” view Christian Theists as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. The world of secret societies also shows an onion pattern, motivated on managing hoi polloi.

    In this context, fatal contradictions will be hard to face, given an effect. If a critical mass are induced to make a crooked yardstick their standard for straight, accurate, upright, then what is genuinely so will never conform to the crooked standard. Experience shows that even a naturally straight and upright plumb line, will be questioned. Obviously, propagandists seek to get crooked yardsticks so established. (Hence, BTW, the danger in appeals to consensus of experts.)

    I have come to two main conclusions on this side of things: self-evident, inescapable first truths and duties of reason are absolutely pivotal as plumb lines, and that those who have been led to distort or dismiss such will only change through social system collapse. Things have to go over a cliff and things have to hit rock bottom hard enough to shatter the core. That may lead to spectacular magazine explosions such as took out three British Battlecruisers at Jutland.

    This pandemic, of course, is such a challenge, at least potentially.

    And, when you see advocates of worldviews trying to suggest that all worldviews are incoherent, that is a strong sign of a fatal crack in their own. Projection, after all, is notorious.

    KF

  68. 68
    Truthfreedom says:

    @67 Kairosfocus:

    And, when you see advocates of worldviews trying to suggest that all worldviews are incoherent, that is a strong sign of a fatal crack in their own. Projection, after all, is notorious.

    And this is another key point. 🙂
    Thanks for the post.
    Off topic:
    Today is Holy Friday.

  69. 69
    jerry says:

    advocates of worldviews trying to suggest that all worldviews are incoherent

    Kf

    What is the name for this fallacy? I don’t think it is projection. Is it like the self referential fallacy? Which means my statement too must be false so that the statement actually implies there must be one coherent one. So is the originator of the statement a believer that there is one correct worldview?

    Is it similar to the claim that all cultures are equal which means the culture that claims others are inferior must be accepted and we get incoherence.

    I am sure this will generate a lot of nitpicking incoherence. But nitpicking incoherence seems to be the bane of the modern world. Maybe it always was. Humans haven’t changed much just the tools to do what is in their nature.

    There should be an award for nitpicking comment of the month and nitpicker of the month.

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    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the technical fallacy is tu quoque, you are another. [I must be slipping . . . ] However it is not so much a fallacy ad a defense mechanism of projecting to the other so “if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.” Translation: unwilling to engage comparative difficulties. KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    TF, Good Friday indeed . . . and I need to get around to the persistent attempt to dismiss historicity of Jesus; which cropped up in a recent exchange here. KF

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