Re: [asa] Expelled

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Mon Apr 28 2008 - 19:09:28 EDT

No, the argument is not "evolving" into anything on my part. Though I
mentioned the obvious fact that Christians believe that they have been given
some insight into a standard of morality, the basic point remains that they
believe that there is such a standard & atheists deny it. Since you
continue to avoid this point I won't continue further with this. I think
most folks here can spot your evasiveness.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
----- Original Message -----
From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
To: "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com>
Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled

>I see, the argument is evolving to include that Christians have been
> given some insight into a standard of morality through the Bible, even
> though the information is fragmentary, contradictory and open to a
> variety of interpretations.
> While some may see this as an advantage to Christianity as they have
> some evidence as to what morality should be, it comes with a great
> cost that Christians may believe that a particular morality is
> 'revealed' to them by the Bible and that they are justified in
> pursuing it with approval of their God. Thus we see how some
> Christians are excited about the prospects of invading Iran, setting
> in motion a possible second coming at the expense of much misery but
> heck, it's all ok, God has revealed it to us. While atheists do not
> have the 'luxury' of believing that there is an ultimate source of
> morality, Christians claim that such a source of morality exists (the
> existence of such morality however is far from self evident) and that
> they have been revealed parts of God's wishes.
> Atheists accept that such a source for morality does not exist,
> although they have the same problem as Christians, namely to determine
> what morality to accept. As such, like Christians, they are
> constrained by history and evolution.
> While Christians avoid the realization that their application of
> morality is at best a 'best guess', they come to accept their
> subjective interpretation as God sanctioned. History has shown how
> costly such a position can be where a subjective interpretation of
> morality is somehow argued to be 'God's will'. Heck, even in todays
> world we see many examples where Christians and other believers have
> taken the Word of their God and turned it into a source of morality,
> even though there seems to exist a range of interpretations.
>
> As such I see the idea that we Christians have access and insight into
> His standards for morality as mostly illusionary and coming with
> potential great cost.
>
> In other words, we all suffer from an inability to define an objective
> morality but believers have the additional disadvantage that nature
> and nurture can be upset by a novel interpretation of what we believe
> His words reveal to us. Whether one believes there exists a universal
> standard for morality has little relevance to the value of the
> subjective morality accepted, in fact, I believe that one has to be
> careful when one believes that one's subjective morality is somehow
> more privileged. It may be comforting to some but it may be quite
> costly to society.
>
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:37 AM, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> wrote:
>> You persist in avoiding the real issue - as do Dawkins & the other soft
>> atheists. Christians (to limit believers to them for know) believe that
>> there is a standard of morality which has its source beyond the world &
>> that
>> they have been given some insight into it, primarily in Jesus Christ.
>> Atheists believe - at least if their claims have any consistency and
>> depth -
>> that there is and can be no such standard.
>>
>> I realize that I am repeating the same point I've made before but that
>> is
>> because you keep avoiding it - whether deliberately or nott I don't know.
>> If
>> you continue to do so I'll end the conversation.
>>
>>
>> Shalom
>> George
>> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
>> To: "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com>
>> Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
>> Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:35 PM
>>
>>
>> Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled
>>
>>
>>
>> > What's the difference between the two cases. Why should a Christian
>> > adhere to society's interpretation of God's word when he finds support
>> > for a different moral standard in the Bible? There is similarly no
>> > compelling reason that suggests that a Christian is in a more
>> > privileged situation. Both have no more or less reason to accept or
>> > reject standards of morality. That Christians 'know' that God
>> > presumably has a set of standards of morality is of no real help to
>> > the Christian in deciding what morality is the correct one.
>> >
>> > On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 2:46 PM, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > Serious atheists don't just lack access to a standard of morality.
>> > > They
>> > > know that there is no such standard unless they invent one for
>> themselves. &
>> > > they know that there is no reason why the standard they invent should
>> have
>> > > any resemblance to current moral standards developed largely through
>> > > religious traditions. E.g., there is no reason why any sort of
>> > > respect
>> for
>> > > the welfare of other people beyond matters of self interest should be
>> > > maintained. & recognizing that morality is a product of evolution in
>> whole
>> > > or in part doesn't provide a solution. So morality has evolved to a
>> certain
>> > > point. So what? Why should a person who's realized that adhere to
>> > > that
>> > > product?
>> > >
>> > > & playing the "So's your old man card" is no answer.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > Shalom
>> > > George
>> > > http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>> > >
>> > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
>> > > To: "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com>
>> > > Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
>> > > Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 5:32 PM
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > > And what does this gain us? Knowing that there is something we may
>> > > > never know during our lifetimes? One may turn around and argue that
>> > > > atheists are not constrained by a quest for searching for this
>> > > > elusive
>> > > > standard of morality and therefor can apply more appropriate
>> > > > standards
>> > > > when outlining standards for morality.
>> > > > What is so problematic about atheists not having access to a
>> > > > 'standard
>> > > > of morality' when Christians lack a similar clarity? In both cases
>> > > > it
>> > > > comes down to us defining our standards of morality. In the end we
>> > > > all
>> > > > work from subjective standards, whether or not we believe there is
>> > > > a
>> > > > Higher Being who has His own set of standards.
>> > > >
>> > > > Now what if our sense of morality evolved, that would add an even
>> > > > more
>> > > > interesting twist to this story.
>> > > >
>> > > > On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 2:01 PM, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> >
>> wrote:
>> > > >
>> > > > > You miss the point. If one believes in God as creator of the
>> > > > > world
>> > > then
>> > > it
>> > > > > makes sense to believe that there are standards of morality which
>> > > > > >
>> > have
>> > > some
>> > > > > source beyond the world even if we don't know in detail what
>> > > > > those
>> > > standards
>> > > > > are. Denial of the existence of a creator means that there is no
>> > > > > >
>> > basis
>> > > for
>> > > > > such a claim.
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > Shalom
>> > > > > George
>> > > > > http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>> > > > >
>> > > > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
>> > > > > To: "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com>
>> > > > > Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
>> > > > > Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 4:56 PM
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > > I find the argument that atheists lack a moral standard of
>> > > > > > ethics
>> > > > > > quite flawed, as flawed as the idea that Christianity somehow >
>> > > > > > >
>> > provides
>> > > > > > us with a clear standard of morality. At best the Bible gives
>> > > > > > us
>> > > > > > guidelines which we attempt to interpret as best as we can to
>> guide > > > us
>> > > > > > in how we behave. However, the Bible is hardly a reliable or
>> unique
>> > > > > > source of morality.
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 3:52 PM, George Murphy
>> > > > > > <gmurphy@raex.com>
>> >
>> > > wrote:
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > > The soft atheists of coursel argue, with a good deal of
>> > > > > > > truth, >
>> > > > that
>> > > > > > > religious people in general aren't a lot more moral than > >
>> > > > > > > > >
>> atheists. >
>> > > > But
>> > > > > > > there is no reason for athiests like Dawkins to follow any
>> > > particular
>> > > > > syatem
>> > > > > > > of morality or ethics. OTOH, religious people have a moral >
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > standard
>> > > > > by
>> > > > > > > which they can be judged. The point is not that atheists are
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > > more
>> > > > > immoral
>> > > > > > > than believers but that they are unwilling or afraid to face
>> > > > > > > up
>> > > > > to >
>> > > > the
>> > > > > > > consequences of their position.
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > Shalom
>> > > > > > > George
>> > > > > > > http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > ----- Original Message -----
>> > > > > > > From: David Heddle
>> > > > > > > To: PvM
>> > > > > > > Cc: David Campbell ; asa@calvin.edu
>> > > > > > > Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2008 5:10 PM
>> > > > > > > Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > I'll take a stab--the answer is twofold. One is that his > >
>> > > > > > > > >
>> statements
>> > > > > are
>> > > > > so
>> > > > > > > outrageous. His claims of child abuse will not resonate
>> > > > > > > except >
>> > > > with
>> > > > > his
>> > > > > own
>> > > > > > > choir. The other is that his arguments against theism are so
>> > > childish
>> > > > > and
>> > > > > > > primitive--boiling down to "religious people are dumb" and
>> > > > > > > "if >
>> > > > God >
>> > > > mad
>> > > > > > > everything, who made God?" Compared to intellectual atheists
>> > > > > > > of
>> > > > > the
>> > > > > past,
>> > > > > > > such as Bertrand Russel, Dawkins is (when it comes to
>> > > > > > > theology)
>> a
>> > > > > > > lightweight. PZ tried to rescue him with the "Courtiers
>> > > > > > > Reply" >
>> > > > but >
>> > > > that
>> > > > > is
>> > > > > > > little more than a justification and a rationalization to
>> > > > > > > make a
>> > > > > > > simpleminded response instead of doing your homework.
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > In my opinion, Dawkins is to atheism what Benny Hinn is to >
>> > > > > > > > >
>> > theism.
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > David Heddle
>> > > > > > > Associate Professor of Physics
>> > > > > > > Christopher Newport University, &
>> > > > > > > The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 2:51 PM, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> >
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > wrote:
>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > > How is Dawkins one of the best arguments against atheism?
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > > On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 11:37 AM, David Campbell
>> > > > > <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
>> > > > > > > wrote:
>> > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > > > By accepting the claim that evolution entails scientism
>> > > > > > > > > and
>> > > > > > > by
>> > > > > doing > > a
>> > > > > > > > > poor critique, the movie to me does more to endorse > >
>> > > > > > > > > > >
>> > > scientism >
>> > > > > > than
>> > > > > > > to
>> > > > > > > > > counter it. Of course, conversely Dawkins is one of the
>> > > > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > best
>> > > > > > > > > arguments against atheism.
>> > > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > > > --
>> > > > > > > > > Dr. David Campbell
>> > > > > > > > > 425 Scientific Collections
>> > > > > > > > > University of Alabama
>> > > > > > > > > "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of >
>> > > > > > > > > >
>> > > > > clams"
>> > > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > > >
>> > > > > > > > >
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>> > > > > > >
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
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Received on Mon Apr 28 19:12:34 2008

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