Re: [asa] The theist challenge

From: Schwarzwald <schwarzwald@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Dec 01 2008 - 12:50:13 EST

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:28 PM, Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>wrote:

> Moorad said:
> "the notion of evil is nonexistent for the atheist."
>
> I've heard atheist Christopher Hitchins say he believes in evil. He says
> there's bad, then there's people who go overboard into evil. People like
> Hitler and suicide bombers. He says the solution is to kill these people.
>

And when he's asked to account for how things are evil given the
presuppositions he brings to the table, he's reduced to awkwardness. His
debates with Doug Wilson and others have certainly highlighted as much - the
sort of 'evil' Hitchens says he believes in is hard to square with his other
beliefs.

As for the theist challenge, I'd agree with the general sentiment expressed
here - it's a canard, based on a faulty understanding of how these questions
are approached. Along the lines of asking 'What fact could you encounter
that would falsify your belief that rape is immoral?' Philosophical and
metaphysical commitments rarely operate in such a way.

And I'd second Gordon Brown's observations. I'll note that even Paul did not
have the standard of 'If Christ did not rise, God does not exist'. In fact,
he specifically said that if Christ did not rise, then he and others were
doing offense to God by attributing the resurrection to Him. If my faith in
Christianity ever faltered, the logical step for me would be deism or some
broader variety of theism. Atheism just strikes me as intellectually the
least justifiable option on the table.

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Received on Mon Dec 1 12:50:25 2008

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