Tag Archives: morality

An atheist found one absolute moral law. Guess which politically correct one it is?

Atheists often have in-house debates over morality.  Some try to pretend that there really could be objective morality under atheism (e.g., Christopher Hitchens, for all his poor reasoning, was anti-abortion).  Others are more consistent with their worldview — well, they try to be until someone does something bad to them — and insist that there are no universal morals.  They are pure moral relativists, acknowledging that we’ve (allegedly) evolved to “think” there are morals, but that these are really just personal preferences.

One of the latter group has had a change of heart.  Sort of.  Via Professor Larry Moran squares the circle:

Professor Larry Moran has recently created something which he has previously declared to be impossible: a moral absolute. Readers might be wondering: what is Professor Moran’s moral absolute all about? Is it about the inherent wrongfulness of killing the innocent, or taking away people’s freedom, or oppressing the poor, or violating a commitment one has given? Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong! Here’s Professor Moran’s new moral absolute, in all its resplendent glory:

“It is totally wrong, all the time, to discriminate against someone based on their sexual preferences… There is NEVER a time when an enlightened society should tolerate, let alone legalize, bigotry.”

The reason why I was surprised to read this statement on Professor Moran’s blog is that he has previously denied the existence of moral absolutes. Here are a few examples of statements he has made on the subject of morality, and on how we can know that something is true . . .

How fitting that he picked our society’s most politically protected sins to declare off-limits for criticism! He is a Romans 1 poster boy. He suppresses the truth in unrighteousness by denying that God exists, then “gives approval to those who practice” exhibit A in God’s list of sins that suppression of truth leads to.

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Romans 1:26-28 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

You can’t make up things like this.  2,000 years ago the Holy Spirit inspired Romans 1, and here it perfectly describes this atheist.  He suppresses the truth by saying there is no God and no moral laws, then he makes up one moral law that goes against God’s first example of where suppression of the truth leads.

Atheists simply can’t live consistently with their worldview.  I hope God makes Moran and others spiritually alive so they can repent and believe.  There is a better way to live than by using the talents God gave you to shake your fist at him 24×7.

Turning the tables: If evil exists then atheism and moral relativism are both wrong

circle-slash.jpgThe “problem of evil” is a classic argument used against the existence of God, but it is self-refuting. If evil exists — real, universal evil and not just people’s opinions that some things are evil — then that defeats the foundations of both atheism and moral relativism.

  • Atheism – Universal moral laws require a universal moral lawgiver.  Even if Darwinian evolution was true, it could account for feelings of morality but not objective morality.
  • Moral relativism – Making universal claims about right and wrong goes against their worldview.

Both groups rarely go three sentences without making moral claims that they expect you to adhere to, but their worldviews can’t support them and give you no reason to take them seriously.

Evil doesn’t disprove the existence of God, it supports it. Even if it didn’t fail in these ways it still wouldn’t disprove the existence of God.  Atheists can’t prove that God couldn’t have a morally sufficient reason to permit evil for a time.

Hat tip: Stand to Reason

Greetings from Mt. Perspective

Courtesy of commenter Sunday School Teacher:

The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.

Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Amount cut from the budget: $385

As the Left likes to say — including false teaching “Christians” — budgets are moral documents.  And our current budget is immoral.  This simply can’t last.  As Ann Coulter notes:

The entire Democratic Party is currently promising to “save” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in their present form. According to Obama’s own Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, in less than 10 years, spending on those three entitlement programs, plus servicing the national debt, will consume 92 cents of every dollar in the federal budget.

The Democrats are openly lying to voters. It is a mathematical impossibility for these programs to continue without major reform now, or complete bankruptcy later — and not very much later.

But Democrats’ real achievement has been in destroying the family, and thereby creating an endless supply of potential rioters.

When blacks were only four generations out of slavery, their illegitimacy rate was about 23 percent (lower than the white illegitimacy rate is now). Then Democrats decided to help them! Barely two generations since LBJ’s Great Society programs began, the black illegitimacy rate has tripled to 72 percent.

Meanwhile, the white illegitimacy rate has septupled, from 4 percent to 29 percent.

Instead of a “War on Poverty,” it should have been called a “War on the Family.”

The vast and permanent underclass created by the welfare state is a great success story for the Democratic Party, which now has a loyal constituency of deadbeats who automatically vote for the Democrats to keep their Trojan horse “benefits” flowing.

It’s the Democrats’ “heroin dealer” model of government.

Apparently, it takes a lot of government workers to minister to the poor, inasmuch as government employment has skyrocketed in tandem with the family’s disintegration. As long as Democrats are serving their principal constituency — recipients of taxpayer money — they don’t care what happens to the rest of society.

This is a great 1 minute video highlighting the immorality of the budget deficit: Making the youth and even the unborn (that is, those who aren’t aborted with the blessing of the Left) pay for these programs that are wildly counterproductive to those they claim to help.

Darwinist philosopher says ethics are an illusion

I disagree with his premise of Darwinism, of course, but I think he is being consistent with his worldview.  If the nothingness-to-molecules-to-Angelina Jolie worldview is correct, then universal ethics would be an illusion.

In The Nature of Nature , Darwinian philosopher Michael Ruse offers us his take on ethics: “Ethics is an illusion put in place by natural selection to make us good cooperators.” (—Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson, 1985), p. 855)

. . .

“Substantive morality stays in place as an effective illusion because we think that it is no illusion but the real thing. Thus, I am arguing that the epistemological foundation of evolutionary ethics is a kind of moral nonrealism, but that it is an important part of evolutionary ethics that we think it is a kind of moral realism.”

via From The Nature of Nature – Ethics as illusion put in place by natural selection? | Uncommon Descent

Roundup

Yeah, I think this pretty much sums it up for us accounting / finance types:

Thanks, Comics.com

The Real Reason For Lefty Malaise – great explanation by Rich Karlgaard of Forbes about why Leftist ideas look swell in college classrooms but fail in the real world.

Pandering to Hispanics — L.A./Chicago Boycott Arizona… Unless There’s Money to be Made on red light cameras.  You can always tell how deep principles run when people hold them tightly — provided it costs them absolutely nothing.

Supreme Court: Public schools can deny funding to Christian student groups that bar gays — a horrible decision that only passed when they tweaked it to say that groups can’t exclude anyone.  But what will they do if hundreds of Christians join the Muslim group and change its leaders and by-laws to say that Jesus is the only way and Mohammad was a false prophet?  Make up your own examples!

More inconsistencies — We’re Here, We’re Queer and We’re in Abject Denial — gay groups support Palestine, even though the Palestinians would kill them all if they had a parade there while Israel would not.

Israel. The only place in the Middle East where one can be gay in public, without fear of being jailed, tortured or killed. The useful idiots aligning with Palestine don’t even realize that Hamas, a terrorist organization intent on “wiping Israel off the map,” is also oppressing some of its own people, particularly women and homosexuals. But, see, this doesn’t matter to them. Hamas is anti-Israel and anti-America. This is all that matters. Because George Bush. And evil capitalist America. They are willing to turn a blind eye to true oppression and homophobia so rampant that it results in bloodshed and death, as long as it fits with their preferred global agenda.

Hillary: Let the babies starve until we fund abortions – they love expanding abortions so much that they’ll hold food and medicine for babies as a result.  You can really feel the love, eh?

Besides, Hillary’s statement is nothing short of idiotic.  Maternal health does not depend on abortion.  In fact, abortion is a rather moot point when it comes to the stage of worrying about the health of mothers of newborn infants, isn’t it?

Darwin Meets Orwell – call this one, “Thanks for the concession speech, Mr. Naturalist!”  We’ve said for some time that naturalism can’t ground morality and this “expert” fully concedes the point.  His logic and conclusions are muddy, but the net of it is great to hear.  Yes, yes, we agree!  If your worldview is true then people can’t be held accountable!

Glenn’s last piece on his Catholic series, Catholic Iconography and the “Saints.” Nice summary.  I know many Catholics who, based on what they profess to believe, would be in the “true Christian” category.  They either weren’t taught or don’t believe the false doctrines from Rome and they do believe the essentials.  But that doesn’t mean I’d point people there.  The Reformation happened for many good reasons.

. . . These are the heavy burdens of legalism placed upon the members of the Roman Catholic Church, which result in the Roman Catholic Church being a cultic organization, in which the majority of its members are not true Christians (as testimony after testimony of ex-members attest).

How do we then witness to Catholics? The best way is to show them that salvation is a one-time thing and that it is not as a result of works. Point them to Christ, and not to Mary, for salvation. And that everything their leaders say should be passed through the grid of Scripture.

As noted on my Facebook page, my backup dog chewed through the mesh and inside of my suitcase to get to some candy stored in the front compartment.  She ate the Mikes AND the Ikes.  This is a re-enactment; she ran away when I was coming down the hall the first time.  She has lost a lot of teeth but still managed to chew through the fabric.

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Roundup of stuff the Old Media probably won’t tell you

Cash for Grades?

That controversial “cash for grades” fund raiser at a North Carolina middle school didn’t last too long.

After the scheme to award extra points on tests for $20 appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer, Wayne County district officials today killed the Rosewood Middle School fund raiser.

As easy as it is to mock this school district (what were they thinking?!), my daughters’ schools used to do the same thing, albeit with a middleman of sorts. They would get bonus points for bringing in various things such as supplies for the school. It wasn’t a direct cash payment, but my wallet couldn’t tell the difference.

Ex-Planned Parenthood Director given cold should at her church — how ironic that her pro-choice “church” doesn’t approve of her choice to quit PP and expose the truth about abortions.  Maybe those folks should participate in an abortion and watch it on the ultrasound. 

Chinese researchers find that abortion results in 17% increased risk of breast cancer — anyone seen any counterpoints to this?  I know the breast cancer link debate is controversial, with each side thinking it has trump-card studies. 

PZ Myers has such poor critical thinking skills when it comes to God and morality.  He rants at length as to why there is no such thing as true morality, but like most people positing that he can’t go a paragraph without a moral claim.  He definitely thinks intolerance is wrong.  I tend to agree, if one properly understands the classic definition of the word, but my claim would be consistent with my worldview while his is self-mockery.

Notice his outrage over Christians labeling homosexual behavior as a sin. Well, if there is no real morality saying it is sinful then there is also no real morality saying that it is wrong to call it a sin. He has 0.00 reasons to criticize the morality of Christians.  It is so ironic that they can’t see their hypocrisy.  What a delusional self-parody.  Methinks he doth protest too much.

Former Gay Youth Leader Re-Emerges to Tell His Dramatic Conversion Story — another one of those (allegedly) non-existent people.

Euthyphro’s Dilemma

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason has thorough response to Euthyphro’s Dilemma, which asks,

Is an act right because God says it’s so, or does God say it’s so because it’s right?

The question is used by skeptics, such as the late Bertrand Russell, to posit that Christianity must be false because either choice would disagree with it.

Koukl points out how it is actually a false dilemma, because it ignores a third option.

This is precisely why the moral argument for God’s existence is such a good one. The awareness of morality leads to God much as the awareness of falling apples leads to gravity. Our moral intuitions recognize the effect, but what is the adequate cause? If God does not exist, then moral terms are actually incoherent and our moral intuitions are nonsense.

Christians need not fear Plato on this score. When Euthyphro’s dilemma is applied to Christianity, it mischaracterizes the Biblical view of God. Goodness is neither above God nor merely willed by Him. Instead, ethics are grounded in His holy character. Moral notions are not arbitrary and given to caprice. They are fixed and absolute, grounded in God’s immutable nature.

Further, no outside definition of piety is necessary because morality is known directly through the faculty of moral intuition. God’s laws express His character and–if our moral intuitions are intact–we immediately recognize those Laws as good.

This doesn’t mean Christianity is true, only that it’s is not handicapped by Plato’s challenge to Euthyphro.

The religion vs. science false dichotomy and other myths

Melinda at Stand to Reason has a good analysis of Robert Wright’s The Evolution of God, which “offers a negotiated settlement between science and religion.”  It fails.

The atheists and religious believers are not wrong for the same reasons.  The atheists who are philosophic materialists have a presuppositional bias that excludes any conclusion from the evidence that there is a Designer.  They rule out from the beginning any personal agency behind the origin of the universe.  Now, some religious believers may also dismiss evolution from a presupposition, but many don’t – especially those engaged in the public debate.  These religious believers consistently argue on the evidence against evolution (or lacking in the theory) and from the problems inherent in scientific materialism.  They use valid scientific and philosophical arguments, engaging the evidence rather than ignoring it.

. . .

In accepting Wright’s bargain, religious believers concede everything and there’s no good reason to do so.

The speculation that natural selection could, given enough time, produce a rational, moral creature is not scientifically plausible, as Wright states.  It is only the tremendous blind faith scientific materialists place in evolutionary explanations that make it seem so.  The fact is, there is no good reason based on the evidence for religious believers to make a bargain with evolutionary theory and concede one single thing so we can get along.  Wright’s bargain is a plea for peace through surrender.  Let the debate continue.  It may be heated at times, but that is usually how the truth is resolved.  There’s no reason to make any other bargain.

Good stuff.  Read it all.

Evolution and morality

Evolution is a tautology, where no matter what you see you claim that it evolved that way.  It had to have done that, because nothingness to molecules to living cells to human evolution is true, right?

It reminds me of when evolutionists try to rationalize why homosexual behavior and abortion are natural and moral in an evolutionary worldview.  They point to exceptions with some animals  and rationalize how it helps perpetutate the species (question begging). It seems to me that these behaviors get in the way of perpetuating the species (the alleged moral good snuck in the back door as the foundation for their morality), so even in an evolutionary worldview they would be immoral.

Even if certain behaviors are observable in some animals, that hardly seems like a good standard for humans to abide by.  Some dogs will attempt to procreate with anything in sight: Opposite sex dogs, same sex dogs, your leg, your coffee table, etc. 

But what is amusing is their certainty.  It is as if the situation were reversed and humans never had abortions or exhibited homosexual behavior that the evolutionists would be asking, “Hey, where are all the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people?  Why aren’t thousands of human beings destroyed in the womb each day?  We expected it to be here because of A, B and C.  We know those actions aren’t immoral, so why haven’t humans figured it out?

Denying the obvious

dna2.gifI had some fun sparring with a commenter over at the Christian Alert.  He dismisses all arguments for the existence of God, including those from causation, design and morality.  It isn’t as if he just doesn’t give the arguments much weight, he dismisses them altogether.  For him, the exceptions make the rule when it comes to eternal matters – no matter how far-fetched or whether they have been shown to really exist.

Yet I noticed that he constantly uses inferences from causation, design and morality himself.  Here’s how I responded to one of his comments:

I think there has been a big misunderstanding here. You responded to a comment that appeared to have been written by me, but it wasn’t. I checked with Dan and Edgar and they confirmed that they didn’t do it. No, it just appeared without a cause. Those things happen – you know, quantum physics and all.

Now I can see why most people would think I wrote it (or at least that some person wrote it). After all, we observe that 100.00% of the effects we see have causes (give or take 0.00%). But in your worldview you know that things can happen without agent or event causation, so I’m not sure why you jumped to the conclusion that I wrote it. Maybe you were overly conditioned by your environment, but you really should try to live more consistently with your worldview.

I can also see how most people would assume that it was designed by me. After all, it has the tell-tale poor grammar, syntax, spelling and humor you’ve come to expect from me. And again, everywhere we look in life the more complex something is the more likely it had a designer. So even that poorly written comment appeared to have been designed by someone. Again, a mistake most of us would make, but not someone with your worldview.

And if you think the above paragraphs are lies and inconsistent with my worldview, then you are misapplying your own. You know that there is no universal morality that you could apply to me.

I guess you are right. There is no way to prove that effects need causes, designs need designers and moral laws need moral law givers. And of course, even if one (deliberately?) misunderstands the nature of God then all their reasoning about him could still be accurate, right?

Gosh, I hope that doesn’t happen again. In the mean time, try to live more consistently with your worldview. Otherwise we might think that deep down you don’t really believe it.

Do arguments from cause, design, morality (and many others) give absolute, 100.00000% proof of God?  No, but they are completely rationale arguments.  Critics tip their hands when they give them no weight and dismiss them cavalierly with “imaginary friends in the sky” and “pink unicorn” digs, especially when they use the same reasoning 24×7 themselves with everything else in life.