If Good and Evil Exist then God Exists

:slight_smile:

This is indeed a curious assertion, given that the CAFs came into existence in 2004. Can you proffer some explanation as to how you could claim to be lurking on a forum for 2 years before it even existed? :hmmm:
[/quote]

This is clearly evidence of the supernatural or the paranormal!

I suspect that Trurl will heed his own advice (as articulated at the bottom of this post) and win James Randi’s million dollar prize.

Of course, as I pointed out in my response to him, this contest is now only available to those with credible academic backing,
but I’ve come across a certain doctor who is willing to vouch for those attempting to validate the concept of time travel:

https://forums.playfire.com/_proxy/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.allamericanblogger.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fdouble-facepalm1.jpg&hmac=ccdca1ff04f50adde3ac1f3909096131

:confused: No, that was me providing a comparison.

If you still claim that it does then provide an actual quote from the video showing where it happened.

It was a comparison.

Can we be crystal clear here that it was Kreeft who decided to make the video rather than use the written word, and he knows that with video he has one chance of getting his message across. Only adoring teenage fans watch videos over and over. It’s unreasonable to blame me for not swooning over Kreeft - the backers of a Hollywood flop can’t blame the public for the faults of the producers.

So you can ease up on the underlines. I already watched the video twice, twice as many times as Kreeft expected, and am not about to spend all day transcribing it. We can all watch the video again so it’s not like we can lie and cheat about it, is it?

No, that is not what he said! Seeing as you are, for some reason, refusing to provide Kreeft’s actual quotes, I will. What he really said was:

“…any supposed morality that is evolving can change. If it can change for the good or the bad, there must be a standard above these changes to judge them as good or bad. For most of human history more powerful societies enslaved weaker societies, and prospered. That’s just the way it was, and no one questioned it…”

(Here Kreeft is not making an opinion, but expressing a historical fact. For example, there were no laws against slavery in the ancient world, and it was still practiced in many areas even up to modern times.)

Yes. The morality varies by culture. For example, as we’re talking about historical fact, amongst God’s people slavery was moral and required:

When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. - Deut 20

So even while the OT portrays God as commanding slavery, Kreeft holds God up as the objective standard :rolleyes:.

(The NT is ambiguous: Jesus never teaches explicitly; perhaps Paul grudgingly accepts it.)

/continued

But at the time of the Roman Empire, the “objective assessment” would be that slavery was legal throughout the (known) world!!!

Kreeft’s argument is whoever writes history get’s to choose, it’s pure relativism. Incidentally, there’s a difference between legality and morality.

And no, we don’t need to ask anything about evolution. We’re grown ups, we thought about it and collectively concluded that slavery is immoral, wrote it into the (secular) UDHR and passed it into law. We do not need to retrospectively arm God with a big stick to help us.

“But based on a merely evolutionary model, that is, an ever changing view of morality, who is to say that it won’t be considered acceptable again one day? Slavery was once accepted, but it was not, therefore, acceptable…”

(The context of this last part is the prevalent modern day notion that slavery is considered to be an immoral practice regardless of the era where it took place. Notice in the video that this is illustrated with word phrase “Slavery was acceptable: Never” appearing on the screen. In other words, the view of most people today is that even in the past when slavery was considered permissible, those ancient people practiced slavery out of greed, ignorance, and of the view that “might makes right.” Even though many slave owners in the past were law-abiding , we don’t consider their actions righteous.
I must say I’m very uneasy at the way we’re fawning over every word in the video as if Kreeft is holy or something. :frowning:

The opinion of one group of people about another is just that, an opinion. The view of most people today does not define what is and isn’t moral, and to say that it does is, by definition, “might makes right”, pure relativism.

[quote]*“If you can’t make that distinction between accepted and acceptable, you can’t criticize slavery. And if you can*

make that distinction, you are admitting to objective morality.”

(In light of all this, this is not a philosophical explanation of why slavery is immoral regardless of when it was practiced. Kreeft presumes that the listener already believes it to be so. Rather, this is Kreeft’s explanation as to why a system of morality based on a merely evolutionary standard does not provide a foundation for making such a judgment call.)
The simplest explanations for why the morality of slavery changes over time are either (a) it simply varies by culture or (b) it evolves over time. In either case Kreeft crashes and burns. Again.

I hope I have now cleared this up. You stated that Kreeft, “…simply claims our view is objectively true for no other reason than it’s our view. It’s what might be called cultural imperialism.” I have now shown that Kreeft never said or did such a thing. If you still say otherwise then point out the exact statement

that Kreeft made where he resorted to relativism and make your case. Once again, this is not an explanation as to why slavery is immoral. Kreeft simply uses such things as slavery and the nazi attrocities of WWII as examples of things that most people today readily agree are evil.

Having seen your case, I’m now even more convinced of Keeft’s sloppy argument and cultural imperialism, for the reasons given above. I guess Kreeft must be famous and have a big fan club or something. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

As an ex-atheist myself, good and evil are not elemental forces, they’re just conveniently short words in common currency.

To ask atheists “Where do good and evil come from?” therefore misrepresents their position and tries to embroil them into having to refute all the nonsense that follows.

Kreeft does not “define his on causes”. He stated, “Where do good and evil come from? Atheists typically propose a few possibilities. Among these are evolution, reason, conscience, human nature, utilitarianism.” Going back to the concept of a straw man, Kreeft would be guilty of a straw man fallacy if atheists did not actually resort to evolution, reason, conscience, human nature, and utilitarianism as the basis for making moral judgments. And yet a few simple Google searches show that they do. Moreover, Kreeft admits that there are other professed causes out there, but seeing as this entire video is less than six minutes, he chose five of the most prominent to address.

As an ex-atheist myself, atheists don’t hold much if anything in common and as I said, don’t necessarily view good and evil as anything more than words. So the premise relies on a fabrication. Christians who believe that fabrication may nod adoringly at Kreeft, as choirs are supposed to, but the rest of us are underwhelmed.

*This is only a problem if, in the process of knocking them down, Kreeft utilized fallacious reasoning. If that is the case then name the fallacy (or fallacies) involved and provide the actual quotes from Kreeft demonstrating him doing so.
*

Sorry, I don’t have the time or inclination to deconstruct a video word by word :eek:.

Unless it was Bach or something. youtube.com/watch?v=a6MMW-NJmt8

So your hypothesis is that we can un-see the fallacies in the argument by watching the video ad infinitum?

:hmmm:

http://p.bfram.es/double-facepalm-when-the-fail-is-so-strong-one-facepalm-is-not-enough.jpg

:thumbsup:

I’ve said previously, I have no problem with so called ‘good’ and ‘evil’ or understanding it - for me, it becomes impossible to understand when one assumes there is a good God behind everything.

Trurl - if you’re reading this thread - take care my friend :hug3:

Sarah x :slight_smile:

No. My hypothesis is that you can understand the actual argument given by watching the video and paying more attention than the first run-through.

I could say exactly the same to you. Doesn’t get either of us anywhere. Anyone could say it to everyone who disagrees with them.

In other words it’s fallacious reasoning.

My hypothesis is that we have a cognitive bias towards authority figures giving conclusions which confirm our beliefs, and this can blind us to their faulty reasoning. If my hypothesis is correct, fans of Kreeft won’t tend to see the holes in his argument while others will.

To put it more simply, we’re most likely to get fooled by someone who is preaching to our choir.

Alright, since you want to play hardball, here is the transcription of his invocation of slavery.

Why not from evolution? Because from any supposed morality that is evolving can change. If it can change for the good or the bad, there must be a standard above these changes to judge them as good or bad.

For most of human history, more powerful societies enslaved weaker societies and prospered. That’s just the way it was, and no one questioned it.

Now, we condemn slavery. But based on a merely evolutionary model, that is an ever changing view of morality, who is to say it won’t be acceptable again one day?

Slavery was once accepted (insert list of societies that accepted slavery), but it was not, therefore, acceptable. If you can’t make that distinction between accepted and acceptable, you can’t criticize slavery. And if you can make that distinction, then you are admitting to objective morality.

So where does he say that, “I do not like slavery, so it must be bad” in the above?

“Slavery was once accepted but it was not, therefore, acceptable.”

Except “acceptable” and “accepted” apply to society and not just him. Thus, it is not a personal statement, it is a societal one.

Inocente, before I present my responses to your latest input, I want to take a moment to list a number of points concerning Kreeft’s presentation. The purpose for this will be to have a convenient way to make certain references at later points.

Notable Points
1) In the video, Kreeft acknowledges that there are a variety of sources that atheists propose as the basis of morality. Of them, he only addresses five due to the fact that this video is less than six minutes long. It is clear that Kreeft is not attempting to cover the full gambit of atheist beliefs. Evolution is only one topic, and Kreeft delves into it because it is often cited by others as the basis for morality.

2) This particular video is built upon an already established common ground. Namely, it presumes that the viewer already believes that certain atrocities are immoral. Slavery and the Nazi crimes of WWII are used for examples. It is possible that there are misguided people in the world who do not think that such things are evil, but they would clearly be a small percentage of the population, and this particular video would not be very effective in persuading them. To reach that smaller percentage would involve backing up a step to first demonstrate why such things as slavery and Nazi war crimes are evil, but that is not the intention of the video at hand. Rather, it builds upon some common ground which the vast majority of the current human population already embraces.

And now I will go over your recent round of material that was addressed to me. There is a lot to examine, so I’m afraid it will result in a string of posts. Nevertheless, I believe all the points I will make will be entirely relevant to the discussion at hand.

Yes, I see that now. You were quite clear about that and I have no idea how I initially misread it. You have my apologies concerning my misrepresentation and I retract my earlier criticism in this regard.

Can we be crystal clear here that it was Kreeft who decided to make the video rather than use the written word, and he knows that with video he has one chance of getting his message across. Only adoring teenage fans watch videos over and over. It’s unreasonable to blame me for not swooning over Kreeft - the backers of a Hollywood flop can’t blame the public for the faults of the producers.

I agree with all this except for the comparison to a Hollywood flop. Kreeft’s video is a philosophical presentation which we are hashing out in a philosophy forum. In order for Kreeft’s video to be a flop he has to be guilty of drawing conclusions from fallacious reasoning. So far you have repeatedly declared that he did, but have yet to make a case for it that actually does the job. So at this point I am not ready to accept any “flop” label until it can be shown that he violated one or more rules of logic.

So you can ease up on the underlines.

I am merely using them as emphasis. But if you have an aversion to underlines then I will use italics. Unlike Kreet’s video, I am using text and therefore cannot rely upon verbal cues to emphasize certain points.

I already watched the video twice, twice as many times as Kreeft expected, and am not about to spend all day transcribing it. We can all watch the video again so it’s not like we can lie and cheat about it, is it?

Oh, come on inocente! I already transcribed it for you, at least the portion of the video that you chose to examine in detail. This isn’t about potential lying and cheating, this is about us taking a look at the merits of what Kreeft actually said. So far all you’ve elected to do is provide your interpretation of what he said without providing the quotes which your interpretations are based upon. This is exactly how straw men get developed in a debate, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

(Continued in my next post)

(Continued…)

Yes. The morality varies by culture. For example, as we’re talking about historical fact, amongst God’s people slavery was moral and required:

When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. - Deut 20

So even while the OT portrays God as commanding slavery, Kreeft holds God up as the objective standard :rolleyes:.

(The NT is ambiguous: Jesus never teaches explicitly; perhaps Paul grudgingly accepts it.)

This Bible passage refers to forced labor which is not, in and of itself, immoral. For example, in my home state (Georgia) prison inmates engage in forced labor all the time. Nevertheless, I will not sugar-coat the fact that the ancient Hebrews did have people considered to be types of slaves, but it was a notably different situation from the slavery practiced by other ancient civilizations, and that practiced in the U.S.’ pre-Civil War south. For example…

  1. The ancient Israelites never had a practice of slave trading (i.e., the capture and selling of slaves). Slaves in their society either sold themselves into service (i.e., a kind of indentured servitude) or were prisoners of war. In the latter case, these were people who were given advanced warning to evacuate the land that the Israelites intended to occupy.
  2. The Law made slave owners accountable for harsh treatment of their slaves, and slaves could even be freed if they suffered physical impairments when being punished (Ex 21:20, 26-27).
  3. Slaves did not work on the Sabbath (Ex 20:9-10; 23:12; Deut 5:13-15)

As a side note, there were additional laws concerning methods for a slave to gain his freedom but the text seems to indicate that these referred to Hebrews who had entered into a system resembling indentured servitude. Therefore, I chose to only refer to the ones that addressed all slaves, regardless of race, and those subjected to involuntary service.

Having said all this, I think it is safe to say that the forced labor described in the passage you posted from Deut 20 would not be considered morally permissible by Christians today. But this does not undermine the point Kreeft was making. Because God gradually revealed his will to the Jews and Christians over time, we can see that the laws of morality developed over time as well. Certain practices which were present in human societies around the world were initially tolerated to a degree although within certain constraints (which were still progressive when compared to other societies).

Christians, however, believe that we have now received the fullness of God’s revelation. Therefore, whatever provisions Deuteronomy made for the ancient Israelites concerning slavery were made according to a limited understanding of God’s moral law. Today Christians can conclude that slavery is universally evil, it’s just that the ancient Israelites were not culpable for it at the time they practiced it (assuming that they still obeyed the aspects of the Law which addressed it).

Moreover, because Christians believe that we have the fullness of God’s revelation, neither we nor future generations can try to impose slavery simply because the Old Testament made allowances for it. Simply put, we know better and there is no ignorance to excuse us from culpability.

This is not the same thing as a system of morality which solely appeals to evolution. If evolution is the only standard, and evolution represents a constantly changing environment, then who’s to say that slavery may not be considered morally permissible again with future generations? This is the exact point that Kreeft made. People who believe that evolution is the only basis for morality cannot reasonably make emphatic statements such as “Slavery is never acceptable.”

(Continued in my next post)

(Continued…)

And Kreeft said the same thing: “For most of human history more powerful societies enslaved weaker societies, and prospered. That’s just the way it was, and no one questioned it." So you’ll need to clarify your point here and explain exactly how it has a bearing on Kreeft’s conclusions.

Kreeft’s argument is whoever writes history get’s to choose, it’s pure relativism.

You’re argument has gone off the rails here. Kreeft acknowledges two different perspectives when comparing ancient outlooks on slavery and modern day ones:

Perspective #1: Slavery was accepted in the ancient world (this is a historical fact). Slavery is not accepted in today’s world (this is a modern day fact). According to someone who embraces Perspective #1, all that we can say about the morality of slavery is that it is a strictly social phenomenon: We cannot impose our modern standard (i.e., “slavery is not accepted”) upon ancient people and make moral conclusions as a result. Therefore, we are not supposed to say that the ancient slave owners were evil. But if we can’t say that slavery was evil in the ancient world then we really aren’t in a position to criticize the institution of slavery as a whole.

All this is summed up in Kreeft’s statement: ”If you can’t make that distinction between accepted and acceptable, you can’t criticize slavery”. But, as I’ve stated before, Kreeft’s video is aimed at people who already do criticize slavery and share the common ground that slavery is never acceptable (which, incidentally, is perspective #2). Recall what I stated in Notable Point #2.

Incidentally, there’s a difference between legality and morality.

I don’t see your point here, so you’ll need to clarify it. If this stems from my comments concerning civil law then let me point out that I only brought up ancient and civil law as an objective way of demonstrating social outlooks concerning slavery.

And no, we don’t need to ask anything about evolution.

But Kreeft has to address evolution for the simple fact that many people cite evolution as the sole basis for morality. See Notable Point #1.

We’re grown ups, we thought about it and collectively concluded that slavery is immoral, wrote it into the (secular) UDHR and passed it into law. We do not need to retrospectively arm God with a big stick to help us.

Then explain why. What exactly was “thought about” that led to the conclusion that slavery is “immoral”?

I must say I’m very uneasy at the way we’re fawning over every word in the video as if Kreeft is holy or something. :frowning:

I admit that I am a big fan of Kreeft, and I admit that I am a big fan of sarcasm and hyperbole. But exactly what are you implying with this statement? Are you suggesting that my comments in this thread are emotional and irrational as opposed to objective and rationale? If so, then kindly cite the comments I made where I displayed such “fawning” behavior. Do I have to consider Kreeft’s words to be “holy” in order to believe that they should first be actually demonstrated to be fallacious before being branded as such?

The opinion of one group of people about another is just that, an opinion. The view of most people today does not define what is and isn’t moral, and to say that it does is, by definition, “might makes right”, pure relativism.

If I understand you correctly, I have now addressed this in my above commentary on Kreeft’s statement: ”If you can’t make that distinction between accepted and acceptable, you can’t criticize slavery”.

(Continued in my next post)

(Continued…)

The simplest explanations for why the morality of slavery changes over time are either (a) it simply varies by culture…

If we say that the morality of slavery “simply varies by culture” then consider the ramifications with this example:
In the U.S. prior to the Civil War, the north was a culture where slavery was considered immoral.
At the same time, the south was a culture were some people considered slavery to be moral (i.e., the white population). But also in the south there were other people who considered slavery to be immoral (i.e., the slaves themselves).
So, based on your “society decides morality” theory, answer this question: Was slavery moral or immoral in the United States prior to the Civil War?

…or (b) it evolves over time.

As Kreeft pointed out, if evolution is the sole basis for morality then we are not in a position to criticize slavery as a whole, nor are we in a position to reasonably state that it is never acceptable. All we can say is, “My particular country does not want it today, so it is not morally permissible, but if we changed our minds tomorrow and legalized it, it would be permissible”. Is the concept of morality really only a matter of current whims, like what brand of jeans are in fashion? I don’t even think atheists hold to such a notion, do they?

In either case Kreeft crashes and burns. Again.

Once again, Kreeft makes a philosophical presentation which is being examined in a philosophy forum. Therefore, in order for him to “crash and burn” it has to be demonstrated that he drew conclusions from fallacious reasoning. So far, it has not been shown that he has.

Having seen your case, I’m now even more convinced of Keeft’s sloppy argument and cultural imperialism, for the reasons given above. I guess Kreeft must be famous and have a big fan club or something. :slight_smile:

Once again, Kreeft makes a philosophical presentation which is being examined in a philosophy forum. Therefore, in order for his argument to validly be labeled as “sloppy” it has to be demonstrated that he drew conclusions from fallacious reasoning. So far, it has not been shown that he has.

But even conveniently short words have meanings. What do atheists mean by the terms “good” and “evil”.

To ask atheists “Where do good and evil come from?” therefore misrepresents their position and tries to embroil them into having to refute all the nonsense that follows.

As an ex-atheist myself, atheists don’t hold much if anything in common and as I said, don’t necessarily view good and evil as anything more than words. So the premise relies on a fabrication. Christians who believe that fabrication may nod adoringly at Kreeft, as choirs are supposed to, but the rest of us are underwhelmed.

So, to atheists, “good” and “evil” are just words, and whatever Christians claim they are (and their theorized sources) are just fabrications? That certainly raises some interesting questions. Well, based on your prior experience as an atheist, please answer me the following questions:

  1. I have encountered many atheists, in person and on the internet, who state, “I don’t have to be religious in order to be a good person.” Exactly what do they mean by “good person”, and how is it different from what Christians mean by the same term?

  2. Likewise, I have encountered many atheists who say that one of their arguments against the existence of God is the “problem of evil”. It was their term, not mine. Exactly what do they mean by “evil”, and how is it different from what Christians mean by the same term?

  3. Let us say that an atheist named Wilfred lost his wallet. A neighbor finds it and returns it, with all the money, credit cards and identification intact. Later a thief steals Wilfred’s wallet, and neither it nor any of its contents are recovered. Does Wilfred think that both actions (returning the wallet / stealing the wallet) are morally neutral, and that the neighbor’s actions are not praiseworthy (from a moral perspective), and the thief’s actions are not condemnable (from a moral perspective)? And if he does not see a moral equivalency, how would Wilfred describe these two actions in a manner different from the Christian perspective of good and evil?

(Continued in my next post)

(Continued…)

Sorry, I don’t have the time or inclination to deconstruct a video word by word :eek:.

I believe that everyone’s time is valuable, which is why I initially asked you to just give one example of a fallacy Kreeft committed. More specifically, in Post #19 I said, “Pick out a position of his from the video clip that you think is the most fallacious. Clearly state the fallacy being committed and then demonstrate where Kreeft committed this fallacy (using actual quotes of his).” So far you’ve objected to his initial premise that good and evil come from somewhere, but you have not been able to actually demonstrate why this premise is faulty. You have also claimed that Kreeft has relied upon moral relativism, but you have not been able to demonstrate that he actually did this.

My more recent challenge to you (from Post #29) came from the following statement I made: “This is only a problem if, in the process of knocking them down, Kreeft utilized fallacious reasoning. If that is the case then name the fallacy (or fallacies) involved and provide the actual quotes from Kreeft demonstrating him doing so.” But as far as I’m concerned, we can still simply examine just one example of this.

So even if you don’t have the “time or inclination to deconstruct a video word by word”, note that I am not asking you to do so. Keep in mind that you said that you have watched the video twice, and that, in your opinion, Kreeft committed “every fallacy in the book” (Post #18). If you’ve watched the video and have already identified a bunch of fallacies then it should be no trouble for you to simply demonstrate Kreeft committing one. Therefore, all I’m asking you to do is back up what you said, and all I’m looking for is one, and only one, example. Clearly demonstrate in this forum that Kreeft committed just one logical fallacy (while naming the exact fallacy involved and giving him the courtesy of illustrating this with actual quotes he made) and I will concede the point. And more than that, I will agree with you that Kreeft “crashed and burned” and that his video is a “flop.”

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