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Is Richard Dawkins too easy a story at this point?

So Brit journo Nick Cohen thinks:

Dawkins is the sluggish pundit’s dream. It does not matter which paper you work for. Editors of all political persuasions and none will take an attack on Darwin’s representative on earth. With the predictability of the speaking clock, Owen Jones, the Peter Hitchens of the left, thinks the same as Craig Brown, Private Eye’s high Tory satirist. Tom Chivers, the Telegraph’s science blogger, says the same as Andrew Brown, the Guardian’s religious affairs correspondent. The BBC refuses to run contrary views. It assures the nation that ‘militant’ atheism is as fanatical as militant religion — despite the fact that no admirer of The God Delusion has ever planted a bomb, or called for the murder of homosexuals, Jews and apostates.

Sharp operators could sell the same piece a dozen times without changing a word. Read the papers, and you will suspect that is exactly what sharp operators have done.

Maybe they all need each other?

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73 Responses to Is Richard Dawkins too easy a story at this point?

  1. despite the fact that no admirer of The God Delusion has ever planted a bomb, or called for the murder of homosexuals, Jews and apostates.

    Silly atheist, such things are not wrong or immoral in atheism….everything is just nature acting according to the laws of physics and without free will. Survival of the fittest, right? ;-)

    I always love it when atheists use God’s criteria for morality.

  2. Oddly enough, no admirer of Darwin’s Doubt has done any of those things either.

    Militant atheism, however – you mean like, oh, say, Communism? Has Mr. Cohen never heard of Stalin or Mao?

    Pffft, the rebuttals write themselves.

  3. Dickie D just makes too good of NEWS copy to tear down. In fact, UD should be doing their part to build up his reputation because he states the opposing view so eloquently. In fact, in spite of being named ‘world’s top thinker’,,

    Richard Dawkins named world’s top thinker in poll – April 2013
    http://www.theguardian.com/boo.....op-thinker

    ,,some atheists are becoming a bit embarrassed by Dawkins antics. In fact I read an article recently where one atheist floated the concern that Dawkins was actually a undercover plant from Theists from the 1970′s, when he wrote ‘The Selfish Gene’, since he has been embarrassing himself on a pretty regular basis lately. And he has a point. Every one of Dawkins’ foundational presuppositions in ‘The Selfish Gene’ have recently been shown to be false,,,

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    As well, Dawkins’ book ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ has been labeled as having ‘philosophically un-cogent’ arguments in it by Alvin Plantinga,,,

    Darwinism Not Proved Impossible Therefore Its True – Plantinga
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/10285716/

    In fact, Dawkins’ has admitted that he is not really an atheist but an agnostic, both here,,

    ‘Outspoken atheist’ Dawkins admits he is agnostic – February 2012
    http://www.theweek.co.uk/relig.....e-agnostic

    ,,and here, where Ben Stein challenged him to put a percentage number on his belief that God does not exist,,

    Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc

    which is just as well that Dawkins is an agnostic instead of an atheist because Dawkins’ has also honestly admitted that it is impossible for Darwinism to guarantee that our perceptions of reality will be true under Darwinism,,,

    Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True – video
    Excerpt: “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs

    ,,Throw in Dawkins’ cowardly refusal to debate William Lane Craig, and plus Dawkins support of infanticide,,

    Richard Dawkins Approves Infanticide, not William Lane Craig! – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmodkyJvhFo

    Then I guess, I can see why Dawkins’ would be such an embarrassment for many atheists and that he would even be seen as a undercover plant by some atheists. Dawkins’ simply is, many times, much too honest to be convincing that atheism is rational!

    Richard Dawkins Knows Nothing About Nothing?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v34QjYPuiEA

    But Dickie D don’t you listen to those laughs from those Christians and those whispers of doubt from those ‘true’ atheists, you earned your spot at the top of the atheists dog heap and you will always be my top heathen dog!

    Beware The Believers – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw

  4. No true Christian has ever called for the murder of Jews or gays either. However many Jews and gays have murdered many people in the european struggles.
    True Christians can not murder. Thats the point of being Born again.
    Isn’t Cohen a Jewish name? Smells like a attack from a identity eh?

    I didn’t know Dawkins is attacked by everyone. I don’t why since he fits the present establishment. Without him who would everyone talk about.!
    If he brings bigger audiences to origin subjects then creationists get the moral right for rebuttal.
    Its been the lack of a chance for rebuttal that has allowed evolution etc to survive so long in the thinking publics mind.

  5. Robert, I think it is a bit of an overstatement to say that true Christians cannot murder. I understand what you are saying, but everyone is human and given the right circumstances, who knows? For the most part I think u r right, but are you saying that God cannot forgive murder? While King David was not a “true Christian”, he was a man after God’s own heart and we know what happened.

  6. #4 and #5

    If it were true that true Christians cannot murder then a lot of Crusaders were not Christians.

  7. Speaking of the Crusades, which many non-Christians like to point to, along with the inquisition, as an example of Christian brutality, and which were definitely not shining moments in Christian history, it is, none-the-less, interesting to note the perpetual cycle of terror perpetrated on peaceful Christians (and non-Christians) for hundreds of years by the Muslims, A perpetual cycle of terror which preceded the Crusades and ehich Christians are never told about in secular universities. A perpetual terror upon peaceful people which had finally lead up to the backlash witnessed in the Crusades:

    Islamic Atrocities Provoked the Crusades – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imTY5izhTDo

    Islam – A History Of Terror, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y

    In Depth History of the Muslim Religion | William J Federer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA0Hgf1CAfs

  8. Siege of Vienna – video
    Join Gordon Robertson as he travels to Vienna, Austria, to explore the first attempt by the Islamic Ottoman Empire to invade the city of Vienna. With prayer and creativity, the city’s outnumbered Christian army defeated the vast Ottoman forces at the height of their power and singlehandedly stopped the march of Islam through Europe.
    http://www.cbn.com/700club/fea.....eofvienna/

    The Politically Incorrect Truth about Islam
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

  9. Around that time atrocities were pretty common on all sides. Of course it is hard to believe accounts of atrocities written by the other side. But when they come from your own side and they glory in it …..

    The pillage of Jerusalem
    Now that our men had possession of the walls and towers, wonderful sights were to be seen. Some of our men (and this was merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared with what happened in the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are normally chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth, you would not believe it. Suffice to say that, in the Temple and Porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgement of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies. The city was filled with corpses and blood.
    From Raymond d’Aguilers, Historia francorum qui ceprint Jerusalem

  10. So you agree that man is capable of great evil and is desperately in need of moral redemption, are do you prefer another century of atheistic utopia where objective morality is denied altogether?

  11. Speaking of denial, anyone who thinks Islam is really a religion of peace is living in a fantasy land. Islam has a long, long history of inciting violence against non-believers which, despite the virtual silence of western media on the topic, continues to this day unabated in its ‘convert or die’ mentality:

    The Politically Incorrect Truth about Islam
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    Islam’s Latest Contributions to Peace (Thousands upon thousands of attacks since 9-11)
    “Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are harsh
    to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” Quran 48:29
    http://www.thereligionofpeace......PriorYears

    Here is a post listing many verses from the Quran that incite violence and murder against non-believers in general and against Christians and Jews in particular:
    http://www.differencebetween.n.....ent-159800

    Moreover, atheists, in their brief century of Global dominance, made Muslims look like boy scouts in terms of violence. Moreover, most of the atrocities committed by atheists were and are against their own people and their own unborn children:

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, 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

    Steve Pinker’s bogus statistics (against Christianity being a force for good in the world): – August 2013
    Pinker’s Claim:: World War I, as I recall, was a war fought mostly by Christians against Christians. As for World War II and its associated horrors, see my answer to the previous question.
    True or False? Utterly irrelevant to the question of whether religion is a force for violence. Matthew White has this to say on the matter:
    Q: Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?
    A: No, of course not — unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century — Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union — no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-part-one/

    Abortion Statistics
    http://www.voiceofrevolution.c.....tatistics/

    At 1,200,000, Abortion is the leading cause of deaths each year in the USA – graph
    http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hp.....3487_n.jpg

    Perspective on Abortion compared to other causes of death in America
    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/.....2116_n.jpg

  12. BA77 – we have debated the silliness of body counts before. But if you insist on using them you might as well get them right. The list includes many states where the leaders were not atheist: Nazi Germany, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, Russia. The list also omits King Leopold of Belgium a Roman Catholic with about 8 million in the Congo to his name (thanks to VJ Torley for bringing this to my attention in his critique of Pinker)

  13. Mr Frank, that ‘silliness of body counts’ is not so silly to those who have lived through those atheistic and Darwinian horrors! But alas since you have no objective moral basis anyway, save the one you ‘borrow’ from Christianity, how would you really be compelled to be fair in all this?

    Historian Paul Johnson is Darwin’s Latest Biographer — and a Pretty Devastating One – David Klinghoffer – October 14, 2012
    Excerpt: “Both Himmler, head of the SS and Goebbels, the propaganda chief,” were students of Darwin, ,,,
    Hitler apparently carried the theory of natural selection “to its logical conclusion.” “Leading Communists,” moreover, “from Lenin to Trotsky to Stalin and Mao Tse-tung” considered evolution “essential to the self-respect of Communists. … Darwin provided stiffening to the scaffold of laws and dialectic they erected around their seizure of power.”
    Even Stalin,, “had Darwin’s ‘struggle’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ in mind” when murdering entire ethnic groups, as did Pol Pot,,,
    ,,the “emotional stew” Darwin built up in Origin played a major part in the development of the 20th century’s genocides.,,,
    No one who is remotely thoughtful blames Charles Darwin “for millions of deaths.” But to say, as Johnson does, that Darwin’s theory contributed to the growth of a view of the world that in turn had horrendously tragic consequences — well, that’s obviously true, it did. We have documented this extensively here at ENV, as have historians including our contributor Richard Weikart (Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein).
    There is, or should be, nothing controversial about this (fact of history).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65281.html

  14. Of course it is not silly to have lived through (or died in) any of those horrors whether they be communist, Nazi, Christian, Shintoism. What is silly is to use them dismiss the particular beliefs as being worse than any other. The fact is that the main difference between them was a difference in opportunity not in morality. Look at the excerpt from Raymond d’Aguilers. Do you think those crusaders would have turned down the opportunity to kill 30 million unbelievers if they had had the opportunity as an even more “just and splendid judgement of God”?

  15. Mr. Frank, but were those particular crusaders acting consistently within the objective moral code of Christianity or not? Whereas the NAZI’s Muslims and Atheists are acting completely consistently within their worldview when they murder.

  16. Those crusaders thought they were acting consistently with their moral code. The great thing about objective moral codes is there are so many to choose from.

  17. Mr. Frank, another reason that I know that your atheistic/materialistic view of reality is false, besides the fact that advances in quantum mechanics have falsified an atheistic/materialistic view of reality,,,

    Divinely Planted Quantum States
    https://vimeo.com/72625073

    ,,,Is that it is impossible for atheists to live out their stated worldview consistently:

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Mr. Frank, you seem to desperately want to condemn Christianity as evil, or at least knock it down to the level of atheism, and want to uphold your atheistic worldview as good, or at least better than what history tells us of it, but you simply lack the resources to accomplish the task. For instance, for you to be able condemn the murder of human life as evil you must first be able to assign value to human life in the first place. But just how does one derive the moral value and worth for a person from a philosophy that maintains values are illusory?:

    How much is my body worth?
    Excerpt: The U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils invested many a hard-earned tax dollar in calculating the chemical and mineral composition of the human body,,,,Together, all of the above (chemicals and minerals) amounts to less than one dollar!
    http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia...../worth.asp

    Whereas Theism, particularly Christianity, has no trouble whatsoever figuring out how much humans are worth, since infinite Almighty God has shown us how much we mean to him in that, while were yet sinners, he willingly died for us so that we could be with him:

    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    MercyMe – Beautiful – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vh7-RSPuAA

    Honestly Mr. Frank, atheism, if lived out consistently, i.e. a person holding that true value, meaning, and purpose, for life are non-existent and illusory, is a very depressing worldview to hold as Dr. Craig points out in the following video:

    The absurdity of life without God (1 of 3) by William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJqkpI1W75c

    And indeed, to the extent that atheists are able to live out their worldview consistently, this depression in their worldview play itself out in their lives:

    Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists? – 2000
    Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly.
    http://generallythinking.com/a.....-atheists/

    Thus, without even getting into the physical evidence supporting Christianity as true and materialism as false, there is a very practical reason for atheists to forsake their worldview in that forsaking it would make their lives better on a day by day basis.

    Verse and Music:

    John 10:10
    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

    Shawn McDonald – “What Are You Waiting For”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0KAHCZCi2M

  18. Well the crusaders believed that they could gain salvation by their works as taught by the church of the time (an unbiblical belief) and acted consistently with that. If they were biblically literate maybe they would have followed the objective morals derived from Christianity.

  19. #18 sixthbook

    As I said – the great thing about objective moral codes is there are so many to choose from.

  20. Actually Mr. Frank, there are really only two moral codes to choose from:

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

  21. As I said – the great thing about objective moral codes is there are so many to choose from.

    Really? Can you let me know which culture’s moral codes extol murder?

  22. Why believe in Christianity (and not Islam) – Prof.David Wood – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ajppRmF8P4

  23. Umm objective moral codes would only have one to choose from. That’s kinda why it’s objective.
    Anyways I’m not sure what your response had to do with my comment.

  24. #21 TSErik

    Really? Can you let me know which culture’s moral codes extol murder?

    The Crusaders of the first crusade as described above

    Extremist Islam

    Aztecs who practicised child sacrifice

    And many, many more

  25. #23 sixthbook

    It was my way of pointing out that as far as the crusaders were concerned they were following what they believed to be an objective moral code. Actually objective morality is an illusion because whatever foundation is offered you still have to choose it (which does not entail that you cannot argue for one code versus another)

  26. The Crusaders of the first crusade as described above

    Extremist Islam

    Aztecs who practicised child sacrifice

    And many, many more

    No. Your analogy doesn’t work, and I knew this would be your response. It’s a common, and somewhat ignorant response. All killing does not equal murder.

    If a society must make a justification for an act, said act must be immoral otherwise.

    Aztecs indeed practiced ritual sacrifice, but that was not murder. Murder, the unjustified killing of any other, was harshly punished.

    Islam attacks non-believers, but the unjustified killing of any fellow Muslim is a grave sin. Therefor, murder isn’t celebrated.

    The Crusaders could not simply turn and kill a brother-in-arms and be cheered on. That was a grievous sin. They claimed justification in fighting their enemies.

    See, in ALL humanity it is understood that murder is wrong, hence why humanity must make JUSTIFICATIONS. They find ways to bypass what they know to be wrong.

    You give poor examples where killing had to be justified for a number of reasons.

    An actual example would be some society that would not only remain indifferent to a murder, but even see the practice as a virtue, free of justification. Indeed, murder would cease to exist, and it is all just ‘killing’ as murder implies injustice.

    Your problem is you say, “But these societies have their own definition of what IS murder.” Exactly right. This means they all know killing/murder to be wrong, so laws are set about apply human reasoning to this objective value. What is subjective is how societies heed this inborn sense of morality.

    This can be said for theft, rape, deception, cowardice, as well.

    There is NO society on Earth that extols murder, and therefore, objective morality DOES exist. That is the end of the story.

  27. #26 TSErik

    If you are saying that no society condones killing that it believes to be wrong then you are right – it is true by definition – but it doesn’t tell us much about objective or even universal moral codes. The fact is that in most societies what Islamic extremists did would be called murder.

  28. I think TSErik is using “murder” in the following sense:

    When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

  29. If you are saying that no society condones killing that it believes to be wrong then you are right – it is true by definition

    This a clever dodge. The fact that all society has ‘wrong’ killing and understands the concept of murder, and none hold it as a virtue is the point.

    but it doesn’t tell us much about objective or even universal moral codes.

    It certainly does. It says that nowhere in the human experience is murder held as a virtue. This isn’t a point of semantics. And if morality is simply subjective, why, with all the disparate societies through history, is there no society that has held murder as a virtue where, “I killed my neighbor because I wanted to” is a praise-worthy sentence?

    The fact is that in most societies what Islamic extremists did would be called murder.

    I agree. But this misses the point entirely. The Islamic societies still have a concept of murder, and must make justifications for their violence, and so my point stands.

  30. I think TSErik is using “murder” in the following sense:

    Then you are more ignorant than I had originally thought.

  31. TSErik

    I am sorry but this is not a clever dodge but rather obvious. You define murder as unjustified killing. Well “justified” means “morally permissible” so all you are saying is

    “no society finds it morally permissible to kill in a way that is morally not permissible”

    The point is that societies differ in what kind of killing is wrong.

    As an aside – even if there are acts that all societies believe to be wrong that does not mean there is some objective fact underlying that belief all it means is that everyone has the same opinion. There are subjective issues upon which all societies have agreed (music is a good thing) and plenty of objective issues on which societies have disagreed (the shape of the earth).

  32. Tell me, Erik, when is taking a human life justified in your particular view?

  33. I am sorry but this is not a clever dodge

    You’re right, I was being kind. It’s far from clever.

    “no society finds it morally permissible to kill in a way that is morally not permissible”

    No, I am not. You are arguing, poorly, on semantics because you cannot dispute the point.

    Perhaps I will put it another way. The fact that all humanity has a concept of murder, speaks to a universal morality. Why has no society approached the idea that killing of any kind, is virtuous? Your neighbor, your son, or daughter, the act of killing them is of no consequence, or is even virtuous, where no justification need be brought.

    even if there are acts that all societies believe to be wrong that does not mean there is some objective fact underlying that belief all it means is that everyone has the same opinion.

    So in a world where you champion subjectivity, the fact that humanity (many participants without interaction with one another) has coalesced on the same idea that many could argue at times is contrary to personal gain is just remarkable coincidence? That it doesn’t speak to a kind of objective morality?

  34. Tell me, Erik, when is taking a human life justified in your particular view?

    Red herring.

  35. The fact that all humanity has a concept of murder, speaks to a universal morality. Why has no society approached the idea that killing of any kind, is virtuous?

    Not sure your assertion is correct. Killing one’s enemies has been a celebratory feature of many societies not least exemplified in the Old Testament.

  36. I can’t morally justify taking the life of another human being, even that of a mass murderer. I am against capital punishment. I can imagine some hypothetical situation where killing a person would save more lives but we can always find arcane exceptions. Why so coy about your view on killing, Erik?

  37. Not sure your assertion is correct. Killing one’s enemies has been a celebratory feature of many societies not least exemplified in the Old Testament.

    Killing one’s enemies, eh? You still are missing it. So, they require a justification for killing then. They couldn’t just turn and kill their prophet. They couldn’t kill their neighbor. They have an understanding that killing, in itself, is wrong, and so they must have a justification for doing so.

    Remember, you are looking for a society that needs NO justification for ANY kind of killing.

  38. They have an understanding that killing, in itself, is wrong, and so they must have a justification for doing so.

    So, killing “enemies” is justified? Seems a bit subjective to me. Who decides who is an enemy and ok to kill?

  39. Why so coy about your view on killing, Erik?

    Because you are trying to shift the point. Chances are you are trying to find a way to make me a “hypocrite” which will, in your mind, invalidate my argument that you cannot address. Common tactic. But whether I’m a warhawk or a pacifist, champion the death penalty, or detest it, it is negligible to the point being made.

  40. So, killing “enemies” is justified? Seems a bit subjective to me. Who decides who is an enemy and ok to kill?

    Are you kidding me? Are you really so dense that you just cannot grasp the point, or are you being willfully ignorant?

    The point isn’t what the justification IS, or even if the justification is wrong or right, but the fact that a justification is NEEDED to resolve the issue of morality.

  41. And you introduced the word, “enemies” so why are you scare-quoting it in your response toward me?

  42. Because you are trying to shift the point. Chances are you are trying to find a way to make me a “hypocrite” which will, in your mind, invalidate my argument that you cannot address. Common tactic.

    Well, certainly I’d be more interested in seeing an expostion of a theory of Intelligent Design but, as that seems unlikely, I was just curious about whether you, I assume you are a Christian, thought that taking the life of another human being was ever justified. Of course you are under no obligation at all to respond. I understand if you find the question uncomfortable.

  43. TSErik

    You’re right, I was being kind. It’s far from clever.

    No, I am not. You are arguing, poorly, on semantics because you cannot dispute the point.

    Neither of these sentences explain why I am wrong. They just seem like generalised insults. Does “justified” not entail “morally permissible”? If it does then what I say follows. However, the key point is this one:

    So in a world where you champion subjectivity, the fact that humanity (many participants without interaction with one another) has coalesced on the same idea that many could argue at times is contrary to personal gain is just remarkable coincidence? That it doesn’t speak to a kind of objective morality?

      Not a remarkable coincidence. There are plenty of reasons why people should agree on something other than there being an objective fact underlying it. Most people agree that music is a pleasant thing but it is still a subjective issue. Most people agree that honey tastes nice but it is a matter of opinion.

  44. I understand if you find the question uncomfortable.

    It has nothing to do with comfort. It has to do with relevance.

  45. I said “one’s enemies”. In the preceding phrase I am quoting myself using the word, hence the quotation marks.

  46. The OP was about Richard Dawkins. I think we are beyond relevance.

  47. Neither of these sentences explain why I am wrong. They just seem like generalised insults. Does “justified” not entail “morally permissible”? If it does then what I say follows.

    The next paragraph explains why you are wrong with your assumption. But you left it out of your quotes, because you cannot answer it.

    There are plenty of reasons why people should agree on something other than there being an objective fact underlying it.

    Basically here, you relegate my point, then move the goalposts.

    My claim is objective morality exists. I state evidence with regard to humanity and human societies.

    You cannot provide a society that goes against what I am saying. You ignore my evidence and begin the justification for your failure to contradict my argument, saying, “even if humans agree it’s not special.”

  48. The OP was about Richard Dawkins. I think we are beyond relevance.

    But this line of dialogue has evolved (like that?) to a certain topic, and your defense for your red herring’s irrelevance is that the entire topic is irrelevant? To quoque Alan Fox? Tu quoque does not a defense make.

  49. My claim is objective morality exists.

    And many people disagree with that assertion.

    I state evidence with regard to humanity and human societies.

    The evidence is that moral codes are as diverse as the socities that invent them.

  50. Oops societies

  51. And many people disagree with that assertion.

    And many people are morons, what’s your point? Trying some lame, ham-fisted argument from authority?

    The evidence is that moral codes are as diverse as the socities that invent them.

    Then all you need to do is provide me with a society described above. Since they are all so diverse, that shouldn’t be a problem.

  52. …the entire topic is irrelevant…

    Well, yes if you consider Uncommon Descent is supposed to champion “Intelligent Design” I’d agree. But if you restricted topics to ID, there wouldn’t be a lot to talk about, would there?

  53. Then all you need to do is provide me with a society described above. Since they are all so diverse, that shouldn’t be a problem.

    The Vikings, Ancient Sparta, The Picts, New Guinea head-hunters, Japanese warrior class (Samurai)

  54. Well, yes if you consider Uncommon Descent is supposed to champion “Intelligent Design” I’d agree. But if you restricted topics to ID, there wouldn’t be a lot to talk about, would there?

    OH, this is priceless. Keep playing that same old tune. Trying to bait another topic.

  55. And many people are morons…

    Do you ever get dinner party invitations? Does anyone ever ask you back twice?

  56. The next paragraph explains why you are wrong with your assumption. But you left it out of your quotes, because you cannot answer it.

    I left it out because it gets very time consuming answering every point and the major point is this one:

    There are plenty of reasons why people should agree on something other than there being an objective fact underlying it.

    You write:

    My claim is objective morality exists. I state evidence with regard to humanity and human societies.

    You cannot provide a society that goes against what I am saying. You ignore my evidence and begin the justification for your failure to contradict my argument, saying, “even if humans agree it’s not special.”

    My point is “even if humans agree, then it is not necessarily objective”. i.e. I am saying what you offer as evidence is not evidence. I then offer examples to prove my point. You offer no response.

  57. The Vikings, Ancient Sparta, The Picts, New Guinea head-hunters, Japanese warrior class (Samurai)

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. The punishment for slaying a fellow tribesman was death by exile. Ancient Spartans had strict laws regarding killing and murder. The Picts had laws against violence as well, especially among their women.

    The headhunters in New Guinnea were violent against their perceived enemies. Not the guy in the hut a few doors down just because one wanted to.

    And the samurai? Are you kidding? Seriously? The samurai had to abide by a strict moral, and legal, code.

    You gave examples of violent societies. Not the society I described above.

  58. I am saying what you offer as evidence is not evidence. I then offer examples to prove my point. You offer no response.

    Then what would be appropriate evidence, if not a universal agreement?

    I didn’t address your point because the analogy is not apt. You state humans all have music, yet not all societies share the concept what music is.

    Where as all societies have killing, all societies share a concept of murder. You prove nothing.

  59. The question was about diversity, Eric. BTW Spartans left weak babies outside to die. Their whole economy ran on booty and slavery. Vikings approach to foreign holidays was a bit extreme. The samurai held human life, including their own, rather cheap.

  60. BTW Spartans left weak babies outside to die. Their whole economy ran on booty and slavery. Vikings approach to foreign holidays was a bit extreme. The samurai held human life, including their own, rather cheap.

    What’s your point? They still had a concept of murder.

  61. Do you ever get dinner party invitations? Does anyone ever ask you back twice?

    Do you ever impress anyone with your pseudointellectual BS?

  62. Then what would be appropriate evidence, if not a universal agreement?

    A good question. Whether something is objective or not is a philosophical not an empirical question. You cannot tell simply by the amount of agreement. It is a question of what we mean when we use moral language.

  63. A good question. Whether something is objective or not is a philosophical not an empirical question. You cannot tell simply by the amount of agreement. It is a question of what we mean when we use moral language.

    Haha. OK, Mark Frank. If you say so buddy.

  64. TSErik

    Whether something is objective or not is a philosophical not an empirical question. You cannot tell simply by the amount of agreement. It is a question of what we mean when we use moral language.

    Haha. OK, Mark Frank. If you say so buddy.

    If you disagree then you might want to check with some of your more intelligent ID colleagues – Vincent Torley for example.

  65. BTW what’s “death by exile”?

  66. BTW what’s “death by exile”?

    The concept (skóggangur) was present with northern Germanic peoples. If a member of the society was found guilty they were either fined, or declared an outlaw. They were exiled and forced to live in the wilderness, and it was forbidden to help them in any way.

    Outlaws also became fair game, and it was considered a duty to engage the outlaw in combat if spotted near the territory. This was essentially a death sentence.

    MF: It was philosophical to begin with. . .

  67. If you disagree then you might want to check with some of your more intelligent ID colleagues – Vincent Torley for example.

    Don’t mistake my expression of exhaustion for one of ignorance. :)

  68. Mr. Fox and Mr. Frank,

    A personal question. Have either of you guys ever transgressed your own subjective moral standards or do either of you guys consider yourselves to be morally perfect? (by the way, at first guess, I’d be pretty sure that some atheist do consider themselves morally perfect)

    Benjamin Franklin’s Pursuit of the Virtuous Life – 2008
    Excerpt: ,,at the age of 20, Ben Franklin set his loftiest goal: the attainment of moral perfection.
    “I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.”
    In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin developed and committed himself to a personal improvement program that consisted of living 13 virtues. The 13 virtues were:
    “TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
    “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
    “ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
    “RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
    “FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
    “INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
    “SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
    “JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
    “MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
    “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
    “TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
    “CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
    “HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”
    In order to keep track of his adherence to these virtues, Franklin carried around a small book of 13 charts. The charts consisted of a column for each day of the week and 13 rows marked with the first letter of his 13 virtues. Franklin evaluated himself at the end of each day. He placed a dot next to each virtue each had violated. The goal was to minimize the number of marks, thus indicating a “clean” life free of vice.
    Franklin would especially focus on one virtue each week by placing that virtue at the top that week’s chart and including a “short precept” to explain its meaning. Thus, after 13 weeks he had moved through all 13 virtues and would then start the process over again.
    When Franklin first started out on his program he found himself putting marks in the book more than he wanted to. But as time went by, he saw the marks diminish.
    While Franklin never accomplished his goal of moral perfection, and had some notable flaws (womanizing and his love of beer probably gave him problems with chastity and temperance), he felt he benefited from the attempt at it.
    “Tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”
    http://www.artofmanliness.com/.....uous-life/

    Myself, my ‘moral imperfection’, i.e. my sin, destroyed my life. But when I was at the end of my rope because of my sins and finally cried out to God for help, He was there for me. And although I may have personally chosen another route to God, I am none-the-less very grateful for what he has done for me to save me from my moral imperfection.

    “Bless The Broken Road” – Rascal Flatts – Music Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkWGwY5nq7A

    The Contradiction of the Cross
    “On the cross, our false dependencies are revealed. On the cross, our illusions are killed off. On the cross, our small self dies so that the true self, the God-given self, can emerge. On the cross, we give up the fantasy that we are in control, and the death of this fantasy is central to acceptance. The cross is, above all, a place of powerlessness. Here is the final proof that our own feeble powers can no more alter life’s trajectory than a magnet can pull down the moon. Here is the death of the ego, of the self that insists on being in charge, the self that continually tries to impose its own idea of order and righteousness on the world.
    The cross is a place of contradiction. For the powerlessness of the cross, if fully embraced, takes us to a place of power. This is the great mystery at the heart of the Christian faith, from Jesus to Martin Luther King Jr., the mystery of the power of powerlessness. As long as I am preoccupied with the marshaling of my own feeble powers, there will be no way for God’s power to flow through me. As long as I am getting in my own way, I cannot live in the power of God’s way.”
    – Parker Palmer, The Promise of Paradox, Pg 46-47
    http://www.findingrhythm.com/blog/?p=2183

    Heather Williams – Hallelujah – Lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX2uM0L3Y1A

    Falling Plates (the grace of propitiation) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGlx11BxF24

    “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”
    - Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Verses:

    Romans 3:23
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    John 10:18
    No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

  69. corrected link:

    “Bless The Broken Road” – Rascal Flatts – Music Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-vZlrBYLSU

  70. #68 BA77

    Have either of you guys ever transgressed your own subjective moral standards

    Of course – hasn’t everyone?

  71. as to: “Of course – hasn’t everyone?”

    Christ did not trespass objective morality, but was found to be morally perfect:

    1 Peter 2:23
    “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

  72. Alan Fox:

    But if you restricted topics to ID, there wouldn’t be a lot to talk about, would there?

    It has all already been discussed. You choked on it the first time around. You choked again the second time around and apparently you think your choking refutes ID.

    So now we bide our time discussing other things of interest.

  73. Re: #71:

    Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob fulfilled all the Torah commandments, even before Torah was given.

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