argumentum ad hominem

In ulterior motives, SB has written a post about being accused of harbouring ulterior motives in responding to a comment on blogs.

A discussion has followed up on ad hominem type of fallacy. This discussion is between an idiot I don’t allow to comment on my blog. Being stupid is bad enough, worse is when one is stupid and not know it.

I wrote in that post

A mere verbal abuse in the absence of an argument, however, is not ad hominem nor any kind of logical fallacy

then the idiot comes and writes

Nothing you maintain is stupid can only be true because you are an atheist who hallucinates that stupid can only apply anyone but you.

which is an ad hominem, since instead of responding to my argument, he makes his argument about my atheism and argues that as an atheist, my argument isn’t valid.

If in my response to him, I told him I don’t hallucinate but he is an idiot, I have not committed a fallacy for there is no inconsistency between his stupidity and my not hallucinating.

In examining the burden of proof in arguments, it has been found, per[?] Douglas Walton that

traditional informal fallacies like the petitio principii, argumentum ad hominem, and argumentum ad ignorantiam are revealed as

(a) not fallacies in many instances, but forms of plausible reasoning that can be reasonable arguments to shift a burden of proof, and

(b) extremely important types of criticism in argumentation that can have the legitimate function of shifting a burden or weight of evidence against, or in favor of presumptions in an argument.

I thought I should clear this up.

on gods and morals

where worldview of Jesus repeats the same arguments by William Craig as if they were new or as if he was saying something really creative.

It is not the case that

Everyone seems to inherently filter their decisions through an absolute moral paradigm

and when he writes

It’s easily recognizable that raping, torturing, and murdering are morally condemnable under all circumstances

am not sure what his stand is on state sanctioned murder or war.

He posits

is torturing babies for fun a morally good thing to do?

and proceeds to ask

Would anyone of sound mind answer ‘yes’ to that question?

which is an admission on his part that those of unsound mind may disagree. In this case then his earlier arguments only apply to those of sane dispositions. The christian god then is of unsound mind.

In 2 Samuel 12,

15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

who does that to a child?

Then he quotes CS Lewis[ why is it almost all apologists quote him?]. He writes

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust.

How is this profound? Cruel, unjust, crooked, straight are human terms. Those are human ways of perceiving the world. They are not given to us by transcendence. He didn’t need to compare it with anything to arrive at that conclusion. All around him am sure he saw a homeless person, a starving person and an opulent guy. Only a theist would think you need god to see this.

The theist intends to use this argument to show there is a god but commits fallacies as he goes along.

In premise 1, the deck is already stacked in favour of a god. He writes

Premise One: If God Does Not Exist, Objective Moral Values and Duties Do Not Exist

It is one thing to make a claim and another to justify it. We ought, for this argument to have any import be told what these objective moral values and duties are. Besides, I am waiting for a coherent definition of god to use. Our morality has its source in human experience. We are the judges of what is right/ wrong. One should act in such a way that they get the greatest happiness for themselves with the least/ or no harm to others. Only a blockhead needs a god to help with understanding such a simple maxim. A man living alone has no need for morals. Men living in society have obligations to one another or the society would collapse.

I contend that he is wrong when he writes

These widely held moral philosophies of the secular humanists fails to refute premise one because it does not account for how objective moral values and duties would have an ontological basis.

and argue on the contrary that religious morality- whatever that means cannot be a basis for our morals.

When the church killed entire populations as witches, they based their arguments on religious writings. To accuse proponents of secular morals as side stepping issues is to me a definite pointer to beginnings of insanity.

Are we to assume that

If twenty million people are murdered so presumably the remaining portion of the world’s population may flourish, who is the judge of whether this example of murder is objectively morally wrong?

we can talk about acts being moral or otherwise if we can add objective? In counterpoint, would this christian tell us it was morally permissible to turn Lot’s wife to a salt pillar, drown cats and snails that didn’t make it to the ark, give the Canaanites ultimatum to vacate or die? Are these permissible objectively because they had a divine sanction?

To say

They affirm the first premise of the moral argument despite what the secular humanist might say.

assumes that the premise is valid. But this hasn’t been shown as the case.

To argue that we can’t talk about values because objective values doesn’t exist is to me infantile.

In his second premise he writes

Premise Two: Objective Moral Values and Duties Do Exist

but we are not told what these are.

If, for example, I say being stupid is evil, is there some sense we can say it isn’t evil? Or must it be qualified as objectively for it to be worthy of consideration?


Nobody could be held morally accountable for their actions because each wrongdoer has their own subjective standard of morality that is different from everyone else’s; and who is to say they are wrong!

for no atheist makes such an argument. I will add though that I have argued that to punish people for their mistakes is to punish them for being men. A man is such as he is, he is not responsible for his birth and as many things go to making a man, society should look itself in the mirror at the people it creates before it starts judging.

I think

We don’t live as though murder, rape, and torture are only wrong for those that think those actions are wrong. We live as though those actions are wrong for everyone because we acknowledge an absolute standard that identifies them as objectively wrong universally.

because they are based on human experience. It is not long ago that some slave master didn’t think of his slave as a human being and would subject them to worse treatment than they could subject their dogs, some people still do. If there is any absolute standard, it is not because of a divine law giver but because we are all men. It’s based or reciprocity.

I contend that

Premise Three: Therefore, God Exists

has not been demonstrated as valid. I will argue further that without man in society, there can be no morals. Only man in society with obligations to his fellows has use for morals and only them can define what is moral. Man has no way of knowing whether gods are or not, what gods are, and has thus no way of telling which would be a divine and non divine command. You don’t need god to know pepper is hot and ripe mangoes are sweet. We say of men who can’t tell the difference between good and bad sociopaths and some other choice words[ interesting thing here is to remember that what good is is an unanswered philosophical question][ refer to the Euthyphro dilemma].

In conclusion, this particular theist has done a poor job of repeating William Craig’s bad arguments. He/ she assumes what a god is, is common knowledge and then goes on to make wild assertions without bothering to demonstrate any.

I know am not going to look for his post where he writes about science not accounting for all truth, but my interest is in knowing what his understanding of science? Does he see science only as sitting in a lab, donning a lab coat looking through a microscope?

No, we can’t

be confident that an absolute standard of morality exists, which ultimately illustrates the existence of God

because this argument is meant to show that, but doesn’t. To ask to take it on your say so is disingenuous.

And no

This practical argument resonates with us, as fallen individuals, more than many other arguments because the rejection of it has implications that are far too extreme for any rational person to embrace

it doesn’t and we are not fallen. Only religion makes man fallen, erects a god to save him from himself and claims to be healing the world. Men are neither good nor bad, they just are but with potential for great deeds and for cruel ones too. The argument that men are fallen has made the christian an impossible citizen of the present world. He is on a journey to the other world, it matters little what happens here.

I don’t know anyone that truly and honestly embraces moral nihilism

you haven’t searched hard enough.

I find the christian apologist a predictable type. They disappoint all the time. A guy starts by making grand claims about a subject then makes deference to the bible. Because the bible says, so it is. Is it a requirement of christian apologetics to repeat the arguments of the apologist in season without adding a single thought of your own and adding a bible passage like that now gives it some authority?

I am persuaded that if we are to make any advances on morality- whatever one believes it means, we must look to man for answers, the natural man, man as he is without religion, without superstition.


i have been thinking

a lot this last few days. You see I have been between being idle and busy and several questions crossed my mind. Yes, I know atheism can’t answer them but that is the least of my worries as many of you of already know.

I would love your contributions in answering this questions and you are free to add your puzzles as well

1. who decided that a horse should be a horse and not a donkey

2. how did the first heterosexual organisms know how to have sex?

3. the first people who began to communicate, how did they develop language? do you think it is adults or infants who are responsible for the development of language

4. who decided what animals are edible and which are not

5. how tribes/ countries named


has the restoration of the arts and sciences improved our morals?

Rousseau thinks nope.

He writes,

In fact, whether we turn to the annals of the world, or eke out with philosophical investigations the uncertain chronicles of history, we shall not find for human knowledge an origin answering to the idea we are pleased to entertain of it at present. Astronomy was born of superstition, eloquence of ambition, hatred, falsehood and flattery; geometry of avarice; physics of an idle curiosity; and even moral philosophy of human pride. Thus the arts and sciences owe their birth to our vices; we should be less doubtful of their advantages, if they had sprung from our virtues.

He argues

 Their evil origin is, indeed, but too plainly reproduced in their objects. What would become of the arts, were they not cherished by luxury? If men were not unjust, of what use were jurisprudence? What would become of history, if there were no tyrants, wars, or conspiracies? In a word, who would pass his life in barren speculations, if everybody, attentive only to the obligations of humanity and the necessities of nature, spent his whole life in serving his country, obliging his friends, and relieving the unhappy? Are we then made to live and die on the brink of that well at the bottom of which Truth lies hid? This reflection alone is, in my opinion, enough to discourage at first setting out every man who seriously endeavours to instruct himself by the study of philosophy.

In what can be described as a critique of philosophy, he asks

What is philosophy? What is contained in the writings of the most celebrated philosophers? What are the lessons of these friends of wisdom. To hear them, should we not take them for so many mountebanks, exhibiting themselves in public, and crying out, Here, Here, come to me, I am the only true doctor? One of them teaches that there is no such thing as matter, but that everything exists only in representation. Another declares that there is no other substance than matter, and no other God than the world itself. A third tells you that there are no such things as virtue and vice, and that moral good and evil are chimeras; while a fourth informs you that men are only beasts of prey, and may conscientiously devour one another. Why, my great philosophers, do you not reserve these wise and profitable lessons for your friends and children? You would soon reap the benefit of them, nor should we be under any apprehension of our own becoming your disciples.

Source go read it.


on the origins of inequality among men

[..]as there is hardly any inequality in the state of nature, all the inequality which now prevails owes its strength and growth to the development of our faculties and the advance of the human mind, and becomes at last permanent and legitimate by the establishment of property and laws.

A discourse on the origins of inequality in human societies by Jean Jacques Rousseau