Can you spot the strawmen?


Yours truly is a bit tired. I went hiking today with friends and now am quite sleepy and tired but we wouldn’t leave you without something to keep your minds fully engaged.

You have already met Wintery Knight. He will for the time being be the site’s apologist until we can find a replacement for him, which will not take long.

I want to point out just a few issues and let you spot the rest.

He writes

The question being debated is: does a God who created and designed the universe, who has all the traditional properties of God, such as omniscience, omnipotence, omni-benevolence, etc. exist? That is the question being debated in a β€œDoes God Exist?” debate.

This question, as you might as well know, assumes too much. It’s an extravagant an question. The claimant must necessarily tell us what god is coherently. It also must be demonstrated how they come to the conclusion that the universe was designed. To say that we are not talk about the god of a particular religion makes this debate appear to me to be like punching foam. The definition of god in such a system is so nebulous you try to get a definition, your opponent can say anything and it passes.

This line of argument

  • the fine-tuning of the physical constants to support the minimum requirements for life of any kind

is descriptive of a person who fears to think. Life is fine tuned for the universe. It is not the universe that is fine tuned. I think for one to talk of a fine tuned universe, the theist has in the minimum to describe a universe he has observed that isn’t as it is. One must also remember that the physical constants are our idea of understanding the world. It is how we see the world around us and they couldn’t have been as they are or we would have a different universe.

We have had the discussion on morality and we consider that anyone who keeps on writing

  • objective, prescriptive moral rules need to be grounded by the designer of the universe

is evidently a person not worth responding to. The theist must here too show that what these objective moral values are and that we couldn’t have arrived at them over the long period of our evolution.

The argument that

  • free will, which is required for moral responsibility and moral choices, requires a non-material mind/soul

ignores the question of how are our choices free.

How good are the atheistic arguments of Christopher H.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

26 thoughts on “Can you spot the strawmen?

  1. Mordanicus says:

    “The argument that

    free will, which is required for moral responsibility and moral choices, requires a non-material mind/soul

    ignores the question of how are our choices free.”

    It also ignores the question whether there is actually such thing as a moral standard in the first place.

    Like

  2. Saila Namai says:

    Some very nice points and i agree with most.

    On this one i’m not quite so sure.
    “We have had the discussion on morality and we consider that anyone who keeps on writing objective, prescriptive moral rules need to be grounded by the designer of the universe is evidently a person not worth responding to.”
    To use a euphemism. Don’t you think the error of their ways should be shown? Even if the author is not swayed some of the readers might be saved? πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Now that you ask, elsewhere on this blog, we recently had the conversation on objective moral values and I think we are agreed that those values considered objective are so not because a god has dictated them, but are such because we as human beings share a common humanity and give these values objectivity because they can be said to apply to every culture across the board. For example; we can say it is an objective value to be nice to your host. This however is not prescriptive since each culture has its own ways of doing things.
      I don’t know if this makes some sense.
      Thanks for reading and for your comments.

      Like

      • Saila Namai says:

        I get that and agree. Maybe i shall rephrase my initial question. Morals derived from unintelligible positions (for example the divine) are ultimately worthless. Up to this point i think we are in agreement. What i don’t agree with is your conclusion, that its “not worth responding to.” Divine morals very often lead to absolute morals. They can’t change when new information arises (God trumps new knowledge). Isn’t it more prudent to address that and show how they hold no actual explanatory power instead of ignoring them? One might not change the authors point of view, but the readers have an increased chance of forming an opinion based on reason.

        Like

        • I think Mak would agree with you Saila – he’s just frustrated at some of the pointless, proofless remarks made by theists, about the source of Human morality, without a shred of evidence to support them. Once you’ve responded to the same mystical nonsense the first hundred times, one tends to get a bit jaded.

          My personal belief is that morality began when Humans first developed a sense of empathy. Among the less ego-centric of us, we tend to help others more frequently when we find them in situations in which we’ve found ourselves in the past, because we know how it feels. We tend to think sometimes that we are the only “moral” animal, hence it’s easy to think that we are “special,” but the truth is, that many other animals, often thought of as insensitive to the needs of others, have been known to help each other.

          Like

        • makagutu says:

          As archy has said in his response, I have dealt with this question countless times. I don’t see why these apologists must repeat it in every post.
          Thanks for reading and comments

          Like

  3. “…free will, which is required for moral responsibility and moral choices, requires a non-material mind/soul”

    Why? As an attorney might say, “assumes facts that are not in evidence.

    Like

  4. The mind that insists on object and prescriptive moral rules is a mind that is not willing to accept the fact that common observance of the world around us shows that such do not exist yet appear to because we try to inforce such as a group.

    Like

  5. keithnoback says:

    Ah, the cut-and-paste bullshit I’d come to expect from that guy. He’s a substance dualist who does not appear to understand substance dualism! I’d actually forgotten of his existence. I’d concluded some time ago that he had nothing new or interesting to say, and decided to disregard him entirely. This post affirms my decision.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I think you have just demoted him from site apologist. We will have to find a new one. It is sad we can’t have debilis, and Paarsurrey will not contribute anything interesting to the debate except countless verses from the Koran.

      Like

  6. aguywithoutboxers says:

    I’m glad that you enjoyed your hike. Enjoy being physically tired after a strenuous activity. Thanks, my friend, for the mental challenge. πŸ™‚

    Every argument presented presumes that all accept the veracity of the text referenced. Whereas the proponent may personally believe as much, in offering the defense, something aside from the text must be given as absolute proof that a deity does indeed exist. The lack of this is obvious and does nothing to bolster or even support the position that the deity is real.

    Have and tranquil evening/night and a peaceful rest, my Nairobi brother! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Be well my friend.
      Indeed, I don’t think if C.H were here, he would make such lameduck arguments. The way this author presents them clearly demonstrates that they have created strawmen out of his arguments and with a bias to Turek as if he said something earthshaking!

      Like

  7. Eric Alagan says:

    Have a good rest – while we grapple with the challenges πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. Ron says:

    WK claims the debate topic (“Does God exist?) is restricted to a generic god. So why then is the word “god” capitalized and singular? Shouldn’t a debate on deism be titled “Do gods or supernatural beings exist?”

    Anyways, arguments that are unsupported by evidence are merely assertions. This video provides a perfect analogy.

    Like

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