You are right, Matt, they did appear, at least a number of weeks, most likely months, after the birth of Jesus, as you explain, and what is, by most, generally known and accepted. What Dr. Craig did not point out is that these children are safe in Heaven, and went there immediately. This is clearly seen in Mark 10: 13-15, and when one reads these verses, it is vital to focus on the words, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."Some Christians want to argue that Jesus was only making the point that one must accept faith in Him "as a little child might have faith in something." In other words, not little children, but "only" as little children. This is, of course, absurd, and is a self-defeating objection. One reason is that Jesus could have used any number of examples to make his point, but he purposely selected children. None of us, except the kind of Christian that wants to split hairs, would guess Jesus to be impulsive and just grab the first thing available to make his point. I only point this out because I've heard Christians try this angle, despite how weak it is. In the end, we can have joy that these children are with the Lord in Heaven. The kind of "hide-and-seek" arguments that Mr. Spencelo tried on everyone are just the manifestations of one living without hope, embracing final defeat, despair, destruction, depression, and final death, which are the hallmarks of his kind of mind. I don't mean to sound cruel, but such a definition of him now, and not while he suffers in hell, is appropriately due, and might serve him better in the long run.
Thanks for your response. You wrote: "This is abductive reasoning." However, the claim that God necessarily grounds morality is not an abudctive claim--for it implies that any *possible* non-theistic ground for morality won't work. So we need to distinguish two claims: (1) God is probably the ground of morality, and (2) God is necessarily the ground of morality. Which do you believe? Refuting grounds (A)-(D) does not imply that, in the future, ground (E) won't work.
Moreover, I have a hard time believing that you've studied *every* non-theistic ground for morality put forth in academic philosophy. Have you studied and refuted Derek Parfit's recent book, "On What Matters?" Has Craig?
In General: I think it would behoove us as believers to remember 1 Peter 3:15. We need to not only give reasons for the hope with in BUT to do so with courteousness and respect. Too many times on blogs, posts and chat-rooms I tend to see condescending, arrogant, jokish, boorish attitudes coming not just from non-believers but believers. This is shameful. As believers we need to reflect upon what people say, believe and think; consider the questions they raise rather than merely think of pithy comebacks; and respect them when they do OR do not have solid positions for their held beliefs.
At the same time we show respect, compassion and courteousness we need to show meekness, resolve and thoughtfulness.
I would like to reaffirm again this issue as it has come to me. You state: "it doesn't *demonstrate* the claim that the shooting is objectively evil only if God exists." So I get this right, you are making a normative claim. You are saying "the shooting is objectively evil" but it is objectively evil without needing God to make it objectively evil. The whole point of reflecting upon morality and God is that WITHOUT God there are NO objective moral values or duties. So a profound claim is being made in your ball quart: that objective morality can exist without God. The question that you need to address is: how is something (like a school shooting) objectively evil if there is no God? What is your moral ontology?
Sir, I have studied the non-theistic grounds for morality and so has Dr. Craig (the most upfront popular one is one touted by Sam Harris). It is like this: the options before us are (hypothetically) A, B, C, D...ect to explain objective moral values and duties. If A, B, C, D...ect are not sufficient answers to explain all our moral understandings then we are left with the option that DOES explain them sufficiently (perhaps E). This is abductive reasoning.
Theistic and non-theistic options all considered, the non-theistic paths ARE NOT sufficient to address the evidence of objective morality. Dr. Craig himself mentions this in Question #294 when he says,
"[A]part from God to ground moral values, there just doesn’t seem to be anything else that could plausibly do the job. This is the nerve of the moral argument for God. I agree that platonism is multiply defective. The humanist might try to ground objective values in human beings, but that seems to be a premature and implausible stopping point in the search for explanations. But when we get to God, there just is nothing more to which one might appeal. So the regress of explanations stops plausibly in God."
The humanism options fail, the evolutionist options fail, the naturalist options fail...so forth and so on. The theistic option on the other hand DOES sufficiently ground morality objectively. Morality is grounded in God's very being - He is a necessary, self-existent, good entity who issues commands as a result of His very nature.
A deep question to ask that MUST be answered in all this is: DOES GOD EXIST? You must believe this is not the case. However if He does exist, then He IS the ground of all spiritual, ethical and moral reality. He would necessarily be the Greatest Conceivable Being who necessarily would be the Paradigm of Goodness (holiness, love, purity).
Now, I have said enough. The ball is in your court to make an affirmative argument for how objective morality could be grounded in anything other than a transcendent, morally perfect God.
Great to talk with you on all this by the way!
"Why is God the ground of objective morality? Answer: What other option could account for it?"
Have you looked at and refuted ALL possible non-theistic grounds for morality? Yes or no? Have Craig? Yes or no? Your "answer" isn't an argument but a mere question; it doesn't *demonstrate* the claim that the shooting is objectively evil only if God exists.
The Sandy Hook Massacre IS objectively evil. To deny this fact is to show ones own moral sickness. How, in any way, could someone deny that the genocide of 28 people (20 children) is not objectively morally wrong? Really?
That said, if you cringe inwardly at the thought of violently murdering children then the question is: What is it that makes you possess such moral revulsion? You can say "It is because it is damage against other humans!" Then the question is, "Why is killing humans different from killing a pig? Is there something 'more' to humans than animals?" You can say, "It is wrong because as a society we have made it wrong!" Then the question is, "Why would societies make it wrong to kill? Further, while it may be wrong in this society, what of societies where child murder is condoned (China)?" You can say, "It is wrong because it doesn't lead to human flourishing when the young are killed!" The question is, "Why defines human flourishing? How can you ontologically ground 'human flourishing' to be equal with 'good'? These are important questions to reflect upon.
That all said, I will try to briefly answer the question: Why is God the ground of objective morality? Answer: What other option could account for it? What belief system, what standard, what ontology could be appealed to to make sense of the reality of OBJECTIVE moral values and duties?? The other options touted in todays world [(1) conducive to human flourishing; (2) society shaped morality; (3) it just is wrong; (4) we agree upon what is right...ect] all fall short of accurately describing our ethical situations. So, since you have asked so many questions I will ask one, "What is the ontological foundation for YOUR moral viewpoint?"
The key word is "objective". Everyone calling it evil (which it is) is subjective, akin to an opinion. How would we justify our opinion? We would be standing on the same moral ground as someone with the opposite opinion. Objectively calling it evil means there is some standard of evil, not popular opinion, by which this massacre is labeled evil, which can't exist without God. So either way you look at it, subjectively by your opinion or objectively by God's moral law, the massacre was evil.
I think that Dr. Craig is making the same exegetical error that people who picture the wise men in the nativity scene do. Matthew 2:7 states, "Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared." And then Matthew writes that Herod killed those "who were *two years old* or under, *according to the time* that he had ascertained from the wise men." We all know that Herod was crazy and maybe he just thought 2 years old was a safe bet, however a better explanation is that the wise men came sometime after Jesus' birth. This explanation also is better because Matthew 2:11 states that the wise men went, "into the *house* they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him." However, Luke clearly states that on the night of Jesus' birth Mary and Joesph couldn't find room in a inn, but rather had to settle for laying Jesus in a manger. (Luke 2:7)
With that being said I totally agree with Dr. Craig's conclusion about the real meaning of Christmas and would add that as Christians do grief, but not as those without hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Quote or paraphrase a *single* valid argument from the article for the conclusion that morality is necessarily dependent upon God. Just one. Can you?
"...so that I can show that it doesn't support his claim at all..."
Ha Ha. I don't think so. Your arguments are not ever advanced enough and usually fallacious.
Wow, I actually agree with you on something Spencer. I'm pleasantly surprised.
Now you just need an argument to follow, unless you are going to follow your usual tack of throwing out statements with little thought behind them.
Still, keep it up, it gives the rest of us something to talk about.
http://www.leaderu.com/offices........the link took in my closing ")" - so it isn't clickable
Citation war? The comment was someone on Dr. Craig’s website, commenting on Dr. Craig’s video commentary, mentioning that the event in the commentary reminded him of Dr. Craig’s article on one of Dr. Craig’s most often used arguments, and the conclusion one would draw from that article on that event. You asked why. I am simply pointing out that the obviously first place to check is to find the article and read it. (BTW, copying and pasting into google gives the following as the first result: http://www.leaderu.com/offices...
Gun control, now: http://jezebel.com/5968540/fuc...
People are free to post it here, so that I can show that it doesn't support his claim at all. (Btw, I can reference numerous articles as well, but I doubt anyone wants to get into a citation war. Think for yourselves.)
Breen also referenced an article (easily found online) on which he based his claim. So that would be the support for the claim.
Breen also referenced the article (easily found online) from which the claim is based. So then, the article would be his support for the claim.
And the mere fact that you claimed that the terrible massacre is objectively evil only if God exists doesn't prove that you have any basis for your claim.
Breen made the claim--hence he has the burden of proof. Why must morality depend on God?
Well, of course the mere fact that people are calling it objectively evil would not in any prove that they have a basis for doing so. But I'd really rather not turn Sandy Hook into a debate right now--to do so would just feel to me to be inappropriate.
It is interesting that people of all stripes are calling this event evil in the objective sense. There has been no dissenting opinion.
This tragedy reminded me of Dr. Craig's article on theological foundations for metaethics--only if God exists can this terrible massacre be considered objectively evil and wicked.
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