Reasons for Joy; In Gentleness, and Respect.

Profile of Stephen Federowicz

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Messages - Stephen Federowicz

Christian Particularism / Philip Kitcher on the diversity of religions.
« on: August 01, 2008, 09:55:36 am »

Actually Kitcher is arguing against supernaturalism by the fact that there are many different conceptions or traditions concerning the nature of the supernatural.  Well, it seems to me that the supernaturalist does not have to be necessarily committed to a specific tradition or conception of the supernatural.  Rather, he can hold to the modest claim that there is good evidence that something else, besides the physical universe that is quantifiable by physics, exists.  Something rational, and not mindless.  This makes Kitcher's argument against supernaturalism here irrelevant to the truth of supernaturalism, since the supernaturalist is not committed, a priori, to a specific deity.  I think this is precisely the point argued by the proponents of Intelligent Design.  

Christian Particularism / Philip Kitcher on the diversity of religions.
« on: August 01, 2008, 09:22:39 am »

Yea,  Kitcher seems to be assuming that all religions and conceptions of God or gods are on equal epistemic grounds.  "There is just as much evidence for the Christian God, as Zeus."  I would be curious to see if he actually provides any argument in the book to back up this assertion.  Obviously, the sophisticated, thinking Christian is going to hold that there is good evidence that makes it more probable that Christian monotheism is true over say, Buddhism or Islam.  The empty tomb would be one such strand of evidence, along with Jesus's resurrection, Biblical prophecy, etc.

Craig vs Antony / Dr. Craig / Louise Antony debate forum
« on: May 16, 2008, 09:52:26 am »
You need to explain why God's commanding us to do or not to do something makes actions right or wrong.

Once again, as I stated in my previous post, it is NOT the commands themselves that determine certain actions to be right or wrong.  It is whether the actions are in accordance with God's nature, which is an objective fact.

While I grant that God is good, this fact simply explains why God would command us not to rape or murder. While rape is inconsistent with what a loving, good God would want, this has nothing to do with why rape and murder are wrong. A loving parent who tells her child not to just a hot stove does not ground the command "do not touch the stove."

I think you are conflating God's Nature with His wants and desires.  It seems to me that they would not be identical.  Rather, His wants and desires would be a necessary by-product of His nature.  Thus, His wants and desires for human beings would take the form of divine commands which flow necessarily from His nature.

As I indicated, what do you mean by image of God other than rationality and autonomy of will? The difference is merely language.

Well, I guess the real question is whether rational, autonomous beings have intrinsic value.  If so, why?  

Craig vs Antony / Dr. Craig / Louise Antony debate forum
« on: May 16, 2008, 09:02:27 am »

  I don't think you really understand Dr. Craig's brand of Divine Command metaethics.  It is not simply the divine command, "Do not rape" that makes rape objectively wrong.  That would indeed, as you say, make the rightness or wrongness of rape contingent upon God.  

Rather, what makes rape objectively wrong is that it is contrary to God's own holy, just, loving, unchanging Nature.  You are confusing moral values and moral duties.  The divine commands constitute our moral duties.  We have the duty not to rape because it is commanded by a just, holy, loving, etc. God.

What makes murder and rape wrong is the impact these acts have on self-determining rational beings.

Is that really the ultimate reason?  It seems I could still ask, "Well why is it really wrong to inflict harm on self-determining rational beings?"  It doesn't help just to say, "I bet you don't have any friends!"

I think eventually you would have to say, "Well its because they are made in God's image and are valuable to God, and it is God's nature that is the pardigm of goodness and determines what really has value."

Since no argument can rule out Darwinism as logically impossible, talk of God's image (which is essentially being rational and autonomous) could emerge in a universe without God.

I don't grant that there could be self-determining rational creatures if naturalism is true.  Nevermind about logical possibly.  That is metaphysically impossible.

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