NOrmond

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What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« on: July 18, 2019, 09:54:34 am »
YouTuber Rationality Rules created a video called "WLCs Moral Argument Debunked" (https://youtu.be/FQfujdlO4oY)

P1 : If God does not exist there are no Objective moral values or duties.
P2 : Objective moral values exist.
C1 : Therefore God exists.

He raises the following objections :


2:00 Because God does not exist P1 is false and the argument is a non sequitor.

2:33 If you replace the word God with Cthulu you will realise how ridiculous this argument is.

2:49 I can interpret "Objective" to have different meanings therefore the use of the reference marker "Objective" in the syllogism commits the false equivocation fallacy.

3:40 If Craig is using the definition that Objective moral values are universal then it needn't refer to God there are other theories like Kants deontological ethics, the golden rule etc. (note these are normative!)

4:35 If Craig means a reference point that exists independently of human experience by "Objective" then he is wrong because in Utilitarianism (Harris) pleasure/pain is an objective reference point or consequence is.

6:00 - 6:55 ish - In these two quotes taken out of context Craig appears to contradict himself so he is wrong.

7:33 Equivocation Fallacy.

7:57 Argument from ignorance fallacy

8:22 Craig commits the God of the gaps fallacy.

8:31 Burden of proof fallacy. Craig shifts the burden of proof so he is wrong.

9:04 Craigs argument doesnt support monotheism.

------

What do you think of the video?

I think this was an incredibly dishonest and I don't even think the smarmy way he puts across these "logical fallacies" when it's not even an appropriate use most of the time - it's a completely dishonest engagement of Craigs argument. However I would like to know what other people think and whether it is even worth debunking terrible (yet worryingly popular) videos like these?


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Tom Paine

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Re: What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2019, 09:56:31 pm »
I'm not sure about the whole video. I haven't watched it. From presentation it looks pretty scatter shot, so I would not be surprised if some of the arguments are misses. However, the point on equivocation does at least do the service pointing out that the term "objective" has both ontological and epistemic meanings.

In ontological terms there is no debating whether values are objective or subjective. They are obviously subjective. Values require evaluation and an evaluator (a mind) and are therefore ontologically subjective, i.e.. mind-dependent. This goes whether God exists and dictates the meaning of morality or not.

In epistemic terms, on naturalism, moral values are determined by social evolutionary imperative and not by individual opinion or even social fashion/convention.  That means that they are by definition epistemically objective, i.e., not a matter of personal opinion or social fashion.

It is a social evolutionary imperative that if a society of sentient social beings is to flourish and survive to pass on its values it must inculcate the value of reciprocity in its members. This is the value that societies label "morality" and so by epistemically objective definition it is morally right to abide by the principle of reciprocity (something like the golden rule) and morally wrong to violate it.

As such if the term "Objective" in P1 means epistemically, then it is false because there is a good naturalistic explanation for the existence of and epistemically objective core moral value.  If in P1 "objective" means, ontologically, it's nonsense because "ontologically objective values" is an incoherent concept. Either way the argument is doomed.

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jayceeii

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Re: What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 11:02:11 am »
YouTuber Rationality Rules created a video called "WLCs Moral Argument Debunked" (https://youtu.be/FQfujdlO4oY)

P1 : If God does not exist there are no Objective moral values or duties.
P2 : Objective moral values exist.
C1 : Therefore God exists.

He raises the following objections :


2:00 Because God does not exist P1 is false and the argument is a non sequitor.

2:33 If you replace the word God with Cthulu you will realise how ridiculous this argument is.

2:49 I can interpret "Objective" to have different meanings therefore the use of the reference marker "Objective" in the syllogism commits the false equivocation fallacy.

3:40 If Craig is using the definition that Objective moral values are universal then it needn't refer to God there are other theories like Kants deontological ethics, the golden rule etc. (note these are normative!)

4:35 If Craig means a reference point that exists independently of human experience by "Objective" then he is wrong because in Utilitarianism (Harris) pleasure/pain is an objective reference point or consequence is.

6:00 - 6:55 ish - In these two quotes taken out of context Craig appears to contradict himself so he is wrong.

7:33 Equivocation Fallacy.

7:57 Argument from ignorance fallacy

8:22 Craig commits the God of the gaps fallacy.

8:31 Burden of proof fallacy. Craig shifts the burden of proof so he is wrong.

9:04 Craigs argument doesnt support monotheism.

------

What do you think of the video?

I think this was an incredibly dishonest and I don't even think the smarmy way he puts across these "logical fallacies" when it's not even an appropriate use most of the time - it's a completely dishonest engagement of Craigs argument. However I would like to know what other people think and whether it is even worth debunking terrible (yet worryingly popular) videos like these?
The video is basically sound, and unfortunately Craig is rather easily debunked here. From my perspective humanity has not reached ANY objective moral values, with or without religion. Yet in theory, if all are created souls, an objective morality without God’s advice could arise from self-awareness and existential awareness, i.e. if oneself and one’s situation is known in depths. Such knowledge would allow the person to examine the positive or negative effects on pure spirit as it attempts to optimize its condition in the midst of many other created souls. This would have to involve knowledge beyond this lifetime, that has not been demonstrated before on Earth. This is what makes it objective, deep effects in the long-term are seen. God could add to it if He sees effects the souls do not see, as for instance when Jesus walked among the disciples.

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Imperator

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Re: What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2019, 04:50:53 pm »
Let me start by restating the argument below, for reference.

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
(2) Objective moral values do exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

Now let's address the objections which Rationality Rules (RR) presents and which you have cited.

"The entire argument [is] a non sequitur", (2:00)
RR does not say that (1) is false because God does not exist (this would beg the question). Rather, he claims that (1) is unsubstantiated, and that therefore the entire argument is a non sequitur. Unfortunately, he has misunderstood what it is for an argument to be a "non sequitur", namely, that the argument must be invalid. But the argument (as presented above) is quite clearly deductively valid, and so RR is wrong on this score. I think what RR really means is that he rejects (1). However, he fails to engage with any of the justification Craig provides for the premise. In any case, claiming that (1) is unsubstantiated should merely leave him an agnostic with regards to the truth of the argument.

"Replace the word God with Cthulhu, and you'll quickly appreciate how absurd this argument is." (2:33)
If you replaced "God" with "Cthulhu", Craig would deny (1). RR develops his view somewhat by saying that if the argument is not a non sequitur, any justification for (1) must be question begging. This is simply an empty assertion, and RR does not grapple with any of the justification for (1) that apologists present.

An equivocation fallacy? (2:49, 3:40, 4:35)
Craig is not committing the equivocation fallacy. The definition of "objective" that he uses is something akin to the first example RR presents. On this assumption, RR rejects (1) by appealing to the existence of other meta-ethical theories . However, RR fails to provide a defence of any of the theories he names, and so his objection fails. (Craig's endorsement of (1) implies that he rejects all meta-ethical theories that are not equivalent to his own.)

A contradiction? (6:00)
RR accuses Craig of contradicting himself on the existence of moral "absolutes". But RR simply misunderstands Craig. Craig is distinguishing between specific action categories (e.g. killing someone) which may be right in some circumstances and wrong in others, and more general action categories (e.g. disobeying God) which are always wrong.

Fallacies? (7:57, 8:22, 8:31, 9:04)
These points all suffer from RR's failure to formulate them as objections to one of the argument's premises, and so his line of thought is sometimes unclear. The disconnection of the alleged fallacies from the formulation provided makes a response to them not only difficult but also completely unnecessary. Finally, Craig does not claim the argument proves monotheism.

To conclude, I would not accuse RR of being intentionally dishonest. I think he just makes plenty of mistakes and is unable to clearly and correctly formulate his objections.

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jayceeii

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Re: What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2019, 02:03:13 pm »
Let me start by restating the argument below, for reference.

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
(2) Objective moral values do exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

Now let's address the objections which Rationality Rules (RR) presents and which you have cited.

"The entire argument [is] a non sequitur", (2:00)
RR does not say that (1) is false because God does not exist (this would beg the question). Rather, he claims that (1) is unsubstantiated, and that therefore the entire argument is a non sequitur. Unfortunately, he has misunderstood what it is for an argument to be a "non sequitur", namely, that the argument must be invalid. But the argument (as presented above) is quite clearly deductively valid, and so RR is wrong on this score. I think what RR really means is that he rejects (1). However, he fails to engage with any of the justification Craig provides for the premise. In any case, claiming that (1) is unsubstantiated should merely leave him an agnostic with regards to the truth of the argument.

"Replace the word God with Cthulhu, and you'll quickly appreciate how absurd this argument is." (2:33)
If you replaced "God" with "Cthulhu", Craig would deny (1). RR develops his view somewhat by saying that if the argument is not a non sequitur, any justification for (1) must be question begging. This is simply an empty assertion, and RR does not grapple with any of the justification for (1) that apologists present.

An equivocation fallacy? (2:49, 3:40, 4:35)
Craig is not committing the equivocation fallacy. The definition of "objective" that he uses is something akin to the first example RR presents. On this assumption, RR rejects (1) by appealing to the existence of other meta-ethical theories . However, RR fails to provide a defence of any of the theories he names, and so his objection fails. (Craig's endorsement of (1) implies that he rejects all meta-ethical theories that are not equivalent to his own.)

A contradiction? (6:00)
RR accuses Craig of contradicting himself on the existence of moral "absolutes". But RR simply misunderstands Craig. Craig is distinguishing between specific action categories (e.g. killing someone) which may be right in some circumstances and wrong in others, and more general action categories (e.g. disobeying God) which are always wrong.

Fallacies? (7:57, 8:22, 8:31, 9:04)
These points all suffer from RR's failure to formulate them as objections to one of the argument's premises, and so his line of thought is sometimes unclear. The disconnection of the alleged fallacies from the formulation provided makes a response to them not only difficult but also completely unnecessary. Finally, Craig does not claim the argument proves monotheism.

To conclude, I would not accuse RR of being intentionally dishonest. I think he just makes plenty of mistakes and is unable to clearly and correctly formulate his objections.
im: Let me start by restating the argument below, for reference.

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
(2) Objective moral values do exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

Now let's address the objections which Rationality Rules (RR) presents and which you have cited.

"The entire argument [is] a non sequitur", (2:00)
RR does not say that (1) is false because God does not exist (this would beg the question). Rather, he claims that (1) is unsubstantiated, and that therefore the entire argument is a non sequitur. Unfortunately, he has misunderstood what it is for an argument to be a "non sequitur", namely, that the argument must be invalid.

jc: You can find in any logic textbook that a non sequitur is a material fallacy, not a formal fallacy. That is to say, the reasoning itself is not questioned, but the matter of the reasoning. Valid and invalid are distinctions regarding formal fallacies, not material fallacies.

im: But the argument (as presented above) is quite clearly deductively valid, and so RR is wrong on this score.

jc: It has an appearance of a deductively valid argument, but in fact the classes are not established. People are thinking clearly neither about God, nor objective moral values. Hence though the form appears correct, the argument is attacked as a material fallacy.

im:  I think what RR really means is that he rejects (1). However, he fails to engage with any of the justification Craig provides for the premise.

jc: This is hand waving, unless you at least summarize a few of Craig’s attempts to make (1) meaningful. You do not list even one, and I’m sure these attempts are easy to challenge.

im: In any case, claiming that (1) is unsubstantiated should merely leave him an agnostic with regards to the truth of the argument.

jc: RR would be justified calling himself an atheist, when theists think so badly. God ought to be found with an intelligent crew on His side, even those throwing down theists.

im: "Replace the word God with Cthulhu, and you'll quickly appreciate how absurd this argument is." (2:33)

jc: This one takes some time to understand. (1) of itself does not establish that objective moral values can only exist if there is a God. In fact I argue the angels derive their own objective moral values independently of God, from awareness of the soul and the total existential situation of many created souls. Wanting good in the creation, they seek good effects in their friends. God smiles, but the angels devise this themselves.

im: If you replaced "God" with "Cthulhu", Craig would deny (1).

jc: The religionists are thinking very primitively about objective moral values arising from God, typically drawing it back to the Ten Random Suggestions from Moses, and supposing anybody who can holler, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” must be the wisest monk ever.

im: RR develops his view somewhat by saying that if the argument is not a non sequitur, any justification for (1) must be question begging. This is simply an empty assertion, and RR does not grapple with any of the justification for (1) that apologists present.

jc: I’ve looked around and like RR, I find none of it convincing. RR looks more like he belongs in God’s tribe, than Craig. The point here is rather sophisticated, as he reiterates that (1) is not a self-establishing or self-evident thesis. If you want to be sophisticated too, then this argument must be a much longer one, including justification for (1).

im: An equivocation fallacy? (2:49, 3:40, 4:35)
Craig is not committing the equivocation fallacy. The definition of "objective" that he uses is something akin to the first example RR presents. On this assumption, RR rejects (1) by appealing to the existence of other meta-ethical theories . However, RR fails to provide a defence of any of the theories he names, and so his objection fails. (Craig's endorsement of (1) implies that he rejects all meta-ethical theories that are not equivalent to his own.)

jc: It’s an interesting objection, since “objective” from (1) could be interpreted as: If God does not exist, the type of objective moral values that God decrees do not exist. But (2) might refer either to the type of objective moral values that God decrees, or to the type of objective moral values that angels decree. (We must leave humans out in this consideration, who never rise to objective moral values, i.e. that have profound, long-term positive impacts.) I’d defend this other meta-ethical theory, and perhaps RR would too.

im: A contradiction? (6:00)
RR accuses Craig of contradicting himself on the existence of moral "absolutes". But RR simply misunderstands Craig. Craig is distinguishing between specific action categories (e.g. killing someone) which may be right in some circumstances and wrong in others, and more general action categories (e.g. disobeying God) which are always wrong.

jc: Actually RR provides more insight, since “Thou Shalt Not Kill” has higher ramifications among the wise. The wise never kill, but they also never exhibit a cause why they should be killed. Humans are not this way, committing despicable acts. Moses never bothered to explain this, which is why im is trapped in a contradiction here, since the commandment as recorded is not, “Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless They Deserve It.” This is why I’ve said “The Ten Random Suggestions,” since Christians interpret them as such.

im: Fallacies? (7:57, 8:22, 8:31, 9:04)
These points all suffer from RR's failure to formulate them as objections to one of the argument's premises, and so his line of thought is sometimes unclear. The disconnection of the alleged fallacies from the formulation provided makes a response to them not only difficult but also completely unnecessary. Finally, Craig does not claim the argument proves monotheism.

jc: I glossed over the majority of RR’s arguments, for although he appears closer to God than Craig because of his rationality, his mind is comported in hostile modes against the false image of God that the theists promulgate, and would likely deny the actual God too. Yet it would be correct to say that this argument as it stands, could point to alternative deities. Let us say Apollo and Athena are both gods capable of generating objective moral values. Then you can say, “If Athena does not exist, the objective moral values Athena declares do not exist.” You can also say, “If Apollo does not exist, the objective moral values that Apollo declares do not exist.” Of course, if these are both objective one wonders why they are not exactly the same, but in fact Apollo might have a slight edge of wisdom over Athena, therefore his objective values have a slightly better effect than hers.

im: To conclude, I would not accuse RR of being intentionally dishonest. I think he just makes plenty of mistakes and is unable to clearly and correctly formulate his objections.

jc: RR finds himself in a position superior to Craig, but has not awakened awareness of it. The theists are ridiculous, and God attacks them too. The image of God in the world is a slave to human desire, not an actual Creator-God. God lives though religion calls Him dead.

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Imperator

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Re: What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2019, 10:34:16 am »
jc: You can find in any logic textbook that a non sequitur is a material fallacy, not a formal fallacy. That is to say, the reasoning itself is not questioned, but the matter of the reasoning. Valid and invalid are distinctions regarding formal fallacies, not material fallacies.

im: This is simply incorrect, as far as I can see. I have always heard people use 'non sequitur' to mean formal fallacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_fallacy

jc: It has an appearance of a deductively valid argument, but in fact the classes are not established. People are thinking clearly neither about God, nor objective moral values. Hence though the form appears correct, the argument is attacked as a material fallacy.

im: That argument as formalised by Craig is deductively valid. Arguments are deductively valid or invalid independent of their semantic content (i.e. material).

jc: This is hand waving, unless you at least summarize a few of Craig’s attempts to make (1) meaningful. You do not list even one, and I’m sure these attempts are easy to challenge.

im: What? I'm not trying to defend the moral argument! I'm simply pointing out RR's failure to engage Craig's justification for (1). I think Craig would simply say that without God there can be no grounding for moral facts.

jc: RR would be justified calling himself an atheist, when theists think so badly. God ought to be found with an intelligent crew on His side, even those throwing down theists.

im: I said, "agnostic with regards to the truth of the [moral] argument". This is nothing to do with theism/atheism. I'm simply saying that you cannot declare an argument incorrect because you are agnostic with respect to the truth of one of the premises.

jc: This one takes some time to understand. (1) of itself does not establish that objective moral values can only exist if there is a God. In fact I argue the angels derive their own objective moral values independently of God, from awareness of the soul and the total existential situation of many created souls. Wanting good in the creation, they seek good effects in their friends. God smiles, but the angels devise this themselves.

im: Of course (1) does not establish itself! It requires justification, which Craig provides.

jc: The religionists are thinking very primitively about objective moral values arising from God, typically drawing it back to the Ten Random Suggestions from Moses, and supposing anybody who can holler, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” must be the wisest monk ever.

im: Craig's argument has absolutely nothing to do with the Law of Moses.

jc: I’ve looked around and like RR, I find none of it convincing. RR looks more like he belongs in God’s tribe, than Craig. The point here is rather sophisticated, as he reiterates that (1) is not a self-establishing or self-evident thesis. If you want to be sophisticated too, then this argument must be a much longer one, including justification for (1).

im: Craig doesn't claim that (1) is self-evident. As I have said before, RR never grapples with justification Craig does provide for (1).

jc: It’s an interesting objection, since “objective” from (1) could be interpreted as: If God does not exist, the type of objective moral values that God decrees do not exist. But (2) might refer either to the type of objective moral values that God decrees, or to the type of objective moral values that angels decree. (We must leave humans out in this consideration, who never rise to objective moral values, i.e. that have profound, long-term positive impacts.) I’d defend this other meta-ethical theory, and perhaps RR would too.

im: Craig intends (2) to refer to the type of objective moral value that God decrees. His use of "objective" is consistent between (1) and (2).

jc: Actually RR provides more insight, since “Thou Shalt Not Kill” has higher ramifications among the wise. The wise never kill, but they also never exhibit a cause why they should be killed. Humans are not this way, committing despicable acts. Moses never bothered to explain this, which is why im is trapped in a contradiction here, since the commandment as recorded is not, “Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless They Deserve It.” This is why I’ve said “The Ten Random Suggestions,” since Christians interpret them as such.

im: I don't think Craig would regard “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as being absolute. It would seem impractical for God to have to spell each and every circumstance under which killing is permissible. “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is a good general heuristic.

jc: I glossed over the majority of RR’s arguments, for although he appears closer to God than Craig because of his rationality, his mind is comported in hostile modes against the false image of God that the theists promulgate, and would likely deny the actual God too. Yet it would be correct to say that this argument as it stands, could point to alternative deities. Let us say Apollo and Athena are both gods capable of generating objective moral values. Then you can say, “If Athena does not exist, the objective moral values Athena declares do not exist.” You can also say, “If Apollo does not exist, the objective moral values that Apollo declares do not exist.” Of course, if these are both objective one wonders why they are not exactly the same, but in fact Apollo might have a slight edge of wisdom over Athena, therefore his objective values have a slightly better effect than hers.

im: Yes, I think there is an interesting objection to the notion of "objective" morality here.

jc: RR finds himself in a position superior to Craig, but has not awakened awareness of it. The theists are ridiculous, and God attacks them too. The image of God in the world is a slave to human desire, not an actual Creator-God. God lives though religion calls Him dead.

im: You seem to believe in God, but you don't call yourself a theist? Are you a deist?
        - Imperator

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jayceeii

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Re: What do you make of "WLCs Moral Argument -Debunked"?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 07:43:03 am »
jc: You can find in any logic textbook that a non sequitur is a material fallacy, not a formal fallacy. That is to say, the reasoning itself is not questioned, but the matter of the reasoning. Valid and invalid are distinctions regarding formal fallacies, not material fallacies.

im: This is simply incorrect, as far as I can see. I have always heard people use 'non sequitur' to mean formal fallacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_fallacy

jc: It has an appearance of a deductively valid argument, but in fact the classes are not established. People are thinking clearly neither about God, nor objective moral values. Hence though the form appears correct, the argument is attacked as a material fallacy.

im: That argument as formalised by Craig is deductively valid. Arguments are deductively valid or invalid independent of their semantic content (i.e. material).

jc: This is hand waving, unless you at least summarize a few of Craig’s attempts to make (1) meaningful. You do not list even one, and I’m sure these attempts are easy to challenge.

im: What? I'm not trying to defend the moral argument! I'm simply pointing out RR's failure to engage Craig's justification for (1). I think Craig would simply say that without God there can be no grounding for moral facts.

jc: RR would be justified calling himself an atheist, when theists think so badly. God ought to be found with an intelligent crew on His side, even those throwing down theists.

im: I said, "agnostic with regards to the truth of the [moral] argument". This is nothing to do with theism/atheism. I'm simply saying that you cannot declare an argument incorrect because you are agnostic with respect to the truth of one of the premises.

jc: This one takes some time to understand. (1) of itself does not establish that objective moral values can only exist if there is a God. In fact I argue the angels derive their own objective moral values independently of God, from awareness of the soul and the total existential situation of many created souls. Wanting good in the creation, they seek good effects in their friends. God smiles, but the angels devise this themselves.

im: Of course (1) does not establish itself! It requires justification, which Craig provides.

jc: The religionists are thinking very primitively about objective moral values arising from God, typically drawing it back to the Ten Random Suggestions from Moses, and supposing anybody who can holler, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” must be the wisest monk ever.

im: Craig's argument has absolutely nothing to do with the Law of Moses.

jc: I’ve looked around and like RR, I find none of it convincing. RR looks more like he belongs in God’s tribe, than Craig. The point here is rather sophisticated, as he reiterates that (1) is not a self-establishing or self-evident thesis. If you want to be sophisticated too, then this argument must be a much longer one, including justification for (1).

im: Craig doesn't claim that (1) is self-evident. As I have said before, RR never grapples with justification Craig does provide for (1).

jc: It’s an interesting objection, since “objective” from (1) could be interpreted as: If God does not exist, the type of objective moral values that God decrees do not exist. But (2) might refer either to the type of objective moral values that God decrees, or to the type of objective moral values that angels decree. (We must leave humans out in this consideration, who never rise to objective moral values, i.e. that have profound, long-term positive impacts.) I’d defend this other meta-ethical theory, and perhaps RR would too.

im: Craig intends (2) to refer to the type of objective moral value that God decrees. His use of "objective" is consistent between (1) and (2).

jc: Actually RR provides more insight, since “Thou Shalt Not Kill” has higher ramifications among the wise. The wise never kill, but they also never exhibit a cause why they should be killed. Humans are not this way, committing despicable acts. Moses never bothered to explain this, which is why im is trapped in a contradiction here, since the commandment as recorded is not, “Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless They Deserve It.” This is why I’ve said “The Ten Random Suggestions,” since Christians interpret them as such.

im: I don't think Craig would regard “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as being absolute. It would seem impractical for God to have to spell each and every circumstance under which killing is permissible. “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is a good general heuristic.

jc: I glossed over the majority of RR’s arguments, for although he appears closer to God than Craig because of his rationality, his mind is comported in hostile modes against the false image of God that the theists promulgate, and would likely deny the actual God too. Yet it would be correct to say that this argument as it stands, could point to alternative deities. Let us say Apollo and Athena are both gods capable of generating objective moral values. Then you can say, “If Athena does not exist, the objective moral values Athena declares do not exist.” You can also say, “If Apollo does not exist, the objective moral values that Apollo declares do not exist.” Of course, if these are both objective one wonders why they are not exactly the same, but in fact Apollo might have a slight edge of wisdom over Athena, therefore his objective values have a slightly better effect than hers.

im: Yes, I think there is an interesting objection to the notion of "objective" morality here.

jc: RR finds himself in a position superior to Craig, but has not awakened awareness of it. The theists are ridiculous, and God attacks them too. The image of God in the world is a slave to human desire, not an actual Creator-God. God lives though religion calls Him dead.

im: You seem to believe in God, but you don't call yourself a theist? Are you a deist?
        - Imperator
jc: You can find in any logic textbook that a non sequitur is a material fallacy, not a formal fallacy. That is to say, the reasoning itself is not questioned, but the matter of the reasoning. Valid and invalid are distinctions regarding formal fallacies, not material fallacies.

im: This is simply incorrect, as far as I can see. I have always heard people use 'non sequitur' to mean formal fallacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_fallacy

jc2: My source is Peter Kreeft’s textbook, Socratic Logic (2005). Unlike Wikipedia, he makes a distinction between formal fallacies and the non sequitur, listing some examples. All formal fallacies are non sequiturs, but not all non sequiturs are formal fallacies. I’ll present one of the examples:

Quote from: Peter Kreeft
The sky is blue.
The sea is blue.
Therefore the sky is the sea.

is a formal fallacy. But

Grass is green
I feel depressed today.
Therefore the grass is to blame for my depression.

is a non sequitur.
jc: It has an appearance of a deductively valid argument, but in fact the classes are not established. People are thinking clearly neither about God, nor objective moral values. Hence though the form appears correct, the argument is attacked as a material fallacy.

im: That argument as formalised by Craig is deductively valid. Arguments are deductively valid or invalid independent of their semantic content (i.e. material).

jc2: Words are used to describe reality, not to specify it exactly. They are limited to categories, and furthermore the comprehension of the categories depends on the awareness and knowledge of the speaker. For instance if you start talking about a herd of cows but have no experience as a farmer, you’ll send the farmers laughing. My point is that if you talk about God or objective moral values, but have not established the classes, you’ll send those who really know about God and objective moral values, laughing.

jc: This is hand waving, unless you at least summarize a few of Craig’s attempts to make (1) meaningful. You do not list even one, and I’m sure these attempts are easy to challenge.

im: What? I'm not trying to defend the moral argument! I'm simply pointing out RR's failure to engage Craig's justification for (1). I think Craig would simply say that without God there can be no grounding for moral facts.

jc2: The hand waving is that you don’t list any justification from Craig, just saying, “However, he fails to engage with any of the justification Craig provides for the premise.” Nobody knows what you are saying if you can’t bring further specificity. Even one example would be enough in this context, but you listed none. It’s like saying, “Go read the dictionary, and don’t talk to me again until you’ve memorized every page.” If you want to keep the conversation vital, you can’t just say, “Go read those long tomes.”

You bring up a further premise here, that Craig would simply say that without God there can be no grounding for moral facts. This is begging the question, because it isn’t simple. I can list a grounding for moral facts without God, if you can’t. Craig ought to know about it.

jc: RR would be justified calling himself an atheist, when theists think so badly. God ought to be found with an intelligent crew on His side, even those throwing down theists.

im: I said, "agnostic with regards to the truth of the [moral] argument". This is nothing to do with theism/atheism. I'm simply saying that you cannot declare an argument incorrect because you are agnostic with respect to the truth of one of the premises.

jc2: You are using “agnostic” in a novel way, that one of my dictionaries admits, but that another ignores. In any case you’d have to admit it is interesting that God would prefer the atheists to the theists. I looked at some of RR’s videos, and he impresses me as wise.

The argument again is,

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
(2) Objective moral values do exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

You are saying that if (1) is unsubstantiated, it should leave a person agnostic instead of denying the truth of the argument. Yet (2) and (3) depend implicitly on (1). What is left, when (1) is gone? If there is nothing left, RR is justified to say he has disproved this.

jc: This one takes some time to understand. (1) of itself does not establish that objective moral values can only exist if there is a God. In fact I argue the angels derive their own objective moral values independently of God, from awareness of the soul and the total existential situation of many created souls. Wanting good in the creation, they seek good effects in their friends. God smiles, but the angels devise this themselves.

im: Of course (1) does not establish itself! It requires justification, which Craig provides.

jc2: This is more hand-waving. List at least one of Craig’s justifications, to support this. “The Old Man and the Sea” is about loneliness. Go read the book, don’t bother me about it.

jc: The religionists are thinking very primitively about objective moral values arising from God, typically drawing it back to the Ten Random Suggestions from Moses, and supposing anybody who can holler, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” must be the wisest monk ever.

im: Craig's argument has absolutely nothing to do with the Law of Moses.

jc2: The Bible is almost entirely empty, supplying neither good guidance nor sound truth. As RR’s defender, let me restate the argument as he has suggested:

(1) If Cthulhu does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
(2) Objective moral values do exist.
(3) Therefore, Cthulhu exists.

The force of my argument is that the Christians are not establishing a moral context as arising from God, limited to the shoddy Bible. They try, but Moses said almost nothing. Since the Christians lack substantial meaning in the term “God,” Cthulhu is substituted.

jc: I’ve looked around and like RR, I find none of it convincing. RR looks more like he belongs in God’s tribe, than Craig. The point here is rather sophisticated, as he reiterates that (1) is not a self-establishing or self-evident thesis. If you want to be sophisticated too, then this argument must be a much longer one, including justification for (1).

im: Craig doesn't claim that (1) is self-evident. As I have said before, RR never grapples with justification Craig does provide for (1).

jc2: Again you are waving your hands. Don’t expect me to become Craig’s disciple. I’ve had enough of such pretending. Evidently you are not grappling with Craig’s justification very deeply either, or your mind would supply an example instead of showing up blank.

jc: It’s an interesting objection, since “objective” from (1) could be interpreted as: If God does not exist, the type of objective moral values that God decrees do not exist. But (2) might refer either to the type of objective moral values that God decrees, or to the type of objective moral values that angels decree. (We must leave humans out in this consideration, who never rise to objective moral values, i.e. that have profound, long-term positive impacts.) I’d defend this other meta-ethical theory, and perhaps RR would too.

im: Craig intends (2) to refer to the type of objective moral value that God decrees. His use of "objective" is consistent between (1) and (2).

jc2: Perhaps, but the argument is entirely overthrown if the objection is valid, i.e. that angels can establish moral values without God (as direct overseer). By an equivocation the argument is overthrown, and Craig has not proved himself witty enough to contemplate what I’d call an ordinary appearance of morality apart from God, in angels.

jc: Actually RR provides more insight, since “Thou Shalt Not Kill” has higher ramifications among the wise. The wise never kill, but they also never exhibit a cause why they should be killed. Humans are not this way, committing despicable acts. Moses never bothered to explain this, which is why im is trapped in a contradiction here, since the commandment as recorded is not, “Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless They Deserve It.” This is why I’ve said “The Ten Random Suggestions,” since Christians interpret them as such.

im: I don't think Craig would regard “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as being absolute. It would seem impractical for God to have to spell each and every circumstance under which killing is permissible. “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is a good general heuristic.

jc2: Ah, so you admit the Bible is shoddy! You appeal to a weak God who can hardly express Himself! Such a God can be under your foot, unlike serious God declaring truth.

jc: I glossed over the majority of RR’s arguments, for although he appears closer to God than Craig because of his rationality, his mind is comported in hostile modes against the false image of God that the theists promulgate, and would likely deny the actual God too. Yet it would be correct to say that this argument as it stands, could point to alternative deities. Let us say Apollo and Athena are both gods capable of generating objective moral values. Then you can say, “If Athena does not exist, the objective moral values Athena declares do not exist.” You can also say, “If Apollo does not exist, the objective moral values that Apollo declares do not exist.” Of course, if these are both objective one wonders why they are not exactly the same, but in fact Apollo might have a slight edge of wisdom over Athena, therefore his objective values have a slightly better effect than hers.

im: Yes, I think there is an interesting objection to the notion of "objective" morality here.

jc2: The angels have not been in human consideration. Christians think of them as slaves.

jc: RR finds himself in a position superior to Craig, but has not awakened awareness of it. The theists are ridiculous, and God attacks them too. The image of God in the world is a slave to human desire, not an actual Creator-God. God lives though religion calls Him dead.

im: You seem to believe in God, but you don't call yourself a theist? Are you a deist?

jc2: I wish I could find a God, but I can’t. I’m left with myself. Who are you left with?