Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The words of a very consistent Atheist



This is from Paul Myers, professor at the University of Minnesota, on the purpose of life:

First, there is no moral law: the universe is a nasty, heartless place where most things wouldn't mind killing you if you let them. No one is compelled to be nice; you or anyone could go on a murder spree, and all that is stopping you is your self-interest (it is very destructive to your personal bliss to knock down your social support system) and the self-interest of others, who would try to stop you. There is nothing 'out there' that imposes morality on you, other than local, temporary conditions, a lot of social enculturation, and probably a bit of genetic hardwiring that you've inherited from ancestors who lived under similar conditions.

(Reference)

If there is no God, and "reality" is limited to matter in motion, then what does "right" and "wrong" mean? I think Myers is on to something. He is being a consistent atheist.

(ht: Answers in Genesis)

13 comments:

Samantha Mae said...

By his definition, "right and wrong" are ever changing based on current situations, pretty much........ they don't exist in his "reality."

Now, I can understand the stance that morality doesn't equal God, and I do believe that many atheists understand the difference between right and wrong. But I also think the majority of them would tell you that it based on environment and upbringing... not because they are constantly suppressing vicious urges based on self interest.

His theory sounds great on paper, but there are just to many loopholes in this thought. If morality is not a part of who we are, and the majority of the universe "would kill us if we let them" then how does one explain the morality among animals, for instance?

To me, this way of thinking is an easy out on morals. It's a never ending excuse.

Mike Felker said...

Great comments Samantha. I think my problem is that atheist don't have a standard by which they can objectively judge what is right or wrong. Though atheist can be moral people, they are simply demonstrating that they are made in the image of God when they do so.

Rey Discomfort said...

Why wont Ken Ham debate PZ?

Why can't Ham back up his statements about the age of the earth?

Why does Ham lie (or remain ignorant) he claims that the majority of all dating methods contradict that the earth is millions of years old.

PZ Myers brought up the fact that salt levels are in a roughly steady state and Ham denied that claim and regressed back to "you're an atheist".

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD221_1.html

I can't take anything Ham or Behe says seriously because they both make it a habit of lying through their teeth. So how many peer reviewed papers does ID have? Zero.

Rey Discomfort said...

*billions

Mike Felker said...

What in the world does Ken Ham have to do with any of this? I don't follow everything Ken Ham has said in public and have no intention of defending him. If Ken Ham is found to be a liar, so what?

Secondly, who cares if ID papers don't make it into the journals that evolutionists have full control over. That'd be like me saying, "Why isn't liberal theology published in conservative theology journals?" This argument is completely pointless and has nothing to do with the merits of the arguments themselves.

I find it interesting that you say all of this, yet its completely off topic from this blog post which is to show the pure devastation of atheistic, materialistic morality via Myers' reasoning.

Rey Discomfort said...

Ken Ham is founder and president of AiG is he not? Would I be wrong in assuming that he does have some say on who blogs and who does not blog? Would I be making too large a leap of faith if I assumed that you possibly use some of AiG's arguments to defend your beliefs? I wouldn't have brought either one of the two up at all if you didn't link that quote mined rebuttal.

What proof do you have that a god exist? What proof do you have that if one does exist it's your abrahamic god?

I haven't went too far into your posts, but from what I can your idea of morals revolves around the assumption that a god through man wrote them down in a religious text. At least some of the atheist you rip on actually take the time to understand and think about what morals actually are.

Does the bible not call for the death of homosexuals? Would you support such an act that called for the death penalty to those that are openly homosexual? I'm going to assume not, but you do understand that there are fundamentalist that would?

And theres nothing atheistic about Myers morality, atheism is just the lack of a belief in god, i personally believe that morality is intrinsic and part of our evolution like Myers did elude to at the end of quote you posted.

IDrs have nothing peer reviewed because the claims they make are not testable, therefor not science.

Could you even provide evidence that IDrs are being treated unfairly in the scientific community?

ID is just creationism. There is no denying that, and of pandas and people is proof of that. Why did Meyer, Dembski, and Cambell withdraw from the Dover case?

Mike Felker said...

These comments are very off topic from this blog post, but i'll go ahead and address them and probably not pursue this further. Too many rabbit trails than what I have time for.

Ken Ham is founder and president of AiG is he not? Would I be wrong in assuming that he does have some say on who blogs and who does not blog? Would I be making too large a leap of faith if I assumed that you possibly use some of AiG's arguments to defend your beliefs? I wouldn't have brought either one of the two up at all if you didn't link that quote mined rebuttal.

Yes, I use some of their arguments, and yes I linked their blog post on Myers. But I don't agree on anything and everything they teach.

What proof do you have that a god exist? What proof do you have that if one does exist it's your abrahamic god?

You're asking me for proof as a naturalistic materialist? Like most atheists, you'd reject anything so long as it doesn't fit with your presuppositions. So in order for me to answer that, you'd have to show me what you'd be willing to accept.

I haven't went too far into your posts, but from what I can your idea of morals revolves around the assumption that a god through man wrote them down in a religious text. At least some of the atheist you rip on actually take the time to understand and think about what morals actually are.

My problem is, atheists can't account for morality, regardless of how much time they have to think about it.

Does the bible not call for the death of homosexuals? Would you support such an act that called for the death penalty to those that are openly homosexual? I'm going to assume not, but you do understand that there are fundamentalist that would?

This goes to show how little you actually understand about the Bible. No, under the new covenant administration, there is no basis for stoning homosexuals. I take it you haven't actually taken the time to read anything on this subject by knowledgeable theologians?

And theres nothing atheistic about Myers morality, atheism is just the lack of a belief in god, i personally believe that morality is intrinsic and part of our evolution like Myers did elude to at the end of quote you posted.

Myer's morality is completely atheistic. Without belief in God, there is no basis for right and wrong. Its all just matter and motion. And saying its intrinsic solves nothing. The morality of a psychopath is "intrinsic" but obviously you disagree with him when he wants to rape children.

IDrs have nothing peer reviewed because the claims they make are not testable, therefor not science.

Its not testable to establish that information only comes through an intelligent source? Can you demonstrate anything to the contrary?

Could you even provide evidence that IDrs are being treated unfairly in the scientific community?

Probably, but its nothing that I care to pursue in discussion.

ID is just creationism. There is no denying that, and of pandas and people is proof of that. Why did Meyer, Dembski, and Cambell withdraw from the Dover case?

Again, nothing I care to pursue and has nothing to do with the substance of the arguments. And this is usually the case with atheists. Lots of hot air and steam, but few arguments with substance.

I appreciate your commenting here, but I find it odd that you spend time writing all this but how much is actually dealing with the argument presented in the blog post?

Rey Discomfort said...

And what argument did you make? Bodies blog post from AiG didn't really have a purpose that went beyond "he's an atheist and evolution is a fast religion".

Your morality is dependent on an existing god, and according to you (im assuming) if evolution is true then there must be no god? And if there is no god, there is no reason to be moral? So it's safe to assume that the only reason you don't commit acts of murder or rape (although god is ok with genocide, joshua comes to mind) is because of your belief in god, so is it safe to assume that the only thing holding you back from the aforementioned crimes is your fear of god?

And if Myers atheism and lack of "morals" vexes you why not participate by commenting?

Mike Felker said...

Glad you started posting comments relative to the blog, to which i'd be happy to interact with :-)

And what argument did you make? Bodies blog post from AiG didn't really have a purpose that went beyond "he's an atheist and evolution is a fast religion".

This blog is not about the AIG blog. The only reason I referenced it is because that's just what bloggers do when they write on something that's already been written on by someone else. So whether my blog went beyond the AIG article stated is pretty irrelevant to me.

Your morality is dependent on an existing god

No just "an existing god," but the God of the Bible. At any rate, it makes no sense to me how one derives "morality" from a purely materialistic reality.

and according to you (im assuming) if evolution is true then there must be no god?

No, this is not the case at all. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as "theistic evolutionists." So, even if evolution were consistent with a Biblical worldview and the scientific evidence, there would still be good reason for believing in God.

And if there is no god, there is no reason to be moral?

This begs the question in that it presupposes "morality." Of course if there is such a thing as morality in a materialistic universe, anyone can find whatever reasons they want to be moral, whether its the justifying of rape or helping an old lady cross the street.

I take it one step back and assert that there is no basis or standard by which we can judge what is right and wrong without the God of the Bible. If you can explain to me how "right" and "wrong" can stem from matter in motion, then i'd be happy to listen to your case.

So it's safe to assume that the only reason you don't commit acts of murder or rape (although god is ok with genocide, joshua comes to mind) is because of your belief in god

Besides your poisoning of the well with the genocide example, you are essentially correct, though I would never phrase it like that. Doing good isn't based on a raw fact like God's existence. Yes, morality has no other basis than God, but my motive for doing so stems from my love and devotion to God and my love for people who are made in his image.

so is it safe to assume that the only thing holding you back from the aforementioned crimes is your fear of god?

Not at all. "Holding back" suggests that I want to do those things. I don't want to do those things because they are wrong and man is made in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity. And there is no "dignity" in a raw, materialistic universe.

And if Myers atheism and lack of "morals" vexes you why not participate by commenting?

I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Commenting where?

Rey Discomfort said...

No just "an existing god," but the God of the Bible. At any rate, it makes no sense to me how one derives "morality" from a purely materialistic reality.

As opposed to an imaginary reality? How can you know what is true concerning morality anymore than any other religious person who looks upon their specific religion for moral guidance?


Besides your poisoning of the well with the genocide example, you are essentially correct, though I would never phrase it like that. Doing good isn't based on a raw fact like God's existence. Yes, morality has no other basis than God, but my motive for doing so stems from my love and devotion to God and my love for people who are made in his image.

So biblical morality can be dynamic? It evolves according to how god feels at the moment? When god commands a group of people to commit genocide against another it's just?

The Bible is no more the word of god than let's say, harry potter. So it's safe to say that the morals of the bible were more or less agreed upon by men. The morals of that time obviously reflect the culture of that particular time.

Could you really define right or wrong?

Myers is right when he says that theres nothing out there that imposes it's morality on us, other than local governing forces.

And what I meant about commenting was, you could have easily left him a comment.

Mike Felker said...

As opposed to an imaginary reality? How can you know what is true concerning morality anymore than any other religious person who looks upon their specific religion for moral guidance?

I hope this isn't me just stating the obvious, but the reason I know the Bible is true as opposed to, let's say, Islam, is because i've found the biblical worldview to be the only rational worldview that comports to reality.

So biblical morality can be dynamic? It evolves according to how god feels at the moment? When god commands a group of people to commit genocide against another it's just?

No, morality is not dynamic and I never suggested such. What God declared in the Old Covenant administration was typological to what is to come when God's Kingdom has full reign on this earth. It has a specific purpose for a specific time. And the Old Covenant administration was done away with once Christ came and established the New Covenant once and for all.

So yes, it was just for God to do what He did. And because it foreshadowed what is to come, there will be a day when all who have rejected God will pay for their sins.

And this is why I do what I do, because I want people to escape the wrath that is to come. God has provided a way out through Christ. And by putting your faith in Him will you accept Christ's death as a payment for your sins.

The Bible is no more the word of god than let's say, harry potter.

That is just an absurd comparison. Its not even worth pursuing.

So it's safe to say that the morals of the bible were more or less agreed upon by men. The morals of that time obviously reflect the culture of that particular time.

You make it sound as if men just made it all up, which i'm sure that's what you believe as an atheist. However, the problem is, if morality is something that is just made up by men, then you made morality completely arbitrary.

Could you really define right or wrong?

Simply put, the "rights" are all the "do's" in the Bible, and the "wrongs" are all the "dont's." Now, you're turn. What is "right" and "wrong" in a universe that is purely material where we are all just a bunch of atoms banging around. In other words, if I blow someone's head off with a gun, how am I doing something wrong when I am just simply rearranging atoms through force?

Myers is right when he says that theres nothing out there that imposes it's morality on us, other than local governing forces.

Yes, and its a very sad life to live if that is the case. Majority wins.

Rey Discomfort said...

I hope this isn't me just stating the obvious, but the reason I know the Bible is true as opposed to, let's say, Islam, is because i've found the biblical worldview to be the only rational worldview that comports to reality.

What you define as know is simply no more than conjecture. If you knew faith would be meaningless. How is what you find to be rationale any different than any other worldview? Because you assume?


No, morality is not dynamic and I never suggested such. What God declared in the Old Covenant administration was typological to what is to come when God's Kingdom has full reign on this earth. It has a specific purpose for a specific time. And the Old Covenant administration was done away with once Christ came and established the New Covenant once and for all.

So again, Genocide is just so long as it's done in the name of god? I understand Genocide was nothing new at the time, and it happened .. but it's simply one party claiming that they were commanded by god to conquer another. You really have no evidence to suggest otherwise outside of "it's in the bible", it's really no different than any other religious fanatic claiming god has commanded him to commit harmful acts against infidels, and it's ok because god commanded it right?

So yes, it was just for God to do what He did. And because it foreshadowed what is to come, there will be a day when all who have rejected God will pay for their sins.

And this is why I do what I do, because I want people to escape the wrath that is to come. God has provided a way out through Christ. And by putting your faith in Him will you accept Christ's death as a payment for your sins.

That is what you believe, that is a part of your belief system. Outside of your belief system there is no evidence to suggest anything you're saying is true.

The Bible is no more the word of god than let's say, harry potter.

That is just an absurd comparison. Its not even worth pursuing.
You're right, The series in my opinion was awful, I never did understand the hype. But I'm sure you know what I was implying, that in this materialistic morality the bible is nothing more than a religious text written by man. You have faith that God communicated his will through man, if I asked you to prove it you'd get into an argument about what truths I am willing to accept .. and if you needed an answer I'd ask you for sound evidence. Empirical evidence: Could prove a fundamentalist approach to the bible? Should the bible be taken literally? If so could you prove Noah's ark is anything but a story?

Rey Discomfort said...

cont..



You make it sound as if men just made it all up, which i'm sure that's what you believe as an atheist. However, the problem is, if morality is something that is just made up by men, then you made morality completely arbitrary.

Can you prove otherwise? It's not how I make it sound, that's exactly what it is. How would you go about proving that anything in the bible was communicated to man from god?



Simply put, the "rights" are all the "do's" in the Bible, and the "wrongs" are all the "dont's." Now, you're turn. What is "right" and "wrong" in a universe that is purely material where we are all just a bunch of atoms banging around. In other words, if I blow someone's head off with a gun, how am I doing something wrong when I am just simply rearranging atoms through force?


Who am I to judge? Could I empathize with you? Maybe. I'd at least have some interest in knowing why you blew someones head off, was it in self defense? Was it revenge? Boredom?

You've simply defined an action as either a god do, or god dont. But even those do's and don'ts have been crossed when it's backed by god: genocide, rape, slavery. If you felt god communicated with you on an acceptable level to commit murder in his name would you? Would you not question the action?

And yes I'm an atheist, if only for my lack of a belief in your god. Do I know if there is a god or not? No, and i'm not making that claim. But I do feel that is no substantial evidence to suggest that the abrahamic god you believe in exists, nor any other man made god. There could very well be a god, and if evidence suggested such I'd be all for it, but it doesn't.

Yes, and its a very sad life to live if that is the case. Majority wins.

And you're right, although you'll disagree. I'm from California, and last year we voted on wether or not Gay Marriage should stay legal .. it didn't pass because the opposition had the majority.

If marriage is only to be ordained and recognized by god, then the state should give it back to the church. No special privileges should be granted by the government. But that's not the way things work right?

Could you define an action beyond it's do and don't? Could you give good reason to why homosexuality is a sin, why it's bad or simply not good? If evidence suggested that there was no choice in the matter (and it does) that homosexuality is something a person is born well then what?