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LuftWaffle

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About LuftWaffle

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  1. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    I'm not arguing for- or against homosexuality, I'm simply making the point that both sides of the debate are actually attempting to adhere to the same moral principles. The disagreement therefore isn't about the ethical values but about scripture interpretation etc. In short the fact that people may disagree about something like that, doesn't make morality any less objective.
  2. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    If you think about it carefully you'll find that most people agree on most moral issues, what they disagree about aren't the moral values, but about epistemic issues. Let me give you an example: In some tribes when a person reaches a certain age, they tribesmen will kill that person. On the face of it, it seems then that they have the opposite morality to us, right? We believe that we ought to be nice to our elderly and take care of them, and they kill their elderly. The thing is that both groups actually believe that they ought to take care of elderly, but the the difference is that the tribesmen believe that when you die, you have to "find your way" to the promised afterlife, through a series of trials and challenges. If you're very old the trials will be too hard which means you'll be stuck in some spiritual intermediate place. Because of this they kill their older men before they get too old, so that they can still be fit enough to do the challenge. This idea is called cultural relativism because it appears that the morality is relative, but at the core, both groups have the same moral values which is, "We ought to make sure our elderly are cared for". Both those Christians who support homosexuality and those opposed to it, believe that one ought to keep the word of God and that one ought to love your neighbour. The former believes the word of God is opposed to a certain kind of homosexuality (related to idol worship) whereas the latter believes the word of God is opposed to all homosexuality. Likewise the former believes that a saved homosexual is better than an angry unsaved one so they act in brotherly love by embracing their homosexuality. The latter believes that love cannot be separated from truth so the most loving thing to do is to love the sinner but condemn the sin. So morally speaking both Christian groups agree, what they disagree on is the epistemic side of things, "What does the bible teach on the issue", and "how does one best demonstrate neighbourly love". The same goes for most disagreement around morality. People don't actually disagree about the moral law, they disagree about information around the moral law. Take another example, abortion: Pro-life believe it's wrong to murder, and since abortion is the murder of an innocent human being, it's wrong. What does pro-choice believe? Do they believe murder is fine? No, they also believe murder is wrong, but they believe the unborn isn't a human being and thus the law against murder doesn't apply. As such pointing out epistemic differences in peoples beliefs around morality doesn't disprove objective morality. Likewise pointing out that some people believed in a flat earth and some people believe in a spherical earth doesn't necessitate the conclusion that the earth doesn't have a real (objective) shape, but instead that the earth's shape is mind dependent (subjective).
  3. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    Cool, I'm glad my post made sense. It is for that very reason that many atheists such as PZ Myers (who is by no means a friend of Christianity) criticized Sam Harris' book, "The moral landscape". Sam Harris tried to argue that an objective moral framework could be based on human flourishing, but Christians and a number of atheists agree that it only pushes the subjectivity problem a step back. This is why most atheists who have considered the issue are moral subjectivists, but that leads to other problems. Ah yes, that's where I heard it. I actually re-watched Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber a couple of months ago and I really enjoyed it again after all the years. I mean, it's really stupid but it's funny, and since Hollywood doesn't make good movies anymore (I'm not big on the super hero stuff), I figured I'd take a trip to the '90s.
  4. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    Hi Blood Bought, Hey no worries and apology accepted. I was also a little harsh so I apologise for that too. In terms of apologetics arguing toward "a god": the goal there isn't really to promote "a god" as much it is to show that if there is "a god" then "atheism" must be false. For some people I think that middle step is necessary, because people are at different places in their life and some may be more open to the gospel than others. We see this in the Bible too. Jesus said to Peter and his brother Andrew, "Follow me" and they left their fishing gear right there and followed Him. Thomas took a great deal more convincing, and Paul persecuted the church for some time before He was ready. So, I guess the two approaches needn't be exclusive. Some gardens are ready for planting, and others have a lot of weeds and intruder plants that need to be cleared out first. Anyway, God bless
  5. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    The idea that we're not supposed to reason with unbelievers is not something you'll find in the Bible. The very author of the Letter to the Romans that you're citing spent more time reasoning with Jew and Greek alike than you may have realised and Peter wrote the famous apologetic verse, "Be ready to give an answer". Not to even mentioned the wisdom of Solomon and savvy of Kings such as David that believers throughout the ages are encourage to consider and emulate. Are we not told to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves? Surely that doesn't mean riding in on a high horse and announcing that those who disagree are blind and those talking to them are wasting internet ink. Did Jesus command us to go into the world and make disciples or did He tell the disciples to sit back and do nothing, because talking to unbelievers is a waste of time? Here's a free history lesson. During the enlightenment, the church feared that reason was going to displace belief in God, so to mitigate against that they started teaching that reason is worldly. This lead to the romanticism which was a reactionary movement to the rationalism of the enlightenment. Before this Christianity had a rich history of Christian thinkers as demonstrated by people such as Aquinas, Anselm and Augustine. You can also read the early church fathers to see that they actually did a great deal of dialogue and engagement with the various heresies of their day. You won't find any of them claiming that doing so is a waste of time, because they believed that worshiping God is not only done with the heart, but with one's mind and one's strength too. Sadly I'm sure my history lesson will fall on deaf ears, because the problem with romanticists such as yourself is that when a person prides themselves on being unreasonable, they insulate themselves from any reasonable attempt to show that their views may be wrong and might not have a biblical origin. It becomes an incorrigible self-affirming bubble. I assure you that I am well aware that many atheists come here after getting all fired up reading atheist blogs and thinking they'll come here and show us how intellectually superior they are. In fact it's quite probable that bumble_b_tuna is one of them too. I also know that atheists get angry when they're challenged, and they skip from one atheist objection to next when their objections are answered. I also know they keep coming back and eventually they come to realise that their excuses don't hold as much water as they initially thought. They realise that their blogs were incorrect in painting all Christians as ignorant buffoons who have no good reason for the hope that's in them. They realise that memorising a list of logical fallacies doesn't make them paragons of reason and that Christianity has more to it than they originally thought. And some become Christians. So thanks for telling us what we already know. P.S. I didn't call you pious, I said your statement disparaging apologetics serve to make your appear pious. Also, age doesn't mean anything, in fact, I suspected you may have been older, because most of the older people are still firmly entrenched in the Romanticism that's done so much damage to the Church. Fortunately, apologetics got a huge boost in the last 20 years from the great efforts of Christian philosophers like Plantinga, William Lane Craig, historians like Dan Wallace, and everyday Christian bloggers and the guys and gals who regularly contribute to the outer court. I remember a time when atheists used to outnumber the Christians here 5 to 1....and they were militant as can be. And we Christians fumbled around with bad answers and cluelessness, having been raised in Churches that espoused romanticism and thus, discouraged research, reason and honest answers, but instead merely offered sanctimonous platitudes, and pious dismissals. Now the discussions are much better, despite the protests of the Romanticists. Everybody's always praying for revival, and yet they're blind to the wave of young apologists who have come out of the last two decades. How sad. If you allow yourself you may find that the Gospel and the truth of Christianity has as much to satisfy the mental craving of the ivory tower intellectual as it does to fill the yearning of the human heart.
  6. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    These types of drive-by comments do nothing, but serve to make you appear pious, my friend. Many lives have been changed by folks taking the time to talk with unbelievers about their questions, think CS Lewis, Anthony Flew, Greg Koukl, Fuz Rana, Nabeel Qureshi etc. But let's ignore that, because the way YOU got saved is the RIGHT way, hey? If you have nothing better to contribute than 19th century romanticism (which sadly still permeates the church causing people to offer spiritual sounding platitudes instead of good answers to honest questions), don't disparage those that do. In fact I think it's precisely the shallow romanticism that you espouse that has caused many young Christians to walk away from Christianity because instead of good answers they got, empty platitudes. Christianity has a strong case and it makes the most sense of the world we live in, but many aren't aware of this, and sadly many aren't even willing to make the case. And just because you don't have an interest in these things doesn't make you the arbiter of what topics are appropriate in an "Outer court discussion hall".
  7. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    Why would you expect that, given that people could have free will and the ability to ignore their conscience and even train their conscience (neuroplasticity)? However, I read a study that young children do have a built in sense of fairness and justice, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/are-babies-born-with-an-innate-sense-of-fairness/article548594/ and https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/babies-are-vindictive-study-reveals/article2254124/ So, would something like that not support what Cletus is saying?
  8. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    No, it's a fallacy when the evidence doesn't lead to the conclusion. Presenting evidence isn't enough, the evidence should back up the conclusion. When you attributed the fallacy to Cletus you said, " Just because something is apart of 'nature' does not equate to whether something is moral or immoral." So you correctly identified that just because something is naturally occurring doesn't make it moral or immoral. What's puzzling is that now you believe that you can avoid the fallacy by doing just that. The scientific evidence that happiness has a positive impact and suffering has a negative impact may be objective true but who is to say that human happiness ought to be the benchmark for morality. How do you get from the "is" to the "ought". In what way does suffering affect human flourishing, positively or negatively? You said that it had a "negative impact on our lives", so is it not fair to summarise your statement as, 'suffering is opposed to human flourishing'? But, it's not the fact that you summarised the evidence that happiness affects our lives that I have a problem with, I'm pretty sure it goes without saying. What I'm pointing out is that you cannot ground a moral framework based on that. The moral argument for the existence of God doesn't entail any moral epistemology. It simply reasons from an objective moral law to an objective moral law giver. I am not dismissing the question to be unfair, I'm simply stating that it's a red herring. It seems to me the central thing you're missing is that you cannot ground an objective moral framework by selecting some parameter such as happiness and asserting that, since happiness is objectively measurable (in principle), therefore you have an objective moral framework. Your selection of the parameter is subjective and so are your assumptions about what makes people happy. Who says that human flourishing ought to be the standard? Ask PETA and they'll say that nature's flourishing as a whole supercedes human flourishing. Ask ANTIFA and they'll say human flourishing is important as long as they're not Nazis which is anybody to the right of Vladimir Lenin. Ask NAZI's and they'll say human flourishing is best served if you get rid of the jews. Ask the Sea-Shepherd idiots and they'll say whale flourising is the important thing. Ask a nihilist school shooter and they'll say humanity along with all existence is a curse that should be wiped out. Who is to say that the flourishing of a particular species of mammal on the third lump of smoldering silica, orbiting a medium sized star in an arbitrary galaxy is the objective standard for right and wrong? Thanks, hehe. What's the bumble_b_tuna name all about?
  9. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    This is a great point. One can conceive of a world of sadists who keep a small group of people around to torture at their pleasure. As long as the pleasure that the sadists experience outweighs the suffering of the tortured, then such a world could be considered moral.
  10. LuftWaffle

    I'm an atheist

    Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia regarding the naturalistic fallacy: 'In philosophical ethics, the term "naturalistic fallacy" was introduced by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his 1903 book Principia Ethica.[1] Moore argues it would be fallacious to explain that which is good reductively in terms of natural properties such as "pleasant" or "desirable".' - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy Aren't you committing the naturalistic fallacy by stating that pleasure is desirable and pain/suffering is undesirable therefore the former is moral and the latter is immoral? All you're doing is substituting what is desirable for what is moral, but you're not offering any grounding for that assumption. I think this is why Shiloh asked you why it's wrong to cause human suffering, because just because you may desire something doesn't necessarily make it moral. Your response to his question simply begged the question: Essentially, then it seems what you're doing is justifying the assertion that human flourishing desirable because the opposite of human flourishing is suffering and suffering is undesirable. Surely you see that it's rather circular. Then I see you keep returning to the following questions: ...but these questions deal with epistemology (how one knows what is moral) but the moral argument for the existence of God deals with moral ontology (whether or not morality is objective or not). As such these questions have no bearing on the discussion. How one knows what is moral has nothing to do with whether or not morality is objective or not. For instance I can claim that the shape of the earth is an objective fact, without having to explain how I came to know what the shape is. What determines the shape of the earth is not my perception/knowledge of it but the fact of its shape itself.
  11. LuftWaffle

    Esau hated by God (before birth)?

    Question: What's better than having 3 wives? Answer: ...not being hated by God from before you were born.
  12. LuftWaffle

    Body invaders

    Not really, because even if they were a thousand, they'd still be distinct from people who aren't network engineers, like me. But if everybody is agnostic, then agnostic is just another word for human, making terms like agnostic atheist, or theist meaningless. Yeah, that's the tug-of-war, the coders want access and performance, IT want systems and security, and management want lower costs and higher turnover. This devolves into the circle of blame whenever something goes wrong, lol.
  13. LuftWaffle

    Body invaders

    Which is the one that's been posting on this forum?
  14. LuftWaffle

    Body invaders

    Doesn't that trivialise agnosticism, if everybody are agnostics? Yeah, I remembered you mentioning once that you were in IT. I'm also in IT, just a humble coder, which places me on the opposite side of the circle of blame, hehe.
  15. LuftWaffle

    Body invaders

    Bonky, aren't you a bit old to have an avatar of a flask with DNA and particles in it. That's for guys who had just read Dawkins' book and just learnt to say "special pleading" at everything. The rookie new-atheists who think that rejecting God is all you need to claim science and 'reason' as your bag. Aren't you in IT or something? And yeah, in case you're wondering, I am also too old to have an airplane with a waffle on it, but seriously, don't be one of *those* atheists. Just kidding. You can have any avatar you want, who am I to impose? ...but seriously, dude!
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