Right to Reason Podcast by Robert Stanley (Dale Guest Stars): The Abraham Test- Would You Kill Your Son If God Told You To?

1200x630bb

Enjoy;

Anchor Audio Link = https://anchor.fm/skeptics-and-seekers/episodes/Post-Season-1-Supplemental-Right-to-Reason-Podcast–Robert-Stanley-and-Dale-Discuss-the-Morality-of-the-Abraham-Test–the-Flood-e49gk5 .

For Robert’s Edited (More Polished) Version of the Show, see the following links;

Is FAITH dangerous?

His Main website on Podbean= http://therighttoreason.podbean.com/ .

YouTube: https://youtu.be/eB5SPnrXcI0

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/27834735

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-right-to-reason/id1233300936#episodeGuid=therighttoreason.podbean.com%2Fi-would-kill-my-kid-for-jesus-2c0a217a4874e32b55164da7f647c00d

 

This was a great show! I really enjoyed my conversation with Robert Stanley from The Right to Reason podcast about the Abraham Test, he was a true gentleman. I was given permission to post up my own audio version of our chat (you can hear Robert’s more polished version in about 3 weeks-time on his site), where we discuss the ethics/morality of God commanding Abraham to kill/sacrifice his own son. Further the Flood is also discussed and assessed through the lens of helpful thought-experiments and real-life examples that both Robert and I provide during the talk.

My version, includes some insider chat between me and Robert toward the end that probably won’t be available on Robert’s show- I included it because I thought it was a great object lesson in how two people can disagree fundamentally on a significant issue and yet still be civil and cordial with each other both on air and off; as Robert says in that insider ending conversation; that is the essence of what he tries to do in his conversations on his Podcast and as the co-host of S&S, I can only give a hearty A-men to that sentiment as it is exactly what David and I have tried to do on our show.

Enjoy the show everyone 😊

Recommended Sources (for further study):

a) Robert’s main website = https://www.therighttoreason.com/ .

b) The Right to Reason Podcast audio file link on Podbean = http://therighttoreason.podbean.com/

c) Robert’s YouTube channel- check out some of the videos here = https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnyBQIzgI4ydcruns4h5Izg/videos .

Advertisements

60 thoughts on “Right to Reason Podcast by Robert Stanley (Dale Guest Stars): The Abraham Test- Would You Kill Your Son If God Told You To?

  1. I’m having a hard time getting through this episode. It’s amazing to me to how wide the chasm is between my point of view and Dale’s on this.\ and I don’t see how it gets bridged easily. There is so much difference in definitions, epistemology, and process.

    That being said, I’m glad you guys had this conversation and it’s out in the world to be evaluated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bryan, I think its good at least to try and get a lay of the land and that’s what I try to do with my framework of the three main sources of moral disagreements.

      I think the thing to do if we wanted to bridge a gap would be for me to sort of get to know your position on those things and see where we might disagree. Tara, did bring up an interesting thought–experiment about the commanding to do the killing vs. God doing it Himself- believe it or not I did have a thought experiment for that if it went there but Robert asked me to stick to the same ones I used on Smalley’s show as he really liked those ones in particular.

      Not trying to start a debate or convo with you unless you want it, but just as a suggestion on how I might try to bridge the gap with you if we were discussing this between us is I would first go to the moral principle of life (and I don’t need it to be a necessary moral truth/principle like I believe, I’m happy to say this principle is merely an ethical guidance principle for human well being and flourishing or something in general).

      But yeah, I would ask you why you think the taking of a human life is wrong and try to ascertain under what circumstances (if any) you feel its OK to kill a human being- that’s how I like to start out with Smalley and Robert and I thought it was helpful to see that none of us believe there is an absolute (unqualified) ethical rule or principle to preserve human lives- most rational people accept at least some acceptable circumstances to take a life. Once I’ve got that then we could probe what types of circumstances specifically allow for this exemption to the principle of life.

      That’s how I approach it, but you do say your methods are totally foreign and so you may find this bridge to be something you can’t even cross at all in the same way David, Smalley and Robert crossed it to some degree in our convos.

      Like

      1. Your outline above seems fine, but I imagine we disagree on many of the definitions of terms and the state of reality that would feed into how we proceed. Not sure I want to get too deep into that but I do have a couple of thoughts on your perspective and issues I gleaned from listening to you.

        1.) You said you’d need 100% knowledge that God was commanding you to kill in order to do it. Given you’ve previously stated that you believe Christianity is true to the tune of 60-ish% or so, you could never have that knowledge. Even if you were 100% sure of the stimulus you were receiving, it would still have a 40-ish% chance of being false. So it follows logically that in practical terms, you wouldn’t kill on a command from God given your current state of belief.

        2.) You also said that you would struggle with a command to kill from God as it would conflict with your moral conscience. I don’t see how this can cohere in your worldview. Given what you believe about God and morality, why would such a command not be in 100% lockstep with your conscience? They both come from God. He gave you your conscience (and in fact in some ways IS your conscience). And since you believe that God cannot violate any moral principle, and you are morally obligated to follow God’s commands, hearing this command should ring true as moral and just as you hear it.

        Appreciate your thoughts, thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey Bryan, OK great well that makes me happy to hear that there is at least a chance in theory that we could bridge the gap to some degree at least even we can’t totally cross it.

          Good questions on your end;

          1. This is a good point however I would say you are focusing on the wrong probability value, I’m 99%-99.99% certain (knowledge) that a morally perfect God in general exists and so this is really the probability that matters to me for answering this question, not the probability that Christianity (and/or the Christian God) is true in particular. It could be that God provides me with 100% knowledge that he exists in general and that He is ordering me to kill Tara or something, but yet I may still be at the 60% level that this morally perfect God commanding me to do this is identical to the Christian God.

          So, I would only need 100% knowledge that a morally perfect God is commanding me to kill, not necessarily 100% knowledge that the Christian God specifically is true.

          2. On the second part, I was telling Andrew in private after the show that I regretted saying it this way on the show and with other skeptics as well as what I said is incorrect. My conscience does not speak out against killing people in certain circumstances at all (in and of itself at least). This was the point I wanted to make with the raping a 9 year old; there my moral conscience is certain that given the factual circumstances that apply in the actual world, rape is never morally justified as it violates the moral principle of autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, etc. (I can’t think of any circumstances that would make it justifiable in this world at least) but in contrast we all recognize many circumstances (including ones that I think are relevant to my MD) where killing is considered justifiable by both skeptics and Christians alike. So, if my MD is factually true, then yeah my conscience does not speak out against it at all.

          However, I think what I was trying to say (and I messed up everytime I’ve spoken about it- my fault on that) is that I have factual knowledge that people often falsely claim to have God giving them commands and turn out to be wrong (hence it seems inductively to be against God’s MO in this day and age & also no provable cases where God does give such commands to people. Additionally, given that I know Christianity is probably true, I have biblical knowledge that suggests we now live in the Messianic era and thus circumstances are such that God commanding me to kill someone for such purposes is very very unlikely. So this is where I say I’m 95% certain God wouldn’t or couldn’t order such command to me today and as such God would need to provide me with sufficient knowledge via this divinely revealed properly basic belief that I talk about in the show that He does want me to kill Tara to over turn or “over-ride” the knowledge that I have saying God doesn’t want me to kill Tara.

          Now, there is some area of hypocrisy here on my part in that I demand 100% knowledge as opposed to just 96% or something before I would do it and I guess you would be right to say that I’m just letting my emotions interfere with my logic on this front and also I want to make the case clear to the audience in not allowing for any hypothetical doubt and so this is why I make the standard of 100% knowledge before I do it. Perhaps I’m wrong to insist on 100% vs. 96% knowledge before I would be willing to kill, but emotionally the mere possibility of error on this, I think would just mean that I don’t think I personally would be able to go through with it but you might be right- maybe I should be willing to do it from an ethical/moral ought perspective with just 95.01%+ as opposed to needing the 100% knowledge in that regard, but I’m not sure whether I would be able to do so personally and perhaps I’m just a hypocrite on that front to some extent.

          Hope that helps clarify and if not, just let me know and I will try again 🙂

          EDIT- P.S. Sorry this will be my last edit on this, but yeah its like Mike Licona, if I was only 99% knowledge that a morally perfect God commanded me to kill Tara, then I would have this emotional fear of imagine how horrible if I do it and find out that actually that 1% possibility that I’m wrong is true– its this factor more than any other as to why I make this demand for 100% knowledge- its this emotional “what if I’m wrong” factor which I admit may not be logical on my part or I would need to work on making a logical case to demand the 100% level as opposed to 99.99% or 97%, etc. despite all of these prob values over-ride my exiting knowledge telling me its wrong to kill Tara under these circumstances.

          Like

          1. So, I would only need 100% knowledge that a morally perfect God is commanding me to kill, not necessarily 100% knowledge that the Christian God specifically is true.

            This gets around my first objection but it raises a problem I have with your methodology. If a being I thought was morally perfect ordered me to kill someone, that would be grounds for me to question whether my assessment of their morally is correct. I do not see this type of check and balance in your methodology and I think that’s a problem.

            On the second part, I was telling Andrew in private after the show that I regretted saying it this way on the show and with other skeptics as well as what I said is incorrect.

            No problem, it happens to all of us.

            So this is where I say I’m 95% certain God wouldn’t or couldn’t order such command to me today and as such God would need to provide me with sufficient knowledge via this divinely revealed properly basic belief that I talk about in the show that He does want me to kill Tara to over turn or “over-ride” the knowledge that I have saying God doesn’t want me to kill Tara.

            The problem with this is, you’re relying on the same being to give you the command and the proper justification that it’s true. If the being is truly morally perfect, why would you ever get the command without the proper provenance?

            Like I said, not really down for a long conversation about this as the chasm is really wide. Are you familiar with Sam Harris’ Moral Landscape? And Matt Dillahunty’s videos on morality? I find these good sources for secular morality if you’re interested.

            Like

            1. OK Bryan,

              I will just say that with the first objection, the issue is handled in saying I “know” not just think that a morally perfect God ordered me to do this and the consideration that killing is bad (or all else being equal, its not morally ideal as my own moral conscience attests against the taking of life in general). But, the fact that I hypothetically know that a morally perfect God is ordering me to do it is a consideration which trumps the evidence from other sources (assuming I’m not 100% knowledgeable on the other side).

              I wonder why the issue of killing is such a big deal, skeptics often have no issue with killing in some circumstances at all and soldiers will kill if their General tells them to without necessarily knowing the grand plan for the war. So, I wonder if the issue more comes from the fact that you don’t believe there is a God (factual difference) and then in the convos we have you bring that assumption or background knowledge with you to the discussion to judge the killing as immoral without considering the possible moral justifications for that killing. Do you find that you just can’t accept that there could be a morally perfect God and hence you rule out the fact that there could be a moral justification along the lines of my MD a priori? I’m just wondering if there is any chance you can bracket your disbelief in God, etc. or not in assessing the question of the potential for moral justification or if you just can’t get past the factual difference in considering my Molinistic defense- this could be why we can’t make progress as we first need to discuss the existence for a morally perfect God.

              As to Sam Harris and Dillahunty- yes I’m familiar with their arguments on morality/ethics, I haven’t found them to be satisfactory because they can’t ground “necessary moral truths” vs. mere contingent or arbitrary ethical values but yeah if you have any specific videos you think are really good, I will check those out for sure in considering your perspective 🙂

              Like

              1. I will just say that with the first objection, the issue is handled in saying I “know” not just think that a morally perfect God ordered me to do this and the consideration that killing is bad (or all else being equal, its not morally ideal as my own moral conscience attests against the taking of life in general). But, the fact that I hypothetically know that a morally perfect God is ordering me to do it is a consideration which trumps the evidence from other sources (assuming I’m not 100% knowledgeable on the other side).

                I don’t think you addressed my retort. I’m saying the act of commanding you to kill should make you question whether your knowledge of this deity being morally perfect is in fact correct. It should be evidence against that proposition. That it is not for you is a big part of where our disagreement on morality will lie.

                I wonder why the issue of killing is such a big deal,..

                I’m aiming to be as charitable as possible here, but it’s this type of line that gets people wondering about your moral compass. I’m not judging you based on the context of our conversation but just wanted to give you some food for thought.

                Killing IS a big deal. Even when it is morally justified it is a grave and serious matter worthy of the utmost respect and careful deliberation.

                I’m just wondering if there is any chance you can bracket your disbelief in God, etc. or not in assessing the question of the potential for moral justification or if you just can’t get past the factual difference in considering my Molinistic defense- this could be why we can’t make progress as we first need to discuss the existence for a morally perfect God.

                Your last line hits the nail on the head and is the crux of the matter.

                And of course I can “bracket my disbelief..” and in fact, have yet to invoke it at all in this conversation. Can you bracket your “knowledge” of the existence of a morally perfect god to see where those that don’t hold that belief are coming from?

                I’ll see if there’s a good and concise link for Harris or Dillahunty content I can provide. Until then, enjoy the S+S offseason.

                Bryan

                Like

                1. The para starting “I don’t..” shouldn’t be italicized, as it’s my reply. Sry.

                  Like

                2. Bryan,

                  Cool, and I see you bringing the convo to a natural conclusion so I won’t go on and just wait for the links but I will just say this- you are right to say killing is a big deal in and of itself- its evil that human death exists, this was never the moral ideal and so it is regrettable even when fully morally justified.

                  I just meant to say that given that we live in a fallen world where death and killing are sometimes justified, my conscience doesn’t speak to me that I do something immoral or violate a principle of life when I kill in legal self-defense and/or in war or in the case of the Flood with God. Of course the fact that killing in these circumstances while justified, is still not the ideal- no one should die period let alone be killed by another human being or God, but Adam and Eve disobeyed God and hence we live in a sinful world where such justified measures are sometimes necessary.

                  Also as to me bracketing out my belief in a morally perfect God- sure I can- I can see how someone without this knowledge would not be able to kill based on an order from God, I myself said the same in the show. But in the context of defending Abraham, I’m simply providing an equally possible explanation that would justify the account if true, I don’t think skeptics can rule out the possible moral justifications for his actions and say they are improbable to be true by simply appealing to the general principle that we ought to preserve life.

                  Maybe think of it this way- forget God for a second- imagine I get put before you on a jury and they say I killed someone, I say yep I sure did- you say that’s horrible, it violates the principle of life and killing someone is a BIG deal- lock him up- but then I say wait a sec, I have a moral justification which exempts this principle (even if the necessary loss of life is regrettable), I was a soldier in a war and the enemy was trying to shoot an innocent 5 year old child at the time I shot him. Do you say, no this is garbage and improbable, you are just making excuses, lock him up. Or do you say OK wait a second yeah if true then you would not be at fault for killing this person. Let’s remain agnostic on making any claims of guilt or innocence until we can investigate to see if what you say is true or not before I make a claim that you are guilty.

                  Well, its the same with God and Abraham in this case, they are that soldier and they are put before you as a judge, you ask did you kill and/or be willing to kill that person, yep sure did they say. but we have a moral justification = (enter my Molinistic Defeater) which I say is equally possible. Do you say, nope just ignore that possibility and pronounce/claim them to be guilty or do you say- wait, if this is true than you would be justified, let’s remain agnostic with no claims of innocent or guilty until we can investigate to see if the justification defense is true or not.

                  Anyways, will wait for the links 🙂 And thanks for clarifying the non-judgement part and stating you were just giving your honest opinions about what I said, I appreciated the effort to disagree respectfully and honestly ther- that’s exactly how I envision good disagreements going and so I’m happy to see that happening on here 🙂

                  Like

  2. I’ve noticed you deleted posts of mine, I didn’t ask for that, can you tell us what policy they ran afoul of to warrant it?

    Like

    1. Bryan,

      As far as I know you and I have had great convos so you didn’t breach any policies- David and I have been in contact behind the scenes given the turbulent nature of the last few days, so we are trying to work out an official policy so everyone can be on the same page, I promise they will be made available to everyone before Season 2 begins so you can have the option of wanting to participate or not.

      Anyways I would appreciate if you can temporarily be cool, while we work these details out together- please and thank you?- I promise once David and I are finished communicating behind the scenes in trying to work out a fair policy for everyone then it will be made known to all so you can decide whether you guys like the rules or not 🙂

      I thank you for the respect you have shown toward me and the S&S Boards throughout all of this, again our goal is to allow the freedom to foster good substantive conversations while at the same time curbing any behaviour that may discourage others from participating. I greatly appreciate your patience on that front 🙂

      Kind regards,

      Dale

      Like

      1. I can “be cool”. Glad to hear you guys are discussing it.

        Like

        1. Thanks Bryan, I’m also planning to be open to David’s advice, so hopefully whatever we work out will be acceptable to most everyone 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey everyone,

    Just wanted to make an official announcement for Robert Stanley’s sake, he has now posted up his edited version of the Podcast I did on the Abraham Test- I’m sure Tara will love the edited intro as I basically get cast in a hilariously scary light before the show even gets started, but its only meant for fun and to be provocative on Robert’s part 🙂

    Anyways Robert is great guy and so I highly recommend people support his site via;

    Is FAITH dangerous?

    His Main website on Podbean= http://therighttoreason.podbean.com/ .

    🎙YouTube: https://youtu.be/eB5SPnrXcI0

    🎙Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/27834735

    🎙iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-right-to-reason/id1233300936#episodeGuid=therighttoreason.podbean.com%2Fi-would-kill-my-kid-for-jesus-2c0a217a4874e32b55164da7f647c00d

    Like

  4. I don’t have a Disqus account so I can’t post over at the UB boards. My apologies if this is off-topic here.

    I am LOVING the discussion of burden of proof going on over there now. Keep it going. David and Vaal are carrying a strong torch. Dale, keep engaging on this point, it’s absolutely critical.

    Like

    1. I tried posting yesterday and it didn’t go through.

      I don’t post over on the UB boards but I do lurk. Just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed the conversation on burden of proof over there between Vaal, Dale and David. I think David and Vaal were spot on and I encourage Dale to keep engaging on this point as it’s important to the conversation.

      Like

      1. Do you have a link to the discussion?

        Like

        1. Here you go: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/premierchristianmedia/unbelievable_29_06_2019_1330/

          Some threads collapse so you may need click some links to expand and find all replies.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. The only problem Bryan is I’m trying to prep for teaching a class on Monday, so I don’t have the time to be fully engaged with side convos right now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t necessarily mean engage now, just in general in this topic. In my experience of interacting with you over this past year, the burden of proof and what skepticism is in general are your biggest stumbling blocks to having productive conversations with skeptics.

          Good luck with the class prep and execution.

          Like

  5. If there were any doubt, I would definitely not kill anyone because God can always kill them directly or some other mechanism, and my only guilt would be failing to obey.
    The interesting thing to me would be that 100% certainty God had given such a command would create 100% certainty that God exists AND is communicating with me.
    I wouldn’t call this an “Abraham test” because God’s command to Abraham to kill Isaac was not punitive against Isaac, this was a faith/loyalty/obedience test for Abraham — Abraham explicitly says he thinks God might well raise Issac from the dead after Abraham obeyed.
    I don’t know what the provenance of the “would you kill Tara” question. I assume Tara asked it, and Dale-Tara is really not parallel to Abraham-Isaac.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that is exactly what happened- Tara tried to ask me a trap question and I fell into it; I do so because I think it is a good way to illustrate what an essential saving faith entails. So, I would think your answer, given the postulate that we know 100% a morally perfect God is commanding you to do this is incorrect.

      I appreciate your take though and agree that God would never order such a thing today and so this is a pure hypothetical trap on the part of skeptics so they can pretend I’m a danger to society or less educated people. Actually, under this kind of slippery slope type logic (or rather lack there of), it is the Atheists who are the most dangerous in the world, their beliefs lead to contingent or arbitrary moral truths that allow for Hitler and Jefferey Dahmer to do what they want and can get away with it- they cannot derive an ought from an is- maybe they should all be locked up and not allowed to have children. Obviously this kind of reasoning by skeptics like Tyler B. are fallacious, I’m only responsible to be clear about the conditions upon which such an action is moral and its up to others to not act unless they have a proper understanding- same deal with Atheists being responsible for Hitler or Stalin or Dahmer– the logical implications of their beliefs may lead to them allowing these types of immoral behaviours but I get that most, if not all Atheists, are logically inconsistent and thus they may teach that one OUGHT to favour humanism even if logically inconsistent. They prove that God exists, everything they profess moral outrage at these types of things or comparisons so their moral conscience is not totally defunct and thus the person considering hurting people is fully responsible for their own actions.

      Thus, its on the people themselves to determine if they have the right to do something moral or not. So long as one is clear on their end and not preaching anything immoral they are good to go regardless of how others might misuse their teachings. If not and skeptics disagree, then I think that proves we should employ all of Tara’s tactics against her and the skeptics as they are the most immoral people in existence since they logically allow for the most evil acts in human history.

      Not trying to provoke all skeptics with this, more just a reaction to Tara and Tyler since they claim to make slippery slope type argument against me to justify their persecution of me.

      Like

      1. They prove that God exists, everything they profess moral outrage at these types of things or comparisons …..

        This should be one of those things christians should try to get other christians to stop saying. It does absolutely nothing to make anyone believe that you have any good arguments for your position. In fact, it just makes the christian saying it appear as if they have no clue about morality or how it works.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Euthyphro is alive and well. I can understand someone who values logical consistency trying to defend a position like Dale’s, unfortunately it just butchers reasonable definitions of many of the important terms. One would hope that it would bump up against other beliefs and values in a way that causes them to question the underlying premises but I guess there are less understandable fears than angering a purported omnipotent and vengeful god.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Funny you should mention Euthyphro- I will be posting my teacher-in-training Podcast where we discuss it today

            Liked by 1 person

            1. If you are posting it today, then that means you have already recorded it. Hopefully, you mention that the common christian response of “splitting the horns” is a completely inadequate response and does nothing the address the problem presented by the dilemma.

              Like

              1. Well Darren, I don’t say this as that would be a lie on my part, I know better. But my atheist prof does take me to to task in that he thinks one should take one of the two horns, I’ll let you listen to find out which one he takes.

                Like

                1. I know better.

                  Well, I suppose if nothing else you are definitely convinced you do.

                  Like

                  1. Yeah, I don’t think I can disagree with anything you say here, if there is nothing else to that statement at the very least I definitely am convinced that I do.

                    So, that’s the question to consider- is there nothing else to it or do I actually know better so to speak. Anyways, I won’t respond but I would be interested in your take on my prof’s take on Euthyphro Dilemma as I imagine you won’t agree with his take either.

                    Like

                    1. So, that’s the question to consider- is there nothing else to it or do I actually know better so to speak.

                      Given that I have seen your arguments already, I can say with 100% confidence that there is nothing else to it.

                      Anyways, I won’t respond but I would be interested in your take on my prof’s take on Euthyphro Dilemma as I imagine you won’t agree with his take either.

                      It will be a week or two before I get to it. I have a lot of podcasts in the queue before this one. But I will get to it eventually.

                      Like

            2. Dale, where is this teacher-in-training podcast with your prof to be found?
              Thanks.

              Like

              1. Hey Vaal, I had to take it down as per the request of my professor out of concern for some of the students who I didn’t ask for their consent to be recorded and one of them didn’t wish to have it posted.

                So unfortunately it had to be taken down and won’t be put back up out of respect for the student who didn’t want it put up.

                Sorry about that as it was a great discussion and I think would have been good for you guys to listen to but I have to respect the wishes of the prof and class on this front.

                Like

                1. I still have the podcast having downloaded it earlier. Can we discuss it here?

                  I just got to the Euthyphro part and you start with a burden of proof shift. Not a good start.

                  Like

                  1. Sure that is fine but yeah just keep your comment based primarily on what I said just to be safe. The burden of proof being properly put on the Skeptic- the actual claimant was something that I said (and perfectly correctly so) but yeah if you wish to provide general critique of what I said putting the burden on the skeptic, I think that should be fine as its only about what I said on the show.

                    Just bear in mind, if I do get the sense that your comments are related to others or hear back that your comments were not approved of by one of the audience members or something then I have to delete it out of respect for them- again I think most of the class didn’t care but there was at least one who took issue and so I want to respect his privacy there- so I just ask you to please be careful if you comment on it here.

                    Like

                    1. The burden of proof being properly put on the Skeptic- the actual claimant was something that I said (and perfectly correctly so)

                      Assuming God exists, the Euthypro dilemma is presented as a true dichotomy. Either God creates morality or he doesn’t. If you choose “doesn’t” and the God you believe in cares about morality, then he’s just a messenger. All of this flows naturally from the premises and assumptions of the dilemma. If God creates morality without outside constraints then morality as chosen is arbitrary. All of this flows naturally from the premises and assumptions heading into the dilemma. There, burden met.

                      Now picking one of the horns and defending that choice requires a burden of proof. Moving to some “God’s nature” sidestep doesn’t help because the dilemma can just be re-phrased about God’s nature. So, your back to being stuck with the burden of proof for what you pick.

                      I, not believing in a God, am not hamstrung by the true dichotomy. So you can’t flip in around onto such a skeptic.

                      I’ll have more when I’ve listened to the rest.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Yes Bryan this comment is good as it is vague enough yet tackles the substantive point. I will just say that you don’t understand the dilemma or the nature of the third horn I’ve offered- morality being intrinsic to God doesn’t equate to saying morality is arbitrary as it is still what it is by necessity and could not have been otherwise via being grounded in God’s essentially morally perfect nature.

                      Pretend Atheistic Moral Platonism is true for a second, The Good as an abstract set of entities, it doesn’t make sense to say well “the Good” is arbitrary here because they are what they are out of necessity and could not have been otherwise. It makes no logical sense to ask what makes the Good, good in this case and its the same deal with grounding “the good” in God’s essentially and necessarily morally perfect nature. Its the “necessary” aspect that terminates the infinite series of questioning here not the fact its God’s nature per se as Atheistic Moral Platonism also terminates the infinite regress of asking why The Good good, ad infinitum. All the bit about God’s nature is makes the Necessary Good to be grounded intrinsically in God’s nature. See WLC refute this skeptical misunderstanding starting around the 9 min mark here = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBvi_auKkaI .

                      Finally, you mention the burden of proof and you object to my saying its on the skeptic b/c he doesn’t believe that god exists in the first place, this is true in reality perhaps but that doesn’t matter- the skeptic in making the Euthypro Dilemma is conceding the existence of God, so that simply isn’t an issue. Your skeptical claim would merely have to be clarified to include the hypothetical in it- for example, “Well I as the skeptic claim to know that, given God does in fact exist, there are only two options to explain morality as per the Dilemma. The Theist laughs and says, how do you know????- I can think of at least one other horn and perhaps there are others, can you prove there aren’t any other horns. If the skeptic says no, then the Dilemma fails as an skeptical claim and can simply be ignored from rational discourse but if the Skeptic affirms yes I do know there are only these two horns available, then the Theist simply says prove it!

                      Like

                    3. I will just say that you don’t understand the dilemma or the nature of the third horn I’ve offered-

                      He actually clearly does understand it since he addresses your response in his initial statement. The problem is you don’t understand why saying that gods nature is good doesn’t actually address the dilemma,

                      Liked by 2 people

                    4. Right well I know better than to get wrapped up in a discussion with you Darren as they never end well, so happy to take your criticism and just say I understand it, you don’t period.

                      Like

                    5. …just say I understand it, you don’t period.

                      Well, if nothing else, you are definitely convinced you are correct.

                      It’s funny. I’ve been listening to a new podcast called Artificial Intelligence with Lex Fridman. And they talk about a lot of the same topics. I bring it up because it is completely night and day to listen to a philosophy or apologetics podcast.

                      Instead of – Baseless claim and speculation on that baseless claim and if you don’t agree with me then you just don’t know what you are talking about. It is – This is how reality works, and this is how we know that it is true.

                      But then again, Apologists don’t ever provide answers, just baseless assertions. And I think your responses demonstrate why. Apologists are so sure of themselves that they can’t take a step back and see all the fundamental flaws in how they think. And while you are so mired in your flawed thinking, so sure that you are right and anyone who disagrees with you just doesn’t understand, science is finding out what is really going on.

                      But that is ok. Christianity is dying in the US, and I am happy that you are helping it along. So feel free to keep on being so confident in the idea that I just don’t understand. I will take it as a good sign.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Darren,

                      Duet 20:4 = “For the LORD God is the one who goes with you [Dale] to fight for you against your enemies [Darren] to give you victory.” I will not fall for your ploys again and engage with you in good faith while your goal is to provoke and name-call; I’m better than that and my time is worth more than that.

                      I can appreciate your thoughts for what they are worth (understanding the mind of a skeptic who is not to knowledgeable about these important matters), but I won’t be roped into a convo that leads to you acting very badly and abusive towards me again by calling me dishonest or whatever. I’ve learned better.

                      Like

                    7. Well if nothing else, that is one way to prove my point for me.

                      Like

                    8. Darren,

                      All it proves is that I’ve gotten wiser since the last couple times where I took the bait and tried to provide logical reasoning and evidence to interact in good faith with you and instead… well you know how those convos turned out, basically with you calling me dishonest, etc. That said, I will sometimes simply ask for your opinion as I’m actually an honest interlocutor that can benefit from anyone’s opinion no matter how well-informed or not they are and you’ll notice when I ask skeptics questions, I tend to simply say thank you when they’ve answered it without the need to goad them into never-ending debates or call them names.

                      So that’s it, my avoidance of engaging with you says nothing that supports your point below at all, except maybe to those so biased they are looking to dismiss whatever Christians have to say without critical thought.

                      Like

                    9. All it proves is that I’ve gotten wiser since the last couple times where I took the bait and tried to provide logical reasoning and evidence to interact in good faith and instead… well you know how those convos turned out,

                      My point: You are so mired in your flawed thinking that you are incapable of stepping back from it to see it.

                      Your response: Declare that we are in a war and quote a bible passage to …. I don’t know… make yourself feel persecuted like the bible says? I really have no clue why you feel quoting the bible is relevant. Especially one that demonstrates how truly weak your god is, that he needs you to fight a war in his name. Is your god really incapable of talking for himself?

                      My Point: Make a baseless claim made and then claim I don’t understand when I don’t agree with your speculation.

                      Your response: Make it a point to reiterate that you think I don’t understand what you are saying.

                      Etc, etc, etc.

                      Looks like you proved my point to me.

                      ….basically with you calling me dishonest, etc.

                      Then don’t be dishonest and I won’t call you dishonest. Seems pretty simple to me.

                      So that’s it, my avoidance of engaging with you says nothing that supports your point below at all, except maybe to those so biased they are looking to dismiss whatever Christians have to say without critical thought.

                      There you are, making my point yet again. The second or third time, in fact, in your response.

                      Feel free to continue making my point for me.

                      Like

                    10. No Darren, I’m never dishonest and so I won’t waste my time interacting with you as that way you can’t falsely impugn me by calling me it- simple solution actually; no one unbiased agrees with your synopsis of me (and I’ve tested this on many people), I provide warrant and evidence for all my claims. Sure, you can just dismiss that evidence as you do, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t warranted every single one of my claims- I have and do so all the time when its appropriate for me to do so.

                      Anyways, if I want your opinion then I will genuinely ask for it, but otherwise the solution is easy- just don’t get wrapped up engaging you in never-ending aimless convos with you as you just deny anything that’s said and pretend your opponent is dishonest or not answering your question no matter how rational or well-evidenced it is; your bias blinds you to the obvious truth much if not all of the time in these matters.

                      Like

                    11. No Darren, I’m never dishonest…

                      Except when you are making up positions for me to hold. And given I’ve seen other people accuse you of doing the same thing to them, this assertion you are making just doesn’t hold water.

                      I provide warrant and evidence for all my claims.

                      If by warrant and evidence you mean baseless claims that you can’t demonstrate are accurate, which sadly you do, ok.

                      Sure, you can just dismiss that evidence as you do,….

                      I’ve never dismissed any evidence you have provided. You have just never provided any actual evidence. It’s one of the reasons only about 14% of philosophers accept the apologist claims.

                      …your bias blinds you to the obvious truth much if not all of the time in these matters.

                      Of course, it does. That must be why only 14% of philosophers take your position seriously.

                      Like

                    12. Oh Darren, continuing to make stuff up about me as you live in your skeptical dream world I see.

                      OK well here we go again. See 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13 = For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

                      Like

                    13. Oh Darren, continuing to make stuff up about me as you live in your skeptical dream world I see.

                      Yeah, no one is impressed.

                      Like

          2. …but I guess there are less understandable fears than angering a purported omnipotent and vengeful god.

            That is true. When your completely “free” choices are to love god or go to hell, there really isn’t any room for logical consistency.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Saw a topic was posted for Dale’s morality classroom exercise then taken down. Are we discouraged from discussing it?

    Like

    1. Hey Bryan,

      Well we had a total of 32 views before it was taken down and so I can’t change the past if you were one of those who listened to it.

      That said, just be aware that I removed it because my prof requested it out of privacy concerns, I don’t think he would mind if you wanted to make a general comment about what he or I said, but just try not to comment on the students as one of them took issue with it being posted and so I don’t think he would like to be commented on.

      Like

  7. Dale said: I will just say that you don’t understand the dilemma or the nature of the third horn I’ve offered- morality being intrinsic to God doesn’t equate to saying morality is arbitrary as it is still what it is by necessity and could not have been otherwise via being grounded in God’s essentially morally perfect nature.

    Given I a.) Already alluded to this move you might make and b.) Have written only 2 paragraphs on the topic so far; perhaps it best not to jump to conclusions about what I don’t understand? It’s this type of rhetoric that gets you into hot water with skeptics. I’m happy to not respond in manner that escalates the vitriol.

    Dale said: All the bit about God’s nature is makes the Necessary Good to be grounded intrinsically in God’s nature. See WLC refute this skeptical misunderstanding starting around the 9 min mark here = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBvi_auKkaI .

    Making morality about God’s nature raises a lot of issue for the theist but here’s just one. You haven’t addressed the dilemma using God’s nature. The common definition of “nature” in this context is something you were born with, not something you cultivate or create downstream. I have a human nature, not a cat nature or volleyball nature. I have no power to alter my nature, I arrived here with it. Are you using God’s nature in the same way? If yes, it’s arbitrary and God is owed no responsibility or praise for it. If not, you’ve revealed a naked semantic play to avoid the dilemma without actually doing so. If God controls his nature and thus wills it to be good, the dilemma still stands.

    Dale said: ““Well I as the skeptic claim to know that, given God does in fact exist, there are only two options to explain morality as per the Dilemma.”

    You make this move a lot and it’s unfounded every time. I have not and do not claim to “know” that God in fact does not exist. I don’t believe it is so. I don’t have sufficient reason to assent to such a belief. So it does not feature in my reasoning about morality, politics, baseball or what ice cream I should have for dessert. Given I’m not trying to explain morality using a deity, the dilemma doesn’t apply to me. If you want to poke holes in my take on morality, we can do that. But not with naked strawmen, non sequiturs and question begging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan,

      Just so I know are you simply making a statement of your opinion and belief here or looking for me to interact with you?

      Like

      1. Dales said: Just so I know are you simply making a statement of your opinion and belief here or looking for me to interact with you?

        This is an odd response but I think I get where you’re coming from. Feel free correct me if I’m wrong.

        You think I’m “just” offering a subjective opinion, like a preference, therefore it’s irrelevant to the debate on morality.

        Well, I AM offering my “opinion” in some sense, but I am commenting best I can on the state of affairs in reality. Just because you think you have access to a higher objective authority, as far as I am concerned, that’s just as much an “opinion” until you can verify it’s real. Can you?

        If you’re just sick of interacting, feel free to just say so, not blithely dismiss me as somehow beneath you.

        Like

        1. Ugh on bad italics close. Should be after “…with you?”

          Like

          1. Bryan, you seem to be taking me the wrong way here, so I will be happy to let it go- I was the asking if you were making a statement of your belief as a last word without wanting me to reply back or if you were hoping I would respond back with my take on what you said.

            I’m pressed for time and so I if you just wanted to give your final say then I was happy to let it go but if you were expecting a reply than I needed to devote some time to respond. So yeah, I think you may be misreading me here for a change there was no blithey dismissal on my end with you as you’ve proven that you can make the effort to have convos in good faith so I was sincerely asking what you wanted me to do- that’s it.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Glad to hear it, thanks for clarifying. I know we’re in offseason so I hold no expectation of prompt reply or reply at all. Engage as you see fit, just keep me posted.

              Cheers.

              Like

              1. Cool, I will try to squeeze in some time if I can, right now I’m prepping for my debate on Jesus Mythicism this week but I if I have the time you will know via the notifications for sure.

                Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close