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1 point

I. INTRODUCTION:

In order for my opponent to demonstrate that my conclusion is false, he must prove that premise 1 or 2 is false. My syllogistic argument meets the following requirements which are: the truth of premises, the relevancy of premises, and the form is valid. The three terms of the argument have been connected and we can see that the conclusion indeed follows. There is no avoiding it.

II. My Syllogistic Argument:

1. Every law has a law giver.

2. There is a Moral Law.

3. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver.

III. My Contentions:

Contention 1: Our Reactions Helps Us Discover the Moral Law

Our reactions will reveal the Moral Law written on our hearts and minds. It also indicates that relativism is ultimately unlivable. It is not always apperent from our actions, but it is indeed in our reactions.

Contention 2: Without The Moral Law, There Would Be No Way To Measure Moral Differences

If the Moral Law does not exist, then there is no difference between equality and racism, care and abuse, life and murder. Also, statements like "Murder is evil," "racism is wrong," or "You shouldn't do abuse children," have no objective meaning. They're just someone's opinion. Terms such as, "good," "bad," and "worse," would have no objective meaning when used ina moral sense.

Contention 3: Without The Moral Law, You Couldn't Know What Was Right Or Wrong

A person can not know what is moraly wrong unless they have some idea of what is moraly right.

1 point

INTRODUCTION:

Once again, I would like to give thanks to Swyrgt for his contribution. I have read his arguments in other debates and indeed they are thought provokers. On to the debate. Swryght makes several points that needs to be addressed. I will first define some terms, present my opponent's syllogistic argument, my rebuttals and contentions.

I. Definitions:

Metaethics: The philosophy of ethics dealing with the meaning of ethical terms, the nature of moral discourse, and the foundations of moral principles.[1]

Source:

1 a : a generative force : cause b (1) : a point of origin or procurement : beginning (2) : one that initiates : author; also : prototype, model (3) : one that supplies information.[2]

Archetype:

1 : the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies : prototype; also : a perfect example.

2 :idea 1a

3 : an inherited idea or mode of thought in the psychology of C. G. Jung that is derived from the experience of the race and is present in the unconscious of the individual.[3]

Sufficient: adequate for the purpose; enough: sufficient proof; sufficient protection. [4]

Reason: a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event, etc.[5]

All: 2 : every member or individual component of. [6]

Natural Law: "a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as inherent in all human beings and forming a basis for human conduct” [7]

Better: more advantageous or effective

Naturalism: a theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance; specifically : the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena. [8]

Supernatural: attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. [9]

Positivism: : a theory that theology and metaphysics are earlier imperfect modes of knowledge and that positive knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations as verified by the empirical sciences.[10]

II. Swrygt's Syllogistic Argument:

1. The sense of "conscience" or intuitive morality is better explained psychologically than theologically.

2. Intuition about morality stem from psychological archetypes or mental-instincts.

3. Therefore, there is no compelling reason to suppose that a God is the source of moral intuitions.

III. Rebuttals:

A. My opponent made this statement and I quote,"All human beings have an intuitive sense of right and wrong.” First ,it is an acknowledgement that intuition is a genuine knowledge of right and wrong. Secondly, that every individual of the human race has access to this genuine knowledge. According to the principle of contradiction, “It is impossible for something to both to be and not to be at the same time and in the same respect.[11] In other words, he clearly negated his own statement which was, "However, I don't think this implies either of the following propositions: 1) There is a universal moral law. It is saying something that does not correspond to the objective facts. Natural law is defined as, " a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as inherent in all human beings and forming a basis for human conduct" which Swryght conceded. Thus, my premise that there is a universal moral law stands.

B. Answers people give mainly falls in four categories: Sociological reasons, psychological reasons, religious reasons, and philosophical reasons. My opponent choose psychological reasons. I have to assume that he meant definition (3) which is "an inherited idea or mode of thought in the psychology of C. G. Jung that is derived from the experience of the race and is present in the unconscious of the individual.” Since he did not explain C.G. Jung's theory of archetypes than allow me to share a summary:

"term introduced by psychiatrist Carl Jung to represent a form of the unconscious (that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware) common to mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain. It is distinct from the personal unconscious, which arises from the experience of the individual. According to Jung, the collective unconscious contains archetypes, or universal primordial images and ideas." [12]

I think I can safely say that we are in agreement that "All human beings have an intuitive sense of right and wrong." However, Swryght denies that there is any supernatural significance by clearly saying that it can be effectively explained from a psychological viewpoint (naturalism). In his debate with Prof. Taylor (Athiest), Prof. William Lane Craig quotes Taylor's book, "Ethics, Faith, and Reason",

"The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, not noticing that in casting God aside, they have also abolished the conditions of meaningfulness for moral right and wrong as well.... Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war...or the violation of human rights, are ‘morally wrong,’ and they imagine that they have said something true and significant.

Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion." He than concludes, "Contemporary writers in ethics, who blithely discourse upon moral right and wrong and moral obligation without any reference to religion, are really just weaving intellectual webs from thin air; which amounts to saying that they discourse without meaning."[13]

1. Non-theistic Ethical Theories will be incomplete and Inadequate:

We can have ethical systems that make no reference to God, but it is incomplete and inadequate because they still do not tell us why human beings have intrinsic value, rights, and moral obligations. Spiegel made this point, “Meaning and value transcend the physical world and must therefore find their source in the supernatural.”[14] There is a connection between God and morality that even some atheists and skeptics have noted it:

a. “Atheist Michael Martin argues that, “theists give the same reasons as atheists for condemning rape: it violates the victim's rights, damages society. What Martin really means is that atheists can be good without believing in God, but they would not be good (have intrinsic worth, moral responsibility, etc.) without God. (Indeed, nothing would exist without him.)” [15]

b. “The late atheist philosopher J. L. Mackie said that moral properties are "queer" given naturalism "if there are objective values, they make the existence of a god more probable than it would have been without them. Thus we have a defensible argument from morality to the existence of a god.” [15]

c. "Agnostic Paul Draper observes, "A moral world is very probable on theism." [15]

C. Occam's Razor favors Theism

My opponent made the statement, that "the theory that moral intuition is psychological is sufficient to explain the phenomenon and appealed to Occam's razor. However, he is clearly misapplying this principle in two ways. First a simple definition of what Occam's Razor is:

"Occam's razor is a principle which is frequently used outside of ontology, e.g., by philosophers of science in an effort to establish criteria for choosing from among theories with equal explanatory power.* [16] In other words, in an attempt to account some phenomenon, the simplest hypothesis, other things being equal should be preferred. Now, here are the two ways Swryght abused the principle:

1. He assumed that both hypothesis were of equal explanatory power.

I have given the reasons why it is of no equal explanatory power. That is, incomplete and inadequate because his hypothesis still do not tell us why human beings have intrinsic value, rights, and moral obligations.

2. He assumed that my hypothesis is false.

Applying Occam's razor does not prove that a hypothesis is false. It is fallacious to make a bold statement such as, "that positing a God as the source of this psychological fact is to multiply entities beyond necessity.

D. Additional Problems

1. Not all beliefs can be scientifically verifiable

Positivism is basically the methodology driving naturalism. If my opponent believes that all knowledge must be scientifically verifiable than he must be aware that it is self-refutting since all beliefs can not be scientifically verifiable. Thus, by the positivist's own standard, positivism must be rejected as unknowable. [17]

2. Science cannot teach humans what they most need to know: the meaning of life and how to value it.

Most of our beliefs fall outside the realm of science. Spiegel quotes Holmes Rolston, University Distinguished Professor of philosophy at Colorado State University, "Science is never the end of the story, because science cannot teach humans what they most need to know: the meaning of life and how to value it....After science, we still need help deciding what to value; what is right and wrong, good and evil, how to behave as we cope. The end of life still lies in its meaning, the domain of religion and ethics." [18]

Conclusion:

Swryght declared that there is no basis or cause for belief that God is the Author of the universal moral law (the sense of right and wrong) because it can be effectively explained psychologically. That is, the foundation of moral principles can be verified scientifically. Therefore, denying supernatural significance. However, this is not the case because:

1. Non-theistic Ethical Theories will be incomplete and inadequate because they still do not tell us why human beings have intrinsic value, rights, and moral obligations.

2. If my opponent believes that all knowledge must be scientifically verifiable than he must be aware that it is self-refutting since all beliefs can not be scientifically verifiable. Thus, the positivist's own standard, positivism must be rejected as unknowable.

3. Science cannot teach humans what they most need to know: the meaning of life and how to value it.

4. It is the domain of religion and ethics (The philosophy of ethics dealing with the meaning of ethical terms, the nature of moral discourse, and the foundations of moral principles) and not science. In other words, it is not a scientific issue.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/metaethics

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/source

[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/archetype

[4] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sufficient

[5] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Reason

[6] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/all

[7] http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/naturallaw?view=uk

[8] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/naturalism

[9] http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/supernatural?view=uk

[10] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/positivism

[11] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-noncontradiction/

[12] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/32765/archetype

[13] http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-taylor4.html

[14] Spiegel, S. James, "The Making of an Atheist" pg. 34

[15]http://www.4truth.net/site/c.hiKXLbPNLrF/b.2832571/k.7E46/The_Moral_Argument_for_Gods_Existence.htm

[16] http://skepdic.com/occam.html

[17] Spiegel, S. James, "The Making of an Atheist" pg. 28-29

[18] Spiegel, S. James, "The Making of an Atheist" pg.28

1 point

"Is Jesus not both the son of God and God himself? Do you believe, flame, that the Bible is 100% truth or just a bunch of stories with minor theological meaning behind it?"

Definitions:

Theology: noun (pl. theologies) 1 the study of God and religious belief. [1]

Truth: 1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth. 2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.[2]

Story: 1 archaic a : history 1 b : history 3

2 a : an account of incidents or events b : a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question. [3]

Introduction:

Some people have an honest inquiry to investigate the accounts written down by the eyewitnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Namely, the four Gospels. That is, through the historical method. The problem is that when it comes to the Bible, it is not investigated with the same standard (historical method) as they would with other ancient documents. They would rather go by a different standard which is unreasonable. Indeed, the Bible, compared to other ancient manuscripts is trustworthy and reliable.

a. Tacitus: The Roman Historian

"There were other writers besides the Christian gospels. Take Josephus, for instance. Pliny, Suetonius, Tacitus. Lots of them mentioned a religious leader by the name of Christus. Whether or not you accept the Biblical version, surely the pagans are to be believed"

Tacticus was considered a very reliable historian. He had immediate access (public records, official journals, etc.) from the time of Augustus to Vespasian. [4] For him to make the following statement:

But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. [5]

Is indeed awesome! You yourself clearly appealed to non-biblical sources which actually is known as "corroborating evidence" in the historical method. Louis Gottschalk, former professor of history at the University of Chicago, argues,

"conformity or agreement with other known historical or scientific facts is often the decisive test of evidence, wheter of one or more witnesses."* [6] I just gave you one from those who you mentioned.

Conclusion:

Indeed I do have trust (faith) in the reliability and trustworthyness of the Bible because of non-biblical sources (pagan and Jewish, etc) that corrobates with the Bible concerning the accounts and events written down by the eyewitnesses of Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, it is reasonable for me to trust concerning the identity of Jesus.

[1] http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/theology?view=uk

[2] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/truth

[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/story

[4] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/579997/Tacitus

[5] Evans A. Craig, Fabricating Jesus, pg.104

[6] Gottshalck, Understanding History, pg 161

2 points

"There were other writers besides the Christian gospels. Take Josephus, for instance. Pliny, Suetonius, Tacitus. Lots of them mentioned a religious leader by the name of Christus. Whether or not you accept the Biblical version, surely the pagans are to be believed"

Indeed. He is considered one of the greatest historian.

Supporting Evidence: Tacitus (www.britannica.com)
1 point

INTRODUCTION

I think there is at least six areas of confusion which occurs when arguing from the relativism position. In this case, you are arguing from the "cultural relativism" which would be "the theory that culture shapes beliefs, provides concepts, organizes value systems, and informs and orients human behavior."[1].

Philosophical Argument: Sociological Reason

I submit that culture can sometimes be wrong and therefore would fall short as an adequate method to justify beliefs. The Nazi’s for example had a culture that accepted the murder of all Jews. The U.S. had a culture that accepted slavery. North India has the culture that accepts the anti-conversion law. [2]

Response to Western Countries being homosexual is amoral

Since you have accepted the definition of "amoral" which is, "'not concerned with morality"concerning homosexuality, it is false to make such conclusion since not all western countries uphelds it. It is an assumtption at best to state it as "western countries" and "general" than some. According to the Gallup Poll, one of the western countries, namely the U.S., does not in general see homosexuality as moraly right. It states that, "Americans may remain intransigent regarding the moral acceptability of homosexuality but attitudes about its legality have made a tidal shift.

Confusion-An Absolute Morals vs. Moral Disagreements

Now, what you are doing is confusing them by pointing out a controversial issue. Just because there are different opinions about homosexuality doesn't mean morality is relative. There are easy and hard problems in morality just as there are in science. "The very ability to make moral assessments is actually evidence that objective moral values exist." [3]

Conclusion

While our beliefs are shaped by our surroundings (sociological reasons: culture, society, parents, friends,) does not necessarily mean that we have to virtually accept literally everything as true or fact since these have been somtimes wrong.

[1] "Cultural Relativism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Thomson Gale. Encyclopedia.com. 9 Jan. 2010 .

[2] http://www.conservapedia.com/Anti-conversion_legislation_in_India

[3] InquireTruth (Quoting from a person)

Supporting Evidence: May 31, 2006 Galup Poll "Homosexuality" (www.gallup.com)
1 point

"Easy to assume" could be translated "reasonable to suspect

Luther was not entirely deluded. He made a few valid observations. But please study the man, he was very influential. I even suspect he was very influential to Hitler and Nazism"

There is a point I would also like to add:

1. Hitler, in these realms, he is not only out of his depth, he is also a purveyor of errors of both fact and interpretation. Therefore, "Easy to assume" could be reasonably even better translated as "misinterpreted".

1 point

We have two men who are qualified historians. However, I would like to point out that these two men, although well respected historians, are experts/specialists in a specific field of history...not to mention an Archbishop who is NOT even an historian:

1. Dr. Whitfield:

a.“Trained in Religious Studies with a concentration in Church History, Dr. Whitford's research interests include the Reformations in Europe, the relationship between the church, its theology, and politics, and the development of political philosophy in the West") [1]

2. Professor Norman Hepburn Baynes:

Was a noted 20th century British historian of the Byzantine Empire[2]

3. William Temple (archbishop)

He was educated at Rugby School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a double first in classics. He was a fellow and lecturer in Philosophy at The Queen's College, Oxford from 1904–10, and was ordained priest in 1909. [3]

Therefore, you have indeed committed a logical fallacy:

1. Argumentum ad verecundiam (argument or appeal to authority). This fallacy occurs when someone tries to demonstrate the truth of a proposition by citing some person who agrees, even though that person may have no expertise in the given area. For instance, some people like to quote Einstein's opinions about politics (he tended to have fairly left-wing views), as though Einstein were a political philosopher rather than a physicist. Of course, it is not a fallacy at all to rely on authorities whose expertise relates to the question at hand, especially with regard to questions of fact that could not easily be answered by a layman -- for instance, it makes perfect sense to quote Stephen Hawking on the subject of black holes.

Therefore, it would be reasonable to rely on Dr. Whitfield whose expertise relates to the question at hand, "especially with regard to questions of fact that could not easily be answered by a layman."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_H._Baynes [1]

http://www.claflin.edu/academic/HumanitiesSS/PhyR/whitford.htm [2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Temple_(archbishop) ) [3]

http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html#Argumentumadhominem [4]

1 point

"As I suspected nothing from the pen or lips of Luther himself"

"he is a qualified Historian in the field"

"Well then he simply MUST have thought more carefully about these matters then me. I better just go with what he says....sorry my mind doesn't work like that"

An example of an Ad Hominem (Personal Attack) because you reject the view based on a remark about the person ("Trained in Religious Studies with a concentration in Church History, Dr. Whitford's research interests include the Reformations in Europe, the relationship between the church, its theology, and politics, and the development of political philosophy in the West") and discredit position by discrediting those who hold them. Secondly, I gave you the link which has the primary and secondary sources. Scroll down on the page:

1536, Disputation Concerning Man (LW: 34).

"His anthropology, but also gives a glimpse of his understanding of the proper role of philosophy and reason"

1 point

Unfortunately, David M. Whitford's opinion on the matter is especially pertinent, given the fact that he is a qualified Historian in the field.

He made this point regarding Martin Luther:

1. "Given Luther’s critique of philosophy and his famous phrase that philosophy is the “devil’s whore.” It would be easy to assume that Luther had only contempt for philosophy and reason. Nothing could be further from the truth. Luther believed, rather, that philosophy and reason had important roles to play in our lives and in the life of the community. However, he also felt that it was important to remember what those roles were and not to confuse the proper use of philosophy with an improper one"

2. "Luther was self-consciously trying to carve out proper realms for revelation and philosophy or reason. Each had a proper role that enables humanity to thrive. Chaos only became a problem when the two got confused"

3. "Reason can be an aid to faith in that it helps to clarify and organize, but it is always second-order discourse. It is, following St. Anselm, fides quarenes intellectum (faith seeking understanding) and never the reverse. Philosophy tells us that God is omnipotent and impassible; revelation tells us that Jesus Christ died for humanity’s sin"

1 point

"I was wondering when you would start introducing "holy book" verses"

1. It was a response to your question "I have been thinking about the relation between religion and philosophy. I think an individual's religion consists of those specific principles of philosophy that they accept, try to live up to and promote. Do you find anything objectionable about that?" I believe that my answer is valid.

"Care to discuss the meaning of holy? I think it's closest synonym is "perfect" what do you think?"

2. Probably for a new thread? This one is quite a handful. :)

"respected (worshiped?)"

3. There is a huge difference between those two words, right? I think people in general would like to be respected.

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Tied Positions: Prophet vs. God

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