HERE’S OUR BIG NEWS, STRAIGHT FROM JANET VARNEY! IF THIS POST GETS REBLOGGED 10,000 TIMES IN THE NEXT 12 HOURS, WE’LL RELEASE THE 1 HOUR BOOK 2 FINALE TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT EST ON NICK.COM!
No, seriously. Pick your jaw up off the floor! Catch “Night of A Thousand Stars” and “Harmonic Convergence” tonight at 8/7c on Nick…and then unlock the Book 2 finale episodes “Darkness Falls” and “Light in the Dark” online at midnight EST!
Let’s do this thing, Korra Nation!
today i met a christian guy who tries to follow the rules of the bible really good and i asked him if he is against gays because of Leviticus 20:13 and he told me no, he doesn’t because of Matthew 7
and he added that he would never judge anybody on their believes or way of living because only god can judge the people
this guy man
So, if this guy ignores terrible rules about stoning gays, because that is contradicted later in his holy book, that makes him a good person?
GOD’s NOT Dead, He’s surely ALIVE. He’s living on the inside roaring like a Lion. GOD’S NOT DEAD!
He is GOD with or without you. He is God, that’s just the way it is!
A movie about apologetics.
It’s about darn time. :D
This is exciting!
I have my doubts that the move will be by any means substantive. No Christian with little or no experience in philosophy just trumps his atheist philosophy professor. Of course, I’d have to see the movie to make my judgement. But, someone’s position is going to get straw manned.
If morality is truly objective, how does one measure it? Remember, something objective is something that does not arbitrarily change based upon the perceptions and interpretations of observers; it is something factually true for all of reality. So again, what is the process by which the morality of something is quantified and measured?
I want to start out by clarifying something about objective/subjective so that we’re on the same page. You can have objective facts about a person’s internal experiences. “Vanilla is the best flavor” is subjective. “Thomas thinks vanilla is the best flavor” is objective (if Thomas really does think that.)
With that out of the way, I think that objective morality can be built from desires common to humans and rational approaches to fulfilling desires. Everyone generally desires health and happiness for themselves. Many also desire the health and happiness of their family and friends, and going further some desire the health and happiness of their community.
The rational thing to do if someone has a desire is to act in such a way that that desire is fulfilled, all other things being equal. If I want to eat a hamburger, I could have simple reasoning process like this:
- If I want to eat a hamburger, I ought to acquire a hamburger.
- I want to eat a hamburger.
- Therefore, I ought to acquire a hamburger.
I don’t think many would find a problem with this line of reasoning. It can apply to other things as well, for example:
- If I want to have a clean house, I ought to clean my house or have my house cleaned.
- I want to have a clean house.
- Therefore, I ought to clean my house or have my house cleaned.
Now that I’ve established the general principle, lets see how it applies to the already established desires above:
- If humans want themselves and those around them to be happy and healthy, then they ought to do X, Y and Z.
- Humans want themselves and those around them to be happy and health.
- Therefore, humans ought to do X, Y and Z.
Here, X, Y and Z act as stand ins for behaviors that are most likely to produce the desired result. Things like not starting a culture of lying, not stealing from people, etc. The pro-social behaviors this encourages are what morality is. You can measure moral acts by how well they conform to the value of increasing the happiness and health of yourself and those around you.
This sort of morality can be called objective and universal. It is objective because the “if X, then Y” reasoning above seems to be based in a basic understanding of how a rational actor satisfies their desires. (If you’re hungry, you should eat. If you’re thirsty, you should drink, etc.) It also relies on a specific value that the actor can be said to have, (“Thomas desires X”) in the same way that an objective fact like “Thomas thinks vanilla is the best flavor” does. It is universal because it relies on a value that is common to most, if not all humans. Humanity evolved as a social animal, so our social instincts almost guarantee that premise 2 will be true for a given human. For those humans that premise 2 is not true for, we have laws and social norms in place which allow us to discourage or punish crime in other ways.
So, what’s more embarrassing: not being able to properly answer the challenges of a 11 year old, or needing to try and bully your way out of answering his question? Here is Hovind’s argument in a nutshell:
1) If you don’t know everything, you can’t be sure of anything
2) God knows everything and tells me things
3) Therefore all true knowledge comes from God.
The kid’s response cuts through his second and third point and just re-iterates the first broken assumption:
1)If you can’t know anything without knowing everything, how do you know God exists
And what’s Eric’s response? Rolling up his sleeves and basically dodging the question to avoid answering it, belittling the kid for not being very old (making himself look even more pathetic), and shuffling around hoping this embarrassing moment will soon be over. The lesson here folks is creationists can be brought down easily. You just need to call them out on their dumb shit and watch them squirm.
Second, it is truly remarkable what ends people’s careers in Washington - and what does not end them. As Hastings detailed in that interview, Petraeus has left a string of failures and even scandals behind him: a disastrous Iraqi training program, a worsening of the war in Afghanistan since he ran it, the attempt to convert the CIA into principally a para-military force, the series of misleading statements about the Benghazi attack and the revealed large CIA presence in Libya. To that one could add the constant killing of innocent people in the Muslim world without a whiff of due process, transparency or oversight.
Yet none of those issues provokes the slightest concern from our intrepid press corps. His career and reputation could never be damaged, let alone ended, by any of that. Instead, it takes a sex scandal - a revelation that he had carried on a perfectly legal extramarital affair - to force him from power. That is the warped world of Washington. Of all the heinous things the CIA does, the only one that seems to attract the notice or concern of our media is a banal sex scandal. Listening to media coverage, one would think an extramarital affair is the worst thing the CIA ever did, maybe even the only bad thing it ever did (Andrea Mitchell: “an agency that has many things to be proud about: many things to be proud about”).