One thing I see from arguing with atheists on message board is that a certain segment of our population has no cocnept of God as the concept relates to Judeo-Christian theology. What is more telling is that this segment can't understand the concept of morality either. The first piece of evidence of evidence I would ike to sumbmit is A debate I was having on a message board about the moral argument. The issue that God is the perfect moral judge, and being all knowing has the ability to understand the heart. The issue became muddled because they kept expecting me to argue for "objective morality," which I don't do. The real issue came up when several of them kept arguing that God's "opinion" is no better than theirs! Several of them argued this way and seemed almost stunned that I "couldn't understand it." Nothing speaks like hte horses mouth:
People claim that without warrant to conveniently support their argument. One could just as easily claim that He is simply treated as a super man, but a man nonetheless, but you obviously would not accept that. This is the "upshot" you are talking about. Why don't you understand that?This guy actually wants to say that God is literally a man! When I try to point out that the Christain concpet of God is not only that God si "more powerful," not just the most powerful, but the basis of all that is, duh...water off a duck's back. Means nothing. They can't even ponder the phrase.
The related issue is that they can't understand morality. I can grasp consideration the question "why do we need an ought?" My definition of morality is "the realm of ought." morality is the area of ethics where oughts apply more stridently to personal behavior. X is what we ought or ought not do. Yet my moral arguemnt asserts as a premise that there is a universal sense of moral motions, that all cultures embrace the concept of the ought in behavior.
(1) Humans are possessed of moral motions which we find to be real and important. We cannot deny the senes of moral outrage over "evil" or the sense that one "ought" to do that which we find "good."
(2) Such moral moral motions can be understood as grounded in terms of behavior in our genetic endowment, but no explanation can tell us why we find them moral or how to justify them as "ought's."
(3) Genetic explanations only provide an understanding of behavior, they do not offer the basis of a moral dimension.
(4) Social contract theory offers only relativism that can be changed or ignored in the shifting sands of social necessity and politics.
(5) matters of feeling are merely matters of taste and should be ignored as subjective (the atheist dread of the subjective).
(6) God is the only source of grounding which works as a regulative concept for our moral axioms and at the same time actually explains the deep seated nature of moral motions.
The augment turns on its explanatory value; this version is based upon C.S. Lewis with Kantian overtones.
That allows demanding of the argument, "prove there is a reason to attach an ought to behavior." Yet an atheist known as 1337 argues that it's begging the questoin to assume the ought.
Begging the question in my own words: The conclusion is embedded in the question/premise.
1337 (post 38)
I did in fact discount naturalism and I gave reasons as to why that was the case. I argued Hume's fork, you can't derive an ought from an is. Premise one "human are possessed of moral motions which we find important." Is not a logical proposition but an empirical statement. Thus it can't be begging the question because it's not a logically deduced premise. It's a statement aobut human behavior based upon observation of humanity. For evidence I site the list of cultures that place stricture upon lying, stealing, murder and other such disvalues, presented in the appendix to C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man. That removes it form the realm of questoin begging and makes it an observation tired to what people actually value.
Begging the question in my own words: The conclusion is embedded in the question/premise.This is what you have done here. You've assigned the word "ought" to morality which implies that there is a reason. You've discounted naturalism as a means to give reason for our morality and you can't have a reason for something above and beyond naturalism without appealing to god. So by assuming that we "ought" to behave certain ways is a premise that has god embedded in it already, but the premise hasn't been proven yet. It's like a loaded question.
This preempts asking "how do you know that the "ought" ought to be part of morality?" (dig the irony and self contradiction). I can understand the idea of asking such questions but the only real challenge would be to the empirical nature of the observation, which she doesn't do.
In both cases it seems both of these people have missed something foundational to Western culture that anyone in my youth would have understood implicitly. This is not to say taht kids in my young day did not question morality. Are you kidding? I was a kid in the 60s. this was the era of new morality. People back then certnly knew how to question authority. God is not just any authority. God is the basis of all authority. Yet it's more than just an issue of authority. It seems the very concept of God is missing from that guy's very brain. He wants to think that if we don't think of God as a big man then we are begging the question or special pleading (even stupider). No one who understands the concept can fail to see this si the nature of God belief. We believe God is the transcendent signified. this is what we believe in. This has been the concept of God for thousands of years, to think it was structured to avoid charges of special pleading which never eixted until modern tiems. is crazy. To think that God is a man is even crazier. They are actually trying to pull God out of haven and force humanity upon him so that he comes under the jurisdiction of science.
In addition to not understanding the concept of God they don't seem to understand the concept of ought or the concept of a phenomenological description. To say that the majority of humans value the concept of the ought is not something one can charge with special pleading. Either people do value the ought or they don't.If they do, the arguemnt assumes they do, so that premise stands. If it stands or falls it must do so on the basis of empirical data not logical heuristic. I have written on atheist watch why it's not special pleading either.
Not only is there good evidence that is empirical, regardless of social science's assertions to the contrary, but we also see the same value at work amid the very people who are trying to deny he value of morality. When the politically correct types insert tems such as "PC" they are basically making thier own version of the ought. "Correctness" is just another way of saying "ought." However it's phrased. If we say "it's immoral to be unfair to gays"or if we say "I's oppressive to be unfair to gays" we are still saying "one should not be unfair ro a certain group." There is an ought. For good old 1337 (such a beautiful name,I wonder if "she" (if she is a she) would let me call her "13") to say "this argument is a fallacy" is another way of sayign "one ought not to argue this." They are going t use their words to put themselves in control. yet the same concept is lurking behind their very critique of the concept.
This is the all the upshot of the culture wars. Those who opposes God and hate God belief are bereft of the concept and so removed form the former culture that they can't understand the issues because the basic ground level assumptions that stem from understanding the God concept are just not there. That is the great tribulation. Just as the images of the great trib depict total persecution of Chrsitians and total victory for the anti-Christ, that's what we see shaping up now. Not a literal fulfillment in end times senerios, perhaps, but the removal of the very cocnept of God such that they cannot comprehend what believers are saying. Another biblical metaphor would be Babel. The pride and arrogance of modern mans has so corrupted the language, language is culture, that even the very concept of God is gone! Even in such a stark time human nature still demonstrates the moral law written on the heart (Rom 2:6-14).