Introductory Logic: Basic Ad Hominem, or “How to Not Respond to a Commenter”

Our Christian blogger friend in Here responded to My Post about his bad defence of Euthyphro dilemma on the comment section in the same page of his own blog. Now, surely he was not obligated to respond in mine, but since he did not publish my comment on his response, I decided to put this into good educational use and make a new post out of it.

My response to him was as follows: “lol! Ad hominem. Quite pathetic tbh, but I don’t expect anything more. 😀 “ Which was not published. That’s OK, after all, I probably should have expected less! However, his comments in response to me are interesting enough to put here. I believe this is a good introductory example of ad hominem attack:

Though I do appreciate your commentary, your discourse here reflects what most Atheists have; an inadequate understanding of Christian theology. This would be like me walking up to a Chinese man and telling him that his worldview (in the context of philosophy) was crazy without the slightest idea of how Confucian worldview operates. I really do appreciate when we can have discussion from one side to the other, but do your homework on true systematic Christian theology because your arguments, though seemingly adequate on the surface, would be considered irrelevant in academia by both atheists and theologians.

Also, I prefaced my argument with you must have the most basic understanding of orthodox Christianity and you have proven that you in fact so not have that most rudimentary skill necessary to argue on the other side of this post. It only makes sense within a Christian worldview. I don’t expect it to make sense to an atheist. That’s why that post was for Christians who were struggling with philosophy, not atheists. You of all people (self proclaimed master of logic) should know that you can’t make an argument without premises 🙂.

I would like to also mention that my linked post is devoid of any comments about him or his knowledge of moral philosophy, or lack there of. Also, just for the record, to my recollection I have never called myself “master of logic”.

 

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How to “Not” Solve Euthyphro Dilemma

Well, many have tried. I cannot blame our friend in Here for doing so as well, though ultimately failing. Let’s see what’s given as the objection to the dilemma:

“The Euthyphro ‘dilemma’ is easily solvable in the context of the most basic understanding of orthodox Christianity when one realizes that moral goodness, commanded or un-commanded by God, is a reflection of His divine nature in humanity. Pursuing goodness, Christian or non-Christian, then becomes an existential condition as a result of God creating humanity “…in His image…”, His image being a reflection of His nature, one of perfect righteousness and thus perfect moral good.”

So many things wrong with this, one wonders where to start.

Firstly, ehm, I’m fairly sure there is no such thing as God so that “goodness” is his/her/its reflection. Wait, I can immediately hear religious people cry foul: That argument has no place here. Well it does, but since you insist, and since I can see a number of other things wrong with that “defence”, I’ll let it pass.

What next? Problem: “Your” god, assuming it exists, loves faxing down commandments left and right to his chosen prophets. “Kill gays”, “Beat women”, “Don’t eat shellfish”, etc etc. Are you telling me that these abhorrently stupid and immoral commandments are not to be followed? Obviously [hopefully!] we are aware that these are immoral. So, given that according to you we are reflecting his goodness, in “not” pursuing these we are reflecting “Your” god’s divine nature? So, somewho with a divine nature of goodness, commanded some rules that do not match his divine nature? Funny that.

Oh but wait, there is something even better, you didn’t solve the dilemma at all! As soon as you make that statement, someone is bound to immediately ask the following: So, basically, whatever your God’s nature is, goodness is? What if you God happens to be jealous (in Exodus for example)? What if he is Murderously Homophobic (Leviticus) or a Misogynist (I’d give Islam as an example here)?

Is it so, that you believe your God has all the attributes of being good, or, is it so that whatever attributes your God happens to have are attributes of goodness? If the latter is true, then goodness is arbitrary to your God’s nature. If the first is true, then those attributes are separate from your God’s nature, thus there is no relevance between them.

Also, another might ask a different question: Can your God alter his own nature? If not, then omnipotence goes down the drain, if yes, then morality goes… Oh wait, he already did alter his own nature between the old testament and the new one. Well, I guess nothing else left to say.

I suppose this is enough. For now…

Humor, the Greatest Enemy of Fundamentalism (2): Voltaire

Candide having a curiosity to see the priests asked where they were. The good old man smiled.

“My friend,” said he, “we are all priests. The King and all the heads of families sing solemn canticles of thanksgiving every morning, accompanied by five or six thousand musicians.”

“What! have you no monks who teach, who dispute, who govern, who cabal, and who burn people that are not of their opinion?”

“We must be mad, indeed, if that were the case,” said the old man; “here we are all of one opinion, and we know not what you mean by monks.”

_______________________________________

Source:

Voltaire (2011-03-30). Candide (p. 67). . Kindle Edition.

New Book Published: “In Pursuit of What is Right”

Moral philosophy and answers to moral questions have always fascinated me. Part of it is because of living in an Islamic society that always claimed the likes of me (gays, atheists, liberals) were immoral, bad, wrong etc. This book was my wish, I wrote it to express myself the most, how I came to find reasonable answers for the sadistic nonsense thrown at me (at us) by the fundamentalists and fanatics.

I have tried to write for all those who may have the same problems, those who wish to find answers to moral questions in a logical way, and wish to see how we, human beings, have progressed towards these answers.

Find my book on Amazon Kindle: “In Pursuit of What is Right: The Progress of Moral Thinking (An Introduction)

On the Dangers of Abandoning Reason for Comfort

Often, religious people proudly talk about being calm and collected, and attribute it to their faith. Regardless of whether it’s true (Who’s to say someone like Sam Harris is not calm?), I wish to argue that even if true, it is not a virtue, but quite the opposite: It is wicked and foul, the surrender of one’s humanity into slavery.

This happens in Abrahamic religions in general, but as you may have noticed, Islam is my particular target, since even the name “Islam” come from the Arabic root “salama” which means surrender. For centuries, Muslims have been proudly claiming that this God (Allah) has sent them all they need, the most complete religion (A verse in the Qur’an says: “Today I completed my religion for you and finished my blessings upon you” [Almaedah, verse 3]). This means that Islam dictates their lives, from how to have sex, what to do during sex, what to do after sex and so on, to how to enter somewhere (with the right foot, and no I’m not joking).

The same thing, perhaps to a milder degree, but the same in essence none the less, happens in Christianity and Judaism. Yet again that God is very concerned with what people do with each other in bed, how they live their lives and how they end it. Does this make us act better as human beings? I have argued before that such is not the case. But does this make the religious more calm, more collected? Perhaps. Is that calmness good? Not at all.

There is not a day that passes by and I (as a none believer, and a sane human being) am not in mental anguish. Every action that I prepare myself to do, every interaction that I have with others, I keep thinking to myself if I have done the right thing. I keep thinking if my reasoning was right, if I acted correctly. There is not a day that passes by and I do not regret, and take lessons from, some of the things I have done wrong in the past. Every time I make a claim, I keep weighing it, trying to make sure I say the right thing, that I do not lie or not be dishonest.

I wonder what would have happened if I had surrendered my wits, my sanity, to an authority by means of faith? Obviously I would have been sure of the things I was doing, after all, they were the commandments of someone utterly righteous. They would have been my moral duties.  What if I was commanded to mutilate my baby boy’s (or girl’s) genitalia? No problem. I would have been happy to do so. What if I was commanded to behead my son (Qur’an: Assafat, verses 101-107)? No problem, I would have been more than happy to do so for such righteous being. And I would feel no guilt, no shame, no regret doing those things. In fact, I would have felt happy to please such being, my master, who literally owned me, whom I had surrendered to.

The thought of being as such makes me shiver. No, thank you. I’m glad I am in mental anguish. I’m glad my conscience is not numbed, is not surrendered into the slavery of a tyrannical sadistic master. I’m glad if I am not perfect, at least I can try.