Revisiting Lewis’s “Law of Nature”

One samueljames has posted a defense of the “Law of Nature.” in response to my post on CS Lewis’s “Law of Nature” argument for God. One of the things I pointed out in my post is that our personal sense of right and wrong stem not so much from some transcendent, artificial law being imposed on our natures from above, but from the practical experience of humanity, which has been that some sort of moral code is needed in order to gain the benefits of belonging to a social group. Samueljames disagrees, however.

But the glaring problem with this argument is that it flies in the face of almost every human experience. Countless times in human history we have found that the “benefits from belonging to the group” pale in comparison to the power offered to those who can domineer and enslave “the group.” A dictator would then, by definition presented in this argument, have absolutely no ethical sense whatsoever, because he is above the group.

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Wow

Just a few days ago I was telling some friends how pleased I was that my new blog had received 71 hits on a single post. Then the 68th Skeptics Circle came out, and somehow my entry made it onto reddit.com, and foom. Over 30,000 hits since yesterday. Evangelical Realism is currently, as of this post, #1 in Top Posts and Fastest Growing, and #3 in Top Blogs, according to my WordPress Dashboard. Apparently, my “How God Works” post even beat out “Porn Name All-Stars” and Edwards vs. Clinton.

Awesome.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and I hope you come back. Thanks especially to everyone who took the time to comment. I appreciate your remarks (even pujyboy’s), and look forward to hearing from more of you.

Cheers.

 
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XFiles Friday: The Purpose of Purpose

Now at last we get to some real apologetics (in Geisler and Turek’s book,). Having moved the discussion from the world of verifiable realities into the realm of subjective philosophical speculations, and having identified 5 questions about Origin, Identity, Meaning, Morality and Destiny as being “the five most consequential questions in life,” Geisler and Turek begin their attempt to show that Christianity is the religion with the best answers to these five carefully-chosen questions.

The answers to each of these questions depend on the existence of God. If God exists, then there’s ultimate meaning and purpose to your life. If there’s a real purpose to your life, then there’s a real right and wrong way to live it. Choices you make now not only affect you here but will affect you in eternity. On the other hand, if there is no God, then your life ultimately means nothing. Since there is no enduring purpose to life, there’s no right or wrong way to live it. And it doesn’t matter how you live or what you believe–your destiny is dust.

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Science, superstition, and cellular “machines”

A blogger at the afdave blog thinks that Cells contain REAL Factories with REAL Machines, and wants to know why Darwinists don’t accept this assessment and follow it to its logical conclusion:

We now know that cells are literally factories–no, more like whole cities full of factories, with each factory containing thousands of automated machines for accomplishing the myriad tasks necessary to support life… But many Darwinists say “those are not true machines, those are not true factories. It’s just an analogy.” Why do they say this? What disqualifies them from “machine-hood” and “factory-hood”? They do all the same things as machines and factories, do they not? My mother once told me that “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.” Pretty good advice from a non-scientific lady. So why can’t the Darwinists get this simple logic? Do they wish to avoid the obvious problems with their naturalistic theory of origins if they were to admit the reality of these cellular machines and factories? I would love for a Darwinist to explain WHY they think these are not real machines. And, if they ARE real machines, why is it not the most reasonable inference to say that they may have originated by intelligence.

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How God really “works”

A blogger at passionateamerica.com has a bit of Monday Morning “humor” that (perhaps without meaning to) gives us a good hard look at how God really “works”:

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.” The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.

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Posted in Current Events, Unapologetics. 74 Comments »

Lewis’s “Law of Nature” argument

PZ Myers, over at Pharyngula, digs up CS Lewis’s old “Law of Nature” argument, which Francis Collins claimed left his atheistic beliefs “in ruins.” Let’s have a look at it, shall we?

Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man in in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football.

Lewis is off to a fair-ish start. We do have “some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are.” As a social species, we’ve learned by experience that each of us, as individuals, benefits from belonging to the group, even though we sometimes compete with other group members for food, wealth, mates, status, and so on. Some behaviors, like stealing and murder and violence, are so disruptive to the group that group membership ceases to be a benefit for most individuals. We call these behaviors “Wrong.” Other behaviors promote the well-being of the group, and thus the benefit to the individual members of the group. We call these behaviors “Right.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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XFiles Friday: The Philosophical Dating Game

Having casually dismissed all educated scholarship on the grounds of an anecdote about one university professor being a post-modernist, and having strangely and utterly ignored the scientific approach to making sense of the world around us, and having made a truly Olympic-caliber leap to the conclusion that religion is the only possible source we can turn to for a “box top” overview of the jigsaw puzzle of life, Geisler and Turek turn to the question of which religion has the “best” picture of how the puzzle pieces fit together.

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What is truth?

In preparation for todays XFiles Friday, I’d like to take up a couple of philosophical questions that have practical, and important, answers.

1. What is truth?

2. How can we distinguish between real-world truth and that which is not truth?

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The Emperor’s New Pigeon

One effective technique often borrowed by apologists is the Emperor’s New Clothes argument, aka Blaming the Pigeon. The commenter I replied to earlier gives us a fair sample of this technique:

Just, for a moment, consider the possibility that God is real. Don’t you think that it would be possible, if God was real, that there might just be a little bit more in His noggin than in yours? You disqualify the existence of God based on your finite mental capacity. Kind of like a 13 year old who thinks they know more than their parents. Or think about it in these terms: Is a 1985 Apple IIe able to process the same complex programming that a 2007 Macbook can? There is so much that we don’t understand and won’t even have the ability to understand until He chooses to make it clear to us. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Reality-based faith vs. superstitious faith

A commenter writes:

Belief in the existence of God or belief that there is no god requires faith.

Yes, and I’ll take it a step further: belief in reality requires a stronger and better faith than belief in superstition. And those who embrace the truth have a stronger and better faith than Christians do, because Christian faith is mere gullibility, whereas genuine faith is based on real-world truth.

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