Monday, December 20, 2010

God's Quality Control 3.13

Here I continue my review of the discussion guide published by the Prestonwood Christian Academy as a companion to the Hitchens-Dembski debate on November 18, 2010. In this video I'll cover an essay entitled, "Three Reasons to Believe God Exists." The actual author of this essay is Mr J. Steve Lee, Upper School Bible Teacher, Instructor of Theology and Philosophy, and Director of the Lions Scholar Program. I invite you to share this video with Mr Lee on behalf of all those kids who are being deliberately misled for the sake of filling Mr Lee's pockets. Join me in making these people aware that their predations on children are not going unnoticed.

  •  p.21 "...fundamentally one knows that God exists by the self-authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit." Just below this introductory statement, Mr Lee defines (rather sloppily) a few terms. Unfortunately, he does not define the word "know," so there's really no way for us to understand what he means when he says that "fundamentally one knows that [his god] exists." We'll have to guess. Since he quite openly admits that his knowledge is based on "the self-authenticating witness" of his camel-herder's hallucination, we can safely assume that his knowledge has nothing to do with facts. Given that my dictionary tells me that knowledge is related to facts, I have to assume that Mr Lee forgot to proofread his essay, as if he had, he would have used the word "believes" rather than "knows".
  • p.21 "...we show Christianity and God’s existence to be true through good argument and evidence." Excellent, this is exactly what I was hoping for.
  • p.21 Mr Lee's first good argument has to do with morality. First he asserts that "Deep within each of us, there is a sense of moral obligation." Clearly, this is true for most people, but just as clearly, not true for all people. Some people have faulty brain chemistry that makes them psychopaths, unable to process any kind of moral sense. Some people have good brain chemistry but spend their childhoods in severely dysfunctional circumstances, causing their moral sense to be severely hindered. Some people have a sense of right and wrong, but are quite misguided, such as those who feel that it's immoral for a woman to leave her house without a burqa. Many, many people have a very strong sense of right and wrong, but disagree sharply with many of the values that Mr Lee (or his fellows) most likely hold, such as the immoral nature of homosexual sex. This first good argument is getting rather a bad start.
  • p.21 Mr Lee asserts that even a moral relativist must admit that "torturing innocent babies for pleasure is always wrong and anyone who [thinks it is] permissible is mistaken." This is an interesting claim. First, I have to object to Mr Lee's qualifier, the word "innocent" when referring to babies. There's no such thing as a non-innocent baby. Second, get rid of the qualifier "for pleasure," because surely we all agree that the reason for the torture is irrelevant. Now, would you consider drowning someone a form of torture? I do. I know that Mr Lee won't allow me to paraphrase him in the following assertion, but I'd like to know on what grounds he would object: I assert that drowning babies is always wrong. Would you consider burning someone to death a form of torture? I do. How can Mr Lee argue with my assertion that burning babies to death is always wrong? Would you consider starving someone to death a form of torture? I do. Mr Lee, what do you say to my claim that starving babies to death is always wrong? Given that you're a "bible teacher" I'll assume that you know what I'm talking about, but for the sake of those who don't know the bible all that well, I'll give some brief details. Genesis 7:21 tells us that Yahweh drowned every single baby in the entire world; Genesis 19:25 tells us that Yahweh burned to death every single baby in the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah; Exodus 9:6, 9:25, and 10:15 tell us that Yahweh starved to death countless babies in Egypt. Mr Lee seems to want to use our values as an indicator that his god exists, claiming that his god is the source of our knowledge that torturing babies is always wrong. How can this be if his god is most likely the worst offender ever recorded?
  • p.21 "But surely, society was objectively wrong for allowing slavery or racism." Exodus 21:20-21 tells us that Yahweh allowed slavery. So wasn't Yahweh objectively wrong?
  • p.21 "God is the only source for objective moral values, because society and individuals can provide only subjective moral values." Wait, you're trying to prove that your god exists. You can't argue that your god is anything yet. Further, you can't claim that some weakness in human morality proves the existence of your god. Mr Lee, I was hoping for, as you indicated, "good argument and evidence." Your first argument, your attempt to use morality even to suggest that your god (or any other god, or even anything supernatural) exists, is garbage.
That's 3.13. Thanks for watching.

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