Monday, December 27, 2010

God's Quality Control 3.20

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 we'll finish the "Student Questions" section that is geared toward younger students. Today's honorary author will be Ms Paige DeLeon, Principal of Prestonwood's Lower School. I invite you to share this video with Ms DeLeon, on behalf of all those kids who are being deliberately misled for the sake of filling Ms DeLeon's pockets. Please join me in telling these people that their predations on children are unacceptable.
  •  p.27 "Think about your best friend being bullied by another student – does that make you upset or angry? Why? Where does your understanding of right and wrong come from – inside yourself?" Think about the last time someone caused you intense physical pain. Did it make you upset or angry? Why? Is it because this person did something immoral? No, it's because it was painful. Why bring right and wrong into the discussion at all? It's not about right and wrong. It's about the desire not to suffer. Given our enormous capability for empathy, it should come as no surprise that we have a primal reaction to seeing another person, especially a friend, mistreated.
  • p.27 If your ethics come from inside you, "how can you “impose” your personal rules on someone else?" Once again, you guys fail to think critically. Let's pretend that Yahweh really does represent some objective and universal standard of morality. Do you know what Yahweh wants? How do you know? How can you be sure, especially given that there are hundreds of millions of people in the world who agree with you that Yahweh is the standard but disagree with you on how to interpret Yahweh's desires? Don't you know that the Catholic church and many Protestant strains of your pox officially accept evolutionary theory? Also, don't most Yahwists agree that Yahweh doesn't like lies? How can you criticize me with a claim that I have no basis for being good to other people, while you tell yourself that you have an objective standard to which you don't even try to adhere? You guys need to do more thinking and less preaching.
  • p.27 "The universe itself doesn’t create or enforce ethical decisions. Does this seem to demonstrate that there is an author of what is right and wrong?" Umm, no? Does anything demonstrate that such an author exists? No. If you wanted the kids to think critically, you'd teach them not to be fooled by silly questions like this. You'd teach them to demand that the connection between a premise and a conclusion be made clear.
  • p.27 "Who would be the best author of what is right and wrong – a human being or God?" Who would be best, indeed? A human who works to reduce suffering and to increase peace and justice in the world? Or a god that tortures babies to death and is inordinately fixated on our private sex lives?
  • p.27 "What is a good definition for truth?" Are you serious? You guys are going to talk about truth? After all of your blatant lies? It seems really strange to me that you guys claim to know of some objective morality while you behave worse than any atheist I've ever known. I have to qualify that a bit. I should say, "worse than any out atheist I've ever known." I qualify it because I am convinced that the people collecting piles of cash from superstition-oriented endeavors are in fact atheists. You guys really should focus on getting your own house clean before you even attempt to engage with the rest of us.
  • p.27 "Yahweh actually describes [itself] as the Truth. [It] also claims that [its] ways are true and [its] Word is true. Scripture also says that Yahweh never lies." Superstitionists have some really shaky morality. Their god supposedly doesn't lie, but it has no problem whatsoever sending "deceiving spirits" (II Kings 22:22) and "powerful delusions" (II Thessalonians 2 : 11). Of course Yahweh never "lies." It has no need to tell an actual lie because it can hide behind technicalities. Come on you guys, you claim all the time to know of a superior morality, but you never show it to anyone. Bring it out so we can marvel at it.
  • p.28 " man is the highest and greatest of God’s creation, he is given the most responsibility and authority and must exercise that dominion with care, compassion and wisdom." Is this why so many of you drive gas-guzzlers all over the place? Is this why you don't seem to care that humans are causing a major extinction event? Is this why you make such huge contributions to the global population problem?
    That's 3.20. Thanks for watching.

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