Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God's Quality Control 6.10

Here I continue my thoughts on the debate between Sam Harris and William Lane Craig at the University of Notre Dame on April 7, 2011. We're listening to Craig's closing comments.

<clip (06) 10:54 FGM comment>

That's an interesting position for Craig to take. Nowhere in his bible is this practice is forbidden, or even mentioned. In fact, given male circumcision, and given that women are property, and given the superstitionists' bizarre fixation on sexual purity (which is a preposterous notion to start with) it seems that mutilating girls' genitals is inevitable.

<clip (06) 11:24 Psychopaths could occupy the peaks>

No, he allowed in principle for the possibility that science might discover that some people really do flourish even when they're doing things that harm others. He made this allowance not as an admission of weakness in his argument, but because he wisely guessed at some of the criticisms he might hear and wanted to address them squarely. What Craig is doing here is very similar to Ben Stein insinuating that Richard Dawkins thinks we were planted here by aliens. Quoting Arthur Leff's article called Unspeakable Ethics, Craig goes on.

<clip (06) 12:05 Who says>

Here Craig is simply underscoring the weakness of coercive morality: it's based on directives from an authority rather than on well-being. A playground bully who retorts in this way has grown up in a coercive environment. Further, and more importantly, he is underscoring the fact that far too many of us, even many asuperstitionists, have the mindset of children squabbling over the rules while dad is at work and mom is out grocery shopping. The Abrahamic faiths foster this mindset. It's time for us to grow up. Still quoting Leff, he says this:

<clip (06) 12:14 We are all we have>

Exactly. We've spent millennia trying to coerce each other in the name of some higher authority. It hasn't worked. It can't work. We need to start having rational discussions about what we want to be and what kind of future we want to have. And by we I mean all of us, not just Westerners in general or Americans in particular.

We move on to Harris' closing statements.

<clip (06) 13:47 How do you know?>
<clip (07) 0:12 How much sleep lost>
<clip (07) 0:54 Afghan warlord>
<clip (07) 1:35 Craig insists>
<clip (07) 1:52 No Christian physics>
<clip (07) 2:15 Lives truly worth living>
<clip (07) 2:54 Not the way to do it>
<clip (07) 3:10 All we need is honest inquiry>
<clip (07) 3:17 Right by accident>

No comments:

Post a Comment