Atheist Staks Rosh on BEL Pt. 2
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Atheist Staks Rosh on BEL
* Atheist Staks Rosh of DangerousTalk.net: talks with Bob about morality and God. Bob posted his pre-show notes, even though they're not edited for publication, below for those interested.
* Origin of Language: Staks rejects the Bible's account of God as the originator of languages and apparently believes the evolutionary story of its origin and offered this as a challenge to which Bob referred to his recent Real Science Radio program on the Origin of Language showing for example that world-renowned linguists who are evolutionists have proved Darwin wrong in his belief that some languages are primitive, and that animal grunts can be shown to be steps toward language, and that evidence of language evolution would exist. Instead, Bob and Fred Williams present the conclusions of some of the world's leading linguists such as Edward Sapir and MIT's Noam Chomsky that primitive languages do not exist and no evidence of the evolution of language has been found! Human language appears suddenly in human history and as such, is another great argument against evolution and in favor of the Bible account of creation.
* Finally, a Comprehensive Listing: You're Invited to check out ARTL's March for Life Finder!
Today’s Resource: Have you browsed through the Department of Government in the KGOV Store? Check out especially our best-selling DVD on God and the Death Penalty titled The New Testament Support for Capital Punishment, and God's Criminal Justice System MP3 CD, instant download, or the GCJS printed syllabus!
Bob's Unedited Show Notes: There's an east-coast atheist blogger named Staks Rosch who, like me, was born in northern New Jersey. He has a masters degree in philosophy, and I'll read to you his blog account of how we've arranged to interview him today. Quote:
"I will be a guest of the fundamentalist Christian radio show 'Bob Enyart Live.' …Hemant Mehta (The Friendly Atheist) was a guest for two segments of 'Bob Enyart Live.' In the first segment he did okay, but the second half-hour he really was getting frustrated and in my opinion got slaughtered. He attributed it to the old bait and switch but the fact is that he did no opposition research. Whenever you go on Christian radio you really have to expect them to be hostile and be pleasantly surprised if they are not. In any case, I was critical of his performance on his blog and so Bob Enyart’s producer checked out DangerousTalk.net and asked me if I was interested."
So yes, Staks said he was interested, so I emailed to Staks a list of possible topics to focus our discussion, being:
- the existence of God
- the origin of life
- the origin of the universe
- the resurrection of Christ
- the young age of the earth
- on right and wrong, OR
- ______________ (other)
Staks wrote back, quote, "I definitely want to talk about morality and the existence of God. I also want to talk about faith and the scientific method, and the greater atheistic community."
So, from DangerousTalk.net, welcome to, “the prepared atheist, Staks Rosch.”
Morality and God: Staks, you selected first the subject of right and wrong, would you say that’s one of your strong suits?
Where do you get your understanding of the world and reality? What tools do you use, and how do you determine what is right or wrong?
What tools of investigation do you use, and how do you determine if they are valid? Do you use scientific discovery, and the laws of science, do you use your five senses?
Which of your five senses can tell you that it’s wrong to bear false witness against your neighbor? Or to torture him for entertainment?
Let's say you need to determine that it's wrong to kill a neighbor child and eat him, rather than to go shopping because you want to save money for a new car. Is there any absolute standard that tells you that is wrong, or does it just come down to your preference, your opinion, and perhaps the opinion of the majority?
If the majority think that homosexuals should not get married, then is it wrong for homosexuals to get married?
If the majority thinks, like Darwin did, that women are inferior to men, and that blacks are inferior to Europeans, are those views then morally correct and can be implemented in public policy?
Are the rules of morality physical, or non-physical? For example, the rule that it's wrong to rape a child, is that rule a physical entity, or a non-physical entity? Because for example, the laws of logic, justice, and reason are not physical. They don’t have mass, polarity, temperature, or shape, the laws of grammar, logic, reason, these are non-physical. Information can be represented with physical symbols, but they are symbols, symbolic, information itself is not physical.
Is this true or false: The laws of the physical sciences do not employ the moral concepts of right and wrong? None of the accepted laws of science, the laws of physics, even mention right and wrong. True?
So, what is your basis for determining right and wrong? Is it your own preference? Conflicting? Majority opinion?
You write in Is there moral grounding without God that: “Morality isn’t all absolute” Which parts are, and are not, absolute? If you don’t know, how can you make that statement?
Christians who do wrong are condemned by the teaching of Christ, whereas atheistic evolutionary regimes that murder millions cannot be condemned by the laws of science.
Faith and the Scientific Method: Science is all about observing evidence, and the Bible defines faith as “the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 like you might have evidence that electricity exists, even though you can’t see it, so let’s see if there’s any common ground here.
Is atheism the conclusion arising from the laws of science, or is an assumption?
Methodological atheism, or methodological naturalism: is atheism a conclusion of these, or an assumption?
In 1936 Einstein famously wrote, "the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible," and in 1944, remarking about Russell, he described the ability to get from matter to ideas as a "gulf–logically unbridgeable," which some scientists and linguists refer to as Einstein's Gulf.
And whereas Staks hopes that Sam Harris is correct that that science (specifically, neuroscience) can show us the ultimate source of right and wrong, in 1950, Einstein wrote that "science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be," necessarily excluding from its domain "value judgments of all kinds."
Science can’t tell you whether it’s wrong to lynch a black man, or tear the arms and legs off of a child in the womb, can it? What laws of physics tell you that it might be wrong for the strong to kill the weak and survival of the fittest?
Five senses? Which of your five senses can identify the laws of logic. Is it touch, or smell, or taste? Or hearing, if someone reads the laws of logic, do the sounds of the syllables determine whether they are valid, and what if they sound different in different languages?
Staks, you wrote, in Why do atheists care about religion (Staks words in italics): “Faith can’t be reasoned with or compromised.” [Of course it can; the Bible says, “Come let us reason together.” I reason and compromise in faith every day, and many of the fathers of the physical sciences were motivated out of their Christian beliefs, including Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Johann Kepler, and so many others. And you wrote:] When someone has faith in something, no amount of logic or evidence can change their immediate view [of course it can, I see that all the time]. Such a thought numbing mindset is not just a justification for cruelty, hate, and violence; it is a direct cause of such things.
Staks, you should be able to admit that atheistic Darwinist regimes of the last century have slaughtered tens of millions of their own people. So the atheist blaming religion for violence is like the pot calling the kettle black. No?
To tie this in with our discussion on Morality, Staks, you wrote about the Tuscon murders and wounding of Gabrielle Giffords, and you seem to be struggling to find a way to show that crime as truly wrong. That's probably because you don't believe in absolute right and wrong. But, here's what you wrote, promoting your own personal preferences as the reasons why this is wrong: quote:
"…even if she [the congresswoman Giffords] were someone who I disagreed with on every issue (like Sarah Palin), I would not wish for her to be harmed.
Could we take a detour for a money Staks on your comment on Sarah Palin? You disagree with her on every issue? In her book she says that the government should keep creation out of schools and that they should teach evolution, and she is extremely complimentary of homosexuals, and she appointed a Planned Parenthood board member to the Alaska Supreme Court, and I could give you a dozen other examples of why many liberal activists in Alaska supported her. So, you wouldn't disagree with Palin on any of those major positions, would you?
Staks: “We live but one life and taking life makes us less of who we are.” [Why does that matter? If a fish eats another fish, that second becomes less of who it was. So what? Is that an absolute that cannot be justly violated, that we can't make someone less of who she is?] “Violence is an attack on the intellect.” [Do you mean on the physical neurons in the brain, so that you're talking about atoms crashing into other atoms, or are you recognizing the intellect is not physical?]
“Our political system is based on dialog not violence." [You seem to argue that people should comply with your preferences. You prefer our political system, to let people be who they are, and to not attack the intellect. Other folks couldn’t care less about these matters, so unless they represent absolutes, they’re just your own opinion and preferences, or those of a minority or majority, as compared to the values of others.
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