If God does not exist then man lives in Bertrand Russell’s world of scaffolding despair. Man is merely the product of pointless cause and effects with no prevision of the ends being achieved. All the labors of the age, devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vase death of the solar system. Man’s achievements are destined to be buried in the debris of the universe. Only within the scaffolding of these [teleological] truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
A Round Table Discussion with Michael Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach
In the most recent issue of the Southeastern Theological Review Danny Akin, Craig Blomberg, Paul Copan, Michael Kruger, Michael Licona, and Charles Quarles had a published discussion on Michael Licona’s Historiographical Approach to the Resurrection of Jesus. The article surveys the real issues at hand and presents a refreshing dialogue of the scholarly issues Licona tackles in his most recent book. If you don’t have the book it’s a must for your personal library. If you don’t have it consider yourself uneducated (too harsh?). You’ll also notice yours truly cited by Paul Copan in footnote 9 on page 79.
Here’s the appropriate citation and link to view the article:
Danny Akin, Craig Blomberg, Paul Copan, Michael Kruger, Michael Licona, and Charles Quarles, “A Round Table Discussion with Michael Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.” Southeastern Theological Review 3 no. 1 (Summer 2012): 71-98.
The ethical realist objector [to DCT] claims that it is possible for God to command rape in some possible world, or in an impossible world close to the actual world, making it obligatory for all moral agents, whereas rape is still morally bad in that same world, thus, making DCT arbitrary and is defeated.
The nonstandard semantics objection to the arbitrariness of DCT suggests that there is an impossible world, however close to the actual world, in which God commands rape or the torture of innocent children. Approaching the objection from an explanandum-driven consideration, would a contingent command be an adequate objection?
Consider the following contingencies of a command:
(CONTCOM) ∀ϕ[(◊~Cgϕ) ∙ (◊Cgϕ)]
(CONTCOMʹ) ∀ϕ[(◊~Cg~ϕ) ∙ (◊Cg~ϕ)]
The objector to divine command theory assumes that ϕ can be any command and could thus look like:
(CONTCOM″) ∀ϕ[(◊~Cgϕ ∙ ◊~Cg~ϕ) ∙ (◊Cgϕ ∙ ◊Cg~ϕ)]
(CONTCOM‴) ∀ρ[(◊~Cgρ ∙ ◊~Cg~ρ) ∙ (◊Cgρ ∙ ◊Cg~ρ)]
The proponent of divine command theory (DCT) claims that whatever God commands to any moral agent becomes a moral obligation. Formulations of the commands are given symbolic form by David Efird as:
(RIGHT) ∀ϕ☐(Rϕ ≣ Cgϕ)
(WRONG) ∀ϕ☐(Wϕ ≣ Cg~ϕ)
(PERMITTED 1) ☐(~Eg ⊃ ∀ϕ~Wϕ)
(PERMITTED 2) [(∃ϕ☐Cgϕ ∙ ∃ϕ☐Cg~ϕ)] ∙ [(∃ϕ☐~Cgϕ ∙ ∃ϕ☐~Cg~ϕ)]
The arbitrariness objection claims that [for example] if God commanded moral agents to rape then the action of committing rape would be obligatory to all moral agents. The objector assumes an inference in the form of the argument stating that ∀ϕ☐(Rϕ ≣ Cgϕ) may also be applicable in the sense that ϕ could refer to rape (ρ).
Darwinism is a multipart theory. Some parts may be right, others may be wrong. It’s important to distinguish what is right and what is wrong.
- Common descent (interesting, but trivial)
- Natural selection (interesting, but trivial)
- Random mutation
- The critical claim of Darwinism is the sufficiency of random mutation
The problem of rugged evolutionary fitness landscape
Abraham Varghese examines five mental phenomena with three preliminary comments: 1) These are not proofs but transcendent necessary conditions 2) These are not probabilities or hypotheses but “fundamental realities that cannot be denied without contradiction” and 3) Immediate experience of these phenomena are sufficient evidence.
The general argument: Materialism can never produce these phenomena–a mind is the only necessary and sufficient explanation.
Phenomenon 1: Rationality
The universe is rational; it has an inner logic that we are capable of understanding. There is a correlation between the workings of nature and our abstract description of those workings. Atheists cannot account for this on the basis of natural laws nor on the basis of something coming from nothing. Nothing has no properties.