Monday, October 17, 2016

Countering the Moral Argument Part 2: Responding to William Lane Craig



Note: What follows is the script for my YouTube video on Countering the Moral Argument Pt 2.  Keep reading below for the transcript!

Once again I’m rather surprised to see that apologist William Lane Craig has deigned to respond to my videos again in his podcast.  What I am more surprised to see is how Craig could so blatantly either ignore my arguments entirely or misconstrue my objections when attempting his own response.  To be fair to Craig in some cases his misconception could be attributed to how I worded things, but in other cases he even states a position that I explicitly argued against in my video, without even mentioning the objections I made against that position. 

Since this is a counter-response, I’m including links in the description box to my original video and website where you can listen or read my arguments, as well as link to William Lane Craig’s website where you can download his podcast and give it a listen or re ad the transcript.

That said lets go through Craig’s responses to my objections to the moral argument.



Objection 1: What does god have to do with moral values?

Craig completely misrepresents my objection.  He focuses on a superficial part of the objection where I say “At first glance the argument appears to be a valid, but unsound argument” and give a trivial example:

1.)    If 2+2=4, then leprechauns exist.



2.)    2+2=4



3.)    Therefore leprechauns exist.



Craig goes on to say that the argument doesn’t lose its force, because he believes the moral argument is a valid argument with true premises.  He says I have to show how the moral argument is analogous to the leprechaun argument in order for the objection to hold…but that’s not my objection at all.

He acknowledges my point immediately after the syllogism that apologists have to give us a reason to believe god is linked with morality – and then ignores my main point right after it:

“The problem is that once they do [provide the link between god & morality], the argument starts to lose a lot of its force.”

My point is that once the apologist links god to moral values by saying moral values are equivalent to gods nature in the same way that water is equivalent to H2O, the argument loses its force.

Consider:

1.     If H2O does not exist, then water does not exist.
2.     Water exists.
3.     Therefore H2O exists.


The corollary to the moral argument would be:

1.       If god does not exist, then [god’s nature] does not exist

2.       [God’s nature] exists.

3.       Therefore god exists.

Again he ignores the concluding point: why would we have to accept that morality must be equivalent to god’s nature in the same way that water is equivalent to H2O?

Objection 2: Defining “Goodness” is the central issue in moral philosophy

 Craig makes three blunders here.

First he says that “defining goodness is not the central issue in moral philosophy”. Well OK, he says that goodness is regarded as a primitive, which I agree with.  So it seems he’s quibbling with my use of “defining” in the title of the objection, but ignores when I expand on that with: “Moral philosophy has debated the nature of goodness and what makes something good for millennia.” This should make it clear that I’m not talking about moral semantics, but addressing what the moral argument tries to go after: moral ontology.

The entire debate is literally about “what it is that makes something good”. That’s what Modified Divine Command Theory attempts to explain. It explicitly says that things like love or truthfulness are objectively good because they are grounded in god’s nature.

He says that he doesn’t mean objective in the “object like” sense as I alluded to in my video, and that this is a misunderstanding. In my defense, quite a few apologists do describe morality in terms of being a unique kind of thing that is part of the fabric of reality. However, Craig means something else.

He says that he means objective in that moral values are objective if they are “mind independent”. I address this kind of objectivity later in my article, but I’d like to pause here and point out that Craig has contradicted himself based on prior statements:

1.     Craig holds that objective moral values are grounded in his god’s nature.
2.     Craig holds that moral values are objective only if they are “mind independent”.
3.     Craig holds that his god is an unembodied mind.


“Therefore the cause of the universe is an unembodied mind. Thus again we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its Personal Creator.”


How can Craig say that god’s nature is somehow “mind independent” when he holds that god is an unembodied mind. How can the nature of a mind be “mind independent”? After all, being a mind is a necessary condition in order for something to be “loving” or “truthful” or whatever other properties Craig wants to stuff in god’s nature.

The only option Craig has here is to say that if god exists as Craig conceives of him, it would be a mind independent fact that his nature is loving. Given that Craig says that a property being in god’s nature is literally what makes something “good”, this poses an odd issue.

The only way Craig gets to be “mind independent” is in a purely descriptive method, and it’s certainly very easy for a naturalist to get that kind of “mind independent objectivity”.

On atheism we can say that conscious creatures are inherently valuable because it would be a “mind independent fact” that consciousness is a necessary condition to be able to value anything at all.  This is true even if the atheist was a naturalist who held that consciousness was only the product of physical processes.  Now we can certainly add to that, but such a “mind-independent” descriptive fact could serve just as well as the basis for an atheist compatible meta-ethical theory.

Another more rigorously developed basis for atheistic moral values could be universal human desires. This view is defended by Larry Arnhart in his book: Darwinian Natural Right:The Biological Ethics of Human Nature.

Additionally, I don’t actually see why “objective as mind-independent” is necessarily what is important in terms of a meta-ethical theory.  

Wouldn’t we want something “objective as in applies equally to all beings capable of acting morally” as a standard instead?  Our desire for this kind of objective moral values is what’s behind criticisms of theism like this one from host of the Atheist Experience Tracie Harris:



In fact MDCT explicitly does not achieve this kind of moral objectivity because apologists deny that their god has any moral duties because he does not give commands to himself. However most of the atheist compatible meta-ethical theories do achieve this kind of objectivity.

Finally, Craig’s last mistake is to say that while Platonism is an alternative, he thinks it’s not as plausible as theism and that he’s given arguments against it in his published works.

The issue here is that people who are Platonists, I am not one, do have responses to those arguments. It assumes a very different metaphysic than what Craig endorses, and they probably disagree on what is more plausible, but it’s not as if there are no responses to Craig’s objections. If you’d like to read a thorough modern defense of atheistic Platonism, see Erik Wielenberg’s “Value & Virtue in a GodlessUniverse”.
Objection 3: Morality can be objective without being its own metaphysical object

Craig again misconstrues what I say, and it certainly feels as if he’s intentionally misreading me.

Craig thinks that I’m talking about moral epistemology, not moral ontology when I listed a number of meta-ethical theories that allow “a moral agent to tell the difference between right and wrong”.

Now I certainly could have phrased things better, but if you’re familiar with the meta-ethical theories I listed, as Craig actually is, you’d know that things like “John Rawls’s Social Contract theory, various forms of consequentialism, Railton’s Reductive Naturalism, and the Ideal Observer Theory” are as much about moral ontology as they are about moral epistemology.

Craig even says he could agree with these moral theories, but that doesn’t make any sense for most of what I’ve listed here. Social Contract Theory, Consequentialism, and Reductive Naturalism are incompatible with Modified Divine Command Theory.  Only the Ideal Observer Theory could be compatible with Modified Divine Command Theory, but it doesn’t need a god to exist in order to work. In fact it provides the same kind of subjectivist-universalist account of moral values that Modified Divine Command Theory does without requiring god to exist!

That’s in direct contradiction to the moral argument.
Objection 4: Moral Intuitions

Here I must agree with some of Craig’s criticism. I never should have labeled “Moral Intuitions” as an “objection” in itself with the points I made here. The point was not to argue for moral skepticism, it was to show how apologists justify premise two of the argument with our moral intuitions, and then point out how Modified Divine Command Theory violates those intuitions in other steps.

However Craig appears to contradict himself and the moral argument in his comments here.

First he seems to acknowledge that the meta-ethical theories I listed previously are atheistic conceptions of an objective morality, not just epistemological accounts as he alleged before.

Second, he endorses what atheist philosopher Louise Antony advocated in her debate with Craig that “Any argument for moral skepticism is going to be based on premises which are less obvious than the existence of objective moral values & duties themselves.”

This leads to a response to what Craig said as part of Objection 2 – that I need to do more than list atheist-compatible meta-ethical theories in order to respond to the moral argument.  That’s false, especially once you’ve accepted something like Antony’s point that Craig just endorsed!  I’m sure Craig is familiar with the concept of providing a defense, because he does it when it comes to the problem of evil.

Given Antony’s point, all I have to do is show that there are atheist compatible alternatives to refute the argument as presented. If I think that god does not exist but that objective moral values & duties do exist, then I’m justified in rejecting premise 1 by accepting one of these other theories in order to salvage my belief in objective moral values.
 

It’s important to note that Craig is moving the goal posts. He has just shifted from a deductive argument where rejection of theism means we must also adopt nihilism, to a kind of inductive moral argument where he says “theism is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties”. 

For the record, I don’t for a second think that theism makes for a better explanation of objective moral values and duties, but that is not at all the argument he presents in his debates or in many of his published works. There Craig and other apologists directly argue that atheism entails nihilism. 

If atheists find the moral brute facts and explanatory ultimate’s that underlie other meta-ethical theories plausible, then they can accept those theories and have an atheist-compatible system of objective moral values & duties.

For reference, if you do want to see a debate where an atheist compatible meta-ethical system is defended against Craig, I highly recommend the debate between Craig and atheistphilosopher Shelly Kagan. Kagan cleaned Craig’s clock with his defense of a form of contractualism.
Objection 5: Philosophical Primitives
First I have to admit another mea culpa: Craig says that Modified Divine Command Theory is not in response to the Euthyphro, but has been the theistic conception all along. To be fair to Craig, I don’t know enough about the history of theology to say that it was explicitly in response to the Euthyphro but that was not my point. MDCT was put forward under that name by Robert Adams in response to the Euthyphro, but other philosophers and theologians in Christian history, like William of Ockham, absolutely embraced the old regular Divine Command Theory objected to in the Euthyphro.

Now Craig goes on to say he agrees with my presentation of MDCT – something is good only because it is in god’s nature.

However he claims that this isn’t counter intuitive at all, citing my example of two people in love being “good” if god exists, but “not being good” if god doesn’t exist, even if the motivations and effects of the two people in love are the same.

Craig then misconstrues my point – it wasn’t that motivations and consequences can’t have a bearing on whether an action is good or bad on theism.  It was whether or not motivations & consequences have any bearing on the foundation of an action being good or bad in and of itself on theism.  That was literally what the entire example was about, and that does seem to be quite counter intuitive. 

Craig then goes on to make the same old non-sequitur about how if god does not exist then love is just a chemical reaction, and so he doesn’t see how moral value attaches to that.

This seems to say that love or any other mental process “doesn’t matter” if it boils down to purely physical processes, which reminds me of this great comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:


Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3082
Used with permission, Thanks Zach! 

The point is that even if love were just the result of chemical processes in our brains has no bearing on whether or not it matters.

After all there’s no real explanation as to how values “attach” to god’s nature either, Craig just states them as such as an explanatory ultimate and that’s it. 

This leads into my next objection.
Objection 6: Brute Facts
This is probably Craig’s biggest blunder of his entire response.

One of the strongest points against the moral argument is that theistic meta-ethics relies on brute facts as much as any other meta-ethical theory.

Remember, a brute fact is a fact that is not logically necessary, but is simply a true fact that has no further explanation.

Craig goes on to say that he denies that the concept “god has a loving nature” is a brute fact. He goes on to say that it is logically necessary.



At this point Craig is either begging the question or he is simply confusing his conception of metaphysical necessity with logical necessity.

The worst part is where his response is one I anticipated and argued against in the objection he’s replying to! Craig simply ignores that part of my objection completely. It’d be one thing to give his response to my problem, and then show how my arguments against that response fail, but he simply pretends my arguments don’t exist.

Craig says that god having a loving nature is logically necessary because god exists in all possible worlds, and that he is the same in all possible worlds.

This view has two problems when you combine it with the belief that a property being in gods nature is literally what makes it good, which I pointed out in the original article:

There is no explanation as to why god’s nature is loving instead of say hateful.  Appeals to gods definition as the “greatest conceivable being” doesn’t help here because you can’t say god’s nature includes love because it is better than hate without already having a concept of moral value that is external to god’s nature. 

Neither can an apologist appeal to god’s nature as a necessary being. This is because even if Christians conceive of god’s nature having the same properties in every possible world, there’s no logical reason that gods nature has any individual property over another. There’s no logical reason to say that god can’t have a hateful nature in every possible world instead of a loving one.

It’s worth pointing out that the two objections here are related. Remember, Craig admits that on Modified Divine Command Theory, god’s nature having a property is what makes that property good. So if god had a hateful nature instead of a loving nature, hate would be good instead of love.

So the “fact” that Christians conceive of god’s nature being loving vs. hateful is as much a brute fact as the Christian idea that “god is a trinity” vs. “god is a quintuple” is a brute fact. There’s no logically necessary reason for “the necessarily existing being” to have these contingent properties compared to others. 

Imagine for a second if an atheist in a debate with Craig responded to the fine tuning argument by saying that the physical “stuff” that is the basis of reality is “necessary”.  We would then say the physical constants are just properties of this “necessary stuff” and so these constants were actually “logically necessary” as a result.

Craig would immediately object and call such a move ad hoc and arbitrary, and it would be.  The theist who holds Modified Divine Command Theory is doing the same kind of thing. They say “whatever is in the nature of this being, which I simply define as necessary, is what counts as good”, and then they just rattle off a list of attributes this being supposedly has.

This relates to Craig’s second point on this objection – that non-theistic explanatory ultimate’s are premature or arbitrary. I rightfully charge back that Craig’s explanatory ultimate is a useless addition that serves no function. Craig’s explanatory ultimate is no less arbitrary given his views about how the nature of “love” has nothing to do with the “grounding of its goodness”.  It’s just whether or not the nature of this being he defines as necessary has quality X, then quality X is good.
Objection 7: Why Value That?

Craig immediately objects to my calling the moral argument a farce by listing off a number of scholars who have defended the argument and says that they are not farcical.  First, many of those scholars are defending Modified Divine Command Theory, not necessarily the moral argument as Craig presents it.

Second, the quality of the scholars who believe in some topic has very little to do with whether or not a topic is farcical. After all, Isaac Newton spent countless hours pursuing alchemy and he is one of the greatest scholars who ever lived.  This does not change the fact that given what we know now, alchemy is a farce.

Craig then simply restates the question asking why on atheism we should think things like being able to love, form relationships, to be happy or sad – why these abilities should count as good in the absence of god.

The answer was in the previous objection – the tenants of humanism can be used as a basis for our moral brute fact, or as Craig called it, our explanatory ultimate.  In fact when we reflect on those qualities and abilities, we seem compelled to believe that there really is something special about them in themselves.  The fact that Craig does not like this explanation has no bearing on whether or not we have one, and that we can use it to get a kind of objective moral value system.

After all, the same question can be turned right back on his meta-ethical theory: Why value the qualities found in the nature of a being you call god?  Appealing to the fact that apologists define god as valuable or as the ultimate moral standard doesn’t really help convince me to accept their moral standard. It’s just a declaration of their explanatory ultimate.

Objection 8: Modified Divine Command Theory Entails Moral Absolutism

All Craig does here is simply restate the attempted solution I gave to the problem of moral absolutism on Modified Divine Command Theory, but he doesn’t so much as mention the critique I gave of the “Graded Absolutism” solution.  All he says is that I simply don’t understand the meta-ethical theories.

Craig never addresses the problem of “greater or lesser absolutes” when those absolutes correspond to aspects of god’s nature:

To say that the moral absolute to preserve someone’s life is greater than the moral absolute to not tell a lie is to say that somehow one part of god’s nature, ie his love, would be greater another part, ie. his truthfulness.

But how exactly is that reconcilable with MDCT? In order to do so you would need some kind of metric apart from god to determine which parts of god’s nature were greater than the other parts. This contradicts MDCT which holds that god’s nature is itself the standard of morality. I also don’t see how this can hold up to other theological notions of divine perfection.

Objection 9: Christianity + Modified Divine Command Theory Entails Moral Absurdities

I love Craig’s initial response, to act as if this is old hat: “Oh here come those atheists pointing out the morally abhorrent things I said again!”

Craig tries to say that this isn’t an objection to the moral argument, but an attack on biblical inerrancy. While I agree that Christians can respond to this objection by taking novel approaches to “inerrancy” and denying that their god actually commanded these things, or permitted slavery, etc, that does bring on other problems related to other arguments Christian apologists need to make, like the argument for the resurrection of Jesus. Are we to believe that the parts of the bible where god commands genocide and permits slavery aren’t literally true, but the accounts of the resurrection are?

Besides that, Craig ignores the tie-in to the moral argument – the fact that on his meta-ethical theory these genocides aren’t just permissible, but morally obligatory.   Acceptance of Modified Divine Command Theory is critical to excusing the genocides – because MDCT entails god himself has no moral obligations.  It also ignores the point that these kinds of commands violate some of our strongest moral intuitions – like not slaughtering infants and young children.  As I pointed out in Objection 4, Craig appeals to those same moral intuitions when he justifies accepting that objective moral values and duties exist.

That is part of the point in the objection – the meta-ethical theory the moral argument depends on can be used to justify pretty much anything, even crimes against humanity, so long as god commands it. The take away is this: when Craig defends genocide as morally obligatory on his meta-ethical system, that’s evidence we should reject his meta-ethical system.  

Objection 10: Modified Divine Command Theory is Self-Defeating on Moral Obligations

Craig’s response here really takes the cake in terms of obfuscating the point of my objection and leaving my criticisms of his responses completely unstated.

Craig says that “My theory of obligation is that obligations arise from the commands or imperatives of a competent authority.”

He then skips ahead, saying that I admit that really any meta-ethical theory will have to confront this sort of problem, reach your “explanatory ultimate as to what the nature of moral obligation is and when it arises”.

What he doesn’t mention is what is literally in the title of my objection: that this theory of moral obligation is self-defeating when applied to Modified Divine Command Theory! 

Modified Divine Command Theory says that moral obligations are constituted by god’s divine commands.  But notice how the obligation to follow god’s commands doesn’t come from god’s commands, it comes from the nature of authority.  So at least some moral duties aren’t constituted by god’s commands – specifically the obligation to follow god’s commands! 

Craig just leaves this completely unaddressed, as if it was never even brought up!

I can agree with Craig that any meta-ethical theory will have to confront this problem, but that doesn’t mean that saves his meta-ethical theory from being self-defeating when it confronts this problem.  It just means that his meta-ethical theory is ether wrong or will have to be amended in order to function.

But amending Modified Divine Command Theory to solve this problem is devastating to the moral argument.  The problem is that once he amends his theory to get around the self-defeating problem, the Moral Argument is going to fail since even if god did not exist, we would still have moral obligations to “follow the commands of a competent authority” based on Craig’s on description of the nature of duty.

Now Craig does give another response, which I consider pretty laughable coming from him.  He says that the theist can just accept the infinite regress, because it is not vicious.  Craig says that we need to avoid infinite regress where at every level there would be a contradiction.

Except that’s not how infinite regress problems work.  They don’t entail contradictions, they just involve an infinite regress. 

This leaves Craig with some problems. First, since Craig does not believe that actual infinites can exist, does this mean that if he embraces the infinite regress solution, that there is no ultimate justification for following god’s commands? 

Second, his analogy to the proposition “p is true” and the proposition that “p is true is true” isn’t remotely analogous to his theory of moral obligation.

The question is “what obligation do I have to follow gods commands?” If the answer is “god commanded you to”, then we’re left asking “why do I have to follow that command?”   At each level of the regress, Craig is assuming that we have an obligation to follow god’s commands, which lands us right back into the problem with Craig’s actual position when you combine it with the moral argument – Craig’s theory assumes moral obligation exists, it doesn’t explain it.

Craig concludes his response by saying that this kind of problem eventually boils down to whether or not we find an explanatory ultimate for moral obligations plausible, which I agree with and stated as much in my initial video.

What Craig leaves unsaid is that we’re just arguing over intuitions at this point. An atheist is perfectly justified in selecting one of many atheist-compatible theories of moral obligation that they find plausible.

Craig can of course say he disagrees because he finds it less plausible, but that doesn’t mean that atheists don’t have any theories of moral obligation. It just means the ones we have aren’t plausible to William Lane Craig.

That’s why the moral argument fails for both moral values and moral obligations.  Once we’ve granted the basic assumptions required by a meta-ethical theory, it’s rather trivial to derive a kind of objective system of moral values & obligations and there are plenty of these available to atheists.

14 comments:

  1. you have not answered my arguments to the longer version,. please read then here

    https://counterapologist.blogspot.com/2016/05/note-this-is-much-longer-version-of-my.html?showComment=1477541528615#c1149718035577691217



    here is my full argument on my blog

    metacrock's blog

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    1. That's quite the odd response you've got there.

      The only point I can see being worth responding to is how you try to link god's loving nature as not being a brute fact, but you only do this by making an additional further assumption linking "being itself" to "love", which is itself ad hoc and not justifiable as logically necessary.

      It's still just your metaphysical assumption pushed back yet one more step as if that gives it any extra legitimacy over the metaphysical assumptions made by atheistic ethical systems.

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    2. The only point I can see being worth responding to is how you try to link god's loving nature as not being a brute fact, but you only do this by making an additional further assumption linking "being itself" to "love", which is itself ad hoc and not justifiable as logically necessary.

      I'm sorry that is totally ignorant, Three major thelogians make that co nection, Tillich, Balthasar and McQuarry. It isnot ad hock it is phenomenological and logical.

      It's still just your metaphysical assumption pushed back yet one more step as if that gives it any extra legitimacy over the metaphysical assumptions made by atheistic ethical systems.

      sure, it's your metaphysical assertiom that makes it a brute fact, A BF is an idea thathasnoreason for being it just is. Tillich and clo show that love has a reason fro being itsi not a BF. If it has reason kit;snot a BF.That reason is intrnscik to the nature of being.

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    3. you hve not answered of my argument.

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    4. It's so hard to take you seriously when you can't seem to even type a proper reply.

      That said, I don't care how many theologians you say provide a link between being and love, all they end up doing, at best, is making assumptions about the nature of being and/or love that are themselves brute facts.

      The link you provided is downright laughable, there's no logical progression - it's just an assertion that love is linked to being.

      Yes, one can say that being is a necessary but not sufficient condition for love to exist, but that does not make love equivalent to being. After all the same thing is true for hatred, or deceitfulness.

      You're literally just making assumptions, stating them out loud, and then claiming there is a logically necessary link. That's not how philosophy or logic works.

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    5. t's so hard to take you seriously when you can't seem to even type a proper reply.

      >>>that's what atheists say when they are out classed by my arguments. if you had logical answers you would not need to comment on marginal crap like spelling,

      That said, I don't care how many theologians you say provide a link between being and love, all they end up doing, at best, is making assumptions about the nature of being and/or love that are themselves brute facts.

      >>>If you consider the nature if hat a BF is then you can see certain ideas overcome it. It's not a BF if there's a reasonable explanation for it, or it has a higher meaning. Love is a higher meaning in and of itself.

      The link you provided is downright laughable, there's no logical progression - it's just an assertion that love is linked to being.

      >>>you have no understanding, you are just using canned response and asserting the party line and no reasoning,

      Yes, one can say that being is a necessary but not sufficient condition for love to exist, but that does not make love equivalent to being. After all the same thing is true for hatred, or deceitfulness.

      >>>I did not say it did I said the giving nature of both indicate they share a basic nature. Since we are talking abouit foundation Principle of reality there be many of those.you are so used to towing the party line you can't think about new ideas.


      You're literally just making assumptions, stating them out loud, and then claiming there is a logically necessary link. That's not how philosophy or logic works.


      >>>you are literally just spouting Dawkamentalist propaganda

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    6. you did not respond to any of the points I made in the last link above.I took apart your pudeo understanding of pahilosphy

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    7. "The only point I can see being worth responding to is how you try to link god's loving nature as not being a brute fact, but you only do this by making an additional further assumption linking "being itself" to "love", which is itself ad hoc and not justifiable as logically necessary. "

      >>>you don't know anything about Tillich ,not ad jocit' iontegral to Being itself.

      "The link you provided is downright laughable, there's no logical progression - it's just an assertion that love is linked to being.

      Yes, one can say that being is a necessary but not sufficient condition for love to exist, but that does not make love equivalent to being. After all the same thing is true for hatred, or deceitfulness."

      >>>that just underscores your ignorance of the basic issues,

      God cannot be a brute fact but naturalistic universe must be

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    9. there are a lot more reasons to understand God as loving, the inherent nature of moral value, the giving nature of being the overwhelming empirical research on mystical experience.

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    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. @A Counter Apologist

    I found this paragraph of yours very interesting:

    "Neither can an apologist appeal to god’s nature as a necessary being. This is because even if Christians conceive of god’s nature having the same properties in every possible world, there’s no logical reason that gods nature has any individual property over another. There’s no logical reason to say that god can’t have a hateful nature in every possible world instead of a loving one."

    It seems to me that something being necessary implies that that state of affairs logically can be no other way from the way in which it is. This would simply be itself a brute fact. You seem to ignore this attribute of logical necessity when you ask if some other property could be substituted in instead. The whole point is that it could not.

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  3. There is no absolute moral objectivity.

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