Thursday, June 10, 2010

When a PhD does you no good

I simply must direct you to the most recent round of conversation between myself and Dr Ken Pulliam. It's not as if he began at a high level of discourse regarding his moral basis; I mean, "intuiting" that things are "self-evidently wrong" is pretty weak. But today he's gone downhill, and fast, and the man has a PhD in theology! Generally highly-regarded Luke of Commonsense Atheism thinks his recent series is "Christian Theology's Worst Nightmare" (and also deleted my comment, which is quite lame).  Ordinarily "a Ph.D.-carrying theologian hard at work explaining – in great detail – why Christian theology no longer makes sense to him" might cause one to shake in one's boots a bit.  But the mystique wears off quickly when one actually talks to the man.

Let's take a look at his most recent round of comments, from this morning:

Dr Pulliam:
Here is a quote from someone who believed that one needed a religion in order to have an objective moral code:
"This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life . The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us in thinking that they might usefully replace the existing denominations." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 10


Me:

I'd've thought better of you than to incite your readers to commit the genetic fallacy, Dr Pulliam.
Besides, it's not like Hitler was a Christian. You're committing your fallacy at the expense of paganism.


Dr Pulliam:

I am not saying that the quote from Hitler proves anything, so I am not committing the genetic fallacy. I am merely citing a statement that he made. You are free to interpret it anyway you like.
Hitler was a Roman Catholic as I understand it and he never renounced his faith. Granted, he was not a typical RCC and he was obviously a sociopath, but he was not an atheist, as Hector Avalos clearly shows.


Me:
--I am not saying that the quote from Hitler proves anything
Oh, OK. Then...what was the point of posting it, I wonder?

--Hitler was a Roman Catholic as I understand it and he never renounced his faith
I'm no friend of the Roman Church, but I suggest you do read the link.
And I didn't claim he was an atheist. He was a pagan.


Dr Pulliam:

In addition, Hitler said in a proclamation to the German Nation February 1, 1933: "The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." (My New Order, New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941, p. 144.)
What is my point? My point is that one can believe that Christianity provides an objective moral code and still commit awful atrocities. The OT is full of these atrocities. So, what good is an "objective moral code" if it can lead to such acts? Christians will say, "well that it is not true Christianity ! But herein lies the problem, if the "objective moral code" of the Bible can be interpreted in different ways, how then can anyone be sure they have the correct moral code? So, to argue that one only has a sure basis for saying whether something is right or wrong, if it is based on the moral code of the Bible is misguided. My question is: "which moral code" because the Bible has several and they are contradictory. Christians cannot agree among themselves on what the "true" moral code is.


Me:
--My point is that one can believe that Christianity provides an objective moral code and still commit awful atrocities. 

1) Yes, quite. Don't tell me you're unfamiliar with the biblical doctrine known as "sin".
2) I suppose we're back to your "intuiting" that these "atrocities" were "awful", aren't we? But once again, apparently Hitler "intuited" that murdering Jews was self-evidently a good thing. So the objective outside observer has to ask: how do we know who's right between you 2?

--So, what good is an "objective moral code" if it can lead to such acts?
Obviously, it tells you that they are indeed atrocities. 
Are you a PhD in theology and do not understand these things?

--if the "objective moral code" of the Bible can be interpreted in different ways, how then can anyone be sure they have the correct moral code?
Oy. This is the kind of stuff I see from the least informed atheists on teh Interwebz, sir. It's the same way I know you're questioning me about the moral code of the Bible and not telling me that Jell-O 5 no bones and the further they fly the much. This is a postmodern, worthless, conversation-killer that cuts the throat of ALL communication. Try something else, please. 

--Christians cannot agree among themselves on what the "true" moral code is. 
Someone who's willing (and able) to repeat the message of the Bible, whether or not he agrees with it, would know that the Bible actually predicts such things. I'm having trouble seeing what good your education did you, to be honest...

5 comments:

  1. I'm having trouble seeing what good your education did you, to be honest...

    A degree is no measure of an education, Rho.

    In Christ,
    CD

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  2. In the quotations that Dr. Ken used, the word "Christian" does appear. The problem is that Dr. Ken is employing the same trick that Mormons and JWs do: avoiding the definition of terms.

    If he was actually interested in the true connection, if any, between Hitler and Christianity, he would take the time to define what Hitler meant when he spoke of "Christianity". Dr. Ken doesn't do that, though, because if he did it would show that Hitler was a pagan, thereby gutting his argument and undercutting his fallacious reasoning.

    It's too bad, b/c it's always interesting to hear how the German Christians employed postmodern deconstructionism and gutted the Biblical text so they could replace it with their own ideology... This just shows that Dr. Ken, like all apostates I have known, appeals to the ignorance and not the intelligence in others; something else he and the Mormons and JWs have in common.

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  3. Rho:

    It's the same way I know you're questioning me about the moral code of the Bible and not telling me that Jell-O 5 no bones and the further they fly the much.

    I fail to see why accepting that Christians have different interpretations means I have to accept all extreme interpretations. These slippery slope arguments are unconvincing.

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  4. NAL,

    fjankdjvhhadfa;lkjdflkj;klj2389843;lkadfj.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You took the alphanumeric soup out of my mouth, Rho!

    In Him,
    CD

    ReplyDelete