Monday, January 29, 2007

"I don't believe anything is intrinsically good"

john w. loftus said...

"David, I am a consequentialist. I do not believe anything is intrinsically good."

http://problemofevil.blogspot.com/2007/01/stepford-wives-and-problem-of-freedom.html


To my knowledge, this is the first time that Loftus has every come clean about his own ethical commitments.

And it's easy to see why he's been so reluctant to lay his cards on the table.

If nothing is intrinsically good, then nothing is intrinsically evil.

This admission instantly disqualifies him from ever mounting an external argument from evil.

And it also trivializes any attempt to deploy the internal argument from evil.

Let's assume, for discussion purposes, that he is able to successfully deploy a sound version of the internal argument from evil.

That would disprove Christianity.

But since, according to Loftus, nothing is intrinsically good or evil, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with believing a falsehood. There's no absolute obligation to choose truth over falsehood.

Hence, his victory would be a purely Pyrrhic victory. He inherits a necropolis.

So file away his disclaimer for future reference.

10 comments:

  1. Boy, you don't miss a beat, do you? I just wrote that comment. Since David Wood said you annoy him on his blog you didn't comment there, but here. He doesn't think I annoy him. What gives?

    Look, just because you believe there are things that are intrinsically good does not give you any higher moral ground than me. You merely claim this to be the case, that's all. But claiming this isn't the same as it being true. There is nothing intrinsically good for either of us. You merely claim otherwise.

    Again, my argument from evil is internal to the triad of omni-beliefs a Christian holds to. Like Francis Schaeffer, I'm pushing the Christian theist to the logical end of what he or she believes, based upon those beliefs. Sure a theist will reject that conclusion, but I still keep pushing.

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  2. John W. Loftus said...
    Boy, you don't miss a beat, do you? I just wrote that comment. Since David Wood said you annoy him on his blog you didn't comment there, but here. He doesn't think I annoy him. What gives?

    ******************************

    What gives is the fact that there is actually more than one person in the world who goes by the same name.

    I believe that David's remarks were directed at Steven Carr, not yours truly.

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  3. BTW, notice that all Loftus did was to repeat himself. I already pointed out the flaws in his reasoning. Instead of responding to my counterargument, he merely reiterated his original argument, reproducing the original flaws intact.

    But, of course, that's his modus operandi.

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  4. Steve,

    You noticed the same problem in Loftus's reasoning, right before I was going to say the same thing. (I'm glad I looked at your blog first; otherwise, people would think I ripped off your idea.) You must have a built-in inconsistency detector like me.

    Yes, John, I was referring to Steve Carr. I think he annoys just about everyone in the universe.

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  5. As for Steve Carr, something interesting happened yesterday. Based on his posts I've read over the past few months, I had assumed that Steve was around fourteen years old. So I talked to him like I would talk to a complaining kid. But yesterday, I looked at his profile on infidels.org, and he's around fifty years old! So my perspective has changed quite a bit.

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  6. Look, for you to admit my argument is an internal one, I'd have to convince you that I'm right, for until I do you can always claim it isn't an internal problem. I'm pushing you to see the problems in what you claim. You don't see them. So you claim I'm mounting an external critique. Go ahead. But that's an impossible burden of proof. All I can do is push you to see what your beliefs commit you to, and if I do that I'm doing all that I can do. The fact that I don't convince you means nothing to me. A convincing argument is beyond the scope of any argument, since it's person-related.

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  7. Will you be honest enough to admit what I just wrote?

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  8. Loftus wrote:
    ---
    Look, for you to admit my argument is an internal one, I'd have to convince you that I'm right, for until I do you can always claim it isn't an internal problem.
    ---

    Which only shows that you have no idea at all what an internal critique is.

    You don't have to convince someone that you are correct for an internal critique. You merely assume for the sake of argument the premises of the position, and then demonstrate how they fail.

    An illustration.

    Suppose that a ball is Blue. This is the objective truth.

    Someone argues:
    1) Fuzzy things are never green.

    2) The ball is fuzzy.

    3) Therefore, the ball is green.

    An internal critique works this way: 1) & 2) contradict 3).

    An external critique works this way:

    1) The ball is blue

    2) Blue is not green.

    3) Therefore, the ball is not green.

    See the difference? In the internal critique, you are dealing solely with the internal logic of the argument presented; external facts do not enter the equation--regardless of whether they are objectively true or not. Also notice that I do not have to believe the ball is blue (maybe I believe it's red) to perceive this argument for the ball being green is flawed.

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  9. Whoever said I was mounting a logically contradictory internal critique here? Sheesh. I just wish I could put you on ignore, since I'd have less frustration, for I wouldn't even have to read what you write.

    So, I have "no idea" what an internal critique is, eh? "No idea?" Really? "No idea?" Do you really believe this? Yes or no? If "no," then you exaggerated your case, and if that's so, I cannot take any of the rest of what you write seriously. For then, all I would know is that you always exaggerate. If "yes," you are ignorant, plain and simple.

    Let me guess. With a little knowledge comes the self-assuredness you exhibit daily. That's why I believe you have little knowledge. It's because of your self-assuredness.

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  10. Loftus,

    I was unaware the amazingly magnificent fuzzy feelings internal argument that apparently you get every time you eat chili.

    Forgive me for demonstrating you have no self-control and cannot even ignore a post I write (unless you have a filter). If I knew you were that far gone, I'd have suggested therapy sooner.

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