Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Criticism of Dr. William Lane Craig

I just couldn't resist another poke at Dr. Craig today.  I think he just might become my muse, as he too is a philosopher--his philosophies are just somewhat different than my own.  He  attempts to use logic effectively in some of his arguments, but unfortunately for him, he fails miserably.  I am going to critique one of his favorite arguments for the existence of "objective morality that comes from god".  This is also an excerpt from a book which I am currently writing:

"Christians say and believe there are absolute laws which come from their god, when, according to their own dogma, there are no laws at all. Jesus, they also say, supposedly died to absolve them from following the 613 laws that Yahweh set out for them, which is a clear contradiction to having "absolute laws." (Remember, Yahweh did not separate his laws and commandments into categories--this was done by men-- and the ten commandments are included in all of his laws.) It is blatantly obvious therefore, that if Yahweh existed, he gave humanity absolute moral rules to follow which Christians say they follow, but in reality, they only pay lip service to a few of them. This shows us that for Christians too, their moral rules are relative, and Paul made this clear when he said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial."  According to Paul, everything is permissible when one believes there are no longer any laws to follow--it just might not be good for you.

This, however, does not stop the apologists such as Dr. Williams Lane Craig from arguing against this fact, which he attempts to do in his book, "A Debate Between A Christian and an Atheist." In his book, Dr. Craig argues that morality and ethical behavior is impossible for humans to achieve without a god, and absolute morals could not exist without Yahweh. He presents the following argument to show why he believes this to be true:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists. (p. 19)

He assumes that objective morals are conditional to a god existing, but I will show that objective morals are not dependent upon the existence of any god, let alone the Christian god. Craig's argument is a valid argument, but unsound, as without a god, we are quite capable in positing "objective moral values" through various Normative Ethical Theories such as Utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism is one of many Normative Ethical Theories, or NET'S, which are devices for producing specific moral judgements. The NET of Utilitarianism posits that:

"If any action increases the overall good, then it is a right action.

For instance, consider the following Direct Moral Rules (DMR's) posited by the Christian god, such as:
1. Do not lie.
2. Do not harm others.

In the examples below, these two DMR's come into conflict with each other:
In the case of lying for example, if I were in a situation where I was told that a roomful of people would be killed if my name was Susan, I would break the DMR which states "Do not lie" and lie about my name in order to save peoples' lives. To lie to the person who is about to kill the people if I say my name is Susan would be wrong, but to prevent harm coming to the others, lying would be considered to be right. According to Utilitarianism, when two DMR's come into conflict we apply the principle of utility directly to the situation at hand, and come up with what is most likely the correct judgment, which in this case would be it is right to lie in order to save many people from harm."

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1 comment:

  1. Utilitarianism does NOT provide objective moral values. One can see this very easily in your own description:

    "The NET of Utilitarianism posits that: "If any action increases the overall good, then it is a right action."

    Before one can determine if an action is a right action, then, we must first define "the overall good." Obviously, reasonable people can disagree about the overall good. Thus, utilitarianism is merely subjective.