Category: philosophy

What are some ways that you personally find inner peace? And what kind(s) of beauty are you most drawn to in the world?

The honest answer is that I often fail to find inner peace. My inner life, as philosophers would put it, is chaotic. Getting my thoughts to stop racing isn’t easy and is only amplified by anxiety and occasional bouts with depression. When I do manage to find inner peace, it’s through meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing techniques; working out also helps alleviate my crowded mind.

As for beauty in the world, I’m most drawn to nature and sad music. I really like the A# major scale and its corresponding chords in any song. “Breathe Me” by Sia and “Hometown Glory” by Adele are two examples of songs in that scale. The occasional hike or drive up a mountain is therapeutic. I recently went to Mount Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona. It was an amazing experience. It’s always nice seeing different species of birds from the ones that are common here in New York City. I’m always keeping my eye out for birds I haven’t seen before. In that same vein, I watch nature shows like “Our Planet” on Netflix. That show, in particular, is shot with top of the line cameras, so I can get immersed and feel like I’m at the locations featured on the show. I’m also big on the cosmos, so any photos of nebulae and galaxies are awe inspiring. 

That said, the unfortunate thing is that I don’t allow the beauty in the universe distract me from the ugliness there is; sometimes it feels as though the ugly vastly outweighs the beautiful. With a political circus here in the US, the Amazon burning, homeless people getting beat to death with metal rods, children dying for various reasons, victims of rape committing suicide, ongoing human sex trafficking, and all the other Earth-bound issues we face, it’s hard to focus for too long on what’s beautiful. And that’s ignoring all the death and destruction we are oblivious to in the universe at large; the universe, as we well know, can be hostile: a gamma ray burst close enough to Earth will dissipate our atmosphere and we would all suffocate to death. 

The weight of my own mortality, the recognition that them who are closest to me will die (I have already effectively lost both my parents), and the recognition that a lot of so-called evil exists in the world have always shaped my personality; anyone who has gotten close enough to me knows that I can be quite macabre. I spend most of day pretending that this is all a comedy, but deep down I know that all life is a tragedy. Unlike my Christian counterparts, I don’t hold on to the false hope of an eternity in a place of no tears and suffering; there’s no happy ending to be had. Happiness, like much of everything else, comes and goes; it’s fleeting and we should enjoy it whenever we have the privilege of briefly apprehending it. I guess I’m always at peace though I’m always at war; I find order in my personal chaos. I am, after all, the universe made conscious, just like you and anyone reading this. I think we cheat ourselves and don’t fully actualize as individuals when we allow ourselves to be overly positive, optimistic, and enraptured by beauty. We must embrace turmoil, war, and chaos as well, so that we can realize, it toto, what it means to be human.

logan-smarter-than-you-sanders:

Okay listen, it’s really not, I don’t know what Christains you are talking to, but clearly not very many. This is a HEAVILY overgeneralized my dude, majority of Christians, their end game is to love people, while there are plenty of them who take the Bible and God’s word and use it in a twisted and corrupt way, but those who don’t, God calls us to love thy neighbor as thy self, whereas, it is human greed and selfishness that wants the control. Don’t try and shove that solely on christains.

Every human ever created has sinned at least once. It is inevitable, we are flawed creatures. But to say that Christians only want control and power, that is an overstatement and honestly kind of hypocritical. You cannot look someone in the eyes and tell them honestly you have never, not once in your life, taken control or wanted to take control of someone or their actions.

Here Logan is saying he’s smarter than “you,” which I take to mean pretty much everyone, but his reasoning betrays his hubris. This is a clear case of Dunning-Kruger Effect. His entire first paragraph is a No True Scotsman. Apparently he thinks the “love thy neighbor” sort of Christian outweighs the Christians that have killed non-Christians throughout the centuries. He thinks there are more “love thy neighbor” Christians than Christians in the United States who hate immigrants, homosexuals, atheists, and anyone who practices another religion. If they don’t “love thy neighbor,” then they’re not a real Christian. Unfortunately for smart Logan here, Christianity has been the religion of hate since the Dark Ages. I think Galileo put it best:

Christians suppressed and silenced their adversaries by murdering them. In the US, now that it’s against the law to do that, they try to do so by foisting their conservatism into politics. Christians are the primary reason why women haven’t secured full reproductive rights in this country. The fetus, to the Christian’s mind, has more rights; that is, right up till it’s born because after that, the Christian doesn’t give a damn about it. The Christian’s pro-life stance perpetuates poverty the world over, so when women die because they don’t have access to safe and legal abortion procedures, the blood is on the Christian’s hands. So it looks like Christians throughout history in countries like the US, Brazil, Chile, England, Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland, Argentina, and so on, weren’t really Christians because “love thy neighbor” didn’t extend to poor women who needed abortions.

I don’t believe in “sin.” It’s a nonsense Christian concept. Yet here’s another example of smart Logan’s egregious reasoning: tu quoque. He’s basically saying “yeah, it’s wrong to want to control other people, but you’ve probably done it and other people have done it too.” Two wrongs don’t make a right! Also and more importantly, it’s one thing to want to control someone when you know for a fact they’re making a terrible decision(s). When you care about someone, you want the best for them, so when you see someone’s decision(s) hurting them in the long-run, you want to step in. That’s not what Christians do! Think again of abortion. 

Christians basically tell poor women to stay pregnant and give birth. In doing so, they’ve perpetuated the cycle of poverty for centuries. Abortion is a quality-of-life issue. In most cases, the woman in question can’t afford to have children or she’s in a toxic relationship that isn’t conducive to her raising children. If Christians “loved thy neighbor,” they would be concerned about the role of domestic violence in the decision to have an abortion; they would be concerned  about physically, mentally, and sexually abusive partners who not only abuse the women, but sometimes the children in the household! Yet Christians have overlooked pedophilia in their ranks for years! Catholics defend their priests and nuns and Protestants wave their hands in satisfaction because to their minds there are no such scandals in Protestant churches. Yet they ignore Pastors who abuse underage girls. They ignore the thousands of stories of sexually perverted congregants who sexually abuse their own family members even….

So at what point do you realize that, from the Christian point of view (!), someone’s capacity to sin doesn’t disqualify them from being a Christian? In fact, smart Logan is far off from the Christian message, which I think is best captured in Jesus drawing the line in the sand. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone! Just because someone molests underage congregants or tortures or murders or lies or steals doesn’t disqualify them from being a real Christian! The issue is in Christianity. The issue is that Christians are shameful people. Christians confuse guilt for shame, so that’s why they “repent of their sins,” but there’s no corresponding change in their immoral behavior. A lot of them think it’s enough to ask for forgiveness and not change their behavior. It’s a cycle of shame. Never mind the role of sexual repression, especially in Catholic and Jewish circles. I can go on, but smart Logan here has no grasp of the tenets of his own religion and even less of a grip of logical reasoning and the history of his religion. In a nutshell, if it’s too much for smart Logan to read, this is what I intend to say:

A lot, dare I say, most, Christians are terrible people who do repulsive, unspeakable things! According to the Bible, that doesn’t disqualify them from being Christians. All a serial rapist or murderer has to do is convert on their death bed and they’re forgiven! The very idea of vicarious redemption is what makes Christianity such an ugly religion! That’s why so many Christians are ugly people and they are as real as smart Logan here claims to be. Not so smart from what I gather.

Subsuming The Irenaean Theodicy Into Atheism: undefined

On Qualia and a Refutation of The Argument From Human Consciousness:

A long read, but worth it. It can also be considered a refutation of panpsychism.

Whenever philosophers speak of the human condition, of either a specific group or in general, their treatment can be seen as proto-psychological. Consider, for instance, Nietzsche’s influence on Freud.1 While I do not think Christianity is true, I am now considering whether, from the perspective of a given individual, it is necessary. I do not mean to invoke philosophical necessity, but rather a necessity akin to inevitability. When considering Korsgaard’s proto-psychological prognosis on morality, namely the internalization of man, there is the idea of instincts that discharge themselves outwardly, and one such instinct is forgiveness.2

Since self-forgiveness is difficult to come by, especially when given that a greater degree of guilt or shame sometimes corresponds to a greater offense, some may feel that forgiveness has to be discharged outwardly. It would appear that most Christians don’t feel guilt for the “sins” they commit, but rather shame. The distinction, although subtle, is important and crucial to understanding why the externalization of forgiveness is an unhealthy coping mechanism. Tangney explains:

“When people feel guilt about a specific behavior, they experience tension, remorse, and regret,” the researchers write. “Research has shown that this sense of tension and regret typically motivates reparative action — confessing, apologizing, or somehow repairing the damage done.”

Feelings of shame, on the other hand, involve a painful feeling directed toward the self. For some people, feelings of shame lead to a defensive response, a denial of responsibility, and a need to blame others — a process that can lead to aggression.3

From a Christian perspective, feelings of guilt would result in repentance. He has fornicated with his girlfriend. He then thinks that if he can get himself to feel that Jesus has forgiven his sin it is tantamount to forgiving himself. As most Christians can begrudgingly attest, this is not what happens. Most Christians go on to “live in sin,” which is to say that they persist in an “ungodly” lifestyle. They go on to reoffend because they enjoy “sin.” Therein lies what makes Christianity inevitable: the subservient are a shameful rather than guilty lot. Their propensity for shame only continues the cycle because in Christ they find the ultimate scapegoat who grants them unconditional, boundless forgiveness. There’s no personal responsibility to be had.

Guilt is the positive correlate to shame because guilt is reformative. Guilt is the precursor to changed behavior. A guilty person doesn’t blame their “accomplice,” namely the girlfriend he’s sleeping with outside of marriage. A guilty person is also actualized in that they realize their contribution to the “sin.” The need for Christ to forgive an offense is the mark of immaturity and even puerility. Forgiveness should not be discharged outwardly, externalized; it should instead and always be internalized, for when it is externalized, it is shame serving as motivation rather than guilt, and as such, one can readily predict that repentant behavior will not follow.

Perhaps this is why Christians, especially in the United States, tend to be vile individuals who curse at, threaten, and dehumanize non-Christians, especially atheists. This may explain their penchant for censorship and execution throughout the centuries as well because most of them are incapable of feeling guilt and therefore, reforming unacceptable, even unlawful, behavior. What they feel is shame and the externalization of forgiveness is more than enough for them to feel better about themselves. While self-forgiveness is difficult to come by, it is imperative that you learn how to do so because when you place the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders, it is likely that you don’t feel guilt over what you’ve done; what you feel is shame.

In doing away with the onus to hold oneself responsible, one then rationalizes one’s behavior. It’s the old “she made me do it” an abusive partner defers to after hitting his significant other. In Christian circles, it can take a more base, preordained turn: “God already knew how you would sin, when, and how often, so you just have to realize that you’ve already been forgiven!” This is how I’ve heard young people justify fornication. This is how I’ve heard cheating spouses justify adultery. This is how I’ve heard Christians justify losing their temper. While such a Calvinistic idea isn’t the norm in all Christian circles, it is a popular idea among American Christians. 

On atheism, Christ’s sacrifice is meaningless because atheists reject the concept of sin. We reject the notion that Christ died for offenses we did not commit. Actualized atheism will lead an atheist to truly divorce himself from the religion he once subscribed to. For atheists in the United States, Christianity is that religion. Even in known atheist circles, guilt hasn’t replaced shame and that’s why some atheists are no more morally admirable than Christians. They have not internalized forgiveness. 

The most damning and refutable idea that Christians hold is that someone else is ultimately responsible for forgiving you. While it is true that the person you’ve hurt has to forgive you, it is still left to you to figure out a way to forgive yourself for hurting that person. There is no Christ, no priest, no brethren that can do that deed for you! Forgiveness is resolutely characterized by self-forgiveness; forgiving oneself is primary, indeed the true end of moving on from something you’ve done wrong. 

So long as forgiveness is externalized, in that the responsibility is rested on the shoulders of someone else whether ideal or actual, you will remain a subservient, shameful person prone to reoffending. The Christian psyche is prone to such shame and given the widespread influence of Christianity, an influence that extends into Islam, more than half the world’s population is wallowing in shame. Collectively, we must unlearn the feeling of shame and its ensuing, destructive proclivities. Anyone who has rejected Christianity has this responsibility, first and foremost.

Works Cited

1 Chapman, A. H., and Mirian Chapman-Santana. “The Influence of Nietzsche on Freud’s Ideas.” British Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 166, no. 2, 1995, pp. 251–253., doi:10.1192/bjp.166.2.251.

2 Korsgaard, Christine M. 2010. Reflections on the evolution of morality. Amherst Lecture in Philosophy. The Department of Philosophy at Amherst College. http://www.amherstlecture.org/korsgaard2010

3 Tangney June. “After Committing a Crime, Guilt and Shame Predict Re-Offense”Association for Psychological Science. 11 Feb 2014. Web. 

A Conversation Between Two Philosophers: On Abortion, Persons and Value:

This is an in-depth discussion on whether abortion is murder, personhood, metaphysics, and lots of other related subject matter. It’s worth a read!

Arguments From Vagueness Against the So-Called God of Monotheism

Let’s start with well-known, often disputed verses:

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17

God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment. Psalms 82:1

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.Psalms 86:8

And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. Daniel 11:36

Recently, I brought up the fact that modern Christians are polytheists. On the one hand, they believe in the God of the Bible and on the other, the so-called god of philosophers or as they would put it, the god of monotheism. A commenter on my post over on WordPress brought up the fact that the early Jews were polytheists. He provided a number of verses like the ones above. I responded to him and stated that Christians have a go-to copout. They’ll argue that this is a merely a recognition that people at the time worshipped other gods, gods that were mere idols. That, however, demonstrates that they are either ignorant of historical context or they know of the context and yet ignore it. We can discuss the polytheistic origins of Judaism further, but that’s not my purpose here. 

My purpose here is to debase the notion of a god of (mono)theism, to disrupt that convenient narrative. A Christian on Facebook recently offered an ontological argument he confused with Godel’s Ontological Argument. That wasn’t the argument he offered. He offered another ontological argument in where ‘God’ could be replaced with ‘Allah’ or ‘Ahura Mazda’ and the result wouldn’t change. Two other people then responded and said that the refutation fails because the argument sets out to prove the god of monotheism. 

The god of (mono)theism, as William Lane Craig posits, is timeless, personal, omniscient, and so on. I’ll set exegesis aside because there are ways to prove otherwise given passages in the Bible (e.g. why did god ask Adam questions in Genesis 3 if he’s omniscient?). What I want to offer instead is a new argument against the notion of a so-called god of (mono)theism. We know from mathematics that there are different infinities. Since infinity is already a large value, if we can even call it such, there’s no way for the human mind to apprehend one infinity or another, let alone distinguish them. So given that line of thinking, there’s an element of vagueness we can introduce to debase the notion of a god of (mono)theism.

Take, for instance, timelessness. A Christian will posit that their god has no beginning; he’s eternal and exists outside of time. All well and good. Let’s say there’s another being who had a beginning outside of the universe billions of years ago, e.g., Satan. What disqualifies this being from being timeless as well, especially given that we can’t ascertain the beginning of this being’s existence? In other words, if god is present at point 0 and then Satan at point 0.00000005, what difference is there? There are some beginnings that result in a virtual eternity and so, just like there are different infinities, there are different eternities, different versions of timelessness.

The same goes for omniscience. What if there’s a being that knows all things except one thing; let’s suppose this being doesn’t know how to play billiards. What is the difference between an omniscient being who knows all things and another being who knows all things save the required know-how to play billiards? Again, as there are different infinities, there are different levels of omniscience and we simply wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a being who knows everything and one who knows everything except for how to play billiards.

Omnipotence, omnipresence, the capacity to be personal, and so on, all fall victim to vagueness, and as such, the same defeater that exists for Godel’s Ontological Argument, namely that parallel arguments work just as well (see Oppy 1996), also exists for the notion of the so-called god of monotheism. There is no such entity. It is logically possible that, given vagueness, there are millions of beings that fit the description. However, one should not draw ontological conclusions on the basis of logical considerations. Just because there could be a million such beings doesn’t mean they actually exist; likewise, just because one such being is logically possible doesn’t mean it actually exists. The god that apologetic arguments allude to is a product of Christian obfuscation.

Given that Christians are overly fond of deductive arguments, I will do my best to formulate an Argument From Vagueness, which isn’t necessarily an argument on its own. Let’s consider Plantinga’s Victorious Ontological Argument:

  1. A being has maximal excellence in a given possible world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in W; and
  2. A being has maximal greatness if it has maximal excellence in every possible world.
  3. It is possible that there is a being that has maximal greatness.
  4. Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being exists.
  5. Therefore, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being exists.

Now, consider a parallel Argument from Vagueness. D1 is crucial to the argument.

D1: A being with maximal excellence* has omnipotence* (which is to be so close to all-powerful that its lone incapacity is negligible; it once failed to push a universe to the left), omniscience* (which is to be virtually all-knowing; it doesn’t know how to play billiards), and perfectly good* (which is to be virtually morally perfect, but it once told a white lie). Maximal greatness* is to have maximal excellence* across all possible worlds.

  1. A being has maximal excellence* in a given possible world W iff it is omnipotent*, omniscient*, and wholly good* in W.
  2. A being has maximal greatness* if it has maximal excellence* in every possible world.
  3. It is possible that there is a being that has maximal greatness*.
  4. Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient*, omnipotent*, and perfectly good* being exists.
  5. Therefore, it is necessarily true that an omniscient*, omnipotent* and perfectly good* being exists.

Once this counter-argument is offered, what a Christian has left is the bare assertion that a being with maximal excellence* isn’t truly god because it has negligible limitations. The questions remains: how do we know that the purported attributes of god are true? It is, as it will always be, a matter of faith. There is no way to ascertain that god is eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient. We can ask whether he is perfectly moral, but that’s a separate issue entirely. The thrust that Arguments From Vagueness drive is that there’s no justification for speaking of any infinity with such certainty. There may be an infinity so near to the one a theist reveres that the differences are negligible. That’s precisely what these arguments are designed for. 

When we stop to reflect on the questions of whether our pre-reflective beliefs are justified, a host of different biases go to work. We better remember evidence which supports the beliefs we hold than evidence we encountered which runs contrary to them. We better remember occasions on which we have been correct than those on which we have erred. We have a tendency to judge arguments which support our beliefs quite favorably, while arguments which run contrary to our beliefs are held to a very high standard. When we form judgments about the processes by which our pre-reflective beliefs were formed, we seem to employ as a minor premise the belief that we are, all things considered, quite reliable in our judgements, and we thus have a strong tendency to see our beliefs as based on evidence which we ourselves take to be highly probative, whether the beliefs were in fact formed on such a basis or not. As a result, far more often than not, the result of reflection turns out to be little more than a ratification of the beliefs held prior to reflective evaluation. Rather than serving as a source of correction…reflection tends to act in ways which further cement our pre-reflective beliefs into place within the larger web of our convictions. Many reflective processes thus act not to correct our pre-reflective beliefs, but only to increase our confidence in them; we thus become more self-satisfied, even if no more accurate, epistemic agents.

In the past, I’ve argued that modern Christians, especially them with apologetic bents, worship two gods. I got into a debate with one of the moderators at Capturing Christianity. Eventually, this moderator, who another moderator called a “firecracker” whose behavior online is worth examining, got upset after demanding a deductive argument to prove my point. I reiterated to him that philosophy proper isn’t done that way, so while he’s use to the deductive arguments Christian apologists are overly fond of, actual philosophical works don’t proceed in that manner. One is tasked with reading and deciphering paragraph after paragraph of philosophical thought and insight in order to grasp either an argument or the overall philosophy of a given philosopher. 

Regardless of this, I obliged and provided a deductive argument that was patterned after Craig’s Moral Argument. I did this so that he wouldn’t be able to deny its validity. He would have then been obligated to discuss whether the argument is sound. Unfortunately, as is the case with a lot of wannabe apologists, this moderator was philosophically inept and therefore, devoid of any knowledge, perfunctory or otherwise, of how philosophy works. I will present that argument here and then present a fuller argument to show that Christians with apologetic bents indeed worship two, irreconcilable gods. The argument is as follows.

P1 If moral values and duties come from god, he wouldn’t violate moral universals

P2  God does violate moral universals

C Therefore, moral values and duties do not come from god

Like Craig’s Moral Argument, this is a modus tollens argument. If the consequent is false then we can infer that the antecedent is also false. Of course, someone may then ask what exactly do I mean by “God does violate moral universals.” 

The specific moral universal he and I were discussing isn’t simply the more common universal against murder, but specifically the universal against infanticide. I told him that even the most ardent relativist accepts that different cultures do not routinely murder infants, especially in large numbers. He could at least grasp the concept of moral universals and as such, he didn’t disagree with that. What he could not do is disprove the fact that his god, per the Bible, committed infanticide, and on more than one occasion (Exodus 12:29-30; 1 Samuel 15:3)! He eventually removed me from the page because it’s clear he didn’t want other Christians to see what he thought was a dangerous line of thinking, the same line of thinking that has led many to atheism.

In the same breath, such Christians maintain that they worship a perfectly good god from whom moral values and duties extend from and that they worship a god who committed infanticide. There are other inconsistencies still; for example, Christians are usually against abortion and yet they worship a god who committed abortions. My interest, as always, is whether a Christian can reconcile these two concepts. Given my argument above and my extended argument, the answer is a resounding no. The extended argument, in the baby logic that Christians love, would look as follows.

P1 If moral values and duties extend from a morally perfect god, this god wouldn’t violate moral universals

P2 The Judeo-Christian god violates moral universals

C Therefore, moral values and duties do not extend from the Judeo-Christian god

C2 Inference: The Judeo-Christian god is not a morally perfect god.

C3 Inference: Moral values and duties might extend from another god who is morally perfect.

Given my extended argument, either a Christian is tasked to find a candidate that better fits the description of a morally perfect deity from who moral values and duties extend from (which is what I allude to in C3)  or admit that the Judeo-Christian god is incompatible with the god alluded to in the moral argument. An honest Christian would seek the truth and eventually run into my Argument From Assailability. There isn’t a god in any religion who fits that description. So they are left with two conclusions: a) the Judeo-Christian god doesn’t fit the description b) the gods of other religions don’t fit the description. From there, atheism is all but inevitable because P2 can easily read “Allah violates moral universals” or “Ahura Mazda violates moral universals” or “Shiva violates moral universals,” and so on and so forth. Of course, the conclusion would then follow that moral values and duties do not extend from any of these gods, and after so many of these exercises, you will also have the following, what is clearly an explosive, pun very much intended, conclusion:

C4 Inference: Moral values and duties do not extend from a god who is morally perfect.

So it’s not simply that atheism becomes inevitable, but that one is now left with the much harder work of explaining the origin of morality and also explaining how it works: Why are there universals? Why does morality appear to differ from culture to culture and throughout time? What role, if any, does reason play in morality? What school, if any, has succeeded at explaining how morality works? What school, if any, has succeeded in the project of moral ontology? What merit does moral pluralism have? Is the assumption that law proceeded morality mistaken? 

There are so many questions one can ask and seek answers for. The issue is that philosophy proper isn’t really appealing to Christians because they purport to know all the answers and are thus, enamored with the notion that there’s one, absolute answer to any question. Because of this, they can’t accept that some questions have nuanced and even convoluted answers; some questions simply don’t have an answer. Philosophy proper deals with a lot of unknowns and uncertainty, which is far from the absolute knowledge Christianity purports to offer.

In any case, what’s clear is that the two concepts they have are incongruous and the false congruity they present is borne of cognitive dissonance. Christians routinely ignore what god did according to the Old Testament. Yet this is the being Jesus called “father”! This is precisely what led Marcionites and his followers to conclude that Yahweh was, in fact, an evil deity and that he wasn’t the father Jesus referred to. Christians routinely ignore most of the Old Testament because a lot of it contradicts what they’re told to believe about god: he’s good, merciful, loving. The Old Testament reveals a god who is far from that! So it may not be that just wannabe apologists are polytheists; it’s also that everyday Christians believe in two distinct concepts of god as well: the god portrayed in “the word of god,” which includes the Old Testament, and the more palatable figment borne of the human need for moral sanity and decency. 

So when a wannabe apologist approaches you with the highbrow nonsense “Where do you get your morals from!?”, please refer them to this argument. Present it to them. I guarantee you what will follow is frustration, name calling and insults, and an abrupt end to your conversation because Christians don’t want the skin falling from their eyes; they don’t want the veil lifted on their cognitive dissonance. It’s akin to opening a wound. Some of them are painfully aware of this, but continue to subscribe to false beliefs. They also don’t want to be made to realize that they don’t have the moral high ground and that their take on the origin of morality is woefully wrong. Despite Capturing Christianity’s cocksure insistence, Christianity is not true! 

scientificphilosopher:

You have an interesting take here, but it’s probably worth noting that logical fallacies such as ‘guilt by association’ are informal fallacies, and their soundness is therefore a posteriori rather than a priori. Fallacies such as these are not perfectly analogous to mathematical or structural truths, as circumstances can render them sound. It could be the case, for instance, that a god built guilt into our DNA and it’s thus transferable through generations.

I don’t know that every informal fallacy’s soundness is determined a posteriori. If soundness is reached via reason, and I see no reason to add an empirical dimension to determine the soundness of an informal fallacy, then that is also a priori. Even still, however, a perfectly logical being wouldn’t reason fallaciously, let alone base his actions on fallacious reasoning. Even if inherited guilt was built into our DNA, which no empirical research has shown, there’s still a logical issue with making a child pay for their parents sins. So even if I somehow inherit the guilt of my mother’s marital infedility, that doesn’t mean that I should pay the price for her adultery.

Collective guilt, for example, is a thing. I am, for instance, ashamed of my country’s actions. I am American and at the moment and for practically my whole life, I haven’t been proud to be one. I feel guilty being a citizen of a country that murdered millions of Native Americans and stripped them of their lands, allowed slavery, incarcerated Japanese citizens in internment camps, and incarates Blacks and Latinos disproportionately in comparison to other ethnic groups — aside from the many other human rights infractions this country has committed. That, however, does not mean that I should pay the price for American crimes. While some people may be perfectly content to make me pay on the basis of guilt by association (i.e. well, he’s an American, so his arrest or death is good enough for me!), a perfectly logical being simply should not and would not be content with passing such a sentence. It isn’t logical, just, or moral, but alas, the Judeo-Christian and Muslim gods behave accordingly. Like I said in the post, if a theist or, in your case, an agnostic is reluctant to admit that there are moral or legal failings in the actions of these theistic gods, they must admit that there are clear logical failings in their actions. That poses yet another problem in a long list of problems for theism.