Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Response: An Argument from Inherent Value for God's Existence

My fellow seeker at Truthbomb recently made An Argument from Inherent Value for God's Existence.

The following is my response:

Against premise one: The defense of premise one seems to be presenting either 1. a false dilemma or 2. an argument from ignorance.  If self-consciousness and moral agency hasn't been explained by natural selection, or if it is not known how natural selection produces self-consciousness and moral agency, it doesn't necessarily mean God did it.  

Against premise two: The argument implies that every human is a self-conscious moral agent, but are babies? The mentally handicapped/disabled? The comatose? Psychopaths? The insane? No.

The argument makes two seemingly superstitious claims.
  1. Humans are self-aware and make moral decisions, therefore humans transcend the material universe.
  2. An eternal, ultimate person transcends the material universe and bestows self-consciousness and moral agency on human bodies.

    These seem superstitious for several reasons:
  1. The first claim is a non-sequitur (and vague)
  2. unfalsifiable
  3. Violate Ockham's Razor
  4. make no predictions
  5. lack objective, repeatable evidence
  6. incoherent – What is the causal connection? How does that ultimate person cause human bodies to have self-consciousness and moral agency? How does it “reach in” and bestow upon our human bodies, specifically? Just by magic?

I originally thought the argument made logically contradictory claims: Inherent value is value that does not come from something else, yet God gives inherent value to human bodies.  However, I misunderstood the claims - the former means "inherent value doesn't come from objects", and regarding the latter, inherent value comes from personhood, not God, and God did not choose for inherent value to come from personhood.

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