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  1. #1
    ZEUS is LOOSE ONtop888's Avatar
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    Shelly Kagan vs. William Lane Craig on objective morality

    I have only watched Kagan's opening address and I admit I was intrigued. Going to watch some of it now.

    Let me know what you guys think about the arguments being made, who won, flaws and strengths, or whatever you think about, I.e. Craig has an awesome haircut.




    ** lucious recommended this debate and I think that Stizzle will appreciate it.

    ***** finally, do you think that Shelly Kagan's position is superior to Sam Harris's?
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  2. #2
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    I noted that Craig always appeals to emotion with his moral argument, and argues that moral ontology can only be rooted in infinitude of temporal duration. However Kagan countered it brilliantly with his argument that moral value is not contingent on size or duration.

    Kagan won this one clearly(not saying that because im atheist, just being honest) Kagan is a philosopher in a philosophy debate, so he was ready to prepare arguments and deconstruct the opponents.

    I think this debate, and Bart Ehrman were ones that Craig clearly lost. Most of his debates are with scientists on predominantly philosophical subjects, and scientists tend to have the habit of denouncing philosophy because its 'stupid' or 'dead', then end up doing some pretty poor philosophy of their own, so Craig can easily destroy them. Moral of the story-dont bring a knife to a gunfight
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    Originally Posted by lucious View Post
    I noted that Craig always appeals to emotion with his moral argument, and argues that moral ontology can only be rooted in infinitude of temporal duration. However Kagan countered it brilliantly with his argument that moral value is not contingent on size or duration.
    Craig also appeals to "metaphysical intuition", just like he does with his KCA.

    That said, I believe Craig did make a statement about this debate, saying something to the effect that he was told not to go to hard on Kagan. I'm not sure I completely buy his spin on it though.
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    craig won.

    inb4 kagan doesn't even know what objective morality is.

    Will watch.

    Oh... it's this debate. Someone posted part of it here already didn't they? Guess my first line was right.

    57 mins in he starts asking craig why he thinks certain things are insignificant. Its not hard to understand why at all. If you are just a flash of light in this universe, what would it matter if you were ever in pain? If you were ever happy or ever wealthy? Nothing.

    bah. Same old same old. Kagan's thinking is flawed especially when he starts talking about moral contract
    Last edited by semitope; 05-29-2012 at 07:52 AM.
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    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    craig won.

    inb4 kagan doesn't even know what objective morality is.

    Will watch.

    Oh... it's this debate. Someone posted part of it here already didn't they? Guess my first line was right.
    So you assume at the outset that Craig won.

    Not surprising. You don't believe that any atheist ever wins any debate they participate in, correct?
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    Originally Posted by Meatros View Post
    So you assume at the outset that Craig won.

    Not surprising. You don't believe that any atheist ever wins any debate they participate in, correct?
    Clearly not because it chimes with his worldview or anything. Before making his decision he studiously does not listen to or watch anything about the subject. It's the only way to be objective.
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  7. #7
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    this book is the end all be all on this subject

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    Originally Posted by Meatros View Post
    So you assume at the outset that Craig won.

    Not surprising. You don't believe that any atheist ever wins any debate they participate in, correct?
    I doubt it's possible. If you were arguing about whether nicki minaj was crazier than gaga... then maybe.

    The fact is that there is no possibility of truly objective morality in naturalism. Taking on that topic just means you will be saying some crap. Watched the question portion of the debate now and it's exactly as I said. Kagan is a determinist; he shouldn't even be in this debate.
    Is there no limit to what people will believe if it is prefaced by the phrase,
    “Scientists say …” ?

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    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    I doubt it's possible. If you were arguing about whether nicki minaj was crazier than gaga... then maybe.
    Which is why people don't beat down your door for objective analysis on debate performance...

    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    The fact is that there is no possibility of truly objective morality in naturalism. Taking on that topic just means you will be saying some crap. Watched the question portion of the debate now and it's exactly as I said. Kagan is a determinist; he shouldn't even be in this debate.
    The other reason why your opinion on debate performance is suspect - you can't distinguish between your personal metaphysical opinions and how someone performed.
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    Originally Posted by magog704 View Post
    this book is the end all be all on this subject

    it certainly is not.
    “Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.” ― H.L. Mencken
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    Registered User semitope's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Meatros View Post
    Which is why people don't beat down your door for objective analysis on debate performance...



    The other reason why your opinion on debate performance is suspect - you can't distinguish between your personal metaphysical opinions and how someone performed.
    same to you.

    Easy to prove me wrong. Show me where a materialist actually gives us the reason for an objective morality in his view or give/suggest such an argument for objective morality in naturalism. I am betting you don't even think Kagan did in this debate. Yet if I say he didn't, you get on my case. Or do you really think he did? Because if you don't, we all see what your real objection to what I said is.

    Do you think this kind of debate is what someone who believes in determinism should be having? I think atheists should simply give up on trying to argue objective morality. Many of them already realize it's logically impossible to have objective morality in materialism.
    Last edited by semitope; 05-29-2012 at 08:51 AM.
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    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    same to you.
    Actually I often give credit to performance and arguments in debate - I've said multiple times that I think WLC has won many debates and he's done so on more than just rhetoric. I have no problem providing an objective analysis of someone's debate performance, so the same cannot be said of me that I've said of you. For instance, can you provide an example of where an atheist clearly beats a theist in a debate?

    I can give *SEVERAL* examples of the opposite, even without resorting to WLC. Off the top of my head, it's clear to me that Bahnsen beat Stein in their debate and beat him badly. Manata beat Barker, and soundly, in their debate. The fact that you cannot give similar examples speaks volumes about you.

    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    Easy to prove me wrong. Show me where a materialist actually gives us the reason for an objective morality in his view or give/suggest such an argument for objective morality in naturalism. I am betting you don't even think Kagan did in this debate. Yet if I say he didn't, you get on my case. Or do you really think he did? Because if you don't, we all see what your real objection to what I said is.
    Law did by appealing to intuition (which WLC ALSO appeals to). Other objective accounts of ethics include George Smith and Wielenberg's account.

    I'm not getting on your case about your views on Kagan in particular, I'm getting on your case because you can't separate a debate performance from your own views on metaphysics! How is that not obvious from what I wrote??


    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    Do you think this kind of debate is what someone who believes in determinism should be having? I think atheists should simply give up on trying to argue objective morality. Many of them already realize it's logically impossible to have objective morality in materialism.

    Why not?

    As to what you think about what atheists should do, clearly you are unable to be even close to objective on the issue, so I would advise people from ignoring your opinion on the matter.
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    Seriously it's sad that you have strawman me instead of addressing my point, Semitope.
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    Registered User semitope's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Meatros View Post
    Actually I often give credit to performance and arguments in debate - I've said multiple times that I think WLC has won many debates and he's done so on more than just rhetoric. I have no problem providing an objective analysis of someone's debate performance, so the same cannot be said of me that I've said of you. For instance, can you provide an example of where an atheist clearly beats a theist in a debate?

    I can give *SEVERAL* examples of the opposite, even without resorting to WLC. Off the top of my head, it's clear to me that Bahnsen beat Stein in their debate and beat him badly. Manata beat Barker, and soundly, in their debate. The fact that you cannot give similar examples speaks volumes about you.
    What do you think you accomplish, as an atheist, by giving examples of debates in which you think an atheist beat a theist or vice versa?


    Law did by appealing to intuition (which WLC ALSO appeals to). Other objective accounts of ethics include George Smith and Wielenberg's account.

    I'm not getting on your case about your views on Kagan in particular, I'm getting on your case because you can't separate a debate performance from your own views on metaphysics! How is that not obvious from what I wrote??
    intuition is not a basis for objective morality. What Craig uses it to do is suggest that objective morality exists. The question is usually about what ideas support the fact (fact from the theist perspective usually) of an objective morality. An atheist is better served arguing that there is no such objective morality rather than trying to scramble for a basis for it in their world-view.

    I watched the debate to see if he gave any good arguments. I would not care to watch it if you were right about me. I said "I doubt it" but feel free to prove me wrong and show me how it is possible.

    Why not?

    As to what you think about what atheists should do, clearly you are unable to be even close to objective on the issue, so I would advise people from ignoring your opinion on the matter.

    you're annoying. gj

    FYI my "Craig won" was a joke. till I saw the vid anyway. Sorry it wasn't a more obvious "knock knock. who's there?" one so that you could understand it.
    Last edited by semitope; 05-29-2012 at 10:14 AM.
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    actually I take that back. Give me an example of when an atheist beat a theist. Would love to see that debate. It's a bit too easy to show an atheist getting beaten.
    Is there no limit to what people will believe if it is prefaced by the phrase,
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    ^^ every thread you post in to start with
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    Originally Posted by lucious View Post
    I noted that Craig always appeals to emotion with his moral argument, and argues that moral ontology can only be rooted in infinitude of temporal duration. However Kagan countered it brilliantly with his argument that moral value is not contingent on size or duration.

    Kagan won this one clearly(not saying that because im atheist, just being honest) Kagan is a philosopher in a philosophy debate, so he was ready to prepare arguments and deconstruct the opponents.

    I think this debate, and Bart Ehrman were ones that Craig clearly lost. Most of his debates are with scientists on predominantly philosophical subjects, and scientists tend to have the habit of denouncing philosophy because its 'stupid' or 'dead', then end up doing some pretty poor philosophy of their own, so Craig can easily destroy them. Moral of the story-dont bring a knife to a gunfight
    I cant comment directly on this debate yet, but when Craig debates scientists he always integrates their scientific theories into his attack which shows that he at least has a cursory understanding of them, whereas the scientists that he debates do not seem to understand the most basic principles of logic.

    I think that Craig is at a deficit with divine command theory though.
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    Originally Posted by lasher View Post
    it certainly is not.
    you are wrong and i am right.
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    Originally Posted by magog704 View Post
    you are wrong and i am right.
    no you
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    Originally Posted by lasher View Post
    no you
    to be fair, i'm just quoting richard rorty when he talks about "where we derive our morality" as if it were from some source.

    you are, by proxy, calling richard rorty wrong. he's dead. ergo defacto you are speaking ill of the dead.
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    Originally Posted by magog704 View Post
    to be fair, i'm just quoting richard rorty when he talks about "where we derive our morality" as if it were from some source.

    you are, by proxy, calling richard rorty wrong. he's dead. ergo defacto you are speaking ill of the dead.
    lol. Lasher he got u
    Is there no limit to what people will believe if it is prefaced by the phrase,
    “Scientists say …” ?

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    Originally Posted by magog704 View Post
    richard rorty wrong. he's dead. ergo defacto you are speaking ill of the dead.
    Oh, well that settles it. My bad.

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    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    What do you think you accomplish, as an atheist, by giving examples of debates in which you think an atheist beat a theist or vice versa?
    I demonstrate that you are incorrect and hopelessly bias. That you cannot separate your metaphysical opinion from a debate performance.

    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    intuition is not a basis for objective morality. What Craig uses it to do is suggest that objective morality exists. The question is usually about what ideas support the fact (fact from the theist perspective usually) of an objective morality. An atheist is better served arguing that there is no such objective morality rather than trying to scramble for a basis for it in their world-view.
    If Craig can appeal to intuition, so can Law. That was my point. As to the 'basis', if it's left on God, then it's subjective, not objective - but then, this is a debatable point. It could be an intrinsic part of the universe. It all depends. Personally I do not think that Craig adequately defines what he means by 'objective' morality.

    As to your opinions on how an atheist can support it - I gave you a few areas for you to look into, but since you can't separate your metaphysics from a careful analysis of arguments, it's virtually useless to continue with you on this (or much of anything, really).

    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    I watched the debate to see if he gave any good arguments. I would not care to watch it if you were right about me. I said "I doubt it" but feel free to prove me wrong and show me how it is possible.
    You formed your opinion PRIOR to watching it. This is how I know I'm right about you. Further, are there any debates where you'd say the atheist beat the Christian?

    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    you're annoying. gj
    Facts, objective analysis, etc, yeah, I can see why you would be annoyed.

    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    FYI my "Craig won" was a joke. till I saw the vid anyway. Sorry it wasn't a more obvious "knock knock. who's there?" one so that you could understand it.
    I doubt it was a joke, but let's suppose it was:

    What debate, IYO, has an atheist clearly beaten a Christian?
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    Originally Posted by semitope View Post
    actually I take that back. Give me an example of when an atheist beat a theist. Would love to see that debate. It's a bit too easy to show an atheist getting beaten.
    I could give you one where the majority of people I've spoken to, Christian or otherwise, agreed that the atheist won, but first, I want to see you answer my other question.
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    Originally Posted by Meatros View Post
    I could give you one where the majority of people I've spoken to, Christian or otherwise, agreed that the atheist won, but first, I want to see you answer my other question.
    I bet I know which one this is.
    “Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.” ― H.L. Mencken
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    Originally Posted by lasher View Post
    I bet I know which one this is.

    That would be interesting if you did. :-)
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    Originally Posted by lasher View Post
    I bet I know which one this is.
    its the banana one where the guy berates paleontologists for failing to find a duck/alligator hybrid fossil

    i won't say anyone is right or wrong- to the average theist, i may as well be a moral relativist (i am not). but i will say that if you don't view the development of human morality from pretty much a purely skeptic/historicist standpoint, then you probably won't agree with anything i believe, and we can short circuit any future disagreements.

    cannot make myself agree with platonists, nor verse vica.
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    Originally Posted by magog704 View Post
    its the banana one where the guy berates paleontologists for failing to find a duck/alligator hybrid fossil
    I doubt that's what meatros was referring to.

    crockoduck. lulz




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    at least I think Craig won at various points ...
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    Originally Posted by lasher View Post
    I doubt that's what meatros was referring to.
    Yeah, that's not it. I thought that the Rational Response Squad beat Comfort and Cameron, but their rhetoric was off putting. I found it abysmal that this debate was featured on prime time.

    On another note, the RR broke up, with Verona going off and doing some actual research, Kelly going into porn, and Brian, well, not doing much of anything...
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