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It doesn’t seem to make sense to say you once were a sperm or an egg. Does it make sense, though, to talk about yourself before you were born? Did you turn in your mother’s womb or kick when you were startled by a loud noise? Did you suck your thumb? Were those your experiences or someone else’s? If you were once the unborn child your mother carried, then you have to accept an undeniable truth: killing that child through abortion would have killed you. Not a potential you. Not a possible you. Not a future you. Abortion would have killed you.
Sometimes objections come in pairs that are logically inconsistent and therefore oppose each other. I call this "sibling rivalry" because they are like children fighting.
Philosopher J.P. Moreland points out that conservative Christian scholars have a point of view, like everyone else. The Christian's bias, though, doesn't inform his conclusions the same way biases inform the conclusions of the Jesus Seminar and liberal theologians.
This is known as a pseudo-question. It’s like asking, “Can God win an arm wrestling match against Himself?” or, “If God beat Himself up, who would win?” or, “Can God’s power defeat His own power?”
I want to teach you how to assess a basic argument. How can you know if an argument is a good one or not?
How do we know when to stick to our guns on an idea and when to change our view? Here’s what I suggest: Hold to your view only as tenaciously as the evidence permits.
A certain atheist professor of philosophy had as a primary goal to prove to his students God couldn't exist. At the end of every semester he would say to his class, "Anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, He could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet he can't do it." Then he would drop the chalk and it would shatter into a hundred pieces on the tile floor of the classroom. If you confront anyone who tries this silly trick, here's how to respond.
The statements "One ought not kill innocent people," and "One ought to believe that Kansas is in the United States," are two entirely different kinds of statements. Both make a truth claim, but they are different in that they distinguish between two kinds of "oughts"--the moral ought and the rational ought. The first suggests a moral obligation, the second an obligation based on reason.
Here’s an argument against naturalistic determinism based on the relationship between free will and rationality. Free will makes rationality possible. If there is no free will, then no one is capable of choosing to believe something because of good reasons. One could never adjudicate between a good idea and a bad one. He’d only believe what he does because he’s been predetermined to do so. Arguments wouldn’t matter.
If you encounter someone who thinks he’s a relativist, you can usually prove him wrong in five minutes or less when moral words like “should” creep into his conversation. Don’t him them get away with it. Expose the inconsistency. If morals are relative to the individual, then all “shoulds” are meaningless.