Down the Rabbit Hole [Long]
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31-12-2015, 11:55 PM
Down the Rabbit Hole [Long]
No, this isn't about Alice in Wonderland, or the now-defunct kinky-people web-site. I've been arguing on YouTube <pauses for snickers, eats a Mars> because that's more my speed... y'know, basically stopped, or maybe in reverse. Anyway, I think I've gone and got my epistemic and philosophic knickers in a twist. So painful on the ego! Anyway, I'm hoping if I post my latest reply the kind (?... Wink ) people here at TTA can chastise me for where I've gone horribly, horribly wrong. For a note, I'm putting his comments in bold, and sometimes my prior comments just before it in italics.

Quote:They simply deal with the issue by saying that beauty itself is objectively present in virtually everything, but some are able to perceive some kinds of it, and others can perceive other kinds.
That's is the heart of subjective. If you can't perceive it but I can, how is that not subjective? You find X beautiful, I don't, and we're both correct. Now apply this same thinking to morals. You think doing X is moral, I don't, and we're both correct. This is subjective.

So how can you tell your beloved "you're beautiful" without being dishonest about it?
That's easy. It's the same way you tell someone "you're immoral" or "this tastes bad" even though it's subjective. The genuine statement is not "you are objectively beautiful", it is "I personally find you to be beautiful". You can also find lots of other people who agree with you, others who might not. It's subjective, but true when you look at what you're actually saying. You're not trying, in those instances, to make objective claims about reality, merely stating an individual or cultural preference. Of course, if "beautiful" were defined by some culture as being covered in pus oozing sores, the diseases needed for those would likely kill off that individual/culture and thus their preferences would be selected against.

The exception would be things which are clearly an invention of our minds, like fictitious characters. These exist only as what's called "phantasms."
What if there's a difference of opinion as to whether the entity is fictitious or not? A good portion of the British population apparently thinks Sherlock Holmes was a real person at one point. So was he fictitious or not? Does the author of the books claiming Sherlock Holmes to be fictitious mean he definitely was? Or are we now looking at a subjective reality here as well? Might Sherlock Holmes be based on some person who did, in fact, exist, the name changed to avoid issues? ... For the record, I think Sherlock Holmes is fictional, and there isn't decent evidence he's not. But then that's my issue with god, too.

Well, it is right, though, because by taking the side of the being that forms the foundation of moral values, you are placing yourself on the side of the highest possible, actual morality. That's the best way to say "morally right" that I can think of.
Again, you didn't really comprehend it. Is it "morally right" to be on the side of the foundation of moral values if that measure is an absolute moral evil? No. It'd be the opposite. What I'm trying to show you here is that your initial, reverse of my statement about being near an entity is nonsense. Getting close to the objectively absolute moral evil measure of all morality would be wrong because it's morally evil, just as doing so from the other end would be morally right. The measure is the same. If I have an example of the lowest possible actual morality and I get close to that, my morality must therefore be low as well, and thus I would be "morally wrong" to be close to that. Morally right is, then, getting as far from that as you can. So, in Christian theology, the source of all morals might be the devil, not god.

You seem to have quite a number of vague, undefinable things in this theory of knowledge.
Can you quantify good or evil? Even with a god? Because we don't necessarily know which god, and therefore which set of "best morals", nor do we have any way to measure degree of transgression away from that, just gut feelings about it. That's not a measure, it's subjectivity. Thus I think my statement that we have no measure of morality stands quite well.

The difference is that nearly everything has a beauty all its own, while you can have objective "beauty," you can't really have objective "ugliness."
If something is objective, its absence is also objective. Temperature, apples, etc. You measure such things objectively because they exist objectively, and their absence is just as objective as their presence. Cold is as objective as hot, cold being 'less vibrational energy', hot being 'more vibrational energy'. This doesn't apply to beauty, or morals, but if they did you could objectively state that something was more or less beautiful, more or less moral.

By contrast, we have good reasons for thinking that some actions are morally-deficient, without becoming more moral in other ways.
No idea what this is supposed to mean, and you don't provide any of these reasons.

However, just because we invent a means of measuring temperature, that does not mean that temperature does not exist without that means. Just because we invent longitude and latitude, that does not mean that distance doesn't exist without those measurements, and yes, just because we invent a means of enumerating and calculating numbers, that doesn't mean that numbers don't really exist without that means. Clearly, there is some form of numerical core, which underlies existence, to which we refer with what we call "numbers."
My point is that you say there must be some absolute to measure from, and I show you that you do not require such an absolute to measure from. You acknowledge this but then say "yeah, but there's an absolute here". You're not refuting my point, you're making it. We do not need such an absolute in existence or reality to make some measure. Suppose there was no absolute, in either direction, that heat worked in some other way than it does. Perhaps if the molecule rotates clockwise it's hot, counter-clockwise it's cold, and no rotation in the middle is... well, sort of tepid. There's no absolute boundary in terms of hot or cold, and even 'rotation' is only absolute in the 'it's not rotating'. Yet we can measure just fine what the temperature is in such a universe even though there's no absolute on one end. There'd just be an absolute average. Or how about if there were two sorts of rotation, one up, the other sideways. When up is more than sideways it's hot, otherwise cold, and the same temperature is reached when they're the same, even when there's no rotation at all. No absolute, entirely possible to measure.
As for numbers, see below.

My response to this would be to say that evil is "an absence of some good which ought to be present."
And how is this functionally different from good being "an absence of some evil which ought to be avoided"?

How can so many things in the universe depend on numerical values, in order to work properly, and yet, these values do not exist?
Show me an example of any number that is not in some way tied to something else. I can provide you with lots of examples of realities that have different properties. This planet, this chicken. Even things like this atom or this quantum packet are different from others. No number behaves the way that distance does, that atoms or energy do. We find numbers extremely useful in dealing with the universe, but like colors we can only point to examples of what we mean and are unable to give any sort of definition. Just try to define "one" without any sets or arbitrary groups to go on. Numbers refer to sets of things, but that selection of set is arbitrary, which makes the number itself arbitrary. Numbers have no demonstrable existence until you have something for them to be numbers of, which makes them descriptors only, conceptual abstractions of reality. Things that are not concepts don't work this way. When you have energy it is there in and of itself, not merely conceptually part of some arbitrary grouping decided on by minds. It's not the universe that depends on these numbers, its our models of the universe that do.
Let's try an experiment here, though. You think you can find something like 3. Can you find one half? 0.5? That's a number, right? How about the square root of 2? Can you find it? I can show you a way to get a line that long and precisely that long, so it must exist, right? Now. Show me -3. Or show me the square root of -1. There's nothing really different about these numbers over the numbers you want to grant "existence" to. You just can't point to examples of them in the universe around us. And yet those numbers are just as useful to our conceptions and models of reality as 0.5 and 3.
TL;DR, numbers are abstractions, descriptions, conventions.

How about a soldier in a battlefield diving into the path of some bullets to save some of his pals? He can't benefit from this in any way; not even indirectly, because he's dead.
The benefit to him is the survival of his group and thus his own family. We are genetically predispositioned to reproduce (obviously). Things which aid in the survival of our children or our community are a benefit to us indirectly by securing our future generations.

It's quite obvious that these behaviors are not aimed at survival, nor is any form of "luxury," so I ask again.
... Sorry? You clearly misunderstand what I mean by "luxury". We have grain storage. Is that aimed at survival? You bet it is! When the rains don't come for some year, the fact that we have food stored away in large quantities helps us to survive. However we don't need it to survive. Our luxuries are that we can do what they can't. We can have grain storage, they can't. We can have small numbers of us produce enough food for the whole, they can't. And when we have such things, they are luxuries that the animals lack. They are things that one could survive without, but that make survival much more likely and much more pleasant. They allow us to develop mathematics and science because we're not entirely focused on the location of our next meal. How is that not a luxury? How is that not survival? And how is that not us being able to do what they can't?

As for homosexual unions having no potential survival value... I think you seriously miss how useful that can be to survival.
I've never heard even a single coherent argument in defense of it.
Are you focused only on the survival of the individual, or of the group/species? Because individual survival is less important than group survival. If a group dies out to protect the individual, there soon won't be individuals. If all individuals die out, there's no group. So anything which sacrifices a few of the individuals for the benefit of the group tends to get reinforced. This is, I'm guessing here, likely the origins of and perpetuation of slavery until it became far more viable not to use it and even beneficial to avoid it.
If we're talking, then, about group dynamic instead of mere individual survival and propagation, then homosexual unions provide a bonding mechanism for those involved who can also aid their fellows in the group without producing offspring that would damage the group by consuming resources. It slows reproduction rate while increasing worker base. Suppose in a group you have 25% children (just generally) who are consuming resources and not (yet) contributing to getting those resources, this 25% being only 25% of the breeding population, so those who are injured, too old, or too young don't count, and neither would homosexuals. You then have two groups of 200, one with 10% homosexuals, the other with 0% homosexuals, both with no injured, too old, or otherwise too young etc. The group with the 10% homosexuals has 45 children 155 people to provide enough food for all 200. The other group has 50 children and only 150 to provide enough food for 200. If times are tough or there is other competition, all other things being equal, who do you think has a better chance of providing resources, the group with 155 hunters or the group with 150?


Having had the chance to study those in extreme poverty, I have honestly found that the reverse is true.
Having not had such a chance, I can't speak to this. You don't cite sources (which neither of us have been doing). My point would be to point out those who have their resources removed. People who get stranded or lost or similar. We go into "survival mode" and behave much less like modern civilizations. As for the cannibalism thing, put four people in a group, one is injured, the other three may gang up and kill the fourth for survival. When they get back to "civilization" they get in trouble. If there were no external civilization to return to, there'd be no conflict of ethics.

By contrast, it seems to be mainly in the developed, wealthy Western nations that the practice of butchering one's young has become fashionable.
"A woman’s likelihood of having an abortion is slightly elevated if she lives in a developing region. In 2008, there were 29 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years in developing countries, compared with 24 in the developed world."

It's not the case that a monkey looks at another monkey with food and thinks to itself, "I could hurt that other monkey and get the food, but I'm not sure if I should, because it might not help me survive."
Sorry, I set this up badly. This was an experiment done in a lab. The monkey was shown that if it pressed a button it would cause a spark that would zap another monkey but also deliver food to the first. The monkies generally wouldn't zap one another to get the food, even when deprived food for a time.
Here's an example of the same idea, though it's talking more about social order the point is the same. Monkeys in a cage won't climb stairs to get food at the expense of their fellows.

Is rescuing a human child helpful for the survival of a gorilla? Well, probably, but he/she would have no way to know that. No, it's more likely that the gorilla rescued the child out of a protective or maternal instinct for the young, which is something that has distinct benefits for the survival of its species. Likewise, a monkey may refuse to harm another monkey, because monkeys are social creatures, not isolated, like tigers, and they therefore have an instinct to not turn on the group, which, again, is an instinct with definite survival benefits.
And I'm failing to see the distinction here between that behavior and our own. Instinctive basis which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. The gorilla protected the child involved from other apes. It's an instinctive thing, sure, but then isn't much of the religious (specifically Christian) teaching that such things are imprinted on us (god has supposedly written it on their hearts) in a similar, unthinking way where one might follow it or not?

Wait... What?! Of course there's a clear difference between living and non-living. Some kinds of cells are living cells. Others are not. Organisms with living cells are living organisms, unless the organism dies, and can no longer support the life of its cells.
Are viruses living or non-living? They replicate, change, adapt, consume, excrete. So they're alive... aren't they? Except they can't do any of that without host cells, not even replicate. So... not alive, then? ... I said there wasn't a clear line. There isn't one. Most things fall into definitely on one side or another, but there's examples where this simply isn't the case.
"First seen as poisons, then as life-forms, then biological chemicals, viruses today are thought of as being in a gray area between living and nonliving"

Yet, as I go down the list of arguments and evidence with them, and bit by bit, they are forced to undercut clear truths in order to defend their position (which also rests on those clear truths; a practice I call "terminal undercutting,") it will become obvious that their reason for believing atheism is not a rational one, because with their own lips, they make statements which would utterly demolish reason, if one just followed them through to their natural conclusions.
Reason and rationality ultimately do undercut themselves by noting that due to our limitations we can't be certain our reason and rationality are correct. The way around this has always been presuppositional, which is the method you employ. You even say it here, again, saying that X is a property of god because that is the definition being proposed. Yet you offer no evidence or even much in the way of rationale that such things are even possible, or else contradictory ones. For instance, you claim god doesn't have an opinion on things because he knows them. Yet you haven't defended that this sort of omniscience is possible at all, and there's no direct evidence to back this sort of thing up, just musings. In fact you offer no evidence at all that the sort of entity you are discussing is even possible, you're just saying it could potentially explain things. Save that, of course, it really doesn't, does it? I ask where morals come from, you say they are inherent in the nature of god and thus god knows rather than having an opinion on such matters, and so god created humans... who differ about morals and haven't much agreed on anything that isn't related to the survival of a culture, either through time or between groups. You later state this entirely moral entity doomed his creation by default to eternal torture, and this is moral. ... I'm not sure where to go with that.

Are there really concrete reasons to be an atheist? What are they?
Lack of evidence for the existence of god, a grounding in epistemology which says that while things might exist though we lack evidence for them we are not justified in accepting those claims without the evidence to back them, the unfalsifiable nature of god being the same as the unfalsifiable nature of a planet with a gold surface somewhere in the galaxy, contradictions between the supposed character of god and the supposed actions of god, the highly subjective nature of religion and our models of society.

You're still thinking of the nature of God as though it were a created thing, which needed to be "created" in the same sense that we did.
No, I'm not. I'm asking why is god's nature as it is. Your sense is that it must be necessary, but then don't really go on to demonstrate that this nature is indeed what it is, instead go on the premise of a necessity you've decided by more or less fiat in the first place and then consider implications. And yet those implications don't match reality.

In all contexts. Without objectivity, you can have no "right" and "wrong" which is independent of the shifting quicksand of human emotions, passions and willful ignorance.
So a tautology, then. Without objective right and wrong there's no right or wrong independent of (objectively existing) the shifting yadda yadda.

No, money is quite real. We create it in mints, and it represents value. Value is also quite real. It represents the usefulness and/or desirability of a certain thing or product.
And both usefulness and desirability are subjective, which makes value subjective, which makes money subjective, which makes the whole thing a large fiction. More than this, if you included only the actual, physical currency that exists in the world, most of the money we use isn't there. It's a fiction, a lie we all buy into and thus can live by. There's about five trillion dollars in existence, and yet if you add up all the 'value' we supposedly have in our economy it totals around 60 trillion or even 75 trillion. All the rest of that money isn't real. It's fiction, and it's the bulk of the money that we have on the planet.

Well, again, this is just to admit what I said before in the first premise. However, again, you've got to answer the issues I put forth in defense of the second, and I'm still not hearing that.
Your second premise comes down to "we all know" when it's very clear we don't, nor have we ever, "all known". It comes to "if right and wrong don't really exist then right and wrong don't really exist". Our feelings about it differ. The most you can talk about is whether that action leads to a viable society, which is what I've been arguing. If you set up your subjective moral system such that your society doesn't survive because of those values, they're irrelevant as the concepts involved will shortly cease to exist. It also seems to state that if there's no objective morals there's no moral difference between two actions, which is again untrue, it's just that the difference between them is still subjective. If there's no objective standard for taste it doesn't mean everything tastes the same, even across groups.

Really? Slavery wasn't wrong when the ancient Egyptians took people from captured territories and ruined their lives with backbreaking labor, building elaborate tombs to their lords? Well, clearly, I've missed something somewhere along the way.
Do we consider it evil now? Yes. Did they consider it evil then? No. That's the point.

What I have heard of is that some people, having done great evil, later repent and feel remorse for their wickedness,
Okay, so bad action triggers good action which leads to good actions in future. ... Uhm? So how is this not what I said, where people do immoral things and find it harder to do them later? They do a bad thing, regret it, and don't do it again, versus they do a bad thing, enjoy it, and do it again.

Ah, so hell is where we're all going by default and only your champion white knight god can come in and rescue us from that fate.
Without God, we wouldn't even exist, so I don't see why this is surprising.
Without my parents, I wouldn't exist. So by default they're going to beat me for my entire life, unless I get on their good side. My parents are entirely moral people. ... I find that contradictory. I find it contradictory for a god to do so as well.


Of course. It leads to self-centeredness, pride, biased reasoning and weakness against temptation. Unless the evildoer repents sincerely. That can really help.
Sorry, my bad. I should have said "being immoral has no apparent deleterious effects". Why is temptation a problem? Why is pride a problem? Why is self-centeredness a problem? If none of those things are hurting you or your group, where's the issue? Being immoral often benefits the individual unless you presuppose an afterlife with judgement (which we have only the hallucinations of NDE people who disagree and overlay their own cultural motifs as evidence for), and sometimes benefits a group. That's sort of your argument in a nutshell, that there's no reason not to act immorally without some negative consequence. Why should you listen to the opinions of others and not just do what you like?

With regard to your "boulder" example, therefore, this is not a case of God pushing anything towards anyone, but rather, of a large cliff, which, if you fall off, will kill you. God has done his best to warn people away from the cliff, but because of their pride and rebelliousness, many people refuse to listen.
God creates Adam and Eve. God knows before he does this that they will perform this sin and change things. God could have created Adam and Eve in such a way that they would not do so. How is this not him pushing a boulder (Adam) down a cliff to crush others (everyone who came after)?

Because there will be negative consequences, whether God mandates them by an act of his will or not. However, these consequences are still a result of the nature of God being what it is; they're just not some decision he made.
You're missing the point. I don't care if the reason there are negative consequences are that they are 'in the nature of god' or 'god chose it', the point is that there is some negative consequence that exists because of god, therefore there is punishment because of god, therefore obligation inherently implies punishment, therefore all morality is might makes right, be it the force of civilization or the force of god. Yet what we see in the world isn't a natural force conforming us all one way, we seen the force of civilization deciding these things.

A perfect being would be capable of rational thought, since that is more perfect that irrational thought, or no thought at all. A perfect being would have no subjective aspect, because that would not be as great as it is possible to be. It is far greater to hold objective beliefs (true whether anyone agrees with them or not,) than it is to hold subjective ones (untrue, no matter how many people agree with it.)
The fun thing with this is that your decisions on what is "greater" or "lesser" seem to be entirely subjective in themselves. Why is rational thought "greater" than not thinking? A force that does the right thing without thought gets the job done without rationality, so it's not needed. More than this, it all starts with the unwarranted and unevidenced presupposition that god exists in the first place, and then tries to deduce things for him. Whenever there's a new objection on logical grounds, you don't appeal to any sort of evidence that this god has these characteristics, you just find an ad hoc rationalization for how they still hold. God created time. But time would need to be there. So god creates timelessly. That's not evidence, or even following evidence, that's changing a definition to keep it in spite of logical flaws.

Of course they are. That's why there are wedding vows. No one forces the bride and groom to stick together in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, etc... Yet, they are obligated to do so. In fact, if they were being forced, it would be a requirement, not an obligation.
Suppose you break this obligation. What are the results? Divorce, which has consequences, often quite negative ones. So you are compelled by that to remain together. Often these consequences are seen as the lesser problem, but that doesn't stop their enforcement to a point.

How can there be any epistemology, if you can't know the truth?
Assumes there's "the truth" to be known. The thing is we can recognize our limitations such as we perceive them and use that as the basis to decide that due to such things we have to be careful about how we approach knowledge. As such what is "known" today may not be "known" tomorrow, and as such our epistemology, means of understanding knowledge, says knowledge isn't "truth", it's just the best we have at any given point, subject to change in the future. Perhaps some day we'll figure out a way to certainty, but right now we have to abandon the only thing that's really worked in epistemology, the scientific method, in order to presuppose and entity to try and give us the salve of certainty so we can feel better instead of the current reality of uncertainty which... doesn't. We went from a period certain we knew to a new period where we're pretty sure we don't, and it's uncomfortable.

By contrast, I have a theory of knowledge that does allow me to know truth, so I think I'll stick with that one, rather than ignorance.
Except it's based on an unfounded assumption of the existence of an unproven entity which can't be demonstrated to exist. Sticking with it because it makes you feel better isn't a good way to go. I have a theory of knowledge based on as few axioms as possible. I can't prove them 100% but they seem to hold for the most part, and what that tells me is that I can only be pretty close, and never sure entirely that I'm right, that I won't learn tomorrow something that entirely changes what I know today. I can have a great deal of evidence for a position, but that is merely about trying to discover ways it isn't true, that I could show it's not true, and failing to find them. I'm sorry if you don't want to accept the modern epistemology that is the current state of philosophical thought, but not liking the implications doesn't change what those thoughts are or how we got there.

They were wrong, but that doesn't matter, it was the best they had at the time and it fit rationality and evidence they had at the time.
Not really. Aristotelian physics leaves a lot of stuff unexplained, and is contradicted by much of the evidence.
Leaving things unexplained is always the case. All of science now leaves things unexplained. As for contradicted by the evidence... from when? That is, when did the evidence that it was wrong come in? When did they have that evidence? It certainly wasn't right away. So... they were wrong, and we later demonstrate this.

So that was my latest post, and right after I put it up I started thinking... I've got to be doing something wrong here. I'm just not sure where. Something feels off, though. Any ideas where the major screw-up is?
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01-01-2016, 01:31 AM
RE: Down the Rabbit Hole [Long]
I can't see much wrong with any of that.

Your interlocutor is making errors regarding the thing vs. the concept of the thing (numbers, money etc.)

A little off on the temperature bit, though...
Quote:If something is objective, its absence is also objective. Temperature, apples, etc. You measure such things objectively because they exist objectively, and their absence is just as objective as their presence. Cold is as objective as hot, cold being 'less vibrational energy', hot being 'more vibrational energy'. This doesn't apply to beauty, or morals, but if they did you could objectively state that something was more or less beautiful, more or less moral.

Temperature is subjective until one creates a scale/axiology/framework.

You've been waiting in the cold for an hour and you forgot your gloves. I'm late because I've been having sex.

We shake hands. Is the handshake hot or cold?

We have created a scale to answer this objectively but the feeling of temperature is still subjectively.

You hinted at that yourself by using the terms 'less' and 'more' vibrational energery. Also (somewhat annoyingly) there is an 'absolute' zero temperature when there is no molecular vibration.

So, while beauty and morals may not have an absolute, they could still become objective if/when an appropriate scale/axiology/framework could be determined.

The difference is that temperature is the realm of 'is' whereas beauty and morals (depending upon how a question is phrased) are in both of the realms of 'is' and 'ought'.

Perhaps your feeling of 'something wrong' in the last part was that your interlocutor wrote "Not really" and then agreed with you.

Which was weird.


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01-01-2016, 06:48 AM
RE: Down the Rabbit Hole [Long]
I think you've set yourself up nicely with your last statement about finding out later where people were wrong earlier. With that statement, you could put him into defending something ridiculous, such as supernatural origination of language and how we now know that to be wrong.

If he has to defend the Tower of Babel myth, he is in deep doo-doo.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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01-01-2016, 08:01 AM
RE: Down the Rabbit Hole [Long]
Overall I don't see any major issues; DLJ noted the temperature piece already and I also thought that bit was weaker than the rest.

On the "by taking the side of the being that forms the foundation of moral values" argument I think it may benefit from a bit of the Euthyphro dilemma. If this being is defining the values then they are subjective and if it is just representing them then we don't need the being to find them.

One other thing really jumped out at me. When he said "It is far greater to hold objective beliefs (true whether anyone agrees with them or not,) than it is to hold subjective ones (untrue, no matter how many people agree with it.)" the characterization of subjective is wrong. We can't say that subjective beliefs are untrue. If there really is an objective standard then the subjective beliefs may or may not match it. If there is no objective standard then true or not true has no meaning except where we compare them to a specific goal.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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01-01-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: Down the Rabbit Hole [Long]
Thanks for all the replies. Smile I feel a bit better about things. I'll try to bring up these points if I get a response from him. I may not. I was arguing worse than this for a lot of it because of the time of year. He may be frustrated with me at this point. As a note, he's using something called Perfect Being Theology. Other than noting it's presuppositional and entirely based on subjective notions of what "perfect" means, I haven't found a more thorough trashing of the idea (if one is really needed).

You guys missed a bit on proper function, too, which was hilarious. He did basically the same thing as a moral argument with senses. If there's no god, our senses have no proper function. Our senses have a proper function. Therefore god. What is proper function? The function intended by the maker of the object. Proof that they have a proper function? When you lose or weaken a sense, the doctor says "they aren't working right" meaning they have a proper function. So first it's a tautology. Things without a maker lack a maker-given function. Then it's just nutty comparison of how we speak with deeper philosophical terms such as proper (inherent to the thing). We use our eyes to see with, because they can fill that function. When they stop, we say they're not working "right" because it's not filling that function anymore. It didn't make that function inherent in the eye in the first place, a "property" of the eye. Function is decided by us, so the proper (correct) function of a baseball bat could be as a weapon if that's what we all agreed with, and what the maker of the bat intended is irrelevant (and anyway the function intended by the bat maker was 'to get money for it', not 'to hit balls with').
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