Fifth Round: Matt's Response, Part B
Matt5: Now, lest you think I am making this up, here is some proof I have been compiling since the beginning of our discussion. You see, atheism and morality is the topic, and since I have been repeatedly defending the position that beliefs definitely affect actions and that we can determine beliefs, to some degree, from actions, I figured it was appropriate to document the actions of the atheists.
- Rule #'s that have been consistently violated.
- No vulgarities, obscenities, profanity, swearing, name-calling, insults, or mockery.
- Do not attack the character of a board participant.
- Do not post an attack upon a board participant to all the members of the board.
- Insult, attack, rules 2, 3 "Vastly unpleasant, rude, arrogant, and smug. Don't believe me? Read his posts. Take some Dramamine first, the rollercoaster of hate is not nice." Found in a rating comment against Graceshaker.
- Mockery, rule 2. "Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure I heard Matt say he thinks catholics are going to hell along with the mormons, atheists, and muslims. If this is correct, I'm amazed that Matt would hit at the idea of infallable interpretation from any religion or particular person. 'Pope Matt' would therefore be one of the most hypocritcal ideas I've ever heard."
- Mockery, rule 2. "It means that he enjoys pushing other peoples buttons just to watch them squirm. Hardly christian-like, but who am I to judge?"
- Buffalo woman
- Insult, rule 2. "I find your response curious. Do you have a therapist? Is that what your therapist told you? Is that how you approach answering questions? Or only some questions? Seems a rather paranoid way to go through life . . . "
- Insult, rule 2. 'You have made it abundantly clear that you are not only incapable of unconditional love but also incapable of understanding what it is. Do you have children?'
- Insult, rule 2. "Thank God you refuse to seek state certification. I wouldn't want a wacko teaching my kids."
- Insult, rule 2. "Is it your objective Christian morality that makes you so arrogant, or did you pick that one up from Satan?"
- Insult, rule 2. Called someone a troll. Post was edited by a Mod and removed.
- Mockery, rule 2, "Perhaps we have a nomination for Pope!" (He said this in response to Garth Overman's post regarding my "infallibility" of interpretation.
- Attack, rule 2, "Seems to have an angry demeanor that stifles discussion." Found in a rating comment against Graceshaker.
- Insult, rule 2. "Call this woman a "disorderly fool"? Her son was killed in this misguided #### war. You, sir, are despicable.
- Insult, rule 2. "I really believe those arrogant individuals who seem to believe theirs is the only true religion (and everybody else is going to Hell) are in the minority."
- Dr. Who said,
- Mockery, rule 2. "Well . . . Matt believes in God. God makes rules. God doesn't have to follow his own rules. So why should Matt. He is just being God like. You can't argue with God and you can't argue with Matt."
- Insult, rule 2. "I can't believe I'm hearing something this ignorant, prejudiced and hateful from a moderator."
- This was in response to me posting, "Since the atheists don't have absolute moral standards, how can we trust what they are saying?"
- Insult, rule 2. "I have been reading through your posts in this thread and I must conclude that you are a big baby. There is no other way to put it and no way to sugar-coat it."
- Insult, rule 2. "I can't believe I'm hearing something this ignorant, prejudiced and hateful from a moderator."
- Garth Overman
- Mockery, rule 2. "Obviously Matt has been bestowed the gift of infallibility of interpretation from the Holy Spirit, and so anybody that disagrees with him cannot possibly be correct. Matt's word is as good as God's word, obviously. Can you say "God complex?"
- Mockery, rule 2. "Matt Slick channels God Himself . . . news at 11 . . . "
- Insult, rule 2. "He's obviously not a forum adminstrator, either. He's not a fluff-headed idiot with completely transparent, unreasonable bias and more power than he's capable of handling fairly."
- Insult, mockery, rule 2. "How in the world you get "he's saying part of a human is a whole human" out of "I'm saying that a cluster of human cells is not a human"?? Is English your second, third, or fourth language?"
- Attack on person, rule 3. "No, it has nothing to do with you "excepting(sic)" a debate challenge (the challenge which was posed by you, if you'll recall). It has everything to do with your accusations, your baseless claims, your apparent inability to defend them coupled with your curious persistance in repeating them after they've been refuted virtually endlessly, and finally your apparent refusal to learn."
- Insult, rule 2. " . . . I don't care about whatever lunacy you happen to believe."
- Garth was addressing graceshaker.
- Insult and attack, rules 2,3. "Lying. Through. Your. Teeth.":
- Insult, rule 2. "It's just a shame that Matt . . . appears to lack the intestinal fortitude to step out of what seems to be his "comfort zone"--that of pet answers & apologetic gamesmanship--to address direct questions & issues that some of us have posed to him."
- Insult, rule 2. "However, big babies tent to merely react. Matt's seems to be more of a pre-emptive whine. Think 9-year-old girl."
- Insult, mockery, rule 2. "Not everyone needs to get their morals from a book. Some people can actually function well in society by thinking. Try it some time."
- Vulgarity, insult, mockery, rule 2. "What a load of ####. He doesn't care about people. This is self-evident. Look around. If this is the best god can do, we're better off without him in the first place. He's lucky he doesn't work for me, as I would have thrown him out on his incompetent butt long ago."
- Not actual rule violation but definite misrepresentation of facts. "via Diane, that his conversation with nih was a public one. then the mods deleted all of the old threads. so much for matts theory that only atheists lie. we now know of at least one x-tian that does."
- Another misrepresentation of facts: "matt announcing to the boards he doesn't think someone is a christian because they dont answer questions exactly like matt does."
- That is not so. Ohio is not qualified to make assessments concerning spiritual matters. Also, if someone does not answer questions exactly as I do, that is not the criteria to use when dealing with someone's salvation. It is whether or not they deny the essential doctrines. Ohio is incorrect, again.
- Attack addressed to all. Rule 4, "First, I think Matt should be ashamed of his approach."
- Insult, attack, rules 2,3. "I've yet to see you demonstrate how Matt being personally attacking and intentionally divisive pertains to his responsibilities as a site owner, and how these (moral) behaviours helps his site run more effectively."
- Vulgarity, rule 2. "Yep, it musta been those pinko #### feminazis that put us in this situation . . . they've gotta have something to do with this."
- Insult, rule 2. "Yup, we shouldn't get #### in to Matt's playful taunting . . . It almost implies we're still taking him seriously . . . "
- Attack, rule 3 "I thought you already knew this answer Diane. You have communicated with numerous atheists ie: Monkeyhead & me. Do you really believe in your heart that the likes of us have NO morals? I'm ashamed that you even asked this question. YOU know better than this. I understand YOU must back up Matt but in doing so when he's wrong shows me YOUR lack of morals! SHAME ON YOU! WWJD? Oh, yeah, YOU can BAN me now. CARM is a joke."
- Insult, rule 2. "paranoid poster indeed."
- Insult, rule 2. "and the way in which you phrase things. Sounds kinda arrogant and phrased with an attitude of superiority doesn't it. Not exactly what one would call being modest."
- Attacking a Christian poster.
- Mockery, rule 2. "It would have been an excellent post if it had been directed at someone with a longer attention span."
Matt5: These quotes are from the atheists themselves that they have made, in violation of the rules, against other people. I am only documenting what they have said in order to make my point.
Matt5: So Chad, given the evidence and the presuppositions that the great majority of atheists hold to subjective morality, (I have not yet encountered an atheist who claims absolute morals), what can you offer us as a vindication that atheists are trustworthy since they apparently blatantly violate the rules. Remember, I ask the moderators to refrain from enforcing the rules upon the atheists on the atheists board. Their behavior has degenerated.
Matt5: The atheists will not be happy with this post. In fact, I suspect that they will say that Christians have broken the rules, too--perhaps that I'm the worst offender. Nevertheless, we do regulate ourselves, and we do seek to maintain decency and the boards--which is why rules and moderators are necessary. Furthermore, I have purposely inserted into my discussion above the word "blatant" when describing the atheist rule violations. Of course, there are others who have been blatantly wrong as well, and we have attempted to correct them whenever possible. So, if the atheists attempt to document the failures of the Christians in abiding by the rules, then they are pronouncing judgment upon themselves by supporting the rules. Yet, they willingly break those rules. Obviously, this is hypocritical (holding others to the same rules they have agreed to abide by that they refuse to obey). Too bad that they have not been able to alert the moderators to the rule violations of the atheists in past times. If they had, they would have a greater position from which to make their forthcoming complaints sound legitimate.
>(I'm asking you_. If you, Chad, were to condemn the actions of
>an atheist who purposely broke the board rules, what right
>would you have in condemning that atheist since that atheist
>has a subjective moral standard as you do? (I'm asking you).
Chad5: You are asking me what objective justification I have for a subjective moral view. Obviously the answer is none. But who says I need an objective right to say that I consider someone's actions immoral?
Matt5: Nope, I did not insert the word "objective." You did. You're changing what I said in order to provide an answer. Nevertheless, you have the right to consider someone else's action as being immoral (as your opinion and nothing more), but you have no right whatsoever to impose that moral value on anyone else since, according to you, there are no absolute objective moral values and since you learn your morality from your surroundings and internal preferences. Yet, you will make moral statements about the actions of Christians in society and seek to have their actions condemned. You make a moral judgment when you say it is wrong to be treated improperly by people who do you wrong because you will not say the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Essentially, you are imposing your moral system upon them without a right or standard to do so. You are being very inconsistent, and I believe it is the result of atheistic "lack of belief" in moral absolutes.
> You would have no moral right to impose your moral standard
>on him (or her). Thus, you could not morally/rationally
>condemn the actions of atheists who purposely break the rules.
Chad5: False, as explained above.
Matt5: Are you trying to tell me that you do have a moral right to impose your moral standard on the other atheists who have broken the rules here on CARM and condemn them for so doing? Great! Please do so. Please act according to your beliefs. I've provided an ample list of rule violations. Perhaps you could publicly condemn each one of them. Since you claim to have that right, then why do you not exercise it? Or have you and we just don't know about it. Please get on the CARM boards and impose your moral standard on the other atheists. Please condemn them for their blatant rule violations that I have listed above. I would love to see you exercise your claim.
> If you were to say that the atheist who agreed to abide by
>the rules is wrong because he broke his agreement, then you
>are establishing an absolute moral standard, namely, that you
>should keep your word.
Chad5: Yes, the standard is absolute--and also subjective. That is, I hold it based on my values, and all values are subjective by their very nature.
Matt5: So, let me get this straight. You are trying to convince me that you have an absolute moral standard that is subjective? I have a problem with that. I don't know how you see absolute and subjective, but I understand them to be as follows: To be absolute is to be true, unchanging, without variation, certain, etc. To be subjective is to be illusory, nonobjective, fanciful, dependent, uncertain, etc., (definitions from the dictionary). I think you are being illogical and progressing in more illogic.
>But then again, if the atheist wants
>to break his word because he has a subjective moral standard,
>who's to say he's right or wrong? You?
Chad5: Me, you, and everyone else. On a practical level, if we condemn his actions he will face consequences . . . and it will not matter a whit if we condemn them on a subjective or (allegedly) objective basis.
Matt5: "Saying" it doesn't make it so. The question is "IS it right or wrong?" If something really is truly right or wrong, then we have the right to make a judgment. But if something is not really right or wrong, then all you have is the desire to impose your opinions on someone else which is what you want Christians to not do to you. You do not want them to require to say God in the Pledge of Allegiance or tell your daughter she is on her way to Hell, etc. These are moral judgments. You are quick to condemn the actions of the Christians. In other words, it is not OK for them to want you to behave a certain way. But it is OK for you to want them to behave in a certain way. This is the natural problem with subjective morality--as has been documented by the atheists' "lack" of self-regulation when blatantly breaking the CARM rules.
>He is free to abide
>by or not abide by the rules, and no one has the right to tell
>him otherwise--from an atheistic perspective, that is. What
>do you think of this?
Chad5: I hope I've made it clear what I think of this. I think it's nonsense.
Matt5: Thank you for your opinion. However, I'm convinced that your answers are illogical and inconsistent. I think this is the result of your atheistic position regarding morality. You try to get me to accept the idea that your absolute morals are also subjective--an oxymoron. You tell me that you can impose your moral standard on another but have no rational reason for doing it, thereby demonstrating irrationality. Who is to say who truly is right or wrong? Your argumentation has convinced me more and more that the atheistic position from which you argue your morality is incapable of rationally defending the moral imposition of one person upon another. At best, at most, the atheistic moral system is a democratic one in that the majority wins, which could be as tyranical as it could be moral: Whatever the majority says is right is imposed upon the minority. Who is to say that is right or wrong?
>Matt4: Furthermore, if we were to find that atheists were
>repeatedly breaking the rules, apparently on purpose, then it
>would be evidence that they are not trustworthy.
Chad5: Substitue the word "Christians" for atheists in that sentence. Then substitute the word "Blacks". Then try "men" and "women". There's a pattern.
Matt5: I'm disappointed. You did not respond to my statement adequately. It still stands that if we were to find atheists who were blatantly breaking the rules, apparently on purpose, then it would be evidence that they are not trustworthy. There's nothing illogical about my conclusion.
Chad5: If a person repeatedly breaks the rules, it would be evidence that they cannot be trusted not to break the rules. One might also take it as evidence that they cannot be trusted in general.
>are representing atheism
Chad5: Excuse me? Can you name one single poster on CARM who claims to represent atheism?
Matt5: Every atheist represents atheism when they claim to be atheists and post as an atheist.
>and since actions predominately
>follow from beliefs, would it not be fair to conclude that the
>atheists who break the rules are doing so ultimately because
>of atheistic principles which includes no moral absolutes?
Chad5: No, it would not. As discussed above, this whole line of assumption is fallacious.
Matt5: I did not expect you to agree with this. I still think is correct. I see your whole line of assumptions to be fallacious.
Chad5: You are making a classic error of assuming that because your answer to the question, "Does the Christian God exist?" is the dominant determinant for your moral code, my answer to that question is the dominant determinant for minea . . . nd the same for other atheists. Speaking for myself, I can assure you that this isn't true.
Matt5: I am assuming that your atheism, which has no moral code, has left a moral vacuum that you must fill through your experiences and your preferences which necessarily leads you to believe in a subjective moral system. That is what I'm saying. Furthermore, I believe your subjective moral system is ultimately self-contradictory and that you can establish no rational reason to impose your moral system on anyone else.
Chad5: My morals stem from my values and my beliefs about, among other things, people, joy, growth, integrity. My values and beliefs differ from those of HRG, of paignman, of limana, etc., etc. and thus my morals differ from theirs as well.
Matt5: Exactly! This is why your moral system is subjective as is HRG's and paignman's and limana's. Neither of them has the right, the moral right, to impose upon you their moral standard, correct?
>(Remember, if you don't have absolute morals, then you must
>have subjective ones).
Chad5: Replace "absolute" with "objective" and I agree, but in any case you have yet to show either that "objective moral" is a coherent term or that such objective morals are superior to subjective ones.
Matt5: I am not here addressing whether objective/absolute moral codes are superior to the "atheistic one" of subjectivity. I am attempting to demonstrate that the atheist position--your position--on morality is inconsistent. I believe I have already shown that with the help of the atheists themselves as documented above.
>Matt4: Therefore, ultimately, in my opinion, there can be no
>logical moral absoluteness in atheism, and this undermines the
>ethical credibility of the atheism as a position and weakens
>the philosophical credibility of atheists who adhere to a
>non-absolute moral standard but promote by necessity moral
Chad5: Packed full of false assumptions. Your assertion that there can be no moral absolutes in atheism is a bit rich considering the philosophical history of several such systems. Your assertion that our ethical credibility is undermined is either just your opinion (and I doubt anyone here is surprised that you are less trustful of atheists than of Christians) or an unsupported assertion. Why not look at some actual statistics? Do atheists divorce more often? Lie more often? Can you in fact demonstrate that there is any substance behind your rhetoric?
Matt5: You have not given me any logical reason for moral absolutes to exist inside an atheistic position. I think you keep missing the point here. I am not contrasting Christianity with atheism in this discussion. You are. The debate topic was atheism and morality. If you want to discuss the issue of whom is more trustworthy statistically, then find someone to discuss it with. But here, in our discussion, the topic is atheism and morality, and I'm trying to demonstrate that atheism leads to an inconsistent and self-contradictory moral system, again . . . as evidenced by the behavior of those atheists here on CARM who blatantly violate the rules they have agreed to follow.
>Matt4: Finally, please let me make some clarifications. I am
>not saying that all atheists are by default moral relativists,
>nor am I saying that all atheists are morally handicapped.
Chad5: Big of you.
Matt5: Is that sarcasm?
>I believe that there are many atheists who are extremely
>trustworthy and morally astute. I am trying to focus on the
>logical relationship of morality as it relates to the position
>known as atheism and its necessarily relativistic moral
Chad5: I think you should show more care with using the terms absolute/relative and objective/subjective.
Matt5: Is that an absolute opinion or a subjective one?
>And, recognize that there are atheists who assert
>moral absolutes. But, I would argue with them that they are
>doing so illogically--perhaps another discussion on that
Chad5: I agree that their assertion of objective morals is unsound--because the very concept is a contradiction. It does not stop being a contradiction even if God exists.
Matt5: I agree that they would be unsound in their logic and judgment.
Matt5: Now, this post has a total of more than 14,500 words. As I said before, this venue can lead to increasingly lengthy and fragmented discussions. We must find a way to conclude our discussion since I am taking more and more time away from my other responsibilities in order to deal with these issues here. So, you have the opportunity of responding to everything that I have said or focusing on a few points. If you respond to everything that I have said, in my next post I will extract just a few points to focus on and ignore the rest. This is not because I will not be able to respond but because it is simply getting too long, and I have already addressed the issues.
Matt5: Too bad we didn't have our discussion on paltalk (paltalk.com) where we would have been finished already. Anyway, I have been waiting patiently during our discussion to see if the atheists would improve or degenerate in their behavior on the boards since our discussion deals with atheism and morality. I specifically asked Diane to tell the moderators not to ding the atheists for rule violations to see what would happen. As expected, they have gotten worse during this period--and not a single rule violation alert from an atheist has been placed exposing another atheist. Not a single one. Therefore, since this proves that the atheists (generally speaking) are not capable of governing themselves regarding the board rules, I'm instructing all the moderators to do it for them. The next time any atheist blatantly breaks a board rule, he or she will be banned. If the atheists don't like it and if they want to complain, they need to do so according to the board rules, which too many of them disregard.
Matt5: Chad, we have been bantering back and forth over the issue of the relationship of "lack of belief" and actions. You want me to accept the idea that a "lack of belief" in God can lead to actions. I don't accept that for reasons that I have repeatedly laid out and briefly repeat here. Beliefs lead to actions. As evidence of this, the atheists themselves have given me the documentation and demonstrated that they have a double standard. Their actions lead me to believe that they are very weak at governing themselves in relationship to the carm board rules. Now, since we are discussing atheism and morality and since it is a moral issue to agree to abide by the rules and then break them, I'm concluding that the atheists exemplify an immoral behavior when they blatantly break the rules. Please note, I acknowledge that there are subjective areas of abiding by the rules as well as applying them and that none of us keep them all perfectly. This isn't what I am talking about. But, there are some obviously blatant rule violations committed by the atheists, and I have documented them.
Matt5: If the atheists want to complain about me or other Christians violating the rules, than how are we to take them seriously since they cannot apply the rules to themselves? This means that they cannot see the issues properly and are not trustworthy in their assertion that others break the rules. Therefore, since they do not alert any moderator to the rule breaking of other atheists, they have no right to complain. This is the result of their subjective and inconsistent application of the application of the rules (applying them to everyone else except themselves) and is, in my opinion, due to their atheistic basis and morality. (I recognize that there are probably atheists on the discussion boards who take the rules seriously and try to abide by them. To them, kudos).
Matt5: As I said earlier, I am waiting for you to publicly condemn the atheists who have blatantly violated the board rules (see above list). I am waiting for you to carry through with your argument that you can make judgments on them. I know that I would love to see this as would many other viewers on this board. However, perhaps you will abstain from condemning the blatant rule violations of your fellow atheists just as the other atheists have done not condemned the other atheists for breaking the rules. Perhaps, you lack belief in condemning the actions of atheists who break the board rules. Or, perhaps you believe that the rules only apply to Christians. I don't know. But it is you who has been defending your moral integrity based upon your subjectivity. It is a subjectivity that has revealed itself in your lack of condemnation of the atheist board rule violators.
Matt5: Do beliefs lead to actions? Of course they do--as the atheists have exemplified here on the boards and of which I have documented. Do the atheists believe in absolute morals?--apparently not the atheists who break the rules here--regularly and purposely. They do not govern each other via the alert system which is designated for that purpose and to which many atheists have availed themselves. They require Christians to abide by the rules but not themselves. This is how atheism has worked itself out here on the boards, and it is obviously a demonstration of inconsistency and hypocrisy.
Matt5: I think that the atheists have inadvertently proven my point. I await your response.
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile," (Rom. 1:16).