On Victor Reppert's (VR) Dangerous Idea blog, he quotes some C. S. Lewis to show that atheists
can't call the universe evil unless it is a moral agent. In addition, those hot headed atheist critics of God should be commended for validating the theistic basis for morality and that their fervor is equal to how validated divine morality is.
VR never responded (link
), but an anonymous Catholic Christian defended God's good name by saying (link
) we don't know enough about him to know if he is evil or not. And he apparently thinks that all that
atheist talk about morality for some reason always sounds theistic. He tried to deny that we have any idea what hell will be like. He's clueless about how to tell the creation we have from a perfect creation. Anon also complained that all the imperfect people he cares about wouldn't exist in a perfect world. He never got back to me on my responses.
Steve Lowell stepped up (link
) to actually engage the arguments where they were without Anon's implausible denial. He wants to see C. S. Lewis' original argument through to show that the hot criticism does validate Christian theistic morality if morality doesn't stand up apart from theism. For some reason, he maintains that the subjective passions of Christianity's critics proves that morality is embedded in the fabric of reality. Now, if this were poetry, I'd be pleased, but this apparently passes for epistemology. :S In a previous comment archive (link
) we went back and forth on what I would consider a sober evaluation of what morality is versus the magical conceptions of it. Then Steve tried to pull things back to the original argument from atheist hotness (link
) and I explained some of my reasons for not taking Lewis' superfluous moral framework seriously. I think we are about on the verge of simply repeating ourselves, but at least there has been some healthy exchange of ideas.
It also looks like VR has redated the post as Steve desired (link
The problem with Zoroastrianism in this context is that we were assuming that something like the moral argument is correct, but it seems obvious that if it is correct then it's an argument that the ultimate source of our existence is a perfectly good personal being ... and this is something that Zoroastrians are going to deny.
You asked me to elaborate on my comment that your argument to Zoroastrianism from Lewis' premises requires the success of the logical argument from evil. To be honest I can't exactly remember why I said that now, and it certainly seems an odd claim on the face of it, so I currently share your puzzlement. I guess I was thinking that if morality requires the existence of a good God (or god) then while Zoroastrianism might suffice (though for reasons stated above I think it doesn't) there will be no reason to go there rather than to theism unless you think that the argument from evil succeeds.
As I said, the argument from morality takes us no where coherent as is, and imo, is based on a number of flawed premises as I pointed out. If we have to conclude this supreme source of goodness exists, then we have no way of accounting for anything short of a moral perfection in any creation we are aware of. It's like saying there is a perfect universal health care system in the U. S. and yet 48 million people are uninsured. As I understand it, there are countries where you just can't help but be insured, even if you are not a resident, so the bar is appropriately "high" as far as the analogy goes. Zoroastrianism is the closest thing that allows for approximately what the Christian moral argument is shooting for, but also plausibly accounts for why we find a creation that is less than morally perfect. I'm not saying the argument works, because I don't think any of this works, but it does account for more of the facts *better* (as in only relatively) than the Christian theistic hypothesis. Anything really is a stretch.
I suppose we could say that this supreme source of good does not necessarily have to be "all knowing" since that does not appear to be included anywhere in the structure of the argument (although I'm not familiar enough with Lewis' writings to know for sure). So an all powerful good god, who is a bit too incompetent to pull off a sustainable morally perfect creation might be another option. But again, we've popped ourselves out of Lewis' religion to make it work.
I wonder if VR will ever get around to giving some feedback.