Some Atheists Think Beleif in God is Special Pleading


CARM (where else?)
post no 20 by Hunble thinker

the original issue was that God's moral judgment is in a better position than ours to know right and wrong. Right and wrong are based upon God's very nature. The atheist argues that is special pleading. That seemed wired and they didn't explain it. after pressing I find it's because they are claiming that to assert that God is not subject to the same limitations of humanity is special pleading. This is not really Germaine because special pleading innovates violation of a rule of logic or some rule of man made origin not merely the recognition that some aspect of reality is more improtant, smarter, more enduring, more powerful, or more "right" than another.

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
that's utterly silly. to say that believing that God is more powerful than a man and more intelligent than make is special pleading is is idiotic. that's like saying belief that white dwarfs are hotter than red giants is special pleading.

Not it's not. Stars classified as white dwarfs have been evidenced to be hotter than red giants. No such thing can be claimed about God
That doesn't mean there aren't other ways to understand that God is more popwerful than humans. That's a foundatoinal assumption in the concept of God. That's the whole point of belief; being "more powerful" is not the issue but being the basis of reality is. So if we can't say that the basis of reality is more infinite, smarter, more enduring, more power, better equipt to understand things, then we can't say anything. It's as though they have never heard of the idea of God before. They are so skeptical of everything they even challenge the most foundational assumptions like up and down.

Of course my example of stars was meant to be sarcastic. That stars are the objects of empirical observation and God is not does not defeat the analogy because it's still an example of some known being ignored. If we can't know that God is in a better position to know morality than we are then we can't know anything.

I had already posted documentation form logicians to show that special pleading invovles violation of a rule. Special pleading is about violating a rule that one expects to apply in all other cases and then pleading that "but my thing is a special case."

The Nizkor Project:
"The Fallacy of Special Pleading"

Special Pleading is a fallacy in which a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. to others while taking herself (or those she has a special interest in) to be exempt, without providing adequate justification for the exemption. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

  1. Person A accepts standard(s) S and applies them to others in circumtance(s) C.
  2. Person A is in circumstance(s) C.
  3. Therefore A is exempt from S.

The person committing Special Pleading is claiming that he is exempt from certain principles or standards yet he provides no good reason for his exemption. That this sort of reasoning is fallacious is shown by the following extreme example:

  1. Barbara accepts that all murderers should be punished for their crimes.
  2. Although she murdered Bill, Barbara claims she is an exception because she really would not like going to prison.
  3. Therefore, the standard of punishing murderers should not be applied to her.

This is obviously a blatant case of special pleading. Since no one likes going to prison, this cannot justify the claim that Barbara alone should be exempt from punishment.

From a philosophic standpoint, the fallacy of Special Pleading is violating a well accepted principle, namely the Principle of Relevant Difference. According to this principle, two people can be treated differently if and only if there is a relevant difference between them. This principle is a reasonable one. After all, it would not be particularly rational to treat two people differently when there is no relevant difference between them. As an extreme case, it would be very odd for a parent to insist on making one child wear size 5 shoes and the other wear size 7 shoes when the children are both size 5.

It should be noted that the Principle of Relevant Difference does allow people to be treated differently. For example, if one employee was a slacker and the other was a very prodictive worker the boss would be justified in giving only the productive worker a raise. This is because the productive of each is a relevant difference between them. Since it can be reasonable to treat people differently, there will be cases in which some people will be exempt from the usual standards. For example, if it is Bill's turn to cook dinner and Bill is very ill, it would not be a case of Special Pleading if Bill asked to be excused from making dinner (this, of course, assumes that Bill does not accept a standard that requires people to cook dinner regardless of the circumstances). In this case Bill is offering a good reason as to why he should be exempt and, most importantly, it would be a good reason for anyone who was ill and not just Bill.

These atheists think belief in God is special pleading becasue God doesn't obey the rules. that' why I used the example of stars. Stars fit the descriptions of the laws of physics and yet some are different than others. The real point is that physical objects don't conform to man made rules such as ethical norms. Thus God's understanding of ethical norms would have to be transcendent of man and his extra human abilities are not violations of any rule.

There's no rule that says He isn't. (on a par with humans)

Yes, there is. It's the rule of what the term God means.

People claim that without warrant to conveniently support their argument. One could just as easily claim that He is simply treated as a super man, but a man nonetheless, but you obviously would not accept that. This is the "upshot" you are talking about. Why don't you understand that?
Essentially he's saying that I made up the idea that God is better than humans in order to avoid the encouragements of atheist argument. This is what is so increeduably stupid, and diabolical because it completely obscures the origin of religious belief the reason for understanding a concept of God in the first place. Its' also excessively ignorant because the concept of God goes back to a point sometime bewteen the stone age and the bronze age. So sometime before 3000BC people started talking about "God." That's just what we know from writing. For all we really know Neanderthal may have been talking about "the great spirit." Does he really imagine that people in 3000bc had to worry about athiest arguments of special pleading? It's a pretty safe assumption they did not. This sort of obfuscation and ignorance is just priceless. not to know this is so alarming.

we could debate the reasons why people came up with the idea of God, whatever the reason, to explain nature or the sense of he numinous, is sure as hell was not because they thought they could do more than God. It sure as hell was not to answer some atheist argument.

whatever else it had to do with it basically had to do with feeling the presence of something grater than themselves. obviously. People come to believe in God because they come to believe that there is something greater than themselves. It's foundational to the whole concept. Just th notion that God is eternal and created the universe has to put him ahead of man. Can this "humble thinker" create a universe? If we put it in the crass terms. Never mind all that foundation of reality jazz, can you create a universe? are you eternal? Not just creating but from scratch no less.

This is such an affront to reason and a transgression against the foundational concepts of Western thought one might just think of it as "satanic."