This the fifth part of my critique on Dr Craig’s article .
You can find the previous parts here: part 1 , part 2 , part 3, part 4 .
Craig continues: “When you think about it, why is it any more difficult to think that the compassion of God exists than to think that the omnipotence of God exists or the timelessness of God exists? I don’t see the difference. They are just properties of God but the one is a moral property and the others are non-moral properties. Things like omnipotence and timelessness aren’t moral properties but that is how they exist in the same way that any of the properties of God exist. They are just ways God is.”
The first thing of course is, that Craig asserted this without evidence. I maintain that timelessness and omnipotence are incoherent concepts but that’s just as a side note. I do see a difference: I am made of matter. Nothing I could ever do would change that. I am also a compassionate human being. But there are scenarios and paths, that could lead me to not being compassionate any longer. I see no reason why it would be different for God. Plus conceding, that it just is the way God is necessarily means, that God is unaccounted for and that God is random .
If you account for Unknowns with an Unknown, you haven’t really accounted for anything.
To the contention, that morals are personal Craig says the following: “Right, they are person-dependent. I think it is in virtue of being persons as God is personal that we have intrinsic moral value, too. That is why a single person is more valuable than the entire material universe put together, which is an awesome thought. Because only persons have intrinsic moral value. Things have extrinsic value in that they can serve the purposes of persons. A hammer can help me to build a house. Money can help me to buy food. These things are extrinsically valuable in that they serve as means to ends. But persons are ends in themselves. They are intrinsically valuable, not just extrinsically valuable as means to be used for some end. So as Augustine said, we should love people and use things, but so often we do just the opposite.
Okay the first thing I want to say may sound a little bit harsh but please just hear me out: We don’t have intrinsic value. Nothing has intrinsic value. Here’s why: Imagine yourself in a world, where we have gold and diamonds in abundance. Literally half the planet is made of it. But we as a species are not fond of gold or diamonds. Nobody wants to have them, we don’t use gold as a currency. What we are fond of are bananas. But bananas unfortunately for us, are rather scarce.They only exist on one Island in the South Pacific, namely “Banana Island” . Can anyone now truly say, that under this scenario gold and diamonds are more valuable than bananas?
For something to have value it needs to have a valuer, somebody who assigns value to it. The valuer in this case is us as a society. We as humans place value on human life, therefore human life is valuable to us. It is not in the least valuable to lions. We value the lives of our fellow primates subjectively.
I do want to address this contention: “Because only persons have intrinsic moral value.”
We have dealt with the “intrinsic value” part already but I contest that. While I certainly can agree with his contention later, that persons are ends I think animals are ends as well. If I were to see a human and a Tarsier drowning and I could only save one, I would of course choose the human (though it’s a close race) but that doesn’t mean, that other creatures have no value at all and that we don’t have moral responsibility for them as well. We assign them value as well and therefore we are responsible for them as well.
I have no objections to the rest of this paragraph though plenty for the following ones which I will tackle in the next few posts.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation