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Addressing Those Colossal Misunderstandings:
A Response to Doug Krueger (1999)

Paul Copan

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

 

Having read Doug Krueger's critique[1] of Ravi Zacharias' book A Shattered Visage,[2] I was shocked at his vitriol and unwarranted sarcasm. However, I am grateful to the powers that be at the Secular Web/Internet Infidels website, who have encouraged a response in the name of openness and intellectual honesty.

While countering point for point would be probably be unnecessary, I shall hit some of the protruding points to show that Krueger's arguments still lack the force he assumes they do.

First, let me offer two points of clarification and perspective about Zacharias' book:

  1. Zacharias was devoting much attention to the logical implications of denying God's existence.
  2. Zacharias was writing to a predominantly Christian audience, and so he did not see the need to justify claims regarding certain biblical and theological matters. So it seems odd that Krueger would demand a full explanation for these points.

In light of these two remarks, Krueger is obviously right in that attacking a person's philosophy "is not relevant to whether god exists" --no more so than Jimmy Swaggart's or Jim Bakker's disproves God's existence. However, the matter is one of consistency here. That is, it is not surprising that Christian theists should endorse an objective morality both in theory and in practice. Thus when they violate clear moral standards, they are being inconsistent. On the other hand, although many atheists do maintain the existence of an objective morality, one wonders if this is truly consistent with the materialistic naturalism usually embraced by atheists. For instance, why not be a nihilist or an amoralist instead of a moral objectivist? As atheist philosopher Kai Nielsen himself has admitted, reason doesn't decide here.[3] More problematic for atheists, however, is the significant lack of accounting for intrinsic human dignity, human rights, moral obligation, and moral responsibility, which must be in place before we can even talk about the relevance of morality. (I'll write more on this below.)

If there is one thing of which Zacharias' book reminds us, it is this: ideas have consequences. For instance, the influence of Sartre's atheistic existentialism on terror campaigns abroad is documented in historian Paul Johnson's book Intellectuals.[4] There certainly is credible support for Zacharias' claim, contrary to what Krueger asserts. The matter of philosophical consistency emerges: if human beings are ultimately insignificant and lack intrinsic worth ("bubbles on the ocean of nothingness," Sartre claimed), then such terror campaigns could not be seen as morally wrong.

Ideas have consequences with regard to the Nietszche-Hitler connection as well. Of course, Nietzsche's influence on Hitler does not concern anti-Semitism or German nationalism per se,[5] and Zacharias is well aware of Nietzsche's opposition to both of them. For instance, Nietzsche not only attacked anti-Semitism, but he broke ties with composer Richard Wagner because of the anti-Semitism of the latter. Since Nietzsche himself wasn't anti-Semitic, he therefore could not directly influence later anti-Semitism or German nationalism. So in some ways Nietzsche was diametrically opposed to certain Nazi values. (For instance, besides anti-Semitism or German nationalism, Nietzsche never maintained that the Superman [Übermensch] was racial or inheritable. Admittedly, there has been a misreading by some scholars on points such as these.)[6]

But the influence at issue is the death-of-God and the Superman ideology proclaimed by Nietzsche, which was certainly picked up by Hitler. For instance, Nietzschean phrases such as "lords of the earth," "herd instinct," and "the will to force" appear in Hitler's Mein Kampf.[7] Of course, to make Nietzsche the cause of Hitler's actions would be unfair. Events and incidents related to the Holocaust (e.g., creating concentration camps, Kristallnacht, the invasion of Poland, medical experiments) did not deterministically occur. Each was a willed and intended event.[8] But to say that the death-of-God philosophy of Nietzsche had an influence upon Hitler's thinking would not be an overreaching point. The extreme sarcasm and name-calling Krueger uses against Zacharias on this point is astonishing and appalling. Krueger assumes that there is absolutely no intellectual basis for making such a connection and claims that Zacharias should have known better.

However, the ideological connection between Nietzsche and Hitler has been made by various scholars. J. P. Stern, Professor of German at the University of London, who co-authored a book on Nietzsche,[9] points out that Mussolini, who read Nietzsche extensively, received a copy of Nietzsche's Collected Works as a present from the Führer on the Brenner Pass in 1938.[10] Another point worth noting is that, according to historian William Shirer, "Hitler often visited the Nietzsche museum in Weimar and publicized his veneration for the philosopher by posing for photographs of himself staring in rapture at the bust of the great man."[11]

Historian Paul Johnson writes of the ideological connection between Nietzsche and Hitler:

Adolf Hitler . . . was a disciple of Friedrich Nietzsche.. . . Hitler hated Christianity with a passion which rivaled Lenin's. Shortly after assuming power in 1933, he told Hermann Rauschnig that he intended 'to stamp out Christianity root and branch.' 'One is either a Christian or a German--you cannot be both,' he added. . . . He said, 'I want a powerful, masterly, cruel and fearless youth. . . . The freedom and dignity of the wild beast must shine from their eyes. . ..'[12]

The death of God movement helped support and add fuel to the fire of Nazism--even if not on the matter of anti-Semitism and German nationalism. Thus Krueger's statement regarding anti-Semitism still doesn't refute the point that Nietzsche's public ideas on the death-of-God ideology and its implications had a noteworthy influence on people like Hitler or Mussolini.

Krueger goes on to assert that Hitler was a theist: "In many of his speeches, Hitler asserted that he was acting in accordance with god's will." But this type of political pandering is certainly not unusual. One can probably safely say that many politicians have glibly invoked the name of God to gain broader support from religious constituents. Hitler was no theist. We saw above that he despised Christianity. He also despised Judaism. Hitler reportedly claimed that conscience was a Jewish invention and had to be abolished.[13] That's Christianity and Judaism down--we're quickly running out of theistic options.

Jehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describes the real "god" of Hitler and the Nazis:

They wanted to go back to a pagan world, beautiful, naturalistic, where natural hierarchies based on the supremacy of the strong [echoes of Nietzsche here?] would be established, because strong equalled good, powerful equalled civilized. The world did have a kind of God, the merciless God of nature, the brutal God of races, the oppressive God of hierarchies.[14]

So even if it were to be shown that Zacharias is being inaccurate in his historiography, one cannot deny that his position is intellectually defensible and respectable. Thus to insult Zacharias by saying that he "should have done some competent research" is wholly unwarranted. Zacharias is not making unjustified assertions from thin air.

Even if no historical connection exists between Nietzsche and Hitler, there is clearly a logical one. That is, if one takes the presuppositions of Nietzsche's Superman to its logical conclusions, Hitler becomes no surprise. In Ron Rosenbaum's study Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil,[15] he refers to Konrad Kweit, an Australian Holocaust scholar and resident fellow at the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Summarizing Kweit's view of the ideological connection between Nietzsche and Hitler, Rosenbaum writes that "the violent extremism of thought to be found in Nietzsche and Wagner made Hitler possible if not inevitable."[16]

As I mentioned earlier, I could offer detailed responses to Krueger's arguments, but space does not permit it. However, I'll offer relatively brief biblical, theological, and philosophical responses and clarifications below.

Krueger mentions a number of biblical problems, but these can be easily dismissed if one considers further evidence. Krueger faults Zacharias for not clearing up alleged discrepancies, say, in the creation accounts of Genesis 1 and 2 (which can be rectified by close examination of various Hebrew verbs and the author's overarching strategy) or why Paul never even mentions a virgin birth. But, as I pointed out earlier, doing this kind of clarification was not the primary focus of the Zacharias' book, and there are plenty of resources such as biblical commentaries that address precisely these sorts of issues.[17] It is quite apparent that Krueger has not taken much time to investigate them. (This is also glaringly apparent in his recent book defending atheism.[18] I'll briefly touch on this below.)

Krueger is, unfortunately, quite uninformed about historical issues surrounding the life of Jesus.[19] For instance, he engages in an argument from silence when he says, "The earliest known [Christian] writings, the letters of Paul and the gospel of Mark, say nothing of it [i.e., the virgin birth]. It is a later development in the Jesus legend as early [Christians] attempt to convert the Romans and the Greeks." Krueger assumes that because Paul and Mark did not mention the virgin birth, it must not have taken place. But the Christian would maintain that these writers did not mention it precisely because this belief was taken for granted.[20] Furthermore, the unadorned and modest narratives surrounding the virginal conception are radically different from the Greco-Roman myths of "virgin births."[21] For example, on the night of Alexander's conception, his mother was protected by a python to keep her husband, Philip, away from her. In general, these legends recount the copulation of gods with mortals in a crude anthropomorphic manner--which is quite unlike the Gospel narratives.

Krueger argues himself into a corner when he claims that the virgin birth idea was an attempt to win converts among the Romans and the Greeks. How then does he explain away the fact that the early Christians proclaimed a bodily resurrection, which was anathema to the Greek mindset (cp. Acts 17:30-32)? What evangelistic worth would this have for people who wanted to be released from the body? It seems that Krueger cannot have it both ways. The simpler and less ad hoc explanation is that both the virgin birth and bodily resurrection are part of the original tradition surrounding the historical Jesus.

There are also some theological misunderstandings on Krueger's part. For example, Krueger responds to the premise in Zacharias' book: "If there is evil, there must be good." He asks, "It is not the case that good must exist where there is evil. Is there good in hell, then?" Contrary to what Krueger assumes, the theist does not presuppose that "evil must exist so that we can know what good is." Rather, the theist argues that if evil exists, then there must be some standard of good by which it must be measured. (So bringing up the question of hell completely misses the point.) Since the time of Augustine, many Christian theists have maintained that evil is a privation or lack of goodness. Just as blindness presupposes sight, so evil reveals a standard of goodness, of which it falls short.[22] If the atheist thinks that this definition of evil is question-begging, then perhaps we could broaden the definition to the following: evil is a departure from the way things ought to be. But even on such a basic definition, this would still imply a design plan, which would point us in the direction of theism.

An example of a philosophical problem in Krueger's essay concerns ethical theories that have no foundation in a theistic worldview: "Other philosophers [Kant, Mill, W. D. Ross] have also created moral systems which can judge good and evil without reference to the gods." Of course! The theist does not deny that atheists/non-theists can live moral lives or construct moral systems. This fact should not be surprising if human beings-- whether atheists or not--have indeed been made in God's likeness and therefore have the capacity for moral awareness. What most atheists who hold to an objective morality (e.g., Michael Martin) tend to do is confuse epistemology (knowing) with ontology (being) on this issue. They say something to this effect: "Certainly we can know that it is wrong to rape or murder without appealing to God. We can say that rape or murder is wrong because it violates universal human rights, is an affront to human dignity, and destroys the social fabric." But the question for the atheist still remains: What is the foundation for universal human rights or human dignity? How did we come to be this way? What accounts for humans' being moral or having worth and having moral obligations when they are the result of the same impersonal forces that produced rats and hyenas?

It seems that the atheist has difficulty, not in knowing objective moral truths, but in grounding this objective morality. It is hard to see how rape, murder, or torture would be wrong on an atheistic scale founded on some version of naturalism. Of course the atheist can give the same reasons as theists as to why rape is wrong: "It violates the victim's rights" or "It treats a person as a means rather than an end" or "It damages the social fabric." But these reasons still presuppose human dignity, human rights, moral obligation (oughtness), moral responsibility, and the like. The decisive issue with which the atheist must deal is this: Which worldview best accounts for intrinsic human dignity, moral accountability, and universal human rights--a naturalistic, atheistic one (in which human beings are ultimately no different from mosquitoes or mice) or a theistic one (in which human beings have been made in the image of a good God and have been granted worth and moral responsibility)? If I had to wager on this question alone, I would side with theism. Theism has a lot less explaining to do in this regard than does atheism. A moral world (in which human dignity, moral responsibility, and human rights exist) is natural and to be expected if there is a good God but unnatural, unexpected, and surprising if there is not.[23]

Another philosophical problem concerns divine attributes. Krueger claims that "the concept of god is incoherent" (which would entail that he cannot exist). His examples concerning omniscience and omnipotence are an attack on a straw man and appear to reveal a lack of awareness of the literature on these issues.[24] For instance, regarding divine omniscience, this can be properly understood as covering all things which it is logically possible to know.[25] Thus there is no need for it to encompass things which cannot possibly be known. Krueger gives the example of a "sadistic mass murderer." However, while God can know the about the pleasure derived from a sadistic mass murderer's "killing his innocent victims" (a "third-person" vantage point), it is logically impossible for anyone to have another's experience (in a "first person" vantage point). Krueger cannot show how such a state of affairs is coherent or logically possible. The irreducibility of the first-person perspective is a fundamental matter discussed in the philosophy of mind, and very strong arguments can be offered in its defense.[26] Krueger ought not to assume the logical possibility of God's having a mass murder's experience without offering some substantiation.

Regarding omnipotence, Krueger makes further faulty assumptions: "if god does not exist in space and time (if god is transcendent), then god cannot move, since movement requires both space and time. If god cannot move, then god cannot pick up a pencil. But god is supposed to be omnipotent. Thus, the concept is contradictory." At least two things can be said by way critique. First, if movement is only possible within space and time, then, by Krueger's definition, the universe itself could not have begun! According to relativity theory, space and time--along with matter and energy--did not exist prior to the Big Bang. As astronomers John D. Barrow and Joseph Silk assert: "Our new picture [of the universe's origins] is more akin to the traditional metaphysical picture of creation out of nothing, for it predicts a definite beginning to events in time, indeed a definite beginning to time itself."[27] But according to Krueger's line of argument, no movement was even possible apart from space and time. But this is obviously false since the Big Bang occurred. Second, Krueger wrongly presupposes the Boethian view of God--who possesses "the perfect simultaneous possession of endless life"--is the correct one. This understanding of God is neither necessary nor obvious, as is well-known in current philosophy of religion. For instance, timelessness is a plausible model, in which God is timeless prior to creation but enters into time upon creation without compromising omnipotence or foreknowledge. I could go on, but let this suffice. So it is not that the concept of God is incoherent, but that Krueger simply has not done his homework.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not wish to engage in protracted discussions with Mr. Krueger on Ravi Zacharias' behalf. Many of the other objections certainly could be answered, and I have done some writing on related topics at a popular level.[28] A much fuller response to Krueger could certainly be offered, and I have given a sampling of how that can be done.

It is my hope that if I have misrepresented or misunderstood Mr. Krueger's position, he would point it out to me so that I could take the correction and also admit the force of his point. On the other hand, if Mr. Krueger has truly misrepresented or misunderstood Christianity/theism, it is my hope that, in the interests of openness and fairness in intellectual discourse, he would be willing to do the same.

A Brief Appendix on Krueger's What Is Atheism?

Many of the blunders Krueger makes in his critique of Zacharias' views are expanded upon in his book, What Is Atheism? A Short Introduction.[29] A brief perusal through the book by those somewhat familiar with philosophy of religion or biblical interpretation reveals Krueger's ignoring or failing to grasp certain key issues. I hope to offer a fuller critique at a future date, but let me give a sampling of the direction in which I shall go.

  1. Krueger says that the theist cannot escape the "Euthyphro dilemma." For those unfamiliar with the dilemma raised by Socrates, it is this: There are two horns of the dilemma: the autonomy horn, in which God is subject to certain moral standards outside of himself (and is thus not the source of objective morality) and the arbitrariness horn, in which God's commands dictate what is good (but he could allegedly have willed the opposite of what he did), and thus the good is equated with what God commands. However, many theists maintain that rooting morality in the character of God does not impale them on the horns of the dilemma. This position has been eloquently defended by theists like William Alston, Thomas Morris, Mark Linville, and others.[30] I myself am pursuing publication of an article on precisely this problem.[31] Let me make just a couple of comments: (a) we can ask, "What leaves the atheist's position on objective morality free from the Euthyphro objection position (i.e., "what makes certain moral properties good?" we could ask)? (b) God is not obligated to act in certain ways (which would imply that there are moral standards external to God which he consults); rather God simply does so in keeping with his own good character. Thus the fact that Krueger does not even offer a more nuanced discussion on the Euthyphro dilemma or mention robust theistic defenses against this famous dilemma appears to betray a straw-man argument.

  2. Krueger engages in "question-begging" when he defines miracle (following David Hume) as "a violation of the laws of nature."[32] (Why wasn't "interruption" or some such word used rather than the loaded word "violation"?) If it is assumed that the laws of nature can never be violated, then one will never allow for miracles to occur. The irony of this Humean position is that experience is the official basis for arguing against miracles. But this basis should logically leave open the possibility of miracles at some future point (or discovering through investigation that a miracle occurred in the past) rather than militate against them (i.e., the problem of induction, also raised by Hume).[33]

  3. The argument from nonbelief, which has been developed by Theodore Drange[34] of West Virginia University, is mentioned by Krueger: "The existence of nonbelievers is incompatible with the existence of the traditional god."[35] But it would seem that if God exists and humans are free beings, then we could expect that (1) there would be evidence available to those who seek it, but (b) it could be denied by those seeking to escape certain obligations entailed by belief in God (e.g., rejecting God on the basis of existent evils). Thus the evidence for God's existence in, say, nature and conscience would not be a matter of mathematical certainty (since there is more to believing in God than merely agreeing with the evidence; moral, volitional, and even emotional considerations also enter into the discussion). Rather, the theist should more modestly appeal to good or plausible reasons for believing in God and that the existence of God makes better sense of certain factors than does his absence. Regarding Christian uniqueness and natural revelation and the question of the unevangelized, I have addressed this question in my book True for You, But Not for Me," and it evades the objections raised by Krueger/Drange.

  4. Biblical/interpretive issues are muddled and distorted:

  • Jesus' use of "hating" father and mother is taken by Krueger as a violation of the fifth commandment. But Jesus is clearly using a comparative term (i.e., "love more than")--an oversight which some exposure to redaction criticism could have helped avoid.[36]

  • The archaeological evidence allegedly refuting Joshua's conquest of Ai (as just one example), which Krueger cites, ignores other relevant considerations. For instance, the location of Ai--even if difficult--may simply be wrongly identified. In fact, archaeologist Bryant Wood offers Khirbet al-Makater as the more plausible site for the biblical Ai. Wood also offers substantial evidence for the historicity of the fall of Jericho, which some critics had maintained never took place. Wood's research has shown otherwise.[37]

  • The biblical understanding of faith/belief (which Krueger takes to be some blind leap without evidence) is problematic. While many--including theists--hold such a view, it is not a biblical one. Faith is a matter of trust or commitment (which Krueger acknowledges but glosses over). Faith includes a dimension of personal trust which goes beyond the evidence, but not against it, because it is rooted in the character of a good God whom the believer has known. Krueger selectively cites passages like John 20:29 (although Thomas should have believed that Jesus rose from the dead without seeing him on the basis of the testimony of the other disciples) and Hebrews 11:1 (though the rest of this chapter bears out significant evidences of God's involvement in history--and even miracles [32-35a]). Moreover, Krueger conveniently avoids other passages which closely connect evidence with belief (e.g., John 2:23: "many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing"; John 10:38: "though you do not believe Me, believe the works [that I do] that you may know and understand . . . "; John 20:31: "these [signs/miracles] have been written that you may believe"; the book of Acts is full of such evidence- or reason-belief connections.). Thus Krueger, unfortunately, only contributes to the false stereotype that biblical faith has nothing to do with evidence.

  • Krueger claims that the Bible contradicts itself with regard to the means of salvation: Are we justified by faith (Romans 3:20, 28) or by works (James 2:17, 24)? That all depends on what is meant by justify, faith, and works! Context helps us determine how words are used (e.g., think of the many uses of the word run that we have in our language), and a careful study of the end of James 2 and Paul's writings shows no contradiction precisely because these three critical words have different meanings and are addressing audiences who have different concerns. The problem is legalism in Romans (and also Galatians) but nominalism in James 2.[38] James is actually referring to an abuse of Paul's doctrine of justification by faith, criticizing those who say, "I'm a believer," but do nothing about it. That is, James is aware of Paul's position and is not in disagreement with it. James says that the faith these nominal Christians have is nothing more than intellectual assent to certain theological truths such as monotheism. If this is all that faith means, then demons have it too, but it does them no good. But even earlier in James 2, faith is used in a very Pauline sense (2:5)--not the demonic "faith" he mentions later on. By comparison, Paul's references to saving faith speak of commitment and trust--not a mere intellectualism about theological truths. To summarize, let me contrast the relevant passages and words in Paul and James: faith in Romans 3 means commitment to God and vibrant trust in him; works refers to a legalistic attempt to earn God's favor; and justify means to declare one righteous. At the end of James 2, faith is a merely intellectual belief about God (which demons can have); works refers to deeds of love (and Paul would agree that these are the outcome of saving faith [e.g., Ephesians 2:8-10]; and justify means to prove right or recognize existing goodness.

These are some randomly-picked problems, on which I have focused. Perhaps in the future, I shall tackle more of them.

Notes

[1] That Colossal Wreck," (<URL:/library/modern/doug_krueger/colossal.html>, spotted 7 Jan 99).

[2] (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990).

[3] "Why Should I Be Moral? Revisited," American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (January 1984): 90.

[4] (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), 245-6.

[5] Paul Johnson, Modern Times (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), 118.

[6] See the comments of Berel Lang, Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1990), 196-97

[7] William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960), 100. Shirer himself acknowledges that Nietzsche "held no high opinion of the German people" and "was never an anti-Semite" (99).

[8] Steven T. Katz, The Holocaust in Historical Context vol. 1 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 5.

[9] With M. S. Silk, Nietzsche on Tragedy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

[10] Taken from Bryan Magee, The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy (London: BBC Books, 1987), 250-51.

[11] Shirer, 100.

[12] Paul Johnson, "The Necessity of Christianity," Truth 1 (1995).

[13] Yehuda Bauer, "The Trauma of the Holocaust: Some Historical Perspectives," in G. Jan Colijn and Marcia Sachs Littell, eds. (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1997), 6.

[14] Ibid., 6.

[15] (New York: Random House, 1998).

[16] Ibid., 342.

[17] Some commentary series may be helpful in this regard: Tyndale Commentaries (Eerdmans/InterVarsity Press), Pillar (Eerdmans), Word Biblical Commentaries (Word), New International Commentaries (Eerdmans), New International Greek Testament Commentaries (Eerdmans), Expositor's Bible Commentaries (Zondervan), New International Biblical Commentaries (Hendrickson).

[18] What Is Atheism? A Short Introduction (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1998).

[19] A number of life-of-Jesus issues are discussed in Paul Copan, ed., Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998). See especially the essays by Craig Blomberg, Ben Witherington III, and William Lane Craig (whose final response offers an incisive critique of the Jesus Seminar's radical position).

[20] On the close historical and theological connections between Jesus and Paul, see David Wenham, Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity? (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995); also Martin Hengel, Between Jesus and Paul (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983); N. T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997). For meticulous documentation on the historical accounts of Paul and the historicity of the book of Acts in general, see Colin J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (Tübingen: Mohr, 1989).

[21] J. Gresham Machen's The Virgin Birth of Christ (New York: Harper & Row, 1930) has gone unrefuted in its defense of the historicity of the virgin birth in the face of pagan accounts.

[22] Among others, Daniel Howard-Snyder's essay "The Argument from Inscrutable Evil" in his edited book, The Evidential Problem from Evil (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1996) addresses concerns regarding evil mentioned by Krueger and Drange.

[23] I address some of these issues in greater detail in my essay (seeking publication): "Can Michael Martin Be a Moral Realist?: Sic et Non."

[24] For example, on omnipotence, see Thomas Flint and Alfred Freddoso, "Maximal Power," in The Existence and Nature of God, Freddoso, ed. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983); on omniscience, Jonathan L. Kvanvig, The Possibility of an All-Knowing God (New York: St. Martins Press, 1986). See also Edward R. Wierenga on omnipotence and omniscience, The Nature of God: An Inquiry into Divine Attributes (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989). With regard to omnipotence, issues regarding divine incorporeality and the possibility of incarnation enter into the picture that Krueger ignores.

[25] Although the moral dimension (i.e., God's necessary goodness) could be brought into the picture, that is not required to deal with Krueger's challenge.

[26] See Thomas Nagel's noted piece, "What Is It Like To Be a Bat?" Philosophical Review 83 (1974): 435-50. Even if Krueger goes to the extreme of someone like Paul Churchland, who attempts to reduce first-person experiences to third-person descriptions, he must still do more than assume this is the case. He must offer some reason for it.

[27] The Left Hand of Creation, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 38.

[28] "True for You, But Not for Me": Deflating the Slogans That Leave Christians Speechless (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1998).

[29] (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1998).

[30] Mark Linville, "Euthyphro and His Kin," in William Lane Craig and Mark McLeod, eds., The Logic of Rational Theism FS Stuart C. Hackett (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1991); idem, "On Goodness: Human and Divine," American Philosophical Quarterly 27 (April 1990): 143-52; William Alston, "Some Suggestions for Divine Command Theorists," in Michael D. Beaty, ed., Christian Theism and the Problems of Philosophy (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990); Thomas V. Morris, "Duty and Divine Goodness," in Anselmian Explorations (Notre Dame: University Press, 1987).

[31] In response to atheist Michael Martin's claim (in his essay Atheism, Christian Theism, and Rape," <URL:/library/modern/michael_martin/rape.html> spotted 7 Jan 99), I challenge the further challenge to theism in light of the Euthyphro dilemma from the perspective of Anselm's "perfect being theology" (that a God that is not absolute Goodness itself would not be worthy of worship); moreover, the atheist must not think himself invulnerable to a Euthyphro dilemma of his own (e.g., how does he know that the opposite moral belief [e.g., "Thou shalt commit adultery"] could somehow be "good" in some possible world?). ): "Can Michael Martin Be a Moral Realist?: Sic et Non." Once published, I hope eventually to post it at the RZIM website.

[32] What Is Atheism?, 125.

[33] The classic defense of miracles is Richard Swinburne, The Concept of Miracle (New York: Macmillan, 1970). For a more popular defense of miracles, see R. Douglas Geivett and Gary R. Habermas, eds., In Defense of Miracles (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1997).

[34] Nonbelief & Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God (Buffalo: Prometheus Press, 1998).

[35] What Is Atheism?, 187. As Krueger believes in the existence of objective morality, perhaps we could apply this "argument from nonbelief" to morality--what we could call "an argument from immorality." Perhaps some rough approximation of an argument for the non-existence of objective morality might go this way: If morality is objective and all human beings have moral capacities and are morally responsible for their actions, but there exist "unbelievers" in objective morality such as moral relativists, nihilists, and amoralists, then it seems there cannot be any kind of objective morality. I could be wrong about this parallel, but I would be curious as to how Krueger would respond. It would appear while the problem of nonbelief centers on salvation, my proposed argument from immorality also deals with a very significant issue as well--an objective morality that is binding upon all.

[36] Robert H. Stein, The Synoptic Problem (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987).

[37] Bryant Wood, "Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?" Biblical Archaeological Review 16 (1990): 44-58. For more detail on archaeology in the Old Testament, see Alfred J. Hoerth, Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998); John D. Currid, Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997); Walter C. Kaiser, A History of Israel from the Bronze Age Through the Jewish Wars (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1998).

[38] See Joachim Jeremias, "Paul and James," Expository Times 66 (1954-55): 368-71; Richard Longenecker, "The Faith of Abraham," Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society (1977) 203-12; Douglas Moo, Commentary on James, Tyndale (Grand Rapids/Downers Grove, Ill.: Eerdmans/InterVarsity Press, 1985); idem, Commentary on Romans, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996).


"Addressing Those Colossal Misunderstandings: A Response to Doug Krueger" is copyright © 1999 by Paul Copan.
The electronic version is copyright © 1999 Internet Infidels with the written permission of Paul Copan.

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