I was starting to prepare some arguments against Calvanistic morality when I discovered that someone had already done it for me
-- and even more fortuitously, that person is (or at least considers himself) a Christian. Just a heads-up in case wrf3 wants to respond :-) A post on Scientific morality is still in the works.
It's simply impossible to respond to every lame attempt to discredit Calvinism. Any article that starts with Calvinists give lip-service to man's free will, but they do not really believe in it. really isn't worth time pursuing. It is true that some Calvinists don't fully recognize all of the implications of TULIP. Maybe even Calvin didn't. Man wants to hold on to free will, no matter how he has to contort is worldview to keep it. In fact, the arguments for free will are almost always driven by desire and not logic. Man does not have free will.
The first point of the article that supposedly shows that man has free will is the argument that God commands men to do some things. Therefore, man must have free will. But it is equally clear that what God has commanded man to do, man is incapable of doing. So this argument is facile.
In any case, all of this has been argued before, and all of it will be argued again. soc.religion.history.bible-study has many such threads. Interested parties can query Google's history of this newsgroup.
> In any case, all of this has been argued before, and all of it will be argued again.
Yes, that is precisely my point. Tim Keller says Christianity is the best hope for healing the rift between religion and secularism. That seems like a vain hope in light of the fact that Christians cannot even decide amongst themselves what their theology actually is even after 2000 years of arguing about it.
Two quick rejoinders as I really need time to write up a critique of your post on scientific moralism.
First, if disagreement is a strike against the hope Christianity offers, then it is also a strike against every other proposal. We are, by nature, the creature that disagrees. We disagree with God, we disagree with each other, and we even disagree with ourselves (this latter point should be self-evident).
Second, if this is so (and every sign points to it being true), then the solution to disagreement won't be by agreeing. And Christianity points to the way out: the solution isn't necessarily agreement, but it certainly is love. And it is Christianity that tells us, nay, commands us, to love those who not only disagree with us, but do so to the point of wanting to harm us.
Do you have anything better to offer than love?
> First, if disagreement is a strike against the hope Christianity offers, then it is also a strike against every other proposal.
No, that is not true. Science does not suffer from the same kind of sectarian strife that religion does. In the history of science there has never been a violent conflict between two opposing points of view. Very few religions can make that claim. Certainly Christianity can't. Also, about the fundamental tenets of science (relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, etc.) there is no disagreement among Scientists (or scientists).
> the solution to disagreement won't be by agreeing.
Of course it will be. Don't be ridiculous. My whole point is that nearly everyone already agrees on nearly everything that really matters. For example, everyone agrees -- even Calvinists -- that murderers ought to be punished. What appears to be disagreement is really just different narratives around the same underlying truth.
> Do you have anything better to offer than love?
If Christianity were just about love we would not be having this conversation.
Whether I have anything "better" to offer depends on your quality metric. My goal, since I don't believe in an afterlife, is to make this life as good and fulfilling as it can possibly be, for myself and for my fellow information-processing creatures now and in the future. On that quality metric, yes, I think I have a good deal better to offer than just love. (Which is not to say that I think love is a bad idea. Love is great. The more there is the better the world will be. But it's not enough, and it's also not something that people can just switch on at will. In this respect, ironically, I do agree with Calvinism.)
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