Video: Huckabee impresses at GOP debate

posted at 11:09 am on June 6, 2007 by Allahpundit

I like him instinctively even though I disagree with the answer for which he’s getting the most applause this morning. Part of the reason, I think, is because he’s from the south but doesn’t milk the good ol’ boy crap the way southern politicians are wont to do. I could easily live with him as VP, although it’s hard to imagine what ticket he’d end up on. Giuliani/Huckabee seems like an odd match. The pro-choice candidate with the creationist? Thompson/Huckabee is possible, but it’s more regional than a Thompson/Romney ticket would be. (Then again, the Arkansas-Tennessee connection didn’t hurt the Democrats in 1992.) Romney/Huckabee would work, but er, I don’t think we’re going to see Mitt as the nominee.

Anyway, here’s his take on creationism plus his thoughts on why the GOP tanked in the midterms. There’s not much any of us can disagree with there.

…And here are Rudy’s and McCain’s reactions right after Huckabee’s line about people who want to believe they’re descended from primates. Hilarious.

huckabee2.jpg


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For JM Hanes, I’ll try to provide some context…

**The Taliban don’t believe Ronald Reagan helped bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I’ve actually heard this argument before. Many groups who are anti-American refuse to believe that Reagan had anything to do with the Soviet Union’s collapse. But if you ask the common “man on the street”, the answer is very much pro-Reagan. In fact, he’s a hero to many…

**He believes in God, but isn’t sure whether it took Him 6 actual days or 6 metaphorical days to create the universe. We’’re left to take a wild guess at his position on teaching creationism in science class.

I don’t see what the problem is. The President should have nothing to do with education. In fact, the Dept of Education is unconstitutional and should be removed. Also, the problem isn’t whether creationism should be taught in science class, it’s whether science class should forbid discussion of any other theory that is contrary to evolutionism.

**Homosexuality is an attitude.

I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this, but… there is no evidence that homosexuality is biological in nature. But even if it is, that doesn’t make it proper. For instance, alcoholism has been shown to have a genetic component, and yet many of those people have chosen to resist the temptation. Christianity teaches that all of us have temptations to sin, but that we should resist that temptation. It saddens many of us to see people succumb to that temptation and then try to explain it away as normal.

**Republicans reneged on promises to “cut spending, lower taxes, bring more government back to local people [is this code?],” botched Katrina and Iraq, ignored corruption and illegal immigrants.

I suspect that the confusing part is Katrina and Iraq. In Katrina, Republicans willingly accepted responsibility for chaos that shouldn’t have been their responsibility. True conservatives know that the buck doesn’t stop with the Federal Government, it stops with the local one. I won’t go into Iraq simply because it would be too long. And Republicans have been ignoring corruption and illegal aliens.

**He thinks Americans are smart enough to know what the problems are, and faults Bush most for not communicating what the problems are.

Many of us conservatives are desparately wanting a leader to fight back against bogus allegations, instead of siding with Democrats.

**We should welcome professional immigrants, and make them cross the border one at a time.

This was in response to LEGAL immigration. Why shouldn’t we consider those with valuable skill first? With our existing social programs, we shouldn’t be bringing in immigrants that will only create an additional drain on our country. After all, it is our country and we should determine who gets to enter.

dominigan on June 7, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Look, the reason that creationism is such a contentious issue even inside the conservative movement is: It reveals a fundamental philosophical divide in the movement.

Creationists are afraid that the postmodernists are correct. They agree with the pomos’ lie that there is no objective truth in this world. Therefore, there is no objective standard by which to judge behaviors or moral systems. IOW, we cannot learn from history – because everyone will always take away their own, idiosyncratic lessons from that history. But unlike traditional, leftist postmodernists, the postmodernists of the right are stuck in Stage 3 of the grieving process, bargaining with God. They think, “if only we can get everybody to believe in our favorite particular flavor of a supreme supernatural Authority Figure who decides for us what is meant by ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, then everybody will be on the same page again, and all these messy moral battles will melt away.”

Creationists have capitulated to postmodernism. They’re simply mourning this fact. This is why they lie to themselves and others about the science. They’re desperately trying to save society from the inevitable collapse caused by the lack of objective truth that they believe doesn’t exist.

I expect the Founding Fathers would call these people “royalists”.

See:
Darwinian Conservatism
Darwin Central (conservatives who don’t fear science)
The Objectivist Center (conservatives who don’t fear reality)

JennyP on June 7, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Nonfactor,

For evolution to be true (as in random chance and not based upon ID), you first have to prove that matter is eternal, which would require you to dispute the philosophy post, which is 100% rational and accurate, yet you remain silent.

Quite telling why material monists refuse to even “speculate” on the nature of matter or eternality of it.

Tim Burton on June 7, 2007 at 7:33 PM

Hence, you can argue that it exists because of God or it is eternal based upon Spiritual Monism or even Material Monism or even an uncaused event.

I would argue that knowledge exists because it is a basic property of humanity, not because someone or something (god) put it there. Knowledge doesn’t have to be eternal; it might not have existed before people, but it might very well be eternal, and I say with all honesty that I don’t know.

Being from non-Being is irrational.
Therefore Some/All must be Eternal.
(based upon Square of Opposition)

So is all Matter Eternal (Material Monism)?

We look at the universe and see matter forming from other matter (see supernovae), this does not mean that all matter is eternal or even that some matter is eternal, it simply means that there had to be a beginning. This does not mean that the matter that formed the matter we see around us today has to exist, it just means that it had to exist at one point in time. Even science can’t (currently) prove what was in existence before the Big Bang, but neither can any religion.

Major Premise: If material world was eternal, then it would be self-maintaining.
Minor Premise: The Material world is not self-maintaining.
Conclusion: The Material World is not eternal.

As an aside I could also argue that there are things in this material world that are self-maintaining. Look on a macro scale at galaxies, and even look at a micro scale at stars. Things can be self-maintaining and still not be eternal. However you might be arguing that stars aren’t self-maintaining because they do eventually go novae.

The physical universe is highly differentiated in terms of hot and cold.
These differences interact.
The interaction continues until sameness is reached.
Sameness remains sameness; it cannot return to differentiation.

Therefore the BBOT is irrational, even if you could account for enough dark matter to return everything together through gravity.

Out of curiosity which of the three types of universes do you think is more plausible? Or don’t you think any of the theories is correct and that God created the universe and will destroy it eventually?

Major Premise: If all is matter, then thinking must be motion of atoms in the brain.
Minor Premise: Thinking is not motion of atoms in the brain.
Conclusion: It is not the case that all is matter.

Is it a valid argument?

Yes, valid, but I don’t agree with the conclusion that there must then be an immaterial world. Sometimes there is simply nothingness. Also I think it’s been asked before whether people would be capable of thinking if no matter (nothing physical) existed (although it’s a pretty big hypothetical).

Minor Premise: This endless cycle makes striving for release meaningless and futile.

I don’t think you’d get that out of anyone prescribing to the idea of enlightenment. It isn’t necessarily the goal, but the journey towards that spiritual goal. Meaning is what people make of it, it isn’t an intrinsic objective quality all people share. For example, some people may believe it meaningless to strive to get into heaven as described by Muslims whereas Muslims may believe their actions to have great meaning. If their heaven does exist does that make other people’s lives meaningless? How so?

Major Premise: Anything that has a beginning has a cause.
Minor Premise: The universe had a beginning.
Conclusion: The universe had a cause.

So it is rational.

Again, I agree, but I don’t agree with your ultimate conclusion (that Theism must exist and is rational). Even science agrees that the universe had a beginning; this does not mean a god(s) or spiritual force caused the beginning of this universe. Theism isn’t the default answer to something we don’t know and aren’t capable of physically (or otherwise) proving.

If there is no metaphysical absolute (if all is eternal and nothing is absolute or transcendent), then there can be no justified distinction between good and evil and therefore no morality.

Agreed.

So the question, who is responsible for Evil usually pops up. Could it be God? Is it rational to believe it what God who created evil? The second question is, “What role does Moral Evil play?”

Did God create the universe good?

Why do the concepts of good or evil have to originate from a god or supreme spiritual being? Who is to say that there is an eternal concept of what is morally “good” or “bad”? Is there any proof of this? Everything us humans know is that “good” and “bad” come from the minds of humans.

I still think your argument falls back on the same thing all deists are guilty of–assuming God exists. You’re free to do so, but there is no proof that a god or spiritual being exists. It’s the essence of religion.

Natural evil (every form of human misery) serves to remove moral evil by restraining, recalling and by restoring mankind. It calls a person to stop and think about the root cause of misery.

See Natural Evil is not the same as Moral Evil. We do not reflect upon Moral Evil, it is only upon having Natural Evil that we actually reflect on Moral Evil. In fact I would say that Natural Evil is very much limited compared to Moral Evil.

Tim Burton on June 6, 2007 at 9:04 PM

And why/how is there a moral evil? Because there is misery in the world? Because of this there must be morality to be gained from this misery? Are you claiming that anything that causes misery to someone is morally evil? The underlying question is ‘how is misery morally evil?’ Define morality, define misery, and define evil. All ethical and philosophical questions boil down to semantics.

Personally, I believe that something is morally good or that some other thing is morally wrong, but I’m a subjectivist in the fact that I know we humans cannot prove that there exists an external objective force that determines “good” or “evil”. I’d like to think that my positions are the universally moral ones, but when it comes down to it it can’t be proven, just like God.

In conclusion let me repost a classic take on the timeless God:

ON GOD’S ATEMPORALITY
1. God, an atemporal being, created the Universe.
2. Creation is a temporal processes because X cannot cause Y to come into being unless X existed temporally prior to Y.
3. If God existed prior to the creation of the Universe he is a temporal being.
4. Since God is atemporal, God cannot be the creator the Universe.

A timeless being would be without the proposition of past, and future. But to be omniscient, God must know the past and future. Hence a God that is atemporal and omniscient cannot logically exist.

Nonfactor on June 8, 2007 at 3:38 AM

I would argue that knowledge exists because it is a basic property of humanity, not because someone or something (god) put it there. Knowledge doesn’t have to be eternal; it might not have existed before people, but it might very well be eternal, and I say with all honesty that I don’t know.

Sorry, I didn’t realize you posted. I’ll point it out next time I see you posting.

The issue is that there is no evidence that knowledge is a human construct. We know that truth is intrinsic, therefore eternal.

There are no square circles (r.t), sure you could call a square a circle, but the intrinsic value of the square would not change. An easier explanation is that the value of 2 is immutable. You can call it dos, you can call it virtually anything you want, but the intrinsic value of 2 can not change. Therefore if truth is eternal, then it implies that knowledge is eternal or at least eternally possible.

We look at the universe and see matter forming from other matter (see supernovae), this does not mean that all matter is eternal or even that some matter is eternal, it simply means that there had to be a beginning. This does not mean that the matter that formed the matter we see around us today has to exist, it just means that it had to exist at one point in time. Even science can’t (currently) prove what was in existence before the Big Bang, but neither can any religion.

In a supernove we don’t see matter forming as in ex nihilo, rather we see lighter matter (hydrogen and such) forming into heavier elements. So it isn’t matter forming matter, but matter changing into different matter.

Therefore with no new mater (ex nihilo) the reasoning is still out.

As an aside I could also argue that there are things in this material world that are self-maintaining. Look on a macro scale at galaxies, and even look at a micro scale at stars. Things can be self-maintaining and still not be eternal. However you might be arguing that stars aren’t self-maintaining because they do eventually go novae.

The issue when I use the term self-maintaining, I mean eternally. Even man can self-sustain himself for a period of time by eating and medicine, but still is not eternal.
The galaxies are no difference, just a longer time span.

Self-maintaining means eternally self-maintaining.

Out of curiosity which of the three types of universes do you think is more plausible? Or don’t you think any of the theories is correct and that God created the universe and will destroy it eventually?

Well, it is rational that he created it. I don’t know if he will destroy it. I don’t know if the references in Scripture to New Heaven and New Earth means that he destroys the universe or if it means a major re-organization of the nature of the universe to be everlasting through his infinite power.

Yes, valid, but I don’t agree with the conclusion that there must then be an immaterial world. Sometimes there is simply nothingness. Also I think it’s been asked before whether people would be capable of thinking if no matter (nothing physical) existed (although it’s a pretty big hypothetical).

If there is nothingness with regards to truth, then why are we having this discussion? If truth is material (which seems that it isn’t), then my argument is false, but if truth is immaterial then it has to be something immaterial. The reason is that if truth is nothingness then either truth doesn’t exist or nothingness=immaterial.

Again, I agree, but I don’t agree with your ultimate conclusion (that Theism must exist and is rational). Even science agrees that the universe had a beginning; this does not mean a god(s) or spiritual force caused the beginning of this universe. Theism isn’t the default answer to something we don’t know and aren’t capable of physically (or otherwise) proving.

The point of that argument is to show that Some (as opposed to all) is eternal. Since all being eternal (material and spiritual) is irrational, I only need to show that some being ternal is rational.

Since science is empirical based upon matter, it can not test for empirical evidence for God, it is outside of it’s scope. That doesn’t mean that it is not rationally proven that Something is eternal. Rationally, (based solely on reason) Theism exists as the only rational explanation of the universe. As I said, this doesn’t mean science can empirically prove God’s existence and until recent times it was outside of the scope of it’s discipline.

Why do the concepts of good or evil have to originate from a god or supreme spiritual being? Who is to say that there is an eternal concept of what is morally “good” or “bad”? Is there any proof of this? Everything us humans know is that “good” and “bad” come from the minds of humans.

If morality comes from the mind of man, it no longer can be absolute. This would mean that murder may be immoral based upon your philosophical constructs, but not upon someone else’s.

Unless morality is universal (and there is no proof it is outside of Rational Theism), then we can no longer hold Al Qaeda as morally evil for their actions, it is just the construct of their worldview.

It also means that rape is justifiable. Most of nature rapes to procreate, so there is no reason to think of it as morally evil. To you it may be evil, but to a rapist it is not based upon his worldview and self-constructed morality.

I still think your argument falls back on the same thing all deists are guilty of–assuming God exists. You’re free to do so, but there is no proof that a god or spiritual being exists. It’s the essence of religion.

No, there is proof, it is logical proof. It is not based upon empiricism, which is what you are requesting. I do not have any empirical evidence, for it is impossible to materially test for something that is immaterial (God). The problem is that most are willing to reject rational proof and demand empirical proof.

I have to run, but I’ll try to finish this up tonight.

Again, I apologize for not seeing it sooner.

Tim Burton on August 3, 2007 at 9:50 PM

And why/how is there a moral evil? Because there is misery in the world? Because of this there must be morality to be gained from this misery? Are you claiming that anything that causes misery to someone is morally evil? The underlying question is ‘how is misery morally evil?’ Define morality, define misery, and define evil. All ethical and philosophical questions boil down to semantics.

There is moral evil because Man brought it about. It was a free-will choice. There is moral evil because Man acts irrationally toward seeking the good, which is rational actions God and Man. For example in the Vick case, Vick committed moral evil against God for abusing his creation. You might object and say that is not part of moral law, but there is an argument for it. To make this post shorter, I would point out that even the OT God set forth laws to keep animals from being abused.

I won’t go addressing every objecttion to the above example, but I will point out Moral Law #4:

MORAL LAW 4: WORK AND HOPE

1. Work is necessary and universal; it is not an end in itself but it is a means to the end.

2. Work is necessary and sufficient for the good.

3. The good is continuing, inexhaustible, comprehensive, inalienable, corporate, cumulative, communal, fulfilling, ultimate and transformative.

4. The good is knowledge of the nature of things. Since the nature of things created reveal the nature of God, the good is the knowledge of God.

5. Knowledge is through dominion. All lives reveal human nature. Some lives reveal human nature by natural rule. Some lives reveal human nature by moral rule.

6. It is certain that the good will be attained: the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God. This can be seen from the nature of man, the good, God, the past and the present.

Personally, I believe that something is morally good or that some other thing is morally wrong, but I’m a subjectivist in the fact that I know we humans cannot prove that there exists an external objective force that determines “good” or “evil”. I’d like to think that my positions are the universally moral ones, but when it comes down to it it can’t be proven, just like God.

You believe something is morally good and something is morally wrong, but you claim to be a subjectivist. Morality must be universal and must be knowable. It can be known from moral law.

If you drop me an email: timburton (at) cox dot net I’ll email you the outline of moral law with explanations Since it is long, I don’t want to post it.

ON GOD’S ATEMPORALITY
1. God, an atemporal being, created the Universe.
2. Creation is a temporal processes because X cannot cause Y to come into being unless X existed temporally prior to Y.
3. If God existed prior to the creation of the Universe he is a temporal being.
4. Since God is atemporal, God cannot be the creator the Universe.

A timeless being would be without the proposition of past, and future. But to be omniscient, God must know the past and future. Hence a God that is atemporal and omniscient cannot logically exist.

This is a very old argument and really hasn’t been valid for at least 60 years. It was originally posited when it was thought that time was linear. With Einstein’s work on Relativity, we now know that time varies throughout the universe. This means that the argument is not valid based upon the respect (the r in r.t)). Basically, while time is variable and temporal in the universe, that does not subject an eternal God to being temporal. The reason being is that he is outside of time and matter.

A good example is when people asked, “How did God save (a better term would be justify) people before Christ died on the Cross?” The reason is because God is outside of time and He saw Christ’s death as valid in both directions of time, because he is not limited to our time. While those in the OT didn’t know Christ’s name, they had faith that there would be a messiah and he would justify them.

This whole (r.t) issue answers how God could elect the saints, but still give free-will to man. (A long discussion outside the scope of this board).

Well, I’ll point this updated post in the Dark Matter thread and the Scarlett A thread. Hopefully, you’ll see it.

Tim Burton on August 4, 2007 at 5:50 PM

Okay, now I have some time. I’ll be responding later today.

Nonfactor on August 15, 2007 at 5:59 PM

Therefore if truth is eternal, then it implies that knowledge is eternal or at least eternally possible.

Would you say that the notion of color has intrinsic value in itself? Is green green regardless of human observance? Would green still be green if you were red-green colorblind? Would it still be green if the entire world were red-green colorblind?

I agree that certain things are intrinsically true, or at least appear that way to us humans, which is good enough (like the color green), but how does that idea translate to the idea that knowledge is eternally possible?

Therefore with no new mater (ex nihilo) the reasoning is still out.

Matter is being created. Protons, despite being ridiculously small, are still matter, and so long as hydrogen atoms are changing into other atoms protons must be coming from somewhere they weren’t (electrons are already present in the core of the sun via fusion). Scientists still don’t know how it happens considering we don’t have a tool to measure what happens in billion degree heats, but this isn’t an excuse for God–I say this because it is how many people attempt to reason God to exist–so much as Apollo was an excuse or explanation for why the Sun rises and sets.

Well, it is rational that he created it. I don’t know if he will destroy it.

How is it rational? You dismiss the idea that matter formed from an event called ‘the Big Bang,’ yet you think it perfectly rational that a God (specifically your God only) did the same exact thing. And if there weren’t enough flaws in the creation of the universe according to Christianity you have the problems in The Bible to deal with. Being that I could concede the point that we don’t know what happened so space and matter could be here–be it eternal or created–I could then simply look at The Bible’s inaccuracies to illustrate how and why your idea of God isn’t true.

The point of that argument is to show that Some (as opposed to all) is eternal. Since all being eternal (material and spiritual) is irrational, I only need to show that some being ternal is rational.

It would be just as logical to assume this immaterial world was created by the faculties of the human mind when the capability was evolved. To assume that because we think there is an objective truth there must be an immaterial creator of that truth is more than a baseless assumption, especially when considering that you’re also assuming that this creator is your God who personally created the world and all life on this planet.

Since science is empirical based upon matter, it can not test for empirical evidence for God, it is outside of it’s scope.

Agreed. It’s the most convenient argument theists have. But what science can test is the empirical evidence on whether Th Bible or The Qur’an or the Grecian gods are true.

Theism exists as the only rational explanation of the universe.

I still can’t believe you think the idea of a personal immaterial creator willing the entire universe into existence is more “rational” than our universe forming via some anomaly. Because by all accounts space at least seems to be an eternal black vacuum, and inside an eternal infinite vacuum there is a possibility for some unknown human occurrence to happen sparking the creation and projection of matter from one point in that vacuum. Plausible? Yes. Probable? At least a bit more than the idea of God.

If morality comes from the mind of man, it no longer can be absolute. This would mean that murder may be immoral based upon your philosophical constructs, but not upon someone else’s.

Yes. It’s why we have societies to take a settled upon moral standard and enforce it. Do you think there is a moral standard regarding commercial space travel? I don’t think any human could tell you what it is, but I can guarantee you that by the time we do have commercial space travel there will be a moral standard for the process and those morals will be enforced by either governments or companies (and the religious can continue to attempt to explain it as “God’s will”).

Unless morality is universal (and there is no proof it is outside of Rational Theism), then we can no longer hold Al Qaeda as morally evil for their actions, it is just the construct of their worldview.

We can hold anyone to account. We just need to realize that we’re holding them to account by the guidelines of the United States government. I’d like to think that what Al Qaeda is doing is universally moral and there is some standard out in space that rules over Earthly morality, but we just don’t know, and to take this unknown and claim that it is known and then to enforce physical and Earthly punishment because of it would be a lie. You can believe this but still think that Al Qaeda should be punished via violating a largely agreed upon principle of human rights. I view morality to be similar to War Crimes legislation. Sure, in 2000 years from now people may say that “God believes chemical weapons to be immoral,” but in all honesty it’s just a largely agreed upon human standard.

And don’t get me wrong here, I still believe certain things are “right” and certain things are “wrong,” and I can attempt to justify them in a certain way, but there is always the possibility out there that some moral standard in the sky says “it’s okay for the government to kill people if that person commits a crime in violation of said governments laws.”

It also means that rape is justifiable. Most of nature rapes to procreate, so there is no reason to think of it as morally evil. To you it may be evil, but to a rapist it is not based upon his worldview and self-constructed morality.

Justifiable? Yes. Universally right? No. And if someone does it they can expect to be punished or not punished by the society they belong to. What gives the society the right to punish this person? Two words: social contract.

I do not have any empirical evidence, for it is impossible to materially test for something that is immaterial (God). The problem is that most are willing to reject rational proof and demand empirical proof.

Tim Burton on August 3, 2007 at 9:50 PM

If by “proof” you mean ‘I feel in my heart that God exists and thus he must,’ I wouldn’t disagree with you. You may believe perfectly rationally that God exists, but believing in something doesn’t make it true. Because I’m sure there are billions of other people who would say they know God exists, except they’d be professing their belief in an entirely different deity.

Nonfactor on August 26, 2007 at 3:49 AM

There is moral evil because Man brought it about. It was a free-will choice. There is moral evil because Man acts irrationally toward seeking the good, which is rational actions God and Man.

Again, you haven’t proven God, you’ve simply stated that it is possible one exists, let alone proven that this entity you call God is the Christian God responsible for willing the Earth into existence. To talk about moral evil as if it is a proven thing when you yourself admit you can’t prove the existence of your God is a contradiction.

You believe something is morally good and something is morally wrong, but you claim to be a subjectivist. Morality must be universal and must be knowable. It can be known from moral law.

Morality and moral laws are based on personal biases and that is it. Unless of course you can prove the existence of your God.

Basically, while time is variable and temporal in the universe, that does not subject an eternal God to being temporal. The reason being is that he is outside of time and matter.

Your statement ‘time is variable and temporal’ doesn’t make any sense. How is time temporal? Even special relativity doesn’t make the claim that time is physical or limited by itself, simply that it exists and can be affected by gravity, if anything could be classified as atemporal it is time itself. You still don’t explain how God could be atemporal and omniscient.

The reason is because God is outside of time and He saw Christ’s death as valid in both directions of time, because he is not limited to our time.

Tim Burton on August 4, 2007 at 5:50 PM

This is a logical contradiction explained away via a story. If you allow an excuse like this to be used anybody can claim that their god is not limited by logic or time and space, and after doing that it’s pointless to carry on a logical conversation with them (i.e. ‘that doesn’t make sense’ ‘it doesn’t have to make sense, God is outside the laws of logic’).

Nonfactor on August 26, 2007 at 8:57 PM