From Steve at Triablogue:
Deep down, the unbeliever is conflicted. Deep down, he does believe in moral absolutes. He cannot escape the fact that he is living in God’s universe. So he constantly reverts to a moralistic position that is out of whack with his official creed.
And then Vox Day:
If I am correct that my God is the Creator God, that we are all his creations, then killing every child under two on the planet is no more inherently significant than a programmer unilaterally wiping out his AI-bots in a game universe. He alone has the right to define right and wrong, and as the Biblical example of King Saul and the Amalekites demonstrates, He has occasionally deemed it a moral duty to wipe out a people.
And as we are informed in Revelation, He will wipe out many peoples through the acts of (presumably) His angels. Jefferson can complain that this makes God unworthy of worship all he likes, but that's as irrelevant as complaining that Stalin wasn't properly elected according to the Soviet Constitution. Although in this case it isn't might makes right, it is a much simpler case of might = right. Obey or perish.
Oh, the insanity of it all.
Steve makes a straw man by claiming that secularists only want to protect children because of an instinct despite the fact that we realize it's an instinct. Steve is apparently unable to comprehend that the instinct to protect children is the biologically engineered effect, not the cause, of the value of keeping children protected.
And Vox Day accidentally exposes the whole "moral absolutes" thing to show that the only absolute, according to Christianity, is whatever God bellows. Vox then reminds us that, in the Bible, God ordered the destruction of entire peoples, and could conceivably and justifiably order the death of an infant or infants.
The thought experiment in regards to killing kids is this quote right here, from a commenter on Vox's blog by the handle of Jefferson:
If your god revealed to you in a set of flawless communications you could not dispute that you should kill every child you see under the age of 2, would you?
So what's Steve's moral absolute for not killing kids? Thou shalt not kill? Possibly. But what happens when God orders the death of an entire people, or of an infant, or of his own firstborn (a la Abraham)? Would Steve faithfully draw his sword?
I imagine that Steve would try to disqualify these questions in numerous ways, including the contention that God doesn't tell people what to do anymore through divine intervention or direct communication, or that God would never order such a thing. But that's just ducking the question. At least Vox Day had the honesty and cojones to take the question head on. I wonder if Steve could be coaxed into providing a direct answer to this thought experiment?
Steve would do well to learn that instinct does not equal illusion. It is instinct to find sustenance, but does that make the necessity of food an illusion? It may be an instinct to protect one's children, but does that make the value of one's offspring an illusion?
It is instinctual to brace oneself during a fall, but does that make gravity and the danger of hitting the ground at a high rate of speed an illusion?
The truth is that rules derived from inherent properties of natural existence are not illusions, while rules arbitrarily dished out based on the whims of a conscious cosmic creator are illusions. In the former, these rules exist eternally and independently of any consciousness, while in the latter, these rules originate from -and exist purely within- the mind of a conscious entity.
Note: The title of this post is a play on the name of an obscure rock band, Scary Kids Scaring Kids.