I am afraid to say the blogger needs to go back to the drawing board. He was greatly confused about what I actually said and so much of his reply just doesn’t fit what I was saying.
For example, he said that I presented Toy Story as a Christian allegory. I did no such thing. I said that it had theological themes. There is a big difference there. So, the blogger kept thinking I was trying to interpret the whole movie as some sort of intentional Christian metanarrative. This just isn’t the case. I detected one particular theme… and recognized that it was theological in nature.
This alone would shave about 8 paragraphs off his response. 🙂
Another confusion is in his assessment of my assessment of Objectivism. Here I suppose there may have been a lack of clarity on my part- or he just read too fast. The part in question is where I said:
“If Toy Story were written to reflect modern secular humanistic relativistic atheistic worldviews, Buzz would have decided that he was a real Buzz Lightyear if he said he was… ie, prestigious in his own eyes, if the important thing is that we value our individual selves (ala Objectivism).”
The blogger seems to think that my entire post was framed against Objectivism. In fact, the only think the Objectivism reference was related to is the supreme value that Objectivists give to ‘our individual selves.’ See Rand’s Anthem as the epitome of just that.
The rest of my post discussing value assignment, reality, etc, is not meant to be constrasted with Objectivism. Objectivism is simply a subclass of atheism where I thought the ‘final value regress’ issue was highlighted with clarity.
So that’s another 8 paragraphs off his response. 🙂
The substantial claims of my post remain unaddressed. Or if they are addressed, they are embedded in the confusions named above.
For example, one of my central claims was:
In the ‘First Mover’ argument, cause and effect is tracked back to a final regress. …. This argument is similar. If who assigns value can regress infinitely, then value and meaning are fundamentally meaningless terms. Eventually you must come to a point where a thing has value without it being assigned by someone else or some other entity.
As far as objections to the Prime Mover argument goes, the response as far back as Hume is that if one must posit such a thing for cause and effect, why not simply stop with the universe? Why go on to ‘God.’ Can the same objection be made to the ‘Prime Value Instiller’ argument? If so, the final regress would stop in just two possible places: the individual human himself or the collective society of humans.
The latter sentence is the atheistic situation. Most atheists choose to ground value and morality in the collective one way or another while a smaller set- the Objectivists- make the individual human the ‘final regress.’
My assertion is that on either view, the value assignment is utterly meaningless. Humans, individually or collectively, are pitiful places to ground all value, morality, and meaning. The universe would be better- if it were sentient. Since it isn’t, why not God? 😉
This assertion is not taken up by the blogger. Perhaps now that we have sorted out the real point of my entry, he can return to the question with the same vigor as he did before.