Regularities are “thoroughly related to” investigators in the epistemic sense that the investigators discover the regularities. Not in the metaphysical sense that the investigators construct the regularities. (I assume we’re not taking seriously various non-realst forms of post-modernist thinking).
Yes, an investigator has discovered a regularity. Good. Now: what is the justification for employing the concept regularity but denying that there is an author of the regula? If you wish to just re-define the word, that is tailor-made to engender confusion. For instance, you might end up nattering about ‘information’ in Nature when there are only facts, causally related. Oh, drat - too late.
“Information” just is facts, causally related in a particular way; viz., covariance of facts. No author necessary.
When I throw a six-sided cube, there is a one in six chance of any particular face coming up. This is a simple law stemming from physics and math. It’s up to you to show why an author is needed in addition to the physics and math. Failing that, it’s off with Occam.
When an English-speaker mentions laws in the usual sense, he speaks of something made by lawyers (formal or informal); patterns or templates, of dress-makers, or boat-builders, or tool-and-die-makers; regulations, of regulatory agencies; rules, of a ruler. Seems to me the onus is on the man who tries to use such terms in a context that he claims somehow can lack an author, contra their ordinary usage.
Finding substantive metaphysics in ordinary language. Good job, if you can get it!
Here we go: “law” means “regulation written by humans”. “Natural laws” are laws, so they must have been written by humans!
Oh wait ...
Actually, one definition of “law” in my dictionary is “a statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present”. No author there.
I feel i’ve shown just the opposite: that the concept of law and its various synonyms *all*, in their original contexts, entail a human author as their source, and it’s up to the atheist to either find another concept that does the work he desires, invent a new term, or justify why the old concept doesn’t do the work it only seems to commonly do.
Re. showing just the opposite, you’ve done nothing of the sort. What you’ve done is to make a tendentious claim about ordinary language, false by at least one dictionary definition of the word. (And I expect, many others). I know there are some philosophers who like to believe they can derive substantive metaphysics simply by looking at words, but I am not one of them.
Fortunately for the theist in moral discussions, it’s a lot harder to talk about morals without drawing the average person to ponder moral authority.
Now we’re making an argumentum ad populum? Really?
FWIW: On your cri de coeur that being moral in nature or existence v. willing or commanding morals is a ‘difference that doesn’t make a difference’: of course it makes a difference: to posit commanding as *the* source of morals does indeed involve all the problems of the Euthyphro Dilemma; to posit a being naturally avoids it, since the willing or commanding is not the source, but an instrument or means of expressing God’s nature (“Let there be . . .”). Ex 1: my real authority as a teacher isn’t that I get the say-so in my class, but my native expertise; my will is what gets the work of teaching done. Ex 2: the American government’s executive branch wills nothing without their being a law-forming part of the government, and the proper sequence is law-making first, and commanding second. (And prior even to law-making is the general nature of our country, the Constitution.)
Exactly so. Taking your first example: Your authority comes because you are an expert in subject XYZ. That is, you have a particular privileged relation to XYZ.
In the same way, if God is perfectly good, it is because he wills the good, which is no more up to his will than is XYZ up to your whim.
The case of the US government is somewhat different. Not in that the good is up to their decision (of course, it is not), but rather that their rule by law is a rule of the stronger. The law is what the government says it is; no more and no less. If the government says that it is legal to have slaves, then it is legal to have slaves. A morally perfect being cannot behave by such capricious counsel.
(And just for clarification, my point about “not making a difference” is that it didn’t make a difference to the question as to whether a personal God was necessary to ground morality. Clearly these issues make a difference in other ways).