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FFT: Gender as a social construct — what is the vid below telling us on where our intellectual culture has now reached?

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Someone gave the link, I think we need to watch a comparison of real vs fake papers on gender:

I ask us to ponder:

Where have we now reached, why? END

576 Replies to “FFT: Gender as a social construct — what is the vid below telling us on where our intellectual culture has now reached?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Pardon vid troubles, will check with the UD folks. Meanwhile, click the link. Sorry.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Vid troubles continue, pardon.

  3. 3

    The video is working fine down here in Brazil.

  4. 4
    kmidpuddle says:

    Her guidelines for getting a gender studies paper published is the best description of KF’s writing style that I have ever seen. For those who don’t want to waste time watching the video, here they are:

    1) Use pretentious jargon (never use a monosyllabic word when you can use a polysyllabic one)

    2) Be condescending towards established facts and logic.

    3) Misdirect readers with irrelevant citations.

    Sorry, the irony was just too delicious to ignore. 🙂

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, attempted distractive, atmosphere-poisoning turnabout rhetorical accusation through a red herring led away to a strawman — and FYI not one of those terms is idiosyncratic or inappropriate use of words tracing to Latin and its derivatives. Where, you were already warned regarding habitual trollish misconduct that has led to banning many sockpuppets you have put up at UD, and where I frankly suspect you are one of those who has tried to stalk me and my family. For the record, objections such as you just tried to make usually come from people who — on years of experience — will gleefully pounce on anything we say that is not exactingly precise and built up step by step from first principles in such a way as to resist wrenching to set up strawman caricatures. Indeed, right now, right here at UD there is a dragged-out attempt to make it seem like ID proponents do not know what they are talking about when they point out that blind search cannot credibly discover islands of specific, configuration based function in extremely large configuration spaces within the gamut of the sol system or the observed cosmos; but intelligently directed configuration readily does just that. Indeed, the objections — as text strings in English — generally demonstrate that design is the known cause of FSCO/I. Where, each of the words I just used does something very specific and precise, based on years of reflection and no end of debates. And, the sort of deeply hostile obsessive objectors we often deal with know full well that the proper answer is to put up a good counterexample, but — dozens of attempts having failed by the time of the mathgrrl debates six or seven years ago — they cannot. [And no, it was a sockpuppet, not the Calculus Professor.) So, when I see attempts to play the rhetoric of objecting to style, I infer my conclusion on the merits from what is not being said. Also, from what is being distracted from. KF

    PS: Take due notice, that this time you were warned by UD’s President as soon as you popped up with a new handle.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    UD administrators, thank you for putting up the video. It seems Video Direkt no longer works with current versions of WP, does anyone have a good video-embedding plug-in? KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, On the substantial matter, we need to ask and insist on answering why there is an ideology seeking to mainstream the narrative that our sexuality is not rooted in our being conceived as male or female by nature. Thus, we see how ideologues and fellow travellers can go out and kidnap the word “gender” from its proper use in grammar, then create the notion that “gender” is a psycho-social construct that can be used to manufacture a whole alphabet soup full of novel genders which then must be accorded all sorts of rights, never mind ruinous consequences for family, people of conscience, freedom of worship, or even of close association when seeking to use a rest room. I strongly suspect that deep hostility to men is only a first level of the problem. Post modernist absurdities abound. There is cultural marxism and its agenda to destabilise and wreck our civilisation. There is obvious deep rooted hostility to the only sound basis of rights, endowment by our Creator and Lord, who is also — here comes a polysyllabic but needed term! — eschatological Judge. The deep rooted amorality, incoherence and implicit might- and/or- manipulation- make- ‘truth’- ‘right’- ‘rights’- ‘justice’ etc. nihilism of evolutionary materialism is definitely there, as is its utter irrationality and want of wisdom. And more. But in the end it seems to come down to the reduction of the academy to utter, patent, ruinous absurdity. And it is time to turn as a great lion at bay, and vex these ideologues who have set out to ruin our civilisation. First and foremost, by publicly exposing their absurdity and irrationality. KF

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    kf –

    On the substantial matter, we need to ask and insist on answering why there is an ideology seeking to mainstream the narrative that our sexuality is not rooted in our being conceived as male or female by nature.

    Because Nature doesn’t care? (plus, we’re conceived by our parents. Usually) the ideology is rooted in the idea that we should respect people and their opinions.

    Oh, and if you really want to argue that we should use nature as our guide, you’re going to have to explain why that means we can’t be homosexual, but a lot of other species can.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: Notice, your capitalisation of “Nature,” before in effect implying that morally-tinged conduct is subjective and/or relativist in character? That’s a clue on what lurks here. The state of Gender Studies is a red warning flag on where we are heading — over the cliff. As for the attempt to assign whatever behaviour animals that are not rationally and responsibly free creatures may do — think about tigers, pikes and tiger sharks — to our own behaviour, that too speaks inadvertent volumes. KF

  10. 10
    Bob O'H says:

    (yep, a distraction so don’t spend a long time replying :-))

    KMP, attempted distractive, atmosphere-poisoning turnabout rhetorical accusation through a red herring led away to a strawman — and FYI not one of those terms is idiosyncratic or inappropriate use of words tracing to Latin and its derivatives.

    But that does mean that through, a, red, herring, led, away, to, a, and strawman could all be used idiosyncratically or inappropriately:

    attempt – Latin
    distractive – Latin
    atmosphere – Latin (Greek first)
    poisoning – Latin (through Old French)
    turn about – Latin (but older), and Old English.
    rhetorical – Latin via Old French (and orig. Greek)
    accusation Latin, via Old French
    through – from Proto-Germanic
    a – from Old English
    red – Proto-Germanic
    herring – Proto-Germanic
    led – Proto-Germanic
    away – Old English
    to – Proto-Germanic
    a – Old English
    strawman – From 1590 (straw & Man Old English).

    There you go.

  11. 11
    LarTanner says:

    While we are asking (see comment #7) “why there is an ideology seeking to mainstream the narrative that our sexuality is not rooted in our being conceived as male or female by nature,” we should also ask whether we agree that culture has some role in defining gender norms and roles. Do we assert that (a) there are two — and only two — sexes and (b) there is only one normal sexuality (i.e., heterosexuality), and that’s the end of it? Or do we assert that human beings exhibit diverse expressions of sex and sexuality?

    Since I am asking these questions, I am also trying to appear as neutral as possible about how I myself might answer them. The questions are (I think obviously) pertinent because what’s being contested is not only the interpretation of facts but also the role of law when some interpretations (i.e., ideologies) accuse other interpretations of immorality, irrationality, and destructiveness.

  12. 12
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    Post modernist absurdities abound. There is cultural marxism and its agenda to destabilise and wreck our civilisation.

    Actually our civilization is changing through cultural democracy, not Marxism. A man revered by many once said:

    I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

    Since those words were written, society as progressed exactly as he said it should

  13. 13
    kmidpuddle says:

    LT:

    we should also ask whether we agree that culture has some role in defining gender norms and roles. Do we assert that (a) there are two — and only two — sexes and (b) there is only one normal sexuality (i.e., heterosexuality), and that’s the end of it? Or do we assert that human beings exhibit diverse expressions of sex and sexuality?

    Lar, very pertinent questions.

    With regard to whether culture has a role in defining gender norms and roles, I suggest that the question should be should culture have this role? Clearly, it has had this role, for good or bad, over the centuries. Homosexuality in Ancient Greece was generally accepted. In Christian and Muslim cultures, homosexuality was historically persecuted and prosecuted. Today, western culture, rightly in my opinion, takes the stance that what consenting adults chose to do and how they chose to perceive themselves, is OK as long as it does no harm to others.

    Do we assert that (a) there are two — and only two — sexes?

    Biologically speaking, with the exception of hermaphrodites, this is a fact.

    (b) there is only one normal sexuality (i.e., heterosexuality), and that’s the end of it?

    This may be the desire of some but reality proves otherwise.

    Or do we assert that human beings exhibit diverse expressions of sex and sexuality?

    Obviously, this is a proven fact.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, just keep watching the train wreck in progress. Sadly. KF

  15. 15
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF, so far all I see is a world that is becoming more tolerant and less judgemental. It can’t happen fast enough.

  16. 16
    jdk says:

    re 13. I think there are more divergences from the binary male/female dichotomy than hermaphrodites. National Geographic had a whole issue on gender recently, and it described quite a few fascinating variations on the binary male/female division.

    Also, asking if culture should play a role in defining gender identity is sort of like asking if water should flow downhill: people’s understanding of gender identity goes beyond just physiology, and is subject to different cultural norms throughout all societies,. Again, see the National Geographic issue.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: We need to refocus the OP, of course. Why do we find the sorts of sentiments towards biological maleness that are manifest in the real-world (as opposed to a recent hoax) literature? What is the agenda behind introducing a po-mo, culturally marxist gender concept and linked narrative of liberating an implied alphabet soup of genders from claimed oppression? What is the implied rights claim? What does a right imply by way of moral claims against others and how does this constrain what we can properly warrant as a right? And more. KF

    PS: I suggest, we need to look at warrant for rights that rises above cultural marxist narratives. Specifically, that if I claim right-X, it means I expect you to have duty-to-X, that accords and supports me in that right, often in the name of “justice,” or “liberation from oppression,” etc. Instantly, a right is a strong moral claim that intends to oblige others. This means that rights can only be properly warranted on objective morality that bridges the IS-OUGHT gap. Which can only be done at world-root level, much as the 1776 US Declaration of Independence does. It also means, that to properly claim a right, one must be in the right, we can have no proper right to demand of others that they uphold, enable and praise us in wrongdoing — hence the very serious problem of weaponised “tolerance.” Where, too, if we take up a crooked yardstick and make it our standard of truth, right, rights etc, that which is accurate to reality cannot ever align with it. This means we need plumbline, independently knowable, self-evident moral truths that allow us to test claimed moral yardsticks. Or else we are reduced to the amoral, nihilistic absurdity, might and/or manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ rights,’ ‘justice’ etc. Hence the US Founders’ “We hold these truths to be SELF-EVIDENT . . .” Hence too, the issue our civilisation is fast approaching: trying to isolate, corner and corrupt decent people into upholding moral absurdities, corrupting their moral cores. We are fast coming to the point where this will run into the hill to die on issue, where people, for cause, will take a stand at any cost up to and including life in witness to truth they cannot and will not surrender. This has another name, also taken from that 1776 document: “when a long train of abuses and usurpations . . . ” Where also, the moral judgement of a generation guilty of enabling and carrying out the ongoing worst holocaust in history is deeply suspect.

    PPS: My native land has a saying: fire deh ‘pon mus-mus tail, but ‘im think seh a cool breeze deh deh. A fire is at the mouses’ tail, but he imagines it is a refreshingly cool breeze.

  18. 18
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 17 – the simple answer is because that’s the way the world is. Empirically, people’s sexuality is more complicated than a simple binary divide.

    Also, if you are going to insist on objective morality, please tell us what precisely these objective moral rules are.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: It seems you are inadvertently underscoring the problem. What we do is an IS, what we should do is an OUGHT. Moral government pivots on the responsible rational freedom that points us to the latter, despite struggles. As for the issue of objective morality, let us start with a highly instructive first moral self-evident truth:

    It is self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, torture, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure. Corollary, were we to encounter such in progress, it is equally self evident that we ought to try to intervene or intercede to rescue the victim from the monster. [And this, sadly, is NOT a hypothetical . . . ]

    I put it to you that the attempt to deny this ought instantly lands in absurdities. And, that this undermines any attempt to pretend that objectivity and warrant for moral truth are impossible to attain. KF

  20. 20
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – So, objective morality has nothing to do with gender assignment?

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: Your problems start long before you get to the social construct and narrative of “gender.” Responsible, rational freedom is on the table and there is a first, instructive plumbline moral SET on the table with a corollary. I suppose I need to ask you, are we genuinely responsibly, rationally free and so also morally governed? If not, even the basis for a REASONED discussion . . . one constrained by duties of care and ability to actually rationally respond to truth, right, logic, prudence etc . . . collapses, that is how foundational this issue is. KF

  22. 22
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – I’d rather focus on the OP – gender as a social construct. That gender is more complex than a simple binary male/female is an empirical observation. If there is no objective morality that says this is a problem, then the only relevant morals are subjective, so they themselves will be socially constructed.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: Mere preference imposes no obligations, save by the principle of might and manipulation. What you have revealed in the above by way of example, is that long before we get to the narrative of how “genders” [assumed to be an alphabet soup full] are “assigned” — already a loaded word — we are seeing that we first need to coherently get to the basis for rights, duties, freedoms and responsibilities. That is, we are dealing with a worldview level issue. It is in the context that we are morally governed and have natures that reflect our quasi-infinite worth and evident nature, as well as that of the relevance of freedom to reason responsibly, that we can at all discuss duties of sexuality, family and community. You seem to now wish to not address a first self evident moral truth . . . having outright demanded that I provide such objective truths . . . and you also seem to wish to avoid discussing that responsible, morally governed freedom which must underlie proper claims to justice etc. Justice, BTW, is best understood as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. That pattern underscores that the world-roots are where the problems lie, and gender confusion is a consequential issue not a root level problem. it is also relevant to cf Acts 27 and Plato’s Parable of the Ship as well as the story of Athens’ collapse on how democracy can be manipulated by Mr Moneybags and his bought and paid for technicos leading to marches of folly to ruin to understand the potential ruin we face on such matters. KF

  24. 24
    Bob O'H says:

    kf –

    Mere preference imposes no obligations, save by the principle of might and manipulation.

    Well, indeed. So why does it matter what your moral opinions are about people with different preferences?

    Your only “first self evident moral truth” seems to be what you blockquoted in 19, which has nothing to do with gender, so is a read herring.

    With a bit more effort you’ll be able to give us the full “attempted distractive, atmosphere-poisoning turnabout rhetorical accusation through a red herring led away to a strawman”. 🙂

  25. 25
    jdk says:

    kf writes,

    What we do is an IS, what we should do is an OUGHT

    And what we should do is recognize the inherent dignity of every human being, even if their biology doesn’t fit the cultural bias that the only two possibilities are pure male or pure female. What we should do is acknowledge the reality of people’s biological situation (which the religious should consider as God-given) and support them socially and culturally.

  26. 26
    SteRusJon says:

    My perspective on this is from someone on the conservative side of the political spectrum. I am a Christian and an ID proponent.

    The position taken by many on the right makes me angry. It is simplistic and borders on bullying of those among us who are transgender and justly, I believe, seek to normalize their position in society.

    For your information.

    The idea that there is a genetic/chromosomal determined male/female binary is false. Some of us are born with XXY. XXXY or XXYY sets. Even those with normal configurations of XX or XY can have defects that confuse the issue. There are XX individuals with portions of the Y within one of the Xes. There are XYs with defects on the Y that render them insensitive to the effects of testosterone. There are other chromosomal issues with sexual characteristic determination, as well.

    Even when the chromosomes are normal, there are things that can go wrong with the process of primary genital development. Hence, inter-sexed and hermaphroditic individuals where genitalia are ambiguous.

    The human brain is sexually dimorphic. But it differentiates at a later stage than the primary sexual anatomy. If the newly developed gonads do not put out sufficient hormones to strongly affect the process of differentiating the default female brain configuration to male to definitely match male genitalia, the mind can be be at odds, to some lesser or greater degree, with the body. Environmental issues and pathologies at the time of brain sexual differentiation can disrupt the proper activity of the hormones that are produced, as well.

    Further, at puberty, the secondary characteristics are driven by the gonads and that process may not proceed in accord with the simplistic idea of male/female binary.

    Sexual preference is another distinct component of the human sex complex that sometimes develops at odds with neat male/female binary that some hold.

    Transgender persons are flawed persons just as all are, to some degree or another, less than perfect. They are persons trying their best to navigate their lives with the assets and defects with which God endowed them to find happiness against the currents of the world just as you are. If the political majority or unsympathetic individuals are throwing obstacles in their way, who can blame them if they band together with those, chiefly on the left, who would ally with them to press for their own relief?

    Many on the right, especially fundamentalist Christians, note that “male and female created He them.” I would like to suggest that they consider that it does not say “male He created him and female He created her.” Each human being is a complex blend of characteristics, physical and psychological, that are under the umbrella of “sex”.

    Thank God, most people have a chromosome/primary sexual anatomy/secondary sexual attributes/sexual preference/psychological gender identity configuration where all the components mostly align so they can live with little or no awareness of the fact that the components even exist distinctly. Most of those people cannot wrap their heads around the possibility that any of those components can be mismatched in an individual but, believe me, it does happen. It happens without any choice on the individual’s part. It can be such a severe mismatch so that it becomes difficult for a person to comply with society’s norms for behavior and still be happy and productive.

    A truly Christian attitude would, I think, be more empathetic to the plight of such individuals and, instead of dismissing and marginalizing them in society, work to find ways to ease their struggles to find joy and happiness in life.

    Stop your bullying!

    Stephen

  27. 27
    jdk says:

    I am thankful for your post, SteRusJon: excellent information.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    Sterus, I have actually said nothing in the thread on the problems of people who do have defective genes etc. However, unless we are dealing with people who are mentally deficient also, they too are part of responsibly free humanity and so participate in the challenge of responsible freedom. And, where they are mentally challenged, they fall under our collective responsibility for those who are challenged. What I have spoken to is the specific issue of the injection of gender and its construction in the context of some seriously begged questions on moral government of responsibly and rationally free people. Where, we must remember also, that we do not live to ourselves but in a community which for its long term thriving, requires sound family life. The import of all this is that we have to look first and foremost at the issues of being morally governed, responsibly free persons dependent on a stable and wholesome society for our thriving from birth to old age. Where, justice is a due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Until this is first sorted out, we cannot soundly manage the general pattern of society and the cases that are medically disordered or pathological, or behaviourally open to serious challenge given the issues just highlighted. Moral governance and its base are of first importance, and until we soundly address that, we will get nowhere sound. KF

  29. 29
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    What is the agenda behind introducing a po-mo, culturally marxist gender concept and linked narrative of liberating an implied alphabet soup of genders from claimed oppression?

    As I proved in another thread, the concept of changing laws to suite cultural trends is purely democratic, not marxist. Even in the words of the the author of the US Declaration of Independence:

    “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

    KF:

    What does a right imply by way of moral claims against others and how does this constrain what we can properly warrant as a right?

    Rights are what we as a society deem to grant to people, either as a whole or in part. They may or may not have any moral warrant. But since morals are subjective in their application, I don’t see that it really matters.

    KF:

    Mere preference imposes no obligations, save by the principle of might and manipulation.

    I caution against making such an assertion, even though it is true. It does not bolster your point. If we accept your statement as reality (which I do), we have no obligation to support your preference to be Christian, or your preference to speak your mind freely, or your preference to associate with others as you see fit, etc.? All of these “rights” are cultural “preferences” that we as societies decided were important enough to enact in law as rights.

    At present, most western countries have decided that we as citizens of various countries, have an obligation to accept individual sexual “preference” and individual gender identity as things that are of value to protect under the force of law. I dare say that biology and science strongly suggest that both of these are far less “preference” than is your “preference” to be Christian.

  30. 30
    jdk says:

    kf writes,

    Until this is first sorted out, we cannot soundly manage the general pattern of society and the cases that are medically disordered or pathological, or behaviourally open to serious challenge ..

    Or maybe they are just different, and don’t deserve being called defective, disordered, or pathological– physiologically, psychologically, or behaviorally. The moral thing to do is to accept the wide diversity of people in regard to sexuality and gender, not marginalize them or consider them outside the scope of what is acceptable.

  31. 31
    StephenB says:

    There are no original thoughts here. Social construction theory is nothing more than a warmed over version of Kantian idealism. If we ignore reality and impose our subjective ideas on the world of metaphysics (Kant), we are only one step away from doing the same thing in the social sphere (Foucalt). It is a simple matter or defining reality (or gender) on the basis of a personal whim and against the rational order of the universe.

  32. 32
    kmidpuddle says:

    SteRusJon, thank you for bringing this back to where it belongs. At the personal level. But I think you are being too hard on yourself. Different sexual preferences and gender identities are not defects or disordered, or pathological. They are nothing more than part of the natural variation of humanity. Variation that makes all of humanity better.

    But I do find it strange that some argue that these are nothing more than preferences. It’s as if they completely ignore the challenges faced by homosexuals, transgendered, etc. and the persecution that they still face on a daily basis. Nobody would actively chose to go through that.

    I will be the first to admit that the idea of homosexuality and transexuals makes me feel uncomfortable. But, being intelligent I know that my feelings are not justified. My feelings are my problem and I chose not impose them on others. Sadly, others do not appear to be as cognizant of the incoherence of their own feelings.

  33. 33
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Or maybe they are just different, and don’t deserve being called defective, disordered, or pathological– physiologically, psychologically, or behaviorally. The moral thing to do is to accept the wide diversity of people in regard to sexuality and gender, not marginalize them or consider them outside the scope of what is acceptable.

    If you assume that there is no such thing as normal, then you will conclude that nothing can be abnormal. The problem is in your assumption.

  34. 34
    jdk says:

    There is a difference between statistically normal (the percentage of people who are not heterosexual is about the same as the percent of people who don’t have red hair), and morally normal.

    Read the post at 26, and tell me: is SteRisJon morally abnormal? Does his existence go “against the rational order of the universe.”

    Is it morally abnormal for me to want him treated with all the moral dignity and rights as any other person? Am I being the moral one here, not those who would characterize him as defective, disordered, pathological, and moral abnormal.

  35. 35
    Barry Arrington says:

    jdk:

    Am I being the moral one here

    You tell me. But first you have to tell me what you mean by “moral.”

    Are you suggesting there are moral norms to which others are bound to adhere on pain of being immoral — i.e., a moral standard? Where did that standard come from? Did you just make it up? Is the 21st century political progressive more moral than the 20th century political progressive who pushed eugenics? If moral norms are products of societal consensus, was eugenics actually moral when it was all the rage among progressives? If so, when was the exact tipping point when eugenics was no longer moral? If not, what is the warrant for your assertion that 21st century progressives are more moral (at least in rejecting eugenics) than their 20th century forebears?

    Are there practices and/or beliefs that are considered moral by 21st century progressives that may someday be considered immoral? Perhaps progressives as a group will become overwhelmingly against homosexuals. If that happens, will homosexuality go from the “moral” category to the “immoral” category the way eugenics did?

  36. 36
    jdk says:

    We’ve been over this before. I believe that humans are moral creatures, and I am committed to living a moral life. However, there is no guide book anyplace, and yes, cultural norms change. Therefore, each of us has to exercise our moral sense as best we can, balancing what our reason and moral sense tells us with an understanding that we are unlikely to be totally free of the cultural judgements with which we have been surrounded as we have grown.

    This is just as true for you as for me.

    Do you believe it is moral to label SteRusJin as degenerate, pathological, and or immoral? How do you know?

    Why is your belief that it is immoral for two people of the same sex to love each other, for instance, any better grounded than my sense that it is immoral to deny them that?

  37. 37
    jdk says:

    Barry, let’s simplify.

    SteRuJon finished his post with

    A truly Christian attitude would, I think, be more empathetic to the plight of such individuals and, instead of dismissing and marginalizing them in society, work to find ways to ease their struggles to find joy and happiness in life.

    I think they moral things to do is as SRJ states.

    Do you?

  38. 38
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    There is a difference between statistically normal (the percentage of people who are not heterosexual is about the same as the percent of people who don’t have red hair), and morally normal.

    I was referring to morally normal. The standard for sexual morality exists for all people, regardless of where they may find themselves on the psychological or biological spectrum. . In many cases, that same standard will prompt individuals who are confused about who they are to search for their true gender identity, which can usually be determined. Don’t you think people deserve to have that chance?

    Read the post at 26, and tell me: is SteRisJon morally abnormal? Does his existence go “against the rational order of the universe.”

    It is impossible for someone’s “existence” to violate the rational order of the universe. Only one’s behavior can do that. Morality is about behavior and intentions, not psychological or biological orientation.

    Is it morally abnormal for me to want him treated with all the moral dignity and rights as any other person?

    Of course not. I want the same thing, Indeed, I insist on it.

    However, you seem to confuse the phenomenon of intersexism, which is primarily physical, with the problem of transgenerism, which is primarily psychological. You also seem to assume that medical, psychological, or moral intervention should never be used to correct such abnormalities. Individuals can be abnormal in many ways. That doesn’t mean that they lack human dignity or that they don’t deserve love and respect. It also doesn’t mean that nothing should be done for them if something can be done–while they are being loved.

  39. 39
    Barry Arrington says:

    jdk @ 36

    I believe that humans are moral creatures,

    Promising start if the word “moral” means anything other than “what jdk happens to prefer.”

    and I am committed to living a moral life.

    Even more promising start if the word “moral” means anything other than “what jdk happens to prefer.”

    However, there is no guide book anyplace, and yes, cultural norms change.

    Uh oh. There is no guide to what is moral. And cultural consensus is ephemeral, pushing for eugenics one day and condemning it the next. So if we were having this conversation 10 years from now in a hypothetical world in which political progressives have switched their views about homosexuality the way they switched their views about eugenics, then you would be arguing the other side of this question. Why should I care what you think is “moral” if by “moral” all you mean is what you and people you agree with happen to think at a given time, always reserving the right to think exactly the opposite 10 years from now?

    Therefore, each of us has to exercise our moral sense as best we can,

    What does it mean to “exercise” ones “moral sense”? If there is no objective moral standard (either in a guide book or though societal norms), then “exercising one’s moral sense” seems to be code for “doing what I prefer.” If it is not, please tell me what it means.

    balancing what our reason and moral sense tells us with an understanding that we are unlikely to be totally free of the cultural judgements with which we have been surrounded as we have grown.

    On what basis does jdk reason to a moral conclusion if “moral” means “what jdk prefers”?

    Do you believe it is moral to label SteRusJin as degenerate, pathological, and or immoral?

    By “moral” you mean “what jdk prefers.” Obviously, jdk does not prefer for people to call SteRusJin degenerate, pathological, and or immoral. Accordingly, under your definition of the term “moral” it is not moral. Obviously, however, you have given me no reason to suppose that anyone else should care what you prefer. That is the problem with your approach to morality jdk. You define it entirely subjectively, and then expect everyone to bow down to your subjective preferences as if they had objective weight. This proves once again that it is utterly impossible to live as a moral relativist. No matter how much someone spouts relativism, they can’t help but believe that at the end of the day their moral judgments have objective force. It is impossible for moral relativists to act as if their moral judgments are what they say they are – mere expressions of their subjective preferences.

    All of this give rise to this weird state where if I were to answer the question in a way that is counter to jdk’s subjective preferences, he would think I am immoral, as if jdk’s subjective preferences should somehow be binding on me.

    Why is your belief that it is immoral for two people of the same sex to love each other, for instance, any better grounded than my sense that it is immoral to deny them that?

    What an absurd question. I don’t think it is immoral for two people of the same sex to love one another. Neither does anyone else as far as I know. That you would ask the question that way speaks volumes.

    jdk @ 37

    You ask if Christians should be empathetic with people struggling with disordered desires?

    Yes, of course. But empathy does not extend to lying to them about whether their desires are disordered.

    Should Christians work to find ways to ease the struggles of people with disordered desires to find joy and happiness in life?

    Yes, of course. But telling them their disordered desires are not in fact disordered and telling them they should embrace and act on their disordered desires will not help them with that struggle.

  40. 40
    jdk says:

    Good – I’m glad to read some of what you say.

    Individuals can be abnormal in many ways. That doesn’t mean that they lack human dignity or that they don’t deserve love and respect. It also doesn’t mean that nothing should be done for them if something can be done.

    Yes, I agree the part about love and respect, but I’m not sure just how one, or you, decides what kind of “abnormal” things would indicate that “something should be done for them.”

    If two women, or two men, love each other, including sexual attraction, and as part of that love have a sexual relationship, is that “abnormal” and we should do something for them if we can?

    Or should our love and respect and support for their human dignity allow them to be different without labelling them abnormal in the moral sense?

  41. 41
    Barry Arrington says:

    jdk @ 40:

    should our love and respect and support for their human dignity allow them to be different without labelling them abnormal in the moral sense?

    Should our love and respect for a man who wants to have sex with 10 year-old boys allow him to be different without labeling him abnormal in the moral sense?

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    I think they moral things to do is as SRJ states.

    You have conflated two questions: [a] Should society treat transgenders/intersexers morally? [b] Should transgenders/intersexers act morally?

    I say that the answer to both questions is yes. You seem to say that the answer to question [a] is yes and the answer to question [b] is no. Do I interpret your comments correctly?

  43. 43
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    If two women, or two men, love each other, including sexual attraction, and as part of that love have a sexual relationship, is that “abnormal” and we should do something for them if we can?

    Yes, that would be morally abnormal. Yes, we should do something for them if we can.

    Leftist elitists do not really love gays. Their real aim is to control them politically by encouraging and feeding their sexual slavery. Otherwise, they would inform gays that, on average, their behavior will hasten their death by 20 years.

  44. 44
    jdk says:

    Very wrong, Stephen, but I see no sense in further discussion after reading 43.

  45. 45
    jdk says:

    re 41. Barry, the difference, which I know you are aware of, is that I was referring to consenting adults. Sex between adults and 10 year olds is immoral.

    I am not saying that we can’t make moral judgments about different behaviors, although I think labelling them normal and abnormal is not very useful, or perhaps confuses two different issues.

  46. 46
    jdk says:

    re 39: by loving, I meant sexual love, which I clarified later.

    You ask if Christians should be empathetic with people struggling with disordered desires?

    Yes, of course. But empathy does not extend to lying to them about whether their desires are disordered.

    But how do you justify judging that their desires are disordered. When I said we had to exercise our reason and moral sense, that there was no guidebook, and we had to be realistic about the effect of our culture on our viewpoint, you rolled all that into “whatever jdk prefers.”

    But what do you have that is not covered in my sentence above? How does “what Barry prefers” differ from “what jdk prefers?”

  47. 47
    jdk says:

    re 45: more on abnormal and normal vs moral and immoral. These may overlap, but they are different. I know someone that has OCD, and is very paranoid about contamination sometimes, so the point of being out of touch with reality about this. This is abnormal but is not a moral issue.

    I think having sexual relations with someone other than one’s spouse is immoral, but I think it is common enough that one could, I’m afraid, consider it fairly normal behavior.

    So we have two separate categories here, although I’m sure they overlap.

  48. 48
    SteRusJon says:

    I see there have been several posts related to my comment #26.

    Let me address portions of various ones.

    First, I did not actually state that I am transgender. But, for the record, I will now so stipulate.

    I do not believe I am defective or disordered or pathological. I believe that it may be some defective or disordered or pathological process or event is responsible for my present state. There was a time, long ago, that I thought there was something defective with me. I implored for healing. It never came. God left me to my own devices to deal with a state of being that is fully male anatomically and more female than male mentally/psychologically. I know some hold that my mental state is subject to my will but I assure you that it is in fact contrary to my will. For those of you who hold that gender identity is a choice, I ask, “Can you tell be what was that time and place that you made the choice? Do you awake in the morning and choose your gender for the day? Do you think you could “will” yourself to be of the opposite gender for the day?” I do not, any longer, believe I am defective. There is discussion of what is “normal’ in the comments above. I do not believe there is a normal. There is a spectrum of mixed “sex” related characteristics in individuals. Instead of “normal”, I see that there are “ideals”. An “ideal” male and an “ideal” female with all of us actual persons distributed somewhere in between. Fortunately, most are clustered on one end or the other of the spectrum.. Problem is, without the omniscience of God, I have no idea what the correct blend of characteristics, both physical and psychological, would be to satisfy those two ideals. What I have come to realize is that just as the Psamlist knew he was knit together by God in his mother’s womb, I know, so was I.

    Kf seems to believe that I and others like me are intent on destroying western civilization in some great conspiracy. I am not part of some grand scheme. I and so many of others who are marginalized in one or more ways want nothing more to live or lives in peace. Those of us who are essentially conservative have been forced to make unholy alliance with the enemy of our enemies to press for protection from those that would prevent that. Those of us who are more liberal are not convinced switch sides by rhetoric that demonizes us individually by claiming we are out to destroy the world system in some grand scheme when all we want is to keep our job, not be spit upon, keep our families together, have our children attend school safely and come out as productive members of society, Live in the neighborhood of our choice in a home within our means instead of denied housing.

    There is discussion of morality. What is moral about a father and mother casting their teen-aged child out onto the street for a deviation from the ideal? Where is the morality in firing and otherwise acceptable, even exemplary, employee when it is discovered or revealed that they are transgender thereby causing them and their family to suffer great losses? How is it moral to refuse to rent to an obvious transgender person who has the means to pay and the character to be a good tenant? I know that a major flash point is the bathroom issue that has been brought to the fore in an effort to save our civilization from decay. I am sympathetic to the concerns of many. But I, also, know that much of what the conservative right puts forward in making its case is deceptive, at best, or downright wrong in many respects. The harm that these laws are ostensibly meant to prevent are already legislated against by uncontroversial legislation. God knows these laws are rooted in the need for some to protect our civilization from the perverts who would destroy us all. I won’t go any further on that topic. Point is, we are judged by God on how it is that we treat one another as individuals. Not on how well or hard we worked to fix the world. If we did a much better job of caring for each other the world would be a much better place, automatically.

    I acknowledge that there are some who have gone to extreme in their reaction to the harms done to us in the past. I can understand the the over-reaction but I am not in favor of it. But, please, recognize that that there has been and there continues to be actions that harm us as human beings made, imperfectly, in the image of God.

    Te plight and struggles of each transgender individual are unique to themselves. While many who try to live more as their inner identity dictates have difficulty and continue to struggle, but with different problems, there are many more that succeed in making their live more fulfilling. I wonder if those who are so staunchly against the decision of transgender individuals to live in accord with their inner identity have ever read the autobiographical accounts of anyone who has made a successful transition. How can one begin to have empathy for the someone with out hearing their story? Many of us have stepped back from the brink of suicide before making the choice to become and be the person within either by changing the anatomy or ignoring the anatomy that indicates the contrary. I assure you, if it was a simple matter of a willful choice, it would have been easy. If you think it is simply a choice, that is proof positive you have no idea what the true situation is.

    The orthodox Christian view is that the soul resides in the body. I ask those who agree with that, “Do you believe the soul more closely conforms to the anatomy or to the psyche?” Keep in mind that in the resurrection, Jesus tells us, “They are like the angels, ….” when speaking of whose wife the widow would be. I think sex anatomy is a temporary state intended for procreation in this physical world and is not even carried over into the next. If God where to be merciful to me and grant my request to heal me, (not that I any longer believe I need healing,) I wonder if He would change my identity as a person to conform to my anatomy, or, change my anatomy to conform to my identity as a person? Do you have such wisdom so as to make the correct call?

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

    PS This is an edit. I see that there are post that were made while I put these thoughts together so this does not cover everything above.

  49. 49
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry:

    Should our love and respect for a man who wants to have sex with 10 year-old boys allow him to be different without labeling him abnormal in the moral sense?

    JDK:

    Barry, the difference, which I know you are aware of, is that I was referring to consenting adults. Sex between adults and 10 year olds is immoral.

    OK. We are making some progress. It is immoral for a man to have sex with a 10 year old boy. In ancient Sparta men had sex with young boys all the time. It was a commonly accepted practice. That practice was immoral wasn’t it JDK.

  50. 50
    kmidpuddle says:

    SteRusJon@48:

    I see there have been several posts related to my comment #26.

    Let me address portions of various ones….

    Ouch. That is going to leave a mark here.

    Barry, did you want to bring up the molestation of 10 year old boys again? KF, would you like to comment on inherently disordered and the downfall of civilization?

  51. 51
    Barry Arrington says:

    Kmid:

    Barry, did you want to bring up the molestation of 10 year old boys again?

    Yes, actually, and if you had been paying attention you would notice that I did after Stephen’s comment at 48. I am having an exchange with JDK, and I am now waiting for him to answer my question at 49.

  52. 52
    jdk says:

    Barry, I’m curious what your response to this is:

    I wrote,

    But how do you justify judging that their desires are disordered. When I said we had to exercise our reason and moral sense, that there was no guidebook, and we had to be realistic about the effect of our culture on our viewpoint, you rolled all that into “whatever jdk prefers.”

    But what do you have that is not covered in my sentence above? How does “what Barry prefers” differ from “what jdk prefers?”

  53. 53
    kmidpuddle says:

    SteRusJon, before I get banned again for mentioning the blatantly obvious, I just want to commend you on presenting your situation in a logical and clear fashion. I am an atheist but you are the type of Christian that makes Christianity such an appealing religion. I wish the best for you.

  54. 54
    SteRusJon says:

    I see that I have effectively been painted as stooge of the grand left wing conspiracy. I have no doubt that there are some who scheme to overthrow our very foundation as a nation. I happen to believe this is in the sovereign will of God. Thy will be done.

    I do wonder, if the right, particularly the Christian right, was more interested in “doing unto others as they would have done to them” in similar circumstances than on the personal decisions and actions of others so as to judge and condemn, if the individual members of the numerous disenfranchised groups would have been less susceptible to being so duped by them. Is it too late to change your attitudes and actions so as to win them over? Probably! We stooges, for the most part, want nothing more than to live our lives in peace but your attitude and actions confirm that you do not have our interest at heart because you would not like what you are doing to many of us if we were doing it to you.

    I will do as best I can to allow others to live in peace and, for myself, trust in God to judge me with true and full knowledge and mercy and grace. I am safe there. Your condemnation is of no import to me.

    Again a lot of opinion above that is based on experience of a fully aligned set of sex related characteristics that is of no value. You have no idea what you are talking about.

    One other point. The OP was addressed to “gender studies.” In that respect, the homosexuality debate above is somewhat off topic. Homosexuality, while related to human sex characteristics, is distinct from gender identity. A common misconception is that they are necessarily related and an indication that one who thinks such is not conversant with the subject of gender identity issues and transgenderism.

    I have had my say and will, likely, leave the discussion. If any of you who object to my life actually take the trouble to get to know a stable, happy, successful transgender individual, of which there are many, I would really like to know about it and if it had any affect on your views.

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  55. 55
    jdk says:

    re 48: Excellent and moving. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts.

    And 54 also.

    Also, I know that homosexuality and gender identity are not the same issue, although they overlap in some people, FWIW.

  56. 56
    SteRusJon says:

    kmidpuddle @53

    While I disagree strongly with your worldview and the derived conclusions, I appreciate your well-wishes. I am of the opinion that when “those without the law do what the law demands”, as Paul wrote, that it is much to their credit.

    So, thank you and the best for you as well,

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  57. 57
    Barry Arrington says:

    jdk @ 52:

    “But how do you justify judging that their desires are disordered.”

    You said it is immoral for an adult man to force a ten-year old boy to have sex with him, and you are correct. The desire to do something immoral is itself disordered and must be resisted. Now you can answer my question at 49

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Cicero in De Legibus can help us understand the issues we are playing with, and the dangers we have so unwisely invited in the door in our civilisation (and typically, apart from core agit prop operatives and strategic planners, those caught up in ruinous agendas don’t really realise the fire they are playing with — indeed, that is the very nature of agit prop):

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man. We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    KF

    PS: Lawfare is one manifestation of the ruthless agenda we are dealing with.

  59. 59
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Very wrong, Stephen, but I see no sense in further discussion after reading 43.

    How very convenient for you.

    Do you also have a convenient reason for ignoring my question @42:

    You have conflated two questions: [a] Should society treat transgenders morally? [b] Should transgenders act morally?

    I say that the answer to both questions is yes. You seem to say that the answer to question [a] is yes and the answer to question [b] is no. Do I interpret your comments correctly?

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: We have been taught to almost worship democracy and the majority vote. We need to understand that while democracy offers valuable freedoms, it is an inherently unstable, manipulable and historically too often suicidal system of government. This is why it needs to be buttressed from the wider culture and world of thought, to guard it from marches of folly. It is therefore well worth pondering Plato’s warning, by means of the parable of the ship of state:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    And of course, I say this as a committed small-d democrat. KF

  61. 61
    jdk says:

    re 57: My original comment was about same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults who love each other.

    You said their desires were disordered. I don’t consider their desires disordered.

    I then asked,

    But how do you justify judging that their desires are disordered. When I said we had to exercise our reason and moral sense, that there was no guidebook, and we had to be realistic about the effect of our culture on our viewpoint, you rolled all that into “whatever jdk prefers.”

    But what do you have that is not covered in my sentence above? How does “what Barry prefers” differ from “what jdk prefers?”

    You haven’t answered this question. What is your rationale for thinking your judgment of disorder is qualitatively different in any way from my judgment that their desires are not disordered?

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, the victim in the case I refer to as a key moral SET, was a boy of about eight years old; on his way home from school on an afternoon, about thirty years ago now, and was — as was his habit — walking through a campus back gate near an aqueduct. This is a gate to a neighbouring housing estate that I had often walked through at all kinds of hours of day and night. The fenced- in way running up to a dam and down to a reservoir had bushes near the gate. That is where the monster pounced. KF

  63. 63
    Barry Arrington says:

    KF @ 62:

    “a key moral SET.” Indeed, which is why JDK continues to dodge my question at 49. He, rightly, understands that he is on the horns of a dilemma. If he answers that the practice of the Spartans was wicked, he loses his “morality comes from society” argument, because the Spartan society condoned a practice that he knows is wicked. On the other hand, if he denies the Spartan practice was wicked, he stands convicted of condoning a self-evidently wicked practice. The only correct answer is that the Spartan practice was wicked even if everyone in Sparta failed to understand that. It follows inexorably that JDK must admit to the self evident moral truth to which KF alludes, and the moment he does that he finds himself confronting objective morality. And he is unwilling to do that, because he is a coward.

  64. 64
    jdk says:

    I’ll note that Barry will not answer my question, and is trying to change the subject, so I’ll not continue. He cannot, I don’t think, explain how his ability to make moral judgments is any better than mine in respect to same-sex sexual activity. Invoking self-evident truths doesn’t actually say anything.

    I’ll leave it at that.

    BKA: JDK proves his cowardice again. He ran away from StephenB above and he runs away from me know.

  65. 65
    Barry Arrington says:

    JDK @ 61:

    Homosexual acts are immoral. You say they are not and want to know how I can be sure you are wrong. I will tell you. An immoral act is an act that fails to conform to the good. The good with respect to anything is that which allows it to fulfill or conform to its nature. It is self-evident that humans are designed so that the male and female bodies are complementary. Thus, sex acts between male and female conform to human nature and are good (leaving aside issues of the proper context of those acts). Sex acts between male and male or between female and female do not conform to human nature and therefore do not conform to the good and are therefore immoral.

    UPDATE: JDK posted his cowardly retreat from the field in 64 while I was working on this comment.

  66. 66
    jdk says:

    Just assertions on your part, Barry, but no actual way of validating your assertions.Yes, male and female bodies are different. However, it is also self evident that throughout all cultures people engage in sex for other than reproductive purposes, and in ways that go beyond matching up the complementary parts. It is also self evident that some people are sexually attracted to people of the same sex.

    Your “self evident truths” are really just “Barry’s preferences”, not some set of truths elevated above my, or any one else’s, moral thoughts on the matter.

    Added in edit: I can assure you that same-sex people feel strongly that they are “conforming to their nature.” (See all that Stephen aka Stephanie had to say above.)

    So who are you who gets to say what does and doesn’t “conform to nature?”

  67. 67
    StephenB says:

    We, the supporters of Christian anthropology, all agree that transgenders should not be persecuted. So dramatizing one personal story about how that ideal may not have been met doesn’t really add to the discussion.

    The problem is that most in the LGBT “community,” the major institutions, and a dumbed-down culture, all salivate at the prospect and the reality of persecuting *us.* It is we who have been slandered and accused of hate for defending the family, abused by courts who attacked our institution of marriage, violated by schools who brainwashed our children with pro-homosexual propaganda, flattened by a gay juggernaut that destroyed businesses and businessmen, and deprived of our constitutional right to practice religious liberty by an unrelenting gay lobby who once told us, as the transgenders are telling us now, that all they really wanted was economic justice and fair treatment.

  68. 68
    jdk says:

    Is oral sex immoral, Barry, even limited to married couples? Masturbation? Do those acts “self-evidently fulfill or conform our nature”, or not?

  69. 69
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK:

    So who are you who gets to say what does and doesn’t “conform to nature?”

    The owner of UD, and the person who decides, regardless of facts, what is important here.

  70. 70
    Pindi says:

    StephenB, KF, Barry, you have got some very interesting testimony from a transgender person who is one of your own – ie a conservative Christian Id proponent. You seem to be ignoring her. Rather than berating the immoral heathens, would it not be appropriate to take up the discussion with Stephen aka Stephanie?

  71. 71
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    I think having sexual relations with someone other than one’s spouse is immoral, but I think it is common enough that one could, I’m afraid, consider it fairly normal behavior.

    All you have said here is that something can be morally abnormal and then become statistically normal if enough people start doing it.

    The question is why do you think it is immoral to have sexual relations with someone who is not your spouse? What is your standard for making that judgment? Are you also saying that homosexual behavior is immoral?

  72. 72
    J-Mac says:

    I’ve been watching this discussion develop and I’m beginning to wonder; what would Jesus do?

    What would Jesus say and do if he were a part of this discussion? Whom would he condemn? Whom would he exalt?

  73. 73
    J-Mac says:

    I’m just wondering; does the Creator of life have the right to set the moral standards?

    Does the Creator of life have the right to say how his creation should use their bodies?

    If not, why not?

    If yes, why would He say that sex between two people of the same sex is wrong and sex between two people of the opposite sex is right?

  74. 74
    J-Mac says:

    If I may state may opinion, the gender identity issue is very complex…

  75. 75
    J-Mac says:

    Even mental health professionals who have been working with people who struggle with gender identity issues for years are themselves struggling…
    Even the ones who have more personal understanding of the issue if say they are homosexuals, bisexuals and those who identify themselves as neither a male nor a female…

  76. 76
    J-Mac says:

    Teaching elementary school kids gender identity issues contributes to the confusion…IMO… I think most of the kids are more confused about the issues rather than educated…

  77. 77
    StephenB says:

    Stephen aka Stephanie

    If you labor with a biological imperfection or psychological disorder of some kind, that does not mean that you a defective or disordered as a person. The kind of a person you are is determined by the decisions you make, given your difficult circumstances.

    You have told us of your struggles and I am sorry about your plight. However, your sexual orientation doesn’t really matter that much because it has nothing to do with your moral life or your spiritual progress. The only thing that matters is what you do with your gender identity problem and how you manage your sexual instinct.

    The perverse culture that you are unfortunate enough to be a part of has, perhaps, convinced you that happiness and sexual activity are synonymous. That is a lie. Promiscuous people are notoriously unhappy and many celibate people are happy if they learn how to give themselves away. God provided the gift of sex for a reason and all those who abuse that gift are unhappy. I invite you to check out the website (COURAGERC.COM), a resource I think that you may find empowering.

    While the organization’s mission Focuses on same sex attraction, I understand that the problem of transgenderism is also addressed. If you follow through with all possible alternatives, you may well be able to change your sexual identity and have a normal sexual relationship, or if not, you can find happiness through consecrated celibacy. You deserve to be at peace and you can certainly find it.

    This is the main point that many of us are making. Happiness and peace come from finding your true self (which is not confined to your sexual self), living according to God’s will, and honoring his natural moral law. All this is within your reach.

  78. 78
    J-Mac says:

    SteRusJon,

    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences!

    I have a few questions:

    Are you suggesting that some of the gender identity issues could be related to genetics? If yes, please provide some links, if possible.

    I’m familiar with some studies with identical twins and have not come across of such evidence…

    Are you suggesting that angels have no gender or rather that they are unable to procreate?

  79. 79
    Eugen says:

    SteRusJohn

    You are always respected as a fellow human. I’ll try to be practical and logical here.
    Generally speaking when person’s mental states don’t match reality that person has a problem. For example, if my friend tells me he’s a bird what should I do? Encourage him to fly of the building?
    No, as a responsible person I should tell him to seek help. Wouldn’t you do the same?

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    I think a few thought on dealing with first things first and crooked yardsticks are in order, Cicero in De Legibus having been (of course) ignored. Let’s start with some questions that help us to crawl first before wanting to run and fly:

    1: We have a basic challenge: are we morally governed responsibly and rationally free creatures who have a nature that is actually real and in many respects evident?

    2: What is morality, and particularly what is it that our sense of oughtness points to?

    3: Do we really have objectively warranted, binding duties, responsibilities, obligations, etc, or are these little more than the “illusion” — that’s a euphemism for delusion — fobbed off on us by our evolutionary roots, that gets us to co-operate enough to enhance prospects of survival?

    4: Indeed, without actually objective, binding duties of care — full-bore OUGHT — to truth, logic of inference etc, is a rational discussion even possible (as opposed to attempts to use mouth noises and linked squiggles to manipulate others to get our own way)? [Do you see the nihilism that is lurking in the bushes here?]

    5: Is moral error possible? (Certainly that is implicit in the appeals, assertions and even accusations: “bully” above?)

    6: If Moral error — which is objective, an implication that one is in the moral wrong — is NOT possible, why then are claims and arguments that we are in the moral wrong to raise challenges to the alphabet soup gender game being made? (Doesn’t that point to manipulation, thus implicit nihilism?)

    7: If objective moral error is possible, then is it not patent that moral truth that is the corrective to that error also exists? (Indeed, just the objective truth, X is a moral error is a moral truth.)

    8: Further, however, if moral error is possible, is it not also possible to have such a distorted view of moral truth, that one perceives others to be in error when the real error is a lot closer to home? (In short, if one is trusting a crooked yardstick as a standard for straightness and length, then accurate straightness and lengths will not measure up to the crooked standard. This is why we need independent, plumbline tests that allow us to recognise and correct crooked yardsticks. Hence the test cases BA and I have put up above — which were consistently evaded on one rhetorical excuse or another.)

    9: Linked, what is a right, and how is such a claim adequately warranted?

    10: Is a right, or is it not, a binding claim that due to one’s inherent dignity, fundamental equality and quasi-infinite worth by nature as a human being, certain specific duties of care and respect are owed to one?

    11: If not, what is it that rises above the nihilism of might and/or manipulation making up — socially constructing, if you please — ‘truth,’ ‘logic,’ ‘right,’ ‘duty,’ ‘rights,’ ‘justice’ etc? (In short, nihilism? (Which BTW is precisely where cultural marxism and linked agit prop, lawfare, corruption of media, law, courts, parliaments, cabinets and academia etcw ould come in. And if you do not see the ruinous consequences of such an agenda, your problems start long before whatever fashionable “issues” are on the agenda of the day as a generations-long agenda unfolds.. Of course, most of those caught up in such an agenda would not be aware that they are playing with crooked yardsticks, and may even take umbrage at such a suggestion. But that is more reason for us to face plumbline tests. Which points to the habit of ducking or distracting attention from such decisive tests, being a strong sign that crooked yardsticks are in use.)

    12: If rights are as described, and yardsticks can be crooked but can be corrected via plumbline tests, then why are so many so insistent on ducking or distracting attention from such? (If you doubt me, look above in this thread.)

    The import of these points may be tough to swallow, but we need to creep before we can run and fly.

    Back to moral yardstick case no 1: is it not self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, sexually torture, violate and kill a young child for one’s pleasure? (If one tries to deny this, does not one instantly land in absurdities? What does this then tell us about the warrant for core morality? Rights, justice, truth etc?)

    KF

  81. 81
    J-Mac says:

    StephenB @77

    Good stuff!

  82. 82
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Is oral sex immoral, … even limited to married couples?

    Most moral theologians say oral sex is moral only as foreplay and only if it is mutually acceptable, but it is not moral if brought to completion. That is because every sexual act, to be moral, must be open to the transmission of life upon completion. Some moral theologians say it is completely wrong regardless of context.

    Masturbation?

    Same conditions as above. Immoral as a completed act. Always wrong outside of marriage.

    Do those acts “self-evidently fulfill or conform our nature”, or not?

    The behavioral standards for the natural moral law are not always self evident. They are often the product of moral reflection and reasoned analysis. According to the natural moral law, the purpose of sex is to create a unitive bond of love between husband and wife and to procreate. The point is that the unitive function cannot be morally separated from the procreative function. Only on those conditions can the good of both spouses be preserved. Everything turns on purpose.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let’s take a look at a few tests.

    CASE i: Eugenics, which was argued for just as fervently 70 – 100 years ago as whatever is on the table today — and captured the support of all but an isolated and sometimes despised few — If you doubt me, go look up the logo of the second international congress on Eugenics.

    CASE 2: Sparta and boys. Was a whole culture in the wrong for centuries, or was it by definition the source of the social construction of what is right.

    CASE 3: Kidnapping, binding, violating and murdering a young child for pleasure.

    –> What do these cases teach us?

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, the summary points you just gave are useful [albeit some may hold differing views to one extent or another], and I definitely second your response to Sterus [I remember here L, who went to the same school as I did and struggled with similar issues to the point of trying surgery to “change” his gender . . . I doubt L found lasting happiness in that path, even as Bruce Jenner — now identifying as Caitlyn — is clearly finding out; I also recall my pain on reading on the fate of M, who ended in suicide]. I trust, though, that those who have come in in this discussion will also recognise why foundational, first issues about morality, truth and warrant need to be set right, if we can begin to hope to sort out things that can only stand on a firm foundation. Hence, my emphasis. KF

  85. 85
    jdk says:

    Stephen, that’s all just one point of view: there is no reason to think that the “moral theologians” you mention have any special authority on these matters. You are describing a cultural viewpoint held by one religious subgroup, but you’ve said nothing that answers the question of why this view is any more than a “preference” then other different moral viewpoints on these issues.

  86. 86
    Barry Arrington says:

    JDK:

    Still waiting for an answer to my question at 49.

  87. 87
    jdk says:

    And me you on 61 and 66.

    Barry: Which I have answered. If you are too afraid to answer the question just admit it, and we can all move on.

  88. 88
    jdk says:

    Small mistake: Your answer was at 65 and my response at 66, but you did NOT answer the question, so I asked it again:

    I asked,

    Just assertions on your part, Barry, but no actual way of validating your assertions. …

    Your “self evident truths” are really just “Barry’s preferences”, not some set of truths elevated above my, or any one else’s, moral thoughts on the matter. …

    So who are you who gets to say what does and doesn’t “conform to nature?”

    You haven’t answered my question.

  89. 89
    StephenB says:

    KF @84,

    Yes, morality is the necessary condition for happiness. To me, there are two great mistakes: The first is to offer love without the truth and the second is to offer the truth without love.

    If we tell people only what they want to hear, then we are not loving them, we are loving ourselves. If we tell then what they need to hear, even if they hate us for it, we are loving them.

    Love concerns itself primarily with the welfare of the one who is loved, not with the comfort or popularity of the one who loves.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, I popped by, and heard myself saying, “yeah,” with a strange bittersweet tinge. It hurts when one knows doing the right by a neighbour is liable to be misunderstood or taken as occasion of offence. But, in the end, for our civilisation, we are going to have to take that pain. I think you know I am fairly pessimistic, that our civilisation is a the edge of a needless dark age entered into by march of stubborn folly (cf Ac 27). I fear, some of us are going to have to pay the bitter price of taking a hopeless stand on a hill to die on, as part of the rent in blood due as we refused to heed sound lessons of history long since bought with that same coin. Oh, that we would turn back as a civilisation before it is bloodily too late. KF

  91. 91
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Stephen, that’s all just one point of view: there is no reason to think that the “moral theologians” you mention have any special authority on these matters.

    Obviously, you missed the point. In each case, the answers are based on the natural moral law. The only reason for introducing the moral theologians is to explain why there is not 100% agreement on some elements. I wasn’t depending on them for my answer. The mainstream opinion is shared by almost everyone who understands the subject. The morality of sex is based on the purpose of sex, plain and simple.

    However, I would be interested in your opinion on the same subject. Please take up the same questions that you asked me, provide your answer for each one of them, and then explain your reasoning just as I explained mine. Also, please address my previous questions that you continue to evade. I had a good reason for asking them.

  92. 92
    jdk says:

    the answers are based on the natural moral law.

    But you haven’t, and can’t, I claim, tell us just how you or anyone else determines what is “natural moral law.”

    You are as subject to the same combination of various forces as I or anyone else is in respect to reaching moral conclusion, but you have no special access to moral knowledge. Using words like “good” or “nature” or “natural moral law” are just circular assertions that don’t really explain anything, but just continually point to themselves, not to anything outside of themselves.

  93. 93
    SteRusJon says:

    StephenB,

    A couple of comments on this:
    “If you labor with a biological imperfection or psychological disorder of some kind, that does not mean that you a defective or disordered as a person. The kind of a person you are is determined by the decisions you make, given your difficult circumstances.”

    Having a feminine/female brain is not a biological imperfection. Having a feminine/female brain in an anatomically male body is, I admit, a bit of a problem. My dilemma is, should I live before God and man as the person defined by my anatomy or as the person defined by my psychology? Which is the true person? Does God see me as man because of the external genitalia or as a woman because of the internal thought processes? Are we not told that God judges according to the inward portion of our being rather than the outward things as men are prone to do?

    Also, I think, it is more accurate to say that the kind of person you are determines the decisions you make.

    Let me straighten you out on something else. My gender identity issue has nothing to do with sexual orientation. I am married to a woman for nearly 49 years. I have not had sexual relations with anyone except her in all those years. We are still together and plan to stay together ’til death do us part. Out of love for each other, we are working through this issue together. My issue has absolutely nothing to do with sexual activity. I am satisfyingly sexually active with my wife and only my wife.

    The fact that you confuse my issue with sexual orientation betrays your ignorance of the complexity of subject under discussion. So, it seems most of your post addressed to me is completely beside the point.

    By the way, I did try to get to your suggested website but all I got was an offer to buy the domain.

    StephenB and Barry, as well as others, speak of morality. When it comes to what God as revealed by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures it seems He has very little to say about morality. However, He has a great deal to say about sin. Further, Jesus tells us that rather than being “an act that fails to conform to the good” sin, as a transgress of His law, is summed up as failure to love God and failure to love our neighbor. Our acts are judged based on their source, whether it be out of our love for God and our fellow man or not.

    J-Mac,

    Maybe that last sentence will hint at what it is that I think Jesus would do. I will not, however, speak for Him on the issue as some seem want to do.

    As for whether I am suggesting that gender identity issues are related to genetics. Not exactly. I spoke of genetics as part of the background to gender identity issues, as well as, some of the other sex related issues where there is some kind of a mismatch to the ideal XX or XY state. All of those mismatches are fodder for some to dislike, disrespect and disenfranchise and otherwise harm others. The problem is that genetics alone is not the sole determining factor in the final sex related configuration of the individual. Wish to God that it were so, but it isn’t. Genetics is just the beginning point. There are so many things that can go wrong as the fetus develops through the pregnancy and beyond to adulthood. Developmental pathways that are insufficiently influenced by the correct hormone levels that genetics usually, but not always, dictate. Chemicals in the environment that disrupt or amplify processes at inopportune times. How is it that these realities do not also result in valid human beings made in the image of God and knit together by Him? Who are we to reject His product?

    I do not know if angels have a gender but I suspect they may be some blend of what we usually think of as both feminine/female and masculine/male personality characteristics. Probably on some kind of a spectrum. That is beside the point I was trying to make. Which was, since, in the resurrection, marriage is obsolete, male and female anatomy is of no importance if it exists at all, so the gender identity is paramount. Unless, gender is also of little importance, as well. In that case, with such a radical change in our psychological make-up, would we still be who we were before our resurrection?

    Eugen,

    I believe that the gender identity is rooted in brain structure largely developed in utero. The default female structure is modified, under the influence of testosterone, resulting in some differences between a female brain and a male brain. Unfortunately, that differentiation is not always strong or complete. Those differences manifest themselves in a different gender identity. A masculine/male gender identity is not a delusion, but a valid human psychological state rooted in brain structure. A feminine/female gender identity is not a delusion, but a valid human psychological state rooted in brain structure. If the brain structure gives someone a gender identity opposite that of their anatomy does it then become a delusion? I think not.

    There is no valid human psychological state rooted in brain structure for “I am a bird.” and I, too, would counsel him to seek help and attempt to prevent him from launching off any moderately high ladders.

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  94. 94
    Pindi says:

    StephenB, is masturbation “to completion” objectively immoral?

  95. 95
    StephenB says:

    SteRusJon,

    I did not confuse your issue with sexual orientation. You will notice that I used the words “sexual identity.” However, my purpose for responding to your autobiographical posts was to offer hope and encouragement to someone who appeared to need it. That is why I recommended the “courage.org” website, which is very easy to find. Now that you have made it clear by your snippy response that you want no such consolations from me, I will separate myself from your personal life forever.

    Meanwhile, I encourage you to weigh in on the subject matter under discussion, which is, in part, about the social construction of gender identity and related moral issues. It is a cultural outrage and looms much larger than your personal problems (or mine). In case you didn’t know, Western Civilization is crumbling. We need men and women of goodwill to fight back against the homosexual juggernaut. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. There are no innocenet bystanders in this moral conflict.

  96. 96
    Pindi says:

    “Most moral theologians say oral sex is moral only as foreplay and only if it is mutually acceptable, but it is not moral if brought to completion.”

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever read on UD.

  97. 97
    Eugen says:

    SteRusJon

    Transgender condition is very rare in general population, around 0.3%. It is not statistically significant but I wouldn’t guess it from attention it gets from main stream media. Unfortunatelly, people with your condition are being used as a tool by liberals/leftists/communists to promote their destructive social engineering programs. Nothing against you personally, this is just to consider the big picture or general trends.

    BTW some people have species dysphoria but it’s even more rare than trans-gender condition. So yes some people feel they are birds.

    From your comments I gather you are older person. I’m reading that levels of testosterone are getting lower with age….etc

  98. 98

    Pindi @ 96: You must not read UD much.

  99. 99
    StephenB says:

    SteRusJon

    I do not know if angels have a gender but I suspect they may be some blend of what we usually think of as both feminine/female and masculine/male personality characteristics.

    For the record, angels do not have gender. They are pure spirits without physical form. God did not make them to reproduce. On the other hand, humans were designed for that very purpose. There is that word again — “purpose” — which determines the morality of sexual behavior.

  100. 100
    J-Mac says:

    StephenB,

    “…Western Civilization is crumbling…”

    Organized religion and especially Catholic Church need to take their responsibility for this… They can’t pretend any longer that this is not their fault too…

    The abuse of children and homosexuality among the clergy is not just going to go away…
    In some part of the world the majority of clergy are homosexuals, perverts or living double lives…

    Though I have seen some initiatives but this is too little too late IMO…

    Most churches are empty in Europe and North America and the ones that are there
    are either old or very young… Once the old ones die out and young ones become disillusioned with religion, who is going to prevent the church from crumbling?

  101. 101
    J-Mac says:

    SteRusJon

    Having a feminine/female brain is not a biological imperfection. Having a feminine/female brain in an anatomically male body is, I admit, a bit of a problem. My dilemma is, should I live before God and man as the person defined by my anatomy or as the person defined by my psychology? Which is the true person? Does God see me as man because of the external genitalia or as a woman because of the internal thought processes? Are we not told that God judges according to the inward portion of our being rather than the outward things as men are prone to do?

    Also, I think, it is more accurate to say that the kind of person you are determines the decisions you make.

    Let me straighten you out on something else. My gender identity issue has nothing to do with sexual orientation. I am married to a woman for nearly 49 years. I have not had sexual relations with anyone except her in all those years. We are still together and plan to stay together ’til death do us part. Out of love for each other, we are working through this issue together. My issue has absolutely nothing to do with sexual activity. I am satisfyingly sexually active with my wife and only my wife.

    The fact that you confuse my issue with sexual orientation betrays your ignorance of the complexity of subject under discussion. So, it seems most of your post addressed to me is completely beside the point.

    By the way, I did try to get to your suggested website but all I got was an offer to buy the domain.

    StephenB and Barry, as well as others, speak of morality. When it comes to what God as revealed by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures it seems He has very little to say about morality. However, He has a great deal to say about sin. Further, Jesus tells us that rather than being “an act that fails to conform to the good” sin, as a transgress of His law, is summed up as failure to love God and failure to love our neighbor. Our acts are judged based on their source, whether it be out of our love for God and our fellow man or not.

    J-Mac,

    Maybe that last sentence will hint at what it is that I think Jesus would do. I will not, however, speak for Him on the issue as some seem want to do.

    I had no idea what struggles people like you go through…I don’t even know what to say to you… I try to feel what is like but I can’t imagine it…

    I have my own struggles every day and I often doubt if I’m even worthy of breathing the air…

    One thing I found encouraging though…

    Apostle Paul often spoke of his own thorn in the flesh…

    2 Corinthians 12:7

    “or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

    I always though that it was some kind of a physical disorder but I was surprised to learn that nobody knows exactly what it was…Did you know about it?

    Anyways, if it is not really known what it was exactly, who is it to say that it wasn’t what you are going through; gender identity issue?

    The important part was that God didn’t reject Paul for whatever his struggles were with the thorn in the flesh was so why would He reject you?

    As for whether I am suggesting that gender identity issues are related to genetics. Not exactly. I spoke of genetics as part of the background to gender identity issues, as well as, some of the other sex related issues where there is some kind of a mismatch to the ideal XX or XY state. All of those mismatches are fodder for some to dislike, disrespect and disenfranchise and otherwise harm others. The problem is that genetics alone is not the sole determining factor in the final sex related configuration of the individual. Wish to God that it were so, but it isn’t. Genetics is just the beginning point. There are so many things that can go wrong as the fetus develops through the pregnancy and beyond to adulthood. Developmental pathways that are insufficiently influenced by the correct hormone levels that genetics usually, but not always, dictate. Chemicals in the environment that disrupt or amplify processes at inopportune times. How is it that these realities do not also result in valid human beings made in the image of God and knit together by Him? Who are we to reject His product?

    Thanks for that.

    I do not know if angels have a gender but I suspect they may be some blend of what we usually think of as both feminine/female and masculine/male personality characteristics. Probably on some kind of a spectrum. That is beside the point I was trying to make. Which was, since, in the resurrection, marriage is obsolete, male and female anatomy is of no importance if it exists at all, so the gender identity is paramount. Unless, gender is also of little importance, as well. In that case, with such a radical change in our psychological make-up, would we still be who we were before our resurrection?

    Interesting….

  102. 102
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    If we tell people only what they want to hear, then we are not loving them, we are loving ourselves. If we tell then what they need to hear, even if they hate us for it, we are loving them.

    I certainly agree with the first part, but it is the second part that can get sticky.

    Many things are easy and not controversial. Telling kids not to play with matches. Telling someone who has been drinking not to drive. Activities such as these have well understood potential consequences. And the consequences are harmful to the individual as well as to others. Most of us would not hesitate to intervene in these types of circumstances. But there are also activities that are potentially more risky than those above but that we accept as being an acceptable personal choice. Would we tell people that they shouldn’t skydive, scuba dive or drive a car because there are risks inherent in these activities? Probably not. We would just come across as being overly paranoid or intruding into things that are none of our business.

    And when you get into moral issues that are not universally agreed on (e.g., homosexuality, transgendered, birth control, pre-marital sex, masturbation, abortion, etc.), what gives you the authority to tell them what they need to hear? People who do this come across more as self-righteous and arrogant than as someone who is honestly and sincerely concerned about the person. I am not saying that they are actually self-righteous and arrogant, but that is how they will most likely be perceived by the person at the receiving end of hearing what you feel they need to hear. And since this is how they are perceived, the message being given is most likely going to be ignored. That is just human nature.

  103. 103
    StephenB says:

    kmidpuddle

    And when you get into moral issues that are not universally agreed on (e.g., homosexuality, transgendered, birth control, pre-marital sex, masturbation, abortion, etc.), what gives you the authority to tell them what they need to hear?

    It isn’t a question of authority, it is a question of love. If one loves, he provides the one who is loved with information that will be of benefit, even if there is a significant cost for doing it. As a great man once said, “Love does not have to be told what to do. ”

    People who do this come across more as self-righteous and arrogant than as someone who is honestly and sincerely concerned about the person.

    It depends on how they do it. My father once saved my life. Here is what he said: “Why don’t you become the first person in history that stopped drinking before falling all the way to the gutter?” That was an act of love. I stopped drinking the next day. He didn’t play the role of a harsh judge but neither did he play the role of a timid enabler. I was motivated by the challenge to “be the first.” At the same time, there was a clear warning of the danger I was in. He used the right words in the right way at the right time. Genius! Harsh judges and timid enablers are not lovers. They love only themselves.

  104. 104
    StephenB says:

    J-Mac,

    Organized religion and especially Catholic Church need to take their responsibility for this… They can’t pretend any longer that this is not their fault too,

    Right you are. The Catholic Church, to which I belong, has failed miserably to maintain the same Western Civilization that it built. While I still believe that the Divine core of the Church is holy, and is God’s main vehicle for salvation, its human element has become corrupted, so much so, that it becomes increasingly difficult for outsiders to recognize it for what it is. Yes, the sacraments still confer grace and build saints. but too many priests and bishops, whose faith and commitment to truth have been compromised, ignore the Church’s salvific mission and wallow in political correctness. It wasn’t the indefectible bride of Christ that recently celebrated Darwin’s birthday in the Vatican and snubbed ID proponents, it was the false shepherds. Fortunately, faithful shepherds also remain.

  105. 105
    J-Mac says:

    StephenB,

    Right you are. The Catholic Church, to which I belong, has failed miserably to maintain the same Western Civilization that it built.

    Why do you think this happened?

    While I still believe that the Divine core of the Church is holy, and is God’s main vehicle for salvation, its human element has become corrupted, so much so, that it becomes increasingly difficult for outsiders to recognize it for what it is. Yes, the sacraments still confer grace and build saints. but too many priests and bishops, whose faith and commitment to truth have been compromised, ignore the Church’s salvific mission and wallow in political correctness. It wasn’t the indefectible bride of Christ that recently celebrated Darwin’s birthday in the Vatican and snubbed ID proponents, it was the false shepherds.

    Can you remember what happened in history of the Jews when they got corrupt and deviated from the acceptable by God worship?

    What do you think the solution is?

    What would you do if you had the power from God to deal with this situation within the church?

    Fortunately, faithful shepherds also remain.

    Of course there are many true priests and nuns who have devoted their lives to God and the church with the right motives that are now treated the same way as they were child molesters and perverts…I feel sorry for them…

  106. 106
    Phinehas says:

    SRJ:

    Thanks for sharing your personal story. That takes a lot of courage. In addition to courage, I think you’ve shown a lot of grace and understanding, though I can’t imagine how difficult this is to do. It would be very easy to get defensive.

    I’m going to be honest here and admit that I am coming from a place of quite a bit of ignorance. Please accept the following questions for what they are: a genuine desire and attempt to understand better.

    You’ve made a distinction between gender identity and sexual identity that I’m not sure I understand. If you are happily heterosexual and sexually attracted to your wife, what is it exactly that convinces you that you have a female brain? And is this necessarily a binary thing?

    I know that I am not the (stereo?) typical macho man. I have many qualities and characteristics that might be more (stereo?) typically associated with a woman than a man. But this has never made me call into question my gender. Nor can I really see the benefit of even going down that path. What’s the difference between having a typical female brain vs. an atypical male one? Is it an important difference? What would make me reluctant to live life as an atypical male?

  107. 107
    SteRusJon says:

    Eugen,

    I have seen figures above 0.3% and I strongly suspect the true percentage is well below the actual numbers. Many transgenders are well closeted and refuse to be counted. Many others are in denial, if the stories of the many who are now out as transgender are any indication, so would not even consider checking the transgender box on a survey. The cost benefit ratio for transgender individuals to stick their heads up to be counted is a very big number, even now. If a truly precise count or survey were to be made, I suspect many would be surprised. Still, you are correct, as far as minorities go it is a relatively small one. That is, however, small consolation to the single individual so affected. Discouraging, as well, since it is easier to oppress or ignore or write-off the members of a smaller group.

    I full well know the leading figures of the liberals/leftists/communists, as you put it, are using all the minorities as tools to advance their own agendas. For minorities it is often a case of “any port in a storm.” The left has championed, or so they say, their cause so many have gathered under their banner. I am convinced that the right’s approach has only served to sharpen the left’s new tools. For example, the platitude of “love the sinner but hate the sin” while ejecting minors from the family home or firing an otherwise good employee or refusing housing to an otherwise good tenant or refusing even basic medical care for the sin of just being transgender. Those are some of the more important area of life. There are many other areas where the treatment is less vital to life and limb but where the mistreatment just makes life suck all the more. Tell me this, “Where are we to go to get allies in pressing our cause?” Most members of the right, most especially fundamentalist Christians, have very little empathy for our plight and do not show love by their actions toward us. In fact, they think we are a scourge on the earth and should be gone. Oh, I know where this attitude comes from and I tell you it does not flow from love.

    I have no doubt that some individuals have species dysphoria. I just don’t see that it is a valid state of being for human beings as God created them. The human brain was designed by God to be able to take on different gender identity configurations ranging from very male to very female, all of which are valid states to be honored and respected, even when those configurations are discordant with the anatomy. I just think that the attempt to paint transgender individuals as delusional (Not necessarily by you, I am assuming you are seeking to understand better.), fails because of some fundamental differences between the two cases.

    Along a similar line, I have seen and heard mocking attacks on transgender individuals by asking if an obviously Caucasian person thinking they were Chinese was a valid assertion on his part. Usually, the question is put to someone of liberal bent and relatively clueless of the transgender state of being an its nuances and that is where the conversation is headed. Of course, the liberal is likely to succumb to their relativism and political correctness and say it is OK for him to believe that. Those on the right laugh at the obvious absurdity of it all. Then the likeness to transgenderism is asserted and the audience is left to draw the desired conclusion. However, that analogy is very poor. A better analogy, though not perfect, would be to ask if it is possible for a Caucasian to think and act like a Chinese person. When that is asked, then it is obviously possible. A Caucasian born and raised in a totally Chinese environment would most likely think and act as most Chinese people from that environment think and act. In other words he would be culturally Chinese while not being ethnically Chinese. When seen in that light the transgender condition is not so likely to be judged as an absurd delusion. The analogy is somewhat inadequate because the cultural aspects of a person are learned whereas the transgender state is more basic if it rooted in the brain’s physiology, as I believe it is.

    I am aware that testosterone levels naturally and normally decrease in older men. My gender identity issue traces back to prepubescence so that is not the cause in my case, at least. Since you mention it, testosterone treatments have been attempted for male to female transgender treatment in an attempt to cure them. More often than not, the dysphoria was increased in stead of alleviated. On the other hand, many transgender individuals report alleviation of their dysphoria and greater sense of well-being when they are treated with estrogen and an anti-androgen (which mitigates testosterone’s affect in some way, depending on the way the chemical works.) This is further indication that the brains of those persons are female and configured for the female hormonal levels in spite of being in an anatomically male body.

    If increased testosterone was the answer to cure male to female transgenderism, I think you would find that a very large portion would enthusiastically take the pill and leave this struggle behind. For many of us this is no-win situation- a choice between death and despair. We can only pray for such a simple fix as a one-a-day testosterone pill. As it is, each of us must chart a path that fraught with uncertainties, losses, compromises and no assurances that we will make it out the other end in any better a place.

    J-Mac,

    I, too, have wondered as to the nature of Paul’s thorn in the flesh. There are so many candidates so it is futile to speculate as to its nature. I do take one thing from the passage though. Sometimes, God, even in His graciousness toward us, chooses not to remove a burden from us no matter how earnestly and often we pray for that deliverance. I pleaded with God on many occasions over some 50 years of my life as this issue ebbed and flowed in and out of my life. About seven years ago, I concluded that this is an issue I will need to deal with until my dying day. God has granted me much grace that enables me to live with this. So I will. His grace is sufficient.

    Thanks to all for the conversation. I pray all have learned a little or, at least, been given pause for some reflection.

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  108. 108
    StephenB says:

    J-Mac @105.

    Historically, this is the fourth major crisis of the Catholic Church. It seems to happen about every 500 years. I believe that it is a product of human nature refusing to cooperate with grace. During the Arian heresy, for example (4th Century), almost all the bishops had sold out. St. Athanasius came along and single-handedly saved the Church.

    After each crisis, a renewal follows. Because of its Divine origin, the Church will never die. But once again, it has been severely wounded. The solution to the problem? More saints are needed–probably lay people who will prompt their shepherds to act like shepherds.

    Most informed observers believe that the Church is now experiencing the worst crisis of all, due in part to the infiltration of anti-Catholic forces who work their mischief from the inside. As always, there will be another renewal but probably not without the shedding of blood. Still, I think the Catholic Church is the place to be. The Mass and the Sacraments were instituted to help us achieve our spiritual destiny (But choose your parish carefully).

  109. 109
    kmidpuddle says:

    SRJ, it is sad that the people most likely to accept you as you are, without judgement (or, mostly without judgement) are the liberal atheists. The people that you have fundamental disagreements with. Yet the conservative Christian right, the people who you are more ideologically associated with, refer to you as disordered, perverted and immoral.

    I find it especially telling that KF, the self appointed arbiter of everything moral, has been remarkably silent. Possibly it is because he doesn’t know how to respond to this issue when it has taken on a human face. What say you GEM?

  110. 110
    StephenB says:

    SteRusJon,

    In an earlier response to your story, I may have created some unnecessary confusion by recommending “couragerc” as a helpful resource for those who struggle with problems related to “gender identity” or “sexual orientation.”

    I am, and have been, aware of the difference between the two, and I am also aware that they often overlap, but I was simply trying to make the point that help is available in either case. I really don’t like it when someone is suffering and I often try to intervene if doing so will be helpful.

    Somehow, you interpreted my comments to mean that I was unaware of the difference and that my words “betrayed my ignorance,” which seemed like a mildly hostile response, especially since it wasn’t true. At that point, I had no way of knowing that there was no overlap in your situation.

    In any case, I was, perhaps inappropriately, mildly offended by your reply and my hasty reaction was to create a narrow space between us. I hope that I did not create a gap that cannot be bridged.

    Peace!

  111. 111
    Eugen says:

    SteRusJohn

    It makes a big difference discussing with you and some unknown liberal/Communists on social media. You present personal experience and social justice warriors are pushing dogma and ideology.
    Funny you mention about repetitive arguments each side presents in online discussions. I try something slightly different, I usually lead liberals/Communists to a logical trap so they admit and accept I’m George Clooney 😀 That gives me few minutes of Hollywood fame before i get back to reality.
    Obviously you considered some solutions for your condition so it’s time for me to stop talking about that. I remember reading your comments in the past and I hope to see you on this forum again.
    God bless you and your family.

  112. 112
    jdk says:

    re 109: I have noticed the same thing. I also notice the apocalyptic feelings associated with the subject: civilization is crumbing, blood may be shed, destructive social engineering programs are being put in place, etc.

    A few quotes from above.

    The problem is that most in the LGBT “community,” the major institutions, and a dumbed-down culture, all salivate at the prospect and the reality of persecuting *us.* It is we who have been slandered and accused of hate for defending the family, abused by courts who attacked our institution of marriage, violated by schools who brainwashed our children with pro-homosexual propaganda, flattened by a gay juggernaut that destroyed businesses and businessmen, and deprived of our constitutional right to practice religious liberty by an unrelenting gay lobby who once told us, as the transgenders are telling us now, that all they really wanted was economic justice and fair treatment.

    and

    Hence too, the issue our civilisation is fast approaching: trying to isolate, corner and corrupt decent people into upholding moral absurdities, corrupting their moral cores. We are fast coming to the point where this will run into the hill to die on issue, where people, for cause, will take a stand at any cost up to and including life in witness to truth they cannot and will not surrender. This has another name, also taken from that 1776 document: “when a long train of abuses and usurpations . . . ” Where also, the moral judgement of a generation guilty of enabling and carrying out the ongoing worst holocaust in history is deeply suspect.

    It is very instructional and telling to compare these thoughts with the informative, balanced, humane posts of SRJ.

    I am very appreciative of what SRJ has offered us here. I am more knowledgable about a number of things, and I especially appreciate SRJ’s candor about the dilemma about getting more support from a perspective that he otherwise has some serious disagreements with than from at least some of the people here with whom he otherwise identifies.

    So this has been a very interesting thread.

    (And my apologies to Stephen aka Stephanie for not quite knowing what pronouns to use in referring to you.)

  113. 113
    Eugen says:

    Speaking of social justice warriors, how are you jdk?

  114. 114
    jdk says:

    I’m OK. Life is busy: a reasonable mix of fun, family, work.

    Thanks for asking.

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, on evidence recently communicated by you, you were very likely strongly associated with and a leading activist in a ruthless political machination that utterly distorted education in an American state c 2000; that issue was associated with outright holding children hostage for the thought crime of being taught an historically accurate description of what science and its methods are; a matter argued out here at UD in one of the longest discussion threads this blog has ever had. You therefore full well understand or should understand the fire you have played with. In case — for some inexplicable reason — you don’t, FYI, C20 saw more Christian martyrdom than the previous 19 put together, most of that total being at the hands of nihilists influenced by or being fellow travellers of utterly and irretrievably amoral evolutionary materialistic scientism, as Heine warned against as early as the turn of the 1830’s, pointing to the bloody consequences that would follow, much worse than the then yardstick case, the French Revolution. In recent years we have seen demonically wicked lawfare and other incidents targetting employment, businesses, families, parenting, education and even homes of people trying to live based on sound conscience, and we have noted how such people have been routinely demonised and denigrated, scapegoated then targetted by ruthless PR, media and outright agit prop that plainly disregards duties of care to truth, fairness, justice and more. We also note the ongoing worst holocaust in history and the way it and those who question are routinely handled. In the end, he who would rob me of daily bread would rob me of my life; he who would rob me of my children (physically or relationally) would rob me of my posterity; he who would rob me of my conscience would rob me of my soul. So yes, we recognise the grim reality and implications of the nihilism that stalks our civilisation and will not be intimidated by those who pretend or imagine that that grim reality is not headed over the cliff. I speak as one who cut his eyeteeth dealing with communists and their agit prop games up to and including trying to turn a crowd on me and trying to set up a beating and likely mayhem. You would be well advised to ponder Plato’s parable of the ship of state which is cited above, and to look at the historical microcosm in Ac 27 on how shipwreck followed from the manipulation of democracy. There is every good reason to understand on many levels that our civilisation is headed over a cliff, and already the black shirts are stalking and committing literal mayhem and arson in the streets. The difference between mayhem and murder is one stomp, kick or punch, and arson is literally playing with the fire of murder, FYFI. KF

  116. 116
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – are you accusing jdk of being an accessory to kidnapping of minors (“outright holding children hostage”)? I think that’s a serious accusation you are making, so I hope you can back it up, and pass the evidence to the police. Otherwise, you might want to tone down the rhetoric.

    BO’H you clearly did not read the linked intervention by NSTA and NAS, which threatened to void the education of young people in Kansas for the thought crime of not eagerly lapping up the then latest evolutionary materialist radical and historically unsound redefinition of science. This directly threatened their education and job prospects, fully meriting the terminology holding hostage, read down to my 10th, 11th and 12th points. And yes, that was indeed a very extreme action on their part. Now, ask yourself why that did not become the focus of media coverage, as it directly implicated a leading body for Scientists and another for science educators. KF

  117. 117
  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, I have endorsed SB’s recommendation and have pointed to two live cases. I suggest the issues on the table are for qualified pastoral counsel in a context of close and confidential interaction, not open debate in a contentious forum haunted by the sort of people who have resorted to stalking behaviours. I suggest, lastly, that instead of projecting a battle of wills, you may be well advised to address the underlying issues as have already been raised. KF

  119. 119
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    In recent years we have seen demonically wicked lawfare and other incidents targetting employment, businesses, families, parenting,…

    Correct me if I am wrong in paraphrasing your point here.

    Requiring businesses that provide service to the general public to provide these services in a non-discriminatory fashion is demonic. Am I accurate in relating your opinion?

    Just for context. Religion and religious freedom have been used by people to argue against almost every attempt to reduce discriminatory practices.

    The following excerpts should be very informative:

    While some opponents of marriage equality today dismiss religious opposition to inter-racial marriage as a fringe position that is inauthentic and irrelevant to today’s debates, the theology that undergirded segregation was in fact well-developed and widely held. Its influence spanned slavery and the Jim Crow era. The civil rights movement’s reliance on religious leaders and sacred language reflected, in part, organizers’ understanding of the importance of the religious foundations of segregation.

    Defenders of slavery in the United States, both North and South, claimed justification in the Bible. Confederate President Jefferson Davis said slavery “was established by decree of Almighty God” and was “sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation.” An 1852 book, Bible Defence of Slavery: And Origin, Fortunes, and History of the Negro Race, includes the assertion that “the institution of slavery received the sanction of the Almighty in the Patriarchal age; that it was incorporated into the only national constitution which ever emanated from God, that its legality was recognized, and its relative duties relegated by our Saviour, when upon earth.””

    After slavery was abolished, political and religious leaders claimed religious support for segregationist policies and racial discrimination. For example, Theodore Bilbo, a two-time governor and U.S. senator from Mississippi who helped filibuster anti-lynching legislation, grounded his racism in religious belief. Bilbo wrote that allowing “the blood of the races to mix” was an attack on the “Divine plan of God.” An 1867 ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was later cited in Plessy v. Ferguson’s promulgation of the doctrine of “separate but equal,” cited “divine” natural law to uphold racially segregated railway cars.”

    Gov. Allen Candler of Georgia defended segregated schools in 1901, saying, “God made them negroes and we cannot by education make them white folks.””

    But you might argue that racial discrimination is not the same as gender discrimination.

    Rev. Justin Fulton declared in 1869 that those who supported women’s right to vote were not “lovers of God.” Catholic officials also opposed women’s suffrage, drawing on theology dating back to St. Augustine.”

    In 1980, Rev. Jerry Falwell said the women’s liberation movement was made up, in part, of women who “have never accepted their God-given roles.””

    And what about discrimination against the handicapped?

    During consideration of the bill [disabilities act], opposition came from religious groups that worried about federal intrusion into internal church employment matters and costly changes to church buildings—opposition that ultimately resulted in churches being exempted from the requirements of ensuring accessibility.”

    http://www.civilrights.org/pub.....-uses.html

    Freedom of religion is a very important right. One that I fully support. But history has shown that arguments such as you use against legislation to prevent discrimination against homosexuals and transgendered people have been used to oppose any legislation that attempts to reduce discrimination against vulnerable groups. Dire consequences were predicted for the abolition of slavery, for desegregation, for inter-racial marriages, for allowing women to vote, for women rights, etc. None of which have come true. One of the more recent has been same-sex marriage. It has been the law of the land in Canada for almost 13 years now, and none of the predicted consequences of this have come to pass either.

  120. 120
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, start with what is a right. When you can put up on your foundations a coherent framework for rights that does not lead to forcing people to uphold others in wrong on pain of loss of livelihood and life savings over issues that are in no wise remotely comparable to depriving someone of access to the only source of food or water or education or the like, there will be something to discuss. Meanwhile, I refer to the above, KF

  121. 121
    J-Mac says:

    SteRusJohn,

    I, too, have wondered as to the nature of Paul’s thorn in the flesh. There are so many candidates so it is futile to speculate as to its nature. I do take one thing from the passage though. Sometimes, God, even in His graciousness toward us, chooses not to remove a burden from us no matter how earnestly and often we pray for that deliverance. I pleaded with God on many occasions over some 50 years of my life as this issue ebbed and flowed in and out of my life. About seven years ago, I concluded that this is an issue I will need to deal with until my dying day. God has granted me much grace that enables me to live with this. So I will. His grace is sufficient.

    Obviously, we don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was… It was tormenting him so it must have been serious…

    You are probably referring 2 Cor 12 8-10

    “8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10 That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

    While I don’t fully understand these verses, I do hope you draw some strength from them. I’m going to try…

    Thanks to all for the conversation. I pray all have learned a little or, at least, been given pause for some reflection.

    I definitely had an eye opening ‘conversation’ with you… My view on gender identity issues has changed; I will teach my kids more than just showing respect for people with gender identity issues…After all, who appointed me the judge of other human-beings?

  122. 122
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF@120, but you are assuming that you know what is right and what is wrong. There were, and still are, many people who think that inter-racial or inter-faith marriages are wrong and against god’s plan. Others still believe that it is wrong to allow women to work or to participate in the operation of a government. And others still believe that it is wrong to have whites live amongst blacks as equals.

    Thankfully, most governments have rejected these arguments and have passed laws that make it against the law to discriminate against people on these grounds. Homosexuality, same sex marriage and transgendered are now grounds for which it is against the law to discriminate against. Selling flowers, wedding cakes, etc. in no way is a claim that you condone or agree with the marriage. I am sure that the same people sell their products to opposite sex couples who they don’t think should get married.

    I agree that some same sex couples actively seek out businesses that they think will discriminate against them in order to get the publicity. But what is wrong with this? Rosa Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for doing something similar. I can sympathize with the businesses that have been affected by these actions, but they are self inflicted injuries.

  123. 123
    Phinehas says:

    SteRusJon:

    Did you see my post @106? You are, of course, free not to answer any questions you don’t want to answer, but I just wanted to make sure you hadn’t missed them accidentally.

    Thanks again for your participation in this discussion.

  124. 124
    StephenB says:

    kmidmuddle to kairosfocus

    …but you are assuming that you know what is right and what is wrong.

    Do you realize how ridiculous it is to deny the existence of right and wrong, including our ability to know it, and then follow up by accusing kairosfocus of doing wrong?

    There were, and still are, many people who think that inter-racial or inter-faith marriages are wrong and against god’s plan.

    So you agree that unjust discrimination violates objective standards of right and wrong. Thank you for making our case.

    I agree that some same sex couples actively seek out businesses that they think will discriminate against them in order to get the publicity.

    There are two kinds of discrimination: Unjust discrimination and just discrimination. Unjust discrimination involves the act of refusing service to someone simply because they are a member of some social group. That is bigotry and it is always unlawful. Just discrimination, on the other hand, involves the act of refusing service to someone because what is being asked of them violates his religious conscience–if, and only if, a reasonable case can be made. The freedom of conscience is a basic constitutional right. If a gay couple has access to a business that will not refuse service to them, then it is unreasonable to ask a religious person to violate his conscience.

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP,

    the basic problem is instead this; that evolutionary materialism is inherently amoral having no world root IS that can inherently ground OUGHT. This leads to the implication that our sense of being morally governed is in the end delusional, being driven by might and manipulation making ‘truth,’ ‘reason,’ ‘responsibility,’ ‘right,’ ‘justice,’ ‘rights,’ etc.

    Fellow traveller systems, whether or not they formally adhere to evolutionary materialistic premises, set out to fit in with them, in effect betting on the perceived strong horse. So, they fall under the same strictures.

    The results start with that we now have no duty of care to truth, right, rights etc beyond what might and manipulation enforce [actually, we have just emptied those terms of meaning, they are just manipulative noises under this pattern of thought], which is rooted in fear or deception, not duty.

    Already, we are the worst generation in history, being guilty collectively of the worst holocaust in history, 800+ million unborn, who have been robbed of their perceived humanily and then robbed of their lives. A generation as soaked in blood guilt and as locked into covering it up as we collectively are, is incapable of thinking straight on morally connected themes, and will lie and intimidate brazenly to get its way.

    It is therefore no surprise that this is the generation that is undermining protections of life, is corrupting education, media, government and far more, indeed is currently corrupting family and identity through cultural marxist tactics, and brazenly declares that it sees nothing wrong and all sorts of advantages.

    If you make a crooked yardstick the standard by which you judge, one thing is guaranteed, what is straight and accurate and upright will never pass the test, as the crooked has been put in the seat of judgement over the straight, accurate and upright.

    We are headed for the cliff-edge, even if it is not evident to many of us, as nihilism is outright suicide for a civilisation. And, that is the asp we have collectively clutched to our bosoms.

    We need plumbline truths to test and correct us, but collectively, we do not want that.

    Indeed, notice the turnabout projection you just made, oh it is you who are trying to impose your assumed truths and rights on us. When all the while in the very same thread of discussion, I have pointed to self-evident moral truths that can only be denied on pain of absurdity, suggesting — as I will lay out in due course — that such truths have much to teach us.

    KF

    PS: Just as a reminder, I again lay out as a plumbline truth, this: It is self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, sexually torment and assault then murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure. We can take it from your evasion of this plumbline truth connected to projecting imposition to me, that you cannot answer this challenge, but wish to evade and bury it in manipulative, distractive rhetoric. that speaks saddening volumes.

    PPS: I again endorse SB’s comment just now. I add to it that in your comments you have tried to show us to be in the wrong, implying that there are standards of truth and right. In short, your position is demonstrably incoherent.

  126. 126
    StephenB says:

    Most people don’t understand the fact that granting a right to one group automatically takes away a right from another group. So when the rights of a homosexual is in conflict with the rights of a Christian, the former is not always entitled to prevail.

  127. 127
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    Do you realize how ridiculous it is to deny the existence of right and wrong and then follow up by accusing kairosfocus of doing wrong?

    I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone. With regard to accusing KF of doing wrong, I must have missed that accusation.

    And they were wrong, weren’t they? Thank you for making our argument that objective right and wrong exist in spite of your claims to the contrary.

    Yes, I think that they were wrong. But they didn’t. How you interpret that as evidence of the existence of objective right and wrong defies logic. Maybe you could expand on your rationale for this conclusion.

    Just discrimination involves the act of refusing service to someone because what is being asked of them violates their conscience.

    Following your logic, any discrimination is just if it is done by someone who feels that providing the service violates their conscience. What if their conscience is based on values that would be considered reprehensible to most of us? By this logic, an emergency room doctor who is a JW is justified in not providing a blood transfusion to a dying patient. A hotel manager who does not believe in interracial marriage is justified in not renting a room to an interracial couple. A Woolworths diner owner who opposes desegreggation is justified in not providing service to black people. A bus driver is justified in not allowing a black woman sit in the front of the bus.

    Because of these things, we enacted laws prohibiting businesses that provide a service to the public from denying these services based on specific criteria. These include race, culture, religion, gender, sexual preference, gender identification. I understand that some here disagree with including sexual preference and gender identification in this list, and use religious freedom as the argument. But the same arguments were used to justify discrimination for race, gender, etc.

  128. 128
    Eugen says:

    kpuddle

    Didn’t Springsteen refuse entertainment service for Trump’s inauguration? Is that OK with you?

  129. 129
    StephenB says:

    Kpuddle

    I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone.

    So you believe that it could be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in 2017 and right to discriminate against homosexuals in 2018. Further, you believe that it could be wrong for me to discriminate against homosexuals but right for someone else. Is that right?

  130. 130
    jdk says:

    StephenB writes,

    Most people don’t understand the fact that granting a right to one group automatically takes away a right from another group.

    Count me as one of those people, I guess.

    How did granting the women the right to vote “automatically take away a right from another group.”

    How did granting black people the right to sit anyplace on the bus “automatically take away a right from another group”?

    How did granting slaves the right to be free “automatically take away a right from another group.”

  131. 131
    StephenB says:

    kpudddle

    Following your logic, any discrimination is just if it is done by someone who feels that providing the service violates their conscience. What if their conscience is based on values that would be considered reprehensible to most of us?

    The whole point of having freedom is to be able to exercise it in spite of popular opinion. That is why homosexuals (or blacks, for that matter) gained their rights in the first place. Their argument went like this: It doesn’t matter if we are in the minority. what matters is that what you are doing to us isn’t RIGHT. They were arguing on the basis of objective right and wrong. By your standards, the majority would have prevailed and the minority would still lack their civil rights.

  132. 132
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK:

    How did granting the women the right to vote “automatically take away a right from another group.”

    It took away the right of men to dictate how women had to live their lives.

    How did granting black people the right to sit anyplace on the bus “automatically take away a right from another group”?

    It denied a white person’s right to kick a black person out of a seat.

    How did granting slaves the right to be free “automatically take away a right from another group.”

    It took away the right of a white plantation owner to obtain free labour.

  133. 133
    StephenB says:

    kmidpuddle @132. Excellent! You saved me the trouble of responding to jdk.

  134. 134
    jdk says:

    I thought you might be thinking those things, per what kmidpuddle said, but couldn’t quite believe that is what you meant.

  135. 135
    jdk says:

    kmp writes,

    Following your logic, any discrimination is just if it is done by someone who feels that providing the service violates their conscience. What if their conscience is based on values that would be considered reprehensible to most of us? By this logic, an emergency room doctor who is a JW is justified in not providing a blood transfusion to a dying patient. A hotel manager who does not believe in interracial marriage is justified in not renting a room to an interracial couple. A Woolworths diner owner who opposes desegreggation is justified in not providing service to black people. A bus driver is justified in not allowing a black woman sit in the front of the bus.

    These are good questions. I am very skeptical about distinctions that are based on whether someone’s conscience and beliefs are violated, and especially ones which given special consideration to religious beliefs. This is why we have laws, because there is too much variety in people’s beliefs, and so there no way to just let people’s beliefs rule the day.

  136. 136
    SteRusJon says:

    StephenB,

    For my part, all is well between us. For the most part, we have been on the same wavelength in the past and I suspect that will continue to be the case. Peace to you, as well.

    Eugen,

    God bless you and all of yours, as well.

    Kmidpuddle,

    As a transgender of mainly conservative bent, I am a bit of a pariah in both camps. Caitlyn Jenner finds herself in a similar position. There is such polarization on so many issues and each side feels like giving a single inch will bring the walls tumbling down. So many are unwilling to gather the information about the personal experience and needs of others. Without engaging on that level there is no way to begin to “do unto others as you have done unto you” in a similar circumstance.

    Phinehas,

    You are welcome. I do admit that I had to bite my tongue a time or two and even skip over a couple of post to avoid contentiousness.

    I have avoided the term “sexual identity” because I have not seen it used within the transgender communities own conversations. Furthermore, I don’t even know what it means. StephenB, if memory serves, used the term in a post that I found confused. I am transgender and I have been talking about gender identity. StephenB was talking about me being celibate, if need be. Apples and oranges. I know StephenB had the best of intentions but I was, I admit, put off a bit by the implicit insinuation I needed to explore, yet another cure (I did try to find the site he recommended anyway.) when it was evident he did not understand my circumstances well, at all.

    Regarding your inquiry about if I regard it as a binary thing, no, I do not. In fact, my case is probably a good case to consider. I find myself in the middle. I can function without great effort or distress in the male world as a man. But there is this undercurrent of it being the wrong fit and longing to be seen, treated, understood and involved in life as a woman. When life is busy, busy, busy there is no time or mental resources for it to be a problem. In the more quiet moments, when I can reflect on the existential questions of my life it can overwhelm. For some, all that is needed to get by is a little expression of their inner feminine is a piece of jewelry or a coat of clear polish on the fingernails or polished toes hidden under their shoes and socks. No permanent body changes. Just something they know to help align their pshyche with their body and social interactions. No one else needs to know.

    There is information out there about gender identity dysphoria. My view point is only one data point. I do suggest you be very skeptical about the views based on Christian perspective. The perspective grants too much power to persons will to overcome the issues which they see as being a result of willful rebellion against God. It has, to some degree, I think a large degree, physiological roots. Such a perspective tend to dismiss that possibility out of hand.

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  137. 137
    Phinehas says:

    SRJ:

    I was hoping my expanded question would help explain what I meant by ‘sexual identity,’ but you didn’t really answer it.

    If you are happily heterosexual and sexually attracted to your wife, what is it exactly that convinces you that you have a female brain?

    I also have no more clarity when it comes to these questions:

    I know that I am not the (stereo?) typical macho man. I have many qualities and characteristics that might be more (stereo?) typically associated with a woman than a man. But this has never made me call into question my gender. Nor can I really see the benefit of even going down that path. What’s the difference between having a typical female brain vs. an atypical male one? Is it an important difference? What would make me reluctant to live life as an atypical male?

    You talk about jewelry and fingernail polish and other very external expressions of femininity, but are these really about the brain or more tied to culture? It seems to me that there are likely cultures where men wear as much or more jewelry than women or are more likely to paint their nails or wear “makeup.” Again, I’m really curious about what convinces you that you have a female brain. I’ve always just seen myself as being atypically male. Should I see myself as a woman instead? Why? What are the advantages of one approach over the other?

  138. 138
    SteRusJon says:

    To all,

    This conversation has been time consuming and enervating for me. My typing skills are poor. I obsess over every comma. After I commit the post I worry that I may have misspoken. I always think of something I could have expressed better or that I should have expressed but didn’t after the post is committed.

    I am open specific questions but I need to focus on my wife’s and my own needs. We are, at present, enjoying a vacation in the Smoky Mountains vicinity.

    I hope my latest post suffices for most of your comments and questions.

    Best wishes to all,
    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  139. 139
    vividbleau says:

    SRJ

    I first want to thank you for sharing your perspective on a timely cultural topic. I for one appreciate the opportunity to get a bit of a window on this particular subject from one who is living through an experience that is foreign to many of us. Like Phineas I do want to better understand.

    “I do suggest you be very skeptical about the views based on Christian perspective. The perspective grants too much power to persons will to overcome the issues which they see as being a result of willful rebellion against God.”

    As a Christian I agree with the former and for the moment disagree with the latter part of your second sentence.

    I come from the position that our wills are enslaved, that each and everyone of us ( Christian or not) are slaves to various forms of addictions, that we all harbor our own demons which we battle each and everyday. Addictions come in many forms, most are hidden and some like alcoholism and drug addiction are more visible. My point is that we all have them and to say that we can just will them away is not very helpful. To be fair the Christian would say that we cannot defeat these on our own. As a Calvinist I am more radical on this “will” thing and would say that we are powerless.

    To the latter point I would say that you are in rebellion but so am I, each and everyday. Some days less, other days more. Let me emphasize that I do not mean because you consider yourself “transgender” that this is the reason I say you are in rebellion. Nor am I saying it is an addiction though it may well be.I say you and I are rebellion because that’s who we are, we are in a constant state of rebellion.

    I am sure you are aware of Romans 1. I don’t know how much you are aware of Romans 2:1-3? As you probably know the Bible was not written with chapters and verses so we tend to lose the train of thought of the author. However 2;1-3 is IMO pivotal ( actually the first 3 chapters are as well) to the authors intent. We look at parts of Romans 1 as condemning homosexuality, etc but we cannot lose sight of the point the author is making. I think to just read parts of Romans 1 and not move on to 2:1-3 is to make a great mistake by Christians as it relates to the sins he is talking about in chapter 1.

    “Now if you feel inclined to set yourself up as a judge of those who sin, let me assure you , whoever you are, that you are in no position to do so. For at whatever point you condemn others you automatically condemn yourself, since you, the judge, commit the same sins.” Phillips

    Think about that “we commit the same sins”

    Vivid

  140. 140
    StephenB says:

    Stephen (aka Stephanie),

    For what it is worth, I found the right address:

    Courage International, Inc.
    8 Leonard Street
    Norwalk, CT 06850
    Phone: (203) 803-1564
    http://couragerc.net/

    As I understand it, this organization’s central focus is on same sex attraction, but it also deals with gender identity problems. That should be expected based on the prevalence of each condition. What you need to know is that therapy based on Catholic anthropology is substantially different from what you may be used to or have heard about.

  141. 141
    jdk says:

    Stephen aka Stephanie, I once again would like to express my appreciation for your willingness to so thoroughly and eloquently share your thoughts with us.

  142. 142
    StephenB says:

    kmp

    Following your logic, any discrimination is just if it is done by someone who feels that providing the service violates their conscience.

    Remember, we are discussing *two legitimate rights that come into conflict.* There is no way to know who is in the right until the particular circumstances have been evaluated. Everything should be based on reason and the natural moral law.

    Put another way, the rationale for refusal must be reasonable. It is not reasonable for a Christian to reject a homosexual’s request to sit at a lunch counter or to order a cake. That is religious bigotry. It is reasonable for the Christian to refuse to cater a gay wedding or decorate a cake with two men holding hands standing inside a giant wedding ring. That is religious freedom. Currently, the gay juggernaut insists on prevailing in all circumstances, ignoring religious freedom. In other words, they are not reasonable.

    By this logic, an emergency room doctor who is a JW is justified in not providing a blood transfusion to a dying patient.

    No. There is nothing reasonable about refusing a blood transfusion and the JW’s call to conscience is not based on natural law principles.

    A hotel manager who does not believe in interracial marriage is justified in not renting a room to an interracial couple.

    Freedom of religious expression does not permit that kind of behavior. Recall the difference between religious bigotry and religious freedom.

    Jdk

    These are good questions. I am very skeptical about distinctions that are based on whether someone’s conscience and beliefs are violated, and especially ones which given special consideration to religious beliefs.

    When two rights are in conflict, each must be given due consideration based on circumstances.

    This is why we have laws, because there is too much variety in people’s beliefs, and so there no way to just let people’s beliefs rule the day.

    The purpose of the law is to enforce justice. So the real question is this: How do you determine which laws are just and which ones are unjust.

    My answer is that all civil law must be based on the Constitution or the natural moral law. You have no answer except to say that the law is the law.

  143. 143
    Eugen says:

    Kpuddle or jdk

    When your liberal deity Bruce Springsteen refused entertainment service for Trump’s inauguration was that OK with you?

  144. 144
    jdk says:

    But, as I have pointed out frequently, with no adequate answer, is that you have no definitive way to ascertain what is “natural moral law.” The phrase is just a way of formalizing the beliefs of the particular religious community you belong to, but it gives no special weight to your beliefs not held but anyone else who addresses moral issues.

    As I said at 92

    But you haven’t, and can’t, I claim, tell us just how you or anyone else determines what is “natural moral law.”

    You are as subject to the same combination of various forces as I or anyone else is in respect to reaching moral conclusion, but you have no special access to moral knowledge. Using words like “good” or “nature” or “natural moral law” are just circular assertions that don’t really explain anything, but just continually point to themselves, not to anything outside of themselves.

    For instance, at 82 about masturbation you wrote,

    Immoral as a completed act. Always wrong outside of marriage.

    That is obviously a cultural inhibition of conservative Catholicism (and perhaps other religions): I can’t believe that anyone could think it is an objective universal moral precept.

    And does anyone masturbate not to completion? And are you saying that anyone not married is immoral even if they give genital pleasure to themself at all? It is restrictions like this and the associated sense of “sinning” that drives some from the church, and others to a life of shame and sexual repression.

  145. 145
    jdk says:

    to Eugen at 143: I don’t think a reasonable answer is likely to be welcomed by someone who calls Bruce Springsteen a “liberal deity”. That’s weird.

  146. 146
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    Freedom of religious expression does not permit that kind of behavior. Recall the difference between religious bigotry and religious freedom.

    But you haven’t adequately explained why refusing to provide a service for an interracial marriage is religious bigotry but refusing to provide a service for a same sex marriage is a religious freedom.

    Is refusal to provide services for a wedding when the woman is not a virgin justified by religious freedom? How about if the man is Christian and the woman is Jewish? Or if one of them is divorced? I would be willing to bet that none of these florists and bakers who refused to provide their services for a same sex marriage would refuse to provide their services for any of the other scenarios listed above. Or for a non church wedding.

  147. 147
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK@143

    Researchers surveyed men and asked them if they masturbated. 95% admitted to masturbating. The conclusion derived from the research is that 5% of men lie.

  148. 148
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    But, as I have pointed out frequently, with no adequate answer, is that you have no definitive way to ascertain what is “natural moral law.”

    Not only do I have a way to ascertain it, so do you. It is self-evident that you should not lie, cheat, steal, murder, slander, and commit adultery, Or do you have some doubts about that?

    The phrase is just a way of formalizing the beliefs of the particular religious community you belong to, but it gives no special weight to your beliefs not held but anyone else who addresses moral issues.

    As I have explained, the natural moral law is not necessarily a matter of belief; it can be known. All people (who have not been damaged) have access to it in the same way they have access to the law of non-contradiction. It doesn’t need to be demonstrated. It is immediately understood and is the basis for explaining much of everything else.

    You are as subject to the same combination of various forces as I or anyone else is in respect to reaching moral conclusion, but you have no special access to moral knowledge.

    I didn’t say I had special access. I said that I had access. I also said that you have access, which you do. You know that murder is always wrong? You know that adultery is always wrong? You know that hate is wrong? The only question is, why would you deny what you know to be true.

    Using words like “good” or “nature” or “natural moral law” are just circular assertions that don’t really explain anything, but just continually point to themselves, not to anything outside of themselves.

    Since I have explained many times why that isn’t true, and since you always ignore the explanation, I feel no need to repeat it and have it ignored again.

    For instance, at 82 about masturbation you wrote,

    Again, I will discuss that subject only if you will do your homework and summarize my reasoning on the subject.

    It is restrictions like this and the associated sense of “sinning” that drives some from the church, and others to a life of shame and sexual repression.

    That is one of the most bizarre statements I have ever read. Our culture is sex-saturated at every level. To find out how repressed we are, just visit the book counter at a drug store. Or, for that matter, just walk out your front door. Probably half the population is addicted to pornography. Children have sexual images shoved down their throat when they should be playing with dolls and toy soldiers. College girls are selling their bodies to pay tuition. Almost everyone is ruled by their glands and the intellectual life has been totally abandoned. That is one of the reasons why we kill so many babies. They get in the way of our (how did you put it *repressed*) sex life. I mean, come on—get real!

  149. 149
    SteRusJon says:

    Thanks for the notes of appreciation.

    vividbleau,

    Quickly, “[freely] willful rebellion” was intended to represent their view, not mine. I reject the idea of human free will. I do believe we make willful decisions in life. I do not believe they are free. We are in bondage to sin. I do not see our acts (and the underlying motives) as necessarily rebellious toward God. Rather, they are a natural consequence of our mortal fleshly constitution.

    I’ll leave it at that. Otherwise it will no longer be quick.

    StephenB,

    I followed the link and found something that made sense this time. .net worked much better than .com. (One more example of how random mutation does not tend to go any place good.) Transgender specific stuff did not pop out. So, I did not spend much time. I will go back at a more convenient time and dig a little deeper. Be warned, I have a low opinion of Catholicism so I will try to make a mental note to set aside the bias as best I can. Thanks for your effort to be of help. That in itself is refreshing.

    Phinehas,

    I feel badly that I failed you. I don’t know how be of help in a brief exchange. I will say this much. If you as an atypical male feel comfortable within a typically male body (I assume your body is typically male), that is, no body-gender dysphoria and comfortable in typically male social interactions (or would you rather sit in with the gals), that is, no social-gender dysphoria, then don’t give it a second thought. I hope that helps a little.

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  150. 150
    StephenB says:

    kmidpuddle

    But you haven’t adequately explained why refusing to provide a service for an interracial marriage is religious bigotry but refusing to provide a service for a same sex marriage is a religious freedom.

    Because there is nothing morally wrong with interracial marriage, but there is something morally wrong with so-called “same sex” marriage.

  151. 151
    StephenB says:

    Meanwhile, kmidpuddle, you did not answer my question:

    You wrote,

    I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone.

    and I asked:

    So you believe that it could be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in 2017 and right to discriminate against homosexuals in 2018. Further, you believe that it could be wrong for me to discriminate against homosexuals but right for someone else. Is that right?

    How do you answer?

  152. 152
    Pindi says:

    StephenB @148:

    Far from it being self-evident that one shouldn’t lie, lying is a fundamental part of how we get through life. A very important part of an infant’s development is when they first learn to lie. That is a key aspect of them separating themselves from the environment. We all lie every day. Every time someone says how are you, and we say fine thanks, even though there is often something in our lives that is not fine. Have you never negotiated a price? Never said “this is my best offer” when you know you will go higher? Lying is inherent in many card games etc, where you make out you have a better hand than you really do. It’s not psychologically possible to get through life without lying.

  153. 153
    Pindi says:

    kmidpuddle and JDK, the conversation about masturbating to completion reminds me of Bill Clinton’s I did not inhale comment when asked about smoking marijuana..

  154. 154
    jdk says:

    stephenb writes,

    Not only do I have a way to ascertain it, so do you. It is self-evident that you should not lie, cheat, steal, murder, slander, and commit adultery

    How about masturbation? Birth control? Dancing? Drinking? How do you know which of those are moral and which immoral?

    And your statements the “the purpose of sex is to create a unitive bond of love between husband and wife and to procreate” is just another faith-based assertion of your particular religion. Using that statement to justify saying that masturbation is immoral outside of marriage is an empty argument.

    In fact, what is self-evident to me is that masturbation is pleasurable, meets physiological needs, and harms no one in and of itself, and thus has no need to be considered immoral.

    I agree with you that lying, cheating, stealing, murder, slander, and committing adultery are immoral (although as I’m sure you know, some of those are subject to interpretation , such as killing in self-defense, in a war, and in capital punishment.)

    But I don’t agree with you about these sex practices we’ve been discussing, including those between same-sex partners. I imagine I don’t agree with you on others.

    But, as you say, we have the same access: we reach the same conclusion about some things that the vast majority of people in out culture reach, but we disagree about others. I see nothing to think that your conclusions are in touch with some natural law: they are much more obviously the conclusions of the particular religious tradition of which you are a part, including the faith-based beliefs you have that natural moral law exists.

  155. 155
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    Because there is nothing morally wrong with interracial marriage, but there is something morally wrong with so-called “same sex” marriage.

    But both are simply a matter of opinion, not fact. There are still people today who think that interracial marriage is immoral. And people who think that same sex marriage is immoral. Personally, I think that both views are simply the result of ignorance and stupidity. Neither interracial marriage nor same sex marriage do harm to anyone.

  156. 156
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    But both are simply a matter of opinion, not fact.

    That sex has a purpose can be discerned by the complementarity of the sexes, the purpose of which is to foster spousal love and propagate the species. This complementarity is a *fact, not an opinion.* Homosexual relationships cannot serve the same purpose and are, therefore, violations of that same natural law, which is also a fact, not an opinion. The morality of sex is based on purpose, which is, again, a fact, not an opinion. Interracial marriage does not violate the natural moral law for reasons indicated.

    There are still people today who think that interracial marriage is immoral.

    I have explained why they are wrong.

    Personally, I think that both views are simply the result of ignorance and stupidity.

    You may think that way, but you have provided no reasons to justify your position.

    Neither interracial marriage nor same sex marriage do harm to anyone.

    Same sex marriage harms the culture by weakening the institution of marriage, reducing it to a mere agreement between two parties and destroying its exclusive purpose, which is to preserve the nuclear family and protect its integrity, which in turn, is the main institution that can challenge an out of control government and protect citizens from tyranny.

  157. 157
    StephenB says:

    Meanwhile, kmidpuddle, you still did not answer my question:

    You wrote,

    “I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone.”

    and I asked:

    “So you believe that it could be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in 2017 and right to discriminate against homosexuals in 2018. Further, you believe that it could be wrong for me to discriminate against homosexuals but right for someone else. Is that right?”

    How do you answer?

  158. 158
    Eugen says:

    Jdk

    I didn’t expect much from you or kpuddle. You are typical liberal/Communist social justice warriors I meet often online. Good with rethoric, weak on arguments. You should appreciate time spent by StephenB, Kairos and others who have patience and talk to you.

  159. 159
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    Far from it being self-evident that one shouldn’t lie, lying is a fundamental part of how we get through life. A very important part of an infant’s development is when they first learn to lie. That is a key aspect of them separating themselves from the environment. We all lie every day. Every time someone says how are you, and we say fine thanks, even though there is often something in our lives that is not fine. Have you never negotiated a price? Never said “this is my best offer” when you know you will go higher? Lying is inherent in many card games etc, where you make out you have a better hand than you really do. It’s not psychologically possible to get through life without lying.

    OK, so you are a big fan of lying. (I will keep that in mind). What is your position on murder and adultery? Do you know they are wrong? Or are you also a big fan of murder and adultery. Or is this one of those times when a lie might work well for you?

  160. 160
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    I agree with you that lying, cheating, stealing, murder, slander, and committing adultery are immoral (although as I’m sure you know, some of those are subject to interpretation , such as killing in self-defense, in a war, and in capital punishment.)

    You are not addressing my question: Do you know these things are wrong? (Murder, by definition, rules out self-defense.) Is it self-evident that you should not commit murder or not?

  161. 161
    jdk says:

    Yes, murder is wrong. Asking if it is “self-evident” adds the additional issue of why murder is wrong and how we know that. That is where you and I disagree.

    And for my questions, as far as I know you’ve only answered one: am I to assume that your “unitive love” statement makes contraception immoral also?

    And some Christian denominations consider drinking and dancing immoral, but Catholicism doesn’t. Are dancing and drinking against natural moral law, or are those other sects wrong?

    And you have not answered the question as to how you know all this: all you’ve done is referred to a faith-based assertion that kicks the can down the road. How do you know that your assertion is right and my assertions about masturbation are wrong?

  162. 162
    jdk says:

    Eugen writes,

    You are typical liberal/Communist social justice warriors

    First, I am very, very far from being a Communist – the fact that you throw that out there shows that you are living in a world of rhetorical stereotypes.

    I am proud to be considered an advocate of social justice, although I wouldn’t call myself a warrior as I am not very active in any way other than a few small monetary contributions to some organizations.

    I’m liberal on some issues, and more conservative on others. I consider myself a moderate Republican, but find the labels of liberal/conservative to be very inexact and not very useful, serving more as a pejorative term than one that is actually very descriptive.

  163. 163
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    I see nothing to think that your conclusions are in touch with some natural law: they are much more obviously the conclusions of the particular religious tradition of which you are a part, including the faith-based beliefs you have that natural moral law exists.

    Some are based solely on the natural law and some are based on a religious interpretation of the natural law. However, all are derived from the natural law and the discernable fact that sex has a purpose. That fact does not require the input of religion in order to be understood and acknowledged.

    Besides, I was just answering your question. You asked if certain sexual acts were immoral and I gave you the answer and I provided good reasons for my answer. Your argument is that all pleasurable things are moral on the grounds that they are pleasurable. That is not a good argument.

  164. 164
    Eugen says:

    Jdk

    So you are trans conservative? That’s new.

  165. 165
    jdk says:

    Eugen, your snide name calling doesn’t do you credit. Yes, I am conservative on some issues, mostly financial and in respect to foreign policy. I am liberal on most social issues. Given the serious and productive conversation that has taken place in this thread, your comment is cheap.

  166. 166
    Eugen says:

    Sorry if I insulted you. You must be trans liberal then. Your evasion of answers doesn’t do you credit either.

  167. 167
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Yes, murder is wrong.

    Recall that I didn’t ask you if it is wrong. I asked you if you know it is wrong.

    you’ve only answered one: am I to assume that your “unitive love” statement makes contraception immoral also?

    I have answered every question you asked (except maybe for gambling and drinking and that sort of thing. I will be happy to deal with all of them). Yes, *artificial* contraception is immoral. There are many reasons and I can go into them if you like.

  168. 168
    jdk says:

    Don’t bother: the issue is not contraceptives, or masturbation, or murder. The issue is your insistence that you are basing your judgments on access to natural moral law, and my claim that that is a groundless faith-based assertion that just encapsulates the cultural viewpoint of your Catholic faith. Your claims about morals have no different standing than mine, although you think they do.

    That’s probably enough conversation on the issue, although it has been useful and instructive to me to see the issues about sex come up, because I think they clearly make my point.

  169. 169
    Pindi says:

    StephenB, if you were asked to a dinner party, and the host spent hours preparing a meal that tasted horrible to you, would you tell them them the truth if they asked you at the dinner table whether you enjoyed the meal? Would you say – “actually no, it was horrible”? Or would you spare their feelings and embarrassment?

    Yes, murder is bad, including judicial murder – ie execution.

  170. 170
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    and my claim that that [natural law] is a groundless faith-based assertion that just encapsulates the cultural viewpoint of your Catholic faith.

    Natural law is a totally distinct subject from my Catholic faith and I have demonstrated that the former can be known without any religious input. I prove the point each time I ask you if you know that murder is wrong. You are in a dilemma: If you acknowledge that you do, indeed, know that murder is wrong, you are also admitting that I am right–the natural law can be known independent of religious faith, but if you claim that you don’t know murder is wrong, you lose all credibility. So you refuse to answer the question.

    That’s probably enough conversation on the issue, although it has been useful and instructive to me to see the issues about sex come up, because I think they clearly make my point.

    Your only “point” is to make the false claim that my arguments are faith based. At their core they are natural law arguments, though I can use religion to add a little icing on the cake. Still, I don’t need the icing to make the point.

    If I told you that a can opener has a certain nature and that using it as a shovel would violate its purpose, would you say that I was making a religious argument? If I said that a crankshaft has a certain nature and using it as a gas tank would violate its purpose, would you say that I was pushing a religions argument?

    And so I make the same common sense argument for sex. If human beings have a certain nature, then they should not approach sex as if they had the nature of an animal. The substance of that argument is independent of religion, but since you cannot address it, indeed, since you completely ignore it, your only recourse is to bring religion back into the discussion.

  171. 171
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    Yes, murder is bad, including judicial murder – ie execution.

    These secular progressives are so darned entertaining. Pindi, I didn’t ask you if murder was bad. I asked you if you know that it is wrong? Have you been hanging out with jdk?

  172. 172
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    StephenB, if you were asked to a dinner party, and the host spent hours preparing a meal that tasted horrible to you, would you tell them them the truth if they asked you at the dinner table whether you enjoyed the meal? Would you say – “actually no, it was horrible”? Or would you spare their feelings and embarrassment?

    I would have stopped eating after the first bite. If, after noticing my full plate, they were imprudent enough to ask me in public how I liked the meal, I would say something like this: “I am not eating tonight because something happened earlier in the evening that spoiled my appetite.” (I would not say that the something was the first bite). Privately, however, I would tell them the truth so that they could correct the problem, keep their friends, and invite them back. In other words, I would first veil the truth and then tell the truth. People who have dinner parties should definitely know how to cook.

  173. 173
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    I again draw attention to 80 above:

    I think a few thought on dealing with first things first and crooked yardsticks are in order, Cicero in De Legibus having been (of course) ignored. Let’s start with some questions that help us to crawl first before wanting to run and fly:

    1: We have a basic challenge: are we morally governed responsibly and rationally free creatures who have a nature that is actually real and in many respects evident?

    2: What is morality, and particularly what is it that our sense of oughtness points to?

    3: Do we really have objectively warranted, binding duties, responsibilities, obligations, etc, or are these little more than the “illusion” — that’s a euphemism for delusion — fobbed off on us by our evolutionary roots, that gets us to co-operate enough to enhance prospects of survival?

    4: Indeed, without actually objective, binding duties of care — full-bore OUGHT — to truth, logic of inference etc, is a rational discussion even possible (as opposed to attempts to use mouth noises and linked squiggles to manipulate others to get our own way)? [Do you see the nihilism that is lurking in the bushes here?]

    5: Is moral error possible? (Certainly that is implicit in the appeals, assertions and even accusations: “bully” above?)

    6: If Moral error — which is objective, an implication that one is in the moral wrong — is NOT possible, why then are claims and arguments that we are in the moral wrong to raise challenges to the alphabet soup gender game being made? (Doesn’t that point to manipulation, thus implicit nihilism?)

    7: If objective moral error is possible, then is it not patent that moral truth that is the corrective to that error also exists? (Indeed, just the objective truth, X is a moral error is a moral truth.)

    8: Further, however, if moral error is possible, is it not also possible to have such a distorted view of moral truth, that one perceives others to be in error when the real error is a lot closer to home? (In short, if one is trusting a crooked yardstick as a standard for straightness and length, then accurate straightness and lengths will not measure up to the crooked standard. This is why we need independent, plumbline tests that allow us to recognise and correct crooked yardsticks. Hence the test cases BA and I have put up above — which were consistently evaded on one rhetorical excuse or another.)

    9: Linked, what is a right, and how is such a claim adequately warranted?

    10: Is a right, or is it not, a binding claim that due to one’s inherent dignity, fundamental equality and quasi-infinite worth by nature as a human being, certain specific duties of care and respect are owed to one?

    11: If not, what is it that rises above the nihilism of might and/or manipulation making up — socially constructing, if you please — ‘truth,’ ‘logic,’ ‘right,’ ‘duty,’ ‘rights,’ ‘justice’ etc? (In short, nihilism? (Which BTW is precisely where cultural marxism and linked agit prop, lawfare, corruption of media, law, courts, parliaments, cabinets and academia etcw ould come in. And if you do not see the ruinous consequences of such an agenda, your problems start long before whatever fashionable “issues” are on the agenda of the day as a generations-long agenda unfolds.. Of course, most of those caught up in such an agenda would not be aware that they are playing with crooked yardsticks, and may even take umbrage at such a suggestion. But that is more reason for us to face plumbline tests. Which points to the habit of ducking or distracting attention from such decisive tests, being a strong sign that crooked yardsticks are in use.)

    12: If rights are as described, and yardsticks can be crooked but can be corrected via plumbline tests, then why are so many so insistent on ducking or distracting attention from such? (If you doubt me, look above in this thread.)

    The import of these points may be tough to swallow, but we need to creep before we can run and fly.

    Back to moral yardstick case no 1: is it not self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, sexually torture, violate and kill a young child for one’s pleasure? (If one tries to deny this, does not one instantly land in absurdities? What does this then tell us about the warrant for core morality? Rights, justice, truth etc?)

    And again to 83 above:

    PS: Let’s take a look at a few tests.

    CASE i: Eugenics, which was argued for just as fervently 70 – 100 years ago as whatever is on the table today — and captured the support of all but an isolated and sometimes despised few — If you doubt me, go look up the logo of the second international congress on Eugenics.

    CASE 2: Sparta and boys. Was a whole culture in the wrong for centuries, or was it by definition the source of the social construction of what is right.

    CASE 3: Kidnapping, binding, violating and murdering a young child for pleasure.

    –> What do these cases teach us?

    Much of the problem with this thread stems from failure by those advocating various novelties to adequately address these points.

    And, those who wish to push morally rooted concerns on sexual anarchy into the same corner with racism, should understand that they are thereby declaring a refusal to recognise that those of us who have serious moral concerns about sexual anarchy and chaos are even legitimate participants in a discussion. That is a declaration of war, first by the nihilism of might and manipulation make right tactics, then by lawfare and outright ruthless persecution on the demand that we approve and enable ruinous evils pretending to be good. Onward, they need to realise that if you corner people driven by conscience and deep concern for the survival of our civilisation [as evils ruin civilisations] through the sort of ruthless nihilism like we are plainly seeing, you are going to find yourself facing people who are going to stand on a hill to die on, who for sobering cause will stand and fight without regard to consequences.

    The rhetoric of disqualification, denigration and demonisation of people speaking from conscience and serious concerns has serious consequences and I suggest that it is high time to walk back from and apologise for unjustifiably comparing us to segregationists and the like.

    Do you REALLY want to go down that road with our civilisation? Why? What good will it do?

    Do you really think you can impose ever increasingly bizarre sexual anarchy by might (especially lawfare) and manipulation through demonising agit prop without terrible consequences?

    KF

    PS: Heine warned us aptly:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . .], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    … Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. …

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831.]

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Again, Cicero in De Legibus:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man. We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

  175. 175
    Pindi says:

    StephenB, thanks for proving my point. You would lie in those circumstances. But isn’t it self evidently true that lying is wrong? Hint, no, sometimes lying is the more compassionate thing to do. The thing that will lead to less harm.

  176. 176
    Pindi says:

    Re murder – I think its wrong. Not everyone does of course. Many people in your country think its ok for the state to murder convicted prisoners.

  177. 177
    john_a_designer says:

    Opinions are not arguments. Arbitrary subjective opinions carry no interpersonal moral obligation. If all we have in the moral realm are subjective opinions then there is no possibility of finding moral truth or even any kind of common ground. If that’s true the very idea of universal human rights completely collapses. Indeed I think that is what we are seeing is the west. Already in the U.S. there are numerous example of fundamental human rights being undermined or abridged for the sake of new made-up rights. For example, florists, bakers and photographers being fined for not participating in a same sex wedding.

    “Same-sex marriage” is an idea that has been arbitrarily made up whole cloth by the secular progressive left in that last 50 years. It has absolutely no basis in history, tradition or biology– neither two men nor two women can make a baby. However, it is a way for the secular progressive left to carry out its anti-religious agenda. After all where do most people get married? In churches, don’t they? One of the fastest ways to destroy religion is to subvert it. SSM is an example of that.

  178. 178
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB@156:

    Same sex marriage harms the culture by weakening the institution of marriage…

    Another one of those dooms-day scenarios. Unfortunately, it is not supported by the facts. In thirteen years of legalized same-sex marriage in Canada, the divorce rate has not increased. I have been married for 35 years. How did my marriage change in 2005 when same sex marriage was legalized? If you are married, is your marriage so weak that it could be affected by the legalization of same sex marriage?

  179. 179
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    And, those who wish to push morally rooted concerns on sexual anarchy into the same corner with racism, should understand that they are thereby declaring a refusal to recognise that those of us who have serious moral concerns about sexual anarchy and chaos are even legitimate participants in a discussion.

    Nonsense. I have pointed out the similarity between the opposition to homosexuality and same sex marriage to the opposition of abolition, segregation, inter-racial marriage, the disability act, etc. Some people, many of them highly placed in the church and in government, used the religious freedom and other religious arguments to oppose these changes. This is an inconvenient fact that you have opted to address by attacking the character and motivation of the commenter rather than address the comment.

    That is a declaration of war, first by the nihilism of might and manipulation make right tactics, then by lawfare and outright ruthless persecution on the demand that we approve and enable ruinous evils pretending to be good.

    Nobody is forcing you to approve of same sex marriage. There are many laws that I do not agree with but as I want to live in this society, I do not break these laws. You talk about the ruthless tactics used by advocates of same sex marriage to reduce discrimination against themselves. You do realize that similar tactics have been used by people advocating for de-segregation and the legalization of inter-racial marriage.

    The rhetoric of disqualification, denigration and demonisation of people speaking from conscience and serious concerns has serious consequences and I suggest that it is high time to walk back from and apologise for unjustifiably comparing us to segregationists and the like.

    When I see the same arguments made by opponents of same sex marriage that were used by opponents of desegregation, and inter-racial marriage, it is only logical to ask the question. But stating the similarity between arguments used to oppose different issues is in no way a demonization tactic. It is simply the identification of certain similarities to make us think about them. There has only been one person in this discussion who has levelled the “demonic” epithet.

    In recent years we have seen demonically wicked lawfare and other incidents targetting employment, businesses, families, parenting…

  180. 180
    Phinehas says:

    SRJ:

    You’ve not failed me at all. I know and understand more now than I did before, thanks to you. I’m just insatiably curious to know and understand more, but that’s my issue not yours.

    If you as an atypical male feel comfortable within a typically male body (I assume your body is typically male), that is, no body-gender dysphoria and comfortable in typically male social interactions (or would you rather sit in with the gals), that is, no social-gender dysphoria, then don’t give it a second thought.

    Comfortable? No, I wouldn’t say that. I definitely have a degree of discomfort about my body and its softer/squishier nature compared to a lot of men. And I definitely have a degree of discomfort about explicitly macho social settings. Life isn’t particularly comfortable in general. But is feeling comfortable the goal? If dependence on God is the goal, then discomfort may be an advantage. Perhaps the goal is the fellowship of Christ’s suffering?

    Again, I’m not sure I understand what convinces someone that they have a female brain rather than just an atypically male brain. Nor do I understand the benefit of using the former perspective or frame of reference over the latter. What I am reasonably comfortable with is being an atypical male. I don’t have to be like other men to be a man. And I’m wildly in love with my wife, who loves me for the (soft, squishy) man I am.

  181. 181
    asauber says:

    Forgive me if I am too blunt with this, but there is an element of culture that has been around awhile whose goal is to feminize males. I am wondering if the gender confusion (for lack of a better term) being discussed is simply the result of some falling under the influence of this crowd?

    I think it’s human nature to be influenced by the people you choose to interact with. You see examples all the time of people choosing to do things because of the crowd they are hanging with, and it’s not the result of prolonged detached thinking about what they think they want to do with their lives.

    Andrew

  182. 182
    J-Mac says:

    StephenBJune,

    Historically, this is the fourth major crisis of the Catholic Church. It seems to happen about every 500 years. I believe that it is a product of human nature refusing to cooperate with grace. During the Arian heresy, for example (4th Century), almost all the bishops had sold out. St. Athanasius came along and single-handedly saved the Church.

    Didn’t know that…

    After each crisis, a renewal follows.

    I’m afraid this time the church has reached the point beyond reform and no saint is going to save it…

    Because of its Divine origin, the Church will never die.

    I’m glad you are so convinced about it because there are same powerful people in Vatican that at one point thought it was going to crumble when child sex abuse cases were coming up in thousands…

    But once again, it has been severely wounded. The solution to the problem? More saints are needed–probably lay people who will prompt their shepherds to act like shepherds.

    You really think this is the solution?

    Most informed observers believe that the Church is now experiencing the worst crisis of all, due in part to the infiltration of anti-Catholic forces who work their mischief from the inside. As always, there will be another renewal but probably not without the shedding of blood. Still, I think the Catholic Church is the place to be. The Mass and the Sacraments were instituted to help us achieve our spiritual destiny (But choose your parish carefully).

    I think that this is partially the problem… This mass is a bore and the parishes are full of blind hypocrites including the priests…

  183. 183
    kmidpuddle says:

    Andrew, correct me if I am wrong but I assume that you are talking about peer pressure. Which, we all know, can have a significant impact on our behaviour. But I don’t think that this plays a significant role in gender identity. Although I could be wrong.

    There are plenty of examples of boys growing up in all female families who grow up to be “typically” male. Peer pressure undoubtedly impacts how we interact with members of the opposite sex. So does education. But I can’t see how it could impact or influence our gender identity. Environment, on the other hand, is known to impact the sex of other animals. Fore example, the incubation temperature of turtles is what dictates the gender that they develop into. Clown fish are all born female but only the largest most aggressive one in a group will become female. There are examples in some polluted river systems of the fish changing sex. I don’t see why environmental influences, either during embryonic development or development at a very early age would not have similar affects on humans.

    Whether this is the case or not is pure speculation on my part. But certainly worth investigating.

  184. 184
    Phinehas says:

    KMP:

    I think the peer pressure Andrew is talking about may be more about convincing atypical males that they should perceive themselves as females rather than simply as atypical males. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that males who grow up in a more feminine environment are necessarily destined to be atypical males.

  185. 185
    kmidpuddle says:

    Phinehas@184, I don’t disagree with this. But I don’t know if it is about “convincing”, as in pressuring them. I suspect that it is more about more tolerance and less judgementalism (is that a word?). In the same way that there are more openly homosexual people today than there were ten or twenty years ago. But I am not aware of any compelling evidence that there are actually more homosexuals.

    I realize that the idea of homosexuality and transgender makes many people uncomfortable (myself included), and that many would prefer that the entire issue remained buried and secret. Personally, I prefer honesty. There is no reason that homosexuals or transgendered should feel like they must keep their sexual orientation and/or gender identity secret. We don’t demand this of heterosexuals or those who identify with their “biological” gender.

  186. 186
    Phinehas says:

    KMP:

    I also prefer openness and understanding, which is why I am here openly asking questions and offering objections and trying to understand better.

    I just think we should be careful about what tolerance means if there are underlying psychological issues that can perhaps be addressed in healthier ways.

    I know some parents who struggle with an adopted teenager’s apparent desire to identify as a baby, including wearing a diaper. As you might imagine, this makes the parents very uncomfortable. Should love and tolerance cover every part of this situation? Of course! But does that automatically mean that it is healthy for the teenager to embrace this tendency as some sort of identity? I’m not sure this is the case. Is this the same sort of thing as gender identity struggles? I don’t really know. I’m just trying to understand all of it better.

  187. 187
    asauber says:

    KMP,

    Phinehas is on the track I am on. One of the things that peer groups do is frame issues a certain way, which is one of the reasons the group exists. This includes language usage, philosophies, emotional connections and what have you.

    There is the framing out there we all see now about gender identity. Someone is making sure this framing keeps being presented to us in the media. We all need to maintain awareness of what kind of forces may be driving all of this (no matter what “side” you are on), and being the cynic that I am, I would not put it past anyone to be “pushing” this for less than pristine reasons. For instance, there is probably a selection of drugs used to “help” people with all this that people will dispense to you. You see what I’m saying?

    In the interest of openness, I do look at this from the Christian perspective that sin does exist and it needs to be opposed and not enabled. But I am not condemning anyone, I’m just trying to help to see a bigger picture in the discussion.

    Andrew

  188. 188
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    You would lie in those circumstances. But isn’t it self evidently true that lying is wrong? Hint, no, sometimes lying is the more compassionate thing to do. The thing that will lead to less harm.

    Pindi, To lie is to say something that is not true. I said I would VEIL the truth and then I would TELL the truth. To veil the truth is not to lie. It is to refrain from disclosing information. I am going to assume that it was your lack of education that prompted your response and that you did not consciously lie about me. Please be careful about that, especially since you have already admitted that you can hardly get through a day without lying.

  189. 189
    StephenB says:

    SB: Same sex marriage harms the culture by weakening the institution of marriage…

    kmidpuddle

    Another one of those dooms-day scenarios. Unfortunately, it is not supported by the facts.

    It is a fact that so called “same sex” marriage weakens the institution of marriage and the nuclear family. It is a fact that the nuclear family is the primary institution that challenges government.

    In thirteen years of legalized same-sex marriage in Canada, the divorce rate has not increased.

    Irrelevant.

    I have been married for 35 years. How did my marriage change in 2005 when same sex marriage was legalized? If you are married, is your marriage so weak that it could be affected by the legalization of same sex marriage?

    Irrelevant.

    Fact: The family is weaker; the government is stronger. Fact: One important purpose of the gay movement is to destroy Christianity and to destroy the nuclear family.

  190. 190
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    Fact: The family is weaker; the government is stronger.

    Unsupported assertion.

    Fact: One important purpose of the gay movement is to destroy Christianity and to destroy the nuclear family.

    Unsupported paranoid assertion.

  191. 191
    Eugen says:

    Grrr, this kpuddle seems very familiar. He’s resurrected AplleJack. He always steers discussion and hijacks the thread towards homosexuality for some reason. Why kpuddle? Why are you so obsessed, insecure and needy about it?

  192. 192
    kmidpuddle says:

    Eugen:

    Grrr, this kpuddle seems very familiar. He’s resurrected AplleJack. He always steers discussion and hijacks the thread towards homosexuality for some reason. Why kpuddle? Why are you so obsessed, insecure and needy about it?

    Sorry to disappoint you. But I wasn’t the first person to bring up the issue of homosexuality or same sex marriage in this thread.

  193. 193
    StephenB says:

    Fact: The family is weaker; the government is stronger.

    kmidhuggle

    Unsupported assertion.

    No. It is a fact. There are many ways to show that the nuclear family is breaking down. Example: Only 46% of U.S. children younger than 18 years are living in a home with two married heterosexuals. That number is much lower than just a few years ago.

    And of course the state is obviously gaining strength at the expenses of the family. One indicator is the fact that it has presumed to redefined marriage and override both the family and the Church as institutions that were originally meant to challenge the power of government.

  194. 194
    StephenB says:

    Kmidmuddle

    Unsupported paranoid claim

    Nope. Fact. Many members of the gay lobby have admitted that their true purpose is to destroy the institution of marriage. Example:

    Masha Gesson:

    “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. I don’t think [marriage] should exist.

  195. 195
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    No. It is a fact. There are many ways to show that the nuclear family is breaking down. Example: Only 46% of U.S. children younger than 18 years are living in a home with two married heterosexuals. That number is much lower than just a few years ago.

    I must have missed the research that shows that this is due to same sex marriage. Could you provide a link?

    Nope. Fact. Many members of the gay lobby have admitted that their true purpose is to destroy the institution of marriage.

    I wasn’t aware that a few individuals spoke for the entire gay community. Would it be reasonable for me to judge all of Christianity based on the agenda and goals of the the Westboro Babtists? Or judge all Germans based on the actions of the Nazis? Or judge all of the ID arguments based on the wedge document? Of course not.

    There are radicals in every group, whether it be atheists, Christians, homosexuals, hockey fans, politicians, etc. Judging the motives and goals of any group based on those of a few at the extremes is just paranoia and fear mongering. And, I must be honest, very disingenuous.

  196. 196
    Pindi says:

    StephenB you are hilarious. What is the difference between a “veil” of the truth and a lie?

    You said you would say this: ” I would say something like this: “I am not eating tonight because something happened earlier in the evening that spoiled my appetite”

    In our scenario this is not true is it? You just lied to the host and everyone at the table. Nothing happened to spoil your appetite. You just didn’t like the food.

  197. 197
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    I must have missed the research that shows that this is due to same sex marriage. Could you provide a link?

    I don’t need a link. The cause/effect relationship is proven by the gay lobby’s success in getting same-sex relationships elevated to the level of marriage, which automatically weakens the family and strengthens government.

    I wasn’t aware that a few individuals spoke for the entire gay community.

    I didn’t say anything about the “gay community.” I was writing about the “gay lobby.” Everyone knows that they have been lying about their intentions from the very beginning. I could provide my quotes, but why bother. Their ever-moving goal posts make it obvious.

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, we weren’t born yesterday. We — some of us were old enough and interested enough to watch the trend from the 60’s to now — have seen the trend and its fruit, and the utter lack of concern for the havoc wreaked. And when we see the attempt to play the invidious association card with racism, some serious red flags get tripped. Especially when we can see right above just how the issue of the grounding of the moral dimension of human reality is being handled. Which, again, we can see exemplified above. KF

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    1: Girgis, George and Anderson Friend of court briefing on the agenda to destroy marriage in accord with naturally evident creation order by lawfare and other linked means, and its consequences: http://www.interactingwithjesu.....George.pdf

    2: Paper on What is Marriage: http://www.morfarbarn.no/files.....rriage.pdf

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Notice, the studious continued avoidance of the underlying issues on grounding rights and the objectivity of key moral principles. KF

  201. 201
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    KMP, we weren’t born yesterday. We — some of us were old enough and interested enough to watch the trend from the 60’s to now…

    So have I. I have seen women permitted to take control of their own lives and not be subservient to men. I have seen spousal abuse finally treated as the crime it is rather than swept under the rug. I have seen blacks obtain the jobs that they are qualified for. I have seen the end of clubs that did not allow Jews or women. I have seen the end of jailing people simply because they are attracted to the same sex. I have seen the end of covering up pedophilia. I have seen the end of removing teen girls from school for the sin of getting pregnant. I have seen the effective end of polio, smallpox and many other serious diseases. I have seen the universal access to health care regardless of your financial situation. I have seen the reduction of businesses discriminating against people simply because of their race, culture, religion, sexual preference or gender identity.

    It’s a wonderful time to be alive.

    And when we see the attempt to play the invidious association card with racism,…

    I never said that there was an association with racism. I said that the same arguments of religious freedom and religious justification were used to oppose the enactment of anti-discrimination/desegregation laws. A fact that can be confirmed by 30 seconds of research. These arguments weren’t accepted with respect to racism, sexism or the accommodation of the handicapped. And they are not being accepted with respect to same sex marriage and transgendered. The defense of religious freedom doesn’t hold water when you are imposing your belief on others.

  202. 202
    StephenB says:

    StephenB you are hilarious. What is the difference between a “veil” of the truth and a lie?

    Pindi, I already explained the difference. To WITHHOLD information is not the same thing as to present FALSE INFORMATION. To veil the truth is not to lie.

    You said you would say this: ” I would say something like this: “I am not eating tonight because something happened earlier in the evening that spoiled my appetite”

    That is correct.

    In our scenario this is not true is it?

    Of course, it’s true. “Something” (The first bite of that awful meal) spoiled my appetite. I just didn’t tell them that the “something” was the first bite of their awful food. I just told them that “something” did it, which is true. So I didn’t lie. I simply withheld information. Thus, I spared the host without lying.

    You just lied to the host and everyone at the table. Nothing happened to spoil your appetite. You just didn’t like the food.

    I didn’t lie. Something did happen to spoil my appetite. It was that awful food. However, if it had not spoiled appetite, I would have simply found another way to veil the truth without lying, at least until I could take them aside, at which time I would have told them everything they needed to know so they could keep their friends.

    It is morally permissible to veil the truth in order to refrain from lying, except in a court of law, at which time you must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    By the way, you haven’t told me yet if you know that murder is wrong. Do you?

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, First, there is a tad of reading just above. I draw a bottomline on these matters when I see a studious avoidance of engaging the foundations of morality, especially in a generation which is collectively guilty of the ongoing worst holocaust in history. Our collective judgement, for cause is deeply suspect. If someone is unwilling to engage the roots of morality in such a context, that is a red warning flag. Now, to see the relevance of this, just scroll up. KF

  204. 204
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF@199 and 203, smarter people than I have criticized the Gigi’s paper. I have no desire to rehash it all here.

    http://www.philosophyetc.net/2.....e.html?m=1

    Rather, let’s address who has authority over marriage. Churches obviously don’t because there is no requirement to be married in a church. Even to get married in a church you must first obtain a marriage licence. The last time I looked, these are issued by government, not by the church (unless the government has delegated this authority to a church).

    At present, our elected representatives have decided that same sex couples can get married. They have this authority. You may not like it but until you can get a government elected that will overturn this decision, you are stuck with it. If you are American, your best hope is the impeachment (or demise) of Trump. In Canada, good luck. We have lived with same sex marriage for over ten years and have realized that the fear mongers were either ill informed or lying. I hope for the former, but suspect the latter.

  205. 205
    Phinehas says:

    KMP:

    Rather, let’s address who has authority over marriage. Churches obviously don’t because there is no requirement to be married in a church. Even to get married in a church you must first obtain a marriage licence. The last time I looked, these are issued by government, not by the church (unless the government has delegated this authority to a church).

    It seems pretty obvious that the above is founded on the assumptions that God does not exist, marriage is not His idea, and that He does not have authority over it. Those are not warranted assumptions.

  206. 206
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP: Did these people provide a framework that coherently sustains responsible rational freedom thus moral government? The very appeal to oh we can reason and you are wrong demands such. If they did so, kindly give it: ____ We will see. If not, likely more of much the same. KF

  207. 207
    kmidpuddle says:

    Phinehas, I don’t know if god exists. But marriage exists in non judeo/Christian/Islamic cultures. It existed in polytheistic cultures, pagan cultures…well, you get the gist. It has its equivalent in North American native culture. It has not always been monogamous. Incestuous marriages were not uncommon. It was often used as a means to seal alliances and to gain power.

    The argument more recently is that SSM will damage traditional marriage. But, which one of the “traditional” marriages listed above will be harmed? How about the traditional marriage where the man was allowed to physically punish the woman (not that long ago). Or the traditional marriage where the woman had to promise to obey the man?

    My point is that marriage throughout history has been a moving target. Arguing over the risks to traditional marriage caused by same sex marriage is based on the false premise that there is anything called “traditional marriage”.

  208. 208
    Pindi says:

    Adding to kmidpuddle’s list – or the traditional marriage where it was legally impossible for a man to rape his wife (up until very recently).

  209. 209
    Pindi says:

    StephenB, so you don’t think lying by omission is lying?

    In any case, its still a lie. One bite of something you don’t like spoils your appetite? You have a very sensitive appetite. Most people would think, yuck, I don’t like that, but I’m still hungry, what else is there to eat?

  210. 210
    SteRusJon says:

    Phinehas,

    “I definitely have a degree of discomfort about my body and its softer/squishier nature compared to a lot of men.”

    This is the opposite of what a male-to-female transgender experiences. Such person would likely state, “I definitely have a degree of discomfort about my body and its lack of a softer/squishier nature compared to a lot of women.” Is this statement in any way more accurate as a description of your state of mind?

    Many, who eventually embrace their femininity and transition, report a “denial” where they felt too feminine and tried their best to man-up because of the shame associated with feminine characteristics in a man.

    If the degree of discomfort is minor and of no significant affect in their lives, they will likely just live with. They may compensate for it and engage in “macho” activities, jobs or hobbies to avoid feeling inadequacy or escape derision from the gang. The more intense the discomfort, the more it interferes with living and the greater the need to do something about it. With some, the interference in their lives becomes so intense that it becomes “transition to living their lives as the opposite gender from that assigned at birth or die by suicide regardless the consequences to their marriage, family relationships, employment, etc.” Of course, there is a broad range of possibilities in between with varying levels of cost to them and those around them. Each circumstance is unique. It is rare, though, that one get through it all without some repercussions.

    Keep in mind, I am not trying to diagnose you or even trying to help you diagnose yourself. I am trying my best to answer your questions and provide relevant details for you and on-lookers. If this question is truly causing you angst, I might suggest you contact a therapist knowledgeable in gender issues. Maybe all you need are some informed assurances. I don’t think for you to be little soft and squishy is a bad thing, at all.

    Stephen (aka Stephanie)

  211. 211
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    StephenB, so you don’t think lying by omission is lying?

    It is not a lie to withhold information. It is a lie to present false information.

    In any case, its still a lie.

    I will let you take it up two of the greatest philosophers that ever lived, St Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, both of whom agree with me:

    “It is not lawful to tell a lie … Nevertheless it is lawful to hide the truth prudently, by keeping it back,”

    By the way, have you summoned up the courage to answer my question: Do you know that murder is wrong?

  212. 212
    Pindi says:

    StephenB:

    Really. So you lose your whole appetite over one mouthful of bad food. You are an extraordinary sensitive individual.

    What has courage got to do with answering that question? Its trivial. Yes, I know murder is wrong. Don’t you?

  213. 213
    DATCG says:

    StephenB, have enjoyed your responses and others here.

    You keep referring to purpose. Unbelievers and materialist will not fully comprehend it, or refuse to admit purpose. They do not see Design in nature, much less a Designer’s purpose for life on this planet. I once held the materialist view.

    They will reject any notion of any god, let alone Elohim as Creator in Judeo-Christian Bible. Who sent his only begotten Son so that whosoever believed in him might be saved to everlasting life.

    Since evil, disease, destruction and confusion exist, Darwin is the only other explanatory answer for many. He is their high priest.

    But, Yeshua’s teachings are simple and straight forward on gender’s purpose so that a child can understand…

    there’s no ambiguity… from Matthew 19:4-6
    “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh.”

    “… from the beginning”

    It’s no accident Christ reiterated God’s plan did not change from the beginning of time for purpose of marriage. Between a man and a woman to become one flesh, that in turn honors a mother and father as a cycle and pattern repeats to grow a population(promise to Abraham).

    There’s also the opposing patterns, the fall of Israel multiple times as they turned to pagan rituals. The fall of Rome, etc.

    I do not expect others to agree, nor do I condemn anyone who disagrees. I simply pray eyes are opened and ears hear.

    Historically, nations fall from within as the family weakens. The West is gradually fading as a result today. Europe’s demographics in several nations will change in the next 30 years or so.

    Not just exclusive to homosexuality, but because people first turned away from God, turning toward lust of the flesh of any kind. In turning away, people in the West are having less children. This cannot be sustained without mass migrations and influx of immigrants to replenish the population.

    There’s nothing new under the sun.

  214. 214
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @ 189

    It is a fact that so called “same sex” marriage weakens the institution of marriage and the nuclear family. It is a fact that the nuclear family is the primary institution that challenges government.

    Neither of those claims are “facts” by any reasonable definition of the word, no matter how strongly you may believe them to be true.

    Allowing same sex couples to marry does not in any way abridge the right of heterosexual couples to marry and raise families. In fact, what has happened is that the right to marry, which had hitherto been denied to same sex couples by so-called Christian morality, was finally extended to them. A right was granted to some, none was taken away from anyone else. If anything has been weakened, it is the assumed but undeserved power of Christianity to decree what is moral or immoral for all of society, regardless of whether the members belong to that faith or another faith or no faith at all.

    As for the nuclear family being the primary institution that challenges government, how can that be? I strongly doubt you would find a single member of Congress who would not extol the virtues of marriage and the family if asked. Where is the conflict?

    Fact: The family is weaker; the government is stronger. Fact: One important purpose of the gay movement is to destroy Christianity and to destroy the nuclear family.

    The strength of any social institution is grounded in the value placed on it by those that may be affected by it. The fact that there are many same sex couples who want to marry indicates that the institution of marriage is as valuable to them as it is to heterosexual couples. If anything, on those grounds alone, same sex marriage can be viewed as strengthening the institution.

    As for the purpose of the gay movement being to destroy Christianity and the nuclear family, the intemperate views of one gay activist should only be of concern if there was reason to believe they spoke for the entire movement or at least the vast majority.

    If I wanted to indulge in paranoia I could with equal justification point to the relatively small number of Christian Dominionists and Reconstructionists who regard their faith and democracy as antithetical and would seek to replace the latter with a full-blown Christian theocracy, a position which is both unconstitutional and potentially seditious. Since, as far as I can tell, they are very far from speaking for all other Christians, it would be a mistake to credit them with greater significance than their numbers warrant.

  215. 215
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, perhaps, it needs to be highlighted that democracy is not an end in itself, that it is inherently unstable and prone to marches of folly, requiring stabilisation from wider cultural systems and general moral governance. The sad history of the disintegration and collapse of democracies from Athens to Venezuela, is a sobering lesson on marches of folly. This is part of why I have pointed to the need to address the grounding of responsible, rational freedom, and tied to that moral and logical suasion. There is a prevailing myth of secularist progressivism to a utopia, which is currently deeply influenced by cultural marxism/ “critical studies” as the OP above and the subsequent one with actual clips on the gender as cultural construct game, illustrate. The issue is, the general context points to an undermining of responsible rational freedom and its needed cultural support. Where the much despised creation order family, the now denigrated recognition that there is a reason why we are born male and female, the too often dismissed realisation of the significance of ethical theism as a stabilising influence, also the inappropriate suspicion meted out to the sort of law- of- our- responsible- rational- nature school of thought already evident in Cicero are all symptomatic of the onward disintegration of sound democratic governance in our day. I note that sound family life rooted in sound ethics of moral governance, has long been pivotal to survival of civilisations, and so the gender bender games now afoot have sobering significance. We are headed for an awful crash, and it is going to be a lot harder to rebuild this time around than it was after the collapse of the Western Roman empire. Nukes and other little toys are in play, after all. I am by no means optimistic for our civilisation, but there is need to face the issues squarely. KF

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato’s warning on what can happen with a democratic polity, by way of his parable of the ship of state:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  217. 217
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP:

    Note this argument early in your linked paper:

    Methodologically speaking, I find the “metaphysics first” approach to public policy rather bizarre. For example, when instituting an intellectual property regime, the core question is not “what is intellectual property?” (as if there were some pre-legal fact of the matter), but something more like, what values are at stake here and what policies/laws would best serve these values?

    The authors argue that revisionists must accept the primacy of their metaphysical question, for “[o]therwise, how could the law get marriage wrong?” (p.250) The obvious answer is that some legal regimes may be better or worse at realizing relevant values. But anyway, putting the word ‘marriage’ aside, we can interpret the first part of the paper as arguing that there’s something distinctively valuable about the kind of relationship described by the Conjugal View (a value not shared by any other kind of relationship). So let’s consider that claim.

    In short the underlying presuppositions in the critique are that there is no core human nature joined to requisites of family soundness pivoting on stability of the heterosexual bond. As a result, play gender bender games, do a bit of lawfare, seize control of dominant institutions and might and manipulation have made a new ‘right’ and ‘truth,’ a radical purported redefinition of marriage. In that context when someone comes along and points out that a few nature of human reality questions are being begged, with serious implications, that is then simply dismissed.

    Perhaps, it will help to realise what a reasonable definition of metaphysics (the core of first philosophy) is, courtesy Merriam-Webster:

    metaphysics 1 a (1) : a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology
    metaphysics … analyzes the generic traits manifested by existences of any kind — J. H. Randall

    Now, the best definition of truth I ever found, is that — as Aristotle pointed out in Metaphysics 1011b [yup, that context is itself a hint] — truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not.

    So, the rhetorical game in the review you pointed to is the substitution of a crooked yardstick, which then puts us in the place where what is actually true and sound cannot ever pass the test, as it cannot conform with crookedness if it is already aligned with fundamental reality.

    That is why plumbline truth tests are important, and these start at the basic level of what truth, right, rights, responsible rational freedom and the like are.

    Precisely the issues that are repeatedly dodged in the thread above by those only too eager to enable the gender bender impositions.

    And that is why we need to go back to first philosophy, not brush it aside as those you promoted by way of a link did.

    No, what is marriage is indeed the first question, as it is well known that folly, confusion and even injustice can be instituted under false colour of law. As has patently happened with the gender bender counterfeit of marriage.

    KF

  218. 218
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    Now, the best definition of truth I ever found, is that — as Aristotle pointed out in Metaphysics 1011b [yup, that context is itself a hint] — truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not.

    You will get no argument from me. So let’s talk about what IS.
    1) Marriage IS a man made institution that has changed significantly over the centuries.
    2) Marriage IS a legal contract between two people.
    3) Marriage IS a promise made between two people in front of witnesses.
    4) Homosexuality IS found throughout the animal kingdom, and is found within humanity.
    5) The love that two homosexuals feel towards each other IS the same as that felt between a man and a woman.
    6) The government IS within its authority to define marriage however they see fit.
    7) Democracy IS better than theocracy.
    8) the religious/conscience argument used to oppose SSM IS the same as those that were used to oppose desegregation, inter-racial marriage and the handicapped act.

    Now, let’s list what IS NOT:
    1) Marriage IS NOT exclusively a religious institution.
    2) Traditional marriage IS NOT a real thing.
    3) Homosexuality IS NOT a sin, regardless of what a dusty old book says.
    4) Same sex marriage IS NOT a risk to “traditional” marriage.
    5) Homosexuality IS NOT a choice in the way that you chose a flavour of ice cream.
    6) Freedom of Religion IS NOT a universal right.
    7) Freedom of Religion IS NOT a licence to discriminate against other people.
    8) Homosexuality IS NOT a disease or a disorder.
    9) Homosexuality IS NOT harmful to other people or to society.

  219. 219
    Phinehas says:

    SRJ:

    “I definitely have a degree of discomfort about my body and its softer/squishier nature compared to a lot of men.”

    This is the opposite of what a male-to-female transgender experiences. Such person would likely state, “I definitely have a degree of discomfort about my body and its lack of a softer/squishier nature compared to a lot of women.” Is this statement in any way more accurate as a description of your state of mind?

    Wouldn’t that depend on whether such a person viewed themselves as a woman rather than an atypical man? If I view myself as a man, I compare myself to other men and see that I am atypical. Can this not be a choice? Or cannot other choices be made to reinforce viewing oneself as an atypical man instead of as a woman? Again, what is the advantage in denying the reality of my biology in order to view myself as a woman rather than an atypical man?

    As I mentioned to another poster, I know a Christian family where a child was adopted as a toddler. That child is now a teenager and the parents have been struggling to deal with the teen’s apparent attraction to identifying as a baby, including wearing diapers. As you can imagine, this has caused quite a bit of concern for the loving parents. They are distraught. They want to do what they can to love and accept their son, but does this mean it is healthy for the son to identify as a baby or for them to reinforce such a delusion?

    As one who has struggled with an addiction, I know what it is like to be powerless to change something you desperately want changed. As one who has been in recovery for many years, I also know what it is like to go through a process of surrender that ultimately brings me to a place where God’s power changes what I could not.

    I confess that I don’t know where transgender issues fit into the spectrum of biological reality, psychological delusion, and addictive behaviors with which I am personally familiar. I know that I am extremely wary regarding the trite kind of tolerance that the left uses to give themselves license and browbeat others. But I don’t want to be too reactionary either. So I’m trying to sift my way through the issue to understand as much as I can. So far, I don’t know that I’ve heard anything that would move me off what has traditionally been thought of as the Biblical view as expressed in Deut 22:5:

    A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

    I imagine the transgender response to this verse is that it is what a person feels they are on the inside that makes them a man or woman, but I don’t know that I find that convincing. I’ve felt things on the inside that were deeply moving and motivating, but were ultimately not healthy for me. And I’ve seen God change those feelings when I’ve surrendered to His plan for doing so.

  220. 220
    StephenB says:

    seversky @214,

    Why would you doubt that gay marriage weakens marriage the family when it was designed to do that very thing? The gay movement did not “emerge” from the bottom up; it was introduced and forced fed from the top down. Books have been written about this subject and no one who is acquainted with the facts will deny it. Either the institution marriage gets to define itself and the way children should be raised or else the government will make that call. By definition, they cannot co-exist as the primary influence for family values, life issues, cultural norms, and sexual morality. As one grows, the other diminishes.

    More to the point, the gay lobby, and its sympathetic forces in government do not want to co-exist with the nuclear family. They seek to destroy it. They are on record of saying so. On the other hand, the family simply wanted to influence government in the direction of traditional values. That is what the founders decided should be the correct role of the family. The government was supposed to honor those values, and once did. Insofar as the government, in concert with the gay lobby, defines the rules, the institution of marriage is made weaker. There is no question about it.

  221. 221
    kmidpuddle says:

    Phinehas and SRJ, it seems to me that the discomfort that both of you have mentioned about your bodies is more about body image than it is about gender identity. Where the distinction comes is that your body image is as compared to other men whereas SRJ’s body image is as compared to other women.

    As one who has struggled with an addiction, I know what it is like to be powerless to change something you desperately want changed.

    I guess the question that must be asked is whether you desperately wanted to change because of the negative affects that your addictions had on your health and your family. Or if you desperately wanted to change because of the judgement and shaming of others. Obviously, addictions such as smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, etc. have a direct negative impact on you and your family both in regards to health and financial. This is not the same for transgendered, or at least not in the same way. I would think that most of the desire to change from a transgender perspective is the result of family and peer pressure, social stigma, possibly religious indoctrination (indoctrination is the wrong word, but teachings does not reflect the strength that these beliefs can have). These can certainly have a physical affect on a person, specifically psychological, but they are an indirect effect of being transgender as opposed to the direct health affects of things like smoking, drinking and drugs.

    If transgendered (and homosexuals) did not have to deal with the social stigma associated with their “condition”, would the desperate desire to change still exist? I suspect not.

  222. 222
    kmidpuddle says:

    StephenB:

    More to the point, the gay lobby, and its sympathetic forces in government do not want to co-exist with the nuclear family. They seek to destroy it. They are on record of saying so.

    You are applying the desires of the few to generalize about an entire group. There are plenty of heterosexuals who oppose marriage. Based on this should we make all marriage illegal?

    I know several same sex couples. Not a single one of them has any desire to negatively affect opposite sex marriages or families.

    On the other hand, the family simply wanted to influence government in the direction of traditional values.

    What traditional values are these? The traditional value of husbands being allowed to physically discipline their wives? The tradition of the wive having to vow to obey her husband? The tradition of removing teenage girls from school if they become pregnant? The tradition of men being allowed to marry girls as young as 12 years old?

    Traditions change all of the time. Some survive for quite a long time, others for only a few generations.

  223. 223
    StephenB says:

    kmidpuddle

    I know several same sex couples. Not a single one of them has any desire to negatively affect opposite sex marriages or families.

    By definition, a same-sex “couple” is anti-nuclear family. A pro-family homosexual would not participate in the redefinition of marriage. It is an implicit claim that children do not deserve a man and a woman as parents. Very few homosexuals would be open-minded enough to challenge the gay lobby and side with the traditional family. On the other hand, there are plenty of revolutionary heterosexuals who are happy to join hands with the gay lobby to destabilize the social order.

    What traditional values are these?

    Children deserve a man and a woman as parents. They deserve moral instruction about when and where sexual activity should take place. They deserve to know that babies should not be murdered in the womb. The deserve to know that the Founding fathers of our country supported the traditional definition of marriage as an institution that fosters the rule of law and preserves freedom against the tyrannical impulses of the government.

    Traditions change all of the time.

    A tradition that changes into something else is no longer that same tradition. (Law of non-contradiction). What you mean to say is that some traditions are replaced by new norms. That doesn’t mean that the new norms are an improvement on the old ones.

  224. 224
    kmidpuddle says:

    Since we have been talking about transgender issues, I thought that some here might be interested to know that Canada just passed a bill adding transgender to our charter of rights. This makes it against the law to discriminate against the transgendered. My prediction is that none of those dire predictions made by those opposed to the bill will come to pass.

    Canada allows abortion on demand (paid for by the state). Allows same sex marriage and adoption. Requires businesses to provide their services to homosexuals and transgendered, regardless of their religious beliefs. Allows doctor assisted suicide. Provides mandatory comprehensive sex education at an early age. THIs includes teaching about homosexuality and transgendered and madturbation. Provides unrestricted access to contraceptives without parental permission or notification. Will be legalizing recreational marijuana, possibly sold by the government. Has legal limitations on free speech. Has very strict gun laws. And yet, Canada is still ranked, year after year, as one of the best places in the world to live. Given what I have read here, how is that possible?

  225. 225
    Phinehas says:

    KMP:

    If transgendered (and homosexuals) did not have to deal with the social stigma associated with their “condition”, would the desperate desire to change still exist? I suspect not.

    Again, you implicitly assume God doesn’t exist, He hasn’t proscribed certain behaviors according to His design, there is no one out there who desires to live according to His design apart from social stigma, and that God’s design cannot possibly be better for individuals and the society they live in. And, again, these assumptions are unwarranted.

  226. 226
    Eugen says:

    Kpuddle

    You won in a sense that you managed to drag everyone into your mud puddle. Again.
    “Canada allows abortion on demand (paid for by the state). Allows same sex marriage….” Bla bla bla

    All this was forced and bullied upon people of Canada. We were never asked to vote in referendum about issues. Parliament is not allowed free vote, basically laws are passed by decree….

    With all these new liberal laws you think we would be paradise and yet Canada’s natality is below replacement which makes us dying nation. Why this paradox?

  227. 227
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle,

    It’s called “lag time.” Sometimes, it takes a while for a cause to produce its effect. At the moment, Canadians are living off the benefits provided by their past allegiance to God and the hard work of earlier generations. But that is coming to an end. As traditional morality began to fade, homosexuality became normalized. Families are now shrinking and marriage is in decline, but drug use is up. Most importantly, Canada is dying. It cannot maintain its birth rate. The United States is headed in the same direction. It is a simple matter of consulting the cultural indicators.

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, notice how the grounding of responsible, rational, morally governed freedom continues to be ducked? That is pivotal, especially in a generation utterly warped by involvement with or enabling of the worst holocaust in history. The nihilism of might and manipulation is no substitute. And our civilisation is on track to pay a terrible price. KF

    PS: Notice, how no one is willing to defend the gender bending games that come out of the same nihilism? That should give us a few clues.

  229. 229
    kmidpuddle says:

    Eugen:

    All this was forced and bullied upon people of Canada.

    Not exactly true. Abortion on demand was the result of government charges being laid against an abortion doctor who was openly performing illegal abortions. In spite of openly admitting that he was conducting abortions, a crime at the time, a jury refused to find him guilty. Twice.

    Prior to the last election, the liberals barely had enough seats to keep their official party status. Their new leader would not sign any nomination papers for anyone who was not pro choice. And he made it very clear that if elected his government would always be pro choice. And he won a majority.

    There is nothing stopping any polition or government running with pro life as a platform. Or anti SSM. But they don’. I wonder why that is.

  230. 230
    SteRusJon says:

    Phinehas,

    “Wouldn’t that depend on whether such a person viewed themselves as a woman rather than an atypical man?”

    Yes and that is just the point. If you are anatomically a man and view yourself as a man, typical or atypical, you are not transgender (at least in the sense of “female brained”).

    Regarding Deut. 22:5, it is not all as straight forward as it might seem. See http://www.beki.org/dvartorah/crossdressing/ where it shows those attuned to the Hebrew struggle with its meaning. Beyond that, do you feel you need to strictly adhere to every other proscription in the Deuteronomical laws?

    As for the case of the teenager identifying as a baby, I haven’t a clue as to what is going on. It is not likely anyone will truly get to the root of it. In the case of transgenders, at a rate of about one per hundred persons, we are only beginning to understand some of the psychology and physiology.

  231. 231
    J-Mac says:

    kmidpuddle!

    Do you find bestiality objectionable?

  232. 232
    kairosfocus says:

    SB (attn KMP),

    “lag time.”

    Recall the cartoons with Wile E Coyote running off the cliff and hanging in open air?

    Then he looks down and, scree-splat.

    A lesson.

    Most caught up in marches of folly (we and our leaders know better than you dumb fundies etc) do not realise the building up cumulative impact of unwise changes, until they hit critical mass and an avalanche is triggered.

    A key symptom is the refusal to pay attention to truly fundamental matters.

    For example, the article KMP pointed to simply used that weird-sounding word, metaphysics simply to dismiss and get on with the agenda. Only, metaphysics is about the study of what is real, what is its nature, how does it have being, how does it go with other things to make up a world. In which context truth is accurate description of reality and real knowledge is sound understanding thereof.

    Including the reality of rationally and responsibly free, morally governed creatures that come in two sexes and need stable families and communities that soundly manage self, sex, nurture etc in order to thrive. In really hard times (such as we likely will increasingly face), to survive.

    We need to go to the foundations and challenge any worldview or ideological agenda: how do you coherently ground rationally and responsibly free, morally governed creatures in a sound, sustainable community.

    When I hear nonsense like traditional marriage does not or did not exist and imagining that the state can arbitrarily define and redefine pivotal covenants such as marriage [and presumably enforce its definition by force backed up by colour of law], I know I am dealing with someone who has lost contact with reality.

    Bud, FYI, I come from a family descended from ex slaves (and their masters, going further back), with some indentured labourers from India tossed in for good measure. Marital stability across my extended kinfolks goes back to at least the 1850’s to 70’s, and it has been pivotal for the advancement of my family, up to and including a former US Secretary of State and a national hero of my homeland. Don’t even try statistical tricks or the like to make it seem that that family history isn’t real, when I can see the devastating impact of family breakdown on the sad history of my homeland.

    Our civilisation is stubbornly, foolishly playing with fire and will get badly burned, period.

    KF

  233. 233
    kmidpuddle says:

    J-mac: Do you find bestiality objectionable?
    Ah, the slippery slope argument. Get back to me when you are serious about having a discussion.

    KMP, we have patently been sliding down just such a slope. The underlying point is, whether there are such things as moral limits above and beyond the next item on the agenda for those who by a long chain of abuses and usurpations have shows a clear design to reduce us under the nihilism of might and manipulation under false colour of law and of manufactured rights that duck the issue that to demand duties of others you must first manifestly be in the right, while undermining the premise of justice and rights: objective moral government manifested in our being and rooted in the source of reality. In that context the sort of smug, snidely evasive dismissiveness regarding a highly relevant issue, you just tried is not good enough. KF, thread owner.

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us go back to a plumbline test case of self-evident moral truth (one which, sadly, is not hypothetical:

    ASSERTION: it is self-evidently wrong, bad and evil to kidnap, torture, sexually violate and murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure. Likewise, by corollary: if we come across such a case in progress, it is our duty to try to intervene to save the child from such a murderous, demonically predatory monster.

    Almost all people will agree that such a case is horrible, and to be deplored. So also, they will agree that a duty of rescue obtains, or at least of succor for someone left half dead. But characteristically, those who wish to get away from objectivity of core morality will be loathe to address why they know such is wrong, what is its basis, even while they do not want to say no, this is just a matter of arbitrary preference backed up by willingness to use force. So this poses a dilemma: acknowledge that we can know that some things are evil and wrong, or else lose credibility, as SB pointed out for the end-point, the murder.

    That is a real dilemma and easily explains the studious evasiveness above.

    Ironically, objectors like we are dealing with routinely imply and confidently appeal to the strong sense that we are bound by duties of care to truth and right, so as we are wrong we should change our views to get in line with subjectivism and relativism.

    Again, the incoherence jumps out, once one notices.

    Notwithstanding, in the view of too many today, we are left to feelings of revulsion and the community consensus (however constituted — and the same often love to trot out cases such as racism, segregation and alleged oppression of fashionable or favoured groups to discredit majority views they do not like . . .). A consensus, backed up by police and courts on this.

    Not so.

    Compare a fish, that we lure to bite on a hook, then land, kill and eat for lunch without compunction. And even for those who object, they will do so by extension of the protective sense we have about say the young child — not the other way around. But, unless there is a material difference between a young child and a fish, that sense of wrong is frankly delusional, it is just a disguised preference, one that we are simply willing to back up with force.

    Where, the young child has no eloquence to persuade the monster and no strength to resist or escape. There may be no neighbour to hear cries for help — and there are such things as gags . . . which then can have the convenient effect of suffocating the victim silently. So much for might and manipulation make right. Indeed, it is notorious that monsters often manipulate their victims to lure them to where they can trap, bind, gag, abuse, destroy. Oh, I have some nice comic books in my van or my house or whatever.

    This just underscores how when something boils down to substituting might and manipulation for moral reasoning and principles, it is absurd.

    Nor is it at once evident that all morality ends in such absurdity up to and including, God commands the good. (And no this is not, the caricatured circularity of the gostak distims the doshes; see below.)

    So, what is driving the force of the self-evidence?

    Why is it so patently absurd to deny this test case as a knowable moral truth?

    Conscience.

    A key mental faculty, one that pervades our thinking, deciding, speaking and doing. For, it is the voice that urges us to truth, soundness, prudence and the right. An inner voice that can be benumbed or can err, but cannot be dismissed as wholly unreliable, on pain of reducing mindedness to grand delusion.

    We cannot saw off the branch on which we all must necessarily sit.

    That, too is absurd.

    So, already, we see that once we let radical relativism and subjectivism loose, we are looking at the absurdity and chaos of the nihilist abyss, might (and manipulation) makes for ‘right.’ Sawing off the branch on which even rationality itself must sit, plunging us to ruin.

    Oops.

    However, at the pivot of the skeptical objections to objective moral truth, notwithstanding persistent reduction to absurdity, is the pose that since we may err and since famously there are disagreements on morality, we can always reduce moral feelings to subjective perceptions tastes and preferences, dismissing any and all claims of objectivity much less self evidence. Deconstructed and dismissed.

    So, the objector triumphantly announces: there is an unbridgeable IS-OUGHT gap, game over.

    Not so fast.

    Again, if we put up a mirror to the objector, we instantly see a familiar result. S/he is implicitly, unavoidably appealing to what his position would trash and discard. Zip, zip, zip, again — sawing off the branch on which we are all sitting.

    Zip, zip, zip, CRAACK . . scree . . . Crash-splat.

    Self-referential absurdity is a very good test of what is self-falsifying.

    Instead, let us start from the self-evident truth that we are self-evidently reasonably, responsibly free but error-prone creatures, who are morally governed. Indeed, that is pretty much where that right-wing fundy, Bible-thumping nut Cicero — NOT! — started from, 2100 years ago. (Notice, who it is keeps on scorning dusty books as though we cannot find relevant wisdom in the classics of the ages? And, who keep on pointing out classic insights?)

    Maybe the objectors might now take pause to hear him at age 21 or so, in De Legibus:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man. We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    If you will not learn from the Hebrews and the Christians, at least, listen to the best of the pagans.

    For shame.

    So, we see a framework for morality passed down to us by the ghost of an eight year old victim of a monster. Self-evident first moral principles keyed to our evident nature, serving as plumblines of justice, sound reason and good governance.

    Let me lay out where I think this heads (and gender-bender ideologues, I am looking straight at you).

    We may elaborate on Paul, Jesus, Moshe, Locke, Hooker, Cicero, Aristotle and many others, laying out several manifestly evident and historically widely acknowledged core moral principles; for which the attempted denial is instantly and patently absurd for most people — that is, they are arguably self-evident (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law.

    For instance:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. (That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.)

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world-understanding in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. If a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT — so that IS and OUGHT are inextricably fused at that level, it fails decisively. This, I will follow up.)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan — found in the Gospels, for those who view that Book with irrational fear and even hate. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare; usurping the sword of justice to impose a ruthless policy agenda in fundamental breach of that civil peace which must ever pivot on manifest justice. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. (In Aristotle’s terms as cited by Hooker: “because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like .”) Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.

    So, is this sort of reasoning absurd, a reduction under Right Wing Christo-fascist tyranny to be resisted with all might?

    Nonsense, divisive agit prop.

    Assess on the merits.

    And if you reject, make sure your own scheme can adequately ground responsible, rationally free, error prone, morally strugling, morally governed creatures.

    Every tub must stand on its own bottom.

    No more riding piggyback on the heritage of the Christendom that you so patently despise.

    And oh, yes, let’s pause to deal with gender-bender games.

    After I put up this thread, I put up a second one that lays out choice clips from the gender studies agenda. No-one stood up to defend stuff that actually comes from the professional literature, two days in and counting. And, the satirical hoax fits right in.

    No, we need to recognise the force of what Paglia recently said (thanks Reader X):

    Asked by Jonathan Last why there has not been an open confrontation between feminism and transgenderism, Paglia responded that there has already been such a confrontation in the United Kingdom, citing the transgender community’s attacks on iconic feminist Germaine Greer and radical Australian feminist Sheila Jeffreys, the author of Gender Hurts.

    Paglia noted, “Jeffreys identifies transsexualism with misogyny and describes it as a form of ‘mutilation.’ She and her feminist allies encountered prolonged difficulties in securing a London speaking venue because of threats and agitation by transgender activists.”

    She continued:

    I am highly skeptical about the current transgender wave, which I think has been produced by far more complicated psychological and sociological factors than current gender discourse allows. Furthermore, I condemn the escalating prescription of puberty blockers (whose long-term effects are unknown) for children. I regard this practice as a criminal violation of human rights. It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender.

    Then, the shot straight from the hip: “The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible. Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life. Intersex ambiguities can occur, but they are developmental anomalies that represent a tiny proportion of all human births.”

    Paglia added, “Like Germaine Greer and Sheila Jeffreys, I reject state-sponsored coercion to call someone a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ simply on the basis of his or her subjective feeling about it.”

    Food for thought.

    On the is-ought gap, let me note:

    After centuries of debates and assessment of alternatives per comparative difficulties, there is in fact just one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. (And instantly, such generic ethical theism answers also to the accusation oh this is “religion”; that term being used as a dirty word — no, this is philosophy. If you doubt this, simply put forth a different candidate that meets the required criteria and passes the comparative difficulties test: _________ . Likewise, an inherently good, maximally great being will not be arbitrary or deceitful etc, that is why such is fully worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. As a serious candidate necessary being, such would be eternal and embedded in the frame for a world to exist at all. Thus such a candidate is either impossible as a square circle is impossible due to mutual ruin of core characteristics, or else it is actual. For simple instance no world is possible without two-ness in it, a necessary basis for distinct identity.

    KF

  235. 235
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    In that context the sort of smug, snidely evasive dismissiveness regarding a highly relevant issue, you just tried is not good enough. KF, thread owner.

    We were discussing transgender, homosexuality and same sex marriage. And then some moronic troll asks me if I object to beastiality. Forgive me if I refuse to engage in a discussion with any moronic troll who thinks that homosexuality and transgender are equivalent to beastiality.

  236. 236
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    We were discussing transgender, homosexuality and same sex marriage. And then some moronic troll asks me if I object to beastiality. Forgive me if I refuse to engage in a discussion with any moronic troll who thinks that homosexuality and transgender are equivalent to beastiality.

    Obviously, you missed the point of J-Mac’s exercise. Some of us argue that homosexual acts are wrong because they violate the natural moral law. But for you, there is no natural moral law, so it follows that, for you, no sexual act, including bestiality, could violate it. It makes perfect sense, then, for J-Mac to ask you if you find bestiality objectionable, thus putting you in a dilemma: If you say no, you lose all credibility; if you say yes, you admit that there is a natural moral law. So, you refuse to answer the question and pretend to be outraged.

    It reminds me of our exchange @129

    Kwimpuddle

    I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone.

    and responded,

    So you believe that it could be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in 2017 and right to discriminate against homosexuals in 2018? Further, you believe that it could be wrong for me to discriminate against homosexuals but right for someone else. Is that right?

    You evaded those questions as well.

  237. 237
    jdk says:

    It makes perfect sense, then, for J-Mac to ask you if you find bestiality objectionable, thus putting you in a dilemma: If you say no, you lose all credibility; if you say yes, you admit that there is a natural moral law.

    This is a false dichotomy.

  238. 238
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    This is a false dichotomy.

    No. It is a dilemma. If it was a false dichotomy, kwimpuddle would have answered that question. But he knows that he dare not address it—even after I explain the dilemma to him.

    So it is with you. I asked, “Do you know that murder is wrong?” You wouldn’t answer because a no is not credible and a yes means that you have access to the same natural moral law that you have been denying.

  239. 239
    jdk says:

    It’s a dilemma based on a false dichotomy.:-)

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    SB (attn KMP & JDK):

    Obviously, you missed the point of J-Mac’s exercise. Some of us argue that homosexual acts

    [–> note, ACTS, as opposed to having a morally laced struggle with same-sex attraction, to be overcome through suitable worldview reflection, sound psychological counsel and pastorally supported spiritual disciplines that tap the liberating power of God along the lines of something like the well-known 12-step recovery process. After all, many inherently disordered, morally dubious practices are habituating, addictive or otherwise enslaving . . . one of the red-flag indicators that something is seriously wrong. In this case, evidence points to a 20-year reduction in lifespan (even with incidence of HIV/AIDS adjusted for).]

    . . . are wrong because they violate the natural moral law. But for you, there is no natural moral law, so it follows that, for you, no sexual act, including bestiality, could violate it. It makes perfect sense, then, for J-Mac to ask you if you find bestiality objectionable, thus putting you in a dilemma: If you say no, you lose all credibility; if you say yes, you admit that there is a natural moral law. So, you refuse to answer the question and pretend to be outraged.

    This goes to the heart of the issues, including the other cases of studious evasions you highlighted:

    To KMP: >>It reminds me of our exchange @ 129

    Kwimpuddle

    I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone.

    and responded,

    So you believe that it could be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in 2017 and right to discriminate against homosexuals in 2018? Further, you believe that it could be wrong for me to discriminate against homosexuals but right for someone else. Is that right?

    You evaded those questions as well.>>

    To JDK: >>jdk

    This is a false dichotomy.

    No. It is a dilemma. If it was a false dichotomy, kwimpuddle would have answered that question. But he knows that he dare not address it—even after I explain the dilemma to him.

    So it is with you. I asked, “Do you know that murder is wrong?” You wouldn’t answer because a no is not credible and a yes means that you have access to the same natural moral law that you have been denying.>>

    Of course, part of the answer to all of this lies in Cicero in De Legibus, which KMP, JDK et al have been even more studiously evading . . . one suspects, in a context of the demonstration from a foundational, pre-Christian legal thinker in our civilisation, that this is not right-wing, Bible-thumping Fundy Christofascism (or whatever stigmatising ad hominem laced fashionable dismissive stereotype is being used to lock out the heritage of Christendom just now):

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man. We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    The point is, even just to have a real discussion, we must be responsibly and rationally free and morally governed. This means, we are looking at needing to ground our world at root level in a necessary being entity capable of bearing the weight of moral government. Hence, my discussion yesterday (which of course was studiously ignored).

    After centuries of debate, the only serious world-root candidate — flying spaghetti monsters and other such rhetorical stunts need not apply — capable of doing that is: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature. Ethical theism as number one serious worldview option.

    Where of course, speaking to our evident nature then highlights that we have a nature as morally governed, responsibly and rationally significantly free creatures. We have consciences that may err on points or may be dulled and benumbed through the habits of folly and the addictions of sin, but we cannot coherently deny the reality of that voice that we are under the law of our nature, implying a purpose, an end, a proper fulfillment. Thus, when we see that evils are by almost self evident definition — this is a corollary to having a morally guided nature as free, rational, responsible, en-conscienced creatures — the perversion, diversion, frustration or privation away from that proper end, we then can see a way to guide ethical thinking.

    For instance, we are by design, found in two complementary sexes, and require stable nurturing environments for the better part of a generation to become well-formed adults. That points to the proper context of sexuality and its normal, wholesome expression and reinforcement in the act of marital union. Marriage is, logically, the covenantal context that allows such expression and sets a context for sound child nurture.

    Anything that falls short of this is just that. Infertile couples (too many women postpone child-bearing today) are a challenge. But to struggle to bear children is not a moral but rather a medical challenge. Some, face serious genetic and/or psycho-social challenges that seem to warp natural desires and perhaps sense of identity. That may lead to struggles, but is not in itself wrong-doing.

    That threshold is crossed by way of thoughts, words, deeds and habits that run counter to the fulfillment of the evident purpose of human sexuality. Some of these take the natural desire of men for women and the converse out of proper context and lead to well-known problems that start with adultery and fornication. Others, warp the natural desires into inherently disordered, often insanitary and downright disease-spreading behaviours of various kinds. Such may then be entangled with twisted senses of identity, and may even become ideologies and socio-cultural agendas seeking dominance under false colour of law.

    That is where our civilisation is today, and such points to a march of folly to ruin.

    I have serious doubts that we are going to turn back before the cliff-edge collapses underfoot.

    But, the warning must be sounded.

    KF

  241. 241
    jdk says:

    kf writes,

    Some of us argue that homosexual acts … are wrong because they violate the natural moral law. But for you, there is no natural moral law, so it follows that, for you, no sexual act, including bestiality, could violate it.

    This is a tautology from which no further conclusions can be drawn.

    It does not address at all the argument that there are other grounds from which human moral judgments are made.

  242. 242
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    It does not address at all the argument that there are other grounds from which human moral judgments are made.

    Sorry, but that will not work. You have changed the subject from how you know right from wrong to the act of “making moral judgments,” which does not address the issue. Predictably, you fail to make your own claim specific. So I will ask you to do that now.

    How else can you know that murder is wrong except by apprehending the natural moral law. Specify those “other grounds.” You cannot because they do not exist.

    That is why you refused to answer the original question, which was this: Do you know that murder (or bestiality, for that matter) is wrong? If you say no, you lose credibility; if you say yes, I will ask you HOW YOU KNOW. Either way, you are refuted.

  243. 243
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    That is why you refused to answer the original question, which was this: Do you know that murder (or bestiality, for that matter) is wrong? If you say no, you lose credibility; if you say yes, I will ask you HOW YOU KNOW. Either way, you are refuted.

    Did you ever consider that the reason people do not respond to your questions is because they are so glaringly and patently stupid? Nothing constructive or informative ever comes out of responding to such questions. Actually, I take it back. The question does provide us information about the person asking the question.

    Now, if you want to actually address the issues of homosexuality, SSM, the existance of traditional marriage, whether the government has the authority to define what a marriage is, and transgender in an evidence based fashion, I am sure that JDK and I would we be willing to discuss the issues with you.

  244. 244
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, the direct implication is as SB outlined, which I cited with approval. If there is no law of our nature beyond a delusion we call conscience (Cf Ruse & Wilson et al) then there is nothing — non-being — there. So, there is nothing more substantial behind ought than a delusion. Amorality in short. Of course, it does not stop there, part of what conscience does is it regulates rationality through duties of known care to truth, right, etc; or — per what we are addressing — creates the delkusion of such obligation. In short, down that road lies the collapse of not only morality but responsible, rational freedom. Which, we need to have a real argument. In short, we here see self-referential absurdity. Time to back away from a self-falsifying view that lands us in the morass of general delusion. KF

  245. 245
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    Did you ever consider that the reason people do not respond to your questions is because they are so glaringly and patently stupid?

    No. The reason you (and jdk) do not answer my questions is twofold: [a] You are afraid to come to terms with the implications of your irrational moral philosophy, and [b] You believe that you should be able to scrutinize the opinions of others without having your own ideas scrutinized.

    Nothing constructive or informative ever comes out of responding to such questions.

    So says the one who is afraid to address them.

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, In addressing SB, you are dealing with someone with advanced formal education in both philosophy and communication [as well as being a very well catechised Catholic], whose deep wisdom has been demonstrated many times over the years here at UD and elsewhere. He is not on trial. I suggest to you that your reaction to him strongly suggests that you are in the grip of the problem of the crooked yardstick. If you make a crooked yardstick your standard, one thing that is guaranteed is that what is actually accurate and true (in the sense of straight) will never fit with it, as it already conforms to reality. This is why it is doubly important for us to look to plumbline independent truths that we can use to test our frameworks and yardsticks. This is the context in which the challenge of grounding a world in which we exist as responsibly and rationally free, morally governed creatures, is on the table. As you will have just seen with JDK, things that undermine that, lead straight to absurdity. So, I suggest you ponder the ghost of a very real eight year old victim of kidnapping, binding, sexual assault and murder, then ask how do we know this is evil, and what happens when for argument’s sake, we suggest that it is not. When you can ground the moral judgement that this is evil, then we are in a position to make some progress. KF

    PS: Cicero’s thoughts as were already cited, will also be highly instructive. We are here dealing with the roots of Law and justice, so this is not a mere empty academic exercise. Indeed this has a lot to do with the sad pass our civilisation has got itself into.

  247. 247
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    Now, if you want to actually address the issues of homosexuality, SSM, the existance of traditional marriage, whether the government has the authority to define what a marriage is, and transgender in an evidence based fashion, I am sure that JDK and I would we be willing to discuss the issues with you.

    I am fine with using historical evidence to confirm morally based principles, so long as we draw from the 2000+ year record of cultural trends–and the attendant rise and fall of nations–. We learn much less from the 10-year blips.

  248. 248
    jdk says:

    kf writes,

    as well as being a very well catechised Catholic

    Yes I noticed: his “natural moral law” is basically conservative Catholic dogma.

  249. 249
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK,

    No, the natural moral law — as Cicero demonstrates — antedates the Christian faith, it is testified to by our consciences reflecting rationally and responsibly on the human condition. The Christian faith, in its main traditions agrees with and appeals to the law of our evident nature, it does not impose it as dogma.

    Notice, again, Cicero:

    ““Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.”

    For starters . . . how can we know that it is evil to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure? (How is this warranted, apart from the self-defeating nihilism of might and manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ etc?)

    Like unto this, are we or are we not responsibly and rationally free morally governed creatures, where we have an evident nature that then leads to the issue that there is a naturally evident purpose such that to rob a human being of life is to frustrate that end, and to distort sexuality from its proper context of the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound child nurture leads to a wrenching of our nature that undermines human thriving in community across time.

    That is, sexual licence and perversions of the various sorts that now increasingly rear their heads and demand to be treated as “rights” — but to properly claim a right one must first be in the right, to try to compel others to uphold one in wrong is itself a compounding of evil, as we can plainly see — are in the end suicidal for human community. And yes, I am saying that our civilisation is patently suicidal at this point, something that is for instance strongly support5ed by demographics. The sort of uncontrolled release and twisted expressions of sexual energies that are mounting up as a tidal wave across our civilisation are ruinous.

    But then, we are seeing ideologies that imply that there is no truth in the testimony of our consciences that we are under moral government, we are victims of grand delusion. Such fail to realise that this instantly includes the sense of duty to truth and reason itself, making shipwreck.

    KF

  250. 250
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Yes I noticed: his “natural moral law” is basically conservative Catholic dogma.

    I refuted that claim long ago. You had no response. Would you care to try again.

    I wrote this @170

    Your only “point” is to make the false claim that my arguments are faith based. At their core they are natural law arguments, though I can use religion to add a little icing on the cake. Still, I don’t need the icing to make the point.

    If I told you that a can opener has a certain nature and that using it as a shovel would violate its purpose, would you say that I was making a religious argument? If I said that a crankshaft has a certain nature and using it as a gas tank would violate its purpose, would you say that I was pushing a religions argument?

    And so I make the same common sense argument for sex. If human beings have a certain nature, then they should not approach sex as if they had the nature of an animal. The substance of that argument is independent of religion, but since you cannot address it, indeed, since you completely ignore it, your only recourse is to bring religion back into the discussion.

    As I have argued throughout the thread, the morality of sex is based on the purpose of sex. That purpose can be established by an observation of the complementarity of the sexes. Don’t you realize that these things are on the record? Wouldn’t you like to try something new?

  251. 251
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, evidently KMP does not realise the historical precedent for so-called same sex marriage — a misnomer and frankly a cynically mocking counterfeit imposed by ruthless lawfare and highly deceitful manipulation [cf Lindh on this pattern] — is Nero Caesar, as Suetonius testifies in his nightmarish, nauseating discussion that I would advise not to read at any time within three hours of a meal time on either side. KF

  252. 252
    jdk says:

    Stephen, the purpose you are assuming is that of your religion. Your arguments are circular.

  253. 253
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @ 220

    Why would you doubt that gay marriage weakens marriage the family when it was designed to do that very thing? The gay movement did not “emerge” from the bottom up; it was introduced and forced fed from the top down. Books have been written about this subject and no one who is acquainted with the facts will deny it. Either the institution marriage gets to define itself and the way children should be raised or else the government will make that call. By definition, they cannot co-exist as the primary influence for family values, life issues, cultural norms, and sexual morality. As one grows, the other diminishes.

    It sounds to me like you are promoting a conspiracy theory which demonizes the gay community to an alarming extent.

    Same sex marriage became accepted because there was a groundswell of popular support which provided the impetus and the authority for legal and political decisions. It is both absurd and a purblind denial of what happened to believe that a small minority could impose its will on the majority in light of the history of oppression of homosexuals at the hands of the Christian majority over thousands of years.

    You have not shown how same sex marriage abridges the right of heterosexual couples to marry in any way. You have not shown how same sex marriage has any influence on heterosexual families and how they raise and educate their children. The notion that “the institution marriage gets to define itself and the way children should be raised” is rhetorical nonsense. The institution of marriage is not an intelligent, moral agent capable of making such determinations. It is people who decide these matters. Heterosexual individuals are free to choose whether or not they want to marry and raise a family. All that has changed is that homosexuals have finally been granted the same freedom by society as whole. All that has been diminished is the power of evangelical Christianity to impose its will on the rest of us in these matters.

  254. 254
    jdk says:

    And one of the main reasons is that millions of heterosexuals, many of whom are are in faithful, monogamous marriages (me, for instance) came to understand (easily, once the issue was sufficiently raised) that supporting same-sex marriage was the right thing to do for those same-sex couples who, it was seen, deserve all the same benefits of marriage, legal and otherwise, that heterosexual couples do, as well as (to continue his long sentence) who, in doing so, do no harm to anyone else.

    This has happened democratically, by a change in the general attitude of the public, which then became reflected in the law.

  255. 255
    Eugen says:

    Seversky

    at least jdk and puddle are wrong, you are not even wrong

  256. 256
    LarTanner says:

    StephenB @ 250

    As I have argued throughout the thread, the morality of sex is based on the purpose of sex.

    This is an interesting statement. If same-sex marriage (SSM) is not actually marriage (as many SSM opponents claim), shouldn’t same-sex sex not be considered ‘sex’?

    And if same-sex sex (SSS) is not really sex — as SSM is not really marriage — shouldn’t SSS have a different purpose than heterosexual sex?

    In other words, shouldn’t the morality of SSS be different than the morality of heterosexual sex, since SSS has a different purpose?

  257. 257
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    KMP, In addressing SB, you are dealing with someone with advanced formal education in both philosophy and communication [as well as being a very well catechised Catholic],…

    I apologize. I only have advanced formal education in science. I obviously am not worthy of participating in a discussion with such an exalted personage. But, then again, I am not the one stupid enough to
    equate homosexuality with beastiality.

  258. 258
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Stephen, the purpose you are assuming is that of your religion. Your arguments are circular.

    It is unfortunate that you continue to respond to my posts without reading them. I didn’t say that I assumed purpose. I said that I can discern purpose from the fact of the complementarity of the sexes.

    Meanwhile, you have not told us if you know that bestiality and murder are wrong. Do you?

  259. 259
    StephenB says:

    seversky, I have already indicated that the gay movement was a top-down phenomenon.

  260. 260
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    In other words, shouldn’t the morality of SSS be different than the morality of heterosexual sex, since SSS has a different purpose?

    The purpose of sex does not change from one group to another just as the purpose of breathing does not change from one group to another.

  261. 261
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    But, then again, I am not the one stupid enough to equate homosexuality with beastiality.

    Are you referring to me? I have not equated the two. The natural moral law recognizes *degrees of evil,* and so do I. Beastiality is worse than homosexuality.

    However, you appear to equate bestiality with homosexuality. Since you don’t know that bestiality is wrong, and since you don’t recognize the natural moral law, it follows that you have no grounds for saying beatiality is worse than homosexuality.

  262. 262
    jdk says:

    Stephen writes,

    I didn’t say that I assumed purpose. I said that I can discern purpose from the fact of the complementarity of the sexes.

    I know you say you discern it, but I’m saying that you are just discerning your religious assumptions, which includes the assumption that there is a God who made sex for the purposes you claim are the “naturally moral” ones..

    Sure, sex is for reproduction. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing it’s for.

  263. 263
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    I know you say you discern it, but I’m saying that you are just discerning your religious assumptions,

    Bad logic. You can’t discern the same thing you assume. If I discern that a man is dishonest, I am going by the evidence. If I assume he is dishonest, I have made my decision before the evidence has had a chance to speak. Aristotle didn’t assume the natural moral law; he apprehended it. Cicero didn’t assume the natural moral law, he apprehended it. By definition, natural moral law is discerned. Belief or faith is for revealed truths, not natural truths.

  264. 264
    jdk says:

    stephen writes,

    By definition, natural moral law is discerned.

    Well, that settles that, doesn’t it: declaring that what you believe is true is true “by definition.” More circular assertions, all pointing to each other as if that made them true.

  265. 265
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, you are precisely correct. There are many acts of a sexual nature that are not properly sexual intercourse. Not so many years ago they were recognised as such and for cause were generally termed unnatural acts. KF

    PS: There is a reason why sexual intercourse is called the act of marital union, and such reason is closely connected to why novelties pivoting on unnatural acts and imposed by lawfare and/or manipulation influenced by the tactics and aims of cultural marxism — again, cf. Lindh (a significant author on 4th generation war, which BTW includes lawfare as a component) and as has been outlined and cited above — are not properly marital or conjugal. Same Sex Marriage and the like are forms of words, imposed now under false colour of law, but such lack sound foundation in our morally governed rational nature and the associated complementarity of the two sexes which comes to a crucial expression in the act of marital union and its natural consequences. Let me put part of it this way, there is something transcendent going on when a woman — especially a virgin woman on her wedding night — opens the gates of her womb and with that the gates of her soul, to her lover. Something, that we too often seem utterly determined not to acknowledge, to sobering cost on many levels.

  266. 266
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, no one has a RIGHT to marry. That pivotal term is inadvertently revealing, as it implies a binding expectation of duties on the part of others to accord one what the right is tied to. No-one inherently owes any other person a duty to marry, indeed there have been cases where men and women have balked at the altar itself, and in many jurisdictions, there is still a formal pause that an objector may speak. It is by imagining that one has a RIGHT to “marry” as an expression of in effect an emotional “romantic” bond and then demand entitlements from the community that were established because of its interest in the proper nurture of posterity that come from the natural result of the act of union in the context of stable covenant, that we see how the imposition of an inherently disordered and incoherent entity has been imposed under false colour of law. And, this warping is further exposed when we notice that for example there is a readily discerned reason why laws of incest forbid people of close degree of relation from marriage. KF

  267. 267
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Well, that settles that, doesn’t it: declaring that what you believe is true is true “by definition.” More circular assertions, all pointing to each other as if that made them true.

    I didn’t declare that what I believe is true by definition. I said that the natural moral law is, by definition, something that is known and not believed. That is why its history precedes all the major religions. Do you not understand that something that precedes religion cannot also depend on religion? I am sure that kairosfocus has explained this to you more than once.

    So, one again, back to my question : Do you know that bestiality and murder are wrong?

  268. 268
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP,

    where has anyone equated bestiality with sodomy?

    J-Mac asked about being able to discern and warrant why this is an evil, SB spoke to it in response to rhetoric of evasion, and I cited him. I agree with him that it is a further degree of warping human sexuality out of its readily discerned purpose and sound context; indeed, I suggest this is a case that is even more perverse than child sexual molestation.

    We note, too, that at no point have you been able to provide warrant as to why bestiality is an evil, a severe perversion of our sexual nature.

    You still face a dilemma:

    a: acknowledge the actuality of the evil of perversion (here, in an even more extreme degree than child molestation) and then face the challenge of warranting moral government on evolutionary materialist scientism or its fellow travellers, or

    b: lose credibility as the patent perversity of the act confronts the want of ability of worldviews that have no adequate foundation for moral government to ground moral judgements is starkly exposed.

    It is therefore noteworthy that you have tried to dress yourself up in the lab coat while evading the issue. Where, advanced technical training in the sciences generally does not provide exposure to relevant issues, contexts, foundational knowledge and analytical skills. In some cases, sciences or scientific professions may provide an ethics course as a part of qualification, but they will not generally give the broad background required to claim a degree of expertise.

    Indeed, in this sort of context, putting on the lab coat is a sign of appeal to scientism, the ill-founded notion that “Science” has an effective monopoly on serious knowledge. As an illustration of how fallacious this is, such a claim or implication is a claim in epistemology, not science so it undercuts itself.

    KF

  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK:

    SB has summarised:

    You can’t discern the same thing you assume. If I discern that a man is dishonest, I am going by the evidence. If I assume he is dishonest, I have made my decision before the evidence has had a chance to speak. Aristotle didn’t assume the natural moral law; he apprehended it. Cicero didn’t assume the natural moral law, he apprehended it. By definition, natural moral law is discerned. Belief or faith is for revealed truths, not natural truths.

    I suspect, the pivot is the issue of self evident, plumbline moral truth, and beyond it self evident truth in general. Where, self-evidence is not equal to obviousness or to imposed axiomatic claims.

    The Kantian gulch between the inner world and the outer one rears its head again. So, let me first pause and cite F H Bradley’s apt response:

    We may agree, perhaps, to understand by metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole [–> i.e. the focus of Metaphysics is critical studies of worldviews] . . . .

    The man who is ready to prove that metaphysical knowledge is wholly impossible . . . himself has, perhaps unknowingly, entered the arena . . . To say the reality is such that our knowledge cannot reach it, is a claim to know reality ; to urge that our knowledge is of a kind which must fail to transcend appearance, itself implies that transcendence. For, if we had no idea of a beyond, we should assuredly not know how to talk about failure or success. And the test, by which we distinguish them, must obviously be some acquaintance with the nature of the goal. Nay, the would-be sceptic, who presses on us the contradictions of our thoughts, himself asserts dogmatically. For these contradictions might be ultimate and absolute truth, if the nature of the reality were not known to be otherwise . . . [such] objections . . . are themselves, however unwillingly, metaphysical views, and . . . a little acquaintance with the subject commonly serves to dispel [them]. [Appearance and Reality, 2nd Edn, 1897 (1916 printing), pp. 1 – 2; INTRODUCTION. At Web Archive.]

    In short, the Kantians have erred and we can properly address self-evident truth.

    Such truths, we approach in light of our experience of ourselves in our world. For one with appropriate experience that s/he may properly understand, one sees that a SET is so; further, that it is so based on understanding what it claims; lastly, that it must necessarily be so on pain of PATENT absurdity on the attempt to deny it. For example, one cannot be deceived that s/he is conscious. Likewise, it is undeniable that error exists. Similarly, for something to be coloured, it must be extended in space. No world is possible without distinct identity, A vs ~A (thus as direct corollaries the first principles of right reason and the world of numbers). And the like.

    Such truths also apply to a world of responsibly and rationally, significantly free, morally governed creatures. Indeed, if we are not of this class, we have no duties of care in truth, reasoning and behaviour and so the whole project of responsible, reasoned discussion collapses. With it, knowledge of any sort dependent on rational sense. Worse, as conscience is an integral part of our consciousness, the assignment of conscience to the status of delusion that we are under moral government taints and undercuts all of our inner life, sawing off the branch on which we all are sitting.

    In short, it is absurd.

    So, though we may err in particular matters of reasoning and duty, we can safely start from accepting that on the whole our rational and moral senses respond appropriately in material degree to reality. In short, logical and moral government of our conscious lives is a start-point for reason and responsibility. The issue, then, is what does such an immediate awareness of our inner life and its connection to the world we inhabit tell us about the roots of reality?

    Obviously, that IS and OUGHT must be fused in those roots. For, that is the only level where it is possible to unite is and ought. (And, this has been argued out many times, I am summarising.)

    This brings us to the only serious candidate, after centuries of debate. If you doubt that, simply put up a coherent alternative. (And a recent attempt collapsed, starting with the self-undermining assertion that we can know nothing on the nature of ultimate reality.)

    Namely: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    But long before we get to that, we have a case: it is self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for sick pleasure.

    Probe the case, it has much to teach, as was outlined above.

    KF

  270. 270
    Pindi says:

    StephenB, on the topic of purpose, why must there be only one purpose for sex? Or anything else?

  271. 271
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, purpose here indicates proper and primary end, which can be evident from the case. There may be secondary ones but such must be compatible with the primary one. Where sexuality is concerned, the tendency to put pleasure first — a crude form of hedonism — leads to incoherence and chaos. KF

  272. 272
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: John C Wright’s discussion is relevant. I clip:

    I, resting only on my human reason and with no particle of loyalty to or faith in any theological speculations (which, at the time, I frankly dismissed as egregious and base superstition), was drawn step by step against my will and very much against my inclinations away from the comfortable libertine and libertarian opinions of my youth to the conclusion that the sex act is licit only within marriage, that unchastity is illicit, and that unnatural sexual acts are illicit as well as unnatural.

    There are perfectly natural and worldly reasons for a rational atheist to support the Christian position on sexual morality. The following argument shows that the Christian position is the only logical position to hold, given the realities of human nature [–> he includes, later the sexually predatory nature of many men, and the issue of what it means for a woman to open the gates of her womb (and with this, the gates of her soul), to a lover . . . I add, especially as a trusting virgin].

    One a personal level, I did not change my conclusions about sexual morality because I became a Christian. The cause and effect was the other way. After cold logic lead me to the conclusions that the only logical position to hold just so happened to be the one held by my (at that time) hated enemies the Christians, I began to look at their egregious and base superstition with a less hostile gaze . . . .

    The Stoics reason as follows: of things, some are within our control, and others are not. Things within our control include the reason, which is the seat of logic and judgment, the passions, which is the seat of honor and virtue (good habits or bad), and the appetites, which is the seat of desire. Things not within our control include externals: your flesh, your money, your rank in society, your reputation in the eyes of others, the fortunes of war, whether you are healthy or sick, whether you live or die. You can influence these things only indirectly; you can try, but you cannot be assured of success.

    Even a cursory inspection of the human condition provides us with ample experience that the passion and appetites cannot be controlled unless habituated. One cannot, merely by a momentary effort of will, create or put aside a passion or an appetite, until and unless those passions and appetites are by long habit of self discipline subject to the sovereignty of the reason. The power to put aside unreasonable passions and appetites is called “virtue” (indeed, originally, the word “virtue” simply meant “power.”)

    Because it is unusual to make a distinction between passions and appetites, let me emphasize the difference. The word “appetite” here is being used to mean a self-centered desire for a specific physical pleasure: lust is the appetite for copulation, thirst is the appetite for drink, hunger the appetite for food, and so on. “Passion” by contrast is not necessarily self-centered, and is not necessarily satisfied by any physical pleasure: the desire of a bold soldier for glory in combat, for example, or the desire for a mother to protect her children, or the desire of a friend to come to the aid of his friend, or the desire of a patriot to see his home and nation honored. Many, if not most, passions are connected to imponderables: love and loneliness, shame and honor, glory and humility are matters that concern the passions.

    Unlike the brute beasts, a man can train and domesticate his passions to serve his reason rather than his appetite. I do not see the need to dwell further on this point: the literature and philosophy of all mankind through all history dwells primarily on the human condition, of which the tension between these three parts of the mind is the primary reality. A skeptic unconvinced of this point is directed toward those writings.

    That man has a duty to so domesticate his passions to serve his reason [–> I add, through the disciplined, growing exercise of responsible, rational freedom] we can deduce from the raw fact that the appetites are a multitude of contradictory desires, easily able to be inconsistent with surrounding facts of reality. If I desire to keep my cake and eat it too, the reason must arbitrate which desire shall prevail, since both cannot . . . .

    Even a cursory inspection of the human condition provides us ample evidence that there is a moral component to virtue and vice. Aside from the merely practical arrangement of the passions and appetites needed in order to sate one’s hungers efficiently, the reason makes a judgment on the fitness, wholesomeness, goodness or righteousness of the passion or appetite. The seat of moral judgment is called the conscience.

    There are those who claim these judgments are relative, or arbitrary, or are the by-product of Darwinian social evolution, or are the product of a programming imposed by economic class-interests. Their claim is that the judgments of the conscience either have no jurisdiction outside a narrow sphere, or have no jurisdiction at all. Their claim, simply put, is that all moral judgments are subjective, therefore illegitimate. To prefer virtue to vice (so the argument goes) is as arbitrary and personal a judgment as to prefer pie to cake.

    We can dismiss the claim that moral judgments are all subjective merely by inquiring whether or not we ought to inquire into the claim.

    Ought we to inquire whether or not all moral judgments are subjective?

    If the answer is no, the question is closed. [–> And, I suggest, such a closed-minded foreclosing of an issue is a warning flag that we are dealing with irresponsibility and/or irrationality.]

    If the answer is yes, then ought we to make this inquiry honestly, or dishonestly?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry dishonestly, then (a fortiori) we are not bound the results. For a dishonest thinker is under no moral obligation to accept a conclusion to which his logic drives him; even if he loses the argument, a dishonest thinker is not under a duty to change his mind or mend his ways. For what will impose the moral duty upon the dishonest thinker to conform his thoughts to the conclusions dictated by reason? Why must he be truthful even to himself? Why listen to his conscience?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry honestly, we necessarily thereby acknowledge at least one universal moral duty: the duty to think honestly. This duty is universal because the only other possibility, that we have no duty to think honestly, is not something we honestly can think.

    So we can at the minimum conclude that there is at least one moral duty to which the conscience prompts us, and this duty is a universal, which means it is an absolute, which means that the statement that all moral duties are relative is false . . . .

    Prudence is the general term for the common sense, sound judgment and sense of proportion needed before any man can arrange the passions to be fit, proper, and proportionate to the situation, as in, not to react with excessive fear to minor threats nor to react with understated fear to dire threats, nor to react with excessive and undue longing for minor pleasures, nor to treat with neglect major and lifelong joys, and so on. An absence of prudence is folly.

    Justice is the virtue restricting the appetite of self-interest of the passion of factional loyalty to its proper sphere, so that neither self-love nor love of one’s own will interfere with the rational judgment concerning strangers and rivals and enemies. Justice is rendering reward, penalty, courtesy, and dignity each according to his merit, rather than to the interests or personal loyalties of the judge. An absence of justice is injustice, or partiality

    Chastity is nothing more nor less than justice, moderation, prudence, or fortitude in reference to the sexual passions and appetites . . . .

    Romanticists say that Love Conquers All: the sexual impulse is too strong to be checked, or is determined by genetics, or that it is unjust for some other reason to demand virtue or self-control in sexual matters.

    Usually, the Romanticist argument is used to excuse only the form of sexual deviance being defended in the particular argument, since there can be found to be some sexual desires beyond the pale even of those most tolerant of sexual deviation. This is a rhetorical tactic, not a reasoned position, and we need not pause except to dismiss it. A partisan of the Sexual Revolution who, if any exist, sincerely maintaining that sex acts with children, dogs, corpses, other men’s wives and the children, or, for that matter, the corpses of dogs of other men’s wive’s children, in violation both of common prudence and simple justice, must have their argument fail merely on the terms of the absence of consent and the presence of harm . . . .

    marriage is not a contract. A contract is a meeting of the minds on such terms as the parties shall mutually agree for the exchange of goods and services or other consideration of value. Contracts have no moral or legal force outside their terms.

    One example should suffice to show the difference. Suppose Mr. A makes a deal with Mr. B that, starting noon on Monday, Mr. A will buy lumber from and only from the lumberyard of Mr. B, forsaking all others. Mr. A buys a load of lumber from yard C that same Monday, but at eleven o’clock. Is he in violation of any provision of the contract, or by the word or the spirit? Has he betrayed or wounded Mr. B in any way? Can Mr. B make any claim for which relief at law can be granted? The answer is no.

    By coincidence, this same Mr. A was planning to marry Miss D that same day, also at noon. Five minutes before the wedding is scheduled to take place, Miss D walks in on her promised bridegroom. He is standing with his trousers around his ankles vigorously coupling with one of the bridesmaids, Miss E, whose skirts are about her ears and her ankles about his ears. If the marriage were a contract, Miss D would have no more right to criticize or condemn his behavior than does Mr. B the lumberman. And yet no one of ordinary prudence would suggest she continue with the wedding at this point: we might even think her emotions insincere or unrelated to reality if her reaction were calm and understated.

    No sober argument can be raised that Mr. A is not betraying Miss D in this case . . .

    There is much more food for thought there (such are excerpts from preliminary remarks), which will help us to begin to understand the fire we are playing with as a civilisation.

    I suggest a sober reading.

    KF

  273. 273

    KF @ 268: Question to KMP – “where has anyone equated bestiality with sodomy?”

    Sodomy is not bestiality because it is not interspecies. I personally find it to be as equally revolting as bestiality, but I understand that others do not.

  274. 274

    KF @ 272: Excellent comment. Thank you for sharing.

  275. 275
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    where has anyone equated bestiality with sodomy?

    When the discussions are about homosexuality, SSM and transgendered, and someone asks me if I think that bestiality is wrong, it is either because the person equates them in some bizarre way, or it is an attempt to distract and deviate from the actual discussion. I guessed at the former. Perhaps I was wrong and that he was only attempting to distract and deviate from the subject being discussed. In either case, responding only rewards bad behaviour.

    indeed, I suggest this is a case that is even more perverse than child sexual molestation.

    That’s interesting. You think that the abuse of an animal is more perverse than the abuse of a child? I think the opposite.

    We note, too, that at no point have you been able to provide warrant as to why bestiality is an evi,…

    Evil is a religious invention. It doesn’t exist. As such, it would be pointless for me to get in a discussion about it. But if you were to ask be if beastiality is wrong from a societal perspective, I would say that it is. As is child abuse, rape, murder, stealing, etc. Any rational person can provide logical arguments as to why these things are counter to a stable and health society. Thankfully, the bulk of society agrees with me and we have passed laws against them.

    Nobody here has provided a coherent argument as to why homosexuality, SSM or transgender is in any way harmful to a stable and healthy society. I have heard warnings of dire consequences, none of which have been supported on the ground with real evidence. Yes, we have seen consequences that have been detrimental to specific individuals, but these have been the result of these individuals wrongly thinking that religious freedom covers for their open discrimination against others by denying publicly provided services based on sexual orientation. Just as we saw negative consequences to individuals who used the same arguments to discriminate against others based on the colour of their skin.

    People here have talked about “natural moral law” thinking that it supports their position with regard to these issues. But it does no such thing.

    Natural Moral Law: A pillar of the Catholic set of laws is its understanding of natural moral law, which addresses laws that aren’t written but nevertheless known by all men and women who have the use of reason. It uses basic common sense, prudence, and justice.

    By definition, if you claim that something follows the “natural moral law” you are claiming that anyone who disagrees with you does not have the sense of reason. Thus ending any debate because, after all, what is the point in debating anyone who does not have the sense of reason? In short, making this claim is a cop-out.

  276. 276
    jdk says:

    to kmp: Good comment about natural moral law.

  277. 277
    Phinehas says:

    KMP:

    But, then again, I am not the one stupid enough to
    equate homosexuality with beastiality.

    Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps you shouldn’t judge yourself so quickly. You appear to be the only person here making that equation. No one else is. If you don’t recognize this, then this says very little for your reading comprehension. And if you do, that says very little for your interest in reasoned debate.

  278. 278
    Eugen says:

    kpuddle

    “…Nobody here has provided a coherent argument as to why homosexuality, SSM or transgender is in any way harmful to a stable and healthy society….”

    Every wise civilization in the past treated traditional family as the most important, basic unit of society. Marriage puts long term obligation on male and female and by that encourages the union to last longer for the purpose of reproducing and raising the next generation. These are the optimal conditions for humans and this helps continuation of healthy society.

    Homosexual union is nonsensical in this regard because couple cannot reproduce and if they decide to adopt (rare) or lab produce(very rare) a child they cannot provide complete role modelling which puts child in sub optimal condition. I pity those kids.

    Therefore this type of union is inferior and not important for long term continuation or well being of the human race. Wise leaders in the past were perfectly aware of this so they didn’t seriously consider this type of union. How is this not clear to liberals/ leftists/ communists?

    Modern liberal leaders who prefer to wear pink, female reproductive organ shaped hats, who are still crying about Hilary’s loss aren’t concerned about wise, logical and reasonable approach to issues. They rather think they can solve any problem with emotions, hugs and solar power.

    I would like to see our opponents write a simple, practical assessment instead of evading questions or getting upset and touchy feely.

  279. 279
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    When the discussions are about homosexuality, SSM and transgendered, and someone asks me if I think that bestiality is wrong, it is either because the person equates them in some bizarre way, or it is an attempt to distract and deviate from the actual discussion. I guessed at the former.

    No, the reason he asked the question was to find out if you thought bestiality is objectively wrong and universally unacceptable. If you had provided an honest yes or no, he would have followed up by asking you why you think it is. Naturally, you evaded the quest for the same reason you evade my questions.

    Evil is a religious invention. It doesn’t exist. As such, it would be pointless for me to get in a discussion about it.

    There you go. For you, the evil of bestiality and murder are labeled as such only because religion invented the idea of evil. For you, there is no such thing as an objectively evil act. If bestiality is not an evil act, then it obviously cannot be more evil than homosexuality. Natural law says that bestiality is more evil than homosexuality, but YOU say that it is not. Remarkable.

  280. 280
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    By definition, if you claim that something follows the “natural moral law” you are claiming that anyone who disagrees with you does not have the sense of reason. Thus ending any debate because, after all, what is the point in debating anyone who does not have the sense of reason?

    The point of debating people who have no sense of reason is to expose that fact to the reading audience.

  281. 281
    Phinehas says:

    KMP:

    When the discussions are about homosexuality, SSM and transgendered, and someone asks me if I think that bestiality is wrong, it is either because the person equates them in some bizarre way, or it is an attempt to distract and deviate from the actual discussion.

    False dichotomy. The third, pertinent reason has already been clearly elucidated, and just as clearly ignored. As you continue to do so, you are only exposing yourself as a troll, not interested in reasoned debate.

  282. 282
    kmidpuddle says:

    Phinehas@277:

    Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps you shouldn’t judge yourself so quickly. You appear to be the only person here making that equation. No one else is.

    If you notice my comment at 275 you will note that I admit that I may have jumped to a conclusion on this.

  283. 283
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP and JDK, I will comment to you jointly. I have already pointed to JCW’s discussion, which would well repay a sober reading, one that will strip away ever so many of the fond excuses of our time in regards to sexual morality in general. When it comes to evil, in fact evil is not an invention of religion — obviously, here used as a dirty word implying stupidity, insanity, ignorance, superstition or worse. That is, in so objecting to evil, one of you implicitly appealed to the concept. I again point you both to the case I have pointed to so many times and which you have so studiously avoided, of the kidnapped, bound, sexually assaulted, murdered child — exploited and reduced to a corpse to satiate some man’s pleasure for the moment, leaving a grieving family that still felt the loss many years later as of my last conversation with the bereft father. If one of you refuses to acknowledge that as evil [which is so by direct implication of a dismissive comment], that speaks saddening volumes. Where, evil has a meaning, the frustration, privation or wrenching of something out of its proper end and fulfillment; here robbing a child of innocence and of life, depriving a family of its posterity that a mother risked her life to bring into the world . . . there are no risk-free pregnancies. Where, that purpose is often evident from the nature of a thing, or relevant circumstances. And, one of you, by implication of onward remarks, fails the test of even so extreme and blatant a case of perversion [likely pointing to some form of insanity in my view] as bestiality. In short, we here look at nihilism and likely, seriously benumbed conscience. I think some re-thinking is in order. KF

    PS: All of us are finite, fallible, struggling towards responsible reasoned thought, helping us towards truth and right. Thus, a proper end of discussion is to clarify and resolve such matters, including where we may fall into the case of setting up a crooked yardstick.

  284. 284
    jdk says:

    kf, your comments don’t apply to me: I’ve said nothing about evil or bestiality.

  285. 285
    kmidpuddle says:

    Eugen:

    Every wise civilization in the past treated traditional family as the most important, basic unit of society.

    The “traditional” qualifier is certainly debatable, but I do not disagree with the fundamental statement. But how does SSM change this? If homosexuals are limited to opposite sex marriage, they will simply not marry. How does allowing them to marry change the fundamental fact that families raising children is required for society? And how does it reduce the occurrence of this?

    Marriage puts long term obligation on male and female and by that encourages the union to last longer for the purpose of reproducing and raising the next generation.

    Obviously reproduction and the raising of children is not a requirement of marriage. Otherwise we would not allow sterile couples to marry. Or elderly couples. Or couples who have no intention of having children.

    Homosexual union is nonsensical in this regard because couple cannot reproduce and if they decide to adopt (rare) or lab produce(very rare) a child they cannot provide complete role modelling which puts child in sub optimal condition. I pity those kids.

    It has already been shown that we do not require the ability to reproduce before allowing a couple to marry. And there are many conditions other than the sex of the couple involved that result in conditions that are sub-optimal for the raising of a child. Up until not too long ago, and some would argue that it is true today, raising a child in an inter-racial marriage was not optimal. As is also the case for couples who do not have a reasonable prospect for financial stability. Or for couples who smoke and/or drink heavily. Or for couples who have a history of certain genetic diseases that result in an early death. We do not even prevent known drug addicts from marrying. All of these are sub-optimal conditions for raising children, but I don’t hear anyone arguing for limiting marriage on any of these grounds.

    Therefore this type of union is inferior and not important for long term continuation or well being of the human race.

    Whether or not it is inferior is opinion, and one that you are certainly entitled to have. But who has claimed that allowing them to marry is important for long term continuation of the human race? Should that be how we decide who is allowed to get married? I would certainly hope not. That is a little too Orwellian for my liking.

    Wise leaders in the past were perfectly aware of this so they didn’t seriously consider this type of union.

    The same wise leaders considered it important to persecute and prosecute homosexuals in the past. Often for the very same reasons; words written down several thousand years ago in a book. There is no argument that religion has had some very good influences on society. But it is equally true that it has had some very bad influences. Wise leaders, not always successfully, attempt to distinguish between them and not blindly accept the literal translation of the bible.

  286. 286
    Eugen says:

    kpuddle and others

    OOPs sorry I left some spelling mistakes in haste. Sometimes spellchecker selects for me and I just keep going.

  287. 287
    StephenB says:

    “London, 2 March 2013: The experience of legalising marriage for same-sex couples in Europe and North America shows that such legalisation has negative effects for real marriage and for families, shows latest evidence.

    The evidence was presented to the House of Commons committee examining the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, in a written submission by Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). (A *partial* list of the negative effects)

    Based on research and data from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and the US, Dr Morgan concluded that:

    –As marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, this reinforces the idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood

    –Same-sex marriage leads to the casualisation of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood

    –Spain saw a pronounced acceleration in the decline of marriage following the introduction of same-sex marriage (same-sex marriage was introduced at the same time as the ‘express divorce bill’)

    –In the move to same-sex marriage, opposite-sex relationships have to conform to gay norms rather than vice-versa

    –Same-sex marriage may be the end-game of long-running anti-marriage, anti-family policy typified by Sweden”

    (This last point is understated. The gay lobby has already acknowledged that its purpose all along has been to destroy the family and all Christian values. They don’t want freedom for themselves; they want to take away the freedom of others)

  288. 288
    kmidpuddle says:

    Eugen:

    OOPs sorry I left some spelling mistakes in haste. Sometimes spellchecker selects for me and I just keep going.

    Not to worry. I am a terrible speller to start with. Spell checker helps but it can result in some pretty strange combinations of words if I don’t catch it.

  289. 289
    Pindi says:

    The religious right’s obsession with homosexuality and other people’s sex lives never ceases to amaze me.

  290. 290
    kmidpuddle says:

    We seem to be getting nowhere with whether or not discriminatory business practices can be justified on the grounds of religious freedom. Maybe a couple real life experiences by a good friend of mine may help this discussion.

    My friend is blind and uses a guide dog. Several years ago she entered a restaurant owned by a Muslim man. She was told to leave because of the dog. She sued him as refusing entry was against the law. The owner’s defence was the freedom of religion defence as he was Sunni and they consider the dog to be “ritually unclean”. These are the questions for the people here.

    1) was she right to sue the owner?
    2) how should the court have ruled?

    More recently, she was leaving the hospital emergency room after stitching up a minor cut. She called for a cab, the only transit available at that time of night, and when it arrived the driver told her that he couldn’t take her because of the dog and then took off. A bystander got the number of the taxi for her and when she followed up with the cab company she was told that the driver was Muslim and the company did not require its Muslim drivers to pick up people with dogs for religious accommodation reasons.

    Again, she sued the cab company. And, again,

    1) was she right to sue?
    2) what should the outcome have been?

  291. 291
    jdk says:

    I think in both cases the refusal was against the law, as I believe the law requires guide dogs for the blind to be accommodated.

  292. 292
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK:

    I think in both cases the refusal was against the law, as I believe the law requires guide dogs for the blind to be accommodated.

    True. But the question is whether the people here who object to requiring a Christian clerk to issue a marriage licence for a same sex marriage (a legal requirement of the job) would support a muslim taxi driver who refuses to pick up a blind woman in the middle of the night because she has a dog with her. In both cases, the arguments are based on freedom of religion.

  293. 293
    jdk says:

    This is a good question, although no one here may weigh in on it.

  294. 294
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK:

    This is a good question, although no one here may weigh in on it.

    You think?

  295. 295
    juwilker says:

    Kmid,

    Let me take a stab concerning the blind lady and the dog.

    People of goodwill are constantly battling what is legally allowed for religious considerations and what is not. And the answer constantly shifts. I think someone quipped earlier “is it OK to accommodate gay marriage in 2017 but then not accommodate it in 2018 if opinions change?” All these things we are arguing about are the result of the majority (or maybe a few blacked-robed justices) changing their opinions over time.

    And you seem to think this method works (the method that the majority mostly gets it right over time). But your objectors do not. And the position one takes depends on your worldview. If your worldview is “man is the measure of all things”, then you see things one way. If you think man is NOT the measure of all things, you will see things differently.

    I like how you are arguing by analogy with the blind lady/dog scenario. It is very powerful, but it can’t always lead us to make the right decision. I think we have to use other methods/sources, like conscience, natural law, and revelation.

    Ok, back to the question “was she right to sue”. In your view, “right” changes with time and opinions. So I don’t think any answer would be correct or satisfy you unless it happens to agree with your opinion. And your opinion is influenced by the culture and time you are raised in.

    Kmid, the problem is that people with two fundamentally different worldviews usually just talk past each other. We just “tick” differently. So instead of asking all these kind of “gotcha” or “trap-like” questions, we really would be better off spending our time talking about the basic worldview differences. My 2 cents.

    juwilker

  296. 296
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, I am asking you to consider what you are enabling by the implications and associations of your advocacy; and that is a long-term issue. Note particularly your studious silence in the face of a sobering test case. This takes on a particularly, sadly significant tone given your statement of approval in 276 to KMP’s assertion in 275 that boils down to asserting that appeal to a law of our nature that can be understood, discerned and discussed is in effect (by implication) religious imposition and closed-mindedness. The onward discussion brings out the underlying thought behind such assertions and implications. KF

  297. 297
    StephenB says:

    Kairosfocus, did you notice how quickly kwimmuddle and jdk changed the subject after I presented the facts about the the negative effects of SSM @287.

  298. 298
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, there ‘ent no such thing as same sex MARRIAGE, and no amout of rhetoric, academic puffery, or legislative or judicial hocus pocus can poof such into being by the magic of manipulative words. It is a form of words manifesting a fundamentally unjust and destructive decree imposed under colour of law through lawfare and decades of agit prop, sure. That does not mean it has the essential characteristics of marriage [which are rooted in our quite evident morally governed nature and need for stable, wholesome frameworks for reproduction and child nurture], it is a case of at root cynical manipulation and usurpation in pursuit of a fundamentally destructive design that if unchecked will ruin our civilisation (and, BTW, damn our souls thus turning us into demonic monsters by eating out the moral core that makes a reasonable, responsible significantly free and wholesome society possible). KF

  299. 299
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, getting there. KF

  300. 300
    kmidpuddle says:

    J, I assure you that this isn’t a “trap” or “gotcha” question. These two examples are real life examples. The first one happened in 1977 in Toronto. The second in 2016 in Ottawa.

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, has it struck you that given the requisites of reproduction and sound child nurture, society has a significant interest in fostering sound frameworks in law and policy that help to create long-term sustainability? Are you aware that say, prospective spouses have an interest in your sexual behaviour long before you even meet them? That prospective grand parents who may be stuck with the tab after some dog of a man has had his fun and/or has driven out their daughter with blows have an interest also? That, society — and even, in many respects, an employer — has an interest in the credibility of paternity and in enforcing/supporting duties of fatherhood? That alienation of affection and/or cultivation of a string of outside lovers — concubines, courtesans or catamites makes no difference — is utterly corrosive to family stability? That history has long shown the destructive effects of running a harem? That inability to manage sexual appetites and linked passions is corrosive to productivity? That there are patterns of unhealthy sexual habits and behaviours that are associated with the spreading of now dozens of destructive diseases, creating a public health hazard? That, some of those habits, unnatural acts and behaviours are associated with loss of decades of life expectancy? That society as a whole has a major interest in not undermining economic productivity and in not being saddled with the chaos and huge charge on the public purse resulting from widespread disintegration of sound family life patterns? And more? In such a context, it is a terrible sign that the fast-fading remnants of sexual sanity are now so confined to despised, marginalised groups that sanity can be dismissed by labelling it as silly notions of targetted scapegoat groups, collectively termed the religious right. I hope you can begin to understand the crumbling cliff’s edge our civilisation is now treading. KF

    PS: I again point participants to JCW’s sobering remarks.

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, has it dawned on you that the comparison you try to make is an outrage, based on highly dubious projections of immoral equivalency? And, has SB’s comment at 287 escaped your attention? It will help you begin to understand part of why I just wrote that. KF

  303. 303
    kairosfocus says:

    JuW, sadly, you can take a horse to the trough [again and again], but you cannot force it to drink. Yes, we do need to go to world roots and linked issues to found a sound understanding of our nature, why we are morally governed, and how this leads to enduring principles of justice termed the natural law, but as that runs counter to dominant manipulative agendas, every effort is made to distract from and dismiss such. KF

  304. 304
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, at this stage, your assurances are worth about as much as a cynical politician’s promises. Remember, you are on explicit record as dismissing the reality of evil, so we have every right to view you as an amoral nihilist here only to cause chaos and confusion. KF

  305. 305
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, it is quite evident that we are dealing with a refusal to attend to inconvenient facts, issues, test cases, concerns and arguments etc. This thread itself is in major part a distraction from the OP core issue on how we got to a situation where gender bending games and patently absurd assertions have become entrenched in institutions of learning. That dynamic drives the distortion of understanding individuality, sexuality, marriage and family, community life and governance, leading to a morass of confusion. In that confusion crooked yardsticks have been substituted for sound ones, creating the manipulator’s utopia where what is sound or sensible is automatically rejected as it does not accord with the new, politically correct standards. Those who stand up and blow a whistle, trying to put up plumbline cases, facts and the like are then scapegoated, targetted, denigrated and dismissed. In that context, it is utterly unsurprising to see that in a march of civilisation-level insane folly, those who stand up like Paul at Fair Havens will be dismissed. But, there is a Euroaquilo coming, and our civilisation is going to need good men and good women in the face of a terrible storm. The real issue is, how much loss will we have to suffer before sanity can be restored. In Paul’s case it took a fortnight-long early winter storm that reduced a ship carrying 276 souls to instant sinking condition and a desperate fight to keep off the deadly sandbars of the Libyan coast. I suspect, we have become so infused with hostility to “religion” that many will not heed this lesson from a microcosm on how democracy, bought-and-paid-for technicos and manipulative financially powerful interests can all fail if we the citizens do not stand up unwaveringly for truth, soundness, justice and prudence. As a civilisation, we are weighed in the balance and found sadly wanting — and, again, I bet that many cannot get this classic Sunday School lesson right either, even as the handwriting is there on the wall for us to see. KF

  306. 306
    Pindi says:

    SB and KF, why not just answer Kmidpuuddle’s question? Are you scared?

    I will answer it. Or course religious beliefs should not entitle one to avoid legal responsibility whether the beliefs are Christian or Muslim based.

    You both of course think the opposite. So if you don’t accept that the Muslim person should have the same right to avoid legal responsibility as the Christian person then you are hypocrites. But then I already knew that.

  307. 307
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, it seems you think everything under colour of law as imposed by progressivists is properly lawful; that is in haste to support the progressivist agenda you apparently do not recognise the possibility of unjust decrees and abuse of the power of the state to oppress — by YOUR side. I suggest, further, that you are resorting to supporting a slanderous, ad hominem laced strawman projection. No-one here has advocated or implied a religious exemption from duties of just care to neighbour, instead the issues have pivoted on the law of our nature as responsibly and rationally free, morally governed creatures. Where, I add after a few minutes, justice is best understood as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities, this further pointing to the point that a right-to-X is a claimed binding morally rooted expectation that others have specific duties to support X; implying that to properly claim a right X one must be in the right concerning X or else one is imposing on others the claim that they should participate in or enable the wrong, X. We can have no reasonable right to demand that others do or support us in wrong. The real issue is the agit prop tactic of cornering people of conscientious convictions under false colour of law and stripping them of employment, business, reputation, life savings and more, even throwing them in gaol. All, to pursue a ruinous politically correct agenda that is manifestly undermining the foundations of sound community life — if you disagree, I suggest you read Girgis et al and Wright as were already linked, for details. We are not simply reacting out of empty bigotry — another all too common slanderous projection, to which I respond: there is a world of difference between commitment to principle and ill-informed prejudice. Which, you know or should know. These concerns should be manifest from the false comparison: taxi-men refusing journeys home at night in a situation of potential danger vs please, we cannot in good conscience support a morally dubious distortion of marriage and politely suggest that you use another — readily available — provider. This last is in no wise reasonably comparable to refusing water or food where there is no other reasonable option within reasonable access; it imposes no undue hardship or danger, only, it reminds that there are significant numbers out there who — for cause — do not go along with whatever is the latest hot button item on the agenda of sexual anarchy and nihilism. And, yes, that is what this manifestly is. I suggest you need to re-examine the underlying agendas you are enabling. KF

  308. 308

    Pindi @ 306: Of course SB and KF are hypocrites. We all are. Will you admit to being a hypocrite as well?

  309. 309
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    SB and KF, why not just answer Kmidpuuddle’s question?

    Pindi, I took up that issue much earlier in the tread. When there is a conflict between religious faith and the civil law, the resolution should depend on whether the religious beliefs in question are reasonable and whether the civil laws in question are in conformity with the natural law. Religious freedom, like any other freedom, is not without limits. On the other hand, not all laws are just. jdk and kwm (and you) do not understand these principles.

    In any case, jdk and kwm introduced the topic again in order to avoid the evidence @287, which shows that gay marriage undermines the institution of marriage. I answer all their questions and the avoid all my questions. Its on the record.

  310. 310
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    KMP, there ‘ent no such thing as same sex MARRIAGE…

    You spend an inordinate amount of time arguing over something that doesn’t exist.

  311. 311
    jdk says:

    Stephen writes,

    When there is a conflict between religious faith and the civil law, the resolution should depend on whether the religious beliefs in question are reasonable and whether the civil laws in question are in conformity with the natural law.

    The question Stephen can’t answer is how does one know what is in conformity with “natural law.” He claims this is discernable by reason, but in fact all he can offer is circular assertions that make it clear that natural law is basically the views of his particular cultural viewpoint, dominated by conservative Catholic dogma.

  312. 312

    jdk: How do define natural law? Is it dogma-free?

  313. 313
    jdk says:

    I don’t define “natural law”. Stephen does. I don’t believe that “natural law” exists.

  314. 314
    LocalMinimum says:

    kmidpuddle:

    You spend an inordinate amount of time arguing over something that doesn’t exist.

    Funny thing, I know of many atheists who spend plenty of time arguing over the God of Abraham.

    Are you not one of them? If not, would you have something to say to them about it? Of what use is your statement here?

  315. 315
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB, I haven’t yet read the article in full but I double checked the raw data used to come up with the following statement “Spain saw a pronounced acceleration in the decline of marriage following the introduction of same-sex marriage (same-sex marriage was introduced at the same time as the ‘express divorce bill’).”

    The report goes further to explain: “The descent is quite precipitous, since Spanish marriage rates (per thousand population) have been reasonably steady compared to some other countries – at 5.9 in 1980: 5.7 in 1990 and 5.4 in 2000 before the plunge to 3.8 in 2009.”

    If you plot these points the sudden drop becomes quite obvious. However, when you go back to the source data used to draw this conclusion, the first thing that jumps out is that the author omitted the two data points prior to 1980 (7.8 and 7.3 for 1960 and 1970, respectively). When these two points are added back, the R^2 of the resulting linear curve changes from 0.78 to 0.93, suggesting that the 2009 data is just a continuation of an existing trend.

    Given that that report was sponsored by a lobby group that is pro-life and anti-SSM, I suspected to find some bias, but to find outright data manipulation is very telling.

  316. 316
    jdk says:

    Good research, kmp.

  317. 317
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    The question Stephen can’t answer is how does one know what is in conformity with “natural law.” He claims this is discernable by reason, but in fact all he can offer is circular assertions that make it clear that natural law is basically the views of his particular cultural viewpoint, dominated by conservative Catholic dogma.

    I have already explained (many times) that this is not true. The natural moral law is a part of nature, as the word “natural” implies.” Nature is distinct from religion.

    It is very easy to show whether a civil law conforms with the natural moral law. That is how the civil rights issues of the 20th Century were settled in the United States.

    Jdk (and kwimpuddle) believe in arbitrary imposed laws in the absence of any moral justification. Any reasonable person knows that this is not a good thing.

  318. 318
    LarTanner says:

    KF @298:

    KMP, there ‘ent no such thing as same sex MARRIAGE, and no amout of rhetoric, academic puffery, or legislative or judicial hocus pocus can poof such into being by the magic of manipulative words.

    This assertion leads to the question I asked before. If there ‘ent no such thing as same-sex MARRIAGE, is there such a thing as same-sex SEX?

  319. 319
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    the first thing that jumps out is that the author omitted the two data points prior to 1980 (7.8 and 7.3 for 1960 and 1970, respectively).

    I don’t have access to the methodology used in the report or I would comment. However, you seem to assume that the author omitted those data points in order to stack the deck. There may be other good reasons.

    In any case, we still have the following issues:

    –As marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, this reinforces the idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood

    –Same-sex marriage leads to the casualisation of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood

    –Spain saw a pronounced acceleration in the decline of marriage following the introduction of same-sex marriage (same-sex marriage was introduced at the same time as the ‘express divorce bill’)

    –In the move to same-sex marriage, opposite-sex relationships have to conform to gay norms rather than vice-versa

    –Same-sex marriage may be the end-game of long-running anti-marriage, anti-family policy typified by Sweden”

    (This last point is understated. The gay lobby has already acknowledged that its purpose all along has been to destroy the family and all Christian values. They don’t want freedom for themselves; they want to take away the freedom of others)

  320. 320
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    I don’t have access to the report or I would comment. However, you seem to assume that the author omitted those data points in order to stack the deck. There may be other good reasons.

    No there isn’t. There were five data points before SSM was legalized, each separated by ten years. The author decided to omit the two earliest. This makes the difference between concluding that there was an accelerated decline following SSM (as stated by the author) or that the decline was a continuation of a pre-existing trend. There are only two reasons for removing these points. The author is either completely incompetence or intentionally manipulated the data to obtain a desired outcome.

    In any case, we still have the following issues:

    –As marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, this reinforces the idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood

    –Same-sex marriage leads to the casualisation of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood

    The trend towards common-law rather than marriage long predates SSM. The Spain data shows that this trend is simply continuing, not that it is increasing due to SSM. This is further supported by Canadian data between 1981 and 2011 (same sex marriage became legal in 2005). The R^2 of the trend line for common-law marriage increase over this time is 0.99, strongly suggesting that SSM did not have an impact on this.

    –In the move to same-sex marriage, opposite-sex relationships have to conform to gay norms rather than vice-versa

    I have been married for over 35 years and I have not had an increased desire to have anal sex with my wife or to do interior decorating. What other gay norms (stereotypes) must I as a person in a heterosexual relationship conform to?

    –Same-sex marriage may be the end-game of long-running anti-marriage, anti-family policy typified by Sweden”

    Again, going back to the source data. The marriage rate in Sweden is higher now than it was in 2000.

  321. 321
    jdk says:

    Stephen writes,

    Jdk (and kwimpuddle) believe in arbitrary imposed laws in the absence of any moral justification. Any reasonable person knows that this is not a good thing.

    Absolutely wrong: contrasting your notion of natural law with what you said above is a false dichotomy. We’ve had this brief discussion before: you replied that it was a dilemma and I replied it was a dilemma caused by a false dichotomy.

  322. 322
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, did you see the answer at 265 above? KF

  323. 323
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, 313:

    I don’t believe that “natural law” exists

    Let’s go back — yet again — to a key and unfortunately real life test case: is it inherently wrong to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure?

    If no, why? (And what does this do to law and to conscience and to mindedness?)

    If yes, does this not directly entail that there are laws of our nature that go beyond what courts or kings or legislatures may issue or withdraw at will?

    KF

  324. 324
    LarTanner says:

    KF @322:

    I just saw your comment 265. Seems like you are saying same-sex SEX is sexual (i.e., of a sexual nature), which suggests that SSS meets your definition of sex. So, to you there is such as thing as SSS yet no such thing as SSM.

  325. 325
    jdk says:

    Just because I and virtually everyone on the planet would agree that your test case is wrong doesn’t mean that there are “natural moral laws” in the metaphysical sense. It does mean that people around the world have some core feelings of empathy and compassion that are common enough to be incorporated in all cultures. This is a distinction that you don’t seem to get.

    Is it wrong to masturbate, kf. This is a more instructive example, because invoking “natural moral laws” here is so obviously a cultural viewpoint.

  326. 326
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK@325, I would argue that how we react to different acts is the consequence of us having empathy and compassion. The empathy and compassion come first. If something is the consequence of something else, I don’t see how it can be inherently good or bad (right or wrong). Or maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think so.

  327. 327
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Absolutely wrong: contrasting your notion of natural law with what you said above is a false dichotomy. We’ve had this brief discussion before: you replied that it was a dilemma and I replied it was a dilemma caused by a false dichotomy.

    The inconvenient fact is that you don’t have any standard for saying that homosexuals should not be persecuted, I do. My answer is that homosexuals should not be persecuted because it is unjust and evil and violates the natural law. You don’t believe in any of those things, so you are reduced to saying that homosexuals should not be persecuted because you don’t *want* them to be persecuted. The problem is that the persecutors use the same rationale that you do: They DO *want* to persecute homosexuals. You have no standard by which to say that your desire is right and their desire is wrong.

  328. 328
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Just because I and virtually everyone on the planet would agree that your test case is wrong doesn’t mean that there are “natural moral laws” in the metaphysical sense.

    In fact, it DOES indicate that there are “natural moral laws,” if they say it is wrong. They are saying more than *to me* it is wrong (which would be subjective and personal), they are saying that it is wrong *period* — for everybody–which is universal, objective, and metaphysical.

    It does mean that people around the world have some core feelings of empathy and compassion that are common enough to be incorporated in all cultures. This is a distinction that you don’t seem to get.

    The argument from the majority does not work. At one time, a majority of people was happy to tolerate slavery, and the laws of the land permitted it.

    By your personal creed, the majority rules and the law is the law. If your standards had been in operation, slavery would still exist.

    Reform came when moral people stood up and said, “it doesn’t matter what the majority thinks or what the law says, because the majority is wrong and the law is unjust — both violate the natural moral law. They were right.

  329. 329
    StephenB says:

    kwm

    There are only two reasons for removing these points. The author is either completely incompetence or intentionally manipulated the data to obtain a desired outcome.

    Not necessarily. There are several other possible reasons for omitting data, among which is the attempt to isolate certain variables, or to compare apples with apples without using extraneous data. What was the author’s stated reason for the omission? (Can you provide a link to the methodological potion of the study? I cannot find it.)

    –In the move to same-sex marriage, opposite-sex relationships have to conform to gay norms rather than vice-versa

    I have been married for over 35 years and I have not had an increased desire to have anal sex with my wife or to do interior decorating. What other gay norms (stereotypes) must I as a person in a heterosexual relationship conform to?

    Among other things, you are expected to accept the proposition that children do not need a woman and a man as parents. Further, if you own an orphanage, you are expected to allow SSM partners the same access to children as heterosexual couples, and are likely to be run out of business if you resist. This is unjust.

  330. 330
    Pindi says:

    Truth @308: yes, of course.

  331. 331
    Pindi says:

    StephenB @309: so what is your answer? Is the belief that dogs are ritually unclean in accordance with the natural law? And how do you know?

  332. 332
    Pindi says:

    And KF, I am interested in your response to jdk’s question – is it wrong to masturbate (let’s say “to completion”)? That is, is it contrary to the natural law?

    No, I will not delve on this sort of gross matter, save to say those who ask have a pretty good idea of the morally sound answer. KF

  333. 333
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP,

    I was hoping I did not need to explicitly point this out, but as you insist:

    KMP, 218: “2) Traditional marriage IS NOT a real thing” (in the midst of a great many dogmatic assertions that reflect the incoherence of moral views you espouse and hostility to Judaeo-Christian theism)

    KMP, 292: “the question is whether the people here who object to requiring a Christian clerk to issue a marriage licence for a same sex marriage . . . “

    See the problem?

    First, denying the patently manifest reality of the institution with a millennia deep history and deep connexions to the complementarity of the sexes, requisites of sound child nurture and sound channelling of sexual appetites and passions that can easily destroy societies.

    Next, enthusing over imposition of a novelty that pivots on behaviour that cannot be conjugal and so tied to the requisites of reproduction and sound nurture.

    That polarisation and outright hatred towards marriage is all the proof we need of the destructive nature of the agenda we are dealing with. Indeed, KMP unconsciously, chillingly echoes the sentiments of Masha Gessen in a tape from a talk in Australia, where she was applauded for calling for the ending of marriage. Gessen shared her views on the subject and very specifically stated;

    “Gay marriage is a lie.”
    “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there.”
    “It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.” (This statement is met with very loud applause.)

    Gessen also talked about redefining the traditional family. This may have something to do with the fact that she has “three children with five parents”:

    “I don’t see why they (her children) shouldn’t have five parents legally. I don’t see why we should choose two of those parents and make them a sanctioned couple.”

    Ms Gessen is frank, and we must thank her for that. Now, we cannot say that we do not know or did not have access to knowing.

    Of course, attempts will be again made to suggest this is idiosyncratic, but prudence dictates that we understand that we are here dealing with cat out of the bag moments.

    In that context, KMP, we must reckon with your evident amorality and nihilism, hostility to the Christian faith and more. We must reckon with your denial of the reality of evil. So, we have to take very seriously that you are likely to have up your sleeve deceitful, domineering agendas similar to those we have already seen over the past 100 years. And in that regard we note your enabling of the cornering and gaoling of an official in post before an unjust decree was imposed under false colour of law, who simply asked, let my signature not be extorted in violation of conscience on a morally highly dubious matter; find others willing to do that — and such were credibly reasonably accessible.

    The pattern is adding up, and the total does not look so good.

    Perhaps, it is time to go back to plumbline truths that can help us to sort out the mess.

    Okay, yet again: is it evil to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure? Why or why not.

    KF

  334. 334
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    What was the author’s stated reason for the omission?

    The author of the source data didn’t exclude the data. It was the author of the report presented to parliament.

    Can you provide a link to the methodological potion of the study? I cannot find it.

    As far as I can tell, there was no methodological portion of the study reported to parliament. Just a mis-representation of the source data.

    Among other things, you are expected to accept the proposition that children do not need a woman and a man as parents.

    Expected and required are very different things. But the fact is that children don’t need this. Extended families (grand parents, aunts, uncles, etc. ) often play extremely important roles in the raising of children.

    Further, if you own an orphanage, you are expected to allow SSM partners the same access to children as heterosexual couples, and are likely to be run out of business if you resist. This is unjust.

    No, what is sick is someone running an orphanage as a business. As far as I know, Canada does not have any more orphanages. One of the last ones we had was Mount Cashel orphanage that was run by the church. They were at the centre of a scandal involving the long term physical and sexual abuse of the children by the priests who were running the orphanage. I am sure that these children would have been much better off in the care of a loving same sex couple.

  335. 335
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, your presentation just above astonishingly makes a strawman out of what I took pains to state and explain in 265. KF

    PS: Here it is, again — noting that “sex” has normally been short for “sexual intercourse,” as distinguished from unnatural acts of a sexual nature [by virtue of stimulation of the genitals etc that can and do trigger an orgasmic response] — and, for cause, not as mere prejudice . . . I again suggest you read Wright as has been linked:

    265
    kairosfocusJune 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm (Edit)

    LT, you are precisely correct. There are many acts of a sexual nature that are not properly sexual intercourse. Not so many years ago they were recognised as such and for cause were generally termed unnatural acts. KF

    PS: There is a reason why sexual intercourse is called the act of marital union, and such reason is closely connected to why novelties pivoting on unnatural acts and imposed by lawfare and/or manipulation influenced by the tactics and aims of cultural marxism — again, cf. Lindh (a significant author on 4th generation war, which BTW includes lawfare as a component) and as has been outlined and cited above — are not properly marital or conjugal. Same Sex Marriage and the like are forms of words, imposed now under false colour of law, but such lack sound foundation in our morally governed rational nature and the associated complementarity of the two sexes which comes to a crucial expression in the act of marital union and its natural consequences. Let me put part of it this way, there is something transcendent going on when a woman — especially a virgin woman on her wedding night — opens the gates of her womb and with that the gates of her soul, to her lover. Something, that we too often seem utterly determined not to acknowledge, to sobering cost on many levels.

  336. 336
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    First, denying the patently manifest reality of the institution with a millennia deep history…

    Slavery also has a millennia deep history. Legal spousal abuse also has a mellinia deep history. The subservience of the wife to the husband also has a millennia deep history. Are you really sure that you want to use this as an argument?

  337. 337
    Pindi says:

    KF:

    “unnatural acts of a sexual nature [by virtue of stimulation of the genitals etc that can and do trigger an orgasmic response]”

    In what sense would these acts be unnatural? Surely if they trigger an orgasmic response they are natural? Why would God create our orgasmic responses so that they could be triggered unnaturally?

  338. 338
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More detailed transcript clips, from Gessen:

    It’s a no-brainer that (homosexuals) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist . . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—-because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

    The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.

    I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally . . . . I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three . . . . And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.

    This seems to post the audio of a 2012 panel discussion in Australia.

    Cat out of the bag, including the use of strategic deception and hidden agendas.

    KF

  339. 339
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP, when you are in a hole, it is advisable to stop digging in deeper. You are now outright making an invidious comparison between marriage and slavery. That choice of comparison speaks telling volumes. KF

  340. 340
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    Cat out of the bag, including the use of strategic deception and hidden agendas.

    Here are a few other clips:

    They died in shame and disgrace, citizens of a cursed nation of…unholy perverts who have departed from the living God to worship on ‘Brokeback Mountain’.

    God Sent the Shooter[.

    Thank God for the Tsunami.

    Thank God for AIDS

    Fags Are Worthy of Death

    We are praying that the dear Lord would burn many more Australians alive!

    We wish you were thirty-three thousand killed, but we are thankful to our Father for thirty-three.

    The President of the United States gets his jollies masturbating horses!

    Cat out of the bag, including the use of strategic deception and hidden agendas.

    Do you really want to play duelling banjoes with quotes from fringe homosexuals and fring preachers? The fringe never speaks for the majority. That is why they are called fringe.

    KMP, apparently it has not dawned on you that Ms Gessen is a major spokesman, and is not isolated nor was she condemned for her views. Indeed her rejection of marriage met with loud applause. I suggest that you need to take a serious time out and reconsider what you have been saying and doing. Perhaps, too, you have not attended to this from the apostle Paul, which shows just how out of line the fringe voices you clip are: “9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” [1 Cor 6:9 – 11. NB: c refers to two Gk terms denoting specifically active and passive parts in such acts, one of which may be a Pauline coinage from a key phrase in Lev 18.]

  341. 341
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    You are now outright making an invidious comparison between marriage and slavery.

    Nonsense. I am making a comparison between things with millennia deep history. I thought I made that obvious by repeating the phrase “mellinia deep history”.

    KMP, your utterly offensive choice of comparatives — especially given the wider context of your remarks — condemns you, period; by revealing underlying perceptions and attitudes. Indeed, it invites the direct inference that what Gessen has blurted, you imply: abolition of marriage as a mark of “progress.” You need to take a time out and do some serious, ground up rethinking. KF

  342. 342
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, while I do not wish to elaborate on details, there is an obvious framework for copulation connected to its key end, conception and initiation of new life, around which secondary ends may occur but need to be consistent with that. Other acts that may stimulate genitalia etc but take it out of context, clearly for cause were characterised as unnatural acts. KF

    PS: I think we have generally speaking been led into a frame of thought about sexually linked matters that can be compared to the dilemma of adopting a crooked yardstick. Such an error then leads to rejection of what is sound as it will not conform to the substituted standard, as it is already aligned to realities that are being rejected. That is why I keep pointing to the need for plumbline, testing truths [preferably self evident ones but patent, hard to deny facts will do] that then challenge the substitutes. I again suggest a reading of Wright.

  343. 343
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    Is the belief that dogs are ritually unclean in accordance with the natural law? And how do you know?

    Your question is not precise enough. If someone tried to convert that belief into a civil law, then it would violate the natural moral law. I know that because any such civil law would violate the canons of reason, logic, and common sense.

  344. 344
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    Expected and required are very different things. But the fact is that children don’t need this (motjer amd father) .

    The fact is that children do need a man woman as parents for optimum psychological and social development. That is one important reason why gay marriage hurts society.

  345. 345
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    The author of the source data didn’t exclude the data. It was the author of the report presented to parliament.

    What I am asking for is the scientific information from the author of the source that you used to draw your conclusions (a link, if possible). Presumably, you have it, since you seem to know what is in it. Or, are you drawing from a secondary source who read both accounts and then made the accusation of misrepresentation, providing you with his interpretation and the numbers that you cited?

  346. 346
    Pindi says:

    KF, is having pudding/desert consistent with the “key end” of eating, (presumably being to provide fuel for the body)? No, there’s no need for it. There’s no need for most of the things we do with food. Have you been to France? Walked into a Boulangerie? All the amazing things we create to eat are largely just for the sheer pleasure and joy of eating. Not refuelling. Think of sex in the same way, and you might understand the poverty in your’s and SB’s view of it.

  347. 347
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB, it was difficult to find out what her actual sources were because they were not properly reference. Not a surprise if the author doesn’t want people to look up the source data. But I assumed that the data came from the Eurostat report that was in the references.

    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/s.....0_persons).png

  348. 348
    StephenB says:

    kwm, I tried to use the Eurostat site by doing a search for Dr. Patricia Morgan, but nothing came up. Can you tell me how you obtained the source data that you cited and how you discovered that the author omitted two data points?

  349. 349
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB, sorry. Try this link.

    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/s.....statistics

  350. 350
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle,

    By the way, here is the latest science to show that children of same sex couples cannot achieve optimum psychological and social development

    “It Does Matter to Children Whether They Are Raised by Heterosexual or Same-Sex Parents

    By Lynn Wardle | April 18, 2016 | 12:11 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    Dr. Mark Regnerus is a University of Texas Sociologist who rocketed to fame – or infamy, depending on one’s views of homosexual parenting – in 2012 with the publication of his study about how well children are doing. Regnerus’s study was based upon a new data source: his New Family Structures Study, that involved a sample of 2,988 randomly selected Americans between the ages 18 to 39, including 175 adults with lesbian mothers and 73 with homosexual fathers. The study investigated the respondents’ social and economic behaviors, health behaviors, family of origin, and current relationships. Mark Regnerus, How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study, Social Science Research, vol. 41 [July 2012]: 752-70.

    Regnerus first reviewed the existing social science literature. He found that the studies that found “no differences” between children raised by LGTB parents and those raised by intact heterosexual families were “based on non-random, non-representative data often employing small samples that do not allow for generalization to the larger population of gay and lesbian families.” In other words, the “no difference” conclusion was scientifically premature, dubious, and unreliable.

    Regnerus reported that the 248 adult children who reported parental homosexual behavior prior to age 18 differed from their peers from six other family-of-origin types. The children of lesbian mothers differed especially. Compared to their peers from intact families, those children raised by lesbians reported significant risks of unfavorable outcomes in twenty-five of the forty measures of well-being. All but one of those disparities were statistically significant.

    Children raised by gay men reported statistically significant difference in eleven measures.
    Children raised by parents who engaged in same-sex relationships were more likely than children raised in intact biological families to experience numerous negative life outcomes, including:
    • Poorer educational attainment
    • Overall lower levels of mental and physical health
    • More use of counseling or mental health therapy
    • Greater experience of depression
    • Suicide ideation (statistically significant only for children of gay fathers)
    • Experience of sexual molestation
    • Unemployment or part-time employment as young adults
    • Having pled guilty to non-minor legal offenses
    • Having lived in homes with lower income levels (statistically significant only for children of lesbian mothers)

    Regnerus’ report received a lot of attention in the national and internation media, and overnight, Mark Regnerus became a target of LGTB activists and extremists. He was subjected to vicious abuse, extraordinary investigation, and intense hostility – to a degree seldom seen in academia. Yet Regnerus’ study withstood the criticism and remains a break-through example of serious social science research dealing with a volatile, politically-charged topic.”

  351. 351
    StephenB says:

    kwm

    SB, sorry. Try this link.

    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/s…..statistics

    Thanks, but I still can find anything related to the study we have been discussing.

  352. 352
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB, try Googling marriage rates spain. I don’t know why those links aren’t working.

  353. 353
    Eugen says:

    Discussing with liberals is like watching Nascar race. After a while we get to the same spot 🙂

  354. 354
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @ 287

    “London, 2 March 2013: The experience of legalising marriage for same-sex couples in Europe and North America shows that such legalisation has negative effects for real marriage and for families, shows latest evidence.

    The evidence was presented to the House of Commons committee examining the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, in a written submission by Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

    On the other hand:

    What does the scholarly research say about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents?

    Overview: We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria for adding to knowledge about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents. Of those studies, 75 concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents fare no worse than other children. While many of the sample sizes were small, and some studies lacked a control group, researchers regard such studies as providing the best available knowledge about child adjustment, and do not view large, representative samples as essential. We identified four studies concluding that children of gay or lesbian parents face added disadvantages. Since all four took their samples from children who endured family break-ups, a cohort known to face added risks, these studies have been criticized by many scholars as unreliable assessments of the wellbeing of LGB-headed households. Taken together, this research forms an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on over three decades of peer-reviewed research, that having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children.

  355. 355
    StephenB says:

    seversky, according to the latest study, which I presented @350, those studies you allude to were not the result of random sampling. In other words, they stacked the deck to get the results they wanted.

  356. 356
    StephenB says:

    SB, try Googling marriage rates spain. I don’t know why those links aren’t working.

    I don’t think Googling marriage rates will provide any evidence that someone omitted data points in a report. Don’t worry about it. Let’s just take the report at face value until we have good evidence to support the notion that there was misrepresentation involved. We can move on to the report @350, which shows that children from same sex couples don’t fare so well.

  357. 357
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @ 350

    …Regnerus’ report received a lot of attention in the national and internation media, and overnight, Mark Regnerus became a target of LGTB activists and extremists. He was subjected to vicious abuse, extraordinary investigation, and intense hostility – to a degree seldom seen in academia. Yet Regnerus’ study withstood the criticism and remains a break-through example of serious social science research dealing with a volatile, politically-charged topic.”

    From the Wikipedia entry for Dr Mark Regnerus:

    Major academic organizations including the American Sociological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association dispute the validity of Regnerus’ data and conclusions reached thereof, arguing that unlike previous studies, the statistically tiny number of same sex couples in a study whose sample group largely consisted of failed heterosexual marriages where one of the parents was allegedly homosexual, make it impossible to extrapolate any information about same sex parenting. A review carried out by the American Medical Association noted that:[18]

    … The data does not show whether the perceived romantic relationship ever in fact occurred; nor whether the parent self-identified as gay or lesbian; nor whether the same sex relationship was continuous, episodic, or one-time only; nor whether the individual in these categories was actually raised by a homosexual parent (children of gay fathers are often raised by their heterosexual mothers following divorce), much less a parent in a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner. Indeed, most of the participants in these groups spent very little, if any, time being raised by a “same-sex couple.”[18

    Regnerus contributed to an amicus brief in opposition to same-sex marriage[25] and appeared as an expert witness in a 2014 federal court hearing regarding Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. Citing widespread criticism of NFSS methodology, Judge Bernard A. Friedman rejected Regnerus’ testimony, alleging the arguments derived from methodologically flawed data were “not worthy of serious consideration” and served rather to please the conservative organizations (Witherspoon Institute and Bradley Foundation) that underwrote the survey research project.[26]

  358. 358
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    I don’t think Googling marriage rates will provide any evidence that someone omitted data points in a report. Don’t worry about it.

    It will get you to the Eurostat site that you couldn’t open with the very links I provide details. The same data cited in the report you referenced at 287

  359. 359
    StephenB says:

    seversky, everyone knows that Wikipedia is all in for gay marriage. So it is with all the institutions mentioned in the wikipedia article So it is with Judge Friedman, who ruled against the Michigan ban on same sex marriage well before Regnerus did his study.

  360. 360
    StephenB says:

    kwm

    It will get you to the Eurostat site that you couldn’t open with the very links I provide details. The same data cited in the report you referenced at 287

    I have found nothing on that site that would indicate that data points were omitted from a report without good reason –or even at all — or that there was any misrepresentation involved.

  361. 361
    StephenB says:

    seversky @357: Wikipedia is all in for gay marriage. So it is with all the institutions in the wikipedia article. So it is with Judge Friedman, who ruled against Michigan’s ban on SSM long before Regnerus did his study. Find something from a disinterested source and I will take it under advisement. Meanwhile, no one has presented any credible evidence that Regneris’ study is seriously flawed—only sour grapes.

    Let’s find out what mainstream sociologists say:

    “This first article from Professor Mark Regnerus’ (Professor of Sociology, University of Texas, Austin) New Family Structures Study (NFSS) is published in Social Science Research. It is accompanied by published responses from mainstream sociologists, which while critical of a few important points – as academics always are – they are generally *in praise of his methodology* as well as his unique and needed ground-breaking contribution to the literature on the topic of same-sex parenting. This is key and will go far to rebut the activist’s severe, but largely base-less criticisms.”

  362. 362
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, are dessert foods, foods? If we then lace them with arsenic, would they remain compatible with the primary purpose of eating? KF

    PS: Why would God create a world in which there are responsible, rational, morally governed creatures with ability to choose? (Ponder, what ability to love and to make a virtuous choice — including to follow and accept the force of facts and logic — requires.)

  363. 363
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, Gessen again:

    It’s a no-brainer that (homosexuals) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist . . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—-because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

    The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.

    I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally . . . . I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three . . . . And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.

    Contrast, say, J C Wright.

    KF

  364. 364
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: That poor, kidnapped word “marriage,” being held hostage and used in agit prop films while blinking out the Morse for “torture.”

  365. 365
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: They are also trotting out a second kidnapped word, “gender,” which is blinking out, “indecent assault.”

  366. 366
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    I have found nothing on that site that would indicate that data points were omitted from a report without good reason –or even at all — or that there was any misrepresentation involved.

    Then you might want to try looking at it with your eyes open.

    Try googling “Marriage and divorce statistics Eurostat”, or try this url

    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/s.....statistics

    I don’t know why the links aren’t working for you, because they are for me.

    Regardless. On the Eurostat page titled “Marriage and Divorce Statistics”, you will see a couple tables in the right side-bar. You want to look at the one labeled “Crude marriage rate, selected years, 1960–2015
    (per 1 000 persons)”

    Just in case you still can’t find it, which is strange because I can find it by googling several different combinations of words about marriage rates, spain, europe, aerostat, etc., I have reproduced all of the numbers below that were reported for Spain.

    YEAR RATE
    1960 7.8
    1970 7.3
    1980 5.9
    1990 5.7
    2000 5.4
    2010 3.6

    2011 3.4
    2012 3.5
    2013 3.3
    2014 3.4
    2015 3.6

    The points that she used are bolded. I can understand excluding the 2011 through 2015 numbers as they have a different resolution (annual) than the rest of the data (decade). But there is absolutely no statistically valid reason for excluding the numbers for 1960 and 1970. This is important because whether or not they are included completely changes the perceived trend.Excluding them suggests a sudden decline at the same time as SSM was legalized (i.e., possibly causal). Including them suggests a continuation of an existing trend. It is possible that their omission was innocent, but that would suggest a level of incompetence that would call the entire report into question.

  367. 367
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    Find something from a disinterested source and I will take it under advisement.

    Forgive me for calling you on hypocrisy. But You expect us to take the SSM report funded by The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, an organization that has openly claimed to be opposed to SSM, seriously, yet dismiss the information provided by Seversky because it was not produced by a disinterested party. I hope that you are enjoying that cake.

  368. 368
    LarTanner says:

    KF @335

    I used the word “seems” in my comment (#324) to indicate that I was offering what appeared to me to be your argument. There was no intention to lay out a strawman on my part.

    So, if I got your position incorrect, then it should be true now to say that your opinion is that same-sex SEX is not really sex. If I have this right, then there’s a follow-on discussion I’d like to have later.

    But please take some well-intentioned advice. Writing is a central part of my living, so I have most always taken the attitude that if someone mis-interprets what I write, then I as the writer was not as clear as I needed to be. If I cannot get your opinion on whether (yes versus no) same-sex SEX is sex, then I ask you try to be unmistakably clear about it in your writing. As I suggest just above, the words yes and no can be a help for you here in getting across your true point.

    On to a new point: You have directed people to John C. Wright’s “On the Sexual Nature of Man.” I have read this, and my opinion is that it’s an incoherent, useless piece for anyone seriously pursuing the subject of sexual morality. Because the whole essay is ponderous and riddled with logical deficiencies, I want to present an annotated assessment of just one section, 1.2 “On the Objectivity of Morals”:

    Even a cursory inspection of the human condition provides us ample evidence that there is a moral component to virtue and vice.

    LT: “Cursory inspections” are not evidence. Plus, the terms “virtue” and “vice” have a moral component by their very definition, so to state “there is a moral component to virtue and vice” is to beg the question of how to define and distinguish virtuous and vicious behavior.

    Aside from the merely practical arrangement of the passions and appetites needed in order to sate one’s hungers efficiently, the reason makes a judgment on the fitness, wholesomeness, goodness or righteousness of the passion or appetite. The seat of moral judgment is called the conscience.

    There are those who claim these judgments are relative, or arbitrary, or are the by-product of Darwinian social evolution, or are the product of a programming imposed by economic class-interests. Their claim is that the judgments of the conscience either have no jurisdiction outside a narrow sphere, or have no jurisdiction at all. Their claim, simply put, is that all moral judgments are subjective, therefore illegitimate. To prefer virtue to vice (so the argument goes) is as arbitrary and personal a judgment as to prefer pie to cake.

    LT: This summary is a strawman. Subjective moral judgments can indeed and in fact be legitimate. Tellingly, Wright chooses here not to engage any serious, scholarly research into the science of ethics and morality.

    We can dismiss the claim that moral judgments are all subjective merely by inquiring whether or not we ought to inquire into the claim.

    LT: Wright now proceeds to attack the strawman he set up. Another telling phase: “dismiss the claim.” Wright ought to be fairly assessing and examining arguments, not dismissing claims. His unfortunate phrasing indicates he is interested in pontificating, not reasoning.

    Ought we to inquire whether or not all moral judgments are subjective?

    If the answer is no, the question is closed.

    If the answer is yes, then ought we to make this inquiry honestly, or dishonestly?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry dishonestly, then (a fortiori) we are not bound the results. For a dishonest thinker is under no moral obligation to accept a conclusion to which his logic drives him; even if he loses the argument, a dishonest thinker is not under a duty to change his mind or mend his ways. For what will impose the moral duty upon the dishonest thinker to conform his thoughts to the conclusions dictated by reason? Why must he be truthful even to himself? Why listen to his conscience?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry honestly, we necessarily thereby acknowledge at least one universal moral duty: the duty to think honestly. This duty is universal because the only other possibility, that we have no duty to think honestly, is not something we honestly can think.

    LT: Wright states that thinking “honestly” is a “universal moral duty.” Again, using loaded language like “honestly” simply begs the question of how to achieve honesty in thought. Anyone pursuing a question in good faith will be doing so honestly. But can two honest pursuits lead to different conclusions? One senses that that Wright considers any opinion but his own on the subject of moral judgments to be either deliberately or unintentionally dishonest.

    So we can at the minimum conclude that there is at least one moral duty to which the conscience prompts us, and this duty is a universal, which means it is an absolute, which means that the statement that all moral duties are relative is false.

    LT: Wright never explains what makes thinking honestly morally obligatory versus practical, useful, and beneficial. Some people do not think honestly on some subjects—as Wright himself admits—so how can he call thinking honestly “universal,” and how does he know thinking honestly is a duty and not just a smart idea?

    The whole essay is like this. Wright comes across in this piece as a blowhard. More importantly, he doesn’t engage the topic fairly. In his closing remarks, he says “It is very important to the partisans of the Sexual Revolution to support the idea that religious sentiment AND NO OTHER CAUSE can impel and opposition to their program.”

    Instead of telling “the opposition” what is very important to them, he might do his readers better service by treating opposing arguments–and “arguments,” versus just claims alone, is an important concept–with more consideration.

    In any case, on the subject of sexual morality and philosophical/cultural views of same-sex sex, surely there are better thinkers to consult than Wright or his essay.

  369. 369
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    Forgive me for calling you on hypocrisy. But You expect us to take the SSM report funded by The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, an organization that has openly claimed to be opposed to SSM, seriously, yet dismiss the information provided by Seversky because it was not produced by a disinterested party. I hope that you are enjoying that cake.

    *Mainstream social scientists* say that the methodology was just fine. *Gay marriage partisan*s have an agenda. So yes, you should accept the report because the methodology is sound according to those who don’t have an axe to grind. I will take the word of disinterested social scientists any time, especially when it s clear that partisans like yourself just can’t handle the truth.

    Speaking of partisanship, you have not really dealt with the alleged problems from the other study:

    Here is what I understand you to be saying:

    Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, consistently misrepresented data from original sources, not for any good methodological reason, but solely to create a false impression about several cultural trends.

    My question, then, is threefold:

    If she did, indeed, misrepresent the data, in some cases omitting key details, how do you know that?

    Do you know it from a secondary source that read a section of her report that provides those kinds of details? If so, who is that source?

    Or do you know it from actually having read that section yourself? If so, could you simply copy and paste that section for me so that I can evaluate it?

  370. 370
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, part of the problem is that there has been a systematic — and in many ways, quite calculated — distortion of the meanings of key words. When people no longer understand that “sex” is short for “sexual intercourse,” no longer understand what specific “natural” act is meant by “sexual intercourse,” and fail to understand why other acts of sexual nature were for cause termed “unnatural,” we have a serious problem. Newspeak comes to mind. So does, kidnapped words. The willful corruption of language is a first step to manipulation and deception. Lastly, as for J C Wright, I find him quite clear enough though the article is obviously not a finished one. I tend to recall, too, that I have seen some rather stringent dismissals of the writing and speeches of Sir Winston Churchill. I am fairly sure, however, that the dismissive critics could never have rallied a nation and a civilisation in the face of existential crisis. Churchill, whatever the infelicities of his language use, did. KF

  371. 371
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    Here is what I understand you to be saying: Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, consistently misrepresented data from original sources, not for any good methodological reason, but solely to create a false impression about several cultural trends.

    I only looked in detail at the claims about Spain, simply because they were based upon easily located statistics. And for that claim, the answer is yes, she clearly misrepresented the data. Any claim that she misrepresented everything else would be speculation, but it definitely calls into question her ability to competently interpret data and to draw logical conclusions from them.

    If she did, indeed, misrepresent the data, in some cases omitting key details, how do you know that?

    The source data that she used for her study came from the 2010 Eurostat demography report. For Spain, the demography report includes only six data points for six different years, not a lot for her to work with. In her report she stated that marriage rates were reasonably stable in Spain, citing values from 1980, 1990 and 2000 to illustrate this stability, and then declined dramatically in 2009 (following the legalization of SSM). However, the only way that anyone could say that the marriage rates were reasonably stable would be if you ignored the numbers from 1960 and 1970. When those numbers are added back to the data set, the 2009 value clearly follows the same trend that has been occurring for several decades. That, in anyone’s books, is a misrepresentation of the data. Either intentional or innocent.

    Do you know it from a secondary source that read a section of her report that provides those kinds of details? If so, who is that source?

    No. I know it from reading her report and then checking out the primary source of data that she referenced. Its really not that difficult.

  372. 372
    kmidpuddle says:

    LT@368, I just want to compliment you on your summary. It is very clearly written and logical.

  373. 373
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    No. I know it from reading her report and then checking out the primary source of data that she referenced. Its really not that difficult.

    I am asking you to reproduce the study containing the omitted and misrepresented data so that I can also read it.

  374. 374
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    I am asking you to reproduce the report that you said you read so that I can read it. I don’t have it.

    You are referencing excerpts from a report to support your position but can’t find the report that you are quoting from?

    If you are referring to the Eurostat report, I found it in five seconds by copying and pasting the reference from Patricia Morgan’s report to parliament into Google. It is over 180 pages with graphics and tables. It can’t be reproduced here.

  375. 375
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle I am not asking you to reproduce 180 pages of graphics and tables. I am asking you to reproduce that section of Dr. Morgan’s report in which the omissions and misrepresentations are alleged to have occurred.

  376. 376
    jdk says:

    Yes, 368 addresses the key faulty argument that several here continually fall back on: the false dichotomy that if one doesn’t acknowledge universal moral laws, or whatever they are called, then there is no basis for making any moral claim.

    Good job, LarTanner.

  377. 377
    Pindi says:

    KF, are desert foods, foods? Yes. Is oral sex (to completion and just for the fun of it) sex? Yes.

    If I read you right, you are equating gay sex (or indeed any form of sex that you do not approve of) as equivalent to eating food with arsenic in it?

  378. 378
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    I am asking you to reproduce that section of Dr. Morgan’s report in which the omissions and misrepresentations are alleged to have occurred.

    I quoted her statements at 315.

  379. 379
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, you full well know the distinction between sexual intercourse and other acts of a sexual nature. The repeated attempts to blur that difference now begin to carry the implication that the distinction is so significant that arguments to advance sexual anarchy cannot proceed without blurring them, much as it seems the distinction of male and female — directly connected to the significance of sexual intercourse — is being distorted through gender bending games. All I will say is that if one sets a crooked yardstick as standard, what is genuinely true or accurate cannot pass the test of conformity to the crooked standard. Accordingly, it seems that what is sexual intercourse now joins with what is a man and what is a woman as plumbline testing truths that correct crooked yardsticks. They reveal just how much of a surreal distorted picture is being imposed in order to advance an agenda that cannot face such basic facts of life. KF

  380. 380
    Pindi says:

    KF, I wonder, from your perspective, what is the purpose of the female breast?

    This is now absurd (given that we are mammals) and is bordering on being ill suited to something fitting for a general audience. KF

  381. 381
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle

    I quoted her statements at 315.

    Irrelevant. You said that you read the scientific and quantitative parts of Dr. Morgans report, not just the verbal summary @315. I am asking you to reproduce that section of her scientific report where the omissions and misrepresentations are alleged to have occurred.

  382. 382
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner on John Wright:

    “Cursory inspections” are not evidence.

    Bad logic: Wright did not say that cursory inspections are evidence. He said that cursory inspections *provide” evidence. The provider cannot also be the thing provided.

    the terms “virtue” and “vice” have a moral component by their very definition, so to state “there is a moral component to virtue and vice” is to beg the question of how to define and distinguish virtuous and vicious behavior.

    More bad logic. It is only by a definition that you can make the distinction. If you haven’t defined A, you have no way of knowing its difference from B, which must also be defined. More precisely, if you don’t define virtue as habitual behavior that is good for humans and consistent with their nature, then you cannot make the contrast with habitual behavior that bad for humans and inconsistent with their nature. You also need definitions to identify the objects of your “cursory inspection.”

    LT: This summary is a strawman. Subjective moral judgments can indeed and in fact be legitimate.

    The irony here is that it is you who is making circular arguments. If the definition of legitimate includes subjective moral judgments, then of course, they are legitimate. But legitimate means something entirely different than according to one’s personal judgment.
    “Letigimate: conforming to the law or to rules.

    “his claims to legitimate authority”
    synonyms: legal, lawful, licit, legalized, authorized, permitted, permissible, allowable, allowed, admissible, sanctioned, approved, licensed, statutory, constitutional; More

    ”One senses that that Wright considers any opinion but his own on the subject of moral judgments to be either deliberately or unintentionally dishonest.

    Subjective morality cannot be rationally defended. If you think otherwise, go ahead and try to defend it. This thread is full of failed attempts which always end in the subjectivist’s decision to run away from scrutiny and avoid hard questions, as in the case of jdk and kwimmuddle.

    More importantly, he doesn’t engage the topic fairly. In his closing remarks, he says “It is very important to the partisans of the Sexual Revolution to support the idea that religious sentiment AND NO OTHER CAUSE can impel and opposition to their program.”

    Wright is right again. Jdk tried to play that trick on me time after time–without success. When I explain that we can apprehend the natural moral law, he changes the subject and resorts to the claim that I was merely referring to my Catholic faith. So when I explain that perverse sexual behavior violates natural law, he denies that any such knowledge is possible since all such things must be taken on faith. Jdk proves Wright’s point beautifully.

  383. 383
    kmidpuddle says:

    Pindi:

    KF, I wonder, from your perspective, what is the purpose of the female breast?

    More importantly, what is the purpose of the male nipple? What was god thinking?

    Even more tangential. KF

  384. 384
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    Irrelevant. You said that you read the scientific and quantitative parts of Dr. Morgans report, not just the verbal summary @315. I am asking you to reproduce that section of her scientific report where the omissions and misrepresentations are alleged to have occurred.

    That might be very difficult. I couldn’t find any scientific part of her report. There was very little in the way of any empiracle data. That is why I concentrated on the Spain data. Which was misrepresented.

    If you want to provide a possible reason why she excluded important data, knock yourself out. But playing games like you are doing does not speak well for your position.

  385. 385
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle

    That might be very difficult. I couldn’t find any scientific part of her report. There was very little in the way of any empiracle data. That is why I concentrated on the Spain data. Which was misrepresented.

    If you couldn’t find any scientific part of her report, then you have no way of knowing if she misrepresented data or omitted data points.You certainly can’t get that kind of information from her public summary, nor is it available on Eurostat. So where did you first get this notion?

  386. 386
    LarTanner says:

    KF @370:

    When people no longer understand that “sex” is short for “sexual intercourse,” no longer understand what specific “natural” act is meant by “sexual intercourse,” and fail to understand why other acts of sexual nature were for cause termed “unnatural,” we have a serious problem. Newspeak comes to mind.

    I think I understand what you mean. But broaden your thinking: people may still well understand that sex means sexual intercourse, yet they also know that the term covers more than just this one activity. The word has expanded its range of meaning, and such expansion is a common feature of language. As a result, any serious conversation on a controversial topic such as sexual morality requires that we have extra clarity on key words, even seemingly obvious terms such as “sex.”

    Another excerpt from your comment:

    Lastly, as for J C Wright, I find him quite clear enough though the article is obviously not a finished one. I tend to recall, too, that I have seen some rather stringent dismissals of the writing and speeches of Sir Winston Churchill. I am fairly sure, however, that the dismissive critics could never have rallied a nation and a civilisation in the face of existential crisis. Churchill, whatever the infelicities of his language use, did.

    My problem with Wright is not his lack of clarity. My problem is what I see as his sloppy argumentation. You may well find his article as inspirational as one of Churchill’s war time speeches, but I would suggest that there’s much, much more to recommend Churchill’s prose.

    StephenB @382:
    Thanks for your comment. I’m not going to address every point where you think I’ve got it wrong, but I will say that we partially agree on “Cursory inspections.” Like you, I see that that cursory inspections provide evidence. My issue with Wright’s piece is that he doesn’t identify that evidence at all. So, his statement is just sweeping and lazy assertion. Obviously, you agree with Wright’s perspective and conclusions. My overall point is that Wright doesn’t do justice to either.

  387. 387
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    Obviously, you agree with Wright’s perspective and conclusions. My overall point is that Wright doesn’t do justice to either.

    I think it takes a while for someone with a background in science fiction to put on the philosopher’s hat and anticipate all possible objections. Until recently, he was a life-long atheist. His point is to get in the face of a perverse culture and move things in the opposite direction. He is unique inasmuch as he rejects the conventional wisdom (which is also my (view)) that once a culture enters serious decline, there is no coming back. For me, providing remedial education for subjectivists is a rear-guard action; for him, it is the start of a new day.

  388. 388
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    f you couldn’t find any scientific part of her report, then you have no way of knowing if she misrepresented data or omitted data points.

    If you want to play word games rather than have an honest discussion, you will find that you are only convincing yourself. Any person with even a room temperature IQ can see through this nonsense.

    You certainly can’t get that kind of information from her public summary, nor is it available on Eurostat.

    When she references a Eurostat report and then makes claims based on a cherry picker portion of that report in her public summary, you certainly can. Let’s summarize:

    1) she used Eurostat data about Spain to draw her conclusion.
    2) she concluded that Spain marital data was reasonably stable and then declined dramatically after SSM was legalized.
    3) she included actual values in her statement for three years to illustrate the stability, followed by the value for 2009, after the legalization of SSM.
    4) these values in isolation strongly suggested a dramatic decline in the marriage rate in 2009.
    4) she did not include the values from 1960 and 1970 in her statement, even though they were the only other two points in the Eurostat report.
    5) when these two points are included, it is obvious that the 2009 value falls along the same trend line that started in 1960.

    So, if you would like to discuss the data and her conclusions, I am willing to participate. If you are going to continue to play these word games, I will say goodbye. That type of nonsense is better suited for KF.

  389. 389
    kmidpuddle says:

    LT:

    I think I understand what you mean. But broaden your thinking: people may still well understand that sex means sexual intercourse, yet they also know that the term covers more than just this one activity.

    Thankfully so. I really feel sorry for anyone who thinks that sex is limited to the missionary position in those few days where the possibility of conception is the lowest. Birth control, experimentation, lotions and batteries certainly make for a more fulfilled life. If you can lay aside the sex is s sin BS.

  390. 390
    jdk says:

    KF, I wonder, from your perspective, what is the purpose of the female breast?

    This is now absurd (given that we are mammals) and is bordering on being ill suited to something fitting for a general audience. KF

    Talking about breasts is not fitting for a general audience, even though we have talked about masturbation, oral sex, and even bestiality? Are breasts the final straw?

    And the obvious purpose of breasts is to provide milk for the young. Thus does it violate the natural moral law and become immoral to make caressing and kissing them part of sex? What about doing so if it isn’t part of “completion”?

    This is all so hard to understand! 🙂

  391. 391
    es58 says:

    OT
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reverse-engineering-mysterious-500-million-year-old-fossils-that-confound-our-tree-of-life/

    Does something need to be engineered to be reverse engineered or do they mean the illusion of?”

  392. 392

    Everyone draws the line somewhere regarding sexual behavior. Everyone has their own dogma…even a/mats. I know where I draw the line, and that’s really all that matters to me. You all can draw the line wherever you want.

    To some people, their are no sexual perversions at all…just animals being animals. I completely understand that thinking, even though I don’t share it.

  393. 393
    StephenB says:

    kwm,

    —“If you want to play word games rather than have an honest discussion, you will find that you are only convincing yourself. Any person with even a room temperature IQ can see through this nonsense.”

    Why is it nonsense to ask you where you are getting your information?

    —“1) she used Eurostat data about Spain to draw her conclusion.”

    Maybe she did, but she doesn’t say so in any of the 6 accounts I read of her public statements. How did you find out?

    —“2) she concluded that Spain marital data was reasonably stable and then declined dramatically after SSM was legalized.”

    Correct. She said as much in her public statement, which I read.

    —“3) she included actual values in her statement for three years to illustrate the stability, followed by the value for 2009, after the legalization of SSM.”

    Maybe so, but none of this was in any of the 6 version of her public statements, so I have no way of knowing. How do you know?

    —“4) these values in isolation strongly suggested a dramatic decline in the marriage rate in 2009.”

    You keep providing me with interpretations of facts when I am asking you to verify the facts.

    —“4) she did not include the values from 1960 and 1970 in her statement, even though they were the only other two points in the Eurostat report.”

    How do you know she didn’t include them? Where do you get that information? Again, it isn’t in her public reports.

    —“5) when these two points are included, it is obvious that the 2009 value falls along the same trend line that started in 1960”

    And yet you do not provide a shred of evidence to support your claim that they were not included or, if they were not included, that the author didn’t provide a reason for it.

  394. 394
    kmidpuddle says:

    .

  395. 395
    jdk says:

    Hmmm. Something happened to kmp’s post. Was that you, kmp, or someone else?

    This is the first time I am seeing the one-dot post, c 11:05 pm loc time. KF

  396. 396
    Eugen says:

    Kpuddle

    394 is your best comment so far

  397. 397
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    —“1) she used Eurostat data about Spain to draw her conclusion.”

    Maybe she did, but she doesn’t say so in any of the 6 accounts I read of her public statements. How did you find out?

    I don’t know. Maybe the fact that she referenced the Eurostat paper in the references of her parliamentary report, and maybe the fact that the numbers she included in her statements match up perfectly with the Eurostat report.

    It has been fun but life is too short to attempt to have an honest discussion with someone who is obviously incapable of doing so.

    Desperation, thy name is StephenB.

  398. 398
    kmidpuddle says:

    JDK@395, no, that was me. But I must admit, Eugen’s comment at 396 made me laugh.

  399. 399
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, Pardon but it is obviously not that a word has somehow — having taken on powers of agency! — broadened its meaning as that a key distinction has been blurred. In part, doubtless through the usual decay of precision of language, but also in part through evident agendas. Part of why I say that is that I have had to deal with just this point in legal contexts. Where, some jurisdictions have opted to — without good warrant — broaden in legal definition the term sexual intercourse, instead of using the readily available distinction between rape and indecent assault. When little philosophically or ideologically loaded errors are made in the beginning, they tend to have the utmost consequences at the end. Here, the muddying of the long since established meaning of sex as denoting coitus, with all that this connects to by way of conception and child-bearing, with import for the understanding of the two sexes and how our reproductive needs are best channelled in the interests of human thriving as individuals in families and communities. I doubt that 1% of those going along with the shift understand the avalanche being triggered and where it will end. Indeed, I see attempts to deflect that concern not only in this thread but across our civilisation. All I say to such is: gradual accumulation of critical mass, triggering a cascade onward that few will foresee. Our civilisation is treading on the edge of a crumbling cliff, heedless of warnings on the nature of such cliffs. KF

  400. 400
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, I have become increasingly concerned with the direction of some commentary in the thread. You will notice, most of the pushing has come from one side and I am calling us back. All of this is in a context where I am also very conscious that most of the discussion is only related to the actual OP focus on the concept of gender as is being pushed. I do think it provides significant side-light, and I think we need to be conscious that this is not labelled with warnings as to content, where also this is a general audience type forum, not part of the Internet’s all too common red light districts. KF

  401. 401
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me again clip from John C Wright’s discussion as presenting an actual outline of his argument. Where, given evident confusions over “sex” it is clear that there is need to for example clarify that virtue and vice are morally freighted terms pointing to habits and passions of life. Observe his definition, “power to put aside unreasonable passions and appetites is called “virtue” . . . ” where he points out that being rationally responsible in managing oneself is a key condition of sound living:

    I, resting only on my human reason and with no particle of loyalty to or faith in any theological speculations (which, at the time, I frankly dismissed as egregious and base superstition), was drawn step by step against my will and very much against my inclinations away from the comfortable libertine and libertarian opinions of my youth to the conclusion that the sex act is licit only within marriage, that unchastity is illicit, and that unnatural sexual acts are illicit as well as unnatural.

    There are perfectly natural and worldly reasons for a rational atheist to support the Christian position on sexual morality. The following argument shows that the Christian position is the only logical position to hold, given the realities of human nature [–> he includes, later the sexually predatory nature of many men, and the issue of what it means for a woman to open the gates of her womb (and with this, the gates of her soul), to a lover . . . I add, especially as a trusting virgin].

    One a personal level, I did not change my conclusions about sexual morality because I became a Christian. The cause and effect was the other way. After cold logic lead me to the conclusions that the only logical position to hold just so happened to be the one held by my (at that time) hated enemies the Christians, I began to look at their egregious and base superstition with a less hostile gaze . . . .

    The Stoics reason as follows: of things, some are within our control, and others are not. Things within our control include the reason, which is the seat of logic and judgment, the passions, which is the seat of honor and virtue (good habits or bad), and the appetites, which is the seat of desire. Things not within our control include externals: your flesh, your money, your rank in society, your reputation in the eyes of others, the fortunes of war, whether you are healthy or sick, whether you live or die. You can influence these things only indirectly; you can try, but you cannot be assured of success.

    Even a cursory inspection of the human condition provides us with ample experience that the passion and appetites cannot be controlled unless habituated. One cannot, merely by a momentary effort of will, create or put aside a passion or an appetite, until and unless those passions and appetites are by long habit of self discipline subject to the sovereignty of the reason. The power to put aside unreasonable passions and appetites is called “virtue” (indeed, originally, the word “virtue” simply meant “power.”)

    Because it is unusual to make a distinction between passions and appetites, let me emphasize the difference. The word “appetite” here is being used to mean a self-centered desire for a specific physical pleasure: lust is the appetite for copulation, thirst is the appetite for drink, hunger the appetite for food, and so on. “Passion” by contrast is not necessarily self-centered, and is not necessarily satisfied by any physical pleasure: the desire of a bold soldier for glory in combat, for example, or the desire for a mother to protect her children, or the desire of a friend to come to the aid of his friend, or the desire of a patriot to see his home and nation honored. Many, if not most, passions are connected to imponderables: love and loneliness, shame and honor, glory and humility are matters that concern the passions.

    Unlike the brute beasts, a man can train and domesticate his passions to serve his reason rather than his appetite. I do not see the need to dwell further on this point: the literature and philosophy of all mankind through all history dwells primarily on the human condition, of which the tension between these three parts of the mind is the primary reality. A skeptic unconvinced of this point is directed toward those writings.

    That man has a duty to so domesticate his passions to serve his reason [–> I add, through the disciplined, growing exercise of responsible, rational freedom] we can deduce from the raw fact that the appetites are a multitude of contradictory desires, easily able to be inconsistent with surrounding facts of reality. If I desire to keep my cake and eat it too, the reason must arbitrate which desire shall prevail, since both cannot . . . .

    Even a cursory inspection of the human condition provides us ample evidence that there is a moral component to virtue and vice. Aside from the merely practical arrangement of the passions and appetites needed in order to sate one’s hungers efficiently, the reason makes a judgment on the fitness, wholesomeness, goodness or righteousness of the passion or appetite. The seat of moral judgment is called the conscience.

    There are those who claim these judgments are relative, or arbitrary, or are the by-product of Darwinian social evolution, or are the product of a programming imposed by economic class-interests. Their claim is that the judgments of the conscience either have no jurisdiction outside a narrow sphere, or have no jurisdiction at all. Their claim, simply put, is that all moral judgments are subjective, therefore illegitimate. To prefer virtue to vice (so the argument goes) is as arbitrary and personal a judgment as to prefer pie to cake.

    We can dismiss the claim that moral judgments are all subjective merely by inquiring whether or not we ought to inquire into the claim.

    Ought we to inquire whether or not all moral judgments are subjective?

    If the answer is no, the question is closed. [–> And, I suggest, such a closed-minded foreclosing of an issue is a warning flag that we are dealing with irresponsibility and/or irrationality.]

    If the answer is yes, then ought we to make this inquiry honestly, or dishonestly?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry dishonestly, then (a fortiori) we are not bound the results. For a dishonest thinker is under no moral obligation to accept a conclusion to which his logic drives him; even if he loses the argument, a dishonest thinker is not under a duty to change his mind or mend his ways. For what will impose the moral duty upon the dishonest thinker to conform his thoughts to the conclusions dictated by reason? Why must he be truthful even to himself? Why listen to his conscience?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry honestly, we necessarily thereby acknowledge at least one universal moral duty: the duty to think honestly. This duty is universal because the only other possibility, that we have no duty to think honestly, is not something we honestly can think.

    So we can at the minimum conclude that there is at least one moral duty to which the conscience prompts us, and this duty is a universal, which means it is an absolute, which means that the statement that all moral duties are relative is false . . . .

    Prudence is the general term for the common sense, sound judgment and sense of proportion needed before any man can arrange the passions to be fit, proper, and proportionate to the situation, as in, not to react with excessive fear to minor threats nor to react with understated fear to dire threats, nor to react with excessive and undue longing for minor pleasures, nor to treat with neglect major and lifelong joys, and so on. An absence of prudence is folly.

    Justice is the virtue restricting the appetite of self-interest of the passion of factional loyalty to its proper sphere, so that neither self-love nor love of one’s own will interfere with the rational judgment concerning strangers and rivals and enemies. Justice is rendering reward, penalty, courtesy, and dignity each according to his merit, rather than to the interests or personal loyalties of the judge. An absence of justice is injustice, or partiality

    Chastity is nothing more nor less than justice, moderation, prudence, or fortitude in reference to the sexual passions and appetites . . . .

    Romanticists say that Love Conquers All: the sexual impulse is too strong to be checked, or is determined by genetics, or that it is unjust for some other reason to demand virtue or self-control in sexual matters.

    Usually, the Romanticist argument is used to excuse only the form of sexual deviance being defended in the particular argument, since there can be found to be some sexual desires beyond the pale even of those most tolerant of sexual deviation. This is a rhetorical tactic, not a reasoned position, and we need not pause except to dismiss it. A partisan of the Sexual Revolution who, if any exist, sincerely maintaining that sex acts with children, dogs, corpses, other men’s wives and the children, or, for that matter, the corpses of dogs of other men’s wive’s children, in violation both of common prudence and simple justice, must have their argument fail merely on the terms of the absence of consent and the presence of harm . . . .

    marriage is not a contract. A contract is a meeting of the minds on such terms as the parties shall mutually agree for the exchange of goods and services or other consideration of value. Contracts have no moral or legal force outside their terms.

    One example should suffice to show the difference. Suppose Mr. A makes a deal with Mr. B that, starting noon on Monday, Mr. A will buy lumber from and only from the lumberyard of Mr. B, forsaking all others. Mr. A buys a load of lumber from yard C that same Monday, but at eleven o’clock. Is he in violation of any provision of the contract, or by the word or the spirit? Has he betrayed or wounded Mr. B in any way? Can Mr. B make any claim for which relief at law can be granted? The answer is no.

    By coincidence, this same Mr. A was planning to marry Miss D that same day, also at noon. Five minutes before the wedding is scheduled to take place, Miss D walks in on her promised bridegroom. He is standing with his trousers around his ankles vigorously coupling with one of the bridesmaids, Miss E, whose skirts are about her ears and her ankles about his ears. If the marriage were a contract, Miss D would have no more right to criticize or condemn his behavior than does Mr. B the lumberman. And yet no one of ordinary prudence would suggest she continue with the wedding at this point: we might even think her emotions insincere or unrelated to reality if her reaction were calm and understated.

    No sober argument can be raised that Mr. A is not betraying Miss D in this case . . .

    There is much more food for thought there (the above are excerpts from preliminary remarks), which will help us to begin to understand the fire we are playing with as a civilisation.

    KF

  402. 402
    StephenB says:

    kwimmuddle @397, you cannot provide a shred of evidence to support any of your claims. You have refused to verify even one of them in spite of my repeated challenges. So I have to assume that you are copying and pasting from a secondary source and that the “facts” and “conclusions” you arrived at are someone else’s facts and conclusions. That would explain everything.

    Let’s change the subject and return to an earlier evasion:

    You said,

    I never denied the existence of right and wrong. Just that right and wrong can change over time and may not be the same for everyone.

    I responded,

    “So you believe that it could be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in 2017 and right to discriminate against homosexuals in 2018? Further, you believe that it could be wrong for me to discriminate against homosexuals but right for someone else. Is that right?”

    Are you ready to address the issue?

  403. 403
    jdk says:

    kf, you quote

    A partisan of the Sexual Revolution who, if any exist, sincerely maintaining that sex acts with children, dogs, corpses, other men’s wives and the children, or, for that matter, the corpses of dogs of other men’s wive’s children, in violation both of common prudence and simple justice, must have their argument fail merely on the terms of the absence of consent and the presence of harm . . . .

    And your worried that other people are perhaps pushing the boundaries of this as a “general audience type forum”!

    JDK, do you notice that this is summary, listing the sorts of issues that obtain, and that this is a case of what I have been forced to address due to insistent patterns by objectors, despite misgivings? I am concerned lest it run utterly out of control, as I have just now had to snip on. KF

  404. 404
    kmidpuddle says:

    SNIP– fair warning given over increasingly prurient content. (And this should serve to highlight the problem on trend I pointed out. Remember, this late at night it is likely I would only have seen this on the morrow.) KF

    i have a surprise for you. Any type of sexual behaviour between consenting adults is none of your business. It’s none of the church’s business, and it’s none of the government’s business. Anyone who thinks it is is the one demonstrating a perversion, not the ones enjoying sexual activity with another consenting adult.

    KMP, I am utterly unsurprised to see you supporting sexual hedonism, anarchy and nihilism, I simply suggest to you that sexual behaviour is not atomised and isolated from one’s lifetime path of virtue/vice, the possibility of self-destructive and socially damaging habits at least as dangerous as alcoholic or drug addiction, and soberingly adverse impacts on the wider society; up to and including enabling and/or participation in the ongoing worst holocaust in history, the war on posterity in the womb that can be shown to have had 800+ million victims in 40+ years, mounting up at about a million more per week. If you think a generation so soaked in blood guilt will be able to think straight on matters of moral governance, you are sadly mistaken. All of this points to how J C W’s discussion might do you — and many others — some good. KF

  405. 405

    KF @ 401: More good stuff. Thanks.

  406. 406
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle to kairosfocus:

    i have a surprise for you. Any type of sexual behaviour between consenting adults is none of your business. It’s none of the church’s business, and it’s none of the government’s business. Anyone who thinks it is is the one demonstrating a perversion, not the ones enjoying sexual activity with another consenting adult.

    Obviously, kmp holds that men should assume the morality of wild animals and act accordingly, even if it violates their human nature to do so. He actually believes his philosophy of *if it feels good, do it* is original and should be taken seriously. For him, it’s all live and let live regardless of the cost and carnage.

    If a man wants to use his lower digestive tract for a sex organ, kmp is all on board with that. Of course, that same man will, on average, forfeit 20 years of his life, but trivial matters like that are not given a moment’s thought.

    If a nation slices up or scalds to death millions of babies in their mothers’ womb so that selfish barbarians can have unfettered sex without consequences, kmp is ecstatic at the prospect. And if children can be sexualized in kindergarten even before they have reached the age of reason, this too suits his taste.

    For him, there is no problem if men and women use each other for sex objects in an attempt to take one from the other, even if the experience renders them incapable of ever experiencing real love. The embracing principle is that anyone should be able to copulate with anyone at any time for any reason. And if children are cheated out of real parents so that homosexuals can “feel” like parents, then the selfish wishes of the latter should always take precedence over the social and psychological welfare of the former.

    If millions more become slaves to pornography kwp will call it “freedom.” The reason he takes this position is that he understands neither the philosophical or political idea of freedom. Freedom is the right to do what you ought to do, not the right to do anything your glands tell you to do. Yet kwp thinks that glands, rather than reason, should control the human will.

    Freedom is also the power to control one’s passions, which is essential to citizens who hope to govern themselves. Again, ideas like this are lost on kwp because he thinks the passions should rule in the affairs of men. The very idea of saying no to one’s sexual desires, even for the sake of a higher good, seems otherwordly to him. He is like a mouse who lives inside a piano and chews away at the piano keys without ever knowing that their real purpose is to make music

    SB, while I understand why you have hinted at some details, I think we need to be careful with such in this context. KF

  407. 407
    Pindi says:

    KF, my point regarding the female breast, (and there is nothing prurient about this) is, as jdk pointed out, that the purpose of the breast is to suckle babies. And yet, almost invariably amongst heterosexual men, it triggers a sex response. This illustrates the paucity of your’s and SB’s arguments about sex and purpose. Why did God install a sex reflex towards a part of the female body who’s “purpose” is not to have sex? My response to my own question, is that perhaps God is not quite so fixated on people’s sex lives as you and SB are…

    Again, you seem intent on going into details that easily become prurient, or lend themselves to setting up those who wish to — as has actually happened overnight. The simple answer is that there is nothing inconsistent between human mammary glands as provision for newborns, and as an object of sexual interest of the male, as a characteristically female feature that often takes sculpturally quite beautiful forms. Likewise, the feminine face . . . especially a strikingly, stunningly pretty one that reflects sculptural beauty . . . is a focus [never mind that we all have faces], feminine body shapes (in various ways) and more. All of these are fully consistent with the specific nature of the natural sexual act between man and woman and its focal consequence, conception. Your dismissiveness is readily shown to be unwarranted, and your suggestion that inference on the law of our nature as responsible, rationally free, morally governed creatures who come in complementary sexes and require almost 20 years of nurture in a stable supportive family is a thinly disguised imposition of Christian dogma is utterly unwarranted. Notice, Cicero (a pre-Christian pagan writing on the roots of law) and Wright (reporting on his natural law thought from days now scarcely a decade or two past when he was utterly contemptuous towards the Christian faith), as samplers on the matter. Indeed, the patterns of argument presented suggest that we face the problem of a crooked relativist or subjectivist yardstick adopted by the various types of hedonists, libertines, anarchists and gender- as- social- construct advocates. The issues pointed to on natural, evident facts are plumbline correctives that should be heeded. KF

  408. 408
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: John C Wright’s testimony regarding his conversion; his wife is Mrs Jaghi Lamplighter-Wright, who is also an author. KF

  409. 409
    kairosfocus says:

    LT (& attn KMP and SB et al):

    As I will be extraordinarily busy due to upcoming legislative sitting and various connected matters also tied to a delayed budget season, then travelling to a conference, let me start by taking up points you make in bites. First,

    LT: Wright states that thinking “honestly” is a “universal moral duty.” Again, using loaded language like “honestly” simply begs the question of how to achieve honesty in thought. Anyone pursuing a question in good faith will be doing so honestly. But can two honest pursuits lead to different conclusions? One senses that that Wright considers any opinion but his own on the subject of moral judgments to be either deliberately or unintentionally dishonest.

    Wright is pointing to the pervasiveness of the voice of conscience; including in our sense of duty of care to truth, reason, warrant, fair and prudent judgement, etc. Such can aptly be said to be a testimony of the duty of honesty in thought. But if conscience be much as Ruse and Wilson dismissed:

    The time has come to take seriously the fact [–> This is a gross error at the outset, as macro-evolution is a theory (an explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the orbiting of planets around the sun etc.] that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day . . . We must think again especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will … In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place.

    [ –> And everything instantly falls apart as this would set grand delusion loose in our mental lives. Even logical reasoning is guided by the conscience-driven urge to truth, right and justice, so once such a grand delusion is let loose it undermines the general credibility of conscious mindedness, setting up a cascade of shadow-show worlds. The skeptical spider has enmeshed himself in his own web. Thus, any such scheme should be set aside as self-refuting.]

    [Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and Brace, 1991. (NB: Cf. a separate discussion on the grounding of worldviews and ethics here on, which includes a specific discussion of the grounding of ethics and goes on to Biblical theism; having first addressed the roots of the modern evolutionary materialist mindset and its pretensions to the mantle of science. Also cf. here on for Plato’s warning in The Laws, Bk X, on social consequences of the rise of such a view as the philosophy of the avant garde in a community.]

    . . . then, conscience is little more than a manifestation of general delusion and we face an infinite regress of delusional perceptions of our inner life

    [conscience pointing to duties –> the first perception is delusional –> this second one is subject to the same objection –> there are no duties of care regarding honesty in thought and mental consciousness is itself riddled with delusion –> our inner life of mindedness is delusional –> this perception too is liable to be delusion –> we are in a first level Plato’s Cave –> onward levels of similar caves, ad infinitum],

    ending in patent absurdity.

    In short, we have no good grounds to object to the testimony of conscience regarding duties of care to honest rational thought, while hoping to persuade others that for rational cause they are or are likely to be in the wrong and SHOULD change their views.

    Thus, we readily see that reflection on rationality and the inextricably entangled voice of conscience acting as a compass pointing to truth, reason and the right is inherently self-referential. Thus, any argument that undermines this nexus is self-defeating and self-falsifying. Including the hot objection, how dare you use that LOADED word honesty in arguing for honesty in thought.

    What’s the implied dubious, question-begging loading? “Honesty” is a word of duty, a testimony of conscience embedded in our language. But, this is a place where, absent genuinely binding duties to avoid deceit of self and others, reason collapses into clever manipulation, lying. The life of the mind then instantly becomes a shipwreck. Including one’s own life of the mind. This echoes the tension between IS and OUGHT, shows how deeply embedded it is in conscious rational life and demands a unification at world-root level, on pain of utter chaos. And thus lurks the issue of the only serious candidate that can unify IS and OUGHT: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of our loyalty and of our reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    The result is self-evident, or nearly so; I am only hesitating because I think there may be a problem with seeing the consequence of absurdity as PATENT. That it is warranted is obvious.

    Now, let us turn to JCW’s actual words:

    We can dismiss the claim that moral judgments are all subjective merely by inquiring whether or not we ought to inquire into the claim.

    Ought we to inquire whether or not all moral judgments are subjective?

    If the answer is no, the question is closed. [–> And, I suggest, such a closed-minded foreclosing of an issue is a warning flag that we are dealing with irresponsibility and/or irrationality.]

    If the answer is yes, then ought we to make this inquiry honestly, or dishonestly?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry dishonestly, then (a fortiori) we are not bound the results. For a dishonest thinker is under no moral obligation to accept a conclusion to which his logic drives him; even if he loses the argument, a dishonest thinker is not under a duty to change his mind or mend his ways. For what will impose the moral duty upon the dishonest thinker to conform his thoughts to the conclusions dictated by reason? Why must he be truthful even to himself? Why listen to his conscience?

    If the answer is that we ought to make this inquiry honestly, we necessarily thereby acknowledge at least one universal moral duty: the duty to think honestly. This duty is universal because the only other possibility, that we have no duty to think honestly, is not something we honestly can think.

    So we can at the minimum conclude that there is at least one moral duty to which the conscience prompts us, and this duty is a universal, which means it is an absolute, which means that the statement that all moral duties are relative is false . . . .

    While the reference to conscience and its testimony to duties of honesty in reasoning is not explicit (save at one deeply buried point), it is plainly there every step of the way.

    And it seems to me that he is quite correct that those who object to the objectivity of oughtness, duty, moral government, implicitly — and inescapably — appeal to our binding duties to same in regards to our thought life when they attempt to correct us. That is, they cannot escape the force of the sense of duty to honest thought implied in reason.

    In another piece, Wright brings out his background a bit more:

    Epictetus the Stoic in the Second Century made the same pithy observation about Epicurus and the Hedonist of the Academics whom the Stoic soundly criticized.

    Allow me to quote at length. This man was my master before I found Christ. Those who know me will no doubt recognize all my arguments in him.

    This is from Chapter XX of Book II DISCOURSES:

    “The propositions which are true and [I add: SELF-]evident are of necessity used even by those who contradict them: and a man might perhaps consider it to be the greatest proof of a thing being evident that it is found to be necessary even for him who denies it to make use of it at the same time.

    “For instance, if a man should deny that there is anything universally true, it is plain that he must make the contradictory negation, that nothing is universally true. What, wretch, do you not admit even this? For what else is this than to affirm that whatever is universally affirmed is false? [–> Which is of course a universal truth-claim.]

    “Again if a man should come forward and say: Know that there is nothing that can be known, but all things are incapable of sure evidence; or if another say, Believe me and you will be the better for it, that a man ought not to believe any thing; or again, if another should say, Learn from me, man, that it is not possible to learn any thing; I tell you this and will teach you, if you choose.” [–> the self referential absurdity again appears, here in the guise of a knowledge claim]

    It is astonishing to me that this proposition is still being debated today, thousands of years later, when it had been put to rest so entirely . . . [read on]

    I trust this gives some food for thought.

    KF

  410. 410
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF in Kmidpuddle’s comment:

    SNIP– fair warning given over increasingly prurient content. (And this should serve to highlight the problem on trend I pointed out. Remember, this late at night it is likely I would only have seen this on the morrow.) KF


    It’s nice to see that censorship is alive and well here.

    You make repeated comments about the dangers to society of what you call “sexual perversions”, and then you censor any mention of what those “sexual perversions” are for some puritanical reason. For onlookers, I simply asked KF what the percentage was of married opposite sex couples enjoying the different forms of sex and sexual activity that he considers perversions. The point was that some of these are practiced by the majority of couples and even things like anal sex are practiced by a significant minority. If we can’t even mention what these perversions are, how are we to have a discussion about their dangers?

    KMP, when you dump garbage on someone else’s front lawn — an act of vandalism, do you expect the other person to allow that garbage to stand there for days and weeks until it decays? You full well know that UD is not a part of a red light district of the Internet, and that we will not tolerate dragging rhetorical garbage across our front lawn, an act of Internet vandalism. As the retained part of your comment shows, you did not at all need to resort to vandalism to make any reasonable point you had. Ironically, in crying censorship against such an action, you forget the routine powers of any newspaper regarding letters to the editor. You are perfectly free to set up your own site elsewhere and say what you wish, however you wish, there. Here, we for cause expect a modicum of responsibility. You were already warned on your track record, on assuming this latest handle. No further warnings will be given. Lastly, of course, you seem to believe that thou shalt not censor is a binding moral obligation, never mind the dubious interpretation you put on the term. KF

  411. 411
    kmidpuddle says:

    SB:

    Obviously, kmp holds that men should assume the morality of wild animals and act accordingly, even if it violates their human nature to do so.

    Given the widespread practice of some of these “sexual perversions”, claiming that they violate human nature doesn’t hold water.

    For him, it’s all live and let live regardless of the cost and carnage.

    No. If the act results in harm to others, it is not live and let live. But I have not heard from anyone how masturbation, or oral sex, or other sexual activity between consenting adults, does harm to anyone else.

    If a man wants to use his lower digestive tract for a sex organ, kmp is all on board with that. Of course, that same man will, on average, forfeit 20 years of his life, but trivial matters like that are not given a moment’s thought.

    It’s certainly not my cup of tea, but who gives me the right to tell him how he can engage in sexual activity. Unless, of course, he is causing harm to others. Your life expectancy comment is a red herring as a major factor in the early death of homosexuals is the stress and guilt imposed by the stigma that society and religion have placed on them.

    If a nation slices up or scalds to death millions of babies in their mothers’ womb so that selfish barbarians can have unfettered sex without consequences, kmp is ecstatic at the prospect.

    My biology is a little rusty, but I wasn’t aware that a woman can get pregnant from masturbation, oral sex or anal sex. Please stay on topic.

    Freedom is also the power to control one’s passions, which is essential to citizens who hope to govern themselves.

    Yet you and KF want to take this freedom away from people.

  412. 412

    KF @ 409: Your energy level is inspiring. You are making a difference in this world!

  413. 413
    StephenB says:

    SB: Obviously, kmp holds that men should assume the morality of wild animals and act accordingly, even if it violates their human nature to do so.

    kwimpuddle

    Given the widespread practice of some of these “sexual perversions”, claiming that they violate human nature doesn’t hold water.

    Bad behavior in general is wide spread. That doesn’t mean it isn’t bad. In any case, thank you for agreeing that you embrace the morality of a wild animal.

    SB: For him, it’s all live and let live regardless of the cost and carnage.

    No. If the act results in harm to others, it is not live and let live.

    Except that you deny the harm when it occurs in order to preserve the *live and let live.*

    But I have not heard from anyone how masturbation, or oral sex, or other sexual activity between consenting adults, does harm to anyone else.

    You are not telling the truth since I covered those subjects extensively, even at the risk of offending the host. Why do you deliberately say things that you know are not true?

    SB: If a man wants to use his lower digestive tract for a sex organ, kmp is all on board with that. Of course, that same man will, on average, forfeit 20 years of his life, but trivial matters like that are not given a moment’s thought.

    Your life expectancy comment is a red herring as a major factor in the early death of homosexuals is the stress and guilt imposed by the stigma that society and religion have placed on them.

    Here is a perfect example of how you simply deny the harm in order to preserve the animalistic morality.

    SB: If a nation slices up or scalds to death millions of babies in their mothers’ womb so that selfish barbarians can have unfettered sex without consequences, kmp is ecstatic at the prospect.

    My biology is a little rusty, but I wasn’t aware that a woman can get pregnant from masturbation, oral sex or anal sex. Please stay on topic.

    It is you that needs to stay on topic since it is clear that I was discussing the so called right to unfettered sexual intercourse, not masturbation.

    SB: Freedom is also the power to control one’s passions, which is essential to citizens who hope to govern themselves.

    Yet you and KF want to take this freedom away from people.

    This is laughable, and is the very opposite of the truth. KF and I want people to have the freedom to control their sexual appetite. It is you who want to take that freedom away. You want everyone to be slaves to their own sexual desires. We want their reason to control their appetites and passions; you want their appetites and passions to control their reason.

  414. 414
    jdk says:

    Stephen writes,

    KF and I want people to have the freedom to control their sexual appetite.

    This is what is laughable: Stephen wants us to have the freedom to act the way Stephen thinks we should act. Sounds a little authoritarian and dictatorial to me.

    And I, like virtually all people, use my reason to control my “appetites and passions”. We just don’t agree with Stephen about what our reason thinks is appropriate and right.

    Again, Stephen creates a false dichotomy that misrepresents the complex reality of the situation.

  415. 415
    StephenB says:

    SB: KF and I want people to have the freedom to control their sexual appetite.

    jdk

    Stephen wants us to have the freedom to act the way Stephen thinks we should act. Sounds a little authoritarian and dictatorial to me.

    I love the way jdk rewrites what people say and then attacks the revision. Self control has absolutely nothing to do with authoritarianism. I also want people to have the freedom to control their calorie intake. That doesn’t mean I am a dictator. This is so silly–and telling.

    We just don’t agree with Stephen about what our reason thinks is appropriate and right.

    Nonsense. You don’t even think there is any such thing as *right* behavior.

    Again, Stephen creates a false dichotomy that misrepresents the complex reality of the situation.

    Did you get that, dear reader. jdk thinks that self control is synonymous with dictatorship, and yet he thinks that *I* am setting up a false dichotomy.

    And I, like virtually all people, use my reason to control my “appetites and passions”.

    First, he says I am a dictator for recommending that reason should control the appetites and passions. Then he says that he, himself, uses his reason to control his appetites and passions. Unbelievable.

    Of course, we can doubt that he really means what he says since his entire philosophy is based on the proposition that humans should allow their appetites and passions free reign.

    More importantly, he doesn’t think there is any such thing as an objective moral standard that would allow reason to guide those passions in the first place. What we have here is an exercise in irrational thinking.

  416. 416
    jdk says:

    You don’t even think there is any such thing as *right* behavior.

    Wrong. Another false dichotomy.

    And what “sounds a little authoritarian and dictatorial to me,” (which is a vastly different thing than thinking self control is synonymous with dictatorship, Stephen), is the idea that you want people to have the freedom to control their appetites and passions, but that you think you know what the proper ways to do that are: that’s the authoritarian part.

    You believe that people ought to control their desire to masturbate. I think they ought to have the freedom to decide whether to do that or not, but you think they are wrong if they decide to do so.

    That’s my point, which you badly misrepresented.

  417. 417
    StephenB says:

    SB: You don’t even think there is any such thing as *right* behavior.

    jdk

    Wrong. Another false dichotomy.

    Just fact. You don’t believe there is any such thing as right and wrong. There is nothing false about that characterization.

    And what “sounds a little authoritarian and dictatorial to me,” (which is a vastly different thing than thinking self control is synonymous with dictatorship, Stephen), is the idea that you want people to have the freedom to control their appetites and passions, but that you think you know what the proper ways to do that are: that’s the authoritarian part.

    Now you are confusing authoritarianism with objective morality and arguments for objective morality. To say that there is such a thing as right and wrong is not to be a dictator. To *Identify* right from wrong is not to be a dictator. To establish civil law based on the objective principles of right and wrong is not to be a dictator. To rule in the absence of moral principle is to be a dictator. Do you understand the difference?

    You believe that people ought to control their desire to masturbate. I think they ought to have the freedom to decide whether to do that or not, but you think they are wrong if they decide to do so.

    This, again, demonstrates your profound confusion. Try to get your mind off of masturbation long enough to absorb a general principle: To think and say that something is wrong has absolutely nothing to do with refusing to grant someone the freedom to do what is wrong. Apparently, you cannot grasp the difference. As far as I am concerned, people should have the political right to have sex with their rubber ducky. That doesn’t prevent me from saying that such behavior is perverse and isn’t good for them and that they should not do it. It is the politically correct lunatics that think I should not have the right to say so that are the dictators, and you sound a lot like them.

    SB, sigh. I understand why you have felt it necessary to respond to some of the rhetoric above, specifically. I will let the exchange stand, but put it on record that If there is significant further behaviour down this line, I will for cause terminate the thread. Let that serve as notice that I have a perfect right to put up threads which do not allow comments, if there is a pattern of abuse. of course, as you too have posting privilege at UD, you may wish to put up your own post. Last but not least I suggest that merely because an act is of sexual nature, it is not sex in its proper sense, what is formally termed coitus; a crucial distinction. We are obviously dealing with the corruption of language as part of the promotion of sexual anarchy and nihilism, all of which is tied to the ongoing march of folly in our civilisation, and frankly to the worst holocaust in history, the ongoing war on unborn posterity in the womb. KF

  418. 418
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, kindly look at the direct implications of what you have enabled by your responses just now and previously. That was why I jointly addressed you and another objecting commenter. That commenter, I have now given warning regarding internet vandalism. KF

  419. 419
    kairosfocus says:

    KMP & JDK,

    I repeat my remarks to KMP in 404 above, on encountering internet vandalism and advocacy of sexual anarchy tied to the confusion of licence for liberty:

    I am utterly unsurprised to see you supporting sexual hedonism, anarchy and nihilism, I simply suggest to you that sexual behaviour is not atomised and isolated from one’s lifetime path of virtue/vice, the possibility of self-destructive and socially damaging habits at least as dangerous as alcoholic or drug addiction, and soberingly adverse impacts on the wider society; up to and including enabling and/or participation in the ongoing worst holocaust in history, the war on posterity in the womb that can be shown to have had 800+ million victims in 40+ years, mounting up at about a million more per week. If you think a generation so soaked in blood guilt will be able to think straight on matters of moral governance, you are sadly mistaken. All of this points to how J C W’s discussion might do you — and many others — some good.

    I stand by those words of warning.

    And, I find it utterly astonishing that words of warning on consequences of behaviour that are demonstrably self and socially destructive, are labelled authoritarianism or the like. That suggests, that we are seeing a nihilistic death wish that would indulge destructive habits known to be addictive, not any reasonable, responsible behaviour.

    The old saying is that if you do not bite, you cannot get hooked, and it would be wise to ponder it.

    KF

  420. 420
    StephenB says:

    By the way, jdk, since you use the words “false dichotomy” inappropriately, it might help if I present to you a real false dichotomy:

    Jdk

    I think they ought to have the freedom to decide whether to do that or not, but you think they are wrong if they decide to do so.

    That is a true false dichotomy. Just because I think they are wrong to make a given decision doesn’t mean that I want to take away their right to make that decision.

  421. 421
    LarTanner says:

    KF @409:

    I appreciate the excerpt from Ruse and Wilson. As I see it, they are not far away from you and Wright in some respects. For one, they acknowledge that humans have, as you say, a “voice of conscience” and a “sense of duty of care to truth, reason, warrant, fair and prudent judgement, etc.”

    This point is important, because if we accept Ruse and Wilson’s position that externally-grounded ethics are illusory, we can also agree that humans are naturally wired to believe in such ethics. To act as if we had no moral sense whatsoever would be very difficult indeed for many of us. As a result, we have little to fear in the way of moral anarchy should everyone learn and understand that “ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding.” In other words, we have good reason to listen to our conscience. We also have good reason to question it from time to time.

    Back once more to J. C. Wright: As I have tried to make clear, my criticism of “honesty” is not the concept itself but Wright’s use of the concept in his argument. Acknowledging that we ought to investigate the nature of moral judgments honestly does not, in my view, undermine the idea that moral judgments are subjective (if one holds to this idea). Ruse and Wilson, I think, would see such an acknowledgment as testifying to the power of a natural, biologically ingrained instinct to a set of moral beliefs.

  422. 422
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus, just for the record, our comments @418 and 419 appeared at about the same time.

  423. 423
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, Yes, they were made in a very short window of time. KF

  424. 424
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, Ruse and Wilson seem to be unaware of the self-referential incoherence of their comments, by way of spreading grand delusion across mindedness. I put it to you that their position instantly undermines responsible rational freedom, without which reasoned conversation is impossible. This is a consequence of the inextricable entangling of duties of care towards truth and right and logic in reasoning. So, I think your views are in serious need of reworking in light of a crucial incoherence, as is so for anything that would set grand delusion loose in our life of the mind. KF

  425. 425
    kairosfocus says:

    LT: If there is a duty, a binding morally rooted obligation to honesty in reasoning on moral or other topics, that is instantly an acknowledgement that there is such an obbligation. That is, it is not merely subjective. KF

  426. 426
    LarTanner says:

    KF:

    @424 — I don’t see why their position “undermines responsible rational freedom.”

    @425 — Yes, if there is a[n externally grounded] duty. That question remains controversial, does it not?

  427. 427
    kmidpuddle says:

    KF:

    I am utterly unsurprised to see you supporting sexual hedonism, anarchy and nihilism,…

    Believing that neither the government, the church nor any individual should have any say or influence in what two consenting adults do behind closed doors is not the same as supporting sexual hedonism, anarchy and nihilism. You are creating a false equivalence.

    Trying to lay a guilt trip on people who enjoy forms of sexual activity that you feel are perverse is just a form of crude manipulative behaviour. Resorting to name calling and denigration of those who disagree with you ranks right up there with the type of propoganda used by the allies during the war to demonize and denigrate the enemy.

    If you can step the emotion back a little, we might be able to have a civil and productive discussion.

    In effect, why are you unhappy that I have — repeatedly — dumped garbage on your front lawn? Sorry, I have a right to take strong action not just to clean up but to deter you and others from repeating such vandalism. KF

  428. 428
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    Acknowledging that we ought to investigate the nature of moral judgments honestly does not, in my view, undermine the idea that moral judgments are subjective (if one holds to this idea).

    I appreciate the clarity of your comment. It seems to me that the term “honestly” means faithfully following the logic of the investigation wherever it might lead. In my judgment, it begins with the following question: What is a moral judgment supposed to do? Isn’t it supposed to produce a conclusion about what one ought to do as opposed to what one might want to to? After all, if it is about subjective preferences, no judgment or discernment is necessary. It would simply be a matter of following one’s willful preferences. Moral judgement is necessary only if an objective moral standard exists that could tug away at or challenge those preferences. In other words, doesn’t the term moral judgment mean to judge between what we want to do and what we ought to do, and if what we ought to do is taken to mean what we would prefer to do (subjectivism) then whatever judgment we make is preferential, not moral.

  429. 429
    StephenB says:

    kwimpuddle to kairosfocus

    If you can step the emotion back a little, we might be able to have a civil and productive discussion.

    It isn’t possible to have a rational discussion with you because you will not answer questions.

  430. 430
    LarTanner says:

    StephenB @428

    My off-the-cuff opinion (and then I must get off UD and do my paying job) is that no, moral judgment is not “supposed to produce a conclusion about what one ought to do as opposed to what one might want to to.”

    Instead, I see moral judgment as seeking to find the optimal balance between several competing impulses and desires:

    a) What I want to do

    b) What helps you or helps others

    c) What my parents or peers might think

    d) What might serve the long-term interests of a-c above

    e) And so on

    I was surprised that you defined moral judgment as you did and wonder if the heated disagreements generated by these kinds of topics really boil down to differences in defining fundamental terms.

  431. 431
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    was surprised that you defined moral judgment as you did and wonder if the heated disagreements generated by these kinds of topics really boil down to differences in defining fundamental terms.

    In many cases, I think that is true. Unfortunately, many here enter into discussions like this without even knowing what *they* mean by the terms they use.

  432. 432
    StephenB says:

    Instead, I see moral judgment as seeking to find the optimal balance between several competing impulses and desires:

    a) What I want to do

    b) What helps you or helps others

    c) What my parents or peers might think

    d) What might serve the long-term interests of a-c above

    e) And so on

    So you do not believe in an objective standard of right and wrong?

  433. 433
    kmidpuddle says:

    LT@430, I would add the impact of teaching/indoctrination and reinforcement/feedback. Or, if you will, conditioned responses.

    If we are repeatedly told from the time we can crawl that something like masturbation is a sin, and punished when our parents catch us doing it, I am sure that we are going to grow up with the moral belief that it is wrong. But that doesn’t make that moral belief objectively true.

  434. 434
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus @417.

    No problem. It is your thread and your rules.

  435. 435
    john_a_designer says:

    Recently, a U.S. Congressman, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was severely wounded in an assignation attempt. Fortunately, two members of his security detail, sustaining wounds themselves in the process, acted bravely to take out the gunman and save the Congressman’s life. However, the fact that one of the members of his security detail happens to be a lesbian was not lost on the secular progressive left. Unfortunately, in respect to their own credibility, their reasoning and logic is extremely flawed. The following article by Hans Fiene of the Federalist exposes some of the fallacious logic behind their thinking and rhetoric.

    “Once he gets out of the hospital, Rep. Steve Scalise ought to change his position on gay marriage…” Thus saith George Takei, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, and a number of other liberal voices who are demanding that the Majority Whip see the error of his conservative ways after his attempted assassination was thwarted by Special Agent Gay Black Woman.

    Gay Black Woman is not, as you might guess, the special agent’s given name. It’s Crystal Griner. But considering Scalise’s politics, Griner’s name and bravery had to play second fiddle to her sex, sexuality, and race. It was just too deliciously ironic, you see, that a Republican now owes his life to someone composed of such non-Republican identities…

    But Scalise never argued that homosexual unions shouldn’t be considered marriage because gay sex renders people incapable of valor or selflessness. Nor has he ever suggested that gay marriage should be illegal because gay people don’t deserve to have their lives protected. Like most conservatives, he’s argued that, because homosexual unions are incapable of procreation, they’re incapable of being what marriage is. And Crystal Griner’s courage, commendable as it is, neither contradicts nor even addresses Scalise’s argument. So expecting her courage to change his position is just as illogical as expecting Pope Francis to convert to Lutheranism simply because a German mechanic fixed the papal golf cart…

    Of course, if a conservative Christian saved George Takei from a psycho, knife-wielding Star Trek fan, the actor and LBGT activist would most certainly not be expected to reconsider his support of Obergefell v. Hodges.

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/.....tQ.twitter

    By the way, I believe Special Agent Crystal Griner deserves our praise, honor and respect. Why can’t those on the secular progressive left reciprocate that kind of goodwill?

  436. 436
    kairosfocus says:

    LT:

    Let us go to a test case — and, unfortunately, it is a real-world test case:

    Is it evil — and, knowably evil — to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure? If so, why. If not so, why.

    1: This entails (i) is it evil and (ii) can this be warranted so becoming knowledge; where, warrant can include self-evidence.

    2: If the answer to is it evil is yes, then this entails how we come to identify evil.

    3: If the answer is that evil is a perception or opinion only, perhaps “indoctrinated” by a community, this runs into the challenge that good/evil is little more than might, manipulation and delusions, perhaps those fostered by some Plato’s Cave shadow show game. Nihilism, in a nutshell: absurdity.

    4: If the onward answer is, we cannot warrant the claim, “this is evil,” beyond perceptions, opinions, community relative values or the subjectivity of the individual, we are still stuck on nihilist absurdity. (And BTW, think about the real world consequences of such a view.)

    5: In short, the attempt to deny the reality of evil beyond perceptions, opinions etc boils down to the absurdities of might and manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘good/evil’ etc. Nihilistic absurdity.

    6: The onward implication is conscience, which pervades our reasoning and deciding — pointing to the duty to ought rather than what one wants or can get away with — would be fundamentally delusional, fatally tainting mindedness including what we imagine is logical reasoning. This, too is absurd.

    7: We do have an alternative: this is evil, knowably evil by virtue of self-evidence.

    8: And one trying to persuade otherwise inevitably implies that our view is an error and we ought to change it. That is, such an objector has not escaped appealing to the binding nature of ought.

    9: We CANNOT stand outside of oughtness and reason about it, even reasoning is shot through with ought, on pain of reducing to little more than cleverer manipulation.

    10: So, either one agrees, this is evil, our consciences sense aright in this unfortunately real case, and we can know it by its self-evidence; or else we fall into a morass of absurdities and incoherence that invites the absurd nihilism of might and manipulation.

    11: In short, we can be sure that some things are evil, sure by virtue of self-evidence. And, this is one of these cases.

    12: Any scheme of thought that cannot deal with this case condemns itself as absurd.

    13: We have good reason to see that evil is real and can be known in certain key test cases.

    14: These are plumbline cases, and they expose the crooked yardsticks in many schemes of thought on morality, including subjectivism, relativism and nihilism.

    15: We would be well advised to accept the plumbline’s verdict and set aside such flawed schemes.

    16: We may then proceed to rebuild the severely damaged edifice of sound moral reasoning in our civilisation.

    17: The question is whether we will do so now, or whether we will wake up in pain with crippling wounds due to having gone over a cliff, with the challenge to restore what in our folly we so unwisely surrendered to horrific cost.

    The choice is ours.

    KF

    PS: SB in 428, is well expressed:

    It seems to me that the term “honestly” means faithfully following the logic of the investigation wherever it might lead. In my judgment, it begins with the following question: What is a moral judgment supposed to do? Isn’t it supposed to produce a conclusion about what one ought to do as opposed to what one might want to to? After all, if it is about subjective preferences, no judgment or discernment is necessary. It would simply be a matter of following one’s willful preferences. Moral judgement is necessary only if an objective moral standard exists that could tug away at or challenge those preferences. In other words, doesn’t the term moral judgment mean to judge between what we want to do and what we ought to do, and if what we ought to do is taken to mean what we would prefer to do (subjectivism) then whatever judgment we make is preferential, not moral.

  437. 437
    Pindi says:

    “Assignation attempt” . Interesting slip of the tongue there, JAD.

    But looking at your post, and the argument that a homosexual union cannot be a marriage because of an inability to procreate – does that mean a man and a woman who are unable to procreate cannot be married?

  438. 438
    StephenB says:

    …”does that mean a man and a woman who are unable to procreate cannot be married?”

    No.

  439. 439
    john_a_designer says:

    I neglected @ 435 to double check my spell check. “Assignation” (whatever that means) in the first sentence should be “assassination.”

    My argument against same sex marriage is very simple:

    XY + XY does not equal XY + XX

    Nor does XX + XX equal XY + XX

    To argue that they do defies not only history and tradition but also biology and basic logic.

    Any so called redefinition of marriage is completely ad hoc and arbitrary.

    Any persecution of people upholding a traditional view of marriage is totally unwarranted as well as immoral.

  440. 440
    J-Mac says:

    kmidpuddle, Pindi, jdk,

    Would you object to the marriage between a human and an animal say…chimpanzee?

    After all humans are considered by many believers in evolution to be nothing more than just higher apes…

    Since human genome is apparently 98.6 % identical to chimpanzee, you wouldn’t have a problem with two animals this close genetically to fall in love and try to become a normal part of society would you?

  441. 441
    jdk says:

    J-Mac: that’s a pretty worthless question. Of course not.

    And what does this whole discussion have to do with “believers in evolution”, which I assume you erroneously think is synonymous with being non-religious. Virtually everything we’ve been discussing here has many religious people who agree with us about at least some of the topics: SSM, sexual practices, contraception, etc.

  442. 442
    J-Mac says:

    jdk

    J-Mac: that’s a pretty worthless question. Of course not.

    Why do you consider this question worthless? I think it is a pretty legitimate question. Please elaborate.

    And what does this whole discussion have to do with “believers in evolution”, which I assume you erroneously think is synonymous with being non-religious. Virtually everything we’ve been discussing here has many religious people who agree with us about at least some of the topics: SSM, sexual practices, contraception, etc.

    I find that to many the belief in evolution is often synonymous with the absence of the divine and morality.

    Being religious and holding a belief in a divine being is not the same thing is it? Many people call themselves spiritual but not religious…

    Just because some religious people agree or disagree with you on some issues it doesn’t make it right or just, does it?

  443. 443
    jdk says:

    I answered your question: of course I would object to someone wanting to marry a chimpanzee. Such an interest would either be a poor joke or a sign of mental illness.

    The reason I said you’re question was worthless was that I can’t imagine anyone who would support that, and your reasons for thinking someone might were just silly.

    This is useless trolling, in my opinion.

  444. 444
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, are you aware that in Stalin’s day experiments were apparently done to try to breed in effect cannon fodder through mating apes and humans? (Of course we see the usual pooh poohing and projections to those silly fundies, but things are sufficiently precise to name a specific researcher who had a longstanding interest. One that for sure did not come from the Judaeo-Christian frame of thought.) KF

    PS: Are you implying that some things ought not to be done, suggesting such irrationality as to point to insanity? [BTW, Epictetus thought irrational behaviour by rational creatures was the essence of evil, as of course JCW echoes; the ANE wisdom vs folly contrast definitely has this as an element, too.] And, beneath it, do you not imply — cf. your reference to trollish conduct [though actually it seems J-Mac is raising valid test cases of the form: is this not patently morally absurd]. It seems to me that you imply but will not explicitly state that the case ought not to have been brought up? (As in, implying or assuming oughts is pretty hard to avoid in arguments, precisely what we would expect for an inherent part of reason.)

    PPS: After leading by stridently denouncing Creationists, deep in a Sci Am blog we can find this admission:

    He [Ivanov, apparently a then leading expert on artificial insemination] only attempted to inseminate three [chimpanzee] females [with human semen] before being forced to abandon the project as useless. Desperate to make use of his limited funding, Ivanov then made the horrific decision to attempt the insemination of African women with chimpanzee sperm without their knowledge. He made a proposal to doctors at a local hospital about his experiment and was ready to proceed when the General Governor of French Guinea, Paul Poiret, rejected the plan. Out of options and funding, Ivanov and his son decided to return home. By the time the two boarded their ship they had been in Africa for just over one month.

    Ivanov hoped to pursue his experiment again in Russia through the use of women volunteers (and he found at least one who was willing to participate). However, when word got out that Ivanov had attempted to inseminate African women without their consent he was condemned by the Soviet Academy of Sciences and all support was eliminated . . .

  445. 445
    J-Mac says:

    jdk,

    I asked you: “Would you object to the marriage between a human and an animal say…chimpanzee?

    Your answer: J-Mac: that’s a pretty worthless question. Of course not

    Make up your mind!

  446. 446
    MatSpirit says:

    KF @ 19: “As for the issue of objective morality, let us start with a highly instructive first moral self-evident truth:

    “It is self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, torture, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure. Corollary, were we to encounter such in progress, it is equally self evident that we ought to try to intervene or intercede to rescue the victim from the monster. [And this, sadly, is NOT a hypothetical . . . ]” [Quoting Barry]

    I put it to you that the attempt to deny this ought instantly lands in absurdities. And, that this undermines any attempt to pretend that objectivity and warrant for moral truth are impossible to attain. KF”

    Wait a minute! Is that the foundation of your so-called ‘objective morality’? A ‘self evident’ truth? In other words, something you feel deeply or really really believe? Or, as the Bible outs it, doing what seems right in your own eyes?

    What do you say to someone who believes that young children should be kidnapped, bound, tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered just as deeply? As Barry starts to say in your quote, this is not hypothetical. Such people exist. How would you persuade such a person he was wrong? What evidence or arguments would you use?

    You certainly couldn’t use the Bible. It’s full of hideous immoralities, including direct commands from God’s very best prophets to kill everyone including women and children. Exodus actually portrays God Himself murdering the first born child in every family in Egypt!

    The only way you could use the Bible to buttress your argument would be to go through it first and remove all the immoral parts. And what would you use to distinguish the moral from the immoral parts? Why your own human judgement, of course and now you’re right back to doing what seems right in your own eyes.

    The biggest scandle in Christendom is that Christians have no objective basis for their morality and base it instead on what seems right in their own eyes. And what’s worst about that is that Jesus gave you the most important part of an objective morality when He gave you the Golden Rule, but you shun it because the morality you so deeply believe in can’t live up to its test.

    “Is it all right to kill the first born child in an Egyptian peasants home because of something the Pharoah did?” Would you like your own child murdered?

    “Is it all right to enslave someone?” Would you want to be a slave?

    “Is it all right to fire someone for being gay or transgendered?” Would you like to be fired?

    “Would it be all right to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple?” You must be religious. Probably Christian or Muslim.

  447. 447
    Pindi says:

    J-mac, I think a relationship between a human and a chimp, may be rich and rewarding, just as relationship between a human and a dog can be. But marriage implies an equality, a meeting of minds and a mutual understanding. If you think that’s possible with a chimp, then, I don’t know what to think. My impulse is to think you are very strange. But then Jane Goodal might relate to what you’re saying. Although even she I don’t think would go so far as to suggest human – chimp marriage was a legitimate question. So on balance, I think perhaps you might want to talk to a mental health professional about your thoughts on that.

  448. 448
    kairosfocus says:

    MS:

    First, nope, I have cited a test case, not a proposed foundation. It does however draw out our moral foundations as an inductive study.

    Your reaction is typical, distractive turnabouts, a common rhetorical strategy of agit prop operators and activists. (Just for record, kindly note here on your village atheist talking points. Such are irrelevant to the issue, is morality at core an objective body of truths that we may identify and reason about in consistent, sound ways?)

    I again draw attention back to the case. (Let me add, I specifically chose this sad, real world case precisely to focus attention in ways that do not readily lead to all sorts of tangential discussions. This specific case is one about kidnapping, sexual assault and murder for pleasure. Once we settle it, it will equip us to assess many other cases, having drawn out underlying frameworks. The insistence on substituting a hypothetical then running off on tangents that lead to attempted gotcha turnabouts is a case of the red herring dragged away to strawman caricatures soaked in toxic oils then set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere, frustrating clarity and sound conclusion.)

    Is or is not the specific test case a case of evil, why?

    Your answer: __________ on grounds _______

    (Once we can get foundational frameworks in place and put up sound yardsticks that can pass the plumbline tests, then we can with confidence address particular puzzles. For sure, moral anarchy and might/manipulation makes ‘right’ nihilism linked to gender confusion and hedonism as well as licence confused for liberty will not be that foundation.)

    KF

    PS: BTW, if you hold that morality is not objective but is subjective or relativist or the like, then kindly argue onward without implying that oh you OUGHT to be right, but are wrong. In short, this is a matter where we are all sitting on a branch and it is not wise to try to saw it off.

  449. 449
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, I note, J-Mac has given a test case. That test case does draw out issues of moral character. For instance, you clearly imply several oughts regarding individuals capable of marriage. You also imply that J-Mac ought not to think like the straw figure you put up. And more. Do you then recognise that reasoning and argument are inextricably deeply entangled with moral considerations, such that we would be well advised to seek how such can be successfully addressed objectively, on pain of spreading grand delusion through our mental life? KF

  450. 450
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, once grand delusion is let loose across the life of the mind, this instantly undermines responsible, rational freedom, and that is exactly what Ruse and Wilson do. Many others acknowledge the point. KF

  451. 451
    LarTanner says:

    KF @436 –
    I see your test case and agree it describes a scenario that clearly exemplifies evil. In your numbered list, I want to take a slight detour at #2, “how we come to identify evil.” Let’s use your test case and neutralize the language a bit:

    Is it evil — and, knowably evil — to forcibly remove a living thing, slice it with a knife, and eat it? If so, why? If not so, why?

    By flattening the language and abstracting the test case, we immediately understand a few things about how we come to identify evil:

    (1) The individual actions are not themselves enough to be recognized as evil.
    (2) The “living thing” or recipient of the actions is a factor in accounting for whether the action is evil. If the living thing is a stalk of celery, then many of use will not consider the test case an example of evil. If the living thing is an animal, then maybe it depends on what animal and what other actions were or were not taken.
    (3) The intention or motivation of the actor is important. The original test case notes that the horrific actions were taken “for one’s pleasure.” Yet, if one ‘kidnaps” a child to remove her/him from an abusive home, that action may not be viewed as evil.

    This little analysis suggests that identifying evil involves weighing the physical actions – which we can, theoretically, observe – as well as certain characteristics of the affected person/community/environment and intentions/motivations of the perpetrator. If we do not know one or more of these three factors, the self-evidence of an evil scenario certainly becomes murkier.

    So, I think the real question is how we characterize the “the reality of evil beyond perceptions, opinions etc.” Can you please explain on this specific point?

  452. 452
    jdk says:

    FYI, and relevant to our discussion:

    Denying service to gays is unpopular even among faith groups, survey finds

    Paul Singer , USA TODAY

    Published 6:00 a.m. ET June 21, 2017 | Updated 7:38 a.m. ET June 21, 2017

    Businesses refusing to serve gays and lesbians for religious reasons turns out to be an unpopular position even among most religious groups, according to a new survey by PRRI, a non-partisan research group specializing in faith and public policy issues.

    The group found in a survey of 40,000 Americans that 61% of Americans oppose allowing businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians, though it has increasingly become a rallying cry of the religious right. The Supreme Court is still mulling whether to take the case of a Colorado baker who refuses on religious grounds to make cakes for same-sex couples.

    But the new survey found not a single major U.S. religious group where a majority of members support denying service to same-sex couples. Fifty percent of white evangelical Protestants supported such service denial, but the numbers drop from there: 42% of Mormons, 34% of Hispanic Protestants, 25% of black Protestants and 25% of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe businesses should be allowed to deny services to same-sex couples.

    The finding is part of a major shift in views of same-sex marriage across the country, where support is growing especially among younger people of all faiths.

    “Roughly six in ten (58%) Americans express support for same-sex marriage today, compared to 53% in 2015, a five-point increase,” the group found. While 61% of white evangelical Protestants still oppose gay marriage, even that group is split by age, with 51% of evangelicals under the age of 30 saying they support gay marriage.

    Evangelicals show “much more ambivalence” about denying service to gays and lesbians than they do about opposing gay marriage in general, said Robert P. Jones, the CEO of PRRI. In just one year, white evangelical Protestant support for service denials dropped from 56% in 2015 to 50% in 2016, which Jones noted is a dramatic shift. “Usually these things drop pretty slowly.”

    “One of the key things driving these changes are relationships,” Jones said. “One of the strongest predictors of your views on same-sex marriage or anything on gay rights is whether you have a close friend or family member who is out as gay or lesbian.” Those relationships tend to trump traditional church teachings on homosexuality, he said.

    link

  453. 453
    MatSpirit says:

    KF, I’m going to surprise you a little by saying that I completely agree with you that morality is at core an objective body of truths that we may identify and reason about in consistent, sound ways. But I think that you and all others who try to base morality on religion are doing it wrong.

    There actually is an IS that we can ground our OUGHTS on. I mean that there are real phenomena in the real world that can be objectively identified, observed, measured and that reasoning about them can be used to guide us on how we ought to behave.

    One of the most important phenomena is that are a whole lot of things that virtually nobody in the world wants to happen to them. Nobody wants to be kidnapped, raped or murdered, for example. I know I don’t and I bet you don’t and the same for the rest of the readers, so let’s all agree not to do it and we’re all better off. We call those things and other universally unwanted things “bad” and agree not to do them and even formally prohibit them and everybody benefits because if nobody does bad things to anybody, then nobody does bad things to us. It also gives us a definition of bad – things that hurt us in some way.

    It’s all pretty objective too, because those bad things are material and we can all see them, discuss them, reason about them, understand the consequences of doing them and enjoy the benefits of not doing them to each other.

    The problem for religion is that their traditions and holy books are frequently encumbered with things that are objectively bad, like murdering innocent children or killing witches, but they’re represented as God’s actions, or His commands. This leads to a lot of tortured “reasoning” as the faithful try to repair the damage and it also scuppers the holy books as trustworthy guides to morality.

    The situation is made worse because objective secular morality has left most religious morality in the dust. The Bible tells you you can own slaves, secular morality looks at slavery more objectively, notes that nobody wants slavery to happen to them, and bans it. (Christians note proudly that most of the abolitionist leaders were Christians, but forget to mention that so were most of the slavers. It’s no coincidence that the former US slave states are the buckle of the Bible Belt.)

    The Bible says homosexuals should be killed, objective secular morality notes that killing people is a bad thing and homosexuals don’t seem to be doing anything to hurt anybody and leaves them alone.

    I’m sure you get the drift and I want to go to sleep, so I’ll stop now.

    Before I go, though, I really should tell you that when you use words like “distractive turnabouts”, “agit prop”, “village atheist talking points”, “gotcha turnabouts” and especially the beloved “red herring dragged away to strawman caricatures soaked in toxic oils then set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere, frustrating clarity and sound conclusion”, you score points on certain web sites.

  454. 454
    tribune7 says:

    jdk, that article @452 makes a great point. Most Christians don’t want to be mean, and I don’t know anyone who will reject a sale to someone just because one thinks he is sinning.

    The problem comes when one thinks he is being made to express approval of something he thinks is wrong.

    To turn it around, I suspect that the vast majority of gays feel one shouldn’t be force to do something that one thinks expresses approval of something one thinks is wrong.

  455. 455
    jdk says:

    at 427, kf added,

    In effect, why are you unhappy that I have — repeatedly — dumped garbage on your front lawn? Sorry, I have a right to take strong action not just to clean up but to deter you and others from repeating such vandalism. KF

    Does this mean you have banned kmp? From UD completely, or just from this thread?

  456. 456
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, see the diversion? I think that has implications. KF

  457. 457
    jdk says:

    Please answer my question, kf,

  458. 458
    LarTanner says:

    KF @456 – Sorry, I don’t understand what you mean.

  459. 459

    MatSpirit @453:

    Why ought we base our oughts on things that we universally would dislike if they happened to us?

  460. 460

    MatSpirit said:

    Wait a minute! Is that the foundation of your so-called ‘objective morality’? A ‘self evident’ truth? In other words, something you feel deeply or really really believe? Or, as the Bible outs it, doing what seems right in your own eyes?

    Your “in other words” attempt to paraphrase is entire incorrect, and is obviously an interpretation based on your own biases and expectations. You seem to have completely missed KF’s explanatory point, which followed:

    I put it to you that the attempt to deny this ought instantly lands in absurdities. And, that this undermines any attempt to pretend that objectivity and warrant for moral truth are impossible to attain.

    His point is that a self-evident truth, if denied as such, generates logical absurdities, such as the idea that in some scenarios it can be called “good” to torture children or rape the innocent. It has nothing to do with what KF “deeply feels” or what the Bible says; it has to do with the fact that a morality which can allow anything isn’t a moral system at all.

    At the end of the day, all logical constructs depend on self-evident truths that cannot themselves be proven, but can only be realized by those that encounter such statements. Such as the principles of logic. It is by such self-evident truths that other claims or conclusions are judged.

    If there is a system of morality where torturing children can be a good thing, we know immediately it is a false system of morality, because we (sane people) all know upon seeing the statement that torturing innocent children for personal pleasure is wrong. Period. In all cases, in all possible worlds.

  461. 461
    jdk says:

    There’s a nice verse from a Dolly Parton song, “Shattered Image” that I’ll address to kf:

    If you live in a glass house don’t throw stones
    Don’t shatter my image ’til you look at your own
    Look at your reflection in your house of glass
    Don’t open my closet if your own’s full of trash
    Stay out of my closet if your own’s full of trash

    I submit this to kf:

    He continually uses inflammatory, rhetorical name-calling language: for example, right before kmp was banned, kf wrote

    I am utterly unsurprised to see you supporting sexual hedonism, anarchy and nihilism, I simply suggest to you that sexual behaviour is not atomised and isolated from one’s lifetime path of virtue/vice, the possibility of self-destructive and socially damaging habits at least as dangerous as alcoholic or drug addiction, and soberingly adverse impacts on the wider society; up to and including enabling and/or participation in the ongoing worst holocaust in history, the war on posterity in the womb that can be shown to have had 800+ million victims in 40+ years, mounting up at about a million more per week. If you think a generation so soaked in blood guilt will be able to think straight on matters of moral governance, you are sadly mistaken. All of this points to how J C W’s discussion might do you — and many others — some good.

    I stand by those words of warning.

    And, I find it utterly astonishing that words of warning on consequences of behaviour that are demonstrably self and socially destructive, are labelled authoritarianism or the like. That suggests, that we are seeing a nihilistic death wish that would indulge destructive habits known to be addictive, not any reasonable, responsible behaviour.

    He also repeatedly post things like this:

    Is it evil — and, knowably evil — to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure? If so, why. If not so, why.

    And one poster brings up bestiality, and brings up marrying, and thus implicitly having sex with, a chimpanzee.

    And this is not to mention the rubber ducky! 🙂

    But you complain about some of us discussing adult sex practices which are common.

    So, kf, I stand with kmp.

    At 427, he wrote,

    Believing that neither the government, the church nor any individual should have any say or influence in what two consenting adults do behind closed doors is not the same as supporting sexual hedonism, anarchy and nihilism. You are creating a false equivalence.

    Trying to lay a guilt trip on people who enjoy forms of sexual activity that you feel are perverse is just a form of crude manipulative behaviour. Resorting to name calling and denigration of those who disagree with you ranks right up there with the type of propoganda used by the allies during the war to demonize and denigrate the enemy.

    If you can step the emotion back a little, we might be able to have a civil and productive discussion.

    I agree with everything he said. If you banned him, ban me also.

  462. 462
    vividbleau says:

    A suggestion

    Rather than focus on whether or not there is such a thing as “objective” good I suggest our focus should be on the core issue that WJM brings out in 460.

    Our starting point should be oriented toward answering this question. If ones worldview generates logical absurdities can that worldview be true?
    I really think this is the core question we should be focusing on IMO.

    Im pretty sure that I know how KF, SB, WJM, would answer but I would like to hear back from JDK, Pindi, LT, MS , etc. What say you?

    Vivid

  463. 463
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, I saw your question on passing by. if you do not know that I do not hold moderator authority for UD, you should. KF

  464. 464
    jdk says:

    Then did you not ban kmp?

    And what did this post of yours mean?

    In effect, why are you unhappy that I have — repeatedly — dumped garbage on your front lawn? Sorry, I have a right to take strong action not just to clean up but to deter you and others from repeating such vandalism. KF

    Are you referring to deleting parts of posts? Is that the action you took?

  465. 465
    Eugen says:

    JDK

    Do you have an argument or not?
    If you do present it please.

  466. 466
    jdk says:

    An argument about what?

  467. 467
    vividbleau says:

    JDK

    How about answering my question posed in 462? Thanks

    Vivid

  468. 468
    jdk says:

    re 467: Not interested – been there, done that. Great big series of threads a month or so ago.

  469. 469
    vividbleau says:

    JDK

    If you have ” been there and done that” then you must have answered the question. What was your answer? It’really only takes a yes or no.

    Vivid

  470. 470
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    And this is not to mention the rubber ducky! ????

    Kairosfocus did not use the term “rubber ducky,” I did–and for a very specific reason. Nevertheless, he doesn’t agree with my methods and he warned me against any such further behavior. So your attempt to link him with my words, especially when he scolded me for using them, demonstrates how little regard you have for the truth.

  471. 471
    jdk says:

    I know you mentioned the rubber ducky, Stephen. If you look at that post of mine, I first mentioned the poster, who I did not name, that brought up bestiality, and then the rubber ducky. I didn’t say, or imply, that kf himself mentioned a rubber ducky.

    I know he didn’t like you doing that, though I don’t think the other poster got admonished. The whole business about his concerns about the subject matter on this thread has been pretty weird, in my opinion.

  472. 472
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, I explicitly indicated that if such misbehaviour continued, I would shut down the thread. I also explicitly pointed out that it is an OPTION to allow comments. If enough objecting commenters show a clear intent to derail threads on topics like this and drag them into the gutter, you had better believe I would post a string of FTR threads and if necessary use it to answer to the penumbra of attack sites also. I suggest that responsible behaviour is the price of serious discussion. KF

  473. 473
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: While I am still busy elsewhere, it seems I should pause to note on some key worldview-related terms, which some objectors clearly misunderstand. These seem to be key for the moment:

    Truth: That which says of what is that it is, and of what is not, that it is not. That is the accurate description of relevant reality.

    Knowledge: warranted, credibly true belief (I am using the softer sense that would apply to say history or science etc.)

    Warrant: That which gives good reason to be confident that a claim one believes is true and reliable.

    Self-evident truth: claims which, once one understands i/l/o appropriate experience of the world, will be seen as true, as necessarily true, and this on pain of PATENT absurdity on the attempted denial. Not to be confused with being obvious, widely acknowledged, widely understood, true by definition, an assumption, etc.

    Hedonism: Per IEP: “As a theory of value, hedonism states that all and only pleasure is intrinsically valuable and all and only pain is intrinsically not valuable. Hedonists usually define pleasure and pain broadly, such that both physical and mental phenomena are included.” In the sexual context, I would add: making pleasure the decisive criterion of the good. A typical expression is that any mutually acceptable pleasurable sexual activity — usually hedged around with “between consenting adults” [actually, a telling concession] — is to be acceptable, and usually, third party interests are steeply discounted.

    Anarchy: absence of effective government or governance. In the sexual context, defiance of the idea that third parties, community interests, and the like have any valid place in regulating sexual behaviour, again, typically hedged around with the consenting adults clause. (Just ponder the havoc wreaked by adultery and the like to begin to see the holes in this.)

    Nihilism: denial or rejection of values and the possibility of giving them a warrant beyond will to power, or in effect the concept that might and/or manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ ‘rights’ etc. I add, from IEP: “Ethical nihilism or moral nihilism rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values. Instead, good and evil are nebulous, and values addressing such are the product of nothing more than social and emotive pressures.” Thus, morality is reduced to a power struggle and justice — held as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities — becomes a delusion or simply a useful manipulation tool. In the sexual arena, nihilism targets traditional values and morality, undermines or subverts institutions such as conjugal marriage, and would attack defenders of same as would-be oppressors; leading towards disintegration of family founded on covenantal conjugal union as the pivot of sound sustainable society. The implications of the might makes right principle for the viability of society alone should give us sobering pause.

    Relativism: The view that truth, right, rights, justice, etc are not capable of being universal, and are inescapably variable across individuals, institutions, communities, etc. In effect the order of a given day has no more warrant or legitimacy than the balance of power across factions. The ideological relativisation of a given order of traditional sexual morality accompanied by rising message dominance of the rhetoric of undermining opens the way for imposing a new situation, which may in fact be an anarchic, nihilistic, ruinous chaos; a march of folly.

    The inter-connectedness of these themes should at once be apparent.

    And, sober-minded people would take pause about what we are doing to ourselves as a civilisation.

    I note, again, that if one makes a crooked yardstick his standard, that which is actually true, right or sound necessarily fails the test and may seem absurd, oppressive or whatever dismissive phrase is currently fashionable. That is why independent, plumbline truths are so vital as key tests. Hence, the cases that have been repeatedly put on the table above and why they have been repeatedly studiously ignored, dismissed, or twisted into handy strawman caricatures.

    That pattern of behaviour by objectors is highly indicative that they are locked into ideologies and agendas that are imposing crooked yardsticks.

    KF

    PS: I again point to Girgis et al and John C Wright as providing sobering reading.

  474. 474
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, again, the test case is: is it evil to kidnap, bind, gag, sexually assault and murder a young child for pleasure? Why or why not? KF

  475. 475
    Pindi says:

    Vividbleau, my response is that I don’t regard a worldview as something that is true or false in itself. There are factual underpinnings but a lot of it is opinion rather than fact.

  476. 476
    LarTanner says:

    KF @474 –

    My comment #451 says without qualification that it is evil “to kidnap, bind, gag, sexually assault and murder a young child for pleasure.” While I agree that this test case is self-evidently evil – and I could have, I suppose, left the matter at self-evidence – I also gave reasons for my judgment. Those reasons are:

    (1) In the test case scenario, the actions (alone and in combination) exemplify depraved behavior.

    (2) The victim is a young child and therefore innocent and defenseless against a person who would conduct such actions as presented in the test case.

    (3) The motivation – “for pleasure” – only heightens the dastardliness of the perpetrator’s deeds.

    I hope you see this answer as a clear and full response to your request. Now, I have three points that I hope you will respond to directly and in detail.

    (a) My comment #451 suggests that the language used in the test case is morally charged. For example, there is no morally favorable interpretation of “kidnap,” “sexually assault,” and “murder.” These terms are morally negative by their definition. To kidnap someone is necessarily to do something harmful and wrong. Evil is part of the word’s meaning. As a result, it almost makes no sense to ask if it is evil to kidnap someone. It would be like asking if singlehood is part of being a bachelor. My question to you, then, is whether you recognize the moral freight embedded in the test case’s language. What’s the point of using such morally loaded terms in a test case?

    (b) I gave an alternate test case in language that was more neutral morally. Nevertheless, some of the actions presented in the alternate parallel those in the test case you presented. So, if you please, can you answer the alternate test case? Is it evil? Why or why not?

    (c) Finally, surprisingly, I don’t have a direct explanation from you concerning your own test case. You can point me to the answer if you have provided it before, but do you find the test case to exemplify evil? Why or why not? Recall that like you I see this as a self-evident case, so you do not need to re-hash self-evidence. I’m very curious as to how you would want your own test case responded to.

  477. 477
    StephenB says:

    Lar Tanner

    So, I think the real question is how we characterize the “the reality of evil beyond perceptions, opinions etc.”

    I think the point of the test case is to show that we can know something about the natural moral law without receiving formal or religious instruction. Sometimes, the evil in question is self-evident, as the test case shows, but other times, the natural law can only be known through the exercise of reason.

    A good example of the latter would be what is known as “just war theory,” which is a set of moral principles that define the conditions under which a nation can justly wage war. Like the test case, It is a part of the natural moral law, but it is, by no means, self-evident.

    On the other hand, if the analyst does not know the difference between murder and self-defense, he will never understand the principles of a just war. Similarly, if he doesn’t know the difference between courage and recklessness, he will never understand the principles for being a good soldier.

    Clearly, if the analyst disdains reason and embraces subjective morality, which is really the absence of morality, he will not understand anything at all. To understand the moral life is to know that virtues are good habits and vices are bad habits. Advocates for subjective morality never talk about habits.

    And of course, you are right about the importance of intentions. What a man does is important, but why he does is even more important. That is why the test case includes the words, “for one’s pleasure.” The whole thing shouts evil.

  478. 478
    kairosfocus says:

    LT,

    perhaps it will help you to know the case is a [formally?] still open case, in which kidnapping or abduction, indecent assault and murder are exactly the three key LEGAL components. The presence of seminal fluid suffices to underscore the “pleasure” part of the equation.

    This was a schoolboy seized while returning home from school, son of an ancillary worker residing on a university campus in a university provided house, and there is no reason to believe this is revenge or the like.

    It is in fact a hint on the significance of the legal terms, that they are morally freighted; no “neutral” terms will do. Law, for cause, presumes us to be responsible, rational, morally governed and guided by conscience as a compass-sense.

    Further, the point is, this is a case of undeniable evil, so recognised by normally functional people with reasonable background. And, to try to deny the reality of evil — privation, frustration, wrenching of a valuable and good thing such as a life out of its evident proper fulfillment — in the case becomes patently absurd.

    You rightly point to the innocence, low power to escape, low power to persuade of such a child in the grip of a human predator; and that is just what we are speaking of here.

    This points to the absurdities of the view that asserts, implies or acts out on the nihilistic premise that might and/or manipulation make ‘truth,’ ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘justice, etc. And it points out that what opens the door to such nihilism is deeply ill advised and foolish at best, enabling at worst. This drastically undermines several popular ideologies, arguments, assumptions and agendas. Especially, when one recognises that there are no firewalls, so once such a principle of action is let loose in lives, institutions or communities, chaos follows. Indeed, earlier on, I have argued that the threat of chaotic anarchy will naturally lead to clan-lord or war-lord led feuding and a resulting multi-sided civil war, or else the desire for a strong man or strong state to restore order.

    Democracy, especially constitutional democracy is inherently unstable and requires buttressing stabilisers from the wider community and culture. In my view, that is precisely what has been undermined through generations now of cultural marxist subversion. And the chaos of sexuality and “gender” in our day is just the thin leading edge of the wedge.

    Now, strangely enough, at about the same time, in a rural parish, there was an incident in a farm pond with crocodiles. The pond was stocked with Tilapia, and a child went fishing. His line got stuck, and he went to the shallows to try to clear it. He was taken by a crocodile. It turns out, there were connexions to waterways and several crocs took up residence. Someone volunteered to swim, and a croc made after him, which was shot by the police. 400 lb, about 12 ft IIRC. It had in it remnants of the child’s body.

    The croc, was viewed as a danger, but it was not viewed as a criminal, with evil intent. (And yes, I am aware of crocodiles as tourist attractions; even so we must realise they are extremely dangerous predators fully capable of taking a human being.)

    As to the debate points on loaded words, the issue is, does one acknowledge the reality of evil, and the need to so govern ourselves, families, institutions and communities informed by recognised moral principles? The sort of arguments that have been put and the rhetorical poses that have often been taken point to opening the door to nihilism. So, it is appropriate to use a plumbline case to expose the underlying dynamics of nihilism, however disguised.

    Further to this, I suggest it is impossible to reason and argue without moral loading, we imply duties of care to truth, logic, right and more, inescapably. That branch on which we all must sit character is, in fact, a strong sign of self-evident truth. Unprovable, but the start-point for proofs; where the attempt to deny is readily seen as sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.

    That premise is evidently very hard to swallow for many who are either inclined to that hyperskepticism that is now so promoted as though it were a virtue, or else are committed to ideologies and agendas that are opposed to the relevant truth. Hence the phenomenon of marches of folly stubbornly clinging to demonstrable absurdities, going over the cliff’s edge.

    So, the hard reality of evil is a lesson in itself.

    Frankly, I can still recall the story oh they are searching for the missing child who did not come home from school. Then, only a little later, the shock spread across the campus regarding the grisly reality that had been discovered.

    Evil is undeniably real, and the need to guard against it is a challenge, individually, institutionally, in the community. (In later years, doing a compulsory accounting for managers course, I could not but observe a very familiar pattern. Then came the Enron-Arthur Anderson revelations that have now led to global accountancy standards.)

    I frankly suspect that we have become naive about the possibilities for nihilism in society, especially that which creeps in through manipulating matters tied to sex and sexuality, then linked law and government. It is almost as though we do not realise that law is cumulative and avalanches start by getting a build-up of critical mass. Then, a seemingly minor trigger leads to a disproportionate consequence that can be utterly destructive.

    I fear, that is where our civilisation now is, naively playing with disaster. On multiple dimensions.

    KF

  479. 479
  480. 480
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi, fundamental truthfulness of pivotal claims is a key test for a worldview. Which, coming full circle to the OP, is precisely what is at stake on the gender as social construct perspective which now seems to be increasingly institutionally established. KF

  481. 481
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, as you imagine, snatches of attention just now. Taking a child from abuse is not kidnapping, nor part of the series as outlined. Also, unless we cut up and eat at minimum vegetables, we die. Again, not part of a relevant series. Of course, cases like this show that human capabilities can be used for good, or for evil. This is why we are and must be morally governed. More, when I can switch focus. KF

  482. 482
    MatSpirit says:

    William J Murray @ 459:

    “Why ought we base our oughts on things that we universally would dislike if they happened to us?”

    So we can have an objective moral code that keeps others from doing bad things to us.

    KF has been searching for an IS to ground his OUGHTS on for years without much success and that’s sad because there’s a big IS laying there right in front of everybody he could use. It’s objective, everybody can see it, you can reason from it to ought and the oughts are pretty sound. It’s even recommended by Jesus under the name of the Golden Rule. So, i thought I’d give KF and all the other people on this blog who are searching for an objective ground to morality a hand by passing on Jesus’s suggestion.

    I don’t know if he will accept it though since KF seems to be pretty much married to the idea that you can somehow extract an objective morality from the Bible and Christian tradition.

    Frankly, I don’t think anybody has ever gotten very far with that idea because there’s so much plain ol’ evil embedded in the “Good Book”. Just look at Exodus, for example, with God deliberately hardening Pharaoh’s heart two or three times so He can pile more and more horrors on the defenseless and innocent peasants, culminating with the mass murder of millions of innocent children. And all so He can show off His mightiness.

    Not a very good foundation for morality, in my opinion. It certainly fails the Golden Rule test, and that’s pretty objective.

  483. 483
    jdk says:

    Yes, the world that is is the IS that is! 🙂 Don’t going looking for it in some invented metaphysical story, find it in the here and now: look around and see the vast interconnected multiplicity of the world, full of ambiguities and inconsistencies, and realize that we’re all in this together, despite our differences.

  484. 484
    MatSpirit says:

    WJM in 460: “His point is that a self-evident truth, if denied as such, generates logical absurdities, such as the idea that in some scenarios it can be called “good” to torture children or rape the innocent.”

    You’re darn right it can! Just look at Exodus for an example. It portrays God Himself causing the entirely needless murders of at least a million innocent children. He didnt have to do it! Pharoah threw in the towel. He was going to let the Israelis go, but God hardened Pharoah’s heart so God could kill those kids. And yet, since God is supposed to be entirely good, killing those innocent kids must have also been entirely moral. I wish you’d explain just how that works in your system of morality, though, because I can’t fit it into my system at all.

    I have another question. WHY is it immoral in your system of morality to murder innocent children? If you are confronted with a person who sincerely believes that it’s alright to murder innocent children, how would you refute that belief? What reasons would you give? Please show your work.

    A Golden Rule based morality answers that question by saying murder is bad because it’s one of the things we universally want to avoid happening to ourselves, so we forbid everybody from doing it to anybody.

    If you have an objective morality, you should also have an answer readily at hand.

  485. 485
    kairosfocus says:

    MS, I find it almost amusing to see the strawman caricature of my view on how the IS-OUGHT gap is in fact readily resolved. Namely, there must be an IS at the world-root, of necessary being character that also grounds ought. Given, that we are morally governed, and cannot even reason without duties to truth, logic, fairness etc being unavoidably present. There is just one serious candidate, though one that many are desperate to avoid, evade or dismiss. That is, the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature. But that does not change the force of the self-evidently evil nature of kidnapping, binding, gagging, sexually assaulting and murdering a young child for one’s pleasure. Attempts to deny are patently absurd, and after a time repeated attempts to studiously dismiss or evade begin to tell their own all too revealing tale. KF

    PS: What would be your counsel to Eisenhower et al, facing the reality that Germany was working on cruise missiles, rockets and nuclear weapons (using the resources of an occupied continent); which they could not discuss. Especially when any hope for a successful invasion required a bombing campaign that was going to kill huge numbers of civilians, not only in Germany but also in Occupied France. And earlier, what would you say to Churchill contemplating the Fleet of a defeated ally, France, with a potential invasion of the UK in the offing? Not to mention being forced to ally himself with Stalin, in some ways a worse dictator than Hitler? As well as much more? (In short, there are many thorny issues in ethics indeed, but you are not going to prepare to address them adequately without sorting out first principles of ethics and moral government, including the implication of your own appeals to our sense of being under binding moral obligations. Without seriously addressing that, resort to village atheist talking points — and sorry, that is what they are — comes across as little more than angry or sneering rhetorical manipulation without adequate grounding.)

  486. 486
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, the contingent world we see around us is incapable of ultimately grounding OUGHT, though it provides considerable evidence that we are morally governed, and helps us clarify our moral thinking, if we are willing to listen to the force of plumbline test cases, especially those that show the consequences of opening the door to nihilism. KF

  487. 487
    vividbleau says:

    Pindi re 475

    Of course a world view is not something that is true or false in itself, nor did I ask the question “is a worldview true or false in itself”?

    Here is the question once again, “If ones worldview generates logical absurdities can that worldview be true”? To ask it in another way for clarity purposes, do you agree that logic can tell us what cannot be true? Note I understand the limits of logic, it cant necessarily tell us what is true but can it tell us what cannot be true?

    Note to JDK, very telling that you comment on “rubber ducky’s” but refuse to answer one simple question that you claimed you have already answered somewhere. Why not answer it again, its only a yes or no, what’s up with that?

    Thanks Vivid

  488. 488
    jdk says:

    Vivid, it’s not just a yes or no question. It’s a question that pre-supposes a lot of things that would take a lot of discussion, including the erroneous idea that a worldview is even something that is “true” in any meaningful sense of the word.

  489. 489
    vividbleau says:

    JDK

    Thanks for your response. I will narrow the scope of the question. Can logic tell us what is false?

    Thanks

    Vivid

  490. 490
    jdk says:

    That is a good and interesting question.

    Can logic tell us what is false?

    Only in symbolic systems which are self contained, with well-defined beginning axioms and definitions. Any application of logic to the real world contains propositions that go beyond pure logic, and which are elements of a logical model. However, the efficacy of the model is dependent on the accuracy of the propositions, which is not something that logic itself can decide. All logic can do is manipulate the elements of the system and ascertain whether a propositions within the system logically follow, or not, including whether a proposition contradicts other accepted propositions.

  491. 491
    Pindi says:

    Vivid, your revised question still doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s false that I don’t like cricket. How does logic tell me that?

  492. 492
    kairosfocus says:

    Pindi & JDK, when a scheme of thought, say S, includes or entails claims X and Y such that Y is the denial of X, Y = ~X, S is inconsistent. Perhaps, these are not core to S and can be removed. However, if X and Y are such that they are core to S, then S is incoherent essentially and is self-falsifying. Not per some algebraic game that we may choose to play or may not choose to play but because of the same reason that a square circle cannot exist. Such a case is not merely contingently false in one or more possible worlds, it is necessarily false, false in all possible worlds. Where, patently, that I like coffee is only contingently false — I could easily have acquired the taste through a visit to Cuba, where that was the standard beverage offered to guests. But, it is possible to geometrically construct a square circle is necessarily false. Yes, purely logical considerations tied to first principles of right reason clearly can falsify claims. KF

  493. 493
    jdk says:

    Purely logical considerations can by applied to purely logical entities, like circles. That’s what the first sentence of my paragraph at 490 said. The fact that square circles can’t exist is an proposition of the abstract logical system of axiomatic geometry. No arguments from me about that.

  494. 494
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, no, logic can also apply to real world entities, as truth accurately describes such. So, we may consider claims about the real world and address them on truth, coherence and explanatory power. From this we may and routinely do draw inferences about what is true or false in this, in other possible, or even all possible worlds, depending on particulars. The Kantian claim about an ugly gulch between the inner thought world and the world of things in themselves is self-falsifying, by virtue of claiming to know that that world is unknowable. KF

  495. 495
    jdk says:

    I repeat,

    Any application of logic to the real world contains propositions that go beyond pure logic, and which are elements of a logical model. However, the efficacy of the model is dependent on the accuracy of the propositions, which is not something that logic itself can decide. All logic can do is manipulate the elements of the system and ascertain whether a propositions within the system logically follow, or not, including whether a proposition contradicts other accepted propositions.

  496. 496
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, do you recognise the self-referentiality in your comment just now, and that it intends to address the real world by direct implication? it is entirely possible that statements that are part of a system and which address claimed real world entities, can and do fall under the stricture as already outlined. It should not be hard to see that when claimed assertions about the real world contradict, they fall under issues of falsification of at least one of the mutually opposed claims. Then, if the system-S includes or implies core statements X and Y, with Y = ~ X as already discussed, this reduces the system S to incoherence and self-falsification in material respects. KF

  497. 497

    Any application of logic to the real world contains propositions that go beyond pure logic, and which are elements of a logical model. However, the efficacy of the model is dependent on the accuracy of the propositions, which is not something that logic itself can decide. All logic can do is manipulate the elements of the system and ascertain whether a propositions within the system logically follow, or not, including whether a proposition contradicts other accepted propositions.

    I suddenly understand your reluctance to engage the evidence of semiosis at the origin of life. What to do with the astounding coherence between logic and universal observation if it challenges your cherished beliefs? Say you’re not interested, of course.

  498. 498
    vividbleau says:

    Pindi

    Nothing you stated contradicts logic so what’s your point? Now would you answer my more narrow question I posed to JDK?

    Thanks

    Vivid

  499. 499
    jdk says:

    UB, give it up. I have virtually no knowledge that would allow me to discuss that subject.

  500. 500
    vividbleau says:

    JDK re 490

    Am I correct is stating that your answer is yes to symbolic systems and no to things in the real world?

    Thanks

    Vivid

  501. 501
    jdk says:

    I wrote a paragraph in answer to that: it is not a simple yes/no question, and it doesn’t help to try to make it one. Logic is a tool that we using in understanding the world, and it works in conjunction with propositions we make about the world to refine our common understanding. Logic by itself can’t tell us anything about the real woI wrote a paragraph in answer to that: it is not the simple yes/no question that you have redued it to, and it doesn’t help to try to make it one. Logic is a tool that we using in understanding the world, and it works in conjunction with propositions we make about the world to refine our common understanding.

    Of course, we use logic to think about the world, and we can recognize when people make certain kinds of logical mistakes. But logic by itself can’t tell us anything about the real world: neither what is true or false.

    If you would like to discuss any of the statements I’ve made, I’m willing to go further, but if not I’ll just let my statements stand.

  502. 502
    vividbleau says:

    JDK

    Actually it is a simple yes or no, what your saying is it depends! To say it depends is to say maybe, maybe is not always so the answers could be no or it could be yes. That being the case logic does not necessarily falsify anything in the real world,we cannot rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false.

    I dunno I mean when you state that logic doesn’t by itself tell us anything about the truth or falsity of the real world how am I mistaken when I take that as a no? Sheesh

    Where am I going wrong?
    Thanks
    Vivid

  503. 503
    jdk says:

    I am not saying maybe. I am saying that the answer to the question ” Can logic tell us what is false?”about the real world and the answer to the question ” Can logic tell us what is true?” about the real world are both no in the sense that logic alone can do neither.

    We cannot “rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false”, nor true, unless we limit our scope to abstract logical systems. Everything else involves some kind of empirical experience to be the content of the propositions to which we wish to apply logic.

  504. 504

    UB, give it up

    Ah yes, that favorite initial instinct — that someone should just shut up.

    I have virtually no knowledge that would allow me to discuss that subject.

    Of course. The idea that DNA contains encoded memory is almost a secret. Obviously, few people even know who Francis Crick and James Watson were, and fewer still have ever heard that genes are translated into proteins.

  505. 505
    jdk says:

    You know you are just being provocative and difficult, don’t you, UB.

    I didn’t say shut up. I’m saying that it makes no sense to keep asking me this question. Sure, I know some, perhaps even more than the average layperson, about the history of DNA, the general idea of its structure, and a bit about genetic. But I don’t know anywhere close to enough to talk details.

    That’s very clear, I think.

  506. 506

    You know you are just being provocative and difficult, don’t you, UB.

    Why– thanks Jack.

    And you are being disingenuous. You don’t avoid the conversation because you have no knowledge, you do it because the logic and observation are overwhelming.

  507. 507
    vividbleau says:

    JDK re 503

    Now was that so hard? As I said it required a simple yes or no. Here is a suggestion when one sentence will do ” No logic cannot tell us what is false in the real world” don’t write 5 paragraphs saying the same thing.

    Thanks
    Vivid

  508. 508
    jdk says:

    Logic, by itself, cannot tell us what is false about the real world.

    Logic, by itself, cannot tell us what is true about the real world either.

    You misrepresent my points to leave out the “by itself” part.

  509. 509
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    We cannot “rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false”, nor true, unless we limit our scope to abstract logical systems.

    Well, jdk, let’s put your claim to the test. I will use logic to draw two conclusions about the *real world,*:which of course transcends abstract logical systems.

    [a] If it rains, the streets will get wet.

    [b] The planet Jupiter cannot also be the planet Saturn.

    Are those two statements about the real world true?

  510. 510
    kairosfocus says:

    SB,

    I note a possible loaded claim:

    We cannot “rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false”

    I suggest, the actual point is that where a set of claims or implications about the real world has in it a contradiction, at least one of the contradictory claims will be false. Thus, coherence is ONE test of error in sets of truth claims, not THE test.

    Of course if S has or implies X and Y where Y = ~X, and X and Y are core to S, then S, the system is incoherent and falsified. That’s because X and Y would be essential to S being S. Dropping X or Y or both would materially alter S into ~S.

    KF

    PS: Of course, distinct identity has ontological import, not just epistemological or psychological, and so we should recognise that logic can and does significantly constrain what is or can be true. C S Lewis was fond of the example, more or less that if one puts a sixpence, a three-pence and three pennies in a drawer on three successive days then on the fourth comes in to find less than a shilling’s worth, then it is not the laws of logic that one suspects as having been broken, but those of England.

  511. 511

    I asked: “Why ought we base our oughts on things that we universally would dislike if they happened to us?”

    MatSpirit responded:

    So we can have an objective moral code that keeps others from doing bad things to us.

    I have some follow up questions:

    1. How would such a code keep others from doing bad things to us?

    2. Why should I obey such a code if I feel like doing things that are against the moral code?

    KF has been searching for an IS to ground his OUGHTS on for years without much success…

    You’re mistaken. KF has not been searching for an is to ground his oughts on; he’s been asking atheists and materialists what they ground their oughts on.

    …and that’s sad because there’s a big IS laying there right in front of everybody he could use.

    To be fair, there are lots of “is” commodities one could pin their oughts to; the question is whether or not those “is” commodities stand up to rational scrutiny.

    It’s objective, everybody can see it, you can reason from it to ought and the oughts are pretty sound.

    Well, you have yet to demonstrate the “soundness” of your “is” premise – which is why I’m asking you questions.

    So, i thought I’d give KF and all the other people on this blog who are searching for an objective ground to morality a hand by passing on Jesus’s suggestion.

    I assume you’re being tongue-in-cheek here. I doubt there are many people on this blog searching for an is to ground their oughts.

    I don’t know if he will accept it though since KF seems to be pretty much married to the idea that you can somehow extract an objective morality from the Bible and Christian tradition.

    I think your understanding and or comprehension of what KF writes is highly suspect here. In any event, I’m not that familiar with what is written in the Bible, so let’s try to steer our particular conversation away from that, if you don’t mind.

    You’re darn right it can! Just look at Exodus for an example. It portrays God Himself causing the entirely needless murders of at least a million innocent children. He didnt have to do it! Pharoah threw in the towel. He was going to let the Israelis go, but God hardened Pharoah’s heart so God could kill those kids. And yet, since God is supposed to be entirely good, killing those innocent kids must have also been entirely moral. I wish you’d explain just how that works in your system of morality, though, because I can’t fit it into my system at all.

    As I said, I’m not that familiar with the Bible, so I’m hardly in a position to argue about it might say. I’m not a Christian. In my long time at this blog I’ve never seen KF argue from the Bible to an objective morality, but rather from the concept of self-evident truth, with an obvious example, to a rational moral structure using logic to extrapolate from those truths and towards what the presence of self-evident moral truth means.

    I have another question. WHY is it immoral in your system of morality to murder innocent children?

    There is no “why” to it. It’s a fact sewn into the very fabric of reality – an expression of natural moral law. It’s like asking “why” 1+1=2, or asking “why” A=A. Self-evident truths are what we use logic to reason from to gain insight on moral problems that are not self-evident. IOW, such moral truths are the foundation for clear reasoning towards developing a broader moral system.

    If you are confronted with a person who sincerely believes that it’s alright to murder innocent children, how would you refute that belief? What reasons would you give? Please show your work.

    There is no reasoning with someone that denies a self-evident truth. Self-evident truths are that which we reason from; they are the statements that form the basis of how we prove or argue for other things. Thus, denying a self-evident truth lands one in logical absurdity where reason and argument are meaningless.

    A Golden Rule based morality answers that question by saying murder is bad because it’s one of the things we universally want to avoid happening to ourselves, so we forbid everybody from doing it to anybody.

    You seem to look at morality from a perspective of what we enforce on others. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. Laws are rules we enforce on everyone; morals are rules we hold that we ourselves should live by whether or not they are enforced (such as by law).

    So my question, again, is: why should I behave according to the code you offer (do unto others as you would have them do unto you)?

  512. 512
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    . . . I’ve never seen KF argue from the Bible to an objective morality, but rather from the concept of self-evident truth, with an obvious example, to a rational moral structure using logic to extrapolate from those truths and towards what the presence of self-evident moral truth means.

    Correct.

    And for the obvious reason.

    Which brings me to the little matter of insistent, even habitual gross misrepresentation to the point of setting up and knocking over a strawman.

    This decisively, self-referentially undercuts MS’ rhetorical appeal to the golden rule. (Which is BTW a guide to moral reasoning, not a grounding framework for morality.)

    In short, MS is unable to sustain his own framework even in the context where he proposes it.

    Going on to the injection of village atheist type anti-Christian (and implicitly anti-Semitic) rants, it is noteworthy that the strawman caricature is used to set up an excuse to spew rhetorical venom. The cynical assumption is, allow it to dominate in silence or get caught up in a toxic tangential quarrel in which the village atheists and fellow travellers spew from lists compiled over centuries that most Christians have not spent time refuting or learning the refutations of.

    And of course the root issues will long since have been lost in the toxic, polarised rhetorical clouds.

    What’s the answer, only a day or so after having had to deal with an attempt to drag discussion into the gutter of prurience and sexual pathologies and follies?

    First, we can realise the fundamental intellectual dishonesty at work. If such objectors seriously wanted answers, they would go over to William Lane Craig or Glenn Miller’s Christian Thinktank or JPH’s Tekton or many other places that do engage such matters in great detail, or the like. So, the very fact that they are playing the garbage on the lawn game tells us they know they do not have the better of the case.

    I have pointed above to where I make a discussion on some of the problem, and I took time to give some historic perspective on dealing with real moral dilemmas. My basic answer is to stand by the Sacred Road with Petain in 1916, sending boys up the road to the mincer in progress at Verdun, knowing that only a few days later shattered remnants scarred for life will be limping back down this same road. No retreat is possible, France must bleed out its youth to hold the line here, now: they shall not pass, for if they do, the result is a nightmare.

    My heart lurched.

    That is Barnett’s rendering of Petain’s response, as I recall from the book I found in my Uni Library 30+ years ago.

    Until your heart has lurched, gravely wounded, there are some things you simply cannot soundly address.

    That’s why I suggested, stand in Eisenhower’s shoes for a few moments. Then, Churchill’s and so forth.

    Until then, supercillious gotcha talking points will only inadvertently expose the fundamental shallowness and nihilism that are eating out our civilisation’s core.

    These objectors cannot even understand why I grieve the march of folly we are on, and the horrors that likely lurk at the foot of the crumbling cliff we so foolishly stand on.

    Anyway, I have come to realise that if you make a crooked yardstick your standard, the real truth and right cannot pass the crooked test. That is because they are aligned to reality, not the crookedness that has been substituted.

    So, we need to go back to plumbline test cases that expose the crookedness, then, maybe, we can set about sorting out the mess.

    A look above will tell us a lot about how, by and large, the typical objectors and agit prop, cultural marxism influenced activists we are dealing with consistently evade plumblines.

    A sobering warning.

    Yes, over the past day or so, someone did begin to deal seriously.

    Maybe, there is a glimmer of hope.

    This time, it is not nuke threshold, nukes are already in play.

    Meanwhile, I am still quite busy, and still have travel to deal with.

    KF

  513. 513
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Just as a reminder to MS et al, here is where those plumbline tests are going:

    it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law.

    For instance:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. (That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.)

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world-understanding in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. If a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT — so that IS and OUGHT are inextricably fused at that level, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare; usurping the sword of justice to impose a ruthless policy agenda in fundamental breach of that civil peace which must ever pivot on manifest justice. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. (In Aristotle’s terms as cited by Hooker: “because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like .”) Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.

  514. 514
    Pindi says:

    SB@509, the answer to (a) is “maybe”. Someone might have covered all the streets in the town because the buildings were being painted. Unlikely, but possible. So logic can’t answer that question about the real world for the obvious reason as jdk notes that most statements about the world have an empirical component that has to be taken account of.

    I guess you could rephrase it “if it rains, and there is nothing stopping the rain reaching the ground, the streets will get wet”. But even then one could think of scenarios when this wasn’t true. The road might be so hot, and it might be so sunny (ie a sun shower) that every drop of rain varporised as soon as it touched the road.

  515. 515
    Pindi says:

    Vivd, it depends what you are trying to ascertain is false. If you take SB’s example “this planet is both Jupiter and Saturn at the same time”, (or however he phrased it) then yes, logic can tell us that is false. If the statement is, “I don’t like cricket”, or, (“Pindi doesn’t like cricket” to use the third person), then logic won’t help you determine whether that is false or not. (For the record, it is).

  516. 516
    StephenB says:

    Pindi

    the answer to (a) is “maybe”. Someone might have covered all the streets in the town because the buildings were being painted.

    The answer is yes. I didn’t say the pavement or the sidewalk would get wet. I said the streets will get wet. The streets are the area immediately below where it is raining. In cases like these, if I define the conditions for the mental framework the same way that I define the conditions for the real world, the two will correspond. If that wasn’t the case, there would be no such thing as sound arguments, only valid arguments. Naturally, if you define the conditions for one differently than for the other, as you are attempting to do, they will not correspond.

    If you take SB’s example “this planet is both Jupiter and Saturn at the same time”, (or however he phrased it) then yes, logic can tell us that is false.

    That is correct. So the point is made.

  517. 517
    john_a_designer says:

    An insightful quote from 2015 in the aftermath of the SCOTUS Obergefell decision.

    ”To put it bluntly, the reason why we have seen so much power behind redefining marriage is not because it serves 1.8 percent of the population. It is because it serves Leviathan — the Hobbesian vision of an absolutely sovereign state with ever-expansive control over every aspect of our lives.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....t-conflict

  518. 518
    MatSpirit says:

    KF @ 485:

    First of all,
    strawman caricature. +1
    village atheist talking points +1

    Thank you.

    While I don’t doubt that you’d like there to be an “inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature”, such a Being seems to be ontologically challenged. If he does exist, Mike Behe says He designed the malaria parasite and the Bible says He’s a mass murderer, so I’d think it over before basing a system of morality on His goodness.

    My counsel to Eisenhower et al would be that sometimes bad things have to be done to avoid worse things and that evil is intentionally doing _unnecessary_ bad things. Ike was not being evil.

    Vivid in 489: Logic is only as good as its premises and valid premises can be very hard to extract from a world where any particular situation may have dozens of factors contributing to it.

    Most people who have read a fair bit of Christian apologetics are also aware how extra facts can be added to change the value of a moral equation. See Pindi’s example in 514. And of course, its always possible to get confused as StephanB shows in 516.

    KF @ 492: “Pindi & JDK, when a scheme of thought, say S, includes or entails claims X and Y such that Y is the denial of X, Y = ~X, S is inconsistent.”

    Agreed. Let S be “God is good.” This entails claims like “Good beings don’t kill children to show off.” However, Exodus says God did just that, so “God is good” is inconsistent. As you say, “Yes, purely logical considerations tied to first principles of right reason clearly can falsify claims.”

    I think the Golden Rule stands up to challenges much better.

    KF @ 496: “self-referentiality” +1

    UprightBiped @ 489: “I suddenly understand your reluctance to engage the evidence of semiosis at the origin of life.”

    Most people don’t know what semiosis is. I had to look it up myself. Do you actually believe that the first living thing used DNA or some other material symbolically? Can you point to any person who is respected by the OOL community who does? I’m not talking about know-nothings, I mean somebody who at least knows the basics of the field.

    VB @ 502: “Where am I going wrong?”

    I think you have a simplistic take on the difficulty in extracting a logical equation from a somewhat chaotic, many-factored world and the skill of some people at dragging in extraneous elements and weird interpretations to confound the logic. See above.

    UB @ 504: “Ah yes, that favorite initial instinct — that someone should just shut up.”

    Well, a closed mouth gathers no feet.

    UB: “The idea that DNA contains encoded memory is almost a secret.”

    Apparently the idea that first life didn’t have DNA is a secret to YEC/ID.

    WJM @ 511: “1. How would such a code keep others from doing bad things to us?”

    It wouldn’t. Morality is a guide to right conduct, but it has no enforcement power.

    WJM: “2. Why should I obey such a code if I feel like doing things that are against the moral code?”

    Social pressures, laws, cops, courts, prisons, banishment, sitting at home every Saturday night, etc.

    WJM: “You’re mistaken. KF has not been searching for an is to ground his oughts on; he’s been asking atheists and materialists what they ground their oughts on.”

    Then he should start searching because I’ve been asking him and every other believer I can find to describe their moral system to me for years and nobody can do it. Mostly they ignore God’s obvious moral short comings, whether revealed in the Bible or real life dead children and say their system is based on Him.

    Yet when they’re asked they can’t give you any details on their system. Apparently you’re supposed to just know what’s right. I’d like something better than that. Something I could say to the people who think it’s just fine to kill children. Strong feelings and commands from murdering gods don’t cut it with them. “You’d think it was bad if it was done to you” carries more weight and has less baggage.

    WJM: “As I said, I’m not that familiar with the Bible, so I’m hardly in a position to argue about it might say.”

    Well then read it! Read it cover to cover and then read it again. Read some commentaries, especially ones written by people who are not Bibleolaters. You’ll get a lot of insight into why so much of the world thinks so poorly about Christianity.

    WJM: “In my long time at this blog I’ve never seen KF argue from the Bible to an objective morality, but rather from the concept of self-evident truth, with an obvious example, to a rational moral structure using logic to extrapolate from those truths and towards what the presence of self-evident moral truth means.”

    Self evident moral truths don’t cut the mustard. To most people, it is self evidently true that murdering a child for kicks is immoral. Many of those same people believe it is self evidently true that Shia children should be murdered, along with their parents. Some of them call themselves ISIS and claim God as their authority. Even the Bible realizes there’s a problem there. “At that time Israel did not have a king, so everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes.” Judges 17:6

    You have to base your morality on more than your heartfelt beliefs. Try the Golden Rule.

    WJM: “There is no “why” to it. It’s a fact sewn into the very fabric of reality – an expression of natural moral law. It’s like asking “why” 1+1=2, or asking “why” A=A. Self-evident truths are what we use logic to reason from to gain insight on moral problems that are not self-evident. IOW, such moral truths are the foundation for clear reasoning towards developing a broader moral system.”

    ISIS all the way. It is as self evidently true to them that Shia should be murdered as it is self evidently true to you that they shouldn’t. Only an objective morality can decide which opinion (because that’s all your beliefs are, no matter how mightily you believe them) is truly moral.

    WJM: “There is no reasoning with someone that denies a self-evident truth.”

    Thats correct. You can’t reason a man out of an opinion he didn’t reason himself into.

    KF @ 512:

    habitual gross misrepresentation +1
    strawman. +1
    self-referentially +1
    village atheist type. +1
    implicitly anti-Semitic. – about 30,000 points. There’s no call for that.
    strawman caricature +1
    spew rhetorical venom +1
    toxic tangential quarrel +1
    village atheists +1
    fellow travellers
    toxic, polarised rhetorical clouds +4
    gutter of prurience and sexual pathologies and follies +1
    fundamental intellectual dishonesty +1
    If such objectors seriously wanted answers, they would go over to William Lane Craig + wtf?
    or Glenn Miller’s Christian Thinktank + WTF?
    or JPH’s Tekton + You have got to be kidding us. Have you ever engaged Mr. Holding in a discussion on Biblical slavery?
    garbage on the lawn game +1

    My basic answer is to stand by the Sacred Road with Petain in 1916, sending boys up the road to the mincer in progress at Verdun, knowing that only a few days later shattered remnants scarred for life will be limping back down this same road. No retreat is possible, France must bleed out its youth to hold the line here, now: they shall not pass, for if they do, the result is a nightmare. +You definitely need a break.

    This time, it is not nuke threshold, nukes are already in play. – You’re worrying me.

    Meanwhile, I am still quite busy, and still have travel to deal with. – Oh, well never mind the nukes then.

    I’m going to be travelling for the next few days, but I’m taking my tablet along and will read and reply when I can.

  519. 519
    jdk says:

    at 509, stephen wrote,

    jdk: We cannot “rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false”, nor true, unless we limit our scope to abstract logical systems.

    Well, jdk,I will use logic to draw two conclusions about the *real world,*:which of course transcends abstract logical systems.

    [a] If it rains, the streets will get wet.

    [b] The planet Jupiter cannot also be the planet Saturn.

    Are those two statements about the real world true?

    Before I respond, let me add to the statement from me that Stephen quoted. so I have the full context in which to place my answers.

    First, the phrase that we cannot “rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false” is vivid’s language, not mine. That’s why it was in quotes. My full statement was

    We cannot “rely on logic to absolutely be the arbitrar of what is false”, nor true, unless we limit our scope to abstract logical systems. Everything else involves some kind of empirical experience to be the content of the propositions to which we wish to apply logic.

    And then, at 508, right before Stephen’s post, I wrote

    Logic, by itself, cannot tell us what is false about the real world.

    Logic, by itself, cannot tell us what is true about the real world either.

    You [vivid] misrepresent my points to leave out the “by itself” part.

    I certainly didn’t say, as Stephen seems to imply, that we can’t use logic to draw conclusions about the real world.

    With all that said, I’ll discuss Stephen’s two statements.

    The key idea in the use of logic (and math) in application to the real world is that we build conceptual models where aspects of the real world are mapped to elements of the abstract logical system we are using. Then we use logic (and math) to draw conclusions about the real world by manipulating the abstract model. And last, we test our conclusions by going back to the real world and testing to see if the world is as our logic and math predicted. If it is not, assuming that we have made no logical or mathematical mistakes, we conclude that our model needs to be refined, or even replaced.

    Some models are quite sophisticated and offer only approximations to reality, such as weather simulations, but others are so simple and a part of our immediate experience of the world that we assume them without any analysis.

    The simplest idea is that of a distinct object. In logic we have the element A upon which logic operates, such as when we write A = A, or ~(A and ~A). In the real world, we experience distinct objects, such as rocks. If we hold a couple of rocks in our hand, despite differences such in things as size, shape and composition, we abstract them conceptually as two “things” distinct from each other, so that logically they are an A and a B.

    A very large part of our experience starts with this idea of distinct identity of things. We see people, and trees, and stars, etc. However, in many cases, “thingness” becomes less clear, and we have to start refining our distinctions. One example: in naming mountains, geographers have rules about whether two adjoining high points are two mountains, or whether they are one mountain with an associated ridge.

    But in Stephen’s second example, Jupiter and Saturn are clearly distinct objects, an A and a B, so the logical conclusion A cannot also be B is true.

    But note: even this simple example illustrates my point that “Everything else [outside of purely abstract systems] involves some kind of empirical experience to be the content of the propositions to which we wish to apply logic.” We know Jupiter and Saturn are distinct entities because of empirical experience. Therefore the very basic model of mapping Jupiter to A and Saturn to B, and then applying logic, works.

    Stephen’s first example (“If it rains, the streets will get wet”), as Pindl points out, requires some qualifications that require even more empirical experience, as well as additional qualifications in our model, before we can judge its truth value. For instance, a very light mist (at what point does mist become rain is a judgment call we have to make) falling on a very dry dirt road might not get the road wet (is a dirt road a “street”, and what qualifies as “wet”?).

    So I think that both of Stephen’s example are good illustrations of both of my points:

    a) All applications of logic to the real world involve some kind of empirical experience to be the content of the propositions to which we wish to apply logic.

    b) Logic, by itself, cannot tell us what is true or false about the real world.

  520. 520

    I had originally asked MS:

    “Why ought we base our oughts on things that we universally would dislike if they happened to us?”

    MatSpirit responded:

    So we can have an objective moral code that keeps others from doing bad things to us.

    I then followed up:

    “How would such a code keep others from doing bad things to us?”

    To which he responded:

    It wouldn’t. Morality is a guide to right conduct, but it has no enforcement power.

    So, this contradicts your original answer that we should have that morality because it would be an objective code that keeps others from doing bad things to us. All you are left with is “it would be an objective moral code”. So what? You can have a moral code based on any number of objectively real things – like strength, or military power, or age. That doesn’t explain why we should adopt your particular “do unto others as you would have done unto you” moral code of avoiding doing things that, universally speaking, nobody would like to have done to them.

    I asked further:

    Why should I obey such a code if I feel like doing things that are against the moral code?

    MS responded:

    Social pressures, laws, cops, courts, prisons, banishment, sitting at home every Saturday night, etc.

    Some follow-up questions:

    1. Is it your belief that most people who do immoral things face a backlash of social pressure, go to prison, or sit home every Saturday night? That has never been my experience.

    2. Is it your belief that being moral prevents people from facing any backlashes of social pressure, going to prison, or sitting home every Saturday night?

    3. If I feel reasonably certain that I will not face any social or legal consequences to my action, nor will I feel any guilt (or, I feel the action is worth any guilt I might experience), is there any reason for me to not do the immoral thing in question?

    Then he should start searching because I’ve been asking him and every other believer I can find to describe their moral system to me for years and nobody can do it. Mostly they ignore God’s obvious moral short comings, whether revealed in the Bible or real life dead children and say their system is based on Him.

    I’ve seen several people give such answers in full. Perhaps the problem is that the answers they give are not the ones you either expect or want and so do not appear to you to be answers to your questions. I think this this problem is illuminated in your comment about self-evident truths:

    Self evident moral truths don’t cut the mustard. To most people, it is self evidently true that murdering a child for kicks is immoral. Many of those same people believe it is self evidently true that Shia children should be murdered, along with their parents. Some of them call themselves ISIS and claim God as their authority. Even the Bible realizes there’s a problem there. “At that time Israel did not have a king, so everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes.” Judges 17:6

    You have to base your morality on more than your heartfelt beliefs. Try the Golden Rule.

    Your response seems to conflate various religious and “heartfelt” beliefs with the term “self-evident truth”. It is apparent from this comment that you don’t understand what a “self-evident truth” means, even though it has been explained to you. This is why, IMO, you don’t understand and reject many of the answers you get on this subject. I think you want or expect “self-evident truth” to mean “A heartfelt belief based on religious writings”. That’s not what it means. A=A is a self-evident truth that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or “heartfelt belief”. So is “I exist” and “1+1=2”.

    Even after having this explicitly explained to you, your conflation and confusion continues in your comment immediately following the explanation:

    ISIS all the way. It is as self evidently true to them that Shia should be murdered as it is self evidently true to you that they shouldn’t. Only an objective morality can decide which opinion (because that’s all your beliefs are, no matter how mightily you believe them) is truly moral.

    Here you are conflating a “command-authority theistic order” with a “self-evident truth”. I do not doubt that many ISIS followers have “heartfelt belief” that it is okay to torture and kill innocent children. Religious fervor and emotion are very dangerous commodities, especially when one is dealing with a command-authority theism like the current form of Islam which formally rejects logic as an arbiter of right action.

    Your erroneous understanding of “self-evident truth” and conflation of that concept with “heartfelt” or “deeply held religious” belief seems to be what is causing most of your confusion about what KF and others here are saying when they explain their moral system structure to you. You also seem to have a particular animus about Christianity and the Bible that seeps into and weirdly affect every exchange. You might look into that.

    Thats correct. You can’t reason a man out of an opinion he didn’t reason himself into.

    Do you understand that all reasoning begins with self-evident truths?

  521. 521

    MatSpirit said:

    You have to base your morality on more than your heartfelt beliefs. Try the Golden Rule.

    Since you agreed that adopting the golden rule doesn’t prevent anyone from doing bad things to you, why should I accept the golden rule and not some other objective-commodity based morality, like “might makes right”?

    I mean, other than perhaps your heartfelt belief that the golden rule is a better moral system?

  522. 522
    jdk says:

    All reasoning begins with assumptions, but not necessarily “self-evident truths.”

    The classical story, told here before, is of the three forms of geometry based on three different assumptions about parallel lines. Originally, the assumption that “through a point, there is one and only one line parallel to another line” was considered “self-evident” (although even Euclid was bothered by this.) Later it was discovered that different assumptions led to different systems that were equally valid logically.

  523. 523
    LarTanner says:

    SB @477 –
    The thread has moved past our conversation, so for my part I’ll consider this a final reply to the points you made directly to me. You say –

    the point of the test case is to show that we can know something about the natural moral law without receiving formal or religious instruction. Sometimes, the evil in question is self-evident, as the test case shows, but other times, the natural law can only be known through the exercise of reason.

    Right, I get the point of the test case. I even agree with the test case’s point. Interestingly, this point is consistent with the ideas presented in that excerpt by Ruse and Wilson that KF provided back in comment #409. The two self-described evolutionists assert that what we have been calling a moral sense is a natural part of the human being. What’s more, they say, “evolutionary reasoning emphatically does not lead to moral relativism. Human minds develop according to epigenetic rules that distinguish between proper moral claims like ‘Be kind to children’ and crazy imperatives like ‘treat cabbages with the respect you show your mother’” (p. 310).

    I disagree with you, SB, where you say –

    Clearly, if the analyst disdains reason and embraces subjective morality, which is really the absence of morality, he will not understand anything at all. To understand the moral life is to know that virtues are good habits and vices are bad habits. Advocates for subjective morality never talk about habits.

    Specifically, I disagree that embracing subjective morality equals or follows from disdaining reason, and that subjective morality is really the absence of morality. Consider that there is a difference between subjective morality as (a) a proposed explanation of how human ethics actually works in practice, and (b) a philosophy held by a person/community and used in making moral judgments.

    In the first sense, you can see why Ruse and Wilson say “evolutionary reasoning emphatically does not lead to moral relativism.” It’s because of this shared moral sense, this natural illusion that morals are externally grounded. You can agree or disagree – and in whole or in part – with Ruse and Wilson, but subjective morality in the first sense is the opposite of disdaining reason and clearly not the absence of morality.

    Concerning the second sense of subjective morality, as someone’s philosophy for making moral decisions and evaluating the behavior of others, you are being uncharitable. This second sense is the one where the truth or falsity of moral judgments comes into play, and so it’s easy to understand why people have strong opinions about it. Nevertheless, it’s important to acknowledge that there is serious, reasoned work being done on subjective morality in this second sense. A good summary is located at the Stanford Philosophy Site. My point about this second sense is that it is indeed a reasoned and reason-driven philosophy, however wrongheaded one might consider it to be. Subjective moral philosophies do not reduce to “everything is permissible” or “nothing is impermissible.” Like any other moral philosophy, they ultimately concern what should or should not be done by moral people. To judge moral subjectivity as the absence of morality is, to me, dismissive of the very reason why people explore and hold such philosophies in the first place.

    In both senses of subjective morality, there are legitimate/serious objections and questions. This is true for other moral philosophies, too. Right? But we are far afield from what the OP was discussing – which was a parody/pastiche on academic gender studies. I now wish I’d weighed in more on that particular topic, but I guess another opportunity will come around soon enough.

  524. 524

    jdk,

    To reason about “different assumptions” requires the self-evident truths we refer to as the principles of logic. Without them, you don’t have reasoning. So yes, all reasoning begins with self-evident truths. You cannot prove the validity of the principles of logic; you use them to prove (or disprove)0 the validity of other claims.

    As you just did in your post where you tried to drew a distinction between “self-evident truths” and “assumptions”. You don’t begin reasoning with an assumption, jdk, you begin reasoning with the principles of logic. Otherwise, you can’t even distinguish an “assumption” from a “conclusion”.

  525. 525
    jdk says:

    wjm, you write,

    So yes, all reasoning begins with self-evident truths. You cannot prove the validity of the principles of logic.

    I agree that you can’t prove the principles of logic. We can call the beginning principles of logic axioms, postulates, or assumptions, and consider them so basic and unquestionable that they are self-evident, but axioms is perhaps the most formally correct word. Calling A = A and similar axioms of logic “self-evident” is OK with me, but I think the term “self-evident” can be misused when applied to less foundational ideas in other areas, as my example of geometry was meant to point out.

  526. 526
    LarTanner says:

    KF @478 –
    As I say to SB in a just-posted comment, the thread has moved past our conversation. I’ll consider this comment a final reply to the points you make directly to me.

    I realize the test case draws from a real and pending set of events – you say so in comment 436. You posed the question to me about whether I consider the test case a self-evident instance of evil. I answered yes, but I also observed that your case does not really give a choice. Because the words used include “evil” within their fundamental definitions, the test case essentially asks, “Are evil actions evil?” In other words, the self-evidence of evil draws entirely from the terms used in the case.

    This is why I offered an alternative test case, even though I understood the point you were making in the original. My overall question to you was whether the moral status of the alternative case could definitively be determined when the language was not helping to guide our view. The answer, of course, is no. We need additional information – such as whom or what was affected by the action under examination, and such as the intentions of the perpetrator. The logical follow-on is whether the existence of external moral grounding is called into question by the necessity of having cultural/social attitudes available.

  527. 527

    #518

    Most people don’t know what semiosis is. I had to look it up myself. Do you actually believe that the first living thing used DNA or some other material symbolically?

    The minimum requirement for the origin of the gene system is established by what is physically necessary to record and translate the amount of information that the system needs to successfully describe itself in memory. The organization of that system (which requires symbols and translation) was predicted to exist, and later confirmed by experiment. Awards were presented. You may ask yourself if the source of that system (whatever you believe it to be) was required to specify it.

  528. 528

    jdk said:

    I think the term “self-evident” can be misused when applied to less foundational ideas in other areas, as my example of geometry was meant to point out.

    Of course it can be misused – that’s the entire point I’m making to MatSpirit; he’s misunderstanding what the term “self-evident truth” means. It doesn’t mean “deeply held belief”. And what I’m pointing out to you is that no matter what you prefer to call them – axioms, truths, etc. – all reasoning begins with them.

    If someone denies that A=A or 1+1=2, that doesn’t make such truths/axioms less of a self-evident truth, nor does it make them less than a “necessary axiom”; it just means that person is denying a self-evident truth. They may honestly believe that 1+1=5, but we generally consider people that believe or claim such things to be either foolish or irrational.

    Just because ISIS believes it is morally good to torture and murder children doesn’t render the statement “it is wrong to torture and murder children” any less self-evidently true. We rightly consider anyone who makes such a claim as ISIS to be either wicked or insane. There is no way to “prove” it or to “argue” for it, just as there is no way to “prove” or “argue” that A=A. One either recognizes that truth, or they do not.

    So, when one says that “Self evident moral truths don’t cut the mustard.” as MatSpirit said, then one is left entirely without any significant basis for any form of rational morality. If we don’t begin with one or more self-evidently true moral statement, there’s nothing to reason from. At that point all we can be picking from is our personal preference – even if it is a personal preference of objective commodities to base our morality on, it’s still just a preference. MS might prefer the golden rule; I might prefer “might makes right”.

    At the end of the day, we have no means by which to arbit our differences because neither of us would be referring to a binding self-evident truth we both recognize which would demand that we be open to reasoning from that truth or set of truths in arbiting our differences.

    Without self-evident moral truths to work from, there’s no reasoning unless we just happen to both prefer the same starting point.

    I don’t prefer the golden rule – seriously. I’d rather just do whatever I think best serves my personal interests. After all, there’s no real reason to adhere to the golden rule if you think your personal interests would be better served doing something else. Unless morality carries with it necessary consequences, it really just boils down to a bunch of potential repercussions that may or may not occur. Heck, you could do immoral stuff all day long and your life could get better and better; under MatSpirit’s view, who knows what might happen? His system operates largely off of what might be, for all we know, empty threat and baseless intimidation.

    Not really much of a moral system, if you ask me.

  529. 529
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    All applications of logic to the real world involve some kind of empirical experience to be the content of the propositions to which we wish to apply logic.
    b) Logic, by itself, cannot tell us what is true or false about the real world.

    Yes, I understand that this was your argument. I was not relying on vivid’s characterization, and I agree with you that his was not exactly the same as yours.

    In both my examples, I used logic *by itself* to draw conclusions about the real world. Without observing the real world, I asserted that “If it rains, the streets will get wet.” This is a true statement about the real world that requires no empirical verification, (understanding that streets do not necessarily mean “the pavement,” which was Pindi’s distraction).

    Again, without observing the real world, I deduced that Saturn and Jupiter cannot both be the same planet. So the question is, how can I do that without making an empirical investigation?

    First, recall that the law of non-contradiction is not merely logical and psychological, it also has an ontological component called the law of identity. In other words, it applies to both the mental and the extra-mental world. If it didn’t, it would be a perfectly useless tool for thinking.

    A very large part of our experience starts with this idea of distinct identity of things.

    Absolutely correct.

    But in Stephen’s second example, Jupiter and Saturn are clearly distinct objects, an A and a B, so the logical conclusion A cannot also be B is true.

    But note: even this simple example illustrates my point that “Everything else [outside of purely abstract systems] involves some kind of empirical experience to be the content of the propositions to which we wish to apply logic.”

    On the contrary, I used logic, by itself, to draw my conclusions. I made no appeal to empirical observation in any way. So, how is that possible? It works this way:

    The empirical experience is already built in to the system of logic by means of its foundations; the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and causation, all of which are self-evident truths about the real world grounded in real world experience (aposterior, not apriori). This is no leap of faith; it is genuine knowledge in the form of self-evident truths.

    So when I say that Jupiter and Saturn cannot possibly have the same identity, I know that by means of the self-evident truths of logic, which are grounded in real world experience. I need no further knowledge of the real world because the laws of logic are both mental and extramental. That is why they always correspond. That is also why sound arguments (not merely valid arguments) are possible. If the laws of logic did not correspond perfectly to the laws of the real world, a sound argument would not be possible.

    We know Jupiter and Saturn are distinct entities because of empirical experience. Therefore the very basic model of mapping Jupiter to A and Saturn to B, and then applying logic, works.

    It has nothing to do with mapping anything. It is pure logic. I know that Jupiter and Saturn cannot be the same planet because the law of identity is infallibly true. It appears that you do not accept the law of identify, because if you did, you would not also say that it needs verification in order to be true. You would already know that it is always true regardless of application and circumstances.

  530. 530
    jdk says:

    to wjm: Then I assume we are on the same page about the foundations of logic.

  531. 531
    jdk says:

    But Stephen, how did you even know that Jupiter and Saturn were planets? And how did you know they weren’t different names for the same object? Without knowing something about what Jupiter and Saturn refer to you are doing nothing more than saying something like “If gsagjj and hajhdah are different sahgsajhgalj’s, than they aren’t the same sahgsajhgal,” which is logically correct but has no real world reference or meaning.

    But I’ll leave it at that, and I think my statements above about the use of logic and math are correct.

    Maybe vivid will return and respond, as he is the one who brought the subject up.

  532. 532
    kairosfocus says:

    MS, I see you are still trying to drag the thread (which already has huge issues to deal with) into a discussion you would better carry out at say William Lane Craig’s site or the like, where it would be in accord with the main focus. Here, it mostly serves as a rhetorically toxic distraction. I will not go off on a tangent, but will point out that there are places where if you really want an answer, you could easily go. Without going into details, I suggest that there are significant gaps in what you see and reason from; I have already pointed to Eisenhower’s dilemma as giving an inkling on how such issues can play out. Besides, reasoning about moral issues (just as for any other serious matter) pivots on getting first things in order first. The thread above, unfortunately, is in large part a case study on persistent refusal to do so. I suggest, therefore, that if you are serious about the sort of talking points you have raised, you should take them to appropriate venues. KF

    PS: On the general problem of evil vs good I suggest here as a start.

    PPS: I have identified accurately patterns of error in argument you have repeatedly indulged, and have in effect asked for their correction. Where, for instance you have utterly misrepresented arguments I have made regarding the IS-OUGHT gap, and have used that to inject a line of rhetoric targetting Christians that is indeed classically the style of argument of village atheists; which has latterly been trumpeted far and wide by the so-called new atheists. It is thus significant that you seem to be refusing to acknowledge the correction and move on to repeat the pattern, again a further familiar pattern: doubling down. I suggest that you need to reconsider.

  533. 533
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, I suggest, again, that kidnapping, indecent assault and murder are proper terms relevant to the unfortunately real world case. The events came first, these terms describe them much as the police investigation would have and much as a very shaken university community did. The case tests whether we are willing to acknowledge that manifest evil that reveals the absurdity of nihilism and related positions is indeed evil, and whether we are willing to acknowledge that to try to deny that this is evil lands us in patent absurdity. This is how we see self-evident moral truth through a concrete case. This then allows us to see that certain moral principles are objective and can guide our wider moral reasoning. KF

  534. 534
    kairosfocus says:

    MS (& thanks WJM):

    I think you would profit from WJM at 520 on SET’s:

    Your response seems to conflate various religious and “heartfelt” beliefs with the term “self-evident truth”. It is apparent from this comment that you don’t understand what a “self-evident truth” means, even though it has been explained to you. This is why, IMO, you don’t understand and reject many of the answers you get on this subject. I think you want or expect “self-evident truth” to mean “A heartfelt belief based on religious writings”. That’s not what it means. A=A is a self-evident truth that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or “heartfelt belief”. So is “I exist” and “1+1=2”.

    Even after having this explicitly explained to you, your conflation and confusion continues in your comment immediately following the explanation:

    ISIS all the way. It is as self evidently true to them that Shia should be murdered as it is self evidently true to you that they shouldn’t. Only an objective morality can decide which opinion (because that’s all your beliefs are, no matter how mightily you believe them) is truly moral.

    Here you are conflating a “command-authority theistic order” with a “self-evident truth”. I do not doubt that many ISIS followers have “heartfelt belief” that it is okay to torture and kill innocent children. Religious fervor and emotion are very dangerous commodities, especially when one is dealing with a command-authority theism like the current form of Islam which formally rejects logic as an arbiter of right action.

    Your erroneous understanding of “self-evident truth” and conflation of that concept with “heartfelt” or “deeply held religious” belief seems to be what is causing most of your confusion about what KF and others here are saying when they explain their moral system structure to you. You also seem to have a particular animus about Christianity and the Bible that seeps into and weirdly affect every exchange. You might look into that.

    Thats correct. You can’t reason a man out of an opinion he didn’t reason himself into.

    Do you understand that all reasoning begins with self-evident truths?

    Until you sort out SET’s in general, you will not be able to understand what a moral SET is, even when it is presented and explained over and over again.

    WJM is right that SET’s stand at the base of responsible, reasoned discussion, starting with distinct identity, from which the triple first principles of right reason stand.

    For an in a nutshell, I clip from 473:

    Self-evident truth: claims which, once one understands i/l/o appropriate experience of the world, will be seen as true, as necessarily true, and this on pain of PATENT absurdity on the attempted denial. Not to be confused with being obvious, widely acknowledged, widely understood, true by definition, an assumption, etc.

    For example, error exists [call this E] is self-evident, not just a matter of fact. As a very simple way, try to deny it, ~E. Once a proposition exists, its negation also exists. and of course E AND ~E = 0, so one or the other is false, is an error. Inspection tells us the false claim is ~E.

    Simple, and yet this instantly overturns any scheme of thought that denies that truth exists or that knowable truth exists. By counter-example.

    And of course once we have a distinct entity A, this contrasts with ~A, and the first principles of right reason are immediately present: law of identity, excluded middle and non-contradiction.

    Though, of course some above are belabouring all sorts of arguments that distract from the obvious result that if a scheme S includes or implies as core constituents X and Y where Y = ~X, then S is self-refuting, self-falsifying. Thus, we can see that the logic of coming to a contradiction like that allows us to see that S is false.

    KF

  535. 535
    vividbleau says:

    JDK

    My intent was not to misrepresent I just found the “by itself” to be superfluous. “All applications to logic in the real world involve some kind of empirical experience …”

    This is so stunningly obvious that I just have to roll my eyes that you are making a big deal that I omitted “by itself”. “By itself” adds nothing to the discussion and I assumed others would take for granted that there is a “we” and a “world”.

    Anyway I did not mean to misrepresent your position even though I think its a sideshow,and as to the core of the discussion, nothing was misrepresented other than to those readers who dont think there is a “we” or a “world”

    Regardless I did not quote you correctly and I do apologize for that.

    Vivid

  536. 536
    kairosfocus says:

    MS:

    Thinktank:

    http://christianthinktank.com/

    Form for submitting questions:

    http://christianthinktank.com/tuffq.html

    William Lane Craig:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/

    WLC’s QA forum:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer

    Notice his reply to a grieving father:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....ing-father

    KF

    PS: Sorry, I might have taken time to use my own blog but I am dealing with a doubly extra busy time here. Hence BTW how spotty my comments are in this thread.

    PPS: While Thinktank is not the easiest of sites to search, this may be close to the question you raised above: http://christianthinktank.com/killheir.html