agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Answering the problem of evil (vs good) Atheism Correcting trollish fallacies Darwinist rhetorical tactics Defending our Civilization Evolutionary materialism's amorality FYI-FTR

FYI-FTR: The answer given to attempts to undermine moral government (and to those that — even worse — suggest that Christians must become/are vigilantes)

Spread the love

A new accusatory talking point being used by one particular frequent objector, is that I am ducking answering what he imagines I cannot answer. This arose in connexion with his drearily raising yet again an obsessive theme that would drag threads into the sewer. Having taken time to deal with such in one thread, I refused. I took time to deal with the focal topic (currently at top of UD’s recent active threads) then I took time to answer objections as above.

For corrective record, I now headline, and as the relevant thread is still open, discussion will be entertained there.

First, 419 in the atheism warrant challenge thread, July 17 2019 at 11:54 am on blog timestamp:

[KF, 419:] >>F/N (& attn BB): Now that I have worked through a sufficient initial summary giving food for thought on theism, let us pause to deal with an attempted argument in claimed warrant {!!!!!!!} of atheism, from moral dilemmas.
That is, circumstances where at least apparently, there are no morally good {!!!!!!!} choices for at least one agent x, whose inaction will also end in an evil and deep guilt {!!!!!!} either naturally or by imposition of an oppressive power acting in the situation.
This argument is already patently incoherent as it appeals to duties to truth, to warrant, to justice etc in order to try to undermine same. Where, already, if we are not actually duty-bound to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc, there not only are no moral dilemmas but we have set loose the utter undermining of responsible rationality. Therefore, those who pose it are enabling utter demonic nihilism. Which is the surest way to find ourselves under evil powers who will try to lock us into corrupting, soul-tainting evil.
So, the argument condemns itself at outset: it is imprudent, evil, corrupting, manipulative, oppressive, fundamentally deceptive counsel.
Second, as was long since already pointed out in 397 above, Boethius in his classic Consolation of Philosophy identifies a pivotal flaw in any antitheistic argument that appeals from evil against God: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?”
Arguments that appeal to our innate knowledge that evil is real and to be rejected, depend inescapably on the reality of evil and so also of good, thence our inescapable duties to reason and the right, which start by governing our intellectual faculties through our known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to fairness, to justice etc. Thus they inadvertently highlight that we operate on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap and that this must be bridged in the only place where such is possible, the roots of reality. For which, as noted, there is just one serious candidate: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. One, who is worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.
Manifestly, such duties of justice include that we should not set up oppressive institutions, powers and decrees that trap people into enabling evil or into participating in it. That manifestly holds for dictatorships setting up concentration camps where a guard can trap a mother by telling her there is not enough space so you pick which of your sons will be killed now or both will be killed if you refuse to choose which lives and which dies. It also holds for cases where immoral conduct is claimed as a right under false colour of law and those who refuse to enable evil as though it were the right are subjected to crippling penalty under false colour of law — which corrupts the judiciary and law enforcement systems. Which, BTW, is exactly how we end up with Gestapos acting wickedly under false colour of law enforcement.
It holds for exposing the evils of slavery as was pointed out in 372 above on the case of Onesimus and Paul:

//A classic biblical instance is that of Paul, in Rome as an appeals prisoner having already been forced to appeal to Nero from the Jerusalem hierarchy seeking to assassinate him, and with his neck already literally on the line. He is closely guarded by soldiers (traditionally actually chained to one). Suddenly, Onesimus comes to him, having escaped as a slave and apparently having stolen money. To harbour an escapee is already another capital charge, and to directly challenge Roman law and institutions would be to confirm the accusation he was already facing.
He sends Onesimus back home, with the letter Philemon that in effect exerted influence and principles to utterly undermine such oppressions, clearly leading to manumission. Also, teaching principles of equality, dignity, brotherhood and responsible liberty. Later, we would hear of a Bishop Onesimus, and some suggest this is he, also that he may have been a key figure in collecting what is now our NT.//

Notice, what is going on here:
I pause to pick up a point that has too often been used to warp our moral judgements, to induce us to accept yet another crooked yardstick.
I see you are trying the old moral dilemma talking point on casting one value above another.
It does not demonstrate what those who pushed “values clarification” etc thought.
What it means is that in a world where evil (even demonic evil) can have power, sometimes our only realistic choice is the least of evils; which is still not a pure good. Hence, fighting a war with the Nazi state [–> the most widely acknowledged case of recent, entrenched demonic evil in control of the organs of state power and law], using realistic means and accepting that to fight will cost much. Starting with rivers of blood and a devastated continent, continuing through horrific waste of economic resources and leading to needing to race towards nukes as you know the pioneers who discovered the principles were on the other side. Also knowing that information security is absolutely vital. And much more, lessons best learned from a deep, sound understanding of lessons of history paid for with blood and tears. [–> That is, sound record of hard bought experience is the only effective guide to dealing with existential moral dilemmas]
I then drew out a conclusion:

//So now, how to answer the demonic Gestapo? By first recognising that when evil dominates we can face genuine moral dilemmas and must recognise that innocent life is a first right without which there are no rights — the exact principle why many of us look with horror on the ongoing abortion holocaust and refuse to enable it. And, extending to our own circumstances, those who vote in evil are enablers of evil, here, voting in holocaust is on the table.
A lot closer to home than imagining some new Gestapo.//

Now, let us consider another key case, St Maximilian Kolbe, at Auschwitz.
For, they overcame the wicked one by the power of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto death:

//After the outbreak of World War II, which started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, Kolbe was one of the few brothers who remained in the monastery, where he organized a temporary hospital.[5] After the town was captured by the Germans, he was briefly arrested by them on 19 September 1939 but released on 8 December.[2][5] He refused to sign the Deutsche Volksliste, which would have given him rights similar to those of German citizens, in exchange for recognizing his ethnic German ancestry.[16] Upon his release he continued work at his friary, where he and other friars provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from German persecution in the Niepokalanów friary.[2][11][12][16][17] Kolbe received permission to continue publishing religious works, though significantly reduced in scope.[16] The monastery continued to act as a publishing house, issuing a number of anti-Nazi German publications.[2][11]
On 17 February 1941, the monastery was shut down by the German authorities.[2] That day Kolbe and four others were arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison.[2] On 28 May, he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner 16670.[18]
Continuing to act as a priest, Kolbe was subjected to violent harassment, including beating and lashings. Once he was smuggled to a prison hospital by friendly inmates.[2][16] At the end of July 1941, one prisoner escaped from the camp, prompting SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick ten men to be starved to death in an underground bunker to deter further escape attempts. When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, “My wife! My children!”, Kolbe volunteered to take his place.[8]
According to an eyewitness, who was an assistant janitor at that time, in his prison cell, Kolbe led the prisoners in prayer. Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered. After they had been starved and deprived of water for two weeks, only Kolbe remained alive. The guards wanted the bunker emptied, so they gave Kolbe a lethal injection of carbolic acid. Kolbe is said to have raised his left arm and calmly waited for the deadly injection.[11] He died on August 14. His remains were cremated on 15 August, the feast day of the Assumption of Mary.//

Nazism seized power in Germany by pretending to be a vehicle of deliverance, but was manifestly tainted by evil nihilistic practices. Once it gained some power, through ruthless opportunism it exploited the Reichstag fire set by a deranged Dutch boy, to hold a show trial for the communist party and to trick the legislature into an enabling act for dictatorship for seven years. Then, it introduced ever growing demonic evils and oppressions, crushing those who dared stand on principle and conscience. This was the main cause of WW2, with perhaps 85 millions needlessly dead in Europe and Asia etc. It is not for nothing that Churchill said that there never was a more easily averted war.
So, in our day, I point to the abortion holocaust and how it and things connected to it are corrupting our civilisation. And yes, I dare to echo the White Rose Martyrs and name such as demonic evil.
When it comes to pretended rights, I simply say that to justly claim a right, one must be manifestly in the right. Something that must be soundly warranted, coming full circle to the duties that govern our intellectual faculties. Duties, which are inescapably moral, are instruments of moral government.
And so, again, it comes back to the point Boethius made 1500 years ago while awaiting execution on an unjust charge: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?” >>

You will search the relevant thread in vain for a cogent, substantial response. Of course, you will see the strawman talking point tactic I am here exposing. I believe 423 at July 18, 1:55 amJ is also relevant:

[KF, 423:] >> . . . There has been yet another attempt to drag off topic, compounded by refusal to acknowledge existence of an answer to the general claim of how moral dilemmas allegedly undermine moral government; cf. 419 above. But in fact this argument refutes itself from the outset as those who pose it appeal to our recognition of the binding nature of duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, fairness and justice etc. If these duties are disregarded, rationality and responsibility as well as community evaporate. The whole rhetorical exercise pivots on gliding by a key contradiction and so we properly hold that moral government and its world root reality requisites are real, undeniably real.
Now, we see further posing of alleged cases pursuing the same end.
The answer to oh is it acceptable to carry out violence against an abortionist — set in the context of dismissiveness to concerns over the ongoing slaughter of our innocent posterity in the womb at about a million further victims per week (and 800+ millions in 40+ years) — is that resort to lawless conduct of vigilantism is just as wrong as any other form of lawless behaviour. The solution is to peacefully present the truth and to restore the law to sanity. That is the real problem and as you full well know, vigilantism will also only further lock in the insanity that acts under false colour of law.
A living human being is a natural person and the correct presumption is such that living human beings should be protected under law. The project of dehumanisation and un-person-ing under false colour of law speaks for itself given history.
The made up scenario refutes itself on many grounds, starting with that the child in a woman’s womb (half the time not the same sex) is not artificially connected as a result of kidnapping but is naturally present as the result of human biology. We are undermining the natural bond between generations through our current insanity.
As to the question of obligation to defend or protect another life — and notice how all the way such alleged dilemmas appeal to the principles they would overturn to have any persuasiveness — consider a very real case: when confronted by the rising threat of nazism, conscription was imposed under law in order to build up armed forces to fight and if needs be die.
That should be answer enough in principle to show the fallacious nature of these appeals.
We also can observe the studious continued absence of a response on merits to the main issues for the thread. That speaks, given allegations of no evidence and claims of default in favour of atheism . . . .
PS: I think there is a place to distinguish just from unjust use of force, and to confine the ambiguous word violence to the latter. >>

SA at 427 is relevant:

KF: such alleged dilemmas appeal to the principles they would overturn to have any persuasiveness

SA: That is a cogent and decisive answer to the sort of moral outrage and various dilemmas that are put forward in place of a real discussion. There is always an appeal to principles.

AS78, who has been UD’s man in attendance faithfully at the Annual March for life, with pics (and so far as I have a say, is welcome to post the march from year to year as long as it takes) is also relevant. For, he exposes the underlying agendas in the specious argument to vigilantism:

[AS78, 428:] Trying to get anywhere near an abortion doctor or patient when they are in the abortion mill to do their killing will get you violently subdued by security, likely arrested, and your life otherwise messed up. So your fruity little hypothetical comparison of apples and oranges is worthless . . .

Of course, the mere suggestion of violence, in the minds of those conditioned to be polarised against those seeking to defend the most innocent lives of all, and to seek reform of law, is deliberately tainting. This is the destructive power of Accuser.

I could go on, but this is enough to make the point, further discussion would be in the relevant thread. This record exposes an insistent false accusation rooted in the cynical tactics of how repeated big lies can take on the false aura of truth. END