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Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?

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Carroll, here, was responding to a Weekly Standard cover article on the reactions to philosopher Nagel’s publication of Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False :

What I find particularly interesting in the captioned clip is the laudatory reference to “a more Scientific WORLDVIEW” which is immediately problematic, as worldviews are matters of philosophical points of view and linked cultural agendas. That is, they are categorically distinct from science in any proper sense.

A clue for what is really meant comes from what immediately follows: “and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist.” Really, and how can science actually establish such a thing, especially in a world with literally billions of theists, many being reasonably educated and informed? Plainly, what is actually implied is that in the academy and among the post-Christian Western chattering classes, evolutionary materialistic scientism is a dominant and in fact domineering ideology.

One that, in fact, rather inconveniently has had a 100+ year track record of not just marginalising, silencing or expelling critics or doubters, but a body count northwards of 100 millions. (So much for the snide characterisation of the West’s Christian heritage by the Torquemada standard. [Cf. here on in context on the sins and blessings of Christendom.])

We could make reference to a well known cat out of the bag remark in NYRB by Richard Lewontin on how a priori materialism has been imposed on science, or the like. However, that is liable to simply invite troll rants, let the link stand for those who need to re-familiarise themselves with the record.

Instead, let us simply note that in the captioned, Carroll more than amply confirms the point regarding the cat Lewontin let out of the bag. Where, too, scientism — the notion that, roughly, evolutionary materialism dominated, Big-S “Science” is “the only begetter of truth [and thus, knowledge]” — is immediately self-refuting. For, this claim is a claim about philosophy that tries to discredit such claims. Unfortunately, that is not going to help those trapped in the evo mat cave escape their bonds and delusions. The issue is how to move the Overton Window:

Of course, we have already taken step 1, by headlining and briefly exposing immediately fatal errors on the public record for one of the better known spokesmen for evolutionary materialistic scientism [= “naturalism,” more or less].

What can we do for step 2?

We have to look at warrant for theism (at least at intro to 101 level), and in my view a good place to start is an article responding to a dismissive article that popped up here in the Caribbean about a year ago. Here we go:

>>Over the years, many millions have met and been transformed through meeting God in the face of Christ. This includes countless Jamaicans [and many other people across the Caribbean and wider world]. It also includes many famed scholars, eminent scientists and leaders of powerful reformations. Logically, if just one of these millions has actually been reconciled with God through Christ, God must be real and the gospel must be true. (Where, if instead so many are deeply delusional, that would undermine the rational credibility of the human mind.)

However, for some years now various voices have tried to dismissively question God, the gospel and Christians. So, it is not unexpected to see Mr Gordon Robinson writing in the Gleaner recently (on Sunday, August 26, 2018),  about alleged “dangerous dogma promulgated by the Church and its many brainwashed surrogates,” “perverse propaganda spread by Christian churches,” “sycophants” and the like.

Along the way, he managed to ask a pivotal question: “Who/what is God?”

Regrettably, he also implied outright fraud by church leaders: “Either the Church has NO CLUE about who/what God really is, or it deliberately misrepresents God’s essence in order to frighten people into becoming church members and tithing. Nothing else makes sense.”

Fig 1 DNA, Showing the Genetic Code (HT ResearchGate)

In fact, a simple Internet search might give a better answer. For, thinkers such as a Thomas Aquinas or an Augustine of Hippo or a Paul of Tarsus or even a Wayne Grudem or a William Lane Craig have long since credibly addressed the idea of God and systematic theology at a little more sophisticated level than Sunday School lessons or Internet Atheist web sites. In so doing, they have made responsible cases that rise above the level of caricatures of the art on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.

We may begin with Paul in Romans 1, 57 AD: “Rom 1:19 . . . what can be known about God is plain to [people], because God has shown it to them. 20 For [God’s] invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So [people] are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  [ESV]

Here, one of the top dozen minds of our civilisation first points out how our morally governed interior life and what we see in the world all around jointly call us to God our Creator. But, too often we suppress the force of that inner testimony and outer evidence. (This, predictably, leads to unsound thinking and destructive deeds stemming from benumbed consciences and en-darkened minds.)

For one, consider how for sixty years now we have known that the DNA in the cells of our bodies has in it complex, alphanumeric, algorithmic code that is executed through molecular nanotechnology to build proteins, the workhorses of biological life. That’s why Sir Francis Crick wrote to his son Michael on March 19, 1953 that “we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another).”

Crick’s letter

Figure 2: Crick’s March 19, 1953 letter, p. 5 with a highlight (Fair use)

Yes, alphanumeric code (so, language!), algorithms (so, purpose!), i.e. intelligent design of life from the first living cell on. Including, us. No wonder the dean of the so-called New Atheists was forced to admit that Biology studies complicated things that give a strong appearance of design. 

1947 saw the advent of the transistor age, allowing storage of a single bit of information in a tiny electronic wonder. We have since advanced to computers based on silicon chips comparable in size to a thumb-nail, with millions of transistors. These microchips and support machinery process many millions of instructions per second and have storage capacities of many gigabytes. Coded electronic communication signals routinely go across millions of miles through the solar system.  Every one of these devices and systems required careful design by highly educated engineers, scientists and programmers. The living, self-replicating cell’s sophistication dwarfs all of these; yet we question the all-knowing God, the author of life.

A nerve cell

Next, Mr. Robinson and others inevitably appeal to our known duty to truth, right reasoning, fairness, prudent judgement, etc.  But, where did that inner moral law (testified to by our consciences) come from? Surely, it is not a delusion; or else responsible, freely rational discussion would collapse into nihilistic chaos: might and manipulation (= “power and propaganda”) make ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘justice,’ ‘truth,’ ‘knowledge’ etc. Instead, our conscience-guarded hearts and minds clearly show the Creator’s design that we freely live by the light and law of truth and right.

Such considerations – and many more – point us to the only serious candidate for the source of reality that can bridge IS and OUGHT: the inherently good (and wise) Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. Who is fully worthy of our loyalty and of humble, responsible, reasonable service through doing the good. Then, we may readily draw out the classic understanding of God described in scripture and studied in systematic theology: all-good, eternal, creator and Lord with sound knowledge and full capability to work out his good purposes in the right way at the right time. [Cf. Grudem, at Web Archive, here.]

Moreover, what we most of all need to know about God is taught by Jesus the Christ, recorded in scripture within eye-witness lifetime then accurately handed down to us for 2000 years now, at fearsome cost: the blood of the martyrs. Martyrs, who had but one incentive: that they directly knew and must peacefully stand by the eternal truth – cost what it will. They refused to be frightened by dungeon, fire or sword, much less mere rhetoric. Why would thousands die horribly to promote a known lie?

[I add, Strobel on the Case for Christ:]

Their record is that Christ is the express image of his Father, Logos – Cosmos-ordering Reason himself, prophesied Messiah, the Saviour who in love died for us on a cross. He rose from the dead as Lord with 500 eye-witnesses, precisely fulfilling over three hundred prophecies that were long since recorded in the Old Testament. (See esp. Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12, c. 700 BC.) He ascended to his Father in the presence of the apostles. He shall return as eternal Judge, before whom we must all account. (Yes, professing and “backsliding” Christians too.) The Bible also records Jesus’ prayer for us: “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and [“thy Son”] Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” [John 17:1- 5, cf. 3:16.]

That is the truth witnessed by the church, whether it was 33 AD in Jerusalem before an angry Sanhedrin, or 50 AD before the laughing Athenians (who had built a public monument to their ignorance of God), or today . . .>>

So, Mr Carroll, no, it is not so that “everyone knows that God doesn’t exist.” Indeed, just the opposite is true: arguably, millions, having met and been transformed by God, know God. They don’t just know about him.

Perhaps, it is time for a more sober-minded discussion on the roots of reality. END

F/N: For reference, I attach, first on turning back at the brink:

Next, on the Overton Window (vs Plato’s cave of manipulated shadow-shows:

Then, on a model of key spheres and sources of influence:

Then, on a model of political possibilities, drawing out the significance of Constitutional Democracy:

U/d b for clarity, nb Nil

Also, on law:

Noting Augustine and Aquinas:

And Aquinas on law in general:

90 Replies to “Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    I have never, before, seen a Zen koan composed for the purpose of high humour. I think Sean has changed sides, parodying his erstwhile colleagues. How they will react, I dread to think ! Welcome aboard, Sean !

  3. 3
    OLV says:

    Posted the below commentary in another discussion but, after reading this quoted text “When A More Scientific Worldview Has Triumphed” here, I just realized that the same comment may fit well within this topic too:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/sabine-hossenfelder-explains-the-problem-with-the-many-worlds-hypothesis/#comment-684499

  4. 4
    vmahuna says:

    Um, no. You TERRIBLY weaken the argument in favor of God by insisting that the Jehovah of the Bible IS God, and that believing in God REQUIRES the belief in the Bible.
    Christianity was created by the guys who flunked out of the prep class for The Mystery Religion. There is absolutely ZERO historical evidence for any noteworthy person using the name “Jesus of Nazareth” in what is now called “the 1st Century” by back construction.
    The existence of God NEVER required belief in the sloppiness that became The New Testament. The Old Testament is a pack of lies. Egyptians NEVER called their kings “pharaohs”, and there is absolutely no mention of any “Hebrew” people coming into Egypt and then being expelled. Also, Ancient Egypt NEVER had slaves. Etc., etc., etc.
    The people who came to be called “Hebrews”, etc., were/are in fact a VERY minor group of Arabs who lived in the area generally north of what is now Yemen. Etc., etc., etc.
    I could name books to read, but clearly “believers” don’t want to be upset by mere facts.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Vmahuna your supposed scholarship of this issue has been shown to be atrocious numerous times:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/swedish-mathematician-explains-why-he-sees-design-in-nature-and-became-a-christian/#comment-675205

    and:

    PaV April 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Vmahuna:
    You must be a Darwinist because you’re ready to believe anything that confirms your worldview.

    Here’s a review of Freke and Gandy’s book:

    This is one of the worst books I have ever read. There is a legitimate wing of Gospel scholarship that looks at the Greco-Roman influence on Christianity, especially the Mystery Religions. What this book does is out and out deny the Jewish roots of Christianity and claim Jesus as a semi-mythical saviour hero in the same vain as Orpheus or Osiris.

    Despite the 90 pages of notes and the 7 page bibliography, this book is poorly thought out but I think the authors argue their twisted view well. They remind me of the deluded 18th and 19th century authors that tried to prove the pagan roots of Roman Catholicism. It relies on some superficial similarities between Christianity and Paganism. There are lots of things like pointing out this pagan philosopher worked miracles like raising the dead or calming winds (like Empedocles or Apollonius of Tyana) and so did Jesus. Gasp here! Of course, the general commonalities of Mediterranean culture might be an explanation but Freke and Gandy will have none of this. For them there is a direct connection. For me, according this logic Judaism and Greek paganism must be connected because the Jews had 12 tribes and the Greeks had 12 Olympian gods. Gasp here!!

    The authors obviously have an axe to grind. They are forever going on about those bad ‘Literalist’ Christians and how they surpressed the good, old mystery religion Christians.They conveniently gloss over the disagreements between Gnostic groups and some of the more weird (read here totally crazy) beliefs of these groups. The Nag Hammadi Library and other finds gives scholars an inside view of the Gnostics.

    One thing I haven’t figured out is where these ‘Literalist’ Christians originated. Why were these people convinced of the truth of the Gospels? This book acknowledges the existence of these Literalist Christians from the earliest days like Justin, Irenaeus and Tertullian but doesn’t explore its origin.

    This is ultimately a forgettable book. It dresses itself up as some explosive expose but it isn’t.

    As to the nonsense you subscribe to, look here.
    https://voice.dts.edu/article/was-the-virgin-birth-story-created-by-the-church-mikel-del-rosario/

    Keep your nonsense to yourself.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/swedish-mathematician-explains-why-he-sees-design-in-nature-and-became-a-christian/#comment-675225

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    VM, I have to be moving for the day, but it is blatantly obvious that theism and the Judaeo-Christian, theistic, scriptural tradition are not identical, theism is wider. However, there is a very specific warrant for the Christian faith that you may find it advisable to address. It is mentioned and linked in the above. From Ac 17, AD 50, it is presented as the offer of proof to all men: Jesus of Nazareth, crucified and risen on the 3rd day “according to scripture.” KF

  7. 7
    Axel says:

    You foolish, foolish person, Vmahuna ! Sure, ‘Take up your cross and follow me’, is a great sales pitch. Certainly, attractive enough on which to found an empire, called Christendom, which was to make its adherents, voluntary and involuntary, more technologically advanced by an order of magnitude than the rest of the world. And the cream of the joke is that the congenital, worldly intelligence of the Chinese and the Indians generally tends to be more acute, imo, than that of Europeans. I believe in India you have the weird situation in which you have an often brilliant, highly-educated ruling class and many poor people having to defecate in the street, although I believe here s a progamme for building public conveniences. All the saddder in that Vedanta* was such a spiritual version of Hndusim – as well as unbelievably ancient. Religion matters !

    As for your comments on Christ, they are beoynd laughable. He is the only God whose origin is outsideof space and time. The rest are earthbound demi-gods, and not omnisicient and omnipotent. So much for your dismissal of him. Here is what Einstein had to say about Jesus, when he was asked whether he accepted the historical Jesus (his existence historically documented in any case):
    ‘“- To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?”
    “– As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”
    “– Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?”
    “– Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.”
    – “You accept the historical Jesus?”
    ‘”Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.” (Einstein, as cited in Viereck 1929;’

    If you look at the YouTube video-clips on the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo, and the video of Saint Padre Pio, below, and then tell us it’s all hokum, we shall know that you are beyond help – which does sound like the most likely outcome.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbgXRODiT04

    *Vedanta is a philosophy taught by the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of India. Its basic teaching is that our real nature is divine. God, the underlying reality, exists in every being. Religion is therefore a search for self-knowledge, a search for the God within. – from Wikipedia.

  8. 8
    bill cole says:

    Does Sean know assertion is not argument. How does he deal with the evidence above for Gods existence, simply deny it is really evidence?

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Ah, Bill, it seems “argument” by assertion, ideological imposition, question-begging a prioris, accusation and the like are taking over. A sad sign indeed for our evidently declining civilisation. We need to go back to fundamentals of worldviews analysis, including the pivotal principles of right reason. KF

  10. 10
    john_a_designer says:

    How sad. Carroll is as intellectually challenged as the trolls who keep showing up here at UD. Who knows he may be one of the many sock puppets who keeps popping up on this site.

  11. 11
    BobRyan says:

    vmahuna
    I guess your knowledge of Egypt trumps every expert. What was the title given to the king during the New Kingdom? That would be pharaoh.
    https://www.ancient.eu/pharaoh/
    As for slavery, everyone else must be wrong as well:
    Slaves in Egypt were either criminals, those who could not pay their debts, or captives from foreign military campaigns. These people were considered to have forfeited their freedoms either by their individual choices or by military conquest and so were forced to endure a quality of existence far below that of free Egyptians.
    https://www.ancient.eu/article/933/daily-life-in-ancient-egypt/

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    BR, yes, and there are many other flaws there. Sad, really, but the Dan Brown- Jesus Seminar- History Channel fashion is moving along. On historicity of Jesus of Nazareth [Jesus being anglicised from Gk where orig Heb more directly came to us as Joshua also] cf here on as was originally linked in the OP and as has been put to VM for him to address. No one has claimed that theism is synonymous to Christian faith, but instead the article replied to a challenge to that faith which implied educational and/or financial fraud by church leaders; in the context of which the issues of philosophical warrant for God and the bridge from idea of God to Christian Systematic Theology and its pivot on the gospel were central. The notion that the Christian Faith and before it Judaism were founded on Pagan myths fails the giggle test, but is common in a world of fringe thought. Far from being sloppy as thought, the NT is deservedly a foundational classic in its own right, just as an anthology of thought. The Sermon on the Mount and the wider story of Jesus and his thought, Luke’s two-volume masterful history, the writings of Paul as one of the top dozen minds shaping our civilisation, alone, would secure that. The Torah and Tanakh (differently arranged in our OT) are not so easily dismissed as lies. There may be a lot of revisionism but the story of a refugee semitic family/small tribe of essentially syrian extraction becoming at first welcome refugees then reduced to slavery and leading a successful revolt and founding their own state fits the temper of the times, with enough support to be taken seriously. There is an interesting exploration on gem mining operations and origin of alphabet, tied to this. You have aptly answered on Pharaoh [name of the house used eventually for the king] and on enslavement — which comes in many forms. No one has seriously doubted that Jews and Arabian Arabs mutually recognise one another as cousins. To this day, resemblance in language alone is instructive. Finally, one may claim to be master of the facts, sneering at mere believers, while failing to understand that facts [real and imagined], faith and reason are inextricably intertwined in the roots of our world views. And again that was linked in the OP. That said, the main focus remains, that Mr Carroll was ill informed in his captioned remark. It will be interesting to hear what our atheistical objectors now have to say about it and similar remarks by Lewontin, US NSTA and NAS, Mahner, Alex Rosenberg and others. KF

  13. 13
    awstar says:

    “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ”

    It seems to me that Sean Carroll’s argument is logically flawed because it is impossible to prove something doesn’t exist in the universe. So his argument has to read “everyone believes that God doesn’t exist” in order to be a valid argument. And that statement is patently wrong. Surely he is perceptive enough to recognize some people believe God exists.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    AW, it is an implication of evolutionary materialistic scientism. Big-S Science in thralldom to atheism dressed up in a lab coat monopolises knowledge and so there is no room for the dreaded “divine foot” in the door of what is called knowledge. But the notion that such ideologically captive “science” is “the only begetter of truth [and so, knowledge]” is an epistemological — thus philosophical, claim. Scientism is self-referentially incoherent. It falsifies itself. Question begging founded on self-refuting arguments. Fail. KF

    PS: ironically, millions do not merely believe that there is a God but have sufficient of transformational encounter that we have warrant to report that we know God personally. As the OP notes, if instead so many were to be deeply delusional on this; it would bring the credibility of the human mind into serious question. Of course, that is exactly where evolutionary materialism ends up: undermining rationality itself.

  15. 15
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is part of an argument I have used at UD before.

    If Big Bang cosmology is true then the universe had a beginning. Furthermore, if we accept the standard model of the big bang, based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, not only did the universe have a beginning but so did space and time. Therefore, based on what we presently know that there was no time (no before) the origin of the universe. So that empirically rules out any possibility of an infinite regress. In other words, there is no evidence that the universe always existed—yet logically something must have always existed. What is that something?

    Leibnitz argued that there are two kinds of being: (1) contingent being and (2) necessary, or self-existent, being. Contingent beings or things (books, ink, paper, planets or people, rocks trees and poison ivy etc.) cannot exist without a cause. By contrast, a necessary being does not require a cause. Everything we observe in the universe, including the universe as a whole, appears to be contingent. However, it is logically possible that whatever it is that caused the universe exists necessarily or, in other words, is self-existent. An eternally existing (or self-existing) transcendent being, does not require any other explanation because it is the explanation. To prove this simply ask yourself the question, ‘what caused the always existing something to exist?’ The answer should be obvious to anyone who considers the question honestly. Obviously, since it has always existed, it wasn’t caused by anything else, therefore, doesn’t need to be explained by anything else.

    The evidence from the “big bang” for example suggests that whatever caused the universe transcends the universe. Furthermore, if it is the cause of the universe it must, in some sense, have always existed. It must be eternal. Transcendence and eternality are attributes of what theists call God. So big bang cosmology gives us two thirds of what we mean by God.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-gets-mail-from-jerry-coyne/#comment-684472

    Something which is transcendent (even if it’s in a trivial sense) is empirically non-detectable. If it’s not empirically detectable it is not “scientific,” therefore, it cannot claimed to be the basis of a “scientific worldview.” The only thing that a scientist like Sean Carroll can claim is that the universe had a beginning and scientifically we have no idea how it began. However, that doesn’t rule out other logically valid possibilities. There is nothing logically impossible about an eternally existing transcendent Creator.

  16. 16
    awstar says:

    “Who/what is God?” … “Either the Church has NO CLUE about who/what God really is, or it deliberately misrepresents God’s essence in order to frighten people into becoming church members and tithing. Nothing else makes sense.”

    Sean Carroll is wrong again. There is something else that does make sense. The term “Church”, according to the Bible refers to all those who do know who/what God “really” is — by definition. The part about people becoming “church” members and tithing is indeed a misrepresentation of what THE Church is, and describes the perception of what a church is according to those outside The Church. Like the blind man who doesn’t have a clue what the color Blue is. (not every one in a church is in The Church, and there is no way of knowing for sure who is and who isn’t, so the wheat and the tares coexist for a while, as was planned — by the God who IS and refers to Himself as “I AM”)

  17. 17
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Could somebody help me.
    I haven’t been able to get an answer to this question about Dr Carroll:

    In his biography it is stated that Dr. Carroll “posits that the Big Bang is not a unique occurrence as a result of all of the matter and energy in the universe originating in a singularity at the beginning of time, but rather one of many cosmic inflation events resulting from quantum fluctuations of vacuum energy in a cold de Sitter space. He claims that the universe is infinitely old but never reaches thermodynamic equilibrium as entropy increases continuously without limit due to the decreasing matter and energy density attributable to recurrent cosmic inflation. He asserts that the universe is “statistically time-symmetric,” insofar as it contains equal progressions of time “both forward and backward”.

    This obviously contradicts the recent determination of the cosmological constant. which shows that the universe is expending at an ever accelerating rate. This means that time does NOT “contain equal progressions of time “both forward and backward”, but only forward. Thus leading to the “heat death first posited by Lord Kelvin in 1852.

    Is Dr Carroll merely “positing” some of the multiverse stuff that Dr Hossenfelder laughs at, or has he got something that a reasonable person could take seriously?

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    TLH, one of the highly speculative models of our world is a limitless in the past underlying sub universe in which sub-cosmi like ours pop up and expand as fluctuations; there have been discussions here at UD. We only observe our cosmos so all of this is philosophy dressed up in Mathematics with a dusting of physics. My own basic problem is with any quasi-physical model that posits a causal-temporal, actually limitless, infinite, past. Whether the infinity is explicitly acknowledged or is left implicit (and we have had ding-dong exchanges here on it) the transfinite cannot be traversed in finite stage causally successive steps. My in a nutshell is we need to think in terms of the hyperreals (involving hyperintegers such that for some H of magnitude |H| greater than any |z| for any z in the integers, 1/H = h where h is closer to 0 than any 1/z) and see a negative H, so H+1, H+2 etc will never traverse in steps to some k finitely removed in 1-scale steps from 0. Bonus, h is an infinitesimal, which gives a solid gateway to calculus. And yes, it is more useful to think on hyper reals than reals, that’s what your old high school handwaving by Math teachers was pointing to. So, the idea of a limitless actual quasi physical past is an absurdity. We can have a potentially infinite future that keeps on going without limit but not an actually completed transfinite past. Yes, if a world now is, it implies a necessary being world root that is causally independent and without beginning. Whatever candidates you care to put up, a transfinite past causal-physical succession is not credible as a candidate. But that is where a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism now seems to be driving its proponents. KF

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    AW, that’s a certain Mr Gordon Robinson of Jamaica’s Gleaner, not SC. Mind you, to say we all KNOW there is no God implies one cannot know God. Mr Carroll has not really thought through the implications of what he has asserted. KF

  20. 20
    Axel says:

    ‘“argument” by assertion;…. another hilariously-pungent definition, KF ! I can think of two current, national leaders whose egregious narcissism seems to have prompted them to adopt that very ‘argument by assertion’, as their modus operandi.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, our big problem is actually the ideological captivity of the media, the academy and education in a context of a global elite class that is riddled with perversities and corrupt behaviours [Epstein being an example of the problem]. It is not for nothing that we are warned against stumbling the little ones. KF

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES, you may find these critiques of Carroll useful

    The Universe Is Not Eternal – Johanan Raatz – March 1, 2014
    Excerpt: Carroll pointed out that the BVG theorem only works within relativity but does not take quantum effects into account. Given a lack of a complete theory of quantum gravity, he argued that Craig can not claim that the universe began to exist.
    Though this is partly true, it turns out we are not completely in the dark. One thing known for certain about quantum gravity is something called the holographic principle. Precisely put, the holographic principle tells us that the entropy of a region of space (measured in terms of information) is directly proportional to a quarter of its surface area. The volume of this region is then actually a hologram of this information on its surface.
    Except this tells us something interesting about the universe as well. Entropy, or the amount of disorder present, always increases with time. In fact not only is this law inviolate, it is also how the flow of time is defined. Without entropy, there is no way to discern forwards and backwards in time.
    But if the holographic principle links the universe’s entropy and its horizon area then going back in time, all of space-time eventually vanishes to nothing at zero entropy. Thus Carroll’s argument is unsound. We already have enough knowledge about what happens beyond the BVG theorem that Craig cites. The universe is not eternal but created.
    It is interesting to note that this also undermines claims made by atheists like Hawking and Krauss that the universe could have fluctuated into existence from nothing. Their argument rests on the assumption that there was a pre-existent zero-point field or ZPF. The only trouble is that the physics of a ZPF requires a space-time to exist in. No space-time means no zero-point field, and without a zero-point field, the universe can not spontaneously fluctuate into existence.
    http://blog.proof.directory/20.....t-eternal/

    As a further point of interest, the Wall Theorem shows that even a quantum regime would have a beginning, and is therefore essentially to Quantum Physics what the BGV is to Classical Physics. You can read a post by Wall here where he explains why Carroll’s appeals to an eternal quantum regime are really unfounded and continue into the comments to see where he mentions his Theorem. – HeKS
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....y-theorem/
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....nt-2637787

    This also may be of interest for you:

    Cosmology: A Religion For Atheists? | William Lane Craig critiques (Hawking’s) “The Theory Of Everything” movie – 28:00 minute mark – Hawking’s quantum model still implies, despite misconceptions, a beginning for the universe
    https://youtu.be/i08-gCue7Ds?t=1687

    As to “many cosmic inflation events resulting from quantum fluctuations”,, The initial purpose of cosmological inflation was to try to explain why the universe is surprisingly flat and so smoothly distributed, or homogeneous.
    Yet, Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, who helped develop inflationary theory but is now scathing of it, states that the idea that inflationary theory produces any observable predictions at all,,, is based on a simplification of the theory that simply does not hold true.
    “The deeper problem is that once inflation starts, it doesn’t end the way these simplistic calculations suggest,” he says. “Instead, due to quantum physics it leads to a multiverse where the universe breaks up into an infinite number of patches. The patches explore all conceivable properties as you go from patch to patch. So that means it doesn’t make any sense to say what inflation predicts, except to say it predicts everything.

    Cosmic inflation is dead, long live cosmic inflation – 25 September 2014
    Excerpt: (Inflation) theory, the most widely held of cosmological ideas about the growth of our universe after the big bang, explains a number of mysteries, including why the universe is surprisingly flat and so smoothly distributed, or homogeneous.,,,
    Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, who helped develop inflationary theory but is now scathing of it, says this is potentially a blow for the theory, but that it pales in significance with inflation’s other problems.
    Meet the multiverse
    Steinhardt says the idea that inflationary theory produces any observable predictions at all – even those potentially tested by BICEP2 – is based on a simplification of the theory that simply does not hold true.
    “The deeper problem is that once inflation starts, it doesn’t end the way these simplistic calculations suggest,” he says. “Instead, due to quantum physics it leads to a multiverse where the universe breaks up into an infinite number of patches. The patches explore all conceivable properties as you go from patch to patch. So that means it doesn’t make any sense to say what inflation predicts, except to say it predicts everything. If it’s physically possible, then it happens in the multiverse someplace
    Steinhardt says the point of inflation was to explain a remarkably simple universe. “So the last thing in the world you should be doing is introducing a multiverse of possibilities to explain such a simple thing,” he says. “I think it’s telling us in the clearest possible terms that we should be able to understand this and when we understand it it’s going to come in a model that is extremely simple and compelling. And we thought inflation was it – but it isn’t.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....CajrGl0y00

    And as the old saying goes, a scientific theory that predicts everything predicts nothing at all.
    Max Tegmark himself, an atheist like Carroll, admitted that inflation sabotages our ability to make useful predictions. In fact, he stated that because of inflation “we physicists are no longer able to predict anything at all!”

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark – January 2014 and Feb. 2015
    Excerpt: Physics is all about predicting the future from the past, but inflation seems to sabotage this: when we try to predict the probability that something particular will happen, inflation always gives the same useless answer: infinity divided by infinity. The problem is that whatever experiment you make, inflation predicts that there will be infinitely many copies of you far away in our infinite space, obtaining each physically possible outcome, and despite years of tooth-grinding in the cosmology community, no consensus has emerged on how to extract sensible answers from these infinities. So strictly speaking, we physicists are no longer able to predict anything at all!
    This means that today’s best theories similarly need a major shakeup, by retiring an incorrect assumption. Which one?
    Here’s my prime suspect: infinity.
    MAX TEGMARK – Physicist
    (personal note: actually the ‘theory’ that needs to be retired is the philosophy of Atheistic materialism in general)
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......OsRyS7cBCA

    Here are a few more criticisms of Inflation theory:

    A Matter of Considerable Gravity: On the Purported Detection of Gravitational Waves and Cosmic Inflation – Bruce Gordon – April 4, 2014
    Excerpt: Thirdly, at least two paradoxes result from the inflationary multiverse proposal that suggest our place in such a multiverse must be very special: the “Boltzmann Brain Paradox” and the “Youngness Paradox.” In brief, if the inflationary mechanism is autonomously operative in a way that generates a multiverse, then with probability indistinguishable from one (i.e., virtual necessity) the typical observer in such a multiverse is an evanescent thermal fluctuation with memories of a past that never existed (a Boltzmann brain) rather than an observer of the sort we take ourselves to be. Alternatively, by a second measure, post-inflationary universes should overwhelmingly have just been formed, which means that our existence in an old universe like our own has a probability that is effectively zero (i.e., it’s nigh impossible). So if our universe existed as part of such a multiverse, it would not be at all typical, but rather infinitely improbable (fine-tuned) with respect to its age and compatibility with stable life-forms.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....84001.html

    Inflation
    Excerpt: In order to work, and as pointed out by Roger Penrose from 1986 on, inflation requires extremely specific initial conditions of its own, so that the problem of initial conditions is not solved: “There is something fundamentally misconceived about trying to explain the uniformity of the early universe as resulting from a thermalization process. […] For, if the thermalization is actually doing anything […] then it represents a definite increasing of the entropy. Thus, the universe would have been even more special before the thermalization than after.”[104]
    Penrose, Roger (1989). “Difficulties with Inflationary Cosmology”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 271: 249–264.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....Criticisms

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Inflationary paradigm in trouble after Planck – 2013
    Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt, Abraham Loeb
    Excerpt of abstract: More important, though, is that all the simplest inflaton models are disfavored statistically relative to those with plateau-like potentials. We discuss how a restriction to plateau-like models has three independent serious drawbacks: it exacerbates both the initial conditions problem and the multiverse-unpredictability problem and it creates a new difficulty that we call the inflationary “unlikeliness problem.”,,
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1304.2785v2.pdf

    One of cosmic inflation theory’s creators (Steinhardt) now questions own theory – April 2011
    Excerpt: Inflation adds a whole bunch of really unlikely metaphysical assumptions — a new force field that has a never-before-observed particle called the “inflaton”, an expansion faster than the speed of light, an interaction with gravity waves which are themselves only inferred– just so that it can explain the unlikely contingency of a finely-tuned big bang.
    But instead of these extra assumptions becoming more-and-more supported, the trend went the opposite direction, with more-and-more fine-tuning of the inflation assumptions until they look as fine-tuned as Big Bang theories. At some point, we have “begged the question”. Frankly, the moment we add an additional free variable, I think we have already begged the question. In a Bayesean comparison of theories, extra variables reduce the information content of the theory, (by the so-called Ockham factor), so these inflation theories are less, not more, explanatory than the theory they are supposed to replace.,,, after 20 years of work, if we haven’t made progress, but have instead retreated, it is time to cut bait.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....wn-theory/

    Moreover, there are ‘anomalies’ in the CMBR that disconfirm the simplest inflation models,

    Planck reveals an almost perfect Universe (Disconfirms inflationary models) – video
    Quote at 2:00 minute mark: “What’s surprising in Planck’s latest findings and is inconsistent with prevailing theories, is the presence of unexpected large scale anomalies in the sky. Including a large cold region. Stronger fluctuations in one half of the sky than the other. And less light signals than expected across the entire sky.”
    Planck spokesman: “When we look at only the large features on this (CMBR) map you find that our find that our best fitting theory (inflation) has a problem fitting the data.”
    “Planck launched in 2009,, is the 3rd mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background to date. While these unusual features in the sky were hinted at the two previous US missions, COBE and WMAP, Planck’s ability to measure the tiniest of fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background has made these so called anomalies impossible to ignore.”
    Planck spokesman: “Because of these features that we are finding in the sky, people really are in a situation now where they cannot ignore them any more. ,,, We’ve established them (the anomalies) as fact!”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2CWaLU6eMI

    Moreover, what is curious about some of these ‘anomalies’ in the CMBR (that cannot be explained by the ‘simple’ inflation model of materialists), is that these ‘anomalies’ in the Cosmic Background Radiation also strangely line up with the earth and solar system.

    What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil? – February 17, 2015
    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation contains small temperature fluctuations.
    When these temperature fluctuations are analyzed using image processing techniques (specifically spherical harmonics), they indicate a special direction in space, or, in a sense, an axis through the universe. This axis is correlated back to us, and causes many difficulties for the current big bang and standard cosmology theories. What has been discovered is shocking.
    Two scientists, Kate Land and João Magueijo, in a paper in 2005 describing the axis, dubbed it the “Axis of Evil” because of the damage it does to current theories, and (tongue in cheek) as a response to George Bush’ Axis of Evil speech regarding Iraq, Iran and, North Korea.
    (Youtube clip on site)
    In the above video, Max Tegmark describes in a simplified way how spherical harmonics analysis decomposes the small temperature fluctuations into more averaged and spatially arranged temperature components, known as multipoles.
    The “Axis of Evil” correlates to the earth’s ecliptic and equinoxes, and this represents a very unusual and unexpected special direction in space, a direct challenge to the Copernican Principle.
    http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/evil-axis-evil/

    At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist who specializes in this area of study, finally admits, post Planck 2013, that the CMBR anomalies do indeed line up with the earth and solar system

    “Thoughtcrime: The Conspiracy to Stop The Principle” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0eVUSDy_rO0#t=832

    Here is an excellent clip from “The Principle” that explains all of these ‘anomalies’ that line up with earth and solar system in an easy to understand manner.

    Cosmic Microwave Background Proves Intelligent Design (disproves Copernican principle) (clip of “The Principle”) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htV8WTyo4rw

    In other words, the “tiny temperature variations” in the CMBR, (from the large scale structures in the universe, to the earth and solar system themselves), reveal teleology, (i.e. a goal directed purpose, a plan, a reason), that specifically included the earth from the start. ,,, The earth, from what our best science can now tell us, is not some random cosmic fluke (and/or some random quantum fluctuation) as atheists had presupposed.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/our-solar-system-is-a-lot-rarer-than-it-was-a-quarter-century-ago/#comment-669546
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-ever-cycling-universe-cycles-back-to-town/#comment-682338

  24. 24
    Axel says:

    @ Your #21, KF :
    ‘…. their (the little ones’) angels look on the face of God at all times.’ It’s not difficult to believe, is it ? Like little jewels, humming-birds- except, somehow, radiant. And, of course, the only one’s with perfect intellectual integrity : they want to know the truth about everything they can ‘get a handle on’. Period. The world and its Epsteins hasn’t yet darkened their vision. Apparently, the very high-status ring of paedophiles is extremely large – many thousands strong. But I believe it would always have been so – though today’s pornography cannot have improved matters. Mammon-worship, plus Moloch worship, seem to have destroyed the US.

    Yes, of course, the media have given so much exra power to the rulers of tjis world, if we did not have Christ, now in our faith and forever, it would all be very depressing. Isn’t history largely a chronicle of the ministrations of psychopaths (with a sprinkling of sociopaths and misguided souls, right up to the present day)?

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel,

    We do forget the angels. What a lovely image.

    Sunday, I sat next to a little Haitian boy and just behind another. Mommy for no 1 was helping to lead the service. I yet remember her wedding, as they had to do the vows in French and English. Bravely, she answered in English, I do, I will. And now a lovely little boy was next to me, with his God Mother on the other side. In front, the other little boy — both were sleeping — was next to his mom, another lovely Haitian lady. I could see how she positively glowed.

    If moms aren’t angels they should be.

    And what struck me was how I was watching living jewels, precious. And, there is scripture that talks of us as living stones built as a growing Temple, founded on and aligned with our Cornerstone.

    One of the horrors of our age is our violation of the precious, the innocent. Our transmutation of the beautiful and holy into the ugly, the twisted, the frustrated from rightful end, the evil, the downright demonic.

    And what happened with and around Mr Epstein is as solid a proof as can be that there is something rotten in the heart of our civilisation.

    It were better that a millstone . . .

    KF

  26. 26
    Axel says:

    Yes, KF, it’s all front and centre, now, isn’t it. Can’t watch film on the box now, without finding yourself watching a couple going at it like knives.

    But how strange that you should remark : ‘If moms aren’t angels they should be’, as I was only thinking this morning’, in relation to this thread, I wonder if mothers realise how incredibly lovingly, to what a privileged height, God must have created them, to give birth to a tiny, new human bieng and nurture it – to do so, as best they may, preparing them to cope with the world and its wickedness and yet remain ‘other Christs’, for a world in need of their love and wisdom. And to an extent, of course, that goes for fathers : that it is difficult to imagine a more epic and responsible vocation than to bring up a family ; which reminds me of the extraordinarlily perceptive saying of C S Lewis: ‘The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.”

    However, if I am correct in my ‘suspicion’ that women are closer to God the Father in his eternal essence, it should be no surprise that they seem to be literally (in terms of the actual nature of angels as pure spirits) more angelic than us – for better or worse, moreover ! Is there not a greater immediacy, as well as intransigence about their reactions : in their gossip, at least, the first to judge, the first to condemn and the first to transgress ! Also, their general intuitiveness and psychic faculty would suggest a closer proximity to the world of the spirit. So, our testosterone seems to act as something of a damper on those finer, more angelic qualities. Of course, they are all broad generalisations, and no guarantee, in any case, that their angelic nature cannot fall, like that of Lucifer and his hordes angel-demons.

    However, it is worth noting, I believe, that true strength, spiritual strength, is pre-eminently passive, although of course, the grace of courage must surely also play a major role. Weird to read that Christ’s moment of greatest glory on earth was that of his absolute degradation and death on Golgotha – Paul’s evocation of it as a triumphal procession in which he led the vanquished demons as his captives.

    Actually, I am strongly inclined to believe – well, there seem to be indications – that women are closer to God the Father in his eternal essence. They certainly seem to be top-weights in life’s patriarchal handicap, don’t they. I’m reminded of film-star, ballroom dancer of the forties and fifties, Ginger Roger’s ‘bon mot’, to the effect that she had to do everything Fred Astaire did… only backwards.

    Did you ever see the catechesis on the angels by John-Paul II I posted on here a whole back, KF ? I’ll append it anyway, as others would probably find it as fascinating as I did. Here it is:
    https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/catechesis-on-the-angels-7960

  27. 27
    Axel says:

    ‘From the womb, before the Day-Star have I begotten you.’
    – the mysterious ‘uterus eternum’, referred to in Psalm 109 (110)

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    Interesting who are not here.

  29. 29
    Ed George says:

    KF@25, thank you fore the lovely story of the children and mother.

    Sadly, the horrors of Epstein are not new. I don’t believe that it is any worse (or better) than it was at any time in history. It wasn’t that long ago that pedophiles and rapist were enabled by our cultural attitudes of family shame in the case of pedophilia and blame the victim in the case of rape. It wasn’t that many years ago that a husband could not be charged for raping his wife.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, I haven’t said this is worse than say Rome in the days of Caligula then Nero; something we must never return to. What I have taken is that Epstein was clearly a trafficking node, actually grooming and “breaking in” some key victims (possibly with one or more confederates, at least one being female) then trafficked onwards including a key case that points to the UK upper classes. The implication is, pervading of the elites of our civilisation with a terrible network, today; one that connects directly to the abortion holocaust, ongoing perversion of law and usurpation by judges of unilateral Constitution over-ruling power, evident corruption of legislatures and media houses that now routinely resort to tactics of media-amplified reputation lynching by groundless or ill-founded accusation and and worse — the corrupting influence of blood guilt is patent. In answer, I put on the table the principle that there is a manifest, built-in law that governs us, starting from our intellects and extending to civil society and government; a law of our morally governed nature which we did not create nor can we change. One, that also points, like a compass-needle, to the roots of reality and the implication that the source of worlds, given such morally governed creatures, must be a necessary [independent] being that is both inherently good and utterly wise, with capability to cause and sustain a world. However, while I have responded to your assertions to provide a degree of balance, that is not what this thread is about; the Carroll assertion is on the table with all that it implies, when it has to give an account before the bar of comparative difficulties. KF

  31. 31
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, I haven’t said this is worse than say Rome in the days of Caligula then Nero;

    My point is that I don’t think it is any worse than it was in the 19th or 20th centuries. The tools used are certainly different (internet, etc. ), but I see no evidence that the relative numbers and severity of these crimes has changed over the last couple centuries.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, trends obviously picked up across the 1960’s. By the 1970’s we had destabilisation of economic trends too. More importantly, we saw in the 70’s the rising tide of the central moral cancer of our civilisation, which you and others refuse to acknowledge: the ongoing abortion holocaust of at least 800+ millions in 40+ years and mounting at another million per week. The associated blood guilt taints and warps everything else, now looking like it is ready to go critical. Associated, we saw the undermining of the natural law foundation for justice as criterion for law and government, opening the door for the rising tide of legal nihilism, further tied to radical secularist humanism and atheism as a mass phenomenon, further gutting foundations of moral law and restraint. No wonder, all sorts of manifest perversities and pathologies are demanding to become the driving force of law and government. It is in this context that we can look at Mr Carroll’s remarks as reflective of a common feeling among the so-called progressivist elites. It drips with contempt towards the benighted who imagine they can know what “WE” know does not exist — which, as God is a serious candidate necessary being — implies that they think God is impossible of being. A serious NB candidate will either be impossible as a square circle is impossible or else it will be actual, as part of framework for any world to be. And that burden of warrant has never been met.* Carroll’s assertion reflects ignorance of philosophy, which of course such often despise once they swallow scientism, and that ignorance comes back like a boomerang. It is time to call the bluff. KF

    * PS: Yes, I imply that we have every good reason to see God as credibly possible of being, and therefore actual by force of serious candidacy to be a necessary being. Your credible alternative candidate for a world-source and world framing root of being capable of soundly grounding morally governed, rational, responsible, significantly free creatures is ______ and your warrant for said is _________ . Where, your grounds for impossibility of God are ____ or else your grounds that he is not a serious candidate NB are _______ .

  33. 33
    ET says:

    kairosfocus- Have you noticed that Ed’s “arguments” are the exact same as Brian’s?

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Horses from the same stables.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    ET says:

    Same horse, only the mane has changed. 😀

  37. 37
    john_a_designer says:

    If my memory is serving me correctly Ed George, Brother Brian and Hazel all showed up here at UD about the same time. When was that? Maybe Ed, if he is really on the up and up, can tell us. Can anyone else remember?

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    Riddle me this, riddle me that, guess me this riddle and p’rhaps not: If you clone a horse, what is the relationship between the two horses?

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, a better focus. If ever there were utter nothing, such would forever obtain. If a world is, something always was, causally adequate to account for it. Including, rational, free, responsible, morally governed creatures. This is an independent, necessary being world root of moral character and adequate in knowledge and power to be source and sustainer of a world. In this context, the better suggestion is that God is a serious candidate to be that world root, and that there is no good reason to hold him impossible of being. That insight dramatically shifts the credibility of the view that God is. KF

  40. 40
    hazel says:

    I’ve been here for almost a year, off and on, but mostly off now, FWIW. I am sure it is easy to see that I am me and not one of those other two people.

  41. 41
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, trends obviously picked up across the 1960’s.

    I think you might be falsely extrapolating an increase in reporting to an increase in actual incidents. For example, pedophilia is most frequently perpetrated by a family member or a person in some level of authority (eg teacher, scout leader, priest, etc). Before the 60s and 70s, when these crimes were found out, the police were almost never called. The family, or church, or scouting, would make efforts to cover it up. If you have any real evidence that pedophilia, or the manipulation and pressuring of young women into having sex is actually increasing, I would love to see it.

    Weinstein just did what movie producers have been doing since the advent of talkies. It is heard about more today because women in society have been fighting for, and getting, more power, and society has started to listen.

    The increased reporting of these things is a sign that society is no longer tolerating the abuse of women, not a sign of a decline of civilization.

  42. 42
    hazel says:

    Good points, Ed.

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, have you forgotten the fundamental transformations or even “revolutions” that happened as the dominant baby boom generation came of age? This was the time when the so-called sexual/free love revolution happened, and things that went with it. It was when the push that culminated in the abortion holocaust happened. It was when the crimes of Stalin et al were forgotten (and those of Mao were studiously ignored). It was when the geostrategic tide of WW3 — the so called cold war — shifted to the Communists, leading in the next decade to a massive surge in the global S that looked un-stoppable until John Paul II, Blonie Fields, Thatcher and Reagan came together in a critical mass as we went into the 80’s. It was the point when existentialism was king. It was the point where the elites of our civilisation began the radical secularist atheistically driven push, taking advantage of a new, powerful mass broadcast medium, television . . . especially colour television with several dominant channels; the point when post-literacy entered. They rode piggyback on unrest over Vietnam to try to discredit the traditional order. And much more. It was the obvious kairos, and we can now see that at that juncture our civilisation failed. Today, we reap the consequences. We were not born yesterday — I have to flag the obvious attempt to distract us at that level: history, cultural agendas and worldviews, geostrategics, major spiritual trends and turning points. Likewise, the distractor from the cat out the bag admission by Carroll and the answer that pivots on logic of being, roots of reality and the crucial fact that reality includes morally governed creatures. KF

  44. 44
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    Good points, Ed.

    Thank you. Where KF sees a decline in civilization I see a civilization fighting to better itself. Obviously there are going to be some bumps along the way as we learn how to deal with new technology or the granting of new rights. But if you don’t try, you don’t improve.

    KF’s idealized civilization never existed, and never will. The terrible sixties that KF speaks of was also the birth of real equality for women, of the civil rights movement, of not blindly accepting what the government, or the priest, was saying. I would much rather live in today’s society, in spite of its many problems, than return to one where men could legally rape their wives, where women who were raped were “asking for it”, where homosexuals were persecuted and often prosecuted, where there were institutional and family cover ups of pedophilia, where women were often pressured into having sex in order to get or keep a job.

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, a strawman is a case of a red herring. I have never spoken to a golden age, but I have spoken to a point where our civilisation failed. Zooming back a little, the British Empire similarly failed in the thirty one years from 1914 to 1945. Was that Empire ideal? No. But did its failure carry sobering consequences, yes. Again, across the 60’s our civilisation failed, and the abortion holocaust of 800+ millions and mounting at another million per week is the strongest single proof of it. So is the refusal to face it and acknowledge that A is A. That also resets your credibility to judge of such issues to nil. A genuine litmus test, failed. Likewise, it is almost amusing to see the studious avoidance of the pivotal issue put on the table through the title, much less the OP. Fail, again. KF

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Let us refresh our memories, from the title: >>Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?>> This is a serious issue of civilisational import. In the OP, I answered Carroll. Let us take it for granted that UD is always under hostile, obsessive scrutiny, so the sort of rhetoric of distraction above speaks volumes.

  47. 47
    Ed George says:

    KF

    I have never spoken to a golden age,…

    That is true, but you clearly believe that civilization before the 60s was better than it is now. It is this assertion that I disagree with. We live longer, infant mortality is lower, there is no state or western country where inter-racial marriages are illegal, women can no longer be legally prevented from jobs, hitting and raping your wife is now illegal, you can no longer be jailed for having sex with someone of the same sex, teens who get pregnant are no longer required to leave their schools, women now have access to birth control, you can no longer be jailed for blasphemy, blacks can now eat in any restaurant and don’t have to sit at the back of the bus. The same cannot be said for any time before the 60s.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    your distractions and strawman tactics continue, proof positive that you have no cogent answer to the central issue on the table as summed up by Sean Carroll, ideological imposition of atheism dressed up in a lab coat and claiming to be knowledge: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?

    As for your strawman, maybe it has not registered that by refusing to acknowledge and address the central evil of our time, that across the 1960’s our civilisation was moved to the point that in the 1970’s it undertook the worst — and ongoing — holocaust in history, 800+ million (with another million victims per week) you make yourself into a poster-child of the problem of absurd moral blindness and rampant evil demonstrating that our civilisation has failed, decisively failed. There is a right term for this, echoing the indictment of Germany by the White Rose martyrs: enabling of holocaust.

    You therefore show that you have no credibility to soundly address any matter like this.

    At this point, the only thing that can work is a profound reformation, but that is precisely what every muscle and sinew of the radical secularists is straining to block. The likely consequences are sobering, starting with the leading nation in the civilisation, the USA.

    Which, is already in low kinetic, 4th generation civil war with emphasis on street theatre, media amplified agit prop [that makes darkness seem light and light darkness] and linked lawfare that is currently wrecking principles of sound government and those of the civil peace of justice (such as protection of the innocent, starting with life but extending to freedom of conscience, expression and the right to innocent reputation etc, including the matter of bankrupting process as a way of crushing the targetted, whose reputations have been trashed . . . and including media amplified 4 am Cheka- style SWAT team arrests etc . . . ); leading to fatal disaffection.

    Much of that, pivoting on sustaining the holocaust of our living posterity in the womb; where mass blood guilt like this is infinitely worse than the shadow of even racism — a point that is routinely suppressed. For shame.

    Where will we go to cleanse ourselves from the rivers of innocent blood we have shed through the abortion holocaust?

    A holocaust in material part enabled through the amorality and implicit nihilism of evolutionary materialism, scientism and the implication of radical relativisation of truth, knowledge, law, justice, doing the right.

    So, the willful blindness we see is utterly, utterly telling.

    KF

    PS: And it is not as though we were not warned. Again, here is Plato in The Laws, Bk X, 2350+ years ago:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As for the rhetorical and agit prop antics we see being mindlessly echoed and amplified all across our civilisation [with the USA in the shameful and utterly foolish lead], Plato also warned against such in his parable of the ship of state. For, 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)

    Again, the lessons of sound history were bought with blood and tears. Those who neglect, reject, refuse to learn and heed them doom themselves to pay in the same terrible coin over and over again.

    KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: if you want it in shorter terms, here is Jesus of Nazareth, speaking to the self-imagined leading lights of his day, c 30 AD:

    Matt 16:1 Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus [to get something to use against Him], they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven [which would support His divine authority].

    2 But He replied to them,

    “[a]When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and has a threatening look.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but cannot interpret the signs of the times? 4 An evil and [morally] unfaithful generation craves a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of [the prophet] Jonah.”

    Then He left them and went away. [AMP]

    How willfully blind we are to the patent, glaring warning signs of our times!

    And again, the prophet Isaiah, 700+ years before that:

    Isa 5:18 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood,
    And sin as if with cart ropes [towing their own punishment];
    19 Who say, “Let Him move speedily, let Him expedite His work [His promised vengeance], so that we may see it;
    And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel approach
    And come to pass, so that we may know it!”

    20 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
    Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

    21 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes
    And clever and shrewd in their own sight!
    22 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are heroes at drinking wine
    And men of strength in mixing intoxicating drinks,
    23 Who justify the wicked and acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    And take away the rights of those who are in the right!

    24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble [from straw]
    And the dry grass collapses into the flame,
    So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away like fine dust;
    Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts
    And despised and discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    We cannot say we were not warned long since.

    KF

  51. 51
    Ed George says:

    KF

    At this point, the only thing that can work is a profound reformation, but that is precisely what every muscle and sinew of the radical secularists is straining to block.

    But I don’t think I have heard what you think the specifics of this reformation would be. Obviously you would criminalize abortion, not that this would stop abortion. Would you criminalize homosexual acts? Contraceptives? Sex for pleasure? Questioning the Bible? I’m really not sure what you want to see happen.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your distractions are over, you have demonstrated that you have no credibility as you cannot cease from enabling holocaust. Further, you have yet to show that you have an adequate worldview basis for moral government and sound law (starting with, moral government of reasoning through the built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free minds). [The just linked also outlines the worldview, policy framework and culture rescue context of the needed reformation — something I have put on the table for years so your projections of imagined Christofascist tyranny and “right wing” theocracy have no merit to the point of being snidely defamatory by way of setting up a strawman target. Shame on you!] It is clearly established that the 1960’s mark a break in our civilisation, the point where it failed and can only recover through profound reformation that resolves our guilt of the river of innocent blood of 800+ million unborn children, marking the worst holocaust in history — a holocaust we are continuing to enable to this very day. That is ended, guilty as charged. Now, the focus returns to that which you have strained every nerve to distract from, once I drew attention a day ago to the telling silence of inveterate objectors. Again, cat out of the bag by Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really? Your answer is ________, and your response to how this abundantly corroborates concerns over Lewontin’s, the US NSTA-NAS, etc endorsement of lab coat clad imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism is: _______ The silence so far speaks, tellingly. KF

    PS: Just for record, here is Lewontin’s notorious cat out of the bag moment:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    That is the clear, underlying ideological context for Mr Carroll’s foolish, ill-advised knowledge claim. A claim that fails to address the impact of our moral government combined with the logic of being implication of a finitely remote, necessary being root of reality and source of all worlds. As a reminder, I clip 32 above, documenting what you would duck by using red herring tactics that in the end only serve to enable the continuing rivers of innocent blood shed through the abortion holocaust:

    we can look at Mr Carroll’s remarks as reflective of a common feeling among the so-called progressivist elites. It drips with contempt towards the benighted who imagine they can know what “WE” know does not exist — which, as God is a serious candidate necessary being — implies that they think God is impossible of being. A serious NB candidate will either be impossible as a square circle is impossible or else it will be actual, as part of framework for any world to be. And that burden of warrant has never been met.* Carroll’s assertion reflects ignorance of philosophy, which of course such often despise once they swallow scientism, and that ignorance comes back like a boomerang. It is time to call the bluff. KF

    * PS: Yes, I imply that we have every good reason to see God as credibly possible of being, and therefore actual by force of serious candidacy to be a necessary being. Your credible alternative candidate for a world-source and world framing root of being capable of soundly grounding morally governed, rational, responsible, significantly free creatures is ______ and your warrant for said is _________ . Where, your grounds for impossibility of God are ____ or else your grounds that he is not a serious candidate NB are _______ .

  53. 53
    hazel says:

    Ok, God exists. Now what? What are your practical ideas for reforming civilization. That is the question Ed is asking: why is it a “distraction” to ask it when you spend thousands of words telling us how bad things are?

  54. 54
    hazel says:

    I retract post 53, as I know it is pointless to ask. Good luck, Ed.

  55. 55
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Obviously you would criminalize abortion, not that this would stop abortion.

    Murder is already criminalized. Obviously people are just stupid and will end up doing whatever they want.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Ok, God exists. Now what?What are your practical ideas for reforming civilization.

    Get people to listen to God’s Words, duh.

    That is the question Ed is asking:

    Is Ed too stupid to ask it?

  57. 57
    john_a_designer says:

    It is very unfair to us who have been commenting off and on here for 10+ years to have to continuously deal with trolls, drive-bys and sock puppets who have absolutely no obligation to be honest and truthful. But apparently, that is what Seversky believes. He even cites a couple examples from the Bible that he thinks supports that view:

    “The midwives deliberately deceived Pharaoh—and God appears to reward them for it.” (Exod. 1:17–21)

    “Rahab communicated a falsehood to protect the spies—and is apparently applauded for it.” (Josh. 2:1–7; cf. Heb. 11:31).

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-materialist-fundamentalists-are-like-islamic-fundamentalists/#comment-684699

    Barry gives a response @ #2 and #9.

    I give a very succinct answer @ #10.

    I think there is a difference between what I call “rule absolutism” and moral objectivism. You don’t have to accept rule absolutism to be a moral objectisivist. Indeed, I would argue that morality is not based on some written code but on our moral conscience which has been written on the hearts of all human beings by the Creator. See Paul’s comments about this is Romans chapter 2.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-materialist-fundamentalists-are-like-islamic-fundamentalists/#comment-684758

    Of course, Paul goes on to argue in Romans 3 that we are morally fallible. We don’t always do what we know is right. (Which is why we need a written code or laws. I think it was James Madison who said if men were angels they wouldn’t need laws or government.)

    While there may be extraordinary circumstance which force exceptions to the so-called rules, 99.9% of the time we are obligated to tell the truth. There are some strong pragmatic arguments that confirm this truth about Truth. Telling truth is critical to the functioning of society. Consider how important it is when it comes to finance and business, government and law enforcement as well as personal relationships. Indeed, if you a conscious human being with a conscience you know this is true because it is self-evidently true.

    However, materialistic atheists (like Ruse, Dawkins, Dennett, Provine…Rosenberg [and Sean Carroll] etc.) have no basis for either epistemological or moral truth. There is no capital-T Truth according to them (I can provide their quotes if you wish.) But how can you trust someone who doesn’t believe there is such a thing as moral truth? Morality is useless unless there is some kind of real and binding interpersonal moral obligations. Obligations are not subjective personal preferences. For example, we are obligated to tell the truth whether it advances our self-interest or not. Obligations also demand that there is some kind of interpersonal moral standard which more than one person MUST admit is the right, correct and true standard. The materialist atheist has no reason to accept such a standard. So what reason would anyone have to believe that he (or she) is able to treat other honestly and fairly? How. for example, can you have an honest and fair discussion on-line about morality if you don’t feel you have a personal obligation to be truthful? I don’t see how you can or ever could.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-materialist-fundamentalists-are-like-islamic-fundamentalists/#comment-684864
    I succinctly summarize my argument @ #14:

    [T]he underlying concept or key question is this: Is morality based on a set of rules that are written down somewhere OR are “the rules” based on a moral standard that transcends space, time and culture?

    An “objective” and honest look at human history strongly suggests it’s the latter not the former. For example, no one today would defend the U.S. Supreme Court’s dreadful 1857 Dred Scott decision as being morally just (it was effectively overturned by the 13th and 14th amendment after a civil war that took 600,000 lives.) In other words, even the so called Supreme Court is fallible.

    Of course, that raises the question what is the ultimate source of the transcendent moral standard?

    Again, as human beings we are all morally fallible. That’s not an opinion. It’s the self-evident and honest Truth. But apparently Ed and Hazel don’t think so.

  58. 58
    hazel says:

    I certainly believe that human beings are morally fallible, and have no idea why JAD thinks I don’t.

  59. 59
    john_a_designer says:

    Why should I, or anyone else, care at all what you believe and think, Hazel?

  60. 60
    hazel says:

    Why should anyone care what anyone else thinks, JAD?

    But anyway, that’s a typical reply by you, so I think a strong case can be made that there is no reason for me to care what you think.

    Therefore,

    a) we shouldn’t interact with each other, as you obviously have no interest in any possibly constructive discussion, and

    b) I should ignore anything you have to say about me.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel,

    If I had not taken time to repeatedly link an extended discussion that sits in a context that starts with worldview roots then argues onward step by step up to civilisation transformation — starting with the OP itself, I would take your objection and that of EG above more seriously. As it is, the two of you have simply managed to set up and knock over strawman caricatures yet again. Meanwhile, we can duly note that — i/l/o years of objections along the lines of how dare you cite Lewontin et al — that the substantial issue set up in the caption of the OP and answered through that OP is of course dodged yet again. Telling.

    Anyway, out of concern for those caught up in ever so much of modern agit prop, media amplification, lawfare and the like, I will speak to certain issues i/l/o the already linked and the set of informational graphics in the F/N I just added to the OP. Observe, the first chart, showing how business as usual (entrenched through the balance of power) can become ruinous, stubbornly ruinous in the teeth of warning signs. Thus we see the possibility of being caught up in an ideological Plato’s Cave world (and/or a suicidally mutinous ship of state world], creating the Overton Window challenge. Namely, how to move to a sounder worldview. Where,

    WORLDVIEW + ASSOCIATED CULTURAL AGENDA = IDEOLOGY

    IDEOLOGY + POWER = REGIME (AND ITS BUSINESS AS USUAL TREND LINE)

    So, recognising the reality of God as world root and as credible is a key first step to reform. Where, kindly, note, such does not so much turn on a design inference but instead starts from recognising logic of being, world roots and the implications of our being morally governed, responsible, rational, significantly free creatures.

    That changes the context in which we can look at civilisation structure i/l/o the helpful seven mountains of influence model. This equips us to be open to a sounder path without having to crash over a cliff, breaking our civilisation.

    The path currently being stoutly resisted, in the USA already manifesting breakdown of its Constitutional order and coming out as low kinetic 4th generation civil war. Having lived through an unacknowledged, ruinous civil war in 1979 – 80, I note that until major shooting starts, civil wars are unacknowledged these days. (For that matter, major fighting began in 1775, the DoI and beyond was over a year later. Similarly, things were spinning out of control across the 1850’s in the USA, too.)

    Now, observe the most complex chart, a political spectrum framework, with three scales: leadership, state power, lawfulness. Up to roughly the 1680’s or so, we did not have a literate public with sufficient access to news and thought/analysis to form a public with significant policy opinion, government was a matter of elites and one hoped for a reasonably balanced oligarchy that took a body of just law seriously. But the invention of metal movable type printing for alphabetic scripts, c 1440 – 50, then rise of newspapers and cheap handbills (& tracts etc), spreading of literacy [note here], presence of the Bible in the vernacular and aspects of the Reformation opened up new space. Thus the rise of modern Constitutional Democracy and linked concepts of rights, freedom and more.

    Onward, we see libertarianism and its hope for minimal government. Anarchy or the State of Nature have always been there as a repeller pole. That is what drove people to forfeit freedom to gain protective order.

    But, rights, justice, duty, law are all tied to moral government and built in laws of our nature starting with known duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc. What is being undermined — from Plato in The Laws Bk X, yet again — through the rise of evolutionary materialistic scientism and linked radical secularism, relativism, subjectivism, amorality and nihilism. Down that road lies disorder and a snap-back into the vortex of tyranny.

    The cliff.

    So, how do we find a sounder solution?

    Through recognising that we are morally governed by our nature and what that points to. So, we have a framework that law pivots on justice, not power and propaganda. With the ongoing holocaust and accelerating chaos as exhibits A and B.

    In that context, responsible reformation starts by restoring soundness. This requires an approach that repudiates the implicit nihilism of legal positivism and restores soundness. For example, our living posterity in the womb have a clear right to life. On this, what has happened is so bad that we need a global truth and reconciliation commission.

    After this, we need to restore from lawlessness in legislatures, the executive and the judiciary. To do so, principles of justice and accountability of law before justice will have to be restored. Things like, justice duly balances rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Like, to justly claim a right, one must show oneself manifestly in the right, i/l/o the principles of our morally governed nature. And such like.

    That will call for media reform too. In the USA, it is clear that defamation protections have been dangerously undermined (unsurprisingly, the 1960’s are implicated here too). This has drastically undermined the right to innocent reputation, leading to misgovernment by accusation and piling on.

    Much more is indicated, such as restoration of a sustainable scale of government. The Laffer-Rahm-Armey analysis of Government, growth and GDP is sobering. It is likely that the long term growth and stability macimising point may be 15 – 25% of GDP. A number that has been so far exceeded in many cases as to be ludicrous.

    And more.

    But first, our thinking has to be set straight starting from world roots.

    KF

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, God’s words start with the known duties of responsible reason: to truth, right reason, sound conscience, prudence, justice etc. This then extends to civil society through the civil peace of justice. And too many today are unaware that gospel ethics endorses core natural law insights, e.g. Rom 2: “14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do [c]instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the [d]essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them.” KF

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, some serious considerations. KF

    PS: This is especially pivotal:

    materialistic atheists (like Ruse, Dawkins, Dennett, Provine…Rosenberg [and Sean Carroll] etc.) have no basis for either epistemological or moral truth. There is no capital-T Truth according to them (I can provide their quotes if you wish.) But how can you trust someone who doesn’t believe there is such a thing as moral truth? Morality is useless unless there is some kind of real and binding interpersonal moral obligations. Obligations are not subjective personal preferences. For example, we are obligated to tell the truth whether it advances our self-interest or not. Obligations also demand that there is some kind of interpersonal moral standard which more than one person MUST admit is the right, correct and true standard. The materialist atheist has no reason to accept such a standard. So what reason would anyone have to believe that he (or she) is able to treat other honestly and fairly? How. for example, can you have an honest and fair discussion on-line about morality if you don’t feel you have a personal obligation to be truthful? I don’t see how you can or ever could.

    Now, i/l/o Plato in The Laws Bk X, tie it to:

    we can look at Mr Carroll’s remarks as reflective of a common feeling among the so-called progressivist elites. It drips with contempt towards the benighted who imagine they can know what “WE” know does not exist — which, as God is a serious candidate necessary being — implies that they think God is impossible of being. A serious NB candidate will either be impossible as a square circle is impossible or else it will be actual, as part of framework for any world to be. And that burden of warrant has never been met.* Carroll’s assertion reflects ignorance of philosophy, which of course such often despise once they swallow scientism, and that ignorance comes back like a boomerang. It is time to call the bluff. KF

    * PS: Yes, I imply that we have every good reason to see God as credibly possible of being, and therefore actual by force of serious candidacy to be a necessary being. Your credible alternative candidate for a world-source and world framing root of being capable of soundly grounding morally governed, rational, responsible, significantly free creatures is ______ and your warrant for said is _________ . Where, your grounds for impossibility of God are ____ or else your grounds that he is not a serious candidate NB are _______ .

  64. 64
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is a quote I found a couple of years ago that is worth repeating again here.
    Many atheists are forced to concede that at best, according to their worldview, morals are just subjective preferences. For example,

    Bertrand Russell said… “I cannot see how to refute the arguments for the subjectivity of ethical values, but I find myself incapable of believing that all that is wrong with wanton cruelty is that I don’t like it.” In Russell’s atheistic world all values are subjective and the only thing that could possibly be wrong with wanton cruelty (or pedophilia, for that matter) is that he doesn’t like it. Ruse understands the dilemma quite well. A subjective system of morality is nothing more than a rickety shack with no foundation; it will collapse in the first good wind:

    “But it [morality] is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down…very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer.

    How then do we escape this seemingly intractable problem? Ruse offers us his solution:

    So morality has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective… Because that is what morality demands of us. It is bigger than the both of us. It is laid upon us and we must accept it, just like we must accept that 2+2=4. [emphasis added]

    https://www.algemeiner.com/2012/01/03/atheism-and-pedophilia-part-ii-the-incoherent-moral-philosophy-of-michael-ruse/

    So it’s like the placebo effect. But how effective is a placebo if everyone knows it’s a placebo?

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, sobering, again — and precisely what Plato warned against in The Laws, Bk X. Worse, in the frequently linked in this thread, I show that our intellectual faculties are morally governed, so the rot automatically extends to reasoning. If our duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc collapse into subjective emotions and delusions of objectivity, then reason itself is utterly discredited, is reduced to absurdity. But of course, the objectors try to suggest this is a mere fallacious appeal to dislike of consequences and/or a slippery slope. That is how they can live amidst the manifest, appalling consequences of absurdity emerging on the ground and try to argue that things are progressing nicely. The bottom-line remains: dismiss the objectivity of moral government and you undermine rationality itself as — since we are free creatures [a necessity of being rational!] — rationality is itself inescapably morally governed. This then extends to law in community, that is how we get to lawlessness, nihilism and blatant party-spirited corruption under false colour of law. Cicero was right, at core law is highest reason that expresses moral government and we may freely add,it is in defence of the civil peace of justice. KF

  66. 66
    john_a_designer says:

    How do we know a moral relativist or subjectivist is being honest when he (or she) is the one who sets the standards of honesty? It’s one thing if he sets standard for himself. It’s quite another when he tries to impose his personal standards on everyone else. In other words, if he makes the claim he is being honest in an interpersonal way he can only do so by using a standard beside his own personal standard but that undermines his moral subjectivist claims (proving that it is completely irrational.) This is why I try to avoid getting involved in discussions with moral subjectivists. It would be a total waste of time.

    Again as I have said before, we could not have a functioning society without an interpersonal standard of truth and honest. The courts, criminal justice, government, business and commerce etc. all depend on it.

  67. 67
    Ed George says:

    KF

    So, recognising the reality of God as world root and as credible is a key first step to reform.

    Which sets up the first impassable roadblock in your path to a moral and sustainable society. What God is this world root? Christian, Jewish. Muslim? The Greek Gods, the Norse gods? The Hindu Gods? The Sikh God? The Incan Gods? Or one of the hundreds of deities that have been worshipped.

    And even if we can narrow it down to one, which variation/sect/cult under the selected God is the right interpretation? Even within Christianity this varies from the acceptance of same sex marriage, limited abortion, divorce and access to birth control, to others where there is a complete prohibition of all of these.

    To simply say that the only way is to live a life according to God’s teachings is a non-started as there is no agreement as to what that means.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, did you notice, that our context above is logic of being rather than any particular tradition? That should be a first clue as to where your thought errs. That you imagine that the small-g gods of paganism come even close to a necessary being root of reality is a second clue; where, to adequately account for morally governed, rational, responsible creatures, such a NB-WR will need to be inherently good and utterly wise as well as having power to be a source and sustainer of worlds. (And yes, echoing OP, this leads to the thought-bridge from logic of being [ontology], world roots and the like to philosophical and systematic theology.) From that point, your knock over the strawman caricature rhetoric is predictable and utterly fallacious. You would be well advised to think again, starting from logic of being and implications of how even our intellectual life is undeniably governed by duties to truth, right reason, sound conscience, prudence, justice etc. In that context you might find it useful to ponder why — as the repeatedly linked in this thread notes — we have a framework of law that pivots on our morally governed nature. It would then help you to ponder why it is that the foundational Christian teachings specifically endorse core elements of such thought as sound. For example, Paul of Tarsus, Rom 2: “14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do [c]instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the [d]essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witne.ss and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them.” Indeed, in Ch 13, we may also see: “8 . . . he who [unselfishly] loves his neighbor has fulfilled the [essence of the] law [relating to one’s fellowman]. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor [it never hurts anyone]. Therefore [unselfish] love is the fulfillment of the Law.” This, in fact, was historically significant through Canon Hooker and Locke, in setting the context for modern liberty and democratic self-government. KF

    PS: Do I need to explicitly add, regarding the central tainting evil of our time [under false colour of law], that for manifest reasons, the acceptable death-rate for holocaust is zero, not a further million slaughtered globally per WEEK? (Other things follow per the logic of “like unto this . . .” and “how much more . . .” but of course until our compass-sense is fixed and crooked yardsticks are exposed by self-evident plumb lines, we literally cannot think straight.)

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, the radical subjectivist or relativist is incoherent, undermining reason itself; which is inescapably morally governed. After that, all else in his or her scheme is groundless. That is why in my discussion on worldviews I start from the Royce proposition, E = error exists, showing it undeniably true. Simply put, assert ~ E, i.e. it is error to assert E. Oops, E is undeniably, certainly, objectively, self-evidently true. And knowable as such. Relativist and subjectivist schemes that try to undermine or dismiss such, are falsified as a bloc. We may indeed err but knowable, warrantable truth also exists, accurately describing reality. So, we see here part of the road back from the brink. KF

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As a reminder, Locke’s alternative (citing Canon Hooker):

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That 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 . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    Remember, this is the context of the famous 2nd para, US DoI, 1776. Let me cite this, too, by way of reminder:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    KF

  71. 71
    john_a_designer says:

    Notice how Ed and Hazel keep trying to smuggle in the idea moral and social progress. But from where do they get the idea of progress? They won’t tell us– at least I haven’t seen either of them give an explanation but I don’t read everything they write…

    There is no doubt we have seen enormous scientific and technical progress which has resulted in economic progress, longer life spans, more opportunity etc. But, from where did the idea of progress originate? I would argue that is fundamentally a Christian idea. Historically there is also no doubt that the scientific and technological (industrial) revolutions occurred within a Christian milieu.

    However, I think there is a stronger argument that the idea of moral progress and social justice, especially when it comes to concepts like universal human rights, is also, philosophically and historically, a distinctly Christian idea. Even some atheist thinkers agree with me here. For example, philosopher Jürgen Habermas writes:

    “Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.” (Jürgen Habermas – “Time of Transitions”, Polity Press, 2006, pp. 150-151, translation of an interview from 1999).

    http://habermas-rawls.blogspot.....s-and.html

    The idea of universal human rights requires some kind of transcendent standard. But how do we explain how rights and morals can be grounded by a purposeless natural process. By definition any kind of Darwinian or naturalistic evolution is– indeed must be– purposeless. But universal human rights and objective moral values cannot be explained without purpose. Again the key question we’ve asked here at UD over and over again is: how could a purposeless process give rise to purpose? But, not just progress but purpose, meaning and value– everything that makes us human!

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, good questions. I hardly expect they will be answered, even as we can see that the Q’s and issues in the OP have not been cogently addressed either. I suggest that we recognise that mindedness is inescapably morally governed and that this points to the roots of reality. As the OP highlights. KF

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N:

    >> Normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of core, conscience attested morality from the pen of Paul:

    Rom 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . .

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong [NIV, “harm”] to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [ESV]

    Where, John Locke, in grounding modern liberty and what would become democratic self-government of a free people premised on upholding the civil peace of justice, in Ch 2 Sec. 5 of his second treatise on civil Government [c. 1690] cites “the judicious [Anglican canon, Richard] Hooker” from his classic Ecclesiastical Polity of 1594 on, as he explains how the principles of neighbour-love are inscribed in our hearts, becoming evident to the eye of common good sense and reasonableness:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8 and alluding to Justinian’s synthesis of Roman Law in Corpus Juris Civilis that also brings these same thoughts to bear:] as namely, That 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 . . . ] [Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

    We may elaborate on Paul, Locke, Hooker and Aristotle, 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. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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, 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. 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. 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.
    _________________

    * F/N: 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 inter alia.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    KF

  74. 74
    john_a_designer says:

    I have said this before, “for meTruth trumps faith” I’ll abandon my beliefs if someone can prove they are false. But that has to be done with real logic, real evidence and real arguments. Mindless posturing and pretension, taunting or baseless/groundless personal opinions are NOT arguments. They are shallow, hollow uninformed opinions which prove nothing except maybe that the person making such arguments is shallow, hollow and uninformed.

    If atheistic naturalism/materialism is based on reason and “science,” why are our regular interlocutors so afraid in engage us with real evidence based arguments? We know and they know the truth: they don’t have any honest arguments.

    For example, Darwin who was a committed materialist by the time he wrote, Descent of Man, thought at least he could use his theory of natural selection to explain the origins of morality. Nevertheless, it appears that he had to concede that this would lead to moral relativism.

    He writes:

    “If… men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters; and no one would think of interfering.”

    No naturalistic theory of evolution is sufficient to provide a basis or foundation for interpersonal moral obligations or universal human rights. The so called moral atheists who show up here are only moral because they are co-opting a tradition of moral values and human rights which is historically and culturally based Jewish-Christian thinking and belief. Atheistic naturalism/materialism has contributed virtually nothing to the west’s legacy of moral values and human rights.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, what is telling is how we know that UD is subject to constant, hostile scrutiny. For years, the main circle of objectors tried to dismiss for capital example, Lewontin’s remark. Now, we have something in a nutshell that cannot be gamed around — not even the latest stunt, that it is “parody” or “satire” would work. What do we see on the substantial point? Silence. Yes, we see the usual distractors and attempts to turn the latest fashionable perversities and serious [but sexually tinged] disorders into virtues. But no, little or nothing on the substantial issue of a prominent atheism spokesman duly wearing the lab coat and claiming: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” Obviously, that knowledge claim (not to mention its pretended universality [presumably among the scientifically aware]) lacks warrant. Further, once we see that we need a necessary being root of reality at finite remove, and that we are morally governed starting with our minds, then we have a bill of requisites, including inherently good, utterly wise, capable of giving rise to worlds with such creatures. Where, too, a serious candidate necessary being is either incoherent and impossible or else actual. Most interesting to see the obvious balk when the bluff is called. KF

  76. 76
    john_a_designer says:

    There is no doubt that the typical modern secular-progressive accepts some form of Darwinism or Neo-Darwinism without question. However, this creates a dilemma for them and their social justice agenda which like all such agenda’s must be teleological. Darwinism, after all, eschews any kind of teleological thinking– instead, there is just mindless herd-like or tribal group think. On the other hand, the typical secularist grew up in a culture which inherited a world view that was shaped by Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian (so-called western) ideas of progress which are highly teleological. Intentionally or unintentionally they have to co-opt or adapt (with a lot of modification) those ideas to justify their own progressive agenda.

    Probably no world view has a more linear view of history than Jewish-Christian (J-C) theism. Hegel accepted the J-C linear view of history (he was an observant Lutheran) but cast it in more pantheistic terms, where there were no timeless transcendent truths only evolving ever changing kind of “truths.” Hegel saw the flow of history as a constantly changing yet naturally improving one.

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes it this way:

    History, according to Hegel’s metaphysical account, is driven by ideological development. Ideological—and therefore historical—change occurs when a new idea is nurtured in the environment of the old one, and eventually overtakes it. Thus development necessarily involves periods of conflict when the old and new ideas clash.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/progress/

    While modern progressives probably don’t see themselves as Hegelian, via cultural Marxism and various other forms of progressive socialism, it appears to me that Hegel’s ideas have had a profound influence on modern thought. For example, the idea of being “on the right side of history” sounds Hegelian, as does the utopian conceit that modern ideas are superior traditional or ancient ones, so those get rejected automatically as racist, sexist, superstitious etc. However, I doubt that contemporary secular progressives are purists in any kind of theoretical sense. There is no doubt a lot of ad hoc thinking that incorporates the ideas of other thinkers including “thinkers” like Nietzche and Freud. Of course, from what I have seen there is a lot of inconsistency and incoherence with present day secular- progressive thinking. (We see that here with irrational pretension and posturing of trolls, drive-bys and sock puppets who are incapable of putting together logically sound arguments.)

    The agenda of the contemporary secular progressive I think can be understood by three terms they use rhetorically: Progressive (Hegel,) Oppressive (Marx) and Repressive (Freud.) [I’ll comment on these in more detail in later posts.]

    Both Hegel and Marx saw that at times violence (even war) would be needed to achieve societal change. You can readily see why the progressive PC left thinks nothing of employing bullying tactics to bring about their ideas of social justice– and be forewarned they are willing to go further. You can perhaps also see how they can hold to positions that are on one hand culturally and morally relativistic yet implemented years or even month later as new moral absolutes. Think, for example, about how quickly same-sex-marriage has been adopted. BTW as is the case of SSM, as can clearly be seen by following the news accounts, they are not beneath using coercion, even the force of law, to get you to accept their beliefs. Unfortunately, it could get a lot worse.

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, Hegel’s key concept was taken up by Marx and set in the context of a material-economic understanding of historical trajectory. A dominant paradigm and agenda exist but has in it classes that are suppressed: thesis. These find some leadership to pose an anti-thesis, then struggle leads to a “synthesis” or a new order, repeat until in classical Marxist thought the final oppressed class takes over, the proletariat, then a classless society emerges to the golden age. Cultural Marxism recasts in terms of psycho-social identity groups and seems to seek an alphabet soup coalition to overturn class oppression through a long march through institutions. So, every perversity or dysfunction is inverted into a claimed right and democratic institutions are subjected to Plato’s mutiny on the ship of state. Somehow, they forget that Plato’s point was that such ill-conceived, ill-founded power grabs end in a suicidal looter state. He even pointed out that those who take selfish advantage of education are a particular menace, implying that the sound minority are liable to be locked out and derided. Ac 27 gives a concrete case, whereby we see how Mr Moneybags buys his technicos, and funds manipulation into untruth, imprudence and folly leading to ill advised risk and shipwreck: de-mock-racy supplanting democracy . . . and the failure of Athens led to discredit of democracy for 2,000 years, so that only when external equilibrating supports stabilised could it return, leading to widespread freedom. But freedom can decay into ruinous license thence nihilistic imposition through might and manipulation, thus street theatre media amplified through agit prop and lawfare perverting law and enforcement under false colours of law and justice. This is what we collectively seem determined to learn the hard way once again. KF

  78. 78
    Axel says:

    ‘The increased reporting of these things is a sign that society is no longer tolerating the abuse of women, not a sign of a decline of civilization.’
    – Ed

    But, alas, part of its death throes, Eduardo. The evidence of the decline is staggeringly obvious to anyone who grew up after WWI! – during what the French call, ‘les Trente Glorieuses’..

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, we have committed the worst — and ongoing — holocaust in history in the past generation. That alone is proof enough. KF

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: One of the “interesting” responses to Carroll’s article is this:

    I absolutely hate the consciousness arguments made by people like Nagel. He doesn’t want there to be an explanation. He wants the world to remain mystical. Is the reason because it makes life easier to understand because there is something that can’t be understood (equals nothing to understand)? I think so. I think this is a person justifying their ignorance of a subject. Or like so many religious followers, the idea that there is nothing special about nature brings about a stunning and suddenly tangible realization that we really are weak and powerless compared to nature; an idea that they overcome by believing in an all powerful entity that controls the universe and has our back against anything nature can throw at us. It seems like an egotistical defense mechanism to reject that we are not special in any way at all, that we are only more complex.

    Proof of the physical description of consciousness being accurate is in the fact that we (an overwhelming majority anyway) can all identify a specific color or a specific sound or a specific smell, without any corrupted influence from other people.

    The key failure, to understand that computation on a substrate is categorically, necessarily different from rational, free, inference and decision. Reppert has aptly captured the point, as has been noted here at UD over the years, reflecting Lewis:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    The failure to understand that reduction of mind to computation undermines mind, discredits “understand[ing]” and reason etc, including both Mathematics and science, is routinely missed. That is, the system is incoherent and self referential so necessarily false.

    The resort to motive mongering psychological projection and dismissal of the strawman so set up, shows the further error of failing to understand the issue of the ontology of roots of reality, thence, broader logic of being.

    KF

  81. 81
    Axel says:

    Spot on KF. Hideously innumerable, beyond imagination. I’d intended to jest about Sean Carroll’s poor, dear, old granny in County Tipperary being inconsolable he’d turned out to be so incorrigible. But nobody’s going to guffaw at any quip in the context of abortion.

  82. 82
    mike1962 says:

    JAD: Unfortunately, it could get a lot worse.

    Don’t give up your guns.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    M62 (& JAD): Yes, cultural marxism is marxism and marxism has a bad track record of imposing oppression at the hands of the radicals who have grabbed power. I think the notion that such is “liberation” is only sustained by want of understanding radical factions across history. All of this is why I keep on noting that the USA is in low kinetic, 4th gen civil war already. This points back to the pivotal issue of the thread, Carroll’s dubious assertion: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . .” This fails the obvious test, that such claimed general “knowledge” just isn’t there and that, given that God is a serious candidate necessary being world root, either he is impossible of being or is actual. Atheists are nowhere near being able to warrant the first, esp. since Plantinga’s free will defence shot down their go-to, the problem of evil. But, too, the problem of good is there: how do we warrant the good, absent God without falling into nihilistic might and manipulation make ‘good’ ‘right’ ‘true’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ ‘knowledge’ etc. They have no good answers and so we see why radicals in power incline to be extremist. Of course, all along they will project the problem to their targets, as Alinsky advocates. Notice, how objection to their latest fashionable perversity or folly X is predictably X-phobia? As in, they claim to be rational and to have cornered the market on rationality. Objection can only be irrational fear and oppression. Resemblance to recent history, current events and predictable trends is NOT coincidental. What we need instead is reformation rooted in worldview considerations that properly bridge the IS-OUGHT gap, recognising that even our rationality is inescapably morally governed. See 73 above. KF

  84. 84
    john_a_designer says:

    The so-called contemporary secular progressive movement is a dangerous and irrational blend of moral anti-realism (which leads logically to moral relativism and subjectivism) and ideological absolutism spawned by the pseudo-teleology of Marxist-Hegelianism. Again, Darwinian evolution, which most modern secularists still embrace dogmatically, is dys-teleological. There is no intellectually rational or honest basis for any kind of morality, which is culturally or politically binding, based on a belief system which is dys-teleological. So where do modern secular-progressive social-justice warriors get their teleology. They invent it. They make it up whole cloth.

    For example, if moral subjectivism and relativism are true (which, AGAIN, itself is a self-refuting claim) what is the basis for human rights? Where do our rights come from? Many moral subjectivists or anti-realists argue that we are the ones who invent human rights. For example, J.L. Mackie entitled one of his books, Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. Mackie was an advocate (I also believe the inventor) of so-called error theory. However, how can metaethical claims about morality and ethics possibly be true if such statements are ruled in error and therefore false a priori? But that’s what Mackie and others have argued. It follows then there can be no such thing as universal human rights. We should be very concerned where all this is leading, because, the rights you presently believe you have and believe are protected by law can be taken away. So called rights according to the subjectivist and relativist are really ad hoc and arbitrary. But also notice how completely dishonest, disingenuous and hypocritical their position is.

    It seems rather pointless reason with a person who does not understand basic logic. Self-refuting and contradictory propositions cannot possibly be true. That’s a self-evident truth.

    Why should I, or anyone else trust, a person who has no true and “objective” basis, therefore, no real belief or respect for human rights? Unfortunately this kind of thinking is becoming more widespread and ingrained in in western European and U.S. culture.

    Former U.S. prosecutor Andrew McCarthy observes:

    “What the vestiges of Western civilization are coming to: I say something that is true; it hurts your feelings, so — of course — you blow up a building; and it’s my fault.”

  85. 85
    john_a_designer says:

    How does Freud relate to all of this?

    My theory is that after World War 2 the modern secular-progressive movement co-opted concepts from Freudian psychology and turned it into an ideology. The evidence? Freudian terms like repression, projection, guilt complex and phobia’s– like the pejorative “homophobia”– which have been all co-opted as part of the left’s ideological vocabulary.

    A couple of key passages to understanding this ideological shift come out of Freud’s book, Civilization and Its Discontents.

    “Thus we know of two origins of the sense of guilt: one arising from fear of an authority, and the other, later on, arising from fear of the super-ego. The first insists upon a renunciation of instinctual satisfactions; the second, as well as doing this, presses for punishment, since the continuance of the forbidden wishes cannot be concealed from the super-ego.”

    Freud also says that a person’s sense of guilt grows out of not simply having “done the bad thing but has only recognised in himself an intention to do it…”

    A Christian-theist, on the other hand, would argue that our existential sense of guilt or moral conscience comes from God, therefore there is an objective moral standard that transcends time and culture. Of course, this standard can be distorted and perverted by culture and society, nevertheless, there is an unchangeable moral standard. Freud however was an atheist and rejected the idea of a transcendent moral standard. Our moral standards thus come from society and therefore are human inventions. And since they are human inventions they are subject to modification, change and improvement. Therefore, the traditional and archaic religious based moral standards, which they believe are the source of that guilt, must be suppressed and destroyed. Thus we have a secular-progressive group think which evolved out of the idea of autonomous individual freedom (so-called sexual liberation) and has mutated into a new kind of authoritarianism.

    Unfortunately, Christians are guilty of abdicating their responsibility of preaching about sin and guilt. Yes, the gospel means good news but it is only good news for those recognise that they have a problem. Sometimes love means tough love confronting out fellow sinners with their sin and guilt.

    “I suspect that the reader has the impression that our discussions on the sense of guilt disrupt the framework of this essay: that they take up too much space, so that the rest of its subject-matter, with which they are not always closely connected, is pushed to one side. This may have spoilt the structure of my paper; but it corresponds faithfully to my intention to represent the sense of guilt as the most important problem in the development of civilization and to show that the price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.” p. 81

    Ironically the self-anointed or “woke” believers in their secular progressive movement are not beneath self-righteous virtue signalling or above shaming or projecting guilt on those with whom they disagree– those who embrace “traditional” beliefs and values. People who one political candidate in the last U.S. Presidential election referred to as “deplorables.”

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD,

    yes, Darwin, Marx and Freud each contributed much to our modern dilemmas and it is unsurprising to see influences of each of those three C19 “evergreen” ideas surfacing and resurfacing as roots of plausible rhetoric and agit prop etc long after their formal systems have each been shattered through collision with unyielding facts and cogent analysis.

    That said, we need to note how UD is under perpetual critical (and, outright hostile) scrutiny, then multiply it by the studious relative silence of objectors to the key themes of the OP above, starting with the captioned remarks by Sean Carroll, cosmologist: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” No such thing is so, but the cat is yet again let out of the bag, even as Lewontin so clearly let it out of the bag in his 1997 NYRB remark.

    Let us take due note, and let us read the signs of our times as to where they point to the crumbling cliff’s edge underfoot.

    Wisdom, then, is to turn back now lest we go over as the unsure footing collapses into the abyss. But, nowadays, wisdom, soundness, willingness to turn back from sinful, suicidal folly etc are all at a steep discount. So, as a prospective remnant, let us start afresh from the insights that stem from recognising our inescapably morally governed nature (which implies the possibility of willful resort to wrong, harming and error, thus, sin and properly merited guilt) and let us rebuild our worldviews on safer footing. Footing that engages the roots of reality in a world where IS and OUGHT are necessarily fused in our intellectual, volitional, inner and social lives and so we find a need for the inherently good and utterly wise as necessary being world root.

    Yet again, against our civilisation, the terrible woes are pronounced:

    Isa 5:18 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood,
    And sin as if with cart ropes [towing their own punishment];
    19 Who say, “Let Him move speedily, let Him expedite His work [His promised vengeance], so that we may see it;
    And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel approach
    And come to pass, so that we may know it!”

    20 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
    Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes
    And clever and shrewd in their own sight!

    22 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are heroes at drinking wine
    And men of strength in mixing intoxicating drinks,
    23 Who justify the wicked and acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    And take away the rights of those who are in the right!

    24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble [from straw]
    And the dry grass collapses into the flame,
    So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away like fine dust;
    Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts
    And despised and discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel. [AMP]

    2700+ years old and still all too relevant to us, just as they were to our hebraic antecedents.

    Speaking of which, don’t you notice how often these days there is a refusal to acknowledge that the roots of our civilisation are Judaeo-Christian, with the Pauline, gospel based Christian synthesis of the inheritance of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome being pivotal?

    For example, ever so many are quick to point to the Greek-Roman roots of democratic government and the linked ideas of natural law thought while refusing to acknowledge the Judaeo-Christian synthesis that so heavily shaped how that system of thought was rehabilitated in the aftermath of the reformation. They deny the significance of the double-covenant understanding of nationhood and just government under God with consent of the governed that say underlies — nay, is directly built into — the 1st and 2nd paragraphs of the US DoI 1776 and its direct (but mostly forgotten) antecedent, the Dutch DoI, 1581. Let us note the almost creedal force of the 1776 document:

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people [–> nationhood] to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another [–> ancestral nationhood, now leading to secession for breach of justice] and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God [–> Natural law framework informed by the heritage of Christendom] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [–> framing justice, laying out rights and limits of just government, with rights of remonstrance, petition, intercession, reform and replacement, including by revolution/secession under lower magistrates] Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security [–> just secession and independence] . . .

    The Carroll remark, of course, is a manifest case of that denial and dismissal.

    KF

  87. 87
    Ed George says:

    This leaves us with the fact that if God does not exist civilization is, and always has been, a social construct that is at the whim of the majority, the manipulative and the powerful. Under this possibility imposing a God as a governor on society would simply be a delusion. Just a devil’s advocate food for thought.

  88. 88
    john_a_designer says:

    How much influence did Darwin and his theories have on Freud? That’s something that scholar’s debate. Here are a couple of quotes from a 1991 book review published in the New Scientist which explores that question.

    In publications and letters Freud referred to Darwin about 20 times, generally with respect, but did not endorse the idea of natural selection. However, other biological notions, many no longer considered true, were crucial to Freud’s thinking. Frank J Sulloway (Freud: Biologist of the Mind), among others, has suggested that only some of Freud’s theories derived from clinical work; the rest were based upon biological and neuro-physiological assumptions of his day. Lucille Ritvo’s book is another investigation into the sources of 19th-century biology of Freud’s theories…

    Ritvo, a historian of science and medicine, says her own psychoanalysis relieved her ‘of such handicapping neurotic debris of infancy and childhood and ambivalence, penis envy, and a too-strict superego’. She wishes to redeem Freud’s reputation as a Darwinian. She quotes Freud as saying that, as a medical student, Darwin’s theories had strongly attracted him. She found eight books by Darwin in Freud’s library.

    According to Ritvo, Freud said that if he had to name the 10 most significant books, he would include Darwin’s Descent of Man. Ritvo points out that Freud listed ‘the study of evolution’ as essential to ‘a scheme of training for analysts’. She says that nowhere in Freud’s psychoanalytic writing did he mention Lamarck.

    Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg12917556-600-review-freuds-debt-to-darwin/#ixzz62L0iyOwC

    However, there is no doubt that Darwin’s theories are widely used to justify a naturalistic and atheistic world view.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, in order to entertain the notion that God does not exist (given that he is a serious candidate necessary being as world-root in a world with responsible, rational, morally governed creatures) you first need to give good warrant that he is impossible of being and/or that he is not in fact a serious candidate NB. This, you have not done, which is precisely a problem tackled in the OP. Where, you restate the problem of undermining of moral government as though it were an alternative solution. Recall, manifestly, even our minds are so governed; so, you imply grand delusion, an absurdity which would discredit discussion and the credibility of reason. KF

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, the trio, Darwin, Marx and Freud come as a package. They overlap and there are influences, but the issue is their joint contribution to the radical mindset that plagues our day. KF

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