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Further on Sev (and EG) vs the Christian Faith in community

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Some of our frequent commenters have recently made fairly explicit claims against/challenges to the Christian Faith, especially as it intersects community. For one, in responding to my earlier headlining of a response to his claims, Sev has now gone on record:

Sev, 2: >> where some Christians imply that the faith as a whole has suffered the same level of religious prejudice as, say, the Jews I’m bound to say that’s an exaggeration to put it mildly. [–> in fact, Pew has noted in recent years, evidence that consistently indicates that the most persecuted religious group in the world is Christians, of course, such is tellingly severely under-reported in the major global media.] How many members of the US Congress now, or have ever, admitted to being atheist or just non-believers? What are the chances of a non-believer being elected to public office in the US? This suggests that Christians of various stripes have had their hands on the levers of power in this country – although not just this country – for a long time. It is a truism that people who have exercised power for a long time are very reluctant to give it up and very resentful when circumstances force them to relinquish it. >>

Similarly, in replying to a side-note on Jawa’s posting of Alexa rankings in the Oscillations thread in which I noted that

[KF, 144] >>Jawa, since c 2015 – 16, there has been a major cold civil war and culture conflict development in the USA. That has sucked Oxygen out of almost any specialised issue. It has not changed the foundational significance of worldviews, logic and first principles and linked foundations of science issues, or of origins issues . . . >>

. . . EG has claimed:

EG, 148: >>we are slowly catching up with the rest of the world. We are slowly realizing that some of the Christian values that we have taken as “gospel” for the last couple centuries [–> note, the severely truncated history] do not hold up to scrutiny. Men can no longer insist that their wives be subservient to them. We can no longer deprive homosexuals of happiness, employment, career advancement and equal treatment in society. We can no longer judge women who enjoy sex with multiple partners different than we do men. We can no longer treat pregnant teens as fallen women. We can no longer deny services to inter-racial couples or homosexual couples and claim religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate. This is a civil war that is long over due.>>

Our civilisation, now usually styled Western Civilisation [and which formerly self-identified as Christendom], has been under increasing worldviews conflicts for generations, a conflict dominated by the push of evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers. Where of course scientism blunders when it suggests that that Big-S Science dominates or even monopolises serious knowledge. As Lewontin summarised the attitude, science is the only begetter of truth. But patently, all of this is on worldviews questions and requires issues in logic, epistemology, ontology and metaphysics.

That is, matters of truth and knowledge are inescapably matters of philosophy and indeed even the claim that Science dominates truth/knowledge and warrant is a philosophical claim not a scientific one. Dressing ideology up in a lab coat does not change its core nature.

Likewise, questions of core morality are inherently philosophical, and Ethics is a major philosophical discipline, accordingly.

Now, once ideology enters, so does politics and in the present context, the controversial figure, US President Trump will come up. However, the issues at stake are civilisational, not partisan-political. That is the context in which I think it necessary to headline the exchanges and some considerations (which will necessarily be at some length, to respond to particular claims), as will now follow.

First, in the same thread, I responded to EG:

KF, 149: >> nope, as a civilisation we are re-learning a very old lesson (likely the hard way), as Plato warned us about ever so long ago:

Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 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].

All that has changed is there is a strong push to move us to evolutionary materialist secularism and fellow travellers.

As you know, a central test is the ongoing holocaust of our living posterity in the womb, which per Guttmacher-UN figures is proceeding at about another million per week. That indicts us globally as utterly morally bankrupt.

A sounder approach, less fraught with hazards for our civilisation would be to recognise that we are inescapably morally governed creatures. That starts with implicit premises in your argument, which your evolutionary materialism [–> from later assertions EG seems to be a fellow traveller . . . no material difference] would overthrow: first duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to fairness, to justice etc. Discard those and we don’t have a discussion or argument or even a quarrel. Just, a fight as to who will impose their will.

Of course, nowadays, the idea that there is such built in law is “controversial,” but only because some people do not want to face the implication of our being under moral government. Having to bridge IS and OUGHT, only feasible at reality root. And requiring that the source of worlds is inherently good and utterly wise.

But in the end, the choice is that or suicidal nihilism . . . .

And since you have again specifically attacked the Christian faith, I point you here, to a discussion on its core warrant at 101 level. I suggest to you that unless you have a very good argument as to why that warrant fails, you are being dangerously irresponsible. Your grounds for such a confident manner dismissal are ______, and why they hold water in the teeth of evidence as just linked is _______ . Let’s hear your very good reasons, especially i/l/o the minimal facts considerations.>>

Let me add, Feb 14, a video documentary by Lee Strobel:

So far, EG has not responded to the challenge as regards core warrant for the Christian faith, pivoting on the challenge to explain minimal facts regarding the history of Jesus of Nazareth acknowledged by an absolute majority of scholarship.

Let us tabulate:

Obviously, the serious alternatives today — after the failure of the classical Deistic objections — will be the historic Christian claims and some form or other of [psychologically, quite implausible] collective hallucinations. EG is invited to respond.

Turning to Sev, I found it necessary to reply on points. First, I took up the persecution talking point:

KF, 4: >>A quick note on one point that caught my eye:

[Sev:] where some Christians imply that the faith as a whole has suffered the same level of religious prejudice as, say, the Jews I’m bound to say that’s an exaggeration to put it mildly.

Wrong.

First, the 20 centuries of persecution of Christians speak for themselves, in the voice of a horrifically long list of martyrs and confessors. And, in recent years, Christians have been the most persecuted group of people in the world; though of course it does not suit the agenda of major media houses in the increasingly Anti-Christian (not merely post Christian) West to headline and seriously, regularly discuss the problem.

Secondly, persecution was not my primary concern. My concern is the rise of a radical secularism that opens the door to nihilism while undermining rights. No, serious concerns over rights, justice, moral principle and the roots of law in our morally governed nature cannot responsibly be dismissed as in effect complaining over lost prestige and privilege.

And that is what was done in almost so many words.

Let’s remember your characterisation:

the [Christian] faith playing the victim because they are aggrieved that they no longer have the prestige, social privilege and political power they once enjoyed

I added a highlight to show maybe the worst piece of loaded language in your remarks; used, in a turnabout, blame the victim projection. Those are ill-advised, dismissive fighting words that enable a clear and present injustice; you urgently need to reconsider and retract.

And BTW, entrenched- bigotry- against- Christians- and- linked- career- busting- and- worse- sometimes, in the Academy and key professions, the Media and Education systems as well as Government is a serious problem. (It is an interconnected, interdependent, mutually supportive whole.)>>

I hope that we can all agree that persecution is persecution, and that it is inappropriate to blame the victim. In that context, it is also inappropriate to suggest that as other groups have been persecuted, we can in effect dismiss the seriousness of concerns regarding ongoing persecution of the currently most persecuted group. [Alas, the unborn have not been allowed to be born and form or join a group.] Persecution is wrong, whoever the target is, and currently, globally, Christians have been target number one.

I then took up his further points, step by step, a day or two later. This is also where, reluctantly, I have had to speak to specific use of Mr Trump by Sev. In so responding, I make no partisan claims and my core concerns for the US as leading nation in our civilisation are across the board:

KF, 7: >>Let me take some time to remark on further points raised, as these may give some insights on the worldviews and cultural agendas clash confronting our civilisation:

>> How many members of the US Congress now, or have ever, admitted to being atheist or just non-believers?>>

1: Trivially, a significant number, now and in recent years. That is or should be a commonplace, acknowledged fact.

2: More profoundly, this inadvertently echoes the concerns Plato raised, and which are likely lurking as unacknowledged issues connected to sound governance.

3: Namely, that manifestly — and inescapably, we are morally governed creatures under built-in OUGHTs; starting with the sort of duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so, to warrant], to sound conscience, to innocent neighbour (and even guilty ones) . . . to fairness and justice. Where, justice is probably best understood as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Where, too, one may not justly claim a right save one is manifestly in the right. Such, for instance, partly reflects thinkers from Cicero to Locke and Blackstone and partly draws out further implications.

4: These all point to a need to bridge the IS-OUGHT gap as a core worldviews challenge. Post Hume, we know that can only be done in the root of reality, on pain of ungrounded ought. Which, requires that the independent (so, necessary) being at the wellspring of all actual and possible worlds, must be adequate to be such. This requires inherent goodness and utter wisdom, and yes, this pivots on the existence of an order of creatures who are morally governed and significantly rationally, responsibly free.

5: Which, is why we are in material part morally rather than wholly dynamically-stochastically governed. Mind carries with it moral government and transcends the limitations of GIGO-constrained causal-chain driven computational substrates. As Plato pointed to in The Laws Bk X, we are self-moved first cause agents, having rational animality, i.e. there is reason to speak of us as embodied, living, rational, responsible, significantly free souls.

6: And though such is often scanted and actively suppressed today by dominant elites influenced by evolutionary materialistic scientism, that perspective is deeply intuitive and ineradicable.

7: Moreover, the frame of thought naturally leads to understanding the only serious candidate — just do the comparative difficulties i/l/o our readily understood status of being morally governed with built in law of our nature — to be that wellspring of reality. Namely, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; one worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that reflects our manifest nature.

8: This is not religious dogma, it is worldview roots analysis pointing to a baseline ethical theism as a natural worldview for one who takes conscience, mind and responsible freedom seriously.

9: Such a view is deeply — and quite explicitly — embedded in the Common Law system and in the US DoI and Constitution; making it foundational to modern liberty and democracy. Though, of course, many today would react dismissively and/or have been aggressively and systematically indoctrinated to think otherwise.

10: Notwithstanding, instinctively, a great many people understand — and devastatingly bloody record of history compellingly substantiates — that dominant governing elites who reject that implicit consensus are exceedingly dangerous. This is Plato’s point in The Laws, Bk X, and it runs right through to the current ruinous warping of institutions and professions of the high ground of culture in support of the ongoing holocaust of our unborn living posterity and linked evils such as the porn-perversion plague typified by the issues that are emerging surrounding that leading web enterprise of perversity, Pornhub.

>> What are the chances of a non-believer being elected to public office in the US?>>

11: Again, trivially, quite good. Recall, non-believer includes one who is theistic as to worldviews but uncommitted as to life choices. In Scripture, we are warned that the very devils know there is but one true living God, and shudder as they contemplate their fate. In short, the pivotal issue extends beyond abstract worldview propositions to the challenge of repentance, renewal, revival and reformation. I would hazard a guess that a significant fraction of the leadership of the US is or has been — for many decades — non-believers in this proper sense.

12: Where aggressive, militant atheism is concerned, such tends to be associated with habits of communication and behaviour that would make it unlikely for such to become top level officials, at least in a reasonably democratic body politic. Such are most likely to seize power by revolution or usurpation and their behaviour is precisely what has given such aggressive militancy a bad reputation indeed.

>>This suggests that Christians of various stripes have had their hands on the levers of power in this country – although not just this country – for a long time.>>

13: The subtext insinuation of improper seizure of and clinging to power amounts to conspiracism. I suggest, a more balanced understanding of the history of our civilisation including the roots and history of the US Republic will be in order.

>> It is a truism that people who have exercised power for a long time are very reluctant to give it up and very resentful when circumstances force them to relinquish it.>>

14: Error and linked insinuations of illegitimacy carried forward

>>That assumes that Christianity is a victim.>>

15: I specifically responded to your rhetorical pattern of tainting and blaming the victim, for cause, in these terms:

[OP:] What is interesting here is the structure of the dismissive rhetoric, which turns rights and justice concerns into “playing the victim” as one is “aggrieved” that the Christian Faith has somehow lost “prestige,” “privilege” and “social power.” Immediately, we can recognise a familiar rhetorical pattern, blaming the victim by first demonising him [see, two can play the rhetoric game, especially if one is familiar with how fallacies work!], but that is not a primary concern just now.

What is, is the underlying vision of moral government and law, thus rights, fairness and justice, also duties to truth, prudence, right reason.

For, what lurks just beneath the surface of Sev’s rhetoric here [as a “typical” representative of such views], is the familiar pattern long since exposed and rebuked by Plato, in The Laws, Bk X (as was noted a few days ago). That is, when one resorts to evolutionary materialistic scientism [and even setting aside the question of how one then gets to a credible, rational, responsible and significantly free mind on such premises] one reduces moral government to “the highest right is might,” which then leads to ruthless factions grabbing power and imposing their will.

Obviously, if that is all that there is, then of course, those who formerly held greater prestige and power but are now denigrated have nothing to appeal to as “justice,” “truth,” or “fairness,” they lost the power struggle and that’s that.

Nihilism, in one word.

Which, is instantly absurd.

Were my fellow blacks simply whining because they lacked social prestige and power when complaints were made against slavery, then Jim Crow [and its like, the colour bar], etc?

Absurd.

Worse, “rights,” “fairness,” and “justice” have now become little more than rhetoric appealing for power. Words, weaponised into means of manipulating the generally dumb public to gain a new power advantage.

For, on such views — and in the practice of those who go along as fellow travellers, there are no enduring principles of right or justice, there is only power struggle with the lurking matter of the preservation of favoured races and classes in the struggle for life. Complete with H G Wells’ twist in Time Machine, that if one becomes sheep for the table of the dominant class and species, then one may be kept as a useful herd animal and preserved as a food source. (Sheep, notoriously, are stupid but they are not about to die out, as they are tasty and provide wool.)

Of course, we usually do not recognise when we have made such a fatal step too far into absurdity.

. . . and I have further documented that Christians, in fact, are the most persecuted group in the world today. (The unborn, victims of the worst and ongoing holocaust, alas, have been robbed of even being born.)

>> It is equally possible that Christianity – or some Christians at least – are playing the victim card in the same way as white nationalists. >>

16: Fallacy of guilt by invidious, gratuitous association. It also suggests an implicit, profound demonisation that views the Christian faith and/or Christians as being what is wrong with our civilisation.

17: That in turn raises the question of Dawkins’ notorious mischaracterisation and bigotry that those who differed with his preferred views and agendas were ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. There is a reason why most sensible people have rejected the aggressive so-called New Atheists.

>>They present their group as being endangered by some poorly-defined external threat in order to solidify their existing supporter base and to scare others into joining it. It’s an old tactic and often an effective one.>>

18: The bloody, ruinous history of radical secularists since the French Revolution up to the ongoing holocaust of the unborn is concrete and specific enough to expose this suggestion as empty projection.

>>Scapegoating some “other”, such as “evolutionary materialistic scientism”, as a threat to social stability or racial or cultural or religious or political purity is arguably a much greater danger.>>

19: Again, loaded language. “Scapegoating” is not a responsible response to an analysis that in outline has been on the table since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, and in a circumstance where said evolutionary materialism (latterly, clad in a lab coat of Scientism) can first be readily shown to fail the comparative difficulties test as a worldview

20: Plato’s response, suitably annotated, is still highly relevant — and too often side-stepped:

Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 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 . . . [SNIP, already present and linked]

>> We have only to look at the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany for an example of to what end such an approach can lead.>>

21: Fallacious, further tainting and demonisation by utterly uncalled for invidious association with Hitler. FYI, Hitler was demonstrably anti-Christian. In the memory of the White Rose martyrs (who first exposed the holocaust) I call you to correct your misperceptions.

>> And it is the group which deploys such an approach effectively that often goes on to become the faction which seizes power and holds on to it by using whatever “might” they have at their disposal.>>

22: Further building on unfounded invidious, tainting, demonising associations. Do you realise that you here suggest that Christians are the moral equivalent of Hitler’s demonic mas murderers? I think a reconsideration is more than called for, especially i/l/o the relevant history of our civilisation.

23: Further to such, it is obvious that if a significant number of people with this sort of warped perception of Christians, Christianity and the history of a Civilisation once generally termed Christendom were to gain power, Christians would have reason to be concerned that hunting season has been declared on them. Please, think again.

>>Is it fair or just that members of one faith have exercised almost untrammeled political power in the US since the state was created? No, it doesn’t amount to a full-blown theocracy but quietly, in the background, it hasn’t fallen far short of one. >>

24: Again, the pattern emerges; where of course repetition reinforces error. A better balanced assessment of the history of our civilisation is clearly called for.

>>Would you be so tolerant of it if the faith had been Islam?>>

25: The history of Islam and its embracing of a claimed divine imposition of will — as opposed to the balance that emerges from the premise of a built in law of our nature evident to sound, honest reason — has been very different from that of the Christian faith. The further insinuation of association with Islamic terrorism and Islamofascism, is also a further fallacy of invidious association.

>>And to suggest that Christianity has somehow “lost the power struggle”, at least here in the US, is absurd. >>

26: Red herring led away to a strawman caricature. I spoke specifically to the implications of worldviews that imply that might and/or manipulation make ‘right’/ ‘truth’/ ‘warrant’/ ‘knowledge’/ ‘justice’/ ‘rights’ etc, specifically echoing a line of thinkers since Plato. In that context, there are no rights beyond what one has won by power. That is what you need to answer, and it is what you ducked.

>>When Christians are minority in Congress>>

27: In any serious sense of “Christian,” that has long been the case.

>>and the majority are members of other faiths or openly atheist then you might have a case>>

28: Notice, the further dodging of the issue of a worldview unable to bridge IS and OUGHT thus being amoral and opening the door to nihilist factionalism. And that is the case that by rhetorically diverting attention from you wish to avoid addressing on the worldview merits. Revealing.

>>or openly atheist>>

29: Only likely in something like Communism, as explained.

>>but, until then, it is plainly Christianity that still has the better of the power struggle.>>

30: Really? The ghosts of 63 million unborn children and counting at another 1/2 million or so per year who do not have a vote or voice as they were robbed of the first right, life, need to be heard on this matter.

>>As, for example, in the case of Donald Trump and the Christian evangelicals. >>

31: This blog is not a forum for political discussion and politicking, however, given context above and invidious comparisons made, this is already a serious smear that Evangelical Christians (a significant minority in the US) are here being pushed into the same boat as Hitler et al, along with a particular leading American politician who seems to have sponsored evangelicals as part of the hinterland deplorables despised by the radically secularist coastal and urban elites.

32: It further seems that much of the patently overwrought rhetoric exposed above reflects the reaction of said elites to what they view as a peasant uprising by the ballot box; something echoed in the 2016 US electoral map by counties.

The US 2016 election mapped by counties

[Let me add the recent UK Brexit election result, showing a similar coastal/urban centre vs hinterlands contrast, but with a major regional party in Scotland. Notice, similarly, Boris Johnson is a controversial populist, though of course the UK is far more radically secularised than the US. The point is, peasant uprising:]

33: I suggest as a first remedy, that we look beyond the surface to the worldview issues at stake on the further illumination of history.

[I can add here, a modification of Schaeffer’s analysis:]

Extending (and correcting) Schaeffer’s vision of the course of western thought, worldviews and culture, C1 – 21

[Also, let us note, the mountains of influence picture:]

>>Trump cares nothing about truth or lies, his only concern is that the words he says influence his listeners to go where he wants them to go an do what he wants them to do.>>

34: Political projection. I would suggest that a more balanced picture would be that the power elites of the US and our civilisation in general are in serious violation of the built in moral law that starts with inescapable duty to truth. This particularly includes the media and educators.

35: Notice, [your implicit] appeal to the built in law of our morally governed nature. As part of worldviews analysis, kindly address its import.

>>And in promoting the belief that Trump was, in some way, chosen by God, his evangelical supporters are arguably guilty of both blasphemy and idolatry.>>

36: Actually, no. Rom 13:1 – 10 is very clear that governors are God’s servants tasked to uphold the civil peace of justice. In historic context, 57 AD, including Nero Caesar. The challenge is for them to live up to such. Where, the issue and theology of rulers gone bad is a key root of the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

37: So, while uncritical support of any political leader is wrong, there is warrant to see a figure who may help restore a situation — such as the generation-long plight of the rust belt — in a favourable light; notwithstanding serious character flaws. For specific instance, the favourable view of the Pharaoh of Joseph or the generally positive view of a Nebuchadnezzar or a Cyrus or Nehemiah’s relationship with a later Persian King are not to be equated to blanket endorsement.

38: Thus, while there is cause for critique of Mr Trump and those who support him in some degree, that needs to be balanced and fair. In particular, one should look askance at the obvious resort to Star Chamber tactics, perversion of Constitutional provisions to remove leaders guilty of crimes comparable to treason and the gleeful participation of a major cross section of the media in slander and obvious political dirty tricks. (Note, it is because of UD’s context that I will not delve on details. Serious analysis substantiating the above can be found elsewhere.)

>>That and the almost complete collapse of any resistance to Trump from within his own party are a measure of how much he has corrupted both the faith and the Republican Party.>>

39: Little more than projection, cf. the above. If instead there were an analysis of the rise of widespread corruption, incompetence and marches of folly stemming from mutiny on the ship of state, Ac 27 has something to say. Across the board.

>>No, we must somehow abandon the comforting belief that it is even possible for us to be in possession of some absolute truth.>>

40: Do you wish to imply that it is not 100%, undiluted, untainted truth that 2 + 3 = 5 or the like? If not, you would be well advised to understand that we can know certain limited truths with utter certainty. In many cases, truth is self evident and undeniable or inescapable on pain of patent absurdity. These are plumbline truths that allow us to test our views and knowledge claims otherwise.

41: Your tone above amply illustrates how the first duties of responsible reason are indeed inescapable, self evident truths. They are controversial only because they are inconvenient to anti-theism. A sign of its absurdity.

42: Beyond such plumbline truths lie objective truths, which may be warranted to degrees of reliability such that we entrust serious matters to their soundness. And subjectively experienced truth is not opposed to either objectivity or even absoluteness.

43: What is legitimate is to be concerned that finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill willed creatures can close minds and hearts to well warranted correction. But that fault is not confined to hinterland deplorables in the US or the UK, even when such are engaged in an uprising by ballot box against the ensconced elites and their comfortable establishment.

>>We should not set Science on a pedestal as our only begetter of truth>>

44: That is the error of Scientism, and it is deeply embedded in the more or less respectable view of Naturalism, which is what “evolutionary materialistic scientism” describes. Notice, what Monod stated in the TV interview which builds on his 1970 book, Chance and Necessity:

[T]he scientific attitude implies what I call the postulate of objectivity—that is to say, the fundamental postulate that there is no plan, that there is no intention in the universe. Now, this is basically incompatible with virtually all the religious or metaphysical systems whatever, all of which try to show that there is some sort of harmony between man and the universe and that man is a product—predictable if not indispensable—of the evolution of the universe.— Jacques Monod [Quoted in John C. Hess, ‘French Nobel Biologist Says World Based On Chance’, New York Times (15 Mar 1971), p. 6. Cited in Herbert Marcuse, Counter-Revolution and Revolt (1972), p. 66.

>>any more than we should look to the Bible or the Koran for the same thing. >>

45: No responsible, significant Christian thinker presumes that the Bible holds monopoly on truth; just think, there is no statement therein that 2 + 3 = 5, there is no divinely ordained set of weights and measures, though there is a strong endorsement of just weights and measures. And indeed, there is a strong endorsement of the common sense view that there is a built in law of our morally governed, sound conscience and sound reason guided nature.

[Let me add a chart of Aquinas’ summary;]

[and again, a similar summary of the line of thought:]

>>We should question the findings of science just as we should question what is preached to us from the pulpit. The will and the power to question is ultimately our best defense against tyranny,>>

46: Again, you imply those first duties of reason. Address their worldview import, please.

>>You seem to be supporting the position that a populace is entitled to rise up and overthrow – by force of arms if necessary – what they perceive to be an unjust government.>>

47: Do you notice that you duck the ballot box, which was precisely won for us by hard fighting?

48: Similarly, you resort to the language of subjective perception, when such an uprising beyond the ballot box would only be justified under extraordinary circumstances. In fact, the best summary of my view is in the US DoI. Any reasonably educated person should instantly recognise this connexion, on the right of revolution as last resort when remonstrance fails:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, 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 [–> notice the appeal to built in law of our morally governed nature] 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 [–> appeal to first, self-evident principles of justice], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator [–> inference to ethical theism in a generally Judaeo-Christian context] 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 [–> Govt’s first duty is justice, which BTW immediately discredits power games pivoting on Star Chamber proceedings, as — on fair comment [cf Dershowitz et al] — we just saw in the US Congress Intelligence Committee] 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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

49: Note the immediately following appeal to history and facts:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

>> But how reliable is the judgement of popular sentiment?>>

50: A Constitutional Republic with significant democratic aspects casts heavy weight on the responsible informed judgement of the people. For cause.

>> What if they are ignorant of much that their government actually does for them?>>

51: This is the precise reason why the massively evident, longstanding failure and propagandistic trends of education and media alike are a betrayal of the interests of our civilisation.

>> Isn’t that the message of Plato’s “ship of state” parable, the dangers of an ignorant hoi polloi seizing control of the ship of state because they do not – and maybe even are not able to – understand how competent and benevolent the existing administration actually is?>>

52: You misread Plato [in Ship of State] here. Hoi Polloi are the Captain, befuddled and drugged by those seeking to usurp power and loot the stores. It is the corrupt, incompetent politically active ruthless factions and the sophists who back them that he identifies as the mutineers. He also warns that many will misunderstand the sound teachings of right reason and/or will pervert such in service to mutiny.

53: The US framers, concerned about this built in many checks and balances. That is why the US is not a pure democracy, to the point that the people vote for electors who then vote for a President, forcing now 50 local elections held concurrently. Similarly, a popular, short term house is balanced by an upper house of ambassadors of the states, two per. This way, no few power centres acting in concert can dominate the whole, the pivot of the Connecticut compromise. More can be said, but this outline is enough.

54: The judgement on competence and benevolence is left to an audit by general election every four years.

>>As I have said many times before. I do not – and cannot – rule out the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligent design but neither have I seen compelling that it actually happened.>>

55: There is more than adequate scientific evidence in the coded algorithmic (thus purposeful) language in DNA and in the linked fine tuning of a cosmos that enables C Chem, aqueous medium cell based life. Multiply by the existence of morally governed creatures as a requisite of responsible reason and science and it is decisive. Save, to those locked into Monod’s a prioris.

>>At root, the greatest danger to ourselves is fear. We should not fear questions, divergent opinions, threats to our power or reputation or religious beliefs.>>

56: Principled concern informed by the sort of issues and insights above are not irrational fears.>>

I trust that we may be able to have a more balanced discussion going forward. END

F/N: As the issue of how to manage change and conflict is on the table, I will draw on some charts I use in strategic change consultations. First, on the change challenge:

That is the more “theoretical” framework, here is how we can use these ideas in a stakeholder consultation process, if people are willing to recognise the need to change or reformation and are willing to commit to such — at least as a critical mass:

I am now pessimistic that we will be willing to move beyond the business as usual path locked in by dominant factions who hope to benefit from it (and are likely blind to the signs of the times regarding potential disaster), until we have gone off the cliff as a civilisation, yet again. I again point to the need to go back to truly foundational questions on the sort of issues that are on the table now.

Notice, especially, Machiavelli’s hard-bitten counsel.

Santayana’s is similar, that history teaches two lessons. First, that those who refuse to learn its lessons doom themselves to repeat its worst chapters. Second, by and large, we refuse to learn from history.

From this we come to Marx’s corollary: history repeats twice over, once as tragedy the next time as farce. (He had in mind the chain of disasters that happened to France in the 100 years from the storming of the Bastille, and particularly the two Napoleons.)

231 Replies to “Further on Sev (and EG) vs the Christian Faith in community

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Further on Sev (and EG) vs the Christian Faith in community — a response to claims made, point by point

  2. 2
    Ed George says:

    KF

    Some of our frequent commenters have recently made fairly explicit claims against/challenges to the Christian Faith, especially as it intersects community.

    I can’t speak for Sev, but I have not made any claims against the Christian faith. I have absolutely no problem with Christians leading a Christian life, and I would defend them in their right to do so. Where I think Christians often step over the line is when they expect others to live by the same values and attempt to use legal means to do this.

    If Johnny finds comfort in another man’s arms (and bed), and doing so is consensual, I say live and let live. They are not hurting anyone. If they choose to formalize their union with a marriage ceremony, who does it hurt? If an interracial (and inter-faith) couple want to get married, that is their business. If little Bart enjoys masturbating in the privacy of his own home, where is the harm? If Jane wants to use the pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, who has the right to say that she can’t? If Jerry is in the last stages of terminal cancer, why can’t he chose doctor assisted suicide?

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, oh yes you have, in spades. Perhaps, though, you do not recognise such because in many modern worldviews, the IS-OUGHT gap is seen as unbridgeable in principle, so connexions between truth, rationality and ethics are not recognised for what they are. Notice, a point you seem prone to skim over and dismiss: our rational life is morally governed through first duties of reason; something that leads to significant worldview issues. What I have specifically challenged you to address is the touchstone truth claim of the Christian Faith, that God vindicated Jesus as Saviour and Lord (including as authoritative teacher who coming from above and as creator-redeemer has authority to teach moral principles, addressing what is wrong and how we can find rescue and healing from the wrong). The means of that vindication was that though hanged on a tree as if he were an accursed malefactor, God raised him from death with 500 witnesses. Witnesses, BTW who could never be broken, not even in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse, much worse. KF

    PS: I note that in a key moral — and legal — teaching, Jesus did not simply impose fiat, but taught in light of the evident law of our nature as we were created:

    Matt 19:3 And Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” [–> a current issue and debate in Jewish law, theology and social thought]

    4 He replied, “Have you never read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female [–> naturally evident creation order rooted in the inherently good, utterly wise creator-God], 5 and said, ‘For this reason [–> note, fulfillment of such naturally evident creation order purpose is reasonable] a man shall leave his father and mother [–> family of origin showing requisites of nurture, and identifying the chain of reproduction] and shall be joined inseparably to his wife [–> a successive generation of family], and the two shall become one flesh’?

    6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [–> a stricture that puts divorce on the defensive, how much more so, that which flies in the face of sound creation order manifest in our genes and bodies. This is a fortiori logic in action. Notice, this argument pattern can cogently reason “how much more” and “just as that, this too” etc. Where, yes, core principles of reason are principles of sound law.]

    Notice, not arbitrary imposition but appeal to record of creation, manifest in the order of our bodies as two reproductively complementary sexes. Marriage, then is tied to the natural, child-producing union of man and wife, with the resulting children manifesting the “one flesh.” In that context, as we are morally, responsibly and rationally not mechanically or randomly governed, we are told that what God joins, man should not separate, which has significant a fortiori consequences. Consequences which you explicitly dismissed, as though you are in a position to correct or supersede what is built into our nature. Further to this, you by direct implication skewered the Christian faith as teaching moral-legal backwardness for daring to point out that there are some things the civil law can only recognise, it has no power to genuinely alter. Also, that as the declared law is a teacher, those who would take power of civil law and abuse it to teach profound moral confusion and error are leading the young to stumble, a particularly heinous wrong.

    In the case of confusion and corruption of the central social institution, marriage and family, what you may perceive or believe or declare with confident manner is one thing, the consequences of distorting what is foundational, as well as setting a precedent of dangerous abuse of law both say something very different and manifestly ruinous. In particular, the establishment of legal nihilism as Plato warned of, is already showing where it naturally goes. Already, we see Star Chamber courts back on the ground; this is because the first duties of fairness, justice and prudence are being suppressed, in interests of power. Similarly, it is manifest that duty to truth is being cynically discarded (especially in the major media and in education).

    There are further claims, insinuations and innuendoes in what you have further written, but first things are first.

  4. 4
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, oh yes you have, in spades.

    I’m afraid that you will have to back this up with examples. Otherwise you are just making an unsupported assumption. Please provide concrete examples where I have said that you should not be able to live your life according to Christian values?

  5. 5
    Ed George says:

    KF

    God raised him from death with 500 witnesses. Witnesses, BTW who could never be broken, not even in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse, much worse.

    I’m pretty sure that we have been over this before. One account of 500 people witnessing something carries no more weight than one account of one person witnessing something.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you neatly sidestep the minimal facts issue. The four (of twelve) facts listed are not in serious dispute; for cause. Provide a credible alternative explanation. As for oh provide examples, they are there on the table and you know it. For example, you set up a red herring and strawman, simply by speaking of YOU live by Christian VALUES. That language choice is already loaded with the IS-OUGHT gap, and with ducking the centrality of truth and that of moral government of our rationality. Further to that, it is loaded with ducking the significance of built in law of our nature which is antecedent to governments and civil law. Right in the heart of the implicit legal positivism, is the undermining of the first duties to fairness and justice; issues that are pivotal to the lawfare phase of civil war that is playing out before our eyes. It may be of profit for you to ponder that justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and duties in community. Undermine the first duties of reason and you undermine the bonds of civil society. KF

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    video – Unexpected Evidence that the Bible is Historically Accurate (Dr. Lydia McGrew) – Streamed live 3 hours ago
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO7x9p70rrw

  8. 8
    EDTA says:

    EG,
    >”I’m pretty sure that we have been over this before. One account of 500 people witnessing something carries no more weight than one account of one person witnessing something.”

    Well then, I hope someone has already mentioned the following. But it obviously bears repeating also: If the existence and testimony of those 500 witnesses could be easily verified, then presenting the claim is a challenge, which one wouldn’t offer unless they were certain it could be verified. It therefore affects the probability of its truth in a positive way. If verifiable and found to be false, it would lower the probability that the account could have attained any credibility.

  9. 9
    Ed George says:

    KF@6, you still have not provided examples of how I am trying to prevent you from leading the Christian life that you want to. Unless, of course, your idea of a Christian life is to impose your Christian values on others. If that is your idea of a Christian life then I, and millions of others, will have a problem with that.

    Why don’t we start with a simple example. How do two men who are sexually attracted to each other (in the biblical sense 🙂 ), affect your ability to lead a Christian life? How do two men getting married affect your ability to lead a Christian life? Let’s face it. The only way this can affect you is if your idea of leading a Christian life involves you having the right to dictate how others are to lead their lives.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, was busy doing live observations of Betelgeuse, which really is down; it was fun to be on the phone to someone else 800 mi W and one degree N. Yes, the star is really down in magnitude. The vid on mutually supportive details forming undesigned co-incident, interweaving points speaks to independence of sources and support for accuracy. It will be interesting to see if EG is responsive to the minimal facts points. KF

    PS: Let’s look at a summary on minimal facts:

    The minimal facts method only uses sources which are multiply attested, and agreed to by a majority of scholars (ranging from atheist to conservative). This requires that they have one or more of the following criteria which are relevant to textual criticism:

    Multiple sources – If two or more sources attest to the same fact, it is more likely authentic
    Enemy attestation – If the writers enemies corroborate a given fact, it is more likely authentic
    Principle of embarrassment – If the text embarrasses the writer, it is more likely authentic
    Eyewitness testimony – First hand accounts are to be prefered
    Early testimony – an early account is more likely accurate than a later one

    Having first established the well attested facts, the approach then argues that the best explanation of these agreed to facts is the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . . [Source: “Minimal facts” From Apologetics Wiki.]

  11. 11
    Ed George says:

    EDTA@8, you have a valid point. If my memory serves correct, Paul wrote that there were over 500 witnesses to the resurrection. How many of them documented their own account?

    If I were testifying in court and said that myself and over 500 people saw Donald Trump have sex with Stormy Daniels, the judge would be banging his gavel and a using me of hearsay.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you are deliberately doubling down on using a red herring argument. Your argumentation tries to undermine Christian ethics, yes, it also tries to undermine credibility of core Christian and theistic truth claims regarding the nature of reality, i.e. what the world is like. That is why I have answered on how IS and OUGHT cannot be separated, that our rational life is inherently morally governed starting with duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness and justice etc. On pain of reducing rationality to manipulation, we need to bridge is and ought, only feasible in the root of reality. That requires independent [necessary] being with power to create worlds and to bridge is to ought. This last requires the inherently good and utterly wise. Such points to built in law of our nature that grounds the first duties. In that context, I put on the table i/l/o the minimal facts — notice, clipping an entire table, a clue — the central issue of truth, transformative truth in the gospel. That truth is anchored in the resurrection, anchored in the first instance on the minimal facts. In the second, look at the facts, we see the core witnesses whose unshakeable testimony and demonstration of the gospel’s power surmounted the odds that a crucified messiah was an abomination to Jews and a resurrection seemed silly to Greeks. A point discussed explicitly in 1 Cor 1 – 2. Going on, that messiah has authority to teach truth about moral government. In a specific teaching I give, he does not simply exert fiat, but appeals to first duties and substance of reason, making a natural law argument on the built in nature of marriage, and it is a strong argument. Of course, mere argument will have little impact on those who reject the first duties of reason. KF

  13. 13
    EDTA says:

    EG,
    The verification would have been oral, and done at the time. The outcome of people asking around would have affected the acceptance of the text(s), depending on what they found. If they had found the claim false, it would have tended to suppress the movement as a whole, making it less probable that it would have survived its early years. It’s not an argument that by itself would convince; I realize that. It’s just one probability-shifting piece among many.

    And if you and over 500 others had watched the Don doing it, that would be really really weird. I would have excused myself personally. 😎

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you neatly omit — on the strawman reached by red herring — that Paul is not writing in a vacuum. He is writing 55 AD to a circle of people dealing with controversies designed to discredit his leadership. In that context, he summarises the official testimony of the church dating to 35 – 38 AD in Jerusalem, AND HIGHLIGHTS THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE WITNESSES WERE ALIVE THEN. Which makes sense as the Neronian persecution was a decade away. Paul and Peter would perish in that context, and BTW we have their graves, in Rome . . . the right place i/l/o the accusation of treasonous arson. Paul’s bears the inscription, Paulo, Apostolo, Mart. You do not appeal to a consensus, inviting cross check in a controversial context when you are deceitful. Further, after over a century of challenges, it is clear that there are some pivotal, minimal facts that for cause are generally accepted; it is obvious that you do not have a cogent explanation that can say resolve the telling difficulties in an appeal to collective hallucination — the other specific accounts including the myth-making claims, are far less credible. Your side track thus fails, and it is quite obvious why you have tried to side track, setting up and knocking over a strawman on “YOUR” “VALUES.” That reeks of subjectivism and radical relativism, in this context. KF

    PS: Frank Morison knew better nearly 100 years ago:

    [N]ow the peculiar thing . . . is that not only did [belief in Jesus’ resurrection as in part testified to by the empty tomb] spread to every member of the Party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual centre of Judaea . . . and in the face of every impediment which a brilliant and highly organised camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish Church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had began to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire . . . .

    Why did it win? . . . .

    We have to account not only for the enthusiasm of its friends, but for the paralysis of its enemies and for the ever growing stream of new converts . . . When we remember what certain highly placed personages would almost certainly have given to have strangled this movement at its birth but could not – how one desperate expedient after another was adopted to silence the apostles, until that veritable bow of Ulysses, the Great Persecution, was tried and broke in pieces in their hands [the chief persecutor became the leading C1 Missionary/Apostle!] – we begin to realise that behind all these subterfuges and makeshifts there must have been a silent, unanswerable fact. [Who Moved the Stone, (Faber, 1971; nb. orig. pub. 1930), pp. 114 – 115.]

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I also put on the table a summary from Paul Barnett, which should give the serious reader pause:

    On the basis of . . . non-Christian sources [i.e. Tacitus (Annals, on the fire in Rome, AD 64; written ~ AD 115), Rabbi Eliezer (~ 90’s AD; cited J. Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth (London: Collier-Macmillan, 1929), p. 34), Pliny (Letters to Trajan from Bithynia, ~ AD 112), Josephus (Antiquities, ~ 90’s)] it is possible to draw the following conclusions:

    Jesus Christ was executed (by crucifixion?) in Judaea during the period where Tiberius was Emperor (AD 14 – 37) and Pontius Pilate was Governor (AD 26 – 36). [Tacitus]
    The movement spread from Judaea to Rome. [Tacitus]
    Jesus claimed to be God and that he would depart and return. [Eliezer]
    His followers worshipped him as (a) god. [Pliny]
    He was called “the Christ.” [Josephus]
    His followers were called “Christians.” [Tacitus, Pliny]
    They were numerous in Bithynia and Rome [Tacitus, Pliny]
    It was a world-wide movement. [Eliezer]
    His brother was James. [Josephus]

    [Is the New Testament History? (London, Hodder, 1987), pp. 30 – 31.]

  16. 16
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, you are deliberately doubling down on using a red herring argument. Your argumentation tries to undermine Christian ethics, yes, it also tries to undermine credibility of core Christian and theistic truth claims regarding the nature of reality, i.e. what the world is like.

    So, can you explain to me how [snip, vulgar reference, needless in thread] or getting married hinders your ability to lead a Christian life? The only way that it can is if you feel that it is your God given right to impose your beliefs and restrictions on others. There are words for that. Totalitarianism. Communism. Naziism. Sorry, but I prefer a better society.

  17. 17
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, you neatly omit — on the strawman reached by red herring — that Paul is not writing in a vacuum. He is writing 55 AD to a circle of people dealing with controversies designed to discredit his leadership. In that context, he summarises the official testimony of the church dating to 35 – 38 AD in Jerusalem, AND HIGHLIGHTS THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE WITNESSES WERE ALIVE THEN.

    Caplocks does not change hearsay to valid witnesses. If most of the witnesses were alive then, where are the documented testimonies. We have more first hand documented testimonies of alien abductions than we do of the resurrection. And before you use the literacy argument, please keep in mind the people who claim alien abduction. 🙂

  18. 18
    PaoloV says:

    Most of those who witnessed the resurrected Christ did not write about it but spoke about it. That’s why the church had such an explosive growth right after that monumental event. Only a few wrote about it later.

    On several occasions Jesus didn’t let everybody know what He was doing, the information about His ministry in that area of the Middle East was selective. The same could have been with the resurrection, His appearance to some people. When He revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus, the people who were next to Paul were unaware of what exactly had happened. The full revelation of that moment was kept hidden from them, though they were right there next to Paul. Why? God’s thoughts and ways are above human thoughts and ways.

  19. 19
    ronvanwegen says:

    5 Ed George: “One account of 500 people witnessing something carries no more weight than one account of one person witnessing something.”

    Well, that has got to be one of the most ridiculous comments ever in the history of the internet!

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your preoccupation, obsession with in your face sexual perversity appears again. It is needless and needlessly offensive. I ask you to refrain from such behaviour. Nor, will I take patience to further police such behaviour. Nor am I willing to submit myself to the dilemma, police every little while or shut down a thread. If you resort to such again, I am going to ask you to remove yourself from this thread. If you persist beyond that point, I will treat your behaviour as willful, abusive trolling, for cause. KF

    PS: You seem utterly unwilling to address the undermining of foundational principles and duties of rational, responsible, significantly free beings; which sets the context in which law and justice obtain. I simply note to you that the undermining of that fabric is civilisationally suicidal, for many reasons.

  21. 21
    Ed George says:

    R

    Well, that has got to be one of the most ridiculous comments ever in the history of the internet!

    Do I win an Oscar?

    How is that ridiculous? If I have a letter from Fred written 2000+ years ago that says that he and over 500 witnesses saw Jesus having sex in a brothel, does it carry more probative weight than Fred writing a letter that he alone saw Jesus having sex in a brothel? I would argue that they carry equal probative value.

  22. 22
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, your preoccupation, obsession with in your face sexual perversity appears again. It is needless and needlessly offensive.

    It is only offensive because you are trying to impose your values on others. Again, how does two men having consensual sex harm society or hinder you from following a Christian life. The only way this is possible is if you feel that it is your right as a Christian to prevent two men from having sex. That is where I have a problem.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you try to reduce lifetime record of eyewitness testimony by the core 500 members of an historic community, with 20+ specifically identified, fair on its face and from good chain of custody to hearsay. Likewise, you neatly sidestep the other record and the sheer weight of impact as Morison so aptly summarises. This, in the further context of disregarding the weight of the cumulative judgement of generations of scholarship summarised in the minimal facts list. All of this is in the further context of refusing to address the first duties of reason you obviously expect us to adhere to even as you further refuse to address such striking evidence that we are inescapably morally governed creatures. Which, points to the nature of the root of reality, thus the kind of world we live in. All of that adds up and not in your favour. In that context, we have no reason to be confident that a responsible discussion of the nature of our being morally governed sexually complementary creatures whose children require extensive nurture to thrive will have any impact on you. We already see where the natural law framework that defines marriage as built into our nature is sidestepped by you as you proceed to imply that you can freely distort marriage under false colour of law. This immediately points to how justice, fairness, prudence, right reason and truth are also open to similar short shrift. Such, frankly, is nihilistic misanthtopy. And if you want to ask, but if I impose my agenda willy nilly under colour of law and willfully disregard core built in law that is foundational to sound community and government, then how does that harm you, the reply is, you would tear up the fabric of society through the very nihilism Plato warned against with the collapse of Athens indelibly stamped in his mind. KF

    PS: Again, Plato’s warning, for the convenience of others, as for sure you will have no inclination to pay it heed:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 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].

    Nihilistic, will to power misanthropy is general enmity to humanity.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, there you go again. So, in a family friendly blog, we are to have no limits on injection of inappropriate language and topics, on pain of being accused of imposing values. The uncivil conduct you are showing is its own refutation. I will give no further warning if you further inject such language.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your hostility to the Christian faith is ever more explicit; you seem to imagine that an historically utterly baseless and patently false accusation is to be compared to lifetime record coming from a circle of central eyewitnesses who peacefully surrendered life rather than deny what they knew, transmitted to us faithfully at fearsome cost. That speaks volumes on the trend of guilt by accusation which now increasingly dominates the international media and even parliamentary proceedings; which is a direct threat to the civil peace of justice. I suppose those who are wrecking sound governance and government are so ignorant of history that they do not understand that these are acts of civil war by agit prop and lawfare. Further to such, your studied ignorance/sidestepping of principles of sound evidence is hardly less manifest. I suggest, for those willing to listen before it is too late, that record that is fair on the face and coming from good custody chain is simply not in the same class as what you wish to put in its place as though that was what you are dealing with. That you imagine that you can freely make that comparison demonstrates your want of sense of duty to truth, right reason, prudence [so, warrant], fairness and justice etc. That goes far beyond manifest anti-Christian bigotry. By that patent lack, you remove yourself from the community of responsible discussion and show yourself to have no credibility. I suggest, you would be well advised to reconsider and walk back from such intemperate remarks as you have already put on record in this thread. That is your only hope to begin to restore a modicum of credibility. KF

  26. 26
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, there you go again. So, in a family friendly blog, we are to have no limits on injection of inappropriate language and topics, on pain of being accused of imposing values.

    Inappropriate language? Your OP highlighted my supposed attack on Christianity. Which, in short, has been frequently centred on the Christian history with homosexuals. Something I have mentioned many times. But when I bring up the fact that homosexuals have sex with each other, you get all verklempt. And claim that your censorship is to protect the children who frequent this site. I have news for you. I would be shocked if anyone who comes to this site doesn’t remember when the Beatles came to North America.

  27. 27
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, your hostility to the Christian faith is ever more explicit;

    Questioning the historic veracity of some biblical accounts is far from being hostile to Christianity. That you can’t see this speaks more about you than it does about me.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    you are a reasonably educated and cultured person, so you know what is and is not appropriate in a context that in film terms needs to be PG rated. That you resent such a reasonable requirement instead of implicitly recognising and respecting it speaks volumes. But then, this is an age where shocking, habituating, entangling perversity is a few clicks away on the Internet. (Though, per a brewing scandal linked above, that may well collapse over matters of child exploitation and recorded sexual assault of same. The last remaining barrier, in place for reasons that carry all sorts of implications.)

    Next, the underlying tone and response to evidence, record and heroic sacrifice above goes far beyond mere questioning of the veracity or credibility.

    On the latter, you have an obvious problem with selective hyperskepticism and refusal to address adequate warrant.

    On the former, consider as just one case how you reacted to a context in which the minimal facts of a consensus of scholarship [across the spectrum of views] are on the table, as well as the principles behind such facts , also historical evidence and undeniable trends. Namely, you invented a hypothetical narrative that has no provenance and put in it the suggestion of utterly gross immorality on the part of a man who could — and did — publicly challenge those who hated him enough to try to entrap him in death penalty crimes, that they were not able to factually accuse him of wrongdoing. A man, whose closest acquaintances were willing to peacefully die in the face of judicial murder for what they regarded about his spotless character (in a culture trained from birth to be sensitive to personal wrong-doing). Likewise, he was one able to rescue women, including those who had notoriously been scarlet; I here particularly point to Mary of Magdala (who is likely to also be Mary of Bethany).

    The rhetoric of a shocking smear to taint another by planting a notion of accusation is well known, and revealing. It is obvious that you are unwilling to acknowledge and respect the presence and manifest character of one of the all time great uplifting teachers of humanity; that reflects a fundamental incivility and want of understanding of the underpinnings of sound community. No wonder that we find ourselves in an age of manipulation by slander.

    I have already pointed to the connexion between truth, responsible reason and moral government, something you have consistently dodged: that we are subject to first duties of reason that pervade our intellectual endeavours and ground that we are under a law of our nature. That law is built in and binding, setting the context for individual life, family, community, sound government and the upholding of the civil peace of justice. Such moral government raises the issue of the IS-OUGHT gap, thus the need for an adequate reality root. That source of the world needs to be independent in being [thus necessary and eternal], powerful and knowledgeable enough to frame and build worlds, AND to have the inherent goodness and utter wisdom to ground moral government.

    The alternative, is that moral government is delusional. There is no real duty, we just have a socially advantageous delusion. As can be documented as a clear view out there. But given that our sense of duty to truth pervades our rational life, such a delusion would take down with it our whole intellectual credibility.

    You and your circle have been present many times when we have put on the table as a real world case study that it is manifestly and self-evidently evil to ambush, kidnap, bind, sexually indecently assault and murder a child for one’s sick pleasure. That is a case of effectively certain and incorrigible moral knowledge. The attempted denial is patently absurd, leading to that certainty of self-evidence. This speaks straight to first duties of a rational being — start with, truth, prudence, right reason, fairness and justice — and leads to the challenge to bridge is and ought [only possible in the root of reality] thus the bill of requisites for a world root being.

    None of this is specifically Judaeo-Christian, nor does it presume generic theism, it is a worldviews analysis exercise towards understanding the integrity, wider coherence and credibility of rationality. Something which we desperately need. Indeed, it echoes not only Plato but also Cicero (a pagan, Roman Stoic, lawyer and top level statesman, writing c 50 BC):

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man.

    [–> Note, how justice and our built in nature as a morally governed class of creatures are highlighted; thus framing the natural law frame: recognising built-in law that we do not create nor can we repeal, which then frames a sound understanding of justice. Without such an anchor, law inevitably reduces to the sort of ruthless, nihilistic might- and- manipulation- make- “right,”- “truth,”- “knowledge,”- “law”- and- “justice”- etc power struggle and chaos Plato warned against in The Laws Bk X.]

    We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

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

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

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

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

    This is the sort of general consensus thinking on the built in law of our morally governed nature that Paul of Tarsus wrote to Rome about 100 years later. And if there is no such built in law, if it is all a grand delusion, that taints our whole intellectual life. The positivism, relativism, selective hyperskepticism and scientism of our day are ill advised, self referentially absurd and nihilistic to the point of being misanthropy.

    We would be well advised to reconsider and turn back.

    Now, we face a bill of requisites for the world source, the root of reality. That bill of requisites is familiar sounding. And indeed, on those requisites tracing to our being morally governed creatures in a world fine tuned for such to exist, we can see the candidate to beat. Indeed, the only serious candidate after centuries of debate: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God; a necessary and maximally great being. One, worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our manifest morally governed nature.

    If you doubt this balance, this is phil, simply provide another candidate reality root ______ and show its seriousness on comparative difficulties ________ . (As this challenge has been put on the table many times without serious answer the balance on merits is obvious.)

    So, we have reason to hold to generic ethical theism, indeed we can see that the likes of Plato or Cicero were groping their way in that direction. In that context, we can note how the Hebraic tradition from outset, thousands of years before an analysis of necessary and maximally great being was seriously taken up, captured its essence in the self-revelation of God: I AM THAT I AM. That’s impressive. Likewise, in that tradition we saw predictive prophecy, demonstrably centuries ahead, specifically — Isa 53 — involving resurrection of messiah. That is what was fulfilled, with 500 witnesses c 30 AD.

    Those witnesses were the unbreakable core of the founding era of the Christian movement as Morison noted. They were unanswerable, not even by ruthless demonic force that did not shrink back from judicial murder. And that is what is reflected in the C1 eyewitness lifetime record that grounds the minimal facts consensus. As to the attempt to reduce to one source and to dismiss as hearsay, the pattern of unintended coincidences and superficial differences that fuse into a coherent pattern on closer examination shows the direct contrary. Independent, multiple sources, recorded in a window of time before the Judaean war of the 60’s and 70’s wiped out the places so casually and aptly referred to.

    What emerges, then, is a pattern of selective hyperskepticism, motivated by a culture that is no longer post Christian but is in some quarters militantly hostile, anti-Christian. In the pursuit of such, there is a shipwreck being made of the law of our morally governed nature; which is fraught with implications of undermining sound government and the defence of the civil peace of justice. Such is anti-civilisational and misanthropic; suicidally ruinous should it succeed.

    We would be well advised to reconsider.

    KF

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Since E.G. will not be fair and reasonable to the empirical evidence in the here and now that unequivocally points to intelligent design. then it is hardly surprising that E.G. refuses to be fair and reasonable to the historical evidence, presented by kf, that unequivocally points to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Here are some more resources, on top of what kf has already presented, that show us that, as far as the historical evidence itself is concerned, Jesus assuredly rose from the dead.

    Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? – Part One: The Facts – William Lane Craig – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qhQRMhUK1o&list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EdjtIgl2mjC854P-0SlcYcJ&index=1

    The (Unmatched Historical Reliability of the) Resurrection of Jesus – Dr. Gary R. Habermas (On Guard Conference 2013) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNdmSQKyzgc

    How Reliable Is the New Testament? – Dr. Daniel Wallace (16:30 minute mark of video “The New Testament has an ‘embarrassment of riches’ compared to other ancient texts”) – video (Dr. Wallace publicly debated Bart Ehrman 3 times)
    http://www.watermark.org/media.....ment/2305/

    The reliability of the New Testament compared to other ancient texts – graph
    http://visualunit.files.wordpr.....ility1.jpg

    What are the proofs for the resurrection of Jesus?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je9lI5jPTnQ

    The Case For Christ – Lee Strobel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67uj2qvQi_k

    Peter Williams – Historical Evidence For The Christian Faith
    https://vimeo.com/144544774

    The Earliest Evidence for the Text of the New Testament – Dirk Jongkind
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Vll9oS53Y

    Is Jesus History? John Dickson discusses at Georgia Institute of Technology
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZgeYgkd9v8

  30. 30
    ET says:

    Acartia Eddie:

    Which, in short, has been frequently centred on the Christian history with homosexuals.

    And that proves you are ignorant. The OLD Testament pertains to Judaism, although the Christians also hold it to be true.

    And you cannot question the veracity of something you clearly don’t know anything about.

  31. 31
    ET says:

    I would be shocked if anyone who comes to this site doesn’t remember when the Beatles came to North America.

    We would be shocked if you ever presented a coherent argument. Or an argument you could actually support.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, thanks, useful list. I added to OP a full length YouTube of Strobel’s documentary. KF

  33. 33
    JVL says:

    Interesting discussion. So, I’m wondering . . .

    How to resolve the situation. How does a society move forward with social services and such when there is a gap evident in this thread.

    I don’t have an answer but it seems like one must be found.

  34. 34
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    Interesting discussion. So, I’m wondering . . .

    How to resolve the situation. How does a society move forward with social services and such when there is a gap evident in this thread.

    I don’t have an answer but it seems like one must be found.

    We move forward the same way that societies have done for centuries. We talk, we negotiate, we make rules and laws based on the knowledge we have and the goals we are aiming for. Sometimes this will work well for a time (e.g., same sex marriage, de-stigmatizing sex, expanded rights for women and people on the fringes of society, etc.) and other times it will go horribly awry (e.g. the holocaust, Stalin, Mao, etc.).

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, our problem today isn’t moving ahead, it is turning back from catastrophic civil war, of which we have entered the early stages across our civilisation. That is one reason why I am going back to first principles; here, the first duties of reason. Once we are willing to acknowledge such and recognise the force of the worldviews issues they lead to, we can find a way back to sanity. Otherwise, nihilism will lead us over the cliff. Which is the current track. On long history, it is likely to take the crash at the bottom of the cliff to restore sanity through pain. My hope is that we will wake up to our needless peril and pull back from the bring before it collapses underfoot. KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    I will note on some steps of thought, in hope that maybe someone will begin to wake up before it is too late:

    >>We move forward the same way that societies have done for centuries. >>

    1: The presumption of progress is, historically ill-founded. Many hope to continue reaping the fruit of an extremely unusual breakthrough of government, while discarding its explicit foundations.

    2: I again quote the US DoI, 1776:

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, 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 [–> notice the appeal to built in law of our morally governed nature] 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 [–> appeal to first, self-evident principles of justice], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator [–> inference to ethical theism in a generally Judaeo-Christian context] 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 [–> Govt’s first duty is justice, which BTW immediately discredits power games pivoting on Star Chamber proceedings, as — on fair comment [cf Dershowitz et al] — we just saw in the US Congress Intelligence Committee] 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.

    3: See some familiar themes you keep ducking away from? You should.

    4: The US founders started from the first duties, and drew out issues of justice as expressing built in law of our morally governed nature as endowed by our creator. This, in the further context of the double covenant understanding of nationhood and just government under God . . . part of the theology of the Reformation.

    5: In that context existing or emerging lower magistrates [or representatives analogous to a Moses etc] are as must the servants of God duty bound to defend the civil peace of justice as are higher ones, and in cases of mounting abuse if remonstrance fails, orderly secession and defence of liberty and justice from tyranny is just.

    6: Notice, the particular concern about usurpation and a train of abuses pointing to rising tyranny.

    7: In our day, it is the overthrowing of first duties which is the telling marker of where those who imagine themselves to be the vanguard of progress wish to lead us. That is a strong sign indeed that power in such hands is exceedingly dangerous. Much as the danger the Chinese civil authorities pose to their own people today.

    >>We talk, we negotiate, we make rules and laws based on the knowledge we have and the goals we are aiming for. >>

    8: You exaggerate our ability to know and to make law, especially in a context where the first duties are being side-stepped and undermined: to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to fairness and justice, etc.

    >>Sometimes this will work well for a time (e.g., same sex marriage, de-stigmatizing sex, expanded rights for women and people on the fringes of society, etc.)>>

    9: You conflate genuine reform rooted in first duties with fashionable perversity corrupting to the foundational framework of society, the family. As has been long since pointed out at due length. Just, such is inconvenient so it is smeared and dismissed.

    10: The end of such perversity is progressive all right: progressin to and over the cliff is a form of progress. Only, not a good one.

    11: In particular, some things are built into our morally governed nature. Governments do not invent them, nor can decrees under false colour of law change such. For instance, sacrilegious blasphemy under false colour of law cannot change what marriage is [something literally written into our XY and XX chromosomes], it will only embed and entrench corruption in the place of soundness, to our detriment.

    >> and other times it will go horribly awry (e.g. the holocaust, Stalin, Mao, etc.).>>

    12: As is currently happening.

    KF

  37. 37
    Ed George says:

    KF

    1: The presumption of progress is, historically ill-founded.

    I don’t presume progress. I just accept the fact that there will always be change. All we can hope for is that the change is well thought out and has the minimal of negative impact on most people.

    4: The US founders started from the first duties, and drew out issues of justice as expressing built in law of our morally governed nature as endowed by our creator.

    But their idea of justice did not extend to blacks, Chinese immigrants or women.

    6: Notice, the particular concern about usurpation and a train of abuses pointing to rising tyranny.

    Yes, the tyranny of equality for women, for African Americans, for homosexuals, etc. What a horrible world we have created.

    8: You exaggerate our ability to know and to make law, especially in a context where the first duties are being side-stepped and undermined: to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to fairness and justice, etc.

    I don’t exaggerate this at all. I know that we have and will continue to make bad choices. But that is no reason to stop trying. Exactly what first duties are being side-stepped? Fairness and justice are certainly much better now than they were fifty years ago. There is still a long way to go but I would not want to take any steps backward. Women no longer have to tolerate abusive husbands. Homosexuals can now express affection for the person they love without risking loss of employment or imprisonment. They can now enjoy marriage and the obligations and benefits it entails. Teen girls who become pregnant are no longer treated as pariahs in society. They are allowed to continue their schooling with their friends. Couples who decide to live together but not get married are no longer treated as sinners; in addition, they now enjoy the same legal protection and support as any married couple does. Teens now have the tools (comprehensive sex education and access to reliable birth control) necessary to make good life choices. All of this is a great improvement over historic times.

    9: You conflate genuine reform rooted in first duties with fashionable perversity corrupting to the foundational framework of society, the family.

    How you can say that equal treatment under law for women, minorities, homosexuals and others that do not share your narrow view of morality is perversity is simply insupportable.

    11: In particular, some things are built into our morally governed nature. Governments do not invent them, nor can decrees under false colour of law change such.

    Who decides what moral values are the correct ones?

    For instance, sacrilegious blasphemy under false colour of law cannot change what marriage is [something literally written into our XY and XX chromosomes], it will only embed and entrench corruption in the place of soundness, to our detriment.

    Marriage has changed throughout the centuries. We no longer require brides to swear an oath of obedience. That was a huge change to what marriage is. I have been married for 37 years. SSM has been legal for over ten years. My marriage has not been affected one iota.

    I don’t agree with everything that goes on in society. Nobody does. But living in a society requires tolerance and compromises. Until someone can show me how granting equality under law to women, minorities, homosexuals, transgendered, etc. causes actual harm to society, I will support their cause and oppose those who try to stand in their way.

  38. 38
    john_a_designer says:

    The P.C. garbage, which is presently being crammed down EVERYONES throat, comes from SJW secular progressives not from Christians. The problem is that modern secular progressivism, which is the source of this garbage, has emerged out of a culture infested with moral relativism, subjectivism and nihilism. Those kind of beliefs provide absolutely no basis for any kind of viable interpersonal morality, human rights or the kind of cultural consensus which is absolutely essential to have any kind of functioning democratic society.

  39. 39
    ET says:

    I know that we have and will continue to make bad choices.

    And you seem to think that leads to a better world.

    Women no longer have to tolerate abusive husbands.

    They never had to.

    My marriage has not been affected one iota.

    The institution of marriage has. Where do we stop and why, Eddie?

    Until someone can show me how granting equality under law to women, minorities, homosexuals, transgendered, etc. causes actual harm to society, I will support their cause and oppose those who try to stand in their way.

    Why should the vast majority have to bend to the minority, especially when it is just about feelings? Why do we have to redefine words and terms to suit minority opinions? Why can someone use the proper words and get in trouble for it?

    Obviously harm has come to society.

  40. 40
    JVL says:

    John_a_designer and KF and Ed George

    I think we can all agree that most modern societies have a wide and varied mix of beliefs and cultures and we need to figure out a way to accommodate them all under law.

    I am also going to assume, correctly I hope, that we all appreciate the need for compromise on all sides to arrive at some kind of consensus.

    So, how should a progressive society deal with this situation? Ed George has suggested a cultural wide conversation, trying to find common ground and not offending too many. But I’d like to hear from KF and John_a_designer regarding suggestions for moving past the impasse. I understand you are very sure of your standards and want to stick with them. But the world is a very complicated and diverse place so . . . how do you propose we proceed? How do we find some common ground? Given that you will always have to address some dissension and disagreement from people who have the same legal status as you.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD:

    Spot on, unfortunately.

    There is a deep rooted failure to understand the centrality of first duties, not only on legal and “moral” subjects but intellectual ones. That is compounded by deep rooted hostility to the implications of our being inescapably governed by built-in law expressed first and foremost in these principles.

    The litmus test result that reveals our civilisation’s moral bankruptcy is that we are sustaining under false colour of law the worst holocaust in history, reportedly mounting up at a million more per week.

    With that on the table, the only way to restore soundness to moral thought, law, government, education, media and even rationality is to go back to first self evident truths of moral government, further informed by sobering history. And worldviews analysis; that we are inescapably under moral government points to the nature of the root of reality.

    Precisely what there is an obvious widespread refusal to soberly address as a civilisation.

    On this track, the onward path is liable to flow from the spreading numbness set by the moral breakdown [and moral preening to compensate!] that we see.

    I fear, things will have to go over the cliff before shock and pain begin to wake us up.

    Sad.

    KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, please see my comment to JAD. As for marriage, Jesus’ analysis is light years ahead of yours. All I will add is that Plato’s remarks as cited above came after Athens’ democratic experiment collapsed at great cost, through a 30 years civil war of the Greeks, the Peloponnesian war. A sobering lesson of history. KF

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the issues are truly foundational and can only be worked through at worldviews level. Absent a sudden awakening to our peril, we are going over the cliff, see my comments to JAD. It is, on present track, out of shattering pain, that we will reconsider the path of wisdom we have so unwisely discarded. It pains me as a convinced democratic person but that is likely one of the casualties. We are burning down our civilisation and refuse to stop. With nukes in play. KF

  44. 44
    Ed George says:

    JaD

    The P.C. garbage, which is presently being crammed down EVERYONES throat, comes from SJW secular progressives not from Christians.

    I’m not a fan of PC either. But that is not the same as granting equal protection under the law for previously marginalized groups.

  45. 45
    ET says:

    Morality by consensus? Really?

    Perhaps if we stop messing around with the screwball idea that is evolutionism, we could focus on what matters. That being why are we here? Because if we have a real purpose for existing then that needs to guide how we all go about living. But those who live in denial of that purpose will continue to think that morality can be had via some consensus.

    Good luck with that.

  46. 46
    Ed George says:

    JVL@40, I think you have hit it on the head. How do you get common ground between people who think that people on the margins of society (and women) deserve equal protection under the law and those who do not?

    “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, as long as you were born with a white penis and are sexually attracted to the opposite sex.

  47. 47
    ET says:

    Clearly “Ed George” has never been outside of the US or Canada. Either that or “Ed George” has been hit on the head, repeatedly.

    There is a huge difference between being treated equally under the law, and forcing the majority to bend to the ill will of the minority.

  48. 48
    JVL says:

    KF
    Clearly you are a very moral person which is admirable of course. I’d like to think that I am such a person as well. But I’m not sure what you propose for considering large groups of citizens who have different beliefs from yours. I’m not judging anyone, I have no claim to a greater understanding than anyone else. And there are groups of people whose views I find extremely difficult to appreciate. But I try hard to remember that all human beings deserve respect and protection. And I always try to look for a middle ground where everyone’s views and beliefs can be respected and protected, if possible. So, how do your propose we proceed?

    ET, how do you propose to create a safe and secure society for everyone even those who may not agree with your purpose driven view? Surely Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs and Janes and Buddhists and Zoroastrians and Confucianists and Bahias and agnostics and atheists deserve the same basic legal protections and rights. Sorry if I left someone out! 🙂 My point is that I think we must, at least, work towards some kind of basis of commonality that respects all faiths and beliefs. Surely that makes sense and is a worthy goal. I hope something we can all agree on.

  49. 49
    JVL says:

    I don’t want to salt the battlefield but would it be instructive to consider a particular topic? Like gay marriage. I’m sure we all have particular and maybe strong views on that and I’m sure we’d all like to argue our perspective. But what I’m interested in is: how does a progressive and enlightened modern society make a decision about a topic like that? I’m NOT saying what that decision should be, I’m only asking how to arrive at a decision.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, at a certain point, I am afraid, the issue in the end is beyond debates and opinions; especially when core principles are forfeit. I believe that — regrettably — such is where we are today, as a civilisation. We are in a challenge, either it is real and accurately described that we are morally governed as rational, responsible creatures or else this perception is a grand delusion; a gateway for manipulation by power. If the latter, rationality collapses, that is enough to see that it is absurd. The former has fairly definite, inescapable first duties of responsible reason: truth, right reason, prudence [so, warrant], fairness and justice etc. Those principles raise issues connected to IS-OUGHT, thence world roots. If a “majority” or even just a “critical mass” refuses such principles [which are conscience-attested], then that injects chaos into society, leading to ruin. The issue, then, is not disagreement or agreement and discussion, but is there moral knowledge and are there indeed first duties. Credibly, there are, so if we resist and wish to remake such to suit ourselves, we will fall under the cutting edge of Kant’s Categorical Imperative: flouting core principles wrecks civilisation. For example consider general or even just critical mass rejection of duty to truth and to prudence, or fairness and justice, or first principles of right reason. What is happening is that as those who reject those seize cultural power, they create a breach in the civil peace of justice. For instance, for nigh on fifty years, the US has cultivated holocaust of unborn posterity in the womb, amounting to 63 millions and another roughly half million per year. What compromise is there between mass slaughter and the right to life; especially as the balance of the relevant courts threatens to shift? And that is just one issue. Soon, unless we turn back, people will conclude that we face misanthropes intent on grave harm, and we will see civil breakdown of ever greater magnitude. That will lead to secession, and deeper civil conflict. In short we are more or less at Bleeding Kansas phase, and we may be just one election shy of a Fort Sumter moment. So, all I can say to you as an onlooker is, please, ponder the abyss and turn back. Otherwise, we will face the sort of shattering crash Athens did, which is what opened minds to listen to the heirs of Socrates, sentenced to hemlock by order of Athens’ highest court. KF

  51. 51
    ET says:

    JVL- I can’t help people who deny the obvious. But they will prevent us from reaching the goal. If that is the world you want then I think you are being selfish and short-sighted.

    Gay marriage? Why stop there? If we are one big family tree of organisms, why limit it to human-human?

    Procreation is the key. Male and female hold that key and the lock. And don’t even bother mentioning the very small % of men and women who cannot procreate. Only a male successfully mating with a female can procreate.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A reminder, from the foot of the cliff, by Plato:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 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].

    Such are the matches we are playing with.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I again point to the US DoI:

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, 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 [–> notice the appeal to built in law of our morally governed nature] 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 [–> appeal to first, self-evident principles of justice], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator [–> inference to ethical theism in a generally Judaeo-Christian context] 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 [–> Govt’s first duty is justice, which BTW immediately discredits power games pivoting on Star Chamber proceedings, as — on fair comment [cf Dershowitz et al] — we just saw in the US Congress Intelligence Committee] 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.

    Let us learn from history.

  54. 54
    buffalo says:

    @Ed George post 2

    Christianity has proposed itself and this country found the proposition so alluring it was founded on it premise as a Republic based on the inalienable rights of life, liberty and private property. The licentiousness you propose is not for the common good. In addition, because of big government health insurance, risky behaviors do have a financial and social cost. This idea that certain behaviors do not hurt anyone is nonsense. True freedom is what one ought to do, not whatever I want to do.

  55. 55
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    But what I’m interested in is: how does a progressive and enlightened modern society make a decision about a topic like that? [gay marriage]

    I think it is very simple.
    1) Does homosexuality harm anyone? The answer, obviously, is no. Any harm is the result of how society treats the homosexual, not in the homosexual act itself.

    2) Does ostracizing homosexuals harm anyone? The answer, obviously, is yes. The homosexual is harmed.

    3) Does same sex marriage harm anyone? Again, the obvious answer is no.

    4) Does same sex marriage benefit anyone? Yes. In the same way that opposite sex marriage does.

  56. 56
    Ed George says:

    Buffalo

    Christianity has proposed itself and this country found the proposition so alluring it was founded on it premise as a Republic based on the inalienable rights of life, liberty and private property.

    As I mentioned before, this may be true as long as you are a heterosexual property owner who possesses a white penis. All others are secondary. At least as far as the founding fathers are concerned.

    In addition, because of big government health insurance, risky behaviors do have a financial and social cost. This idea that certain behaviors do not hurt anyone is nonsense.

    By this argument we should ban cars, physical activity (sports and active excercise), drinking and smoking. They cause far more harm to individuals than homosexual activity.

    True freedom is what one ought to do, not whatever I want to do.

    No, doing what one ought to do is dictatorship.

  57. 57
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 48, 49

    >But I try hard to remember that all human beings deserve respect and protection.

    That does not mean that all points of view are equally valid, nor that they all have a sound basis in reality. We need to have that conversation first.

    >And I always try to look for a middle ground where everyone’s views and beliefs can be respected and protected, if possible.

    Again, we need to examine whether some views are even valid at all. And we should examine where many of those views will likely lead. They don’t all lead to good places I’m afraid.

    >So, how do your propose we proceed?

    From my perspective (and I presume of others here), we would simply like to persuade everyone back to a Christian foundation. Not force, but persuade. I appreciate your tactful suggestions, but if some belief systems are not grounded in reality, then they are doomed, as are those who follow them. It’s just not the case that every worldview is equally true and valid. Deeper discussions have to be had, rather than just superficially agreeing to all be really really tolerant just for the sake of getting along. For example, what points do you JVL, EG, et al disagree with KF’s individual points made throughout the conversation above. Please engage us at that level.

    > how does a progressive and enlightened modern society make a decision…

    A society headed in the direction ours is, is not what I call enlightened. We are progressive/liberal/materialistic/consumeristic/hedonistic. But not enlightened.

  58. 58
    ET says:

    Homosexuality goes against nature. Same sex marriage harms the institution of marriage. If you allow it you have to allow all marriages. Same sex marriage doesn’t benefit anyone. The word “marriage” had to be redefined.

    They cause far more harm to individuals than homosexual activity.

    That is your uneducated opinion, anyway.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    “Ed George” thinks that living in the 18th century is the same as today. How pathetically desperate can one person be?

  60. 60
    ET says:

    As a demonstration on how messed up society has become, Bruce Jenner was once named woman of the year. And boys are competing against and beating girls in girls’ sporting events. That is hurting the biological females on different levels.

    Maybe a big asteroid strike is what we need.

  61. 61
    buffalo says:

    Ed George @56

    Christianity recognizes that all humans are made in the image and likeness of God. True christian charity and love of another demands fraternal correction as we want what is best for the other. Homosexual acts violate the natural law and the purpose of the reproductive system. In addition, they are sterile acts. The Christian way of life is the best all the way around.

  62. 62
    JVL says:

    Thank you all for being honest. Just one more question if I might?

    You all seem quite united in your interpretation of Christian ethics and morals. But you are surely aware that other Christians disagree with you on the particular issue presented: that of same-sex marriage.

    Aside from making it difficult for others to ‘know’ what the Christian view is . . . how do you propose to unify the Christian community on this and other contentious issues? Or do you need to unify the Christian community?

  63. 63
    PaoloV says:

    Buffalo,
    Well said.

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N A mild level clash revealing the cognitive dissonance at work https://www.wnd.com/2020/02/watch-school-official-bully-team-handing-pro-life-information/ Remember, we are discussing the largest scale killing of human life in history, which is ongoing at about a million more per week globally per Guttmacher UN figures. The concerned have a right to raise questions. KF

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    I am NOT primarily speaking to “Christian” ethics or morality or “values” [that assumption itself reflects the dominance of radical relativism tracing to the influence of evolutionary materialism and fellow travellers, cf. Plato], but to the innate, conscience attested moral government that sets up the discernible, built in law of our nature. Notice in this light, my citation of Cicero and allusion to the bridge to the Pauline synthesis of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome; together with the case study of Jesus’ creation order, natural law ruling on marriage. Not, imposition of a metaphysical/ ideological/ theological dogma but reason on comparative difficulties in the common ground of manifest truths of our responsible, rational freedom.

    That context of synthesis is the unacknowledged foundation of Christendom, now usually styled the post Christian West aka Western Civilisation . . . though there is the usual revisionism that tries to suggest that the concept of such a common civilisation was invented to indoctrinate doughboys to fight in WW I — utterly, manifestly ill-founded.

    Such a common core discussion starts with principles and duties foundational to responsible discussion: truth, right reason, prudence [so, epistemological warrant], sound conscience, fairness, justice etc. This lays out a common ground, a place to renew and reform, if we are willing to face it together. That will include facing the IS-OUGHT gap and world roots challenge.

    If such common ground is refused, no reasonable discussion will be possible on the agenda of hot button issues that are dots to be connected in the rising civilisational civil war.

    As I have warned, we are dancing on a crumbling cliff’s edge, heedless of warnings and signs of grave danger.

    The history of Athens’ failure as a democracy should be a grim warning and a backdrop to education on the pivotal US Constitutional Republic experiment, but it generally isn’t. This case and the comparable failure of the Roman Republic leading to the rise of Empire were key background factors for the US framers, running in parallel with an understanding of the biblical history of Israel. BTW, IIRC, the single most commonly used source across the founders was Deuteronomy, in effect the Constitution of Israel, presented as Moses’ farewell address.

    And that is a further context, history of our civilisation informed by global comparative trends and timelines.

    These, with some worldviews basics, are a start-point to re think and rebuild.

    I add, the context of moral government by built in natural law sets up responsible, rational discussion. Believe it or not, we now have to fight the battle of responsible, just, sound reason. That, is how far gone we are.

    That raises worldviews issues, as the IS-OUGHT gap can only be bridged in the root of reality. Where, we need such a root at finite remove. Causal circularity is absurd and we cannot traverse a transfinite causal-temporal chain of steps [that was a three year debate here at UD]. Non-being, the genuine nothing, has no causal capacity so were there ever utter non-being, such would forever obtain. There would be no world.

    A world, manifestly is, so there is a reality root, source of worlds. Including ours.

    We therefore need a finitely remote, independent being reality root capable of sourcing worlds; including one with morally governed, responsibly rational and significantly free creatures, us. Where, the point of moral government is that that is how freedom is governed. Not by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    There is just one serious candidate to be that reality root. The sustained absence of cogent response to the comparative difficulties challenge is a clue.

    Namely, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary [independent] and maximally great being; worthy of our loyalty and of the reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our manifest nature. The God of ethical theism; recognisable in the Scriptures.

    That is a root problem, as there is a strong trend of rage against God and those who seek to trust and serve him. That is a key source of the civilisational civil war that is now at agit prop, lawfare and institutional subversion phase. However, evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers are incoherent undermining rationality itself, as responsible reason cannot be reduced to GIGO limited dynamic-stochastic computation on a material substrate. Scientism fails as a theory of knowledge, as philosophy is prior to science. Such is also morally bankrupt as Plato long since warned. We must not be bewitched by the lab coat.

    Starting from here, we can rethink and seek reform.

    The path ahead will not be easy.

    KF

    PS My thoughts on worldviews etc http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....u2_bld_wvu

    PPS: Let me add, Cicero as it is buried in the stream of comments above:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man.

    [–> Note, how justice and our built in nature as a morally governed class of creatures are highlighted; thus framing the natural law frame: recognising built-in law that we do not create nor can we repeal, which then frames a sound understanding of justice. Without such an anchor, law inevitably reduces to the sort of ruthless, nihilistic might- and- manipulation- make- “right,”- “truth,”- “knowledge,”- “law”- and- “justice”- etc power struggle and chaos Plato warned against in The Laws Bk X.]

    We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

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

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

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

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

  66. 66
    JVL says:

    KF: The path ahead will not be easy.

    Yup, that is something we can all agree on. There are a lot of people who are sure they are right these days.

  67. 67
    Truthfreedom says:

    @ KF

    [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity].

    Well, according to certain very well versed reader of certain evolutionist blogger to whom Bernardo Kastrup refers as the “dim-witted biologist”,

    whenever *they* try to construct a case against naturalism (evolutionary materialism) they fall flat on their faces. Every. Single. Time.

    (Yes, with caps and dots).
    So it is settled , naturalism is unassailable and every attempt at showing its absurdities is doomed to fail.
    Ditto by this sage.

    Our time to laugh. 🙂

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, we have burned up the hard-won governance capital of our civilisation through our entertaining of fundamentally incoherent and morally bankrupt ideologies (which were often dressed up in lab coats). it takes generations to rebuild that capital, and on history, it is pain due to needless crashes of civilisations that allow a critical mass of rethinking. A yardstick of what has gone wrong is the worst, ongoing holocaust in history under which we have killed 800+ million of our living posterity in the womb in 40+ years, the US fraction being 63 millions or so. This toll mounts at about 1 million per week globally. Only an intellectually and morally bankrupt culture with utterly degraded main institutions can be in such a state. KF

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    TF, on the intellectual failure of evolutionary materialistic scientism, I link here: http://iose-gen.blogspot.com/2.....ml#slf_ref KF

    PS: This begins:

    >>13 –> Some materialists go further and suggest that mind is more or less a delusion. For instance, Sir Francis Crick is on record, in his 1994 The Astonishing Hypothesis:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    14 –> Philip Johnson has replied that Sir Francis should have therefore been willing to preface his works thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Johnson then acidly commented: “[[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” [[Reason in the Balance, 1995.]

    15 –> In short, it is at least arguable that self-referential absurdity is the dagger pointing to the heart of evolutionary materialistic models of mind and its origin . . . . there is a very good reason we are cautioned about how easily self-referential statements can become self-refuting, like a snake attacking and swallowing itself tail-first. Any human scheme of thought that undermines responsible [thus, morally governed] rational freedom undermines itself fatally. We thus see inadvertent, inherent self-falsification of evolutionary materialism. But, “inadvertent” counts: it can be hard to recognise and acknowledge the logically fatal nature of the result. Of course, that subjective challenge does not change the objective result: self-referential incoherence and irretrievable self-falsification. >>

    There is much more there.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Some of that more, from Reppert:

    . . . 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.

    Where, the famous geneticist and evolutionary biologist (as well as Socialist) J. B. S. Haldane made much the same point in a famous 1932 remark:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]

    KF

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm, Sev seems to be missing in action. KF

  72. 72
    Truthfreedom says:

    @69 KF:

    TF, on the intellectual failure of evolutionary materialistic scientism, I link here: http://iose-gen.blogspot.com/2.....ml#slf_ref

    I was being ironic. I know naturalism is a dead-end. (Excellent link with valuable resources by the way).
    I was copying the comment of one of the “dim-witted biologist” followers. 🙂

  73. 73

    EG@22 and repeated a number of times following.

    Let me weigh in on this:
    “Again, how does two men having consensual sex harm society or hinder you from following a Christian life.”

    “Two men having consensual sex …” are part of the increasingly aggressive and destructive homosexual/LGBQT agenda. Let me site a few of the consequences:
    • I’ll start with the dramatic escalation of divorce in recent generations. This increase has much to do with the loosening of moral values as related to sexual attitudes and behavior. The casualties are found in broken families, children without fathers in the house, and the loss of relationships that extend far beyond the immediate families affected by the divorce. Friendships among extended family members often end, sometimes with enmity, but more often just a drifting away. We have seen much of this over our own 56 years of marriage.
    Much of this relationship destruction and carnage can be laid at the feet of Hugh Hefner and his “Playboy Philosophy” which enticed many young males of my generation to seek their own string of playmates.
    • Boys competing against girls in sports here in Connecticut – and dominating.
    • Those same boys allowed to locker and shower with the girls … thank you Barack Obama.
    • Deliberately caused sexual confusion among vulnerable children.
    • Young children undergoing radical and medically unnecessary surgery in attempts to biologically change genders.
    • Suicide rate among so called transgenders significantly higher than among straight peers.
    • Family trauma coming from in-family transgender suicides.
    • STD rates among practicing homosexuals – especially among gay men – are significantly higher than the general population,
    • Remember the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s? Tamed not by behavioral change, but by the band-aide of modern medical/pharmaceutical science.
    • Christian small business owners being forced by law/regulation to participate in same sex marriage ceremonies in violation of clear Biblical teachings they hold too.
    • The “recruitment” effect of luring naive and vulnerable young teens into what is presented as “just another legitimate lifestyle” exposes multitudes to the dangers listed above.
    • Last but not least is the destruction of a Biblical based Judeo/Christian culture.

  74. 74

    EG@22 and repeated a number of times following.

    Let me weigh in on this:
    “Again, how does two men having consensual sex harm society or hinder you from following a Christian life.”

    “Two men having consensual sex …” are part of the increasingly aggressive and destructive homosexual/LGBQT agenda. Let me site a few of the consequences:
    • I’ll start with the dramatic escalation of divorce in recent generations. This increase has much to do with the loosening of moral values as related to sexual attitudes and behavior. The casualties are found in broken families, children without fathers in the house, and the loss of relationships that extend far beyond the immediate families affected by the divorce. Friendships among extended family members often end, sometimes with enmity, but more often just a drifting away. We have seen much of this over our own 56 years of marriage.
    Much of this relationship destruction and carnage can be laid at the feet of Hugh Hefner and his “Playboy Philosophy” which enticed many young males of my generation to seek their own string of playmates.
    • Boys competing against girls in sports here in Connecticut – and dominating.
    • Those same boys allowed to locker and shower with the girls … thank you Barack Obama.
    • Deliberately caused sexual confusion among vulnerable children.
    • Young children undergoing radical and medically unnecessary surgery in attempts to biologically change genders.
    • Suicide rate among so called transgenders significantly higher than among straight peers.
    • Family trauma coming from in-family transgender suicides.
    • STD rates among practicing homosexuals – especially among gay men – are significantly higher than the general population,
    • Remember the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s? Tamed not by behavioral change, but by the band-aide of modern medical/pharmaceutical science.
    • Christian small business owners being forced by law/regulation to participate in same sex marriage ceremonies in violation of clear Biblical teachings they hold too.
    • The “recruitment” effect of luring naive and vulnerable young teens into what is presented as “just another legitimate lifestyle” exposes multitudes to the dangers listed above.
    • Last but not least is the destruction of a Biblical based Judea/Christian culture.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP, long time no see, trust you are well! While this thread is not primarily about sexual issues, they have come up enough that I should point out that while various activities of sexual character are obviously possible and practiced, it is begging huge questions to call them “sex.” That is, short for sexual intercourse, coitus, the act of marital union and the biological act of reproduction. One of the issues of prudence and right reason as well as truth is to make appropriate distinctions as to both what is and what ought to be. Sexual intercourse taken out of its proper context of marital union is already a destructive and immoral act. The compounding of such with unnatural acts (especially in the same sex context — distorting relationships and undermining mentoring and close friendships etc) is even more morally freighted. To then take such to try to redefine marriage is to try to undermine law written literally into our chromosomes, not just our traditions. This then further destabilises individuality and personal identity, it is no accident that boys and girls are given names distinct to their sexes. The further compounding of this by destabilising the chromosome-stamped fact of two sexes that play complementary roles in reproduction, marriage and family thence wider society, is a further sign of the cliff we are going over. To then try to give some semblance of biology to this by surgical mutilation, especially of the young, is another degree of perversity. To sustain this, law, medicine, nursing and health care, government, education, media and culture have to be systematically distorted and those who object are then unjustly criminalised or subjected to lawfare, which even when they win is ruinously expensive and wrecking of livelihoods. This last has a name: persecution — which is almost always backed by a blame the victim demonisation narrative. In this context, the spectre of 1984 style newspeak looms, language itself is systematically distorted in service to lies, robbing people of the ability to learn and understand, much less follow truth. All of this is connected in the end to rejecting the premise that we are morally governed, rational and responsible, free creatures; under built in law attested to by sound conscience. More can be said, but this should be enough to see that the attempt to re-write sexual identity, relationships and conduct and linked perceptions of morality is destructive rather than constructive, and that it feeds an agenda that is even more widely damaging. KF

  76. 76
    JVL says:

    Again, I thank everyone for speaking frankly. That’s the first step towards respect.

    We’ve pointed out a wide gulf between various factions in society regarding some issues and you’ve been very clear where you stand. Ed George has given an indication of how he(?) thinks we should move forward. KF and others have been pretty clear expressing where they think the problems lie but I’m still wondering how you all would suggest we move forward. I’m interested in clear, practical, implementable suggestions. I appreciate that you think a change in society is essential but I’m not sure how you propose to bring it about.

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, as I have repeatedly noted, it is when we address foundational things that we will be able to move forward. I have severe doubts that we will be willing to do so absent going over the cliff and having a very hard collision with reality — again. Notice, people paid attention to Plato after Athens collapsed, before, they had regarded Socrates as at best a gadfly and eventually put him to death on the flimsiest of excuses. The history of the Hebrew prophets is shockingly similar. The collapse of the Roman republic through civil wars is notorious, the empire was an attempt to rescue stability, and it held on for a time with increasing autocracy then it too fell apart. After centuries of struggle, we had in place mechanisms that were demonstrably adequate to handle genuine reformation, and we have wrecked our governance capital. That is why the US especially is in early phase civil war. KF

    PS: I will add to the OP a chart regarding the sort of change processes we face.

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, I have put up the additions as a F/N to the OP. Here is my specifically Christian analysis at 101 level. KF

  79. 79
    JVL says:

    KF

    I understand your wishes and hopes and I hope you’re wrong about ‘going over the cliff’ which is why I was hoping you’d have some more positive and pro-active steps to suggest and try. I think it’s good to consider options.

    Do you think Europe is a similar case? It seems pretty peaceful and placid at the moment, especially considering the hundreds and hundreds of years of warfare in the past. It seems like the structure of the EU has prompted countries to work together more, the UK excepted obviously.

  80. 80

    KF @75
    Thanks for the welcome back. I’ve not been contributing much here, but please note I follow the discussions with interest. I responded above because Ed George is insistent on claiming there is no harm in consensual sex – basically of any sort. Evan a casual look around today’s culture puts the lie to such a position.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, Europe went over the cliff starting in 1914 — as leading statesmen understood at the time. And today, it faces a challenge through demographic collapse [a telling mark of despair] and Jihad of settlement. The UK is undergoing a peasant uprising by ballot box. I wish I were wrong, but fear that I am right that we are beginning to go into the catastrophic phase on both sides of the Atlantic. The 1930’s should tell us about what vultures will do if they sense weakness. KF

    PS Did you see my F/N to OP?

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP, good to know you are still about. Yes, we are playing with big matches. KF

  83. 83
    Ed George says:

    KF keeps bringing up abortion as a sign of us heading over the cliff. This in spite of the fact that abortion rates continue to fall. What is interesting is that it has been shown that abortion rates actually decline when it is made easier to obtain. And it also happens that these declining rates are occurring in many countries that have normalized homosexuality, legalized SSM and are taking steps to legally protect transgendered.

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling.

  84. 84
    Ed George says:

    DJ and AyP

    Two men having consensual sex …” are part of the increasingly aggressive and destructive homosexual/LGBQT agenda. Let me site a few of the consequences:
    • I’ll start with the dramatic escalation of divorce in recent generations. This increase has much to do with the loosening of moral values as related to sexual attitudes and behavior. The casualties are found in broken families, children without fathers in the house, and the loss of relationships that extend far beyond the immediate families affected by the divorce. Friendships among extended family members often end, sometimes with enmity, but more often just a drifting away. We have seen much of this over our own 56 years of marriage.
    Much of this relationship destruction and carnage can be laid at the feet of Hugh Hefner and his “Playboy Philosophy” which enticed many young males of my generation to seek their own string of playmates.

    There are many causes for divorce. One of them being that women are less likely to put up with the abuse that was (and still is) common. An abuse that was often condoned by the churches’ teachings that you can’t get to heaven if you divorce.

    You might be interested in the fact that SSM has a lower divorce rate than heterosexual marriage.

    • Boys competing against girls in sports here in Connecticut – and dominating.

    Girls have been allowed to compete against boys for decades. My daughter even joined the Boy Scouts. What is the harm?

    • Those same boys allowed to locker and shower with the girls … thank you Barack Obama.

    If boys and girls showered together from a young age there would be far less of a hang-up about our bodies. Other cultures don’t have the hang-up about nudity that we do and I haven’t heard that their rape incidents are any higher.

    • Deliberately caused sexual confusion among vulnerable children.

    Knowledge never leads to confusion, Withholding knowledge does.

    • Young children undergoing radical and medically unnecessary surgery in attempts to biologically change genders.

    I would not be in favour of that.

    • Suicide rate among so called transgenders significantly higher than among straight peers.

    Transgendered also face higher rates of discrimination and bullying. Two things that are known to have an impact on suicide. Don’t you think a better approach would be to address the discrimination and bullying?

    • Family trauma coming from in-family transgender suicides.

    See above.

    • STD rates among practicing homosexuals – especially among gay men – are significantly higher than the general population,

    So what? As with straight people, education on disease prevention is important.

    • Remember the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s? Tamed not by behavioral change, but by the band-aide of modern medical/pharmaceutical science.

    See above comment.

    • Christian small business owners being forced by law/regulation to participate in same sex marriage ceremonies in violation of clear Biblical teachings they hold too.

    A baker and florist are not participating in the ceremony. They are providing a service that they must legally provide in a non-discriminatory fashion. Same as if it was for an interracial couple.

    • The “recruitment” effect of luring naive and vulnerable young teens into what is presented as “just another legitimate lifestyle” exposes multitudes to the dangers listed above.

    Are you suggesting that as a teen you could have been recruited into a homosexual lifestyle? I couldn’t have.

    • Last but not least is the destruction of a Biblical based Judeo/Christian culture.

    If this Biblical based Judeo/Christian culture expects women to obey their husbands, for homosexuals to be discriminated against, or to be denied the opportunity to be with the one you love, then the sooner it dies, the better. But that is not what the majority of Christian culture is, just a fringe minority of it.

  85. 85
    Truthfreedom says:

    @84 Ed George

    If boys and girls showered together from a young age there would be far less of a hang-up about our bodies.

    And you have exactly zero proof. Remember that personal opinions do not constitute a valid argument.

    Knowledge never leads to confusion

    But perverting knowledge to support an agenda does. Truth is always the first victim and everything else follows.

  86. 86
    ET says:

    Acartia Eddie:

    Girls have been allowed to compete against boys for decades. My daughter even joined the Boy Scouts. What is the harm?

    Wow. What a clueless jerk. The harm is in the fact that the real girls will not get the scholarships they deserve because they are not winning. They are just also rans.

    Why even have girl sports at all? They cannot compete against the mature boys. They would get wiped out and then give up, because why even bother?

    The lawsuits against the practice of allowing boys to compete against girls says it all. Taking away scholarships. Not allowing girls to be victors in their own races and competitions. It cuts deep into the girls, you ignorant punk.

  87. 87
    buffalo says:

    We have drifted so far from our founding principles. We can recover by first understanding the founders and framers. Step 1 – return God (the way, the truth and the life) to the public square and schools. (for some reason we are OK with teaching partial truths and willingly pay for it) A Republic cannot survive great diversity as has been the goal of many. A Republic needs a like minded and moral citizenry. The founders knew this. America was founded on Catholic principles but has degenerated to secularism. The founders thought revolutions should happen often. We have not had one recently.

  88. 88
    john_a_designer says:

    Many of our regular interlocutors self-identify as moral subjectivists, which means they believe there is no such thing as moral truth. However, they never explain how you can resolve a moral or ethical dilemma or debate if everyone is a moral subjectivist with his or her own personal agenda. They also claim, very disingenuously in my opinion, that they are pro-democracy. They also sometimes talk about trying to reach some kind of consensus. But again, how can we reach any kind of consensus if everyone is a moral subjectivist with his or her personal agenda. This is another example of sawing off the limb one is sitting on. And, to add to the absurdity they are sawing it off on the trunk side.

    One of the basic obligations for the functioning of society is the obligation to be truthful and honest. Frankly I don’t think most our regular interlocutors are being truthful and honest. How can they be when they believe there is no moral or ethical obligation to be truthful and honest? Obligations must be based on moral standards that are true whether not everyone agrees that they are true. If there are no such standards there are no real moral obligations. In other words, so-called moral subjectivists have basis for morality because they have no moral obligations of any kind. Frankly then, they are not moral people. Their arguments are nothing more than rhetorically empty pretense and posturing. One has to ask why they bother to persist? I have no idea. Maybe one of them will tell us. But that would require them to be open, honest and transparent, something for which they have absolutely no basis.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the harsh reality is that for 40+ years we have enabled the mass slaughter of our living posterity in the womb, warping law, government, education, media, professions and institutions to that end. If that does not trigger all sorts of alarms, it should. That many seek to justify or further enable such is a further sad sign. In that context, our moral and logical judgements are suspect also. That we are enabling the worst holocaust in history says all we need to know about a civilisation that has lost its way, is in trouble and is headed into deeper trouble. KF

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, trying to compel people to enable evil or folly under false colour of law is one of the strongest markers of demonic evil corrupting a culture. Compounding that by accusing those being targeted for the “crime” of principled objection to such enabling of “discrimination” and the like, compounds the matter. Beyond a certain point, fatal disaffection will set in and the people you most need to stoutly defend will not be there. Ask the ghosts of the Emperors who needlessly alienated Egypt and Syria 1400 years ago.

  91. 91
    Ed George says:

    KF, but you still have not addressed the fact that countries that legalize access to abortion actually see a decrease in the abortion rates. If eliminating abortions is the goal then making them illegal has failed miserably. However, a strategy that has a proven track record is early non-judgmental sex education and unrestricted access to contraceptives. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge these facts speaks volumes.

  92. 92
    ET says:

    , but you still have not addressed the fact that countries that legalize access to abortion actually see a decrease in the abortion rates.

    Abortion is murder. That people don’t understand that just shows how far into the hole we have fallen.

    If eliminating abortions is the goal then making them illegal has failed miserably.

    How would you know? We haven’t made them illegal.

    The fact that you refuse to acknowledge these facts speaks volumes.

    You don’t know what a fact is. And that speaks volumes.

  93. 93
    Ed George says:

    Buffalo

    A Republic cannot survive great diversity as has been the goal of many. A Republic needs a like minded and moral citizenry.

    And what would you be willing to do to achieve this society? Incarcerate homosexuals and transgender? Enforced conversion therapy? Close the borders to all but your flavour of Christian? Re-education camps for those with different moral values or ways of thinking? Life sentences for women who have an abortion? Annulment of all same sex marriages? Forcibly remove and educate children from parents who disagree with your values? Forced Christian education from early life, but only your flavour of Christian?

    JVL is correct in that several people here have a very clear idea about what their ideal society would be like but have provided to no strategy for getting there. Achieving your ideal society has the same roadblocks that achieving my ideal society has. To obtain either, we would have to eliminate free will. Hitler tried this. So did Stalin, Mao and Kim Jung Un.

  94. 94
    Ed George says:

    Ps, the best we can do is keep having dialogue. We will never agree on everything, but we make progress on the things we do agree on. For the rest, consensus is the best we can hope for. That will mean that some will be pleased and some won’t.

  95. 95
    ET says:

    Great, more strawman erecting. No one was talking about an “ideal society”. What we want is a society in which murder is illegal. And seeing that SCIENCE says that life starts @ conception, abortion is murder.

    OR we could do as JVL and “Ed George” would have it and make murder legal. Cuz that would diminish the number of murders, right? Heck with ONE Purge night a year. That’s for rank amateurs.

    That neither “Ed” nor JVL grasps the fact that homosexuality goes against nature, the very thing they worship, is quite telling.

    But hey, neither of them cares if we are here for a reason just as long as the minorities are happy. That is pure close-mindedness.

  96. 96
    buffalo says:

    Ed George @ 93
    Teach the truth with love
    not love without truth
    or truth without love.
    Catholicism is a propositional way of life. The truth is attractive and is liberating. Increasing self mastery and control reduces the cost of enforcement and burdensome laws.
    America’s Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Blessings-Religion-Benefits-Including/dp/159947445X

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the acceptable level of holocaust is zero. That you find this hard to see is itself a sobering sign of the problem. KF

  98. 98
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, the acceptable level of holocaust is zero. That you find this hard to see is itself a sobering sign of the problem. KF

    And how do you hope to achieve that? What are you willing to do? What laws are you willing to enact? What penalties would you have to apply to reach this goal?

    Even the sources you quote for your abortion numbers indicate that the rates are declining, and declining faster in countries where it is available on demand. Most would see this as a good thing. Even those who support pro-choice. But not you.

    You are demanding the unachievable. I prefer to be a realist.

  99. 99
    ET says:

    Enabling murder is NEVER a good thing. Any realist would understand that. True, we may never achieve a zero murder rate. But we sure as hell can start with what we can control. Again, any realist would understand that.

  100. 100
    JVL says:

    KF, 81: Europe went over the cliff starting in 1914 — as leading statesmen understood at the time

    Could you clarify that; I’m not sure I understand your thinking there.

    Buffalo, 87: Step 1 – return God (the way, the truth and the life) to the public square and schools.

    How would you implement that given the Establishment clause in the US First Amendment?

    ET, 95: OR we could do as JVL and “Ed George” would have it and make murder legal.

    I have not said such a thing or indicated that I supported such a thing.

    That neither “Ed” nor JVL grasps the fact that homosexuality goes against nature, the very thing they worship, is quite telling.

    Again, please do not assume you know what I think. I am merely trying to find out what some of you with strong views suggest we do to move forward instead of always sniping at each other.

    I feel that societies are becoming dangerously internally antagonistic. That’s not good for anyone. I’m interested in defending and increasing our common ground. I still think we agree on a lot more than we disagree. It seems to me to be worthwhile to try and build bridges instead of burning them.

  101. 101
    ET says:

    Enabling murder should make societies antagonistic. Enabling murder isn’t good for anyone. And if you support abortion then you support enabling murder.

    I would only build a bridge to murder enablers to arrest them and throw them in prison.

  102. 102
    john_a_designer says:

    Since Seversky has so far been a no show on this thread, let me reference something he said back in June 2018.

    @ #1, I wrote:

    Atheistic naturalism/materialism provides no answers to mankind’s deepest spiritual and moral needs. It is a morally, spiritually and intellectually bankrupt world view, yet many people irrationally and absurdly cling to it. Why? They cannot give a rational explanation. They do not know but don’t even know they don’t know…

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/as-astrology-goes-mainstream-will-big-science-start-to-accommodate-it/#comment-660948

    To which Seversky @ #2 replied, point by point:

    Me: Atheistic naturalism/materialism provides no answers to mankind’s deepest spiritual and moral needs.

    Seversky: “I agree. It can’t. But if you assume there is no God then we are forced to confront the reality that we are on our own, we are all we have so where do we go from here?”

    Me: It is a morally, spiritually and intellectually bankrupt world view, yet many people irrationally and absurdly cling to it.

    Seversky “If atheism, by definition, cannot provide moral and spiritual guidance then calling it bankrupt for not doing what it cannot do is unfair. That does not prevent us from constructing “worldviews” and moral codes that are atheist.”

    Me: Why? They cannot give a rational explanation. They do not know but don’t even know they don’t know…

    Seversky: “As I said, atheists can construct rational worldviews and moral codes. It’s just that they cannot appeal to the unquestionable authority of some deity to support them.”

    Of course that brings up a number of other questions like: who is obligated to follow a moral code constructed by atheists? Does it apply to just them or everyone else (all society)? Do any human constructed moral codes carry any kind of real morally binding obligations?

  103. 103
    ET says:

    How would you implement that given the Establishment clause in the US First Amendment?

    That only pertains to ONE country. And amendments do happen.

  104. 104
    JVL says:

    ET,103
    What would your amendment say?

  105. 105
    Ed George says:

    JVL, the problem I see in banning abortion at any stage because it is murder is that would necessitate charging any woman who has an illegal abortion with first degree murder and sentencing her accordingly. Not even the most ardent pro-life advocates, with the exception of ET, have the appetite for this.

  106. 106
    JVL says:

    Ed, 105
    I’m guessing you’re fairly content with the US abortion laws as they exist. Maybe not. In the spirit of building bridges how would you approach spanning the abortion gap, which sounds pretty deep.

  107. 107
    ET says:

    Earth to “Ed George”- People have killed abortion doctors. Abortion clinics have been attacked. Most pro-lifers wouldn’t have an issue with charging the aborting mother with some form of murder. The doctor or whoever performed it would also be charged. It does not have to be first degree murder. It. All. Depends. So clearly you don’t have a clue.

    But before we reach that point we need to focus on the men. Men need to be held accountable. Fines, prison and chemical or physical castration.

  108. 108
    JVL says:

    ET,107
    Just to be clear . . . Which men are you referring to?

  109. 109
    buffalo says:

    jvl @100

    The establishment clause states government cannot impose a religion on its people, but we the people sure can propose one to the government. At the time of the founding 99% of the population was Christian. 3/4 of the colonies already had a state sponsored Christian religion. The founders would not pick one over another and punted it back to the states. Every state has God in its preamble or constitution. The separation of state and religion is a recent construct. One can easily look up past presidential and congressional proclamations to see how Christian we really are. The question is do we want to preserve it or give it up? I submit the only thing better than a Christian Repub lic is a Catholic Republic.

  110. 110
    ET says:

    JVL, 103

    “Stop projecting your nonsensical opinions onto the first amendment. Praying in public schools in NO WAY represents Congress, law and the establishment of religion. Allowing religious symbols on public property in NO WAY represents Congress, law and the establishment of religion.”

  111. 111
    ET says:

    JVL 108

    The men responsible for unwanted preggies

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, July to Sept 1914 triggered WW1. That war directly killed 10 – 20 mn, destroyed the credibility of the diplomatic and governing order, broke Britain financially, broke the spirits of many who survived, saw collapse of Russian, German, Austrian and Ottoman Empires, led to the rise of Communism, paved the way for Hitler and led to the context of ME instability. Grey in the UK famously said that the lights are going out all over Europe. And more. KF

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the acceptable level of murder, arson, rape, burglary and similar felonies is zero. What are you willing to do about such? What do communities do with children to minimise the tendency of some to such, why, how? What level of education and law enforcement are compatible with liberty, so the cure is not worse than the disease? And such like. I won’t bother to say much in the subtext that is projected, that ethical theists of Christian stripe are automatically suspect of being closet totalitarians [“Christofascists” in an utter misnomer], save to say that the text of US DoI as cited is my effective political ideology. KF

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, I suggest the proper meaning of the US 1st Amendment, in the connexion of rights in historic context tied to protection of religious liberty, is that there was to be no Federal Church of the USA, so that establishments were state level affairs, extending Westphalia 1648 principles to republican federation circumstances. Further to this, the Federal legislature (how much more the judiciary which was not to make itself into an appointed for life legislature!) was to have no jurisdiction on the matter of establishment. What has happened instead is the de facto establishment of the quasi anti-church of evolutionary materialistic scientism, with implicit amorality. In this context, a worldview and linked ethical principles amenable to our built in moral government and natural law — esp truth, right reason, prudence, fairness, justice etc — is NOT a religious establishment. The twisting of this amendment into establishing radical secularism, amorality, perversity and nihilism while treating ethical theism with undue suspicion is one of the signs of what has gone wrong. Further to such, we need to address the question of first duties of reason, something that has been consistently sidelined across this thread. So, while it’s nice to hear we must build bridges not walls, in fact it is precisely the principles and duties that are the bridge that is being walled off. Ironic, but it is unsurprising as if we are subject inescapably to built in law that points where many are desperate never to go: the root of reality being not only independent being and powerful but inherently good and utterly wise. Only such can — note the word — bridge IS and OUGHT. Which, is precisely the bridge we need. KF

  115. 115
    JVL says:

    Buffalo, 109: I submit the only thing better than a Christian Republic is a Catholic Republic.

    The establishment clause has a long and difficult history; it’s hard to say how a test of it would play out. Why do you favour Catholicism? What about that particular faith paradigm speaks the truth to you?

    ET, 110: Stop projecting your nonsensical opinions onto the first amendment.

    I don’t think I am. I was merely asking how a particular person with a particular agenda would proceed in the light of the first amendment.

    ET, 111: The men responsible for unwanted preggies

    So . . . rapists? In and out of marriage? Who else?

    KF, 112: July to Sept 1914 triggered WW1. That war directly killed 10 – 20 mn, destroyed the credibility of the diplomatic and governing order, broke Britain financially, broke the spirits of many who survived, saw collapse of Russian, German, Austrian and Ottoman Empires, led to the rise of Communism, paved the way for Hitler and led to the context of ME instability.

    And, arguably, led to WWII and the Cold War. Britain rebuilt. Russia was clearly having many problems before WWI and their resolution of those problems probably would have happened anyway. Certainly Germany’s persecution of the Jews was hideous but it’s been argued that part of the motivation for Germany’s behaviour was their dissatisfaction with the surrender terms of WWI and the economic chaos they fell into. I’m not saying that justifies the holocaust, far from it. I’m wondering if the rise of their far right was motivated by a political and economic drubbing AND, once the fascists were in power, that enabled them to implement their other, deplorable goals. Just wondering.

    KF, 113

    Are you willing to accept any kind of abortion at all? Are there any circumstances which you think it’s justified? I’m not getting at you, I’m just trying to make sure we’re all clear with your stance.

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, the issue is not to push laws asserting or implying that abortion is murder. The real issue is how did we ever reach a place globally where deliberate killing of innocent human life became entrenched national policy to the tune of a million deaths or so per week. Hitler’s holocaust in scale every three to four months, more or less. The answer comes back, that before the various campaigns, we were led to the notion of legal positivism in the place of recognising the built in natural law, leading to, effectively: whoever holds sufficient power imposes his or her or their will and that is what law is. Which, should sound terrifyingly familiar i/l/o Plato’s warning in The Laws, Bk X. To fix the problem, we have to come to a point where such nihilism under false colour of law is widely seen as exposed, bankrupt and absurd. For that to happen, we will have to recognise that we have made a huge and ruinous mistake. Likely, that will only happen under circumstances similar to what made people willing to listen to Socrates’ students: going over the cliff. That is realism, though we can hope that there are enough who read the signs that we can turn back before consequences are utterly catastrophic. On that assumption, we can proceed to an international truth and reconciliation commission that will allow the people of the nations to recognise the magnitude of what we have collectively done, building a consensus on ways forward. Something somewhat like that happened with the slave trade and institution; of course there still are slaves and there still is human trafficking . . . however it does not have pseudo-legitimacy under false colour of law and spurious declarations of a right to impose death on the utterly innocent at will. But, I am not holding my breath. KF

  117. 117
    JVL says:

    KF, 114

    I’m not a constitutional scholar and I cannot criticise or object to your view of the history of the interpretations of the First Amendment. Any further developments will have to go through the defined constitutional channels. It’s not a perfect system by any means; look a the recent impeachment of President Trump, but it’s better than many other systems.

    What I’m interested in is what you propose to improve things. What positive, plausible and implementable steps do you envisage to help make some progress? What bridges can you build?

  118. 118
    JVL says:

    KF, 116we can proceed to an international truth and reconciliation commission that will allow the people of the nations to recognise the magnitude of what we have collectively done, building a consensus on ways forward.

    You mean via the UN? How do you propose to move in that direction?

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, WW1 and 2 were a 30 years war in two main phases, with many other secondary conflicts brought in; leading directly into a forty years war and re-igniting WW 0, the war with global IslamIST expansionism. Britain actually has never truly recovered, nor did many other nations. There is an underlying despair that haunts us, an easy reflection is the collapse of birth rates. KF

  120. 120
    ET says:

    JVL, you misunderstood-

    Stop projecting your nonsensical opinions onto the first amendment. and all that followed it would be part of my amendment. “Your” would be the people who are abusing the 2nd amendment.

    So . . . rapists? In and out of marriage? Who else?

    It all depends. But I am all for having rapists castrated. Period. That is regardless of any unwanted pregnancies.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, point of fact. Despite Stalin’s highly successful propaganda, fascism is not an ideology of the right; just, to the right of Stalin. For simple example, NAZI is short for National Socialist German Worker’s Party. Mussolini’s Fascism, similarly, is statist political messianism with the cleverness to cartelise industries and turn their nominal owners into agents of the state. Those who tried to act in ways the new totalitarians did not want were crushed. Prof Hugo Junkers of the concern of that name (a socialist and pacifist) is a capital example, especially at the hands of Milch, formerly an employee. He was hounded to death and it was so bad that the incensed family refused to accept the Nazis at his funeral. More broadly, we need to thoroughly re-think the current validity of the typical left-right political spectrum; originally the right was monarchists in France. KF

  122. 122
    ET says:

    I submit the only thing better than a Christian Republic is a Catholic Republic.

    I submit that God would never allow for such a travesty.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, no I specifically do not mean the UN, though that was founded on the idea of a permanent international conference. At present it is so captive to radical agendas that on such a matter its credibility would be actually negative not merely nil. KF

  124. 124
    JVL says:

    KF, 119 Britain actually has never truly recovered, nor did many other nations. There is an underlying despair that haunts us, an easy reflection is the collapse of birth rates.

    Britain is doing pretty well. It’s the 5th or 6th largest economy on the planet. It has an active and vibrant culture. How do you think it’s diminished? It lost part of its global influence, its empire, but it still is a major influencer. It’s a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It’s one of the G7 economies. It’s a part of NATO. It’s going to try and live outside the EU. It’s authors and musicians and artists are still globally recognised and appreciated.

    Giving women better access to education, surely a good thing, is known to lower the birth rate since women pursuing a career have fewer children starting later.

  125. 125
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    In the spirit of building bridges how would you approach spanning the abortion gap, which sounds pretty deep.

    I would ensure that kids are given the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions, not burdened by guilt.

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the objective meaning of the US First Amendment on its context and history is quite plain. The tortured twisting since those days only reflects the power of twisting through tendentious legal reasoning. For instance, Buff is quite right, 9 states had landeskirke at the time of ratification. As with the Germanies post 1648, the principle was locality not imposition of a grand state church. KF

    PS: The actual text, with my notes:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment [–> no grand state church, no jurisdiction to make law on the subject, how much more the courts! Cf Westphalia 1648 on locality in religion] of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [–> freedom of religion]; or abridging the freedom of speech [–> note lead-up context!], or of the press [–> in context, including to publish on religious matters] ; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble [–> including for religious reasons], and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances [–> right of remonstrance and interposition by lower magistrates were key themes in reformation theology and history].

  127. 127
    EDTA says:

    EG @ 93,
    >And what would you be willing to do to achieve this society? Incarcerate…? Enforced…? Close the borders..? Re-education camps…? Life sentences…? Annulment…? Forcibly remove…
    JVL @ 76,
    >I’m interested in clear, practical, implementable suggestions.

    There seems to be a large focus here on using the law/gov’t to enforce something. That’s not how I think about things. The government already does too much of that. My question is why you assume change has to happen that way? Is that how you would do it? Or are you just projecting that onto us?

    I am only for using persuasion. I realize that is slow, will take over a generation to have an effect, and will likely fail. But that is as far as I’m willing to go. I’ve studied Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and don’t want any part of that approach. But as KF astutely notes, when tyrants see a weakened/divided society, they start salivating.

    By insisting on a clear, practical and implementable plan, you are almost insisting that I choose a solution that directly involves gov’t. But that’s the path to disaster.

  128. 128
    JVL says:

    ET, 120: Stop projecting your nonsensical opinions onto the first amendment. and all that followed it would be part of my amendment. “Your” would be the people who are abusing the 2nd amendment.

    If I’ve got it wrong then I’m sorry. Perhaps it would be good if you were to spell out your ideas more fully.

    It all depends. But I am all for having rapists castrated. Period. That is regardless of any unwanted pregnancies.

    What else?

    KF, 121: More broadly, we need to thoroughly re-think the current validity of the typical left-right political spectrum; originally the right was monarchists in France.

    That’s fine, surely. We can all agree that sometimes we need to stop, study, re-evaluate and then come up with ideas for moving forward.

    KF, 123: no I specifically do not mean the UN, though that was founded on the idea of a permanent international conference. At present it is so captive to radical agendas that on such a matter its credibility would be actually negative not merely nil.

    Okay, then how would you propose to implement your ideals?

  129. 129
    EDTA says:

    EG @ 84,
    >If boys and girls showered together from a young age there would be far less of a hang-up about our bodies.

    Somebody here drank very deeply from that fountain called the Sexual Revolution! I would rather not give the young little Harvey Weinsteins of our world such an opportunity. And you know they’re out there–some fraction of children just grow up to be that kind of person. Would you really put your daughter into that school?

  130. 130
    JVL says:

    Ed George, 125: I would ensure that kids are given the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions, not burdened by guilt.

    How would you propose bringing that about?

    It’s an important question.

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, economy scale is not the only relevant metric. It never recovered from the loss of 900,000 then 400,000. Especially as the Somme and elsewhere ate up the subalterns, many coming from the families that provided leadership. In France, it was said that 1940 directly stemmed from the losses of 1914 – 18, which broke the French spirit. It is no accident that after Verdun, mutiny took hold in 1917. Nor that in the hour of defeat, Petain was called back to lead the broken nation. And there are those who think that part of why the Germans backed off at the time of the mutinies was that their high command feared contagion. Of course in 1917, Russia fell to revolution then Coup by the Bolsheviks. The Austrians and Ottomans followed, the latter with the Caliphate abolished in 1924. And much more. 1914 was a catastrophic break between two worlds. It marked the dawn of a dark, barbarous age, which we inhabit. KF

  132. 132
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, not an ideal, a refounding of the international order in aftermath of acknowledged holocaust through a general summit. The UN’s attendance would be as part of those responsible for a catastrophic rights failure involving by estimate 1.4 billion victims. BTW the UN itself is such a refounding after the League of Nations failed. We now have to figure out why we repeatedly fail like this. KF

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, not burdened by guilt sounds suspiciously like repudiation of the first duties of responsible reason. Also, like what you want is sexual anarchy that escapes the consequences of chaos. That is impossible. KF

  134. 134
    EDTA says:

    EG @ 83,
    >…the fact that abortion rates continue to fall. What is interesting is that it has been shown that abortion rates actually decline when it is made easier to obtain…

    There are quite a few things going on here, and no demographic analysis I’m aware of has been able to totally separate the various factors. It almost looks like blowback from the sexual revolution though. It created quite an upheaval, and things may be heading for some sort of (worse of course) equilibrium.

    1) People know how shaky marriage is now, so it’s mostly those with better chances of staying married who are still eager to enter in. So divorce rates are not climbing as rapidly as they once were. Downside: fewer people married, more people than ever living alone, and living shorter lives as a result.

    2) People, rightly concerned about STDs, are choosing to be more careful => less unsafe sex (due to fear) => demand for abortions is going down. Downside: side-effects from contraceptive use are becoming apparent.

  135. 135
    JVL says:

    EDTA, 127: By insisting on a clear, practical and implementable plan, you are almost insisting that I choose a solution that directly involves gov’t. But that’s the path to disaster.

    That wasn’t my intention and I’m happy to . . . explain . . . modify . . . my request. I’m not sure what to say.

    How would you chose to advance your cause independent of of a particular political path.

    To be honest, I would just like people to feel free to say what they feel would be a positive move towards building some common ground.

  136. 136
    EDTA says:

    >I would ensure that kids are given the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions, not burdened by guilt.

    Guilt is a good demotivator that prevents people from doing things they shouldn’t do anyway. It’s an unpleasant emotion, though, so I fully understand why our hedonistic society eschews its use these days. (Except when it’s used by the Left. Then it’s OK. 😎

    Guilt kept me out of a lot of trouble in my youth, and I’m very grateful for its existence.

  137. 137
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, the acceptable level of murder, arson, rape, burglary and similar felonies is zero. What are you willing to do about such?

    Charge perpetrators with the crimes they are guilt of and sentence them according to the existing laws. If abortion at any stage is murder, are you prepared to do the same to all those responsible?

  138. 138
    Truthfreedom says:

    @136 EDTA

    Guilt is a good demotivator that prevents people from doing things they shouldn’t do anyway. It’s an unpleasant emotion, though, so I fully understand why our hedonistic society eschews its use these days. (Except when it’s used by the Left. Then it’s OK 🙂

    Guilt kept me out of a lot of trouble in my youth, and I’m very grateful for its existence.

    Excellent reflection.

  139. 139
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 135,
    >How would you chose to advance your cause independent of of a particular political path.
    >…I would just like people to feel free to say what they feel would be a positive move towards building some common ground.

    The only way for the ground to get more common is for it to get smaller. In other words, the only solution is for us to come closer together, i.e., to decrease our moral diversity.

    As diversity of belief increases, so do the chances that people will perceive others as being a threat. And if my neighbor’s values are radically different from mine, then he may indeed be a real physical threat to me. This is another angle on the idea, mentioned elsewhere here, of why we link moral relativism with societal collapse.

    (There has to be some measure of diversity, or a society can’t generate new ideas to solve its problems creatively. But beyond a certain point, disintegration and collapse is inevitable.)

    People need to be persuaded that we are on the wrong track, be persuaded of what a better track is, and then influence their institutions (churches, schools, gov’t, etc.) from the inside, from the grass roots, back on track. That’s not a government program, and it’s not forcing anyone to do anything. It’s not a clear path, nor is success ever guaranteed. Life isn’t that clean and clear.

  140. 140
    ET says:

    “Ed George”:

    I would ensure that kids are given the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions, not burdened by guilt.

    This is the 21st century “Ed”. All the information and knowledge they need is widely available. Ignorance is not an argument.

  141. 141
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    To expand on Andrew Breitbarts dictum that politics is downstream of culture here is what needs to happen.

    Law is downstream from politics, politics is downstream from culture and culture is downstream from fundamental worldview.
    KF and others are correct it all starts at the worldview level.
    Solution would be an educational system that is not merely indoctrination camps rather educating others how to think critically which is light years away from what our educational system does now. Never underestimate the power of propaganda.
    Vivid

  142. 142
    Ed George says:

    Buffalo

    At the time of the founding 99% of the population was Christian.

    Sure, if you ignore the people who were already here, and the Africans who were brought over as slaves.

    [EG, Buff is right about the founding population of the USA. For all the mixed character, sins and struggles over slavery and dealing with the indigenous peoples in the context of their habits of war by slaughter, they were trying to work through liberty under just law as context for onward reformation, AS IS EXPLICITLY STATED IN THE US DoI that you would distract attention from, taint and dismiss without addressing it on the balance of its merits. That taint and dismiss classic cultural marxist rhetorical and agit prop tactic fails to address in a balanced, responsible way the reality of struggle to make genuine progress and so alienates us from the lessons we need to learn from, opening up falling into the same errors in new forms, over and over again. Kindly, stop such tactics, KF]

  143. 143
    buffalo says:

    jvl @115

    Why do you favour Catholicism? What about that particular faith paradigm speaks the truth to you?

    The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence and the Sacraments nourish and complete the person. We lose our pride and become humbler. It is the best!

  144. 144
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    How would you propose bringing that about?

    It’s an important question.

    The first step is comprehensive non-judgmental sex education at an early age. Teach them that sexual desires are natural. Teach them that masturbation will not send them to hell. Teach them that consent is an absolute must. Teach them abstinence is the safest strategy. Teach them the risks of having sex. Teach them that sex is pleasurable. Teach them about contraceptives and how to use them. Teach them that the facts of reproduction. Teach them that the naked body is nothing to be ashamed of, or snicker at. I would make sure that contraceptives are made readily available. I would teach them about adoption and make sure that there were supports available for women who chose this option.

  145. 145
    Ed George says:

    EDTA

    Guilt is a good demotivator that prevents people from doing things they shouldn’t do anyway.

    Shouldn’t guilt be the last line of defence, not the first? If you give them accurate and comprehensive information, don’t you think that they might make the best decisions for themselves? Imposing guilt with no rational explanation other than “it is a sin” or “you will go to hell”, is sure to fail. Children, although lacking in experience, are intelligent beings. Far more intelligent than most adults give them credit for.

  146. 146
    buffalo says:

    “Shouldn’t guilt be the last line of defence, not the first?”

    Growth comes in stages, A one year old does not understand comprehensive “stove is hot and will burn you” education. Why do you think guilt is a bad thing?

  147. 147
    EDTA says:

    EG @ 144,
    >Teach them that consent is an absolute must.
    What if they don’t want to learn that, or what if society changes its mind on that? You know, the sexual revolution is still steamrollering ahead…the next generation might not agree that consent is a must. You and I won’t be around to remind them of that either.

    >Teach them that sex is pleasurable.
    That one’s obvious to everyone. Waste of time teaching it.

    >Teach them that the naked body is nothing to be ashamed of, or snicker at.
    Teaching that to young boys is a lost cause. Can’t possibly succeed. I snickered less than my peers at such things when I was young, but I was among those who thought it was sacred. It’s our cultural leaders (Hollywood, etc.) that teach people that sex is just entertainment, that it’s a triviality we should laugh at, and that since we’re just machines, we might as well live it up. That’s what trivializes sex.

  148. 148
    ET says:

    OK wait. If kids are never told that masturbation will send them to hell, why would you want to even bring it up?

    Everything on “Ed’s” List was discussed @ my high school in the early 70’s. A Catholic High School. The school’s Priest had the boys in the practice field openly discussing desires, pleasures, along the responsibilities and consequences. So I would say that the list is already covered. Willful ignorance isn’t an argument.

  149. 149
    EDTA says:

    EG @ 145,

    >Shouldn’t guilt be the last line of defence, not the first?

    I would agree that guilt should not be the only line of defense. It makes adults look unknowledgable when they try to use that as the only approach. Adults have to explain the reasons why something is wrong also. Sound, articulate reasons.

    >If you give them accurate and comprehensive information, don’t you think that they might make the best decisions for themselves?

    I know better than that. I watched my peers (high school, college) make all sort of foolish decisions that harmed their lives. I see my nieces and nephews making all sort of foolish decisions to this very day, at the urging of their “peers” and the media. The school system did not give them accurate or comprehensive information, nor were they listening very well, nor did they care. Hedonism beats wisdom almost every time I’m afraid.

    >Imposing guilt with no rational explanation other than “it is a sin” or “you will go to hell”, is sure to fail. Children, although lacking in experience, are intelligent beings. Far more intelligent than most adults give them credit for.

    With a recalcitrant child, guilt alone can fail. Partly because society eschews guilt so much today. Some children/young people simply cannot grasp conceptual things very well, and if one of them can be saved from making a big mistake by giving them a rote rule, then so be it. I will tell a child not to touch a hot stove first, then explain thermodynamics to them if/when they’re ready for it. Teaching them right from wrong needs to be done in the ways that work when applicable.

  150. 150
    Truthfreedom says:

    @135 EDTA:

    …the next generation might not agree that consent is a must.

    Exactly. What if ‘consent’ is nothing more than a ‘social construct’?

    Teach them that sex is pleasurable.

    And teach them that sex, like everything else in life, may sometimes be boring, repetitive or a disappointment.

    It’s our cultural leaders (Hollywood, etc.) that teach people that sex is just entertainment, that it’s a triviality we should laugh at, and that since we’re just machines, we might as well live it up. That’s what trivializes sex.

    “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals…”

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    Kindly, compare the tangential, distractive main current focus of discussion with the issues of the OP. We have allowed hot button matters to distract attention from what is prior or as Vivid reminds, upstream.

    However, it is clear that the reason why law, government, media and education are in chaotic crisis [often, unacknowledged by the besotted] is a consequence of what happened upstream.

    We have been led to ignore first principles and duties of responsible rationality at popular and policy level. This, to the point where when it is pointed out that there are such things and that particularly such are inescapable, they continue to be side stepped and their significance for the reality root is also side-stepped. Meanwhile, evolutionary materialistic scientism [a descriptive expansion of “naturalism”] remains incoherent, so intellectually bankrupt and is even more blatantly inadequate to bridge the IS-OUGHT gap in the only place that can be done; reality’s root.

    In that context, we see emerging over and over again, from tone to implied assumptions to loaded suggestions and outright accusations [notice, the cluster of un-answered matters headlined in the OP], a pervasive hostility to ethical theism in general and the Judaeo-Christian inheritance at the core of our civilisation in particular.

    Ironically, it is obvious that ethical theism the only serious candidate explanation that succeeds in accounting for the IS-OUGHT bridge, a fine tuned cosmos, a world of life based on coded algorithmic [so, inherently purposeful and linguistic] information and responsible, rational, conscience-guided morally governed creatures — us.

    The hostility is patently irrational and the enmity to our Judaeo-Christian heritage is hardly less so, given the core historical facts [transmitted to us by the leading circle of the core 500 witnesses] that after over a century of highly skeptical scholarship stand as the bulwark that breaks hyperskeptical dismissals.

    But notice, the tendency to try to push that Faith into the same boat as Nazism [that being the modern paradigm for evil and assigned to “the right wing” even as Marxism with 100+ million victims of the second worst holocaust, is actually undergoing a revival in the W 30 years after the Iron Curtain fell], while it is clear that liberty under just law has been confused for gross licence and libertinism of the worst ranks.

    Something is deeply wrong, this is utterly topsy-turvy.

    Something does not add up.

    As we turn to the central evil of the past generation, holocaust of our living posterity in the womb, it is clear that law, government, media, education, healing professions and more have been utterly warped and corrupted to enable evil.

    Our civilisation is clearly suicidal, having wrecked its governance capital and having derided, demonised and dismissed hard bought sobering lessons from our history..

    The question is, whether we can wake up and turn back before the cliff’s edge we have been dancing on collapses underfoot.

    Unfortunately, the record of history is clear, that business as usual is entrenched by the balance of power factions and it is very hard to turn about until things have crashed, breaking the power classes that back it. So, we repeatedly refuse to learn from anything but shattering pain.

    And this time around, unlike 476, nukes, bioweapons and chemical weapons are potentially on the loose. Our collective folly is manifest.

    Can we return to sanity before it is too late?

    The bottom of a cliff after a shattering fall is the worst place to try to rebuild from.

    After 476, it took a thousand years to claw our way back.

    Have we forgotten that, too?

    KF

  152. 152
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    non-judgemental education is clearly a euphemism for undermining the recognition that we are, inescapably, morally governed creatures, to the point where even our rationality and intellectual endeavors are under duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, fairness, justice etc.

    Where, such duties need to become focal habits if sound education is to succeed.

    So, while there is a place to be empathetic to those who make damaging mistakes, that counsel undermines education. Do you really believe that our sexuality is somehow exempt from moral government, if even basic Science, Mathematics, Language and Communication are under such, not to mention the discipline required to keep good order in the classroom, school yard and community? Especially, where the potential for ruinous chaos is so high?

    And where there is fairly obvious built-in law of our nature that founds the central social institution, conjugal marriage of man and woman as sound context for marital union and issue; thus, family?

    Where, such families need lifelong commitment to soundly nurture the young, something that actually contributes materially to educability?

    I suggest, instead: that we need morally sound education in all spheres, here setting our biology and familial social circumstances and challenges in the context of a sober framework for making sound life-choices.

    It is not wise to in effect turn the chaotic into the norm; instead, we learn how to manage struggles and consequences i/l/o what wisdom on sound order is.

    Again, we see displacement of soundness, this is pervasive and systematic.

    Telling, a signature of a collective stubbornly suicidal march of folly.

    KF

  153. 153
    Ed George says:

    KF

    Telling, a signature of a collective stubbornly suicidal march of folly.

    If granting protection under the law for women, homosexuals, transgendered and marginalized groups in society is so suicidal, then society was well past the tipping point long before this.

    This is what I see happening:
    1) violent crimes continue to decline.
    2) abortion rates continue to decline.
    3) women must no longer be subservient to their husbands.
    4) children are receiving accurate information about sex and reproduction.
    5) it is no longer acceptable to discriminate against people simply because of the gender they are attracted to.
    6) children are now being taught that there are some people who differ than them with respect to sexual attraction and gender expression, and that it is completely unacceptable to treat them any differently.
    7) the wage gap between men and women is narrowing.
    6) parents with newborns are now able to take paid maternity leave and have their job guaranteed for a year or more (except, sadly, in the US).
    7) a greater tolerance for people of different race, culture or religion. Although people like Trump are a risk to this.
    8) organized religion is playing less of a “legal/authoritarian” role and more of a supportive/social-binding role.
    9) my generation and those after me are the first in a long time that have not experienced major armed conflict (there are obviously regional exceptions).
    10) most countries have played a greater role in accepting refugees from conflict areas than we have seen in much of our history.
    11) infant mortality is at an all time low.
    12) life expectancy is at an all time high.
    13) people are living longer in good health than in the past.
    14) labour laws and health and safety rules have significantly lowered serious workplace injuries.
    15) the environment (air, water, soil) is in better shape in the western world than it has been for a long time. Significant work is still required for some of the developing nations.

    Sure, we still have many challenges, but I am cautiously optimistic about the future.

  154. 154
    JVL says:

    Ed George, 153

    Dealing with climate change is a scary issue but many nations are now co-operating on a global scale (the US is a notable exception) which gives some hope at least.

    In general, now is probably the best time to be alive based on legal protections, medicine, societal awareness, mobility, etc. We all have more choices and more safety nets.

  155. 155
    john_a_designer says:

    KF @ 152,

    non-judgemental education is clearly a euphemism for undermining the recognition that we are, inescapably, morally governed creatures,

    Indeed, that raises a couple of basic questions. Who decides what’s judgmental? How do they decide it?

    From a morally relativistic and subjectivist perspective everything is judgmental. But, on the other hand, without some kind of objective moral standard, which subjectivist’s deny exist a priori, there is no standard by which to make moral judgements. How can anyone or any standard really be judgmental? All you can ever get from a moral subjectivist are self-centered personal opinions. How am I or anyone else obligated to give any credence to someone else’s baseless and uninformed personal opinion?*

    In other words, who is obligated to follow a moral code constructed by a moral subjectivist or relativist? How can such a moral code apply anyone else or society as a whole? Does any kind of human constructed moral code carry any kind of real and morally binding obligations?

    [*Of course that’s not to say people aren’t free to believe in any kind of nonsense that they wish. In the U.S. personal beliefs, even if they’re nonsense, are constitutionally protected rights.]

  156. 156
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the mass killing of the unborn is not protection of women and in reasonably democratic societies, for generations, rights to life, liberty, property, responsible expression, justice in court etc have been safeguarded for all. The suggestions you make are out of order. The root problems we have, in context, have to do with the domineering stance of a worldview and associated ideologies that are antithetical to responsible rational freedom and underlying moral government. In legal terms this has led to rejection of built in natural law as foundation of justice and imposition of the nihilistic principle that might and/or manipulation make right. One consequence has been the demand to enable the worst holocaust in history, mounting up globally at a million further victims per week. That is sobering, and worse is blindness or numbness to evils of such a magnitude. There are many other signs of the peril of our civilisation. But, as that hard bitten old politico, Machiavelli, aptly warned, political disorders are like hectic fever; at first easy to cure but hard to diagnose. Then, at length when the course of the illness is manifest to all, it is too late to cure. KF

  157. 157
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD,

    Who decides what’s judgmental? How do they decide it?

    From a morally relativistic and subjectivist perspective everything is judgmental. But, on the other hand, without some kind of objective moral standard, which subjectivist’s deny exist a priori, there is no standard by which to make moral judgements. How can anyone or any standard really be judgmental? All you can ever get from a moral subjectivist are self-centered personal opinions. How am I or anyone else obligated to give any credence to someone else’s baseless and uninformed personal opinion?

    It’s even worse, as EVERY ACT OF RESPONSIBLE RATIONALITY IS GOVERNED THROUGH FIRST DUTIES. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence (so, warrant), to sound conscience (which attests to such), to neighbour in fairness and justice etc. The rejection of objectively binding first duties and moral government therefore undermines rationality and justice in the community.

    In the case of the US in recent years it is clear that the political classes, the senior public servants, the major media, those setting education policy and more have turned away from those first duties. And, they have clearly launched the agit prop, media amplified street theatre and lawfare phases of a civil war in the US; the leading Western nation. That is meeting a peasant uprising by ballot box and by what is sneered at as right wing, racist populism and Christofascism or even outright slanderous demonising accusations of Nazism. (The headlined remarks on this side of the matter in the OP are there and are rebutted point by point for a reason, not as a personal attack. )

    The consequence is spreading, potentially fatal disaffection; something that frankly I fear where it might lead.

    Let’s just say, that the French were caught off guard by the mutinies of 1917, the Russians by the revolution and subsequent coup, then in 1918 the Germans were shocked to see their navy mutiny.

    There are lessons there for us all.

    If, we are inclined to heed them.

    KF

    PS: I think I need to get back to the population bomb and similar officially supported Marxist dialectic, convenient, media amplified crises. Just note, that by utter contrast, it is those who protest the worst, ongoing holocaust in history who are studiously silenced or are outright slandered. I have not forgotten the recent settlement of the Sandmann suit against CNN, rumoured to be creation of a war chest for further action; given the context of a cynical, across the board media smear job. Take that as a yardstick for what we are dealing with.

  158. 158

    Further to my remarks @74 is this

    https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/science-says-there-are-only-two-genders-no-gender-spectrum/

    A concluding excerpt:

    In conclusion, they state, “The time for politeness on this issue has passed. Biologists and medical professionals need to stand up for the empirical reality of biological sex. When authoritative scientific institutions ignore or deny empirical fact in the name of social accommodation, it is an egregious betrayal to the scientific community they represent. It undermines public trust in science, and it is dangerously harmful to those most vulnerable.”

  159. 159
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, the mass killing of the unborn is not protection of women

    I didn’t say it was. But until you are willing to charge women who have abortions with first degree and impose the required sentence (death in some states) then you can’t make the claim that aborting a three week old fetus is the equivalent of killing you or I.

    and in reasonably democratic societies, for generations, rights to life, liberty, property, responsible expression, justice in court etc have been safeguarded for all.

    This is simply false. Within my generation husbands could legally rape their wives. They could legally strike them. They could legally confine them. Homosexuals were “legally” jailed. Homosexuals were “legally” denied employment and accommodation.

    The suggestions you make are out of order.

    Says the person who is denying recent history.

    The root problems we have, in context, have to do with the domineering stance of a worldview and associated ideologies that are antithetical to responsible rational freedom and underlying moral government.

    No. The root problem is the historic imposition of legal restrictions (sometimes including restricting freedom) and the condoning of discrimination for issues that do not stand up to even the most cursory of scrutiny.

    One consequence has been the demand to enable the worst holocaust in history,

    How does implementing strategies that have been shown to significantly reduce abortion an enabling act? Are we as a society enabling hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, many preceded by extreme suffering, by not banning the behaviours that cause them?

    There are many other signs of the peril of our civilisation.

    How do you define peril? Peril to what you consider to be a good and stable covilization, or one that I consider to be a good and stable civilization? Because I assure you that they are vastly different.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP, fatal disaffection. KF

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, holocaust denial and enabling while it is going on is the material recent history. KF

  162. 162

    In conclusion, they state, “The time for politeness on this issue has passed. Biologists and medical professionals need to stand up for the empirical reality of biological sex. When authoritative scientific institutions ignore or deny empirical fact in the name of social accommodation, it is an egregious betrayal to the scientific community they represent. It undermines public trust in science, and it is dangerously harmful to those most vulnerable.”

  163. 163
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, holocaust denial and enabling while it is going on is the material recent history. KF

    Your evasion of the question speaks volumes.

    Would you support first degree murder charges and the subsequent minimal sentence for any woman who has an abortion? If not you have to acknowledge that killing a three week old fetus isn’t murder.

  164. 164
    Seversky says:

    @
    Just a few belated comments about the OP:

    Our civilisation, now usually styled Western Civilisation [and which formerly self-identified as Christendom], has been under increasing worldviews conflicts for generations, a conflict dominated by the push of evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers.

    There a number of problems with this position. It reduces a complex situation to a us-and-them-ism. There is a diverse range of views within Christianity – witness the venom directed at theistic evolutionists by some commenters here – just as there is within the non-Christian or secular communities. To represent this as two opposing monolithic belief structures is a serious and dangerous over-simplification.

    Where of course scientism blunders when it suggests that that Big-S Science dominates or even monopolises serious knowledge.

    Making claims that only science can create serious knowledge has greater warrant than the claim that Scripture is somehow the source of ultimate Truth. The computers you and I are using now were not prayed into existence.

    [Sev:] where some Christians imply that the faith as a whole has suffered the same level of religious prejudice as, say, the Jews I’m bound to say that’s an exaggeration to put it mildly.

    Wrong.

    First, the 20 centuries of persecution of Christians speak for themselves, in the voice of a horrifically long list of martyrs and confessors. And, in recent years, Christians have been the most persecuted group of people in the world; though of course it does not suit the agenda of major media houses in the increasingly Anti-Christian (not merely post Christian) West to headline and seriously, regularly discuss the problem.

    As you pointed out, the continent of Europe was essentially synonymous with the concept of Christendom because Christianity was the dominant faith in that region for some two thousand years, Unless you are proposing an absurd notion that a faith persecutes itself you are left with two possibilities. First, there is the sometimes bloody oppression of minor but unorthodox denominations – of which there are a number of examples – or second there is the sustained, widespread and often murderous persecution of the Jews for over two millennia leading up to the Holocaust for which there is ample evidence.

    It is true that Christians have been – and in some countries still are – discriminated against but the faith is far from innocent of such behavior itself.

    My concern is the rise of a radical secularism that opens the door to nihilism while undermining rights. No, serious concerns over rights, justice, moral principle and the roots of law in our morally governed nature cannot responsibly be dismissed as in effect complaining over lost prestige and privilege.

    I don’t know what you mean by “radical secularism”. From what I can see, other faiths and non-believers or secularists are just as concerned with rights, justice and moral principles as you are. They just don’t share your views on the topics.

    I could just as easily be concerned with the more extreme views of the likes of the Christian Dominionists or Reconstructionists. They would very much like to turn the US into a full-blown theocracy. I don’t see them as a serious threat yet but, as we have seen recently, it doesn’t take much to blow straight through established norms and principles of civilized behavior if none are prepared to fight to uphold them.

    I added a highlight to show maybe the worst piece of loaded language in your remarks; used, in a turnabout, blame the victim projection. Those are ill-advised, dismissive fighting words that enable a clear and present injustice; you urgently need to reconsider and retract.

    There is no blaming the victim if claiming to be a victim is unfounded. And if any apology is owed it is to the Jews for implying that acknowledged discrimination against Christians is in any way equivalent to what the Jewish people suffered over two centuries.

    I hope that we can all agree that persecution is persecution, and that it is inappropriate to blame the victim. In that context, it is also inappropriate to suggest that as other groups have been persecuted, we can in effect dismiss the seriousness of concerns regarding ongoing persecution of the currently most persecuted group.

    Of course we can agree that a lesser offense is not excused by the existence of a greater offense. For example, the persecution of Jews does not excuse the oppression of atheists by Christians amongst others.

    How many members of the US Congress now, or have ever, admitted to being atheist or just non-believers?

    1: Trivially, a significant number, now and in recent years. That is or should be a commonplace, acknowledged fact.

    Around 23% of US adults identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated compared with just 0.2% of Congress. On the other hand more than 88% of members of Congress identify themselves as Christian. That imbalance is hardly trivial. It also seriously undercuts attempts to portray Christians in the US as being a victimized minority.

    3: Namely, that manifestly — and inescapably, we are morally governed creatures under built-in OUGHTs; starting with the sort of duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so, to warrant], to sound conscience, to innocent neighbour (and even guilty ones) . . . to fairness and justice.

    The issue is not whether or not we as a soxcietyare better off under the guidance of a set of moral principles and laws. I agree that we are. The question is who gets to decide what those principles and laws should be. Do you not agree that any form of governance derives its legitimacy and authority from the consent of the governed? Wouldn’t you like a say in what those laws principles should be?

    4: These all point to a need to bridge the IS-OUGHT gap as a core worldviews challenge. Post Hume, we know that can only be done in the root of reality, on pain of ungrounded ought. Which, requires that the independent (so, necessary) being at the wellspring of all actual and possible worlds, must be adequate to be such. This requires inherent goodness and utter wisdom, and yes, this pivots on the existence of an order of creatures who are morally governed and significantly rationally, responsibly free.

    All this does is privilege the unsupported moral views of one hypothetical individual over those of us who are supposed to be bound by such views whether we like it or not. You presume without justification that such a being embodies properties such as goodness, wisdom and benevolence and has our best interests at heart. Yet the evidence from our own observations of nature and from the only documentary evidence we have about the nature of this being suggests otherwise.

    5: Which, is why we are in material part morally rather than wholly dynamically-stochastically governed. Mind carries with it moral government and transcends the limitations of GIGO-constrained causal-chain driven computational substrates. As Plato pointed to in The Laws Bk X, we are self-moved first cause agents, having rational animality, i.e. there is reason to speak of us as embodied, living, rational, responsible, significantly free souls.

    And yet the story of Peter’s triple denial of Jesus suggests that under Christianity we have no free will .

    7: Moreover, the frame of thought naturally leads to understanding the only serious candidate — just do the comparative difficulties i/l/o our readily understood status of being morally governed with built in law of our nature — to be that wellspring of reality. Namely, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; one worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that reflects our manifest nature.

    Yet this “inherently good and utterly wise creator God” annihilated Sodom and Gomorrah, subjected the Amalekites, Midianites and Canaanites – to name but three – to all manner of atrocities and eventually wiped out almost all life on the surface of the Earth in a worldwide flood. I see no reason to consider such a being as a credible ground for all morality and certainly not one able to bridge the is/ought gap

    8: This is not religious dogma, it is worldview roots analysis pointing to a baseline ethical theism as a natural worldview for one who takes conscience, mind and responsible freedom seriously.

    On the contrary, it is an attempt to argue for an unimpeachable, authoritative basis for Christian religious dogma.

    9: Such a view is deeply — and quite explicitly — embedded in the Common Law system and in the US DoI and Constitution; making it foundational to modern liberty and democracy.

    Isn’t it seven out of the Ten Commandments that fall afoul of provisions of the US Constitution? And wasn’t it monarchs who claimed a divine right to rule?

    12: Where aggressive, militant atheism is concerned, such tends to be associated with habits of communication and behaviour that would make it unlikely for such to become top level officials, at least in a reasonably democratic body politic. Such are most likely to seize power by revolution or usurpation and their behaviour is precisely what has given such aggressive militancy a bad reputation indeed.

    It is not atheists who claim a divine right to rule or divine authority for their moral principles. It was not atheist colonists who subjected the indigenous peoples of Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas to all manner of atrocities in order to illegally seize their lands and loot the wealth therein.

    13: The subtext insinuation of improper seizure of and clinging to power amounts to conspiracism. I suggest, a more balanced understanding of the history of our civilisation including the roots and history of the US Republic will be in order.

    I’m not talking about improper seizure. That power was acquired legitimately through that ballot box but do you deny that there are – admittedly fringe – movements in US Christianity that desire nothing short of a theocracy and are you comfortable with that?

    It is equally possible that Christianity – or some Christians at least – are playing the victim card in the same way as white nationalists.

    16: Fallacy of guilt by invidious, gratuitous association. It also suggests an implicit, profound demonisation that views the Christian faith and/or Christians as being what is wrong with our civilisation.

    It is not a fallacy to note that there are similarities between white nationalists attempting to portray the white majority as victims of oppression by other races and the Christian majority portraying itself as the victim of atheists that they vastly outnumber.

    17: That in turn raises the question of Dawkins’ notorious mischaracterisation and bigotry that those who differed with his preferred views and agendas were ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. There is a reason why most sensible people have rejected the aggressive so-called New Atheists.

    I see the so-called New Atheists as an outburst of frustration released following a gradual easing of the oppression they have experienced for centuries at the hands of religious majorities.

    As for Dawkins’s notorious quote, it was not aimed at those who disagree with his preferred views and agendas, rather it was aimed at those who purblindly reject the observable fact of evolution – that living things change over time and that that those changes can be influenced by environmental factors, both human and non-human:

    So to the book’s provocation, the statement that nearly half the people in the United States don’t believe in evolution. Not just any people but powerful people, people who should know better, people with too much influence over educational policy. We are not talking about Darwin’s particular theory of natural selection. It is still (just) possible for a biologist to doubt its importance, and a few claim to. No, we are here talking about the fact of evolution itself, a fact that is proved utterly beyond reasonable doubt. To claim equal time for creation science in biology classes is about as sensible as to claim equal time for the flat-earth theory in astronomy classes. Or, as someone has pointed out, you might as well claim equal time in sex education classes for the stork theory. It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

    19: Again, loaded language. “Scapegoating” is not a responsible response to an analysis that in outline has been on the table since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, and in a circumstance where said evolutionary materialism (latterly, clad in a lab coat of Scientism) can first be readily shown to fail the comparative difficulties test as a worldview

    “Scapegoating” is a very apt term in light of what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany and elsewhere and what has happened to religious, racial and political minorities in many other countries around the world.

    Yet again, the theory of evolution is a theory in biology. It says nothing about morality. Those who claim it supports a particular “worldview” or that a particular moral code or political ideology can be derived from it are making another illegitimate leap across the is/ought gap.

    We have only to look at the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany for an example of to what end such an approach can lead

    21: Fallacious, further tainting and demonisation by utterly uncalled for invidious association with Hitler. FYI, Hitler was demonstrably anti-Christian. In the memory of the White Rose martyrs (who first exposed the holocaust) I call you to correct your misperceptions.

    Hitler and the Nazis were opportunists. They could appeal to Christian sentiment when it suited them and they could also plot to replace Catholic and Protestant churches with some sort of Nazi church because they feared that the power of Christianity was a threat to the Nazi hegemony in Germany.

    22: Further building on unfounded invidious, tainting, demonising associations. Do you realise that you here suggest that Christians are the moral equivalent of Hitler’s demonic mas murderers? I think a reconsideration is more than called for, especially i/l/o the relevant history of our civilisation.

    Do you realize that here in the US, atheists have been regarded by the Christian majority for centuries as worse than pedophiles (although not quite as bad as socialists). No one is suggesting that Christians are as bad as Nazis but the potential is there given the attitudes cited above.

    23: Further to such, it is obvious that if a significant number of people with this sort of warped perception of Christians, Christianity and the history of a Civilisation once generally termed Christendom were to gain power, Christians would have reason to be concerned that hunting season has been declared on them. Please, think again.

    That is exactly the attitude we should all beware of. Majorities tend not to be under threat precisely because they are majorities but can discriminate against minorities. Minorities can be both discriminated against and discriminate against others. The problem is to get out of the mindset that attributes the faults of a few members of a group to the whole group. That is where the danger lies.

    Here in the US, some illegal immigrants have committed serious offenses like rape and murder. Does this mean that all illegal immigrants are rapists and murderers? No, of course not. In fact, there are statistics which show that illegals offend at a significantly lower rate that the native population but that doesn’t stop Trump portraying them all as dangerous offenders.

    When Christians are minority in Congress

    27: In any serious sense of “Christian,” that has long been the case.

    No true Scotsman.

    and the majority are members of other faiths or openly atheist then you might have a case

    28: Notice, the further dodging of the issue of a worldview unable to bridge IS and OUGHT thus being amoral and opening the door to nihilist factionalism. And that is the case that by rhetorically diverting attention from you wish to avoid addressing on the worldview merits. Revealing.

    It is.

    Your insistence on addressing such a vague concept as “worldviews” indicates an unwillingness to deal with more specific issues.

    I think the majority of atheists or secularists or evolutionary materialist or whatever other bête noire you have in mind are well aware of the unbridgeable is/ought gap. That does not make them necessarily amoral as there are other bases for moralities. As for “nihilist factionalism” that has always been a risk even in Christian states.

    but, until then, it is plainly Christianity that still has the better of the power struggle.

    30: Really? The ghosts of 63 million unborn children and counting at another 1/2 million or so per year who do not have a vote or voice as they were robbed of the first right, life, need to be heard on this matter.

    If the Christian majority in the US were united on the question of banning abortion it would have been gone long ago.

    31: This blog is not a forum for political discussion and politicking, however, given context above and invidious comparisons made, this is already a serious smear that Evangelical Christians (a significant minority in the US) are here being pushed into the same boat as Hitler et al, along with a particular leading American politician who seems to have sponsored evangelicals as part of the hinterland deplorables despised by the radically secularist coastal and urban elites.

    The problem is not that they are being pushed into the same boat, it is that they are jumping into the boat with great glee and apparently relishing their chance to flirt with power rather than speaking truth to it.

    40: Do you wish to imply that it is not 100%, undiluted, untainted truth that 2 + 3 = 5 or the like? If not, you would be well advised to understand that we can know certain limited truths with utter certainty. In many cases, truth is self evident and undeniable or inescapable on pain of patent absurdity. These are plumbline truths that allow us to test our views and knowledge claims otherwise.

    By absolute truth I am referring to Theory of Everything which accounts for everything that we observe of the Universe.

    Truth, for me, resides in the degree to which our theories or explanations of what we observe align with those observations, Under this definition I deny that moral claims have any truth value because they are not about the nature of what is, they are telling us about how we ought to behave.

    You seem to be supporting the position that a populace is entitled to rise up and overthrow – by force of arms if necessary – what they perceive to be an unjust government

    47: Do you notice that you duck the ballot box, which was precisely won for us by hard fighting?

    I’m not ducking anything. The colonists rose up against a government that was perceived as remote, that did not treat them with fairness or justice and that did not allow them even the limited representation that was available in the legislature of the time. They had a list of legitimate grievances which, in my view, justified their rebellion.

    Now, in the White House we have a manifestly corrupt administration that bestows huge favors on its supporters and itself, that makes largely empty promises to the Rust Belt poor who are desperate for help, that is rolling back a healthcare law that, for all its flaws, provided healthcare to millions who had not been able to afford it before, that lies consistently, blatantly and unashamedly and does everything in its power to widen the partisan divide rather than trying to reach across it to unite the nation. There is a president in the White House who is there only by the vagaries of the Electoral College. In the impeachment hearings, the Presidents lawyers made great play with the argument that the trial was an outrageous attempt to overturn the will of the 63 million who voted for Trump. Apparently, the will of the 66 million majority who voted for Hilary Clinton counted for nothing.

    In light of the above and the history that led up to the Revolutionary War, would you say that there is a case for an armed insurrection again in the US?

    What if they are ignorant of much that their government actually does for them?

    51: This is the precise reason why the massively evident, longstanding failure and propagandistic trends of education and media alike are a betrayal of the interests of our civilisation.

    I think that’s too simplistic. What concerns me is that these problems might be symptoms of a social and cultural disorder that is appearing as the world’s population grows, that people are unable to identify with really large social and administrative structures and tend to fragment into smaller groups with which people can identify. Beyond the limits of these groups, other people and groups are regarded as alien, even hostile and definitely not to be listened to or trusted. If this is true of human instincts then we face a really serious problem of how to govern, manage and administer the huge populations of the future.

    54: The judgement on competence and benevolence is left to an audit by general election every four years.

    Which would be fine if the will of the majority as expressed through the ballot box could not be overturned by the Electoral College.

  165. 165
    ET says:

    “Ed George”:

    Your evasion of the question speaks volumes.

    All you do is evade questions, you hypocrite.

    Would you support first degree murder charges and the subsequent minimal sentence for any woman who has an abortion?

    You are clearly ignorant of how the law works. Not every case would be the same. Every case has contingencies. Every bit of evidence has to be considered.

    Obviously “Ed George” is just an insipid troll.

    If not you have to acknowledge that killing a three week old fetus isn’t murder.

    There is more than first degree murder. But you, being an insipid and willfully ignorant troll, cannot understand the simple facts.

  166. 166
    ET says:

    LoL! @ seversky!

    Which would be fine if the will of the majority as expressed through the ballot box could not be overturned by the Electoral College.

    This is the United STATES. The electoral college makes sure that is how elections are represented.

    Your ignorance portrayed in your last sentence betrays your entire post. Ooops, well the whole post is nothing more than your ignorant spewage…

  167. 167
    ET says:

    But until you are willing to charge women who have abortions with first degree and impose the required sentence (death in some states) then you can’t make the claim that aborting a three week old fetus is the equivalent of killing you or I.

    Your ignorance of the law is astounding. That you continually think that your ignorance is an argument, is priceless.

  168. 168
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Dealing with climate change is a scary issue but many nations are now co-operating on a global scale (the US is a notable exception) which gives some hope at least.

    People are focusing on CO2. CO2 isn’t the problem. So yes, it’s scary watching climate alarmists run around without a clue.

  169. 169
    JVL says:

    ET, 107: People are focusing on CO2. CO2 isn’t the problem.

    So what do you think is the problem?

  170. 170
    EDTA says:

    EG @ 162,

    A question or two: If I did decide to support charging all such individuals with murder, would you come over to our side? Would you have more respect for our point of view, because of greater consistency?

  171. 171
  172. 172
    JVL says:

    Vividbleau, 170

    Obviously some predictions were . . . ill founded to say the very least! I remember the predictions of a new ice age. I’ve heard it was more of a popular media reaction than an actual well founded academic warning but I haven’t checked the scientific literature to verify that. It clearly didn’t happen.

    But just to follow up: do you think the earth’s climate is changing due to human contributions, i.e. fossil fuel usage?

  173. 173
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    ”Climate change” really? the climate is always changing.
    Never underestimate the power of propaganda. I consider the current climate change hysteria to be an extraordinary popular delusion ( think tulip mania or the south sea bubble etc)
    BTW how many times do we need to be hoodwinked?
    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-stunning-statistical-fraud-behind-the-global-warming-scare/

    Vivid

  174. 174
    ET says:

    JVL @ 168- Real pollution, is the problem. Our trash is out of control. Over use of fertilizers is a big issue. The runoff causes algae blooms and red tides. Urban heat islands are a real effect. It can be mitigated in a number of ways. For one, urban areas should be mandated to have vertical farms within their city limits.

    Soot on snow causes it to melt even when the ambient temperatures are below freezing. All melting glaciers are dirty. CO2 isn’t the cause of dirty snow.

  175. 175
    buffalo says:

    et @173
    It is a good thing the earth is self cleansing. We should be good stewards of the earth to help it along.

  176. 176
    Ed George says:

    EDTA

    A question or two: If I did decide to support charging all such individuals with murder, would you come over to our side?

    Probably not.

    Would you have more respect for our point of view, because of greater consistency?

    I would have more respect for your honesty and accept that you honestly believe that a single celled fertilized ovum has an equal right to life as you and I do.

  177. 177
    Ed George says:

    KF, on a side note. As this is your thread do you think that ET’s constant Stream of insults are constructive?

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, I will take up points later. For now I note that as recently as in the Second World War, Churchill spoke of “Christian Civilisation” [in the context of the Nazis as enemies]. In using the term used by many writers over centuries, Christendom, I am speaking to a real sense of identity, whereby by about 1100 the peoples of Europe overwhelmingly held a common identity as Christian, never mind differences and disputes. That continued through the Iberian breakout, the Protestant Reformation, the global settlements of 1500 – 1800 and indeed into C20; Notice, how many European flags bear a cross motif, as a clue. It is in recent generations that there was any significant large scale repudiation of that identity in Europe [in the context of the rise of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers including radically secularist or explicitly atheistical ideologies and intellectual movements], even as Africans, Latin Americans and many Asians are embracing the Christian faith and identity today. While I am at it, disputes over theistic evolution are anachronistic in that context. So, I stand by my summary description. And no, there is no party spiritedness in describing a major fact of history, the dominant religious tradition and linked outlook of Europe and extensions from about 500 AD to 1800 + AD. Indeed, the common calendar is testimony to the point. It is also quite interesting that you find it so difficult to acknowledge such a major trend of history. KF

    PS: The US Electoral College is part of a system of checks and balances in a Constitutional Republic [which has democratic elements starting with “We, the People . . .” but is explicitly not a democracy]. Ever since the failure of Athens and until recent decades, unchecked democracy was seen as dangerous and suicidal. The College is part of a balance between big population states and the hinterlands, forcing in effect 50 state level elections not a unified one dominated by several urban centres. Similar to first past the post Westminster Parliaments, winning an office or an election is not equal to holding 50% +1 or the like: if you win heavily in urban centres but cannot appeal to the hinterlands [that provide food, minerals and typically the best soldiers (yes, that counts)], that is a bad sign for a party. And, frankly, there are excellent reasons for that having to do with deliberate checks and balances that restrain emergence of concentrated dominant interests and factions that push radical agendas.

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    EG (attn ET) I find that an insulting tone is not in the best interests. That said, the sorts of positions being taken and inferences or projections being made are far more reason for serious concern. Can we all pause and ponder? Remember, holocaust is a live issue. And BTW, only a small minority of those involved in the holocaust from 1941 on were put to death or gaoled for life. A global evil is on the table, it needs to be faced as such and as a world we need to turn to a better path. KF

  180. 180
    ET says:

    “Ed George”:

    As this is your thread do you think that ET’s constant Stream of insults are constructive?

    Astute observations are not insults. You are an insipid troll. Don’t try to blame me for that. For example:

    I would have more respect for your honesty and accept that you honestly believe that a single celled fertilized ovum has an equal right to life as you and I do.

    Within 2 days of fertilization there are already two cells. It isn’t even implanted, yet.

    Then there is that stupid strawman of all murder has to be first degree. There won’t be any trial. No facts. No evidence. Just the sentence.

    So the question is- why are YOU even allowed to post here? My only guess is to show anyone reading what unreasonable, irrationality we are up against.

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, another quick point. Anti-Christian has two closely connected senses. First, enmity to Christ. Second, counterfeit. That Hitler was forced to respond to the presence of Christians speaks, as does his attempt to cartelise and control churches, which provoked the Barmen declaration of protest and call to action that implied, idolatry. The White Rose martyrs are especially important in exposing the holocaust, which cost them their lives. KF

  182. 182
    ET says:

    How many abortions take place within the first week of fertilization? Is a “single celled fertilized ovum” ever at risk of being aborted by an abortion doctor? Or is bringing up a “single celled fertilized ovum” just another attempt at deception and dishonesty?

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, there is a significant number, now, of very early intentional abortions using morning after type pills and the like. In addition, older forms of oral contraceptives in some cases, and clearly IUDs acted more to prevent implantation than conception.We have some serious rethinking to do. And it will be painful. KF

    PS: Let us all endeavour to turn down rhetorical voltage.

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I suggest to JVL et al that a survey of WUWT may help balance thinking on climate trends and ideological factors.Those who question the official narrative are not necessarily simply wackos and conspiracy nuts. There is a real scientific debate and ideology, officialdom, popularisation and science in my observation are too often a poor mix. KF

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    Next one, I am going to be busy so snippets I am afraid.

    >>Making claims that only science can create serious knowledge has greater warrant than the claim that Scripture is somehow the source of ultimate Truth.>>

    1: I think, the proper theistic claim would be that God is root of reality, perfectly honest and truthful, which would make genuine revelations (written or implanted in the conscience) truthful also. So, scripture is not the SOURCE of ultimate truth.

    2: The claim that science monopolises or utterly dominates knowledge is self-referentially incoherent. The proper discipline that studies knowledge and its warrant is philosophy; its methods go far beyond the empirical and inductive; the relevant sub-discipline is epistemology. Logic is used in science and is another major sub-discipline. Mathematics, another major component of doing science, is the study of the logic of structure and quantity.

    3: While science is important, it holds no monopoly on knowledge or reliable methods of study towards it.

    >>The computers you and I are using now were not prayed into existence.>>

    4: No one ever seriously claimed such, and prayer, a spiritual discipline, may have more to do with shaping the lives of many practitioners of sci tech than one might imagine.

    5: Those computers use language and manifest functionally specific complex organisation and associated information. These are signs of design. The D/RNA and associated molecular nanotech in the cell also “use language and manifest functionally specific complex organisation and associated information.” Why then is it so often seen as strictly verboten to infer that like causes like, apart from the sort of ideological imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism we have been seeing?

    6: Similarly, the observed cosmos exhibits fine tuned complex functional specificity that sets it at an operating point that enables C-chem, aqueous medium cell based life. Does that not also point compellingly to design as material cause?

    KF

  186. 186
    john_a_designer says:

    Secular progressivism exists under the illusion and pretense that there is some basis for morality. But if there is, what is it? That’s a question a secularist for some reason never seems to be able to answer. Why is that? They try to find an answer by becoming indignant and argumentative but they never arrive at any kind of rationally coherent answer because maybe honestly they have none.

    …if God does not exist, then in a sense, our world is Auschwitz: there is no absolute right and wrong; all things are permitted. But no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently with such a view. Nietzsche himself, who proclaimed the necessity of living beyond good and evil, broke with his mentor Richard Wagner precisely over the issue of the composer’s anti-Semitism and strident German nationalism. Similarly Sartre, writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that a doctrine that leads to extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste, of equal value with its opposite. [8] In his important essay “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Sartre struggles vainly to elude the contradiction between his denial of divinely pre-established values and his urgent desire to affirm the value of human persons. Like Russell, he could not live with the implications of his own denial of ethical absolutes. (emphasis added)

    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    Without morally binding interpersonal obligations we have no basis at all for universal human rights… Neither do we have a basis for a stable democratic form of government.

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD,

    yes, where, evolutionary materialism has long been known — since Plato in The Laws Bk X at least, c 360 BC — to be unable to ground moral government [in effect if a material IS is all that exists at root, there is no bridge to OUGHT at reality root . . . this is often presented as though there can be no bridging of the IS-OUGHT gap whatsoever, through implicit imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism viewed as the “only” credible worldview].

    The consequence is, that rules of conduct are arbitrary and radically relative to accidental circumstances. Thus, they can be changed at will by whoever has power to impose. Thus, too, the rise of ruthless, manipulative nihilistic power factions; which will usually be looters leading to eventual shipwreck. The community becomes little more than a garbage can organisation dominated by the most ruthless. [An “ideal” which sounds all too familiar today.]

    However, the rot is deeper, as rationality and discussion or argument are inescapably morally governed — even the most cynical manipulators are forced to appeal to our sense of binding obligation to truth, right reason, prudence [so, warrant and knowledge], fairness and justice etc.

    That’s a clue as to the true state of affairs, but more immediately, it shows that the first duties are indeed inescapable. So, they are rightly understood as real, hence the somehow, OUGHT is real you note and the continual posing of worthless intellectual IOU’s by adherents of systems inherently unable to bridge IS and OUGHT.

    Post Hume, that can only be done at reality root, on pain of ungrounded ought.

    The root of reality already needs to be necessary so independent and eternal being. (Infinite temporal causal chains of finite stages cannot be traversed in steps and were there ever utter nothing as such has no causal power no world would ever be; so, the root is finitely remote as well as ever-enduring and powerful enough to be a source of worlds. Now, such a root also has to be inherently good and utterly wise, to genuinely bridge IS and OUGHT.

    A familiar figure looms through the fog of our musings on roots of reality.

    But of course, those who have determined in their ideology that such cannot be, and adhere to inherently inconsistent schemes that already undermine rationality and hold that Big S Science monopolises truth and knowledge are not likely to be impressed with any argument that does not fit their scheme.

    What is needed then is enough who take up the cry: but, the Emperor is parading naked!

    When that happens, the radical secularist house of cards will collapse.

    KF

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    I think you need to clean up your understanding of the past 2,000 years of the history of our civilisation:

    >>As you pointed out, the continent of Europe was essentially synonymous with the concept of Christendom because Christianity was the dominant faith in that region for some two thousand years,>>

    1: Nope, not even a pardonable rhetorical flourish.

    2: Within Europe, the last major pagan strongholds were in Scandinavia, where the Viking age were in effect the last gasp of paganism. As in, the age of Viking piracy was launched with a raid on Lindisfarne. It lasted until roughly Harald Hardrada’s attempt to take the English Crown. William — a Viking descendant — who did take the crown, was at least nominally and culturally Christianised.

    2: While pockets existed onwards (and still exist, now blending into the New Age and similar movements), the point is, there was no 2,000 year domination. The Christian mission started in urban centres and spread from there until, despite waves of persecution reaching a peak just before Constantine, it hit critical mass of about 25% c 300.

    3: At that time, Constantine (whose mother was a Christian) saw that Paganism was hopeless, Mithraism failed, the mystery cults were not a live option, to hold together the Empire had to reach a settlement with the Christians. And despite Julian the Apostate, that is what held, especially in the East. (The Empire had been partitioned into two parts before Constantine, who was an understudy; the idea was, two senior leaders and two understudies, the result was civil war and Constantine’s triumph.)

    4: Constantine’s reign marks the point of official recognition by Rome. Growth accelerated though quality of converts declined [as Augustine complained nearly a century later].

    >> Unless you are proposing an absurd notion that a faith persecutes itself>>

    5: Historically, worldviews, ideologies and religions that are official, have faction quarrels, which can rise up to civil war. China, Vietnam and Cambodia, as Communist regimes, fought wars against one another at the turn of the 80’s. Before that, Russia suppressed uprisings in E Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Islamic Civilisation had its own major wars. The problem is not religion or Christianity but the ways of power classes.

    6: Adherents of one faction or leader or variant can and do persecute others they view as threats. That was the context of the 30 years war, which issued in the Westphalia settlement and these treaties provided key compromises that helped guide the US founders and framers.

    >>you are left with two possibilities. First, there is the sometimes bloody oppression of minor but unorthodox denominations – of which there are a number of examples –>>

    7: You know enough, so you set up a strawman to knock over. A fallacy.

    >>or second there is the sustained, widespread and often murderous persecution of the Jews for over two millennia leading up to the Holocaust for which there is ample evidence.>>

    8: Yes, Jews and others have been targets of persecution and misunderstanding. Sometimes, it has gone the other way. Again, the issue has been the nature of power classes and linked faction dynamics, as was summarised by Plato in the Ship of State.

    9: Notice, the formation of ruthless, murderous factions in that, echoing the history of Athens during and after the Peloponnesian war. (Recall, Plato’s mentor was put to death in that context, in part because it was perceived that he was associated with destructive young radicals. For example, Alcibiades was one of his students of a sort. Notice, the parable is set in that context, why is it your students have behaved so badly.)

    10: If a pattern pops up across thousands of years, under pagans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Communists and others, that suggests that the issue is not the Christian faith but instead the nature of ruthless power factions.

    11: Your phrasing suggests that the Nazi persecution by holocaust in particular was Christianity motivated. That is seriously false to the point of slander. For instance, in Poland, ground zero for the holocaust, 3 million Jews were murdered, but so were 2 million Catholic Poles (and in the case of Fr Kolbe of Auschwitz, both.) The largest single group of Hitler’s victims were Soviet, Slavic civilians [death toll 25+ millions, with only 5 – 8 million being battle deaths IIRC], and the main direct cause was death by deprivation, winter and deliberately induced famine. Actually, there was a plan to seize the food of the Ukraine and wipe out that population in one winter, completing what Stalin had tried to do.

    12: Further to this, Hitler’s ideology is plain, from his first book (there was a second . . .) and from his attempts to cartelise and subvert the church into Nazi ideology and idolatry. From the book:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents . . . Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life . . . The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.

    The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice . . . .

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. [That is, Darwinian sexual selection.] And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.

    If the process were different, all further and higher development would cease and the opposite would occur. For, since the inferior always predominates numerically over the best [NB: this is a theme in Darwin’s discussion of the Irish, the Scots and the English in Descent], if both had the same possibility of preserving life and propagating, the inferior would multiply so much more rapidly that in the end the best would inevitably be driven into the background, unless a correction of this state of affairs were undertaken. Nature does just this by subjecting the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited, and by not permitting the remainder to increase promiscuously, but making a new and ruthless choice according to strength and health . . . [MK, Bk I Ch xi]

    13: Yes, Christendom has had its sins and crimes, that is inevitable for anything so large and complicated as a civilisation. The issue is, resources that sustain reformation, and on that we find yes, Jesus and Moses are two of the great teachers of humanity. Repentance and reformation driven by heart-softening are equally part of the story.

    14: And it is down that path that we will have to go, if we are to recover from our present central evils, especially the worst, ongoing holocaust in history. Where, it is no accident that key spokespersons speaking up against the drive of our dominant power factions are Christian. The annual March for Life is a key example.

    15: And BTW, Christians — as we saw in Africa and India this weekend — are the most persecuted group today. So, no, that should not be a footnote on the way to further rhetorical attacks on the Christian faith.

    16: Where, it is seriously out of order to target the FAITH as responsible for wrongs done by people who may have some affinity or adherence, specifically given the explicit, strong teaching of that faith regarding doing harm or wrong to neighbour and its strong affirmation of fundamental brotherhood of humanity. A sounder answer is to recognise just how radical the moral struggle we all face is, that power factions tend to be corrupt and abusive as a global pattern even in the teeth of core principles to the contrary.

    17: All of this goes to the roots of sound government and the principles in and history behind the US DoI etc.

    18: It would have been more understandable if you had challenged the Christian Faith regarding a clear tendency to pacifism in core teachings. That issue is part of what lies behind how the thinking and theology that are reflected in the DoI arose.

    19: Things like double covenant of nationhood and Government under God, the status of lower magistrates (and popular representatives), remonstrance and interposition, rulers betraying their central duty to the civil peace of justice, right of reformation and as a last resort, resistance to tyranny.

    20: That these have been by and large forgotten is a good part of why the reformed democracy of recent generations and centuries is visibly beginning to collapse into the factionalism Plato warned against in Ship of State.

    KF

  189. 189
    JVL says:

    KF, 188: And BTW, Christians — as we saw in Africa and India this weekend — are the most persecuted group today

    I must have missed something in the news . . . what happened in Africa and India?

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    Burkina Faso, 24 murdered. India is back in the news. Nigeria, plenty for many years — Boko Haram means literally books [= Western learning] forbidden, using an Arab word. (remember the 200 girls kidnapped from a Christian school?) We can go to Iran, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan [remember Asia Bibbi and the sentence to hang on a patently false accusation then holding in unhealthy conditions damaging health and threatening life?] and on and on, including China and North Korea. Remember the Sri Lanka Easter church bombings? Cuba is still hostile and its leading dissident testifies to what was going on in its prisons in esp the 60’s: Viva Christo el Rey, BANG, Viva Christo el Rey, BANG,, all night, night after night; then they hit on the idea to gag the victims of such judicial mass murder. Then, there was the draining of blood reducing to semiconsciousness before shooting . . . notorious in the case of the Police Colonel of Santa Clara. When I see the uncritical celebrity status of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, that tells me all I need to know. The longstanding bullying and lawfare in the US speak for themselves especially when we see the comparison to Nazism that seems to now be simply assumed fact though it is utterly unwarranted and slanderous. Further multiply by the ongoing holocaust of the unborn and its enabling through warped law, courts, government, media, education and the clear agenda to undermine moral government — starting with first duties of responsible reason — and its foundational role in civil society. KF

  191. 191
    JVL says:

    KF, 190: Burkina Faso, 24 murdered.

    Was that this incident: https://www.persecution.org/2020/01/28/burkina-faso-suffers-another-large-massacre/

    That story was dated January 28th so maybe a couple of weekends ago. Sadly it sound like it’s Islamists v Christians; two groups that I would consider having a lot in common, at least compared to other pairs of faiths. It’s sad really when you think about it.

    Cuba is still hostile and its leading dissident testifies to what was going on in its prisons in esp the 60’s: Viva Christo el Rey, BANG, Viva Christo el Rey, BANG,, all night, night after night; then they hit on the idea to gag the victims of such judicial mass murder. Then, there was the draining of blood reducing to semiconsciousness before shooting . . . notorious in the case of the Police Colonel of Santa Clara.

    Interestingly enough, things maybe getting a lot better in Cuba, at least as reported on Wikipedia:

    In 2010, the Pew Forum estimated that religious affiliation in Cuba is 65% Christian (60% Roman Catholic or about 6.9 million in 2016, 5% Protestant or about 575,000 in 2016), 23% unaffiliated, 17% folk religion (such as santería), and the remaining 0.4% consisting of other religions. Cuba is officially a secular state. Religious freedom increased through the 1980s, with the government amending the constitution in 1992 to drop the state’s characterization as atheistic.

    So, actually, the largest faith in Cuba is Christianity.

    India is, of course, primarily famous for the antagonism between the Hindus and Muslims.

    I understand your views on abortion but can that really be considered anti-Christian since many Christians support the current laws in the US?

  192. 192
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, there is no moral equivalency even between most muslims and islamist terrorists. That you so casually drew such a comparison speaks, and speaks to what has been going on in our civilisation. I could talk about the Islamist agenda and its history, but that is besides the point. As for Cuba, I gave an accurate though compressed summary. Obviously, Cuba is majority Christian, 60 years of Communist domination has not suppressed it, though what I learned from Cubans is that there has been clear and significant pressure to disbelieve in God; backed by the Party and using the crudest materialism. And the people I am speaking of [obviously, no details] were there in the period when things were allegedly improving. Tyranny is tyranny. KF

    PS: The holocaust of the unborn is a wrong against God, their creator.

    PPS: In both India and Pakistan, Christians have been victimised for their faith, including currently.

  193. 193
    JVL says:

    KF, 192

    I probably should have said ‘Islamic extremists’ as does the article I linked to. I guess I thought that was clear considering their behaviour. A poorly chosen word or phrase is not the same as drawing a comparison!

    Well, hopefully Cuba will improve. Interestingly, I searched for web articles concerning ‘Being Christian in Cuba’ and found widely varying opinions! These two were very positive:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/12/cuba-religious-revival-christian-denominations

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/november/will-success-spoil-cuba-revival-havana-us-embargo.html?share=sWB%2ftrGdBkDqJGldddmS3gYj1MfMoyag

    and reminded me that Pope Francis visited Cuba in 2015 on a state sanctioned visit.. And yes, there were very negative articles as well.

    Another Wikipedia article says:

    Membership in Protestant churches is estimated to be 5 percent and includes Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and Lutherans. In recent decades, Cuba has seen a rapid growth of Evangelical Protestants: “Cuba’s Christians have thrived despite the island’s politics and poverty. Their improbable, decades-long revival is often described as being rivaled only by China’s. “It’s incredible. People just come on their own, looking for God,” says a Western Baptist leader.” [5] Other Christian denominations include the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

    So, it seems that there are contrary reports in the public domain. As I said, I hope the situation improves for all members of all faiths in Cuba.

  194. 194
    JVL says:

    This is a more recent article and goes into some guesses as to what’s going on.

    https://premierchristian.news/en/news/article/christian-persecution-spikes-in-cuba

    It seems like it might be all religious organisations that are being affected.

    As I said, very sad. There’s no reason for that kind of behaviour.

  195. 195
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, my home denom has done work in Cuba that doesn’t even make your list. When I was there, I saw signs of vibrant Christian faith amidst the obvious pain and struggle. I also saw the pervasive signs put up by Committees for the Defence of the Revolution, I saw the huge statue of Che Guevarra hulking over Santa Clara. I saw many other things., things that drew out my heart and things that broke it. I deeply admire many Cuban professionals, who are really good and refreshingly lack the arrogance I have so often seen. None of this removes the realities I spoke of above. KF

    PS: And yes the sort of discussion you linked is consistent with the past. The long shadow of that past will continue to loom silently until there is an accounting. I believe truth and reconciliation commissions are a key step forward.

  196. 196
    pw says:

    JVL @193:

    The Wikipedia text you quoted seems to be inaccurate:

    “Other Christian denominations include the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).”

    As far as I’m aware of the latter two groups aren’t Christian.

  197. 197
    Ed George says:

    PW

    As far as I’m aware of the latter two groups aren’t Christian.

    With respect, they both consider themselves to be Christian. Who decides which sect is, or is not, Christian? In fact, it could be argued that Christianity is just a splinter sect of Judaism.

  198. 198
    pw says:

    Ed George,

    Thanks for asking those questions.

    Christians are those who believe this:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

    The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
    He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.“

  199. 199
    Ed George says:

    PW

    Christians are those who believe this:

    Sorry, but that is your opinion of what Christians are. The Mormons and JWs disagree with you. Your argument is with them, not me. As an outsider, I prefer not to take sides. Let me know who wins.

  200. 200
    pw says:

    Ed George,
    That’s the Christian scripture.
    It has nothing to do with my or anybody else’s opinion.
    Since you lack the required knowledge about this, better learn what you’re missing. Refrain from making uneducated opinions on this. You’ll benefit from learning the truth.

    Please, note that I’m not writing this in order to persuade you, but for the anonymous readers of this thread.

  201. 201
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, Pw is precisely correct in his witness under duty to truth and prudence. Going further, the classic historic definition of the Christian faith is the Nicene creed. That is, the product of the first post-persecution general council, following up from the Ac 15, 48/9 council. Contrary to many ignorant assertions (and a few malicious ones) it is a classic summary statement of Christian systematic theology, in Greek, made by native speakers of essentially the same language as the NT was written in, who discussed the exact inflections required to express what was accurate and to exclude what was not. I have personally confirmed, clause by clause, its intimate construction from and dependence on the scriptures, including a cluster of key “Chapter ones,” Jn 1, Rom 1, Col 1, Heb 1 and a key ch 15, 1 Cor 15; the first, eyewitness lifetime record from the circle of the 500 inviting inquiry in a controversial context while they were in the main still alive and while Gallio’s ruling of toleration was still in force. There is such a thing as an objective, historic definition of the Christian faith that is beyond our ability to redefine to suit our perspectives and preferences. If you are familiar with key definitions and axioms in Mathematics or the wording of well crafted contracts or coding of algorithms, you will appreciate the challenge. Wikipedia has no power to modify that; though obviously it tries. Yes, the Watchtower Society etc seek to be Christian and/or to “correct” what they perceive to be errors in the foundations [usually, they phrase it as shortly after the apostles, grave error crept in which they now correct] but unfortunately they have imposed subtly warped yardsticks. The plumbline of authentic scripture reveals the warpings and errors of our day. KF

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    Observe an exchange:

    [S:] You seem to be supporting the position that a populace is entitled to rise up and overthrow – by force of arms if necessary – what they perceive to be an unjust government

    [K:] 47: Do you notice that you duck the ballot box, which was precisely won for us by hard fighting?

    [S;} I’m not ducking anything. The colonists rose up against a government that was perceived as remote, that did not treat them with fairness or justice and that did not allow them even the limited representation that was available in the legislature of the time. They had a list of legitimate grievances which, in my view, justified their rebellion.

    You pushed my view to an extreme, leaving out remonstrance, interposition, voting, checks and balances. I pointed to the ballot box, win by hard fighting. You again left off the middle, speaking to the American Revolution.

    The missing middle is pivotal, it in material part grows out of Christian theology of nationhood and government under God, also it shows that rebellions and riots are not the instant resort. And, again, you skipped over that. I point out that para 2 of US DoI actually argues that it is the habit of humanity to abide evils while endurable and that radical changes ought not to be undertaken for light and transient causes. They point to how remonstrance and interposition had failed because of a manifest design of despotism [and this was over a year after armed confrontation and fighting had begun, in the Boston area].

    By skipping over that middle zone, you continue to project the sort of extremism corrected in the OP.

    We do not need polarisation like that.

    KF

    PS: You go on to Mr Trump. I will not make such more than a footnote:

    >>Now, in the White House we have a manifestly corrupt administration that bestows huge favors on its supporters and itself,>>

    1: There has been a manifest pattern of guilt by accusation, Star Chamber proceedings and the like. While I carry no brief for Mr Trump, I think there is a much broader pattern of issues with political leadership in the US.

    2: In particular, I note that had there been real proof of the sort of conduct being accused, it would have been in articles of impeachment, and would have been trumpeted with demonstrative evidence. The dog that barked one way but not another.

    >> that makes largely empty promises to the Rust Belt poor who are desperate for help,>>

    3: For the first time in a generation, there is a blue collar led recovery and growth, with clear indicators of a turnaround under Mr Trump. (Note, here and here as samplers. )

    >> that is rolling back a healthcare law that, for all its flaws, provided healthcare to millions who had not been able to afford it before,>>

    4: Which has not been rolled back and is seriously problematic.

    >> that lies consistently, blatantly and unashamedly>>

    5: Likely, true. However, the problem of lying and slander is pervasive, it is the one-sidedness and scapegoating that I am seeing primarily.

    >> and does everything in its power to widen the partisan divide>>

    6: The radicalisation of US politics came primarily from the left through cultural marxism and it has attacked core elements not only of our civilisation but the premises and principles of responsible, rational, conscience-guided freedom.

    7: In such a situation, with in-progress holocaust on the table, there is a difference between responsible compromise and enabling of manifest, rampant evil.

    >>rather than trying to reach across it to unite the nation. >>

    8: Those who radicalised are the ones with the duty to pull back rather than go to further extremes.

    >>There is a president in the White House who is there only by the vagaries of the Electoral College.>>

    9: He is there because that College worked precisely as designed, per the principles of the Connecticut compromise. Big states should not dominate over small ones in a federation.

    10: That such has been twisted into delegitimisation points to a sense of entitlement to dominate that since 2000 has repeatedly led to needless disputing of elections. This is yet another bad sign.

    >> In the impeachment hearings, the Presidents lawyers made great play with the argument that the trial was an outrageous attempt to overturn the will of the 63 million who voted for Trump.>>

    11: Actually, yes; though badly phrased on the terms of those trying to delegitimise the Connecticut compromise. He won a critical mass of support across the 50 elections in parallel thus was properly elected as President. As the President is not simply head of a key standing committee of parliament defined on its majority support, removal of presidents outside of elections should be on clear evidence of natural law criminal conduct comparable to treason, through a fair — not Star Chamber — process.

    12: If the Constitutional provision is wrong, if coastal urban centres don’t need hinterlands that provide food, water, mineral resources and bedrock loyal people who make the best soldiers in any state, then there is an amendment process.

    13: That process, too, is based on the same compromise. So, it is the principle that saved the Convention and therefore was decisive in establishing US 2.0 in 1787 – 9, which is under attack.

    >>Apparently, the will of the 66 million majority who voted for Hilary Clinton counted for nothing.>>

    13: An example of precisely the twisted radicalisation that is a bad sign. No, these voted in their representatives in the legislature and their numbers carry an implication that the election can go another way in future.

    14: When the message is sent that a legitimate electoral defeat is not accepted, that is a bad sign.

    >>In light of the above and the history that led up to the Revolutionary War, would you say that there is a case for an armed insurrection again in the US?>>

    15: Obviously not. I take it, this is little more than overwrought rhetoric.

    ______

    I add, in my considered opinion, on current trends [and unless something drastic happens] Mr Trump is headed for re-election, likely with a significant popular vote majority and an Electoral College landslide. It would be advisable for the opposition party to repudiate its radicalism and return to historic, sound practice. I suspect a sharp defeat may be necessary for that to begin, associated with serious breaking of its media phalanx. This last will be seen from bankruptcies and/or major losses in defamation and/or tortious interference lawsuits.

  203. 203
    ET says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses definitely accept the Christian scripture that PW posted in 198. I know this through many conversations I have had with several JW’s. They accept all that is Jesus.

    [ –> ET, while it is not a main focus for this thread or UD, it is fair comment to note that the main translation used by the Watchtower Society retranslates Jn 1 v 1 in a way that is questionable. As my Nestle-Aland text based interlinear put it, the subject hath the article and the object hath it not, so kai theos hen ho logos — and God was the word, word by word in order [see here Tyndale’s rendering . . . ] — is translated with the Logos as subject and theos, God as object. In that context, the text goes on that the world was made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. If it is contingent, it came through him; we are here dealing with the necessary being root of reality. And yes, there is a lot of ontology loaded language in the Bible, starting with I AM THAT I AM. KF]

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: I have some time to continue:

    >> What concerns me is that these problems might be symptoms of a social and cultural disorder that is appearing as the world’s population grows,>>

    16: Mere population growth does not change culture, we have clear signs of an extremely radical movement at work, which as discussed has been pushing polarisation.

    17: there is nothing essentially new in the cultural disorders that is not explained in terms of Plato’s warning in The Laws, Bk X regarding the ruinous import of evolutionary materialism. To wit:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 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].

    >> that people are unable to identify with really large social and administrative structures>>

    18: Misdirected. the problem is what those who sit in dominant positions on mountains of influence are pushing. (And, corrupt or incompetent administration tends to alienate those who have been repeatedly burned. For instance, the FBI etc have now seriously damaged their credibility.)

    >> and tend to fragment into smaller groups with which people can identify>>

    19: People have always identified with family, neighbourhood, church etc. It is the ruthless determination of radicals to overturn such without sound basis, which is driving the polarisation.

    >>. Beyond the limits of these groups, other people and groups are regarded as alien,>>

    20: the radicalism afoot in our civilisation, responsible for holocaust in progress, is indeed alien to the moral fabric of our civilisation, and indeed arguably the moral fabric of being a rational, responsible, morally governed significantly free person. I here point to the first duties: truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, fairness, justice, etc. No, it’s not “racism . . . etc” in an endless litany. Racism remains a problem but it is not a keystone problem and the trend is away from it; holocaust in progress is far more central.

    >>even hostile and definitely not to be listened to or trusted.>>

    21: Would you consider that enablers and perpetrators of holocaust in progress are trustworthy?

    22: This is a key part of why I keep pointing to the abortion holocaust as the central evil of our time. I do not know how we are going to collectively deal with entrenched mass blood guilt and with the necessary widespread corruption of key institutions and professions required to enable it. Likely, it is going to be painful and chaotic in the extreme.

    >> If this is true of human instincts>>

    23: It is not, the matter has been misconstrued because of evident involvement with the radicalism that is polarising the civilisation.

    >> then>>

    23: Not from mere population, from the radicalism and holocaust, with effects and influences.

    >>we face a really serious problem of how to govern, manage and administer>>

    24: Yes, as the fabric and foundations of moral government are being torn up and undermined by a dominant, ruthless radical agenda.

    >> the huge populations of the future. >>

    25: Again misdirected. It is not population that is the problem.

    26: besides, on current track, what we face is population implosion in major parts of the world. Likewise, we see projections of peaking at what 9 billions and declining thereafter across this century.

    27: the alarmism on population has proved to be ill founded, we have passed the timelines and the patterns predicted have not emerged. The danger we face is similar to what led to the Peloponnesian war, which ruined Athens; and that manifestly was not an overpopulation problem.

    28: In short, correlation is not causation. We need a sound dynamics, and the answer to failure of government is that we have been led into paths that are manifestly unsound.

    29: But to admit that unsoundness and consequences such as holocaust, is going to be very hard for those entangled in the problem.

    KF

  205. 205
    pw says:

    KF @201:

    Very well explained. Thanks.

  206. 206
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    124: >>Giving women better access to education, surely a good thing, is known to lower the birth rate since women pursuing a career have fewer children starting later.>>

    This caught my eye on scrolling.

    When birth rates slip to population collapse levels, something more than educated women have fewer kids and have them later is going on.

    Marriage, pregnancy, motherhood and family are not oppressive institutions.

    KF

  207. 207
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, notice your sez who focus?

    >>Who decides which sect is, or is not, Christian? In fact, it could be argued that Christianity is just a splinter sect of Judaism.>>

    I suspect, this is symptomatic of a radical relativism, which as Plato warned long since leads to decision by power struggle.

    That then deeply polarises essentially everything and undermines the intellectual capital of our civilisation.

    My observation is, that there are many things that can be objectively decided, if we are willing to do duty to first duties of reason. (And yes, that actually includes whether or not one is actually adhering to the core, defining substance of the historic, C1 founded and documented Christian faith. But then, you seem to have problems with history and linked record; starting, here, with the 500. So, the prior issue is, your unwarranted dismissal of that history and record through hyperskepticism.)

    KF

    PS: There is a reason why one may legitimately speak of the Judaeo-Christian worldview.

  208. 208
    JVL says:

    KF, 206: When birth rates slip to population collapse levels, something more than educated women have fewer kids and have them later is going on.

    We’re not at ‘population collapse levels’ yet as far as I know. Even if some countries/cultures have slowing growth rates I don’t know of any that’s on the brink of catastrophe because of having too few children. But if you know of some then I’d be interested in looking at the data.

    Just out of curiosity . . . why do you think some of the major heresies developed in the past? I’m thinking of the Cathars and Waldensians (although they still exist apparently!).? Or any of the major theological splits.

  209. 209
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, notice your sez who focus?

    It is a serious question, for which I have not heard a reasonable answer. Who decides which flavour of Christianity is the correct one. There are as many flavours on Christianity as there are Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Although they have similarities, there are also some very significant differences. For example, the Westboro Baptists positively hate homosexuals whereas the United Church (and others) will officiate same sex marriages. They can’t all be right. But I am willing to bet that each person honestly believes that the version they follow is the correct one.

    Is it not more likely that most people blindly adopt the flavour of religion they were born into or, in the case where a person changes their denomination or adopts one, they adopt a denomination that best fits their lifestyle?

    But then, you seem to have problems with history and linked record; starting, here, with the 500. So, the prior issue is, your unwarranted dismissal of that history and record through hyperskepticism.

    The evidence of the 500 wouldn’t even be accepted in our courts. It is not 500 separate testimonials, it is one testimonial claiming that 500 people witnessed the resurrection. Questioning this is not hyperskepticism, it is simply not being gullible. The actual number of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens is in doubt (one estimate as high as four million in the US alone, although that is very doubtful), but I think a number of 500 would be possible. So, we are talking about 500 separate attestations to an alien abduction, many of them alive with us today. Given that these are separate first-person testimonials as compared to a single first-person testimonial for the resurrection of Jesus claiming that 500 others witnessed this, the alien abduction carries far greater probative value than the resurrection does.

  210. 210
    Ed George says:

    KF

    When birth rates slip to population collapse levels, something more than educated women have fewer kids and have them later is going on.

    I guess the first question should be, what is wrong with a voluntary decrease in the population? Why is that a bad thing?

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    >>We’re not at ‘population collapse levels’ yet as far as I know.>>

    When births per woman fall significantly below the ~ 2.3 replacement levels, demographic collapse is an implication.

    A simple web search away, you will find serious information and perhaps good discussion. I link WB figures and those new trend line mini graphs.

    Notice, the West (and contrast Israel).

    Observe the Caribbean, also; independent-minded thinkers here are concerned.

    And beyond the trend per state, there is the structure of birth rates by region/town and class etc, lending to social conflict. The middle classes in many areas are in effectively a suicide pact.

    >>why do you think some of the major heresies developed in the past?>>

    I am not so sure the Waldensians, strictly, were heretics so much as fore-runners of the Reformation.

    Their history of influencing reformers [Bullinger], welcoming the reformation then latterly declaring themselves Evangelical and joining Methodism points in a very different direction. Of course, C16 Roman Catholic leadership regarded the Reformers as heretics, too; though, today, a more balanced evaluation is made on both sides.

    I suggest, we are prone to error and often needless polarisation. Ambitious people, angry people, mis-perceiving people, ignorant and unstable people, greedy people, etc. are real. Thus, party-spiritedness and the challenge of managing factions is a reality in any significant human entity or community. Worse, something with sound roots may stagnate or decay, leading to needed reformation.

    Governance is always a challenge.

    KF

  212. 212
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, kindly note the above on population to JVL. Population collapse will come with a top-heavy population pyramid [and in countries with sex selective abortion, earlier, want of women], with internal structures that feed social conflict and amplify the economic strain of the top-heavy pyramid. Of course, nihilists have yet another solution in the wings, mass euthanasia (perhaps disguised at first as some form of health care rationing by bureaucratic decision . . . death panels in blunt terms), which further benumbs and blinds leading to the further rise of the patterns Plato warned against. I guess I really need to get back to my response to the population bomb ideology: tech and energy transformation feeding solar system colonisation across this century as a framework of hope and vision. KF

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Pardon, but I find a pattern where you tend to disregard serious answers on the table and substitute a sez who, relativist response.

    To remind, we have clearly authentic C1 foundation documents and history, which you wish to selectively hyperskeptically scant. We have a synthesis from just after the persecutions ended, which demonstrably accurately summarises the C1 core thought and practice. Such form a clear core and give a framework we cannot alter to suit ourselves. There are always factions, but the presence of a core identifies what is authentic and what goes outside of the core, whether or not there are roots in that framework.

    Sez what, not sez who.

    This connects to issues of warrant and accessibility of truth; subjectivism and relativism fail these tests.

    Further, perhaps you are unaware that there is an ancient documents rule in law, which is itself different in standards of authenticity and warrant of soundness than history. The Rylands fragment c 125 AD, immediately removes the notion that the NT is largely a C2 fraud. That this is a codex, in Egypt, 300 miles from place of composition [coastal Anatolia, Ephesus and environs], implies early recognition and formal distribution; fitting with the Pliny-Trajan correspondence which mentions reading of text . . . scripture. Early use of codex form implies a fairly large corpus and need to have a more compact format than scrolls. This was actually used to target Christians, as codices became suspect.

    And, in Ac, there is actual court record in summary before Israelite and Roman courts. I think Ac, early form, was appellate briefing materials, but that is an aside. The sum of court decisions was, from Gamaliel, what is not authentic will eventually fail. Gallio, that he would not decide on debates over Jewish text and law. Sanhedrin c 59, that this is a dispute over the resurrection. Felix, Festus, Herod, this was not done in a corner. Paul, John and Peter are among the core circle of witnesses.

    There is more than enough evidence from the sheer impact of a movement that cut across cultural expectations, as was long since summarised by Morison.

    But then, at this point I do not think your problem is evidence but selective hyperskepticism, which is fallacious. I doubt that you are willing to trash classical history in general, which has far fewer witnesses and far scantier train of custody on documentation. But, the polarisation against the Christian core of our civilisation will lead to unwarranted hyperskeptical dismissal of better quality evidence.

    That is the real problem, and it can only be resolved by turning from said fallacy.

    Let me add, there is a reason why we can identify a framework of up to a dozen key generally acknowledged minimal facts that set up the explanatory challenge in the OP. A challenge which, tellingly, you have not addressed by putting forth a better explanation for.

    That is a telltale, given the Wilsonian rhetorical tactic of sidestepping inconvenient facts and argument.

    KF

    PS: I note, that c 55, relevant time, the majority of the 500 were there, and the invitation [in a context of attempts to dismiss Paul] was to interview same. Further to this, Ac records the 12 and others from the 500, where 20+ are identifiable. The gospels record from that core as well and show clear patterns of multiple eyewitness description, esp. superficial diversity that converges on a coherent core on careful comparison . . . the undesigned coincidences phenomenon. Which extends also to archaeological and other documentary evidence. Such was pointed to above but you show little evidence of engagement on the merits. Instead, I find repetition of talking points reflecting selective hyperskepticism.

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Observe, the failure to engage even Strobel’s 101 level summary video. KF

  215. 215
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: On Minimal Facts, first the method:

    The minimal facts method only uses sources which are multiply attested, and agreed to by a majority of scholars (ranging from atheist to conservative). This requires that they have one or more of the following criteria which are relevant to textual criticism:

    Multiple sources – If two or more sources attest to the same fact, it is more likely authentic
    Enemy attestation – If the writers enemies corroborate a given fact, it is more likely authentic
    Principle of embarrassment – If the text embarrasses the writer, it is more likely authentic
    Eyewitness testimony – First hand accounts are to be prefered
    Early testimony – an early account is more likely accurate than a later one

    Having first established the well attested facts, the approach then argues that the best explanation of these agreed to facts is the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . . [Source: “Minimal facts” From Apologetics Wiki. Full article: here. (Courtesy, Wayback Machine.)]

    The power of such in a context of historical study, is obvious.

    Now, my comments on the twelve facts respond to this:

    Why is that so?

    The easiest answer is to simply list the facts that meet the above criteria and are accepted by a majority to an overwhelming majority of recent and current scholarship after centuries of intense debate:

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion [–> which implies his historicity!].

    2. He was buried.

    3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

    4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

    5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

    6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

    7. The resurrection was the central message.

    8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

    9. The Church was born and grew.

    10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

    11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

    12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic) . . . .

    The list of facts is in some respects fairly obvious.

    That a Messiah candidate was captured, tried and crucified — as Gamaliel hinted at — was effectively the death-knell for most such movements in Israel in the era of Roman control; to have to report such a fate was normally embarrassing and discrediting to the extreme in a shame-honour culture. The Jews of C1 Judaea wanted a victorious Greater David to defeat the Romans and usher in the day of ultimate triumph for Israel, not a crucified suffering servant. In the cases where a movement continued, the near relatives took up the mantle. That is facts 1 – 3 right there. Facts 10 – 12 are notorious. While some (it looks like about 25% of the survey of scholarship, from what I have seen) reject no 4, in fact it is hard to see a message about a resurrection in C1 that did not imply that the body was living again, as Wright discusses here. Facts 5 – 9 are again, pretty clearly grounded.

    So, the challenge is to explain this cluster or important subsets of it, without begging questions and without selective hyperskepticism. The old Deist objections (though sometimes renewed today) have deservedly fallen by the wayside.

    The tabulated scoring in the OP immediately follows.

    So, the substantial issue is, what serious explanation can we offer? How do they fare.

    Two serious contenders remain, a psychologically implausible mass hallucination contrary to cultural patterns and thought or the Christian claim should be taken seriously.

    If you think there is a third, kindly put it on the table: _________________ and explain why _______________

    KF

  216. 216
    Ed George says:

    KF

    To remind, we have clearly authentic C1 foundation documents and history, which you wish to selectively hyperskeptically scant.

    And there isn’t a single denomination or practicing Christian that doesn’t ignore many sections of the bible. For example, how many denominations now advocate for the death penalty for homosexuals or adulterers? And please don’t pull out that Jesus changed all that with his “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. He was talking about vigilantly justice, not judicial justice. He also said that all of the old “laws” stand.

    The question still has not been answered. Who decides what version of Christianity is the one that interprets the bible properly.

  217. 217
    Ed George says:

    KF

    The gospels record from that core as well and show clear patterns of multiple eyewitness description,…

    Then you should have no problem linking to their individual testimonies.

  218. 218
    ET says:

    And there isn’t a single denomination or practicing Christian that doesn’t ignore many sections of the bible.

    That alone should tell you all that you need. But “Ed” can’t think so it prattles on.

  219. 219
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, Oh, Mark is manifestly Peter’s testimony at core, though there is a little vignette of Mark’s own testimony (he fled naked in the night after his cloak was grabbed in Gethsemane). Matthew is that disciple [and the record is he made an early aramaic document]; were these two falsely attributed, there would be no reason to claim such names. John is the beloved disciple in his old age when he had had to engage with sophisticated philosophies and provide answers. Luke was a gentile physician and travelling-companion of Paul who undertook what has been shown to be a habitually accurate two-volume historical account on investigation. That he used Mk as a main reliable source as did Mt in the familiar form, speaks volumes to its quality. Again, this is more than comparable to most sources for classical times; were there not an ideologically driven hostility there would be no popular tendency to dispute the substantial historical core. The minimal facts and balance of proposed explanations speak for themselves. KF

  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Perhaps, it has not dawned that the civil and ceremonial codes of Israel are not viewed in the scriptures themselves as law for all times and places. Though, therein are sound principles of law and even patterns of rulings that per Alfred’s Book of Dooms are in actuality part of the start-point for the common law. Where, we need to understand too the relative fragility of those times. They did not have the resources to tolerate a lot of things we can today.

    An excellent case in point is the woman flung down before Jesus as an entrapment in a deadly dilemma. He spoke to her accusers and to her about the underlying principle, exposing the trap and dealing with the sin; your attempt to dismiss without serious consideration speaks for itself and to your own similar plight to the accusers. And no the context was not a lynching, it was meant to trap by deadly dilemma: stone, and Rome had you as a rebel; don’t and you were a rebel against Moses. His answer went to the heart of the matter.

    When it comes to some of your obsessive points, this obtains: such things are incompatible with sound spiritual life and there is a way of escape: “such WERE some of you . . .”

    You keep on ignoring the answers on the table, showing that your argument is a strawman fallacy. The fact remains that there is no who that decides by some mysterious power. The Christian faith has a clear historic core and while there will always be factions that emerge, rejection of part of that core in fact implies that one is outside of the historic Christian faith. That holds even if one believes himself Christian. That core comes from C1, through authentic record handed down to us at fearsome cost.

    That core is closed, we cannot change it though we may refuse to acknowledge it.

    Beyond that, a Gospel ethics influenced culture may identify with the Christian faith while being even grossly defective and in need of reformation.

    KF

  221. 221
    JVL says:

    ET, 218: And there isn’t a single denomination or practicing Christian that doesn’t ignore many sections of the bible.
    That alone should tell you all that you need. But “Ed” can’t think so it prattles on.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what you’re saying . . . that Ed is showing his ignorance (of what?) or that . . . uh . . . I mean it’s clear you think Ed is wrong but I’m not sure in what way. So . . .

    What did he say that you specifically disagree with? I’m just trying to follow the conversation NOT cast a value judgement on either party.

  222. 222
    Ed George says:

    KF

    The fact remains that there is no who that decides by some mysterious power.

    My argument is that there are millions of people doing this, and I don’t think it is by any mysterious power. For example, do you believe that your view of Christianity confirms to what was intended by God/Jesus?

  223. 223
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, nope, that’s your relativism and subjectivism speaking. The same that looks at our living posterity in the womb and decides it’s okay to snuff out innocent life at will. The same, that looks at built in law of our nature literally written into our chromosomes and says that by word magic they can redefine marriage, maleness and femaleness. The same, that tries to twist truth from the accurate description of reality into opinions and feelings. It simply doesn’t work like that, and especially with our souls on the line. But then, likely, you have been led to disbelieve that we are living souls guided and guarded through conscience counselled reason. Please, think again. KF

  224. 224
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, nope, that’s your relativism and subjectivism speaking.

    I have no idea what you are saying “nope” to. I just asked if you thought your understanding of Christianity (the way you try to live your life) conforms to God’s intent?

  225. 225
    ET says:

    Oh my. Now “Ed George” can’t even follow its own ramblings. kairosfocus was saying “nope” to your first sentence in 222.

    Unbelievable…

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, nope again, your assertion about millions was loaded. Next, the gaps between understanding and soundness, between even sound understanding and will and between even willing understanding and ability to live aright must be faced. Again, what “The Faith, delivered once for all to the saints” is as recognisable, warranted content is is not open to individual opinions and wishes, it is a C1 historic, documented fact that has been handed down across centuries through sound chain of custody. We can agree or disagree, soundly understand or misunderstand, faithfully grow in (esp. its ethical and intellectual aspects, spiritual disciplines etc) or fail to grow etc, these do not change the historic core from C1. It is in that context that I noted that I took time to tabulate and compare the Nicene Creed clause by clause with the scriptures and found that it indeed is an accurate summary of the core. As such, it can indeed be properly used as a test. While there are other things that are also important, up to and including, say, several theses of the Barmen Declaration [a test composed to correct theological and ethical errors of totalitarian states], if one does not pass the Nicene test, one’s understanding of the Christian faith is seriously defective. Where, too, we have been stringently warned regarding the tendency of some to misunderstand, warp and worse. KF

  227. 227
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, nope again, your assertion about millions was loaded

    So, you don’t think you have a good and accurate grasp of the way God wants you to live your life and how to worship him? Or are you suggesting that the millions I talked about agree with your interpretation? Frankly, I can’t find either option very likely.

  228. 228
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus @ 202

    The missing middle is pivotal, it in material part grows out of Christian theology of nationhood and government under God, also it shows that rebellions and riots are not the instant resort. And, again, you skipped over that. I point out that para 2 of US DoI actually argues that it is the habit of humanity to abide evils while endurable and that radical changes ought not to be undertaken for light and transient causes. They point to how remonstrance and interposition had failed because of a manifest design of despotism [and this was over a year after armed confrontation and fighting had begun, in the Boston area].

    Nobody is suggesting that riots and insurrections should be an instant resort but there should be a limit to the willingness to endure evil lest it thrive because good men do nothing. Bullies like Trump take advantage of the forbearance of more civilized minds to the point where a decision to oppose more forcefully is sometimes taken too late. He appoints loyal cronies to positions of power regardless of their competence. If they are convicted in a court of law of criminal offences, he pardons them and attacks the prosecutors and judges who tried them. This is not the behavior of a US President, this is the autocratic behavior of a Mafia don.

    By skipping over that middle zone, you continue to project the sort of extremism corrected in the OP.

    We do not need polarisation like that.

    Unfortunately, we already have polarization like that and it is being sharpened and exploited for political advantage by the current President.

    1: There has been a manifest pattern of guilt by accusation, Star Chamber proceedings and the like. While I carry no brief for Mr Trump, I think there is a much broader pattern of issues with political leadership in the US.

    2: In particular, I note that had there been real proof of the sort of conduct being accused, it would have been in articles of impeachment, and would have been trumpeted with demonstrative evidence. The dog that barked one way but not another.

    The impeachment proceedings were a sham. What I don’t understand was why the Democrats went ahead with it knowing that McConnell and the other craven Republicans in the Senate would acquit.

    In what other court of law would the jury decide the duration and form of the trial?

    In what other court of law would the jury decide what evidence would be admitted?

    In what other court of law would the jury decide what witnesses, if any, would be allowed to testify?

    In what other court of law would the trial proceed if the jurors openly admitted to closely cooperating with the accused?

    In what other court of law would the trial be allowed to proceed when jurors had declared in advance that they were already convinced of the accused’s innocence?

    If the branches of government that are supposed to act as checks and balances to the excesses of others fail to do so, what is left?

    3: For the first time in a generation, there is a blue collar led recovery and growth, with clear indicators of a turnaround under Mr Trump. (Note, here and here as samplers. )

    The recovery was bought by a program of tax-breaks, limited for the less well-off but open-ended for billionaires and big corporations. The windfall for the wealthy was supposed to be invested in new plant, new equipment and new jobs and, to be fair, some of it has been. But an awful lot more has been spent, as predicted, on stock buy-backs to further inflate the worth of the already wealthy. And the other predictable effect is that the already-terrifying national debt is being ratcheted up even higher.

    >> that is rolling back a healthcare law that, for all its flaws, provided healthcare to millions who had not been able to afford it before,>>

    4: Which has not been rolled back and is seriously problematic.

    He promised way back to replace Obamacare with something much better and cheaper. What do we have so far? Nothing!

    6: The radicalisation of US politics came primarily from the left through cultural marxism and it has attacked core elements not only of our civilisation but the premises and principles of responsible, rational, conscience-guided freedom.

    It doesn’t matter whether left or right were the first to become radicalized. Once one side begins shifting towards the more extreme wing, the other will tend to move out to the opposite wing in response. The really dangerous situation arises when people come to believe that “the center cannot hold” and the only refuge available is with their own extremists.

    9: He is there because that College worked precisely as designed, per the principles of the Connecticut compromise. Big states should not dominate over small ones in a federation.

    In a democracy, and a republic is a form of democracy, a popular majority should carry the day over a minority in a general election. If not, why bother to vote at all when the will of a majority can be overturned so easily?

    11: Actually, yes; though badly phrased on the terms of those trying to delegitimise the Connecticut compromise. He won a critical mass of support across the 50 elections in parallel thus was properly elected as President. As the President is not simply head of a key standing committee of parliament defined on its majority support, removal of presidents outside of elections should be on clear evidence of natural law criminal conduct comparable to treason, through a fair — not Star Chamber — process.

    That is fine unless the president and his legal advisors promote the utterly outrageous doctrine that he is actually is the one man in the country who is above the law and controls the law, the one man who could shoot someone dead on Fifth Avenue with impunity as he once claimed. Who or what is to be a check or balance once the organs of state are headed by appointees who regard themselves as loyal to him alone rather than the US Constitution or the rule of law?

    13: That process, too, is based on the same compromise. So, it is the principle that saved the Convention and therefore was decisive in establishing US 2.0 in 1787 – 9, which is under attack.

    I agree that both sides need to be reminded that the cities rely upon the agricultural and industrial hinterlands for their supplies just as much as those agricultural and industrial hinterlands depend on the coastal conurbations as a market for their produce.

    >>Apparently, the will of the 66 million majority who voted for Hilary Clinton counted for nothing.>>

    13: An example of precisely the twisted radicalisation that is a bad sign. No, these voted in their representatives in the legislature and their numbers carry an implication that the election can go another way in future.

    Whatever you might think of Hillary Clinton, and I don’t hold any particular brief for her, 66 million people wanted her to be president. That she was denied the presidency and the express will of the majority was ignored is a far worse sign for a democracy that any “twisted radicalization” because it is to those radical fringes that people will turn if they come to feel that democracy no longer works.

  229. 229
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    you have again ducked the substantial point and have tried a personal dismissal. Again, your conclusions pivot on failed subjectivism and relativism. Thus, fail.

    It is clear that you have no substantial answer on the merits.

    It remains, that on well documented history, the Christian Faith and its core commitments are well defined since C1; the attempt to reduce such to hyperskeptical dismissal and personal opinions fails.

    Indeed, it is significant that a pivotal point of your dismissals has been to try to trash the AD 55 record of the official testimony of the C1 church, in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11. This is backed by the historical-biographical and epistolary documents, which further record the eyewitness testimony and case made.

    Meanwhile, your entire argument pivots on our known, inescapable first duties of reason: to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so, warrant], to fairness and justice, etc. This pattern of inescapable first duties puts the centrality of built in law expressing moral government at the centre of what being a free, responsible, rational creature involves. Namely, we face the IS-OUGHT gap and the challenge to bridge it, only feasible at reality root. Or, we see the challenge of ungrounded ought as Hume pointed out.

    It has already been repeatedly pointed out in outline why that leads to the bill of requisites for such an entity. First, finitely remote [as a temporal-causal succession cannot be traversed in successive finite stage steps]. Second, capable of being the source of worlds. Third, given the IS-OUGHT gap, being unified and inherently good and utterly wise.

    There is only one serious candidate to fill that bill, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary [independent] and maximally great being. One, worthy of loyalty and of the reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our manifest nature.

    In that context of the general plausibility of ethical theism, the Hebraic-Christian tradition with its scriptural, historical record is not an unreasonable, suspect view. And this then sets up the pivotal issue of the minimal facts. Which, again, you ducked.

    KF

  230. 230
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    I glanced at your latest remarks. While UD is not a political forum, I am moved to note the one sidedness of language such as “bullies like . . .” when we have just seen an outright Star Chamber procedure that left unchecked sets precedents that would undermine inalienable natural law rights to natural justice and more. The widespread failure to address this is perhaps the strongest symptom of the current emergent civil war in the USA. Such is of interest to those who live in the global neighbourhood because such trends and what could be unleashed if the cliff’s edge crumbles underfoot [as seems likely] will wreak havoc far and wide.

    The irresponsibility of the influential, decision making and chattering classes of the USA has global implications. Much as, it is increasingly apparent that irresponsibility at a biological, virology lab in a city in China no-one hitherto heard of just might be the root of a potential pandemic.

    I note, the pivotal injustice of the impeachment was not in the Senate, which rightly rejected tainted articles and a further tainted process. The problem started with tainted investigations that corrupted FISA Courts to initiate spying. It then proceeded to multiple media lynch mobs pivoting on guilt by accusation and hype. Then, you had an investigation that was run on corrupt process, on excuse that impeachment is political.

    I have already pointed out the contrast to the Westminster system whereby a Prime Minister is the person commanding majority support of the lower house of Parliament. So, Cabinet is simply a Committee of the Legislature. The US framers set up a distinct electoral process setting up an elected executive whose election is moderated through the states in the federation [being clearly rooted in but transforming the college of Electors of the Holy Roman Empire]. Thus, by providing a fairly short term of office and accountability to voters and the states, there is a key difference. This is why it is significant that cause for impeachment should be on the yardstick of treason manifest enough to secure super-majorities of the legislatures.

    This was achieved once, in the early 1970’s. Mr Nixon resigned rather than face a predictably losing trial and the deep polarisation that would accompany such; in the face of the cold war. This was similar to his acceptance of an apparently tainted defeat in 1960 rather than challenging it. No party is entitled to rule and it may be better to accept defeat than to destabilise the country and its electoral system. BTW, persistent patterns of questionable voting need to be soberly faced and resolved.

    What we have seen over the past few years is a further erosion of the framework of the US, indeed, it is already Bleeding Kansas stage unrecognised civil war.

    I suggest, that it is time to recognise the needless peril and turn back.

    In that pursuit, I suggest that it would be helpful to study the history of why the framers precisely did not wish a democracy but instead built a republic with tamed democratic elements. The ruin of Athens through the Peloponnesian war, the similar ruin of the Roman republic, onward cases of flawed polities [including the Dutch experiment and the case of German states i/l/o the 30 years war] would be helpful.

    At this stage, the major media and too many leading pundits are hopelessly biased and/or compromised. They have wrecked their credibility through naked partisanship and journalism by media amplified slander.

    We could go on and on with further observations that go far beyond one individual.

    You have systemic rot and needed reformation that somehow manages to restore the core balance you inherited in what was once the best balanced governmental system in the world. That has been lost and it has been lost over the past generation.

    A central part of that has been systematic corruption used to enable the holocaust of the unborn.

    So, that is where the rot will have to be fixed, on the same principles as why we aim fire extinguishers at the base of a fire.

    KF

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Natural Justice, in Business Dictionary:

    English legal system doctrine that protects against arbitrary exercise of power by ensuring fair play. Natural justice is based on two fundamental rules: (1) Audi alteram partem (Latin for, hear the other side): no accused, or a person directly affected by a decision, shall be condemned unless given full chance to prepare and submit his or her case and rebuttal to the opposing party’s arguments; (2) Nemo judex in causa sua (Latin for, no man a judge in his own case): no decision is valid if it was influenced by any financial consideration or other interest or bias of the decision maker. These principles apply to decisions of all governmental agencies and tribunals, and judgments of all courts, which may be declared to be of having no effect (ultra vires) if found in contravention of natural justice.
    See also natural law and natural rights

    http://www.businessdictionary......stice.html

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