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The perils of prolonged, march of folly-triggered crisis (of watersheds, slippery slopes and divide and ruin . . . )

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As I have pondered the current exchanges at UD and wider circumstances and trends with our civilisation, I have been reminded of the local prolonged volcano eruption triggered disaster and crisis that is now of over twenty years standing.

Yesterday, I put up this visualisation of what I am thinking about — prolonged crisis with double, linked slippery slopes:

tapered divide

Tsubakurodake_from_Otenshodake
Tsubakurodake ridge and trail, Japan (HT: Wiki)

Here, I see how a window of opportunity for sound change can narrow down to a dangerous ridge line with two slippery slopes, where divide and domineer tactics can trigger falling down BOTH escarpments in a mutual ruin of polarisation and folly.

At the same time, I think of Tsubakurodake ridge, Japan, with a ridge-line trail (as we can see).

What that brings to mind, is that here we can see a circumstance where there is prolonged peril of falling into division, mutual polarisation and mutual ruin that invites intervention by the domineering.

Where also, the longer the situation goes on, the harder it is to turn back and escape to sound footing and a safer path.

An excellent example of this is the folly of internal division in Israel in the context of challenging the Greek yoke from 168 BC on (as the books of the Maccabees record) where decades later the Romans were invited in by a faction seeking advantage in a local Hasmonean power struggle. The Romans of course never left.

Likewise, when Greece stood in unity in the face of the Persian invasion, and won, the Athenians unwisely moved from Delian League to Athenian empire, triggering decades of civil wars among the Greeks. The Persians intervened and eventually Athens the dominant naval power (having already fatally weakened itself through the failed Sicilian expedition championed by Alcibiades) was finally defeated by a Spartan led fleet financed by the Persians. Where of course Alcibiades, on the eve of the expedition to Sicily faced a crisis over his recklessly amoral behaviour that led him to defect to Sparta and then (having cuckolded a Spartan king) onward to Persia and eventually back to Athens. In the end, the Athenians preferred to lose the crucial battle on their own rather than trust the counsel of the clever but utterly amoral and manipulative Alcibiades.

In the course of this conflict, the Athenians also went to Persian Satraps for help, with the sometimes this, sometimes that Alcibiades involved up to his eyeballs.

Then (with Athens broken), the Thebans had to break Spartan power in a decisive land battle at Leuctra. A battle that showed the power of a pinning, distractive attack and a concentrated decisive thrust at a schwerpunkt — which would be chillingly echoed in the Ardennes and on the plains of Belgium from May 10, 1940.

And of course Philip of Macedon was the ultimate winner of the intra-Greek 100+ years war, with his son, Alexander then taking the fight to the Persians. (During which, Israel passed from Persian to Greek domination.)

us_islam100yrAnother chilling parallel is the fight to mutual exhaustion between the Eastern Roman empire (Byzantium) and the Parthians (heirs of the Persians) that came to a nominal Byzantine victory in 628 AD. Of course, the Muslim invasions followed, leading to their 100 years of dramatic expansion from Medina and Mecca in Arabia to India in the East and to 150 miles from Paris in the West.

This last, we would do well to remember as we contemplate the 100 year Muslim Brotherhood plan for global subjugation. Not to mention, their settlement jihad strategy.

All of these reflections bring me back to the issue of a prolonged cultural civil war that we so plainly face in our civilisation, where once a march of folly agenda has become entrenched . . . which, as Ac 27 reminds us, can be by way of manipulated democracy . . .  ill-advised business as usual can persist in the face of signs of the sort of prolonged crisis and watershed with dual slippery slopes that has been illustrated above:

change_chall

As I ponder the increasingly bizarre issues that seem to now be on the agenda of public debate in our civilisation (cf here, here and here recently at UD) Machiavelli’s warning seems to have redoubled force.

It seems there is drastic need for sound reformation before it is utterly too late (and, frankly, it may be too late already), which requires assessment of the commanding heights of the community, worldview and cultural/policy agenda trends and drivers:

seven_mountains_culture_agendaAll of this is relevant to the wider context of the deeply polarised debates over design and imposition of Lewontin’s a priori, lab coat clad evolutionary materialism.

For, it was not for nothing that Plato warned us as follows in The Laws, Bk X c 360 BC even as the prolonged Greek march of folly played out to a bitter end (NB: Aristotle, Plato’s pupil, was hired by Philip to tutor Alexander and companions):

>>Ath. . . . [[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, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and 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. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily “scientific” view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors:  (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

[[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and 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. (Cf. here for Locke’s views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic “every man does what is right in his own eyes” chaos leading to tyranny. )] 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 leads to the promotion of amorality], 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; cf. dramatisation here],  these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them. >>

We can hardly say we have not been warned in good time concerning the matches we have played with in our civilisation for centuries. I find here, that an adapted, somewhat corrected form of Schaeffer’s line of despair analysis is also relevant as we ponder the way ideas have consequences:

Schaeffers_vision_extendedA key problem of course is that the lower storey tends to eat up the upper one, whether nature > grace [= the issue of theology in a material world]:

Dichotomising natrure and grace leads to disjointedness in western man's worldview
Dichotomising nature and grace leads to disjointedness in western man’s worldview

. . . or particulars > universals [= the problem of the one and the many], or nature > freedom [= the issue of responsible, rational freedom and mind in a world largely conceived in physicalist terms], or reason > faith [= the role of faith in a world of reason trending to rationalism, empiricism and skepticism], etc.

As Schaeffer so often said, ideas have consequences.

In our current debates we should ponder with Girgis et al on the increasing loss of the conjugal understanding of marriage, and its implicit societal costs:

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Especially, as we ponder how the death toll from the US’s abortion holocaust under false colour of law now mounts up towards 60 millions, and how the global one (per numbers suggested by Guttmacher) is running at perhaps 40 – 50 millions per year.

Bloodguilt — especially mass bloodguilt such as this — is the most conscience-benumbing, heart-hardening, mind endarkening force I can think of.

If you need to explain our civilisation’s marches of folly,

Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .
Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

. . . that would be a very good place to start.

Where also, as rights, sound governance, morality and natural law are pivotal concerns in the debate, allow me to share these thoughts again (as originally given in the context of attempts to homosexualise marriage).

Let me first remind of Masha Gessen’s let the cat out of the bag remarks:

gessen_vs_marriage

Now, let me clip:

>>1 –> inescapably, we are morally governed as individuals and as communities.

2 –> on pain of immediate, patent absurdities, core moral principles are evident to conscience guided reason to certainty and are binding.

3 –> systems of thought that reduce morality to subjectivity, relativism or to illusion end in implying grand delusion and utter unreliability of our intelligence and conscience.

4 –> likewise, for things that undermine the premise that we have responsible, rational freedom and quasi-infinite worth and dignity; aptly captured in the traditional Judaeo Christan premise that we are equally created in the image of the good God and just Lord of all worlds.

5 –> Right to life, to liberty, to conscience and responsible expression, to innocent reputation, to the fruit of our labour and more flow from this, as say the US DoI of 1776 epochally acknowledges.

6 –> That document sums up this view in terms of the laws of nature and of nature’s God. It has far deeper idea roots and a centuries deep history behind it. Its legacy of liberty speaks for itself. Let me clip its first two paragraphs, noting the right of reformation and if necessary revolution in the face of a long train of abuses and usurpations (where the ballot box provides a peaceful instrument of audit, replacement, reformation and revolution but is critically dependent on an informed, responsible public cf the Ac 27 case here . . . a sobering lesson on the perils of manipulated democracy):

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 entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.

7 –> In this context, a core basic right is a binding moral expectation to be respected in regards to key aspects of our nature. That is, it is the mirror image and dual of mutually binding obligations imposed by our nature and its inherent dignity. That is rights are inherently matters of moral law connected to our nature.

8 –> As a consequence, a rights claim is a claim to be in the right and to be owed duties of care by others of like morally freighted nature.

9 –> You cannot have a right to the wrong, you cannot demand that others enable and support you in the wrong, such is to poison other souls with the taint of compulsion to do and to support the wrong. Such is monstrous and wicked.

10 –> Likewise, there are no rights to twist key institutions crucial to human thriving as individuals, families and communities. For the blessings of the civil peace of justice and liberty under legitimate law are key requisites of human thriving.

11 –> This holds for demanding that marriage be perverted through lawfare and agit prop, and the linked demand that sexual perversion be acknowledged on equal terms with the manifest order of nature stamped into our genes, organs, biology of reproduction and social- psychological- relational requisites of sound child nurture.>>

Ideas have consequences, and our civilisation faces sobering concerns and issues as we go through a prolonged crisis.

Walking a tightrope is not sustainable for a civilisation.

I think it is highly advisable for us to turn back, addressing both the prevailing worldviews climate and the agendas being imposed on us through the seven mountain commanding heights of a community or civilisation.

Where, also, we need to face the even more challenging question of our own degree of complicity in the problem. Ranging from being swept up in a march of folly, to becoming an activist enabler, to involvement in astro-turfed pseudo-grassroots front groups, to the rarer involvement as a strategic decision maker shaping radical, destructive agendas. In this, I must also . . . under the doctrine of fair comment, point to the rise of Cultural Marxism, the red- double green de facto alliance between the radical secularist left, radical environmentalists and IslamISTS. Clipping from the just linked:

In effect [in Cultural Marxism], we see neo-Marxist analysis transformed from the classic class war to an ideology for identity/minority group activism driven by a sense of oppression to be overthrown; which — per fair comment — can all too easily be manipulated into subversion of institutions, law, policy and community life, in the end demanding approval of evil in the name of true freedom and liberation. Activisim that can easily become pretty ruthless factionalism that may easily run the risk of pushing democracy into mob rule. And, when ruthless activists gain institutional power, a big problem is that they have not learned the habits of sound, balanced, mutually respectful governance, but instead those of ruthlessness.

This montage will help make my point (notice, the red star on the tee-shirt and the rainbow coloured umbrellas):

cultmarx

As a civilisation, we have some thinking and very carefully judged changing and reforming to do. In a very perilous situation where time is not on our side.

Let us begin to think, very, very carefully — while remembering Machiavelli’s warning on political hectic fever. END

PS: The Rick Rescorla story points out how to most people on Sept 10, 2001, the idea of what happened just a day later was unthinkable. But he had foreseen it with his informal security think-tank team all the way back to 1993. Notice, how hard it was to acknowledge the realities and trends. I add this, because it seems necessary — in light of dismissive comments below — to draw attention to the need to understand the risks that are being run with our civilisation (just as happened at Fair Havens in mid-October 59 AD):

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PPS: It seems that in response to objections being made I should headline a summary of

>> . . . the agit prop employed by marxists of various stripes — including cultural marxists taking the long subversive march through the socio-cultural institutions — and by their ideological kissing cousins the fascists over the past 100 years.

I again cite the neo-Marxist Alinsky’s key tactics:

5] “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

13] “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

I summarise that agit-prop- activism- and- lawfare- as- an- agenda tends to:

a: sweep up alienated minorities or classes, proceeding onwards to

b: create a dominant narrative of oppression and proposed liberation under messianistic leadership/movements, thus

c: carries with it those who have been indoctrinated and polarised, bringing them under the influence of

d: enabling activists and front groups or issues movements, many of which are in fact

e: astro turf, i.e. pseudo grassroots, not genuinely spontaneous (or else have been infiltrated, betrayed and co-opted for the radical cause by agenda serving agit prop activists), being manipulated and controlled by

f: calculated strategies and cultural/policy agendas, created and sustained by

g: strategic level ideologues, planners and backers/funders. Where the game plan is

seven_mountains_culture_agendah: to seize dominant control of several key cultural institutions thus shaping the dominant worldview, and the cultural/policy agenda and the public discussion — cf the seven mountains analysis framework in the OP above. In so doing,

i: ruthless agit prop will routinely resort to distract, distort, denigrate, stereotype, demonise and scapegoat tactics in order to

j: secure advancement of an agenda that often cannot stand the cold light of day. Where,

k: it is often assumed or implied or even outright asserted that by and large people cannot think clearly and logically so they

l: must be given simplistic, dramatic agit prop narratives that stir their resentful emotions (giving them convenient targets) and these polarising myths also

m: secure their adhesion to the politically messianistic ideology, its top leadership and the local activists. Quite often,

n: The triple tactic advocated by Kirk and Madsen is used: desensitising, jamming out contrary message sources, conversion to toleration or enabling or participation.

o: Then, the radical nihilistic ill-founded agenda, through lawfare [I include subversion of parliaments, bodies of law and regulation and of the executive insofar as this operates under law], is entrenched. Ending in

p: ruin.

These tactics I learned of in studying Nazism and in dealing with Marxists, and saw playing out in my native land to the point of triggering a mini civil war and permanently destabilising the nation through drug trade funded warlordism and politically connected gangs. I saw how the media and education were manipulated. I saw people lose rationality in crisis and go into Canetti’s the madness of crowds. I saw the stereotyping, scapegoating and targetting that Alinsky so cynically advocated.

And I saw the ruin such tactics create as communities go over the cliff and break their backs.

In the case of lawfare, I have seen how manipulation of the sword of justice and of laws can easily institutionalise evil and warp the proper functions of the state and community institutions. In particular, I saw the pernicious influence of evolutionary materialist scientism, linked amorality and institutionalisation of power in the hands of ruthless factions. And I saw the critical importance of a true understanding of moral governance and of responsible, rational freedom informed by insight into human nature and the laws of moral governance of that nature.

Which, I can see being foolishly discarded all across our civilisation as radical causes entrench themselves in the halls of power and impose marches of folly under false colour of law.>>

PPPS: The tone of objecting, dismissive commentary has taken such a stance that I have felt it necessary to remark as follows in comment 339:

>> . . . the religion card fails.

For, the issues at stake on the issue of the twisting of marriage under false colour of law are not religious but philosophical; having to do with the relevant patently, manifestly and even undeniably evident core principles of the natural moral law. That is, ethical and policy matters, having to do with foundations of justice, rights, freedoms and responsibilities of members of a free society.

(And yes, the reputation of freedom in the long term is most definitely in the stakes; the folly of our civilisation is not exactly commending the values of responsible rational freedom to rival civilisations bent on supplanting what they view as our decadent, dying, rotten civilisation. As in, let me add from the 1991 MB Explanatory Memo on the Civilisation/Settlement Jihad process:

“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ’sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions . . .” [–> cf here for more, including the relevant phased agenda]

Never mind their own problems of boy play — forgive the necessary reference. And when freedom is in the stakes, I must be very conscious of just who, historically, have been first in line to be reduced to chattel slavery. In a context where Africa is now obviously the global geostrategic pivot, the poorly garrisoned, deeply divided strategic resource rich continent ripe for plucking by those whose evil eyes are already on it. And the Nile valley and the Levant’s neighbourhood from the Sinai to the Bosporus is the land bridge that joins three key continents. We are clearly cursed to live in historically interesting times.)

That patently evident natural moral law is manifest in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound, stable child nurture.

Law, that we scant or disregard at grave peril to our civilisation.

Further, these issues pivot on our being morally governed, responsibly and rationally free . . . which is a premise of being sufficiently rational to debate matters on fact and logic.

Further to this the extreme nominalism being gleefully imposed to try to create as a novelty in law, homosexual marriage, thereby wrenching principles of equality and rights, raises the issue as to how such abracadabra words obtain meaning and force.

The answer is quite evident above: by might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘value,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘law’ etc.

So while preening yourself on openness to challenge of your religion by contrast with implied fundy ignoramuses (while by implication it is patent that you have disregarded challenges given to you and others of like ilk in response to your remarks, here on worldview foundations of ethical theism and here on the William G Perry error about truth that has unfortunately been embedded into educational curricula), you are opening the door to raw nihilism and oligarchic domination by ruthlessly manipulative factions.

That is how dangerous the matches being played with are.

I suggest to you, that you would be well advised to pause and think again.

The fire that is beginning to blaze out of control will burn up more than you realise.

KF

PS: And I am very aware of the prevalence of catamites in the days of Plato and onwards in Greco-Roman culture, indeed in the Republic, the discussion of love was about diverse tastes in boys; we need not elaborate on what a Symposium was or easily became as the wine flowed with the conversation and the night wore on, at least by hinted reputation. That is part of what Rom 1 was denouncing, with Nero Caesar as deviant in chief — indeed he became the principal historical exemplar for attempted homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law by way of — having kicked his pregnant wife to death — castrating and “marrying” a young boy who resembled her. Then, when he wanted more he manifested the inherently destabilising nature of this wrenching of marriage by “marrying” a man and mockingly imitating the cries of a virgin on her wedding night. I will not go further, into the details of public sexually tinged cannibalism (likely with Christians staked out in the Arena as targets). As, Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars attests with horrific detail . . . just, do not read anytime close to mealtime or bedtime. I go this far as it is necessary to draw out that the sound lessons of history were paid for in blood and tears; those who disdain, neglect, ignore or reject them, doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again. Also, it is obvious that if I and others refrain from direct reference out of a sense of some things being unmentionable (indeed the first time I heard Rom 1 mentioned from the pulpit is was by way of saying that some things there were of that order, not to be discussed in public), the hints will not be taken seriously. As to connexions to religion, I will simply say that the Moon Ganymede is named after a catamite of the chief Greco-Roman god, Jupiter. Yes, this issue was literally written into our mapping of the skies.>>

. . . and this from 345 will help us address the issue of strategic subversion of our civilisation through 4th generation warfare; noting that usurping the law, law enforcement and security forces in service to a domineering agenda is perhaps even more effective (coming from within) than an attempted, obvious overthrow by openly external groups:

>>Just to make clear what a ruthless civilisation subversion agenda is like, let me further excerpt the translated MB 1991 Explanatory Memo:

“Phase One: Phase of discreet and secret establishment of leadership.

“Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities (It greatly succeeded in implementing this stage). It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government. Gaining religious institutions and embracing senior scholars. Gaining public support and sympathy. Establishing a shadow government (secret) within the Government.

“Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. Currently in progress.

“Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. It is aggressively implementing the above-mentioned approach. Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. It has noticeable activities in this regard.

“Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united.”

EXERCISE: Substitute appropriate terms to see how this fits other movements associated with the red double green alliance. Ask what each member movement ultimately plans for the others and for the society at large.

Then ask yourself, first, do you want to go there, to when the diverse phases 4 and 5 begin to fully play out?

Then ask, what we should do as a civilisation in defense of ourselves as phases 3 and 4 overlap with phase 4 becoming ever more evident through lawfare.>>

895 Replies to “The perils of prolonged, march of folly-triggered crisis (of watersheds, slippery slopes and divide and ruin . . . )

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    On the issue of prolonged civilisational crisis with double, polarised slippery slopes on either side of a cultural watershed.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Can I note that in the West, we have had an exhausting and dangerous 100 years conflict with aggressive ideologies and have exhausted ourselves within even more than without? What does this tell us of our peril in a day when Africa is the continent of resources that is not heavily garrisoned and we live in a tripolar world for the first time since the 1400s? Did not Mackinder speak of continental pivots and resource bases? Has not Spykman warned us regarding rimlands? Do we not have a history of clashes between maritime and continental powers? Has not the rise of nukes given states a power of blackmail and intimidation that needs to be very closely leashed? Is not the belt of land from the Sinai to the Bosporus the bridge between three continents, and thus a potentially decisive zone? In such a world, can we indulge ourselves in the sort of agendas that are now on the table?

  3. 3

    kairosfocus@2: We have clearly (in my opinion) already gone over the cliff. Very troubling times ahead…for everyone.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Truth, I too have my eye on Iran, on China’s move in Africa, on the wider Islamist push, on the massive movement into Europe of incompatible immigrants [cf above on settlement jihad . . . ], and on the obvious disintegration of the West etc. The thing about the new metaphor though is that it points that if you act soon enough when you are falling off a watershed maybe there can be a patching up that saves something. But the question is, is there a critical mass that can come together fast? Time is not our friend. Hitting rock bottom hard and breaking our civilisation’s back is not a good recipe for being able to fix what has gone wrong. Especially while having to fight off a flock of vultures only too willing to help things along to begin feasting. KF

  5. 5
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Kairosfocus

    The actual evidence goes against your prognostications: Human Development Index 1980-2013.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Clavdivs,

    I wish you were right but with all respect, you are looking in all the wrong places. In the 1920’s things looked great to a lot of people also, but long term economic, political and geostrategic signs were there of what the next 20+ years would bring. (I suggest, economically we are looking at a long wave trough, needing a transformational breakthrough to move forward with robust global growth.)

    I add that in my local case, things were looking up even after the first phreatic eruptions from July 18 1995. Indeed I have a pic I used to display of building going on with an ash cloud coming down on Plymouth on Ash Monday 2, Oct 30 1995. That night I was the rain on the parade voice in a townhall.

    I recall the morning I went fishing then returned home only to see IIRC ash Monday 1, and the same Royal Navy vessel I had seen while fishing running out to sea with a bone in its teeth the likes of which I have never seen since — I guess 40 kts at full emergency war power.

    A great many people were in denial until June 25 1997, when people were killed — I recall talking to people busy building or reinforcing houses that had to be abandoned only days before the deadly pyroclastic flows that day. The Governor, returning in an aircraft had to run for his life and the aircraft had to gun engines and run for its life. An oil tanker pumping fuel into a tank farm had to cut hoses and run. The denial continues in some quarters.

    I could say much the same about my native land which fell into ideological polarisation and a mini civil war then warlordism that ended up in another one in 2010.

    Our civilisation is giving off terrible signs and it is clear we are by and large in denial about ongoing, slow burn WW IV — restart of WW 0, the 900 year fight with Islamist expansionism that was only truly decisively turned back September 12 1683.

    See if you can tell us of why a constellation in the sky is named after that event, and how it connects to the events of 318 years less one day. (This is by way of pointing out how ill served we have been about what has been going on.)

    KF

  7. 7
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Clavdivs, very informative site. What I find most intriguing is the fact that the countries that are most progressive with regard to the things that KF rails against (eg. Secularism, SSM, acceptance of evolution, leftist) appear to be the ones that score the highest in the measures available.

  8. 8
    Eugen says:

    Hi Kairos

    I hope people will wake up and start using common sense in dealing with today’s problems. People use too many emotions and not enough logic.

    “Sentiments of rationality operate not just in logic or science, but in ordinary life. ”

    –William James

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL,

    Did you ever read this warning:

    Ezek 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.

    Multiply by:

    Isa 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21
    Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
    22
    Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23
    who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!

    24
    Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
    so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
    for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    Let me go a little further in this:

    26
    He will raise a signal for nations far away,
    and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
    and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
    27
    None is weary, none stumbles,
    none slumbers or sleeps,
    not a waistband is loose,
    not a sandal strap broken;
    28
    their arrows are sharp,
    all their bows bent,
    their horses’ hoofs seem like flint,
    and their wheels like the whirlwind.
    29
    Their roaring is like a lion,
    like young lions they roar;
    they growl and seize their prey;
    they carry it off, and none can rescue.

    Looking at all the wrong signs.

    Here is Heinie’s prophetic warning to Germany, 1830, a full 100 years before the Nazis and 80 before the disasters of Prussianism:

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

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

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

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

    KF

    PS: Berlin, July 1945 . . . was this what people would have projected c 1936 or even 1941? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpANB1X_yy8

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Eugen, the issue is, what has been fed into our common sense. Plato’s cave shadow shows (updated to TVs and multimedia devices)? KF

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have added a PS on the Rescorla story, regarding the man who foresaw and prepared for the 9/11 attacks. I do so, as a caution. Oh, how wont we are to play with fire while scanting or failing to foresee or acknowledge the risks we run. KF

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    CLAVDIVS

    The actual evidence goes against your prognostications:

    In the area of education, at east, the methods are entirely inappropriate. It isn’t the number of years in school that matters, it is the quality of the information provided.

    Just read “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, by Charlotte Iserbyt. A college education today is the equivalent to a high school education in 1960 and a grade-school education in 1910. Is that what you call progress? Most of today’s college graduates would flunk the final high school exam administered at the turn of the 20th century. Try taking it yourself.

    Indeed, we don’t even need the empirical evidence to make that calculation. Just interview the typical college student or get a tape of Jay Leno grilling the average man on the street. Most don’t even know when the Civil War was fought. Recall the recent UD video which finds students at Washington State university informing us that a 5’9″ American man can be a 6’5” Chinese man if he identifies with the idea.

    Kairosfocus is right. Leftists militate against the very idea of a rational social order. There is no question about it.

  13. 13
    Origenes says:

    I’m on board with you guys on islam. Wrt islam KF’s warnings, his prophesies of ‘destruction of civilization’, ‘marches of folly’, ‘the leftists’ agenda for self-destruction’ and so forth all make perfect sense. No argument here.
    Only a miracle can save us from islam.

  14. 14
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “Here is Heinie’s prophetic warning to Germany, 1830, a full 100 years before the Nazis and 80 before the disasters of Prussianism:”

    It’s amazing how easy it is to look at an event and then to examine historic documents to find one that predicted something like it. Unfortunately all of the historians would disagree with you and what led up to the Second World War. Are you suggesting that this guy predicted the catastrophic treaty agreed to by the winners of the First World War?

    From your quote — “ …that brutal German love of war,…”

    Stereotypes are a wonderful and dangerous thing. Any prediction that starts with an assumption so blatantly false (and bigoted) does not garner much credebility with me.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, Do you know the literary reputation of Heinie (btw a German Jew and Christian) — in Germany? Are you aware of the German military reputation going back to Arminius/ Hermann and the Teutoburg battle ending in destruction of three Roman Legions in 9 AD? I should note that Heinie was giving a response to the French revolution’s impact and in that context was speaking to the restraining influence of Judaeo-Christian ethical theism on German culture and how it was fading under the impact of the wave of secularising philosophers who appear in Schaeffer’s analysis as a key locus for what he called the line of despair. That is, Heinie was using poetic terms to describe how post-Christian ideas would credibly have cultural and policy consequences on the scale of generations — cf here Weikart’s From Darwin to Hitler and this lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A . What is striking is how accurately his images corresponded to what happened 100 years later including the return to pagan themes (which especially happened using Wagner’s artistic themes). BTW, in 1914, speaking of Prussianism in the context of the now notorious rape of Belgium, the NY Times pointed to precisely this passage. The rape of Belgium, arguably, was a prototype of what would happen on a continental scale a generation later (guess where Hitler served in WW I), and there was a chilling precedent in Namibia before that. I suggest you look at the adapted form of the seven mountains analysis with particular attention to the influence of worldviews. KF

  16. 16
    groovamos says:

    Ziggy: Clavdivs, very informative site. What I find most intriguing is the fact that the countries that are most progressive with regard to the things that KF rails against (eg. Secularism, SSM, acceptance of evolution, leftist) appear to be the ones that score the highest in the measures available.

    Good I’m glad you put it that way. Let’s look at the largest school district in the largest U.S. state, most progressive itself. Graduation rate 2015 ~ 70%. And that’s at a peak, better than many years of bouncing up and down, in other words 70% is one of the better years for LAUSD, with no discernible trend.

  17. 17
    hrun0815 says:

    A college education today is the equivalent to a high school education in 1960 and a grade-school education in 1910.

    Of all the crazy statements I have witnessed on UD over the past 5+ years, this has to rank up there as one of the craziest!

  18. 18
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Groov — “Good I’m glad you put it that way. Let’s look at the largest school district in the largest U.S. state, most progressive itself. Graduation rate 2015 ~ 70%. And that’s at a peak, better than many years of bouncing up and down, in other words 70% is one of the better years for LAUSD, with no discernible trend.”

    And Ontario, biggest and most socially progressive province in Ontario has a graduation rate of 85.5, an openly lesbian premier, mandates gay-straight alliances in high schools (including Catholic ones) and has had a “bathroom bill” for five years. Alberta, the most socially conservative province in the country has a graduation rate of 62%.

  19. 19
    vividbleau says:

    I would have everyone Google “grade school test 1900” then go to the huffpo article about the 1912 grade school test. Also the 1895 Salina Kansas 8th grade test.

    I would point out that graduation rates tells us nothing about the quality of education.

    Vivid

  20. 20
    StephenB says:

    SB: A college education today is the equivalent to a high school education in 1960 and a grade-school education in 1910.

    hrun0815

    Of all the crazy statements I have witnessed on UD over the past 5+ years, this has to rank up there as one of the craziest!

    Well, hrun, I can understand how you feel, having been raised at a time when education is at its lowest ebb. However, your feelings are really quite irrelevant since my claims are factual. I can only conclude, therefore, that you are, once again, blowing smoke to camouflage your ignorance.

  21. 21
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    And Ontario, biggest and most socially progressive province in Ontario has a graduation rate of 85.5, an openly lesbian premier, mandates gay-straight alliances in high schools (including Catholic ones) and has had a “bathroom bill” for five years. Alberta, the most socially conservative province in the country has a graduation rate of 62%

    Graduation rates mean absolutely nothing. Easy schools are easy to get through while the more challenging ones are not. In terms of achievement, Alberta prepares students for higher education much better than Ontario.

    “New University of Saskatchewan research, which included 12,000 first-year students, found that grades for Albertans tended to drop just 6.4 points from Grade 12, but fell as much as 19.6 points on average for students from another province. In other words, a student from Alberta who graduates with an 86 average is likely to end first-year as an 80 student, while students from that other unnamed province would average 66.

    “One reason Alberta’s students are much better prepared is that they study long and hard to pass provincial standardized exams, which account for 50 per cent of their Grade 12 marks. Students in other provinces are graded more subjectively, making it easier for teachers to give high marks.”

    For those that don’t get the point, Ontario seems to be really, really good at grade inflation, which is something that leftists adore.

    However, all of that is irrelevant. What really counts is how current students rate with respect to those who have come before them. If Canada is anything like the United States in that regard, their elders from decades ago were far superior in academic achievement.

  22. 22
    StephenB says:

    vivid

    I would point out that graduation rates tells us nothing about the quality of education.

    And you would be right.

  23. 23
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “However, all of that is irrelevant. What really counts is how current students rate with respect to those who have come before them. If it is anything like the United States, their elders from decades ago were far superior in achievement.”

    Then Canada (or at least, Ontario) is nothing like the US. I went through high school in the 70s. My children, a decade ago. In helping them with their homework, I can vouch that their education was more extensive and more comprehensive than mine.

    Are you sure that you aren’t tally prey to the old person fallacy that things were better when you were younger? Because a rational examination of things will show that this is very seldom true.

  24. 24
    CLAVDIVS says:

    kairosfocus & StephenB

    Here’s more: Human Development Index 1870-2007.

    Of course one can cherry pick examples like education problems in one country or the terrible wars of the 20th century.

    But that doesn’t contradict the clear trends that these global statistics show:
    – Humans continue to become steadily healther, wealthier and happier over the past few hundred years
    – The secular and socially progressive areas fare better

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    Clavdivs,

    I suggest that 100 years of globalised wars and conflicts, over half under the shadow of nuclear holocaust, speak volumes about the true nature of our age.

    So does the long list of genocides and democides, including the global track record of atheistical and post Christian neopagan regimes of well over 100 millions murdered by the state. Blend in the worst global holocaust of all, the ongoing mass killing of the unborn with state complicity at approaching 60 million in the USA and (per Guttmacher estimates of 40 – 50 mn annually) hundreds and hundreds of millions globally and a much truer, far grimmer picture of our age emerges.

    Our era is soaked in mass bloodguilt, the most conscience numbing, heart hardening and mind endarkening influence I know.

    Go back up to the seven mountains picture in the OP and you will see a framework for understanding how the commanding heights of a community and prevailing worldviews and agendas shape the societies and civilisations they dominate.

    In that context, take a moment to note the chart adapted from Schaeffer that shows the ideas-history of Christendom and its current state. The states you single out as “secular and socially progressive areas” are in fact the apostasising states of Europe, North America and Oceania, who reap benefits from the blessings of Christendom (and too often tend to so one-sidedly focus on its sins in attempts to distract attention from their own faults and dangerous trends [cf here for much more]) but do not acknowledge that. Ironically, as recently as WW II Churchill could see the Western powers as champions of Christian civilisation defending the world from the post Christian nightmare imposed by Germany . . . which had by then for 150 years been the leader in the movement below the line of despair.

    Yes, the powers that first reaped the benefits of the industrial revolutions of the C18 [steam, canals, factory system etc] and C19 [rail, steam shipping, electricity, chemical industries, low cost steel, rise of concrete etc] are unsurprisingly leading economic powers today. (I have by the link included the sins of colonialism.)

    In short, you have missed the context for what you boast of as though the radical secularisation accounts for the progress.

    The scripture already cited speaks to this mentality:

    Ezek 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.

    Now, my concern in the OP was to put on the table an analytical framework that allows us to think in terms of the significance of a community or civilisation coming to a narrowing of issues that presents a prolonged watershed with slippery slopes of polarisation and mutual ruin that opens up room for domineering manipulators or invaders. That is a concept, one I anchored in two key cycles of history. In so doing I pointed to the 1400 year geostrategic contest that has been renewed in our day, and which is now moving under the shadow of a nuclear threat as Iran renews its race to nukes. Pakistan already has such in an inherently unstable state (but is counter-balanced by India . . . the other power that confronted and stalemated the first global push of Islam).

    Have you taken time to examine the chart of the 100 year global subjugation thrust?

    (This chart was one of two key findings I saw online on Sept 11, 2001 — a day on which my wife called me as I began work to say plane crash into a WTC building . . . likely, accident a bomber hit Empire state building in WW II; then she called back, the other tower was hit . . . that’s Bin Laden was my immediate reply. The other finding was essentially complete discussion of what it takes to make a nuke. For suitcase nukes, we can point to satchel demolition devices and to nuke artillery shells as a model.)

    Have you taken time to work through the significance of the date? As in, I again ask you what happened on Sept 12, 1683.

    Have you read and reflected on the two captured documents from the Muslim Brotherhood, The Project and the Explanatory Memo, linked from the OP? Have you wondered why the significance of a 1982 programme of global 4th generation warfare aggression and a settlement jihad strategy for same have not dominated our discussion of radical IslamISM?

    Have you appreciated that in 1904 Mackinder analysed the significance of E Europe and Siberia as pivotal continental resource bases in the railroad era for potential emergence of a German or Russian superpower that would move for global domination? That the history of C20 was dominated by exactly that pattern of conflict with two German thrusts and the global push of the Soviet Union?

    Did you ponder the earlier significance of the discovery of the Americas and how that catapulted Spain into global power? How India became a key base for British global power (especially after North America was lost to that Empire)?

    Do you realise that today Africa is a minerals rich continental base that is poorly garrisoned, is riddled with divisions and by and large suffers from the lingering consequences of the colonial era?

    That the land bridge from the Sinai to the Bosporus and the neighbouring Nile valley provide a gateway for African resources to move to feed a global power?

    As in, we see a geostrategic pivot?

    Where as we look at the US as leading maritime power and at the wider West, we see decadence, demographic collapse, out of control debt, utter want of a sound geostrategic picture, a massively manipulated and polarised public in a democratic system [ cf here on the Ac 27 case study], multiplied by the increasing dominance of inherently self-falsifying and amoral lab coat clad evolutionary materialism? (A view that has a track record back to the days of Plato’s warning c 360 BC that is connected to the first historical cycle I pointed to in the OP.)

    Ask yourself, what happens when inherent falsity and amorality become yardsticks to think and decide across a civilisation. Especially given the trend that might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘law,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘rationality’ and more increasingly dominates the commanding heights of community and civilisation.

    It is in that context that I have joined many others in seeing the deliberate destabilisation of marriage, family and personal identity through the porn-perversion movement as a dangerous warning sign as to where we have reached in our civilisation.

    Tell me, have you noted the clipped remark from Russian-Australian activist Masha Gessen? Did you notice WHAT the audience applauded? Did you watch George’s summmary on the social costs that are already beginning to play out on the attempted homosexualisation of marriage through manipulations under false colour of law and the linked scapegoating and stigmatising of those who dare to question as “bigots” — i.e. hate-driven irrational, delusional ignoramuses?

    Do you understand that the number one problem of any civilisation is young men?

    That the acid test is thus whether such have energies and sexuality focussed in a stable and sustainable framework? (Which, porn and perv are not. Marriage — nope what has been pushed on us under false colour of law in defiance of nature is not marriage, never mind the tricks of nominalism — and family are.)

    That our civilisation is progressively failing this test, under the impact of a movement that can be identified as major facets of an agenda of cultural marxism, with the manipulated masses, the enabling activists, the astro turf front groups and the strategic pushers?

    That, there is a clear de facto red double green alliance?

    In short, the analysis in the OP of a prolonged watershed with dual slippery slopes is unfortunately all too relevant.

    So is the window of opportunity for change analysis. At the first it is hard to build a coalition for sound reform, but as the warning signs go off and as the benefits of early return to soundness are sacrificed through the power agendas that benefit from business as usual, the community runs an ever increasing risk of disaster.

    That is what confronts our civilisation, and this has been going on for a long time.

    Time is not on our side and business as usual is unsustainable.

    Being in denial and dismissing warning signs is in itself a further warning, of the gathering nor’easter.

    Beware that sweet south wind that seemingly promises an easy sail into a prosperous safe harbour.

    (And yes, that comes from the case study in miniature in Ac 27.)

    KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    SB,

    the just above highlights a good slice of the dumbing down of education, media, church and community alike I am deeply concerned over.

    On the straight thinking front, I would start with: what are truth, knowledge and the roots of sound moral and civil governance?

    We are being robbed of truth, of sound criteria for discerning reliable knowledge from manipulation and indoctrination and tainting of our souls. Our vaunted democracy is therefore being cynically undermined and manipulated, leading to a civilisational march of folly with consequences foreshadowed in Ac 27. Many are swept up beyond understanding or ability to resist. Others have been co-opted as enabling activists and cannon fodder in astroturfed front groups. Yet others are strategic enemies of our civilisation. Often, embedded in key institutions that dominate the commanding heights of community and civilisation.

    Above all, there is the discernible sulphurous tainting of the atmosphere, the message-dominant worldview and its linked cultural and policy agendas.

    Such trends are a sobering warning.

    But as the Rescorla story shows, the power of steady as she goes business as usual is not to be underestimated.

    Yes, in 1993, his informal think tank was discussing the WTC as ground zero.

    They knew how IslamISM is riddled with symbolism and love of historical signs and features (as they understand them).

    The DATE of the attack is a message anchored in the 1400 years of war.

    The use of aircraft to target sky scrapers attacks two distinctly American cultural icons AND the heart of the Western financial system. (Had they succeeded in taking out the 3,000 key employees of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in addition to those they did kill, that would have multiplied the devastation. As for the decapitation strike on DC, we owe a great debt to Todd Beamer et al for their stand of almost suicidal courage. And to this day I suspect that at least some of the Anthrax that spread thereafter was connected. Remember “Cipro”? Recall the cutaneous anthrax case in FL connected to the 19? Notice, how that side soon vanished from public discussion?)

    Look around us, at the polarisation and manipulation, multiplied by the rise of the bizarre.

    Ask yourself, where is our civilisation headed?

    Answer, nowhere sound.

    And, time is not on our side.

    KF

    PS: The Wiki article on Rescorla has a telling clip:

    Following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Rescorla invited Hill to New York, where he hired him as a security consultant in order to analyze the building’s security. Although no arrests had yet been made in the case, Rescorla suspected that the bomb had been planted by Muslims, probably Palestinians, or that an Iraqi colonel of engineers might have orchestrated the attack. [ –> Hill was trained in counter terrorism, and was part of the team that identified the next attack as likely to come from the air] Hill [–> a convert to Islam who apparently could pass for an Afghani from Nusland, where many have nordic fearures and who had fought under Lion of the Panjir, Massoud, the Northern Alliance leader who warned about an impending attack and who was assassinated by suicide bomb in the opening moves of the 9/11 attacks] let his beard grow and visited several mosques in New Jersey, showing up for morning prayers at dawn. He took on the character of an anti-American Muslim, speaking fluent Arabic, in order to infiltrate and interview the other visitors to the mosques. He concluded that the attack was likely planned by a radical imam at a mosque in New York or New Jersey. [–> notice, this is early 1990’s fitting the 1982 point as outlined for MB’s The Project] Followers of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a radical Muslim cleric based in Brooklyn, were subsequently convicted of the bombing.[3]

    Rescorla gained credibility and authority after the bombing, which resulted in a change to the culture of Morgan Stanley,[8] which he believed should have moved out of the building because he continued to feel, as did Hill, that the World Trade Center was still a target for terrorists, and that the next attack could involve a plane crashing into one of the towers.[9] He recommended to his superiors at Morgan Stanley that the company leave Manhattan office space, mentioning that labor costs were lower in New Jersey, and that the firm’s employees and equipment would be safer in a proposed four-story building. However, this recommendation was not followed as the company’s lease at the World Trade Center did not terminate until 2006. At Rescorla’s insistence, all employees, including senior executives, then practiced emergency evacuations every three months.

    A rational move post 1993 would have been to go away from Ground Zero. BAU did not agree.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: This story, by Jennifer Teege, may be helpful to some, on the complexities injected into families through difficult histories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf1ksT4EvG8

  28. 28
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    Then Canada (or at least, Ontario) is nothing like the US. I went through high school in the 70s. My children, a decade ago. In helping them with their homework, I can vouch that their education was more extensive and more comprehensive than mine.

    I need objective criteria in support of your claims. Your perceptions will not suffice. You will recall that your perceptions about Ontario and Alberta education were the opposite of the truth. Why didn’t you retract your false claims after I refuted them?

    Are you sure that you aren’t tally prey to the old person fallacy that things were better when you were younger? Because a rational examination of things will show that this is very seldom true.

    Perhaps you might read “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, as I suggested, so you will know the facts.

  29. 29
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “ Why didn’t you retract your false claims after I refuted them?”

    Maybe because I wasn’t trying to make any point other than claiming that the LA example was the result of progressives. That should have been obvious.

    Your point about standardized exams is a controversial one. We have them in Ontario but they are used to judge the schools, not the students. In both cases there are plenty of examples of teachers teaching to the exam rather than to the need.

    The drop in percentage when a kid goes to university probably has as much to do with the fact that it is the first time in the person’s life that they are without supervision (by parents and teachers). It would be interesting to see if the same drop (or to the same extent) is seen with kids that live at home while going to university.

  30. 30
    StephenB says:

    CLAVDIVS

    Here’s more: Human Development Index 1870-2007.

    I don’t question the rise in the standard of living and longevity. Both are functions of what we have learned in science, as opposed to benefiting from progressive governance. However, leftists don’t murdering babies in the womb and calling it progress. I do.

    I am also unhappy with the the progressive/elitists plan to eliminate 90% of the population and enslave everyone else.

    Of course one can cherry pick examples like education problems in one country or the terrible wars of the 20th century.

    The take home lesson is that the HDI used an inappropriate methodology to measure educational progress. As I demonstrated, a country can lose ground even as its attendance gains. If the HDI cannot be trusted to analyze education, why should it be trusted to analyze the conservative/progressive component

    – The secular and socially progressive areas fare better.

    That claim is essentially meaningless. One religion (Christianity) promotes the inherent dignity of the human person, while another religion (Islam) militates against it. What does one say about the positive impact of “religion” in that case?

    Further, time can change the religious status of a nation. The USA, for example, has been a secular society for decades, even though it has a religious heritage and its founding documents are religion-friendly. Accordingly, you can, and many do, argue that the US is a secular nations or you can, and many do, argue that it is a religious nation.

    I am quite certain that the HDI methodologies are not sophisticated enough to take these kinds of things into account. They, and their cronies, simply claim that progressive nations do better because, surprise, surprise, they are progressive.

  31. 31
    StephenB says:

    StephenB — “ Why didn’t you retract your false claims after I refuted them?”

    ziggy

    Maybe because I wasn’t trying to make any point other than claiming that the LA example was the result of progressives. That should have been obvious.

    What is obvious is that you wanted to show that those antiquated, knuckle-dragging, conservatives in Alberta cannot educate as well as those open-minded, lesbian populated, progressives in Ontario. That was your point and that was the point I refuted.

    Your point about standardized exams is a controversial one. We have them in Ontario but they are used to judge the schools, not the students. In both cases there are plenty of examples of teachers teaching to the exam rather than to the need.

    The facts are that Alberta students are better prepared than Ontario students. Why do you keep changing the subject after I refute you? Don’t you have enough intellectual honesty to admit when you are wrong?

    The drop in percentage when a kid goes to university probably has as much to do with the fact that it is the first time in the person’s life that they are without supervision (by parents and teachers)

    Don’t you even understand the purpose of the report? The point is that Alberta students drop less than Ontario students, (86-80 vs, 86-62) which again, proves that they are better prepared and better educated–by a wide margin.

  32. 32
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “That was your point and that was the point I refuted.”

    It must be nice to be able to read minds. Or, maybe, you can simply cut and paste the sentence from my original post where I am making a point.

  33. 33
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    Or, maybe, you can simply cut and paste the sentence from my original post where I am making a point.

    Yes, of course.

    And Ontario, biggest and most socially progressive province in Ontario has a graduation rate of 85.5, an openly lesbian premier, mandates gay-straight alliances in high schools (including Catholic ones) and has had a “bathroom bill” for five years. Alberta, the most socially conservative province in the country has a graduation rate of 62%

    Clearly, you were trying to argue that Ontario’s socially progressive environment produces better results in education than Alberta’s socially conservative environment. Otherwise, there would have been no reason to compare graduation rates.

    So, I refuted that argument by showing [a] graduation rates tell us nothing about academic preparation and [b] once we use a reliable metric, such as the ability to perform at a higher level, Alberta is the clear winner.

  34. 34
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “Clearly, you were trying to argue that Ontario’s socially progressive environment produces better results in education than Alberta’s socially conservative environment.”

    Clearly you did not read it in context. It was in response to a comment about the low graduation rate of LA, inferring a link to the fact that they are progressive. I provided two examples that showed something different.

    By the way, in the U of S report, how much did Intario student grades drop?

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    Clearly you did not read it in context. It was in response to a comment about the low graduation rate of LA, inferring a link to the fact that they are progressive. I provided two examples that showed something different.

    Groovamos did not provide the context @16. You established it @7 by approving of the HDI and its false assumption that the quality of education can be established by quantitative indicators, such as the number of days in school. You further argued that these same indicators show that progressive environments produce better educational results than conservative environments.

    Groovamos countered the point by bringing up progressive LA and its low graduation rate (also a quantitative indicator). You countered his counter by arguing that progressive Ontario produces a higher graduation rate than conservative Alberta, reasserting your original theme of progressive superiority.

    Meanwhile, I brought up a rather salient fact: You can’t measure quality education that way. Yet when you use the appropriate metric (ability to perform at a higher level), Alberta outperforms Ontario easily. Thus, there is no evidence, in this context, that progressive environments produce better educational results.

  36. 36
    CLAVDIVS says:

    kairosfocus

    Don’t patronise and condescend to me in your usual ignorant, bullying manner. You insinuate I have not given this subject much thought nor read widely upon it; both falsehoods. The principle of charity used to be supported at this site — why must you continuously trample over it with your great muddy, rhetorical boots?

    In any case, in all your ~1500 word post you do not actually respond to my argument. Here it is again:

    The actual sociological and economic evidence shows that all measurable dimensions of human well-bring have steadily improved over the past few hundred years, and the most improvement occurs in the secular & socially progressive states, whilst the least improvement occurs in the religious & conservative states.

    Where is your evidence showing the opposite?

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    Clavdivs, you dismissed concerns on the century just past as cherry-picking. I responded in 25 above to that on undeniable facts and sobering concerns, to which you have reacted with personal invective. Your onward response thus speaks and not in your favour. As to your essential claim, it seems you have insisted on post hoc reasoning and on refusal to observe the dynamical explanation that was given as to how the countries of Christendom became advanced over the past 500 years and have subsequently increasingly apostasised from Christendom. KF

  38. 38
    CLAVDIVS says:

    StephenB

    Can we please debate like grown-ups and drop the paranoid ranting about murdering babies and plotting to enslave 90% of the world population?

    If the HDI cannot be trusted to analyze education, why should it be trusted to analyze the conservative/progressive component.

    The HDI doesn’t analyse it at all. Correlation does not mean causation. The HDI just shows, plain as sunlight, that the secular and progressive states in the the world are healthier, wealthier and happier than the religious and conservative ones.

    And if you don’t like the UN’s way of measuring education, there are other more detailed studies that show exactly the same thing.

    And have a look at this Pew study which shows a most significant outlier – the US. Whilst it has comparable GDP per capita with the secular European states, it ranks lower on measures of social order such as longevity, incarceration rates etc. The difference? Unlike the other wealthy OECD countries, the US is more highly religious.

    I am quite certain that the HDI methodologies are not sophisticated enough to take these kinds of things into account. They, and their cronies, simply claim that progressive nations do better because, surprise, surprise, they are progressive.

    The point of citing these studies is that they squarely put the burden of proof on the OP’s claim that secular, socially progressive policies are sending human civilization to hell in a handbasket.

    If that claim were true, we would expect secular and socially progressive states to rank lower, on average, on measures of wealth, health and happiness.

    But they don’t.

    So all the fear-mongering is thoroughly rebutted … until some evidence is produced.

  39. 39
    CLAVDIVS says:

    kairosfocus

    I responded in 25 above to that on undeniable facts and sobering concerns, to which you have reacted with personal invective.

    Pot, meet kettle.

    kairosfocus, if your thesis is correct, we would expect the historically-Christian nations that have become secularised to show a decline in measurable dimensions of human well-being.

    But they don’t. The opposite is true.

    So the ball is in your court to stop speculating and start producing some actual evidence that what you say is true, because all the latest research completely undermines your thesis.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    Clavdivs, I have not personally attacked you, so that you’re another is immediately false. Second, the trend lines that point to decline are not going to be the ones measured in the HDI or the like. Other than maybe an index of out of control debt and possibly job loss and long term unemployment, underemployment and discouraged workers draining into mass frustration; which is a likely factor in Trump’s rise and the challenge by Sanders in the USA. Maybe, incidence of divorce, out of wedlock births and numbers of children in single parent households. Does the HDI count incidence of abortion and cumulative abortion numbers in the past 40 years or so as a negative index tied to breakdown of respect for life, the first right? Support for and incidence of infanticide and so called mercy killing? Index of demographic collapse? Incidence of radical relativisation of morals and of understanding of truth? Incidence of political correctness and agenda dominance of higher education and the media, parliaments, and courts? Incidence of connected lawfare, scapegoating and targetting of non politically correct groups? Breakdown of geostrategic judgement and support for sound stabilising international policy? Degree of ignorance of IslamIST history, policy intent, strategies and acquiring of means to effect same intent across this century? Degree of closeness of radical regimes to nukes? And so forth? I bet, not. KF

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    CLAVDIVS

    Can we please debate like grown-ups and drop the paranoid ranting about murdering babies and plotting to enslave 90% of the world population?

    Paranoid ranting, you say? Let’s take a quick survey:

    Jacques Cousteau….

    “In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.”

    CNN Founder Ted Turner….

    “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

    David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club….

    “Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license … All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”

    Princeton philosopher Peter Singer….

    “So why don’t we make ourselves the last generation on earth? If we would all agree to have ourselves sterilized then no sacrifices would be required — we could party our way into extinction!”

    Mikhail Gorbachev….

    “We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”
    Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Austin

    Eric R. Pianka….

    “This planet might be able to support perhaps as many as half a billion people who could live a sustainable life in relative comfort. Human populations must be greatly diminished, and as quickly as possible to limit further environmental damage.”

    The first of the “new 10 commandments” on the Georgia Guidestones….

    “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”

    Of course, the United Nations, which promotes that same idea, uses somewhat more diplomatic language, such as “population control,” “sustained development,” and “quality of life.” These are your guys, the leftists.

    There is a lot more where that came from. It would appear that my factual statements do not qualify as “paranoid ranting.” It does appear, though, that you are in denial.

    The leftist elitists also want total control over anyone that remains. However, we can take that up later.

    The HDI just shows, plain as sunlight, that the secular and progressive states in the the world are healthier, wealthier and happier than the religious and conservative ones.

    All these secular nations are prosperous because of their religious roots, not their current secularism. It’s called “lag time.” Temporary correlations mean little. Naturally, the United Nations, which cooked up this HDI, play up that correlation for all its worth. It’s in their interests to peddle secularism. They are in the secularism business.

    Whilst it has comparable GDP per capita with the secular European states, it ranks lower on measures of social order such as longevity, incarceration rates etc. The difference? Unlike the other wealthy OECD countries, the US is more highly religious.

    I have already addressed that point. The United States hasn’t been a religious nation for at least fifty years. Do you really think that a religious nation would be defining same-sex partnerships as “marriage?” Do you really think a religious nation would export abortion and pornography? Please, get serious.

    Again, its the principle of lag time. Loss of faith leads to loss of prosperity and the acceleration of perversity, but not right away.

  42. 42
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF, why don’t you present your argument that the tactics used to fight for LGBT rights is analagous to those use by Hitler to murder millions of Jews. That will surely convince Clavdivs of the error of his ways. I know that it made me think twice about supporting SSM.

  43. 43
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #20:

    However, your feelings are really quite irrelevant since my claims are factual.

    Ok, StephenB. Bluff called: Please provide factual evidence a college education today is the equivalent to a grade-school education in 1910.

  44. 44
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Hrun — “Ok, StephenB. Bluff called: Please provide factual evidence a college education today is the equivalent to a grade-school education in 1910.”

    Maybe he is only speaking about his own personal experience. 🙂

  45. 45
    StephenB says:

    Please provide factual evidence a college education today is the equivalent to a grade-school education in 1910.

    As I recall, this comparison was documented in the publication called “Imprimis,” from Hillsdale College, though I don’t have a copy of it. I will try to track it down. However, the same basic theme was echoed in “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.” However, I am sure that you will not read that book (even though it is online [cf here — KF, Thread Owner]), so the reference will have no meaning for you. So, I will make the point the same way contemporary educators do it.

    In short, they claim that most college graduates could not pass an elementary school graduation test from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. Here is one (very typical) from 1895 (Salina, Kansas)

    EXAMINATION GRADUATION QUESTIONS
    OF SALINE COUNTY, KANSAS
    April 13, 1895
    J.W. Armstrong, County Superintendent.

    Examinations at Salina, New Cambria, Gypsum City, Assaria, Falun, Bavaria, and District No. 74 (in Glendale Twp.)

    Reading and Penmanship. – The Examination will be oral, and the Penmanship of Applicants will be graded from the manuscripts

    Grammar (Time, one hour)

    1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
    2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
    4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
    5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
    6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
    7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

    Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. per bu, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
    4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $.20 per inch?
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?

    Orthography (Time, one hour)

    1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication?
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

    Geography (Time, one hour)

    1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
    7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

    Health (Time, 45 minutes)

    1. Where are the saliva, gastric juice, and bile secreted? What is the use of each in digestion?
    2. How does nutrition reach the circulation?
    3. What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys?
    4. How would you stop the flow of blood from an artery in the case of laceration?
    5. Give some general directions that you think would be beneficial to preserve the human body in a state of health.

    I submit that most Americans and college graduates should raise their game to the 8th Grade level of 1895?

  46. 46

    KF@4: Well said.

    StephenB@45: Again, well said…and very troubling.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL:

    Where did you ever get the idea that this is a responsible summary of what I have argued?

    why don’t you present your argument that the tactics used to fight for LGBT rights is analagous to those use by Hitler to murder millions of Jews.

    This is first inaccurate to history. At no point was there a major public debate and resolution of the Reichstag or the like or a public decree of Hitler et al that the Jews should be eliminated. The attempted “final solution” of “the Jewish problem” was conducted under shroud of military and police state secrecy and deception. The pretence was that people were deported to special settlement areas, not that they were being taken to their deaths. There is a reason why the gas chambers were set up to look like mass showers.

    All was shrouded in secrecy and silence and intimidation, and the White Rose movement which first exposed it, were hunted down put in front of kangaroo courts and beheaded.

    The public argument of Hitler et al was very different, about the need for the German people to prevail in the evolutionary struggle. Here, pardon my citation of something so distressing, is Mein Kampf:

    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. [–> that is, evolutionary progress]

    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 The Descent of Man], 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 . . .

    This is of course the context of Hitler’s demand that Germany struggle to find Lebensraum, living space. Polish, Jewish and Russian mice — by implication — should tremble.

    So, again, you have projected a warped and ad hominem laced strawman caricature which you hoped to set alight.

    Fizzles.

    What I have repeatedly argued quite explicitly and publicly, even headlining it in the OP above, is about the manipulative, civilisation wrecking abuse of the concept of rights under false colours of progress and law, as follows:

    1 –> inescapably, we are morally governed as individuals and as communities.

    2 –> on pain of immediate, patent absurdities, core moral principles are evident to conscience guided reason to certainty and are binding.

    3 –> systems of thought that reduce morality to subjectivity, relativism or to illusion end in implying grand delusion and utter unreliability of our intelligence and conscience.

    4 –> likewise, for things that undermine the premise that we have responsible, rational freedom and quasi-infinite worth and dignity; aptly captured in the traditional Judaeo Christan premise that we are equally created in the image of the good God and just Lord of all worlds.

    5 –> Right to life, to liberty, to conscience and responsible expression, to innocent reputation, to the fruit of our labour and more flow from this, as say the US DoI of 1776 epochally acknowledges.

    6 –> That document sums up this view in terms of the laws of nature and of nature’s God. It has far deeper idea roots and a centuries deep history behind it. Its legacy of liberty speaks for itself. Let me clip its first two paragraphs, noting the right of reformation and if necessary revolution in the face of a long train of abuses and usurpations (where the ballot box provides a peaceful instrument of audit, replacement, reformation and revolution but is critically dependent on an informed, responsible public cf the Ac 27 case here . . . a sobering lesson on the perils of manipulated democracy):

    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 entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.

    7 –> In this context, a core basic right is a binding moral expectation to be respected in regards to key aspects of our nature. That is, it is the mirror image and dual of mutually binding obligations imposed by our nature and its inherent dignity. That is rights are inherently matters of moral law connected to our nature.

    8 –> As a consequence, a rights claim is a claim to be in the right and to be owed duties of care by others of like morally freighted nature.

    9 –> You cannot have a right to the wrong, you cannot demand that others enable and support you in the wrong, such is to poison other souls with the taint of compulsion to do and to support the wrong. Such is monstrous and wicked.

    10 –> Likewise, there are no rights to twist key institutions crucial to human thriving as individuals, families and communities. For the blessings of the civil peace of justice and liberty under legitimate law are key requisites of human thriving.

    11 –> This holds for demanding that marriage be perverted through lawfare and agit prop, and the linked demand that sexual perversion be acknowledged on equal terms with the manifest order of nature stamped into our genes, organs, biology of reproduction and social- psychological- relational requisites of sound child nurture.

    If you disagree with this argument, why not simply take it apart step by step instead of trying to paint me in lurid colours that are utterly at odds with respect for truth and for fairness in discussion?

    In so taking it apart, please understand that I am reckoning with Girgis et al, I am taking due note of the implied societal costs of the agendas before us (as George discusses in the video in the OP), I am reckoning with Masha Gessen and others who have let the cat out of the bag.

    If you are confident of your views, why not take on what I and others have actually said and refute it?

    Otherwise, you stand as an example of distraction, distortion, denigration and polarisation tactics [including the notorious Nazi propaganda move, the big lie turnspeech twisting about and projecting of the fault to the target . . . ], exactly what I and many others have had reason to point out as unacceptable and destructive.

    Indeed, as bearing more than a passing resemblance to the agit prop employed by marxists of various stripes — including cultural marxists taking the long subversive march through the socio-cultural institutions — and by their ideological kissing cousins the fascists over the past 100 years.

    I again cite the neo-Marxist Alinsky’s key tactics:

    5] “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    13] “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

    I summarise that agit-prop- activism- and- lawfare- as- an- agenda tends to:

    a: sweep up alienated minorities or classes, proceeding onwards to

    b: create a dominant narrative of oppression and proposed liberation under messianistic leadership/movements, thus

    c: carries with it those who have been indoctrinated and polarised, bringing them under the influence of

    d: enabling activists and front groups or issues movements, many of which are in fact

    e: astro turf, i.e. pseudo grassroots, not genuinely spontaneous (or else have been infiltrated, betrayed and co-opted for the radical cause by agenda serving agit prop activists), being manipulated and controlled by

    f: calculated strategies and cultural/policy agendas, created and sustained by

    g: strategic level ideologues, planners and backers/funders. Where the game plan is

    h: to seize dominant control of several key cultural institutions thus shaping the dominant worldview, and the cultural/policy agenda and the public discussion — cf the seven mountains analysis framework in the OP above. In so doing,

    i: ruthless agit prop will routinely resort to distract, distort, denigrate, stereotype, demonise and scapegoat tactics in order to

    j: secure advancement of an agenda that often cannot stand the cold light of day. Where,

    k: it is often assumed or implied or even outright asserted that by and large people cannot think clearly and logically so they

    l: must be given simplistic, dramatic agit prop narratives that stir their resentful emotions (giving them convenient targets) and these polarising myths also

    m: secure their adhesion to the politically messianistic ideology, its top leadership and the local activists. Quite often,

    n: The triple tactic advocated by Kirk and Madsen is used: desensitising, jamming out contrary message sources, conversion to toleration or enabling or participation.

    o: Then, the radical nihilistic ill-founded agenda, through lawfare [I include subversion of parliaments, bodies of law and regulation and of the executive insofar as this operates under law], is entrenched. Ending in

    p: ruin.

    These tactics I learned of in studying Nazism and in dealing with Marxists, and saw playing out in my native land to the point of triggering a mini civil war and permanently destabilising the nation through drug trade funded warlordism and politically connected gangs. I saw how the media and education were manipulated. I saw people lose rationality in crisis and go into Canetti’s the madness of crowds. I saw the stereotyping, scapegoating and targetting that Alinsky so cynically advocated.

    And I saw the ruin such tactics create as communities go over the cliff and break their backs.

    In the case of lawfare, I have seen how manipulation of the sword of justice and of laws can easily institutionalise evil and warp the proper functions of the state and community institutions. In particular, I saw the pernicious influence of evolutionary materialist scientism, linked amorality and institutionalisation of power in the hands of ruthless factions. And I saw the critical importance of a true understanding of moral governance and of responsible, rational freedom informed by insight into human nature and the laws of moral governance of that nature.

    Which, I can see being foolishly discarded all across our civilisation as radical causes entrench themselves in the halls of power and impose marches of folly under false colour of law.

    And under fair comment, not the least of these is the mass abortion holocaust now joined by the porn-perversion agenda.

    Our civilisation is in deep trouble.

    And many of us do not realise it, never having learned from Machiavelli the lesson of political hectic fever.

    KF

    PS: I suspect, you have been taken in by the common view that fascism is a right wing phenomenon. Actually, that was Stalin’s way of distancing himself propagandistically. Fascism is in fact an ideology of the left, of the predominant all embracing state and its messiaistic Nietzschean superman political messiah figure who rescues the distressed mass victim groups who support him in the face of unprecedented crises by way of extraordinary acts to be vindicated by their success. A little clue of this is in the name of the Nazi party: National SOCIALIST German WORKER’S Party — and yes, they meant it and were understood by others as socialists too. Indeed an alternative translation used in the 1930’s in quality newspapers that I have seen is ” . . . LABOUR” party. (Don’t forget, my very first political view, literally acquired at mother’s knee, was anti-fascism.)

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    I have promoted the outline of the agit prop tactics to a PPS to the OP.

  49. 49
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    This holds for demanding that marriage be perverted through lawfare and agit prop, and the linked demand that sexual perversion be acknowledged on equal terms with the manifest order of nature stamped into our genes, organs, biology of reproduction and social- psychological- relational requisites of sound child nurture.

    Except, of course that most psychologists, sociologists, medical doctors and adults in Western Europe don’t think that homosexuality is a perversion. And the evidence from most advanced countries shows that treating homosexuals as a minority but ‘normal’ and worth of the same rights as heterosexuals has not brought governments down. Nor is it even close to threatening to do so.

    As with all social issues there are extreme views and people on both sides. Finding some LGBT activists who claim to want to ‘destroy’ something you find sacred does not mean that is a majority view. Nor does it mean society as a whole is going to swallow their argument hook, line and sinker. Even your images pander to a severe slippery slope argument. But that is wrong; we are not heading off a cliff.

    If we agree to discuss and debate such issues and look to other countries who are a bit ‘further out’ along the path you think leads to destruction then I’m confident we can come to conclusions and laws which will help stop people (whose behaviour you find personally abhorrent) from being discriminated against. It will help us all to learn to be understanding and caring and, dare I say it, loving of our neighbours who are also, according to you, made in the image of God.

    As Jacob Bronowski put it in The Ascent of Man (whilst standing in the pond at Auschwitz camp): we have to learn to touch [understand] people.

    Look at those you consider perverts, look into their eyes, look into their hearts, walk a mile or two in their shoes.

  50. 50

    Well, at least Ziggy proves to be a useful commodity in demonstrating the tactics of the fascistic progressives we face. I mean, here he is, doing over and over exactly what KF is talking about, and what I talked about in my thread on the end of rational debate.

    One of the reasons rational debate doesn’t work is that the useful idiots have been taught via postmodernism to abandon logic in favor of agit prop tactics. It’s just a fight to them. Right or wrong is determined by whomever wins.

  51. 51

    ellazimm,

    Is there any form of sexual activity that can be considered a perverted form of sexual activity?

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ,

    are you aware of how self-falsifying lab coat clad evolutionary materialist scientism, linked radical nominalism, relativism, subjectivism and associated inherent amorality have become entrenched in the institutions of science, education, Government, law and the media?

    That, as a direct implication, there is a radical undermining of understanding of and support for responsible, rational freedom? (Which, is the context of the self falsification and amorality.)

    For instance, earlier this morning I had cause to comment to ZL:

    though the distinguished British political philosopher John Gray and I
    come from very different views, I agree with him on his semi-famous
    remark in his Straw Dogs, that:

    [O]nly someone miraculously ignorant of history could believe that
    competition among ideas could result in the triumph of truth. Certainly
    ideas compete with one another but the winners are normally
    those with power and human folly on their side
    . Truth has no
    systematic evolutionary advantage over error
    .

    A bleak view but a well warranted one in terms of the sadly usual
    course of history and the consequences of evolutionary materialism. It
    is far easier to wreck, break down or demolish than to build.

    He is also right to point out just before that that — as
    consequences of evolutionary materialism (by contrast with popular
    secular humanist or fellow traveller progressivist views), the
    following would obtain:

    Modern humanism is the faith that through science humankind can
    know the truth – and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of natural
    selection is true this is impossible. The human mind serves
    evolutionary success, not truth.
    To think otherwise is to resurrect
    the pre-Darwinian error that humans are different from all other
    animals.

    William Provine in a well known 1998 Darwin Day keynote at U Tenn
    gave further force to these consequences of the evolutionary
    materialistic view:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin
    understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after
    death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4)
    no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is
    nonexistent
    . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic
    evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free
    will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble
    swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally
    determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will

    Provine goes on to try to make all this sound so progressive, we
    must move to a therapeutic view of crime and dealing with criminals
    etc. However, his remarks — and those of Gray — inadvertently (and
    self referentially) imply that we cannot be sufficiently responsibly
    free that we can choose to follow an argument based on insights on
    fact, logic and meaning, and a commitment to the truth, or decide
    freely and responsibly
    . So, we must turn this around: are Gray and
    Provine saying these things because of commitment to truth and
    responsible, free following of the facts and logic or because they are
    under the control of their particular genes and social- psychological
    programming, or random chance events?

    It should be clear how rational, responsible freedom and the grounds
    for rights have been undermined here.

    That this utter breakdown of reason and morality includes psychology and psychiatry?

    Which therefore renders the collective institutional judgement of the new magisterium dressed up in the lab coat suspect when it comes to moral government tinged issues.

    Instead, I first point to an online book, which can be viewed en bloc here, with some augmentations. Just the first chapter is eye-opening.

    Ponder especially the issue of the variableness of homosexual patterns in a culturally linked way, especially onset, termination, incidence, and how how the Greek model has been supplanted by the Western one in the past several centuries, also how the Melanesian model vanished rapidly in the face of the decision of cultures such as the pseudonymous Sambia to become predominantly Christian.

    Instead, I suggest that we need to take a pause and ponder the nature of evil: the privation, twisting or frustration of the good out of its proper end.

    The perversion of means to improper ends in short. In this context, it is highly evident from human biology and requisites of development and stable nurture of children that we are designed for heterosexual, lifelong marital bonds in the course of which children are born and can be raised in a stable, nurturing environment. Further that as such are foundational to community life and human thriving, this points to the logical community and state interest in supporting such a framework. Where, we must never forget, the number one social sustainability challenge is young men, to so nurture and channel them that their energies, physical prowess and sexuality are habitually focussed on stable and productive means and ends.

    Societies all suffer a new potential barbarian invasion from within every twenty or so years.

    Anything that diverts or undermines this vital arrangement is to that extent a manifestation of evil and perversion. Including acts of union that would be acceptable and fitting within a marital union. In this context, pornography, same sex acts, transgenderism and bestiality are patently counter-productive and perverse, addicting and destructive behaviour patterns.

    The imposition of such on the community through lawfare, under false colour of law, abusing our sentiments of equality and fairness as well as the concept of rights, is an act of betrayal of the proper role of the state and frankly it is usurpation of law and state to evil and oppression.

    I have already laid out the issue on the twisting of rights in the OP and again to ZL this morning in comment 47.

    I invite you to scroll up to the OP and take time to view George’s lecture on the societal costs of imposition of the revisionist view of marriage under colour of law. While you do so, take time to observe what Lesbaian activist Masha Gessen had to say as taped, noting the applause in the audio tape. Also, kindly read the Girgis et al landmark paper on the nature of marriage.

    So, there is a worldview level conflict involved here, it is not at all something that can be readily settled by the fiat of councils of lab coat clad adherents of evolutionary materialist scientism and announced as a “consensus.”

    Indeed, this fallacious appeal to the authority of the (often politicised) consensus of scientists is a manifestation of the problem of the break down of insituttions I am talking to and it feeds into the sort of prolonged crisis and linked double slippery slopes of mutual polarisation problem I have been speaking of in the OP.

    This is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Where of course, the extension and selling of this sort of “consensus” to the public through media and education systems and its entrenchment under colour of law, simply point onwards to the ever-deepening problems that have been imposed.

    BTW, those who raise serious questions about the “consensus” on anthropogenic global warming [–> oops, now “climate change”] have a very similar set of concerns.

    Likewise, those who are concerned as to what has been happening in the name of education.

    I will only mention the ongoing horror and holocaust of now almost 60 million unborn children killed in the USA under a suspect Supreme Court ruling, and the wider incidence per Guttmacher of 40 – 50 million per year annually. Acts of courts, parliaments and executives or professional bodies fall under the judgement of natural law based governance of morality, not over it. Might, august authority and manipulation cannot make right or truth or value or whatever.

    KF

  53. 53

    KF said:

    Instead, I suggest that we need to take a pause and ponder the nature of evil: the privation, twisting or frustration of the good out of its proper end.

    Unfortunately for our leftist friends, there is no such thing as evil, there are only personal, sentimental feelings. There’s no such thing as “perversion”, because there is no such thing as a proper end or an inherent good. For them, perversion is just a word some people use to make other people they dislike feel bad about themselves.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, and that is the manifestation of the absurdity of the view that has such a monstrous entailment — indeed it is yet another way we know evolutionary materialism must be false. The ghosts of 100+ million victims of the atheistical and post Christian regimes of the past century join me in that warning. KF

  55. 55
    hrun0815 says:

    I submit that most Americans and college graduates should raise their game to the 8th Grade level of 1895?

    Ah, I see. Because some of the 8th grade level questions are hard for current college students to answer, you therefore assume that a 1910 grade school education is equivalent to a current college education?

    Just in case you still do not get it: The fact that the questions asked of an 8th grader in 1910 would be hard to answer for a current college student does not indicate in the least the two educations are equivalent, nor does it tell you about how many questions a current college graduate is able to answer would be difficult or impossible to answer for an 8th grader in 1910.

    I guess I have to agree with ziggy lorenc in #44: Maybe you are only speaking about your own personal experience? And that I have to explain this matter to you is really incredibly amusing, especially considering that you are so convinced this is an actual fact cause you read it in a book. 😀

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Hrun, While I am not familiar with the specifics of the case I am for cause deeply concerned about the level of education and media we have today, and particularly about endarkenment masquerading as enlightened progressive education and quality media, not to mention policy discussion and decsions. The incidence of lawfare under false colour of law is also alarming, and underscores just how dangerous our peril is. I suggest Bloom in his The Closing of the American Mind, raised several points that we should indeed be concerned over. KF

  57. 57
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr. Murray — “Well, at least Ziggy proves to be a useful commodity in demonstrating the tactics of the fascistic progressives we face.”

    So, now I’m a fascist. Your insensitivity is showing, especially after I told you that my mother was a holocaust survivor.

    Another fine example of your own warning about using inflammatory labels to stifle discussion.

  58. 58
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Anything that diverts or undermines this vital arrangement is to that extent a manifestation of evil and perversion. Including acts of union that would be acceptable and fitting within a marital union. In this context, pornography, same sex acts, transgenderism and bestiality are patently counter-productive and perverse, addicting and destructive behaviour patterns.

    Yikes.

    One of the few same-sex couples I know consists of two older women, both more or less retired. They do a great deal of volunteer work and contribute to the community in many ways, including serving on the library board and helping to support local scholarship funds. They have been together in a stable relationship as long as I have known them, over 10 years.

    Are they necessarily doing something wrong?

  59. 59
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Hrun — “Just in case you still do not get it: The fact that the questions asked of an 8th grader in 1910 would be hard to answer for a current college student does not indicate in the least the two educations are equivalent, nor does it tell you about how many questions a current college graduate is able to answer would be difficult or impossible to answer for an 8th grader in 1910.”

    Besides, of what use are bushels and pecks today. Our kids are tough the metric system. I wonder how many kids in 1910 could answer math questions using integrals and differentiation. How many could explain the chemical reactions necessary to create certain compounds. How many could describe the Krebs cycle.

  60. 60
    ziggy lorenc says:

    DaveS — “Yikes.

    One of the few same-sex couples I know consists of two older womem, both more or less retired. They do a great deal of volunteer work and contribute to the community in many ways, including serving on the library board and helping to support local scholarship funds. They have been together in a stable relationship as long as I have known them, over 10 years.

    Are they necessarily doing something wrong?”

    Of course. Their behaviour will lead to another holocaust. Haven’t you been paying attention to the “truths” passed down by lord KF?

  61. 61
    hrun0815 says:

    Re#56:

    Yes, I share your deep concern when I see both authors and readers of books going on the internet to claim that an eight grade education in 1910 is equivalent to a college education in 2016.

    This borders on delusion and should make everybody pause.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    DS (attn ZL), the couple (regardless of how nice they may be), unfortunately, seem to be involved in a pattern of activity and institutional undermining that points to very dangerous consequences for our civilisation. If you doubt me on this, why not simply show us how the understanding of evil, good, morality, laws of nature, moral government and rights I have put on the table are wrong. I suggest to you that on the contrary, it is the evolutionary materialistic scientism led dominant view that is self falsifying and amoral, manifesting both by how it works to undermine responsible, rational freedom. KF

    PS: ZL, I add, the undermining I have spoken of has ALREADY materially contributed to another holocaust, not of Jews but of the unborn. In the USA, coming on 60 millions under the colour of the devastating 1973 Supreme Court ruling. Globally, the Guttmacher institute gives numbers of what 40 – 50 millions per year. Run that out 40 years even with significant growth [just do the triangle not the rectangle] and see what 1/2 * 45 mns aborted/yr * 40 years gives. Then, ponder why I have said repeatedly that mass bloodguilt is the most corrupting, conscience numbing, heart hardening mind endarkening influence I know.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, I again call attention to how, yet again you have refused to actually engage on the pivotal issues, but instead have gone down the well worn path of distraction, distortion and denigration. I suggest to you that it would be to the benefit of all if you were to take up the pivotal substantial matter by say addressing the point by point argument relative to laws of nature and rights. KF

  64. 64

    Ziggy said:

    So, now I’m a fascist. Your insensitivity is showing, especially after I told you that my mother was a holocaust survivor.

    As if the fact of your mother’s history has anything at all to do with whether or not you are contributing to current fascistic narratives and progressive intimidation. I don’t allow sentiment to get in the way of facts. It’s just all the more sad and disappointing because of her history that you are here contributing to the fascistic methodology in misrepresenting other points of view in the worst way.

    Another fine example of your own warning about using inflammatory labels to stifle discussion.

    I never made such a warning, nor did I say that inflammatory labels shouldn’t be used. In fact, I made an explicit point in that thread contradicting your above implication. I argued that it is the end of rational debate not that it shouldn’t be used at all. We reached the end of rational debate when you refuse to be corrected about your slanderous mis-characterizations and insist on repeating your agit-prop talking points in lieu of rational debate about the facts.

    You want a rational debate? Answer this question: is there any sexual act that is perverted? If so, how so? If not, why not?

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, I suggest that indeed we have some serious issues to attend to on what has been going on in the name of education for many decades now. That is why I pointed to professor Bloom. There are many others who have expressed relevant concerns on quality of education. And it is in fact notorious that education has too often been taken captive to various agendas to the detriment of its primary functions. I think that the level of ignorance of key history, the breakdown of ability to think soundly and sensibly, in many cases a breakdown of mathematical or language skills and the like should give us pause. That recent video clip shown at UD with how College students responded to an interviewer on identifying as was it a 6’6″ 6 year old chinese woman, speaks. And not in a good sense. Having said that this is tangential to the focus of the thread and I would like it to refocus. KF

  66. 66
    hrun0815 says:

    Having said that this is tangential to the focus of the thread and I would like it to refocus.

    Yes, yes. People say profoundly crazy things, claim it is factual, get shown it is indeed wildly inaccurate, but let’s ignore this and move on.

    I’m sure all the other stuff such people claim to be factual is indeed so.

  67. 67
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS (attn ZL), the couple (regardless of how nice they may be), unfortunately, seem to be involved in a pattern of activity and institutional undermining that points to very dangerous consequences for our civilisation.

    I have no evidence indicating that they are undermining any institutions; quite the contrary, in fact. They are doing a great deal to support institutions that provide opportunities to young people in the community especially.

    Therefore I see no reason to conclude they are doing anything wrong.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, it may help you to gain perspective to understand that WJM is a former atheist and nihilist due to that atheism who has in fairly recent years become a generic ethical theist. KF

  69. 69
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    Is there any form of sexual activity that can be considered a perverted form of sexual activity?

    What is your definition of ‘perverted form of sexual activity’? As opposed to exploitative or coercive. Let’s stick to consenting adults.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, I express my concerns on your mother’s status as a holocaust survivor. However, with all due respect; that should lead you to join with me in concern on the rise of trends of thought and political agitation, ideological influence and institutional power shifts that are in fact demonstrably setting loose across our civilisation many of the same forces that cost so much blood in the past century. It is my determination to stand up to those destructive forces and trends that has led me to post what you see in the OP. This is multiplied by the lessons stamped into my being as a descendant of victims of the slave trade — which amounted to a crime against humanity of genocidal impact also. I have long held that the sound lessons of history were bought with blood and tears, so those who neglect or ignore them doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again. KF

  71. 71
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    The perversion of means to improper ends in short. In this context, it is highly evident from human biology and requisites of development and stable nurture of children that we are designed for heterosexual, lifelong marital bonds in the course of which children are born and can be raised in a stable, nurturing environment. Further that as such are foundational to community life and human thriving, this points to the logical community and state interest in supporting such a framework. Where, we must never forget, the number one social sustainability challenge is young men, to so nurture and channel them that their energies, physical prowess and sexuality are habitually focussed on stable and productive means and ends.

    Homosexuality has been around as long as recorded history. No doubt some of them were hideous and evil, just like their heterosexual fellow humans.

    I’m sorry, you just sound blinkered and prejudice to me. You’ve got opinions and examples but, again, the real world data belie your stance. And I prefer to live my life with tolerance, acceptance and understanding. You seem to like to label people and treat them according to a template. I find that particularly ironic since it wasn’t that long ago that you, a black man, would have not been permitted to marry a white woman in some places because some people thought that was a ‘perversion’ of the way things should be. And some who said so thought they got their opinion from ecclesiastical sources.

    Consider the person, not the dogma.

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, please observe your response in the face of the pivotal questions at stake: but these are nice folks. Yes, and it makes not one whit of material difference to the substantial issue but may well affect our judgement to the detriment of our civilisation. I ask you to look at the substantial issue. KF

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ, please address the substantial issue, whether we have a morally governed nature that on sexual matters is reflected in the biological complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound child nurture. If we are such, then what is privation, frustration or wrenching of sexuality out of proper ends is to that extent perverted and immoral. And if you have a worldview on the table that undermines responsible rational freedom that too is material. Entrenching such in society under false colour of law will be destructive. KF

  74. 74
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr. Murray — “You want a rational debate? Answer this question: is there any sexual act that is perverted? If so, how so? If not, why not?”

    If it is between consenting adults, no. I may find some acts repulsive, but it is not my place to judge. I agree with our current Prime Minister’s father. “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, WJM asked whether there are any sexual acts that are perverted. Your choice of a restriction tells us you know there are. (And BTW — forgive my having to point out such horrors — acts between consenting adults have in fact included sexual torture, cannibalism and murder.) the question that follows is, on what basis does one judge perversion, and what is so significant on consent between adults in a world where a common view is that self-aware, rational responsible freedom is an illusion. And more. KF

    PS: The referred person is patently wrong though his words will tickle many ears with what they want to hear. There are many sex acts and contexts of acts that for cause are the interest of the state. Incest, sado masochism, disease spreading acts, pornography, prostitution and more come to mind. So does polygamy, so does the issue of the pivotal significance of conjugal marriage, family stability and sound child nurture.

  76. 76
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, it may help you to gain perspective to understand that WJM is a former atheist and nihilist due to that atheism who has in fairly recent years become a generic ethical theist. KF”

    Why should that be of any relevance. There are also theists who have become atheists. I am a Christian but I can only claim that this is what is right for me. I don’t pretend to know or judge what is right for someone else. The only measure worth using is whether or not someone’s actions have a negative impact on others or on society as a whole.

  77. 77
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, please observe your response in the face of the pivotal questions at stake: but these are nice folks.

    No, my response also included:

    I have no evidence indicating that they are undermining any institutions

    Suppose that I end up deciding that you are correct on this point. In fact, being a concerned citizen, I am going to speak with them, pointing out that they are hastening the collapse of western civilization (politely, mind you).

    What specifically should I tell them?

  78. 78
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    please address the substantial issue, whether we have a morally governed nature that on sexual matters is reflected in the biological complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound child nurture.

    Research and data say that is not true.

    If we are such, then what is privation, frustration or wrenching of sexuality out of proper ends is to that extent perverted and immoral.

    Again, your opinion is not data or reality.

    And if you have a worldview on the table that undermines responsible rational freedom that too is material. Entrenching such in society under false colour of law will be destructive.

    And yet you are the one wanting to restrict some people’s freedoms and behaviour. And you would like that entrenched in law.

    I’m saying: leave consenting adults alone AND grant them the same rights and freedoms (by law) enjoyed by everyone else.

    I don’t care what other people do in their own bedrooms. You do. And you seem to think that their behaviour is so awful that it will have a negative impact on their children and society. And there is no data supporting that view.

    Your moral stance on this comes from a very old book. In some places that book says we should stone people who violate some of its rules. In some places that book quotes the law-giver as demanding that their chosen people kill and pillage. How do you decide which parts of that book to follow and which parts to gloss over?

  79. 79
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    There are many sex acts and contexts of acts that for cause are the interest of the state. Incest, sado masochism, disease spreading acts, pornography, prostitution and more come to mind. So does polygamy, so does the issue of the pivotal significance of conjugal marriage, family stability and sound child nurture.

    If you want to discuss each of those separately then please do. But I don’t think you can lump them all together AGAIN given we are talking about behaviour between consenting adults who are in their right minds.

  80. 80
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, WJM asked whether there are any sexual acts that are perverted. Your choice of a restriction tells us you know there are.”

    No, my restrictions are that people must consent to the act and that they must be old enough to rationally make that consent.

    KF — “And BTW — forgive my having to point out such horrors — acts between consenting adults have in fact included sexual torture, cannibalism and murder.)”

    Sado-masochism is certainly strange, and not my cup of tea, but between two consenting adults, who cares. Cannibalism and murder are not consensual sex. They may have been preceded by consensual sex (e.g., Dahmer or Magnota) but the act that followed was not consensual sex.

  81. 81
    ziggy lorenc says:

    DaveS — “Suppose that I end up deciding that you are correct on this point. In fact, being a concerned citizen, I am going to speak with them, pointing out that they are hastening the collapse of western civilization (politely, mind you).

    What specifically should I tell them?”

    Maybe we should lobby the government to force all homosexuals to self identify. Possibly force them to wear a pink triangle patch whenever they are in public.

  82. 82

    Ziggy said:

    No, my restrictions are that people must consent to the act and that they must be old enough to rationally make that consent.

    Non-sequitur; you have mashed together two entirely different thing. What does age have to do per se with rationality? Aren’t many adults irrational? Must they be “old enough”, or “rational enough”? If the former, how old, and why? If the latter, how should their rationality be tested?

    Sado-masochism is certainly strange, and not my cup of tea, but between two consenting adults, who cares. Cannibalism and murder are not consensual sex. They may have been preceded by consensual sex (e.g., Dahmer or Magnota) but the act that followed was not consensual sex.

    What defines which behaviors are part of sex and which are not? If consensual and used in the framework of sexual activity, why would cannibalism and murder not be aspects of consensual sex?

  83. 83
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    Ah, I see. Because some of the 8th grade level questions are hard for current college students to answer, you therefore assume that a 1910 grade school education is equivalent to a current college education?

    Yes, that is one of many indicators. We can also review the differences in students’ reading requirements and their declining performance on SAT’s, which have to be dumbed down every so often in order to keep the scores respectable. That is why universities provide incoming students with so many remedial classes to compensate for their earlier privations–such as the inability to think, read, or count.

    Just in case you still do not get it: The fact that the questions asked of an 8th grader in 1910 would be hard to answer for a current college student does not indicate in the least the two educations are equivalent, nor does it tell you about how many questions a current college graduate is able to answer would be difficult or impossible to answer for an 8th grader in 1910.

    It means exactly that. Actually, I would give an 8th grader in 1910 the edge. Just search youtube and weep as journalists interview students at Washington State University. Most didn’t know when the Civil War was fought. Some were not even aware of the event. Nor could they even name or identify the Vice President of the United States. Others were busy telling the interviewer that a 5’9″ American man can be a 6’5″ Chinese man if he identifies with same. If the 8th grade students in 1900 could come back today, they would laugh their heads off.

    I guess I have to agree with ziggy lorenc in #44: Maybe you are only speaking about your own personal experience?

    Quite the opposite really. The whole point of education is to learn from other peoples experience so that you don’t make the same mistakes. In fact, I am basing my comments on knowledge and research. You and ziggy go by your feelings. There is a difference.

    I have to explain this matter to you is really incredibly amusing, especially considering that you are so convinced this is an actual fact cause you read it in a book.

    You are not in a position to “explain” anything because you are not familiar with the subject matter. Indeed, your comment makes this clear. Apparently, you don’t read books. Notice that I didn’t ask you to read “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.” I said that “I am certain you will not read it” (even though it is easily accessible online). I didn’t hesitate to make such a bold prediction because your past behavior indicates that you are governed by sentiment.

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL,

    I do not have Dahmer et al in mind. I have in mind people who made self-destructive pacts like that, setting death appointments involving gruesome sexual acts and acts of violence which THEY proposed. Involving things I cannot put up in a family friendly context.

    There was a particularly horrific case in Germany I believe some years ago. Literally involving self cannibalism. Sorry, I cannot go further than that.

    EZ,

    The research is tainted. There is a serious set of prior issues as was outlined.

    DS,

    Again, you have actually documented some of the ways in which social approval of seemingly innocuous behaviour undermines vital institutions such as marriage.

    As for proposed conversations, those would have to happen in a much broader context of the challenge our civilisation faces but is increasingly unwilling and eventually may be unable to address. Until we crash off the edge of the cliff.

    I am increasingly concerned that posterity may find serious occasion to call our generation accursed.

    WJM & SB:

    This increasingly revealing thread is indicating some of the ways in which we have been manipulated by Plato’s cave shadow shows and dumbed down intellectually and morally.

    I am not surprised, but I am saddened.

    KF

  85. 85
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #83:

    We can also review the differences in students’ reading requirements and their declining performance on SAT’s, which have to be dumbed down every so often in order to keep the scores respectable.

    Ok. Show me how reading requirements and SAT scores factually prove that an 8th grade education in 1910 is equivalent to a college education in 2016?

    Just search youtube and weep as journalists interview students at Washington State University.

    Ok. Show me how the interviews of students at Washington State University show that their education is equivalent to an 8th grade education in 1910?

    You are not in a position to “explain” anything because you are not familiar with the subject matter.

    Ok. Again, if you are familiar with the subject then actually prove your point and don’t just wave your arms about some questions of the 8th grade exam at the turn of last century, SAT scores (which by the way did not start until the fifties), or interview of current students.

    It is ridiculously obvious for everyone to see what you are doing. You have a preconceived notion of that things are getting worse and then pulled out of your hat the claim that 8th grade in 1910 is equivalent to a current college education. You know that this claim simply can not be supported and is not true (irrespective of your thesis about the deteriorating education). But you will be unable to admit this.

  86. 86

    ellazimm said:

    If you want to discuss each of those separately then please do. But I don’t think you can lump them all together AGAIN given we are talking about behaviour between consenting adults who are in their right minds.

    Why put the limitation at consenting adults? What determines if one is an adult or not? What is meant by “their right minds”?

    The problem is that this terminology means absolutely nothing unless the argument begins where KF begins: the foundational roots and premises that give everything after any significant meaning. Otherwise, what are you talking about? Social agreements? Cultural norms?

  87. 87
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    Why put the limitation at consenting adults? What determines if one is an adult or not? What is meant by “their right minds”?

    Consenting so there is no coercion. Adults are defined by law. ‘Right minds’ can also be addressed by legal procedures when in doubt.

    The problem is that this terminology means absolutely nothing unless the argument begins where KF begins: the foundational roots and premises that give everything after any significant meaning. Otherwise, what are you talking about? Social agreements? Cultural norms?

    It only means nothing if you disregard the laws agreed upon by the citizens of the particular jurisdiction you are thinking of.

    No matter what you think the rules should be you still have to obey the laws under which you reside. I’ll take those laws as a starting point.

    We can all try and change the laws if we disagree with them.

    And I’ll wait for you to define what you consider sexually perverted acts.

  88. 88
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    Again, you have actually documented some of the ways in which social approval of seemingly innocuous behaviour undermines vital institutions such as marriage.

    That begs the question. I don’t believe that my approval of this couple’s relationship undermines marriage at all.

    As for proposed conversations, those would have to happen in a much broader context of the challenge our civilisation faces but is increasingly unwilling and eventually may be unable to address. Until we crash off the edge of the cliff.

    It seems to me you should be able to lay out specifically what you would say to this couple in person.

    Would you in fact say the things you post here to their faces? Invoking the Holocaust, for example?

    Here’s a suggestion for a future OP: Write up your side of a conversation with a same-sex couple as I have described.

  89. 89
    hrun0815 says:

    Here’s a suggestion for a future OP: Write up your side of a conversation with a same-sex couple as I have described.

    There you go again trying to paint the poor posters at UD as bigoted haters who will elicit much puzzlement in the not so far future.

  90. 90

    daveS said:

    Suppose that I end up deciding that you are correct on this point. In fact, being a concerned citizen, I am going to speak with them, pointing out that they are hastening the collapse of western civilization (politely, mind you).

    What specifically should I tell them?

    To begin with, perhaps you should just direct them here: I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

    I suggest everyone read that article – very enlightening and encouraging.

    When I was younger (and completely indoctrinated with progressive ideas), I considered traditional marriage structure nothing but religious programming. So did my current wife. After two failed marriages for both of us and our own marriage in jeopardy, we returned to the traditional format solely due to circumstances and not any change in beliefs or views.

    What followed then has been transformative. Neither she or I ever thought this kind of happiness, satisfaction and contentment was possible. I had no rational answer for it at the time, but over time I’ve come to realize that as much as the liberal agenda wishes it to not be so, there are indeed physiological roles males and females, for the vast majority, are intended to fulfill, and there is indeed a purpose for the union of males and females into families.

    It’s like the left is insisting that if two chemical compounds can be mixed to get a certain reaction, then two different chemical compounds can be mixed to get the same reaction. And that the different chemical compound can be made the same as the first simply by legally declaring it the same and silencing everyone who would say otherwise.

  91. 91
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    Thanks for the response.

    I can say that by all appearances, the couple I’m referring to (and the few other same-sex couples I know) are very happy, satisfied, and content with their arrangements. I can’t read their minds, but I have no reason to suspect there is anything wrong with their relationships.

  92. 92

    ellazimm said:

    Adults are defined by law. ‘Right minds’ can also be addressed by legal procedures when in doubt.

    So, if the law says that it is okay to have sex with a consenting 10 yr old because the law defines adults and states of mind, then it is perfectly okay>

    It only means nothing if you disregard the laws agreed upon by the citizens of the particular jurisdiction you are thinking of.

    If you are committing to law as the basis of the meaning of terms and what is okay and not okay, then if the law defines homosexuality as an illegal perversion which is punishable by beheading, then it is so, and you will be fine with that?

    No matter what you think the rules should be you still have to obey the laws under which you reside. I’ll take those laws as a starting point.

    What do you mean “as a starting point”? If the law defines what it means for sex or behavior to be perverted, where else is there to go for that meaning?

    We can all try and change the laws if we disagree with them.

    If the law is the basis for what such things mean, then how is it that you might disagree with the law? If you do not take the law as the ruling standard for what it means for some form of sex to be perverted or not, or okay or not, or permissable or not, then you have misled us when you refer to the law as the basis for such definitions and structure.

    Would you ever break the law if you found the law unacceptable? If so, then what standard do you use to determine if the law is acceptable or not, because it would be that standard, and not the law, that defines your view on such things.

    And I’ll wait for you to define what you consider sexually perverted acts.

    I think the term “perverted” is too incendiary to use in pursuit of rational discussion, not because of what “perversion” actually means, but because of the emotional baggage.

    I consider any sexual act between anything other than adult, consenting members of opposing sexes an error, in the same way that I consider many things that I do and have done erroneous, meaning that they do not contribute to and may even serve as a detriment to the inherent good purpose of creation.

    I think there are many activities that do not serve society well. Of those things, I think homosexuality between consenting adults in privacy is relatively harmless for society, while legally calling such a union “marriage” and insisting such unions have a legal right to raise children is more harmful. Even more harmful, however, is the use of such issues by progressive elites to deliberately undermine certain values and structures in service of an ideal they hold in contradiction to facts.

  93. 93

    BTW, I would like to thank KF and SB for their patient posts on the matter of SSM. It took me a long time to weed out old progressive, emotionally embedded sentiment just to be able to read their posts without shuddering, looking away and closing my mind.

    That old indoctrination runs deep. Once you get past the effects of the terminology that have been deliberately indoctrinated, you can follow the actual conceptual argument.

  94. 94

    dave S said:

    Thanks for the response.

    I can say that by all appearances, the couple I’m referring to (and the few other same-sex couples I know) are very happy, satisfied, and content with their arrangements. I can’t read their minds, but I have no reason to suspect there is anything wrong with their relationships.

    As with my marital arrangement, you don’t know that you’re missing something until you have it. There were many times in my life that I would have said the same thing simply because I didn’t know there was anything beyond what I was experiencing.

    That’s not to say that the couple you refer to isn’t as happy and fulfilled as me, but to deny that there is a fundamental, natural complimentarity between male and females, physically and psychologically, which runs a course throughout life and is deeply embedded in having and raising children, is just ideology ignoring physical reality. As much as one might wish for SSM to be equal to HSM, it just cannot physically be true, just as it cannot be physically true for a man to be a woman no matter how much he self-coneceptualizes himself as one.

    These facts may be emotionally troubling for those that wish it so, and it may hurt some feelings, but they are still facts regardless.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    change 10 years old to 9 years old and call the name Aisha.

    History suddenly becomes VERY relevant.

    (And it is no amelioration of the horror that Mohammed died in her arms nine years later when that girl was 18.)

    DS

    It is going to take too much to do an argument. I suggest go to the OP look at the 7 mountains illustration and ponder how worldviews, cultural and policy agendas interact with the commanding heights.

    Then, ponder the issues of good, evil, responsible rational freedom and consequences for civilisation. Where, dismissive words about Gray or Crick or Haldane or for that matter Dawkins do not change the force of the inherent self falsification and amorality of evolutionary materialist scientism.

    I suggest to you that it would be best if our civilisation can avoid breaking its back by the fall that seems about to happen, but I can only point out the danger.

    Already, I can see how people are reacting to a longstanding standard understanding and definition of evil and how that may relate to how we are trifling with sexuality, marriage and family thus (directly) our future.

    As I have said all along, I am not optimistic for our civilisation. But I am of a clan, and it is literally written into my name that I must stand for some things regardless of odds.

    Our civilisation is in that list, and therefore its key foundation stones.

    EZ and ZL:

    Ditto.

    ZL:

    Apparently, you cannot appreciate the force of the examples I can only hint at. They are too awful to detail or link.

    WJM is right to point out that how laws are founded is bound up in this, justice is a pivotal part of moral government.

    We play with matches we do not understand.

    KF

  96. 96
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    As with my marital arrangement, you don’t know that you’re missing something until you have it. There were many times in my life that I would have said the same thing simply because I didn’t know there was anything beyond what I was experiencing.

    Which I assume still applies to you? You could still be missing something even in your current marriage.

    That’s not to say that the couple you refer to isn’t as happy and fulfilled as me, but to deny that there is a fundamental, natural complimentarity between male and females, physically and psychologically, which runs a course throughout life and is deeply embedded in having and raising children, is just ideology ignoring physical reality. As much as one might wish for SSM to be equal to HSM, it just cannot physically be true, just as it cannot be physically true for a man to be a woman no matter how much he self-coneceptualizes himself as one.

    Well, I’m not denying anything here, just pointing out that these same-sex couples seem just as “married” as my wife and I. Both of the women in the relationship I referred to are fair bit older than me, and both seem quite level-headed, so I don’t see any basis for criticizing their relationship.

  97. 97
    groovamos says:

    Ziggy: mandates gay-straight alliances in high schools

    Yes two of the most favored groups of the leftish multiculturalists are creating quite a bit of dystopia in Canada:

    http://www.therebel.media/comi.....estigation

    Ziggy: countries that are most progressive with regard to the things that KF rails against

    Lets look at the most conservative metropolitan county in Tennessee, Wilson, compared to its neighbor Davidson which always votes D in presidential elections:

    Graduation rate Wilson 96.3%
    Graduation rate Davidson 78.7%

    http://www.tennessean.com/stor...../31686101/

  98. 98
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS

    It is going to take too much to do an argument. I suggest go to the OP look at the 7 mountains illustration and ponder how worldviews, cultural and policy agendas interact with the commanding heights.

    Hm. Ok, but I think your current posts preach to the converted only, and stand very little chance of making a difference.

    As I have said all along, I am not optimistic for our civilisation. But I am of a clan, and it is literally written into my name that I must stand for some things regardless of odds.

    Stirring words. I am also “of a clan” in the same sense, although I don’t know it has much to do with my temperament.

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, it may help you to ponder why I would say that regardless of closeness of bonds of emotions etc the relationship you describe is not, cannot be a marriage by the essential nature of marriage and its inextricable ties to the complementarity of the sexes and the foundational nature of requisites of sound child nurture. Indeed, it rests on the inherently disordered. Then, ask yourself why an appeal to inherent nature likely seems absurd or outdated, then ponder the worldview level implications of extreme nominalism, even — or, especially — when backed by colour of law. Assess the relevant comparative difficulties. KF

    PS: When worldviews level issues are involved, it is a hard slog to dig down to that level and work it through. I do not just write for the moment but for the days when we lie broken backed at the foot of the cliff.

    PPS: Look at the first stanza of Flower of Scotland, which must call out to you too.

  100. 100
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    change 10 years old to 9 years old and call the name Aisha.

    History suddenly becomes VERY relevant.

    (And it is no amelioration of the horror that Mohammed died in her arms nine years later when that girl was 18.)

    Is the lesson when religion makes the rules bad things happen to the unprotected?

  101. 101
    kairosfocus says:

    VS, pardon your prejudices and broad-brush stereotypes are showing. The real lesson down this line is that which Lord Acton drew: power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely, great men are bad men. In our grand children’s time they will say of us based on the corrupting influence on institutions and on mindset of mass abortion for decades now, that mass bloodguilt is even more corrupting than power. It will be part of how they will hold us an accursed generation as they try to rebuild what we so recklessly tossed burning matches on. KF

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    DS: now, let the complete song call out to you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vyx1xeZo_tk KF

  103. 103
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, it may help you to ponder why I would say that regardless of closeness of bonds of emotions etc the relationship you describe is not, cannot be a marriage by the essential nature of marriage and its inextricable ties to the complementarity of the sexes and the foundational nature of requisites of sound child nurture.

    I disagree. That’s not what I signed up for when I got married. I don’t put much stock in traditional sex/gender roles, and there were no plans for children.

    The wedding vow that Zachriel posted in the other thread expressed well what I committed to, similar to this:

    I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

    PS: The song is nice, but it doesn’t sway me one way or another on any particular issues, including this one.

  104. 104
    velikovskys says:

    Groovmas
    Lets look at the most conservative metropolitan county in Tennessee, Wilson, compared to its neighbor Davidson which always votes D in presidential elections:

    Graduation rate Wilson 96.3%
    Graduation rate Davidson 78.7%

    Economically disadvantaged students (2013-14)
    Williamson: 11.9%
    Metro Nashville/Davidson: 72.7%
    Wilson: 30.3%
    State: 58.8%

    Gee,it is almost like the more money schools have the better the students do

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    the context has long been set in which you took your vows, there is a deep and foundational reason why we speak of husbands and of wives.

    Notice, from the Girgis et al paper:

    Conjugal View: Marriage is the union of a man and a woman 
    who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other 
    of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and 
    rearing  children  together.  The  spouses  seal  (consummate)  and 
    renew their union by conjugal acts—acts that constitute the be?
    havioral part of the process of reproduction, thus uniting them 
    as a reproductive unit. Marriage is valuable in itself, but its in?
    herent  orientation  to  the  bearing  and  rearing  of  children  con?
    tributes  to  its  distinctive  structure,  including  norms  of 
    monogamy and fidelity. This link to the welfare of children also 
    helps explain why marriage is important to the common good 
    and why the state should recognize and regulate it.

    The issue in the end is, what is marriage, which is the actual title.

    And by implication, what are the consequences of letting extreme nominalism loose in foundational institutions of civilisation.

    KF

  106. 106
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    VS, pardon your prejudices and broad-brush stereotypes are showing

    It was your example KF , what stereotype were you aiming for?

    The real lesson down this line is that which Lord Acton drew: power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely, great men are bad men.

    Yes,

    In our grand children’s time they will say of us based on the corrupting influence on institutions and on mindset of mass abortion for decades now,

    SSM has no abortion problem, in fact it might help to reduce the number of abortions by providing alternatives

    that mass bloodguilt is even more corrupting than power.

    That sounds more like a issue about straights than gays,

    It will be part of how they will hold us an accursed generation as they try to rebuild what we so recklessly tossed burning matches on. KF

    Glad to see you are concerned about climate change,

  107. 107
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    Ok. Show me how reading requirements and SAT scores factually prove that an 8th grade education in 1910 is equivalent to a college education in 2016?

    Incremental changes are made to the SAT to compensate for lost knowledge over time and to keep the scores respectable. In the same way that an economist must factor in inflation in order to compare the value of a dollar from one generation to the next, the analyst must factor in the extent to which the SAT has been dumbed down in order to compare academic preparation from one era to another. Thus, one can say with mathematical certainty how many grade levels have been lost.

    With respect to the importance of reading lists, I don’t think you are ready for that discussion. Recall that you have no interest in the books that I recommend for you. One important function of reading good books is to learn the value of intellectual exertion and to prepare your mind with substantive principles so that you can interpret rationally what you read over the internet. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing who is telling you the truth and who is lying to you.

    Ok. Show me how the interviews of students at Washington State University show that their education is equivalent to an 8th grade education in 1910?

    There are several ways to detect deficiencies in knowledge. The main methodologies involve surveys, tests, observations, and interviews. Example: The surveys provide quantitative data (how many students are ignorant about the Civil War) and the interviews provide qualitative information (my teacher didn’t tell me about it because she felt that all wars are unjustified) Tests can provide both kinds of knowedge with essay questions and true/false-multiple choice questions.

    Ok. Again, if you are familiar with the subject then actually prove your point and don’t just wave your arms about some questions of the 8th grade exam at the turn of last century, SAT scores (which by the way did not start until the fifties), or interview of current students.

    Yes, I am familiar with the subject matter and you are not. Example: The SAT, which was first called, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, was first administered in 1926.

    It is ridiculously obvious for everyone to see what you are doing.

    I am trying to provide remedial education for someone who, for some reason, prefers to remain ignorant.

    You have a preconceived notion of that things are getting worse and then pulled out of your hat the claim that 8th grade in 1910 is equivalent to a current college education. You know that this claim simply can not be supported and is not true (irrespective of your thesis about the deteriorating education). But you will be

    I had no such preconceived notions. When I first learned about it (many, many, many years ago), I followed up to make sure that is was true. It is. I also wanted to know why it was true. Why, for example, did John D. Rockefeller say, “I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.” Naturally, you are not aware of these things because you have been steeped in political correctness. So, rather than accept the truth, you attack the messenger.

  108. 108
    StephenB says:

    KF

    Notice, from the Girgis et al paper:

    Conjugal View: Marriage is the union of a man and a woman
    who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other
    of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and
    rearing children together. The spouses seal (consummate) and
    renew their union by conjugal acts—acts that constitute the be?
    havioral part of the process of reproduction, thus uniting them
    as a reproductive unit. Marriage is valuable in itself, but its in?
    herent orientation to the bearing and rearing of children con?
    tributes to its distinctive structure, including norms of
    monogamy and fidelity. This link to the welfare of children also
    helps explain why marriage is important to the common good
    and why the state should recognize and regulate it.

    The issue in the end is, what is marriage, which is the actual title.

    KF: May I add a critically important element? A marriage is not simply an agreement to have and to hold forever. It is is a spiritual covenant based on the complementary nature of man and woman and the analogous relationship between Christ and his church. It is the complementary nature of men and women that allows them to become “one flesh.”

    That is why gay marriage is logically impossible. Two members of the same sex, whose natures are not complementary, cannot [a] become one flesh or [b] express the complementary relationship between Christ and His Church.

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    VS, I would laugh, if this were not so deadly serious while we play at word games. Have a read here, this may give you an inkling of our circumstances i/l/o a microcosm historical precedent. KF

    PS: This too may help, if you can bear to look at geostrategic considerations without triggering revulsion and retaliation programming.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, Yes, that is a powerful point in a Judaeo-Christian context. KF

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    SB & WJM, notice how suddenly the talking points against agit prop activism as a pattern and problem have vanished? KF

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More on geostrategic issues. KF

  113. 113
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    the context has long been set in which you took your vows, there is a deep and foundational reason why we speak of husbands and of wives.

    Notice, from the Girgis et al paper:

    But my state does not require I hold to the conjugal understanding of marriage (and I don’t). Nor does it require any sort of religious test, to address the point that StephenB raised. Yet I’m legally married.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, Your or my personal understanding have little to do with the foundations of marriage across the world over the centuries and millennia. There is a foundational reason why marriage has a nature, locked to our own nature. Extreme nominalism cannot overturn that reality, though it may induce us to act as though reality is not real. Read here on consequences of that sort of pattern. You may be well advised to ponder on the consequences of extreme nominalism let loose on world foundational issues: who — how — determines what the meaning of say, is, is; as we may recall is just one of the implications. Might and manipulation make right, truth, reality, worth meaning etc is a nihilist’s credo. Which should give any sane civilisation serious pause. KF

  115. 115
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “I do not have Dahmer et al in mind. I have in mind people who made self-destructive pacts like that, setting death appointments involving gruesome sexual acts and acts of violence which THEY proposed. Involving things I cannot put up in a family friendly context.

    There was a particularly horrific case in Germany I believe some years ago. Literally involving self cannibalism. Sorry, I cannot go further than that.”

    You bring up extremely rare pathologies as if they are valid to this discussion. How many of these do we see. One a year? One every five years? Out of a population of six billion.

  116. 116
    groovamos says:

    daveSa; But my state does not require I hold to the conjugal understanding of marriage (and I don’t). Nor does it require any sort of religious test, to address the point that StephenB raised. Yet I’m legally married.

    You presume that there are states somewhere that enforce an attitude towards marriage that you lack? Which ones? How is it enforced?

    We so have a state within a state, two supreme court justices who could not listen without contempt to the arguments in the same sex marriage case against the practice. These two justices had performed same sex marriage. In their minds, nothing would be worth the inner conflict of admitting they were incorrect to do so and should have recused themselves instead of pretending to do their job. So they were getting paid to sit there during the case, pretending to consider the arguments while nurturing their hostility towards what the vast majority in the world believes. On my tax dollar.

  117. 117
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr. Murray — “What defines which behaviors are part of sex and which are not? If consensual and used in the framework of sexual activity, why would cannibalism and murder not be aspects of consensual sex?”

    When we see people seriously lobbying the government to recognize cannibalism and murder as sex acts between consenting adults, we can talk about this. Until then I will relegate this comment to the absurd.

  118. 118
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr Murray — “To begin with, perhaps you should just direct them here: I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage.”

    There are also heterosexual people who oppose marriage. What is your point?

  119. 119
    daveS says:

    groovamos,

    You presume that there are states somewhere that enforce an attitude towards marriage that you lack? Which ones? How is it enforced?

    No, quite the opposite. My (now) wife just showed up at the courthouse and told them we wanted to be married, and that was that. We signed a few forms, and it was done. Didn’t even check our IDs.

  120. 120
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Extreme nominalism cannot overturn that reality, though it may induce us to act as though reality is not real.

    I disagree that this is extreme nominalism.

    As I said before, the same-sex couples I know are just as married as I am. What essential components are present in my (legal for many years) marriage but not in those of our same-sex friends? None, as far as I can tell.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, rarity is irrelevant to reality. The cases exist. They point to the incoherence in the assertions made. It is those manifestations of incoherence that are revealing of the breakdowns in the concepts put forward. And BTW coherence is VERY important in law. KF

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, extreme nominalism is exactly what is at work: marriage is just a word we made up and can redefine at will. Never mind the underlying realities. And if you point to such we will brush you off as indulging reification, so there. But, it is those dismissed realities that are now likely to break the back of our civilisation. KF

  123. 123
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, rarity is irrelevant to reality.”

    Not when the absurdity of it is being used in an attempt to prove a point. Why don’t you provide us with some example of sexual acts that you think are perverse. Limit it to those that occur with a frequency that are statistically above zero. I will give you some examples that you may chose from: Oral sex? Anal sex? Role play? Threesomes? Orgies? Homosexual sex? Swapping partners?

    And, for each one that you pick as being perverse, tell me whether there should be a law against it, and why?

  124. 124
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    BTW, I would like to thank KF and SB for their patient posts on the matter of SSM. It took me a long time to weed out old progressive, emotionally embedded sentiment just to be able to read their posts without shuddering, looking away and closing my mind.

    That old indoctrination runs deep. Once you get past the effects of the terminology that have been deliberately indoctrinated, you can follow the actual conceptual argument.

    WJM, Thanks very much for your highly-valued comment. I think that weeding out misplaced sentiments is a significant challenge for everyone.

    An unhealthy emotion can cause firmness to degenerate into rigidity, or flexibility into malleability. Only reason (or reasoned-based faith) can keep us on the right path.

  125. 125
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    So, if the law says that it is okay to have sex with a consenting 10 yr old because the law defines adults and states of mind, then it is perfectly okay

    I wouldn’t agree to that. And US laws (and all the laws from Western Countries) do not say that. Why do you have to bring up extreme cases?

    If you are committing to law as the basis of the meaning of terms and what is okay and not okay, then if the law defines homosexuality as an illegal perversion which is punishable by beheading, then it is so, and you will be fine with that?

    Again, I wouldn’t agree to that and the laws don’t say that . . . much . . . anymore. Thank goodness. Except in places like the Koran and the Bible.

    What do you mean “as a starting point”? If the law defines what it means for sex or behavior to be perverted, where else is there to go for that meaning?

    The general collection of laws in Western societies. Tempered with current trends and opinions. Which are not as extreme.

    If the law is the basis for what such things mean, then how is it that you might disagree with the law? If you do not take the law as the ruling standard for what it means for some form of sex to be perverted or not, or okay or not, or permissable or not, then you have misled us when you refer to the law as the basis for such definitions and structure.

    The law is not the basis but the result of consensus and I consider the laws in Western societies a good starting point from which further discussions and refinements can happen. I never said the law was the basis.

    Would you ever break the law if you found the law unacceptable? If so, then what standard do you use to determine if the law is acceptable or not, because it would be that standard, and not the law, that defines your view on such things.

    I break the law all the time but I am still liable to it. And if I don’t like it then I work to change it. It is just our current consensus it is not the basis or source of morality.

    I think the term “perverted” is too incendiary to use in pursuit of rational discussion, not because of what “perversion” actually means, but because of the emotional baggage.

    Why do you keep using it then?

    I consider any sexual act between anything other than adult, consenting members of opposing sexes an error, in the same way that I consider many things that I do and have done erroneous, meaning that they do not contribute to and may even serve as a detriment to the inherent good purpose of creation.

    Do you consider oral sex an ‘error’? What about anal sex? What about when David slept with Bathsheba? Or when Lot had sex with his daughters? Do you think Jacob practicing polygamy was an error? Can the rules and laws change over time?

    What is the inherent good purpose of creation? And what choices do people have if they disagree with you?

    I think there are many activities that do not serve society well. Of those things, I think homosexuality between consenting adults in privacy is relatively harmless for society, while legally calling such a union “marriage” and insisting such unions have a legal right to raise children is more harmful. Even more harmful, however, is the use of such issues by progressive elites to deliberately undermine certain values and structures in service of an ideal they hold in contradiction to facts.

    You and KF keep saying gay marriage is harmful but you can’t provide research or data which upholds that view. What facts?

    By what legal basis would you deny gay couples the right to marry? The law changes and alters as people become more tolerant and accepting of opinions and cultures and lifestyles not the same as theirs. Do you think the laws should be written in stone and never modified or amended?

    Are the Old and New Testaments equally applicable when it comes to deciding what is correct? Do you eat pork? Or shellfish? Do you wear clothes made from more than one type of fabric? Do you think farmers should plant there crops according to Biblical mandates?

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, your problem is you made a dangerous general statement in a heavily legal context and this is one of several ways it runs into trouble. All I did was point out that this is a real problem, which reveals the incoherence. The take home lesson is that sentiments and college dorm level breezy declarations are not a sound basis for policy. Indeed, this is yet another pointer that the likes of a Heinie picked up by 1830. KF

    PS: As for what is good/evil, that as already discussed in quite clear and powerful, time tested longstanding terms: evil is the privation, frustration or wrenching of the good out of its proper end; which will typically end in ruin if left unchecked. In the case of communication, lying parasites off truth. Stealing parasites off work. Murder frustrates (cuts off) the fulfillment of a life. And so forth. In sexual matters anything that undermines stable heterosexual committed unions [that is manifest in biology] and the linked nurture of children [manifest from biology and the known challenges of child nurture] in a stable ans wholesome environment [known as key to human thriving] is to that extent a wrenching out of order and leads to harm; some more than others. Yes, this is not welcome to many ears today but the force of the point is plain and plainly sound.

    PPS: The burden of proof on changing what is foundational, has long been tested and shown sound lies with the innovator who wishes to change. Manipulating marriage under colour of law is what needs to be assessed under question. And it cannot pass the test.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ, actually there is no such thing as same sex marriage. A name made up under colour of law does not change the underlying realities marriage addresses. Just as, backing a counterfeit coinage through the state will not change the impact on the economy and on values. If you doubt me just ask how the denarius started out as a silver coin and ended up a copper one, and its impact. KF

  128. 128
    hrun0815 says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/09/.....index.html

    In a very timely report CNN is shining the light on more of those misguided liberal atheists and their depraved moral understanding marching the country into a valley of decline and ruin.

    Oh wait, these are not liberal atheists, but surely this is their fault anyway.

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    HR:

    Note, c 55 AD:

    1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. [NET]

    KF

  130. 130
    hrun0815 says:

    You know, whenever one of these topics brings out the culture warriors in a few (quite a lot actually) UD commentators it always feels like a train wreck to me: it’s tragic and sad, but also fascinating in some ways.

    The thing that always gives me much relief though is that these opinions, while prominent on the Internet and maybe in certain regions of the world, are always in very short order swept aside but by a slow and steady march towards a tolerant and more equitable society.

  131. 131
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #129:

    Very good, KF. I’m always happy when you tell us how you really feel rather than speaking in riddles.

  132. 132
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, I cited foundational Christian teaching on the matter and linked matters; something that has been on the ground and documented to be time tested since c 50 AD. We don’t get to redefine such matters to suit our desires. That is why I simply cited the facts on record for c 2000 years. Including the readily confirmed empirical facts that current PC dogma says cannot be so. KF

    PS: I am pretty sure our civilisation is by and large increasingly determined to go down an ill advised path as discussed; ill advised for many reasons that too many will not wish to endure the pain of hearing much less taking seriously. It is thus consequences as we collide with reality and break our civilisation’s back that will make a difference, as is actually on record in a case study since Mid October 59 AD.

  133. 133
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    actually there is no such thing as same sex marriage.

    Not one you accept you mean.

    A name made up under colour of law does not change the underlying realities marriage addresses. Just as, backing a counterfeit coinage through the state will not change the impact on the economy and on values. If you doubt me just ask how the denarius started out as a silver coin and ended up a copper one, and its impact

    Again, you respond based on your opinion and belief but the reality is much different.

    Let me ask you a question: how would you have dealt with Alan Turing? Or how would you deal with Sir Derek Jacobi? Or Sir Ian McKellen? Or Ellen DeGeneres? Or Oscar Wilde?

    Have a look at some of the people listed on the pages linked here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gay,_lesbian_or_bisexual_people

    Would you condemn them all as bad influences on society, worthy of sanction and censorship?

    In sexual matters anything that undermines stable heterosexual committed unions [that is manifest in biology] and the linked nurture of children [manifest from biology and the known challenges of child nurture] in a stable ans wholesome environment [known as key to human thriving] is to that extent a wrenching out of order and leads to harm; some more than others. Yes, this is not welcome to many ears today but the force of the point is plain and plainly sound.

    Good thing Alan Turing helped win WWII before he was persecuted to death I guess eh?

  134. 134
    ziggy lorenc says:

    EZ — “I wouldn’t agree to that. And US laws (and all the laws from Western Countries) do not say that. Why do you have to bring up extreme cases?”

    Because it is the only way he can justify his untenable position? Was that the right answer? What do I win?

  135. 135
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, your problem is…”

    Whenever someone starts a sentence with something as pompously arrogant as this, I stop reading. If you are willing to reword it in a civil fashion, I will respond.

    Holding my breath waiting.

    Actually, I am not. I am not stupid enough to expect that you are capable of being less pompously arrogant.

  136. 136
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “EZ, actually there is no such thing as same sex marriage.”

    Not only is this an unsusported assertion, it is clearly, undeniably, factually wrong. Canada has had SSM for over a decade. Many of them carried out in Christian churches. Feel free to stick your fingers in your ears and yell “I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.” all you want. but the rest of us grew out of the tantrum phase decades ago.

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ (attn ZL): A is still A; extreme nominalism even when imposed under colour of law based on the shadow games of the cave will not change reality; and you have proceeded to impose assumption rather than address the implications of such nominalism . . . start with, who determines what words that have such powerful abracadabra in them mean, and see if you are not at might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘value,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘law and justice’ etc. And of course there is a right name for that, nihilism –> oops democracy –> oops manipulated mob rule in the teeth of reality –> oops, ruin. (As in cf the history of the Peloponnesian war, again. Esp the Sicilian expedition.)The case of adulteration of the denarius should give an idea of consequences. As should the consensus of Mr Moneybags, the Technico and the people in defiance of reality here. Unfortunately our civilisation — on many dimensions not just this issue, seems bent on learning the lesson of a broken back. KF

    PS: ZL, it still remains the case despite the distraction and dismissal, that “your problem is you made a dangerous general statement in a heavily legal context and this is one of several ways it runs into trouble. All I did was point out that this is a real problem, which reveals the incoherence. The take home lesson is that sentiments and college dorm level breezy declarations are not a sound basis for policy. Indeed, this is yet another pointer that the likes of a Heinie picked up by 1830.” This aptly illustrates how as a civilisation we are increasingly headed down that watershed trail and are beginning to slip-slide down the mutually polarised slippery slopes.

  138. 138
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “Unfortunately our civilisation — on many dimensions not just this issue, seems bent on learning the lesson of a broken back. KF”

    Without the fun of going over the cliff? What fun is that? 😉

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, it is the cliff or rather the surface far below that imposes the shattering impact. Cf this case study in miniature. Reality did not care about money, bought and paid for technical advice or shadow show manipulated majority opinion (and BTW guys over in Russia, pardon but that includes your own shadow shows not just those in NATO-land). KF

  140. 140
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, it is the cliff or rather the surface far below that imposes the shattering impact. Cf this case study in miniature. Reality did not care about money, bought and paid for technical advice or shadow show manipulated majority opinion (and BTW guys over in Russia, pardon but that includes your own shadow shows). KF”

    Humour is a foreign concept for you, isn’t it? You really have to lighten up a bit. Smell the roses.

  141. 141
    StephenB says:

    KF — “EZ, actually there is no such thing as same sex marriage.”

    ziggy

    Not only is this an unsusported assertion, it is clearly, undeniably, factually wrong.

    The answer to that problem depends solely on who has the moral authority to define marriage. That prompts me to ask two fundamental questions:

    [a] You believe that the state has that authority. Why do you believe that? What is the source of that morality? Where does it come from?

    {b] Does the state have the moral authority to declare that a sexual union between a man and his horse qualifies as a legitimate marriage? You might say that the horse cannot give consent, which means that there would be no contract. However, the state, if it is the source of moral authority, can always declare that marriage requires neither consent nor a contract. Who are we, as loyal subjects of the state and unqualified arbiters of morality, to disagree?

  142. 142
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “ You believe that the state has that moral authority. Why do you believe that?”

    I didn’t say they had the moral authority. I said they had the legal authority.

    StephenB — “Why do you believe that? “

    Because they have the legal authority.

    StephenB — “Why do you believe that? What is its source of that morality?”

    I didn’t say they had the moral authority. I said they had the legal authority. Please try to keep up.

    StephenB — “Does the state have the moral authority to declare that a sexual union between a man and his horse qualifies as a legitimate marriage?”

    The state doesn’t have the moral authority for anything. They have the legal authority. If they say that you have the legal right to marry your horse, you do. But why are you asking? Are you sexually attracted to your horse?

  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, Justice is a moral issue and without it law degenerates into tyranny. The issue of our being under moral government surfaces again. KF

  144. 144
    groovamos says:

    Ziggy: No, quite the opposite. My (now) wife just showed up at the courthouse and told them we wanted to be married, and that was that. We signed a few forms, and it was done. Didn’t even check our IDs.

    OK so thank you for admitting this completely superfluous and irrelevant statement: But my state does not require I hold to the conjugal understanding of marriage (and I don’t). Nor does it require any sort of religious test, to address the point that StephenB raised. Yet I’m legally married.

    And wasting time and space on the thread since all states are similar in this way.

    Now I challenge you and Clavdivs with a bit of evidence from current events on how well “progressive countries are doing with their “progression”.

    Clavdivs: steadily improved over the past few hundred years, and the most improvement occurs in the secular & socially progressive states, whilst the least improvement occurs in the religious & conservative states.

    Where is your evidence showing the opposite?

    Well my evidence is the bogus nature of the multicultural project and the havoc/destruction it unleashes: http://www.theatlantic.com/int.....ks/415953/

    And then we have the pathetic situation of a “progressive” country, after the deadly choices it has made, trying to “fix” the situation with “de-radicalization centers”: http://www.thelocal.fr/2016050.....calization

    With all the superior education in France, supposedly – isn’t there an old saw, something about when you keep doing the same thing expecting a different result? Something about stupidity, like when the failed multicultural project just has to be true just because we’re right, and so we gotta find a way to fix it with these newfangled “de-radicalization centers”?

  145. 145
    daveS says:

    groovamos,

    Ziggy: [actually daveS] No, quite the opposite. My (now) wife just showed up at the courthouse and told them we wanted to be married, and that was that. We signed a few forms, and it was done. Didn’t even check our IDs.

    OK so thank you for admitting this completely superfluous and irrelevant statement: But my state does not require I hold to the conjugal understanding of marriage (and I don’t). Nor does it require any sort of religious test, to address the point that StephenB raised. Yet I’m legally married.

    And wasting time and space on the thread since all states are similar in this way.

    Duh. I’m aware of that.

    My point was that the state did not prevent me from getting married simply because I was not going to have children. Therefore the fact that same-sex couples cannot bear children should not be used as a reason for the state to disallow SSM.

    [edited]

  146. 146
    hrun0815 says:

    [a] You believe that the state has that authority. Why do you believe that? What is the source of that morality? Where does it come from?

    Wow. Really? That’s your question? The state clearly has the authority because they are the ones that are handing out marriage licenses and treated married folk under the law different than non-married folk. With regards of how the state treats married and non-married people ONLY the state has the authority to define marriage.

    In other words, your favorite sect can define or restrict marriage as much as you like. Your favorite sect can chose to marry or not marry whomever they like. This has no bearing on how the state treats folks married under the law.

  147. 147
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Groov — “Ziggy: No, quite the opposite. My (now) wife just showed up at the courthouse…”

    If you are going to criticize something that I said, it would be nice if I actually said it.

    Not a requirement (here) but it does lend some credibility to what you say. Just a suggestion.

  148. 148
    groovamos says:

    ziggy Not a requirement (here) but it does lend some credibility to what you say. Just a suggestion. You

    Well can we pretend there is another ziggy that is not ziggy lorenc or whatever. Because actually I made a post where I quoted two people by pasting stuff around some things got shuffled? I mean can you be OK about it instead of trying to score points referring to someone’s credibility? You guys take yourselves and your stance so seriously.

  149. 149
    groovamos says:

    Dave S: Duh. I’m aware of that.

    My point was that the state did not prevent me from getting married simply because I was not going to have children. Therefore the fact that same-sex couples cannot bear children should not be used as a reason for the state to disallow SSM.

    Well speaking of duh what kind of policy nut would ever think that the state would require you to prove fertility on the part of both partners? I mean really give me a break.

  150. 150
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Groov, not a problem. I would be lying if I said I haven’t done the same thing. KF, on the other hand, would deny it ever happened and blame it on a leftist, materialist, evolutionist, homosexualist, Marxist, fascist, atheist, nhialist agenda. 😉

  151. 151
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Groov — “Well speaking of duh what kind of policy nut would ever think that the state would require you to prove fertility on the part of both partners? I mean really give me a break.”

    Yet it is one of the reasons commonly used to oppose SSM. It’s nice to see that this is s moronic argument.

  152. 152
    hrun0815 says:

    It’s nice to see that this is s moronic argument.

    Speaking of… The very same argument was put forth in this tread by StephenB.

  153. 153
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Hrun — “Speaking of… The very same argument was put forth in this tread by StephenB.”

    Really? [sarcasm font]I would never have called the argument moronic if I had known that.[/sarcasm font]

  154. 154
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    I didn’t say they had the moral authority. I said they had the legal authority.

    Of course, the state has legal authority. That is obvious and trivial. The state has the power to pass laws, therefore it has legal authority. I am asking you to probe a little more deeply.

    Are you saying that any law passed by the state is moral?

    Or, are you saying that the state is perfectly within its rights to pass immoral laws?

    Or, are you saying that there is no such thing as an immoral law?

    Or, are you saying that any law the state passes is moral by virtue of the fact that the state passes it?

    Or, are you saying that morality has nothing to do with the law?

    The state doesn’t have the moral authority for anything. They have the legal authority.

    It is obvious that the state has legal authority. You are missing the point rather spectacularly. The question is whether or not the state has the right to pass any law it pleases, and if so, where does that right come from?

  155. 155
    StephenB says:

    ziggy:

    The state doesn’t have the moral authority for anything. They have the legal authority. If they say that you have the legal right to marry your horse, you do. But why are you asking? Are you sexually attracted to your horse?

    No, I am not into horses. My question is, though, would you support a law that allows a man to marry his horse?

  156. 156
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    wow. Really? That’s your question?

    No, it wasn’t. Reread it carefully and please don’t presume to revise it.

  157. 157
    hrun0815 says:

    It is obvious that the state has legal authority. You are missing the point rather spectacularly. The question is whether or not the state has the right to pass any law it pleases, and if so, where does that right come from?

    Oh my. How can you not know the answers to these questions. Yes, in principle the state has the authority to pass any law it pleases, however, at least in the US there is the supreme court as the final arbiter if there is a challenge of whether or not any particular law should be allowed to stand.

    For example, when certain states had laws on the books that didn’t allow mixed marriages it was the Supreme Court that ultimately overthrew those laws. Likewise, when certain states had laws on the books that didn’t allow same sex marriage it was the Supreme Court that ultimately overthrew these laws. And similarly, there are now states that try to use transgender rights the same why they used the previous examples. The Supreme Court will ultimately step in and the rest will be another sad footnote in the history books.

  158. 158
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, Justice is a moral issue and without it law degenerates into tyranny.”

    And it has done a lousy job over the last few centuries. The same centuries that you claim were much better than the one we are currently in. The civilization that you claim is heading towards the cliff, the way lemmings don’t, to an inevitable broken back. Do you really want to make a comparison? OK. Let’s go:

    Then: slavery. Now: no slavery.

    Then: chemical castration for homosexuals. Now: equal rights for homosexuals.

    Then: back of the bus for blacks. Now: blacks can own the bus companies.

    Then: wives legally allowed to be physically struck by husbands. Now: if my husband tried it, he would be my ex husband.

    Then: priests that buggered little boys were moved to another parish. Now: priests who bugger little boys are prosecuted.

    Then: child abuse was never punished. Now: child abuse is prosecuted.

    Then: a girl who dressed “provocatively” was “asking for it”. Now: a girl who dresses “provocatively” is a girl doing what she has the right to do.

    Then: a homosexual in a government job should be fired. Now: a homosexual in a government job is a valued employee.

    Then: debtors prison for going bankrupt. Now: bankruptcy forgiveness.

    Then: child labour. Now: laws against child labour.

    Then: six and a half day work weeks. Now: five day work weeks.

    Then: institutionalize children with Down’s syndrome. Now: include Down’s syndrome people in society.

    KF — “The issue of our being under moral government surfaces again. KF”

    If the glorious past is an example of being under moral government, we are better off with it being dead and buried. And good riddance.

  159. 159
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “My question is, though, would you support a law that allows a man to marry his horse?”

    Is the horse consenting? And how would you know? When you can answer these questions, you can as me the stupid man marrying horse question again.

  160. 160
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    Is the horse consenting? And how would you know? When you can answer these questions, you can as me the stupid man marrying horse question again.

    Fine. I will not bother you again with the horse. Please attend to my other questions so that I can be clear on your position:

    Are you saying that any law passed by the state is moral?

    Or, are you saying that the state is perfectly within its rights to pass immoral laws?

    Or, are you saying that there is no such thing as an immoral law?

    Or, are you saying that any law the state passes is moral by virtue of the fact that the state passes it?

    Or, are you saying that morality has nothing to do with the law?

    Does the state has the right to pass any law it pleases, and if so, where does that right come from?

  161. 161
    Andre says:

    Slavery is no more? Hahahaha hahahaha!
    Child abuse is no more? Hahahaha!
    Spouse abuse is no more? Hahahahahaha!
    Discrimination against other ethnic groups are no more? Hahahahaha!

    On what planet do you live?

  162. 162
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “Are you saying that any law passed by the state is moral?”

    No. I am saying that no laws passed by the state are moral. The morality only comes from the people who agree with them and follow them.

    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that the state is perfectly within its rights to pass immoral laws?

    Yes. Until such a time as the people take that right away from the state.

    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that there is no such thing as an immoral law?

    Again, yes. A law can neither be moral nor immoral. Only the people drafting the law, enacting it and enforcing it can be moral or immoral.

    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that any law the state passes is moral by virtue of the fact that the state passes?”

    No. It is legal by the virtue of the fact that the state passes it. Whether it is moral is really a judgment that only history can make. At one time, slavery was considered to be moral. After all, the bible doesn’t condemn it, and even goes as far as to instruct on how to treat slaves. Today we would consider it immoral.

    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that morality has nothing to do with the law?”

    Bingo. Morality, hopefully, comes into play when people draft and enact laws. But history is the only judge on whether or not a law is moral. And that judgment may change over time. At one time, the laws against homosexuality were considered moral. Now they aren’t. And maybe that will change in the future.

  163. 163
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre — “On what planet do you live?”

    The one that doesn’t have to misrepresent what someone says to make a point. I realize that my view is naive, but I am a dreamer.

  164. 164
    Andre says:

    All good to dream but make an effort to distinguish your dreams from reality. Here is the take home and this is really important.

    The more laws a government makes the less freedom people will have. Freedom of speech and freedom of association must always be absolute. If they are tampered with in anyway tyranny follows.

  165. 165
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    Oh my. How can you not know the answers to these questions.

    What makes you think that I don’t know the answers? You presume a great deal. The question is this: Do you know the answers?

    Yes, in principle the state has the authority to pass any law it pleases, however, at least in the US there is the supreme court as the final arbiter if there is a challenge of whether or not any particular law should be allowed to stand.

    The state is defined as all three branches. However, if you want to shift the burden to the Supreme Court as the final decision maker, then my question persists: Can the Supreme Court make any decision that it pleases? Or must it answer to a higher authority, such as the constitution? If the constitution is the highest authority, where does that authority come from? (Please don’t fall into your usual error of thinking that I don’t know the answer)

  166. 166
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre — “The more laws a government makes the less freedom people will have.”

    And the fewer laws a government the more anarchy people will have. Which also reduces freedom.

    Andre — “Freedom of speech and freedom of association must always be absolute. If they are tampered with in anyway tyranny follows.”

    I am Canadian. We don’t have, and have never had, a constitutional right to freedom of speech or freedom of association. Yet we have managed to avoid tyranny. How did that happen?

  167. 167
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #165:

    If you actually do know the answers, then why ask questions instead of putting forth an argument? What a waste of time. Skip to the point where you imagine people give you the wrong answers.

  168. 168
    StephenB says:

    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that the state is perfectly within its rights to pass immoral laws?

    ziggy

    Yes. Until such a time as the people take that right away from the state.

    So, if the state promotes slavery, it is a moral law as long as the people agree with it, but it becomes immoral when the people no longer agree? So does that mean that if the people disagree with the state’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, it is not a moral law, but if the people do come to agree with it, it will then be moral?
    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that there is no such thing as an immoral law?

    Again, yes. A law can neither be moral nor immoral. Only the people drafting the law, enacting it and enforcing it can be moral or immoral.

    There seems to be a problem here. You said above that a law passed by the state becomes moral when the people agree with and follow it. Now you are saying that there is no such thing as a moral law.

    .Whether it is moral is really a judgment that only history can make.

    And yet, you said above that the judgment is made by the people who agree with and follow it at the time it is being passed. Now you are saying that the judgment is made by history. Which is it?

    StephenB — “Or, are you saying that morality has nothing to do with the law?”

    Bingo…….At one time, the laws against homosexuality were considered moral. Now they aren’t. And maybe that will change in the future.

    So, if a society passes a law to hang all homosexuals, and most people agree with and follow it, then that law is moral? Does that mean that you would defend such a law under those circumstances, or does it mean that you really don’t care of a law is moral or not, you will support only those laws that please you?

    Also, there is also an important clarification that you need to make. If the laws against SSM were, as you suggest, once moral by virtue of the fact that most people supported them, then you must have agreed with them at the time. Is that the case?

    Another problem would be this: If a law is moral by virtue of the fact that people agree with and follow it, then the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of SSM was immoral by that standard since most people disagreed with that decision at the time it was made. Is that your position?

  169. 169
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    If you actually do know the answers, then why ask questions instead of putting forth an argument? What a waste of time. Skip to the point where you imagine people give you the wrong answers.

    Because I don’t just make arguments, I evaluate the arguments of others. Does it disturb you to undergo scrutiny? Is that why you didn’t answer my questions? Or is it because you quickly came to realize that you didn’t know things you thought you knew.

  170. 170
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    I don’t know why you had a problem answering my direct question so I’ll ask it again:

    How would you have dealt with Alan Turing? I’m sure you are familiar with his case so I won’t reiterate it.

    And how would you deal with modern homosexuals like Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Ian McKellen, Stephen Frye, Ellen DeGeneres, etc. Would you decide their negative influence on society was more important than their cultural contribution and sanction them?

    I want to know how your views would interact with the real world if you had your way.

  171. 171
    Andre says:

    Ziggy…..

    I am Canadian. We don’t have, and have never had, a constitutional right to freedom of speech or freedom of association. Yet we have managed to avoid tyranny. How did that happen?

    Let me help you with your own country’s constitution…..

    http://web.archive.org/web/201.....ge-15.html

    Fundamental freedoms

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
    (d) freedom of association.

    I find it absolutely gobsmackingly, devestatingly, sad that you don’t even know your own constitution and that you take what you have for granted…. These fundamental freedoms are never ever to be tampered with and that is why you have enjoyed a Canada with no tyranny.

    You can absolutely thank your Christian forefathers for this BTW…..

    the very first sentence of the Canadian constitution…

    CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

    Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

  172. 172
    Andre says:

    And just in case you are not sure what fundamental means…. Materialists for some inexplicable reason seem to have issues understanding words and their meanings….

    Fundamental

    ADJECTIVE

    1.forming a necessary base or core; of central importance:

  173. 173
    Andre says:

    Ziggy

    So what is the point I’m trying to make? The more people put pressure on governments to amend and change laws, the more people erode the freedoms they have.

    You should fight, campaign and work towards the upholding of your constitution, it is to be protected cherished and revered. without it you are just cannon fodder.

  174. 174
    Andre says:

    Ziggy

    The next question is;

    Do you understand the fundamental freedoms? Can you perhaps give me an indication what they mean to you?

  175. 175
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Stephen — “So, if the state promotes slavery, it is a moral law as long as the people agree with it, but it becomes immoral when the people no longer agree?”

    History suggests that this is true. Slavery was considered moral and acceptable by the majority of the southern US in the mid 1800s (excluding the opinions of the slaves, of course). So much so that they went to war, killing more Americans than all other wars combined.

    StephenB — “Does that mean that you would defend such a law under those circumstances,..”

    Are you asking the 60+ year old Canadian in 2016, or the hypothetical 60+ year old me living in the southern US in the mid 1800s? You might get very different answers. And we would both be equally sure of the morality of our answers.

    StephenB — “ If the laws against SSM were, as you suggest, once moral by virtue of the fact that most people supported them, then you must have agreed with them at the time. Is that the case?”

    Your logic is flawed because it doesn’t account for variations in what people thing is moral and right. But you are correct in that I was not in favour of SSM. I have stated this several times here.

    StephenB — “Another problem would be this: If a law is moral by virtue of the fact that people agree with and follow it, then the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of SSM was immoral by that standard since most people disagreed with that decision at the time it was made. Is that your position?

    That depends on where I am sitting. As a Canadian, the Supreme Court simply ruled in a way that the majority agreed with and the government of the day, one that was conservative and opposed SSM, decided not to redraft legislation banning it because getting re-elected was more important to them than doing what they thought was right.

    But this is all academic because I have already stated that laws are neither moral nor immoral. Those characteristics are applied to them by the people who live under them at the time they are in force. And by historians after the fact. Southern whites probably thought that segregation laws were moral. Germans in the late 1930s probably thought that the identification of Jews was morals. By today’s standards we would say that they were both immoral laws.

    History almost suggests that there is no such thing as objective morality, doesn’t it?

  176. 176
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre, I stand corrected on the freedom of association. But not on the freedom of speech. We have the freedom of expression, not speech, which are very different.

    For example, we also have hate laws that limit speech but aren’t considered to impinge your freedom of expression. Westborro style nut-jobs would not be allowed to protest the funerals of Canadian soldiers. We convicted someone for using fabrications and falsehoods to publicly deny the holocaust. Those would be unconstitutional in the US, yet they have not led to tyranny here.

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL (attn EZ),

    The below, from 158, is the remark that shows a big slice of the problem we face:

    KF — “ZL, Justice is a moral issue and without it law degenerates into tyranny.”

    [ZL:] And it has done a lousy job over the last few centuries. The same centuries that you claim were much better than the one we are currently in. The civilization that you claim is heading towards the cliff, the way lemmings don’t, to an inevitable broken back.

    A Note: I am for the moment ignoring your continued policy of taking umbrage at the slightest imagined offense wrenched out of words and projection of the grossest strawman caricatures laced with character accusations on the strength of it, as a means of manipulating discussion. The irony of your remark in 163 where you claim you live on a planet “that doesn’t have to misrepresent what someone says to make a point” is stunning. (This problem BTW reveals the core of SB’s point about the deterioration of quality of education: I am pretty sure you have some college at minimum, but the patent want of objective, rational discussion on principled grounds speaks volumes about how poorly grounded and easily manipulated by those moving the control levers on cultural/policy agendas our thinking now tends to be. This is part of what leads over the cliff.)

    Let’s go in steps of thought:

    1 –> Due to invasion conjoined to mass immigration and internal economic and policy mismanagement, the W Roman empire collapsed across the 400’s AD [with a near run in the 200’s], triggering about 1,000 years of chaos and struggle to get back up to a reasonable level of civilisation.

    2 –> A major feature of this period of broken backed struggle was the Islamic invasion, which it took 800 years of struggle in Iberia to force back out of W Europe.

    3 –> Along the way, the printing press was invented and so a mass medium became possible, leading to mass literacy, newspapers and the emergence of a reasonably informed and communicative public, 1400 – 1700 or so. First time in human history.

    4 –> This was the critical enabling development that made modern representational democracy possible.

    5 –> Across this period, connected to the Reformation, we had the rise of the principles of the double covenant understanding: nationhood under God with the state as accountable to the people and under God as bearers of the sword of justice.

    6 –> In the 1690’s, Locke laid out the following in Ch 2 of his 2nd treatise on civil gov’t, citing Hooker from 100 years before to ground what would become the basis of recognition of rights and freedom in the modern democratic state:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    7 –> thus the moral principle of governance and the implication of reciprocal rights and duties of equals in moral worth and nature becomes the basis on which the law making power of the state can be soundly grounded. Notice, moral governance comes first and is the basis of sound law.

    8 –> In the next century, there would ensue a struggle towards constitutional, representative democracy, leading to the breakthrough of the US DoI, 1776 (as was cited in the OP):

    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 entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.

    8 –> Where, of course the general election was established as a peaceful means of audit, reform and replacement of government, towards progress. And where also the commitment to principles enshrined in key declarations and basis law such as written Constitutions, became a pivotal check on the danger of democracy deteriorating into a manipulated marauding mob: three wolves and two lambs voting on what is for lunch.

    9 –> The issue then became, sound reformation in a democratic polity through moral suasion and peaceful policy deliberation in a representative based parliament or the equivalent. And

    10 –> from this in the next 200 years — never mind the struggles to address the sins of Christendom [many of which are actually the sins of old and of all . . . ] — many vital reforms would come the safe way; as opposed to the futile chaos that consistently emerged from the alternative pioneered by the French Revolution, radical violent overthrow and establishment of a dictatorship (usually with a reign of terror).

    11 –> In his epochal 1990 essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage (I suggest download, careful reading and pondering, if one hopes to understand our current age . . . ), the great orientalist Bernard Lewis [a Jew, BTW, so coming from an often oppressed minority targetted for genocide within living memory] gives us a sober balance that we would do well to heed instead of playing the old game of indicting and tainting Christendom for the world’s ills and trashing its soundest lessons of history bought with blood and tears:

    . . . The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty — not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet . . . .

    In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.

    12 –> There is a hard-bought mature wisdom of scholarship and sound insight into history in this, which starkly contrasts with the distract- distort-denigrate- rhetorically taint- dismiss mentality that is all too evident in this thread and elsewhere to the point of being a feature of the manipulative agenda tactics I have exposed.

    13 –> In this context, we are now in a position to again address the latest issue being distracted from, the problem of extreme nominalism imposed through the inherently self-falsifying, inescapably amoral lab coat clad worldview of evolutionary materialist scientism and its fellow travellers.

    14 –> For that, let me clip my response to EZ, attn you (ZL) at 137 above:

    extreme nominalism even when imposed under colour of law based on the shadow games of the cave will not change
    reality; and you have proceeded to impose assumption rather than
    address the implications of such nominalism . . . start with, who
    determines what words that have such powerful abracadabra in them mean,
    and see if you are not at might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’
    ‘value,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘law and justice’ etc. And of course there is a
    right name for that, nihilism –> oops democracy
    –> oops manipulated mob rule in the teeth of reality –> oops,
    ruin. (As in cf the history of the Peloponnesian war, again. Esp the
    Sicilian expedition.)The case of adulteration of the denarius should
    give an idea of consequences. As should the consensus of Mr Moneybags,
    the Technico and the people in defiance of reality here. Unfortunately our civilisation — on many
    dimensions not just this issue, seems bent on learning the lesson of a
    broken back.

    Patently, radical demands grounded in extreme nominalism (and onwards, in underlying self referentially incoherent evolutionary materialism and/or its fellow traellers . . . ) are wanting on both principled foundations and on protections of justice. This is patently manifest in how the seven mountain commanding heights of community and civilisation are being usurped to manipulate marriage and family under false colours of law, as this thread and others so abundantly show.

    They also willfully ignore many hard bought lessons of sound history bought with blood and tears, regarding the pivotal importance of principled moral government in reform of community, culture, institutions, policy and civilisation. And such willfulness — often manifested above — speaks poorly of our vaunted education, confidence in progress and in our judgement.

    Such a willful march of folly, predictably, would not end well for our civilisation.

    Which, frankly, is an obvious aim of the red-double green alliance of the radical progressives and cultural marxists, too many radical environmentalists and the radical IslamISTS.

    It is more than time — and maybe, it is too late for us to avert disaster — for us to wake up to our peril and do something sensible and principled about it.

    KF

    PS: as you seem to think this is a telling talking point, EZ, the solution for Alan Turing and Lord Keynes et al for that matter (who actually is a high profile case of walking away from such on realising that it was not doing him any good . . . ) would be the well established 12 step type spiritual-moral approach to managing and recovery from deeply entrenched addictive and self-harming behaviours that was oh so derided when the alcoholics themselves hit on it in desperation in the 1940’s to 50’s, but which has now come to be the gold standard of recovery. Such should be further informed by too often suppressed insights and facts such as those reported here that I have often pointed to. Just the summary in the opening pages is an eye-opener.

    PPS: ZL, why are you conveniently omitting the recent cases such as with Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant that show how rights commissions in Canada were dangerously abused by destructive activists using lawfare tactics? Why was it that relevant tribunals had was it a 98% conviction rate . . . i.e. were in effect kangaroo courts to taint and damage the accused. (Until the wrong man was picked on, a who had enough clout and moxie to fight back effectively, exposing the scandal of injustice embedded into law.)

  178. 178
    Andre says:

    Ziggy

    Freedom of association and freedom of speech are not interchangeable but are inseparable. You have freedom of speech don’t ever lose it. Please also take note of the fact that freedom of speech does have limitations and hate speech is not included. Don’t confuse a difference of opinion on a matter as hate speech either. Materialists conflate the two often, perhaps because they don’t know their constitutional rights very well? Or perhaps because the don’t see the overlap between Christianity and Constitutional democracy instituted by Christ himself. Perhaps both?

  179. 179
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    as you seem to think this is a telling talking point, EZ, the solution for Alan Turing and Lord Keynes et al for that matter (who actually is a high profile case of walking away from such on realising that it was not doing him any good . . . ) would be the well established 12 step type spiritual-moral approach to managing and recovery from deeply entrenched addictive and self-harming behaviours that was oh so derided when the alcoholics themselves hit on it in desperation in the 1940’s to 50’s, but which has now come to be the gold standard of recovery. Such should be further informed by too often suppressed insights and facts such as those reported here that I have often pointed to.

    And if Alan Turing or Sir Derek Jacobi or Sir Ian McKellen or Stephen Frye or Elen DeGeneres refused to enter a 12-step recovery program then what?

  180. 180
    StephenB says:

    StephenB — “Does that mean that you would defend such a law under those circumstances,..”

    ziggy

    Are you asking the 60+ year old Canadian in 2016, or the hypothetical 60+ year old me living in the southern US in the mid 1800s? You might get very different answers. And we would both be equally sure of the morality of our answers.

    I am getting two different answers right now. First, you define a law as moral if people follow it. Thus, if people follow the law that homosexuals should be hanged, that law, by your standard, is moral. Yet when I ask you if you would defend such a “moral law,” you answer by saying yes and no. It’s either yes or no.

    StephenB — “ If the laws against SSM were, as you suggest, once moral by virtue of the fact that most people supported them, then you must have agreed with them at the time. Is that the case?”

    Your logic is flawed because it doesn’t account for variations in what people thing is moral and right.

    It isn’t my logic that is flawed because I am using your logic, which holds that a law is moral if people agree with and follow it. Thus, it follows as surely as night follows day that previous laws against SSM were moral when they were popular.

    But you are correct in that I was not in favour of SSM. I have stated this several times here.

    Yet, your reasons for changing are incomprehensible. Rather than follow your previous standard, which was based on agreement with the law, you whimsically abandoned that standard, reversed your position, and blamed kairosfocus tone for the change. When did you come up with that new standard? Why did it overrule the old one? Your position makes no sense at all.

    But this is all academic because I have already stated that laws are neither moral nor immoral.

    Except that you have contradicted that claim by saying that laws are moral if people agree with and follow them.

    You have further contradicted yourself by saying that laws are moral if people agree with and follow them in the present, but you have also said that the real standard is not what people agree with and follow in the moment, but rather what history says about it after the fact.

    Those characteristics are applied to them by the people who live under them at the time they are in force. And by historians after the fact.

    Having been informed of your self-refuting position, you are now trying to merge two separate and contradictory standards into one. That will not work. If the laws are moral because people agree with them at the time they are passed, then they cannot also be moral because of what history says after them the fact. Do you understand your error?

    History almost suggests that there is no such thing as objective morality, doesn’t it?

    No. Why would you say that?

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    Andre,

    Here is a sampler on what ZL is conveniently not telling you about the free speech scandal in Canada, courtesy Mark Steyn in Canada’s National Post October 16, 2013:

    Five years ago, I and my fellow rightwing blowhard Ezra Levant were in the midst of a spirited campaign to rid Canada of its disgusting censorship laws and restore a centuries-old tradition of free speech to a land that, in the name of “human rights,” had surrendered it too easily. The Canadian Islamic Congress had brought simultaneous complaints before the federal, Ontario and British Columbia “human rights” regimes against Maclean’s magazine for publishing an excerpt from my book. Despite the advantages of triple jeopardy, they struck out all three times, and at the federal level their suit so damaged the reputation of “Section 13” (the national censorship law with a 100% conviction rate) that last year Parliament finally repealed it.

    Notice, how he goes on to expose the lawfare stratagem . . . an act of 4th generation war too commonly resorted to by radical activists and their backing strategists.

    Precisely as I have pointed out.

    Now, let this soak in as you evaluate what you have been dealing with, especially given the utterly revealing remark in 163 that shows that ZL full well knows that it is wrong to try to taint others by setting up a strawman caricature and lacing it with ad hominems then setting it alight rhetorically.

    Understand the sort of destructive agenda we are dealing with and where it is liable to lead our civilisation.

    KF

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ, I simply pointed out the nature of the problem, the suppressed facts that decisively overturn the “my genes MADE me do it” talking point, and the import that we are in fact responsibly and rationally free. There is no pressing need to embark on the current experiment of imposing the dangerous principle of extreme nominalism driven by evolutionary materialism’s self falsifications and amorality on foundational institutions such as marriage and family. But until that problem of extreme nominalism and its threats of imposing nihilistic might and manipulation make right is faced, there can be no reasonable discussion on linked matters. Your consistent move away from the foundational to try to exploit cases to excite sympathy while ignoring a very high profile case — Lord Keynes — that shows the fact that addictive and damaging patterns of behaviour can be changed and instantly trying to set aside a clear means of such change, the 12 step type approach, jointly reveal a rhetorical intent. Tell me this: would you cavalierly dismiss the proved effectiveness of the 12 step approach for addressing drug addiction by suggesting of a high profile case, well what if they refused effective treatment what would you then do? I suggest to you, that homosexual habits, especially for males, can easily cut decades off life expectancy (and that due to the high incidence of instability of deeply involved relationships such a pattern of life is a known factor in being at risk for suicide even when little or no no social stigma is attached to the behaviour . . . ); so, a sane society would treat it on the accessible facts much as we treat drug addiction as a life challenge that must be responsibly addressed through serious intervention. Intervention, at levels that are appropriate on a responsibly assessed case by case basis. KF

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, an important assessment of the logic involved in the rhetorical patterns we are dealing with. KF

  184. 184
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    I simply pointed out the nature of the problem, the suppressed facts that decisively overturn the “my genes MADE me do it” talking point, and the import that we are in fact responsibly and rationally free.

    Except that current research and data and testimony suggests your are incorrect. So I am asking you how you would deal with people who you claim to be exerting a negative influence on society.

    There is no pressing need to embark on the current experiment of imposing the dangerous principle of extreme nominalism driven by evolutionary materialism’s self falsifications and amorality on foundational institutions such as marriage and family.

    Aren’t we just learning to let people have freedom to live their lives as they wish as long as they aren’t harming anyone? And again, data and research and testimony suggest that same-sex marriages are not having a wide negative effect on society despite your protestations.

    But until that problem of extreme nominalism and its threats of imposing nihilistic might and manipulation make right is faced, there can be no reasonable discussion on linked matters. Your consistent move away from the foundational to try to exploit cases to excite sympathy while ignoring a very high profile case — Lord Keynes — that shows the fact that addictive and damaging patterns of behaviour can be changed and instantly trying to set aside a clear means of such change,

    Look, you’ve said over and over and over again that homosexuality and same-sex marriages are a severe negative influence on western societies and I’m asking you how you would deal with the situation. I am picking some high profile people so that there is no ambiguity about the situation.

    the 12 step type approach, jointly reveal a rhetorical intent. Tell me this: would you cavalierly dismiss the proved effectiveness of the 12 step approach for addressing drug addiction by suggesting of a high profile case, well what if they refused effective treatment what would you then do?

    The 12 step approach seems to work very well for people who want to change. I’m asking you what you would do if the people you think need to change refused to do so?

    I suggest to you, that homosexual habits, especially for males, can easily cut decades off life expectancy (and that due to the high incidence of instability of deeply involved relationships such a pattern of life is a known factor in being at risk for suicide even when little or no no social stigma is attached to the behaviour . . . ); so, a sane society would treat it on the accessible facts much as we treat drug addiction as a life challenge that must be responsibly addressed through serious intervention. Intervention, at levels that are appropriate on a responsibly assessed case by case basis.

    What about people like Elton John or Sir Derek Jacobi or Sir Ian McKellen all well off and happily set up in long term same-sex relationships? I rather suspect they will all live to a ripe old age. Perhaps some of the suicides (like Alan Turning) have to do with the intolerance and prejudice they feel hopeless fighting for years and years and years.

    And again, you are well outside the current research, data and testimony which says that homosexuality is NOT akin to drug addiction. Please consider ALL the data before proclaiming some members of society ill.

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ,

    Pardon but facts as already linked are decisive; start from the summary. Yes, things like the statistical incidence, variability of onset and cessation, diverse patterns that come and go in response to law [Greek vs Western] and/or to religion [Melanesian, the Sambia], responsiveness of actually genetically linked patterns to discipline and to counselling etc run counter to conventional wisdom and the dominant narrative, but by now we should all be wary of such dominant narratives in such a day of shadow show games on so many topics.

    Where, we would do well to appreciate that the links between genes and behaviour are typically not very direct or dominating to the point of helplessness; no, the general evidence is that we are responsible and rationally free, on the whole through we are of course all too prone to fallibility, finitude, moral struggle and ill will. The evolutionary materialist narrative that would reduce us evolutionary survival programmed genes plus psycho-social conditioning etc fails and fails by self referential incoherence.

    And cases like Elton John or the like are in fact not the usual run, the typical male homosexual IIRC has had up to 1,000 sexual contacts . . . one of the reasons for the high vulnerability to spread of disease, which is multiplied by the inherently damaging nature of the acts involved.

    Further to all this, there are enough cases of the sort of changes in behaviour that I have discussed that Robert L Spitzer (yes the same Spitzer who led the change of classification under DSM in 1973) did in fact publish on the subject of significant change in orientation, though this seems to typically require years of focussed effort, typical of entangling addictive behaviour patterns. His conclusion is: “there is evidence that change in sexual orientation following some form of reparative therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians,” a cautious conclusion that is similar to what would be said of recovery from alcoholism or heroin addiction or cocaine or marijuana habituation or even cigarette smoking or the like also.

    Best advice, if you do not bite you cannot be hooked and will not face an existential struggle to recover.

    KF

  186. 186
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #180:

    Stephen, from reading your posts questioning the morality of laws or your puzzlement that you get multiple answers depending on the person or time in question leads me to believe that you want or expect all laws to be moral according to a certain standard.

    Is that correct? I guess it sort of jibes with the fact that you might actually believe there is such a thing as universal morality.

  187. 187
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: You believe that the state has that authority. Why do you believe that? What is the source of that morality?

    This is a fundamental point of confusion. The government doesn’t have to regulate marriage, but if it does, then it has to do so consistent with equal protection and due process.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me clip a few points from the relevant summary, to show what I mean, the bulk of the text elaborates the following:

    >>No genetically determined human behavior has yet been found. The most closely genetically-
    related behavior yet discovered (mono-amine oxidase deficiency leading to aggression) has
    shown itself remarkably responsive to counselling. (Ch ) . . .

    Generally, geneticists settle for some genetic influence of rather undefined degree, most
    agreeing that many genes (from at least five or six to many hundreds) contribute to any
    particular human behavior. (Ch ) This means:
    If SSA were caused by many genes it could not suddenly appear and disappear
    in families the way it does. It would stay around for many (eg. at least 30)
    generations because it would take that long for that many genes to be bred out.
    Therefore SSA cannot be caused by many genes. (Ch )
    The occurrence of SSA (2.6%) in the population is too frequent to be caused by a chance
    mutation in a single gene. Therefore SSA cannot be caused by a single gene. (Ch )
    Researchers trying to find “homosexual” sequences of genes on the recently mapped
    human genome have not found any such sequences although they have found them for
    schizophrenia, alcoholism etc. (Ch 9)
    The occurrence of SSA is about five time too high to be caused by a faulty (non-genetic)
    pre-natal developmental process, so it is not innate in that sense either. (Ch )
    First same-sex attraction occurs over a very long time span, unlike pre-programmed genetic
    events eg puberty, menopause. This argues that first same-sex attraction is not a genetically
    programmed event. (Ch )
    The human race shares most of its genes – something between 99.7 percent and 99.9 percent.
    That means all ethnic groups will have most of them. This has the following three implications.
    If homosexuality is genetically dictated, homosexual practices will be identical or
    extremely similar in all cultures. But there is an enormous range and diversity of
    homosexual practice and customs among different cultures (and within cultures)
    (Ch 6)
    There would be a similar incidence of homosexuality in all cultures. But
    homosexuality has been unknown in some cultures and mandatory in others.
    (Ch 6)
    Changes in homosexual practice and behavior in different cultures would take
    place very slowly, over many centuries. But this is not what history shows. The
    decline of whole models of homosexuality (the Greek, over a couple of centuries,
    and the Melanesian, within a century); the relatively sudden [in genetic terms]
    emergence of the present Western model over a couple of centuries; and abrupt
    changes of practice within an ethnic group, even over a single generation, are not
    consistent with anything genetic. Even less so the swiftly changing sexual practices
    within the current Western model. (Ch 6)
    The drop in SSA attraction and practice over the lifespan is too great to attribute to genetic
    change – or for that matter, deaths from AIDS. It could indicate some change in sexual
    orientation. (Ch 2)
    Recent increases in the percentage of those experimenting with same-sex behaviour suggest
    social influence rather than genetic change. (Ch 2) . . .

    Twin studies: These very complex comparisons of identical twins and non-identical twins
    definitively rule out genetic determinism. If homosexuality were genetic, identical co-twins of
    homosexual men and women would also be homosexual 100% of the time, but they aren’t.
    The genetic influence is indirect, certainly lower than 30% for men and 50% for women
    and may be as low as 10%. This is illustrated further by the fact that identical twins with
    identical genes are at most 11 and 14% concordant for SSA (ie. if one twin is SSA the co-
    twin will be gay only 11% of the time (males), 14% (females.) (Other studies have even lower
    concordances). And remember this: everyone has at least a 10% genetic influence in his or
    her behaviour – simply because without genes there can be no bodily activity of any kind, or
    human behaviour. (Ch 0) >>

  189. 189
    kairosfocus says:

    HRUN:

    Here is the issue you now face, first from Plato in The Laws Bk X, c 360 BC:

    Ath. . . .[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.

    Locke’s alternative:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    I contrast Locke in Ch 2 of his 2nd treatise on civil govt,citing Hooker to found the rights and duties that ground modern liberty — as I have had occasion to already cite above this very morning:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    Yes, there is indeed a core morality that is generally discerned and conceded at least for those one is willing to acknowledge as peers. It is the foundation of the concept that we are morally governed and find ourselves under a law of our nature that is evident through conscience guided reason.

    It can be so strong that in many cases there are self evident moral truths that can only be denied or dismissed on pain of patently self referential absurdity.

    Those are the category of morally certain truths such as those that were appealed to by the US Founders in their Declaration of Independence, 1776 as the basis for a legitimate and just state:

    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 entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.

    The substitution of radical relativism and extreme nominalism points to destructive imposition of might and manipulation make right, the nihilist’s credo.

    Just as Plato warned 2350 years ago.

    KF

  190. 190
    hrun0815 says:

    the typical male homosexual IIRC has had up to 1,000 sexual contacts . . .

    The typical male Christian IIRC eats about three babies a week…

  191. 191
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    StephenB: You believe that the state has that authority. Why do you believe that? What is the source of that morality?

    This is a fundamental point of confusion. The government doesn’t have to regulate marriage, but if it does, then it has to do so consistent with equal protection and due process

    A male and male relationship can never have equal standing with a male and female relationship.

    Males and females complete each other because they have offspring, male and male copulation is incapable of making offspring it is therefore not equal in the natural order of things, it will never will be no matter what.

  192. 192
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #189:

    TL;DNR

    Can you just try to make a succinct argument using your own words rather that massive CP jobs of people you rely on as authoritative sources?

  193. 193
    hrun0815 says:

    A male and male relationship can never have equal standing with a male and female relationship.

    Maybe for you they can not. But for an ever increasing number of the US population and before the US law they actually do. As much as you may bemoan the fact. Same happened with mixed race marriages.

  194. 194
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: A male and male relationship can never have equal standing with a male and female relationship.

    You forgot to address the point raised. The government doesn’t have to regulate marriage, but if it does, then it has to do so consistent with equal protection and due process.

  195. 195
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, in my experience short statements will be twisted, ones of responsible length using key classic sources will be avoided by those whose game plan is to push an agenda. There is enough substance for the serious to actually think and act. KF

    PS: The incredible numbers of sexual partners problem (often including anonymous partners when numbers start to climb) has for decades been a well understood problem with esp male homosexuality.

    PPS: The imposition of extreme nominalism and radicalism on law has the implication: who is going to decide and enforce the meaning of the growing list of abracadabra words such as “marriage” “gender” “rest room” “right” “law” etc? The answer is coming up clearly: might and manipulation make ‘right’ — that is, nihilism. Which should give us all sobering pause i/l/o the issues in the OP which I am confident also got the “too long didn’t read” dismissal. To which I answer: if you have not bothered to seriously consider the sort of matches you are playing with and what may go up in smoke (thus why others may have concerns, cautions and objections), that itself speaks volumes.

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, equal protection and due process, properly applied, are responsive to the core characteristics of male-female complementarity and requisites of sound child nurture in a stabilising environment. The issue is what is marriage and why is it so. Imposition of extreme nominalism in the face of realities of nature and of moral government will simply impose a march of folly under colour of law and of wrenched legal words. Leading to ruin. KF

  197. 197
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “I am for the moment ignoring your continued policy of taking umbrage at the slightest imagined offense wrenched out of words and projection of the grossest strawman caricatures laced with character accusations on the strength of it, as a means of manipulating discussion. “

    You are free to ignore any or all of my comments as I do with many of yours.

    KF — “The irony of your remark in 163 where you claim you live on a planet “that doesn’t have to misrepresent what someone says to make a point” is stunning. “

    I thought that you were going to ignore these types of comments from me. You didn’t even last a paragraph.

  198. 198
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: equal protection and due process, properly applied, are responsive to the core characteristics of male-female complementarity and requisites of sound child nurture in a stabilising environment.

    Your personal version of male-female complementarity is not a justifiable basis for the government not providing equal protection and due process.

    The simplest solution is to get government out of the marriage business. Similar to the separation of church and state, have the state provide civil unions, while the church can provide whatever sacrament suits the participants.

  199. 199
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    And cases like Elton John or the like are in fact not the usual run, the typical male homosexual IIRC has had up to 1,000 sexual contacts . . . one of the reasons for the high vulnerability to spread of disease, which is multiplied by the inherently damaging nature of the acts involved.

    You still haven’t answered my question: how would you handle people like Elton John, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Ian McKellen, Alan Turning, etc if they refused (as did Alan Turning) corrective measures?

    I’d like to see a reference for the ‘up to 1,000 sexual contacts’ for the typical gay man.

    Further to all this, there are enough cases of the sort of changes in behaviour that I have discussed that Robert L Spitzer (yes the same Spitzer who led the change of classification under DSM in 1973) did in fact publish on the subject of significant change in orientation, though this seems to typically require years of focussed effort, typical of entangling addictive behaviour patterns. His conclusion is: “there is evidence that change in sexual orientation following some form of reparative therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians,” a cautious conclusion that is similar to what would be said of recovery from alcoholism or heroin addiction or cocaine or marijuana habituation or even cigarette smoking or the like also.

    I’m sure such therapy does work for some. But you keep dodging the question: what would you do if the gay or lesbian person refused treatment? Please answer this question.

    Best advice, if you do not bite you cannot be hooked and will not face an existential struggle to recover.

    Again, dodging the question. You have stated repeated that you believe the homosexual lifestyle to be damaging to society and I’m asking you what would you do if a homosexual man or woman refused proscribed realignment treatment.

    Why is it so hard to answer that question?

  200. 200
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #195:

    HR, in my experience short statements will be twisted, ones of responsible length using key classic sources will be avoided by those whose game plan is to push an agenda. There is enough substance for the serious to actually think and act. KF

    And in my experience your massive C/P jobs will only be read by your most ardent supporters who agree with you anyway. But I guess that makes sense: those who agree with you anyway will likely be considered by you to be ‘the serious’.

  201. 201
    hrun0815 says:

    equal protection and due process, properly applied, are responsive to the core characteristics of male-female complementarity and requisites of sound child nurture in a stabilising environment.

    I guess then I, for one, am please that we leave in a country where ‘equal protection and due process’ are improperly applied.

  202. 202

    ellazimm @125:

    A lot of your post appears to assume that I am a Christian and I have a working knowledge of the Bible. I’m not, and I don’t. Having sex with your daughter is an error, regardless of who does it or what the culture is.

    The problem with your argument is clearly on display for all who understand logic and rational debate to see; you point at the law when it suits you for the basis of what a society should tolerate/embrace/enforce via law, and then point elsewhere, such as your own views or the opinions of others when current law doesn’t suit you.

    So, at the end of the day, it is clear that your basis for what should be allowable and embraced by law and society is nothing more than your own sentiment – how you feel about the law, how you feel about the subject, and how you feel about the opinions of others. You have no objective basis for why your particular sentiment should be considered over any other. Yours makes .03% people in society happier? Why should the majority care if some .03% of the population are happier? Why should I care? Why should I make “general happiness” a standard for my sentiment at all?

    If you can point at the law and constitution or DOI where it is convenient to your sentiment, and then ignore it where it is not, others can do the same thing. Equal rights and protection? Others can endorse it where convenient and ignore it when not. It’s no more hypocritical than pointing at the law when convenient to making your case and then ignoring it when not.

    The problem with sentiment as a basis is that it endorses any other personal sentiment as an equally valid basis for social mores and law. If one is pro- or anti-slavery, or women’s rights, or SSM, the deciding arbiter of whether or not those things are good or bad is simply personal sentiment. IOW, there is no real objective good or bad, there is only one sentiment vs another, and the only meaningful question is which sentiment gets to write such sentiment into law, and which sentiment can sway the emotions of the populace in their direction.

    So, actually, there is no rational debate on the matter, and it speaks to why, at a fundamental level, rational debate is lost on people like you and Ziggy. Reason cannot change a view based on sentiment. Your entire perspective and basis is just your own personal sentiment, which is irrational and not open to rational debate in the first place.

    This is what KF keeps trying to tell you and Ziggy, but you are clearly incapable of understanding the nature of his argument. A culture based on sentiment, emotion and feelings is ripe for tyrannical manipulation.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    HR (attn Z et al):

    I, for one, am please that we leave in a country where ‘equal protection and due process’ are improperly applied.

    For the moment, until the shattering impact of what has been let loose

    — starting with the 60 million unborn children denied right to life and slaughtered in the womb in the leading country and

    — the hundreds of millions otherwise across the world and

    — broader corruption of law and sound governance through lawfare and radical nominalism energised by evolutionary materialist incoherence and amorality, as well as

    — the unsound geostrategic behaviour and domestic policy generally

    . . . fully hits our civilisation.

    Breaking its back.

    The vultures are circling.

    Cf here.

    KF

    PS: And it is not my idiosyncratic view, that projection reflects the might and manipulation makes might ethic that has been let loose. I again point to the obviously unread Girgis et al (noting the unwatched video in the OP with co-author George speaking on the societal cost of what is being imposed, which is utterly at odds with the announced equal protection under law etc AND the unlistened to audio from Masha Gessen a significant Lesbian Activist, note the clip highlighted in an image in OP).

    I clip again:

    Conjugal View: Marriage is the union of a man and a woman 
    who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other 
    of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and 
    rearing  children  together.  The  spouses  seal  (consummate)  and 
    renew their union by conjugal acts—acts that constitute the be?
    havioral part of the process of reproduction, thus uniting them 
    as a reproductive unit. Marriage is valuable in itself, but its in?
    herent  orientation  to  the  bearing  and  rearing  of  children  con?
    tributes  to  its  distinctive  structure,  including  norms  of 
    monogamy and fidelity. This link to the welfare of children also 
    helps explain why marriage is important to the common good 
    and why the state should recognize and regulate it.

    A careful examination of this and other discussions will show that this has never been cogently addressed by advocates of homosexualisation of marriage, which speaks volumes on the problem esp given what I have outlined on the natural law and rights issues and the processes of an induced march of folly. We can actually assign the behaviour in the thread to the scale of enabling behaviour.

  204. 204
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I see you’ve received responses to this:

    Z, equal protection and due process, properly applied, are responsive to the core characteristics of male-female complementarity and requisites of sound child nurture in a stabilising environment.

    but I think you’ll have a hard time getting many USAians to agree with the male-female complementarity bit, anyway. We typically are averse to that level of government meddling in our lives.

  205. 205
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #203:

    Dude, I’m pretty sure that babies were aborted, wars were started, laws were corrupted, and geostrategic blunders were committed prior to same-sex-marriage and even mixed-race-marriage.

    I guess your arguments remain inscrutable whether they be relatively short and written by yourself or endless C/P jobs.

    And sometimes I wonder if the K in your name shouldn’t stand for Kassandra instead of kairos. It seems that everywhere you look the whole world is marching into gloom and doom, yet virtually nobody is heeding your warnings (or even taking them seriously).

  206. 206
    hrun0815 says:

    The problem with your argument is clearly on display for all who understand logic and rational debate to see; you point at the law when it suits you for the basis of what a society should tolerate/embrace/enforce via law, and then point elsewhere, such as your own views or the opinions of others when current law doesn’t suit you.

    While you think that is a problem, it is simply the reality we (as in all societies) live in. There is some form of established government that makes laws for everyone to abide by. And individuals in the societies can agree or disagree with the morality of the law as they chose to. Yet, they will still have to follow the laws or suffer the consequences. Of course, in most societies individuals are also allowed to work towards change of the laws they deem unjust or immoral.

    Do you live in a society that does not conform to this reality?

  207. 207
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ On the contrary it is objectively clear that I have in fact laid out an answer regarding cases and relevant ways for a better life pattern (including going all the way to Robert Spitzer’s work on the subject), just you seem to have overlooked it. KF

  208. 208
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #203:

    🙂 You couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to C/P, link to a paper, and point out a video.

    A careful examination of this and other discussions will show that this has never been cogently addressed by advocates of homosexualisation of marriage, which speaks volumes on the problem esp given what I have outlined on the natural law and rights issues and the processes of an induced march of folly. We can actually assign the behaviour in the thread to the scale of enabling behaviour.

    Cogent, def.: clear, logical, and convincing

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, if a nation chooses to close its eyes to evident and material reality and indulges itself in abracadabra words, that nation is embarking on the path of a manipulated, blind march of folly. Which predictably ends in ruin. The vultures are already circling, starting with geostrategically. KF

  210. 210
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    The problem with your argument is clearly on display for all who understand logic and rational debate to see; you point at the law when it suits you for the basis of what a society should tolerate/embrace/enforce via law, and then point elsewhere, such as your own views or the opinions of others when current law doesn’t suit you.

    I don’t agree with all the laws in the society I live in (the UK) but I provisionally agree to abide by them as a starting point of consensus. Without some kind of generally agreed upon set of rules we wouldn’t have a society to speak of. I’m allowed to have my own opinion but if I want other to be obliged to follow my notions then I have to work to change the laws if they differ from my own view. I allow myself the option of breaking the law if I so choose but I fully expect that I may be prosecuted for that. Some folks, like Gandhi, used non-violently breaking the law as a method of raising consciousness in order to get the laws changed.

    The point is that no one person rules, we all do from consensus. Sometimes that means we personally disagree with some parts of the consensus. But if we don’t generally agree to abide by it then we’d be lost. You can’t just arbitrary impose a standard that is not supported by a majority of the people. That’s not a democracy or a representative form of government.

    I do not believe my view should take precedence. I believe I have a right for my view to be aired (not necessarily listened to) and I expect to be on the losing side sometimes and on the winning side others.

    If my view has merit then I expect to be able to (eventually) win some people over with my arguments including data and research. If I can’t do that then . . . it’s my problem.

    If you think that’s not a rational form of governance then I’d like to hear your alternative.

  211. 211

    hrun08115 asks:

    Do you live in a society that does not conform to this reality?

    Of course not. However, the argument is not about the overview flowchart that describes society and the legal process, but is rather about the fundamental basis underlying the various aspects of that process and the logical ramifications thereof. Such as, what are the limits of government and the rights of people, and where do such restrictions and freedoms come from? What are they based on? What should constitute a proper process by which individuals develop their view of what is a sound law and a sound process, and what is not? What is their duty in such a process? How can it best be fulfilled?

    A worldview based entirely upon personal sentiment is an open door to manipulation and chaos, which is what we see a lot of right now. Personal sentiment legitimizes everything and anything as “proper”, “moral”, and “just”.

  212. 212
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, I am speaking to the context of this thread and closely linked discussions. The above makes my observation self evident. KF

  213. 213
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, if a nation chooses to close its eyes to evident and material reality and indulges itself in abracadabra words, that nation is embarking on the path of a manipulated, blind march of folly.

    The issue I was addressing is who gets to make judgments concerning male-female complementarity (in the context of marriage, specifically). I guess you’re comfortable ceding this power to the state?

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    General note: The above thread, sadly, amply demonstrates the concerns in the OP in action. This case study should give us pause, but predictably it will not. Only crippling pain and horrific destructive consequences will wake up a culture bent on a march of folly. KF

  215. 215
    hrun0815 says:

    However, the argument is not about the overview flowchart that describes society and the legal process, but is rather about the fundamental basis underlying the various aspects of that process and the logical ramifications thereof.

    So you agree that every society conforms to the scheme I laid out. Yet, you are wondering about the ‘logical ramifications thereof’? What are such logical ramifications? Since this is what all societies conform to, we must have observed them and are currently observing them in all societies across the world?

    A worldview based entirely upon personal sentiment is an open door to manipulation and chaos, which is what we see a lot of right now. Personal sentiment legitimizes everything and anything as “proper”, “moral”, and “just”.

    Yet, that is the reality. You just agreed it is the reality we find ourselves in. My worldview is different from yours which is different again from anybody else in the world. You think that mine is based entirely upon personal sentiment. I think that yours is. So now what? Ah, yes, we go back to how all societies in this world function. There are laws that we follow, disregard with consequence, or attempt to change. Some may think they are proper, moral, and just laws, while others disagree.

    Welcome to humanity.

    Added as edit:

    Such as, what are the limits of government and the rights of people, and where do such restrictions and freedoms come from? What are they based on? What should constitute a proper process by which individuals develop their view of what is a sound law and a sound process, and what is not? What is their duty in such a process? How can it best be fulfilled?

    Again, all of these things are different from society to society or citizen and citizen. You must know that all societies have different founding histories: some organically evolved, some were imposed by victors in war, some where mutually agreed on in referenda, some where the product of a struggle by a few individuals, … so obviously the founding history determines the limits of the governments and the rights of the people within the societies. What they are based on is clearly again dependent on the founding history– it’s different for virtually all societies (which is one reason why societies actually differ). And duties or both set by the government and by the individuals.

    I really do not understand why all these things are not blatantly obvious for you? Why are you asking these questions?

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, you and I both know that there is objective and decisive evidence. KF

  217. 217
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    On the contrary it is objectively clear that I have in fact laid out an answer regarding cases and relevant ways for a better life pattern (including going all the way to Robert Spitzer’s work on the subject), just you seem to have overlooked it.

    You have not specifically said what you would want to do with people like Elton John, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Alex Guinness, Sir Ian McKellen, Stephen Frye, etc if they refused the treatment you proscribe.

    I guess the upshot is: you think they are bad examples, you think they should get some kind of 12-step realignment treatment but you’re not going to attempt to do anything about it. I can live with that.

    Since we got what you’re saying now will you stop bringing it up? This is not the first thread about this you’ve introduced. Why keep talking about it if you’ve got nothing to follow up with?

  218. 218
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, you and I both know that there is objective and decisive evidence. KF

    My question is, are you comfortable ceding the power to make judgments concerning male-female complementarity, in the context of marriage specifically, to the state?

  219. 219
    Andre says:

    I will say it again a male and male relationship in the natural order of things can never be equal to the relationship between a male and female..

    Do you understand why?

    The quip about mixed marriages is a non sequitur… it was objectively wrong in the first place to prevent them. Thank goodness common sense eventually prevailed. A mixed relationship still adheres to the natural order of things regardless of color the result is still human offspring. Male and male can’t have offspring regardless of color.

  220. 220
    Andre says:

    Hrun

    We can test in what kind of society we live quite easily….

    An experiment you can try go to your local mall with 2 posters…

    First picket that you are straight and proud…

    Second picket that you are gay and proud.

    You will very quickly pickup that being straight and proud is going to get you labeled a bigot, hater even worse conservative!

    Go try it…… report back here

  221. 221
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #219:

    I will say it again a male and male relationship in the natural order of things can never be equal to the relationship between a male and female..

    I guess that all depends on how you define ‘the natural order of things’.

    Male and male can’t have offspring regardless of color.

    Actually there are plenty of ‘male and male’ that do have offspring. And if it’s about natural ability to conceive, then there are many ‘male and female’ that can not have offspring.

    The quip about mixed marriages is a non sequitur… it was objectively wrong in the first place to prevent them. Thank goodness common sense eventually prevailed.

    This just remains the funniest aspect of this whole discussion. Just how adamant people are about the supposed difference between mixed-race-marriage and same-sex-marriage while completely missing the fact that the current generation already overwhelmingly sees opposition to either as equally backwards.

  222. 222
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #220:

    Ok. I did it and you are right. Now what?

  223. 223
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, I keep getting queasier and queasier about how hard we are going to crash as a civilisation and how much it will cost us. We are failing the sound upbringing of young males test. We are failing the demographic test. We are failing the debt test. We are failing the sound base of law and governance test. We are failing the sound mindset test. We are failing the sound media test. We are failing the geostrategic test, with nukes clearly in play. KF

  224. 224
    Andre says:

    A male and a male can have offspring? Really?

  225. 225
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “I am getting two different answers right now. First, you define a law as moral if people follow it.”

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Each individual determines for themselves if a law is moral. The 60+ year old person that I am today would say that anti-slavery laws are moral. The 60+ year old me in the south during the mid 1800s may not think the same thing.

    StephenB — “It isn’t my logic that is flawed because I am using your logic, which holds that a law is moral if people agree with and follow it.”

    Again, putting words in my mouth. Laws themselves have no moral value other than the moral value that people give to them. And that value will vary from person to person and over time with the same person. For example, I once thought that the law allowing SSM was a bad law. I have changed my mind. The law itself did not change in that time, just my opinion of its value.

    StephenB — “Yet, your reasons for changing [opinion on SSM] are incomprehensible.”

    They only have to be comprehensible for me. And they are.

    StephenB — “Rather than follow your previous standard, which was based on agreement with the law, you whimsically abandoned that standard, reversed your position, and blamed kairosfocus tone for the change.”

    No, I blamed KF’s tone for forcing me to review my own reasons for being against SSM. Remember, I had said from the beginning that my opposition to it was closer to indifference than emotional or logical.

    StephenB — “Except that you have contradicted that claim by saying that laws are moral if people agree with and follow them.”

    Where did I say this? I thought that I have been very clear that laws, of themselves, have no moral; value other than that which we each, as individuals, afford them.

    StephenB — “You have further contradicted yourself by saying that laws are moral if people agree with and follow them in the present, but you have also said that the real standard is not what people agree with and follow in the moment, but rather what history says about it after the fact.”

    Again, you are reading something into my words that are not there.

  226. 226
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “PS: The incredible numbers of sexual partners problem (often including anonymous partners when numbers start to climb) has for decades been a well understood problem with esp male homosexuality.”

    You do realize that this is an argument for SSM, not against it, don’t you?

  227. 227
    Andre says:

    The current generation sees it as backwards sure but does the current generation understand where it is going to take them? I will help you… humanists are having less and less offspring. Christians too are having less offspring that leaves a band of people that are fanatical in their religion currently growing faster than other groups. Soon they will be in the majority in many western countries.

    They don’t sing my or your tune. Here we are debating, heckling but at the end of the day I go home and so do you. These people don’t debate, they chop off heads. They are winning and tyranny is coming, the young ones are not going to be equipped to deal with this because a false truce was created by the false idea of the enemy of my enemy is friend.

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, in fact so-called same sex marriages do NOT stop the multiple partners problem, due to the same basic dynamics being at work. For, just making up abracadabra words and imposing them under colour of law cannot suffice to actually create something with the characteristics of genuine marriage. The Girgis paper provides details, but that is the problem we are a generation that will not endure a serious discussion that does not tickle our ears with what we want to hear. KF

  229. 229
    Andre says:

    The defenition of the natural order of things is not some unknowable mystery it’s the observation on how the world works. When I insert my penis into the vagina of the same species as me and we copulate there is a very good chance that there will be offspring. This is natural and it has happened for eons. We observe it over and over always the same. The natural order of things.

  230. 230
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #224:

    offspring, def: a person’s child or children.

    and

    from Wikipedia: “… adoption by same-sex couples is also legal in all the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of June 26, 2015”

    So yes, male-male couples can indeed have offspring. You seem surprised.

  231. 231
    Andre says:

    I have never seen a male impregnate another male thus it can be safely said that male and female partnerships are the natural order of things, and until that happens that males and males can naturally and regularly make viable offspring like male and female copulation, it remains unnatural.

  232. 232
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #227: I guess you can join KF then in predicting the doom of western civilization.

    Re #229: Yes, I did have the talk about birds and bees already. Thank you. That does not explain why male-male marriages can not have the same standing as male-female marriages. Again, facts on the ground say they do have equal standing under the law and in the eyes of much of the population. Your views (according to your personal preferences or what you call the natural order of things) not withstanding.

  233. 233
    Andre says:

    Hrun

    Can a male and male couple Naturally make offspring through copulation with each other? Yes or no?

  234. 234
    Andre says:

    Hrun

    As human beings they have equal standing marriage in the natural order of its intended purpose to create viable offspring they don’t because they can’t naturally produce viable offspring in such a partnership. Males and females complete each other a sperm and an egg is the minimum requirement. The one has the sperm the other the egg. The natural order of things.

  235. 235
    StephenB says:

    Hrun0815

    Stephen, from reading your posts questioning the morality of laws or your puzzlement that you get multiple answers depending on the person or time in question leads me to believe that you want or expect all laws to be moral according to a certain standard.

    You need some moral standard to determine if any given law is morally justified. Suppose that you are a Jew living under the Nazi regime. You and your friends are rounded up and taken to the gas chamber. As you wait to be executed, you say to the executioner, “By what right do you put me to death. I have done no harm to anyone.” He says, “its the law. All Jews must die.” Are you going to buy that answer. Or, are you going to say, “By what right do you pass such a hateful, arbitrary, and stupid law.” As he gasses you to death he says, “I don’t need to justify it. Goodbye”

    Is there a problem here? Or is it the case that any law the state chooses to pass is automatically justified by virtue of the fact that it comes from the state?

    Is that correct? I guess it sort of jibes with the fact that you might actually believe there is such a thing as universal morality.

    Yes, there is an objective moral code, and it informs us about what is right and wrong. There is no other way to determine which laws are just and which ones have been whimsically imposed by some tyrannical regime? That is one function of the Natural Moral Law. If the civil law (laws passed by the state) do not conform to the Natural Moral Law, then they are unjust and should not be passed. Or, to put it another way, the natural moral law is superior to and has the moral authority to guide the civil law.

  236. 236
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #229:

    I have never seen a male impregnate another male thus it can be safely said as u natural to the order of thing and until that happens as regularly as male and female copulation it remains unnatural.

    Yes, yes, we understand your attitude. Sexual behavior that can not lead to impregnation is unnatural. So what?

  237. 237
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #235:

    Is there a problem here? Or is it the case that any law the state chooses to pass is automatically justified by virtue of the fact that it comes from the state?

    Yes, there is a problem. For example there was Nazi Germany as you so aptly describe where indeed people disagreed on what’s moral and what is not. Likewise, there is a disagreement on this board about morality, natural order, legality, … of same-sex-marriage.

    This is the world we live in. You might claim there is a moral standard that everybody should follow. And I claim there is as well. We simply do not agree on what this moral standard is– and both are irrelevant for the law.

    Yes, there is an objective moral code, and it informs us about what is right and wrong.

    Yet, virtually all of us have differing opinions about what is right and wrong. Hmm. Now what?

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, all your children are belong to US, then? Do you really want to go down that road? (Especially given the Greek model . . . ) KF

    PS: I suggest you will find the history of the Peloponnesian war and its aftermath illuminating on the collapse of Athens, likewise that of the decline and collapse of the Western Roman empire. The illusion of being immune to the dynamics of collapse is yet another sign of the march of folly we are on. Those who refuse to learn from history (oh, it’s just useless copy-paste stuff . . . ) are doomed to repeat its worst chapters.

  239. 239
    Andre says:

    How can it be natural? And it’s not an attitude it is again the natural order of things. Can you prove it natural?

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, the issue is one of objective evidence, not imposition of state fiat; even the state is under moral government, under the natural, moral law of our nature. Ponder Magna Carta’s admission: To no one will we sell, to no one delay or deny, right and justice. Ponder, in this context, how the denarius started out as a silver coin and ended as a copper one, and how that intersected with the decline and ultimate collapse of Rome. Yes, the old copper penny had a lot to teach us, if we were only willing to listen. KF

  241. 241
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #238:

    HR, all your children are belong to US, then? Do you really want to go down that road? KF

    What are you talking about? It’s the same thing I established with WJM: This is a consequence of being a member of a society with laws. I have to follow these laws just like you do. If we do not like the laws we can attempt to change them, disregard them and suffer the consequences meted out by society, or leave the society.

    What other options are there, KF?

  242. 242
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #239:

    Is your standard that any given activity is unnatural if it can not lead to impregnation?

  243. 243
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, the issue is one of objective evidence, not imposition of state fiat; even the state is under moral government, under the natural, moral law of our nature.

    That’s not the issue I’m debating at the moment. In our system, citizens decide what powers to turn over to the government. I don’t know how your government works.

    So it’s our decision whether the government should be deciding who can get married, based on “male-female complementarity”.

  244. 244
    Andre says:

    Hrun

    You are bordering on being obscene….

  245. 245
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    the objective evidence is patent. The increasing unwillingness to accept the significance of maleness, femaleness and complementarity of the sexes is a very bad sign for our civilisation.

    Jesus spoke straight to us in the famed Sermon on the Mount:

    Matt 6: 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! [NET]

    KF

  246. 246
    Andre says:

    DaveS

    Did the people of the US have a referendum on the issue or did a few judges decide?

  247. 247
    Andre says:

    Hrun

    So let me ask you again since you seem unwilling to give me a straight answer. Can a male and a male that copulate produce viable offspring naturally?

    Yes or no will suffice.

  248. 248
    Andre says:

    If for whatever reason this is not naturally possible how can we justify or deem it natural or the same to the natural process of male and female copulation, that does indeed produce viable offspring? Are both cases the same? Are they matter of factly equavalant? What say you?

  249. 249
    hrun0815 says:

    Re 247: No. So?

    Remember I also answered your previous hypothetical about picketing at the mall. That also ended in “So?”.

  250. 250
    velikovskys says:

    Andre:
    Did the people of the US have a referendum on the issue or did a few judges decide?

    People voted for the person who appointed the judges.

  251. 251
    Andre says:

    Right so you agree that it’s not natural. Does anything good come from deviating away from the natural order of things?

    Yes or no will do…

  252. 252
    Andre says:

    So by the same token if the people we voted for have a change of heart that being gay is unnatural and all people that are gay should be executed you will be OK with that because you voted for them to decide on your behalf?

  253. 253
    Andre says:

    There is something fundamentally wrong with people’s thought processes. It saddens me greatly…..

  254. 254
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #251:

    No.

    There are many activities that I partake in that will and can not lead to procreation. I do not think of these as unnatural. And even if we were to agree that they are indeed unnatural, so what?

  255. 255
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    I am saying that no laws passed by the state are moral. The morality only comes from the people who agree with them and follow them.

    You are contradicting yourself here. The clear meaning of your first sentence is that the law has no morality—ever. The clear meaning of your words in the second sentence is that the law has no morality until the people agree with and follow it, at which time, it does.

    The word “from” indicates that something is being conferred “to” something else—from the people to the law. Thus, the law has had morality conferred on it from the people. This is confirmed by your present statement:

    Laws themselves have no moral value other than the moral value that people give to them.

    Notice, again, that the morality of laws is, as you would have it, something the people “give” to those laws. If the people give something to a law, then the law has what has been given. So, again, you contradict yourself. Otherwise, the word “give” has no meaning. First, you say that laws have no morality. Then you say that the people “give” morality to the law. Do you understand your error?

    Laws themselves have no moral value other than the moral value that people give to them. And that value will vary from person to person and over time with the same person. For example, I once thought that the law allowing SSM was a bad law. I have changed my mind. The law itself did not change in that time, just my opinion of its value.

    If the value of a law is determined by the “people,” which is the collective, then it cannot also be determined by any individual since many individuals with give it no value at all. Surely, you can grasp your error here.

  256. 256
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #252:

    So by the same token if the people we voted for have a change of heart that being gay is unnatural and all people that are gay should be executed you will be OK with that because you voted for them to decide on your behalf?

    Again, nobody ever claimed that you have to be “ok” with every law. If there is a law you are not “ok” with you have a few choices:

    – Follow the law anyway.
    – Refuse to follow the law and suffer the consequences meted out by society.
    – Attempt to change the law (I guess in the meantime you chose whether or not to follow the law).
    – Leave society.

    What other choices do you think you have?

  257. 257
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    the objective evidence is patent. The increasing unwillingness to accept the significance of maleness, femaleness and complementarity of the sexes is a very bad sign for our civilisation.

    I think the unwillingness is to accept your version of what consistitutes malesness, and femaleness because somebody said Jesus said something.

    I do find it strange that the immaterial concept of love has been absent from these discussions .

    It is also strange that people who champion the immaterial aspect of humans seem fixated on the material body as the defining quality of what makes our identity. That without procreative ability we are less.

    By the way when was the golden age of civilization again?

  258. 258
    Andre says:

    So?

    I brush my teeth 2 times a day it also does no lead to procreation but certainly assists in it becoming possible is it unnatural to brush my teeth? Try not to play silly games.

  259. 259
    velikovskys says:

    Andre:
    Right so you agree that it’s not natural. Does anything good come from deviating away from the natural order of things?

    Cancer is natural

  260. 260

    hrun0815 said:

    Yet, you are wondering about the ‘logical ramifications thereof’? What are such logical ramifications? Since this is what all societies conform to, we must have observed them and are currently observing them in all societies across the world?

    Yes, the flowchart works whether there is a despotic ruler forcing his personal whims on a population via an army, or a ground level, networked group of bureaucracies where every rule is voted on either by the general population or by representatives, or if a set of founding principles are assumed valid and all law from there on must be argued and employed as rational extensions of those principles.

    So? Such a generic flowchart tells us nothing specific whatsoever about what specific process is best or what principles should serve as the basis for law.

    You think that mine is based entirely upon personal sentiment. I think that yours is. So now what?

    I was responding to Ellazim and the answers he gave me to the specific questions I asked you about the basis of law, whether or not he agreed with all laws, etc., indicated to me that his view of such things is based on personal sentiment.

    If your views are not based on sentiment, then upon what objective or presumed objective foundation should laws and social mores be based?

    My views about what should be legal or socially embraced are not based on personal sentiment. IOW, I don’t decide if a thing should be legal, or should be socially endorsed, based on what I consider to be nothing more than what I feel about a thing, or what I consider to be personal sentiment. Nor is it based upon some utopian ideal or any religious scripture. I’m not really even interested in whether or not something appears to be in the best interests of society, because “the best interests of society” because I have no idea what that would mean and the means of collecting evidence to support such claims is, IMO, probably entirely corrupted by competing agendas.

    Yet, that is the reality. You just agreed it is the reality we find ourselves in.

    No, it is not. I agreed that your basic flowchart covers virtually every form of government. I certainly didn’t agree that such governments should operate from sentiment.

    I really do not understand why all these things are not blatantly obvious for you?

    Describing an “is” doesn’t answer the question of “ought”, nor does it answer how those oughts are grounded and extracted.

    What you seem to be saying is, essentially, that the real world system is based on “because I feel like it, because I can”; IOW, if I can make culture and law into what I want, then I may do so however I see fit, and if I wan, then what I say becomes good and right by virtue of being what is. Essentially, might makes right. Correct?

  261. 261
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #258:

    I’m playing silly games? It was your standard that something needs to lead to procreation in order to be considered natural. And in addition, it was your standard that being considered natural has an influence on whether something should be legal.

    This is your silly game! I’m simply showing how absurd it is.

  262. 262
    velikovskys says:

    Andre:
    There is something fundamentally wrong with people’s thought processes. It saddens me greatly

    The hardness of people’s hearts saddens me greatly

  263. 263
    Andre says:

    Here we go…. “love”

    I love having intercourse with my dog because I really love my dog. Are you going to stand in the way of the love I have for my dog and the intercourse we enjoy? Love overcomes all and if it offends you that I share this special bond with my dog you are a bigot!

    Lover overcomes everything and conquers all! Blah blah blah!

  264. 264
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #260:

    So? Such a generic flowchart tells us nothing specific whatsoever about what specific process is best or what principles should serve as the basis for law.

    So we are not arguing about how things are, but how YOU feel they should be?

    If your views are not based on sentiment […]

    Mine is based on “sentiment” if you like. Certainly, there is no outside authority that dictated to me what is moral and what is not and I chose to accept it whether it fit my sentiment or not. And the same, I posit, is true of you.

    Interestingly, if you are not driven by outdated scripture, then I would guess that more often than not we actually agree on what is moral and what is not and what should be legal in a society and what should be not.

    No, it is not. I agreed that your basic flowchart covers virtually every form of government. I certainly didn’t agree that such governments should operate from sentiment.

    I didn’t say that is how reality SHOULD be. I said that is how reality ACTUALLY is.

    Describing an “is” doesn’t answer the question of “ought”, nor does it answer how those oughts are grounded and extracted.

    Ah, yes, is and ought. The funny thing is that however much you feel your oughts are grounded, you still have to convince others to agree with your oughts. That, it turns out, does not become easier no matter how grounded you think they are.

  265. 265
    Andre says:

    Who’s heart is hard yours? Sorry to hear mate but hearts are just chemical reactions that obey the laws of nature. Don’t know how you could have become so powerful that you can defy nature.

  266. 266
    Eugen says:

    Discussion is interesting but we have to keep in mind that issues re. homosexuals are blown out of proportion. Homosexuals only make 1.6% of population.

    They are statistically insignificant as consumers, taxpayers and voters. When we think logically about it, attention they are given is a distraction from serious problems nations face: crime, corruption, economic instability, wars, usurpation of power, wealth concentration ….. All surveys show that majority of people list those as main problems. Unfortunately distractions are always there.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the.....unity.html

  267. 267
    velikovskys says:

    Aristotle on natural order:
    “For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule. . . . Where then there is such a difference as that between soul and body, or between men and animals (as in the case of those whose business is to use their body, and who can do nothing better), the lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master. For he who can be, and therefore is, another’s and he who participates in rational principle enough to apprehend, but not to have, such a principle, is a slave by nature.”

  268. 268
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #244:

    Hrun

    You are bordering on being obscene….

    What??? What did I write that is bordering on obscene?

  269. 269
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    the objective evidence is patent. The increasing unwillingness to accept the significance of maleness, femaleness and complementarity of the sexes is a very bad sign for our civilisation.

    Jesus spoke straight to us in the famed Sermon on the Mount:

    To repeat once more, I’m not contesting the evidence at the moment. I’m saying that we as citizens of the US ultimately decide what powers to give to the government.

  270. 270

    Ellazimm said:

    I do not believe my view should take precedence. I believe I have a right for my view to be aired (not necessarily listened to) and I expect to be on the losing side sometimes and on the winning side others.

    If my view has merit then I expect to be able to (eventually) win some people over with my arguments including data and research. If I can’t do that then . . . it’s my problem.

    If you think that’s not a rational form of governance then I’d like to hear your alternative.

    You have yet to say what your view is based on or where it comes from. You say “if your view has merit” – has merit according to what? What metric or principle should determine if your view “has merit”? Do you just bounce it off of others and if they agree, and say things you feel are good, then your view “has merit”? Does popularity give it merit?

    How can your concept of governance, right and wrong, what should and should not be legal, what society should and should not accept, be considered “rational” when haven’t provided even a clue as to what your view is based on and how you determine their correctness or value?

  271. 271
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    History almost suggests that there is no such thing as objective morality, doesn’t it?

    Actually, you indicate a belief in objective morality every time you express outrage over bigotry. You claim that everyone creates his own morality, but when the bigot applies that very same principle, you cry foul. You object to bigotry because you recognize there is something objectively wrong with it.

  272. 272
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #271:

    Let’s, for sake of argument, agree that indeed everybody believes in objective morality (some people just fail to recognize it as such). What do we have gained?

    People would still, in some cases vehemently so, disagree on what is right and what is wrong.

  273. 273
    Andre says:

    This discussion has been good it has highlighted two things I deem important and from the actions of everyone is clear to see.

    Objective morality exist!
    Free will exist!

    Why do I say so? People have acknowledged that natural moral laws exist. They have also indicated that we have the ability to override those natural moral laws.

    Thank you guys!

  274. 274

    hrun0815 asks:

    What (..) have [we] gained?

    We’ve gained the basis for the possiblity of a rational debate and rational agreements on morality and law. Without presuming that morality refers to an objective commodity, all we can base our argument on is personal sentiment, which equally validates anything and everything. All that matters then is who has the biggest stick.

  275. 275
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #274:

    All that matters then is who has the biggest stick.

    Yes, I have hear that argument before, yet, it is simply not borne out in reality.

    Plenty of people who believe in objective morality try to impose it with big sticks while plenty of people who do not continue to have rational debate on the matter without resorting to ‘personal sentiment’.

  276. 276
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #273:

    Hurray. You made some whacky proclamations followed by exclamation marks that don’t actually have any connection to what actually happened in the thread.

    You, sir, win the internet for the day!!!

  277. 277
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “Folks, I keep getting queasier and queasier about how hard we are going to crash as a civilisation and how much it will cost us.”

    I get the feeling that you would be very disappointed if we don’t go over your metaphorical cliff.

  278. 278
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #274:

    You know, I have taken part or observed these discussions about objective and subjective morality so many times now and the thing that I simply can not understand is this:

    Are you unable to have a discussion about morality without ascertaining if your conversation partner does or does not believe in objective morality? Is it always the first question that has to come up? Or can you have these discussion for quite some time without asking the question?

    My guess is the latter is true. If so, doesn’t that mean you can have rational discussion irrespective whether or not the discussion partner believes in objective morality? Or does the discussion retroactively become ‘impossible’ as soon as you find out?

  279. 279
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “The incredible numbers of sexual partners problem (often including anonymous partners when numbers start to climb) has for decades been a well understood problem with esp male homosexuality.””

    KF — “ZL, in fact so-called same sex marriages do NOT stop the multiple partners problem, due to the same basic dynamics being at work.”

    And neither does it with opposite sex couples. But to declare that same sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry because the average homosexual has multiple partners does not fly unless you are willing to extend this prohibition to opposite sex individuals who have had multiple partners.

    There is no such thing as an average homosexual. Homosexuals range from 100% monogamous to promiscuous. As is the case with heterosexuals.

    Your statement is on a par with claiming that the average black is violent, the average jew is shifty, the average Mexican is lazy and the average Indian is a drunk. There is a word for people who use these types of statements to justify a belief, and I believe that shoe is your exact size.

  280. 280
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #279:

    Ziggy, the scale actually goes all the way to celibate.

  281. 281
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “Jesus spoke straight to us in the famed Sermon on the Mount:”

    🙂 He also hung out with guys. 🙂

  282. 282
    kairosfocus says:

    VS, tactic of personalisation and polarisation in reply to an objective phenomenon is duly noted. KF

  283. 283
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, can the people decide to give the government power to deem that pi is 22/7? KF

  284. 284
    Phinehas says:

    ZL:

    Are you asking the 60+ year old Canadian in 2016, or the hypothetical 60+ year old me living in the southern US in the mid 1800s? You might get very different answers. And we would both be equally sure of the morality of our answers.

    Are you suggesting that your morality is so very malleable that it is wholly and completely subject to the whims of whatever environment you are raised in?

    In light of this, is it any wonder that WJM is suggesting that reason ought to play a larger part in forming one’s morality? Or are you, in fact, completely satisfied with possessing the sort of fickle morality that fits itself easily into whatever mold popular society might suggest?

  285. 285
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre — “I have never seen a male impregnate another male…”

    What movies you watch in the privacy of your home is your choice. I prefer movies with a plot and a different kind of action.

    Andre — “…thus it can be safely said that male and female partnerships are the natural order of things, and until that happens that males and males can naturally and regularly make viable offspring like male and female copulation, it remains unnatural.

    I guess that nobody bothered to tell nature about this natural order of things.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, if I didn’t care or wished our civilisation ill, I would not be warning. I think you need to ponder the projections you have been making. As it is, the warping of thinking, law, institutions and much more on display in this thread alone are tripping a red warning flag. KF

  287. 287
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #284:

    Phineas, you seem to deride Ziggy for suggesting that morality as malleable as such. Yet, looking at morality across geography and time suggests that he is, in fact, right.

    Even if morality is objective and universal, it seems that we indeed mold our morality largely to the current society we are born into, influenced mostly by the people we look up to as authorities during our formative years (e.g. parents, siblings, peers, teachers, …).

    How else would you explain such phenomena as that mixed-marriages were generally considered to be morally wrong and now they are not? Or that gay marriages are considered morally wrong in much of the midwest by not on much of the coasts?

  288. 288
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, animals are not morally governed, responsibly and rationally free; we are. That you apparently do not see the crucial difference is yet another warning flag. KF

  289. 289
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    This is the world we live in. You might claim there is a moral standard that everybody should follow. And I claim there is as well. We simply do not agree on what this moral standard is– and both are irrelevant for the law.

    By its very nature, every law is based on a moral assumption. There are no exceptions. The law against insider trading are based on the moral law against stealing. The law that guides behavior at a four way stop sign is based on the principle that the first driver to enter the intersection “ought” to have the right of way. Laws against libel and slander are based on the moral conviction that everyone is entitled to keep his good name if he has earned it. So it is with every law, which screams “This is the way it ought to be.”

    Yet, virtually all of us have differing opinions about what is right and wrong. Hmm. Now what?

    Everyone has access to basic moral principles which they know deep down are true. At that point, they can fine tune their knowledge by using their reason–unless their judgment is clouded somewhere along the way through brainwashing or through the loss of internal freedom brought on by unhealthy moral habits. Adulterers, for example, lose their capacity to recognize the moral law against adultery. Militant Islamists lose their natural capacity to recognize the inherent dignity of the human person through brainwashing.

  290. 290
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Phinehas — “Are you suggesting that your morality is so very malleable that it is wholly and completely subject to the whims of whatever environment you are raised in?”

    No, I am suggesting that what we perceive as morality is affected by the times and culture we live in. As mentioned above, Aristotle believed that slavery was the natural order of things for some people (i.e., not immoral). Does anyone really think that he would feel the same if he was alive today?

    Prior to the sixties, there was a significant proportion of the population in the US that believed that inter-racial marriage (especially between blacks and whites) was immoral. Would all of these people think the same thing if they were born today?

  291. 291

    hrun0815 asks:

    Are you unable to have a discussion about morality without ascertaining if your conversation partner does or does not believe in objective morality?

    I’m unable to have a rational discussion, because there is no basis for one. All we would be talking about is personal likes and dislikes. We could certainly have a civil discussion about our personal likes and dislikes, but I would never dream of attempting to impose that which I considered my personal likes and dislikes on anyone, much less through the law.

    But, this is the result of modern academia and popular culture; confusing civil discussion with rational debate. Rational debate stems from agreed upon premises and proceeds according to certain principles. The foremost of which is, given a premise such as “SSM is morally acceptable and should be made law”, the ensuing question would be, why should I adopt your premise?”

    The answer “Because I feel it is okay and I feel bad for gays who cannot be legally married and it makes them unhappy” really doesn’t provide much of a sound basis for adopting your premise. Sorry.

  292. 292
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #291:

    I’m unable to have a rational discussion, …

    Ok.

  293. 293

    hrun0815 said:

    Phineas, you seem to deride Ziggy for suggesting that morality as malleable as such. Yet, looking at morality across geography and time suggests that he is, in fact, right.

    Because people in different times and places had different beliefs about what makes people sick, or what the moon & stars were and why they moved the way they did, does that mean that such things are actually subjective in nature? Or does it mean that many of the views about such things were simply wrong?

  294. 294
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #289:

    Ok. you believe that every law is based on a moral assumption. Still: “We simply do not agree on what this moral standard is.”

    Now what?

    Everyone has access to basic moral principles which they know deep down are true.

    That’s I guess why we largely agree on the big stuff like ‘killing is bad’.

    At that point, they can fine tune their knowledge by using their reason …

    Again, for whatever reason (either different fine tuning, or brainwashing, or something else) people now come to different conclusions about what is moral and what is not (i.e. what should be law and what should not be).

    Now what?

  295. 295
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #293:

    WJM, we can not have rational discourse about morality. It seems folly to address my points.

    And indeed, they were simply wrong. The question is ‘why were they wrong’?

  296. 296
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    I would suggest that this:

    How else would you explain such phenomena as that mixed-marriages were generally considered to be morally wrong and now they are not? Or that gay marriages are considered morally wrong in much of the midwest by not on much of the coasts?

    Follows quite naturally from this:

    Yet, virtually all of us have differing opinions about what is right and wrong. Hmm. Now what?

    As long as opinions are considered primary in determining right and wrong, right and wrong will morph just as readily as opinions.

    Now what indeed! Maybe give a listen to what WJM has been saying all along?

  297. 297

    WJM, we can not have rational discourse about morality.

    As you wish.

  298. 298
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #296:

    Sorry, WJM and I can’t even have rational discourse on morality.

    And, but the way, I know ‘now what’. All societies across the world and time function without everybody agreeing on morality.

    Take the US. We generally disagree on the morality of same sex marriage. Yet, through a prescribed procedure we ended up with laws that allowed same sex marriage. Completely independent of what you or I think of the morality.

    Now, again, if I don’t like this I have choices:

    – Disregard the law (like Kim whats-her-name, e.g.).
    – Follow the law (like most others).
    – Attempt to change the law.
    – Leave the society and find one more to my liking.

    That’s my ‘now what’. What is yours?

  299. 299
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #297:

    That is not my wish. That is your expressed and confirmed opinion. I do not believe in objective morality and as such you feel you can not have rational discourse.

    I think it is a waste of time to have irrational discourse.

  300. 300
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Again, for whatever reason (either different fine tuning, or brainwashing, or something else) people now come to different conclusions about what is moral and what is not (i.e. what should be law and what should not be).

    Now what?

    That’s a great question, and I think an honest one. To tie this back into WJM’s OP, can we at least agree on what shouldn’t happen next?

    One person shouldn’t call the other person hateful or a bigot simply because they’ve landed on a different conclusion. This would stifle debate and make it that much harder to continue using reason in trying to figure out how to move forward. Instead, both sides ought to be empowered to speak freely in debating the merits and making a reasoned case. If minds are open to reason, then surely reason has a chance to prevail in the end.

  301. 301

    daveS asks:

    Which I assume still applies to you? You could still be missing something even in your current marriage.

    Not just with my marriage, but in all sorts of avenues of experience.

    Well, I’m not denying anything here, just pointing out that these same-sex couples seem just as “married” as my wife and I.

    I guess that all depends on what your concept of “marriage” is, and that’s really the root of the issue – if “marriage” is just a term used in law to define a certain legal contract, and thus entirely malleable by terminology and the law; or if instead it refers to something actual which cannot be redefined by terminology or made into something else by decree of law.

  302. 302
    vividbleau says:

    Hrun RE 299

    “I do not believe in objective morality and as such you feel you can not have rational discourse.”

    WJM does not FEEL anything, what he said was “because there is no basis for one” He stated a reason not a feeling.

    Vivid

  303. 303
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Take the US. We generally disagree on the morality of same sex marriage. Yet, through a prescribed procedure we ended up with laws that allowed same sex marriage. Completely independent of what you or I think of the morality.

    But the laws aren’t really completely independent of what you or I think of the morality. In democratic governments, they tend to follow from popular opinion on morality, which helps explain why people are so invested in morality on both sides of the debate. (One side merely emphasizes the immorality of “hate” and “bigotry.”) But in the end, it is a moral argument intended to sway public opinion in order to end up with the desired vote/ruling/whatever.

    It is, however, very interesting to see the debate morph ever-so-quickly to merely a legal one as soon as one’s preferred vote/ruling/whatever has been instantiated as law.

    Now, again, if I don’t like this I have choices:

    – Disregard the law (like Kim whats-her-name, e.g.).
    – Follow the law (like most others).
    – Attempt to change the law.
    – Leave the society and find one more to my liking.

    That’s my ‘now what’. What is yours?

    This is a very convenient ‘now what’ once the law seems to favor one’s moral position, but is not nearly so convenient when it doesn’t. That’s why the above list is not one I would have offered up to Rosa Parks, for instance, and I suspect you wouldn’t have either. Rather, you would have cried out with all the conviction within you that the law was immoral and that Rosa Parks and others had the inherent right and even responsibility to defy it. At least, that’s what you would have done if you would have believed that your morality existed apart from the popular opinion of the hour.

  304. 304
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #302:

    I called it feel because despite of WJM’s stated reason we were actually having rational discourse. Yet he feels or believes or thinks or whatever that it actually wasn’t. So be it.

  305. 305
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: David Clarke and Robert Rakestraw observe:

    Principles are broad general guidelines that all persons ought to follow. Morality is the dimension of life related to right conduct. It includes virtuous character and honorable intentions as well as the decisions and actions that grow out of them. Ethics on the other hand, is the [philosophical and theological] study of morality . . . [that is,] a higher order discipline that examines moral living in all its facets . . . . on three levels. The first level, descriptive ethics, simply portrays moral actions or virtues. A second level, normative ethics (also called prescriptive ethics), examines the first level, evaluating actions or virtues as morally right or wrong. A third level, metaethics, analyses the second . . . It clarifies the meaning of ethical terms and assesses the principles of ethical argument . . . . Some think, without reflecting on it, that . . . what people actually do is the standard of what is morally right . . . [But, what] actually happens and what ought to happen are quite different . . . . A half century ago, defenders of positivism routinely argued that descriptive statements are meaningful, but prescriptive statements (including all moral claims) are meaningless . . . In other words, ethical claims give no information about the world; they only reveal something about the emotions of the speaker . . . . Yet ethical statements do seem to say something about the realities to which they point. “That’s unfair!” encourages us to attend to circumstances, events, actions, or relationships in the world. We look for a certain quality in the world (not just the speaker’s mind) that we could properly call unfair. [Readings in Christian Ethics, Vol. 1: Theory and Method. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002), pp. 18 – 19]

    This may help clarify.

    KF

  306. 306
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, can the people decide to give the government power to deem that pi is 22/7? KF

    Not correctly.

    The people can decide to withhold from the government power to restrict marriage based on “male-female complementarity” concerns.

  307. 307
    Eugen says:

    You feel a lot, hrun. You should feel less. I commend Kairos, Stephen , William, phineas and others for patience with you

  308. 308
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, Jesus had disciples, altogether hundreds. Of these two core groups were the twelve (under training for leadership) and the women of the company who provided logistical support. KF

  309. 309
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #303:

    Phineas, you are mistaken about this being my convenient position because the law favors my moral position. I’m happy to pick any other example and I will come to the same position:

    Follow the law.
    Break the law.
    Work to change the law.
    Or leave.

    There are many laws I vehement disagree with. For example the death penalty. Laws governing much of police action. Sentencing laws and guidelines. Powers to start wars. All the way down to stop signs, speed limits, drug restrictions

    Again. What other choice than the four outlined above do I have?

  310. 310
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #300:

    In principle, maybe. But certainly not always. In some cases when people are being hateful a teasomable course of action is to call them on it. lIlsise when people are racist or bigoted.

    Surely, to engage an individual is likely to lead to better understanding. Yet, for some opinions there is no reconciliation or understanding no matter how open the mind.

    Surely it’s not necessary to come up with an example, but the past is full f them. At some point you stop talking to your racist uncle, move on with your life, and hope that his views will hopefully die out in the end.

  311. 311
    hrun0815 says:

    Im off for the rest of the night.

  312. 312
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, Jesus had disciples, altogether hundreds. Of these two core groups were the twelve (under training for leadership) and the women of the company who provided logistical support. KF”

    Logistical support? Your misogyny is showing. How come that does not surprise me?

  313. 313
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    Ok. you believe that every law is based on a moral assumption. Still: We simply do not agree on what this moral standard is.


    Permit me a minor correction. I don’t believe that laws are formed on moral assumptions; I know that laws are formed on moral assumptions. The difference is kind of important. The question is whether or not those assumptions are in conformity with the Natural Moral Law.

    So far, we seem to agree with Thou Shalt Not Kill, Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, and Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor, all of which are part of the Natural Moral Law, which can be known by reason unaided by the Bible. That is a significant amount of agreement already.

    That’s I guess why we largely agree on the big stuff like ‘killing is bad’.

    Right. That puts you far ahead of ziggy, who says that there is no morality to the law.

    SB: At that point, they can fine tune their knowledge by using their reason …

    Again, for whatever reason (either different fine tuning, or brainwashing, or something else) people now come to different conclusions about what is moral and what is not (i.e. what should be law and what should not be).

    People don’t come to different conclusions, but they do have different feelings. Everyone who is open to reason knows the basic difference between right and wrong (though not necessarily the more subtle aspects which require deeper thought, and perhaps some moral education).

    If, for example, one should not commit the act of adultery, it follows that he should also not wallow in the thought of lust, which is the origin and cause of the act. In like fashion, if one should not commit the act of murder, he should also not wallow in the thought of hate, which is the origin and cause of the act. This is one example of how we can use our reason to grow in our understanding of morality. What a man does is important, but why he does it is even more important. This again, can be known by reason.

    The problem is that some people don’t want to know the truth because they have been acting against it. In that case, the natural moral law is a reproach on their way of living. So they abandon reason to escape the truth and their conscience. (Some people take this to the extreme of saying that there is no such thing as reason or rules for logic). Or, perhaps they have been harmed (or harmed themselves) to the point where their judgment is clouded.

  314. 314
    kairosfocus says:

    FYI, from a blog post by Harvard Prof Mark Tushnet:

    The culture wars are over; they lost, we won. Remember, they were the ones who characterized constitutional disputes as culture wars . . . For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) I should note that LGBT activists in particular seem to have settled on the hard-line approach, while some liberal academics defend more accommodating approaches. When specific battles in the culture wars were being fought, it might have made sense to try to be accommodating after a local victory, because other related fights were going on, and a hard line might have stiffened the opposition in those fights. But the war’s over, and we won.

    Sounds familiar?

    The slide down the double slippery slopes is underway, and the attitude visible in this and other threads is here seen again.

    Our civilisation is beginning to pay a price we will not believe ahead of the full measure. (But those who are pushing the agenda should remember the lesson of the Peloponnessian war: ultimate, mutual ruin.)

    KF

  315. 315
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, you don’t know your NT, which shows in your haste to personalise, polarise and project. KF

  316. 316
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    There are many laws I vehement disagree with. For example the death penalty. Laws governing much of police action. Sentencing laws and guidelines. Powers to start wars. All the way down to stop signs, speed limits, drug restrictions

    Again. What other choice than the four outlined above do I have?

    One would hope that you would have the choice to put forward your reasons and expect an open and honest discourse in return. Wouldn’t you want that discourse to go beyond someone simply reminding you of your options wrt the law?

    Follow the law.
    Break the law.
    Work to change the law.
    Or leave.

    “Hey HR, that’s awesome that you think drug restrictions are actually overtaxing police departments, promoting a criminal culture among the underprivileged, and distracting focus from real crime, but it’s the law, so here are your choices.”

    Follow the law.
    Break the law.
    Work to change the law.
    Or leave.

    “So you think the state killing people actually diminishes our worth as humans? OK, but it’s the law, so here are your options.”

    Follow the law.
    Break the law.
    Work to change the law.
    Or leave.

    “Hey Rosa Parks, it’s nice that you think segregation fails to recognize the inherent value in human beings, but it’s the law, so feel free to make your choice.”

    Follow the law.
    Break the law.
    Work to change the law.
    Or leave.

    Don’t you see how this could be perceived as just another way to shut down debate so that one side can “win” the argument without actually arguing anything?

  317. 317
    ziggy lorenc says:

    StephenB — “That puts you far ahead of ziggy, who says that there is no morality to the law.”

    And there isn’t. But on the laws that almost everybody agrees on (the list you provided is a good one) the moral authority comes from the people, not the law itself. But even with the list you provided, there may be exceptions. Is it morally acceptable to kill to defend yourself or your children? Is it morally acceptable to steal food to feed your children?

    If you can definitively answer these questions, you are a better woman than I.

  318. 318
  319. 319
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, you don’t know your NT, which shows in your haste to personalise, polarise and project. KF”

    I was criticizing your use of the phrase “logistic support”, not the NT. Girl Friday’s provide “logistical support”. Secretaries provide “logistical support”. Staff Seargents provide “logistical support”. A subservient role to those making the important decisions.

    Your choice of that phrase speaks volumes about your ideas about women. Not that I was not already aware of them.

  320. 320
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, the excuse — actually, doubling down — for a blunder driven by ignorance and projection of a convenient strawman caricature, fails. FYI, logistics is a major theme in both military and managerial disciplines and logistical support is precisely apt for “Mary (called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Cuza (Herod’s household manager), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.” Given an ill-informed military reference, here is Napoleon: “strategy and tactics can be mastered in an afternoon by an intelligent schoolboy; it is logistics which is not unworthy of the labours of a Leibniz or a Newton.” For, it is logistics which makes operations feasible. I recall here an incident in the Western Desert where Rommel personally led a relief column of trucks to get his stranded panzers moving again. Logistics is neither a dirty nor a disparaging word, it is in fact the pivot of strategic operations. You have managed to again show implacable hostility, a chip on the shoulder point and shriek mentality, disregard for duties of care to truth and fairness and willingness to put the worst possible rhetorical construction on those you disagree with. Another red flag. KF

  321. 321
    StephenB says:

    ziggy

    If you can definitively answer these questions, you are a better woman than I.

    Oops, I’ve been downgraded to StephanieB

    And there isn’t. (No morality to the law). But on the laws that almost everybody agrees on (the list you provided is a good one) the moral authority comes from the people, not the law itself.

    Where the moral code comes from (which I can address later) is a distinctly different question than whether the law is based on a moral assumption about how things ought to be, which is clearly the case. I provided several examples, all of which you ignored. Clearly, there is a moral aspect to any law. The latter could not exist without the former.

    But even with the list you provided, there may be exceptions. Is it morally acceptable to kill to defend yourself or your children?

    Of course, it is morally acceptable to kill someone in the act of self defense, if there is no other way out. Notice that in my analysis, I used the word “murder.” I knew not to use the word kill. The commandment that goes by that name (kill) means murder in that context. That law can be expressed as “Thou Shalt Not Murder.”

    Is it morally acceptable to steal food to feed your children?

    It can be. If, for example, you intend to pay the person back, you have a moral right to the food, especially if your children’s life and health are at risk. Remember what I said: The act matters, but the reason for it matters more. Naturally, your moral relativism is useless in addressing such issues.

  322. 322
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, the excuse — actually, doubling down — for a blunder driven by ignorance and projection of a convenient strawman caricature, fails.”

    Ah, unsheathing the “strawman caricature” theme when you get caught with your hands in your pants, worshipping your manhood. You can spin and swerve all you want, but claiming that the term “logistics support” was used by you to ascribe a critical and important role to the women surrounding Jesus, comparable to that of the disciples, is so transparent that I know of an emperor you can sell your story to.

  323. 323

    The article is much too complex an analysis. What’s going on is another episode of the age-old commonly human head vs heart struggle.

    There are people who compete fact against opinion to the total destruction of emotion, like a stereotype of mr Spock.

    Atheists, materialists, methodological naturalists, evolutionists, communists, nazi’s, etc.

    The sets of ideas all follow the same pattern of facilitating fact handsomely, but really they leave no room whatsoever for opinion. No emotion, no God, no soul, no spirit.

    Solely creationism acknowledges the validity of both fact and opinion, each in their own right.

    And the crime really is that creationism is not taught in school, and the rest is just symptom of that crime.

    If you don’t even teach people that freedom is a physical reality, don’t teach them how choosing works, then you have little right to expect them to behave ethically.

  324. 324
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #316:

    Don’t you see how this could be perceived as just another way to shut down debate so that one side can “win” the argument without actually arguing anything?

    What do you mean by shut down debate? The third point on the list is ‘attempt to change the law’ which I would think covers your point.

    We were discussing the question of what you can do when you disagree with a law (morally or for some other reason). Of course I left out countless choices. You would like to include ‘put forward your opinion and get fair discourse’. I think the first part is covered in the US. The second certainly depends on your counter party. But I am pretty convinced that most anybody will be able to find somebody for fair discourse, no?

    So let’s assume for now that you are indeed allowed to put forth your opinion and that in at least some venues you will get fair discourse.

    Now what? The law is still the law and you (or I if you like) still disagree with it.

  325. 325
    Aleta says:

    Ah, the good ol’ days, before we were heading off the cliff …

    Homosexuality in the time of Plato

    In classical antiquity, writers such as Herodotus,[1] Plato,[2] Xenophon,[3] Athenaeus[4] and many others explored aspects of same-sex love in ancient Greece. The most widespread and socially significant form of same-sex sexual relations in ancient Greece was between adult men and pubescent or adolescent boys, known as pederasty (marriages in Ancient Greece between men and women were also age structured, with men in their thirties commonly taking wives in their early teens).[5] Though sexual relationships between adult men did exist, at least one member of each of these relationships flouted social conventions by assuming a passive sexual role. It is unclear how such relations between women were regarded in the general society, but examples do exist as far back as the time of Sappho.[6]

    The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier as modern Western societies have done. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behavior by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated.[6] This active/passive polarization corresponded with dominant and submissive social roles: the active (penetrative) role was associated with masculinity, higher social status, and adulthood, while the passive role was associated with femininity, lower social status, and youth.[6]

    The most common form of same-sex relationships between males in Greece was “paiderastia” meaning “boy love”. It was a relationship between an older male and an adolescent youth. A boy was considered a “boy” until he was able to grow a full beard. In Athens the older man was called erastes, he was to educate, protect, love, and provide a role model for his eromenos, whose reward for him lay in his beauty, youth, and promise.

    The roots of Greek pederasty lie in the tribal past of Greece, before the rise of the city-state as a unit of political organization. These tribal communities were organized according to age groups. When it came time for a boy to embrace the age group of the adult and to “become a man,” he would leave the tribe in the company of an older man for a period of time that constituted a rite of passage. This older man would educate the youth in the ways of Greek life and the responsibilities of adulthood.

    The rite of passage undergone by Greek youths in the tribal prehistory of Greece evolved into the commonly known form of Greek pederasty after the rise of the city-state, or polis. Greek boys no longer left the confines of the community, but rather paired up with older men within the confines of the city. These men, like their earlier counterparts, played an educational and instructive role in the lives of their young companions; likewise, just as in earlier times, they shared a sexual relationship with their boys. Penetrative sex, however, was seen as demeaning for the passive partner, and outside the socially accepted norm.[7]

    An elaborate social code governed the mechanics of Greek pederasty. It was the duty of the adult man to court the boy who struck his fancy, and it was viewed as socially appropriate for the younger man to withhold for a while before capitulating to his mentor’s desires. This waiting period allowed the boy to ensure that his suitor was not merely interested in him for sexual purposes, but felt a genuine emotional affection for him and was interested in assuming the mentor role assigned to him in the pederastic paradigm.

    The age limit for pederasty in ancient Greece seems to encompass, at the minimum end, boys of twelve years of age. To love a boy below the age of twelve was considered inappropriate, but no evidence exists of any legal penalties attached to this sort of practice. Traditionally, a pederastic relationship could continue until the widespread growth of the boy’s body hair, when he is considered a man. Thus, the age limit for the younger member of a pederastic relationship seems to have extended from 12 to about 17 years of age.

    The ancient Greeks, in the context of the pederastic city-states, were the first to describe, study, systematize, and establish pederasty as a social and educational institution. It was an important element in civil life, the military, philosophy and the arts.[8] There is some debate among scholars about whether pederasty was widespread in all social classes, or largely limited to the aristocracy.

    Very interesting. Seems to be evidence for morality as a cultural creation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece

  326. 326
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #313:

    The problem is that some people don’t want to know the truth because they have been acting against it. In that case, the natural moral law is a reproach on their way of living. So they abandon reason to escape the truth and their conscience. (Some people take this to the extreme of saying that there is no such thing as reason or rules for logic). Or, perhaps they have been harmed (or harmed themselves) to the point where their judgment is clouded.

    There is not much to say about this. You claim to know the truth. You claim to know other people’s true motives and true feelings, if they claim otherwise. So on this point there is nothing else to say for me since you simple would tell me I was deluded or attempting to deceive.

    So let’s just disregard this and focus on #324 instead.

  327. 327
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Phinehas — “Don’t you see how this could be perceived as just another way to shut down debate so that one side can “win” the argument without actually arguing anything?”

    Actually, I don’t. Gay “activists” have worked hard to change the law. That stimulates discussion. Rosa Parks broke the law. That stimulated discussion. People leaving the society will also stimulate discussion. The fact that you may not like the outcome of that discussion doesn’t mean that it was stifled.

    SSM has been extensively debated. And continues to be. The fact that those opposing it can’t raise any argument that is not fundamentally religious is not the fault of those supporting it. Inability to have children is a non starter unless you are going to prevent elderly couples and those who are sterile from marrying. High STD rates among homosexuals is also a non starter because SSM encourages fidelity and commitment. Not to mention that high STD rates also exist amongst promiscuous heterosexuals.

    The argument that it weakens traditional marriage is also lame as it assumes that there is something that could be considered “traditional marriage”. The “traditional” heterosexual marriage has changed dramatically over time. Besides, the strength of a marriage is not imposed by tradition, it is the result of the commitment of the individuals getting married.

    The argument that SSM is wrong because homosexuals have a lower life expectancy is another lame argument. The lower life expectancy of homosexuals is due to STDs (specifically AIDS) and suicide. A monogamous same sex couple, as is encourage (not guaranteed) by marriage, removes the STD issue. Depression is a significant factor in suicide, and acceptance by peers, friends and society in general, is a large factor in depression. And there is absolutely no doubt that homosexuals have been, and in many cases still are, marginalized by society. Removing this stigma will go a long way to reducing suicide rates amongst homosexuals.

    Did I forget anything? Other than addressing the stupid fear mongering assertion that it will lead to society’s headlong path over the cliff, to a broken back?

  328. 328
    Aleta says:

    Michelle Shocked’s “Waterfall”. The last verse is relevant.

    I thought I knew what I was doing
    I was wrong
    Mistakes I’ve made and lived to tell
    I tell them in a song

    I knew a river wide and deep
    Her banks were very tall
    At one end was a mountain stream
    The other was a waterfall, boys
    The other was a waterfall

    I asked the old man by the river
    He did not recall
    The last attempt to ride a barrel
    Over the waterfall

    The ferryboatman, he did tell me
    That the chance was very small
    None survived who went alive
    Over the waterfall, boys
    Over the waterfall

    So I built myself an oaken barrel
    And inside I did crawl
    I broke the record but I broke my back
    Going over the waterfall

    And it’s been my luck to live to tell
    The only tale I can
    It don’t hurt you when you fall
    Only when you land, boys
    Only when you land

  329. 329
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    There is not much to say about this. You claim to know the truth.

    I certainly claim to know the truth about the relationship of morality to law. That is why I can cite example after irrefutable example. Once I made the point clear, you lost interest even though you began the dialogue taking the opposite position. Whenever I refute your position, you tend to ignore it and move om to something else. If you had conceded the point, which would have been the intellectually honest thing to do, I could have deepened my explanation and answered your questions at a higher and more important level.

    You claim to know other people’s true motives and true feelings, if they claim otherwise.

    I simply described two well-known aspects of human nature–avoidance and rationalization, and how those attributes can cloud judgment. I did not presume to probe the motives of any individual. If you check the record, you will find that is the case.

  330. 330
    hrun0815 says:

    I certainly claim to know the truth about the relationship of morality to law. […]

    My post was not referring to ‘the relationship of morality to law’. I was referring to a statement where you discounted people’s self-professed opinions or convictions and instead claim they are purposefully deluding themselves to uphold their way of living or have clouded judgment.

    If that is your opinion then what is there to argue about?

    Once I made the point clear, you lost interest […]

    I lost interest because of the distinction between a law being “based on a moral assumption” and a law “being moral”. I can not think of an example where you could fund moral assumptions that underlie any given law. However, that does not make the law moral.

    This has nothing to do with intellectual honesty.

    I did not presume to probe the motives or intentions of any individual.

    vs.

    The problem is that some people don’t want to know the truth because they have been acting against it. In that case, the natural moral law is a reproach on their way of living. So they abandon reason to escape the truth and their conscience. (Some people take this to the extreme of saying that there is no such thing as reason or rules for logic). Or, perhaps they have been harmed (or harmed themselves) to the point where their judgment is clouded.

    Certainly if you claim that ‘some people don’t want to know the truth’ because it conflicts with ‘their way of living’ and suggest that therefor ‘they abandon reason’ when explaining why people may have different opinions about what is moral from you, then it certainly does seem that you are presuming motives and intentions of individuals.

  331. 331
    Aleta says:

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I am re-reading The Brothers Karamozov, which I first read 50 years as a senior in high school. I have always remembered it as having a strong impact on me, setting the stage for philosophical and religious issues that have interested me ever since then.

    Someone mentioned the famous chapter “The Grand Inquisitor”, a story Ivan has created in which the Grand Inquisitor explains to Jesus how the Catholic Church has subverted Christ’s mission on earth in the interest of power, capitalizing on the fact the people in general care more about material goods (“bread”) than their spiritual well-being.

    However, it is the preceding chapter, “Rebellion”, that I found even more powerful. In it, Ivan explains some of his deepest beliefs about God and man’s relationship to God to his brother Alyosha, who is currently an apprentice monk and a devoted believer in God.

    Ivan addresses a subject that comes up here often when talking of morality: cruelty towards, and torture of, little children. Ivan starts by pointing out that,

    If they, too, suffer horribly on earth, they must suffer for their fathers’ sins, they must be punished for their fathers, who have eaten the apple; but that reasoning is of the other world and is incomprehensible for the heart of man here on earth. The innocent must not suffer for another’s sins, and especially such innocents!

    Then Ivan goes on to tell a number of horrendous tales that he has purposely collected. At one point, there is this exchange:

    “Brother, what are you driving at?” asked Alyosha.

    “I think if the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.”

    “Just as he did God, then?” observed Alyosha.

    “It’s wonderful how you can turn words,’ as Polonius says in Hamlet,” laughed Ivan. “You turn my words against me. Well, I am glad. Yours must be a fine God, if man created Him in his image and likeness”

    Finally, Ivan tells a story of a little girl treated horribly by her parents, and we reach the point where Ivan can stand no more. He says,

    Can you understand why a little creature, who can’t even understand what’s done to her, should beat her little aching heart with her tiny fist in the dark and the cold, and weep her meek unresentful tears to dear, kind God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted?

    Without it, I am told, man could not have existed on earth, for he could not have known good and evil. Why should he know that diabolical good and evil when it costs so much? Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child’s prayer to ‘dear, kind God’! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones!”

    Alyosha finally says, “Why are you trying me? Will you say what you mean at last?”

    “Yes”, says Ivan,and goes on to his conclusion.

    I recognize in all humility that I cannot understand why the world is arranged as it is. Men are themselves to blame, I suppose; they were given paradise, they wanted freedom, and stole fire from heaven, though they knew they would become unhappy, so there is no need to pity them. … I know that, and I can’t consent to live by it! What comfort is it to me that there are none guilty …I must have justice, or I will destroy myself. And not justice in some remote infinite time and space, but here on earth, and that I could see myself. I have believed in it. I want to see it, and if I am dead by then, let me rise again, for if it all happens without me, it will be too unfair. Surely I haven’t suffered, simply that I, my crimes and my sufferings, may manure the soil of the future harmony for somebody else. I want to see with my own eyes the hind lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer. I want to be there when every one suddenly understands what it has all been for.

    But what about the children?

    Listen! If all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony, what have children to do with it, tell me, please? It’s beyond all comprehension why they should suffer, and why they should pay for the harmony. Why should they, too, furnish material to enrich the soil for the harmony of the future? I understand solidarity in sin among men. I understand solidarity in retribution, too; but there can be no such solidarity with children. And if it is really true that they must share responsibility for all their fathers’ crimes, such a truth is not of this world and is beyond my comprehension.

    So, in the end, Ivan can not accept this state of affairs: he rebels, he rejects a God who could create such a world.

    I understand, of course, what an upheaval of the universe it will be, when everything in heaven and earth blends in one hymn of praise and everything that lives and has lived cries aloud: ‘Thou art just, O Lord, for Thy ways are revealed.’ When the mother embraces the fiend who threw her child to the dogs, and all three cry aloud with tears, ‘Thou art just, O Lord!’ then, of course, the crown of knowledge will be reached and all will be made clear.

    But what pulls me up here is that I can’t accept that harmony. And while I am on earth, I make haste to take my own measures. You see, Alyosha, perhaps it really may happen that if I live to that moment, or rise again to see it, I, too, perhaps, may cry aloud with the rest, looking at the mother embracing the child’s torturer, ‘Thou art just, O Lord!’ but I don’t want to cry aloud then. While there is still time, I hasten to protect myself, and so I renounce the higher harmony altogether. It’s not worth the tears of that one tortured child who beat itself on the breast with its little fist and prayed in its stinking outhouse, with its unexpiated tears to ‘dear, kind God’!

    It’s not worth it, because those tears are unatoned for. They must be atoned for, or there can be no harmony. But how? How are you going to atone for them? Is it possible? By their being avenged? But what do I care for avenging them? What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.

    And so,

    I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it’s beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It’s not God that I don’t accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return Him the ticket.

    And finally, Alyosha responds:

    “That’s rebellion,” murmured Alyosha, looking down.

    “Rebellion? I am sorry you call it that,” said Ivan earnestly. “One can hardly live in rebellion, and I want to live. Tell me yourself, I challenge you—answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”

    “No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.

    Quotes from the epub version of The Brothers Karamazov, available for free at the Gutenberg project, https://www.gutenberg.org/

  332. 332
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Aleta, thank you. Those excerpts have given me more to think about than all of the other words on this thread. Disturbing, but thought provoking.

  333. 333
    Aleta says:

    You’re welcome, and I appreciate very much being able to share with someone.

  334. 334
    ziggy lorenc says:

    That has always been the biggest challenge to me accepting my religion. How does God justify the suffering of children? Childhood cancer? Child abuse? What purpose do these serve? I hate to admit that I have teetered back and forth on this issue. Somehow, the argument that we can’t understand God’s ways does not always cut it.

  335. 335
    Aleta says:

    Ivan lives in a world, around 200 years ago in Russia, where deep cultural religious commitment is being challenged by secularism and atheism. (sound familiar?) Ivan’s dilemma is that even though he doesn’t know whether he believes in God or not, he knows he can’t accept God if God does in fact exist.

  336. 336
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Aleta — “(sound familiar)”

    It sure does. Where I differ from KF and others is that I welcome challenges to my religion. And I accept that change is inevitable. Change is the only thing that history has shown cannot be avoided. It can be slowed, but often as the result of serious human rights infringements.

  337. 337
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, in 322 you have gone beyond living room rules. You will cease from such language forthwith, or leave this thread. I say this as thread owner, in defense of basic civility. The resort to such accusations is also an implication that you have lost on the merits — indeed the attempt to twist a reference to wealthy women using their resources to provide logistical support to Jesus’ ministry into projecting an attack on women reflects that you have exactly the bigotry problem you perpetually try to turnabout and project to others who represent targets of your hostility. But, having been corrected on plain facts that you cannot answer, instead of acknowledging error and withdrawing insult and accusation, you have tried to double down on insults as you respect neither truth nor fairness nor common decency. You will have no further warnings. KF

  338. 338
    Eugen says:

    Ziggy

    of course you and Hrun are religious. You worship the latest social justice bandwagon. We worship God, Creator of the Universe, Logos, Alpha and Omega. BTW, you and Hrun “feel” too much.

    Aleta

    you are reading Karamazovs second time? Congratulations. I managed to read couple of chapters but it’s boring, it has too many words 😀

    You at least have interesting comments comparing to Hrun and ZigZag. About a little girl crying and praying to God because of parent’s abuse. How is that God’s fault that parents are irresponsible?

  339. 339
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL (attn, Aleta et al),

    the religion card fails.

    For, the issues at stake on the issue of the twisting of marriage under false colour of law are not religious but philosophical; having to do with the relevant patently, manifestly and even undeniably evident core principles of the natural moral law. That is, ethical and policy matters, having to do with foundations of justice, rights, freedoms and responsibilities of members of a free society.

    (And yes, the reputation of freedom in the long term is most definitely in the stakes; the folly of our civilisation is not exactly commending the values of responsible rational freedom to rival civilisations bent on supplanting what they view as our decadent, dying, rotten civilisation. As in, let me add from the 1991 MB Explanatory Memo on the Civilisation/Settlement Jihad process:

    “The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ’sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions . . .”

    Never mind their own problems of boy play — forgive the necessary reference. And when freedom is in the stakes, I must be very conscious of just who, historically, have been first in line to be reduced to chattel slavery. In a context where Africa is now obviously the global geostrategic pivot, the poorly garrisoned, deeply divided strategic resource rich continent ripe for plucking by those whose evil eyes are already on it. And the Nile valley and the Levant’s neighbourhood from the Sinai to the Bosporus is the land bridge that joins three key continents. We are clearly cursed to live in historically interesting times.)

    That patently evident natural moral law is manifest in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound, stable child nurture.

    Law, that we scant or disregard at grave peril to our civilisation.

    Further, these issues pivot on our being morally governed, responsibly and rationally free . . . which is a premise of being sufficiently rational to debate matters on fact and logic.

    Further to this the extreme nominalism being gleefully imposed to try to create as a novelty in law, homosexual marriage, thereby wrenching principles of equality and rights, raises the issue as to how such abracadabra words obtain meaning and force.

    The answer is quite evident above: by might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘value,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘law’ etc.

    So while preening yourself on openness to challenge of your religion by contrast with implied fundy ignoramuses (while by implication it is patent that you have disregarded challenges given to you and others of like ilk in response to your remarks, here on worldview foundations of ethical theism and here on the William G Perry error about truth that has unfortunately been embedded into educational curricula), you are opening the door to raw nihilism and oligarchic domination by ruthlessly manipulative factions.

    That is how dangerous the matches being played with are.

    I suggest to you, that you would be well advised to pause and think again.

    The fire that is beginning to blaze out of control will burn up more than you realise.

    KF

    PS: And I am very aware of the prevalence of catamites in the days of Plato and onwards in Greco-Roman culture, indeed in the Republic, the discussion of love was about diverse tastes in boys; we need not elaborate on what a Symposium was or easily became as the wine flowed with the conversation and the night wore on, at least by hinted reputation. That is part of what Rom 1 was denouncing, with Nero Caesar as deviant in chief — indeed he became the principal historical exemplar for attempted homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law by way of — having kicked his pregnant wife to death — castrating and “marrying” a young boy who resembled her. Then, when he wanted more he manifested the inherently destabilising nature of this wrenching of marriage by “marrying” a man and mockingly imitating the cries of a virgin on her wedding night. I will not go further, into the details of public sexually tinged cannibalism (likely with Christians staked out in the Arena as targets). As, Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars attests with horrific detail . . . just, do not read anytime close to mealtime or bedtime. I go this far as it is necessary to draw out that the sound lessons of history were paid for in blood and tears; those who disdain, neglect, ignore or reject them, doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again. Also, it is obvious that if I and others refrain from direct reference out of a sense of some things being unmentionable (indeed the first time I heard Rom 1 mentioned from the pulpit is was by way of saying that some things there were of that order, not to be discussed in public), the hints will not be taken seriously. As to connexions to religion, I will simply say that the Moon Ganymede is named after a catamite of the chief Greco-Roman god, Jupiter. Yes, this issue was literally written into our mapping of the skies.

  340. 340
    StephenB says:

    SB: I did not presume to probe the motives or intentions of any individual.

    hrun0815

    Certainly if you claim that ‘some people don’t want to know the truth’ because it conflicts with ‘their way of living’ and suggest that therefor ‘they abandon reason’ when explaining why people may have different opinions about what is moral from you, then it certainly does seem that you are presuming motives and intentions of individuals.

    So, you don’t know the difference between referring to the motives of some people and referring to the motives of a particular individual? Is that your story? Do you really expect anyone to believe that you don’t know the difference? Or worse, are you so dull of mind that you really don’t know the difference?

  341. 341
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    You have yet to say what your view is based on or where it comes from. You say “if your view has merit” – has merit according to what? What metric or principle should determine if your view “has merit”? Do you just bounce it off of others and if they agree, and say things you feel are good, then your view “has merit”? Does popularity give it merit?

    Mostly it comes from The Golden Rule and other things I’ve picked up along the way. It seems to me that it only makes sense that we should try to respect other people, to treat them with dignity and to not hurt them. We are allowed to defend ourselves of course.

    I get things wrong sometimes which is why I said “if it has merit”. I expect others to critically listen to what I say and point out errors I’ve made.

    I don’t think there’s some great secret to this. Or some transcendental metric. I believe in consensus arrived at without coercion or bribery. It doesn’t always work but I haven’t found anything more fair. There are systems that are more efficient of course.

    How can your concept of governance, right and wrong, what should and should not be legal, what society should and should not accept, be considered “rational” when haven’t provided even a clue as to what your view is based on and how you determine their correctness or value?

    Well, it seems to work pretty well and you have yet to provide an alternative.

    I don’t understand what you are looking for? Some hard and fast rule that is never changing? That doesn’t exist.

  342. 342
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, it is not argued that attempted homosexualisation of marriage is wrong due to reduced life expectancy. That is yet another strawman caricature sustained through willful disregard for truth and fairness, maintained in evident hopes that what is said or suggested will be taken as true. The actual argument as to the inherent nature of marriage keyed to the complementarity of the sexes [not “genders”] and requisites of stable, sound child nurture is plain. The compounding issues of letting extreme nominalism, ruthless nihilism, lawfare and manipulation loose on the commanding heights of community and civilisation are also patent. That these questions are consistently distracted from and distorted such that occasion has been repeatedly taken to indulge in denigration or demonisation speaks volumes on the actual balance on the merits and about the willful recklessness of the enablers we see at work. KF

  343. 343
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ, I see:

    I don’t understand what you are looking for? Some hard and fast rule that is never changing? That doesn’t exist.

    In short, you deny enduring, manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law.

    I suggest to you that you would be well advised to instead consult Locke’s citation of “the judicious Hooker” in his 2nd treatise on civil gov’t, Ch 2:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    Paul’s presentation of the golden rule draws this out:

    Rom 2: 14 For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the [written, Mosaic] law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them, 16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

    13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong [–> or, harm] to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [NET]

    Such is the history of ideas root of what you suggested when you appealed to the golden rule.

    KF

  344. 344
    kairosfocus says:

    GENERAL NOTE: Those who disregard or deny or dismiss the force of manifestly evident, enduring core principles of the natural moral law — likely, because such are counter to where they wish to go and to take society — thereby open the door to nihilistic might and manipulation make ‘right’ etc. Whether on the attempted homosexualisation of marriage or routine resort to lawfare and demonisation of those who are not going along with the progressive decadence of our civilisation, or other further points to come on an apparently endless and progressively bizarre agenda, they should be firmly reminded of the fires that are being set by recklessly playing with such matches. They should also be reminded of the pendulum principle: extremes by their very imbalance trigger swings to the opposite extremes, but the point of balance is the true opposite to all extremes. KF

    PS: Resemblance of the pendulum effect to the OP discussion on an extended watershed with dual, opposed slippery slopes is not coincidental. We will have to find and maintain that delicate point of balance — I am tempted to talk about inverted pendulums [think, broomstick supported on the tip of your finger] — between dangerous, mutually polarised slippery slopes as we labour to get our civilisation back to safer ground and direction. All of this is dangerously risky, but that is what our insistent progression on a march of folly has brought us to. We have played the fool for far too long with our civilisation and the typhonic force of Euroaquilo beckons. (Guys over in Russia, this includes you too.)

  345. 345
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just to make clear what a ruthless civilisation subversion agenda is like, let me further excerpt the translated MB 1991 Explanatory Memo:

    “Phase One: Phase of discreet and secret establishment of leadership.

    “Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities (It greatly succeeded in implementing this stage). It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government. Gaining religious institutions and embracing senior scholars. Gaining public support and sympathy. Establishing a shadow government (secret) within the Government.

    “Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. Currently in progress.

    “Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. It is aggressively implementing the above-mentioned approach. Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. It has noticeable activities in this regard.

    “Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united.”

    EXERCISE: Substitute appropriate terms to see how this fits other movements associated with the red double green alliance. Ask what each member movement ultimately plans for the others and for the society at large.

    Then ask yourself, first, do you want to go there, to when the diverse phases 4 and 5 begin to fully play out?

    Then ask, what we should do as a civilisation in defense of ourselves as phases 3 and 4 overlap with phase 4 becoming ever more evident through lawfare.

    KF

  346. 346
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: My comments 339 and 345 have been added to the OP in a PS. KF

  347. 347
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #340:

    Stephen, the word individual had two meanings. It can mean ‘a single’ or ‘a particular’ person. If you mean the latter just say so. But you apparently prefer to play word games.

    In addition, why do you care about this meaningless distraction and why should I?

    If you have an answer or suggestion to ‘Now what?’ let’s hear it.

  348. 348
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #341:

    How can your concept of governance, right and wrong, what should and should not be legal, what society should and should not accept, be considered “rational” when haven’t provided even a clue as to what your view is based on and how you determine their correctness or value?

    EZ, this “rational”-thing really seems to be a sticking point for WJM. Without accepting the existence of objective morality, according to WJM, rational discourse on this matter is impossible.

    I think that leaves us with three possibilities:

    1) People who profess there is no such thing as objective morality indeed can not partake in such discourse rationally.
    2) People who profess here is no such thing as objective morality are actually deluded and deep down inside they do believe in objective morality.
    3) WJM is wrong and you still can have rational discourse about morality even if you profess it is not objective.

    Since I would guess WJM does not believe 3) is true, I’m wondering whether he thinks 1) or 2) is more accurate. i, for one, am always curious if my discussion partner deem so deluded, irrational, or maybe even both.

  349. 349
    Andre says:

    Neil Shenvi has an excellent Essay on objective morals

    To begin with, let’s define what we mean by “objective moral values”. Objective moral values are moral values that are true independent of the belief of human beings. For this reason, philosophers who affirm the existence of objective moral values sometimes speak about them as moral facts. A purported fact can either be true or false, but it is qualitatively different than an opinion, which is a matter of personal preference. So when we say that objective moral values exist, we mean that a statement like, “Murder is evil,” is making a claim about some objective moral reality in precisely the same way that the statement, “There is a chair in my kitchen,” is making a claim about objective physical reality. In contrast, a moral relativist claims that a statement like, “murder is evil,” is a subjective claim about our (or our society’s) preference. The statement, “murder is evil,” expresses a subjective preference similar to the statements, “curry is tasty,” or, “bluegrass is the best musical genre.” If objective moral values exist, then statements like, “the Holocaust was evil,” can be objectively true. If objective moral values exist, then this statement would be true even if the Nazis had won World War II and had convinced every human being in the entire world that the Holocaust was good. In contrast, the position of moral relativism commits one to the proposition that moral statements like, “the Holocaust was evil,” are subjective. If some person or some society, like Nazi Germany, believes that the Holocaust was good, then the Holocaust would indeed be good “for them”. There would be no objective moral standard to which their assessment could be compared.
    I believe that this definition of objective moral values is not particularly controversial, since it is used by moral realists and relativists alike. What is controversial is whether objective moral values, as defined above, actually exist. It is the evidence for this position that I hope to present in the following sections.

    A few other important clarifications. First, in defending the existence of objective moral values, I am primarily making a claim about moral ontology, not about moral epistemology. Moral ontology deals with whether a realm of objective moral values exists; in other words, what is the basis for something being “good” or “evil”? Moral epistemology deals with how we know what is good and evil. Clearly, one can have real objective moral values without knowing how we perceive these values or even how we know which actions are good and which are evil. Second, I am also not claiming that our perception of moral values is perfectly reliable. I will argue that we have a very strong and reliable intuition that there are objective moral values; but I will not argue that our perceptions about which actions are good and which are evil are always accurate (in fact, I believe that in many cases our moral intuitions can be quite inaccurate). Third, I am not making the claim that one must believe in objective moral values in order to act morally. Far from it. I know many people who explicitly deny that good and evil exist, yet who live loving, compassionate lives. I also know people who believe in the existence of objective moral values yet who live evil lives. The question I am asking is not whether our lives are consistent with our beliefs, but whether our beliefs are true or false!

    A very helpful extended analogy can be made by comparing the existence of objective moral values to the existence of the external objective universe. First, the question of whether the external, objective universe exists is a question of ontology; is there a real world that really exists outside of my own mind? Is there really a chair in my kitchen, or is this just a figment of my imagination? This question, like the question of the existence of objective moral values, is independent of epistemology: how we know that such a world exists. The objective external universe could exist, even if we have no reliable way to know that it exists. Second, the external objective universe can exist even if my perception of facts about it are not always reliable. Consider the development of the natural sciences over the last four centuries. Scientists in the 17th century had incredibly poor and often erroneous ideas about the natural world. Since that time, our ideas have presumably become more and more accurate. But it does not follow that the objective universe does not exist or somehow depends upon our perception of it. In the same way, our perception of what is good and evil may change over time without affecting the claim that objective moral values exist. I would be very foolish to use the evolution of our understanding of science over the last four centuries to argue against the existence of an objective universe subject to physical laws. Finally, one does not need to believe that the universe actually exists to live a fairly normal life. A person might be fully convinced that they are living in some computer-generated fantasy world like the Matrix and might still choose, as a personal preference, to live as if buildings and sidewalks and tables and chairs were objectively real. In the very same way, a person might deny the existence of objective good and evil and could still choose to live a moral life. So a denial of the existence of objective moral values does not demand the adoption of a particularly immoral lifestyle.

    Hopefully, this section has cleared up some important misconceptions about what the second premise of the moral argument does and does not claim. In the next section, I will try to provide several good reasons to believe that objective moral values do exist.

    http://www.shenvi.org/Essays/O.....Values.htm

  350. 350
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me add the excerpted lawfare/legislative agenda in the MB 1991 Explanatory Memo — remember, captured by police in 2004 and released with translation as part of the Holyland Foundation terrorism finance trial:

    • Expanding the Muslim presence by birth rate, immigration, and refusal to assimilate;

    • Occupying and expanding domination of physical spaces [–> settlements that will be alienated enclaves];

    • Ensuring the “Muslim Community” knows and follows MB doctrine [–> the Mosques etc];

    • Controlling the language we [–> the targetted community/state/civilisation] use in describing the enemy [–> the invader];

    • Ensuring we do not study their doctrine (shariah);

    • Co-opting [–> our] key leadership;

    • Forcing compliance with shariah at local levels [–> by warping understanding of freedom of worship, rights etc; notice “forcing”];

    • Fighting all counterterrorism efforts;

    • Subverting religious organizations [–> duping and co-opting];

    • Employing lawfare – the offensive use of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits [–> Lawfare is in my view much wider, the warping of law, courts, legislative institutions and law enforcement in pursuit of an imposed policy agenda . . . a subtle form of shadow war];

    • Claiming victimization / demanding accommodations;

    • Condemning “slander” against Islam;

    • Subverting the U.S. education system [–> tick off the targets among the seven peaks in the commanding heights of culture], in particular, infiltrating and dominating U.S. Middle East studies programs;

    • Demanding the right to practice shariah in segregated Muslim enclaves [–> settlement jihad kicks into high gear here with no go zones that then become bases for terrorism i.e. jihad by razzias of raiding bands];

    • Demanding recognition of shariah in non-Muslim spheres [–> expanding the no go zones to the community as a whole and dominating existing law];

    • Confronting and denouncing Western society, laws, and traditions [–> subverting the ideas foundation of law towards imposition of a new law system]; and

    • Demanding that shariah replace Western law. [–> outright usurpation and conquest] Note that many of the foregoing techniques entail, in one way or another, influencing and neutralizing the American government at all levels.

    Ask yourself, how this intersects with the five phases of civilisational jihad, and what a similar lawfare agenda would look like for other members of the red double green alliance of convenience.

    KF

  351. 351
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: “Objective moral values are moral values that are true independent of the belief of human beings.

    Good point.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk01eeKMD_I

  352. 352
    kairosfocus says:

    Andre, keep it coming. KF

    PS: This may help, also note the discussion of patently evident core moral principles of the natural moral law and linked grounds for rights claims in the OP which have been studiously ignored by objectors for a few threads of discussion now.

  353. 353
    Andre says:

    It is very clear from 353 posts that we see the issue here, our opponents are not really willing to define their terms, in doing so they consciously know that they will expose their own irrationality. From the onset we are dealing with either ignorance, stupidity or intellectual dishonesty……

    happy to be proven wrong……

  354. 354
    Andre says:

    And the easiest way in the world to prove that objective morality does exist in the life of the materialist, atheist or humanist is when….

    An injustice is done to them! Fact!

  355. 355
    daveS says:

    KF,

    F/N: Just to make clear what a ruthless civilisation subversion agenda is like, let me further excerpt the translated MB 1991 Explanatory Memo:

    Are you actually saying that those of us who support SSM are comparable to the Muslim Brotherhood?

  356. 356
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “For, the issues at stake on the issue of the twisting of marriage under false colour of law are not religious but philosophical; having to do with the relevant patently, manifestly and even undeniably evident core principles of the natural moral law. That is, ethical and policy matters, having to do with foundations of justice, rights, freedoms and responsibilities of members of a free society.

    On one hand you assert that most of the arguments against SSM are not religious and on the other you claim that natural moral law, one of the tenets of religion, supports your opinion.

    The main difference between you and me, other than the ability to write clearly and avoid drama-queen hyperbole, is the fact that I am honest enough to admit that my earlier opposition to SSM was religiously based.

    KF — “That patently evident natural moral law is manifest in the complementarity of the sexes…

    Why can’t you just say that there are two sexes. That is what is patently evident, not that there is some natural moral law involved.

    KF — “…and the requisites of sound, stable child nurture.”

    Thank you for providing me with your unsubstantiated opinion. Unfortunately, the evidence does not support this.

    KF — “Law, that we scant or disregard at grave peril to our civilisation.”

    Yes, we have heard you. Lemmings. Cliff. Broken back. Try supporting the downfall of civilization with some actual evidence instead of doing your Chicken Little immitation.

    KF — “Further, these issues pivot on our being morally governed, responsibly and rationally free . . . which is a premise of being sufficiently rational to debate matters on fact and logic.”

    I agree. We each establish our own morality and govern ourselves accordingly. What is your point?

    KF — “Further to this the extreme nominalism being gleefully imposed to try to create as a novelty in law, homosexual marriage,…”

    KF has a new talking point (extreme nominalism). What, exactly, is being imposed on you? You are still free to disagree with SSM. Nobody is making you marry another man. Nobody is making churches preside over SSM, although many do so willingly.

    KF — “…thereby wrenching principles of equality and rights, raises the issue as to how such abracadabra words obtain meaning and force.”

    They have meaning and force because the government has enacted laws, which they are elected to do, and the majority of the population agree with them. The concept is very simple.

    KF — “The answer is quite evident above: by might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘value,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘law’ etc.”

    Yes, How you can argue that the 1 – 2% of the population that are homosexual are all that “mighty” is beyond me. They have managed to convince a significant majority of the population that they deserve respect, not to be treated as perverts, sinners, and pedophiles simply because they are attracted to people of the same sex. And they have managed to convince the law makers of this. Blacks in the US did the same thing in the sixties. That is how democracy and a healthy civilization works. You can call it “might and manipulation makes right” if it makes you feel better, but it sounds more like sour grapes because you disagree with it.

    KF — “So while preening yourself on openness to challenge of your religion by contrast with implied fundy ignoramuses (while by implication it is patent that you have disregarded challenges given to you and others of like ilk in response to your remarks, here on worldview foundations of ethical theism and here on the William G Perry error about truth that has unfortunately been embedded into educational curricula), you are opening the door to raw nihilism and oligarchic domination by ruthlessly manipulative factions.”

    Translation — How dare you call me a fundy ignoramus. I don’t like your answers to my questions so I will claim that you are not answering them. And I know that we are not teaching children to be homosexual in our schools, but I am still going to claim this because it fits better with my narrative.

    KF – “That is how dangerous the matches being played with are.

    I suggest to you, that you would be well advised to pause and think again.”

    OK. Thanks for the advice.

    Chicken Little — “The fire that is beginning to blaze out of control will burn up more than you realise.”

    So you keep saying, with absolutely know evidence to support it.

  357. 357
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    with all due respect, there is a 350 comment discussion, and OP and linked onward materials.

    What part of the differences among:

    a: being caught up in a cultural movement that may be ill considered and destructive,

    b: becoming an activist involved in front groups (especially astroturf groups) and issue-causes,

    c: being an enabling leader for such groups and agendas,

    d: being a strategic planner/leader of an agenda

    . . . do you not understand?

    Most Moslems globally are not involved at b, c or d, but that does not mean that they are not caught up by and large in a where there is a 100 year plan of global subjugation.

    Now about to get energised through getting nukes. God help us, for what is coming!

    Likewise there is a manifest red-double green de facto alliance of convenience that targets the heritage of Christendom in our civilisation. Where the rainbow coalition is definitely part of this.

    And we have a clear agenda, indeed last night at 314 I cited a Harvard prof speaking of Christians in terms of de-nazification in postwar Germany. I clip again:

    The culture wars are over; they lost, we won. Remember, they were the ones who characterized constitutional disputes as culture wars . . . For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) I should note that LGBT activists in particular seem to have settled on the hard-line approach, while some liberal academics defend more accommodating approaches. When specific battles in the culture wars were being fought, it might have made sense to try to be accommodating after a local victory, because other related fights were going on, and a hard line might have stiffened the opposition in those fights. But the war’s over, and we won.

    It is demonstrable, demonstrated, that the fiat, abracadabra word homosexualisaiton of marriage under false colour of law is a part of this agenda and is in fact a watershed as marriage is a core point of the Judaeo-Christian heritage that is now openly targetted for de-Christianisation.

    Apostasise and crush conscience as well as manifest moral truths, or through lawfare — the usurpation of the state — be robbed of employment, your children [who are to be indoctrinated in evil in the name of good through education and media systems], responsible positions and more. Be fined or gaoled under hate speech law if you publicly object — do you think we are such ignoramuses that we do not understand what the constant smears that we are bigots parallel to the KKK mean?

    So, it is fair comment to obsrve that a lot of people have been taken in by a slick cultural marxist agit prop game. They don’t have a clue on the nihilism that has been let loose, and the implications of the corruption of state and law.

    I suggest you take time to listen to the Masha Gessen surreptitious audiotape, and to watch the lecture by George in the OP.

    I am not indulging empty conspiracy theorising.

    Usurpation and lawfare are real and are at work, on multiple fronts.

    As a side light, just consider how so many have come to “know” what they imagine is the certain consensus of the experts on things like evolutionary materialist scientism or for that matter anthropogenic global warming (I assume you can monitor Alan Watts’ well known site on climate issues) etc etc.

    Then consider the increasing degree of involvement and enabling behaviour as you move to b, c or d.

    Now come back and see what I actually invited people to do: compare and contrast the different movements and their approaches.

    Don’t forget in so comparing, that there are policy leaders who have been arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood is not as radically committed to an extremist agenda as the captured documents indicate.

    There is a sobering, multidimensional challenge facing our civilisation, and we need to see it for what it is.

    That is why, as a wake-up call, I took time to focus attention on the captured documents I have been linking for some threads now.

    There are such things as ruthless strategic agendas that work by agit prop and lawfare.

    This is a case in point.

    Reality is there in front of us.

    Painful but real.

    Now, we can look with fresh eyes at the signs out there about the various agendas involved in the red double green alliance of convenience.

    KF

  358. 358
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, the manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law are not property of any particular religion. The use of religion as a dirty word to taint and dismiss the objective fact that we find ourselves inescapably under moral government, under OUGHT, fails. Other things beyond that point collapse in its train (e.g. selective hyperskepticism and attempted personalisation and polarisation on your part do not change the facts of what children need to thrive, and more — a slice of the failed cake with all the poorly chosen ingredients you used in it . . . ), I have to go out now. KF

  359. 359
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    with all due respect, there is a 350 comment discussion, and OP and linked onward materials.

    What part of the differences among:

    a: being caught up in a cultural movement that may be ill considered and destructive,

    b: becoming an activist involved in front groups (especially astroturf groups) and issue-causes,

    c: being an enabling leader for such groups and agendas,

    d: being a strategic planner/leader of an agenda

    . . . do you not understand?

    Most Moslems globally are not involved at b, c or d, but that does not mean that they are not caught up by and large in a where there is a 100 year plan of global subjugation.

    Now about to get energised through getting nukes. God help us, for what is coming!

    Thanks for clarifying. So I, as a supporter of SSM (but not at all an activist), am merely caught up in a destructive cultural movement.

    If the leaders of the homosexualization agenda start talking about acquiring nukes, I’m out!

  360. 360
    Andre says:

    DaveS

    If the leaders of the homosexualization agenda start talking about acquiring nukes, I’m out!

    but the belittling and ridicule of those that disagree is ok? Where is your consistency as a humanist? It’s like the NYTimes article stated “Progressives want everyone to be equal except Christians”

  361. 361
    daveS says:

    Andre,

    DaveS

    but the belittling and ridicule of those that disagree is ok? Where is your consistency as a humanist? It’s like the NYTimes article stated “Progressives want everyone to be equal except Christians”

    Just a light-hearted response to what I believe to be the totally out-of-proportion rhetoric in this thread. I have no problem with soberly debating the issue of SSM with others (for example, my wife, who does not support SSM).

    But bringing in the Holocaust and Islamic terrorism? Honestly…

  362. 362
    Phinehas says:

    Aleta, quoting from The Brothers Karamazov:

    “Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”

    I am not God. I am not as powerful as God, nor as good. So, I’m probably not the best person to answer this question, having no right to judge the Judge of all. Even so, I cannot miss that, based on God’s evident response to Jesus, who when facing the cross prayed fervently, “If there is any other way, then let this cup pass from me,” it was indeed essential and inevitable to torture to death only one innocent creature and to found the edifice of peace and rest upon that creature’s unavenged blood. That God chose his own son to pay this price helps highlight how far I fall short. God sacrificed Himself so that any other suffering in this sinful world would be a temporary and fleeting thing.

    As one who knew the Gospel well from childhood, the above would have been held firmly in Dostoevsky’s mind, informing his perspective on the words he wrote coming from Ivan’s mouth. What a masterful piece of writing!

    No doubt Dostoevsky also knew the human tendency, though we will admit we are not God if pressed, to still presume to give God an annual review on His performance from time to time. Job beat Dostoevsky to this insight by several millenia.

    Job 40

    6 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:

    7 “Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
    8 “Would you discredit my justice?
    Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
    9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
    and can your voice thunder like his?
    10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
    and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
    11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
    look at all who are proud and bring them low,
    12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
    crush the wicked where they stand.
    13 Bury them all in the dust together;
    shroud their faces in the grave.
    14 Then I myself will admit to you
    that your own right hand can save you.

    Job eventually admits: “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”

  363. 363
    Phinehas says:

    On the need for objective morals and how this affects law, I find Philip Johnson’s analysis especially enlightening. (This is, in fact one of my favorite essays ever written on any subject in my lifetime.)

    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....end-of-law

  364. 364
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    Stephen, the word individual had two meanings. It can mean ‘a single’ or ‘a particular’ person. If you mean the latter just say so. But you apparently prefer to play word games.

    The meaning of those two phrases is the same. Neither has anything to do with the concept of “some people.” Let me try to lay it out so that, hopefully, even you can understand it. If I say some people are idiots and liars, no one is offended since no class or single individual is named. But if I were to say that hrun0815 is an idiot and a liar, or that ziggy is an idiot and a liar, or that Aleta is an idiot and a liar, or that homosexuals are idiots and liars, those formulations constitute a whole new dimension of communication. It is impossible for me to believe that you don’t know the difference, especially since I have explained it to you three times.

    In addition, why do you care about this meaningless distraction and why should I?

    It is not, as I just pointed out, a meaningless distinction. It is the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie. For some reason, you react badly when you are refuted by carrying on as if the corrective hadn’t happened. It doesn’t speak well for your ability to engage in good faith dialogue.

    If you have an answer or suggestion to ‘Now what?’ let’s hear it.

    I have already answered that question. It was that same answer that preceded your personal attack, so I don’t know how you could forget it. You wanted to know why some people don’t know, or pretend not to know the natural moral law. So, I gave my answer. I have no reason to believe that you forgot about it and every reason to believe that you simply don’t want to discuss the psychology of denial. It is much easier to avoid debate and claim that I have been judging the motives of certain individuals. It’s a lie.

  365. 365
    Andre says:

    DaveS

    What does the nazi’s, slavery, the inquisitions and Islamic fundamentalism all have in common? Matter of fact what does pretty much all the evils in this world have in common?

  366. 366
    hrun0815 says:

    I have already answered that question.

    I must have missed it. Surely you will be able to C/P the answer or refer to a post number.

  367. 367
    daveS says:

    Andre,

    DaveS

    What does the nazi’s, slavery, the inquisitions and Islamic fundamentalism all have in common? Matter of fact what does pretty much all the evils in this world have in common?

    I don’t know?

    But I will say I see little to no connection between those things and the same-sex couples I am acquainted with.

  368. 368
    groovamos says:

    Dave S :
    but I think you’ll have a hard time getting many USAians to agree with the male-female complementarity bit, anyway. We typically are averse to that level of government meddling in our lives

    Dave seems to be OK with government meddling that he approves, such as the changing of the definition of the word marriage so that it is no longer universally compatible with matrimony. There are plenty of areas in which the state has no business and the ceremonial arena is one, except for the accommodation of such for legal purposes.

    Dave S may (or may not) look on his own marriage as soulless, but the state has changed its legal stance on a universal ceremonial consecration that has existed for tens of thousands of years in all cultures. In a form of social experimentation that will imprint on children from now on the triviality of matrimony – the primary ceremonial impulse of society. Why our civilization thinks it has to be the one to try this out is what is so mind boggling. And to top it off, any civil disobedience in protest of this madness is to result in a court summons, which proves that it is madness.

    And maybe ceremony is not important to Dave, maybe it’s just a useless accoutrement foisted onto society by sentimental know-nothings. I would like to challenge you materialists: since you know science will provide all answers, what do you call the part of the brain that cherishes the ceremonial aspects of life? Can you point to someone with brain damage to that part of the brain, knocking it out and opening up the person to “gay marriage”? It would be interesting to see if brain damage can be linked to “gay marriage” acquiescence, there has to be some reason our society is going down this road.

  369. 369
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    I guess that all depends on what your concept of “marriage” is, and that’s really the root of the issue – if “marriage” is just a term used in law to define a certain legal contract, and thus entirely malleable by terminology and the law; or if instead it refers to something actual which cannot be redefined by terminology or made into something else by decree of law.

    The former is the only version under jurisdiction of the laws of the United States.

  370. 370
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #368:

    Would you agree that the government should get out of the marriage business completely and leave it up to individual religions and their members how they would like to deal with marriages?

    It seems to me that this would be a common ground for both supporters and opponents of SSM.

  371. 371
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    VS, tactic of personalisation and polarisation in reply to an objective phenomenon is duly noted. KF

    Assuming your conclusion,KF.

  372. 372
    Aleta says:

    to Phinehas, re: 362.

    Thanks for the reply. Of course, Ivan is a fictional character, and he is also conflicted and inconsistent, so the expression of his beliefs in the chapter I quoted are not a complete picture of who Ivan is.

    The difference between Ivan and Job is that Job eventually accepts that whatever of God’s reasons there may be that justify suffering are beyond his understanding, and Job acquiesces to this disparity between his understanding and God’s understanding.

    Ivan does not acquiesce: he rejects the implication that he should accept that the reasons are there but that he, as a limited human being, can not know them.

    In reference to Christ, you write, “God sacrificed Himself so that any other suffering in this sinful world would be a temporary and fleeting thing.”

    But Ivan addresses, and rejects, this reasoning, when he writes,

    It’s not worth it, because those tears [of the tortured child] are unatoned for. They must be atoned for, or there can be no harmony. But how? How are you going to atone for them? Is it possible? By their being avenged? But what do I care for avenging them? What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured?

    So Ivan also rejects your point that somehow Jesus’s sacrifice is sufficient to atone for the “temporary and fleeting” suffering of the child. The child was tortured, and there is nothing that can undo that.

    So to Ivan accepting this God “is not worth such a price.”

  373. 373
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #369:

    There seems to much difficulty in understanding that in different contexts the same word can have different meanings.

    Marriage as used in the law of the US and other countries has a meaning different from marriage used in the context of religion or tradition.

  374. 374
    Phinehas says:

    DS:

    On government meddling in our lives, the article WJM shared earlier makes a fair point:

    And while same-sex marriage proponents suggest that the government should perhaps just stay out of their private lives, the fact is, now that children are being engineered for gay and lesbian couples, a process that involves multiple other adults who have potential legal custody claims on these children, the potential for government’s involvement in these same-sex marriage households is staggering.

    Solomon only had to split the baby in two. In the future, judges may have to decide how to split children into three, four, or five equal pieces. In Florida, a judge recently ordered that the birth certificate of a child must show a total of three parents—a lesbian couple and a gay man (the sperm-providing hairdresser of one of the lesbian moms). Expect much more of this to come.

  375. 375
    velikovskys says:

    Andre:
    Here we go…. “love”

    I love having intercourse with my dog because I really love my dog. Are you going to stand in the way of the love I have for my dog and the intercourse we enjoy? Love overcomes all and if it offends you that I share this special bond with my dog you are a bigot!

    Personally I could not care less once you get your dog to make informed consent.

    Lover overcomes everything and conquers all! Blah blah blah!

    God is love as I recall

  376. 376
    daveS says:

    Phinehas,

    DS:

    On government meddling in our lives, the article WJM shared earlier makes a fair point:

    Doesn’t this issue already exist with opposite-sex marriage? The lesbian couple could have been a heterosexual couple with a sterile husband.

  377. 377
    Phinehas says:

    Aleta:

    So Ivan also rejects your point that somehow Jesus’s sacrifice is sufficient to atone for the “temporary and fleeting” suffering of the child. The child was tortured, and there is nothing that can undo that.

    At least nothing that Ivan can imagine. But we’ve agreed Ivan is at least as limited as we are in his understanding.

    Even so, I can imagine things that can undo the torture.

    What of a glorified body that bears no scars? What of amnesia? What of a wiping away of all tears? Can Ivan really not imagine a God who was wounded for our transgressions, who was bruised for our iniquity, whose punishment brought us peace, and by whose wounds we are completely and comprehensively healed? Isaiah certainly could.

  378. 378
    Phinehas says:

    DS:

    Doesn’t this issue already exist with opposite-sex marriage? The lesbian couple could have been a heterosexual couple with a sterile husband.

    As I read the article, the author’s claim is not that such doesn’t already exist, but rather that it is likely to become more prevalent and not less as a result of recent rulings and current direction.

  379. 379
    velikovskys says:

    phineas:
    And while same-sex marriage proponents suggest that the government should perhaps just stay out of their private lives, the fact is, now that children are being engineered for gay and lesbian couples, a process that involves multiple other adults who have potential legal custody claims on these children, the potential for government’s involvement in these same-sex marriage households is staggering.

    You realize that different sex couples have been doing this for quite a while? Since the overwelming number of government intrusions are the result of divorce, are you in favor of eliminating this vast slippery slope?

  380. 380
    velikovskys says:

    phineas:

    Even so, I can imagine things that can undo the torture.

    What of a glorified body that bears no scars? What of amnesia? What of a wiping away of all tears? Can Ivan really not imagine a God who was wounded for our transgressions, who was bruised for our iniquity, whose punishment brought us peace, and by whose wounds we are completely and comprehensively healed?

    God can feel pain?

  381. 381
    groovamos says:

    Ziggy: Yet it is one of the reasons commonly used to oppose SSM. It’s nice to see that this is s moronic argument.

    hrun0815: The very same argument was put forth in this tread by StephenB.

    in response to groovamos: what kind of policy nut would ever think that the state would require you to prove fertility on the part of both partners?

    You guys please point me to any government on the planet that requires marriages to be terminated when procreation becomes impossible or no longer desired. And that couples would need to prove fertility AND sign a promissory note to have children

    Or point to someone on this thread or in the media saying either of such would be a good idea. Else you’re blowing smoke.

  382. 382
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #381:

    Read #108.

  383. 383
    velikovskys says:

    Andre:
    Who’s heart is hard yours? Sorry to hear mate but hearts are just chemical reactions that obey the laws of nature.

    It seems when convenient even theists believe that the physical is paramount.

    Don’t know how you could have become so powerful that you can defy nature.

    Every time I turn on the air conditioning

  384. 384
    Phinehas says:

    v:

    You realize that different sex couples have been doing this for quite a while?

    Answered @378.

    God can feel pain?

    Jesus, as fully God and fully man, certainly could feel pain. Even setting this aside, I imagine God can feel pain more deeply than any of us can comprehend, though those who have lost a child probably come closest.

  385. 385
    Phinehas says:

    v:

    Andre: Don’t know how you could have become so powerful that you can defy nature.

    v: Every time I turn on the air conditioning

    If you could give me an inside line on the supplier for your supernatural air conditioning, I’d be very appreciative. It would save me tons on my electric bill during the Texas summers.

  386. 386
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #384:

    Of course it is going to become more prevalent if more people will be able to get married and have children. If you want to reverse this trend maybe you should strive to outlaw divorce!

  387. 387
    Andre says:

    DaveS

    It all started as an opinion…..

  388. 388
    Andre says:

    So God does exist? Or are you saying love exist and is more than a chemical reaction?

  389. 389
    velikovskys says:

    Phineas:
    If you could give me an inside line on the supplier for your supernatural air conditioning, I’d be very appreciative. It would save me tons on my electric bill during the Texas summers.

    ““If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell”

  390. 390
    velikovskys says:

    Andre:
    So God does exist? Or are you saying love exist and is more than a chemical reaction?

    Perhaps but the devil is in the details, but since I was not the one mocking love it seems you think it isn’t any more than a chemical reaction.

  391. 391
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “ZL, the manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law are not property of any particular religion.”

    No, but the concept is at the heart of most religions. Other than that, it is a concept with little demonstrable evidence to demonstrate that it exists. It pre-supposes that morality is objective, which again has never been demonstrated, just asserted.

    KF — “The use of religion as a dirty word to taint and dismiss the objective fact that we find ourselves inescapably under moral government, under OUGHT, fails.”

    I never used religion as a dirty word. I am, myself, religious. You claim that it is an objective fact that we are under moral government. I agree, that we all act as such (except for sociopaths), but we disagree as to where this moral government comes from. I think that it is the result of learning, experience, and possibly some instinct.

    KF — “Other things beyond that point collapse in its train (e.g. selective hyperskepticism and attempted personalisation and polarisation on your part…”

    Being skeptical is not the same as hyperskepticism. Labelling it as such is just an attempt to stifle discussion.

    KF — “… do not change the facts of what children need to thrive, and more …”

    And it has been shown that same sex couples can be as good (and bad) at rearing well-rounded, stable children as opposite sex couples.

    KF — “— a slice of the failed cake with all the poorly chosen ingredients you used in it . . . ), I have to go out now. KF”

    Very poetic. But poetic nonsense is still nonsense.

  392. 392
    velikovskys says:

    phineas:
    Jesus, as fully God and fully man, certainly could feel pain

    Jesus the man certainly could feel pain

    . Even setting this aside, I imagine God can feel pain more deeply than any of us can comprehend, though those who have lost a child probably come closest.

    Not sure,it seems at odds with an unchanging God outside of time.

  393. 393
    kairosfocus says:

    VS:

    I cannot force you to acknowledge something as patent as that men and women are sexually complementary, but you cannot avoid the consequences of warping law to distort that.

    Some consequences are exceedingly damaging and costly but it seems our civilisation is increasingly bent on such under the influence of powerful agendas.

    And that is part of my pessimism about it.

    The folks at Fair Havens mid Oct 59, scoffed at the warning and sailed out on an apparently favourable wind.

    Only to have an encounter of the worst kind with Euroaquilo.

    KF

  394. 394
  395. 395
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, Ditto.

    ****

    I cannot force you to acknowledge something as patent as that men and women are sexually complementary, but you cannot avoid the consequences of warping law to distort that.

    I accept that men and women are sexually complementary.

  396. 396
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, again, that religions may acknowledge a manifest truth — in this case the complementarity of the two sexes (note, for cause, I have not said ‘gender’) giving rise to the understanding of marriage that is historic — does not turn that truth into an untruth, nor does it make it suddenly not evident to the senses or suspect; indeed it is strictly irrelevant. The patterns of thought we are seeing manifested again and again should give serious pause to anyone who has the best long term interests of our civilisation in mind. KF

  397. 397
    velikovskys says:

    ziggy:
    I never used religion as a dirty word. I am, myself, religious. You claim that it is an objective fact that we are under moral government. I agree, that we all act as such (except for sociopaths), but we disagree as to where this moral government comes from. I think that it is the result of learning, experience, and possibly some instinct.

    It seems to me the morality of a government is in its actions not its words. For the most part pragmatism seems to be the moral compass, necessary evil to preserve the considered greater good.

  398. 398
    kairosfocus says:

    VS, morality involves deeds, words, motives, intents, attitudes and more. Pragmatism is no sound moral compass as many things work well for decades or centuries for those who set them up, as they have powerful evil behind them. An excellent case was slavery and the slave trade. KF

  399. 399
    Phinehas says:

    v:

    Jesus the man certainly could feel pain

    Unless you are denying Jesus’ divinity, the question of whether God can feel pain is answered.

    Not sure, [God feeling pain] seems at odds with an unchanging God outside of time.

    But for His revelation, none of us can be sure of anything about God. God is revealed as both transcendent and immanent. He exists both outside and inside time. His immutability, as it pertains to His nature, does not preclude Him from experiencing emotions. We are created in His image.

  400. 400
    StephenB says:

    hrum

    I must have missed it. Surely you will be able to C/P the answer or refer to a post number.

    The answer to your latest *now what* (*We don’t all come to the same conclusion. Now what?* was answered @313.

    The reason I say “latest” is because you seem to have asked that same question in several different contexts, such as *we don’t agree that there is a moral component to the law, now what?*

    As I pointed out, the civil law always involves a moral component and I provided plenty of examples to prove it, indicating that there are no exceptions–an implicit dare for someone to find even one counter example. No one, including you, challenged the point. You simply ignored the refutation and moved on–as if your original claim– that the law and morality are not connected– should be ignored and forgotten.

  401. 401
    Phinehas says:

    ZL:

    I am, myself, religious.

    Is this religion based on some external objective truth, or merely internal subjective feelings? Does it differ significantly from materialism in its account of the cause of the universe and everything in it? The origin of the mind that struggles to comprehend the universe?

  402. 402
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Phinehas — “Is this religion based on some external objective truth, or merely internal subjective feelings?”

    I consider myself Christian, but I certainly don’t believe in everything that the Church teaches.

    Nobody lives their lives according to internal subjective feelings, other than sociopaths. Feelings can easily change. The morals that each of us hold are deeply ingrained, and not easily changed. I think that they are the result of a combination of instinct (whatever that means), teachings by parents, ministers, schools, relatives, etc., experience and our ability to think rationally and abstractly.

    There are several values that are generally universal (don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, and don’t use sexual innuendo in KF’s presence ), and are taught to us at an early age by our parents and churches. It just so happens, that they are rules that the majority of people in a community must follow in order for the community to thrive. Does that mean that they are objective truths? Or does it just mean that they are the rules that hundreds of generations of humans have found to work?

    The reason that I think they are not objective is that they are different from culture to culture, and within the same culture over time.

    But those are just my opinions. I am not insisting that others accept them. As long as we generally agree on the core values necessary for society to thrive, does it really matter whether they are objective or subjective?

  403. 403
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    VS, morality involves deeds, words, motives, intents, attitudes and more.

    Definitely deeds, words can reflect an aspiration but are meaningless if the deeds are contradictory, motives ,intents, attitudes as they relate to actions seem relevant.

    Pragmatism is no sound moral compass as many things work well for decades or centuries for those who set them up, as they have powerful evil behind them.

    True,many moral systems benefit those who set up the system, the ends justify the means.

    An excellent case was slavery and the slave trade. KF

    A necessary unpleasantness as the means of preserving the government, after all to many it was the natural order , each had his role.

  404. 404
    ziggy lorenc says:

    V — “It seems to me the morality of a government is in its actions not its words. For the most part pragmatism seems to be the moral compass, necessary evil to preserve the considered greater good.

    Government was the word used by KF. I don’t think he was using it in the sense of an elected government. Am I correct KF?

  405. 405
    velikovskys says:

    phineas:
    Unless you are denying Jesus’ divinity, the question of whether God can feel pain is answered.

    Two natures, again did God feel hunger, sleepy, etc.? Maybe but can an immaterial being be hungry? The Trinity is leads to interesting paradoxes

    “But for His revelation, none of us can be sure of anything about God. God is revealed as both transcendent and immanent. He exists both outside and inside time. His immutability, as it pertains to His nature, does not preclude Him from experiencing emotions. We are created in His image.

    Maybe, it still is hard to be both immutable and mutable by feeling emotions

  406. 406
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “VS, morality involves deeds, words, motives, intents, attitudes and more. Pragmatism is no sound moral compass as many things work well for decades or centuries for those who set them up, as they have powerful evil behind them. An excellent case was slavery and the slave trade.”

    But is slavery objectively evil (immoral)? I think we all agree that it is an abhorrent practice, but is it objectively so or subjectively so? The bible does not condemn it. Neither did Aristotle. The bible provides warnings about mistreating slaves, but not against the practice itself. I would think that if it is abhorrent as we all think it is, it would rank right up there with though shall not kill and thou shall not steal. Although, I guess, putting someone in slavery is stealing his/her freedom.

  407. 407
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #400:

    The ‘Now what?’ refers to the same question in the same context at all times:

    We find ourselves in a society where laws are applicable to all, not just to the ones who agree with the law. So even though you know there is a moral underpinning to the law, even though you know that morals are objective, even though you know that some people either purposefully or through outside influence closed themselves to the true morals, we are still in a situation where we agree with some laws and we don’t agree with others.

    So, now what are we to do? I have laid out what I think my options are (I think first in #256). Are the options for you in any way different?

    And if you do not have any other options than I do, the whole discussion about whether or not morals are objective or if same-sex marriage goes against natural moral law are quite the red herring. At the very least, I can tell you for sure that your proclamations are not helping you to convince people that SSM should not be lawful.

    EDIT: I’m pretty certain that I have not asked about what if we agree whether or not there is a moral component to the law. I don’t think that whether you do or do not think so doesn’t change your actions in any way. And I agree, by the way, the very likely the people who are involved in making laws likely consider them on the basis of their morals. Things get a little complicated when people are part of making and then repealing a law (which does happen), but I guess they could have had a change of heart. In any case, that’s neither here nor there, since the morals of the people making the laws are not necessarily shared by any other member of the society.

  408. 408
    velikovskys says:

    Ziggy:
    Government was the word used by KF. I don’t think he was using it in the sense of an elected government. Am I correct KF?

    Could you clarify that a bit?

  409. 409

    Andre @349, excellent post!

    ellazimm said:

    Mostly it comes from The Golden Rule and other things I’ve picked up along the way.

    Why did you pick those moral concepts up along the way, and leave behind others? Any reason other than personal sentiment – how you personally felt about any possible moral guideline?

    It seems to me that it only makes sense that we should try to respect other people, to treat them with dignity and to not hurt them. We are allowed to defend ourselves of course.

    And if it seems to others that it only makes sense that we should enslave the weak and treat others in a way that makes them fear us, then because it seems so to them, that makes it a moral or legal good equal to your own sense?

    I get things wrong sometimes which is why I said “if it has merit”. I expect others to critically listen to what I say and point out errors I’ve made.

    But you still have offered no grounds buy which rational criticism can be applied! If you adopt morals because you feel them to be good, all anyone can to is try to make you feel bad about that thing instead, which wouldn’t involve logic because there’s nothing from which a logical argument can be drawn. How can you get your feelings or sentiment “wrong”, other than by someone just making you feel a different way about a thing via whatever rhetoric or emotional pleading they offer?

    I don’t think there’s some great secret to this. Or some transcendental metric. I believe in consensus arrived at without coercion or bribery.

    So as long as consensus (or the legislation & legal process) says X, X is moral and should be legal? If so, you have no grounds by which to defy consensus. Yet you would, given you felt strong enough about it.

    It doesn’t always work but I haven’t found anything more fair. There are systems that are more efficient of course.

    I don’t understand what you could mean by “it doesn’t always work.” If you are saying that how something becomes “right” is by the the process you describe, then whatever that process ends says is right by endorsing it as law is factually what is right to the degree that anything can be right. The process says so.

    If you cannot understand that a morality based on sentiment and feeling can entirely be manipulated via sentiment and feeling and is certainly not a rational system upon which to base any law or legislation, then I don’t know what else to tell you.

    Well, it seems to work pretty well and you have yet to provide an alternative.

    This, again, goes to show the gulf of concept between us. It’s like you and Ziggy describe to me a flowchart for the process of building a tower – sketch the form you want, get some materials together, hire some workers and start building. If part of it falls down or creates an issue, start over or use some other material or hire a different guy. You get what you get, for better or worse, sometimes it works, sometimes not.

    What stephenb, kf and I a are trying to bring to light is that putting some more thought into what you are trying to do might save problems or even a catastrophe down the road. Get an architect and some engineers, some people who understand the stresses involved in building a tower. Figure out what the tower is going to be use for – what purpose it serves. Hire workers suitable to the task. Find the proper materials. Then you begin with a proper foundation.

    You are treating the very structure of society – what is right and wrong, and what laws should be instituted, as if it’s all a matter of personal sentiment and who can persuade others better via rhetoric and emotional pleading.

    Use sentiment and empathy to figure out how to build a tower and see what happens. Yet, you want to build the future of western civilization and maintain a good society based on nothing more than personal sentiment and feelings. Do you not see the folly in that?

    I don’t understand what you are looking for? Some hard and fast rule that is never changing? That doesn’t exist.

    If you do not hold that regardless of the country, era, or culture, it is wrong to gratuitously torture children, then once again, I don’t know what to tell you. There are some things that are self-evidently wrong, and they are wrong regardless of who thinks they are right.

  410. 410

    Aleta said:

    Ivan lives in a world, around 200 years ago in Russia, where deep cultural religious commitment is being challenged by secularism and atheism. (sound familiar?) Ivan’s dilemma is that even though he doesn’t know whether he believes in God or not, he knows he can’t accept God if God does in fact exist.

    No, he knows he cannot accept a particular version/conceptualization of god if that god in fact exists. Unfortunately, what most people operate from when considering if god is “worth” accepting are very narrow and often unsophisticated concepts of god. I agree that if some things purported to be god are in fact god, it’s not worth accepting.

    However, there could certainly be a god worth accepting, or a god that the acceptance of which is irrelevant.

  411. 411
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #402:

    But those are just my opinions. I am not insisting that others accept them. As long as we generally agree on the core values necessary for society to thrive, does it really matter whether they are objective or subjective?

    I find this to be one of the most interesting differences between folks who think (in some cases KNOW) that morals are objective or that they are not.

    The latter seem to be perfectly happy to share a discussion (or society) with folks who hold either viewpoint. Yet, the former seems to view people who disagree as deluded or irrational and not capable of engaging in rational discourse. So I wonder what their plan is?

  412. 412
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #406:

    But is slavery objectively evil (immoral)? I think we all agree that it is an abhorrent practice, but is it objectively so or subjectively so? The bible does not condemn it. Neither did Aristotle. The bible provides warnings about mistreating slaves, but not against the practice itself. I would think that if it is abhorrent as we all think it is, it would rank right up there with though shall not kill and thou shall not steal. Although, I guess, putting someone in slavery is stealing his/her freedom.

    If it’s in the bible there will surely be a few people on this board who will defend it as objectively good and moral.

    Slavery, in particular, I seem to remember was defended by a person here as essentially a way to pay off debt. And the argument was that as such slavery was a kindness that allowed the debtor to lead a good and productive live, get fed and sheltered, and ultimately buy back his freedom.

    Killing the men, women, and children of defeated foes was also labeled as morally acceptable (even though reasons for the were murky). It ranged, I believe, from them being so sinful that they deserved death, to preventing them from killing others by killing them first, all the way down to doing the children a kindness by not having to be raised by sinners (or as orphans I guess).

  413. 413
    Aleta says:

    to WJM: Ivan rejects the God of the Catholic Church at the time.

    Would you like to explain what a proper, sophisticated view of God is as opposed to “a very narrow and often unsophisticated concepts of god.”

    And which is Ivan’s: sophisticated or not?

    And how do you know that the version you might offer as sophisticated is not just your “particular version/conceptualization of god.”

  414. 414
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    If it’s in the bible there will surely be a few people on this board who will defend it as objectively good and moral.

    Cutting someone up into 12 pieces is also in the Bible. That doesn’t mean it is endorsed as objectively good and moral.

    Additionally, the concept of a bond servant (at least those bonded to a righteous master) isn’t all that different to what I and many others experienced when volunteering for military service.

  415. 415
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #414:

    Surely you can read from the context I was referring to things either directly commanded by god or to something that was at least endorsed by the bible. Not something that was portrayed as a crime.

  416. 416
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    The ‘Now what?’ refers to the same question in the same context at all times:

    OK. If that is the way you meant it, then that is the way I will take it.

    So, now what are we to do? I have laid out what
    I think my options are (I think first in #256). Are the options for you in any way different?

    There is no disagreement on the range of options. If you are asking what we do after that, then the answer should be evident: We allow the natural moral law to inform all the civil laws, changing the bad ones and retaining the good ones to meet the standard–though the civil law should not be as rigorous as the standard that it follows. It’s possible to maintain a well-ordered society even though some people behave badly. It is not possible to maintain a well-ordered society of nobody knows what “bad behavior” means.

    .
    You say you agree that there is a natural moral law (sort of) but you also say that your moral law is different than mine. Well, fine. Let’s put it out there.

    My understanding of the Natural Moral Law is this: A standard of behavior that is consistent with human nature and the inherent dignity of the human person, including The Ten Commandments, and The Sermon on the Mount.

    What is your definition of the natural moral law, how does it differ from mine, and why is it different?

    At the very least, I can tell you for sure that your proclamations are not helping you to convince people that SSM should not be lawful.

    How can you possibly know that? We have thousands of readers. I am writing for them, many of whom are not afraid to follow good arguments where they lead. The leftists on this thread are not interested in good arguments, as if evident from their behavior. They are not my real audience.

    EDIT: I’m pretty certain that I have not asked about what if we agree whether or not there is a moral component to the law.

    If I misunderstood you, then I will drop the matter. I would never intentionally make a false charge.

  417. 417
    Phinehas says:

    Aleta:

    Would you like to explain what a proper, sophisticated view of God is as opposed to “a very narrow and often unsophisticated concepts of god.”

    I’d say Isaiah’s view of God, which I referenced earlier, is quite sophisticated. Similarly for the Apostle John’s view, which helped inform some of my other thoughts in our discussion. At the very least, Ivan’s view was not very imaginative, and at worst, it ignored what was revealed of God by Isaiah and John. If you had strong thoughts or arguments to the contrary, one supposes you would have addressed my earlier response @377.

  418. 418
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Surely you can read from the context I was referring to things either directly commanded by god or to something that was at least endorsed by the bible. Not something that was portrayed as a crime.

    The cutting up into 12 pieces wasn’t portrayed as a crime. It was simply narrative.

    Feel free to point out where God commands to make of others slaves though. As I noted, a bond servant (certainly when treated according to God’s law) isn’t all that different to military service. The kind of slavery you reference goes against pretty much everything the Bible teaches, which helps explain why Christian faith can be associated so closely with the abolitionists.

  419. 419
    Phinehas says:

    ZL:

    I consider myself Christian, but I certainly don’t believe in everything that the Church teaches.

    Are you at least the kind of Christian that believes in God? If God exists, then how could objective truth not?

    Or are you confusing epistemology with ontology?

  420. 420
    vividbleau says:

    RE 402

    Ziggy

    “But those are just my opinions. I am not insisting that others accept them. As long as we generally agree on the core values necessary for society to thrive, does it really matter whether they are objective or subjective?”

    I think Ziggy brings up an interesting question “does it really matter..?” Isn’t this like asking “does truth matter” and here lies the problem.

    I would venture to guess that most of those who reject that absolute objective morals exist also reject that there is such a thing as absolute truth. The fact that the position that there are no absolute truths is incoherent and self refuting goes right over their head. Thus we should not be surprised that logic and rationality itself is coming under attack by the relativists. I am not speaking of any of the moral relativists as it relates to this thread.

    Does rational debate matter? To the relativists is someone absolutely wrong? I am a moral objectivist and someone else is not and holds the exact contrary position to mine, is one of us absolutely wrong and in error?

    Does might make right matter?

    Does truth matter?

    Vivid

  421. 421
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Killing the men, women, and children of defeated foes was also labeled as morally acceptable (even though reasons for the were murky). It ranged, I believe, from them being so sinful that they deserved death, to preventing them from killing others by killing them first, all the way down to doing the children a kindness by not having to be raised by sinners (or as orphans I guess).

    You speak almost as though you think the person who endorsed this view was objectively wrong. Surely that can’t be right. In addition, if these Israelites had the same sort of malleable morality that you’ve professed, on what basis can you judge them? And if others who don’t share your subjective morality judge the Israelites differently than you do, on what basis do you judge those people?

  422. 422
    Aleta says:

    Hi Phinehas.

    in 377, you wrote,

    At least nothing that Ivan can imagine. But we’ve agreed Ivan is at least as limited as we are in his understanding.

    Even so, I can imagine things that can undo the torture.

    What of a glorified body that bears no scars? What of amnesia? What of a wiping away of all tears? Can Ivan really not imagine a God who was wounded for our transgressions, who was bruised for our iniquity, whose punishment brought us peace, and by whose wounds we are completely and comprehensively healed? Isaiah certainly could.

    But Ivan’s point is that the child has suffered, not Jesus. I also think that Ivan would say (he in fact does seem to say) that it is not enough for there to be things in the future that might atone for the suffering, and possibly even erase I guess, the memory or scars of the suffering.

    Because the child did suffer – those moments happened, and no amount of rationalization about the sufferings of Jesus or some future harmony can cancel out those moments out.

    Ivan also, as I have said, takes the position that he is not satisfied with the idea that there may be some acceptable reason for the suffering in the mind of God that Ivan just can’t understand because of his human limitations. Ivan is taking a stand for humanity in the here and now, from the point of view of a human being. He rejects the idea that one must accept on faith that solutions from the perspective of God, and some future reconciliation, are sufficient.

    My guess is that what you are calling a sophisticated view Ivan would consider a rationalization that avoids the real issue.

  423. 423
    Phinehas says:

    From the Johnson article I linked earlier:

    To a modernist, who by definition relies only upon human authority, natural law in the Thomistic sense is no longer supportable because it would have to rest upon the unacceptable premise that nature was supernaturally created. There are still plenty of people around who would like to argue that a moral code can be discerned from nature, but the modernist understanding of nature undermines their efforts. According to Judge Richard Posner, the very idea of natural law rests upon a premodern picture of nature that science has discredited.

    Even the term “natural law” is an anachronism. The majority of educated Americans believe that nature is the amoral scene of Darwinian struggle. Occasional attempts are made to derive social norms from nature so conceived, but they are not likely to succeed. It is true that a variety of widely accepted norms, including the keeping of certain promises, the abhorrence of unjustified killing of human beings, and perhaps even the sanctity of property rights, promote the adaption of the human species to its environment. But so does genocide.

    In other words, a certain amount of social cooperation is natural, in the Darwinian sense, because it tends to promote the survival of a tribe or kinship group. Murderous violence against outsiders is equally natural, because it promotes the spreading of one group’s genes by eliminating competing genes. In fact, Darwinian natural selection is defined as a process by which superior varieties exterminate their inferiors, whether by attacking them directly or by competing more effectively for limited resources. It is therefore no wonder that equating what is natural with what is good”i.e., trying to derive “ought” from is”is dismissed these days as the “naturalistic fallacy.”

    Modernists therefore see no merit in natural law propositions about, say, sexual morality. For example, even if one grants that homosexual intercourse or abortion is in a sense less natural than heterosexual intercourse or childbirth (because it does not further reproduction), it does not follow that “unnatural” means wrong, or even undesirable. It is equally unnatural for humans to fly in airplanes, since we are not born with wings. Rejection of the naturalistic fallacy does not necessarily mean that modernists discard natural law altogether, however. As Senator Biden’s article indicates, modernists are much more comfortable with the idea of natural rights than with natural obligations. Because the individual human subject”Leff’s godlet”is the modernist starting point, it seems reasonable to place a heavy burden of justification upon anyone who seeks to restrain the liberty of that subject. This burden of justification is what Leff whimsically called “the grand sez who.”

    The assertion of rights cannot for long be separated from the imposition of duties, however. If we give X a right to do as she wants, and she wants to get an abortion, we must soon face the question of protecting her from Y, who wants to protect the rights of unborn children. If majority opinion in the legislature favors some restrictions upon abortion, and there is no specific language in the Constitution on the subject, then “pro-choice” forces have to invoke something very much like a natural law duty to get their way. “Thou shalt not interfere with a woman’s right to choose abortion; indeed, thou must help to pay for abortions through tax money; more than that, thou shalt not legislate that the woman contemplating abortion must be fully informed about the potential adoptive parents who desperately want to provide a loving home for her unborn child.” Sez who?

    The modernist impasse, in other words, does not stymie as long as all we are doing is proclaiming liberties. The problem for modernists is how to justify imposing obligations. Homosexuals have a right to be homosexuals, of course, but do employers who disapprove have an obligation to hire them? The poor have a right to public assistance, of course, but do the more fortunate and productive citizens have a right to refuse to pay when they think the tax burden has become unreasonable? The rights of all citizens must be protected, of course, but who are the citizens? What about infants, the unborn, foreigners, and animals? Who or what has the authority to tell us whom we ought to admit to the sphere of protection?

    Most of Leff’s lecture consisted of a review of all the unsuccessful attempts to establish an objective moral order on a foundation of human construction, i.e., to put something else in God’s place as the unevaluated evaluator. The asserted non-supernatural sources of moral authority are many and varied, and each is only temporarily convincing. They include: the command of the sovereign; the majority of the voters; the principle of utility; the Supreme Court’s varying interpretations of the Constitution’s great but ambiguous phrases; the subtle implications of platitudinous shared values like “equality” or “autonomy”; and even a hypothetical social contract that abstract persons might adopt in the imaginary “original position” described by John Rawls. Every alternative rests ultimately on human authority, because that is what remains when God is removed from the picture. But human authority always becomes inadequate as soon as people learn to challenge its pretensions. Every system fails the test of “the grand sez who.”

  424. 424
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #416:

    We allow the natural moral law to inform all the civil laws, changing the bad ones and retaining the good ones to meet the standard–though the civil law should not be as rigorous as the standard that it follows.

    What do you mean by ‘we allow’? In practical terms, given that we are living in a society with laws in place how do ‘we allow’ that to happen?

    My understanding of the Natural Moral Law is this: A standard of behavior that is consistent with human nature and the inherent dignity of the human person, including The Ten Commandments, and The Sermon on the Mount.

    Here’s where we indeed differ drastically. I’m not even sure what it means for the law to be ‘consistent with human nature’. Do you mean that if you believe something is inconsistent with human nature it should be unlawful? And do you honestly believe that the law should be guided by the 10 commandments? You can’t be serious, right? Taking the first commandment would be akin to establishing a Christian theocracy, no?

    My moral understanding is much closer to essentially the golden rule with a healthy dose of no harm-no foul. However, I do not think that my morals are easily described in a couple of catchy sentences. As others have said before, I believe that a person’s morals are the product of their natural instincts (mainly driven by empathy) and heavily influenced by authority figures (such as parents, teachers, coaches, role models, …) and peers (such as sibling, friends, class mates, …). In most cases these morals develop without much active thought, however, rational though, in the context of all the other influences, often is needed to drive answers to specific moral questions.

    So, in other words, I can’t give you a specific moral framework on which I would base law. In fact, as you may know, I think it unnecessary to even have such a framework when considering the law because laws are made by people with their own morals. Even if I had such a framework, the lawgivers would not necessarily share it.

    How can you possibly know that?

    Call it a hunch if you like.

  425. 425
    ziggy lorenc says:

    V — “Could you clarify that a bit?”

    I thought he was referring to our moral governance, not a physically manifested government. But, it is KF, so I may have misunderstood what he was trying to say.

  426. 426
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #418:

    My bad. I should read more before I comment on something.

    As for the slaves, it seems that you are already defending the practice without me showing where god commanded taking slaves is ok. I’m pretty sure we can find a passage where god commanded the killing of all men and all women who are not virgins, but to keep all the virgins ‘for yourself’. Now you may argue that this does not suggest the virgins would be kept as slaves (and abused in rather unsavory ways)…

  427. 427
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #421:

    You speak almost as though you think the person who endorsed this view was objectively wrong. Surely that can’t be right. In addition, if these Israelites had the same sort of malleable morality that you’ve professed, on what basis can you judge them? And if others who don’t share your subjective morality judge the Israelites differently than you do, on what basis do you judge those people?

    Come on, give it up already. I do not say that this is objectively wrong. I am saying it is wrong. If you want to probe where I think my morals come from check in on #424. But if you’d rather go around trying to convince people who don’t think that morals are objective that they, in fact, do believe they are (even though they are either unaware or lying about it), then so be it. Just let me know.

  428. 428
    Phinehas says:

    Aleta:

    But Ivan’s point is that the child has suffered, not Jesus. I also think that Ivan would say (he in fact does seem to say) that it is not enough for there to be things in the future that might atone for the suffering, and possibly even erase I guess, the memory or scars of the suffering.

    Too bad Ivan isn’t here to support that view. One wonders how he would go about taking umbrage with the Apostle Paul’s claim to the contrary: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

    But perhaps Ivan’s view is more sophisticated that the Apostle Paul’s?

    Because the child did suffer – those moments happened, and no amount of rationalization about the sufferings of Jesus or some future harmony can cancel out those moments out.

    Again, too bad Ivan can’t support this view. He might start by addressing what the Apostle Johns says: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

    Ivan also, as I have said, takes the position that he is not satisfied with the idea that there may be some acceptable reason for the suffering in the mind of God that Ivan just can’t understand because of his human limitations. Ivan is taking a stand for humanity in the here and now, from the point of view of a human being. He rejects the idea that one must accept on faith that solutions from the perspective of God, and some future reconciliation, are sufficient.

    My guess is that what you are calling a sophisticated view Ivan would consider a rationalization that avoids the real issue.

    My guess is that the Apostles Paul and John might consider Ivan a bit foolish.

  429. 429
    Aleta says:

    Yes, I certain Ivan would disagree — does disagree — with Paul and John. The name of the chapter is Rebellion, not Acceptance.

    But in my opinion (and I’m not a Christian, so this is not surprising), Ivan has some powerful things to say.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  430. 430
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Phinehas — “which helps explain why Christian faith can be associated so closely with the abolitionists.”

    And so closely with the people defending it. That was my point about slavery in the bible. It is vague on the subject.

  431. 431
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    I do not say that this is objectively wrong. I am saying it is wrong.

    What’s the difference? Or did you simply mean:

    I do not say that this is objectively wrong. I am saying it is wrong [for me].

    OK? Personally, I think liver is wrong.

    In any case, you still haven’t really answered:

    Phin: In addition, if these Israelites had the same sort of malleable morality that you’ve professed, on what basis can you judge them? And if others who don’t share your subjective morality judge the Israelites differently than you do, on what basis do you judge those people?

    ‘Cause it really sounded like you were judging those who held a different view than yours. Maybe even ridiculing them a bit. Merely for their personally held views?

  432. 432
    Phinehas says:

    Aleta:

    But in my opinion (and I’m not a Christian, so this is not surprising), Ivan has some powerful things to say.

    Feel free to discuss which things he says you consider powerful if you like.

  433. 433
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Phinehas — “Are you at least the kind of Christian that believes in God? If God exists, then how could objective truth not?”

    Yes, I believe God exists. But I don’t think he bothers himself with the types of non-“truth” that KF gets so worked up about. Homosexuality, SSM, birth control, gender neutral bathrooms, etc.

    People keep bringing up the idea that torturing babies is objectively wrong. I agree that it is wrong, but if it is objectively wrong (God dictated), why do children suffer and die horrible deaths every day as the result of disease? Surely God could prevent this if it is objectively wrong.

    My point is simply that the commonly held core values can just as easily be explains as the rules that we have worked out over the long centuries in order to live safely and securely in a society. After all, we have brains that are capable of rational thought and abstract reasoning. That has to be good for something.

  434. 434
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL & VS:

    Slavery is an evil, a privation of the good of freedom. However there are circumstances where it may be a lesser evil than the realistic alternatives; e.g. indentured servitude vs starvation. This is a material issue, one that is often overlooked.

    Chattel slavery is a particularly extreme form, and in the context was tied to a kidnapping based trade.

    I focussed my attention on the question of pragmatism, which I note was set aside to go off on a tangent.

    Pragmatism thus its criterion of “it works” is not a sound criterion of the good, as powerful evil may enforce success for decades or centuries. That can be in government proper or the wider community.

    That point stands.

    KF

  435. 435
    Eugen says:

    “Call it a hunch if you like.”

    Another pecadillo!

    Atheists love pecadillos 🙂 that’s the basis of all their arguments so far.

  436. 436
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #431:

    As I said, just give it up.

    Cause it really sounded like you were judging those who held a different view than yours. Maybe even ridiculing them a bit. Merely for their personally held views?

    Yes, both judging and ridiculing. And yes, merely for my own personally held view. You may not be aware of this, but sometimes people who don’t believe in objective morals go even as far as killing others merely for their own personally held views.

    So, now that you know this for sure, can you clarify for me: Do you believe that people who claim not to believe in objective morals to actively attempting to deceive (i.e. they know they are wrong) or simply being deluded (i.e. they don’t know they are wrong) or holding an equally defensible position that can not be decided (i.e. you don’t know if they are wrong)?

    Thanks for the answer.

  437. 437
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #434:

    And there you go. I figured it wouldn’t be long.

    I wonder when the defense for ‘kill every man, woman, child, oxen, …’ is going to come in.

  438. 438
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “Slavery is an evil, a privation of the good of freedom. However there are circumstances where it may be a lesser evil than the realistic alternatives;”

    Is this one of the lesser evils?

    If man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

    So, it is OK to beat your slave as long as he or she doesn’t die?

  439. 439
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    As I said, just give it up.

    If nothing else, at least you are becoming more direct in your efforts to stifle debate.

    Yes, both judging and ridiculing. And yes, merely for my own personally held view. You may not be aware of this, but sometimes people who don’t believe in objective morals go even as far as killing others merely for their own personally held views.

    Your ridicule surely belies you belief that their view isn’t as valid as yours. Why are your personally held views any more valid than their personally held views?

    So, now that you know this for sure, can you clarify for me: Do you believe that people who claim not to believe in objective morals to actively attempting to deceive (i.e. they know they are wrong) or simply being deluded (i.e. they don’t know they are wrong) or holding an equally defensible position that can not be decided (i.e. you don’t know if they are wrong)?

    Setting aside the difficulty of both giving up the discussion while at the same time clarifying things for you…

    Simply being deluded.

    I wonder when the defense for ‘kill every man, woman, child, oxen, …’ is going to come in.

    Why ever would someone feel a need to defend against your personally held preferences about what a God you don’t believe in told some other folks to do millenia ago? Especially when it was quite likely in keeping with the personally held preferences of most of their contemporaries, which given the malleable morality you profess makes their actions all but determined by their environment?

  440. 440

    Aleta @ 413:

    The main point was that there are other concepts of god that don’t lead to Ivan’s dilemma.

    A good place to start might be here: Classical theism

    Most arguments and rejections of god that I have seen (in addition to my own when I became an atheist) centered around some pretty superficial, narrow concepts of god, IMO. Like the cartoon caricatures Dawkins and Harris offer up in their attacks on god and religion.

  441. 441
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #439:

    You are funny Phineas. Stifling debate! I’m still chuckling about it.

    And thanks also for saying outright what you think of others.

    As for defending the killing… nobody should feel compelled to do so. I was merely observing that usually this doesn’t take very long on this board.

  442. 442
    Phinehas says:

    ZL:

    Yes, I believe God exists.

    If God exists, then how can objective truth not exist? If God declares a thing to be true, then is it possible for it to not be objectively true? How so?

    But I don’t think he bothers himself with the types of non-“truth” that KF gets so worked up about. Homosexuality, SSM, birth control, gender neutral bathrooms, etc.

    On what do you base this thinking?

    Someone mentioned the Ten Commandments earlier, in which God warns against graven images. But does the one who attempts to shape God according to the thoughts of their own mind really dishonor Him less than the one who attempts to shape Him with their hands? Surely the point is that if we are not worshiping God (the I AM that I AM) in spirit and in truth then we are not really worshiping Him at all. After all, a God who is would not be subject to nor beholden by your thoughts about what He may or may not bother Himself with.

  443. 443

    Ziggy said:

    People keep bringing up the idea that torturing babies is objectively wrong. I agree that it is wrong, but if it is objectively wrong (God dictated), why do children suffer and die horrible deaths every day as the result of disease? Surely God could prevent this if it is objectively wrong.

    Or, perhaps you just haven’t found a theistic structure within which such a state of affairs makes sense?

  444. 444
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    And thanks also for saying outright what you think of others.

    Why should I not? For fear of your personally held preference to ridicule others for the simple fact they hold a different preference?

    I think it a more rational position to ridicule others because you are convinced that what they believe is not just wrong for you, but wrong for them too.

    After all, I don’t see many people ridicule others because of their preference for a particular flavor of ice cream. I don’t claim liking vanilla ice cream is objectively wrong. I just claim it is wrong…said no one ever.

    I merely picked from the three choices you offered, but if I were using my own words, I would say that such people are being highly inconsistent in living out what they claim to believe.

  445. 445
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr. Murray — “Or, perhaps you just haven’t found a theistic structure within which such a state of affairs makes sense?”

    Quite possible. Which theistic structure satisfactorily explains this scenario?

  446. 446
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #444:

    Saying that I’m highly inconsistent in living out what I claim to believe is actually not clear enough. That could be true whether I’m right or wrong.

    Either way, we all have seen these discussions before. Heterosexual on the on anywhere

    For practical purposes though it is interesting that whether morals are objective or not, it actually changes nothing about how we can deal with moral disagreements. In the context of laws, StephenB and I have apparently found this common ground. Would you agre?

  447. 447
    velikovskys says:

    KF:
    I cannot force you to acknowledge something as patent as that men and women are sexually complementary, but you cannot avoid the consequences of warping law to distort

    On the contrary KF, I relish the complementary aspects of the female, and if the law said otherwise my interest would be unabated.

    Some consequences are exceedingly damaging and costly but it seems our civilisation is increasingly bent on such under the influence of powerful agendas.

    I agree there are some scary lesbians out there but hardly see how two 60y old lesbians present more damaging threat than Climate Change which no doubt unconcerns you

    And that is part of my pessimism about it.

    Perhaps a vacation might perk you up, Colorado is nice and fairly straight in parts

    The folks at Fair Havens mid Oct 59, scoffed at the warning and sailed out on an apparently favourable wind.

    Yes, I read your link

    Only to have an encounter of the worst kind with Euroaquilo.

    many a sailor has met his maker.

  448. 448
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    What do you mean by ‘we allow’? In practical terms, given that we are living in a society with laws in place how do ‘we allow’ that to happen?

    It means we don’t formulate unjust and unreasonable laws based on the mindless preferences and subjective whims of the ruling class. It means we form just laws based on the objective standards of justice so that everyone, including the ruling class, are held accountable.

    And do you honestly believe that the law should be guided by the 10 commandments?

    The civil law should be informed by the rules for human behavior and human interaction found in the Ten Commandments, and by reason’s rules, both of which are manifestations of the natural moral law.

    You can’t be serious, right? Taking the first commandment would be akin to establishing a Christian theocracy, no?

    The first commandment has nothing to do with human interaction. The civil law is about human interaction.

    However, I do not think that my morals are easily described in a couple of catchy sentences.

    If you cannot articulate your understanding of objective morality, then you don’t really have one, do you? Perhaps what you thought was an idea was just a feeling.

    As others have said before, I believe that a person’s morals are the product of their natural instincts (mainly driven by empathy) and heavily influenced by authority figures (such as parents, teachers, coaches, role models, …) and peers (such as sibling, friends, class mates, …). In most cases these morals develop without much active thought, however, rational though, in the context of all the other influences, often is needed to drive answers to specific moral questions.

    That comment hardly deals with the question of which morals are right or wrong. In fact, it is totally irrelevant. You have not really thought this subject through. That is why you often think you have an idea until it is challenged, at which time you find that it was just a feeling.

    So, in other words, I can’t give you a specific moral framework on which I would base law. In fact, as you may know, I think it unnecessary to even have such a framework when considering the law because laws are made by people with their own morals. Even if I had such a framework, the lawgivers would not necessarily share it.

    So you don’t think it is necessary to discern a just law from an unjust law? For you, it would seem, a majority of people in the United States can discriminate against blacks, which they did for decades, and you don’t think there is any objective moral standard to tell them they are wrong. You would, therefore, disagree with Martin Luther King Jr., who said that it didn’t matter if racists were in the majority because they were violating the natural law and must, therefore, stop (That is precisely what happened). You would say, it seems, that MLK had no argument and should have agreed that the “law is the law,” and that blacks should learn to live with it. That is the position you (and ziggy) are arguing for.

  449. 449
    ziggy lorenc says:

    V — “Perhaps a vacation might perk you up, Colorado is nice and fairly straight in parts.”

    And the ready availability of THC gummy-bears might temper KF’s tone dramatically.

    KF, seriously, you really have to lighten up. Have some fun. Smell the roses. Sexual imagery in someone’s comment isn’t a sign of the downfall of civilization. I’m a 60+ year old woman and I still enjoy sex for the pure pleasure of it. Can your wife say the same? If not, do something about it.

  450. 450

    Ziggy said:

    Quite possible. Which theistic structure satisfactorily explains this scenario?

    I don’t know what would satisfy you. My point being, there are many theistic frameworks. I used to have the same issue about a good god and the suffering of children – heck, I used to make the same complaint. However, investigating various frameworks and doing some rational examination has led me to understand that my complaint was based upon a pretty superficial conceptualization of god and what it means to exist as a moral agent with free will, and a pretty childish idea of what “good” means, especially in regards to god.

  451. 451
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr. Murray. Thank you for your words. I know that I have not always been easy to deal with, but your words are certainly welcome.

    Personally, I have dealt with this dilemma by accepting that God does not present us with objective right and wrong (morality) but lets us use our free will to figure it out for ourselves. Life is not fair, and God never said it was. But we are responsible for bringing the fairness to our lives. And to others. Which is why I argue for subjective morality.

  452. 452
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #448:

    It means we don’t formulate unjust and unreasonable laws based on the mindless preferences and subjective whims of the ruling class. It means we form just laws based on the objective standards of justice so that everyone, including the ruling class, are held accountable.

    I’m asking what do you, in practice, mean. Surely you do not mean the we (as in you and I) formulate just and reasonable laws.

    The civil law should be informed by the rules for human behavior and human interaction found in the Ten Commandments, and by reason’s rules, both of which are manifestations of the natural moral law.

    So the civil law should punish the making of graven images or committing adultery or not keeping the sabbath holy?

    Again, this sounds like you with to establish christian theocracy?

    If you cannot articulate your understanding of objective morality, then you don’t really have one, do you? Perhaps what you thought was an idea was just a feeling.

    I thought that by now I made it ABUNDANTLY clear that I do not have ‘objective morality’. I do not believe there is such a thing.

    That comment hardly deals with the question of which morals are right or wrong. In fact, it is totally irrelevant. You have not really thought this subject through. That is why you often think you have an idea until it is challenged, at which time you find that it was just a feeling.

    Of course not. It deals with the source of morals not whether anything in particular is moral or not. Again, that should be abundantly clear.

    So you don’t think it is necessary to discern a just law from an unjust law? […]

    I reread my writing and I did not say that in the least. I continuously evaluate if laws are just or not. It is irrelevant to me if the original lawmakers thought it was just or moral and also why they might have thought so.

    I clearly laid out in past posts what I think my options are when I think that a law is not just. We are all in the same boat there, remember?

  453. 453
    Andre says:

    Ziggy

    All human beings know objectively right from wrong. This is evident in all cultures but, here is what is interesting every human being have the ability to override that builtin moral code any time they choose.

    I was an atheist because I could not reconcile pain and suffering with a loving God until I realised that it was through pain and suffering that God displayed his glory to us.

  454. 454
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #453:

    All human beings know objectively right from wrong. This is evident in all cultures …

    And yet, throughout cultures and more so throughout time what is considered right or wrong can differ drastically.

    Let me make a wild guess here: By sheer coincidence, everybody other than your brand of western christian is or has been overriding their built-in moral code while you are not?

  455. 455
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre — “All human beings know objectively right from wrong. “

    No. They think they do.

    Andre –“This is evident in all cultures…”

    I agree. The Mayans knew objectively that human sacrifices were good. The nazis knew objectively that killing Jews was good.

    Andre — “I was an atheist because I could not reconcile pain and suffering with a loving God until I realised that it was through pain and suffering that God displayed his glory to us.”

    How is God displaying his glory by making a child suffer with cancer?

  456. 456
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    I’m asking what do you, in practice, mean. Surely you do not mean the we (as in you and I) formulate just and reasonable laws.

    I don’t know why you struggle so much with this point. No, you and I are not legislators, so we don’t pass laws. (I can’t believe I have to explain this). I am saying that we (as a society) should pass moral laws, and that we should not pass immoral laws. It also means that we should retain just laws and abrogate unjust laws.

    SB: The civil law should be informed by the rules for human behavior and human interaction found in the Ten Commandments, and by reason’s rules, both of which are manifestations of the natural moral law.

    So the civil law should punish the making of graven images or committing adultery or not keeping the sabbath holy?

    Again, this sounds like you with to establish christian theocracy?

    No, not even close. As I stated in my last post,

    –“The civil law should be informed by the rules for human behavior and human interaction found in the Ten Commandments, and by reason’s rules, both of which are manifestations of the natural moral law.”

    Did you read anything in that sentence about God and “graven images?”

    and again,

    –“The first commandment has nothing to do with human interaction. The civil law is about human interaction.”

    What is it about the words “human interaction” that you do not understand? There is no theocratic component to it. We are discussing principles by which just and unjust civil laws can be identified. Nothing more.

    I continuously evaluate if laws are just or not.

    How can you discern a just law from an unjust law if you do not believe there is any such thing as objective morality and justice? Again, you are not thinking the matter through. What you must mean is that you evaluate which laws please you and which one’s to not. That is hardly the same thing.

    I clearly laid out in past posts what I think my options are when I think that a law is not just. We are all in the same boat there, remember?

    Your four options have absolutely nothing to do with the task of discerning just laws from unjust laws. It is simply a list of obvious things we can do in response to laws already in existence.

    Why did you dodge my question about Martin Luther King and the liberation of blacks? He said that it didn’t matter that majority of people were against him because the Natural Moral Law said they were wrong. Would you tell him he was right, (and that I am right) or would you say, “the law is the law,” and blacks are going to have to live with it. Or, if you think they should not live with it, what is your argument in support of that decision?

  457. 457
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL,

    this is not a thread on Bible difficulties or Sunday school ticklers; a rhetorical gambit that shows the clear pattern of let’s go off on a tangent and taint the Judaeo-Christian tradition as though that discredits the manifestly evident principles of the natural moral law relevant to the major issue raised.

    You would be well advised to read here on the sins of Christendom and also to understand that there is a pattern of ameliorative regulation of evils in the OT law (and of accommodation with the realities of living under Roman lifetime dictatorship of the early imperial era in the NT), which show real world compromises with evil but do not show what an idealised state would be . . . and of course the teaching of Philemon which was in fact pivotal to the abolition of slavery, on the premise of equality of people despite social relationships (to the point that the antislavery society motto came from it) is almost always neatly omitted; that is there is a refusal to understand that the despised gospel and Bible were in fact pivotal to the softening of hearts and renewal of minds that opened the door to removal of key evils in the world.

    Where also such reforms were only possible once democratic government was on the table, which awaited the influences of the Reformation and the invention of the printing press then creation of reasonably free expression and popular news papers . . . in other words the first time in human history such was possible was C17 – 19, which is exactly when these things happened.

    Perhaps the most telling is in the law on divorce which has this comment in Mal 2:16, I hate divorce says the Lord. I suggest to you that something like Miller’s Thinktank here or the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties may be helpful.

    What is not being faced is that the injection of influences of evolutionary materialist scientism (which self-fasifyingly undermines responsible rational freedom and so is both necessarily false and amoral) and its fellow travellers, linked extreme nominalism and radical relatic=vism portend to undermine all freedom and to ruin our civilisation. Not least through the watershed issue of lawfare and usurpation that has now put on the books an aggressive ideological reworking of law on marriage and family that will lead to the double slippery slopes of mutual polarisation and ruin that I have pointed out in the OP.

    Indeed the slide has patently begun as this thread abundantly shows. Your own repeated refusal to withdraw multiple unjustified accusations of bigotry, repeated twisting of issues and points in the most aggressively hostile and insulting fashion (including sexual insults that I had to call you on above) and manifest motivation by hostility speaks volumes on the nature of the descent into divide and ruin.

    Law is founded on justice, thence manifest principles of moral government, and lawfulness will not survive the shift to an amoral and readily manipulable might makes right foundation.

    Again, pointing to ruin.

    Where the increasingly aggressive agendas, dismissal of remonstrance and projection of base motivation to those who question the wisdom of the current path of our civilisation and polarisation show how there is a growing bent to proceed on a march of folly along the road to ruin.

    KF

  458. 458
    kairosfocus says:

    VS & DS, marriage as historically understood — conjugally — is based on the natural moral law principles implicit in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound child nurture linked to a stable community in the long term. That is what is being trifled with now by injecting extreme nominalism which as I have shown opens the door to nihilism. As in, if certain terms of law are now abracadabra words, who determines their meaning, answer . . . might and manipulation. I again invite a careful and reasonable rather than dismissive reading of Girgis et al and a listening to the lecture on the societal costs of such nominalism and projections unto those who object to it in the George lecture in the OP. Note as well the tape and illustration regarding what Gessen has said in cat out of the bag remarks. KF

  459. 459
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, “lighten up” is not an appropriate excuse in the teeth of twisting of words, to project unwarranted accusations of bigotry then utterly inappropriate allusion to onanism in order to taint the rhetorical target when corrected. Such behaviour is not appropriate to discussion in a reasonably civil forum. Especially in the context of onward unjustified accusations of hate, bigotry cowardice etc which have never been withdrawn. You patently know better so kindly do better. KF

    PS: I must add that the constant resort to personalise, polarise, taint, dismiss as you just did yet again in an aside to Phineas “KF gets worked up” further illustrates the problem. The issue is, as the OP discusses with a point by point argument that after many days you have never answered cogently, the natural moral law as foundational to rights and to claiming to be justified in behaviours (and so demanding that others accommodate rather than raise questions about or objections to such behaviour). Let me again clip it:

    1 –> inescapably, we are morally governed as individuals and as
    communities.

    2 –> on pain of immediate, patent absurdities, core moral
    principles are evident to conscience guided reason to certainty and are
    binding.

    3 –> systems of thought that reduce morality to subjectivity,
    relativism or to illusion end in implying grand delusion and utter
    unreliability of our intelligence and conscience.

    4 –> likewise, for things that undermine the premise that we have
    responsible, rational freedom and quasi-infinite worth and dignity;
    aptly captured in the traditional Judaeo Christan premise that we are
    equally created in the image of the good God and just Lord of all
    worlds.

    5 –> Right to life, to liberty, to conscience and responsible
    expression, to innocent reputation, to the fruit of our labour and more
    flow from this, as say the US DoI of 1776 epochally acknowledges.

    6 –> That document sums up this view in terms of the laws of
    nature and of nature’s God. It has far deeper idea roots and a
    centuries deep history behind it. Its legacy of liberty speaks for
    itself. Let me clip its first two paragraphs, noting the right of
    reformation and if necessary revolution in the face of a long train of
    abuses and usurpations (where the ballot box provides a peaceful
    instrument of audit, replacement, reformation and revolution but is
    critically dependent on an informed, responsible public cf the Ac 27
    case here . . . a sobering lesson on the perils of
    manipulated democracy):

    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 entitle
    them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
    should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
    equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
    Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
    Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted
    among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
    –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these
    ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to
    institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and
    organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely
    to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.

    7 –> In this context, a core basic right is a binding moral
    expectation to be respected in regards to key aspects of our nature.
    That is, it is the mirror image and dual of mutually binding
    obligations imposed by our nature and its inherent dignity. That is
    rights are inherently matters of moral law connected to our nature.

    8 –> As a consequence, a rights claim is a claim to be in the
    right and to be owed duties of care by others of like morally freighted
    nature.

    9 –> You cannot have a right to the wrong, you cannot demand that
    others enable and support you in the wrong, such is to poison other
    souls with the taint of compulsion to do and to support the wrong. Such
    is monstrous and wicked.

    10 –> Likewise, there are no rights to twist key institutions
    crucial to human thriving as individuals, families and communities. For
    the blessings of the civil peace of justice and liberty under
    legitimate law are key requisites of human thriving.

    11 –> This holds for demanding that marriage be perverted through
    lawfare and agit prop, and the linked demand that sexual perversion be
    acknowledged on equal terms with the manifest order of nature stamped
    into our genes, organs, biology of reproduction and social-
    psychological- relational requisites of sound child nurture.

    ignoring the point and attacking a strawman caricature of the man is an error of utter irrelevance, indeed it manifests the exact pattern I have had to point out as a habitual problem for evolutionary materalism advocates and fellow travellers in circles in and around UD: red herrings led away to strawman caricatures soaked in ad hominem accusations and rhetorically set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere rather than deal with the issues. A strong sign of failure on the actual merits but insistence on an agenda that is now dubious but seen as somehow advantageous to particular interests, aka agendas.

    Until you have a cogent answer, psychologising and projecting oh it’s just silly emotions of a bigot — that is the context of your wider discussion — is a gross and highly disrespectful fallacy. In fact with all due respect, you seem to have a problem of being repeatedly, almost habitually rude.

  460. 460
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, kindly observe that Andre pointed out that one can distort or dismiss the responsible, reasonable principles of the natural moral law, individually or as the dominant sectors of a community. The price one pays is moral incoherence and implicit might makes right nihilism, which is a strong sign something has gone deeply wrong. Listing cases of such incoherence does not undermine the point but in fact illustrates it. And you would find this on the objectivity of morality helpful, as the dismissal of that objectivity of being under ought even as you have spent many days trying to taint others as in the wrong is a similar manifestation of the incoherence of radical relativism. You appeal to the very same objectivity and binding nature of OUGHT that you would undermine. KF

  461. 461
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    Why did you pick those moral concepts up along the way, and leave behind others? Any reason other than personal sentiment – how you personally felt about any possible moral guideline?

    I try to incorporate stuff that actually seems to work.

    And if it seems to others that it only makes sense that we should enslave the weak and treat others in a way that makes them fear us, then because it seems so to them, that makes it a moral or legal good equal to your own sense?

    Doesn’t match up to The Golden Rule.

    But you still have offered no grounds buy which rational criticism can be applied! If you adopt morals because you feel them to be good, all anyone can to is try to make you feel bad about that thing instead, which wouldn’t involve logic because there’s nothing from which a logical argument can be drawn. How can you get your feelings or sentiment “wrong”, other than by someone just making you feel a different way about a thing via whatever rhetoric or emotional pleading they offer?

    I haven’t found an all-encompassing, consistent, extendable system. Do you have one?

    Again, it’s not just about me. Wrong means I held a view which didn’t work or was factually incorrect.

    So as long as consensus (or the legislation & legal process) says X, X is moral and should be legal? If so, you have no grounds by which to defy consensus. Yet you would, given you felt strong enough about it.

    I’m lucky enough to be living in a fairly tolerant society in which I am allowed to argue against things I believe to be incorrect. I admit that if I were living in Nazi-era Germany then I’d have to make the choice (at times) of risking my own life to make a point.

    I don’t understand what you could mean by “it doesn’t always work.” If you are saying that how something becomes “right” is by the the process you describe, then whatever that process ends says is right by endorsing it as law is factually what is right to the degree that anything can be right. The process says so.

    If you cannot understand that a morality based on sentiment and feeling can entirely be manipulated via sentiment and feeling and is certainly not a rational system upon which to base any law or legislation, then I don’t know what else to tell you.

    I agree, such a system can (and frequently is) manipulated by sentiment and feeling. Which is why people have to be allowed to voice their opposition and research and data must be generated and considered. It take time and effort and work. There are several UK legal situations which I think need some kind of adjustment and I support efforts to change them.

    What stephenb, kf and I a are trying to bring to light is that putting some more thought into what you are trying to do might save problems or even a catastrophe down the road. Get an architect and some engineers, some people who understand the stresses involved in building a tower. Figure out what the tower is going to be use for – what purpose it serves. Hire workers suitable to the task. Find the proper materials. Then you begin with a proper foundation.

    Four thousand + years of philosophy and religion have failed to arrive at such a system. Occasionally something like the US Constitution arises (I consider it a very good try) but even that has shown to be in need of constant evaluation and adjustment.

    You are treating the very structure of society – what is right and wrong, and what laws should be instituted, as if it’s all a matter of personal sentiment and who can persuade others better via rhetoric and emotional pleading.

    Except when you give your opponents a chance to air their views you can somewhat protect against some of your own personal feelings having too much influence. You have to listen to others and the research and the data. Like science, legal system are provisional.

    Use sentiment and empathy to figure out how to build a tower and see what happens. Yet, you want to build the future of western civilization and maintain a good society based on nothing more than personal sentiment and feelings. Do you not see the folly in that?

    Good think I’m not saying that then.

    If you do not hold that regardless of the country, era, or culture, it is wrong to gratuitously torture children, then once again, I don’t know what to tell you. There are some things that are self-evidently wrong, and they are wrong regardless of who thinks they are right.

    I do agree that gratuitously torturing ANYONE is wrong. But history is littered with people and cultures who disagree with that. Female genital mutilation happens in some countries now. All your philosophy and morals haven’t stopped that. So we have to work with other tools.

    Look, if you can build a better system then I’m all for it. I’ve just never seen one. So I work with what I’ve got. The world isn’t sitting around waiting for an ideal legal system to be bestowed. So, logical or not, there’s stuff that needs doing.

  462. 462

    It is the original sin to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    How on earth somebody can then say that the Abrahamic faiths supports objective morality, that only demonstrates how strong the temptation for this sin is, that it can turn religion upside down.

    Communism and nazism were examples of objective morality. Scientific morality. Objective morality doesn’t work out well. This is because with objective morality the course of action of people is determined by the facts of good and evil, so that their emotions play no role anymore in their behaviour.

    What we want is to validate subjectivity in it’s own right, apart from objectivity. So we can say that Hitler was evil, say that the evil is real, eventhough the existence of the evil is a matter of opinion. For that we have to conceive of the evil as being the agency of decisions of Hitler.

    So it is not acts that are evil, nor Jewish genetics that are evil, or Aryan genetics that ar good, nor enviromental conditions that are evil, in essence only agency can be judged to be evil.

  463. 463

    Ziggy said:

    Personally, I have dealt with this dilemma by accepting that God does not present us with objective right and wrong (morality) but lets us use our free will to figure it out for ourselves.

    The problem is, Ziggy, if objective right and wrong doesn’t exist, there’s nothing to “figure out”, at least not in any rational (logical) sense of the phrase. It would not be like “figuring out” the gravitational constant or the speed of light or what materials would be best suited to use as a re-entry heat shield. It would be like “figuring out” your favorite color or flavor or movie. That idea of “what morality is” leads to practical problems, logical contradictions with regard to how one behaves in the world, and hypocrisy.

    IOW, if under that kind of god I “figure out” that slavery is okay and treating women and children like possessions is okay, that’s perfectly fine because that is what I have “figured out” (personally like).

    Life is not fair, and God never said it was. But we are responsible for bringing the fairness to our lives. And to others. Which is why I argue for subjective morality.

    When you say things like this is just baffles me. If life is not fair, and god never said it was, why would any of us have a “responsibility” for beating our heads against the wall and attempting to “bring fairness to our lives”? Does god expect us to behave in a fair manner? Is there a penalty for not being fair? If not, why fight life and bother with “fairness” at all?

  464. 464
    kairosfocus says:

    GENERAL NOTE: I have headlined key points from comment 177 as a FTR, here: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....overnance/ Discussion of issues raised may be entertained below. KF, thread owner.

  465. 465

    ellazimm said:

    I try to incorporate stuff that actually seems to work.

    That actually seems to work towards what end? “Works” in making you feel better about yourself? “Works” inn finding consensus with others? “Works” in generating what you think is a good society?

    Do you see the difference between “finding some that works” in a sense that refers to some objective commodity, like building a bridge or fixing a computer, and “finding something that works” in a sense that refers to your own personal feelings and sentiment?

    IOW, unless “finding something that works” refers to some presumed objective commodity, it’s just a way of rephrasing “according to my own sentiment”.

    Doesn’t match up to The Golden Rule.

    Unless the golden rule is assumed to be or refer to an objectively binding standard, this is just a means of pushing “according to my sentiment” back a step in the process – IOW, burying it so you don’t have to face that all you are talking about is your personal sentiment.

    I haven’t found an all-encompassing, consistent, extendable system. Do you have one?

    If you are asking me if there is an alternative to basing one’s views on sentiment, yes. There is the method of recognizing self-evident moral truths, accepting them as reflective of objective values intrinsic to any sound moral system at all (such as, gratuitously torturing children), then from that base of self-evident moral perspectives use logic to find necessary truths and principles, generally true moral statements, and conditionally true moral statements.

    This doesn’t grant anyone the power to perfectly understand what is right and wrong (just having an understanding of anything doesn’t magically make anyone perfect in that arena), but it gives a sound basis for rationally discerning the difference between right and wrong, a sound basis for pursuing legal changes and defying culture when wrong, and defying consensus and law where needed without referring to or relying upon personal sentiment. It provides a means for logically, rationally debating and presenting one’s position or criticizing another position.

    The premise that some things are factually good, and some things are factually not good, and that this is woven into the fabric of existence, is the basis of natural law, which is the basis of the declaration of independence and the constitution – that men are not endowed by government or by sentiment or by consensus with unalienable rights, but rather that they have those rights by the nature of their existence.

    This is what natural law morality is about, the premise that “good” is an intrinsic quality of existence itself which people of sound mind have access to through their conscience arbited by reason.

    Except when you give your opponents a chance to air their views you can somewhat protect against some of your own personal feelings having too much influence. You have to listen to others and the research and the data. Like science, legal system are provisional.

    What do you mean by “research the data”? In order to find out what? You must first have a concept of what is good or bad before such research can be used to support or undermine a proposed law. If your research is being used to determine if people or society would be harmed by a law, then one must first have a definition or view of what “harmed” means, and the relative values of different kinds of harm within a worldview framework that sorts such harms according to some meaningful metric.

    Otherwise, all you are doing is covering up the fact that it is all based on personal sentiment about the way things should be and how you (and others) feel about what the most significant “harm” is.

    Good think I’m not saying that then.

    You haven’t provided any other basis. You use terminology like “research” and “data” and “talking with others”, but you have actually provided no reference whatsoever that doesn’t lead back, eventually, to personal preference – either your own, or what others can talk you into. You deny any objective standard exists, so what else can any of your moral views be based on other than, ultimately, subjective, personal preference (or the consensus preference)?

    I do agree that gratuitously torturing ANYONE is wrong. But history is littered with people and cultures who disagree with that. Female genital mutilation happens in some countries now. All your philosophy and morals haven’t stopped that. So we have to work with other tools.

    If morality is subjective and something is “made good and right” by consensus and law, why would anyone like you try to stop such mutilations? When you say you agree that it is wrong, do you mean it is wrong for anyone, regardless of whether or not they, consensus, and law consider it right? If so, how on Earth can you justify calling what is a legal and a consensus “right” in another country “wrong”, when it obeys your argument and procedure about what “right” and “wrong” mean, and how such things are decided?

    I refer you to an earlier argument I have made on this site about the intrinsic hypocrisy of so-called “subjective morality”: WJM on Subjectivist Equivocations

    A lot of people say they are moral subjectivists, or claim morality is subjective; however, they act like moral objectivists. Everyone does, outside of sociopaths.

  466. 466
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #456:

    I struggle with your answers because they are not addressing the question. I’m asking what in practice, in this society, we can actually do. Not what we SHOULD do. Or, in other word so, if you think this is what we should do, how can we implement this in our current society?

    No, not even close. As I stated in my last post, …

    I’m pretty sure that the Ten Commandments are purported to com from the Judeo-Christian God and the first one specifically states something about human behavior as you prominently bolded from your previous statement.

    So I’m fine with you making an error or changing you’re mind. But to fault me for your failings is a bit ridiculous.

    How can you discern a just law from an unjust law if you do not believe there is any such …

    .

    I can and do all the time. And I laid out how I do it. What you apparently wonder about is ‘How do I convince others that I am correct?’ That, of course is harder– but hardly any different from the situation you find yourself in.

    And we could clearly get to that point if you’d answer HOW you would go about passing only just laws and repeal the unjust ones in our (or any other) society.

    Your four options have absolutely nothing to do with the task of discerning just laws from unjust laws. It is simply a list of obvious things we can do in response to laws already in existence.

    Correct. And I don’t believe I ever put them forth as a way to do this. And if I have that impression it was unintentional.

    Why did you dodge my question about Martin Luther King and the liberation of blacks? He said that it didn’t matter that majority of people were …

    No dodge. I agree with MLK. And I never suggested that something is right just because the majority wants it or because it’s enacted law. Remember, that’s why I specifically laid out what I think my options are when I don’t agree with current law. And remember that I wrote out a bunch of examples where I don’t agree with current law and for some of them (according to polls) I’m certainly in the minority?

  467. 467

    It is totally against all sense for creationists to argue for objective morality.

    The sole reason I am in the creationism vs evolution controversy, is to validate subjectivity in it’s own right.

    Subjectivity is a creationist concept. It’s the most excellent feature of creationism that it has 2 categories, creator and creation, matters of opinion and matters of fact relevant to each respectively.

    Materialism, methodological naturalism, physicalism, atheism, nazism, communism etc. etc. They all really only provide room for facts, not opinion.

    In materialism the statement “the painting is beautiful” = “there exists in fact a love for the way the painting looks in my brain”

    So in materialism opinion is just a subcategory of facts, in materialism opinion is facts about brains.

    According to creationism the existence of the love for the way the painting looks is a matter of opinion.

  468. 468
    daveS says:

    KF,

    VS & DS, marriage as historically understood — conjugally — is based on the natural moral law principles implicit in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound child nurture linked to a stable community in the long term.

    Well, all I can say is that at least in the USA, it appears that many of us (apparently over 50%) do not hold to the conjugal understanding of marriage.

    I never have; in fact I regard the physical aspects of marriage such as sexuality and reproduction to be of relatively minor importance.

    Therefore the argument against SSM based on bodyparts doesn’t have much force, in my view.

  469. 469
    hrun0815 says:

    Re # 465:

    If you are asking me if there is an alternative to basing one’s views on sentiment, yes. There is the method of recognizing self-evident moral truths, accepting them as reflective of objective values intrinsic to any sound moral system at all (such as, gratuitously torturing children), then from that base of self-evident moral perspective …

    Maybe it would alleviate some of the puzzlement if you were to explain HOW in a given society you propose to implement this method?

  470. 470
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #459:

    The issue is, as the OP discusses with a point by point argument that after many days you have never answered cogently …

    You may want to consider that’s because your posts elicit a TL;DR response in all but your most faithful followers. Or, of course, you can think that it is because your posts are unassailable true.

  471. 471

    hrun0815 asks:

    Maybe it would alleviate some of the puzzlement if you were to explain HOW in a given society you propose to implement this method?

    This is a method of rational discernment for individuals and groups to discern and debate and come to conclusions about what is right and good in the first place before they take those goals and proposals and views into the general social arena by proposing/supporting/arguing for/against laws, public debate, voting, commentary, etc. It puts less sentiment in the system and more soundly based and reasoned perspective.

    A sound methodology of individual moral discernment is required before it can filter through the system into sound moral policy and law. If moral policy and laws are based upon nothing more than subjective (even if in consensus) sentiment, law and social policy can be twisted and manipulated into justifying anything.

  472. 472

    daveS said:

    Therefore the argument against SSM based on bodyparts doesn’t have much force, in my view.

    The complimentarity of males and females is not regarded as wholly (or perhaps even mostly) being about body parts and/or capacity to produce children. A more considerate reading of material provided to this point would have made this clear. Reducing this complimentarity down to a physical function and body parts only conveniently serves arguments drawing partial comparisons for irrelevant, straw man objections.

  473. 473
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #471:

    This is a method of rational discernment for individuals and groups to discern and debate and come to conclusions about what is right and good in the first place before they take those goals and proposals and views into the general social arena by proposing/supporting/arguing for/against laws, public debate, voting, commentary, etc. It puts less sentiment in the system and more soundly based and reasoned perspective.

    Ok? So then this is already implemented in all societies that allow for freedom of speech?

    A sound methodology of individual moral discernment is required before it can filter through the system into sound moral policy and law. If moral policy and laws are based upon nothing more than subjective (even if in consensus) sentiment, law and social policy can be twisted and manipulated into justifying anything.

    Ok. I remember that you and I can not have a rational discourse about morality. So now what do you do? Clearly a significant chunk of the population agrees with me about objective morality and not with you. How do you think, in practical terms, can you implement your idea above?

  474. 474
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    The complimentarity of males and females is not regarded as wholly (or perhaps even mostly) being about body parts and/or capacity to produce children. A more considerate reading of material provided to this point would have made this clear. Reducing this complimentarity down to a physical function and body parts only conveniently serves arguments drawing partial comparisons for irrelevant, straw man objections.

    I agree that “complementarity” of men and women could be discussed in more generality, but I’m responding in the context of this post of KF from yesterday (bolding added):

    I cannot force you to acknowledge something as patent as that men and women are sexually complementary, but you cannot avoid the consequences of warping law to distort that.

    and others in the thread which refer specifically to the ability to bear children.

  475. 475
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think it useful to excerpt the following note in my FTR this morning, as updated:

    (On the wider issue of the objectivity of morality, I suggest here
    as a start. BTW, objectors should note that when they try to show us to
    be in the wrong, they are showing an implicit knowledge that core moral
    principles are binding and generally known, including justice and
    rights. That is, despite talking points to the contrary they know that
    core morality is objective and binding. So, they should ponder what
    sort of worldview
    is such that its foundations are capable of
    bearing the weight of ought. Such points straight to the classic
    understanding that evil is the privation, frustration or twisting out
    of purpose of the good from its proper end, thence a point raised by
    Boethius: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does
    not exist?”
      [Cf. also Koukl on evil and God, here.
    Those inclined to try to taint and dismiss such philosophical issues as
    “religion” — too often used as a dirty word nowadays by people who
    should know much better — should take pause, on realising that the name
    of that particular strawman tactic is appeal to prejudice. Also, FTR, I
    nowhere identify a golden age in any past epoch in which finite,
    fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed human beings have
    struggled to build a somewhat more just community.  That
    accusation, too, is a toxically laced strawman set alight to cloud,
    confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere. But I do deeply respect
    classical, powerful insights, statements of principle and reforms that
    we should treasure rather than dismiss with a silly TL;DR. Likewise, as
    my earliest most enduring intellectual love has been history, I
    understand that sound history’s lessons were bought at the cost of
    blood and tears; those who sneer at them, dismiss, ignore or neglect
    such, doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again. And
    here, I point out that the cycle of the Peloponnesian war
    (which ruined an Athens that had grasped for empire and fell into hubris) forms the
    backdrop for Plato’s
    warning
    on the perils of evolutionary materialism, radical
    relativism on justice and nihilistic factionalism — is full of sobering
    lessons for us.])

    I trust the points will be pondered. At any rate, they are on record.

    KF

  476. 476
    ellazimm says:

    WJM

    If you are asking me if there is an alternative to basing one’s views on sentiment, yes. There is the method of recognizing self-evident moral truths, accepting them as reflective of objective values intrinsic to any sound moral system at all (such as, gratuitously torturing children), then from that base of self-evident moral perspectives use logic to find necessary truths and principles, generally true moral statements, and conditionally true moral statements.

    I’ve never seen a comprehensive list of objective truths that everyone could agree upon. So, it looks like, what you consider a self evident truth is just your opinion.

    How do you ‘prove’ that something is a self evident truth? You and I might agree but that’s just our opinion is it not?

    And even when a system of government is founded on so called self evident truths (such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) once you start trying to extend and expand your set of rules people start to disagree. The US has a Supreme Court because it’s not always clear how to build upon the foundation of the Constitution and the Amendments. And even the Supreme Court sometimes disagrees with one of it’s own past rulings.

    Most people in the United States agree with most of the self evident truths found in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Those two ‘documents’ are good starting points. But after that things get pretty muddy pretty quickly. So I look for research and data which suggests which views are factually correct. And I’ve learned to live with a broad consensus that I sometimes disagree with.

    And, again, no one has yet produced a comprehensive and universally agreed upon list of self evident truths. I’d be glad to give you my opinion of any you come up with. But I bet I can find someone (perhaps in the past) who would find fault with all of them.

  477. 477
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I agree, many in the US and across our civilisation have been led to imagine that marriage is an abracadabra word that can be altered at willby legal fiat away from its foundations in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of child nurture — which BTW implies also it takes a village to raise a child, i.e. community influences count for good or ill. Where the complementarity does start with XY and XX chromosomes and somatic consequences — including coitus, the act of conjugal union and its consequences (as opposed to those of what have appropriately been termed unnatural acts) — but goes on to many, many domains of high significance to the long term stability of society. You may doubt “led” but I suggest that many millions did not just wake up spontaneously one morning and jointly imagine whoops all of history hitherto has made a huge mistake on the nature of marriage and hey presto we change it now. Hubris, is an issue on the table. KF

  478. 478

    hrun0815 asks:

    Ok? So then this is already implemented in all societies that allow for freedom of speech?

    It is a method allowed for but underutilized IMO. Today “exchanges” of ideas is rooted in sentiment and manipulations based upon sentiment, and there is a deep lack of fundamental understanding and use of reason (logic). Indeed, reason and logic are often shouted down and vilified if it conflicts with sentiment being used to pursue a political agenda.

    Ok. I remember that you and I can not have a rational discourse about morality. So now what do you do? Clearly a significant chunk of the population agrees with me about objective morality and not with you. How do you think, in practical terms, can you implement your idea above?

    I think a larger chunk more likely agrees with me about whether or not morality is objective in nature, but setting that aside, the only way to get people to move towards more rational perspectives is via explanation and education. Unfortunately, in today’s post-modernist Academic situation, that’s probably only going to happen in private schools, at home and in conversation between friends and relatives – and, of course, whereas such information and education can be provided in venues such as here, via youtube, public debates, seminars, etc. It is actually by coming here to this blog that I began to understand the irrational nature of many of my views.

    BTW, you and I can have a civil conversation about morality, but unless we have something presumed objective (or at least premised arguendo as objective) to debate, we cannot have a rational debate about it, because there isn’t anything to rationally debate from. Subjective sentiment doesn’t provide a basis for rational debate. but it doesn’t prevent us from having a civil discussion about anything.

  479. 479
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ, no one has yet produced a comprehensive universal and complete set of integrals, but this does not mean that particular cases are to be discarded as suspect or useless. Truths . . . what accurately describes reality . . . are self evident when they are seen to be so, and to be necessarily so on pain of patent absurdity on attempted denial. For example those who hotly deny the objectivity of OUGHT, are then characteristically found making grand denunciations that purport to show us to be in the wrong. Thus they betray that implicitly they know that they too are under the government of OUGHT that is binding even in the teeth of loudly professed disbelief. Similarly, following Josiah Royce, we can see that “error exists” is not only empirical fact but is undeniably self evidently true as the attempted denial instantly confirms the original truth. Likewise, if one is conscious, self aware and capable of reason, that is self evident and incorrigible regardless of possible errors in the broad substance of one’s thought, perceptions etc. KF

  480. 480
    ziggy lorenc says:

    KF — “this is not a thread on Bible difficulties or Sunday school ticklers; a rhetorical gambit that shows the clear pattern of let’s go off on a tangent and taint the Judaeo-Christian tradition as though that discredits the manifestly evident principles of the natural moral law relevant to the major issue raised.”

    This is clearly relevant to the discussion on objective vs subjective morality and whether or not the opposition to SSM is religiously based. The fact that the inconsistencies within the bible make you uncomfortable is your problem, not mine.

    KF — “You would be well advised to read here on the sins of Christendom…”

    I have read some of the articles on that web site but I find the writing to be almost incomprehensible. Maybe the author could get his/her point across better if he/she adopted a less obtuse and cumbersome writing style.

    KF — “VS & DS, marriage as historically understood — conjugally — is based on the natural moral law principles implicit in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound child nurture linked to a stable community in the long term.”

    Marriage as historically understood allowed the physical abuse of the wife by the man. Why aren’t you defending that?

    KF — “ZL, “lighten up” is not an appropriate excuse in the teeth of twisting of words, to project unwarranted accusations of bigotry then utterly inappropriate allusion to onanism in order to taint the rhetorical target when corrected. Such behaviour is not appropriate to discussion in a reasonably civil forum.”

    You don’t laugh much, do you?

    KF — “Especially in the context of onward unjustified accusations of hate, bigotry cowardice etc which have never been withdrawn. You patently know better so kindly do better. KF”

    I have apologized to StephenB. I have not found any justification for apologizing to you yet. When I see evidence that any of my “accusations” are not accurate, I will apologize.

    KF — “ZL, kindly observe that Andre pointed out that one can distort or dismiss the responsible, reasonable principles of the natural moral law, individually or as the dominant sectors of a community.”

    And kindly observed that I do not believe that there is a natural moral law.

    KF — “The price one pays is moral incoherence and implicit might makes right nihilism, which is a strong sign something has gone deeply wrong.”

    My morals are perfectly coherent. As are yours, Mr. Murrays and Andre’s. They just differ. And I am not seeing this slide into nihilism that you claim is happening. I don’t know if you get much Canadian news, but we recently had a town in northern Alberta partially destroyed, and completely evacuated, as the result of a forest fire. The selfless acts that continue to be displayed by those of all faiths, and those of no faith, belies your claim. One of the more heartening examples is the support that is being given by recently arrived refugees from Syria (mostly muslim). These refugees have lost everything and they still find it in their hearts to help complete strangers. If this is nihilism, I welcome it.

  481. 481
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #478:

    It is a method allowed for but underutilized IMO. […]

    On that we are certainly in agreement. We largely differ though on where rational discourse is likely to be found and what groups are largely the opponents of such.

    I think a larger chunk more likely agrees with me about whether or not morality is objective in nature, …

    You are probably right. Considering that at least for now a huge number of folks in the US self-identify as Christian and most of them likely consider morality objective and possibly absolute. However, that does not detract from the larger point: People disagree and with a large number you think you can’t even have a rational discussion about morals. I am not certain how you could possibly hope to achieve your goal.

    BTW, you and I can have a civil conversation about morality,

    I am well aware of that. And I am also well aware that the discussion is only considered irrational from one side. However, I can assure you that if you consider the opinions held and argued by your discussion partner as being a hindrance of them engaging in rational discourse you will likely have little success achieving your earlier stated goal.

    That’s why I always want to know HOW in practice in the reality we live in you hope to achieve your goals?

  482. 482
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Mr. Murray — “The problem is, Ziggy, if objective right and wrong doesn’t exist, there’s nothing to “figure out”, at least not in any rational (logical) sense of the phrase. “

    We have brains that allow us to think critically and abstractly. It also allows us to reason out consequences to our actions. It allows us to establish rules (morals) by which the majority of us agree to abide by in order to make all of our lives better. These “rules” vary from culture to culture, and over time. And, admittedly, some of them are arrived at by trial and error.

    Mr. Murray — “That idea of “what morality is” leads to practical problems, logical contradictions with regard to how one behaves in the world, and hypocrisy.”

    Agreed. But how is this any different than what we see around us, and through history? We see practical problems with morality, logical contradictions and hypocrisy. All of the evidence supports the concept that our morality is subjective. That does not mean that our morals are just feelings. For most people, their morals are strongly held and only change with great difficulty. As is the case with any behaviour or idea that is drummed into our heads from a very early age.

    I suggest a little experiment. I don’t know whether you button your shirts from the top or from the bottom, but tomorrow morning, try to do it the opposite way. You will find that doing so feels really strange. I am not suggesting that our morals are the same as buttoning a shirt, but if something as irrelevant as the way you button your shirt can become fixed in your mind so strongly, think about how strongly our morals are going to be fixed.

    Mr. Murray — “IOW, if under that kind of god I “figure out” that slavery is okay and treating women and children like possessions is okay, that’s perfectly fine because that is what I have “figured out” (personally like).”

    It may very well be fine with you. As it was for a significant number of people in the mid 1800s. But that does not mean that it will be fine with the slaves, or your neighbours, or your wife. If your “morality differs significantly from the majority of others, you are likely going to have very serious problems.

    I am sure that many Nazis honestly felt that exterminating the jews was morally acceptable. Thankfully, as horrific as it was, the hard core Nazis were relatively few in numbers and their demise was inevitable, and predictable.

  483. 483
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    no one has yet produced a comprehensive universal and complete set of integrals, but this does not mean that particular cases are to be discarded as suspect or useless.

    What? You can prove integrals are true.

    You can’t ‘prove’ moral truths.

    Truths . . . what accurately describes reality . . . are self evident when they are seen to be so, and to be necessarily so on pain of patent absurdity on attempted denial.

    Give me a list that no one has ever disagreed with then. Even in the Bible God at time sanctions killing babies. So that moral truth has not always been true?

    And, again, even Christians can’t agree on all there moral truths. Neither can the Muslims. Not all Buddhists agree on exactly what their precepts mean.

    I just don’t see a comprehensive, all-encompassing, extendable set of moral truths that are completely unassailable.

  484. 484
    kairosfocus says:

    ZL, manifestly evident core principles of natural moral law are a philosophical matter, discussed separately from religious traditions. Your insistence on trying to force fit this issue into religion is a sign of intent to taint and dismiss. Fails. KF

  485. 485
    kairosfocus says:

    EZ, that is the exact point. You can prove that core elf evident moral principles that are part of natural law are true also. Indeed I gave an example, that we are under objective moral government manifest in the binding nature of OUGHT. The very people who hotly dismiss such are then found immediately trying to assert or argue that we are in the wrong. Self=referential incoherence while showing that when they are engaged personally they imply they know we are under moral government. KF

  486. 486
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #485:

    KF, I’m asking you the same question as WJM and StephenB:

    Considering that we actually find ourselves in societies where people (for whatever reason) do not agree either on natural law, objective morals, self-evident truths, what do you propose to do? Simply saying that others are wrong, that you know others are wrong, that they are irrational, incoherent, trying to burn strawmen, … may all be true. Yet, still, the question is: What now?

  487. 487
    ellazimm says:

    KF

    You can prove that core elf evident moral principles that are part of natural law are true also. Indeed I gave an example, that we are under objective moral government manifest in the binding nature of OUGHT. The very people who hotly dismiss such are then found immediately trying to assert or argue that we are in the wrong. Self=referential incoherence while showing that when they are engaged personally they imply they know we are under moral government

    Well, I think a lot of philosophers would disagree with you. Whereas a mathematical proof, once verified, is pretty much set in stone.

    You cannot escape the fact that every single moral truth you can point to has clearly been violated by some people in the past. So clearly there aren’t any binding, comprehensive, inarguable, constant moral truths. Even God changes his tune in the Bible. Can you even find one moral truth in the Bible that is held consistently throughout? God commanded some of his armies to utterly destroy whole cities, show no mercy. If killing is wrong then shouldn’t it always be wrong? Why wasn’t David penalised (based on Levitical laws) for sleeping with another man’s wife? You’d say polygamy was wrong but Solomon had hundreds of wives and was considered a role model. Do you eat pork or shellfish? Were those not considered ‘bad’ at one point. It’s written down but most people just ignore that bit now.

    Give me a list of absolute, time-honoured moral truths and we’ll have a look at each one separately.

  488. 488
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, I agree, many in the US and across our civilisation have been led to imagine that marriage is an abracadabra word that can be altered at willby legal fiat away from its foundations in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of child nurture

    That’s certainly not a fair appraisal of my position. I don’t imagine that “marriage” is an abracadabra word by any means. But, as the Girgis paper shows, there are multiple understandings of the word, and unsurprisingly, people sometimes change their minds over time.

    Remember when “marital rape” was considered to be a contradiction in terms? I suppose it probably still is in some countries, but fortunately not here.

    Where the complementarity does start with XY and XX chromosomes and somatic consequences — including coitus, the act of conjugal union and its consequences (as opposed to those of what have appropriately been termed unnatural acts) — but goes on to many, many domains of high significance to the long term stability of society.

    But it would be fallacious to conclude that because men and women are complementary in certain respects, partners in same-sex couples cannot complement each other as well. The same-sex couples I know seem to do just fine, as far as I can tell. Who am I to tell them they are not sufficiently “complementary”?

    You may doubt “led” but I suggest that many millions did not just wake up spontaneously one morning and jointly imagine whoops all of history hitherto has made a huge mistake on the nature of marriage and hey presto we change it now. Hubris, is an issue on the table. KF

    Led or not, I don’t really care. I have a brain (and a mind!) and am capable of thinking independently. Although I have never been anti-SSM, what has influenced my thinking on the matter most is knowing actual same-sex couples (married or not) and observing that their relationships have a lot in common with mine.

  489. 489

    Ellazimm said:

    I’ve never seen a comprehensive list of objective truths that everyone could agree upon. So, it looks like, what you consider a self evident truth is just your opinion.

    If a someone insists that 2+2=5, does that make the knowledge of everyone else “just an opinion”? Universal agreement doesn’t make something true just as disagreement with a proposition doesn’t render that proposition a matter of “opinion”. That madmen exist exist who may insist “X can be X and not-X at the same time and in the same way” doesn’t mean that the principle of identity is a matter of subjective opinion.

    How do you ‘prove’ that something is a self evident truth? You and I might agree but that’s just our opinion is it not?

    Nothing can prove that something is a self-evident truth because it is the existence of self-evident truths which provide the means to prove things in the first place. Things are “self-evident” by nature in that if one denies their validity, then the subject in question is reduced to absurdity.

    An example of a self-evident truth: I exist. If a person denies this, absurdity follows. However, there are people that make this claim. Another example: X=X (principle of identity). To deny it is to proceed into absurdity, because even denying it requires it. Another example: 1+1=2. Yet there are people who would deny such things. That doesn’t render them matters of subjective opinion.

    Indeed, you cannot “prove” anything without ultimately relying upon an assumed premise or a self-evident truth which cannot itself be proven, but simply must be accepted by all sane men as the bedrock upon which ensuing “proofs” are made. Without such premises and self-evident truths, madness and chaos ensues.

    And even when a system of government is founded on so called self evident truths (such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) once you start trying to extend and expand your set of rules people start to disagree.

    Yes they do. But the question is not if they disagree, but rather if they agree the premise of self-evident truths and unalienable rights and agree on rational discourse from that foundation, or if they dismiss that foundation entirely and argue via personal, subjective sentiment and make up their minds based on the same?

    The US has a Supreme Court because it’s not always clear how to build upon the foundation of the Constitution and the Amendments. And even the Supreme Court sometimes disagrees with one of it’s own past rulings.

    This is why it is so important as to who we elect president and into congress, and whether or not they agree that humans have rights and obligations that transcend government. Congress makes laws, presidents appoint Justices, Justices interpret law and precedent. If we put moral relativists into office who dismiss the idea of creator-given, unalienable human rights and obligations, and instead act from subjective sentiment, then such a government and society is capable of justifying anything.

    Most people in the United States agree with most of the self evident truths found in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Those two ‘documents’ are good starting points. But after that things get pretty muddy pretty quickly. So I look for research and data which suggests which views are factually correct. And I’ve learned to live with a broad consensus that I sometimes disagree with.

    Yet you have already “muddied the water” for yourself by equating “self-evident truths” with “opinion”. Which are they? And this is what begins the problem and can muddy the water down the road, is when a self-evident truth is regarded as nothing more than opinion.

    Example of a self-evidently true moral statement: “It is wrong to gratuitously torture children.” It is self-evident in nature because any sane, rational person, upon understanding what each term means, immediately recognizes it as true. Similarly, all sane people must act as if it is objectively true in that they must immediately act, even in contradiction to custom, law, or consensus otherwise, to put an end to any such occurrence.

    To believe that gratuitously torturing children might be a good thing in any possible world, time-frame or culture is to render any idea of morality absurd.

  490. 490
    Brent says:

    I’ll throw it out again . . .

    If man is the source of the moral law, then man governs the moral law and the moral law does not govern man.

    But when we talk about morality we just are talking about what governs man’s behavior. So what sense is there in calling morality anything that is at man’s whims? None!

  491. 491
    vividbleau says:

    WJM RE 489

    Nail, hammer, head!

    I certainly hope the various moral subjectivist will engage the points you bring up. To even ask the question “how does someone prove a self evident truth” speaks volumes.

    Everything boils down to what you wrote in 489, the SSM issue really is a sideshow and a distraction.

    Vivid

  492. 492
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #489:

    I think this:

    Yes they do. But the question is not if they disagree, but rather if they agree the premise of self-evident truths and unalienable rights and agree on rational discourse from that foundation, or if they dismiss that foundation entirely and argue via personal, subjective sentiment and make up their minds based on the same?

    and this

    This is why it is so important as to who we elect president and into congress, and whether or not they agree that humans have rights and obligations that transcend government. Congress makes laws, presidents appoint Justices, Justices interpret law and precedent. If we put moral relativists into office who dismiss the idea of creator-given, unalienable human rights and obligations, and instead act from subjective sentiment, then such a government and society is capable of justifying anything.

    finally comes to the crux of things.

    The people who disagree on the set of morals because they do not accept objective morality can not take part in reasonable discussion on the subject. And one key recourse we have in the society we live in, is to elect the “right” people.

    I think we at least agree on the latter. I would argue, of course, that this is already going on. That’s why in terms of cultural/social questions the US is becoming increasing open, tolerant, and progressive because people are indeed electing presidents that are likely to appoint justices with morals similar to their own.

  493. 493
    Andre says:

    Morals similar to their own in their very agreement to butcher 300 000 lives a year in clinics that are meant to preserve life…. Yeah they sure are moral….. And the majority being butchered comes from the minority in the US, so their morals are also protective of minorities, and their morals have no racism embedded either!

    Got you….

  494. 494
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #493:

    So maybe you want to try and figure out how to have rational discussion with ‘these people’ about morals. Maybe they can be convinced? I doubt, though, that thinking of them as incoherent, irrational, and ultimately evil is helpful if you are attempting to change their minds.

  495. 495
    Andre says:

    I am not here to convince you or anyone else that they are wrong they know it’s wrong and so do you.

  496. 496
    Phinehas says:

    Ziggy:

    In case you missed this earlier:

    If God exists, then how can objective truth not exist? If God declares a thing to be true, then is it possible for it to not be objectively true? How so?

  497. 497
    vividbleau says:

    Andre RE 494

    From the founder of those clinics you speak of the eugenisist M Sanger. One of the progressives Hrun speaks of, you know tolerant and open (ROTFTU rolling on the floor throwing up).

    “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
    Woman and the New Race, ch. 6: “The Wickedness of Creating Large Families.”

    “[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.”
    “Plan for Peace” from Birth Control Review (April 1932, pp. 107-108)

    “Give dysgenic groups [people with “bad genes”] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.”
    April 1932 Birth Control Review, pg. 108

    “Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”
    Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.

    “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    Sick

    Vivid

  498. 498
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #495:

    That’s certainly up to you. And working toward change does not necessarily entail convincing everybody else.

  499. 499
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    The people who disagree on the set of morals because they do not accept objective morality can not take part in reasonable discussion on the subject. And one key recourse we have in the society we live in, is to elect the “right” people.

    You’ve used quotation marks to good effect here, since for those who do not accept objective morality it isn’t really possible to elect the “right” people. By what standard of right? For these people, it is only possible to elect the persons they like. Perhaps this helps explain why elections have tended to devolve into popularity contests between candidates who sling mud in an endless effort to make their opponent appear even less likable than they are.

  500. 500
    vividbleau says:

    Phil RE 499

    To say the “right” people is to assume there are “wrong” people. Insane!

    Vivid

  501. 501
    Andre says:

    It is not up to me. It is you that must choose.

  502. 502
    hrun0815 says:

    WJM, I’m wondering if you would care to have a quick digression with regards to ‘the end of reasonable debate’.

    Proponents of subjective morals (and this is not an exhaustive list) have been called evil, liars, incoherent, irrational, bringers of doom, compared to nazis, enemies of western society, …

    I wonder, is it possible to have ‘reasonable debate’ when facing this? If you want we start small. Let’s say your discussion partner tells you that you are irrational. At this point the only thing left for you to do is to side-step the topic at hand (e.g. a discussion about morals) and attempt to convince your discussion partner that you are actually rational or to change your world view to become rational in his eyes. Is that part of a ‘reasonable debate’?

  503. 503
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #499:

    For these people, it is only possible to elect the persons they like.

    Actually, no. For these people, just like everybody is, it is also possible to elect the people with morals similar to their own.

  504. 504

    Here’s a case where accepting as actually self-evident and as actually, objectively true the right to life (the most fundamental of rights) can only rationally mean one thing, and where a self-evident truth is redefined as an “opinion” in order to pursue another outcome.

    This is why moral relativists need to obfuscate what it means to be a human being, and need to call the human fetus a “blob of tissue” or “not really a human” in order to justify abrogating that most fundamental right in favor of a woman’s right to have control over her own body.

    Right to have control over one’s body vs right to life. One takes precedence over the other. There’s only one rational answer. It may not be the sentimental or PC favorite, but there is only one rational answer nonetheless.

  505. 505
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    If you want we start small. Let’s say your discussion partner tells you that you are irrational. At this point the.

    You need to be able to distinguish between statements about your character (i.e. You are irrational) and statements about your position (i.e. That is not a rational position). Failing to do so, you will forever be taking offense where none is intended.

    It is factually impossible to argue rationally about someone else’s feelings. That’s not to malign or in any way impugn another’s character. If someone’s feelings are hurt by statements of fact, that is also not something about which one can argue rationally.

    If morality is based on feelings and not on reason, then there is no way to argue rationally about them, because to do so would be to attempt to argue rationally about feelings.

  506. 506
    Andre says:

    HR

    I am not calling you a nazi’s, evil or any of that never will never can. You are the most beautifully engineered being in the known universe. What I am trying to say to you is that this whole relavist outlook is one of the reasons the world goes mad. We have to guard against it see if you get the stament below…

    Tolorance breeds intolorance…..

  507. 507
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Phinehas — “If God exists, then how can objective truth not exist? If God declares a thing to be true, then is it possible for it to not be objectively true? How so?”

    You are assuming that God does not lie, or does not change his mind. Do we know this to be true? If he can change his mind, then how do we know what is true?

  508. 508
    Andre says:

    Ziggy

    So changing your mind makes you a liar? How does that work?

  509. 509
    Andre says:

    HR

    I’m going to be honest with you and to boot quite frank. You see the first command God gave to man, and yes I believe there is a God and I happen to believe its the Christian God, (I have many rational reasons on why I choose to believe it’s Him) issued his very first command to us.

    Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    We have the abortionist, the climatist, the humanist and of course the Darwinist each attacking a piece that he or she opposes….. but they all have one thing in common their absolute hate for God’s first command!

    Can we honestly call it a coincidence?

    Can we?

    Or are we seeing the true hate for truth and command for godliness manifest itself in the relentless attack His very first command to us, is under?

  510. 510
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre — “So changing your mind makes you a liar? How does that work?”

    You must have missed the word OR in my comment. Lie OR change his mind.

  511. 511
    Andre says:

    Why are you trying to conflate the two then?

  512. 512
    StephenB says:

    Hrun0815

    I can and do (discern just laws from unjust laws) all the time.

    No, you don’t—and can’t. It is logically impossible to discern just laws from unjust laws if you don’t believe that such a thing as justice exists.

    And I laid out how I do it.

    That list–

    Follow the law.
    Break the law.
    Work to change the law.
    Or leave”

    –has absolutely nothing to do with the task of discerning a just law from an unjust law.

    *

    Correct. And I don’t believe I ever put them forth as a way to do this. And if I have that impression it was unintentional.

    Well, if that isn’t what you “laid out” to differentiate a just law from an unjust law, what exactly did you lay out?

    **

    Remember, that’s why I specifically laid out what I think my options are when I don’t agree with current law.

    ?????????? Which statement are you asking me to believe? Is it * or is it **. Just tell me exactly, word for word, what you “laid out” as a means of discerning a just law from an unjust law. Don’t send me on a promise and a wild goose chase to an earlier post. Just present it right here, right now.

    No dodge. I agree with MLK.

    No, you don’t. You don’t agree with Martin Luther King that the objective moral law should shape civil law. You don’t agree with MLK that objective morality is the standard of justice. You don’t agree with MLK that an objective standard of justice exists.

    Remember, that’s why I specifically laid out what I think my options are when I don’t agree with current law.

    Oh yes, we remember. You laid out your options to differentiate between just and unjust laws, except that they were not really meant to serve that purpose. Unbelievable.

    And remember that I wrote out a bunch of examples where I don’t agree with current law and for some of them (according to polls) I’m certainly in the minority?

    Irrelevant. That you disagree with this or that law has absolutely nothing to do with your claimed ability to know which ones are just or unjust.

  513. 513
    ziggy lorenc says:

    Andre — “Why are you trying to conflate the two then?”

    I’m not. I was just saying that there would be two things that would cause us to question whether what God says is true. If he lies, or if he changes his mind. They are two very different things. A person can lie and never change his mind. And a person can change his mind without ever lying.

  514. 514
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, 486:

    I plan to do exactly what I have done, per Paul in Acts 27 — as I have linked ever so many times in this thread alone now.

    peacefully speak the truth in warning, pray for mercy and prepare myself to be a good man in the face of a typhonic storm, helping to save what can be saved as it can be saved.

    I did so in my homeland, I did so in this land, I am doing so with our civilisation.

    And you already knew or should have known that when you raised a loaded question.

    KF

  515. 515
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, 489, well said. KF

  516. 516
    Phinehas says:

    Ziggy:

    You are assuming that God does not lie, or does not change his mind. Do we know this to be true? If he can change his mind, then how do we know what is true?

    “How do we know?” is a question of epistemology, not ontology. Saying that objective truth exists isn’t the same thing as saying whether we can or cannot know what it is. It appears you’ve merely dodged the ontological questions by pretending they are epistemological. But maybe there was the slightest ambiguity. Is this better?

    If God exists, then how can objective truth not exist? If God knows a thing to be true, then is it possible for it to not be objectively true? How so?

    Next, you’ll probably explain how the God you believe in actually doesn’t look much like the Christian God even though you consider yourself a Christian. If that’s the case, then this is worth repeating:

    Does the one who attempts to mold God according to the thoughts of their own mind really dishonor Him less than the one who attempts to shape Him with their hands? Surely the point is that if we are not worshiping God (the I AM that I AM) in spirit and in TRUTH then we are not really worshiping Him at all. After all, a God who IS would not be subject to nor beholden to one’s thoughts or beliefs about Him.

  517. 517
    Andre says:

    Ziggy

    I still don’t understand why the thought would even cross your mind that God could lie. If he did He is not God just a nimcompoop.

  518. 518
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #505:

    You need to be able to distinguish between statements about your character (i.e. You are irrational) and statements about your position (i.e. That is not a rational position). Failing to do so, you will forever be taking offense where none is intended.

    Hey Phineas, I don’t think you are racist, I just think that your positions are. I don’t think you are insane, I just think that your positions are. I don’t think you are bigoted, I just think your positions are.

    Hmmmm, yeah. That works great. No offense intended. 🙂

  519. 519
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #512:

    I laid the source of my moral understanding out in #424:

    My moral understanding is much closer to essentially the golden rule with a healthy dose of no harm-no foul. However, I do not think that my morals are easily described in a couple of catchy sentences. As others have said before, I believe that a person’s morals are the product of their natural instincts (mainly driven by empathy) and heavily influenced by authority figures (such as parents, teachers, coaches, role models, …) and peers (such as sibling, friends, class mates, …). In most cases these morals develop without much active thought, however, rational though, in the context of all the other influences, often is needed to drive answers to specific moral questions.

    So, in other words, I can’t give you a specific moral framework on which I would base law. In fact, as you may know, I think it unnecessary to even have such a framework when considering the law because laws are made by people with their own morals. Even if I had such a framework, the lawgivers would not necessarily share it.

    The rest is just the same tired stuff that many people keep on saying. Unless you believe in objective morals you essentially can’t make a statement about morals. Not sure what else to say.

    I still wonder how you plan to deal with people like me who clearly make up a significant chunk of the population.

  520. 520
    zeroseven says:

    Andre and those others who think abortion is mass murder. What are you doing about it? You think a few comments on a blog is a suitable response to mass murder? You are like the people in Nazi Germany who stood by complicitly while millions died. If you really believed it was mass murder you should be engaged in a overthrowing the government. You should be in jail for life for your actions in physically opposing this mass murder of innocents. At the least you would move to a country where abortion was illegal. So either you are a coward. Or you don’t really believe it’s mass murder.

    WJM and those who believe in objective moral truths. Please list 10. All you ever mention is child torture or some variation on that. Put up. What are you guys scared of?

  521. 521
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Hey Phineas, I don’t think you are racist, I just think that your positions are. I don’t think you are insane, I just think that your positions are. I don’t think you are bigoted, I just think your positions are.

    Hmmmm, yeah. That works great. No offense intended.

    The difference, of course, is that being rational is a prerequisite in order to engage in an argument. You can’t argue with someone’s feelings. That’s an exercise in futility. Pretending that pointing this out is the same as saying someone’s position is racist or bigoted is (wait for it) not rational. 🙂

  522. 522
    Phinehas says:

    07:

    WJM and those who believe in objective moral truths. Please list 10. All you ever mention is child torture or some variation on that. Put up. What are you guys scared of?

    If one can produce 1 objective moral truth, then the proposition that there are no objective moral truths has been overthrown has it not? What would 10 prove that 1 does not?

  523. 523
    zeroseven says:

    Phinehas,

    Can you do it or not?

  524. 524
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #521:

    You simply states that you need to distinguish between labeling your character and positions. One is maybe insulting the other is not.

    Deal with it or backpedal. Your call.

  525. 525
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Deal with it or backpedal. Your call.

    Wha? I just explained the difference.

  526. 526
    Phinehas says:

    07:

    Can you do it or not?

    Yes.

  527. 527
    Eugen says:

    This could be too obvious.

    When new law or rule is established (or old one amended) , those who work on it should wisely ask themselves: is this rule or law for the benefit of everyone in the nation in the long run and even generally for the benefit of the human race in a long run. US Constitution writers were such wise people.

    I think that narrow interest rules and laws based on bandwagon emotions are not beneficial for everyone in the long run.

  528. 528
    zeroseven says:

    Phinehas,

    Great. This will be the first time I have even seen these self evident moral truths laid out. Looking forward to it.

  529. 529
    Eugen says:

    There’s first time for anything but looks like you are on 07

  530. 530
    Aleta says:

    Phinehas says,

    “How do we know?” is a question of epistemology, not ontology. Saying that objective truth exists isn’t the same thing as saying whether we can or cannot know what it is. It appears you’ve merely dodged the ontological questions by pretending they are epistemological. But maybe there was the slightest ambiguity. Is this better?

    But if we can’t know what moral truths there are (an epistemological question), then how can we profess to know the answer to the ontological question as to whether they exist or not? Thinking we know that moral truths exist is itself assuming we have the epistemological tools to ascertain that, but if that is so why can’t we also in fact know what they are?

  531. 531
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #525:

    You made a blanket statement explaining that there is a difference between attacking character vs position.

    I pointed out that this is ludicrous by listing a couple of examples.

    You immediately switched your tune and now the difference has to do with the fact that you can’t engage in an argument unless you are rational. Your new statement has nothing to do with the distinction between attacking your character or position.

    Let’s try another: you are not illogical but your position surely is.

  532. 532
    StephenB says:

    Hrun0815

    My moral understanding is much closer to essentially the golden rule with a healthy dose of no harm-no foul.

    With respect to the Golden Rule, it is a great standard for personal altruism, but it hardly qualifies as a reliable standard for shaping the Civil law. Among other things, it depends too much on the morality and disposition of the person who applies it. Just because a policeman would prefer not to receive a ticket doesn’t mean that he should not give tickets to reckless drivers. Just because a masochist prefers to be beaten doesn’t mean that he ought to beat his neighbor.

    So, in other words, I can’t give you a specific moral framework on which I would base law.

    Indeed, you have no framework. Clearly, you were misleading your readers when you claimed that you could discern a just law from an unjust law. The fact remains that it is logically impossible to identity a just law if you don’t believe that justice exists. The point should be obvious to any rational person.

    The rest is just the same tired stuff that many people keep on saying. Unless you believe in objective morals you essentially can’t make a statement about morals. Not sure what else to say.

    You should start by telling the truth and stop trying to mislead your readers. In fact, you did not tell the truth when you said that you agree with Martin Luther King’s philosophy that natural moral law shapes civil law. MLK insisted that discriminating against blacks violated the objective moral law, and on those grounds, blacks should not be oppressed. Clearly, you do not agree with him, which means that you have no argument against racial oppression.

    I still wonder how you plan to deal with people like me who clearly make up a significant chunk of the population.

    Those who are educable, I educate. Those, who are not, I correct on the public stage so that onlookers can learn about the poverty of leftist’s arguments. The question of what we should do, or if we should do anything at all, always precedes the question of what we can do. Without a moral code to work with, there is no good reason to execute a moral action.

    The question of what we can do depends on our intelligence, our understanding of the problem, and the resources available to us. Among other things, we can work on behalf of good policies, and against bad policies, by voting, speaking, informing, arguing, supporting, coordinating, establishing, financing, protesting, persuading—the list is almost endless. How many verbs do you want? It is amazing that you are so disengaged that you need to be told about what people can do.

  533. 533
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #532:

    Among other things, it depends too much on the morality and disposition of the person who applies it.

    Well, duh. Of course it depends on the morality of the person who applies it. For example when an action may affect multiple people in different ways then according all the aspects that make up your moral understanding and rational thought you have to come up with a decision of what is the right thing to do.

    The outcome certainly differs from one person to the next, and that’s why we may largely agree on certain things (i.e. it’s immoral to torture a child) while we disagree on others (i.e. it’s immoral for a state to execute a criminal).

    You should start by telling the truth and stop trying to mislead your readers. In fact, you did not tell the truth when you said that you agree with Martin Luther King’s philosophy that natural moral law shapes civil law. MLK insisted that discriminating against blacks violated the objective moral law, and on those grounds, blacks should not be oppressed. Clearly, you do not agree with him, which means that you have no argument against racial oppression.

    Ok. And you might fare better through attempting to apply some charitable reading of comments made by others. Surely most people understand that I agree with MLK that according to my moral understanding blacks (and nobody else for that matter) should be oppressed. Clearly that is as far as the agreement goes. If you like to think that I lied to mislead the reader and you cleverly caught me in the lie seems somewhat silly.

    In post after post I have made clear what I believe and what I don’t believe. So if you find a post that suggests something else, maybe you should try to understand in the context of all my posts.

    Without a moral code to work with, there is no good reason to execute a moral action.

    Turns out that this is not true. Empathy alone in absence of any explicit moral code gives human beings very good reasons to execute moral action– specifically action according to the golden rule even without any understanding of what the golden rule is (or even before actually becoming verbal).

    The question of what we can do depends on our intelligence, our understanding of the problem, and the resources available to us. Among other things, we can work on behalf of good policies, and against bad policies, by voting, speaking, informing, arguing, supporting, coordinating, establishing, financing, protesting, persuading—the list is almost endless. How many verbs do you want? It is amazing that you are so disengaged that you need to be told about what people can do.

    If you like you can call me disengaged. I am asking so I can try to figure out the difference between what you think you can do and what I think I can do when we each disagree with the morality of a law. Turns out there is no difference. Except, of course, in our intelligence. 😉

  534. 534

    The emperor has no clothes. Students are not taught how choosing works as a matter of scientific fact. Then they are told to make moral choices. It doesn’t add up.

    Choosing is the mechanism of creation. It is for the spirit to make an alternative future the present, or, to make a possibility which is in the future the present, or not.

  535. 535
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #534:

    Choosing is the mechanism of creation. It is for the spirit to make an alternative future the present, or, to make a possibility which is in the future the present, or not.

    You think that’s what students should learn about how choosing works?

  536. 536
    zeroseven says:

    I am still waiting on my list of 10 self evident moral truths. If anyone else can help Phinehas out that would be appreciated!

  537. 537
    kairosfocus says:

    07:

    Your rhetorical wait is over.

    There is no material difference between a single self evident moral truth and a dozen, once one exists such a category is non-empty. However, there are in fact several reasonably accessible self evident core moral truths of cumulatively systematic impact:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even your implication in your question, challenge and argument, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, you imply we OUGHT to do and say the right. Not even you can escape this truth.

    Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (You were depending on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to win your point. See what would happen should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally?)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. if a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right. )

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.

    In short, Locke was more than right to ground his argument in his 2nd treatise on civil govt that founds modern liberty and democracy on this from Canon Richard Hooker:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    The echoes in the US DoI, 1776 and the US Constitution thence the framework of modern constitutional democracy, are manifest and undeniably effective. A warning to those who now interfere with the system to inject an extreme nominalism and it implication of nihilistic might/manipulation makes right, by warping our sense of equality and right such that conjugal marriage is rhetorically and propagandistically presented as bigotry and oppression and then through manipulation of institutions of government and law, principled stance on conjugal marriage is marginalised and subject to aggressive lawfare. The damage such wreaks on the society as a whole — cf the George lecture and the Gessen tape in the OP — given the crucial importance of natural marriage and family for human thriving, shows the destructive nature of such an agenda.

    There are many other cases, and of primary importance is the mass slaughter of the unborn under false colour of law, which deadens conscience through the destructive impact of mass bloodguilt.

    And, in a day where the truth is hated and attacked, consistent peaceful testimony to corrective truth is an important and even courageous step towards sound audit and reform of government gone bad.

    KF

    *PS: After centuries of debates and assessment of alternatives per comparative difficulties, there is in fact just one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. (And instantly, such generic ethical theism answers also to the accusation oh this is “religion”; that term being used as a dirty word — no, this is philosophy. If you doubt this, simply put forth a different candidate that meets the required criteria and passes the comparative difficulties test: _________ . Likewise, an inherently good, maximally great being will not be arbitrary or deceitful etc, that is why such is fully worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. As a serious candidate necessary being, such would be eternal and embedded in the frame for a world to exist at all. Thus such a candidate is either impossible as a square circle is impossible due to mutual ruin of core characteristics, or else it is actual. For simple instance no world is possible without two-ness in it, a necessary basis for distinct identity inter alia.)

  538. 538
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    Ok. And you might fare better through attempting to apply some charitable reading of comments made by others

    Charity begins with intellectual honesty.

    Surely most people understand that I agree with MLK that according to my moral understanding blacks (and nobody else for that matter) should be oppressed.

    Your original statement was that no objective moral framework is needed. I pointed out that Martin Luther King disagreed with you because he did, indeed, believe that an objective moral framework was necessary in order to fight racial oppression. That was the clear context. In your response you said that you agreed with MLK. Obviously, that is not true.

  539. 539
    kairosfocus says:

    headlined on a dozen or so self evident moral truths: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-truths/

  540. 540
    Aleta says:

    kj writes.

    The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    If all you mean is that all people ((with some exceptions) make judgments about what they think is right and wrong, then that is an empirical fact.

    On the other hand, if by “under the government of ought” you mean something like “obligated to follow some absolute set of moral truths”, then you are of course just assuming as true what some of us are disputing, without providing a specific moral truth, which is what 07 is asking about.

    And in fact, the meaning of the phrase “under the government of ought” is by no means clear, much less self-evidently so.

    What are some specific absolute universal “oughts” that are self-evidently true?

    Your whole post is a combination of generalities, some of which many of us who don’t believe in absolute moral truths would agree with, some political philosophy, some metaphysical beliefs that are matters of opinion, and so on.

    What you haven’t done is listed 10 self evident moral truths about how a human being ought to behave.

  541. 541
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #538:

    Your original statement was that no objective moral framework is needed. I pointed out that Martin Luther King disagreed with you because he did, indeed, believe that an objective moral framework was necessary in order to fight racial oppression. That was the clear context. In your response you said that you agreed with MLK. Obviously, that is not true.

    Yes. You are correct. That’s why in my follow-up post I explained what I was agreeing with and what I was not agreeing with. Again, I made this pretty clear. And it would be pretty clear to any outside reader who has read my posts on this. And I am sure that it was clear to you as well, no? Or are you telling me that you are still confused of whether or not I believe that ‘objective moral frameworks’ are needed for anything?

    If so, then I clearly failed at communicating even the most basic aspects here and we should leave it at that. However, if maybe you can admit that you did understand and you have some specific motive of harping on this specific lack of clarity (or purposeful lie to confuse the reader) then why not say it directly?

  542. 542
    kairosfocus says:

    Aleta,

    it is not just a matter of empirical fact, we find ourselves implying that we are under oughtness. Even your attempt to object cannot escape the general acknowledgement, for you obviously imply that I ought to be right but am not.

    The attempted or implied denial ends in self referential absurdity.

    Going on down the list the issue is not whether or no any particular individual, group, magisterium or majority of a community agrees but that the attempted denial will land in absurdity. Not a proof, but an exposition of the foundational nature of such truths.

    Proofs, explicitly or implicitly, start from these premises.

    So, the issue is not to say oh this is that sort of thing or the other and generally people hold diverse opinions but to examine: when each such truth in succession is denied, what happens?

    Predictably, absurdity, typically self referential in character.

    KF

  543. 543
    Brent says:

    I think this discussion needs a clear statement by each participant, yes or no, to the following. Please be counted.

    Do you agree that when you talk of morality you mean by it that which is meant to govern man’s behavior?

  544. 544
    Brent says:

    No-harm no-foul is a lousy standard of morality. I can give you a list as long as your arm of things that harm absolutely no one and are immoral.

  545. 545
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta RE 540

    “….many of us who don’t believe in absolute moral truth”

    Aleta it really doesn’t matter what you or anyone else believes ( including myself) does it? Absolute moral truths either exist or they don’t, do you agree? Someone’s belief is in error on the matter yes?

    Brent what do you mean by govern? If you mean something like “ought” yes

    Vivid

  546. 546
    kairosfocus says:

    Brent,

    Above at 305, there is a good description by Clarke and Rakestraw:

    Principles are broad general guidelines that all persons ought to follow. Morality is the dimension of life related to right conduct. It includes virtuous character and honorable intentions as well as the decisions and actions that grow out of them. Ethics on the other hand, is the [philosophical and theological] study of morality . . . [that is,] a higher order discipline that examines moral living in all its facets . . . . on three levels. The first level, descriptive ethics, simply portrays moral actions or virtues. A second level, normative ethics (also called prescriptive ethics), examines the first level, evaluating actions or virtues as morally right or wrong. A third level, metaethics, analyses the second . . . It clarifies the meaning of ethical terms and assesses the principles of ethical argument . . . . Some think, without reflecting on it, that . . . what people actually do is the standard of what is morally right . . . [But, what] actually happens and what ought to happen are quite different . . . . A half century ago, defenders of positivism routinely argued that descriptive statements are meaningful, but prescriptive statements (including all moral claims) are meaningless . . . In other words, ethical claims give no information about the world; they only reveal something about the emotions of the speaker . . . . Yet ethical statements do seem to say something about the realities to which they point. “That’s unfair!” encourages us to attend to circumstances, events, actions, or relationships in the world. We look for a certain quality in the world (not just the speaker’s mind) that we could properly call unfair. [Readings in Christian Ethics, Vol. 1: Theory and Method. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002), pp. 18 – 19]

    KF

  547. 547
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #544:

    Go for it. Name a few.

  548. 548
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #543:

    Do you agree that when you talk of morality you mean by it that which is meant to govern man’s behavior?

    No. At least not until you clarify what you mean by: “is meant to”. Meant to by whom?

  549. 549
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    Yes. You are correct. That’s why in my follow-up post I explained what I was agreeing with and what I was not agreeing with. Again, I made this pretty clear. And it would be pretty clear to any outside reader who has read my posts on this. And I am sure that it was clear to you as well, no? Or are you telling me that you are still confused of whether or not I believe that ‘objective moral frameworks’ are needed for anything?

    First, you stated that no objective code is necessary. Then, I refuted that claim by showing that Martin Luther King could never have played his role in liberating blacks without an objective code. Rather than concede the point, which completely undermines your whole philosophy, you begin your usual round of evasion and obfuscation with your silly claim that you actually agree with MLK, knowing that if I call you on it, you can always say that you agreed with him in a different way. Remarkable. Even at this late date, you avoid the main topic: The dramatic difference between your useless and destructive moral relativism vs. MLK’s historically successful application of objective morality. I call that intellectual dishonesty. What would you call it?

  550. 550
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #549:

    First, you stated that no objective code is necessary. Then, I refuted that claim by showing that Martin Luther King could never have played his role in liberating blacks without an objective code.

    StephenB, you did no show that Martin Luther King could not have played his role without an objective code. You didn’t even claim that Martin Luther King needed an objective code.

    You wrongly put words into my mouth:

    You would say, it seems, that MLK had no argument and should have agreed that the “law is the law,” and that blacks should learn to live with it. That is the position you (and ziggy) are arguing for.

    To which I commented that no, in fact you are wrong and I would agree with MLK (i.e. he should not “learn to live with it”). And even this, too, is bordering on being willfully disingenuous on your end as I laid out in multiple posts (that you read and referred to) what I think I and everybody else can do when they disagree with laws. It had more items on the list than “if the majority wants it you have to live with it”.

    You are so busy trying to catch your perceived opponents in inconsistencies that your are simply stopping to pay attention what they are actually saying.

    Again, I am reminded of the interesting difference between folks like you, who believe in absolute morals and folks like me who don’t: We are perfectly fine dealing with you by engaging your moral understanding, while on your end there seems to be this weird obsession not with our morals itself, but with showing that our view of morals is irrational, evil, destructive, …

    The dramatic difference between your useless and destructive moral relativism vs. MLK’s historically successful application of objective morality.

    You do realize that empathy is perfectly sufficient to argue against racial oppression, right?

    Have a good night. Maybe once you sleep over it you can get off this obsession with proving other’s moral framework wrong and discuss the morals itself. But my guess is no. Would you like to state as clearly as WJM that people who do not believe in absolute morals are irrational and thus can not rationally partake in a discussion about morals?

  551. 551
    Eugen says:

    Empathy is enough as basis of morality for atheists? OMG

    How much empathy is prescribed? Who prescribes it? What about people with low level of empathy? For ex. they wouldn’t care about MLK’s fight. Would you call them bigots? Maybe, but then you would show lack of empathy for their low empathy. Is your level of emphatic morality higher than theirs in this case?

    What about people with higher level of empathy then yours? For ex. they feel that by chopping wood you are killer of a tree. Should they call you bigot if you don’t show enough empathy? Is your emphatic morality low then? This is kind of loud thinking, but helps me understand what bizarre world atheists live in. As if they don’t have a compass or frame of reference. Atheist must have better argument, this is disaster.

  552. 552
    StephenB says:

    hrun0815

    you did not show that Martin Luther King could not have played his role without an objective code. You didn’t even claim that Martin Luther King needed an objective code.

    Martin Luther King was successful only because he rose above subjectivist sentimentality and made his case based on the natural moral law. You have never acknowledged the point and are always searching for a way around it.

    To which I commented that no, in fact you are wrong and I would agree with MLK (i.e. he should not “learn to live with it”). And even this, too, is bordering on being willfully disingenuous on your end as I laid out in multiple posts (that you read and referred to) what I think I and everybody else can do when they disagree with laws. It had more items on the list than “if the majority wants it you have to live with it”.

    You did not agree with MLK on the key point–racial injustice is objectively wrong and, in his case, needed to be fought on that basis. That you “disagree” The you “disagree” with racial oppression is hardly relevant. Do you think that MLK would have been successful if had responded to the outrage by saying that he”disagreed” with racial oppression. Hardly. He said the one thing that you cannot bring yourself to say, anytime or any place–“This is wrong.”

    You are so busy trying to catch your perceived opponents in inconsistencies that your are simply stopping to pay attention what they are actually saying.

    When someone is misusing the language to mislead, it becomes necessary to identify the behavior. If they don’t respond in good faith, then you have to “catch them” in the act. Note your recent attempt to characterize my negative assessment of “some people” as an attack on “particular individuals?”

    Again, I am reminded of the interesting difference between folks like you, who believe in absolute morals and folks like me who don’t: We are perfectly fine dealing with you by engaging your moral understanding, while on your end there seems to be this weird obsession not with our morals itself, but with showing that our view of morals is irrational, evil, destructive, …

    Well, your arguments are irrational. Why should irrational arguments be treated with the same respect as rational arguments? Only political correctness comes to that conclusion.

    You do realize that empathy is perfectly sufficient to argue against racial oppression, right?

    Not if you mix it with moral relativism, as in, I feel sorry for the victims, but no real evil has been visited upon them.

    Have a good night. Maybe once you sleep over it you can get off this obsession with proving other’s moral framework wrong and discuss the morals itself. But my guess is no. Would you like to state as clearly as WJM that people who do not believe in absolute morals are irrational and thus can not rationally partake in a discussion about morals?

    Well, I would take it a step further. People who do not believe in absolute morals invariably do not believe in objective truth–and vice versa. So, yes, it is impossible to have a rational discussion with those who reject the existence of moral truth and ontological truth. Have a good night.

  553. 553
    kairosfocus says:

    HR:

    I see a comment in 550 and in 533 that is effectively a candidate foundation for morality:

    550: You do realize that empathy is perfectly sufficient to argue against racial oppression, right?

    533: Empathy alone in absence of any explicit moral code gives human beings very good reasons to execute moral action– specifically action according to the golden rule even without any understanding of what the golden rule is (or even before actually becoming verbal).

    This was actually anticipated in 409 by WJM:

    What stephenb, kf and I a are trying to bring to light is that putting some more thought into what you are trying to do might save problems or even a catastrophe down the road. Get an architect and some engineers, some people who understand the stresses involved in building a tower. Figure out what the tower is going to be use for – what purpose it serves. Hire workers suitable to the task. Find the proper materials. Then you begin with a proper foundation.

    You are treating the very structure of society – what is right and wrong, and what laws should be instituted, as if it’s all a matter of personal sentiment and who can persuade others better via rhetoric and emotional pleading.

    Use sentiment and empathy to figure out how to build a tower and see what happens. Yet, you want to build the future of western civilization and maintain a good society based on nothing more than personal sentiment and feelings. Do you not see the folly in that?

    I note, Eugen’s point in 551 should not be underestimated:

    Empathy is enough as basis of morality for atheists? OMG

    How much empathy is prescribed? Who prescribes it? What about people with low level of empathy? For ex. they wouldn’t care about MLK’s fight. Would you call them bigots? Maybe, but then you would show lack of empathy for their low empathy. Is your level of emphatic morality higher than theirs in this case?

    What about people with higher level of empathy than yours? For ex. they feel that by chopping wood you are killer of a tree. Should they call you bigot if you don’t show enough empathy? Is your emphatic morality low then?

    In 552. SB plays out an exchange with HR:

    [HR:] You do realize that empathy is perfectly sufficient to argue against racial oppression, right?

    [SB:] Not if you mix it with moral relativism, as in, I feel sorry for the victims, but no real evil has been visited upon them.

    [HR:] Have a good night. Maybe once you sleep over it you can get off this obsession with proving other’s moral framework wrong and discuss the morals itself. But my guess is no. Would you like to state as clearly as WJM that people who do not believe in absolute morals are irrational and thus can not rationally partake in a discussion about morals?

    [SB:] Well, I would take it a step further. People who do not believe in absolute morals invariably do not believe in objective truth–and vice versa. So, yes, it is impossible to have a rational discussion with those who reject the existence of moral truth and ontological truth.

    Back in 1991, Ruse and Wilson argued:

    The time has come to take seriously the fact [[–> This is a
    gross error at the outset
    , as macro-evolution is a theory (an
    explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a
    fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the
    orbiting of planets around the sun etc.] that we humans are modified
    monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day
    . . . We must think again
    especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is
    not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with
    ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the
    traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our
    belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our
    reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s
    will  … In an important sense,
    ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes
    to get us to cooperate. It is
    without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as
    it persuades us that it has an objective reference.
    This is the
    crux of the biological position.
    Once it is grasped, everything
    falls into place. [Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of
    Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of
    Engagement,
    , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and
    Brace, 1991.]

    The inference to co-operative illusion, however, is fatally flawed, as it falls under the implication of grand delusion in mindedness. As I noted in 537:

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    The appeal to illusion that triggers empathy ends in undermining responsible, rational freedom.

    It also leads to might and manipulation make ‘right,’ the nihilist’s credo. Which is at once absurd. There is no answer on such a basis to a Stalin’s or a Hitler’s utter want of empathy other than force; that is justice is a feel-good abracadabra word for force.

    Let me cite Mein Kampf on the point:

    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
    .
    [–> that is, evolutionary progress]
    If the process were different, all further and higher development
    would cease and the opposite would occur
    .

    Horrific, I know. But this has to be borne in mind too.

    And if through agit prop and lawfare, the anti racialist sentiment were to be undone, there would be no answer apart from the same resort.

    We are playing with deadly fire here.

    KF

  554. 554

    Aleta asks:

    But if we can’t know what moral truths there are (an epistemological question), then how can we profess to know the answer to the ontological question as to whether they exist or not?

    Just because we do not know everything about how things in the universe work, are we unsure about any rules of physical interaction and behavior?

    We know some moral truths because we experience them directly through our moral sensory capacity – our conscience. We know such rules exist because we experience them. We know it is immoral to deceive others purely for personal enrichment. We know harming children gratuitously is wrong. We know cruelty to animals and wanton destruction of the property of others is wrong. We know these things are wrong and that engaging in them harm us as surely as we know stepping off a cliff will harm us. We also know that somehow such things also harm others and harm something greater.

    Just because one cannot see gravity and doesn’t know how exactly where it comes from or the exact formula doesn’t mean one doesn’t experience it and doesn’t incorporate a general understanding of it in their behavior.

    Thinking we know that moral truths exist is itself assuming we have the epistemological tools to ascertain that, but if that is so why can’t we also in fact know what they are?

    You can the same way you ascertain facts through any sensory capacity – you sense the thing and apply rational principles in order to refine a clearer understanding about what it is you are sensing. Of course, this begins with the premise that what you are experiencing is in fact a sensory event generated by interaction with an objectively existent commodity and not a purely subjective event generated internally by subjective preferences and sentiment.

  555. 555
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    Are we back at the kantian ugly gulch between the inner phenomenal world of perceptions, sentiments and experiences and the outer world of things in themselves (reality)?

    F H Bradley, long ago, put the kibosh on that little error in the beginning by exposing its bankruptcy by self referential incoherence:

    “The man who is ready to prove that metaphysical knowledge is impossible has . . . himself . . . perhaps unknowingly, entered the arena [of metaphysics] . . . . To say that reality is such that our knowledge cannot reach it, is to claim to know reality.” [F. H. Bradley, Appearance and Reality, 2nd Edn.(Clarendon Press, 1930), p.1 –> cf here]

    Not only so, but we are again at the infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds problem,as in there are no firewalls so a level 1 grand delusion leads to level 2 etc without limit.

    KF

  556. 556
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #552:

    Alright, StephenB, even though I made abundantly clear–again– what I do and do not believe it doesn’t get through to you.

    And, by the way, if you want to to do discussion logic 1a, let’s quickly do this:

    If you write “Martin Luther King was successful only because he rose above subjectivist sentimentality and made his case based on the natural moral law” then this is YOUR claim and not MLKs. So if I disagree with this claim I am disagreeing with YOUR claim and not with MLK.

    And if you want to claim that you actually have SHOWN this to be true, then you can’t simply assert this. It is actually irrelevant, too, if MLK held this belief. You have to show that it was necessary for him to rise up above subjectivist morality. You have not done so.

    Well, I would take it a step further. People who do not believe in absolute morals invariably do not believe in objective truth–and vice versa. So, yes, it is impossible to have a rational discussion with those who reject the existence of moral truth and ontological truth. Have a good night.

    It’s an interesting life you guys must lead.

  557. 557
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #553:

    TL;DR

  558. 558