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The problem of virtue-signalling social permission to target and bully scapegoated groups

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This is where we now are as a civilisation:

>>A Salvation Army bell ringer in California had been beaten in front of a Walmart because he wanted to spread joy this holiday season.

Rev. Jamie Wolfe Sr., the man ringing the bell, told CBS Sacramento that he says “Merry Christmas” to everyone who passes by his donation bucket, but one Grinch managed to knock the joy out of him.

“He haymakered me, hit me, got me down on the ground and we started wrestling, at that point I’m fighting for my life,” Wolfe Sr. said.

The suspect allegedly carried out the unprovoked attack not for the money, but for his cheer.

“Store says they love him and he’s been the best bell ringer they’ve ever had, so an attack that’s unprovoked is very surprising and very unfortunate. It’s not the call we’d expect to get at night,” or ever said Lt. Steve Pavlakis with the Salvation Army.

Pavlakis, who worked with the organization for 14 years, says he has not seen anything like this.

“It’s really saddening that one of our bell horingers would be out there working day after day for us that’s met with hate and punches to the face and kicks to the face,” Pavlakis said.>>

Why?

There is an answer, but it is one that is not going to be easy to swallow, especially for those who are invested in scapegoating and targetting the despised other. Nowadays, typically, Christians . . . as is seen.

Here is a first step to the answer:

FIRST, ROUGH DRAFT OF HISTORY ANSWER: We live in an age of ever increasing political correctness where the “permitted” answer to the question given to Orwell’s fictional Winston Smith — 2 + 2 = ___ ? — varies with the twists and turns of the power brokers in their ever advancing agenda. Such culturally dominant narrative and media manipulation games create targetted scapegoat groups and give implicit social permission and a licence to a chip- on- the- shoulder mentality that then can come out in this sort of “punch a scapegoat” way at one level. That is not to be overlooked, as the difference between such an assault and murder is a heart attack or the like, but it is not the most dangerous.  That is reserved for when the same punch- a- scapegoat mentality is embedded in agit-prop agendas and unjust decrees under false colour of law [often through lawfare] or when it becomes subtly entrenched in power circles, leading to exclusionary lock-out and marginalising, vindictive victimising behaviour. Beyond a certain level, the Gulag and the 4:00 am knock on the door by the latest Gestapo beckon.

Do we really want to go — yet again — down the road of a long train of abuses and usurpations predictably leading to the undermining of genuine liberty and community under just law? END

PS: SPLC Hate Tracker, screenshot Dec 25, 2355 hrs GMT — yes, this is real:

Let’s add no 8 on the list . . . Jesus:

PPS: The following clip from a Newsweek headline speaks saddening volumes:

. . . and, it is telling what Washington Post chose to push on Christmas Day:

Newsweek, we have some news: Christmas is not now and has never been an emblem of “White Nationalism.” Jesus the Messiah is central to the Christian faith, which happens to be at the heart of the history of a certain civilisation that as recently as the 1940’s, was described by Roosevelt and/or Churchill as Christian Civilisation, while defending it from Nazi assault. Even Santa Claus is a reference to a Christian Bishop in Asia Minor.

Washington Post, we also have a newsflash for you: the longstanding consensus of serious scholarship is that there was a Jesus who caused quite a stir in Palestine, c. the early part of the first century.  The “doesn’t add up” you used reflects ill-advised, dismissive selective hyperskepticism, not sound scholarship that could easily have been found if you cared about truth, responsibility and fairness.

75 Replies to “The problem of virtue-signalling social permission to target and bully scapegoated groups

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Saying Merry Christmas as invitation to “punch a scapegoat.”

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Unfortunately that’s inevitable at this point.
    We are approaching the end of this age of grace.
    No one knows when the curtains will shut, though.

  3. 3
    JSmith says:

    This is obviously a viscious assault, and I don’t want to detract from that or all the great work that the Salvation Army does. But is it not possible that the person doing the assaulting has a serious mental health issue, or a serious anger management issue, and that anything could have provoked him?

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, when we get a virtue-signalling political correctness and polarisation spiral it lends social permission to the fringes — some utterly unhinged, others just immature and angry beyond self-control — to act out, often with physical violence. That is one of the reasons why agit prop operators try to set such spirals off and get them spinning out of control. It is also one of the reasons why such spirals need to be exposed and stopped before it is too late. Punch a scapegoat is already verging on terrorism and rioting; it is in fact entry level 4th gen war. All of this is part of why some serious rethinking and dialling back are needed now. Before things flash over into horrific chaos. Where, in this case, the Salvation Army, for coming on towards 200 years now, has been one of the foremost social outreach and rescue ministries of the Christian church. I here recall things like General Booth in darkest London, and when the Army went up against the slave-prostitute district in Tokyo, armed with the law that ruled what was being done to enmesh the girls was illegal, in a literal march into the jaws of hell. And, there is much more. That is what was lashed out against when a bell ringer was assaulted for the thought crime of greeting passersby, Merry Christmas. KF

  5. 5
    J-Mac says:

    Christmas has its dark side; the pressure do give because all Christmas advertising (pushed by the big commerce) associates the happy holidays with generous giving and not with what it is supposed to be; families getting together for marry making…
    So, due to that undue pressure, some people crack…no excuse to beat up an innocent man though…

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, the issue was, this is a clear example of anti-Christian hate crime (where an under-reported and often ignored fact is that globally Christians are among the most persecuted of all groups), though thankfully this man only suffered fairly minor injuries. KF

  7. 7
    J-Mac says:

    KF,

    Nobody knows all the facts… and probably never will… The issue is that society has been manipulated by big corporations to put emphasis on material things rather than Godly… The only time Christ is mentioned during these holidays is when someone opens a present and expresses disappointment…
    Tell me it isn’t so…

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, too often you are close to right, but in fact there is a major family and faith centred tradition that does not get headlines, not only in the USA but across the world. To the point where a provincial youth arm of the Chinese Communist party is attacking Christmas there — China is rated as having the second fastest growing church in the world. Likewise, observe how Christmas comes out in say the Harry Potter books, pointing to the issue that Christmas is also a time for kids to be celebrated and cherished. Makes a lot of sense as a child embodies a world of hope, echoing the hopes of Divine breakthrough and rescue centred on the Christ child that are to be found in the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke. We do need to dial back the excessive commercialisation though it is also fair to recognise that for many retailers 50% of annual sales and the main profits come from the Christmas season. KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Food for thought — if Christmas is in material part a celebration and loving cherishing of children as hopes for the future, is that not then a mark of a culture of progress? And, in that light, how will a culture that is suicidally depressed and so fears the future predictably react to a celebration that highlights hope and joy? Especially, if that culture is carrying in its conscience the blood guilt of half a generation of its posterity slaughtered in the womb? KF

  10. 10
    JSmith says:

    KF

    JS, when we get a virtue-signalling political correctness and polarisation spiral it lends social permission to the fringes — some utterly unhinged, others just immature and angry beyond self-control — to act out, often with physical violence.

    I agree. History is replete with examples or virtue-signalling that has led to violence by fringe (and not so fringe) groups. The Westboro Babtist church actions against homosexuals, the KKK actions against African Americans, the crusades and the 9/11 attacks are prime examples. All the more reason to critically examine and question all actions purported to be based on moral grounds, regardless of the source (government, media, religion or social group). This isn’t to say that you don’t take the proposed action, just that you don’t blindly accept it simply because of the source.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, lesse. Do you or do you not find yourself under a duty to truth, sound reason, fairness, justice? If no, then it’s over, your intelligence is just a nihilistic, amoral tool to con the sheeple. If so, you face grounding i/l/o the IS-OUGHT gap. If (as is most likely) you are indulging selective hyperskepticism, moral form, you are trying to bind others while reserving to yourself the out of ever escalating demands for moral warrant. But whichever way it goes on this trilemma, your case has collapsed in self-referential incoherence. KF

  12. 12
    JSmith says:

    KF

    JS, lesse. Do you or do you not find yourself under a duty to truth, sound reason, fairness, justice? If no,…

    How do you get from my comment at 10 to your admonition at 11? I am agreeing with you that virtue-signalling and polarization can lead to violence. I have just pointed out the fact that this virtue-signalling and polarizing can come from any source, even one we have always trusted. In many respects. It is the virtue-signalling and polarization that comes from our most trusted sources that can be the most insidious as we are more likely to believe them.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    JS,

    Try this:

    All the more reason to critically examine and question all actions purported to be based on moral grounds, regardless of the source (government, media, religion or social group)

    Do you see the self-referentiality, incoherence and infinite regress (as well as assumption that one is overwhelmingly likely to be simply emptily drawing on authorities) implied in this?

    KF

  14. 14
    JSmith says:

    KF

    Do you see the self-referentiality, incoherence and infinite regress (as well as assumption that one is overwhelmingly likely to be simply emptily drawing on authorities) implied in this?

    I would if there was self-referentiality, incoherence and infinite regress implied in what I said. Unless you can support this assertion with something other than a bald statement, I’m afraid that I will have to stand by my comment.

    as well as assumption that one is overwhelmingly likely to be simply emptily drawing on authorities

    My point was that this is the danger if we don’t question actions proposed by authorities, regardless of who the authority is. We should not blindly accept any actions proposed by authorities without examining the motives behind, and possible consequences of, these actions. I don’t care if theses proposals come from government, peers, social groups, media, individuals or churches.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    JS,

    recall my previous comment?

    Do you or do you not find yourself under a duty to truth, sound reason, fairness, justice? If no, then it’s over, your intelligence is just a nihilistic, amoral tool to con the sheeple. If so, you face grounding i/l/o the IS-OUGHT gap. If (as is most likely) you are indulging selective hyperskepticism, moral form, you are trying to bind others while reserving to yourself the out of ever escalating demands for moral warrant . . .

    Your fatal term was the “all.”

    Now, implicit in any contested argument is the premise that we have duties to truth, right and soundness in reasoning. On pain of twisting our intellectual powers into nihilistic weapons of cynical deception. In short X objects to Y, on the confident knowledge of in-common duties of intellectual, rational and epistemic virtue. The attempt to challenge ALL moral obligation would be self-referential and incoherent, undermining good faith reasoning itself.

    I would go so far as to say this duty of care to truth, right and sound reasoning is self-evident and is typically implicitly accepted.

    So, no, we cannot challenge ALL moral claims without undermining even the process of argument itself. No, we cannot dismiss general moral reasoning as suspect of being a blind appeal to authorities. No, mere consequences we happen to imagine (ever heard of the doctrine of unintended consequences?) or motives we think we read in the hearts of others (you are the same who seemingly views Christianity in general as though we are automatically suspect . . .)cannot ground such a broad-brush skepticism about moral reasoning.

    We are already at self-referential incoherence.

    Infinite regress comes out of the insisted on ALL and the inextricable entanglement of reasoning and moral duties as were outlined. Claim A is suspect so B must be advanced but implies another ought, so B requires C, and oops, we are on to infinity and absurdity.

    General hyperskepticism about the moral brings down the proud edifice of reason too by fatally undermining its own self.

    Selective hyperskepticism ends in inconsistency, exerting a double standard: stiff rules for thee, but not for me when such are not convenient to where I want to go.

    I fear, you have made a crooked yardstick into yopur standard of truth, responsibility, uprightness and accuracy in moral reasoning. What is genuinely straight, accurate and upright can never pass the rigged test of conformity to the crooked. And so those clinging to such an absurdity will be led to dismiss what is true and right BECAUSE it is true and right. As they won’t fit in with crookedness.

    To break out of that Plato’s Cave of shadow shows confused for reality, we need plumbline, naturally straight test cases.

    One of these, as I outlined, is the inextricable entanglement of reason and duty to truth, right and soundness of logic.

    In that light, we can then look at sound yardstick cases and clear the rubble of the modernist collapse of rationality and responsibility away.

    For example, it is self-evidently wrong, wicked, evil to kidnap, bind, torture, sexually violate and murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure. (And, sadly, this is NOT a hypothetical case.)

    Probe this case and you will see that such a child hath neither strength nor eloquence to fight or plead for himself or herself. And yet, were we to chance on such a demonic act in progress we are duty bound to try to rescue or at least bawl for help.

    We are inescapably under moral government.

    Which implies that IS and OUGHT must be bridged in the root of reality, on pain of reducing moral government to grand delusion that takes down rationality itself in its collapse.

    And more, but there, we may start.

    In that context, there is absolutely no good reason to see that ethical theists and great teachers of the calibre of Jesus of Nazareth should be viewed with a jaundiced, cynically dismissive, hyperskeptical eye. Let me pause to highlight how Paul of Tarsus amplified Jesus’ commentary on the neighbour-love principle:

    Rom 2:14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do [c]instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the [d]essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them 16 on that day when, [e]as my gospel proclaims, God will judge the secrets [all the hidden thoughts and concealed sins] of men through Christ Jesus [Cf Rom 1:1 – 5 as to how Jesus’ resurrection with 500+ witnesses demonstrates his status as Lord and Judge] .

    13:8 [b]Owe nothing to anyone except to [c]love and seek the best for one another; for he who [unselfishly] loves his neighbor has fulfilled the [essence of the] law [relating to one’s fellowman]. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor [it never hurts anyone]. Therefore [unselfish] love is the fulfillment of the Law. [AMP]

    Mirror, mirror on the wall . . .

    KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, no responsible person but knows that an older man peacefully collecting for charity and wishing good cheer to one and all is not provoking others and inviting retaliatory violence thereby. We are seeing boiling, stirred up hostility here, further shown by kicking a man while he is down and then by flight from the legal consequences of such wicked behaviour. It is high time to take a CONSISTENT look at the issue of social permission given the obvious, blatant and utterly unwarranted hostility to Christ, Christians, the gospel and of course Christmas, that is so clearly welling up across our civilisation. KF

  17. 17
    JSmith says:

    KF

    So, no, we cannot challenge ALL moral claims without undermining even the process of argument itself.

    Nonsense. ALL moral claims we have have been processed and chanelled through humans. As such, they are prone to error. To not question them is to march blindly over a cliff to our doom. Folly in its extreme. History is full of examples of blindly accepting what were considered to be self evident moral claims. If you prefer to repeat the mistakes of our past, that is your choice. But don’t be surprised if others oppose you.

    No, we cannot dismiss general moral reasoning as suspect of being a blind appeal to authorities.

    If you are going to keep misrepresenting what I have said, this is going to be a very short discussion. Any moral claim that is valid and necessary for long term societal society will easily survive questioning and examination. Any moral claim that cannot survive this reasoning maybe should be discarded.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, you clearly have not drawn the connexion between reasoning and responsibility — thus moral governance. Thus also inevitable self-reference, hence the need for great care in reasoning about IS, OUGHT and duties starting with truth and warrant and rational responsibility. Enough has been pointed out, esp. for a holiday like this one. G’day, KF

    PS: Your comments again:

    All the more reason to critically examine and question all actions purported to be based on moral grounds, regardless of the source (government, media, religion or social group). This isn’t to say that you don’t take the proposed action, just that you don’t blindly accept it simply because of the source.

    See the issues?

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: U/D Dec 25 2355 hrs GMT, SPLC Hate Tracker, yes Merry Christmas and Christmas are being tracked as hate. And if you scroll down, Jesus is ALSO being tracked: https://hatetracker.io/trending/2017-12-24 SPLC is a well known deeply leftist lawfare outfit that has advised policing agencies on hate groups as they perceive them. Utterly unbelievable, save it is a screen-shot. KF

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Added no 8 on the list: Jesus. Obvious spiritual diagnosis, spirit of antichrist on the loose.

  21. 21
    J-Mac says:

    KF,

    I agree with you. The assault was dead wrong!

    Now imagine you are a Muslim or a Buddhist living in US.
    Are you entitled to any rights? Or should your beliefs be ignored because Christianity is the majority? Because Christianity did this and did that and it is Christmas that everyone is or should be celebrating…and if you are the minority…too bad…Either join the club or suck it up…
    Is that the way it should be?
    BTW: I’m not justifying the assault on the man at the mall at all…It is a different issue all together…

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, the beliefs of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists and others are protected under principles of freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and petition. The notion that such are ignored is utterly implausible and is in fact misleading: in a sound democracy, the majority rules, the minority is heard and protected. As touching what is a foundational shaping influence on our civilisation and in particular the USA, it is indisputable that the Christian faith shaped the culture, so that inter alia holidays . . . a word that is rooted in HOLY days . . . reflect that heritage. In the case of Christmas, Jesus of Nazareth is in fact the greatest of humanity’s moral teachers and it is entirely appropriate to memorialise this with a major holiday in a civilisation deeply and even primarily shaped by his influence. That principle is obvious. Now, it is also appropriate to respect that others who form small minorities do have their own holidays but that is not the same as to suggest that Christmas is so controversial and dubious that it should become effectively an unmentionable, dirty, fighting word. Where, if you will scroll up and look, you will see that the SPLC (which is disproportionately influential with the media, law enforcement and government) has actually thought it appropriate to track Christmas, Merry Christmas and Jesus as terms indicative of hate speech. Something is deeply wrong here, and the patterns that we are seeing point to a need to recognise that there is an aggressive agenda of de-Christianisation at work, precisely because the intent is to remove the influence of Jesus and his teachings from our civilisation, not just the USA. The consequences will predictably be ruinous, indeed we already see that such radical secularisation is a key underpinning for the advancement of the worst holocaust in history under false colours of rights and law, the slaughter of 800+ millions of our posterity in the womb, now mounting up at another million per week. Similarly, family life, sexual conduct and personal identity are visibly descending into chaos. Likewise, in the teeth of “owe no man anything, save the abiding debt to love” we have amassed a mountain of indebtedness as a civilisation that cannot be paid off, and will predictably lead to economic chaos. And more. KF

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 19 – No, “Merry Christmas”, “Christmas” and “Jesus” are not being tracked as hate speech. If you read the “About” text, you’ll see that it is far-right twitter users that are being tracked, not hashtags. What is reported is the hashtags that are being used more frequently at the moment.

    So there’s nothing nefarious about this: even Nazis wish each other #merrychristmas, and that’s what the tracker is reflecting.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, kindly look again. The list of terms and hashtags is there, and it speaks for itself. Likewise, the tracking graphs that are there in the screen captures above — literal tracking and directed towards a list of hastags as seen. That anyone could imagine that those terms could be indicia of hate speech is utterly reprehensible, without any excuse, infinitely beyond any reasonableness or decency. FYI, when Nazis wished each other Merry Christmas — NOT “#merrychristmas” — they reflected in common ground of our civilisation, not some notion connected to aggressive conquest or genocidal racism. That’s not so hard to understand, is it? Your response gives me even more grounds for concern on just how polarised we have become, why and how. KF

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us fast-forward some 30 years to a hillside in Galilee, where Jesus presented his core ethical-moral teachings in a sermon that is justly regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever given. A sermon that challenges every last one of us in so many ways. Pardon my using a Bible Study version, which reduces literary impact:

    _________________

    >> Matthew 5-7Amplified Bible (AMP)
    The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

    5 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His [a]disciples came to Him. 2 Then He began to teach them, saying,

    3 “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

    4 “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].

    5 “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [b]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.

    6 “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.

    7 “Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

    8 “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.

    9 “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.

    10 “Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for [c]doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

    11 “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
    Disciples and the World

    13 “You are the [d]salt of the earth; but if the salt has [e]lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].

    14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    17 “Do not think that I came to do away with or undo the [f]Law [of Moses] or the [writings of the] Prophets; I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you and most solemnly say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke [of the pen] will pass from the Law until all things [which it foreshadows] are accomplished. 19 So whoever breaks one of the least [important] of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness (uprightness, moral essence) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
    Personal Relationships

    21 “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be [g]guilty before the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and whoever speaks [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, [h]‘Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the [i]fiery hell. 23 So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, 24 leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Come to terms quickly [at the earliest opportunity] with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way [to court], so that your opponent does not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you are thrown into prison. 26 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid the last [j]cent.

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who [so much as] looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble and leads you to sin, tear it out and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble and leads you to sin, cut it off and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

    31 “It has also been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife is to give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on grounds of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who has been divorced commits adultery.

    33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not make false vows, but you shall fulfill your vows to the Lord [as a religious duty].’ 34 But I say to you, do not make an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one.

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense].’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever [k]slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise]. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, [l]let him have your coat also [for the Lord repays the offender]. 41 And whoever [m]forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, [n]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    Giving to the Poor and Prayer

    6 “Be [very] careful not to do your [o]good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.

    2 “So whenever you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored and recognized and praised by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy], 4 so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.

    5 “Also, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray [publicly] standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets so that they may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your most private room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.

    7 “And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 So do not be like them [praying as they do]; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

    9 “Pray, then, [p]in this way:

    ‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
    [q]Hallowed be Your name.
    10

    ‘[r]Your kingdom come,
    Your [s]will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    11

    ‘Give us this day our [t]daily bread.
    12

    ‘And forgive us our [u]debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
    13

    ‘And do not [v]lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [w]evil. [x][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’

    14 For if you forgive [y]others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
    Fasting, The True Treasure, Wealth (Mammon)

    16 “And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they put on a sad and dismal face [like actors, discoloring their faces with ashes or dirt] so that their fasting may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head [as you normally would to groom your hair] and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by people, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.

    19 “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.

    22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. 23 But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness!

    24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].
    The Cure for Anxiety

    25 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one [z]hour to [the length of] his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32 For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

    34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
    Judging Others

    7 “[aa]Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. 2 For just as you [hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    6 “Do not give that which is holy to [ab]dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, for they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
    Prayer and the Golden Rule

    7 “[ac]Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake? 11 If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.

    12 “So then, in everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you, for this is [the essence of] the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets.
    The Narrow and Wide Gates

    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it.
    A Tree and Its Fruit

    15 “Beware of the false prophets, [teachers] who come to you dressed as sheep [appearing gentle and innocent], but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them [as false prophets].

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’
    The Two Foundations

    24 “So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, will be like a wise man [a far-sighted, practical, and sensible man] who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods and torrents came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish (stupid) man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods and torrents came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great and complete was its fall.”

    28 When Jesus had finished [speaking] these words [on the mountain], the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one who had authority [to teach entirely of His own volition], and not as their scribes [who relied on others to confirm their authority].
    Footnotes:

    Matthew 5:1 A disciple was a “learner” who may have been curious or convinced or committed.
    Matthew 5:5 Or humble, meek.
    Matthew 5:10 Lit the sake of righteousness.
    Matthew 5:13 In ancient times salt was often used as a preservative. Similarly, followers of Christ are to preserve both the gospel message and Christian values in the secular world.
    Matthew 5:13 The salt from the Dead Sea contains impurities that affect its qualities as a seasoning and as a preservative.
    Matthew 5:17 I.e. the Pentateuch.
    Matthew 5:21 Or liable to.
    Matthew 5:22 A severe Aramaic insult.
    Matthew 5:22 Gr Gehenna, a Greek version of the Hebrew for Valley of Hinnom, a ravine where garbage was burned continuously, located just south of Jerusalem. Often regarded in ancient times as symbolic of hell (the lake of fire), a realm reserved for the wicked. Mentioned in Matt 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6.
    Matthew 5:26 Gr kodrantes, from the Lat quadrans, which was the smallest Roman bronze coin.
    Matthew 5:39 In this context the “slap” is not an act of violence, but more likely an insult or violation of one’s rights.
    Matthew 5:40 Probably a prohibition against frivolous legal action.
    Matthew 5:41 Roman soldiers were allowed to force civilian bystanders to carry their gear one mile for them.
    Matthew 5:44 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
    Matthew 6:1 Lit righteousness before men.
    Matthew 6:9 I.e. as a model or pattern.
    Matthew 6:9 I.e. set apart, keep and treat as holy, revere.
    Matthew 6:10 A plea for God’s kingdom to be inaugurated on earth.
    Matthew 6:10 Including what God wishes to be done by the individual believer—His commands and precepts.
    Matthew 6:11 I.e. life’s essentials.
    Matthew 6:12 I.e. sins, moral failures.
    Matthew 6:13 I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested.
    Matthew 6:13 Or the evil one.
    Matthew 6:13 This clause is not found in early mss.
    Matthew 6:14 Gr anthropoi.
    Matthew 6:27 Lit cubit, here probably applied metaphorically to a lifespan.
    Matthew 7:1 This is not a prohibition of judgment, nor is it a command to stop using godly wisdom, common sense, and moral courage together with God’s written word to discern right from wrong, to distinguish between morality and immorality, and to judge doctrinal truth. There are many judgments that are not only legitimate, but are commanded (cf John 7:24; 1 Cor 5:5, 12; Gal 1:8, 9; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 10); however, you cannot judge another if you are committing the same type of sin.
    Matthew 7:6 In this verse “dogs” and “pigs” represent those who despise sacred things.
    Matthew 7:7 Here the use of Greek present imperatives (asking, seeking, knocking; vv 7, 8) emphasizes persistent, constant prayer. [AMP]>>
    _________________

    It is time for us to back off the volume from 11 to 0.1 and listen to a voice we need to hear again. KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, please understand that I will always be looking at deeper, worldviews implications of argument. In the above, I responded to the implication of your “all” given that rationality and responsibility . . . moral government . . . are inextricably intertwined in all of our reasoning and arguing. As a direct consequence, arguments about moral things are inescapably self-referential. Further argument is under the same inevitability. So, we face infinite regress and/or incoherence as challenges when we try to challenge “all” moral views or positions. Further to this, the easy inference that we are dealing with blind adherence to some suspect authority or another (especially given what else you have already said or directly implied about Christianity: you regard it with a hermeneutic of suspicion) gives an all too easy out. That is why I have pointed to the existence of cases of self-evident moral truths that have much to teach us. For, they are plumblines. Modernist hyperskepticism, secularist rationalism [as opposed to, rational-ITY], radical subjectivism and relativism all fail those plumbline tests. Never mind, their dominance in much current thought. Our civilisation is in deep trouble, stubbornly headed for the crumbling edge of a cliff. KF

  27. 27
    tribune7 says:

    On June 14, four people were shot including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise by a person fully devoted to the politically correct view of social mores.

    On Aug. 8, a Republican activist in Pennsylvania was shot and killed by his neighbor who was fully devoted to the politically correct view of social mores. http://billlawrenceonline.com/.....-activist/

    On Nov. 3, Sen. Rand Paul was seriously injured by his neighbor who was who was fully devoted to the politically correct view of social mores.

    Yes, political correctness is a very real problem.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I just added and commented on clips from Newsweek and Washington Post. See OP. Utterly revealing — attempts to taint Christmas celebration with Nazism and racist nationalism on the one hand then an irresponsible attempt to play the Jesus was a myth card on the other. This is not a war on Christmas we face, it is a cultural war against Christian Civilisation. We had better ponder where that predictably will end. KF

    PS: Directly relevant to trying to taint with Nazism:

    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 . . do not overlook the obvious], 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 [–> an irrational battle- and blood- lust]. …

    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. [Heine, Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

  29. 29

    KF everywhere: Thank you.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    JSmith says:

    KF at 18

    JS, you clearly have not drawn the connexion between reasoning and responsibility — thus moral governance. Thus also inevitable self-reference, hence the need for great care in reasoning about IS, OUGHT and duties starting with truth and warrant and rational responsibility. Enough has been pointed out, esp. for a holiday like this one. G’day, KF

    And at 27

    JS, please understand that I will always be looking at deeper, worldviews implications of argument. In the above, I responded to the implication of your “all” given that rationality and responsibility . . . moral government . . . are inextricably intertwined in all of our reasoning and arguing. As a direct consequence, arguments about moral things are inescapably self-referential.

    My only response to this can be “double nonsense”. ALL morals that we have, regardless of the source, regardless of whether they are objective or subjective, are filtered through humans. As such, we can never be absolutely sure that they are free from error. All of your “moral governance”, “reasoning and responsibility“, “self referential”, “IS-OUGHT” talking points are just that. Talking points. They are not arguments against what I have said about the fact that ALL purported moral actions are open to be questioned. Unless, of course, you suggest that we shouldn’t use the reasoning capabilities that we were given.

    I have one question. Who decides what purported moral actions are we allowed to question, and which ones are we not allowed to question?

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    JS,

    Pardon, but it is now further evident that you have not seen the significance of self-evident truth in general.

    Could you be in error that you are conscious?

    If so, what is there that is aware to regard the possibility of error? (And this is about the bare fact of consciousness, you could be a brain in a vat manipulated by electrified probes to imagine yourself a man in the world and you would still be undeniably certain of the bare fact of your own consciousness.)

    Speaking of, that error exists is also undeniably true. Let E be that claim, then put up the attempted denial ~E. In other words ~E means it is an error to say that error exists. So, E is undeniable.

    2 + 3 = 5 is also self-evident and undeniable:

    || + ||| –> |||||

    In general, SET’s are truths that — once we are able to understand i/l/o our experience of the world — are seen to be so, and to be necessarily so on pain of patent absurdity on the attempted denial.

    Such lie at the heart of rationality, through the manifest fact of distinct identity. Take some distinct A like a bright red ball on a table, so the world W is:

    W = {A|~A}

    From this world partition, we instantly see that A is itself, and no x can be (A AND ~A), also that any x is (A X-OR ~A). That is, from distinct identity, the three first principles of right reason are immediately present: Laws of Identity, Non-Contradiction and Excluded Middle.

    Likewise from distinct identity two-ness is a direct corollary and from that the natural counting numbers and much of the logic of structure and quantity follows — i.e. Mathematics (which is NOT primarily an empirical discipline). As a start, I use the von Neumann construction:

    {} –> 0
    {0} –> 1
    {0,1} –> 2
    etc, endlessly
    thence {0,1,2 . . . } –> w, the first transfinite ordinal.

    Much more can be said, but the above is sufficient to show that there are literally infinately many things that we may know with utter certainty, starting from a few that are self-evident. But also, such SET’s are insufficient to construct a worldview; they serve as plumbline tests for worldviews.

    In particular, that something like E is knowable to utter certainty on pain of patent absurdity on attempted denial means, truth exists as what says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. Similarly, this is warranted to utter certainty and so some things can be known to utterly, absolutely cretain degree. Therefore any worldview that imagines that such knowledge is impossible collapses in fatal, central error. Subjectivism, relativism and post modernism, I am looking straight at you.

    Going further, following the Kantians, many have been induced to imagine that there is an ugly gulch blocking us from knowledge on the external world of things in themselves. Ever since F H Bradley over 100 years ago, this is known to be false. For, the claim to know of such an ignorance gap is to claim to know something of the outside world, i.e. the claim is self referential and incoherent.

    We may then infer freely, that we may and do know things about reality external to our interior lives. Though, as error exists is equally certain, we must be careful in warrant. As a first test, plumbline truths will help us. And for many things a lesser degree of warrant is more than good enough. For example on serious matters, we may have moral certainty, that it would be irresponsible to act as though some A were false, on the evidence to hand or reasonably accessible. For yet other things — including science by and large — plausibly or possibly so and reliable i/l/o the balance of evidence is good enough. And so forth.

    I am taking a little time to show you that I am not just talking from empty talking points, there are grounds of warrant for what I have to say. And, speaking for this blog, on worldview matters we have spent years thinking through such core matters. As, they lie at the heart of how our civilisation is in the state it is.

    Now, too, you will notice that in speaking of moral certainty, I highlighted responsibility, moral government. We intuitively know that we have duties to truth, care in reasoning, fairness, justice, neighbour who is as we are, and more.

    All of this reflects how our life of reason is inextricably entangled with responsibility, duty, moral government. And, dismissive hyperskepticism seeking to sweep that away is manifestly a failure of such duties.

    Were our rational faculty utterly unrestrained by responsibility, duty, moral government, it would fall into the cynical nihilism of utter manipulativeness and imposition by force: might and/or manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘justice’ and more. That is suicidally absurd. And you know better, as you know that the very force that energises dispute such as in this thread is duty to truth, sound reason and more.

    Yes, the mere fact that we inescapably find ourselves trying to justify ourselves and show others in the wrong immediately reveals the massive fact of moral government, and that this is critical to governing ourselves in community. On pain of mutual ruin.

    But then, that surfaces another point you wished to brush off with dismissive talking points: the IS-OUGHT gap. That IS and OUGHT are categorically distinct and hard to resolve and unify. That has been known since Plato and beyond. Since Hume, we have known it can only be resolved at world-root level, or else we fall under the guillotine of ungrounded ought. Reasoning IS-IS, then suddenly from nowhere OUGHT-OUGHT. Where, if OUGH-ness is delusion, it instantly entails grand delusion, including of the life of responsible reason itself.

    Your root challenge is, there is only one serious candidate that can soundly bridge the gap: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    This is not an arbitrary imposition, we are dealing with worldviews analysis on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory adequacy (neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork). If you doubt what I just said, simply put up a successful atlernative: ________ . (Prediction: v. hard to do.)

    So, we are at world-root level, looking at generic ethical theism and the central importance of moral government in our life of reason.

    The easy hyperskepticism that sweeps all before it on sheer rhetorical audacity is not good enough.

    And, it is interesting that so far you have not readily found significant fault with the central Christian ethical teaching (which is of course profoundly Hebraic in its roots). It is there above, laid out in full. Kindly, tell us why those who acknowledge themselves to be under its government and will readily acknowledge that it is a stiff life-challenge are to be instantly, deeply suspect with but few exceptions.

    And, tell us why a civilisation deeply influenced by such a teaching is to be branded with a scarlet letter instead of found to be in the sort of struggle to rise to excellence in the face of our finitude, prone-ness to error, moral struggle and too often our ill-will that are the anchor-points of genuine progress for our world.

    G’night,

    KF

  33. 33
    J-Mac says:

    KF @22

    Let’s not pretend to be naive and face the facts about how the rights of the minorities are really protected…
    We both know very well and anybody here knows exactly what would happen if someone around this time of the year would begin to play in an office some kind of Allah Hymns or some Jewish religious songs or anything that has nothing to do with Christmas but of religious nature…
    Same applies to religious decorations… other then Christmas…Though I have to admit that few years back I saw TV advertisements for Hanukkah… But the motive behind them is obvious…to buy more gifts…

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    JM, Pardon my naivete but just what would follow from someone doing what you describe in a typical North American context (assuming that the person so engaged was not involved in obvious disruptive behaviour)? In these parts s/he would be perhaps regarded as a curiousity — even as the Ganesh altar in one of the local Sindhi-owned supermarkets is; it is behind the shop counter. And BTW, on Christmas eve, a Sunday, I had a major PC headache and potential data loss incident. After church, I went to a Muslim man in a tech shop; on being advised he was in. He took time to repair, and while I was there waiting for the final stages, I saw him give Christmas presents to kids, greet people celebrating the Christmas with Merry Christmas, and he was running a pre-Christmas sale. This is literally next door to the Hindu-owned shop I just mentioned, which was also running late on Christmas Eve but that shop normally runs late. Like the rest of the Caribbean, we freely greet with Merry Christmas here and it is no problem. Oh I forget, there was the part owner of the Tech Shop who had visited India and came back with a Sari, she went to the wife of the same Supermarket’s owner, to get advice on just how to wear it . . . it is more complex than it looks. I happened to be standing by the counter that day. G’night, KF

  35. 35
    Bob O'H says:

    BO’H, kindly look again. The list of terms and hashtags is there, and it speaks for itself. Likewise, the tracking graphs that are there in the screen captures above — literal tracking and directed towards a list of hastags as seen.

    Indeed. But they are tracking twitter accounts, and recording the hashtags they use. This is clealry explained in the About text.

    Even Nazis can be nice to each other. That, I assume, is what is being reflected in the #merrychristmas hashtag.

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: Nothing excuses or could possibly excuse having a situation where terms such as the above are tracked for any length of time as indicia of hate speech etc, period. Second, SPLC’s assignments of groups as hate has long become seriously ideologically biased and has led to at least one attempted mass murder. There is much more at work by the SPLC — much of it patently dirty — than you have acknowledged. In that context, your slipping in of “Nazis” is not appropriate. KF

  37. 37
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – those terms aren’t being tracked as hate speech. The accounts are followed, and the algorithm for deciding what hashtags are reported is agnostic to the content of the tweets.

    Of course the assignment of groups as hate groups is “seriously ideologically biased”. It’s the ideology of hate that gets groups noticed by the SPLC. I don’t see how mentioning Nazis is inappropriate when the list of groups the SPLC designate hate groups includes Aryan Nations, Blood & Honour, and National Alliance.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: Kindly stop the rhetorical pretence of innocence on the part of SPLC. It is clear that they were presenting a live track on the language that is used to document alleged hate, used by groups they have publicly stigmatised, on a basis that is highly biased and dubious. If they were remotely responsible, so soon as those terms popped up they would have made administrative changes to stop that from happening. Instead we see this for days and apparently, it has been going on longer than that. We were not born yesterday. KF

    PS: As for the list, so soon as I see as well as the sort of groups you highlighted, the Alliance Defending Freedom (a public interest law firm defending family and freedom of conscience — and I know and for cause respect people associated with that), Family Research Council, D James Kennedy Ministries, Probe Ministries, American College of Pediatricians, Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM, formerly the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) and the like, including say WND — a legitimate news site, I can see that the name of the game is patently agit prop tainting and guilt by invidious association to advance a destructive policy agenda by disgraceful and shoddy means, not any objective assessment. Your highly selective citation from it that required that sort of counter-balance from me, is telling.

    PPS: Let’s parse the definition of hate groups:

    >>The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a hate group as an organization that – based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities – has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people,>>
    1 –> Provides cover for targetting principled opposition based on moral and serious policy considerations.

    >> typically>>

    2 –> Clever weasel word. You cannot say we actually specify the characteristics we want to promote are immutable, that’s just “typical”

    >>for their immutable characteristics.>>

    3 –> Morally governed behaviour and policy agendas are not to be confused with individual characteristics.

    4 –> In particular, many key characteristics and policies addressed by the groups that I just highlighted are in fact changeable. It is the intent to entrench a novel, dubious agenda that is being challenged.

    5 –> Try the abortion holocaust, the willful distortion of marriage and family as well as personal identity.

    >>The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race,>>

    6 –> gives the cover

    >> religion,>>

    7 –> the evidence above shows that SPLC is likely targetting some groups because of THEIR religion, the Bible-based, gospel ethics rooted Christian faith.

    >>ethnicity,>>

    8 –> Race again.

    >>sexual orientation or gender identity – >>

    9 –> There’s the agenda, to entrench radical homosexualism and linked lists of 100 – 200 genders so called as the new norm that how dare you challenge, under penalty of law. Lists that will not pass the simplest serious scrutiny.

    >>prejudices>>

    10 –> This is a slander, a willful lie. Principled, longstanding, and seriously grounded objection leading to policy disagreement is not prejudice.

    >> that strike at the heart of our democratic values>>

    11 –> In fact it is SPLC’s stigmatisation of principled objection and peaceful civil advocacy that has a demonstrable track record of undermining democratic values and civil society.

    12 –> including slandering for targetting under false colour of law.

    >>and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines.>>

    13 –> Projection, as in how dare you hit back first.

    14 –> We advocate, if you challenge even on principled grounds, you are haters. And we are going to target the policing powers and media on you.

    15 –> I think SPLC clearly needs to go first and foremost on its own list.

  39. 39
    tribune7 says:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is untrustworthy and uses an Orwellian definition of extremism.

    It includes — or has included — Ben Carson, The Family Research Council and Ayaan Hirsi Ali on its watch lists.

    It has no moral authority and should not be respected.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    Trib, unfortunately, it has been very influential, including in law enforcement and media circles. KF

  42. 42
    JSmith says:

    KF

    Pardon, but it is now further evident that you have not seen the significance of self-evident truth in general.

    Could you be in error that you are conscious?

    We are talking about moral decisions, not about whether or not we are conscious. Your attempt at destraction is noted.

    Speaking of, that error exists is also undeniably true….

    2 + 3 = 5 is also self-evident and undeniable: [and the other examples you provided about SETs

    Again, none of these are actions based on moral beliefs.

    For example on serious matters, we may have moral certainty, that it would be irresponsible to act as though some…

    And that is exactly the danger we face when we assume morally based actions are beyond questioning. The nature of what we each consider to be moral truths is that we each feel that they are beyond reproach. The problem is that we each have slightly different moral truths. We can’t all be correct.

    Now, too, you will notice that in speaking of moral certainty, I highlighted responsibility, moral government. We intuitively know that we have duties to truth, care in reasoning, fairness, justice, neighbour who is as we are, and more.

    All of this reflects how our life of reason is inextricably entangled with responsibility, duty, moral government. And, dismissive hyperskepticism seeking to sweep that away is manifestly a failure of such duties.

    At the risk of repeating myself, nonsense. It is a manifest failure of our duties to responsibility and moral governance if we never question what we consider to be moral truths. If we didn’t question what we considered to be moral truths, we would still have slavery, segregation, no interracial marriage. We would still be removing indigenous children from their parents and raising them as Christian. Mesoamericans would still be sacrificing children. We would still be jailing homosexuals.

    Frankly I don’t see why you are so worked up about the fact that all moral actions are open to be questioned. Many of our most strongly held moral beliefs, such as not killing, not stealing, not abusing children, etc., will easily survive questioning. It is only those that are questionable in the first place that may be discarded. And that can only be good for civilization.

  43. 43
    tribune7 says:

    –Trib, unfortunately, it has been very influential, including in law enforcement and media circles. KF–

    Very true. In fairness, in the beginning it was usually on the right side.

    Of course, it was founded well-after the heavy lifting was done. Fighting the KKK circa 1979 was a pretty safe thing to do and was only going to get you praised (and rich).

  44. 44
    tribune7 says:

    –And that is exactly the danger we face when we assume morally based actions are beyond questioning.–

    JS, political correctness assumes exactly that, as does the SPLC.

  45. 45

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a very powerful and dangerous leftist/communist lobby that was once veiled… but is now exposed. We see you!

  46. 46
    JSmith says:

    T7

    JS, political correctness assumes exactly that, as does the SPLC.

    Which is at the heart of my argument. Moral actions should never be above questioning, regardless of the source. Actions based on theistic sources should be questioned. Those based on government sources should be questioned. Those based on the goal of increased tolerance and inclusion should be questioned.

    KF is acting as if questioning is the same as discarding. He completely ignores the fact that questioning often results in a reinforcement. Those who feel that a specific moral action should never be questioned is acting as a bully rather than as a reasoning, responsible individual. They are so afraid that their specific moral action is so wanting that they do not want to expose it to rational examination. Where would we be if nobody questioned the moral acceptability of slavery, or child labour, or imperialism, etc.? Frankly, I don’t want to live in a world where any moral actions cannot be questioned.

  47. 47
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 38 –

    It is clear that they were presenting a live track on the language that is used to document alleged hate, used by groups they have publicly stigmatised, on a basis that is highly biased and dubious. If they were remotely responsible, so soon as those terms popped up they would have made administrative changes to stop that from happening.

    Why? That list is just reporting what hashtags are being used by a group of people that they are following. They’re not using the list to say that these hashtags are being used as hate speech.

  48. 48
    tribune7 says:

    You and KF may be talking past each other. Questioning is good but the questioning can’t be open ended. A conclusion has to be drawn at some point.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, we have to start from first principles. That is why I first established that SET’s are real, and are relevant to reasoning and to knowing. In fact, some SET’s are primary laws of logic, and mathematics too. Moreover, one of the key degrees of warrant is to moral certainty — which conveniently bridges to the point you have yet to acknowledge, that all of our reasoning is pervaded by moral considerations and duties, i.e. we have responsibilities or duties to truth, sound logic, fairness, justice and more. One who denies such is a nihilist, which is tantamount to is in absurdity. More common will be attempts to evade, and if you keep up side-slips, that will become apparent is your case. Then, we see too that if one imagines that the sense of moral government is suspect of being delusional, the self reference on duties to truth is instantly apparent. It also becomes an infinite regress to try to use reason to evaluate morals as reason inherently involves morals. The reasonable out is to go to first, self-evident principles and/or key cases, which then allow us to learn and build a coherent moral frame. In this context, blind appeal to authority is irrelevant. I took time to put up a yardstick, unfortunately real world case of self-evident moral truth loaded with implications for the domain of moral knowledge. This too you dodged aside from. There is, unfortunately, a pattern emerging. KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: I already spoke to that, perhaps you do not think that people have a RIGHT to innocent reputation, a principle acknowledged in the law of defamation. And it is also obvious that Christmas, Jesus and the like are NOT terms of hate so if your algorithm is accidentally and innocently turning such up in monitoring hate and trying to turn such into a metric, you are defaming the Christian faith, and if you are responsible you will intervene administratively. If you do not so intervene to stop this by removing or even turning off your monitor, at minimum you are acting with utter disregard to truth, fairness and innocent reputation, all of which we can see as already present in other things SPLC has been doing. And, no reasonably educated person should be ignorant of such issues and concerns. Especially as they were already pointed out. KF

  51. 51
    JSmith says:

    T7

    You and KF may be talking past each other.

    That is obvious.

    Questioning is good but the questioning can’t be open ended. A conclusion has to be drawn at some point.

    If you are arguing that every time we question a moral action that we must draw a conclusion, I agree. If you are arguing that the conclusion must be binding until the end of time, I have to disagree.

  52. 52
    tribune7 says:

    JS

    –If you are arguing that the conclusion must be binding until the end of time, I have to disagree.–

    Of course, the conclusion must be binding until the end of time. When is raping a child (or anybody) going to be moral? How about human sacrifice to appease Gaia?

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Notice the heading as clipped: SPLC Hate Tracker Trending. That should be quite plain already. Would you naturally associate hate tracking over a sustained time with terms like Merry Christmas, Christmas and Jesus? If you do, that says more about you and your attitudes than anything else. If you say not, but you allow the pattern to continue, then that speaks louder than your words to the contrary.

    PPS: The top three currently are Christmas, revival and Merry Christmas.

  54. 54
    JSmith says:

    KF

    Then, we see too that if one imagines that the sense of moral government is suspect of being delusional, the self reference on duties to truth is instantly apparent.

    This is just a strawman argument. I have never suggested that our sense of moral governance is delusional. It is very real and very powerful. What is at issue is whether or not we can identify the “moral truths” that inform our moral governance without error.

    It also becomes an infinite regress to try to use reason to evaluate morals as reason inherently involves morals.

    Nonsense. These pages are full of your attempts to use reason to argue against actions that are based on morals. They just don’t happen to be based on morals that you accept. Are you saying that your arguments against same sex marriage, birth control, etc. are meaningless because of infinite regress?

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    JS,

    What part of error exists is self-evidently true is hard to understand?

    What part of this onward argument is hard to understand?

    We may then infer freely, that we may and do know things about reality external to our interior lives. Though, as error exists is equally certain, we must be careful in warrant. As a first test, plumbline truths will help us. And for many things a lesser degree of warrant is more than good enough. For example on serious matters, we may have moral certainty, that it would be irresponsible to act as though some A were false, on the evidence to hand or reasonably accessible. For yet other things — including science by and large — plausibly or possibly so and reliable i/l/o the balance of evidence is good enough. And so forth.

    I am taking a little time to show you that I am not just talking from empty talking points, there are grounds of warrant for what I have to say.

    Do you really imagine that it is a fair conclusion from the above that moral truth-claims are to be blindly taken on some authority’s say-so (such as say SPLC)? Or, that we are not to take due care in warranting what we accept as moral truth, given that we should — note the moral import there — take care in warrant?

    Going further, what part of this is hard to understand or accept, given that the whole tenor of your argument is that I am somehow in the wrong and ought to correct my views to accord with your preferences?

    Now, too, you will notice that in speaking of moral certainty, I highlighted responsibility, moral government. We intuitively know that we have duties to truth, care in reasoning, fairness, justice, neighbour who is as we are, and more.

    All of this reflects how our life of reason is inextricably entangled with responsibility, duty, moral government. And, dismissive hyperskepticism seeking to sweep that away is manifestly a failure of such duties.

    Were our rational faculty utterly unrestrained by responsibility, duty, moral government, it would fall into the cynical nihilism of utter manipulativeness and imposition by force: might and/or manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘justice’ and more. That is suicidally absurd. And you know better, as you know that the very force that energises dispute such as in this thread is duty to truth, sound reason and more.

    Yes, the mere fact that we inescapably find ourselves trying to justify ourselves and show others in the wrong immediately reveals the massive fact of moral government, and that this is critical to governing ourselves in community. On pain of mutual ruin.

    Nowhere have you provided a cogent counter to this.

    Next, I did put up a very specific yardstick case at 15 above:

    we need plumbline, naturally straight test cases.

    One of these, as I outlined, is the inextricable entanglement of reason and duty to truth, right and soundness of logic.

    In that light, we can then look at sound yardstick cases and clear the rubble of the modernist collapse of rationality and responsibility away.

    For example, it is self-evidently wrong, wicked, evil to kidnap, bind, torture, sexually violate and murder a young child for one’s sick pleasure. (And, sadly, this is NOT a hypothetical case.)

    Probe this case and you will see that such a child hath neither strength nor eloquence to fight or plead for himself or herself. And yet, were we to chance on such a demonic act in progress we are duty bound to try to rescue or at least bawl for help.

    We are inescapably under moral government.

    Kindly, tell us of a situation where this yardstick will fail, will be dubious and uncertain. Will be any less than self-evident. Indeed, just try to deny it and see how patently nihilistic and absurd such a denial will be. Where, it should be patent that as moral error is part of error exists, warrant is relevant to moral truth claims just as much as any other truth claims.

    Then, perhaps we can sort out enough to make a reasonable, responsible conclusion.

    KF

    PS: And BTW, kindly scroll up to the clipping of the core Christian ethical teaching, then explain to us why it is so dubious that you find yourself justified to treat the Christian faith and/or its adherents with suspicion in general.

  56. 56
    JSmith says:

    T7

    Of course, the conclusion must be binding until the end of time. When is raping a child (or anybody) going to be moral? How about human sacrifice to appease Gaia?

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the morality of child rape and child sexuality. Why do some think that questioning even the most commonly held morals is dangerous? In the case of child rape and child sacrifice, questioning the morality with reason and logic will only reinforce our abhorrence of those acts. We run into danger when we try to prevent people from using reason to examine their morals; when we insist that they blindly accept them. That is the attitude that delayed desegregation in the southern US.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, I think I need to introduce you to Country and have you have a chat with him about the rape-murder of his son on the way home from school one afternoon. KF

    PS: And where did you ever get the notion from that the Judaeo-Christian frame of morality is a matter of blinding authoritarianism?

    PPS: As duty calls me out the door, let me note that you just got an F in core moral principles 101.

  58. 58
    tribune7 says:

    JS

    –There is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the morality of child rape .–

    Of course. And when we arrive at the conclusion that it is immoral we accept that it is eternally immoral.

  59. 59
    Molson Bleu says:

    It is obvious that KF and JS are not arguing about the same thing. Obviously, arguing against questioning all morals is pointless because we all have that capability and, to some extent, we all do it. We use reason to explain why killing, stealing, raping, and other things we consider immoral are wrong. The fact that we use reason (questioning) to provide a rational justification to our morals is a good thing. It just makes them stronger.

  60. 60
    JSmith says:

    T7

    Of course. And when we arrive at the conclusion that it is immoral we accept that it is eternally immoral.

    And when we concluded that it was morally acceptable to forcibly remove indigenous children from their families and raise them as Christians in residential schools, it should be eternally moral? I hope you see the danger in making any conclusion binding until the end of time. To me questioning morals is like freedom of speech. I may not like that a moral is being examined for its rationality and logic, but the danger to society of not allowing it to be examined is greater.

    Maybe the reason that KF and I disagree on this is that I have far more faith in humanity than he does.

  61. 61
    tribune7 says:

    JS

    –And when we concluded that it was morally acceptable to forcibly remove indigenous children from their families and raise them as Christians in residential schools, it should be eternally moral?–

    I’m not even sure if you understand the point you are trying to make.

    Is using someone as an object and causing them lifelong suffering, immoral? Yes, always, forever.

    Is taking someone from dangerous, hopeless environment and giving them an education and a chance immoral? You tell me.

    Now, you want to question the morality of mandatory education, great. Question away.

    Do you seriously want to question child rape as an eternal evil? OK question away there too. Tell me the point at which you think raping a child becomes morally acceptable.

  62. 62
    Bob O'H says:

    kf q 50 –

    BO’H: I already spoke to that, perhaps you do not think that people have a RIGHT to innocent reputation, a principle acknowledged in the law of defamation.

    I don’t think the SPLC identify which twitter accounts they follow, so I don’t see how they can be sued. More generally, I assume the SPLC’s lawyers are aware of how far the first amendment stretches.

    And it is also obvious that Christmas, Jesus and the like are NOT terms of hate so if your algorithm is accidentally and innocently turning such up in monitoring hate and trying to turn such into a metric, you are defaming the Christian faith, and if you are responsible you will intervene administratively.

    If those terms are turning up in the twitter accounts associated with hate speech, then they are the ones who can be accused of “defaming the Christian faith”. Bit to be honest, I think Christianity will survive this: it’s not a religion built on snowflakes.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: I never said the insult to innocent reputation could be remedied in the US court system. My long-held view is that US defamation law is dangerously flawed. What I spoke to is the general, patent moral duty to respect innocent reputation. The underlying first principle behind defamation law as a branch of tort. And the attempt to deflect blame from those who have dragged legitimate principled groups into invidious association with the real extremists, then proceeded to run a hate tracker and twitter feed on terms used such that they try to taint Christmas and Jesus speaks for itself. Not in your favour. KF

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, because of root worldview issues, I took time to do a 101. It is obvious that JS is not really open to how knowledge including moral knowledge can be warranted. Nor, to bringing out the inextricable moral dimension to reasoning. Nor, to the way that a self-evident test case as outlined (unfortunately real-world) can help us attain moral clarity beyond railing at those who are allegedly blindly following authorities. As for actually examining the central body of teaching on the Judaeo-Christian moral frame and in that light reassessing declared claimed justified general suspicion towards the Christian faith and/or Christians, that is light years away. We haven’t begun to even seriously mention rebalancing views on the history, sins, reformations and blessings of Christian Civilisation. Much less, with that background, taking a serious look at current issues and the challenge of radical agitprop agendas. Hey, let me at least mention Kin Alfred of the West Saxons, the Great, and his Book of Dooms, starting with its opening passages which are literally foundational to English Common Law. The tradition that, once printing and widespread reformation created a critical mass by the late 1600’s, led to the waves of revivals, reformations, rise of modern democracy and more that made a huge difference. KF

  65. 65
    JSmith says:

    T7

    Is taking someone from dangerous, hopeless environment and giving them an education and a chance immoral? You tell me.

    Now, you want to question the morality of mandatory education, great. Question away.

    Before commenting, I suggest that you learn a little more about the history of residential schools. “Take the native out of the native” was often repeated phrase at the time. Let’s reverse the scenario. Would you feel it to be morally acceptable to have your children removed from your family and converted to another religion and forced to use another language in every day communication. Punish them if they speak your native language or exhibit any behaviour of your culture.

  66. 66
    tribune7 says:

    JS

    –I suggest that you learn a little more about the history of residential schools.–

    Wait a minute, are you making assertions or asking questions. I thought your premise was that questioning morals is a good thing.

  67. 67
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – if you think the SPLC’s choice of which group to list is wrong, take that up with them. But do your research first, to find out what criteria they used to make their decisions.

    Given that the SPLC has identified a group of twitter accounts associated with hate speech, and I would guess that most of them are neo-Nazis, why aren’t you railing against neo-Nazis tainting Christmas and Jesus by using “Merry Christmas” and the like?

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: The listed groups I identified above cannot on any reasonable, responsible grounds, be identified as hate groups. As I marked up from the SPLC’s definition, the reason is they have a principled objection to controversial agendas the SPLC is advancing, agendas that are highly questionable. BTW, I found among their named extremists an independent researcher and historian whose thought-crime has been to document often overlooked aspects of the Judaeo-Christian heritage of our civilisation, especially the USA. That is, to argue that a Christian Civilisation once commonly called Christendom has that history, now that elites are largely apostate or post Christian [often, scientistic evolutionary materialistic secularists and/or fellow travellers], is deemed by SPLC as hate. That alone readily explains the absurdity of why terms like Merry Christmas, Christmas and Jesus were allowed to be tracked as indicators of hate. And, I took time to stretch the window a bit, this has been literally going on for weeks. If you have an algorithm and a linked data structure, there is a man behind it — and an organisation, so “de computah didit” is no excuse, not when this is sustained for weeks. To advocate for traditional morality and family structure on longstanding principles is deemed hate. To object to the ongoing 1 million more victims per week holocaust of posterity in the womb that has amounted to 800+ millions in 40 years or so is deemed as hate. To object to using drugs or surgery or ideology to warp one’s perception of his or her sex is deemed hate. To stand up in court in defence of the freedom and innocent reputation of targetted scapegoat groups such as Christians is deemed hate. To document, expose and oppose the aggressive agenda and actions of IslamIST radicals and their global intent of conquest — cf Q 9:5 and 29 — is deemed hate. To be a sexually mutilated woman who fled first to Holland then the US and speak out against the dangers of IslamISM as a witness who has to live under 24 hour protection is deemed hate. And more. In short, I did do relevant research and found out why the invidious association with truly extremist groups was done. SPLC is clearly a dirty agit-prop and lawfare operation; one that contributes to the increasing trend of polarisation and hostility that has already seen the rise of blackshirts on the streets imagining they are defending the public from those they hate. We have forgotten living memory, terrible history. KF

  69. 69

    Bob O’H @ 67: Hate speech is contrary to freedom of speech. It undermines our (U.S.) First Amendment protections which were designed to protect unpopular, controversial, and even hateful speech from government censorship.

    Oh, how far we have strayed.

  70. 70
    JSmith says:

    T7

    Wait a minute, are you making assertions or asking questions. I thought your premise was that questioning morals is a good thing.

    Touché

  71. 71
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 68 – I doubt any of the groups you list in 38 are on the hate tracker: this is how they identified the accounts that are being followed (from the About SPLC Hate Tracker page):

    SPLC’s curated set of users was identified by investigating accounts that follow hate groups or hate group leaders on Twitter or tweets using speech specific to far-right extremism.

    Whilst I find the ADF’s views (for example) unpleasant, I wouldn’t describe it as “far-right extremism”.

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: The groups and individuals I pointed out are or have been inappropriately identified as hate groups. In one case that attracted a mass murder attempt. Sorry, I for cause have no confidence in SPLC, and you seem to be unable to recognise that it is an utter outrage to see terms like Christmas and Jesus appearing in a purported hate tracker. Period. That is simply beyond the pale, period. No attempt to soften or excuse or deflect or explain or try to make palatable or reasonable will be acceptable. For excellent reason highlighted in the OP, down this road lies a needless river of blood. This must stop and stop now, period. KF

  73. 73
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – You’re conflating the SPLC’s list of hate groups and the groups that are followed on their twitter tracker. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. The hate tracker is specific to the far right.

    If it’s an outrage that terms like Christmas and Jesus appear in the SPLC’s hate tracker, then surely the outrage is because these are terms being used by far right twitter accounts. Are you OK with neo-nazis using “Christmas” and “Jesus” in their tweets?

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: I do not care at this point. Whatever SPLC may advance as a smokescreen, the result — sustained for weeks to my certain knowledge — is as I snapshotted. That is beyond the pale and SPLC reveals itself to be utterly irresponsible and destructive. Christmas and Jesus are not terms of hate and associating them with such simply tells us what is in the hearts of those who did it and sustained it for weeks. Trying to point to neo-nazis only brings up that this group has tried to taint principled objection to their reckless agenda, necessarily knowing that their tactics have already led to a mass murder attempt. The game is over. KF

  75. 75

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