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Another Darwinian mass shooting?

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Apparently, the shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California last July (three killed, two of them children) was a believer in “Might Is Right” and “Survival of the Fittest”:

GILROY, Calif. — The gunman who killed three people and wounded a dozen more at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California was an angry 19-year-old who had recently waded into the world of white supremacy.

Santino William Legan, who was shot dead by police Sunday before he could do more damage, posted online about an 1890 racist manifesto, “Might is Right or The Survival of the Fittest,” NBC News confirmed.


David Ingram, Brandy Zadrozny and Corky Siemaszko, “Gilroy Garlic Festival gunman referred to ‘Might is Right’ manifesto before shooting” at NBC News

Oddly, an FBI spokesperson thinks it’s “wrong” to infer a motive:

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair said investigators had no reason to believe the shooter was targeting any particular characteristics Sunday. They were still reviewing his social media and digital media forensics, among other pieces of information.

In an Instagram post just before the shooting, a now-deleted account believed to belong to the gunman urged people to read “Might Is Right,” a late 19th century book that the Southern Poverty Law Center said is “widely popular” among white nationalists, Rolling Stone reported. …

Bennett said Wednesday that, just because someone posts about an 1890s book, it’s information anyone can put out.


Eduard Cuevas, “FBI: Media ‘wrong’ on Garlic Festival shooter’s white supremacy ideology, despite social media post” at USA Today

Huh? How many of us read 1890s “Survival of the Fittest” literature and recommend that others do so? It was really not a clue at all?

The Guardian tells us (July 30) that there is “no clarity yeton motive”: “Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard,” the gunman reportedly wrote. “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw*ts?”

Perhaps there will never be clarity on motive. Maybe Darwinian naturalism can’t count as a motive in principle because it is Approved. So commentators cast around for other motives like “white supremacy” – which sounds good but doesn’t really account for the gunman’s hatred of the Silicon Valley palefaces.

But hey, these days, even asking critical questions like that could signify that one belongs to the deplorable enemy horde.

This story reminds some of us of two things: The Columbine massacre and Finnish massacre, where the shooters’ belief in Darwinism was even more explicit. And also the curious case of Eric Pianka.

It’s not a surprise that hardline Darwinism affects some people this way but it is a surprise that talking about it is so difficult.

See also: Darwin At Columbine (Barry Arrington)

The person who sent this tip recommends the Science Uprising series of films as an educational antidote. Well, it is a good start:

23 Replies to “Another Darwinian mass shooting?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Argumentum ad consequentiam

  2. 2
    es58 says:

    not necessarily trying to prove the Darwinism is false from this just to show what it can lead to; is that also a fallacy?

  3. 3
    Hugh Kenneth says:

    Although there are a couple examples of mass killings conducted by Christian fundamentalists, the vast majority are conducted by atheists or Islamists.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states the three words “Argumentum ad consequentiam” and gives no further detail after that. And while I agree with Es58’s observation that the post was “not necessarily trying to prove the Darwinism is false from this (but it is) just to show what it can lead to”, none-the-less, since Seversky made the comment, I dug a little deeper.

    Not too surprisingly, (since Seversky is much more often wrong than he is ever right), it turns out that it is questioned whether the “Argumentum ad consequentiam” should be included as a proper logical fallacy in the first place,,,

    Historical Origins of Argumentum ad Consequentiam
    What are the historical origins of the argumentum ad consequentiam, the argument from (or literally, to) consequences, sometimes featured as an informal fallacy in logic textbooks? As shown in this paper, knowledge of the argument can be traced back to Aristotle (who did not treat it as a fallacy, but as a reasonable argument). And this type of argument shows a spotty history of recognition in logic texts and manuals over the centuries. But how it got into the modern logic textbooks as a fallacy remains somewhat obscure. Its modern genesis is traced to the logic text of James McCosh (1879).,,,
    ,,, One thing that is especially puzzling about argumentation from consequences is that despite its portrayal as a fallacy, as indicated above, it often seems to be quite a reasonable form of argumentation. In fact, arguing for or against a proposed policy by citing the positive or negative consequences of the policy is one of the most common forms of argument in everyday deliberations, and very often, it can be quite reasonable as a defeasible and presumptive form of argumentation.,,,
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1007779527544

    I then looked up James McCosh (1879), who seems to be the originator of the ‘argumentum ad consequentiam’, and again not too surprisingly, he was a liberal Theologian who also argued that Darwinism and Christianity were not incompatible.

    James McCosh
    Excerpt: McCosh’s most original work concerned the attempt to reconcile evolution and Christianity.,,,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_McCosh#Evolution

    Might I be so bold as to suggest that a Theologian, and supposed ‘logician’, who can see no contradiction between Darwinism and Christianity is neither a good Theologian nor a good logician?

    “for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.,,, Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
    Sir Arthur Keith, (1866 — 1955) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons – Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.15

    “If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instincts, heredity, and environment, we feed the despair to which man is, in any case, already prone.
    I became acquainted with the last stages of corruption in my second concentration camp in Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment—or, as the Nazis liked to say, of ‘Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”
    —Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor and Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Vienna Medical School; from his book, The Doctor and the Soul: Introduction to Logotherapy, 1982, p. xxi).

    The Moral Impact Of Darwinism On Society – Dr. Phil Fernandes – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcQfwICe2Og

    The Cultural Impact of Darwinian Evolution – John West, PhD – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFh4whzh_NU

    Origins: The Darwin Effect – Jerry Bergman – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWQT8l_VfuQ
    Join Origins host Donn Chapman as he welcomes professor, author and speaker, Dr. Jerry Bergman for, The Darwin Effect. Darwinism had a major influence on many evil cultures during the last century. It affected not only Nazism, but also eugenics, racism, communism, and much more. Darwin’s worldview is explained using historical facts that tell the death, suffering and evil unparalleled throughout history.

    It also seems that Seversky’s “Argumentum ad Consequentiam” also butts heads with the scientific criteria of ‘fruits produced’. Francis Bacon, a devout Christian, whom many consider to be the founder of the scientific method itself, put the ‘fruitfulness’ criteria for determining whether something is scientific or not this way,,,

    Is Biology Approaching the Threshold of Design Acceptance? – January 8, 2019
    Excerpt: Simultaneously, biomimetics fulfills one of the goals of Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the champion of systematic, methodical investigation into the natural world. In Aphorism 73 of Novum Organum, Bacon told how best to judge good natural philosophy, what we call science: “Of all signs there is none more certain or worthy than that of the fruits produced: for the fruits and effects are the sureties and vouchers, as it were, for the truth of philosophy.” Good fruits are pouring forth from the cornucopia of biologically inspired design. What has Darwinism done for the world lately?
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/01/is-biology-approaching-the-threshold-of-design-acceptance/

    “Of all signs there is none more certain or worthy than that of the fruits produced: for the fruits and effects are the sureties and vouchers, as it were, for the truth of philosophy”
    Francis Bacon – widely regarded as the founder of the scientific method,, a devout Anglican Christian
    https://books.google.com/books?id=xlPFDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Verse:

    Matthew 7:15-20
    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

  5. 5
    Somerschool says:

    I’ll see your “argumentum ad consequentiam” and raise you one “reductio ad absurdum.” IF we accept Darwinism and all its logical corrollaries, we wind up concluding that (a) the mind is MEAT, (b) truth is valuable ONLY if it enables a gene to make it to the next generation, (c) weakness is the only “sin” and strength is the only “virtue.”

    If we accept Christianity, as originally taught by Jesus, and all of its logical corrollaries, we wind up concluding that (a) the universe is the orderly product of the “LOGOS,” (b) all human beings are one family, (c) family members should accept each other (regardless of their weakness, folly, and failings) and care for each other.

    This doesn’t prove Darwin wrong or Jesus right. But it does explain why our Western civilization has the values it does, and those values made modern science possible. The scientific method “evolved” in a Christian context, where it had clear benefits over other ways of thinking. Our post-modern society supports “science” when it delivers politically-correct results and attacks it when it says something unpopular. The CONSEQUENCE of our post-Christian society is very likely to be irreversible damage to the science that got us here.

  6. 6
    vmahuna says:

    Ann Coulter says that the vast majority of mass shooters are registered Democrats. This includes the 2 homosexuals who shot up Columbine. It’s hard to classify Moslem shooters. I mean, by most social measures they HAVE to be Conservatives, but then they shoot Americans who presumably non-Moslem. For example, the shootings at Fort Hood were clearly directed at soldiers the shooter (a Medical Corps major) assumed were Christians. And the guy who simply showed up outside CIA HQ in Langley, VA, and shot people waiting in the morning rush hour lines to get waved through by security. (AMAZING how long it took the “security guards” to decide that a man SHOOTING CIA employees was a bigger threat than guys with expired vehicle stickers…) And of course the DC Sniper was a Democrat who had converted himself to Moslem and pretty much just shot White people, perhaps assuming they were all Christians.
    That is to say, ya gotta look REAL hard to find a mass shooting actually done by a Conservative. Right wing folks SIMPLY MOVE AWAY when they hate their neighbors. See the complete failure of cities such as Detroit and Baltimore after the Conservatives packed up and moved away. Liberals might throw really nice parties, but they consistently prove the general comment on Socialism that “eventually you run out of other people’s money”. Even when you’re taking their money ay gunpoint.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev (and BA77),

    It seems the core of the problem (insofar as there is a real issue) is whether there is a FAILED reductio ad absurdum, where all that has been shown is unpalatability or undesirability not actual absurdity. However, when evolutionary materialistic scientism is injected into the picture, what we have is a large number of ways in which self-referential incoherence, amorality and the nihilist’s credo, might and/or manipulation make ‘right’ ‘rights’ ‘truth’ ‘knowledge’ ‘justice’ etc. lead to broad incoherence and needless chaos. That is indeed a general reduction to the absurd.

    Let me clip logically fallacious dot com:

    Reductio ad Absurdum

    reductio ad absurdum

    (also known as: reduce to absurdity)

    Description: A mode of argumentation or a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd conclusion. Arguments that use universals such as, “always”, “never”, “everyone”, “nobody”, etc., are prone to being reduced to absurd conclusions. The fallacy is in the argument that could be reduced to absurdity — so in essence, reductio ad absurdum is a technique to expose the fallacy.

    Logical Form:

    Assume P is true.

    From this assumption, deduce that Q is true.

    Also, deduce that Q is false.

    Thus, P implies both Q and not Q (a contradiction, which is necessarily false).

    Therefore, P itself must be false.

    This is the obvious case, and the one widely used in modern Mathematics.

    Reduction to absurdity, however, is not just a matter of the necessary impossibility of any candidate possible world in which x and ~x “must” both obtain. There are legitimate broader senses of absurdity, especially those connected to the self-referential incoherence of undermining undeniable moral government of our minds. For, absent such moral government of our intellects through known duties to truth, right reason, sound conscience, fairness and justice etc, the credibility of human reasoning and communication collapses into chaos. We can take it as a corollary that no worldview [i.e. perspective on our world, i.e. a candidate possible world model of our in-common, actual world] that undermines the credibility of having a worldview, could pass the triple test of factual adequacy, broad coherence and balanced explanatory power. In particular, as intellect has to be used to frame such a view, one that radically undermines credibility of mind is broadly incoherent. Thus, absurd.

    However, unfortunately, as scientism dresses up absurdity in the lab coat many are tempted to a very different fallacy: clinging to manifest absurdity, through having made a crooked yardstick their standard for straight, upright and accurate. Which is of course one of the issues explored in Plato’s famous parable of the cave.

    In this case, News is well within her rights to point out the inherent amorality of evolutionary materialism, which ever since Plato has been known to open the door to nihilism. It is the worldview level absurdity of our evolutionary materialism dominated culture in its present form that is opening the door to raw nihilism. Which, we are going to have to face.

    In former days, resulting misanthropy such as that of a Robespierre was relatively rare; now it is becoming a mass problem.

    That is something we have to face.

    And no, dismissing a genuine worldview level reductio as though it were mere fallacious appeal to disliked consequences without strong substantiation simply will not do. Ask yourself, are you clinging to a crooked yardstick? How are you responding to a naturally straight and upright plumb line?

    KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: For reference, Plato’s warning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Wikipedia raises a viewpoint worth pondering:

    Appeal to consequences, also known as argumentum ad consequentiam (Latin for “argument to the consequence”), is an argument that concludes a hypothesis (typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences.[1] This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a type of informal fallacy, since the desirability of a premise’s consequence does not make the premise true. Moreover, in categorizing consequences as either desirable or undesirable, such arguments inherently contain subjective points of view.

    In logic, appeal to consequences refers only to arguments that assert a conclusion’s truth value (true or false) without regard to the formal preservation of the truth from the premises; appeal to consequences does not refer to arguments that address a premise’s consequential desirability (good or bad, or right or wrong) instead of its truth value. Therefore, an argument based on appeal to consequences is valid in long-term decision making (which discusses possibilities that do not exist yet in the present) and abstract ethics, and in fact such arguments are the cornerstones of many moral theories, particularly related to consequentialism. Appeal to consequences also should not be confused with argumentum ad baculum, which is the bringing up of artificial consequences (i.e. punishments) to argue that an action is wrong.

    Notice, the fact vs value dichotomy here. I note, once there are moral truths (such as that we are governed by duties of reason) this falls apart.

    KF

  10. 10
    LoneCycler says:

    The question over whether or not mass killers are devotees of Darwin; would it make any difference if they were? How would accepting evolution as fact modify anyone’s behavior when it comes to mass killing? News rightfully points out people like Eric Pianka who believe the world would be a better place if 90% of humanity disappeared, through natural means like a virus if possible, but other means might be considered. The means is not as important here as the salubrious effect this would have on the planet and human civilization in general.

    A long term problem for evolution is that its concepts, modification and natural selection, are supposed to apply to everything in nature except human civilization. Even among the Godless left we are supposed to take care of others who need help regardless that there are natural laws that say only the fit will survive. Darwin is among the very few dead white male European racists still enamored among today’s left. This is not because his ideas bear up under detailed scrutiny and careful thinking. He just made atheism scientific.

    When the media proclaims they’re having trouble deciding the motive behind a mass shooting this means there’s no evidence, real or easily faked, that tie the shooter to political conservatism. In general the left and the media treat gun violence on a materialistic basis. That is, the gun itself is responsible, and not necessarily the mental or moral nature of the shooter. Unless the shooter can be tied to conservative politics somehow, of course.

    When the only tool in your kit is a hammer, a lot of problems start looking like nails. For the left this means materialism, the very presence of guns, must be responsible for violence. The modern left is never going to look very closely at anyone’s motive for committing a mass shooting as they don’t need to know that to advance their political agenda. Their political impulse is to declare that guns themselves are the problem, just as prohibitionists declared that booze was the problem. Get rid of the booze and the guns and any underlying problems will go away without having to do anything else. Like many ideas advanced by the left on close inspection this one doesn’t make much sense.

    While the Volstead Act and its laws were quickly dismantled and serves as a reminder today of just how wrong and how far politicians will push a fringe issue given the opportunity, the gun controllers haven’t learned anything. They claim guns are an inherent social danger and their friends in the media continually support the idea that prohibition is the solution.

    The gun controllers insist we ignore the mental and moral nature of people that use guns to kill, because without a gun to begin with they wouldn’t want to, be able to or enabled to harm large numbers of people. None of this is true. Guns are not the only way to commit mass murder. There were no guns used at the World Trade Center atrocity in New York. Not one. In 2016 a cargo truck was driven down the promenade in Nice, France, to kill 89 and injure 458 people. Examples of gun free mass violence abound.

    The social component of gun violence is not something the left wants to examine either. The media overlooks regular mass shootings in major cities to focus on those committed by white males in suburban settings. Usually the left enjoys developing root causes for social ills, say for under representation of minorities at University, or women in general at the higher levels of management in large corporations. For guns this is never done. Looking past the physical object serves no purpose. They blame firearms manufacturers, the NRA, politicians that they don’t like and people like me. Prohibitionists breaking beer bottles were not attacking the root cause of alcoholism and neither are today’s left dealing with the root cause of gun violence.

    Americans of all ages used to have much more easy access to firearms than they do now. When I was a boy growing up in Texas, I carried my rifle with me on my bicycle to school every Tuesday and Thursday. I was on the school rifle team and practiced after classes on the school shooting range. I would drop the rifle off in the Principal’s office in the morning and pick it up from him in the afternoon. If he wasn’t there the secretary would take it. There were six boys and two girls on the rifle team, and some rode the bus to school, with their rifle, on those days. Mine was a Marlin model 60 in .22 LR caliber. If a child today showed up at their Elementary carrying a semi-automatic rifle I’m sure the staff would run, hide and then call the police. In today’s America allowing young students this much personal responsibility with a firearm is unimaginable. In fact just carrying a firearm onto school grounds results in prosecution.

    In those days gun violence meant that civilization had broken down. Not that we needed more laws to define what civilization meant. Banning guns wouldn’t resolve the problem that some men, and mass shooters are almost always men, are socially dislocated, have a lack of purpose and sense of morality in their lives. Today the left says uncivilized behavior is a sign that regulations have broken down. When the solution to social problems are reduced to the banning of objects (bottles of booze or guns) then people are also reduced to material objects.

    Laws are meant to control what people can do, not who they are, but the problem here is who people are. Murder is already illegal and no prohibition of any object is going to cause anyone to live a civilized life. Claiming that getting rid of all the objects will mean that no more people will get drunk or be murdered ignores the reality of human ingenuity and also, human depravity. That’s also a problem on the left; many times they think depravity is just an exercise of personal choice with no wider implications to society in general.

    Mass shooters frequently cite their predecessors as the example they follow. Often they are members of a virtual community. The internet has brought us the gig economy and new social cultures. There are benefits and hazards to both. Rather than examine the social infrastructure and moral state of mass shooters the left fixates on the material used for killing. It’s absurd. If there was an epidemic of knife crime in a major city would the government there proselytize knife control? Oh, wait a second, they’re doing just that in Londonistan. Let’s see how that works out for them.

    The material used in killing is the least aspect of why killing takes place. It is the culture that is the problem. The “how” is not important: the “why” is. The implication here is that what drives people to kill is external, not internal. Anyone, at any time, can turn into a mass killer given exposure to the right weapons. As an example of why this theory is wrong; there are several commenting here at UD that fall on the prohibition side of the argument. We could give all of them a complete arsenal of modern weapons, from rocket launchers to heavy machine guns, and all the ammunition they could carry, but the result would not be civil havoc in the cities where they live. Why? Think what you will about their commitment to various ideas concerning evolution but killing is just not in their nature. Some are trolls, others are hard headed and willfully blind, some are just confused I think. But none have the hard heart it takes to kill. If I’m wrong about this let’s have a show of hands?

    If killing is a material problem we are doomed. Everyone can get their hands on a cargo truck. All it takes is a major credit card and a commercial driver’s license. You can buy a thousand gallons of diesel anytime and almost anywhere to build a bomb. You can pick up a machete at any sporting goods store. If we truly are savages then no regulations or laws are going to restore civilization. A civilization’s true restrictions are not external, laws written down in a book somewhere, but internal. The power of laws are in the moral and social order. No amount of laws are going to help people who think we are just computers made of meat.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    My reference to the informal fallacy of argumentum ad consequentiam was simply to draw attention to the fact that, even if Darwin’s theory had incited mass shooters to commit their terrible crimes, it would still say nothing about the theory’s scientific credibility. It also misses the point, which apparently needs stressing here, that a scientific theory is descriptive and explanatory not prescriptive. Put simply, if we observe nature to be “red in tooth and claw’ and involving a process of “survival of the fittest” that does not mean that is how we should behave towards one another in society any more than an anthropologist studying the nature of rape in human society is in any way advocating it.

    As a Millian libertarian, one guided by the principles espoused by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill in his work On Liberty, I believe people should have the right to own and shoot firearms for sport, recreation and self-defense. However, Mill argues that there is no such thing as an untrammeled right, that where the exercise of a right threatens or actually causes harm to the rights of others is where society has a right and duty to draw a line. We regulate the ownership and operation of motor vehicles because, while they are of immense benefit, they are also dangerous machines if operated irresponsibly. So are firearms, so society as a whole has a right to regulate them just as they do cars.

    To those who resist any form of regulation I would ask where, if at all, would you draw the line? Should I be able to mount a .50 cal Browning heavy machine gun in the bed of a pickup? How about a 20mm Gatling-style aircraft cannon or a 75mm field howitzer or the 105mm main armament of a main battle tank or would you defy any form of control by proclaiming we could only get your tactical nuke when we can pry it from your cold, dead hand? And yes, that is a reductio ad absurdum

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states,,,

    if we observe nature to be “red in tooth and claw’ and involving a process of “survival of the fittest” that does not mean that is how we should behave towards one another in society

    Quit stealing from Theism in order to justify your Darwinian worldview. You act, as a Darwinian atheist, as if you have the ability to choose between options. Yet, as an atheistic materialist, you have forsaken that ability. As Einstein noted,

    “In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever.,,,”
    “I am compelled to act as if free will existed, because if I wish to live in a civilized society I must act responsibly. . . I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime, but I prefer not to take tea with him.”
    – Albert Einstein – early 1930s

    It is difficult for me to see how a genius of Einstein’s caliber could fall for the logically self-refuting fallacy of denying his own free will. Here are a few references that clearly illustrate the self-refuting logical fallacy that is inherent when someone, i.e. an atheist, tries to deny the reality of their very own free will.

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    Do We Have Free Will? – PragerU video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDkLUBdvOkw

    [Nancy Pearcey] When Reality Clashes with Your Atheistic Worldview – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Kpn3HBMiQ

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain.
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    per Box UD

  13. 13
  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, I highlighted the core problem in 7 above:

    Reduction to absurdity, however, is not just a matter of the necessary impossibility of any candidate possible world in which x and ~x “must” both obtain. There are legitimate broader senses of absurdity, especially those connected to the self-referential incoherence of undermining undeniable moral government of our minds. For, absent such moral government of our intellects through known duties to truth, right reason, sound conscience, fairness and justice etc, the credibility of human reasoning and communication collapses into chaos. We can take it as a corollary that no worldview [i.e. perspective on our world, i.e. a candidate possible world model of our in-common, actual world] that undermines the credibility of having a worldview, could pass the triple test of factual adequacy, broad coherence and balanced explanatory power. In particular, as intellect has to be used to frame such a view, one that radically undermines credibility of mind is broadly incoherent. Thus, absurd.

    And manifestly this is a core problem of evolutionary materialistic scientism, delivered in many ways.

    KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Allow me to expand. First, to note from the horse’s mouth, let me clip the US National Science Teachers:

    All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. [–> yes but a question-begging ideological imposition is not an accurate view] Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation [–> correct so far]. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts [–> evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed] and the laws and theories related to those [–> i.e. ideologically loaded, evolutionary materialistic] concepts . . . . science, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products [–> censorship of anything that challenges the imposition; fails to appreciate that scientific methods are studied through logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, which are philosophy not science] . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science [–> a good point, but fails to see that this brings to bear many philosophical issues], a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations [–> outright ideological imposition and censorship that fetters freedom of responsible thought] supported by empirical evidence [–> the imposition controls how evidence is interpreted and that’s why blind watchmaker mechanisms never seen to actually cause FSCO/I have default claim to explain it in the world of life] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument [–> ideological imposition may hide under a cloak of rationality but is in fact anti-rational], inference, skepticism [–> critical awareness is responsible, selective hyperskepticism backed by ideological censorship is not], peer review [–> a circle of ideologues in agreement has no probative value] and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic [= evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed by definition, locking out an unfettered search for the credibly warranted truth about our world i/l/o observational evidence and linked inductive reasoning] methods and explanations and, as such [–> notice, ideological imposition by question-begging definition], is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> sets up a supernatural vs natural strawman alternative when the proper contrast since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is natural vs artificial] in the production of scientific knowledge. [US NSTA Board, July 2000, definition of the nature of science for education purposes]

    The imposition is real and has consequences. Provine inadvertently exposed the reductio in his 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day Keynote:

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

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    But such is clearly self-referential AND undermines, radically, the responsible rational freedom required for intellect to operate.

    Going further, here is Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    Sawing off the branch on which we must all sit is precisely an expression of a reductio ad absurdam.

    We may freely dismiss evolutionary materialistic scientism as necessarily false. Which carries with it the grand Darwinian Macro Evolutionary claims on origin of body plans and the linked claims on unintelligent origin of life.

    KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: As a 101, more broadly:

    First, some materialists actually suggest that mind is more or less a delusion, which is instantly self-referentially absurd. For instance, Sir Francis Crick is on record, in his 1994 The Astonishing Hypothesis:

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

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

    In short, it is at least arguable that self-referential absurdity is the dagger pointing to the heart of evolutionary materialistic models of mind and its origin. For, there is a very good reason we are cautioned about how easily self-referential statements can become self-refuting, like a snake attacking and swallowing itself tail-first. Any human scheme of thought that undermines responsible [thus, morally governed] rational freedom undermines itself fatally. We thus see inadvertent, inherent self-falsification of evolutionary materialism. But, “inadvertent” counts: it can be hard to recognise and acknowledge the logically fatal nature of the result. Of course, that subjective challenge does not change the objective result: self-referential incoherence and irretrievable self-falsification. (An audio clip, here, by William Lane Craig that summarises Plantinga’s argument on this in a nutshell, is useful as a quick reference.)

    This issue can be discussed at a much higher level, but it can also be drawn out a bit in a fairly simple way for blog level discussion:

    a: Evolutionary materialism argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature; from hydrogen to humans by undirected chance and necessity.

    b: Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws of chance and/or mechanical necessity acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of happenstance initial circumstances.

    (This is physicalism. This view covers both the forms where (a) the mind and the brain are seen as one and the same thing, and those where (b) somehow mind emerges from and/or “supervenes” on brain, perhaps as a result of sophisticated and complex software looping. The key point, though is as already noted: physical causal closure — the phenomena that play out across time, without residue, are in principle deducible or at least explainable up to various random statistical distributions and/or mechanical laws, from prior physical states. Such physical causal closure, clearly, implicitly discounts or even dismisses the causal effect of concept formation and reasoning then responsibly deciding, in favour of specifically physical interactions in the brain-body control loop; indeed, some mock the idea of — in their view — an “obviously” imaginary “ghost” in the meat-machine. [There is also some evidence from simulation exercises, that accuracy of even sensory perceptions may lose out to utilitarian but inaccurate ones in an evolutionary competition. “It works” does not warrant the inference to “it is true.”] )

    c: But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this meat-machine picture. So, we rapidly arrive at Crick’s claim in his The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): what we subjectively experience as “thoughts,” “reasoning” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as the unintended by-products of the blind natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains that (as the Smith Model illustrates) serve as cybernetic controllers for our bodies.

    d: These underlying driving forces are viewed as being ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance shaped by forces of selection [“nature”] and psycho-social conditioning [“nurture”], within the framework of human culture [i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism]. And, remember, the focal issue to such minds — notice, this is a conceptual analysis made and believed by the materialists! — is the physical causal chains in a control loop, not the internalised “mouth-noises” that may somehow sit on them and come along for the ride.

    (Save, insofar as such “mouth noises” somehow associate with or become embedded as physically instantiated signals or maybe codes in such a loop. [How signals, languages and codes originate and function in systems in our observation of such origin — i.e by design — tends to be pushed to the back-burner and conveniently forgotten. So does the point that a signal or code takes its significance precisely from being an intelligently focused on, observed or chosen and significant alternative from a range of possibilities that then can guide decisive action.])

    e: For instance, Marxists commonly derided opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismissed qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? Should we not ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is little more than yet another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze? And — as we saw above — would the writings of a Crick be any more than the firing of neurons in networks in his own brain?

    f: For further instance, we may take the favourite whipping-boy of materialists: religion. Notoriously, they often hold that belief in God is not merely cognitive, conceptual error, but delusion. Borderline lunacy, in short. But, if such a patent “delusion” is so utterly widespread, even among the highly educated, then it “must” — by the principles of evolution — somehow be adaptive to survival, whether in nature or in society. And so, this would be a major illustration of the unreliability of our conceptual reasoning ability, on the assumption of evolutionary materialism.

    g: Turning the materialist dismissal of theism around, evolutionary materialism itself would be in the same leaky boat. For, the sauce for the goose is notoriously just as good a sauce for the gander, too.

    h: That is, on its own premises [and following Dawkins in A Devil’s Chaplain, 2004, p. 46], the cause of the belief system of evolutionary materialism, “must” also be reducible to forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity that are sufficiently adaptive to spread this “meme” in populations of jumped- up apes from the savannahs of East Africa scrambling for survival in a Malthusian world of struggle for existence. Reppert brings the underlying point sharply home, in commenting on the “internalised mouth-noise signals riding on the physical cause-effect chain in a cybernetic loop” view:

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

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

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

    j: Therefore, though materialists will often try to pointedly ignore or angrily brush aside the issue, we may freely argue: if such evolutionary materialism is true, then (i) our consciousness, (ii) the “thoughts” we have, (iii) the conceptualised beliefs we hold, (iv) the reasonings we attempt based on such and (v) the “conclusions” and “choices” (a.k.a. “decisions”) we reach — without residue — must be produced and controlled by blind forces of chance happenstance and mechanical necessity that are irrelevant to “mere” ill-defined abstractions such as: purpose or truth, or even logical validity.

    (NB: The conclusions of such “arguments” may still happen to be true, by astonishingly lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” or “warranted” them. It seems that rationality itself has thus been undermined fatally on evolutionary materialistic premises. Including that of Crick et al. Through, self-reference leading to incoherence and utter inability to provide a cogent explanation of our commonplace, first-person experience of reasoning and rational warrant for beliefs, conclusions and chosen paths of action. Reduction to absurdity and explanatory failure in short.)

    k: And, if materialists then object: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must immediately note that — as the fate of Newtonian Dynamics between 1880 and 1930 shows — empirical support is not equivalent to establishing the truth of a scientific theory. For, at any time, one newly discovered countering fact can in principle overturn the hitherto most reliable of theories. (And as well, we must not lose sight of this: in science, one is relying on the legitimacy of the reasoning process to make the case that scientific evidence provides reasonable albeit provisional warrant for one’s beliefs etc. Scientific reasoning is not independent of reasoning.)

    l: Worse, in the case of origins science theories, we simply were not there to directly observe the facts of the remote past, so origins sciences are even more strongly controlled by assumptions and inferences than are operational scientific theories. So, we contrast the way that direct observations of falling apples and orbiting planets allow us to test our theories of gravity.

    m: Moreover, as Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin reminds us all in his infamous January 29, 1997 New York Review of Books article, “Billions and billions of demons,” it is now notorious that:

    . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel [[materialistic scientists] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [And if you have been led to imagine that the immediately following words justify the above, kindly cf. the more complete clip and notes here.]

    n: Such a priori assumptions of materialism are patently question-begging, mind-closing and fallacious.

    o: More important, to demonstrate that empirical tests provide empirical support to the materialists’ theories would require the use of the very process of reasoning and inference which they have discredited.

    p: Thus, evolutionary materialism arguably reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, as we have seen: immediately, that must include “Materialism.”

    q: In the end, it is thus quite hard to escape the conclusion that materialism is based on self-defeating, question-begging logic.

    r: So, while materialists — just like the rest of us — in practice routinely rely on the credibility of reasoning and despite all the confidence they may project, they at best struggle to warrant such a tacitly accepted credibility of mind and of concepts and reasoned out conclusions relative to the core claims of their worldview. (And, sadly: too often, they tend to pointedly ignore or rhetorically brush aside the issue.)

  17. 17
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    …it would still say nothing about the theory’s scientific credibility.

    The fact that there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution tells everyone about its scientific credibility.

  18. 18
    LoneCycler says:

    For Sev @11

    Darwin’s theory has no scientific credibility. And please explain your basis for deciding how anyone “should” behave in light of your own meaningless materialistic existence?

    John Stuart Mill, the agnostic, spent his entire British upper class life writing about how the little people in society should organize their lives by adhering to his self-developed principles of hedonism, finally realized near the end of his life that if everyone changed their opinions and all the political institutions organized themselves the way he proposed he would have accomplished exactly nothing. He realized it was all just an empire of dirt. He was man enough to admit that and that’s all he has going for him in my view.

    Comparing the ownership of automobiles to guns and how they should both be licensed is fallacious. You can buy all the cars you want and as long as they are driven on private property you don’t have to obtain a license/registration for them or even obtain a driver’s license for yourself. You don’t even need to buy car insurance for them – though the loan company may say otherwise if you got a loan to obtain them. There are many trucks used on farms here that fall under this exemption and those can even be operated on public roads if necessary to travel between separated parts of a farm. I see them all the time with hand lettered license plates that state “Farm Use” and sometimes that gets abbreviated to just “FU.” The license/registration/insurance laws apply to vehicles that are primarily operated on public roads and do not prohibit the possession or use of unlicensed vehicles that are not.

    I would also point out that the right to operate a vehicle is not a God given right, like the ownership of arms, it is a privilege extended by civil laws. Our right to ownership of arms is not dependent on the scribbling of some 19th Century Englishman’s personal whims, or by any other person, but given to us by God, and there are few sound reasons to alienate anyone from that right.

    The government regulation of guns is established at times arbitrarily and capriciously in the opinion of many, but to answer your questions on particular weapons, all that you ask about are already prohibited from private ownership, as are all other destructive weapons, and this should continue.

    The words of Charlton Heston’s speech where he told the Vice President of the United States and inventor of the internet, “Mr. Gore: From my cold, dead hands” while holding a flintlock long rifle above his head, still burns up the gun grabbing leftists, and will continue to be an inspiration to those that love liberty for decades to come.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    I just saw your remarks about arms.

    Maybe I should point out that in not so distant years, the Swiss encouraged citizens to purchase older artillery pieces (obviously, with appropriate ammunition) and to aid in mobilisation, the battle rifle [that’s selective fire but full power rounds, harder to control] in one’s cupboard had also a store of ammunition. Some years further back, it was fairly routine for communities or individuals to own cannon. Indeed, ships were expected to be armed and “letters of marque” were issued to ship owners in times of war; multiplying the size of one’s navy. Off Somalia etc this is again highly relevant.

    The level of arms appropriate to individuals, organisations and communities depends on available technology and threat.

    Currently, that threat has significantly risen and for cause I have argued here that we need an organised, community and institution based defence in relevant areas; across our civilisation. I favour the Tavor (a bullpup design, shorter rifles for given barrel length) in a 6.5 mm Grendel backed by other rifles with 6.5 mm Creedmoor that gives a reliable 1,000+ yards reach. For close in work, as body armour is common, I incline to some version of a PDW with ammunition beyond 9 mm parabellum [= for war] or the like. But the 9 mm semiauto pistol is good enough. Target hardening and securing communities.

    Semiauto is good enough for most relevant work but if things get out of hand, squad auto weapons comparable to the old Bren would be useful. Maybe, a full auto .338 Lapua can fill in for Ma Deuce in most applications, being lighter. Generally, except for specialist uses, full auto is wasteful. Dealing with ground attacking aircraft is one of those.

    I was just reading on Vietnam, Route 19 gun trucks. Quad 50s and miniguns were useful, but the balance seemed to favour Ma Deuce. So, there are circumstances where full auto vehicle mounted weapons and light armour may be helpful, Especially if things break down into 4th gen civil war. I need not speak in detail to heavier, more specialist weapons.

    I can readily infer that nukes are so specialist and maintenance-intensive that they are not appropriate to ordinary civilian use. That might change if we have to mine asteroid belts. But, those are not one man jobs.

    Your attempted reductio fails.

    Let’s take it in another direction, where civilian weapons are severely restricted. That will simply place the population at the mercy of warlords, gangs and brigands with badges; esp. in a world with a major drugs trade — cf Mexico. That’s why it is a common precursor to genocides. But then, after fire arms are banned, what of knives and machine tools? Perhaps, you are unaware that a Polish version of the Sten was made in workshops, and used in anti-German uprisings? The Kukri proves that you don’t even need machine shops to build highly effective combat knives.

    We need instead, to deal with the factors that are driving terrorist incidents and mass shootings in guns are banned zones. Terrorist entry control makes sense (and contrasts with the shrill demands for open borders which seem to be made in ignorance of Ebola etc). Similarly, it seems to make sense to deal with other key contributory factors. I also think that abuse of weapons in a crime should be tried before a military tribunal, on the principle that one wielding a weapon automatically comes under full military discipline. Here, I point out that in the 1944-45 campaign just under 100 US soldiers were executed for crimes, 1 – 2 per week. Just one was for desertion in the face of the enemy.

    Ah, but then I’se be a radical.

    KF

  20. 20
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev asks: “I would ask where, if at all, would you draw the line? ”
    A fair question. In its Heller decision the US Supreme court drew the law at “arms commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”

  21. 21
    ET says:

    seversky misses the point. If we teach children that humans are just another animal whose existence is nothing more than an accident of nature, then we have to live with the consequences that teaching such nonsense begets.

    And if we are just an accident of nature then no one has the right to say I cannot mount a 50 cal on the back of a Gladiator and have at it. But they definitely have the right to kill me, or at least try, before I can do so.

    The good news is we are NOT just an accident of nature and therefore we just have to deal with the teaching of said nonsense. And by “deal with” I mean get it out of the science classrooms, at all non-violent means and costs.

  22. 22
    Ed George says:

    ET

    seversky misses the point. If we teach children that humans are just another animal whose existence is nothing more than an accident of nature, then we have to live with the consequences that teaching such nonsense begets.

    Why? Are you incapable of rising above your “animal instincts”? I’m not. I do it every day.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Why?

    What is the alternative? Mass suicide for all of those who don’t want to live with the consequences teaching nonsense to our children begets?

    Are you incapable of rising above your “animal instincts”?

    People use the phrase “animal instincts” in place of their ignorance, Ed.

    I’m not. I do it every day.

    Most likely because you realize the nonsense and that you are not an accident of nature.

    However, not everyone is you, Ed. Try to think beyond your own little world.

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